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 "Falling Off Key" (summary & chapter 1)

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Angelique Clark

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Age : 18
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PostSubject: "Falling Off Key" (summary & chapter 1)   Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:21 am

I finally decided to begin writing a new story... a novel, a series, a novelette or short story, I do not know yet. I've had this plot idea for a while, so I've officially started putting it into story form. The writing style might give you a "Little Women" vibe, and this is most likely because I am currently reading that particularly marvelous classic.

Hope you like it, and thanks if you read it. Smile

The summary and tentative plot-line:
Bernadette Bach had a love for the piano since she was a small girl, and it became her life by the time she turned fourteen. But what if an untimely tragedy, and a flash of paparazzi changed her life forever, and sent her falling off key?


Chapter 1
It wasn't one of those happy days where you smile constantly, and give hugs to everyone you pass. It was more like a day that left you wrung out like a dirty towel, and burned painful memories into you for days and even years to come. Now, I never fancied these sort of days, but I hated this one in particular. My younger brother Sam, who mind you, is nearly eight years old already, positively ruined the keys on my lovely Baldwin upright.


I minded this piano as if it were my own soul. In a way, it was. Every emotion I ever felt went into it's yellowing, but handsome keys. Every ounce of passion I ever owned came from it's soft melodies. Though it grew out of tune each and every year, for Mom and Dad weren't in the least rich, I still treasured the beautiful, dark wooded instrument with my whole heart, my whole mind... and of course, with all ten exercised fingers.


"You don't understand. You wouldn't even if you tried!" I shrieked at the top of my lungs, chasing Sam through the kitchen and back into the family room.


Yes, I was not one to be mature at the simple age of fourteen. In fact, I could be the exact opposite at times; where at others, I was mortified when Mom acted like a child. More than half the time, I was confused at myself for no sensible reason, and Sam, Mom and Dad never could keep up with my newfangled ideas.


"I shouldn't care either way!" Sam hollered over his mane of chestnut brown hair. It was a shade so close to blonde, I found myself envious of it at times. Dad sported the same tone, whereas Mom had rich, dark brown. As you might gather, I was blessed with the latter shade. Not that I was displeased with my hip-long dark waves... but a sunny blonde would have suited me just as well.


Back to my thoughts of Sam, I narrowed my eyes on his back; and pounced with all my might. We both went tumbling into the foyer, and he laughed as though I had jokingly jumped him; which was not true in the slightest. The trouble I had with my younger brother, you see, is that I can never ever, no matter how hard I try, stay angry with him. It was like that childish smile sent out rays of charm and innocence that could never be battled with my means of anger and hatred.


Standing to my feet and brushing invisible dust off my sun dress, which I only did to allow more time to decide whether I would continue to be hostile towards my little brother or give up, I smiled softly. "The piano needed a good scrubbing anyways." I let out, meeting Sam's bright blue eyes finally.


That was where the jealous grew back in. Why could I not stop thinking about my poor eight year old brother's blue eyes and blonde hair? I myself peered through hazel ones, not to my dismay, as I rather liked the color, but blue I was evidently more fond of.


"May I help you, Bernie?" He asked excitedly, clapping his hands and already racing to the kitchen sink.


I rolled my eyes and followed him, tsking, "As long as you rid that nasty habit."


"What habit, Bernie?"


"The one that involves you calling me Bernie!" I exclaimed, throwing hands into the air in pure frustration.


As if in timely cue, Mom stepped into the hall and watched up queerly. "Have you finished the dishes Bernie?"


I ground my teeth and clenched my fists. "You've got the nasty habit too!"


"Whatever do you mean dear?" Mom replied, fully entering the room.


Sam smirked and inched backwards towards the jar marked "cookies" and neat handwriting. He always did enjoy when I got into trouble or discussion with parents, as it allowed him easy access to treats in which he would not normally have access to unless no one was watching.


I gestured from Sam to my Mother, and then let my arms drop. "The nickname 'Bernie' is positively mortifying!" I cried, noticing Dad creep up behind Mom.


They both blinked at me.


"Oh never mind." I hissed, realizing my mistake. Just the night before I had yelled at them for calling me 'Bernadette', which was my real birth name. However, that name, as I saw it, did not fit me in the slightest. But if they were not to call me Bernadette, and neither Bernie, what would they call me? I touched my chin in thought, and Mom pried Sam's hand out of the cookie jar, and Dad opened the fridge to fix a meal.


"I've got it!" I blurted with satisfaction, "you'll call me Dette."


"Why Bernadette! That just reminds me of those horrid bills piling up on my desk. No, that name will not do." Dad admonished, clearly disturbed by my outburst.


I grimaced and shrugged, turning to the sink in exasperation. Would I ever find a name that suited me? Even our last name caused hourly conversations with strangers, and it was quite dreadful to admit to others that my last name was somewhat of a "conversation piece". Not that I wasn't fond of the name 'Bach', for what would a budding musician desire more than to have her name shared with one of the greatest artists of all time?


Once the dish rag was cleaned and damp, I traipsed away from my disorderly family, through the entryway, and back to the living quarters. There, in the midday, November light, stood my precious Baldwin upright piano. It's slick edges worn but never dusty, and the black keys remained black, and if all possible, the white keys remained white.


On this particular afternoon, though, with the terribly dreadful accident of my brother Sam and his finger paints, the keys were all stained a bloody red. In annoyed me to no end trying to scrub them white again. My mood turned cheerful suddenly, as notions of a fine evening of music pranced about in my head. The delight in my heart, which I knew so well, came back once again, and I sang of love and prosperity until the time came for me to roll my hand across the magical keys.


Though I was not one to be sympathetic, or at least, I did not want to admit that I was, began to feel lightheaded with rhymes and poetry. Of quotes and prayers. With an abrupt clatter, I stopped playing the tune in which I was then adhering, and rummaged for a pen and pad. Drawing lines to form staffs, and dots to represent notes, I pieced together what I, at the time, found divine and magnificent. But I'd never boast so.


Little was I aware, that not much a year to follow, I would regret that piece in which I had written and played hour after hour. For sometimes we do things on the spur of creativity, and on the shred of a small light. When we see even the slightest bit of hope or promise, we run towards it, and embrace it like it was Heaven itself. However, all good things come with a price.


And for me, I believe that price was just too much of a burden to relinquish.



Thanks again!
-Ace
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Shea Ballard



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PostSubject: Re: "Falling Off Key" (summary & chapter 1)   Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:34 pm

This does have an old style wordy, literary feel to it. It's probably a good piece of chic lit, though I would not know. I prefer more fast-paced genre fiction, myself. That said, I think you're off to a good start. I like that the first scene involves conflict with the little brother, and then the parents. I personally would start with the first line of dialogue and have the conflict commence immediately. But that is more a convention of genre fiction. If you're trying to write literary, it's probably fine the way it is. I just don't have enough experience with literary fiction to give good advice on that. I also liked the way you ended, hinting that some important is coming and leaving the reader in suspense. Good job, Ace.
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Angelique Clark

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PostSubject: Re: "Falling Off Key" (summary & chapter 1)   Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:36 pm

I'm not sure what I'm going for with this yet, but I guess it's in the chick-lit/adventure genres, and isn't going to have that fast a pace, though the story will be rather adventurous. Thanks for what you could supply as advice, and I am currently in the stage of piecing together a new, exciting plot that I actually want to write. Hopefully it will be something you would want to read too. Smile

-Ace
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Shea Ballard



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PostSubject: Re: "Falling Off Key" (summary & chapter 1)   Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:54 am

I liked your science fiction story about the kids and Marsmen. That's my kind of story.
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