The Official Writing Challenge
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I loved the family gathering. I have a close family and the dialogue seemed very similar. I loved the title and TJ's blunder. Nice job.
Really hilarious. Good job. I've never heard of the game, so I know better than to try to write it here. Well written.
04/22/07
This was cute! I felt like I was right there. My family loves to play games, and my sister ALWAYS wins. "She must cheat or something..." ;o) When TJ "Smertzed," I was laughing outloud, because I could see their exhausted hysterical antics in the hotel lobby. Very nice writing!

Your grammar, tense, and punctuation were exceptional. Do watch out, though, for long sentences with lots of commas: Moments later the room was filled with the sound of cards slapping on tables, chairs tumbling in disarray as bodies flew across hard, slippery surfaces to beat someone to a stack of cards, various whoops and hollers, and the inevitable cry of “my card was there first”, all building to the final declaration of “NERTZ”, followed immediately with shrieks of, “no way”, “we were so close”, and “how’d you do that so fast?”

Sometimes it's better to use semi-colons to separate the items in sequence, to avoid confusion when one of the items actually has a comma in it. Hope that makes sense.

Thanks for the enjoyable read! Blessings, Cheri
04/23/07
I'm no expert at card games, but having played a fair bit of Dutch Blitz and a few other noisy games, I can identify - you get so excited and tense that you simply can't get the words out - genes notwithstanding! Good job.
04/24/07
True to life, fast paced and funny, just like the game. Loved your character's last line. yeggy
04/24/07
You did a nice job of capturing the feel of a loving family. I enjoyed the blunder, and can relate : ). Try and cut down a few unnecessary details in the middle; see if you can capture the thoughts of the winner at the end even more strongly with emotions.
This reminds me of when we visited my husband's parents in Florida and sat in on an Aggravation tournament in one of the retirement community member's homes. Four different games going on at once, winning pair played the winning couple at the next table. Same level of competition and excitement I read here.

I was a little puzzled about one thing. Why didn't they go to one of the hotel rooms to play?

Good story.
04/25/07
lol - now what I want to know is "How do you play Nertz?" :) some great stuff here, reminded me of some near-deadly games of Spoons on the church camping trip -and that was the adults playing LOL