The Story’s Success
With 277 recent views, 84 likes, and 226 comments, Yvette Prior’s story, “Sweet Feeling” continues to make Story Chat a raging success. If you love to read short stories, you will enjoy Story Chat. For links to all of the stories bookmark the Story Chat Y2 Page.
What Yvette Said About Story Chat
Hi Marsha, thank you so much for featuring my story for this month’s Story Chat.
I like all of your questions and one of my goals was to show someone feeling down while hiking upwards – and then feel up while coming back down – and then landing in a fall – the ultimate down while that is then when he felt his ultimate “up” – this play with elevation was something I was trying to do…anyhow, I like the questions you came up with and it even got me thinking.
I am going to return the love when future story chats come up – this was a fun experience and even if I am on a small blog break I will try and visit the story chats for the rest of Year 2 to experience more fun with short stories.”
How Yvette Promoted Her Story
Yvette Prior reblogged this on Priorhouse Blog with an introduction, “Hello Readers, If you have a chance, we would love it if you could drop by the Always Write Blog, where a Priorhouse story has been featured for this month’s Story Chat.”
She continued with pictures, a brief summary, the first few paragraphs of the story, and another invitation to read and comment on the story. She closed the comments on her blog and promptly and thoughtfully responded to the comments on Always Write. Throughout the month, she linked the post to whatever she was writing, and she writes some fabulous posts, often photo challenges and interviews if you’re not familiar with her blog. Here are a few examples.
- Doors with Hints of Jade
- Curves in Art for Lens-Artists
- Daylight in Black and White for Sunday Stills
- Interview with Ally Bean is both fun and funny and surprisingly helpful – don’t forget to read the comments but for heaven’s sake, DON’T press like on any of them.
I thank you, Yvette, for your hands-on approach to Story Chat and all your hard work to help make this an enjoyable experience for our chatters this month.
If you missed it, be sure to read Yvette’s post and the complete and fabulous dialogue that took place at Story Chat this month.
99-Word Summary – No More No Less
Marcel cut a figurative ball and chain from his ankle when he quit his job. Plagued with stress during the transition, he did what had always helped him when he felt overwhelmed. He then took a strenuous hike merging fatigue and rejuvenation. Marcel, in his deepest distress, hiked upwards, feeling refreshed as he watched the golden sunset over the valley from the top of the mountain. Sleeping under the stars, he hiked without incident back down to safe ground and fell. Unfazed by the fall, he had developed insight into his situation. His outlook took on a sweet feeling.
Themes and Tips in the Discussion
Relieving Stress to Rekindle Our Inner Passions
- Prior, “His inner fire was almost out but he felt he had an inner ember (a bit of life)”
- Nature is a great way to relieve stress. Agreement by many chatters.
- Music relieves stress.
- Quitting one job without having a new job causes stress, but might be necessary to preserve one’s sanity. LIBERTY
Writing Tips and Encouragement
- Geoff and Yvette discussed Show and Tell. Geoff LePard said, “Your audience will enjoy a short story more – or maybe I mean in a different way – if you leave them to do some of the lifting.” (or use the technique called Showing).
- Yvette commented, “There are times I prefer to tell and not show – because sometimes showing leaves things to chance. (Sometimes) we follow the guides or rules and then sometimes we MUST break them if that is what our essence is calling us to do. I think all authors have to learn and then break the mold (if that is what they want). Check out Yvette’s post comment section for the complete argument and example as well as my response.
- Polish, polish, polish. Watch for inconsistent details – car becoming a truck, change of point of view, change of tenses in addition to spelling and grammar errors.
- Referencing music, movies, TV series, and books in short stories can do several things.
- Engage those who know the reference.
- Stretch those who don’t.
- Irritate those who don’t.
- Detract from the story if the reference doesn’t fit the mood or theme.
- Both Gary and Gloria reacted personally to many details of the story. Gary said, “A breathless moment, distracted by carrying that coffee cup while walking on the uneven ground no doubt when I did not want him injured after all this, but the imagery worked great.“ Gloria’s reactions turned into a beautiful summary catching all the nuances that Yvette intended that her audience to realize.
Attendance with Abbreviated Chattering
Going into a chat room online is much the same as going to a party, and Story Chat is kind of like a warm homey chat room. There’s a lot of off-topic conversation as well as niceties. Since this is a summary of the chatter this month, not a taped recording to be used in a murder trial, I edited it with a chainsaw. When I edit the comments, I take out the parts that I think are white noise or unrelated as well as all but one of the responses of the author and myself. To read the unabridged comments, feel free to refer back to the story post.
- joyroses13 Great job with the story! Good point about the body needing a certain amount of fatigue. I also loved your line about dormant not meaning that you’re dead and pointing out that his fire will burn again. There was hope throughout this story. Maybe Marcel didn’t have it all figured out but he was taking a step and there is sweetness in that. Keep writing, eager to see what comes next!
- Yvette Prior (author)Thanks so much author JoyRoses! Also, love how you said he didn’t have it all. Indeed I think I was trying to show that movement and that risk-taking. Appreciate your time and have a good day. Marsha – Joy writes amazing short stories on her blog (which is why I invited her to come over here and check out this story)
- Marsha (that’s me, your hostess) By the end of the month, I feel like I have really delved into the story after reading all the comments and discussing different views of the story. The story takes on a life of its own here.
- Clive Yvette and I follow each other’s blogs, and she gave me the link to this. It’s a lovely story, and I enjoyed reading it.
- JT Twissel You captured that feeling of nature being the antidote to whatever concerns you may have!
- trentpmcd (Host of Weekly Smile) Very nice, Yvette. It’s not what you search for that matters, it’s what you find…
- Retirement Reflections (Hostess of What’s on Your Bookshelf? and What’s on Your Plate?) Hi, Marsha – Thank you for featuring Yvette today. What a powerful story, and very well-written!
- Ally Bean Hello! I’ve seen you mentioned on two blogs in as many days. Yvette’s blog first, then Janet’s photo of your meet-up. I find it endlessly interesting how even after all these years I find out someone runs in the same blogging circles that I do, but we haven’t connected.
- Cindy Georgakas Great story captured so well in nature.. a lovely read to see both of you here together!
- Jacqui MurrayThat was a good ending. Sometimes, we see what we expect, not what is there.
- Jacquie Biggar Nature can change our perspectives. That which seemed impossible becomes attainable.
- robbiesinspiration Hi Yvette, this is very nice. I really liked your inclusion of the plant that looks dead on the outside but is green and living on the inside. Thanks for sharing this story of Yvette’s, Marsha.
- Gary A Wilson Hi Yvette, Welcome to the monthly spotlight.“Sweet Feeling” left me with exactly that; a very sweet feeling, after reading it. I thought the image of Marcel working his way up the road, getting bumped around set a good tone of, ‘Is this really worth the effort – I want it to be, but I don’t want to destroy my car in the process. Yvette, you are an artist. I feel like I shared this man’s trip and now his memory. What I like best about this Story Chat phenomenon is how well we just got to know each other and what we’re thinking when we write. This is almost as good as chatting in person with our own real coffee mugs in hand, laughing, probing, encouraging, and, yes, you are correct, learning things along the way. Friends read each other, but really good ones add some polish as they pass through the virtual rooms we live in.
- Norah What a lovely story. My mind raced into all sorts of places as I read but the story didn’t follow me anywhere. It was a sweet ending to a story that I thought may have been tragic. Why would I expect something sinister from you?
- TanGental Hi Yvette Nice to see you on story chat. There’s a lot to like here, with the imagery and the progression of Marcel during his mountain top sojourn. I read Gary’s response – why do I always follow Gary? – and those ‘bumps’ of his. I should have known the corpse pose reference; my daughter-in-law teaches yoga, though when I’ve tried it I fear my pigeon pose is more like a rather arthritic spatchcock chicken. All in all “Sweet Feeling” was a very enjoyable piece.
- Debbie I enjoyed the story of Marcel Yvette and completely understand the uphill walking when feeling a bit down, that was great writing! I loved the imagery of the sunset the way Marcel was walking for a purpose and the downhill fall had me gasping a little, as I don’t much like heights – I was right there with him! I always love reading the comments too, so helpful and interesting from people far more qualified to comment than me!
- Mahesh Nair (could not find blog) Yvette and I have a Breaking Bad connection and it’s cathartically true that the final episode of BB not only tugs at the heart but leaves a sweet feeling. After I read Sweet Feeling, I listened to Baby Blue on YouTube to refresh my memory of the ending and for some strange reason, I started crying. Which surprised me because I hadn’t cried when I’d watched the ending the first time. To be honest, my sweet feeling was triggered when I read how Yvette’s Marcel found all the bright green and white live tissue inside the broken branches (read: hope and possibilities). Reading this “Sometimes a sunset from what feels like the top of the world is what the soul needs” summed up the story for me. Yvette elaborated beautifully: “to show someone feeling down while hiking upwards; feel up while coming back down; then landing in a fall, and the ultimate down when he felt the ultimate up.
- Linda SchaubYvette – I enjoyed Marcel’s journey out in nature, losing himself, just like you and I also do when hiking in nature. I cringed when he stumbled and was happy he was able to go on, refreshed and ready to take on the world again. Forget about what the others say about his decision … he is his own man, and just as we should all be doing.
- Cathy Cade I so understand the power of walking when you’re down (although I’m not a hiker! Never was, even in my younger days). Still, when I’ve been unhappy I’ve found that walking cheers me up. But ways to unwind differ from person to person (as do preferences in music). Your story still gets across that need to unwind physically from knotted up lives, be it from a stressful job, a relationship, or a diagnosis… to shed the past.
I’ve been in that job! But I never had the confidence (bravery) to leave it without finding another first. The impression I have here is that your character doesn’t have something conveniently lined up but is getting the most out of shedding his former job. Sometimes nothing is preferable to a stopgap. Life in Marcel’s torn branches is a good metaphor for the hope of recovery and new beginnings.
- Hugh W. Roberts A sweet story. I thought it told a great lesson that life isn’t always playing out the way we think it is. I’ve had many incidents when I thought the whole world was against me, but then I encounter or hear something that makes me think that things aren’t that bad and that it is far better than what some people are going through. I thought Marcel would jump off that cliff, so I was relieved all he was doing was checking out the sunset and that the fall he did have gave him new hope.
- Gloria Hi Yvette.
Wonderful story and excellent writing. I really connected with this story because hiking used to be a favourite hobby of mine, and I found it a brilliant way to de-stress. When Slow Ride comes on the radio, he takes note of the lyrics. Slow ride. Take it easy. That’s what he’s supposed to be doing, yet he’s feeling challenged by the rough drive and the climb ahead of him. Then he remembers how corpse pose after a taxing yoga session makes him feel. Sweet. So he keeps going, in the hope that the sweet feeling will come. He has recognised the need to remove himself from the people who don’t support his decision. Soon he will be strong enough to handle criticism in a different way. He feels that the fire in his soul is not completely gone. He knows he can re-ignite his passion for life. He feels it deep down. He’s not giving up on himself.
The theme of this story for me is, ‘Liberty.’ Marcel has things he wants to do. His wings have been clipped but now he’s free. Free to be who he wants to be. The song Simple Man runs through his mind because he realises that’s all he needs to be, and that it’s the simple things in life that will make him happy. He watches the sunset in awe. Just him, alone, on top of the world, his fatigued body telling him it was worth it; good things don’t come easy. And that often means making difficult decisions. Maybe Marcel also realised that in order to appreciate the feelings of exhilaration, he must first experience misery. His stumble at the bottom of the mountain gave him his sweet feeling as he realised that where there’s smoke there’s fire. His fire might be extinguished but it’s not completely out.
Yvette Prior Amazon Biography
Yvette Prior lives on the East Coast of the United States with her spouse, Chris, and together they have three adult children, two grandchildren, and no pets (after having many dogs over the years).
Yvette enjoys working with people and her varied work background includes education, social work, hospitality management, and lots of outreach. Her passion area is studying about health and wellness and after earning a Ph.D. in I-O Psychology, she poured into waiting book projects and she has not stopped writing since.
Her goal as a writer is to educate, edify, and encourage readers. Her personal blog can be found at priorhouse.wordpress.com
Links to Other Stories about Marcel
Coming up on Always Write
- April Story Chat and a new story by Anne Goodwin, “The Power of Verticality” posts next week.
- WQW is Right as Rain tomorrow or Writer’s Choice. The skies over Prescott honored us with rain yesterday. Yay!
- PPAC #42 is in the works for Friday.
Now it’s your turn.
Don’t forget to give Yvette a visit. Her posts always enrich my life, as I’m sure they do yours. Thanks again for being a great part of Always Write’s Story Chat.