Monday, July 6, 2015


by Rosemary Hayes from the June 22, 2015 issue

Tagline: Callie would never forget the day she lost her cellphone...and found love

Observations: Okay, this story gave me a little ripple of happiness at the base of my neck. Sometimes it's the goosebumps on the arm, but this time it was the neck.

I wanted to point out a story device I'm going to call bookending. We've talked about it before. I've also called it coming full circle. It's where you mention something at the beginning of the story and then mention it again at the end. What's cool about this example is how Hayes bookended using POV as well.

At the beginning of the story, the narrator Callie talks about special dates that stick in our minds. It's something everyone experiences and it helps us feel a connection with the storyteller. In this little section, we're a bit removed, as is the narrator.

Then Hayes eases into the real story, introducing it with that ellipsis and then going into a deeper POV so that we are Callie on the day she lost her cell phone and fell in love with the man who found it. We happily live the story of how they met, smiling and hoping that romance will win the day.

And then, boom, Hayes states a date: June 24. And just like that, we're zipped back out of the story and looking at the events from a distance again because Callie has resumed her role as narrator. She summarizes what happened with Ethan after that first meeting in the cafe, and it works. We don't need to be Callie any more because now we're like friends and she just finished telling the story of how she met the love of her life.

It's a nice little device to have in your writer's toolbox.

Clever/funny lines:

1. My stomach fluttered. I wasn't sure if it was because of his friendly laugh or because I had found a kindred "loser."

2. "I'm in the cafe across the street, actually. I'll be the person with two phones on the table."

Photo credit: SGT Christopher M. Gaylord, via Wikimedia Commons


Tamara said...

The commentary at the beginning was different--and a good introduction. I also liked those clever/funny lines you mention, and "kindred loser" is priceless.

Sandy Smith said...

Good analysis of the story. I also liked the way the story began but hadn't really thought about the structure. I liked it.

Pat said...

I had to go back and find this story to reread it as I couldn't remember it. After reading it, I realized why. One of my students had submitted a lost cell phone story that was rejected was the first reason I didn't remember it. The second was the date. June 24th is my wedding anniversary. I guess that just blew the story right out of my head. LOL

I did like this story. Liked that it had two theme: losing things and remembering dates. The characters were relatable which always works. Nice job, Rosemary Hayes. Great analysis, Kate.

Chris said...

This was a cracker of a story. I loved reading it at the time and am so pleased to see that everyone seems to agree it's a winner.

Mary Ann said...

I really liked this story, too. Very sweet!

Jay Zaraiya said...
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