Hello, readers! I had a full day of final edits today in my summer writing studio, better known as my front porch. It’s my favorite place to write, as it affords full shade for most of the day, and I can look out at the baskets of petunias hanging from the porch roof. Occasionally, if I stay very still, I’m treated to a visit from a hummingbird. Visits have been few and far between this summer, as my writing critics, Georgie and Cookie, like to accompany me as I write. They are not fond of staying still. Georgie is my Boston Terrier, and Cookie is my youngest daughter’s rescue dog. She’s a Jack Russell /Beagle mix, fondly referred to as a Jack-a-bea.
As I registered “The Girls of Haviland” with the U.S. Copyright Department yesterday, I can now print the first page for you to preview. Please let me know what you think.
Brewster, New York
Monday, September 2, 1918
“Mother of St. Jude!” Mam shrieked. “We’re being attacked!”
The slam of the porch door rattled the windowpanes. I kicked off my covers and jumped out of bed. My sister Eileen’s side hadn’t been slept in. I ran outside after Mam. Sullivan, my Boston terrier, raced ahead of me, barking. My bare feet were soaked in dew and grass clippings as I ran past the clothesline, where the shirts I was supposed to take down were still hanging. When we reached the barn, I saw Da and my brother Christie looking up into the sky, shielding their eyes against the orange sliver of sun rising above the mountains.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!” Da pointed a thick, calloused finger toward an airplane soaring over our farm. “It’s a German fighter plane! I think I see a gun!”
“Saints preserve us.” Mam made the sign of the cross.
“No, it’s American.” I noticed the bright blue paint on the wing. “It’s VE-7 Bluebird.”
Mam looked back toward the house. “Where’s Eileen?”
“She probably stayed out all – Ow!” Christie yelped when I slapped the back of his head.
“You had a mosquito on your neck.” I glared at him.
“Where is your sister?” Mam asked, louder this time.
“She uh, she’s still sleeping,” I was so sick of covering for my lame brained sister, but I didn’t feel like catching hell from Eileen.
The silver plane dipped low enough for us to see a tiny figure
crawling toward the edge of the top wing.
“Oh, God, there’s someone up there!”
“Where?” yelled Mam. “I don’t see anything!”
“There!” I grabbed Mam’s arm and jabbed my finger frantically
toward the plane. Suddenly, the small form was in the air. I opened my
mouth to scream, but no sound would come out.
In slow motion, as if from a newsreel, the figure spun around and around, arms spread, floating in mid- air. The folds of a skirt rippled against the wind as the body spiraled downward.
“It’s a girl!”