First Sentence Friday – THE MOONSHINER’S DAUGHTER and Free Book Friday!
Yes, I will select a winner for a copy of THE FORGIVING KIND on Monday! In my announcement post yesterday, I mentioned all you have to do is comment (reply) here, or on my social media sites and share the posts as well. That’s it, you could win a book by simply doing that.
Now to the other reason we’re here – the first sentences of Chapters 1 and 2, ’cause I’m running behind and have to do double duty to get caught up.
There’s so much more to “write what you know.” What does it mean, exactly? What I thought it meant, originally, was that I ought to write stories about the South, because that’s what I know. That’s true. But – I have since learned it also means to write about my own experiences – to USE them in whatever manner I need to add layers of authenticity to a story. There’s some truth to every bit of fiction I’ve written thus far.
“The only memory I have of Mama, she was on fire.”
Here’s the truth about that first sentence. My mother’s face caught fire once, a memory that’s as vivid as this computer screen I’m staring at. My father was lighting up the grill, and didn’t any have any lighter fluid, so he used – gasoline. (don’t judge) He poured it over the charcoal, and handed the can to my mother. He struck a match, and tossed it and PHOOM! It seems like that was the noise I heard. A sort of whoosh and then she was on fire from her neck up. Maybe it was the hairspray she used, but the fire followed the fumes from the can, and then perhaps the alcohol in the hairspray came next. I don’t know – we’ll never know.
I remember my mother coming home from the hospital with second degree burns, and that I was afraid of her. I hid behind the couch, peeking around the side of it, staring at a face that looked – melted. I think I might have been around three years old. She was fine after a while – didn’t even scar, but it could have really been bad if it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of my father. His actions mimic some of what Jessie’s Daddy does in Chapter 1, but I won’t share that – no spoilers!
Now, on to Chapter 2.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly had self-esteem issues when I was growing up. I was a late bloomer. In junior high (now middle school) picture a young girl with cat eye glasses, short hair (even then!) and the fashion sense of a two year old. You know, lime green flowery bell bottoms with a orange striped top, or something like that. Awkward comes to mind.
My main character, Jessie Sasser is struggling with her identity, and so much more. She’s sixteen years old, and aside from her intense desire to know about her mother, she has developed a health issue brought on by what she’s been a part of, or witnessed thus far in her life. I think the Chapter 2 sentence captures a bit of Jessie’s dry sense of humor, along with her own sense of awkwardness.
“I stared at my new driver’s license reflecting on how any picture could be worse than my school photo.”
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