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Reviews from
DARK FLAMES OF SISTER MARIE


SELF DISCOVERY IS AN EVERYBODY KIND OF THING

  7 total reviews 
Comment by
E.P. Thomas
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Jay,

What a wonderful micro! I wish I had written it!
Even 'the experts' disagree as to what differentiates a micro-fiction from a prose poem, but I won't waffle. This is an outstanding micro, and I wish I had written it! What makes this a micro-fiction in my book is that it meets all of the primary requirements of a short story: character, setting, conflict, and resolution.

Character: Priscilla aka Sister Marie
Setting: Night in a bedroom in what I imagined was a nunnery. It could be a private residence. Whether it's a nunnery or a residence isn't essential to the story.
Conflict: The character is struggling with her sexuality. It's the age-old struggle between denying what we are by attempting to be someone else.
Resolution: On the surface, your ending hints at one, which is more than adequate to qualify as a resolution. Sister Marie relents (slips/lol) and touches herself. Although there is a temporary resolution, the reader knows that there isn't a permanent resolution. As long as she continues to deny an integral and natural part of her 'God given' body's need to be sexually stimulated and to procreate, there will never be a complete and lasting resolution. That's the beauty of this piece. This is a great Myth of Sisyphus story because she is 'condemned' to repeat the same actions because in the end, instinctual human nature will always win over a presupposed one.

Outstanding story, Jay. I think you're absolutely right. You should return to writing micros. Also, in my opinion, you didn't need the 'adult content' warning on this. You probably did the piece more harm than good by limiting readers. This is what I hate about this place. Some great fiction like this is ignored, while some of the shabbiest stuff I've ever read receives rave reviews because the author is paying a buck twenty-four. I'm re-fanning you because the monkey in the machine culled my fan list without asking. It does this every couple of months. This is simply outstanding.

If it were my piece, I would start at 'Sister Marie sits at her window.' All of the preceding back story contributes nothing to the piece. I'm not suggesting anything that I don't do, which is cut, cut, cut a piece until all you are left are the bones.

g




 Comment Written 13-Aug-2010



reply by the author on 13-Aug-2010
    Macro-thanks, g. For everything! You've helped me make up my mind about re-starting. And I like what you said about how you would have started it with Sister Marie at the window. This was written, you remember my mentioning, close to 50 years ago. The final scene meant something much more different to me then than now. It was simply, vaguely, naughty at about 20. Now, especially after reading your exegesis, I know I really did say something important, lol. And, yes, since this was posted when I first started with FS, I wasn't too sure of the severity of breaching the guidelines. I certainly wouldn't have cluttered it with that "Adult Content" warning now. Hey, g, thank you for injecting me with enthusiasm for starting back with some flash and micro fiction!

    Jay

reply by E.P. Thomas on 13-Aug-2010
    Can't wait to read tehm. g
Comment by
nora arjuna
 
Review Stars
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Jay, I can't write a review as wonderful as yours. All I can say is, this poem is so... innocently, tentatively, teasingly, beautiful.

So, we can call this 'a prose poem'. I thought of something like this.. not a full story, not in a way poetic, but I didn't know what to call it. You can get critisized for wrong classification too, at times, for the very strict writers.


 Comment Written 16-Jun-2006


Comment by
Bellydanser
 
Review Stars
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
It has taken me a while to get around to reading this passionate prose poem. There is so much that is telling about Sister Marie, and yet so much that is curious and unsaid. Very powerfully told.


 Comment Written 07-Jun-2006


Comment by
Adora Bayles
 
Review Stars
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Is this of a girl discovering her womanness? That is how I am reading it. At 18, I became old enough to read things that may be offensive. I don't find this offensive at all. We're all human. At 75, I think I can take reading about a girl who, being female, is no less curious, no less enflamed by the biological workings of people, animals, flowers, trees than a boy discovering his own maleness. If we didn't enjoy these pleasures, there wouldn't be any people. Is it her religion that's getting in the way? A very well-written piece, Jay.
Adora


 Comment Written 27-May-2006


Comment by
EMB
 
Review Stars
 
 
Good
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
The definition of "prose poetry" is prose that resembles poetry. This didn't really resemble poetry. It was nice, and I liked it, but prose that "resembles" poetry is usually riddled with colorful phrases, metaphors, and the like.


Still, I enjoyed this.

Ed


 Comment Written 26-May-2006


Comment by
CLWriter
 
Review Stars
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Very effective writing, Jay!

A couple of things... At the first impulse to question nuns with silk undies, I recall an uncle of mine who taught in a Catholic college... He was good friends there with a nun-- (She later left the college and the calling, and married a rabbi who also left his formal faith.) He told us stories she told him, such as the one about the luggage mixup in an airport, where the traveling nuns ended up with a businessman's identical suitcase. Seems under those same-old habits, the nuns in her order made much of their privacy to enjoy expressing a sense of style in their undergarments. Quite a hoot they had, thinking of that man when he opened their suitcase!

And when I had my costume/resale clothing shop, I once had in a seminarian's gown that had a pair of pantyhose in one deep pocket...

The second thing is-- What makes a piece a 'prose poem?' To my ear, this read simply as very lovely writing, not as poetry. I'm not arguing, I just wonder about the form. I have recently posted a thing orginally written as prose, but I saw it had interesting poetic possibilities, realized by inserting line-breaks and stanzas, and fiddling a bit to make a more consistant rhythm. I called it poetic prose becoming prosy poetry...


 Comment Written 26-May-2006


Comment by
G.B. Smith
 
Review Stars
 
 
Good
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
She can not allow herself, ever, to slide her fingers beneath the frills. Not with these dark flames... Not...Oh...
This has the mind working over time but it did not grab me and make me want to see or hear more
Bear


 Comment Written 26-May-2006


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