I almost forgot! But here I am with another WIPpet. In case you’ve forgotten over the last 3 weeks, this is a little bit of our works-in-progress. Add your own here, and don’t forget to read the other wonderful entries!
Today, I have 14 lines of dialogue (because this is the first WIPpet of 2014). Just for context, my main character, Phin Patterson, is an educational consultant. He’s observing classroom practices of a school in a small town in the Southern Tier of NY. In this scene, he’s observing a lesson in which a kindergarten teacher has read a story about a woman who rescues chickens and has a couple as pets.* She’s given her students a related activity, and Phin finds himself drawn in and paired with an enthusiastic student.
___________________“You can be my partner,” she informed him. “Ms. Scuderi says everyone participates, even if it’s just a picture.”
Startled, Phin replied, “All right. But I’ll need a pencil. Do you have an extra?”
The girl pointed to a cup on the table. “There’s some in there.” She leaned a little closer and said in a loud whisper, “They’re for people who don’t remember to bring one.”
When they had finished, the girl examined Phin’s work and said, “You draw pretty good.”
He smiled. “I’ve had a lot of practice.”
“Does your chicken have a name?” the girl asked.
“Hm…I’m not sure,” he admitted. “I didn’t give him one.”
“Are you sure it’s a him? Because I think it’s maybe a girl chicken. It doesn’t look like a boy.”
Phin laughed. “You got me. Maybe it is a girl. What should we call her?”
The girl looked thoughtful. “Dandelion,” she said.
“Yeah. Look, she has one of those fuzzy heads, like the one in the book. It looks like a dandelion.”
“Sounds good.” Phin took his pencil and wrote on the lines below the picture, “Mr. Patterson and his pet chicken, Dandelion.”
The girl giggled. “Good job,” she said.
*The book is real. It’s called City Chickens, by Christine Hepperman. I’ve read it with my own daughter.