WeWriWa—Meet Mortez

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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.

Mortez, Urma’s dark-haired, dark-eyed husband, looked up from Life magazine and began to stand up from the blue loveseat. “Urma, you’re not acting very Christian right now. You shouldn’t yell at a young girl and accuse her of things she never suggested because you read between non-existent lines. Samantha does dress a little out of fashion, and no one will know her at that birthday party. I agree she does need new friends, but you can’t force Cinnimin to bring her along.”

Urma glared at her husband, whom Cinni saw shrinking under her gaze. “Was anyone speaking to you?”

“No.”

“Then kindly go back to reading and staying out of matters that don’t concern you. I did not go to so much trouble to win you back and marry you, against my parents’ wishes, just for you to dictate how I should and shouldn’t behave.”

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

“Yes, my love.” Mortez sat back down and continued reading Life.

Cinni stared at Mortez. “Well, now we know who wears the pants in that marriage,” she whispered to Sparky. “I don’t think the man is the head of the household and superior to his wife, but he should have a backbone and not let his wife boss him around like that. Even Mrs. Seward ain’t that mean and cold to Mr. Seward when they fight.”

WeWriWa—Intercepted by Urma

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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, 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 an early March release. The new title will be revealed then.

Chapter 2, “Happy Birthday, Tina,” starts when best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine), who live together, are about to head out to their friend Quintina’s birthday party. Then new houseguest Urma Smart sees them and delays them on their way.

An eruv is a fence, wall, or other enclosure enabling people to carry objects and push strollers in the public domain on the Sabbath. I used to live within the eruv of Albany, NY.

Saturday after lunch with her family, Sparky put on her new Mary Janes and got ready to head out to Quintina Holiday’s residence. Since there was no eruv or other type of continuous, unbroken fence, Cinni carried both of their birthday presents for Tina.

“Where are you going without Samantha?” Urma demanded.

“One of our best friends is having a birthday party,” Cinni said. “She lives behind our house. Sam wasn’t invited. No one there will know her.”

“So? You should take Samantha. She needs playmates, however secular.”

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

Cinni looked at Sam, wearing a navy blue sailor suit dress, matching giant hairbow, and black button-up boots, her long blonde hair combed straighter than a pin. “I don’t think she’ll be very popular at the party. No one there dresses like the Amish.”

“Amish?” Urma’s voice took on a sharp, ugly, accusatory edge. “Is that what you think we are? I’ll have you know we’re proper Christians, and wouldn’t dream of joining heretical groups like that! We’re such good Christians, we’ve had three baptisms! How dare you accuse us of heresy!”

WeWriWa—Urma gets worse

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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, 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 now know these interlopers are Urma and Samantha Smart from Washington, D.C., who’ll be living in their household until further notice. Urma has lost no time in showing some very ugly true colors, and just used some slurs against Sparky’s Jewish family and the Italians next door.

Mr. Filliard crossed his arms. “If you value my charity, you won’t do anything to the Smalls or Vallis or use those ugly slurs again. They’re respected neighbors and friends whose excellent character I vouch for. Now would you like to get settled in?”

“I guess we have no choice.” Urma turned around and stalked off to her suitcases. “But you’ve got another think coming if you believe my Samantha will be sharing a bedroom with a heathen. Mortez and I will find another place to put her, even if she has to sleep in a closet or the barn. I wish we had the money to dine out every day rather than profane ourselves at your table.”

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

Samantha looked at Cinni and Sparky. “Please, call me Sam. My mother usually calls me Samantha, but I prefer Sam. My real name is too long and unusual, even if Sam sounds very boyish.”

“You’re talking too much to those girls, Samantha,” Urma called. “Please get your suitcases and stop fraternizing with them if you know what’s good for you. I already know none of these people are our kind. We’re so much better than they are. If only your father had asked a less liberal friend for assistance.”

Sam turned around and went to join her mother.

WeWriWa—Rooming arrangements

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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, 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, the mother, has begun showing her very ugly true colors as an intolerant fundamentalist.

Cinni’s father just came in and explained the Smarts lost their apartment to arson and need a place to stay till they find a new home.

Cinni pulled a piece of peach rock candy out of her left pocket and tossed it into her mouth. “I’m sorry they lost their apartment. They must really want a fresh start if they came all the way here ’steada staying in the D.C. area.”

“There’s too much godlessness and sin in the capital,” Urma said. “Perhaps a smaller city will be more conducive to living a perfect fundamentalist Methodist life. Samantha in particular doesn’t need any temptations, as strong as she is in her testimony.”

“Where will we be rooming, Sir?” Samantha asked Mr. Filliard. “I’m used to having a bedroom all to myself, and good Christians shouldn’t have to share a home with heathens. It’s bad enough my father isn’t religious enough.”

“You’ll be in the attic with Cinnimin and Sparky,” Mr. Filliard said.

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

“There’s also a private bathroom across the hall. Their bedroom is much larger than my own master suite, since it takes up almost the entire attic. I bet you’ll really like it.” He turned to Urma. “You and Mortez will be on the second floor, in a small bedroom my children’s nanny used to use. I won’t insult you by asking you to use the maid’s room on the first floor. When my family had a maid, she lived here in the guesthouse with our cook. That room is an extra closet now. I feel sorry for maids forced to use such small rooms.”

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

Though the Filliards went from riches to rags after the Stock Market crashed, and took quite awhile to chase the wolf from the door, they were able to retain their rather large house thanks to selling almost all their possessions. A few well-off friends also helped with money.

Despite the size of the house, it wasn’t considered a mansion even when the Filliards were rich. It was built and used as an upper-middle-class house for much of its long history.

WeWriWa—Finally an explanation

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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, 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, the mother, just started showing her very ugly true colors.

Copyright Dr. Bernd Gross

Samantha stepped forward and eyed the three large cooling cookie sheets stuffed to the gills with treats, temptingly advertising chocolate, apricot, raspberry, strawberry, and apple fillings. “May I have some cookies? I’ve never seen cookies like this before, but they look so delicious.”

“They’re called hamantaschen,” Sparky explained. “These cookies are supposed to look like the three-cornered hat worn by Haman, the villain in the Book of Esther. The holiday of Purim is coming up, so we’re making them to celebrate.”

“I’ve never heard of that holiday,” Urma said.

“It’s a Jewish holiday, Ma’am.”

Both visitors shrieked as Mr. Filliard came into the room from the other side.

“Who are these people?” Cinni asked her belovèd father.

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

“They introduced themselves, but didn’t tell us what they’re doing here or why they want to see you.” She refrained from asking the more impolite question, why someone who didn’t even look thirty had a child who appeared the same age as herself and Sparky. Later on, if the Smarts remained in town, she could suss out the details of that dirty laundry.

Mr. Filliard sank into a chair and rubbed his temples. “I hate to bring in new longterm houseguests without telling you well in advance, but this was very last-minute. I’m friends with Urma’s husband Mortez, and when he told me they lost their apartment to arson and were looking for a more permanent home in another city anyway, I felt it was my duty to give them a place to stay. I can’t say no to a friend.”