October 29, 2009

What I learned on the Job: Hospital Intern #2

Situation #2: I was making the rounds at the hospital when I approached a woman, a man, and a little girl (I'm not exactly sure if they were family or friends) who was waiting for a patient that was having a procedure done. I asked them if they would like any water or snacks while they were waiting. I believe the man asked if he could have a glass of wine or some ice cream, I can't remember which. I replied by saying they can call the nutrition services for ice cream, but the wine would have to be smuggled in (as a joke, I really hope that no one took me serious). At any rate, we all got to talking and they asked me if I had a job, what school I went to, and what my plans for the future were. I told them what my plans were and they were impressed. The man told me that I could do whatever I set my mind to and that anything worth having in life will be hard to obtain, but will be worth obtaining. When I left the room, I felt so inspired. The morning before, I was contemplating taking a break from college and just working. My grades sucked and I wasn't enjoying any of my classes. I got so discouraged I could barely get enough energy to go to class and study. It was really tough, but his words brightened my day. I finished my rounds and as the family was leaving, the man gave me a hug and wished me good luck.

Life Lesson: Words of encouragement come from people you'd least expect, but always during the time you need to hear them. I sometimes wonder why I didn't hear these things from an advisor (some of them are pretty incompetent...) or someone who knew me and knew what I had been struggling with (I don't think a lot of people knew. I'm pretty good about putting on a game face). Yet here I was working at the hospital, getting experience for something I'm not sure I wanted, and a random stranger encourages me to stick with it and follow my goals. So I had to take a different route to reach my goals and both goals (the mental health nursing and creative writing) are getting more and more obtainable each day. So be friendly to people and they may surprise you by saying the exact thing you needed to hear that day.

October 28, 2009

Flyover City!

Summary: Joel, a telephone clerk, is being pressured by his girlfriend to get a "real job" and living an ordinary life until a serious bout of karma interrupts his life and gives him a new calling.

Likes: I don't typically like blog fiction and superhero stories, so having them put together is something I didn't think I'd enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised. The premise, while not altogether new, is refreshing to read about. The characters, Joel, seems to have superficial reasons to come to this conclusion about what direction he wants his life to take. His character isn't instantly likable. I'm not sure what makes this story more interesting in blog format than just reading a first person narrative. The story feels like it could be taking place in real time and it has a context, a place, and allows you to suspend your disbelief about superheros in our world.

One of things that I dislike about blog fiction and something that the author doesn't make the mistake of falling into is when the "character" writes about the mundane. Some authors try to make the blog so realistic that they write about all the boring things in life. They forget that there is still a story to tell. I started reading this story with the intention of just reading five chapters and writing the review, but it's interesting because it's just highlights and details and not a play-by-play of the character's life.

Dislikes: None of the characters are particularly likable, but they are interesting. There are a few typos and mistakes, but nothing that was glaringly wrong. I did get thrown out of the story a bit when the typos came up, but it wasn't too bad to get back into the story. It takes a little while for the whole plot to come in to play, but the writing makes up for it.

Overall: I think I might keep reading this story. Most stories, even if they aren't in my preferred genres can interest me if they have good writing. Take a chance on this story, you won't be disappointed.

October 26, 2009

What I learned on the Job: Hospital Intern

I got the idea for See Sara Write. I've had a lot of jobs back in my day, but I'll just do three from the most interesting. One would be Mad Science, an after school program that teaches science. Another job would be Playful Beginnings, an early intervention program for toddlers that have been diagnosed with autism. Another "job" though it was an internship was working at the local hospital. I'll start with the hospital and do three for each every week or something.

Situation #1: Working in hospital means that sometimes you've got to roll your sleeves up and get dirty. Sometimes you got to clean up vomit, help change wounds, clean up poo and urine, change dirty sheets, and seeing things that you don't want to see.

As dirty as it is, imagine what it's like to be on the other side of that. You are stuck in the hospital and haven't seen your family. Sometimes your nurse, your CNA, and the intern are the only visitors you have. Your nurse pokes and prods you, does all kinds of things. The CNA has to change your soiled linen and all the dirty work. Nobody has time to talk, except for those college students in the blue shirt. You don't get a chance to say much, but wit a bright smile they offer to get you a glass of water.

Life Lesson: Sometimes you just got to roll up your and do the things you don't want to do in life. Even if you don't want to do things, adjust your attitude and just do it. You never know who's watching and you never know what influence your attitude has on people, even when you're not aware of it.

October 25, 2009


Summary: Winged is a novella a coming of age story about two girls growing up and learning to fly. Literally.

Likes: The premise sounds interesting. I don’t read a lot of steampunk, so I don’t know how unique this premise is to the genre, but it’s relatively new to me. The most interesting part to me and what pulled me in for a while was the character Alethia who was blind, saw voices in colors, and was training to be an air traffic controller. What’s not to love about that? The other character, Katherine, was the main character and she came with her own challenges. Something is wrong with her ankle and it prevents her from keeping up with the other students. These are not spoilers, but unique things that I think make the story. I didn’t get a chance to read the other one unfortunately.

Dislikes: I hate to say it, but it was bland. As other reviewers have mentioned, there is a lot of “telling” and “not showing.” It took me a while to get into the story and once it did take off, it lost me by the third chapter. I pushed through it and made it to chapter six. Things were happening too fast and characterization was lost. The formatting was strange and there was so much head hopping that I never got a sense of any of the characters or what was happening around them.

Overall: It has a really strong premise, but I don’t think the writing does the story justice. The story definitely has potential, but it needs just a bit more work to get it to where it needs to be as far as characterization and story telling is concerned. I really really wanted to like this story, but I found it hard to keep going. In it’s essence it has the potential to be a unique story with fully-fleshed out but flawed characters within a dynamic world. This story could use a lot of work and perhaps if the author published in a serialized format, readers may be willing to come along for the ride to getting this story to it’s full potential.

October 10, 2009

Above Ground

Summary: Lilith has lived underground for her whole life. After getting tickets to a show Above Ground, a freak accident sends her left alone with no way home. She meets a werewolf, who saves her life and now she has to find her way back home, if only things were that simple.

Likes: The story starts straight into the action and doesn’t stagnate like most stories of this type. It didn’t really pick up for me until Lilith was on her own and the twist came to the story. The writing and the potential this story kept me reading it through to the most current chapter posted. The writing is solid and doesn’t spend several paragraphs explaining the world. We are learning things along with Lilith, but the author doesn’t stop the action by bogging the story down with backstory. I’m interested to see how the werewolf pack politics come into play and whether Lilith can deal with them. There seems to be a bigger story building and I’m curious to see where it goes. The story seems to have a little romance brewing, I can deal with that as long as it doesn’t take priority to the overall plot.

Dislikes: There’s not much that I don’t like. The story has just taken off and so far there isn’t much posted. I agree with some of the other readers that the sense of wonder about the Above Ground world seems to be lost. Lilith is a little too well adjusted so far, but I think it beats being skittish like other heroines in the genre. I wonder if there can be some sort of balance, since she is new to the world and hasn’t seen this before.

Overall: I don’t really care about the types of creatures that one has featured in their stories, just as long as their interesting and the story is well written and fun to read. This story is fun to read and I’m curious to know how things pan out for Lilith.  This is going into my RSS feed, which means I really enjoyed it.

October 4, 2009

Zombie Girls

Summary: Delilah is on her own in a world filled with flesh eating zombies. While trying to survive and running into a young girl named Cassie, the two girls travel through their world to find safety and shelter.

Likes: There is suspense in just about every chapter. I'm not really a big fan of zombies, I could never understand the appeal, but nevertheless, this story was appealing to me. The characters are easy to care about. I mean, come on, they're two girls trapped in world full of flesh eating zombies (if you didn't read the summary), so automatically it's interesting to me. I can understand that these two girls know that have to rely on each other for survival and that fact gave it that interesting to read. The story while in it's premise is cliched, the twists and turns are different and unique and I'm curious to see where the story is going.

Dislikes: The story has some awkward areas as far as the prequel storyline to the current story Zombie Girls. It breaks up the action and is disorienting to read. When you are right in the heart of the current story, another storyline comes in and makes it a bit hard to read and get situated knowing the respective characters and the story. It would be easier to read these as separate chapters for a different story instead of seemingly random insertions into an otherwise entertaining story.

Overall: Like I mentioned, I'm not really a zombie fan, but this story is an exception to that. It might not be something I read everyday (outside of October, being Halloween and all), but I would pop in every once and a while to see if our heroines made it.

crossposted to eFiction Book Club


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