Monday, January 11, 2016

Mom's Online Dating Adventure

by Susan Jaffer from the January 11, 2016 issue

Tagline: Okay, Lori had suggested online dating...but she never imagined her mother would take her advice!

I thought this was a cute story. Considering how popular online dating is, I'm surprised we don't see more stories featuring it.

Positives: I liked seeing the relationship between mother and daughter. I think many of us have experienced a reversal of roles regarding our parents. I'm old enough now so that my mother is looking to me for advice and help and my sister and I have my dad's power of attorney. I saw that reversal to a lesser degree here in this story.

"Seriously, which dating site was it?"

"I'm not going to tell you, Lori, because you'll look up my profile and make fun of it."

This rang so true and real.

I also liked all the reject candidates. That was cute.

Negatives: I was a little confused about Uncle Dan. When his name was first introduced, I got the feeling that he wasn't Lori's blood uncle, but his relationship was still murky until near the end of the story when we find out what the deal is:

"As you pointed out yourself, Lori, he's not actually your uncle," Mom said. "He's an old family friend, like Aunt Bev and Aunt Lindsay. I've known Dan since high school."

This is definitely an "as you know, Bob" paragraph. The mom even says, "As you pointed out yourself." There are defter ways of getting this type of information across. For instance, here is where Uncle Dan is first mentioned:

"Not exactly. Dan--you know, Uncle Dan--overheard our conversation, and he said he could help get me started."

There it is again. It even says "you know." Yes. Lori knows. Which is why it's awkward to put forth the information to the reader like this.

The author could have said something like this instead:

Lori nodded. It amused her that even though Lori was an adult, her mom still felt compelled to call him "Uncle Dan" when he wasn't a relative at all.

We're in Lori's POV. Take advantage of that.

Photo credit: John Ward via Flickr Creative Commons license


Pat said...

I enjoyed this story even though I'd never, ever consider online dating for myself. Scary thought. LOL I loved slipping into the character of some who would date online.

I agree with your about taking advantage of Lori's POV. Nice catch.

Of course, my next issue had not arrived as yet, so I hope I can get the subscription service to send it to me before you review he next story. Guess I should never have mention that occasionally an issue gets lost in the mail. LOL

Mary Jo said...

The reason I liked this story was because it all took place in one phone conversation. That is a new one for WW as far as I can remember. The Uncle Dan thing was not well handled, I agree. A nice switcheroo, though, all the way around.

I still hear nothing about the stories I have submitted over the past year, so I have about given up on WW. I can see one or two stories going astray (or down the drain), but eight?

Sandy Smith said...

This story was definitely different. I had figured out as soon as "Uncle Dan" was mentioned that he was going to be the mom's love interest, but I agree that it was awkwardly worded.

bettye griffin said...

Like Sandy, I also saw where the story was going when "Uncle Dan"'s name came up. Something bothered me about it, and you just identified it.

Like Mary Jo, I'm disenchanted with the long response times and sometimes no response times...I submitted a seasonal story twice and never heard about it either time. Having eight stories disappear into the black hole of Calcutta is truly disillusioning...

Anonymous said...

Hi! I was just wondering if anyone has received responses (positive or negative) recently? Maybe they are just swamped? Thanks for any insight!

Kate, your blog is wonderful -- thanks so much for doing this for all of us aspiring WW romance writers!


Betsi said...

Breaking news on the Yahoo WW group today. Brit writer Rosemary got 2 romance contracts in the mail and was notified that Johnene has retired and been replaced by Patricia. Mull THAT over, ladies!

Sandy Smith said...

Johnene has retired? Wonder how that will change things. Who is Patricia? Hopefully we will get some updated guidelines.

Betsi said...

Patricia Riddel Gaddis has been the First Reader for several years.

Betsi said...

Oops--the middle name is spelled Riddle.

Sandy Smith said...

Thanks for the info Betsi.

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks! That's great insider info! Fingers crossed for us all in 2016!

Maria :)

Kate Willoughby said...

I suspect that perhaps we will see a bit of change now with the switch in editors. Perhaps Johnene was just burnt out and that is why the wait times were so long or why some people didn't get responses at all. Who knows? I don't know if Patricia even knows, since they are on opposite sides of the country.

Mary Jo said...

The last note I had from Johnene said that having to submit the story three times before getting a response was inexcusable and she was going to get to the bottom of it. So that tells me she was not responsible for the situation. When I once talked to Patricia, she said that she read everything that came over her desk, even if only partially. I don't think the problem lies with the editors. It must be somewhere lower down on the editorial chain, or even some change in company policy. All I know, it is very discouraging to spend time and money on submissions that evidently are never seen by the editors.

Beth said...

That's interesting. When I saw Uncle Dan and then heard her say they didn't have to call him Uncle, I immediately thought he was the hero.