MOURNING DOVE is 81,000 words. Inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s apocryphal quote to Harriett Beecher Stowe, I wrote it to be the little novel that starts the great war against global warming. I am sending this to you because you represent X, whom I admire, and you ask for Y on your #MSWL.
Jen, sleeping, sensed that Mom entered her room, bent over her, and kissed her cheek. Jen loved it when her mother woke her this way.
“G’morning, Honey,” Mom said. “It’s our last launch day. We have to talk. You turn sixteen tomorrow and you've never experienced friends your age, especially someone who makes your heart flutter. That's not right for a teen. I need you to persuade Grams. You're the only one who might be able to convince her to leave with us. And even if she refuses, we’re flying to our family and civilization in Antarctica without her and Grandpa. You've got to be my partner in this. If anything goes wrong, it could be very dangerous, with people trying to kill us. But we have to do it. Are you in? Can I count on you?”
“Mom. Of course you can. I’m in. It will be my mission, from almost sixteen onward.”
Mom put her arms around Jen and hugged her close. It felt good.
A flash snowstorm coated the ground seconds before liftoff. Jen and Grandpa in the command bunker followed the take-off on live video. When the rocket left the camera’s view, she watched another video feed showing her older brother, Fred, at the outdoor weather station. He bent over backward as he tracked the flight. Suddenly, both legs flew out from under him. Their launch center was on top of a mountain. He was on a narrow asphalt path, overlooking a steep drop, and the blacktop was slippery. Mom, suddenly in the picture, reached for Fred to keep him from going over the cliff. But as she grabbed him she lost her footing, too, and they both slid over the edge clutching each other. On a speaker somewhere, she heard her mother scream. Seeing the empty cliff, Jen shouted, “No! Mommie! Come back. I need you. Mommie!” Grandpa wrapped Jen in his arms.
At the funeral, Dad turned a wheel that gently lowered Mom’s coffin into her grave. Watching, Jen said, almost out loud, Mom, I won’t let you down.
Ballantine Books published my novella "Oceans Away" in Stellar Short Novels. I ghosted for Senator Paula Hawkins, and my op-eds appeared, under her name, throughout the United States. I've spoken about climate and MOURNING DOVE on 5 podcasts so far, as well as to a high school, and I will be featured in a Netflix climate documentary. On , , and , I have 65,000 connections following MOURNING DOVE. I expect cover blurbs from the most famous of these. My has had 100,000 hits and my 10,000. My day job is Beltway bandit wordslinger. I'm submitting this query to multiple agencies. Thank you for your time and consideration.