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Thread: OK here I go

  1. #1
    Tracy Carpenter
    Guest

    OK here I go

    Critique welcomed :-)


    Chapter One

    Like a child squeezing her mother’s hand on the first day of kindergarten,( not wanting to leave, but knowing somewhere deep down in her big girl soul that it was time to let go,) pink and maroon flower petals clung desperately to their branches that were bullied by mid September. Unlike the grip of a kindergartener’s hand, seventeen years of Ohio summers couldn’t possibly unleash its chains only the Midwest can have on a suffocated world traveler at heart.

    “How tall are those trees?” I asked my grandmother one day, pointing up high, straining on the very tips of my toes. This was when she didn’t walk with a cane; she only limped. “If I got to the top, could I reach a piece of the sun?”

    “Oh, Jay Bird,” she sighed achingly. “Even if you lived to be as old as me, it still wouldn’t have grown tall enough to boost you.” She must have felt the air change as the naïve child before her began to lose the very part of herself that, if bottled up and sold, my grandmother would buy in a nostalgic and longing
    heartbeat.

    “But,” she then added quickly, “if you want the sun badly enough, you’ll get it.”

    “How?”

    “Well… God will do one of two things. He will either stretch your arms the length of the sky, or stoop down to earth and give you a piece of the sun himself.”

    Just as innocent hope is bound to fade as the sun seems to further itself away, until now, the dreams I managed to salvage no longer depended on these trees. They were merely background that illustrated barefoot adventures which undoubtedly left us dirty and in trouble. Until now, these trees simply held our swings and captured our runaway kites. They were just trees, nothing more, acting as our hide and seek posts and lining the edges of our photographs that, if were not there, would certainly not be missed.

    Until now, they were just a piece of the air we breathed.
    But now, catching myself slipping back into a time when her hair was brown and her mind present, they were so much more than trees. Amongst jackets once folded in the backs of closets and new colors, colors not as fresh, colors dulled by lingering time, those scattered pink and maroon flower petals were our goodbyes to, not just summer, but to something much bigger.

    And if I close my eyes, I can freeze them still in the air. And if I close my eyes, the sun is bright and the grass is green. And if I close my eyes, September doesn’t come.

    I close my eyes a lot.



  2. #2
    The Midnight Writer
    Guest

    Re: OK here I go

    that's the most convoluted first sentence in the world.

  3. #3
    Tracy Carpenter
    Guest

    Re: OK here I go

    That's fair.

  4. #4
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: OK here I go

    "Like a child squeezing her mother’s hand on the first day of kindergarten,( not wanting to leave, but knowing somewhere deep down in her big girl soul that it was time to let go,) pink and maroon flower petals clung desperately to their branches that were bullied by mid September. Unlike the grip of a kindergartener’s hand, seventeen years of Ohio summers couldn’t possibly unleash its chains only the Midwest can have on a suffocated world traveler at heart."

    You must know that this doesn't flow. You're describing an incredibly simple idea in terms so over complicated that the central idea is lost.

    "seventeen years of Ohio summers couldn't possibly unleash its chains . . ." seventeen years/its chains? And what on earth do you mean by the rest of that paragraph? "suffocated world traveler at heart" seems as random a choice of words as you could have come up with.

    You're straining to be poetic, but the effort is making the work impossible to read.

  5. #5
    Tracy Carpenter
    Guest

    Re: OK here I go

    that is fair too.

  6. #6
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: OK here I go

    "Like a child squeezing her mother’s hand on the first day of kindergarten, pink and maroon flower petals clung desperately to their branches"

    That right there is your first paragraph. It's simple, evocative and the reader can relate. Do you see the difference between this and what you posted?

  7. #7
    Tracy Carpenter
    Guest

    Re: OK here I go

    Yes,simple and too the point. But I really thought the "bullied by mid-September" worked. I just like this image. Perhaps I can slip it somewhere else...

  8. #8
    Ray Veen
    Guest

    Re: OK here I go

    I'm just going out on a limb here, forgive me if I'm way off, but I get the sense that you're a good writer who is straining to 'appear' better. Once your piece got into dialog and action, it flowed very nicely, liesurely, pleasant like a Sunday afternoon. But your narration and description - your exposition in general - way overdone. Too many layers, too many ideas pretending to have relationships. My gut feeling is that if you were to simplify these parts, you'd have a very appealing read.

    I'd suggest starting by looking at every phrase in every sentence, and deciding if they truly need to be there. You may feel like they're adding something to the story, yet, as most of us have just pointed out, these elements are making it impossibly muddied.

    Good luck to you. I hope our critiques haven't been too brutal.

  9. #9
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: OK here I go

    Well, obviously, you may write anything you like. I'm not telling you not to use it. I am saying that the paragraph, as you have constructed it, doesn't work for the reader.

    "flower petals clung desperately to their branches that were bullied by mid September."

    When you continue ater "branches" there's confusion about exactly what was "bullied." The branches or the petals? And what does "bullied" mean. Yes, we know what the word means, but what does it mean in this context. You don't mention Ohio or the Midwest until farther down, and then in a manner that doesn't make much sense with what came above it.

    You don't want the reader to come to a screeching halt in the middle of your very first paragraph to figure out what the writer is trying to say. Anything that stops the flow stops the reader.

  10. #10
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: OK here I go

    make that "after" not "ater." I'm getting pooped out this afternoon and making typos!

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