The Official Writing Challenge
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This would make a good television commercial. Nicely done!
What a beautiful example of PRACTICING HIS PRESENCE! And HE walks with me and HE talks with me and HE tells me I am His own! Loved it!
Very nicely done. I tried to do something similar with my entry, only spent more time describing the work day insanity and less time talking about the actual retreat! I like your focus and approach very much. :-)
Wonderful story! This is a winner in my book. I especially like the line "They talked for some time, as they always did. Samantha attempted to describe her recent frustrations and fears, but their importance seemed to melt away whenever she looked into the gardener’s peace-filled eyes." Thank you!
Numbers will do that to you. Great piece!
I agree comment #2 it reminds of going to the garden alone. this was great!
Excellent writing! A contender... top 8 worthy in my book. So, since it is strong I'm going to pick on your opening paragraph. You have:

"...A soft breeze hit her face as she emerged from the little thatch-roofed cottage." and "Treeless hillsides stretched as far as the eye could see."

In my humble opinion a "soft breeze" will not "hit". A soft breeze does a lot of other things like caress, tickle, brush against, invite, seduce, etc, etc. Soft breezes do soft things. Hit is a hard thing. A frigid wind would "hit".

As to "treeless hillsides," Don't tell me in the negative. Tell me in the positive. If it is a treeless hillside then it must have something else on it. So it would be a grassey hillside or a rocky hillside or a flowered hillside of purple and red. These tell me what it IS ... treeless tells me what it ISN'T. Since you are painting a picture for me, telling what it is is always a better way to go!

2 cents worth ... still a most excellent entry and worthy of a win.
I love the final 'twist' - and it is a good reminder of what we need to do regularly in our lives. You use some beautiful descriptions there. Well done!
Good descriptions - liked the transition :)
The more I read it, the more I like it. I guess I was just too sleepy to "get" the meaning the first time. Good job!
Hi Jessica. I'm just preparing the new FaithWriters' Anthology and need a short (two to three sentences) bio piece to include in a new section for the book - "Meet Our Authors." The bio notes need to be written in the third person. Could you please send it to me via a Private Message? Thanks so much. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)