February Story Chat Summary – “Handle with Caution” by KL Caley

How Do Authors Feel About Story Chat?

Let me introduce myself, hello, my real name is Kerri-Leigh (all one word with a hyphen not first, then middle), but due to the multiple ways people find to spell it, I find it far easier to go by KL.

What a brilliant collection of writers so far in story chat! I feel very privileged to be featured amongst them.

KL Caley

The Story’s Success

With 127 recent views, 37 likes, and 65 comments, KL Caley’s story, “Handle with Caution” continues to make Story Chat an engaging success.

KL Caley Reblogged this on New2Writing and commented: Hi Everyone, Got a little time on your hands this drizzly Sunday afternoon? If so, please pop over to Marsha’s Story Chat. She has kindly featured one of my stories this month. It’s a genre I am not used to writing in but a story I very much enjoyed and think has possibilities for expansion. I’d love to know what you think?

KL’s interaction with the other chatters, especially her lack of defensiveness when she responded to their suggestions impressed me. Reblogging the post really helped her story get noticed.

This is YOUR blogging event. Without authors, there is no Story. Without comments, there is no Chat! It is fun to watch how the story unfolds and morphs as readers and writers chat. I thank all of you for the privilege of hosting the monthly event.

If you missed it, be sure to read KL’s post and the complete and fabulous dialogue that took place at Story Chat this month. KL also hosts WritePhoto, her own writing challenge each week.

99-Word Summary – No More No Less

Rosie and Tom seem to be little more than good friends until he helped her open an unmarked package he just delivered. When it exploded in his face and the lights went out, Tom seemed dead. Rosie revealed her true care and concerned feelings for him. Granny, the practical joker, probably put some magic dust and maybe some laughing gas into the caldron she sent as Rosie’s birthday gift. After enjoying his own joke on Rosie, Tom’s attitude towards tea leaf reading changed. A quick clean up and he was ready for a cup of tea and a reading.

Attendance This Month

Each of the links below takes you to one of our chatters’ current blog posts. I hope you will check them out and get to know some of the nicest writers and readers on the planet.

  1. Cathy Cade Not sure about Rosie and Tom, but Grannie certainly needs looking into…Perhaps Rosie’s tea leaf teacher?
  2. Doug Jacquier I didn’t know witch way to turn when the box exploded. I’d be cautious next time and look for the explosives declaration on the box. Fun tale.
  3. TanGental (Geoff LePard) This is an intriguing piece. It starts with a message in a tea cup and then the bird ‘glaring’, suggesting, what? Possession? A Familiar? Or just Rosie anthropomorphising the bird’s glance? I’d like more. You’ve left us with some intrigue, KL.
    Well done; and welcome to story chat!
  4. Ami (Gypsie) Offenbacher-Ferris Intriguing! 
  5. Gary A Wilson This was a fun read, vivid and both characters are endearing in their own way, A bit of a stir mid-way that really drew me in and you brought the whole scene to a pleasant soft landing. Very comfortable and well-woven. But this is Story Chat and Marsha has expectations that should not be disappointed so let’s dig a little and see what pops up. This is what I thought you might be doing with the charming little bird with the dark eyes and knowing assessment of his surroundings. His contribution was to help set the stage – which he did well, but he never reappeared so I’m left wondering what I missed because his significance . . .Rosie’s reading of the tea leaves was fun, subtle and painted a rich picture of her character. You got close to Tom giving in to having that cup of tea with her and letting her stir up some interest from his cup. Did you intend to leave that where you left it? Bottom line: The image from beginning to end unfolded naturally and vividly. I caught zero editorial concerns and now have the evidence that proves you are a very accomplished writer and story weaver.
  6. Hugh W. Roberts This was a lighthearted tale, for me. I don’t read any signs of romance between Rosie and Tom. To me, they’re good friends who I am sure will go on to laugh a lot and have fun.Given the type of shop, she’s running, I’d say Rosie was into her witchcraft too, but, like Grannie, is a good witch.A fun read. And what I liked about it even more, is that it was simple to read. No strange, long words that my dyslexia doesn’t help with. It was a delightful short read with the hint of ‘Bewitched.’
  7. Marsha Bewitched grannie could be pretty naughty, too. I could see her doing something like this then popping through the walls to laugh at her handiwork.
  8. willowdot21 K..L I really enjoyed this story, you have had so much good advice here that I won’t add my three pennyworth it all been said! A great start 
  9. Gloria My initial thoughts were that Rosie mirrored herself in the bird. Cautious, watching, seeing a possible threat, assessing the situation, but continuing on his way. Like Rosie, I would always check for a return label on an unexpected package. When Tom’s smile seemed to sparkle off all the crystals, I realised Rosie didn’t see him as a threat…..until he produced a penknife. I was very suspicious hahahaha!
    For me, It didn’t come across as a dangerous explosive. I assumed it was just a harmless joke. Similar to something from a kid’s magic set. I thought maybe it was a balloon full of black powder. I wasn’t worried.
    I think it was Geoff (in the comments) who suggested that Tom wouldn’t have time to stop for tea. Where I come from (small Irish town) it’s not unusual for the postman to have his tea break in a friendly neighbour’s house, so that part came across okay for me.
    Well done!
  10. KL Caley (Author) Thank you so much for your comments, this is really useful. This isn’t a genre I normally write in (I tend to lean more towards historical fiction), but I was really feeling the magical vibes – haha. The bird was placed to give a hint of her being watched, something going on/about to happen. I certainly wanted to add the magical elements to it but I wanted them to remain quite subtle until the cauldron scene when suddenly the magic would be in your face (quite literally in the case of poor Tom – haha). Some great things to work on, thank you so much for taking the time to provide feedback, much appreciated.KL

Chatter’s Questions

Is Tom a threat, poor bloke, Rosie’s reluctant love, or just a friend?

  • Geoff: We then meet Tom – the postman, or delivery man – and we wonder if this is the love interest friend or arse?  Tom plays dead. Bit childish but whatever floats his boat. Rosie accepts his behaviour – I’d think him an arse; she doesn’t – so I guess there are some feelings there.
  • Gloria: I thought Tom was a threat. (Sorry Tom)
  • Doug: Poor bloke needing to be taught a lesson full of Tommyrot.
  • KL: I wanted Tom to be a little aloof to all the magic stuff, certainly a non-believer until Grannie got involved.

What’s up with Granny anyway?

  • Cathy: Grannie seems to take things somewhat further than tea leaf reading.
  • Doug: Perhaps Grannie wanted to teach the poor bloke a lesson, with all his Tommy rot.
  • Geoff: What caused the bang that leaves Tom ‘racoon-faced,’ and why? Grannie doesn’t seem like she’s grasped the concept of Health and Safety. He could have been blinded. No one seems to worry.
  • Gary: Grannie’s cauldron. Wow! What happened here? No one was injured (surly a Grannie would never set such a trap) but was the racoon result intended for Rosie? Was it so magical as to not only flip the light switch but also change the person whose face was just darkened?
  • Hugh: Grannie reminds me somewhat of Tabitha’s mother from the show Bewitched. Which, if is the case, makes Rosie a witch too.
  • Gloria: I love Grannie. I think she’s a witch. This is exactly the kind of trick my dad would have played (but he wasn’t a witch) with no intentions of harming anyone. I think Grannie also has a crystal ball and watches Rosie and Tom in it. She’s using her magic to push them together. I think Rosie is a witch too. White witches!
  • Marsha: It sounds like we are moving to the same page with this story, KL. Grannie is a practical joking witch. I hadn’t thought of Grannie as having a crystal ball she could see, unlike the mother on Bewitched who could just pop through walls. Grannie might be receiving Rosie’s security camera videos on her cell phone. LOL She might have had a little cupid dust in that explosion.
  • KL: Grannie is a bit of a mischief-maker, propelling Rosie into action, and finding a way to encourage Rosie and Tom to spend a bit of time together. How she knew the timing of the box or who would open it is a detail I haven’t figured out, but again I was trying to weave the hints of the magic behind it. I think in my mind Grannie (and maybe Rosie) are witches. However, I intended Rosie to be far subtler than the more elaborate Grannie.

Writer’s Advice

  • Geoff: I’d suggest you tighten up some of your wordier sentences/descriptions. For instance ‘The doorbell to the little shop made a noise in the background and she hurried to tidy her cup away and make her way through the door.’
  • Gary: Was there a reason for keeping Rosie’s name back till mid-story, when you literally could replace the first word of the story with “Rosie?” I think that a character’s name can be the hook that readers build an image upon as the character is revealed. When it’s missing, I wonder if she’s just not significant to the story.
  • Gary: How could the charming bird have helped you wrap-up the final scene and been part of the answer to what just happened or surprise us by walking away knowing more than any of us?
  • Willowdot: Write what pleases you. Of course read all the advice people have given but remember you are the writer and your opinion is key. I agree that over wordy sentences are confusing.

Upcoming on Always Write

  • Next month’s Story Chat will be brought to you by Yvette Prior of Priohouse Blog.
  • One more day to link your Dream Vacations posts to WQW (Writer’s Quote’s Wednesday. The only requirement is to include at least one quote.
  • Thursday is the deadline for linking your PPAC (Photographing Public Art Challenge) posts. There is no theme to this challenge, but public art must be free and visible. This challenge could be linked to both posts this week if you’ve got some travel photos to share.
  • Coming Soon: an author interview with Susan Braithwaite. susantbraithwaite.com

Have a great rest of your week and thank you so much for all your comments.

15 responses to “February Story Chat Summary – “Handle with Caution” by KL Caley”

  1. Hugh W. Roberts Avatar

    It’s always great to see a new author here at Story Chat. KL did a great job, and she did terrific at responding to all the comments left about her story. I hope participating has helped and given her even more confidence to submit another story in the future.

    Another great roundup, Marsha. Thanks so much for hosting this great event.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Hugh and thanks so much for rounding up new authors. Gloria is scheduled for September. She seems awesome and her story will give us all lots to chat about. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TanGental Avatar

    Another massive piece of work. Well done and thank you Marsha.
    At last I know what the KL stands for… I hunted around her blog for a hint, found nothing so assumed it must be Keep Looking…
    Like you she needs all our thanks for taking on #writephoto. I hope she enjoyed this experience. It’s pretty unique…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Geoff. Again, my pleasure. It is a small service and nod to what you all do as authors, and in Kl’s case also host a challenge. Those things have become my niche.


  3. Prior... Avatar

    enjoyed his post Marsha – and I apologize for not being part of story chat recently – but had to limit some blogging time to get work done (and had the chance to spend a week with my momma – so that is always nice) but the good news is that we can also enjoy the story and comments because of the way you summarize the activity.
    I am going to check out KL’s blog now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      I’m glad you came by. You always add so much! I hope your momma is doing well. I’m sure you had a great time. Did you get my email?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Prior... Avatar

        Hi – I did not see your email yet – still catching up a bit but will be in touch more this weekend –
        and my mom is doing well. So glad for that and thanks for asking

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Look forward to chatting. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Prior... Avatar

            Yes – I have more availability this weekend – and so excited to connect about this

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Gloria Avatar

    Excellent summary Marsha. I’m daydreaming about us sitting around a big oak table, in an old country manor, discussing the lives of Rosie and Grannie as if they were real people.
    And thank you very much for linking to my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      I like that picture. A great source of gossip, Grannie and Rosie and Tom. Do you think they will ever get serious and settle down. If they have children, will they be witches? hmmm

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Cathy Cade Avatar

    Goodness, I missed some of that. I’ll have to go back and have another read. Helpful summing up ,Marsha, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Cathy. You are too kind. Thanks for all your support.

      Liked by 1 person

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