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First Paragraphs - Laura Wise

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August 30th, 2008


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06:16 pm - First Paragraphs
Lazy, steamy-rainy evening here -- the Dog of the House has lolloped around the edges of the rain and is now lounging damply on the loveseat, I've overdosed on hurricane coverage, and it seems perfect for tea and the final revisions of Traveller and Wish-Queen.

Before I return to that, though, I'll play the first-sentences meme (except, being me, I'm doing first-paragraphs, and I'm skipping T&W-Q as it's still being reworked).



First up is the first novel (contemporary fantasy, ensemble, adventure, romance) I've written, tentatively called Working the Boundaries. I'm still havering about whether or not to send it back out, but let us include it here regardless:

The rearview mirror reflected a thin line of sunset between the flat Oklahoma horizon and the wall cloud, but Risa Carter could also see a funnel spiraling out of the green-black sky. It hadn't touched down on the dry winter earth yet, although dirt was beginning to dance underneath. If, or when, it did touch, it could destroy -- even out here in the middle of the panhandle of nothing.

The whip-tail widened as it formed, as it cracked closer to the ground. Even from a couple of miles away, the concussions of the downdraft beat against her skin. It was coming this way.


Second is a novelette I wrote to specifications for an anthology I don't think will ever see the light of day. I've considered posting it here, except, well, it's a vampire story and other than this, I don't write vampire stories. ;-) Still... I was asked to write about a romantic adventure about a heroic vampire, and the question I put to myself was, "Who would be the person most devastated/unhappy about being vamped?" ;-) Anyway, I mixed up magic, St Augustine, a nice little macguffin, and my own idiosyncratic answer to Nick and Nora in "Thin White Duke in Sneakers":

A sudden breeze off Matanzas Bay fluttered the paper of Linda Ramirez’s notebook, pages flying so fast that random words from the notes she’d jotted down seemed to escape into the night. The Lion’s Magick Shop. Cantina, after sunset. Greg.

She’d double-underlined his name with one bold strike obscuring part of the letters, a habit she’d picked up somehow back when they were dating and never abandoned. He’d teased her about it for years; she could almost hear him, in his pathetic attempt at a Spanish accent, “Ah, *mi* Linda, is that a black mark for your *esposo*? Ready to write me out already?” To which stupidity she would try to punch him, but he would catch her hand in mid-air, saying dryly, “*Que linda*, my violent girl,” and, yes, that was her husband, faster than he looked.


"Windmill Man" is the contemporary fantasy (bordering on magical realism) short story currently in submission. Well, we see what I'm interested in, here, as we plunge into the story:

“Something's got to be done about that damn windmill man,” Callie said into her pillow. “Can't get any sleep with that guy talking crap.”

Dal, half-buried under his own pillow, grumbled something about photovoltaic cells and bologna, and then said in a dreaming voice, “Yeah. Okay. Dealing with things of the wind is a woman's job.”


I wrote "Windmill Man" as a personal connection to the contemporary fantasy now in progress, Tinaja. Both of them are West Texas stories (and in my head share a universe). Tinaja begins in the past, in the early 1970s:

Her hands went deep in the protected earth first: circle, square within that, triangle within that, line. She called water from an invisible spring, brought sweet moist air to pass through desert dry. Her hands then pressed into the flat rock at her knees. When her palms circled its tinaja, the small natural basin filled. Her voice lifted against the north wind whistling through the narrow canyon –

“Safety and light against the thing in the dark,” Marguerite Glass Martin whispered, “*la seguridad y la luz para todos.*”

The words of the ritual she’d worked and lived since she was sixteen echoed to her in different voices – singing from the leaves of the Texas madrone at the mouth of the canyon and the grasses beyond, from the north wind, from the rocks which surrounded her, all imprisoning that which she guarded.


Gee. Am I perhaps a little obsessed with magic and the natural world, do you think?


May it be a good weekend for you all, filled with whatever magics you choose!
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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:August 31st, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
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OK, now I want to read all of all of those.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:August 31st, 2008 11:29 am (UTC)
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Thank you so much! I'm glad the incredible repetition of weather imagery wasn't too off-putting. :-)

I really appreciate your comment, and wish you a good Sunday.
[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:August 31st, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
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I'm very intrigued, and hope to read these, completed, sometime in the future.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:August 31st, 2008 11:30 am (UTC)
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Thank you thank you! What a cheering thing to hear. I'm grateful.

Happy Sunday to you!
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From:freixenet
Date:August 31st, 2008 01:04 pm (UTC)
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:;waves:: I like this first paragraph thing. I know I've read some of one of these, and now I want to read all of all of them. :)

My best to the Dog of the House, of course. And to you!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:August 31st, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, F! The Dog of the House thanks you too -- she is freshly bathed and feelin' good. :-)

Happy Sunday!
[User Picture]
From:headrush100
Date:August 31st, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
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*hugs* in computer-disassembling-passing! I'll be back to read the entry properly soon (I hope!).

[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:August 31st, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
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Hee! Well, you know, no rush -- you've already read all these stories. :-)

Happy happy computer- and room-reassembly! [hugs]
[User Picture]
From:mobile_alh
Date:August 31st, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
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Mmm...two of which I know nothing. So intriguing!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:August 31st, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
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Hi hi, ALH.

(Check your email.) :-))

[hugs and cheerful Sunday thoughts]
[User Picture]
From:pinkdormouse
Date:September 1st, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
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I like all those, especially the last.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 1st, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah!

I do appreciate your reading them, and commenting. :-)

Happy start of your week!

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