I Decided to Redo the Beginning

And I can blame it on Nathan Bransford's contest. He's very nicely (and courageously!) offered to look at the first paragraphs of works in progress, with a further offer of a partial crit going to the winner.

A bit of background. This is a time travel novel, with the protag, Rita Fuentes, an adoptee who wants to find out who she really is. Her adoptive mother, Margaret, has provided her with a last name of her birth mother, but little else. The phone call she's on will decide where she goes from here.

So here it is, from my WIP which is now titled (I think for about the 5th time), Yesterday's Gone.

Rita Fuentes paced around her adoptive mother's kitchen table until she was sure she'd leave a groove in the linoleum. She stopped in front of the wall phone, staring at the calendar next to it. Just tell me you've found me, Rita thought, flipping through the months with her free hand until she reached September 1974. She froze when she heard the other woman say, "Sorry."

The genealogist coughed, then said, "Don't have all my papers. Be right back."

Rita unfroze long enough to clench her teeth. "Take your time." Wrapping and unwrapping her finger around the phone cord, she turned her gaze to the nearest wall. What was her adoptive mother, Margaret, thinking when she put up that bright green and orange wallpaper? "Guess she had to make sure one part of the house fits in with what passes for decorating." Fitting in. For seven long years, since the hippies' Summer of Love, she'd wondered where she fit in.

"Thanks for holding, Mrs. Fuentes."

Rita held her breath.

"Unfortunately, I can't find anyone in Los Angeles with that last name who had a baby named Rita on September 28, 1942."

Rita blinked, but tears already pricked her eyes. "But adoption records--"

"Usually aren't available to the public, Mrs. Fuentes."

That's not the entire 1st chapter, but it's a nice chunk of it. The time travel takes place not long after this exchange. BTW, Rita is into mythology, and it's through knowing some mythology - and some mythological beings - that she's transported back in time...

~Nancy Beck