The Official Writing Challenge
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01/09/06
Wow..I really liked this! Great style of writing with their moments meshing like that. I felt sadness wrapped up with hope. Good job!
Straight to the heart, this one!
01/10/06
Good job. Left me wanting to know what comes next. A very real senario for so many young people.
01/11/06
Very good! Nicely written and needs to be read by every Mother that this scene might remind them of....oh how I wish! Good job!
Really liked this...The ending was great!
01/12/06
Your article was wonderful and powerful. I felt Tommy's pain.
01/12/06
What a great story of God's perfect timing! Perfectly believable! I'm thinking maybe you could have quotation marks for 'Feed my sheep.' to distinguish the short sentence as God speaking to the pastor. But it hardly effects the story! I could feel the boy's hopelessness and desperate need to escape - all too familiar for so many children. You captured this well - well done and well written!
01/12/06
Contemporary and well written. May God bring hope to each one such as this. Good job!
You did a great job describing the boy's home and then switching to describe the video game world. Very different styles. At the end, I was worried for a second that the pastor was going to keep walking and actually felt relief with the knock at the door.
01/13/06
I absolutely loved this. Such a heart-wrenching piece, yet it left me with a glimmer of hope. I stumbled for a second on the paragraph where Mom tells Tommy to bring her the bottle and tells him to get out. But other than that, the piece was woven together nicely and kept me captivated.
Wonderful writing!
Blessings, Lynda
01/13/06
This was very powerful! You painted the picture of hopeless desparate poverty well!
One thought chilled me, though. Tommy escapes in a video game where he does battle with Danus, a "sulfurous, smoke-breathing creature" which dies but not before scraping Errad's arm with a talon. Sounds very much like Tommy is doing battle with his mother and the game reflects his last battle with her. We hear of a link between murders committed by kids not yet 18, violent video games, and sometimes poverty, but more often lately middle and upper class kids. Were you thinking along those lines?
Good that the pastor followed Tommy. Who knows what Tommy might have done next?
01/13/06
What a complex piece - so many levels of meaning.

I thought the mother's request for her bottle was a good instance of role reversal, and the swipe of the talon in the game also tying in with the scene at home. The contrast between the way both households began their day was clever too.

I'm sure there is lots more I've missed in just one reading, but I'll conclude by joining my fellow readers in saying how relieved I was in the way the two stories intertwined at the end.

WELL DONE!
This is elegantly constructed, the writing creating both vivid sceanes and aromas that give this window on the lives of the pastor, young boy and mother depth and realism. The fantasy game is described so well that the reader can see the 'enchantment' of the escape it provides from the emotional and physical poverty of the boys real life. Excellent. God bless.
01/13/06
You did a wonderful job with this. It is sad to see so many kids (and adults) escaping into their heads or their games just to feel okay.
01/14/06
This one just leapt to the top of my favourites list this week. GREAT JOB! You did a brilliant job of intertwining the stories together - the pastor, the boy, the mother, and the parallel video game - so many layers, so much pain, and then so much hope. Wonderful, masterful writing!
Great job weaving this involved story. The layers just kept peeling back...to reveal more and more and more. You managed to cram a volume into a short essay...really good job!