Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Secret Agent #13

GENRE: Literary/Commercial

Sunshine burns on my back. I feel like the raw ground just uncovered from a deep snow: naked, dark, slippery and too soft. Winter and a cold spring have dragged on forever. One year gone in this small, cape cod house on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Aiden is now three months old, still mouthing a constant need for me and my drooping breasts. My body is stretched out, distorted. I don't fit comfortably
into my own skin or any clothes I own. I wish the sun could knit me back together. I've tried everything else. Currently I'm stuck on a series of unnecessary home renovation projects. We are renting, again, for God's sake. Renters don't paint. But Jake doesn't point this out. Instead he says, "I don't think this is a good color for the dining room."

He sits next to me in the weathered Adirondack chair. He's squinting and smiling at the same time, holding up a paint color card named, "Robin's Egg."

"We are moving again, aren't we?" I ask, keeping my voice low, trying not to let the tone tremble and give me away. Our daughter Sadie zips by us, her bright yellow jacket blurs as she runs around the yard looking for quartz rocks. She sings a song, something repetitive and droll, but her voice rises clear and bright. It is beautiful but it rings so young I feel older by the pitch and space it leaves in my ears.


  1. Love this. It's so idyllic and yet there is tension lying underneath, woven in so well. Beautifully done in my opinion. I would read more.

  2. Some very beautiful sentences in here. I especially like "I wish the sun could knit me back together". I would definitely read on.

  3. Hauntingly beautiful. I'm pulled into the world right away and it gives me goosebumps. Nicely done. I'd love to read more. :)

  4. Beautiful descriptions, almost has a post-modern feel. I liked your prose.

    Only real critique is to make "Currently I'm stuck on a series..." a new paragraph.

    Thanks for the read!

  5. Not my cup of tea, but that's not to take anything away from your beautiful, elemental writing. There's a nice clash of natural and wild virtues vs those of the domestic and mundane. I immediately get a feel for each of the characters and wouldn't mind finding out what happens to any one of them.

    Good luck!

  6. Lovely descriptions and quick sense of the characters. Also a good sense of tension internal and external in this short section. Interested what happens next.

    My one caveat is that these specific sources of tension (internal & external) carry on throughout the novel. In other words, this is an excellent setup if what we're reading is the introduction to the main conflict.

  7. I thought you did a nice job of creating tension. I can feel it there, lying under the surface. Here is a woman about to either explode or crack, and her husband seems so oblivious to it. And it' very clear the problem is much more than painting a rented apartment.

    I did think the second sentence didn't work. I'm not sure it conveys what you want it to.

    Nicely done!

  8. I agree with the other posters, you do a fantastic job of creating tension in a small amount of space.

    However, I would be careful about giving too much description. I start to get a sense of her frustration, and want to know more about the constant moving and don't know that it's necessary to talk about Sadie right then.

    In other words, make sure everything flows really smoothly and we don't need to know all about her family immediately.