Friday, November 17, 2006

New Beginning 158

The diary was another secret she kept. I discovered Mom's notebook in the kitchen hutch, hidden behind some old recipe folders. Without opening it, I knew what it was. The urge to know what she'd written about me itched like a scab.

“Don't do it,” said my inner Angel. “Even if she never finds out, reading someone’s diary is just plain wrong. Stealing a person’s privacy is as bad as stealing something tangible. Worse. You can never give it back.”

“Baloney,” said my inner Devil, adjusting her fishnet tights. “Given that she never shares anything with you and doesn't appreciate you, think of it as reconnaissance. In fact, it’s arguably self-defense, like viewing an eclipse through a hole in a box. Staring directly at the sun can blind you. Anyway, you're not going to use anything you read against her, so what could it hurt?”

"Forget the diary, let's eat all the cookies," said my inner child, digging in her nose with her finger.

"Screw her freakin' privacy, my inner New Yorker said, "Read whatever you damn well want."

"Leave her alone," said my inner unhinged loner. "We have bigger problems right now. Did you get the fertilizer?"

"It's out back," said my inner insurance adjuster. "But what are we going to do about the diary?"

By the time my inner Chihuahua weighed in, I was so confused I almost forgot what they were arguing about. I flipped open the notebook and turned pages until I hit--no pun intended--the mother lode.

She still doesn't know they are all real, it read. She thinks they are inner voices. It hasn't dawned on her that the tiny nanoprobes I inserted in her ears really do give me constant input into her decisions . . . Just wait until she starts hearing her inner Editor.

Opening: Amourpays.....Continuation: Daisy, Gutterball, Kate Thornton


Anonymous said...

love the continuation, y'all! very nicely done!

Anonymous said...

“Baloney,” said my inner Devil, adjusting her fishnet tights.

That's a great line. -JTC

Anonymous said...

That continuation was fantastic. I can't imagine how there were so many collaborators, though.

Nancy Beck said...

Ha ha!! That continuation was fabulous!

The diary was another secret she kept.

I think I'd drop this sentence. Start off with the next sentence.

However, after that...I felt my eyes glaze over. Sorry, author. The warring "inners" just didn't do it for me.

How about having her read an entry and commenting on it? I take it that Mom is dead (unless I'm in mushy brain mode), so an idea I had of having her suddenly enter the kitchen and catching her daughter in the act wouldn't work.

Or can a sibling come in and catch her, asking her what the hell she's doing? I'm just trying to think of some conflict here. I realize the "inners" stuff you have is conflict, but it just doesn't sound convincing to me. Maybe just a brief inner conflict, she's about to open the diary, and then, oops, in walks Stu, her brother.

Stu: What the hell are you doing?

She: Um, er...

Stu grabs the book out of her hands and glances at the cover. "Mom's diary?"

He can either chastise or go nuts on her going into personal stuff she shouldn't be looking at, or he could suddenly become as interested as she is.

Just my take on it, author. Good luck with it.


Anonymous said...

“Baloney,” said my inner Devil, adjusting her fishnet tights.

You're right JTC, that's a great line. I can't think of a novel that it wouldn't work in! Just imagine if Uriah Heep had thoughts like that. If I ever get published, that line is going to be a staple in every book I write.

Anonymous said...

Mothers today! Mine's been playing the match maker, between me and this permed undercover cop. Needless to say, it went well... till we got under covers.

Dave Fragments said...

Please tell me I'm reading an episode of Bewitched? How about a feverish dream sequence from Fresh Prince? Or maybe a bizzare LSD nightmare from Will and Grace...

I'll bet this is young adult. It has that light, airy, insubstantial feel that works in those novels.

"the diary was another secret she kept" as the first line of anything implies that we want to know the first secrets. It implies that the Mother has just revealed some secret to the child. And what is the child's reaction? A cliche of two pixies, one good (how about a nun in white, a real sister of perpetual indulgence), one in evil fishnets (a real street hooker with fishnets and boobs a hanging out), discussing whether or not to read the diary.

why not play to the wrong side of cliche? Make the good one a harlot in fishnets and wings, harp and bootylicious butt and the bad one a nun in white with demon horns, tail and pitchfork? That would be so neat.

If the mother was dead, there would be no reason not to read it. It may contain some thoughts that are tender and charming. But it also may contain the DREAD FAMIALY SECRET... A devastating reveal to the daughter.

If the mother is living, there is every reason NOT to read it. And we have to spend precious words wondering why it'[s bad to read another's diary.

An adult knows why you don't read diaries. Children and teenagers do not. So unless we are YA, this is not a good opening.

I feel really bad about all this. Whether it's a daughter wondering about a dead mother's diary, or a teen being tempted to read her mom's thoughts (what if her mother is secretly a dominatrix?), or a grown daughter dealing with her living mother's possible alzheimer's and/or trying to discover new aspects to their relationship by betraying the brains Dog gave her... It's not the start I would use.

I like the writer's style. I lie the voice. I think that the characters deserve better treatment than this.

Anonymous said...

Change 'itched like a scab' to 'itched like the crabs', and you've got it.


Daisy Bateman said...

Go team!

Kate Thornton said...

Ditto, Daisy!!

Anonymous said...

The mom in the rewrite has a valid point. Teenagers are trouble... I should know, I used to be one. Xcept I forgot how it was...

Anonymous said...

WARNING! Never read your mother's diary, for you might uncover some pretty dark secrets:

a: she's really a he (the wonders of science...);

b: you're a spawn of one of those super friendly alien visitors (probably not the one that looked human);

c: you're a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong (okay, for that discovery, you just need a mirror);

OR WORSE: what she REALLY thinks about your book!

Anonymous said...

What do you mean, nut? I'm HOT. Except for that missing part, but that was not from birth. And my mommy LOVES my poetry book. She promised to cherish it forever...

Then, she ran out of toilet paper.

GutterBall said...

Ditto, Daisy and Kate! Go Team Venture!

...Oops. Wrong show.

I dunno. I actually kind of like this opening. It's instant internal conflict, and I honestly don't know which way this person will lean. Will the fishnets win, or will the solid reasoning that this is the only theft you can't fix take over?

I'd read a little more before deciding whether or not to buy, at least. If nothing else, I'd flip to the end -- blasphemy! -- to see what the big secret is.

McKoala said...

Great continuation.

I'm also not into inner conflict shown this way, but the Devil has all the best lines (isn't that always the way).

kiss-me-at-the-gate said...

I loved the continuation and the devil in fishnets. Everything else was okay -- it wouldn't put me off but I'm not sure it'd draw me in either. I'd definitely read a bit farther to find out.

Anonymous said...

Not the inner Chihuahua, anything but that! I'll cut off my ears... Anything's better then inner editor (especially evil one)! Wait... What was he wearing?

Anonymous said...

Actually, anon, the inner Chihuahua probably had the best ideas.

But I do agree, that someone has to describe what the inner editor was wearing... I bet it was bunny slippers!