I am working on a novel. I have written several children's books (which I cannot get published to save my life) so I thought, "Hey, why not waste some REAL time and write a novel?" Below are 2 exerpts, and before I spend any more time on this, I'd like HONEST opinions of how it is. These are 2 of my favorite passages -- one is inflection and one is dialouge. It is not a funny book, it is a "Coming of Age" story if I had to attach a cliche to it. No blowing sunshine up my ass, I only want the truth!
As I watched her say her vows, surrounded by all of her friends and family, it dawned on me what I was feeling. It wasn’t the fear of losing my best friend, it was the realization that I had lost her long ago without realizing it. I had been static in forming new friendships – opting instead for more casual relationships and reserving my “bestness” for her, while she had formed bonds with so many others. I did not know when it had happened, but sometime in the past 5 years, I had ceased being the person who sprang into her mind when she was in trouble, or needed help, or had good news to share. There were new faces surrounding her now that were unfamiliar to me. Hell, I had only met her husband once before the wedding weekend. She hadn’t even asked me to be her maid of honor. Now, as she stood at the alter of this church that I had never been in with this man I did not know with her “bests” all beside her, I felt very alone. I was an “old friend” without any of the warmth that the moniker was supposed to provide. I had no other “bests” to replace her with and so I was drifting between acquaintance and friendship with no tether, no one to draw me close. Why had I sequestered myself? How had I not seen my friend slipping away? Then it was over, the “I do’s” had been recited and I realized that I was crying. Those watching had probably thought it touching that the “old friend” was so moved by her happiness that she’d shed silent tears during the ceremony, but only I knew that I was in mourning for a friendship that had passed into the ether without notice until that moment. I smiled, shook hands, and hugged like a good bridesmaid. I cheered and threw birdseed as the new couple climbed into their limo. I stayed to help clean up the reception hall with the family that I had once regarded as my own. Then I left – I went back to my hotel, packed my car and began the long drive home, alone.
The storm was moving in. The leaves on the trees flashed their lighter undersides as if paling in the face of the angry winds. Their branches waved to and fro as the wind struggled to find a direction. Lightning flashed behind the clouds and thunder rolled across the sky. Then came the rain. Big heavy drops at first and then sheets carried by the increasing wind. Our little porch provided little shelter as the rain went vertical and soaked the wall beside me. I stood there entranced. Unable to move. I loved the rain, but I was in love with the storm. It was majestic, powerful, enthralling.
My mother came to the screen door “Didn’t God give you the sense to get out of the rain?” she said playfully through the door.
“Nope. But He did give me the ability to admire it. Come here.”
She walked out in her bare feet wrapping her thread bare tan sweater around her.
“Oooh, that’s cold rain for June,” she said, “but I ‘spose the Miller’s will be happy. They were getting worried about their corn. Sarah was going on about it at church on Sunday.”
“Hmph. This week she’ll be fawning all over everyone, thanking them for their prayers when none of them probably remembered to pray for her,” I retorted.
“Hey now, be nice. I prayed for her. “
I raised one eyebrow the way I do when I think that my mother isn’t being completely honest with me and folded my arms and leaned back against the wet wall of the house.
“Well, I prayed for rain; it wasn’t necessarily for her, it was for everyone,” my mother replied sheepishly before flashing that devilish grin that my father had loved and that I had rarely seen these past few weeks.
“Granny always said ‘it rains on the just and the unjust.’ I wonder which group Sarah Miller falls in,” I said as I laughed with my mother. We used to laugh all of the time, but not so much since my father had died.