The Official Writing Challenge
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Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.
02/14/06
This is a FABULOUS story! You sucked me right into your character's head and I experienced all of it with him. Amazing! You have a GREAT writer's voice!

There were a few little errors(ie. sashay instead of sachet) that are worth fixing, because this piece is simply incredible.

My favourite line: "and Dovis fell for her quicker than an octopus can say _." I am also very impressed with the abruptness of Dovis's death - you wrote it exactly how it would've felt. Bravo!!!
02/14/06
What else can anybody say, except, I want to read your books! This is an absolute keepsake. Thank you for writing it.
02/15/06
Good, great, and excellent! Wow! What a story! How often are these thoughts carried in the hearts of those 'left out?' You did a fantastic job of portraying this. Excellent read!
02/15/06
You did a great job of getting the reader to sympathize with Dovis. Who can't relate at some level to wanting to fit in? The narrator practically disappears and Dovis took center stage, which demonstrates great story-telling abilities. The only part that didn't connect with me (and it's probably just me) was the ending. It didn't flow for some reason. I can't put my finger on it - sorry! But overall, I felt it was a good, solid piece and left me with a new awareness of how we treat people who are different. Very convicting. Well done.
Blessings, Lynda
02/15/06
Excellent storytelling, and your ending completely took me by surprise.
I gotta echo number one here, Wow. And another Wow just for good measure.

God bless,

Kevin
02/16/06
You really are a heck of a story-teller. Seriously entertaining. Keep it up.
02/18/06
I felt so awfully sorry for Dovis by the end of the story, realizing that students still treat kids who they think are the least bit different like this, and worse. You did a good job of moving my emotions. Excellent mixture of poignancy and humor. Just a couple of things: you meant "sashay" instead of "sachet," which is a small perfumed fabric bag used to scent a pillow or drawer. I also was confused about what actually happened to cause Dovis' death.
Kids are very mean to each other in the schools nowadays despite the supposed "zero tolerance" rules. Maybe a story like this one is needed. Thank you for sharing.
02/18/06
Okay, call me blind. My daughter pointed out to me that Dovis didn't leave his car at the curb but slammed his car into Sara's bedroom. The last comment of the narrator, sadly, would probably not have affected his classmates much. Like I said, kids are mean today, having grown up in an almost godless society.
02/19/06
A very engaging style of writing. You described Dovis so well.
02/20/06
Congratulations on your First Place win! I didn't read it originally - but now that I have...I agree. It is a Winner! Wow! /ms
02/20/06
Stunning and straight to the heart. It gives me pause to reflect on anyone I might have slighted during those awful "teenage-fit-in" days.

Congratulations on a well-deserved first place win!
02/20/06
WONDERFUL STORY! Having been on the wrong end of the teasing throughout the latter half of my elementary years, I can totally relate! Well-written style...congratulations on the win!
This is a wonderful article, so articulately written and so easy to relate to. I think we've all had a Dovis in our life. This really speaks to the innate value of every human being. I plan to give a copy of this to our church youth group leader. Thanks for writing such a poignant article.
02/20/06
Excellent writing.
Congradulations.
02/20/06
Original, kind of, but I didn't like it. The writing had no flow. It was very choppy, and I had a hard time staying with it.

I wasn't inspired,either, but saddened by the anger and the waste of life.

Again, sorry.
Thank you all for your very kind comments. I truly appreciate them all. As a note to this piece, many of you know a bit about me and know I have a child who has a serious disability. I wrote this with him in mind, hoping that all of you who are parents will be reminded just how powerful our words are and how delicate their feelings can be, especially those who live on the "fringes"--who are not accepted by we "normal" people. If I'm *normal*, we have a lot to worry about!

It was also inspired by my my best friend who was killed in a car accident when I was nineteen. He had hemophylia and could not do all the things we other boys could do as we grew up, so he was often left out. As a teenager, he turned to all kinds of self-destructive behaviors, including drugs and promiscuous sex. He was killed in a drunk-driving accident and I miss him dearly. That event really molded my future as I became a rehab counselor, serving people who suffer with mental illness and substance abuse; people who are often discarded because they're "ugly".

I know not everyone liked the piece, but it was written with sincerity and to the best of my ability. Obviously most folks liked it, but I know it probably could have been better. Everything can always be better. I'm glad someone was saddened by the anger and waste of life portrayed in Dovis' life. I feel the same when I think about my childhood friend.
02/20/06
I haven't been here in awhile ( you know why- keep praying brother) but I had to make an exception when I heard you won. This piece got just what it deserved. It is very difficult to be original. You hit a home run there. I was inspired. I was chastened. I was saddened. I was uplifted. Lil biased being your B.F.A.M., but I'd buy the book just because this piece was in it. Keep it up!
Kris, this is such a heartfelt story, moves the reader profoundly. Thank you for this entry, and congratulations on your well deserved win! May God bless you richly as you do His work among those He so tenderly loves.
02/22/06
When a person encounters beauty,raw and unpolished beauty, he loses the ability of description...your work has left me mute and dumb -founded...a master piece by every standard, a must read, well done
04/23/06
Hi Kris.

I'm just preparing all the winning entries for inclusion in the FaithWriters' Anthology for last quarter, and need to get a short bio note from you (written in the third person), to include with our "Meet Our Authors" section. If you are at all unsure what to write, it may be worth checking some of the bio notes at the end of the articles at FaithWriters' Magazine (http://www.faithwritersmagazine.com). Once you have your bio note ready, could you please send it through to me at debporter@breathfreshair.org

Thanks for that. Look forward to hearing from you.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator and Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine)