Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I wrote this last night and forgot to post it this morning. I apologize.

I got my “first pass through” copy of my forthcoming novel, Threadbare. It’s been long enough since I read it that I am seeing it with fresh eyes. This is both good and bad news. The good news is that there aren’t many corrections to make (so far, I’m only on page 35). The bad news is that I’m no longer in love with it. I want to take it back and re-write it. But I won’t, mostly because I’ve felt like that with every novel I’ve ever written. I know that some time next year I’ll pick up the book and see that it’s not so bad after all. Maybe this reaction is because it’s now set in type and looks different on the page.

Anyway, here’s the opening scene:

RANDY Untweiler, seventeen, a tall, skinny kid with dark
blond hair, was the one who found her. He came out
of the movie theater by the back door. He’d stayed after the
last show to sweep up, and was carrying a bag of trash to be
put into the huge green Dumpster near the door. He wouldn’t
have seen her, because it was dark and had been snowing
heavily—in fact, it was still snowing. All he knew was that he
tripped over something big and hard, and fell. The trash bag
split open when he landed on it, and he began swearing as he
picked up the candy wrappers and empty popcorn and soft
drink containers by the glow of a distant streetlamp.

It occurred to him to wonder what had tripped him, and
he went over to kick at the object, whatever it was. Using his
cell phone to weakly light the area, he dislodged enough
snow to disclose the blank cold face of an old woman with
hair the same color as the snow. After an astonished few seconds,
he texted his best friend, Adam, that he’d found a

woman’s dead body. Adam texted back, “u r joking,” and
Randy texted, “4 real,” and Adam texted, “call 911.”

But Randy decided that such things as finding dead bodies
didn’t happen to people like him and therefore it wasn’t
real after all. Maybe it was a store dummy—he pulled off a
glove and touched the face and found it as hard and cold as
plaster. Still, he phoned his girlfriend, Harriet, to consult
with her, and while arguing with her about it, Adam arrived,
still zipping up his coat. Adam, short, plump, and intelligent,
looked at the body and declared in scatological and
obscene terms that Randy must quit acting like a fool, hang
up on Harriet, and call the police.

Which he did.

What do you think?


Judy said...

When can we buy it? I am so ready to find out what happens.

Dee W said...

I'm ready! I could do a proof read for you if you'd like! And yes, it'll be great. Like always.

Monica Ferris said...

The book will appear in bookstores December 10.

Thanks for the offer, Dee, but I'm not ready for someone to look at it in its present state.

Betty Hechtman said...

i think it's a great beginning!

JanG said...

I love the conflict between the guys at the start. Already, two characters have completely different personalities.

Mary Barton said...

I like the beginning with its illustration of the unreality of finding a dead person, but of course want to buy it now Im with Dee, I'd love to proof read it :) Mary