Opening Lines- The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Aw, the elusive, perfect opening line. It’s the most important line of your book. If you can’t grab the reader’s attention from the beginning, all the gnashing of teeth, hair pulling, and hard work you put in writing will have been time wasted; much like watching the news.

Sometimes, your muse whispers the perfect opening line in your ear, and other times it’s as elusive as the winning lottery ticket. Don’t sweat it. All writers struggle with getting it right at some time in their career. Others end up in therapy – kidding.

Wherever you find yourself on the writing continuum, it’s good to know you’re not alone. So, Sit back and enjoy, The Hipster & the Clairvoyant: 6 Bad Openings for Your Book from Dinty W. Moore (Psychology Today).

Do you have a bad opening line, you’d like to share? We’ve love to read it; share it below. In the meantime, I think I’ll head to the kitchen, I’ve suddenly got a hankering for beef stew.

Pretend I’m your therapist, talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears.

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The Heavy Weight of Perfectionism

My name is Sheila, and I am a perfectionist.

The experts say this personality trait comes from one’s childhood. For me, that’s probably true. My mom, God rest her soul, taught me, from an early age, to do things right the first time. Or, do it over until I could do it right the first time. Want to know the best way to clean windows, grout, baseboards or window seals?  Gotcha covered, but that’s another post.

Even at this late stage in my life, I continue to struggle with having everything “perfect.” This is especially true as it relates to writing.  That’s why my WIP, 40,000 words in, is still unfinished. This is not a trait of which I’m proud. Striving for perfection will suck the life out of your soul if allowed to run unchecked. At times it weighs me down, and I miss out on being present with the people and life happening around me.

The Perils of Perfection. It is well worth a read and thoughtful consideration.

“Strive for Progress, not Perfection.” Click to Tweet

What about you? How many on her list could you check in the affirmative? Are you a perfectionist? Me? I’m ready to ease up and relax.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears.

I Can’t See a Damn Thing in This Fog

Daily Post Prompt:    Foggy

Funnyjunk

Crystal pulled her glasses off for the third time and cleaned them. She tried lens wipes, spray, Windex, and soap and water; which left the worst film ever.

Her husband, Roger, watched impatiently from the comfort of his recliner. “What are you doing? The movie’s about to come on, and you’ve been fooling with those damn glasses for twenty minutes.”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “What the hell does it look like I’m doing? I’m cleaning them.”

“Looks to me like you’re rubbing a damn hole in the lens and eww.” His face wrinkled in disgust, “After everything else you’ve tried; you think your spit’s gonna do the trick?”

“I’m telling you, I can’t see! They’re all foggy and blurry. My eyes were just fine this morning.” Her shoulders drooped. “I give up; something’s wrong, Roger, I know it.” Her hands dropped to her lap. “I bet it’s a brain tumor, like moms.”

“Jesus H. Christ, Crystal; you don’t have a brain tumor.”

“I have been having more headaches lately,” she said.

Roger pushed the electric recliners up button. “Hand me the damn things, let me have a look, and stop sniffling. We’ll figure it out together.”

Crystal handed him a lens cloth and her glasses. “I could see fine this morning.”

Roger ignored the whiny, pitiful sound coming from his wife of forty years and studied the glasses. The lens sparkled, then he spotted the numbers on the temple of the glasses. He pulled himself, grunting from his favorite chair and shuffled to the other side of the house, muttering under his breath. A few minutes later, he returned. “Here, that should do it,” he said, extending the glasses to his wife.

Crystal put them on and broke out in a grin. “I can see! You fixed them!” She reached for his hand, but he’d already pushed the down button on his recliner and was moving out of reach.

She settled back on the sofa, ready for the movie, and started giggling. “And I thought it was a brain tumor.”

“More like dementia if you ask me,” Roger said, picking up the remote control.

“Well, how in the world did you fix them?”

“I didn’t; you had my reading glasses.” Roger turned up the volume loud enough for the neighbors to hear. “Now, hush, we’ve already missed the half of the movie.”

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears.

Thank God We’ve Evolved

DAILY PROMPT:  Toothbrush

A typical chew stick. This one is from the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice)

I can remember as a child, my mother quizzing me, “Did you brush your teeth?” Twice a day and nothing less was the rule in our house.

It was a practice I carried over to my children. I wanted them to develop the habit of brushing early and be proud of their healthy beautiful teeth, but not all kids bought into that philosophy or the habit.

Getting some kids to brush is more difficult than tying a string to a door knob and pulling the little suckers! Waking up to a surprise left by the Tooth Fairy is much more enticing.  Can you imagine what it was like for those parents trying to get their kids to brush using the first toothbrush?

According to the Museum of Everyday Life, The Chinese (imagine)  invented the first bristle toothbrush during the Tang Dynasty (619-907)  from the very stiff, coarse hairs of the cold-climate hogs inserted into holes of either bone or bamboo.

I can see it now.  Junior’s mom thrusting a hairy bone out to her son. “I’m not gonna tell you again, brush your teeth.”

Thank God we’ve evolved. 

 

And, be sure to check out my book, Maybe Next Time, on Amazon. Available in Kindle and paperback formats.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears.