I'm not sure if anyone's reading this, but here's another excerpt from my MG work-in-progress:
From TRAIN WATCH:
Cleo raised her eyes to the ceiling. Thank you, Lord. Grandpa Lum hasn’t reached the house—yet.
“Whoo-weee! It’s . . . some . . . kinda . . . hot . . . out there!” Hattie huffed, as she pulled herself up and over the ladder. She wiped the steady drip of water off her dirt-streaked face with the back of her hand and down the sides of the faded, dust-covered overalls she wore. Catching her breath, she continued, “Papa says you better hurry on down. He don’t want anymore dilly-dallying from you.” She focused more clearly on Cleo. “You still in your school clothes?”
“Hattie,” Cleo begged, shimmying out her knee-length plaid skirt, “tell him I’m coming. Please?” She forced her clammy legs into the new pair of blue jeans her mama had sent last month. “ I just have to finish something first.”
“Papa don’t care ’bout none of that. You better get a move on or he’ll be up here with a switch—or a belt.” She looked over her shoulder, then back at Cleo. “He’s right behind me, you know.” Hattie’s anxious voice matched her worried face. She crooked her finger. “And I don’t want any part of it.”
“Humph. My papa never made me work in the field,” Cleo grumbled, looking out the half-way boarded window for her grandfather. “He wanted me to be a teacher, maybe even one for the high school.” She closed her eyes, remembering his dream for her. “He said my hands were for writing, not farming,” she muttered, turning from the window.
“I’m sorry ’bout your papa, Cleo, but, um, you know my papa don’t stand for no foolishness.” Hattie nodded vigorously as if confirming this fact more to herself than to Cleo. “Shoot. You’re lucky. None of us ever got any special treatment here, don’t care what they were tryin’ to be.” She stood glaring at Cleo with her chin stuck out and arms folded across her chest. “So you best get used to it. You been here long enough,” she added, her anger building.
Okay, so . . . any comments? criticisms? Don't worry, I've built up a tough skin!