Step One: First Page of My Novel.


Hi there.

This is awkward.

Ok.  If you’ve been following me,  you know I’ve been working on a book.  I just finished the first draft of it thanks to a huge push from Camp NaNoWriMo and two friends who were very persuasive about getting me to commit to the Camp.

I have met, via the blogosphere, a published writer who has become somewhat of a mentor to me, whether she likes it or not. She offered to do a critique of my first page and that would be her guest blog spot on my blog, this here “Grass Oil by Molly Field” which would be tomorrow. So, for you all to get in on the action (if you wish), here’s the ultra-current first page of my book, tentatively titled, Miriam: Recovered.

Miriam’s SUV bounded into the parking lot at an assertive clip, scraping the spoiler under its oil pan casing.  She would have sent a smaller car into next week had that driver’s preternatural instinct failed to move forward at the precise divinely inspired moment.  Miriam steered into now empty parking spot, shifted into park and sat there for a moment.  She looked up from her dashboard and her eyes landed on the giant white “E” monogrammed in Edwardian script on a maroon awning and curtain protruding from the rear of a white brick colonial-style building in the parking lot next door.  The awning belonged to the Everon Funeral Home as fate would have it, and it shielded the shiny black hearses and their contents from public view.  She sighed and wondered if doing any of this because of a dream was really so necessary.

If it weren’t for her friend Julia compelling her to go to see a professional, Miriam would surely be doing something else.  But the fact of the matter was that she was in straits and she needed help.  If Julia knew anything, Julia knew a crisis.

Resigned to reason, Miriam unlocked her door, stepped on to the running board and then to the pavement. The sun was doing its best to warm the earth through the winter chill.  Tightening her coat’s belt around her waist, she then adjusted her handbag over her shoulder, shifted her weight forward, exhaled with purpose and pressed on, entering her therapist’s office building through the rear door.

O my God, she thought to herself as she stared at the ornate faux Oriental rug in her therapist’s waiting room. I’m doomed to be in this place forever. In this hole of ‘what the what’ until I die. Once the kids are gone, I’ll be like my mother. Waiting to die. Looking for my value in other things; the books I read or the magazines that sit on my end tables waiting to be thrown out. Not even opened. Like the paintings on the walls, gathering dust on the rims of their frames. What a whacked out existence this has become. It’s not even 9 am and I’m already pissed off.

End tables. What the hell is an end table? I mean, really? Why did someone come up with them?

Still here? Ahhh… good. I was so nervous just then.

The next phase, as I mentioned above is to show you my mentor friend’s review / critique.  She said she is offering “a extremely practical critique, offered as a mentor/professional writer.  I intended your goal to be reaching towards publication, and I was trying to help you reach that goal.”  So I realize that if I’m terrified now showing you all that first page, then well, I expect to be throwing up from anxiety tomorrow when I show you what she said.

So… tell me what you think if you wish and you can totally do it in the comments section. If I wanna be a Writer, I have to grow some skin.

Thank you.

About Grass Oil by Molly Field

follow me on twitter @mollyfieldtweet. i'm working on a memoir and i've written two books thus unpublished because i'm a scaredy cat. i hail from a Eugene O'Neill play and an Augusten Burroughs novel but i'm a married, sober straight mom. i write about parenting, mindfulness, irony, personal growth and other mysteries vividly with a bit of humor. "Grass Oil" comes from my son's description of dinner i made one night. the content of the blog is random, simple, funny and clever. stop by, it would be nice to get to know you. :)

13 responses »

    • mmmmokay. thanks, tammy. 🙂 i just got her review and she’s dead on and very supportive so i feel like i can actually do something with this manuscript! more tomorrow… i’ll also comment on her comments because i feel that’s showing my maturity.

      • Love your mature take on all this! Wanted to let you know that Jim Shields said exactly what I meant. Thank goodness for people who can express themselves.

      • yes, thank goodness for them! i just re-read my comments to you about “showing my maturity” and i’m laughing at how inarticulate it sounded! i sorta meant it tongue-in-cheek, but no, not really. i’m enjoying this process. thank you again! 🙂

  1. How about just a few more pages, huh? Just for giggles…especially since I’m very intrigued about what’s happening and your imagery hooked me quickly. I want to more about what’s happening in the story and THAT’S the sign of a good writer (IMHO). Flowed nicely…looking forward to reading more and hearing what the “professional” has to say about it. Bravo! Jim Shields

    • JIM! thank you so much! i will share more pages. i am so glad the imagery grabbed you by your gray flannel lapels and rocked you gently like a martini in a sweaty chrome shaker. the professional was kind and totally correct. it’s gonna be good for anyone who’s the least bit interested in gutting their own work. (gah!) xo -m

  2. Love it — well done! So brave of you to put it out there for everyone to see. I am proud of you and excited to read more…

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