DRUM ROLL PLEASE!
I met Jordyn at Susan May Warren’s writing retreat over a year ago in sunny Florida. She sat next to me while we learned about plot, lies, and making our readers care. She was the youngest writer amidst a group of older women. (And, of course, the cutest with the edgiest, most stylish, haircut ever.) At fifteen, she was learning more than I’d ever learned in my long life.
Jordyn’s been writing since she was ten–for six years. Now sixteen, she goes to school at Perpich Center for Arts Education, in Golden Valley, MN. (Cold country.) She says her goal is to graduate from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth with an English degree so she can (hopefully) be a book editor. She’s interested in writing, editing, visual arts, music (she plays the tenor sax), and most other artsy things. She says growing up in her small town on the shore of lake Superior has definitely contributed to her artsy-ness.
Jordyn has over 20 novel drafts and has finished two novellas and two novels. She writes poems and has a collection of short stories. She’s been published in her school’s literary magazine before she attended the school.
Her writing routine: While she’s in school she writes on weekends and over her lunch hour. But this June she’ll participate in Camp NaNoWriMo and will speed through 2000 words a day! The rest of the summer she hopes to write 1000 words a day. Check out the math–in three months, 90 days, she could have 120,000 words written. Impressive goals, Jordyn! (No pressure. It’s here in writing now.)
Below is an excerpt of her latest wip (work-in-progress), TELL ME ABOUT FOREVER. TMAF is a modern YA, but Jordyn generally writes light sci-fi. If you’d like to contact her please send email to: JFKirkLiterature@gmail.com.
But it’s cool to leave her a comment here, too. Encourage her to make her goal! I know I will!
“Leave, Zoe,” Kaleb says, his deep eyes fraught with worry, “you need to leave.”
“But Kaleb, why?” I question, nervously reaching to comb his hair off his forehead.
“Zoe, stop.” He warily shakes my hand off his head, giving a weak cough, “you need to go.”
“Why, Kaleb? I don’t understand why you don’t want me to help you–”
“I don’t want you to just sit here waiting for me to die, #$&%!#&$!” His thin frame is shaking, his chest heaving. “I want you to remember me for who I was. Not as this weak little boy who’s terminal card has finally run out.”
“Just go. Leave me here to die, because it’s going to happen whether you sit here doting on me or not.You need to live your own life, Z, because I’m not going to be here much longer.” He turns his head away from me, staring blankly out the window that looks over the courtyard.
He’s been at the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital for more than a month now, and they told us a few days ago that there was nothing more they could do for him. He was right, as much as I hated to admit it, he was dying.
“I just don’t understand why you’re so pessimistic, Kaleb. The doctors even said it, there’s a small chance you could pull through this.”
“Exactly, Zoe, a small chance. That means it’s unlikely. It’s not going to happen. I’m dying, Z. I’m dying….”
“No, Zoe. Just, stop, please. I can’t sit here listening to you trying to tell me that I’m going to live just because it will make you feel better. You’re lying to yourself, Z. You need to learn to live without me.
“Listen, they’re releasing me to go home tomorrow, and once I’m back I don’t want you to come by. This is the last time you’re going to see me, Z.”
“I love you!” I cry out, and the words hang heavily in the air. The words we agreed we would never say when we started dating. His eyes widen and he stares at me, mouth agape.
“I don’t want to live without you,” I start, “I need you.”
“Don’t say that, Z. You’re not weak. You need to keep living, you have to. For me.”
For a moment neither of us speak, we just stare into each other’s eyes. Finally, I break the silence.
“Fine,” I sigh, “I’ll go if that’s your final wish of me. But I will stop by your house.”
“Zoe, don’t do this to yourself.”
“I’m leaving, Kaleb. But remember, you can survive alone, but you can’t live alone.”
“Lucky I don’t have to live, so I’m not worried.”
I stop in my tracks, and turn back at him, “Don’t say that. Don’t you ever say that.”
“Don’t give up, don’t you ever give up.”
“Just leave, Zoe. Go.”
I sniffle back my tears, and walk out the door, slamming it behind me.