The CuriousPages Sketchbook

Choosing the Right Drinks

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Joshua Jacobs (23 May 2011 posted on Authonomy.com):

Choosing the Right Drinks is moving and contains a powerful message. The dialogue between Clemency and Joseph is genuine and intriguing. I found myself skimming the paragraphs, excited to get to the next "intoxication," curious to see how the story ended. I love that Clemency, this lonely, "fat girl" has the attention of any man she wants at the end of the story not because of some physical change she underwent, but because of an internal change, a transformation of her heart and attitude. In the end, it was a great reminder to not waste away our days on material or trivial intoxications, but rather positive, long-lasting, life-changing intoxications. If the entire collection of short stories is this good, then I can't wait to read more.

Ivan Amberlake (19 February 2011 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletcher! A book that you may start reading from any chapter you like, that’s great!!! I would like to comment on “Choosing the Right Drinks” for a start. I have to say Joseph asks powerful and thought-provoking questions on the intoxication of life. You put the words nicely into his mouth. I love that. I think lots of people, together with Clemency, may find parallels between their lives and the life of Joseph, who virtually sobered up only when it was too late. I hope that story would make people realize that every second of our lives matters, and we should make it worth living, not just wasting away.

Susie Lovelock (10 February 2011 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Dear Fletcher, I have now read 'Choosing the right drink.' You write beautifully and there are some fantastic descriptions in this story - "His eyes burnt like a window onto an endless night of torment" - just beautiful!

The story brings up some very interesting points in the characters of Clemency and Joseph which I think are close to everyone's hearts. I think everyone has that moment in life where we wonder what we've achieved, the regrets we have and what a waste they are and we hold on to those regrets as the defining point of our lives.

Joseph has spent his life obsessed with finding the one thing that will define what it means to live and have a full life and in the process has wasted time climbing that mountain only to realise that at the top the view wasn't worth the climb whereas Clemency is almost so consumed by the fear that she is worthless and that no one will love her that she is afraid to live and so she regrets that she hasn't. Really they find the answers in each other - she learns that her caring nature is the thing that makes her visible and valued and that she is not alone in how she feels - we are just all human trying to find our way and Joseph gets to share his last moments with someone who cares and maybe finds the love he has been looking for.

A truly beautiful story. All the best, Susan

Nigel Fields (24 January 2011 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Choosing the Right Drinks is a valuable read, never trite; it is beautifully insightful, poignant, uplifting. This is going on my WL as I have to come back and read more. Bravo,

NA Randall (5 December 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletcher, I read Choosing the Right Drinks a few months back, and really enjoyed and admired your writing style. 'A Substitute Passion' covers similar emotional territory, and is of the same high quality. Your observational touches are a special feature, the way you get into the heads of your characters - who are a little lonely and lost - gives your stories a depth rarely found. When I get a bit of space on my shelf, I'll be happy to give you another spin, and hope to dip back into your collection when I have more time.

“jenny101” (26 November 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I read Choosing the Right Drinks and really enjoyed it. Touching and poignant. You write fluently and with great sensitivity.

Raven Jake (26 November 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Choosing the Right Drinks. There is some really good characterization in this. Each person is clearly defined and visible. There are excellent digressions in the character’s lives which really defines them as people. They’re fun to read and have unique personalities. This is a good read.

Raymund Dring (26 November 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Choosing the Right Drinks is certainly thoughtful and well written.

“elainanna” (21 October, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Clemency is odd but I love your portrayal of her. She is unique, and very real. She is honest with herself, so brutally honest, it's painful. Her happy ending is all about getting comfortable in her own skin and her decisions on the position her life is in right now.

“child” (19 October, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

The author manages to instill completely different voices into the characters of the first two stories I read. Clemency finally finds a true vocation/obsession and lives up to her name after becoming engrossed in the patch-worked story of Joseph's life told while he is dying. This was a poignant story very well told. The second, involving Mandy and Helen's fixations and inadequacies and an act committed in the name of passion, I found not so compelling.

Edward L Smith (15 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I read Choosing the Right Drinks and all I have to say is that I can't wait to get back to my computer to read some more.

Cori “corichaffee” (13 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I've read Choosing the Right Drinks, A Substitute Passion, Irresistible Temptation, and Samuel Pam's Salvation... and I'm fascinated... disturbed... and impressed. I love that you have stepped outside of the lines of normalcy on these stories. You have written things that I wouldn't tend to expect, which makes them all the more interesting. I don't tend to read short story books, because I usually find that the stories are lacking- that by the end of each short story, I am left wanting to read more. You have masterfully managed to do the opposite. You write each one in such a talented way that I am left feeling satisfied in the story. Excellent job and I am happily backing it.

Francine “Rhiannon65” (10 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Your stories are very good. I love some of the descriptions such as My Constant Companion. That hooked me. I also liked Choosing the Right Drinks too. I'm still reading, but I just wanted to let you know that I think that what I've read I like.

“lj reads” (7 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

You've got a 'knack' for short stories. I enjoyed reading Clemency.

“Jayboid” (7 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Well, well, well, Fletch, you've written a marvelous story here! It was a fine choice to begin your collection with. The first story in a short story collection is, I believe, like the first paragraph, then the first page of a novel. The reader will invest that much time to see if it is something he wants to pursue further. I read Choosing the Right Drinks and now I want to continue on. I'm taking a moment off, however, to enthusiastically back this. Congratulations on your success so far and best of luck in the future. Blessings, Jay Squires

Gavin Lane (3 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Hi Fletcher, I read the first story last night - a lovely vignette. I enjoyed the slow revelation in Clemency's mind that the honest, desperate confusion and questioning of the dying man had relevance to her own life. I look forward to checking out other stories from this book.

Jessica “Jaemomof2” (2 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Fletcher, How you brought the "life in questioning" about intoxications, it makes me think like what are we actually here for? You brought that question into a story to read about people instead of you bringing out in just words, if you know what I mean. You bring life to it, fantastic work! I know quite a few people who WOULD LOVE this book because they ask themselves this question all the time. So many people can relate, great work! Best of luck!

Bill Carrigan (18 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Greetings Fletch, I too like short stories and have posted 43 of mine on Authomony.com. I've read several of yours--with much interest and admiration. They're thoughtful, sophisticated, sometimes light, sometimes intense; and you're good at getting to the essence of your characters. I'm always critical of craft, but find no fault with yours, even in your long, flowing sentences, which are clear and economical. Indeed, there's a style to your writing that lifts it to a literary level. Best of luck, Bill

John Buchhalter (15 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

I can see this story transformed into a screenplay and as a Hallmark movie one day. Nice story! Backed with pleasure - John

Alonwi Carrovella (14 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Wow. I've only read "Choosing the Right Drinks" so far but I love it. I am ashamed to admit that I empathize with her. I guess I too have been obsessed with being lonely, unhappy and wallowing in my own "unloveability". Your story was full of emotion. You are really observant because you have portrayed human emotions so clearly. Your writing is honest, relatable and engaging. Thank you - for giving me this moment of sobriety. I'm going to try look at life differently.....

T.Rhyder (13 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

I read the story about Clemency. Incredibly deep on a profound emotional level. This is on my W/list and I'll be back to read some of the others. Good work!

Lynne Ellison (10 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Have read "Choosing the Right Drinks" It is very interesting and gives good insights into the nature of human life.

Lucy Heath (10 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Hi Fletcher, I enjoyed Choosing the Right Drinks. The theme of changing passions in life and how they may not necessarily be ones that are good for us is an interesting one. On my shelf.

“LN” (5 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hello Fletcher, Read Choosing the Right Drinks - captivating. You definitely have a unique voice - Simple, gentle but persuasive. Happy to back. this.

Cynthia "mscynthia" (31 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi Fletcher, I loved Clemency's story and how she found herself by talking to Joseph Milan. She had found a different intoxication in order to be happy with herself -- that was, to hold the hands of the ailing and to listen to their stories while tending to them. That word 'intoxication,' you use it in such a positive context, that the whole story of Clemency itself, became intoxicating for me! Cynthia.

Brian Bandell (30 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

I read Choosing the Right Drinks and Daniel and the Wine Stain. I enjoyed them both. You're a master at creating characters with depth that are deeply impacted by their backgrounds. The ending to Daniel's story was shocking - in a good way. Well done and backed. Brian

"Crowel" (28 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I've only had time to read Choosing the Right Drinks but I will definitely be reading more. This story is very good. It kind of smacks you in the face, but in a good way. Screw self-pity, idiot! (that was me yelling at Clemency) I think that its a rare thing to produce such a warm feeling with this amount of words, which you did by the end. Good job! I am happy to back you. Lacey.

K.C. Hart (27 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletcher, I read three stories and liked them all. First, I read the nurse in the hospice story, then Daniel in the Disabilities Office, and last If Only Cats Could Speak Japanese. I loved the third one--so true, so sad, so funny. The image of the librarian following men about may never leave me. I enjoyed these immensely and wish all the luck in the world. Caroline.

S. Vinay kumar (26 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi, To be honest I thought it would be somehow boring but it made me to read it completely. It just pulled me into it. really you have a great skill. All the best in future. Backed with wishes.

“scorselo” (23 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Very well written, good dialogue and excellent handling of a variety of themes. Backed and recommended to all.

Ben Manning (22 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Dear Fletcher, I love the flowing - easy to read narrative. your style is effortless and faultless. I have only read Choosing the Right Drinks and intend to read more when I have time as you’re on my shelf. I love the intimate observations on loneliness, addiction, psychological self absorbed human behaviour that so often can perpetuate what we dislike most in our lives without us even realizing it. I also loved the descriptions of the man’s loneliness and pain in not being rejected but being in a situation with a women he admired only to feel terrible about himself. A very sad tale. But an interesting look at peoples behaviour and a nice twist at the end too that sneaks up on the reader in the nicest of ways to end on a positive note and teach the reader. I’ve always loved short stories, from the great horror of m.r james to roald dahl and rod serling. It’s one of the toughest types of writing so well done!

Andrew Skaife (21 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I read Choosing the Right Drinks, and My Constant Companion; it was a fantastic tag line.

In Choosing the Right Drinks, Clemency is a complicated character and beautifully painted. She demands attention, perhaps deserves sympathy but sometimes I just wanted to scream out 'pull your socks up, woman! Sort yourself out!' The realism you bring to your characters is admirable.

Your writing style holds crystal clarity and a dry wit which are perfect partners for each other.

"...and then he paused, as if waiting for his cough to speak- as a disturbed dog will bark;" You wrap incisive perceptions inside intuitive thoughts and the result is a melange of writing that impresses me very much.

My Constant Companion. This was fantastic. It is phantasmagorical and definitive simultaneously. It is a dark, dark metaphor for incipient insanity and the problem that we all feel when left to our own thoughts for too long. You have mastered the short story (something I have never done) with a minimalist piece that strikes right to the heart of psyche and what it can do to us; we can never get away from it and when it attacks there is no defence. I am so glad that I took the time to read parts of your work. Excellently done.

Denise “drachat” (20 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi Fletcher, I've read Choosing the Right Drinks. It is very deep and very sad; I feel just as much for Clemency as I do for Joseph. Growing up chubby and feeling very unattractive the mind can be a cruel thing! The regret Joseph has for everything he actually accomplished is amazing. Well done.

“Oldwarrior” (18 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I have to confess, I am a sucker for good short stories. I found some here. I read Choosing the Right Drinks and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll be back to read more.

Kirsty "KirstyCrees" (15 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hello, I found your work very endearing. I wanted to learn more about Joseph and more about Clemency. The chapter is very deep and makes the reader think.. I did like the short break where an image of the builder making gestures made me smirk. You really delve deeply into the characters and the readers learns a lot very quickly. Great dialogue and the flow works well as the small stories, keeps the reader going.

I.A. Mazaleigue (15 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Unique, well-written, brilliant. You have obvious got talent. Backed. :)

“January” (15 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletcher, You write about regret, and human experience so well. You take the reader to that special place where they understand what it is to be human, a very enviable trait in a writer. Definitely backed. Best of luck. January

Nicole “nsllee” (14 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi Fletcher, This is sensitively done and has a wry intelligence. Backed.

Rosemary Peel (12 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I have never read a short story that gripped me more than CHOSING THE RIGHT DRINKS. I am not a short story fan as normally they are too light, too flimsy, too superficial and fictitious. Not so this one. I am happy to back this book on just this one story, but will of course keep the book on my watchlist and read on - and on and on! It has to get published so that more people can appreciate the strength and understanding in your writing. Thank you.

Cherry G. (10 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

I read the first 3 stories and I'll concentrate on the first, Choosing the Right Drinks. The story of a dying man in the generally heartless hospice was uplifting. I think the line that most reveals Clemency's low opinion of herself is her thought that the paunchy builder was so undesirable that he might be interested in her! But she draws away from her own thoughts of despair when Joseph grips her wrist and asks her if he has wasted his life. Clemency starts to listen to the man instead of responding with "Would you like some water?" or "Do you want a blanket." At last she says "What do you mean?"

When she listens she learns other people have regrets too, she's not the only one with the sorrow of her missed chance.. She notices even Sister Mary is obsessed with complaining and finding fault.

I liked the idea that once she started to listen to patients and to really care about them, her own wounds healed; although she couldn't save the dying, she could save herself. I think we could all learn from this because so few of us listen to what others say or even listen to ourselves.. Certainly, nurses have no time and/or desire to listen to patients, but most of us turn away in everyday life too. Turn away (or hide in the linen cupboard!) or answer with meaningless statements that reject our own or another's pain. A simple tale at one level but also a deeply philosophical one that touches on the eternal question: what is the meaning of our life?

Good descriptive writing with memorable characters and thought provoking themes. I enjoyed the following couple of stories too. The horror of Mandy's rage [in A Substitute Passion], taken out on poor Helen who was trying to act on the advice of her therapist and the next story [Irresistible Temptation] dealing with an awful realisation that a dream is not worth pursuing. I wish you luck with this collection and hope you find a publisher soon.

“CarolinaAl” (8 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Clemency is sympathetic and well rounded. Your descriptions are effective. For example, your many descriptions of Joseph. You enhance your extraordinary narrative with clever similes like 'as by a baby who had not only just spoken his first words, but appeared to have an intellect beyond her own' and apt metaphors such as 'that rough piece of work at the window.' Your dialogue reads real, is interesting and advances your story. Your pacing held my interest. CHOOSING THE RIGHT DRINKS is an intelligent, provocative short story.

Sue “Wilma1” (8 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I think you have done well here you obviously have a talent and have a strong writer’s voice. You layer a story very well and don’t give away too many clues too early. Choosing the wrong drinks – This was a well written philosophical piece with Clemency coming to terms with what was good in her life, not what was bad and missing from it. I liked the fact that she went to the linen room cried then pasted on a smile and got on with it. We can all relate to that. Your next story had some really good lines (A Substitute Passion) her hackles rose; her pulse quickened her breast swelled. Very visual we knew what you meant straight away, a great example of Show not Tell. Writing short stories is sometimes harder than a novel as you have to move the story forward very quickly.

Micheal O'Durcain (8 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Choosing the Right Drinks had, I feel, a happy ending in that Clemency found a purpose that satisfied her.

Helen and Mandy, though surreal, were surprisingly credible in A Substitute Passion.

You write extremely well, the story flows, the characters are not totally strange though they might appear so.

Craig Ellis (7 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Choosing the Right Drinks is a winner, a sobering look at life's intoxications. Great dialogue and a message for us all. Backed with pleasure.

 “GK Stritch” (2 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Dear Fletcher, I want to print this out and hold it in my hands, or better yet, have this as a bound book and read it properly.

"Clemency was a fat girl." The simplicity of your first sentence hit me immediately the way Hemingway does. She hid in the linen cupboard at work -- strong, clear, concise, sad, and funny.

From Joseph Milan, "I now have nothing to do but regret my intoxications." The saxophone replaced by golf -- hilarious, sad, and for those regretting intoxications, oh, so real.

Brevity is the soul of the man who knows how to write.

Elizabeth Wolfe (1 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

I read Choosing the Right Drinks. This is a nice parable for coming to terms with one's life and the good that is in it, even if one isn't a particularly accomplished or attractive person. The lesson is that once we start to have confidence in ourselves, we become more attractive to others. Very nicely done. BACKED -Elizabeth Wolfe

“AlleJo” (30 June, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Exquisite. Fresh clear voice, fascinating, beautifully written. I loved reading every word of this.

Simon “BigSimon” (30 June, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

This is a humbling display of creative virtuosity and versatility. Read three so far. Of these my favourite was Choosing the Right Drinks - a beautiful study of regret and redemption. The retrospective evaluation of a life as a series of intoxications before a sobering exit and the transformational effect of this on the aptly named Clemency is very skilfully presented.

Irresistible Temptation: with its distinctly Kafkaesque feel, I read as a satire on man's willingness to buy into a false dream, his inevitable dissatisfaction as that dream fades and our unswerving tendency to repeat the mistakes of past generations. -Or maybe not but either way, it was very interesting.

My Constant Companion: is also very thought provoking. Is this a study of paranoia or of depression? At the start I saw it as the familiar metaphor of being afraid of one's own shadow expressed literally, but towards the end, I saw the shadow more as a cloud of despair with the potential of leading to self-destruction.

Taken together, the sheer diversity of these three show enormous versatility and skill in the author. The writing is impeccable and the story content is both inventive and perceptive.

Quite extraordinary and highly enjoyable, Simon.

Gordon “homewriter” (28 June, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

You are capable of constructing the most interesting complex of characters. They seem real and unreal at the same time but nonetheless captivating. I wonder if there is a message, Clemency struggling and then finding salvation in a change of approach to her life. What an interesting trialogue with her, the dying, old man and the builder outside. I enjoyed your use of English: 'bear down on her like a mountain', 'as though he were hanging from a cliff edge'. Excellent. I will definitely return for more, Gordon

Kristen Stone (27 June, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

I always admire people who can write short stories. To say so much in so few words is an art I have not managed to learn. I only read two stories but these were enough to convince me this collection deserves backing. I wish you every success with it.

Norma E.Hilton (25 June, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I read the story 'Choosing the right drinks.' This was enough to impress me with your excellent writing. The story of Joseph and Clemency is full of poignancy. I loved the running metaphor of the disturbed dog's bark ( Joseph's cough) and the description of the builder nagging the wall with his trowel.

Melcom (25 June, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Your characterisation is definitely your strong point. Read Choosing the Right Drinks, and A Substitute Passion, and the time flew by which to me proves that I am reading a quality manuscript. Great read that I'm definitely happy to back your book.

Lynn Clayton (22 June 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Read Choosing the Right Drinks, and A Substitute Passion. Like all talented writers you understand and portray accurately the opposite sex. These are the sort of stories I would read when not on Authonomy.com. They're funny and moving in a concentrated way, perfect for the form. Brilliant characters. Backed. Lynn

Tom Bye (19 June 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi Fletcher. I'm still chuckling after reading Choosing the Right Drinks, and other stories. love the builder and his comments about learning the saxophone. 'he didn't like the sound' and more, well maybe its because i play the sax myself. these are funny and well thought out stories.

Marianne (18 June 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

After I read your story, I dropped my club, walked off the course, and never played another shot. Backed. Marianne.

Katherine (17 August 2009 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi Fletcher, Unusual stories in that three out of the four I read simply grabbed me in the first paragraphs and had my attention to the end. “Choosing the Right Drinks” accomplished characters with dimension, the "unloved" that I began to care about. Your finesse in storytelling was repeated. “The Price to Pay” lured me on with its humor and then went powerful. Very freaky. “Andrea Segovia” was hilarious and had almost a classic storyline, all the madness originating in that accident with Jorge. It is irresistible reading. Is "the swarm of insects she carried now.." a common figure of speech - I didn't follow that. These are experiences, not just stories – Katherine

Patricia “greeneyes1660” (9 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Fletcher, I read 5 stories of this complex, well written collection. It feels like a Woody Allen work to me, either you get it or you don't, either you love it or you don't. I love things that make me think and push the envelope but they are more difficult to market, so you need to find someone who gets it and will make it shine to it's full potential, because this is a jewel.

Like a Capote or a Warhol you know you are looking and reading genius, yet, it can be misunderstood. I myself had to re-read story 3 a few times, I believe I got it, but I still feel it could be just as good without being so ( for me, only my opinion) abstract.

You are extremely talented and I wish you much success...You will definitely have your own set fan base once your work hits the market.

Titus “Bonar Law” (7 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Fletcher, I have just read five of your short stories [Choosing the Right Drinks, Substitute Passion, Irresistible Temptation, Samuel Pam's Salvation, Daniel and the wine Stain]. Can I stress at the outset that I believe it is harder to write a group of short stories and thread them well, in so keeping the attention span of the reader. Depending on their mood, they might cherry pick as it suits them and never realize the full potential of what is on offer. Stephen King and Somerset M and Du Maurier are my particular favourites in this field. You have written about what I think intrigued you first and I think that is the most important thing. We write because we enjoy doing it and if anyone else likes it...then well and good. Daniel and the Wine Stain stood out most so far. The stories are all off the wall, very digestible and could lead you somewhere.

 

Feedback on the whole collection of stories

Kenneth Edward Lim (24 May, 2011 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletcher, Your stories make me think of Eleanor Rigby and all the forgotten people inhabiting the Beatles song. Your collection of stories focusing on lonely people battling inner demons to find relevance in life strikes a poignant chord in me, realizing that I could simply look around in my daily meanderings and spot one of your characters engaged in the very struggle. You have your finger on the pulse of humanity behind its guise of normalcy. Thank you.

Kevin O'Donnell (21 May, 2011 posted on Authonomy.com):

Refreshing and different. Little pauses in lives, snapshots of characters and their plans and struggles. I like these... Kevin

“dshinton” (28 January, 2011 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi. I like the frankness with which you speak, your stories are surprisingly short and to the point, which makes me think of Moliner's 'I Love You When I'm Drunk' collection. I often think that I must have a leaky mind so this was just my cup of tea. I definitely agree with the comment below, in that short stories are good for just pottering around with.

Tricia “Bradley Haynes” (24 January, 2011 posted on Authonomy.com):

I experienced your stories as buffeting around in dreams, meeting myself and different people, strange and unusual, dipping in and out of waking and sleeping. Different. Best of luck.

Claire Louise (12 January, 2011 posted on Authonomy.com ):

I'm in awe of anyone who can write a short story, I struggle with too much detail! You have some imagination and are clearly a talented writer.Good luck! Starred! Best wishes, Claire

“Bruki's Keeper” (12 January, 2011 posted on Authonomy.com):

These stories are very well written! They kept me interested, and were very easy to understand. The characters were really brought to life, and their minds and emotions were very easy to understand and get drawn into. The stories have great morals and a story line that keeps rolling, but allows the reader to think through everything that is happening. Very good! I hope to see these published! Backing it, and adding stars to it!

Samantha “Twist2010” (22 December, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletcher, All I can say is wow! I love the depth that the stories go into. I found myself in one way or another relating to the different characters. Great Work!

Athena Lyso (6 December, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

You are gifted with insight into the human psyche and a masterful way of weaving a tale with instantly recognizable characters to touch your reader.

“SaffinaD” (21 October, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Really enjoyed these. Unique, well written and took me through a range of emotions. A real rollercoaster read.

Clare “livloo” (12 October, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletcher, what a curious collection of stories. They are so unique and highly imaginative. Great reading !

“JPR” (4 October, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Dear Fletcher you have a wonderful imagination, I wish you every success. Book backed with pleasure. Jan

Jewels Diva (4 October, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi Fletcher, I do quite like short stories, you can always fit just one more in before you go to bed. You definitely have an imagination and your stories are quite interesting. I'm backing you.

D K Willis (4 October, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I admire anyone who can write short stories well. It is an art form that stands on its own and in many ways is far more difficult than writing novels. Your stories are very well done. Impressive in content and style. I am backing your work with pleasure and I wish you great success. Thanks for sharing, Fletcher.

Adrian Belisario (3 October, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Dear Fletcher, After having read a number of your stories, I have to say that you are a writer of great imagination and gifted with the talent and abilities to convey it in a unique voice. Perhaps I should say voices, as your stories demonstrate a wonderful versatility and depth of feeling across an array of situations. One is seldom treated to a writer with such a deep empathy for his fellow man (and woman) and able to draw the reader into their struggles with so little apparent effort. I think you are an author to be read and savoured (and perhaps envied a little, as well). If there's any justice your book will find publication. Keep at it; you're needed.

Bud Carroll (29 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Your stories are well written with an interesting morbid twist to them…. I backed your book and I have also put it on my watchlist so I can read more of your stories. Nice going.

J A Humm (19 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

What delicious ideas for stories. I bet you have to carry a notebook around with you for when these original little gems pop into your mind.

“kaysielynn” (17 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I read several of the stories here and found them quite interesting. You seem to have mastered the short story form!

Stephen Racket (15 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

A collection of well-written, thought provoking stories. Imaginative and skilfully crafted, a delightful mix. Backed with pleasure.

“kwestion” (13 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Entertaining and interesting stories, quite bizarre, like life can sometimes be quite bizarre. Backing it.

“chvolkoff” (12 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I don't know what to say, except that these stories are fabulous. I only read two, but I absolutely loved them! You have a great sensitivity to the feelings of women, (though you like them a little on the slighly "off" side :), and the writing is flawless, captivating, and the stories are poignant with an undercurrent of life, boiling underneath it all. Great job, and backed with pleasure! I'm glad I found your book, your mind is leaking some wonderful stuff!

Simon “SPW” (11 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

A fantastic collection of short stories. Many different styles on offer, and all the more entertaining because of it. Very well written, The dialogues are great and your descriptions vivid. The very best of luck with this and will come back to complete it asap. Backed

Alice “Pen Power” (11 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I have enjoyed reading your stories immensely. You have a great empathetic ability to be able to write about your characters with such understanding. I do wish you luck with your endeavours. all the best Alice

Miles A. Robinson (9 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

What a marvelously eclectic collection of extremely well told tales. Backed

Ron Mitchell (8 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Enjoyed your collection of stories. They are well written and entertaining. The dialogue drama brings the reader into the story very well. Backed.

Chantal “chantellyb” (8 September, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Very introspective and a good exploration of human nature.

PATRICK BARRETT (20 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I still come back to this collection and read another story or re-read the same one as last time. Your writing has a timeless quality and there is always a nuance I missed the first time.

Becca “ipaintwithwords” (19 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I love the blend of Literary fiction with comedy--some of my favorite lit fic novels take on that approach. I only had time to sample some of this, but the writing was good and I think lovers of short stories will enjoy what you have here.

Suzanne Adams (19 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

The shorts are thought provoking, contemporary and as far as I can tell very well written. Although I am not a fan of the short story, preferring something meatier I am charmed by this collection.

Diane “DMR” (18 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fantastically compelling and so masterfully penned that it is imperative and easy to read these stories - well done!

“DarkTwilight” (18 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletch, You have a writing style that reminds me of Flannery O'Connor. A darker tone, but very lifelike. However, you have something that makes it your own, such as how you carry out the plot, sentence fluency, etc. I'm very impressed with this. Backed. =)

“stoatsnest” (17 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

This is exceptionally brilliant. Maugham-like indeed. Backed.

Clair “chuckylivesinme” (15 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

These are really powerful stories. They are well written, emotional and beautifully scripted. These characters are very real and complicated. but with touches of greatness. I wish you every success with these.

“SingingOwl” (14 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

This is superb. Writing is engaging and punctuation is flawless (how rare indeed is THAT?) and your stories are terrific! I only read a few, but will be back for more. I love short stories, and I know getting them published is a long shot--but this is excellent. Best wishes! BACKED happily.

Justis Call (13 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Wow....these stories are reminiscent of old Twilight Zone tv shows. Twists of fate, as it were. Very creative.

“CamilleS” (13 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Great stories and writing.

Gurmeet Mattu (12 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Firm, confident writing and a fertile imagination at work here. Backed.

Karen “klfullertonl” (12 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

This is well written and you have some compelling stories. This makes a good read.

“flower girl” (11 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I love these stories. They have a depth of meaning and have rich characters. The dialogue too is realistic. I only wish i could write short stories this well !! Backed.

“beeloveks” (11 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

These stories are like photographs, brief moments in time.

Katy “Tari” (11 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

What wealth of genres to choose from. Each story has its own twist. Some are inspiring, others frightening or giving food for reflection. Your style has such energy that spills out in the words and grabs the reader.

I would love to have this book. I'm reading a collection by Deaver at the moment, just finished another by Raymond Carver. i think your work rates highly. Best of luck, Kind regards, Katy,

“Su Dan” (10 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

A good collection of stories. having only read one, l can see you know this genre well. good writing...on my watchlist...

Natalie Bouhmout (10 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

By far one of the best reads that I have read so far on Authonomy.com. I have only read three but I am dying to read the rest. It will be remaining on my book shelf for quite some time. Backed.

Linda Lou (8 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hullo Fletcher. what an interesting variety of topics your stories address. Very good.

“Sue G.” (8 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fascinating ideas! Backed with pleasure.

Gordon Kuhn (7 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Interesting. Surreal. Odd. Good. Frightening. I think all of the above depending on which story you are reading. I enjoyed the several I spent time with as I was hooked and wanted to slowly go through them. Good job. Backed.

“Cly” (7 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I'm delighted to be able to back this book, highly entertaining, well written, thought-provoking. Best Wishes

Baz “Simpko” (5 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I am not a fan of short stories. I always feel like I have invested time in linking myself to something that is then gone so quickly. That said there are a few little gems in here. And (this may sound strange) I felt the less sensational stories made for the better reading. I found the ones that could possibly be called mundane showed the true skill and sensitivity of your writing to its very best. So good work and well done.

Christian Piatt (5 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletcher: you have a unique voice and perspective here, which presents both a challenge and opportunity. I expect your work may be best received by a speciality publisher who leans toward fresh, quirky humor. Best of luck with this.

Jane “hikey” (4 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

A rich selection of short and original stories that are entertaining and each well crafted. You have a real talent in this genre and the effort that you have put into your writing shines through. I have enjoyed these well structured stories and wish you the best of luck.

“zrinka” (3 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

These are some very interesting stories about ordinary people in some very unordinary situations. Love the way you bring the characters out to life and intertwine them into the plot. It all comes to life on the page and almost jumps out. Nicely done. Backed.

“Geveret” (3 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Achingly spot-on insights into the human condition and the ambivalence of the human condition. Shelved.

“WriterJohnB” (2 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Very nicely written and intriguing stories, from the half dozen I sampled. I'll gladly back it. I find it hard to believe there aren't magazines that would pay for fare such as this. Take care, JohnB

Chuck “Mr. Nom de Plume” (2 August, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Backed with great pleasure. The work truly fits my definition of literary fiction--difficult to write but when written well (as this work is) a great pleasure to read. Chuck

“robf” (31 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

My only comment is that this reminds me of Raymond Carver, who is one of the all time great short story writers :)

Philip John (31 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hello Fletcher, Short stories are not always easy to write even when the germ of an idea is there. But you have clearly mastered the art from the outset. You write with style. The dialogue, where it comes in, is good. And the stories themselves are captivating. Well done!

Faith “fh” (28 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi Fletch, This is certainly an intriguing collection of works. Normally I hate short stories but yours are a definite cut above the majority. Your dialogue is full of sparkling wit, anguish and is often very thought provoking. A couple of chapters I read are incredibly deep and sad. The characters totally believable. You have a talent, keep at it. good luck.

“Erika” (28 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I appreciate the craft of the short story and look forward to reading more of your work.

“BoOkLuVeR_15” (26 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I read a few of them, and I thought they were very good. The ones I read were funny, but it was really well written humour, and I enjoyed them.

David Placeres (26 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi Fletcher, I backed your book with pleasure. It's painstakingly written and dwells on people we likely see everyday but rather ignore because of our own intoxication. Excellent!!!

Abi Knight (23 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Short stories are such a challenge, and yours are so much more than little chunks of fiction. Each one is very distinct, unique and strong in its own right. You use dry humour in an excellent way to balance tone and link this anthology together, but its the depth and richness of the characters that makes these stand out. On my shelf.

Jenny "bluewriter" (22 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I think that you have stories that people will either love or hate. You also have tales that will reveal layers upon layers with further reading. Your work is well done and shows strong talent. Good luck. Backed.

“celticwriter” (15 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Hi Fletcher, backing your book happily. I do appreciate, and enjoy, a good flowing short story. And yours certainly are. Have not read them all...but looking forward to doing so. I'm not a critic, just a mere scriptwriter who is jumping into the novel world for the first time. However, I can appreciate a good visual, and you paint well with words creating fantastic worlds. much happiness, jim

“Rakhi” (14 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

This is an amazing collection of short stories that inspire and touches the heart. I rarely come across a story that when read several times, each time it offers you a new insight, one that I can easily relate to and learn from. Your writing style is unique and makes the stories more richer and meaningful. I'm happy to have stumbled upon these and will be back to read more.

Joana Graça Moura (13 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I don't know much about short story writing but I know it mustn't be easy. Loved the pitch. Every single one of your stories appealed to me. You've really put a lot of work into your stories and it shows. What really got to me and made me a fan of your book is your ability to draw the characters in just a few lines. Congratulations on a wonderful job. Backed

Marija F.Sullivan (12 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Great characterisation, extraordinary eye for detail. Strong writer's voice. Backed with pleasure and best wishes.

Skip Mahaffey (11 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

What I loved about these stories is that you paint a picture, install the characters and then stand back and let them tell the stories. The pictures are clear and the characters in just a few sentences are clearly drawn. The dialog is great and the stories are marvellous. Anxious to read more. Bravo! Be Brilliant!

John Connor (10 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

It's nice to read a varied and eclectic mix of stories that go somewhere, or say something, rather than just being dropped into a situation with little or no idea of what's happening. Congratulations on a very nice afternoon's reading. Backed with pleasure, and I hope you have a success with this.

Robert Davidson (5 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Short story writing has to be the hardest format anyone could chose. How to create 3 dimensional characters in such a limited quantity of words, how to work out a story line which grips, how to leave the reader satisfied? You've managed all of the requirements. Well done. Definitely backed.

Andrew Foley Jones (5 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I love quirky shorts like these. And the intro to each one is a nice touch. Don t like comparisons but this reminds me of Will Self, the Maestro of this genre. really got me by the short and quirkies this.

Azam Gill (3 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

“Stories from a Leaking Mind.” The leak has turned into a welcome outburst threatening to become a flood of lyrical prose, and a starburst of rich characters. Conflict abounds, and runs throughout the stories. The short pitch at the head of each story is an act of kindness to the reader revealing, probably, artistic humility, a fairly uncommon virtue. Tongue in cheek literary and popular references establish the implied reader-narrator contract. The choice of signifiers in perception and narration harks to a classical style. Yet, since they are known and understood, do not strike an odd note. Their judicious use embellishes the writing and reinstates good taste. Thank you for a good read.

“missyfleming_22” (1 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

I'm kind of embarrassed you read my book before I read yours. Mine can never even hope to compare to your work! I've only read a few but I'm going to keep reading, which is rare for me I'm sad to say. There are so many emotions that are brought forth by your writing, to be able to bring those out in not just one short story but from all of what I've read is remarkable. Your writing is just awesome, I really don't know how else to put it and I'm being truly genuine. I felt like this wasn't something that should be on this site. Like I said, I'm going to read on and I'm sure I won't be disappointed. Thanks for sharing this remarkable work with us, it's brilliant. A little something for everyone which is exactly how a collection like this should be! Missy

“Mike LaRiviere” (1 July, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Fletcher, This is an amazing work that is reflective of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. The work consists of personal or autobiographic matter, at times expressed in aphorisms and maxims reflecting on the meaning of life and the best things of life. It proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently vain or futile and that the lives of both wise and foolish men end in death. The speaker suggests that one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life, such as eating, drinking, and taking enjoyment in one's work, which are gifts from the hand of God.

As I read the chapters, I did think that your mind was leaking the processes, challenges, fears, frustrations, and questions of life that all of us experience. This was masterfully penned to reflect the deepest thoughts of people at different stages in their personal lives as they relate to the lives of others.

I think that futility at life's end is the saddest of all fears when redemption of soul seems elusive. Often the answers to the greatest needs of one's life lies in the service to others and the giving of ourselves away in the process. This is so expertly depicted in your stories.

All of us, at some time or other experience depression, despondency, hopelessness, or self deprecation. You have used all of these and more in describing your characters and developing them to carry your storylines. It is one thing to feel down and out, but the ability to portray these emotions on paper is a unique gift that is given to a precious few --obviously you are among those few. You are an excellent wordsmith and a painter of vividly sad, euphoric, frantic, and ecstatic conditions of the spirit. Very well done.

Frank “Francesco” (29 June, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

A varied selection but one that does not vary in quality!!! Backed. Good Luck!!!!! Frank.

Chuck “Mr. Nom de Plume” (28 June, 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

Life is fast and short stories fit well into today's lifestyle. These works are among the best, in my opinion. Good luck. Chuck

Andrew Burans (22 June 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

I admire authors like you who can write a collection of short stories and move seamlessly from one divergent character to another. Your stories are well constructed and you build your characters superbly. Your descriptive writing style makes your work a pleasure to read. Backed.

Yasmin Esack (20 June 2010 posted on Authonomy.com ):

You have the power of the pen and connect extremely well with the reader. Your opening lines are catchy and the characters are realistic and attractive. Happy to support this.

Denise (18 June 2010 posted on Authonomy.com):

Fletcher hello, well your title just jumped out, grabbed me by the throat (well I should say mind) and would not let go. What a wonderful title and the ‘wonderful’ is a bit weak really. You are obviously a seasoned writer looking at your pitch, and the body of your book is easy, well paced and just love short stories, though I would think they are harder to produce. You manage to captivate early and keep me and I have not finished the book yet but will continue. ..BACKED for sure...Choosing the right drinks just stayed in my mind and that is the best compliment I can give at this time.

 

 

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