"The troubles of adolescence eventually all go away - it's just like a really long, bad cold." ~Dawn Ruelas
In case I haven't mentioned it before, Absolute Write is a terrific place for writers of all genres/abilities/etc to spend time, share stories, and get feedback. They have forums for everything from perfecting your query letter to asking questions about agents and venting about your latest rejection.
Since I've been toying with the idea of writing Young Adult, I've been spending a fair amount of time lurking over there lately, reading other people's excerpts and experiences with the genre.
And speaking of that, here's a little taste from some freewriting I did the other, opening pages. I discovered (or remembered) that I really like writing in first person:
"OK, here’s the thing: I understand why my parents pulled us up by the roots. Why they moved me and Paul from the only place we’ve ever lived, the only home we’ve ever slept in, and trekked us in two U-Haul vans four hours away, to a town in the middle of Nowheresville, New York. I’m sixteen, not stupid. They can sing us their excuses until they’re blue in the face. They can tell us stories with painted-on grins that they think we can’t see through. They can explain that Dad wanted to return to the place where he grew up, and that Mom wanted to give up her crazy whirlwind of a job (the job, which, by the way, gave her a company car, trips to Europe twice a year, and enough money that Paul and I both already have four years of college paid for) and trade it for a teaching position in – what did she call it? – “a quaint small town where everyone still knows their neighbors.”
Terrific. I knew my neighbors back in Pound Ridge. I liked my neighbors. And if every town in Westchester County, with its rolling hills and old brick homes and Main Streets lit by white lights all year round, isn’t quaint, I don’t know what is. But that doesn’t matter now. None of it does, when you become That Family, the one in the neighborhood that the devil takes by the throat and turns black with the evil that seeps under all the doors, no matter how much you try to keep it away. When you become That Family, your parents move you as quickly and quietly as possible, which brings us back to why I am sitting in an empty room staring at walls painted an awful green color and wondering how my life got to this point..."