Sunday, March 1, 2009

Change of Plans

Story: Change of Plans by Randy Taylor-Irwin from the February 23, 2009 issue

Tagline: Barry thought he knew exactly what he was looking for...until he met Paige.

In a Nutshell: Divorced Barry plans to move to California. He yearns for a change. While at the travel agent's to pick up his one way plane ticket, he meets Paige, the travel agent's niece. A few days later, Paige delivers a "going away" pie from her aunt. The two have a great time and decide to go to dinner.

Teaching Points: It's always a challenge to show feelings and/or an attraction developing in such a short story, but it needs to be done. In this story you can see it here, "He was struck by how soft her hand was and by her pretty smile." And here, "As he walked by the window, he turned back for a last look of Paige's pretty smile." Then, the moment of truth is here, ""Paige, this pie is really amazing..." he paused. "And so is your company." Good job, Barry! Way to be a man and make that first move.

"Change of Plans" ended with, "Yes, home really is where the heart is." More often when there's a saying or adage at the end, it's usually tied with the title. Taylor-Irwin might have titled it "Where the Heart Is," or "Finding Home," or something similar. That can really give a story that "coming full circle" feeling.

In My Humble Opinion: "Her smile was sweet as sugar." I thought this was a little cliche, even if we were in Barry's point of view. Maybe Barry thinks in cliches. Who knows? But I thought the author could have chosen to compare her smile to the apple pie they'd just shared, maybe, or something other than sugar.

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