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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: Dr. Maggie
By Kristen Hester
~2nd Place


Dr. Maggie Murdoch smiled graciously at her applauding audience. The eager crowd of women had paid big bucks to attend her conference. They’d come to be inspired, instructed, and encouraged by her words of wisdom. Dr. Maggie was confident the ladies would indeed leave the weekend refreshed and better equipped to be effective wives and mothers.

"Thank you. Thank you," She said as she motioned for the ladies to have a seat. "I am so glad to be here with you in Houston this weekend." She adjusted her microphone before continuing. "We’re going to learn so much from each other. We’re going to laugh, we’re going to cry and we’re going to laugh some more. We’re mothers and employees and wives, and as such we give and give and give. This weekend, it’s your turn to receive."

An hour later, Dr. Maggie had made good on her promise. Nancy Carpenter was drained from the emotional roller coaster she’d just experienced. She turned to her friend. "Wow." It was all she could say, but she felt it summed up her feelings adequately.

Susie Kerns pulled out a mirror to wipe the black mascara that was smeared around her eyes. "Yea, wow. I want to call my kids right now and tell them I love them. When I got here today, I was discouraged and frustrated. Now I can’t wait to get home to try out Dr. Maggie’s ideas."

"Same here. I told you it was worth the price."

"You were right. She’s awesome. Her family is really blessed."

The friends were interrupted by Dr. Maggie’s assistant who was now standing at the vacated podium.
"Ladies, Dr. Maggie is taking a quick break. You can purchase any of her books in the back, and then wait in line at the blue table if you’d like her to autograph what you buy.

"Let’s go," Susie said.

"Which books are you getting?"

"I want them all, but for sure I’m getting Best Mom Now."

"I’ve got that one. It’s wonderful. I think I’m getting 10 Things Your Mom Never Told You."

"We’d better hurry before they sell out." Susie and Nancy hustled to the book tables. They made their purchases and then wove through the maze of women to wait for a chance to meet Dr. Maggie face to face and get her autograph.

Susie poked Nancy in the ribs and pointed toward the stage, "Look."

Dr. Maggie’s assistant was back at the podium. "Ladies, here’s Dr. Maggie, once more." The crowd erupted into applause. Nancy and Susie stretched their necks to get a glimpse, but they didn’t dare move from their places in line.

"She’s coming, she’s coming," Nancy squealed.

The two friends waited quietly in line, straining to hear each word Dr. Maggie shared with the ladies in front of them. When Susie and Nancy were next, Dr. Maggie’s assistant approached her.

"Dr. Maggie, a local reporter is here for a quick interview. They’re trying to get it on the 10 o’clock news, so can you spare a second?"

Dr. Maggie looked sympathetically at Susie and Nancy. She reached out and grasped their hands.

"Ladies, I don’t want to rush our time together. Can you be sweeties, and just hang tight for a sec? I’ll be right back."

Susie and Nancy were speechless, but they managed to nod their heads. They would wait. Anything for Dr. Maggie.

"Thanks so much. Be right back." With that Dr. Maggie stood up. She smoothed her skirt and fluffed her hair as she headed to where the reporter and cameraman were waiting.

Across town fifteen-year-old Kelsey finished up her homework while her father watched the news. When Maggie Murdoch appeared on the screen, Bob unintentionally let out a small gasp.

Kelsey looked up from her work and stared silently at the TV. The two listened as the reporter spoke. "Dr. Maggie Murdoch, successful author, speaker, and talk show host, is in town today. Hundreds of women have gathered at The Marriot to listen to Dr. Maggie’s inspiring and humorous words of wisdom. Dr. Maggie advises women on how to be better moms and wives..."

Bob clicked off the TV. There was a moment of reflective silence, then Kelsey spoke. "Did you know she was in town?"


"Do you think she’ll call?"

"Probably not."

"She looks good."

"She always does." Bob reached for Kelsey’s hand. Father and daughter were doing fine, but it was still painful to see the wife and mother who had abandoned them.

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Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw01/31/08
PERFECT story for this topic. I was reading along feeling greatly entertained and somewhat like a character in the story...esp. with this part:
"Which books are you getting?"
"I want them all, but for sure I’m getting Best Mom Now."
"I’ve got that one. It’s wonderful. I think I’m getting 10 Things Your Mom Never Told You."

Then you had to come along and put that twist at the end. That really packed some punch. Great job!
Lynda Schultz 01/31/08
Right on the money. I suspected things might not be what they seemed, but your choice of ending was still a surprise. Good job.
Laury Hubrich 01/31/08
Very good story. Right on topic!
Joanne Sher 02/02/08
Ooooh - good! Just the right story for this topic. Great twist too.
Emily Gibson02/03/08
I suspect this is the case with very public 'advice' figures more often than we are aware. Excellent take on the topic.
Karen Wilber02/03/08
Oh - great story. Sad, pathetic Dr. Maggie, but nicely written story. Made me think about all the people who idolize public figures just because they're famous.
Peter Stone02/04/08
Beautiful illustration on this week's topic. The ending was perfect.
Betty Castleberry02/04/08
I didn't see the ending coming. Good illustration of the topic, and well -written.
Lyn Churchyard02/04/08
Well!!!! We know why this story is in Masters!!!
Sheri Gordon02/04/08
An absolutely perfect illustration for this proverb. Your writing flows so well, and is so easy to read. The dialogue is spot on. Great job.
william price02/04/08
Spot on topic. Very creative. I loved the reactions of the ex hub and child the best, if thats who they were. Another masterful entry. God bless.
Linda Watson Owen02/04/08
Yep, you nailed it! So sad that this is too often the case in celebrity status. I was glued to every word as you skillfully brought the whole scenario into focus. Great job!!
Jan Ackerson 02/05/08
Very troubling--I wonder how many of our glittering Christian leaders might have similar stories!

Well-written as always--you're a superb "show-er."
Pam Carlson-Hetland02/05/08
Wow! Well written story with great dialogue and that surprise ending. Excellent, excellent!
Marita Vandertogt02/06/08
Excellent writing... and the ending was perfect - all who glitter aren't necessarily gold. Loved this!
Hanne Moon 02/06/08
To heck with the title, the story is AWESOME! You did a wonderful job with this Kristen! Very surprise twist at the end, I didn't see that one coming.
Gerald Shuler 02/06/08
This story "glittered" to the very end. I guess even glitter casts a dark shadow of pain.
Tim Pickl02/06/08
Wow! I wonder what the title of the husband's book would be? Awesome writing.
Holly Westefeld02/06/08
Since the topic itself does much to give away our endings, I can't say I was surprised, but enjoyed the ride with the consumate actress. Oh, that she would be exposed. Perhaps in a future story?
Joy Faire Stewart02/06/08
You bring your characters to life with your vivid descriptions and dialogue. I felt part of the scene. Excellent job!
Sara Harricharan 02/06/08
Wow. This is really good. I didn't have a clue that Dr. Maggie would turn out like that, I thought that maybe she had a perfect life, but couldn't get along with her family. The ending is sad, but it fits the topic. Good job! ^_^
Loren T. Lowery02/06/08
Didn't see that ending coming at all, but the story is all too true. So many times those that give us their wisdom practice it not at all. It makes you wonder what price success? Great job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/06/08
You hit the essence of the proverb perfectly with you wonderful story. I always entoy your descriptions. Great writing.
Corinne Smelker 02/06/08
Wonderful ending. I knew there would be a twist, but that one caught me by surprise.
Dee Yoder 02/06/08
It makes you wonder, doesn't it, how many times people who are in the public neglect their own families first and foremost. Great characterizations-the dialogue right down to the actions.
Debbie Wistrom02/06/08
I was right there with the conference goers. Figured the end might show them the seedy side of the how to queen who lost it. Great!
LauraLee Shaw02/07/08
Congratulations on your EC and your 2nd place!!!! Just what the doctor ordered! :)
Sheri Gordon02/07/08
Congratulations on your much deserved EC, Kristen. This was one of my favorites.
Glynis Becker02/07/08
Congrats! You made a great point...well done!
Leigh MacKelvey02/07/08
Great win! Great story, I enjoyed it.
Dee Yoder 02/07/08
Congratulations on your EC, Kristen! Yay!!
Sherry Castelluccio 02/07/08
I'm late jumping in here but I just wanted to congratulate you. It was a great story and the award is certainly well deserved.
Woo hoo!
Joy Faire Stewart02/07/08
Great writing! Congratulations on your win.
william price02/07/08
Congrats on your EC. Excellent job once again! God bless.
Peter Stone02/08/08
Congratulations on your EC placing.
James Dixon02/08/08
Congratulations on your EC.

Fantastic twist.
Sara Harricharan 02/08/08
***Congrats Kristen!***
Beth LaBuff 02/08/08
Kristen -- This is perfect! Congrats on your EC!
Catrina Bradley 02/11/08
Congrats, Kristen - awesome job!. :) Cat