Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Secret Agent #17

TITLE: Rainbow Tears
GENRE: Women's Fiction

It took just one of the plastic rings, thrown haphazardly with impressive force, plus a little luck, and the fate of the goldfish swimming in it’s plastic bag was sealed. Fat seagulls, spoiled year round by tourists exchanging their winters for a visit to the southern California beach town circled overhead, while the music of the historic Ferris wheel echoed in the background.

“Gunner, you won!” cried Nora in surprise. She certainly hadn’t expected the ring to lasso the glass bottle like that, especially when David had thrown all five of his unsuccessfully.

“Wow, nice job! You should have thrown mine, too,” said David, scooping Gunner up and tossing him easily into the air.

Gunner’s face was the picture of childhood glee as his father set him down and the attendant handed him his new pet. He was so excited, he immediately began jumping up and down and clapping his hands. The goldfish swam spastically in it’s flailing prison until Nora, resisting the urge to become caught up in the magic of her son’s enthusiasm until after the animal was safe, deftly removed it from his hands.

“Whoa, easy honey. You have to be gentle with your fish,” she said, feeling sorry for the creature whose new owner was a hyper four-year-old boy. She knew her son couldn’t possibly understand the fragile nature of the life he’d been holding in his hands only moments ago. In that instant, she didn’t fully understand life’s transience either.


  1. The POV of this passage pulled me in gently and, by the end, introduced just a hint of foreboding. Just enough to leave me wanting more without giving away the plot. The long sentences, though, weigh it down a bit. I think the dialog works here and would not suggest adding more. Perhaps breaking the descriptive passages up a bit would help.

  2. Hmmm. Although I really like this, I think the POV felt distant. I had to read it a few times, because I thought there was a fourth person observing everything until the very last para. Perhaps Nora's not Gunner's mother? That might explain the distance. Because she doesn't describe him like I'd expect a mother to describe her own son - there's a lack of intimacy in her observations of him. I also think you might be trying to do too much in the long sentence with the seagulls. But I enjoyed this little slice of a scene and certainly the boy behaved true to his four years.

  3. I think the seagull part can be taken out to make room for something better, but otherwise I really liked this.
    It made me want to sigh and give up on my to-do list to curl up for a few hours and read.

    A minor thing:
    The last sentence here seemed like it could also be something more. Not sure what. I think it's the phrase life's transience. Maybe it would be better to describe it as something more simple?

  4. I liked the opening. The first paragraph sets the scene very well, but is lacking POV. I did not mind the long sentences. The one that I got stuck on was the last one. I get the foreboding, but it seems to contradict the rest of the paragraph on the first read. Maybe if it was written as a positive statement instead of a negative one, it would sound better.

  5. I like the idea of opening at a boardwalk. But I'm having trouble getting into this. I think the first sentence is too cryptic -- I had to read it twice to figure out what it was talking about, and still didn't understand it until later -- and the dialogue doesn't read quite authentically to me. I think I would need some more context and a better sense of who the main character is to really be drawn into this and keep reading.

  6. I'm so nitpicky, but in two instances you have it's instead of its.

    I like the scene, but I think there are issues that the other comments have pointed out.