“Alma Lolloon” is the title of my next novel, which is in the final proofreading and editing stages. I’m using the same publishing platform (CreateSpace) as I used for “Penina’s Letters” and “Coconut Oil,” but I’ve decided to roll chapter one onto the Toads blog to introduce the new work and to spark interest. I hope to have completed hard copies ready in December. Meantime, I’ll be posting excerpts here on the blog.

From Chapter One of the novel “Alma Lolloon”: Casting On

“Words is just sounds,” I heard Annie was saying, coming back from the lanterloo to rejoin them on the stuffed couches in the picture window at Lard’s Coffee they were Saturday morning, the knitting ladies.

“Words are noise,” Rufa nodded.

“Ah, fiddlesticks, I left my notebook in the loo,” and when I came back again they hushed like people do when they’ve been talking about you and suddenly you appear in their midst and there’s that pregnant pause.

“So you’re writing a book, then, are you, Alma,” Annie breaks the water of that wait and you could feel the rupture spill and spread across the hardwood floor.

“How long does one give labor to a book before quitting?” Hattie said with her know better than you ever will crooked smile.

“But what do you possibly have to fill a book with, Alma?” Rufa said.

“But I married five times, didn’t I, one selfish boy and four hapless men? Surely that ought to hold enough to fill a few chapters.”

“Ah, but what is good, what is marriage, what is a boy or a man? There must be some argument,” said Hattie.

“And what, pray leave me, is a wife?” Hattie went on, as is her wont, questioning everything but leaving no time for an answer before moving on to another question. Times she could be such the rhetorical bitch, and always jumping to the supposed hidden meaning of something when you hadn’t even discussed what was actually happening yet. But that Hattie was the book club hostess. The knitting Hattie was rarely so contrary. But the idea of my doing a book seems stuck in her professorial craw and she’s having trouble swallowing it.

“And I never divorced a one of my hopeless helpmates, wouldn’t you like to know?” I said, amplifying my voice a bit to hold the floor while I got something all out.

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