I am going to take a bold step and share a draft of the first page of my second novel here. At all the writing conferences I have attended, there is always a session where editors read the first page of a writer’s manuscript and comment as to whether they would want to read further. If you can’t grab them on page one, it does not matter how brilliantly written pages 54 and 112 may be! So, as I begin writing about my 1938 penny’s journeys, I ask you, would you want to read more?


July 9, 1943

Glenn kicked the dirt, grunted, and then fell to his knees at the edge of the haystack. He hated his little sister. Well, maybe it wasn’t hate. But at times like this he certainly did not like Gwen very much. He scooped up a handful of hay and picked through it. Nope, not here. He chucked it over his shoulder and then thrust his hand deep into the prickly pile.

He held up another fistful of hay and slowly opened his fingers, watching it rain to his knees. A round, brown object plunked his kneecap before hitting the ground. Finally. Glenn snatched it up, but as soon he touched it, he realized it was only a small stone. He tossed it over his shoulder.

“Ow!” came a voice from behind him.

Glenn closed his eyes and shook his head.

“Daddy!” the voice shrieked. “Glenn hit me in the eye!”

Glenn jumped to his feet and turned to face his curly blonde headed sister. “I didn’t even know you was there,” he said, his eyes burning a hole into Gwen’s forehead. “You snuck up on me.”

“Did not. You hit me on purpose.”

“Ah, go back inside,” he said, turning back to the haystack. “I can’t be bothered with your whining. Gotta find that stupid thing before it gets dark.”

“It ain’t stupid. You are.”

At this point, Glenn agreed with his sister, though he didn’t let her know that. After all, if he’d been smart, he wouldn’t be plucking through hay looking for a penny that bore the same date imprint of his sister’s birth year: 1938. If he had it all to do over again, instead of actually throwing her coin in the haystack, he’d have only made her think he did. When Gwen tattled to their father, he would’ve shown it lying on the porch or near the tree swing and then swore his sister had left it there all along. Maybe she would have gotten in trouble this time. But probably not. She rarely got punished and it was especially unlikely to happen on her fifth birthday.