Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Today I'm posting my entry from a recent "Drop the Needle" exercise given by Miss Snark's First Victim. The point of this exercise was to show an instance of over-the-top emotion. I chose this passage from my current work-in-progress, TRAIN WATCH:

A very brief blurb to set up the scene: The primary character is Grandma Jenny who is in the midst of whipping Cleo, her granddaughter, with a switch for being insolent. Cleo, in an attempt to distract Grandma Jenny from whipping Hattie (who is Jenny's 12-year-old daughter as well as Cleo's aunt), had sucked her teeth at Grandma Jenny (a no-no in the 1940s). What brought all this on was when Hattie, in a fit of anger, struck Cleo's brother in the head with a rolling pin.

Okay, here it is:

Grandpa Lum grabbed Grandma Jenny as she started to swing out again at Cleo.

“Lum, let go now!” she ordered. “Get away from me!”

“Jenny, Cleo ain’t done nothin’ wrong here, ” he said, loosening his grip on her arm.

“Nothin’ wrong my foot!” Grandma Jenny snorted. “No child gonna suck their teeth at me.” She nodded toward Cleo. “And get away with it.”

“Now Jenny I heard Cleo trying to apologize. Why don’t you leave her be?”

“And why don’t you go on in the house, Lum?” Grandma Jenny said, her nostrils flaring.

He started to say something back but, catching Grandma Jenny’s piercing gaze, ambled on toward the house, mumbling about how it was useless to argue when she was in such a state.

“Cleo, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but you goin’ to hear this, too.” Grandma Jenny turned to face Hattie.

“Girl, you can’t be haulin’ off and hittin’ people just because they say somethin’ about you. Shoot. They talked about my savior, Jesus. And guess who came out on top anyway? She closed her eyes and shook her head as if trying to erase a bad memory. “Before I know it, you’ll be done hit some white person upside their head. And then whatcha gonna do? Huh? Them white folks don’t play around, Hattie. They’ll just as soon lynch a colored woman as well as they would a man.” She wiped her forehead. “I better not catch you raisin’ your hand to your nephew again.” Her eyes narrowed. “You hear?”

So, any thoughts/suggestions/criticisms? You can click on my entry (see above) to see what others had to say.

Anyone else doing Teaser Tuesday? Let me know and I'll drop on by. Thanks!


Tess said...

Great tone to this passage. I can see the characters, the action....the dialogue is well done/not over the top. Just right!

Of course, I'm a sucker for MG historical stuff :)

Crystal said...

Thanks for reading, Tess!

Robyn said...

Dialogue is natural. I liked reading. :)

Crystal said...

Thank you, Robyn! I appreciate you stopping by. Look forward to seeing your website when it's ready.

Shelli said...

I thought it was great dialogue., what is the story about? Thx for stopping by :)

Casey said...

Like I said last time, love the dialogue! The scene works well, IMO.

Also, I awarded you an award (or two) on my blog!

Crystal said...

OMG! An award? Already? Thank you so much, Casey! This really makes my day, er, night!