Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"The One Thing"

Marci Lyn Curtis writes teen stories about characters who set up camp in her head and refuse to leave.

Generally they are sarcastic.

Curtis applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The One Thing, and reported the following:
From page 69:
I nodded woodenly, and, eyes closed, tried to pull myself together. Beside me Mason was still as stone, but I’d swear I could feel his breath feathering against my cheek. I’d swear that he was facing me, that his eyes were on me. Was he staring at me?

I dipped my head, letting my hair curtain my face for a few seconds. Then I raised my chin. I still felt his eyes on me—scorching like the desert sun. I twisted my hands in my lap. Why was he staring?

Trying to take my mind off Mason, I peered across the nothingness to where Ben was getting ready for his race. He now sat on a wooden bench alongside the pool, so stuffed full of smiles that they just spilled out of him. He pulled on a pair of red swim goggles that warped his face a little, like those mirrors that distort your chin and make your head look fat in all the wrong places. Pumping one fist high in the air, he cheered for someone in the pool. There was something about the upward curve of his mouth that filled me with an overwhelming, protective affection. Some people have so many layers to them that you can hardly see who they are. But when I looked at Ben, I saw everything that made him him.

Why would anyone intentionally hurt someone like him?

When they announced the next race, Ben approached the water. There was a long pause while he climbed the podium. He moved slowly and deliberately, as though savoring the moment. When he finally made it to the top of the podium, he stood there for a long fragment of time. Supporting himself with the metal rails of the podium and peeling off his crutches, he scanned the crowd until he found us. And then he smiled.
Page 69 is a great representation of the struggle that takes place throughout the story. It shows the love-hate tension between Maggie (the protagonist) and Mason, the blossoming admiration Maggie has for ten-year-old Ben, and Maggie’s multitude of insecurities.
Visit Marci Lyn Curtis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue