Buccaneer Blogfest: Read the first paragraphs of my WIPs


Hi everyone! It’s that time of week again, which means it’s another post for the awesome Buccaneer blogfest. I’ve met so many cool people, it’s been an amazing experience so far. Now, it’s time to move into week two, and the prompt for today happens to include paragraphs. Fortunately, these paragraphs don’t involve a great deal of pointless rambling for me, but rather, are the first paragraphs of my works in progress, Sanity Vacuum and Bedlam (Zombie Bedtime Stories #4.)

First, I give you the first paragraph of Sanity Vacuum, my upcoming novel to be published by CQ. I just got my edits back, and I’m super stoked.


The deafening boom of the rocket’s engines filled the air, and Vivian Skye’s lungs. She watched in awe as the spacecraft took flight, climbing into the scintillating green-red glow of Aurora’s chaotic skies.  This was her first visit to the spaceport in the capital city of Antica, Aurora’s only major link to the stars and galaxy beyond. Located close to the planet’s equator, the site was one of the few places on the planet where the electronics required for space flight would work above ground and unshielded. Aurora’s star, Helios, was unstable and often experienced geomagnetic storms. While there was little danger to humans in terms of radiation exposure outside the forbidden Polar Regions, most technology would be disabled or damaged beyond repair after leaving the equatorial zone. Aurora had been one of the first worlds colonized by Earth in the early days of space travel—in modern times, it would be passed over as unsuitable for advanced human life.

Now, here come the zombies. Let’s hear it for Samantha Henderson, the hero of Bedlam. It’s pre-edit, and not yet polished.

“I want my Mommy,” the girl clinging to Corporal Samantha Henderson’s hand choked back sobs, and looked up at her. She couldn’t be more than seven, and her pale blue eyes were bloodshot and brimming with tears. Samantha had been part of a squad assigned to evacuate this large inner city elementary school. She didn’t know if they were going to make it, but Samantha was determined to do her duty and get as many kids out as possible. The school was a decaying, squalid building—a leftover relic of the baby boom nearly a century before. Now, it was underfunded and in a state of disrepair Samantha found shocking. The grey hallway dragged on ahead of them, only punctuated by the closed classroom doors and children’s art projects. She enjoyed the sound of her boots on the cold granite floor. The powerful echoes gave her the illusion of power and control, when in reality her stomach gnawed around the chill of uncertainty.


I wish you the best of weeks, and to continue hopping, just click on the banner above.

8 comments on “Buccaneer Blogfest: Read the first paragraphs of my WIPs

  1. Ben says:

    Nice first paragraphs! I think both of them do a good job setting the tone of the narrative and your voice as a writer. They’re both different, though.

    In particular, the Sanity Vacuum paragraph introduces the reader quickly to the world you’ve created, and as such is somewhat abstract (not a bad thing), while the Bedlam paragraph is intensely physical, which you communicate through the use of sense-terms to describe the scene (color, perception, sound, etc.).

  2. jamieayres says:

    I’m a teacher and really enjoyed the second one. Have you ever read Linnea Sinclair’s The Down Home Zombie Blues? She’s a writer in my local RWA group and I think you’d enjoy it . . . even being made into a movie right now:-)

    • Marisa Cleveland says:

      I’ve read Linnea and love her. 🙂 This sounds interesting. Good luck with those edits you mentioned. 🙂

  3. AA says:

    I really liked the second one as well! As for the first, love your world-building!

  4. T says:

    I enjoyed the set-up of the first, it sounds like the perfect start to a novel… while the second paragraph that opens Bedlam is gripping and offers a fast-paced jump right into the setting. The latter, of course, is just how a post-apocalyptic zombie infested story should be presented. I especially loved the last line… great imagery and the “gnawing” in the stomach plays well with the theme, too! I would definitely read more!

  5. Talynn Lynn says:

    Sorry for the late commenting, but my computer went haywire! But Your opening paragraphs are thrilling. I’m interested in more…

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