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Reviews from
The Mother Road -- 2of 2


Whaddaya gonna do?

  27 total reviews 
Comment by
IndianaIrish
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  Rank:  481
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Outstanding and very memorable ending to your awesome story, hw. So much hatred and fighting between the lefts and rights of this world, the middle of the road between now and next is where there's less bumps, potholes, and the path is smoother. Truly a wonderful story with powerful characters, dialogue, and philosophical message.
Smiles,
Indy :-)


 Comment Written 26-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 29-Aug-2017
    Ah, thank you, Indy! This six put the story in the top ten All-Time. Much appreciated.

    The right/left, now/next, walking down the middle of the road gave me a ton of opportunities to make social and political comments relevant to both the past, and the present. I had fun writing this allegory.

    So glad you enjoyed.

    Peace, Lee
Comment by
N.K. Wagner
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  Rank:  385
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
As with many occasions, Rusty's closes with a whimper rather than a bang. Poor Billy Ray Two Feathers. He had so wanted his moment of protest glory. Love the ending as "cowboy" and "Indian" ride off together down the middle of the road, at peace with each other. Wonderful philosophical finish. :)Nancy


 Comment Written 23-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 24-Aug-2017
    Thank you, Nancy. Sometimes you just have to view things philosophically. A road. A diner. A culture. A people. History without philosophy turns into math. I couldn't help reviving Kemosabe and Tonto at the end.

    Your gracious review put over the 26 threshold. Many thanks. Peace, Lee
Comment by
F. Wehr3
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Excellent
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Yep, it's a boondoggle alright, lol. I enjoyed this, Lee. It's got a lot of the things I expect from you, especially the quirky. Well, I'm off to whatever's next. I'll try to keep to the middle, but no promises.

Good work,
Russell


 Comment Written 23-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 24-Aug-2017
    Aye, my friend, keep to the middle. Coyote with be watching.

    Quirky is where I like to live. You don't find towns like Boondoggle, or Four-Bits, or Loose Ends anywhere else. These are the places the fringe folk live--all in my head--heaven help me.

    You get it, Russell. I thank you. Peace, Lee
Comment by
trumby
 
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
I read all this in one go, mate.
Very well done.
I know that we can't bring back the past, but, still, nostalgia can be very pleasant sometimes.
I liked the way that the 2nd part was mainly told from the POV of the sheriff


 Comment Written 23-Aug-2017


Comment by
kiwisteveh
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Exceptional
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Read the whole thing in one go - better that way! No doubt I missed a few references along the way, not bein' Apache an' all, but I enjoyed it anyway. Touches of 'The day the Music Died' and 'the Night they drove old Dixie down' and other 'mourning songs'.

The characters seem authentic, even the slightly bizarre converted Apache Billy-Ray Two-Feathers. There are fewer zippy one-liners than usual, befitting the sadness of the occasion, although you still managed to squeeze a couple of zingers in there.

Pleasing contrast too between the mystical Indian ways and the more down-to-earth townspeople. I liked that you didn't have to explain the protesting history of Billy-Ray - just that it obviously existed. Nor the cunning Coyote. The Sheriff makes a convenient foil for Billy-Ray and a sympathetic POV without dominating the story.

Good stuff.


 Comment Written 23-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 29-Aug-2017
    Thanks for reading it in one go, Steve. At 4200 words, I'd surpassed the attention span of most FS readers. I split the story, but posted them simultaneously. Interestingly, several readers only read and reviewed Part 2--the shorter of the installments. Can't say as I value those reviews at all.

    The decaying road, the music, the mystical pseudo-Injun, and the empathetic Sheriff let me trade some one-liners for more philosophical reverie. It even became topical for me. I see Trump as Coyote.

    Anyway, Steve, thanks for always reading what a write--not all readers do.

    Thanks again. Peace, Lee

Comment by
pome lover
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Katharine Folkes
 
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  Rank:  134
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Another winner. Love "pseudo Apache". Loved the whole thing.
Characters, dialogue, the works - wonderful.
Not going to pester you with more questions, but you should be published. Anyway, I loved it. Keep 'em comin'.
Katharine - pome lover


 Comment Written 23-Aug-2017


Comment by
EverInParadise
 
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Love it. Love it. Love it. Such a good story and told so well. You have a fan in me. I look forward to each new page. Got a little strange that from one paragraph to the next the Sherriff was suddenly waking up and still on the stanchion. Don't tell me I'm going to miss the BIG WAKE. Come on.


 Comment Written 22-Aug-2017


Comment by
Auto-Manic
 
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Great stuff Mr. Humpwhistle! I'll try not to be redundant with the praise, but, Oh, what the hell, damn good shit, Maynard. Out of all this just a couple of things poked me:

"When everythin' you do is symbolic, Sheriff, a world-famous neon sign makes a hell of a symbol, don't you think?  Coyote was right about bulldozers--so yesterday.  But chained to this iconic sign?  You and me are probably going viral on the Internet right now."

This dialog for Billy Ray seems to be a little out of context here. Symbolic? Iconic? Viral on the Internet? Hm.

I wondered about Sheriff cars's ie, Sherrif's car. But your're the guru with that stuff.

Great story. Moved along well, dialog moved the story along well, and the smattering of words we don't usually see was a great touch. Billy sounded much more Navajo than Apache. But, Billy probably picked the one most attractive to him. (five tribes of Apache in AZ) And Boondoggle, Ha! Got it right this time, still dot the landscape along 66. And Mr. Humpwhistle, breaking it up into part one and two was a very good choice. It drew me into part two, and both parts were at a consumable length.
Good job, I hope all this goes into print so I can get a copy.
See ya in Joe's along Rt. 66 where the elk mounts are all Boon and Crocket.
Aho! Matakawasin! (to all my ancestors)
AM


 Comment Written 22-Aug-2017


Comment by
c_lucas
 
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Yesterdays have a bad habit
Of turning into Tomorrows
What had been
should be, again
***
This is very well written and deserves a ton of sixes. There is no way to bring back yesterday. Progress moves on.


 Comment Written 22-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 04-Sep-2017
    Thanks so much, Charlie. I wonder if future generations will be enamored of our 'monuments'?
    Hard to believe, but something in our DNA seems to lure us to the past.

    Thanks again. Peace, Lee

reply by c_lucas on 04-Sep-2017
    These statues are part of American History.
Comment by
Sis Cat
 
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Excellent
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Lee, this is breathtakingly real, poignant. It is one of your best stories yet and strikes a chord with me, especially during these troubled times of disunity among people in our country right now: "the middle is halfway between 'now' and 'next'. Good place for a cowboy and an Injun to keep the balance."

Yes, the middle is a good place for us as well, neither right nor left. Great use of symbolism.

Last Friday my family visited a Black Bear Restaurant along I-5 after attending the military burial of my Uncle Lee. The restaurant dressed itself as a classic dinner from the 1950s, so a lot of details in your story resonated with me like the road-themed music played in the jukebox. (Black Bear had a working jukebox.) This line also spoke to me because I had followed my uncle's hearse to his burial site at the National Cemetery: The assembled throng studied the Sheriff car's slow, dirge-like approach.

Here is another thing that touched me because of its changed perspective:

To Jeffords, as he picked his way down the outside steps, the sign, which he'd seen a million times before, seemed bigger, brighter, more significant than ever before. He tried to chalk up the impression to some logical phenomenon, but logic failed him. I really have gone native.

The tender, symbolic conversation between Jeffords and Billy Ray binds the story together as the road once bound America together and we must bind together in a middle ground today.

I strongly suggest you submit the entire story to One Story, it is a journal that publishes only one 3,000-6,000 word story per issue. I subscribe to it and can imagine your story there:

https://www.one-story.com/?page=submit

Thank you for sharing and remembering.


 Comment Written 22-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 04-Sep-2017
    Thanks for this very personalized review, Andre. And, my condolences regarding your uncle.
    The road has always represented romance to me. I suppose I grew up in the 'road and motor' era.
    This story was both fun, and cathartic to write. So much opportunity for symbolism.
    Yes, the middle is the place where thoughtful people move forward.

    I'm unfamiliar with One Story, but I will look into it. I hold your recommendation in high esteem.

    Thanks again. Peace, Lee


reply by Sis Cat on 04-Sep-2017
    Thank you, Lee. Here's the link to One Story. I must finish reading the latest one story issue. Thanks again and peace.

    Andre

    https://www.one-story.com/
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