Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Looky, Looky

Well, I’ve learned a valuable lesson from Monday’s post: NO MORE SPIDERS! I can talk about them (I think), but pictures are right out. It’s funny how certain animals affect us. Birds? Mostly people are okay with them. Dogs? Cats? Obvious family pets. Turtles? I don’t think I’ve met anyone yet who hates turtles. Frogs, now we’re getting into squeamish territory. Snakes and spiders? Now we’re into run-from-the-room territory. Lesson learned, no more spiders.

Anyway, my friend and Finding Claire Fletcher author Lisa L. Regan tagged me in this LOOK Meme that’s been going around, thus saving me from having to write something else today. The idea is to find the first use of the word ‘look’ in your WiP and share it, along with a bit of the surrounding paragraphs. So, I’ve delved into Barton’s Women and found the first use of it on page 3, word number 760, according to Word’s handy-dandy counting device. The brief scene setting: Kevin Barton interrupts his 16-year old daughter, Kelly, and her friend, Dina, while they’re watching The Little Mermaid, to say goodnight. I’ll caveat this: I haven’t actually read any of this since mid-October, and I’m already finding things I’d like to change. I suppose it could be #1 on every bestseller list and I’ll still be saying that. Oh, well.


“No, no, no,” he said. “I’m just joking.”
“I know,” she said. “But I do feel bad. Anyway, I have a track meet tomorrow. Mom is going to pick me up around ten-fifteen.”
“Oh, that’s right, I forgot. If you see my brain running around here, throw a box over it and catch it for me, okay?”
Dina laughed. Kelly rolled her eyes again, but smiled. “Sure thing, Mr. Barton.”
“Can you get yourselves up, or do you need a wake-up call?”
The girls exchanged a glance. Kelly said, “9:45?” Dina nodded. They looked up at Kevin and said, in unison, “9:45” and Dina added ‘please.’
Kevin snapped off a salute. “Yes, ma’ams. Good night, ladies, don’t stay up too late. You’re both looking a little peaky.”
He turned to leave, but Kelly said, “Wait, wait, wait.” She held her arms up in a gesture that made him think of her as a toddler, demanding to be picked up.
He walked in, feeling a little embarrassed, and hugged her.
“Love you, Daddy,” she said.
“Goodnight, sweetie.” He straightened and gave a wave to Dina. “Goodnight, Dina.”
“Goodnight, Mr. Barton.”
As he closed the door behind him, he heard Dina say, “You guys are so cute.”
Whatever Kelly said was lost under the sea.

Well, there you have it. Definitely feels rougher than I thought when I sent it out on a test drive. And somehow not surprising that I use the word twice in a short span.

Now it’s tag time. I’m pretty sure those I’m hitting up have not already done this; if I’m wrong, forgive me. And, of course, if you choose not to participate, that’s fine, too. I can be kind of funny about sharing things when they don’t feel ‘ready’. Who’s it going to be? Let’s try….

Bonnee, at The Blogging of an Aspiring Writer

One of my newest followers, Richard P. Hughes, at Writing and Living

And the Golden Eagle, from The Eagle’s Aerial Perspective, who kicked NaNoWriMo’s butt like nobody’s business.

Speaking of NaNo, where did November go? I think this may have been the fastest-moving month of the year so far. I could stand to have things slow down a little bit. I hope you’ve all had a good month, whether you NaNo’d or not. Thanks, as always, for stopping by and have a great weekend.

7 Responses

  1. Awwh that was a really cute snippet! Love the Little Mermaid reference you weaved in at the end, 'Whatever Kelly said was lost UNDER THE SEA.' I'll be sure to participate. Later. When it's not 12:39AM and I'm not dying of sleep-deprivation. Gotta love time-zone differences ay? 🙂

  2. Wait – did you post this…tomorrow, or today? *Head explodes*

    Thanks for the compliment. 'Under the sea' – glad you liked that. I had to explain it in the set-up because there was too much verbiage to include the part where it's referenced in text. And hey, you're young; aren't you supposed to be staying up all night?

  3. When I posted it, it would have been tomorrow for you 😀

    I ended up staying AWAKE until around 2AM… I'm saving the later nights for next week though. (Schoolies!!!!)

  4. It's not as bad as you think. The novel is amazing. And yeah, you might need a pic of a rainbow and a unicorn to counteract the effects of the spider. Hah hah hah.

  5. Interesting excerpt! I like this moment between the characters.

    Thanks for the tag! 🙂 I'll get to it soon–I was tagged with this before but never got around to it, so this is just the impetus I needed.

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