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 Applause and Feedback

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skykomish

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:36 pm

Rosie Annie- lovely story.   So glad to see you writing again.  I liked the feel of this tale from beginning to end.  The anticipation of deep winter delayed in the opening section was a well written allusion to what is coming.  I liked the interaction between Heyes and Curry and the lost settlers on the trail.  Yes, Devil's Hole country is definitely the place to find men pointing guns.  I enjoyed reading this very much.  

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skykomish

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:01 pm

Keays - I was confused by this story.  I felt rather like I joined an ongoing conversation in the middle. I missed the beginning and the end. The conversation of Kyle and Wheat seemed well written.

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Stepha3nie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:34 pm

Not sure if I can ever catch up with everything from October, I'll start fresh with November comments. 

Remuda: Wow, Remuda. You set the bar high with the first entry this month. Great piece of writing. Even though nothing much happens (in the sense that there is no chase, no robbery, no sheriff to outwit,…) – there is still so much going on.
At first I thought this might be a funny story, judging from the tone you set in the beginning. Then a harmless incident, two man look at each other, and everything changes. Each part of the story reveals another piece of the puzzle and then the resolution.
The boys are in danger, only not of the usual kind. The chance encounter could push them different ways, but luckily they stay true to themselves. Especially with Kid you show that they still have their limits – he opts out of revenge, but that doesn’t mean he can or will forgive. It is very human and rings true to character.
Not only do you write great dialogue, giving each speaker a distinctive personality, you also have a knack for not describing what is going on, but for showing us.
You manage to show the boys’ characters and their relationship in this short piece without ever telling it. I admire that. I also love your language.
You use just the right words to create an atmosphere. Your “Filtered sunlight streaming through gossamer sheers danced off the opposite wall, not quite brightening the worn floral of the wallpaper.” made me see and feel the room.

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Stepha3nie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:19 pm

Silverkelpie: I actually remember having read this before. Another of your stories with an interesting plot twist. I admire how you manage to insert hints to the outcome which seem totally unrelated and innocent on first reading, but add to the plot and the story, once you know where it’s going.
Heyes and the Kid really get to meet (and work for) the greatest characters. You just have to like the “etymologically challenged” Beryl, who knows her Shakespeare (“William”) and doesn’t want to become a “social piranha” or get branded “a feline”. She must have been incredibly difficult to write (and so much fun).
And Charles is a really interesting character. Especially if you have Heyes to help you look a bit deeper. Their last exchange is nicely done. I’m glad they didn’t meet before Charles retired.
I like the humour throughout the piece.

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Silverkelpie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:43 pm

Remuda - The strength of this is your ability to communicate the unspoken so powerfully.  It is beautifully written, as
always, but you convey so much feeling so skillfully.  I like that nobody came out of it unscathed, it would offend a
natural sense of justice for the marauders to come off scott free. 

RosieAnnie - Great to see you back. I love the Thanksgiving theme here, with lots of foreshadowing of the chill of meeting outlaws in a storm, as well as the overall cosiness of the rescue.  Those people were very lucky to meet those 'pretty-good-bad-men', even if it didn't seem like it at the time.  Loved it.  Perfect for the prompt and the season.

Skykomish - A lovely one from you, which really shows the conflict between their need for easy money and their conscience at the beginning of their criminal careers.  Heyes seems the harder and more cautious of the pair, while the Kid is more concerned with having hurt his ex-employer; which rings true to me.  I found it amusing that Blake also had criminal tendencies.  He should have been a good warning to the pair, but it seems they never took their advice.  I loved the line; "Hold on to that personal honor, Jed, but remember that we all have feet of clay."  Good advice for us all.

Keays -  Another snippet which fitted the prompt.  I do believe you'll never have to write another challenge story again!  Ah, the evil Harris, the baddiest of baddies, and he goes on to prove it by trying to trample our beloved Kyle!  You are so good at writing action and you capture the scene at the barn really well.  It's very visual and a great reminder of the way you used the gang in your story.

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riders57

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:15 pm

Skykomish -- An interesting premise.  The first paragraph set the mood.  Mr. Blake was a wise man, and the story is a good reflection on the egocentrism of guilt.  Curry wanted to cure his feelings by making everything right, but Mr. Blake demonstrated that Curry was not so all powerful as to have been the cause of his downfall -- only a part.  Nice comments by Blake at the end -- insightful views of their personalities -- excessive cynicism and excessive black and white.  People are not all good or all bad -- so even heroes have feet of clay.  very good piece.

Keays -- I gather that this is from one of your epics.  There was some good writing in the piece, but it didn't really stand on its own.  I was confused.  Nonetheless, you left us with a sad impression of honesty not necessarily going well for Wheat and Kyle -- and of course an honest life isn't necessarily an easy life or even a good life for some -- so very realistic in that portrayal.
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skykomish

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:34 pm

Silverkelpie - Clever plot.  I was so caught up in the antics of a snoring Kid, that I completely forgot about their reasons for being in the church until you revealed the ending.  Great lines, particularly, "You stick that darned thing in me one more time and I'll break it in half and shove it right u....!"  Fun read.

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riders57

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:31 am

Silverkelpie -- Yes, never come late to a sermon.  That will teach Schlossen.  A well told, short story.  Loved the appropriate responses to the pin followed by his final comment.  

NancyWhiskey -- okay I caught some of the song titles or lyrics, but certainly not all.  I hope you do share the list after the month is over.  I also hope that you finish the story, aside from the cuteness of working in all those song titles, it also is an excellent start to what promises to be an entertaining tale.
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Silverkelpie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:41 pm

Nancy Whiskey - Oh, so many song titles cleverly strung thought this, but you also managed to give us a plot were are keen
to see more of.  What is Clem up to?  Let's hope it's no good and that we get to watch the fun.


Stepha3nie - This is so tragic and brings home the arbitrary and pointless waste of young life, and the parallels with
what really happened to the actor are heartbreaking.  The brevity was powerful.  Not an easy read, but well-worth it. 
Very well-done

SheilaUK
- You paint  great picture of the gang and their rambunctious behaviour.  Very true to character.  You also show
a great picture of Heyes at the end of his tether and desperate for a lieutenant to support him.  The standoff between
Wheat and the Kid was very visually written and you built the tension beautifully.  Loved it.

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Caroline McK

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:43 am

S3 - This was wonderful. I could easily see Kid and feel his every reaction. You wrote from his heart and it was perfect. Thank you so much for this.
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Silverkelpie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:27 am

Asbihgm - Firstly, thanks for playing.  I know you ar every busy.  You set up the story very visually and then I like how you then carry on through a sparkling dialogue.  Of course Kyle would shout out their names!  Very true to character.  Ooooh, a barn with strange things?  Colour me intrigued.  Jules and Verne?  Like the names.  Your write the relationship between Wheat and Kyle wonderfully, I like the way their snarking sparks off one another.  Okay, I'm staring to get it... clapping!  My favourite cross over ever!

Carloine McK - I like the concept of one of them deciding enough was enough and giving up on the amnesty while the other one keeps trying for it.  There's an overarching sadness about this; the Kid no longer belongs and wishes he's stuck with it, but his options are limited and his life is slipping away.  Very poignant.

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RosieAnnieUSA

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:08 am

Remuda: How do you do it? Gather so much emotion in so few sentences, I mean. Even so, your descriptions of the places really stand out to me. That sets up the mood for me. I also love the little insight into Heyes' mind about robbing the bank.

Silverkelpie: Of course I love the name Clutterbuck. You took an old man's confusion and turned it into a bit of a mystery, and an opportunity for Heyes to be a "pretty good bad man." Very entertaining story.

Skykomish:  I love the contrast you set up between Heyes and Curry. Blake called Heyes out on his cynicism, but he was right -- Heyes was responsible for half the money returned. Though I don't know if I'd call Heyes cynical as much as I would bitter and angry.
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RosieAnnieUSA

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:26 am

Keays: I remember this story. That Harris was the worst of the worst, wasn't he? And I think this worked out for Wheat, since he really wasn't well enough to be going out in the snow and cold again.

Silverkelpie:  SO hilarious with Kid falling asleep! Thank goodness I read this in the comfort of my living room. When I got to Kid saying "you stick that darned thing in me . . ." I laughed so hard, I nearly wet my pants. Like I said, thank goodness I was at home, where nobody could see how your facility for dialogue made me embarrass myself! And finally, ending up with solving an old crime. Well done.

Nancy Whiskey:  I'm not much of one for looking up song titles, since the only radio station I play is classical. So, unless one of the titles is "Eine Klein Nachmusick," I'm out of luck. I do enjoy seeing Clem playing righteous through larceny. Really, she is the boys' soul mate, isn't she? I'm looking forward to seeing if and how you continue this story.

Stepha3nie:  Very sad, yet something like this could definitely happen. A completely random event, and everything changes forever.

Sheila UK: I do recall reading this on a different site somewhere. I could definitely see this scenario as realistic. Heyes may be a genius at planning, but does he have the common touch necessary to corral in a lot of strong, violent, self-centered men? Maybe not.

Abchigm:  Nice crossover. I am not that familiar with "Back to the Future" so I didn't recognize it at first, but when I got to the end, it all came back to me. Poor Kyle! Just a little careless, huh? Well, he did apologize!

Caroline McKinnon: Sad but realistic. Maybe the worst thing for any of us is to know, and feel, that there's no place you really belong, and that all your dreams were no more than fantasy.
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Stepha3nie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:27 pm

Still catching up.

RosieAnnieUSA: What a friendly, cozy story about our boys proving once more that they are really good men who only play at being bad on occasion. It’s nice to see Preacher, and to see him being good with more than just drinking and shooting.
I liked the contrast of the friendly, trustworthy guide who betrayed the family and left them to die and our boys – supposedly the most notorious outlaws in the West, who are more cautious and get met with distrust, but turn out to be generous life savers. Angels with guns, so to speak.
I was a little surprised at how you had Heyes handling a rifle. I believe it’s more realistic in a situation like this, but in the show they would probably both have used handguns.
 
 
Skykomish: I don’t think I’ve ever read this story before. I liked it very much. 
It’s an interesting take on our boys at the start of their career. I could well imagine them acting like this. I loved the idea of the two of them using their burglary skills for a good deed, arguing all the while. It was very much in character. Even when they argue, ultimately they do things together. Heyes not only goes along with Kid’s “harebrained” idea, he also contributes his share.
I like how Heyes may not like what his cousin drags him into, but he already has the ability to make the best out of a situation. He takes things in his stride.
Kid already displays his stubborn streak and his honour code.
Interesting, that you make Heyes out to be the cynic. I always felt that the Kid was the more sarcastic of the two, while Heyes was more of an optimist.

But I guess what I liked most of the story was how the “poor” shopkeeper turned out to have a chequered past himself and was free to admit so. I guess the boys learned that things are not always as they seem – positive and negative.

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Stepha3nie

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:09 pm

Keays: Amazing how you always find a fitting bit for the monthly challenge in TOF. Wheat and Kyle are really unlucky here. Not only do they struggle with health problems and bad weather, suddenly their lost quarry surprises Kyle. Harris could just have ridden away, but no.
It’s a really scary thing, being around a falling horse, but between two horses falling/flailing around plus one being used as a weapon while its rider takes potshots – Kyle is really lucky to get out of this unscathed.
You have a knack to capture the action, the chaos. Your knowledge of horses helps to make the action so believable, so real.
I remember I got really worried about Wheat and his ill health. It’s sweet to see how Kyle cares for him as best he can. These two may be more hardened criminals than Heyes and the Kid, but they still care for each other, help and support the other and help with an important job.

I really love Wheat’s grumbling at the end. The humour you bring even into such a bleak scene.

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:53 am

Remuda:

With just a glance into the eyes of the man from Kid's past, the entire mood of the piece changes. You conveyed his haunting memories and powerful feelings so well; I could feel the struggle going on within Kid as he tried to figure out what to do. His first instinct was to retreat and avoid the man, thereby avoiding facing his dilemma. I'm glad he had to finally face him and resolve his feelings on the matter. Full forgiveness escaped him, but he did find it within himself to show mercy. If it had been Heye's choice, I am not sure it would have ended so peacefully. Well done.

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:11 am

Silverkelpie:

I remember reading this one and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. The Clutterbucks are a hoot as a befuddled elderly couple. They seem to live in a constant state of confusion, complete with hallucinations. What a turnaround to discover the kangaroo was real, and Mr. Clutterbuck is actually a clever old con man who even guessed at the true identities of our heroes. It was great fun to read this one again. Thanks SK.

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Javabee

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:20 am

RosieAnnie:

The Kid got what he wished for, a crowd for Thanksgiving, and Preacher got his wishes about wanting to cook for a large group. I wonder if the settlers ever figured out who their hosts were and that they were actually celebrating the holiday in an outlaw hideout! This was lovely to read, very descriptive, and a wonderful story for the prompt and the season. Thanks for posting!

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Javabee

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:47 pm

Skykomish:

It only makes sense that our boys would start out their lives of crime with convoluted feelings about their wrongdoings. But the thing I find most interesting is the difference in their reactions. On the surface it's the Kid who wants to make things right, and Heyes is hard and lacking remorse, as you illustrated with their body language here: Curry avoided Blake's eyes.  Heyes challenged him with a glare.
Fortunately Mr. Blake is too perceptive to accept that front, as shown in this passage: “Yet here you are Han Heyes, helping him return the money.  You could of sent him alone.  Besides, I'm guessing that half of that money came from you.” 
This was descriptively written with depth of feeling as you compared and contrasted the two boys struggling to deal with their life choices. Thanks, Sky!

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:28 pm

Keays:

Your writing is so clear and descriptive, I can practically see the action in my mind's eye, hear the stomping and coughing, feel the cold nip of winter in the air. In other words, you somehow manage to bring the reader right into the scene with the characters. Add the ever entertaining partnership of Wheat and Kyle, along with the baddie, Harris, and you have another great chapter in your epic. Thanks for sharing another snippet.

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:43 pm

Silverkelpie:

Behind the scenes I know there was a great plot going on, but honestly, the appeal of this story is all about the hilarious visual I have of Hannibal Heyes trying to keep Kid Curry awake in a church pew.
With a room full of church ladies glaring down on them, no less. Heyes nudged and poked to no avail as Kid sawed logs and snorted, even managing to cry out at surprisingly appropriate times in the sermon. Loved it!

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:55 pm

Stepha3nie:

It's always difficult to read a story where one of the boys dies. I'm glad you warned us.
This was written so matter of factly, almost like a simple report of what happened, and yet you managed to convey the depth of emotion and heartrending grief quite clearly. 

I thought the final message to Lom spoke volumes. The man trying for amnesty named Smith died that day, and so did Jones. It was over. The outlaw, Kid Curry, was back, and signed with his own name. Thanks, S3.

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:37 pm

Nancy Whiskey:

Oh, you clever, clever girl! How did you manage to slip so many song titles into the beginning of an intriguing story, without sounding one bit contrived? Please don't forget to post the titles, as I think I only spotted a few. Clem and the boys were made for each other, and make for a great read. I do hope you will continue on with this one.

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:00 pm

Remuda ~ A good story and nicely paced.  Who was the person from Kids past?  I wont give any spoilers, but it was nice formed (I would expect no less from you Rem), a good read with a great hook.

SK 1 ~ I don't remember this little jewel first time round, but I have to say it was a little jewel with so many great lines!  Lots of laugh out louds.  The Clutterbucks are quite a partnership, a match made in bedlam.  I did like the lines about which 'Shakespeare' he was reading at the moment and the reply came back 'William'.  Lol, loved it.

RosieAnnie ~ I think you nailed a the meaning of Thanksgiving in this charming story.  I found it delightful and did wonder if the settlers ever did suss out who their hosts truly were.  It was a feel good story that fitted the season wonderfully.  Thankyou

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PostSubject: Re: Applause and Feedback   Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:46 pm

Stepha3nie -- What a great first sentence.  It compels one to keep reading yet warns of what lies ahead.  A tragic tale but, oh, so believable -- the dangers of too many guns with too little responsible supervision of them.  Overall a devastating story but very well written.

SheilaUK -- did you post this story elsewhere?  Some of the phrasing and the plot seem familiar.  In any event, it was an enjoyable story.  A very plausible reunion tale and their relationship was very much in character.

Abcihgm -- Great Scott!! Congratulations on your first AS&J challenge.  It's been a while since I've seen that movie but this was a fun cross-over. I also enjoyed your shout-outs to some of the fun lines from the series.  You did a good job on the Wheat & Kyle's characters and manner of speech.  Hope you write more.

Caroline McK:  I like the 1st person narrative approach -- very effective here.  Yes, what would happen if one of them got amnesty and the other didn't.  You convey Curry's longing to belong somewhere, anywhere and his dismay at going back poignantly.  Great job.
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