Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Of Maps and Friends

I recently had a short story published on-line called Of Maps and Friends. The tale relates the account of two early teens, their quest for treasure and the ramifications their adventure had on their friendship. Ultimately it discusses those things in life that matter and those that don’t.

Please click here to read it. I’d love to hear your feedback.

The website is called Stories that Lift and caters to family friendly writing. I hope that you enjoy it.


Anonymous said...

cute story

Cindy Beck said...

Good story! It's always helpful to be reminded of what's important in life.

And I really enjoyed your descriptions in the story.

ali said...

Great story Dan, congratulations!

Dan and Wendy said...

Thanks all. If I ever grow up, I hope to be a writer when I do. I appreciate your comments.

rosengrenclan said...

Thanks for visiting my site. I had to check out who left me a comment and then happened upon your story. I loved it! My daughter is a writer and we've just switched to homeschooling. Your story did a fabulous job of "creating a picture" in the reader's mind. This is something I've been trying to teach her and I'm going to read it with her. Thanks so much!

Tim Malone said...

Delightful story, well-written, thoughtful, with a bit of a sad ending. I hope it turns out that he gets the treasure back. Well done.

Queen of Chaos said...

You're a great story teller, Dan!! This is just wonderful. How exciting, too!

Thank you for sharing your link for us to read. :)

ama said...

Very great story! I'm actually going to share this for my home-teaching lesson today. The family has some young boys and I think this will be fun for them.

Michaela Stephens said...

I think you’ve got excellent character development with Nicole and Tom. Their motivations for their actions were easily traced and their actions are believable.
I also like how the treasure poem becomes a sort of prophecy about the change in the friends’ relationship. That was very well done and not too heavy-handed.

As a reader, it seems to me that the character of Margaret Caulkin needs more development.

About midway we get this snippet:
“Mrs. Caulkin claimed to be a descendant of Blackbeard. Frankly, I don’t find it hard to believe that she was related to pirates. Did I mention how she used to give me the willies?”

And the only other bit we find out about her comes when the “treasure” is discovered.

Who is this woman?
Why are Tom and Nicole going to look in this haunted house? Where did they get this idea that they could look for treasure in her house? As a reader, it seems to me that their search is focused enough that they knew about something being in the house. What their motivation? Somehow it has to do with Mrs. Caulkin. Is Mrs. Caulkin dead? Is the house hers? Was she a dreaded, crotchety history teacher?

Tom finds her note at the very end and feels it is significant, and so we as readers are asked to feel it is a significant lesson, but the background isn’t quite there.

Also, why would Mrs. Caulkin set up this kind of anti-climactic treasure hunt? From the story it seems like she meant it for someone in particular. As a reader, I felt like somehow she was a bigger part of this story, maybe the biggest part, even though she never appears on stage.

Also, I want more details about that treasure map!! What did it show? How did they know where to go? What did the cave and the cliff look like? What did the inside of the cave look like? What did it smell like? How dark was it? Details! Details! Give us all the juicy details!

Another question: If Nicole starting using sex appeal to get what she wanted, was this the right kind of friendship? Do you think there is enough character exposition at the beginning to indicate that she was really a better friend than that? Admittedly this is hard, because it is supposed to be a short story, but perhaps some very short dialogues near the beginning could indicate the positive aspects of their relationship before the time leading up to the treasure-hunting incident.

“a three pronged pointed thingy that my mom used to weed her garden with” - Nice. This made me laugh. Very down-to-earth. 13-year-olds probably wouldn’t know the name for it.. And I don’t either.

Thanks for writing this story! I hope you don’t mind my comments. I feel weird being the only person so far with suggestions..

Anonymous said...

I found a Wonderful site on Isaiah!
The site has free lessons on every chapter.
Very well done and in the author’s own voice.
Every Isaiah Chapter has the Analytical Commentary of Isaiah. Enjoy this personable verse-by-verse commentary of Isaiah by well-known Hebrew scholar Avraham Gileadi.

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Temple President.

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“Only one who is truly at home not only with the Hebrew but with the ancient manner of biblical thought could have produced such an insightful and ground-breaking book”—Professor S. Douglas Waterhouse, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

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