The Official Writing Challenge
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Member Comments
Member
Date
10/10/05
Hello there. Because I'm actually judging this week, I can't leave any feedback on your actual entry just yet, but I did want to let you know that you've hit a little problem with the formatting of your story. It happens to people from time to time, and you probably can't see it.

Basically, it seems to happen when someone is using a computer that is set for a foreign language, or if they have uploaded a Word file that isn't in plain text.

This ends up with all the apostrophes, hypens, quotation marks and even, at times, semi-colons and colons, being turned into strange symbols. In this case, they are appearing as some type of swedish or scandinavian type of letter.

It's not your fault - so don't feel bad. Like I said, you probably look at the same page and everything looks just fine. But before everyone starts leaving cryptic messages about your formatting, I wanted to make sure you knew what the problem was and how to fix it.

Best way to do it is to save your piece as a plain text file before either copying and pasting into the submission box, or uploading that plain text file. Either way, once you have the piece in the submission box, it probably doesn't hurt to type over all the quotation marks, apostrophes, hyphens, colons and semi-colons. I know it's a nuisance, but it will avoid any risk of the formatting problems hitting again.

What makes this so hard to fix is the fact that the people it happens to don't realize there's anything wrong and can't see if they've fixed it or not. But if you type over those main punctuation culprits, you should be right.

Oh ... and I've told the judges not to penalize your entry in any way because of the formatting. So rest easy.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)

10/10/05
This is a beautiful story! I love how you kept your character a secret for a while - it really emphasized his "invisibility". And the line "no breathing without her scent" - that's the tear-jerker for me! This is a well-written, heart-touching piece. Great job!
10/11/05
I think it's great too. It reminds my of a song I wrote and recorded when I was 12. Same character, alone on a "Park Bench" (which was the title of the song). Great minds think alike. :) It's like you've taken my song and narrated it. Thanks a bunch for writing this and bringing back nostalgic memories.
Despite the format problem Deb pointed out, this was well worth the eye strain to read! :) I really enjoyed your writing. Good job!
10/13/05
I love your description of the park. Well done.
This was beautiful, well-written and enjoyable. I have a feeling we'll be enjoying more of your work in the future.
10/15/05
Nice reflection and a reminder that life goes on after loss. Poignant.
Beautiful picture of his life. Thank you!
Congratulations Jeff - you definatly earned your commendation with this! God bless.
10/17/05
Hi Jeffrey! Just popping by again to congratulate you on your Highly Commended Award in the Level 1 Challenge. Very well deserved!

Also, thought you may be interested to know that overall you ranked 14th out of 145 entries. That's an excellent achievement. So well done! I'll look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)