i’m working on a manuscript that i started last year, and it’s the one that i’ve committed to finishing by the end of this year. i’m going to start something called “preview fridays,” sharing little snippets of the novel each friday as i work on it. here’s the first, from the middle of chapter one:
I shake my head, breathe in deeply, and reach for the door handle. Before I can open it, another sailor, whose badge tells me his last name is Lionel, does it for me. He offers a gloved hand and helps me out of the car. It’s even warmer on the lawn, where the ocean breeze isn’t quite as strong. I smooth down my light pink dress and clutch my purse at my side. I refuse to wear black like the rest of my family. Andrew loved me in pink.
Lionel – I don’t know his rank – holds his arm out for me to take, and he escorts me to the grouping of chairs. The clicking of my heels on the pavement alerts the people to my presence, and I steel myself against the onslaught of sympathy and sorrow. My sister Edie squeezes my hand, knowing that a hug or words of condolence will only make it worse.
The rest of the family isn’t so intuitive. My mom and mother-in-law embrace me at the same time, squeezing me, patting my back, and trying to press handkerchiefs into my clutched fists.
“Lyla,” Mom says on a sob, “I’m so–”
I step back and hold a hand up with a small smile. “I’m fine.” I hug them separately. Both women have red-rimmed eyes, but I’m determined not to cry. I’ve done a lot of that over the past two weeks.
Two weeks. That’s how long it’s been since two men in dress uniform showed up at my front door. I was still so naïve to military protocol. My friend Savanna was there—we were having our weekly “girls’ night in”—and she ran over and grabbed my arm as soon as she saw who was at the door.
so that’s that. the working title is a year of days, and it’s a character-driven story with a simple plot. feedback is welcomed with open arms! be painfully honest. be constructively critical. but please do it in a kind manner. thanks!