Life is a battleground – b-boying battle, that is

I’m just finishing up proofreads of Box of Rain and thought I would share this scene about Booker in action at the break dance battle his cousin Shorty set up in an effort to win some money to pay off a debt.Sf_hiphop

Wobble by V.I.C. jammed so loud Shorty’s ass couldn’t stop bouncing to the beat. The sound drowned out the pellets of rain falling on the aluminum canopy overhead. He could barely see anything in the dark beyond the ring of light aimed between two lines of broken down gas pumps. In the background, white like a ghost with plywood eyes and graffiti for a mouth, the empty Shell station was the only sign there had ever been prosperity anywhere nearby.

The neighborhood was mostly abandoned, the three-block radius about the only place in Chicago considered neutral territory. Which is why tonight’s crowd consisted of a mix of college stiffs, street kids, gang bangers of all affiliations, and the occasional shifty-eyed pervert.

The whole crowd pressed close to the performers. Everyone rolled with the music like scum on waves of water. With a scuffle and jump that set off a roar of approval, the new kid hopped off the square of cardboard to give Booker T his shot at pleasing the audience. Booker started off with a tail-feather shake that earned whistles from the ladies in the front.

“Go T! You can beat him.” Shorty leaned way in like his shoulders could help his cousin win the battle. He turned to Vato, standing next to him. “Better ante up, if you in. Or it be too late to shit in the pot.” He motioned to the scrawny ten-year-old waiting to take their bets over to the banker.

The dark eyes turned on him and Shorty felt a twinge in his gut where he’d taken the worst blow the night before.

The girl Vato had brought with him, in a short skirt and makeup so thick she looked like she was in drag, leaned close and rubbed Vato’s arm. “You sure, baby?” Her voice sounded as sickly sweet as melting cotton candy. “You dance better than either of those clowns.”

Vato ignored her and handed the kid the cash. “You remember what I tell you before, yes?” he told Shorty. “Your boy no win, you lose, too. More than money, understand?”

“Lose? T ain’t gonna lose. Look how he’s slapping that board, man.”

He tried to sound more confident that he felt. He’d seen his cousin shake it dozens of times before and he could tell something was off. Booker seemed to be favoring his one ankle, and had not yet made some of his best moves.

Vato must have noticed it too. When Booker gave ground to his rival and stepped back, Vato shook his head and said, “The other gringo is good, very good.”

Shorty blew out a snort of disgust. “He got no moves at all compared to my boy T there.”

Still, there was a stitch between his shoulder blades as he watched. Just another round to go and it was over. The competition did an aerial cartwheel and turned the floor over to Booker again, but instead of showing how he could flip even higher than the other guy—usually his best move—Booker started a series of flares and floats and windmills. Nothing that would put pressure on that bad leg he seemed to have.

Shorty’s throat felt so tight he thought he was going to choke. Glancing left and right from the edges of his vision, he looked for a clear spot to run if he had to when this was over. Then someone yelled “Yeah, man! Go!”

Booker had the crowd whooping with joy with his last spin and backward bronco jump, bouncing to a halt on the balls of his feet with a limp but also a grin wide as a trucker’s ass-crack. Money started changing wallets, Booker’s arm was lifted by someone in the crowd, and the loser shook hands with a good word about it being a kick-ass run.

The Future Fate of the B-Boy Culture

At this current moment, 2014 has brought in the birth and rise of the Pro-B-Boy movement.

Image from http://udeftour.org/future-fates/ Image from http://udeftour.org/future-fates/

One of the beta readers for Box of Rain brought up the question of whether or not b-boying (known as break dancing to those people outside of the culture) is still a thing in this day and age.

B-boying as a dance style has been around since the 70’s but grew to its height of popularity in the 80’s.  It has spread across the world and had a resurgence in the 90’s, but it has always been around to those who love the music and the moves.

Recently, there has been a movement to rejuvenate the b-boy world, as evidenced in the article linked below.

At this current moment, in 2014 has brought in the birth and rise of the Pro-B-Boy movement. Now, I’m sure some of you may be wondering “what the F**** is the Pro B-Boy movement?” In essence, it’s three things: The rise of…

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Here is my interview with Fiona Mcvie

From the interview linked below:

“I’m excited to announce that my third Street Stories suspense novel, Box of Rain, will be released as an ebook on December 15. Right now, in fact, it is available to pre-order on Amazon.com. I expect the print version to be available by spring of 2015. The series is about throw-away kids striving to survive on the streets of Chicago, and a reporter who is the only one willing to help them when they get in a jam. Box of Rain is the story of two cousins who grew up in pretty much the same circumstances, but one turns to violence to try to rise up from the ghetto and the other chooses education. When one of them finds a decapitated corpse in an alley dumpster, reporter Jo Sullivan steps in to try to find out why all the evidence seems to point to the kid least likely to have committed the crime.”

authorsinterviews

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Name:Debra R. Borys

Where are you from: LaSalle Illinois in the U.S.

A little about yourself `ie your education family life etc.

I just moved back to the small town I was raised in after over fifteen years of living in Chicago and Seattle.  I miss the bustle and opportunities the big city has to offer, but since I couldn’t convince my family to move to me, I came back to them.  I have two sons, one of whom just got married.  They had the ceremony in Greece where his wife’s family is from so I was able to visit that wonderful country with my mother, sister and both sons. I recently took a part-time job at a library because, you know, what better job could a writer have than either a library or a bookstore?

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I’m excited to announce that my third

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Cover image and pre-order date confirmed

boxofraincover

My beta readers and editor and I are finishing up the final edits in preparation for a December release date. 

Annie Walls has designed a great cover and my publisher will be making the pre-order option available on Amazon by October 25, so you  could soon line up to have your very own e-copy.

Print release is still expected to be sometime in Spring 2015.

Editing Progress Update

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After meeting my word count goal August 1, I took a hiatus to attend my son’s wedding in Greece, which was just enough time and inspiration to prepare me to begin edits. I am almost completely through with the second draft, just six more chapters to do and I now have a total word count of 72,568.  Once I get through these last chapters, I will be sending the draft out to my publisher and select beta readers to get feedback before moving into the second editing phase.

Wish me luck!

The Literary Chain Letter – aka ‘My Writing Process’

If you are curious about the writing process I am using to complete the book, this article I posted on my author blog might be of interest to you. Click through to read the whole thing.

If you don’t want spoilers for Box of Rain, though, don’t read the text in the images too closely.

Viewing only the timeline cards

Debra R. Borys

Chain letters don’t scare me.  My soul has been damned dozens of times if you count how often I have deleted or ignored an email, Facebook post, or tweet that has warned me to repost or forward a “blessing” in order to avoid certain dire consequences.

Except, when Jill Nojack tagged me in a literary chain I’d never heard of before, it pushed a button that I cannot, apparently resist–my vanity.  You see, Jill is from @indieheart and did a great review of Bend Me, Shape Me last year when it first came out, so her calling me out along with Catherine Lea and Peter Maughan tells me she thinks enough of my work to want to call it to the attention of her readers. Or at least that’s what I choose to believe.

Most of the writers I’ve looked at who participated in this chain have answered four basic…

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Adding up my accountabilities increases my ability

I did this for Bend Me, Shape Me, and got that finished and released in record time, plus it is my best written book to date, so I’m going to try doing the same thing for Box of Rain.

In order to reach my deadline of having the first draft done by August 1 of this year, I will be updating the following word count goals as I reach them.

!!!   Goal Reached !!!

(Now on to the editing)

Word count goal: 70,000

Total word count as of  August 1:

70,914

 

It’s raining titles

Embed from Getty Images

I’m thinking of changing the working title of my third Street Stories novel from Hello Goodbye to something that has the word Rain in it.

[EDITED TO ADD: As you can see from the title of the blog now, Box of Rain won the poll and is currently the working title.]

One of the main reasons for doing that is because the story takes place in Chicago during the spring and it looks like it is going to be raining or threatening to rain every day of the story. (What can I say, the muse must have its way.)

Right now my favorite title is “A Box of Rain” from the Grateful Dead song because I plan to have the cover image show a dumpster in an alley, plus it fits the theme of Jo dealing with her father who is potentially dying.

Vote below to help me decide which title works best. In addition to having the word Rain in the title, I would like it to either be or strongly reflect the title from a rock song of the 60s or 70s. If you want to suggest a title not listed below, try visiting the Songfacts website for inspriation.

 

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