Rod Raglin

This blog will touch on the experiences I have as a writer (not to be mistaken for my experience as a writer, i.e. how many books I've written, etc); the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the grief, the satisfaction and the frustration, the magic and the reality - have I left anything out, oh yeah, the rejection, rejection and more rejection,  the humiliation and the embarrassment, the jealousy and the resentment - that pretty much covers it, except for why I do it which perhaps I'll realize along the way. Are you totally confused? Good, let's begin.

Spending time on Doing Time on Planet Earth a waste of time

I want to thank Christine M. Lloyd for her commitment and hard work in this worthwhile endeavor.



Caddy Thompson is a young woman who has no boyfriend, no job and no purpose and so one night she decides to kill herself with a gun given to her by her father. Her suicide attempt is foiled by a stranger named Fiske. After a prolonged discussion, the gun is accidentally dropped from the bridge they’re standing on into a canal. Caddy dives in and retrieves it, then Fiske dives in, saves her and then they go to his apartment to dry off.


Does this sound believable to you?


To me everything in the first couple of chapters of Christine M. Lloyd’s novel, Doing Time on Planet Earth, with the exception of the motivation for the suicide, is unbelievable - Caddy and Fiske’s interaction including their dialogue, Caddy jumping in the canal and finding the gun in the muck at the bottom of the canal in the middle of the night, Fiske jumping in to save her, his inviting her over to his apartment to dry off, and Caddy accepting.


It’s difficult to continue when a suspension of disbelief can’t be established, but continue I did.


Fiske eventually hires Caddy to be his assistant to track down someone who has embezzled two million dollars from his family.


The story that unfolds is not intriguing, it’s confusing; it’s not funny, it’s ridiculous, and though there’s some good imagery the writing lacks maturity with lots of unnecessary description, unnatural dialogue, clichéd characterization and large portions that seem like author indulgences since they neither advance the plot or develop character.


There’s a prolonged climax that reads like a farce with mistaken paternity, people showing up inexplicably, guns going off accidentally and the wrong people getting shot.


The end, not surprising, is like the rest of this novel – everything unbelievably works out for everyone.


How could Christine M. Lloyd have improved Doing Time on Planet Earth considering it actually has a kernel of a viable plot.


I would suggest revising the beginning so it’s still dramatic, but more credible – maybe leave out jumping in the river. Immediately introduce a strong and clear goal and motivation on Caddy’s part to give the novel focus. Tighten up the writing by removing all passages that don’t significantly develop character or advance the plot.

Get a new ending.




I received this book free from Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review and as part of my commitment to review the work of new, self-published authors.