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Vanilla

by penny


This is a scene from what hopefully will turn out to be a book. I'd really appreciate some help with it. -penny

...I didn’t make it to my stay room on board for about an hour after departure. I was caught immediately by the waves and drawn to the side of the boat like a cat to a fish bowl. And there I stayed for a full sixty minutes. I’d always imagined the waves to be deep royal blue, but they’re not really. Not compared to the sky, at least. The sky was blue, but the water, the water wasn’t a color at all. It was just there. It was black or white and sometimes the sun shone on it with such effort that you couldn’t really see anything but the reflection of your face looking into it, and at that moment the water was whatever color you wanted it to be. So, I stared into that water until I had seen every color in a box of ninety-six.

It wasn’t until people began to stare at me that I picked up my suitcase, purse and favorite pillow and went hunting for room number 847. It didn’t take me long once I stopped looking at things and I pushed open the door with my hip and gladly threw my bags onto the bed. I took out my laptop, my pride and joy, and sat down at the desk ready to write. I had started a story before I left Florida, but considering that it wasn’t flowing out of me as I had hoped, I decided to start a new one. Looking around for something to provide me with a connotation I saw a place card sitting in front of the lamp by the bed. I walked to it and picked it up. Under neath was a small, plastic card much like the gift certificates I used to get from the bookstore. Reading the note I discovered that “As a first time passenger with Blue Diamond Travels, Inc. [I was] entitled to one free espresso of [my] choice from the Amethyst Lounge coffee stand.”

I carefully scooped up my computer and the card and started toward the Lounge. Not knowing exactly where the Lounge was, of course, I ended up first on the bow of the ship where at least a dozen people looked at me as if my hair was a color they had never seen before. I continued to wander aimlessly and within seconds I lost interest in paying attention to where I was going. As a made a left turn around a corner I found someone else who had ceased to pay attention. I ran my face straight into the chest of a uniquely handsome, dark-headed young man. And because he happened to be eating a cone of ice cream, it naturally and predictably was then sitting on top of my utterly bewildered head.

“Oh Lord,” he said to me in a resonant voice, “I really should learn not to eat ice cream and walk at the same time. My apologies.”

He smiled. Contagiously, I smiled in return.

“No, don’t worry about it,” I staggered, “It was partly my fault.”

“Oh, so you are blaming me?” he asked, grinning sheepishly.

“Well I’m certainly not going to hand over my pride to someone who eats the wrong flavor of ice cream. You see, some of it has now rolled down my face and, consequently, into my mouth. And come to find out, it’s vanilla.”

He looked around as if to find an alibi, “So?”

“Well, vanilla isn’t a very daring flavor, is it?”

He looked stunned.

I continued, “Judging by your choice of flavors, I’d have to say that it’s possible that you are indeed a very bland and uninteresting person.” I smiled genuinely.

“Well,” he laughed, “judging by the way you walk, I’m positive you live in a completely different world then the rest of us...vanilla ice cream eaters. So, naturally, your opinion can easily be overlooked.”

I laughed and presented my hand that wasn’t holding my computer, “I’m Adelyn and I’m very pleased to meet you, even though I really do disagree with vanilla ice cream.”

Placing his hand in mine, “Terry. And it was the only flavor they had.”

He winked.

An hour and a half. I had ninety minutes to un-vanilla my hair, find a decently dressy outfit and meet Terry at the scene of the crime. He had asked me to dinner. I smiled at myself in the mirror as I repeated the phrase aloud.

“He asked me to dinner,” in a higher tone, “He asked me. To dinner. He asked. Me. To dinner. HE ASKED ME TO DINNER!”

I laughed aloud and let myself collapse across the bed.

“Oh crap,” I said, “what the hell am I gonna wear.”...


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402 Reviews


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Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:45 am
Wiggy says...



Cute! I liked it!




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Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:02 pm
Nvrmnd says...



Wow WinterGrimm, you pretty much said it all. o.O




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Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:18 am
WinterGrimm wrote a review...



penny wrote:...I didn’t make it to my stay room on board for about an hour after departure.

Wordy consider revising.

penny wrote:And there I stayed for a full sixty minutes.

Consider cutting "a full" and don't begin the sentence with "And".

penny wrote:The sky was blue, but the water, the water wasn’t a color at all.

You've already said half of this this. Cut it down. Example: "I’d always imagined the waves to be royal blue, but they’re not really. Compared to the blue sky the water wasn't any color at all."

penny wrote:It was just there.

Consider cutting. I'm not sure its needed.

penny wrote:It was black or white and sometimes the sun shone on it with such effort that you couldn’t really see anything but the reflection of your face looking into it, and at that moment the water was whatever color you wanted it to be.

This is a mega runon. Its also a little on the wordy side. Please reword this. I'm also having trouble seeing this object. Is it black? Is it white? Is it both? Also there's nowhere in the ocean I've seen where you have a reflection. Maybe in the clearest of the Carribean seas but even then I don't think so. It could be black then white for instance. But not black or white.

penny wrote: So, I stared into that water until I had seen every color in a box of ninety-six.



penny wrote:It wasn’t until people began to stare at me that I picked up my suitcase, purse and favorite pillow and went hunting for room number 847. It didn’t take me long once I stopped looking at things and I pushed open the door with my hip and gladly threw my bags onto the bed. I took out my laptop, my pride and joy, and sat down at the desk ready to write. I had started a story before I left Florida, but considering that it wasn’t flowing out of me as I had hoped, I decided to start a new one. Looking around for something to provide me with a connotation I saw a place card sitting in front of the lamp by the bed. I walked to it and picked it up. Under neath was a small, plastic card much like the gift certificates I used to get from the bookstore. Reading the note I discovered that “As a first time passenger with Blue Diamond Travels, Inc. [I was] entitled to one free espresso of [my] choice from the Amethyst Lounge coffee stand.”

I'm just going to mark the changed I would make here...

It wasn’t until people began to stare at me that I picked up my suitcase and went hunting for room number 847. I pushed open the door with my hip and threw my bags onto the bed. I took out my laptop, my pride and joy, and sat down at the desk to write. I had started a story before I left Florida, but considering that it wasn’t flowing out of me as I had hoped, I decided to start a new one. Looking around for something to provide me with a connection (?) I saw a place card sitting in front of the lamp by the bed. I walked over to it and picked it up. Under neath was a small, plastic card, like the bookstore gift certificates I used to get. Reading the note, I discovered that “As a first time passenger with Blue Diamond Travels, Inc. [I was] entitled to one free espresso of [my] choice from the Amethyst Lounge coffee stand.”


penny wrote:I carefully scooped up my computer and the card and started toward the Lounge. Not knowing exactly where the Lounge was, of course, I ended up first on the bow of the ship where at least a dozen people looked at me as if my hair was a color they had never seen before. I continued to wander aimlessly and within seconds I lost interest in paying attention to where I was going. As a made a left turn around a corner I found someone else who had ceased to pay attention. I ran my face straight into the chest of a uniquely handsome, dark-headed young man. And because he happened to be eating a cone of ice cream, it naturally and predictably was then sitting on top of my utterly bewildered head.

And I'm going to do it again....

I scooped up my computer and the card. Then started toward the Lounge. Not knowing exactly where the Lounge was, I ended up first on the bow of the ship where at least a dozen people looked at me as if my hair was a color they had never seen before. I continued to wander and within seconds I lost interest in paying attention to where I was going. As I turned around a corner I found someone else who had ceased to pay attention. I ran my face straight into the chest of a handsome, dark-headed young man. He happened to be eating a cone of ice cream, and it fell directly onto my head.

“Oh Lord,” he said to me in a resonant voice, “I really should learn not to eat ice cream and walk at the same time. My apologies.”

change to
he said “I really should learn not to eat ice cream and walk at the same time. My apologies.”

He smiled. Contagiously, I smiled in return.

cut contagiously. You use far too many adverbs. They are not needed!

“No, don’t worry about it,” I staggered, “It was partly my fault.”

staggered doesn't make the statement stronger. "said" works just peachy here.

I continued, “Judging by your choice of flavors, I’d have to say that it’s possible that you are indeed a very bland and uninteresting person.” I smiled genuinely.

She only needs to smile. Cut genuinly.

Placing his hand in mine, “Terry. And it was the only flavor they had.”
He winked.

I don't think winking is important. Cut it.

penny wrote: “Oh crap,” I said, “what the hell am I gonna wear(?)”...
You need a question mark here


There were times in the story when I found the protagonist very teenage, but I know she has to be at least in her twenties if she's on the cruise by her self. Or more likely thirties to be making enough money as a writer to do so. There's some promise here with the conversation about the ice cream that was cute. But you need to limit your adverb usage, and look for passive voice. Also look for words that aren't absolutly nessisary in your piece and when you find them eliminate them with extream predjudice. Just keep these things in mind when you're writing. And also remember that what I offer is advice and I'm only making suggestions so you are free to ignore any critique I have given you.




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Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:43 am
A.O. Avalon wrote a review...



Placing his hand in mine, “Terry. And it was the only flavor they had.”
He winked


This is a little disjointed... i think maybe "and with a wink he strolled away." or something to that effect.

glad you're here babelicious. xoxo "Sunny da Bunny"





You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot stop Spring from coming.
— Pablo Neruda