Thursday, September 13, 2012

Real Men Bake

by K.C. Laine from the September 10, 2012 issue

Tagline: Mark's good looks had caught Kristen's eye; but it was his fresh-baked brownies that captured her heart!

Photo by F_Trudeau (cc)
In A Nutshell: Kristen thinks her new neighbor is a hunk, but when she sees him at the grocery store, she's self-conscious about her not-prepared-to-meet-a-cute-guy appearance. He sees her baseball cap and realizes she's a fan. They keep running into each other. He gets her cooking magazine by accident, but he has his own subscription and has made the brownies. They have such a good time, they make a date to catch the game on TV on Saturday.

Observations: In fairy tales, things often happen in threes. There's probably a reason for this--some psychological basis for why stories do this, but I don't know what it is. LOL Here in this Woman's World story, they did too. She sees him at the grocery store. She runs into him at the recycling bins. The third time, he knocks on her door with the mis-delivered magazine. (The hero also has three older brothers. Heh heh.)

I thought this story was really cute. I liked the psychic running joke. I thought grandma's "cookie rookie" label was clever. I thought the ending was perfect.

15 comments:

Mary Jo said...

Kate, it bothers me that almost every time you do a story analysis, I cannot remember even reading the story, though it was probably here only a week or two before. Am I the only one who finds most of the WW romances immediately forgettable? Who was it that commented they all sound alike? There are stories I have read in other venues that I have remembered for decades. If I have this in common with other readers, it does not bode well for WW fiction.

Anonymous said...

I'm a constant lurker on this blog because like everyone else I would love to have a story published by Woman's World. I too did not remember reading this story. I figured that I must have missed that issue even though I subscribe to the magazine. But I had the magazine so I reread the story. My take is these stories are meant to entertain for the moment. Real Men Bake accomplished that for me. It put a smile on my face.

Betsi said...

I agree with Anonymous -- I think WW's "mission" is to inform and entertain. If you're looking for literature, you need to go elsewhere. Karen's story was a perfect fit for WW -- an ordinary woman (in a baseball cap, no less) meets a man who likes her as is. WW stories are little offerings of hope and optimism, meant to give the reader a few minutes of pleasure. I hardly remember my OWN stories after a few weeks, much less anyone else's!

Pat said...

I must be odd because I do remember the stories. I can tell you some of the stories from years ago.

I agree with you both, these stories put a smile on my face. I wish I could write them as well as this story, but my rejections just keep piling up. I have one with WW now...waiting.

Great job, Karen.

Kate Willoughby said...

Woman's World stories aren't, I think, meant to linger in the mind. They're like chocolate, lifting the spirit briefly. Pure enjoyable fluff.

I have to say, Mary Jo, that I will remember your tattoo story for a long time. It was the first, shocking, time I've ever seen a tattoo in a WW story!!

Mary Jo said...

Yes, Kate, and yet the WW guidelines say specifically they do not want fluff. But years ago, right after 9/11, I submitted a story about a young wife whose Marine husband was leaving for an unknown destination. Upon rejecting it, Jimmie Meiss said, "Don't try to be meaningful."

We can only celebrate the writers who hit the right note and make it into print. Good luck to everyone.

Anonymous said...

I still remember stories I read in Good Housekeeping in the 1970's when I was just a kid. I suppose we shouldn't kick though--WW is IT as far as fiction goes! It's simply not out there anymore.

Mary Jo said...

Hey, Anony--historically, back in mid-20th century, all of the women's "slick" magazines (which are no longer slick, by the way) published three or four beautifully illustrated stories each month. Can you imagine what a wonderful market that was for writers? And a feast for readers, I would think. Now they are basically a few advice/personal experience/recipe articles to be found among a catalog of ads. I won't pay good money for that. No wonder they can hardly give their magazines away now.

Tamara said...

Yes, Mary Jo, and they're expensive. That's a hilarious quote from Jimmy Meiss.

Anonymous said...

makes you wonder how they can pay their editors, doesn't it? Mary Jo, I agree 100%--we all could have made livings as full time writers back then! Now it's next to impossible.

Pat Posner said...

Here in UK, we still get lovely illustrations to go with our stories in the women's magazines.

I've had a few stories in The People's Friend, both the weekly and the monthly Fiction Specials, and you can see a couple of the illustrations for them on my blog.

Love your blog, Kate. It's really helpful for those who can't get hold of Woman's World.

Pat
www.writeupthehill.blogspot.co.uk/

Kate Willoughby said...

Thanks, Pat! To be a freelance periodical writer, you definitely have to write more non-fiction. Times change.

Tamara said...

That's true, Kate, but I swear, it's next to impossible to get into the mags. I may have mentioned this earlier, but I sent queries and published clips to several mags about an article on pets in nursing homes, which I thought was a timely and interesting topic. I went over to a nearby senior center and interviewed people and got info on their resident dog and was going to take pictures. The editors that bothered to respond said no thanks, and Woman's Day didn't return my clips, for which I provided an enveloe and postage.
That's my freelance sob story for the day.

Jane Smith Sibley said...

Brownies. Maybe my stories need more delectable treats! :)

Times do change. One thing seems to remain, though -- people like to read short romances!!

Kate Willoughby said...

Thank goodness, Jane!