This week, for my confessions of a realistic writer post, I wanted to share a little bit of my work in progress with you. It’s still in a rough draft stage, but I’ve never really shared my writing and I thought it would be a good step for me to take and hopefully useful to you as well.
I’m sharing the first 600+ words of my YA Romance. It’s already been through some revision, so it used to be even crappier. 🙂 I also feel like it’s still in pretty rough shape. So I hope it serves as a good example that writing is a process. And it’s okay for writing to take time to get right. You don’t need to write a perfect first draft. Wherever you are in your writing, your farther than you were before you started. And tomorrow, you can be even farther.
Pop was dead. And Penelope was distraught. She should be mourning his loss. And she was, but she also couldn’t keep her thoughts from drifting to questions she had suppressed for years. Questions about how her life could have been different, maybe even better. If only her birth parents had kept her. If she had never been adopted. No, she pushed the thought out of her head. She loved Pop dearly and would never regret her life with him. She just didn’t know how to move forward without him.
She was sitting in a small office full of wood samples, flower samples, and a woman who smelled strongly of essential oils.
She tuned back in to what the funeral director was saying. “We could go with an oak casket or this Mahogany one.” The woman held up two pieces of wood.
Pop had wanted the simplest and cheapest options. He left everything to Penelope and didn’t want her to waste any of it on an extravagant funeral.
“I sold the stables,” Pop told Penelope a few weeks before he died. She had just brought him breakfast in bed. Doctors orders. He probably ought to have been in the hospital, but Penelope knew he was too stubborn and would rather die at home. She sat on the edge of the bed, holding Pop’s shaking hand. His eyes looked tired, and his unbuttoned shirt hung loose on his frame. Although he hadn’t been out with the horses in over a week, he still smelled like hay. He always smelled like hay. “The house, all the animals, and the land. The money is all yours. And don’t go wasting none of it on a fancy funeral. I reckon I”ll be just as dead and uncomfortable no matter what I’m laid to rest in. And no amount of flowers is going to keep me smelling perty forever,” he said with a chuckle that turned into a cough. “Everything I own, I’m leaving to you.”
“But Pop, the stables have been in your family for generations.”
Penelope knew very well that Pop was born and raised on their 300 acres just as his father was before him. His family had owned the land for over 100 years. It used to be a corn farm and had been one of the biggest farms in all of Nebraska, but Pop had never enjoyed farming. He spent all the time he could with the horses. So when his father died, and they had their worst crop failure, Pop converted the farm into horse stables.
“Penny, my dear girl. You’re 18 and I know you want more than to be a stable girl. I never dreamed I’d have any children to pass it on to, so I never planned to keep it. I’ve sold it to your Uncle Carter. You’ll have a place to stay here as long as you need it, but Uncle Carter and his boys will take over running the stables. He’ll take good care of it. And then his kids will. And then their kids. The horses will stay in the family. They’ll be in good hands my dear girl.”
Along with full-service boarding, they offered horse camps for kids and riding lessons for adults. He and Penelope worked hard to provide a modest living for themselves. Penelope loved the stables and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Her heart dropped at the thought of it not being hers anymore.
No more sleeping under the stars on summer nights. No more playing hide and go seek in the barn. No more tending to the hens she’d had ever since she was a little girl. But without Pop, the stables wouldn’t be the same. Besides, Pop was right. She didn’t want to be a stable girl forever. They both knew this was coming. Penelope knew her days at home were numbered. But that didn’t mean she was ready for the end. Even though she had thought about it.
She’d thought a lot about it.