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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vacation for Sweet Saturday Sample

My husband has managed to wrangle a vacation out of his slave-driving place of work (for which we are eternally grateful in this economy). We're escaping Arizona for the least expensive hotel we could find near the ocean. The Pacific, the ocean that saw me grow up! I will get back to all of you on Sweet Saturday when I get back (which will be far too soon).

Here's a sample from a WIP, about a self-centered young lady who grew up in California, went to college in Rhode Island, and has a really special sister. I don't know if this is going to come to a conclusion soon, or if it will become a novella or an accidental novel. Most of it is as sweet as can be, but there is one disturbing image, which could push the whole thing to PG-13.

Here, Emily, the narrator, meets her love interest for the first time.

* * * 

I was leaving a final paper in my professor’s department mail box on the last day of December reading period when I saw one of the graduate students pinning up a flier with a picture of mounds of dirt and happy people smiling amid the muck.

“Hey, what’s that?” I said even as he was turning to leave, a stack of papers crammed into his backpack.

“What’s what?” he replied, wearily.

“That.” I pointed, as if I couldn’t go up and read it myself. It was my right as an undergrad to be taught by these people.

He put his arm against the wall to balance the weight of his backpack as well as underline what the flier said. “Field Studies in Africa. Make the most of your summer. Study archaeology in the field with respected experts while earning course credit!”

“Ooh,” I said, mirroring his half-sarcastic tone. He looked familiar. “Hey, didn’t you TA one of the archaeology classes?”

“Intro to Prehistory, section 4, and Field Arch, section 5.”

I looked into his exhausted green eyes and wanted to drown. I hadn’t taken either of those courses myself, but if I’d known he was the TA, I would’ve signed up.

“Are you going to do the field study?” I asked.

He nodded with as little effort as possible. “Herding all the undergrads, probably getting Professor Marsden his coffee.”

“See you next semester,” I called to him as he trudged away down the hall. No one else was in the room, so I took the tacks out of the flier and folded it carefully into my own backpack.

I hauled my bag downstairs from my dorm room all by myself. As I waited for the taxi to the airport, I clutched the folded flier with gloved fingers. It started the way he’d said:

Field Studies in Africa. Make the most of your summer. Study archaeology in the field with respected experts while earning course credit.
The Middle Awash of Ethiopia is the most persistently occupied place on Earth. Join some of the most important scholars in a unique field study where you can make a real contribution to the newest science being done right now. The fossils are eroding right out of the ground. You could discover an important six-million-year-old specimen yourself!

The photographic collage, arranged around the dustily happy people digging in the ground that had caught my eye at first, showed carefully reconstructed skeletons of Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus, and Homo erectus as well as a scenic view of what, strangely, looked to be Victoria Falls, and for good measure a tribesman of the Afar Desert complete with red, black and white woven clothing and Adidas sneakers.
* * *  

Thanks for taking a look. Let me know what you think. I appreciate all constructive comments, so very much!