Friday, December 23, 2016

Shall We Dance? by Elizabeth Palmer

from the December 12, 2016 issue

Tagline: Allison and David wanted adventure for the holidays..and then they realized true love was more important!

Observations: OMG. I. Loved. This. Story. I have tears in my eyes and that hasn't happened in a long time. Let me try to put into words what made this story so outstanding to me.

First, we have an established couple. If you've ever tried to write a story that is not a first meet story, you know how difficult it is. What I have found to work is to find a tiny problem that a couple might have. In the second story I published with Woman's World, it was that a new mother was feeling fat and frumpy. In another, it was the mother of the bride feeling her
empty nest something awful, like Allison in this story. Then the husband steps in and saves the day, like he did in this story, by suggesting they dance.

Allie has a small character arc in which at first, she doesn't want to wear the Santa hat, nor does she want to dance, but she overcomes that reluctance. How does she do it? With that magical flashback memory that I saw just like it was a movie.

The "out-danced" line was funny.

There is sentimentality in droves. It's Christmas. It's their 25th anniversary. And let's not forget the newlywed couple. I was already misty after reading that Madonna flashback paragraph, but when it became clear the honeymoon couple were going to get their honeymoon after all...I was a goner. And then Palmer really nailed it when she had David and Allie go home. Did anyone else get the shivers when they read that final word, "home?" That word has power, especially because they spoke it together. It was the perfect ending.

Photo credit: David Fulmer


Mary Jo said...

Betsi has the talent and the power to transport the reader straight into the hearts of her characters. She demonstrates how even the very short story can be memorable. We also have a fiction editor at WW who knows how to mine gold.

Chris said...

Agree absolutely, an absolute treasure of a Christmas offering. Loved it.

Chris said...

Kate, you might want to remove one of the 'comments' from the Night at the Museum blog. The eighth one is dodgy and nothing to do with the story.

Pat said...

Oh, Kate, what story, what a review! I agree with every word you posted. Betsi writes a wonderful story and it amazes me what she can fit in that tiny word count. Well done, Betsi.

Mcx Jackpot Calls said...
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Shyra said...

Okay, I'm late to this party but WOW!! I love this story! I love these characters! I laughed, I cried, I got nostalgic about when my husband asked me out for the first time. This is the kind of writer I want to be.

Betsi said...

Just now getting back to my regular writing (and blog reading) routine after the holidays. Thanks to everyone who liked my story and commented! And thanks to those who didn't like it and kept it to themselves, lol.

Shyra, I have to say that your compliment may be my all-time favorite, thank you!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

I loved this story too!

Sorry I'm so late reading the blog and commenting. I'm hoping to be a more regular visitor.

Good luck and God's blessings