Friday, November 28, 2014


TITLE: Free Falling from a Ferris Wheel
GENRE: Adult Fiction

Loraine Kirkwood discovers her estranged husband has disappeared with ten million dollars belonging to two unscrupulous senators. Now they’re after her. Luckily she has the help of gal pal, Alex, but is Alex who she says she is? Will they tumble into the hands of a killer?

“C’mon, Let Go.” The Chinese prophecy held strong to its cookie cocoon. “Ta-da. Free at last.” I laughed.

John watched me raise the paper in victory, more bored than amused. “Think I’ll skip mine. Looks too much like work.”

Another parade pooped on, my smile faded. The paper lay stretched out between my fingers and I stared at the tiny writing:

“Nothing is as it appears. Beware of the road you choose to travel for you may never find your way home.”

I’d gotten bizarre fortunes before, but somehow – and I don’t know why – this one unnerved me.

John reached for the check and threw out a halfhearted, “What’s it say?”

“You will soon leave husband for man with bigger chopstick”

“Nahso, funny.” He grinned. A man well aware of the prowess of his chow mein.

I tossed the doomsday prophesy on top of the dirty plates, sat back and watched my husband over analyze the tab. A performance I’d seen way too many times.

“The price they charge for a bottle of Pinot is downright insulting.” My eye roll only fueled his grousing. “What? Damn if I’m tipping on the wine. Do you know what their profit margin is on alcohol?” The expression on the waitress’s face as she dropped off a to-go box told me she also thought John was an idiot.

Oh, good Lord, like an extra dollar’ll break you. A thought best kept silent. My husband’s economic soapbox had played on my last neuron, forcing my brain to flee to something of higher interest. I was perusing the restaurant for anything more entertaining when my focus came skidding to halt at the entrance door.


  1. I had a hard time initially orienting myself in this entry. Consider setting the scene with a bit of description first and then lead into the dialogue. That way, I know John is a jerk (based on his cheap ways) and it gives his "Nahso funny" comment context. In the order it is now, I cringed when I read such a stereotypical reaction.

    Good luck!

  2. I was totally lost in the first paragraph and had to reread it a couple of times and I hate to reread. After that, it was so much better. I want to read more, especially after reading the log line. But I agree with the first commentator that the scene needs to be set sooner.

  3. This was 70/30 for me. I like the voice, and thought the chopstick line was funny, but like the others I had to reread the beginning. Also the ominous fortune feels a little cliched, as does some of the dialogue. Setting the scene would help. A hint to their age maybe, or something more about who these two are. Good luck!

  4. Like the other commenters, I had to re-read the opening line before I really understood what was happening. That being said, I completely understand why John will soon become her "estranged" husband. Good luck!

  5. I like the voice quite a lot. I really enjoy this style of fiction, and the subtle humor adds charm.

    I have to say that I was somewhat surprised by the errors. I saw Let Go and thought it was someone's name because of the initial caps. Why else capitalize Let Go? I didn't understand what a Nahso was, either. Is it supposed to be Ahso? Confused.

    Then the paragraph with the husband complaining about the cost. You might think about breaking it up because John and Lorraine and the waitress don't all need to be crammed together this way. Let's see John in his own graph, describe him, the setting, etc. Then give us Lorraine's reaction (new graph) and separate out the waitress, too, for better impact because I love her cameo appearance. It shows Lorraine isn't the only one who thinks her husband is a jerk.

    The idea for this is great, but IMO the execution could use fine-tuning.

    Good luck!

  6. At first I thought the fortune cookie said, "C'mon, Let Go" as an allusion to the movie. Then I figured it out she was trying to open it. Maybe if you added that action, it would read more clear.
    I thought the chopstick-chow mein joke was well played and showed how humorless John is.
    I really like the premise and Loraine seems like a fun narrator.

  7. Have to agree with a couple of other commenters, I had a hard time finding my way into this piece. I really like your voice, but it kicks in so abruptly that I really had a hard time--I think starting with a quote compounds the problem. Maybe start out with something a bit more grounded before getting into the conversation. Your descriptions are very strong (love the cookie cocoon) but the imagery makes it a little hard to get a grip on this at the start.