She’s the Assistant Stage Manager for Oklahoma!, calling missing cast members and tracking down props, when her family learns that Bri didn’t survive. Rob, the manipulative stage manager, who was Bri’s best friend, becomes erratic. Then the principal asks her to tell the student body about her brother, and she channels her energy into that.
While Sandee speaks to the assembly, Rob gets into a shouting match with an insulting bully. Later, he gets drunk. Sandee drives him home, but can’t rouse him when the police pull her over. He goes to juvenile hall and Sandee becomes the school’s youngest stage manager. She’s more than Brian Mason’s little sister, and everyone knows it.
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“Sandee Mason will win your heart from the very first chapter of Talent. Goodwin has created a character facing obstacles both far-reaching-her brother is Mia in Afghanistan-and close to home. Her struggles with finding her own identity and her own strength kept me riveted, and the novel never shies away from the complicated issues of our time. Talent is a formidable debut novel that lingers long after the last page.” ~ Stacey Swann, Stegner Fellow at Stanford University
Lynn Goodwin knows the worlds of this novel–the world of high schools, the world of theater, the world of teenage struggle and she blends them into a novel that draws you in and keeps you there. Every reader will love Sandee and identify with her journey of personal discovery and growth. ~ Aline Soules, Librarian and Author of Evening Sun and Meditation on Woman
Talent releases in November, 2020 from Koehler Books – Read an Excerpt HERE!
Notes from the Characters in Talent
Editor’s Note: Ever had a character living in your head? Mine have decided they want to talk to you, their audience. There’ll be a brief note from one of the characters in Talent every Friday. As their author, I’ll post reminders on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and you’re invited to repost. If you have comments or questions for them, feel free to use the contact box. 🙏✍️
Just wanted to remind you that October is a dramatic month. The leaves are turning, the first quarter’s over, and the days are getting shorter. Sandee Mason is pre-occupied right now and she doesn’t want to talk to me about it. Go figure. Oh well, I’m off to rehearsal for the Madrigals. It’s an a cappella group, and only the elite singers can join. Maybe, if we can get Sandee to do publicity for us, someone important might hear us sing. I’d love to have an agent. Really, I’m off. Gotta get to Madrigals.
Sandee Mason is a pleasure to have in drama class. She works hard and has ambitions as a performer, but she’s willing to take on any task that will help the show. She’s a particularly enterprising props collector bringing in donations from people we know nothing about. While she may not be right for a musical, she’s been a good performer in both the comedies and dramas she’s performed for class. I enjoy watching her mature.
Ms. G, Drama Teacher at San Ramos High
September 16 🍺
So I’m a couple of weeks late. Does anybody really care? Does anybody even read this stuff?
Sorry, but I’m in a bad mood since my best friend joined the Army and his little sister won’t listen to me or … you know. Join in at our parties.
Now that I think of it, she’s got a lot in common with her big brother, who used to be my best bud. Between him leaving and Nicole breaking up with me I’m kinda lonely sometimes. I wouldn’t be anybody if it weren’t for the drama crowd and my parties.
Gotta go. The doorbell rang and nobody else is home. Hope it’s the keg for tomorrow night.
Purpose matters, Sandee. Find yours. You can do it! 💨💨
You know who 🌩
Friday the thirteenth. It’s more than a movie. It’s my life, but not in the way you think. I just handed Sandee a note to give Ms. G at the break. I have to miss rehearsal again. Ms. G has been really cool about the whole thing, and no one has asked why I keep missing, which is pretty amazing.
You see, when I got out of rehab, the court sent me to therapy. I made a really stupid mistake: I drove drunk and got busted about a week after I got my license. I lost it of course. Lost the license. Lost my parents’ trust. Lost a semester of school while I was in rehab. I can’t undo the past and if I miss therapy it will go on my record and colleges won’t see that I’ve changed.
I folded the note but I couldn’t find a stapler and I’m in a rush, so if Sandee reads it, she’s going to want to know everything. I’m not sure I’m ready to share. As they say in meetings, more will be revealed.
Does that sound like I’m from Oklahoma? Just practicing. Don’t know whether to be embarrassed or excited. I got a role in Oklahoma! and Sandee didn’t. It’s just a little part, but I’ve got 3 lines, and she’s the ASM. That’s Assistant Stage Manager. I’m playing Cord Elam in Oklahoma! which is a little nuts ‘cuz I’m a drummer –not an actor.
I asked the music teacher, Mr. Jackson, about it. He said they needed boys on stage. I sure hope Sandee doesn’t yell. I’d hate living next door to someone who’s out to get me.
Hey Everybody, 🎤
There’s more drama offstage than on here at San Ramos High, but I bet you already knew that. It escalates (vocab word—grows) around auditions. Especially for those of us with talent.
Sandee Mason doesn’t have to worry. She’s got no talent so she isn’t gonna get a part in the musical, but Ms. G will find a job for her backstage. She finds jobs for everyone. But roles? That’s another matter. Maybe I can figure out what Ms. G and Mr. Jackson are thinking once I see who they have me read with.
Who doesn’t like the spotlight? Wish I was in the spotlight in Talent, so if you’d like me to have my own book, please tell the author, B. Lynn Goodwin. Click on the Contact button on www.writeradvice.com.
BTW, if you put cc: Jenn McCall, she’ll forward what you say to me. There’s only one Jenn McCall.
NEVER TOO LATE:
A 62-year-old goes from Wannabe to Wife
How does a 62-year-old woman who’s never been married find happiness with a two-time widower
seeking his third wife on . . . Craigslist!? Does she throw caution to the wind and relinquish her freedom, or should she take a crash course in compromises?
Author B. Lynn Goodwin tells all and more in NEVER TOO LATE. How she was attracted to Richard’s clear expectations, his honesty, and his incredible openness. She’d never met anyone like him.
Would she recognize love if it knocked on her heart? And could an educated woman be happy moving into a blue-collar world?
Whether you’ve been single forever, are trapped in an unhappy marriage, or you’re simply curious, you’ll find secrets to a happy marriage in NEVER TOO LATE.
You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers
Over fifty million caregivers spend every spare minute driving to medical appointments, stopping at the pharmacy, cooking, answering questions, paying bills, and helping with matters that used to be private. They feel trapped in an endless loop and need to release the stress of caregiving.
B. Lynn Goodwin’s You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers allows users to process their stress and celebrate what is right. It gives readers open-ended instructions on spilling their guts in the safety of a private journal and offers two hundred sentence starts to help them begin writing. Caring for oneself is as essential as breathing, but caregivers lose sight of that fact. Think of the flight attendant who says, ‘Put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you.”
Journaling is a caregiver’s oxygen mask, which You Want Me to Do What? provides.
OTHER WORKS BY B. LYNN GOODWIN
- Owner, editor and writer for Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com since 10/97
- Book and web site reviewer
- Information coordinator and guru
- Writing After Retirement edited by Carol Smallwood and Christine Redman-Waldeyer, “My Niche, My Way.”
- Small Miracles from Beyond edited by Yitta Halberstam & Judith Leventhal, “Hello, Lynn”
- Impressions: LPC Anthology 2015 edited by George Cramer, “Center Stage.”
- “Hidden Love” in True Words Journal
- SAMPLE ARTICLES AND ESSAYS:
- “Why I Finally Stopped Shaving at Fifty” in GoodHousekeeping.com http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/a33666/stop-shaving-body-hair/
- The Sun, “Sugar”– a short personal experience for A Reader Writes
- Study Sync, www.studysync.–Wrote essay questions, intros, blurbs and other material for classic and contemporary literature
- Inspire Me Today, www.inspiremetoday.com
- How Can I Find My Path?
- Celebrate Your Uniqueness
- The Transformative Benefits of Journaling
- Finding Inspiration in Shingles
- Craziness is in the Eye of the Beholder
- For the Danville Weekly (sample articles):
- Comedy Goes With Chemo
- A Welcome Respite
- Like To Write? Join a club
- Legend Lives On
- Artists Strut Their Stuff
- For Small Press Review:
Reviews of periodicals, literary magazines, and books over 5 years
- For the Oakland Tribune:
“A Part of History” – first person essay
- For the Contra Costa Times:
- “Absence Makes The Lies Grow Stronger” – first person essay
- “A Reflection in the Mirror is Reward Enough” – first person essay