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Rachel-K
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Cornelia's Thoughts

In Cornelia's chapters, she addresses us  directly, as if she were talking or writing to a friend. The fact that we get to see into Cornelia's head and no one else's allows the novel to spring one big surprise on us, but it also makes us do a  bit of guessing about what's going on with some of the other characters-- are their moments you find that the opinions of this wonderfully warm-hearted and quirky narrator can't be trusted, or least not entirely?

Are there moments when your feelings toward Cornelia change? 

And, does the fact that we hear from Cornelia directly--does that make this her story only?

 

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IBIS
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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts



rkubie wrote:

In Cornelia's chapters, she addresses us  directly, as if she were talking or writing to a friend. The fact that we get to see into Cornelia's head and no one else's allows the novel to spring one big surprise on us, but it also makes us do a  bit of guessing about what's going on with some of the other characters-- are their moments you find that the opinions of this wonderfully warm-hearted and quirky narrator can't be trusted, or least not entirely?

Are there moments when your feelings toward Cornelia change? 

And, does the fact that we hear from Cornelia directly--does that make this her story only?

 



The immediacy of a first-person POV narrator has its attractions..... it's intimate, disarming. Unless we are given a reason, we trust the narrator's reactions as reasonable. Especially if, like Cornelia,  the narrator is likeable and kind and attractive.
 
Generally, I overlook the possibility that the narrator's POV may be skewed... not for devious reasons.. but merely because we are human and tend to be comfortable with situations that we know and expect.
 
When we first meet Piper, I was slightly taken aback by how negatively Cornelia reacted to her... the writing does color our perception of Piper. I think Cornelia may have deliberately stacked the deck against Piper ... by mocking her impeccable hair and clothing. And negatively sharpening the critical perception of Piper as the social trend-setter of the suburb.
 
Which made me question (oh so slightly) just how perceptive Cornelia really is about her neighborhood suburban housewives.
 
It's only later in the book that we find that Cornelia is actually quite lovely, and not as dowdy as she herself suggests. The self-image she projects to the reader (and probably to herself) is not very accurate.
 
IBIS
IBIS

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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts

I'd love to hear what people have to say about Cornelia's reliability as a narrator and about her first-person voice because so much of writing, at least for me, is deeply intuitive and a question of trusting my instincts. For instance, I wrote Cornelia in first-person, Dev in a very narrow, or personal, third, and Piper in a more distanced third because each of those modes felt suited to who the characters are, or who they are to me. As I see her, Cornelia is all about connection; she wants to know people, and her instinct is to be open. So first person, and a very personal first person, felt right for her. But like so many decisions, this one impacts the story and the reading experience in ways I didn't, couldn't have, and wouldn't have wanted to foresee (no surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader, right?). So I'm very interested in seeing what those consequences were for you as readers!

Marisa
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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts

I love Cornelia's thoughts being first person. I love being in her head, its quite interesting there and amusing. She is one of those that you could talk to for awhile and say, "I love how you think" and wink a knowing wink.

As for reliable, oh I think she is, and because she's talking in the first person, open and honestly to us, those who can appreciate what she thinks and feels and with no repercussions. Again, like just being in her head hearing her unedited thoughts.

IBIS, hey there :smileyhappy:, you said "When we first meet Piper, I was slightly taken aback by how negatively Cornelia reacted to her... the writing does color our perception of Piper. I think Cornelia may have deliberately stacked the deck against Piper ... by mocking her impeccable hair and clothing. And negatively sharpening the critical perception of Piper as the social trend-setter of the suburb." I got to say, and this is just from chapter one, I was not taken aback at all. When you are the new one in town, at the party, you can stand back and pretty soon, you will know the cliches, who is top of the local totem pole, who sets the "local standards" as if they could start the local standard TIME of day too if they wanted. And you will know if they are judging you. We all make initial judgments about people but I did not think Cornelia's were unjustly negative. I think as Piper also comes over to, sum her up, and with her remarks about the yard and her "suggestions" to fix it, oh yeah, I think Cornelia has a pretty reliable picture at this point in the book and that makes her a reliable narrator to me. A darn interesting one too. I love how she expresses things and yeah, Piper is a hoot. I wouldnt want to live by her, but I do love reading about her. How these two get on, is going to be great to watch. I feel like I am sitting on the sidelines with the guys going, let the catfights begin LOL. But I can see Piper coming across that street and what she looks like and how she looks at things, so clearly that I want to nudge Cornelia and say, here comes your buddy LOL! And then just stand back and watch and listen and hope Cornelia would tell me the things we get to hear her think, just the way she thinks them.

If there are changes in the wind, please no one say so yet. I am too busy laughing and getting that feeling of being right there to want to know how things evolve yet. Right now I am standing there, trying to be straight faced at what is going on but knowing I have that dead giveaway in my face, you know, its when you are surprised or caught off guard, and don't want to show it but you can not stop one thing, the eyes dilate at that moment, giving you away no matter what the rest of your body language says lol.
Vivian
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IBIS
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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts



vivico1 wrote:
I love Cornelia's thoughts being first person. I love being in her head, its quite interesting there and amusing. She is one of those that you could talk to for awhile and say, "I love how you think" and wink a knowing wink.

As for reliable, oh I think she is, and because she's talking in the first person, open and honestly to us, those who can appreciate what she thinks and feels and with no repercussions. Again, like just being in her head hearing her unedited thoughts.
Hi Vivian, great to see you here.
 
I agree that being inside Cornelia's head is a very nice place to be... it's full of light and self-depreciating humor... how can we not love such a bright, sunny woman. I was charmed with her from the very first paragraph... actually I liked her even before that.  I read Love Walked In last year and I immediately fell under her spell.
 
As for her reliability, I'm not saying that she would deliberately mislead us... we're locked into her perceptions, so we can't help but react to her unedited thoughts and feelings... But as readers, reading her subjective thoughts, we  are limited by the limitations of the narrator herself...  It's something I always keep in mind when I read first-person narration... what is she missing? what is she misinterpreting?

That's why I find the variety of perspectives rich and multi-layered... seeing Dev's amazing intelligence almost first-hand. What a eye-opening vista of ideas and concepts... I learned so much about Darwin and Hawkins and super-string theory. And his thoughts on Frost and his poetry.
 
And seeing Piper from a more distant perspective... seeing her through the eyes of other characters, other than through Cornelia's limited perspective...

And even more interesting to me, seeing Cornelia through the eyes of OTHER characters, not colored by her own self-perception.
 
IBIS
 
 
 
 
 
 
IBIS

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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts


IBIS wrote:
Hi Vivian, great to see you here.
I agree that being inside Cornelia's head is a very nice place to be... it's full of light and self-depreciating humor... how can we not love such a bright, sunny woman. I was charmed with her from the very first paragraph... actually I liked her even before that. I read Love Walked In last year and I immediately fell under her spell.
As for her reliability, I'm not saying that she would deliberately mislead us... we're locked into her perceptions, so we can't help but react to her unedited thoughts and feelings... But as readers, reading her subjective thoughts, we are limited by the limitations of the narrator herself... It's something I always keep in mind when I read first-person narration... what is she missing? what is she misinterpreting?

That's why I find the variety of perspectives rich and multi-layered... seeing Dev's amazing intelligence almost first-hand. What a eye-opening vista of ideas and concepts... I learned so much about Darwin and Hawkins and super-string theory. And his thoughts on Frost and his poetry.
And seeing Piper from a more distant perspective... seeing her through the eyes of other characters, other than through Cornelia's limited perspective...

And even more interesting to me, seeing Cornelia through the eyes of OTHER characters, not colored by her own self-perception.
IBIS



Hey IBIS :smileyhappy:
I like Cornelia being the one talking in the first person and also with the varying perceptions, 3rd person here, closer there, etc., I feel like I am not missing anything in this book. You know, in a way, it almost feels like everyone is 1st person narrative. Pretty cool. I trust most of them in their thoughts or telling of the story because they all seem so real and you feel that, its not so much anyone's perception is wrong, or untrustworthy, they are just missing some information at times, just as we the readers are. I think the perspective structuring of this book is great. I don't find myself getting to one point, that is about someone else and thinking, no I don't want to read about her or him right now, go back to this one! I liked their story better. That happens sometimes in books and you almost skip chapters to get back to someone or a style you liked better. With this one, I love all of their stories and as they play out.
OH, and btw, to anyone who has read her other book, you refer to here. I haven't so please don't say too much about it, I want to get it too! I didn't even know Cornelia was a reoccuring character! This books stands alone very well tho, so glad I didn't need to read the other one first, but dont anyone spoil it for me now please. :smileywink:
Vivian
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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts



IBIS wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
I love Cornelia's thoughts being first person. I love being in her head, its quite interesting there and amusing. She is one of those that you could talk to for awhile and say, "I love how you think" and wink a knowing wink.

As for reliable, oh I think she is, and because she's talking in the first person, open and honestly to us, those who can appreciate what she thinks and feels and with no repercussions. Again, like just being in her head hearing her unedited thoughts.
Hi Vivian, great to see you here.
I agree that being inside Cornelia's head is a very nice place to be... it's full of light and self-depreciating humor... how can we not love such a bright, sunny woman. I was charmed with her from the very first paragraph... actually I liked her even before that. I read Love Walked In last year and I immediately fell under her spell.
As for her reliability, I'm not saying that she would deliberately mislead us... we're locked into her perceptions, so we can't help but react to her unedited thoughts and feelings... But as readers, reading her subjective thoughts, we are limited by the limitations of the narrator herself... It's something I always keep in mind when I read first-person narration... what is she missing? what is she misinterpreting?

That's why I find the variety of perspectives rich and multi-layered... seeing Dev's amazing intelligence almost first-hand. What a eye-opening vista of ideas and concepts... I learned so much about Darwin and Hawkins and super-string theory. And his thoughts on Frost and his poetry.
And seeing Piper from a more distant perspective... seeing her through the eyes of other characters, other than through Cornelia's limited perspective...

And even more interesting to me, seeing Cornelia through the eyes of OTHER characters, not colored by her own self-perception.
IBIS



I agree that Cornelia's not one to deliberately lie or mislead, but I think it's true that her interpretations of characters and events are just that: HERS. For example, I think that when she meets Piper, she thinks of her as a type and assumes she knows all about her. To Cornelia's credit, she gives Piper chances to prove her wrong (more chances than I probably would've given her, to be honest) and finds herself reaching out to Piper, almost in spite of herself. But she doesn't know her as well as she thinks she does!

Marisa
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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts



MarisadelosSantos wrote:
I'd love to hear what people have to say about Cornelia's reliability as a narrator and about her first-person voice because so much of writing, at least for me, is deeply intuitive and a question of trusting my instincts. For instance, I wrote Cornelia in first-person, Dev in a very narrow, or personal, third, and Piper in a more distanced third because each of those modes felt suited to who the characters are, or who they are to me. As I see her, Cornelia is all about connection; she wants to know people, and her instinct is to be open. So first person, and a very personal first person, felt right for her. But like so many decisions, this one impacts the story and the reading experience in ways I didn't, couldn't have, and wouldn't have wanted to foresee (no surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader, right?). So I'm very interested in seeing what those consequences were for you as readers!

I feel like I already knew Cornelia from Love Walked In, so I also felt I knew 'her slant" on life and people.  She tells the reader both stories (Love Walked In and Belong To Me) after the events have already occurred.  I pictured Cornelia sitting next to me on the couch, talking to me as a friend would.  Yes, some of the things she said are very opinionated and I knew to tone them down or take them with a grain of salt, but I also knew that Cornelia is a very honest person and I could trust that the complete picture she was giving me was true to the best of her ability.  She was not trying to mislead me, the reader, but was perhaps slanting her tale slightly to convey her point of view.
Laura

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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts



Fozzie wrote:


MarisadelosSantos wrote:
I'd love to hear what people have to say about Cornelia's reliability as a narrator and about her first-person voice because so much of writing, at least for me, is deeply intuitive and a question of trusting my instincts. For instance, I wrote Cornelia in first-person, Dev in a very narrow, or personal, third, and Piper in a more distanced third because each of those modes felt suited to who the characters are, or who they are to me.
I feel like I already knew Cornelia from Love Walked In, so I also felt I knew 'her slant" on life and people.  She tells the reader both stories (Love Walked In and Belong To Me) after the events have already occurred.  I pictured Cornelia sitting next to me on the couch, talking to me as a friend would.  Yes, some of the things she said are very opinionated and I knew to tone them down or take them with a grain of salt, but I also knew that Cornelia is a very honest person and I could trust that the complete picture she was giving me was true to the best of her ability.  She was not trying to mislead me, the reader, but was perhaps slanting her tale slightly to convey her point of view.


I think that's a good way to describe Cornelia as a narrator and I'm only judging her based on this book so far. Of course it's from her viewpoint and may be slanted but she is honest and accurate for the most part. It's also nice to have her sense of humor and optimistic attitude even if she can be over the top at times. I do think it suited the characters well telling the stories the way you did. It would have been a totally different book if Piper had been the narrator, even if she told the same stories. Can you imagine? It would probably be more like a checklist, or a how-to manual. Eek! It would be interesting to read one chapter, one section, one paragraph even, telling the same story but using Piper. What do you think Marisa?
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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts


Wrighty wrote:

I think that's a good way to describe Cornelia as a narrator and I'm only judging her based on this book so far. Of course it's from her viewpoint and may be slanted but she is honest and accurate for the most part. It's also nice to have her sense of humor and optimistic attitude even if she can be over the top at times. I do think it suited the characters well telling the stories the way you did. It would have been a totally different book if Piper had been the narrator, even if she told the same stories. Can you imagine? It would probably be more like a checklist, or a how-to manual. Eek! It would be interesting to read one chapter, one section, one paragraph even, telling the same story but using Piper. What do you think Marisa?



Hey wrighty, that would be really interesting! I would love to read, just even that first meeting between Piper and Cornelia, from Piper's point of view LOL! We may be thinking, oh my, what moved into the neighborhood too hehe.
Vivian
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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts



vivico1 wrote:

Wrighty wrote:

I think that's a good way to describe Cornelia as a narrator and I'm only judging her based on this book so far. Of course it's from her viewpoint and may be slanted but she is honest and accurate for the most part. It's also nice to have her sense of humor and optimistic attitude even if she can be over the top at times. I do think it suited the characters well telling the stories the way you did. It would have been a totally different book if Piper had been the narrator, even if she told the same stories. Can you imagine? It would probably be more like a checklist, or a how-to manual. Eek! It would be interesting to read one chapter, one section, one paragraph even, telling the same story but using Piper. What do you think Marisa?



Hey wrighty, that would be really interesting! I would love to read, just even that first meeting between Piper and Cornelia, from Piper's point of view LOL! We may be thinking, oh my, what moved into the neighborhood too hehe.


Hey, if you all want to give it a whirl--"translating" Cornelia into Piper--I say go for it!

Marisa
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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts


MarisadelosSantos wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

Wrighty wrote:

I think that's a good way to describe Cornelia as a narrator and I'm only judging her based on this book so far. Of course it's from her viewpoint and may be slanted but she is honest and accurate for the most part. It's also nice to have her sense of humor and optimistic attitude even if she can be over the top at times. I do think it suited the characters well telling the stories the way you did. It would have been a totally different book if Piper had been the narrator, even if she told the same stories. Can you imagine? It would probably be more like a checklist, or a how-to manual. Eek! It would be interesting to read one chapter, one section, one paragraph even, telling the same story but using Piper. What do you think Marisa?



Hey wrighty, that would be really interesting! I would love to read, just even that first meeting between Piper and Cornelia, from Piper's point of view LOL! We may be thinking, oh my, what moved into the neighborhood too hehe.


Hey, if you all want to give it a whirl--"translating" Cornelia into Piper--I say go for it!

Marisa


Ok, now that would be fun to do, write the first encounter from Piper's point of view. I am tempted to try lol but it may be too long for here lol. How funny to write that too, with the actual author here LOL, to read our take on Piper, in a humorous way, when you know her inside and out! Hmm, interesting idea lol. Maybe..... :smileywink:
Vivian
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The first encounter, from PIPER's viewpoint!


vivico1 wrote:

MarisadelosSantos wrote:

Hey, if you all want to give it a whirl--"translating" Cornelia into Piper--I say go for it!

Marisa


Ok, now that would be fun to do, write the first encounter from Piper's point of view. I am tempted to try lol but it may be too long for here lol. How funny to write that too, with the actual author here LOL, to read our take on Piper, in a humorous way, when you know her inside and out! Hmm, interesting idea lol. Maybe..... :smileywink:


Ok, if you can stick with this lol. This is the first encounter of Piper and Cornelia, if told by Piper,instead of Cornelia. I didn't spend all day on it, so take it for what it is lol. Oh and Marisa, I did use a few actual lines from that scene too lol. :smileywink:
-------------
On a beautiful day such as this, I could never understood how anyone could want to live in an impersonal, concrete city, where the only grass you see is being smoked by someone, and the sky is blocked out, not by the shade of a tree, but the gray monoliths of buildings making the sky seem pale and sickly against them rather than bright and deep blue as they are in the open here, with lush green trees and yards to bring out its best hues.
I love our neighborhood. Everyone takes such care of their homes and yards. Its clean and each lawn cut perfectly to match the neighbor's, each putting on its best face, as a woman would, to look nice for friends or company to see. Children playing in the cul-de-sacs, safe, happy. When neighbors work together, its like a little piece of heaven, away from the ugliness of an unkempt world and unkempt morals. This place is home and family.
Well, lets put it this way, its how we try hard to keep it. The house across the street has been vacant for just a while now and we felT like part of the family was missing to see it unlived in. I heard the new owners were due today and I was up early, got a shower and dressed nicely but casually, ready to greet them with a warm welcome. No need to overdress on their moving day, but nice enough to let them know, its a nice neighborhood, clean and friendly. My smile would match the smile of the neighborhood itself.
As I walked across the street, there on the porch sat a short young girl in her gym shorts, dirty, sweaty and gulping on a huge bottle of water. She must be the pre-teenage daughter, a little worse for wear, from unpacking, but some teens, well, you know how they can be about their looks, they either care or they don't. And the usual cropped off hairdo too.
"Hello there!", I said, with my best smile, "Welcome to the neighborhood!" The teenager stood up and she wasn't a teenager after all! "Hi", she said, "I am Cornelia Brown, and I am usually much cleaner than this." Well I would certainly hope so, but the suddenness of realizing she was a grown up had caught me off guard and I waited to shake her hand but she just stood there wiping her hands on her shorts, not offering a hand to shake, as if sizing me up before committing to an action that might make me want to stay. I was caught off guard by person standing there just staring at me with the funniest smile, that was as hard to make out the exact meaning of, as was her hands just stiff down to her sides, constantly swiping the gym shorts, that by now, I am sure she probably realized were a bit much for a grown woman to be wearing. All I could think to do in the silence was say "Cornelia. Now that's a different name!" I must have hit a nerve with my innocent try at conversation because she just shrugged and said, "Believe me, I know". This was not going very well and I wondered about who was moving into our family here.

"We are the Truitts." I said, "from across the street. I'm Piper". She cocked her head as if reflecting and finally said, "Hi Piper".
"I've come with the welcome wagon, to welcome you to the neighborhood, well minus the wagon of course", I said with a light hearted grin, trying further to break the ice. "How nice", she said, again, noncommittal, with a look best described as a soldier wondering where the rest of the troops were that she needed to be wary of. "So, are you doing all this work on your own today, or is your family around? I would love to meet them and welcome them to the neighborhood. I know your kids are going to love it here, we are just one big family and were really hoping for a nice family to buy this house". Thinking that since she had on the junior high gym shorts, that must belong to a daughter, this would be a wonderful way to let her know kids were welcomed here.
"No", she said, "actually its just my husband and I. He is a doctor. We have no children, we are professional people.
"Professional people", she said, like that was above us here? "Professional people", like that was a breed, genetically enhanced or a nationality with their own national flag. They must have a secret handshake too, since I wasn't offered one. She looked at me as if to say, "there, now you know we are not into all the kids ok, so keep your distant, and keep the kids in your yard too". She was looking around now, surveying the neighborhood, as if each tree hid one of the little monsters.
"Well, anyway, I said finally," welcome to the neighborhood!". I smiled trying to elicit any smile from her which would at least be the appropriate thing to do, even if you didn't mean it. With a raised eyebrow and a look that could kill, she said in reply, "It was nice to meet you...Pepper." This was a purposeful assault but I held my cool, no reason to get upset, or at least look upset in front of the "Professional People". Wondering when their national flag would replace the poor flowers in desperate need of attention in the yard, I turned and merely said, "Likewise, and it's Piper." I smiled, walked away thinking, ok Piper, this is not going to be easy, but maybe if you come back another time, offer some helpful hints about the yard, those flowers, since she may need help, coming from the city, that we would try this again. We will approach this in an orderly manner, thats got to appeal to a "professional person", make them feel welcome. Oh a party! Thats just the thing!
Vivian
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Re: The first encounter, from PIPER's viewpoint!

 
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Re: The first encounter, from PIPER's viewpoint!


vivico1 wrote:

Ok, if you can stick with this lol. This is the first encounter of Piper and Cornelia, if told by Piper,instead of Cornelia. I didn't spend all day on it, so take it for what it is lol. Oh and Marisa, I did use a few actual lines from that scene too lol :smileywink:


Good one Viv! I think you may have a new career on your hands. It really does make you realize that everyone's perception is different. Even at the same event no two people will recall it exactly the same. That being said - I can't imagine it ever happening that way! I do think that Piper thinks that it happened that way though. I'm sure that she sees every exchange as an opportunity to share her wealth of knowledge with the world. She is singlehandedly saving mankind from bad hair, wrinkled clothes and poor table manners. Hey, somebody's got to do it. :smileysurprised:  

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Re: The first encounter, from PIPER's viewpoint!


Wrighty wrote:

vivico1 wrote:

Ok, if you can stick with this lol. This is the first encounter of Piper and Cornelia, if told by Piper,instead of Cornelia. I didn't spend all day on it, so take it for what it is lol. Oh and Marisa, I did use a few actual lines from that scene too lol :smileywink:


Good one Viv! I think you may have a new career on your hands. It really does make you realize that everyone's perception is different. Even at the same event no two people will recall it exactly the same. That being said - I can't imagine it ever happening that way! I do think that Piper thinks that it happened that way though. I'm sure that she sees every exchange as an opportunity to share her wealth of knowledge with the world. She is singlehandedly saving mankind from bad hair, wrinkled clothes and poor table manners. Hey, somebody's got to do it. :smileysurprised:




Well i have to admit, I was giggling on the part about "professional people". And with a place to put in her take on the no handshake Cornelia mentioned and making it about it must be the prof. peep's secret handshake she didnt get, I did crack up at my own writing, hehe. Hey as long as I amuse myself I guess lol. :smileywink:
Vivian
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Re: The first encounter, from PIPER's viewpoint!

[ Edited ]
Sorry about the goofs. I'm having some problems here tonight. At first I couldn't get my comments to show up (the blank page) and then they showed a couple of times. It wasn't my fault, honest! :smileysad:


Message Edited by Wrighty on 05-20-2008 02:49 AM
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The first encounter, from PIPER's viewpoint!

Good job, Vivian!  Very funny!
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Correspondent
SandyS
Posts: 148
Registered: ‎12-28-2006
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Re: The first encounter, from PIPER's viewpoint!

Vivian,
 
Great job!  I think you have Piper nailed.  I bet this was fun.
 
SandyS

vivico1 wrote:

Ok, if you can stick with this lol. This is the first encounter of Piper and Cornelia, if told by Piper,instead of Cornelia. I didn't spend all day on it, so take it for what it is lol. Oh and Marisa, I did use a few actual lines from that scene too lol. :smileywink:
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Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Cornelia's Thoughts



vivico1 wrote:
I love Cornelia's thoughts being first person. I love being in her head, its quite interesting there and amusing. She is one of those that you could talk to for awhile and say, "I love how you think" and wink a knowing wink.

As for reliable, oh I think she is, and because she's talking in the first person, open and honestly to us, those who can appreciate what she thinks and feels and with no repercussions. Again, like just being in her head hearing her unedited thoughts.

IBIS, hey there :smileyhappy:, you said "When we first meet Piper, I was slightly taken aback by how negatively Cornelia reacted to her... the writing does color our perception of Piper. I think Cornelia may have deliberately stacked the deck against Piper ... by mocking her impeccable hair and clothing. And negatively sharpening the critical perception of Piper as the social trend-setter of the suburb." I got to say, and this is just from chapter one, I was not taken aback at all. When you are the new one in town, at the party, you can stand back and pretty soon, you will know the cliches, who is top of the local totem pole, who sets the "local standards" as if they could start the local standard TIME of day too if they wanted. And you will know if they are judging you. We all make initial judgments about people but I did not think Cornelia's were unjustly negative. I think as Piper also comes over to, sum her up, and with her remarks about the yard and her "suggestions" to fix it, oh yeah, I think Cornelia has a pretty reliable picture at this point in the book and that makes her a reliable narrator to me. A darn interesting one too. I love how she expresses things and yeah, Piper is a hoot. I wouldnt want to live by her, but I do love reading about her. How these two get on, is going to be great to watch. I feel like I am sitting on the sidelines with the guys going, let the catfights begin LOL. But I can see Piper coming across that street and what she looks like and how she looks at things, so clearly that I want to nudge Cornelia and say, here comes your buddy LOL! And then just stand back and watch and listen and hope Cornelia would tell me the things we get to hear her think, just the way she thinks them.

If there are changes in the wind, please no one say so yet. I am too busy laughing and getting that feeling of being right there to want to know how things evolve yet. Right now I am standing there, trying to be straight faced at what is going on but knowing I have that dead giveaway in my face, you know, its when you are surprised or caught off guard, and don't want to show it but you can not stop one thing, the eyes dilate at that moment, giving you away no matter what the rest of your body language says lol.

You are right, Viv about Cornelia. She was a good narrarter but of course not perfect. This was her first impression of Piper. Did you feel Piper was insulting Cornelia because she didn't have children. ? I felt she was over empazising that Cornelia didn't have children. Maybe it was Cornelia's writing but it seemed Piper was a bit stuck up.
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