Posted in 1940s, Atlantic City books, Historical fiction, holidays, Max, Writing

WeWriWa—A memorable end to the visit with Santa

Happy Christmas to all those who celebrate, and happy eighth night of Chanukah!

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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.

This year, my Christmas-themed excerpts are coming from the currently-numbered tenth book of my Saga of the Sewards series, set during December 1943. I’ve done almost zero editing on any of these books since I converted their obsolete file formats, so any edits made will be as I’m preparing these posts.

Elaine’s new boyfriend Roger is a department store Santa, and Elaine is his assistant. In the last two snippets, Elaine’s cousins and stepcousins took their turns, and now the youngest members of the family are up, the 22-month-old quints. The first one on Santa’s lap is Amy, who was born third.

“What might you want, little girl?” Roger asked.

“Teddybear.”

Mr. Seward lifted the other four quints on and off of Roger’s lap one by one. Andrew cried the entire time; Paula pulled on his beard and asked for a dollhouse; Susie squirmed as she asked for a toy phone; and then it was Peggy’s turn.

“What do you want?”

“Candy.”

In the next moment, Peggy got a strange look in her eyes, and Roger’s eyes widened. Roger’s entire face was contorted into a grimace as he hoisted Peggy off of his lap and held her as far away from him as possible, revealing a big puddle underneath.

“I’m so sorry,” Bambi said. “Peggy’s been having a lot of accidents lately.”

The ten lines end there. A few more follow to finish the scene.

Mr. Seward shook his head. “Children should have no accidents by twenty-two months old. We need to have a long talk with Cynthia about why she hasn’t been working harder on toilet-training them, and why she didn’t start sooner. I’m sorry my nanny’s negligence caused you to be disgraced in public, Wilkes.”

The elf who’d gotten Roger fired came storming up. “I would go to the boss and get you fired again, Wilkes, but he doesn’t believe a word out of my mouth now that you made him think I’m crazy! Thanks a lot for saving your own skin at the expense of my reputation! Now everyone we work with thinks I’m an insane, jealous little person who made up a scandalous story about you because I’m jealous of you for your height and good looks, and because I’m not tall enough to play Santa!” The elf gave him the finger before storming away.

Posted in 1940s, Atlantic City books, Elaine, Historical fiction, holidays, Max, Writing

WeWriWa—The Campbell sisters visit Santa

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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.

This year, my Christmas-themed excerpts are coming from the currently-numbered tenth book of my Saga of the Sewards series, set during December 1943. I’ve done almost zero editing on any of these books since I converted their obsolete file formats, so any edits made will be as I’m preparing these posts.

Elaine’s new boyfriend Roger is a department store Santa, and Elaine is his assistant. Last week, Elaine’s cousins Harold and Gene (neither of whom believe in Santa) came to see him, and now Elaine’s stepcousins are up. First is middle sister Cora Ann.

“I want twenty dollies, a little bed for our new kittens, lots of stuffed animals, records, miniature horses, hair ribbons, enough candy to gag on, a fancy pen, and for my stepbrother Eugene to leave me alone!”

Roger smiled at her. “I’ll try my best to get all of those things for you.”

Cora Ann hopped off of his lap and took four candy canes from the bag Elaine was holding. After Cora Ann left, Elaine pulled Sandy onto Roger’s lap.

“And what might you want for Christmas?” Roger asked.

“Ten dolls, a bunch of stuffed animals, lots of candy, and for my daddy to decide to keep all thirteen of the new kittens instead of giving them away or killing them.”

Roger gave Mr. Seward a meaningful look. “I’ll make sure you get everything you want, particularly keeping your kittens.”

Sandy hopped down and took two candy canes.

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

Next up was Adeladie.

“I know the deal, Wilkes. I’m far too old to believe in Santa, but I’m forced to play along for my little sisters and brother. Anyway, I’d like some romance novels by Georgette Heyer, more mature clothes, lots of makeup, fashion magazines, green and purple fountain pen ink, hair supplies, and a new purse.”

“You have excellent taste,” Elaine said. “Take as many candy canes as you want. Just between us, there are chocolate, sugar plum, cinnamon, and blackberry candy canes at the bottom.”

Mr. Seward hoisted up Amy while Adeladie was digging through the bag and putting handfuls of candy canes in her purse.

***************************

P.S.: Today is my 43rd birthday. My Hebrew birthday, the fifth night of Chanukah, will begin at sundown on 22 December. I’m hoping to celebrate this week by getting my dozenth ear piercing, my right nostril pierced (I’ve had the left done since 2003), and some upgraded jewelry for a few of my other ear piercings.

Posted in 1940s, Atlantic City books, Elaine, Historical fiction, holidays, Max, Writing

WeWriWa—Gene and Harold visit Santa

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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.

This year, my Christmas-themed excerpts are coming from the currently-numbered tenth book of my Saga of the Sewards series, set during December 1943. (I misremembered it as the ninth.) I’ve done almost zero editing on any of these books since I converted their obsolete file formats, so any edits made will be as I’m preparing these posts.

Though Roger Wilkes was fired from his position as Santa when an elf caught him having sex with his girlfriend Elaine in a sleigh last week, Roger succeeded in begging for his job back, and Elaine got hired as his assistant. Roger told the boss the elf made up a scandalous story out of jealousy.

Now Elaine’s cousins are visiting Santa. First up are Gene and Harold. Originally, Gene was a lot more foul-mouthed and antagonistic in this scene, and Elaine was equally rude in return, but I’ve significantly toned it down.

“I don’t believe in Santa,” Gene said in a smart-aleck voice when Mr. Seward dumped him on Roger’s lap.

“I think I need to put you on my naughty list,” Roger said.

“That’s a load of crap, and you know it.”

Mr. Seward pulled Gene off of Roger’s lap. “This boy has been a handful since the day he was born, and he gets worse every day. I think he’ll be getting another lump of coal in his stocking this year.”

Harold jumped onto Roger’s lap and began whispering to him. “That was my little brother Gene. I don’t believe in you either, but I need to pretend for my younger siblings.”

“What a sweet, polite boy!”  Elaine cooed.

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

“For being such a good little boy, you’ll get three candy canes!”

Gene turned red. “How dare that knucklehead get three candy canes when I wasn’t given any!”

“For Christmas I want candy, a book or two, and possibly some toys if you have any left over after you’ve given all the good toys to my brothers and sisters.”

“What a crock,” Gene sneered.

“This is why Harold is my favorite child,” Mr. Seward told him. “He’s good, sweet, and never thinks of himself.”

Posted in 1940s, Atlantic City books, Elaine, Historical fiction, holidays, Max

WeWriWa—Crazy Christmas antics

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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.

This year, my Christmas-themed excerpts are coming from the currently-numbered ninth book of my Saga of the Sewards series (originally called Maxwell House, then renamed Max’s House), set during December 1943. I’ve done almost zero editing on any of these books since I converted their obsolete file formats, so any edits made will be as I’m preparing these posts.

Elaine is very excited to discover her new boyfriend Roger is playing Santa at a local department store. Her relationship with Roger is supposed to be secret, since Roger is also unhappily engaged to Elaine’s maid Marianne, whom he doesn’t love. However, Elaine and Roger haven’t exactly been very discreet about their affair, and have been caught by several people already.

Elaine decided to go shopping while they were waiting for their orders and discovered Roger had gotten a job playing Santa. She ran over, jumped the line, bounced onto his lap, and slid her hands onto his back.

“I think you need to put me on your naughty list, Santa. I’ve done bad things lately, like having an affair with my maid’s fiancé.”

“Elaine, are you insane! What if Marianne is going Christmas shopping and sees me! She knows I’m here!”

“I’m going to be your elf assistant, Marathon Man,” she said in a deep growl, trying her best to sound sexy. “And now you can take a break and excuse yourself to talk to me about how I can remedy my position of being on the naughty list.”

***

A huge line had formed by the time one of the elves came over to see what was going on.

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

“Santa disappeared with some girl!” a little boy said. “That girl was too old to sit on Santa’s lap!”

The elf looked into the room where the North Pole props were kept and saw clothes and the Santa suit strewn everywhere. Roger and Elaine were having sexual relations in a sleigh.

“You’re fired, Wilkes! As soon as you get your clothes back on, turn in your Santa suit and collect the two dollars you’ve earned during your first and last day of this job.”

Posted in 1940s, Atlantic City books, Historical fiction, holidays, Max, Mr. Seward, Writing

Happy Halloween!— WeWriWa: Halloween surprises

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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.

This year’s Halloween-themed excerpts come from the eighth book in my Saga of the Sewards series (formerly known as Max’s House). It needs a great deal of editing, rewriting, and revision, along with a new title, so I’m doing preliminary edits and fleshing it out as I go this month.

It’s now near the end of Halloween night, and Mr. Seward’s stepdaughters and younger children have finally come home from trick-or-treating. He’s very displeased, to say the least, when he learns about what happened without his knowledge or permission.

“It’s eleven-thirty!” Mr. Seward raged. “Where have you been all night? It never took that long to trick-or-treat before!”

“We were at the older kids’ party at school a lot of that time,” Harold said.

“Gene ran off, and we searched everywhere!” Cora Ann yelled. “When his mother dropped him off at the party, neither of them apologized for scaring us so much.”

“Mommy gave me really good candy and cocoa,” Gene said. “I got bored of trick-or-treating, and it was cold, so I decided to visit her.”

“That was illegal!” Mr. Seward shouted, shaking his fist in the air. “Clara knows damn well I have full custody and that she’s not allowed to see you again unless it’s by accident in public!”

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

Gene peeled the paper off of a candybar and began eating it. “I don’t care if you tan my hide for visiting Mommy. We had a lot of fun, and I’ll visit her again whenever I feel like it. She missed her favorite child.”

“Clara said many times she had no interest in motherhood, and made no attempt to even pretend to care in all those years before our divorce. Even her spoiling of you was constantly interrupted by her many trips abroad with her much-younger lovers. I refuse to believe she’s had a radical change of heart after so much time.”

“I’m sleepy, Daddy,” Amy whimpered.

“Who are you?” Mr. Seward asked. “Did you follow my kids home?” He took a double-take.  “Four strange kids followed you home!”

“What?” Adeladie asked. “Who? There are only ten of us, not fourteen.”

“My God!” he went on. “Where are the other four quints? Did somebody steal them?  Who’s the only quint here?”

“All the quints are here. Take off their costumes if you don’t believe me.”

Mr. Seward yanked the sheet off the ghost to reveal Andrew. Peggy was underneath the seal costume, Paula was under the peanut, and Amy was under the marshmallow.

“Quints, that was terrible, dressing in different costumes! You are not individuals! I’ll have some serious words with Elaine when she comes home, since she was the one who bought you these costumes instead of all five clown outfits.” His jaw clenched as he pointed at the staircase. “Go on up to bed, all of you. Thanks to Gene’s stunt, it’s well past all your bedtimes.”