Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Lancamento

   
Author Topic: Lancamento
anarresti
Member
Member # 9614

 - posted      Profile for anarresti   Email anarresti         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The postman stood at Eduardo's front door, breathing heavily. His sweaty shirt clung to his body. His scooter was careened in the front yard by the gate. “Professor, this is extraordinary. I wanted to bring it to you personally.”
His hand trembled as he held out the gray envelope. Eduardo took it. Who sent letters these days? He examined the front. The address was handwritten, with a fountain pen it appeared.
“Look at the return address!” the postman said. Eduardo fished his glasses out of his pants pocket and held the envelope close. Was this a joke?
“I checked the cancelling," Gustavo said, "and the tagents in the ink. In fifty years in that office I've never seen anything like this. Who would pay to send paper from the moon?”

Posts: 109 | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LeetahWest
Member
Member # 9402

 - posted      Profile for LeetahWest   Email LeetahWest         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ha! I love it. I would definitely continue reading.
Posts: 108 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
anarresti
Member
Member # 9614

 - posted      Profile for anarresti   Email anarresti         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks! I guess I should mention that Gustavo is the postman. He's not the main character though so I didn't want to name him before I named Eduardo. I'll fix that slip in round two.
Posts: 109 | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
annepin
Member
Member # 5952

 - posted      Profile for annepin   Email annepin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I liked this too, and would probably turn the page. I agree that the connection between Gustavo and the postman could be made clearer.

The first two lines felt a bit like a porno. I know, silly association, mind in the gutter and all that, but it was the heavy breathing and sweaty clingy shirt that did it.. Also, my brain stalled at the term "was careened". In my experience, careen is a motion. Something careens, it's not necessarily careened. Maybe something like, "In his haste he'd cast his scooter aside" or "his scooter lay cast aside on the lawn".

2 cents.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pdblake
Member
Member # 9218

 - posted      Profile for pdblake   Email pdblake         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like it and would read on, it's fast and engaging, though I Googled tagents and still have no idea what they are.
Posts: 724 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
anarresti
Member
Member # 9614

 - posted      Profile for anarresti   Email anarresti         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks. I might have to change the word I use there since tagent is a trademark. http://www.tagent.com/. I think they're used to track batches of explosives, among other things.
Posts: 109 | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
telflonmail
Member
Member # 9501

 - posted      Profile for telflonmail   Email telflonmail         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How old is the postman? 70+ ?

What distinguishing marks determine a fountain pen was used to address the letter?

Most people do not keep glasses in pants pockets - it might be shirt pocket.

The postal and philatelic terminology is cancellation or better yet, postmark.

I was not expecting "from the moon" - good!

Posts: 79 | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speaking as someone who works for the USPS and handles mail on a daily basis...

(1) Nothing mailed tends to excite us personally, unless it's something that jams up the machines; at most, if something strikes us as funny, we'll pass it around.

(2) There's nothing in the cancel ink itself that can track an individual letter---I can certainly take "tagents" as an advance in technology if the story is set in the future---near or far.

(3) "Postmark" and "cancellation" are both correct. The postmarks will tell you what processing and distribution center the letter was cancelled in (plus a few local places that have a rubber stamp or a machine of their own.) Most letters these days are canceled with a sprayed-on postmark.

(4) Also bar codes are sprayed on letters, usually one in black on the front and in a faint orange (more or less) on the back, which can be read and can tell a great deal about when and where the letter went through certain machines.

So for me it's more of a difference between "as of right now" and "in the future." No doubt beyond these sentences matters are made clear.

Posts: 8273 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Should'a also mentioned the difference between stamped and metered mail...
Posts: 8273 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
anarresti
Member
Member # 9614

 - posted      Profile for anarresti   Email anarresti         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the insider info about the postal service. This story will take place in the latter half of the 21st century. I assume that the current trend toward electronic communication will have reached the point at which to send a letter will be considered unusual to the point of causing suspicion. (Not a real stretch even today.) And paying to send paper from the moon is, of course, evidence of "lunacy". I trimmed out some words to get it down to 13 lines that I will put back in when I expand it for my WOTF Q2 entry.

That the letter is on paper and the address handwritten with a fountain pen is significant to the recipient. The sender know this. That will be made clear before the end of the first scene.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. More are always welcome!

Posts: 109 | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2