All tagged Novel

First Lines, 06/12/18

First lines of the novel that debilitating pain left me unable to write today:

"He watched her, both of them sitting together on that wraparound porch in the sticky heat of an Alabama summer. Slowly, she sipped her lemonade, legs crossed on that wooden porch swing, expressing her innocence.

Like a character in a Faulkner novel, she batted her eyelashes in the shade of a 100-year-old front-yard oak, speaking only pleasantries — at first…”

First Lines, 06/11/18

First lines of the novel I was far too busy to write today:

"'Honey, just come to bed,' said Joan. 'You'll be more comfortable.'

It was nearly 4:30 a.m., and Bill had been writhing on the bedroom floor for hours. For the first time in weeks, he could feel the warm pain radiating from the bruises on his forearms, a hungry throbbing in his veins…”

First Lines, 06/10/18

First lines of the novel I'm in too much pain to write today:

"Tyler had always been an exceptional liar.

In fact, only his parents knew that his name was NOT Tyler — and they were both dead. (They weren't. They were retired, living in Pomona.)”

First Lines, 03/01/18

First lines of the novel I was unable to write today:

"She'd never been the jealous type. But, more and more, she found herself experiencing that unfamiliar, involuntary twinge. It wasn't about trust. She was jealous of the people who got to see her every day…”

First Lines, 02/27/18

First lines of the never-to-be-written novel I was far too busy to write today:

"He remembered a time when he was driven only by curiosity. Life, in the meantime, had seemed to answer all of its burning questions – all of them replaced in his head by presumptions.

Then she walked in. His curiosity was reborn…”

First Lines, 01/22/18

First lines of the novel I was unable to write today:

“She sat beside him, wondering why places seemed so much lovelier when one was alone. He navigated the narrow canyon's hairpin turns expertly, hugging the center line and wasting no time gazing at the mountain scenery.

She was wishing she was at the wheel. She'd drive much slower, watch for wildlife, stare across that canyon and stop to take pictures for her Instagram followers…”

First Lines, 01/20/18

First lines of the novel I was too ill to write today:

"Marina walked quickly down Poplar Lane toward her best friend's house, stopping every block or two to catch her breath and wipe the rain from her eyes.

The summer so far had been slow, bringing leisurely days and late nights laying under the stars — the two talking about boys who didn't know their names, concerts, and troubles at home. But Marina knew that this morning's news, now rippling through the quiet, Midwest town, would almost certainly change that…”

First Lines, 11/18/17

First lines of the novel I was too distracted to write today: 

"He painted, in the basement, as Ravel's 'Bolero' played loudly.

He slammed his brush against the canvas as his neighbor stomped upstairs, inadvertently keeping time with the cadence of the masterpiece…”

First Lines, 11/17/17

First lines of the novel I failed to write today:

"The faint smell of kerosene hung in the air. Robyn liked that smell.

She often lit that old Coleman lantern late at night, before curling up on the couch, waiting for him to get home from the bar. The light it cast on the outdated portrait of Pope John Paul II made her feel a tiny bit better. Safer…”

First Lines, 11/15/17

First lines of the novel I resisted the inclination to write today:

"This is not just another innocuous story about a boy who feels bad about a girl killing herself. The world has enough of those.

Claire Muñoz left no note. She didn't leave 13 cassette tapes, either. She didn't feel the need to explain herself, or her decision to take 60 tablets of Cyclobenzaprine on that Friday night…”

First Lines, 10/04/17

First lines of the novel I didn't write today:

”As a boy, he used to slip away for hours on end — through the thicket of cottonwoods and Russian Olives, down near the river. He'd sit on the sandy bank, pick at the half-shells of freshwater mollusks, and seek out stones flat enough for skipping.

He was good at skipping stones, but he kept practicing. He practiced like it was an Olympic sport, his path to fame and fortune…”

First Lines, 10/03/17

First lines of the novel I had neither the time nor the inclination to write today:

"Santiago had lived a very good life. Although he had twice been married (and twice-divorced), he'd never had children. Now, at 79, his modest apartment and simple furnishings would certainly never lead one to guess he had nearly half a million dollars in the bank.

'Compound interest,' he used to say. "The most powerful force on the planet." And then he'd wink…”

First Lines, 10/02/17

First lines of the novel that today's barrage of tragic news left me too grief-stricken to write today:

”He arose from his seat in the waiting room — a place near the window which, after all these months, he'd actually come to think of as his own. The sliding doors whooshed open quickly, silently, and his eyes struggled against the blinding noonlight.

The young doctor's words — and the uncomfortable, bad-news grimace he hadn't yet perfected — still echoed, or rippled, like shockwaves, like... like...”

First Lines, 07/04/17

First lines of the novel, “The World It Kills Softly,” which I won’t write today, as it’s Independence Day:

“She lost him on a Tuesday. Together, they had grown up sharing everything. They were Irish twins — born nearly exactly nine months apart. Together, they had perfected forgiveness. They had perfected dreaming, manufacturing lives intertwined, raising nieces and nephews as their own. They didn’t bicker; she couldn’t remember a single argument.

The Leukemia finally took him on that Tuesday night in April of her senior year, just a few short months after the diagnosis…”

First Lines, 06/03/14

First lines of the novel that I was too busy to write today, because I was busy writing:

"As sun set on the mountaintop, the hermit suddenly wondered — almost aloud — if he was crazy. It was not an epiphany, not in any spiritual sense. It started like an ache, like a pebble in one's shoe. Twilight faded, and his mind capsized, sinking into an icy sea of panic.

All night he sat in the moonlight shadows of a sycamore…”

First Lines, 03/09/14

First lines of the novel I won't write today:

"It's me or YOU,' she said, holding two guns. With her right hand, she pressed the heavy barrel of one to her temple. In her left hand, her finger squeezed against the trigger of a .44 aimed at his chest.

The burst of epinephrine and dopamine that human physiology prescribes for moments like these somehow failed him…”

First Lines, 01/16/14

First lines of the novel I won't write today:

"It was 7 a.m. on a Saturday in July when he dropped off his key. The Mississippi Delta was already hot; his tee-shirt clung to his back as he stepped out of the pickup and made his way up the dusty driveway to the front porch…”

First Lines, 11/29/13

First lines of the novel I had no time to write today:

"In that bitter moment, she realized that she was no longer 'his,' as she'd long perceived. Instead, he was HERS. Her responsibility. Her problem. And her burden to bear, through this life — and possibly the next…”

First Lines, 10/24/13

First lines of the novel I won't be writing today:

"'WHO IS YOUR CO-PILOT?!?' the controller's voice crackled across the radio. The black box recorded it all. There was more radio silence, except for the rapid beeping that confirmed that the plane had rolled dangerously starboard. Capt. Rogers — Ahab, his buddies called him — was dead, and the cockpit was empty…”

First Lines, 10/11/13

First lines of the novel I won't be writing today:

"'I don't like telling stories,' the old man muttered. 'I have no use for them.'

He reached for his coffee, and his eyes fixed on a photograph hanging on a distant wall, taking on a ghost-town vacancy. After a moment, he mumbled this non-sequitur: 'They can't kill a memory. Only time can do that.'…”