by Mary Haupt from the November 18, 2013 issue
Tagline: Christie's heart went out to the lost, frightened little boy. Then she met his uncle--and her heart went out to him, too!
In a Nutshell: Christie works at a department store. A little boy is separated from his uncle and she helps reunite them.
Observations: My apologies for the delay in posting. I'm trying to make the deadline on my second hockey romance and have been short of time.
While this story obviously made the grade for Johnene, it fell short for me.
I thought it was clever how Haupt introduced the fact that he was the uncle, not the dad, via the dialogue with the nephew. And I wanted to point out the tiny "black moment" when Nate almost leaves the store. I think black moments help and I try to include them in my stories when I can.
However, the entire premise of the story rubbed me the wrong way.
Then, later? After a terrifying experience of being lost, Charlie goes off to hide again. First of all, he obviously didn't learn his lesson. Then the adults play along with him. Yep, the teacher (and mom) in me thinks, "Oh, that is a big mistake, making a game of it. You're just reinforcing his behavior and paving the way for another not-so-fun scenario next time the kid goes shopping." They should be seriously talking to the boy about not doing that so nothing happens to him, not going along with it.
So in summary, my teacher genes wouldn't let me enjoy the story as much as perhaps the rest of you. When you put your fiction out there, not everyone's going to like it. Sometimes, as in this case, that's not because you wrote a bad story, but because that person's experiences color their opinion.
Photo by Listener42 (cc)