Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tickets for Two

by Linda Nielsen from the July 29, 2013 issue

Tagline: Kelly and Steve had briefly met, but it took a matchmaking grandma to get their romance off the ground...

In a Nutshell: Kelly is reluctant to go on a blind date with the grandson of a woman who resides at the assisted living residence where she works. She has her eye on a man who goes to the movies every weekend by himself, just like she does. Turns out he is the grandson.

Observations: I loved this story. If you're a fan of Woman's World stories, then you knew immediately that the grandson and the mystery man were one and the same person. (Or is it one in the same?) But I still felt that worry when he said he was there with a date. The grandma was great after the movie, the perfect blend of pushy and loving.

There were also a couple of places where we see evidence that these two are compatible. During the movie, Kelly is thinking about Steve...

Most of the residents at the assisted living facility where she worked hardly had visitors, let alone visitors who took them out to the movies. That said a lot about Steve.

And later, when Kelly cracks jokes, Steve laughs. We all know how important it is that a couple share a sense of humor.

I really had zero complaints about this story.

Photo by Hitchster (cc)


19 comments:

Mary Hicks said...

Linda, you managed to do one of the main things a writer strives for. That is to create characters that the reader can like, and wish good things for them. :-)

Kelly was kind. The elderly woman liked her. And Kelly appreciated that Steve was a kind, thoughtful person.

My breath did catch a little about the 'date.' But you worked that out very well. :-)

Chris said...

I'm with you all the way on this one, Kate, it's a little cracker. I was rooting for the characters to get together and pleased when they did. A good 'un.

Pat said...

I also loved this story. I thought both the romance and mystery this week were outstanding.

Linda said...

Thank you all for the kind words on this story. This was one of those that hit me and I was able to write it "in the zone." WW did quite a bit of editing of my original submission but I think that was to further reduce the 800 words. However, I attribute each success with Woman's World back to taking Kate's class years ago! ;o)
-Linda

Chris said...

Do you submit your work overseas, too, Linda? There are plenty of markets in the UK you could try, plus Australia, Canada and S. Africa. I've mentioned a number of them on these blogs over the past few weeks and they are definitely worth trying.

Linda said...

Hi Chris, no I wasn't aware as I've been a bit out of touch. Thanks so much for the leads. Do you have the info in one place? If not, no problem - I'll just go through the comments for previous posts.
Thanks again! - Linda

Chris said...

Hi Linda,

there are a number of mags here in the UK that take fiction, as well as markets in Oz and S. Africa, which I have mentioned several times on this blog. Here are a few (sorry to those who've read all this before)...

Among the higher payers here in the UK are Woman's Weekly and Fiction Feast, although the money with any overseas mag is not going to be as good as you've been used to with WW - their $800 is exceptional. With these two mags you would probably get between $200 and $400. You do have to submit by post, though, so there's a cost involved initially, which is a consideration when you're posting from overseas. It's the same for us Brits submitting to WW. You also have to think about covering the return postage, which if you go back through our chats here you'll see can get complicated!

Smaller payers but still reasonable are Best, Weekly News, Yours, People's Friend and My Weekly (just the My Weekly Specials, though, not the weekly editions, where you have to have been published with them already to submit). With each of those you would get between $100 and $200. Not massive amounts, it's true, but enough to make the effort worthwhile.

In Australia the biggest user of fiction is Fast Fiction, plus their sister mag, That's Life. I know of at least one WW writer who has just sold her first story to Fast Fiction, so it can be done. There's a sliding pay-scale there, depending on story length, but top whack for a 2,800 word story is $700 (Australian).

In S. Africa there's You magazine, which likes stories of 1,500 words. I've sold three there this year and they pay around $180 per story.

In Canada you could try the newly relaunched Pages of Stories magazine, now titled Ficta Fabula. Editor Darlene Poier is actively encouraging people to submit work to her and pays $100 (Canadian) per accepted piece.

To submit to the UK or Oz you'd need to set your spellcheck to UK English to highlight the different spellings (colour/color, honour/honor, that sort of thing). There are word differences too; here gas is petrol, cookies are biscuits, sidewalk is pavement, drugstore is chemist or pharmacy, cell phone is mobile phone, and so on.

I won't take up too much of Kate's space going into details of all the different mags' requirements again but if you've got ten minutes to go back through the last few months' blogs you'll find links to guidelines for most of the above. Otherwise, you can email me on csutton45@hotmail.com and I can send them to you direct.

Chris said...

Forgot to mention... Fast Fiction, Best, The Weekly News, Yours, My Weekly Specials, Ficta Fabula and You mag all take email subs, so they might be your best options to start with.

Linda said...

Wow! Thanks so much, Chris! I'll e-mail you offline. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Chris,

You may not be aware but the Australian magazine Fast Fiction has dropped their payments again by $100 across the sliding scale. This is the second drop in a short amount of time, could mean it is struggling to keep going?

TK

Kate Willoughby said...

Chris, I'm emailing you about this...

Kate Willoughby said...
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Mary Hicks said...
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Betsi said...
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Mary Hicks said...

Am I an eager beaver or what! I commented on this story earlier, and then I read the current story and headed right over to comment on it too.
Sorry everyone!:-)

Mary Hicks said...

I would still like to know if the Mystery Fiction guidelines are the same as for romance?

Thanks, anyone. :-)

Betsi said...

Mini mystery guidelines:
We purchase short "solve-it-yourself" mysteries of 700 words--a count that includes the narrative and the solution. Stories should be cleverly plotted, entertaining cliffhangers that end with a challenge to the reader to figure out whodunnit or howdunnit. The solution to the mystery is provided in a separate box.
Robbery, burglary, fraud and murder are acceptable subjects, but spare the readers any gory details or excessive violence, please! We are also not interested in ghost stories, science fiction or fantasy.
We pay $500 per mystery and retain First North American Serial Rights for six months after publication.

Mary, the rest of the info re: submitting is the same as in the link on the right side of this blog for the romance guidelines.

Mary Hicks said...

Thanks much, Betsi!

Kate Willoughby said...

Hm. Weird because I don't remember removing all those commments...