Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Love In Bloom by Kim Winklhofer

March 28, 2016 issue

Tagline: After years of loneliness, Jessie had given up on love--then she met Christopher...

This was my story and I've always enjoyed showing you the before and after so you can see an example of what editors actually do. Words in blue were added by the editor.

You'll see there was quite a bit of work done. I can see that the bit about divorced women was removed, which doesn't surprise me. Why go the "negative" route when it's not necessary? In fact, many of the tweaks were in that vein. It's funny how I preach that in my class, but failed to follow my own suggestion. LOL

You'll also see the story was firmly planted in the April, so that it would connect with the time of year the story was hitting the stands.

At the risk of insulting the editor, I will say the ending didn't sing for me. I prefer it where it's is eagerness and joy that we're left with, instead of her soft reply. I think it's the word "soft" that bothers me. I think if she'd smiled or cocked her head or something, it wouldn't have felt so shy to me. However, in hindsight, I really should have written something in the first place that tied in with the theme of flowers and spring and blooming. Again, this is a tip I give in my class--to really, really work on the endings so that they are superb. I seem to have gotten a little lazy here. LOL

“You can’t believe everything you read have to keep trying,” Allison commented to her co-worker, Jessie, as they made
            Jessie frowned. She and Allison were crafting corsages and boutonnieres for an April wedding. It was prom season and Jessie’s flower shop had been flooded with orders.
            “I know,” Jessie replied. While she didn’t take that article about divorced women as gospel, it certainly had discouraged her.  According to the magazine, divorcees over a certain age had a slim chance of remarrying.
            “All you have to do is try,” Allison said.
            “What do you mean? I’ve been trying. Didn’t I tell you Jessie frowned. The flower arrangements trimmed in delicate ribbons only served to remind her that she was still single.
           "Oh, come on, Allison, do you really think I haven't tried? Have you forgotten about that blind date I had last month?”
            Allison finished tying a ribbon on  the bouquet she was making, then stood up to stretch her legs. made a face. “Month being the operative word…” She trailed off, her attention suddenly drawn to a car pulling up to the store. “I think  "Maybe you should go on the offense. Make a pass at the Harry Potter guy. someone, or at least show him you’re interested. Like the Man Wizard. He’s adorable. He doesn’t wear a wedding ring, you know, and he's adorable! Ask him out!. Would you go out with him if he asked you?
            "I'm so not listening to you," Jessie said, rolling rolled her eyes. Her matchmaking co-worker Allison loved to give nicknames to customers, and one of their most faithful patrons was Christopher customers had the last name of Potter, who often bought flowers for his mother. Allison had observed that w With his dark good looks and bookish eyeglasses, he really resembled Christopher Potter was like a hunky and grown up, hunky Harry Potter.
            Allison continued. He likes the beach. You both like the beach. He likes to travel and so do you. You both love Thai food... and Monday night football. Need I say more? go on?
           "That's true," Jessie said. "We do have a lot in common, or so it seems, but  All that was true. She and Christopher had chatted often. They did have a lot in common.
“I don’t know. Maybe.” Jessie tucked some hair behind her ear as an older woman got out of her car and approached the shop. “But don’t get any ideas. Christopher is a good customer and I wouldn’t want to lose his business him.”
            “Good customers, you we have. It's a boyfriend you want." a lot of. Boyfriends? Not so much.”
            The April showers had stopped, and the sun was coming out as an elegant-looking woman got out of her car and approached the shop. Just then, the The phone rang and Jessie went to answer it while Allison greeted the customer. 
            “Welcome to Flowers by Jessie," Allison said, ". How can I help you?”
            The woman smiled. “I’d like to send something to my son for his birthday. But do you have something a little more masculine than a bouquet?”
            Allison showed her some of the miniature bonsai trees and the woman loved them.
I believe this is something my son would like, and I want I’d like this to be delivered to him around six p.m. by Jessie. I’ll even pay extra for that if necessary if I need to, but it needs to be her.” At Allison’s quizzical look, the woman added: conspiratorially, “My son has given buys me flowers every single month, ever since his father my husband passed away, and he’s always talking about his florist, Jessie, and how pretty she is and I thought it would make his day for her to deliver them in person." , as a mother, it was my duty to…”
            A sudden suspicion bloomed in Allison’s mind as she got ready to record the necessary information into the computer. brain. “If I could have your name please?”
            “Deborah Potter. My son is Christopher Potter, and he lives at 105 Oak Lane.
            “Mrs. Potter!” Allison beamed. “You jJust leave everything to me," she said. "I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
            A few days later, Jessie pulled up at to Christopher Potter’s house with the bonsai tree on the seat next to her. Allison usually did the afternoon deliveries, but she practically pushed Jessie out the door, saying it was her big chance with Harry Potter. She was more nervous than she had a right to be. Christopher Potter was a sweet guy who obviously loved his mother a lot. He was funny and handsome and single. Whether he was attracted to her remained a question. She told herself to remain professional as she rang the doorbell. This was just an everyday delivery.
            When Christopher opened the door, her heart accelerated.
            "Jessie!" He grinned. "What a nice surprise!" Christopher’s eyes widened in surprise. “Jessie?”
            “Yep. I have a delivery for you.” She held out the bonsai tree his mother had chosen. “Happy birthday," she smiled. "It's from your mom.”
            “You’re kidding. Wow, and it's really great to see you again!" thanks.” 
            Another car drove up and a teenaged boy jumped out as he read the card. A kid got out holding a couple of bags. As he got closer, Jessie got a whiff of something yummy.
I have an order for Jessie and Christopher," he said. Order for Jessie?”
She and Christopher looked at each other, surprised.
“I’m Jessie," she said.
"I'm Christopher," he echoed, reaching for his wallet.
The kid handed her the bags "It's from the Thai Kitchen," the boy said, handing her the bags. "Already paid for." one of Jessie’s favorite restaurants. “Here ya go. It’s already paid for,” the kid answered as Jessie glanced at the delivery van where she’d left her purse. “The lady tipped me too.”
The kid turned to go, but Jessie called out, “Do you know who placed the order, by the way?” she asked.
“Allison from the flower shop," the boy called out while rushing back to his car.
Jessie gasped. She was going to kill Allison.
“Allison from your store?”
“It seems like it.”
Christopher chuckled. “It smells great. I love the Thai Kitchen.”
Jessie shook her head. “You realize what’s going on right?”
His eyes twinkled. “Sure. My mom and your friend think we need to spend the evening together eating eat Thai food together while and chatting about miniature potted trees.”
She couldn’t help laughing. “I’m really sorry about this," she said. .”
Jessie's heart fluttered as Christopher He gazed down at her with his and she suddenly felt quite small and feminine. He had the most gorgeous brown eyes. and a smile like a warm hug. "I'm not!"
“Don’t be sorry,” he said. “I’m sure not.”"Then neither am I," she replied softly.


Mary Jo said...

A very nice little story, Kate, but that is indeed an eye opener. I know, when reading another's story, it is a great temptation to practically rewrite it for them. The WW editor in this case really let herself go, didn't she?

Well, they published your idea and you got paid for it. I just got a note from Patricia last night, saying she liked my story but the EIC rejected it. That is the second time within the month.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kate,

I was confused when I first saw this title. I remember you publishing another version of "Love in Bloom" on your blog when it got rejected. I see that you revised it... I was curious as to how to handle this. Did you mention to Patricia Gaddis that you had previously submitted it but rewrote it? Since it's basically the same idea and same title, I was wondering what you did. Thanks very much! It was a cute story, BTW! :)

Anonymous said...

After reading Anon's comment I found your other story too, Kate. It does seem to be the same story, which brings up something I've always been confused about. When does a story become a different story for 'copyright' purposes? Is it only after a minor change? A lot of change? I was once told its when the story isn't recognisable any more. If that's not the case, I'd love to know for sure.


Tamara said...

Kate, don't quite understand. This is your story under a different name? Mary Jo, did you get the note from Patty by email or postal mail? I thought we would hear nothing unless our stories were accepted. I don't think the new guidelines mentioned how our contracts would be delivered--by email or postal mail.

Mary Jo said...

Tamara, it was just a very brief email from Patricia. I greatly appreciated that she took the time to let me know why the story was rejected, rather than just never hearing anything.

Are you sure this is the same story Kate presented before? I thought WW would not look at a story more than once. It might be that so many of their published stories are so similar, it is easy to think you have read them before. I do recall another story where the girl took a Banzai tree to the man's house. Was that Kate's?

I think so much more could be done with that little Romance page, but Patricia and the EIC may not see eye to eye.

Anonymous said...

Kate, I reread your original, although rejected, "Love in Bloom" story (you posted it May 29, 2012.) It was very similar. Glad to know that it's OK to rewrite a rejected story and resubmit down the road. Did you indicate that on your cover letter? Thanks so much, this blog is wonderful is incredibly helpful! You are so talented! :)

Anonymous said...

I personally think it probably is okay to rewrite a previously rejected story and resend, as Kate has done. (although in the past it was a 'no-no'). With this story it's a little different in that Kate has already 'published' her original story on this blog. The WW contract asks that any submissions have not been previously published, so that's why I'd love to know if the changes from Kate's first rejected story and the very similar now published story in WW has enough changes to make it pass the 'not previously been published test'. I'm guessing it has, since the story was accepted?

Sandy Smith said...

Lots of interesting questions posed here. Will look forward to Kate's replies.

I enjoyed the story very much. It is interesting to see how it was edited.

I also find it interesting that Patricia is the fiction editor but apparently doesn't have a lot of clout with what stories should be published. That is too bad.

Mary Jo said...

I would expect it takes some time for the EIC and a new editor to get to trust each other with working for what is best for their magazine.

I also wonder what can make a previously published blog story considered "unpublished" as a new submission. I withdrew one story because it had appeared in a blog. It was one of my favorites, though, and I would love to see it in WW.

Kate Willoughby said...

Aw, Mary Jo. Sorry about the rejection.

Regarding the resubmission...I totally forgot that I put that story up here. Well, that's water under the bridge. But I DID tell Patricia that I had pulled that out of my archive of rejected stories and she was fine with it. My thought was maybe Johnene didn't like some of those stories, but maybe Patricia did.

Regarding how much change does a story have to go through in order to not violate copyright? I have no idea. Sorry. :(

Tamara, Kim Winklhofer is my real name.

Resending old stories used to be a no-no, but because there's a new woman at the helm, I think that gives us some leeway. However, I wouldn't go sending ALL your rejected stories. Pick the best ones, the ones you really think should have made the cut.

Mary Jo said...

I agree, Kate. Patricia seems to be very writer friendly, so let's all try to give her our best.

Tamara said...

I'm thinking the ones rejected by Johnene were selected by Patricia in the first place, so they may be worth a try. I found one that no one had seen except Jimmy Meiss, so off it went. Kate, how did you come to use a second name?

Pat said...

Kate, thanks for posting your submission with the edits. What a great job Patricia did with your story. I love her edits and it showed me so much about what WW wants in a story.

Congrats on the sale.

Mary Hicks said...

That was a cute story, Kate! I liked seeing the edits.
I remembered reading somewhere that it was okay to re-submit a story after six months—did I dream that?

I also understood that if your story was rejected, you didn't hear back. It is nice to hear something one way or the other.

bettye griffin said...

Thanks for sharing the version with the edits, Kate! As someone said above, it's too bad the fiction editor doesn't seem to have much clout.

Kate Willoughby said...

Tamara, I used Kate Willoughby originally for my steamy stuff because I was a substitute teacher when I started, so I thought parents might not appreciate the fact that I was writing novels with graphic sex. As for going with my real name this time, I just felt like changing it up.

Thanks, Pat.

Mary, Before the Retirement, you could resubmit a story if you hadn't heard in 6 months. Now, if you don't hear after 4 months you are to assume it was rejected.