Sunday Snippet: Mary Malloy Shoulda Been a Boy, Chapter 1

Image from Microsoft Word
The following is a snippet from my NaNoWriMo novel tentatively titled, Mary Malloy Shoulda Been a Boy. These paragraphs are from the first chapter. After submitting my 50,000 words last weekend, I didn’t plan on looking at the draft again until Christmas vacation. The thought of beginning the revision process was too daunting. I was afraid when I looked at what I wrote, I would hate it, or be embarrassed, or disappointed. So far, I don’t feel any of those things. What a nice surprise. Today, I spent time rereading and revising just a little bit. It felt satisfying like starting to put together a puzzle or beginning to sew pieces of cut fabric to make a garment.

Shoulda Been a Boy

Mary rode her sister's hand-me-down Huffy bike with skinny wheels and twin baskets in the rear to the pool nearly every day that summer. She started swimming lessons later than the other kids and was older. Mary was determined to get through Intermediate 1 and 2 in one summer because she wanted to be able to go to the pool by herself instead of begging her sister to come with her.  Kids that were under 16 had to pass a skills test or pass Intermediate 2 in order to be at the pool without an adult.
It was fairly early in the morning and there wasn’t much traffic. Mary rode her bike on the sidewalk no-handed unless she had to turn or cross a street. The Green Valley City Pool was a fifteen minute ride from her house. She arrived at the pool, chained her bike, and checked in with the lady at the counter by the entrance to the locker rooms. Mary’s name was on the list for Intermediate 1. She walked through the locker room with her eyes down. Older ladies and some young moms with kids actually undressed in front of each other in there. Gross.


  1. Now I'm jealous...or maybe just disappointed in myself. I signed up but never did it Awesome job. Liked how she averted her eyes in the locker room. I also like how you compared your piece and revising as sewing or a puzzle. It is!

  2. Your snippet leaves me wanting to know what happens next! Thanks for being brave enough to share it with us! I like the part about the locker room too -- I always reacted just like she does!


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