Instead of boring you with stories of my lack of motivation and self-sabotage I’ve been experiencing since the summer Olympics, how’s about I post something I wrote about twenty years ago?
And no, it’s not bad poetry filled with my teen angst.
You should be so lucky.
No, what I’m going to post here now is Chapter One of my FIRST ever romance novel that I started writing sophomore year of high school in Geometry class. My best friend back then got me started reading Jude Deveraux novels–her mom was a librarian so she got tons of books–and then we decided to write our own, with characters of the same names.
I don’t know how hers turned out…mine didn’t get too terribly far, only about 150 handwritten pages, but I totally thought it was awesome.
As I transcribed the first chapter into a doc tonight, I realized it wasn’t all that awesome, fact-filled, and was in fact, a little sexist.
But as I’m in the prep stage for NaNoWriMo (and I have FINALLY finished another draft of Physical Therapy and sent it out to new eyes), I’m kind of in between projects. And I haven’t blogged properly in a while, I thought I’d better do SOMETHING.
Well, this something is this, a [mostly] unedited first draft of my very first [unfinished] novel. I barely touched the grammar, but there WERE a few things I HAD to fix, like a tiny bit of repetition. But here it is, in it’s unedited, sexist glory. With a male lead who’s really not someone anyone would like, as the first word out of his mouth is…well, read on and you’ll see.
Here’s Chapter One of Working It Out by high school Me:
Working It Out
“Ok, I’ve got one,” Althea Johnson said to her companion. She cleared her throat. “Hey, baby! I bet you’d melt like butter in my mouth!” The male to which she had directed her comment gave her a questioning looking and joined—his boyfriend. The two young fellows set off arm in arm.
Turning around and making a face at her best friend Danielle Thompson. Their eyes met and they both doubled over with laughter.
“Only in Chicago,” Danielle said, gasping for breath.
“Naw,” Althea answered. “It could happen anywhere.” Then, after a second, she added, “But why did it happen to me?”
That did it. The two young women burst out into gales of laughter.
A few seconds later, after they had calmed down, Danielle said, spotting a new “victim” down the street aways. “Ok, here’s another one.” Just as the guy passed, she said, “Come on, baby! Light my fire!” Then she let out a shrill wolf whistle. The guy turned and gave her a disarming smile. She smiled back.
“Oh! That was a cute one!” Danielle said, taking a bite of her sandwich. Althea agreed.
“Hey,” she said, nudging Danielle. “We’ve got a live one. Cute, too.”
“May I?” Danielle asked.
“Go right ahead. Be my guest.”
Danielle took a swallow of iced tea and stood up. Affecting a southern accent and a flirtatious pose, “I’m ready. Bring him on.”
A few seconds later, a very nice-looking guy walked by. “Oooh,” Danielle drawled. “You’ve got me hotter than Georgia asphalt.”
The guy smiled sexily and said flirtatiously, “Then I must be the sun warming your gorgeous body.” Then he turned and walked off.
Danielle fanned herself.
“Good show!” Althea applauded. “Very good. Very sexy.”
“I was, wasn’t I? He was. Mmm,” Danielle said with satisfaction apparent in her voice. “Oh, hey! Here comes another one. In a suit.”
“This one’s mine.” Althea jumped up and sexily walked a few steps to where she was right in the middle of the sidewalk.
“Hi,” she said breathily. Then she lost her breath. This guy was even more good-looking up close. “What’s cookin’ good lookin’?”
“If you’ll excuse me,” the young man said, pushing past Althea. “Slut,” he muttered, walking off.
Shocked, Danielle and Althea were rooted to their spots. They were so shell-shocked that they didn’t notice the man walk into the office-trailer they shared with their boss Anthony “Gabe” Williams at the construction site.
Only a few years older than Althea and Danielle, Gabe was extraordinarily handsome and a very successful architect. He started designing homes and buildings in college and now, three years out of architectural school, at age twenty-seven, Gabe owned his own construction company and design firm: “Gabe and Company’s Architectural Design.”
During the time that Danielle and Althea had worked at the firm, he had asked both girls out on many occasions, but neither thought it would be a good idea to be dating the boss. He took the rejection in stride, just like the goodnatured guy he was. Everybody’s friend.
“Ok, it’s time to go back to work!” Gabe Williams shouted at his workers. He heard the goodnatured calls of “Aw, come on, boss! How ‘bout a longer lunch?” as he stepped back into the plush office-trailer he shared with two of his assistants. He walked to his desk and went back to work.
As soon as he sat down someone knocked at the door.
“Come in,” Gabe called.
The door opened and in walked a young man in a three-piece suit and a briefcase. Gabe himself was wearing a white button-up shirt and jeans.
“Mr. Williams?” the young man said.
“I’m Taylor Warren. I have an appointment with you about that architectural assistant job,” he explained.
Gabe stood up and extended a hand. “Pleased to meet you. And call me Gabe. Have a seat.”
Taylor Warren sat down in the seat on one side of Gabe’s desk.
“What was it exactly you wanted to see me about?” Gabe asked.
“Well, Mr. Williams,” Taylor began, “I was checking out your company and all of its business references and found that your company would be an ideal place for me to work.”
“Oh, really?” Gabe said and thought This guy’s got guts—but he’s definitely weird. “And what made you think that, Mr. Warren?”
“Your reputation is outstanding. In the last year, your company has designed and built two hotels one department store, and six homes. Very surprising and rare, considering most other construction companies mainly just slack off. But not your company. You get the job done. Quickly and efficiently. That’s why I want to be a part of your company,” Taylor finished, his face flushed, settling back in his chair.
“Well, thank you for saying all of that, but I’m afraid I can’t hire you,” Gabe said regretfully.
“But why not?” Taylor was confused. “I’m fully qualified! Check my references!”
“No, no. That’s not it. I have no doubt in my mind that you are qualified. It’s just that I already have an assistant.”
“Can’t you at least give me a chance?”
“Mr. Warren—uh, Taylor, I’d like to, but—“
“But what?” Taylor demanded. “Can’t you hire me on a trial basis? What can it hurt?”
“Well,” Gabe said thoughtfully. “I like you Taylor. You seem to be a no nonsense kind of guy. That’s why I’m giving you the job of being my assistant’s assistant.”
“Oh, thank you, Mr. Williams!” Taylor said ecstatically. “Thank you! I’ll be a great asset to him!”
“Excuse me?” Taylor was startled.
“You’re an assistant to a she. Althea Johnson is her name.” Gabe grinned. “And here she is.”
“She?” Taylor repeated blankly, jumping up out of his chair while Gabe opened the door and leaned out.
“Althea! Come here! I have someone I want you to meet!”
Althea looked up. “Ok Gabe! One second!” She ended her discussion and hurried (how fast can you really hurry in heels?) into the office-trailer.
“Hey, Gabe,” Althea greeted him breathlessly, stepping into the office. “What’s up? Who did you want–?”
She didn’t get to finish her sentence. Her green eyes widened and clashed with Taylor Warren’s blue ones. She promptly turned red and lowered her gaze. Taylor’s features hardened.
“Taylor, meet my assistant, Althea Johnson. Althea, meet Taylor Warren—your new assistant.”
Yeah. Ok. “Gabe and Company’s Architectural Design.” I know nothing now, knew less back then about design and construction. The only design and construction knowledge I possess is about designing sets for the theatre. And barely even that. (But the theatre is my wheelhouse, which is why my first FINISHED novel is set in the theatre.)
I’m totally going to keep the torture going with Chapter Two, so stay tuned.