A Tiny ‘Urp’ Escaped #mfrwhooks

Here’s the next hook from my WIP, which follows immediately after last week’s text. When her alien nation’s queen arrives at Opsie Beaverpaw’s under-construction house, she’s a mess after getting plaster on her face. It turns out the queen isn’t alone:

You didn’t say you were with someone.” Opsie stood back to let him pass. Maturity, combined with nineteen years, two months and eleven days of disfigurement, hadn’t quite managed to eradicate her youthful conceit; she was tempted to rub more plaster off her cheek, or at least turn her good side toward him.

But on this particular day she felt more cussedness than conceit. She kept her scars toward him.

She revised her initial dislike of him. She approved of his barrel-chested physique and square jaw. All the more reason for him to see the worst of her, to warn him off, so she kept her scars toward him.

Her voice was calm as she said, “Please sit.” She extended her hand toward the newcomer. “I’m Duchess Beaverpaw.”

He shook her hand with a firm, determined grip. “Matthew Verhailey,” he said in an American accent. “From Portland.”

When he left go of her hand, plaster smeared his fingers.

Opsie stifled her giggle, though a tiny urp did escape.

For what it’s worth, I wrote enough words to “win” Camp NaNoWriMo. 51179 words are nothing to sneeze at, and I would’t have written that many without my camp-mates, especially Coleen and Paula — but to declare myself a “winner” seems pretentious. I didn’t actually finish the book.

Still, I’m close enough to have a decent feel for the book’s finishability, which is excellent. My guess is that I’ll have the first draft  done in 2-3 weeks. It’ll be interesting to see what beta readers say, because the structure and time-frame are a bit more complex that my usual straightforward narratives.

Be sure to check out the hooks by other great writers in the Book Hooks blog hop.



  1. She’s sure playing this guy, using her appearance to repel him and I bet — protect herself.

    1. Glad you picked up on that. Yes, she ‘uses’ her scars almost like a social scalpel. Which side of herself is she going to show at this moment?

  2. Always nice to see humor in a story!

    1. Then you should read some of my stuff. There’s always humor, usually of the gentle variety.

  3. janwal · · Reply

    A tiny urp. Don’t know why but your humor always makes me laugh. Congrats on the win

    1. You may not know why, but I do: it’s because you have an exquisite sense of humor and are an all-around intelligent person. Am I right?

  4. always enjoy your humor.

    1. Another intelligent reader with an exquisite sense of humor!

  5. Great humor and I love the names of your characters! Congratulations on the award!

    1. You have such excellent taste, Lisa! I’ve always enjoyed the name ‘Opsie Beaverpaw’ since I wrote her as a minor character in book one of this series. ‘Matt Verhailey’ is sort of a play on my grandmother Madeleine’s maiden name, though I had to change the spelling to make it readable by English speakers. Belgians, you see, don’t know how to spell.

  6. Best of luck to you!

    1. Why, thank you, Katy.

  7. Congratulations on winning Camp Nanowrimo – 51,000+ is fantastic and you deserve the award for all the hard work..

    Great snippet – had to read it cause the little urp in the title- with you – wasn’t sure if that was a sound or a creature 🙂

    1. I’d completely forgotten about writing that ‘URP’, but when I went through the chapter looking for a snippet, I knew I had to use it in one of these hooks.

  8. I’m impressed! Well done.

    1. Thank you so much, Lisabet!

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