Dear Miss Snark,
Carolina Brady cannot ride a horse. She doesn't know how large a cow's rectum is. She couldn't tell you how to drive a tractor. After all, how many suburban teenagers can?
But when Carolina's mom takes off for France and her dad is too busy to talk, Carolina finds herself whisked off to-of all places-a cattle ranch in Wyoming. What's a smart, sarcastic teenager to do when she's stuck on the prairie surrounded by tumbleweeds and cow patties? With the cow patties come the cowboys, and with the cowboys come anonymous notes, flaming piles of cow manure, and secret midnight swims. Like it or not, Carolina's comfortable suburban world is about to get a WEE BIT WESTERN.
I am a Californian high school student and have spent many summers working on cattle ranches in Wyoming. I am quite familiar with Carolina's worlds and the culture shock one feels when going from California suburbia to rural Wyoming. WEE BIT WESTERN is a young adult novel with a romantic bent complete at roughly 50,000 words. A fun, light read, it will appeal to teenage girls. If you like what you see here and in the enclosed sample pages I would be happy to send you a fuller partial or the complete manuscript. Thank you for your time.
Interesting set up, no plot. Even cowgirls need plots.
I'm going to read this cause you never know what pearls lurk inside the oysters of the Rocky Mountains.
"You're ruining my life."
"I hate you!"
"I can't believe you're doing this to me!"
I ignored the first three things that popped into my head and tried for rational persuasion. "Mom," I said, "you know how responsible I am. I swear I wouldn't get in the way if you just took me with you."
She was already shaking her head, glancing across the table at Steve to make sure that he was with her on this. I stifled the urge to roll my eyes. "Speak as one to ensure that your children are not confused by their step parent's role in the decision making process in the household." It was secret number 37 in Mosaic of Love: 101 Secrets to a Happier Blended Family, the most recent self-help book she had left lying next to the toilet. Trapped in the bathroom with no other options I had reread the thing so many times that it was imprinted on my mind.
"Honey," she said, "you know how boring these things are. You don't want to spend your summer hearing about boring medical stuff."
True, but I definitely didn't want to spend my summer working on a cattle ranch. "It'll be fun," I told her, "I'm sure I'll learn a ton."
Steve took over for my mom, laying his hands over hers protectively. "Caroline, your mother and I definitely appreciate how mature you are, but along with your father, we've decided that a summer on the ranch is definitely the best option."
"Sucks for you," Brandon said from across the table. I checked to make sure that my mom and Steve weren't looking and then gave him the finger. Flipping off your stepbrother at the dinner table is definitely not okay when you're trying to build a "Mosaic of Love".
"Caroline just stuck her bad finger up!" Margie reported. I was tempted to flick my "bad finger" in her direction but I resisted the urge. Barely. It was completely unfair; I was being shipped off to Cowland while my stepsiblings got to spend their summers at their mom's house in LA.
The restaurant my dad had picked for dinner was the bad kind of fancy restaurant. The kind where you feel underdressed no matter what you wear, but the food still totally sucks. It was definitely a business meeting sort of place. I was sure my dad had brought countless clients to this restaurant. He would impress them with an expensive bottle of wine and then launch into a "casual" conversation about sports or the weather before getting down to business. I knew his routine because I'd been sitting through it once a week for something like six years. Except with me, my dad wasn't trying to sell me on some exciting new investment opportunity; he was trying to convince me (and probably himself) that we had the picture perfect daddy's girl relationship we'd had before he moved out. That was usually his agenda anyways. Tonight he had a special objective: convincing me that the plan my parents had come up with for my summer was going to be FUN! and EXCITING! a LIFE EXPERIENCE! SOMETHING TO TELL STORIES ABOUT! Shoot me.
You start off with the done-to-death family squabble, and then you veer off into backstory.
How about you start on the ranch in Wyoming when a horse bites her in the ass? Or something..yanno..interesting.
There was a post on Agent Kristin's blog about some poor kid whose mom got all upset at the rejection letter sent to her darling snookums. I've respected your wish to be treated like an adult and an equal participant in the great Crap Fest by not sugar coating this with "oh you're so cute for your age and keep trying". If you're in high school now you're probably tougher than half the people twice your age reading this blog. Work at this. Everything wonderful in your life except love you'll have to earn the hard way: doing it till you get it right.