I started writing poetry in elementary school. One of my best friends and I sat across from each other and exchanged poems always keeping lookout for the teacher. By my high school years, I delved into fiction and published several short stories in “The Ridgewood Eagle”- our school newspaper. I loved the competition with Gary, one of my best friends who wrote short mysteries with surprise endings – or so he thought!
As a teacher, I wrote numerous essays and hoped to get back to fiction… someday. In 2015, I entered the Hammond Regional Arts Contest and won second place for my short story, A Sudden Reprieve, about a family in crisis, rescued by their teenage daughter. I was hooked.
I didn’t anticipate writing a novel, but when my daughter read my short story, Red Shadow, she commented that it seemed like the beginning of a novel. I thought, “Why not?” CC’s Road Home is a result of that conversation.
Reading other authors remains my favorite pastime. My current favorite authors are Shannon Thompson, Jandy Nelson, and Harlan Coben (I know, very different, but I love his novels.)
Here’s the opening from a middle grade short story written in first person. Subscribe on my home page and I will email you a copy of this story. The following is a short excerpt.
OH! HAPPY DAY
Mary Ellen could be as slow as a snail! It was infuriating. The girl had no sense of purpose when she walked and always seemed to be wandering.
I, on the other hand, always had a sense of purpose. It was hard to come up with one – purpose, that is – during this hot Louisiana summer. I was like any other kid. I looked forward to getting out of school, but by the end of June, I almost missed the cool concrete classroom at Thibodeaux Elementary.
My sense of purpose this summer was to find cool places for Mary Ellen and me. Not that she appreciated my work, but I persisted. “Persistence is the gift of great minds,” my Granma always said. The old grey-haired woman looked at me and winked when she said it so that I understood she was talking about me.
“Margaret, you are a persistent child and you will go far because of it,” Granma declared and I beamed at her in return.
On this Sunday morning my persistence paid off. I had a surprise for my friend, and I wondered what she would think about it. As I led her down the road from her house to Bayou Lafourche, I could hear her mumbling already. “This gravel is getting in my sandals. It sure is hot.”
I ignored her as long as I could, but we were already on the edge of the bayou’s bank. As I started down the slope to the water, Mary Ellen screeched, “Are we going down there? Margaret Marie, you know I hate to crawl down that bank. There are snakes down there and stinky bugs! I hate it! Come on. Let’s go back.”
Below is an excerpt from Chapter 1 where CC meets up with Bad Boy Eric for the first time.
CC felt her jaw drop. She couldn’t believe she was in the middle of this. They must think she is a silly kid and that thought that made her mad. Furious! She felt her face getting red and her heart thumping so loud she thought she could hear it. She put her arms at her side so they wouldn’t notice her fists were clamped shut. But no matter how hard she tried to hide her feelings Tall Lean boy was staring right through her. He had her number and his sneer proved it.
For the first time this summer, she was mad at somebody besides Mama.