An excerpt (just because I’m really excited)

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. But yes, I am alive and well and no, I have not dropped off of the face of the earth. Far from it, in fact. One of the reasons I haven’t been keeping up is that I’ve just been that busy. But I wanted to write a bit so that a) the last post on here doesn’t read “August …” and b) to give ya’ll (See, I’m in becoming one of them) a little taste at what I’ve been working on.

For the next bit, I’m going to be posting an excerpt to the collection of stories I’ve been writing. This one, my first, is at this point titled Save Me, San Francisco and is inspired by/based on the music of the band Train. The story for today is the first one I wrote from the batch, actually the first short story I’ve written, ever (shhh), and it’s based off of the song “Marry Me.”

When he walked into the diner the cold air rushed in prompting a shudder down the patrons’ spines but Leslie felt her soul move as well and so she turned to look at the door. This motion had become rare in the past weeks as she had felt herself glancing at the clock instead to judge who the bell had welcomed. …

She began this job the week after high school graduation, and was startled every time the bell pinged and someone walked in. Canton was a town small enough to know everyone, but she had not yet grown accustomed to releasing her guard in so dark a sky and so early a morning.

But over the years, especially in these moments, a rhythm set in and Leslie’s tension fell as well. This day began like every other.

Mary Rebecca and her heels were the earliest–clicking in at five-thirty–for a large coffee with two sugars to go. She worked in the city but preferred to live without the constant noise, and so she paid an hour and a half of her time each way. …

After Mary Rebecca, a half hour passed before the Regulars started trickling in. Al and Charlie, next door neighbors, came in after morning chores, and were followed soon after by Sam, Bob, and Kyle. …

Al walked over toward Leslie and motioned her over to the counter farthest away from the rest of the crew.

“I don’t want to make a big deal of it, dear,” he said in a low voice, “but I wanted to say that I am very sorry for what your mom and you have gone through in the past number of years.” Leslie winced a bit when he mentioned her mother, but she let him continue. “If there’s anything Caroline and I could do–you know about Caroline’s casseroles,” he nodded towards the table, “you know where to find me.” …

The Regulars usually had the place to themselves for about an hour, and by seven the place would be full, Cami would have come in and the day would be considered begun.

This routine had become so concrete into her morning that when the bell unexpectedly pinged and the temperature in the room dropped a bit, Leslie turned and saw the road-weathered stranger and she saw something familiar in him. She had never seen him before, and yet she knew that he was important, and that he would be important to her.

Let me know what you think! It’s still in the second draft, so I’m sure it’s bound to change, but it’s been so fun to see a book come together story-by-story.

Stay tuned tomorrow for “This Ain’t Goodbye” 🙂

Also, if you haven’t heard the song and want to (or, if you have heard the song and love it so much you want to hear it again), here is the video:


About katepadilla

I write for the Spencer Daily Reporter in Spencer, Iowa. I keep blogs lifebythebooks, Save Me, San Francisco, and Beauty and Beast Buy a House. I'm also hard at work writing a short story collection inspired by the music of Train.

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