58 comments on “Sun Burn

  1. Holy smoke! What a fantastic story. The ending actually made me cry, so congratulations are definitely in order. Whatever you do, keep writing. You’ve got the gift so never let it go.

  2. I just think the ending was too abrupt and I felt like the story should have went on. I thought it was somewhat confusing between realizing the days went backwards from Jan. 3rd to the 2nd & I had a hard time sort of keeping up with the characters. I read like I watch a movie, so it worked, but overall it is good.

    • My fiance had the same critiques, actually. The time zone shifts are a bit confusing, and in the future I’ll find an easier/more intuitive way of doing that. It ends very abruptly, I agree, but this story is just an excerpt, so to speak, of a book I’m working on. Thanks for the great feedback!

  3. Definitely riveting.. and an excellent read. I like that you’re descriptive without being overly so. It allows one’s imagination to truly fly.

    • Thank you for the feedback. I find it very useful for myself to hear what things people like and dislike in the stories. So thank you for taking the time to let me know what you liked!

  4. Awesome story! And I totally know what you were talking about in your note before the story. Sometimes the writing comes easily and you end up with 6500 words at the end of the day, and sometimes you have to wait for a month for the right whim to set you off. Either way you take what you can get; keep up the good work! Also, thanks for liking a post of mine!

    • Hey Lynn! I’m nearing the completion of the first draft of Birth of God and have been putting all my attention towards that the past couple weeks. The next short story will be posted once I have freed my creative mind from the prison that is Birth of God. Very soon, though. Very soon!

  5. This is not a genre I usually read, but your writing is great! It made the story very enjoyable. I just noticed that this is from back in June. Why did you stop? We share similar ideas, but you put my stories to shame.

    • Thanks for the comment. I have no good explanation for why I stopped writing. Let’s just call it “loss of confidence”. The time off was good, though. It allowed me to put some things in perspective. I just started working on the next story to be released this week which is a bit longer than the other stories, so hopefully that’ll make up for the lack of posts in the past 6 months. Thank you for the feedback, though I think you sell yourself short. I have ready many of your stories and they are quite good, I especially like “The Librarian”!

  6. I really like your writing. This was a gripping story. The only thing that really bothered me was all of the shifting from location to location. A little goes a long way here. Also, a more developed ending would be nice. This felt too abrupt.

    • It seems the shifting of location/timezones was a big complaint of a lot of people. It’s something I’ll need to pay special attention too in the future. I agree the ending could have been structured better. Thank you for your insight!

  7. Great story; chilling! Just a couple of things I picked up. As someone else said, the time issue made things difficult; at first I had to keep scrolling back to the top to see what was going on and put it together. Also two small spelling mistakes that wouldn’t have been picked up by a spellchecker. ‘flair’ should be ‘flare’, and ‘feint’ should be ‘faint’. Considering no editing or read-through was done (I am an obsessive self-editor and re-reader, so I have to take my hat off to that while I shudder in horror), it’s a bloody good story!! Can’t wait to have a read of your novel one day. Whatever you do, don’t stop writing; we need to hear more from you in the future.

    • it should also be “humanity’s” not “humanities”. And I felt reading the first couple of parts that there was plenty of description but not enough visceral responses. I would up that, but then that’s just me. A lot of old school sci fi guys write in that almost omni sounding style. I can’t say it’s a funny read, but I do think it’s a good one. Thanks for posting it! and Keep writing!

      • Good catch on the “humanity’s” vs “humanities” distinction, Eva. Writing strong emotional reactions is something that I struggle with personally. It’s always in the back of my mind, but the description and dialogue tends to come more naturally. I'[ll make it a goal to more actively pursue those visceral responses in my future works. I’d love to hear any other critiques you might have of my other works. As far as your other post about the tsunami in Japan, that is a piece of material I need to let bounce around in my head for awhile before I come upon just the write story to use it in. Thanks for the writing prompt though, I’ll be sure to let you know when I use it!

  8. Oh! I disagree with the rest about the abrupt ending. These poor bastards did have a bit of an abrupt ending themselves, didn’t they? So, the ending makes sense. A long, drawn-out and emotional good-bye wouldn’t have rung true.

  9. Fantastic, I really enjoyed that. My only gripe? I wanted to carry on reading… that’s the problem with short stories. When they’re good, they’re too darn short.

  10. Good story for a first write. It caught my attention and kept me reading and by doing that it kept me from doing my own writing. Not many posts do that. Thanks for liking “Catching a Big Story Wave” on Paper, Mud and Me. I will be following.

  11. Superb. I think it works very well as a short story – but could equally be good being longer.

    I understood the time sequence, even though I’m not American, but maybe you could stick to one time zone to simplify matters ..or is that a very un-American thing to do?

    I only have one issue ..tell me it’s not a plausible scenario. I’m scared now.

    • Thanks for the feedback! I’ve actually decided to expand this story into a novel once I’ve completed the pieces I’m working on, so I’m glad to hear you think it has the merit to work as something longer. The time zone switching isn’t something I’ve read many other authors do, and I see why that is now. I think I needlessly complicated with the addition of timezones. In the future, I’ll keep things under one universal time code and avoid any confusion.

      Unfortunately, it is a very plausible scenario. Very scary indeed.

      • Yikes! And with new nuclear power stations being built all over the world, it’s even scarier. You need to get this story published. Then adapt it as a screenplay!

      • also, with the recent activity in Japan and the tsunami… where’s the story been? where did it go? it vanished off the news but you know it’s not good. you know that’s plant’s not as good as the day it was built. it’s released tons of stuff into the water, air and soil. It’s a timely subject.

  12. I too try to adhere to a goal of at least 1000 words on a full writing day. Some days it is challenging, and some days it flows beyond easily. But 6500 words in one day is truly ginormous.

  13. I like your realistic portraits and vignettes. This shows how we are separately interwoven with one another. The Noah’s Ark idea is almost cliche, yet it could work depending on irs approach. Keep your goals-your passion and talent shine!

  14. I am so impressed by you and your writing. I’d like to see this turned into a book but know of your wip/trilogy. And as someone else said, the background was perfect and perfectly spooky for this story. Don’t quite writing. You’ve got the talent and the spirit and we all need to have a writer like you. Please keep me informed as to where you are in publishing your book. Very impressive.

    • I too cried at the ending, but then I began tearing up when Luke gave up Val. I can’t help wondering if I’d have done that or kept her with me, but then I’m still agonizing over giving up my dog because of my move. I like the time zone switches because it actually moves the story along and shows how the crisis affects everyone. I think the ending is perfect for a short story. Once you expand it you could continue with the bomb shelter scenario. Wish I could write like you, but my narrative sucks. That’s why I mostly write scripts. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Can’t wait to read more of your work. Regards, Sandra

      • I’m glad you were able to connect so well with the characters as to elicit such a strong emotional reaction. It’s an authors dream to be able to move an audience like that, so thank you!

  15. I think this has the elements of a great novel, if you have the time. It would, of course, have to be expanded and an overarching plot inserted. I would also suggest a little more research. I think SOHO would give days warning (NASA would probably answer such issues), and I am not quite so convinced that such a flare would wipe out cars, and smaller objects. It is not so much an issue of how much energy as the rate of change, and a flare may give small objects a chance here. The power issues and the satellites, though are genuine. Keep at it.

    • I definitely took some artistic freedom with my ‘soft’ science approach, though I tried to stay within the confines of what could be believable. Hopefully I didn’t stray too far from my intent. I do intend on expanding this story, though the overarching plot will be quite different than what one might expect from just reading through this short story. Unfortunately, it will be some time before that work is fully fleshed out and ready to be released.

  16. Wonderful piece of writing! As someone above commented, this story definitely has the elements for writing a longer story. I liked the tone of urgency, though there was the discrepancy of time (seemed more like over hours than over minutes as the first POV stated). Also the POV changes were a bit sudden, but overall just a riveting short story! Thank you for the like on my blog and keep writing! Good luck with your novel-writing endeavor, I have tried again and again but have trouble keeping with what I start so kudos to you!

  17. Pretty cool, although I think you had a good scenario to mount up the tension higher than that before the end.

    I never really get why nuclear power plants don’t have immediate shutdown safety methods, because they really don’t have them, like the shit that happened in Fukushima after the earthquake. Good old boron oxide could save mankind form demise =P

  18. This story was riveting. I was totally into it from the beginning, and I have to disagree with the others about the time zone changes. I think the time zone changes helped to illustrate just how devastating this occurrence was. Also, it would make an excellent novel – one I would love to read. And although I didn’t want the story to end, I think the abrupt ending was perfect, as it again showed just how terrible this event was, by not allowing anyone time to prepare or prevent it from happening. So good! Many blessings to you!


  19. I thought the story held up well as a whole but the best part is the end, by far. I think that the short conversation with the president was something rushed and could have been built up more but it still did it’s job to explain the threat and round out the story. Thanks for liking my Blog!

  20. Interesting story! :) Just wondering what gave you the inspiration for this fascinating story? Apologies for taking so long to get back to you, this blogging thing is really wonderful, but a little overwhelming than I had expected, lots to read, everyday!!
    Suzy :)

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