The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
02/21/16
You depicted that characteristic of grief that cannot be comforted or reasoned with, well. I enjoyed entering the dilemma with you, and wondering what I would say. The story flowed well, having good grammar.
The ending could have been stronger. Perhaps one way would be to acknowledge, even briefly, that a new baby would not "fix everything" but certainly could be a comfort as the grieving process continued.
02/23/16
The best thing about your story is the pacing--it moves right along with a good mixture of dialogue and narrative fueling the story. Especially in the opening paragraphs, you use strong words like exasperation, flung, filthy to draw in your readers.

A few formatting changes would make this easier to read; a white space between each paragraph (which may have to be added manually in the submissions box) will be easier on the eyes.

My biggest concern was with the overly-convenient happy ending. This woman has been devastated with a terrible, multiple loss, and she has abandoned her faith. Then in the space of a few sentences, she gets it back again with some good news. It's too convenient and perhaps not entirely realistic. It's tempting, when you have just 750 words, to resolve the conflict quickly and neatly, but it doesn't always work from a literary standpoint.

I also felt that Marla's 'comforter' was not as kind and sensitive as she could have been, and that your second paragraph (when you tell about the accident) had a lot of "tell" and not enough "show."

I really liked how the title fit in with the evolution of Marla's character--we could see her process and observe the changes that grief had brought about in her.
02/23/16
Grief is definitely a process. I agree with the others that your ending does not ring true. The good news may have chipped a small hole into her defenses, but she wouldn't have been able to resolve her wide range of emotions and questions in such a short time span.
02/25/16
Congratulations, Elaine, on your highly commendable entry in the Intermediate Category.

I think if you take the advice given and make the corrections; your piece would have placed near the top in your division.