Now that I've been a Red Room community member for a month and am feeling encouraged by the fact that a couple of poems I had posted have attracted anywhere from 4 to 16 views depending on the day and a couple of my blogs (on Texas Book Festival and also on Halloween) have generated 120 views twice this past weekend, I started looking for a writing community where I can be slightly bolder and post unfinished drafts for a peer review... and came across a few promising writer communities such as http://figment.com/ and http://www.scribophile.com/ with a karma point system that sounds neat: "To earn karma points, members submit thoughtful critiques for the work of others. Everyone has to earn karma points before they can post! This system ensures that every work you post gets awesome critiques from other talented writers."
Well, perhaps I can give it a try and see how it goes.
I can always remain active at Red Room by logging on daily and clicking on "latest blogs," "author blogs," and "member blogs" under Blogs and leaving a comment or two now and then so that I'm regularly contributing posts to this forum.
Anyway, in the spirit of the approaching Halloween, I started a "spooky" piece yesterday which begins like this:
"In the sleepy Cornish town of Penryn, the boy was getting ready to go trick-or-treating for the first time in Europe. Not that it was the town’s tradition, but his American mom and her English friends whom they were visiting for a few days had arranged for the neighbors living on the same street to wait, with candies ready, for the two boys to come around knocking on their doors that evening. The boys slipped the white bed sheets cut in half with three holes for eyes and mouth over their heads and, each clutching a white plastic bag, walked out the main door of the house and headed downhill, as ghosts, knocking on every door on both sides of the street. It was chilly outside but they didn’t mind for they had warm boots on and there were plenty of candies to go around. After half an hour, they were back at the house with their two stretched bags bulging with sweets and dumped out the contents on the floor straight away to count how many pieces of candy there were in all. Once tallied up, they could see that one boy had gotten a few more pieces than the other boy but they shared equally like best friends and even the mothers got some candies.
It was late. Everyone went to bed and turned out the lights. The boy was almost asleep when he heard the sound of horse hooves striking the pavement with precision akin to a quick rhythmical blow delivered by the hammers of a harpsichord. He jumped out of his bed and flung the upstairs bedroom window open to peer outside but the horse had already passed by and he could barely see it at the bottom of the hill about to turn the corner and disappear into the night. He thought he saw a rider but wasn’t sure. He closed the window, slipped under the covers, and closed his eyes. Then he heard the faint sound of a horse approaching again, its hooves striking the pavement with the practiced dexterity of a musician’s fingers used to playing the contrapuntal fugue. It was coming towards him, heading downhill. He jumped out of the bed and opened the window wide and this time he saw the horse pass right below him. It slowed down and bobbed its head once or twice as the rider looked up at him, beckoning with his gloved hand, but the boy remembered his mother telling him not to speak to strangers as there had been many reports of abduction of children worldwide in the recent years. He could not see the rider’s eyes which were hidden by the shadow cast on his face by the wide brim of his black wool felt hat. The boy shook his head, the rider tossed his hat up in the air and it landed on the boy’s head, but the boy pulled it off and tossed it back down towards the rider who caught it and put it back on his head. This seemed to satisfy the rider who smiled and rode off without a word."
No idea how good or bad it is, but I'm sure there is plenty of room for improvement. Maybe I can submit it to the scrutiny of a critique community when I've run out of ideas as to how to improve it.