Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Work in Progress

Here are the first 250 words of a short story I'm working on (in very rough first draft form). This story shares the same main characters as the novel I'm still writing, a first for me. Actually, I have ideas for quite a few novels and short stories involving these folks. We'll see how that goes!

This story is called "Et in Arcadia, Ego." It reflects my love of the great outdoors.

Clara was crying freely.

“I think I’m going to die!” she said to her husband.

Clara and Jonathon lived in a quaint little town, but one surrounded by a large urban area, not farmland. Of course she’d smelled a pig farm before, but never from quite this close-up, never quite this poignantly, pungently.

“And if I don’t die, I’m going to kill Denise!”

Their friend since high school, Denise now worked in sales. The fact that she was very good at her job was evidenced by the fact that Clara and Jonathon were actually crammed into the back seat of her new Volvo convertible, suffering along winding country roads on their way to spend the day at Denise’s dad’s farm. The otherwise spacious back seat was crowded because Clara and Jonathon were separated by their baby’s car seat.

“I can’t believe we’re subjecting Carrie to this. I’m sure she’s losing brain cells with each breath!”

Actually, Carrie seemed quite content with the hot wind blowing across her face, despite facing backwards and being sheltered by an enormous sun hat and tiny sunglasses.

Jonathon laughed, which made Clara smile. She was not usually so melodramatic, but being silly could be fun. Jonathon leaned his head back against the head rest and let the wind toss his feather-light brown hair. It was actually kind of lovely being out on such a perfect fall day, Clara thought as she watched her baby and husband basking in the sunlight.

Did I mention? It's a murder mystery and the tone changes right about here.


  1. I hope it's Jonathon who gets killed off—the non-JonathAn spelling always grates. "We're having a Jon-a-thon to raise money."

    I didn't know that Volvo sold any convertibles. Your story is already educating me!

  2. dun dun dunnnnnn...

    I love spin-off stories! I just...have trouble keeping them at the short story length. They want a book of their own, dammit!

  3. The Volvo C-70 has been in production since 1999. It's a convertible sedan. Very stylish.

  4. I have a friend named Denice who is in sales and drives a Volvo convertible. The rest of this character has nothing to do with her, though. :)

    And my names often change right up until I'm submitting a piece (and sometimes even after that).

    So Denise will probably not stay Denise, though I like the name and it's a different spelling of my sister's middle name, a family name. And, just for Orange, I might consider doing a find-and-replace for Jonathon/an. Because now I'm thinking of John-a-thons and the thought is making me smirk.

    Liss, I'm the opposite! I love the shorter forms and have to outline to make sure that my novels don't get pared down into short stories.