Contact Us | En español    
         Join today or login

Status

New Here?
Sign Up
Fast! Three Questions.

Already a member?
Login

Contests

Share A Story In A Poem
Deadline: In 2 Days

2-4-2 Poetry
Deadline: In 3 Days

Nonet Poetry Contest
Deadline: In 5 Days

True Story Flash
Deadline: Dec 7th

5-7-5 Poetry
Deadline: Dec 10th


Writing Classes

0 classes available. Click here locate a class and to learn more.

Rank

Poet: None
Author: None
Novel: None
Reviewer:None
Votes: None






Reviews from
The Shuffler King


A slice of life on a porch.

  32 total reviews 
Comment by
MukePandemic
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
It does take a bit more work to read like you said but I liked reading it. I felt like I could actually match a voice for them and hear the conversations which makes it easier to better understand the characters. I get the idea that the fog is like an emotion, maybe depression, and he doesn't remember a lot before it because it's too painful. Kelene, I assume was his wife and she's passed away somehow? Maybe a music theme since sometimes you can get lost in music and it can even make you feel differently. I'm probably wrong, but that's what I got from it. Either way it was an enjoyable read.


 Comment Written 19-Apr-2016



reply by the author on 19-Apr-2016
    You hit it pretty much on the head, MukePandemic. Actually, I was going for dementia, but that's a form of depression, too.
    Any disability people drifts in and out of. But given the old man's age, it's usually termed dementia or Alzheimer's. I'm glad you enjoyed, and I'm grateful for the review. Peace, Lee
Comment by
2011 Short Works Writer Of The Year
Erik Heen
 
Author Rating For Short Works
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  643
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Whoa. I hope that juke box is out there.

Dang. I don't know how you do it, you prolific scoundrel. Are there five of you churning out stories in that dusty little room?

The cranky but likeable old cuss bemoaning modernity and reminiscing about the past works just right. The angle of a little-noticed guy behind the scenes sets a nice tone.

Using present tense enhances the story's immediacy.

Very visual actions like Aldene stomping into the house etc.

Liza's character fits in nicely.

Cool metaphor with the rocking chair. I like it.

And your usual little asides like the Muddy Waters puddle and "can't make sugar and sawdust at the same time"

Shuffler King? Great name.

"And the music? Well, today's music sound like cats coughin' up hairballs" Couldn't agree more.

Now finish this thing and submit it.


 Comment Written 13-Apr-2016


Comment by
Rosalyne
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Hi, Lee.
The use of dialect is perfect in the way you've shaped the story. Not only have you taken the reader on a journey back in history, but to a time when there was a great division in race.

You showed this so well with the musical artists. It's funny; I was listening to Charles Mingus while reading your piece. Not of the exact time, but the artists mentioned are among many I enjoy.

Your story clearly reflects a setting, lifestyle and education without having to spell out all the added extras. Each character has such a strong voice and personality, which shine through so well.
Awesome piece of writing!
Bye
Rosalyne :)


 Comment Written 10-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 14-Mar-2016
    Thank you so much, Rosalyne. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. Even more, I'm glad you saw the importance of the dialect. Thank you again. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Patricia Brooks
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Damn! I just wrote a review and tried to underline a word, and it popped right out of the site. So I'll have to quote the lines I especially like again. Sigh.

I think this is a full story, and a very affecting one too. All the characters well drawn, all the circumstances clear. I recognized and was moved by them all. Those lines:

"Never got the knack of shuttin' his mouth on a stupid question."
"Man cain't make sugar and sawdust at the same time."
"The screen door sing then slam."
"Look who's woke up outta his fog."
"rememberin' all he forgot, knowin' he bound to forget it again."
"ain't nowhere farther away than nowhere"
"whilst blue-flies drink the drool runs down your chin"
"Liz use her boney arms to push her sad body up to standin'"
and more.

I find the use of dialect more than useful: downright necessary to the story. I have been struggling with dialect in a series of historical novels I've been writing titled "Eagle and Child", a sample chapter of which I posted yesterday, "Liberation". I use the varying dialect to not only be true to the characters, but to indicate the many levels of education and influences on the characters, both white and black. And I'm surprised that your characters pronounce their "r"s. Not my experience. The narrative for the story uses more conventional language, since its viewpoint character is a white girl from England, and I envy your using the character you do; the language is so much more colorful.

Beautiful job. I will watch for your work.


 Comment Written 09-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 09-Mar-2016
    Thanks for this tremendous review, Patricia. You picked out most of my favorite lines. I'm looking forward to reading an installment of your novel. I agree, dialect can be a very effective way to distinguish between speaking characters. Dialogue tags get cumbersome sometimes.

    You ask about my characters pronouncing 'r's. Well, sometimes. In this story, I elected to stay in dialect throughout--even the 'narrative'. So I took mercy on the reader, and pulled back on some of the apostrophes. I felt that phrasing, word selection, and speech patterns might carry the 'music' of the patois sufficiently. I shied away from some of the phonetic spellings that make dialogue look like a computer language. I probably screwed up from a technical point of view, but I did so with the a mind toward the sanity of the reader.

    As you say, dialect and vernacular make language so much more colorful. I have a hard time writing--or thinking--in Wonder Bread language these days.

    Thank you again, and good luck with your novels.

    Peace, Lee

reply by Patricia Brooks on 10-Mar-2016
    I completely understand your reasons for "pulling back on the apostrophes" and think I should more too. My continuing concern is with the reader thinking the character's lack of 'education' in what you so accurately call "Wonder Bread language" is a negative, while I consider it way more expressive in most cases than 'proper' speech. So it's a constant problem for me in this novel, Book Two of the series. I think I'll post another chapter in which I deal with it directly. I'd appreciate your take on it.
    Patricia

reply by the author on 10-Mar-2016
    Patricia, like you, I celebrate I color and creativity inherent in rural language--particularly rural-ethnic language. Idiomatically, it's pure improvisation.
    I wouldn't worry to much about the reader underestimating your characters based on phonetics and elisions. Put smart, keenly phrased 'music' in your smart characters' mouths, and readers will get it.

    If you don't write Stepanfetchit, no one can read Stepanfetchit--'cept fo' da dopes, a'course.

    From what I've seen, you handle dialect perfectly. I wouldn't stew over it too much. L



Comment by
mfowler
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Ah, it's good to read your work again. I've just posted story featuring some dialect for which I'm hardly qualified to feature, and then I read this and I bow to your wonderful use of this tool at making an ordinary moment in time so beautifully amusing, poignant and real. I have no idea if southern African Americans actually say those things but they should, and probably do. This is as you note, a vignette, and one of sensitivity and humour. An old man, memory lost in a fog, imagines his life as it were as a shuffler, but around him, his sister and lazy nephew, Aldene remind him quite bluntly that he's living in the past. The characters are beautifully sketched in finer detail of their movements and the nuances of their speech. From marble scratching big boy, Aldene, to cancer ravaged Liza and on to the ancient Lester, the reader feels the rhythm of life in a family in decay, but still hanging on. There are so many classic interludes and cleverly constructed lines of off beat humour that I can't write about them all but I will show you a couple of my favourites:
Since befo' Muddy Waters amounted to much more'n a respectable puddle.
"I sugared up Janine real good las' night, Uncle Lester. Got her to promise us cornmeal pancakes this mornin'--with plenty of bacon drippin's. How's that sound?"
Liza brushes ash off the breasts she don't seem to miss no more.
And thank you for a trip down memory lane with those blues singers. It's easy to forget but I'm a minor league fan of old Bo Didley, Muddy Waters and the like.
Great entertainment.


 Comment Written 09-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 09-Mar-2016
    Thanks so much, Mark. Yes, I've read your recent story, but I haven't written my review yet. Preview: I think you did a great job with the dialect. More about that in the actual review. Coincidently, I'm also writing a period piece for this contest using a nearby area (New York's Finger Lakes region) as a stand in for the photo. But my story takes place maybe 200 years before yours. I wish you luck.

    I'm deeply grateful for your canny read of this story. You pick up on the nuances I'd hoped to impart. As you know, the dialect is essential to giving these characters character. Not only in the way they pronounce words, but in the words and phrases they use to express themselves. Regional references and geographically-unique idioms and speech patterns are part and parcel to writing authentic dialect. You see that. Thank you.

    And you see how the characters actually move and act in congress with what they say and how they say it.

    These are the kinds of reviews that keep me writing.

    Thank you, Mark.

    Peace, Lee
Comment by
Nika2016
 
Poet Rating
 
Author Rating For Short Works
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  715
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
This was fantastic on every level...dialogue, characterization, plot..and takes the reader into the mind and past of the character when everyone around him seems preoccupied with the mundane part of living. Makes you want to spend a little more time with him.


 Comment Written 08-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 08-Mar-2016
    Thanks very much, Nika. Yes, sometimes it's nice to sit on a porch and listen to an old. I appreciate the six, and I'm glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Carolyn 'Deaton' Stephens
 
Review Stars
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Hi there,
You write as if you speak with the dialect of the old music man himself. I always enjoy your stories, I get into them, I feel them, smell the bacon, and anticipate the corn-flap-jacks. Now, iffin' you had said, served with sorghum molasses, I would probably try to dive into the fog, and come get some for m'self.
Well done, loved it,
:-) Carolyn


 Comment Written 07-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 08-Mar-2016
    Thank you, Carolyn. I was fortunate to know some old delta bluesmen when I was younger. Their patois has stuck with me--though it's hard to turn the sound into written words. I'm gratified that you notice the little things, the sensory things. Thanks for a terrific review. Peace, Lee
Comment by
kiwisteveh
Level 1 Pro
Premier Author
Premier Reader
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  114
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  128
Author Rating For Novels
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  201
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Wow!

Lee, I remember way back when - high school? - someone trying to explain to me the difference between more conventional (narrative) short stories and the new (to me) 'slice of life' style. Took me a while to get it.

Ha! Now I'm thinking it wasn't until I started teaching English - and obviously still had a lot to learn, myself.

While I think of it, if you have a chance, look up Katherine Mansfield - one of our best exponents, and fairly early. read something of hers the other day called 'Miss Brill' and was reminded of just how good she was.

Anyway, your story is just wonderful. The dialect is just the icing on the cake that adds authenticity to the lives of these people. Old Lester reminiscing both in and out of the fog is a pleasure to read and the command of detail about his life as a 'shuffler' is just amazing.

Lots of humour, of course, as always with your tales, but this was always heading down the sad side. The contrast between Lester and Liza is also great and her emergence in the story provides our full understanding.

Steve


 Comment Written 07-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 08-Mar-2016
    Thanks for this terrific review, Steve. I've heard of Kathrine Mansfield, but I'm not sure if I've read anything of hers. I'll look her up.

    Funny, I almost felt as if I was writing a play--or a scene from a play. The lives of the characters is all it's about.

    Thanks again for these great comments. Peace, Lee
Comment by
DonandVicki
Premier Author
Premier Reader
 
Review Stars
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Indeed, I can hear it. You have a very down home way of writing, very easy to connect to and a joy to read. I love the old porch rocker and the meditative feel as you watch the world. I love the feel of soft Jazz in the background. Write on storyteller.


 Comment Written 07-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 08-Mar-2016
    Thank you again, DonaldVicki. I'm gratified you could hear it--there's music in patois. Meditative--I like that word, too. Much appreciated. Peace, Lee
Comment by
krprice
Premier Author
Premier Reader
 
Poet Rating
 
Author Rating For Short Works
 
Author Rating For Novels
  Rank:  23
Review Stars
  Rank:  405
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Excellent vignette.

I remember those old juke boxes, whether they're the big ones or the small ones on the wall in a soda shop.

Actually, the dialect makes it more believable, particularly for those of us who either grew up in the south or live there now.


Karlene






 Comment Written 07-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 07-Mar-2016
    Thank you, Karlene. I loved the big flashy Wurlitzers, and Seaburgs. And I spend many fine times flipping the selection pages on those wall-mounted pushbutton jobs while I ate my diner breakfasts. I know a few places that still have them.

    You're right, this story would not have been credible if the language was whitebread. Still, dialect is too much work for a lot of readers.

    Thanks for the review, and I'm glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
  -1-  2 3 4  Next Page 


Market your book.
Advertising options.
Football Chapter 5 part 2
A mother faces life's struggles.


Share or Bookmark
  Contact Us | En español | Advertise With Us

© 2015 FanStory.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Privacy