How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

Sunday Snippets



Jennifer Eaton of has initiated this Critique Blog Hop. Read the rules and sign up. Sounds like a fun way to get good feedback and who can’t use honest feedback along the way?

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I offer these first 252 words from my story Leap of Faith.

Reddy was a firecracker ablaze against the dull, rocky landscape of Raven Lake. No poorer mining town existed anywhere within the shadow of the Quebec border. As soon as she learned to walk, she ran—with joy; with glee; with motivation and abundant curiosity.

 Long braids, red as pomegranates, followed in her wake as Reddy dashed, leaped and rushed everywhere. Skinny arms and legs swirled and churned when she moved. The freckled girl possessed a glow, which rubbed off on everyone—sooner or later. The whole village knew of Reddy, the daughter of immigrant parents, Everett Milton and Olivia Gabriella Lithgow. First named Rosalia at birth, her name developed into Little Red. When she started to walk, her father again altered her name to Reddy. The name stuck for everyone but her mother.

 “Reddy, lass, what is it? Why are you pacing? Come eat,” her father said countless times throughout her lifetime. “You’re only nine and not responsible for anyone but yourself.”

His daughter, eyes squinting and toe tapping, glared up at him, her head tossed to one side. Everett Milton Lithgow, a great oak of a man, stood over her, his eyes filled with mirth. Frizzy hair, a different shade and lighter in colour than hers, but just as curly, puffed out over his head like the dandelion smoke.

 “Daddy,” Reddy said, enunciating each word as if he was a child, “how can you be so—so—uncaring?” Hands rose from her hips to flutter in the air above her head.

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Click on over to these great writers to check out and critique what they’ve posted!



Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

26 thoughts on “Sunday Snippets

  1. I can see the little girl all earnest and fresh-faced 😉
    Sounds like a lovely story Tess…


  2. Tess, you paint a vivid picture of a vivacious lass. I want more!


  3. Yes I’d like to read more about her too, will you be posting more? Only critique – the second sentence – I think its in the wrong place?


  4. This is very good. I was a little confused, because I thought I was in the little girl’s POV, and then it seemed to switch to the dad. Just be clear whose head we are in.

    My big suggestion would be to completely nix the first paragraph, and start with the active paragraph “Long braids, red as pomegranates”

    This is where I started reading, where the first one didn’t really grab my attention.

    Godd luck with it!


    • Thank you, Jennifer. I struck out the first paragraph and liked the change. A question about the POV, I’m not sure I understand. Is it the dialogue messing it up?

      Please and thanks. I so appreciate your input.


    • If you are in absolute third person, then you can NEVER get into anyone’s head. I’d caution against that. It’s hard to get your reader to relate. I tried this once and BOMBED — and then found out that publishers shy away from this. I’ve been told that pulishers want strong emotion and deep POV, which means picking at least one character in each scene and sticking to it.

      Now, that’s not to say that third can NEVER be done… it’s just a lot harder to write in my opinion, and might be a harder sell.

      (yeah, way too much to chew on, I know)

      Oh, by the way… you just wiggled into my blog roll this week. Congrats!


  5. Love the description of the evolving nickname.
    This didn’t work for me:
    “Reddy, lass, what is it? Why are you pacing? Come eat,” her father said countless times throughout her lifetime. “You’re only nine and not responsible for anyone but yourself.”
    If he says it countless times, how can she always be nine? Or is it one specific thing he repeats–like: “you’re […] not responsible for anyone but yourself’? I could see that being true, and it would establish part of her character as well.
    Great description of the hair, too. I can see it vividly.


  6. I want to know more Tess. All the feedback thus far has been great. I will add this.

    I do want to know where they are, while I agree the first paragraph is awkward, it will be important to set the stage and the idea of poverty and the mining town setting will help to do this.


  7. Glad to see in the comments above that you nixed the first paragraph. Felt too much like an “info dump.” Nice imagery though. Looking forward to knowing more about where the story is going.


  8. I wasn’t sure, at first, if ‘Reddy’ was a person, or a thing. This was cleared up quickly, but for an opening line, you may want to consider a minor revision. Similarly, it may be because I’m tired, but the ‘as soon as she learned to walk’ line wasn’t immediately connected to the name ‘Reddy’ when I read it the first time.

    ‘Swirled and churned’ seems like an odd choice to describe the motion of bodily parts. It implies – for me – a fluidity that I’d hope that my arms and legs don’t have.

    I’m curious about why her father changed her name to Reddy. It has already been changed once from Rosalia to Little Red (adorable nickname), but why the change? And why didn’t it stick for her mother? Since you’ve mentioned the fact, I want to know more about it.

    ‘…said countless times throughout her lifetime…’ pulls me out of the story a bit. Because we’re hearing about this after the fact, I’m distanced from the event and held back from it. Though the idea that such a young child has shouldered enough to be chastised by their father, again makes me curious.

    I like the descriptions however by the end of this sequence I feel that not much has happened. We’re getting a lot of background detail that can be introduced as the story progresses, but for an opening to a story, I feel the need for a bit more action, something to pull me through the chapters and coax me into reading more and more.

    Do keep going though; it feels to me that you’re writing yourself into the story, as is often the case with my early drafts, so I’m sure there will be more detail as you go on.


    • Thank you for your comments Ileandra. You shoot something off and some changes aren’t neat. I appreciate your input.

      I’ve since removed the first paragraph. Not explained yet, but I had hoped the parents names would be somewhat telling. Father and daughter are redheads and her father is Scottish; her mother Italian. The mother will be shown to speak little English etc.

      I had changed some things around and forgot to remove ‘…said countless times throughout her lifetime.” And so on and so on.


  9. I love the visuals. I can practically see her running around. I got thrown though at her question – her dad is described at having mirth, etc, yet she asks him why he is uncaring? What did I miss?