The Official Writing Challenge
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This was very good. I liked the ending, full circle.
Oooh, that was good!! the voice of Carol was authentic and Eloises feelings came through very clearly. Nicely done.
Ah that one stanza that never seems to get sung but woven creatively into this story. I was a bit surprised by the abrupt change of attitude in Eloise but oerall thought it was a good story.
This was a tale that kept my interest from beginning to end- glad the ending wasn't beyond ideal and therefore unbelievable. A friend of mine has recently fought cancer successfully, and since then been reunited with an adopted son and three grandchildren!
This is well written, and the dialogue realistic.

I really like the direction the story started with the memory of placing the child for adoption--but I found it a little hard to believe that her child would happen to be standing at her doorway singing. It seemed a little too pat. I would have liked to see the story continue without that huge coincidence.

I love that you used a verse that is rarely, if ever, sung. Nice job with the topic.
That's a super carol, not often sung, and I enjoyed reading this piece that's built around it.

I'm having a hard time believing the coincidence, myself, but I'm a notorious cynic.

I like the double meaning in your title.
This story is beautifully woven with the carol, and I always love a strong pro-life message.
In my opinion, fiction, by definition, is contrived. Some of it is just more predictable than others.
I did not find this predictable, not realizing until the sentence about Carol's eyes that she was Elouise's daughter. Miracles, God incidents, amaze us because they are so unexpected.
Your ending was excellent, resisting any urge to have Elouise reveal herself.
I liked how you wove the song into the story. Great dialogue. The pace of the story was good as well.
What a neat way to bring healing to the hurting mom. Being an adoptive mom, I hold gratitude in my heart for the young frightened mom who gave life to my sweet daughter and allowed us to love her forever.
Lovely story. Very nice work on your characterizations. :)
It would be cool to find out that Carol had been looking for her mom and stood in with the carolers in order not to be conspicuous. Just a thought; it might tie it together a little tighter.

I do love stories with hopeful endings.
Wow, talk about a gift from heaven. I'm glad she got to see her daughter. I'm sure it lightened her heart. Congratulations on second place. Well deserved.