Month One
Finding a Kelly

In the Beginning...

On a recent stroll around our new neighborhood, Peter asked me if there are any first lines of books I remember. It was easy to come up with several.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” from Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities was the first that came to mind. Then I thought of "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. I didn’t know the author (Edward Bulwer-Lytton), of the much-mocked line “It was a dark and stormy night,” that began his 1830 novel, Paul Clifford. I had never heard of his book, but its first line has to be included in any such list.

At Dr. Seuss’ “I do not like green eggs and ham,” I decided it was time to stop. But back home, I thought of one more first line that I rather like.

“My family is the center of my universe, always was, always will be.”

For those of you who don’t recognize it, it is from the 2017-book 70-Something: Life, Love and Limits in the Bonus Years.

By me.


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That's a fine first line, Judy! And I suspect that this is the strongly held value that is an important resource for you through all the challenges and disorienting events of the big move you've made.

First lines are so important. Just for fun, may I share the first line from my new book (a memoir)?

'We lay on our backs under a pohutukawa tree on the Coromandel coast and dreamed of a bach.'

[Glossary needed for non New Zealanders: pohutukawa, our crimson flowering 'Christmas' tree.
Bach (rhymes with batch): a New Zealand word for a holiday home.}

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