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Moving On

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Old 06-08-2016, 10:44 PM
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Help! I obviously need to do some Show Don't Tell work on this, but how??? How do you show a letter, as the whole point is that you're telling somebody else?

Dear Mum,

Itís Gerry here. Iím going to start writing you letters, which I know is kind of weird. I wonít send them, of course, but Iím going to use them like a sort of therapy, I suppose. Iím okay, I donít need therapy, but I think itís sort of a nice idea. Itís weird not knowing if youíre safe. But donít go thinking I need you now; weíve been FINE for the last ten years or so.

No need to come back, though. Where even are you these days? Are you still in Europe, or did you leave before they closed the borders?

To be honest with you, Iím not entirely sure why Iíve suddenly started writing these letters now, after all this time. I guess all the change has got a bit overwhelming. I need something to hold on to and somebody to talk to, and since you canít exactly talk back, youíre my top option. Feel honoured.

Tally arrived at the new house today, and I think she liked it a lot. I wonder if you would. You and Tally, youíre similar, I think.

I like England, too. I miss Germany, of course Ė and I think that we all will, because when something has been part of your life for a decade or so it can be very difficult, more difficult than youíd imagine, to move on. But then youíd know, wouldnít you, about moving on?

Moving is scary, though, especially to England at this time. Itís dangerous. But then again, we really do seem to live in the middle of nowhere, so I guess itís probably safer than near Frankfurt, where we used to live Ė though nobody ever got killed by SWORD in Germany as far as I know.

Sometimes I miss you, Mum. I mean, this sounds extreme, but we live in a society in which we could be killed any second. The chances are small, yeah, but bigger than they ever used to be. And I donít want to die hardly knowing who my own mother is.
I donít remember you that well, to be completely honest. I remember much better the sounds of Dad crying at night for a long time afterwards, and how Tally Ė who was only three when you upped and left Ė hardly recognised your photographs. Itís a painful subject for Dad, and I never talked the matter over with anybody. I didnít really want to. You can say thatís harsh of me, Mum, to put it in black and white like that. Well, I am harsh. Itís not like Iím going to get a new mother any time soon.

I suppose Iíd better fill you in on everything thatís happened since you left. So you know that Dad was Ė and still is Ė a writer. He used to be really unsuccessful, as you probably know, and we lived still in England for a while then. That was just after you left, and Dad was heartbroken of course, so making money became difficult for a good few years.

Then, partly to get away from everything and start anew, and partly to find new inspiration, Dad and Tally and I moved to Germany, to the Rhineland about an hour away from Frankfurt. The new apartment on the outskirts of town was small but nice, and I had got my own bedroom, so that was me taken in for pretty much anything. We lived in a small town called RŁdesheim, and it had a huge chairlift ride spiralling above the town. I used to believe that you could see the whole world from up there.

It was only shut down the year before we left, and we couldnít go there anymore, because apparently it was too easy a target, so high in the sky. Sometimes, my friends and I would sneak up there at night Ė because we missed it, of course, but mostly just for the thrill. I had a mate who knew how to hot-wire the circuit because heíd once worked there in the summer holidays. We would spin up the vineyards in the moonlight, swinging on the bottom of the carts and laughing, laughing so much. Those were good times.

There was even a shop that was open all-year round, entirely devoted to Christmas. I wonder where weíll get our Christmas tree from this year. Do you have a Christmas tree? A real one like us, or an artificial one Ė not even a nice one, but a plastic one for a plastic person?

By my third year at secondary school, I played lead guitar in a band.

Everything was going great Ė the band wasnít famous, far from it, but other students at the school often invited us to play at their parties, which was awesome. I loved the feeling I got from performing; the rush, the applause, the adrenalin pumping through me.

But nothing was serious. We split up after a while, because thatís what bands do.

But married couples arenít supposed to do that, Mum. Did you really love Dad? Was there a point when you thought youíd never leave? I think there must have been, because usually Dadís a good judge of character. I guess everybody makes mistakes.


Even after our band split up, I found that I missed the music, so I went online and found a great website on SimNet for people who wanted to be in a new band. Anybody could sign up online and type in their location and skills, and then eventually they got matched up with other people around the world based on their choices. I ended up in a band with two others guys Iíd never met, and I still havenít met either of them to this day.

Oneís called Lex, heís the bassist and from America, where the situation is even worse than Britain, and the drummerís an afro-hair guy called Jason from Kenya, which is better because the part he lives in is so remote. In the first week of being put in a band together, we video called a few times, and we got along really well. Looking back, the whole online thing was all really dodgy, but it worked great for us. We decided on Kick Me Goodbye as a band name. The idea is that we would record our separate parts and then send them to each other via SimNet.

To be honest, the best thing about having an online band is that when your Dad first tells you youíre moving halfway across Europe, everything is on your laptop.

My new room is seriously cool, Mum, way better than any bedrooms Iíve had before. Thereís one wall covered in graffiti that Dad had actually paid someone to do (though I would bet that thereís loads of street dudes that would do it for free) and another covered in posters of all the bands I like. Itís all lit up red and yellow and green and purple and blue, and honestly it looks amazing.

So yeah, that just about leads us up to today.

I picked Tally up from the airport this afternoon. Most people wouldnít get along with their little sister, but Tally and I have always been tight. We had to, to be completely truthful. In a family of just three, thereís REALLY nowhere to hide, and besides, I like Tally.

In the car on the way home, weíd been talking about the attacks that have been happening in London, by the SWORD terrorist group. Have you heard about that? I guess unless you live in a cave (and God knows what you could do with the actor you ran away with in there) you must have done.

Iím scared. I really am. I want to see you and I donít want to see you, both at the same time. But Iíd like to talk to you again, especially if thereís a bomb up there with my name on it.

That really helped, letting it all out like that, so Iíll write again soon.

Gerry x

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Last edited by TheRedSharpie; 06-08-2016 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:45 PM
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Sorry, all the fonts have gone crazy here. Basically, anything below my introduction at the start is part of the letter.
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"The functional disenchantment, the sweet habit of each other, had begun to put lines around her mouth, lines that looked like quotation marks - as if everything she said had already been said before."
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:48 AM
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A letter is dialog basically. When a character tells another character something they are showing things to the reader. The admonition show don't tell, refers to the readers perspective. think of your pen, or keyboard, as a camera, not a mouth, and the page as a movie screen. Readers want to see the story with their mind's eye. They want to feel it with their own emotions, they want to go there, and be there, not just hear about it.

I think this letter works well as is.
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