|Photo: James Petts|
Tagline: Emma and Joel had broken up...but was it really over?
Observations: This was a terrific story and unusual in that it was about a couple who were on the rocks. Those stories are so much harder to write and it's always refreshing to see them. (I'll bet Patricia is always happy to see a break from the norm too.)
This story is an example of why Rosemary Hayes's stories appear so often. It's just so tight. There's a part in the guidelines which says, "Every sentence, paragraph, and scene of the story should deliver more information about your characters and their situation and/or briskly advance the storyline." This story does this beautifully.
The beginning seems like just a package delivery, but it deftly shows Emma is recently single, that she still loves her ex, that she's got a mother who needs her.
Then we find out what the package is, we find out more about her and Joel's "friendship," we also find out about how they met at a game/puzzle store. See how tightly this is plotted?
Of course, we readers know the puzzle is Joel reaching out to Emma, but that makes it all the more fun to see her figuring it out. It's funny how I don't even "meet" Joel until the end of the story, but when he does make an appearance, I already love him! This is so contrary to the advice I usually give, stating the couple need on-the-page time to show their connection. In this story, the connection is taken for granted because they have a history together already.
As expected, the puzzle is a proposal and it's perfect. What a great story.