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 Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1

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Calliopenjo


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PostSubject: Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1   March 3rd 2009, 7:10 pm

I can take hard crit soft crit. Tear it apart if need be. I'll be posting this page by page. Thank you for reading.
==========
“I know she’s coming. The perfectly petite princess of the O’Callaghan clan will be mine. Ten grand oughta do it. I wonder if I could get twenty five.” Looking through the bushes with a telephoto lens, the lurker spied a gold convertible Jaguar pull to the curb. Personalized license plates read: DeBeauty. “Shit, there she is. I recognize that plate anywhere.”

Snap. Snap. Snap. Snap.

“These pictures will buy me that yacht on the marina. Thank you, baby.” The photographer kissed the camera.
Somebody else could be seen hiding behind the pots along side the streets.

Flash. Flash. Snap. Snap.

Someone moved around to the side and more flashes were seen.
==========
Deidre entered French Café, a white brick building with a red canopy over the entrance. Giving her name to the hostess led her to Elise Aldridge, a classmate from college. She didn’t have the status of the O’Callaghan clan. Deidre accepted the invitation to lunch in an effort to make her father proud of her for congregating with the lesser crowd.

Deidre let out a long sigh.

“Good afternoon. What is this luncheon about?” Deidre asked, resting her head on her hand, secretly wishing to be on the beaches of Bora Bora, her favorite summer escape.

“Hi. Oh don’t be a downer. You have no right to be grumpy. It’s summer. Live a little. Think about thong bikinis and all of those delicious men on he beach. I ordered you a Spring Salad by the by.” Elise lightly laughed. “You remember Leslie don't you?"

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PostSubject: Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1 Page 2   March 3rd 2009, 7:18 pm

"Mmm, Leslie from Psych 101."

"Exactly. Well she's dating now, and you'll never guess who," she paused. "Lisa--the one with spiky green hair and a nose ring." Elise leaned over the table to whisper, "How can they have sex? They are both women."

Deidre laughed, someone please rescue me from this boring luncheon. I am not interested in the tales of dykes and weirdoes. Daddy always said they’re not right. She leaned over to say in a quiet voice, “You know how I feel about those kinds of people. They’re a reflection of the perversion that exists in today’s society.” A quick glance all around with the help of her faithful compact; nothing out of the ordinary.

Deidre heard the swish of a door opening and looked to see a server coming. “Oh the food is here.” She inspected the vast array of spring greens with a critical glance and sniffed the vinegar wafting up from her salad. She knew she should have asked the waiter if the food was organic before he left. I bet nothing on this plate is organic. She ate two bites of her salad while a thought came to mind: Daddy won’t like it if I am eating non-organic food. I’ll have Chef Etienne prepare me something once I get home. Everything in our kitchen is specially grown for us.

Elise watched Deidre have only two bites of her salad. “I’m famished; I haven’t eaten since last night because I’ve been so craving their tuna burgers. Don’t you like the salad I ordered for you?”

“I’m not hungry,” Deidre said.

Elise shrugged her shoulders before she said, “Do you remember the summer beach party last year? The one I had? Everybody brought food and drink. Between the hard lemonade, beer, and vodka, people got so wasted. Big time. Oh my God, it took forever to wake up. Maybe I’ll have another one this year.”

“That’s nice.” Beethoven’s Fifth sounded at that moment and Deidre sighed with relief. “Daddy’s texting me,” she looked at her Blackberry and gathered her purse, she continued, “I have to return home immediately there seems to be an emergency. Ta ta, Elise.”
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PostSubject: Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1 Page 3   March 3rd 2009, 7:20 pm

“Bye byeee, we’ll set up another lunch soon. Next time we’ll so meet at my beach house. I promise.”

Deidre waved, as if shooing away a bothersome insect, “Okay, whatever.” She walked to her car feeling relieved to be away from Elise. She would do anything to please her father; even having lunch with someone she only considered an acquaintance.

It was a ten-minute drive back to the Geld Kanne Estate. Bach played in the background as Deidre used the time to go over possible scenarios to prepare herself for the confrontation.
As soon as Deidre entered the house, she called, “Crispin!”

“Yes, Miss Deidre?”

“Where is everyone?”

“Your father is in his office, Miss Deidre, with a Mr. Archie Charleston. Would you like for me to escort you?”

“That will not be necessary, Crispin.”

"Yes, Miss Deidre," Crispin bowed with a sigh as she left.
==========
Deidre decided to go to her suite to be sure she would be presentable according to her father’s specifications. Up the marble staircase to the west wing, which she had to herself, she unlocked her door without thought to go into her dressing room.
She ruminated as she stared into the mirror, I look presentable. Not a hair out of place, clothes ironed and immaculate. . . Crispin mentioned Archie Charleston, whoever that is. A refresh of the essentials and she left for her father’s office. The full-length mirror that had seen every side of her since the very beginning, located in her dressing room, seemed to speak to her. This time it told her she was beautiful.
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PostSubject: Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1 Page 4   March 3rd 2009, 7:22 pm

Upon entering the office, she closed the doors. The clicking of the locks echoed in the room even with a wall-to-wall bookcase filled to the brim with important books, some first editions, some read, and some there to provide decoration. The light was out overhead and no one in the room except her father. He sat behind an oak desk he inherited from his father. The filtered afternoon sun gave the appearance of an aura surrounding Driscoll. To Deidre, it made him look like God. The high-back oak chair provided for his throne. Deidre sat low in one of the blue leather wingback chairs. They added to the menagerie of antique furniture. She sat in front of the desk waiting for him to address her and explain why her presence was necessary.

Driscoll O’Callaghan sat in his chair staring at his daughter. There was no way to tell what he was thinking. “Deidre, there is something I must discuss with you. I had a very interesting meeting with an Archie Charleston. He left the moment you returned to the house. You will sit there and listen before asking or saying anything. Am I clear?”

“Yes, Daddy.” Deidre leaned her head against her hand. The sooner it started the sooner it ended.

“You have another grandmother, Annora O’Callaghan. She was my birth mother. You look so much like she did that you would be considered her clone: the same strawberry blond hair, petite body, and hazel eyes. My father would say they were icy eyes to go with the icy heart. He towered over her at six feet three inches to her mere four feet eleven inches.” She couldn’t see her father’s eyes, but she could hear his voice. It was the same tone he used to describe strangers. . . adversaries. “My parents divorced when I was a little boy because my mother had an abominable affair with another woman. My father never remarried and never regretted moving away from her both emotionally and physically. However, that’s not the point of this conversation.” Driscoll bent over to reach the box that was on the floor. Placing it up on the desk, he continued. “Mr. Charleston, her lawyer, left this box for you. You will open it.”

“Why would I want anything from this Annora O’Callaghan?” Deidre asked. She turned her head to see her mother, Megan, walk into the room taking the chair next to her.

Deidre turned back around to see her father looking at her. Driscoll said in an even tone, “You will do as you were told. Open the box.”
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PostSubject: Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1 Page 5   March 3rd 2009, 7:23 pm

“Driscoll, you can’t be serious. All of this is preposterous,” Megan said.

“We should have known that we couldn’t hide it forever. My father shielded me from her and then it was my turn. No matter how hard I tried, though, Annora kept track of our daughter for whatever reason. Her lawyer said as much.”

“But dear. . .”

“That is enough, Megan. I had nearly forgotten about that woman but she continues to haunt me. Open it Deidre.”

“Since you’re demanding me to do it then I will. I still don’t understand. You never. . .”

“Open it, Deidre. I will not tell you again.”

Deidre sighed and lifted the lid off the box with ease to reveal a manila envelope with her name written in red letters. Inside the envelope were a deed, map, keys, letter, and a small photo album. “That’s it. That’s all there is.”

Megan said, “Well, let’s have some tea in the garden. Then we will go over all of this nonsense.”

The head butler had poked his head in to be sure everything was all right. Deidre stood up from her chair, ready to exit knowing her father followed. Standing face to face with Crispin, she said,
“Dispose of this trash. I don’t want to see it.” Deidre held out the envelope for the butler to take, but Driscoll grabbed it instead.
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PostSubject: Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1 Page 6   March 3rd 2009, 7:25 pm

Driscoll looked down at his daughter. “You will not have this disposed of. You will keep it.” Deidre was stunned by her father’s strange actions. The angrier that Driscoll became, the lower his voice dropped.

“I demand that you tell me about this woman then. You tell mother that you tried to protect me from her. You wouldn’t do that if you felt they were worthy of our company.”

“You don’t question me. No one questions me. Do you understand?”

“Yes. Father.” Deidre didn’t have any choice but to follow orders. He was in charge of all the money, and then there was the inheritance to consider. She would not get her trust until she turned thirty and was able to prove she was self-sufficient. If given the chance, she would take this. . . whatever. . . back to her room and . . . and what? How can you have any interest in something that came from a person you never knew? There were no ties. No ties no link no link no interest ergo, throw it away. She could plan a poetry reading, read all of this to her friends, and find out what they think. There was a problem with that though. She didn’t have any true friends and father would cancel the poetry reading.

Driscoll looked into Deidre’s eyes and said, “I already have your Blackberry and I have disconnected your phone as well. This is a private family matter not to be shared with anyone. You will go now to your room. You will not contact anyone. I will know if you attempt anything.”

She slammed the door after she entered her suite. Deidre sat on the bed to go through the contents of the envelope. Deidre thought as she unfolded the paper to read:
==========
To my dear granddaughter,
If you are reading this letter then that means, I’m dead. My name is Annora Francis O’Callaghan, wife of Mitchell O’Callaghan. We were your paternal grandparents. I won’t rewrite what the articles say so I’ll summarize instead. I need to explain.

My marriage was in trouble. Years of taking commands from Mitchell were wearing me down. I stopped thinking and stopped feeling anything. I needed to find something to help put me back together again and that was when I met her. Every time I saw her I could feel myself again. I stopped looking at the world with only my eyes. That’s right, I said she and her name was Ashley. We had a very intimate relationship. The most important thing is I found love. I learned how to love a woman and it’s because of that, I learned how to feel again. Rather than dealing with the issue, Mitchell and I ignored it and attempted to bury it. He threatened to divorce me and take away the only person I loved, which was your father, if I agreed to the divorce. Mitchell would strip me of everything. “You will not contact anyone,” he said, so we made a deal. If I left Ashley and told no one about the affair, I could keep my son. The money didn’t matter. Not anymore.

One night, after a special dinner party that we hosted, the wife of a guest and I had a good time just talking, it’s what girls do we talk. Mitchell didn’t say anything until bedtime, that’s when the fight started. Both of us were screaming and Mitchell beating me. . . Driscoll overheard what was going on. I saw Driscoll standing in the doorway and immediately took him back to bed. The following morning I was called to Aristotle Charleston’s office, our lawyer at the time. Mitchell wanted a divorce. I don’t know how, but he had evidence that I would be an unfit mother. I was declared psychologically unstable. I lost my home and I lost my son.

I lost everything. When Mitchell died, I made immediate arrangements to find Driscoll. I needed my son.

When I found him, I was so astonished at how much he resembled his father. I realized that after attempting to talk to him that he more than looked like his father, he hated me just like his father did. I could not have any more children because of the beating I suffered from Mitchell. I couldn’t try again and Ashley was gone. I felt lost. I was deeply depressed for quite a long time. Mitchell paid me to stay away from Driscoll. I took the money to put away for special occasions, but it wasn’t the money that kept me away, it was Mitchell. Every time I would try to see your father, he would move or send someone to hurt me.

This is the part that your father doesn’t know. I heard about you being born but your father tried to keep the news and you from me. During my search for you, I found Ashley’s diary and with her words, I found me again and the strength to move on. You were only a baby. Your father’s maid at the time was able to provide me with pictures of you. I don’t know what happened to her, but I can guess that she was fired.

In the envelope, I have included the deed and the keys to your house. I know it won’t make up for all of the lost time we could have spent together, but it’s my gift to you. It sits on the shores of Beofor Lake. I included a set of directions for you to follow. It’s your house now and it’s more like home than that mausoleum your father calls a house. If I do say so myself.

Happy Birthday. Merry Christmas. Happy Valentines Day.

Your grandmother,
Annora
==========
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PostSubject: Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1 Page 7   March 3rd 2009, 7:26 pm

Deidre looked in the envelope again and found copies of old newspaper articles. The paper was worn and yellowed. Wife of Corporate Giant Mitchell O’Callaghan in Depression. Mysterious Affair of a Member of the Great O’Callaghan Clan. Annora O’Callaghan Affair with a Woman. Deidre read all of the articles, all of them saying the same thing that this mysterious woman said. Not sure what to think she folded the letter and the articles and stuffed them inside of the envelope.

Deidre read the directions and knew exactly where the house was located.

She remembered overhearing a story about Beofor Lake from the employees of a catering company. According to the story, the employee didn’t believe the legend and let his son swim in the lake. It looked overcast and started packing up to leave. A strange song was heard as the fog enveloped the entire lake. Turning around for only a moment the boy and the fog disappeared when it was time to go. Never to be seen again. The lake earned another name because of the legends, and because it was unusually deep, The Lake of the Dead. Her thoughts became deeper as she remembered the story. Legends are legends and it’s nothing but a story people tell to earn more money. I‘ve been to the great lakes of the world and nothing has ever happened to me. Why would Beofor Lake be any different? I’ll go out there and then decide what to do. Daddy will want to come with me and I’ll go from there.

Deidre looked at the pictures and remembered what her father said that despite his best efforts, that woman kept track of Deidre. They were black and white pictures, yellowed with age. The photos only provided basic details of the woman’s appearance. She could have looked like Deidre. The other pictures were of a small boy that she guessed was her father. There was a picture of a man that she guessed was her grandfather. He was tall and the basic features were the same as father’s.

The last thing to check was the deed. Looking it over confirmed that the house belonged to Deidre O’Callaghan. After studying the deed, she placed it back inside the envelope.
Megan opened the bedroom door. “How are you doing daughter?”

“I’m doing fine Mother. This woman who is supposed to look exactly like me wrote this letter.” Deidre held up the envelope to show her mother. “It is a fantastic story I must say. She deserved the consequences that followed. How can any. . .”

Driscoll walked into their conversation. “Megan, this doesn’t concern you only Deidre and myself. Go see to the party plans.” Driscoll stood there looking at Deidre. Deidre saw the eyes and knew what his thoughts would be. Driscoll never expressed his emotions with words. It was always the eyes.

“Yes dear.” Megan left the room, quietly closing the door behind her.

“You will not share any of this or your point of view with anyone. You will leave first thing in the morning. I will speak with Crispin about assigning people to help clean the lake front house. Yes I know. I know many things, Deidre, because I am your father. Do not disappoint.”

“How am I supposed to trust this woman? You didn’t have anything to do with her and you won’t tell me anything about her.”

They stood face to face both angry for different reasons. Driscoll was the first to break the stare by leaving the room.
study
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PostSubject: Reply   March 3rd 2009, 7:52 pm

This is a general pleasant presentation. Thanks for sharing. Now that I have been nice, let me mention some points -

1) PoV? This stands for Point-of-View, and I could not determine where the focus was. A PoV gives your narration a personality and a clear bias on how things are perceived.

2) Emotion? "Deidre looked," "Deidre read," "She remembered," and "Deidre looked" are your opening lines to each paragraph. Repetitious and boring. Bring some feeling and bias into your presentation allowing the reader to feel some attachment and meaning to what is being done.

3) "The last thing to check was the deed." Okay, a break in presentation, but again you do not have a clear PoV, so who does this sentence refer to? I assume Deidre, but then you have Megan make an appearance and then Driscoll (who are these people?).

I believe most of the problems above would be solved simply by establishing a PoV. Deidre would work. Allow yourself to tell the tale from her point of view. Now, you can do it in Publishers-like-it-this-way mode - by telling the tale from Deidre's head. The other method is setting Deidre as your PoV, but only using Deidre as a focus and bias to your narration. It depends on what type of story you are telling as to which works best, but use one or the other. I don't recommend a floating PoV, although I like it, as publishers do not like you changing PoVs in a section (stupid publishers).

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PostSubject: Advice   March 3rd 2009, 8:02 pm

Ack! Page by page? Ooh, save me. Put all this stuff together. I do post each of my installments separate on some sites, but those are about 2,000 words each (7 of your pages). Here I keep my chapters together.

Looking over your pages, well, the advice above still holds. Just one little additional comment DESCRIPTION!!! That opening scene on page 1 should go a few thousand words by itself: describe the characters, describe the scene, establish your Point-of-View, and put some emotion into your words. Work with that scene until it shows clearly in the head of the reader. Come on, WRITE! By the way, don't worry about the paper. I live in Louisiana and we grow trees to make paper. It is our industry next to oil. Kill the trees, we make money and will grow more (I promise). Thus, WRITE!

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1   March 3rd 2009, 10:30 pm

I apologize for the page by page. I'll keep working on that. As for the other comments, I appreciate the in depth analysis. I'll keep tweaking it. Thanks.

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PostSubject: Re: Wisdom Through a Mirror, Chapter 1   March 3rd 2009, 10:53 pm

Terish, as moderator of this forum you can merge all the threads into one if you wanted to make it a little easier for the rest of us to follow or for Calliopenjo going forward with additional pages. Just start with page two and merge into into page one and then merge in page three and so on.
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PostSubject: To Hydra   March 3rd 2009, 11:00 pm

Probably, but I would rather harrass the newbie (grins at Calliopenjo). Just came back from a basketball game (my school is another step toward State champion), so I should have time. I guess that I will use my great divinely granted moderator skills (TerishD digs around computer looking for magic wand).

_________________
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