The Official Writing Challenge
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12/12/05
The subtle way you wove the story kept me off guard until the end and the final paragraph just took my legs out from under me. Wow! Very skilled craftsmanship.
12/13/05
Your descriptions were just beautiful. The last couple of paragraphs were thought-provoking and solemn. Throughout the first few paragraphs, I just soaked up the descriptions.

I wonder if non-Australian readers will be familiar with the song 'Give me a home among the gum trees, with lots of plum trees, a sheep or two and a kangaroo, a clothesline out the back, verandah out the front and an old rocking chair!'

You've tied it in just beautifully to your piece. Well done.
12/13/05
Like Suzanne I just soaked up the descriptions throughout the beginning of your article. I could see in my mind the "rich caramel color" of the dirt and the leaning clothesline.
Thanks, Suzanne, for letting us non-Australians know that there is a song that has these lyrics!
Makes the piece even more interesting!
Your final thoughts, that sometimes we need to search for something, anything, to connect with a deceased loved one, are well-spoken.
Thank you for sharing this poignant article! May it bring healing!
Nostalgic and tender. Good job saving the punch line for the end!
I loved this - not just because it was a nostalgic reminder of 'home' - but also because it was so descriptive and well-written and inspiring. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
P.S. Suz has mentioned the song, but how many others would know that 'redbacks' are spiders (nasty ones at that!).
Well done.
12/16/05
I love the mood here, even though I can't put a label on it. It's tender, and bittersweet, and a little bit sad, and a lot loving. And as a non-Aussie, I love the setting, and learning vicariously about your world. Lovely.
12/16/05
LOL. I stumbled over the redbacks. But seeing the kangaroo was a jolt! I realized I wasn't where I thought I was. : - )

I've never come across a stray kangaroo. And the kookaburra - okay, I still don't know what that is (bird?) These elements were a distraction, but a pleasant one. They may have dampened the mood you were setting. The last line was masterful - and hinted that there is so much more to this story.
What a rippa, a bonza story Mate!
The intro to a bigger story for sure! Not only did you conjure the setting, but you stirred the need so well, good onya!
12/17/05
It's obvious you took care with this piece, and the sublety of each emotion seems mute but packs a punch.
12/18/05
'I wanted to sit in her tree.

I desperately needed the connection with her, needed to feel her presence in that, her favourite place. Perhaps then, I could finally break down the walls that I had so carefully erected after her death. I needed to find that tree so that I could go back to living.' Beautiful! So well written! A joy to read. I can so identify with needing that tree-house as I was growing up! :)