Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"The Locket"

by Kitty Russell from the December 3, 2012 issue

Tagline: When Emily looked into Jasper's eyes, she was ready to believe that, yes, there was magic in the necklace she wore.

In A Nutshell: Emily notices a man staring at the locket she's wearing. He asks if it might be the one his grandmother lost before she died. It contained a picture of his grandfather. It is.

Observations: I absolutely loved this story. Russell had me at this paragraph, about a third of the way in:

"It's just that it looks exactly like a locket that belonged to my grandmother," he said. "It was one of our family treasures, because it contained the last picture taken of my grandfather before he went off to war." He shrugged. "It was lost somehow, and now I...I'm wondering if it's the same one."

Of course, we savvy Woman's World readers know that of course it's the same one. If we could bet our life's savings on that assumption, we would. Right then, Russell promises us a story filled with sentiment and romance, and she sure delivers.

In the middle, she gives us a second, cute, romance story, the one about Jasper's grandparents, and then ties it it in oh so neatly at the end by having Emily repeat what his grandma said...

Emily looked at the locket in his hand, then into his eyes and said, "Don't you think you'd better ask me out on a proper date first?"

That is an AWESOME last line because it not only brings back that cute line from the story-within-a-story, it shows Emily being a modern, assertive woman.

The only complaint I had was the drawer would not have shut if the locket had fallen behind it which probably would have prompted Emily to pull the drawer out right away. However, the excellence of the story made that little glitch inconsequential.

Photo by: Jim is Nice (cc)


Deb Noone said...

I agree Kate - That is what got me, the story within the story and the aw-gee-whiz, bring-it-around romantic ending.

It made me realize how bad I am at awesome (or even mediocre) endings.


Kate Willoughby said...

And again, for me, I realized, hey, we just recently moved my mother in law into a board and care and had to deal with all her belongings and an estate and home sale. Why didn't I think about a Woman's World story derived from that??? *smack head*

Anonymous said...

This one sounds really good. Is it still on news stands? Would love to read it.

Also, wanted to ask you guys, do you address your submissions simply to Fiction Editor, to Johnene, or to Patricia? I know it goes to Englewood Cliffs, NJ, so wasn't sure if it would look bad to address to Johnene since it goes to another reader first? Didn't want to offend anyone.


Mary Jo said...

Nicole, I address the outer envelope to Woman's World Magazine, Attention: Romantic Fiction Editor. If I write a cover letter, and I usually do, I address that to Patricia since I know she will be reading it first. It would seem rude to ignore her when she does such a yeoman's job in sorting through hundreds of submissions.

I was not as taken with this story as many of you were. Especially the last line. She had met this man maybe ten minutes before and there she was telling him to ask her out on a date??? After all, he wasn't asking her to marry him.It was actually a shocker to me.

Another small matter, and it comes from hundreds of old romance novels,I'm sure. She studied him through her lashes. That is a physical impossibility. If you can do it, I will take it back.

Ah, here comes the code. I can't actually read the blurry number but the word doesn't look too bad. Oh, now it has changed.

Anonymous said...

Regarding, "I address that to Patricia since I know she will be reading it first. It would seem rude to ignore her when she does such a yeoman's job in sorting through hundreds of submissions."

What do you think Kate? I definitely see MaryJ o's point. However, not wild about the idea about not having someone to address the envelope to. Perhaps address to Patricia instead? What do you recommend?

Also regarding Mary Jo's comment, "Another small matter, and it comes from hundreds of old romance novels,I'm sure. She studied him through her lashes. That is a physical impossibility. If you can do it, I will take it back."

I haven't read the story (although it sounds like a cute one! hoping to find it today at the grocery store) but I have to agree, I've seen other writers do variations of this before in books, and it does sound a little strange.


Kate Willoughby said...

I address my envelopes and the letter to Johnene. She's the one with the name on the masthead of the magazine. I look at Patricia as Johnene's assistant, and if I were to send a letter to, say, Donald Trump, I wouldn't address it to his assistant, even though I know he must have one who sorts his mail for him. That's the way I look at it. And in the guidelines it says to address it to the fiction editor, and that's Johnene. :)

The eyelash thing didn't bother me. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,
I just discovered your blogspot last night and can't wait to join the conversation. I am just starting to have some success placing some of my short fiction (thank you Duotrope!) and would definitely use your editing services. I've only submitted once to WW with no luck (though I did eventually place the piece someplace else) now I want to find that rejection and see where it was mailed from:) I can't figure out how to post except as anonymous but my name is Marilee

Tamara said...

Marilee, may I ask you about Duotrope? Also, I can think of no place to submit my rejections to, because I have not seen any other publication that runs these short stories. I'll bet there are some WW writers on this blog who have charming stories longing for the light of day.

Kate Willoughby said...

Hi, Marilee. So glad to see you here. Just let me know which of the editing services you'd like to use. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tamara, Just do a Google search for Duotrope. It is an amazing site. I would recommend joining because you can't see everything unless you do. It is free until Jan 1st. They compile info on about 4,000 small journals, including lots of stats that are of interest. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of magazines buying standard short romance right now but if you write paranormal or one of the romance sub-genres it looks like there are markets. I have only written a few short standard romances. I found homes for two of them (and a couple of other things I have written)using Duotrope. One of the pieces I placed in a print journal called The Storyteller (you can Google them as well) and another I placed with an electronic journal called Romance Flash, it should be our next month.
Best wishes! Marilee

Tamara said...

Thanks, Marilee. This is good information.

Tamara said...

Are you familiar with "New Love Stories" magazine anyone? It looks as though they publish short romance stories, but I don't know the flavor of them -- wondering whether something we'd send to WW might get a second chance there.

Kate Willoughby said...

I'm not familiar with that publication, Tamara. Sorry!