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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:32 am

Maz
This is fun! Dissecting hearts for Valentine’s day. Yup, it would certainly leave an impression on the kids – and seemingly so as well on Kid and Heyes. My initial reaction to this is from the Eagles, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!” Dr. Maz has you in her clutches! LOL Love the role reversal as Kid informs Heyes; you’re training him well. So there’s also a lab in your basement? Hmm…Watch out boys, Dr. Mazenstein is on the loose! Clapping!
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:56 am

Penski
Although not a missing scene, this has the feel of one, and a quietly dramatic moment at that. A bit of a role reversal, but very believable that Heyes would also occasionally find himself in that position. Very much liked the introspection on both partners’ parts, nicely set against a well painted, atmospherically tranquil backdrop. This is a lovely piece of contemplation, giving us pause along with the boys. Well done!
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:26 am

Cornelia May - Very angsty, and the descriptions of the terrible scenes were well done. I loved this line,'growing beyond their years in the matter of a few hours'.

Remuda - I loved the character of Polly, I've got a feeling this little diversion might lead to a lot of fun (for us anyway) if she diverts Heyes from his task. As always the dialogue was sparkling.

Keays - I had read this before in TOF, but it really works as a standalone piece and is very bittersweet. I hope it whets the appetite of others to ready your marvellous story if they haven't already read it.

Bison1 - I loved the way this unfolded through the internal dialogue of the very lucky lady in this story. It was wonderfully written and I think the device of not disclosing the ex-outlaw in question worked really well. So, one question. This Amnesty Appreciation Society - are they competition? It seems so, if one of the boys has been snagged already! We must be vigilant. Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:59 pm

Cornelia - How sad. A good account of what happened that day. Loved the last line.

Remuda - Lovely dialogue on this one. Polly sure was persistant, but that was good for Han. Hope he and Jed find each other soon.

Keays - A meloncholy snippet of a wonderfully written epic. How sad it must have been to see that photo.

Bison1 - Loved this! It was written so well. I wanted to know which one it was, but then again, I didn't. I DO know I would've liked to have been that lady! sm

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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:28 pm

Yope
Wow, this has quite an emotional wallop, and I love that it has the boys questioning matters of faith; it’s something we certainly don’t see them pondering often. The story is well paced and told, flowing nicely from one scene to the next. As well, there is some lovely description. You really got the boys just right here – Heyes’s grief is palpable, but toned down for the stranger, while Kid’s initial disbelief at Heyes’s story turns when he recalls Gabe. I especially love the portension of Gabe’s arriving without a horse in a bad storm; that certainly gave a touch of the supernatural without giving the story away at that point. I'm glad all turned out well in the end. Nicely done!
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:46 pm

I've spent a large amount of time reading this month's challenge stories and have not commented on many of them.

Ghis- I loved the detail you put into this challenge story and I felt sorry for the older soiled dove.

Riders- Forgiven seemed to be the overall theme of this challenge. Glad to see Kid finding a lost love.

Maz- I laughed all the way through this one, nice to see Kid teaching Heyes something.

Penski- Loved the idea of splintered hearts and Heyes having to deal with the fact that he went against his own code.

Yope- I really liked this story and I instantly knew who Gabe was, glad to see you didn't sugar coat the Kid's wound it would have killed any men eventually.

Remuda- I haven't yet read the other installments of Hopping Trains, but reading this made me want to. Please PM me with the link to the others.

Keays- Sweet challenge story, you have my attention and I'd like to see this continued.

Bison1- Another sweet toned challenge story. It's a shame that I couldn't figure out if it was Heyes or the Kid that had fallen for her.

InsideOutlaw- Loved the last line in this IO, “So, she’s got a big heart and you’ve got a soft one?”

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Last edited by Cornelia May on Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:18 pm

Cornelia May:What a vivid description of their losses! I like how you switched back and forth between the two partners and still maintained some similarities of their shared experience. Nicely done.

Remuda:I'm so glad you're continuing this story and now giving us Heyes's viewpoint. He seemed very off-balance without the Kid and I liked how disjointed his thoughts and words seemed. I'll be interested to see what Polly's role will be.

Keays:What a great snippet for the prompt! I remember this moving scene from Twist of Fate.

Bison1: Great to see you posting a story! Who could resist our boys and, of course, their proximity reduced her to being tongue-tied. I like how you didn't reveal which partner it was that she was interested in.

MissyBlu: Good to see you, too! I like how a face from the past has Heyes fearing for Kid's future and becoming protective, but I have to wonder if his partner would thank him for it.


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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:59 pm

Keays -- always impressed how you can fit TOF into a challenge prompt.

Bison1 -- So glad you wrote a story this month. The lady may have been tongue-tied in the arms of one of our ex-outlaws (and who wouldn't be in their embrace?) but she certainly isn't in her inner thoughts. I liked the voice you used to tell your story.

Missyblu -- another contributor I've missed. A very sad story, definitely heart-breaking and well within the prompt. glad you wrote.

InsideOutlaw -- a very heart-pounding chase. As always the Kid was there to watch his back. Glad he got there in time.
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:49 pm

Bison1 - Oh, lots of chattering in the head as she tried really hard not to fall in love, but we all know that's next to impossible, no matter what partner (dang Huggins for making them so loveable!). What a romantic line to have dinner tonight and every other night for the rest of our lives. Sounds a tad more like Heyes than Kid to me. Favorite lines - “Admiration Society coming in from the north, partner.” “They track better than some posses we've met.”

Missyblu - It's been awhile - glad to see you come out and play! Oh, does Heyes know his partner well and knows he has to get Morgan outta there before he comes. Loved his simple warning, “He’ll be here tomorrow. You need to ride out in the morning.” Glad Morgan sees it, too, though it breaks her heart to be so close and yet so far away from the Kid. Very nice challenge. Hope you continue to write!

Inside Outlaw - I could feel the thunder of the hoofbeats as Heyes ran from the posse. And just when he was giving up, there's the Kid to back him up. Love the Kid's cute comment about a funny time to take a nap. My favorite line, though was the end - “So, she’s got a big heart and you’ve got a soft one? I'm just glad your soft head didn't get you both killed."

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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:55 pm

MissyBlu - I felt so sorry for Morgan. To be in love and not be able to be with that person has to be awful. Liked the way Heyes let her know Kid would be there the following day. A sad but well written story.
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:02 pm

Cornelia May, thanks for your interest in reading the accumulated story. It's not posted in its entirety anywhere, and instead of hunting through six different lists of challenge stories, I've PM'd you a cut and paste of the text file. When it's finished, I'll be rewriting parts of it for flow and/or other purposes before posting in its entirety.

If anyone else would like a copy, please PM me and I'll send it to you the same way. Thx.
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:07 pm

InsideOutlaw - That was a heart-pounding story. Loved that Heyes didn't have the heart to run his horse to death. Glad the Kid showed up when he did! Wonderful story!

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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:43 pm

Cornelia May
I like your take on that day that so changed the boys’ lives, as well as the first-person narratives of each. It’s interesting how similar their impressions are – little boys feeling guilty at having skipped out on chores to go fishing but proud at the catch to share with their families and looking forward to eating it, when suddenly confronted by tragedy. As well, tying it all up in the third person in the last paragraph ends it nicely. You told us a lot in a few words. This obviously impacted the boys greatly, and by the end they seem somewhat in shock, trying to understand it all and questioning, but probably just going through the motions. Well done!

Keays
I see from the comments that this is an excerpt from TOF. I confess to only having gotten a few chapters into the first part of the story, so you’re way ahead of me here. However, without knowing what’s going on, I can take this snippet as the stand-alone piece it is here and see it as a lovely moment of anticipation, nervousness, joy, and pride in one’s offspring. Nicely done!
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:26 am

1) Ghislaine
Ah, both our downward travelling soiled dove and upward travelling beginner outlaw began as good Kansas farm folk, huh? Is that little yellow bird in a cage escaped from ‘The Picture of Dorien Grey’ and her about to be soiled dove mistress? Oh, that was sad Ghislaine – and without forcing the mood. Very well done.

2) Riders
I’m liking it already – just because of the town’s name.
Awww – HH is embellishing Alice’s story with his usual Thaddeus getting married motif.
Very nice vignette, Riders. Liked Alice a lot.

3) Maz
Hey! I got a name check! This one’s getting the cat’s paw vote!! (Only teasing – easily bought though I am!)
Dissection, huh? Yeah – ‘cos , like Christmas, Valentines Day is all about the kids.
Clever take on the title, Maz!

4) Penski
Ah, another sad one. If only Jed had taken that kindly Sheriff’s advice.
Nice and understated, Penski.

5) Yope
Ah, the swiss cheese we like to call Kid Curry shot again. Sips tea and prepares for angst! Smile.
Awwww – you are putting our HH though the loss mill, here, Yope. And possibly a few Kidettes too! Huge hugs for our newbie coming to play on the Challenge!!
Tiny piece of advice – take out the ‘That’s short for Gabriel’ early on. Don’t spell out for the readers – don’t need it.


6) Sistergrace
Uh huh. Methinks I see a historically significant venue and date!
The streets of deadwood are always a muddy wash! How that soap salesman keeps the wolf from the door is a mystery.
Very well told Sister G! Felt the tension even though we know what’s coming.

7) Cornelia May
Oh no!! Not THAT day! You are joining Yope in wringing our withers, huh? Must refill tea. Liking the echoing very much. Sniff. So much growing up in so little time.

8) Remuda
Oh, the hopping trains story! I’m enjoying that one.
Peregrinated? Peregrinated? Someone’s had the ol’ thesaurus out! (Only teasing!)
Just check she isn’t one of us before you climb in that wagon, Han!!
Bless! That was so sweet!

9) Keays
Another tug at the heart strings from you, Keays. Awww. HH all full of paternal pride.

10) Bison1
Hello Bison – long time, no hoof beats!
I am adoring the extended trip and catch explanation. Ah, the Admiration Society. Snickers gently. Yup, those gals can be a tad – grabby. And if you don’t bat your lashes, what the Sam Hill use are they??!! What a hussy!! Tripped my foot! (pun intended) She threw herself at him! Jealous seethe. Watch yourself, lady!
Bison – I utterly loved that from beginning to end, you cleverclogs.

11) Missyblu
Welcome back Missy!
Good hook! Who is Morgan Monroe?? The church hint suggest Valparry??
Oh, it’s a girl. Okay – reading on. Hmm. Don’t want him to have to choose? She’s a bit too angelic for me, Missy!

12) InsideOutlaw
Not polling – as you have a bandana to wash and iron!
Oh! I loved that. Want to hug soft-hearted Heyes until he squeaks!! And his mare. AWWWW.
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:39 am

Sister Grace - You know I'm a sucker for a story with real historical connections, so this well-written, rich in detail, vibrant with characterisations really caught my eye. Loved this. applause

Cornelia May - Oh, going straight for the jugular with a real tearjerker. I loved the line, 'growing beyond their years in the matter of a few hours.'

Remuda - I love Polly, but surely she won't distract from Heyes' search for poor little Jed. He's out there on his own! I can't wait for the next part of this to find out. As always, a master class in the use of dialogue to tell a story.

Keays - A lovely snippet from Twist of Fate. The way these vignettes keep fitting the challenges is spooky!

Bison1 - Welcome back, you, and your great writing have been missed. What a corker this was! I adored the character (or competitor?) who won the ex-outlaw of our choice, and her attempts to be insouciant, but failing. The following lines were short enough to have been uttered by a straight-talking man of few words, or a silver-tongued devil. Clever writing!

"“Have supper with me,” he whispered, taking a breath at the same time so it sounded nearly anxious.

“Yes,” she replied with her heart before her head could stop it. His arms loosened and their bodies separate slightly. She leaned back into him and stole a kiss. “When?”

“Tonight and every other night for the rest of our lives.”


MissyBlu - Another to welcome back to the fold, and so glad to hear from you again. Oh, Heyes looking after the Kid from a long lost love? Would I be that noble confused ? Really well-written and caught the emotional turmoil of bumping into an ex so well. I really hope we've tempted you back to stay.

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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:56 am

InsideOutlaw - Great story, really capturing the relationship between man and horse. Wonderful descriptive writing which really showed us the mounting anxiety, the chase, and the compassion for the animal willing to give her life for him. applause Loved the ending
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:58 am

That last comment was me, InsideOutlaw. I got 'gremlined'
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:23 am

MissyBlu- - So Morgan was a long-lost love of the Kid's, and she did the noble thing? The poor Kid didn't even know she was there, because Heyes told her to go? Oh, the tension and the angst. Very well done.

InsideOutlaw - The rhythm of the chase built up as the story gathered pace, and the loyal beast kept right on, and on, and on, for her human. I loved the scene where the horse stood her ground, and the line, "I just figured the craziest, most dangerous way into town and started there.” Great story.
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:49 pm

Remuda - As always, the way you tell a story through a conversation is just wonderful! I really enjoyed this tale of Heyes' side of the 'Hopping Trains' and I do look forward to seeing if Polly is a distraction. Let's hope not. Poor little Jed needs him!

Keays - A very sweet scene, and all the sweeter for having read the later parts of the story. I Would encourage those who haven't to read the series.

Bison1 - This was such a different take on the prompt, but I did enjoy this so much. It was amusing, and grabbed the attention right away. What a lucky lady, but I do think it was good that you did not identify the partner she got her claws into - sorry, won... I'm not jealous, honest!

MissyBlu - Morgan Monroe. Oh! She chose to allow the Kid to get away when he could have had a peaceful life, ranching with a woman who loved him. It was very interesting that Heyes saw that life as a trap, but very true to character.

InsideOutlaw - I am not a horsewoman at all, I am a city girl who knows nothing about horses, so I do appreciate it when people can bring me into their world and experience by using writing as good as this. I really felt as though I understood more about the way the rider and horse bond and communicate. Great job.
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Keays

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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:22 pm

InsideOutlaw. Nice one to close off the month with. Yes, they will give you they're heart if asked, but only someone who loves them just as much back will refuse to take it!

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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:52 pm

Cornelia May: I wonder if the first-person narratives are being told in hindsight--they seem too mature for children to be relating the stories but if it were from an adult perspective, it'd make a lot of sense. Poor boys! I really liked this line: "Why'd it happen Han, don't God love us anymore?" Jed whimpered.

Remuda: Wondering…was the terse style of narration because Han was so hungry, thirsty and tired? Oh, he meets a girl? Could it be Clem??? Hmm, maybe not--she has flaxen hair, aflutter (nice phrase there!). Nice description of the dilemma Han found himself in and his resolution to keep searching for Jed. This story gets more and more intriguing!

Keays: Aww, Heyes' lifeline. This passage definitely fits the prompt! That was a heart-breaking chapter, but wonderful to find out about Anya. I've commented elsewhere about this chapter so my remarks here are brief.

Bison1: Fun story! It could be either partner and it's fun to project. My favorite parts where the beginning with the description of what's involved in tripping and the reaction of the universe, as well as the brief dialog at the end. I liked this phrase: ...being a woman with only the appearance of respectability. Welcome back!

MissyBlu: And welcome back to you, too! This story could also have been titled The Heartbreak Kid and could have referred to any one of them. Poor Heyes--always looking out for his partner, who always seems to get in over his head with the ladies. Morgan sounds intriguing and I'd like to know more of her backstory. I really liked this line, because it's showing Heyes doing what he does best: She wasn't alone.

InsideOutlaw: Oh, Kid as deus ex machina! But of course! Loved all the description of the land and the riding--your personal experience always shows in the verisimilitude of your stories. Nice that Heyes treated his horse so well, as evidence by these lines that I really liked: Why should she die for his sins? He didn’t have the heart to allow that to happen.

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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:47 pm

Bison
What a lovely, lively piece of writing! I especially like the breezy, explanatory nature of the narrative. As well, methinks some of us might recognize ourselves, or perhaps not. For some reason, I thought of a certain actress’s trip up the stairs on a recent awards telecast, and so pictured her as the respectable lady while reading. As well, the president of the Amnesty Appreciation Society certainly provided some comedy, running all over town after her prey. You definitely had me smiling. Very well done!


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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:11 pm

Remuda - Indeed Han's heart is in the right place. Hope Jed is faring as well! It'll be great when you're ready to post these stories all together. Let us know!

Keays - Awww... Paternal pride certainly does make the heart swell! Lovely, Keays!

Bison 1 - Loved this, Bison. Read it over envisioning each scene with the former outlaw of choice. Both those fellas can be pretty hard to resist!

missyblu - This is very good, missy, and I DO remember Morgan from your story a long time ago! Glad you're back to writing and hope you'll continue this because... I gotta know what happens next!

InsideOutlaw - This was very good, IO. I'm so glad Heyes has a soft heart and didn't want anything to happen to his faithful horse. Some really good lines, especially the last one: "I'm just glad your soft head didn't get you both killed."

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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:42 pm

Ghislaine - I like that you made the reader work on who was narrating. Nicely written character.

Riders - good story! It might be nice to see it expanded into a longer work.

Maz - I loved doing dissections when I took biology.

Penski - interesting piece. I like Kid's response to Heyes' question about being haunted.

Yope - I'm not a regular visitor here. I think this is the first piece of yours that I've read. Nice first impression. Good flow to the story. Are you sure you're just 17?

Now onto the second half of the stories....
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PostSubject: Re: Awestruck Comments   Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:01 pm

Missyblu
This is an achingly sad and heartbreaking tale. Morgan is a well-drawn, very sympathetic character, and her emotions are palpable. The decision to leave each time has to be more and more difficult, and in the end, I felt her tears. So like Heyes to watch out for his partner after all Kid does watching his back. If you choose to do so, this seems a good plot to expand upon. Overall, though, it’s so good to have you writing again, and I hope your muse has returned. You’ve been missed!
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