First Three Pages (Old Version 2018) Editing Final Draft 9/2019

-1-

Center Lovell 1957

The summer of 1952, Elizabeth’s stay with grandmother had ended on a bad note. Uncle Gus threw her clothes in the trunk of the car, clenched his teeth and said, “Dammit to hell, you’re done here, you’re comin’ with me.”

Driving the two-miles from her uncle’s marina to grandmother’s farmhouse, the awful memory came back. Elizabeth’s heart pounded. She gripped the steering wheel, pulled over, and closed her eyes.

Early morning on the gravel lakefront road, grandmother had driven me to my cleaning job at Aunt Dot and Uncle Gus’s lodge. She had fumed about me slacking off on farmyard chores, and had screamed. “You’re nothin’ but a lazy good-for-nothin’ kid.” (Not her favorite 13-year-old grandchild).  She had been in a vile mood, butI had asked,“Gee whiz, grandma, why don’t you like me?” Grandmother slammed on the brakes, and glared at me. She slapped me across the face and punched me. I cringed away from the blows, flung the door open, jumped out and ran. Grandmother stomped on the gas pedal and chased after me. I heard the car coming closer, but I didn’t look back. I ran faster and made it to the lodge. Uncle Gus found me sobbing, crouched on the kitchen floor. His face turned red, and he yelled, “What in god’s name happened to you?”

Elizabeth shook the images out of her head, drove the last mile, and parked in the driveway. Paint had peeled off the Colonial house and the adjacent two-story. Her grandmother fell on hard times after she sold the beachfront resort, Sunset Inn. Elizabeth rubbed a hand across her forehead. Uppermost in her mind, if grandmother’s mood took a dive too, she’d have to deal with her, alone.  

Earlier, when she called Elizabeth, she soundedher straight to the point, old self. “Heard you’re here for the summer before nursing school. Stop by, I’m home.”  Elizabeth had said, “Sure, grandma.” Not asking why after so many years?

She stepped out of the car, thankful the scent of pine trees hadn’t changed. She smoothed long brown hair away from her face, set Cat-Eye sunglasses on top of her head, and walked to the front door.

Gray-haired, plump, grandmother greeted her as if nothing had ever happened between them. “Look at you all grown up. It’s been a long time.”

No hug or hand shake, she turned and walked through the living room.  Elizabeth followed. A stark contrast to the sun-filled day, dark, overstuffed Victorian furniture and embroidered pillows cluttered the room. Knickknacks and books filled the side tables. A Hammond organ took up the far wall.

Grandmother’s voice trailed behind her. “I want you to know sometimes when people get old they do things they’re sorry for.”

Elizabeth paused mid-step. She held her tongue. If she made a remark the visit would not end well. Grandmother’s off-hand sorry (for scaring the bejesus out of her)had to be enough.

In the dining room, she stood in front of grandmother seated on a velvet-cushioned chair aside the oak table. She cleared her throat. “Nice to see you, too.”

Grandmother pulled up her flowered housedress to the knees. “Now, take a look at my legs. Tell me what you think.”

Elizabeth bent down and slid a hand over her swollen legs. “How long have they been like this?”

“A few months.” She pointed to The 1951 Family Physicianbook on the table. “That says it’s the way my heart pumps.”

“Dad takes a water pill for blood pressure. We could ask him.”

“I don’t want anyone to know. You find out, seeing as you’ll be a nurse.”

Elizabeth smiled, amazed she asked for help. She put her hand on grandmother’s shoulder. “Okay, I’ll find out for you.”

Grandmother didn’t resist the touch. She looked up at Elizabeth. “Well, good! Now, I’ve got more to say, Elizabeth. I’ll make tea, and I baked those brownies you liked so much. Never know though, maybe you don’t eat em’ since you’re a model. Karl sent me the picture of you posing on a billboard, always a pretty girl.”

Elizabeth’s eyes widened. The compliment and warm welcome a surprise first. She followed grandmother into the kitchen. “Thanks. Nice you and Dad keep in touch.”

“Sit down. I’ve got to get something.” She turned on the stove burner under the teakettle, and disappeared into a small office off the dining room.

Grandmother came back with a folded white lace handkerchief in her hand.

“I remember that in your jewelry box years ago. You grabbed it from me.”

“Ah ha, now you’re older. I’m not living much longer, and I’m giving you your grandfather’s gold pocket watch. Don’t tell the family about it.”  Grandmother put the watch into Elizabeth’s outstretched hand.

Sunset Inn is a book based on real and fictional characters 

There are twists and turns, crises, romance (sighs) and travel in the story. The final draft manuscript is in my editor’s hands! Next phase, rewriting. Last phase, publishing!

I asked this question last year. It took me that long to finish the research and put it together.

I’m pushing my luck, but I’ve got to ask,

“Would you ever read more than three pages?” (crosses fingers)

Update…update…

It’s a lucky, 6/21/18 Summer Solstice day! An encouraging text message from son Ted that he read the “First Three Pages” and it is a job well done. (big smile) When will page four and five show up? (Hmm…maybe an excerpt?) 

 

Not to get over the top happy, (jumping with joy) but he also read the “About Me,” a job well done too.  (Yay, yippee!)

Your Friend, Elizabeth 

 

About C.E.Robinson

After years working in healthcare, I retired as a nurse practitioner to be a full time writer, co-author, and blogger. From the blog’s beginning in 2014, Before Sundown has been honored with awards, and blog tours. I’m ever grateful, and appreciative of dedicated worldwide followers who like, comment, share and tweet posts. I started the blog to connect with other bloggers, and in a way to learn more about writing. I also wanted to support other bloggers, friends and family by writing blog posts about them, their books, interests, professions and travels. The collections of sunsets/sunrises on the Welcome page came from bloggers all over the world. I wanted visitors to remember what made you smile Before Sundown. What better way then to offer breathtaking sunsets or sunrises? A monthly featured sunset continues. http://cerobinsonauthor.com
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31 Responses to First Three Pages (Old Version 2018) Editing Final Draft 9/2019

  1. Dan Antion says:

    I told you I would turn the page – I did, and I’m glad I did. Good luck with the middle.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. These are strong characters, Christine, and I definitely want to know more about them. The dialogue is almost poetic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now I need to know who the picture in the watch is. Very clear clean writing style in my opinion. Don’t know how many know what a “woodie” is!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jodi says:

    Yes! Thanks for sharing more! Now I do want even more 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • C.E.Robinson says:

      Jodi, Thank you! I hoped that would happen! After many beginnings, I think the three pages stays as the “hook.” Maybe I’ll post a few excerpts posted along the way to keep the interest! ☺️Christine

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, of course I’d keep reading. I need to find out what grandma has to say! And why it has to be kept a secret. Great hook, Christine. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What you’ve done with this is marvelous, Christine. Hugs!

    Like

  7. nimslake says:

    Okay, I’m hooked!! Do put more out…got to know!!
    P.S. thanks for the like on (nimslake)

    Liked by 1 person

    • C.E.Robinson says:

      Thank you for commenting “you’re hooked” on the blog post. Yep, it might be good to post more, maybe excerpts from other chapters. There’s a romance in the last third of the book. First kiss and the such! Not too racy, it’s PG sweet! Christine

      Like

  8. Tina Frisco says:

    Very descriptive and with strong characters, Christine. I love a well-written dynamic mystery. When will you be publishing? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. C.E.Robinson says:

    Tina, Thanks so much for your read and encouraging comment on First Three Pages. I hoped it had a mystery theme, even though not the thriller type. When I started writing the story, I thought it a dark hidden mystery when on his death bed, famous grandfather said, “No one is to look into my life. That history dies with me.” My imagination took over and I went for it. The plan is to have a first draft by summer (60,000 words), then professionally edited. Structure and story flow important. Happy Writing! Christine

    Like

  10. I love the idea of this setting–a quiet world with its own secrets. Already, I see engaging characters, Christine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • C.E.Robinson says:

      Jacqui, thank you so much for your visit and comment. Excited to know the characters stand out for you. The relationship with grandmother was rocky for many of Elizabeth’s younger years. The change when she gets older is a surprising, happy arc. Christine

      Like

  11. dweezer19 says:

    I love it Christine! I would efinitely read more. I adore grandmother stories. Nicely done!

    Liked by 2 people

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