I just finished my first critique at Critique Circle (CC). After reading several critiques, I realized there are still differences in language, expression, and experiences. Yes, I know different parts of the country, different experiences. This is 2014 how different can we be? We have cable and the internet. There’s a few shows set in the South (sort of). I’m looking forward to the new NCIS set in New Orleans. (Scott please lose the fake accent.)
Anyway. One critique questioned the sentence: “A hot breeze brushed by Beau, rustling the moss dripping from the trees.”. Be nice, it’s a WIP. The critique mentioned moss is wet. (Let me say first, this was a very helpful critique.) Well, actually…. I was shocked to realize not everyone knows about Spanish moss. I had assumed my readers knew what Spanish moss was, and I was wrong. Of course I had also assumed they knew about gill nets, local fishing laws, and the finer aspects of gator meat. But that’s another story and faux pas.
I’m a lazy gardener and not a horticulturalist, so bear with me.
Moss-is a mat of small (tiny) plants that form a carpet over damp, moist, and shady areas. It is soft and cushy. It’s usually a beautiful shade of bright green. I love this kind of moss and take many pictures of it when forced to hike. As seen below.
Spanish Moss- is not a moss at all. It is a bromeliad (angiosperm). It’s an air plant. They grow in long brown strands that clump. It’s lightweight, airy, and dry. It’s beautiful to look at as it hangs from monster sized oak trees that line avenues to pre-civil war mansions. Or in my story, hang from cypress trees along gator infested bayous. See photo.
Mystic moss– There is a third type of moss found only in Mobile and New Orleans during late winter or early spring. It is caused by an unnatural phenomenon called Mardi Gras, where masked revelers rising atop paper mache floats slinging plastic beads into a hoard of drunken strangers. The stately oaks, minding their own business of lining the streets of downtown, get caught in the crossfire. The oaks become entangled with beads. No word on how the trees feel about the situation. See photo.
I hope I have helped those unfamiliar with types of moss. My husband agrees with the critique and told me moss does not rustle. There will be no corn bread for him at dinner tonight. I shall now check my MS for any Southernism that may need explaining.