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Unread 11-13-2020, 04:22 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 3,818

Hi James,

This is really strong. I particularly love the snow angel.

My main thought was whether you need to have this:

Now it always snows / in her dreams, no matter the season / in her sleep—

since it spells out in advance what is shown by what follows with the examples of it snowing in her dreams out of season. It would require some tweaking if you cut it, but it might be worth exploring. To be clear, I'm not saying that I think it necessarily should go, just that it might be something to think about.

I also agree with Rob on the comma-spliced first line.



Last edited by Matt Q; 11-13-2020 at 04:27 AM.
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Unread 11-13-2020, 02:22 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: *
Posts: 2,096

Ha, Jim- I was wondering if The Dead would come up. After this was just about in its present state, I had that realization, which led me, in
panic, to reread the last bits of it. In short, I think this is doing something very different, thank christ, and I don't mind at all if there's a little Joyce in there. His fiction is some of the best poetry ever written, imo. And, I knew that song, Jim, but couldn't remember how it went. So, looking it up, I stumbled on this, which I think is pretty cool.

Thank you, Rick. A lot better than I don't have much to add- this sucks.

Matt, thanks, as usual, for your eye on detail. The first line worries me more than the other part you mentioned. It might be a little unnecessary in that I could be more economical about it, but I like how season in her sleep etc reads, at the moment. I still want to keep the first line, too, but I'm still thinking about that. An em dash might work better there, but I lean on em dashes too much (they are wonderful though). And I want her living past death to be immediately connected to his heart stopped. But, as I mentioned to Rob, the confusion might not be worth it.

Last edited by James Brancheau; 11-13-2020 at 02:38 PM.
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Unread 11-21-2020, 09:02 AM
Andrew Mandelbaum's Avatar
Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland Maine
Posts: 3,541

Good one here, James. I think the setting of snow and cold as the post-loss world works well here. All the details are convincing and feel moved in from a real life. The opening phrase doesn't work for me. I would leave that first half of L1 blank and just start with his heart stopped, abruptly, midline, like it did.
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Unread 11-21-2020, 09:32 AM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,978

Very good. The best of yours that I remember. Very good. A keeper. The first line is either very good or very bad. I don't suggest how you could change it. It's like the growl of the starter motor when you turn the ignition key in a car. You want the engine to run. Well, it does. Otherwise, pretty nice. Remarkable. Your best.
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Unread 11-24-2020, 10:11 AM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: *
Posts: 2,096

That's a pretty good idea, Andrew. I wouldn't have thought of that. One of the reasons I'd like to hang on to what's there (or something like what's there) is that it might work with the living and dead bit near the close. Or maybe that doesn't really come through anyway and so it doesn't matter. I'm still gnawing on my options and your suggestion is certainly one of them. Thank you.

Thanks, Allen. I appreciate that. Still toying with the ignition and glad you liked this.
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