Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Beginnings Post

This month's prompt is about new beginnings. If you'd like to read some of the other blogs participating in this bloghop, please click on the link below the image to the left. Happy reading! 

A brief excerpt from my work in progress, FIRST DRAFT. 
Set up: Annalyn and her best friend Tessa have won a vacation to St. Martin's Island in the Caribbean and are sight-seeing on a nearby island volcano.

“I wish we could afford a rental car,” Annalyn said. “We could see so much more than on the tours.”
     “I’m more interested in who I see than where.”
     “Of course you are. But you could see more “who’s” if we went more places.”
     Tessa laughed out right. “Says she who pretends she isn’t looking.”
     “I don’t pretend I’m not looking. I just don’t fall for every other Joe that comes along. Kidding,” she said grinning back at Tessa.  
     “You’re such a liar. What’s holding you back? This is our one and only paid vacation this year.”
     “I’ll fall when I’m ready. But I’m not going to hang out a sign if that’s what you mean.”
     “You seemed to hit it off pretty well with that guy the other night…”
     “He’s okay I guess.”
     “Are you going to see him again?”
     “I’m not that into blonds Tess.”
     “I know, but you could do worse on vacation than be nice to that body.”
     Annalyn laughed. “You are such a goon. All you think about is sex.”
     “So do you, you just won’t admit it. Come on, I know how long it’s been.” Tess swatted Annalyn on the bottom and laughed. “You can’t fool me, though boy, do you try.”
     Giggling like teenagers they continued up the stairs, which Annalyn counted as being over 2000. They were panting by the time they merged into a magical rainforest complete with lilting birdsong. They followed the narrow path until it opened upon an immense boulder, at least twenty feet high, jutting out into thin air, over what appeared to be the volcano’s rim. In spite of the wisps of steamy vapor coming from the volcano, the air hung cooler here and damp, jungle damp. A few sightseers stood next to the bolder, while others had climbed up to look over the edge down into the volcano itself. Annalyn realized she couldn’t fault Tessa for a wandering eye when hers caught on a dark-haired man standing with another man to one side of the small open space, each using a camera and tripod. Annalyn grabbed Tessa’s arm and pulled her toward the sign that gave the volcano’s name and information. “Do you see what I see?”
            Tessa almost turned, but Annalyn stopped her. “Don’t look!” Tessa laughed and turned her head toward the two men.
“They’re packing up.”
     Annalyn peeked over her shoulder. The two men had put away their tripods. The dark-haired one, who was tall and so well formed Annalyn was afraid she’d start to drool, glanced in her direction, then glanced again. He looked right into her eyes as if surprised, then smiled. As far as she was concerned the sun had just risen. The Adonis lifted his camera, pointed it at her and pushed the button. She watched his every move, felt rooted to the spot where she stood and almost smiled. “Oh my,” were the only words she could get past her lips.
     Annalyn, so distracted by the man’s eyes, didn’t even notice when Tessa turned and grinned. “Aha,” Tessa said quietly. “I see why you don’t like blonds.”
     The men gathered their equipment and made toward the path, which meant they would pass right by Annalyn and Tessa. Annalyn wondered at the feeling inside her. Not fear or nerves, which she expected. What she felt came sure and easy to her. This was the man she’d waited for. “Idiot. What am I thinking?” she asked herself in a whisper. Her cheeks burned as they always did when she felt embarrassed. “Tessa,” she started to say, but the Adonis stopped right in front of her, smiled and said, “I’m Jack. Who are you?”
     She almost sputtered, but found her hand reaching for the one he stretched out to her. “I’m Annalyn.”
     “Annalyn,” he said simply, still staring right into her eyes. “I love your eyes, Annie. Can I call you Annie? I hope you don’t mind I took your photo back there,” he nodded toward where he’d stood before. “I couldn’t help myself.”
     Intense, the whole scene felt unreal, like a dream, a really, really great dream. “No. No of course not. Thank you for the compliment.” With her free hand she pushed a strand of her dark chestnut hair back behind her ear and smiled. That’s when she realized they were still holding hands.
     Jack and Annalyn both looked down at their joined hands, then back at each other and grinned. They let go as if reluctant but not sure what to do next.
     Tessa cleared her throat and jumped right in. “I’m Tessa,” Tessa said shaking hands with Jack’s friend.
     “I’m Sean. Nice to meet you, Tessa.”
     “Where are you staying? Sorry, I don’t know what’s happened to my manners.” Jack started. “We’re staying on St. Martin at the Emerald Beach Hotel. Are you on St. Martin also? If you aren’t busy would you like to have drinks with us tonight, say around eight?” The words rushed from his mouth, leaving his voice almost breathless.
“We’d love to,” Tessa answered quickly. “I think we’re just a few doors down from you.”
“Yes, thanks,” Annalyn said. Then they all moved toward the path back down the mountain. Jack let Annalyn go before him while Tessa followed Sean.  
     “Have you seen an active volcano before?” Jack asked her.
     “I’ve never seen even an inactive volcano before,” Annalyn said. “This is my first time on an island with volcanoes. Mostly I’ve done the Keys thing and they are flat as pancakes. I grew up near Miami.”
     “A true Floridian?”
     “Born and raised. But I live in Atlanta now.” What was she doing? She didn’t know this man from Adam and here she was offering up her life story.
     “I’m from Illinois but I live in Portland, Oregon now.”
     “I’ve never been to Portland. Is the rose garden as gorgeous as I’ve heard?”
     “Yes, and you can see the whole city from it. Worth a visit if you’re ever in the area. Do you think you’d ever go? Don’t answer that. Sorry, there is my sad lack of manners again. I don’t know what’s wrong with my mouth. All of the sudden I can’t stop talking.”
     “Don’t worry. I’m a good listener.” Annalyn looked up at him, glad he seemed nervous as well. They were on a part of the path where they could walk side by side and when she grinned he answered it with one of his own.
     “I could get used to that.”
     “What the path?”
Image from:
     “No, your smile.”
     “Wow. What a line.”
     “No line, Annie. An original from Jack Knight’s runaway mouth.”

     Annalyn laughed. “Keep going Jack Knight, because it looks like there's no telling where your mouth might take us.”

copyright 2014 Lisa Buie-Collard


  1. Hello Lisa. I love the way you've told the story via dialogue. The personalities come through so well. I found the conversations interesting and lively and believable. Perhaps some new beginnings here.

    Thanks for posting for WEP. I wish you a very successful writing year and hope you'll continue to write with us.


  2. Thanks Denise, glad you came by... I wish the best to you as well, and plan on being on WEP for awhile!

  3. That last line is priceless. Annalyn is a great character, I like her right away. (maybe it's because of the dark haired man - and a sweet talking one at that) Very nice, Lisa! This flows well.

    1. D. G., Glad you liked that line, I did too! You never "read" a man get runaway mouth, thought it'd be a fun change, and I really liked her response to it! I like 'um tall, dark and sweet-talkin'! Thanks for your comments!

  4. Ditto on that last line - perfection! Great job, loved the dialogue and definitely sounds like a new beginning! Always nice to turn the tables and make the man star struck - so much more fun!

    1. I know, right!?! Thanks Yolanda for your comments! Glad the dialogue is working...

  5. First time to visit you & I am enthralled by your story ~ Goodness what a romantic twist to the vacation ~ Deft pen ~

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Grace. I can't wait to get to the next draft. I finished the first draft during NaNoWriMo last November. I'm itching to get to it again, but have to get the current wip done!

  6. Dear Lisa,
    What a fun, sunny, optimistic, youthful story!! Just what I need in the dead of winter in the north!
    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Best wishes,

    I'll have to try to remember that you know French.

    1. Anna, thanks for your comments! I'll be back to work on this one in February and hope to have the polished draft done by the end of the year. Yeah, I'm slow!

    2. Bonne Année 2014!

  7. Hello,
    That is a cool story - the dialogue really sparkles. A great idea for a new beginning near a live volcano. I liked how the camaraderie between the girls contrasted with the budding relationships. Best of luck for 2014.

    1. Nilanjana, I so appreciate your comments, and it helps me to know the dialogue is working! Best of luck right back at you in 2014. Looking forward to seeing where we all are at the end of it...

  8. A breath of fresh air in the dead of winter. I found myself wishing for palm trees and balmy breezes :). Great dialogue!

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Jen, so glad you enjoyed it! I'm really happy so many who have left comments liked the dialogue! That's a great sign. Happy 2014!

  10. Hi Lisa I want to go on holiday now you cheered me up it raining dark and cold here, for awhile I was taken away from that cheers

    1. Kerrie, so glad to take you away from all that rainy darkness! Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  11. Hi Lisa,

    Indeed, my kind friend, your writing danced off the screen. I takes a special type of writing when I actually feel I'm involved. The dialogue was superb.

    A peaceful weekend to you and your loved ones.

    Gary :)

    1. Thanks Gary, I'm so glad the dialogue is working!

  12. An inspired last line, lol. I like this beginning; it has a stead flow and believable situation.


    1. Donna, thanks for the feedback. I can't wait to get back to work on this novel...

  13. Lisa, you had me smiling throughout this piece... it's refreshingly beautiful... (my hubby is wondering why I'm smiling at the computer screen...)
    "An original from Jack Knight's runaway mouth." What a great line! What an interesting character... and so believable!
    I'm really keen to hear more from Jack's "runaway mouth".
    (Sorry my piece wasn't up yet when you visited the other day...)

    1. No worries,and thanks for coming by and commenting! Hopefully I'll be back to work on this wip full time in February!

  14. HI, Lisa,

    Sorry it took me so long to drop by...

    I always find exotic locations a great backdrop for a meeting. Nice touch. On top of a volcano is an unusual place to begin. Well done.

    1. Sorry it took so long for me to reply. Life was a bit difficult last week, but, I'm back at work now, and appreciate your comments!

  15. I'd love to see a volcano someday! like, up close & personal.

    and of course Jack sounds totally cute so I'd love to see him someday too. haha

  16. I particularly the slightly teasing bantering between the girls showing they are best friends and then the nervousness of meeting someone of the opposite sex and realising they are nervous as well. Those points are well made without belabouring them.

    1. Thanks Sally! I'm glad the dialogue seems to be working throughout the piece. This is a dialogue-heavy novel so far...

  17. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

    1. Appreciate you dropping by and commenting! I liked your poetry as well....


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