My Novels

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Stormy day in the South. We may have severe storms later today here, but there's already thunderstorm watches in the southern part of our state.

I went on my bike ride early this morning, before the rain and storms started. The workers were mowing the park grass, so I rode up and down the steep hills on the streets. Got a great workout though. And even after eating out last night (delicious and calorie-laden stuff) I didn't even gain a pound! Yippee!

Here's the excerpts from "Enemy Women" by Paulette Jiles. First, an excerpt which shows the confusing style. I know some writers do this because it's artsy-fartsy...but I find it simply pretentious.

But I never did anything. Adair's voice was ragged, and her mouth was dry. She tried to jerk away from the soldiers who had hold of her arm, but this caused her to drop the tavern hat with the half a pie in it. One of the soldiers, a young man with a round pink face, let go of her arm and reached down to hand it back to her. Are you Lieutenant Colonel Miller?

Huh? See what I mean? And that is in one paragraph...some of the dialogue IS broken into paragraphs, which clarifies who's saying what...but most of the time, dialogue is mixed up with characters' thoughts/internal reflection.

However, I must admit there are some passages of beautiful prose, particularly concerning the protagonist's attempt at writing down her crimes/confession for the Yankee in charge of the prison. Here's a couple of examples:

....The needlework was very fine and regular. Adair hated needlework and she could not imagine sitting and stitching the fine crow's-foot seams.
Writing was the same, the pinching of thoughts into marks on paper and trying to keep your cursive legible, trying to think of the next thing to say and then behind you on several sheets of paper you find you have left permanent tracks, a trail, upon which anybody could follow you. Stalking you through your deep woods of private thoughts.

And so she wrote. She wrote the first thing that came into her head. She wrote in tumbling artless sentences that rambled and stopped and jumped from thought to thought. She drove the pen across the paper, her fingers white and thin as pale horses. To construct a world of high romance and innocence, innocence above all, to show him who he held in this place and melt his heart and make him let her go, as the Huntsman had paused in the snowy woods of Grimm and said to Snow White, Run for your life.

And that's it for this rainy, stormy day.

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