Saturday, May 25, 2013

New in Town

by Jenn Walker from the May 27, 2013 issue

Tagline: Thunder, lightning, that strange dog on her front lawn...Shelley knew it was going to be a bad night. She couldn't have been more wrong..

In a Nutshell: Shelley is unloading groceries during a storm. A strange and scary looking dog darts into her house when she isn't watching. Jacob, the man who owns her, appears on the scene and apologizes, explaining that his dog is afraid of thunderstorms and hides under his bed. Sure enough, the dog is under Shelley's bed. Shelley and Jacob get acquainted while the storm passes through.

Observations: Well, darn. I was struck again by Woman's World story blindness. MY dog hides under the bed on windy days. Why didn't I think about writing a story about that? I know Woman's World likes pet stories. LOL  Oh well. The early bird catches the worm.

I'm going to do a stream-of-consciousness analysis this week. This is where I jot down my thoughts as I read the story.

Oh, the dog on the lawn reminds me of the movie Cujo even though I've never watched it. Scary!

She walks past the dog trying to appear confident. Smart girl. Dogs read your emotions. I learned that from the Dog Whisperer.

I notice some somewhat complicated set-up going on...the dog edging closer, her leaving the door open, the truck pulling up, her not asking for help... I buy that this could have happened, so it doesn't feel contrived in that "give me a break" way, but it all feels a little clunky.

When the dog darts into her house, LOL! "Oh, you're kidding me." Funny.

Ooh. Very sexy. A man came around the truck, a rain-drenched tee-shirt plastered to his muscular chest.

Rottweiler? Those are big dogs. I wondered just how high those beds were. Then again, maybe that's why it was impossible to get the dog out from under.

Aww. Cute awkward moment.
     "Thanks, Shelley. I couldn't have asked for a nicer welcoming committee."
     "And I couldn't have asked for a nicer man." Shelley's eyes widened in embarrassment. "I mean, a nicer man with a dog who--" her voice trailed off and she raised her hands in a helpless gesture.

The last few paragraphs are a run-of-the-mill ending. Nothing that made me sigh in happiness.

Photo by Brilhasti1 (cc)


Chris said...

My dog Meggie is terrified of storms - why didn't I think to write that story?! Sounds as though it was a good one.

Lori Smith said...

Hi Kate. I just came across your blog this week and I sense I may have some sleepless nights scrolling through the archives. Great stuff! I just submitted my first story to WW yesterday. To be honest, it was the first sample of my writing I have submitted to anything, anyone, anywhere. Yikes! I just paid for your first workshop and am awaiting email delivery. I assume PayPal just forwards it to the email address they have on file for me??

Kate Willoughby said...

Chris, I know, right?

Lori, I'm glad you like the website. Congrats on submitting! That's an important and scary accomplishment. Yes, I used the email address that I saw on the Paypal email that you had sent me the money. If you haven't gotten the materials, let me know.

Chris said...

Welcome to one of the best sites around, Lori. I stumbled across it a few months ago looking for Woman's World info and it's been a huge help. And as Kate said, congratulations on submitting your first story - to anyone, anywhere. That's a huge step but you can't make progress without it. We'll keep our fingers crossed for you so you can get on with writing your next one.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Lori Smith

Welcome to the group. I also took Kate's classes and it helped me..I sold 2 romances after that. Best wishes in your WW writing efforts. Hope to see YOUR name on a story...

Betsi said...

Chris, I didn't buy this issue of WW and probably won't buy any for the next few weeks due to my upcoming surgery.

Maybe someone else who frequents the blog could help Chris out by scanning the stories and e-mailing them to her across the pond?

Chris said...

Thanks, Betsi, perhaps I'll email Mary Ann and ask her if she would do it. I hope the surgery goes well and you'll be fighting fit again very soon.

Meant to mention, I had another acceptance from UK mag My Weekly this week. It was a story I submitted a year ago and had to rework a bit as Liz wasn't keen on the end, but she liked the new version and has now accepted it. She turned down three others at the same time, so not all plain sailing, but one out of four's not bad.

Jody E. Lebel said...

Congrats, Chris! Good for you.

1 out of 4 is great stats.

Lori Smith said...

@Kate Thanks for the welcome and encouraging words. I still have not received the email with the first class. It would probably be listed under Loretta Smith. I paid via PayPal yesterday. It can be sent to me at or

@Jody Thank you! As I tell friends and family, I even look forward to that first rejection letter. At least that tells me that I put myself out there.

Kate Willoughby said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

Lori, you should be getting the materials shortly.

Also, I have someone asking how to submit to WW if they live in Europe. Is there anyone who can help?

Jody E. Lebel said...

In the many comments on the April 17th Annabelle Knows Best story, several of us discussed the postage needed for submissions from the UK, number of pages, etc. The cost of the return postage may change according to the country it's being sent to. You submit per usual, but put enough return postage on the SASE to get it back to you in whatever country you're from.

Mary Jo said...

I am sure the SASE must have U.S. postage. That was the point of all the discussion. Anyone interested should take a look at the information Jody mentioned. Kate, you might even want to make the subject a special part of your blog for the foreign writers who are submitting to WW.

Chris said...

Submitting to WW is the same wherever you live, Kate. You can't submit by email, so it has to be posted and has to include an SAE for their reply. Jody's right, the cost of postage will vary depending on where in Europe your enquirer lives, and where they are sending to. To send an 800 word story with covering letter and SAE by AirMail to America from England currently costs £1.88, but she/he should still get the letter weighed at the counter just to be on the safe side.

The problem lies with the return postage. You can't use your own country's stamps on letters that are coming back to you from another country. It's possible that International Reply Coupons may still be available in the country this person lives in, but certainly here in the UK IRCs have been discontinued. That's why I did a stamp swap with some of your writers on this site.

Mary Jo said...

Betsi, it seems you have been having a real slog through health problems. I hope all of us who pray will mention your name. May this surgery be a great success.

As Kate has said, the best way to keep up with WW is by subscription. It is cheaper and usually it comes through all right. There was one time when they completely stopped sending mine, saying the post office told them I was not here.