Sunday, August 14, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday


I had planned to share more of Searchers with you, but because I'm hosting Young Adult authors for the next few days, I'm kicking off the event with six sentences from my own, Shortcomings.  Yesterday, I visited a "Safe Home" for women and children and spoke with one of the counselors there.  Because my grandson, Spencer, is autistic, bullying and mistreatment have become topics of great interest.  I'm planning to use the study guide I created for my book to talk to middle and high school students, and if I can stop one person from being abused, then I will have accomplished something special.  If I could go back in time and do things differently when I was a young person, I would flash back in the blink of an eye.  I'm haunted by the young man who rode my same bus...the person who committed suicide because he was bullied every day.  It was easy to turn a blind eye to avoid becoming a target myself, but I often wonder if I had spoken up, moved over and let him share my seat, or just given him a smile, if things might have been different. Maybe if  we thought about what we said before we said it, someone's ego might not suffer.  In proof, I offer the first six from Shortcomings:

“Hey, gimpy, wanna race. Amidst a gathering of her groupies, pep squad captain, Sally Rogers, yelled at Cindy Johnson from across the street. Sally fanned her shoulder-length auburn hair back from her face and stood with one hand on her curvy hip. If you win, maybe Ill buy you something new to wear.
Her taunting tone ate at Cindy, but she refused to respond. Sagging against the tree at the bottom of the hill leading home, she wished she could sprint the distance to escape the piercing stares and haunting laughter. 

You can join in the fun of Six Sentence Sunday by clicking the link and finding the names and urls to more participating authors.  There's a bunch of 'em.   Oh, and if you like what you read, Shortcomings is available from Muse it Up Publishing or on  Although it's advertised as Young Adult, it's suitable reading for all ages, and I believe the message it delivers is important.


J.A. Beard said...

You capture the viciousness of young people well. This is a topic that I think it is very important to have in YA literature.

My daughter is autistic (still very young though), and we often consider whether home school is something to more strongly consider. I was harassed a lot in school (for racial reasons), and I don't think it was some great "strengthening experience" (I've had people tell me that it was good I was bullied that way because it made me 'stronger').

Ginger Simpson said...

Bullying in small doses might be manageable, but when it's daily, I think eventually it's overwhelming and destructive as evidenced by the boy who killed himself. I often wonder what happened to his sister. Both were victims only because they were poor and a little slower than some. Like I said, I wish I had acted a lot differently. :( Thanks for the visit.

Cate Masters said...

Poor Cindy. Kids can be so cruel, and often know exactly which buttons to push.
Don't torture yourself with 'what ifs' - I did the same for awhile with the sons of my employer, who used to hang out at the office, and I wondered if I might have said or did something to make them see other possibilities (it was a murder/suicide). But that's useless. At least you can touch people with your stories.

Roseanne Dowell said...

I read this book and I can honestly say, Ginger hits the nail on the head with this topic, or maybe it's hits the ball out of the ballpark. Whichever it is, not only is the book well written (who would expect less from Ms Simpson), it's full of emotion. Great job, Ginger.

Paula Martin said...

You've captured both the meanness of the bullies and the Cindy's fears and desperation. Very emotive six.

Anonymous said...

You've captured this kind of situation perfectly. Sad six.

Dee Carney said...

I have some choice words for her. Jeez...freakin' bullies.

Jenna said...

Your six illustrate exactly how life is in our middle and high schools these days. So glad my girls are completely intolerant of bullying and will speak out and tell someone if they see it. I'm going to recommend this book to them. I think they'll love it.

Lex Valentine said...

Tough subject. Kudos for tackling it.

Sandy Nachlinger said...

So touching. You did a great job of describing the scene -- Sally's posture says so much, as does Cindy's reaction. Good writing of a difficult subject.

Anonymous said...

Great job with a timeless topic.

Alanna Coca said...

Wow. This gets my vote for most powerful six.


Wendy said...

Very effective sentences to show the two characters and they do evoke emotion in the reader. Bullying is such an urgent topic to address. I have tried to come at it sideways in my short story about a little calf that is bullied by a so-called friend. Maybe seeing the effect through my calf's eyes might touch a child and awaken them to the awfulness of the practice in all species. (It won't be out till Feb next year, from Muse.) Sadly, the story will still be topical, then.

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