Department of Story Beginnings: 2006

I have a few things (but not too many) that I want to accomplish this year, but those I will keep to myself. Instead, I offer this list of openings to each of the three works I reasonably expect to finish this year. I expect these sentences will be revised, or disappear altogether by the final drafts.

Bad_Idea (contemporary comic novel, now in second draft – don’t know what the underscore between the words in the title means, but I hope to figure something out, because I really like it for some reason):

   "Greg, you need a male friend."

We had decamped from the bar to a corner table, turning our chair backs to the monster screens and the sobbing true believers around us.

The Entreprenuer (suspense novel, now in first draft):

What do I say to them? They looked at Connie like cattle look at … she didn’t know what. Bovine women, a herd of them, grazing at tables by fours and fives. Hi, I’m Connie Wexler-Hart, forty-one years old, creator of one son, three businesses, and not fifteen minutes ago I committed adultery for the first time in my life in my room at this very Peachtree Inn & Conference Center.

[that one, I’ve certainly got to change — "like she didn’t no what" indeed!]

Plastic Fruit (very long contemporary story or novelette):

My friend, Champion, took a long slow sip of his coffee. Though noon had not yet come, Champion had already doctored his coffee from the silver flask of what he called "His Irish" — which I never saw him without in the quiet shop where we met and sat on winter Wednesdays. We were the only fellows our age ever to frequent the small café, which catered to students of the local campus of our state university. These young learners, not untypical of their earnest, ambitious generation, remained forever fixed within their laptop screens, so that the café remained silent even when filled — nor did the indifferent staff often disturb the tables. These points made for excellent environs in which two old men who had each seen a portion of the world’s troubles could husband their meager finances and be largely left along to talk.

"Powell?" my friend asked. "Have I ever told you of Steven Hampren?"

*Update* Interesting, (interesting to me, that is) each of this in-progress pieces begins in a public gathering place: a bar, a hotel conference hall, and a coffee bar.

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