Saturday, August 27, 2016

"All Waiting Is Long"

Barbara J. Taylor lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania, home of the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country. She has an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University and teaches English in the Pocono Mountain School District.

Taylor applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, All Waiting Is Long, and reported the following:
All Waiting Is Long opens in 1930 at the Good Shepherd Infant Asylum in Philadelphia, a catholic home for girls who are pregnant and unmarried. Sixteen-year-old Lily, had hoped that, “her recently blossomed belly would turn out to be too much fried chicken and applesauce cake like Alice Harris next door, or better yet, stomach cancer like Mrs. Manley down the street,” but by page 69, she finally faces the truth and flashes back to the day she conceived:
Lily hadn’t expected to see George that day. He was supposed to be off at college that first full weekend in September. She’s gone to Grayce Farms with Little Frankie, in part due to her mother’s prodding. “Get outside and blow some of the stink off you”—her way of telling Lily to stop sulking. She noticed George at the far side of the wagon, but just as she started toward him, Janetta Baugess, the most buxom girl in Lily’s grade, pushed past her, settled next to George, and took his hand. “Stop teasing,” the girl was saying. “You know very well how to say my name.” She held up a finger as if to chide him. “It’s Jane,” she paused, “and etta.” She laughed. “My mother knew I’d never be a plain Jane.”

Lily dropped onto the bench across from them, pressing her palms into her lap to stop them from shaking. As Janetta prattled on, Lily learned that George had come home for his sister’s birthday, and intended to return to school on Sunday. Until then, the couple planned to spend every moment together. Lily looked up at George, trying to see the truth of the situation in his eyes, but he turned away from her and watched the horses. Being ignored is worse than being hated.
I love that line, “Being ignored is worse than being hated.” Someone once said that to me when talking about his childhood. A decade later, the words still resonate.
Learn more about All Waiting Is Long, and visit Barbara J. Taylor's website.

My Book, The Movie: Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night.

Writers Read: Barbara J. Taylor.

--Marshal Zeringue