Author Topic: New: Hopefully final revision: first half ch 1: The Occasional Mistress  (Read 12445 times)

Offline creatoriat

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I thought I would make a ferw suggestions to help the flow, the suggestions are in bold script.

Please bear in mind that my suggestions are just that and not corrections.

BTW, this is better than the first draft.

It seemed indecent to stare at the hole in which her husband lay, but Louise couldn’t look anyone directly in the eye. Many of the mourners should have been guests sharing fun and toasting her ‘many more years to come’. Instead they would later raise their glasses to ‘absent friends’. Her late husband was supposed to be in London, alive and mischievous and wrestling with Marty or teasing Sasha about her latest choice in music or even arguing or shouting or . . . just holding me, just holding me.
     
       Her clammy hands fidgeted with the commemorative order of service. The ugly dog-ear she’d bent on its corner confirmed it – widow, and she rubbed at her wedding ring.

She heard the minister’s voice, “From dust we are made, unto dust we return.” He strewed the crumbled earth with a practised flourish. It landed on the coffin containing Joseph William Kilpatrick, born 1952, died 1999. She winced at their tiny thuds, just as she’d grimaced at the whine of the rope as the coffin was lowered. She clenched her teeth and set her face hard again.
           
        July 22nd he died. July 23rd was the last day of term and July 24th, her fortieth birthday. Now J-Dub’s wake would replace the party date circled in sun-faded ink on her kitchen calendar.
     
        Several mourners tugged discreetly at cuffs and necklines in the oppressive heat, obviously regretting their decisions to adopt the conventional black ensemble. Louise noted the ladies, in their immodest black dresses, the profusion of inappropriate lace, straps and frills hidden beneath dark winter coats. She smiled to herself, thankful for their respect and cast a glance at their partners. The men, in lightweight suits, winced as they tweaked collars that pinched swollen necks.
Throughout the ceremony Louise, Marty and Sasha stood unaffected by the soaring temperatures. The chill of loss chiselled a poor disguise of stoicism on their stony faces. Intertwined fingers clasped and clenched together in nervous agitation and Louise folded back the corner of the morbid keepsake again.
   
        Her mind drifted from the funereal monologue as she turned her eyes skyward, struck by how beautiful a summer’s day it was -- unusually cloudless for Northern Ireland. The sun dominated the expanse above. Rays shone down hard on the bleached grass beneath and bounced back in a shimmering heat haze. It wasn’t the scene for a funeral. Her mind willed something else. She wished for bright colours peeping through barbeque smoke, laughter and music dancing on London air. All this conflicted with the solemnity of the present, and she cursed him. Damn you J-Dub!   
   
        A tug on her elbow brought her attention back. The mourners edged toward her, offered their condolences and remarked on the moving eulogy delivered by Marty, to which she gave polite, meaningless nods. They gawped at her with looks of anticipation as if they expected her to do something, exactly what, she couldn’t imagine.

Marjorie joined her and Louise realised she was supposed to lead them back to the house. Marjorie, her mother-in-law! She had lost a son and was a recent widow herself. Being jolted out of her emotional state spurred her to more effective function, so with a weak smile, she offered her arm to support Marjorie who was joined by Peter, Mervyn and Stella, each with their heads lowered.
Marty and Sasha accompanied Louise in the same doleful manner. Louise stepped into the back seat of the car, scrunched up the dog-eared piece of paper and stuffed it into her pocket. Marty and Sasha slid in beside her, silent.
The parties left Roselawn for Dundonald, followed by a fleet of mourners, to attend the wake at the family home. Louise gave a final glance towards the grave and noticed a woman who hadn’t been part of the congregation standing by the hole now draped in bright green false grass. God, they’re nosey here. She turned her head to the window, but took another peek at the stranger before resigning herself to the journey and watched the countryside as it whizzed by.
   
        I stopped here, hoping I had helped you in some way. As I said, these suggestions are just to help the flow, if this is your intended style then ignore what I wrote.

And the best of luck.

Offline Kurza

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I liked it much.

Just the part where they were moving toward and climbing into the car put me off a bit. Do we really need to know what absolutely everyone was doing? The rapid succession of names made me skim the first time and I didn't even bother with that paragraph the second. But apart from that I thought it was an effortless read. Which makes it quite difficult to crit, really. I'll give it a 3rd look tomorrow and if I don't find something I don't like, I'll make something up.

K


Offline BBBlogger

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I'll give it a 3rd look tomorrow and if I don't find something I don't like, I'll make something up.

K

 ???  ???

Offline 510bhan

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I liked it much.

Just the part where they were moving toward and climbing into the car put me off a bit. Do we really need to know what absolutely everyone was doing? The rapid succession of names made me skim the first time and I didn't even bother with that paragraph the second. But apart from that I thought it was an effortless read. Which makes it quite difficult to crit, really. I'll give it a 3rd look tomorrow and if I don't find something I don't like, I'll make something up.

K



Why thank you - make sure it's something outrageous that includes a chainsaw, I haven't included one in the story yet. :D :D :D :D

Offline BBBlogger

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Ah!!! The two of you are joking!! I get it now!! Jeesh, I feel like a bonehead!!

Offline Kurza

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I have to agree. By the time you get to widow it seems superfluous, though the imagery is awesome. It’s kind of like having a great guard dog that keeps scratching up your sofas, chewing up your shoes and tearing your curtains. It works so well, but how do you make it fit in.
I tried reading the first two chapters reversed but then the, first chapter, in the place of the second (are you getting all this) seemed to lose something again. You may just have to accept that, like social service, it will never be perfect.

I love Louise. She really is above it all. A first class dame. Well done with her.

K

Offline 510bhan

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Thank you everyone who helped to shape this.

However, I have decided it will no longer be the opening chapter as I need to set up what the narrative is about and the driving force behind Louise's subsequent actions once she is widowed. The new opening has a bit more pace to it and shows J-Dub as a loving husband and introduces the kids too, so by the time readers reach this chapter they will already know four of the characters and hopefully the other names won't be too much for them. It should provide a good contrast to this one, much more upbeat.


Thank you all once again.
     thank you
       thank you
         thank you
 :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)