• The dampness of the ground aroused Afra. She sat up and looked around. The gargoyle had sought shelter under the branches of a weeping willow tree. The sun’s rays peeked through the branches of the tree offering […]

  • Augustine awoke with a start, his right shoulder hit the inside of the door as thunder boomed and the ground rattled. Trying to steady himself he reached for the dashboard, but his head hit the roof as the hummer […]

  • Casey,
    I think the letter from her father at the beginning is a good addition to this weeks scene. Its a backstory vessel. It allows us some insight into Conrad’s character. The letter raises more questions. Why were Talia and Tobias told the other was dead? What happened to Conrad that he has such strong animosity towards Talia? Why was she not…[Read more]

  • I found myself leaning into my screen as I read your work this week. I could see the scene play out, like a movie, and that is something that readers want, at least I do. I want to immerse myself completely in the scene.
    I like the bond that is forming between Talia and Ol’ Henry. I feel like he will add humor to your story. But…as you show,…[Read more]

  • Hi Jessica,
    Aengus is so loyal to Midir. He is not his father’s son. If I am correct Aengus father bedded someone else wife. Nor is he like his brother. Midir has a wife already and is willing to bring in another woman into his household. I do not think that his father or his brother would be as loyal.
    I am ready to see Aengus’ be a bit of a…[Read more]

  • Hello Jessica,
    You begin this passage showing us the emotion that Eochaí is feeling for Etáin What is it about Etain that causes the Eochaí to react so?

    But what the men couldn’t see in the strong and admirable king before them, was the rapid beating of his heart, the dryness of his mouth, and the flush of his cheeks. He was both nervous and…[Read more]

  • The cold wind howled in her ears, drowning out Afra’s cries of horror as she plummeted headfirst to the earth below. The lights that lit the city drew closer, like a kaleidoscope of stars in chaos. She was f […]

    • The lights that lit the city drew closer, like a kaleidoscope of stars in chaos.”

      Wow! What a line! Absolutely amazing start to these scenes!

      I love how Afra and the gargoyle are almost two separate entities fighting for control of the same body, which you very aptly describe through her hunger and her urge to pounce on and eat the rabbit.

      It was interesting to see a scene from Moll’s perspective and even more interesting to see that her son isn’t working for her but rather had his own agenda with his gargoyle collection.

      I’m interested to see where this line of the story is going.

  • Jessica,
    Lovely scenes. I agree with Casey, even though there is not a lot of action, it is well written.

    Because I followed your story last year, I felt this is a foreshadowing of things to come.

    ‘”First, I was flying, high in the air, across fields and hills and villages. But I was screaming. I was terrified,” she continued, “but the…[Read more]

  • Hi Casey,
    Wow! This scene is intense and action packed. Your scene descriptions are well written and allow me to envision the action. For example:

    “She was flung back towards the boat. Pulling her legs up into her body she barely missed the railing as she swung quickly backward. The rope was pulled taut by the creature’s hold; she was v…[Read more]

  • Afra felt sick, the memory of the sour taste of bile crept into the back of her mouth. If she had been physically able, she would be on her knees vomiting.  She felt trapped, but she could not run; she was at […]

    • SJ,
      Wow, these were very action packed and I found myself reading through them quickly. Your description of Afra’s fear at seeing Moll again was very effective and I felt that fear at what would happen when they had a confrontation. Which when it came did not disappoint! The way Moll came to release her made 100% sense. In her greed and confidence at letting Afra go. The surprise of her turning into a half creature! So great!
      I do think that Moll running away from Afra didn’t fit her character. Maybe if the wording around that part was clarified or tightened up a bit it would portray better. I do understand why she would be a little weary of this new creature, but she is still so arogant and confident I think it would be more curiosity or amusement than fear maybe? Just a few thoughts. Otherwise this piece was amazing! Kept me on the edge of my seat and that fall! Are they high up? Would it have been a long fall or is it off the first floor of a museum? The banter between them was really well done too! The waring with the new creature in Afra was portrayed well. Great scenes SJ! I’m looking forward to next week!

    • Hi SJ,

      You do a great job of describing Afra’s fear and I also love the contrast of her new location compared to the descriptive imagery we’ve had from the previous scenes. It feels like, instead of the wide-open space of the cemetery, Afra is even more trapped than she has been thus far.

      I was intrigued by the smaller gargoyle that wasn’t created by Moll – I wonder will that appear later in the story or what is its significance?

      The entire scene with Moll and Afra’s interaction was excellent. The fact the Afra is now a living gargoyle, the idea that Moll has never encountered this before. It’s all fantastic. And what a cliffhanger at the end.

      Well done!

  • I think Talia is a well written dynamic character, who even now is undergoing a change. I could see that change begin, with her conflicting emotions towards her mother and the realization that her father didn’t just abandon them but tried to keep in touch. I know that she will change with every personal obstacle and experiences you write for her…[Read more]

  • Thank you Monica for your comments. I find myself struggling with the rewrite. Trying to show instead of tell is difficult for me. I also need to find how to transition from being in one character’s head and then in another’s.
    It looks like there will be third draft for me.
    I am in love with all of my characters, even the evil Moll. I want my…[Read more]

  • Hi Jessica,
    I am sorry my response is late this week. As always family drama rules my life at the moment.
    Her are my comments. However, your writing is spot on, my comments are only about what I enjoyed.

    The opening of this week is a detailed description of Aengus waking up. The simple act of waking up is visually detailed. Great use of…[Read more]

  • You’d never know you hadn’t been on a pirate ship. Maybe you were a pirate in your past life. LOL. That would be an adventure sailing on a pirate ship.

  • I think the dream sequence you opened with is a good idea. It shows how her life was orderly and without the ugliness she finds herself in now.

    I am liking the character of O’Henry. He adds fun and humor to the story. Again, your scene is well done, the descriptions of what is happening is easy to visualize.
    May I suggest adding to the…[Read more]

  • Afra had become accustomed to the silence of the mornings. The sun’s light barely reached through the century-old trees that stood like silent sentries overlooking the mist-filled forest. At times the mist t […]

    • Hi SJ: I just love this story—your mastery of detail, in describing what Afra was experiencing during the thunderstorm and later, when the strangers came to move her. I wish I had something constructive to say but I found myself enjoying your writing so much—that I can’t offer you anything more than to say, “Don’t change a word!” Richly and well done, SJ

      • SJ replied 4 weeks ago

        Thank you Monica for your comments. I find myself struggling with the rewrite. Trying to show instead of tell is difficult for me. I also need to find how to transition from being in one character’s head and then in another’s.
        It looks like there will be third draft for me.
        I am in love with all of my characters, even the evil Moll. I want my readers to love them as well.
        Thank you, again, for you kind feedback.

    • Casey replied 3 weeks ago

      Hello SJ,
      Love this opening line!
      ‘Afra had become accustomed to the silence of the mornings.’
      The scene with the deer is very grotesque. You paint a bleek and dark setting here very well.
      I like that you tell us a little more about the interaction between Afra and Augustine. It makes his journey to free her after all these years more believable. I think it would be nice to see some of these nights or moments that they spent together after the first night. They have a connection and I want to feel it too!
      OO I love this twist! Moll now has a son and he found Afra for a museum. So great! This was a great section. I love the action and the way you portray her limited line of site very well. I would love to see the time Augustine taught her that neat trick to ‘sleep’. That is the only thing I was left wanting here. These were lovely! Well done. I am excited to see what will happen now that she had moved and is back in Moll’s radar. How will Augustine find her now!?

    • Hi SJ,

      I was delighted to read the first line here and see we’re back with Afra! Your description of those cemetery mornings – particularly “the forgotten laying in rotting wooden boxes” – is excellent. It really gives a sense that, while “the forgotten” are rotting in wooden boxes, so much time has passed and Afra is still there.

      The rose bush is a lovely reminder of her meeting with Augustine. That rose too has rotted away by now and perhaps Afra feels that she, like those laying in their wooden boxes, has been forgotten. It’s really lovely symbolism.

      Speaking of symbolism, I had only just finished your previous scenes (due to being behind on my reading) and so the creepiness of those scenes, and the scariness of the storm were still fresh in my mind. I was already feeling uneasy and then a poor deer got slaughtered by wolves. More symbolism for what is to come.

      And sure enough, there’s a familiar cackle and the vision of Moll – really well written!!

      Follow that with the violent storm and the fact that she falls from her perch and I actually cringed with fear because I remember Reva in the last scenes saying many of the people from her home were shattered.

      I read straight through a lot of the second scene without making any mental notes for my comment because I was just so caught up in the horror that Afra was being taken away – how will Augustine find her now?!!!

      And then, low and behold… Moll!!!

      It seems poor Afra is in the worst place possible now – just when we thought Augustine and the gang were coming with a stone for her!!!

      Well done – what a submission!

  • With the threat eliminated, for the time being, Augustine walked out of “la Cachette.”  He stopped and exhaled, releasing the tension he had held onto since he left the cemetery.  The cool breeze felt good on hi […]

    • Hey SJ,
      Sorry I am a bit behind on my reading (and writing), but I am working to catch up!
      The first scene here had an epic scene with them driving off to find Afra in the hummer and motorcycles. Very TV pleasing kind of dramatic. I thought some of the dialogue was a bit confusing to me. I liked the history that Reva gave us about their ability to be human. She was appearing to not be willing to help then she tells her story and they all ride in to help. For me that seemed a bit like I was missing something.
      Maybe a part where she actually agrees or leaves and then comes back with everyone agreeing to help him? Just a thought.

      The second scene reminded me a a horror movie with the car getting trapped in the rain and the old creepy house in the distance. You make this extra ire when they recognize the house and are even more freaked out by it. I am curious as to what happened in this house? What damage was done? You describe their reactions well. I can get a good scene for their fear and reluctance to use this place as shelter.
      You say here:
      ‘The drapes moved as if someone had been watching them and quickly retreated when Augustine turned to look towards the window.’ which is a creepy detail, but maybe just leaving it at ‘quickly retreated.’ adding the last part, I think, takes a bit away from the action.

      Excited to read what happens next! Great scenes SJ!

    • Hi SJ,

      Sorry I’m so behind but bear with me, I intend to read and comment on every scene I’ve missed so far.

      What a pair of scenes to dive back into! I really enjoyed the background info about Reva and her clan all being gargoyles. The idea that a stone could give Afra control over this curse is great and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

      Lightning lit up the sky. Its branches reached out across the horizon and down to the ground threatening to strike anything in its path.”

      I loved this description of the branches of lightning reaching across the horizon. There’s a real violence or threat to it that really indicates there is something bad to come. A great way to start the second of these two scenes.

      Love the image of the big spooky house – who is this phantom from the past?

      The fact that they ended up in the opposite direction to where they were driving to reminds me of the beginning of your story when Afra tried to leave the cemetery and ended up back beside Augustine.

      Is this more of Moll’s magic?

      I’m sorry again that I’m so behind, but I’m really happy that I get to read the next scenes immediately!!

  • Jessica,
    There is so much tenderness in your scene with the brothers. These are strong men, they are Gods, and yet you show the affection, fondness, and devotion they have for one another.

    Aengus rested a hand on Midir’s shoulder and gazed out at the river as they watched the sunset. Dian Cecht, not wanting to interrupt the tender moment b…[Read more]

  • Casey,
    “You took me on a roller coaster ride with Talia’s mixed emotions.
    The anguish in her mother’s voice tore Talia apart. Anger and sorrow, betrayal and love played tug-a-war with her heart.”
    “She looked down at Ma. She wanted to scream, to rage at her mother, to demand answers, to hug her and tell her goodbye, to ask her to come with h…[Read more]

  • The Dark Figure

     Augustine scratched his head and then doubled over in boisterous laughter. He hadn’t had a good laugh in a long time and it felt good to release the nervous energy. He straightened up and saw th […]

    • Hello SJ,

      Overall this was a very quick read! It read easy and the action was intense and caught my attention. I got to the end and had to scan back through to find what to critique! 🙂 I thought the mirror thing was clever and your consistency with the amount of magic Augustine can use is seen here.

      A few suggestions;
      1) The movement of the characters in the beginning was difficult for me to follow at times. A lot of up and down and switching from one person to the next. The blocking got muddled for me here.
      2) The fight was fast pace and intense; when Augustine throws the liquid in the mirror is it behind him or does the glass fly past him?
      3) Where did Reva and Ralph go? I thought they were fighting the stranger with everyone and then in the next part you have them absent from everyone else in the immediate after math?

      This was a great scene! I’m curious as to who the stranger was who attacked them! I liked that we got an action packed introduction to this new crew that Augustine as found himself apart of. The group you already paint in a playful and enduring way with how they care for each other. The story of Afra seemed to intrigue Reva enough that hopefully they will help free Afra! Well done and these are great scenes for moving the story forward in bounds!

    • Hi SJ,

      Please excuse any words running into each other in this comment, my space bar and my ‘h’ are giving me trouble on my keyboard!!

      Excellent scene!!

      “The hope he had felt when he entered the bar, fell like a heavy stone deep within the pit of his stomach.”

      I love that description, well done. It’s something we’ve all felt at some stage.

      The suddenness of the mirror scene was very, very good. Suddenly, we’re in the thick of some action and it is very well written.

      I also loved the mystery to the stranger that attacked and the fact Augustine didn’t immediately recognise it as a witch. Something that really struck me was the fact you referred to the stranger again and again as ‘it’ rather than he or she. It really gives the reader the impression that this thing is not human. And then the reflection in the mirror really backs up that impression!

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