I've received a lot of emails about this story. I haven't responded to any of them yet. At first, I didn't respond because I couldn't believe how positive the responses were, and was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and later because I'd received so many encouraging responses it would be difficult to give each of them the individual replies they merit. There were a few that contained encouraging and constructive suggestions for minor, technical corrections, and I will be following up on those things. As for the rest, all I can say is thanks, and that your words have indeed had a positive impact.
This has been my first story, ever. I've wanted to write before, but I don't have any training, and whatever muse is attached to me battles both my concerns that I won't be a good enough writer, and my well-honed skills at procrastination.
In this case, the story just seemed to be one that was already there, just waiting to flow off someone's pen. I wrote it in one sitting, and sent it to rlfj mainly to see what he thought of the concept. I was amazed and gratified by his response and his suggestions. I'd assumed it never would be published, but (after a lot of tweaking), it was.
I'm finally figuring out some of this SOL author stuff - the polite words for me are "technologically challenged," and that's my excuse for not posting sooner. In any event, all I really wanted to say was:
(1) Thanks; and
(2) I hope the muse strikes again soon.
All the best,