Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh why not....

     Anyone who reads a great deal has to have at least thought about writing at some point.  There are already plenty of good books and there are quite a few really good books, but there are also books, and I cannot be the only reader who's thought this, that lead to,
     "I could do better than this." 
Call it hubris, because lord knows I have plenty, but I'm trying to "do better." I'm writing a book.  I posted an excerpt on my personal blog which you can find by following the link here on Mrs. BG's, but after talking with Lesa, and the most objective of people, my loving sister and mother, I thought I'd throw it out there to see what readers who don't already love me think about it.  They say the first few paragraphs are the most important anyway. Here goes:

 Aubrey Hale fell, furious and dumbfounded, onto a step stool to look at the stunningly beautiful jade object in her hand. The storage unit was quiet other than the sound of the climate control system pushing perfectly humidified air around the room, but the internal curses she screamed in the direction of her dead husband made her head feel like it was going to explode.  Conner had been dead three years, and that was reason number one he currently sat on the top of her least favorite people list. Reason number two was that his company, Conservator Transit, Inc., along with all the headaches that came with it was now her responsibility.
What she held in her hands was closer to a catastrophic brain bleed than a headache because she was pretty sure it was an exact mirror to the jade dragon seal sitting in a nest of shredded paper beneath her bed. If Conner hadn’t already been dead, she’d have divorced him; in fact, she was wondering if she could have him exhumed for just that purpose.  She wanted to throw the seal against a wall. Instead, she clenched it until the ache in her fingers worked its way up her arms then sat it gently at her feet. Individually, the seals were rare and ridiculously valuable. As a pair, they were priceless and fuel for an international fire-storm.

When resignation finally replaced rage, she took out her cell phone to call Jack Douglas, the FBI agent she’d been lying to all day.
"Thanks large, darlin'", she said to no one.

Twenty-two hours earlier
   Dinner in the city meant another long day was going to be extended indefinitely, but Aubrey hadn’t seen her brother in law, Sean, in months and he would be a nice diversion from the pace of the past few weeks. The easy conversations she and Sean had were some of the more pleasurable moments she spent with the Hale family before Conner was killed and the only peaceful ones she’d shared with them since she’d become the widow and heir. She had always known their thin affection was more practiced than perfected, but she’d been absolutely shocked by how quickly the civility ended when she inherited their youngest son’s shares of the Hale family trust.
 Sean had offered to come to her, but Aubrey had declined.   The hard angles of Oakland kept her more aware of her tenuous place in the world, but navigating them was a lot to ask of a man in a twelve hundred dollar sports jacket. Traffic was also easier for her than it would have been for him leaving San Francisco at this hour, particularly with the Bay Bridge in a perpetual state of construction, or deconstruction, depending on one’s point of view. 
The view of the city, still orange-yellow from the last arcs of late autumn sunlight might have felt like karmic confirmation of a good deed had she not known her real motive was to keep him out of the firehouse.  Conner and she had restored the crumbling hovel into a sleek home for their life together, and the last thing she wanted was his doppelganger sitting on the sofa in the softening effects of warm firelight and wine all night.  The few evenings that happened soon after  Conner’s death had all ended with a solitary climb up the stairs and sobbing. Among the things she’d figured out very early in life were: sobbing is useless and leads to occular bloating where as one foot in front of the other was and is always salvation.

Her cell phone ringtone and a number she recognized as belonging to Alan Mercer brought her back to the present. That had to be more down side than not because any call after hours meant something or someone broke bad and couldn’t wait until tomorrow morning but she was still grateful that whatever the topic of conversation would be, it was guaranteed to move away from reawakening sadness.  She pressed “Accept.”
“What’s wrong?”
“The Italian government.”  Alan had no love and little patience for the many bureaucracies that he had to endure as Conservator’s head of Customs Compliance
“Only one government today? Wow. That’s unusually charitable of you. So does this mean you’re getting some lead time on the holiday cheer racket or that you’re drinking on the job?”
When the silence wasn’t filled with a response, she decided her sense of humor was currently unappreciated and continued. 
“Okay. I’ll put on my concerned face.  Tell me the good parts.”

"There is it... what do you think," she asked after donning her asbestos undies?  And for those of you appalled and/or concerned. It's copyrighted and all that good stuff, though personally, I believe in the benevolence of the universe, my fellow man included.


  1. You added more! Now there are two men I want to know more about-- the FBI agent and the brother-in-law! A firehouse house-- cool!

  2. well, i had more, so i figured why not.. it's all a toss up in the air anyway :D

  3. hahaha...didn't realize the story stopped and was wondering why she was putting on asbestos undies...
    i do like it!

  4. hahaha! Leslie, you kills me..killsssss me.
    and here I went to all that trouble of all those tildes... I guess I should have said, "to be continued until I'm told otherwise" before the underwear reference.

  5. It's a good start because it's got a good hook - I want to find out what happens next!

    Congrats for having the guts to go for it and having the belief in yourself to start writing.

  6. Is there more? I am drawn into the story but now feel like a movie on satellite TV got interrupted by a storm. Is there more you can entice us with?

  7. The sun has come out!! I found the other installment on your blog.

  8. lura,
    those bits are the last of the finished sections since i've stopped posting for a while until i'm happier with the end product. it means so much that you've enjoyed it. i promise there is more coming and hope you will read it when its ready. if nothing else, you've inspired me to be more focused!


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