Sunday, August 28, 2011

Belated Saturday Night Special - WIP Excerpt Part 1

Hey everyone, sorry I've been a bad blogger and haven't been as active as I should be. Been having some personal problems l lately, and they've made me super depressed.

But anyway! Here's the WIP excerpt you've all been waiting for! And even better is that you get Part 2 next week! Yay!

Title: Untitled
Length: 526 words
Rating: TV-PG for poor decisions
History: I've been working on this novel for the summer, but the idea for it came years and years ago. I'm just now writing it because I feel like I've finally gained enough wisdom to do the idea justice. Before this excerpt, the main character (she's a nineteen year old girl) has run away from Pennsylvania after her mother is arrested. She's made her way to North Carolina and is trying to figure out how she's going to live in a strange state with no college education and no money. We meet her as she's about to hitchhike out of Raleigh and into Oxford. Fair warning: This hasn't been seen by my writers group yet, just Other.


The day was hot, I remember, and I was overheated, but I didn’t want to open up one of my water bottles just yet.  I had tried to dress in my lightest clothing, but cropped jeans and an old shirt isn’t exactly comfortable in the Carolina heat, especially with the heavy moisture in the air.  Even the clouds were heavy, iron grey on the horizon, a warning of rain.  I stood on the side of highway and held out my thumb.

Sometimes I wonder how I didn’t manage to get myself killed pulling a crazy stunt like that.  All sorts of nutcases could have gotten a hold of me, and a little pocketknife wasn’t going to a damn thing about it.  But I was lucky.  I didn’t catch a nutcase.  I just caught a harmless weirdo driving off to nowhere.

When he pulled over, I was tempted to run.  The car was a beat up old Subaru, with a mismatched bumper and all sorts of political bumper stickers stuck all over it.  I couldn’t even tell what color it was supposed to originally be, just that it was something between red and brown with a black bumper.  I was kind of hoping that he was just slowing down for reasons totally not related to my thumb, but he pulled up right ahead of me and stepped out of the car, and I have to admit, I took a step back because he scared me.  He had one of those huge beards that covered most of his face and long curly hair that covered the other half.  His eyes were mostly hidden by his bangs, he was wearing some ripped, stained button down with ripped, stained jeans.  And he had combat boots on.  I wanted to run so badly.

“Hey, where you going?” he asked, and his voice was higher-pitched than what his barrel body would have suggested.

“I dunno,” I answered.

The beard broke into a crooked smile and with even more crooked teeth.  “You a runaway?”

“You could say that.”

“Cool.  Hop in!”

I stayed where I was.  “Why?  Where’re you going?”

He picked at something in his matted mess of hair.  “Oxford.  Gonna poke around the farmlands for a job.  Get on in and I’ll take you there.  Always wanted to pick up a runaway.”

“What’s in Oxford?”

“Nothing much.  A post office, a few corners, one of those Episcopalian bookstores, and lots of land.  Too much land.  Most people dunno what to do with all that land.  That’s where I come in.”  He leaned up against his car and spread his arms.  “I go to them and I say that there is a lot of land.  Too much land for you to take of by yourself.  I tell them that I, John C. Winston, grandson of the Mr. Winston the road is named after, can help them take care of their land.  For a price of course.”  He looked at me and grinned again, expectantly I assumed.  I shrugged and scuffed my feet.

“Do you get a lot of offers?”

“Nope,” he says, laughing.  “But it can’t hurt to try.  So you coming or what?”


  1. He sounds like an interesting character. I wonder what will happen to the main character!

  2. Hi Marlena,

    It sounds interesting and definitely something I'd like to read about more of!

  3. Hi everyone!

    The Golden Eagle: Thanks! You'll have to tune in next week to find out!

    Nas: I'm glad you like it!

  4. Marlena, you're much to sweet and talented to deserve problems that leave you depressed. I'm over here cheering you on!

    First, I love your wise words about how the idea for this book came to you years ago, but you have to know when to wait to start writing something until you feel as if you've gained enough wisdom to do an idea justice. And I'll say you're ready to write this novel; it totally rocks!

    Your character’s voice is incredible as well as how you set the scene with spot-on descriptions that let us feel her problems. I don't like to wish my life away, but I sure am eager to read Part II. Outstanding!

  5. ...left us hanging!

    Great excerpt, Marlena ;)


  6. Thank you all for dropping by!

    Michelle: Aw, thank you so much! That makes me feel about a hundred times better. And I'm glad you liked the excerpt! You have no idea how having your stamp of approval makes writing it so much more fun.

    Elliot: I have to keep you all coming back now, don't I? (; I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Really interesting read. I want to know what happens, but my horror reading background is worried, probably for no reason :)

  8. I know you have already been Liebstered. But I'm giving you the award again on my blog today!!

  9. Hi Kelle, Isis!

    Kelley: Thanks! And don't worry, the horror won't set in. Yet...

    Isis: I saw! I will put it forward tomorrow or Wednesday. Thanks!

  10. Hi Marlena, I enjoyed this. The protagonist has a distinct voice, as does the hairy guy. I love it that his description of Oxford includes "a few corners." I look forward to Part 2.

    I hope you're feeling better!

  11. I bet she goes. She shouldn't, but I bet she does.

    It's well done. Changes will probably be slight. Heavy Humidity could replace all those words. And maybe a hint about what kind of bumper stickers.

    Thanks for sharing this fun piece. I liked the dialogue.

  12. Good excerpt! I like the MC, she's got spunk. I hope the crooked smile guy doesn't hurt her. Hitchhiking is so dangerous!

  13. Hi Katie, Theresa, and Emily!

    Katie: Thank you! Oxford is so deliciously tiny, you could walk it in probably an hour.

    Theresa: Aw, is it that obvious? And thanks for the compliment! I wasn't sure what bumper stickers should be on his car, so I'll probably ask around to get a feel for it. (:

    Emily: It is! I never did it, but it's always something that I've kind of wanted to try. Thanks!

  14. Now I am, Those yets always get me :)

  15. Never get into a subaru with a stranger.

  16. Hey Marlena!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday :)
    And it's funny, I'm also working on an idea that came to me years ago! Sometimes ideas then to stick with you, and no matter what you have to write them down, right?
    And I'm intrigued with your idea! :D

  17. Hi everyone!

    Kelley: Yet is such a dangerous word. (:

    Michael: Chevrolets yes, Subarus no.

    Monica: Thank you for stopping by! I loved your blog when I was there and plan on coming back. Ideas are so sticky! This one refused to leave me alone and I finally sat down to write it out. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  18. Love your sample. Isn't writing grand?

    We're in the same group! Yeah!

  19. Hi Rachel, thanks for stopping by!

    I just love writing. It's really one of my favorite pastimes. And we are! I didn't even realize that! Power to us!

  20. I think I'd be tempted to run, too! I feel sorry for your girl. She seems a little...confused. Mixed up. But very brave at the same time!

    The man has me curious as well. He could go either way, either turn out to be a real sweetie who just needs to sort out his image, or turn out to be the axe-slinging hobo that the girl would be right to be scared of! I hope he turns out like the first far he seems cute! Either way, I can't wait to read what comes next :) x

  21. I'm glad her confusion was noticeable! (: I was trying for that.


Thank you for dropping by!