Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sunshine Tomorrow

by Rosemary Hayes from the August 19, 2013 issue

Tagline: When Mary entered the park, she'd felt preoccupied and troubled. Then she met Alex...and, just like that, she saw nothing but clear skies ahead!

In A Nutshell: Mary is caught unprepared for rain, so she buys an umbrella. She goes to the park to think about whether to go back to her ex or not. She meets a man by the duck pond who convinces her she shouldn't.

Observations: There was a lot I liked about this story. There were some things I didn't. I loved how Hayes tweaked my curiosity and kept me reading at the end of the very first paragraph.

Walking helped clear her thoughts, and she needed to think clearly today. She had an important decision to make.

I immediately wonder what decision does she have to make?

Here, also:

Her old boyfriend had broken her heart when he left--and now, suddenly, he wanted to come back. Should she give him another chance?

Even though I'm one hundred percent certain she decides against it, I am pulled forward to find out if I'm right.

For some reason, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that he just moved into her apartment building.

I loved the hero's sense of humor.

However, I felt there was some clunky dialogue. Your mileage may differ.

"It's good to look ahead."

"I, for example, just had to buy an umbrella because I wasn't prepared and never considered what today might bring." 

Also, I would have eliminated the last paragraph, even though it looped back to her comment about looking ahead, and just ended it with him saying, "Sunshine."

But other than that, solid story.

Photo by Hunter-Desportes (cc)


Mary Jo said...

Kate, I read this story a week or two ago, and I remember that I loved it, so that's the way I voted. I will go back and read it again with your comments in mind.

To me, it was a moody story, and I loved that about it. So many WW stories are just tripping the light fantastic and have little depth. Maybe it is because I love a rainy day. Anyway, this story seemed as if it was the author's own, and I value that.

It would be interesting to hear from her and have her views on the published version.

Betsi said...

I'm not sure most of us have read this yet - it wasn't out yet when I went to the store yesterday. Kate, you're really on top of things!

Mary Jo said...

For anyone living in the U.S. who has an interest in the WW fiction, romance or mystery, a subscription is an advantage. You are a little ahead of the curve in time and you will save some money over the retail price. Also, there is the convenience. It comes right to your door.

Mary Jo said...

Kate, I did read this story over again this morning and I still like it very much. I agree with you about the ending paragraph, but I would not have ended with just his remark about sunshine. This is Mary's story and I think she should end it. I might have written something like: They stepped into the street together and she noticed that the clouds were beginning to break up.

Betsi, I think you are really going to like this one.

Pat said...

I'm with you, Mary Jo, I guess I like rainy days. I read this last week and loved it. Now I will go back and read it again with your comments in mind, Kate.

Chris said...

I enjoyed this one, partly because it's a gentle, reflective one and partly because I've just set a story in a park with a hero who's feeding the ducks too. When it comes to men, we clearly like the same sort of softies who are not afraid to show their gentler side.

I do agree about a couple of the lines of conversation, too much talk about umbrellas for my taste. Like Mary Jo I love rainy days and have never minded getting wet, especially as it means my dog and I will usually have the park to ourselves. Other than that, for me this was a story grounded in reality and that I appreciated.

I think the reason for the last line was to bring the focus of the story back to Mary, rather than letting Alex have the last word. I'm fine with that, it's her story after all.

Betsi said...

I wish WW wouldn't encourage the feeding of bread to ducks, it's really bad for them! But seriously, this was a good story. Yes, Mary Jo, I too liked the "rainy" atmosphere. I didn't like the word "umbrella" repeated so often, though, and thought the dialogue was a bit stilted at times. I thought the ending would work either way.

It's another story about people who live in the same apartment building -- MY story, coming up in 3 weeks, is also about 2 people who live in the same building! When I wrote it, my husband said "Oh, it's a bad idea to date someone living in your building . . ." Which is funny coming from him, since we worked together when we started dating!

Mary Jo said...

Oh, yes, I had heard that people should not feed bread to ducks. Will they choke on it, Betsi? Some people love to feed the ducks, though, so what should they give them instead of bread?

The only other word I ever heard for umbrella was bumbershoot. Wonder where that came from?

Funny about the apartment building. I think it is just the more modern version of living in the same neighborhood, or maybe in the same small town.

Chris said...

Okay, the ducks and bread debate (this is SO relevant to WW romances!)... No, it's not a natural food for them any more than processed foods like bacon rind or suet balls are for birds, or sugar lumps and peppermints for horses. Not found in the wild equates with 'not good' so I'm told, but people have been putting out such things for years and I don't see dead ducks lying all over the park, or spark-out sparrows all around the bird table. It's food. :~}

Jody E. Lebel said...

Chris, "spark-out sparrows". I just love your way with words.

I wish I had a dollar for every time the word umbrella appeared in this story. Other than that the only other comment I have is the way they speak. It's very stilted and formal sounding. As though it were written 100 years ago.

Okay, here’s the scoop on the ducks. Feeding bread to the ducks is actually unhealthy and potentially dangerous for the birds. Bread offers little nutritional value for ducks and is the equivalent to junk food. It can lead to malnutrition, over crowding at the ole duck pond, water pollution, it attracts rats and other pests, and leads to loss of natural behavior for the ducks. A small amount can't hurt, but there are hundreds of people feeding the ducks at any given pond which causes the problems.

Mary Hicks said...

I liked this story, although I felt that the dialogue was a little stilted.
As he held an umbrella with one hand, threw crumbs to the ducks with the other, I want to know where he was getting the crumbs from??

Mary Jo said...

I think he probably had a baggie in his coat pocket and was getting the bread from that.

Actually, I liked the dialogue in this story. It had a distinctive style that the often mundane dialogue in WW romances never attains. I said I thought it was a moody story, and the form of speech added to the other worldly atmosphere for me.

This is one of the best stories I have read on the romance page in a long time.

Mary Hicks said...

It was one of my favorites too, Mary Jo. But the bread crumb thing pulled me out of the story for a moment. And when he stuck out the same 'bread crumby' hand to shake with her, it did it again. i thought, ough!:-)

I would've had him at least dust his hand against his coat pocket, the crumb pocket. Men do things like wipe their hands on their pants or coat... :-)

But, I liked the story a lot!

Mary Jo said...

Oh, Mary, you are so neat! Seriously, I agree with you and I had those same reactions. They were just little blips in the story, though.

I wish we would hear from some of these writers. In this particular publication one is always suspicious of major editorial manipulation when in reality it may not be charged to the editor at all.

Mary Hicks said...

I agree, Mary Jo. It's fun to hear from the author. The next issue or maybe it's the one after that,the story is by Tina Radcliffe. She's published with Harlequin, the Love Inspired line.

Looking forward to reading her story!

I just got my first rejection from WW. I have another one still with them.

Waiting on the rejection letter!! :-D

Jill Weatherholt said...

I can't wait to read Tina's story, Mary. I heard she's got another coming out in September. I submitted a story to WW in September of 2012. I never head anything so I resubmitted after 6 six as suggested in their guidelines. After resubmitting in April, 2013...still nothing. I have another story with them as well, so I'm trying to forget about the first one. Maybe it's lost.

Mary Hicks said...

Sorry to hear that. We just have to keep sending. I didn't know we could re-submit after six months? Hmm, that's good! I haven't heard back on the second story I sent. Just finished the third one, hope to get it in the mail tomorrow. :-)

Good luck with the story that they still have!!

Tina's a sweet person.

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