Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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A special visitor to the garden

Not that I’m crazy about deer, they stomp all over my planting beds with their sharp little hooves, and they treat my gardens like their own private buffet . . . but . . .

Okay, I have to admit, that’s pretty cute! This little critter was tucked a foot away from the vegetable garden fence when I took this picture. Naturally my mother asked whether its mother might have abandoned it, and luckily I was available to say, as firmly as a conservation agent, NO, THE BABY IS FINE, THE MOTHER IS FINE, LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE.

Which we did, and in fact this little guy has been back, finding hiding places here and there around the house. Under a smoke tree, for example, right next to the house. My dogs have no idea or they’d go nuts. At this age — the hide-and-freeze age — fawns have little to no scent, so predators have a hard time finding them, and that includes my dogs. Luckily there are the cicadas for the dogs to chase, so they’re not too deprived!

I’ll post a piece of my current WIP pretty soon . . . I’ve cut 32 pp so far, condensing three of the early chapters into two — that was a big and very necessary job. I’m still in the clean-up stage, and will be for a while. But yes, I did really enjoy my celebratory quart of double-chocolate brownie chunk ice cream, after finishing the rough draft. I ate it while reading a YA dystopian novel that’s kind of getting some buzz — Divergent, by Roth.

Both the ice cream and the book were very good — an important plot twist that I predicted didn’t happen, or hasn’t happened yet (maybe in the sequel?), and I’m still deciding whether I think that’s good or bad (it was a neat plot twist, and I’m not sure I believe that it could fail to happen given the way Roth set up her characters).

Do all popular YA dystopian novels have to be written in the first person? Roth did a fine job, it’s not that I was bothered by the first person pov, but I’m wondering whether young readers today expect / depend on / need the first person narrative in order to connect to this kind of dark-ish dystopian novel? Or are authors just following the herd? Haven’t decided that yet, either.

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