Novel Excerpt

by Shaindel Beers

When she was six-years-old, she'd left her doll out in the yard by mistake, and her father had run over it with the riding lawn mower. For weeks afterward, she would find tiny, flesh-colored bits of plastic, sometimes a shred of calico dress, a blue marble eye with lashes still attached, and would sob uncontrollably, those heart-wrenching sobs that children lose their breath to. She'd always wished she'd had a mother who had sympathized with her, who had held her when she cried, but her mother had firmly said, "If you can't take care of things, then you shouldn't have them," and turned back to the dishes. She wondered if her mother remembered saying that. Or regretted it. Or felt justified the day she had had to call and tell her that Saniya was gone -- that there was nothing that could have been done -- and had to admit that she was in the house answering the phone when the car had run over her daughter, crumpled the life out of her forever.


Shaindel Beers, author of Old Country, had felt silly attempting to write a novel (even though the first four chapters had gotten her into grad school) - after all, she'd only had one short story published. But after this crazy year of 13 published poems, 5 short stories, and a book contract, she thinks she just might go back to it. This excerpt is (possibly?) from her novel in progress, "When Hearts Lie Fallow."


Jason Plett said...

That was very moving. I look forward to your book.

craig said...

That ending hit me like a ton of bricks. Great writing.

Wes Saylors said...

The same seamless blend of precise language mastery and creative flight of fancy that we (by we, I guess I mean, I) have come to expect from Shaindel.

Anonymous said...

I obey all myspace bulletins - well, not really, but I'm glad I did in this case.

I don't know where this fits in your novel, but if it was the first paragraph, you'd have me hooked, completely (though I'd be secretly thinking: 'sobs to which children lose their breath'. Ahem, sorry about that, I'm an old bag and old-fashioned.

Great writing - I hope I get to buy the book some day.


Karen (karjon)

Anonymous said...

You're one of the best writers on this site. Every time.

Alana said...

That was excellent... I really enjoyed it... Just remember in your endeavor for a "whole" novel... it's just a series of great six sentences all put together -- someone I know told me that about writing an essay! :-)

Like the above person said... if it was the first paragraph, I'd be hooked too... I would have to know what happens.

Are you still teaching? How do you have time?

Take Care. Alana

Anonymous said...

Shaindel rules!!!

austere said...

Shook me up.

Jp said...

It sneaks up on you. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Kick ass six!

Anonymous said...

Heart Breaking! Love it :)

It's funny, somehow you have never mentioned your writing a novel or the first four chapters...maybe because I would be pressing to read them??? :)

Rista Abouradi Hoffman