Been batting this story around in my mind since NaNoWriMo 2013 and I think it might be ready. Rather, I think that I might be ready. Here is the unedited introduction to what I hope will be a MG novel called: A Girl Named George.
In a small boring town many years ago there lived a little girl named George. There wasn’t anything special about this name just that it belonged to a girl and many people thought this was odd. Not bad, these people would be quick to say, just odd. To these people, George was a boy’s name. It was a name for Kings and Princes. It was a name for actors like George Clooney, singers like George Michael, but never a girl. A girl named George was strange. When people heard that a girl was named George they often thought that they’d misheard. Certainly she meant Georgina or Joan or some other girl’s name, but no George. Then they wondered if they were being tricked, if this little girl really had a girl’s name and that they were being made fun of. If George’s parents were introducing her, the adults in the room would laugh politely and ask again, what her name really is. Upon finding out it really was George, they would think that George’s parents were strange, which isn’t a nice thing to think at all.
George grew up knowing that people thought she was strange for having a boy’s name. She liked her name. It was different. She liked being different too. She didn’t like the girl things she was supposed to. Sure she had some dolls and things, but her birthdays were never princess or pony themed. There’s nothing wrong with princesses or ponies and they might make an appearance, but they weren’t ever the purpose of the gathering. She just never like them the way some girls or boys do.
The other thing that made George different than most of the kids in her class, was that George had two dads. She called them Papa and Father. Adults called Papa by his name, Peter, and noticed that he was always very serious. He didn’t talk much, but that didn’t stop him from smiling warmly at jokes. Jokes were Father’s specialty. Father was always saying things that made people laugh. Even when George was in a really bad mood, Father could get her out of it with a little joke. If she was in a really bad mood, Father would always say “Don’t smile. You wouldn’t want to ruin a perfectly good bad mood.” No matter what, this would get George to laugh at him.
Father’s name was Gerald. He was taller than Papa, and had a grey beard that was scratchy when he kissed George goodnight. People thought that Father was funny and that Papa was serious, but both were perfectly nice when you got to know them.
George and her dad’s grew up in a little house across the street from a park, in a boring town called Fairfield. Fairfield is a place surrounded by farms and the Thompson river. Because of this it was full of farmers and fishermen and often smelled like one or the other. On bad days, it smelled both. It takes some people some getting used to, but George and her dads were perfectly happy to live in this town between farms and the Thompson. George had lived there her whole 12 years after all and that to a child is a lifetime.