Due to an extended period of writer's block resulting in some fogginess of far off story events, I have decided to reread in order to keep going. This is of course a slow process of rereading as it usually also involves editing. So far I have ended up with a much improved chapter 1.
Here's an excerpt:
18 years later, on the anniversary of mother’s death, I woke to another day in the Strider household. The fact that it was my birthday would make it no different to any other. You couldn’t celebrate a birthday, no matter how supposedly important the number, when you have no friends to celebrate with. Well I guess you could... but that would be a sad and lonely affair. Unluckily for me, I knew my grandparents wouldn’t be able to let the day slip by, as I would if I could. They would have to mark it in some small, eccentric way. Last year it was with Gran’s failed attempt to learn to cook Thai, and a dinner eating out of takeout boxes on the back deck while smoke still drifted out the open kitchen windows. I shuddered, concern for what surprise she would deem worthy of an 18th birthday momentarily gripping me.