Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday's at the Piedmont Grille

On Today's Menu -- A Meme

A couple of day's ago, Laurel Garver (Laurel's Leaves) passed me a meme. I've seen it around, it's called the Lucky 7 (or something like that) where you go to page 77 in your manuscript and pull out the first 7 sentences, (or 7 paragraphs). I'm supposed to tag 7 people to do the same, but I'm not going to. (I don't like to be pushy.) So, I'll tell you what, if you want to do this, (and I think it's kind of fun) just say you found it here. How's that? No pressure.

I thought this meme was especially fortuitous as I've just published REMEMBERING YOU, my contemporary women's fiction I've been hanging onto for a couple of years. I finished this book in 2009, was in fact, the second book I've ever written ( should clarify - I've written many, this is one I actually finished). I used to post excerpts from time to time. It's about Genna who goes home after a ten year absence and what she finds when she gets there. Remember Tony, and Pete, and Uncle Sally, and Aunt Fortuna. Yeah, that book.

Anyway, here's my meme. I'm doing 7 paragraphs. And funnily enough, this is one of the most highly charged scenes in the book. Angie, Genna's cousin, just finds out she has breast cancer.

*****

The hopelessness in her cousin’s voice unnerved Genna. Angie had never backed down from anything before. Not to Sal and Fortuna when Angie wanted to go to art school and there was no money for tuition. Not to Michael when he said he wanted a stay-at-home wife. Not to her mother-in-law who found fault with everything Angie ever did. Genna didn’t know much about cancer, but she knew if Angie gave up the fight to win the battle over it, she was as good as dead. She wanted to slap Angie, hard, right across the face. Knowing her cousin would reach full-blown hysteria in less than ten seconds, Genna did the only thing she knew to get her cousin grounded.

“Oh, Angie, why can’t you just do what you’re supposed to do instead of wallowing in all this hysterical self-pity? It doesn’t do anybody any good, least of all you.”

Angie looked up wide-eyed, snot mixing with her tears.

“God Angie,” Genna said. “Deal with the facts, not the unknowns. You know, you used to be one of the strongest women I ever knew. You wouldn’t take crap from anybody. Now I can understand how this whole cancer thing might knock you for a loop, but you’re bigger than it, and once you get through all the chemo, you’ll be fine. Once Fortuna goes to her doctor and we have some more information, she’ll be fine. As for Michael, well, that’s none of my business, obviously, but when I talked to him the other day at my party, I could tell he still loves you. Sure, he might have been upset about the affair, but who wouldn’t be? Ang, you’ve got to get it together. Now is not the time to fall apart. People are depending on you not to give up. You need to fight, not surrender.”

Genna hoped her little speech would knock some kind of sense into her cousin. If not, Angie would be completely useless. She’d become paralyzed within her own fear, and indulging in what-ifs would only lead to more hysteria, which no one needed.

The birds didn’t seem to care the two women were dealing with emotional overload and chirped in the branches of the trees overhead, although the silence at the table was deafening.

“You’re right,” Angie finally said. She sat back in the chair and dried her face with the bottom of her shirt. “You’re absolutely right. I need to get it together.” She stared over the back yard.

*****

Now of course, there's a whole lot more to this than I've presented here. Genna isn't as hard hearted as some of you may think. As a matter of fact, during the next few paragraphs, Genna gives Angie all the love and support she needs and by the end of the scene, both women end up laughing as Genna grosses out her cousin with her unshaved legs.

So that's that.

*****

On another note, for those of you who hate the new blogger look, I found a button (the one on your new dashboard that looks like an inner clock works -- if you hit that, you can find the tab that allows you to go back to the old blogger dashboard style. They say they're going to change it to the new one eventually, but I'm keeping the old one for as long as I possibly can.

*****

I hope you all have a great weekend everyone!

14 comments:

Linda G. said...

Oh, nice! Tough love is still love, and it shines through in this excerpt. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks Linda.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Thank you for the tip to get the old blogger format back!!! I'm with you - keeping the old one as long as I can. I really hate the new version.

Talli Roland said...

Tough love words! Great excerpt, Anne!

Anne Gallagher said...

Stacy -- Yeah me too.

Talli -- Thanks Talli!

Sarah Ahiers said...

I think this was such a great Meme going around.
And i'm reading this right now! (though i haven't reached that spot yet. I don't know how close i am, since i'm reading on the kindle and there are no pages, just a percentage)
So far i'm loving it!

Shelley Sly said...

Yup, I've read this scene! I am so excited to see that Remembering You is now published! Any chance it will be out in paperback? I don't have a Kindle, and I have trouble finishing books on my computer because the screen hurts my eyes after a while, so I only read a little at a time. (Same goes for writing, too. My eyes always hurt after I write.) Anyway, congratulations on publishing!! :)

jabblog said...

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind - such a cliche, but it's true. It's strange how tears can turn quickly to laughter and vice versa.

Liza said...

When I first "met" you, you were posting snippets of this! Glad you published it! Thanks for the tip about Blogger. I hate feeling like I have NO idea where to find things. Will I go back? Well that was my first inclination, but then, when the remove that feature, I'll have to learn the new ones all over again. Why is change, under the guise of "improvements" always so difficult?

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Great excerpt! Guess I'll have to get this book too, now, huh?

I guess I must be in the minority. I kinda like the new Blogger stuff. So far.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love the part about the birds. Apparently human crisis is the least of their concerns.

Great excerpt, Anne.

Anne Gallagher said...

Sarah -- This is about the 1/3 mark I think. I'm glad you're enjoying it. I was kind of afraid you wouldn't.

Shelley -- As a matter of fact, paperback is on the to-do list next week. I've got to reformat and everything else so it's going to take some time. But I'm hoping to get it out by the middle of May.

Janice -- I think the leg shaving dialogue is the funniest one in the book.

Liza -- I'm hoping that if enough people 'go back' Blogger will realize we don't want new and keep it the old way. And I'll keep going back for as many times as they'll let me.

Susan -- It's not that I don't like the new Blogger, it's just that it's different. I'm such a creature of habit I have to acclimate myself slowly over time to anything new and improved. Do you have a Kindle? I'll send it to you.

Stina -- Thanks. Yeah, the birds don't really care. They just sit and poop on the umbrella.

Gina Gao said...

This is a really great excerpt. I enjoy your style of writing.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

D.G. Hudson said...

Interesting excerpt and good pep talk. I've had a few friends who've had cancer and survived.

It's the shock of discovery that knocks anyone for a loop.

Hope you have a great weekend too. I can't take you up on the offer of Lucky 7, have to get back to revisions after I polish up the last post for A to Z.

Hope you'll drop by to see it.