one of those other things I write

I set up this blog as a place to put things I write, some of which have no other home. I realized a few days ago that most of what ends up posted here is to some degree, related to my work as a pastor.

This winter and spring I took part in a micro-fiction contest, just for the challenge. The assigned genre was romance. The piece had to include a knitting needle, and a seniors residence, and was limited to 100 words.

Muscle Memory

The years had been hard on us both, but oh, those clear blue eyes. Bright as when we first found each other, behind the toolshed at the Baptist Boys Camp.

My weary heart had leaped when Lou-Ann wheeled Gerald in. She announced, “Sunny Rest’s newest resident has consented to teach the knitting class I’ve organized.”

I focused on his hands. He pretzel looped yarn around the needle, and pulled the tail. Those soft, sure fingers. Did he know me?

Lou-Ann asked me, “Marvin, how does he do that without looking?”

Gerald winked, and I said, “Some things you don’t forget.”

I am also including the feedback from the judges. I think some of their comments were bang on, and every bit of constructive feedback contributes to the development of the craft.

Dear Darrow Woods,

The feedback from the judges on your first round submission from the 100-word Microfiction Challenge 2020 is below.  You should be proud of rising to the challenge and we hope you find the feedback helpful.  Because you placed in the top 20 of your group, you have advanced to the 2nd Round kicking off at 11:59PM EDT (New York time) on Friday, June 26th.  Congratulations and best of luck in the 2nd Round!

”Muscle Memory” by Darrow Woods –     WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY – {1499}  There’s real power in that “some things you don’t forget” in this love story between Marvin and Gerald. I like the suspense in the question “Did he know me?” and the poignancy in the answer. Names give the piece its ring of authenticity: Baptist Boys Camp, Sunny Rest, Lou-Ann. Also, great title!   {1689)  I love how you establish that depth of your hero Marvin’s feelings for Gerald by his bold response to his clear blue eyes. Nice moment when Gerald winks as Marvin explains how he does all that needle work without looking.  {1815}  I loved the sense of time passing in this story. In less than 100 words, the writer has managed to conjure a lifetime of love and affection. The story ends on a humorous and hopeful note — I was delighted by these characters.   WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK – {1499}  What we know of the love has to do with “clear blue eyes” and “soft, sure fingers.” I’d like a bit more about the romance, about Gerald, and I’d prefer the details to be less familiar (clear blue eyes) and more remarkable.   {1689)  Good job creating a story of lost romance. Now consider: ONE — Now clear up a few things. How long were they together? How long have they been apart? Why did they part? As you can see from my questions, you have created a powerful moment. You don’t have to answer them all–or maybe any of them–but you do need to clarify just a little bit more so that we understand why–and how deeply–this moment matters to your hero. I suggest that this moment should be as powerful and meaningful as you can possibly make it. TWO — Make room for these changes by cutting 1 to 5 words from several sentences in your story.  {1815}  I would have loved to know more about the speaker. What has happened to him between the Baptist Boy’s Camp and now? What kind of life has he led? Who is he as he returns to this boyhood love?

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