The Elephant Shoes story has been revised rather substantially. I think the new version has improved greatly in both the language (big reduction on “and” usage) and the development of each of the characters. A fair amount of “fluff” detail (pun totally intended!) has been removed and refined as well. The total word count has been reduced by about 27.
Birth Pains is a story that intrigued me, yet I wasn’t happy with it even when I posted it. I’m still not 100% happy with it, but it does seem to flow a little more smoothly now. Thanks to those who offered constructive criticism; this one, while still not perfect, is a better story for it!