Openings #1

When writing, my favorite part of the book is the opening. I love to write them. When I get a new idea, it’s always the opening scene that comes to me first. Usually, it’s the “who” and the “where” (the characters and setting). The “what” and the “why” (plot and theme) come later. I carry a little notebook with me to jot down new ideas. Maybe they’ll become future books, maybe not, but I thought it’d be fun to post one here from time to time. This one came from a prompt on Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write blog. Feel free to let me know what you think. Would you want to read more about Sarah and Jake?

Sarah drove through the rolling hills, past the picturesque horse farms with bluegrass so lush and green it didn’t seem real, until she reached the old farmhouse. Even after a decade away, it was as familiar as her own face. Sure, it had aged a little, but so had she.

She walked up the steps to the front porch, smiling down at the paw prints of her favorite cat. Daddy and that cat had battled constantly and he’d sworn she walked through his wet concrete on purpose. Sarah’s eyes immediately moved to the towering maple, its leaves turned up and silver in the sunshine. The marker was still there, beneath the tree, though the name painted on it had faded long ago. Even Daddy had tears in his eyes the day they buried that cat.

Sarah sat down carefully on the old porch swing. The rusty chains creaked in protest, but held her weight. She looked out over the yard where the chickens pecked and scratched the ground, searching for bugs. Her mama loved a colorful egg basket and always had a mix of breeds. This flock was no different. Sarah spotted Black Australorps, Wellsummers, Barred Rocks, and a Cream Legbar. They’d lay eggs ranging from the darkest brown to the palest blue. Colors that couldn’t be found in a store.

Beyond the yard were acres of hay fields, with green and golden stalks swaying in the breeze. It was gorgeous, but after dark it would be magical. The fields would come alive, a million fireflies looking like stars that had floated down for a closer view. She inhaled deeply, taking the fresh air into her lungs. It felt like she was breathing properly for the first time in years. She hadn’t even realized how stressed she’d been in the city until now.

“Sarah?” The deep voice was as familiar as the house. She twisted in the swing to look at him. Jake stood near the silver maple, leaning on a shovel. He hadn’t changed much. His muscles seemed bigger under his dirty white t-shirt, but his face was as freckled as it had been when they were kids. Back then, her heart had thundered in her chest as he dared her to jump from Bald Rock into the deep part of the creek. A few years later, it was his kisses that made her pulse race. Now, it seemed just the sound of his voice could send her heart into overdrive.

It was a shame she had vowed to hate him for the rest of her life.


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