Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Opening Lines of . . . India Flips

Happy Monday everyone! I thought I'd try and be bold this morning, and post the first page of India Flips, the novel I just sent off to my agent. (Fingers crossed!) I walked through the fear on Friday when I pushed the SEND button, and also when it (this) was featured on Gae Polisner's Friday Feedback blog.

There are so many ways to flip: back flip, front flip, flip the bird,(yes, being flippant) flip out (as in freak out), flip out (as in fall for - romantically speaking or as in "that is the coolest thing - ever!), flip a house (renovate and re-sell for profit), flip a coin (chance, fate?) - and much more I am sure. (Who can forget the hair flip?)

Whatever way you flip it, the act of "flipping" - whether it's literal or emotional - brings energy, dynamism and change to the person doing it.

AND you would never know from this "beginning", that these characters are going to end up on a Reality TV show.

'Nuff said:

"How many birds have been sacrificed to this death trap?” I mutter to myself. I am staring out of the sliding glass door to a large deck of a house for rent, for sale, for living and dying in the exurbs of New York City. I am staring out this false sense of security, this symbol of change, of possible carnage. Some birds don’t sense boundaries and end up getting hurt: some birds like me.
As if on cue, a tiny hummingbird flies toward me and I long to pull the door open, but for once my hands are paralyzed. Am I hoping that it will mistake the glass for open space? Could I be that cruel? As the bird gets closer - its ruby neck, exposed and vulnerable - my hands start to twitch into action and reach for the windowed door. My fingers tug, pulling the force up my arms and I give up. Unwilling to take my eyes off the hummingbird, I put my hands on the window, hoping that my physical presence will be enough of a boundary.
The hummingbird’s natural habitat is lush with trees, grass and even a pond. Why would it want to come inside? Go away birdie, I will silently. Stick with what you know, where it’s safe. Where you are safe.
Am I ready for this disaster? I mean, it’s the cycle of life, right? Its all happened before, and it will inevitably happen again.
Except that this time it doesn’t. The tiny beak makes an ell turn just in time and the air in my throat hisses with relief. It must have been loud because Janie calls out from the living room where she is trying to ‘visualize her own furniture’ - maybe she’s even imagining us all sitting on her couch. I can’t tear myself away from the window, where the hummingbird has come back and is staring at me, flapping it’s wings ferociously. What are you looking for, buddy?
“Indy? You okay?”
“Um, yeah,” I manage to say as she walks through the room.“This dining room is pretty sweet.”
“Come look at the bedrooms!” And she disappears.
I don’t want Derek to move to this house or any other in Westchester. I want him to stay living across the street from me in our little corner of Manhattan. 
My hands move over my plaid skirt tapping out a rhythm, my purple Doc Martens stomp as I drum to Radiohead’s Creep. I may not be able to stand still, but at least I stay in one place.


  1. Oh, how I love this! But you knew that already. Still love it. Love it more, actually. And love the whole concept of Flips. And India Flips. And, and, and... *hyperventilates*

    Good luck on submission!

  2. I'm intrigued! I look forward to finding out more of Indy's story!

  3. I cannot wait to get my hands on this and flip out while i flip my hair to the side to flip open the front cover and flipping read this book!

    I think I managed to get a good amount of flips in there.

    1. Oh Ian, you have completely made my day! xoxox

  4. Have to find out what's up with Derek!

  5. Oh how I need to read this... I want to know so much... who are Janie and Derek and how are they related to Indy? Why does she have such issues with "moving" (or is it "leaving" that is the issue?)? I just have to know these things. :-)

    1. Janie is an Episcopalian priest and Derek is her son. Indy lives across the street from the seminary in NYC where they lived. She has taken a job as the rector of a small parish in Northern Westchester . . .

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