Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.

I’m now sharing snippets from the book formerly known as The Very Next, the chronological second of my Atlantic City books, set from March 1939 to the dawn of 1940. It underwent a radical rewrite in 2015, and I recently completed the fourth and final version. I plan on a late February or early March release. The new title will be revealed then.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) were baking cookies when two strangers entered the kitchen. They introduced themselves as Urma and Samantha Smart from Washington, D.C., and said they were directed to Cinni’s house and her father.

Urma just asked what kind of name Sparky is for a human being.

“My real name’s Katherine,” Sparky said. “There’s a very long, interesting story behind my nickname. My name used to be Katharina, but my parents changed it when we moved to America last year.”

Urma crossed her arms even tighter and looked at Sparky more closely. “Where might you be from? Not all immigrants are created equal. Quotas were created for a reason.”

“A nasty, racist reason,” Cinni said.

The first eight lines end here. A few more to complete the scene follow.

“A lot of good people are being held up in dangerous situations because they dared to be born outside Western Europe. Everyone in this country is an immigrant, even the Indians. It ain’t nice to keep good people out based on fear of the unknown.”

Urma glowered at her.

“I was born in Germany, and then lived in The Netherlands,” Sparky said. “Now I’m as American as anyone who was born here, even if I do some things a bit differently.”

6 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Conversation grows tense

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