It’s always fun to look back at how books grow and change during the editing process. In A Feeling Like Home, Paige is sent to live with her sister after getting into trouble. She’s supposed to spend the summer working on a building project in town and reflecting on her less than stellar behavior. But in an early draft I had her join a Frisbee team instead, even though sports are not exactly her thing:
I spot a group of girls my age standing near the curb in Ally’s neighborhood. One of them is dressed in a white oversized football jersey with the number 24 in orange across the front. I’m not sure she’s wearing anything underneath that. Maybe going without pants is a thing in Texas. And on her head she’s wearing a baseball cap uncannily like Griffin’s.
She spots me staring from where I’m walking my bike home and waves me over. “You play Frisbee?” The girl’s platinum blonde eyebrows cock as she waves a multicolored Frisbee back and forth in front of my face. As she moves, black cotton shorts peek from underneath the jersey. Her friends roll their eyes good-naturedly behind her back.
I step back, still gripping my bike. “No, sorry. That’s not really my thing.”
Not only do I not play with Frisbees, I don’t play sports. Period. I’ve always left that up to my older siblings since their soccer genes weren’t passed down to me.
She squints. “You’re Paige, right?”
Slowly, I move my head up then down. “Yeah. That’s me. Look. I don’t know how you know my name, but I’ve never touched one of those in my life.” I resist the urge to glare at the shiny plastic disc.
She puts on hand on a hip and wrinkles her nose.
Have I offended her?
I shake my head. “I’m not athletic. Like, at all.”
She licks her lips and sighs. “We have a summer pick-up game with some friends, and anyone can join. But most of the people who signed up aren’t athletes. It’s just for fun. Not competitive at all.”
I raise an eyebrow.
Touching a hand to her cap, she says, “Come watch Wednesday morning at the high school. Then decide.”
I nod, and she turns back to her friends, spinning her Frisbee on her finger.