• Even before Kenna had opened her eyes that morning she had known her mother was home – the smell of fresh cigarette smoke crept through the gap between her bedroom door and the cracked linoleum of the apartment f […]

    • Nina replied 2 months ago

      Whoa. Wonderful, sumptuous description in this scene. And the five pairs of underpants. So much tension but then the funny, not funny, bit with Kenna and the mirror. You lead us into darkness and leave us imaging worse. Weird I didn’t see this with the other submissions.glad I found it.

    • Kali replied 2 months ago

      Really great scene! You are doing a great job of weaving this history and showing us the world through Kenna’s eyes.
      The five pairs of underwear made me curious at first and I was glad to find out why, though it broke my heart.
      One question- how old is Kenna in these scene? Based on her books and napsack, she seems young, but the tone seems older.

  • Kenna’s POVFrom down the hall, out in the main room, she can hear her grandmother’s voice and Summer’s voice, low murmurs, rising and falling. The occasional laugh – Lilah’s low chuckle and her mother’s bark of a […]

    • Nice triggering in the opening scene and great job setting both past and present. I can’t remember if you always do Summer in the first person? I loved her choosing the blue sweater because it had no charge. And the e of it had been coinciding with Kenna’s was effective. The deer were a nice touch, another powerful trigger.
      in the last scene, figured Theresa connection between Summer’s Roach and the roach motel. Cat? A person, a pet? I’m sure I’ll find out.I’m enjoying your pacing.

    • The imagery in this scene is heartbreaking, powerful, and lovely, even when disturbing. It’s especially so when you focus on what is NOT there versus what is there. The absence speaks more loudly than the presence.

      I’m curious about the POVs. Summer is in first person and Kenna in third. As I read, I feel more connected to Summer, which I assume is intentional. Kenna is such a strong an unique character, and that last line about the body of her friend disintegrating… What a way to end! I wonder how the piece would change if both were in first person.

    • Nice work, Sue! I am really enjoying the back and forth POVs. It shows us the same situation from such different eyes. You had some really great phrasing in this scene. I especially loved this line I feel pleased at thinking these deep thoughts, alone in the mist on this bright morning.
      This line made me laugh because it is almost a childish thing to think and it really juxtaposes Summer’s inner dialogue against Kenna’s. To me, Kenna often seems more mature and responsible than her mother and it is interesting to see these differences in how they see the world and what they think. Great job!

  • Jackie, thank you so much for that technical detail! Much appreciated.

  • The evening is quiet once Summer gets over her incredulity that their television is only hooked up to the DVD player, no channels. “What do you guys do with yourselves?”“We read a lot,” Kenna says. “Books. […]

    • Talk about a guilt trip.Most instrument cases are felt or velveteen lined not satin. Satin would catch on the various keys/petals on the flute. Sounds like she is trying to bury her mother.

    • So much tension and heartache. If I were her, I’d be tempted to time travel just to get a break from the discord.

      Vivaldi is an interesting choice. Seasons. It’s like jumping through time but with music.

    • Really great scene! The tension between Summer and Kenna is palpable and I like the realism of Kenna’s resistance to Summer falling back into her life. The guilt trip Summer lays on Kenna and Kenna deciding to not read the letter both speak volumes about the characters. Really well done.

    • In this scene, I feel like I’m seeing theSummer that Kenna knows but on her best behavior but still missing the point maybe. A little shallow compared to her daughter.

    • Hi Sue,

      I am new to this story. I don’t know if you are aware, but you are my new reading partner. I think this is quiet an interesting story and though I am new to it, I do sense a mother-daughter conflict at the crux of your story. I really enjoyed the manner in which you have portrayed their strained relationship. I have to read the rest to get a drift of the whole story. Really enjoyed reading this scene! Thank you for sharing!

  • Summer nodded. “Gotta set your standards high. Be clear about what you want. You think those guys in the boat are rich?” She tips her face toward Kenna, her eyes invisible behind the sunglasses, so big and so cur […]

    • Wow biting. I did not understand “Better that is. Better than I do.” It does not make sense to me in the context of the rest of the paragraph. Why did you call the garden tool a pair of secateurs in one paragraph but in the next paragraph you call them cutters.
      Are Lilah and Gram the same person? You keep switching names if they are.

    • Nina replied 3 months ago

      Well this changes everything, while adding to the mystery and the magic. You’ve got hooked and enchanted. I loved your use of secateurs, added power to Kenna’s task. And the flowers, I could smell the phlox. Tiny thing – I know you meant white for baby’s breath but the placement had me seeing white for the echinacea as those flowers grow as the fade.
      what a mind-spinning scene this was.

    • I was going to comment that Kenna is taking a major risk going back to see the younger version of Summer. What if Kenna runs into Kenna or Summer sees the other Kenna and that one denies having seen her recently? Then it dawned on me that Kenna probably knows where she was in the past and whether it’s safe to visit.

      I like the word “secateurs.” I’ve never heard it before. We just call them “pruning shears.” “Secateurs” sounds so much fancier.

      Interesting hint into the life Summer will have. It builds tension well and makes me want to read further to see the whole story.

    • Hi, Sue. Great scene. As I’ve said before, you write so we don’t get confused. This story has so many possibilities. Noticed one thing when Kenna said : “my two wishes” after she had just mentioned 3 things that she wanted ( be normal, have her mom love her, and know her dad) Looking forward to following this group of characters. 

    • Kali replied 3 months ago

      Nice job, Sue! I like the tension at the end of the scene with dinner and dishes. It does a great job of illustrating the awkwardness between them all and the uneven footing in their family dynamic. Nice work!

  • I love the reversion to early relationships with the “Yes ma’am” way that Annie responds.
    There are a couple of shocking things set up early. That people think Maggie suicided and that “Powla” doesn’t – and that she thinks Annie could disprove people’s suspicions. 
    I loved the scene where Jack and Annie are walking and she’s introducing him to…[Read more]

  • Sue commented on the post, cont'd 4 by Sue 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    Thank you Nina! It’s reassuring to here that Kenna’s forgiveness of Summer is a question mark for you at this point.

  • This is a scene of fantastic tension, Kali. Right from the shock of that arrow sinking into Galiahn’s chest at the beginning, through Maren’s using her power to direct the wind. The horses are beautifully described, as is the sensation of being on horseback. It feels like this is a scene where the emotional valence is constant shifting. Our hopes…[Read more]

  • Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for the comments. Yes, Summer is a bit freaked out by the way the Kenna that she just caught up with today (she hasn’t seen her daughter since she abandonned the girl at age 7) looks EXACTLY like the friend she had as a teenager. Which is, of course, because it’s the same girl.
    Erratic is also a noun – Erratics are stones and…[Read more]

  • Thanks Kali. Kenna is both – she is Summer’s daughter, who began time traveling back to her mother’s youth when she was 10 years old. So she has grown up as an occasional visitor to her mother’s world, and became her best friend. Hopefully that will become clear and not too confusing in the meantime.

  • This scene feels like we might have traversed a turning point – Roula has changed status. What might that mean for her possibilities in this place?

    Denzyo feels like a character who might be sympathetic to her. Something about his scarring, and his large warm hand grasping hers – even though he is Kadyr’s servant he feels like a possible…[Read more]

  • Hi Jackie, I’m one of the readers Mia assigned. I’m going to read my way through your story and catch up over the next couple of weeks – I thought I’d start at the beginning — although it seems that this book has already begun. I’m guessing that maybe this is your second year in the group?
    What impresses me about this entry is:
    the clear…[Read more]

  • At first I was somewhat shocked and enraged by Carley’s attacking a prisoner, but when I got to this line: “Everyone knows it would have been her twenty-first birthday today,” I relaxed a little. There are forces moving under the surface that I don’t yet understand. I’m not sure what Carley’s backstory with Hendricks is, that she would choose him…[Read more]

  • Hi Natasja I’m one of your assigned readers, so I thought I’d start with this first piece. I appreciated this introduction to this world. I get a sense of Tobias and Carley’s collegial relationship, and the way they both support and taunt each other. I like Carley — I appreciate both her toughness and her compassion for her potential informant.…[Read more]

  • Natasja and Profile picture of SueSue are now friends 3 months, 2 weeks ago

  • Kali and Profile picture of SueSue are now friends 3 months, 2 weeks ago

  • Hi Elizabeth,
    I’m one of your readers for the rest of the year. I’m just entering the story at this point, which gives me a unique perspective! I will go back and read your other pieces and catch up. But what I can tell you from this first encounter is that I’m very intrigued!! These are the questions I’m left with after reading this piece:…[Read more]

  • Lilah’s face lights up. “Kenna! What a lovely surprise.” She turns and calls into the cabin, “Summer. Come see who’s here!” She turned back to Kenna. “How are your mom and dad?”

    Kenna crossed her fingers in the […]

    • I like the construct of this scene and story and found the three Summers a fascinating image/concept. Summer’s wild side was filled with foreboding. I wonder how this will play out. Will young Kenna find forgiveness for her mother as she sees more of her other stages of life? So many secrets. I love that.

      • Thank you Nina! It’s reassuring to here that Kenna’s forgiveness of Summer is a question mark for you at this point.

    • Hi Sue,
      This scene really clarifies the Kenna as friend and Kenna as daughter situation and does so seamlessly. Nice work! I like that we are experiencing things in Kenna’s head and how she is seeing all these different version so her mom. It is like she is going through her mother’s past to try to redirect it. It will be so interesting to see what happens!
      My only suggestion for this scene: in the last three lines, I think Summer is talking in the first two, but when I first read it, I thought Kenna was talking in the second line. Maybe put the first two lines together or add some descriptor of what Summer is doing when she says the second line, so it is clearer who is talking.
      Great job!

    • Hi, Sue I like this scene and it explains quite a bit. I enjoy the time travel, and you have written it in a way that is easy to follow. You keep giving hints to keep us aware of what is happening. Very well done. Now I am ready for #7. Thanks again, Sharon

  • Hi Jackie, When we’re in Summer’s pov there are no dialogue punctuation marks. Summer never obeys the rules. Including those. 🙂

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