Monday, June 13, 2011

Sparrow Ridge - Saturday

Sparrow Ridge
Chapter 1: Saturday
(This is just the beginning scene)

Shreya McCoy gazed up from her book and stared out her bedroom window. Fifty yards off, like the wall a giant garden, stood the trees of Blanchard Forest. Just below them ran Meadow Creek, separating the McCoy property and the wilderness beyond. The now rotting wood bridge Shreya her older brother Tabor built five years ago, with the help of their father, still worked. Indeed, it worked great, as Shreya knew from her recent winter excursions into the woods. Christmas break began two days ago.

Yet Shreya was board. Her only close friend, Sara, was on vacation with her family, leaving Shreya friendless for the holiday. No one to play with. No one even to argue with. That is, except her mother. She’d prefer arguing with anyone else, even Tabor.
But Shreya’s now sixteen year old, grown up, and way too cool, brother didn’t stay home during school breaks anymore. He spent most days and nights in Riverbend, the nearest city, and a half-hour drive away. Shreya knew the drive well because every day she had to be driven there for school. Tabor plays the violin in the school orchestra, providing him with a lucky excuse to spend most weeks and weekends with his musician friends. “It’s easier than traveling back and forth for practice all the time,” he’d said. But Shreya knew the real reason. If only she had as good of an excuse she’d stay away as well.

Shreya took a deep breath and focused on her reflection in the window. She had her mother’s smooth, light brown hair tied back into a pony tail, her father’s blue almond eyes, and her grandmother’s small nose, ears, and pear-shaped face.

“Shreya!” her mother yelled, bursting into the doorway of her room, her long pink, silk pajamas dangling near her pale, slender feet. Shreya wished her mother would change already; it was almost noon on Saturday. “When are you ever going to do as you’re told!” her mother scorned. “I told you last week to clean up those branches in the yard. And you still need to finish pulling the weeds!” Her mother’s arms flailed in the air and her eyes grew wide, as if Shreya’s mutiny was the sole source of all he mother’s suffering.

“Sorry Mom, I—”

“You and your brother will be doing it first thing in the morning, and you won’t get to do anything else all Christmas break until you’ve finished.” Mary-Lynne McCoy perked up her sharp nose and narrowed her piercing green eyes at Shreya. “Is that understood?”

“Yes, Mom.” Shreya watched her mom wisp away from the doorway.


  1. I don’t want to be discouraging, so take what I say with a grain of salt, it’s just one opinion. You have some good stuff, but it’s clouded in weak writing.

    You have a lot of telling or stating.
    Action, movement, forward progression is vital to writing fiction. And some of your description is too long and detailed; it detracts from the story or flow.

    I could give specifics, but don’t want to give off the wrong vibe. I don’t want to sound preachy, or like a know-it-all. Because I don’t know it all… all I have is an opinion.

    Writing takes a lot of reading, and tons and tons of writing and rewriting. The premise you have is solid, and I like some of the delivery. If you have thick skin, and want to know what I feel could be strengthened. Please say so, I would like to go farther into it.

    Plz keep writing, and don’t ever stop… you have an interesting start, and a solid base to build on. I know you have what it takes.

    Writers need a bullet proof self esteem; I wish you the best of luck.

  2. Thanks, Jeff. I value honest critiques. That's why I posted the piece. Please do send your critique to me via e-mail or just post it on here. Either is fine. Again, thanks for reading and sharing.

  3. Thx... I will once I get time.

    I do love certain aspects of your post; I hope I didn't come off as a dick.

  4. You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you the Brilliant Writer Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

    Go to and pick up your award.