Donde Esta la Biblioteca?

(This was supposed to post in the morning. Sorry about the unplanned change in schedule.)

Earlier tonight I joined an already-in-progress Spanish class, where I met a group of very nice people and got to practice my Spanish! I’ve been worried that I’ll lose my fluency the longer I’m away from Spanish speakers, and while I’m not sure if this group is the best fit for me (they’re still beginning) it was wonderful to be part of a group with a common interest. For small town Michigan, it was a more diverse group than I expected, and they welcomed me with open dictionaries.

Kind of like writers.

I’ve said it before, but it really has to be said again: My writing friends rock. I’ve avoided talk of queries and agents here, but that doesn’t mean I’m not up to my armpits in anxiety, nerves, and the occasional frenzy. (Stacey, I blame you.) The support you all have given me — while unwavering for as long as I’ve known you — still catches me by surprise. Not to mention to critiques, advice, and gentle suggestions that, yanno, maybe you should reconsider that word choice…


On Monday I had intended for you to be able to read the page I screen-captured in the picture, but photobucket shrank my photo. I’m reposting here for your reading pleasure. It’s the middle of chapter one. Enjoy!


The song ends and the blinking lights slow to a lazy loop around the room. Crap. I also promised Robbie one slow dance, and from the look on his face as he weaves through the couples already pressed close together, I’m not getting out of this.

He smiles. “They’re playing our song.”

“We don’t have a song”

“I know, but I requested it so that makes it our song.” His lips graze my cheek and he places my hands behind his neck. Our bodies brush as we turn in a small circle. “Is this really so bad?” he whispers.

“No.” I rest my head against his shoulder. My eyes close but my thoughts are anything but relaxed. This is supposed to be what I want. A boy who wants to dance with me and spend time with me and seems to think I’m cute. So why do I feel so antsy when he’s around? I mean, I know why—he’s hardly the first boy I’ve dated and I always get this feeling after a couple months. But why can’t I just be happy?

Robbie trails his fingers up and down my back, then pushes my hair off my shoulder. His warm breath on my neck gives me the shivers, but it’s not the reaction he was going for.

I pull away. “I think I need to get some air.”

He looks at me tenderly, misinterpreting all my signals. “Okay.”

I turn away and push through our classmates, but he grabs my hand, stopping me. I face him.

His eyes are clearer, the smile gone. “You don’t have to run away from me. I’ll come with you.”

Whatever. I let him lead me into the hallway, but he turns around a corner into a darker corridor. “Robbie, wait.” I stop, his fingers still linked through mine. This isn’t what I want.

“Biz, you just said you wanted to get some air.” He does air quotes around the last part.

“It wasn’t code for making out. I really needed to get out of there. The lights…”

He rolls his eyes. “It’s practically pitch black in there.”

I’ve never explained my deal with light to Robbie, and I sure as hell am not going to clue him in now. “Forget it.”

His hand snakes around my neck and he tries to pull me close.

My hands flatten against his chest. “Robbie…” I warn.

A noise behind us makes me turn. Cam is standing at the end of the corridor, bathed in light from the main hallway. And he’s glaring at Robbie.


About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. Wow, awesome excerpt! In just one page you grabbed my complete attention in spite of the TV blaring behind my head and the cat grabbing my leg. Good work!

  2. Stephen Parrish

    The number one reason scenes fail is because they lack conflict and tension. Yours has plenty of both. And the description is vivid. Nicely done.

  3. Very nice! I was picturing the gym at my own high school where there was a dark area around the gym door. This brings back a few memories of dorks I dated. 🙂

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