Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)


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Publisher Description

I had my after school snack and my book. The book that could transport me to another time and place, and with this one, it had 2 different places to take me. One of my first experiences with time travel. As I munched my way through the bagels, I was brought into another world. Those are the best memories of all. I can still taste the pizza my mom brought to me in my room so I could keep reading. The first line takes a moment to unfold.


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The sensory details moved the writing and memory along. Nicely done! Renee, sometimes it is good to take a break from the WIP and just bring back some memories through writing. I hope that you found inspiration. Andy you are right. It was helpful to step away and write something different. I ended up writing more in my WIP later and it flowed faster.

Donna — Thanks for the guest post. I especially appreciated that you used excerpts from books as mentors for us. Would you be willing to share something sensory from your books? The plinks get faster and louder.

Finally, rain splashes against my window in a deluge. Thanks for sharing the Olivia Bean excerpt. Great fodder for my student writers. As I start to run, I hear the roar of the ocean and feel the slap of its waves, and my mind recaptures the sense of awe from the first time I saw, smelled, and heard it — our first trip together, to Mazatlan, where we sweltered and sweat, escaping the heat with sugary drinks in the pool. A hot puff of steam from a Yellowstone geyser shoots up next to me, its sulfuric odor briefly overpowering. Sweat trickles down my back as we hike through a bamboo forest, and I feel the cooling relief of a fully-clothed leap into a waterfall — a relic from our Hawaii honeymoon.

I pause to inhale the sweet scent of wildflowers and the tangy odor of pine, keeping my ears alert for the rustling of bushes, the sign of a nearby Yosemite deer — or a mama bear, protecting her two little cubs. My shoulders tingle a bit, and I reach my left hand to my right shoulder, then flinch away in pain. I knew I should have reapplied sunscreen after that last dip in a Playa del Carmen pool. I tip my handheld water bottle up for a mid-run drink, but instead of water, I taste the sweet musk of a good merlot, one far out of our budget, on our Napa tour.

Kate's Publishers

A chilly, salty breeze blows across me, and though I briefly shiver, the soft lapping of Dungeness Bay waves at sunset stills me just in time to hear a bald eagle call from his post on the powerlines above my head. The sounds, smells, and tastes of vacations past fade away as a wayward sprinkler squirts me and my stomach rumbles.

This was beautiful! It was a mistake for Arthur to let his grandson, Anthony, use the camper for him and his girlfriend to live in while he built a house.

Dirty Donna, Season One: Collegiate Babysitter and Us

He should have known cleanliness would not be a priority. It never had been for Amanda, even after she had her baby. The first thing that caught my eye was a gallon sized glass jar of Vlasic pickles tipped on its side, a few whe pickles still swimming in the cloudy liquid. Amazingly it had not exploded in the heat or cold it had been exposed to while sitting unused during these last few years.

The carpet was spotted and worn, and had seen no vacuum for several years. I know their excuse would be that they had no power other than the generator, but at this point their excuses were as useless as the water pipes which had been allowed to burst in the winter. Grit and grime, pine needles, leaves, paper, dirt, crumbs, and yes, droppings from small critters that had made this camper their home were embedded into the texture of the carpet.

The linoleum in the kitchen was torn, and layered black with dirt and grease so heavy the color of the flooring was unrecognizable. There were larger items, too, baby clothes that no longer fit, cast away toys, plastic garbage bags that spilled out soda cans and bottles, greasy, grimy tools, newspapers, candy wrappers, and other delights. The smell was putrid. And above all that was a worst smell, the smell of urine gone stale, strong enough to make me step back down the steps to suck in some clean, fresh air.

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How do people live like this, I wondered? And the bigger, more pressing question- did Arthur actually think this camper could be salvaged, cleaned well enough to use as a place to rest while we build our log cabin? I love that you take a scene that everyone can relate to but that is undesirable.

I like how you spiral from the animal droppings back to the animals that must be living in the sofa and your string of descriptors for the smell. I feel for this character already. We live in a mountain home, and the first thing we did when we bought the property was bulldoze the trailer that had sat abandoned and rotting. We still find scraps of the destruction in the driveway when it rains.

Thanks for all your entry brought to mind this morning! Carol, awesome excerpt! I found myself oohing and aahing at the disgusting sensory details. You have written a setting that the reader can visualize with all of their senses and maybe get a little sick while reading — just kidding:.

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And where there is no grass, the dirt turns to dust with every shuffle of a cleated size The breeze brings hints of a summertime storm in the making. There are more moms here today than usual. Some are out on the field, competing with one another with their praises and shouts of disapproval.

Some are absorbed in their books, their phones, or their younger children. I wonder if any of them notice what I do as I put my hands behind me in the grass, look out past my sandalled toes, and watch as my not-so-little girl grows up right before my eyes. I breathe in deeply. Do they notice?

The baked earth, the hovering humidity, the dust from under their toes, the scent of rain approaching? Can you smell it? That, my fellow moms, is the smell of softball. The ground itself became a character — even the dirt, the clear spots, illustrated your point. Carol, Wow!

This piece steeps with sensory imagery in the same way the trailer did! Morgan makes such a good point, that sensory words bring alive difficult and unpleasant things just as effectively as pleasant ones. This piece is very evocative and helps me step into your summer experiences and challenges in an effective way.


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  5. When my mother remarried a commercial fisherman, they moved to his coastal camp. It was not in quite the shape of the one you described, but had the same slightly moldy disintegrating quality old unused trailers like the one you described get.

    Symptoms of Dysgraphia

    Your scene is so well described it is easy to see and smell what you did standing on those steps. So pungent and sharp a smell that it stayed around even as the morning trickles on into afternoon and afternoon into evening.

    Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2) Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)
    Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2) Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)
    Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2) Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)
    Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2) Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)
    Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2) Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)
    Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2) Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)
    Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2) Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)
    Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2) Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)
    Tied to the Table: Mouth Games and More (Dirty Donna Book 2)

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