The Official Writing Challenge
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I really enjoyed your story. It held my attention and I loved the realistic close.

God bless~
I loved the lesson you communicated in this story as well as the general tone and mood of this story.
This is a lovely story. You do a nice job of pulling the reader into the tee's mind. I liked your descriptions too.

I did struggle a bit with the tense. I feel present tense is quite difficult to write. You did an outstanding job of it until you commented about how the trip would look today. That made it obvious you were telling a story from the past, and it made me question how you'd know what it would look like today because you took me into another decade and totally immersed me in it by the use of the present tense. I think it would have been a stronger piece if you'd left out those asides (also the one about Grandma dying in the future and the forty years of smoking), or you could have written it all in the past tense. Also, be careful with capitalizing certain words. Summer is a common noun so should be lowercase. The same with words like uncle. If you put a qualifier in front such as my, the, or her, it's a common noun and would start with a lowercase. Here's an example for clarity. I smiled at Grandma when my uncle walked into the room.

Those are little things though. Overall, I think you did a great job. I enjoyed your character. I also liked the way you used dialog to move the story along or to give the character depth. I would have enjoyed even more dialog and body language. I think you nailed the topic. Your message was beautiful too. Today it can be too easy to let things distract us. I think we AL need to escape and just spend quality time with family. Your words touched my heart.