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At times I grow weary of her neverending, labyrinthine wendings. Its nothing we say out loud, its a conversation our eyes make in quiet moments. The pools of hers ring with muffled sighs she rarely loosens and appearantly, my own glaze over visibly with irritated confusion, in response.

She breaks the silence with an apology (she apologizes too much), which I wave away with a distracted, half-hearted hand.

I just wish youd let it go. I say. Its not as though anyone has died.

I dont look that mournful, do I? she asks.

Of course you do. I reply, judging Ive hit my mark by the brief flash of her grey, dewy eyes in which I could almost read, verbatim, a moment before, the impromptu near-monodies of an unshakable romantic.

I wish it were as simple a thing as just letting go.

But nothings ever been simple with you, eh?

She looks up, startled, and laughs. Her laugh is cherubic, lilting and light. Ive always loved the ease with which she absorbs my jabs. It tempers my impulse to shake her by the shoulders and demand that she snap out of her lingering moods.

Im happy that hes happy. Thats simple, isnt it?

How on earth would you know that hes happy?

Why, the same way I know most things. She murmurs, looking down coyly at her hands, with that distant yet assured look which is simultaneously endearing and maddening. Thank God I know better than to prod at a poets reasons or we might be at this line of logic all day. With a dubious sort of wisdom, then, I let her lapse into another ellipsis of silence, drinking in the sedate manner with which she studies the wavering nature of the weather and the undercurrent of her less explainable feelings.

Ah, Mercedes, its neither a blessing nor a curse that you feel so much in silence. Its simply the sort of pathos which attributes too much depth to the shifting of shadows and their shallow silver linings.

Though I suppose there is another kind of superficiality in the stubborn frequency with which my own green eyes speak of pragmatism, purpose and unshakable sensibility.

"All the darkness in the world
cannot put out the light
of one candle"

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The following comments are for "Conversations with Mercedes Allred"
by hazelfaern

Easy Reading
I know it's a clich, but this is a pleasant 'slice of life'. It's got a few minor technical issues, but overall it a great piece that displays, I think, a realistic piece of dialogue.

The few technical issues? Well, there are several instances of sentences that run far too long. Take this paragraph, for example: '...judging Ive hit my mark by the brief flash of her grey, dewy eyes in which I could almost read, verbatim, a moment before, the impromptu near-monodies of an unshakable romantic.'
It's far too long, with too many commas. Break it up into two shorter sentences that don't exhaust the reader's patience.

Aside from this: 'neverending' should be 'never ending' or 'never-ending'. 'Wendings' isn't a word, and in any case doesn't run smoothly in the context of the sentence.
'The pools of hers' is awkward. I'm not entirely sure how to rephrase it, though. Maybe try 'the pools of her own' or 'her pools', though neither of those is any better.
'Appearantly' is an incorrect spelling.

That's all I could find in the way of technical errors. I have to compliment you on third-from-last paragraph, an in particular the final sentence. It reads very smoothly and is well balanced.

That's all, for now. A very, very good piece.

( Posted by: MacLaren [Member] On: December 1, 2004 )

Granting Technical Errors
You are technically correct on a number of levels, MacLaren. "Wendings" is not a word, though wend and wending are listed in my dictionary. "Neverending" is likewise a fanciful folly written purely for my own enjoyment, much like my frequent misspelling of "grey". As someone who reads fantasy, I'm sure you're familiar with the source for "neverending"?

I have no idea how "appearantly" survived spell-check. I think I may have broken that program function on my computer through sheer abuse.

As a writer I am prone to tangents. I was trying to keep this composition brief so I rather awkwardly crammed a number of elements into a few convoluted, run-on sentences. I'll most likely go back through it at a later point and re-edit down the unnecessary bits and straighten out my burgeoning sentences.

I spent a great deal of time on "the pools of hers". It is absolutely akward but I couldn't come up with another way to say "eyes" without repeating "eyes". I think simply breaking that sentence down into smaller, simpler bits as you've suggested, might help me untangle what I'm trying to say.

Thanks for the feedback. I honestly didn't think I'd get any due to the ambiguous and difficult nature of the piece. The fact that you've read, commented and even asserted that you like this bit of flash means a great deal, especially as you've posited yourself as a fellow tough critic. I hope to see more of you 'round these parts.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

A Related Question
MacLaren, or anyone else who might know the answer -- while writing this piece I was trying to track down the word which is used to indicate the manner in which weather is dramatically used to imply the inner states of characters. I'm positive there is a word for this, though no amount of industrious search engine manipulation brought me anything near what I was looking for. Any clue as to what I'm talking about or am I making up my own vocabulary, here?

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

thought i'd comment on one of your works, since you seem to be both generous and insightful with yours.

i like the interior quality of this. so much going in what amounts to a very brief moment in time. however, its also what i'm not as thrilled with. i do believe that "a look" can speak volumes, but i'm wary of investing too much meaning in them as well. is it perhaps a little too writerly. also, as I mentioned with someone else, be careful with unassigned dialogue, especially after a long paragraph -- i don't want to have to retrace your steps to figure out who's speaking.
But -- really great. loved "shallow silver linings"

( Posted by: brad [Member] On: December 7, 2004 )

True-ish, Brad
I appreciate your interest, Brad, especially since you've gone out of your way to look up something which is no longer on the front page of Lit.

This particuar piece of flash is extraordinarly writerly. It's honestly simply an experiment based on the style of Colette, the prolific pre-feminist French author who wrote extensively about domestic life, relationships and passion, most saliently in The Pure and the Impure (a novella I love).

You're probably right about the unassigned dialogue -- I thought I could get away with it as it's only four lines and avoiding the repetition of she said/she said is something I value as a writer. (grimaces) I probably should have simply used my thesaurus a little more extensively, instead. Ah, well.

I am curios as to why you titled your comment "2"? A rating of 2 out of 10, which would seem to imply that I barely managed to log in and get something posted which was written in a style slightly more readable than that which can be managed by a fairly clever team of monkeys with a great deal of time and dexterity, strikes me as slightly contradictory to your comment that this piece, though overly writerly, was "really great". Am I reading too much into your titular numeral? Or were you simply referring to the fact that there are two characters here? I must admit, I'm rather flummoxed.

As I've said, at any rate, I really do appreciate the feedback and I hope to see more of your commentary round the site.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: December 8, 2004 )

no,no, no meaning to 2
Oh, i am sorry. 2 had no meaning what-so-ever, except that i was too lazy to fill in the subject and 2 was the first key i hit. very careless of me. i am sorry. more like 8.

putting your story into the context of colette actually helps me understand it. i can see the attempt. and as far as the assigned dialogue goes, i too dislike the "he said", "she said"s (and even more the attempts to mix it up with "proclaims and "exclaims, and "proposes") its something i struggle with in my writing, so i'm probably overly attuned to it.
also, i think we tend to be more critical of that which we value, so i hope you except my words in that light. Thanks.

( Posted by: brad [Member] On: December 8, 2004 )

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