How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

Sunday Snippets – Blog Hop #4


Jennifer Eaton of has initiated this Critique Blog Hop. Read the rules and sign up. Afterwards checkout the other submissions at the bottom of this post.


I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to critique and help me prop up my humble scribblings.

My snippets are of short stories. So as not to post the majority of any story here, I have switched to a new one today, which is a tiny bit over 250 words. The working title is The Loner.

* * *

“Hey Jules, you in there?” Hank hollered over the shrieking wind. He pummeled the battered wooden door. Cotton ball snowflakes whipped at him as if in protest of his arrival.

He grasped the doorknob and yanked with all his might. A squall wretched the warped door outwards with a rusty screech knocking him off his feet. Hank hung on with both hands and hurled himself inside like a rocket. The door thwacked shut. Bundled in heavy mitts and sheepskin coat, he listened to the absence of human activity.

Man, it’s freezing in here. Hank pulled his cap lower and frowned. The potbellied stove was cold as death. Various sized pots of frozen water cluttered the floor beneath the long leaking ceiling. Computer paraphernalia was scattered over an old barn door which served as a table.

Do any of them work? He wondered. What looked like a witch’s black caldron sat ready to fall off the table’s edge. Hank leaned over it. Inside was ice-covered matter. What a reek even in this frigid hell-hole! He covered his nose and shuttered.


The shack had fallen down a groan at a time, now tilted about twenty degrees off centre. Seventy-five years earlier it had been a blacksmith’s shop and after that a horse barn—a sorrowful reminder of the past. Homesteaders had long since moved west into Swift Current or farther east to Moose Jaw. Wrathful winds had played havoc on the tarpapered roof, ripped up corners, and let in the rain and snow and sun. Before long, broken windows had allowed whatever critters chose to squat for a while. Old Jules had been one of those critters.

* * *

Click on over to these great writers to check out and critique what they’ve posted!


Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

29 thoughts on “Sunday Snippets – Blog Hop #4

  1. I like the story. Your descriptions are vivid. My one critique would be “wretched” is not a verb. 😉 xxx


  2. Everything needs shelter. And everything dies.
    Vivid story Tess!


  3. Best image: “the shack had fallen down a groan at a time.”


  4. Makes me quite curious to figure out what has happened to Jules, that’s for sure.


  5. So cold… I’m shivering.
    I have minor comments, in the ‘it might not be wrong’ field. So I’ll share them, and you can decide if they need changing or not. 🙂
    “Bundled in heavy mitts and sheepskin coat, he listened to the absence of human activity.”
    When I read about someone’s clothing like that, I expect a clothing-related action to follow, like shivering. But it would go really well in the next paragraph.
    “Do any of them work? He wondered.” might not need the “He wondered” we can already tell he’s thinking.
    “Inside was ice-covered matter.” I have a sinking suspicion I know what this is, but the first read-through confused me. Maybe a tiny bit more description? Frozen liquid, slushy solid, lumpy mixture, etc.
    “He covered his nose and shuttered.” Do you mean ‘shuddered’?
    Love all the description!


    • Great catch, Caitlin. He felt the room but forgot to comment.
      I get confused in the ‘wondered’ / ‘thought’ areas. I prefer not to mention either. I was playing it too safe.
      I’ll have another look at the frozen stuff…(phew)
      My fingers are way ahead of my brain here. Shuddered is correct.

      I appreciate the time you have taken to help. Why are our own eyes not as sharp?


  6. It reminds me of situations we hear of in my line of work, where someone goes to live in the bush (my city has a lot of bush-areas within it) and is found dead one day in their humpy.


  7. Loved the story and your style of relating. What could you do to bring in more passion?



  8. Red caught my only comment. I love the story! Do tell more.


    • I don’t plan on posting the whole story online because then I can’t publish but I plan on a wee bit more, but not quite the reveal.
      I don’t know what I was thinking, or rather, my fingers might not have been paying attention.


  9. Ooh (or should I say Brrr), you got me in. GREAT imagery and writing! What’s next???


  10. Sup!
    I really enjoyed this piece; you’ve got my attention and you had it right up until the last paragraph.

    The description and the sensations and the mystery in this dank, icky room was fabulous and then I felt yanked out of the story by the exposition tacked on at the end.

    I don’t know how necessary this section is, but is it possible to drip feed that detail through the rest of the course of the text? That way you can keep us in the moment and maintain the tension that you’ve built.


    • Thank you, Ileandra. I’m glad the beginning got your attention. Hmm. Will have to go back to the drawing board. I figured since this is a short story, I don’t have the the ease in peeling the onion like in a novel. Three thousand words more or less don’t leave much room for squandering any of them. However, I shall go back to the drawing board. Fabulous suggestion, though, and I much appreciate new eyes. Until next time?


  11. This is wonderfully written. I have no qualms with your style! I found it very descriptive and it flowed quite nicely. Essentially, what I’ve gotten from this readthrough is that Jules is apparently a squatter who is living in this ramshackle little cottage/shop. However, I’m not exactly sure why the MC is seeking him out (though I venture to guess that this becomes apparent in the next few paragraphs). I’m definitely intrigued by that, though, and also I am left wondering a few things about Jules’s circumstances that landed him here. Thanks for sharing!


Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

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