I'm going on Sabbatical!

Monday, March 16, 2009
I've always wanted to say that. It sounds so important.

But seriously, I'm going to be in the hospital from Tuesday until Friday or Saturday and I've got a long recovery ahead. I'm not sure when I'll get back in the swing of things (though it might be fun to post some things while I'm on pain meds ;) ).

I wish I had some kind of update to give you, but I haven't heard anything from my agent in a couple of weeks. Soooooo . . . .

I'm going to post two possible beginnings for my novel, The Last Witch. You get to vote on which one is your favorite. The winner will go to my agent!

Version 1:

The sun scorched Brusenna’s straw-colored hair and the street's dust clung to her feet as if begging her to take it away from this stifling place. She knew exactly how the dust felt. Every part of her wanted to whirl and run as she waited for the merchant. But she and her mother needed the supplies.

“Twelve upice,” Bommer said sourly as he finished wrapping the spools of thread in crinkling brown paper.

A ridiculous price. If she were anyone else, she could have bartered it down to half that. But she was not anyone else. She was a witch. She held out the upice. The man’s gruff paw swallowed the dull coins in mounds of fat. She wondered what marvelous things he ate to flesh out his skin that way. Things like the honey sweetened cakes she could still smell in her clothes even after she'd left the marketplace.

As Bommer counted his money, Brusenna gathered the packages tightly to her chest and turned to go. She hadn’t gone five steps when a meaty hand clamped down on her arm. With a wince, she craned her neck to see the merchant looming over her.
“You tryin’ to cheat me, chanter?”

Version 2:

Brusenna sat up in bed, blinking and listening for the sounds that had woken her. The stairs creaked. A moment later, the kitchen door groaned and then slapped softly against the frame. Shaking off the remnants of sleep, she padded softly to her window.

Her mother trailed through the waist high corn as if she waded through water—her palms skimming across the plants. Wafts of witch song drifted with moonlight that cast everything in silver and shadow. Brusenna watched until her mother disappeared into the dense forest. Biting her lip, she snatched her wrap from its hook and flung it over her thin shoulders before she could change her mind.

As she approached the kitchen door, Bruke pricked his ears hopefully. “No, you stay.”
He groaned in displeasure before laying his head back between his paws. She felt a pang of guilt, but she knew he would obey.

Brusenna scanned for her mother before bursting free of the house. Darting from one shadow to the next, she searched for signs of her passing. She halted suddenly at the sound of her mother’s song. Pure, beautiful, enchanting. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on the words that only a witch born could have understood, for they were sung in the Creator’s language—the language of authority, with the correct melding of harmony and pitch—by a witch.

The way I have it now, Version 1 is the beginning of chapter 1. Version 2 is the beginning of Chapter 2. You can vote to leave it how it is, pick one over the other, or neither. Have fun voting!
*sings* I'm leavin' on a jet plane (morphine), I don't know when I'll be back again . . .


  1. I take it you are leaving to have your baby? Good luck!

    I love both these beginnings, but I choose #1. I don't think books should start with people waking. It's just a personal pet peeve. But I love the second one, don't get me wrong. I would leave it as chapter 2, though.

    You have amazing detail and voice. I'm impressed. No wonder you're going to get published!

    Keep us posted on how things go!

  1. I would stick with number one. Start out with action. They're both fabulous though.
    Best of luck with the baby. Can't wait to hear all about it,

  1. hmmm...actually i misvoted. i think they're both excellent and descriptive (tho the 'gruff' hand threw me, esp when i realized it was also a fat hand), and you should include them both. Great job!

    Congrats on your new mommyhood adventure... i'm happy for you!

  1. I agree with not thinking books should begin with people waking, and version 1 throws you into the action faster. However, I believe version 2 is easier to follow and is generally more intriguing and written better.

  1. Ken Kiser said...:

    Definitely version #2!

    Get well soon, and best wishes on a speedy recovery. I usually lurk around here quietly, but I wanted to wish you well.

    *** Version #2. :D

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