Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

Words on a Wednesday — Tranquility

Written By: Tracy - Oct• 13•10

I finished my first draft of the epic novel of epicness that is still in desperate need of a title, so I will not be posting any more snippets of that. (That, and I don’t want to give away the ending).  But since Baen has the first couple chapters of both of my new E-books up, I thought I would post a little bit of the first book here.

A fun fact about Tranquility.  I once sat on a panel with a writer who is much bigger and a better writer than I am. (She shall remain nameless, so that I don’t make her look bad).  The panel was on great openings for books.  She told the audience that one should never start a book with someone speaking.

I’ve done that with both of the Tranquility books. But Selina Rosen, the editor at Yard Dog Press, actually suggested the opening for Tranquility.

 

“It’s a dead cow.”

Jake Coltrane looked at Winthrop Stevens in annoyance.

“I can see that, Win.  But how the hell did it get all cut up like that?”  

“You’re the cop, Jake.  You tell me.” 

The two men stared down at the dead cow from where they stood on a stock pond embankment.  It rested on its back in a weedy drainage ditch.  Parts of it did, anyway. 

The rest was God knows where.  Not in the field, that’s for sure.  The forty acres had been bailed in September, and the stubbly, frost-killed growth that remained would hide nothing.   Neither was it in the corner of the field, where the rest of the herd called out in disquieted moos, nor along the fencerow that bordered the highway. 

Win turned his back to Jake.  He looked left, then right, but they were alone.  Slipping a silver flask out of the bib of his striped overalls, he tipped the contents into his mouth before wiping it with a red bandanna.  The bandanna traveled a zigzag up the side of his face.  He pulled back his green John Deere hat, exposing a bald head, and wiped it.  Then he shot Jake a sideways look.

“Want some?” He held the flask under the policeman’s nose.

“Pfew!”  Jake recoiled from the pungent, alcoholic smell.  “This is your own brew, isn’t it?  You know I’m on duty.  Besides, I thought Mabel didn’t like you drinking.”

“What she don’t know won’t hurt me.” 

Jake sighed.  Win was like most of the men in town: He thought that just because Jake let his hair grow long enough to touch his collar, it made him a hippie.  He’d lost count of the times that someone gave him that same measuring look.  Either wondering if he grew dope, or just used what he confiscated. It got to the point that he left his hair longish for the sheer cussed orneriness.

“You better not let me catch you selling that stuff.”

“Now, Jake. That’s illegal.”  Winthrop grinned a shit-eating grin. 

“So’s making it.  Dammit Win; don’t make me run you in.”

“I won’t, Jake.”  Win replaced the flask to his bib pocket and looked back at the dead cow.  “So what killed it?”

“Damn kids probably,” Jake shook his head.  “This is the third time this has happened since August.  Devil worship or some fool thing. Rachel isn’t going to like it.”

“She do like her critters, don’t she?”  Winthrop snorted, hacked and spit at the ground.  “Sweet lady.  Little strange though.  Is she still carrying that rat around?”

“It’s a ferret.”

“Looks like a rat to me,” Win shrugged. “Ain’t got no hair, though.”

“Duke is sick,” Jake said.  “Rachel’s got a big heart.  People dump all kinds of unwanted animals on her, just ‘cause she’s a vet. She’ll keep ‘em rather than put ‘em down.”

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147 Comments

  1. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

      • ‘But if it’s well done, then it can be done.’

        Yep, that is very true. I have to say, I’m no ace at it yet myself. Honestly I guess that’s really because 99% of the time it’s a reflex to start without it. Hmmm…I can see me thinking of all this at random times now, lol.

        I’ve come to adore Chuck! He was a breath of fresh air to the whole plot. I hope we get to see him again. Had to make me a pretty piccy to keep around. πŸ˜‰

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s Chuck! You’ve got an Icon of my favorite writing deity! I think that opening a story with dialog is in the no-no category because it’s frequently not done well. For the same reason that one should never open a story with a person just waking from a dream and lying in a bed.

      But if it’s well done, then it can be done.

  2. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  3. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  4. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  5. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  6. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  7. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  8. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  9. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  10. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  11. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  12. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  13. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  14. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  15. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  16. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  17. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  18. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  19. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  20. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.

  21. ‘disquieted moos’

    Never have I heard that before, but I like it. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t ever given any thought to an opening with speaking being a good or a bad idea to be honest. Everything I read, I’m zeroing in on the plot’s worth first, and reserve all other judgement until the end.