Author Topic: First Paragraph  (Read 19626 times)

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #120 on: November 28, 2010, 08:51:47 PM »
 :-* a pretty one, no less.  ;)
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Offline WildCityWoman

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #121 on: November 29, 2010, 02:02:15 PM »
 It was a humid, hurt-your-lungs-on-a-deep-breath morning. A blistering sun was rising over the railroad switching yard at the far end of the street. Its orange glare filtered through exhausted-looking trees. Sinuous heat ribbons shimmered over the motionless freight cars, subtly defining their rusty shapes like so many slumbering beasts.

Ooooo! I like that 'hurt-your-lungs-on-a-deep-breath morning.

Sinuous ribbons of heat - rather than sinuous heat ribbons.

. . . like so many slumbering beasts - yeah - I like that. Puts me in mind of Willie Nelson's 'City of New Orleans' . . . and the graveyards full of rusted automobiles . . .


     I was already sitting on the curb under the big oak, trying to find relief in occasional humid puffs of air, when a battered gray panel truck pulled up. A tortuous squeal signaled its stop across the street. An angular middle-aged man unwound from the driver’s seat. Sunlight lit the edges of his short brown curls that were rapidly turning gray, and gleamed brightly from his balding crown.

There's something I don't like about 'sunlight lit'. Dunno' what you should do about it though.

short brown curls/balding crown . . . I take it he's bald with curls on the side?


....................

You mention just giving it the title of 'Albert' . . . what else, you say. Too bad you couldn't throw a lion in there - then you'd have 'Albert and the Lion'. But you're not old enough to know that story.

;-)


.....................

The sun lit the edges of his hair, short tight curls that were already turning gray, and gleamed brightly from the center of his balding crown.

Ahhhh . . .  much better.

Then the toothpick man showed up.

Oh, I have to see who this is.

“Neat-o!” Puz rasped, wiping jelly on his wrist. “Any babes?”

You guys didn't really say 'neat-o' when you were kids, did ya'? And 'babes'?

“Me either,” said both of The Twins.

Maybe that oughta' be 'neither'.

“Bring it,” whispered Puz, looking angry but not sounding like his confident self at all.

Bring what?

And he's called Toothpick Man because....always has a toothpick playing at his teeth, he's as skinny as hell, he has a pointy head and toes? We haven't seen that yet [I don't think so, anyway] - might be worth incorporating that somewhere in his actions.

Oh, I just thought Toothpick Man was the guy driving the car - the one with the fast greying curls.

That's typical of what kids would call him - we always called people by the first impression they made on us. Until we knew their name.


Tempered said . . . I always have to push myself to remember that the story I'm reviewing is not written in my voice, so I shouldn't try to change it.

I know what you mean - I myself hate the word 'dreamt' and always say 'dreamed'. Whereas most people like 'dreamt'. Well, I dreamed and you dreamt - it's all the same to me.

......................

I once overheard one of our neighbors, Mr. Dixon, tell my father, “Albert’s the kind of kid who likes to keep everyone about an axe-handle away.” 

Oh, I've never heard that one - like the 'arms length' thing.

“He’s never gonna touch you again!” Albert screamed.  “Never!  I’ll kill the son-of-a-bitch first!  I’ll kill him!”

Oh, goodie! I like that!

He seemed determined to develop his poor attitude and gutter vocabulary as if they were the high points of a career, to be proudly displayed on his resume. His grades plummeted even more and that didn’t seem to surprise anyone. It wasn’t because he was stupid. He wasn’t. He just didn’t care what people really thought of him. He had a knack for being just what people expected and not much more.   

Resume? I'm assuming you're speaking of the 40's 50's, or at the most - the early 60's. I don't think the word 'resume' was used a lot then. When job hunting, I don't remember being asked for a 'resume'. I didn't write one till the early 80's.

He turned his back on Albert and looked directly at Mrs. P with a little smirk.  “I’m sure when you’ve had time to think about it,” he continued, “you’ll both understand.”  Booker was always a prick.

Oh, gawd! We had one like that - Godbold! Prickmanship of the highest order.

He began to spend even more time with a crowd very much like him, frustrated and angry. Certain the world was rigged in favor of everyone else. In his case, I’m not so sure it wasn’t. But his piss-in-your-eye attitude turned everyone off.  Eventually, most of the school shunned him, just as the neighborhood kids had done long ago. His circle of what could only loosely be called “friends” was a mere handful of the worst losers in town.

Nowadays, they'd feed him choclate cake and tea, and call him 'gifted'. Ha ha!

 I made much more effort to avoid him after that, but we lived so close together it was hard to keep from seeing him occasionally no matter how hard I tried.

I made AN effort to avoid him after that . . . I don't like 'much more' in there.

 “Look,” I told him, “it’s your nickel.  But I … well, I just gotta get back soon or my old man is gonna expect long explanations.”

Oh, now that really gives the 'time frame' . . . it's your nickle. We used to say - it's your dime - shoot.

I later heard Albert dropped out of school. He had gotten into trouble again. Bad enough to land him in court, where the judge gave him a rather unpleasant choice: “Join some branch of the service, or do time.”  So, the kid with the highest aptitude scores anyone ever saw never finished high school.

I like the way you've slowly made Albert into a human being . . . some branch of the service might have been the best thing to do with him. The marines - yeah, that'd do it.

He was in his second tour of duty in ‘Nam in ’69 when he was killed. He was only nineteen.

Oh, damn! I was looking forward to watching him grow. I would have loved to see him in Nam though . . . maybe you can do something from there? From his own POV? Or from the POV of a fellow marine in Nam?

  “I was one of his buddies,” the young Marine repeated quietly. “Same platoon.”

Yah! Him! From his POV.

I've been enjoying this read - thanks for putting it up.

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Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #122 on: November 29, 2010, 03:27:44 PM »
Thanks for the comments.  :)

As to being old enough to know "Albert and the Lion" I take it you mean:|

There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.


If that's the one you mean, I'm quite old enough to have read it.
  ::)
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Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #123 on: November 29, 2010, 09:58:12 PM »
Other story possibilities re: Albert....

1. Albert from his own POV
2. Marine friend
3. Janice (half-sister)
4. Mrs. Anchor
5. Puz
6. The Twins
7. Billy Strate  (Sticks)
8. Principal Booker
9. Carl (The Toothpick Man)
10. Mrs. P
11. Step-brother  (unnamed in story, but I think he's 'Keith')  ::)
12. Terry Meister (T-Meister)
13. Adult Neighbor POV
14. Sheriff
??  :)
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #124 on: November 29, 2010, 10:03:30 PM »
And they're just the real ones that come to mind! Nice to see you thinking of expanding this, I really did enjoy Albert's story. :) :) :)

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #125 on: November 30, 2010, 09:32:33 AM »
It was nice to discover so many liked it.  Made the writing more fun than cathartic. Now ... to try and keep up the pace!  (and I already have ideas for characters that touch the original, but were not in it).  :)  Thanks.  ;)
web: Broken Glass
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media: RLH Media
The Book of Face: R. Herron, Author
Tweets: @ronherron