Thursday, July 26, 2012

July Anything #8

TITLE:  Butterfly Girl
GENRE:  Upper MG First Page
Madison pulled a marigold out of the vase on the kitchen table and snapped the stem short. 
 “You look handsome, Grandpa,” she said, and stuck the golden-orange blossom in his button hole.
“Thank you, darlin’. He grinned and bent at the waist in a courtly bow. 
Madison smiled.  “Got to make a good impression on the judges.”
Grandpa had waxed and polished the old white truck. On the side was a picture of a giant blue ribbon next to The Real McCoy Organic Acres, painted in bright green letters over a dark green shamrock. The truck bumped down the gravel road, tires churning up a cloud of dust, then turned onto the blacktop that led to the highway.
Madison stared out the window and absent mindedly sectioned off a half-inch strand of hair and wove it into a long, honey-brown braid. The dewy fields and orchards blurred by, row after row, mile after mile. An hour later Madison spotted the giant Ferris wheel and then the zipper ride, carousel and mid-way games spreading out around the fairgrounds, with exhibition halls and horse corrals on the perimeter. A red white and blue banner fluttered in the breeze: Oregon State Fair.

Grandpa made his way towards a table near the end of the last row. “Here’s our spot. Number ninety-seven.”
Madison unloaded her box. “I’m going up front to look for Jade.” Jade had been her best friend ever since the day they met at the sandbox in the park, back when Madison lived in town with her mom and dad.
Grandpa shook his head. “Slow down, now. Don’t go running off.”
 “But Grandpa, you promised when I turned twelve I could walk around on my own!”
He pressed his hand to his heart. “What? You don’t want to hang out with your old grandpa?”
 “That’s not what I meant Grandpa, it’s just…”
He winked at her. “You can go around by yourself, just as soon as your friend shows up.”



  1. This is adorable. I love the opening paragraph. It is very sensory oriented to me for some reason. Maybe alter 'on the perimeter' to sound less informative (everything else is so descriptive that this line leaves me waiting), and the 'But Grandpa' line (split it? maybe make it more 12yoish?).


  2. Thanks for sharing your beginning. I also enjoyed it. Not much to comment on as it reads well to me. The only thing that confused me is that Jade is supposedly Madison's best friend forever and yet Grandpa calls him "your friend"... seems like he'd call Jade by name.

    Also can you "go around by yourself" with someone else? Or is that a bit of grandpa's humor?

    Best Wishes,

  3. Thanks L.M. and Joseph. I appreciate the feedback and encouragement!

  4. Sorry for posting this late, I honestly thought I had already posted:)

    What a great opening! I was immediately oriented by the well detailed setting. I loved the sound of the Marigold stem snapping, and it (somehow) drew me into the story.

    The voice is amazing! Sweet and caring. And I love Madison's emotional attachment to her Grandpa:)

  5. I'm with everyone else. I enjoyed this. I feel Madison's attachment to her grandpa and could almost see grandpa's grin. Great job!