The Official Writing Challenge
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01/12/12
A beautiful analogy of how we can be committed to others even in the hard times, when it seems futile. Commitment is sacrificial, and we really cannot do it very well without our Father's help. I really enjoyed this. Well done.
Having been a teacher, I could relate to your MC's frustration (you did a good job showing that, by the way.) Loved the metaphor of the robin, illustrating that sometimes loving little ones means sacrifice, being uncomfortable, persevering. That is certainly what one needs in order to be a mother or a teacher. Most of the dialogue was believable, some was not (i.e. When her husband told her about the robin. Given her distraught state of mind, I can't imagine her giving such a long response. Mine would've been simply, "Yeah." It's like you were trying to give the reader information about the bird through her response and it came off as stilted, rehearsed.) Anyway, not a huge deal, and it didn't keep me from enjoying your good story. Blessings and joy as you write!
01/13/12
I loved the message, but I thought the relationship portrayed would have been better suited as a mother-daughter one, rather than husband-wife. (At least in my world.) I realize there are many husbands out there who are sensitive and nurturing, but I had a difficult time relating, since my husband would not rush off to make me tea and grab a tissue (and he wouldn't call it a tissue). He actually would make me tea if I was struck with fever and ache, and he would hand me a tissue if I was sobbing and asked for one, but he would say, "Sure, uh---where do we keep the Kleenex?"

Again, that's just my perspective, and I did love the message and I adored the robin metaphore.
01/13/12
This was a sweet story...I am smiling at the responses about "husbands." hahahaha.
But some husbands can be nurturing and responsive, as this character was.

I enjoyed it - nicely written. God Bless~
01/18/12
Very engaging and sensitive approach. I also loved the simplicity of the example.
01/18/12
This is a sweet story with a nice message.

I think the opening to your story would be more interesting and draw the reader in better if it contained stronger verbs, included some action and showed us Johnny's anticipation for Janet's arrival. Here's an example.

"Johnny stares out the living room window with expectation. He drums his leg. Janet will pull into the driveway at any minute where he will unveil the surprise he has planned in celebration of her first month as a teacher."

In this sentence: “Come with me, I have something to show you.” he says as he tries to entice her to come with him.

First of all, Johnny is already stating "Come with me". It is unnecessary to repeat that he is enticing her to come with him. Eliminate "he says" (which you could do throughout your story) and focus on more action with strong verbs. Perhaps "Come with me, I have something to show you." Taking her hand, he draws her from the car.

Your story fit the topic nicely and the analogy of the Robin was creative. I'm sure this would be an encouragement to many a frazzled teacher! Nice job.
01/18/12
I loved reading this. It made me smile! Thanks for sharing! God bless!
01/19/12
I loved this sweet, gentle story and definitely loved the husband! Do these sort of men really exist? lol!