Saturday, May 12, 2012

Brazil

I have so many things to tell you!
Let's just begin with. . . I'm going back to Brazil. Yes, I'm VERY excited, on the verge of a syncope. Whenever I say "Brazil," Michael and most of my Lawrence friends go "Brazillllll," so I guess I'm gonna have to get that song stuck in your head, too.


I haven't gone back since I moved to the U.S. and that was four years ago. It's been four years since I've seen my family and friends, since I've seen my land, since I've seen everything that is Brazilian. And how I miss it. Oh, how I miss it!

Michael and I are going to Recife on June 20th to visit my mom, my uncles and aunts, my cousins, my childhood friends, and the cats, of course. I want to show him Military School, Federal University, and a bunch of other places that marked my past. There will be some major sightseeing, too, because even I need to see what's still the same and what changed in these last few years. And then in July we're going to Porto Alegre, where I've never been, but have always wanted to go.

Today, I finally got my new passport. The other one expired. And we're just waiting to get Michael's tourist visa approved. Fingers crossed, people. This needs to go smoothly. Flying to another country is so stressful, and on top of that there's packing, there are goodbyes, and a ton of anxiety.

My time here isn't over, though. The U.S. will always be a second home. I've met such wonderful people here, and learned so much about so many things and about myself. I've turned into a writer here, in fact, and for that I'll always be thankful. Don't worry, this isn't me saying farewell. I'm coming back, for sure. Don't know when. But I'll be back one of these days, when you least expect a visit from me.

For now, celebrate with me. Michael and I are very happy. He wants to see the world. And I. . . don't want saudade lurking in my heart anymore. That was one constant presence all these years.

Love,
-- Becca

Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Writer's Voice contest: DAPHNE'S BOOK, Adult Fantasy

The Writer's Voice contest. This is an improved (hopefully) version of my query letter and first 250 words of DAPHNE'S BOOK, my latest novel. An agent told me I should present it as Adult literature, so here we go.


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ENTRY # 169


Title: DAPHNE'S BOOK
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Word count: 100,000



Daphne Chase is a literary prodigy. She became a published author at the age of twelve with a short story collection titled DAPHNE'S BOOK: witty remarks by a young girl.

It would have been every writer's dream, if only the short stories really were short stories. They were Daphne's personal notes, all names and her own strategically changed, neatly written in a diary her father -- famous, eccentric author Abelard Chase -- mistook for her composition notebook and handed it to his publisher. She could do nothing about it. It was better to let her father and the world believe all of it was fiction, instead of letting them know what they had in their hands were her secrets.

Six years later, it's still painful for her to think her privacy had been violated. When Creativity -- head of the Muses -- approaches her with a deal, she accepts it: in exchange of her devotion to him, he will help her write a masterpiece. She calls him Apollo, and he shows her that there is no limit to imagination. He believes, however, that a successful writer can only spring from solitude. 

When Apollo starts taking away the people she loves the most, Daphne has to decide between saving the people in her life or staying loyal to this entity that can give her a book so good it will erase DAPHNE'S BOOK from people's memory.

DAPHNE'S BOOK is a 100,000-word Adult Fantasy novel, a cross between Death Note and the dark mood of Stephen Poliakoff's Capturing Mary. I have a B.A. in English Language & Literature from Lawrence University, and am a U.S. Embassy's Brazilian Youth Ambassador.

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First 250ish (281 to be more precise, didn't want to stop in the middle of a paragraph. . . =S) words of DAPHNE'S BOOK


Daphne Chase rested her forehead on the window. The cadence of the bus, summed up with her low spirits, left her drowsy. She soon fell into a half awake, half asleep state of mind.

She could hear her father telling stories, his tone of voice going up to emphasize certain words and build up climax, like an actor excitedly reciting a monologue. Her mother's and brothers' laughter completed the chorus. They were happy together. Happy without her.

Daphne could hardly understand what her father was saying, and was eager to join her mother and brothers in praising his genius. A type of eagerness that was more out of obligation than genuine interest. Her father was Abelard Chase. The famous author, hero of his generation. She listened, and listened, and when she thought she had discerned the word 'ridiculous', she was pulled back from them with a jolt.

The bus had stopped and the lights were on. It took a while for her eyes to adjust to that sudden brightness. She blinked, confused, and tried to pick up here and there bits of what her fellow passengers said.

“This is ridiculous,” the man sitting next to her murmured to himself as he rummaged in his backpack. He found his cell phone and dialed a number, his fingers pressing each button with discontent. A quick glance at his wristwatch showed that it was almost 9:00 in the evening.

When he started complaining on the phone that he would be late, Daphne's attention shifted to the two women in the seats in front of her. “Maybe we should call a cab,” she heard one of them say. That was alarming. Why did we stop?