Beautiful Words: Beth Hoffman

8 Feb

How do you show a reader that your pre-teen character is alone, especially when she is not alone physically?  How do you show emotional strength in a precarious situation?

And, more importantly, how do you keep the reader involved because there’s something familiar about the scene?  something that keeps us nodding and saying, “Yep, I could see that,” while we’re Oh-So-Glad it never happened to us?

Here is a perfect example, dear readers.  Beautiful words.


Author:  Beth Hoffman

Novel:  Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Setting:  CeeCee is twelve.  Her mother is losing touch with reality and lives only in the past and her father is absent most of the time.

Passage:  While the tub was filling, I returned to her bedroom. One by one, I pried her fingers from the scrapbook, helped her out of bed, and led her into the bathroom.  Why, I don’t know, but Momma refused to take off her bra and slip.  I didn’t have the energy to argue, so after I gathered a wad of tissue and wiped bubbles of snot from her nose, I let her sink into the tub while I sat on the toilet lid and began reading aloud from one of my Nancy Drew books.

When Momma’s tears finally subsided, she looked at me with swollen, red-rimmed eyes.  “Is Nancy Drew a friend of yours?  I don’t recall.”

Thank you, Beth!!  

PS:  She has a new book coming out on May 28, 2013.  WOOT!! (Aren’t I super eloquent?)

Note:  This blog is mine and no one pays me for it’s content.  If you’d like to pay me, feel free.  I like money.  However, Ms. Hoffman doesn’t know me from Adam, except for the occasional “hello” on Twitter.  Yes, she’s nice enough to encourage a beginner/wannabe writer like me, as if there aren’t thousands more like me out there.  But that’s the sum total of our relationship.  Just so we’re clear.


For updates regarding my friend, Anna, and her battle with brain cancer, please visit us at My Cancer Hat, where you will find such fun ramblings as “Calories with Friends, a Love Story,” and “Anna Speaks.”  We sure appreciate all your support and loving comments.

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11 Responses to “Beautiful Words: Beth Hoffman”

  1. Beth Hoffman February 8, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    My goodness, what a wonderful surprise! And you posted it on my birthday! Yep, today is my day. Thank you so much. This is an amazingly touching post.

    • girlparker February 8, 2013 at 11:48 am #

      You’re kidding! That’s crazy. I’m happy I could add a bit of a virtual hug. I wanted to include a scene with Oletta, my favorite character, but this is really the scene that sticks to me. I can’t take a bath without thinking of it! Hope you have a wonderful day. =)

  2. Beth Hoffman February 9, 2013 at 6:02 am #

    It was a great birthday … especially after reading your blog!

  3. BermudaOnion February 11, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Oh, how I adored this book! CeeCee, Oletta and Aunt Tootie are still in my heart.

    • girlparker February 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      Right? This book had a picture perfect cast.

  4. Natalia Sylvester (@NataliaSylv) February 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I loved this book, and you’re right that this passage is an amazing example of the kind of loneliness that CeeCee experiences, and how she has to grow up so fast. It’s been a couple of years since I read it, so this was a nice trip back ;)

    • girlparker March 5, 2013 at 10:32 am #

      Glad you enjoyed it. I plan to mix new releases and super-faves into this series. Also, I’m open to suggestions! =)

  5. Melissa Crytzer Fry February 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Late to the party, but – yes … I LOVED the way Beth showed us CeeCee’s pain with this vivid, vivid scene. I can’t wait until Looking for Me comes out!

  6. Nina Badzin March 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Loved this book, too!

    • girlparker March 5, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      I’m so glad! I can still see Oletta pounding away on her beaten biscuits and grumbling about the neighbor’s nosiness. =)

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