Thursday, March 24, 2011

You and me and Friday Feedback.

Hey peepos.

Shhh. It's just us. You and me and Friday Feedback.

With my debut book launch for The Pull of Gravity a mere seven weeks (!!) away, it's getting a little hairy around here.

*cue butterflies*

Anyway, I've got a ton to do, so we're just gonna get right to it.

I'm going to post the opening to Part Three of my WIP entitled In Sight of Stars so we're in the middle of the story here. This ms is geared toward an upper YA audience. The narrator is 17-yr old Klee Alden (pronounced Clay with a long a). You know the RULES:

Tell me what works for you, draws you into the piece, and why;

Tell me what doesn’t work for you (if something doesn't) and why.

If you’d like the same feedback on something you're working on, 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...).

Please post no more than 3 -5 paragraphs. If there's more, I will only read the first 3 -5. 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.


Week Three

My mother is wearing jeans again. I wonder vaguely if she’s gone out and bought herself a whole closet full. The expensive kind at $160 per pair. I never understood that, the difference between cheap jeans and expensive ones except that it looks like the expensive ones have been ironed which is just weird. You don’t iron jeans. But it’s better than a Channel suit and heels, and besides, I’m trying not to be angry with her. I’m trying to be sympathetic. After all, she has suffered too.

My eyes skate away from my mother to Dr. Alvarez’s wall. It’s sunny and bright outside today, and she has the curtains pulled wide. Her office is awash in sunlight; dust motes float through the air. I think of Mindy Ansail and the cats and the dust, and Sister Agnes Teresa and Sarah. Why does everything always rush in like a jumble like that?

On the far wall between Dr. A’s chair and the couch are two new framed prints, Starry Night and, better yet, The Pink Orchard. She’s matted them, but still.

“Klee." My mother stands and holds her arms out, which throws me. I don’t know the last time my mother and I hugged. I sit on the couch instead. I’m not exactly ready to go there. She smiles weakly and sits down, so I move a few inches closer to make up for things. She puts a hand on my knee making her gold bracelets jangle. “You’re looking stronger and stronger,” she says.



  1. Grabbed my attention, while deftly showing the narrator's wandering attention.

    Not knowing what came before, the first sentence had me thinking that the mom wearing jeans "again" meant she had lost weight, or something, like she hadn't worn them in a long time - but the second read made it clear she was wearing them again, as in just like the last time she saw her - not sure how important the distinction is, but it did mislead (for lack of a better word) me a bit

  2. Love it. I love the bit about the jeans. It's funny and oh so true. Without knowing what's going on with his mom, or him really, I can sympathize with him seeing a change in his mom and not understanding, or maybe more liking it because people fear change.

    And your imagery is fantastic. I had dust motes (you used the wrong moat btw) in a novel and someone said it was too much description, but I like it. It makes the scene more vivid.

    The awkwardness between Klee and his mother is written very clearly to the point that it's almost uncomfortable reading it.

    Here's my scene, have at it. It's from Sad.

    When I entered the room, Haley, Zach, and David were whispering in the TV room, but I could tell they were in a heated discussion. Brandon had moved on to checking out his belly button lint. When they saw that I was back, everyone clammed up. “What the fuck?” I said.
    “We need to go Syd. I’m not feeling so hot,” David informed me.
    “But the pizza’s not even here yet.”
    “Get in the fucking car, Syd!” David yelled as he stormed out the door. I stood there for a moment not sure whose life I’d just stepped into, but it definitely wasn’t mine. I had the best set of friends in the world. We didn’t whisper and fight and fill our time with awkward silence. And the guy that just left, that wasn’t my boyfriend. My boyfriend was sweet and loving. He didn’t raise his voice or make demands or order me around.
    I looked over to Zach and Haley and said, “What just happened here?” Haley shrugged, Zach lowered his head. He looked sad. I glanced over at Brandon, whose attention had finally been grabbed. He raised his eyebrows and grimaced. Whatever was happening, they weren’t talking. Without another word I left and climbed into my driver’s seat. David was sitting, arms crossed, eyes closed, exhaling hard as if he were trying to push every bit of his anger out through his breath.

  3. I believe that it should be dust motes as Megan suggests. I remember a SF book called "The Mote in God's Eye" that I read eons ago. It's one of those words like pore and pour that everyone seems to confuse.

    Overall, it sounds great. I don't know why, but it reminds me of an old film called Foxes which had some great mother-daughter scenes with Sally Kellertman and Jodie Foster.

  4. I'll be back later to comment more, but MOTES, yes! Lol! I went to college good. Thanks for catching the typo! And for the comments.

    *kisses till later!

  5. I missed Klee. I'm glad he is here this week :) It's been too long lol and as usual I'm totally hooked. I think the only thing that didn't work was the sentence "Why does everything always rush in like a jumble like that?" It just seems like too make Likes, but it could just be me. Great job, lovely :)

  6. LOL, Ellie, I was messing with that sentence before I posted it and TOTALLY agree. The whole sentence isn't working. I'll fix it. First it had too in' two likes. So, yes, you are absolutely right!

  7. Megan, read that bit and it's terrific. Reads authentically AND makes me want to know what the heck is going on. :)