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 Applause and Feedback

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Javabee

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:56 pm

MoulinP:

Fastest Duck in the West! Ha, I guess the Kid found out the hard way to watch what he drinks. I was unfamiliar with Absinthe; the notes you included were very interesting. Very creative, thanks for putting a smile on my face, Moulin!

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Javabee

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:01 pm

Keays:

I enjoy reading your action sequences. I think it's the rich, descriptive details you bring that draws the reader directly into the moment. Your real life experience with horses also adds authenticity to the scene.

The strong contrast between the toasty ranch home and the freezing winter storm, served to heighten awareness of the danger the boys found themselves. When the husband took a deep breath "in order to prepare for the blast of cold air that he knew would invade their warm cocoon", it really hit home to me how dangerously close the boys were to disaster, as they battled the hostile conditions outside.

Fun names for the mother and daughters, April, May, and June. It's a good thing the boys are wise enough to watch themselves around those pubescent girls, or they would have surely faced a hostile environment of a different kind. Great story, Keays!

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:04 pm

Stormr:

Wow, the entire place was turned into a ghost town by the over-indulgence and hungover state of a dynamite man; what a great use of the prompt! The fiery imagery throughout the story sets an eerie stage for this haunting tale. You built the tension nicely, until the boys finally figured out that this was not the kind of place to spend the night. At least they got their drinks before they moved on. Thanks for posting, Stormr.

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:25 pm

MoulinP - What a dream world filled with craziness for Kid! I liked reading all the scenarios going through his subconscious. I had never heard of Absinthe before so I enjoyed the notes at the end.

Keays - Like I said last time, you write action so well. I enjoyed reading this again. Glad they managed to find the one house in the middle of nowhere. I liked the part where the man said his name was Marshall and it made the boys temporarily nervous. Nice ending.

Stormr - I don't blame the boys for wanting to get out of that town. That place definitely had a strange vibe going on. I loved the part where Heyes got tongue-tied and just said "Like security and stuff." I could easily see the look Kid would've given him. George was right, they are something special.

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Silverkelpie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:02 pm

Riders - Such a great take on the prompt and you had him right in character.  He was certainly an idealist, not fully prepared to deal the harsh realities of life.  Meeting the boys taught him that we are not absolutes; we are all a mixture, and sometimes the bad can be pretty good too.


MoulinP - Absinthe makes the heart grow, well, madder.  Lots of fun in this one and I could see hardened cowboys thinking that the green liquid wasn't something to worry about and falling foul of it.  Mad, mad scenes. Your new Year must have been fab!


Keays - I enjoyed the other half of your story, and as usual the action was captured wonderfully.  You move seamlessly from that to the homely and comfortable scene at the Johnston's.  The snow was enough to help them outrun their pursuers, but it would have been the end of them if they hadn't got help.


Storm - Ooh, spooky!  I didn't see where this one was going when it started out, but it took a sharp turn as the barman started telling the boys about Huey.  I'd have ridden on too!

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Stormr

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:31 pm

Silverkelpie- ooooo creepy, creepy!  Was there something in the air this month??  Ah, Nancy, wonderful character.  A year, hmmm, wonder if she will get her revenge on the mayor and the sheriff in that time - something tells me she wil.
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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:22 am

I'm behind in commenting the last month or so and will catch up.  However, here's a start to this month's.

Silverkelpie1
I remember this well.  I wondered if "Cyrano" was the inspiration for it.  Was relieved, though, when Sabrina realized right away she wasn't Kid's type, so the similarity ended there.  This is clever and rife with great lines.  Nicely done!

Riders
Love this sermon from my favorite guest character.  I imagine Reverend Spener held his congregation spellbound in ways any minister could only hope to do with the redemptive power of personal testimony.  This was inspired.  And if his audience only knew from whence this derived -- who the stranger with feet of clay was -- they might have been that much more in awe.  Clapping!

Moulin P
That was definitely different.  I wondered where this was going with all the bizarre scenarios and ultimately was relieved to find they were dreams, albeit bad ones.  I've heard strange things about absinthe.  Feel sorry that Kid had to find out the hard way.  Good one!

Keays
Nice, warm, fuzzy feelings flow from this, appreciated much because of the blanket of white outside my window from the recent storm.  The Marshall girls remind me of the Jordan teens.  I'm wondering if we'll see more of this family in future stories.  Well done!

Storm
Whoa, this is eerie!  Great pacing unpacks new details with each paragraph and moves the story along nicely, while atmospherically descriptive language puts us right there.  Love all the clues being unwound, winding skillfully to the denouement.  That last line from the bartender was a jolt, leaving me breathless and with goose bumps.  I'd have been out of there pronto like the boys.  Love this!

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Hunkeydorey

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:12 pm

Silverkelpie 1 - I remember this.  It was a hoot, right from the warning about the counterpane to the 'stupidest job in the world.'  I don't know how you come up with the stories you do, but they're always a delight to read.


Riders - I love it when minor characters are fleshed out like this.  You caught him perfectly.  Maybe he did learn a little from the Kid after all and knowing that we're all flawed might mean that he won't be so hard on himself.  Deep and uplifting at the same time.


MoulinP - The fastest duck in the West?  Goodness!  This one went right through the looking glass into a mad and surreal world, but you made it work.  I'll bet he'll never touch that stuff again.  I could almost feel my headache in sympathy. 

 
Keays - The other half of your story fits the prompt perfectly.  You describe the biting cold so well I could almost feel it.  Thank heavens there was a family there to save them from freezing to death.  The juxtaposition was clear in the beautiful descriptive writing.


Storm - I wouldn't stick around either!  How big an explosion was it and did the town really still exist at all?  You sure put a new spin on 'ghost town.'  Loved it.  Very spooky.


Silverkelpie 2
-I really didn't see that ending coming.  I thought it was a ghost story at first, then it turns out there's a good explanation for all the strange goings on at the mine.  Then there's a crime, and you think everyone's barking up the wrong tree, and then...but I won't spoil it for anyone else.  Twisty and clever.
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Silverkelpie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:51 am

Hunkeydorey - Oh, this was very bleak but beautifully written.  I know this is a tough month for you and it really shows in the mental ramblings of a man who's life is wrecked by drink and war.  A quick view of PTSD before people knew what it was, and of the cognitive dissonance which allows people to carry out inhumane acts against others.  You capture so much in so very few words and make it profound.  Upsetting and unsettling, but who said that the power of the arts lie in only making us happy?

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Stormr

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:48 pm

Hunkeydorey - Wow!  So much emotion in so few words.
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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:03 pm

Silverkelpie - Nancy is a great chracter. I love her spunk and determination. I thought this was going to be of the supernatural type until the mine scenes. Then I figured out what was happening. I don't want to ruin it for anyone so I'll just say I loved all the twists in the story.

HunkeyDorey - This was so sad. I found it a little hard to sympathize with the man though, knowing what he had been a part of. So much emotion in this and written very well.

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Silverkelpie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:06 pm

HannaHeyes - Well, that was a night and a half and Heyes ended up in jail!?  And Lom put him there?  I could see them getting into this sitaution and it was great to see you use a character form the series.  I loved the lines, '"You're not innocent of anything. Probably haven't been in your whole life," Judge Jones growled.  Heyes bit back a smile at the mostly true statement.'  I laughed when Heyes called the Judge Satan and he acted exactly the way I envisioned when locked out of a room.  How typical that Heyes ends up in jail the night after they got amnesty.  What a romp.

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Silverkelpie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:20 am

Remuda - What a beautifully-written opening paragraph; very visual and descriptive.  This says so much in so few words.  It strikes me as being the Smiler after he hits town, but before the Kid arrives.  Am I right?

Stepha3nie
- Oooh, I love a Hannibal Heyes plan.  This one sounds just crazy enough to work (you have criminal tendencies, Stepha3nie).  What could possibly get in the way?  I'm going to guess - alcohol?  Ha ha, yes, I've heard that excuse before; the bottle was bad.  It's never the quantity is it?  Love the last line, great twist.  This is your best one yet.  Loved it!

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:16 am

Silverkelpie -- Nancy is a great character and I like the highlighting of the difference between her public persona -- brash, heavily made-up -- and her more private persona -- matronly and frightened.  The ending was an excellent twist.  Also a good job on highlighting the Mayor and his cronies' hypocrisy, which was (is) no doubt quite common.

HunkeyDorey -- Usually I'm not fond of a tale told without dialogue, but this was compelling.  It is amazing how quickly the veneer of civilization wears off and so many lose their empathy and humanity.

HannaHeyes -- "You're not innocent of anything.  Probably haven't been in your whole life."  Great lines.  Yes, they probably would overdo it when celebrating their amnesty.

Remuda -- Ah, one of our favorite baddies.  A good scene and a good analysis of his likely frame of mind.  Excellent description of the reaction as he entered.

Stepha3nie -- "The look of hurt innocence was just too earnest to be real."  Another great line.  Yes, trying to get respect and discipline from a gang of outlaws would be impossible -- smart of Heyes (and you) to count on that.  What a clever plan.
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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:04 am

HannaHeyes - I could see then getting paralytic after winning amnesty because they can finally let their guard down in a way they haven't for years.  It's a good job Lom was there or Heyes might have been for the high jump.  Great story which keeps the boys right in character. 

Remuda - A beautifully observant piece which paints a picture of a harsh, cruel man, but a man who can never enjoy his ill-gotten gains, or relax and let his guard down for a moment.  Wonderfully eloquent and illuminating.  I think I can guess who this is. 

Stepha3nie
- What a wonderful romp and a terrific Hannibal Heyes plan.  Does Heyes know his men or what?  He certainly kept them out of trouble with this one.  I'd love to see Wheat's reaction when he finds out that he lived down his leader's expectations.
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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:53 pm

HannaHeyes- locked up on his first night of amnesty - too funny.  Maybe a little poetic justice.  

Remuda -- You took us right into the saloon with your visual description.  And into the mind of a very bad man who thought he was untouchable.

Stepha3nie -  Oooohhhh - a Hannibal Heyes plan!  Love it.  The leader knows his gang very well.
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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:58 pm

Remuda - Very nice detailing the probable thought processes of one of the most cocky villains there was. Nice to know that he was put in his place later by one of the men he left for dead.

Stepha3nie - A great Hannibal Heyes plan and it worked to perfection. The last part of the plan was the best. Loved the ending. And no, I wouldn't confess to that part before returning home either.

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:38 am

Silverkelpie: I remember this story. And I love it. I love its message to not let others bully you out of a good thing. Conrad is quite a guy, maybe short in stature, but definitely not a small man.
The way he jumped off his horse and punched the air made me think of flat jockey Frankie Dettori (who also owns a few restaurants). I loved the way he put the female bully in her place.
But our poor boys. Can they ever get a break? Ending up losing money even though they did their job and got paid. Tsk. Blame it on the grappa. That’s one drink you have to be careful with. Heyes definitely suffered the wrath of grapes; and the wrath of the strict landlady. In the boys’ defence – I had to look up what a counterpane is myself.
Another thing that made me chuckle a little was that the Italian jockey had a very non-Italian name, while the young American ladies’ names sounded quite Italian to me.

Just one question: how did Sabrina manage to listen to Rigoletto all her life? Were there that many performances in her neck of the woods? Well, at least she can now look forward to a lifetime of it. I have to wonder if the selection of “La donna e mobile” was a message to her…

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:17 am

Riders: Wow. You managed something I thought would be impossible. You made me read a sermon eagerly. Usually I have little time for Christian preaching and those who do it. I hate the arrogance of missionary zeal and the assumption that belief is the same as truth.
But I loved the performance of Bradford Dillman in ASJ. For me, he was one of the best guest stars the series had. I had an inkling about who was speaking in the first paragraph, was sure by the second. You have his voice down pat, I heard him speak throughout. And I’m sure this is exactly the kind of sermon he would preach after his encounter with the boys. I’m glad that his adoration of Kid was tempered by the discovery of the “feet of clay”. Nobody is perfect, certainly not the Kid – as Heyes knows too well. Spencer had to learn to appreciate that there is good and bad in everyone. He realised that encouraging the good bits is all he can do - and that encouraging even a little good can be a big success.

It’s a very different re-telling of an episode, unique, clever, well done.

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:28 pm

Silverkelpie: I'm reminded of something Oscar Wilde said about the United States and England -- "two countries separated by a common language."  My favorite line might be "men should give up when they can't reach the cookies on the top shelf." 

Riders 57: Now that's a sermon even I would listen to. Nice to get Rev. Spencer's perspective on everything that happened.

Moulin P:  Now those were some crazy dreams. Very creative storytelling! I'd forgotten about absinthe, but yeah, it was supposed to cause hallucinations. Good use of the prompt!

Keays:  April, May and June? Why not! It turns out to be a good Christmas for everyone.
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Javabee

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:36 pm

SilverKelpie 2:

Your story is overflowing with rich descriptors, as usual, helping us visualize every step of the tale. I laughed out loud at Nancy being unrecognizable to the boys without her makeup! I never saw the ending coming, how clever of you. Another great story, with interesting characters and a twisty, creative plot. Clapping! 
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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:49 pm

StormR:  I wouldn't want to be that special myself. No ghosts for me!

Silverkelpie:  "Let's keep your little fella out of this."  lol!  Nancy is a great character.

HunkeyDorey:  Ill deeds and haunted memories can drive a man to drink. Good illustration of that.

Hanna Heyes:  Once at 2:30am, I heard someone messing with the lock to the front door of my apartment. I got up and stood by the door, wondering what I should do, as someone kept working my door handle, trying to get in. Finally I said, "Who's there?" The sound stopped, and I heard my upstairs neighbor Edwin say "Oh. Isn't this my apartment?" A little too much Scotch whiskey tasting. So, yeah, your story hit a chord with me.

Remuda: I could almost feel sorry for Danny, because he doesn't know what kind of storm clouds are about to darken his sunny outlook. Almost.

Stepha3nie: Clever stuff! I like how Heyes and Curry know their men well enough to use a little reverse psychology on them.
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Javabee

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:11 pm

Hunkeydorey:

You have given us a window into the heart and soul of someone who was a monster, seeing his deeds from his point of view. He starts out "righteous", as he reviews his miserable life, with excuses for his inexcusable acts. But seeing the Kid after all those years made him think different :  I saw things through that kid’s eyes now that time and life had added distance and defeat.  I was a ruttin’, bloodthirsty beast; unfit for the company of anyone or anythin’ but a bullet.  Margaret was right to take Virginia away.  Everyone was righteous but me. 

The man seemed to be experiencing remorse, so would there be redemption for someone as debased as him? Maybe. But I think the real question is, was he really sorry, or just sorry that he finally got caught? It might simply be easier, after all, to face a bottle of morphine than a wrathful Kid. Well written and thought provoking. Thanks for giving us this, Hunkeydorey.

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:34 pm

HannaHeyes:

Leave it to Heyes to try to pick the lock of Judge Jones, of all people, in a drunken stupor, no less!
Thank goodness for Lom, or Heyes would have spent his first few days of amnesty incarcerated. Everyone was perfectly in character. This was a fun story to read, and perfect for the prompt. Thanks for posting!

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:05 pm

Remuda:

You've got this man pegged, and his arrogance is almost suffocating. You have beautifully described a self-centered personality, firmly patting himself on the back for his achievements. He clearly thinks he deserves his good fortune, with no qualms about how he has acquired it. I have a feeling a couple of reformed outlaws will be coming to town to set him straight. Great stuff, thanks Remuda.

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