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  • Thanks for your comments. It was a fun piece to write.

  • Jennifer and Profile picture of JenniferJennifer are now friends 6 days, 7 hours ago

  • I hope he gets tested for STDs regularly. What a Casanova!

    The dialog between sisters was good and I didn’t lose track of who was talking, but I’d have the characters frown or pick up a wine glass to ground it in reality. Dialog-only sections can seem like talking heads. You have vivid descriptions at the beginning that I really enjoyed.

    A…[Read more]

  • Nice work with vivid details. There were a few great lines that made me giggle: “…queue shuffling forward, seeming to move at a pace that would make a tortoise feel like a formula one star.” The sadness and bits humor in the piece made for good tension.

    I was a bit confused about the transition for scene to scene. Maybe putting the quotes in…[Read more]

  • I loved the first paragraph. So many people are afraid of death and write about it in a sickly sweet or maudlin way. You take on it was a kick in the pants. The first person style worked well for this story. The intimacy was spot on.

    Vivid descriptions with lots of sensory detail. You definitely went beyond just seeing. There was repition of…[Read more]

  • Loved the intensity and intrigue. I wasn’t sure until the end if Athena would fold to political pressure or step up. Vibrant details and descriptions. The ageism is great.

    My only suggestion is to spend more time on Athena’s motivation. We see the EPA reports later in the story, but I didn’t see the tipping point where she decides to chuck her…[Read more]

  • The Girl in the Painting by Jennifer Armor

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    The stark white walls and skylights gave the museum’s soaring atrium a fishbowl feeling. It was too large, too bright and too loud. Damiana clutched her scarf, p […]

    • I really like this story. It tells a tale that is both enchanting and horrible at the same time. The concept of a painting holding a girl locked in suspension of time and how she frees herself from the prison she is in is well done. Thank you. Keep writing! – Otter

    • This was a really brilliant story! The poor subject of the painting had to come back to free herself. Very imaginative. The old man making her feel intimidated while she is reliving the horror from another old man was chilling and tied my stomach in knots as I was reading it. No one wants to read about rape, but I thought that you handled the scene well, the way a young girl who is puzzled and horrified at the same time would describe it.
      I did wonder whether the old man in the room had also come back to defend his painting from Damiana but I don’t think that was the case. The words you used for the setting of the museum were skillfully used: “The stark white walls and skylights gave the museum’s soaring atrium a fishbowl feeling. It was too large, too bright and too loud. Damiana clutched her scarf, peering at the multicolored map, standing still as a boulder as a river as bands of giggling school children jostled her as they passed.”

      Excellent, I could see myself in the room.
      It’s strange that we forgive the horrible behavior of artists who painted masterpieces and diligently clean out historical records to hide them. Its a topic that is hardly ever addressed.
      Fantastic and well told story!!

    • This was amazing. What a fantastic concept. And what a brave take on the prompt. I enjoyed the imagery and the vindication of the main character at the end as she takes back her freedom. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • I enjoyed your story. I think every parent has been in Melanie’s situation a time or two. When my husband would take the kids for a bike ride on Sunday mornings it was amazing! Even doing chores was better.

    I think you missed connecting the two woman emotionally. I can’t imagine falling apart at the office and having a chat with a co-worker out…[Read more]

  • I thought it was interesting in the way wove the story about the pregnancy and buying the house together. Good descriptions and vivid details.

    I did get a bit confused trying follow the dialog even though you used the dialog tags. The two woman sounded very much alike. It would be helpful if their voices were different.

    It may be picky but I…[Read more]

  • Thank, you. Thank you. Thank you! You took time to give my writing a lot of thought and I so appreciate it. I’t’s hard to find places where you stumble in your own work and having you point them out was perfect. I’ll go back and rework this piece to see if I can make the flow better. Then ending was definitely rushed and clunky. Note to…[Read more]

  • Wonderful story with so many sensory details I felt like I was there. I remember the fear/fascination of the girls with the carnies from my own youth. The fair was a magical place full of possibilities and danger. That was the fun.

    Pickle is a great character name. You can see her without a single other detail.

    Well done!

  • Excellent work. I was hooked from the start and wasn’t let go until the end. Great zingers that will resonate with many people. My favorite was was “The perfect guy meets the perfect girl and they fall in love until something far from perfect happens and it’s over.” I enjoyed the Sam Spade clipped style.

    The timeline was a bit confusing but t…[Read more]

  • Creepy story with good details. I could feel the shovel and the digging, the clods of earth and the tension when he is confronted by the bullies. Interesting use of COVID.

    The one character story is hard to do, but I felt I got to know the protagonist well and his story was interesting enough that it pulled me along. The anti-hero is tough to…[Read more]

  • It’s a Guy’s World by Jennifer Armor

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    The Uber driver glanced at her in the rearview mirror as she climbed into the backseat and gave her a curt nod. It wasn’t even six, the sun a sherbet pink glow to the e […]

    • Interesting storyline about guilt and the consequent deflection onto something like jealousy. It was easy to follow. Interesting twist at the end. The heading created the expectation that the story would be about how it is a guy’s world. Thb I did not feel that. I did end up feeling sorry for her. Thank you for sharing!

    • I loved the flip in your story. I do think the annoying music in the Uber should have been in your first para and I felt your opening lines needed two things:
      A full stop after the ‘backseat’? Then becoming a new sentence showing ‘He’ gave her a curt nod. I was confused as to if the two of them were female by the sentence structure. Other thing, was it 6am or 6pm… I know you mention sleepy eye(d) in the next para which then tells us it is morning but maybe a nice indicator thrown in before the suns lovely description…’morning sun’ perhaps? painting the picture crisp and clear is very important at the beginning of your story.
       The colors felt shocking in the gray city, like hanging birthday decorations in a graveyard.
      So this is delightful but needs to be smoother… ‘The misplaced colours hung, like birthday decorations in a graveyard, over the city’
      When Cassie gets to her apartment building, the mail bit threw me as I don’t live in a country with communal hallway areas…why wouldn’t your rip open the Amazon box asap with joy? I do. But then I worked it out… so I thought you could add in ‘She pushed aside a pile of communal junk mail that was strewn across the floor’ ? And someone else’s skis.? She pushed aside a pile of junk mail was strewn across the floor with her toe

      These things stop the reader, which in a short story you never want to do unless its the shock factor at the end. Make it flow more, no halting us before your crescendo of them hooking up on the stairs. Go, go, go with your characters journey home.
      Also when she see’s him, she says she wishes he didn’t see her but then she confronts him. I think this needs a rework, its unlikely to confront someone if you want to slip past unnoticed. I think she needs to own it, her walk of shame, she needs to not care about being seen…this is her apartment block after all.
      I hope my ideas come to you as just those. I am only delivering what I would want as a crit on my work too, I have long realised that only praise or sweet niceties don’t help a writer get their best edit out.
      Write on Jen!

      • Thank, you. Thank you. Thank you! You took time to give my writing a lot of thought and I so appreciate it. I’t’s hard to find places where you stumble in your own work and having you point them out was perfect. I’ll go back and rework this piece to see if I can make the flow better. Then ending was definitely rushed and clunky. Note to self: don’t leave things to the last day. I wanted to write a “meet ugly” instead of a “meet cute” rom-com story just to shake things up.

    • 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.

  • A positive story of sibling support instead of friction. The dialog between teen characters felt real and not forced. That’s hard to get right.

    I have to say the nose hair detail was a surprise, especially since you mentioned it twice. I found it distracting and pulled me out of the story for a moment. Once is enough.

    Good overall pacing,…[Read more]

  • Loved, loved, loved this line “I ate it sitting on the cold stone seawall in the sort of half-hearted rain shower that makes up for its lack of strength by its staying power.” Can I steal it?

    Excellent imagery that gave your setting a feeling of reality. I could see the sea, feel the rain and hear the pounding surf. The emotional baggage…[Read more]

  • Hi Jeff,
    Agree with everything Susan said. The interaction between Earl and Lillian is a unique “meet-cute”, especially as the both have a disability. I’m rooting for them to get together for a real friendship or even more.

    My suggestion is about Earl’s reluctance to use a computer. In 2020 I don’t know any office jobs where you aren’t stuck…[Read more]

  • A nice thriller. Very eerie because the killer is so stoic. She treats it like it’s a game.

    I would suggest adding some small facts about the killer to ground her in reality. Her age, her job, her hair color – anything that would help form a picture the character. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just enough for the reader to form their own…[Read more]

  • Misunderstanding by Jennifer Armor

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    “Your mom was a looker. A real looker,” he said, his fingernails picking at the tattered label of the beer bottle cradled in his large paw. There were six more empties on the […]

    • You did a really good job of capturing Alison’s ambivalence about her father. I thought the lines, “In a way, Pop being just another shitty man that abused his kids when he got drunk was a relief. He wasn’t wounded, he was cruel” were interesting. Good job.

    • A brilliant piece of writing, Jennifer. You have made the reader enter fully into this woman’s experience so that we almost feel the blows, both physical and emotional. Both characters some alive and the searing honesty of her conflicting emotions sines through. I wasn’t sure of this sentence which seemed to stand alone without reference to anything, but maybe I’ve missed something: Now, that unstitching was a nuisance.

    • A well told and honest story. Your characters became very real for me. I’m pretty sure my daughter had thoughts of this possibility when we were younger.

      This sentence explained a lot “They told the same stories over and over as if the telling kept their younger selves magically fresh forever. Their past was always present in that bar” Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days”

      Thanks for the good read.

  • Sweet story. You could feel the frustration of the adults with the kids non-top questions with out showing it. I think we’ve all been there!

    The only suggestion I would make is that you need to name the kids. It sounds less like real-life conversations.

    Thanks for sharing!

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Jennifer

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@jennifera

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