1878. The opening sentence

Tamsin knew it was high time she started writing her novel. After all, she had spent eleven years researching it. If anything needed further research she could research it there and then while she was writing the book. Today was definitely going to be the day. Once started the momentum would increase. The pages would pour out like the ooze of oil crushed.

Opening sentences are very important. Tamsin typed out a couple of options. She wasn’t overly enthusiastic about either. She typed out a third option. It wasn’t much better. She needed to think about it. What better way to think about such things than to vacuum the house?

All that the vacuuming did was highlight the dust that had collected on the tops of furniture. She would dust it, but while she was getting a rag from the laundry she put the washing on. “I didn’t realize there was such a backlog of laundry,” thought Tamsin. It was clearly going to end up being a laundry day. She might as well strip the beds. The day was too lovely to waste drying things in a dryer. How much fresher is bed linen dried in the breezy sunshine!

Of course, the dishwasher needed emptying, and while she was at it, she might as well prepare the vegetables for the evening meal. Her husband was picking up a pre-cooked chicken at the supermarket on his way home, so all that was needed were a few vegies to go with it. Would you believe? She was out of potatoes. She would have to pop down town to get some spuds. She texted her husband to say “Don’t bother getting a chicken on the way home” and then set out for town.

It was while in the confectionary section that she bumped into Monica. They hadn’t seen each other for a month or so, so it was good to catch up.

Back home, Tamsin peeled the potatoes. All that was needed was a sprig of mint. Oh dear! That section of the garden needed a quick weed.

When all was done, it came to her. Tamsin sat down and typed out the opening sentence of her novel. She was well pleased.

36 thoughts on “1878. The opening sentence

              1. Herb

                I really am sorry about that. I can’t figure out why WP does that. I experimented with a comment plugin and a different spam filter and it doesn’t always seem to help. But you have had more than one name since I’ve followed you. You were Bruce, then someone with a fancy, aristocratic sounding name, and now Cloven Ruminant. But I do humbly and most obsequiously apologize for any offenses now or in the future.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Cloven Ruminant Post author

      That’s actually a line of some sort from Gerard Manley Hopkins – “It will gather to a greatness like the ooze of oil crushed” – but I don’t know what poem. But all these literary references just ooze out of me…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Bumba

    Camus opens The Plague with a writer in a similar conundrum. He can’t get that first sentence. It’s a good one to reread now that we’re also in a plague, but his other stuff is much better. Keep writing.



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