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The Cows

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Old 04-17-2006, 08:08 PM
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The Cows


This is a story I wrote using prompts from another group, thought it would be a good intro for my first posting so you can see what type of writing I do.
IT is a memory scene..



nebulous clouds surf
cobblestone fences around
potato fields

She sits at the computer, her head back against the head rest on her chair, her feet up on the seven drawer tackle box under her desk that she uses to keep art supplies. The Haiku the only thing on her computer screen.

Her mind, a million miles away in pastures filled with black and white cows of her youth. She could hear them mooing as the sun came up. All the cows lined up at the gate, waiting for Grandpa to open it and let them into the barn.

Nebulous clouds surfed overhead. Shadows dance over cobblestone fences.
Her sisters moan of discontent, overkill of her dipleasure at the rude awakening of their ridiculous bellowering. Gauzy sheets pulled tighter over sleepy heads. Soft breeze blowing fragrant lavendar throughout the room.

The smell of oats and corn and molasses permeating her nostrils like shellac as she enters the barn. Gentle hands slide across soft rumps. Tails clipped up so as not to corrupt the steaming white liquid teased from warm udders. Splash! Splash! Splash! Rhythmic sounds echo against metal buckets. Quiet sounds of munching hay. Soft moooos as cows speak their relief.

Rooster crowing on top of the barn. Hens and chicks scratch at scattered feed. Warm eggs nestled in nests of hay, searching the barn for hidden ones. Hidden kittens mew as distraught mommas watch on impatiently, while little hands gently cuddle and caress tiny hissing bundles.

The invisible traveller stops to smell the coffee brewing. Grandmothers kitchen becons welcome to all. Mmmmmmm the smell of fresh cured bacon entices the senses as the door opens. Flap jacks cooking on the griddle, Grandpas favorite, percolated potatoes boiling in the big pot. He loved percolated potatoes with lots of butter, soft yellow mounds of sweet cream butter. Churned with just the right amount of salt.

Biscuits baking in the oven, served with either spicey white sausage pepper gravy or Grandmas special honey butter or apple butter with lots of cinnamon.
Family sits patiently around the big wooden table, hand in hand as Grandpa says the morning prayer and reads from the big black Bible. His Amen echoed by those around him.

Grandma begins passing platters. Men folk first, she eats last. Large pitchers of fresh cold milk and just squeezed orange juice fill glasses to brimming. Forks clink as stomacks moan in overstuffed distress.

Busy days filling pails of fruit from bountiful berry bushes. Flowers fill vases with heavenly beauty.

Horses trotting down meadow paths, visiting with neighbors.

Grandmother decides to redo the old sunroom. Curious little elephants found marching under peeling blue wallpaper. Evening stories told by Grandfather tell of a shy lonely boy painting elephants on the wall to cheer an ailing little sister.

She wakes slowly as little hands touch her leg. A little voice so cheerful and bright rings into her reveries. "Grandma.. Wake up, I'm here!!"


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Old 04-21-2006, 07:26 PM
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She sits at the computer, her head back against the head rest on her chair, her feet up on the seven drawer tackle box under her desk that she uses to keep art supplies. The Haiku the only thing on her computer screen.That isn't a sentence. You need was or is in there somewhere, depending on what tense you're in.


Her mind, a million miles away in pastures filled with black and white cows of her youth. Same as above. THERE IS NO VERB. You need a subject and a verb for a sentence. SV. I ran. She ate, ect. She could hear them mooing as the sun came up. All the cows lined up at the gate, waiting for Grandpa to open it and let them into the barn.

Nebulous clouds surfed overhead. Shadows dance Past or present. Make up your mind.over cobblestone fences.
Her sisters moan of discontent, overkill of her dipleasure at the rude awakening of their ridiculous bellowering. Gauzy sheets pulled tighter over sleepy heads. Soft breeze blowing fragrant lavendar throughout the room.Neither of those are sentences. AGAIN. -sigh- I really don't feel like going through the rest of this
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:18 PM
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LMAO!! Who says I have to write like that? It isn't my style honey.. This was just accepted for publication in Coffeehouse Press Journal. I got the acceptance the afternoon I posted it here.

Thanks for your critique.
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:52 PM
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congrats for the publishing of this. i guess you don't need a critique, but they are good for the site etc. so,,, here you are


She sits at the computer, her head back against the head rest on her chair, her feet up on the seven drawer tackle box under her desk that she uses to keep art supplies. The Haiku the only thing on her computer screen.
this first par is a good intro, but it's kind of an odd sentence build. the first sentence is very very long and descripitive, and the second is short. it kind of shocks the reader...

Nebulous clouds surfed overhead. Shadows dance over cobblestone fences.
Her sisters moan of discontent, overkill of her dipleasure at the rude awakening of their ridiculous bellowering. Gauzy sheets pulled tighter over sleepy heads. Soft breeze blowing fragrant lavendar throughout the room.
the transition into the scene is a bit rocky. i can see she's daydreaming it..but the descriptions are a bit too abstract and wordy to start a scene.

The smell of oats and corn and molasses permeating her nostrils like shellac as she enters the barn. Gentle hands slide across soft rumps. Tails clipped up so as not to corrupt the steaming white liquid teased from warm udders. Splash! Splash! Splash! Rhythmic sounds echo against metal buckets. Quiet sounds of munching hay. Soft moooos as cows speak their relief.
yum. i like the cow descriptions. mooooo

Busy days filling pails of fruit from bountiful berry bushes. Flowers fill vases with heavenly beauty.
i think the long span of days distracts from the great close-up descriptions you have.

overall, great peice. it is very lyrical and the imagery is so tasty. literally! i feel like being on a farm and eating yummy things and being in the sun. hah good job. a few minor things, but i like the peice
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:26 PM
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Thank you Dogwood. I like the way you critique. It is the way a proper critique should be done.

I agree that the sentences are a bit disjointed and shock the reader .. that seems to be my point in doing them that way.

I appreciate your reading and critique. The rocky transition is something the Editor wanted me to correct before it goes to print.

Thank you
~lacy~
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(Winston Churchill)
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:30 PM
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Hey congratulations on getting published!
nebulous clouds surf
cobblestone fences around
potato fields
This is fine

She sits at the computer, her head back against the head rest on her chair,
I wouldn't have used head twice so soon
her feet up on the seven drawer tackle box under her desk that she uses to keep art supplies
I would've just made that an entirely new sentence.
. The Haiku the only thing on her computer screen.
Same thing here.
Her mind, a million miles away in pastures filled with black and white cows of her youth.
I would've made that a part of the last paragraph and started a new one with the next sentence
She could hear them mooing as the sun came up. All the cows lined up at the gate, waiting for Grandpa to open it and let them into the barn.

Nebulous clouds surfed overhead. Shadows dance over cobblestone fences.
Her sisters moan of discontent, overkill of her dipleasure at the rude awakening of their ridiculous bellowering.
Fine except I think you meant to write bellowing for bellowering
Gauzy sheets pulled tighter over sleepy heads. Soft breeze blowing fragrant lavendar throughout the room.

The smell of oats and corn and molasses permeating her nostrils like shellac as she enters the barn. Gentle hands slide across soft rumps. Tails clipped up so as not to corrupt the steaming white liquid teased from warm udders. Splash! Splash! Splash! Rhythmic sounds echo against metal buckets. Quiet sounds of munching hay. Soft moooos as cows speak their relief.
I really like this except I'm not sure what speak their relief is. Maybe I'm just an idiot but I would change it.
Rooster crowing on top of the barn. Hens and chicks scratch at scattered feed. Warm eggs nestled in nests of hay, searching the barn for hidden ones. Hidden kittens mew as distraught mommas watch on impatiently, while little hands gently cuddle and caress tiny hissing bundles.

The invisible traveller stops to smell the coffee brewing. Grandmothers kitchen becomes welcome to all. Mmmmmmm the smell of fresh cured bacon entices the senses as the door opens. Flap jacks cooking on the griddle, Grandpa's favorite, percolated potatoes boiling in the big pot. He loved percolated potatoes with lots of butter;soft yellow mounds of sweet cream butter. Churned with just the right amount of salt.
I added some puncuation and things in here but if its not your style thats fine
Biscuits baking in the oven, served with either spicey white sausage pepper gravy or Grandmas special honey butter or apple butter with lots of cinnamon.
Family sits patiently around the big wooden table, hand in hand as Grandpa says the morning prayer and reads from the big black Bible. His Amen echoed by those around him.

Grandma begins passing platters. Men folk first, she eats last. Large pitchers of fresh cold milk and just squeezed orange juice fill glasses to brimming. Forks clink as stomacks moan in overstuffed distress.

Busy days filling pails of fruit from bountiful berry bushes. Flowers fill vases with heavenly beauty.

Horses trotting down meadow paths, visiting with neighbors.

Grandmother decides to redo the old sunroom. Curious little elephants found marching under peeling blue wallpaper. Evening stories told by Grandfather tell of a shy lonely boy painting elephants on the wall to cheer an ailing little sister.

She wakes slowly as little hands touch her leg. A little voice so cheerful and bright rings into her reveries. "Grandma.. Wake up, I'm here!!"
All of this I really like. Overall a great read. Congrats again for getting published. I wasn't really into the way you punctuate, I know thats your style and that you do it with intent of surprising the reader but I think its more likely people are just gonna be like 'woah this is wrong! not worth my time. . .' However, you did get published so you must be doing somethign right.

Please critique my work 'An Execution' from the fiction section, if you like my critique. If you don't, well, then at least savor your triumph that you got published

Last edited by Cuchulain; 04-21-2006 at 09:34 PM..
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:54 PM
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Cuchulain
Thank you for the nice critique. Actually, punctuation is my downfall. And thank God for spell check! My daughter always goes in and looks my work over before I send it anywhere. She fixes what needs fixing in that department, so the one that was accepted actually did have more going for it than this one. LOL
And I do have quite a few short stories and little short shorts like this that have been published. Not all of my work is disjointed and shocking. Just my farm life stories and a couple of from the heart reality pieces I wrote about my grandkids.

I will read your story and comment on it.

Thank you for the well written critique.

~lacy~
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"Writing a book is an adventure: To begin with it is a toy and amusement; then it becomes a master, and then it becomes a tyrant; and the last phase is just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude: you kill the monster and fling him to the public."
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Old 04-21-2006, 11:10 PM
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The Haiku being the only thing on her computer screen.
I think you need to add being, or some other word that makes that sentence flow easier.
Her sisters moan of discontent, overkill of her dipleasure at the rude awakening of their ridiculous bellowering. Gauzy sheets pulled tighter over sleepy heads. Soft breeze blowing fragrant lavendar throughout the room.
Dipleasure should be displeasure. Bellowering isn't a word, but I think you meant bellowing. Lavendar should be lavender.
The invisible traveller stops to smell the coffee brewing. Grandmothers kitchen becons welcome to all.
Traveller should be traveler. Grandmothers should be Grandmother's = Possessive. Becons should be Beckons
Flap jacks cooking on the griddle, Grandpas favorite, percolated potatoes boiling in the big pot.
Grandpas should be Grandpa's.
Forks clink as stomacks moan in overstuffed distress.
Should be stomachs
Biscuits baking in the oven, served with either spicey white sausage pepper gravy or Grandmas special honey butter or apple butter with lots of cinnamon.
Spicey should be spicy and Grandmas should be Grandma's.

____

This was sweet and very discriptive. If this was dedicated to your grandma, I'm sure she loved it because I know I would. If this was your memory, you've had a fell fullfilled life Congrats on a good non-fiction story.
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:21 AM
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Thanks Oasis, my spelling is bad, and my typing is worse,
But at 50, I am happy to get the words typed at all. LOL
Thank you for your nice critique.
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(Winston Churchill)
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:26 AM
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You're very welcome, like I said, awesome story, and I'm assuming you've lived this, so you're a very lucky woman. Keep up the awesome work
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:38 AM
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Yes, this is a memory from my childhood. And now my own grandchildren are getting to make very similar memories.
We live on a farm and raise American Quarter Horses and American Paint horses. And peacocks. We have 2 grandsons who recently came to live with us. Their Dad passed away and our daughter moved home with the boys. So now the boys are in 4-H and we will be having calves around the place again.
And I suppose we will have to get them some sheep as well.
Now all the other grankids want to move in with us as well. LOL
We will have a house full this summer.
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"Writing a book is an adventure: To begin with it is a toy and amusement; then it becomes a master, and then it becomes a tyrant; and the last phase is just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude: you kill the monster and fling him to the public."
(Winston Churchill)
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:43 AM
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Congratulations I'm glad your memories are filled and your life stellar as can be. It sounds like you have a lot of fun on your hands. Always good. I'm off for the night, so I wish you the best of dreams and memories. Impeccable story.

G'Night
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Old 04-22-2006, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ~lacy~
LMAO!! Who says I have to write like that? It isn't my style honey.. This was just accepted for publication in Coffeehouse Press Journal. I got the acceptance the afternoon I posted it here.

Thanks for your critique.
Congrats. I'm glad it's getting published. I didn't know that there were 'styles' as far as whether or not a couple of words is a sentence or a sentence fragment, but you learn something new every day. For the record, that wasn't sarcastic at all. I really didn't know it was acceptable to have sentences without verbs.

It is the way a proper critique should be done.
I wasn't aware there was a 'proper' way to critique something... And I hope you weren't insinuating that my critique was improper, because you're the first complaint I've gotten. If you'd really not like me to critique your peices, let me know and I won't. -huff- -bad mood-

--Spark
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