The Official Writing Challenge
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Echo Motel - I love this title and I particularly like how you began your story, how it "sat mute."

You have excellent descriptions. I feel like I know Walter Pederson and even the young girl who was looking for her father.

There were many loose threads in this story. I'm sure it would have been tempting to tie up a few of them to make your readers happy but it's much better this way. Let our imaginations loose and fill in the blanks the way we choose.

I thought at first that Walter figured out he was the father. It could go in so many different directions. Love this story. It's haunting and truly sad on all accounts.
She forced him to look at her eyes, to see that she was a person, something his "minding his own business attitude" had prevented. Had Walter has seen those eyes before, and had perhaps encountered the previous owner of that convertible? I love how you've focused on the eyes throughout. You so subtly leave clues.. You can't alter a "firm" checkout time, no matter who is checking out from what. I like the parallel's between who didn't "survive" (the mother, and then Walter)…and then there's "the note to her…." Wow!
I'm captivated by the aura of mystery that's echoed throughout. Detail upon detail carefully laid makes the story real. In this superb story, I'd love to read the note in the front of the journal and see the girl's face when she reads it.
From start to finish, you wove a delightful tale. Well done.
This story has so many mysterious threads woven through it. It was captivating from beginning to end. The descriptive phrases were excellent.
Very well written. Sad and moving, enchanting and mysterious-great elements in this wonderful piece! Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Enjoyed the read.
Happy Dancin' with you. This story is wonderful--superb writing as always!
I've missed reading your stories, Lisa. They always leave me craving more. Congrats!
I kept wondering what she'd find out and wasn't disappointed not to find out. This is so excellent, as others have already said, on many levels. Congratulations.
Mysterious, melancholy, and masterful come to mind. Congratulations on your EC for this excellent entry!
You almost have us choking in the musty, dusty air. Well-deserved placing; you have drawn us into the whole sordid scenario, with a desperate fight for dignity poking some holes in the hopelessness.
Great mood/atmosphere. You’re mystery ending just inspired my entry in Jan’s 100-word challenge. (Good luck to folks reading this comment months or years from now.) But yours puts mine to shame. Mine is dangling; yours is WILDLY wide open, even after paying careful attention to the clues. Do YOU know how it ends?

Congrats to one of my favorite writers.
Congratulations on your 4th place EC win.

I hope you finished editing your novel. Please let me know when it comes out in print.
Nice to see you back--& in fine form! Loved the little details that propelled your tale along. I did need a few cues from the others' feedback to grasp some of the ending. I'm wondering if the manager knows he's about to go because he's taken something to facilitate that (& thus the pounding heart). But I'm certainly not one to raise many concerns about ambiguity. :) Quality job, Lisa!
Great story Lisa. I've read some good beginning sentences in my time, but this That hook had me sunk deep inot the rest of the story. So many lessons for the wannabe writer to glean. Authentic dialogue, white space that say so much, descriptions that don't disract or slow the story, but only enhance it. Bravo! Stan