Proust’s Playlist, draft bit the fourth, for Sunday Snippets


Hi, everyone,

Here is the next submission for our Sunday Snippet review. Attentive readers might note that I have changed Mal’s musical ability – now, she is a conservatory drop-out, instead of a self-taught fan. We’ll see what happens….

As noted before (but always worth repeating) – this is a first draft. I’m jumping around in the story a bit, trying to find both footing and a better sense of how to approach it. I expect that there are many holes to fill and rough spots to smooth, and I look forward to hearing people’s suggestions.

I’m continuing to play with the concept of how I want to tell this story, in addition to the prose itself. It’s entirely possible that as this project goes on, it will morph into an altogether different form and style. Hopefully, with lots of show and emotion.

Thank you for your time,

Shannon

Please visit the sites of other Sunday Snippets collaborators:

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com/

http://www.mandyevebarnett.com

http://womanbitesdog.wordpress.com/

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com

http://writerscrash.blogspot.com

http://wehrismypen.wordpress.com

http://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com

**************************

Mal paced her creaking floors for an hour, listening to the wind pick up outside and biting her nails. Every five minutes or so, she would walk over to her cell phone and look at it expectantly, as if she could have missed it ringing. She confirmed that the ringer was not on silent. Twice. She picked up one of the songs, and began reading it as she walked.

Timmy knew she didn’t play anymore. Mal had put down her guitar, had dropped out of the conservatory program she had almost finished, two years ago. Β He knew this. He even knew why. One of the reasons they had been able to remain friends was his ability to not ask questions.

When Mal withdrew from Berklee, her friends and classmates assumed she would return in less than a year. It made sense that she would want some time off after everything, that she would want privacy to reorganize her life and make arrangements, but no one believed that anyone who loved music as much as she did could ever just quit.

For Mal, their lack of empathy simply proved their lack of understanding. She understood that she was not the first person, or the only person, who had lost her family too quickly. She knew that many people used their instruments to grieve, or to hide, or to reconstruct. What she couldn’t explain to others was that she had only ever been able to play because they listened. Without her family to be her audience, she no longer wanted to play. It seemed senseless and even selfish. It was brutally lonely, and she was lonely enough.

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About Shannon Blue Christensen

Storyteller. Author. Editor. Literary Critic. Director. Teacher. Knitter. nascent Musician. Student. Operations and Quality. Marketing. Historian. Lear's Fool. View all posts by Shannon Blue Christensen

6 responses to “Proust’s Playlist, draft bit the fourth, for Sunday Snippets

  • Richard Leonard

    Hi Shannon,
    I enjoyed the first paragraph. It showed her impatience and anxiety (?), quite well. However I felt I was thrown around a bit with the head-hopping between Mal and Tim’s POV’s. Is Tim in the room with her, watching her silently?
    By the end I felt the story telling had stopped in order to fill us in.
    Having said that I found the history of her music studies clear and very believable. Well done! πŸ™‚

  • itsjennythewren

    Did you know you started every paragraph with a name? Repeted Mal in the last two and confused me abit.

    cell phone- in uk we call it mobile so if audience is not uk then its fine πŸ™‚

    Missing a comma i think with the ringer twice bit πŸ™‚

    Good overall story though :0 x

  • caitlinstern

    “Every five minutes or so, she would walk over to her cell phone and look at it expectantly, as if she could have missed it ringing. She confirmed that the ringer was not on silent. Twice. She picked up one of the songs, and began reading it as she walked.”
    I like the tension, but I’m missing some description. Where is this phone–on a dresser, her bed, etc. And I want to see her put it down between checking the ringer and looking at the music.
    Does she fling it on top of her bed? Does she put it down gently on a table? Face-up so she can see it light up if someone calls, or face down because she’s trying to stop checking the dang phone so much?

    “Without her family to be her audience, she no longer wanted to play. It seemed senseless and even selfish. It was brutally lonely, and she was lonely enough.”
    Wow! Nice emotional impact, except for the two ‘its.’ I had to double check to make sure you were still talking about the same thing. A little bit of clarification might help here, without lessening the stark feeling of these lines.

    Keep playing with the story, I’m sure you’ll get there!

  • debyfredericks

    You capture her grief well, and the frustration of waiting for a call. I wondered how these two things are connected, though, and I didn’t really know what was at stake for this character. If you could somehow bring more forward movement to the plot, I think that might help.

  • Let's CUT the Crap!

    I feel Mal’s anxiety but wonder what it’s all about. I know Timmy’s not in the room with her…might she have a bit of internal conversation/thought to clear up the second paragraph? I’m more curious about Mal now and her story.

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