Tag Archives: The Unicornologist

Weekend Writing Warriors: Andrea’s Snippet #43

Weekend Writing Warriors: Andrea’s Snippet #43

Every Sunday, the Weekend Writing Warriors share 8-10-sentence snippets from their works-in-progress on their blogs for others to read and comment on. Join the fun! Click on the link to see the full list.

The Unicornologist ~ High school freshman Hillary Noone, on a field trip to The Cloisters, receives a prophecy: she is destined to save the unicorn. Though she shrugs it off as being preposterous, soon life imitates art, and she finds herself in mortal danger.

Hillary is camping in the woods by herself so she can keep an eye on the unicorn. She’s settled into a morning routine of going to the stream with her pot to gather water, so she can boil it for drinking. This morning, she also catches her breakfast.

Once there, she took a good look at her pot. The outside had blackened from the flames. Inside, dried noodles clung to the sides. She plunged the pot in the stream and scrubbed it with her washcloth. Little bits of noodle floated downstream.

Hillary’s conscience panged. Was it bad to put noodles in the stream?

wewriwa2She noticed a small fish gobbling up the noodles. Reflexively, her hand darted into the water and closed around the fish, who struggled, so she cupped her other hand around it as well. She walked over to a tree, gripped the fish securely by its tail and, squeezing her eyes shut tight, swung it against the tree trunk.

I know it’s short (the limit is ten sentences), but what do you think of this small excerpt from Chapter 22? Any suggestions on how I can make it better? Please comment below.

A Snippet of The Unicornologist, Chapter 4

A Snippet of The Unicornologist, Chapter 4

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Today’s excerpt happens the day after the events of Chapter 2. Hillary is having trouble paying attention in algebra class.

Hillary looked at the blackboard. The equation made no sense to her at all.

“Just follow the steps you wrote down. You did write them down, right? You’ve been scribbling away.” Mr. Belluchi was at her seat in two long strides. Too late, Hillary tried to cover her notebook with her hands.

Unicorns? You’ve spent this entire period drawing unicorns?”

Laughter broke out all around her.

7. The Unicorn in CaptivityI know it’s short (the limit is ten sentences), but what do you think of this small excerpt from Chapter 4? Any suggestions on how I can make it better? Please leave your comments below.


Introducing Hillary Noone, Protagonist of The Unicornologist

Introducing Hillary Noone, Protagonist of The Unicornologist

Last month I posted a brief glimpse of my work-in-progress. Today I tell you a little about my main character.

Fifteen-year-old Hillary Noone lives with her father and stepmother in rural New Jersey in 1967. She’s pleasant-looking but a little nerdy, with long, dark hair and glasses. Her favorite place in the whole world is the woods behind her home, which she has roamed freely since she was small. She’s smart and studious, but she is having a rough transition with her father’s recent marriage.DSC00484

Her own mother died when she was eight. Although she misses her deeply, she and her father deepened their own relationship to get through their loss.

Hillary sees her stepmother, Kate, as a usurper, someone moving in and taking her mother’s (and even her own) place in her father’s heart.

A Western Civilizations class field trip to the Cloisters (the medieval department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) fills Hillary with anticipation, because it combines many of her loves—of art and beauty, of history, of learning. There, while viewing the Unicorn Tapestries, she has an odd encounter with a museum guard who tells her she has been chosen to protect the unicorn.

Hillary becomes obsessed with unicorns—she studies everything she can about unicorn lore, draws unicorns incessantly, teaches herself how to needlepoint so she can make something that looks like a unicorn tapestry. Her obsession wears on the nerves of Allie, her best friend, who thinks it’s a bunch of silly nonsense. Other classmates also ridicule her, but Robin, the new boy in town, tolerates her interest and even supports her.Hillary

As the novel progresses, Hillary is forced to take a stand and to endure hardship and danger in order to complete her mission. She believes in her cause so strongly that she is willing to go it alone and even risk death to do what she’s been called to do. She develops a resourcefulness she never knew she’d need. And just when she believes she’s failed miserably, things take an unexpected turn and she discovers a revelation, with Robin’s help.