The CuriousPages Sketchbook

My Constant Companion



“Pia” (26 November 2010 posted on ):

Fletcher - I read My Constant Companion since I relate to the idea of the shadow, in a creative sense. This man is haunted by his shadow, in fear of it . . . There are people all around me . . . and none of them will stop . . . 'Coward,' I yell . . . He sees his fear reflected everywhere (apart from in the library) not ready to face the challenge yet. I like your stories and the humanity they address.

“Ekkarlewicz” (4 October, 2010 posted on

I read My Constant Companion and I thought it was creative, well written, and flowed very well. I'm a big fan of inner monologues and first person narratives, so this really spoke to me.

“StaKC” (10 September, 2010 posted on

All different but all well written. The Armchair Ballet Dancer is heart wrenching. Like your writing style, and that every story is so vastly different. I enjoyed My Constant Companion as well, very psychologically creepy. Good luck with this one.

Francine “Rhiannon65” (10 September, 2010 posted on ):

Your stories are very good. I love some of the descriptions such as My Constant Companion. That hooked me. I also liked Choosing the Right Drinks too. I'm still reading, but I just wanted to let you know that I think that what I've read I like.

Lynne (19 August, 2010 posted on ):

I read A Substitute Passion, and My Constant Companion. Wow, so different and so entertaining. They are beautifully written stories which are gripping and thought provoking. A great collection to dip in and out of and I wish you the very best of luck.

“caribe” (18 August, 2010 posted on ):

I read Samuel Pam's Salvation, The Gallery and My Constant Companion and Andrea Segovia Loses Control. Your stories show imagination, depth and, most importantly, very good writing. I leaned toward the more traditional storytelling of Samuel Pam and Andrea Segovia because of your character development and dialogue. And I like Andrea Segovia who does not play guitar or like the kissing of Englishmen. It's a personal choice; they're all well done. I'm certainly happy to have backed you, and I wish you luck.

Kate Buchanan (10 August, 2010 posted on ):

Well, Fletcher - your leaking mind is full of treasures!!! I read The Gallery, and My Constant Companion - excellent!! Mind-boggling!! Stories that I love - that Twilight Zone - Hitchcock kind of feel to them.

"A1Writer" (29 July, 2010 posted on

Based on Andrew's comment I read My Constant Companion and loved it. I backed [your collection] on that alone and will work on more at another time. I personally like psychological stories and that paragraph in which the narrator struggles to define this "shadow" is very humanizing.

Elisabeth Silvers (27 July, 2010 posted on

I read My Constant Companion first. While I may have the meaning you intended all wrong, I identified with the story. There is always something following, a thought, knowledge of some impending task or event that you want to avoid. I plan on coming back to read the others soon.

"EltopiaAuthor" (22 July, 2010 posted on

My Constant Companion. Eerie, humorous, mysterious, paranoiac. This story has an amazing depth to it. One can almost feel ancient shadows archetypal memories moving below the surface. This is good writing. This is one of those stories that "says far more than it says." It reaches beneath the surface of our desperation and taps our need to connect, or to escape, or both.

Andrew Skaife (21 July, 2010 posted on ):

I read Choosing the Right Drinks, and My Constant Companion; it was a fantastic tag line.

In Choosing the Right Drinks, Clemency is a complicated character and beautifully painted. She demands attention, perhaps deserves sympathy but sometimes I just wanted to scream out 'pull your socks up, woman! Sort yourself out!' The realism you bring to your characters is admirable.

Your writing style holds crystal clarity and a dry wit which are perfect partners for each other.

"...and then he paused, as if waiting for his cough to speak- as a disturbed dog will bark;" You wrap incisive perceptions inside intuitive thoughts and the result is a melange of writing that impresses me very much.

My Constant Companion. This was fantastic. It is phantasmagorical and definitive simultaneously. It is a dark, dark metaphor for incipient insanity and the problem that we all feel when left to our own thoughts for too long. You have mastered the short story (something I have never done) with a minimalist piece that strikes right to the heart of psyche and what it can do to us; we can never get away from it and when it attacks there is no defence.

I am so glad that I took the time to read parts of your work. Excellently done.

"Pia" (15 July, 2010 posted on

Fletcher - Stories from a Leaking mind - I properly read the last - My Constant Companion - since I relate to the idea of the shadow, in a creative sense. This man is haunted by his shadow, in fear of it . . . There are people all around me . . . and none of them will stop . . . 'Coward,' I yell . . . He sees his fear reflected everywhere (apart from in the library) not ready to face it. I like the title of your stories and the humanity they address.

Simon “BigSimon” (30 June, 2010 posted on ):

This is humbling display of creative virtuosity and versatility. Read three so far. Of these my favourite was Choosing the Right Drinks - a beautiful study of regret and redemption. The retrospective evaluation of a life as a series of intoxications before a sobering exit and the transformational effect of this on the aptly named Clemency is very skilfully presented. Irresistible Temptation: with its distinctly Kafkaesque feel, I read as a satire on man's willingness to buy into a false dream, his inevitable dissatisfaction as that dream fades and our unswerving tendency to repeat the mistakes of past generations. -Or maybe not but either way, it was very interesting. My Constant Companion: is also very thought provoking. Is this a study of paranoia or of depression? At the start I saw it as the familiar metaphor of being afraid of one's own shadow expressed literally, but towards the end, I saw the shadow more as a cloud of despair with the potential of leading to self-destruction. Taken together, the sheer diversity of these three show enormous versatility and skill in the author. The writing is impeccable and the story content is both inventive and perceptive. Quite extraordinary and highly enjoyable, Simon.


Feedback on the whole collection of stories

Kenneth Edward Lim (24 May, 2011 posted on

Fletcher, Your stories make me think of Eleanor Rigby and all the forgotten people inhabiting the Beatles song. Your collection of stories focusing on lonely people battling inner demons to find relevance in life strikes a poignant chord in me, realizing that I could simply look around in my daily meanderings and spot one of your characters engaged in the very struggle. You have your finger on the pulse of humanity behind its guise of normalcy. Thank you.

Kevin O'Donnell (21 May, 2011 posted on

Refreshing and different. Little pauses in lives, snapshots of characters and their plans and struggles. I like these... Kevin

“dshinton” (28 January, 2011 posted on

Hi. I like the frankness with which you speak, your stories are surprisingly short and to the point, which makes me think of Moliner's 'I Love You When I'm Drunk' collection. I often think that I must have a leaky mind so this was just my cup of tea. I definitely agree with the comment below, in that short stories are good for just pottering around with.

Tricia “Bradley Haynes” (24 January, 2011 posted on

I experienced your stories as buffeting around in dreams, meeting myself and different people, strange and unusual, dipping in and out of waking and sleeping. Different. Best of luck.

Claire Louise (12 January, 2011 posted on ):

I'm in awe of anyone who can write a short story, I struggle with too much detail! You have some imagination and are clearly a talented writer.Good luck! Starred! Best wishes, Claire

“Bruki's Keeper” (12 January, 2011 posted on

These stories are very well written! They kept me interested, and were very easy to understand. The characters were really brought to life, and their minds and emotions were very easy to understand and get drawn into. The stories have great morals and a story line that keeps rolling, but allows the reader to think through everything that is happening. Very good! I hope to see these published! Backing it, and adding stars to it!

Samantha “Twist2010” (22 December, 2010 posted on

Fletcher, All I can say is wow! I love the depth that the stories go into. I found myself in one way or another relating to the different characters. Great Work!

Athena Lyso (6 December, 2010 posted on

You are gifted with insight into the human psyche and a masterful way of weaving a tale with instantly recognizable characters to touch your reader.

“SaffinaD” (21 October, 2010 posted on

Really enjoyed these. Unique, well written and took me through a range of emotions. A real rollercoaster read.

Clare “livloo” (12 October, 2010 posted on

Fletcher, what a curious collection of stories. They are so unique and highly imaginative. Great reading !

“JPR” (4 October, 2010 posted on

Dear Fletcher you have a wonderful imagination, I wish you every success. Book backed with pleasure. Jan

Jewels Diva (4 October, 2010 posted on

Hi Fletcher, I do quite like short stories, you can always fit just one more in before you go to bed. You definitely have an imagination and your stories are quite interesting. I'm backing you.

D K Willis (4 October, 2010 posted on

I admire anyone who can write short stories well. It is an art form that stands on its own and in many ways is far more difficult than writing novels. Your stories are very well done. Impressive in content and style. I am backing your work with pleasure and I wish you great success. Thanks for sharing, Fletcher.

Adrian Belisario (3 October, 2010 posted on

Dear Fletcher, After having read a number of your stories, I have to say that you are a writer of great imagination and gifted with the talent and abilities to convey it in a unique voice. Perhaps I should say voices, as your stories demonstrate a wonderful versatility and depth of feeling across an array of situations. One is seldom treated to a writer with such a deep empathy for his fellow man (and woman) and able to draw the reader into their struggles with so little apparent effort. I think you are an author to be read and savoured (and perhaps envied a little, as well). If there's any justice your book will find publication. Keep at it; you're needed.

Bud Carroll (29 September, 2010 posted on

Your stories are well written with an interesting morbid twist to them…. I backed your book and I have also put it on my watchlist so I can read more of your stories. Nice going.

J A Humm (19 September, 2010 posted on

What delicious ideas for stories. I bet you have to carry a notebook around with you for when these original little gems pop into your mind.

“kaysielynn” (17 September, 2010 posted on

I read several of the stories here and found them quite interesting. You seem to have mastered the short story form!

Stephen Racket (15 September, 2010 posted on

A collection of well-written, thought provoking stories. Imaginative and skilfully crafted, a delightful mix. Backed with pleasure.

“kwestion” (13 September, 2010 posted on

Entertaining and interesting stories, quite bizarre, like life can sometimes be quite bizarre. Backing it.

“chvolkoff” (12 September, 2010 posted on

I don't know what to say, except that these stories are fabulous. I only read two, but I absolutely loved them! You have a great sensitivity to the feelings of women, (though you like them a little on the slighly "off" side :), and the writing is flawless, captivating, and the stories are poignant with an undercurrent of life, boiling underneath it all. Great job, and backed with pleasure! I'm glad I found your book, your mind is leaking some wonderful stuff!

Simon “SPW” (11 September, 2010 posted on

A fantastic collection of short stories. Many different styles on offer, and all the more entertaining because of it. Very well written, The dialogues are great and your descriptions vivid. The very best of luck with this and will come back to complete it asap. Backed

Alice “Pen Power” (11 September, 2010 posted on

I have enjoyed reading your stories immensely. You have a great empathetic ability to be able to write about your characters with such understanding. I do wish you luck with your endeavours. all the best Alice

Miles A. Robinson (9 September, 2010 posted on

What a marvelously eclectic collection of extremely well told tales. Backed

Ron Mitchell (8 September, 2010 posted on ):

Enjoyed your collection of stories. They are well written and entertaining. The dialogue drama brings the reader into the story very well. Backed.

Chantal “chantellyb” (8 September, 2010 posted on

Very introspective and a good exploration of human nature.

PATRICK BARRETT (20 August, 2010 posted on

I still come back to this collection and read another story or re-read the same one as last time. Your writing has a timeless quality and there is always a nuance I missed the first time.

Becca “ipaintwithwords” (19 August, 2010 posted on

I love the blend of Literary fiction with comedy--some of my favorite lit fic novels take on that approach. I only had time to sample some of this, but the writing was good and I think lovers of short stories will enjoy what you have here.

Suzanne Adams (19 August, 2010 posted on

The shorts are thought provoking, contemporary and as far as I can tell very well written. Although I am not a fan of the short story, preferring something meatier I am charmed by this collection.

Diane “DMR” (18 August, 2010 posted on

Fantastically compelling and so masterfully penned that it is imperative and easy to read these stories - well done!

“DarkTwilight” (18 August, 2010 posted on

Fletch, You have a writing style that reminds me of Flannery O'Connor. A darker tone, but very lifelike. However, you have something that makes it your own, such as how you carry out the plot, sentence fluency, etc. I'm very impressed with this. Backed. =)

“stoatsnest” (17 August, 2010 posted on

This is exceptionally brilliant. Maugham-like indeed. Backed.

Clair “chuckylivesinme” (15 August, 2010 posted on

These are really powerful stories. They are well written, emotional and beautifully scripted. These characters are very real and complicated. but with touches of greatness. I wish you every success with these.

“SingingOwl” (14 August, 2010 posted on ):

This is superb. Writing is engaging and punctuation is flawless (how rare indeed is THAT?) and your stories are terrific! I only read a few, but will be back for more. I love short stories, and I know getting them published is a long shot--but this is excellent. Best wishes! BACKED happily.

Justis Call (13 August, 2010 posted on

Wow....these stories are reminiscent of old Twilight Zone tv shows. Twists of fate, as it were. Very creative.

“CamilleS” (13 August, 2010 posted on

Great stories and writing.

Gurmeet Mattu (12 August, 2010 posted on

Firm, confident writing and a fertile imagination at work here. Backed.

Karen “klfullertonl” (12 August, 2010 posted on

This is well written and you have some compelling stories. This makes a good read.

“flower girl” (11 August, 2010 posted on

I love these stories. They have a depth of meaning and have rich characters. The dialogue too is realistic. I only wish i could write short stories this well !! Backed.

“beeloveks” (11 August, 2010 posted on

These stories are like photographs, brief moments in time.

Katy “Tari” (11 August, 2010 posted on

What wealth of genres to choose from. Each story has its own twist. Some are inspiring, others frightening or giving food for reflection. Your style has such energy that spills out in the words and grabs the reader.

I would love to have this book. I'm reading a collection by Deaver at the moment, just finished another by Raymond Carver. i think your work rates highly. Best of luck, Kind regards, Katy,

“Su Dan” (10 August, 2010 posted on

A good collection of stories. having only read one, l can see you know this genre well. good writing...on my watchlist...

Natalie Bouhmout (10 August, 2010 posted on

By far one of the best reads that I have read so far on I have only read three but I am dying to read the rest. It will be remaining on my book shelf for quite some time. Backed.

Linda Lou (8 August, 2010 posted on

Hullo Fletcher. what an interesting variety of topics your stories address. Very good.

“Sue G.” (8 August, 2010 posted on

Fascinating ideas! Backed with pleasure.

Gordon Kuhn (7 August, 2010 posted on

Interesting. Surreal. Odd. Good. Frightening. I think all of the above depending on which story you are reading. I enjoyed the several I spent time with as I was hooked and wanted to slowly go through them. Good job. Backed.

“Cly” (7 August, 2010 posted on

I'm delighted to be able to back this book, highly entertaining, well written, thought-provoking. Best Wishes

Baz “Simpko” (5 August, 2010 posted on

I am not a fan of short stories. I always feel like I have invested time in linking myself to something that is then gone so quickly. That said there are a few little gems in here. And (this may sound strange) I felt the less sensational stories made for the better reading. I found the ones that could possibly be called mundane showed the true skill and sensitivity of your writing to its very best. So good work and well done.

Christian Piatt (5 August, 2010 posted on

Fletcher: you have a unique voice and perspective here, which presents both a challenge and opportunity. I expect your work may be best received by a speciality publisher who leans toward fresh, quirky humor. Best of luck with this.

Jane “hikey” (4 August, 2010 posted on

A rich selection of short and original stories that are entertaining and each well crafted. You have a real talent in this genre and the effort that you have put into your writing shines through. I have enjoyed these well structured stories and wish you the best of luck.

“zrinka” (3 August, 2010 posted on

These are some very interesting stories about ordinary people in some very unordinary situations. Love the way you bring the characters out to life and intertwine them into the plot. It all comes to life on the page and almost jumps out. Nicely done. Backed.

“Geveret” (3 August, 2010 posted on

Achingly spot-on insights into the human condition and the ambivalence of the human condition. Shelved.

“WriterJohnB” (2 August, 2010 posted on

Very nicely written and intriguing stories, from the half dozen I sampled. I'll gladly back it. I find it hard to believe there aren't magazines that would pay for fare such as this. Take care, JohnB

Chuck “Mr. Nom de Plume” (2 August, 2010 posted on

Backed with great pleasure. The work truly fits my definition of literary fiction--difficult to write but when written well (as this work is) a great pleasure to read. Chuck

“robf” (31 July, 2010 posted on

My only comment is that this reminds me of Raymond Carver, who is one of the all time great short story writers :)

Philip John (31 July, 2010 posted on

Hello Fletcher, Short stories are not always easy to write even when the germ of an idea is there. But you have clearly mastered the art from the outset. You write with style. The dialogue, where it comes in, is good. And the stories themselves are captivating. Well done!

Faith “fh” (28 July, 2010 posted on

Hi Fletch, This is certainly an intriguing collection of works. Normally I hate short stories but yours are a definite cut above the majority. Your dialogue is full of sparkling wit, anguish and is often very thought provoking. A couple of chapters I read are incredibly deep and sad. The characters totally believable. You have a talent, keep at it. good luck.

“Erika” (28 July, 2010 posted on

I appreciate the craft of the short story and look forward to reading more of your work.

“BoOkLuVeR_15” (26 July, 2010 posted on

I read a few of them, and I thought they were very good. The ones I read were funny, but it was really well written humour, and I enjoyed them.

David Placeres (26 July, 2010 posted on

Hi Fletcher, I backed your book with pleasure. It's painstakingly written and dwells on people we likely see everyday but rather ignore because of our own intoxication. Excellent!!!

Abi Knight (23 July, 2010 posted on

Short stories are such a challenge, and yours are so much more than little chunks of fiction. Each one is very distinct, unique and strong in its own right. You use dry humour in an excellent way to balance tone and link this anthology together, but its the depth and richness of the characters that makes these stand out. On my shelf.

Jenny "bluewriter" (22 July, 2010 posted on

I think that you have stories that people will either love or hate. You also have tales that will reveal layers upon layers with further reading. Your work is well done and shows strong talent. Good luck. Backed.

“celticwriter” (15 July, 2010 posted on

Hi Fletcher, backing your book happily. I do appreciate, and enjoy, a good flowing short story. And yours certainly are. Have not read them all...but looking forward to doing so. I'm not a critic, just a mere scriptwriter who is jumping into the novel world for the first time. However, I can appreciate a good visual, and you paint well with words creating fantastic worlds. much happiness, jim

“Rakhi” (14 July, 2010 posted on

This is an amazing collection of short stories that inspire and touches the heart. I rarely come across a story that when read several times, each time it offers you a new insight, one that I can easily relate to and learn from. Your writing style is unique and makes the stories more richer and meaningful. I'm happy to have stumbled upon these and will be back to read more.

Joana Graça Moura (13 July, 2010 posted on

I don't know much about short story writing but I know it mustn't be easy. Loved the pitch. Every single one of your stories appealed to me. You've really put a lot of work into your stories and it shows. What really got to me and made me a fan of your book is your ability to draw the characters in just a few lines. Congratulations on a wonderful job. Backed

Marija F.Sullivan (12 July, 2010 posted on

Great characterisation, extraordinary eye for detail. Strong writer's voice. Backed with pleasure and best wishes.

Skip Mahaffey (11 July, 2010 posted on

What I loved about these stories is that you paint a picture, install the characters and then stand back and let them tell the stories. The pictures are clear and the characters in just a few sentences are clearly drawn. The dialog is great and the stories are marvellous. Anxious to read more. Bravo! Be Brilliant!

John Connor (10 July, 2010 posted on ):

It's nice to read a varied and eclectic mix of stories that go somewhere, or say something, rather than just being dropped into a situation with little or no idea of what's happening. Congratulations on a very nice afternoon's reading. Backed with pleasure, and I hope you have a success with this.

Robert Davidson (5 July, 2010 posted on

Short story writing has to be the hardest format anyone could chose. How to create 3 dimensional characters in such a limited quantity of words, how to work out a story line which grips, how to leave the reader satisfied? You've managed all of the requirements. Well done. Definitely backed.

Andrew Foley Jones (5 July, 2010 posted on

I love quirky shorts like these. And the intro to each one is a nice touch. Don t like comparisons but this reminds me of Will Self, the Maestro of this genre. really got me by the short and quirkies this.

Azam Gill (3 July, 2010 posted on ):

“Stories from a Leaking Mind.” The leak has turned into a welcome outburst threatening to become a flood of lyrical prose, and a starburst of rich characters. Conflict abounds, and runs throughout the stories. The short pitch at the head of each story is an act of kindness to the reader revealing, probably, artistic humility, a fairly uncommon virtue. Tongue in cheek literary and popular references establish the implied reader-narrator contract. The choice of signifiers in perception and narration harks to a classical style. Yet, since they are known and understood, do not strike an odd note. Their judicious use embellishes the writing and reinstates good taste. Thank you for a good read.

“missyfleming_22” (1 July, 2010 posted on ):

I'm kind of embarrassed you read my book before I read yours. Mine can never even hope to compare to your work! I've only read a few but I'm going to keep reading, which is rare for me I'm sad to say. There are so many emotions that are brought forth by your writing, to be able to bring those out in not just one short story but from all of what I've read is remarkable. Your writing is just awesome, I really don't know how else to put it and I'm being truly genuine. I felt like this wasn't something that should be on this site. Like I said, I'm going to read on and I'm sure I won't be disappointed. Thanks for sharing this remarkable work with us, it's brilliant. A little something for everyone which is exactly how a collection like this should be! Missy

“Mike LaRiviere” (1 July, 2010 posted on ):

Fletcher, This is an amazing work that is reflective of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. The work consists of personal or autobiographic matter, at times expressed in aphorisms and maxims reflecting on the meaning of life and the best things of life. It proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently vain or futile and that the lives of both wise and foolish men end in death. The speaker suggests that one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life, such as eating, drinking, and taking enjoyment in one's work, which are gifts from the hand of God.

As I read the chapters, I did think that your mind was leaking the processes, challenges, fears, frustrations, and questions of life that all of us experience. This was masterfully penned to reflect the deepest thoughts of people at different stages in their personal lives as they relate to the lives of others.

I think that futility at life's end is the saddest of all fears when redemption of soul seems elusive. Often the answers to the greatest needs of one's life lies in the service to others and the giving of ourselves away in the process. This is so expertly depicted in your stories.

All of us, at some time or other experience depression, despondency, hopelessness, or self deprecation. You have used all of these and more in describing your characters and developing them to carry your storylines. It is one thing to feel down and out, but the ability to portray these emotions on paper is a unique gift that is given to a precious few --obviously you are among those few. You are an excellent wordsmith and a painter of vividly sad, euphoric, frantic, and ecstatic conditions of the spirit. Very well done.

Frank “Francesco” (29 June, 2010 posted on ):

A varied selection but one that does not vary in quality!!! Backed. Good Luck!!!!! Frank.

Chuck “Mr. Nom de Plume” (28 June, 2010 posted on ):

Life is fast and short stories fit well into today's lifestyle. These works are among the best, in my opinion. Good luck. Chuck

Andrew Burans (22 June 2010 posted on

I admire authors like you who can write a collection of short stories and move seamlessly from one divergent character to another. Your stories are well constructed and you build your characters superbly. Your descriptive writing style makes your work a pleasure to read. Backed.

Yasmin Esack (20 June 2010 posted on ):

You have the power of the pen and connect extremely well with the reader. Your opening lines are catchy and the characters are realistic and attractive. Happy to support this.

Denise (18 June 2010 posted on

Fletcher hello, well your title just jumped out, grabbed me by the throat (well I should say mind) and would not let go. What a wonderful title and the ‘wonderful’ is a bit weak really. You are obviously a seasoned writer looking at your pitch, and the body of your book is easy, well paced and just love short stories, though I would think they are harder to produce. You manage to captivate early and keep me and I have not finished the book yet but will continue. ..BACKED for sure...Choosing the right drinks just stayed in my mind and that is the best compliment I can give at this time.




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