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Oliver by Richard Norway


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I don't know if I laughed harder at reading a story beginning with, "It was a dark and stormy night," or because the character only knew the line from a Peanuts cartoon. Well done! And, more importantly, this was a great story. The symbolism of the typewriter really stood out for me. Borrowing anything from Dickens simply can't be a bad move, let's be honest here.

This was a great tale of difficult choices and possible difficult outcomes, leading to the only true courage: doing something incredibly scary even though he was scared witless about the possible outcome.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've now read all the stories in the challenge and found them all excellent.

Oliver however is a stand out for me because it touches on the human condition in a most universal way with profound meaning for life itself.

​Warning: Spoiler ahead

Richard, there is no need to apologize for using Dicken's template of A Christmas Carol, you aren't the first and you won't be the last. (I confess to doing it myself in my A Christmas for Carol story.)

The sheer creativity in Oliver displaces any idea that it is merely an adaptation of Dicken's work. It is so much more.

Oliver is not just a 'coming out' tale. It is a 'coming together' story; the unification of youth's evolving potential, and the discovery of what it means to let ourselves and each other be who we are. The way that Richard exposes the cultural pressures on Jonas to be other than who he is, is done with superb restraint and subtlety, relegating the drama to creating the atmosphere of a storm that was never as bad as it might have been.

The anticipation of the human drama is never less, or more, than it should be, but it manages to suggest the value of confrontation with self-discovery.

I cannot allow Richard's work to go unpunished, so I am awarding him my appreciation award for writing a story that contributes to our understanding of the human condition in life, love and coming out. Well done, Richard!


Awarded to

Richard Norway

for his outstanding revelation of

the mysteries and evolution

of sanity in Coming Out

in his story,


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Thanks guys. I'm not sure what to say.

I'm honored by the recognition of my humble work. I know my writing is getting a little better as I continue to write, but I still have a long way to go. I have always covetted Des's appreciation award, but I figured that maybe in a year or two as I got better, I might receive one.

My dog started yelping at 2:00 AM yesterday morning, so I got up to let him outside before he messed the carpet again. Instead of going back to bed, I decided to check my email.

OMG. There it was. I couldn't possibly go back to sleep after reading that, so I made a pot of coffee and read Des' post for possibly 100 times.

Thank you Des and to all of you for taking the time to read Oliver.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Dabeagle

And finally I get the the last story on the list. What an excellent list to be included on as I think it would be very hard to place them in any sort of 'best' order. Of course as it opened I recognized the familiar storyline, and I did appreciate the journey. I did, however, hope to find that Keith's middle or last name was Oliver; good bit of happenstance. Well done.

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