I am entering Justin Parente's Hook, Line, and Sinker blogfest using the opening from my brand-new-me contemporary paranormal romance. Since the blogfest is over a month in the future, this is me being optimistic that I will have finished the first draft of Courtly Abandon and be more invested in my unnamed new project (Haunting Karma? Passion Past? Karma Moves Into a Haunted Condo? Karma's Ghosts? Sexy Ghosts? Possessing Karma? Bad, Bad Karma? -- actually I just brainstormed more successfully now and sort of like Possessing Karma. Although Bad, Bad Karma is funny.... I digress).
Date: February 13, 2012
Where: In My Write Mind blog, and your own
Objective: Post your 500-1000 word hook and critique other hooks posted by participants
Suggestive topics to consider when critiquing:
- Does the character have a personality I can fall into easily? This includes any dialogue exchanged.
- Is the world around them set up to compliment the character as they're introduced?
- Are there secondary characters to assist with the hook?
- Lastly, would I read more?
Kay had everything organized in order of size. If she knew what information the attendant would ask for first, she would have set it up that way for efficiency’s sake. As it was, she had a nice little stack in her hand that resembled irregular stair steps; California driver’s license, luggage tags, passport, and a tri-folded printout of her online flight reservation just in case.
Not that she needed her passport for a national flight, but one could never be too careful.
The bored bottle blond behind the desk signaled for her to step forward. The girl was pretty enough. She obviously put effort into the ritualistic hygiene required to attract a mate, but the dullness behind her eyes made Kay think it would be best if this woman did not procreate.
“Monique, is it?” Kay always made a point to address people by name, if the name was available. Based on Monique’s name tag, she had been with the airline for three years. “My name is Kay Betancourt. I have reservations on flight 6730 to New Orleans.”
The girl did not make eye contact and simply retrieved Kay’s license from the neatly fanned documents she had placed on the desk.
“I have your reservation here: Karma R Betancourt, business class. I do not see a return flight booked – is that correct?”
“Do you have any luggage to check?”
Kay shrugged her shoulder, hefting her over packed small suitcase. “Just my carry-on.”
“Alright-y then.” The girl looked less bored. Maybe she was wondering what a thirty-something woman travelling alone with no return flight was planning to do in New Orleans. If she wondered, she did not ask; she merely nodded, printed up a page, folded it, tucked it in a small folder, and placed it on the desk. “You are all set. Please go to gate 52. You flight should begin boarding in the next twenty minutes or so. Thank you for flying with us, Miss Betancourt.”
Kay tucked the small folder in her purse and fought the urge to correct Monique. Doctor Betancourt. She knew better than to care about such trivialities – she would never see Monique again and the correction would just come across as pompous.
Reaching her gate, she found a seat that afforded a view of the rush – people coming and going, most of them in a hurry. The tired looking woman wearing sweats, carrying a screaming toddler obviously was more focused on reaching her destination in one piece than being a part of the social networking around her. A young man, military, probably a Marine, sat straight and proud. His eyes were open to the scene around him, particularly to the activities of the young woman across the corridor at Gate 53. That young lady was enrapt in the pages of a book, her face flushed. She kept licking her lips and fumbling with the top button her blouse. The book, though obviously a paperback, had a brown paper jacket cover. Kay wondered what type of book she was reading – the woman obviously felt some shame about reading it in public, either that or she was very private. Then again, if she were truly private, she wouldn’t be sharing her personal reactions to the author’s fantasy with complete strangers in an airport. She was both separating herself from her environment and adding to it.
Kay stopped her musing from bordering on poetic. Yet again, she was on the outside looking in, observing human interaction as if through a window. As if she were not part of the scene itself. Which she was – passive or active, she could not avoid physically being there in the moment. It was just simpler for her to observe rather than participate.
“Flight 6730 to New Orleans will now begin boarding for premier guests.”
Kay stood up automatically and retrieved her paperwork, her California Driver’s License and boarding pass. She stepped into the short line and noticed the young Marine’s eyes on her. He was not subtle in his appraisal. Kay always found being ‘checked out’ interesting. Did the man find her body pleasing? How did his subconscious assess her breeding capacities? She certainly had full enough hips and bust to imply she would create healthy children. Her overall physique was strong, but not too well muscled to imply that she would not accept his alpha dominance. She was clean and healthy, her face appropriately symmetrical. Overall, she knew herself to be a good specimen. He met her eyes and held her questioning glance for a moment before looking away.
Dismissed, yet again.
Not that she wanted that young man to pursue her, but it would be interesting to hear an honest answer as to why she was not worth approaching.
Then again, she already knew the answer.
She was weird. Off. Regular women did not analyze the data that drove mating rituals, they just participated. They depended on instinct and chemistry. Kay could not do that. She could not simply be, she had to know why.
It was her turn at the gate. She handed her boarding pass to the attendant.
“Miss Betancourt, welcome to flight 6730. You will be in seat F3.”
“Thank you.” Again she held back the correction. Doctor Betancourt.
The retractable tunnel between the airport and the plane shook with each step. Gentle suction from the intense air conditioning ushered her onto the plane and the flight attendant showed her to her seat.
The good looking man, no more than twenty-four, repeated his rehearsed lines. “My name is Todd. Let me know if you need anything more. Enjoy your flight, Miss Betancourt.”
Kay smiled and almost held herself back. “Doctor.”
Todd turned back to her. “Sorry?”
“I am Doctor Betancourt.”
Todd’s face remained neutral. “My apologies, Doctor Betancourt.” His voice did not betray whether or not he felt her insistence at the title was ridiculous.
Maybe it was. The only universally accepted caste system in California seemed to be based on wealth or popularity: Kay had established her social rank academically. She would never gain notice or import by being gregarious or vivacious. No, she elevated herself into an elite social rank by her own intelligence and work ethic. She was a Doctor. That meant something; perhaps it meant more than driving a Mercedes or wearing Prada shoes. Or maybe it didn’t. At least it meant something to her.
“Excuse me, I don’t mean to pry,” the older woman in seat F2 turned to her, her voice polite, “but did I hear you say you were a doctor.”
Kay smiled. It did matter. “Yes. I am a doctor.”
“Wonderful! I was wondering if you could take a look at this bump on my arm. My daughter says it’s nothing, but I can’t help but worry…”
“I’m sorry to interrupt you.” Kay was not in the least bit sorry, but it was the right thing to say. “But I’m not a medical doctor. I am a doctor of anthropology and sociology.”
“Oh.” The woman looked stunned for a moment. “Oh, well, that’s very interesting.”
To her credit, she did not try to appear interested.
They would be in New Orleans in six hours.
So there is my intro. Kay is moving to New Orleans to start a new job, her first time as a real adult outside of the bubble of academia.