Originally published 2016-11-11: They say patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet; to a young orphan, that’s small comfort.
My next romance book (maybe?) was one I wrote quite a while ago. I liked the story, but something about it was wrong, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. So I put it away and let it sit.
Then I let my wife read it. She gave me some ideas on how to change it, and I put it away again.
And it’s finally almost ready to be rewritten.
So I decided to use it for this week’s #FirstLineFriday!
- Create a post on your blog titled “#FirstLineFriday”, hashtag and all.
- Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
- Post the first one or two lines of a potential story, a story in progress, or a completed or published work.
- Ask your readers for feedback and then encourage them to do #FirstLineFriday, tagging them if necessary.
I had to excise this part from the upcoming book.
The Bitter Fruit of Patience:
The girl’s eyes, trained on the covered pot, flicked occasionally to the metal sheet on which almonds, toasted to a golden crunch, sat cooling. The fragrance of dill wafted into her nostrils and she breathed in deeply. The old woman next to her sat upright, her posture perfect despite her advanced age, her eyes sweeping over the worn pages of the heavy Bible in her lap.
“Yaya, is it ready?” the girl whispered.
Her grandmother reached one hand out and pushed in the girl’s lower back, never moving her eyes. The girl straightened and shut her mouth.
“Adonia, it will be ready when it is ready. You must have patience.” She turned her eyes to stare at the girl’s face, suppressing a smile. “You are just like your mother at your age. Wound up to spring.”
Adonia’s back bowed again and she twisted her lips up in a pout. She gulped back the tears she knew wouldn’t do any good and steadied her voice. “Will she come back?” she asked. Her voice cracked.
The old woman sighed. “Kalo mou.” She wrapped her sandpaper hands around the girl’s cheeks and brought her in close to her face. “You don’t worry about what your mother does. You worry about learning to be a better woman than she.” She planted a kiss on Adonia’s forehead, then pushed her back into her chair.
Standing, she ambled over to the counter, where she poured dill seeds from a pan into a little black mortar. She shoved the mortar and pestle into Adonia’s hands, then climbed back onto her stool. Adjusting herself, her right hand turned one page of the Bible. With her left, she pushed the girl’s back. “Patience brings wisdom.”
What do you think?
Does this opening paragraph make you want to read the story? Does it leave you with questions that can only be answered by reading it, or does it make you want to skim over to the next post, tweet, or e-mail?
I welcome all feedback, positive or negative. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to wax poetic; just give me a hint why, and I’ll work on it. And, as always, thanks for your feedback if you leave it. It’s immeasurably important for a writer to know when she is hitting the mark – or missing it.