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!

17 comments:

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Awesome excerpt - I love it! Thanks so much for sharing. ;-)

Cindy said...

Wow, that was a really interesting excerpt. I think you did a great job at getting inside the main character's head.

Tamika: said...

My heart connected with Cleo instantly! Great reading.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Crystal,

I immediately loved this passage. Your voice is super in it! Email me....

Crystal said...

Shannon--SO glad you enjoyed this scene & thanks for stopping by! :)

Cindy--Thanks for reading . . . I'm so glad Cleo's point of view came through clearly as I have a tendency to stray off track into points of view from other characters

Tamika--Thanks so much for stopping by & reading this. I really appreciate it because I know you weren't feeling well. (Yes, I'm guilty . . . I swung by your blog yesterday but didn't leave a comment--a REALLY BAD HABIT I'm trying to break & one of my New Year's resolutions!) That's wonderful you felt a connection with my main character; it's so encouraging! . . . I think that's one thing that all writers wish for from their readers.


Sharon--Thanks for reading this brief excerpt! And glad you connected with the voice . . . :)


Thanks again, everyone! Your thoughts on this passage are humbling for me, and SO ENCOURAGING as I contemplate querying agents for this novel next year.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I've been coming across so many stories, and writers, from the Carolinas. I think the universe is trying to tell me something :)

Nice excerpt!

Sharon Mayhew said...

Sherrie--Amy at Invisible Sister (blog) is from the Carolinas...

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I can feel the love between mother and daughter--realistic love. Well done!

Crystal said...

Hey Sherrie, thanks so much for stopping by! Glad you liked my little excerpt!

Hi Eileen! Welcome to my blog . . . and thanks so much for reading my brief excerpt; I'm flattered by your comment . . . THANK YOU! :)

Crystal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

Great blog, Crystal! Good luck on your hunt for an agent this year! :)

Crystal said...

Thanks, Emily! So glad you stopped by! Have a wonderful New Year and best of luck to you, too! :)

Sharon Mayhew said...

Crystal--I hope all is well...I look forward to our critiquing sessions in 2010.

Here's to success and happiness in the new year.

Tess said...

Everytime you post an excerpt I love this sweet novel more and more. My favorite line is the one about 'others are dreaming right behind you'. very well done.

Crystal said...

Sharon--Yes, I'm looking forward to those sessions, too! I'll be contacting you soon . . . I'm hoping for great things to happen this year for all of us aspiring writers!


THANK YOU, Tess, for taking time to come by and read my little excerpt . . . I'm really humbled by your compliment! As always, your blog remains a constant source of inspiration for me. Happy New Year!

Robyn Campbell said...

WOW! Great writing my friend. I can't wait to buy this novel off the shelf. I loved how you show how hard Mama shook her head. Fantastic. :0)

Crystal said...

Hi Robyn! I didn't think anyone was still reading this post of mine . . . so glad you liked it! I am truly humbled by your comment . . . to think of my story on a shelf is my dream, as it is all of ours, I know. I feel so strongly, Robyn, that this will be a year of GREAT POSSIBILITY for us! :)