The Official Writing Challenge
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A story steeped in aged denials spiced with double entendres and smothered with smoky anticipations. The MC certainly did not need a priest or pastor for confessional. He knew his wife was clever, but seemed a bit surprised to learn that she knew what needed to be brought to the table as well.
04/17/09
Smart wife! I hope the husband gets smart, too! Very well written! :)
Delightful story throughout. I like smart wives.
04/18/09
Very intriguing opening paragraph - sets the mood for this thoughtful story and the MC's discontent and longings. I love the subtle underlying message and the wife's understanding of his true "problem". The details and descriptions bring it all to life. Nice job!
04/18/09
What a sweet wife this faithful man has come home to! (I can almost imagine their faces :).

This story stirred me because of its under layers of scriptural kindness. This is one smart wife who takes the time to really listen to her husband, and then goes the extra mile to respond wisely.

It takes great writing to have the je ne sais quoi quality of bringing a point home.
04/18/09
Funny:) Beauty and brains. LOL.
04/19/09
The "aha" moment in the last three paragraphs was priceless. Very witty;) Love it, love it, love it.
04/19/09
I think I see this as a little bit darker and sadder than the previous commentators...I finished it with a sense of longing and discontent. Not at the writing, but in empathy for the narrator, who's still not quite content. Superb writing, capturing un-nameable emotions with marvelous wordsmanship.
I, too, sense a hint of melancholy in your MC.

I loved the opening, and got a clear mental picture of the wife planting her herbs.

Well done.
Very well done! The voice is so real. I felt his discontent and wanted him to love and appreciate his wife as I do. She was great. The picture you painted of her was so clear. This is excellent. I would read the novel!
04/19/09
I think the guy is beginning to realize, by the end, that he DOES have it all (i.e., brains and beauty). At least I hope he's realizing it!! You've created incredibly compelling and realistic characters, and the description and details are fantastic. Very well done!
Wow- this was very powerful. I too felt sadness and could totally relate to this situation- felt like I was right there. Terrific!
04/20/09
What a great story. The subtle hint of the husband wanting more, and the wife showing that sometimes more is too much, I enjoyed this.
04/20/09
I agree with the comments about this story's "dark" feel. Your writing style took me to places in my own emotions that I wish had never existed. The MC could have once been me. That is incredible writing.
04/20/09
Wonderful piece. Sweet, yet sad, and very true to life. You've put a tremendous amount of depth in a short, word-limited piece. Very well done!
I'm in agreement too, with those who said this seemed to be a dark piece. I was left feeling, that the MC was just on the verge of a turn around, but not quite there. Very well done.
04/20/09
Fantastic rendering of the common problem of the man who needs more spice and the wife who keeps everything neat and in its place. But with wisdom like Isabel's there is always a future. I hope she's not too late to rescue him from the downward slide, and I hope she leaves him breathless.
04/20/09
I loved your story and could so picture Isabel from your exquisite descriptions! This line was a favorite, "My wife is full of seasonal rituals, making a calendar for the marking of time unnecessary," as it told a lot about her in so few words! The emotions of the husband and the wisdom of Isabel were so clearly revealed. You touched on longings many of us have at times in our lives, so it is easy to identify with your characters. Excellent writing! :)
04/20/09
Perfect title, first of all - bit of a hint there. The tone of the first few paragraphs was perfect (it totally made me want to garden as well, but that's besides the point...). I LOVE that the MC was real, genuine and flawed. And that your ending wasn't happily-ever-after, even though a resolution was hinted at. The whole thing felt authentic and so I became much more involved and concerned. Great, great writing.
Beautiful descriptions and characterizations! I felt a bit of sadness for both husband and wife, but the discontent and emotions you portrayed are realistic. excellent writing!
04/20/09
This story is awesome, everything about it. It flows so well the creative "spices"...ok herbs, really run deep. I loved this.
04/21/09
The writing is excellent, but I'm left wondering. The last paragraph leads me to believe that there is more to the husband's emotions than is revealed in the short story. Maybe I just missed it, but something still isn't okay with him, and I want to know the rest. :)
I too found this story to be somewhat sad despite the humorous undertones. I felt like the man was not truly appreciating the great woman that he has and that he was being discontent with his married life. I could be wrong in my interpretation, but that is how I took it.

I felt like this was a very good portrayal of many marriages today and the struggles people have within those marriages. Great writing as always!
04/21/09
I wondered how many women had been in his life before he married, and if he would realize that he had made the best choice possible in Isabel. Great job, very realistic, as we all too often wonder about what we are missing.
You have received so many wonderful comments that I figured I would focus simply on one of the little aspects I loved. I enjoyed how you reemphasized the couple's life was the same by the MC's lack of need for a calendar. The subtle nuance there was excellent. (I even hoped to see it a third time!) Incredible writing.
04/22/09
What a title! I LOVE this woman's sense of humor, brains, and EVERYTHING about her! The comment "time for storm windows to go up" is brilliant (as is this whole story)!!

The only change that I would suggest would be your MC's name, I preferred the name you used in last weeks entry, but then again, I guess you can't use that name for every entry. :)
Congratulations on your top Editor's Choice win. Fantastic writing!
04/23/09
HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, Lisa!
04/23/09
Woo hoo, Lisa. Big congrats on your top finish.
04/23/09
Hip-Hip-Hurray!! Congratulations, Lisa!! Fantastic Job.
This is great to see, Lisa. Congratulations! Loren
04/23/09
Congratulations, Lisa! Very well-deserved!!
04/23/09
AWESOME, AWESOME, LISA!! :D WAY TO WRITE!! I knew this was a winner when I first read it! CONGRATULATIONS!!
04/23/09
Congratulations, Lisa!!! A very well deserved 1st place.
04/23/09
Excellent. Not just a smart wife--a very smart story. Well deserved EC. Congrats!
You did such a good job of subtlety in this story--letting us experience what was happening without telling us what to feel and think. You are a skilled writer.
04/23/09
Fantastic! Congratulations on a well-deserved win!
What a beautiful picture of a modern Proverbs 31 wife! Congratulations on your win! Very well deserved.
04/23/09
Congratulations, Lisa. Superb!
04/25/09
Sorry, I totally missed the reference to God. I assume that this site is named Faithwriters and I dont the demonstration of your faith in this paper. I must admit I am always surprised that lack of acknowledgement and respect for God in an article gets any recogniztion at all considering the name of the website.
04/25/09
I enjoyed the story. How much can we write about the hot and cold of God's wishes. A fresh approach to the subject material was welcomed.
Thank you for inviting me into your world and all the hot and cold parts of it. Loved the shoes needing polishing part and sitting on the stone bench just right, things we learn by experience. Made me chuckle.