These are the last paragraphs of the first chapter of my memoir (WIP) WE'RE NOT ORDINARY PEOPLE
PS: This is the last 25 lines of my word doc so don't scold me for it being more here please *wince* *ducks from swinging hand*
As far as I can remember, my early childhood was pretty much the way early childhood should be. Aside from the fact that my school teachers couldn’t quite figure out who to direct their feedback to during parent teacher interviews—my mum, my step father, Demetri, my biological father (hereby known as John) or John’s wife (hereby known as Mary). And aside from the fact that I’d occasionally get to sing on Mum and Demetri’s albums, or appear in music videos dressed in my neighbour’s red sparkly callisthenics costume, regardless of the fact that the clip was being filmed in black and white. And aside from the fact that … ok, my early childhood wasn’t normal either, but I was happy. I was happier than any other kid at five. I did after all have four loving parents to take care of me.
But. As time heals all wounds, time can also create them. I’ll never forget the day I realised we weren’t like everybody else. I think I was about six years old. My mum came to pick me up from school and I could see her thick black gothic eyebrows walking up the street before I could actually see her. I could also see everybody staring. It hadn’t ever occurred to me before that not all mothers drew their eyebrows on. I also came to realise that most women wanted to make their eyebrows thinner, not thicker, which posed another question that I needed answering at a later point. As she bent down to give me a kiss and take my school bag to carry, I said, ‘Please don’t wear your eyebrows to school again.’
That’s the day things stopped being simple and my happiness began to represent a struggle. Of course, now that I look back, I realise how much Mum loved me and wasn’t out to embarrass me, or to hurt me for that matter. But kids at that age can only see what’s on the surface. And what I saw was not the pair of sparkling blue-grey eyes that oozed with delight and pride at the sight of me waiting for her patiently behind the school gate, what I saw, and continued to see until my early twenties, was the pair of embarrassing black lines above them.
Don't forget to sign up for my Internal Conflict Blog Fest!
PS: It's very possible I will not turn my computer on again until Monday. But, when I do, I promise I'll get to all of the other blog fest entries! It's my partner's birthday and I promised I would devote him all my attention. Have a great weekend everyone! :)
Saturday, 1 May 2010
Last Line Blog Fest - click me to see host :)
“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp
“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin
“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney
“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch
“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland
“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris
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I like the voice and tone here, but this line?ReplyDelete
As she bent down to give me a kiss and take my school bag to carry, I said, ‘Please don’t wear your eyebrows to school again.’
Best line ever. Just perfect. Have a great weekend. :)
I like the voice too! And SarahJayne's right: that's the best line ever!ReplyDelete
Have a great weekend!
That is a great line, and so is the last one.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed it very much,ReplyDelete
Have a great week-end.
See you Monday(I hope)
Love it! This really makes me want to keep reading and get to know the mc (and her assorted parental figures) better. Great job, and have a wonderful weekend!ReplyDelete
A wonderful write, thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed this. Great job! Love the voice.ReplyDelete
I love the eyebrow line--but then I hate my eyebrows. They're kinda Brooke Shield like (Blue Lagoon anyone?) Except I'm a blonde (or I was, that's another story) so plucking is the bane of my existence.ReplyDelete
Loved your excerpt, especially the sentence about the eyebrows. That sentence said so much. Have a glorious weekend.ReplyDelete
Talli, Sarahjayne and I have the same mindframe! That was exactly what I was going to say! Well done.ReplyDelete
I love knowing that I am one of your favs, makes me feel super awesome considering your super cool!!!
Excellent excerpt Jessica! I really liked how you captured your young childlike voice and thoughts...Children always look at the world so differently...i can't wait to read this! Have a great w-end!ReplyDelete
Amazing. Love this!!! Eyebrows like that scare me too (and I'm a crapload older than 5)ReplyDelete
This is wonderful! I have always wondered about my "goth" friends from high school and what would happen when they had children--would the kids embrace their parents' differences or find them strange? This piece offered a really interesting perspective, and I really enjoyed the voice! Great job!ReplyDelete
The two lines about the eyebrows were great! Looking forward to reading more of this.ReplyDelete
Jessica - thanks for dropping by and following.ReplyDelete
Your characters drew me in - the mother and her child - I could feel her painful embarrassment.
This was so true to life and so well written. Every child at some time or another gets embarrassed by something about their parents, you made us really feel what the child felt.ReplyDelete
This is a great depiction of an adult looking back at the difficulties of childhood -- I can definitely relate to the mc. Nicely done!ReplyDelete
It really is a great voice--great positioning for the story. I would love to see more. I'm curious whether you are always the adult telling a story, or whether you slide into the voice of the child, as if she's telling it at all. I think this piece really nicely establishes that it IS reflection, but would allow the reader to fall under the child's voice spell, with all of her misunderstandings of what matters.ReplyDelete
(agree about those two stellar lines, too--the focus on the eyebrows is so tangible)
Awesome scene...and lines! Thank you.ReplyDelete
Wow! That was...intense! (I actually feel bad for Mum!) Great job, and thanks for participating!ReplyDelete
Oh, that hit home...great last line.ReplyDelete
Love your blog header...I'm all for literary deliciousness!ReplyDelete
PS: Stop by my blog for a waffle anytime, and some word-liciousness, too! :)
PPS: I feel the same about The Blind Assassin. It just didn't do it for me.
Can I get the next page please?ReplyDelete
This was great. The voice is poignant, draws a vivid picture of the little girl and her mother.
I everyone! Sneaking in an hour or so of blogging time ... hehehe. Thanks so much for reading! Now I'm off to check out yours ...ReplyDelete
Your MC's voice is perfect for drawing the reader in. I enjoyed your last lines immensely. I wanted to read more. RolandReplyDelete
Oh, I loved this. Even though it's a last line, it feels like a great opening.ReplyDelete
I have an award for you over at my blog!!!ReplyDelete
That was a great entry. Very vivid voice. Loved the line about the eyebrows. And the list of exceptions at the beginning :)ReplyDelete