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HumanYoYo
September 5th, 2014, 09:16 AM
Feedback would be much appreciated! A possible beginning to a new short story (some language):

It was the morning after the first snow fall of winter in Vancouver. Ashley had sat up for a while in the night and watched through the cloudy window as the flakes came into and out of view in the orange glow of the street lamp outside, and took pictures with her cell phone. By daybreak the sky was mostly clear. Things were warming up; in no time, everyone knew, it would look like countless jumbo-sized 7-11 cups had spilled some awful grey slush everywhere. Cyclists, in hopes that someone will have already salted the green bicycle lanes that run through down town, braved the semi-frozen inconvenience, commuted back and forth everywhere.

“Slush was general all over the Lower Mainland,” noted Rick to Ashley, when she went downstairs to the shop.

“Mor-ning!” she sang back in a descending third, “What’s this playing here, Lord of the Rings?”

“The Bridge of Khazad-Dum, from The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack,” he replied, “helps wake me up - better than coffee!”

The place was a music store called Mælstrom Records. On the west wall of the store was a giant painting of the famous Moskstraumen maelstrom in Norway, taken from the Carta Marina. In the back was a workshop where Rick fixed broken sound systems, built custom guitars and effects pedals, and polished up old vinyls. Next door, on the side closer to downtown, was Cronus Gaming, or as Leif Finstad, Rick and Ashley’s Norwegian friend, liked to call it, Nerd Himmelen. There was a nook in the back with a sizable playing table, which happened to be the command centre of the Vancouver Roleplayers’ Collective, or VRC. Rick was an off-and-on member. On the other side of Cronus Gaming was a fine spirits pub called The Salmon Arm, and a tattoo parlour called Glowgator Tattoo & Piercing on the corner. Up the other direction, away from downtown, was a hair salon/beauty parlour called Q Tips, Rhoda the hippie chick’s psychic shop called The Sundial, and a Vietnamese spoon called Phở-Shizzle. Above the street level shops were apartments. Everyone knew each other.

Leif came in late, soaked, and muttered to himself faen, faen, faen…

“What’s the matter, leafy green?” inquired Ashley.

“This damn wet snow everywhere. Can’t walk down the street without being sprayed by a passing car…”

“Ah, diddums!” The slush problem meant that special precautions had to be taken. Such as having a mop handy next to the entrance, putting up, and keeping up all winter, a Floor is Slippery when Wet sign, even installing a special guard rail to hold onto while walking in. There used to be a tally for the coworkers to bet on how many “trips” there would be any given day (the most was forty six) until Ashley piped up one day that she is sorry to be the party-pooper, but someone is gonna probably wind up in the hospital with a slipped disk one of these days, and perhaps being sued isn’t the best business strategy.

Leif went to the back to see about a box of records reserved for a collector that was supposed to be coming by. Rick sat awaiting customers. Ashley went out. On the way up the street she stopped in at The Sundial to say hello to Rhoda. The air was musky from the smoking sticks of incense. Rhoda wasn’t freaking out, exactly, but something like that.

“Ash, hi?”

“Hey. You good, Rhoda?”

“I don’t know. It’s just. I talked to Leif last night? And he told me about how whales have like, 2000 IQ? And all Cetaceans basically see sound? And how their songs are probably this really complex language that carries in the water, all around the world. And how we humans, with our numerous shipping lanes and such, are probably messing them up? Like clouds of sound blocking up their communication?”

“Umm, oh, Rhoda, it’s probably not that bad, I uh…”

“But no, like, it gets worse? Cause I was thinking… and what if they’re so smart, they have their own cetacean religions? And they think humans above are some sort of god-like creatures? And they have, like, suicide cults?”

“Jesus.”

“Think about it. All those beached whales?”

“That’s very, well, hmm… Hey, I’m going to get some coffee, want me to bring you back some green tea?”

“Green tea my ass. I may be a hippie chick. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate a good cup of coffee in the morning.”

“Okay, okay… soy milk, though, right?” by which time Rhoda had started throwing the incense sticks at her. She got to the coffee shop, JavaLava, which sold, some might think, too-hot coffee. But she was friends with one of the baristas. She got a text from Rick saying,

Hey, this is Leif. So, projectile slush water soaked through my pants and fucked my cellphone, so if you need to contact me, do it through Rick’s phone. He doesn’t use this thing anyway.

She replied,

K

Ashley originally knew Leif through her brother, Will. At the time, Will was a general contractor for construction up and down the coast. Leif was a recent immigrant from Narvik, living up in Sechelt. He was a marine biologist, studying a west coast sea slug, the giant nudibranch, counting rhinophores, lamellae… One day Will got a call telling him there was “a situation” at one of the sites. It appeared that some sort of nut job had been running amok, screaming and shouting about ‘runoff’ and ‘nudist-branches’.

MissTerious
September 5th, 2014, 10:59 PM
I liked it! I think it was well written though I was a little confused in some of the parts. :)

kyl
September 6th, 2014, 03:20 AM
Hi there. Overall I enjoyed the piece. That being said, my comments are going to be in blue. All of these things are purely my opinion. Feel free to ignored them.


It was the morning after the first snow fall of winter in Vancouver. Ashley had sat up for a while in the night and watched through the cloudy window as the flakes came into and out of view in the orange glow of the street lamp outside, and took pictures with her cell phone. By daybreak the sky was mostly clear. Things were warming up; in no time, (everyone knew,) I feel you could eliminate this and nothing would be lost. it would look like countless jumbo-sized 7-11 cups had spilled some awful grey slush everywhere. Cyclists, in hopes that someone will have already salted the green bicycle lanes that run through down town, braved the semi-frozen inconvenience, commuted back and forth everywhere.

“Slush was general all over the Lower Mainland,” noted Rick to Ashley, when she went downstairs to the shop.

“Mor-ning!” She sang back in a descending third, “What’s this playing here, Lord of the Rings?”

“The Bridge of Khazad-Dum, from The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack,” he replied, “helps wake me up - better than coffee!” I honestly don't know how I feel about this parapragh. Is not bad, but, I'm not fan either.

The place was a music store called Mælstrom Records. On the west wall of the store was a giant painting of the famous Moskstraumen maelstrom in Norway, taken from the Carta Marina. In the back was a workshop where Rick fixed broken sound systems, built custom guitars and effects pedals, and polished up old vinyls. Next door, on the side closer to downtown, was Cronus Gaming, or as Leif Finstad, Rick and Ashley’s Norwegian friend, liked to call it, Nerd Himmelen. There was a nook in the back with a sizable playing table, which happened to be the command centre of the Vancouver Roleplayers’ Collective, or VRC. Rick was an off-and-on member. On the other side of Cronus Gaming was a fine spirits pub called The Salmon Arm, and a tattoo parlour called Glowgator Tattoo & Piercing on the corner. Up the other direction, away from downtown, was a hair salon/beauty parlour called Q Tips, Rhoda the hippie chick’s psychic shop called The Sundial, and a Vietnamese spoon called Phở-Shizzle. Above the street level shops were apartments. Everyone knew each other. I get a little sense of infodump in this paragraph.

Leif came in late, soaked, and muttered to himself faen, faen, faen…

“What’s the matter, leafy green?” Inquired Ashley.

“This damn wet snow everywhere. Can’t walk down the street without being sprayed by a passing car…”

“Ah, diddums!” The slush problem meant that special precautions had to be taken. Such as having a mop handy next to the entrance, putting up, and keeping up all winter, a Floor is Slippery when Wet sign, even installing a special guard rail to hold onto while walking in. There used to be a tally for the coworkers to bet on how many “trips” there would be any given day (the most was forty six) until Ashley piped up one day that she is sorry to be the party-pooper, but someone is gonna probably wind up in the hospital with a slipped disk one of these days, and perhaps being sued isn’t the best business strategy.

Leif went to the back to see about a box of records reserved for a collector that was supposed to be coming by. Rick sat awaiting customers. Ashley went out. On the way up the street she stopped in at The Sundial to say hello to Rhoda. The air was musky from the smoking sticks of incense. Rhoda wasn’t freaking out, exactly, but something like that.

“Ash, hi?”

“Hey. You good, Rhoda?”

“I don’t know. It’s just. I talked to Leif last night? And he told me about how whales have like, 2000 IQ? And all Cetaceans basically see sound? And how their songs are probably this really complex language that carries in the water, all around the world. And how we humans, with our numerous shipping lanes and such, are probably messing them up? Like clouds of sound blocking up their communication?”

“Umm, oh, Rhoda, it’s probably not that bad, I uh…”

“But no, like, it gets worse? Cause I was thinking… and what if they’re so smart, they have their own cetacean religions? And they think humans above are some sort of god-like creatures? And they have, like, suicide cults?”

“Jesus.”

“Think about it. All those beached whales?” I'm laughning at this exchange. If that is your intention, well done.

“That’s very, well, hmm… Hey, I’m going to get some coffee, want me to bring you back some green tea?”

“Green tea my ass. I may be a hippie chick. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate a good cup of coffee in the morning.”

“Okay, okay… soy milk, though, right?” By which time Rhoda had started throwing the incense sticks at her. She got to the coffee shop, JavaLava, which sold, some might think, too-hot coffee. But she was friends with one of the baristas. She got a text from Rick saying,

"Hey, this is Leif. So, projectile slush water soaked through my pants and fucked my cellphone, so if you need to contact me, do it through Rick’s phone. He doesn’t use this thing anyway." I'm asuming this is a dialogue. She replied,

K ?

Ashley originally knew Leif through her brother, Will. At the time, Will was a general contractor for construction up and down the coast. Leif was a recent immigrant from Narvik, living up in Sechelt. He was a marine biologist, studying a west coast sea slug, the giant nudibranch, counting rhinophores, lamellae… One day Will got a call telling him there was 'a situation' at one of the sites. It appeared that some sort of nut job had been running amok, screaming and shouting about ‘runoff’ and ‘nudist-branches’.


That is all I could do. Not bad in my opinion. Overall I enjoyed. Keep the work.

HumanYoYo
September 6th, 2014, 06:15 AM
Thanks for the feedback, kyl! Very helpful.
Yes that part about the whales was intentionally funny.
I agree, that paragraph is a bit heavy on the info. It's a catalogue. Those shops and apartments are important for later on in the story, but I couldn't really figure out how to describe them all without making it clunky...

Another thing, that part you assumed dialogue is a text message. I'm never sure whether or not I should put quotation marks around things like notes or texts. In another thing I wrote I tried it out like:

Tom - Hey
Linda - Wuts up?
Tom - nm

to make it seem less formal, but I'm not sure if that's correct.