• Oh my this is dark! But oh so good. Your writing is super…some of the phrases are just brilliant – too many to list but some of the sentences / word chooses are perfect – curved in all its pale familiarity / An invisible hand pushed him up, compelled him / The cawing of the birds had reached a crescendo.

    Such a creative piece. The crows…[Read more]

  • Oh I liked this a lot. Mrs Gettigan’s world shrinking is totally understandable – you build up the fear factor in increments and it is well-written. I thought the opening was great – referring to the son of her old doctor was such a good way to show the age of the character without telling it directly. Some nice phrasing throughout for example…[Read more]

  • I liked the backstory of Chavvas – intriguing and very well written. The paragraph with his mom returning home after a nightshift is particularly good. You could feel the desperation. You always manage to end on a cliffhanger so that if I had access to the whole lot, I would definitely be telling myself I’ll read one more chapter and then one…[Read more]

  • I enjoyed this scene. Like Moody’s chat with the therapist. Also some really nice nuggets in it including the whole defending your gender and the tension between working moms and stay at home moms. Oh and the opening line comparing the cars to an assembly line was wonderful imagery. Liked the push for happiness. Fingers crossed Moody finds happiness!

  • Great tension in the scene – lots of undercurrents and well handled.
    One typo – Rene’s name half way through should be Lisa I expect.
    Plenty to keep the reader hooked in this scene. Curious for what is next?!

  • “There was how things should be and how things could be but then there was how things would be.” – that is a quote and a half!! Loved it. As always your writing was beautiful down to the tulip glasses and the ruts and tufts of turf.
    Love the dynamic between Jack and Annie (I don’t want any sudden twist that he turns out to be a ratbag – it is…[Read more]

  • Sophie closed the shutters and locked the door of the shop. She rested her back against the door’s wooden frame and sighed as she surveyed the chaos. She looked at the piles of clothes where once there would h […]

    • That was very captivating Rachel, not sure which way it would go and a lovely ending. I liked the ending and the phrase in particular ” Sophie would continue to resist with her needle and thread.” The idea that even in the most helpless of situations we can have power to protest using even the simplest tools, maybe echoes of Victor Frankyl’s idea that they may take away even my most basic freedoms but they cannot take away my ability to have my own opinions. Thank you for sharing.

    • Just loved this story Rachel, my kind of genre and I felt gripped. Loved your play with Cleopatra’s needle and the sewing business. Loved the resistance and transition from young Sophie to Old Sophie. The twist at the end was so clever, very masterful!

  • Clare was ready to go home.   It had been a long day by anybody’s standard.  Clare took a sip from her glass of wine and shifted in her chair.  The dining room table chairs were beautifully crafted but not that […]

    • Oh well done.I was right there with Clare and Kate, holding my breath, clutching my iPad while I read and then, all the while waiting for the other shoe to drop, there was David. You absolutely transported me.
      tiny edit – you need to add was gone (too) to Ann’s car toward the beginning.

    • Very dramatic scene, and after the phone call keeping the tension throughout.Interesting hint about Tommy being deferential to Kate, it made me wonder if this has affected his will.
      Also liked Claire wondering where her children are, and the (changed) Wilde quote as well. Her memories/prayer in the car are very touching, as if trying to summarize his life and wishing for him to be well. Glad it was a false alarm, but worried about David!
      Well done.

    • Hi Rachel,

      Finally, I was waiting to know about David. This was such an intense emotionally packed scene. I applaud how you have handled the sentiments of each and every character. I got some idea about Kate as a person. One might feel that she is a little condescending maybe because of her background. But I admired her resilience and ability to stay in control even upon hearing about Patrick’s condition. Ann – well, she is caught in the crosshairs, isn’t she? I loved how you ended on a cliffhanger. I want to know if David made it out safely. Great scene! Thank you for sharing!

    • Yowzer! Great scene! It’s packed with emotion and tension and all the rest of it. I can’t wait to read on.

  • You really are doing so well at bringing social issues to the fore. Your writing is really brave (I know I have said I have found the previous scenes tough in terms of the subject matter of abuse and I did but please know I fully respect how well you are writing those scenes and salute you for tackling such subjects – it is shining a light on…[Read more]

  • I read this the day after posted but only now coming back to comment! That goes to show am hooked – read it on my phone to get next instalment but didn’t have time to comment.

    The writing is great and Ester / Jewel’s innocence is portrayed really well.

    One comment – Mama L and Chavvas both show as complicated – they do bad things out of…[Read more]

  • Lovely scene. Great to see Moody succeeding on the work front. I liked the office politics and the suspense of what might happen with it closing or restructuring. Francesca a superb character with her bitchy edge.

    Definitely liked the part with Madame Pompidour – wonderful remarks like the Swiss have to do everything three times. Nice…[Read more]

  • What a lovely scene and love the creativity of the whole family – Max making his living in a creative way too is such a lovely fit. Great to have Lucy having someone on ‘her side’. Some beautiful writing as always – daunted and gumption are brilliant words. Gorgeous phrases like sorrowful serenity and the house resonated with the sounds of…[Read more]

  • Ann texted the ‘Clare’s Angels’ WhatsApp group to let Michael and TJ know that herself and Patrick and their mom were still at Patrick and Kate’s house.  This time she added that there was food there waiting […]

    • Hells bells! And here I was waiting for an update on David and Wham! you got me again. Excellent scene. I love how the rest of the family is carrying on relatively normally while there’s chaos everywhere else. Nicely done.

    • Wow! This one packed some punches. I loved how knowing why the brothers didn’t answer had me seeing David hanging over and over – powerful – and that it was Ann who so needs to be in control, who needs to know what’s going on. Brilliant to leave hanging like that. And the big wad of meat, I know that feeling.
      and the ending! Yikes, Patrick 🤞🏽

    • Hi Rachel,
      The suspense is killing me too! What happened to David? Did Michael save him? I really like the way you capture the anxiousness and awkwardness between the characters through eye movements and body language. I have been learning a lot from your writing style. I really liked how concerned Ann is. It feels as if she is guilty over what transpired since she distributed the envelopes. This was storytelling at its best. There is just one tiny little thing. The last sentence is missing opening inverted commas. But that doesn’t take anything away from the story or the excitement of the scene. The cliffhanger is making me tense. Waiting for more! Thank you for sharing!

    • There I was anxiously waiting for news of David! But it makes perfect sense to step away and let us wait a bit longer. The gathering at Patrick’s house is so well described, and I have no doubt that it is indeed ‘tres awkward’ there. I like that it’s Ann telling the story. I can just about see her in front of me, texting and chewing the dried-about beef. But no regret about the whole will-reval yet, it seems.

      This was interesting: Ann felt the familiar tug of regret that Maggie was an only child. I would have thought after a fraught morning with her siblings she might be thinking the opposite today 🙂 Very interesting (if insensitive) the mention that Maggie may have siblings on the father’s side – a hint of further revelations in the future perhaps.

      And what a cliffhanger! Now I wonder if both Patrick and David will end up in the hospital together. Great work – can’t wait for next week!

  • I actually attended a Wellness webinar ran by my workplace on decluttering your house before!! 🙂 Didn’t actually hire someone though! But think the whole ‘life coach’ ‘ live your best life’ / ‘what is your purpose’ is very on point in today’s world.
    The dialogue and interaction is spot on. I like Moody’s inner dialogue and her being right…[Read more]

  • Oh I hope this marks the start of the two children being rescued! My heart was actually thumping reading this. The tension with the kids pushing the trunk against the door was so well written – it was actually palpable. You ended on a cliffhanger with the possibility that Rene will intimidate the kids into silence – I really hope not!

  • I was today years old when I learned what an ‘ell’ was with the help of google! Pardon my ignorance – always nice to learn something new of course.

    The opening description was beautiful – the eyebrow windows winking at her.

    I thought the description of the ending of her friendship with Maggie had such pathos – neglected opportunities has…[Read more]

  • I like the description of Chavvas as a weasly man and nobody wanting to sleep with him – it’s good. The dialogue is good and believable that Chavvas thinks he has the upper hand. Great scene!

  • Michael

    I close the pub door, and myself and TJ stand there for a second blinking in the brightness of the day.  Tommy Walsh’s pub has limited natural light – it is long and narrow and the two small windows faci […]

    • No! This is crazy! And now I have to wait for the next one in a week’s time?!? Great tension in your piece!

    • Oh Rachel. This scene is a masterpiece. Even expecting – with the suicide warning – David’s demise, I was slammed and gutted. How brilliant to have him wait for a witness. Your set up – with Michael’s running monologue, the searich, both brothers reacting to Ann and family dynamics- was perfect.

    • Hi Rachel,
      That was one powerful chapter! It appears that Michael is one of lead male protagonists. This is the second chapter that I have read from his point of view . To be honest, I like him the best out of all the sons. You have delved deep into each of your characters psyche and provided us a great perspective of what their reaction to the Will and its effect are. I just noticed a couple of things.
      “There is a small beer garden out the back….” I believe there should be ‘in’ after ‘out’.
      “….conflab with Mam and Patrick re the Will….” I didn’t get the part ‘re the Will’. Did you mean ‘are the Will’? Sorry if I missed something.
      The end had me palpitating. I wonder why David is so troubled? I have a feeling that it has something to do with his father? But I am waiting to see what happens. Great cliffhanger! Thank you for sharing!

    • Apoloigies for the late reply – I just realized I am one week behind!

      This is a strong and emotional scene, with plenty of suspense and some great background information. I always enjoy the scenes from Michael’s perspective, and here he seems a little more humble and friendly than usual but every bit as astute.

      David is the one I know the least about, and I think that is on purpose. The enigma is working well, as we don’t know what was up between him and his dad. (Not his son? Sexual orientation? Some old history?) And now it seems as if his Dad’s final judment is one step to far from him. Great (if sinister) twist!

      Of course with the warning at the top, we were expecting some suicidal thoughts or discovery, but otherwise it would have come as a complete shock, so well done for that. Great cliffhanger – I hope he is in time to save his brother!

      I only have one question (I might have mentioned that last week as well) and that is the timeline. It seemed a little ambitious to have church and then drinks/will and then go onto eat lunch. In my mind either of those three could easily take half a day. It seems to me they should have anticipated that the will reveal would not go well and have scheduled it for the following day. But it’s a tiny point and in no way takes away from the brilliance of this scene.

      Great work, and can’t wait to read on!

  • Karina – thanks so much for the above comment (and all your other other comments – as I said to the others below I know have been rude in not acknowledging comments have been reading them) Thanks for kind words – have been in the slight horrors lately re quality of submissions but am going to focus on the whole ‘ onwards and upwards’…[Read more]

  • Hi Cobus, this is such useful feedback and much appreciated.
    Your comment re Dervla is very helpful – I now think I might actually ‘delete’ her as Ann being an only daughter feels like it has more potential… we shall see!
    Re the tense and POV – agree wholeheartedly and thanks for highlighting – my excuse of dashing scenes off at the last…[Read more]

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