Contest #124 winner 🏆

Birth Mother

Submitted into Contest #124 in response to: End your story with someone finding themselves.... view prompt

70 comments

Drama Coming of Age Asian American

I stand in a perfectly pristine kitchen. The counter tops are covered in flour. She stands at them, waiting for me. She’s rolling out the cookie dough in deep, even strokes, like the ocean kissing the beach. Her soft humming fills the kitchen with love. Her hands lift me up; I'm in a navy blue sundress with little yellow sunflowers on it. “Here, sweetie,” she hands me an apron and I lift my little arms obediently to her. She ties it around my waist. A little teddy bear clutching a rolling pin in one soft, brown paw is splashed across my tummy. And beside me, she rolls. I watch the muscles in his taunt arms ripple with the pressure. The sunlight makes the sugar glisten and sparkle like glitter. The room smells sweetly of the confections we are working so diligently to create. She smiles at me and gestures at the cookie cutters. 


There’s some part of me that knows that these cookie cutters are Mama’s. Why does she have Mama’s special cookie cutters I wonder. They are a deep copper color and Mama got them from her mama who got them from her mama. For 11 and a half months out of the year, they’re stored in worn gallon sized baggies with zipper seals. The bags feel rough on my little fingers, but Mama says they don’t need to be replaced yet. When they cascade out of the bags, they play a chorus of music that sounds like their own Christmas carol as they crash onto the wooden table. Maggie’s fingers and mine grasp and reach for our favorite shapes. Mama tells us that we need to cut out the big shapes on the gingerbread dough first, as she nibbles a morsel. So Maggie and I press the big giant angel; her wings are the span of my palm. “Press down firmly,” she instructs, placing her soft palm onto ours. It hurts for a moment, but when we release we can see the shape of the angel. Delicately, Mama scoops the angel onto the cookie pan. Maggie is in her corner, pressing the cut out of holiday bells into one corner. When we’ve done all our little hearts can, Mama balls up the dough and rolls it out again. Maggie and I nibble on the cookie dough giggling while singing, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” So why does the woman have Mama’s cutters?


When she looks at me, I notice she’s Asian. Like me. I trace my almond shaped eyes and examine hers. I trace the slope of my button nose while memorizing the slope of hers. She smiles and her eyes crinkle just like mine. “How can you possibly see when you smile like that,” the white school photographer asked me so I stopped smiling in the photos. But she doesn’t ask me. She knows. Her long fingers indicate Mama’s cookie cutters, but I don’t feel right using them without her. I shake my head, so the woman grabs a cutter. She cuts out the shape of the bells. “Mama says you need to cut the big shapes first,” I protest and reach for the big angel. But she disappears. I search the counters wildly. Then, I reach for the biggest gingerbread man instead, who is as tall as the angel. I grasp him tightly and press him into the dough.


The woman nods encouragingly. She presses her hand into mine and since she is standing so close I can smell her perfume. The scent of almonds fills my nose. It's sweet and light. And I want more of it. Her hand is cold against mine. Mama’s is never cold. “Where’s Maggie,” I ask. Mama says we can’t make cookies without my little sister by my side. It’s the rules. The woman doesn’t answer, just shakes her head. Her long, black hair cascades around her shoulders. The woman reaches up and ties it with a long, single, thick, red ribbon. I notice she’s wearing earrings. Little pearls. Like the kind I asked for when Mama let me pierce my ears. 


I hear the sound of a timer going off. The woman begins pressing shapes into the dough with expert speed. She chooses the bells, a small angel, two little men, and one snowman. I just stand back and watch. The dough dries on my palms and I dust them off. She has filled a tray. The woman grips the silver nonstick sheet tightly and opens the oven. When she turns I see she’s in a cashmere, cream colored sweater. The kind I have only ever seen Granny wear, not one Mama would wear. Mama wears bright red sweatshirts with Snoopy from Peanuts decorating his little red house for Christmas on them. I also notice the tan pants and little ballet flats on the woman’s feet. They have a big gold belt buckle. Those aren’t Mama’s shoes, either. She wears bright red Converse All Stars with her bright red sweaters. When the woman opens the oven door, the heat engulfs me.


I’m a little uncomfortable and I fumble with the straps of my little dress. The woman returns to the counter and scoops up the dough. She balls it tightly and flours the counter. I watch her roll out the dough and begin the process again. 

The timer sings loudly. The woman has filled the next cookie sheet. She walks to the oven, releases the cookies, and sets them on top of the stove. With expert precision she spins on her heel and pops the tray of dough in. I want to ask her why she left me, why she let me be adopted. But the words don’t come. Instead, she begins arranging the cookies on a silver cooling rack on the counter by the tan stove. Mama never uses cooling racks. She just lets the cookies cool on the trays. Once the cookies are arranged the woman returns to me. The once monstrous ball of dough is now very small. She tears a chunk of it off and drops it in the palm of my hand. She smiles and tears some for herself. I notice her impeccable white teeth. The way her eyes crinkle makes mine crinkle. The dough is sweet and just a little bit spicy. It melts in my mouth.


The woman places the first cookie sheet in the perfectly white sink. It has no other dishes. Mama’s sink always has other dishes. Maggie’s colorful sippy cups and plastic plates that are all sectioned off so her broccoli doesn’t touch her Mac and Cheese which doesn’t touch her fish sticks. The woman places the second tray of cookies on the stove as she did with the first and begins arranging the cookies onto another cooling rack. I stand on my little step stool and reach for the dessert plates. They’re decorated with llamas wearing holiday lights and Santa hats. There are little leaves of holly along the edges. The woman takes the plates from my hands and loads them with some of the cookies from the first batch, all cooled and ready to be devoured. She also pours a couple glasses of milk. That’s just like Mama. “A little protein with your treat, my loves,” she’d say to Maggie and me. The woman and I sit at Mama’s kitchen table. The cookies are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. I bite the head off the big angel which makes the woman laugh. I want to hear more so I tear into her left wing, then her right. The woman is laughing loudly. I wonder if Mama can hear and I wonder where Mama is. I feel tears pricking the back of my little black eyes. My eyes look just like that woman’s. She offers me a hug. But I don’t want her. I want Mama. 



I awake to the sound of eggs being fried. The morning sun cuts through a thin pink curtain. Maggie can sleep through it, though. “She’s always been a heavy sleeper,” says Mama when I tell her she doesn’t want breakfast. Mama marches up to me. She lifts my chin so I can gaze into her soft blue eyes. Eyes, not like mine. “Are you ok, sweetheart, you look like you’ve had a rough night,” she says. Her voice is soft. It sounds like home. My eyes nervously dart to the tallest cabinet in the kitchen. To the home of the cookie cutters. I don’t have to answer as Maggie stumbles in. My sister devours her eggs and pancakes that Mama has cut into achievable bites for her. “Now remember, today we’re going to the eye doctor after school,” Mama says. She always reminds us of our schedule during breakfast. Mama glances at the kitchen clock; the one with the big cat eyes that dart back and forth as time passes. She claps her hands and begins clearing the table. I gulp down my glass of milk and race Maggie to our shared bathroom to brush our teeth. My mind is drifting to the woman. 


Mama is waiting by the door, clutching our backpacks. Maggie’s is blue. Mine is pink. We rush into the car. I am still haunted by the woman in the dream. By her smile most especially. Mama picks Maggie and me up in the pickup lane at school. We pile into her white civic and she asks us the best part of our day. Maggie says the cafeteria served Mac and Cheese. I say I am sick of Mac and Cheese. We drive to a big, red brick building with lots of windows. Mama drives up and down the lanes of cars for a while. Maggie is singing some song she learned about the four seasons and swinging her feet. Mama tells her to stop kicking the seat. Maggie doesn’t stop. We finally park and Mama takes our hands. My left hand slips into her right. Mama’s hands are warm and soft. I like them more than the woman from my dream’s hands. We walk into the air conditioned building. Our feet sound loud and squeaky on the tile floor. There is a large water fountain which Maggie rushes up to. Her little fingers reach for the water. “We’ll come back when we’re done,” Mama promises. She ushers us into the office with the blue eye on the glass door. I take in the large room full of glasses. Mama marches up to the counter and brushes her gray hair from her face. She talks with the lady with the red lipstick and redder hair who tells us to stand against the white wall for a picture. I don’t smile. 


Mama sits in the middle of Maggie and me. I can feel my palms getting sweaty and reach for Mama’s hand. She strokes mine gently so I open up my palm. I press my fingers into hers and giggle because the top of my nails only reach ⅔ up her finger. “You’re growing so big,” she whispers. A woman in blue scrubs calls out Maggie and my names. We jump up and follow her into another big white room. “I’m going first because I am the oldest,” I proclaim. Maggie does not protest. She has us sit in a chair and look at an image of a red hot air balloon soaring through green fields. The woman smiles a lot and while Maggie stares at the balloon, I read her name badge says Becky. Becky tells Mama some things and we follow her out of the room down a long white hallway with wooden doors on either side of us. She flicks a few colorful plastic flags posted above the door before letting us in.


I take a seat in the big, black, leather chair. I sink back in it. The room is cold and smells too clean. Mama and Maggie sit in green cloth covered chairs. The same one from the waiting room. I notice a mirror. Becky comes back in. She takes a seat on the stool across from me. I am handed a little wooden spoon which I use to cover my left eye and the lights click off. Becky shows me a chart of letters. She instructs me to read the last line I can. I am desperate to pass the test. I mumble out: M, P, Q, Z? The last letter is certainly questionable. Becky just smiles and has me switch the spoon to my other eye. I repeat the test. But now I’m not so sure on the Q, too. 

Becky just smiles again and tells me this machine will help me do better. I lean forward against the black alien contraption with hundreds of little lenses. Becky is right. She has me select from two different options, but with each click the letters become clearer. I hear her say to my mother that I will need glasses. She tells me that it’s time to “dilate my eyes.” My heart begins to race as Mama stands and holds my hand. Becky tells me to hold open my eyes and look directly up. The first drop hits like acid. I scream. Maggie screams and jumps up. I can see her rushing to me. Becky says, “We have to do three more.” I demand to know why to which she replies, “It’s because you have such dark eyes, sweetie.”


I don’t want to be her sweetie. Each drop feels like salt and chlorine from the pool is rushing in and burning my eyes. Maggie is thoroughly freaked out and Mama is trying to convince her to be brave. I dab at my eyes with the provided tissues. I feel better. Maggie takes her seat and completes the same ritual I did with Becky. When I spin to look at the mirror beside me I realize I can see the letters clearly. The Q was an O and the Z was a T. I feel like a fool. Becky has Maggie and I switch seats because the doctor will be in soon. 


Once Becky is gone, Mama tells Maggie and me that we were so brave. Maggie’s eyes are red and her pupils are huge. We stand and giggle at each other while Mama watches. There comes a little knock on the door and the giggles subside. I diligently take my seat. The woman who walks in is the woman from my dreams. I have to stumble to pick my jaw up from the floor. She sits on Becky’s stool. She wheels over and intrudes herself as Doctor Yang. I mumble out my name and she smiles that same crinkly eyed smile from my dream. She leans forward and tells me to do the same. A bright light hits my eyes. She tells me to look at her earring. It’s a little pearl. With her this close I can smell the almonds again. I concentrate on her earring as she concentrates on my eye.The woman’s long fingers brush a lock of my hair from my eye. As instructed I look up, down, left, and right with my left eye. Then, I repeat the process with my left. Maggie takes her turn. I wonder if she feels as connected to Dr. Yang as I do. Probably not because Mama says Maggie and I have different birth mothers. Dr. Yang is not her birth mother. She is mine. Mama talks with Dr. Yang for a while and we walk back to the waiting room. “I’ll see you soon,” says Dr. Yang. I nod and smile as I do my best to memorize her soothing voice. 


Mama takes us to a man with curly brown hair and square glasses. He sits at a glass table and welcomes us as we approach. Mama hands him two pieces of paper and instructs Maggie and me to “take a look around!” Maggie and I gaze at the colorful frames like kids in a candy shop. We try on red ones, black ones, blue ones, and purple ones. Some frames are square, others are round, and a few are oval. Our noses crinkle at the clear plastic part of a handful of frames that pinch slightly. Some grams don’t have that feature. Maggie settles on a blue square frame and I choose a pink rounded square frame. Out of the corner of my eye I see Dr. Yang. I wonder if I ran to her now if she could answer my questions. Since it’s no longer a dream. But she walks briskly to one of the doors and shuts it behind herself. Maggie and I stare at ourselves and each other in the mirror. Our pupils look like they came off our stuffed animals. Our little eyes are now so big. Mama hands over her credit card and we bounce away with the promise to return soon to pick up our glasses. 


Outside the office, the indoor water feature rushes around. As we step closer, I inhale the pungent scent of chlorine and cringe. But Maggie is ever fearless. She boldly skips over to the big, square bowl and takes a seat on the tiled edge. Her little feet dangle and graze the tile floor as her fingers reach for the water. “It’s cold,” she says as Mama digs in her worn, red wallet and hands her a penny. She gives me one, too. It’s cold in my hand and I know if I bring it to my lips for a kiss for good luck, it’ll smell metallicy. The water rushes louder beside me. I want to burst back into the office and throw my arms around Dr. Yang. I need to apologize for not trusting her last night. But will she take me away from Mama? “Make a wish and toss the penny in the fountain,” says Mama. I squeeze my eyes shut and wish to stay with mama. 

December 13, 2021 03:10

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70 comments

K. Antonio
19:22 Dec 19, 2021

I think what I most enjoyed about this story was the diction and the fact it was written through the POV of a child, even the wording and the descriptions are child-like and suitable to that narrative style. The introspection and the idea that the MC knows she's different yet feels concerned about what she saw in her dream, was a cool play on identity.

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Amanda Lieser
15:02 Dec 20, 2021

Hello! As I have said before and I will say again, I really love your work. This feedback means so much to me. I am so hopeful that this piece will strike a chord in individuals. I love that more stories of trans-racial adoptions are being told. Thank you so much for your feedback. As always, please let me know if I can ever look at a piece and comment for you!

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Katie Kanning
22:53 Dec 24, 2021

Hey Amanda, congrats on the win. I really loved the child's POV in this story. I'm wondering if I could read it on my podcast, "Unpublished, not Unknown"? It's all about giving voice to indie authors' short stories and spreading their reach a bit further. You retain the credit and I find fun ways to promote you and your story. I'll credit you and link your profile in the show notes. People can listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Youtube, and 5 other locations. If you're in, you'd be this Monday's featured author :) To accept, just go to t...

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Amanda Lieser
02:33 Dec 25, 2021

Hi Katie, I’m so glad you loved this story. I would be HONORED to join you. I submitted the form and said I don’t own copyright since I got inspired by the prompt. I also would be INCREDIBLY excited to speak on the podcast on this piece and I would love the opportunity. Please let me know any other details surrounding this opportunity. Thank you!!

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Katie Kanning
05:56 Dec 25, 2021

Fantastic! Thanks for filling out the form. Yes, I credit you and also Reedsy for the prompt per their terms of use. That would be great! I'm in the beginning phase of rolling out author interviews so I will reach out with more info on that. Also, if you think of any links you want me to include besides your Reedsy page that could direct listeners to you, feel free to send them my way anytime. I'll comment here when the episode is up :)

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Amanda Lieser
15:47 Dec 27, 2021

Hi Katie, I found the episode, it is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for featuring me!

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Katie Kanning
22:40 Dec 28, 2021

Hi there! I’m reaching out to all of the authors who have been featured on the UNU podcast. I have a few new opportunities for you! In the quick and easy form linked below, I am offering: 1. A chance to schedule a casual interview with me for the podcast. This will be a basic get to know you, a way for you to advertise your other writing (books if you have them), and a time to laugh and have fun. They would be less than an hour, most likely under 30-min. Whatever works for your schedule. 2. A personal bio page for you on the website I...

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Amanda Lieser
22:58 Dec 28, 2021

Hi Katie, I am so excited!! I have sent in the form.

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Katie Kanning
22:55 Dec 27, 2021

Thank you so much! I'm so glad to hear your feedback! Feel free to leave a review on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Podchaser :)

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Mae Stroshane
16:37 Dec 22, 2021

Oh, you capture the feelings of an adoptee so well! I remember being told things like “It’s because you have such dark eyes, sweetie, and other privileged remarks like "You have a built-in tan." A hairdresser complained about cutting "Asian hair," and my own mother complained about all that black hair in our sink. Nothing like being made to feel alien! Even when my son was born, I exclaimed, "It's a baby!" It could have been a purple three legged Martian, for all I knew. It was amazing to finally feel human. You capture how the simple co...

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Amanda Lieser
21:21 Dec 22, 2021

Hi Mae, Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your experience. As a child I desperately wanted to connect with my birth parents. As an adult, I am much more assured in my adoption and my story. I have deeply valued all of the comments and feedback I have gotten on this piece. It’s very special to my heart. Thank you again for your comment. Please consider sending me the title of one of your pieces which I will read and comment on. I love reading pieces that author’s pick personally. Thank you, Amanda

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Erin Olig
00:32 Jan 20, 2022

I so enjoyed reading your story this evening! Your story kept my attention from start to finish. Your timing was perfect as the story shifted and moved, and the narrative voice so honest and pure. It also touched my heart as the mother of an adopted child...so important to read and understand from the perspective of a child. Thanks for sharing!

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Amanda Lieser
15:13 Jan 21, 2022

Hi Erin, Thanks so much for your comment. I just read one of your pieces. I appreciate your time and lookout for my comment!

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Hannah Huang
22:11 Jan 17, 2022

Wow! I was completely moved by this touching story. The beginning urges readers to stay in the story's shadows just a few paragraphs longer. The ending is wonderful too, and I always love to read the beginning and ending, because it adds the fun to the story. Congratulations on the win!

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Lynn Tabor
04:37 Jan 12, 2022

Hi Amanda, Great story. I'm just confused, who is the woman making cookies with the girls at the beginning? Sorry if I'm being dense! :/

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Amanda Lieser
20:20 Jan 12, 2022

Hi Lynn, Not at all! Thank you for asking this question. The first portion of this story is the main character’s dream. She weaves in her own memories of making cookies with her mother while she dreams of making cookies with her birth mother. The next portion is her at her first eye doctor’s visit where she meets a woman who looks like the one in her dream, so she thinks it’s her real life birth mother. The final portion of this story is her at the fountain with her family. She makes a wish to stay with her adoptive mother because that’s who...

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Lynn Tabor
20:45 Jan 13, 2022

Thanks for clarifying Amanda. Such a beautifully written story!

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Patricio Sanchez
23:04 Jan 07, 2022

Hi, I was wondering if you make an outline before you write your story? If so, what story structure do you use?

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Amanda Lieser
21:19 Jan 10, 2022

Hello, Thank you for your kind question. I tend not to do a visual outline because I’m naturally an auditory processor. Usually a good story comes to me in a dream or while people watching. Then, I like to hone my focus by speaking about the piece to myself as if I am interviewing myself. :) I noticed you didn’t have any stories up yet, but when you do, please reply to this comment so I can take a read. Thanks! Amanda

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Patricio Sanchez
23:29 Jan 13, 2022

I am still on the "how to write" part of my writing process. Trying to ask people how they write their stories so I can find my style. If that makes sense. Still newbie

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Michael Regan
22:18 Jan 06, 2022

I loved the scene on baking cookies. It took me back to watching my wife and our daughter doing the Christmas baking. I think we had the same cookie cutters. ;-)

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Amanda Lieser
19:30 Jan 07, 2022

Hi Michael, I would believe it. They are a bit classic and common! I noticed you have a wide body of work. Please consider sending the titles of a couple of your stories you’d like me to look as so I can repay the favor of a comment. Thanks again! Amanda

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Michael Regan
22:16 Jan 07, 2022

Thank you I always like to get comments on my stories. I haven't found another way to send information - so I will just put some titles here. I would appreciate feedback on any of them : The Philosopher's Café - Socrates - I hope to get back to these characters and see how it ends You're Not Wearing Makeup - An attempt at SciFi Mary's Girl Child - I had some excellent feedback, but I could use another point of view.

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Writers Block
13:18 Jan 03, 2022

Great description! I could place myself in the story.

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08:10 Jan 03, 2022

Well done Amanda its a great story

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Amanda Lieser
16:25 Jan 04, 2022

I’m so glad you liked this story!

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Lyone Fein
18:57 Dec 31, 2021

Powerful story

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Amanda Lieser
22:40 Dec 31, 2021

Thanks!

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Caleb Fitting
17:26 Dec 30, 2021

Hello, so much good stuff going on in your writing. You make crafting interesting and realistic characters, descriptions, and stories look easy. Instead of asking that you read one of my stories, I gotta ask how you became such a skilled writer - if you feel comfortable answering that question.

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Amanda Lieser
22:39 Dec 31, 2021

Hi Caleb, This was such a kind comment. I really love reading and I really love writing. I also HIGHLY value feedback and make it a point to edit my submissions as I receive comments. My favorite part of creating short stories is that they have a clear beginning, middle, and end. I applaud writers who are creating entire books because I certainly do not have the patience for it. I love to focus on one single moment in a character’s story and place all my energy into putting their world into paper. Then, I let them go. Please, do send a tit...

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Caleb Fitting
18:52 Jan 01, 2022

Hey, I do understand what you mean about writing an entire book. I did try that but I now feel how you feel. Because you shared that you like critiques I thought I'd share a few. (Which someone who takes critiq seriously is more likely to write well). You don't add the variety to your sentences and paragraphs that I personally think writers should. I noticed you start some of your neighboring sentences with the same word(s). (Look at "She" in the first paragraph, and even the first few sentences above). You also don't seem to vary paragrap...

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Amanda Lieser
16:23 Jan 04, 2022

Hi Caleb, I really appreciate this feedback. A few other people mentioned that some of the words used felt too mature for the narrator and I agree that’s a thin, implicated line to walk. I can think of a couple stories I’ve read where the verbiage was more childish, but I had a challenging enjoying the piece because it was too childish. The use of repetition in my opening paragraphs was done as an attempt to counteract some of my more adult language. But I appreciate that a few readers have stated that it was a critique so I’ve certainly pu...

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Sharon Harris
07:28 Dec 29, 2021

This story was so engaging, first with the woman in the kitchen, then with the different coloured eyes. So beautifully woven, with the slow release of understanding for the reader. You really deserved the win 😀 Well done.

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Amanda Lieser
22:29 Dec 31, 2021

Hi Sharon, Thank you for the kind comment!

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Keya Jadav
13:36 Dec 28, 2021

Wow! A perfect Christmas piece! The descriptions are so perfect and elegant. I loved how you have captured the dream of the protagonist twisted around a simple doughmaking process. There are a few amazing similies and phrases used which brings out this story even more. Congratulations Amanda! It was well deserved.

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Amanda Lieser
23:00 Dec 28, 2021

Hi Keya, Thank you for reading the piece and for the kind comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I noticed you have a great body of work. Do you have a piece you’d like me to read and comment on? I’d love the opportunity to repay the favor of the comment. Thanks again!

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Keya Jadav
12:40 Dec 29, 2021

Thank you for asking Amanda! I would love to have your views on my latest story. Thank you.

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E. Pentecost
03:08 Dec 28, 2021

I really enjoyed reading this story, even if I am a bit late. The imagery was so vivid and the child’s POV was very strong and well done… I was thoroughly immersed! Definitely a well deserved win, and I’ll be looking for more of your submissions in the future :) Happy Holidays!! Edit: after reading your bio and your generous offer to comment on a story, I would love if you could review one of mine— it’s called “Roger” and it’s only available on my profile. No problem if you can’t, though, it was privilege enough reading your work :) Blessi...

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Amanda Lieser
23:00 Dec 28, 2021

Hello! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the piece. These comments make my day! I’d be delighted to read your piece. Thank you so much!

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Carla Ward
22:04 Dec 27, 2021

I liked this story very much. Only one small point, and that's the sentence in the first paragraph "I watch the muscles in his taunt arms ripple with the pressure." I think you meant "her taut arms." A minor editorial quibble. Other than that the story develops nicely as it illustrates the confusion of a child who loves her Mama but knows she was born from a different mother. She doesn't want to leave her Mama, but she feels the kinship between her and her birth mother. Well done.

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Joy A
22:53 Dec 26, 2021

Wow Amanda! This story really tugs at my heartstrings. There's nothing as beautiful as a child's innocence. This is so beautifully written. I took my time reading this because I wanted to make sure I got every word, expression and emotion. For me, the most beautiful thing about this story is the figures of comparison. I especially loved that line in the beginning that compared rolling out of cookie dough to an ocean kissing the beach. Every simile in this story is so accurate and what makes it even better is that they all stay true to a chi...

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Amanda Lieser
15:48 Dec 27, 2021

Hi Joy! It means so much to me that you loved this story so much. I loved creating this world and I’m so blessed to know so many individuals connected with it. This has been life changing for me!

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Faith Ogedegbe
18:57 Dec 26, 2021

Congratulations!!!

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Amanda Lieser
15:48 Dec 27, 2021

Thank you.

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Philip Ebuluofor
09:08 Dec 25, 2021

Simple and to the message. Fine work.

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Amanda Lieser
15:48 Dec 27, 2021

Thank you!!

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Patrick Samuel
21:26 Dec 24, 2021

Congratulations, Amanda! Look who's a winner now :) This is one powerful piece, thoroughly deserving of a win. There's something hypnotic and slightly nightmarish running all through it, whether in the dream sequence or the real world, provided there is such one thing - or such two distinct things. You have rendered with acute sensitivity the surreal universe of childhood where such lines are often blurred as we're never sure which one to trust. Wishing you a very merry (and well-deserved) Christmas holiday!

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Amanda Lieser
02:34 Dec 25, 2021

Hi Patrick, Thank you so much for reading this story. I was so excited to be honored as a winner. Please consider sending me the title of one of your pieces for me to read and comment on. Thank you again!

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