Author Topic: Donna Lou Needs Review  (Read 1078 times)

Offline Mr.Jack

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Donna Lou Needs Review
« on: July 27, 2006, 12:07:39 PM »
I call this excerpt "Oh is for Orgasm" and it's a portion of a book-length memoir.


The last time I talked to Donna Lou, I called her at a number I got from her mother in Montgomery.  Donna Lou’s new mailing address was Central Park West and she sounded as if she’d found someone to take care of her and maybe someone to love.  As usual, I thought she had her priorities straight.

She had curly, shocking red hair, freckles in spades, and the body of a tall ten-year-old boy.  Her pink and silver braces set off her sparkling dark blue eyes beautifully.  Her energetic manner and infectious smile attracted attention like an elephant in an elevator. 

We met the first day on the job in the spring of 1982 at Silver Dollar City; the 1880’s theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Dolly Parton bought the park a few years later.  She gave it a makeover, expanded it, and dubbed it Dollywood.   

The biggest attraction at Silver Dollar City was the steam train.  I’d won a job as the comedic conductor.  They hired Donna Lou to be a standard singing, can-can dancing saloon girl.  Part of the job was to develop a character that we’d slip into during performances and anytime we were ‘on the park.’  She decided to be a spacey, loud floozie named Flora Dora.  Flora Dora Floozie. 

Thrown together from day one, Donna Lou and I had been the first entertainers from out-of-town to arrive.  The arrangements were for us to live with two or three other yet-to-arrive entertainers in a house rented for the season.  The trouble was the house wasn’t ready yet.

The landlord was remodeling his ‘new’ in-town house, and he currently occupied our rental house.  Mr. Elrod and his family would be staying in their old house until renovations on their new house were more thoroughly completed. 

The town house thus became our temporary residence. It was a very nice place with cut glass windows and old wood everywhere.  Plastic tarps covered new carpet and there were freshly painted walls throughout.  They weren’t going to let us stay here long…perhaps a week, they said.

Until then we were to make the best of it.  “Oh yeah,” Mr. Elrod said, “There’s one other thing.  There’s only one bedroom ready, but it’s got two beds.”  With that, he left us.

As we became more acquainted, the evening wore on toward the inevitable rendezvous in the bedroom above us. I tried to be my congenial, empathetic self, hoping it might pay off in at least a week of freak.

When the time came, I got into my bed wearing a t-shirt and shorts.  She stood in the aisle between the beds and removed her top bearing her nearly flat bosoms.  She quickly put on a gown, sat on the edge of my bed, and looked into my eyes. 

“Jack,” she began in her sweetest Alabama modulations, “You and I are going to be friends.  You see normally, when there’s any kind of sexual tension between me and a nice young man, I just go ahead and do it and get it over with.”

“Well, I…”

“But, I just had an abortion and the doctor says I can’t have sex for a while, so you’re going to be my friend.”  She kissed my forehead and slid under the covers of her bed.

Donna Lou worked almost exclusively in the saloon and I was on the train, but we saw each other occasionally while working and two or three times a week for coffee or out with the crowd to Ober Gatlinburg for drinks and dancing.  She was quite popular, and within a few weeks, she fell hard for a young musician. 

When the bosses announced she’d be leaving to study in New York, there was a semi-spontaneous surprise party with cake and sodas in the saloon.  Nearly the entire entertainment staff attended and after remarks from the management team, Donna Lou, in her usual stage make-up and lavender floozie dress, rose wide-eyed and spoke to the crowd of sixty or so gathered in her honor.

“It’s been great being here with all of you these last four and a half months and I’m really gonna miss you guys.”

She paused briefly…then added emphatically, “Best oh’s I ever had!”  She giggled and plopped down in her chair.  The crowd went wild.     


-Jack
« Last Edit: July 27, 2006, 12:44:00 PM by Mr.Jack »

Offline raevan

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Re: Donna Lou Needs Review
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2006, 05:25:27 AM »
Loved it, very easy to read. A few comments/suggestions below:

The last time I talked to Donna Lou, I had called her at a number I got from her mother in Montgomery.  Donna Lou’s Her new mailing address was Central Park West and she sounded as if she’d found someone to take care of her and - maybe someone to love.  As usual, I thought she had her priorities straight. (Ambiguous as to if it's usual for you to think that or usual for her to have her priorities straight)

She had curly, shocking red hair, freckles in spades, and the body of a tall ten-year-old boy. (Makes the reader curious to her age - indulge us?) Her pink and silver braces set off her sparkling dark blue eyes beautifully.  Her energetic manner and infectious smile attracted attention like an elephant in an elevator. (Cute :) )

We met the first day on the job in the spring of 1982 at Silver Dollar City; the 1880’s theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Dolly Parton bought the park a few years later. She gave it a makeover, expanded it, and dubbed it Dollywood.   

The biggest attraction at Silver Dollar City was the steam train.  I’d won a job as the comedic conductor. They hired Donna Lou to be a standard singing, can-can dancing saloon girl.  Part of the job was to develop a character that we’d slip into during performances and anytime we were ‘on the park.’  She decided to be a spacey, loud floozie named Flora Dora.  Flora Dora Floozie. (Nice sentence structure)

Thrown together from day one, Donna Lou and I had been the first entertainers from out-of-town to arrive. The arrangements were for us to live with two or three other yet-to-arrive entertainers in a house rented for the season. The trouble was, the house wasn’t ready yet.

The landlord was remodeling his ‘new’ in-town house, and he currently occupied our rental house. Mr. Elrod and his family would be staying in their old house until renovations on their new town house were more thoroughly completed.

The town house thus became our temporary residence. It was a very nice place with cut glass windows and old wood everywhere. Plastic tarps covered new carpet and there were freshly painted walls throughout.  They weren’t going to let us stay here long…perhaps a week, they said.

Until then we were to make the best of it.  “Oh yeah,” Mr. Elrod said, “There’s one other thing. There’s only one bedroom ready, but it’s got two beds.”  With that, he left us.

As we became more acquainted, the evening wore on toward the inevitable rendezvous in the bedroom above us. I tried to be my congenial, empathetic self, hoping it might pay off in at least a week of freak. (Not sure what you mean by this. Or at least I suspect I do but not sure how the 'week of freak' bit fits in)

When the time came to retire for the evening, I got into my bed wearing a t-shirt and shorts.  She stood in the aisle between the beds and removed her top, bearing her nearly flat bosoms.  She quickly put on a gown, sat on the edge of my bed, and looked into my eyes.

“Jack,” she began in her sweetest Alabama modulations, “You and I are going to be friends. You see, normally, when there’s any kind of sexual tension between me and a nice young man, I just go ahead and do it and get it over with.”

“Well, I…”

“But, I just had an abortion and the doctor says I can’t have sex for a while, so you’re going to be my friend.”  She kissed my forehead and slid under the covers of her bed.

Donna Lou worked almost exclusively in the saloon and I was on the train, but we saw each other occasionally while working and two or three times a week for coffee or out with the crowd to Ober Gatlinburg for drinks and dancing.  She was quite popular, and within a few weeks, she fell hard for a young musician.

When the bosses announced she’d be leaving to study in New York, there was a semi-spontaneous surprise party with cake and sodas in the saloon.  Nearly the entire entertainment staff attended and after remarks from the management team, Donna Lou, in her usual stage make-up and lavender floozie dress, rose wide-eyed and spoke to the crowd of sixty or so gathered in her honor.

“It’s been great being here with all of you these last four and a half months and I’m really gonna miss you guys.”

She paused briefly…then added emphatically, “Best oh’s I ever had!”  She giggled and plopped down in her chair.  The crowd went wild.     

Offline Jillanne Nehls

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Re: Donna Lou Needs Review
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2006, 08:58:16 AM »
Hi Jack,

Well done!  I love the "week of freak" line!  Made me smile. I'd like to see more of your work. Do you have a collection of short stories?

I'd only change - "When the time came to retire for the evening, I got into my bed wearing a t-shirt and shorts.  She stood in the aisle between the beds and removed her top, bearing her nearly flat bosoms.  She quickly put on a gown, sat on the edge of my bed, and looked into my eyes." as Raevena suggested.

You have talent, sir!  What else you got?

Smiles,
Jillanne - Moderator

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Offline wileygrrl

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Re: Donna Lou Needs Review
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2006, 07:43:55 AM »
I am with Jillian on the changes but i did really like your writing. I like the storyline and i like the writing style.

I will look for more.

Find a career you love and you'll never work a day in your life.

I don't work. I write.
                   Jennifer Elizabeth McDonald