The Official Writing Challenge
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Good, I could picture it and smell it!
First, this was written extremely well. You painted this scene perfectly. I could see everything. The dumster, the dark alley...everything!!! great, great work! I loved the double message. It takes talent to weave two differnet storylines in one story. I loved the letter, but I did wish to see a little more hesitancy with Mel before she truly accepted "the abundant life." But that was a minor issue. This story was wonderful, great piece!!!! (you have no need to worry about your decision!)
06/17/06
That was really heart wrenching! It reminded me of the parable of the prodigal son - the father waiting. It made me think too of the older brother in that parable - how differently things might have worked out if he had acted like Stacia. Well done!"
06/17/06
Beautifully described with a powerful message - well done.
06/19/06
Oh, that gave me goosebumps! Wonderful, beautiful story. I also could see everything so clearly. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
06/19/06
A great story and very well written. The dialogue flows very naturally. You have very good word choices and strong use of verbs. I loved the resemblance to the story of the prodigal son, but this was a father who grieved for the return of his daughter. Simply excellent!
06/20/06
You write so well! Clear descriptions and great dialogue. I loved it!:)
06/20/06
Beautiful! I loved it! Masterfully written by a Master! :)
Excellent use of dialogue to set the stage and mood, then develop the story! It's a wonderful story, too. Clearly the hand of God had been preparing Mel for her sister's visit.

It may seem sudden, the way Mel's defense appear to crumble easily, but I have seen this happen in my own family, when it was least expected. There is nothing so powerful as a father's (Father's) love!
06/20/06
From one who has a homeless child, this story touched me deeply. God's goodness is amazing and you protrayed it so well. Wiping my tears now, as I pray for my own.
06/20/06
I thought I knew where this was headed, and I did to a degree. But I didn't see sisters coming. Wow! It's painful enough to witness someone living on the street, but your own sibling. And then the revelation comes ... every person living on the street is my brother or sister in Christ. Well done.
06/20/06
One of your best, Lynda. Excellent work. I personally don't like the letter in the story approach... just a personal preference... but nothing can take away the strength of this story. Very well done!
06/21/06
This was some excellent writing on your part. I think I would have left the last line at 'into her sister's arms' but other that that tiny quibble, I'd be surprised if this one was not a winner in the EC. Even if it is not, you could easily sell it.
06/21/06
Very atmospheric and deftly written.
06/21/06
Obviously, the constraint of word count limited a true and full expressions at the dumpster, thus making the transition somewhat incomplete. A moving and deserving piece nonetheless.
Masterfully written. I could almost smell that dirty diaper (but thank God, not quite). Great writing.
Lynda, I really don't know what else to say that hasn't been said already. Just wanted you to know your story brought tears to my eyes and how much I enjoyed reading it.

Trina<><
06/21/06
Great opening, established the setting very well. Good interaction between the sisters.

This section seemed just a bit mechanical in my mind's eye, though: "A lone figure stepped from behind the trash bin and hoisted herself up over the side. Stacia watched as the woman landed with a thud on top of the garbage." I can't explain why.

The father's note caught my teenage daughter's eye and she wanted to read the whole story. She liked it; what more can I tell you? Your story passed her inspection. I also enjoyed it.