Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let's Talk

I forgot that I'd signed up for this blogfest. There's my name, smiling happily at slot number four.
Good thing I decided to look at Blogger this morning and get a gentle reminder...

The Let's Talk Blogfest is hosted by Roni at Fiction Groupie. You can check out the entire list of participants (and it's a hefty one) here.

So without further ado, here is some dialogue from the second scene of my WIP, Saving Me.

As always, mature content (language). 

####

     “Tom Quillian was at church this morning," the sweet, high-pitched voice of my only Aunt Julie informed me over the crackle of her Walmart cellphone. It was just after noon; she would be in the kitchen fixing gravy for the Sunday pot roast, Baptist-best dress covered with the floral apron I'd given her five years ago.
      “What? You're shitting me.” I was in my Sunday-best too, panties and a thin tank-top, hair snarled and skin smelling like sex and Linden's cologne.
      “He was there, sitting right by his mama.” Ice clinked in the background. “He looked so handsome, wearing that uniform.”
       “When did he get back?”
      “Oh, I don't know exactly. A few days ago, I reckon. Anyway, he asked about you.”
My gut clenched and I was glad to already be sitting on the couch. “What'd you say?”
      “Told him that you're fixing to move to California and that you're doing really good.”
      “Oh.” The disappointment in that single vowel sound surprised me. I wondered if Julie could hear it too.
    “He looked good,” she said.
     “You said that.”
      “Well, he did. You should visit him when you come up.”
      “God, Aunt Julie!”
      “I'm just saying!” she interrupted me. “He did ask when you were leaving.”
      “Uh huh.”
     “I think he wanted to see you.”
     “Julie—” My voice rose in warning as all the pieces started falling into place.
     “Oh, hush! It's just lunch, Lily. It ain't gonna kill you.”
     “I wish you'd stop playing fucking matchmaker. It's not happening, Julie. You know that.” I frowned at the throw pillow in my lap. There was only one subject that could catapult me from happy to pissed in five seconds, and Julie had blown the lid off its cover with wild abandon.
     “He asked, Lily! That means something.”
     “Yeah, like he just got back from the goddamn desert and is looking for a piece of ass.”
   Her harsh sigh overloaded the cellphone speaker.
      “Well, I can't stop the boy, Lily. If he wants to see you, he's gonna see you. You could use some company, you know. You haven't been out much since your surgery.”
     "I know. Christ!" I sighed. Besides the fact that I had plenty of company. Well, I had, before he'd gone out the door to meet his girlfriend.
    “Did you tell him to come today?”
     “No,” she said, but she'd always been a terrible liar. Lying was my specialty.
     “You did,” I insisted. “Didn't you?
     Silence told me all I needed to know. I closed my eyes and clenched my teeth.
     "And you gave him my address. Did you at least tell him to call before he comes?"
     "No, but he's a polite boy, Lily. I'm sure he knows that."
Right.
     “Then I'd better go, Aunt Julie. I just woke up.”
She couldn't disguise the self-satisfaction in her tone.
    “Okay, Lily. And when d'you think you'll be coming home?”
I looked around my living room. My entire personal life fit into five boxes. Not even big boxes, but paper-box sizes. “Tuesday, maybe. Probably around noon.”
     “Is Hannah still having that party?”
     “Yeah. It's tonight.”
     “Well, good. You have fun, now.”
     “I will.”
     “Okay, Lily.” A timer dinged on her end. “Oh, there's my roast. I'll see you soon, baby. And listen, I'm sorry. But you two loved each other for so long...it didn't seem right for you to go away without saying goodbye."
     "We said goodbye a year ago.”
     “You know what I mean. And anyway, I've heard he hasn't been the same since he shipped off. Just thought it might help. Both of you. I care about Tom too, you know.”
     “I know. I'll see you in a couple days, then.”
      “Take care of yourself, Lily. I love you.”
      “You too.”

###

Be sure to check out the other entries.

& PS: I may have been misleading yesterday, but I'm still considering myself on hiatus. I'll probably post once a week just so I don't disappear completely.

39 comments:

Christine Danek said...

Love it. Well I think you know that though. :) Great job!;)

Aubrie said...

This is a great conversation! You show so many things going on without coming out and saying it. Excellent conversation writing!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Summer, there's such wonderful fluidity to your writing. I loved this! Lily's voice was so strong -- she's a great MC!

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

An excellent write, a good conversation piece, so enjoyable.

Yvonne.

Kate said...

I love dialogue that reveals so much about a story. It comes across so organically. Would definitely read on.

Crystal Cook said...

He, he, he. Loved it! This was one of my favorite parts :)

And I'm glad you got a chance to read the Reckoning!

Falen said...

oooh i absolutely loved the Sunday Best line. Loved it. I kept thinking about it as i read the rest of the entry

Piedmont Writer said...

This was so great I wish I'd written it! The familial easiness just flowed, you could tell they were closer than aunt and niece. Great Great Great job!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great exchange!

Charity Bradford said...

Nice, now I want to hear their conversation when the doorbell rings. ;)

Tara said...

Um, did I see a semicolon in there ;p

Great dialog. Can't wait to get my hands on this.

DL Hammons said...

I could totally relate with Lily in that piece. Nothing blows my top more than a meddling friend/relative with good intentions! Great job!! :)

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Wonderful entry! Such great dialogue!!!


Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Abby Annis said...

Great scene! Very intriguing. :) And I totally get the manipulative relatives. I think maybe she wanted to crawl through the phone and strangle the woman. ;)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Loved this. Two distinct voices--both funny and spirited. I was drawn into the story, curious about what had happened between Lily and Tom. Her aunt is a hoot, and you put lots of good descriptives in. Good read!

Eric W. Trant said...

I like the colloquialism but for the "reckon" part. I see you're from GA, so maybe they say it in GA, but ever since I watched a Hollywood western (I forget the name, thankfully) where every sentence ended in I reckon, I've had a strong distaste for the word.

Honestly, I've lived in Deep East Texas and the rural Gulf Coast my whole life, and I don't think I've ever heard anyone use the word, and my roots are deep in the woods.

GA may have a different twang.

Point is, be authentic.

Anyway, "reckons" notwithstanding, I liked the gentle accent you gave to the Aunt, and the heavy sarcasm you added into the MC, and how different their tones were.

You also did a great job mixing the action with the dialogue. You kept both moving, and I felt like I needed to read every paragraph, every sentence. I often skim, but yours grabbed my collar and insisted I read the whole dang thing.

And I did.

Good piece.

Enjoy your hiatus.

- Eric

Summer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Summer said...

Thanks to all who have read and commented! Glad you're liking it. :-)

@Eric: I've lived in GA for almost my whole life, and "reckon" is something that just about everybody says, even my highly-educated dad who doesn't have the barest hint of a twang. :-) I could see how your western experience could off-put you, though. I'm fairly certain this is the only place in the whole book that I used it. :-) Thanks for your insightful comment!

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Love this and the use of the dialect. I get a great sense of your character's voice, too.

Thanks for participating!

Simon C. Larter said...

Ha! I was kind of expecting Tom to knock on her door even before the end of the phone call. I wonder if she'll manage to shower before he arrives....

Nicely done, good lady. You've certainly got an ear for dialogue. Also, how great is that "Sunday best" line?

Lola Sharp said...

I hope she gets the scent of skank sex off her before he comes a'knockin'!

Loved the Sunday best line, too.
Great job...can't wait to get my paws on it.

Love,
Lola

Palindrome said...

I'm with everyone, the "Sunday best" line is brilliant. :)

Shelley Sly said...

This is great!! I get such a strong sense of who Lily is, and I find her foul mouth hilarious, personally. Wonderfully written!

bookewyrme said...

Hehe, oh those meddling aunts. For some reason, this whole scene made me grin a little. In sympathy, of course. ^_^

~Lia

Write Chick said...

Great job with this scene. I feel like I know your MC, and I've only read this one portion. I loved it.

Shelli said...

I know that mature content is an author's personal choice, and I'm not criticizing it. Seriously, I'm not looking down my nose or judging. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the advance warning, and I won't be reading your entry. I feel kinda sad for both of us. :(

L'Aussie said...

Very earthy characterisation with what is obviously a close relationship between aunt/niece. Loved the Sunday best/Baptist best descriptions...well done...

C R Ward said...

I loved the Sunday best descriptions and the whole conversation. I wish I talk like this to my Aunt, but only in my head. :-)

Jemi Fraser said...

We know a lot of the history between these folks in this short snippet. Really well done :)

Susan Fields said...

Great job - that Aunt Julie is a sly one. :) I love your dialogue, the whole piece flows so smoothly.

Guinevere said...

I love the dialogue here, and Lily (and her aunt) both come into such sharp relief here -- very nicely drawn characters.

Moira Young said...

You sure don't pull any punches with your dialogue. I really liked the contrast between Lily's thoughts and dialogue and the images (and voice) of her aunt.

Jen said...

Loved this... but you already knew that now didn't you!!

Valerie said...

Good voices here, and just enough description sprinkled throughout. And of course the line about her most recent fling leaving for his girlfriend tells you a lot about the character.

Genie of the Shell said...

What drama! Your characterization is sharp, and I love how you have injected so much story into this short conversation. You do a great job with dialogue.

Amalia T. said...

This was a really interesting scene! I want to know what happens next-- does Tom show up? Do they get back together? I can just imagine the awkwardness of it, when it happens! Well done with the dialogue! I was instantly immersed in the characters.

Tahereh said...

wow this was awesome -- and so authentic!!

i'm so disappointed i don't get to see how things turn out when they meet up.

excellent writing :D

Lisa and Laura said...

Nicely done, nicely done. I take away so much from this scene and yet it's done very organically--not an info dump in sight. I really enjoyed this one! And I love her Sunday best...that's awesome.

ralfast said...

I love a lady than can drop an F-Bomb with the best of them, also the tank-top/hair smell combo worked very well. Said a lot with the minimum of words.

Great stuff!