The Official Writing Challenge
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Wonderful story of a pleasant, hard working lady, who's story should encourage anyone.
Very nice.
Most definitely an inspirational woman, truly brought to life by a masterful writer.

I must admit that I was a bit distracted by not being able to tell exactly where the first scene of this story "fit" into Maria's story - it's possible I missed it, but I did reread and couldn't figure it out. Maybe somehow making that clearer would put us into the action a bit better.

It sounds like you have a wonderful friend.
This is a very inspirational story, and well written. (I loved the analogy to Maria in Sound of Music.)

I am somewhat confused with the storyline, though. It seems a lot of time was covered, and I missed some of the jumps. There is so much information to tell, and I'm sure you were hampered with the word limit. A little more clarification would have helped me.

These types of inspirational stories are so endearing, and very motivational.
Bien fait, merci pour partager votre essai.

I really enjoyed this, the transition from gaining you as a friend to her life story was a little hard, but otherwise everything fell in order.
Unlike other readers' problems with your transition, I liked the classroom close-up of Maria, your first encounter. After that you backed the camera off, giving a brief bio, then fast-forwarded the tape touching highlights of Maria's life to give the reader an overview. In the mix you managed to incorporate an inspirational message. This is art writing.

I did find myself wishing you had made the Lord more prominent in Maria's accomplishments, but perhaps that is because my focus at present is more on His strength and how it works together with our weakness.
Great story! I believe the Spanish should be, "Hola, Profesor!", but I enjoyed the story of this inspiring woman's life.