Thursday, December 31, 2009

When we're sharing, we're happy. . .

If I were a smarter woman, I'd have answered your questions a few (like five) at a time, just to ensure myself future blog fodder for many posts to come. But I'm not smart. I'm pregnant. All previous intelligence has been eroded by estrogen. Or progesterone. Or whatever is causing the brain synapses to misfire.

Actually, they aren't even misfiring. They're not sparking at all.

Anyway, I'll have the answers to your last few questions when I return to my regular blog schedule next week. I bet you didn't even know I had a schedule, did you?

In the meantime, I had a very Merry Birthiversary and thank you to all of you who wished me one. I now own a bread machine that crouches in its unopened box and mocks me. Maybe tomorrow, Bread Maker. I got lots of other lovely little things to play with, use, or simply admire and I am well-content. I am not a cat person and don't identify with felines in any way but I admit, the image of a fluffy white kitty, fat and sassy, festooned with a shiny bow and resting on a satin pillow is an apt image to describe me right now. I am deliciously spoiled.

I even gave myself a gift this week. I wrote a page I am genuinely pleased with, one that when I re-read I thought, "Hm. Maybe I can write."

I"ll share it with you. It may not make very much sense to you because you don't know the characters, but I offer you lagniappe, an expression we use in Louisiana when we throw in a little something extra for you.

Without further ado, a page from my work-in-progress:

The best thing about church starting after lunch was the chance to sleep in on Sunday, which meant the sound of “Crazy Train” shrilling earlier than it should have irritated Sandy even more than usual. With a grunt, she groped through the pile of random paper scraps and magazines littering her nightstand to seize the offending cell phone. She tightened her grip on it, wishing for a split second that her fingers were wrapping around her mother's neck instead.

“Yes?” she grumbled.

“Good morning, Sand Dollar. I hope you weren't sleeping.”

“No, this is my wide awake morning voice,” she said, the evident frogginess in it underscoring her sarcasm.

“Well, it’s a beautiful day. You should probably thank me for waking you in time to enjoy it.”

She cracked an eyelid open far enough to see that the light coming through her window was weak and watery, definitely not a harbinger of a “beautiful” day. “I don’t know what health spa you’re calling me from, but I guarantee you it’s not in the same weather pattern as my apartment.”

“Oh,” her mother said, sounding nonplussed for a moment. “I’m in Sedona and it’s gorgeous here. You should really—”

“I’m not going to visit and I’m not awake enough to find a polite way to say that. Move on.”

“I just thought—”

“Magdalena, is this why you called me first thing in the morning? Because if it isn’t, could we just get to the point?”

Her mother was quiet for a moment and she felt a twinge of guilt for her abruptness. Magdalena cleared her throat and complied. “Since you don’t seem to want to come to me, I thought I’d come to you,” she said brightly. Too brightly. Sandy suspected her mother’s forced cheerfulness was designed to distract her from pointing out that she wasn’t invited.

Lingering guilt and sleep deprivation overrode her survival instincts for a moment and she found herself conceding ground she knew she would regret. “Sure. I’ll check my schedule and see when it looks clear.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” her mother trilled. Trilled! It had to be the crack of dawn in Sedona and she was still alarmingly chipper. “You’re too tied to that Blueberry of yours.” I-phone, Sandy corrected silently. “I already got a ticket. It’s all taken care of.”

That warning prodded her to wakefulness. “And when are you coming?” she asked.

“Tonight! Isn’t it wonderful?” More trilling. Sandy wasn’t taking the bait.

“Magdalena, this is the worst possible week. I have a hearing on Wednesday and I have to focus on that. I can’t take any time off.”

“Don’t worry, darling. If I had to wait for you to not be busy, we’d never get to visit. I’ll just stay in the background, quiet as can be. I can practice ‘spirit stillness.’ I learned about it in our focus and centering workshop yesterday.”

Feeling a flood of New Ageism about to crest, Sandy stepped in to stem the tide. “I promise to find time next month, maybe during the cherry blossom festival out here. I hear it’s gorgeous. But if ever there was a week where I will literally not have enough hours in the day, it’s this one. Just get a voucher. I’ll pay the cancellation fee.”

“I don’t know where all this negative energy you have is coming from,” her mother said, sounding wounded. “I just want to see my only baby girl. It’s been months and you haven’t accepted one invitation to come and visit. Well, I’m not willing to be a stranger so I’m actualizing my dream of a healed relationship between us by coming to see you. Am I really so terrible that I can’t even just make myself part of your backdrop for a few days?” Her voice sounded suddenly small and sad and somewhere inside, Sandy’s guilty conscience throbbed in a way that she knew wouldn’t quit until she gave in.

“All right,” she said, sighing. “But I’m warning you, I’m up against one of the craziest weeks of my life.”

“Sounds like I’m coming at just the right time then,” her mother said, sounding all smiles once more. Sandy smothered another sigh. Magdalena clearly wasn’t getting it.

“Give me your flight information,” she said. “I’ll be there.”

When she ended the call, she could already feel the first pulses of a headache behind her eye. Not the start to the week she’d been hoping for. At all.


Andrew & Sarah Clawson said...

Melanie, you sneak! Youleft me hanging for more! I can't wait 2 more years to read your books! Yes, you are a good writer! Accept that!

Kristina P. said...

You are so descriptive. And use big words like harbinger, nonplussed and flight. :)

DeNae said...

Well writ, my friend! And I love the name "Magdalena".

Also, I can't wait to hear the answers to the rest of your questions, because I'm pretty sure I asked you where my remote is, and I'm looking forward to your telling me!

Amber Lynae said...

I would be happy with a page like that. You captured the dynamic and put the reader right there.

Ignore the bread maker until you are good and ready.

L.T. Elliot said...

I want to be a sassy, white cat on a cushion. Sounds nice!

Great page, Melanie! Is Andrew & Sarah, right? I have to wait 2 years to read the whole thing?? Oh, cruel fate.

Kelly O. said...

Did you say Cherry blossoms-As in D.C.? I go every single year, my sister lives in Virginia and her husband ia a lawyer in D.C. and never has a unbust moment. Happy New year. Can't wait to get my hands on your books.

Sue said...

FINALLY - Sandy's story. WOOT!

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, delightful! Thanks for sharing.

Kazzy said...

I can tell this is great writing because I am not sure which character I like better yet. :)

Becca said...

You make me very happy. Thanks for sharing!

Terresa said...

But I'm not smart. I'm pregnant.

Why do I still feel that way when my baby is pushing 3 yrs old?

Keep on writing, girl. Can't wait to read more of your stuff!

PS: My breadmaker is still sitting, unused, after I got it 2 yrs ago. But buying Great Harvest Bread works in a pinch!

kanishk said...

use big words like harbinger, nonplussed and flight. :)

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Valerie said...

I like it! It was too short- give us more!!
Thanks for sharing. :)

Karen said...

Um, yeah, I'd say you ARE A writer! That was great! Thanks for sharing.

And I'm glad your Birthiversary was fabulous!

Anonymous said...

nice job! waiting for your new artical...................................................

wonder woman said...

I can't wait to read your words on a piece of paper! And I'm glad that I like my mom. :o) Or at least that she doesn't give me a whole lot of guilt trips. It's fantastic, Melanie.

Aubrey said...

Yay! Can't wait to see where Sandy ends up-- sounds like you're making great progress.

The breadmaker I used to have had issues. The loaves came out like bricks, but I'm sure that has nothing to do with my inability to master anything remotely mechanical.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Tamn, girl, you CAN write.

I had no idea you were pregnant. Tonight is the first time I'm reading blogs in months and everyone is suddenly preggos.

When the cats away . . .

Happy NEW YEAR! Lub ya!

Julie Wright said...

GREAT! And I met your editor at my booksigning last month. She is very excited to be working with you :)

Brittany Ann said...

Probably, you should post the rest of that. I'm impressed, it's definitely something I would read, on a recreational level, even!

Nishant said...

And use big words like harbinger, nonplussed and flight. :)

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