Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween Magic

by Patrice Howell from the October 28, 2013 issue

Tagline: Tom wondered if the silver wand Jenny carried had magical powers...because she had certainly cast a spell on him!

In a Nutshell: Tom is a workaholic who just finished a huge project at work. He is going to celebrate with good take-out. He meets Jenny and her niece who are trick-or-treating in town. She asks him to join them. He does.

Observations: This story had a different feel to it and I'm trying to figure out why. Maybe it was because it was focused on the man. Maybe it was Tom's dissatisfaction with life. Maybe it was that he didn't meet the heroine until the story was half over.

I liked how Tom was flustered and couldn't form a coherent thought, but I thought it was odd for Jenny to ask him to accompany her. My practical side is coming out because I assume she's supposed to be bonding with her niece and I didn't think she should be talking with this chivalrous guy. Speaking of chivalry, even though he'd held the door for her, he was a complete stranger. It was just...weird.

And yet, Woman's World liked it enough to publish it, so it just goes to prove once again that this is a subjective business.

Photo by Robynlou8


Mary Jo said...

Yes, this was a nice little story, but as you say, Kate, what woman would ask a complete stranger to spend an evening with her, especially when there is a child involved? I just think Johnene must live in a completely different world. Maybe mid-twentieth century?

Betsi said...

I was surprised to see TWO Halloween stories this year, then clicked on the name of this author and saw that she wrote one of last year's -- and that there were also twp in 2012! I think I need to start brainstorming some Halloween ideas. As for this story...I'm having a busy weekend and haven't read it yet.

Kate Willoughby said...

Sorry about the mix-up and going out of sequence. Betsi has kindly sent me a copy of the October 21 story. I'll do that one next week.

Betsi said...

I liked this story more than last week's Halloween story -- which we'll be discussing next week. I thought it was pretty typical WW -- boy meets girl, with life-changing potential. With the addition of trick-or-treating and costumes, to make it work for the Halloween edition.

I didn't have a problem with Jenny asking Tom to trick-or-treat with them, with so many people out on the streets, it seems relatively safe. It's more like a delayed ending -- what happens when Jenny's ready to go home? THEN does he ask her out? I've said it a hundred times -- the endings to these stories are hard to get right.

Anonymous said...

I thought this story was more interesting, and therefore more enjoyable, than most WW stories. The writing flowed and hit no false notes, except for perhaps just one, when Tom first met the two princesses in the restaurant doorway. The sentence "Tom pulled open the front door...." is a tad awkward.

I especially thought delaying the meeting of Tom and the ladies increased suspense - and I had no problem with his joining the trick or treating.

As someone else has said, the streets are full of children and parents/caregivers, and the hour is surely early. As for later, well, Aunt Jenny is going to have to take Lily Rose home. By that time, she will have had enough interaction with Tom to know whether or not she'd want to catch a late dinner with him or just give him the brush-off.

He's already demonstrated three times that he is a good guy: 1- his self-criticism because he scolded the little boys; 2- gallantly holding the door; and 3- retrieving the veil. I'd bet on that late dinner.

Chris said...

I agree that this one was more interesting than usual. I liked that it was male perspective, and that Tom was sufficiently self-aware to know that he needed to lighten up a bit. No problem at all with them all going Trick or Treating together. Jenny can see Tom, while we can't. She's got to be able to form an opinion about whether he's an okay guy from that and will know, by the end of the evening, whether she wants to spend more time with him. I liked it a lot.