Here’s the rough draft beginning of my new novel – does it hook you or leave you limp?
In retrospect I should have asked Kai if the dogs prefer cheddar or peanut butter flavored treats before he stopped talking to me and moved to California. Because now I have this job interview–the most amazing, thank my lucky stars job interview–and I can’t decide which treats to line my pockets with. Kai could easily tell me which flavor the pups like best. But he won’t answer my texts. Or phone calls. Probably because I was such a hysterical shrew about everything that happened between us. So I’m stuck standing here in my interview outfit with a bag of dog treats in each hand, wishing I hadn’t burned the flavor preference bridge.
Stressed and indecisive, I step away from the treat bags and dial Tami’s number on my cell. She answers all cheerful and unstressed, baby Henry’s cooing noises audible in the background.
“Hey Tam, should I take cheddar or PB treats?”
She laughs at me. I’m an hour away from a life-defining job interview and my best friend is laughing at my inability to make a decision.
“Take some of both, Bryn. This is not heart-valve replacement surgery. I mean, it’s super amazing that you’re about to meet someone so rich and famous, and I’m rooting for you one hundred percent. But at the end of the day it’s just an interview.”
“I know, I know. But I need the dogs to really like me.”
“All dogs like you. Including the human male variety, which is already an advantage if this guy is anything like his tabloid image. And you’ve already met these dogs, remember?”
“Yes, but it’s been months since I’ve seen them and Neel Singh has no idea I already know them. I have to pretend like I’m meeting them for the first time. So in my mind right now they are dog-strangers I have to impress. There’s a lot riding on this first impression and I have to program myself to get it right.”
I imagine the eye roll that accompanies the next moment of silence from my closest friend. “I think you might be over-complicating this, Bryn. Please, please do me a favor and stop stressing. Are you wearing the gray silk suit?”
I sigh, glancing at my reflection in the full length mirror on the back of my bedroom door. “Yes. But you know it’s gonna get slobbered on.”
“You can buy two more silk suits with what you get paid if you get this job. Best foot forward! What have you done with your crazy hair?”
My blonde curls, inherited from my Austrian grandmother, are not unlike Medusa’s serpentine locks. Though admittedly when the humidity is just right they can accidentally look pretty fantastic. “French twist, hairsprayed into submission.”
“Sounds like you’re ready! Take both treat flavors and calm the hell down.”
“Right. Okay. Cheddar and PB. Thanks Tam.”
“Henry and I wish you luck. We’ll be crossing our fingers for you. Call me when the interview’s over! We want to hear all about it, don’t we baby boy…yes, yes we do!” Her voice is all sing-song when she talks to Henry. Like how some people do with dogs. Even though I’ve only met Tami’s baby son once, I can imagine her sitting there on the carpet with him in her house in Portland, kissing his chubby hands and feet and chanting sing-song nonsense to amuse him.
Then she’s talking to me again. “Oh, and remember to think before you talk!”