Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drop The Needle 34

Title: Daisy Parker
Genre: MG historical fiction

Jane was better, less of a cough. There was no eye contact when I first got there. She seemed embarrassed by her illness and letting the drink get the better of her. She'd combed her hair and there was a shirt drying on the back of the chair.

"You know you don't need to be here. I'm getting up soon," she said.

"Cummings says to take another day. They rented a snake act"

"What, he brought in some family member?"

I laid out the fancy foods. I told Jane they were from Julia.

"A real lady, not like some. Tell her I inquired after her."

"You going back to the show?"

"I guess. Keep working. Save up for a ticket back." She was quiet for a moment, "I'm a Legend in her own time, remember, pony express rider and whatnot. After hearing them stories a few times, just mighta been the way it happened. Daisy, it's been a long time, and a lot of not-always-water has passed under the bridge. And Bill, Wild Bill Hickock, hell, might as well claim him too." She opened a food tin with her pocketknife and sniffed it.
"What you going to do next? They for sure can't stay on the road with a baby." She gave one of the pastries a squeeze to see what was inside. "They get sick, take cold, breaks your heart. They need an awful lot of stuff, small as they are."

I felt sure she was speaking from experience.


  1. I think Jane comes across well in this piece. She seems tough as nails, and determined.

  2. I was a little confused on the part about cough and then letting the drink get the better of her - was she sick from illness or from drinking alcohol? Anyway, Jane seemed like a realistic woman who'd seen some things in her lifetime, and had a lot of spirit. I got a sense of her from this, yes.

  3. Sounds good, I like both characters.

  4. Jane is the SC here, right? I feel like I know the viewpoint character better than her, but Jane comes across as strong and determined not to be an invalid. I like the underlying implication that Jane once had a child.

  5. I'm not really sure at all what went on between Jane feeling better and then wondering what she'd do with a baby on the road. Mostly, it was the shifting dialogue that confused me and thus prevented me from really getting into your character's heads.

  6. Jane comes across as weathered, someone who has seen a lot and been through a lot. I like her tough side.

  7. Jane is Calamity Jane, right? I think you've hit her toughness and determination right on the head here, along with her bravado.

  8. I'm thinking Jane is the SC here, but only because it's in first person POV.

    Jane really seems to dominate this scene. She seems worldly, masculine (opened a food tin with her pocketknife), but you give little hints of softness (She was quiet for a moment).

  9. I'd like the mc's voice to be more distinct from Jane's.

    The "What, he brought in some family member?" line cracked me up.

    I wonder how much I'm bringing to this piece since I know this is Calamity Jane, and how much you're giving me. Hard to say. I'd want more than 250 words to decide.


  10. Jane works well here - I feel like I know her really well already.

  11. I'm guessing the SC is Jane. I didn't get too much of a read on her but I got the impression that she doesn't like other people to witness her weakness.

  12. [grins]

    She reminds me of somebody I know. A tough and harsh critic of an old lady, somewhat coarse and verging on impolite, who likes talking about the old days... who always gives you a shock when you realize she's actually nice under all that.