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  • Hi Kathy,
    I love how personal your comments are. My friend and I are hoping to take a trip as well–I really do hope it happens. From some of the comments here, I’m getting that the reader needs to be more invested in Al so that they understand why Jen is so off-balance. I will have to work on that in the rewrite. I’m glad you can relate to…[Read more]

  • Hi Jan,
    Thank you so much for this comment. I’ve loved how every week, your comments have just run with the story and you echo back the atmosphere that you felt. Your feedback is quite creative in itself. I was surprised by Jen’s harsh attitude toward her Mother as well–but there has to be some distance for a while. I’m hoping that Nancy will…[Read more]

  • HI Nina,
    Your writing is unique and has a silver-tipped tone that I find really absorbing. It was so fun to read your work every week.

  • Hi Hanri,
    I’ve enjoyed your story so much and admired your skill in so many places over the year. I love when you show us the inside of an argument or when Michael and Alma are pushing each other to make a point. Those are some of the strongest parts of your writing that have stayed with me.

  • Hi Deryn,
    Thanks for the feedback. I was a little worried about the fast ending…it means that the story before it needs to become a little less cluttered. I’m glad you were able to feel the suspense even though some of those plotlines were twisting through. Got some great unraveling to do in the re-write!!
    Thanks so much for following the…[Read more]

  • HI Becky,
    Thanks for the comments. It was Al at the end with Jen. I’m glad you got the ending as they have become stronger as a result…that was definitely the message I was going for. Thanks for sticking with the story throughout. Happy New Year!!

  • Hi Leona,
    This is such a fascinating concept for a story and it’s so believable that we could end up with some of this being real. Already, I get weekly texts reporting my use of electricity and comparing the stats to other “efficient” users in my area and to my usage at the same time last year. Right now this is all voluntary, but what if it…[Read more]

  • Hi Marilyn
    You certainly blindsided me with this one…you put in the contented, peaceful slow down, the fragile ornament, Cody and the dogs and then BAM! you got us, ready to sink in to book number two. Good job with that–now I really want to know what happens.
    It’s been such an interesting experience going through this year and reading your…[Read more]

  • Hi Becky,
    You show a real family discussion, with speeches, interruptions, little kids, crossed questions, secrets. The texture has been great throughout and here at the end, we see a panoramic shot of the family as the camera zooms out. We see Maisie explaining what happened over the year and that she got sidetracked into a mystery she wasn’t…[Read more]

  • I wanted to know what happened with Charles. Was he just arrested or was there more? Was there any reckoning with his sister SuSu? Also, what happened to MinSang’s biological mother? Did MinSang want to reach out to her, now that she knew the truth? And what about Wu Te? He was beaten, but what happened after that?
    LIke I said, it’s realistic…[Read more]

  • HI Hanri–
    A huge compliment to be told that the story was “worth the ride”! Thank you. So often, I finish a book and bemoan the time I put in, so I’m humbled by that comment.
    Thanks so much for your input over the whole year and I look forward to seeing you next year–in the re-write!

  • Hey Peggy,
    Wow! A virtual hug!! I love that! Thank you. You are so expressive and detailed in your feedback, I truly wonder how you manage to do that. Your feedback over the year has been remarkably positive but also with great questions that got me thinking. I’ve really look forward to your comments on this story and I’m always thrilled when I…[Read more]

  • HI Julie,
    Yes, what could happen out on the Caribbean with two ladies who have let down their guard and are just looking to relax? Great idea for a sequel?
    Thanks so much for your feedback and suggestions over the year. It’s been so great getting to know everyone through their creative expressions–such a great way to get to know people without…[Read more]

  • HI Nina,
    Thanks for commenting on some of the unresolved stuff between Jen and Al, I felt that was the only way to go. It’s funny to imagine Luisa as the wedding planner but I’d be worried that if they pissed her off, she’d leave town with the money!!
    Thanks so much for your feedback over the year–always brief but pithy.
    I’m so happy that you…[Read more]

  • HI Ben,
    Thanks so much for your helpful comments over the year. They have been gentle but constructive and I’ve really grown as I’ve read them. I’m looking forward to the re write and to incorporating the feedback as much as I can. I’m so glad that you were cheering for Bernadine and Jen. Today, I had a long conversation with my BFF and I…[Read more]

  • Jan!!
    Felicitations!!
    So clever at the end–but did I miss who Alexandre is–that Peggy refers to? As for the man that kneels by Robert as he loses consciousness–I was left wondering. Was it Shuvam’s ghost? The disapproving figure of Vihaan from his memories? Anan, happy to have exacted revenge? Or someone else altogether?
    So much to review…[Read more]

  • HI Peggy!
    You did it! Created a world with characters that really stay with the reader. Makes us think about who they are, why they do what they do, and whether they will learn something new to make changes in their life. The pace has been excellent throughout and in particular, I’ve loved the action scenes-you spelled them out so well that they…[Read more]

  • HI Kathy
    A great ending. There was some resolution with Red’s acceptance of Bob and Terri, the TV thefts, the other residents accepting Bob as their “crime fighter” and people stopping in to visit. Now they get to be the ones who are wary of Cilla–who still spells trouble. Her role in helping Preston would probably come up in law enforcement…[Read more]

  • Al and I moved around the kitchen, making breakfast together. Already we were back in sync–he reached for the teabags when I took the kettle off the stove, I reached for the syrup while he made the pancake […]

    • Oh Sudha, I love this ending! The breakfast with Al was perfect, the synchronicity of their movements and how you used the dialogue to tie up any remaining YB loose ends, that was really well done. Same with the dialogue with Nancy in terms of bringing closure to Jen’s mum’s storyline and their relationship. I also loved the symbolism of the coffee to show that they are all moving on.
      Finally, the last part with Bernadine and the offer of the trip triggered a massive happy smile. Their friendship has been so tested throughout and to me, this is the biggest triumph and most satisfying ending to the story, that they have come through it with their relationship stronger than ever – simply wonderful!
      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and congratulations, you did it! 🤗🎉🍾

      • HI Ben,
        Thanks so much for your helpful comments over the year. They have been gentle but constructive and I’ve really grown as I’ve read them. I’m looking forward to the re write and to incorporating the feedback as much as I can. I’m so glad that you were cheering for Bernadine and Jen. Today, I had a long conversation with my BFF and I realized that I’d drawn on that when I described a friend like Bernadine. So I’m hoping that people will see that the friendship is the front and center of the story. I really appreciate the time and effort that you put into your feedback and I’m looking forward to the rewrites next year. I hope you are doing that as well, because I’m eager to see your story’s next draft.
        Thanks again and Happy New Year!

    • Yay, I love the BFF ending. Well played. And Nancy’s new barista boyfriend and her true Christian spirit with Jen’s mom. Good job filling in the cracks with the dialogue between Al and Jen, and not having Jen spill everything yet.
      You set yourself a daunting task with the varied threads in this story, but damned if you didn’t pull it off. It’s been great watching you do it. Good luck to Jen and Bernadine – a double wedding in their future? Maybe Luisa can be their wedding planner 😉
      Congratulations 🎉🥂🎊

      • HI Nina,
        Thanks for commenting on some of the unresolved stuff between Jen and Al, I felt that was the only way to go. It’s funny to imagine Luisa as the wedding planner but I’d be worried that if they pissed her off, she’d leave town with the money!!
        Thanks so much for your feedback over the year–always brief but pithy.
        I’m so happy that you stayed with the story throughout and I’ve learned a lot from your suggestions of changing the sequences in scenes and finding ways for characters to be introduced more subtly.
        I looking forward to next year’s re write!
        Thanks again!

    • Sudha, what a fantastic ending to such a complex and compelling story. I see now why Jen was so bereft without Al, even though she got on with her life and became embroiled in some pretty scary situations. I love the best friends ending of their delicious trip to St Lucia, they deserve it – but what will happen when they are out there? The breakfast scene was lovely, the natural sounding dialogue to tie up the bugging issue, very well done. I laughed out loud at Nancy’s new boyfriend – you’ve run the coffee theme all through so well. I loved this story and your characters were all so different from one another. I laughed at Nina’s idea about Louisa being the wedding planner, and finally, I as so glad Mr Tipps appeared in the final scene. Fantastic. 🙂 x

      • HI Julie,
        Yes, what could happen out on the Caribbean with two ladies who have let down their guard and are just looking to relax? Great idea for a sequel?
        Thanks so much for your feedback and suggestions over the year. It’s been so great getting to know everyone through their creative expressions–such a great way to get to know people without the boring superficial stuff.
        I hope you will be part of the rewrite next year, would love to keep following your story.
        Happy New Year!

    • Fantastic, Sudha! The perfect ending. I’m going to echo what the others have said, it’ worth saying and it’s my way of wrapping you in a virtual hug.

      The opening scene with Al was heartwarming, made me really understand and appreciate why she fell apart so much at his supposed breakup and then prolonged absence. I could almost smell the pancakes cooking and imagine myself in their cozy kitchen listening in on their conversation. I never realised that Camille was Manetta’s cousin, must have missed that little detail. I loved the irony that it was Jimmy’s incompetence that helped bring down Manetta, that’s the icing on the cake!
      The scene with Nancy was wonderful, we see how both Nancy and Jen have grown over the course of the story, Nancy with her strengthened Christianity and barista boyfriend now has confidence and willingness to try new things, Jen no longer rolls her eyes and dismissing Nancy, but has come to appreciate her more.
      And finally, we see Jen and Bernadine back kickboxing again, bantering like the old friends they are, their friendship as strong as ever despite all they’ve been through. Your description of frigid NYC in January, compared to the warm, humid breeze of St. Lucia was transformative, really puts us inside Jen’s head with that warm feeling of completion. Well Done.

      It’s been such a wonderful experience reading your story unfold each week, as Jen and Bernadine fight their way through the tangled events of your plot, the action scenes and your vivid descriptions of New York helped place me inside the story and eagerly awaiting each instalment. I look forward to seeing your final published version in print someday! I’m sure it’ll be a bestseller! I know I’ve already said this, but I will miss reading your scenes each week. Hope to see you for the rewrite! Be well, my friend. I shall miss you.

      • Hey Peggy,
        Wow! A virtual hug!! I love that! Thank you. You are so expressive and detailed in your feedback, I truly wonder how you manage to do that. Your feedback over the year has been remarkably positive but also with great questions that got me thinking. I’ve really look forward to your comments on this story and I’m always thrilled when I see that you have put up a response.
        Thank you so much for your very kind words.
        This is an incredible community of writers and I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this site one day when I was looking for a book club to join!
        Looking forward to the re-write!! Happy New Year! It’s gonna be a long January until we’re back!!

    • such a satisfying wrap-up to your year. You didn’t leave a single loose end, Sudha! Well done – it was worth the ride I hope! See you next year!

      • HI Hanri–
        A huge compliment to be told that the story was “worth the ride”! Thank you. So often, I finish a book and bemoan the time I put in, so I’m humbled by that comment.
        Thanks so much for your input over the whole year and I look forward to seeing you next year–in the re-write!

    • Epic ending for these two friends. I’m glad they weathered the storm together, and came out stronger in the end. Nice job using her conversation with Tom to unravel the details. And looks like she will be getting some better coffee from Nancy–Nancy has found a perfect mate 🙂 See you in the months of re-write? Happy new year!

      • HI Becky,
        Thanks for the comments. It was Al at the end with Jen. I’m glad you got the ending as they have become stronger as a result…that was definitely the message I was going for. Thanks for sticking with the story throughout. Happy New Year!!

        • Becky replied 2 weeks ago

          Right, I meant Al. Glad you understood what I meant. Happy 2022 to you!

    • Dear Sudha It’s hard to believe that’s the end of your story – it kind of came suddenly after such a complex set up. The exposition was neat and satisfying, relationships restored and a relaxing time in the sun ahead for the besties! Super well done on what was a complicated plot, but you adeptly kept all the balls in the air, and kept us all on the edge of our seats! Happy new year to you and yours DG

      • Hi Deryn,
        Thanks for the feedback. I was a little worried about the fast ending…it means that the story before it needs to become a little less cluttered. I’m glad you were able to feel the suspense even though some of those plotlines were twisting through. Got some great unraveling to do in the re-write!!
        Thanks so much for following the story through to the end. I’m looking forward to the re-writes! Happy New Year!

    • Hi Sudha,

      You’ve wrapped up all the storylines and plots – I was wondering about the bugs in Jen’s apartment, and this makes perfect sense. Boo for Jimmy (or good! lol) for missing out and the YB’s mistrust in tech that worked in Jen’s favour. I think it’s a good thing that she’s not telling Al just yet about her and Gary and that you leave it there and I was surprised also by her harshness towards her Mom, but that makes complete sense given what happened. And her thought on being a better person and more patient with others, like Nancy, is a perfect place to leave that off. What I also appreciated was Nancy coming in from the Church angle which is in direct opposition to the YB’s so called traditional values and heinous radical beliefs that they uphold – it’s a beautiful image!

      Well done Sudha! This is an amazing achievement, and it’s hard to believe it’s over and I’m going to miss Jen and Bernie and this complex intrigue that has kept me company this past year! I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of this story and this adventure, big thank you for this 🙂

      Wishing you a beautiful and prosperous new year, full of love and light and many happy writing hours !!

      • Hi Jan,
        Thank you so much for this comment. I’ve loved how every week, your comments have just run with the story and you echo back the atmosphere that you felt. Your feedback is quite creative in itself. I was surprised by Jen’s harsh attitude toward her Mother as well–but there has to be some distance for a while. I’m hoping that Nancy will inspire her to not leave her mother out too long in the cold. Thanks for pointing out the Church angle vis a vis the YB one, I didn’t think of that–very interesting POV.
        I can’t wait until next year when we dive into our rewrites!! I think it will be hard work but also a lot of fun!
        Thanks again for taking this trip with me–it’s been so fun!

    • Hi, Sudha! I read this a few days ago and was distracted from commenting; now I find myself with little to add to what’s already been said. Great job showing the authenticity and warmth of Jen’s and Al’s relationship; it shows why she was on shaky ground emotionally from the very beginning of the story because of his absence. I love the idea of Jen and Bernardine planning a vacation together; my BFF and I did the same a day or two before I read this. I also enjoyed Nancy’s growth and the growth of her relationship with Jen. You did such a good job of creating distinct characters with their own personalities and journeys within the larger story. And your setting descriptions put me in each scene so well, with people who in many cases reminded me of people I’ve known.

      As we’re hearing about what happened in the U.S. a year ago today, I think about one of your themes – the effect of a person like Gary’s involvement on his family and community. I’m glad Jen isn’t forgiving her mother too quickly for a lifetime of negligent and abusive parenting. I hope I get to read your story again to see these threads knitted even more tightly together and to cheer for Jen.

      • Hi Kathy,
        I love how personal your comments are. My friend and I are hoping to take a trip as well–I really do hope it happens. From some of the comments here, I’m getting that the reader needs to be more invested in Al so that they understand why Jen is so off-balance. I will have to work on that in the rewrite. I’m glad you can relate to the characters in the book. As for your comment about the significance of today, Jan 6, it is what inspired a lot of this whole story last year. I was so shocked by it–that it really got me thinking about wanting to write about it. And there is a local paper here that listed some of the people facing charges for their participation in the attacks, violence, and destruction. These are people who live within 5 miles and whose kids went to school with mine. It’s no longer a faraway D.C. story, it’s “hyperlocal” as they say. And chilling. You realize that you go about your day thinking everyone is living like you and then you realize that there are such hateful people around you–smiling, laughing, doing business where you do.
        It’s my husband’s birthday today and we’ve been joking that it’s made it an infamous day now.
        I’ve struggled with how Jen should deal with her mother. We don’t want her to forgive too easily, but has she shown growth in that relationship? Not sure. And maybe it’s all right that she hasn’t.
        Thanks so much for your thoughtful and careful comments, I always appreciate them very much.
        Looking forward to the Rewrites!!

  • HI Hanri,
    We haven’t seen the outsider’s view of Alma yet–we’ve seen her insecurity and overwhelm but not how she is a “celebrity” attorney with an enviable list of accomplishments.
    I would love to see a continuation of this scene–as part of the intro of Peony. Maybe we see some of Alma’s brilliant lecture–or perhaps she sets up a mock…[Read more]

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