Pretty Girl Crazy – A NOVOIR

is the first feature prose narrative I’m writing! The book is a novel-memoir hybrid: a memoir in that it’s written from my internal [and sarcastic] dialogue and based on my life experiences [and thoughts about them] and novel that it suggests new life experiences and is set mostly in the future. It’s a story within a story and examines the conflicting roles of a character and narrator and the points they overlap and morph into idea and action influenced by current events and the perils of capitalism within the ever-emerging digital society.

pretty girl crazy book cover FINAL FINAL

Here’s a sample of the first page:

I paint my nails red, like my grandmother. After she died I started doing it. There’s a photo of me she has, or had, somewhere from back when I went to Middle School formals wearing a long spandex skirt with the full range of a blues cold tone spectrum cascading in block print with a black cap sleeve polyester blouse I thought was the sexiest thing I’d ever worn. I wore lipstick and pulled my hair back and gave the camera a sultry smile. By the looks of that photo, I was destined to be a porn or reality tv star, a whore, or a trashy artist too creative and surreal to be tied to a singular association, even if that meant breaking a sweat from keeping up with my ideas. I am the latter. Always was. And no I’m not really into trucks and I like baking, taking long walks, making love and spending solitary nights unable to sleep so I check on the chickens and see ghosts and makeup with my lover because I don’t want to sleep alone. Anymore. Never did. I used to tuck the sheets really high up to my chin but never over my head – I was worried about someone stapling them shut while I slept, and I’d either wake up suffocating and helpless or just be dead and I had seen the latter with my own eyes when I was five years old and had never seen anyone suffocating, trapped under sheets bound to die, outside of fiction or true crime horror stories but usually those didn’t accompany a picture. I forgot what shoes I wore in the 7th-grade formal photo. I mean, wore TO the 7th grade formal…
Chapter 1: THE FARM

Oh wait, the photo my grandmother showed me once but wouldn’t give me that’s now lost in the abyss, or trash, of a dead person’s worldly belongings, wasn’t from the formal at all but instead, it documented a “dinner out” and theater performance in a cabernet club as part of NEHT, abbreviated from New England Heritage Tour. It was where kids whose parents had, or could fundraise, $200 would go on a weekend trip to look at area monuments and “historical” sites that included a live theater performance and two nights in a hotel/motel. For the majority of kids, honestly, it was the first time they had left New Hampshire and for a handful, would be the last. For a lot it was the first time they’d left their region; region? Yeah, we went by regions and I went to a “regional” high school, a fancy way of saying many towns make up the school’s population. “What town do you live in” often followed a name introduction, and intentional theater just means performance that knows it is performance, unlike the daily drama digested, divulged and diluted by my peers.

The photo was taken just before we, and by we I mean a couple of my female friends boarded the bus to go to the event. I should mention we were also told to have a date and while my friends and other girls were offering themselves to the hottest or friendliest boys, I sat out. Terrified at the prospect despite having had “boyfriends” before, I just sat in the back of the bus and didn’t partake. Upon exiting, the couples were paired, some having to cross to other buses to find their match. I was told to stand with a few other students by the bus. Others, othered for our refusal to participate or rejection experienced after participating, would be paired off accordingly because the venue “only had tables for four people, two couples” arranged and “No, you can’t sit on the stairs or stand.” Fortunately, I was paired with a decent looking guy; tall broad-shouldered, healthy weight, short black hair and glasses. Strong jawline, if that’s still a thing, I guess most people would call him handsome. I thought he was attractive and was surprised that an attractive guy would be left without a date. After having sat, he asked if he could get me a drink, I said sure [I guess the boys were told this was a test in chivalry and given some sort of money or password to get the girls drinks, I mean we were 12 years old. I didn’t come on the trip with money].

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If you enjoyed this sample please consider donating. I can’t write this in quarantine/isolation/lay off and live entirely on my boyfriend’s salary and I’m on the last $60 from selling my Astro van with a broken transmission. Thanks!

pay pal: sycamorestories@gmail.com (preferred)

venmo: https://venmo.com/kelley-brannon

I am currently making my way through the first chapter and hope to have it done by May 1st – May Day. Check back here, or sign up to receive new posts, for more updates, donation info and chapter samples. Thanks for reading!!

 

cover art & design by yours truly