| Hello , MrsMink ! I have just finished reading your work, "Stranger in the woods" , and wanted to leave you a review. Please do take into account that these are my observations alone, not yours, and as such only take what you like and leave the rest.
I really liked this piece. It had just the right amount of ghost story, and really mixed in other elements (the cow and foxes, the custody battle) fantastically well. And the ending was both realistic and satisfactory- realistic because of the way Jacob interacted with his daughter, Bailey, and because of how the ghost's words actually gave him comfort. Satisfactory because it really explained, in a convenient and interesting way, the situation that Jacob had just gone through.
-The beginning is very good, and gives various hints about the previous marriage. I also liked how Jacob sprang into action at the coyote sound- adrenaline can make you forget almost anything.
-The Jeb Springer scene is absolutely fantastic- it was both explanatory and evocative of strong emotions.
-The Bailey scene, too, was nice, for reasons mentioned above.
-All of your transitional scenes were well thought out, and played into the story well.
Areas in Need of Improvement:
-Hearing the coyote's distant sound may have been unrealistic- if Jacob was going on his four wheeler as fast as it would take him, I am guessing that would cover a significant amount of ground. Maybe it was just me, but I associated coyote with cow- and Jacob probably could not have heard the coyote if it were by the cow.
Ideas for Areas to Modify:
-Maybe you could have Jacob actually see a coyote, or a pack of coyotes, running towards the area of the cow.
-Also, a minor idea that most probably won't even notice: I am assuming, from your description of birth, that the calf was in a "normal position" in the mother's womb. Normally, calving chains, a rope, or even a calf puller would be used to pull such a calf out. Also, once the calf is out, Jacob would have to clean out its nose with his fingers due to amniotic fluids filling it up. Again- these are such minor, technical details that most wouldn't notice, but if you're going for realism, they are important.
All in all, I absolutely loved this piece! Thank you for a great read.