Monday, November 26, 2012

November's Bounty


November has been a massive month for me in a lot of ways. The beginning was packed with politics, then birthdays, balls, more birthdays, holidays, and first and second round edits for BOTH The Scarlet-Gypsy Song and Fly Away Home. What with all this hullabaloo, I realized I have not done November's Snippets! Shocking and abominable! Well, here you are. This is what I've got--all from Fly Away Home this time.

He could have sent me to Helsinki to cover the ’52 summer Olympics. I’d have gone willingly. I’d have frozen my tail-bone off. I’d have lost all my fingers to frost-bite. Was Finland cold in the summer? Much I cared. I was stuck in this office writing obituaries while the rest of the world did pleasant things with pleasant people.
-Fly Away Home


“What would you say if I told you….that I understand how you feel.”
“I wouldn’t believe you.”
“All right.” He drew his breath in between his teeth and held it for a moment, then let it out with a whoosh. “What if I told you I was praying for you?”
The idea took me so much off guard I looked over either shoulder as if frightened God Almighty might have heard my wretched thoughts. “Right now?”
-Fly Away Home

He inclined his head with a fleeting smile. “But the whole beauty of Christianity is that it isn’t a religion.”
“It’s…not?”
“It’s a wonderfully complex—and at the same time simple—relationship. Every other ‘religion’ on the face of the earth is one-dimensional. The god sits in the corner of the house behind an offering of moldering bread.” He motioned at the stone figure of a Greek maiden inhabiting the park fountain. “Or the god is a vague, twisted shadow-thought only to be reached by deep, tortuous meditation. Jesus—Christianity—on the other hand…well quite frankly, it’s radical. Both God and man and Spirit. A Trinity. A three-stranded cord that is apart from and…and above and under and in everything of this world and out of it.”
-Fly Away Home

 His {Jules'} hands touched the wall on either side of my head. The dimples on either side of his smile flashed with pleasure at having cornered me thus. He was so close I could see the dark, sandpaper look of his five o’clock shadow over his strong jaw. His lips curled into a sultry smile of a singularly dark nature. The smile that had captivated so many girls but never failed to make my stomach turn over with nausea.
-Fly Away Home

I dropped into my chair on top of Nicks—he reminded me of his presence with compound-riposte against my backside
-Fly Away Home

I’d wear the daffodil silk again—the one Mr. Barnett had liked so well. Yes, I wanted to please him. I wanted him to look at me one last time and to feel his satisfaction. He would never look at me in that way again after tomorrow.
-Fly Away Home

“Stop staring at me!” I hissed, turning round to find Mr. Barnett—just as I had felt—with his eyes warm upon me.
“I can’t help it—you look especially…furious tonight. Ah—I see I’ve hit upon it. You are furious—and why? What brings this flame-color into your cheek and this dark glitter sparking in your eyes?” He brushed his knuckle against my cheek and I felt my defenses tumbling under that clumsy, tender touch. “You remind me of Shakespeare: ‘I understand a fury in your words but not the words.’”
-Fly Away Home

I paid the cab fare, bit my lip, and stalked toward the little cafĂ©, my head pounding to the pace of my feet. The situation was deplorable. The news was deplorable. Jules was deplorable. Men were deplorable…I was deplorable!
-Fly Away Home

Why did I need Wade Barnett? His reputation could go to the devil for all I cared. For all I cared. A broken shard of hope pierced my soul and killed the arrogance. How much I did care! Memory upon memory swept over my heart in a crushing avalanche. That laughing-color in his eyes, his half-smile, that interminable coat with the shiny elbows. Feeding the birds, the grease spots from the fried shrimp and the toast to my health with the tartar sauce. The verbal sparring and the battles of wit, his clumsy fashion sense, his dear dear simplicity….
-Fly Away Home

Had he no idea the wretchedness of my heart?
-Fly Away Home

“What are you thinking?” he asked.
“Your coat is scratchy.”
He chuckled, held me the closer. “Silly puss.”
-Fly Away Home

6 comments:

Anne-girl said...

Smiling so hard it hurts that last one made me feel like cooked mush inside.

Jack said...

I am with Anne, that last one was just sweet and wonderful.

Thank you for sharing these. They were very good.

Elizabeth Rose said...

Ahh, it's just too much adorableness to stand! I love them all, but the last one is definitely my favorite. *sigh* Mr. Barnett is altogether too wonderful not to be real. *pouts*

Joy said...

Goodness, Rachel! Once upon a time, I really did not note how beautifully you write--that's because I infrequented your delightful blog (naughty, naughty!). But here I am and I just stand there with a gaping mouth loving every single snippet.
I think 'Fly Away Home' is my favourite of your novels, and Mr. Barnett especially :)... but even though I sighed over every little bit of your snip-whippets, these two struck me as the most powerful and beautiful:

“What would you say if I told you….that I understand how you feel.”
“I wouldn’t believe you.”
“All right.” He drew his breath in between his teeth and held it for a moment, then let it out with a whoosh. “What if I told you I was praying for you?”
The idea took me so much off guard I looked over either shoulder as if frightened God Almighty might have heard my wretched thoughts. “Right now?”
-Fly Away Home

He inclined his head with a fleeting smile. “But the whole beauty of Christianity is that it isn’t a religion.”
“It’s…not?”
“It’s a wonderfully complex—and at the same time simple—relationship. Every other ‘religion’ on the face of the earth is one-dimensional. The god sits in the corner of the house behind an offering of moldering bread.” He motioned at the stone figure of a Greek maiden inhabiting the park fountain. “Or the god is a vague, twisted shadow-thought only to be reached by deep, tortuous meditation. Jesus—Christianity—on the other hand…well quite frankly, it’s radical. Both God and man and Spirit. A Trinity. A three-stranded cord that is apart from and…and above and under and in everything of this world and out of it.”

You are writing about faith in such a sincere way without it being religious and THAT I think is the best part of all this bounty of beauty :). Well done, Rachel

Joy @ joy-live4jesus.blogspot.com

Rachel (Cynthia) Heffington said...

Wow. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Joy! You definitely made the ending of an amazing evening quite a bit more amazing than it had been. I am most particularly glad you enjoyed those two pieces--it is my desire to do exactly what you said they did. Thank you!

Rachel Hope said...

Amazing ! I truly cant wait to read either of these books. You have such talent miss rachel and your style of writing is so easy, its really quite wonderful.
Oh I was going at ask you, do you find it easier to write in the first person ? Or do you prefer narration sort of writing ?
Blessings~ Rachel Hope