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 Fumbled Life

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PostSubject: Fumbled Life   September 13th 2008, 12:49 am

!! Contains Mature Content, Strong Language!!

Part 1

Livio Andrew Carter was eighteen years old when he started studying criminology in college. He didnít have enough money to live in his own apartment, so the only opportunity he had was living with his dad and his dadís nasty wife. Livio loved going to college; it got him away from home and helped him stop thinking about all that stuff he went through at home. Livio studied hard for his grades and spent as much time as possible in the classrooms, so he wouldnít see whatís going on at home. His dad and stepmother were always doing dirty things either in the kitchen or the living room and this was something he didnít want to see. But most of the time, luck just wasnít on his side.

One day in September Livio's life changed, and he remembers it as if it were yesterday. The day started like every other one, he got up at 5.30 in the morning and went into the bathtub. He started with hot water and finished his shower off with running some cold water over his body, which left him with a clean head. After leaving the tub and drying his hair and body, he brushed his teeth, put deodorant on, cleaned his ears with a Q-Tip and went back into his bedroom. He put his favorite blue sweatshirt and his black jeans on, slipped into his DC sneakers and checked his backpack again for any missing material before he left his room. While walking down the stairs he could hear his dad screaming at his wife. He decided to get a coffee-to-go from Starbucks just around the corner, so he wouldnít get involved in any of their fights. He went to Starbucks the first time about two month ago, and only because all his friends were talking about how good the coffee was. He didnít think of it as excellent and marvelous, but he still couldnít take his hands off of it. He never figured out whether it was because of the beautiful servant or not. He remembers walking into Starbucks the very first time: Cindy was working the coffee machine when he walked towards her. He was fascinated by her deep brown eyes right away and didnít see the chair standing in his way. Without taking his eyes off of her, he fell over the chair and hit his head on the table. He was still lying on the floor when she came running towards him.

ďAre you okay?Ē she asked with a shy voice. Livio couldnít help but starring into her eyes, forgetting the pain in his head for a second. Cindy asked him again, this time a bit louder but still calm: ďSir, can you understand me?Ē

Finally back to reality, Livio was wondering how long heíd starred at her and said: ďOh Iím sorry I was umm...umm, yes Iím okay. Thank you very much.Ē

In the meanwhile, another servant came running across the cafť, making sure Livio was alright. He put himself together and took a break on the chair before he stood up. After wiping the dust away from his clothes, he walked toward the register to make his order. Cindy had a little smile on her face while she made sure again that Livio really was alright.

He recognized that she was starring at him and said: ďIím really fine, ummm... Cindy.Ē, after taking a moment to read her name tag. ďIt is more embarrassing than anything else, but Iíll survive it!Ē He tried to force a smile, but before he could she interrupted him.

ďNo worries, it happens to all of us. You donít have to be embarrassed.Ē He started blushing and after she touched his arm slightly, he ordered his Cafť Mocha, thanked her again and left the cafť.

Livio was quite late for his class and with every step he took, his head started to hurt more and more. It felt as if a truck would have rolled over it a thousand times. His nose was running and his eyes started to burn and were itchy. A few blocks further down, Livio decided to skip class, to go home and lay down. He walked into the house and the first thing he noticed was a big reddish spot on the carpet. His first thought was that he was hallucinating since his eyes were burning like hell, but he figured out pretty soon that he wasnít. Livio stepped closer to the spot and bent down. While he was about to touch it with his fingers, the only thing running through his head was: Please donít let it be blood! He touched the carpet and it was still wet. The reddish fluid was running down Livioís fingers, while he was rubbing his thumb against his middle and index finger. From what heíd learned in college, it definitely was blood!

****

Livio had never known life like others did. His parents divorced when he was seven years old. His dad Frank left Livio and his mother Mary after a period of long and hurtful fights and arguments, and never came back. Frank was the one who got a lot of money after his parents past away, but he never even bothered to pay child support for Livio. He somehow managed it that Mary didnít receive any money from the divorce, so Livio and his mother were broke, living in a single room apartment with cockroaches and mice. Mary worked at a 7/11 store when he was younger, making him spend the whole day with his aunt and cousin. She didnít earn a lot, but it was enough so they didnít starve. Livio got used to the whole situation, but by the time he got older, he also was harder to handle. Mary often received calls from schools or neighbors that something was broken or that his behavior was not acceptable. His mother tried everything she could, but by the time he was 12, she was diagnosed with cancer and didnít have enough strength to continue raising him. All she wanted was for him to have a good life. She wanted to be there for him, but most of all she wanted for him not to turn out like his father. That was the main reason why she didnít want him to live with his dad after the divorce. Now she had no other choice. So Livio started to pack all his things and he moved in with his father on a warm spring day in March.

Frank was a construction worker who was married three times since his first divorce. He liked to drink whenever he wasnít at work. Livioís mother said that he probably drank at work too, which would explain why he changed construction sites about every couple months. She figured that every time he wasnít at work he was sitting on his lazy ass in front of the television, watching either football or porn. That was at least what he did when he still was Maryís husband. That was his time when he didnít want to be bothered, and this was usually the time when their fights or arguments started. After almost 8 years she couldnít take it anymore and filed a divorce. Frank didnít mind because he already had another woman waiting, and after his divorce was final, he married her. She tried to be the perfect wife, always cleaning the house from top to bottom, washing dishes every time she used them Ė even if it only was a spoon. Livio always rolled his eyes when he saw her doing this, and he knew that his father couldnít stand it either. Only a short period later, his dad filed a divorce and like the first time with Livioís mother, she didn't get anything.

The situation at home improved a little bit. Frank paid more attention to Livio, doing things that fathers are suppose to do with sons. He even started to watch Sunday Football with him and took time to explain the rules. This didnít last long though, because Livio's behavior in school hadn't improved. He got into trouble with other kids, and the telephone calls to his dad increased each passing day. Then Frank's behavior got worse and he started to take his anger out on his son. Livioís body was full of bruises and welts and it was almost impossible for him to lie down. One day he had a fight with a younger kid and his dad was called into the principalís office. Ms. Jessica Turner, the principal had a long and intensive talk with Frank about how they could improve Livio's manners. Livio was at home, knowing that when his dad would arrive home the rage would begin, but surprisingly he didn't. Livio was confused and was wondering why, but after a few hours of worrying he was just glad he didnít. Later, Livio would figure it out, his dad and his principal Jessica had something going on, and while it lasted, Livio didnít get hurt.

Jessica was beautiful and really someone to look up, and after a few months, Frank proposed to her as well. Livioís dad seemed to be happy and enjoyed her company and that made Livio happy as well. It wasn't long before the trouble started again. The household turned up side down when Frank voiced his concerns about Jessica not following his instructions and didnít do what he told her to. ĎBitch, get me a beer, cook me this, cook me that, wash my clothesí and so on and on. Unlike his previous wives, she was smart enough to leave him before he start hurting her bad. Before she left she talked with Livio. She told him that she really loved his dad, but since they were married his whole demeanor changed. She didnít know him that way, and he was certainly not the man she fell in love with, and Livio didnít blame her!

His dadís behavior and everything else went back to how it was before. Frank spent his days getting drunk in front of the television, disregarding the entire household, including Livio and his needs. After a while, Livioís dad started to go out in the night and came home early in the morning. He was always wondering where his dad went, but as long as he didnít hit him with the belt, he didn't bother to worry about it. One night, Livio woke up because he heard loud noises downstairs. He walked out of his room quiet and slowly and went step by step down the stairs. The closer he came to the living room, the better he could hear that a woman was with his dad. They laughed, drank beer and touched themselves on places Livio didnít even want to know. After getting that horrible sneak-peek, he went back to bed.

When he woke up in the morning, got ready for school and went downstairs, he saw that she was still there. And compared to Jessica, this woman was a howling dog. They were laying on the couch, she on top of his dad. They didn't move and Livio thought she was either dead or drunk as he quietly left the house. For the next few months, she spent her days there and left the house only in the night to go to work. Frank met his current wife, Amber, at ďThe Dirty HoleĒ, a striptease bar, where she was shaking her ass around Frankís head until he got a boner and put a few bucks into her panties. Livio found the name of the bar appropriate for where his dad met his wife, and he couldnít stand Amber from the very first day he brought her home. His father and Amber had a lot in common; they were both alcoholics, they both smoked like chimneys, they were as messy as pigs and were always having their nasty sex out in the open for all to see. Like all of his previous relationships, Frank beat her too, but Livio started to believe that Amber didnít mind it at all. But hey, Livio thought what did he know. How she was treated was up to her and he didnít want to be involved in any of their bullshit.

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Last edited by Snacker on September 30th 2008, 6:12 pm; edited 7 times in total (Reason for editing : Re-Write)
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PostSubject: Re: Fumbled Life   September 13th 2008, 1:34 am

It's basically an introduction to the characters. So, I can't comment really on storyline or even the pace of the piece.

There are a couple of word choices I'd reconsider.

Snacker wrote:

I then moved to what I so-call hell.

Usually the term 'so-called' is used to imply that the speaker doesn't believe something to be what it is called. Example: His so-called talent wasn't obvious to anyone but himself.

The way you used it here, to mean that Hell is indeed what the character referred to this time in his life as, is a little confusing. I had to read it twice to grasp your meaning.

Quote :
That was his time where he didnít want to be bothered.

Should read: That was his time WHEN he didn't want to be bothered.

Quote :
I couldnít stand it, and so couldnít my dad.

I'd change this to: I couldn't stand it, and NEITHER could my dad. OR I couldn't stand it, NOR could my dad.

Quote :
I started college when I was 18 years old. Livio Andrew Carter was the name I studied criminology under. I didnít have enough money to move into my own apartment, so the only opportunity I had was staying with my dad and his naughty witch. I loved going to college, but every time I was walking home, I was hoping not to catch them doing some naughty activities either in the kitchen or the living room. But it seemed that luck just wasnít on my side, because most of the time I did. It was nasty, Iím telling you! So I just tried to ignore it, while I walked to my room.

I personally feel you use the word NAUGHTY once or twice too often in this passage. You established she was 'naughty' in the paragraph before it. Perhaps you could replace it with NASTY or LOOSE or something of the like.


Hope that helps some and I certainly hope you'll post addition parts.
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PostSubject: Re: Fumbled Life   September 13th 2008, 1:46 am

Yes it does help me a lot Hydra. Thank you very much. I agree with the things you said and I will go over that part again. I already changed the 'Naughty' part. I recognized that it was too much. But seems you saw the very first edition.

About the so-called term: How can I write it? It was indeed hell for him, but maybe for other people it isn't. That is why I picked the 'so-called'

Thanks a lot.

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PostSubject: Reply   September 13th 2008, 8:35 am

Okay, Snacker, I need to fuss at you. You normally do poetry. I am glad that you are trying your hand at prose, but we need to talk.

1) You used F**K. Now, I believe in freedom of speech. Still, there are minors present on this site. Thus, STATE A WARNING IN YOUR LEAD (Mature content, Strong Language, Extreme Erotic Situations, etc.). You put me in control of this forum, so I am laying down the law.

2) Your presentation was very immature. I understand that your focus is some freshman college potential drop-out, but most readers do not read things by freshman college potential drop-outs. Thus, you need to improve the style while keeping the attitude. The usual method is to make your PoV (Point of View) VERY observant. Most stories of this type are very descriptive. While the actual text is very proper, the attitude and personality of the focus comes out in his manner of describing. As a poetry person, this should be something that you excel at (yes, I was stereotyping). The other method is to pull your PoV back to not be the focus, but only centered on the focus. From what little of your story was presented, I would not do it this way.

3) Again, I am stereotyping, but as a poetry person I expect you to have more flow to your story. What you presented jumped around. I believe that each topic is probably important to the story, but some easy movement between subjects would have made reading slightly easier. As it is, there are breaks - and 'breaks are bad as someone might put your book down, go to the bathroom, and NOT PICK IT BACK UP' (I actually read that by some professional attempting to give advice, and laughed as I normally bring the books that I am reading into the bathroom with me).

Considering that Hydra got you on text, and I am hitting you on style, I am considering that you have had a good warning, Snacker. Now, get back to work and show some improvement. While you are at it, I might work on another poem - just to be fair. We might thus both become much more broader in our wisdom.

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PostSubject: Re: Fumbled Life   September 14th 2008, 1:28 am

TerishD wrote:

1) You used F**K. Now, I believe in freedom of speech. Still, there are minors present on this site. Thus, STATE A WARNING IN YOUR LEAD (Mature content, Strong Language, Extreme Erotic Situations, etc.). You put me in control of this forum, so I am laying down the law.

"EXTREME erotic situations", seriously?... Where?... I missed it... I miss everything good.
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PostSubject: Re: Fumbled Life   September 18th 2008, 11:09 am

Hello Snacker, I haven't had the opportunity to critique any of your work. Yet, the first piece I come across has a very big, red warning. Quite an introduction.

Because Hydra already tackled the grammar, and TerishD made suggestions on your style, I'd like to offer an alternative critique and comment on structure.

Now, structure can be a matter of opinion so in offering mine, I by no means intend to offend yours.

Personally, the beginning up till the very last paragraph reads like a journal or blog. While offering a background is always a good thing, establishing a hook first is even better. So, I suggest that your last paragraph should be your first. In establishing that scene, you can get into his backstory. The great thing about writing is that it doesn't have to be linear.

I think by switching that, you'll be forced to add more description to accompany his thoughts which will take away the journal feel of the story. Of course, if that is what you are going for, then disregard my suggestions.

What I really liked about your story is the personality of the character which shines through. His spunk and energy helps to make him relatable. I think you've done an excellent job with that.

~New York Bum

~P.S. "The Dirty Hole"? That's sick. Ha!
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PostSubject: Re: Fumbled Life   September 30th 2008, 5:20 pm

First thank you very much for your comments and criticism. I took it and worked on the story again. I put more details in it, and started off with the end of the writing I had before, just how NY Bum suggested.

I stopped writing it in "I", so it is from Livio's view now and I tried to avoid to use the same words too much.

It doesn't read like a journal anymore, but like a story.it kinda starts off like a Prologue in my opinion. I hope you like it so far and I'm looking forward for some more criticism and comments.

Oh and I, of course, will keep posting the other parts, as soon as they are done!

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PostSubject: Update   September 30th 2008, 5:22 pm

Just letting you know that I read most of your update. It is a definite improvement. That HUGE paragraph at the end was a little unnerving, but I had read enough by then to make a reply.

What I want to now challenge you on is narration. You have it. The characters are solid, the scenes are well presented, and there is a flow to the story. It reads like an outline however: Livio did this, Livio did that, Livio went and did this other thing. Put some emotion, some meaning, and some description in your paragraphs (you do have description, but it comes across dry). That meeting with Cindy could have been so much better.

That is it. Keep working.

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PostSubject: Re: Fumbled Life   September 30th 2008, 5:26 pm

I'll see if I can break that paragraph apart, but I do agree with you that it sometimes reads like a outline. I didn't describe the meeting with Cindy more, because I will come back to her. It was just a short introduction who she is, but you will definitely find her later on in the story.

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PostSubject: Re: Fumbled Life   September 30th 2008, 5:55 pm

TerishD really said it all; smaller paragraphs and flesh it out a bit.

But it is an improvement over the first draft. Keep it up.
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PostSubject: Re: Fumbled Life   September 30th 2008, 6:09 pm

I like this its very nice.
Its dark and kinda cool.
It flows really good and I like the way everything comes together.
Its a really cool story idea and I would like to read more.
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PostSubject: Re: Fumbled Life   September 30th 2008, 6:20 pm

Thanks very much for your comments guys. I broke the last huge paragraph down in smaller ones. I'll go over it again and try to make it more flowing.

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