Saving Natalie was the very first manuscript I actually saw through to the end. It has since been shelved for about four years as I focused on my second manuscript, The Beloved Daughter. I was planning to self-publish The Beloved Daughter and have in my hands by my thirtieth birthday this spring. (Nice gimmick, right? "Hey! I'm turning thirty. Don't you want to buy this book I wrote?")
In an unforeseen, twisted turn of events, I just found out yesterday that The Beloved Daughter made it to the finalist round in the Women of Faith writing competition. Care to guess the grand prize? A shot at that traditional publishing contract I've always drooled over in private (and public, I'll admit).
Should be good news, right? But my birthday is in two months and The Beloved Daughter truly was three clicks of the button away from being self published. But now I've got to wait out to hear the contest results, so there's no way I can have it in my hands by my thirtieth birthday. (I know, I really need to get over my disappointment, don't I?)
So anyway, in honor of today's WIPpet, here are twenty sentences starting from page 20 of my very first manuscript Saving Natalie. I'm 98% sure I won't be able to edit it in time to have it in my hands by the time I turn 30, but at least it will give me something to focus on while I wait to hear about The Beloved Daughter's fate.
Jake walked into the birthing room and stopped in the middle of the doorway. Jessica was reclining in the hospital bed, cradling Natalie in her arms. Jessica’s face was turned away, but Jake could see the baby perfectly.
She wasn’t the picture-perfect, rosy infant with chubby cheeks that Jake had expected to meet. Her skin was dark and blotchy. Her hair was curly, with a pronounced point at the top of her skull – a black cone head with a bad case of dry scalp.
Jake expected his baby to somehow steal his heart and change his life with that first glimpse. He came prepared to feel overwhelming emotions of joy and love, even fear. But the only thing he felt was surprise and a little bit of guilt for being so numb.
Baby Natalie squirmed and adjusted in her sleep. A plump nurse strolled in the room wearing Snoopy smocks and a smile that reminded Jake of some absentminded nanny. “Just checking on Mom and baby,” she bustled.
Jake silently watched the nurse check the hospital monitors and write something on her clipboard.
"How’s the baby doing?” Snoopy Pants turned down part of the baby blanket covering Natalie’s face. Immediately her smile faded.
“Get the doctor!” she shouted.
Only a few seconds later, the hospital intercom announced, “Maternity ward. Code blue” - a heavy, dull echo in Jake's ears.
Do you WIPpet? You should! Give us an excerpt from your Work In Progress. Just make sure what you're including something that has to do with today's date! (Twenty sentences from page 20 posted on February 20, for example.) Then link up here or at My Random Muse.