Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Best Birthday Gift

by Beverly Breton Carroll from the July 26, 2010 issue

Tagline: Jennifer usually regretted her tendency to procrastinate--but  not today!

In a Nutshell: Jennifer is trying to mail her twin sister's birthday card but is lacking a stamp. A handsome stranger gives her one. Later, that same stranger is in need of some change while in line to buy a bagel, and Jennifer is there!

Observations: I thought this was a darling story. The characters ring true. His reason for not calling her is valid, and he was very smart to notice her address on the envelope. However, the jump from their first "date" and the epilogue paragraph was abrupt for me:

"...I looked up your number but thought it would make you nervous to hear from me--like I was some kind of stalker."

"You? Stalking me?" If only he knew. "But how did you--"

"Your sister's card. I saw the return address. So tell me, how was your birthday?"

I just celebrated my second post-Jake birthday. We're at the coffee shop, and while I sip my latte, he's stamping the last of our square blue wedding invitations.

I think the story could have benefitted from a phrase like, "Two years later"  to transition the reader. Perhaps the fact that the story is in present tense contributed to this.

Otherwise, it was well-written. I especially liked the circularity of the stamps and envelopes beginning and ending the story.


Rose said...

I too was jarred by the end of this story...and it was such a great story.

Kate Willoughby said...

Rose! You commented! *jumps up and down* No one ever comments! I'm so happy. LOL

Yeah, the story was so great until that abrupt ending, however, looking at how much the editor messed with my latest story, perhaps it's not the author's fault. Space in the magazine is at a premium.

Pat said...

I have to go back and reread this story. I didn't notice the abrupt ending. Maybe I just like it so much I did't pay attention or I'm getting used to WW short cuts.

Pat said...

Oh look at that the typos. That's why I never post. I don't see them until I hit send. grrr!!!

Kate Willoughby said...

Pat, no worries! I have typos in my blog entries sometimes that I don't notice until it's been up for weeks. Then I'm like, "Sheesh, and I'm supposed to be a PROFESSIONAL!" *rolls eyes*