29 February 2012

Happy Leap Year

29 February 2012
51 years old
Diary entries for today’s date are on the rare side, so instead I’m posting four story beginnings. I’m struggling with what to write next. I want to write a full length novel and have had any number of ideas. In fact I’m not too bad at beginnings, it’s the sticking to it that’s the problem. 
These are not necessarily the beginnings of novels, just ‘doodles’ really. Any favourites? Feedback?

I've never liked people who were easy to get along with. Amicable, friendly, always smiling. I like personality with bite ­- aldente.
‘Good. Good. Come in,’ said the lecturer as I arrived late for my first dissection class. ‘Now we have an even number, please join the young man at the back.’ He didn’t even look up as I approached. The frog had already been split in half and pinned to the dissecting board. There was a smell of formaldehyde in the air, a smell I would always associate with Phillip.
‘Beware the poison sacs,’ said the lecturer, ‘They are behind the gills.’ Phillip pointed with his scalpel and I nodded.
‘Next you need to find the heart and other organs,’ the lecturer continued.
‘Would you care to do that?’ Phillip asked.
‘Not really,’ I said. ‘I might just watch you do it, if that’s OK.’
It was then he looked at me for the first time, and I at him. I remember being struck by his green eyes. They were clear as a shallow rock pool and contrasted with his brown hair and clothing. If his eyes had been shut, you’d walk past him and not discern him from a rock.

It was an achingly cold day when Gwendolyn Graeme packed her bags and left home for good. As she zipped up the sides of her brown case, her parents were on the other side of town, finishing their first cup of tea at Aunty Dorothy’s and saying yes they’d love a top up.
You wouldn’t think so, to look at them, but Mr and Mrs Graeme were ahead of their time, in that they had Gwendolyn late in life. These days it’s nothing for a mother to have her first child at forty, but when Mrs Graeme found herself pregnant, as many of her friends were expecting grandchildren, it was considered almost scandalous or at the very least, impolite.

John and Henry
If you can believe it, to begin with, I was in love with John’s best friend. Not quite Hamlet, but in the same story line vicinity. As little as a week before John and I first kissed, I’d been crying over Henry, thinking we were perfect for one another and wondering why he didn’t care for me, in that way. If the stars are to be believed, and I do believe that in life one must have faith in something, it had been there all along – my duplicitous nature. I was born under the sign of the twins, Gemini. I can always see both sides of an argument, and the notion of right and wrong is foreign to me. Where others may see black or white, for me the world has always been a symphony of grey. I can never make my mind up. I can never be sure of anything, and as a consequence I suppose, no one can be sure of me.

If you scratch your knee, is your shoulder justified in feeling betrayed? When Catherine found out about Cindy I said to her, ‘I had an itch I needed to scratch. It meant nothing more to me than that.’
‘But I was only away for the weekend,’ Catherine said.
‘Sweetheart, you and I are solid’, I smiled as warmly as I was able. ‘You know I’ll always choose you, if it’s between you and anyone else.’ She didn’t like that.
‘Do you mean to say that every time I need to visit my elderly father, you’re going to sleep with another woman?’
‘Of course not Darling.‘ If only the old guy would hurry up and die already. 

Many thanks to Jennifer at http://writersbreak.com/ for the use of this image.


  1. Gwendolyn Graeme? Interesting... Her initials are one letter off from someone else's!

    The latter one was intriguing in a way you may not have intended because you hadn't gotten to the part where it was revealed if the narrator was a man or woman...

    In three of the four I notice a certain technique you're employing of having the narrator lay out the theme (or a theme) of the story in a statement: "I've never liked people who were easy to get along with." / "Not quite Hamlet, but in the same story line vicinity." / "If you scratch your knee, is your shoulder justified in feeling betrayed?"

    I think the first and last ones were the ones that interested me the most, as they had the most unusual approaches. The first one combined romantic feelings with the grotesque sights and smells of the frog, the intimacy between people sharing a dissection. That was intriguing. And the last one, because the narrator was so cheekily selfish! You weren't afraid to risk making the narrator unsympathetic to the reader, which was intriguing as well because it stripped away a layer of social nicety.

    1. Thank you so much for your considered comments, which always mean a lot to me. That is, I value your opinions. Ta!

  2. Mine not so considered, but I would like more of Gwen, I think it could possibly end up very twisted!!!

  3. I'm intrigued by Gwen too, though I'd be happy to read more about any of them. You do have a knack of hooking us readers in!