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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  November 09, 2001

Today's Featured Author - Rei McCall

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by: Lisa Elizabeth

Ms. McCall has written one portion of a multipart story here at Storysite. It is titled 'One Summer in Heaven or Hell'. It is the story of Chris and a summer he will never forget.

The story starts out with Chris' father walking in on a suicide attempt and preventing it from happening. Then on to a Psychiatrist who, Chris, convinces to have him tested for Gender Dysphoria. With this diagnosis, Chris is placed on a testosterone blocker and his depression improves.

Chris also manages to buy birth control pills online and is taking these unknown to his parents. At this point he is taken on a trip by his parents and unceremoniously dropped off at 'Camp Augwai'. Their motto is that they will help troubled males see their way and become real men. This is accomplished through physical activities and male bonding activities.

The rest of the story as far as it is written is on Chris' experiences at the camp. Some are funny, some are sad, but through it, all you know he does not want to be there. The story stops in the middle of the second day at camp, after Chris' has just run the 'obstacle course'.

Rei has a nice easy paced writing style that allows you to see things from the perspective of the character. This particular character is depressed and scared. These traits show through in her writing. Over all I am looking forward to the next chapter in Chris' summer adventure. I hope Rei will continue this story.

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by: Sydney Michelle

Rei has one incomplete, multi-part story in the works. Six well received parts have been posted so far, but it has been a few months since the last segment. Rei's writing style literately draws the reader into the complexity of the character. The story starts with a bang, despite the author's entitling the first segment as a "Wanton Establishment of Character." Attempted suicide is enough to draw almost any reader's attention. The trick is holding it.

The reader's interest is held by Rei's talent for dialogue mixed with pithy running commentary. The dialogue has a realistic feel. The number of 14 year olds who talk as 18 year old preppies as Rei has written Chris is rather limited, I admit. On the other hand, it is fiction, and fourteen year old chatter, even from introverted misfits, is distressingly boring. That realism would defeat holding the reader's interest, so make him incredibly (literally) intelligent; therefore out of place in life. It's been done. Lot's. But Rei does the "Catcher in the Rye" meets "Porky's" riff extremely well.

In passing, I have to admit being biased towards writers who know how to use an ellipsis. That's that funny string of dots that indicate pauses and incomplete sentences that seem to have disappeared in most computer assisted writings. I also like writing that does not read as though it has been put through the grade level dumber. Instead of one twelve word maximum declarative sentence after another, with few words over three syllables, there are complex sentences, judicious use of the passive voice, and actual punctuation! Oh, fabulous joy! Well, perhaps a few more simple declarative statements would focus a tad more attention on the story and away from the author's tour de force.

Some might question the pacing when it takes fifteen thousand words to get through one day. Let's see, sixty days, oops! That's 900K words and Chris won't even have a full set of tits! Maybe that should be "Catcher" meets "Gone with the Wind." Angst, dreams of gentle gods, unexpected heroism, a buddy guide even more pathetic than the hero(ine), a potential girlfriend to show him? whatever, and a bully villain begging for a comeuppance makes a lot of material for Rei to work over whenever additional segments get completed.

Lots of wry (apologies for the pun) humor in Rei's writing makes it a fun, if not titillating, read. The slowing of posting makes me fear that Rei, like her narrator, may have gotten lost in the woods. Here's hoping not.

Editor - Heather Sinclair

 

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