Christmas in July, Curiosity and Creative Writing …

There is no shortage of novels about Lowcountry living. I’ve read some of the greats but I have to tell you that while I revel in these stories, I ache for something different.

There is no shortage of novels about Lowcountry living. I’ve read some of the greats but I have to tell you that while I revel in these stories, I ache for something different. It feels like hearing a dear friend’s good news from someone else. While you’re happy for your friend, you would have liked to have heard it for yourself. Same as with storytelling about living along the coast, there’s so much to share about Gullah/Geechee culture and life but I often read about it from people not from the culture or have learned about our ways secondhand.

I decided to explore my curiosity about creative writing by participating in a National Novel Writing Month event (NaNoWriMo) a few years back with the intent of self-publishing a short story. I wanted to read a holiday story about Gullah/Geechee people with our lilt and authentically represented traditions. And since it’s Christmas in July, I’d like to share an excerpt of my novelette, The Christmas Delay. You can find the story in it’s entirety on Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble.

It took an incredible amount of strength to hit the publish button. I’m a recovering perfectionist and when I make mistakes I spiral. This time, however, it was different. I just decided to go for it and let the chips fall where they may. I enjoyed the process of pulling this story together and am inspired to do it again and again. I hope you enjoy it.

Excerpt From: Cece Harbor. “The Christmas Delay.”

“What time is your flight, Miss?” he asked sounding too innocent, she could hear the slight Gullah lilt in his voice. Mina smiled inside. Southern men are so polite. The warm tone and pitch of his voice grounded her, she was definitely back in the Lowcountry. And she realized she was sitting in a bar by herself, low-key flirting with the bartender.
“Miss?” she heard him repeat.
At 32 she hardly considered herself a Miss, more like a Ms. and most certainly not a Ma’am. It wasn’t her intent to spend the better part of her afternoon at a bar in the Charleston airport.
Getting off the plane, something inside suggested that she take a little time to relax, and she found herself responding.
She wasn’t sure if it was Ella Fitzgerald’s velvety voice singing Winter Wonderland as she hustled to get her luggage from baggage claim or the three Santas she passed along the airport corridor, all the same, she knew she needed to catch her breath.

Mina tucked away thinking she’d spend a few minutes to read work email and her social media feeds but then a few minutes flew by so quickly, she lost track of time.

“I landed a little over an hour ago,” she admitted covering her mouth with both hands.
A series of thoughts ran through her mind: Maybe I shouldn’t have had the extra drink. Maybe the floor could give way under my feet and save me from further embarrassment. Maybe I’ve been out of practice with men so long that I have no game left and this futile attempt at flirting with a man is failing – miserably. Maybe I should stop talking to myself.

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