|this is the "usual" me|
I’ve rounded up another volunteer
this week, so go ahead and get your feedback-thinking caps on.
You know, the pretty silver ones that look like this:
Okay, speaking of dogs (oh, hush, who cares about the cat?!), aim your antennae, and say hi to today's super guest star (who is donning a different sort of cap).
This is Terry Lynn Johnson, author of Dogsled Dreams, with some of her beautiful dogs (not that the darling creature above isn't *ahem* beautiful):
|Terry Lynn with her beautiful|
dog and normal dog-lady cap
SO, that's Dogsled Dreams, but Terry is here in the hot seat today, with a piece of her new WIP which bears the working title Wolf Ridge.
You guys know the rules:
1. If it is the first few paragraphs of a novel – today it IS – tell me if it "hooks" you enough to make you want to keep reading, or not. If yes, why? If no, why not?
2. What works for you, draws you into the piece, and why?
3. What doesn’t work for you (if something doesn't) and why?
If you’d like the same feedback on a piece of your own work, please post your brief excerpt at the end of your comment (and tell me what it is -- e.g. opening to a novel, short story, poem, etc...). Please post no more than 3 paragraphs, 5 if they're really short. If the comment gets too long, feel free to reply in two separate comments. If you are a student from a particular class, please identify yourself as such (and take a bow). If not, take a bow anyway. Here we go!
By Terry Lynn Johnson
"Look down there," Bud yells through my headset into my ear. "A moose! See it?"
The pilot pokes a thick finger toward my side of the Turbo Beaver. The hair on his arm is so dense, it looks like I’m sharing the plane with a mammal that needs to hibernate for the winter. His ball cap announces that rehab is for quitters.
He tilts the plane's wings and we begin to circle. The pitch of the engines switch from a drone to a whine. I peer down through the window and see a black animal in the middle of a swamp. It appears to be ignoring the noisy thing circling above it.
I get another wave of nausea as I look at the trees around the swamp. Nothing but trees, and lakes, and more trees since we left Wolf Ridge Park's main office forty minutes ago. And I probably look about the same color as those trees.
I feel beads of sweat burst out of every pore. My shirt clings to me, showing too much and I pull it away from myself.
“I think he’s lying down in the water. Must be trying to git out of the bugs. Look at that rack!” The plane continues to circle as Bud cranes his neck to get a better look. “Man, this is a great place to be for the summer. You’re a lucky girl, you know.”
My hands clench at his words. If you call being abandoned by both your parents lucky. If being forced to stay with your crazy Aunt Chrystal for the summer in a ranger cabin with no electricity or cell phones is lucky, then I guess I’m the luckiest girl alive. I’d tell him this too, but I’m afraid to open my mouth. It suddenly fills with spit.
“Oh, there he goes. Man, he’s big. See him, Sweetheart? Toad is it? What kind of a name is Toad for a pretty little thing like you?” Bud takes his cap off, scratches his balding head with one finger, and then replaces the cap.
I try a small smile to acknowledge the compliment, and then wipe at the damp curls sticking to my forehead. Despite my attempts at straightening this morning with the last bit of electricity available to me, my hair is beginning to show signs of stress.
I pull the mic on my mouthpiece closer to my lips and yell into it, “Long story.”
- Terry Lynn Johnson