Every weekend, readers and writers share a few lines from an LGBTQ+ work of fiction as part of the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. The snippet can be from their own work, or just something they enjoyed reading. I love checking out the excerpts people share. It’s a great way to discover new authors and interesting reads.
Some kids’ heads are in the clouds. Harriet Little’s head is in outer space.
In 1950s America, everyone is expected to come out of a cookie-cutter mold. But Harriet prefers the people who don’t, like her communist-sympathizer father and her best friend Jackie, a tomboy who bucks the school dress code of skirts and blouses in favor of T-shirts and blue jeans. Harriet realizes she’s also different when she starts to swoon over Rosemary Clooney instead of Rock Hudson—and finds Sputnik and sci-fi more fascinating than sock hops.
Before long, Harriet is secretly dating the most popular girl in the school. But she soon learns that real love needs a stronger foundation than frilly dresses and feminine wiles.
Here’s a little snippet that takes place in the autumn of 1957. Harriet has just started her sophomore year of high school and the United States and Soviet Union (USSR) are locked in a space race. The USSR has just annoyed the crap out of NASA, the US space agency, by becoming the first nation to launch a satellite into outer space.
Harriet knows she should hate the Soviets for it, but she and her best friend Jackie are so enthralled by the science, they can’t not get caught up the excitement. Mandy, the other character mentioned here, is Harriet’s secret girlfriend.
'The Soviets launched Sputnik the October of our sophomore year. It was the first man-made satellite to be fixed in the heavens, an artificial moon that could be floating over our school at that very moment.'—Tomboy by @JanelleReston… Click To Tweet
The Soviets launched Sputnik the October of our sophomore year. It was the first man-made satellite to be fixed in the heavens, an artificial moon that could be floating over our school at that very moment.
I’d been reading about Sputnik in the news and magazines like Popular Science for weeks. Jackie tuned her ham radio to check for signals from the satellite and promised to call if it came overhead so I could go out with my dad’s binoculars to look for it in the night sky.
We still weren’t eating lunch together because Jackie thought Mandy was “a pill” and Mandy thought Jackie was “gauche,” and since they made me pick between them, my hormones picked Mandy.
But we didn’t avoid each other.
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