What I’m Working on Now

Now that I’m writing again, I’d like to share a monthly excerpt with you.

First of all, I need to explain that these are NOT perfect words. This is a rough draft. A fast draft. It’s simply me spilling the story onto the page as quickly as possible.

That means there will be spelling errors. And some of the sentences will be wonky.

Honestly, I don’t even know at this point whether or not the portions I share here will be in the final draft that I’ll be shopping to publishers next year. Your guess is as good as mine.

What I would LOVE to know? If you read it and you like it, please tell me. If you read it and you have questions, post them here.

I’d REALLY love to hear these words: “When will this be finished. I love this character and need the full story now.” But what author doesn’t want to hear that?

Here’s an excerpt from SUMMERTIME GETAWAY, Road Tripping Granny Book One. This is from Granny Jo’s POV (next time I’ll try to share from her granddaughter Lizzie’s perspective) and the first chapter of the book:

Laughter spilled from a door around the corner and the sound of splashing from the pool at the middle of the complex reminded her that summer had begun even though she hadn’t been traveling yet. She inhaled deeply. It would be nice to spend time with her children and grandchildren before heading off for the rest of the summer. Her oldest son seemed insistent that she return for the Labor Day family barbecue at his home, but the thought of another cookout without Jake withered part of her spirit. Memorial Day had been horrible, a constant battle for her to avoid weeping while Jake’s memory lingered everywhere.

Thank the Lord I won’t be around for Father’s Day. And she had not reason to even think about the holiday this year.

The safety lock on the inside of the door rattled. Her youngest granddaughter flung the door wide. She was barely taller than Jo and her blue eyes and curly brown hair replicated her father’s, but her face had the heart shape of her mother’s. Like all of her grandchildren, Alyssa perfectly blended the attributes of her parents into a unique rendition all her own.

“Granny’s here!” The announcement was shouted as she turned away from the open door.

Bittersweet memories of greetings that involved hugs and fluttery kisses to the cheek raced through Jo’s mind. She blinked wildly, aware of the moisture filling the corners of her eyes. She turned her back to the room of people under guise of shutting the door. Her emotions hadn’t raged so much for fifteen years when she’d crested middle age to settle comfortably into post-menopausal life.

Her rubber-soled sandals squawked on the tile as she took two steps into the open kitchen and settled the fruit tray on the counter. She uncovered it and pulled a fork from a nearby drawer. Once upon a time, the time share had belonged to her and Jake, and nothing had changed in the layout since those years.

“Fruit, yum.” RJ snapped up a watermelon cube and bussed Jo’s cheek with a quick, dry kiss.

Her oldest grandaughter’s long hair was scraped back into a pony tail and her pale blue eyes sparkled. Her face was very much similar to her mother’s but her form, tall and stocky, came from her father.

“I knew you girls would appreciate it,” Jo said, forking a strawberry onto her palm.

“I like fruit.” Ethan rose from a chair in the living area, a short toss from the kitchen counter.

A quick head count revealed his wife was missing.

Ethan fumbled a plastic cup out of the cabinet over the fridge before scooping pineapple, strawberries and grapes into it. With one arm, he hugged her to his side. He rounded the bar and pulled out a chair at the table.

“Sit. Mads is grilling the chicken and corn.”

Mads, the crazy nickname for his wife Madison. Why not Maddie, which is what her parents and siblings called her? Jo forked another strawberry and a watermelon cube before following her son.

“Does she need help?” Jo paused on the verge of sitting in the proffered seat.

“Why don’t you check on that, Alyssa?”

The sixteen-year-old threw a piercing glare at her sister and huffed with dramatic flair, but she headed out the door. The grills were in a covered area on the far side of the swimming pool. That three-minute walk would either cool the girl’s frustration or crank it tighter.

“How was the drive from Caldwell?”

Jo had spent one night parked in the driveway of her best friend’s daughter’s home in Caldwell, Idaho on her trip from Oregon. That visit had made many things clear and had heightened her determination not to move in with Evan, who had suggested it multiple times since they’d buried his father in January.

“Long but uneventful.” Usually, she tried to keep her travel to under eight hours of driving per day. And she preferred breaking that into two blocks separated by a minimum of two hours walking around some noteworthy place of interest. The interstate drive between Caldwell and Idaho Falls, where she’d turned onto Highway 20 to come northeast to her destination, offered nothing she hadn’t seen before.

“So you’re really doing this solo trip?”

Jo stiffened and glowered across the table at her son. She slowly ate the fruit.

I will not yell. I will not argue. I do not have to explain myself.

Maybe she should have prayed for patience, but experience told her this continual nagging from her children about her compulsion to travel all by herself was probably a direct result of that sort of prayer. After all, the Book of James told her she could expect tribulation if she wanted to build patience. And she’d had enough of that in the past year to last for the rest of her life. She hoped.

“Willow’s expecting me for Independence Day. There’s an exceptional horse exhibition there she knows I’ll enjoy.”

Ethan sighed. “We’ll worry about you.”

“There’s no need. I’m an experienced traveler.”

“You’re a senior citizen that people will see as an easy target.” Ethan shook his head and waved his hand. “I know that look. You’re determined to have your way.”

“You’ve probably seen it in the mirror.”

RJ giggled from the living area. “She’s got you there, Dad.”

The door opened and a flurry of activity surrounded Madison and the platter of delicious-smelling food she carried. RJ vaulted toward the kitchen as her mother called, “If you want to eat.”

Ethan blinked at her. Those gray-blue eyes used to twinkle and those lips lost in the graying facial hair rarely stopped smiling. But in the months since Jake left the world for his Heavenly reward, his youngest son turned as serious as his oldest had always been.

But there was nothing she could do to bring the man they’d all depended on for many decades back. She scooted her chair back.

Ethan held up his hand, “We’ve got this, Mom.”

“This kitchen isn’t made for all of us,” Madison complained. “But you can get these plates, E.”

Unnecessary. That’s what Jo Elle Bloom had become. An accessory nobody needed. So why was she still alive?

3 thoughts on “What I’m Working on Now”

  1. I am so looking forward to reading this!!! I am glad the words are coming for you! It is definitely a different story line for you but I am ready for the rest of the book!!! Exciting!

    1. The words are coming in spurts. With everything going on in my family, I’ve released ya elf fro the contract to write 40,000 words of the novel this month. I still hope to finish the first draft by the end of August, but we’ll see. There isn’t a rush since I am not planning to pitch this series until the conference next year (provided live events are back in session and I can save the money to go). I’m glad you like it and want more. I plan to share an excerpt each month so we’ll see how that goes.

  2. Pingback: It’s National Novel Writing Month and I’m Writing – Sharon Hughson, Author

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