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Review of "Room for Rent," a short story by David Toth

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Summary:
With a marriage and business gone bust, Allen is left with one option––rent out the basement of his isolated house in the Adirondacks to help pay the bills. At first, Greg Shaw is the ideal tenant: quiet, respectful and always pays his rent in cash. His paranoid insistence that dangerous people are after him seems like a harmless quirk. But when a household accident leaves Greg with a broken neck, Allen finds more than just old music records among Greg’s belongings. A large sum of money sits in a local bank and Allen, (a former child-actor) is faced with a decision: report the accident, or impersonate Greg to retrieve the money.

Review:
A classic tale of betrayal and greed. I really enjoyed this story. Despite the length the cast of characters were very fleshed out and memorable. The former child-actor going rogue was absolutely perfect.

The twists and turns were interesting but done concisely, which kept the pace of the story moving forward in a way that was fitting for …

Reassessing what makes writing fun

My "real life" work has changed slightly.  I took on a new position (in addition to doing the jobs of my old one).  Overall, this has been a good thing.  It was a career move and I welcome the opportunities this new position will open up for me.

But as with all life changes it has forced me to rebalance other areas of my life, which includes writing.  I have become less and less focused on the business of writing and more viewing it as I used to view it before I got into publishing: as a hobby.  While I do suffer from the occasional pang of regret from not being able to publish as often as I used to, I have found that my enjoyment of writing and just my general free time has increased.

This has made me reassess what it was/is that actually makes writing fun for me.  I've come up with a list:


I enjoy getting lost in the world I've created.I enjoy drawing story inspiration from daily experiences.I enjoy thinking about the story I'm writing and contemplating plot cha…

Review of "The Truth about Rebecca," a short story by E.M. Youman

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Summary: She's a banshee screaming, sugar-starved monster, and her zookeeper has left you all alone with her.
That's what's running through twenty-nine-year-old Henry Dalton's mind, when his five-year-old stepdaughter, Rebecca, enters the room and utters these fatal words. "Where's Mommy?"

Review: This is a touching story about two people in need of love and forming an unlikely family.  Henry Dalton, the protagonist, is your very typical bachelor that has absolutely no interest in having a family.  He's just "a guy" that wants to date Rebecca's mom.
The circumstances of Dalton taking on Rebecca as his charge border on unrealistic by how fast everything occurs.  I felt like more time could have been spent exploring Rebecca's mother.  It wouldn't necessarily change the result of the story but perhaps add more emotional depth to the events that follow.
Still, the story has a good pace to it.  I enjoyed seeing Dalton's progressio…

Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story

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Filmmaker Andrew Stanton ("Toy Story," "WALL-E") shares what he knows about storytelling -- starting at the end and working back to the beginning. (Contains graphic language ...)