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>My computer has gone wonky so I don't know if my first comment went through, but mostly I was saying…A one stop shop for your stories…hooray!!And I'm honored to be the first follower. I feel special ????
>So exciting! I am looking forward to reading all you have to share. I adore this name! Happy story-telling!
>Look at you and your fiction writing skills! I'm impressed! Love this and definitely want to know what happens next!
>Wow.Just wow. I really loved this story.Okay, that's not helpful. I know X is the hardest letter to use but your word choice broke up the rhythm of your writing, making the word stick out like a sore thumb. Does "Xanax in hand…." work?Feel free to strike my comment.
>Noted. Thanks for the tip! I worked it in. Great suggestion.
>A heartbreaking story. I agree that as a whole, the letters flow naturally. I loved the flashback, and the way you weaved details about that little town in so seamlessly. Are you working on a novel about that diner? There's totally one there. Visiting from RDC
>beautiful story telling. I agree with what has been said, it flowed so well.visiting from RDC
>amazing post! I love how if you didn't highlight the letters? I would have forgotten that this was the alphabet prompt. Such a powerful post!
>Great minds think alike! I highlighted my letters too :pThis was really well done, it flows so well that like Sluiter Nation, I'd never have realized it was following the prompt.Visiting from Red Writing Hood
>This is so beautiful and so sad! What an excellent piece of writing!
>I see more growth in your writing every time I visit. Good job on a tough assignment.Stopping by from the red dress club.
>I can see it all so clearly – the hospital, the storm, the….xanax. Very powerful piece.
>Nice job with Xanax! Really well-told.
>We got to go so many places and through so much time in this short piece. The characters are very well developed and I was sad to get to Z.
>Oh how awful I feel for Becca. And how much do I love that you used inclement weather. I have no idea why, but it's one of my favorite phrases. Amazing as ever…
>I love that you have a dedicated site just for writing! How hard was it to write and work in every letter of the alphabet?
>Love the new site, Stephanie! I liked this, how so much happened in such a short time.
>Wow! That story gave me chills!!
>Very interesting subject matter… Is this semi-autobio? fiction? Enjoyed it! :-)Stopped by from MamaKat's Writers Workshop to read your selection, say hello and wish you a very happy 2011!Best,Elizabeth
>The rhythm and flow are so peaceful. I hope it isn't a true one, Please?But, very peaceful and the Alphabet works effortlessly there.Thank you for the quietness with your post today.
>Oh this is heart breaking. ????
>Stopping by from Mama Kat – and go you for writing a piece of fiction from the week's prompt! I love it, and definitely want to read more. Wonder, what is a "Weathers"? Hope you keep going with this scene ????
>I really enjoyed reading this sad story!
>Wow. What a heart-felt, sad story, I really liked it.
>Loving the new site! It's something I've been thinking about doing, too. If the letters hadn't been highlighted, I would've never caught on to the alphabet – it flows beautifully! Love the story, but then again, I love all of your writing ????
>Ah, the desperation in trying to prepare something nutritious and delicious to feed to a screaming, hungry baby. Nicely done!
>That's GREAT! You even included the idea of measurements!!! You devil you!…:)JP
>This is good! And the rivalry between a mother and a mother-in-law…so true to life!
>This is why I never even ATTEMPTED to make baby food. I knew I'd be the one crying in the end :)Visiting from RDC
>I love how you capture the different feelings of motherhood – all so intense – in this post. I feel like I'm in the room with these two women.-Callie
>I know this frustration…that no one is listening to a simple request. This was a wonderful take on the prompt! Love it!
>I love your take on the prompt. I must say, I've never even considered making my own baby food, but I admire those that do. It's hard to do anything when the baby is crying for food!
>Making baby food is SO EASY. Poor X got gypped – he only had apples for applesauce!Fun take on the prompt!BTW, I will be forever grateful if you got rid of word verification! ????
>What a great take on the prompt! I love that nearly the entire story was dialogue.
>Great dialogue! I love how she switches from Mom when she needs help to Mother when she's exasperated. So lifelike. ????
>I made baby food myself, and not too long ago. I think you really captured the MIL and Mom drama well. So was your chosen prompt item applesauce then? Or something else?
>Oh I can feel the frustration and completely relate. This was wonderful!
>Loved this, I can feel Kelly's stress with a screaming baby in the background. Great dialouge too.
>OH! motherhood scares me off.
>Someone needs a Beaba Babycook! :pI so understand the frustration of this piece. They dynamic between mother, mother-in-law and the daughter is spot on. And I agree with Jessica Anne – great dialogue!
>Absolutely fun, crisply written, and believable. I love the clever use of ingredients, too.
>I love that there is so much said here without a word. That dynamic is true and strong. The rivalry, the dance that mothers and daughters play in conversation….so well done. This is why I think dialogue is the best way to show character…you've done it nicely here.
>Love it! ????
>Excellent and truly funny; I couldn't figure out a way to make that topic funny… You did! :-)Stopped by from Mamakat's workshop.Eliz
>LOL… I have to mention though that this same guy was too adorable to resist in The Holiday… He was just too good to be true… and i agree with you he can be a bit overwhelming. I didn't like him much in Gulliver's Travels too… He was just way over confident… but The Holiday Jack Black, ah! I'd be friends with him any given day.
>Ha! I might not be able to be friends with him but my kids think he's FANTASTIC!
>LOL, I love Jack Black! (But love Jack White so so so much more ;P )Just here via Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Nice to "meet" you!
>Agreed on all fronts. Sadly he does still make me laugh.
>Lol. I LOVE Jack Black. He's a nut.
>LOL! This is great!I have to admit I do like me some Jack Black. lol
>Hilarious! Just the pictures alone would make me laugh, but your reasons…yep, I guffawed!
>LOL! That Yo Gabba Gabba episode is on all the time. I just can't look at him in that unitard!
>hahaha The pictures! I loved them. You know, I've never thought about this before, but he is incredibly annoying, isn't he?Visiting from Mama Kat's! ????
>Awesome post! I heard he asked to get his own orange DJ costume for the Yo Gabba Gabba episode. He doesn't wear it quite as well as the skinny guy!
>Good one! Yo Gabba Gabba is bizarre! I can't imagine Jack Black on there.
>Oh, my kids love Jack Black. ANd I really think he was overlooked in Nacho Libre. He was wonderful in there. And he was charming in Holiday…he truly has a charming side.Sweet post.
>I knew there was more than just a conversation between 2 people…I suspected it was one person talking to herself.The chaotic, frantic feel of the conversation definitely works here
>Oh, you have painted a perfect picture of crazy here. I feel all the frantic urgent energy of the situation and of the manic mind.Perfect. One spot that kind of jolted me out of the moment was the 5th paragraph. I don't think you need to say who is saying it.It is just fine on it's own. To say who is saying it, for me, jolts me out of the moment.
>Oh, I like it. I love stuff like this. A little twisted, a little scary. Nice work!
>Oh wow… what an awesome twist on the assignment. Really nice work. Creepy and scary, but nicely done.
>Ohhh I love it! Excellent!
>This is nice but I got a bit confused in the middle… somewhere Let ol'Teach take care of you part… what happened there???
>Teach is supposed to be the "teacher" personality, the caregiver with a sharp tongue. Amber is the weakest personality, in need of comfort that bully Felice is not giving. So, Teach "comforts" her other self. It all works in Teach's favor as she ends up the dominant personality, Felice fading as Amber stands up to her, and Teach's stronger personality overriding Amber's.
>Such a perfect mess. You createad the crazy atmosphere really well.
>I agree with all the comments about the manic atmosphere. I love this world you're making, and I suspect Teach may be just as, if not more twisted than Felice. My thinking? I think you should actually use some of the descriptive language as descriptors instead of actual dialogue. For example, instead of: "How can I not laugh at you! You, with your flaming red clown hair? The black circles etched around your eyes and bleeding down your face. Your tawdry lips slashed with red goo. You? You embarrass me!" Felice sneered, "How can I not laugh at you!" She glanced at Amber's flaming red clown hair. Black circles etched around her eyes, bleeding down her face. Her tawdry lips were slashed with red goo. She leaned in, her voice slicing the air with ice, "You? You embarrass me?" I'm certainly not saying that's anything good, but just to show you what I mean. Way to go, Stephanie. You have captured my attention for sure.
>oh, how I love me some crazy. well done!
>I think everyone likes a little crazy in their lives – especially if they're reading the crazy of someone else!
>I loved this!Ok, first off I felt confused, but I seemed like that was intentional, I was supposed to be confused. Then at the end it pulled together nicely. I didn't realized we were dealing with multiple personalities; it was unexpected but realist. Does that make sense?
yes, it does, thank you.
>As I told you the other night, I absolutely love the ambiguity of this piece. Great job trusting yourself and your reader!
>This has the perfect kind of crazy-feel to it. Really pulls you into the character and the lack of control she has.
>I was a little confused at first but by the end it definitely all made sense. What a great idea! Good job!
>I feel something crazy coming on…Stopping by from the red dress club.
>I sense a little crazy in this one! Great dialogue! Stopping by from RWH!
>I love the crazy! If this were a critique, I'd have to agree with what Nancy C said, although I suspect that you probably would have written it differently had it been a different assignment anyway.Very fun character(s) you've created!
>Loved the crazy! It flowed really well at the beginning, then I was a tad lost, but it all came together well.I wonder if Mr. Jeffries is a real person, if so he better watch out!
>this was really dramatic and interesting—i was confused at first, then realized i was kind of supposed to be. i think you did a wonderful job with it and i'm a new follower. thanks so much for reading MY post today!;-)
>It was a little confusing in the beginning, but I think, based on the situation, it should be confusing. Love the crazy! Great job with the prompt!
>I get what nancy is saying, but of course this assignment was to do straight dialogue. Nancy's just trying to get you to cheat ;)You definitely do a good job with The Crazy. I think the problem is you're trying to stuff too much into each paragraph. Maybe less description would actually move things along faster, or make it a little less confusing.
>I really like this. So interesting and dark. If I had to critique anything, I'd just wonder about talking in that much description – just because you don't typically hear conversation that detailed. But then you are using unusual characters, so maybe it works for them!
>I didn't see the twist at the end coming which is always fun. And using an all dialogue piece to depict multiple personalities is very smart. Somehow it makes sense that you wouldn't have any descriptive language in between the personalities sounding off to each other. That would just create a self-awareness that probably isn't there. Does that make sense?
>Well done, the "crazy" really came through!
>Wow! Nicely done – especially the twist at the end. I liked how your dialogue gave us insight on the character of each of the personalities and how authentic your dialogue was that it came across as if though two people were actually talking to each other.Good stuff! And nice to meet you again!
>Wow! Amazing! I didn't see the twist coming. Nicely done. I love the frantic nature of it.Here from Red Dress Club!
>Aha! I had to read it a couple of times – I thought I was missing a key point. However, I finally accepted that it was 'mirror, mirror, mirror image'. A very new presentation of a very old condition! ????
>It seems like it would be hard to "write crazy" but you did such a great job! How'd you do it? The scene is frantic, and I think you did an amazing job of helping the reader to step into the mind of this character. What are you going to do next with this?
>Very nice depiction of crazy. I love what you did with this!
>I'd love to be friends with JB. We love Nacho Libre to pieces over here!
>Looks great so far! Keep going!
>Not sure how I missed your writing blog reveal, but I ADORE IT!And lovelovelove the Blair stories. Knowing her, it will not be good for Regina. Good stuff lady!
>I enjoyed this story quite a bit. Blair is in the classic facebook dilemma. Reply to the comment and leave it up or delete it. Keep up the great writing.
>I just love Blair. Regina needs to watch out. Great writing and I love how you were able to use the prompt for your WIP. ????
>I'm sucked in already, and this is the first time I've visited your blog. Looking forward to the next one!
>Well…that was quite the quick turnaround for Mama! "Sordid woman" indeed…though I guess not so bad if you get a grandchild out of it hmmm?
>Lol, the sorid woman part caught my attention as well. Very good job fitting the joke in with the tears, (I thought it was hard to find a way to do but challenging)www.squidmom.com
>oooh intrigue!I wonder what broke them up…and where she disappeared to.
>el-if-i-no, Ha! I was a bit confused myself why she would ask that and why he would know it. I'm guessing there's a bit I'm missing. ???? Can't wait to read more.
>I liked how you kept suspense about why the woman was there, it kept my attention.
>I'm thinking the joke was a "password" to verify that Thomas was the father? Maybe an inside joke?I wonder what happened to the mother…
>Intriguing. Will there be more? Got my interest!
>I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to get the joke…I really had to sound it out…
>Elfino! Oh my God. I liked the way you used the joke to decode that Thomas was the father… That's cool and smart. This piece was full of excitement.
>Okay, had to read comments then go back to get the joke, love it, apparently l need them to be blinking right in front of my face. Great piece.
>Elifino – I have to use that joke now lol! I was wondering how this piece would turn out and I loved the surprise!
>I think the plot line you chose is an interesting one. This feels like a cliffhanger… More to come?
>I don't know if this was an edit, but I love how it was her favorite joke and that was how the woman confirmed he was who he was. I'm hoping, guessing, that she left a note with that on it, or something along those lines. The end left me a little bit empty with mom's turnaround (as someone else mentioned) but I loved the build up and the anticipation. I kind of wanted mom to go away and Thomas to talk to her by himself.
>This story left me wanting to know more! I did think Thomas seemed a little…nonchalant…about finding out he had a son, but maybe that was because his mother reacted so quickly.
>Interesting story!I like the way you didn't show his reaction to learning he had a son, but shifted the focus to his mother…it confirmed my image of her being controlling. The only part that reads strange to me is this, "…Hilary looked around the open space, noting the attire of those around her, and feeling quite under dressed in the large, immaculate home for once." It makes it sound like the house was clean for once…but I'm sure that's not what you meant. :)Great job!
>I love the idea of the joke as a password, it did feel a little forced and I was wondering why a state worker would go through this much trouble. What would have helped smooth that transition for me was Thomas remembering something or some moment which made that joke significant between him and Patience, or Hilary remembering the story that Patience told her. I love the 180 that the Grandma does, what a present for her, a grandchild with no mother.
>I do like how you left Thomas's reaction a mystery, but I was definately not expecting his mom to be so happy about it. Maybe there's another part to the story that explains why she's glad, because you would think the norm would be to be pissed off.Enjoyed reading your story!
>Twists and turns abound! I wonder how Thomas felt about the news?
>I really liked the way the mother went from "that sordid woman" to overjoyed at learning of a grandson. Really good turn.I was just a little bit confused about who Arthur is. I'm guessing that's Thomas's father? I just felt a little confused since he was listed in such a personal way and then didn't figure into the rest of the story.But I really liked the story!
>I liked how the focus moved around to the various characters. 2 things: "intervened" Seemed a kind verb for the overbearing mother. And I realized we had word count constraints but her 180 was SO FAST. It didn't jive with the venom she spewed about Patience. (BTW, I do that too…always w/ the quick ending. I may be a male.)
>I really liked the ending of this. My favorite was how the reader saw the mom's response before the man's…like Nichole said, this solidifies her as controlling.I felt like the joke was a password too…and then it wasn't. So that was a little awkward for me, but the joke itself? One of my favorites ????
>Oh. That was soo good! I wish there was more!
>I did not see THAT coming. I mean, I figured out why she was there, but the mom's reaction was unexpected…
>Love how she is happy to have an "heir" not an actual grandson. What a piece of work that one.Your words brought out a strong reaction in me, great job. One of my all-time favorite jokes too. I hope these characters reappear in another TRDC prompt. There's more to this story for sure.
>I really like the last sentence – how it broke up the memory and brought her back to her real life. It's so sad and yet I want to read more of it. You can feel her anguish and when you can feel pain like that, (to me) that's good writing.
>I think the title fits the piece perfectly… The emotions that must be going through Blair in that instant was so clear… it did not even require much words to understand… nice work. Just a suggestion Stephanie: I would like to see a lighter background for your post. The black background with the white font actually create an optical illusion and long continued reading seems difficult. Thought I would let you know. Have a great weekend.
>Thanks, Ratz. I took your advice. ????
>I enjoyed the piece very much. I too like the last line. I have a bit of a bias toward less narration than you provide. For example, you say "her heart melted". I would prefer to see her physically touch her hand over her heart or see her eyes look down, etc. That said, it is purely a writing preference. I take "show don't tell" to the extreme. You are clearly and extremely talented writer and your story is cohesive and compelleing. My concrit is a matter of style. Keep up the good work.