• Interesting having grown up with a lip reader I can see the advantage of knowing what is being said without hearing it. Very good story.

  • Now that is a ghost story.

  • I liked it, it moved smoothly. one spelling error pale instead of pail. While you may have felt you rushed to the ending it did not feel rushed.

  • Dead Man’s Wife by Jackie Chase
    Moving swiftly down the dark hall Mali stopped at the library door then slipped into the small room. How she loved the library, no one ever used it. A safe place, her little […]

  • I liked it. It moved and you could really feel the problem. Just like a man to decide and expect the woman to follow.

  • Leaving by Jackie Chase


    In the cool dawn, quiet prevailed, no one cried. She gathered the children. Their father lay on the couch, his white belly exposed. They had to leave while they could.

    “Daddy’s […]

    • Wow, this is powerful. I love your take on beached whale, ha ha! I would love to see the steps you went through in your writing process to get to this succinct piece. I think you could have made the first line more powerful by removing the words, “quiet prevaled”. It’s passive and the feeling is more powerful, and would be frightfully emotional without those words as if the kids know not to cry…

      In the cool dawn, quiet prevailed, no one cried. 

      You did a great job telling a life’s story in 100 words, fantastic.

    • Very well written and a great take on the topic.

      Not a criticism but there’s a typo – the ‘the’ in “the would have to do”. I just thought I’d mention it because you might be sending this piece in to a competition and it might help you to know. 🙂

  • Rewrite of The Shaman Returns by Chase Madeson


    The old shaman bent with age leaned against the long house door. The brilliant summer day mocked him. Rivulets of tears flowed down the deep groves of his face. […]

    • A sad story especially with the current pandemic going on.

      Based on Exercise #3’s instructions, here’s my evaluation:

      Main Character: Shaman

      Goal and Conflict: Shaman wants to stay alive until his son returns and he thinks that he might run out of time.

      Theme: Holding on until his son returns to take over

      Setting: Village (long house and burial grounds)

      Style: 3rd person POV

      Tone of the Story: His coming death is foreshadowed

      Use of Senses: Good

      Is it Coherent: Yes

      Beginning: The shaman is surrounded by death

      Middle: He’s trying to comfort the others in his son’s absence before he dies

      End: The shaman could finally rest in death

      Observations: (1) In the beginning of the story, you mention carrying a small bundle twice in the same language. Mix the language up so it doesn’t echo, and (2) try to show more — there’s a lot of telling (I struggle with this also).

    • Wow, this story is really compelling and painful, with the end being left vague enough that we as a reader only know that the Shaman’s son has come home to help, but to inkling as to whether the village will be improved. My favorite, poignant line was this:

      His last act as shaman would be to set fire to the long house. 

      I didn’t see your story self evaluation per Exercise 3, but here’s my take:

      Beginning: Shaman burries his grandchild. A plague has his the village.
      Middle: He waits for his son, also a Shaman, as he has little strength left.
      End: His son arrives, the only hope. He lays down knowing his own end is soon.

      Plot: A village is dying and everyone, including the Shaman is mourning and exhausted.
      Character: The Shaman suffers defeat as his own grandchild is buried among the dead.
      Goal: Main character wants his son to come back and take over as Shaman. He hopes.
      Theme: We can only do what we can. Somethings are beyond our ability to fix.
      Setting: Primitive village. Devastating illness.

      Style: Your style is moving, telling the story from close up as we watch the Shaman. There’s little dialog, but through the actions we see what the characters are going through, how they’re suffering.
      Tone: The tone of the story was sad, realistic.
      Sense: You’ve captured the senses in a few places, bitter tea, chanting, tears salted his much. You could add more — the feel of the deer skin flap, the weight of the bundle, the warmth of the sun, dampness of the tears, pungent scent of the new herb, sound of people’s coughs.
      Like: I liked the story for its realism. Sad, that plagues like this have happened many times over human history. I liked reading it from the Shamans point of view. I felt his pain.
      Coherent: The story flowed well from beginning to end.

  • I agree with Jane you use orange hair too much. Maybe use human female or red shoes or even just the woman.
    It is an interesting point of view.

  • The frustration caused by dementia comes out strongly. It is so hard on family members when some is remembered and they are forgotten. The story defiantly pulls at your heart strings for both the daughter and her friend.

  • I liked it overall. The sentence ‘Sunday’s were off if you woke them before noon.’. I am not sure who them refers to. All the bodega doesn’t fit right. If the taxi is passing and the owner is just opening up the grate then the fruits and vegetables would not yet be out. Also I am not sure bodega’s sell fruits and vegetables.

  • I like it. You could feel her anger coming out. I like the end.

  • Thanks I made some changes and will post soon.

  • I liked your story. The sentence after the 911call is awkward I am not sure how to fix it. Overall it is a good story.

  • I really liked it. Your story conveyed the women’s culture in a nut shell.

  • I like it. I do think you could play up the jealousy or envy aspect a little more.

  • I am being picky but I thought woodies were the car of the fifty not the seventies. I am not sure how the first part, the trip to pick up her friend fits in with the part about her being discourage by her father. It is kind of superfluous..

  • I am not sure I know what a well pad is. Is it for water or gas or oil. It does not make sense that the guys would go back instead of taking the wounded Courtney to the hospital. Over al I like the story and the ending.

  • I agree on telling why they are friends. You need to put the comment about they have been friends since high school early on in the story. I see Yvette as being shallow. Julie needs to be a little more three dimensional.

  • The Shaman Returns by Jackie Chase


    The old man shaking leaned against the long house door. The brilliant summer day mocked him. Rivulets of tears flowed down the deep groves of his face. He held a small bundle […]

    • The plot/conflict/solution is apparent here. As are the characters and setting. I enjoyed your story! Hope to continue seeing you in the WTC journey!

      Specific edit suggestions:
      –I’d leave off “and flow they did” from the sentence that contains it.
      –Repeated “called” 3 times here: “Someone called from the long house. He turned and went to see who called. The moans and coughs of the sick still called to him.
      –There are some commas missing, a round of editing could fix that.
      –I had forgotten who the old woman character was for a moment (that this was referencing), and also didn’t know which “him” was being referred to: “The old woman cried at seeing him.

    • Very interesting! This evoked so many emotions and so many questions! I care for these people and want to know where and when they exist and what illness they suffer. I am glad for the shaman’s return but sad that the old man seems to have list his will to live. I hope you write more about this community.

  • I felt her frustration. An arranged marriage his clavier attitude about what he had done. Her feelings of being used and discarded when she had served her purpose. I think in the end she did realize that what he had said was true and he gave her the freedom to marry who she wanted. Very nice.

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Jackie Chase

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