The Official Writing Challenge
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04/24/08
Simply wonderful.
04/24/08
Beautiful, and that last line is superb.
04/24/08
Wow! Beautiful story, expertly woven, and eloquently told. I really like this, "Nobility, integrity, freedom, even death itself are too distant, too irrelevant. These are weights I’ve never had to test my strength against." All the different part of this story are so good, "the railroad tracks", the line from Lewis Carroll, Whiskers, then your ending that ties it all together. Excellent work. I love it.
04/26/08
Wow! I love this entry. Very touching and I loved the ending.
Laury
Wow. My jaw has dropped right now in awe of this story. I can't even describe all of the things I like about it, because it would take me too long. Everything about it shines, the characters, the descriptions, the dialogue, the superb word usage, the beginning, the ending...Should I keep going? :)

This one is being added to my favorites list. I hope that it places high, because it deserves top honors in my opinion.
04/28/08
What an amazing story, especially the second last paragraph. I loved the description of the railroad being like our life.
04/28/08
Excellent!

Since most of the story is the flashback, would you consider putting the "present" bits in italics, and the flashback in regular type? Another thing that might separate them would be to change the tenses: put the "now" stuff in present tense, but the flashback in past tense. That's actually the way I thought you were going in the first paragraph, which starts in past tense then switches to present.

Purely my opinion; this piece is very strong and masterfully written, just the way it is.
Very strong entry! Love everything about it and hope it places. Excellent!
04/28/08
Wow. Beautiful writing. Love the format. Excellent job with the topic.
Wow! Excellent entry! Your writing is superb.
04/28/08
Emotion evoking writing. Your writing set not only the scene, but the mood of your piece.

I think you could weave the details of the 2nd paragraph (the beginning of the f.b.) into the third para, to "show not tell", eg changing "..in the rising orange mist of the sun." to "..in the orange mist of the rising sun." shows early morning. Just a thought.

Love the dialog between uncle and nephew, and the photo and what it represented. Excellent.
04/28/08
My favorite of the week. Superb. Mind boggling superb.
Wow! A touching and beautiful story... well written.
You set the mood so well and you continue to set the mark of excellence in Masters. Always enjoy your entries and something in this one stirs my soul.
04/29/08
Oh, my! Oh, my! From beginning to end--SUPERB!! I am in awe of your "wordsmithing" gift, my friend! Through your exquisite descriptions, I was there on the tracks with you, deeply moved by the whole story! The dialogue was very well-done, too, and the Carroll quote is a favorite of mine! It is so good to be reading your work again! Oh, my! Oh, my! :)
04/30/08
Wow, beautiful and lovely. Your descriptions and characterizations are perfect. Love this story.
I loved this story-your descriptions drew me right in.I particualrly loved the following paragraph:"To our left a flock of geese honk and slip effortlessly into the lake. To our right, swallows dart and swoosh, turning invisible corners, following unseen paths." You create such an amazing mood, and devlopment of character through the dialog. Wonderful piece!
04/30/08
Awesome story!! Amazing.

Love these lines...

“That’s the way life is, you don’t know how it’s going to end, but you just keep walking. I don’t want to die, but running from it doesn’t change it, maybe even makes it worse, because when you look back, the rails are always closed.


and

Nobility, integrity, freedom, even death itself are too distant, too irrelevant. These are weights I’ve never had to test my strength against.
04/30/08
oh WOW! This is amazing! So much depth here and emotion, I loved the lines with six impossible things and how you ended with it being down to three impossible things. There's so much in this piece, I've got read it again. Great, wonderful writing! ^_^
04/30/08
Sometimes 'beautiful' is so inadequate--this is one of those times. Simply wonderful. I loved the ending--it brought tears.
04/30/08
Others have already noted the great lines in this piece. Ditto. You have a gift for bringing all the senses into a story-fully immersing the reader. Wow.
05/01/08
Congrats on placing. I had an inkling you would. This was my favorite of this topic's entries.
05/01/08
Congratulations, Loren! ^_^
05/01/08
Congratulations! This is so well-written a beautful tribute if true, a beautiful story if not.
05/01/08
Congratulations! This was a brilliant piece.
05/01/08
Congrats on your EC!
05/01/08
Woo-hoo! Congratulations, Loren!
05/01/08
Congratulations on your EC, Loren. I'm so glad to see this piece place.
05/01/08
Excellent... I was there... Each word well-placed. Congratulations on a deserved win.
SO very happy to see this one place in the top 5. It truly is one of my favorites.
05/01/08
I knew it! I knew it! :) When I read this piece I was certain it would garner you yet another EC! Am I prophetic or what?!! :D WAY TO WRITE, LOREN!!!!!!!!!!!
05/01/08
This is excellent! Your description are so vivid I felt like I was there. Awesome job and well deserved win. Love in Christ,
Julia
05/01/08
There are times words cannot possibly impart all the emotions one feels. This is one of those times. I have been taken on a journey and brought home again, one that has left me nostalgic, frightened, aching, and at last, hopeful. You have blessed me today, my friend. You always bless me when you write.
Congratulations on EC placing for an amazing story. This one should be published. It's that good.
05/01/08
I agree with Verna (once you fix the italics). It was really, really good writing.
05/01/08
This captured how life should be lived, with each word it breathed different emotions, challenging you to lose yourself in it. The "Before Breakfast" ending will stick in my head as I am reminded of how important it is to really "live" each day.
05/07/08
A very unique way of story-telling....present; past; present, etc. I would agree with one person's comment about switching the italics with the plain text, in that the italicized passages were longer, and this type of print is harder to read...But the concept was great--lending to the difference in timing...And I liked the switch of present to past tense in the story to emphasize the time element...Very well done. ...Helen