Thursday, June 14, 2012

Never Too Late

by Anna Jo Christopher from the June 4, 2012 issue

Tagline: Betty was surprised to realize that she was suddenly seeing her next-door neighbor Hal in a whole new light...

In a Nutshell: Betty and Hal are long time neighbors. Hal needs a partner for a dance class he enrolled in. He says he wants to learn to dance to impress a friend he met at the senior center. After the class is over, he admits he made up the friend. Betty is glad.

Observations: One of the cool things about Woman's World magazine is that they publish romance stories about elderly people. This was one of those stories. Remember when writing these, acknowledge the age of the characters, but portray them as vital and active. One line that I thought accomplished this in a humorous way was this one:

     I stare at him. "Dance class? At your age?"
     He looks offended. "Hey, I'm not ready to be put out to pasture yet. Anyway the instructor said it's never too late to learn." 
     I chuckle and say, "I'm kidding, Hal..."

Another thing I haven't mentioned in a long time is the circularity story element--mentioning something, usually in the beginning of the story, and then mentioning it at the end again to bring the story full circle. Sometimes it's echoed in the title as well. The title, "Never Too Late," was mentioned in the quote above, and then again at the very end:

     He squeezes my hand, and I take in his thick white hair, clear blue eyes and warm smile.
     Thank goodness, I say to myself as I squeeze back, it's never too late for love. 

13 comments:

Tamara said...

It's a nice story. I like the way the concept of "never too late" is brought back at the end.

Kate Willoughby said...

As I am officially middle aged, I like the concept a lot. :D

Mary Jo said...

What is official middle age? Let's see, I think women now live to be about 85 years old. You aren't "grown up" until at least twenty, that would leave 65 more years as an adult. The middle of that would be another 33 years. So 20 and 33 would be 53. Naah, you can't be 53 yet. I expect you have a way to go.

How old were the people in this story? I read it a couple of weeks ago and now I don't remember. Were they dancing at the Senior Center?

Kate Willoughby said...

LOL. No comment. :)

The characters were seniors. That's about all I know.

Tamara said...

I think WW appreciates a mix of age and gender. Nothing ethnic, though -- apparently.

Kate Willoughby said...

I kind of remember a sort of ethnic surname once, years ago. I think it was Hispanic...

Kate Willoughby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Jo said...

When you consider that most of the people residing in California now are Hispanic, it would appear that WW is writing off the whole state. How I wish there were a different well-paying market for our stories. If you hear of one, let me know.

Nell Musolf said...

Yikes! You skipped mine. I'm hurt : ) Actually, I didn't think it was one of my better efforts and was surprised when it sold. You just never know...

Kate Willoughby said...

Nell, I didn't skip! You have to look at the issue date vs. the date that I post. I only just did the story from June 4th. :)

Mary Jo said...

A story I submitted in March was rejected today. Since last September, Patricia has been forwarding all my "romances" on to Johnene. This one came back with no remarks on the form letter. With about 2500 manuscripts for those ladies to go through every month, buying only 52 (well, 104 with the "mysteries"), almost all of them will be refused. I have great faith in my own writing, but it may not lend itself to extreme editing.

Does anyone else have good news lately?

Nell Musolf said...

I'm just teasing you, Kate! You don't have to review every story--you're so good at it I don't know when you get time to do your own writing! Mary Jo, I don't have good news--another rejection last week. Oh, I do have good news! My husband and I went to see David Cassidy in concert on Saturday and I had the best time ever! Only people over 45 will understand!

Nell Musolf said...

Me again! Is it OK if I include my blog link? http://schuylersquaredailydrama.blogspot.com/

I'm spending WAY too much time blogging instead of "real" writing lately!

Thanks, Kate!