The Official Writing Challenge
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03/01/07
This is a super story with a feel good ending. This gal's got spunk. She's got moxie! What a testimony to all who think they're too old. I'm proud of the old girl....and I'm proud of you, too. Nice job! Keep it up. I want to see more from you!
03/01/07
I really enjoyed this story--great dialogue and colorful characters--I could see and hear them together with their contrasting sizes and personalities. Beautifully vivid descriptions! Moving message, too.

One thing puzzled me, however. Is Colin supposed to be Wendy's son? In some parts of the dialogue he sounds as though he is, in other parts he doesn't. This had me really confused!
03/01/07
Okay - so this gave me chills. I loved how you took us effortlessly through the different stages of her education there at the college, and I loved the son's attitiude - sedate indeed! (sounds like mine!)

I loved the format, dialogue and how you captured the different moments. I REALLY enjoyed this!
03/01/07
What a gold star entry! I love the character of Wendy, so loveable, I like that she didn't sit back and wait, but charged ahead with things that she needed to do to make a difference. You trick me with the twist that that her son was the one she was waiting to see! Very clever, one teeny tiny thing, the sentence of when he was taller than her sounded sort of awkward to me, maybe rephrase it to something like, instead of saying slender body, maybe say slender figure, or something? Just my own little opinion, Otherwise, I very much enjoyed this. It has a lot of heart ^_^
You did an exceptional job with this entry! It is one of my favorites that I have read so far. I was going to say it gave me chills, and then saw that someone else had already said that!
03/03/07
Oh, this was good. I know I always admired the older women in my college classes. I, however, was also confused about whether Colin was actually her son. As has been mentioned, in some places it seemed like he was, but the last names were completely different. Great story over all though. I enjoyed it.
03/04/07
Oops... I got a bit confused there. I forgot the son's last name was Appleby. I think I thought Colin was his last name, not his first, even though you told us it was his first name. Don't worry. It all makes sense now. :-D
03/04/07
You did a really good job on both dialog and characterization here! Makes you wonder how such a spunk gal raised such a stuffed shirt. Really well-realized characters.

The only suggestion I'd have would be more plot development in place of the posted "notice," which didn't really advance the plot much. That's purely personal preference, though, and nothing major.

You made these people very real, and this is a strong entry.
I was a little confused about the relationship at first too, but I like how you showed the struggle of the son who was trying to be professional with his own mom. I also liked the transitions of time the way you showed them. :)
It's all been said! But this is a good article. It kept me reading because I went to college as an older student. My husband, however, is still living and very supportive. Liked all of this story. Great job.
Wow, just wow. I loved every word in this story, and by the end, you had me sniffling. Excellent!
03/06/07
What a neat story - love your characterization.
03/06/07
Well, I had no trouble figuring out he was her son - the word "dad" was a big clue. (?)

Please note two dialogue responses seem inappropriate (Be careful when you're rewriting.):
> "Ms Lawson,—or would you prefer that I call you Wendy?”

“Not at all,” she managed. and
“Would you prefer I remarried or begin a sewing class?”

Colin sighed. “No, I guess not.”
03/06/07
Oh - and I enjoyed the story. :-)
I really enjoyed the story. The plot was easy to follow, and the characters were memorable. Great job!
03/06/07
Wendy's the kind of character one can route for! Your story did her justice and your ability created great characters and story line. Good Job! Blessings, Jo
I wholeheartedly agree with all the posts! This is such a feel good story! Yay Rah Wendy! You go, girl! LOL! : )
03/06/07
An engaging story about a woman who keeps on keeping on. Believable and likeable POV charater. I'm with James, the response "Not at all." doesn't makes sense. Also, in the bulletin, is it asking for people to join the gym or the studen lobby group? But those are just little things. This is a fast moving story that covers a lot of years in a few words. You move from strength to strength.
03/07/07
Loved the story, well done. Had to laugh when he called her mother - it totally set the scene for the rest of the story. Very well done.
03/07/07
Great story - like watching a movie and I couldn't wait for the ending!I too loved the characters and the touching moments.
03/07/07
Aww, I enjoyed this story. Well done.
03/07/07
A sweet and enjoyable story. Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing it
03/07/07
This warmed my heart. My office used to be in a senior center and I can think of so many spunky grandmas who fit Wendy here. I loved this, strong, strong writing. Keep it up!
03/08/07
This was really good. I like the interaction between mother and son at the beginning. great job.
I cried at the ending. I loved your story all the way through. Our toughest battles produce the best stories.

In Jesus' Name,

Patricia
03/09/07
Fun, fast moving, full of life! Well done.

My 'constructive criticism' for this as a competition entry, given that the topic was 'sewing', would be to make the topic the 'star of the show'. In this fun story, it seems rather like an aside. As you know, in the scoring, the category 'How well did this relate to the topic?' is significant.

Like other readers, I also enjoyed the 'Oh, now I get it!' moment at the start with the interaction between mother and son.

Keep going, Chrissy! You're doing well.
Chrissy, I also, like James, had a problem with the answer she gave her son about how she preferred to be addressed. But, then I thought, I think Chrissy may be trying to say this lady really did not want to be referred to as "Wendy" and was cleverly phrasing her answer so as not to hurt her son's feelings. If that was not the intention, then I think you might should have worded her answer differently. But, a little thing like that does not ruin a great piece of art in writing like this. I can relate to going to college later in life, as I was in my late fifties when I got my Associate of Arts Degree in Electronics, and I was in my sixties when I recieved my Associates Degree in Biblical Studies. Overall, I think this is very good and definitely interesting.
Thomas
03/11/07
Personally, I like the idea that the mother, as a perspective student, presented herself to her son, the college president, as she did - it was formal, by the rules, and exactly what she should have done. I did think the description of the heighth difference threw the relationship of the mother/son off - somewhat out of place as she knew who she was going to see. Great piece though. Good flow and ending. God bless and keep writing.