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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Savory to the Taste (07/26/12)

TITLE: Sunshine in Winter
By darlene thompson


I grew up in the Appalachian

mountains. In winter, snow fell heavy

and winds whistled down the mountain

slopes. On those days, my mother

whipped up a wonderful breakfast of hot

buckwheat cakes, freshly squeezed

juice and strong black coffee.

The nutty fragrance from the

buckwheat filled up the kitchen. The

aroma of strong black coffee waffled

into the nutty scent. As I sat down,

I savored the taste as my mother poured

rich, Vermont syrup with blueberries on

top of my stack of cakes. Thick syrup

oozed slowly down the cakes and pooled

into my plate. Some of the blueberries

slide down as well but most of them

remained on top to fill my palette with

juiciness. Soon my mouth swished with

all the blended flavors of buckwheat

and blueberries. As I finished my

buckwheat cakes, I washed them down

with the strong coffee ground from

fresh coffee beans.

Finally, my mother produced a bowl

filled with half of a grapefruit topped

with one bright, red strawberry.

Together, the sweetness and tartness

made me smile with delight. The aromas

and tastes quickly dissolved winter's

blast into sunshine.

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This article has been read 244 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/03/12
Sweet poem that was on topic and enlightening. I loved it. Thanks. God bless~
Brenda Rice 08/03/12
You did a wonderful job of inviting me to breakfast. I was there and hungry. Nicely done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/03/12
This is a charming tale of simpler times when the world didn't rush through the day. I also liked how one can change a gloomy day into a sunny one. This is something we can do with our feelings and moods as well. I often need reminding of this valuable lesson and I thank you for that gentle, loving poke.

You do a delightful job of making me almost be able to smell the pancakes and strawberry. You do have some words and phrases that are repeated. If you tighten up your sentences a bit, it'll help avoid that. For example: Something like this, where I tried to condense some of the repeating words or phrases throughout the story might help with the repetition:

On those blustery mornings, Mom's cooking wafted upstairs and the nutty fragrance of buckwheat pancakes mixed with the aroma of freshly ground coffee aroused us and pulled us into the kitchen.
That isn't the best example by far, but hopefully it shows how you can avoid repeating words like buckwheat, blueberries, cakes, aroma, coffee.

Also, you switched from past tense to present when the berries slide down instead of slid down.

Overall though, you did an outstanding job of helping me feel as I stepped into a time machine and traveled into the past with your MC. You nailed the topic perfectly. Savory means more than good taste but as you showed how unlikely ingredients or aromas blend together to form an unexpected masterpiece.

The beginning drew me in right away and I found myself drooling a bit as I read on. Your transitions were smooth and seamless. The ending brings this well-written story to a full circle.

Another area you have mastered is that old show; don't tell dilemma by using words like oozed and swished. They are the perfect descriptive verbs!
Helen Curtis08/04/12
This is very nice. It's cold and raining where I am at the moment (not snowing though, I must admit); gee, I could go a plate of those buckwheat cakes and everything else you so beautifully described! I agree with the advice Shann gave, about using other words/phrases to avoid repetition, but the overall word picture you painted was beautiful. Well done!
Patsy Hallum08/05/12
What a mighty satisfying breakfast. I could see the blueberries sliding down the buckwheat cakes!Thanks for inviting me to dine with you!
Keep Writing!
Mildred Sheldon08/08/12
I loved the poem and it was right on target. Thanks for sharing and God bless.