The Official Writing Challenge
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This is just beautiful. The rhythm of the words is like the pulse of a heart. It is great to know there are people in this world like the narrator who know to look beyond the anger.
I absolutely love the ending.
the story gave me new insight into what I would have--before reading this story--labeled a temper tantrum. Very well written.
This is a truly beautiful story of patient love. The little boy is pictured so well, the reader can see his angry heart. One only hopes the love of his foster mother will soothe his broken self, and God will make him whole.
A lovely, poignant story — it held me all the way through. Well done.
This is SO very sweet and touching. Very well written, too. Five stars from me.
Well written. I could picture the interactions between adult and child.
This is so tender and sweet. I felt the MCs compassion and love. I saw the boy's anger. The last line gave me chill bumps. What symbolism. Great!
You absolutely tore my heart out! Just excellent. What compassion from mom, and what vivid descriptions of that boy. Wonderful.
Absolutely wonderful writing. Your title and the paragraph in which you repeated it were especially effective in this touching story.
You never cease to amaze me with the complexities of your stories, that seem to come so naturally. I always get the sense that I'm entering a full, living world when I read your work. This story is no exception. I hope this is a winner. Brilliant work!!
This is absolutely beautiful. Your detailed descriptions left my heart physically aching for this little boy. Wonderful writing -- as always.
As I read this earlier today I knew it had to be yours. Jan, you are an incredible writer. There's so much depth--perhaps "heart" would be a better word--to your writing. Having met you, I can see it in you. You were born to write, to put into words what most people never stop to consider. Your descriptions are so vivid. I could see Cody, I could hear his screams, feel the pounding of his fists, and even easily visualize his "beleaguered thumb". We had a little "Cody" but his name was "Scotty"--a bit older but just as angry. I guess that's why this story really stirred up some emotions in me...memories of a difficult time in our family. I was so thankful to see Moira blessed with the small, crimson wildflower--what we would have given for such a gift! Awesome, Jan! But, then, I would have expected nothing else from you. God bless! :)
This is so beautifully written. The insight the MC has is perfect. Excellent!
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

Jan, you hit too close to home. Just too close. For me, this was hard and wonderful to read. Thank you for writing and sharing this.
You alternately broke my heart and mended it over and over as I read this. Simply stunning. I'm choked up. What a story!
Stunningly good. Simply awesome.
You described everything so perfectly. I could picture the entire article in my mind. Beautiful description of Cody and his anger. My daughter Jade was similar when she was very young. The characters plan to help him is perfect. This article is one of my favorites.
How, how, how ... do you do it?
Your words are words so special and so original, you need to try the publishing route, JAN! I MEAN IT! I'm going to start sending you places to send your work, if you don't get a move on! Your brother isn't the only one in your family who writes, you know.
This is exactly the reason you are in Masters. Such a wonderfully creative, beautiful piece...touching, real and quietly powerful. Since you asked for critiques, I will say the one thing I didn't quite get (and maybe it's just me) was the transition from the paragraph where Cody gleefully hands over his treasures to the next, where there is an explosion. Maybe that's the whole point - that there is no clear point to his anger.
Such a sad've captured the reality of so many foster situations today. But you've also shown that there are some wonderful, loving foster parents out there who can love these kids to health. Excellent writing.
This really touched me - for reasons you will understand. My favourite line: 'surely the volume of love ripped from my heart when I first held his little hand was a sort of birth. '
Sorry for the delay in reading this deeply beautifu piece.
Wow! I could see this so clearly, and I could feel it, too. The wildflower at the end...what a heart clencher, but you didn't manipulate our feelings. Excellent!! Hugs!!
Oh! Powerful. You have a way with words that astounds me. The ending of your story was the clincher... I felt hope - hope for this little one to be healed as Moira continues to care for him and be the place of safety that he so desperately needs. Years ago, I dealt with an angry boy for a week, only a few hours a day, at VBS (in the end God intervened and gave us victory). I can't imagine doing this day after day... one would definitely need to rely on the Lord.
Hi Jan, I don't often get time to read FW entries at the moment, but whenever I do I always make sure I read yours first ... and this one amply illustrates why this is a good strategy! What I particularly liked about this story ... apart from the wonderful evocation of
mood and situation ... was the fact that there were no
easy answers. The foster-parent just had to hold on and love and pray.

My youngest was a little overtired yesterday, and required just that kind of love. I was very conscious of your story helping me to better parenting decisions
and responses as I tried to
calm her.

So, bravo! bravo! I hope this does well for you.
I can't even find the words to describe my feelings after reading this. But the last line saw me dissolved in tears. I saw too many little boys and girls filled with anger when I taught first grade. The worst behaved was secretly my favorite but I couldn't let him know. At Christmas he had changed so much that he brought a large, clumsily-wrapped bottle of very inexpensive perfume to class and set it on my desk. Immediately, it fell off and smashed, soaking everything in sight. He flew into a rage, disappointed that his gift to me met with such an unthinkable fate. I held him tightly until his little body relaxed. And we both smelled mightily of "Lily of the Valley" for the next six hours! LOL.
Exquistie in every single way! Oh, how you led me into loving and knowing that precious little boy! And in knowing and loving Moira too! Your skill at building such depth, layer upon layer, into these stories is astounding. I'm in awe, again and again. What a gift!
This stirred me so deeply. I agree, this was masterfully done! WOW!
Oh, yes, this is definitely why you are in Masters. I had a neighbor once whose adopted daughter from a foreign country was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder. The anger outbursts were very much like you described. This story is put together so well that the reader can "feel" it. Absolutely excellent!!!
I don't know what I could add that hasn't already been written but the beauty in this story unfolded like a sweet rose. This was beautiful, start to finish.
What an emotional tale of a troubled child. I love the way you have the mc dealing with it.
excellent, good theme, great writing.
Your imagery and symbolism actually outdid your characterization (if ever possible) and I found this masterful.
Congratulations on your EC. Very much deserved. :)
Jan, this is great to see - congratulations on a well-dserved win. Goodness, you have way with words! Loren
Well done! I liked Cody. He reminds me very much of a few little boys I know. ^_^ Congrats on your win, it is well-deserved!
This is high power loving. Fab Jan.
It is so hard to add to what has already been said, but having not yet attempted fiction, I always want to know, did you experience a Cody? How on earth does one capture the beauty of this kind of love without the experience?? I just am speechless and in awe of how it left me, and your writing. Also thanks for all your encouragement to me and the rest of us.. with your wonderful comments each week... Dianne
Jan,Thank you so much for this story. you really do paint pictures with your words. I am reading this at a time when I am again in the process of applying to be a foster parent. My heart goes out to both Cody and Mmoira and honestly your story sparked both courage and fear in my heart...could I deal with a Cody? It just reminds how much i need to rely on Jesus. Thanks again!
A truly wonderful piece which flows beautifully. Paints a very vivid picture of the little boy with all his emotions and his impact on the carer. Exceptional.