Sneak Peek

Fiction By Anna // 6/1/2010

1//Call Her Rose
“Martha’s Theme”—Doctor Who soundtrack*
“Waiting For the World to Fall”—Music Inspired by Narnia
 “The Rainbow Connection”—The Muppet Movie
“My Mind Rebels at Stagnation”—Sherlock Holmes soundtrack

Peter’s shoulder smelled faintly of seasoned salt and cinnamon. The mixed scents were not quite unpleasant, but they wearied Rachael’s already weary brain. For hard months, she and he had trudged until their spines ached from toting backpacks and their minds narrowly missed the brink of shutting down.
“Have you thought about what we can call me now?” Rachael—for now—asked her cousin.
Peter flexed his fingers and pushed back his dark brown hair. It brushed her face.
He hesitated before exhaling, “Rose.”
 “Rose? I… hmm.” Tones of wonder, then a pause: “I actually like it. Rose Gray?”
“ ‘I actually like it,’” he mimicked—not well because of his New York accent. “Then Rose Gray you are.”
Briefly, Rachael Rose Gray lifted her head from his rumpled shoulder, which was broad and muscular, though Peter was neither large nor tall. She shook out her spiky jaw-length black hair.
The untied shoelaces of her black trainers dangled from the sandbank. In the lapping waves beneath, she made out a murky reflection of her freckles and the black makeup outlining and shadowing her green eyes, as if she’d recently taken two sound punches.
Mist cached the beach, unbalancing her bearings. She reached over her shoulder, trying to reach her backpack’s zipper like a puppy chasing its tail. Peter finally took pity on her. “Want the map?” he asked, pulling it out.
“Yeah,” she said, taking it. Opening the map also challenged her, as the worn creases threatened to tear, and the faded compass rose didn’t clearly point north. She turned the map around and wrinkled her pointed nose at its glue-like smell. She squinted at it for awhile, crossing and uncrossing her sand-caked legs.
“Still having trouble, Rose Gray?” Peter snickered.
“Shut up, Pete,” Rose mumbled, shooting a dirty look at his ocean-blue eyes. “How old is this thing, anyway?”
“Don’t know.” Peter shrugged.
“I can’t find the High City.”
“Might be called New Shipton, like the founders named it when they first built it up from Boston.”
“Oh.” She turned the map counter-clockwise once more, tracing a line with her finger. “Then we’re nearly there.”
“First stop, the High City, second stop…?”
“I’m desperate to leave planet earth. Any other will serve.”
He hesitated. “The universe is big, Rose.”
“You’re one for generalizations.”
He crossed his strong arms. “Well, as long as we’re so vague, why not go to all the planets?”
 “If we find a ship that’ll take us to all of them,” she said with a snort of laughter. “And if we have money after paying our cyclopean fare for such a ship, do you think I could buy a new pair of trainers—but green, with sequins?” She raised her feet slightly and paused. Despite the uncertain mixed currency in Peter’s backpack, more excitement than uneasiness and nervousness stirred in her chest. “Do you think the ships really float?”
“I don’t think Thalia made that up. A few days ago—you remember, when the clouds were thin—I even thought I saw a ship… her keel anyway.”
“I envy you.”
“Because I saw a floating ship, or because of my good looks?”
“And your big mouth,” she laughed, “and uncomplicated family life.”
“Says the girl who dragged me from my world to go planet-hunting. Nuh-uh.” And it took him only two seconds to: “Ya know, I’ve figured out your problem!”
“My what?” she pretended to huff.
“You’re a rebellious snot!”
The idea half fascinated her. “I am?” she asked, batting her eyelashes.
Immune, he went on more seriously, “You’re gonna get us in trouble someday, kid. Just because the Council let ya leave doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.”
“But you seem to discount that they did let me leave,” she protested, pouting slightly. “Doesn’t that score any points?”
“Not with me. They let you leave ‘cause the law makes them—and to get rid of a punk. Now I’ve gotta put up with that. No credit to you.”
“I’m sorry,” she said, pulling her black wool jacket tight and forcing the hood around her neck. “Ever since Thalia died… I’ve been… pretty detached from my life. I don’t look like I care, but I do… Really.”
“We all have our issues,” he said.
 “Oh, Peter…”
“Stop worrying. We’re gonna make it.” His voice got husky, and the oscillating blueness of his eyes froze.
“We had better.” She hesitated. “Oh, and cuz… Thanks.”
He put his arm around the girl now called Rose Gray and rubbed her shoulders in silence. Finally he said, “Yeah. No prob.”

*Songs to listen to while you read the chapter

Now please help me by answering these questions:

1. Did this grab your attention? If you knew nothing about me and the book and had only pulled this off the library shelf, would you check it out based on this?

2. What opinions have  you formed of the characters personalities? Did you like the characters? Why or why not?

3. Did you see any grammar/spelling issues; awkward sentences; flowery, distracting wording; wordiness in general; inconsistencies; or clumsy phrasing? Please specify.

4. Was the dialogue boring or predictable? Did it, and the rest, make sense?

5. Did you even bother to listen to the songs under the chapter title? Did they add or detract? (And, out of curiosity, did you like them?)

Please give me any other input you have!


1. Yes, I would. This

1. Yes, I would. This intrigued me...why would she want her name changed? What is she running from?

2. They're intriguing...I think I feel sorry for Rose Gray and I like Peter...

3. The only ting I spotted was when you described her hair--I think it would be better to move that to the puddle reflection also. When she's shaking her hair out she wouldn't be thinking about its color. Other than that, looks good.

4. Not predictable, and not boring. It made enough sense to pull me into the story, but also left me wondering...a good mix.

5. I'm familiar with "Waiting For the World To Fall" and like it. If you're going to put songs for every chapter, I like the idea. I definitely think it adds to the scene, gives us a bit of insight into it. If I have time I'll come back and listen to the others.

I've always liked the idea of connecting songs to books...whenever I write a book I like to make a list of songs for the main characters that describe them, then one that desribes the book in general.

Now I'm going to really wonder about the rest of this story!!

Heather | Tue, 06/01/2010

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

1. Yes, I think so.

1. Yes, I think so. :) 

2. Peter is stubborn and teasing, a "typical" boy who puts up a tough-guy facade, but inside really loves Rachael/Rose Gray.  I like him a lot for this, but also because I feel he knows what is right and doesn't hesitate to do what is right when a decision between right and wrong comes up.  Rachael/Rose Gray is affectionate and adventurous, not as brilliant as Peter in some areas but quite a smart gal.  I think she and Peter, though they won't say it outright, are very dependant on each other.  I like her too.  (But not as much as Peter...for some reason, Peter appeals to me greatly.)

3.  No.  But I didn't really look closely enough to find any.  Anyways, I'm always bad at that sort of thing.  Grammar is not my forte.

4. I don't think the dialogue was boring or predictable.  It didn't make sense in some ways, but that's only because we don't know the rest of the story.  (Such as "planet-hunting" and "the High City".)

5. I didn't bother listening to the songs, I admit...I was just too lazy to do so...but I know very well how "Rainbow Connection" goes so I was hearing that in my head as I was reading.  I think it added. :)

I really am interested in this story!!  Please post more. ;)  

Clare Marie | Wed, 06/02/2010

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

1. Oh yeah, DEFINATELY! Its

1. Oh yeah, DEFINATELY! Its baffling yet awesome...i loved it!

2. The characters are really good. Very real in the way they talk and interact. I have a feeling their in alternate universes, though lol.

3. Not that i could see....i'm no expert of course. I really like your writing style though. I didn't see any sentences that made me go "Um...too much" or "too little"

4. No! And not really. Everything you WROTE made sense, but the plot itself was confusing and intriguing!

5. No, i didn't, but that is a GREAT idea. My book is named after a song, and i should post a link to the song or something because i really get into the mood for WRITING when its playing! Awesome!

Clare | Wed, 06/02/2010

1. I would definitely read it

1. I would definitely read it :) 

2. I like them both! Peter especially. He seems more mature than Rose, and I tend to like more mature characters.

3. Nothing stood out to me.

4. Not predictable and very far from boring! 

5. I would have liked to, but I wanted all of my attention on the story.

I think it's great!

Erin | Thu, 06/03/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Initial Note

Shalom, Anna, I got your note asking me to comment on this.  I don't have time to do a proper analyses at the moment, but I did want to let you know I got your note and that I've read this.  Actually, I want to appologize:  I started to read this a week or so ago, but as soon as I read the description of Rachel having short spiky hair and thick black makeup, I though, "O boy, this girl wants to look like a punk on purpose -- I can't identify with this" (even before the part where Peter calls her a punk), and as soon as Rachel told Peter to shut up, I went on to something else.  That was quite stupid of me; I should have finished reading it.  So, now, I have.  I like it -- it's very interesting.  I want to know the full story:  who is this counsel, how do New York and interplanetary travel mix, etc.  I hope that by the end of her adventures Rachel will have matured a bit, stopped spiking her hair (maybe let it grow a bit or something), and rubbed the greece off her face.  Perhaps that's just my prejidice.

I like Peter.  I kind of see myself in him -- even though it's only been one conversation.

As to the music:  Sorry, I don't have those tracks; I'm not familiar with them.  I did happen to have "Beneath the Southern Cross" and "Mare Nostrum" playing from the sound track to the epic WWII documentary, "Victory at Sea," as I was reading this.

Speaking of playing music while reading your writings, I once annoyed my brother Ezra by reading Cormac and the Trial to various tracks from the complete recordings of The Fellowship of the Ring.

My apologies for going so long.  I still haven't done a proper analyses.

James | Sat, 06/12/2010

"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

To all: Though obviously no

To all:

Though obviously no one cares to listen to the songs, I assure you they're worth listening to. "Martha's Theme" and "My Mind Rebels at Stagnation" are instrumental.

Anna | Sat, 06/12/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief


1. Yes, it did, and yes, I would definitely check it out.  (I like Rachael's hair, btw.)

2. They remind me of me and my best friend.  They way they interact, mostly.  He makes sense and she doesn't.

3. Not really, except he kept calling her 'ya' instead of 'you'.  But that was for effect, wasn't it?

4. No, I liked the dialogue.  It was funny.

5. No, when I read this I was on a computer without speakers, and I didn't know until I got to the end of the story that I was supposed to listen to them while I read it.  I'm going to reread it later with them though.

I'm sorry, I guess you have been writing.  I didn't even see this.

Out of curiosity, do you watch Doctor Who?

Bridget | Wed, 06/23/2010

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya