First, I want it to be known that it's a pet peeve of mine when people don't use direct address commas. They're one of my favorite things, along with tea and books and cats.
But, more importantly...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ELLA!
Who is Ella, you ask?
Here is a picture of half of Ella's face. You may have seen her on the first edition book cover of The Trace. She's the main character of my Whitewashed trilogy, and today, September 7th, is her birthday! I've introduced her before, but I wanted to highlight Ella again, in honor of her growing a year older and all.
A few of her favorite things include:
Some of my favorite Ella moments are the ones that include a painful self-realization–when she knows she's wrong and forces herself to admit it. It was very important for me to have Ella make poor judgments and choices, but to learn from her mistakes and resolve to do better the next time.
So, on that note, here are two of my favorite scenes with Ella. Don't worry, these are spoiler-free. I'm not evil.
THE TRACE, Book I:
The rooftop got quiet again, and I couldn’t ignore the elephant lurking on the roof any longer. “I’m... I’m sorry for being rude to you earlier,” I said, nervously flicking my fingernails against each other. “I was a total brat. You were trying to help, and I know you already have enough on your plate. Anyway, you were right, so... I’m sorry. Really sorry.”
“It’s all right,” he said, which only made me feel worse.
“No, it’s not. You can’t let me get away with things just because Kara is....” The word tripped in my throat and tumbled silently out. Missing. How long would that be true?
The simple act of inhaling became difficult, so I copied his position and lay flat. The millions of stars and galaxies that blinked above me reminded me how very small I was, and how very far away Kara was. Somehow, the MTA would find her. Somehow, I’d be strong enough to defeat whatever Grifters held her captive. But, if Sanders was right, I wouldn’t be strong enough, not until I worked some things out, things I didn’t exactly want to think about.
THE INTEGER, Book II:
"I'm not ordinarily a rude person," I mumbled, "but... well...." I glanced at him. "You haven't noticed my... snarkiness, have you?"
"I noticed, Kepler."
Shame warmed me. For the past two months, he'd seen right through me. "Why'd you keep me here, then, instead of sending me away for insubordination?"
"For all your uncivility, you've never been insubordinate. Besides, you have an understandable reason for your sullenness, though there's never an excuse for rude behavior."
I let his rebuke sink in. Maybe he would make a good friend, one day in the infinitely distant future.
"I'll do better," I said, holding his gaze for once.
I just realized that both of these scenes include He-who-will-not-be-named. No, not Voldemort. Calm down. I speak merely of the aforementioned guy on Ella's list of favorite things. Apparently she's rude to him a lot. But at least she apologizes, so there's that.
To all those celebrating a birthday today, may you always grow in self-awareness!