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WOW. “Brilliant” is an understatement. This was a real glimpse in a life that I couldn’t even have imagined, and yet.. you did. With such detail and raw emotion that I truly felt Eric’s world, his plight, and his incredible strength. What resonated with me the most was the way you gave his inner thoughts a voice, and his feelings an eloquence in a profound way (a longing to know the normalcy of a simple “how was your day”). It’s a rare and beautiful thing when I finish reading something like this and truly wish there was more to satiate my curiosity of what happens next. I can’t wait to read more. Brava, you’ve written incredibly well. Please do let me know when there’s more, I can’t wait! –Pervez Taufiq 01/27/16

Will you expand on these characters or move on to others? I hope we get to read more! –Carey Erdman 01/25/16

Fell in deep like with Eric instantly; and deep dislike with Frank shortly after. Only good writing can make you feel so strongly about characters in such a short story. Descriptions painted such a clear picture in my head… the sharp toothed mouse, the bracelets of dirt, the painful steps down Commonwealth Ave. I sort of felt like I was watching the story rather than reading it. This short story, while complete on its own, feels like it was pulled from a much longer story. It left me wishing I could read the whole thing! –Sara Schreiner 01/27/16

Love it! Give us more –Helen F. 01/15/16 (Twitter)

Very good short story.. Can’t wait to read your full novel!! –Jamie 03/10/16

“I find it difficult to believe that this compelling short story is Ms. McCaig’s first. The story line is real and reflects a regrettably true aspect of American life to which all too many are ignorant or apathetic. The writing itself is clear and Ms. McCaig blends her very visual metaphors into the tragic nature of the story’s events. I look forward to future stories from this author and hope her novel becomes available soon.” –Charles Catanzaro 01/16/16

Engaging story. Does he make it to NYC? –William Mogan 02/22/16

Love “Economics 1987”. Great title and you have a strong voice. I want an autographed copy of your upcoming novel. –Frank D. 01/18/16 (Facebook)

This is a wonderful read, the ebb and flow of the text is exciting, and the world the author creates is very nuanced which is a perfect frame for such raw brutality. I hope to read more from this author soon, and while this was a short story, I felt as though it might be connected to a larger narrative– maybe about Eric, but also about Jamie; she’s sort of canonized in this piece, but I suspect her world is rich, too. Very impressive for a quick read! –Kieran 03/23/16

It felt “real” and “believable”….like I was right there along with him….I was thoroughly enjoying the read and.. ‘BOOM’! … it was over…..really wish it had been longer…definitely could this turn into a series of some sort….hope to see more of Eric… Great read. –Deborah 03/15/16

Rose Ellen’s prose is fearless and gritty, her characters both believable and raw. In this piece, she writes that Eric’s loneliness “pokes and chews, shimmies under his skin, a pointy-tooth mouse flattening its spine through a crevice.” This is much like the unabashed way Rose Ellen’s fiction enters us. It forces us to face a rich well of emotion: struggle, shame, passion, hope. This is a gutsy story, one that challenges and enriches the reader. Thank you, Rose Ellen! This piece may be the first, but I’m sure it will be the first of many. –Kate C. 02/22/16

Wow, not what I was expecting. I am always fascinated by events in peoples lives that are so vastly different than mine. Eric found a means to an end no matter what the cost. Who know how far this $500 will take him. –Eric 02/12/16

Your writing style is very distinct, I’ll look forward to reading the novel. –Josh S. 02/10/16

Ms. McCaig really knows how to move the story along. The piece is well paced and Eric is an interesting and complex character. Circumstances have conspired to defeat him leaving him isolated and without resources, yet he sets out to use his writing skills to earn the money needed to move his ambitions to the next level. Along the way he finds a moment of love to relieve his loneliness, but resolves to put that on hold until he achieves some stability. His plan goes badly awry, but he’s willing to do what’s necessary prevail, no matter how repulsive. The sex scenes are vivid, detailed and sometimes disturbing, but our hero weathers it all and lives to struggle on. I expect this is only the beginning of Eric’s story. –Joseph Leary 01/27/16

It’s hard to believe this is the writer’s first story. I used to think that real writers are born not made, but apparently someone who teaches a writing class at Grub Street in Boston is an exceptional midwife. So, I guess I’d consider this story a kind of breech birth, a joyous, painful, atypical debut. –Frank D. 01/22/16

“Wow” although generic seems the best adjective for the reaction this short causes as you try to process what the kid must have been going through! For a second I forgot it was fiction and felt like yelling “get out of there Eric!” The author’s command of the English language is superb, and I hope she keeps producing more. See you in Barnes & Noble!” –Jerry Facey 01/21/16

You’ll be in the NY Times Best Sellers soon. –Glenn R. 01/19/16

WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!!!!!!
I am overwhelmed and way impressed!!!! This was amazing!!!! Very intense. I did not expect any of that. Do you have more?? Can I read more? I am obsessed now! –Lisa F. 01/18/16

What a great piece. I literally flew through it, did not want it to end and was looking for more. Where oh where is the parked Chevy? In such a short work of fiction, I feel I know these characters and what characters! I could have easily hated Frank and pitied Eric, but their respective humanity shown through like a beacon. The way the writer shared Eric’s interior dialogue engaged me in a way that surprised me. As a result, for the scenes between Frank and Eric, I could understand how Eric could possibly make it through such a disorienting experience. Although this encounter could be viewed as a cheap shock and awe device, pandering to a pure sexual situation, instead its purpose was to reveal some of Eric’s admiral character strengths and Frank’s very real human desires. The effect was to give me access, in a very efficient and effective manner to what I might have closed my eyes and mind to. For Rose Ellen’s first published story, it reveals a writing talent that affected me and I look forward to reading her next work. –Brian 01/16/16

“I was late picking up my daughter because I had to finish reading this story first. Remarkable how quickly you can feel like you care deeply about a character.” –Barbara 01/15/16

“I was blown away by the quality of writing and singular voice of this author who weaves a powerful tale that is both particular and universal. Her astute and detailed descriptions of both the inner and outer world of her protagonist are enormously moving. Words spring from the page in new combinations that are raw and gritty, deep and powerful. If this is a first literary attempt, I can only imagine what is in store for us next. More, Ms. McCaig, more.” –Nina Avedon 01/15/16

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