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  • Jennifer changed their profile picture 2 weeks ago

  • A very upligting story. It goes to show you how one small act of kindness can change the course of someone else’s life.Perfect the holidays.

    The description of the trailer and yard was very vivid. I could see the mother in her ratty sweatshirt. It would have been helpful to have a description of Tobin other than his height. Since he is your…[Read more]

  • There’s a lot going on this piece. You can feel the emotional struggle between Solomon and Annie both wanting the best for the baby but at odds over what to do. You capture the way Solomon is conflicted about his grandson. There’s a lot of pain.

    Excellent use of body language to show not tell emotions. The descriptions of the dingy farmhouse was…[Read more]

  • You captured the excitement and hesitation of Tenn’s arrival on Earth exactly. I love the description of Tenn lying naked on the ground. Very visceral image.

    My only comment is that was a lot of time spent with the various technologies necessary. I don’t think it was vital to the storyline. You might want to pull back a bit on that part.

    This…[Read more]

  • An interesting story with a lot going on in 1200 words. The dialog felt very natural between brother and sister and captured that teasing/loving/frustration dynamic perfectly. You did a great job with giving each character a unique voice.

    I have two comments. I would have liked to have some grounding with physical appearance of the characters…[Read more]

  • Less Than Hyped by Jennifer Armor

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    Sophie uncurled form her comfy spot on the sofa and vanished into the kitchen. Daniel didn’t look up, eyes fixed on the TV show he was currently watching. It wasn’t like he […]

    • A beautiful conveyance of the ‘middle aged blues’….especially now with the restrictions of our lives. How many couples fall comfortably into ignoring one another once the kids are grown? I think you did a very good job on this piece. I particularly enjoyed the line that read, “They cast distinct shadows under the same light.”

    • I love your story. It flows smoothly and paints a clear picture of the couple and the surroundings..
      “Necks and hands couldn’t be tricked..” I loved that part..
      Good job! 👌

    • I got a sense of a character on the threshold here, maybe breaking her complacency – and you created this tension in such a natural way. Lovely! I liked this story because it was so relatable, honest and clear and good. So often writers try to write ‘fancy’ (I’m probably guilty of this!) – but this is the writing readers respond to – real people, a simplicity and a honesty.

    • Wow, ouch, A straight story well told, a known plot made fresh with elements of Zeitgeist: the iPad, the programs, the TV, the duelling, separate but equal entertainment. We feel the disappointment of the narrator, of the blood and love drained from the heart of the marriage. All the sensible, sensible decisions that brought them to this reduced equation. No kiss, all etiquette and accommodation. As a reader, I felt the hopelessness and futility, the endless waiting … for what exactly? Attention? an authentic connection? moderation? focus? Really well done. Thanks for writing and posting.

    • I loved the glimpse of this couple’s life. The remote “surfing” of the husband would of drove me nuts too! I love the way you described it. As the story was really about the mundane, ordinary & “boring” life of a couple – but the way you wrote about it conveyed humor, creativity and even tension.

      I loved the ending – in how “There was nothing wrong with her life” but “There was nothing right with her life” either. It left Sophie and the reader “hanging in the balance” or “waiting”.

      Good Read!

    • This is beautifully written piece that peers into the hidden wounds of stale middle aged marriage. It’s so realistic it’s more a slice of life than a story because it doesn’t have a story arc with a change. I wanted Sophie to look in the mirror and see she still had lots more living to do so when she went to work take Daniel’s remote and throw it in the trash can. I fear I am myself turning into Sophie 😳

    • Well written, an almost elegiac tale of life faded into mere existence. You can almost, but not quite, feel empathy on the MC who continually adjusted her standards downward. How low will she go? Would be nice to have sequel where she’s shaken and awakens. Great story and thanks for sharing.

    • Really well-written story! Almost like a “death by a thousand cuts” theme, but as Teresa says, I’m hoping that this is an awakening to the humdrum of her existence. In the leisurely pace of this story, filled with wonderful descriptions, there were a few that were exquisite.
      Here are a few: “They cast distinct shadows under the same light.”, “matrimonially deficient”, ” a virtuous green salad”,”a sneaky transmutation of features “She’d become a ghost, haunting her life.” and ” like tiny hammer blows “. I’m not sure if you were referring to the famous novel with the line, “Sophie made a choice”…I thought it was possible.

      On the other hand, there are a couple of times, when you could take out a couple of phrases because you’ve just beautifully illuminated the concept right before. For example,
      “She had enough real life daily” or “You can’t be too careful”

      The story was chilling in the slow, deliberate telling of small details that were choking poor Sophie out of a meaningful life. This was an excellent read-I really enjoyed your story!!
      Happy Holidays!

    • This was a quietly powerful story as I watched Sophie struggle to tread water in a life that was slowly drowning her. So many good details. The type of shows Daniel watched, her nightly routine, etc. I especially loved the details of her morning routine all designed to not wake Daniel up. Although she mused on how the distance between them had grown, I wondered if her routine was designed as much to stay unnoticed by Daniel as it was out of consideration for him. I agree with some of the earlier comments about a few “filler” phrases that could be dropped (“You can’t be too careful.” etc.). Thanks for sharing.

  • You packed a lot of story into 500 words!

    The details about the types of stitches she used in her knitting was very powerful. You can see Bridgid’s fingers moving creating the little bears.

    You switched from 2nd to 1st person when Bribgid’s niece came to pick her up. I found it a bit distracting in a piece this short. I don’t think staying…[Read more]

  • Hi Sally,
    You packed a lot of story in 500 words! Very vivid detail and I liked the way you built momentum toward the unsettling ending. Your dialog was spot on.

    I did get a little lost in the paragraph that explained the crater’s origins. I suggest you break up the informaiton into it smaller chunks so it’s less dense. I know – the…[Read more]

  • Hi June,
    A fun read. You packed a lot of storytelling in 500 words!

    Very vivid details and the dialog was spot on. The story had good forward momentum as you raced to an action-packed climax. I didn’t see that one coming. Who knew spice shopping could be so trecherous.

    I enjoyed the fact that you took the lighthearted road instead of the…[Read more]

  • This story reminded me of the start of a very scary movie. You know the monster is right around the corner, but you’re not sure when it’s going to jump out.

    Great tension build up. Very realistic dialog. You did a lot of storytelling in 500 words!

    Excellent work.

  • Thanks for your thoughtful comments, MaryAnne. It was a fun piece to write and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Where is Area 52? by Jennifer Armor

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    Government jobs are boring as hell, but they pay good. That’s what my buddy Carl told me before I applied for the security guard job at the lab. The building was a w […]

    • Hi Jennifer,

      I enjoyed your clearly written story, I did not understand your comment about the work being a long set up. I thought the pace was just right and wonderfully clear ….I could see the town and the people that lived around the facility.. the desert and its people. I had no doubt that the voice was male. Actually, before I began reading I did not pay attention to the author’s name so was surprised. Good job. I enjoyed the way Brenda seemed to appear from the shadows and could hear the echoes of the place.
      I felt Mike was not originally from this area from the way he described both the town and the facility.

      You held my interest …I actually laughed when the job turned out to be what it was. Mike was probably working below his potential. I found him interesting and feel like I would like to see and hear more about him in another piece. Excellent character development.

    • There is so much more going on here than Mike realizes. This is a real ‘tip of the iceberg’ kind of story. Great setup. Misleading setup for both the MC and the reader. I really like where this could go!

    • Interesting! Please think about expanding this. I love the voice you’ve created for the narrator, particularly in the beginning.

    • The singular voice of this piece is captivating. I love the setup and Mike’s naive first day experience. The buildup and suspense left me wanting to know more…

    • Great storytelling, Jennifer. I felt as though I was seeing what you were describing. Excellent images of place. I noticed a few areas where you need to edit: I’m not sure what you meant by this sentence – ‘No doorway along the either all’ Have you left out a word, maybe? Or is there a typo? Same with this – ‘Her gray hair was shorn close on the sides and fell long over her collar in back like. A mullet.’ Maybe punctuation? Also ‘gray’ is spelt ‘grey’. I’d love to read more about this, so I hope you are considering expanding it. Well done and thank you for sharing.

    • Lots of gems here:
      a set of silver keys jangled like spurs when I walked. No gun. Damn.

      • twitchy as a sugared-up toddler
        Sorry, I returned to quickly.

        Anyway, you build Mike up really well. We know who he is, and I don’t have a big issue with the set up. I would certainly see if there is more to it. Thank you for sharing Fiona

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

  • Jennifer and Profile picture of JenniferJennifer are now friends 3 months 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]

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Jennifer

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