Headphones was an experiment, a story written in "snapshots", a serial, a comic in word form-- call it what you will. It ran for one year plus one day-- January 1st of 2015 to January 1st of 2016. It was the story of a group of friends who took in a damaged girl and helped her find herself. But on the way, she helped them fill the holes in their own lives. I've pulled it now with the hopes of rewriting it into a book. Each day was matched with a music video and each month's mixes are still here. So if you've stumbled in, enjoy the music, and hopefully I'll be able to post updates occasionally!


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Opinions Requested

So, I've started my next book (working title "Cracks in the Sidewalk") and I'm very undecided about which direction to take. So I'm asking  for opinions. I've never written anything in 1st person, not sure how comfortable I am with it, but I'm thinking about trying it with this one. So, basically, I've written the first couple of pages in both 1st and 3rd person. This is a first draft, so verrrrryyyy crude. I'm not asking for edits, just opinions. Let me know in the comments whether you prefer the first one or the second one...or just scrap the whole thing and start over!

1st Person
I turned my head slowly to peer over my shoulder where a body had pressed up against my back. I was stooped sideways against the bar with my feet crossed and my upper body balanced on my elbow where it rested on the wood top as I visited with my companion, Molly, but I straightened when I noticed the shorter man who was nudging into my hip. Molly might have been my best friend since college, but she was the nosiest person I knew and she craned her neck, almost falling from her perch on the stool to my left in an attempt to spy who had stolen my attention away from her. A chuckle almost rose up in my throat as I imagined her sliding to the floor if she leaned any further, but I knew that would get me punched. I didn’t figure she could see much from her seat, probably only a shaggy head of hair. And I was okay with that.
The lights were too dim for her to get a good look at the man’s face. He remained turned away from her, offering only the barest glimpse of his profile. He tapped the wood counter-top with his fingers when the bartender looked his way to wordlessly order a whiskey on the rocks, indicating that he pour another for me, as well. I nodded my thanks and we clicked our glasses together in silent acknowledgment.
As one, we turned and leaned against the banister as we surveyed the energetic crowd spread out on the dance-floor below our balcony roost. Neither of us spoke. Indeed, to most anyone, we would have appeared as two strangers. A half-grin lit his face as he sat his empty glass down and headed back to the metal staircase without a word.
Molly’s eyes were shining as she watched the dirty blond disappear back into the crowd. “Oh, he’s pretty!” She had finally gotten a good look at him.
I did my best to appear indifferent. “I hadn’t noticed.”
Giving me a side look, she scoffed. “Ha! Don’t give me that! James Pierce, I know you better than anyone. Who is he?”
“Val.”  I turned back to lean against edge of the bar and tried to change the subject. “Did Sarah call you about Monday’s meeting?” I truly hoped I could move Molly onto a different subject, but the red-head was as tenacious as any Irish Setter with a tossed stick and she brought it right back.
 “Wait! That’s Val?” she exclaimed, her voice pitching up into an almost squeal. She looked like she had just discovered a secret I had kept hidden.
Val wasn’t a secret, exactly. Maybe he was more of a guilty pleasure. I had noticed him soon after my editor, the afore-mentioned Sarah, assigned me to the “about town” team. Each week we rated theaters and museums and restaurants and bars. I had started my career reviewing bands in the college newspaper and somehow that now translated into dance clubs.
The flashy kid was every where. He should have been just another bit of fluff mixed in with the masses with his stringy Kurt Cobain hair and sleeveless band t-shirts. Really, he was no different from any of the other young studs that cruised the scene, but his angular face and the way he carried himself, self assured and confident, somehow imprinted itself onto my retinas, and I could always find him in the crowd.
I learned his name while reviewing a new club and the posters on the door boasted of the appearance of “Val”. Instead of writing about the club, I wrote about the man who made the kids lose their minds, jumping and twisting to the beats he spun.  He went by a simple name but his music was anything but. It became a habit to attend gigs when I knew Val would be the featured DJ, lurking in the dark corners until a certain level of inebriation took over and I would find myself pulled into the middle of the throng to rub against some young woman in what could only loosely be labeled as dancing.

3rd Person
James turned his head slowly to peer over his shoulder where a body had pressed up against his back. James was stooped sideways against the bar with his feet crossed and his upper body balanced on his elbow where it rested on the wood top as he visited with his companion, Molly, but James straightened when he noticed the shorter man who was nudging into his hip. Molly might have been his best friend since college, but she was the nosiest person James knew and she craned her neck, almost falling from her perch on the stool to his left in an attempt to spy who had stolen his attention away from her. A chuckle almost rose up in his throat as he imagined her sliding to the floor if she leaned any further, but he knew that would get him punched. James didn’t figure she could see much from her seat, probably only a shaggy head of hair. And he was okay with that.
The lights were too dim for her to get a good look at the man’s face. He remained turned away from her, offering only the barest glimpse of his profile. He tapped the wood counter-top with his fingers when the bartender looked his way to wordlessly order a whiskey on the rocks, indicating that he pour another for James, as well. He nodded his thanks and they clicked their glasses together in silent acknowledgment.
As one, they turned and leaned against the banister as they surveyed the energetic crowd spread out on the dance-floor below their balcony roost. Neither spoke. Indeed, to most anyone, they would have appeared as two strangers. A half-grin lit his face as he sat his empty glass down and headed back to the metal staircase without a word.
Molly’s eyes were shining as she watched the dirty blond disappear back into the crowd. “Oh, he’s pretty!” She had finally gotten a good look at him.
James did my best to appear indifferent. “I hadn’t noticed.”
Giving me a side look, she scoffed. “Ha! Don’t give me that! James Pierce, I know you better than anyone. Who is he?”
“Val.”  James turned back to lean against edge of the bar and tried to change the subject. “Did Sarah call you about Monday’s meeting?” He truly hoped he could move Molly onto a different subject, but the red-head was as tenacious as any Irish Setter with a tossed stick and she brought it right back.
 “Wait! That’s Val?” she exclaimed, her voice pitching up into an almost squeal. She looked like she had just discovered a secret James had kept hidden.
Val wasn’t a secret, exactly. Maybe he was more of a guilty pleasure. James had noticed him soon after his editor, the afore-mentioned Sarah, assigned him to the “about town” team. Each week they rated theaters and museums and restaurants and bars. James had started his career reviewing bands in the college newspaper and somehow that now translated into dance clubs.
The flashy kid was every where. He should have been just another bit of fluff mixed in with the masses with his stringy Kurt Cobain hair and sleeveless band t-shirts. Really, he was no different from any of the other young studs that cruised the scene, but his angular face and the way he carried himself, self assured and confident, somehow imprinted itself onto his retinas, and James could always find him in the crowd.
James learned his name while reviewing a new club and the posters on the door boasted of the appearance of “Val”. Instead of writing about the club, he wrote about the man who made the kids lose their minds, jumping and twisting to the beats he spun.  He went by a simple name but his music was anything but. It became a habit to attend gigs when he knew Val would be the featured DJ, lurking in the dark corners until a certain level of inebriation took over and James would find himself pulled into the middle of the throng to rub against some young woman in what could only loosely be labeled as dancing.




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