Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Secret Agent #45

TITLE: High-Heels And Slippers
GENRE: Commercial Women's Fiction

To the team at Forster's Medical Center:

Thank you so much for everything you did for me after my hammock fall while holidaying in Mexico. As you could probably tell from my hysterical sobbing, I was convinced I had broken my neck and permanently damaged my spine. (I do hope the poor man whose saline drip I knocked over, has recovered.)

Your calm and professional reassurance helped me to relax, along with that shot of whatever you gave me - I think it could have been Valium. Well, whatever it was, it certainly did the trick, because after that I was much happier!

The MRI scan, so quickly administered, was extremely useful at eradicating my fears of permanent damage. It also helpfully revealed that I did not, in fact, have a terminal brain tumor lurking somewhere, which has always been a fear of mine ever since I was twelve and Mrs. Fibbets, my geography teacher at school, unexpectedly collapsed and died of an aneurism in the middle of Marks & Spencer's.

As a Brit living in America, I must admit to finding the health insurance system a little complicated, not to mention a bit expensive. However, even though my insurance company did not agree to cover all the costs, I think that the $746.98 you are demanding is well worth it -although I am disputing the charge for the use and laundering of four hospital gowns, as I only remember wearing one.

Thanks again - so much.

Sincerely,

Josie Jenkins

25 comments:

Keren David said...

Being pedantic - not sure why an aneurism would make her scared of a tumour, an aneurism isn't a tumour.
It's all backwards looking, I don't really know where it's going. It's funny but not hilarious. Good voice though, convincingly British.

Women's Fiction Writer said...

I like it. I like the voice and it tells us a lot about Josie. What I'd have liked more is some sense of the here and now - what she's doing and where she is. I know this is only 250 words so I'd definitely read on and see if there's some action in the story to come. Thanks for sharing!

Mme Jacie said...

I like the character development here - definitely showing not telling!

anna said...

I liked this too. It's an interesting start.

Emily Lavin Leverett said...

I balked at starting with a letter, but then the first paragraph made me laugh out loud. It reminded me a bit of Bridget Jones in voice (though not in a derivative way, i mean it as acompliment).

The second paragraph with the dash doesn't quite work grammatically for me. But, I'd read more. I do think it is back-looking, as one poster said, but if the next paragraph gets me to the here-and-now, I'd totally keep going! And I'm okay with the confusion between anyuresm (which I can't spell) and brain tumor, she was a kid. :) Overall, really fun!

Anonymous said...

This is a cute letter, but i'm not sure how I feel about it as the opening of a book. I can see this coming a few pages later. Not hooked, sorry.

fictionwriter said...

Love the letter to start. Not sure where it's going, but I'm hooked.

Rachel said...

I really liked Josie's voice in this, and can tell from the sense of humor that this is a book I'd enjoy reading. Starting with a letter like this is a little quirky and different. I would definitely read on.

rphnyc said...

Cute. It reminds me of Dear American Airlines. I would read on.

Bron said...

It is backwards-looking, but it's entertaining and shows off your character's voice. I'd read on. Two tiny nits - I'd lose the comma in the last sentence of your first paragraph. And I can't help thinking a Brit would write 'tumour' instead of 'tumor', even if she is writing to Americans.

Pamela Toler said...

This has a fun and convincing voice. I'd definitely read on.

Lucasesq said...

I agree with anon, not sure about the start of a book. Great voice though! Like the humor in it.

Tatiana said...

I like it :) You get a very strong sense of character and voice.

Escape Artist said...

For me, I would have preferred not beginning with a letter, but great job!

Sara J. Henry said...

Not sure about this - but I'd turn the page to see what comes next.

tarak said...

I'm also torn. I like the voice, but I don't know about a letter hooking me. I'd probably read on, though.

Anonymous said...

haaaaaaa. cute. I'd keep reading.

Tori said...

Cute. Love the title. I'd read on.

Sarah said...

I'm not totally hooked by the letter idea but I like the voice enough to read on and see where it's going.

One tiny thing. I'd lose 'at school' in the third paragraph because that's implied by virtue of her being a teacher I would have thought.

And yes Bron, we would write tumour :)

Holly Bodger said...

This is an interesting way to start a novel. The writing needs a tad bit of cleaning up and it could be a bit funnier. I agree with the first comment about the brain tumour but if you are trying to make her sound like she has no clue about medicine, I think you can leave it as is. I'd suggest you either move the Valium to after the MRI memory (because honestly, you remember NOTHING after you get a good shot of Valium) or explain that the MRI didn't happen until later (although that wouldn't make sense). Also, if she thought she broke her neck, they wouldn't do the same kind of scan as they do for brain tumours.

Anonymous said...

Hi- I'm not sure if we are supposed to comment on our own entry or not but just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the comments - so great to get the feedback! Thrilled to be part of it! :-)

paintgirl220 said...

The letter has some great comic potential but it's missing the mark somehow. Maybe up the sarcasm a bit?

Barbara said...

I was wishy-washy on this one. I thought this was good in and of itself. It's written well and it's humorous. But it doesn't give a sense of where the story is going or what it might be about. My question after reading it it is - yes? And? I wanted more of her current situation.

But, while it didn't give me a sense of the story, it did give me a sense of who she was, and because it did, I'd also be willing to give it more time. So I'd read more.

Toni Kenyon said...

I love the voice, but I'm torn about whether starting with a letter is a good thing. It's a great letter! You've made me curious. I'd read on.

Secret Agent said...

I think the voice here is funny and engaging, and I admit I'm charmed by Josie, but I don't know what this novel is about or what's going on. The only thing I know is Josie was in Mexico in the recent past and hurt herself. She was happy with her hospital stay, and she's a bit of a hypochondriac. How is that relevant to the story? Who is Josie? What does she do? Why was she in Mexico? Does it matter that she was
in Mexico? Where is she now? Why? What's happening there?

Her voice is pleasant enough but voice alone is not enough to have me invested in the narrative, and I found myself asking "so what?" instead of "what's next?"