*laughs* Oh my God. I just found what must have been *very* close to the original first character sketch/getting the feeling thing for the Walker Papers. It’s about 800 words long, and it’s *awful*. oh my *God* it’s bad. *howls with laughter*
Being a cop wasn’t exactly the glamorous day job I’d envisioned having when I grew up. Everybody knew cops were the enemies, even kids who didn’t get in trouble.</p>
I was not trouble, as a kid. Well, I didn’t think I was trouble. There are people who would disagree. Most of them would be people I beat up. I wasn’t a bully. I was incredibly pale-skinned and green-eyed on a knot of a reservation where the Cherokee people had gathered.
Lots of kids had been abandoned by their fathers. I was practically alone in the running for having been abandoned by my mother. All my father ever told me about her was that her name was Maire Maconohy, that she was straight-off-the-boat Irish, had black hair and green eyes, and when she showed up on his doorstep nine months after their one night stand, she said my name was Sion, and walked off without a glance back.
My birth certificate says Sion Walkingstick. My name is Joanne Walker. Dad Anglicized the first name, I Anglicized the second. The only thing I get with the name Walkingstick is people saying, “Geez, you don’t look Indian.” By the time I was ten I was sick of it. By the time I was fifteen I swore I’d never hear it again. When I turned sixteen and left the rez, I started using Joanne Walker on everything. My law degree says Walker.
It wasn’t so much that I was turning my back on my heritage as I never felt like it belonged to me. I ddin’t really grow up on the rez. We spent about six years there, when I was a teenager. Well, from puberty to sixteen, which isn’t technically the same thing as being a teenager. I think I would’ve been more comfortable if I’d just grown up there. Instead I got stuck into a culture I’d been indoctrinated to regard as primitive and never quite lost my superior little sneer.
Which is probably half of why I got in so many fights.
But man, I had big dreams. I was going to be the first woman president, win the Nobel Prize, dispense justice and kindness all around, and basically save the world. I got a scholarship to the state university — in Virginia — and then to the Omaha School of Law. Overall, those were the most boring years of my life. I didn’t party, I didn’t date, I didn’t do much of anything but study. Passed the bar on my first try and came back to Seattle, where I’d spent the first ten years of my life. Got a job as a baby lawyer . . .
. . . and hated it. Yeah, the paycheck was satisfying, and dressing in classy clothes and wearing a sharp haircut was great, but it didn’t feel like I was making the slightest fucking difference. It took seven months and three days for me to walk. Out of law school into a police academy. I got my badge on my twenty-fifth birthday.
I was a good cop. I’m big, just a hair under six feet tall, and guys who wouldn’t be terrified of a man my size or bigger just sort of freak out when I face them down. My partner was a little guy, about five six. We used to play good-cop bad-cop and argue over who got to be which. It wasn’t the greatest job, but it was better than being a lawyer.
Only then there was a gunfight and Miguel got killed. We’d both thought we could handle it and hadn’t called in backup, but I was the only one left to explain that, and it didn’t look so good. It might’ve gone over, except then my mother called up out of the blue and wanted me to come to Ireland because she was dying and she wanted to see what she’d wrought. Not that she had much to do with it, but I went anyway. We spent about four months going all over Europe, and then she decided she was done and died in Venice. Traveling overseas with a corpse you barely knew is not my idea of fun.
Right after the funeral I got a letter from Maggie, a friend of mine on the force, who said while I’d been gone Markson, the supe, had gotten me moved down into traffic patrols. He was trying to get me to quit: he didn’t think women belonged on the police force. He and Maggie’d been going around for years. But I wasn’t gonna quit. The fucker could fire me, but he’d have to do it. I wasn’t going to make it easy on him.
*writhes around in agony* Oh my God. *laughs and LAUGHS*
*runs to check the original draft first chapter* *laughs more* Ok, here’s the even-better part: this was apparently take two, because the original first chapter was created at 9:30am that *morning*…and although there are moderate differences between it and what got published, it’s really very much the first chapter you read in URBAN SHAMAN. I remember doing this awful bit I’ve just posted because I *was* trying to get a handle on the character, and I have *no idea* what I thought when I was done writing it…but this is obviously not the Joanne we all know and love, and in fact, the one in the chapter I wrote that morning obviously *is*.
*wipes eyes* Oh, my God. *laughs and laughs* Wow. First drafts: they scare you!(x-posted from the essential kit)