Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

My Story

Expand Messages
  • lonedrgn
    Hi there. Thanks for the welcome. Since I like to dive in feet first here, I have a request from anyone who cares to critique this short story of mine. I am
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 4, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi there. Thanks for the welcome. Since I like to dive in feet
      first here, I have a request from anyone who cares to critique this
      short story of mine. I am enrolled in a correspondence course to
      become published and need to be getting this sent off within the next
      week or so. Just would like to have some feedback before sending
      this one. Thanks for your help!! ---Becky

      At the Edge of A Bridge

      Mary stood on the edge of the bridge, looking over the
      railing at the river below. She always felt renewed when she saw
      the current drift toward an unseen ocean. She closed her eyes and
      listened to the laughing water. She could almost hear the laments of
      countless lovers, or the angered outbursts of couples coping with
      hardships. This was a quiet spot in the small park beside the
      river. Her spirit felt renewed every time watched the water. She
      felt that she should tear out the sadness in her heart and toss it
      into the running water…
      "Mary? Are you finished yet?" Stan asked, perturbed. She
      shrugged and pushed strands of long, brown hair behind an ear.
      "Almost, honey," she replied still staring down at the water. She
      felt at peace watching the water, almost one with it…
      "That's far enough," her husband said, grabbing her. She
      glared up into his brown eyes, angry at the interruption. "I don't
      need you falling off any bridges today." He pulled her away from the
      railing, dragging her back to the truck.
      "I wasn't planning on a swim," she said and gave him a brief,
      toothy smile, removing her arms from his grasp. "Besides, we need to
      get to your mother's by six for supper." She got into the truck and
      watched him stuff his hands in his pockets, take a deep breath, and
      get into the truck beside her. She didn't care if he was angry with
      her. Served him right for interrupting her moment of peace.
      Watching the river calmed her thoughts, which she really needed
      most. She had seen the doctor a couple days ago without Stan's
      knowledge. She had felt a lump under her left breast, which
      terrified her. The doctor wanted to have a biopsy and a mammogram
      done. She was afraid of both. What if it really was cancer? Who
      could she turn to? Stan worked all day. Her mother was on the East
      Coast and she had no other relatives close by. And Stan's mom was
      not that fond of her.
      Mary sat at the dinner table staring at her food. Stan and
      his mom dug into theirs conversing about how Sue's flower garden was,
      how Stan's liked his job and how the grandkids were doing in school.
      Mary couldn't eat. She kept thinking about this thing inside her.
      She could almost "feel" it growing. Or was it her imagination?
      "Mary," she heard her mother-in-law say.
      Mary focused on her glass of tea. "I'm sorry, what were you
      saying?"
      Putting her fork down, Sue looked Mary straight in the
      eye. "I asked how work is going?"
      Mary blinked. "Oh fine," she said absently. She lifted the
      fork and picked at her food. She could feel Stan's eyes on
      her. "Please don't stare," she whispered.
      Stan chewed his food then swallowed. "I'm not staring.
      Whatever has been on your mind you best get rid of it." He stabbed
      at a pork chop and cut it.
      Mary glared at him over her plate. "Maybe you should be a
      little more considerate." She flung her fork down, grabbed her glass
      of tea and stormed out of the house.
      She let the back door slam shut. The coolness of the evening
      made her pause briefly. The house sat on five acres of land and
      there seemed to be nothing around except trees and cornfields. At
      the moment the beauty of the place was lost to her.
      She took a deep breath, descended the four steps and walked
      toward the flower garden that Sue had been raving about. The evening
      breeze caressed her skin the way she remembered Stan doing it.
      Lately it seemed their intimacy was waning. Maybe the honeymoon was
      finally over. She sighed and took a sip of her tea. She touched one
      of the blooms on the trellis. Tears spilled from her eyes, thinking
      the end was near because of this thing inside her.
      "Mary?" She turned to see Stan at the entrance of the small
      garden. She wiped at her eyes. "What's wrong?" he asked, concerned.
      She started to walk away but he caught up with her and turned
      her to face him. He lifted her chin with his fingers and wiped at
      her tears with his thumbs. "What's wrong?"
      Mary's lips trembled as she tried to form the words. She
      searched his eyes in the dimness of the evening. She shook her
      head. "Can we go home? I'm not feeling well," which was not much of
      a lie. The anxiety of not knowing drained her.
      "We just got here," Stan said, stuffing his hands in his
      pockets. "You never cry like this." He paused then continued, "Does
      this have something to do with me?"
      She shook her head. She wished she could tell him about the
      lump but she felt that speaking out loud about it would be her death
      sentence. Lumps did not show up over night. She should tell him,
      instead, she left him standing amid the roses and went back inside
      the house.
      When she entered, Sue was putting dirty dishes in the
      dishwasher. "What's wrong, dear?" she said in a patronizing way.
      Mary hated it when Sue spoke to her in that tone of voice.
      Here she was acting like a little kid when mom caught you doing
      something wrong. How could she put her feelings into words?
      "Did you and Stan have words again?" Sue wiped her hands on
      a dishtowel and put soap into the dispenser.
      Mary bit at her lower lip and took a deep breath. She said
      in a half whisper, "I have a lump in my breast," and walked quickly
      out the front door to the truck.
      The tears came as she cried, rocking herself back and forth
      in the front seat of the truck. Maybe she should have leaned a
      little further out on that railing today, then she would be going
      through this torture now.
      The truck door opened. Stan reached for her and held her
      close. "Oh, Stan," she wailed. "I'm so sorry."
      He kissed the top of her head. She leaned away from him and
      saw that there were tears in his eyes. "What's wrong?" she asked,
      forgetting about her dilemma.
      "It's something that happened long ago in my family."
      "What?" she asked, remembering when they had first met how
      they had talked about family, friends and their hopes for the future.

      "My dad," Stan started to say.
      It was Mary's turn to be concerned. "I know honey, your dad
      died in that horrible accident." She could hear the chirping of
      crickets and locust in the distance.
      "He'd been diagnosed with colon cancer," Stan said. "After one
      treatment the side effects of were too much for him. So he drove
      himself to his next appointment. Mom never thought anything about it
      until she got the call." Stan wiped at his nose. "Dad had
      deliberately run into a bridge pylon. They had to use the jaws-of-
      life to get him out. He kept asking the paramedics to let him die."
      Mary sniffed and asked, "What did you do?"
      "There was nothing I could do. It was as if dad willed
      himself to death. All I remember were his pleading eyes." Stan
      wiped at his tears.
      "Oh honey, I'm sorry. Why didn't you tell me this before?"
      "Mom didn't want anyone to know the real reason behind dad's
      death." He lowered his head and asked softly, "Is it cancer?"
      "I don't know, Stan," she replied. "I'm scheduled for a
      lumpectomy at the doctor's office Monday."
      "But it could be?" he asked.
      She nodded. "I've had two aunts die from breast cancer."
      Stan held her hand. "Since I can't get off Monday, I'm sure
      mom would be willing to go with you."
      Mary's mouth opened in surprise. "But I thought your mom
      didn't care about me?" Not having any kids of their own, not that
      there was any lack of trying, she thought Sue did not like her. She
      always carried on about her grand kids from Stan's brother.
      Two weeks later, sitting in the doctor's office, Sue on the
      left and Stan on right Mary stared dumbly at the doctor. "Mary, did
      you hear what I said?" he asked, leaning forward in his chair.
      She nodded absently, still in shock. After all this waiting,
      all those tests, her breast still hurt from the lumpectomy, now she
      could not believe what she had heard.
      "Mary," Sue said, taking hold of her hand. "It's alright
      dear, you're going to be fine."
      Mary took a deep breath and blinked. "I guess I am. You
      said it was benign?" she asked.
      The doctor smiled. "As benign as it could be."
      Walking out of the doctor's office, Mary was still in shock. Her
      worst fears were gone. She was going to be all right. She did not
      have cancer and now she was minus a lump, not her breast!
    • wings081
      Hi Becky Your story is not ready for presentation, even to a correspondence course tutor. Read it line by line and correct your mistakes. I ll run through it
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 4, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Becky
        Your story is not ready for presentation, even to a correspondence
        course tutor.
        Read it line by line and correct your mistakes.
        I'll run through it to highlight the errors that hit me:
        "She felt renewed every time watched the water" insert SHE
        between time and watched.
        "She felt that she should tear out the sadness" cut out THAT
        it's unnecessary.
        "Mary ? are you finished yet?" only one question mark
        required. And perhaps you might get Stan to say " Time to go
        Mary, we don't want to be late"
        "at peace with the water almost one with it" insert at
        between almost and one.
        "watched him stuff his hands in his pockets" I think he would
        need his hands free to get into the truck.
        "conversing about how Sue's flower garden" Who is Sue? I
        see a few lines on that Sue is Stan's Mom. So tell the reader
        first.
        Don't leave them guessing.
        "Then she would be going through this torture now" I think
        you meant to write "not going through this torture"
        "After one treatment the side effects of were too much" omit
        OF or insert WHICH between of and were.
        "kids of their own, not that there was any lack of trying,"
        Put a period after own not a comma. Also a period after trying.

        Enough for now Becky. The story's OK if a little banal. Perhaps
        you could spice it up a little by having the doctor say something
        like:
        "By the way young lady, I shall expect to see you in my ante
        natal clinic next week"

        Don't take my critique too seriously. You've made a start and
        I'm sure we'll see much more from you.
        Best wishes
        Wings
      • Christine James
        Becky - sorry to take so long. I ve made some comments, just scroll down - I hope they help. Christine At the Edge of A Bridge
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 6, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          Becky - sorry to take so long. I've made some comments, just scroll down -
          I hope they help.
          Christine

          At the Edge of A Bridge

          <<She closed her eyes and listened to the laughing water. She could almost
          hear the laments of countless lovers, or the angered outbursts of couples
          coping with hardships.>>

          It's difficult to tie the sound of 'laughing water' in with 'laments' and
          'angry outbursts'. I think you need to find a way to describe the sound of
          the water that is consistent with the memories it evokes.


          <<Her spirit felt renewed every time watched the water. She
          felt that she should tear out the sadness in her heart and toss it
          into the running water…>>

          Again, these two sentences seem to be at odds.

          <<"I wasn't planning on a swim," she said and gave him a brief,
          toothy smile, removing her arms from his grasp.>>

          I think you could give her a 'bright smile' or 'brave smile'. A toothy
          smile is more something you'd describe a child or a very old person as
          having.

          <<Mary sat at the dinner table staring at her food. Stan and
          his mom dug into theirs conversing about how Sue's flower garden was,
          how Stan's liked his job and how the grandkids were doing in school.>>

          What about "Mary sat and stared at her dinner while Stan and his mom dug
          into theirs, chatting animatedly about the garden and the grandchildren"




          Note: If ticket2write is not the right writer's group for you, Yahoo
          offers over 4000 others. Young people are encouraged to participate in
          writers groups specifically designated as youth groups. To unsubscribe from
          this group, send an email to: ticket2write-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com







          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/



          ---
          Incoming mail is certified Virus Free.
          Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
          Version: 6.0.384 / Virus Database: 216 - Release Date: 8/21/02

          ---
          Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
          Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
          Version: 6.0.384 / Virus Database: 216 - Release Date: 8/21/02
        • lynndanna
          ... (She) stood on the edge of the bridge, looking over the ... and ... their quarrel) (in this small, quiet spot, nestled in the park near the edge of the
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 7, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            I like this. My feedback:
            > At the Edge of A Bridge
            >
            (She) stood on the edge of the bridge, looking over the
            > railing at the river below. (Mary) always felt renewed when she saw
            > the current drift toward (the) unseen ocean. She closed her eyes
            and
            > listened to the laughing water(,) (almost hearing) the laments of
            > countless lovers, or the angered outbursts of couples (disputing
            their quarrel) (in this small, quiet spot, nestled in the park near
            the edge of the river.)
            (P) (Mary felt her spirit) renewed every time (she looked into the
            water,) (symbolic to tearing the sadness out of her heart, tossing it
            > into the running water, watching it sink and dissapear…
            > "Mary? Are you finished yet?" Stan asked, perturbed. She
            > shrugged and pushed strands of long, brown hair behind (one) ear.
            > "Almost, honey," she replied(,) still (mesmerized by the tumultuous
            current below.), (at one with the peaceful water...)
            > "That's far enough," her husband said, grabbing her. She
            > glared up into his brown, (liquid) eyes, angry at the
            interruption. "I don't
            > need you falling off any bridges today." He pulled her away from
            the
            > railing, dragging her back to the truck.
            > "I wasn't planning on a swim," she said and gave him a brief,
            > toothy smile, (abruptly) removing her arms from his grasp.
            "Besides, we need to
            > get to your mother's by six for supper." She(walked away without
            meeting his gaze, seated herself) in the (warm?) truck(,) and
            > watched him stuff his hands in his pockets. (He drew a) deep,
            (exasperated (sic) breath, and
            > get into the truck beside her. She didn't care if he was angry with
            > her. Served him right for interrupting her moment of peace.
            > Watching the river calmed her thoughts, which she really needed
            > most. She had seen the doctor a couple days ago without Stan's
            > knowledge. She had felt a lump under her left breast, which
            > terrified her. The doctor (ordered) a biopsy and a mammogram
            > done.

            This is as far as I could get, a friend has an emergency\. If you
            would like me to finish, please let me know, Lisa.
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.