Saturday, October 31, 2009

Subscriptus Interruptus

Well, it appears I've let my subscription lapse. LOL. You know how they start sending those "Your subscription is going to run out!" notices like six months before your subscription really runs out? Well, apparently I misjudged when I truly had to send in the moola.

Review/analyses will resume when my magazines start coming again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fairy-tale Beginning

by M.L. Hickerson from the October 26, 2009 issue.

Tagline: The last person Jim expected to meet in the park was a real-life Show White!

In a nutshell: Jim is dressed as a prince for the Halloween party in the children's ward at the hospital where he works as a doctor. His car breaks down near the hospital and he's forced to walk the rest of the way across the park. On the way, he surprises a woman dressed as Snow White. When she hits her head after falling, he convinces her to come to the hospital with him. Her daycare class (the seven dwarves) join the hospital party and Jim and "Snow" make a date to see each other again.

Observations: Making the Snow White story come to life is an adorable idea for a story, but challenging. Jim has to dress as a prince because there were no other costumes left. Check. I buy that. I can believe that he has to trek into the woods of the park to get to the hospital. I can even believe he happens upon Snow White in the park, with her dwarf-like charges. However, my imagination was stretched a tad too far when I saw her name was Miss White. I'll admit to rolling my eyes a little there. Otherwise, I thought this story was very cute.

Woman's World Stand-bys: Car trouble

My Favorite Part: I laughed when I read, " he locked his car and took off into the woods." Oh, brother, that cracked me up. It was that classic, "What NOW?" moment for poor dressed-in-a-puffy-shirt Jim.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Cup of Joe

by Lori Hoffman, from the October 12, 2009 issue.

Tagline: A chance encounter in a coffee shop convinced Kat it was time to put the past behind her...

In a Nutshell: Kat is divorced. Her brother convinces her to go on a blind date at a coffee shop. She drops her cup, splashes coffee on her sweater, makes a mess, is embarrassed. A kind man comes to help her out. She assumes it's her date, but it's not. She gets a call from her brother saying the friend had to cancel and didn't have her cell number. It's okay with Kat because she's having a nice time with the mystery man, Joe.

Observations: Divorce is common in WW stories. It's a handy way to make a character older than twenty-something, and yet not seem like a "loser" for not having settled down yet. It also gives a character some backstory, making them a little more sympathetic to the reader. Kat is divorced and hesitant about entering the dating world again.

This story is interesting to me because it has two climactic moments. The first is when she drops the cup and breaks it. I know that doesn't sound like much of a "big black moment" but Kat sees that as a sign that she's not ready for dating yet. The reader fears she's going to spurn love before she even gives it a chance.

Then the hero arrives!

He demonstrates caring (helping her clean up), an interest (he's been watching her and even knows how she likes her coffee now), and attractive. He also turns out to be honest, even if he's a little late in showing it.

This is when the second black moment occurs. She finds out this guy isn't Ben, her blind date. He had dodged her first attempt to identify him as her blind date deftly, but comes clean when she asks the second time, as a true hero should.

The story ends with the two of them enjoying coffee together, so it's your typical HEA, WW style, which is HOPEFULLY Ever After, not HAPPILY.

Favorite part: Hoffman made me laugh with this line: "...and I'll try to keep my coffee in my cup while I listen."