Monday, October 26, 2009

First Time Writer Mention: SandraLies with Lone Star

By our count, we received fourteen entries from First Time Writers (plus one from a judge, as well). For a little insider information on what these First Time Writer entries meant to us, please see LaViePastiche's enthusiastic exposition above. We have selected two of these authors to note: one who caught the attention of the judges and one who caught the attention of the general public.

SandraLies blipped into our awareness with "Lone Star." The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw this entry hit my validation queue was that it would be a story focusing on Jasper's Texas upbringing - Texas is the Lone Star State, you know? But when I started reading, I realized that wasn't at all what the story was about, and, in fact, the title was rather a clever play on canon Jasper's Texas heritage.

In "Lone Star," Jasper is an astronaut. From an early age he displays an infatuation with space and the stars. At age sixteen, while stargazing in a field, Bella asks Jasper - for what is probably the hundredth time in their short lives - why he is so interested in the sky. “I think I like the promise of more, of something greater. I want to discover something. I want to make history,” he responds. “So why do I have to come along for the ride?” she asks.

“Because you’re my own, real life, personal star. My private discovery.”

Now, I'm not a swooner by nature, but that line got me, which made it tough to read about the distance that has developed between Bella and Jasper (now married) over time. Jasper is still focused on the sky and Bella doesn't understand why he isn't happy on the ground.

When Jasper finally has the chance to visit space, we watch as he comes to some realizations about his life.

"Lone Star" is technically sound, and demonstrates solid plot development and well developed characters. In the end, it comes to a satisfying resolution that had me happily sighing.

I loved it and hope to see more from SandraLies in the future.

- ElleCC

Link to story: Lone Star by SandraLies.

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