Candace Meredith earned her Bachelor of Science degree in English Creative Writing from Frostburg State University in the spring of 2008. Her works of poetry, photography and fiction have appeared in literary journals Bittersweet, Backbone Mountain Review, Anthology 17, Greensilk Journal, Saltfront and The Broadkill Review. She currently works as a Freelance Editor for an online publishing company and has earned her Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) from West Virginia University.
Here is an excerpt from Candace’s New Book Losing You.
Chapter Two – Not My Daughter
Kristi gave up her writing degree when her mother died; she was six credits away from completion. Rick had tried to convince her to return to college, but Kristi has recently been doubting college, as well as her relationship. She wants to set out on her own again – to live freely and independently which is why she is waiting tables five nights a week and working at the store for three. Her relationship with her father and younger brother had always been bleak – and she misses her mother terribly. Today is the day her mother died five years ago, it is miserable enough being a Wednesday, and she is due to begin work at The Hub in two days. Kristi opens her business at A Touch of Rain on mornings when she doesn’t have to put in busy hours waiting tables – the same as she had done when working at the other restaurant.
A Touch of Rain was inspired by her mother, whose middle name was Rain. She dominated Kristi’s thoughts when she decided to open the small store in the old town district of Bedford – about a twenty-minute drive from the Western Appalachia region of Maryland. A Touch of Rain was organized by Kristi primarily with the help of her friend Lisa, who works at the Bedford Coffee Shop. They were students at state university together.
Lisa helped Kristi decorate the store with soft white curtains. They found inventory from the locals of the old town district comprised of scarves, hats, gloves, jewelry, clothing, jackets, pottery, and photography. Kristi learned how to sew her mother’s jeans and other articles of clothing into decorative angels that could be placed around the house, hung from decorative shelves or on a Christmas tree. She fastened her mother’s buttons as smiles, eyes and hearts. The store opened during the week and business was steady with tourists who’d visit during the day – so Kristi hadn’t needed to open on the weekend, which were the hours she’d make the most in tips at the restaurant.
Kristi’s relationship with her brother, who’s three years younger, has been nearly nonexistent since their mother’s death. Only sixteen when their mother died, Jake had gotten into booze and drugs. He often didn’t visit, preferring to stay with friends and girlfriends – their father always liked working night shifts and hadn’t been home. Kristi picked up more hours waiting tables to avoid the silent house. Her relationship with her father was strained and nearly robotic in tone. They mostly communicated through text messages now that her father took up using a mobile device.
On this day, Kristi decided to open the store. Kristi stopped visiting her mother’s grave on the day of her death – it felt too contrived – so she would visit throughout the year, bringing fresh flowers from her garden. Kristi’s mother had taught her how to garden when she was younger, and yellow lilies and roses were her mother’s favorite: she even gave Kristi the middle name Lily, and if Jake had been a girl, he would have been named Rose.
Continued in book . . .
Visit Candace’s Author Page To Order Your Copy Today!
Categories: Featured Writer's