I've mentioned it once or twice on the blog, but: I took piano lessons pretty steadily for about seventeen years of my life. (Whoa. Suddenly reflecting on that. That's a lot of scales and arpeggios.)
When I took lessons in college, part of the requirement was a studio class, every other week. Which meant: sitting with a bunch of other piano players, some of them beginners, and some of them way-the-heck better than the rest of us. And you'd each play something.
Like a mini-recital for your peers.
If you think that my fingers were usually shaking a bit, you're right. They were.
But shaking or not, I got used to doing it. Used to taking the bench and playing the piece, fearful or not, trembling or not. It was just a Thing You Did, because you played piano.
The same was true in my writing classes: we took turns sharing selections. Until it just became a Thing You Did: You wrote pieces; you shared pieces. Repeat.
... But guess what. I've been doing this writing thing pretty much on my own for a while, and my habit of sharing my work has gotten a little rusty. That's been on my mind, and I was wondering how to break back in...
When my Twitter buddy Karah Rachelle tagged me in the 7/7/7/7 writing challenge.
Here's how it goes: Writerly person opens their work-in-progress to page seven. And then counts down to line seven. And then shares the next seven sentences in a blog post.
As in: this post.
(And then you nominate seven more writers, to carry on the challenge!)
... Wasn't I just saying on Monday that I wanted to introduce you to my characters? Welp, here we go.
Page seven, line seven, and the next seven sentences.
A little background: On about page two, Phoebe (main character, eleven years old) discovers that a world exists behind a panel in the back of her closet. (Because, well, why not.) She hasn't told anyone yet, but her day is about to get weirder.
Baby Claire popped her fist out of her mouth with an audible smack. And she made a little noise, which sounded like "Ha!" and which made Phoebe grin.
"What I'm trying to understand," said Claire in a crystal-clear voice, "is what happened in Phoebe's closet."
Phoebe's grin froze. Then she gaped at her baby sister.
"Awwww," crooned Great-Aunt Mildred. "I love her little babbling sounds."
"Because when you came out, your eyes were all funny," Claire said, looking at Phoebe.
... The baby speaks, ladies and gentlemen. The baby reasons. And the baby gets into a whole bunch of trouble during the course of this trilogy.
Okay. Who wants to share their work? (I feel like my writing professor, stalking around the room and looking for victims/volunteers.) Who would like to share with the class?
1) @HLGibson_Author ... See her excerpt here!
2) @victorialfry ... See her excerpts here!
3) @KFGoodacre ... See her excerpt here!
5) @JazzFeathers ... See her excerpt here!
6) @AJLundetrae ... See her excerpt here!
... Only do it if it's fun, or if it feels right to you and your work, okay? And then tag your post to these comments so we can come read your work and applaud you! :)
ALSO, if you're reading this and you feel that little internal nudge, like you really should do this, like it's been too long since you've sat at the piano and played for others...
Go ahead and self-nominate! (I don't know if that's an official rule, but whatever, I'm saying, go for it!) Post your seven sentences on your blog, and then post a comment below to say that you did, okay? I'll come clap for you! :)
I'd love for this blog to turn into a place where more and more work is shared: both mine and yours! So... this could be the start of something very, very good.
Oh, and P.S.: Thanks for reading.
P.P.S.: Whoops, my excerpt was eight sentences, not seven. I can't count. Ah well. That's why I'm not an engineer. That, and, they write very few children's adventure stories. :)