• Digging Up The Past by Janice

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    “So, what happened?” asked Maggie. “If you dated Harold Schuster in college and the relationship had been serious, how did you end up married to Roman?”

    “Harold and I had a ter […]

    • Great suspense and mystery in the art world. I didn’t know there could be multiple recipes for glazes.

    • This is an interesting whodunnit. It has a touch of mystery and history; and the style of the poet Robert Browning in “My Last Duchess”.

    • Hi Janice,
      What a great story you have going here. Is it a follow on or does it begin and end here? I love your characters, you draw the reader in nicely with woven words and the suspense builds well too. Your tit bits of whodunit (maybe it was Madame Aldridge herself…) are excellent and I think there is more to this clairvoyant than we know. I love you setting and the biscuits were a great way to get us to identify with your main protagonist, Maggie, who doesn’t always need to slim down!?
      Only change would be the length of some of her dialogue sections (Madame)
      They were a little too beefy. Perhaps split them with the goings on in room. A little action to break up the dialogue. Swishing of a skirt, stirring of a teacup etc.
      Thanks for the fun read
      L

    • Hi Janice,
      It’s a very gripping story! I was sitting at the edge of my chair! Great job!
      I loved the way you used the prompt. Indeed a life long of misunderstandings for poor Madame Aldridge. It’s a pity people let their lives be run by pride and ego.
      It seems this story it’s part of something bigger, like a mystery book. Am I right?

    • Hi Janice

      I really enjoyed the story and the way the ending fell into place. There is emotion and intrigue driving the story on and a little mystery remains for us to ponder on and space to continue or even make the basis of something bigger.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Martin

  • Aphrodite in a White Tank Top by Janice
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    His eyes followed the young woman strolling down the street opposite him. She was slim with long dark hair. Ever since high school, Brandon had had a type, a lot of guys […]

    • Hey Janice and how goes it? You put the reader in Brandon’s head really effectively and made it easy to identify with that fleeting moment when things could have changed for him. I hope you don’t mind my suggesting you did not need that first paragraph where you described Brandon’s ‘type’ (this was made evident later). Losing that paragraph could have freed you to spend a bit more time on Brandon’s feelings, maybe even let us into Gina’s? Hope this helps, otherwise, do ignore. I did enjoy the piece and wish it was longer. Best regards, Seyi

  • Your story is fun and very relatable as baking disasters go. The twist at the end where almost everyone else brings banana cake is well done.

  • The experimental style you used is very interesting and pairs well with the detached tone of the story. But I’m unsure who the main protagonist is – mother, father or Cam? I’m assuming Cam as he is the most sympathetic character.

  • Thanks. It was fun to write.

  • Good job building up the tension and the ending was unexpected. Jocko is very relatable and I’d love to read what happens next in his story.

  • Loved it! The kids bickering over the game and then all agreeing to sign their names in blood is perfect. And I’m glad you kept to the fun going by ending it with Davy Jones appearing to abduct them on to his ship. Lots of fun.

  • Lots of great tension but I agree that it needs more physical reaction from the characters. Also more specific setting and character description details to gound the story.

  • “I know he denies that filthy act of vandalism, but Emory Woodward threw those rotten eggs at the Clyde’s house, I know it.”

    Mrs. Flynn slams the phone down and goes outside to admire her garden. She wants Mayor […]

  • I’m sorry for leaving you in the dark. I’m working on a mystery novel and I’ve used the prompt to generate ideas and develop my characters. I haven’t sorted out the plot yet.

  • “I’ve been expecting you,” said Madame Aldridge. Her small dark eyes glinted in the fading afternoon light. “Please come inside.”

    Mindful that her visit was unwelcome, Maggie pasted a smile on her face and stepp […]

    • Intriguing piece you have here. The shabby and poorly constructed mystique of the impecunious psychic and her husband’s strange paintings. It was absorbing, but I was hoping to have more of a resolution at the end. It was a little anticlimactic for me after the time I spent wondering about all these delicious layers. Maybe I missed something? Thanks for sharing!

      • I’m sorry for leaving you in the dark. I’m working on a mystery novel and I’ve used the prompt to generate ideas and develop my characters. I haven’t sorted out the plot yet.

    • Hey Janice and how goes it? I had a similar query to Beth’s but have noted your response. I really liked the depth and detail you provided for these two characters and the scene of their meeting, it felt very subversive (in a great way.) I really enjoyed the descriptions of Madame Aldridge’s home and the bit about the coffee table and the items laid out on it (the teapot, mugs, half-consumed danish, etc) was perfect. The mystery of the still-warm teapot still consumes me. I did wonder what the payment was for (you described alternately ‘registration’ then ‘studio tour’) Was that a typo or are these connected? Also, Madam Aldridge’s initial comments seemed to indicate she would NOT be paying the fee but she went on to fetch her checkbook. Seemed a little contradictory. Finally, and apologies for all the input, I truly hope it helps, you described a state of ‘gentile poverty’ when I believe you meant ‘genteel poverty’? Do ignore if any of these are not helpful. All the best with the novel, very best regards. Seyi

  • Your descriptions are wonderful! I’m not generally a fantasy reader but you make the world come alive with vivid imagery.

  • A fun ghost story. I love the line “It’s like living with a roommate who has the same terrible taste in men as you.”

  • Very fast-paced and enjoyable story, though I was also a bit confused by the ending. Maybe work in a hint about the equine club earlier as the details suggest they are being followed not in a rush somewhere.

  • Creepy story. A few more beats to show who is speaking through body language and/or the protagonist’s reflection would break up the dialogue and help slow the pace to bring out even more tension.

  • Thank you for your kind comments. I’m working on a cozy mystery, the second in a series, and using the prompts to play around with ideas. And yes, I will continue the story with the next prompt though I’m not sure where it will take me.

  • “So, what’s on the agenda today, ladies?” Joe dropped two menus on the table and gave Maggie’s shoulder a gentle squeeze.

    She smiled shyly at him. Joe owned the Rabbit and Fox, the popular English style pub in […]

    • An interesting conflict in your story, Janice! You’ve drawn out the characters very well, and , perhaps, set the scene for a little crime, too? Will you be continuing this theme with the next prompt? I’m curious to see what it leads up to. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

      • Thank you for your kind comments. I’m working on a cozy mystery, the second in a series, and using the prompts to play around with ideas. And yes, I will continue the story with the next prompt though I’m not sure where it will take me.

    • I already like this! I can see the characters clearly and the conflict of the people in their small community. You have me intrigued!

  • Sweet story and I’m glad it ends on a happy note. Some of the transitions between scenes and exposition about past summers could be a little clearer and smoother to make them less confusing. Elsa’s love for the family dog, Bandit, rings true.

  • This is a lovely story- charming, heartwarming and humorous. Often dialect gets in the way of the story but in your story, the dialect adds flavour and depth to your characters. I love how you have portrayed the keeping of a family secret as an act of love. Great job.

  • Great story, great characters with ‘hold on tight’ pacing. Loved it.

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Janice

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@janice

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