Personal Narrative Essay based on my reincarnation experience

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by RunningWind92, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. RunningWind92

    RunningWind92 Active Member

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    Hi everyone. So, I'm working on a personal narrative essay that is based on my past life experience that I had encountered in this life. Are any of you writers like myself? Some critique would be most welcome. I intend to ultimately publish this but am unsure of the reactions people might have. It's not finished, and I would like to know what I should include next. Attached as a pdf file is the essay. Thank you!
     

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  2. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Hi Runningwind92,

    The two pages I read were engaging. However - are you writing about your past life or are you writing a novel about a young girl, not suggesting to the reader it is your PL memory? Also, it's not so long that you couldn't just post it on the forum for input. Some people don't know how to download and open files (The young and older generation) and or don't want other peoples files on their computer.

    So feel free to post it here for input. You write very well.
     
  3. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Actually, I read this when you posted it the first time, but didn't quite know how to respond. Is this young lady your PL? It actually reads like the beginning of a contemporary romance novel. This is not intended as an insult, it's just that I couldn't tell whether you are testing the waters for a novel or whether this is going to tie into a PL narrative at some point. What you have written has enough "hooks" to make the average reader want to find out what happens next and why she has done what she has done, which seems (on its surface) to be out of character given her family/upbringing. Anyhow, I'm just wondering where this is going . . .
     
  4. RunningWind92

    RunningWind92 Active Member

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    Hi everyone, thanks for reading! No, the person telling this narrative is me in this life. I just completed it. Have a look and let me know what you think! It's too long to put in one post I am posting it in separate ones.

    Winter Flower

    “You are the handsomest man in the world.” I say quietly to the seven foot tall man sitting in front of me. Placing my small fingers on his forearm, they seem lightweight on it that is stretched taut with muscle. I glance down at my feeble act of intimate bravado, my buttermilk white skin a contrast to his own bronzed. The tattoo of a roaring lion on his bicep gazes intensely at me, but I find myself to be unafraid and somehow at ease in his presence. His hazel grey eyes, wide, attentive and penetrating, watch me with such directness, and observation as I speak; it is impossible to know what is being thought behind that leonine-like gaze. Two large bronze statues stand on either side of him where he sits at the table. They are replicas of wrestlers, but they give off an other worldly majesty. Though it’s a shoe store, it could have been the lobby for a temple or a palace, the occupant of the chair at the center of the room, a king or some mythological god. I half expected to smell incense wafting through the corridor and servants serving him food and drink. A sharpie marker and sheets of paper lay on the table before him, instead of a scepter or a cup of wine.

    He gives a good natured laugh, two dimples appearing on his cheeks, and turns away to chuckle, hunched over, his broad back a curved knoll, heaving with amusement, his face averted from me, as if what I had said sounds so foreign to his ears; like a new language that is unknown yet melodic, having the same medicinal effects as a cup of golden honey. He raises his posture and asks me quietly to embrace him, his bass voice turned soft, said exclusively only for me to hear. I comply and enter his arms the moment he opens them, all around me silencing. Awash in an abundance of utter calm that overtakes me the second I enter his arms, I close my eyes and place my cheek on the back of his neck, the bristles of his beard prickling my shoulder. Something inside me slides in upon itself, and lethargy overtakes my limbs. I do not recognize the feeling as I try to name the emotion with my cheek still on his neck. Relief? Not soon after, I weave my way through the line that files out the door, of men and boys holding mock wrestling belts and posters, and stumble back out into the sweltering August sunlight and make my way down Fifth Avenue and Forty-Second Street lightheadedly, past the tourists, couples and families that seem so carefree in the brilliant wash of a summer afternoon in New York City, completely unaware of my hallelujah.

    Back in my hotel, I collapse in my burgundy halter dress and pearls, at the foot of my bed upon entering the door. Throwing off the dress and ripping the clip-ons from my ears, which I slam onto the bedside table, moments later, I become savage, parading naked in front of the full length mirror, raising the balls of my feet from the floor, picking up my breasts, and allowing the sweltering sun at the window to radiate onto my cleavage. I gulp in bouts of recycled air conditioning. This was a testimonial. It was a guttural cry from the depths of me, and I completely in its carnal and ecstatic hold, unsure which emotion to feel first. Lamenting and yet glorifying the second meeting that had just taken place, I sing Lecha Dodi, the Jewish hymn that welcomes the Sabbath bride, which I sang only the night before at the Fifth Avenue Jewish community center. My voice draws out the Hebrew stanzas, swaying to the ancient and traditional words, replicating the congregation from the previous night, feeling transformed, raw and vulnerable, as a bride would. Observing my rubenesque form, I no longer a docile, quiet, dutiful Jewish girl of 24, my blood boiling, desire and joy seizing me as well as lament for what could not be. I smear my perfectly applied lipstick all around my face, mocking myself for having tried to alter my appearance. From under the scarlet crayon muck, I see the girl, the real girl, and wondered if it had been better if I had not worn any lipstick at all.

    A few seconds of composure instill, and I begin dabbing at my lipstick stained cheeks with a moist piece of toilet paper, asking my reflection, my angry and lust filled brown eyes what had been the purpose of this meeting? What did I hope to accomplish? To commit one of the greatest sins of mankind? I was aware he is married. “You fool! You fool! Idiot!” I hiss at myself through gritted teeth, staring at a rectangle of sunlight on the opposite wall in an effort to be calm. It had gone well, according to my mother, who was not aware of the catastrophic and sinful longings that worked itself in my mind, who tried to console me later that night. I only lived a borough away, but due to the ordinances of Jewish law, I could not travel on Saturday morning, thus I had rented a hotel room for the day the wrestler was to be in my city. I bemuse and inspect my appearance, critiquing with merciless alacrity. Was there any part of my face that was repulsive to him? Did he think me a child? I turn my face from side to side, my toes squeezing the soft carpeting of the bathroom floor. Amongst my possessions on the hotel’s bedside table, an autograph does not sit among them. I had declined. All I had asked for was for him to accept my gift and to grant me my soul’s release.

    I scrub the ink residue that had rubbed off onto my hands, which came from the blank journal I had given him, a pouncing lion adorning its covers complete with a copper lock to secure his writing within. The heat being oppressive, as I had held the journal while waiting to meet him outside, standing with a few men that I conversed with, who knew nothing of the years of internal trepidation, and impeding answers, some sort of prophecy being revealed to me, now at last, I knew the answer. That morning was nerve-wracking, as I selected my articles of clothing carefully, spraying a generous amount of peach body spray from Bath and Body Works over myself, and furiously running a brush through my long hair. Now, all that I had worn seemed mundane and excessive. The meeting seeming adulterous and sinful, somehow, being naked right after this event seemed more appropriate than the dress I had been covered in. How ironic, that at the Sabbath dinner the night before, I had worn a more modest dress, white crocheted lace, the picture of elegance, as I pushed challah crumbs and rice around my plastic plate, sitting amongst strangers, anticipating the meeting to come.

    This was no longer a pious, bashful Zerlina fell victim to the heady clutches of her Don Giovanni, this was now a transformed young girl turned woman; a Carmen aware of her sensual mission; hair loose and heavy, blouse undone, ready at any beckoning call to her Don Jose. I fall into a fitful sleep, his eyes burned into my memory forever, waiting for sunset, when I’d be able to walk the streets of Midtown with music in my ears, and a marble notebook and pen to sort out my thoughts. That night, in my white lace dress, I sit upon a bench, the stone beneath me cooled after the day’s heat, and relive the meeting through photographs sent to me via text. Each prophetic description had come to pass. The hazel grey eyes, the massive height and build, the tiger essence, the street it occurred on. Nothing was out of place. This was no arbitrary coincidence that I had stumbled upon this man three years ago. He was as familiar to me as normal as it is to breathe. To quote the words of songwriter Phil Collins, “Something’s familiar about this stranger like me.”

    My childhood, altogether, a lullaby, soothing and secure, if not altogether, a multihued cavern of bliss that graced my eyes, if it not were for the restlessness and steadfast fear that gripped me like a vice the moments when I was confronted with the option of misbehaving and taking free rein of running into the wild open as children are often faced with. I clutched the hand that held mine more tightly, and peered up into their loving faces, a yearn to remain by their side and not cause them any grief, while my sister ran onwards, content to break free from the scrutiny of our familial caretakers. As I grew, the wedge of restlessness remained lodged in my being akin to the likeness of a dagger, its handle I could not pry from the depths of my conscious. A rather quiet and melancholy child, I seemed to remain harbored in this feeling of unease that seemed to reveal itself when confronted with the notion of one being powerless to alter one’s fate. And all along, a lover of all things vintage, lace and high collared blouses became my selections for fashion as my body altered and became a woman’s. The gathered dust of a 19th century room, with its former occupants now obsolete, or the mysterious allure of a Degas or Sargent would make me sigh in a wistful recollection of some sort. Obscured by the immediate knowledge of a past long gone, and yet, it still manifested itself in my young life, refusing to leech itself from my bones, I began on a quest inward.
     
  5. RunningWind92

    RunningWind92 Active Member

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    Trusting many, and hungry for answers, my adolescent years were visits to makeshift rooms of psychic mediums, with tarot cards in in unshuffled piles and gemstones glittering, to bungalows and wooden walls of holistic retreat centers upstate, where yoga practicing shamans would grasp my hand in nurturing sympathy, to strangers on subway platforms and classrooms, all of whom would relay to me the same descriptions of a man’s energy that surrounded my own, almost intertwined like a kiss. Each one brought to me the vivid scene of the 19th century, in belle époque France, where I was an adolescent and a student of the national ballet school, and became acquainted with and then developed feelings for a seven foot tall, robust older man with hazel grey eyes, who had a dark past, and bore the elegance and calm of a tiger. Our nighttime visits were deep and meaningful conversations along the streets of Paris. After some months, I was to visit some family in Lyon, and would be embarking on a ship. We had quarreled some time before, and at the pier, before I set foot on the ship, my last memory of him, was him standing, arms folded against a wall, asking me not to go, his eyes reproaching. I did end up going, and there was a casualty at sea. I drowned.
     
  6. RunningWind92

    RunningWind92 Active Member

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    If you would like me to post the rest let me know.
     
  7. CanSol

    CanSol Senior Registered

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    it's an interesting read and certainly worth reading
     
  8. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Hi Runningwind,

    Great to read your story. I recognize the events from your earlier posts. I am not sure what kind of comments you would like to hear. So I'll throw some through the air.

    1. It's absolutely great to write down all your pain, yearning, love and feelings. You should write it all out of your system until there is nothing more to add up. Just keep on writing and writing with no censor in your head.
    It's good for your soul and for your writing abilities.
    I like the way you use your words and you certainly have the talent to write.

    2. If I were your editor I would ask you to do things you would probably hate to do. I would ask you to finish the story and then crack it into pieces, put it aside and start retelling again. There are so many powerful elements in it that could use more space and words and a different order. I would also suggest changing perspective to the third person. Your story has a lot of potentials and if you want other people to read it you should give them the opportunity to relate and participate in it. When you write it for yourself only, it is absolutely perfect the way you do it.

    3. This is a question for both you and for the main character. There is this story of great love, but ... what is love beyond the initial exchange of vibrations? Love IS... I agree, but having a relationship is not the same as 'Love'. Having a relationship means supporting one other, teaching lessons, setting boundaries, crossing boundaries and so much more. So, apart from adoration, what is this main character going to offer her beloved One? Why would he consider coming back to her? What is his soul path? What is the hidden wisdom inside her that he needs to rediscover for himself? What are the painful truths they are going to unravel and heal together? When you write in the third person, it will be easier to integrate other perspectives as well.

    4. If you want to transcend your text from romance novel to literature about reincarnation, you should weave a tapestry of questions and answers, interconnections, insights and more questions. In this way, you actively involve the reader as well. You invite them to questions like: What would I have done? What is my opinion about this dilemma? Are there other ways out of this situation?

    5. Great potentials: your Jewish upbringing and culture, the sensual awakening, the search for answers through exotic people: mediums, psychics, shamans, the break up in that former life.
    As a reader, I know how it feels to fall in love, but I am curious how it acts out under specific circumstances that are not related to my own experiences. I am curious to learn something new.

    So, my advice: keep on writing passionately your own version. You owe it to yourself. You need to do this in order to understand.

    Once you're finished and you consider to publish your book, keep in mind that writing a book usually needs a lot of rewriting. In the second round, among other things, you have to invite your reader to participate in the journey as well.

    Good Luck!
     
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  9. RunningWind92

    RunningWind92 Active Member

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    Thank you fireflydancing! It's great to see you again lol. I really appreciate your words.
     
  10. RunningWind92

    RunningWind92 Active Member

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    Hi everyone. So I finally finished the essay and would like to now submit to some literary magazines that publish this type of genre. I just have one question. Would it be wise to include the wrestler's real name? The only reason I ask is because I'm afraid of ridicule, but in the essay, it would necessary to include it because of psychic energy received when I was told of his last name before I even knew about him. Thank you!
     
  11. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Hi RunningWind,

    Congratulations. It's an awful lot of work to finish a script.
    I would never (personal opinion) involve a real name in one of my stories. They didn't ask for getting involved in someone else's drama. I guess, when you do mention his real name, people will consider your work as fanfiction. Maybe it's what you like or perhaps not.
     
  12. RunningWind92

    RunningWind92 Active Member

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    Thank you! This wouldn't be considered fanfiction. I'm publishing it to a literary magazine that publishes nonfiction, real stories.
     
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  13. Mere Dreamer

    Mere Dreamer Senior Registered

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    "How do you tell your story without risking any form of litigation? Disguise the names and biographical data and make sure that no one can identify the subjects from your description." <-- I found the previous suggestion on an article answering questions about avoiding being sued over memoirs, but I think it fits here as well. Just say you've changed the name of the person involved to protect them (actually yourself).
     
  14. SeekerOfKnowledge

    SeekerOfKnowledge Learner

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    Congratulations on finishing your essay! Best luck with publishing it.
    As for mentioning someone's real name, this only is necessary when the person is well-known and their identity would be so obvious that most people would recognize them anyway. Otherwise, it would be best to do what Mere Dreamer suggested: mention that you changed the names of the people involved to protect them.
     

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