Father Figure

After spending the last year pitching my novel to agents with no success, I’ve been tinkering with the sequencing. And by moving stuff around, I think I figured out how to address a concern one of my early readers had that I’d never been able to address before. The problem is that, by taking the one piece and moving it elsewhere, I left a gap that needed filling.

This has given me an excuse to have a little fun and write something new in the world of this novel for the first time in a couple of years. Stylistically, it’s a departure — it's first-person instead of third-person, and it’s in the form of email messages between 2 of my main characters — but it feels like the rest of the novel just the same, and it’s just the right piece of connective tissue for the gap my rearranging has left.

And now I’m going to share a piece of it with you. This is from the first of the messages that will comprise the story. Enjoy.

To: msilver669@aol.com
From: Tracy Silver
Subject: George Michael
Date: September 21, 2001

Uncle Michael,

I have so many questions. Like, first, why am I supposed to write Dear before your name? We learned how to write letters in school this week and the first thing the teacher wrote on the board was Dear, and I was like why do we write dear? And she wouldn’t answer. She rolled her eyes at me, told me I’d already asked my share of questions for the day, and asked me to be quiet. Then she turned her back on us and started scratching the chalk across the board again. The noise made my teeth hurt. Back in Boston, we had these really nice whiteboards and the teacher used markers which didn’t make any sound at all and they smelled like strawberries. Down the Cape, it’s like the ancient century or something. It’s like that show Little House that Mom watches at the end of a long day, when she’s curled up under her grammie’s old afghan and trying to go to sleep. Mom had a crush on the girl on that show. Did you know that? She told me she tried to count the girl’s freckles once, and that she called her dad Pa for a whole week, just to see what he would do. He never answered to it, never took his eyes off NESN until she said it like sixty billion times. But that’s how he always is, even today, even when she calls him Dad.

If you’d like to read the rest, slide me a buck or three on Patreon.