Christina tried to warn me about my boss.
"He's not the antichrist - I'm not saying that. Because everybody's going to love the antichrist, and nobody likes Chuck. It's his one saving grace. But you watch him."
I don’t pretend to understand much of what she said, but I knew Chuck, and I did watch him.
Just not near close enough.
The day it began was pleasant, at first - just that. The birds were singing their usual amount. The sky was blue, with a haze on the edges from a recent forest fire someplace to the south.
My friends had dropped by for coffee before I left for work. I called them “the Eena's,” Christina Alvarez and Serena Ortega, sisters who raised their families in adjoining halves of a duplex across the street.
I stood at the kitchen counter, browsing through the stuff my daughter had brought home from school.
The paper I held in my hand informed me that Claire Danes was my great-grandmother. Well - not Claire, but Yvaine, the fallen star she played in Stardust.
Her mother - my great-great-grandmother - was Pocahontas, and her mother was Cleopatra. On the other side of the family tree, a bit further back, was Mary Poppins.
"She got a 'D.' Minus." Christina pointed. "So stop smirking. It's not funny."
"Her teacher's got no sense of heritage."
"No, you know who doesn't have a sense of heritage? You! You have no sense of heritage. No sense of family. Lily, you have no family."
"Did you even offer to help with her homework?" She punched a finger to the inkjet paper Sierra had been given as a history assignment.
I held my hands up. "What could I do? She never even told me about this."
"And why didn't she tell you? She didn't know she could."
"Not listening." I covered my ears. "You can't make me feel guilty for working and supporting my - "
"I work. And my kids know their family."
Of course they did. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, Easter and Memorial Day the street was lined with the cars of the Ortegas and Alvarezes.
"That's because you have a family,” I said. “You said yourself - "
"Sierra has a family. And so do you."Wonderful, isn't it? Give it your best shot. Leave your guess in the comments section. Return on Monday for our Christmas Roundtable. The conversation continues!
Friday, December 16, 2011
Name That Author Contest--Day Six!
This is it, the last chance to win a $50 gift certificate toward a George Popa sculpture. It's proving a bit more challenging to tell our writing apart than we thought, but we're thrilled that each of us has been mistaken for the other. Such a compliment!
You'll find an unpublished excerpt from one of our six Novel Matters authors below. Consider this sneak peak a Christmas present for your faithful following. We worry all the time that you are giving us so much more than we can hope to offer. We treasure your friendship and pray that the presence of Christ is staggering in your celebration of Christmas. And after you've read the excerpt, guess which one of us wrote it in the comments section.
Here are the rules, again:
1. One guess per post day. (You may play all six days. That's six chances to win a sculpture!)
2. Guesses will be accepted until 9:00 PM Pacific Time the day of the post.
3. Each correct guess wins you one chance in the drawing.
4. The winner will be announced on December 17, 2011.
There are second and third prizes, too, hard copies of our cookbook, Novel Matters on Rice: What to Cook When You'd Rather Be Writing. They're beautiful and full of easy recipes for writers and others, plus quotes about writing and faith from each of us.
And here's our--ta-dah!--final reading: