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Reviews from
Walking Away From War


Can you go home again?

  44 total reviews 
Comment by
damommy
Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  22
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Review Stars
  Rank:  39
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
This is a wonderful story. I didn't think it was too long at all.

Toward the last, I began to suspect Hacksaw might be an angel because he kept showing up at such opportune times.

I would read this again and enjoy as much. Thank you.


 Comment Written 09-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 10-Feb-2016
    Thank you, damommy. I was hoping readers would suspect Hacksaw's identity as they read. Sometimes a big reveal at the end overpowers the rest of the story. So glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Neil Austin
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Oh wonderful. Long? I didn't partikerly notice. (I'm practicing what I think Americans talk like. Yeah, dreadful innit.) I started to wonder half way through how this fella Hacksaw kept turning up with vittels, but it wasn't till the denouement that it finally dawned.
Excellent work.


 Comment Written 09-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 10-Feb-2016
    Thank you very much, Neil. Seems you've got the vernacular down. I thought it might be too theatrical if I guarded Hacksaw's secret to closely. I wanted to leave clues along the way. Sometimes to big reveal overpowers the rest of the story. So glad you enjoyed. And thanks for the sparkling review. Peace, Lee
Comment by
royowen
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  Rank:  1
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 Rank:  3
 

#1 Ranked Poet!

#3 Ranked Reviewer
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Well done, I really enjoyed this Lee, you are a fine story teller, and have a way with the dialogue of your characters, and in this one the sort of theology which is the only thing worth a butt, that of predestination, nothing like Calvanism of course. I can plot the stepping stones of my own past, and see His hand. But brilliant story, "Does the carpenter palaver with the saw 'bout what He's a-building'?" Sums it up brilliantly, well done. Blessings, Roy


 Comment Written 09-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 12-Feb-2016
    thanks so much, Roy. Theology isn't my strong suit, but I have the feeling that war blurs all sorts of theological lines. My characters were feeling the raw of it. That's what I tried to convey. Glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee

reply by royowen on 12-Feb-2016
    Well done
Comment by
Giles Ryan
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
This is really well done and the dialogue is especially excellent! The choice of words and expressions reminds me of Mark Twain.

Would this be the opening or perhaps the ending of a much longer piece? A great deal more of the same would be welcome!

Giles Ryan


 Comment Written 09-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 09-Feb-2016
    Thank you, Giles. Dialogue and dialect are my specialties. I'm glad you enjoyed.
    As for a longer piece, I prefer to work with a variety of short stories, as opposed to tying myself up
    with one long piece.

    Thank you again.

    Peace, Lee
Comment by
Robert Louis Fox
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Excellent story on multiple levels! Each character was unique and distinct. This is expert writing. I've read stuff in Glimmer Train that wasn't as good. Keep up the great work!

Say, how is it you can offer 14 points? The most I've figured out how to offer is 10.

Best regards, BobFox


 Comment Written 09-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 09-Feb-2016
    Thank you, Robert. I've submitted to Glimmer Train a couple of times, but I don't think my stories are compatible with their 'profile'. Somehow I feel I'm a bit too Uncle Remus for them. They're enamored of Raymond Carver.

    I have no idea how the point system works. I post what I can afford, the system assigns points.

    Thank you again, BobFox. You opinion always matters.

    Peace, Lee

reply by Robert Louis Fox on 10-Feb-2016
    Guess I'll look up Raymond Carver.

    What combination of promotions did you use for Walking Away? I would offer 14 points if I could.

reply by the author on 10-Feb-2016
    Raymond Carver is an American short story writer who epitomizes the recent trend toward 'new literature.' I believe the Glimmer Train sisters are niche publishers. they a have A vision, not vision.

    When I posted this piece, I simply bought a certificate, then pumped it up to $1.07. At 3200 words, I needed to offer a fair payout. As for the 14 points, I don't know.


reply by Robert Louis Fox on 10-Feb-2016
    OK. Just a Treasure Chest and pumps. I'm using a Treaser Chest, weekly review, and pumps?somehow the combination must limit points.

reply by the author on 10-Feb-2016
    Don't know. I don't usually promote so high. So maybe the number of pumps has something to do with it. Maybe?


reply by Robert Louis Fox on 10-Feb-2016
    One of the things that impresses me about Glimmer Train is the wide range of stories. To know that there might be a central vision intrigues me as I've found not common thread other than good writing and explorations of emotions?though they are often implied or inferred. So I shall study Raymond Carver some and see what turns up. Thanx, my friend.

reply by Anonymous Member on 13-Feb-2016
    Raymond Carver is an American short story writer who epitomizes the recent trend toward 'new literature.' I believe the Glimmer Train sisters are niche publishers. they a have A vision, not vision.

    When I posted this piece, I simply bought a certificate, then pumped it up to $1.07. At 3200 words, I needed to offer a fair payout. As for the 14 points, I don't know.


reply by Anonymous Member on 13-Feb-2016
    Don't know. I don't usually promote so high. So maybe the number of pumps has something to do with it. Maybe?

Comment by
2019 Novelist of the Year
Ulla
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  Rank:  102
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  Rank:  2
Review Stars
  Rank:  46
 

#2 Ranked Novelist
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
My last six, Lee, and how you deserve it. What a magnificent story and are you talented with words. What a story! Loved every word of it and not the least surprised with the outcome. Didn't expect it of course but it was the Aha, should have seen that long time ago effect. What a joy to read and a great morale. All the best. Ulla


 Comment Written 09-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 09-Feb-2016
    Thanks so much, Ulla, for your last six. I'm honored that you bestowed it upon my story. I'm delighted that you enjoyed. Thank you again. Peace, Lee
Comment by
jpduck
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Mag-bloody-nificent! You are a conjurer with words. This was a beautifully spun historical web, brought alive, particularly, by the skilful use of colloquial English which sounded utterly authentic to me.

I was able to work out most of the, to me, more obscure words with the help of the Internet. But I think I failed on two. The Internet suggested that a Spencer was a type of overcoat, popular at the time. But your final reference to it rather suggested it was a type of gun.

And please do tell me what Jasper's 'possibles' consisted of, and why they were so named.

I think this is probably your best piece of work I have read.

Two gems:
'Only in the innocent embrace of his past could he discover what kind of man he might have become'
'McCulloch didn't think General Sterling Price was worth a pickle fart on a windy day'

'Formal surrender was merely a sop to some ancient, out-moded code of civility.' ('Outmoded should have no hyphen).

'I done some scountin' up that way for ole Ben McCulloch' (I wondered if you meant scountin' to be scoutin'. I can't find 'scount' in my dictionary).


Adrian


 Comment Written 09-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 09-Feb-2016
    Adrian, thank you so much for your generous and enthusiastic review. I must tell you, you're more tolerant of my colloquialisms than many of my countrymen. A Spencer was a recently invented (1860) seven-shot repeating rifle, rare, and much prized during the war. Honestly, I don't know the origin of the term 'possibles'. All I know is that any kind of pack or sack toted by a traveler was known as a 'possibles sack'. I reckon it's because that's where he carried all his 'possibilities'.

    Thank you, too, for the spag alerts. All fixed.

    Really, Adrian, much obliged.

    Peace, Lee
Comment by
Sarkems
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
When I read your work, Lee, I don't read it like I do other pieces--spotting for errors, thinking about what works and what doesn't. I read it like something I picked up at the library. For the enjoyment. Because your work is always a joy to read. I get immersed in the story. Your characters areso well-drawn. I can hear them talking, see them travelling on their dusty way.

I kind of guessed where this was going fairly early on, but that didn't matter a jot. The joy was in the 'how' of the twist, not the twist itself. The vernacular (always skilfully used by you) gave a reality, a solidity to your heaven-sent character. The naming of Hacksaw, a tool to be used, was an ingenious device.

This is, probably a less lighthearted review than I usually give you, but that's because you are seriously good. I've read a lot of your work, and I end up laughing till I cry sometimes, and I give you reviews in the same spirit. But I do take you very, very seriously as a writer, because your ability to churn out perfect pieces of fiction every single time is astounding.

You are a serious talent, my friend. You're worth the subscription to this site on your own.


 Comment Written 09-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 09-Feb-2016
    Thank you, Emma, for this uber complimentary review. I get what you mean about picking up a book from the library, and being able to read it without your 'critique specs'. And I'm really honored that you see my stories in a similar light. Sometimes this is a 'must criticize zone'. But I'm fortunate enough to have a handful of writer/readers who have invested a certain amount of trust in me. Trust that they may allow themselves to be entertained along the way. I thank you for that.

    You've made my day.

    Thanks again. Peace, Lee

reply by Sarkems on 09-Feb-2016
    You're always welcome, my friend. Thank YOU for the great reads.
Comment by
rama devi
May All Beings Be Happy
 
Poet Rating
 
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Review Stars
  
 Rank:  128
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Excellent story. I love that he was a ghost. Good closing line. As usual, SUPERB characterization, diction in dialog, pacing and sentence mechanics. Excellent descriptive narrative detail, bringing the reader right into the scene. Excellent deep POV as well. The extra star is for the characterization, diction and true to life depiction....got totally drawn in.

Totally engaging storytelling style.

Just a few spag nits noted (mostly comma-related):



*He shook hands with a few of the boys,(no ,) and humped off on his long walk home to the flat-top hills of northern Arkansas.

*
Along the dusty pine-lined roads criss-crossing

crisscrossing is one word

* Only in the innocent embrace of his past, (no ,) could he discover what kind of man he might have become.

* Off the beaten path,(no,) as he was, Jasper hadn't expected any company.

*He made visual contact with his Spencer,(no ,) but kept his baser instincts in check,(no ,) and continued drying his blanket.


* Like him, most were scruffed and sagged,


recommend using scruffy instead of scruffed

I love your inventive wordings, like NOONED, etc. but this one made me pause. Just my two cents.



*
He bit off more 'possum,(no ,) and talked with his mouthful.

* They finished their supper in silence,(no ,) and turned in.


Note--most of these commas should not be there because the clause is no independent. I recommend you Google COMMAS AND INDEPENDENT CLAUSES to learn this rule more clearly. :)

Almost a six, and since I know you'll fix commas and consider suggestions, six stars in advance, since we cannot upgrade sixes later.

But it does need polishing on that level.

Bravo.

Warmly, rd


 Comment Written 08-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 09-Feb-2016
    rd, thanks so much for your generosity, and tolerance. I have, indeed, made all the corrections. I appreciate you giving me the gold star on account. Your Google suggestion is a wise one. Just when I think I'm getting the comma knack, I suffer a relapse. The more important a story feels to me, the more tedious I get with it, and end up sprinkling commas around like they were free.
    Again, thanks for trusting me to make it right.

    I'm glad you were 'drawn in.' At 3200 words, I'm testing the limits of the universal FS attention span. Drawing in is essential.

    Thank you again, rd. This six means a lot.

    Peace, Lee

reply by rama devi on 09-Feb-2016
    Love your response, dear Lee. Thanks! So glad you're glad!
    :-)))
Comment by
LIJ Red
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  Rank:  606
 
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Coincidences. MSN had a slideshow of facts about the Civil War, twenty odd pages of photos and data, a day or two ago. Very smooth and readable story you have here. If it's good to the last drop, can it be too long? Hold the possum. But then hunger is the best sauce...


 Comment Written 08-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 09-Feb-2016
    Don't care for 'possum, huh? Elitist! This is one of those stories that has been noodling around in my head for a while. It all came out in one long drawl. Thank you, Red. I'm glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
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