Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop the Needle: HIGH EMOTION #11

GENRE: MG (Realistic, Contemporary)

Melody dreams of trying out for the synchronized ice skating team. But her mom is forcing her to take piano lessons, instead.

I fake my way to the merciful final chord- E, C, G, which somehow dredges from the depths of my frozen brain. My skirt sticks to the back of my knees as I stand up and fly off the stage, ignoring the ripple of polite applause and completely forgetting to curtsy as I bolt down the steps past the cookie and punch table. A whoosh of warm air greets me as I lunge toward the bathroom.

"Melody!" Mom's voice punctures the air as I tug at the heavy restroom door.

"Leave me alone!"

But she's already inside, leaning against the sink, one hand planted against her hip. "What happened out there? You totally forgot the whole forte section."

I swallow the throw up taste that's worked its way to the back of my throat. "I was doing okay until you started tapping your pen."

Mom's eyes drop to the floor, like maybe she gets it's not totally my fault. "Piano lessons at Eastridge cost a pretty penny," she says after a minute. "I don't appreciate you taking them lightly. When I was your age."

"I'm not you. Why don't you just save your money and let me do something I want for a change?"

Mom's face splotches like she has measles. "Melody Christine. Enough with the back talk. You just need to start concentrating more. Maybe up the practice sessions ten minutes or so. I know you can do it, if you would just learn some good old fashioned discipline. Any wonder things turned out the way they did today, with you gallivanting off to the ice rink and to Sophie's house the other night."

"That was for school!"

Mom shakes her pointer finger. "You know what I mean. And stop yelling, for heaven's sake. Somebody might hear."


  1. The dialogue is realistic. I think everyone can relate to this parent/child argument in some way. I really like the skirt sticking to her legs and the ripple of applause - puts you in her situation. The whoosh of warm air threw me off - where did it come from? A voice puncturing the air didn't work for me. One minute she's tugging on the door and the next her mom is leaning on the sink inside - almost as if Mom apparated into the bathroom before her daughter got the door open. And instead of Mom's eyes dropping to the floor, perhaps her gaze could drop so it doesn't sound like Mom's eyes fell out.
    I don't mean to pile on, I liked it. With a few fixes I think this will be a great scene.

  2. I thought this was well done, good adolescent voice. Might consider changing, "When I was your age ..." (a bit cliche) to something like "What I wouldn't have given to have had a chance ..." or some other broken thought that conveys the same sentiment.

  3. This is well done. I think the description in the beginning is clever and well detailed. I think I miss it during the conversation -maybe you could add a touch of that while she is listening?

  4. Great descriptions in the first paragraph. I was thrown by the warm air, though.

    And I agree the dialogue is very realistic between a mother and child. It makes me feel comfortable which makes me want to keep reading.

  5. I thought this was well written. I agree with David DeLozier that there is a good adolescent voice here. I also thought the dialogue between mother and daughter was well crafted and realistic. Good luck! :-)

  6. I thought the emotion was there. I could feel the frustration and anger on both their parts and it's certainly an issue most people can relate to.

    You might want to show them enter the bathroom. She's pulling on the bathroom door to go inside, and mom's already in there, (after just being behind her in the hall). And I think you need an "up" after dredged.