The Official Writing Challenge
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08/12/11
Good for him taking his brother to the try outs. Courage, love and determination seems to fit the three of them in this family. I enjoyed it. God bless you~
08/12/11
Such a touching story! Sadly there does remain narrowness in some of society's view of the mentally handicapped, but praise God it is so much better than the past! Children can be amazingly accepting or very cruel, so I can see why a sibling would be hesitant, not knowing what kind of reception they might get. But what a wise mom in this story and what a touching scene, to see the brother’s love win out in the end! A well written, heartwarming read!
08/15/11
A story true to life of the pain and inconveniences we sometimes face when we have a loved one who is sick or needing special care. In situations such as this, let not our hearts be troubled, but believe in God, believe also in the Lord (John 14:1). Open our hearts to reach out and meet the need of that special someone, but never forget also about ourselves to be sure to find time to rest and be renewed, to recieve comfort in the Holy Spirit as well as draw strength from the Lord.

You've done well in putting across a difficult story that moves the heart. Thank you for sharing this story.

Beautiful story! I like the dialog and well-crafted characters. I lost the thread of the story in the beginning: e.g., he is riding his bike in the first paragraph … it is early morning but he smells hamburgers cooking for supper? and then the setting changes abruptly. But you did a wonderful job capturing the ambivalence of the protagonist. I think you could develop these characters into many more stories.
This is A heart-wrenching story and one near to my heart. My mom's first child was born with spina bifida that caused brain damage. Though I never met him, had he lived he would have been developmentally disabled.

Remember to start a new paragraph for each time a different person speaks. Also capitalize Mom of you use it as a name (without the or my in front of it.)

This story is beautiful and has awonderful message.

08/16/11
I'm showing my age - and perhaps yours if you also recall, but I heard the Hollies from way back in 1970 "He ain't Heavy, he's my Brother."

Terrific story, with active dialogue. I liked your device of progressive scoring; once I realised what it was. It may have helped to set it more formally in brackets or in italics; eg (Score: Mom 2 - Me 2 etc,) for this would have lifted the energy and strengthened the piece and cut across any confusion for lower IQ readers like me. Apart from that, I reckon it's a winner!
08/16/11
I really love this story! It has so many elements - humour, pathos, patience and buckets of love. I agree with all the comments pasted and I also was going to suggest a different way of putting the score - it confused me a bit until I had read it a couple of times! Brilliant idea though. A really good entry - hope it does well.
08/16/11
You really captured the emotions in this piece. To me that is what is most important, the rest will fall in line. Well done!
I really enjoyed the storyline on this piece. You did a nice job with the characterization. Not sure how on-topic it is but well done.
Thank you everyone for taking the time for your critiques and encouraging words. I'm not sure what happened during the previewing and editing process but with tech problems and my own human error my piece surely has some mistakes.:( I accidentally wrote morning in my opening scene when I meant afternoon and didn't see that I had left off the I for It for my opening sentence when I copied & pasted the word. For some reason when the format for italics didn't work for me this time & so my Mom and me scores became hard to read & blended too much w/ the rest of my story. My apologies.
As far as being on topic my characters all were trying hard in life. Squirrel just was trying to be given the opportunity to play with his brother, while Zack earnestly tried to just survive and feel like a regular kid, even though his circumstances left him angry and Mom was trying to hold the family together through a difficult time in their lives. I pray this will encourage and speak to the hearts of those who read the piece. Thx again.:) Blessings to each of you!