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Mommacrits Corner January 2008

First page by Mammafeelzgood, one writer who dared send work to Mommacrit.



The Chair  


    "You've reached 911, Operator 205 speaking. Please state the nature of your emergency."

"My names if Frank Latham. I live at 112 Smith Street at Morse Loop in Cliff's Park. Could you send an ambulance for my wife?" 

"What is the problem sir?"

"She's dead."


    Patrolling not too far from that address, two police officers were having the usual discussion. 

"You do it every time, Wayne."

"Well it was a nice spring morning."

"What did you say?"

"Nothing. Listen Belinda, I'm sorry I was late last night."

"That's what you always say. You're sorry. But you continue to do the same thing.You tell me you're coming over at a certain time, then just like last night, you don't show up until much later."


    "It took longer for us to help Jenny then we expected. We've all tried to help her out as much as we can now that Gary is gone."

"If you only knew all I went through so we could have some time together. I wanted us to have a nice romantic evening."

Wayne leaned toward her giving her a mischievous little smile. "And wasn't romantic?"

"Maybe for you it was." she answered back.  


   Wayne's smile faded.

 "Look, I came over the other night to take you out to dinner. And what did you tell me? Oh I've already made plans to go shopping with my girlfriend. Did I get all upset about that? No, I told you to go ahead. I did wonder how you were able to go shopping this week, when last week you were boo hooing over the fact that you did not have enough money to pay your electric bill."

    "Well thank you very much for paying it. If I had known you'd be throwing it up in my face, I would have told you never mind. And about going shopping, I accompanied Glenda as she went shopping. Any extra money which I have is either being put into our wedding or honeymoon accounts." 

    "Like I have a lot of extra cash? Every cent I have is either going toward the down payment on that house you want, or on your engagement ring."


"How much longer before I'm getting my ring?"


"When I'm finish paying for that damn thing." 


    "Oh so now it that damn thing? What don't you admit it Officer Casanova, you don't have any intentions of marrying me. I was warn by the other officers, both male and female that you've been known to use extreme measure just to get another notch on your bedpost."


    "Belinda, I told you that I had a reputation. But I swear, since we have met, I've not thought of anyone else but you." 


    Belinda wanted so much to believe him. But, ever since they had been partners, people had been telling her how much of a player he was, and warning her to be careful of him. She had to protect herself.


"Than why do you insist on keeping our relationship a secret?"                



Reaction from Mommacrit




First off, has Mammafeelzgood followed the guidelines? (Mammafeelzwhat? Oh great, just what we need around here, another Momma!)


“Send Mommacrit the first page of your story or novel. It must be less than 501 words. Label it clearly with its title, your name or a nom-de-plume, and its genre.”


At 499 words, it’s fine. It has a title. “The Chair”. Not exactly a fascinating title, mind, but nobody could say the Momma is picky. There is a name, spelled mammafeelzgood under the story title, and mamafeelzgood on the email address, so maybe there’s some form of identity crisis? And as for genre? No mention of it. Hello? Hello? Is anyone out there? READ THE GUIDELINES! FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES!


Did Mammafeelzgood push Mommacrit’s magic button? Did Mamafeelzgood write a damn good beginning and hook the Momma into wanting to read more?


Perhaps the Momma’s brain is softening with age, but that first paragraph elicits a laugh, making the Momma want to read more, want to sit back and enjoy more laughs. What is Frank going to do about his problem? Who or what killed the wife?


We don’t find out. What Mammafeelzgood provides is 454 words of trivial conversation. Now maybe this other mamma would say the conversation is realistic, that she researched the story and overheard her cousin Vinnie and his girlfriend having a similar chat last Groundhog Day. So what? Readers don’t want to experience dialogue they can hear on the street. They want to read compelling, fascinating dialogue.

"You do it every time, Wayne."

"Well it was a nice spring morning."

"What did you say?"

"Nothing. Listen Belinda, I'm sorry I was late last night."


Compelling? Fascinating?


Once she learns to write interesting dialogue, Mammafeelzgood needs to learn to punctuate it correctly. Instead of "Maybe for you it was." she answered back, the Momma advises a comma after was, and remove “back” completely.


Mommacrit has another great idea. Proofread your work. There are words with missing endings (finish should be finished, warn should be warned, measure should be measures). Make this: "And wasn't romantic?", “And wasn’t it romantic?” so that it makes sense.


Final great idea: ditch wooden Wayne and whiny Belinda and continue the hook with Frank. A character who calmly calls his dead wife “a problem” has far more chance of holding the Momma’s interest!



Mommacrit’s Hatemail


Yes there’s more hatemail this month. To who wrote: “Momacrit sucks”, the Momma must admit she does suck. She also blows, whistles and hisses. Mommacrit’s mouth is made for many wonderful functions. What does A.Nonnymous do with hers?