I'll just post you the feedback I have just posted to her piece. She only gave us a snippet (You're limited to about 500 words in the workshop) she was a little concerned it was too graphic to workshop (it will make sense when you read what I wrote below)
Her piece is about child abuse. I've e-mailed her to ask if I can read the full piece, because as you can see from my feedback I offered her. She is a truly gifted and talented writer, and is able to write beautiful words on a subject that is horrendous.
I don't think this is too graphic to workshop. I think you have taken the essence of what is child abuse and given it substance for others to experience. (If you get what I'm trying to say. Sort of like putting flesh onto the bones.)
I was particularly taken by the following lines in your piece:
"froze the breath in my lungs and seemed to suck the air out of the entire room"
I could almost feel this gasp in my own chest and sense the feeling of everything around you kinda spinning out of control as those things that trigger a memory take over. This was very powerful, and I personally feel you really grabbed your audience here, and let them in a way know just what sort of ride you are about to take them on. Well done.
Then you gave us this line:
'I slammed the lid down on that memory, thrusting it back into that compartment in my brain, were it lurks, biding its time'.
So well written as to what we as human beings do when we try and shut out a memory, I thought the 'where it lurks, biding its time' was just a magnificent way to describe this.
"I felt the burning pressure behind my eyes that warns that tears are imminent, and I tasted acid bile at the back of my throat as I fought the nausea."
Again the description here of that burning feeling we get when we're trying desperately not to cave into the emotions that are causing us heartache enough to make us cry. (I don't know about anyone else, but my eyes don't 'burn' when I have happy tears, but they do burn like fire as I fight to restrain the unhappy tears) Again Jess, the way in which you use words to paint an image is beautiful, even when the image being portrayed is horrendous.
Well done on a truly remarkable piece. I look forward to a future where I can pull a book from a shelf with the authors name Jessica
Like I said I'm surrounded by talent.
That's all I've got.