The Official Writing Challenge
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04/25/05
Oh my goodness! What a wonderful piece. A tearjerker, for sure and so well written!
04/25/05
Ilove the mundane details made sharp, seen through the eyes of the soldier. Peeling DQ's, a new stoplight, in contrast to the inner struggles and ghosts. Lump in the throat, salty eyes, moving. My nephew is coming home in June from the Stans. I think I'll print this to share with him, since he'll be coming home to an Iowa that has changed in his absence.
What a beautiful piece! Loved the way you showed intimate details of HOME. And the SCAR..... oh my, it was so heartfelt. Showed scars on the inside....... yet the healing comfort of being home. Loved your story! Love the "IOWA" part, too!
well done. beautiful.
04/25/05
Touching and written well! Good job!
04/25/05
Very touching - excellent writing! Had me near tears. What a wonderful take on "Thanksgiving"!
Blessings, Lynda
04/25/05
With the strength of your descriptive narrative, your trip home came alive.
04/25/05
More! More! I want to hear the rest of the story. You hooked me from the first word (a GOOD thing) Loved it.
04/26/05
I love the details, especially the sign on the Drive In.

Nice job.
04/26/05
OK, this one raised the hairs on the back of my neck. This one bought a lump to my throat! This one made me say Wow. I can so identify with ‘like a pair of old Levi’s.’ ‘I felt dirty’ says everything you need it to say and ‘Muscles rippled where before there’d only been potential’ blew me away. Is Emeryville a real place? ‘cos I just loved the symbolism of emery paper scouring everything clean – which is what this experience did. A thought provoking take on a tricky subject. Not too patriotic, not melodramatic or unnecessarily sentimental. Twelve outa ten.

04/27/05
I echo everyone else's comments..Wow! So descriptive, made me feel like I was going home with you! Truly moving and left me with a better appreciation for the little things at home. Great writing!!
I just had to write a little note again and let you know how much I loved this story! In my opinion it gets TOP BILLING! Every time I read it something else "jumps" off the page at me. Can't get enough of this story. It needs to be a novel... Then, a movie... and even a music video..... :-) I think you get the picture that this story is TOP SHELF!
05/01/05
Brilliant. Ditto to all the above comments. Having spent lots of time overseas, I particularly identified with the 'foreign dust' ... so true! This was very touching. Well done!
This is a KNOCKOUT! To me, the very best of the week. Thanks so much for writing it. I loved every line.
Smooth and pointed. Everyone has visited this town and been this soldier. You weave in a personal history of the people and the places. It made me wonder what came before and what will come after. Good work!
05/02/05
Awesome job!

Blessings, Cheri
05/03/05
Beautifully written. I loved how it flowed. I'm not a man, so I don't know how it feels to go to war and return home, but in this story I could sense some of the young man's feelings. Very well written. I would have given it a 1st place!
05/03/05
Congratulations Maxx, this was a winner for sure.
05/03/05
Maxx - Outstanding as always. What can I say? Congratulations! With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Superb! Like a knife that cuts straight through the heart. What a gift!
Two in a row. Two in a row where you made me cry! I think every citizen from any country can appreciate this story. "Shar’s Daily Drive-in was still missing letters on its sign, leaving only “har-D-ly Drive-n”, the way it had been for a generations" What details! it's phrases like these ones that allow the reader to be able to see everything. I could see them driving along the dirt road. I could see the pain in the soilders eyes. I could feel the uncomfortable silence in the truck. The part with Sandy at the end really got to me. That's when the tears started pouring! Beautiful account. Very timely as well.