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07 December 2008 @ 02:45 pm
The Long Way Home  

Dreamspinner is doing a lovely Advent Calendar of stories by all their authors. Mine is only one. When you sign up, you get one story a day until the new year.


Summary: Andy’s Mom sends him to his childhood home to check on the house for Christmas -- and he can’t avoid memories of the past, especially when Jake shows up on his doorstep to spark a fire in the unheated house.

And Elisa likes this one too!
jenna_hilary on December 12th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed Long Way Home
Hello, Catt,
I'm a fellow DSP writer, and I just read your Long Way Home as part of the Advent Calendar. I really enjoyed that story! It's very well written, and I found myself stopping to read a turn of phrase over again occasionally, just for the sheer pleasure of the words.

I also like the way your story flows. That's a big thing for me, that there be no logical disconnects in my fiction. I often find myself being pulled out of a story because my experience of life tells me that a character would not really act that way, respond that way, think that way. Your story flows beautifully from beginning to end, and you especially do an excellent job of setting the physical space in which the story unfolds.

I like the frame that you provided the story with the ESP-mother, that was a cute touch that served the story structure very well.

If I had one complaint (hey, I've edited fanfic and published anthology zines for many years, so with me there's always *something!*), it's that the story is too short to support the concept combined with the way you wrote it. This storyline, with setting and characters intact, would easily have supported a short novel, and it would have been better for it, I think. Which doesn't change the fact that I think this story is luscious, engaging, and easily one of the best in the calendar. Maybe it's just that I want more!

Just so you know, I've just ordered your other single Dreamspinner story, to see what that's like. I'm looking forward to more of your work. Got any novels planned?

Yours in appreciation,
Jenna Sinclair
catt_fordcatt_ford on December 12th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
Re: I enjoyed Long Way Home
Thank you very much. Yes, I've heard of you. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I can't think of a better compliment than finding out that you enjoyed certain turns of phrase. I love words and the challenge of finding the right ones and putting them in the right combos is endlessly fulfilling. Or frustrating, depending on how it turns out. LOL.

I'm with you on the flow. I always leave my stories alone for a while after I write them, because I find that missing links jump out a little better. Sometimes people in convos turn out not to ask what would only be logical, but when I'm in the flow, sometimes another train of thought carries me away. It's almost like holding your drawing up to a mirror so all the errors become glaringly apparent.

I'm with you on the length; it was a challenge doing this story in only 12,000 words. Being in a creative field in RL, I am well aware that all creative endeavours are received subjectively. I can't expect to appeal to everyone with a story, and I try to take that in stride. However, the natural insecurity that comes along with putting yourself out there made me take the modest approach. In the call for submission, it said only extraordinary stories of greater length would be considered, so I naturally said, well, no telling if it'll be extraordinary, I better stick to the limit. But I am naturally verbose, so I think a longer length prob will always suit me better. I just can't shoehorn people into bed at the drop of a hat, and there's lots of stuff that needs to happen for a relationship to develop. Okay, I misspoke. I CAN shoehorn them into bed, it's the relationship that takes time.

So I'm taking what you said as not only a sign of how perspicacious you are (because I agree, snork!) but as a lovely compliment.

I am working on longer stories. I'd written some to answer calls for submission, and also a few to have up to gain readership. But I find it very difficult to write to a short length, most of the time. I have a story in one of the Make Me A Match anthologies, and I went 5,000 words over the required length, went through 4 hackings and am STILL over.

I have two novels in mind, I'm in the middle of collaborating with Sean Kennedy on an adventure story, and one that needs editing before I send it in.

And I have another story on the site you might like; it's called Riding Out the Bull. The reason I mention it is because you just happened to get two that I wrote first person narrator, and I really don't do that all the time. I'm fine with 3rd person omniscient, honest! Snork.

It's just that the characters usually tell me how they want their story told and I usually can't budge them.

I really appreciate your taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. I have also signed up for the Advent stories, but RL is really kicking my butt. In a time when so many are losing their jobs, I am blessed as a freelancer to have a lot of work, so I've read one, Count them, ONE story so far. But I've been downloading and eventually I'll get to it.

Thank you very much. Catt Ford