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for Coral

8/27/2020 c1 11D1ckhead
On enjoyment I will say it really helps when the writing doesn't expect too much from casual readers, this had nothing that was too hard to grasp. Also it is good to learn about real things like Mormons and aspergers. The opening is effective in describing an emotion that takes some imagination, not being quite de ja vu nor nostalgia. It also foreshadows the reveal of Coral's difficulty with her thoughts, not being neurotypical. The writing was easy to follow throughout. One line that stuck out to me especially as sad and beautiful was Coral being a normal girl kidnapped by her Asperger's called Corie, and everyone calls her Corie now even though she doesn't like it. The plot of this story... is nothing special. Like, it is heartwarming or supposed to be that Coral finds Emily and they get to hide away from life that is too complex for them and have their moment of bonding empathy... This must be a "me" preference. To be so used to 'heartwarming' situations like these as to find them un-original and like I should be expected to be moved. Maybe I'm just having a heartless day. Anyway I definitely reckon that Coral is a MUCH better name for this than Roly-poly.
6/1/2020 c1 7Alyce Reide
This is so realistic! I love how Coral interacts with Emily. She seems like she knows what she's doing. She likes kids, they like her. Corie would be a good babysitter.

This story doesn't really seem to have much conflict, and what I can see (Emily running away, the cookies, Rebekah's rudeness) either is minimal and not enough to drive the story, or too late to drive the story (if it were a novel. For 5,000 words I think it's ok, but it's still pretty late to be the driving force behind the story). Somehow, it's still compelling-maybe because of its realism, but I think it's that Corie is an engaging character. I'd spend page time with her any day, even for nothing in particular! I think she's also one of the characters I love on the page and would actually like to meet/be friends with in real life (trust me, those are rare).

I think it's so cute that Emily said she was Ash Ketchum! I only watched a little bit of Pokemon, back when my brothers were super into it and having Pokemon battles with their cards every day, but I still remember who Ash and Pikachu are!

I love your opening paragraph. I know exactly what Corie means about being a kid stretched into an adult. I've felt like that for years! It's nice to see someone put words to this feeling.

(Keep "Coral". Personally, I'd read about a reef (or a girl) over a bug any day.)
2/24/2020 c1 Axelei
This was a very lovely and heartfelt story.

I absolutely loved Coral as a character. She's compassionate, caring and somewhat empathetic. Sure, she was afraid of others knowing that she was autistic, but she has her reasons. I love how her identity is not based on her autism, but herself.

I really loved the descriptions so much; it almost felt like I was there and I was experiencing it.

The part where Emily's mother and others don't listen to Coral had me surprised because I was expecting them to listen to her. But your interpretation is definitely more realistic.

As to your first question, Mormon traditions weren't introduced in a confusing manner. It came naturally into the narrative and it gave us time to process it.

I think you've written this pretty well :)
1/24/2020 c1 5Whirlymerle
Hi there from the Review Game Easy Fix!

I really like how you engage with various senses to make the camp experience come alive. The scent of pine and gluten free cookies, as well as the way the younger camp counselors, Rebekah and Audrey, got really eager about browsing beads were details that I really liked.

Overall, I enjoyed this. I found Corie’s voice really soothing even though her own uncertainties/hesitations about being a counselor are palpable. I admire how she comes across as very empathetic to Ash in a way that feels genuine.

Quick suggestion on the first paragraph: While I really love the image of the kid that’s been stretched into adult proportions, the third sentence that begins with “I could technically say it made me feel like a kid again…” isn’t really doing much for me. I think the other sentences wonderfully set scene and mood of the narrator that you can just strike this out and make the paragraph punchier.

Lastly, to address your question, I thought the Mormon elements were well-balanced and I think “Roly-poly” could be a better title.

Thanks for the read!
10/18/2019 c1 3kittybear
This is such a solid short story. You write fantastically; every sentence kept me engaged, and I quickly got attached to the character Coral. You divulge information to the reader at an even pace, so it never feels like a scene or conversation is there for filler, and you sew it seamlessly into the narrative as the story progresses. None of Coral's thoughts or memories feel irrelevant or tangential.

I could easily have read 5,000 more words of this story! I was really surprised and sad when it ended. :'P In regards to your prompts at the beginning of your work, I felt like Coral's Mormonism was written very naturally into the story, and personally I like Roly-poly a little better, though both titles have significance to the main character.

I would read a novel about this character. Or, you know, just a novel with your name below the title! :)
12/3/2018 c1 5CalvinHobbesGatsby
This is a really good story, I really feel for Coral and Emily, the adults could’ve handled the situation better. Well done.
8/25/2018 c1 crazy lion
Hi, Aurora! I checked your profile to see if you wrote something else and I found this beautiful short story. i really loved it!
First, I think the title is perfect. At the end of the day, Coral is the protagonist and, even though Emily and the roly-poly are important, I think that the title is right.
Second, you write amazingly. I told you in the past too, you are a very talented writer. I've never read before a story in which there was an autistic character, and I'm glad you wrote it. Coral is a beautiful name, and I hate nicknames, too. My family calls me Giuly, or Giugy, or Giu, but I don't like it so much.
I loved how you explained that in the past Coral felt bad because there was something wrong with her. I think it was difficult for her to accept she had a disability, that she was different... I mean, I am blind and sometimes it was difficult for me to accept it because, even if I'm like that since I was born, there are times in which I think I'm different but in a negative way. I think I can't do things that people who see can do etc. and that they can see and I don't, and probably Corie felt the same way when she wasn't able to concentrate because there were too many smells and noises in a place. Probably she was like:
"I'm wrong because I can't stand these noises and these smells all at once. There's something wrong with me."
So in a way I can relate to her even if our disabilities are different. Fortunately, now she doesn't feel this way anymore, right? Or at least less than before.
I liked this passage the most:
"Whether or not Rachel knows I'm autistic, she doesn't apologize to me on her sister's behalf. Which is just as well, I suppose – not apologizing means she doesn't consider Rebekah's comment to be an offense towards me, which means in a roundabout way that she sees me as my own individual person and not an "autistic person." I know it seems like those things aren't mutually exclusive, but they are, at least in the way people look at it. It's not something I can explain to a normal person. It's not something people realize they do."
She's right, Rachel considers her a normal person, an individual, and this is really important for Corie. Not to be considered only an autistic or a disabled person (even though Rachel probably doesn't know about her problems) but as a person with an identity, feelings etc. And yeah, many times people don't realize they are offending a disabled person, they just make some comments which they think are not offensive, but in truth they are, and when a disabled person is treated not like that but like a normal person (with difficulties, of course) she feels relieved. Or at least, this happens to Corie and to me, too. I mean, for example I often say things like:
"Yesterday I watched a film" or "I saw a film" becausein Italian we can say: "Ho visto un film" which is the translation of "I saw a film." Well, there are people who ask me:
"What does it mean? You are blind, yoy can't watch things or see things."
And they don't understand that this is a way for me toexplain myself. It would be strange for me to say:
"I listened to a film."
This doesn't seem an offensive thing to say, right? It is only a question. And it sin't truly offensive... but it hurts me because I have to explain that I use the verb "to watch" or "to see" normally when I talk about myself, that this is a way to explain myself and to consider myself more... normal, more like the others. I'm sorry if I did these personal examples, I know they aren't fully related to the story but I just wanted to make you understand how I realte to what Coral said.
Anyway Rachel seems very sweet, Rebekah not so much but probably because she's still a teenager. Anyway I don't like her so much. And, I'm sorry about that, but I hated her when she told "retarded kids". There are less offensive ways to say that.
It was interesting to read about Coral's past, about the things she remembered, about Momons and about Asperger's syndrome. I don't know so much about this illness. Anyway, I don't know, probably there are some diffeent types of this syndrome. I mean, Corie is intelligent, she talks, she has some poblems but she can handle them, and there are autistic people who have more severe conditions, who can't talk, who have some difficulties and some behaviors which appear strange to people who are not autistic (for example, I knew an autistic girl who constantly moved one of her arms). So my question is: in that camp are there children with less severe and more severe conditions? Anyway, I'm so sorry that Corie feels bad even now when she feels too much noise and that she has trouble concentrating and these headaches. Headache is not a good thing. I suffer from it too, but most of the times because of seizures.
I'm sorry for what happened to Emily. Probably she said no to Rachel because she's autistic and she didn't want to stop or she didn't fully understand the request because of her problems, I don't know. Anyway, I think Rachel could have been more patient with her. I mean, if you volunteer in a camp for autistic kids you have to be at least a little prepared, right? You must know how to talk to kidswith this disability, how to manage difficult situations with them. I could understand if Rebekah didn't. She's a teen, she's young and probably she doesn't fully understand autism, even if she is thirteen and she would have to be at least a little mature. But Rachel is seventeen, right? And I would have wanted her to be more careful with that girl. She was nice for therest ofthe story, and I was sorry when Corie thought she wanted to tell her the truth about her autism but she didn't. It has to be difficult for Coral to hide her problems... But coming back to what I was saying, in this case I didn't like Rachel so much.
I was frightened when Emily ran away, but I was sure Coral would have foud her in a way or another and in fact she did. She was very sweet with her, the opposite of her mother.
""I'm sorry that you lost your... Pokémon," I say.
She looks at me with no clear expression. "My Pokémon," she repeats.
"I don't think your mom meant to kill it."
"She still did," says Emily. Her voice is hoarse.
I can't argue with that.
"I hate it here," Emily says. She's pressed her head back into her knees with her arms around her legs, squeezing herself tight.
"So do I," I confess."
""What's your name?" I ask her.
"…I'm Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town," she says without looking up.
I readjust my position, curl my arms around my legs, and slowly start rocking back and forth. "Nice to meet you, Ash," I say. "I'm Coral.""
They talked about her pokemon, Coral tried to comfort Emily the best she ould. Tje little girl was sad and angry and Coral was there for her. She understood her feelings, she remained calm when talking to her, she was the only one who was sorry for what happened and who understood how the girl was feeling. She was amazing! And she seemed so good with kids! And not only she did that, but she asked the girl what hr name was, she didn't call her withher nickname but with her full name, she said her full name, Coral, and not Corie. She went into the girl's world, or better, into the Pokemon's world with her fantasy because Emily liked it. I adored this scene!
I'm sorry the story has already finisged. I hope you will write again about Coral in the future, I don't know about other episodes of her life. Think about it, okay? :)
You made a wonderful job with this story!
8/19/2018 c1 20Kitsune95
This was absolutely wonderful to read. I loved all the descriptions you have here - sights, sounds, smells. They fit right along with Coral's thoughts and feelings and it flowed smoothly, in my opinion.

As someone who knows very little about Mormons and Mormonism, I think you did a good job in dropping bits of information about it. I didn't feel particularly lost at any point.
Also, the title "Coral" fits, I think. It's all about her and her name does play a roll in the story.
8/13/2018 c1 5Katie Grey
Hi! I don't think I've reviewed this story before, so I'm picking this one.
This was a very sweet, but sort of sad, story. I liked all of the references to Coral's past at the camp, they helped to put things into perspective. The dialogue and the description were good as well.
I really liked the ending. It really makes me want to know what happens next.
The characters are very good as well. In such a short story, I began to really hate a few of them... which is difficult to do with so few words.

I would say that changing the title would be a good choice. One word titles, especially names, are not the best because they don't tell you anything about the story. Roly-Poly is better, in my opinion.
- katie
7/28/2018 c1 Michal Claire
A sweet story with a pleasant ending.
I thought the mormon stuff was interesting and for a name change, maybe combine coral and roly-poly somehow, "When Coral met Roly-poly." or something...(I dont know...)
7/22/2018 c1 11Story Blue
I chose to review this story for the review game, and I hope I do it justice.

First of all, this was a very good short story. Your vivid description and use of scenes, dialogue, and conflict drew me into the story, and I definitely want to know more, if there is any.

Let me continue to hit the high points:

I like how you gave us a glimpse of your character's personalities without providing boring cut and dry description. Instead, you used anecdotes, interactions, and dialogue to characterize Coral.

Your characterization of this young woman hints to me that you have experience working with people with special needs, as you provided pretty accurate examples of the limitations her disability creates and what her experiences living with her disability as a child were.

You also used dialogue really well to help characterize some of the other volunteers. I like how the characters use more fluid and natural dialogue and not stilted speech. I feel like you really paid attention when you were writing the dialogue and deciding your character's personalities. They all feel like very real people.

Proper scene setting also appears to be one of this story's strengths. There are lots of micro-conflicts and near resolutions that keep the story moving at a suitable pace-the realization that her friends may not know she has a disability, the social misstep of eating the gluten free cookies and not understanding if it was a serious offense or not, the connection she had with the little girl who was playing make believe-all related to the main story and all really useful for keeping a reader interested. I did not feel much lag at all when I read this story.

Overall, you give us a good glimpse into the setting of the story and let us know through their actions who they are. This story kept me interested, and that doesn't happen very often.

Suggested Improvements:

Overall, your short story was really good, and these things might be a bit nit picky, but I'll mention them anyway.

In your introductory paragraph, is there a way for you to shorten the first sentence? I feel like there are a few extra words, like "technically," that kind of make the lead in to the story feel slow. If it were told from first person, I may understand the wordiness, but I think it kind of creates a false impression on the reader that the story is going to lag, and the story doesn't lag in most places, so maybe trimming out the unnecessary words is a good idea?

Are you going to finish the story, or is that it? I would really like to know what's going to happen to Coral at that camp. She seems to have some conflicting ideas with the other volunteers due to once being a special needs kid herself. Fascinating.
7/20/2018 c1 51Electrumquill
I’m no Mormon, so I can definitely say if anything is confusing in that respect. I can guess that ‘Sister’ is some kind of religious title, even though I had not known that women could be Mormon ministers.

I like the olfactory descriptions. Smells can definitely be evocative. Says something about the narrator that they liked Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. That show was so trippy, even for a cartoon. Remember the mole robot who blew on his drill like appendage and somehow formed a pumpkin this way?

Rebekah is obnoxious. I like how the narrator’s mind races over how much Rachel knows about her. It’s the right sort of feeling for a hyper-sensitive person to have. Good to keep the reader guessing as well. The train of thought is a very realistic touch.

I’m not sure from reading the paragraph in question what the Personal Progress has to do with an Eagle Scout aware, since I knew nothing whatever of either of them until this moment. Is it like some school mandatory “extra-curricular activity” to get better grades, and is this entwined with some religious demand?

I didn’t know about that awful video purporting to be for understanding Autism, but it doesn’t surprise me. It sounds sort of like those dreadful videos from the 50s that attacked “homosexuals.” I’m well aware that the US medical institutions have remained very insular, like the UK’s, even though they’ve changed from being all Anglo-Saxon Christian men, to being very mixed. Some things never do change.

Cute scene with the kids drawing. With the cookie vignette, I like the touch of the narrator thinking of a moment of ecstasy as being like seeing the face of God. Keeps a sense of the whole religious context.

I think her parents sound pretty dumb in retrospect, not realising the problems she would have in camp, but I bet they got a lot of misinformation dumped on them. Certainly Corie is harder on herself than she need be – not everyone can endure dorm life, and door to door proselytising is certainly not for everyone either. She’s internalised some misinformation that her parents received.

The whole episode with little Emily is well handled. She certainly does give off an autistic vibe to me, and Corie is the only lady present to show any usefulness at all in the situation, or offer any sympathy to Emily. It’s telling that Corie will risk getting into trouble for her. A young woman can show integrity in that way and so can a little kid. I bet Corie was that kind of nice girl when she was a little kid as well. Some things don’t change.

There really is no need to change the title to Roly-Poly. I didn't even know what a roly-poly was until this moment, so it wouldn't have given the right first impression. And it is Coral's story, so why not call it Coral?

The piece as a whole is insightful and useful on the topic of autism in kids, and I like Corie as a lead very much.
7/3/2018 c1 4Dublinjake
So, Coral,

An effective piece. Don’t have many issues with it. You have a good flair for irony, with the idea of the true self being held captive not by autism but by the perceptions of autism being particularly effective. The imagery in the passage describing the commercial is also very effective.

A couple of lines of prose perhaps come across a little unnecessary and melodramatic, like the line “normal people wouldn’t understand”. We get the idea from the “autistic people” line just before, particularly because of the quotes around it. Also, As we’re clearly being invited to empathise with the autistic condition to be told we can’t understand it calls the purpose of the story into question and just sounds a little too melodramatic overall. It’s exclusionary to most readers and it feels out of place. It would arguably be a more effective paragraph otherwise.

I’d recommend reading over the story again for little bits like this where you’ve just overextended a tad. It’s not a major flaw, it’s a matter of tightening.

Naturally, as i’m not autistic myself and I don’t know if you are I can’t comment on whether your story is accurate portrayal, but I can say it portrays the emotions convincingly and makes you feel Corie’s discomfort quite vividly. And that is what really counts.

The ending was also a genuinely tender moment.

Good work!
7/2/2018 c1 Polly Little
First off, I'm an Aspie like your character, so sorry for any excited gushing – representation is frustratingly rare. Anyway, your SPAG seems fine and in keeping with the general mood (though I think cliché is supposed to have an accented e). I was able to get a feel for Rebekkah and Audrey's personalities, and Rachel seems nice if nothing else.
The advert! Yeah, not the sort of thing I'm used to seeing – is that a common sort of thing where you're from? Regardless, that was messed up. The part with her thinking of her autism as separate felt like physically being punched. I would've liked to see more of how her opinion has developed, because the feeling I'm getting is a little confused.
Can I say that I really hate Audrey? Has she done no research? Really? *Insert increasingly sarcastic comments about idiots volunteering who assume they're too good for research and hurt small children* The reactions to her claiming the little kid hurt her were disappointingly realistic, so well done there.
I loved loved loved the rocking at the end! Yay, she's accepting herself and her people. The last line felt very... Important? Does that sound weird? Either way, it did.
Oh, and the title's perfect.
7/1/2018 c1 bulelo
“I just feel out-of-place. Not like an adult that’s been shrunk back into a kid, but like a confused kid who’s suddenly been stretched into adult proportions and has no idea what the expectations are anymore.”

I just wanted to begin this review with this quote, which I feel resonates with many people and is actually something I continue to struggle with every time I return to my hometown from being in the big city. You feel like you're that one leftover piece of a jigsaw puzzle, having left behind old habits and memories and then being expected to be the same as you were. It’s been a while since I’ve related to a narrator so much, thank you for this deeply relatable and human story.

To answer your first question, your prose certainly made sense to me as a non-Mormon reader. Ironically, I just came out of watching an interview on The Daily Show with Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. I feel the same sense of enlightenment and understanding after having finished your story, as I not only experienced a young Mormon’s perspective, but someone living with Asperger’s. Nothing felt out of place or extraneous.

In fact, to answer your second question, I can’t think of a single thing I’d rearrange or change about your characters. Coral was an absolute joy to read about and made me relive some of my own memories growing up with health conditions, trying to be “normal” instead of being embraced for my “different.” I think she was a great bridge to your readers seeing even a smidgen of what life is like for such an adolescence, speaking volumes for even for many people who don’t have autism or anxiety. Your simple and realistic language was hard-hitting and rooted me in the narrative, wonderful execution. I could really see myself becoming friends with Coral! I loved how she perceived the world around her and especially her interaction with Emily.

Very nice work, keep it up! Here are my specific reactions/suggestions:

[… the youth group leader, looking very much like she knows what she’s doing with her baseball cap, capri pants, and whistle]: mad soccer mom and Jenna Marbles vibes for some reason HAHA

[The big red bean bag has been replaced with a smaller blue one - or maybe it only seems small because I’ve grown]: I felt this acutely, nice line to keep with the theme

[I can’t think of a more inferior substitute for Sonic than Anna and Elsa]: SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK

[Rebekah has no qualms making herself comfortable; she’s the kind of person who never has doubts about whether or not other people will find her likeable or useful]: firstly, great insight into her character, definitely have some friends like this; secondly, “likeable” should be “likable” and I feel like you’re missing “about” after “qualms”

[Her voice is a little less soft than usual]: this line seems a little awkward, considering that Rebekah’s name already had an exclamation point tacked at the end

[When I was a kid it was more obvious that there was something wrong with me, anyway, so even if my parents had never said anything, other people would have]: this made me inexplicably sad

[It’s not something I can explain to a normal person. It’s not something people realize they do]: WOW did I feel this in my soul, definitely my experience coping with mental illness and how people view me

[Then I did all the elective values in the same order, and have just started the projects]: sentence sounded a little choppy

[… I thought everyone just be called what they really were]: put “should” before “just”

[I even called my mom and dad Patricia and Nicholas]: this made me laugh really hard omg

[I guess at some point I started thinking that “Corie” was my Asperger’s, and Coral was the girl who had to be saved from it]: you are a trooper girl, I’d feel terrible

[… I mentioned it to my mom, taking advantage of the fact that my parents were willing to try pretty much anything to make me normal]: anything for cookies, clever girl

[… the shame of stealing some poor gluten-deprived child of their dessert…]: I would reword this to “the shame of stealing the desert of some poor gluten-deprived child”

[… just long enough to cool off and put a smile back on my face before pouring myself a root beer and going back out]: AW GIRL, this also brought a smile to my face

[Everyone else in the world lives in dorms and survives just fine, and I hate admitting that something everyone else can do, is just too hard for me]: you keep throwing these amazing lines at me, what is my heart supposed to do UGH I FELT THIS WHOLE STORY SO PERSONALLY HALP
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