I’m incredibly fashionably late for the Wednesday post of the Fall Writing Frenzy Analysis for 2020 winners, but I think you’ll all agree it’s worth it when you hear why. We had a SUPER SUCCESSFUL potty training day yesterday! In between play time, we took LOTS of trips to the potty that were super successful, only one accident, and it was followed by Kiara saying, “Before we race, we should potty.” Well said, Kiara, well said!
Before we get going, I’m excited to share that I finally stumped you all again on the theme I chose last week, though just like every other time, I’ve loved your theme ideas so much, some more than the intended theme! It just goes to show how much brilliance these authors have in so many ways in their writing. Last week’s grouping of wonderful stories was by… inventiveness!
Please remember our rules for analysis:
Every week I will try my best to share 5-8 pieces from the Fall Writing Frenzy Winners that have something similar, a theme, if you will. (Figurative gold star if you get the theme in your comment ;))
Please use the comments to share what you think is working for the pieces and why, and you even what you think can be improved if you notice anything. Then you can respond to each other’s comments and of course come back to the blog on Fridays for interviews and giveaways!
Please make sure to be constructive.
We want to learn and grow together in a safe environment.
example, if you think a piece was rambling (something I often do lol) please don’t say, “They’re rambling forever, can’t they just stop?” Try, “It seems to be a bit on the wordy side, maybe consider cutting out certain parts.”
Thanks for joining in the conversation!
Without further ado, here is our second-to-last week of our Fall Writing Frenzy analysis of the 2020 winners!
Amma, Is Diwali here?
Your Sari rustles like the crisp fall leaves
Your braid swings with the autumn breeze
Your Bindi shines like the bright full moon
Your kohl-lined eyes look like lotus blooms
Your bangles jingle like a bird’s sweet song
The Puja bells ring as I clap along
Lamps alit, the night is full of cheer
Tell me, Amma, is Diwali here?
Ebony Lynn Mudd
If I’d only known then what I know now.
A month ago, things were so different.
The trees were in full bloom.
And so was my life.
Like these trees.
Like the hole left in my world.
In my heart.
Like the hole we put her in.
But if my feet had moved fast enough, I could’ve fixed it.
I could’ve stopped it.
I could’ve saved her.
That night, the branches snatched at my sleeve, trying to stop me.
The bark shivered with fear.
The wind howled with worry.
The leaves crushed under me with every desperate heavy-footed step.
Crushed. Like I was about to be.
When I turned the corner, I realized-
I hadn’t gotten there in time.
And if I had?
I would have witnessed it.
My worst nightmare.
Everything was stolen from me in the woods that day.
The trees tried to tell me.
If I’d only known then what I know now.
I would have answered her call.
A little leaf flat and green,
blended in, hardly seen.
It felt the sun warm all its veins,
and soaked in droplets from the rains.
It heard the songs all summer long,
from the aviary throng.
It felt the morning dew and knew
that warmth-filled days would say “adieu.”
October skies and chilly nights
turned leaves the shades of traffic lights.
Soon Autumn’s wreckful winds blew strong,
forcing leaves to float along.
The little leaf lost all its green.
Instead, a color in-between
red and orange became its cloak,
painted with a master’s stroke.
More leaves tumbled down each day.
They beckoned little leaf to play.
“Let go and do the Fall-ing dance!”
Little leaf said, “Not a chance!”
But after weeks of holding tight,
the little leaf let go one night.
It swirled and twirled and rode the breeze—
resting under maple trees.
It heaved a sigh, its one endeavor
was trying to stay around forever.
A young girl spotted little leaf.
“Look!” she cried in disbelief.
With pure devotion in her eyes,
she gave her mom the precious prize.
They framed and hung “leaf” on a wall.
He stayed forever after all
Sam uncoiled his glee and let his four legs spring leaps and bounds over the crisp snap and crackle of the ground. With his work vest off, he was ready to play. Nothing, not the mud in the in-between with its slips and slides, or the smell of treats from Sarah’s pocket could stop him from exploding into the freshly raked pile of waiting leaves.
All he needed was a…
Then, down the ramp, bounding in a wingless flight, Sam sprung feet first PLUNGE…CRASH…CRUNCH.
Waves of gold and crimson leaves burst into the damp gray afternoon air, alive with Sarah’s laughter-fireworks of joy-cheering Sam into wilder wiggles and squiggles. Blissfully burrowing deeper into the rainbow of fallen leaves Sam let autumn gobble him whole, until…
Then, up and out, Sam sprang onto the rise of the ramp, bringing with him treasures-broken bits and pieces of summer now dressed in rain and frost-for Sarah’s senses to devour. Pressing into the large wheel of Sarah’s chair Sam rested his chin on her armrest and waited while she hungrily explored the puzzle of textures and delicious scents buried in his fur.
Sam waited, until…
can’t wait to get this discussion underway about what we can learn from these creators and their pieces!
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez
PS. I’m wishing you all a happy new year, and thanks so much for reading my blog. I can’t tell you how wonderful it’s been to get to know you all so much better by interacting with you here!
10 thoughts on “Week 7 Analysis Fall Writing Frenzy 2020 Winners”
Each week the winning entries take my breath away ! This week was no exception!
“Amma, is Diwali Here?” – Loved the description and “excitement” this piece projected!
“If Only” – Wow! This was certainly very moving! The reader could feel the the fear and sadness the author sent to her audience via the descriptive words!
“Fall-ing” – The vivid descriptions throughout this piece were incredible! A sense of hope as well!!
“The Gift” – I loved all of the winners this week. The Gift was so very special!! The vivid descriptions, the meaning behind the words just went above and beyond! I reread this one several times! 🙂
Hmm could it be” hidden” meanings or thoughts in each entry as well as vivid descriptions? I think I am probably off base with his one 🙂
PS “Inventiveness”…of course!! 🙂
Thanks again, Kaitlynn! and Congratulations for a successful “potty training day”!
Cheers for a Happy, Healthy New Year!
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Haha thanks so much, potty training hasn’t been as successful since but I’m still so proud of her (well I’m proud of her always but extra proud of potty training successes!) And oh I liked Hidden meanings as a theme, such a cool take, I love all the ways these pieces can relate! I’m so glad you found ones that you wanted to read over and over, that happens to me as well 😍
Four more wonderful stories.
Amma, Is Diwali Here?
This one has spot on rhyme that sets the scene before ending with the question which is the title of the story. The descriptions are vivid and poetic and I could imagine Amma in my mind as I read the story. Although the theme is Diwali, the focus was on Amma. So, the reader learns about the holiday in a different way. It’s so much more interesting this way instead of stating things directly. (Example: instead of saying “Amma is wearing bangles. Puja bells are ringing” the unidentified narrator in the story says, “Your bangles jingle like a bird’s sweet song. The Puja bells ring as I clap along.”) Such beautiful wording. Nice work.
Let me just say…WOW! This one blew me away. It is poetic and mysterious. The descriptions are great and there is an emotional punch. Ebony’s word choices are excellent throughout the piece. I had to go back and read it again and again. Once again, like above, we don’t know who the narrator is. Nor do we know whom she is talking about. But it doesn’t matter. This one gives you all sorts of feels…fear, sadness, regret. I can’t wait to read more of Ebony’s work.
Love the play on words in the title. Excellent rhyming. Unusual main character—a leaf not wanting to fall—and I love the surprise ending of the girl giving this prize (the leaf) to her mom and them framing it on their wall, unknowingly fulfilling its wish to last forever. A fun read that ends with good feelings.
Like “If Only” this story focuses on one specific event. The character is never named and though it is never written that it is a dog, we have all the information in there to know this. Great descriptions and so many sensory things listed. Even though we don’t have illustrations, it really helps the reader picture everything It his/her mind. I also like that it features a diverse character but the story doesn’t focus that fact. Another good story that was a joy to read.
So…what do they all have in common? Haha. I don’t know. Can I cop out and say they are all well-written? Hmmm…I didn’t think so. Well, then my guess is either that they all are very descriptive and focus on various sensory details. Or my second guess is that they all don’t follow the traditional story arc with 3 failed attempts of solving a problem before succeeding. The Gift, If Only, and Amma is Diwali Here all seem to focus on one event, sort of like a vignette where we get just a glimpse into a moment in a character’s life. However, Fall-ing doesn’t fit that exactly.
I’m really curious this time to hear your answer, Kaitlyn.
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Haha I love when I stump you all, when you read the next post, you’ll be like ohhh! 😂
I loves this analysis especially the examples you gave for ma, Is Diwali Here? I agree full-heartedly! Also with If Only, yes! I love the ones that make you want to read again and again! Yay for good feelings of Fall-ing and I totally agree with The Gift giving hints instead of outright saying it is a dog😍
Congratulations on the potty training!! Hooray!
My (wild) guess for this week is something about the nebulousness of the characters. Like, there’s an MC but also an unseen co-MC? For example, in IF ONLY, the story revolves around a character who’s gone. Very gripping story by the way!
AMMA, IS DIWALI HERE? is such a poetic, stunning piece. Loved how each line moved us towards the celebration beginning. (Dressing up > lamps > bells). I love how grown-ups reading this will imagine Amma with a knowing smile, thinking that Diwali is here; and in a way, always is within the little one’s heart… while kids will go… so is it? Is it here?
FALL-ING: I loved the tension of holding on and letting go. Knowing that things would end (and those turning into new beginnings).
THE GIFT: That ending! Sarah and Sam, what a beautiful dynamic. So much exuberance in this piece. “Uncoiled his glee” — loved this!
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Yes yes yes! Love all your thoughts and your idea for the theme is so so close!
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Yay for potty-training successes!! WOOHOO!!
>Amma, Is Diwali Here?
Great use of strong verbs and a focus on the MC, given the topic. Also, a great tense use–pulls the reader in. Successful use of short and snappy. Beautiful imagery.
A possible improvement–working to make the second stanza be a true rhyme (moon/blooms). I love the imagery of the lotus blooms, though! Perhaps “like moonlit rooms”? I love this piece. It pulled me in right away.
Gripping story. Wonderful use of threading and circling back to the trees. Leaves the reader with mystery, yet is satisfying in terms of storytelling. If this is written from personal experience, I wish to extend my sorrow for the author’s loss. If it’s not from personal experience, the author has done well at making this believable.
I love the ending. It took me by surprise in such a good way. I love the unique MC and the child appeal of this one. It’s deep and playful, which is not an easy combo to achieve!
A possible improvement–This line: “turned leaves the shades of traffic lights” might be a little confusing to a child since one of the colors of traffic lights is green, and the leaves had been green. Some change sooner than others, leaving some green while others are red/orange/yellow, so it’s not that this doesn’t work. Just might cause a little mental pause.
There is great phrasing in this! My favorite is “explore the puzzle of textures.” As someone else pointed out, it’s great that it’s clear Sam is a dog but wasn’t explicitly said, which is great! I also love how the author presents Sarah’s character and the relationship between this well-trained service dog. What a gift Sam and Sarah are to each other.
As for the “thread” that connects these, my guess is . . . exploration of the five senses in the scene? (also, leaves, but I’m guessing that was part of the prompt for the contest?)
Congrats to all these authors!
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Thanks Amy! Potty training is so hard! I love your great point about verbs for Sandya’s piece, and what a great recommendation! I also enjoy your thoughtfulness to Ebony, and that Judy’s took you by surprise!
Oh I love the 5 senses as a common theme; it’s not why they were initially pit together but it works so well, very nice, Amy!
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I think the theme is memories. The child in “Amma, Is Diwali Here” has deduced that it is Diwali based on his memories. The MC in “If Only” is remembering a tragic event. The leaf in “Fall-ing” wants to be remembered. The scents in the dogs fur remind the MC of summer.
Amma, Is Diwali Here? includes beautiful, sensory similes. I love the way it shows the devotion and admiration a child has for his/her mother.
If Only expertly captures that human feeling of regret and shows how we all grasp for bits of control (if only) when something happens that is out of our control. I like the creative use of the trees and wind sending missed signals that could have changed the outcome.
Fall-ing has a nice cadence, some lovely lyrical language, and a sweet ending. I especially liked the lines “Autumn’s wreckful winds blew strong”, and “turned leaves the shades of traffic lights”.
The Gift was truly a gift to read. I had such joyful visuals of the pup jumping in the leaves and loved the line “puzzle of textures and delicious scents buried in his fur.” So darn sweet how he’s bringing the leaves to his girl since she can’t jump in them.
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Oh, memories is such a great theme for these, I’m so amazed that when we put them together, we’re all able to come up with so many AMAZING ways these pieces relate. I didn’t select them for memories but it’s such a great theme!