it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken
matociquala

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pour my life into a paper cup

Well, I finished the book I was reading. And now I have nothing to do except be twitchy and think about what I need to be writing tomorrow. And the stuff I have sitting around unfinished that I could be finishing.

Which means its time for the First Lines Meme, in which I list the opening bits of all my works in progress, as a sort of public accountability.






1.
Posthumous Jonson: A Novel of the Promethean Age

Westminster
1637

I loved you not.

And having writ, I hear you mock reply: "I was the more deceived." Those words do vouchsafe no revelation, for you loved me no better in your time. But for the sake of him we buried these score years gone, I will write you now.

Make it what you will.


2.
Unsuitable Metal: A Novel of the Promethean Age

We shall never surrender and even if, which I do not for the moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, will carry on the struggle until in God's good time the New World with all its power and might, sets forth to the liberation and rescue of the Old.

   --Winston Churchill, Speech before Commons, June 4, 1940

New York City
June 16th
A.D. 1940

Mrs. Cornelius stalked into the mahogany-paneled reception room, a jacket matching her chocolate trousers slung over her shoulder like the mantle of a queen, tiny emerald studs glinting in her ears like the eyes of a snake.  She'd practiced that walk, been coached in that walk: it was Zenobia's stride, in her rattling chain mail.  Which simply weighed a thousand pounds, and felt like wet velvet on my skin, darling.  And had given her a rash in the heat of the Southern California desert sun.


3.
One-Eyed Jack & the Suicide King: A Novel of the Promethean Age

Las Vegas,
Summer, 2002

It's not a straight drop.

Rather, the Dam is a long sweeping plunge of winter-white concrete: a dress for a three-time Las Vegas bride without quite the gall to show up in French lace and seed pearls. If you face Arizona, Lake Mead spreads out blue and alien on your left hand, inside a bathtub ring of limestone and perchlorate drainage from wartime titanium plants. Unlikely as canals on Mars, all that azure water rimmed in red and black rock. The likeness to an alien landscape is redoubled by the Dam's louvered concrete intake towers. At your back is the Hoover Dam visitor's center, and on the lake side sit two art-deco angels, swordcut wings thirty feet tall piercing the desert sky, their big toes shiny with touches for luck


4.
Patience & Fortitude: A Novel of the Promethean Age

And if any gaze on our rushing band,
We come between him and the deed of his hand,
We come between him and the hope of his heart.
--W. B. Yeats, "The Hosting of the Sidhe."

Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;

--Dylan Thomas, "And Death Shall Have No Domion"

This is magic, this is what magic is:
Grief too terrible to be borne.
— John M. Ford, "A Holiday in the Park"


New York City
Autumn, 2004


Nothing made Matthew hate himself more than waiting for the elevator.


5.
By the Mountain Bound (Edda of Burdens 2)

in bondage now bides
the Wolf, 'til world's end
--Lokasenna


Fear. I know the scent of old.

It lifts my hackles. A band--an old fetter half-broken--galls my throat when I stretch too far, breathe too deep. I am accustomed. There is more news on the wind. Mortal woman. And a mortal man. They prey on their own.


6.
The Sea Thy Mistress (Edda of Burdens 3)

Breathless.

The sea air smelled of electricity. But rising from seven thousand feet below, it had no chance of cutting the overripe perfume of blossoms coating mountain air with a thickness like silence. A waiting silence, like the first morning of the world.


7.
A Treachery of Princes (Another book set in the Eddas world)

On the first sunny day of Spring, Vladimir Karl Wilhelm Alexander, Prince of Freimarc, came to his father's father's fortress for the only time in his short sixteen years. He did not come willing.


8.
Chill (Jacob's Ladder 2)

When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But... that is not what great ships are built for.
--Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times

The first hint of returning sensation was the icy tickle of fluid dropping across his lids, lashes, nostrils. Pain followed after; the tidal roll of hurt along his body, injury severe enough that his symbiont could neither heal nor silence it.



9.
Bone and Jewel Creatures

Deformed fingers angled from Bijou's palms as if someone had bent them aside, slowly and under great heat and pressure. She walked--or rather shuffled--with a bride's hesitation step, so her movements seemed a parody. Seventy years a Wizard of  Messaline--the market of all roads, the city of jackals--had left their mark.



10.
"Shadow Unit: Wind-Up Boogeyman"

"Well, it's a swell means of getting rid of a body, I'll give the bastard that."




11.
"Shadow Unit: Smoke & Mirrors"

"Close your eyes and hold out your hand," she said. "No, doofus, palm up. Hasn't anyone ever given you anything?"

The silence dragged because he thought it was better if he didn't answer. And because after a moment, she figured it out and let the question drop.


12.
Untitled Sebastien novella which needs a title real damned soon now thanks (ETA: It may be titled Seven for a Secret. Still working.)

The secret to getting away with murder is to tell no living soul. The secret to getting away with lying is to believe with all your heart.



13.
"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"

"We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you'd flunked Algebra."



14.
"Smile"

It's harder to get good roles when you're dead.



15.
"The Death of Terrestrial Radio"

The first word was meant to be spoken quietly, if it should ever be spoken at all. A dribble of signal. An echo. A ghost. A coded trickle, something some PC running SETI-at-home would pick out of the background noise, flag, and return silently, the machine's owner innocent of his role in making history.



16.
"The Red in the Sky is Our Blood"

Detroit still didn't have much in the way of public transportation. The decayed streets were bad enough in cars; For Cadie on her bike, they were often impassable.



There. Maybe that will shake something loose.

(Yeah, I know, some of those I have been working on for years already. That's par for the course.)
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