Re: Mightier than the Sword. Response to Wings (mtracht 41725)
- Dear Milt
I may be able to offer you some support with this as you
appear to have knowledge of my early years.
There were seven of us kids and I was the eldest boy.
We also lived, like you, in a three bedroom end-of- terrace
House which had the largest garden on the estate.
Dad had received a good private education but, due to
financial pressures, we kids were taught the basic 3Rs.
`reading, riting and rithmatic' to equip us for the life
of a labourer. Well someone's got to clean up the crumbs
on the floor after the lords and ladies have finished their
However we did benefit enormously from those pearls
of wisdom handed down by our parents.
Father had been a teacher at the Camberwell School of Art after his demob and mother was a seamstress who spent much of WW1 as an
inspector for the A.I.D.( Aeronautical Inspection Directorate.)
Re. "Fairy tale existence": No way, but there again
none of your violence, deception,degradation or hypocracy.
I note a small glitch in your chapter commencing:
"My Childhood": You have repetition with: "The house had huge lawns
with lots of shrubs" perhaps however you did this purposely to
accentuate the landscaping or maybe you wanted to check if
members read your work thoroughly. Well you've picked
on the right nitpicker with me but hopefully you accept my
criticisms as encouragement.
--- In email@example.com, mtracht508@... wrote:
> Dear Wings:
> Perhaps one of the reasons for a dearth of submissions is that the focus
> here is mostly a single genre and for me, it is one in which I have neither
> expertise or deep interest. Most of my published writing has been
> non-fiction, some award-winning. I have a novel in its final stages of
> proofing---not the piece I submitted---that was a throw-away piece just to see what
> reactions it would get in terms of constructive critique. I do not need a
> general group, just a couple of dedicated readers whose work I would in turn,
> dedicate myself to examining in depth.
> My current project (I'm about 150 pages in) which already has the interest
> of a publisher is a work of non-fiction for people whose lives are
> disrupted or blocked by feelings that interfere with moving forward. It may be
> guilt, depression, anger, confusion, and the number one killer of making
> creative decisions that allow a person to engage in the excitement of living
> life--that three-headed snake---ambivalence. So far, it is full of pithy
> witticisms and constructive knowledge set in a base of human stories told to me,
> by me or by the person whose life is the center of the story. In some
> cases, I haven't decided yet which POV to use with which story.
> I am looking for a good reader who would exchange work with me but I am
> not looking for sword and sorcery, SF, steam punk or creatures of the night.
> I cannot do them justice because I do not connect to them. I read modern
> fiction (mainstream), historical fiction, historical biography, musings from a
> personal perspective.
> Here is a brief sample from my latest published work which will be in
> press in April with TM Publishing. The new one uses the same technique which is
> reality but reminiscent of fiction in the use of musings and
> self-examination. This one-page excerpt is written in the form of a soliloquy---a young
> woman talking to a mirror. I pick up after the beginning just to give a
> brief chip from a 50+ page chapter.
> Excerpt from "How to Get off the Merry-Go-Round: Escaping From Abusive
> Relationships. In Press contracted to TM Publishing Co. Projected publication
> date, May 2013
> Chapter Three: Marianne (p. 2 of 54 total pages)
> I don't know quite how to begin my story. How do I tell people that I used
> to hate myself? How do I tell you that I allowed myself and my children to
> be abused by a sick husband for five years? Even now, over a year later, I
> still can't reconcile how I allowed it to happen. You know, I always
> thought that I was a winner. I never drank, I never did drugs. I was a good
> student and a model teen. I don't want to blame Mom and Dad, or Danâ"thatâs my
> My therapist, Robert, asked me to talk to you, to tell my story. He said
> that maybe it could help someone. I don't like talking about these things,
> but maybe, if going through the pain of talking about it one more time can
> help even one other person escape what I went through, maybe it will be worth
> You know, when I first went into therapy about two years ago, my therapist
> asked me to tell him about my childhood. Without thinking, I told him that
> I couldn't remember anything about it. I learned later that not remembering
> childhood memories is very common among abused people. When you do begin
> to remember, the thing that stands out most is the pain.
> I'm not good at telling my story. For so many years, I was better at
> hiding it. Everything I remember is like pieces of a puzzle. I painted pretty
> pictures of my perfect family. To the world I was Marianne-lovely,
> Marianne-bright, Marianne-mature. I guess I was all of those things, but inside I
> felt like Marianne-worthless, Marianne-punching-bag.
> I'm sorry, I don't mean to cry. Yeah, I was also Marianne-waterworks.
> My childhood â¦ I guess thatâs as good a place to begin as any. I remember
> the street where I grew up. Talk about something right out of Brady Bunch!
> Our street was lined with beautiful oak and maple trees, and the houses had
> huge lawns with lots of shrubs. Even on the hottest day there was shade
> and a sense of privacy and permanence. Maybe my street helped save my
> sanity when I was growing up. When I was outside of my house, I always felt more
> real, more protected. The houses had huge lawns with lots of shrubs.
> Our house was the biggest on the block. It sat back on the property, and
> Dad always said it allowed us to have the privacy we needed. Dad added on
> extra bedrooms every time he and Mom had another kid. There were six of us and
> I was the oldest. I remember Dad insisted that every kid have a room of
> his or her own. He'd say something about how, when he was growing up--- six
> kids and his parents--- and all six kids lived in a three- bedroom house.
> And, he would be damned if his family was going to live like that.
> I loved my Mom and Dadâ"I really did. Mom was so perfect, at least to the
> rest of the world; she was the president of more organizations than I could
> name. I was always polishing her collection of gavels and plaques, which
> they would give her after she completed her term as president or chairperson.
> ââTo Mary, for dedication above and beyond,ââ was etched into each plaque
> with loving care. Above and beyond. Yeah â¦ And Dad, he was and is the vice
> president of a Fortune 500 company, and he did it all on his own. He never
> had the opportunity to get an education, but he never missed a day of work.
> And when people from his office came over to the house for a party, they
> always told me how great a guy my dad was.
> Maybe if I tell you some of the things I remember, it will help you
> understand how my life worked out the way it did. Don't get me wrong, I'm not
> making any excuses for myself. I'm an adult, and I'm responsible for my own
> actions. But, I've learned through therapy that sometimes what you see and
> what you learn as a child is what you become as an adult, until you accept the
> responsibility to change it. And what I learned in what others thought was
> a fairytale existence was violence, deceptions, degradation, and
> Want to talk about trading for reading? I am interested in critical review
> and commentary upon its efficacy. It is written for the lay reader, not a
> professional audience. I have a great grammarian for line editing but when
> I turn it in, I want the ideas to demonstrate both clarity and consistency.
> A second set of eyes often enhances that part of the process. We all know
> what we think we said but sometimes it just doesn't come out accomplishing
> that goal.
> In a message dated 2/21/2013 5:44:13 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> wings081@... writes: