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The Adventures of Donosnitsa - Matthew Colley
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Linda
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:20 pm    Post subject: The Adventures of Donosnitsa - Matthew Colley Reply with quote

I think your narrative could use a little polishing. Most poems work line upon line, and stories/narratives are pretty much the same. Each line (paragraph) should build on the previous line (paragraph). So, I took your narrative apart, line by line, and tried to see the plot unfold. It was difficult because of several conflicting points. While the protagonist (if she can be called such) obviously has a demented mind (and one that contradicts itself), the contradictions in your story do not "show" her dementia, but rather show contradiction in the writer's mind. For example, you wrote:

...In the crowded market where everyone waited to peruse the tomatoes and the white cheese sold in quarter and half kilo blocks, Donosnitsa attracted the flower girl ...

Then two paragraphs down you wrote:

...Due to the work of Donosnitsa, people of the region came out only at night...

One basic truth about fiction is that it has to be believable. You might convince some readers that the people came out only at night, but, you're not going to convince them that the market was crowded with everyone looking over the tomatoes and the white cheese (only at night).... It would be more believable to say the people came out only during the day.

There are other contradictions, but the basic plot manages to unfold. I would also try to use the less is more rule. For example, you wrote:

Donosnitsa had an extra pack of cigarettes, and if the flower girl would speak with her, she would gladly give her the extra pack for her unemployed husband at home.

Consider:
Donosnitsa had an extra pack of cigarettes. If the flower girl spoke to her, she’d give her the cigarettes for her unemployed husband.

If you want to show the demetia in Donosnitsa's mind, allow the contridictions to appear only in her thought process, not in the narrator's part.

Good job, Matt. I hope my suggestions help.

Linda
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mattt
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:08 pm    Post subject: it Reply with quote

Thank you Ms. Dousay. Allow me to explain a bit.
Those were notes made yesterday while sitting on a concrete wall-bench made by the Communist party, some years ago. I typed them and sent them to the Editor because I wanted someone to see them ASAP, as they are personally referrent.
I know there might be a story in them, I know it's longer than Hell. I know that finding an understanding between one aftemath and another is like swimming in set concrete.
My hope is that someday I will have the ability to make written sense of notes. That day might not come, so I blurb about.
Your comments are helpful reminders. Thank you.
I write notes because I love. That's what I know.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 2:20 pm    Post subject: Re: it Reply with quote

mattt wrote:
...I typed them and sent them to the Editor because I wanted someone to see them ASAP, as they are personally referrent...
.


That's interesting, Matt. And your response is a helpful reminder to me --Notes, written in journals, on scraps of paper/napkins, or quickly spoken into a small recorder, are often the seeds of great novels!
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Harry
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the bottom of every piece of literature on the site there is a request to "critique this piece." Some works defy criticism and the reader must take them for what they are.

I've been reading Matt Colley's work for a few years and I can honestly say it fascinates me, but in no way can I dissect it or classify it or even tell you what it means half the time. When Gertrude Stein says, >>"Giving it away, not giving it away, is there any difference. Giving it away. Not giving it away?"<< do we parse it, look for the subject and the predicate? When Beckett says, >>"And I should hear, at every little pause, if it's the silence I say when I say that only the words break it. But nothing of the kind, that's not how it is ..."<< we are into writing of another dimension. Is Donosnitsa a person, a way of life, a government agency maybe -- and the flower girl may not be a flower girl, maybe she's an ideal.

I think you have to read into this narrative a story of your own, using your own scale of values and experience. You may find it a grand experience. Matt promises more, >>To shorten this introduction to the adventures of Donosnitsa and get on with developing action, dialogue, and characters; please accept a piece of the future right now, in case you know anyone who should be counseled before it is too late.<< Let's hope he doesn't make us wait too long.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry wrote:
At the bottom of every piece of literature on the site there is a request to "critique this piece." Some works defy criticism and the reader must take them for what they are.

I've been reading Matt Colley's work for a few years and I can honestly say it fascinates me, but in no way can I dissect it or classify it or even tell you what it means half the time. ...


My effort to provide feedback, Harry, was not meant to offend. I've also read Matt's works over the past few years, but never commented publicly. This year, I'm not taking any classes and I have some free time. Clive, or someone asked how to liven up the board...or keep it going. One of the main reasons I continue to study is the opportunity for feedback. So, while I had this free time, I thought I'd offer others some feedback. Actually, reading others work and seeing where it could be improved, helps me in my own work. But, that's me. If Matt was offended, I apolgise.

Linda
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Harry
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relax Linda - Matt is not offended, and neither are you. It's great to have you here with us -- three or four people sitting in the coffee shop, shooting the breeze about writing.

I simply wanted to point out that Matt is one of those free spirits to whom the rules rarely apply.
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JAlbee
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply Reply with quote

Well Linda you certainly did 'liven' this conversation up. *soft smile*

I always say, live and learn, then learn to laugh.

I appreciated your critique so much! So you better stick around *laugh*
I need you! Very Happy


Johanna
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:54 pm    Post subject: Place Reply with quote

Hi Linda, I wasn't offended and I'm not offended. -I just regret my response to your worss of critique because:
-My response is dumb.
-Starting a conversation on the feedback board wasn't my intention.

Actually, I'd be grateful if Clive removed my response to your criitique, but now it has responses.

Ms. Dousay, sometimes I'm tired and I write something in short words and it does not read the way it would have sounded.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:08 am    Post subject: Education Reply with quote

To give you some background:
"Donosnik" is a word that was used to describe who might have been your best friend, while reporting your personal life to the Director, or Party Secretary. It's Bulgarian language.

"John Protiv Kogo", is derived from the punch line of an old, dark joke. When told, "Say something.", a person should answer "Protiv Kogo? (Against whom?)".

I hope that clears things up a bit. John could as well be Ivan, but I'm trying to make things prettier than they are.

God bless us all, because there are those who will never get over things, and never allow themselves to actualize.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry wrote:
-- three or four people sitting in the coffee shop, shooting the breeze about writing.


Harry, Jal and Matt,

I love each of you so much. That was a beautiful response Harry, and matt, keep on sending those notes....all of them. They make me think, and I love to organize... Who knows where this will all end...but, somehow, I got a feeling, everything's gonna be alright!!!

Linda

Matt, your responses are not ignorant. They make me think, and Harry, just yesterday, I moved a large table in my living room in front of the sliding glass doors. This weekend, the computer will be set up there, along with the first two chapters of my book, titled, Everything's Gonna be Alright. I'm determined to finish this book, and I credit you with the inspiration. One day you said, anyone who can write like that, should write, not talk about writing. You are indeed a great inspiration to me.

Clive, sorry for the chat here. But, I luv you too.

Linda
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Linda
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:52 am    Post subject: Re: Education Reply with quote

mattt wrote:
To give you some background:
"Donosnik" is a word that was used to describe who might have been your best friend, while reporting your personal life to the Director, or Party Secretary. It's Bulgarian language.

"John Protiv Kogo", is derived from the punch line of an old, dark joke. When told, "Say something.", a person should answer "Protiv Kogo? (Against whom?)".

I hope that clears things up a bit. John could as well be Ivan, but I'm trying to make things prettier than they are.

God bless us all, because there are those who will never get over things, and never allow themselves to actualize.

You've shed a great deal of light matt. In the light of this post, let me, if I may, analyze your previous post. May I then post another comment? I do so love the art of writing!

Linda
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Harry
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A computer set up by the French doors! You'll have a view out over rolling lawns and flowering fruit trees. You'll be able to watch the sun come up through the early morning fog, and if they're the right kind of French doors, you'll be able to watch the sun go down as well. You're a lucky writer, Linda - all I can see is my neighbor's garbage can and his hypersensitive dog.
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matt
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:25 am    Post subject: Hypersensitive dogs Reply with quote

Linda, write if you want.

Good Sir Buschman, those hypersensitive, goddamned dogs, are not helping us to finish anything.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:54 am    Post subject: Adventures of Donosnita -Matthew Colley Reply with quote

matt wrote:
Linda, write if you want...


Matt, I've reread each of your comments and the story again. I can't get away from how well you started the story/analogy/narrative. I'd love to see the finished manuscript. Is this something we could expect in the near future?

Linda
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:52 am    Post subject: granted Reply with quote

Without a grant of 30,000 Euros, no.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: granted Reply with quote

mattt wrote:
Without a grant of 30,000 Euros, no.


Matt! If Yahoo's convertion table is correct, that's $ 38,235.00 in US Dollars. That's a lot of money for one draft. Would it really take that much? I'd settle for a couple of free weekends. Maybe I need to follow your example and reconsider the value of my time. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:22 am    Post subject: actually Reply with quote

Actually, for 10 or 12 thousand it might be done. Maybe 8 would do it. My mind doesn't work on a schedule. My work sees to that, and is usually overflowing into my mind. It's not a fair trade.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:51 am    Post subject: The Adventures of ... Matthew Colley Reply with quote

Well, I can't provide a grant for $ 10,205.00, but, Matt, I think you've got the start of a good story here and I'd be willing to work with you on it. I'm sure, if you could come up with a complete draft, somebody, somewhere, would be interested in publishing for money. Analogies are difficult to write--real ones, I mean.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:12 am    Post subject: more sentences Reply with quote

I wrote some more sentences. After some of them I found a quote from the Bible book, that was used in the examples of usage under a word for which I checked the meaning, as I hadn't used it in years. As it was, the quote quite fit the situation for which the areligious word had been chosen. Now I'm stuck, wondering how I get permission to legally quote the Bible book.
-Does God take me to court? -Do Saints and Angels confiscate my ancient computer? Does a group of Christians get greedy and encourage the publisher to pursue?

It's too scarey to continue writing. I'm sorry.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: more sentences Reply with quote

mattt wrote:
I wrote some more sentences. After some of them I found a quote from the Bible book, that was used in the examples of usage under a word for which I checked the meaning, as I hadn't used it in years. As it was, the quote quite fit the situation for which the areligious word had been chosen. Now I'm stuck, wondering how I get permission to legally quote the Bible book.
-Does God take me to court? -Do Saints and Angels confiscate my ancient computer? Does a group of Christians get greedy and encourage the publisher to pursue?

It's too scarey to continue writing. I'm sorry.


Fear not, my friend. There is a lot of liberty in fiction, and one advantage is the liberty to omit citations. And, an analogy of the type that you're working on could fall under the gender of fiction. Anyway, who would sue? And if someone dared, lawyers hate those kinds of lawsuits. Please don't let those doubts hinder you. Write, Matt. Please, continue to write those sentences!
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DaveR
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Linda. It's good to see you're back.

Amazing how a little background from Matt allows us readers to enjoy Donosnitsa. She must continue.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 12:18 am    Post subject: uh mazing Reply with quote

Not so long ago I somewhere read a review stating that Kafka was merely writing about circumstances where he was, while he was living there. My opinion is that it was a most intelligent review. Nonetheless, I doubt that all of his neighbors and coworkers would have given him a group hug when necessary for him to continue. It also occurs to me that a group hug might have ruined his stories, as it might have had him reeling in a greater inability to accept belief in it. (No, I'm not complaining about your encouragement. I'm just saying that it can be difficult to continue writing about what is perceived by who is writing, while he/she/it senses negativity and what he/she/it believes to be social abnormalities around him/her/it, existing as norms. It's like going into a New Years Eve party and telling everyone that everyone is wrong. It generally produces receipt a prolonged beating. At the same time the writer of something might understand that he/she/it is not above flaw.)

This morning I am quite severely questioning the the virtues (and/or benefits) of continuing that story. I have written a few more sentences since I wrote a few more sentences. However, I'm not quite convinced that writing what the soul senses is worth much, in the long run. It's maybe something like producing a healthy drink. Colas will still dominate the market, because the ad is more care free, and we all know that escape is usually preferred over what is delusionally empowering. Most of us want to get through the day that is this short life. I don't know if anyone can be blamed for that.

My ears often hear individuals expressing that social things between people are ultimately the same everywhere. I don't agree because experiences and values are not the same. Generally, we're no more than reacting to our own, and including myself, most of us are not above that. Justifying words that just start assembling themselves as you drive or walk, is difficult. They come about for a reason. They remind me that it is easier to get lost in a forest than it is to survive finding the way out of it.

Oh well, we'll see. I suppose it's up to turns of luck.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: uh mazing Reply with quote

mattt wrote:
...Justifying words that just start assembling themselves as you drive or walk, is difficult. They come about for a reason. They remind me that it is easier to get lost in a forest than it is to survive finding the way out of it.

Oh well, we'll see. I suppose it's up to turns of luck.



Matt, that's an interesting outlook, but, don't you think an effort to revise and complete your journalistic thoughts could possibly result in some excellent maps for those less fortunate (those who may one day find themselves lost in the same forest you are struggling to survive)? I think you've got a good thing going. Why quit?


And, Hi DaveR. It's good to be back, and I'm finding inspiration in all of the wonderful stories and poems currently posted!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:59 pm    Post subject: Journalistic? Reply with quote

Thank you Ms. Linda. I don't know if I would call myself journalistic. I would call myself harmless.

I quite agree that rewriting and expanding are right. Deleting is also, sometimes necessary.

Recently I'm not very polite. My theory is that it's a reaction to others being, other than nice. In that, you should not be surprized if I show up on your doorstep wet from swimming a few thousand miles, and begging between frightened sobs.

So maybe it is journalism after all. But I suppose that judgement awaits the gestated opinions of others (ugh!), like everything else does.

I find myself most sick of myself while I'm sick of others. In mind I am returning to the idea that it's best to dig a hole in the ground and live by eating the roots off the walls.

We'll see. I wrote 8 or sentences again, yesterday. I'm very proud of that, but doubt the wisdom of sharing them.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: Journalistic? Reply with quote

mattt wrote:
... Recently I'm not very polite. My theory is that it's a reaction to others being, other than nice. In that, you should not be surprized if I show up on your doorstep wet from swimming a few thousand miles, and begging between frightened sobs...


Why Matt! You are a poet also! I am pleasantly surprised and momentarily speechless! As for journalism, I simply meant that writing your thoughts down in a consistent manner can become a type of journal, and writers should NEVER EVER throw these journals away. One day, while struggling for the right way to say the right thing, you can flip through your journals, and the odds will be good that on one of those pages you'll find the exact words that you’re currently trying to say!


So, where are the 8 or so sentences?
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