Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Writing Sample Wednesday: A Snippet From a Work-In-Progress (Passing Loop)

passing loop (UK usage) or passing siding (North America) is a place on a single line railway or tramway, often located at a station, where trains or trams travelling in opposite directions can pass each other. Trains/trams going in the same direction can also overtake, providing that the signalling arrangement allows it.

This definition is the base of one of my newest Works-In-Progress titled, 'Passing Loop'. 

It's a contemporary, coming-of-age book including three very different generations of very strong women, who are more alike than each of them thinks.

I call this my 'Jodi Picoult' effort. It will be packed full of emotion, humor, love, anger and learning things about ourselves, and of those closest to us, that we never knew.

This snippet is from the first chapter where our main character Chrissella is fighting being moved away from the city she loves to a very small town after finding out her grandmother fell and broke her hip. Needless to say, Chrissella is not impressed.

I will be sharing snippets from this as time goes on. Hopefully, you'll join us.



Toronto, June 2011

“You can make me go but you can’t make me like it,” Chrissella Cantelli said.
“Oh come on, Chrissy,” her mother, Enya, said. “It’s not that bad.”
“How can you say that? You’re kidnapping me to some stupid butt hole small town in the middle of nowhere. All of my friends are here. I only have one year left at school before I go to university, and I just started a job at the coffee house. Why are you doing this to me?”
Her mom shoved bubble wrap on top of an open box, and folded the flaps down. “Stop being so dramatic. First of all, Melville is not that small. There are over 4500 people living there. And I’m not kidnapping you. You are only seventeen. You’re going because I’m your mother and I say so. You’ll survive, I promise.” She ripped off a line of packing tape, pressed it down on top of the closed box, then added, “Besides, I think you could stand to make some new friends.”
“And what’s wrong with my friends?”
“You want the whole list, or just the top ten?”
Chrissella folded her arms across her chest and glared. “That’s really nice. I get into trouble once…”
Enya stopped mid-taping, and raised an eyebrow. “Once?”
“Fine…a few times…”
“Crissy, you cut school, I’ve caught you smoking, I came home from work one night to a bunch of under-aged teenagers drinking in my home, and that one girl…Karen, is it?…making out with some boy in my bed.”
“Mom, they aren’t that bad. Seriously. Don’t you remember being a teenager? And that thing with Karen was crappy. I didn’t invite her. We aren’t even friends. Plus, I didn’t even know that was going on or I would have stopped it.”
Her mom finished taping up the box, then shoved it to the side with the others piled up almost ceiling high. “Maybe if you hadn’t been hanging over the toilet, that is, right? In fact, I think you are still serving a grounding sentence for that little party, if I’m not mistaken.”
Heat rose up Chrissella’s neck, settling into her cheeks. “Well, if I’m not mistaken, you did a lot of those things and more. And you were a lot younger than me.”
Enya froze mid-stride on her way to the kitchen and turned, her face frozen in a glare. “Now look. I ‘get’ that you’re ticked off that I am moving you out of the big city to my hometown. I ‘get’ you’re resentful that I’m taking you out of school so close to graduation to finish somewhere else. I can even ‘get’ that you might not feel great about having to meet new friends. But you do not get to talk to me like that or treat me like crap under your shoe. Yeah, I did make some bad choices when I was younger. But I learned from them, and so will you.” She continued walking, then said over her shoulder, “Now go make sure you have everything packed up in your room and that you have what you need for the trip. The truck should be here soon.”
Angry tears flooded Chrissella’s eyes as she stomped off to her room.
I’m not going to make this easy on anyone, she thought. No one asked me how I felt about moving two provinces away to help care for a grandmother who never gave a hooter’s damn about me.
She flopped face down on her bare mattress lying in the middle of her room. The walls were all bare, the closet empty and all of her possessions packed away in various sized boxes. She flipped over onto her back, staring up at the ceiling fan.
What happened? Two weeks earlier things had been awesome. She had gotten a new job, had planned on saving up for her own car and had actually been doing better in school. Then Lily Gran’s doctor called her mom telling her that the old woman had fallen and broken her hip. Her mom had decided that once Chrissella had finished the school year, they’d pack up and move to Melville to help her grandmother. Moving to a small town after living in the big city her entire life was going to be hard enough. The added ‘bonus’ of being forced to live with Lily Gran was enough to make her want to jump from the top of her apartment building.
“Still mad at me?”
Without taking her eyes off the ceiling fan, Chrisella responded to her mom. “Of course. But you feed me and don’t make me pay rent yet so I’ll force myself to be nice to you.”
Her mother’s gentle hoarse-like laugh echoed around the empty room. “Move over. I’ll join you.”

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