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  1. #21
    Allen Scott

    Re: try this on for size...

    Gran Canaria was a most different pace. We had a cliff-hanging condo over-looking a deep blue bay and jasmine trees and ten foot tall full-bloom poinsettias. Magnificent. We explored that most wonderful island from top to bottom. The brochure said the highest point was 2000+m. We were thinking in American feet, not very impressive, a hill, but this was meters. 6000+ feet at the center, with snow, and desert on the east and rain forest on the west. We drove from the rain forest where were staying up the mountain into the snow and back down the other side to the arid dunes of the east facing Morocco 90 miles away. It is a glorious place. With the mantra ďwhen in Rome....Ē in our ears we hit the dunes and beaches with the style of the German tourist. Naked. I have a photo of myself, taken by I Donít Know If I Can Trust You, two and a half sheets blind on White Russianís, the cocktail, standing atop a large dune butt-naked with my hands on my hips studying the terrain. There was a man on top of every large dune doing the same. Funny @!#$. In my picture there is a tourist couple, likely not European, in full clothing, long sleeves and all, walking up the dune towards me. I was as undaunted as they. ****ing glorious. I have only felt that good a couple of hundred times. That memory was burned in well as is this oddity: we were walking to the bar at waterís edge from our dune-top perch when we saw a man, we assumed a German, you know those Germans, on his knees and elbows and his ass in the air. We did a triple take and assumed he must have been looking the perfect tan to include his colon or rear of his nut sack, klutsak as the Dutch would say. I laugh out loud still when I think of it. The only other memory that bubbles up is going to a bar in a busy tourist area and finding out we were the first Americans they had met and we werenít as bad as they thought. Then it was back to Amsterdam where we spent another week slowly exploring that fascinating city. Nothing special of note arose so itís just a pleasant hazy memory. The next time I visited Amsterdam was traumatic as I went to museums on mushrooms, they have many types of both, and had my eyes preyed open to art. Another story, another chapter. That was a pleasant tell but I cannot escape the inevitable. My father died three months ago today. Itís why this memory purge is happening and I might as well go there. I hope the pleasant memories of the last couple pages can carry me through the pain of the next.

  2. #22

    Re: Would you grade this snippit for me?

    "I'm about done with listening to the well-intentioned advise on this site of unpublished authors."

    What a strange response to all the assistance you've received.

    Most of us are published, by the way. But, as you say, you're in the "gips of something," so there's not much point continuing to comment on your writing.

    One word: Therapy. Try it.

  3. #23
    Allen Scott

    Re: Would you grade this snippit for me?

    You are correct leslee, therapy is required and is in process. I'm not certain I meant to offend. I just can't please us all. Sorry to have become hostile. I'm about to write about a very painfull part of my life and am making ready the tools of war to include the walls of defense. I apologize for the misdirected agression.


  4. #24
    L Bea

    Re: Would you grade this snippit for me?

    This will be my last comment to you:

    You make it very difficult to want to help you. I don't think you really want help. You just want someone, anyone to tell you how great you are.

    This last excerpt -- what is this, your travel journal? First, I have no clue where this takes place in your "story." And wherever it is in the big picture, I'm going to skip, scan -- next. If it's the beginning, I'm not going to go any further. Period. If you want to know why, read the comments from others. People have taken the time to try to explain it to you.

    You say you've had "so many opinions" about your writing. I suggest you look at those opinions. Most of them are saying the same thing, Mr. Scott. Seriously. Critique is NOT an opportunity for people to stroke your ego and tell you only the "good" stuff. If you want that, then go show mommy. REAL critique is to sharpen you. Some of the hardest things for me to take over the years were the things that made me a better writer. I would also be careful about lumping everyone into being unpublished. We don't all air who we are on these pages.... And I also suggest if you want opinions about a fresh approach to what you've done, that you now start a new thread. This one is decided.


  5. #25
    Gary Mitchell

    Re: Would you grade this snippit for me?

    Haha! I finally got this thing to post. I wanted to say that L Bea gave some excellent advice.

  6. #26
    Allen Scott

    Re: Would you grade this snippit for me?

    I'm dissapointed my last post didn't post. I wrote a lot of words of thanks in a honestly humble tone. I never wanted this to get agressive but know I took it there. I truely appreciated the helpful words and am sorry I got out of control. Thanks for your help and advise. It is, I hope, absorbed.


  7. #27
    Josh Lemay

    Re: Would you grade this snippit for me?

    I think a good piece of advice would be to write it all without worrying about anything.

    It's counterproductive to write something ongoing while getting advice from people about how to make it better. You're only going to undermine your own efforts by having to defend or fix your work in progress.

    So, I'd suggest writing it all first, take a bit of a breather from it, go back to it, fix things up, and then offer to share parts with people. I think you'll find it a lot easier to deal with then.

  8. #28
    Allen Scott

    Re: Would you grade this snippit for me?

    Thanks Josh. I was finding it terribly distracting and found myself pulled off task. I think the advice from the most obviously wise posters is valid into perpetuity but also distracting enough to drag me into the abyss of hyperanalysing the whole damn thing let alone the couple of paragraphs I submitted. I need to puke it all out then work it over I think. I most gratefully thank those who offered help but it's too early in the process for me to be needling in on the finer wording. I've a story to tell and must get it laid in dirt before scribing it to stone.

    Thanks Again Everyone.


  9. #29
    Anthony Ravenscroft

    sludge, wonderful sludge

    I'm about done with listening to the well-intentioned advise on this site of unpublished authors.
    Then goodbye, bon chance, & go the hell away. You've had your whine -- now either back down & pay attention, or leave.

    I'm a published writer -- most "authors" are pretentious insecure weeds to cling to that label. I've got books out (earning royalties), & I've been working at this crap for almost 30 years. I've also been an editor for most of that span, from books to newspapers to Web.

    Allen, your writing is typical of a beginner: self-involved, self-impressed, overly byzantine. You've got a good & possibly unique story to tell, but it's not so perfect that it'll allow you to act like a monkey with a clawhammer.

    Your first post launches in with a "gotcha!" -- almost always a noob mistake. If you get this memoir out there, then I'd guess 99% of the people who read it will <u>already FREAKIN know the "surprise" you're about to drop like a steaming cowpie</u>. So, when you try to pull it, the reader can only conclude either "Oh, he thinks I'm a moron -- why should I keep reading?" or "he's a moron -- why should I keep reading?"

    Getting past that, your prose is loaded with hand-wringing melodrama & outright cliche. Strip that away, & what you've offered thus far is little more than a data-dump.

    Here's your two options:

    (1) write the entire manuscript. You'll probably have to put it in the shredder -- & I'm guessing that if you stop feeling sorry for yourself & learn ahow to write well enough that you actually produce something readable, you'll be GLAD to shred this first draft

    (2) learn to tell a simple, straightforward story in print without chewing the scenery. Work up an outline as you learn to communicate, then exercise your budding skills by girding that skeleton.

  10. #30
    Allen Scott

    Re: sludge, wonderful sludge

    Thanks for taking the time to offer your assistance, Anthony. I'll keep working and learning. Your comment regarding "pretentious insecure weeds" hit home as I read over the thread. It's pretty obvious to me my reaction had insecurity for fuel along with a healthy dose of vodka. It's more difficult than I'd imagined it would be to be given less than glowing opinions even though they came attached to helpful, encouraging advise. This has been a good personal lesson as well.

    Jeanne, I'll be picking up 'Fearless Confessions: A Guide to Writing Memoir', by Sue William Silverman, as it appears natural genius won't carry me.

    Thanks again to you folks.


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