A new start

Hello everyone and welcome to my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday, hosted by the lovely K. L. Schwengel whose cover for her new novel Emergence I revealed on this blog yesterday.

Well I have an announcement.  Cue fanfare… I’ve finished the first round of edits of Reunion of the Heart and it’s going out to beta readers very soon.  Much love to them!!  But really the fanfare is about my BRAND NEW WIP I began at the weekend.  It’s another romance (no you can never have too many romances!  OK you can if it’s not your thing but it is mine – though BTW I don’t actually read romances all the time!).

Anyway my new WIP is currently untitled.  I haven’t a clue what to call it yet but I’m sure I’ll come up with something eventually. My MC Rebecca is a teacher in a secondary school in the UK.  For those of you who don’t what I mean by a secondary school, it’s for kids aged 11-16, so I’m guessing for you in the US it would kind of be junior high and a bit of high school mixed in together.

I’ve probably got that completely wrong – I find the US system of schooling and all your grades for the year groups really confusing – but you get the idea!

So for today’s WIPpet, I thought I’d share with you the opening 12 lines from chapter 1.  Enjoy!

The tyres of her bike screeched to a halt, skidding on the wet tarmac and narrowly avoiding the bonnet of the car which had also stopped.  Rebecca leapt off her bike, stalked over to the large Audi and hammered on the driver’s darkened window.

‘What do you think you’re playing at?’ she yelled, oblivious to the stares and sniggers of the surrounding children.

Slowly, deliberately the window was wound down.  A middle aged man was sitting at the wheel.  Dark and austere, he glanced at Rebecca as though she wasn’t worth his notice.

‘I think it’s more a question of what you’re doing,’ he said.  His voice was calm and controlled yet simmering with anger.

‘What I’m doing?’ Rebecca spluttered.  Then remembering where she was she paused and took a deep breath.  ‘I was looking where I was going and I’m lucky I did because if I hadn’t I would most likely be severely injured or dead.’

Aware that she had an audience, she did her best to regain her composure.  

If WIPpet Wednesday seems like the kind of thing you’d enjoy and you want to get involved, just post a bit of your newest writing work on your blog, making sure it relates in some way to the date.  Then add your name to this. Thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting. 🙂

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31 thoughts on “A new start

  1. Love it. You’re expecting an apology and instead… Can only get better from here I presume! Congrats on starting a new WIP – it’s like a whole new love affair (before the editing starts).

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  2. Go, Rebecca!!! I love it. A great start that throws us in head first. Luckily it didn’t throw Rebecca head first into Mr. Snob’s windshield.

    😀 Sometimes I found school confusing as a whole. When I was a kid we had grade school (grades K-8) and then High School (grades Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior). Beyond that college or tech school if you chose. I think when school districts started growing they felt the need to divide things so they came up with Middle School which I think is like 6th – 8th grade? Maybe it starts with 5th. I’m not sure. You’re about 5 years old when you hit Kindergarten, and about 14 when you enter High School. Though now there is a pre-K…but we won’t get into that.

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  3. You’re off to a great start, Elaine!!!! Can’t wait to find out what happens next!
    Yes, kids 11-14 are in middle school (6-8 grades). As Kathi mentioned, they go off to high school (9-12 grades) at age 14..

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  4. You got it about right. Our local (US) school district has secondary schools, which for us is grades 6-12 (roughly ages 11-18). What I find confusing isn’t so much the grades but the difference between a US public school and a UK public school. As I understand it, they’re almost completely opposite!

    No, you can never have too many romances (my favorite genre, and I make no apologies for that!). Plus, I love that yours aren’t the typical dull stuff that’s common here in the US (mostly pretend historical or, worse yet, Amish). I love this bit of the new one.

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    • I know exactly what you mean about the UK/US public schools and how different they are. I just Googled it and you’re right they are opposite. In the UK a public school is an exclusive private school, often hundreds of years old and very expensive. In the US a public school is what we’d call a state school and provides free education for all.

      I found out online about ‘the great’ UK public schools that when they were first set up hundreds of years ago were ‘intended to educate boys of a relatively humble background’. So they started off very differently from how they are now. Hope that sheds some light on it for you a bit! 🙂

      Oh and glad you’re into romance BTW! (and that you like my excerpt)

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  5. I think I’m going to be liking Rebecca, Elaine. Nice clear voice.

    It’s interesting to hear the US people here all describing a very consistent US “public” school, since the one I went to doesn’t fit any of these. And private schools…. They’re all over the map. I don’t blame you for being confused.

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    • Thanks Eden! And it is interesting what you say about your education. I guess everyone’s is different. We have a bit of a two tier system over here in that the privileged can pay for their children’s education and often get a much better result. Have said that the state schools over here (by ‘state’ I mean public to you!) vary a lot in how effective they are and many can be good. Mine weren’t too bad. I’m still rubbish at maths though but I think that’s just me!

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      • Interesting twist here… Our “State” schools are colleges and universities.

        But you’re definitely right about how the way the quality of an educational experience can vary according to finances, etc.

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    • It does now, Sys. We had to shift Miah’s reporting to “middle school” this year (6-8 grades). After that it’s high school, I think….or maybe there is junior high.

      I giggle that I know any of this….

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  6. Congrats on those edits and on starting a new project! 🙂

    I love this except! Especially the way he glanced at her–love, love it! I’m eager to see how and if their relationship changes.

    Also, schooling in the US has gotten even more complicated with homeschooling and other options. I have students in college that are 15 and 16 because they took online classes or did some alternative education program. I predict it will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the students. 🙂

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  7. I just got the giggles over Rebecca’s bicyclist road rage. 😛 Not to mention the attempt at dignified back-pedaling. *snicker, snort* (Beck-pedaling. ‘Cuz she’s on a bike.) *dissolves in fits of giggles*

    Generally speaking, a grade indicates the number of years a child has been been in school, not counting Kindergarten, which is optional in some states, or Preschool, which is optional nation-wide. However, as Eden mentioned, there are schooling methods that use the grade system more like a rough guideline for expectations rather than a classification system.

    … Not that you were actually asking.

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  8. Hey, I almost got backed over by a truck today and had a “good thing I was paying attention” moment. So fun.

    Want to confuse things more? Canadian schools have the same grade divisions as US schools (elementary/middle/high) and public school means the same thing to us as it does to them, but we often call our high schools secondary schools, and we never call the years “freshman, sophomore” etc. like Americans do. Because, you know, why NOT be somewhere in between our closest neighbours and the country that technically houses our monarch? 🙂

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    • Oh well glad you’re all right Kate! Cyclists can often get a lot of stick from drivers over here who begrudge them using the road. Unfortunately there’s not really anywhere else for them to go and it’s illegal for them to cycle on the pavement so what can you do? 🙂

      And yes I think as a Canadian you’re quite within your rights to be in between the US and UK. Who wants to be the same anyway!!

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  9. Elaine,

    I love Rebecca’s reaction. It says a lot about her character!

    We homeschool. Without curriculum or grade levels – the only time I really think about them is at reporting times (like now).

    Here in the US, adults tend to ask kids they’ve just met what grade their in. It’s always funny to see my kids stare at them blankly, or ask me, or attempt to talk to the adult person-to-person.

    One or both of them might be taking university-level classes in their earlier teen years, if they choose to. Because they focus on their passions, they both already do a good deal of research and creation in their areas of particular interest (physics and ethics and technology for my Jeremiah, and nature and fashion and storytelling for Annalise.

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  10. Pingback: Wow what a wonderful WIPpet Wednesday! | Elaine Jeremiah

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