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  1. #1
    Amy Lou
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    Hollar Dollar - REVISED

    If you aren't sick of me yet, would you mind looking over the revised version? I've been adding in all the amazing suggestions I received and wanted to post again so you would know how much you've helped! Unless it stinks LOL It's slightly longer because I added a little fabric as Cur suggested, but it's the exact same content. Thank you again!



    I spend my days stockin' shelves with generic cereal and toilet bowl cleaner, among other stuff you can get at Hollar Dollar. Pretty borin', except for the customers; somehow they're confused.

    "How much is this?" I get asked at least once durin' my shift.

    "A dollar."

    "And this?"

    "Dollar."

    "Even this?"

    Lookin' away, I mumble, "Everything's a fu**in' dollar."

    The cashier next to me snatches my arm and puts her mouth to my ear. I hate our registers bein' side by side.

    "January Cheyenne, you watch your mouth before I fire your a**!"

    My first name is the month I was born, but Cheyenne, well I'm not real sure.

    "Yes mam." I say.

    Tryin' my best be friendly, I speak real nice to the customer.

    "Um, everything in this store costs a dollar."

    Momma's the manager and the one workin' next to me snatchin' my arm. I'm proud of her. She runs the whole store, and there ain't no way she's gonna fire me. It's one of the only jobs I can get.

    I got kicked out of school and ain't goin' back. It wasn't my fault. I was just holdin' somethin' for a friend, but momma don't believe me. She thinks I was plannin' on smokin' it, but I got no interest in drugs, just the people doin' em. They're acceptin'.

    Momma lost her mind when I got expelled. Started lettin' Ricky make rules. We had none before he showed up. But she's always doin' that. Changin' our life for a man, just happy to have one come around I suppose. I won't be that way.

    Ricky tried puttin' a curfew on me and wantin' me to pay rent if I was gonna stay out of school. That left me with one choice, move in with Tommy. He stays high, so we're perfect together.

    The store is dead on Wednesdays. Me and momma stand outside for a smoke brake. She wraps her lips around a cigarette and works on suckin' it down to a nub. I ain't never smoked.

    "How you and Tommy?" She starts in.

    "Fine."

    "He got a job yet?"

    "No."

    "Out lookin'?"

    "Guess so."

    "He sure as hell needs to be," she says before takin' another puff.

    I look away 'cause I'm so Go***mn sick of watchin' her make love to those things.

    The day is hotter than a crotch, and I'm wearin' jeans and a matchin sweater set. It don't fit my taste, but it was charity. Someone feelin' sorry for me.

    The interstate across the parkin' lot is busy, cars flyin' by. Sounds like a million cicadas out there, the buzzin' never stops. Enough to drive you crazy. Where'r all those people goin' anyway? How come I ain't got nowhere important to be like them?

    "I don't like you livin' with Tommy. He's too old for you, and don't do s**t all day." Momma starts in once she's satisfied by a few drags.

    "He's got money, and his trailer's paid for."

    "Only 'cause of that accident. ---- Son of a b**ch gonna waste it all on drugs and booze."

    "I told you he don't do that stuff."

    "Well, a man still needs a job, gives him somethin' to be proud of."

    What about all them men she brought home with no job and no money? Did she forget about them?

    "I said he's lookin'. Momma, he's good to me. I wouldn't be with him if he weren't. Thinks I should get my GED. Said he'd pay for it and drive me to class."

    "Ain't got nothin' better to do all day? And when you gonna do it? You work here."

    "I'm sure they got night classes. I thought you'd be happy?"

    "I am, but you don't need his help."

    I wanna say, ain't nobody else helpin' me. Instead I say nothin'.

    "Come live at home, and go back to school with your friends. " She talks through smoky breath seepin' out like blood.

    "Don't want to."

    "Cause of Ricky?"

    "He don't want me around."

    "That's not true, loves you like you was his own."

    Nothin' against Ricky, but it's obvious he and momma have a life now. Besides, I don't need no daddy. Got one that drops by every couple years even though he stays in the next town over.

    "Tommy and I get along, and I'm happy there. I love him."

    "Girl you're dumber than I thought, only known him a month. Where'd you meet?"

    "I told you, Coyote Joe's."

    Next I'll be hearin' about my daddy.

    "I see it's still attractin' the same a**holes. You know, that's where I met your daddy?"

    "Yeah, I know."

    "Bought me my first wine cooler, Strawberry Daiquiri." This memory calls for another puff. "Saw me standin' there, cowboy hat on, wearin' my favorite boots and cutoff shorts up to here."

    She draws a line just under her a** with the hand holdin' her cigarette. Ashes driftin' to the pavement, her frizzy hair soakin' up the rise'n smoke.

    "Back then I had a figure like yours. He walks over and says 'Let's run away together.' He was gorgeous, with baby blues. You got his eyes."

    She gazes at me hoping to see him. I gaze at her tryin' to see the girl drinkin' a wine cooler.

    "And Go***mn it, you know what I did? I ran away with that bastard. Nine months later had a baby and a figure that'd gone to s**t. Tried like hell to tame him, too wild I suppose. Hadn't settled down yet."

    It's obvious she still loves him.

    "I'm sorry, Momma. I know he hurt you. But Tommy's different, and you ain't gotta worry about me, I ain't havin no baby. I got plans."

    "Oh, you do?"

    She's laughin. Thinks I'm jokin'.

    "Yeah, I do."

    "Well, don't come around cryin' when your plans turn in to supportin' his lazy a** or him leavin' cause you are havin' his baby. I'm tellin' ya Cheyenne, he ain't no good. Been with enough bullsh**ters to smell one a mile away."

    Now that she's with a decent man, spottin' bulls**t is her expertise? That's bulls**t. Between her naggin' and the buzzin' interstate, I'm irritated.

    "I'm goin' inside."

    I know her heart's in the right place. Worried about me at seventeen, havin' a baby like she did, with no help from a man. A fractured heart is the only thing me and her share. So I guess in a way, that makes us similar. But I have dreams to chase as soon as I know where'm goin' and how I'm gettin' there. I'll be just like them people in those cars flyin' down the highway. Did momma ever think of runnin'? Somethin' tells me she did.
    Last edited by WN Moderator; 06-23-2011 at 05:39 AM.



  2. #2
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    I spend my days stockin' shelves with generic cereal and toilet bowl cleaner, among other stuff you can get at Hollar Dollar. Pretty borin', except for the customers; somehow they're confused.

    AL, though I've seen novels written entirely in dialect, I'd personally leave the dropped g's out of the narrative (I don't think it adds anything) and confine it to the dialogue. Others may disagree.

    More to come...

  3. #3
    Amy Lou
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jena Grace View Post
    I spend my days stockin' shelves with generic cereal and toilet bowl cleaner, among other stuff you can get at Hollar Dollar. Pretty borin', except for the customers; somehow they're confused.

    AL, though I've seen novels written entirely in dialect, I'd personally leave the dropped g's out of the narrative (I don't think it adds anything) and confine it to the dialogue. Others may disagree.

    More to come...
    Very interesting Jena. Perhaps I went overboard with the country twang? I really don't know what to do? Thanks for your comment!

  4. #4
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    Amy,]

    This is damn good. I like this girl and her mamma. In just a few words, you've created two characters I wish to follow into a story.

    Three things.

    I don't like or get this: Pretty borin', except for the customers; somehow they're confused. Aside from the semicolon, which I think you've got plenty of perspectives on, I don't see how confused customers relates to easing her bordom. Especially since she's distainful of this confusion. Just not getting the cause and effect relationship here. Perhaps I'm just confused.

    I think the bit about the generic cashier turning out to be her mother is distracting and unnecessary.

    The third thing is in the section of conversation about her mom and dad's past. I think that if you trimmed that down some, we'd get a better sense that this is a oft-repeated conversation. You do let us know that, but show us more with a trim and a bit more shorthand style dialog. Also, consider having the mother's gaze drift AWAY from the daughter and let us see the environs when she's recounting her romance so we can see that's she's as much in her private memories as she is advising her daughter.

    I think I'm with Jena that all the dropped gs aren't necessary outside of dialog.

    Anyway, great start.

  5. #5
    Senior Member C Bets's Avatar
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    I'm liking this, too. For me, however, I need a little more description as to what they're doing while this conversation is taking place. I mean, aside from momma puffing away, all I can tell from the scene is those two standing outside talking. Throw in more visuals. Does January lower her head and bite her lip while momma is giving her a little lecture? Or is she looking right into her eyes, absorbing every word? Did momma raise an eyebrow after she learned January's boyfriend wanted to help with her schooling? And how is it obvious momma still loves January's daddy? Did momma look away with a tear in her eye when she talked about running away with him?

    Anyway, you get the picture. Dialogue is good, but give us a little more to chew on.

    Cindy

  6. #6
    Amy Lou
    Guest
    @CK - thank you thank you thank you - I appreciate your encouragement so much. You've stuck with me since the very beginning, helping me so much with my query letter. With the pretty borin, and confused customers, I was attempting to say that her job is so mundane that the confused customers are the highlight of her day. Just that her job sucked that bad! LOL I will see if I can phrase this much better. I'll also look at the cashier/mom and see what I can improve or change. And I agree with you about the conversation. Again, that voice told me just what you brought up but I didn't listen to it. I get exactly what you're saying. Thanks again CK! - the next section to this that I've written - I feel like is even better. Yea!

    @Cindy - I'm really happy you are liking it. Your advice is always appreciated. I'm so afraid of being "chatty" because I know I can be, that I've been trying to write without much, then going back and adding. Perhaps I didn't add enough. But I do understand what you're telling me. I might have her gazing at the cars passing by while her mom rambles, she makes reference to those cars later so it would make sense. I will give you some more meat to chew! Thanks again so very much!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy Lou View Post
    Very interesting Jena. Perhaps I went overboard with the country twang? I really don't know what to do? Thanks for your comment!
    I think you nailed the dialogue.

  8. #8
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    Hey, Amy Lou, you missed one! "She gazes at me hoping to see him."

    I found myself looking for the next dropped "g," rather than following the story.

    (I agree with Jena's "I'd personally leave the dropped g's out of the narrative (I don't think it adds anything) and confine it to the dialogue.)

    *_*

  9. #9
    Amy Lou
    Guest
    Okay thanks gals - Kitty

    Looks like I need to do what Jana suggested, but will I still have her speak that way in the dialogue? Because I was planning to have her come into her own and realize that's not the proper way to talk, especially around xyz = where ever the story takes her.

    And in her thoughts, can she still say ain't, or do I completely do away with anything hick related when it comes to her narration?

  10. #10
    Amy Lou
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jena Grace View Post
    I think you nailed the dialogue.
    Thank you Jena - there really should be a party hat smilie - this makes me very happy!

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