The Official Writing Challenge
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01/22/09
This is absolutely beautiful...so tender and pure, so poignant. Very, very well written.
01/22/09
Wonderful—and that last line is perfect.
01/22/09
Oh my...this was superb in every way. It was tender and heartbreaking, but still laced with the hope of Jesus. Absolutely beautiful.
01/22/09
Well written and I like the fact that Jesus is referred to as being different to the white man mentioned. The truth is, He is different to all men, being God and therefore pure in nature. I am only disappointed that He was used as a political platform.
It is comforting to know one thing; men will disagree, do many cruel things to each other and even kill for the sake of their differences, yet Christ is the only person who can unite us all.
01/22/09
Superb writing that captures each moment so fully. Quietly getting a very difficult point across. The story you told so well is rich. Thank you.
01/23/09
Oh wow. Your storytelling is superb--truly masterful. I love the way you brought the story of Jesus into this piece of tragic history. Excellent job with the topic.
Masterful writing in every way.
01/24/09
This is absolutely masterfully written and absolutely captivating. Atmosphere is excellent.
01/25/09
Wow - a very tender and poignant piece! I have nothing to add - you definitely blow us all away with your superb writing!
Conratulations Jan on this excellent piece of writing, and the many references to Australia or is it New Zealand.
Just two points occur to me: the use of itallics for setting the country; and the fact of Jesus' perceived "whiteness". It certainly made me think, and the conversations between your MC and the lovely Colleen convey some wonderful truths. Thankyou.
01/25/09
VERY good. You made me love this girl and hope she does get to know Jesus. And the last line ... ahh, nice.
I was drawn in by the first paragraph and the remainder of the story did not disappoint. Excellent story woven around historical fact.
01/25/09
Very interesting and sad...even most of the native words were able to be "understood" by the context. Well done. Thank you for sharing this with us.
01/25/09
Just reading about the koombahla tree from your vivid description made me wish to smell and visit the place. (You could say I coveted that memory). I love the contrast between that memory and the flowers on the dishes. The confusion over why someone would have the home items, "lifeless and silent" is excellent. You have so expertly developed the character of this girl. Beautiful ending. Your story is rich with detail but so heart-breaking.
To see through the eyes of a child. Beautifully written and so heartfelt.
Your title is perfect. I enjoyed reading this very well written piece, and I learned something as well.
01/26/09
I am breathless. So well written with a totally authentic voice, this piece enlightened my mind and ripped at my heart. Fantastic.
01/26/09
Such a touching story, and though I've heard of the Stolen Generation, I wasn't clear about what happened. This is eye-opening and so sad. I can't imagine what those children went through, not to mention the awful pain of their parents. Every country has their own shameful burden to bear when people are looked at as "less". I'm glad I read this and can learn about this terrible injustice.
Master story teller and master of words, indeed!
"I know that Jesus was a white man, but when Colleen tells me about him, I close my eyes and see him in my spirit, where his skin is brown like mine."

Wow. That ending gave me goosebumps. So powerful. I also really like where you described the flowered dishes with no fragrance. Very powerful descriptions that drew me in. You always manage to do that.
01/27/09
Incredible story-telling. I loved the last line also and imagine that all of us, no matter our skin tone or language, see Jesus in through own colored glasses and hear Him speak in our own native language. This gave me a lot to think about. Great imagery.

01/27/09
This was beautiful and heart-rending. It is the second piece I have read this week that I think would make a wonderful book for young people.
01/28/09
Oh, Jan. Masterful job. Masterful

"bad skin and their strangled talking" love that line and so many others. "all corners and sharp surfaces."

The only line that stuck out a bit was "full of imitations of beauty." and the word "fragrance" because to me, they sound too "grown up" for this young girl.
Perhaps shadows instead of imitations? Just a thought.

I think it is brilliant to pick up on that though .. the fake flowers on the plates and dead pictures on the wall.
I was hoping someone would do this story. Have you read / seen Rabbitproof fences?

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful writing, Jan! If I could .. I'd put that little bowing emoticon thingy right here _______ :)

01/28/09
What can I say, but "Wowzer."
01/28/09
hmmmm...I thought I commented on this already, but I don't see it.

This is such a sad story. Thank you for sharing it with us...makes us think.
01/29/09
WOW, oh, WOW!! What an amazing story you shared! Your character was so well-drawn and her tale was so heart-breaking. I appreciated seeing the "white world" through her eyes, and I am glad she was able to picture Jesus as brown like herself. This was such excellent writing, and I learned a bit of history, too. CONGRATULATIONS on your truly deserved EC win!!
02/02/09
Jan, you truly belong in "Masters". And I just read your interview from your "winning" entry. You are an amazing story teller. This story drew me in from the start. I had never heard of these stolen children--at least not from this country--Australia or NZ. Oh how much the "whites" have to answer for in the judgement day. And I mean not just individuals, but countries. As someone said in a comment, many countries have their horrid past deeds to account for. You did so well in picturing this little girl, and bringing in the older girl who drew her to Jesus. I have always pictured Jesus as being what ever "colour" we imagine--Jesus is--well, we all have our own personal picture of what Jesus is and what color His skin is. He died for all, regardless of colour or creed or country or religion...Blessings on you, Jan...Helen
02/02/09
Jan - this is just beautiful. Lyrically, tenderly written, and with such a poignant and powerful message.
Brilliant.
This is so vivid, and a sober reminder of the inhumanity of man to man. Well done!