No, really. The first chapter of book, for me, is probably the easiest and most fun thing to write. Laying down some initial groundwork, introducing the characters, establishing (at least part of) the premise. That is the most fun I have when writing. Everything is fresh and new and full of possibility.
It’s also incredibly distracting. I will be in the midst of some project, one hundred or two hundred pages in, when I will wake up in the middle of the night or be driving around town and some other loose thread of a story idea will pop in to my brain. Then I find it hard to concentrate on my current project (one I’ve already been struggling with, more often than not) and my mind will keep drifting back to this wisp of an idea that has little or no substance.
For example, this morning I was getting ready for work when a scene played itself out in my imagination. I have no idea what put it in there or where it could go; the possibilities are pretty endless, really. At the very least, it gives me a reason to flex my writer’s muscle a little bit on a Tuesday morning.
Friday night with the ladies. Just Susanne and her girls. They didn’t do it really enough, that much was certain. But they were all busy, grown women with careers and families to manage. It was difficult for even half of them to get together for a Sunday brunch, let alone all of them for a Friday night on the town.
Often, plans would fall through at the last minute and one or two girls would have to bail on the evening, usually Patty. Her excuses for bailing always varied, but Suzanne knew each time it was because she’d decided to go after some guy or some other nonsense. Each time Suzanne would be left annoyed or hurt but she and the rest of their crew would press on without her.
But tonight, everyone was together. They were all dressed like they were hitting every cocktail party and exclusive party in Hollywood and hoping that they’d be mistaken for the wives of professional athletes. Sparkly dresses, stiletto heels, short hems, plunging necklines. All of the women who had diamonds on their left hands kept them on, but they were still going to get some attention and make men or women or both interested.
First, cocktails at AD8 followed by fine dining at Trend. Then they ended the night by dancing it up at Flux. They hated the names of the places they went, but they had a good time while they were there and they made sure that they were well taken care of. These girls (or at least their husbands) could afford it. They bought the best drinks and food and they tipped their servers well. It also didn’t hurt that there were plenty of other people interested in buying them drinks in hopes of garnering their attentions. It didn’t work.
They weren’t rude, though. They just would thank the gentleman callers for the drinks or the invitation to dance, tell them they were sweet, and then politely say they were just interested in hanging out with their friends. Patty, though, sometimes did need to be reined back in depending on the gentleman caller.
One particular time they were all in a big group on the dance floor shaking it to a hip hop song that none of them could identify, they just knew that they liked the rhythm. Patty was trying to teach them how to twerk and nearly doubled over laughing when a hand rested on her elbow. She turned to see a man staring at her with his mouth open a little. He wasn’t unattractive, to be sure, and he was probably close to her age. That was refreshing, she had been getting tired of sending early 20 somethings who watched too much MILF porn away.
“Susie?” he said to her.
She shook her head, taken aback.
“Um, yes, I’m Susanne,” she corrected him. She hadn’t gone by Susie in over a decade.
The man’s face, although still handsome, was going through a myriad of facial expressions. Susanne found it disconcerting.
“You need to come with me,” the man said. “We need to talk.”
“Um, no thanks, I’m just here to have fun with my friends,” she said as she withdrew her arm and took a step away. “Besides, I’m married.”
“Yeah, I know,” he said, exasperated. “You’re married to me, remember?”