Sunday, November 30, 2014

#SampleSunday excerpt from my latest Work In Progress

For lots of folks, today marks the end of NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. For me, it's the end of the November Writing Challenge, which isn't really an ending because the work isn't done yet. It's "well begun" and well begun is half done, as Mary Poppins says.

I've spent November working on a project I call "Crawdad". I started it over the summer and worked on it ever since. I have a rough draft now that I'm piecing together, since I wrote the parts somewhat out of order. I'd like to share an excerpt with you for #Sample Sunday. :) If you're interested, read on down.

I've also been querying another project called The Color of Water. There are at least three pitch events on Twitter this month, so I plan to pitch it as much as I can. Aside from attending conferences, Twitter really is the best place to reach agents and editors you might not ever get to meet otherwise. Twitter is where my first two books found their homes, so it does work. If you follow me on Twitter, I'm apologizing now; my tweets early in December will consist of A LOT of repetitive pitching. Sorry. :)

I'll also be book blogging a lot in December. There's the Small Press and Indie Book Blog Hop coming up Dec. 5-12 and my book Hush Puppy will be hosted by Diverse Book Tours starting Dec. 8 . Diverse Book Tours was started by my favorite Twinjas book reviewers to help promote diversity in literature. If you follow this blog, you're sure to see several posts sponsored by Diverse Book Tours.  I also post Month 9 Books cover releases and book tours. Month 9 Books is publishing my book Vessel in 2015, so watch for that and add it to your Goodreads list. If there's another small press publisher that does more to promote their authors online, I sure haven't seen it. I'm so excited to be in the Month 9 Books family. :)

Whew! With all that going on, I'm sure glad I decided to finish my Christmas shopping in October! I hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday season peeps :)

~Crawdad Excerpt~

Sometimes people do the best they can, but it ain't no good. There's no shame in it. Well, maybe there is, but there's nothing you can do about it anyway. No use getting mad about it. 

The day my mama died I'd been sitting there, wondering what I was gonna do, just like I had for the last three days of mama's coma. The hospice lady said I should tell mama is was all right to let go, but I didn't want to. I wanted her to sit up in bed and tell me what the hell she was thinking when she said I wasn't really her son. Who else's son would I be? Hadn't she been with me every single day of my life? It was only seventeen years, but I remembered her in almost every one of them. She was my mom as sure as August in Alabama is miserable hot, as sure as honey sticks to your fingers, and then she had to go and ruin it all.

"Jamil," she whispered to me, cause the emphysema had stolen most of her raspy voice. "I need to tell you something."

"It's OK, Mama. I know you wished you'd never smoked."

She done told me that about a million times. Made me swear on my immortal soul I'd never do it. I couldn't tell her I already had.

"It's not that."

She raised a bony hand for me to hold, her nails like claws they'd gotten so long. I took her hand and leaned in close so she wouldn't have to talk loud.

"There ain't much time left, so I better tell you this while I still can."

"Aw Mama, you gonna get better."

"No, I ain't Jamil. No time left. I just want to meet my maker with a clear conscience."

I couldn't imagine what she was talking about. My mama always had a "strong moral compass" she called it. She taught me right from wrong with a switch so I'd have one too, whatever it was.

"Then what is it?" I asked.

"I ain't..." she paused, her face bunched up like something hurt her.

"You need a nurse?"

"No. I ain't your mama."

"What?" I was sure my ears heard her wrong.


  1. Wow! Please finish so I can read the rest of this book. Just...Wow! If this is an indication of how the rest of the book will be then I'll be the first one to purchase. :D

  2. Thanks! You made my day, whoever you are :) I am working hard on getting it together. I plan to edit over the winter and start querying maybe by March if all goes well. I'm very happy with how it's coming along. In the meantime, feel free to read my other books! Haha! :D