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Erica Elizabeth

Erica Baumgardner was born January 31,1991 in the small town of Galesburg, Illinois. Her parents nourished her with a strict diet of pizza and carbonated beverages. As a child, Erica was privy to the hidden world of paperback novels and make believe. She was delusional enough, at points, to believe that she could convince the neighborhood children that she was a "Mighty Morhphin' Power Ranger". The Blue one, however, because she was too poor to afford the, far more impressive, white ranger suit. Now, at the age of twenty-one years, Erica is a crazed lunatic with a dark sense of sarcasm and a love for poetry. Her story is rooted in the idealism of small town life, hopeless romanticism and the shallowness of first impressions.

Story: Jotted Down on Pizza Boxes


Drawn In

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The beginning imagery drew me in, the part where he says 'before I fled town' kept me reading. I had to find out why he fled town. I really appreciated the progress of their relationship and everything they did together, how even his pizzas were an expression of his care. I actually would love it if you took this story and lengthened it into a novel, made some sense of it, took Budd through the mystery of her life and brought resolution. It looks as though Angelica taught Budd to love. That can only be good for him if he can move on and cherish her memory. Great read! Keep it up :)

quiet unlooker

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I tried really hard to like this story but I just couldnt. I found it boring and dull. first off, I was expecting romance, and that never happened, so I was thrown off a bit just by the category she picked. It wasn't terrible writing, just not my cup of tea.


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ok i guess. the writing is beautiul but a bit much for such a tiny story and weirdly unromantic ending. i read alot of romance novels and this isnt't that kind of story. maybe try a different category?


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The writing is wonderful. You definitely have writing talent, but I would venture to say not enough life experience to write about. The story reminded me of an urban legend!


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I'll start by saying that I did not completely hate this story. However, there was a lot of this story that I did not read. To be honest, I skipped most of your first paragraph. I found the descriptions throughout the story were nice, but at times, they were too much for my taste. It became tiring. I was going to give you two stars, but I found that the dialog was good and the story seemed to hit it strive during the end of the notes and when the truth was revealed. That was, unfortunately, towards the end of your story. I thought your idea was really good though and I love sappy stories like this :)

Lauren Shaw

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couldnt really get into it too much.


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Sad story but far from a romance story. Poorly developed and needed editing. Had potential but missed the mark.

Lisa Rose

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Sad, drepressing and unromantic. But... I couldn't stop reading it.


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This is not a romance story, it is a good story, but it isn't great. It needs more developing, the characters need more description to truly come alive. It is certainly a good start to a short story but as a complete piece I think it falls short


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I came here expecting a romance and I got... none. The chemistry felt forced, and it seemed that Budd has more love for pizza than he did Angelica, or whoever she turned out to be. The story is also fatalistic without the need for it to be. No offense to the author, but I'm not a particular fan of over descriptive prose, most of the time it's rather unneeded and only feels like it's there to stretch the story longer than it should be. A good effort, but not my cup of tea.


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I wanted to like it and generally did, but it didn't sit quite right. The first paragraph, while amusing, ex over-descriptive in the extreme. That made me fear for the rest of the piece, but thankfully the body of the story was less heavy-handed. Apart from a few odd phrases (like vomit-flavored pace, or some such thing... what the was that?), it was a sweet and quirky little tale, which unfortunately completely fell apart at the end. The twist is good, but glossed over quite quickly and it takes a bit of effort to realize that Angelica was even there. And finally, the closing sentence... I think if you end a story with a question, it had better be a damn good question that makes the entire story ricochet through your brain with epiphany. "How useless is that?" is not that question, but a comment on itself as to whether it has served its purpose. Altogether a readable story with some unfortunate handicaps.


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Um it's an ok read. Nothing special.


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Overall not a bad effort at all. This author's strong point is in her imagery, whereas I found the dialogue didn't seem all that natural. There were a few moments where I needed to reread sentences to try to understand what she was saying, but mostly the story had a decent flow to it. The final events, leading up to the train tracks, seemed a bit abrupt, but I can forgive that - attributing it to the mental state of the female character. I think this story, and maybe it was edited to fit the contest requirements, would benefit from being made longer. There were nice touches throughout but a longer build up to the eventual bitter ending would give it much more impact.


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Didn't see the romance. The first paragraph was filled with more adjectives than a cheese stuffed pizza. I liked the notes in the box. Did not like the ending.


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I felt as though I was in Alfano's !


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No romance?


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I didn't really enjoy it. Where was the romance aside from the author and her love of pizza?


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Umm. Where's the romance???


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I didn't like the ending at all. To me, a romance is supposed to have romance in it AND a happy ending. Real life has sad endings, so this would have been better in the the contemporary or drama category.


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I thought it was great! Had my attention the whole time!


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Amazing. Who knew that such a pretty girl had so much talent under all that dancing! I could picture the entire story in my head. You are really good at painting with words!

Alyce Wilson

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Your instincts are great, and I like the poetic turns of language. Some of the wording was a little awkward, which could easily be dealt with in a revision, should you do one. There were some very sweet moments in this, and I enjoyed the idea that they communicated with each other via pizza boxes and receipts. However, I felt the ending was unearned and implausible. While I understand that in real life, tragic outcomes are sometimes unanticipated, in a fiction piece, they should seem a natural outcome of the story. Very good effort!


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It was amazing. I loved the characters! It was well written and really fun to read.


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<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 IT!!! AND YOU TOO, ROO!! :))) I hope you still got the time to fix the little bits that I caught, as well as read through it again yourself to find other things yourself! Can't wait for it to become a publication!!

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Not a great read
December 18th, 2012
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December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
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