WeWriWa—Hints of trouble

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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, now entitled Movements in the Symphony of 1939. It was released in e-book format on March second, with a paperback edition to follow within a few months. The paperback edition will have a different cover.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) were forced to take new houseguest Samantha to their friend Quintina’s birthday party. Tina is unsure about this stranger who came without a present, but let her stay. Now it’s about to become crystal-clear just how committed Sam is to fundamentalism, despite her equal fear of her mother.

Quintina was strongly based on a friend of mine. Though I’ve not seen her since 1992, I’ve never stopped thinking about her.

Sam took a seat in the living room and looked around at the dingy surroundings. The bookshelves were falling apart and stacked with a number of books missing spines; the carpets were very dirty and looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in months; the furniture was just as beat-up as the bookshelves; there was no artwork on the walls; the curtains were turning yellow from age and black from dirt; the windows were caked in dirt; and shoes, jackets, coats, handbags, and hats had been carelessly tossed in a pile off to the side of the door, instead of being stacked and hung up. The dog didn’t even wear a collar, though his fur was pure white instead of dirty like the curtains, carpets, and windows.

“See that gorgeous dreamboat over there?” Cinni whispered, trying to make normal conversation. “That’s Tina’s oldest brother, John. He’s eighteen, and I think all of us girls have a crush on him. He’s far too old for us, of course, and we’re far too young to date anyone, but it ain’t against the law to fancy a handsome older man. He knows we all have a crush on him, and it makes him feel like such a big man about town. Whoever eventually marries him will be such a lucky lady.”

“You think impure thoughts about an adult man?” Sam asked, barely bothering to keep her voice to a polite stage whisper.

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

“I never had impure thoughts about boys in my own grade, let alone an adult man!”

Cinni remained silent about her crush on thirteen-year-old Barry. If this were what Sam thought of having a fantasy crush on a much-older, completely unattainable man of the same religion and nationality, there was no telling how she’d react to hearing of Cinni’s crush on an older boy of another religion and ethnic origin.

WeWriWa—Entering Tina’s house

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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, now entitled Movements in the Symphony of 1939. It was released in e-book format on March second, with a paperback edition to follow within a few months. The paperback edition will have a different cover.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) have been forced to take new houseguest Samantha to their friend Quintina’s birthday party, despite Sam’s out of place clothes and lack of a present. During the short walk there, Sam revealed her commitment to fundamentalism and her fear of her mother.

Sam fell silent as they walked the rest of the way to the Holidays’ house. Inside, they were greeted by colored streamers, balloons, and a few cut-out flower decorations. Jazz played in the background, while the Holidays’ little Bichon Frisé ran around yapping. A large pile of gifts sat off to the side, and some guests were eating soft pretzels and playing games.

“Who’s this?” Tina asked. “Is this a new girl you invited? If you’re going to change up the popularity ranks again to include another new girl, I hope you don’t demote me more than one rank.”

“Of course I ain’t demoting you,” Cinni reassured her.

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

“I only had to demote Violet so much ’cause she was getting too big for her britches and had to be knocked down a couple of pegs. This is Samantha Smart. She and her parents just moved into my house ’cause of unexplained bad business in their old city. They’re from D.C., the Virginia side. Sam, this is my buddy Quintina Holiday.”

Tina looked Sam up and down. “You came without a present?”

“I didn’t know I’d be coming to anyone’s birthday party till now,” Sam said. “I can get you a present later, if you want to be friends.”

“We’ll see about that. Right now, you can have a seat and try to blend in.”

WeWriWa—Discussing religion

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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, now entitled Movements in the Symphony of 1939. It was released in e-book format on March second, with a paperback edition to follow within a few months. The paperback edition will have a different cover.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) have been forced to take new houseguest Samantha to their friend Quintina’s birthday party, despite Sam’s out of place clothes and lack of a present. During their short walk there, Sam revealed a fear of her mother and mentioned her parents have different religions. Now Sam starts revealing her commitment to fundamentalism.

“Your parents are different religions? What is your dad, Catholic or something? I don’t think he’s Jewish, given how upset you and your mom got when you found out Sparky’s family’s Jewish.”

“We’re all Methodists, but my dad is a regular Methodist who only had one baptism. My mother and I are fundamentalist Methodists with three baptisms. We go to a regular Methodist church, but we have our own beliefs and practices to set us apart. Maybe someday my father will see the light and join us in the one true church.”

“What did you need three baptisms for? I didn’t think you needed to get rebaptized if you joined a different church. The original baptism counts for all Christian churches, so long as it’s a real church.”

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

“That’s a long story. Our minister in D.C. explained how our first baptism was invalid, since it wasn’t in a fundamentalist church. He had to baptize us twice more each.”

Cinni shifted her weight to her other foot. “So you both used to be normal, and weren’t always super-religious?”

“We used to be more like other people, yes. You probably guessed my mother was really young when I was born. She wasn’t married either, but at least she eventually was able to marry my father. Their parents disapproved of their relationship. I think my mother became so overly religious to try to atone for how sinful she was before. Now it’s hard to imagine living any other way, though our salvation only happened a few years ago.”

WeWriWa—On the way to the party

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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, now entitled Movements in the Symphony of 1939. It was released in e-book format on March second, with a paperback edition to follow within a few months. The paperback edition will have a different cover.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) have been forced to take new houseguest Samantha to their friend Quintina’s birthday party. Sam’s mother Urma insisted so vociferously and stridently, even against the objections of her husband, Cinni, and Sam herself on account of Sam’s out of place clothes and lack of a present.

Sam followed after Cinni and Sparky, trailing several feet behind. She didn’t make any conversation as they walked through the large backyard. Sam held back from the low wooden fence which Cinni and Sparky straddled before heading up the unpaved walkway to the Holidays’ house. First she looked around for any other way to negotiate the final leg of the journey, then back at the Filliards’ house.

“Do you see my mother watching from any windows or the back door?”

“I don’t see her,” Cinni said. “What, will she beat you or yell at you if you straddle the fence? Or does she think boys are going to see up that long dress of yours if you climb over?”

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

“I can never be too careful around my mother. But please don’t tell her I told you that. You don’t want to know what kind of woman my mother is.” Sam carefully climbed up and swung her leg around to the other side of the fence, climbing down just as slowly and carefully.

“It’s easier to climb fences with shorter skirts. I wish it were more acceptable for girls to wear pants, but sometimes you gotta pick your battles. Would your mother let you wear more modern clothes? That looks like something my mother mighta worn when she was our age, and she was born in 1900.”

“It’s fine. I’m used to having to dress like this. I can’t go against my mother. My father gets it every time he tries to do what he wants, and I’d get it even worse, since I don’t have the excuse of being a different religion.”

WeWriWa—Forced to bring a guest

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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, now entitled Movements in the Symphony of 1939. It was released in e-book format on March second, with a paperback edition to follow within a few months. The paperback edition will have a different cover.

Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) were on their way to their friend Quintina’s birthday party when new houseguest Urma Smart demanded they take her daughter Samantha. Urma began very angry when Cinni compared Sam’s very old-fashioned clothes to those of the Amish. In Urma’s mind, the Amish are heretics.

Last week, when I forgot to sign up, Urma’s husband Mortez attempted to come to Cinni’s defense and was quickly cowed into submission by Urma. Though Mortez may be henpecked, he’s not as passive and stupid as he might seem.

“Well, are you taking Samantha or not?” Urma asked, in the same acid-edged voice. “We don’t have all day to wait!”

Cinni shrugged. “Sure, she can tag along, but don’t expect her to be instantly popular. She has to prove herself before I’ll admit her to our popularity ranks. If she ain’t got what it takes, she’ll have to be a Nobody. Sam, do you have anything to bring to Tina? It’s pretty rude to come empty-handed to a birthday party.”

“I didn’t know there was a birthday party today,” Sam said. “I’d be insulted if I was the birthday girl and a surprise guest got me something cheap and last-minute.”

The ten lines end here. A few more to complete the section follow.

“Enough stalling!” Urma shouted. “Just go to the party! Samantha can become friends with your friends later, but for now, she just needs to get introduced to them.”