“It’s my party,” Lesley Gore sang, “and I’ll cry if I want to.” Or, in this case, it’s my blog, and I’ll break the rules if I want to. The guidelines for this blog ask writers to discuss the first two pages of one novel or short story. I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’ll discuss the opening sentences of several stories in my recently released collection, Her Infinite Variety: Tales of Women and Crime. In short stories, we probably don’t have two pages to make readers and editors want to keep reading. We’re lucky if we get two sentences. So I thought it might be interesting to compare the openings of these stories and see if I can come to any general conclusions. Other writers, of course, have used other approaches to beginning short stories, and have often succeeded far more than I ever will. But this is what’s worked for me.