July 11th, 2004


Which Version is Best? (Ending Revised 7/16/04)

I need some critical opinions. Originally, I had one LONG first chapter that recounted a DREAM the main character then proceeds to LIVE. (I actually have a good girlfriend who is doing just that, reluctantly, as she knows how it ends...) I could not bear to cut my beautiful words. Eventually, I decided to put segments between other sections, and divided it into seven parts, which all in time acquired introductory quotes and some got Moods and Music as lj allows.

Link for the seven segments to read:
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Now, I am almost done and want to submit the novel. Most publishers ask for the first three chapters, which in this version, would NOT get them out of the dream, into the "real" story, much less allow them to realize that she has portends, rather than dreams, and that in some fashion, they do come true.

I am also much LESS ATTACHED to my first attempt now that I have pieces of three books, one actually finished, than I was right after I'd just started my first one and was struggling with form. So, here is a much scaled down version of that original first chapter, as ONE chapter.

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My question is, which of the three is best in your opinion? 1)The original sans individual quotes, mood, and music
2)The seven segments with the individual starting quotes and mood/music
3) The shortened version

Walking on the Even Wilder Side

Last Friday, I was feeding the kitten groups on the porch as the mothers brought them up. Three of the four bunches made it at least in part onto the porch. Tiptoeing over so as not to scare them, I surprised a HUGE skunk, bigger than the one I hit this winter, inches from my front door.

Myrrh and Wild Tortoise sat at opposite corners of the steps, ears slanted, spitting, for once, not at each other, but at the skunk. Kittens were tumbled together under the bench and scattered across two lower steps. Two played in the bedding plants.

Now, I could not exit the house, but I sure wanted him/her gone. I started screaming, but was afraid to tap the glass, which, thankfully STEVE shut for me while he was here, as the door is slightly twisted and the glass gets stuck. Otherwise, I might have been sprayed.

Eventually, it wandered off the steps toward the west. I called the vet, who suggested calling the DNR after talking to me about how it was acting long enough to decide it probably was NOT rabid.

The DNR said to feed the kittens somewhere else. Well, when they get old enough to REACH somewhere else, that might work...

The stupid thing COMES WHEN I TRILL TO CALL THE CATS. I quit trilling, but not all the kittens are making it out while I'm watching.

I need to look up Ralph's Skunk relocation method...


Ah, upon reviewing it, I don't think I quite have the guts to pull that one off!

The True Story of How Ralph Bagged His Skunk

by: Ralph
Posted beginning 2/22/2001
On his way home from his snowmobiling odyssey to Yellowstone

One Christmas time, probably my senior year at high school, Mom and Dad had gone to a party, and left me at home alone. About nine or ten o'clock, a car pulled part way into the driveway and just sat there. The headlights shown in the window facing the house. The people sat there, watching the house for what seemed like five or ten minutes.

I watched them for a few minutes, wondering what they were up to, then stepped out the front door to confront them.

As soon as I appeared in the doorway, someone from the car hollered, "Hey, man, don't come out! There's a skunk on your porch!"

"I know how to take care of that!" Returning to the house, I got a brown paper grocery sack and opened it. Moving very slowly and calmly, I went out, laying the sack on the porch close to the skunk.

Skunks are shy enough that he crawled into it to hide. I picked up the sack, folded the top over, carried it to the car, and handed it to one of the strangers in the car.

"Will you take this down the road a couple of miles and turn it loose?"

They left, and I never did find out who they were, or why they were there.

Comments cousin Steve, "It is probably best we didn't hear the rest of this story. I'm sure it stunk!"