The title of the story is "Chroma" and it's about an elderly painter named Lily who has moved into a cottage near her daughter-in-law and son who run a resort. We never actually meet Lily herself, but get to know her through her daughter-in-law's eyes beginning the morning that Jenny knocks on the door of Lily's cottage to find her gone. The only clues to her whereabouts are in a box in her bedroom and the paintings she created in the two months before her disappearance.
Though I've never apologized in so many words to Mr. Stokes for anything, he's a bright fellow and seems to recognize my terrible habit of doing so too often and has called me on it three times now. At forty-six I'm finally beginning to see why I do this--it's a hold over from a childhood with constantly angry, impossible to please parents. I don't think I realized it was that apparent--even in print.
In any case, I thought you'd appreciate the exchange.
A disclaimer and and a warning and a few other notes.
1) I find I need distance from a project in order to truly see its weaknesses and am accustomed to having months in which to put a story to rights. Until then I'm either in love with it or I hate it. I'm wavering on this one. Sometimes it's awful. Sometimes it's the best thing I've ever written. Today I think it is awful, but then I also have a sinus infection, a sick husband, and hate everything except my puppy and she's walking a fine line (I liked that pair of shoes too . . .)
2) This sucker is windy--just over 10,000 wds. I swear I went into it with a plan, I just didn't expect it to take so many words to get to the end. I know this is going to make work shopping for your purposes difficult. If you need me to, I can attempt to select the strongest excerpt and offer that up instead.
3) The ending isn't right yet.
4) On a brighter note, I experimented with indirect characterization in this. I've used this technique before, but not to this degree.
Okay. Sending it off now.
Have a nice break.
Re: Paddock's Short Story
Stop apologizing! I haven't even read the thing yet :-)
I'm sure it will be fine. Have a good break!