The Official Writing Challenge
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Just wanted to say excellent piece. Only thing I could suggest is that a few things felt over-stated. Overall I have to say this is one of the best beginner pieces I have ever read at FW. Possibly look at trusting the picture you are painting with your words and you'll feel more comfortable with shortening some description. You have a truly talent-laden manner of creating word pictures here. Let your talent do the work.

Look forward to reading more of your work
I agree with Kenny, this is an excellent piece. Tighten up and shorten some of your longer passages, and this is Advanced level writing. Very, very good.
Thank you for this lovely story. The pain this mom felt was palpably real. I loved the ending.
Fantastic piece of work; only one thing missing...The Topic of Valley. Otherwise, Great!
The piece was definitely picturesque as well as reminiscent. I've railed at God myself many times, but you forgot one small thing. You railed at God, but you didn't give Him credit for the angel.
I'm sobbing. If the beginning didn't get me, the ending sure did. The writing is flawless in message and method and this writer is destined for recognition beyond level 1, for sure! I'd like to see this in the book, for all to read.
p.s. I looked for "valley," also. I found "oasis" at the beginning, and heaven (implied) at the end (which "works" for me for valley). And, little Lia was God's answer to the mother's anguished petition.
I had no trouble finding the "valley of the shadow of death" in this piece. Some people never leave it. Good job.