Sneak Peek Sunday

I’m trying to finish my holiday novella, “Tasteless Holidays.” Would love some feedback on this sneak peek, and to that end, the first person to make a meaningful comment will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card. This is a scene I pictured when I started writing the novella, but it’s not quite going the way I planned…

Christmas Eve—six months later
Lorrie took in the scent of pine from the Christmas trees in the hallway of the church near the house she shared with Scotty. She held little Betsy in her arms, running her hands over her daughter’s thick brown hair and treasured every moment with her.
Things weren’t exactly going the way she’d thought they would. Lorrie had always hoped to open her own beauty shop, but she still wasn’t back to work at Wellstone. It was hard to open a business when she hadn’t made any money except unemployment compensation. Scotty hadn’t been called back to work for Judge Sherman either, so he’d taken a lot of different jobs like taking inventory or answering the phone and filling orders at Reese’s T-shirt business.
“Ladies and gentlemen…” Reverend Dellinger intoned, in a solemn voice. “Please open your Christmas hymnbooks to page 17, and join in singing ‘Silent Night.’”
That wasn’t one of Lorrie’s favorite songs mostly because her dear brother had teased her about her misheard song lyrics for all thirty-seven years of her life. Jay, seated to Lorrie’s right in the pew, was dressed in a blue suit and a white shirt and tasteful Christmas tie decorated with embroidered presents on it. Reese sat next to him, clad in black slacks and a red sequined sweater that glimmered when she moved. Looking out the stained glass windows, Lorrie saw a light dusting of snow falling outside. Perfect, she thought, though things weren’t perfect…exactly. Everyone joined the reverend in singing “Silent Night,” but Jay started to sing the words she’d always thought people were singing for years—“run young virgin.”
Lorrie had an attack of the giggles. Everyone in the church suddenly became silent. Oh, great…she was a walking, talking sitcom. Wasn’t it bad enough that she’d gone into labor in Jay’s cab? She wished she could stop the laughing tornado, but her brother cracked her up—even when he was being a dork. Scotty looked at her and grinned widely, a twinkle in his blue eyes.
That did her in altogether. Carrying the baby carrier with Betsy in tow, Lorrie walked into the hallway, still laughing. “Your Uncle Jay is…” she laughed again. “so funny. I’m sorry, Betsy. I’m not being a very good role model, but it’s your uncle’s fault.”

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

5 thoughts on “Sneak Peek Sunday

  1. I love your descriptions, you put me in the middle of winter. Which was super good considering the temp may reach triple digits today. Thanks for the free a/c. 🙂

    The one thing that bothered me was that it feels more like a prologue, beginning, or even middle of a story rather than the epilogue. In my mind the epilogue is like a pretty bow that wraps up the package. It doesn’t have to be a happy ever after thing. However, it feels like there are more problems to be resolved and no idea of how to resolve them. If she hasn’t gone back to work, maybe she’s enjoying the time with her daughter and is finding ways to save little bits of money for her dream. Her husband is out of work, but finds numerous part time jobs, maybe one of them can lead to a full time job, or the extra time at home can make their marriage stronger, or maybe he looks into ways of starting his own business.

    Maybe reading the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey used to say) will allow the reader to be satisfied with this epilogue. Maybe (gasp!) you don’t need the epilogue, the ending might be strong enough on it’s own.

    I love the characters, and the glimpse of their personalities. I could so easily see a child mis-hearing the words of that song and a brother teasing her about it. I imagine I’d love the entire story because of your description, even remembering (I always forget) the sense of smell, the pine tree in the hall. Good luck with the story.

    1. Thanks so much for all the food for thought, Nita. I knew something was bugging me about this scene…maybe I don’t need it..or maybe it needs to be moved…

      Glad to provide the free a/c–temps here are in the 90s.

      So glad you stopped by!

  2. I think its a little hard to give feedback on such a small part of the story. As the reader, I’m reading it out of context and I don’t know the characters or what the rest of the content is like. I think it was cute that her brother used the same lyrics of Silent Night that she’d used when she didn’t know the words…but w/out the rest of the story, the reader doesn’t really know the significance of this particular scene.

    If the ending or story is not going the way you envisioned, I’d say sit on it for awhile and then play around with it again until you get it just the way you want. All the best to you Nancy!

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