I’m sharing an excerpt today from “Just a Curtain”, a literary fiction / coming of age / adventure novel by author J.L. Lawson. Enjoy the snippet!
Two months later, the Friday before the last week of school, I’m out in front of Sylvie and Robby’s house just as dawn creeps over the foothills out east…
I smack the horn again.
“Sorry guys, it’s not my fault. Alice and Sylvie had a sleep-over and can’t get dressed without taking pictures!” Alice’s brother, Robby, announces as he pushes into the back seat next to Jeremy.
“Ooh,” Regina giggles, “Maybe I should go and get…”
I put a hand on her arm; “Whoa; they’re coming. We aren’t waiting for three girls to practice their drill-team moves.” Sure enough, Reggie looks from me to the house as Alice and Sylvie are just coming out the front door.
“Meanie!” Regina pouts at me and in the same motion grins at her friends, “Let’s see the new uniforms!”
Sylvie and Alice do modeling turns like they’re on a New York boutique runway or something, even though they’re actually on the gravel roadside, before getting in the back seat and squishing Jeremy and Robby against the far door. “Are these great! Or what!” Alice trills. It almost hurts my ears they squeal so high.
Regina is going to be going through the tryouts for next year’s squad this afternoon, so she can’t pull her eyes from staring at the flattering uniforms her friends are wearing. “Mama said I should be able to fill out the bottom of the pyramid routine easy since I’m probably the strongest girl she’s ever seen!” she intimates to her girlfriends as if nobody else is in the car.
I have to just roll my eyes. “If y’all put half as much time into your barrel-riding as you do spinning in front of mirrors…” I catch myself and give up that tack as they stare back at me like deer caught in the headlights. I shrug and just go back to staring at the road, thinking. I spend a lot of time just thinking nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as busy as ever with the ranch and school and all, but my mind is always working out some next project that I am sure I can arrange to make happen… if…
“…Well it is High School after all!” Alice emphasizes about some item of arcane female importance. She and Sylvie are my age and in my class. We’ll be juniors and they aren’t letting Regina, as a soon-to-be incoming sophomore, forget that they know the ropes but will still stick by their best-est friend. Meanwhile Robby and Jeremy only stare at the ‘older’ girls and just imagine what the rarified life of the lofty high schoolers must really be like—even if they are: girls!
“You guys better buckle up; we’re hitting the main road,” I remark as always when we reach the end of the county roads and make the last leg into town on the two-lane blacktop. There’s a murmuring of hrmphs and the sounds of buckles clicking into place. Then the high-pitched chittering conference commences all over again.
About Just a Curtain
Author: J.L. Lawson
Genre: Literary Fiction, Adventure, Coming of Age
“If you had virtually unlimited resources and a pristinely practicable imagination, and a knack for turning air into butter, what do you suppose you’d do next?”
—Tera Elphinstone, Drummond Group Director
Just A Curtain is the remarkable, fast-paced gateway to both The Elf series and the grander epic recorded in J. L. Lawson’s other works: The Donkey and The Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga.
Just A Curtain chronicles the remarkable life and achievements of Dashiel Drummond and the capable group of people he gathers around him to make a change for the better in the world in which he finds himself. A coming of age story, orphaned at sixteen, he rises through the angst of adolescence to the challenge of fulfilling the promise of his potential—from ranch hand and welder to the pre-eminent global entrepreneur and builder of starships.
I am a father, a grandfather and a “Came-to-Writing-Professionally-Late-in-Life” kinda guy. After rewarding careers as a Land Planner, Standards Engineer, Technical Writer/Graphic Designer, and as an Educator (High School and College Literature/Composition) I settled down at the laptop and began storytelling for a living. My wife and I live in the Cross-timbers country of North Texas and spend as much time seeing this amazing country, its National Parks and Forests, as we can manage.
My own journey has taken me both far afield and deep within. It is a journey, no doubt, similar in nature to many seekers’ travels who have come before me. However, an unconditional commitment to the work is the trait of only a handful of those who set their aim very high indeed, and then to find a guide who knows the way through this rarely known land, is without question what all others have equally sought. Some gave up the search, some became distracted by the lure of other interests, many became satisfied with the knowledge they had already gleaned from their initial searches. There is, in the end, only so much gold.
At Voyager Press: http://bit.ly/VPJust-Curtain
At Amazon: http://bit.ly/Just-Curtain