My Writers Circle

Workshop => Review My Work => Topic started by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 05:20:41 PM

Title: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 05:20:41 PM
A bit of Ballymena for you . . . . :o

With some 'Shane' removals following Phil's comments . . . not much else changed though. ;)



Enamoured

Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop. With his travels catalogued, he hoped his pictures would speak the thousands of words his postcard memories had captured. When this trip was over he intended to present his best pieces with a winsome, poetic documentary over the nature shots and a punchy commentary for the urban detail. He would complete his dream project, a hefty, coffee table, hardback ‘Far Out People and Far Away Places’. His mind raced at the prospects offered where the town was so close to open countryside. He hoped for something quirky, spectacular or unexpected. The cover still eluded him.

Ballymena had family links and a visit to the mountain where St Patrick had tended sheep was a ‘must do’ he had promised the folks. He had to admit he didn’t know much about the area but he was stoked when his Northern Ireland trip coincided with a hoary December. Back home he’d never ventured further south from the sun-scorched, family sheep station than Sydney. Sheep, very important.

The rugby club wasn’t too far away and a brisk walk out to Eaton Park gave him a chance to admire Slemish rising in the distance. His immediate surroundings enchanted him. The Braid had frozen – what an opportunity.  He slotted new batteries in his camera while he pussy-footed across the slippery car park to reach the riverside. It was chancy. He hoped the light would behave itself and not glare. On a sweeping curve of peninsular banks, a protrusion shadowed on three sides by dense woodland impeded the tributary’s flow. An ice platform grew in its shade.

White dominated everywhere except for a flame orange orb that relieved the monochrome. Its soft focus glow emanated ineffective rays through gaps in the branches over the river. A miniature ice floe pimpled with bird tracks formed a dance template in two large apostrophes far from the water’s edge. Evidence of a winter courtship or just a hello? In the surreal stillness, snowfall canopied the trees, frost-laced branches and ice-draped twigs silvered with marcasite sparkles reflected the light like catwalk mannequins modelling the seasonal collection. Hands steady, lens level, slow exhalation . . . and grin. He caught the scene with a few opportune close-ups of the crystalline structures tinged opalescent by the solstice sun as it sank and burned more intense in its descent. Gotcha. Time-stamp 4.10pm.

Snow had settled in the worst winter the province had seen in years. Roads were impassable and for a week he was stuck in the town. The Adair Arms hotel was pleasant but he became restless and decided to venture out to one of the pubs. He arranged to meet Liam in the Front Page Bar. Apparently it was ‘mighty craic’, a place to people watch with good beer served.

A woman strutted in from the Ladies – definitely on the pull. Her pout freshly slicked siren-red and her cleavage adjusted to best advantage, she smoothed her short skirt down over a Spandex lumped belly. Shane surreptitiously took her picture for a touch of local colour – mutton dressed as lamb. Sheep again – Ballymena, hey! Her eye twitched with a tic as she glanced about before fixing her stare. A glint flashed from her kohl-traced eyes as she sashayed on her stilettos, clipped across the tiles in unsteady staccato and ordered a WKD blue. She reeked of perfume. After leering over the rim of his lager froth, close up he saw she was a mongrel. He turned away, puckered his face and talked to Liam.

Mwah, mwah, could’ve been baa, baa. Two menthol kisses blew towards them, but her fragrant breaths were wasted and hung on the air unclaimed. She swivelled off her stool and pounced over to a solitary prospect at the jukebox. Shane watched her close in – easy prey. His camera buzzed as she gave her coif a careless flick, added a suggestive tongue-tip lick and purred, ‘What about you, big lad?’ The man cradled his pint, took a slurp and rasped back, ‘Slut.’ It must have been a coded chat up line because next  . . . the beery brute grabbed her and planted a kiss, which she returned. Shane turned to Liam, his brow arched in question. Liam sipped at his Guinness and grinned. ‘Local courtship dance – it’d be bad form if she left here tonight without some poor sod, couldn’t bear rejection . . .  not in the Front Page Bar, reputations you know.’ The bird tracks on the snow came to mind and he shook his head.

Once the freeze thawed, Shane determined to fulfil his undertaking. Three and a half miles outside Ballymena, en route to the mountain, lay Broughshane. He took a grinning self-portrait beside the sign. Liam had given him the lowdown on the picturesque village. Despite efforts at community relations, competition was hot between neighbours. Every year they sweated the outcome in Rangers’ shirts or couture bought from Logans and McKillens to keep up appearances as they gardened by planters and tubs filled with begonias, petunias and aubrietia that cascaded in tendrils, all the flower heads primped to perfection. Residents vied with each other to create the most attractive display and tell each other upstairs over lunch, or a jar, in The Thatch. They fought to retain the Britain in Bloom title. All this was due to the Annual Entente Floriale that verged on fanaticism – a familiar expression, though not always ‘cordiale’ Liam added. It didn’t matter they didn’t speak much French here – anyway it was Ulster Scots spoken among the Stepford wives whose Presbyterian doorsteps were festooned with hanging baskets. Purple and bitter orange were popular colour choices along with red, white and blue the same as the pennants. It was a master class in skilful coordination to complement the summer palette so harmony reigned on the Twelfth parade.  Shane wished he’d been around in the summer to catch the spectacle. At the moment there were empty tubs, slush filled gutters and solemn looking bare trees.

Lunch time was busy on New Year’s Eve and as a stranger to the pub, he received numerous quizzical looks. His camera said ‘tourist’. After the way Liam had described the place he wasn’t sure if he should strike up conversation so he stayed quiet and observed the clientele until his meal arrived. He checked with the barman how to get to Slemish and mentioned he was a photographer. The barman rolled his eyes upward and shook his head. ‘It’s been done to death, brother – more power to you if you can see something new. Good luck.’

Late afternoon he parked his rental car and set off to climb Slemish, an ancient volcanic plug – tertiary basalt lava of the Cenozoic period according to the blurb. Okay, it wasn’t Uluru or K2, but it was accessible and there was something about it that drew him. Before the sun set Shane decided he wanted to capture his conquest. Some of the locals referred to it as ‘the big green tit’, which offended his sense of romance. The Irish just didn’t seem to appreciate their history he thought. Nature provided a gentle atmospheric light this evening, but Shane could see he wouldn’t have long if he wanted to take advantage of it.

Camera lifted, he looked through the viewfinder and wondered what aspects he should snap. He pressed zoom. It appeared Slemish was the habitat of timid, dim-witted sheep that wandered over dense, stubbly tussocks and nibbled at springy tuffets.  Pimply rocks, once boulders, since verdigrised over millennia dotted here and there. After he panned out, the mountain now appeared as an emerald cabochon, dulled sage, jaded, desolate, and ruggedly desperate with age-softened contours eroded of menace, still part of the forty shades of green though. Folk would love this.

At this distance he could see why the locals had their nickname. An ancient goddess lay in repose on pasture fields, a faceless temptress basking in the setting sun – serene and nubile, a fair Colleen waiting for her lover. For sure, that’s what it looked like. Her back arched in surrender with her breast exposed, its tor-topped nipple not quite aroused, shadowed on the underside, tilted and slightly flattened by her stretched arm thrown back to display her midriff plateau flat. Yes, this was some dame – reclined, languorous and indolent, oblivious to time and seasons. Through the lens, she was alive. Captivated by her spell he snapped several shots. She was a perfect subject and struck an impeccable pose, which she deigned to hold. Some movement caught his eye – sheep that grazed her ribs of the scruffy, olivine raiment covering her feminine form. She was divine. Shane chuckled. Man, I’m going nuts. I’m in love, he thought and patted his camera.

Close-ups were his preference, but in this instance he was overwhelmed by the far away view. The shutter on the camera opened, closed and whirred with every shot then the light began to fail. Stars freckled a backdrop for the blue moon while thin clouds stretched bleak wisps across its face.  Once every 2.7 years this afternoon moon in a skint, grey sky offered dilute illumination for the trees to reach above and scrape escape from the barren hillside.

‘Phenomenal mate, bloody phenomenal,’ he muttered, grinning all the while. He’d spent too long admiring her and the climb would be in gloom, but he felt sure there could be texture-rich stills of the ewes and frosted blades of grass. They’d make good black and whites or reverse negatives. He wasn’t sure if flash photography would scare the girls. Maybe he’d get a shot with werewolves baying at the full moon on a night like this . . . or were-sheep, perhaps, he mused.

Shane took the ‘easy’ way up and clambered through sheep pebbles and rabbit raisins, slid on lichened stones but reached the top unscathed, oblivious to the cold. Satisfied with his progress, he stood on the summit to survey the mid-Antrim landscape but it had darkened so much he could see little. Moonstruck, he sighed, closed his eyes and decided to rest a while before making his descent. The mountain wasn’t high enough to bring on altitude sickness but Shane felt dizzy.

A couple of nonchalant sheep mooched nearby and he took a close-up of their long, sad faces. He was beginning to develop an affinity toward them and snapped away, pleased that they were unperturbed by the flickers of light. The camera stuck on automatic flash and transfixed him with its strobe effect.

The earth beneath him rumbled and his body shuddered. Though he tried to stand, some preternatural force kept him pinned to the ground. He grasped at the scrubby grass while the mountain rose and the goddess stood up to kiss the moon. Sheep flocked together and smiled at him. This was crazy. His frantic hands tried to reset the camera and he clicked button continuously, hoping to record the bizarre event. Flash – flash – flash . . .

Stuck to the mountainside, Shane clung spellbound and gasped as the goddess strode over to the lough, where she bent and sipped from its waters before she returned to her usual repose. A cloud of bats crossed the blue moon. It blinked. Sheet-lightning illuminated the sky. Trees curtseyed and cows in far off fields danced. His camera continued its strobe flicker.

Once the disorder returned to a placid winter scene, he scrambled to his hunkers, skidded rump-side down the mountain and dashed to his car. For a moment he sat in silence and puffed short, rapid breaths. He jiggled to get his battered rear comfortable and rubbed his scrapes and bruises while he scanned through the pictures. The fabulous disturbance shots were blurred but there was one in the middle of the series with a sheep in three-quarter profile, posing with a distorted goofy grin and a definite wink. Cover shot.





Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: hillwalker3000 on April 21, 2014, 06:00:52 PM
Some nice writing here. Obviously close to home - the detail suggesting it's an area you know well.

No quibbles - but a lot of sentences seemed to start 'Shane . . . did something'. Or maybe it's the number of times you mention his name that stood out.

H3K
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 06:02:44 PM
Thanks, Phil -- shall take a look at that. Cheers. ;)
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 06:28:00 PM
Lost 15 of them . . . down to 13/28 with some tweaks and rephrasing and a couple of cuts.

Thanks, Phil. ;)
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: Pale Writer on April 21, 2014, 06:53:28 PM
I want to read this in the morning, Sio. But just wanted you to know it's always nice to see your writings.

See ya then. :)

Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 06:55:08 PM
Cheers, Pale-y. ;)
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: Dawn on April 21, 2014, 07:02:17 PM
I'm the same as, Paley. Want to give it my attention but my heads going now. Will look in the morning if that's okay?
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 07:04:43 PM
That'd be grand, thank you. :)
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: Gyppo on April 21, 2014, 08:02:17 PM
I'm not doing 'technical', but I love the imagination - and the mental imagery - behind the goddess getting up and going for a drink.
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 08:03:18 PM
Cheers, Gyppo. It happens when you climb Slemish -- honestly! ;D
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: Gyppo on April 21, 2014, 08:06:39 PM
Accompanied by a bottle of the mountain dew?

And why not?  The poor goddess must have a powerful thirst on her after lying there doing nothing all day.
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 08:10:20 PM
They say there's magic mushrooms grow there! :o


She misses her love -- another story, myths and legends . . . or maybe I'm making them up now. ::)
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: Gyppo on April 21, 2014, 08:15:47 PM
That's how legends grow.
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 08:22:52 PM
I might work on that and meld some bits together to create a new myth. :o Bound to be something I can misreport. ;D
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 2par on April 21, 2014, 08:35:50 PM
Okay, sooooo jealous here. Your use of the language is too outstanding, beautiful, envy making.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 08:37:56 PM
I did do a sneaky by using a photographer who might notice detail -- and the Irish are full of blarney so it sort of fits. :-[ But thank you, all the same.
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 2par on April 21, 2014, 08:40:28 PM
But, but, I believe the bit about the goddess; after all, I've been to Mexico and saw another...it so takes your mind to new heights.
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 510bhan on April 21, 2014, 08:41:46 PM
Neat! :D  Any tequila involved? ::)
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: Dawn on April 22, 2014, 03:27:36 AM
This is so alluring. Such a stunning descriptive piece. This would be great in a photography magazine (minus the woman mind) Although I like the idea of the myth. Great stuff, as always.
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: Clarius on April 22, 2014, 06:27:58 AM
This seems to be a mash-up of three genres; travelogue, social commentary and magical realism. Each of these is well enough written but for me the magical realism is the heart and the most original of it so I'm confused as to why you relegated the best of it to just those penultimate two paragraphs. My advice would be that there are three pieces here and each should be treated as such and targeted to their respective markets.
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: Pale Writer on April 22, 2014, 07:31:36 AM
hi Sio

I still have trouble reading and critiquing at the same time, but you've had great reviews on that aspect and I know your writing well enough to believe the story side is all intact. So I'll look at the writing side (I don't expect to find anything wrong, therefore my opinions are just different shades of view.

Quote
Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop. With his travels catalogued, he hoped his pictures would speak the thousands of words his postcard memories had captured.

his memory card
his laptop
his pictures
his postcard memories

Okay. Like I said, not an issue just something I see. The thing that first caught me wasn't so much the 'his' but rather its use with 'pictures' because the possession by that time is known or could be presumed and the focus changes to those pictures, rather than 'being in his possession' just for a moment. So I believe you could use


Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop. With his travels catalogued, he hoped those pictures would speak the thousands of words his postcard memories had captured.

I suggest 'those' to give an individual focus for a brief moment to those pictures, because I believe they work better that way.  The suggestion of removal of the second 'memories' isn't so suggestive, but it felt that it was un-necessary in a way. Still I can't really say it changed the image, so eh...

Quote
When this trip was over he intended to present his best pieces with a winsome, poetic documentary over the nature shots and a punchy commentary for the urban detail.

I think what catches my eye is those pronouns and 'the'. I understand the pov, so when it is a difficult one, as this is, when editing I always look a bit harder at ways to lessen them if the result doesn't change the meaning.

Since this is a 'list-to-do' sort of thing, you have an opportunity to format in that style. Not factual, but in a way to help lessen 'his/the' usage.

When this trip was over he intended to present his best pieces with a winsome, poetic documentary over the nature shots and a punchy commentary for the urban detail.

I'm on the fence about this also, but with the removal of 'the' - I could see the connection still, or rather they felt closer to each other.

Quote
The cover still eluded him

To be honest I'm needling a haystack in this thought. And as I go through this section what I see is darn good writing so this will be my last suggestion as, as this is written, it would have no problem with me for enjoyment of both the story and writing.  So. 

A cover still eluded him.

'The'  'A'  - Again this is more to make it an individual thing. Give it its own focus in that sentence rather than have it attached to the sentences prior. Because in a way it is something different. Where the others are positive outlooks, this is one yet seen/realised.

***

As I had though, Sio. Your writing is spot on. I really had to look for things, and only found them because I was looking and that doesn't mean a thing is wrong or needs to be changed. How I view writing doesn't mean it is the way it is.

If others disagree, that is fine too. I'm not arguing my points, merely discussing them. If I have perfected the way I want to write, well I wouldn't need to be on a writing site.

Thanks so much, Sio, for your post. I learnt things, which is always great.

pale
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 2par on April 22, 2014, 09:19:45 AM
I guess you could separate it into three stories, but there's something of Shangrila in it. Going from a realistic life into one of magical and majestic realm.
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: Clarius on April 22, 2014, 09:45:31 AM
The magical realism piece would still need a leading normal beginning and a did it/didn't it happen type ending. It's the ratio of one to the other that struck me in this piece. If magic realism is the heart of it then b, m, e in 1 : 3 : 1 would be what I'd normally expect.
Title: Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
Post by: 510bhan on April 22, 2014, 10:36:33 AM
Thanks Clarius, Pale Writer and 2par -- things to think about. I hadn't thought the magical realism was the main feature but I can see why it stands out.

Cheers folks, points to take on board. ;)
Title: Edited down to 1,100 words Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 06, 2014, 06:34:26 PM
Losing the 'people' and sticking with the surreal:



Enamoured

Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop. He would complete his dream project, a hefty, coffee table, hardback ‘Far Out People and Far Away Places’. His mind raced at the prospects offered where the town was so close to open countryside. He hoped for something quirky, spectacular or unexpected. The cover still eluded him.

With family links to Ballymena a visit to the mountain where St Patrick had tended sheep was a ‘must do’. He had to admit he didn’t know much about the area but he was stoked when his Northern Ireland trip coincided with a hoary December. Back home he’d never ventured further south from the sun-scorched, family sheep station than Sydney. Sheep, very important.

A brisk walk to Eaton Park gave him a chance to admire Slemish rising in the distance. His immediate surroundings enchanted him. The Braid had frozen – what an opportunity.  He slotted in new batteries while he pussy-footed across the slippery car park to the riverside. It was chancy. He hoped the light would behave and not glare.

White dominated everywhere except for a flame orange orb that relieved the monochrome. Its soft focus glow emanated ineffective rays through gaps in the branches over the river. On a sweeping curve of peninsular banks, a protrusion shadowed on three sides by dense woodland impeded the tributary’s flow. An ice platform grew in its shade.

A miniature ice floe pimpled with bird tracks formed a dance template in two large apostrophes far from the water’s edge. Evidence of a winter courtship or just a hello? In the surreal stillness, snowfall canopied the trees, frost-laced branches and ice-draped twigs silvered with marcasite sparkles reflected the light like catwalk mannequins modelling the seasonal collection. Hands steady, lens level, slow exhalation . . . and grin. He caught the scene with a few opportune close-ups of the crystalline structures tinged opalescent by the solstice sun as it sank and burned more intense in its descent. Gotcha. Time-stamp 4.10pm.

Late afternoon he parked his rental car and set off to climb Slemish, an ancient volcanic plug – tertiary basalt lava of the Cenozoic period according to the blurb. Okay, it wasn’t Uluru or K2, but something about it drew him. Some of the locals referred to it as ‘the big green tit’, which offended his sense of romance. The Irish just didn’t seem to appreciate their history. Nature provided a gentle atmospheric light, but Shane could see he wouldn’t have long if he wanted to take advantage of it.

Camera lifted, he looked through the viewfinder and wondered what aspects to snap. He pressed zoom. It appeared Slemish was the habitat of timid, dim-witted sheep that wandered over dense, stubbly tussocks and nibbled at springy tuffets.  Pimply rocks, once boulders, since verdigrised over millennia dotted here and there. After he panned out, the mountain appeared as an emerald cabochon, dulled sage, jaded, desolate, and ruggedly desperate with age-softened contours eroded of menace, still part of the forty shades of green though. Folk would love this.

At this distance he saw why the locals had their nickname. An ancient goddess lay in repose on pasture fields, a faceless temptress basking in the setting sun – serene and nubile, a fair Colleen waiting for her lover. For sure, that’s what it looked like. Her back arched in surrender with her breast exposed, its tor-topped nipple not quite aroused, shadowed on the underside, tilted and slightly flattened by her stretched arm thrown back to display her midriff, plateau flat. Yes, this was some dame – reclined, languorous and indolent, oblivious to time and seasons. Through the lens, she was alive. Captivated by her spell he snapped several shots. The perfect subject struck an impeccable pose, which she deigned to hold. Some movement caught his eye – sheep grazing her ribs of the scruffy, olivine raiment covering her feminine form. She was divine. Shane chuckled. Man, I’m going nuts. I’m in love.

Overwhelmed by the far away view, the shutter whirred with every shot then the light began to fail. Stars freckled a backdrop for the blue moon while thin clouds stretched bleak wisps across its face.  Once every 2.7 years this afternoon moon in a skint, grey sky offered dilute illumination for the trees to reach above and scrape escape from the barren hillside.

‘Phenomenal mate, bloody phenomenal.’ He’d spent too long admiring her and the climb would be in gloom, but he felt sure there could be texture-rich stills of the ewes and frosted blades of grass, good as black and whites or reverse negatives. He wasn’t sure if flash photography would scare the girls. Maybe he’d get a shot with werewolves baying at the full moon on a night like this . . . or were-sheep, perhaps.

Shane clambered through sheep pebbles and rabbit raisins, slid on lichened stones but reached the top unscathed, oblivious to the cold. Satisfied with his progress, he stood on the summit to survey the mid-Antrim landscape but it had darkened so much he could see little. Moonstruck, he sighed, closed his eyes and decided to rest a while before making his descent. Though the mountain wasn’t high enough to bring on altitude sickness Shane felt dizzy.

Nonchalant sheep mooched nearby and he took a close-up of their long, sad faces. He was beginning to develop an affinity toward them and snapped away; pleased they nibbled on unperturbed by the light flickers. The camera stuck on automatic flash and transfixed him with its strobe effect.

The earth rumbled. He shuddered. Though he tried to stand, some preternatural force kept him pinned to the ground. He grasped at scrubby grass while the mountain rose and the goddess stood to kiss the moon. Sheep flocked and smiled. This was crazy. Frantic, he clicked button continuously, hoping to record the bizarre event. Flash-flash-flash.

Stuck to the mountainside, Shane clung spellbound and gasped as the goddess strode the lough, where she bent and sipped its waters before she returned to her usual repose. A cloud of bats crossed the blue moon. It blinked. Sheet-lightning illuminated the sky. Trees curtseyed and cows in far off fields danced. His camera continued its strobe flicker.

Once the disorder returned to a placid winter scene, he scrambled to his hunkers, skidded rump-side down the mountain and dashed to his car. For a moment he sat silent, puffing short, rapid breaths. He scanned the pictures. The fabulous disturbance shots were blurred but one showed a sheep in three-quarter profile, posing with a distorted goofy grin and a definite wink. Cover shot.

Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: bri h on May 06, 2014, 06:48:41 PM
Good story. No crit. BUT, I'm going back to pore over the camera-techie's just to make sure you haven't used any of your 'Artistic-Licence'-jiggery-pokery.  ;D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 2par on May 06, 2014, 06:50:26 PM
Damn, that's great.

"mooched" ? not "munched" ???

In America, to mooch is to take someone else's cigs or food or money, etc.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 2par on May 06, 2014, 06:51:11 PM
"jiggery pokery" ?. You guys talk funny.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 06, 2014, 06:53:09 PM
When we mooch you sidle up close to someone, uncertain but not too worried -- no thieving required. ;D

Thanks for reading, Patricia. :D

Come over some time and learn a new language! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D You won't understand it, you'll think everyone's singing all the time.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 06, 2014, 06:54:45 PM
Thanks Bri' -- top jiggery-pokery checker. :D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: bri h on May 06, 2014, 07:02:08 PM
 ;D ;D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 2par on May 06, 2014, 07:08:09 PM
As soon as I can get a job in the cargo of an old ship, I'll be there, tattered suitcase in hand, ready to hear the singing in John Singe Land.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 06, 2014, 07:13:18 PM
Yay! :D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on May 06, 2014, 07:18:40 PM
Sio, I suspect this is a misplaced comma . . .

Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop. He would complete his dream project, a hefty, coffee table, hardback ‘Far Out People and Far Away Places’.

At first I thought he was building a heavy coffee table.  :D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 06, 2014, 07:23:14 PM
Good spot Alice -- maybe if I hyphenated coffee-table that would be clear enough without the need for another comma in there. ???
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on May 06, 2014, 07:28:22 PM
Good spot Alice -- maybe if I hyphenated coffee-table that would be clear enough without the need for another comma in there. ???

I think it would keep people who read as I do from misunderstanding. I see a comma, and I read it as a pause.

But, I also think just deleting the comma would solve the problem. No pause needed between coffee table hardback . . . but I would put one between hardback and the title.

But that could also be a difference between US and UK - I don't know.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 06, 2014, 07:30:56 PM
Could be. Cheers! ;)

He would complete his dream project, a hefty, coffee-table, hardback -- ‘Far Out People and Far Away Places’.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: bri h on May 06, 2014, 07:52:13 PM
I like that better too, shvon. xbx
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: CorneliusPoe on May 06, 2014, 08:23:39 PM
Must admit it took me a couple reads. I'm horrible at visualizing. Your words flow smoothly and I pass details by. I have to force myself to slow down and "see". No crit from me, not qualified, but I enjoyed the read(s).
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: Pale Writer on May 06, 2014, 08:59:27 PM
hello Sio

First off, very atmospheric in wording, with fine touches of humour. I could sense his journey, which is all good by me.

As for the writing. There are a few things I would have to know. But even then, I'm unsure if my suggestions would not merely intrude. I know you are using 'light' as a tool, but felt at times it was over abundant in word - meaning I could see the light without need of the word added. One occasion is with the model walkway.

Quote
with marcasite sparkles reflected the light like catwalk mannequins modelling the seasonal collection

for me 'the light' was captured enough with 'sparkles reflected' and then associated in simile with 'like catwalk mannequins...'

lovely image by-the-by.

There are other instances, but again I hesitate as I am more of a critiquer of writing than of the story. I did enjoy this.

thank you for the read

pale
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: CorneliusPoe on May 07, 2014, 08:25:24 AM
I was thinking about this story last night. Your going to want to shoot me, but I think it would be awesome to hear it told from Shane's PoV.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: hillwalker3000 on May 07, 2014, 08:56:37 AM
Tinker, tinker. . .

Your first paragraph maybe needs restructuring. As it stands it's a little stilted - random statements clustered together rather than a single, defined opening. The closing line reads like an add-on:
Quote
Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop. He would complete his dream project, a hefty, coffee table, hardback ‘Far Out People and Far Away Places’. His mind raced at the prospects offered where the town was so close to open countryside. He hoped for something quirky, spectacular or unexpected. The cover still eluded him.

Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the batch of photos to his laptop. The latest additions to his dream project: a hefty, coffee table no need for a comma since 'hardback' is presumably being used as a noun here hardback. ‘Far Out People and Far Away Places’. The cover still eluded him but his mind raced at the prospects offered where the town was so close to open countryside. He knew he would find something quirky, spectacular or unexpected.

This is 'telling' - maybe change.
His immediate surroundings enchanted him.

And I'm not sure that 'emanated' is a transitive verb. Can something 'emanate' something else?
Its soft focus glow emanated ineffective rays through gaps in the branches over the river.

Love the image of a 'dance template' on the ice - but is it the ice that formed two large apostrophes or the tracks?

In the surreal stillness, snowfall canopied the trees, frost-laced branches and ice-draped twigs silvered with marcasite sparkles that     ? reflected the light like catwalk mannequins modelling the seasonal collection.

At this distance he saw why the locals had their nickname.
Did the locals have their nickname? Or did they give it to the hilltop?

An effective piece of writing nonetheless. Well done.

H3K
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 07, 2014, 12:39:24 PM
Cheers folks -- good spots, Phil, I shall address them.

The locals  . . . known [collectively] as the big green tit -- that would go down so well! :D :D :D :D :D :D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: bri h on May 07, 2014, 04:14:39 PM
Been back for another look. (knew you wouldn't mind) This is a great descript, imo. sheep pebbles and rabbit raisins Seen these many times on our treks around Cumbria. Barney and Maisie think we've supplied 'trail-mix,' for them and eat most of the lumps they see. Or better, 'roll in it.' Thanks for a great story, again. B
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 07, 2014, 04:15:55 PM
 :D :D :D :D :D :D

Yep, it's not a proper hike without the interesting texture underfoot. :o
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: Dawn on May 07, 2014, 04:25:22 PM
Much preferred the edit, Sio.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 07, 2014, 04:27:53 PM
Thanks, Dawn.


You saying you don't like Ballymena people, just the sheep? >:( :D :D :D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: bri h on May 07, 2014, 04:33:21 PM
:D :D :D :D :D :D

Yep, it's not a proper hike without the interesting texture underfoot. :o

"Yougoddit, babe."  ;D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: Artemis Quark on May 11, 2014, 03:37:19 PM
Hi 510bahn,

Reading the reactions of other more qualified members there is little that I can add as far as the writing. I have not reached the skill level to be critical.

As a reader and, coincidentally, one with a photography background, the opening line immediately stopped me because it seemed wrong, out of sequence.

Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop.

Perhaps a nit but batches of photos are usually transferred from memory card to computer before the card is cleared. :) 

Also, uploading refers to the process of sending image files from computer to an Internet server somewhere (e.g. the cloud). Conversely, downloading refers to the process of adding files/programs to your laptop taken from the Internet. Nomenclature born from the use of telecoms satellites "up in the sky" to relay data from laptop/computer A (usually down on the ground) to web server/computer B.

If Shane was transferring photos directly to a server, uploading is the more accurate term. Since he is simply copying the files from memory card to laptop, why not say just that?

Again, perhaps nits, but the reversed order and incorrect use of terms lowered the credibility for me. Shane is a professional photographer right? He would not delete/reformat his memory card before transferring, checking and backing up his precious images.

On the matter of pro photographers, later in the piece you say:

Camera lifted, he looked through the viewfinder and wondered what aspects to snap. He pressed zoom.

And later:

The camera stuck on automatic flash and transfixed him with its strobe effect.

A pro these days uses a 35mm DSLR and prime lenses, therefore no viewfinder and no zoom. Outdoors, particularly for nature photography, available light is used. Flash might be used for fill lighting, but it is obtrusive and disturbs the subjects.  Flash, flash, flash happens in the studio where the pro has multiple off-camera strobes with hefty (like a coffee table book) power supplies to enable rapid fire sequences.

Unless he is using a point-and-shoot prosumer camera with integrated flash. He also does not 'snap' photos, he 'captures' images as a professional.

But I think I have taken all this too literally. Maybe Shane is not a pro photographer, just a wannabe. These nits are beside the point that you have offered a read of a well-written piece.  Thank you.....Ignore me.

If you insist on reading further here is my humble suggestion. A simple edit for the opening line might be:

Shane copied the latest batch of photos to his laptop, checked the transfer and backup sequence, then cleared his memory card.

The rest of the story hangs together delightfully for me.

I guess my innate geekiness and technical background from a previous life reared it's nitpicking head.

Since my own offering for critique has been focused on the importance of the initial opening line, perhaps I have gone overboard with this post. If so, throw it in the trash. :)  In fact, as I think about it my suggested edit, while technically accurate is now too long (as Wolfe might say). Go figure!

Sincerely,

Artemis Quark

P.S. Take out the comma. A coffee table book (hardback) is hefty, yes, but it is still a book (hardback) not a table or maybe I'm missing something?
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 11, 2014, 03:46:27 PM
Cheers for the techie input -- shall change to reflect some level of veracity.

He's not a professional photographer as such, more a wannabe but obviously ought to have more savvy than I've given him. :-[

I think 'snap' was used to avoid repetition of 'capture' -- swings and roundabouts and I prefer to go with the variety rather than repetition where I can.

I'll rob your opening line [as two sentences] so I don't upset photographers but I think I'll stick with the other small inaccuracies for the sake of the story and what regular, non-photo folk would expect.

Shane copied the latest batch of photos to his laptop. He checked the transfer and backup sequence, then cleared his memory card.

Thank you, so much. :D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: Artemis Quark on May 11, 2014, 03:52:40 PM
Glad to help. I'm still learning the proper etiquette of give and take on this wonderful forum. Please bash me upside the head if I step on some toes.

I am sure the power of the story will squelch the photography "inaccuracies." After all, it is not a documentary right?  ;D

The geeks, on the other hand, will not get past the first line without my fabulous edit suggestion. ha ha  ;)

Sincerely,

Artemis Quark
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 11, 2014, 04:10:35 PM
Absolutely! ;D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: Mrs N on May 12, 2014, 04:33:57 AM
Hi 510bhan, coming in late (as usual!!). Really enjoyed the read. Very atmospheric. Only one jarring moment, 'he was stoked', pulled me up a bit. I guess you mean he was made up (not a good example), but it sounded a bit too Irishy!!! :D

I meant too Irishy because Shane comes from Sidney, still maybe 'stoked' is an aussie word. What do I know?? :-\
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 12, 2014, 05:52:58 AM
Yep -- 'stoked' is an Aussie expression -- akin to choked/thrilled/brimming with emotion.

Thanks for reading. ;D
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: lan on May 12, 2014, 06:41:15 AM
Hello,

first of all thank you for the wonderful read. I had noticed the techie issue there but I'm glad someone already got back to you with a much better edit than I would have been able to offer.

This said your text flows splendidly, in my case I only experienced a minor jolt with "preternatural", marginally because I'm probably too much of a Latinist and am used to spelling it "praeternatural" but mostly because reading it made me interrupt the flow and start wondering if the small difference in meaning justified its use over the more predictable "supernatural" or if you'd placed it there expressly tho throw something unpredictable in the reader's path.

my 2 c.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 12, 2014, 06:52:36 AM
Thanks, Ian -- preternatural refers more to natural -- beyond natural -- rather than paranormal/supernatural/ghostie stuff and as it follows the earth rumbling and keeping him pinned to the ground, I think it's the right word. ;)

Some interesting debate about the word here: http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/34643/preternatural-vs-supernatural
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on May 12, 2014, 12:26:40 PM
Yep -- 'stoked' is an Aussie expression -- akin to choked/thrilled/brimming with emotion.

Thanks for reading. ;D

Just for the record, I have heard 'stoked' here in the US also, with the same meaning.  ;)
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: bri h on May 12, 2014, 06:05:33 PM
Hiya Shvon. I use a Sanyo Xacti for all of my pics. (you've seen 'em) I connect to the pc, and the computer does the rest.  All I have to do is plug it into the
machine, it then d/loads, up-loads the pics and then it asks me what I want to do with them. I usually 'erase' them after they've uploaded. xbx
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: heidi52 on May 12, 2014, 06:11:25 PM
Like the edits very much. Think you have a winner here. Some nice writing, for sure.

My only crit would be that you do tend to load up on the descriptions.  :D But I know it's hard when you are trying to convey a real visual especially for a place you know well. Really enjoyed the read.
Title: Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
Post by: 510bhan on May 12, 2014, 06:12:45 PM
Cheers, Bri' and Heidi -- the loaded visuals are because he's a visual person so, quite observant, more so than a regular Joe might be. :-\