The Official Writing Challenge
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05/03/12
Great story, and reminder of being in life together, for better or worse. Well done.
05/04/12
Great job of touching on the pulse of what is going on in the world today. I loved the solid interaction of the husband and wife...and their faith, with an overall powerful message.

Well written and well done. Thank you.

God Bless~
05/04/12
What a powerful story! It is very well written, and inspiring on several levels. I love the focus on marriage. In a world where marriage is a disposable commodity, it is refreshing.

God Bless.
05/06/12
You did a good job writing this story. Because of that, I'm going to point out a few things so you can tighten up your entry for next time.

I don't know what the rule on this is, to let the narrator become a being, being part of the 'us', but it was a little confusing. This narrator is telling the story and you don't want him getting in the way. Here's what I'm talking about:

"The country seemed to be coming undone. Terrorists attacked us. We went to war. Our military men and women were dying in a country whose leaders abhorred our freedom and way of life..." -- You see what I mean? He's suddenly part of the we in the story.

"Marcia didn’t want to think about any of that right now." -- Your narrator was telling us in past tense and didn't right here. Trust me, that's easy to miss.

You did an awesome job or else I wouldn't take the time to give you some critique. I'm sure most of use would say you must have listened in on some of our bill paying conversations at home through the years. <3

05/06/12
You did a great job expressing the frustration felt many struggling couples and families across the United States. The receession is far from over, and you showed that brilliantly here.

I like how you ended with hope, (and not with a neatly tied bow), which made the story both realistic and inspiring.
05/07/12
Sometimes we don't know if we will get the answer we want, if all the bills will get paid on time, but you remind us that those answers are not what real wealth is about.

A look through the window into many homes of today. well done.
05/07/12
I enjoyed you interesting story. It was great how those two loved each other! Listen to Laury's helpful comments given in kindness and worth noting. I think when you are using possession for a single country its: country's and not countries' which is possession for a plurality of countries. Thanks!
05/07/12
A valuable lesson about commitment inspite of financial hardship. 'The tension etched in his face disappeared.' As Laury explained, you can switch the time frame, but always keep the subject and verb tense in mind. You could also use transitional phrases like, 'Back then,' and consider using 'our' for 'their'( many of our clients), and 'we' for 'they.' "'We' were not alone in our struggles."

I can't tell you how much I rely on that verse! Your story was right on!
This is such a lovely piece. I could feel the love the two characters had for one another. They felt quite real and I wouldn't be surprised if the characters were based on real people.

The only thing I really spotted for red ink was countries' maybe you meant more than one country but my gut said you meant it to be country's. Just a little thing in a wonderful story.

The ending was great too. I thought the verse was a perfect fit.
I try not to read other comments before I make my own so as not to be influenced but now I do see what Laury was saying and am surprised that I didn't pick up on the change of POV from third to first. I think part of it was because it is probably related to a true story. Plus when you used the first person you were talking about the country and I can see why that might be a natural transition.
05/08/12
Sounds like your characters only belong on the rich side since they have found what is important in life... nothing to do with cash. Refreshing story at a time when society doesn't value marriage. Thanks!
This was a powerful entry. One that spoke volumes about marriage today. It is no longer sacred. Thank you for sharing and God bless.
05/09/12
Being a sucker for anything even slightly romantic (especially when a godly couple is involved), I thoroughly enjoyed this story! You did a wonderful job of showing this couple's undying dedication to one another no matter what the circumstance. Great way to bring a line in the marriage vows to life and pour true meaning into it.

My only bit of ink to help you (as someone else said) "tighten up" your story-telling (which is already awesome) would be to suggest more reflective conversation between the characters. In other words, let the characters tell some of their backstory. Something like Jake dejectedly commenting to his wife, "Did you ever think during our college days that we would end up here?" And her responding, "We were so full of dreams ..." And then maybe a little narration between conversation bits.

You did such a fantastic job with the chemistry between these characters that a little extra backstory dialogue would enhance the reader's love for the characters even more as we journey with them through their memories.

Wonderful writing! Keep it up!
Congratulations for ranking 6th in level two!