Tonight's post is a bit scary to post---
BUT I firmly believe in stepping out and doing what drives you despite your fears (and, since we ask students to do this ALL.THE.TIME, I think it is important that we walk our talk, too.)
As part of my YABbootcamp challenge, I am posting a small portion of my current WIP (work in progress) on my blog tonight.
I'd love some feedback on it.
Background: this is the opening of my YA historical novel. The story moves through time a bit as different strands of it are told from different points of view. It is 1943 in this chapter.
One of the most exciting things to me about working on this story, in particular, is that it combines several of my loves--history, genealogy, and writing. This book will be somewhat loosely based on my grandfather's family.
I've included a photo of my great-aunt Jackie. Wasn't she a beauty? She is the real-life just older sister of my character Celia---and I imagine Celia looked very much like this, although to date I have not been able to locate a photo---still working on that!
My daddy is a grey-eyed devil. I swear he is.
Lord, but I can see him there on the front porch watching me come home from Bud and Neva’s. He stands, immovable and solid. I can’t see those eyes from here, of course, but I feel them as they watch me.
Daddy’s face is a mask; his eyes are wet stones, revealing little of his mood, his mouth unsmiling.
This isn’t good---most times, if he’s laughing you’re safe. If he’s drinking, he’s not laughing—and no good can come of it. I hear some folks are happy drunks. Not my daddy. Not happy at all.
The near constant worry that I mostly manage to keep pushed to the back of my mind tugs at me now making it harder to breathe. Sometimes the weight of it is just so heavy that I can hardly bear it. Now, despite the utter gorgeousness of this beautiful spring day I am suddenly left low and worn and weary.
It happens just like that. One second you’re whistling a happy tune, feeling just fine, and the next you’re looking at the unsmiling face of a mean old man filled to the gills with cheap gin and bitter frustration.
When you live with a drunk, and when that drunk is your daddy, you learn a second language. A language without any words. A language of signals that give clues to the madness around you. Clues to what level that madness has descended at any given time.
If you’re one of the lucky ones, this keeps you safe; mostly. If you’re one of the lucky ones.