Thursday, May 22, 2014

Picture This

by Cynthia Acee from the May 5, 2014 issue

Tagline: Matt's sister tried to convince him that visualization would bring the perfect woman into his life. Matt didn't believe a word of it--or did he?

In a Nutshell: Matt finds a dog and takes it in for the night. The next morning the owner comes knocking at his door.

Observations: So much to like about this story. I liked the first person male POV. It's refreshing. We got to see Matt's open mind at work. The author showed him taking his sister's advice. We got to see what he thought of himself and that he had a nice healthy level of self-esteem. In my opinion, a lot of what was great about this story was the characterization.

I also enjoyed the humor.

" do want to meet someone, don't you?"

"Of course," I admitted.

"Then visualize, brother dear," she coaxed. "Visualize."

"But visualize what? The dog or the woman?"

Acee plotted well with the grocer being the middleman who put the owner and finder in touch with each other. And the ending? Superb. She came full circle to bring the visualization back in very neatly.

Photo credit: Janine via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Aglow with Love

by Michelle Martin Dobbins from the May 12, 2014 issue

Tagline: Ann knew it was love that put the sparkle in her marriage...but she still missed the diamond she'd lost from her ring...

In a Nutshell: Ann lost the diamond in her engagement ring a while ago. Busy lives and a stretched budget have made it impossible to replace. Until now.

My apologies. I skipped an issue and went out of chronological order. Sorry!

Observations: Okay, I am going crazy! I read this and thought I've read this story before! The feeling was so strong, I went through the blog looking for my review of it. I couldn't find it, but if someone else remembers a story a while ago that had a couple going down to a lake for the romantic end of a story, please tell me!

Anyway, I thought this story was the perfect Woman's World mix of sentimentality and positive lifestyle. It's so common these days to see stories about divorce and unhappiness and well, people bitching, so it's nice to have Woman's World here to show examples of how to not succumb to that negativity. (On that note, have you looked at Closer? It's similar to other celebrity rags, but with positive stories, not dirt and scandal. I liked the issue I bought.)

In fact, let's do a comparison, just for fun.

WW: Ann gives a positive message to the bride-to-be in the opening scene.

"It's not about the sparkling diamond, it's about love--and you and Ted have plenty of that."

A Reality Show: A bride-to-be would most likely be criticizing the ring and comparing it to those of her friends and either finding it lacking or happy that it outshone theirs.

WW: We see Ann is reconciled with not having the diamond replaced. Her family comes first.

A Reality Show: The "star" of the show would probably be looking among all her other jewelry and wondering why she shouldn't just go to the jewelry store and upgrade her engagement ring herself.

WW: Ann is eager to go on the anniversary date.

A Reality Show: The woman might be "busy" doing something not really important and therefore is late to the anniversary dinner.

WW: The husband had worked for a long time to make his wife happy. Their love is reaffirmed.

A Reality Show: The ring would be flashier, but the marriage would not be fortified. The meaning of the gesture is lost when the recipient is gratitude-challenged and the giver is taken for granted.

Photo credit: Derek Ramsey via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, May 5, 2014

Harry Makes Some Magic

by Jenna Tousignant from the April 28, 2014 issue

Tagline: Rachael was too shy to tell Walker  how she felt about hi, so she let Harry Potter help her get the message across...

In a Nutshell: Rachael the librarian has a crush on a patron who is going through the Harry Potter series. She tucks a note inviting him to coffee inside the last volume.

Observations: I thought the premise of the story was cute. It reminded me of a co-worker who recently asked a guy out by giving him her phone number on the sleeve of his coffee drink. (Everyone in the store was on pins and needles wondering if he was going to call her. He did, but has a girlfriend. :( Alas.)

There wasn't a lot of interaction between the hero and heroine in the story and I missed that but am not sure if it's something that should have been there, considering the fact that at the end, they still haven't really had a date because the man hasn't read the note yet. It's all just hopeful, which I suppose is just fine. Woman's World is nothing if not cheerful and optimistic.

Although I suggest people have a dark moment in their stories, I wasn't sure the red herring sister was necessary. It didn't add anything to my enjoyment of the story. I think I would have preferred a little more conversation between Rachael and Walker. Maybe a discussion about which of the Potter books was the best, or which character was their favorite.

I'll be interested to hear what everyone else has to say.

Photo credit: Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons