Writers Voice Entry
Seventeen-year-old Denali can lift trucks with her mind and see remote locations on a whim, but these skills won’t save her if the Captain of the American Psi Council discovers she is trying to prevent an attack on the US State Department.
Denali doesn’t want to disobey the hidden society that recruited her with the permission of her perhaps sanity-challenged mom. Denali loves Nashquttin, an island safe haven for psis where she is free to use her mind to fly paintballs at friends and roast marshmallows without a stick. There is nothing more liberating than cracking dead trees over the ocean after a heartbreak (even telekinetic guys can be jerks).
But she hates that the Captain will punish her if she tries to stop the attack. He says psis have learned through centuries of persecution that even well-intentioned psi actions can cause non-psis to wonder, investigate, and react violently in fear.
Denali should listen to the Captain. She should avoid a lengthy prison sentence. She should forget about seeing that eerie man in a faraway basement with blueprints, bomb materials, and an invitation to a reception with the Secretary of State. And she definitely shouldn’t let her strict, strong trainer risk his life to help her.
It’s simple. She shouldn’t try to stop the bomb.
But she will.
DENALI IN HIDING is a 76,000-word YA science fiction novel.
I earned a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University and my science fiction story “A New Life at 30” was shortlisted in the 2012 Writers & Artists Short Story Competition.
First 250 Words
When my mom is mad at me, I usually understand why.
I understood why she said, “Calling it an ‘academic pursuit’ doesn’t get you off the hook,” when I dug a six-foot hole in the front yard to show Eli how the earth changes like a rainbow the deeper you go.
I got why she frowned and said, “That was mean and really sort of disgusting,” when Ethan and I—with just the right mix of apple juice, lemonade, and water—convinced Eli we were sipping pee on the porch.
I was not surprised when she screeched, “What the hell am I supposed to tell the mechanic?” after I practiced lifting her truck before I was ready and it clunked down hard in our driveway, bits and parts rattling about.
But I don’t understand why the smoky frustration crept into her eyes when I told her Ethan and I burned my last journal. She said coolly, “We will talk about this when I get back.”
While she’s out bartending, I’m stuck wondering what I did wrong. The only thing I can figure is maybe she thinks I let Ethan read it. She knows I write about everything and she gets touchy when she thinks there is even a remote chance someone might find out about me. Even if that someone is Ethan.
Ethan, who leaves various types of miniature plastic leprechauns around our house for us to discover.