Monday, June 2, 2014

Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl Fresh-meat Year by Terri Klaes Harper Blog Tour Book Release

Terri Klaes Harper Blog Tour Book Release for Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: Fresh-meat Year
Bio: My first book was much more autobiographical than I often admitted before, and the second one was really launched more from my imagination, inspired by small chunks and tidbits of reality.  I really did grow up in California and move to Virginia smack in the heart of middle-school.  It was awful, and an experience I knew kids and adults alike could relate to in some way. I think the most embarrassing truth from the first book is that I really did punch my best friend in the nose on accident. However, my love life was not nearly as interesting as Drew’s and my first kiss wasn’t until my sixteenth birthday; the truth in that part of the book is that my first kiss really did ask permission first, totally freaking me out and making me certain I would fail at it.
Writing these books has been awkwardly painful at times as I’ve had to relive the experiences that did not seem as funny at the time I was living them.  But to me, that is now the beauty (and possibly the therapy) of it.  And now I feel committed to seeing Drew through high school.  As she grows older, I imagine she’ll face more serious matters in her small town world, but I will not allow her to lose her spark or become jaded. She needs a certain level of protecting, as I don’t want to ruin the best parts of Drew.
Book Excerpt:
We were given some free time for a couple weeks in chorus to work on the songs we had chosen to perform for our exam grade, but really we just turned on the TV and watched MTV all period. It was more convenient for our chorus teacher who doubled as the band director and was more concerned with preparing the marching band for the big half time show the next week.  He said MTV was fine because it was music related.  While Anne and I happily watched Anthony Keidis running and running in the “Under the Bridge” video, Mona and Violet’s minion Julia came sauntering in our direction.  She had a slip of paper in her hand and as she reached out to hand it to me, I stopped her.
“Julia, do you know what is written on that paper?”
“But you’re bringing it to us anyway?  They didn’t think enough of you to involve you in writing whatever stupid insult they wrote on this,” I said as I took the paper from her somewhat shaking hand, “but you’re letting them use you as their delivery girl?” I glanced across the room at Mona and Violet who were obviously watching us for a reaction. I wasn’t going to give them the one they were hoping for, so I unfolded the paper as if I would read it, and then instead systematically tore it into several pieces of confetti.  I placed the pieces back into Julia’s hand and closed her fingers around them.  In that moment, the two apostrophes of her eyebrows rose up in surprised protest, separating themselves slightly from the hyphenating uni-brow between.  I couldn’t figure out why she would have plucked everything else and left that behind, but I’m sure that was part of the reason that no matter what sort of brown-nosing she did for those two, they never completely accepted her. 
Not only were most of the preps way too skinny and unhealthy, but they had also taken to completely plucking their eyebrows and redrawing them.  They must have all used the same template because every one of them shared an expression of angry surprise, as if every one of them had had their celery sticks taken away by their best friend who was now eating their sticks in front of them, dipped in fat-free ranch dressing.
I felt bad for Julia as she turned back towards Mona and Violet, shredded paper in her hand, not knowing what to do.  She staggered back to them and they turned their backs on her.  Julia would have to learn for herself to have more dignity than to follow around the likes of those two.  When she made it back to them, she held out her hand to give back the shreds.  Mona turned back to face her, barely, and smacked Julia’s hand, causing their insult to rain down to the floor, as Julia’s eyes followed.  Something was said by Mona in her exaggerated accent, and Julia got on her knees and picked up every piece before she carried them over to the nearest trashcan.  Mona’s eyes met mine in anger, while Violet wouldn’t make eye contact with me, but just watched Julia, a hint of sympathy behind her snobby fa├žade.

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