Sunday, April 25, 2010


Okay, I'm ready, willing and able. I have my cerebral tool belt on, stocked with note pads, research material, books on the subject, calendars, letters, and whatever else I can cram into it. So here I go.

I’ve entered a contest for “The First Three Chapters” of your book and it got my juices flowing. I can do that! I can take my first three chapters of “A Broad Abroad in Iran” and win this contest. Thank you, Women on; I guess I needed a jump start and a good goose!

So I started this morning. I had it roughed out, but today I got serious. Here’s one chapter and I’d like to know what you think. Please leave me a comment, and join my blog as a follower.

LEAVING IRAN, November 1978

Our plane is sitting on the tarmac. Jet engines revving. Exit door closed. But nothing is happening. I fear if we don’t become airborne soon we’ll be grounded, grabbed by the Islamic police and marched into a holding room to be interrogated. Who were we? What crimes had we committed against Islam? Were we CIA, the evil spies of the hated American government?

Then I feel a slight tremor under my feet. Is it my imagination? Are we really moving?

I hold my breath as the plane inches forward.

We are moving!

I watch the surrounding buildings slide slowly past my window. We are going to get out of this horrible nightmare after all. Mentally I pull back on the stick as the plane begins to gain speed and altitude. I exhale, slowly. Tentatively.

We are finally leaving this terrifying place.

I try to shake the fear that has held me so rigid in my seat. Until I feel the plane’s tires lift off from the tarmac, I can’t let go of the panic. My cheek is numb from the freezing glass of the window as I strain to watch the fires and ropes of smoke below; a city burning, growing smaller as we ascend to our flying altitude.

I close my eyes and try to slip into a zone of REM, but acrid fumes still invade my dreams. Memories sear through my mind. Screams assault my ears. I see the charred human remains caught in a flash fire of pipe bombs and incendiaries from the Polaroid that crossed my desk a few weeks earlier: DEATH TO AMRIKANS—YANKEE GO HOME scrawled in blood-red paint across the gutted bus.

They are chasing me, trying to stone me as I run for my life.

A foreign voice startles me awake. The pilot announces that we may now remove our seat-belts. I shake my head to be rid of that recurring nightmare. Next to me my husband slumbers, seemingly without a care in the world. My two little ones, in the seats in front of me, sleep peacefully while slumped on top of each other in innocent dreams. I'm thankful they weren’t in this hellish dream with me.


Jim Misko said...

Hi Dodie
It held me to read it. I believe it has "the hook" that every readable book needs. Just enough about who's on the plane; where it is leaving from; why there is risk in it. Good start.
May it go well with you. Alaska Jim in country

GutsyWriter said...


I am also hooked and want to find out what happened to you before you boarded the plane. Well done.

Margie McArthur said...

That's a very good "hook"! It pulled me in right away and I wanted to read more.


gshine said...

Hi Dodie,
Once again you have a great lead in. Now anxious to read more.