The wall he promised to keep out crime
As we ventured down the hall to physical therapy, Kari held a leaf shaped bowl filled with candy – resistantly. Halloween decorations adorned the walls and some of the staff dressed in costumes. We decided to reverse trick-or-treat. Truthfully, I hatched the idea; Kari scowled when I handed her the bowl, “No, that’s stupid.” Any other time, a rebuke would have labeled her statement “bad-mannered” but with her vocabulary limited by the stroke, she responded with blunt abruptness. I understood her hesitancy. Never one to draw attention to herself, she liked to exist in the shadows, therefore; this activity resided WAY outside her comfort zone.
If the opening lines of the narrative permit the reader’s attention to wane, if it doesn’t mesmerize his mind and captivate his body, my dreams of a writing career will crumble and dissolve like the faded pages of a brittle, time-worn, abandoned novel.
Forty-three days is not a lot in the course of a lifetime, but as our family lived the nightmare, each day following Kari’s stroke moved in slow motion. Waiting prompted fear. The unknown paralyzed emotions. When our 33-year-old daughter experienced a traumatic brain injury, a stroke, logic no longer existed.
As an editor for several publication, I find an article that rambles the most challenging. A misspelled word, a misplaced punctuation mark or an awkward sentence present errors that are easy to address. But if the writing rambles or is creates confusion, there is not one question or one suggestion that will unify the piece.