I’ve begun, and not finished, a dozen blog posts for various reasons. I was inspired and then became uninspired, or I began a post, and thought I would get back to finishing, but weeks went by and the topic became dated. Or I had no idea where to go from my opening idea. Or I lost confidence.
This is not unlike my short story writing. I have dozens of short story beginnings–sometimes an opening line, sometimes an opening paragraph, sometimes a first page, sometimes several pages–abandoned for various reasons. It feels wasteful, all these words, but I can only take the best of them as a writer.
Before I became a writer before I became an HR manager, I used to be a recruiter, and I worked with someone who told me, “Recruiting is like kissing frogs–you have to kiss a lot of them to find the right candidate!” For me, short story writing is like kissing frogs. I’ve got to sample the words and feel them, before I know it feels right.
(And sometimes a short story becomes a novel).
(And then, the novel becomes the main affair–at least for me).
For your entertainment (and mine)–a sampling of first lines from ditched blog posts:
- Sometimes my novel drives me nuts; a put-a-fork-in-my-eye, bash-my-head-against-the-keyboard, utter-a-primal-scream, retreat-to-bed-and-put-the-covers-over-my-head, nuts.
- Writing the real people into my work I ended there.
- Michael Chabon touted the Bay Area writing community and it was refreshing to hear someone tout some place other than NYC.
- At the age of thirty-three, on New Year’s Eve, I had a stroke.
- I was rifling through feedback awhile back and came across the following comments:
“I think your character should get off the plane and start exploring New York. And the wife? She should try to stick with him…”
- I was in the car on a tired Monday morning, feeling all my years, heading to my class of 19 year olds who would further remind me of my time on this planet.
- I have had several people come up to me and say, with supreme conviction, “I have this feeling that you could be a fantastic spy!”
- My husband and I were talking about the Electric Light Parade, which I have seen once and only once in my life.
- I write at a space for writers, situated in the top floor of a downtown office building.
- I’m in NYC where sometimes I feel like my entire life swells in rich clouds of memory.
- Being in a new town means making new friends and acquaintances.
- My childhood bedroom window used to have no sheers, just a patterned blue cotton fabric that my parents urged me to close in the nighttime.
I may get back to these blog posts and finish them. But for now they lay half dressed and waiting.