Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #19

TITLE: Getting to Candyland
GENRE: Adult Women's

"I've decided I can't continue this way," I say, my voice strong, confident, rational. Not a whine or sob in earshot. Inside, however, my stomach clutches and my intestines buck back in protest. I’ve been working up my nerve to confront Frank for weeks. "I need to know if we're a couple, if we mean something more to each other than a casual friend and a convenient lay as required."

           Frank groans, rolls his head against the back of the booth. "Don't, Claire. This behavior is past the point of charming eccentricity. When you snuck up to my bedroom window to make faces through the glass--that was kind of cute. Talking your girlfriend into acting like a hooker to offer me her services, more extreme. You already have a reputation as a border-line freak. An ugly confrontation in the middle of a cheap restaurant won't improve our relationship."

            "What ugly confrontation?" I'm astounded to hear my voice rise in volume and tone. "I want a simple, calm discussion. And what do you mean by 'border-line freak?' Who called me that?"

            He sits bolt upright and snaps his fingers toward the waitress. When she looks in his direction, he points an index finger toward the surface in front of him. "Some of my friends. After you stood on a table one night and declaimed poetry. You weren't even drunk.” Now he watches me. “What's next, pierced nipples?"

            "Don’t you wish? Frank, you are becoming a tight-ass. If a little unusual behavior blows you away, you're in for a boring, narrow life. Let loose. Don't always do and think what's expected of you." Why am I pushing? Do I want to lose my only lover?

            "And you are a pain in the ass. Three in the morning, for God's sake. Can't this wait?"

6 comments:

  1. Okay, here's the thing. I don't know if I'm supposed to, but I absolutely loathe Frank. He is awful. And the fact that Claire thinks he's worth hanging onto makes me think less of her.

    Of course, at the beginning of the book, that might be the point. She has this flaw to overcome, and we'll get to see her journey to be stronger and more confident. If that's what you were going for, you've succeeded beautifully. The two personalities come through clearly. (Frank snapping his fingers at the waitress is an especially nice, subtle touch.)

    Thank you for sharing and good luck.

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  2. This is not a genre that I read, so I feel very unqualified to offer suggestions.

    I think that taking out "frank groaned" would be good. Just his leaning his head back tells enough.

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    1. Interesting perspective. I'll think about it. Thanks.

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  3. I don't read this genre either. Each has a defined personality, that's shines through. I'm not sure about "declaimed poetry". It doesn’t sound natural given the speech pattern so far.

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  4. I'll think about this, too. Both are college students with some pretensions. Thanks.

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