novels · writing

Summer Rush Update

I’ve read Summer Rush all the way up to chapter twenty-four. I felt like I knew my story before, but I’m getting to know it a lot better with this re-reading. It’s kind of weird. With each new chapter I read, I find something to cringe/scream at, and something that I love.

Of all the messy stuff in the entire novel, plot holes, and inconsistencies, the things that I cringed at the most were all the times I didn’t set the scene, and all the adverbs that I used. In fact, all of this lack of scene is awful. It’s freaking me out. Forgetting to use description is my biggest writing fault. I tend to envision in my head what the scene is like, then I write the dialogue, because all the description, to me, is already there.

And now, for an excerpt. This scene is from after Rexi got arrested.

I lay on my stomach on my bed, staring at the television screen. My eyes were so dry and itchy that tears kept pooling in the corners. My dark purple pillowcase was stained with my tears. I was super tired but I couldn’t sleep.

I glanced over at my alarm clock, sitting on my nightstand. It was twelve twenty-four in the morning. I stifled a groan. This sucked.

The television kept blinking with whatever lame show was on. I rubbed my temple with my fingertips. My chin still throbbed but it wasn’t what was keeping me up. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw Dad and Maya yelling at me. I was a wimp when it came to being yelled at, especially by Dad. I hated having him mad at me.

“I’m really tired,” I mumbled. “I need to sleep.”

“Knock, knock.” Somebody tapped on the door.

I lifted my head slightly. Rush stood in my doorway, leaning against the doorjamb. He was decked out in his ninja pajamas and Buzz Lightyear slippers.

“Can I come in?” he asked politely.

“Shouldn’t you be sleeping?” I sat up and balled up my pillow under my chin.

“You’re watching soap operas? Interesting.” He came in and plopped down next to me. The mattress bounced so hard, he almost tossed me out the other side.

I shoved him with my shoulder. “God, how much do you weigh?”

“Pushing two hundred, last I checked.” He grabbed my pillow and lay his head down on it. “How come you’re still up?”

“I can’t sleep.” I pushed my hair back from my face. The shaggy pigtails only stayed back for a second before falling forward over my eyes again. I needed a hair cut. “What’s your excuse?”

“I heard you tossing and turning.” Rush reached around me and picked up my hallowed copy of my favorite book, Black Beauty, which had been lying on the bed beside me. I’d tried to put myself to sleep by reading it, but reading to myself never worked.

“I’m so tired,” I whined. I needed an attitude adjustment along with my haircut. “Am I always this cranky when I’m sleepy?”

“Yes.” Rush sat up against the footboard and propped my book on my face. “I’ll read to you.”

“Really?” I was so pathetic when I was tired. I turned onto my back. “Can you read like Dad does?”

“You are so pathetic that it’s almost not even funny.” Rush messed up my hair affectionately. He started to read. When Dad read to me, his gruff yet gentle voice put me to sleep in a matter of minutes. Rush’s voice was deeper and slower, quieter. I closed my eyes and cushioned my head on my arms. I was so tired.

“Are you falling asleep?” Rush asked, pausing in his sweet monologue.

Oh, great. Now I was calling his reading skills a sweet monologue. I blew out a deep breath. My overgrown bangs blew off my forehead, brushing against my skin like silk fringe.

Rush kept reading. I yawned. A few minutes later, I was asleep.

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