Dear Writers Voice Magnificent Coaches:
Tom, the classroom hamster, wants to escape from the h-e double hockey sticks otherwise known as school. There he’s sentenced to never-ending show ‘n tell, math facts rap, and story time. But he’s learned a lot behind the bars of his cage. The giant in the dress thinks she is running this army, when the chatterbox pygmies are really in control. Playing house during activity time isn’t like Tom’s old military pet shop days. Somehow he has to get away before the pygmies dress him as Strawberry Shortcake again.
When a “subspatoot” fills in for the giant, Tom sees his chance to put Operation Escape the Pygmies into action. He makes a run for the border, hamster style. Bad news. The principal says Tom is a distraction to learning and better off flushed. The way out is turned into a battlefield of snapping mousetraps, sticky snares, and poisoned pellets. Tom seems doomed until a friendless pygmy named Squeezer lends an over-excited hand. Now, the greatest obstacle to his freedom may be Tom’s soft spot for this lonely pygmy.
PYGMY HAZARDS is a MG fantasy complete at 34,000 words.
PYGMY HAZARDS is a MG fantasy complete at 34,000 words.
Tom stared between the bars of his two-foot rectangular prison in the corner of the classroom. Close by, fellow prisoner Jerry the Third hunkered near their water bottle, chewing on a Kleenex box. There had been no brochure telling Tom what to expect when he was snapped up from the animal menagerie store two months ago. And if there was, he wouldn’t have believed it. Tom shook his head with a sigh, and then refocused on his guard duty.
Across the room, the pygmies sat in a circle on the floor, their two legs bent crisscross applesauce, as they passed around a stuffed rabbit. The giant in the ugly brown and purple striped dress at their center had a look of patience plastered on her face.
One of the pygmies, Squeezer, held the rabbit. She gave it a shake so that its long ears flung in every direction. Tom winced and fingered his own neck. “Now that I’m seven, my mommy says I’m a big girl,” Squeezer said. “And when I’m eight, I’m going to marry Joey.”
The pygmy with red hair and freckles, sat up taller. “Not happening.”
“It’s my birthday. I’ve decided,” Squeezer hissed.
The giant cleared her throat. “Please pass Mr. Flopsey, Maggie. You’ve told us all about your birthday. Now your turn is over.”
Squeezer scowled, then threw the rabbit over.
Tom turned to whisper to Jerry. “When the big hand is on the twelve and the little hand is on the three, we make a break for it, recruit.”
Great pitch and great first page. This is truly excellent. I like how far your QL has progressed. It's definitely clearer. Good luck and great job!!!ReplyDelete
"Somehow he has to get away before the pygmies dress him as Strawberry Shortcake again."ReplyDelete
I died. Poor, poor hamster.
"Tom seems doomed until a friendless pygmy named Squeezer lends an over-excited hand."
And awww! This is a particular kind of friendship dynamic I'm a total sucker for!! I love the potential here. Fantastic query, and I loved your 250 :) Keeping my fingers crossed for you!
Squeezer definitely grows on a person. :DDelete
I want to read the rest of this RIGHT NOW! Your voice is amazing - from your query to your first 250. I couldn't stop laughing at "he makes a run for the border, hamster style"...until I started reading your 250. This is GREAT stuff. Best of luck to you!ReplyDelete
I'm glad it made you laugh.Delete
Great pitch! Great voice, great premise, great everything. Reminds me of "The Only and Only Ivan."ReplyDelete
Thanks! I'll have to take a look at this Ivan.Delete
I don't think I've laughed so hard in awhile. This is awesome. Pygmies? LOLReplyDelete
Your query pitch is great, and it comes across as such a care-free adventure. As soon a I got into the first 250, I got exactly what I asked for. It seems like a lot of fun, and brings me back to some my childhood reads. Love to read this in the future!
Thank you. And I loved your Nickname for Query Kombat!Delete
Sounds like the perfect MG. I think my son would love this! Best wishes:)ReplyDelete
Jerry the Third!!! I wish I were home right now! I'd be dying of laughter.ReplyDelete
I read your query in SC's last contest and loved it. Now, I love this glimpse of the story! I want more. :D
This is so incredibly adorable and so much fun! Good luck with it :DReplyDelete
I realize I don't know you, but I'm nominating you anyway for the Liebster Award. Check out my blog for details: http://jasonmrazwasright.blogspot.com/ReplyDelete
"Squeezer" the pygmie - lmao! That's hilarious ~ :) This is adorable! Best of luck to you!!ReplyDelete
I'm sure you can guess why she got her name. :DDelete
YAY MG! I'm sure there are lots of kids out there that will love this. Good luck!ReplyDelete
This is too adorable!! I instantly get a sense of the main character and it sounds absolutely cute to the max! Best of luck!!ReplyDelete
I love the voice of this, the way everything is seen through the eyes of a poor trapped hamster. So cute. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Love those hamsters! Good luck (and your query is excellent).ReplyDelete
As a rule, I'm not an MG kind of guy, but you have won me over. All the luck to you, Tom, and Squeezer.ReplyDelete
This sounds like such a fun, care-free adventure that's full of great voice and laughter. I really think kids of all ages will LOVE this book (even the grown ones with young hearts ;)). It's so cool and unique that it's from the hamster's perspective.ReplyDelete
OMG so much cute!! Good luck!ReplyDelete
Your first page had me laughing out loud. Great query! This is just too cute! Best of luck to you! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you. Always happy to make someone laugh.Delete
So cute! I love the criss cross applesauce bit--completely adorable and fitting voice. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Of course I've already seen it, but still... I love it!!ReplyDelete
Hi Fida! Thanks!Delete
I think this story is so cute and FUN. Kids WILL love it. I already love the voice and characters. I also know I'm getting ahead of myself but anyone else already visualizing the movie--Fun Disney Pixar with Zach Galifianakis as hamster and maybe Jane Lynch as the Principal??!! : )ReplyDelete
GOOD LUCK MICHELLE!
What a compliment! Thanks!Delete
Michelle, this is really cool and very unique...I love it! My son would totally dig this if he was older. Good luck...this is fantastic!ReplyDelete
This query and first 250 are amazing. The voice is so unique and I love the attention to detail. I think you've got a winner here, Michelle! I'm rooting for you :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for all the support. It's been a great experience.ReplyDelete
So awesome! Really interesting idea!ReplyDelete
Best of luck to you!
This is the only query I've actually laughed out loud at, and I laughed SO many times! This is absolutely hilarious and I loved both the query and first 250. I wish I could keep reading! I don't think I will look at an elementary classroom the same ever again. Great idea and good luck! :)ReplyDelete
What a fun idea! Thanks for the laugh, and best of luck to you!ReplyDelete
This is so stinking cute!!!ReplyDelete
Hi Michelle! :o)ReplyDelete
Disclaimer: I have little experience with MG stuff, so bear that in mind for my crit.
I really liked the voice in this – it sounds like a fun read, and I’m sure a lot of kids would be chuckling at Tom’s adventures. I only have a couple of minor nitpicks, so take what you need and ignore the rest!
I had to read the bit about ‘the h-e double hockey sticks’ twice to get what you meant by it, and I also didn’t understand the ‘crisscross applesauce’ reference (well, I understood the crisscross bit, but not the applesauce one – might just be a US/UK thing though). Other than that, I thought it flowed really well. :o)
I hope this helps.
I agree--the voice is great, especially geared to MG. only toe comments. I think "bad news..." Should be the start of a new paragraph to make it easier to read. And I agree with the comment above--although h e double hockey sticks was funny once I got it, I wonder if their is a better way to write it--perhaps: 'H-E-double-hockey-sticks'? Ask others if that is easier or more difficult to read.ReplyDelete
TWO comments, not comments about toes. Argh! Stupid iPhone and my big fingers!ReplyDelete