1. I quite liked the use of second person, though at the end it began to feel a little jarring, especially with 'You don't know it yet...' Obviously I don't know why you chose to use second person, but I think it was an effective way to get the reader into the story, so if that was the reason, I think it was successful.
2. Absolutely. Your descriptions are simple and spaced out, but they painted quite a vivid scene. Just enough is said to set the scene while still leaving a lot of the work to the imagination, which I liked.
In response to schongslipper's review, which you clearly have some strong feelings towards-
1. I agree.
2. Also agree, cooking when you don't know what you're doing is incredibly stressful. X)
3. I myself didn't mind the swears. I find I also swear a LOT in my head when I'm feeling nervous, so I understand why they were there, I thought they added a layer of humanity to the character.
4. Um.. I would have to agree that this line IS a little awkward, but not because it's discussing birds, I liked that. I just think the wording is a little weird, especially with 'It's a bad bird. No birds or chickens.' I understand what you're getting at, and I like it, but the wording could use some work. Try reading it aloud to see how it flows, or imagine what it would sound like to someone reading this for the first time. I find that often helps me immensely.
5. I wasn't under the impression she WAS alright with it. She still seemed very nervous even after she had been shown, and I think it's understandable that she would want to ask for more help- I certainly wouldn't.
6. I knew they were a girl from the beginning, but to each their own.
7. Yes, it does, but that's not necessarily bad, if it's what you intended. You could try saying the same thing in a more subtle way if it's something you want to change.
Some final thoughts-
-I like the beginning. I got my attention, and I kept reading.
-It's clear soon where she is, though WHY is not clear. I don't know if that's something you want us to know or not, so I'll leave it at that.
- I like the ending. She was an outsider, and now she isn't. It's simple and I like it.
- 'and stuff.' I love that. I once answered a question in an art history lecture and concluded with 'or like, whatever,' I so get it.
Reply and tell me what you think, I would be happy to talk with you more about this, or if there is anything more specific you want feedback on, just let me know.
Thanks for a thoughtful and nicely-worded critique. I seem to have touched raw nerves (and maybe mine were, too, but not to the extent that long comment says!) but I don't mean to.
I was actually the girl learning how to cut up a whole chicken in another life, one I lived on a rez for years.
I fictionalized the event by using second-person POV and making the women's acceptance shortly spoken about, though I was accepted for the same reason stated in the story.
And yes! I was nervous while we kept cutting more and more chickens that first day -- that's why "Rosa" sat opposite me at the table and I "worked slowly."
She was still showing me by example without words and I had to work slowly or make a huge mess.
I'll fix the line about the owl (they're considered harbingers of death by certain tribes) because I agree, it IS confusing to suddenly add a chicken there. [!] Thank you immensely for your grace and understanding.