Thursday, September 29, 2011


Nicki is a new Outsider Girl, and the protagonist in my next novel, Swallow.

Nicki:   “Wake up in the morning, feeling like P Diddy…”

     That’s Ke$ha, blaring from my alarm clock, which is also a dock for my iPod.

     “Grab my glasses, I’m out the door…”

     If I don’t get my ass out of bed and turn off my alarm, it’s going to wake up my little brother, and my mother’s going to have a fit. She’s going to say something like, “It’s only six fifteen in the morning, and already you’ve ruined my day,” and then she’s going to rush downstairs to my brother’s room to pick him up, put him on her lap and rock him and tell him everything’s going to be all right, it’s just that Nicki is a teenager and she’s in her own world and she can’t think about the feelings of others right now.

     My mother’s going to tell Tommy that being a teenager is a tough time for a girl, and “we all have to learn to be patient with Nicki.”

     “Pedicure on our toes toes, tryin on all our clothes clothes…“

     My mother thinks she’s being all good and understanding.

     She would never think to ask me why I’m curled up in a ball under the fairy blanket grammy made for me last birthday as if I’m still just a little kid, although it is true I love this blanket, even if I was turning fifteen, and I am too old for flower fairies.

     “Tik tok on the clock…”

     I don’t even like this song, why did I pick it to wake me up—

     “Nikki! Turn your music down!” my mother yells from behind her closed door.

     “It’s my alarm!” I yell back.

     “Ain’t got a care in the world, but got plenty of beer…” Ke$ha sings.

      Tommy starts crying, Waa waa, big baby, Waa waa, the sound getting closer as he comes up the stairs—


     For like a second, I try to ignore it all, try to wrap my quilt closer around my head and drown it all out, but come on, that’s totally ridiculous, so I reach a hand out and slap the snooze button, shutting Ke$sha up. If only everyone else had a snooze button! I just wanna get a handle on the dream I was having. I just wanna stop crying. I cry all the time and its ridiculous.

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