Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lightning! And Thunder!

Oh my gosh, we had lightning and thunder today! I love lightning and I miss it so much. When I was little and we lived in Texas and Kansas, we could sit out on the back patios and watch the lightning like it was a movie show. Central California has lightning once every 3 or 4 years and we've had two "events" in the last month. Surely the end of the world is at hand.

Since I wrote about the novels yesterday, I thought I would give an example of the middle grade one, as it is not as complete as the other one. Well, that was clear. Let's start over.

Novel 1 - Margaret of Thibodeaux (middle grade or young adult) - not complete
Novel 2 - Road Clothes (literary fiction) - complete but not revised.

So Margaret was the original voice of this blog, mostly because I had fear about being myself on the Internet (now I don't have fear - you have to do hard work to get lots of people to read it). This is the very beginning and introduces Margaret and her father.

No need to comment, but rave reviews are always welcome. I am always so curious about what other writers are working on, so just thought I would share mine.

Margaret of Thibodeaux
Daddy stood on the porch slapping his hat against his leg. "Come on Margaret, we have to go," he called into the house.

Margaret stood in the middle of her room, dressed and ready, but trying desperately to think of a way to get out of going to Dina's house for supper. It occurred to her to run in place and she did so as quietly as she could, waiting until she knew a second yell would be coming soon, then hurried down the stairs, her heart beating faster and her cheeks filled with heat.

"I think I have pneumonia."

"You don't have pneumonia. Get in the car."

"Maybe I have leprosy."

"Margaret Louise, you do not have leprosy. Get in the car please." He said the last word as a threat against further delays from her, but she stood, feet together and unmoving on the walk, as if she would fall off a cliff is she continued toward the Dodge Dart parked against the curb. "What's the matter with you today?"

She met his eyes and felt a new flush across her cheeks. It was unnatural to disobey him, but the conviction she had over not going to Dina's house, and therefore giving her blessing to their friendship, was winning the pull inside her. She could not think of a reason for her obstinacy that sounded true, and he would want a reason.

"I don't want to go," she said finally, putting her head down and dragging her eyes away from the fierce reaction she imagined in his face.

"Why not?"

"I don't think Mama would like it."

A tension sprang between them and she peeked up to see if he was mad or shocked, and instead found him staring down at his hat, turning it gently in his hand and feeling the brim with his thumb.

"Get in the car," he said.

She thought it would be easy. She'd resist and he'd give in. But that didn't happen and now she would have to go where Mama warned in a cryptic message from the Ouija board, "Don't go."
"I can't, Daddy."

"Get in the car, get in the car, get in the car!"

"Mama said 'Don't go!'" she yelled back at him, not meaning to say, "Mama said," because how could she, if she was dead.

He'd gotten a grip on her upper arm, to lead her to the car like a young child, unaware of the reason behind his daughter's dread until the words hung heavy in the air. "What did you say? How would she have said to you 'Don't go'"?

"She talks to me sometimes. She doesn't like Dina."

He pursed his lips in disgust for long enough to convey the message. "Margaret, that's a bunch of horse shit," and the conversation was over.

Margaret got in the car, the heavy door creaking a complaint at being made to move and slamming shut just as noisily. She rested her head on the door, her face pressing against the window. The cool glass felt good and comforting against her recently defiant and now defeated cheek. She was being taken to Dina's house; she wasn't getting out of it. She hoped that Mama would understand, and knew that Daddy wouldn't.

Tomorrow, a Road Clothes excerpt. Thank you for reading. 

Jo Taylor


  1. Lovely start. You leave plenty of unanswered questions: Who is Dina? Why would Margaret's mother warn her through the Quija board? Why is her father so intent on her going to Dina's? - To make your readers want to come back for more.

    Saw two typos - sorry - suddenly feel like I'm doing an FS review ;) My changes in parenthesis -

    Margaret stood in the middle of her room, dressed and ready, but trying desperately to thing (think) of a way to get out of going to Dina's house for supper.

    She hope (hoped) that Mama would understand, and knew that Daddy wouldn't.

    Love what I've read so far

  2. Lauren - Thank you!

    Margaret - You are the bomb! Thank you. I really do like things to be as good as possible. Changed both of the errors (you may review at at ANY time).