Wednesday, March 21, 2018

An Irresistible Treasure by Marti Attoun

From the March 12, 2018 issue

Tagline: Shannon didn't expect to find romance in a thrift shop...but Gabe was a treasure she couldn't resist!

Observations: I haven't done a stream-of-consciousness critique in a while and I'm a bit behind with the stories, so here goes...

1. I love clownfish! I've loved them even before Finding Nemo came out. They're so adorable and the way they "make friends" with anemones to protect themselves is amazing.

2. I can totally picture Shannon's apartment. My MIL's house was much like this--a collection of oddball items and antique furniture that was so her.

3. LOL "unique second-hand hodgepodge"

4. "If the chicken Parm bombs, you can blame it on these guys." -- I am totally confused by this line.

5. Ah, the aunt is on vacation so the handsome nephew is filling it. This is a popular trope of Woman's World stories. However, I wonder why Shannon didn't know about this vacation. I'd think Evelyn would have notified her if she saw her every week for the aquarium upkeep. I'm thinking it was probably Evelyn playing matchmaker.

6. "I'm so thrilled that Evelyn finally got to see a real ocean again." -- Oh, that's a great loop back to the line in the beginning of the story.

7. Love this line:

"What she didn't tell me was she bought enough salt and pepper shakers at an estate sale to season the whole Midwest."

8. Cute ending, tying into the title. This is something I haven't mentioned in a while. If you're looking for a way to wrap up your story neatly, connect your title with your ending line. I'm not sure what's easier--writing the ending first and coming up with a title afterward, or vice-versa. Also, the setting of a secondhand or antique shop is a tried and true one too.


Tamara said...

For me, figuring out a title is a fun part of writing a story. I sometimes think of a title and then write a whole story around it. Sometimes I write a story and later give it a title that connects to the story line, but then occasionally I write a story and can't think of a title.

There are publications that automatically change titles, a practice I never understood -- like, "There's no reason for it, it's just our policy." Sometimes, IMO, a title is an integral part of the content.

I thought this was a cute story with a cute title, and using it at the end was a good way to wrap it up. I liked the line about him living long enough to tag all those shakers.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why WW changes the titles of our stories. Does anyone know?

Tamara said...

Out of nearly twenty stories, WW has kept most of my titles, changed only a few. Many other magazines and newspapers do it as a rule, but not WW, unless they don't happen to like our chosen titles for some reason.

Mary Jo said...

Wow, Tamara, TWENTY stories. You are practically up there with John Floyd! I haven't counted, but I think the titles on my WW stories have been changed at least 50% of the time. I don't know whose choice that is. As you said, the title is an integral part of the story, and I give a lot of thought to mine.

Tamara said...

I'm not too successful lately, Mary Jo. I think I've lost my touch.

Mary Ann Joyce said...

I thought this story was very cute! Well done!

Pat said...

Liked this story a lot. Well written.

Tamara said...

May I go off-subject and tell Mary Jo what a clever little mystery she wrote -- now in the current issue (now that the mystery blog has closed)? It fits in with the theft theme Patty was asking for.

Mary Jo said...

Tamara, I was checking Kate's blog this morning and came upon your comment. Thank you so much for your kind words about my little mystery story. I think you have had success with your WW mysteries, so your opinion means a lot to me.

Kate Willoughby said...

Not sure why they change the titles. Maybe because they thought of something they liked better.