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  1. #1
    Tracy Carpenter
    Guest

    Here I go round two

    although some suggested to wait awhile before reposting, I do like this version much better than the previous. Please, again, let me know how you feel about it.

    Chapter One

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

    “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
    Mark Phillips
    Guest

    Re: Here I go round two

    Tracy, I read both pieces. First of all I have to say that you are indeed a writer and I know that with hard work and polish you will be a published author. When you read excerpts on this forum it is easy to tell the difference. Some writers have it, some don't. You do.
    That said, there are some things that you need to work on with this opening. They deal Mostly with clarification and simplification. I'll post a piece of your writer and note my comments in parenthetical notation.


    "seventeen years of Ohio summers couldn’t possibly unleash its chains only the Midwest can have on a suffocated world traveler at heart."
    (this is from the first piece you posted, as I'm sure you know. I was sad that you cut it out. I'm from the midwest, Michigan actually, and as I read this the first time I was smiling and nodding, that is what you want from a reader. I would rewrite it as such: Seventeen years of Ohio summers couldn't possibly unleash the chains that bind. Chains only the Midwest can impose on the heart of a suffocated world traveler.)

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

    (I like the imagery here but to clarify I would rewrite it as such: Like a child squeezing her mother's hand on the first day of kindergarten, pink and maroon flower petals, bullied by mid September, clung desperately to their braches. I think you need the added commas as bullied by mid-September is off the main point of the sentence. Also, it might be better if you say what kind of trees they are. Most of us think of flowers growing from the ground, not a tree. So if it's an apple tree of something of that sort I would mention that in the sentence.)

    "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."

    (This sentence is a little jumbled. I have a sense of what you're saying but don't get the clarity that exists in your dialogue, which is fantastic. I'll give it a stab and you tell me if I'm close: Just as innocent hope fades as the sun distances, the dreams I managed to salvage no longer depend on those trees.)

    On the whole you have the start of something I think could be very special, I am impressed.

    Mark

  3. #3
    S Stull
    Guest

    Re: Here I go round two

    The first sentence makes me think of my farm in the spring, of the cherry trees bursting with pink blossoms, of that happy tingly spring-is here! feeling. (Man, I wish it were spring!) In other words, I like it.

    I agree with Mark; a few little rewords here and there, etc. Now, I might have missed this, but what do you call the piece?

    --Lyra

  4. #4
    Tracy Carpenter
    Guest

    Re: Here I go round two

    Actually, it is the first chapter to a novel (or whatever it turns into...) Right now, it is too young to have a title. If the story goes into the direction I think it might (which rarely happens,) I have a few titles in mind...we shall see :-)

  5. #5
    Lewis R
    Guest

    Re: Here I go round two

    Lots better Tracy, but you still have to cut down and it is still a bit confusing.

    An example you wrote.

    “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.”

    _____________________________________________


    The second paragraph is still confusing. Simplify it.

    How about something like this.

    “How tall are those trees?” I asked my grandmother, excitedly. “Could I reach and touch the sun if I climbed to their tops?”

    Her legs were not good but somehow I felt she wanted to climb with me; to touch the sun herself. Old as she was, she still had a child’s heart inside her.

    “Oh, Jay Bird,” she replied. You are as warm and just as bright. God has already allowed you to touch it.”

    ___________________________________________


    Just an idea Tracy to show you how it can be reconstructed, but please understand there are people on this site more expert than myself and can give better examples.

    Saying that though, as has been said before, you can write. Good luck and keep at it. I feel you have something going on here in terms of talent. Just keep working at it.

    Again, good luck. I mean that.

    My regards.

    Lewis.

  6. #6
    Busy Lizzy
    Guest

    Re: Here I go round two

    I love it and I would leave it exactly the way it is.
    You've got a nice fresh voice, totally free of cliches.

    Yes, it is poetic, and I think you should have the self-confidence to continue writing in this poetic style.

    It might mean a little "work" for your readers. They can't just breeze through, but have got to think.

    That, for me, is what makes a book "literary" and raises it above ordinary genre fiction.

    Just so long you take care not to get too cryptical, meaning you remember you're not writing just for yourself, but that there are people trying to understand what you're saying at the receiving end.
    Otherwise you might lose your readers along the way.

    Keep going and good luck!

    Busy Lizzy

  7. #7
    Tracy Carpenter
    Guest

    Re: Here I go round two

    Thanks for the encouragement and feedback :-)

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