Three times, she wished: GBU to Cp 4, inclusive

Heads up: 1.99 e-book sale at most US markets for GBU starts today. [sale]

I got through chapter four in GBU last night in the read-along. (Join in the conversation here or Goodreads)  I’d forgotten Rachel dumped the fish tank to get the fish, but I find it interesting that right about the time I was writing this in 2004, I was having a devil of a time with my anti virus program, hence Vanessa knowing how to fix it. And the fish. If you read carefully, you’ll notice that Rachel wishes three times for a car, all while holding it. That was me trying to be clever, but most people don’t catch it until a re-read.

This is not the original chapter I submitted GBU with, but it is arguably the best, smoothly fitting in backstory and dropping the reader right into the world.

But  . . .

If you’re interested, I did find the unedited, raw, original first chapter. It’s kind of an interesting study to read both versions and see what I transposed with no change, and what I modified. If I remember correctly, some of the things I was trying to address with the new first chapter was bringing in the Were mythology earlier. I also wanted to preserve the mystery of the wishing fish to allow it to unfold naturally instead of being in your face. I liked the old ladies on the bench, and I liked Jenks’s Soylent fish tirade, but exchanging them for a more “grown up”, faster feel of a high-rise building in Cincinnati and Jenks’s complaint that “I’m wearing dead dinosaur, Rache!” was a fair trade in my mind.

Personally, I like the second version best, but you can read the original here.

ONE

 

From the corner of my eye, I watched the old ladies with their black boots and dry crusts of bread as I waded farther out into the scummy city pond.  Perched upon their sunny park bench, they put their gray heads together and gossiped loudly.  I glanced away as the water pressed against my thighs through the brown plastic of the waders I had borrowed from Nick, my boyfriend.  Only God knew where he got them from or why he even had them.

Apparently one of the old ladies couldn’t hear very well as her voice was overly loud when she asked her companion, “Do you think she’s a mermaid?”

Mermaid! I thought, tucking my sweat-sticky hair behind my ear and shifting the net to my other hand.  How lame was that?  With the red hair, maybe, thanks to Mr. Disney.  But the waders?  I was a witch first-class, graduated with—well—high grades if not honors.  But it was hard to tell right now, being thigh deep in pond water chasing someone else’s problem made mine by the promise of money.

Rent was due by the end of the week, and if I didn’t have my share, Ivy would have my hide.  Not a comfortable proposition when one’s roommate is a vampire.  “Jenks!” I shouted, pushing my sunglasses farther up my nose with the back of my wrist.  “Where’s that fish food?”

There was a tight hum as the pixy darted over my head.  I instinctively ducked, nearly losing my balance.  Water splashed as I struggled to keep upright.  My green nylon fishnet swung wildly, smacking into the surface with a loud pop.

The old ladies gasped, and I spared them a look as I caught myself.  Water seeped over the top of my waders, making a cold trail down my side to pool at my toes.  I mentally added dry-cleaning my skirt to the bill.  It was a cute little red thing that hit about midthigh, better suited for catching men than fish.  But waders were supposed to keep you dry, right?  And it had been the only clean thing in my closet.  I’d been too busy this weekend for laundry.  Tailing a troll accused of eating neighborhood cats was harder than it sounded.  It didn’t pay well, either.

“Darn it, Jenks,” I said through gritted teeth as he laughed at me.  “Don’t buzz me like that.”  I swung the net halfheartedly at him, and he darted back on his dragonfly wings.  He was dressed in what I called his gardening clothes: modest long-sleeved shirt and pants made of green silk.  I imagined he was saving his black body stocking for when we were gainfully employed in “less savory activities.”  A red bandanna of truce covered his blond hair to keep the local fairies working the pond from chasing him off.  He looked like a cross between a four-inch Peter Pan with wings and an inner-city gang member.  And he was about as much trouble, too.

“I just used your last coin,” he said, continuing his extre-e-e-emely helpful circles about my head.  “If you want to keep trying for that fish, you’re gonna have to ask the old ladies for some change.  They think you’re either a city employee culling the fish or a nut trying to baptize them.  This is the most fun they’ve had since feeding the squirrels love potions last week.”

My gaze went from the coin-operated feeder to the two women on their bench.  “Glad I can entertain them,” I muttered, and he skimmed away for more fish food.  One of the ladies waved merrily, and I pretended not to see, scanning the surface of the water for a silver form.

This was getting embarrassing.  I thought I had timed this so that no one would be here.  A hundred yards away, traffic was stop-and-go, the noise muted by trees and distance.  It had picked up, and I guessed it was probably after two o’clock, just beginning the span of time when humans and Inderlanders struggled to share the streets of Cincinnati.  I’d been up since before noon chasing this stupid fish, and I’d die if someone from the I.S. saw me in waders.

It had been nearly three months since I had snapped under the crap assignments my old boss at Inderland Security had been giving me.  Feeling used and grossly unappreciated, I had broken the unwritten rule and quit the I.S. to start my own agency.  It had seemed like a good idea at the time.  But before the sun had risen, I had saddled myself with a vamp and a pixy for partners and had two death threats set on me.  I had survived the death threats.  If I couldn’t come up with rent, I might not survive my roommates.

It wasn’t all bad, though, I thought as I waded closer to shore and felt the water temperature rise at my feet.  I now had the chance to put my degree to work, stirring spells I used to buy and some I had never been able to afford.  But being an independent wasn’t as easy as I had thought it would be.  Money was a real problem.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t get the jobs; it was that the money didn’t seem to stay in the cookie jar atop the fridge very long.

What I made from proving a werefox had been slipped some bane by a rival pack had gone to renewing my witch license.  The I.S. used to pay for that.  I recovered a stolen familiar for a warlock and spent it on the monthly rider on my health insurance.  I hadn’t had any idea that runners were all but uninsurable; the I.S. had given me a card, and I had used it.  Then I had to pay a university kid to take off the lethal spells on my stuff still in storage, buy Ivy a new silk robe to replace the one I’d ruined, not to mention pick up a few new outfits for myself.  I did have a reputation to uphold.

But the steady drain on my finances had to be from the cab fares.  Most of Cincinnati’s bus drivers knew me by sight and wouldn’t pick me up.  It wasn’t fair.  It had been ages since I had accidentally removed the hair from an entire bus load of people while trying to tag a Were.

I was tired of being almost broke.  Jenks said it was my soft heart.  Ivy said it was poor business practices.  I thought it was bad luck.  It didn’t help that some of my clients didn’t deal in money.  But I wasn’t going to turn away a desperate pixy if all he had was a handful of tomatoes, especially if all I had to do was get rid of a wasp nest that was too close to his sídh.  How much does a can of Raid cost, after all?  This time, though, I would come back with my tag, and Cincinnati’s second, all-Inderland professional baseball team would pay up.

Finding the Howler’s mascot had sounded like an easy run.  The coach hadn’t bothered to tell me up-front it was a koi that a rival team had thrown into one of Cincinnati’s numerous ponds.  Now, after three days of frogs, scum, and angry beavers, I was ready to give them the first fish that came even marginally close to the photo they had given me.

The shimmer of Jenks’s wings caught the afternoon sun as he flew back, slower from the pellets in his arms.  Guilt and my mother’s insistence for good manners prompted me to give the old lady a low wave as she continued to struggle for my attention.

“Oh my God, these things stink!” Jenks said, his tiny face screwed up dramatically as he came to a faltering halt before me.  “You know what they got in them?”

I met his eyes.  Please, not another free-flowing stream of conscious thought.  “Just throw the food, Jenks.”

“I’m not talking about the usual stuff, like cornmeal and shrimp powder.  It’s the meat by-products that give me the shivers.  Meat by-products?  Try horse balls and pig dicks.  And you know what’s worse?  There’s fish in there too.  What we got here is fish soylent green.  Yes sir, fish soylent green.  And they are sucking it up.  Standing in line to get a taste of Uncle Bob.  Poor, poor Uncle Bob who went missing last week.  Gee, I wonder where Uncle Bob is?  Gulp, gulp.  Slurp, slurp.”

“Just dump the food,” I said tiredly.

A carp leapt at him, and I gasped.  “Jenks!  Look out!”

He was eight feet above the water before I had finished.  Heart pounding, I slumped as his laugher mixed with the splash of water.  I worried about the little twit.  It’s hard to be four inches in a six-foot world.  “Relax, Rache,” he said slyly, coming close so the wind from his wings shifted my hair.  “I’ve been fishing before.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of.”

Grinning at my fading fright, he dropped the pellets.  Large pale mouths gulped at the surface.  I watched, mesmerized, looking for the glimmer of silver among the predominately gray bodies.  “There!” Jenks shouted, pointing as pixy dust sifted from him in excitement.

I flung my arm out, slicing the net through the green water.  My pulse hammered as the net bounced.  “I’ve got it!” I cried, lifting the dripping net high.  Relief flooded me as I saw the foot-long squirming body.  It had to be the right fish.  It was silver with a black spot on its side, matching the description I’d been given.

From their bench, the old ladies cheered and clapped.  I grinned and gave them a thumbs-up.  Holding my catch free of the water, I staggered to the shore.  I had a silver-colored carp with a black spot.  It was going to pay my rent.  I was in the clear for another month.

I sloshed forward, struggling with the wiggling fish.  “Open the bucket, Jenks,” I called out as I neared the shore.  My eyes widened as my foot hit a hole and I lurched to find my balance.  I was going down!

Panicking, I flung the net toward the shore.  The fish hit the bank and started flopping.  I staggered to fall to my knees.  The water wasn’t deep, but I was abruptly soaked as warm water filled my waders.  On my hands and knees, I watched the fish struggle, edging toward freedom.

“Get up!” Jenks shouted, hovering helplessly over the fish.  “Rachel, I can’t stop it!”

I slogged forward, the water in my waders slowing me down.  “No!” I cried, flinging myself onto the fish as its tail hit the water.  It wiggled and squirmed.  A slimy tail hit my face.  Black earth and decayed leaves plastered my face.  My sunglasses fell off.  “Turn it all!” I shouted.  “I wish you would stop flopping!”

The fish went still.  Gasping, I pulled away.  I’d killed it!  I’d squished my rent money!

“Pick it up!” Jenks cried, his wings a bright red in agitation.

Jolted into motion, I grabbed it and held it against me.  Fish stink rose high as I waddled in my waders to the five-gallon bucket.  Breathless, I dropped the fish in.  Jenks and I hovered over it, watching the fish take a grateful gulp of water.  The two ladies were clapping, their white-gloved hands making hardly any sound over their loud cheers.

The fish was all right, I thought in relief.  So why had it stopped struggling?  It was almost as if it heard me.  Eyebrows raised in speculation, I looked from the two ladies to Jenks sitting perched on the rim of the bucket.  “Did you see what it did?” I asked.

“Yeah.”  His wings blurred to nothing, but he didn’t rise.  There was a wicked glint in his eyes.  “It stopped moving when you asked it too.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

I licked my lips.  “It’s a wishing fish,” I said.  “No wonder they want it back so badly.”

“I wonder how many wishes it has in it.”  Jenks flitted upward as I straightened.

“There’s only one way to find out.”  Wiping the water from my face, I waddled the three steps to the nearest bench and sat down.  Water sloshed at my knees as I mulled the possibilities.

“Well?”  I looked up to see Jenks with a wide-eyed eagerness.  “Try it,” he prompted.

I sat back against the bench and sighed with a mixed ambivalence.  The last time I had used a stolen wish, I had nearly gotten killed.  Twice.  A simple-worded request would be best, especially from a fish.  Trying to be clever would only get me slapped in the face.

My thoughts went to the long, wet, embarrassing ride home I faced on the bus.  That is, if they even picked me up.  Trying to catch a ride with a bucket of fish would be more difficult than usual.  Not to mention my bus pass was soaked and probably wouldn’t go through the reader.  And I was out of change.

Leaning over the bucket, I dipped my hand into the sun-warmed water.  The bright red of my manicured nails stood out sharp against the fish’s silver scales as I lightly settled my fingers around it.  “I wish I had a car that was mine,” I said, trying to negate the possibility of getting stuck with a stolen vehicle.

The fish did nothing.  Suddenly I felt foolish.  Pulling my hand from the water, I shut the lid and glanced at the nearby empty parking lot.  Jenks flitted to the large hoop earrings I wore just for him.  “Sorry,” he said, landing on it as if it were a tire swing.

“I didn’t really think it would work.”  Jeez.  I must be losing it.  It was a fish, for crying out loud, not a leprechaun.

I slipped the straps holding up my waders off my shoulders and shimmied out of them.  Standing in my damp skirt and soaked nylons, I dumped the waders upside down.  Twin rivulets flowed back to the pond, taking bits of twigs and leaves with them.  I had to get home and call the Howlers.  They would be happy to get their fish back.  And I’d be happy to get paid.

My mood soured as I took a quick look around and rolled my nylons down off my legs.  They were ruined.  The late September breeze off the water was chill in the shade, and ugly goose bumps rose upon my pale legs.  If they hadn’t gone along with the red hair, green eyes, and freckles of my Irish, way-back ancestry, one might think I was ill, they were so white.

“Hey, how about that, Rache,” Jenks said, flitting off my earring to hover beside me.  “Your wish worked—sort of.”

A big four-door car had swung into the lot to take up two spots.  Engine still running, it flashed its lights at me.  I deliberately turned away.  A black Crown Victoria could only mean one thing.  What the Turn did the FIB want?

The FIB, short for the Federal Inderland Bureau, was the human-run version of the I.S.  It had been created to take the place of both local and federal authorities after the Turn.  On paper, the FIB had been enacted to help protect the remaining humans from the—ah—more aggressive Inderlanders, generally the vamps and Weres.  The reality was dissolving the old law structure had been a paranoiac, knee-jerk attempt to keep us Inderlanders out of law enforcement.

Yeah.  Right.  The out-of-the-closet, out-of-work Inderland police and Federal agents had simply started their own bureau, the I.S.  After forty years, the FIB was hopelessly outclassed, taking a steady abuse from the I.S. as they both tried to keep tabs on Cincinnati’s varied citizens.

The old ladies on their bench buzzed over this newest development.  I stifled a groan as I went to get my sunglasses off the ground.  Brushing the leaf chips from them, I tried to find a dry spot on me to clean them with.  The hem of my red halter didn’t work very well as it was mostly nylon and spandex.  Stretching awkwardly, I tried to tuck it back in.  My damp hands kept getting stuck between me and my skirt, and I quit when I realized I was doing more harm than good for my image, standing in bare feet and jerking at how cold my hands were.

The car window rolled down.  “Ms. Rachel Morgan?” the dark man behind the wheel called out, his deep voice belligerent.

Trying to look as if standing barefoot in parks was something I did every day, I found a nasty-looking tissue at the bottom of my bag and wiped the pond water from my lenses.  Being slighted by humans wasn’t new, but most knew better than to get aggressive.  “Yeah?” I said, not looking up as I put my shades back on and reclined on the bench.  I crossed my cold legs modestly at the ankles and stretched out.

“I’m Detective Glenn.  I’m from the FIB,” he said.

Jenks snorted as he came back to my earring.  “Whoopee freaking do,” he said dryly.

“Yeah?” I repeated.  Nervous, I sat up and wrung my stockings out.  He looked young to have made Detective.  Must be the FIB was getting desperate.  “I’ve got a permit.”  It wasn’t for fishing in a public park, but I wasn’t going to tell him that.

The man behind the wheel looked up through the roof of his car, his attitude begging for a fight.  “Captain Edden wants to talk to you,” he said across the distance.

My shoulders drooped.  It was what I had been afraid of.  I owed Edden a very large thank-you.  The ladies on the bench watched with wide eyes, their breadcrumbs forgotten, their white-gloved hands in their laps.

“It concerns Councilman Trent Kalamack,” the FIB officer added indifferently.

“Kalamack!” I yelped, then cursed myself for having said anything.  The wealthy bastard wanted me to work for him or see me dead.  It depended on his mood and how well his stock portfolio was doing.  I tossed my damp hair over my shoulder in an effort to look disinterested, but it lost much of its effect as the tangled curls got stuck halfway on my shoulder.  The old ladies were probably savvy enough to know I was faking my cool.  I was hoping the detective didn’t.  “Kalamack, huh?” I amended, turning on the bench to see him better.  “Why is Edden is sending a detective to fetch me?  You on his hit list this week?”

He shrugged.  “Get in.”

Not moving from my bench, I lolled my head to the trees’ canopy as I thought it over.  “What do you think, Jenks?” I asked.

“I think he’s an ass who needs his ears cut off.”

“Not him,” I said sharply.  “About Edden wanting to talk to me.”

A sigh sounding too heavy to come from someone so small escaped him.  “Maybe he’s got a job for you.”

“Maybe.”  I tossed the wad of my stockings into the open-weave trashcan with my soggy tissue.  “But I don’t want him to think he can crook his finger and I’ll come running.”

I ran my gaze down myself in disgust.  Everything but my heels tucked neatly under the bench was damp.  I reeked of fish slime.  The thought of the looks I’d get on the bus weren’t encouraging.  I glanced at the old ladies, and one of them waved me to go with him.

“What did you say your name was?” I called out.

“Detective Glenn, ma’am,” he said, an arm now propped up on the window.

Jenks laughed.  “Ma’am,” he said.  “He called you, ma’am.”

I frowned.  I was used to wary distrust from most humans.  This guy wasn’t afraid, and it was ticking me off.  Maybe he didn’t know I was a witch.  “Well, Detective Glade.  I’m working a very important case right now.”

Jenks snickered, and the man flushed, the red almost hidden behind his skin’s dark hue.  “It’s Glenn, ma’am.

I pushed my hair behind an ear, purposely chasing Jenks off my shoulder.  “If Edden wants to talk to me, he can come to my office like everyone else.”

“Please, Ms. Morgan,” he said with obvious sarcasm.  “Have some pity.”

Making trouble when I thought I could get away with it was one of my greatest joys, but I could use a ride.  Jenks flitted back to perch on my hoop earring.  “It would be easier than dragging that bucket onto the bus,” he said.

“Yeah.”  I glanced at the two ladies, and they nodded.  “Tell you what.”  Pausing, I brushed the dirt from my feet and put my heels on.  The red leather had looked good this morning when I was dry, but now . . . and with no nylons to keep from getting blisters?  Wincing, I met his eyes.  “I’ll let you drive me and my fish home.  Once I get cleaned up, we will go see Edden.”

“Whatever you say, ma’am.

My eyes narrowed.  I snatched up my bag and stood waiting beside my bucket until Glenn got out of the car, crossed the patch of grass, and lugged it and my net into the backseat.  He was a good head taller than me, which was saying something—with nice shoulders, curly black hair cut close to his skull, firm jaw, and a stiff attitude just begging for me to smack him.  Comfortably muscled without going overboard, there wasn’t even the hint of a gut on him.  In his perfectly fitting gray suit, white shirt, and black tie, he could be the FIB poster boy.  His mustache and beard were cut in the latest style—so minimal that they almost weren’t there—and I thought he might do better to lighten up on his aftershave.  I eyed the cuff pouch on his belt, wishing I still had mine.  They had belonged to the I.S., and I missed them dearly.

As he struggled not to slop the water on his nice creased pants, I settled myself in the front seat and turned the heat on full to blow my hair back.  Glenn said nothing as he slammed his door shut, but his clenched jaw made it clear he wasn’t happy.  Of course, he might be upset about the fish stink on his floor mats, or that a witch was sitting next to him, or that he had water on his shiny black shoes.  Tough toads.  I had pond water in my undies.

The old ladies waved good bye as we pulled out, and I rolled the window down and waved back.  Jenks settled himself at his usual spot on the rearview mirror where the wind wouldn’t tear his wings.  “Thanks for the ride, Glenn,” I said, lolling my arm out the window.  I let the air pressure push against my hand as we picked up speed.  I glanced at him, noticing how blocky his hands were.  His grip was so tight on the wheel that his fingernails were almost white.

“My pleasure, ma’am.

I smiled, turning it into a nasty face when he looked away.  “Call me Rachel.”  Settling back in the leather seat, I alternated my attention between the extra gadgets on the dash and the passing buildings flicking sunlight and shadow over me.  A call came over the radio about a shoplifter at the mall, and Glenn snapped it off.  A frown crossed me as I realized we were headed away from the river, towards uptown.

“Hey, Glenn,” I said as I tugged my damp skirt toward my knees.  “My office is in the Hollows.  You’re going the wrong way.”

“No, I’m not.”

I shifted my arm inside as he rolled the window up from his control panel.  Immediately it grew stuffy.  Jenks flitted to the ceiling, trapped.  “What the hell are you doing?” he shrilled.

“Yeah!” I exclaimed, more irate than worried.  “What’s up?”

“Captain Edden wants to see you, Ms. Morgan.”  His gaze darted from the road to me.  A victorious glint was in his dark eyes, and I didn’t like his nasty smile.  “And if you so much as reach for a spell, I’ll yank your witch butt out of my car, cuff you, and throw you in the trunk.  Captain Edden asked me to get you.  He never said what shape you had to be in.”

I repeatedly flicked the switch for the window, but Glenn had locked it.  Jenks alighted on my earring.  “Like I said, Rache,” he said loudly.  “An ass needing his ears clipped.”

I settled back with a huff.  I could jam my finger in Glenn’s eye and force us off the road, but why?  I knew where I was going.  And Edden would see that I had a ride home.  It ticked me off, though, running into a human who had more gall than me.  What was the city coming to?

A sullen silence descended.  I took my sunglasses off and leaned over, noticing the man was going fifteen over the posted limit.  Figures.

“Watch this,” Jenks whispered.  My eyebrows rose as the pixy flitted from my earring.  The autumn sun coming in was suddenly full of sparkles as he surreptitiously sifted a glowing dust over the detective.  I was sure it wasn’t the usual pixy dust.  Glenn had been pixed.

I hid a smile behind a hand, not caring it stank like fish.  In about twenty minutes, Glenn would be itching so bad, he wouldn’t be able to sit still.

“So, how come you aren’t scared of me?” I asked brazenly, feeling vastly better.

“You’re just another skinny white girl,” he said.  I stared at him, and he added, “A witch family lived next door when I was a kid.  They had a girl my age.  She hit me with just about everything a witch can do to a person.”  A faint smile of remembrance crossed him, making him look very unFIBlike.  “The saddest day of my life was when she moved away.”

I made a pouty face.  “Poor baby,” I said, and he went back to scowling.  I wasn’t pleased, though.  Edden had known I couldn’t bully him.  And now I was going to have to face an entire building of FIB personnel with fish stink all over me.  I hated Mondays.

32 Comments

Filed under Drama Box

32 responses to “Three times, she wished: GBU to Cp 4, inclusive

  1. robert clifford

    i hope i am getiing your free stuff

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It seems that whenever I have trouble with my own writing, you share something about your own that helps me get through the trouble I’m having with mine. I hope that makes sense. Thanks again.

  3. Thank you for sharing this alternate chapter Kim. I liked it and enjoyed reading it, but I agree with the majority in that the one that the book was printed with is a better fit with the story. I did actually notice Rachel wishing for the car in my first read of this story. I like to think I have a way of picking out and noticing these small elements of stories that many other people say they missed until it’s revealed later in them. That is just another one of the little things I have noticed a lot with this series that I love so much. I think it helps add to the layers that make this series one of the best out there. Thank you for sharing this with us and taking part in a read along with the fans!

  4. Anne

    I too liked the second version best. I also missed the car reference until the reread. I just love the read along!

  5. Angie D

    oops insight

  6. Angie D

    I liked the second version better. Thanks for sharing it with us. It gives us incite into how writers think about story lines. Love it!

  7. Thanks for sharing the rough draft it was entertaing, but I have to go with you on liking the final better.

  8. Linda Craft.

    Thank You Kim for giving us a little treat. I do like the second version better. With out it my family wouldn’t have plan B. “grab the fish and run like hell” it is amazing how many times we manage to work that into real life conversations!!!! thanks for all the laughs you have given our family.

  9. I love the second one best too. It’s probably just my memory but why is Rachel’s fish a beta? Also did you have any issues with using the Tink/Disney references! They’re my favourite bits and always make me laugh.

  10. Kristi

    I really enjoyed reading this draft of the first chapter. I will have to say though that I like that you changed it to the one actually in the book. It feels like it flowed better with the over all story, and helped set things up for later.

  11. I love reading your alternate chapters. There was a lot in this one that I actually found more entertaining than the published/final version, but the published one is clearly more polished and both fits with the others stylistically and advances the tale better. (In particular I adore the old ladies and the brief references to Rachel’s runs. And waders. Ye gods! You know, if you ever feel like writing a few short stories of Rachel’s runs, I think those would be great fun and popular with many of us.) Despite the delights of this early version I have to say that I’m very glad you waited for David to reveal the true nature of the fish in the following book, rather than have Rachel figure it out. The clues are there and make rereads just delicious. Plus, if she had known what it was while it was still alive and in her possession, might Rachel not have acted differently? The book would not have been the same at all. I love the whole “Pixies are allergic to polyester! Look! I’m breaking out!” not to mention the genesis of Plan B which has provided so many quips in later books. Thanks sooo much for sharing this with us!

  12. Diva

    It’s always a treat when authors share first or rough drafts with their readers. It gives us a better peek into the evolution of a book or, in this case, a scene. I do agree with you though that the final version is the better of the two. It just feels a bit more polished.

  13. The second is a better fit, but I do LOVE this quote! “Tough toads. I had pond water in my undies.”

  14. Jodin Davunt

    I like the rewrite much more than the original. Jenks’ tirade about dead dinosaur was more amusing, and the rewrite also gave us the now classic “Plan B”!

  15. Now this why an author read along was such a brilliant idea! Being exposed to little gems like a first rough draft! Wonderful. I loved this look into the creative process. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  16. abby

    I love reading all of the “extras” you share with us… it’s like buying the Blue Ray version of a DVD for the deleted scenes, making-of, blooper reels, and extra footage! Thank you, and please keep it coming!!!

  17. Rachel Vale

    I like the old ladies, but I like the action in the second version better. Also, one of my favorite quotes from the entire series comes from it courtesy of Vanessa: “I told you, computers are like women. If you shout at them or ask them to do too many things at once, they shut down and you won’t even get a sniff.” I LOVE this so much : )

  18. jkh

    I enjoyed this initial first chapter. However, I agree that what got printed was stronger for the book. But this one is just as fun. Loved the mind-pictures of the adventures with waders!

  19. Vampyre

    Squirrels on a love potion…that would be something to see. 🙂

    I missed the wish part of fish the first time through. It makes me wonder what else I missed.

    V^^^^V

  20. Leah Carr

    Something I’ve often wondered that I don’t believe you answere in any of the books so far: What is Detective Glenn’s first name?

    I like the first chapter that was published better, but this one was fun to read, too.

  21. Kevin B

    I liked the element where she wished for it to stop moving and it did immediately, but if you had made the characters ignore the obviousness of the event it could have really helped build the suspense of the fish’s nature. Kinda like how in For a Few Demons More where she woke up in the chair in her church after being potioned by Jenx. I’m sure everyone reading it knew she had been doused with a memory potion, it just took a long time for her to realize it. The journey to figure out why and who did it was the exciting part. We as readers could have all known something was up with the fish long before the characters did. As frustrating as those types of plot mechanics are, I love ’em, lol.

    • Lesley

      NAh, not everyone– I’m pretty oblivious. It totally caught me by surprise. that’s why I love coming here and seeing the little tidbits! Even on my Nth reread of the series I still didn’t pick up on her wishing for a car! 🙂

  22. manxmom

    While I like the 2nd version better, this one had some great visuals, (old ladies on the park bench, Rachel in waders in the pond, etc.) and of course Jenks tirade! I liked the list of runs Rachel had been on. It kind of brings her life as an independent into focus. But the pond part took too long, and it did not bring the Weres into the story as much as the 2nd one did. So, as always, good call on your part. Thank you for sharing!!

  23. I like the second version better, but I loved reading the first to see the changes you made.

  24. old72jim

    Hi Ms Kim I liked the second version better. I loved GBU and you keep bringing up more reasons. I think Rachel is getting more mature on her outlook as we go through the books (yuck,ptuey!), and maturity was something I have carefully avoided all my 74 years if possible. I think it was why I could (mostly) talk to one of my 12-13 year old prostitutes who was drug addicted, pregnant, and had two or three kinds of STI’s orally, anally, and vaginally. (At that time I was the only one with credentials to commit if necessary in the Family Emergency Unit) I also won an award one year as only 2% of my girls committed suicide while on my caseload. The average in that category is about 5%. (it was my first client at CSB committing suicide that got me back in Case Western to get my MSW, specially as I was the only one at her funeral except the priest saying mass.)

    • Hi Jim.

      Life is rough all over, and just because someone doesn’t bring up their aches and pains, their loved ones who are hurting or dying from incurable illness or disease, or the tight financial situation they might be in through no fault of their own, that doesn’t mean that their lives are roses and silk. They just don’t feel the need to share it on the internet with everyone. You’re not alone. I’m sorry if you feel you are.

    • jkh

      Dear Jim, Thank you for sharing some of your history with us. Case workers have really difficult jobs and far too many cases to manage. You all are unsung heroes. One can be mature and young at heart, as you are, and as I hope I am. Although sometimes I’m just grouchy…

    • JHK and Jim, it might be time for you guys to take your conversations off the public list. You seem to have a nice rapport.

  25. Amy McDonald

    I have to agree, i liked the second one better!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!! It was a treat for sure!!!

  26. Robin Layton

    That was fun though!

  27. Beth

    You’re right Kim. I think I liked the second version better.

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