Friday, January 28, 2011

The 99th Page Blogfest

The lovely ladies at Slice of the Blog Pie are hosting a 99th Page Blogfest. Here's my page 99 for your review. 1. Would you turn to page 100? 2. Why or why not? 3. Based on what you read, how likely would you be to buy the book?
For your critiques...Outta the Bag, Page 99:


I found the puffiest grass and flopped on my back. My playlist must’ve picked up on my good mood, because Freddie Mercury’s velvety voice swam between my ears when I pressed shuffle. I gave the sky an open-mouthed smile and hummed along, feeling the silky caress of sleep against my mind.
I didn’t make it to the chorus.
Through the sea of onlookers, I watched the mousy woman bite her thumbnail. Her forehead and cheeks were dashed with long scars, but looking closer, I realized they were just the weathered lines of age. A round man in an expensive suit approached and offered her a glass of water. She released her bleeding thumb and accepted the cup with a quaking hand, only taking a sip before the glass slipped. The crash resonated in the courtroom like a sonic boom. Every eye fell on the expanding puddle.
My glance alone followed the confident blonde as she stepped from the last row. She wore a crimson skirt suit like a second skin, and her long, creamy legs should have garnered the attention of every man in the county. But the gentlemen present were silent, as were the ladies, all focused on that broken glass and the shuddering mess of a woman on the stand. Doc’s red heels click-clacked to the front of the room. She stood before the accused with her arms crossed and a finger pressed to her cheek. I took that opportunity to glance at the judge, the jurors, and the others in attendance. They were frozen, eyes blank and unseeing.
I slipped from my seat and walked to the front of the room. Doc’s normally arched brows were drawn into a straight line, leaving creases over the smooth skin of her forehead. She didn’t seem to notice me at first. She did a double take and grinned, but it slid away when she looked back at the crying woman.
“I find it very strange how the mind works.” Doc tipped her head forward, “This woman died in her sleep. When they find her, they’ll call it ‘old age.’ They won’t care that her only son died in Afghanistan last month, and they’ll never know she fought with him the last time they spoke. She chose to wait here and put herself on trial for it. Taking the blame for a stray bullet because she told him to join. He didn’t have a lot of options, and he resented her for it.” Doc turned her face away from me, but for a second, I saw tears sparkling in her eyes. “I remember exactly how she feels.”
It was a while before she turned back, but when she did, her tears were gone. She wore the teasing smirk I knew so well. I had a slew of new questions to add to my Doc file, and she knew it. She snapped her fingers once, and the woman and the courtroom around us vanished. I fell, arms flailing, onto a plaid couch. Doc sat across the room in a navy recliner and gestured to a tray of cookies on the table between us. Her hair was no longer pinned into its tight bun, but pushed back by a scarlet ribbon. It flowed down her back in sparkling yellows and golds. A lime sundress replaced her suit. I took a cookie to be polite, and she rewarded me with a smile that crinkled her eyes and washed away ten years.
“Is this your house, Doc?”
She munched on a chocolate square of some sort. “One of them. It was my favorite.”
We were in a sunroom, and I could see a small kitchen through the doorway beside Doc’s chair. There was a long window behind me, and the heat and light beating through it had faded the tops of the



That's it! Yikes! You get zero backstory or explanation, but any feedback/constructive criticism about my writing in general is welcome. Also, if you have time, pop around to the other page 99's from Slice of the Blog Pie and give them feedback (follow the link at the top of the post). Every, single comment helps.

I saw The Fighter last night, and you won't want to miss my 100 word review later today.

Thanks for reading!

-Marie

16 comments:

Erinn said...

The language was beautiful but the plot was hard to follow--- maybe because I"m reading this before my coffee. I'm assuming it was a dream, it had the same sort of a flow as a dream.

"Her forehead and cheeks were dashed with long scars, but looking closer, I realized they were just the weathered lines of age" Excellent description.
Thanks for participating.

Holly Dodson said...

I was a little confused from the transition from grass to courtroom. I didn't understand that we'd leapt into a dream until Erinn said so lol

I love your style though. You have beautiful descriptions.

Mo said...

Yeah, I decided a paragraph or so post-transition that she'd fallen asleep and this was the dream. It was a little disorienting, but mostly because I felt like I need more information to understand it - which is a motivation to keep reading!

Also, agree with Holly and Erinn - the description is really beautiful, and really clear - it creates a real image in my mind.

Christa said...

Yep, the 99th page exercise is random and tricky. Your writing is lovely but we need page 1, not page 99. Also, I am not sure who your audience is in this so I can't even speak to the tone of voice.

Marie Rearden said...

Oh, if only you all had page 98 and page 100 (and maybe the rest)! Thanks for the comments. You're wonderful.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

The dream thing confused me too, but I love the, "My playlist must’ve picked up on my good mood..." line.

Kate said...

You have lots of great descriptions in there. I'd prefer to read the first 98 pages first, but would keep reading anyway.

Pam Harris said...

Oh, I see how the scene transitioned to the court room. It starts with the line: "I didn't make it to the chorus," right? Subtle, but good! I'm curious to know what happens up to this point as well. :)

Carrie said...

Very intriguing! Beautiful language and descriptions.

Alexis Bass Writes said...

Beautiful writing. The first line hooked me because I've totally looked for the puffy grass before. :)

Heather M. Gardner said...

Very well written, I would turn the page. Thanks for sharing.

Perri said...

Beautiful writing. I love the description of "Doc". The pace is quite slow, maybe because there is so much description in the dream.

I love the ipod stuff in the beginning.

HowLynnTime said...

It pleased Doc that the teller took the cookie. It means the teller believes in her. Ahh, it's a boy to notice her legs? Weave on, Oh great one!

HowLynnTime said...

I am 22...catch 22, LOL. Hey I cheated because I posted the pg98 in my comments, Please come back if you can and see if you have a suggestion for that POV shift from 1st -3rd in context. That paragraph has been a Thorn, so funny that was pg 99. Thanks...and I love, love, love Doc! Is she a demon or something nicer?

Marie Rearden said...

HowLynnTime, great catch there. I'm not sure why Kat, the first person POV and my main character, would describe Doc's legs as 'creamy.' Wow. I've read this book in all its varied drafts seven times and flittered right over that.

How about 'her long legs (so jealous!)...' because I love intra-sentence parenthetic thoughts. :) It's how Kat thinks.

And Doc's not a demon. She's lighter than that, but a bit more complicated. Ooooh, I may have to introduce her next.

Thanks!

Marie

Racquel Henry said...

I love your use of details! I'd keep reading! Also, thanks for commenting on my page 99! :)