The Official Writing Challenge
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Well written and a beautiful illustration of a paradigm shift. There is always two sides to every story --- if we could but learn to hold our tongues to hear the other side.
Your characters in your excellent story are all finely drawn and your message clearly presented. This was a good reminder that we should not be so quick to judge others.
11/06/08
Great characterization! Isn't it strange how all the men who don't pay attention are called George? As for your message--a sober reminder of many things.
11/07/08
Nice take on the subject. I really liked your contrast of the two homes. Courage and hope / discord and judgement. Well done.
11/07/08
What a great reminder to put ourselves in someone else's shoes before we judge them. The characterization of the first couple was well done, though it did seem a little too stereotypical to me. However, the stereotype certainly fit well in the story. The story engaged me and the ending quite meaningful. Great job!
11/08/08
Oh, I love this. Incredibly done, with an amazing, poignant message for all of us. Great descriptions of BOTH scenes.
11/08/08
Very unique take on the topic. I'll raise my hand and admit that I've played the part of Agnes one too many times. Wonderful lesson, and great take on the topic.
11/08/08
Oh my, you made me cry. Excellent writing.
11/10/08
There's a little of Agnes in a lot of us, and your story is a great reminder to help us to stop judging others. The contrast in the two households was very well done.
So many things to admire in this story, but I liked the irony in George's question, "What's a seven-letter word for sweet?" The ending was sobering, and not at all what I was expecting.
This is very well written. I like the reminder not to judge others, until you know the whole story. The ending was very sad. Thanks for this reminder to remember those overseas and their families at Christmas.
11/10/08
I didn't expect your ending. Agnes and George need their own soap opera... or at least an Archie Bunker and Edith-type sitcom. I hope to see them again. :)
11/11/08
Excellent work!
Once again, you have an incredible way of weaving a story. Excellently done.
11/12/08
Awww...this is so poignant, Jan. I wonder how many moms and dads are doing this same thing? You broke my heart when the MC traced her son's photo with her finger...has to be a mom's worst fear and most heartbreaking moment in life, no matter the circumstances.
11/12/08
Ahhh... so many hearts are breaking in this world, waiting and wishing for their loved ones.
11/12/08
I knew there had to be some kind of humbling at the end to solve the "mystery" but your ending surprised me and blew me away. WHat a great lesson for all of us who rush to judgement so easily.! Love it when I get my toes stepped on while enjoying a story.. thanks Jan once again! Wow.. Im speechless and tearful at this one.
11/12/08
I absolutely love this story. The characterization is superb. The emotional heart shift the reader experiences,beginning at the desk of Laura Benson, is subtle in it's transition but in the end weighs heavy in the revelation of why the lights illuminate in March. Wonderful writing!
Great take on the subject. Well written and great characterization. I always enjoy your work.
Though sad, I love the twist at the end of the story. Congratulations on your EC win!
11/13/08
Wow! I had the idea of the neighbor who left his lights up, but could never have written something this good. The ending was key, totally changing the tone and the mood...and the meaning of the story. Love it. Congrats, Jan.
Ouch! I needed this story because I HATE it when lights aren't down by Jan. 1. I'll remember this next time I'm tempted to judge. Great story as usual. Bravo.
11/14/08
Laughing one minute, crying the next. What a great contrast between the 2 couples centered around the lights. Didn't expect that ending.