Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Small Town, Big Hearts

by Shannon Fay from the March 4, 2013 issue

Tagline: It seemed to Tim that everyone in Pine Falls was weighing in on his date with Cheryl. But was that a bad thing?

In a Nutshell: Tim is on a coffee date with the new newspaper editor. They live in Pine Falls, a small town. The date goes a teensy bit south when Tim accidentally spills water on her. While she's in the ladies room cleaning up, several townspeople offer friendly advice.

Observations: I loved this story. I'm so thankful to Mary Ann for scanning and sending it to me.

Tim is adorable. He has quite a few heroic qualities. First, I love his uncertainty here.

When I asked her out for coffee, I hadn't actually expected her to say yes.

How cute is that? Also, you have the fact that he's a family practitioner, dedicated to keeping the people in his town healthy. But he's not a wimp. When he feels people are ganging up on him, he doesn't hesitate to (kindly) tell them to back off.

The part I really loved was when Cheryl was off stage. Those teenaged boys piping in. Hilarious that they're such dating experts that they're razzing Tim. Even funnier was Tim's thoughts...

"Thank you Jeremy," I replied and made a mental note to see if his shots were up to date.

Then the basketball coach tells him to stop monopolizing the conversation. Someone else suggests he ask Cheryl about her new job. The waitress brings a piece of pie that he's to use as a sort of apology. I can just picture that entire scene unfolding. It's everything we city people imagine small town life to be. All Andy Taylor and Aunt Bee-ish. Right?

And I often talk about tying the end of the story into something you mention at the beginning. This time, the author did it with something near the end of the story and it works just as neatly. After all those people offer all that advice, Tim thinks, Sometimes I really hate small towns. But at the end when everything turns out well, he thinks, Sometimes I really love small towns. Perfect, neat, and tidy!

Photo by Rocker_44 (cc)


Pat said...

I also loved this story. The setting is such a major character in this story. Love the small town characters trying to help him.

Jody E. Lebel said...

That was a very cute story. I like that it was told in his POV. The small town atmosphere was charming. The wrap-up was perfect.

All in all a great story.

Chris said...

This sounds lovely, warm and endearing. I hadn't realised that WW went for male pov stories... is it rare?

majbooks said...

It was a good story, wasn't it? The author was able to get real atmosphere into the 800 words, and the characters were great--funny, sweet, perfect for WW.

I've used male POV in a few stories. WW uses more female POV, but if it's a good story, it won't matter. Good luck!

--Mary Ann

Betsi said...

I try to avoid using more than one or two "extra" characters, since they use up the word count. This author nailed it! Loved this story.

Mary Jo said...

It would appear that WW subscription service has again stopped sending the magazine to me. I missed all of February because they said the post office reported that it was "undeliverable" for some unknown reason. They started again and I got two March issues. Now I have missed the last two issues (and this story). I will call them and see what is going on. Whatever it is, I am not happy about it.

Maybe I can still find this issue on the magazine stand at the grocery store. Or not.

Kate Willoughby said...

Sorry to hear about your subscription woes, Mary Jo. :(

Yes, male POV is completely fine.

Tamara said...

This really is a cute, clever story. Ms. Fay returned to her ideas and brought them full circle. I noticed the phrase "the ladies' room" in two consecutive sentences. I wonder if Ms. Fay is somewhere screaming that she didn't write it that way.

Anonymous said...

I loved this one too. Hailing from a small town myself (population 824 and that's the county seat) I can assure you small towns really are like this! Every one is nosy, I mean helpful, we call it being helpful :o)