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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: Faithwriter's feedback
By Ed VanDeMark


Faithwriter’s feedback

Forty six members read it and only two commented. I got a “cute” and a “nice job, except…” Of course I must have checked in on my story sixteen times. That means two out of thirty liked it and ninety four percent couldn’t even come up with “I liked the title.”

I’ve read the profiles. There’re 21 faithwriting Grandmas that offer positive feedback on 95% of the articles and not one of you checked in on my story. You ladies love everything. I’d kill for a LOL, and I don’t know if that means laughing out loud, lousy outlook Louie or love on line.

Is it my commas? I’m not very good with commas. Spell check agrees with me but even our church secretary’s granddaughter thinks I need more of them. Third grade and she’s lecturing me with parables…”The principal said the teacher is a fool”…”The principal, said the teacher, is a fool.”

Perhaps I should’ve paid attention in English class…but I was a boy. English was a girl’s subject…Gym, that was the boy thing. An “A” in English would’ve destroyed my reputation. I would’ve been a geek and geeks hadn’t even been invented when I was in eighth grade. I was already a skinny kid with acne. I didn’t need a title too.

A subject and a predicate, is that a noun and a verb? Am I correct in assuming it’s an incomplete sentence if you don’t have at least one of each? I’ve never understood how a person can tell a story without a few “very’s”, a couple “quite’s”, a bunch of “ly’s”, and a “was” or two.” Yes Mark Twain, “I’d kill an adjective” if I knew what an adjective looked like. Some days I think the rule police take their job too seriously, but then I cringe every time I see “in order to.”

At first I thought my problem was people were running out of gas and quit reading before they got to my story. So I dashed off a couple on Thursday to insure they would appear at the top of the list. Next I thought, maybe I should proof read my challenge piece before I sent it in. Two cutes and a nice title later I tried re-writing. I’m lost, what do I have to do, write something interesting and get all the commas in the right places too?

Who’s this Kenn with two n’s? He doesn’t even take prisoners. He pillages his way through the top 40 like Attila the Hun. What’s he, the Bill Gates of Faithwriters? You gotta respect a man that whoops up on a list like that. But confidentially Kenn with two “n’s” isn’t it time to move on to a new website. I’ve read your stuff and I wish I could say “it’s lousy” but I have to admit you’ve got your mojo together.

I never played sports for a silver metal. Silver said loser but I haven’t cracked the top 40 for months. I’m losing to accounting majors, and grandmas that took up writing when they turned 70. There is one thing I’m grateful for however. It’s good we don’t list the order of finish beyond 40. That way I can tell myself, I finished 41st as opposed to having to suck up a 169th place finish. While “also ran” doesn’t make a fellow real happy it’s better than receiving a trophy of the back half of a horse. The organizers of golf tournaments don’t seem to understand the concept of “Grace.” I thank God you guys do.

I know “I liked your story, but the ending was weak” is intended to help me place in the top 40 sometime down the line. I realize “I’m sorry but I missed the point” is a gentle Christian’s way of saying “You really blew it this time pal.” As for “cute” and “nice” they mean it’s good enough for the church newsletter but a real editor’s secretary would be embarrassed to let him see this story.

While I’m a sensitive guy and I’m sure I understand “I liked your opening sentence” means it went to pot from that point on; I prefer being patronized to being ignored. So please patronize me and say something, even if you can’t think of anything beyond “nice.” If you truly have a servant’s heart you might even consider disregarding the grammar police and say “very nice” or LOL whatever that means.

FIM… foot in mouth or TIC…tongue in cheek…?

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This article has been read 1084 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart04/19/07
I'm glad I get to leave your first comment. You had me laughing from the first paragraph through to the end! I'm not a writer, just a "reader" but I think your entry is fabulous. There is also a lot to truth in it.
Loren T. Lowery04/19/07
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)TWG (This Was Great) : )
R (Really)
Joanne Sher 04/19/07
I feel like I'm going to get my COMMENT critiqued! ;)
I truly enjoyed this - and can I EVER relate! (Kenn really is a nice guy, yanno! ;) ) Maybe that's why I liked it so much. It could also be because you did a wonderful job of writing it. My alltime FAVORITE line: "I’m losing to accounting majors, and grandmas that took up writing when they turned 70."
I think you will get a LOT of feedback on this one!
David Story04/19/07
imho - This one places 39 easy!
Good job.
Oh, and btw...I'm rotfolol.
Julie Arduini04/20/07
Well I'm not a grandma and I didn't enter any writing for years because grammar police told me I'd never make a difference because I had lousy English teachers---so this was fun. Whether it makes it on a church bulletin, a ribbon on FW, or on a magazine, you have made us smile. Excellent.
Sara Harricharan 04/20/07
You sound a lot like me...puzzling where to put the commas, or not. This was both interesting to read and your style was fairly-down to earth. I think you did a good job. ^_^ (and don't ever judge your writing here by the comments...lol...what I considered to be my best piece ever, only got 3 comments-yet dozen of people could relate to it.)HW (happy writing!) ^_^
Donna Howard04/20/07
Well, I'm one of those 70 year old grandma's and you are right, I loved this (LOL). You really scratched my funny-bone. You took a mutual frustration and turned it into a marvelously (oops, there's one of those taboo ..ly words), funny story. Thanks for putting things into perspective. I hope this finishes high on the list.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/20/07
"Grandma" here loves your entry. As writers, we use the "ink" of our hearts to write our words and yearn for recognition in the "orange boxes." This was delightful!
Joyce Samuel04/21/07
H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! And I'm not being patronizing. Well said. I'm sure many of us feel the same way. Keep writing.
Lynda Schultz 04/22/07
Okay, okay! I won't say that this is nice, that I liked your opening sentence, or that your ending was weak. I can't guarantee you a spot in the top forty (I can't even do that for myself!) but hey, relax, getting there is probably like getting pregnant - don't work so hard at it, and it will probably happen. In the meanwhile, be assured that you're a good writer — commas, or their lack, notwithstanding!
Jacquelyn Horne04/24/07
Maybe you should write more humor. I know you can't this quarter, but...Yes, you can! A humorous mystery would have been good. A humorous romance could still be submitted. You've already done a humorous humor challenge. Keep up the good work.
Shari Armstrong 04/24/07
I'm afraid to say anything ROFL, but I'll kick myself if I don't. Great job :)
Marilyn Schnepp 04/24/07
As for the content of this entry...it is Right On!! Only very few write comments, and of those few, very few "tell it like it is"...they do not appreciate harsh Simon Cowell type critiques. I've learned the hard way. Most want comments but don't reciprocate. There are SOME I've NEVER seen write a Comment...and yet if you bring it up - your name is "Mud"; well, let me just say that your entry was my cup of tea! But it won't change anything, believe me! I've tried and failed. Great job of being Honest, straight forward and truthful. Kudos!
Sharlyn Guthrie04/24/07
Your humor is right-on. I don't know what the percentage of feedback will be this week, but I'm guessing it will improve on your entry, anyway!
Loren T. Lowery04/26/07
Thanks for your comment on my submission. I expect to see yours in the top 40 at least. It is just too tongue-in-cheek funny not to be! At least imho!
Janice Cartwright05/04/07
So that's how you do it?! I was wondering. I may try this on my next challenge entry.

Let's see... how can I use humor and and an ow-ee when writing in the historical genre? ... take some thought.

Hope you guessed I'm just an SOG (silly old grandma). I really liked your article and it did make me l (I rarely lol but if I did this one surely would have made me. Do that.

I think the ticket with humor is making us smile at ourselves. I certainly did that identifying your comment about checking and re-checking articles to see how many times they are read as compared to comments left. My most memorable comment received was, "Awww.. how sweet."
Kate Grey06/03/07
I enjoyed this. :) (And please know that some ppl can be understated and say "nice" or even "cute" sometimes for an article that is pleasing.)
Deborah Porter 06/04/07
Ed, I don't know if you realize this or not, but I highlighted this article in the very first "FaithWriters' Heartbeat" article here:

By the way, I did chuckle when I read this: "It’s good we don’t list the order of finish beyond 40. That way I can tell myself, I finished 41st as opposed to having to suck up a 169th place finish."

And that, dear friend, is EXACTLY why I don't give the whole list. ;-)

Anyway, thanks for giving me another smile. I enjoyed reading this the first time, and enjoyed it just as much the second time around.

Love, Deb (Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine and Challenge Coordinator)

Patty Wysong06/05/07
Humor was one of those weeks I was way out of town, so I didn't get to read this. I love this! As much as I cringe when I get a 'cute' comment, at least it's a comment!!!! I'd say we could ALL relate to this one!! Good one! :-)
Carol Sanford08/22/07
Hey,dear friend...
I'm a little slow with reading the Faithwriters' articles these days. This is so much your style...you have a gift for writing humor ya know. It is hard for our generation to get rid of those adverbs. If I remember anything from going to the Montrose conference...that's it. Well, except for their good bread at mealtimes! Anyhoo...this is way better than "cute."
Dianne Janak08/26/07
Ed, you commented on my piece about PMS and MENTAL pause this week, so I was perusing your writings for fun and LOVED your humor, especially in this piece. There is something about the feedbacks we all enjoy, and I get it. I always wonder when 68 people have read something and only a few commented, what others are thinking. I guess we all do. Humor is good. People, all of us, need to laugh more. I love it that you laugh at yourself... that isa great trick, tool, hook, gift, and beats offending others. I look forward to hearing more from your writings. Good job! Dianne Janak