Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Snippit Shared

Today I wanted to share a snippit from my novel, With A Name Like Love.

a bit of background: Ollie is the MC, 13 and the oldest of five girls. This scene takes place after a gruesome act is perpetrated on her best friend's frogs. The sisters are Ollie, Martha, Gwen, Camille and Ellen. The intent of this scene is to have the previously fractured family come together after a difficult experience

*

Ollie sat on the Chevy’s tailgate, away from the people gathering and gossiping and glancing over towards Jimmy sitting with her daddy. She swung her legs and looked up to heaven. She bit her lip and held back the tears that wanted to spill out all over her face. She controlled her anger and told herself it would do no good to cause a scene.

Gwen wandered over to where she was sitting and leaned up against the side of the truck bed. “You alright?” she asked.

Ollie nodded.

Gwen was twisting a piece of grass in her hands. “Jimmy’ll be okay. Daddy’s with him. He has that special way with people when they’re low.” She looked up. “It’s a gift how he can lift people’s spirits.” Ollie couldn’t help but think that Gwen had the same gift, coming over with her soothing words. “I’m not saying it’s easy,” Gwen went on, “but he’ll work through it. You’ll see.”

Camille came over to the truck and joined her sisters. She climbed up on the tailgate next to Ollie, slid over real close, and leaned her head onto Ollie’s shoulder without a single word. Gwen stepped over and jumped up onto the tailgate as well.

Martha came next, Ellen at her side. “Scoot over,” she said, all curt, acting like she was doing them a big favor. Ollie could see right through her fake huff and scooted over to let her sit. Ellen stood at Ollie’s swinging feet until Ollie reached her hands out and pulled her baby sister onto her lap.

There they sat, all five sisters, crammed onto a single Chevy tailgate, swinging legs and staring off across the fields and saying nothing, but feeling everything. Then Martha reached into her dress pocket and pulled out her harmonica. She held it to her lips, drew in a slow breath, and began playing Rock of Ages.

Gwen sang, just above a whisper, Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in thee.

And, while she sang, Ollie let her tears fall.

*

Who else will share a piece of their novel? Really, I'd love to see what you're working on... let me know if you decide to post a Teaser Tuesday, WIP Wed or whatever you want to call it. Happy, Happy Friday!

39 comments:

Karen said...

Just wanted to say I love your voice in this piece!

L.T. Elliot said...

Excellent, Tess! I can't wait to read it in its full, printed glory! Maybe I'll post a piece of mine too.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I participated in the Whoops! Blogfest on Monday. See my post for a snippet of my WIP.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Tess, I love that image of the girls sitting on the tailgate,swinging their legs and staring at the field. I could feel the closeness and comfort they shared. Beautiful.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Oh, Tess...That was just lovely! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. :-) I'll post a bit of my mg WIP on Manuscript Monday (LOL). Tonight and tomorrow night my posts are about my interview with Literary Agent Mark McVeigh...

Anita said...

Dude! Do you play harmonica? And, if I share a snippet of mine, I'll let you know.

Danyelle said...

Beautiful post! You've got an amazing talent! :)

Terresa said...

Beautifully crafted. I can't wait to read the rest!!

Christine Danek said...

Great piece! i can't wait to read more. Check out my blog today I posted one too :)

KLo said...

I LOVE how you are able to capture the voice and mannerisms of your characters. It's just ... wow : )

I posted some excerpts from my new WIP not too long ago. I'd love it if you'd check it out : )

http://philosophyofklo.blogspot.com/2009/11/in-honor-of-200-posts-here-are-some.html

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Such a great scene. The tailgate imagery really sets the mood and paints a picture. Well done.

Lisa and Laura said...

Tess, that is freaking gorgeous. I'll NEVER forget reading my first snippet of WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE over at the Secret Agent contest. Laura and I were totally blown away. And soon we'll be able to BUY YOUR BOOK! EEk! Talk about surreal. I'm just so happy for you! And happy that true talent still gets recognized in the publishing world.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

This is awesome, Tess! I'm so excited for you. Your book deserves its place on the shelves!

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm drawn to books featuring siblings. Your YA voice really shines through with this. Thanks for sharing!

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Wonderful, Tess! I can't wait to read With A Name Like Love!

B.J. Anderson said...

Your book sounds so cool! Thanks for sharing! :D

Shelli said...

I've got five sisters, and I think you captured perfectly that certain bond we share. I can't imagine trying to get through life without my sisters.

I've taken your challenge, and I posted my first short short story.

http://bit.ly/aF96cr

Jackee said...

Such a sweet excerpt. I'm so excited to see it in print!

Here's the opening for my WIP, which is still in the first draft/exploratory phase:

"Grandfather Hitler would have never allowed such a slipshod in his army. That would be one thing you could have said for him. And yet this is the jailer they give me, this officer with his sagging belly and eyes that dart from the door to me.

He is afraid of me, this officer.

As well he should be."

Tess said...

I'm loving those of you who have posted snippits ... I'm checking them out. And, very intriguing opening Jackee!

Thanks to all for the kind words and encouragement. I haven't worked on this piece for a while since it was under submission and all and I had forgotten how much I missed these girls. Aren't we wierd that way as writers?

Davin Malasarn said...

You built this scene beautifully, Tess. I love the way each person arrives and how their different personalities are showcased. The dialog is strong, and that last line is very moving.

Crystal Cook said...

This is beautiful Tess, I LOVE it. The voice is so authentic and I felt an instant sympathy with the characters. Bravo! I may post a snippet this next week, Tuesday? If I have the courage. . . Have any to spare?

Solvang Sherrie said...

What a beautiful excerpt! I'm so looking forward to this being bound and on my shelf :)

lotusgirl said...

This little Snippet just reminds me how charming your book is. I can't wait to get the published one in my hands.

Angie said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I shared a fighter jet scene from my novel a couple of weeks ago. If I knew how to post a link in the comments, I'd do it, but it's over on my blog if you want to check it out. The title of the post is "Because you asked for it."

Robyn Campbell said...

Fantastic image Tess. The five of them with their legs swinging, staring off into the fields and the harmonica humming. Super. I see them in my minds eye. Great writing. =)

I hope your writing is going good. I am finally ready to query. WHEW! Wish me luck. *grin*

Tamika: said...

Loved it Tess! The delicate air of the sisters is heartwarming.

Thanks so much for sharing, looking at published work inspires me!

MG Higgins said...

You really accomplished your goal with this scene--the closeness is there. Lovely! Thank you for sharing.

Lady Glamis said...

You KNOW I love your book! I'm too scared to share snippets of Monarch online. Not while I'm revising it. It just keeps changing!

Kristin said...

Oh my goodness, Tess! I love this!! Makes me wish I had sisters. ;)

Tess said...

I've bumped around and seen more snippits .. if anyone posts next week be sure to let me know.

thanks again for the encouragement. this novel was tucked away for months since it was out on submission and when I recently pulled it out again, I noticed lots of work still to be done. *sigh* so, it helps to have some encouragement as I work through this next editing phase.

GhostFolk.com said...

Oh, this is just beautiful work, Tess! I love the 5 sisters on the tailgate. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!

Amy Saia said...

Oh, it's beautiful. I love it!! Sort of reminds me of Grapes of Wrath, which is one of my favorite books/movies. Good luck with this!

superpaige said...

I just want to read the whole book!

Susan Fields said...

That was a lovely scene, Tess - really well written. I can't wait to read the entire book!

Crystal said...

LOVED this excerpt, Tess! I thought this scene was very well-written, and that you captured the distinct personality of Ollie & each of her sisters really well through their voices and decriptions. Your intention--to show the girls becoming closer as sisters--was definitely (brilliantly!) accomplished. I so look forward to reading this story in its entirety, Tess! You've done a BEAUTIFUL job (especially that last line)! :)

As always, this post was an inspiration. I had been thinking of doing a teaser on Tuesday, and now I may just do it (but I have to admit, Tess, I am a teensy bit intimidated--your writing is SO GOOD, girl!) :)

Hema P. said...

Tess, you have painted the setting without saying one word about it. Wonderful! Brought to mind the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls...

You have motivated me to share a snippet from my finished manuscript. Maybe that's what I'll do next Monday, on my blog :).

Tina Laurel Lee said...

How did I miss this? I didn't realize I had, until I saw over at Sharon's blog. Thanks for sharing, Tess. Beautiful. Thanks for the encouragement to share our own. We'll see...

Suzette Saxton said...

I cannot wait to hold this book in my hands! Thanks for sharing - now I want to buy it pronto!

Miriam S. Forster said...

What a cool idea! I was inspired to post a bit of my revision project too, and it's cool to see it in a different context.

http://msforster.blogspot.com/2010/03/snippit-play-along.html