Well the California family has come and gone and the house is quiet again. Now I sit here sipping an Eggnog with Fireball, watching the forecast as we prepare for some cold weather. Well, cold for South Texas. We should be down into the upper 30s by Christmas Eve. It will be nice because in past Christmases it has been in the mid-seventies, and it was eighty last week. Our oldest son laughs because he lives in Idaho. He is going home to mid-teens and snow.
It was a great visit and yes, my sister was able to make the trip, thank God. Her cardiologist gave her the half thumbs up, and she did well out here for the most part. She was sick a couple of days, but landed on her feet and we were able to have a great visit. I loved the time we all had together. Now they are on a plane back to California, and two of our boys are on planes back to their states.
Writing had been put on hold, even with Weekend Writing Warriors. I am eagerly waiting for January 1 so I can begin editing this book. Until then, I can share the existing snippets and rest up. Hope everyone has a great week and is able to celebrate the holiday surrounded by those you care about the most.
God bless, and until next week, here we go with this week’s snippet!!
I am still developing my full synopsis.
Stephanie Marshall is the owner of a successful writing firm. She has an office and a staff who write prose for big clients across the Charlotte, NC area. Her company is in demand, but she is struggling with the monotony of home life. She is on the verge of an affair and on her way to a rendezvous when our angelic friend, Carter Jennings, steps in to teach her three lessons about life. One from her past, one from her present life, and one about her future self that will leave her in a state of shock, placing two paths before her.
Last time we spoke Stephanie had just arrived home from work. She washed off the scent from her hug from Kenneth, her co-worker, whom she had been seeing after hours. She is now at home and in the kitchen reheating the dinner her husband had cooked. We ended the snippet with her heading upstairs to check on the kids.
First a bit from last time:
Stephanie headed to the kitchen and heated up the leftovers. One thing that Jason was good for was he was one heck of a cook. Even though the game was on, he didn’t just throw a pizza in the oven or nuke anything for Evelyn and Joshua. Stephanie looked to the ceiling. Both kids were probably lost in video games or television by now. She had been so wrapped up in erasing evidence she had forgotten to knock on their doors. She put the plate her husband had prepared, set the timer, and headed back upstairs.
Now here we go with our new snippet:
“How is your mocha, Stephanie?” the named greeting made Stephanie jump.
“I haven’t tasted it yet,” she said with a bit of hesitation. Why was this stranger addressing her? Did she know him?
The man lowered his paper. He was older, with white hair peeking from under a tweed hat and facial hair to match. His smile was wide, and his grey eyes glowed. “I apologize. I didn’t mean to startle you. Just making small talk as we wait.”
There is your eight… but here is a bit more. It may seem a bit long, but it is dialogue.
“Alright,” Stephanie said, still unsure what to make of the stranger.
“You are Stephanie Marshall, columnist, am I correct?”
Stephanie released her held breath. She realized he was reading the Evansville Examiner where she has a weekly column. It being Thursday, her article would within the section he was reading. So, the man saw her face, heard Tiffany call her name, and put two and two together. “Yes, sir, I am. Thank you for reading.”
“You are a fabulous writer,” the man said. “I love to read. And you make it worthwhile if I do say so.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“The name is Carter Jennings,” Carter said, extending his hand.
Stephanie accepted it. Then looked down at his drink, “So black coffee, Carter?”
“I find anything else this early too extravagant.”
“I see,” Stephanie commented.
“So why a coffeehouse? You can get simple coffee anywhere and pay half as much.”
“I’ve heard good things about this place, and I’m always up for trying a location at least once. Now I check Latte Loco off my list.”
“So, you are a connoisseur then,” she asked.
“You can say that,” Carter said, sipping his cup.
“I’m a bit of one myself,” Stephanie said. “How would you rate this place.?”
“It’s good, but I wouldn’t write home about it.”
“And where is home?”
Carter laughed, “I am from here and there.”
“And where is there.”
“My last was just south of Houston. A smaller community, much like this one.”
“So, you are a vagabond?”
“Ha. No, far from it. Why do I look like one?”
Stephanie looked Carter over. Then met his eyes. “Well, from the tweed, I would say so, but you are far too clean to be one,”
“Thank you. I do my best to remain hygienic,” Carter chuckled.
“I see. So, what brings you to Evansville? Work?”
“You can say that.”
“And what is work for you?”
“I like to help people,” Carter said plainly.
“Ah. How is that?”
“I find out what they need and help them meet that need.”
“Mmhmm,” Stephanie said, nodding.
The barista called her name, and Stephanie turned her head, “Well, Mr. Jennings, it was a pleasure talking to you. I need to get going.”
“Pleasure was mine.” He smiled. “Oh, and you may want to take this.” Carter handed her his paper. You may find something of interest here.”
“Yes, I know my piece came out today,” Stephanie said.
“Well, take it anyway. I insist. It’s always good to hold onto something special to us. We never know when what we hold dear to us will be lost. Then when it is found again, our joy will be inexplicable. Have a pleasant day, Stephanie.”
Here we introduce Carter to the story. He is the angelic being and common thread to the Little Reminders series. I do feel this conversation could be a bit lengthy and plan to look at it during revisions, but with it being the first time we meet Carter, and establishing a rapport with Stephanie, it could fit considering the overall scene as a whole. Right now it is just a cut and paste from the unedited WIP.
It does seem though that Carter is interested in her taking his copy of the paper. Could this mean something?
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The Transference (2022)
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Thank you for visiting my page this week. I look forward to your input on my snippet. Have a blessed week. I pray you have had a successful year with your writing goals. IF you are almost there, keep pressing on. There are still a couple of weeks left. I know the holidays are there and it may be extra tough to get time away to pen a few words, but the extra effort is worth the payoff. You can succeed at any goal you set your heart and mind to. You just need to be willing to do what it takes to accomplish it.
Have a wonderful week my writing buddies. You all are always in my prayers and have a very Merry Christmas. And just for the fun of it, here is a photo of the reason I do what I do, these five angels.
Dylan, Roger, Chris, Audrey, and Matt.
In His Exciting Service,
Jeff S. Bray
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13 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – 12/18/22 – Little Reminders of Who I’m Going to Be – Carter is Back”
I like Mr. Jennings already. Merry Christmas to you, Jeff!
Merry Christmas, Kate. Carter is a character alright. He is the reason this has been stretched into three books. This novel being the third.
I love these stories with Carter. So warm and uplifting – just when you need him! Happy Holidays, Jeff. What a great looking bunch!
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Yes. I love Carter!! Thanks. So glad I got time with all of them.
I enjoyed the snippet and I love the mystery of why he wants her to take the paper…I love stories with angels. Putting on an editing hat, yes definitely tighten up the dialog. (I’d lose the exchange about vagabonds, tweed and hygiene for one thing.) It’s a very necessary conversation for them to have, since the reader knows he’s an angel, right, so they’re “in on the joke” but I’d get to the bottom line faster. BUT first/early drafts should be written as they flow for you and there’s plenty of time later to prune and polish. Happy holidays!
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Definitely agree. As I was writing the snippet I was tempted to edit it. It is too long of an exchange and it gets boring after a bit. By the third book, people know who Carter is, and that his signature is his tweed hat and coat. But I may keep some of it, but I do agree about the hygiene part. Thanks for the input. It helps. 🙂
Carter is friendly, but mysterious. I enjoyed the excerpt!
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Thanks, Kate. Have a wonderful holiday.
I confess I felt a bit lost in the transition between the eight and the dialogue between Carter and Stephanie. That said, I really liked the meeting. Though… not sure I would trust Carter based on what he says, if I were her. Yet… Interesting.
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Yeah. It is one of the reasons I usually don’t put in the break. I put it in this time because I felt guilty for not putting it in when others do. It just disrupts the flow. Thanks for reading and the compliment.
His approach is similar to one Nyarlathotep might use in one of my stories. I imagine his intents are less sinister.
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You say sinister… I would hope so. Carter only has the best in mind.