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Short Stories

A Fortuitous Meeting by Shelley J Alongi Aviation Series story 1. An emergency landing brings a pilot and a teacher together in a m... [16,996 words]
The Attorney's Assistant by Shelley J Alongi About a relationship between a U.S. attorney and an assistant. Emphasizes positive co... [7,617 words]
A Taste Of Death by Frank Dunsmore Dective Schmidt with Homicide of the Chicago PD is baffled by several arsenic poisonings. He a... [5,669 words]
The Animal Prison by L J Milakovic A zoo from an abused tiger's point of view. The abuse is too persistent for the tiger, and he... [823 words]
Resistance by Shelley J Alongi The actions and thoughts of a boy facing the bleak certainty of death in a Jewish ghetto in 1943. [1,414 words]
Hill Number 18 by Shelley J Alongi A major recalls taking his platoon out of a mine field in Vietnam. [1,225 words]
Timmya The Totter - And The Rise Of The Dead Part 2 by Rose Trimovski This next story has to deal with the next adventure that Ti... [6,731 words]
The Perfect Gift by T J Richards A woman goes to the middle east and finds the most unlikely of things while there. [1,681 words]
The Old Horse by Joan Bentley I wrote this one for my Dad and Arnold Palmer, believe it or not. Every year I would watch the U... [1,915 words]
The Magical Publishing Pen by Mila Strictzer Vegas and the devil. [4,596 words]
The Last Leaf by Abby Steed - [1,875 words]
The Gnome From Alaska by David Soriano A humorous short story involving... a gnome. [1,427 words]
The Cold Afterglow At The West End by David Soriano A short story involving mystery and some element of truth. [1,666 words]
The Band Played On by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [1,486 words]
Tangled Web by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Treat `em mean and keep `em keen. [596 words]
Taking A Chance by Leigh Berry A story about facing fears while traveling in the post September 11 world. [679 words]
Sweet Child Of Mine by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The old lady had been brutally mugged, her son was sucjh a good boy, but would his thoughts... [1,843 words]
Scorn, Thy Name Is Woman by Norman A Rubin This is a story of murder committed by a meek little man upon his nagging and complain... [2,360 words]
Room For One More
Return Of The Hellcat (Erotica May Be Offensive) by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Please do not read this one if easily offended. Or even not so... [3,390 words]
Pact Of Joy. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Don't we all just want to be happy? [2,497 words]
Out Of Print by Sue (Sooz) Simpson A man, a boy, a love of reading and echoes of the past. [2,007 words]
One-Man Race by Sue (Sooz) Simpson He had only his nerves to rely on. One slip and the race would be lost. [664 words]
Etagere by Karen L Snyder Étagère--Set in the 1920's during Prohibition, a lady's husband is killed in a saloon brawl. She is wit... [9,649 words]
Dreamscape by Mila Strictzer A story about dreams. [4,963 words]
Death At The Conservatory by Frank Dunsmore John Benson watched Charles Manning sip from his water bottle. Throwing a smug, disda... [3,239 words]
A Darker Night by Albert Davis I think that in this world people all have dual identities and what you see is seldom the truth ... [1,507 words]
A Brush With Death by Frank Dunsmore Homicide Detective Schmidt with the Chicago PD visits the Art Institute to take a break from... [5,169 words]
Would You Like To Swing On A Star by Lisa Petro A short story of less than 1000 words about what is and what might be. [568 words]
The Pirate Ship by Kurt Kitasaki A short satire on employment practices. [230 words]
The Origin Of Our Five Senses by Stephanie Siegfred A children's story of how we came about to have the sense of taste, touch, hear, ... [591 words]
The Night Dancers by Moya Green What do you do when your best friend gets himself captured by the fairies? [1,522 words]
The Fantastical Adventure Of William Solney by Daniel Birnbaum A story to relive that freedom of youth which touches your heart an... [9,401 words]
The Elves And The Preacher by Norman A Rubin A modern version of the fairy story which tells of a goodly cleric and how he copes ... [1,603 words]
Roch by Sunny Cybersex. [289 words]
Mourning Glory by Sue (Sooz) Simpson One of my favourite pieces. Please note *This is not a children's story* It's the tale of a litt... [1,786 words]
Mortar Doesn't Breathe. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The house was inanimate, dead ... because her child was gone. [1,114 words]
Making My Way Back To You. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson She'd told them a thousand times to keep the front door closed, now tragedy had stru... [1,926 words]
Madness Becomes You by Sue (Sooz) Simpson She used to be someone, now she's several people, or maybe she's nobody at all, it makes no... [394 words]
Little Bird by Sue (Sooz) Simpson He liked fragile things [1,406 words]
Knockers by Sue (Sooz) Simpson It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. [2,210 words]
Just The Ticket by Sue (Sooz) Simpson You pays your money and you takes your chances. [5,177 words]
I've Always Wanted To Write... But! by Sue (Sooz) Simpson There's always an excuse if you want to find one. [510 words]
Is The Toilet Roll Half Full Or Half Empty by Sue (Sooz) Simpson It's hard when you're at bursting point. [423 words]
Airport Interrogation by Bryan Caron Susan thinks all men are jerks and doesn't feel she will ever find the right man until on... [2,579 words]
A Story With No Beginning by Bryan Caron A young writer wants to tell a fantastical tale but canot come up with a good beginni... [2,120 words]
A Date With Destiny by Stephanie Siegfred A suicide victim reflects upon her life and her fatal decision to end it when she is given ... [1,996 words]
The Wishfish by Moya Green Doris stared down at the kipper. The kipper stared back. "Don't eat me," it said. [1,861 words]
The Waiting Man by Dave Furniss - [577 words]
The Troubled Sky by Caitlin Gallacher-Turner A girl by the name of Cira, recently turned thirteen, discovers that she has the ability for s... [3,565 words]
The Midget by Nathaniel Perhay A story about a midget! [604 words]
The Heart Of The Storm by C G L Davies A bad storm makes me think. [586 words]
The Ghost Story Of Yotsu-Ya by Norman A Rubin The reader is brought to Japan during the era of the emperors - The story, based on... [1,961 words]
The Day I Killed Ryan Watts... by Lawrence Peters Just a joke inspired by a fellow poet. [157 words]
Story Of My Life by Ryan Watts A very short story with a meaning so shallow you'll puke. But read it anyway! [246 words]
Sixteen by Eloise H Anson Story about finding love, and the confusion, pain and angst that walks hand in hand with it. [3,411 words]
P.S.-I Love You by Pauline A White Frankie was just a good old country boy.He felt honored when Della became his woman. She was sm... [6,861 words]
Peter by Nathaniel Perhay A boy and his day! [1,100 words]
One More Fallen' by Jordan S Wilson a shrt overview of the tragic shooting of Tupac Shakure threw the eyes of his bodyguard. [1,944 words]
Noone To Nowhere by Alina Marquez Short story about a woman on a Greyhound bus to El Paso. [1,294 words]
Jacks, Or Better To Open by Lawrence Peters - [2,139 words]
Ghosts... by Lawrence Peters - [572 words]
From The Backbay Chronicles - Revival Week by Pauline A White Sundays in August were special times in the South. You had Revivals... [1,551 words]
From Backbay Chronicles - Mama And The Po-Lice by Pauline A White This is a story for pre and teenagers. It is part of a series o... [2,981 words]
From Backbay Chronicles - Visiting Day by Pauline A White Sometimes the Spirit can hit you really hard... [1,337 words]
Eyes by Lawrence Peters For Parker. [339 words]
Dogsbody by Moya Green It was during the great thunderstorm that George decided to become a dog [940 words]
Blood And Honour by Bradley Postma A tale of skinhead life and death... with a killer twist. Critiques are welcome. [10,135 words]
Backbay Chronicles - Randy And Sandy by Pauline A White 'A boy and his dog' is an old theme. Love is even older, and more rewardi... [2,696 words]
Baby Secrets... by Lawrence Peters Something you always want but should never have. [762 words]

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Room For One More
The dream was haunting and wouldn't leave Mike alone.
[1,728 words]
Sue (Sooz) Simpson
I'm thirty nine, recently single again. I have two boys Cli' (pronounced clee) Real name Christopher and Mark. I'm a care in the community nurse and formerly (when I was married) an occupational Therapist working with the mentally ill on a secure unit. I love reading and writing and meeting people. I hate offal, seafood and intolerance. I keep dog, cat, polecats, rats and reptiles. And for seven years ran the second largest reptile sanctuary in Britain. Apart from having my lads, I think that's probably the most worthwhile thing I've ever done. Writing wise, I've been the main fiction writer for Legends magazine for three years.And have two books published 'Lizard's Leap' published by Quillusers, and 'Better the Devil You Know' soon to be released by Bestbooks.Um I drive a knackered old Astra, and ride a two litre trike. I live in the lake district of England, and am happy. :-)
[January 2003]
[email protected]
A Fork In The Road. (Short Stories) A paradox revolving round the lonely Holker Mosses in the dead of night. [2,835 words] [Mystery]
A Twist In The Tail (Short Stories) - [963 words]
Agony (Short Stories) The First in a series of Agony columns written by the unstoppable Aunt Nasty. (May be deemed offensive) [1,200 words] [Comedy]
Agony 2 (Short Stories) Morew from the irrepresible Aunt Nasty (May be deemed offensive). [1,077 words] [Comedy]
Angel Stew (Short Stories) The kitchens are in uproar. [826 words] [Comedy]
Anne (Short Stories) - [707 words]
Apple Of His Eye (Short Stories) Daddy's little girl, Daddy's little sweetheart. (May be deemed offensive). [1,742 words] [Drama]
Attractions (Short Stories) People stared at the sisters and called them freaks. [678 words] [Drama]
Bandit At Twelve-O-Clock (Short Stories) A sinister note drops through her letter box, but who is it from and what's it all about? [2,144 words] [Drama]
Barriers (Short Stories) Everybody's frightened of the prisoner in the cell at the end of the block. [2,913 words] [Thriller]
Breakfast In Bed (Short Stories) She loved her husband so much, and a sepcial man deserves a special breakfast. [1,633 words] [Horror]
Car Trouble (Short Stories) Boys will be boys. [496 words] [Comedy]
Cat's Chorus (Short Stories) - [1,332 words]
Cherry Blossom (Short Stories) - [435 words]
Cold, Cold Night.. (Short Stories) The night was beautiful but biting, she had to make her final farewells, a cigarette would help. [630 words] [Drama]
Creeping Up From Behind. (Short Stories) You can't ever really know what someone else is thinking ... unless they choose to tell you. [925 words] [Drama]
Dark Solitude. (Short Stories) A woman alone on the moors when a storm threatens, but this is no ordinanry storm and that is no ordinary lady. [1,434 words] [Drama]
Dawn Rising (Short Stories) He looked at his own personal sunrise every morning, yet longed for the warmth of the sun. [1,069 words] [Drama]
Deadly Persuit (Short Stories) Nature at its most cruel .. when it's interfered with by man. [1,541 words] [Drama]
Deep Blue Eastern Light (Poetry) I've never been to Budapest, but I saw an image on a postcard, it was misty and had a sort of dreamy quality about it. I wondered about the spirit of Budapest. Hope I've done her justicce. [204 words]
Different Road (Short Stories) Charlie is running scared. Will he find his way before his precious time runs out? [521 words]
Empty House (Short Stories) This had been her domain, now it was only a shadow. [649 words] [Drama]
Find Me A Place (Poetry) Everybody needs somewhere to run. [193 words] [Drama]
Finding Fleur (Short Stories) Katy desperately wants to find Fleur, but does Fleur want to be found? [1,727 words] [Drama]
Four Minute Warning (Short Stories) - [476 words] [Comedy]
Freedom By Another Name (Short Stories) He's an imposter [557 words] [Drama]
Furtive Glances (Short Stories) Always the last to know! [891 words] [Drama]
Galaxy (Poetry) Let Venus bear witness and Mars be our guide. [139 words]
Hickory, Dickory, Dock (Short Stories) - [991 words] [Drama]
Is The Toilet Roll Half Full Or Half Empty (Short Stories) It's hard when you're at bursting point. [423 words] [Comedy]
I've Always Wanted To Write... But! (Short Stories) There's always an excuse if you want to find one. [510 words] [Mind]
Jasmine And Gardenia Love (Poetry) - [417 words] [Erotic]
Jinny (Poetry) - [176 words]
Just The Ticket (Short Stories) You pays your money and you takes your chances. [5,177 words] [Drama]
Knockers (Short Stories) It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. [2,210 words] [Drama]
Little Bird (Short Stories) He liked fragile things [1,406 words] [Drama]
Lizards Leap (Novels) Four children buy an intricately carved frame from a school fair. A crazy old woman chases them desperately wanting the carving for herself. What is the mystery surrounding the strange frame? [5,753 words] [Adventure]
Long Walk Back To Jurassica (Poetry) Evolution and progress or three million steps backwards? [323 words] [Drama]
Lookingthrough The Window (Short Stories) - [401 words]
Madness Becomes You (Short Stories) She used to be someone, now she's several people, or maybe she's nobody at all, it makes no difference. [394 words] [Drama]
Making My Way Back To You. (Short Stories) She'd told them a thousand times to keep the front door closed, now tragedy had struck. [1,926 words] [Drama]
Memberwhen (Poetry) Memberwhen that mystical word of long ago memories. [189 words] [Drama]
Mortar Doesn't Breathe. (Short Stories) The house was inanimate, dead ... because her child was gone. [1,114 words] [Drama]
Mourning Glory (Short Stories) One of my favourite pieces. Please note *This is not a children's story* It's the tale of a little girl trying to be a child. [1,786 words] [Drama]
Mumbles From The Madhouse (Novels) It was her first day on the secure unit and somehow she had to see it through. [2,215 words] [Drama]
My Friend The Tiger And Me (Poetry) I wrote this for my little boy when he was having trouble at school. [942 words] [Animal]
Naughty Bunny Goes To Ibiza (Short Stories) - [552 words]
One-Man Race (Short Stories) He had only his nerves to rely on. One slip and the race would be lost. [664 words] [Drama]
Out Of Print (Short Stories) A man, a boy, a love of reading and echoes of the past. [2,007 words] [Drama]
Outrun The River (Poetry) The snow was melting fast and he owed it to himself and his seld of dogs to make it to safety. [145 words] [Action]
Pact Of Joy. (Short Stories) Don't we all just want to be happy? [2,497 words] [Drama]
Play With Me Please. (Short Stories) - [322 words]
Return Of The Hellcat (Erotica May Be Offensive) (Short Stories) Please do not read this one if easily offended. Or even not so easily offended. Continuing sexploits of Dark Solitude. [3,390 words] [Erotic]
Rush Hour (Short Stories) - [419 words]
Sally (Short Stories) - [2,268 words]
Sinister Music (Novels) She had no psychic ability, so why had fate chosen her to foretell of the spate of brutal murders? [6,114 words] [Drama]
So This Is My Life Then (Short Stories) - [517 words] [Comedy]
Space Walk (Short Stories) May Cause offense. [1,290 words] [Drama]
Spirit Dancer (Poetry) - [514 words]
Sweet Child Of Mine (Short Stories) The old lady had been brutally mugged, her son was sucjh a good boy, but would his thoughts now turn to revenge? [1,843 words] [Drama]
Tangled Web (Short Stories) Treat `em mean and keep `em keen. [596 words] [Drama]
The Band Played On (Short Stories) - [1,486 words] [Drama]
The Big Picture (Short Stories) The little girl was a great artist, but her subject matter was giving cause for concern. [776 words] [Drama]
The Comet. (Short Stories) Remember! [796 words] [Drama]
The Dinosaur (Short Stories) - [1,523 words]
The Half Empty Glass. (Short Stories) They had no idea of the horror they were walking into. [3,030 words] [Drama]
The Hhmmm Efect (Poetry) - [783 words]
The Iceberg (Short Stories) She had to break the hold they had on him... release him from his parents grip. [410 words] [Drama]
The Joker (Short Stories) - [2,032 words]
The Lovers (Poetry) - [124 words]
The Mark Of Jack (Short Stories) The start of something maybe. [1,044 words] [Drama]
The Old Enemy (Short Stories) I just hope I've got the names right. [253 words] [Drama]
The Rosary (Short Stories) May cause offense. [422 words]
The Spark (Short Stories) - [557 words]
The Thirteenth Station (Short Stories) - [8,024 words] [Horror]
The Village Green. (Short Stories) - [559 words] [Drama]
Three Mile Gap (Poetry) So close and yet... [285 words] [Drama]
Tomorrow Lies Beside Us (Poetry) - [239 words] [Drama]
Tusk (Short Stories) - [1,012 words] [Drama]
Under The Whether (Short Stories) - [1,626 words]
Watching And Waiting (Short Stories) - [1,253 words] [Drama]
White Icing (Short Stories) - [1,385 words]
Worlds Biggest Loser (Short Stories) - [114 words]
You Are My Sunshine (Short Stories) - [1,285 words]

"Normally I wouldn't suggest this. But please remove this story. You may not even realize it, but you are "NOT" telling an original story. You are retelling an urban legend, which is also called not surprisingly "ROOM FOR ONE MORE." I, and most people do not approve of plagiarism, and I do not think the original author would be to thrilled about it either. Please take this down, save what elements you can from it, but "DO NOT" try to pass it off as your own. Most people will recognize that you have plagiarized this work, although you may have attempted to give it a new spin. If you're going to tell this story, you should tell it properly, it has several variations, but there are a few standard elements in the tale, and it works best in brief form: A young man is to meet his friends at the local roller coaster or theme park. During his walk there, the young man is stopped by a hearse (starting to sound familiar Sooz). The driver of the hearse steps out and says to the young man "No need to walk... there's room for one more." Obviously the man is smart enough not to accept the ride. He then meets his friends at the roller coaster park. They agree to go on "the tallest, fastest, scariest" coaster. His friends get on the coaster, until there is one seat left. The young man approaches the coaster, and the ride attendent says to him "Room for one more." What a coincidence, the ride attendant looks just like the hearse driver... must be a twin. The man freaks out and runs the other way, as the roller coaster takes off, the man's buddy's wondering what the hell is wrong with their friend. As the man flees the amusement park, the whole roller coaster comes crashing to the ground. The end. This urban legend is at least 50 years old, that's why it makes me mad that you'd try to pass it off as your own, and get credit from readers for doing so. If there's a point to the story, other than to disuade a person from riding roller coasters (and other contrivances) it is about safety/maintenance on rides, which was a big problem during the 50's with the fly by night theme park organizations, which still exist today. It also teaches writers basic foreshadowing. Please take it down.--The Advisor " -- JA St.George.
"Your letter has saddened and disgusted me. I have never cheated or plagerised anyone elses work in my entire life. The only time I have ever come even close to it is with a prayer for my dead Mother which meant nothing at all to her so I re-wrote every word of it to fit my mother. I said in all the blurbs though that it was 'my' take on the old prayer. How dare you presume that you are so all knowing and bloody righteous that you can without any sure knowlege or proof attack someone's good nature in this way. I don't give a damn about the story, I had the idea and I wrote it without ever hearing of your Urban Legend, is that so damned unlikely? We don't hear many American urban legends in the North West of England. Taking the story down is not a problem. what has really annoyed me is that because you've heard a similar, or even a very similar story (that without a doubt pre-dates mine) with the same title, it HAS to be cheating. Don't you think that if I had been cheating I'd have at least changed the title? I've written over three hundred stories, I have a head full of ideas, I don't need or want to steal other peoples work. I have not atempted to give this a 'new spin' and I deeply resent the whole tone of your letter. you say that I may not 'even' realise, indeed I did not realise, I just wrote a story that came into my head like most of my stories do. But then you make it damned clear that you don't believe that. I will be scrapping this story, but I make no apology for 'passing it off' as my own ... it is my own. The fact that someone else wrote the same idea in a simailar way before me is unfortunate for me.I can not prove that this was written in all innocence and after the barbed nastiness in your letter I have no intention of trying to persuade you. If this had been pointed out to me in a more friendly way, then I would have no problem with the request, but your tone, your accusation, and your nastiness stink. I don't know if you've ever been accused of cheating before, if you have, more importantly if you have and its unfounded accusation, then you will know that it is extreemly unplesasant. I'd like all my stuff removed from the site please. " -- Sooz, Dalton, Cumbria, England.
"JA St.George, You have no proof that this story was intentionally plagiarized. it is a fact and an element of fiction writing that there are no new stories only different slants on ideas. You should NOT directly accuse (and that is what you are doing) another person of such a thing WITHOUT getting a bit of proof other than a 50 year old story written along the same lines. If you are and advisor to this site (or indeed perhaps an administrator etc.) then I think you should learn to put your theories in a more tactful manor. I think you should be VERY careful in future, never accuse outright. It might prove your downfall." -- Richard Harris, Birmingham, UK.
"Your first reviewer seems to have some difficulty understanding the concepts 'myth' and 'plagiarism'. Plagiarism involves one author deliberately passing off the work of another author as his/her own. Myths (urban or otherwise) have no single author and no-one owns their copyright. It is not possible to plagiarize a myth. Everyone is free to use and adapt them in any way they wish. Otherwise every writer who ever retold a myth, from Homer on, would be a plagiarist. The American version has similarities to a British folk-tale, and is therefore probably hundreds of years old, rather than fifty. Does that make the American version plagiarism? The story above may share the theme of the myth, but the issue of whether the writer ever came across any of the its versions is therefore irrelevant, because though the theme may be traditional, the story itself is new." -- Moya Green, Tamworth, UK.
"It seems unlikely, as the author states – whom I declare here to “know”, in the Internet sense – that she could have knowingly plagiarised some obscure American Urban Legend. That she would do so and then post the results on a predominantly American-used website seems equally unimaginable. Sooz is a prolific author and I have read most of what she has written and posted online and I see no difference in either style or content between this and any other piece of her work I have previously read. Accordingly I have no doubt whatsoever that this piece originated in her own imagination and any similarity to this supposed Legend piece is purely coincidental. Your manner, sir, in broaching your concerns leaves a great deal to be desired. In the UK it is considered libellous to publish an unfounded statement such as yours and my advice to Miss Simpson would be to sue for slander. Yours never to darken your portal again, Andy Cobweb " -- cobweb, London, United Kingdom.
"I think the discourtesy and arrogance of the way this "Advisor" has attacked one of the finest writers on Storymania demands some kind of reply from the administrators and owners of this site. I value freedom of speech more than most but I do not believe that it gives people the right to accuse others falsely and without a shred of evidence of things they have not done. I don't know whether or not this written libel by the (naturally) anonymous "Advisor" is actionable or not, it may well be, but I think that the editors and owners of this site should at the very least step in and disassociate themselves from this vitriolic garbage and apologize to Sue for the distress that it has obviously caused her. The trouble with complete freedom of speech is that it presupposes a certain degree of common decency and intelligence which not everyone possesses. If this kind of thing is acceptable on Storymania it is perhaps time that more of us than just Sue considered our position" -- David Gardiner, London, England.
"Actually David, it's me who would like to appologise. I got very confused. I thought 'The Advisor' actually runs the site. Therefore I thought his review had come from Story Mania itself not from one member. That's why I wanted to disassociate myself from the site. I've had an e-mail from the site saying that 'The Advisor' is actually nothing to do with them. I didn't realise and I think other people probably think he's part of the team as well. Hence the reason I got so stroppy :-) I'm still hurt and annoyed at the nastiness in that review but it's only one person's opinion. I'm leaving the story because to take it off is an admission that I've done something dishonest and I haven't. Obviously there is a story very similar written before mine and I aknowlege that. The site people also said that I can delete the review, I'm going to let that stand as well because he is as entitled to his opinion as I am to mine. Thank-you to the SM people for clearing up the confusion, and thanks to the people who have shown their support. It really is nasty to be accused of cheating. " -- Sooz, Dalton, Cumbria, England.
"Here's one of the sites I'd suggest going to, for another "Room for One More" story: http://www.snopes2.com/horrors/ghosts/onemore.htm, I'll see if I can return with further examples." -- JA St.George.
"And here's another example from a book of English Folk Tales, no less: http://www.btinternet.com/~tiddyogg/room.htm" -- JA St.George.
"There sure is a lot of British anti-American sentiment here. That's the only reason I can think they'd get on him like that, since he is right and all. He may not be the official advisor here, but he's the only one you've got, too bad you've made sure he can no longer advice writers who need it here. Thanks alot. I still had alot more questions to ask, but now there's no longer an Advisor. I guess we can all thank Sooz for that." -- Cadillac Blonde.
"I'd just like to say that I think Storymania shot itself in the foot by removing the Advisor. JA was alot of help to many writers here, though even he claimed he was the unofficial advisor, actually several times, and I don't know what Mr. Gardiner means by him being anonymous, since his name is right next to Advisor??? Many of the newbies may not remember what it was like when you used to ask a question only to have it never answered, but I do, and soon you will too once again. Unfortunately Storymania can only go downhill because of what Sooz and her people have done to sabotage it. I however will do my best to critique other people's work now that the "Advisor" is gone. Though I have very little time for it, sorry. And I suppose there will be even less reviews than there is now. I sure wish it was way back in the day when this was a review friendly site. " -- Markus.
"Come on people. No need to get hostile. Obviously she plaguerized this work from a title that nobody knows who authored it, and sure she had the Advisor-man removed from the board, and the board will probably spiral down even further because of it, but the Advisor-man had it coming. I mean he's always in other people's stories, telling them how to improve it, or telling them that hating certain races isn't okay, or generally sticking his nose where nobody asked him to. Without him this site will probably go down in a blaze of glory, but I don't give a damn. I mean can't we all just get along? " -- Bob.
"Wow! Single-handedly ruining a man's life after all the work he's put in and destroying an entire website. Now that's a tall order. Hee hee hee, just kidding of course. Those two other works look similar, but yours is an original take on it. I'm sure you probably just heard or read something similar, and not intentionally plaguerize it. Good luck, and it may take me awhile to read the other 300 some stories you say you have." -- Patina Williams.
"Two points ... 1 I never asked for the removal of The Advisor. He has every right to his opinion. 2 I have never heard of the other stories and reiterate that the idea was my own. It's proven that someone did it before me and no doubt did it better, but I have done nothing wrong. Perhaps if the Advisor had'nt been so damned nasty and unplesant then non of this would have happened. I'm withdrawing from this discussion. thank-you." -- Sooz, Dalton, Cumbria, England.
"I cannot believe you could argue about this. A myth or fairytale has no copywright and the plot for the story Sooz used is so simple anyone could have invented it. A child even. Think of all the writers who've done variations on Sleeping Beauty , the 3 bears, with or without knowing it. and to infer that this forum has shown anti-american attitudes is just looking for lumps. I hope you choke on your lumps!" -- freda.
"and as this is a review page, I'd like to say I enjoyed the story. I think Sooz is a real story teller, and good at building up suspense and maintaining interest. " -- freda.
"I completely agree with what you and your friends have said. In fact it inspired me to post my own story in the New Titles. Please check out "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" thanx I appreciate it." -- Patina Williams.
"You guys really ought defend me too. They took down my story, probably claiming it was plagiarized as well, though you all said that wasn't possible." -- Patina Williams.
"Freda, seems to be slightly incorrect. I myself tried to do a variation on a fairy tale theme and it was wiped out by the administration. It appears Patina Williams did as well. Of course, don't take my word for it. By all means try one of your own." -- David.
"I recall hearing a tale similar to this, not exactly the same though, mind you, when I was a kid at a fireside outing in upper Colorado, only it was like this Advisor guy said, where it dealt with a hearse and a roller coaster. I think the story was from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, but I ain't sure, it's been what 20 years. Anyhow, it's a good story, both versions." -- big al, Salt Lake City, Utah.
"Just because it's a recycled story, with new names doesn't make it plagiarism." -- Tomcat.
"Hqve you posted this else where!? I recail reading, nbut forgot wear." -- Arnonoldo Masif.
"Translation please." -- Anonymous.
"Look Arnonoldo, Sooz is a total b!tch and will never respond to your question, so don't expect an answer anytime soon pal." -- Anonymous #2.
"Sorry Arnonoldo, Yes I have posted it eslewhere. It's also on ABCTales and Getoutthere, but since being accused of cheating I haven't posted it anywhere else and don't intend to." -- Sooz, Dalton, England, Cumbria.
"Halo Ms. Simpson. I read on message board about this piece. I have found time to read, and now I comment. My english ist gut, und Ich habe lived in America for seven years now. I enjoy how American authors write prose, but I find British Isle authors to be too flowery in their wording. I know not how to explain. Too many adjective perhaps. Much like JK Rowling author of Harry Potter books in structure of sound. Also I comment on controversy your work has received. I see where Advisor has point and I must side with him, having read very similar work of American. Also it appear this man be right about site collapsing, perhaps it connected, I know not, but I am told he no longer advise here. " -- Oslava Gunnarsdatter.
"It's pretty simple baby, St.George took his ball and went home, and now the place is falling around down our ears, though the roof started sagging long ago. Anyway, how the hell do I get rid of all these stupid messages people keep sending. Once sumbody posts something in one of these reviews columns I get a stupid message letting me know about it and where. Leave me alone or I'll release my pet Uga on you again." -- Anonymous.
"Hey there fellow Anonymous, I see that we're both back here again. You have no idea how many people confuse us, despite the fact that your the misanthrope and I'm the poor gal who was forced to use Anonymous because some of the bastards on this site didn't like my reviews and threatened to hunt me down. I don't even know why I bother to stick around to help some of the better ones, even if it is just with a favorable comment or two. I probably won't much longer, now that I know this ain't the only site on the net. Anyhow Anonymous #1, in those notification messages that we all get there's a place at the bottom where you can choose to sign-off from receiving them. Just thought you might like to know, not that you'll appreciate it any." -- Anonymous #2.
"Wait a minute, I thought Advisor-man was a DUDE, and they told me he was YOU!" -- Anonymous .
"As far as I know he is, but I ain't him. Storymania thinks everybody is everybody else because they're stupid, and that's just one of the things about this site that really ticks me off, and why I use Anonymous in the first place. Next thing ya know they'll say I'm you, and we're Sooz. Anyhow I've had enough chit-chat for one night, and I think I'll make this may farewell post, I mean I ain't accomplishing diddley squat here anyway and no one reads my work. I woiuld say that you're getting the "anonymous" all to yourself Anonymous, but I think there's at least two others hanging about. Ha ha sucks to be you." -- Anonymous #2.
"So long nerd girl, and don't bother coming back." -- Anonymous.
"Get her Uga, and make sure she don't come back!" -- Anonymous.
"Uga uga uga!" -- Pet Uga.
"Uga uga achhhhh!" -- Pet Uga.
"Schlorp! Yum, yum. Uga tastes good, it was good to eat. Me escape from Jack Brown's Goblin series and now eats everything!" -- Grunt Woggler.
"That nerd girl didn't know what she's talking about, I received yet another one of these stupid confirmations and I can't find the place at the bottom where you sign off from getting them... Hey! What's this! What happened to Uga? Uga! You ate my uga! You bastard! Yeiiaaaaaah!" -- Anonymous.
"Schlorp! Yum, yum. Anonymous tastes good too. Me now eats things elsewhere." -- Grunt Woggler.
"Well, I read through your story Room For One More, and then I read through all your reviews (which I believe took even longer than reading the story). Please don't take this the wrong way Susan, but it is almost dead on with a version I've seen with the same title. I'll be politically savvy by saying it is a good story whoever wrote it." -- kristy.
"Me back now. Me wonder why people come here often. Me only want to eat story!" -- Grunt Woggler.
"Two reasons as far as I can tell, my hungry friend who almost ate me in the other column. First, in the message board there's this big ole controversial post that was put up a long time ago, and second people like to look at works that have some wild number of reviews alongside of them. They wonder why a story has 5,000 reviews when those around it have 3 at best." -- Kym Kendrick.
"Why have you not said anything about copied story? Schlorp!" -- Grunt Woggler.
"I assume you're addressing that to me. To answer your question I've read the piece, and yes I do have my firm opinions about it, but I am wiser than to express them, and especially not in this very review column. I do however think that since you have stated your comments rather clearly that you should move on." -- Kym Kendrick.
"Hello I've read your story, and saw all the controversy it brought. I want you to know that I really liked it and am impartial. I think it would be a good idea to bring it to a fresh audience of completely impartial editors. I belong to a group that consists of some of the best writers/editors out there. I'm sure they'd be able to say definitively who's right and who's wrong here. That is if you'll let me post this in its complete form to my group. I can then tell you exactly what they think. That would once and for all settle this argument. " -- Cam .
"Hello Cam. Thanks for your post. As you may be aware most of the above posts are made by only one person.I'm not sure if you are he in another ruse or are as you say an unbiased reader. to be honest I have no interest in the story. It's not one that I'm proud of and am sick of all the fuss. there was never any doubt that this story has the same storyline as the ones mentioned above, that is proven.But as I've stated above 'my' story came from my imagination and I left it to stand (along with all the comments banal and intelligent) as a matter of principal, because to take it down would be admitting that I had done something dishonest. The story has become something of an embarrassment to me, but I stand by what I've said all along that I did nothing wrong. I hope this doesn't cause offense but I'd much rather you took one of my pieces that I'm proud of to your site for review because I really don't care now whether people think I stole the story or not. some think I did, some believe that I didn't, I know that I didn't and that's all that matters to me though I was terribly hurt at the time. So if you want to take it as a debatting issue then please feel free. Thank-you for your post, I'd be happy to hear more about your site. :-) " -- Sooz, Dalton-in-furness, England, Cumbria.
"Well, it is a group, not a site. When I first started writing I was lost so I sought out a writers' group where I could display passages to other like-minded writers. Several great writing communities exist both on and off-line, but things in my life just don't work out for me to go to an in-person one. I found one that was looking to round off its membership on-line and managed to get in. We communicate by email forwarding system. I don't know of any on-line groups starting up now, but you might want to look around. Take care." -- Cam.
"BTW, since I'm feeling generous I'll take all your work, the good the bad and the ugly (please know what I mean :-)) since it wouldn't be fair to you to just take this piece, and it wouldn't be fair to take the others and leave this one, and show it off (in complete form and with your name). Then I'll come back to you. I know it seems like a lot of work, but since I really want to work to become a professional in-house editor I kinda need the experience, and besides it looks like you're tired of being trashed by non-reviews. One way or the other you'll get a review on every piece, though I can't guarantee you'll like it, these people are pretty tough. " -- Cam.
"Hi Sooz...geez, just a little crowded in here. It's a pity most of the comments are of no use to you. Anyway, I was going to read the story, but it took me too long to read the reviews, so I'll have to read the story next time, and then I'll tell you what I think of it. I did, however, want to post a message, because I couldn't help but notice this Advisor guy calling for the story to be removed, on the grounds that it was a rip-off of something else he had read. He then proceded to name an example, which he believes is the original. Well, it's not. I haven't read the story, but from the plot he described, it sounds similar to a 'true story' I read in a ghost book a while back. Now, unfortunately I've given the book away, so I can't give you the precise name of the person or the story. But I can still remember it, so here goes...the original was set in the early 1900s or late 1800s--again, I can't remember the names and dates. It was just when the first elevators were used, so anyone who knows when that was, will know what the correct date is. Anyway, the owner of a large building had a dream the previous night, in which he heard a noise outside his window. When he opened the window, he saw a man sitting on a horse. Behind the horse was a coffin. Right then--as the man looked out of his window--the man on the horse turned to him. Now we move forward to the following day. The working day is over, and the man is standing outside the elevator, waiting for the doors to open. When they do, the first face the man sees is that of the horserider from his dream. Petrified, he refused to climb into the lift, even though his friends tease him and laugh. The doors close, and the lift goes down. The man is still standing outside the doors when the lift crashes to the floor. Everyone inside died. Right, that's what I can remember. For those of you who are thinking I made this up, I'm sure a little research on the Internet will prove my story to be true. I wish I could recall the name of the book--I think it was something like 'the Guinness book of ghost stories'...I can't be sure though. All I know is that the story the Advisor claims to be an original, is not. And if so, then, applying the Advisor's own advise, surely all other tales taken from the original should be removed. Besides, was Stephen King the first to write about a haunted house, or Vampires?! I think not. And he also won't be the last. They say that all stories can be traced back to seven original ideas. If that is true, and once again if we had to listen to the Advisor, then everything written since then is void. I think not. ps, Sooz, I promise to come back and read the story, then post a comment. Just thought this might help. Cheers. " -- Rob Bell.
"Once again I've been dragged back to this site, kicking and screaming. Hopefully I can finally put an end to it, though I thought I had elsewhere on this board long ago. First off Rob, I completely agree with you. There is such a thing as a work being based on another, which is very different from a work that is copied word-for-word idea-for-idea. For example, though Frankenstein Unbound is based on Frankenstein "it is not" Frankenstein. My choice of wording, which seems like eons ago, was poor, and I only intended to do much as what you have done, and point out dramatic similarity between work that has come before. Many writers do not like writing such similar material to something well-known if they did so intentionally or not. Such coincidences don't get published and are thus a waste of the writer's time unless the material is very unique, springing from the same source idea. I stand firm in my final point, which I close further discussion on the topic by saying this is in actuality a good story, "not" the first to use this plot and related themes, but a good story and unique in and of itself. I'd also like to add that many of the rude comments above people may confusedly attribute to me, but I can assure you the problem persona lies elsewhere (I have better things to do with my time and another site then continuously attack people). I also wanted to thank Rob for pointing out yet another branch of this tale. I don't want to use that information to hurt Sooz, I just find it interesting for my own sake since the story and it's multiple versions, including this one by Sooz, are so well ingrained in me. I wish you both well, and you are welcome to visit the www.WritersBBS.com anytime you wish. " -- JA St.George.
"When it rains it pours. For those in the know I am Markus Smith better known as the Quotesmith. I was involved in this post as well, LONG AGO. To be honest I wasn't as riled up as some of the others toward it, and didn't see the big deal. My attitudes have since shifted dramatically since my first posts on this board from neutral to what I believe are helpful. JA was actually the one to bring me to this board, and despite repeated attempts he has not yet gotten me to commit to further going to the BBS, though I tout it for him often. My internet service is set up so that whenever someone responds to a particular thread that I've been involved in, I will receive a message. As I said, when it rains, it pours. First I saw the message by Mr. Bell, then one by JA. I will make a deal with you JA. Since you may not ever read this, I'll contact you directly by email to see if you accept. How could you refuse?" -- Quotesmith.
"Here is a quote taken from the Advisor, listed by Sooz under "A Little Assistance Please." Quote: "Well, I don't know about that Anonymous. I did however look as you insisted and saw that your "prompting" had caused Sooz to answer some questions that have obviously been posed for awhile. Whether she would've answered them without your "help" is beyond me. As for what has transpired between Ms. Simpson and myself on this board, I'm sure there is no love loss between us, but I don't despise her, in fact I've written several updates across the board stating that plagiarism wasn't the correct word to use. I still hold firmly that the work in question "Room For One More" is unoriginal in the same sense that "Teen Wolf" is based on "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" or "Frankenstein Unbound" is based on "Frankenstein," but I know longer refer to "Room For One More" as plagiarism (albeit title), because the content is an altered version or inexact match to a story that has been circulated for two centuries. I hope that answers your question Anon. As for helping her, I help many in need, even if they spit on me for it, (others than Sooz), so yes I suppose that does make me a touch crazy as one gentleman on the board as pointed out, but I will not be an ass when I "can" actually help someone." -- JA St.George. (2002-11-5) --End Quote-- Hopefully this helps you my friend." -- Quotesmith.
"Well, sorry, Sooz, but now I will post a comment that is of no help to you writing. I've just read the replies by Quotesmith and JA St.George, and I want to say this, to the both of them: I've been reading the message board and a lot of the reviews posted, and I've come across a large amount of them arguing about who JA St.George is, and also if Quotesmith is the same person. So far, I haven't gotten involved for one simple reason: does it really matter? I mean, come on, everyone is here is learn the craft and try to become published authors. Now, if that is your goal, then you have to judge yourself against the best. I've read almost all of JA St.George and Quotesmith's reviews, and I've found them to be insightful and intelligent, and I think their commments can only help the writers (although I will add that I've not always agreed with them, but that is personal opinion). I can't understand why, if everyone is here to learn, they are fighting and wasting so much time on this issue, when all these guys(or guy) are doing is being tough and honest. I'll say what they have said before: if you want to be a writer, learn to take critism. But to take it a step further: if you get a bad review (now I'm talking about a real review, not some pimple-studded teenager whose only aim is to insult)don't be in too much of a hurry to do everything that person says; after all, it's only his opinion. But if everyone says the same thing, well, bud, start chopping and changing. At the end of the day, if your writing isn't able to stand up to the best, and you're not willing to let people such as JA and Quotesmith compare it to the best, then do yourself a favour and hammer a large spike into the wall, because when and if you do start submitting your work, you're going to need an extra strong rod to hang all the rejections you'll get--might I add that those rejections will be printed and will contain no advice. I think this site needs more reviewers such as JA and Quotesmith. That's all I have to say on this subject. I will not enter into an argument with every petty person who reads this, and I will not reply to insults, such as those previously posted. After all, if you want to waste your time writing these threads, be my guest...I prefer to spend my time writing stories." -- Robert Bell.
"Thank you JA, that is very nice of you. If your original post had been as polite as this one I wouldn't have taken offense at all and would have taken the story straight off. I've since been posting my stuff on another site and have left 'Room For One more' off. Thank-you." -- Sooz, Dalton-in-furness, England, Cumbria.
"Hi there. I was reading Randy's post in the message board, and it brought this piece to my attention. I'd never seen it before, and completely missed all the controversy surrounding it. It's funny because St. George has been nothing but good to me, but a do agree he does have a tendency to speak his mind, though I think he's learned to think it over a bit before opening his mouth and intentionally or accidentally hurting someone. Anyway, I was wondering about your blind girl character. Was this to show that the handicapped, especially the blind are just as capable as any of us with sight, or was it done because you just needed a very sympathetic person to be in mortal danger?" -- Samantha.
"Oh, and by the way, when "did" this review column first start? It looks like it's been going strong for a long time now. Just curious as always." -- Samantha.
"Oh yeah, silly me, I almost forgot, I thought the story was ok, but it just didn't quite satisfy me. I sure hope you don't go and review my junk now, just after I gave such a lame review. Sorry! :-)" -- Samantha.
"Good lord you sure got a mess of reviews packed in here. Pretty soon they're going to run out of space to cram it all into. I haven't read any of the reviews you got since they go on all night apparently, but I imagine they say nothing but good news about how great this story is. One of the finer things I've ever read on this site, though the themes running throughout it are spooky as hell." -- Randy.
"Whatever you do Susan, don't ever remove any of the posts you've gotten on this piece. It's good to show the writers on this site who obey the rules and use it for legitimate reasons the difference between ignorant posters and the really good ones." -- Stephanie.
"Since I agree with the posters who mentioned this work is based directly on another, I want to keep my mouth shut about it, since I don't want to open a whole new can of worms. But I did give it a quick read through, and thought it much better than my own writing. Perhaps one day I'll be able to achieve what some of the other writers I've seen can do." -- Jennie Osmander .
"Frigteningly Cooooool!!!" -- Mystical Chicken.
"This sucked like a dirt devil." -- Franky two legs.
"Gawd! I was going to say that I hope Nic doesn't get ahold of this piece for your own sake, or that Bunny in Ibiza one, but it appears he might already have." -- Melanie.
"And blew like a windemere." -- Louie six toes.
"I also wanted to let you know that I'm taking your advice, and for Brooklyn's sake I'm going to stop posting. I doubt this will stop all the evil posts, but hopefully it will cut down on some of the arguments that seem to go nowhere. At the very least they make a certain person, not to name names, look very foolish... cough coughNic cough cough." -- Melanie.
"I'm going to be doing the very same as Melanie for the same reasons too. It would probably be a good idea to tell everybody that I was one of the four known Anonymous posters." -- Anonymous.
"That leaves just me!!! You run like rabbits and rightly so at my awesomeness! Begone cowards! I rule the board now!" -- Kream Korn.
"Of this whole thing. The only thing I agree with is that all of this should be left to stand, even the foolish parts that were written after Stephanie commented on them. It does indeed show how foolish some people can make themselves. I wonder if they are aware of just how foolish they are. Perhaps they should cool off for awhile, and then with a clear head come back and read what they have written then perhaps if they have any sensibilities about them they will wonder whatever possessed them to write such drivel. This will undoubtedly be the last you will hear of me as well, since someone on this board has decided to commandeer by online handle for this particular board, and thinks it sadly amusing to masquerade as me." -- Fact Man.
"I'm fact man, I likes to play with myself. Doopey doopey doop!" -- fact man.
"Nic rules! He's the biggest badass m-fer around! All you other wannabes can't come close to anything Nic can put out, so don't try." -- Kream Korn.
"You are so right I do rule. I wear the crown arounds here baby so don't forget who the hell you're playing with. Those who can't handle the best die like the rest. " -- Nic.
"Hello again Sooz. I was here at Storymania once, but didn't take notice of your work until now, when it was recently mentioned on the message board. From the way you speak in general you have a nice quality about putting words together, so I hoped the same might be true of your work. To be honest certain pieces as the Ibiza and the Aunt Nasty ones confuse me, and I'm uncertain if they are intended as humor, or are symbolic in nature, and perhaps only have relevance to the authoress herself. As for this piece I read it, and read through a sampling of the reviews. Whether a person believes you copied this or not is perhaps irrelevant, but I do wonder how the idea was inspired in you, obviously since this is a very important story you must remember. Would you please be willing to share. I wouldn't mind knowing the thought processes behind it, and it would help to answer Randy's question of what helps to make a good story. " -- maple.
"Hello haven't read any of the reviews but READER'S REVIEWS (70) DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED that's alot. You must be doing something right." -- Lora.
"I think that everybody who reads this piece really ought to read "all" the reviews too, despite there being "ALOT" of them. The reviews seem to be as much a part of this piece as the piece itself, and I don't think anybody can argue on that. People like Randy and Lora only get half the story. Most of the reviews on this story weren't caused by how great this story is, though it is ok, they were caused by all the controversy surrounding it. What it does go to show is that controversy is one way to get a lot of reviews. Just like all the controversy springing from this story probably was the impetus that brang many of the writers here into a tight-nit community battling together against negative reviews. All right I've said all that I've got to say. Peace out!" -- Samantha.
"This has ceased to be an embarrassment to me.Now it's just plain ridiculous and I'm pretty much keeping out of it. I do thank the people who have genuinely commented on the story eithing in support, because of the writing, or because they believe that I did steal this piece (their opinion is just as valid). However I wanted to reply to Maple because his/her's was a valuable question. Agony/Ibiza just a feble attempt at humour. This thread it bringing out all the worst pieces.I know this is going to invoke a load of rubbish on those stories too, but I would much rather the people wanting to comment (properly) on this piece went to something I'm actually proud of. Here's a sample few that come to mind. Mourning Glory, Picture holes, you are my sunshine, Grounded,Finding Fleur,Thirteenth Station, Lizard's Leap, Better The Devil You know. Far better use of time than this. Okay where did this piece come from? (apart from America about a million years ago) With short stories I usually start with a title. That's my normal way of writing. This may have been generated by GOT's title of the week or may have been one of my own I can't remember that. Then I think about the title, see if there's any twist on the words, any alternative definition of them than the usual one. I got to thinking about places for people with only one seat left in them and then came to the fairground ride. It went from there. The thing with the blind girl was a bit of both.I am a care in the community nurse and work with all kinds of disabilities. I see a lot of disadvantaged people doing a lot of amazing things. I based her losely on a client and wanted to show an independant feisty woman. I also wanted a character that the reader would care about. So both really. Lots of stories have prophetic dreams, this was my attempt at it. Fairground, one seat left, blind girl, the rest of the story more or less told itself. I agree entirely that if something seems like too much of a co-incidence then it usually is. But let me just tell you a truth stranger than fiction story. I finished my second novel recently. I have it copyrighted and it was sent out to my publisher, in it's rough diamond state mid December before I had even re-worked the ending because I wasn'tpleased with the frist draft so it wasn't even finished properly. Though the story remained exactly the same. My story pre-dated a news report by about two weeks later, but it was storyboarded and people told the synopsis, (and shown it, so it's proven) two years before. A news item broke after my book went out. Something that has never happened before. the person had the name Eve. The story is an integral part of my book and my character even has the same name as the person it happened to. (christian name that is) Strange? me stealing again? I can proove one hundred percent mine came first, just like the American Room came before mine. Sometimes it happens. As it is because my book was already with the publisher, I can use it as a marketing point for my book. This event is only a very small part of the plot but it was amazingly co-incidental. " -- Sooz, Dalton-in-furness, England, Cumbria.
"This is sort of related, so I'm posting it here. Then I'm gonna run before people start throwing tomatoes at me for posting non-reviews in the reviews. Don't you think it's interesting that when many of the readers and the writers that maybe had posted one or two stories, that when they left nobody much cared, but then when people like Jack Brown and Saber Kane left, those same people stood up, and went HUH?!" -- Mystical Chicken.
"I don't understand. A few times now you've said that you're not particularly proud of this piece and a few others. Is there any specific reason as to why, or have I missed it? If you're not proud of them then I must honestly ask why you put them up to begin with and put your name to them. And if you found yourself later finding them not good representations of your work, why did you leave them up... posterity? I can understand why you might leave this piece up, but what of the others? I just don't understand why you would say "This piece is complete, so I'm not asking for an edit, I just want to place it here though I don't want anything more to do with it" That seems strange to me, just like someone had dropped a naughty child off at a corner store told them to wait there and purposely never came back." -- The Other Susan... Susan Seladochi.
"I read this piece, because everyone was talking about it. However I didn't care for it, because I'm all about characterization, and believe that is what drives plot. All the characters except for Mel were written marginally, which I suppose you could argue you could get away with in a short story, but I still don't have to like it. I also wanted to commend JA St. George. He seems to be a very wise man, and seems to have grown for this experience, perhaps other such posters who negatively post on this board will learn from his example. Speak your mind, but speak it well." -- Paige Davis.
"Dear anonymous What the hell is the point of telling us your leaving when we don't even know who you are. " -- Rob.
"Four anonymous and you bastards still couldn't take down the man. Hos please you better bow down on both knees. " -- Nic.
"Excellent work here Sooz!" -- Pattie Ann.
"Give me a break. You weren't inspired by nothing. Why don't you just tell us the source where you ripped this off of before I have to use the Luftwaffe on your country again. What's next. No wait, let me guess, how about a story where a guy is driving along, and picks up a girl hitchhiker, and when he lets her off she disappears and when he asks the people who live at the house they say their daughter has been dead for years. Or how about a woman who is bitten by snakes in a jacket she's trying on at the Burlington Coat Factory. Or maybe one about two young lovers in a parked car alone at night who are terrorized by a man with a claw hand. Hell I could go on all night. " -- Springtime Hitler, action figure with kunfu grip., berlin, germany circa 1945.
"Read your story. Good stuff here. Also read the first five reviews and a few of the last reviews, maybe I'll read the whole thing to get a better idea of just what the hell happened, but not tonight. Anyway, it seems that this Advisor guy was rude and inconsiderate of the way you felt, despite making a valid point (this story has been done before, but I'm sure you probably already know that by now), but even so he seems like a downright saint compared to some of the other posts I've seen around here." -- Camel Stop.
"I noticed that I keep getting emails from Storymania where it says what people wrote in the reviews columns and in the message board, strange. Anyway I saw your name Camel Stop and this very message, and I wanted to ask you if you don't mind. Where did you get a moniker like that. If it is a real name I'm sorry I don't mean to make fun, but it just sounds odd." -- Pattie Ann.
"I'm getting the same thing with the email notices, but I think there's a way to shut it off. Check the entirety of the message you get. Anyway a long time before I became a LC, I was a newbie marine in the original Persian Gulf conflict Desert Shield, which later into it became Desert Storm. That was 12 years ago, and at that time I didn't know which end of the gun to fire out of! Anyhow, my unit was deployed in occupied Kuwait and the team leaders thought it might be funny if they could get a bunch of us green boot scum to try and ride camels. My real name is John Bjornsson, but since nobody can pronounce it, and soon was changed when I yelled out "Camel Stop!" The name stuck." -- Camel Stop.
"You've ridden a camel. What's it like?" -- Pattie Ann.
"Well they're kind of tall and stupid looking. They also sway more than a horse, and smell three times as bad as a horse." -- Camel Stop.
"Can't say I've ridden either, not too many horses in Seattle or camels." -- Patti Ann.
"I think everybody should at least once in their life, but that's just me. Anyhow I think we should move this conversation to the message board if we want to continue it, I'm sure Sooz Simpson has had enough of us babbling incessantly in her review column." -- Camel Stop.
"Here's another fine example of Storymania failing us with their constant logic errors. This story has only been reviewed 27 times according to the logic controls, and yet it's pretty darn clear, that there is 88 (including this one) reviews of the story, count em if you don't believe the review logic control (and I rarely do). How can it have only been seen 27 times if it has been reviewed three times as many times, the answer is that it can't. This site's logic controls are so messed up. Especially when you consider that the Top Title Hitter of all time around here is Edward Crayley's "Alien" at 1,010 hits when it only has a measley 39 reviews. Logically this story should be the winner of that spot, but this is Storymania where sense and reason seem to have no purpose." -- Blue Eyed Blackie.
"This is my last post in the reviews, promise Sooz. I just wanted to respond to Blue Eyed Blackie. Sir you are using false logic. You are correct when you say that the hits should be at least eighty-eight, and probably should be higher due to the fact that more people have read this than reviewed it, and since the number of reviewers is so astronomical it would stand to reason that all those people in addition to the ones who merely read it would make the number of hits much higher. So though obviously it hasn't been seen a mere 27 times, we really don't know how much it has been seen over 88 times. Therefore it could easily be 90 hits, nowhere near that other writer's 1,010 hits. But I do agree that it is strange you can get that few of reviews for that many hits, that's mind boggling, it makes this piece look like people have forgotten it when compared to that number. There could be a variety of reasons for it though like maybe he didn't like a few of the reviews he got, like oh say a few million of them, or maybe every day for six whole months he just sat at the computer and did nothing but enter the hit key on his own work. And I thought I had no life. Ha ha. :-)" -- Patti Ann.
"Remember everyone, the karma that you put out will return to you ten-fold in the same. You put out positive energy there will be a return of positive energy, but if you put out negative, than only negative energy can and will return to you. In short be nice." -- Karma.
"Do you really believe that?" -- Anonymous.
"Yes." -- Karma.
"Dear Sooz, I believe that Storymania is currently working on the problem of getting rid of this negative poster Nic, hopefully soon newcomers such as I and veterans such as you will not have to deal with such b.s." -- Sylvia.
"Very nifty, so says the fabulous..." -- Mr. 50.
"Is sylvia a idiot or did she not realize Nic left. I guess being a pothead hurts her mind. Obviously she doesn't realize people can't be forced to do anything here." -- anonymous.
"good job!" -- Walsh.
"In my humble opinion after inspecting this story I've come to the humble conclusion that this story is about as good as eating a big ole moose terd." -- Hans Blix Chief Weapons Inspector.
"I think she likes turds" -- scary larry.
"Hello Ms. Simpson, I’ve returned as promised. It has taken quite some time to present all of your pieces to my email writing group, but I’ve gotten commentary upon each and every piece, the exceptions of course being ones that ran over 4,000 words or that have been done by you in the interim. As you will see the reviews upon your work vary greatly, but hopefully much of it should help you in your writing experience. Ben’s Review: ***Hi, I've chosen this story as it was properly paragraphed. The other one you posted wasn't and it makes for hard reading. Good one, good ending. I liked it, it’s the best version of the Dream Warning tale sans the elevator or roller-coaster I’ve ever read. I've made some remarks below, as I do feel it needs a little tightening up. Kind regards,*** Mike had stopped here abruptly, as he became aware of his boss looking at him as though he’d sprouted a second head that spoke only Japanese. ***:o)*** The six of them messed around, laughing and joking amongst themselves and with the people before and behind them in the queue. ***Perhaps a simple 'in line' would be good here. You've already used 'queue' in the previous sentence.*** The day was fantastic and everybody on the planet seemed to be in good spirits. Soon they were at the head of the queue.***the next ones up?*** Dave and Sandra, Sally and Jenn all walked the gangplank onto the big ship and seated themselves at the very back. There was only one space left on the ride, beside Sally. “Hey mate, you okay?” said his new-found friend with the ‘Super Stud’ T-shirt. ***Huh?*** Mike didn’t answer, he was already pushing his way against the crowd to ‘freedom’.***No quotation marks*** The ship lurched a second time, one of its huge girder arms coming loose from its mooring. Mike watched in stupefied horror as the boat discharged its passengers. He watched them disembark messily onto the concrete sixty feet below. So many broken bodies, but Mike only saw the one. ***Perhaps you could add a little more slo-mo action of how the ride came apart?*** ---------------- Angela O’s Review: ***Hi :) I'm kinda new to the horror forum, I used to lurk here about a year ago and I never really posted. So here's my input*** The rest of the week flew past in a blur of meetings and presentations; he made his monthly bonus and the sun shone. He was the golden child of Spencer, Spencer and Hartley and it seemed as though his life was charmed. ***What's the point of this paragraph? It seems like a very quick transition from being in the shower to being the next week. If you're trying to show that he forgets about the dream, maybe after he's in the shower, he gets a phone call about his presentation, starts talking about work, and then forgets about the dream.....and so on. Then put in this paragraph about the rest of the week flying by...*** On Friday night he met the gang in the pub. Mel felt good in his arms, and he was so proud of his clever girlfriend. There may have been girls in the pub that night who were more classically beautiful, but none could hold a candle to his Mel when it came to comfortable prettiness, quiet intelligence and bright personality. ***I just have to comment that after reading the rest of the story, I don't know if I would classify Mel as "quiet", even in referring to her intelligence. She seems pretty outspoken, is she not?*** She was tiny and slim and she felt so small and vulnerable in the circle of his huge arms. Mike felt very protective towards her, which would have mortified Mel had she known. She may only be little but she considered herself a force to be reckoned with, and had a tidy temper on her. ***Try: "She may have been little, but she considered herself....*** Mike had stopped here abruptly, as he became aware of his boss looking at him as though he’d sprouted a second head that spoke only Japanese. ***Hahaha! This is good, and I like Mike's description!*** ***I am a bit confused as to the timeline here. First they went to the theme park and did some dancing in the evening. Then it was the next day. Are they still at the theme park - because I thought you said they would be there for one day. Then he reminisces(?) about talking to his boss at work, but it made me think that he was actually at work. Then there's the paragraph about Mel's 4 senses. I have a suggestion: Could you break up the reminiscing with some dialogue to show that they are still at the theme park? Intersperse some "showing" with the "telling"?*** Mike watched silently as his world did just that. ***Horrible, creepy ending! :( I love theme park rides, but my fear is exactly that! I think you set up the relationship between Mike and Mel very well, and made me feel their devotion for each other. I think the characters are described very well too. So my only (minor) nitpick is a bit more "showing" maybe? Good job :) Cheers, Angela 0>:)*** ------------------ Bravoxray’s Review: Very pleased by this story. For me, what scares the piss out of me is what can happen. I don't fly for this reason. I don't get on stupid roller coaster rides for this reason. I'm a bit of a chicken. Excellent job of setting up my concern for the characters and expecting the end, but not wanted to read about it. Good job. ------------------- Shalomar’s Review: This reminded me very much of another story. Not to suggest the author didn’t create this piece as original work, but I do recall hearing a very similar tale. The story’s good, but I wouldn’t try to publish it seeing as how it might be viewed as too similar to the work I’m thinking of. -------------------- Red 33’s Review: wonderfully written...as far as what it reminds me of...i can only think of the twilight zone. ------------------- -----Bizzy-----‘s Review: Sad but very well written. No chance of this being bought up by the Alton Towers Promotional Brochure Team, but I'm sure a lot of other people will be happy to take a look at it :o} Suggestions (and that's all they are because the piece is pretty slick as it stands): "He saw the sickening crunch as much as heard it. And he heard the horror etched on the faces of the riders. Those sounds and visions would come back to him daily for the rest of his life." Great paragraph. ('Heard the horror etched onto the faces'? 'Saw the horror', surely?) No matter what, don't remove or change the paragraph greatly or you'll lose the impact it has. It doesn't tell us the ship is about to fly loose, it shows us. We all have this horrible feeling that's what's about to happen and the first sentence alone is a slap in the face - a sudden realisation that bad things do happen. And to anyone who's seen a serious accident, the whole paragraph is spot on. I must be sick because I'd have liked to have seen more dramatic scenes of the passengers flying from the ship. Heads knocking together, people clinging to their seats...which makes me think - don't they have safety frames come down in front of them? So maybe they'd be stuck there hanging for while before the ship crashes to the ground and the impact sends people flying back into the air. Just a thought. Sad that Mel should have been involved. I felt sorry for the poor girl. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. It's life, but I'm uncertain if perhaps some readers might feel it was undeserved and unfair. Good tension builing story. Like I said before, Sooz is a competent writer. :o} ---------------- Audrey’s Review: In fact, this had got to the point of the ridiculous. One day he was in a meeting with his boss. He asked Mike***,casually,*** what sort of day it was. though he’d sprouted a second head that spoke only Japanese. ***lol*** Suddenly Mike froze. The man’s words had broken his dream. ***I didn't quite get this. Perhaps it would be better to say something like brought his dream to the forefront of his mind. Just a suggestion.*** " -- Cameron "Cam" Davis.
" ***Hello Sooz. It came to my attention that you had just received a 99th post for this story, so I thought in a way it would be almost poetic if I were to round it off at 100 since I made the very first post. I’ll finish what I began by now critiquing the rest of the work. I’ve decided to take a page from Ms. Davis’ playbook, and I’ll be using the asterisks to indicate corrections within a copy of the story.***Room For One MoreSue (Sooz) Simpson Mike woke from a troubled sleep with the same phrase playing over and over in his mind: “Room for one more!” He stood in the shower, mentally preparing for his ten-thirty presentation, and yet ***Eliminate “yet”*** still those four words ran through his head, breaking each thought into fragments and making it impossible to concentrate. The hot needles of smarting ***Eliminate the word “smarting” since “the hot needles” does an accurate job of description.*** water rained upon his skull, stimulating hair follicles, blood cells and endorphins. He should feel good but for some reason he was perturbed.***Change to disturbed, sounds better.***His dream came back to him with a jolt as he reached out for the shower gel. A big man with a round face leaning over the side of a boat. ***Fragment (consider revising)*** People below him all reaching out, desperate to get on the boat before… ***An ellipses is used to indicate missing word(s)*** before what? Before they drowned in the icy waters, he supposed. Despite the heat from his ***Though it is technically accurate as is, I’d change “his” to “the”*** water, Mike shuddered involuntarily ***Perhaps 'involuntarily' isn't needed here. I’ve never seen anyone shudder voluntarily.*** and his sponge skimmed over the goose pimples that had broken out along his thigh.The rest of the week flew past in a blur of meetings and presentations; he made his monthly bonus and the sun shone. He was the golden child of Spencer, Spencer and Hartley ***Though I’m aware the formatting of Storymania won’t let you accomplish it on here, be sure to italicize titles.*** and it seemed as though his life was charmed. ***The change from the shower scene to this quick overview of the rest of his week seemed a bit sudden. How about moving the Spencer, Spencer and Hartley info into an extra paragraph? Loosely drop the info when he's dressing up to go to work?***On Friday night he met the gang in the pub. Mel ***I’d switch the wording of this sentence a bit. Thought the name “Mel” is also a shortened female version of “Melissa” Stateside, one gets the immediate impression something homoerotic might be going on. Perhaps not the best for this particular story. Then they say “Oh it’s a girl, just a shortened version of the name.”*** felt good in his arms, and he was so proud of his clever ***While this is an interesting statement about her, something like “clever” is usually either following-up or immediately preceding an explanation of why this is the case, since it isn’t self-explanatory such as how she looked or what she was wearing.*** girlfriend. There may have been girls in the pub that night who were more classically beautiful, ***How about just plain 'pretty'. I don't know what 'classically beautiful' is :)*** but none could hold a candle to his Mel when it came to comfortable prettiness, ,***and then drop 'comfortable prettiness' here?***quiet intelligence and bright personality. She was tiny and slim and she felt so small and vulnerable in the circle of his huge arms. Mike felt very protective towards her, which would have mortified Mel had she known. She may ***Isn't that a change of tense?*** only ***Eliminate “only”*** be little but she considered herself a force to be reckoned with, and had a tidy temper on her. Mel had been blind since birth and God help anyone who tried to label her handicapped. She knew life no other way than the way it was and she coped just fine, ***I don't think there is a need for the quotation marks.*** “thank you very much.” ***The last two sentences would be much better in action rather than just exposition, if you really wanted to draw out the character.***It was decided that ***Eliminate “that”*** the next morning the six friends would get together for a day at the theme park just south of Shorehampton. The evening ended for Mike on a glow from a little too much lager and an oozy warm feeling that had to do with smooching round the dance floor with Mel.***I’m not sure, but I think this is called misplaced modifiers. Here the sentence says he and Mel were kissing the dance floor. I don’t think that’s what you meant.***By lunchtime the next day, his voice was hoarse from describing all the colours and sights to Mel.“Oh, oh,” she would say, jumping up and down excitedly, “what does it look like? What does it look like Mike?” ***Perhaps add that she could hear the cheery sounds of the many attractions?***After six months of going steady with Mel, Mike’s powers of description had improved in ***Replace “in” with “by”*** leaps and bounds. “It’s big” just didn’t work. Mel would want to know how big. If he dared to say something was beautiful, lovely, pretty, hideous or disgusting, Mel would turn to him with a frown of disapproval and he had to go into lengthy observations of why he thought it so. Now he automatically described everything as they went along.In fact, this had got to the point of the ridiculous. One day he was in a meeting with his boss. He asked Mike casually what sort of day it was.“Well,” Mike began, “the sun is not yet completely risen, it’s resting just above the rooftops as though it’s taking a rest before going any further. The clouds are light and look as soft as a comfortable pillow, there’s not a hint of thunder, and the breeze is blowing the honeysuckle on its vine.”Mike had stopped here ***Replace “here” with “there”*** abruptly, as he became aware of his boss looking at him as though he’d sprouted a second head that spoke only Japanese. His colour had continued to rise as he hastily explained that his girlfriend was blind. Mel would have killed him for that. She hated people being warned in advance of meeting her, as she said they were already prepared to walk on eggshells round ***around?*** her. Mike smiled now at the memory of that day, before embarking on a description of the rapid ride. Of course the words meant little to Mel; she already had her four senses – though Mike disputed that point and argued five because of her uncanny perception. They gave her all the stimulation that she could have. In truth she just loved to hear Mike’s enthusiasm as he detailed their surroundings for her. She didn’t know what sunshine looked like, but she never tired of hearing Mike describe it for her. “Oh no Mel, not another roller-coaster. Please give a poor guy a break, I can’t take much more. It’s all right for you, you can’t see the world looming up at you at a million miles an hour, or the slightly green faces of the people getting off them”“Oh c’mon you big wuss, show me what you’re made of.”Mike lowered his voice and gripped her tightly round the waist. “When I get you home tonight Miss, you’ll be left in no doubt as to what I’m made of.” “Ooh, promises, promises”, she giggled.The others were making their way over to the ‘Pirate Ship’. “Come on you two love birds,” shouted Sandra, “The queue’s not too long for this ride.”The six of them messed around, laughing and joking amongst themselves and with the people before ***before and after, fore and aft, and in front and behind are all appropriate sets, but before and behind aren’t*** and behind them in the queue. The day was fantastic and everybody on the planet seemed to be in good spirits. Soon they were at the head of the queue. Dave and Sandra, Sally and Jenn all walked the gangplank onto the big ship and seated themselves at the very back. There was only one space left on the ride, beside Sally.“C’mon Mel, get your sea-legs. ***sea legs*** I’ll tell you when to wave to Mike from the top.”Mel’s eyes shone with excitement; she was unaware how transparently feelings showed on her face and therefore she made no attempt to hide them. She hesitated. “Nah, you’re all right Sal, I’ll take a rain check on this one. See you when you get off.”“Oh for God’s sake Mel, Mike will survive two minutes without you, you know. His world isn’t going to collapse if you go on a ride without him.”“Go on you,” murmured Mike against her slightly moist neck, “I’ll be waiting to escort her ladyship off when it’s finished.” “Room for a little one” said the ride attendant. He looked down at Mel and she shook her head. Mike never failed to be impressed by her perception; she could always ‘feel’ when people were looking at her. Often she would blush crimson and say “Mike, you have been staring at me for five minutes. Stop it.”The man moved his gaze over the queue and announced in a louder voice, “Room for one more!”“Here Mate!” Mike drew his attention back. “My girlfriend’s changed her mind.” Mike gave Mel a gentle push in the small of her back, as Sally came forward to take her hand and guide her into the seat.Suddenly Mike froze. The man’s words had broken his dream. A feeling of mind-numbing foreboding spread from the tips of his toes to disperse throughout his body, before spilling out of his mouth in a gurgled, “Mel, no!”It was too late; the man had secured the safety gates and the ride was already beginning its slow progress into the swinging arc it would become. Gently, it moved in an easy swaying motion backwards and forwards. Each movement brought the ship out at a greater angle. .***arc?***Mike felt physically sick. He began to hyperventilate. He had to get out from the top of the queue of people; all those hot bodies pressing up against him. He had to get out.“Hey mate, you okay?” said his new-found ***newfound*** friend with the ‘Super Stud’ T-shirt. Mike didn’t answer, he was already pushing his way against the crowd to ‘freedom’. Once he had barged his way through the claustrophobic barriers and back into the cooling breeze, he tried to regain some semblance of rationale. What was happening to him?“Hey big fella,” shouted a Neanderthal from behind him, “most people puke when they get off a ride, not before they’ve got on.” Mike heard the baboon laughing with his mates.Okay, come on now. Get a grip Mikey. It was only a stupid dream and had nothing to do with fair rides, it was about a shipwreck for Christ’s sake. He laughed at his overactive imagination and tried to forget the man of ***Here’s another homoerotic sounding phrase “the man of his dream.” Change “of” to “from”*** his dream and his striking resemblance to the ride attendantHe took some strong deep draughts of soothing air and felt his diaphragm expanding with the healing oxygen. Gradually he heard his heartbeat slowing as it pounded less and less in his ears, and he began to feel better. He had promised to wave to Mel, so he looked up at the ship sailing through the air at an alarming height above him. It had almost reached its zenith and he watched as he saw Mel held tightly against the back of her seat by the G-force. She was laughing generously and looked as happy as he had ever seen her. Mike liked the way she ‘laughed big’; there was nothing mealy-mouthed about his Mel. He shouted loudly, smiling and waved like a lunatic but his voice was taken away on the wind and lost amongst the clouds.The ship was in its descent. He lip-read Mel mouthing his name and grinned as he saw her waving against gravity.He saw the sickening crunch ***How can one see a noise?*** as much as heard it. And he heard the horror etched on the faces ***How can one hear looks?*** of the riders. Those sounds and visions would come back to him daily for the rest of his life.Mel’s eyes were open wide and her mouth stretched in a scream that he felt both low down in his gut, and higher up in the left side of his chest.The ship lurched a second time, one of its huge girder arms coming loose from its mooring. Mike watched in stupefied horror as the boat discharged its passengers. He watched them disembark messily onto the concrete sixty feet below. So many broken bodies, but Mike only saw the one.Mike thought back five minutes to Sally’s words: “Mike’s world isn’t going to collapse if you go on the ride without him.”Mike watched silently as his world did just that. ***It does what it sets out to achieve. A story doesn’t necessarily have to end happy or tragic to be a story, but it must make the reader feel something. With 100 posts in response to this story it has definitely achieved the goal of making people feel something in regards to it.*** " -- JA St. George.
"Again so much trouble. Thank you all very much. I greatly appreciate it. Sooz. " -- Sooz, Dalton-in-furness, England, Cumbria.
"Just so you know, all of the reviews are now posted. Also many people in my group asked many different questions and you'll find them throughout the messages. Oh yeah before I forget, I don't want to ask for much for what I've done for you, but it would be great if you'd take a gander at my cousin's story "The Moribund." Paige Davis is a writer just like me, but she came to the online writing world a little later than myself, and by that time my online group had already been filled, so she had to come here instead. I know you're not a rude person, so that seems pretty fair and reasonable to me, one critique for my cousin for the 50+ reviews you've received. I haven't yet told my cousin, because I wasn't sure you'd agree to it, even they you did have it listed you'd be interested in fair trade critiques. Instead if you'll do that it'll be a great surprise for her, and I just know she'll love it. Take care." -- Cameron Davis.
"How can this story hsve 103 reviews now and only 29 hits? It doesn't make sense. " -- Steven.
"Somebody explained it above. Storymania's broken." -- maple.


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© 2000 Sue (Sooz) Simpson
July 2002

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