Here’s the first page of the novel:
The table was wooden, walnut, stained and scarred from years of use. Shiny like many hands with many rags had swept over it’s surface to keep it clean. It was hard, dented, worn, and loved. The chairs that were placed around it were in similar condition. Mismatched, selected for the comfort of the user, rather than the beauty of a matched set. The chairs were decorated with an assortment of colorful, but worn, pillows, afghans, light blankets, and sweaters.
Women lived here. Women sat at this table and did womanly things. There had been years of talking, observing and working by several sets of hands at this table.
The room was not a large one. The walls were wooden, with some light streaking through a crack over by an east facing window. The window was simple, with pink curtains made from a potato sack framing the extreme brightness on the other side.
There sat a small stove in the corner, not a modern stove, but one you would find in a history exhibit. It now sat small and cold, unused, unneeded.
The fireplace held a small fire, with a cast iron bucket hanging over it, the bucket contained water with herbs that cast a homey smell across the cozy room.
Out the window, off in the distance, a young girl could be seen. She had strawberry blonde hair, held back with barrettes. She was wearing a yellow sundress with ties on the shoulders and white sandals. She was a picture of delicate girlhood with skinned knees and dirty hands from all her hard playing out in the grass and the dirt. The girl looked to be four or five, she was busy taking the cane of a tall man and poking it into a marigold plant. Each time she poked the cane, a cloud of grasshoppers would jump into the air, scaring the girl, making her flinch. Each time, she came back to the plot of flowers and poked again, curiosity winning over fear and flinching.
Now a woman came into the kitchen. She was about sixty. She had a lovely face, with dark hair. She was the kind of woman who people would have said, “she’d be lovely if she weren’t so fat.?” It was true, she was a well padded woman. This morning she had clean, neatly pinned hair, a dry face, and a touch of beeswax on her lips. Other mornings, when she looked as if she had been working hard, when her hair flew around, and sweat made her face shine, no one would call her pretty. She poured a cup of the tea from the fire into a white stone mug decorated with blue flowers. She settled herself into a wide, comfortable chair with arms, next to the table. She pulled the pillows around her and set them so they would gently hold her body in their puffiness. Around her shoulders, she pulled a soft blanket, made from velvets in a crazy quilt pattern. The velvets were bright, the brightest colors in the faded room. She held the mug of tea in both hands, and watched the young girl outside, with interest. She did this every day, so she was used to the routines of the young girl as they meshed with the routines of her own.
She twirled a ring around her finger on her left hand. Idly pulling it off and over her knuckle. She did this unconsciously as she had done many many mornings before this one. She was so focused on watching the girl play with the grasshoppers, that she jumped slightly against the needlepoint pillows when a hand lay on her shoulder.