Friday, June 11, 2010

Revised excerpt from "Broken"


...the drama that is my life. Bordering on 60 hours per week at the day job. Coaching my sons's ball teams whenever time allows. Trudging through endless revisons between the hours of 2 and 4 am...no, really.

...the following is the latest passage from "Broken" that I've been slicing and dicing whenever not overcome with exhaustion. Enjoy:)

***Like Coach Hummel, Doug Stutzman, our sixty year old coach of the Farm Team, was a local icon from his younger days, having once held many athletic records in baseball and basketball. The majority of them were quashed by Hummel two decades later, but searching for any sign of animosity within Stutzman's weary soul would've been futile.

He roamed the ball diamond, his posture stooped, pausing at every position, granting each of us a moment while balanced on teetering knees. Cartilage whittled thin like mucous and stretched taut.

His chin, grizzled with spiked fuzz the color of ash, resembled a used eraser on the end of a pencil. Rounded off and worn down to a nub. Likewise, a pair of silver tufts peeked out from under his ball cap, hovering over each ear.

He spoke with a throat full of gravel. The kind of sound coughed out of the failing exhaust from a farmhand's delivery truck.

Dad later told me that in his youth, Coach Stutzman carried himself well over six feet in height. Now, following a lifetime spent sacrificing his joints for that winning layup or a stolen base in the bottom of the ninth, he'd become a calloused old man, trapped in a body breaking down. And by week's end, I adored him.


***"Broken," by Elliot Grace : 2011

7 comments:

Melissa said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Snakes...if I ever came close to one (without being separated by the glass at the zoo and pet shops)I think my mind may fracture. But in fiction, I don't mind them so much (whereas spiders still terrify).

You have a pitchfork! You stake snakes with pitchforks! You just earned a badge of AWESOME from me.

Inspiration comes at the strangest times, I think.

I'm assuming from where your inspiration comes from and the pitchfork comment that you live on a farm? If so, that's so cool. I love visiting my extended families farms (my grandparents and mom are originally from a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada and a lot of the family still out there has land).

Now, on to you!

And by post's end, I adored you. This excerpt is awesome, I love the description and imagery. I could picture Stutzman so well. I'm very impressed.

Lola Sharp said...

Well done, Elliot! Rich with imagery.

I hope the slogging through Revision Hell is going well.
(Think of all you're learning from your editor, and how that will improve your future writing.)

Sorry you are surviving off so little sleep. (I'm right there with you) So much to do, so little time.

Hopefully things slow down at work, and once the kids are out of school.

CONGRATS on an excellent excerpt.

JUST ME said...

I like the imagery a lot. My favorite type of fiction is full of it.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

He spoke with a throat full of gravel.

Great line.

A suggestion :

Instead of "Cartilage whittled thin like mucous and stretched taut."

You might say : "Cartilage worn thin like thread and stretched taut."

Just a thought. You can tell by how agents are pounding on my cyber-doors how reliable it might be.

It is a great dream to one day share a book tour with you. Wouldn't Gaiman and Hill make great partners for wild discussions?

Be careful not to push yourself too hard. Winding up in a hospital bed from exhaustion would really put you behind schedule! Roland

Elliot Grace said...

...you guys are the best:) Thanks so much for reading and offering your thoughts.

Exhaustion for starving artists is most likely a common concern...reaching for the dream while ignoring that hopping eyelid, or the natural ring of mascara provided for those of us who are sleep deprived.

Knowing our limits is crucial. I've found that getting five hours in the sac keeps the wheels turning. Any more than that...can you say straight-jacket?

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I need more than five hours of sleep, Elliot. Don't often get it, but one day when I'm famous - or infamous.

Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving such a great comment. There are days when I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels - a lot of effort and getting nowhere.

Good luck in your revision and great sales when your book comes out. You have a sale with me, Roland

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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