Middle grade graphic novel excerpt
A neighborhood in North Portland, Oregon. Streets are a mix of two story houses, some in stages of being restored, and small businesses. Smattering of trees. The kind of neighborhood where you might see a mural painted by a local artist on a
run-down building right next door to a shiny new tower of lofts.
Sam, a 12-year old boy holds a camera up to his face. As he speaks, he moves around, talking pictures of things we can’t see. We hear the camera click periodically.
“So my dad kept a secret. A big one.
It probably seemed like the best thing to do at the time. And it worked for a while. But it’s kinda like scooping up a handful of sand.”
“You can’t hold onto it forever.”
“Whatdya think? Pretty nice, huh?
State of the art digital. I got it a year ago when I was eleven. Before that all I had was Mom’s dinky little 72 pixel model. Problem was, when I first got it, it sat in my drawer for a long while ’cause every time I picked it up, it brought back a whole lotta bad memories. You know how that is.”
"The night before my parents gave it to me they had one of their biggest fights ever. I could tell there was going to be a problem as soon as my dad came home from work.
Dad: “You don’t like it?”
Mom: “Of course I like it, but—
Dad: “Then what’s the problem? "
I knew the pattern. Their voices wouldn’t stay low for long. I tried to thumb through a new photography book I’ve gotten from the library. No such luck. Next minute they came stomping up the stairs, past my room into theirs.
Dad: “I don’t want to talk about it this way.”
Mom: “Well I do!”
Dad: (shouting) “What is your problem?”
Mom: (shouting) “How can you possibly ask me that?”
"It was only 10:30. They fought for a couple more hours until I fell asleep. The next morning they gave me the camera......How would you feel about using it?”