Monday, April 20, 2020

"The Easy Part of Impossible"

Sarah Tomp is the author of YA novels The Easy Part of Impossible and My Best Everything; and a picture book, Red, White, and Blue Good-bye.

Tomp has a MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She teaches creative writing for University of California San Diego Extension.

She applied the Page 69 Test to The Easy Part of Impossible and reported the following:
I think Page 69 of The Easy Part of Impossible gives a good peek into the essence of my main character, Ria's emotional struggle.
Once, when she'd been trying to finish her homework at the dry gym in between sets he'd (Benny) said to her, "There's more than one kind of intelligence, Victorious. Don't you worry that pen-and-paper stuff isn't yours. There's not going to be tests and science reports in real life."

It had made her feel better at the time. And for a long time afterward. But now here she was at the start of senior year, with nowhere to go. The void ahead, otherwise known as her future was too big, too exhausting, too much nothing to fill.

"She's going to call soon. You need to at least talk to her."

"I can't," Ria started, but then Mom's phone rang and they all jumped, startled. She stared at it, like it might explode. Dad shoved it in her hand.
For more than half her life, seventeen year old Ria has been under the control of her diving coach, Benny. He's her biggest supporter - the person who knows her best, and who cares as much about her diving as she does. But, he's also an abuser. Her parents don't realize he's hurt her physically. They only know he recently kicked her off the team and now they're suggesting she talk with a college coach. As someone who has always struggled in school, Ria has no interest in this plan of theirs. Her reaction to the phone here - that it might explode - is a subtle hint to the fact that she's suffering from PTSD.

So, yes, I think this page gives a good picture of the emotional story line. What's missing is the spelunking! This scene takes place after she's gone caving with her friend Cotton for the first time. There, in the dark she felt a different kind of thrill - and fear - than she's used to. That's also the start of a slow burn romance with an atypical love interest.
Visit Sarah Tomp's website.

--Marshal Zeringue