Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Loving George by Mary Jo Young

from the October 10, 2016 issue

Tagline: Ruth thought love would never find her...until she met George!

Woman's World Tropes: a wedding, a last-minute substitution, a widower

Observations: This story reminded me of a trope I haven't seen for a while, but which is a tried and true one--the last minute substitution. Here, we have Bax, the delivery boy, going to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. So his father steps in to do his job for him. We've often seen this the other way around, where the father has the job and the younger son steps in. Either way, it works.

I didn't love this story, mostly because of some tiny details that took me out of the story experience. (However, remember I'm always in analyzing mode when reading a Woman's World story, so I don't read just for pleasure. I'm actively looking for things I can talk about.) I didn't understand what this meant...

The two owned Dream Weddings and for the last two years had been doing reception venues.

What does that last part mean, "doing reception venues?" When you're wedding planners, don't you automatically take care of decorating the venue? Admittedly, my wedding was in 1991, but if I were to hire a wedding planner, I'd expect them to make sure the venue looked good. Maybe some planners aren't hands-on. Okay, I could buy that, but I wish I'd had a tiny bit more of an explanation here so I wasn't pulled out of the story, confused.

I also wondered about their very tight timeline. If it had been a morning wedding, fine. I could totally believe they had plenty of time to get the tables and flowers set up if they arrived at seven. But if it was an evening wedding so I don't know. You can't have the ceremony too late, or there isn't enough time for partying. Getting the flowers to the venue by seven doesn't leave much set-up time, regardless of the appendectomy delay.

As you can see, I did a lot of wondering, outside of the story.

Still, I thought the George Clooney stuff was very cute. And I loved the visual of the sparkling water in the vases.

Photo credit: andervinny via Flickr Creative Commons License

12 comments:

Pat said...

Wow, Kate, that is odd about the venue line. Thankfully, I have you because I didn't notice it when I read the story which I thought was adorable.

The time-line thing did cross my mind at the time, but then I just over looked it.

Great catch on what otherwise was a really cute story.

Mary Jo said...


I'm sorry if the time line gave you pause, Kate. Maybe I should have given them a couple of hours to do these finishing touches with the flowers, but I wanted to cause enough anxiety that they would welcome George with open arms. Patricia did some editing to the story, but the time line was mine.

Tamara said...

I'm happy for you getting another story published, Mary Jo. The reception venue didn't throw me, but I didn't see a follow-up when she thought Bax's dad looked familiar. Is that because he reminded her of George Clooney? Using GC in the story was a cute idea, and I liked that sparkling water image, too.

Mary Jo said...

Thank you, Tamara, and the answer is yes. As you know, we don't have much room for detail and explanations in these very short stories.

Jody E. Lebel said...

Great story, Mary Jo. I'm not sure why there is confusion on the timing. When they walked into the venue it was almost ready and gorgeous and George asked "Did you do all this?" So they were just there putting the last touches on; flowers on the tables, swag on the door, and check to see the cake arrived safely. I thought the story moved along well. Loved the George Clooney tie-in. I mean who doesn't love George? I also liked that 'all the men that walk through their door are married' and after they did the balloons her friend made a discrete exit so she could be alone with George. Great ending, too. Close enough. lol.

Tamara said...

I liked that comment that all the men who came there were married, too. Agree also that the word count limits our explanations.

Melanie D said...

Loved this one. It was cool to see a contemporary pop culture connection, and swooning over GC is universal!

Melanie D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate Willoughby said...

Hey, no worries, Mary Jo. I'm glad to see you get another story published. I have to admit the "familiar" line gave me pause as well. I thought he looked familiar because of Bax.

Bonny Dahlsrud said...

I think Mary Jo should be there featured weekly author of romance stories! She certainly knows what Woman's World and the readers like. Another one of hers in this week's magazine! Great Job!

Anonymous said...

Bonny, I think you must be my new best friend! Where do you live? Honestly, I am so grateful to WW for offering a market for our short stories in America. My dearest wish is that the few other women's magazines here would go back to publishing popular fiction that gives its readers a break in their busy days. So many good writers, and so little print space, as it is now.

Mary Jo said...

I thought I put my name on the above comment. Sorry about that.