The Official Writing Challenge
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This has brought a smile to my face...well done.

God bless~
This is aspic-tacularly written! I could almost taste the items delivered to your door while reading this. I completely enjoyed your charming Effie. Great title, too.
"The front doorbells sonorous clanging suddenly shreds our idyll."

That. Is. Awesome.

Note to self: do not eat or drink while reading Noel's stories, as such may result in spitting water on computer keyboard while laughing hysterically at phrases like "cats simply drape their faces with dismissive boredom". Wow.

You always bring out little things that really resonate with me, having been raised a preacher's kid (still am). This time, it was Effie talking about the pastor "making it clear that this was his house". My dad has told stories of laypeople and pastors alike who similarly "make it clear that this is THEIR church". about God's?

I have a myopic red-ink-related question about the paragraph that goes "We assure Effie of a welcome at the manse anytime; a limited offer at best; since our final year of our ministry training is split between weekends in this newly-begun rural ministry and weekday lectures, tutorials and class presentations at college in town. Emphasising the split; our country weekender could swallow our college town house in its lounge room―having been a private hospital in a previous life."

I'm wondering about semicolons vs commas. Shouldn't a limited offer at best; since our final year... be a limited offer at best, since our final year...? And then Emphasising the split; our country weekender..., or Emphasising the split, our country weekender...? With commas? It seems like the semicolons set off the two parts separately when they maybe should string together more?

Since you are more experienced than I, I'm questioning because I want to know if you know something I don't, not just to red-ink. I hope I don't sound nitpicky, which wasn't my intent. Perhaps I misread it. And I know I am a bird dog on punctuation, which makes me miss the forest for the trees. My question isn't at all related to how good your story is.

Just a minor curiosity about the punctuation and, um, clawses in those sentences. :)
This one made me laugh. I especially like the reference to being poor - iron & steel.
It's true that some pastors think they own the church. When I asked my pastor to help me preach, he said he would let me know when "he" thought I was ready. A few weeks later I spoke to over 200 women at an event put on by another church. I guess God can use anybody?

Great writing! Blessings, LaVonne
Thank you for supplying a much needed smile today with this piece. Good work. I think the gremlins stole a couple quotation marks? Drats!

All the best!
I'm getting real fond of Effie--have already been a fan of your puns! However. . . I could never eat her potted meat!
Great - the return of sister Effie. And especially as she reminds me of my own mother and childhood. Mum was always busy in the kitchen and potted meat and ox-tongue were regularly on the menu. Potted meat, or potted dog as we kids called it, was scrumptious served with home baked crusty bread, but I disliked ox-tongue because it was just that - a tongue from an ox. Yuk! As for the pecking order - cat, dog, chicks and pastor, I'm sure that mischievous Effie would place you last! I really enjoyed your tale. Another instalment of sister Effie soon please.
Very funny, Noel! Sister Effie is a great character. She's like an amalgamation of several different older women I've known at various churches throughout my life.

One of the most hilarious aspects of this piece is that you even use puns in your inner monologue. I can just hear you actually thinking this way. I bet your wife (wives always know what we're thinking) has rolled her eyes so much that they are in danger of staying that way. :)

Great job, as always!
You are one hysterical cat, you dog you!
I so love your humour. It makes me laugh out loud. Particularly loved this one.
Congratulations on ranking 20 overall! Happy Dance!