First Lines/ Where do they come from? Where do they go?

First lines–I think of first lines a lot as the day goes on.  Sometimes I imagine an opening scene from fiction.  Often times it’s a first line of a poem.  Something will grab me, a sight, a sound, a smell, a memory.  And then the storytelling starts in my mind.

I grew up with parents who were quite the storytellers.  I didn’t know until I was a teenager than many kids could ask a simple question and get a simple answer; I always got a story, and usually a long, convoluted, probably only partly true story.

All three of my siblings are storytellers.  My students say I tell a LOT of stories.

I love stories.

But it all starts with a few words, a phrase, a line or two.

And these are going through my head, a sort of off fairy tale tale of some sort or a poem?

And the child asked, “It cannot get any worse, can it?” And the big one answered, “Oh, yes, yes it can. It can get colder.”

Who knows where the lines will go.  Often they go nowhere, but they do become  a part of me.  These lines have been popping up for days now, so I think that child and that big one have a story to tell.




cropped-be-creative-creative-creativity-256514           Some of my poems, short stories, and nonfiction articles are included in books published in the UK, Greece, New Zealand, and the United States.

*Tuck Magazine, 2018


* Southernmost Point Guest House (UK)

* Journal of Modern Poetry 21 (Volume 21)

JOMP Volume 21 Dear Mr. President

* Journal of Modern Poetry 20 (Volume 20)

JOMP Volume 20 Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy

* Journal of Modern Poetry 17 (Volume 17)

JOMP Volume 17

* Magazine (New Zealand) , Raewyn Alexander, Publisher

Raewyn Alexander NZ

* Fiction in: “Between the Sunlight and the Skipping” in English Wednesdays

* Illinois English Bulletin, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English, nonfiction.