Beginnings are the hardest

Lazy writers listen up. We’re giving you the intros, you do the rest.

Many writers say that their most difficult challenge is coming up with a good opening, the first few sentences that set the tone and direction of a piece and pull in the reader.

To aid in the difficult task of launching your writing endeavors we offer titles and openings for a variety of subject matter. Great literature will be yours.


Rink and Brenda were tired of getting so many bills in the mail. They couldn’t keep up with the payments and were feeling very stressed.

So they did what any reasonable couple would do. They canceled their phone service and camouflaged their mailbox so the delivery person wouldn’t see it.

It worked, but they’d overlooked one small problem…




Alana was petting the family cat when she suddenly spoke up.

“It’s not fair,” the four-year-old told her father. “Mimi next door’s cat has prettier fur.”

“What would you like me to do about it, sweetheart.”

“Make it fair,” she said.

Her father signed, looked at her for a long moment, and then …



It was roundup time at Mr. and Mrs. Castings earthworm ranch. So at sunrise the wranglers…



On a drizzling April morning, Wakeran the Huntsman rode his black trotting horse down to the water mill at Hanging Langford.

He jointly owned the mill on the River Wylye with the Count of Mortain, and kept a close watch on its operation. As he neared the river he looked across and noticed a distant rider racing toward the mill. This was no southwest England farmer bringing grain to be ground. It looked like trouble, or maybe reason for new hope.

He would soon learn which.



It’s 5:01, and the parking lot at Grossteste Interstate Business Solutions is emptying fast.

Bernal Diaz is already at the freeway onramp, already thinking of the best spices for the chicken casserole he’ll serve to his parents, aunt and cousins two hours later.

It is a family tradition, getting together at the end of the workweek. They all enjoy cooking, eating at each other’s homes, and experimenting with new recipes, new ingredients, new spices, new desserts.

And sitting around a happy table sharing the latest gossip and gently teasing each other.

But this time the gathering is overlain by an unspoken sense of tension. Tia Gabriela had seen someone she’d thought had left her life long ago.

“I don’t know what he wants,” she said. “He was so unkind to me and now…



It was a matter of honor.

Insults had been traded. Threats made. They would meet at dawn, pistols at the ready.

It had started the evening before at the crowded Happy Hacienda bar.

Chet Hawkins had already seen the bottom of several beer glasses when he carelessly stumbled into Collette Bondicca. Chet quickly apologized and that might have been the end of it.

But her boyfriend, Skull Duggery, had seen the rough-looking stranger gazing at Collette earlier and mistakingly believed the contact was deliberate.

Next morning, as the sun peaked over the hills to the east, the atmosphere was taut outside the Hacienda. Nearby, a rooster crowed. The onlookers…



Some groups have it. Productive teamwork on the field, in the office, at research labs.

“Good chemistry is a big deal for us,” they’ll tell you.

It’s difficult to define, but you know when it’s there.

“We are all very close as a team,” said unit leader Heather Trilling.

So it was a mystery to them when the district manager introduced the unit’s newest hire.



Ella and Bryan love each other. They have never met.

They’d connected on the internet. Starting exchanging emails and texts.

Talked about Manet’s art, cattle raising, online sites they enjoy, home bread baking, Greek ruins in Sicily, nightmares, beetles, apple orchards, horseshoes, nurturing, North Korean beaches, the spending habits of the elite, nonsense, laziness, cathedrals, Chaucer, pizza.

Somewhere along the way they fell in like, and then in love.

They’re both afraid to meet.

This uncertain situation continued for several months until finally…



At a cost of $240,629, Rod and Peoria Sutcliffe’s biggest asset — and expense — is their home. Just like most Americans.

Their second-highest-cost item is far less typical. It’s travel expenses.

They and their adult son, Decker, crave adventures in the wildest, roughest places on the globe. To pay for these trips they live a Spartan existence at home for six months a year while the three of them earn money to pay the bills and finance their trips.

Their excitement is building as they make final plans for the next adventure, a trek into remote areas of Algeria where they hope to visit and befriend Bedouin tribespeople.



“Sensationalism, pure sensationalism,” fumed Pompous Quist III as he sipped sherry in the drawing room.

His wife, who hadnʼt paid much attention, nodded her agreement. His outrage was aimed at…



“Good knight Irene,” sang the bawdy barroom group, and once again Irene The Avenger had cause to wish his parents hadnʼt insisted on giving him the name theyʼd been planning for their expected girl.

He was The Avenger because he had to keep proving his manliness.

The week before he’d been…



Even Colette herself admits she’s not the best-behaved child.

There was the time she snuck out her bedroom window to go play with her friend Gabriel. Dad was waiting when she returned at 4:23 a.m.

And nobody will let her forget “The Whiskey Bottle Incident.”

And she’s resistant to turning in her homework when it’s due.

“But really,” she says to a friend, “a six-month timeout?”

Except for school and meals she’s been told to stay in her room. And she’s getting really tired of looking at those particular trees and those particular rocks.








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