Writers' Corner

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Writers' Corner

Postby Moderator » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:46 pm

For the posting of personal work with the notice that this may constitute publication for some markets, and that "management" takes no responsibility for copyright or criticism.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Moderator » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:48 pm

Reposting Sara's entry from the Pav Annex


Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX
by Sara Slaymaker » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:20 pm

Ok guys, you wanted it - you got it. This is the extremely raw beginning of my new novel, "Here There Be Dragons".

Gird your loins. And try to be kind.



I lost my husband twice in the same night.

The first time was with a phone call from the local hospital. You know the kind: they come at night, late, when you’re waiting for someone to come home. I was curled up on the couch, watching Burn Notice. Dennis had been coming home from some sort of conference in center city, and hit a tree.

I don’t remember the drive to Bryn Mawr Hospital. I remember the phone call: that semi-compassionate voice at the other end, telling me there’d been an accident and asking me to come down. And I remember walking through the doors of the emergency room, the Star Trek-like whoosh as they opened, the smell of fear and pain and alcohol. The nurse at the desk told me to sit down and wait and, robotically, I did.

There weren’t a lot of people in the waiting room. It was still pretty early, 10:30 or so on a Friday night, and I thought maybe the real action hadn’t yet started on the streets. When you live in the boondocks – now they call them the exurbs – you garner most of your ideas about city violence from TV.

I knew he was dead. The part of my brain that was actually functioning told me if he’d been alive, they would have taken me to see him right away. I was waiting, which meant the crash had been fatal.

It was while I was waiting that I lost him for the second time. Two policemen walked out of the back and stood behind me, by the outside doors, waiting for something and talking. I won’t repeat their conversation word for word. It was obvious they had no idea who I was, and I wouldn’t have known they were talking about Dennis if they hadn’t mentioned his license plate, a vanity plate that read “OPNWIDE”. Dennis is - was - a dentist, one of the better ones on the Main Line.

They say that women always know when their husbands are having an affair. I believe that women know because, consciously or subconsciously, their husbands want them to. My husband apparently didn’t, because I had no idea.

Dennis and his girlfriend had been coming home from dinner and she decided to give him a little oral present while he was driving that gave the words “coming home” a whole new meaning. The policemen thought it hilarious and went over the accident in detail. Dennis had lost control of the car and hit a tree. The force of the impact had driven the steering wheel into his girlfriend’s head and killed her, and as she died, she bit down. By the time the ambulance got there, Dennis had exsanguinated.

The doctor chose that moment to come find me and start his spiel about how they did everything they could, etc. etc. I didn’t really hear it. I could see the horrified faces of the two policemen as they realized who I was and what I had heard. I’m sure I tried to smile and nod and make the correct responses, but I must have failed miserably, because the next thing I remember was lying in one of those emergency room cubicles, wailing, while the doctor swabbed my arm. I felt a prick – apparently not my husband’s, because he didn’t have one anymore – and went out.



Before you all jump on me for this Garp-like beginning, yes, I know it's been done. Oops, I did it again. I have husband issues.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Moderator » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:49 pm

Reposting of Lori's follow up note from the Pav Annex


Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX
by Lori Koonce » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:22 pm

Sara

Do you want the critique posted here or would you like me to send you a private message. I will say that what I have to say is really nit picky, but I think it would make things a bit better.

Just tell me where to post it and I will.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby diane bartels » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:52 am

Sara, it's good. You have a swift, interesting style. Most things have been done by someone. It's your take on it and your particular story and character that make one want to read more. I want to read more of yours. Diane

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Kafkahead » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:39 pm

Excellent piece of work, Sara. The bit on how the husband has lost his prick reminds about a sequence on Gaiman's "American Gods", but the way the narrative makes the situation swerve is very amazing, not to say amusing as well. Tell us when your work reaches Portugal, so I may buy it.

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Sara Slaymaker » Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:20 pm

Lori, you can post here, as long as the critique is constructive I can take it. And I can't imagine you saying anything untoward. Frank and/or Rob, on the other hand...

...just kidding, sweetcheeks.

Diane, Kafakahead, thank you. I'll keep you posted - or should I say, I'll keep posting.
Change is a dragon. You can ignore it, which is futile. You can fight it, in which case you will lose. Or you can ride it.

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Sara Slaymaker
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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Sara Slaymaker » Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:21 pm

yeah. Let's make that Kafkahead. Sorry.
Change is a dragon. You can ignore it, which is futile. You can fight it, in which case you will lose. Or you can ride it.

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:18 am

She turned into the parlor and ignored the portraits that seemed to stare at her. She padded lightly on the carpet, wondering if the undermoorings would give way. Her head became unseaworthy, she went past an open book and breezed one page over. The first word was mystery.

She heard laughter, smelled a skunky cigar and noticed that her right foot ached. A bird ran into the outside window, sending her washed out world crashing on.

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Lori Koonce » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:47 pm

Sara

My only thing is a bit nitpicky. You may wanna consider your Idea Reader when making word choices. I mean I've got a good vocabulary, and I had to think about the word exsanguinated.

Otherwise it is a wonderful story segment and I'm looking forward to the rest of the story!

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Chuck Messer » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:08 pm

<I lost my husband twice in the same night.>

Good opening sentence. It gets the reader's attention by making them wonder how that could have happened. Now they have to read on.
I also like how you avoided the cliche' of "women's intuition" and showed how she knew her husband was dead, and how she missed the fact that he was having an affair.

<It was while I was waiting that I lost him for the second time.>

There's the payoff for the opening sentence, but it still leaves the impression of plenty of story to tell, so the reader won't stop reading.

<Dennis had exsanguinated>

I pesonally didn't have any problem with the word exsanguinated, though perhaps you might put that word in the policeman's mouth. Maybe quote a sentence or two from the two cops.

Otherwise, an intriguing opening to a story.

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:35 pm

I lost my socks three times in one night. One ended up on Venus later.

See, stories should be quirky.

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Sara Slaymaker
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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Sara Slaymaker » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:19 pm

Frank, you Slay me.
Change is a dragon. You can ignore it, which is futile. You can fight it, in which case you will lose. Or you can ride it.

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Sara Slaymaker » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:24 pm

Thanks, guys, for the encouragement. Chuck, I like the idea of pulling a quote from one of the policemen. I do like the word, though - somehow, "bled to death" or "bled out" just don't have the same punch.

Frank, why don't YOU post a piece so we can play tit for tat? You do have tats, don't you?
Change is a dragon. You can ignore it, which is futile. You can fight it, in which case you will lose. Or you can ride it.

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:20 am

Comment deleted by moderator.

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Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Moderator » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:32 am

Frank, please. Let's leave this thread to honest postings and criticism.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.


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