Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Hi all!

I haven't done a teaser for a while and thought I'd post one today. If I'm not careful, I'll probably end up posting my whole book (just kidding . . . I know my chances for publication would be pretty much nil if I did that!). But seriously, I do so love the feedback from everyone. It's very encouraging!

Today I'm posting from TRAIN WATCH (yep, I'm still revising it, adding scenes here & there, etc.).

Here's the setup for the scene: Cleo, my protagonist, is on her way to the train station in Winston-Salem, NC, with her mother, brother, & grandfather, as well as the kind schoolteacher that she & her mother befriended at the previous station in Hamlet. (And just a reminder, the year is 1941)

Cleo looked up from her book, wondering why Mrs. Grissett was frowning so. Mama also noticed.

"Is there anything wrong, Mrs. Grissett?" Mama asked.

"Why, no dear, not especially. I was just thinking about your Cleo's big dreams is all." She tried to face Cleo but could only turn halfway as they jammed so tightly in the old Roadster. "It's a beautiful thing to realize such big dreams as yours, Cleo, but don't forget to look back every now and then. There are others dreaming right behind you."

"Yes, ma'am," Cleo said, heat rising to her cheeks.

Turning back to Mama, Mrs. Grissett continued, "You know, the young ones today don't realize that good, qualified Negro teachers are still needed down here, as well as up North.

Cleo dropped her chin and closed her book. She blinked back the tears that threatened to drop any second. Maybe she did read too much like Otis said. She really hadn't meant to sound so self-centered. And it wasn't that she had anything against working in the South--okay, she was against working in the fields--but it was just . . . just . . . that she knew, no felt, something bigger was in store for her in New York.

"Cleo! Cleo!"

Mama was shaking her shoulder so hard she thought her collarbone would come unhinged. How long had she been lost in thought? "Yes, Mama?"

"Didn't you hear me calling you, girl? What's wrong with you?"

"I'm fine, Mama. I was just thinking is all."

"Well, child, that's the saddest look of "fine" I've ever seen." Mama shook her head. "Cleo, this here's a mean, hard world. And I don't mean just here in the South. The North has its problems, too."

Well, that's it for today. Thanks so much for reading!