by Shannon Fay from the July 20, 2015 issue
Tagline: Derek went with his daughter to her friend's party, never imagining he would enjoy it as much as she did!
Observations: I really enjoyed this story. I liked how Fay had me not liking the hero at first, then changing my mind and making me root for him.
At first, I didn't like Derek at first because he was ditching his daughter to work. Now, I'll admit to my share of drop-off's at birthday parties when my kids were younger, however, this guy only sees his daughter on the weekends! I was angry with him for resisting her invitation. However, as noted in Vogler's The Writer's Journey--an EXCELLENT book for fiction writers--the hero must "resist the call" at first.
When Derek decides he needs to step up and join his daughter, he shows a bit of character. So, I thought maybe I was too quick to judge.
When he goes to the refreshment table and says, "Is this an open bar?" I laughed. He has a sense of humor. So, there's another point.
By the time the story ended, I was glad he was going to see Aggie again. I liked seeing he spent some time with his daughter at the party.
I thought that the "surprise" theme (in the title and then mentioned twice in the story) was subtle and well done.
Photo credit: Paul Sapiano via Creative Commons License