• Ha, ha, brothers. You sucked me in, I was sure the one brother was dead. Your rhyming pattern was good ABCA, I like changing it up like that. It is well written and shows he close relationship of family members and good friends.

  • Verna, welcome! Don’t worry about struggling, we all do. Yours is a tale of a broken heart, trying again. Good for you! Your words will ring true to many of us and sharing them with us is good for us and you. Write your heart out, Verna! We are waiting for more.

  • You know this person. I expected that the man would turn mean, angry at the end, but looks like he is still breathing the air of superiority. It is difficult to live in the shadow of such people as they suck the air out of the room and the rest of us gasp to even walk behind. Good imagery, I too know this kind of person.

  • Sally, you got it going on! You drew us in and left us hanging. Your dialogue and imagery were good…those of us who have worked in law enforcement see differently than others and I would suspect you may have been there. Your story had several elements of a good story, limited characters, good descriptions, a moral to be learned (but…[Read more]

  • Thank you, Miguel. First of all, love is love and this is a story of two people at different places in their life. Marlon is ready for more, Louis isn’t there yet. And sometimes that happens, in fact, it happens a lot. I admire that people have good egos, I don’t have that and I am always surprised that people make choices that benefit…[Read more]

  • Silvio, good idea for a story. You achieved several of the major elements of a story – your characters were limited to two, your setting was realistic and I live in a desert and could feel the intense north wind. One of the things I am just learning is “show, not tell”. For example, third line “he told him about…piecing”, maybe could have been…[Read more]

  • Nice story Michelle. You hit several major elements of the story – good limit of two main characters, a good beginning and ending. You had a theme in mind of world peace and your hero achieved it. Good story to teach people to prepare, have a goal and move forward to prepare it. Thank you for sharing with us. Looking forward to more of your work.

  • thank you for your encouragement.

  • thank you Aisling, that’s what i was going for.

  • The Jewel

    He stalked her, well, maybe not her, specifically, but he was not new at this game. Sometimes he had been successful, in bringing her down and claiming her, but never for long, just enough so she would […]

    • Hi Gretchen, I had a comment all typed out and it disappeared on me! So I will try and remember all that I had written in it. I enjoyed your story, I was captivated at the beginning by the ‘stalker’ and my initial guesses were that it was a demon or an animal, possibly a snake (until you mentioned legs!) as you subtly added ‘human gatherings’ to the overall description. I did think the prey was a human woman right up until all was revealed. Charming story, well done 🙂

    • It’s captivating and I love Jethro’s thoughts at the end.

  • Grace arrived at home to find MacDaddy ready for breakfast.  Once the primary task was complete, she let Mac out for cat business and jumped into a quick shower and hair wash.  She dressed quickly, pulled her h […]

    • Hi Gretchen – again a great scene and your mastery of dialogue is outstanding. So in character for Grace to still be expecting/hoping-not hoping for contact from Eddie. .

      I was surprised by a couple of things that seemed a little out of character:
      1. Ryan texting even though they were going to be sitting next to each as soon as Grace got to work. I wondered if he could have whispered that to her?
      2. The Chief Auditor offering Grace a secondment in front of the team. In reality that is likely to be a private conversation. Having them talk about it in the corridor or outside the room might amplify the tension – with the rest of the team (esp. Ryan) wondering what the conversation is about?
      3. Ryan’s declaration about being gay followed by “I certainly would have tried to jump your bones.’ Wouldn’t that make him bisexual? And OUCH to ‘I’ve got something better at home’. Even if you know someone is gay that comment has gotta hurt but Grace didn’t flinch.

      • Hi Gretchen
        I am doing the six-month rewrite and am looking for a reading buddy. I wonder if you are doing this rewrite? And if so, are you looking for a buddy? My WIP is The Inheritance.
        cheers Leona

    • Hi, Grace-
      Lots of surprises here so near the end. Every ending is a new beginning?
      This – “Once the primary task was complete” – bothered me because I don’t like passive sentence constructions. Maybe something more like, “Once she completed her first job….” 🙂
      Being shot down because of sexual preference is a two-edged sword. Nothing bad happened, sure, but if it’s only because the other person could never be interested in you, that’s gotta sting. I’ll be interested to see where that goes, but at least Grace doesn’t have to worry about regulations & fraternizing with a superior officer.
      Looks like Grace has some real professional admirers, though. Doesn’t sound like she really wants to stay, either, or she’d have asked for time to talk it over with someone.
      Good scene!

  • This poem is more of a free verse, not much in alliteration or rhyming.  But having our temperatures drop from 115 degrees to the 90’s with the help of the monsoon, I thought I would try to capture my […]

    • Hi Gretchen
      A cheering song of praise for nature and its abundance. You don’t always need alliteration or rhyming. These technical aspects are sometimes a hindrance in the way of pronouncing the feeling or the idea. Very well done. Thank you.

    • Hello Gretchen,
      I can feel the relief in your poem as the rain poured down. Here in Wales, we tend to have the same sort of celebration when it doesn’t rain for a week…. but are grateful, of course, for our temperate climate. Well done with this poem.

    • Hi, Gretchen-
      A thunderstorm is a great take on the prompt. I can almost feel the ground soaking it up and the humidity rising. And I like the repetition of the word “red.” I’m not sure why, but it sounds right. Speaking of the ground, you may have noticed this already, but I think you meant “thirsty.”
      I’ve always enjoyed watching a desert awaken after a storm, especially those plants that sit & wait seemingly forever for just such a moment. This poem makes me hear the earth sigh in relief.

    • A lovely poem about the earth yearning for rain.
      I think you’ve got a teeny typo in there- thirty instead of thirsty. 🙂

  • At 0330 hours Grace slowly opened her eyes, momentarily lost, with a feeling of dread creeping over her.  Afraid to look around the room, she relaxed her shoulders, breathing deeply.  Yes, she was in Ryan’s bed […]

    • Hi Gretchen
      This scene doesn’t feel as alive as your other scenes for me. I wondered if you were trying to ‘explain’ things just in case the reader hasn’t pieced it together. Hope it’s ok to just say it as I found it 🙂
      -The spill all to Ryan caught me off-guard. It felt kind of out of character for Grace. If she’d spilled when drunk and tired I’d get it but she has woken up sober.
      -Even though Grace does have the pattern of behaviour in relationships, as she described it, it didnt feel right for her to a)spill the beans about that to Ryan, b) call herself a slut (ouch!) and c) get out of bed and just smooth herself down. I imagined she’d go to the bathroom, check out her appearance, talk to herself in the mirror (tell him/no, don’t tell him).
      -It didn’t feel like there was enough hesitation in her dialogue as she spills the beans. You’re dialogue usually feels very real.

      I’m not sure what the scene needs? Maybe more body language/gesture? More conflict? Grace strugglingwith the urge to talk vs her usual keeping her cards close to her chest. Maybe more frisson between her and Ryan somehow?

    • Hi, Gretchen-
      Wow, it’s really coming to a head now!
      I don’t think that this is as clear as you want it: “No, no. I go to the hospital where the family is gathered. Sgt. Rodriguez is there, and I think he is the department liaison. It seems, that somehow, both Eddie and Sgt. Rodriguez failed to disclose that Rodriguez is Eddie’s uncle.” Maybe something more like, “I figured he was there as the department liaison. It turns out, though, that he’s Eddie’s uncle. And neither of them disclosed that to the department.” If that’s what you meant, that is. 🙂
      Also, I wasn’t in the story that far back. Is Sgt. Rodriguez the uncle who punched Eddie and caused the hospital visit? In a way, he may have saved Eddie’s life, although it’s hard to look at it that way.
      Despite the way Eddie treated her & his possessiveness, he’s not really a bad guy, I don’t think. I hope he doesn’t get dragged down with his uncle. But that doesn’t make a reunion with Grace more likely, does it?
      Good scene!

  • She stood in the yard, shuffling her feet in anticipation or as if she were itching for something to happen.  At her regular post, she was half hidden by the stone wall around the vicarage, the fence not quite […]

    • great description of the dog tracking the potential intruder or hapless visitor – you totally drew me in .

      Nice work

    • Your story is well told through the eyes (and ears and nose) of the guard dog. A different point of view, thanks

  • Grace made her opening presentation to the auditors, her Finance department staff and to Major Malcolm. To the delight of the Rio Grande finance people, she utilized a “murder board” like investigators use on TV. […]

    • Hi, Gretchen-
      So, a date with a superior officer, and her direct supervisor to boot. Sounds like a problem to me.
      I’m wondering why she reacted so strongly to the revelation of Sgt. Rodriguez & Lt. Franklin having misappropriated funds. She knew that, didn’t she? And she’s not responsible for supervising her superiors, is she? I get that there is tension in the room, but she called for the audit. Anyway…
      Seems like Major Malcolm is pushing his luck with the Sheriff.
      Good scene. Hope the sheriff doesn’t stroke out, though. Or is that Malcolm’s aim? Hmm.

    • Hi Gretchen, I am getting to love Grace and her intelligent, sassy attitude, especially in the face of big, bluffing, over-full-of-themselves men. I wonder what her inner conflict is? Say yes to things she should say no to, like a date with a direct supervisor? Honestly, I think you have the makings of a character good for a series of books. The settings are powerful; the murder board, the Barbara Buns, including their flavours, the offices all help me the reader get the feel of these places even though I’ve never been there or hold no such experience in my own life. I have you on my list for re-reading if you are going to join the redrafting group next year!!!

  • Grace woke early the next morning with a new attitude, and more resolve than she had in several months.  The now-contrite Eddie had already started calling and had done so for the past sixteen hours but she […]

    • Hi Gretchen, I love your vocabulary. It’s pacy and sounds just like a cop would. Even Grace’s thoughts hold true. You have written a scene that moves along but interweaves backstory without any sense of interruption. This is very skilful. I also like the quirky details about people and places you pepper throughout this scene. Finally the characters are holding true to their nature. Grace knowing AA is what she needs, but not wanting to out herself as a copy. All very real and gritty. Loving it.

    • Hi, Gretchen-
      Hmm, incipient romance? (And the inevitable jealousy?)
      “Typical, he just doesn’t want me to be with anyone else.” Yeah, I heard it that way, too. She’s a possession. Men can be real sh….I mean, can be very trying. Interesting that she acknowledged her own double standard when the lieutenant called her “cutie.” I understand it, though. We let people we know well enough to trust get away with more.
      I admit I hadn’t thought about the vulnerability issue for an officer in an AA meeting. Really good point, though.
      I understand “most favorite column,” but it seems a bit redundant. Wouldn’t “favorite” do as well?
      I’m glad Grace got over her hangover enough to get it together and prepare to make a good impression for the audit. Having been through a few, I know how little fun they are. Maybe she could come work for me if she gets tired of police work. 🙂

  • This is a poem about Another, with some internal alliteration and an AABB rhyming scheme

    Another chance, another opportunity

    Another glance, more community

    Another dance, another heart ache

    Another romance, […]

    • Hi, Gretchen-
      Nice journey – almost a Songs of Innocence and Experience kind of growth.

    • loved the connections you made with each ‘another’, thought this was really clever

      perhaps the only line that didnt work quite as well was : Another glance, more community. …hmmm trying to think what would fit with the pattern you’ve created in the rest of your poem…another glance, another affinity or another glance, more solidarity …tough one cos you need that connection.
      I really like how the story emerges out of all the lost opportunities and how finally , your narrator hits the jackpot and finds ‘the one’

      great piece!

    • Hello Gretchen,
      Your poem is quite philosophical about the repetitious nature of failure in love! The rhythm is good. I think Kim has put her finger on the problem with the word ‘community’. I’m sure you’ll find something more appropriate. Thanks for sharing the poem.

    • I like your repeat of another to show the pangs of growing stronger.. Thank you for sharing.

  • At 0140 hours Grace awoke, needing two especially important things.  In order of necessitate she plodded to the bathroom, aware her head was pounding from too many tears and too much tequila. Her second concern […]

    • Hi, Gretchen-
      I’m not sure how I missed this scene, but when I realized I must have missed something that came before scene 42, I looked and there it was. Sorry about that.
      Great description of a hangover. There’s a reason that I never touch tequila anymore.
      In this phrase, “the disgusting ability to review everything, she had eaten the day previous,” I don’t think you mean “ability.” I expect she’d always had the ability to see. “Opportunity,” maybe? Something more like that.
      And in this sentence, “Both women laughed, having had “bad ice” together in the past,” you had already told us that they’d shared some drinking adventures and you used the “both women laughed” phrase very recently as well.
      Bit of misdirection here, as well: “Putting her now sole housemate down, he went to his bowl and meowed.” The actor in the first phrase needs to be the same in the second phrase. This way, it looks like Grace turned into a “he” & is meowing. 🙂
      I hate to be unduly picky, but I don’t think Hammertime came in the 70s.
      I love the new Grace pushing back at the old Grace. Great image. Good scene. The woman with the plan will succeed.

  • The old woman shuffled behind her walker, her aging legs and feet struggling to receive the messages from the brain to move her feet. Or perhaps the old brain was only working part-time now and the messages it was […]

    • Hi Gretchen, thanks for sharing this touching story. They say old age is not for sissies and I think it is true. It requires courage and inner optimism. Carol has these traits in abundance. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die, is her motto I think. I love the relationship between the three characters. Clever how you wove in the colour blue.

    • My major caregivers when I was a child are all moving into this phase and I like the details of dressing her up for holidays in dollar store items and painting her nails and letting her have a glass of wine all to show that she is still very much alive, despite her reduction in mobility. very nice and uplifting. Thanks for sharing!

    • This is such a clever use of the of prompt. And I loved the character of Carol, reminded me of my own grandmother. She was exactly the same, especially before her last days. In a couple of places you have written ‘insure’, I think you my meant to right ‘ensure’, which would make more sense. Great writing though!

  • Grace strolled into Eddie’s aunt’s house and immediately felt her chest tighten.  She first thought it was from the cooking activity going on, but soon realized it was more than that.  One glance made her want […]

    • Hi, Gretchen-
      What a powerful scene. So much going on, yet Grace knows so little of it. I’m not sure what brought this on, but I’m guessing that it has to do with the involvement of Eddie’s uncle in the illegal activities of the lieutenant.
      When you started the paragraph with this, “She spoke softly, ‘I’m not the sharpest pencil in the drawer,'” I wasn’t sure if it was Grace or Eddie’s aunt who was speaking. Maybe a name at the start.
      Might also be “nice”–I use that word in a relative sense–to add some sensory details. A room where people have been shooting tequila sometimes has an odor, and then there are the aromas of cooking.
      I’m not sure what your dissatisfaction with the scene is from. I thought it was a good one. Certainly plenty of conflict.

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