Another year is coming to a close, and one of my favorite Twitter follows asked a great question.
So of course I started thinking about my three things. Now, Charlotte said three things that happened to you—mine aren’t so much that. They’re more things I/my family did. Which I think is just as good.
1. I finished writing my first middle-grade novel and started querying it.
The book is called Alejandro’s Coin, and it’s an Aladdin retelling set in a modern-day, Title 1 elementary school (for non-US readers, Title 1 is a federal grant for schools that service high-poverty families, which are typically also higher minority). Here’s an excerpt from the chapter where Alejandro discovers there’s more to the coin he found than meets the eye.
“Ow!” Alejandro dropped it, shaking his hand. “What was that?”
The coin rested face-up on his bedspread, charring the cotton. It vibrated—slowly at first, then as violently as it would in an earthquake.
Alejandro jumped to his feet. His heart pounded in his ears. Loud squeaks came from Dippy’s cage.
“I don’t know, buddy.” Alejandro took slow, backwards steps away from his bed and the coin.
Now it was glowing.
A deafening whoosh accompanied by a bright flash filled the room. Alejandro squeezed his eyes shut to protect them. When he opened them, he was sure he hadn’t looked away quickly enough, because he was seeing things.
The form of a man floated above—out of—the coin. He had wrinkled, pale skin and thin, white hair. Blue overalls covered his top half, but instead of legs, a wave that looked like a foggy, blue mermaid’s tail stretched from his waist to the coin. The man rubbed his neck, and aside from his missing legs and the fact that he was slightly transparent, he could have been any man off the street. Something about him was familiar.
After scanning the room, the man’s attention fell on Alejandro. “Who are you?” His voice was strong and deep.
Alejandro stepped back, bumping into Dippy’s cage and causing the hedgehog to release a high-pitched bark. “Uh . . . who are you?”
“I asked you first, son.”
Blinking rapidly, Alejandro tried to piece together what he was seeing. A ghost that lived—or whatever ghosts do—inside an antique coin was talking to him. And correcting his manners.
“I’m . . . Alejandro.” His voice turned upward at the end, making his name sound like a question.
“Are you not sure that’s your name?”
Confusion filling his mind, Alejandro shook his head.
The man laughed. “I’m Gene Booker. You can call me Mr. Booker.”
I decided to go traditional with this one simply because I want a greater reach than I have as an indie. I want it to get into the hands of as many kids like those I taught as possible.
2. I crocheted five Christmas gifts
Considering I learned how to crochet only a year ago, I thought it was quite an accomplishment.
3. We found our cat after she’d been missing for a month and we adopted a new kitten
This is kind of two things but they are connected.
If we hadn’t been looking for Lily, we wouldn’t have met Sulu. That they are both with us makes our family complete.
Not bad for a year, I’d say! Now it’s your turn: What are your three good things for 2018?