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Excerpts from Listen... Volume 1: death

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message 1: by S.I.R. (new)

S.I.R. Pierre (ShairanXIII) | 24 comments So, this is a peak into the prologue and openning chapter of my self published novel Listen... Volume 1: death. I plan to shop it to publishing houses soon, so any critique, no matter how harsh (especially the harsh ones) is appreciated.


Surprised ya made it. Don’t get scared now, ole Bubsy don’t hurt nobody. ‘Sides, ya wanted me to describe the City to ya right? Make ya feel it. Heh! New York Fuckin’ City, most famous town on terra firma. Home. Mine for the last forty seven summers, I swear. Here? Nah! This my summer home. Heh! Live seasonally in my walk of life.

Bitter. Cold.
Stealing, competing, dying.
Woke up next to frozen bodies a few times.

Shelters? Ain’t no better. More bodies than beds. Thieves. Rapists. Lunatics. Ain’t safe. Cops? Sticks. Shields. Chase. Beat. Flee. Two choices for ‘help.’ Pigs. Rehab? Jail Cell? Yearning, drifting, unchanging. No high in rehab. Bid? Meals, bed. Bathing. Smoking. Fucking. Hit the streets refreshed. Vacation! Heh! Apartment? Outta budget. Me? Sleep in tunnels from October to April. Abandoned stations. Empty platforms. Bombers come decorate. Don’t bother Ole Bubsy though.

Heat. Humidity.
Slapping. Strangling. Suffocating.
Pass out from heat exhaustion once.

Too hot to breathe and just fell. Can’t store possessions. Bags. Lift. Carry. Watching. Targeted. Fighting. Always wear it all. Burden. Heh! Jumped in park by gangs most times. I found this haven. Isolation in chaos. Sleep upon piled clothes. No one ever comes. Hide shit under bushes while gone. Check? Nobody. Ever. Unthinking. Unseeing. Uncaring. They’re extending Riverside Park. Change. That’s what Bubsy thinks. Fairway? First marker. Providing. Serving. Gentrifying. Soon, Bubsy gone get evicted so laughter and swings can move in. Bleach. Steal construction parts. In the meantime at least, dig? Sell metal for scratch. Heh!

This shit jar look full?
Nah, can fit two Manute Bols.
Empty in River.

Ole Henry Hurdson’s. Heh! Stomach not strong, eh? Watching
waves kiss the rocks on the base of this highway works. Even waves from Jersey wanna come to New York.

Younger? Fantasize islands. Laughing, swimming, tanning. Mental escape from Wisconsin winters. Cold. Left fifty years back. Never looked back after flight. Before ya was born? Heh! Maybe. Livin’ the dream now. You not talkin’ to no liar. Bronx only connected one.

Historic. Unique.
Living. Dreaming. Working.
People the same everywhere though.
Caponized without:

Bronx the prostate, where it begins. Queens and Brooklyn. Forever joined; balls. Where both laughter and tears drop. Thinnest vessel binds. Manhattan. Massive dick. Fucking, loving, raping. Spreading hedonistic ideals throughout the world. Babylon. Staten. Abandoned Island. Drifting, floating, symbolizing. Cum adrift in the Hudson the ejaculate of continual planetary coitus. Heh! Orgasmic eergy fertile breeding ground for interesting stories though.

City is more than potholes, pedestrians, piping steam, sewers and streets. Listen! The City is breathin’. All the time. Just gotta listen to the phases... check the rest of the prologue at:

Book I: Skid Marks
South Jamaica, Queens
February 28, 2001
0200 hrs

Standing in the thick snow, sharp needles from the cold pricking his face, he stares nonplus as the darkness increasingly swallows the bus’s red tail lights as it roars into the darkness. A loud, gurgling sound emits from his stomach as he contemplates alternative means of getting home. Uncertain whether the sound forebears flatulence, or his bowels’s response to the combination of the frozen margaritas and jalepeno poppers he consumed at the bar, he resists the urge to release.

Scouring the barren, lonely streets and white sidewalks of Jamaica Avenue, he sees none of the sights that give life to this usually busy commercial district: no open fast food stores; no people fill the sidewalks, forcing pedestrians into the street to make progress; no cabbies soliciting rides. Worst of all, at this time, it will be at least an hour before another bus comes by. "Maybe I can hold it ‘til a cabbie comes around." He considers before the pain in his stomach forces his torso forward, retiring this option.

Unsure of how long he will be able to deny his body’s demands for, he attempts to run in search of an open store with an available toilette. "Please, God, let me hold it in… just a little longer… Please." He begs. However, with his inebriation swaying the streets beneath him and the thicket of snow devouring his gait, running proves impossible.

"That snow around the trash can looks pretty thick," he thinks to himself, "maybe no one will see me if I go there in its shadow." The thought of Sincere’s expression when he explains that he used his Valentine’s present as toilette paper instills a fear that strikes down the idea.

She burns her energy as hours and days evaporate. The downpour of her efforts wash over archived articles and microfiche in search of facts and statistics. Her rage is likely to boil over misplaced jeans during the pittance of time they do spend together; there will surely be an explosion if he explains that he shat in the gift she bought him two weeks ago! The semen retention period will be extensive while her stare is foreboding, driving the wedge between them deeper, further distancing the two. Her attitude thusly ductile, he fears any additional pressures will sever their connection and set them adrift, fragments of the same ice berg diverging in life’s ocean.

Failure is not an option; he cannot risk the destruction of his relationship over soiled underwear.

He recommits himself to his quest as desperation increases. Stumbling up the block, the light from an open door greets his vision, invigorating him with hope. Hastening his pace to the light, hope becomes to frustration as he realizes it is only a corner store with no available public restroom... check the rest of Book 1 out:

message 2: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 28 comments I'm new to this group but already in reading your excerpt I noticed a tendency for some passive writing. The subject does not drive the plot along but is placed instead at the second half of the sentences, almost like an after thought.It is not fair on the reader who has to wait to be told what is happening.
Watch out for starting sentences too with words ending in -ing. Can you re-phrase?
Also some sentences are short but their meaning remains uncertain. If they were removed the question then arises would they be missed.
Search too for the correct word to use at all times. For instance: "and the thicket of snow devouring his gait" doesn't rest eas on the reader. I know what you mean but what better word might you have used? I'd suggest 'slowed' instead of 'devoured' but the decision is always your one.
Please keep on writing. And best wishes. All writers need good luck too.

message 3: by S.I.R. (new)

S.I.R. Pierre (ShairanXIII) | 24 comments Hey Cleveland,

Welcome to the group and thanks for the feedback...

I used the passive voice for this story to uderscore the bleakness of the situation... the sentences were structured with the plot last, because i wanted to convey the urgency of his situation before revealing what the situation was... a stylistic decision, but I guess it assumes the reader is interested enough in the plot to continue reading...

You are right, some questions arise because of the shorter sentences... But these are mostly foreshadowing what happens in other stories in the book...

As for the word choices... since all of his atagonists are inanimate (the bus, the snow, the store), I used personifications to show how they impeded him... so the snow devoures... the darkness swallows... inebriation sways...

I guess my question for you is... do the aforementioned issues make you lose iterest in the story? Is it a big enough obstacle that you'd abandon the book because of it?

Again, thanks for the thoughtful comments... Do you have any excerpts posted?

message 4: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 28 comments Dear Sir
thanks for your welcome to the group and my feedback is only my opinion. If it helps in some way both of us will be happy.
I like the title(S.i.r.); it is distinctive and different.
Thank you for filling in the background to the excerpts I read. From what you say you've thought about what you, as a writer, want to convey. I can't argue with that. Deciding what to do can be difficult and edgy.
I only wondered about some shorter sentences because I've had enough 'tricks' passed on to me to comment. I knew there had to be something else. Thanks for bringing me up to date on the action in other stories in the book.
I like what you say about the antagonist and the inanimate objects.I once did what you did and it didn't work. But word usage isn't set in concrete and I can see the thinking behind your choices.Wonder what light does? Dazzle, shines, perhaps.
What you've written doesn't stop me reading. What happens is I note at the back of my mind things that caught my attention.I'm always worried if I noted something an editor might do so as well. I try to look out for other writers to help them to make their work better.
Before I started writing I reviewed for 2 main line authors. Now I write and it is not easy. Never is . I haven't any excerpts posted yet but I hope to do so soon.

message 5: by S.I.R. (new)

S.I.R. Pierre (ShairanXIII) | 24 comments Thank you for sharing your thought process... i look forward to reading your work...

message 6: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 28 comments Thanks.

I've been working on a one line pitch to an agent for my next book. It goes like this:

"Deaf Linda never believed in praying or listening to the Dead but, alone and within the eerie silence of the 'Trophy Room,' she felt petrified enough to do both as she heard the screams of the stuffed animals, and one man."

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Hope you liked it.

message 7: by S.I.R. (new)

S.I.R. Pierre (ShairanXIII) | 24 comments I get that Deaf Linda is surrounded by mounted animals... but the wording seems off... Maybe she never believed she could listen to the dead (she is deaf after all)... and how does praying connect...

I think it's intriguing... but work on making it a bit less vague (an issue I'm struggling with myself)... good luck

message 8: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 28 comments It's because she's deaf: she hears. Because of the dead she's frightened. And all animals? No. She hears one of the dead is a man.And she is petrified...

message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael Phelps (michaelphelps) | 35 comments Good Morning Gentlemen, This is for both S.i.r and Cleveland. I am the new kid on Goodreads, having joined last evening. Thank you both for having me as a friend.
First, for S.i.r. - Having lived in Manhattan for 15 years, and driven all around Queens & Brooklyn (and through the Bronx on I-95), I can certainly equate with your story. I am intrigued by your story. NYC is an amazing city, where you have the homeless and downtrodden rubbing shoulders with millionaires; a billionaire living in the same block as the struggling family, barely able to survive, paying outrageous rents and sometimes having to choose between rent, the ConEd bill, food or medicine.

I like your story, and personally think you will have a Best Seller! I want to read MORE!

Cleveland, your Review poses many valid questions and suggestions for S.i.r. to make his novel better, as his response to you indicates his appreciation. Your proposed pitch to an Agent is RIGHT ON! You are descriptive of your protagonist and the scene in which she finds herself "hearing" the dead animals, and the "screams" of ONE dead MAN. I will want to READ the book!

To both of you, keep me informed as to your individual progress. I will BUY your books the minute they become available.

I am the Co-Author of "David Janssen - My Fugitive", written with the late actor's first wife, Ellie Janssen (Published in Hardcover in December, 1994, U. S. Trade Paperback in 1995-1996 & 1997). I will be Re-Printing the book this year. "Collectors' copies of teh original are going for anywhere from $63.00 to $215.00) - Outrageous!

I am also the Author of "THE EXECUTION OF JUSTICE" (Blue Line Publishing House, Inc. - January 31, 2009 - First Edition - Hardcover - 408 Pages - $27.95). It is the debut novel introducing the "Detective Mike Walsh" series of novels. It is based on the true story of a close friend and mentor, a detective sergeant in the Robbery-Homicide division of the Indianapolis Police Department, who was murdered in the line of duty. I will be posting the first chapter here later today.

Good luck guys, and stay in touch.

Best regards,

Michael Phelps

message 10: by S.I.R. (new)

S.I.R. Pierre (ShairanXIII) | 24 comments Cleveland... Nice tweak, it's becoming a little clearer... keep tinkering though...

Michael... That is certainly my goal... I'm re-working my novel for the 2nd edition now... it should be released over the summer...

While I'm not big into non-fiction... I like detective stories... so The Execution of Justice sounds interesting... I look forward to reading your excerpt...

message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Phelps (michaelphelps) | 35 comments Good Morning S.i.r,

I am off to Naples, Fl. for a Book Signing. Just wanted to let you know I am anxious to read what you have. You have given us a read that you demonstrate good character development, but you need to carry it through so the reader can see the protagonist and support characters in "real life". I really like what you are writing. I've never been "homeless", nor suffered any addictions or mental issues (aside from being crazy; but as I see people in that situation, I always wonder what their life was like BEFORE, and how they came to BE in their current situation. I think your book will answer many questions I have in my mind. Your descriptive words of the city, the weather, etc. is excellent. Your book will SELL!

I'll be posting an excerpt from "The Execution of Justice" tomorrow.

Michael Phelps

message 12: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 28 comments Well, Good Morning Gentlemen sound a pleasant way to start the day. And Michael is the new kid on the block. Makes life interesting to know he's in Naples signing books(it has to be Florida). And S.i.r. I see he's been looking after you too with his comments.I guess if you write about real life then you've started with something that is loaded with the 'unexpected.' I think it is always hard to outguess what will happen next in a true drama situation.That's the beauty of the setup.
Michael's book "The Execution of Justice" sounds good. I've been doing a lot of killing lately(getting rid of characters in my book) and the title of his book seemed to catch my eye.
I'll have to read his excerpt when he post it to see who kills who and what tips I can pick up.
Best wishes

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