Friday, September 30, 2011

Sweet Saturday Sample: The Yard Sale

This Saturday I'm featuring the beginning paragraphs from a short story I wrote called The Yard Sale. I always wanted to do a story on a yard sale, since I'd had several myself and I thought a yard sale would make a great background. Using the premise 'an act of kindness leads to a great reward', I wrote Jennifer's story about getting past a divorce and making a new future for herself with the help of an unlikely shopper. However, my favorite character is Gail, who is a lot like me and has nicknames for the shoppers. Early birds, Tightwads, Pack rats, etc.
The Yard Sale made the finals in the William Faulkner Short Fiction Contest, the Pacific Writers' Assn Fiction Contest and the Panama City Writers' Fiction Contest. Also it was selected by PCW to be included in their literary review, The Sea Oats Review.     

      "Jennifer! Get a move on.  The Early birds are here." 
     Already?  I crammed the last bite of my sausage and biscuit in my mouth.  When Gail said they would be here at dawn, she wasn't kidding.  The sun had barely lit the sky.
     I stepped out the garage door to find Gail, my mom's youngest sister and noted yard sale pro, uncovering the tables of merchandise.  Two female Early birds hovered over each table like vultures, scanning over the glassware, knickknacks and kitchen utensils.  I smiled as they gathered up items.  This was my first yard sale and maybe it'd be the success Gail had promised.
More Early birds arrived.  Money, money, money.  That's what I needed, what I wanted, and why I welcomed my customers with an inviting smile. "Look around all you want."
An hour later, I sat in the lawn chair beside a small table with the moneybox and notebook handy.  I took in money, gave back change.  Looked happy.  However, to be honest, this yard sale was the culmination of my shattered life. 
The belongings I had for sale were wedding gifts, things I had bought for my new house, clothes Chad had liked and presents we'd exchanged.  The past seven years of my life surrounded me.  Round orange price stickers proclaimed it's worth.  My beloved things had become a corpse, and the yard sale its funeral. . .

Visit other writers and read their samples at Sweet Saturday SamplesThanks for stopping by!  Do come back for Monday's Meet the Author. My guest will be historical romance author, Alice Gaines, and if you leave a comment, you'll be entered in a drawing for Alice's book, Always A Princess.

12 comments:

Donna said...

Oh! This was Good!!
But you know me...Where's The Rest??Hahaaaa
Have a great Day Girl!
hughugs

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Great description! I can feel her pain.

Anonymous said...

I loved the yard sale comparison.

Elaine Cantrell

Jenna said...

"My beloved things had become a corpse, and the yardsale its funeral." Fantastic line! So poignant. I so hope she gets to move past it. Excellent sample.

Lindsay said...

Been there, done that. Felt the same way as she did when I had a yard sale.

mirriamsmyth said...

I agree with Jenna. I love that line. I'm curious to know what transpired between her and Chad...

Sherry Gloag said...

Great final paragraph. I want to know more.

Sandy Nachlinger said...

I can sure see why this story received so much recognition! I especially liked the ending paragraph.

Patricia Kiyono said...

I love the emotion you show. Great sample! Thanks for sharing.

Patricia Preston said...

Just wanted to say thanks for your comments. I'm glad you've enjoyed The Yard Sale.

diannehartsock said...

'culmination of my shattered life'. Very powerful phrase. Took the pleasant day and turned it dark. Nicely done. :)
Thanks for stopping by my site.

J.A. Beard said...

A lot of great phrasing in your sample.