Reader Friday: Opening Paragraph

Green Girl

 

Creativity time. Write an opening paragraph based on this photo. Don’t look at anyone else’s contribution first. Let’s see what we come up with! (Photo by Carol Highsmith)

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33 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Opening Paragraph

  1. Jesus! Those damn Leprechauns. And so many of the little buggers. Well I can tell you in all candor, that will be the last time I ever share a cab on Saint Patrick’s Day. Ya think your just gonna have a few shooters with some friends and the next thing ya know a green wave of little people are wantin to make merry on you. Yep, that’ll definitely be the last time I take a cab with a bunch of Elf’s.

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    • Hey now, take it easy there.

      1. Us Leprechauns are not about to take advantage of such a lovely. Now our Clurichaun cousins….that’s a different story.

      2. Leprechauns are not elves. Elves are taller and thinner, and prettier and Leprechauns are….well…we’re beautiful in our own way.

      Thank you very much, and have a wonderful day.

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  2. Frozen with fear, she posed as they wished. Knowing help was not coming, she fought ever increasing despair. To put their captive on display. Sick. And looking like an Irishman after a hard party. She vowed to somehow escape. Somehow.

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  3. I don’t usually mind going undercover, and I learned a long time ago the best way to hide is in plain sight, but sometimes I think Lou let’s his sense of humor get a little out of hand.

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  4. Hurricane Matthew crashed into the Daytona coastline sometime around 4 a.m. I knew because I heard the pop-fizz of the transformer just before the digital clock went out. By the time I made my way to the store, Lucy the mannequin in the broken window was the only thing left. She was still upright. My ex was lying at her feet, a shard of glass sticking out of his chest.

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  5. Alice was going to kill her hairdresser. But first, she had to put in an appearance at her mother’s formal Sunday dinner. Maybe this would turn Winifred Balstrom’s attention away from Alice’s many “faults.” For sure it would bring an abrupt halt to any interest displayed by this weeks’ sacrificial male partner. Mr. “Look who just happened to drop by” would become Mr. “Can’t leave fast enough.” On second thought, maybe Alice’s hairdresser deserved a massive thank-you.

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  6. Stumbling around in the dark, I rushed to get dressed while the house crashed in around me. Now, under the generator lighting at the shelter, I wish I’d had a flashlight.

    🙂

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  7. The phone call raised more questions than it answered. Yes, I finally learned why Cindy broke off our engagement thirty years ago. But my mind still reeled over the daughter I never knew about. Who was she? What is she like? Then I saw her, waiting in the hotel lobby, dressed to the nines like a regurgitated Picasso.

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  8. Chamblee. She had to remember her name is now Chamblee. For the next three months–or until she brought home the man known as Taquito. Dead or alive. She snickered. She hadn’t thought about it. But which of them would be dead? Which would be alive?

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  9. The effect of the black light made her slightly nauseous. They hadn’t told her this would be involved. The job was advertised as “Queen of the Saint Patrick’s Day Blast.” The locale was an old Knights of Columbus hall that was now rented out for special events. She didn’t know anything about the sponsoring organization, but St. Patrick’s Day parties were generally fun, safe events, she thought. When she arrived, this skinny, acne-faced kid took her to a back room, laid out the wig and leopard-patterned costume. He stood there. She realized he was just going to wait there while she changed. He watched coolly as she stripped to her panties and pulled on the costume. Then he adjusted the wig on her head and led her out to the hall to her “throne.” He switched off the lights. The black lights came on; she gasped at her image in the wall-sized mirror across the room.

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  10. The guy who crowned me Green Glitter Goddess must’ve been a leprechaun with his head up his lascivious ass. My name is Piper Deville and I speak from experience: one second you’re a goddess, the next second you’re adrift in the Sea of Green Beer, surrounded by drunken Lounge Larries.

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    • Now I’ve read the other paragraphs, what fun! I especially like the way everyone hints at a story to come, well done (except for me–I got stuck on the image itself. My bad) Love the mannequin thing in particular, Kris!

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      • I am here to defend all Leprechauns!

        That said, my cousin Reggie The Rotter may well fit your description. Sorry for your poor experience with the lesser of Leprechauns.

        Sincerely,
        Fillii

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  11. Of course, I wanted to go undercover. I mean, isn’t that the crème de la crème of detective operations?

    Sitting in a store display window dressed like a St. Pattie’s Day patsy, wasn’t what I had in mind.

    A lime green wig is now hanging over my left eye. Thanks to the crazed idiot wielding his decorator’s touch, my vision is now obscured from the very subject in need of detecting.

    Think, Angelica, think. This is what you went to school to do. Surely, there was something in that darn handbook about cosmetology alteration while under the dime.

    Remembering the fringed curtain resting above her head in this crazy setup; she looked as far as permitted. She could only partially determined the coast to be clear, thanks to her sudden half blindness.

    Ever so slightly, she adjusted her head, allowing the fringe to do its work until her left eye managed to see the light of day.

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  12. She’d dressed in this outlandish getup, dyed her hair, and come–virtually kicking and screaming–to the dance. Now she was sitting in a corner like a wall flower, like someone who didn’t belong. Of course she didn’t belong. But it was the only way to keep an eye on Kevin.

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  13. Jim,

    A neat exercise. It raise a question for me: Would it be appropriate to actually publish a story that included and referenced a photo or picture the way we’re doing here? Or should the story’s descriptions convey whatever the reader needs to know about the appearances?

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    • Jim will reply but I can’t resist jumping in to say that the question reminds me of a section in Stephen King’s book, ON WRITING. King calls writing a mental “thought transference”, that is, writing in a way that transfers a mental image from the writer’s head into the the reader’s mind. That is such a great book for writers to read, in case anyone hasn’t read it yet.

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    • You can certainly reference a famous photo. Can’t reproduce it in a book without permission from the copyright holder. The photo in this blog post is from a collection that the photographer has made freely available through the Library of Congress.

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      • I wasn’t so much concerned with the legalities as with the practicalities and aesthetics. And not so much this exercise as the more general case.

        If a story requires that the reader have a picture in front of them, this creates obvious practical problems (for print publication, anyway). So I think my question is whether it’s also a bad idea from the aesthetics perspective, or whether it might be aesthetically legitimate to do that.

        Having posed it that way, I’m reminded that people write poems about works of art and there are books that print the poems and the works of art together. So I guess there could also be situations where fiction and illustration could be essentially wedded like that.

        Do others have thoughts on this?

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  14. Verde always knew the pixie shit would get old, but she thought it would be nice to have one last fling on her thirtieth. Being a club kid had been a whirl of X, shots, and men she could fuck and chuck without any of that pesky commitment, but finding the dead body in the bathroom reminded her that underneath the green hair she was still a cop.

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  15. I am not a writer, but this sounded like fun so here goes…

    “She caught the tall lanky stranger out of the corner of her eye. He was not wearing any green, but she surmised his envy was green enough. The drifter desired what she had, but was not willing to give. Even though this was St Patrick’s Day, Donna knew her luck was about to run out!”

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  16. Amsterdam, party capitol of Europe. My friends said it would be wild fun. “Come party with us,” the handsome young man with the stunning smile at the bar had said. Then I woke up from the roofie he’d slipped me. Poor little Irish girl lost abroad. My friends all vanished. No money. No passport. No ID. The only way to get them back, says the man, is to sit in this window like a freak show, except I’m not just here for looking at.

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      • Well, he only asked for one paragraph…but…okay:

        ******
        At four foot eight they looked at my petite figure and assumed me weak. Judging by the places I’m sore I know they “tested the merchandise” while I was out. For that, they will die. Have they heard of the Leanan sídhe? Have they never read Yeats?

        The Leanan sídhe seeks the love of mortals. If they refuse, she must be their slave; if they consent, they are hers, and can only escape by finding another to take their place. The fairy lives on their life, and they waste away. Death is no escape from her. She is the Gaelic muse, for she gives inspiration to those she persecutes. The Gaelic poets die young, for she is restless, and will not let them remain long on earth—this malignant phantom.

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  17. Barbara always wanted to be Barbie. One of those awesomely skinny dolls with the incredible hair and ten-foot-long legs. With Barbie the world became a wonderful place. She owned THE BEST outfits and accessories, she had makeup that never smudged in the rain or ran if she cried. In fact, she never cried, she had a perpetual slight smile and perfect skin. Why wasn’t Barbara’s life like Barbie’s?

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