Dear Miss Snark,
I’d like you to consider SHERBET SKIES, my contemporary young adult novel. The manuscript is complete at 57,000 words.
Nine months ago, seventeen-year-old Brinn wouldn’t have run unless you made her and her weight proved it. Now she loves the sport because when she runs she doesn’t have to think about how screwed up her family has become.
Her father is a recently uncloseted gay with a boyfriend and her mother slips in and out of depressive moods because of it. Running is Brinn’s only outlet for her frustration and within nine months, she sheds fifty pounds. Suddenly she’s noticed by her crush, North Shore’s It Guy, Evan and Brinn will do anything to keep that attention. Even if it means keeping her gay dad and his boyfriend a secret.
While Sherbet Skies deals with serious teen issues, the tone is light and often humorous. May I send a partial or the completed manuscript? Thank you for your time and consideration.
Telling me something is light and humerous makes me pretty sure it isn't and I don't see much here to tell me what's going to distinguish this from the one gazillion other books about body image and gay parents. Heather Has Two Mommies was published 16 years ago. You're going to have to do something more with this "gay father is embarrassing".
In a mirror, you can be anything you want to be. (that doesn't make any sense to me) You can be beautiful, but overweight. You just have to suck in your gut, wear the right shirt and good jeans. A scale always tells the truth. There is nothing other than the number. No angle to hide the bad areas, no beauty to balance the butt hanging off your backside.
I went into the bathroom and closed the door behind me trying not to wake my mother up down the hall. I turned to the scale. Today was my self-imposed weigh-in day. Every second Wednesday of the month I got a little closer to my goal of 140lbs.
The early sun shone through the slats of the blinds on the window, highlighting the scale like some sort of heavenly light. Either the angels were going to sing when I stepped on that scale, or the devil was going to laugh.
Last month I was at 143lbs.
I was so close. Almost there. I told myself, when I reached my goal weight, I’d treat myself to something. A reward, for all the hard work and pain and strength of will. Because, as far as I was concerned, there was nothing harder than walking right past a chocolate covered donut while it stared you in the face.
I pulled the blind open and pushed the window up. The old wood groaned and I slowed, listening for any movement in the rest of the house. When silence answered back, I pushed a few more inches until I could stick my head outside.
The waves of Lake Michigan crashed against the breakwall just three blocks west. I could smell the sand and the dune grass, the moist air of early summer. It was a different world entirely on the shore. Bad moods changed there as swiftly as the wind changed the dunes. When I was frustrated with everything, I ran on the beach. With the water sloshing around my bare feet and the seagulls flying off as I neared, I felt like I could run forever.
With my junior year of high school behind me, I wanted to use the summer to reinvent myself. There was no more Fat Brinn and I didn’t want to be that person ever again.
People don't think to themselves like this. People don't describe what they are seeing to themselves. They just see it. Here's the difference: "I could smell the sand and the dune grass, the moist air of early summer" vs "The sand and the dune grass smelled of early summer".
And no teen ager in the history of the world is sniffing the air if she's weighing herself. She's either spitting into the sink to get rid of those vile extra ounces of moisture or she's leaning on the vanity while stepping gingerly on the scale to try and make her goal weight.
This is a form rejection.