I have days, many many days when all I can come up with is titles for things. Never titles for the piece I’m writing, of course. That would be too helpful. I write them down. I write most of them down. I write way too many of them down because you never know when you’re going to need a title.
For instance one day I will definitely create a character who claims to have played with the Indie Punk band Feral Kittens. You know, until she aged and joined Percussive Maintenance. Because you have to be under twenty-one to be a Kitten. What can I say? I really like Mimsy. She cracks me up. I just have to find a book for her. She’s too good to waste.
Then there is the potential Cardiologists in Love series: Tandem Tachycardia, Her Atrial Fribulation, and Mixed Palpitations.
Yup, that’s a gold mine.
Although, Her Atrial Fribulation, would be a good punk band name too.
Then there are the political titles like, I Blame Martin Van Buren (which I totally do) or the Dolley Madison Murders. That would be series in which Dolley get’s tired of being the First Lady and starts her own investigation into the disappearance of Theodosia Burr, but ends up solving literally every other mystery she comes across, except that one.
If you’ve read this far, you are entitled to inquire about my point. Um. I don’t really have one. Just, one day, I’m going to have a brilliant idea, and a title to go with it. If I can find where I’ve written the title down, and if I can read my handwriting.
Have a good one! Write on my friends. It’s NaNoWriMo.
Always there is that first line to get on the page. The place where your story stars. It’s hard to pick sometimes. Most times. So today, first lines I have kicking around my computer and really should use someday.
No, I’m not afraid someone will steal my brilliant idea. Even someone took one of these lines and use it, they’d never end up with the same story. So be inspired, my friends.
Or get a good laugh out of them. Either way.
Top Five First Lines I haven’t used yet.
- “There’s only one place on earth I know where you’re less than an hour from Glasgow, Odessa, Versailles, and Miami. Here’s a hint: It’s not in Europe.”
- “Once upon a time, there was a village held together by a theater.”
- “Of course there were numerous conspiracy theories. It’s even possible some of them were true.”
- “That was the summer of old women with guns, of fireworks in the corn, of occultists in the park. It was the summer Addie Ross was attacked by terrorists.
- “I wouldn’t take you on a jaywalking expedition, never mind a bank job.”
So, what’s the best first line you have laying around used?
As they had always intended, he started to take over the old toy workshop behind the upper hallway wardrobe. First the air compressor went in. Then he spent a weekend unpacking the tools from storage. Next, he seemed to acquire alarming amounts of PVC pipe, for a person who wasn’t doing any plumbing.
Every once in a while, as she was unpacking and organizing the attic office that had become her space, she would peek down through the ladder hole to see what he was doing. She would smile as she watched him work, and ignore any smells coming up the ladder.
Finally the day came. It was time to test the air cannon. How could she tell? He came home with a large bag of potatoes, and a piece of plywood.
She watched him doing the research for several days without saying anything. He watched all the videos, and read the blog posts. She ignored his actions.
Then she came home one evening to find an ad from the local hardware store on her desk. “You want a shop vac?” she asked over dinner.
“You left an ad for them on my desk.”
“Oh, not the shop vacs. I was thinking about the air compressors. They’re really so handy to have around. Nail gun. Spray painter. I mean, we are slowly remodeling.”
“Thought I’d pick one up on the way home tomorrow.”
“So, when are you going to start building the air cannon?” she asked.
He looked sheepish. “In a couple of weeks. I’m still making plans.”
She nodded. “Do I get to fire it?”
“You bet babe.”
Come join us over at Hundred Ton Press as we welcome new author G. E. Nicholas. This is a lovely and lyrical collection of short stories that is well worth the read. Congratulations!
By: Opel Rickenbacker
It’s not that I don’t believe in warranties for cars. It’s that I don’t believe in extended warranties at all. For anything. They’re never worth the money you pay for them. I do not invest in things that are there simply to make me feel better. I do not require being made to feel better about spending my money for our corporate overlords.
As we were driving to the next car lot, I quoted the price I was willing to pay for a car: $2,000. Period. Bentley was shocked. Nova was intrigued. About $2,000 was what they were planning to put down. What if we all could get cars for that price, and see how long we could run them? Thus the $2,000 Car Challenge was born.
The rules were simple — buy a car for $2,000 or less, then keep track of the purchase price, money for repairs, and gas mileage. In six months we’d see who’d gotten the best deal…if any of the cars were still running at all.
Adopting The Challenge immediately changed our trajectory. Instead of heading for the Fieri dealership (Bentley had delusions of grandeur), we took a sharp left to the local Foss dealership. We ran into our first problem almost at once. Between us and the Foss dealership, sitting under an elm tree, was a 1969 Dorsey Dash. Someone had given it a silver paint job, added purple flames, and had planted a handwritten *for sale by owner* sign on it.
I was in love. A true and everlasting love. This was the big one. So even though I knew I couldn’t afford it, I made Bentley pull over.