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Unorganized Literature by Irrelephantlovesyou


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March 20, 2011
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I.

The day everything ended, she was standing in a parking lot, weary from a long day of departures and destinations, staring up at the sky. Clouds strolled west, their armfuls of grey dripping out of their grasp and spattering onto the asphalt, onto her upturned face. They rolled and crashed into one another, piling up high in the stratosphere like mountains of cottony stone. Once, they had been at war, and their arguments had sliced across the countryside with the recklessness of a summer fire. Now, though, something had calmed them. Perhaps they were tired from their travel like her, or perhaps it was the sun, gently wedging them apart with scalding fingers. Its light had almost gotten lost behind the celestial battle, but soon grey faded to white, white flashed gold, and the sun finally reached down to where she stood, there next to her father, on the last day he remembers before everything ended.

II.

It was hard for her to imagine now, how she could have gotten lost so easily those first few days living here. Her life was consumed by white, narrow halls and the numbered doors that marked the way from her tiny guest room to the ICU. Go down the hall, take the stairs on the left—not the right— try not to slip on the cold tiled floor, drift by the stale promises and men with clipboards. Don't go out into the city; that was something else she had learned, the last time she tried to escape. Out there, the storm hadn't passed, not completely. It clung stubbornly to the air, cloyingly thick and hot in the July sun. When she breathed, the traces of the storm lined her lungs like leftover molasses in a jar. For one week, she waited for the sky to finally crack open and pour out the ocean. But she was always left waiting, and walking, and memorizing the twisted path between her father's room and her own.

III.

The sky sagged onto the tops of the trees, shrouding their arms in folds of grey when once they had been feathered with the color of summer. The air had forgotten the taste of lilac, the touch of sparrows, the sound of crickets; it was dry and clean, pure and empty. A chill suffused its edges, convincing the sun to flit shyly just behind the mountaintops. Today, the grey of winter was impenetrable, but one day the sun would help the air remember what it had lost. One day, it would be summer again, but until then, she lay on the living room floor, soaking in the warmth of the fireplace and listening to the still-unfamiliar sound of her father's laughter. He sat in his favorite chair and squinted through off-kilter glasses at his new book about Yogi Berra. Every few minutes, he would flip back to the same page and read the quote there to her. "We're lost," he said between guffaws, "but we're making good time."
For my father. If I haven't told you I love you today, I do.
Always. :heart:


This is very, very important that I get absolutely perfect. I'm planning on giving this to my father someday soon, and I'm also going to be presenting this during a college art show. So, naturally, any critique would be very much appreciated. The form of this is really a triptych (three columns side-to-side), with the idea that each stanza is an image "painting a picture with my words," but I couldn't really make it look how I wanted here on DA. You're going to have to do your best to imagine it, sadly.

Questions!
~-I tried to weave in a small theme of being “lost.” Is it even noticeable? Does it help make the last line stronger?
~Is the tone of the language consistent? Is it too flowery in some places, and too straight-forward in others?
~How much of the story can you understand? Should I try to clarify it?
~Finally, the theme of this piece is supposed to be “hope.”Is that something you feel when you read this? How prevalent is this in the piece?

For the WrittenRevolution, my critique is here: [link]


[EDIT] I just wanted to add that I gave this to my father today. He loved it. Thanks so much, everyone, for the wonderful feedback! :heart:
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-05-01
Searching for the Sun by ~scarletbird The suggester says, "[It] weaves a story full of tragedy and hope, losing and finding." ( Suggested by LadyofGaerdon and Featured by thorns )
:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by =DailyLitDeviations in a news article that can be found here: dailylitdeviations.deviantart.… Congratulations on your DD!

Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by ing the News Article. Keep writing and keep creating.
Reply
:iconkj-illustration:
KJ-Illustration Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Your wonderful work has been featured here: [link] :heart:
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Student Writer
Thanks, dear. :heart:
Reply
:iconwishingunderthatstar:
WishingUnderThatStar Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Your wonderful work has been chosen to be featured in Friday Feature Volume I
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconwishingunderthatstar:
WishingUnderThatStar Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're very welcome. :la:
Reply
:iconanoukrot:
anoukrot Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Beautiful! Totally poetic description. I liked the 'lost'-theme as well. But I have to say that I don't really understand the story (if there is one). One day she is in the hospital, then she is in the living room with her father. Is the last piece the future or is she remembering the past and she wishes it would be so again? Or maybe You are making allusions only Your father can understand?
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. I completely understand you being confused; it's much more vague than my usual style, and is really meant as a personal piece for my father. I can clarify a bit: each section is arranged chronologically. The first is just before the accident, the second is in the hospital, and the third is at home. Hopefully that helps. :)
Reply
:iconthemateriamaster:
TheMateriaMaster Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Student General Artist
#ArtistSanctuary has added this picture to it's favorite folder (just thought you should know) :heart:
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you! I'm honored. :aww:
Reply
:iconthemateriamaster:
TheMateriaMaster Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Student General Artist
It was no problem, we loved it :heart:
Reply
:iconinthestarrynightsky:
InTheStarryNightSky Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
A lovely piece. Wonderful job.
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you! :blushes:
Reply
:iconinthestarrynightsky:
InTheStarryNightSky Featured By Owner May 9, 2012
You're welcome. :aww:
Reply
:iconkinglorshi:
Kinglorshi Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Student Writer
The first few lines were very well written which drew me in, well done. :D I like your style.
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you, dear! I'm made of style. B-)
Reply
:iconkinglorshi:
Kinglorshi Featured By Owner May 4, 2012  Student Writer
That's great. :D Keep it up.
Reply
:iconfaithless-cypress:
faithless-cypress Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hmmm... the theme was very evident. I personally like the balance of flowery and straight forwardness. The three parts are perfectly separated. At first there was sun. Goodness. Then the accident happened, and the wait was on. Now there is strange recovery, with a promise of future goodness.

It was very touching and image invoking.

I very much liked it.
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you! I'm glad to hear that it touched you in some way, even without the full story. :heart:
Reply
:iconyagamiseven:
Yagamiseven Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
this is nice
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Student Writer
Thanks for reading! :)
Reply
:iconsuperaimster:
SuperAimster Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congrats on the DD! :iconclappingplz:
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Student Writer
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconarchelyxs:
archelyxs Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
Congrats on the DD, love! :heart:
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconlit-twitter:
Lit-Twitter Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
Chirp, congrats on the DD, it's been twittered. [link] :)
Reply
:iconneophytegod:
neophytegod Featured By Owner May 1, 2012   Writer
my one suggestion is this: keep that dedication on the final product. Wow. As a father, im not sure if there is anything better a daughter could say.
Reply
:iconneophytegod:
neophytegod Featured By Owner May 1, 2012   Writer
oh, just saw the edit...well hope you gave him the dedication line too. :)
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Student Writer
Even better: I told him in person. :)
Reply
:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DailyLitDeviations in a news article that can be found here [link]
Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article.
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you very much! I really appreciate the support. :heart:
Reply
:iconsillycanadianwriter:
sillycanadianwriter Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2011  Student Digital Artist
you are my idol. just thought you should know.
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Writer
Goodness! Thanks very much, dear. :hug:
Reply
:iconsillycanadianwriter:
sillycanadianwriter Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Student Digital Artist
you are so very welcome :huggle:
Reply
:iconarchelyxs:
archelyxs Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011
These images are very lovely, you know :heart:
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you! :blushes:
Reply
:icontsuuretsu2unabara:
Tsuuretsu2Unabara Featured By Owner May 10, 2011
I feel like I read a novel. Every implication becomes a story unto itself, constructing a net of "lost" and "hope" that draws me in and holds me.
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner May 11, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you so much! :heart:
Reply
:iconsolarune:
Solarune Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011   Writer
This is fantastic. I absolutely loved your imagery, and it doesn't surprise me that your father loved it; it's so heartfelt and beautiful. :)
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you! :heart:
Reply
:iconsolarune:
Solarune Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2011   Writer
You're welcome. :)
Reply
:iconkyasarin131:
Kyasarin131 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I absolutely love this. I didn't realize that this was about your father until II, but the first part completely captivated me. The language and the imagery was so unbelievably powerful, and so incredibly beautiful. And then it just got deeper. With the setting in place the scene changed and suddenly there was this starkness, this bleakness, and then this light again. It was wonderful, and I loved it.
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconquolia:
Quolia Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello :wave: Your lovely literature has been featured in my latest news article, Spreading the DA Love: Vol. 3 :dalove:

It would mean so much to me if you could :+favlove: the article to help spread the dA love :hug:

Thank you & keep up the fantastic work!
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011  Student Writer
Wow, thank you very much! :heart:
Reply
:iconladyofgaerdon:
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Professional Writer
My second critique for :iconthewrittenrevolution: Begin ridiculously long comment:

This made me cry. I can relate to it far too much, though I feel perhaps I shouldn't tell you how, as I wouldn't want to taint your beautiful creation with how it applies to me. It has, however, inspired me to give writing about my own experience another attempt. I haven't been very effective at it thus far, but the way you've written about yours here has given me a bit of an idea of how I might do it. You know, the next time I feel inclined to rip out my soul and feed it to my keyboard. :)

*clears throat* Okay, anyway: I did get the theme of being lost, and it's my favorite thing about the piece. I loved how even though the piece is called "Searching For The Sun", in the first part the sun is doing some searching of its own. This adds a deeper element that I think is very effective. I also like that the picture on your profile seems to go along very well with the piece. Is that intentional?

I'm trying to weight my incredibly nosy nature against the value of keeping this story vague. Since the other comments seem to be in favor of vague, I think I'll vote for vague as well. Being nosy, I scrutinized the piece for information, and what I came up with was some kind of accident having to do with effecting memory. Since you mentioned "the last day he remembers", and then at the end he keeps flipping back to the same page. That was the impression I got - if I'm wrong, certainly don't feel inclined to tell me - I just thought I'd tell you my interpretation, in case I was wrong, and you wanted to amend it somewhat so that the reader doesn't come to an erroneous conclusion.

I also scanned the piece with an eye toward editing. I saw what might have been unnecessary comma usage, though I myself am "comma happy" and really am not the person to consult about commas. I saw you used the adverb "cloyingly" and I'm not sure if the college art show people will have an automatic negative reaction to adverbs. I'm probably just hyper-sensitive toward them because I've had editors who say to avoid them at nearly all costs. BUT I tend to think you should just concentrate on making your writing get across your meaning in an appealing way, rather than trying to obey rules that might or might not apply. I wouldn't have even mentioned these things, except that you said you wanted it to be perfect. You could change the sentence from:

It clung stubbornly to the air, cloyingly thick and hot in the July sun.

to "It clung stubbornly to the air, think and cloying in the hot July sun" Or something. Honestly, I think it's just fine how it is, but people who judge literature for a living can often be more picky. At any rate, if you're in college you likely know far more about this stuff than I do.

In this sentence:

"The sky sagged onto the tops of the trees, dressing their arms in folds of grey when once they had been feathered with the color of summer."

"Dressing" their arms struck me as an odd word choice, because you rarely dress your arms - at least, you don't phrase it that way, since you never really dress just your arms. Maybe a different word? I like "draping". Still has the aspect of clothing. "Shrouding" and "adorning" could also work. I like the "feathered" part. It gives the impression that the trees must don clothing in preparation for winter, whereas in the summer they needed only feathers. Lovely.

I really love this sentence: "The air had forgotten the taste of lilac, the touch of sparrows, the sound of crickets; it was dry and clean, pure and empty."

Your language and metaphor are wonderful. I'm always up for flowery language and metaphor, and you use then very well here. The theme of hope did come through, especially in the last part. It's not very noticeable (to me) in the second part, but I think that works, actually. Someone else mentioned liking how the only dialog is in the last sentence, and I agree. :thumbsup:

I hope I've helped. I think you've done a wonderful job here. :clap:
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Student Writer
Oh wow, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a wonderful critique! :heart:

I'm so glad I inspired you to tackle something of your own. This piece took about a dozen attempts at writing, re-writing, scrapping, and starting all over again, so please don't get discouraged. It takes a lot to write something close to your heart. I'd love to read it when you're finished! :)

No, the similarity isn't intentional, but it's cool how you found a connection. That is quite a bit what the sky looked like that day, though.

I think I will end up keeping it vague. Exactly what happened isn't the most important part of this, as long as you can get the gist of it (which you and everyone else is getting). If you'd like to know the rest of the story, it's absolutely all right with me to send you a note. Just if you're still curious. :shrug:

I needed someone to take a crack at editing this, so thank you! I'll be the first to say that I'm one of the most comma-happy people I know (just looking at some of my older stuff makes me shudder). I find myself adding them even when I know perfectly well that they're not necessary.But in this, I think most of them have the effect of softening it somehow. If you see any that drive you nuts, though, feel free to give me a holler. :)

I hadn't noticed that the part about "dressing" was a little awkward; I think I will change it to "shrouding," as it makes more sense and also adds to the tone a little.

It's actually intentional that there's a lack of hope in the second part. I was trying to capture both hope and hopelessness, because they're both equally important parts of the story.

Thank you again! This was infinitely helpful. :hug:
Reply
:iconladyofgaerdon:
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Professional Writer
You're very welcome.

I'll definitely let you know if/when i write it. I get the feeling it's going to be this summer. It's nice to be inspired. Lately I keep seeing visual artists writing in their journals about how they're depressed because there are so many better artists out there. Honestly that thought never occurred to me. I find that reading work by excellent writers, who are above my level, actually makes my own writing better. Maybe it's a visual/lit divide issue. :hmm: Anyway, I do like that your work seems to inspire me. I even realized today that the opening for my science/fantasy meshing story that I mentioned to you (its fine if you don't remember) is kind of similar to your opening of 'My Sara". I wrote the opening a couple years ago, so I didn't steal the idea, I promise! I just thought it was cool, and that maybe it means I'm on the right track.

No no, you don't need to tell me. I'll be fine. :)

No, none of the commas drove me nuts. I agree that commas soften writing. I know I tend to add one if I'm in the middle of writing a sentence, and I need to pause to think of how to finish it. ^^;

I agree that shrouding adds to the tone.

You're infinitely welcome. :hug:
Reply
:iconscarletbird:
scarletbird Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Student Writer
That is interesting. You're right--writing always inspires me, not discourages me. I do try not to read things right before I sit down to take a crack at writing though. Sometimes a turn of phrase that I saw earlier will appear in my own stuff, even subconsciously, and I'd prefer it to be all my own. Maybe the difference for visual artists is that the disparity is much easier to see immediately? That could be discouraging, when it's takes a matter of seconds to compare your own work to someone else's.

I remember you mentioning that story. It's sounds intriguing, but I just never got around to reading it. I would love to check it out--what's it called?

See? Commas are useful for all kinds of things! :lmao:

:tighthug:
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