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About shatteredsmooth

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    Recovering Grammar Anarchist
  • Birthday 02/28/1988

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    Lake Attitash
  • Interests
    I love speculative fiction, dogs, and cats. Aside from writing, swimming, hiking, biking, and kayaking are my favorite activities. Sometimes, I get ideas about triathlons and never follow through with them. I like growing my own food, but fertilizer feeds the toxic algae I want to keep out of the lake, so my garden doesn't always do that well.

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  1. Congratulations!!!
  2. Content Warning: Violence (fight: kid versus ghost) Hi Everyone, I know I'm not going to really have time to look at this tomorrow, so I'm sending it now. The things M says when talking to the kids will seem like they come out of nowhere, but were set up in a newer revised version of that chapter that had the book cyclone that you haven't read. I'm open to whatever feedback you offer, though I am curious if you can picture where things are and/or follow the action. I'm sure there are typos because my brain and eyes are more tired than usual. Don't worry about finding or marking those. I know I'm behind on subs, so I won't be offended if you skip this one. Thanks! Sara Last time: Ch. 1-2: E's mom gets turned into a mannequin in an antique shop. A haunted doll helps E's and the shop dog escape the same fate. Ch. 3-4: E gathers supplies from Junk Junction and does research in a library. Then they venture out to find food and a psychic. They meet D, a 13-year-old psychic whose mom is missing. They think D's mom's disappears is related to E's mom and Mx.R getting turned into mannequins. Ch. 5-6: E & D do research in D's mom's office. D tells E more about the circumstances surrounding her mom's disappearance. In the morning, the two kids return to the shop, only to find the mannequins gone and the phrase "come find me" spelled out with teacups. Ch. 7: E & D return to Junk Junction, only to find the mannequins missing along with an assortment of other items. They go to D's house, and find some of the missing items are there along with another message from M. Ch. 8-9: E & D get back to the office safe. A makes a mess throwing books around and finds an journal that leads them to believe M is trying to come back to life as something more powerful than a human. E learns how to more clearly sense ghosts and their energy. The next morning, E, D, and A leave for the mill. On the way, they discover a river full of bones presumably stolen from their graves by M in an attempt to find A's bones. Chapter 10: The group gets to the mill. A disappears. The moms aren't there. E and D are ambushed by a group of mannequins that M is controlling like puppets. They defeat the mannequins and escape. Ch. 11: The kids hideout in the woods. We learn that M isn't 100% evil and that A was absent from the fight because he was caught in a memory loop. Kids camp out in a barn (this may get cut) and learn ghosts can't cross poison ivy unless they are in an object. Ch. 12: E, D, and A go to the house that M lived in when she was alive. She is angry. Objects go flying. M makes the kids fall through a floor to a basement where they fight off a possessed Santa decoration.
  3. For some reason I can't find the thread for Chapter 10, so I'm just going to put my comments for both chapters here. Something about the voice seemed a little off in both. E's voice felt rushed. Her whole part of the chapter seemed a little rushed. I also felt like the gaps between here and when we last read from her POV were big. I kept feeling like I was missing information about her standing with the sheriff and her finding out M over exaggerated his authority to suspend her. "But that was not going to happen. She could retrieve this." Retrieve what? Q saying M was griping about being on the move right before M gripes with very similar wording to what Q used felt a little repetitive. The strange message raises a lot of questions and makes me think that there is someone else playing that we haven't met. I'm almost wondering if this is the person or thing that is in the mystery room T and E had been near in one chapter. Granted, it's been a while since I read that so I could be remembering it wrong. I did like getting the little snippet from K's point of view. It made me curious to see what his involvement will look like in the end. Regarding Chapter 11, I was thinking the same thing as @Mandamon and @industrialistDragon. Q & M are very passive. They are driving, around, sleeping, and reacting to things. I am guessing the unusual animal behavior is because of the MTs, but even with that, it still just seemed a little random, like an unnecessary obstacle that is keeping them from getting to the good stuff. I was also trying and failing to figure out how the history lesson played into the plot and why it was important. M's POV was interesting. Talking about wanting "out" seemed a little out of nowhere though it definitely added some depth to his character. However, I'm having a hard time with how he seems to think everything is going wrong. He says it is, but the narrative seems to be showing things going more or less in his favor. Even though these chapters stumbled a little, I still invested in the story and am looking forward to reading more.
  4. I didn't send mine this week, but I will send it next week.
  5. Sounds good. If I don't get it done today, I will save it for next week.
  6. I have another chapter almost done. It's a little messy, but I still think feedback will help me focus my revision of it. It will be between 2500 and 3000 words. If you guys are okay with me submitting even though I am behind, I can send it today or maybe tomorrow. If not, it can wait. I've given up on the initial deadline I had set myself.
  7. Oh no! I hope you feel better soon!
  8. I more or less agree with this. Q & M are very entertaining, but I know so much they don't. The other POV characters seem to have a much more complicated plot line. As someone who hasn't read the whole first book, this didn't really stand out. Maybe it's WRS, I don't think the suit importance was really played up much. I feel the only reason I thought the suit had much significance was because of that one chapter I read of the first book. I was wondering about this.
  9. So I actually read this one more than a week ago and haven't gotten around to typing up my feedback. Overall, I remember being very engaged and didn't make many notes while reading. The biggest thing I kept thinking about was the order the chapters were coming in regarding POV switches, though I'll refrain from saying much about that because it would probably be better handled by an alpha or beta reading the whole thing straight through. Days after reading, I was still thinking about it, but I was also starting to doubt the plausibility of Q's ambulance heist. Wouldn't he just run into the same problem with the ambulance that he has run into with any stolen vehicle? Here are the few notes I made while reading ".'..pokers' M grinned at her own joke." I didn't get the joke. But I admit, I almost wasn't going to post this comment because it is probably the kind of joke I wouldn't get in real life, and people would stare at me until someone finally explained it and made it seem really obvious. Or my neighbor tells a joke or says something sarcastic and finds it hilarious when I don't get it. Long story short, take anything about me not getting jokes or sarcasm with a grain of salt. "feelings aboutu wrecking" Extra letter. I loved the last sentence of this chapter!
  10. You know, I have not. The only Stephen King books I've read are the first three in The Dark Tower, and I didn't even finish the third one. And I very rarely don't finish books. That probably has something to do with my wrong spelling of his name. I just always used to see tons of his books in antique stores even though they aren't antiques. It seemed like people had a tendency to sell random used books in their booths, and there were always a few Stephen King titles. Part of this isn't WRS and just me trying out ideas and referencing things you didn't read. And I think I'm starting to lose track of what is in various versions of each chapter. I like it too, but @Mandamon and @kais have a good point about the danger of that in a kids book. Kids do stupid things with poison ivy. I remember being a kid and my mom told me about another kid who got it really bad he needed to go to the hospital because he got mad at his parents and rolled in it (there was more to that story, I think). Then my cousins would always get when we played in certain areas where it was prevalent, and I never did. I thought I was allergic, because I had definitely walked through it and felt it brush my legs, and I'd never got a rash. My cousins didn't believe you could be "not allergic" to it. I rubbed poison ivy leaves on my arms. Believe it or not, I did not have any reaction to it. However, if I am not mistaken, repeated exposure can cause someone who is not allergic to develop an allergy or sensitivity to it. Had I done something like that again, I might not have been so lucky. Anyway, my point is that I think I was a kind of smart kid, but I was stupid enough to rub poison ivy on my arms. I would feel horrible if some kid read this and decided to burn poison ivy to chase off pretend ghosts. Plus, the initial set up for it had been accidental, and when @Robinski said something about Chekov's Poison Ivy, I decided I wanted to do something with it. So it's not even fully my original idea. I think if it was an adult novel, what you and Robinski said about it raising the stakes by putting the character in danger would be fine. But not in a kids book. What I'm thinking is keeping the poison ivy as something ghost tend to avoid or can't cross, but deleting any mention of burning or picking it. Then E could use it to corner M in their final show down. I may have to research this a little more. Earlier this summer I had been researching trees native to my area, trying to figure out what the local conservation commission might let me plant near the lake, and sassafras had been on a list of native trees I found somewhere on the internet, but then after researching it, I decided it wasn't what I wanted. I think some part of it, maybe the bark or roots, was toxic to dogs. I also don't think it was something I could've walked into a garden center and bought. But anyway, I remember it having some interesting properties. It might be worth researching for this. Thanks for the feedback!
  11. I do. I have a lot of freedom and very little supervision. Which means I can make my students read and write about dystopian fiction. They can compare social justice issues in the dystopian world to present day social justice issues. I think it's great. I'm not so sure about the students. But in the past, when I used book length non-fiction or traditional textbooks, I got very very bored. Granted, my reading class is the only one reading a whole book. My comp 1 read articles I assign at first, and then when they get to the research paper, they choose their own reading material.
  12. English Comp 1 and a companion course for students whose placement tests scored their writing as below "college level." This semester I am also teaching a class called Reading, Writing, and Reasoning, which is a 6-credit reading and writing course for students placed as below college level for both reading and writing. I'm good at teaching writing. However, I find teaching reading very difficult, probably because I don't teach it often.
  13. LOL It is an adjustment, especially after having August completely off, but I've had much much worse semesters. One Fall semester I was tutoring at least 25 hours and teaching 18 credits (6 classes) scattered across three colleges, and did my first I really shouldn't complain about 19 hours tutoring and teaching 12 credits (4 classes). But last spring, I had my 20 hours tutoring, but enrollment was low I only taught 6 credits (two classes), and it was sooooo nice. The pressure, of course, is all from myself. Thanks! Writing and my mental health are very tangled up. I always need to have a WIP, and by now, I'd been hoping to have the one I was sending you guys ready to send out to alpha or beta readers so I could forget about it a while and go back to working on the next installment in my Evanstar Chronicles. Starting messy first drafts with familiar characters are perfect for when I'm really busy. But I don't think I'll be able to focus on any other books until I finish draft 2 of this one and get it sent off to alpha or beta readers.
  14. LOL but it's winter in Canada. I guess I was wondering how preventable the frost heaves, actually were.
  15. My brain is not adjusting well to the start of the semester, and I've been completely overwhelmed. I am teaching twice as many classes as I did in the spring. Tabling at a con last weekend didn't help. My mental health is kind of shaky, though I hope it regulates soon. I'm sorry I haven't gotten to the submissions. I'll read them all eventually, but it's going to take a little time to work out when I'll have time to read. I'm also incredibly frustrated with myself because I have two chapters left to submit for Junk Junction. One is written but needs a little work before I send it in. Originally this chapter was supposed to be the end, but it's not, so I need to write one more. I had meant to have these last two subs ready to ahead of time, but I don't and now I'm not sure if I'm going to get to them before I start getting edits for contracted work. I'm going to try my best to get caught up on reading and get those last two chapters done. If my comments seem off like I seem over sensitive to your comments on my story, please don't take it personally. My head just isn't in a good place at the moment, and I don't want to just vanish from the group. If my comments on your pieces don't make quite as much sense, or if it seems like I'm struggling to give constructive feedback, know that it is temporary and eventually, I'll be more myself again.