...the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
It seemed a good idea at the time.
Originally each chapter of The Chick Palace opened with the first line of a novel. Sometimes I had the chapter written and then researched novels. Sometimes I found great opening lines and wrote chapters with them in mind. (Not one of my better ideas)
Writers enjoy this kind of diversion, this writer especially. It’s writer-ly. It’s research, a sanctioned alternative to the butt-in-chair, writing-the-book business that tends to depress us when words won't come, or words fall flat.
Plus it got me back to a favorite haunt~~the book exchange at our local dump-cum- recycling/transfer station. Everything from bestsellers to academic texts to remnants of many a townsperson’s personal library stocks the shelves. More than a few of my books for kids have shown up in the ever-revolving children’s section.
I found some ideal first lines at the book exchange. Sometimes it segued right into a productive day at the keyboard. Alas, my agent nixed the first-line-from-another-novel concept so now I’m left with my sterling collection.
Perhaps a better idea, if you really want to know the truth about it, would be to start my blogs with them.