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Review of "A Benny Saved"  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Nice work. I enjoyed this.

You went a long way to make your point but it was worth it in the end.
Though the reader could sense where this was headed, I still found it riveting.
Your ending justified and reinforced the actions during the poem.

Your rhymes are good; they aren't forced or awkward.
The plot flows nicely too; it seems fairly natural.

Personally, I originally felt the ship watch part was kind of contrived, but your ending made me realize I was wrong.
It fit nicely.

My thought was that he would advise Benny with some advice like, "there's plenty of fish in the sea", forget about Babette.
Then Benny would find himself a better date and the end line would read:
A Benny saved is a Benny learned.

I like your notion better.

Keep up the fine work.
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (4.0)
I truly enjoyed this poem.
Though I wondered where the Christmas theme went, you did return to it nicely.

It progresses nicely, doesn't jump to and fro, so it was easy to follow.
Though I am a male, I understood the experiences of youth, the trauma of teens, the joys of young love, of parenthood.

Unfortunately after that, we part company and for that I have great empathy for you.
My spouse and children are very much alive and kicking.

You expressed your sorrows well. The reader can understand and feel each of your unfortunate pains.
I really loved the line: "Their grandpa is gone. A fulfilled marriage vow."

I originally felt the next stanza was redundant but changed my mind when I realized a second marriage was ensuing.
These 3 verses really show the emptiness you went thru; then to follow that with the loss of a child; well, I could weep.

The ending brought it full circle and even shows why maintaining our faith is so very, very important.
I am glad you have returned to writing and look forward to more works from you.
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is one fine story. It was so pleasant to read this.

I, for one, appreciate the scripture being included at the outset. It set a tone, was relevant, yet it was not ostentatious.

The opening of the story was nothing spectacular but it set a good background. Plus it reinforced the scriptural reference well.
Each ensuing paragraph continued the theme yet was still beckoning the reader on for more. Yet after a few pertinent examples you opted for a change. This was nice because any more instances of the candle would have been redundant.

I truly liked the second to last paragraph. As I said above a change at this point was timely and clever. The woman passed on, yet the house remained. In our era, the prominent thought would be a deteriorated building in a deteriorating neighborhood, but the image of the candle remained prominent while all else changed around it.

You should be quite proud of this.

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Review of Tis the Season  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (4.0)
Wow! Very nice sentiments indeed.
I'm glad you're on wdc. This is not a poem to keep to oneself, like so many poets do.

You have a nice progression here. I like that it starts with aspirations and expectations, advances to needs and compassion before the notions of frustrations and frowns set in.

The idea of making goodwill last thru the year is not a new one, but you let readers know that it's about time to put those thoughts into action. That's what good poets do; stir folks.

Nice work.

Have an inspired Merry Christmas.
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.0)
This has potential. I am intrigued and hope to read more; especially since it has action/adventure as one genre. One can anticipate unforeseen actions coming as you venture out.

One grammatical comment: You use "less people on the sidewalk" (line 5). I think that should be "fewer". Less needs a comparative accompaniment. I think that's the proper usage, but I could be wrong. Please check that.
Whoops, another grammatical comment: Your paragraphs aren't indented. Since this is single spaced it makes it more trying to read.

You gave good fair reasons for both your rationale for needing to work from home as well as the companies apprehensions in hiring you. This balance makes the story more believable and more personal, thus more enticing to read.

Good luck with furthering the story.
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Review of The Day He Died  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This is quite well done. To see that you are seventeen years of age shows me you have a future with crafting a good story. You put this together well, which may indicate that you are a thorough person with a bent towards good preparation. That should be a good omen, for whatever you pursue as an adult.

In the first line you use the word, "may". I have no doubt that that day is one you"will" never forget.

There is one paragraph early in the story where the punctuation and sentence are confusing:
We lived surrounded by water (needs a period here, followed by capital for new sentence, or begin the sentence "Because we lived surrounded by water, etc.)

we had an amazing view of the sunrise and at night since we lived on an island in the middle of Lake Huron.
(Rewrite that last sentence. You had an amazing view of the sunrise; but what happened at night? Maybe it could read "amazing view of the sunrises and sunsets since we lived on an island etc; or)
We could see miles and miles of stars. That was the greatest part of our home.

Otherwise, the story was fairly easy to follow. As a matter of fact, when I got to the end I had greater appreciation for the way you told it. I was glad that you weren't dwelling upon the negative impacts of your mother leaving. She wasn't the focal point of the story. At the end when she became your sole parent it became even more apparent to me why you had to include her in the beginning. That was class! I was impressed by that.

This is a well crafted heartfelt story. I'm glad you told it. I'm sorry it happened to you.
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.5)
This turned out better than I thought it would. From the title, I was prepared for stale, trite hospital gown jokes that have been done to death. You pulled off a nice coup here.

You have a new twist here actually expressing most males secret desire. You raised the readers expectations, kept it mysterious, then politely dashed those hopes. I also appreciated that you merely touched upon your reason for being there, didn't dwell on it.

I liked the third verse best. You used alliteration well with "sway and swish". Nice!

I wasn't too sure about that phrase, "sad gown clad plight". It sounded awkward.

Otherwise, this is well done.
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
You must have been in some mood when you wrote this. It turned out pretty well too.

I can appreciate the efforts it took to remain true to the original and still create a new story. It's not easy.

My favorite line was, "Mark in his fatigues and camouflaged hat, had just assumed position by lying down flat."
That line really gives the reader a direction the poem will take. To make it even better, you kept up that theme thru the poem.
Well done.

I'm also glad you gave this a 13+ rating. A less mature reader most likely would not have understood the satire, nor the mayhem created by this scene.

Though most folks would not have this sort of poetic arsenal (pun intended) at there disposal you used fairly common terms for the armaments used which helps in understanding where you're coming from.

Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas.


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Review of Stop  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (4.0)
Thank you so much for this poem. It really speaks volumes.

I noticed in the genres that Women's was included. Until I got to the last line this could be written for anybody.
I think your blurb says it best.
I was thinking more along the lines of the workplace. School would be another wonderful place for this poem too.

This poem has a spiritual nature as well.

The poem is quite well crafted too. Each line has a distinct thought; it doesn't dwell on verbiage that may be redundant or overkill
like some politician or psychologist might do.

I was looking this over and now I like the first line more than before: "The gentle hands" says I may seem less than ideal to outsiders,
but inside I am full of zeal.

Very nice work!
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Review of Nonsense  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.0)
"A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
I see that you are using all of yours and that's great
Not only only are you using your mind, but using it in a clever way. That too is great.

I appreciate your humor. It's also nice that you are getting the reader to think; which is also a good thing for a writer.

I did find it a bit difficult to follow though.
Is it a frog, a toad, a froad, a tog, a frogue?

I'm also glad you noted the new word and its' pronunciation at the top.
That too is something a good writer does; seta the scene for the reader.

Keep on being clever!
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.0)
This is a clever storyline. I liked reading it. It was an interesting idea to one team steal the Lombardi Trophy from the winners.
Speaking of Lombardi, that might have made the story more intriguing since the Super Bowl trophy is named after a former Packers head coach.

Otherwise, the story progressed nicely. The reader knew and could feel the teams pain of having their trophy snatched. It logically followed to travel to Pittsburgh and we could understand the Steelers heartbreak too. You included some decent action and had a good conclusion; the rightful winners of the trophy got it back.

I applaud your effort Nice work.

Your grammar was pretty good, but not great. In the first line: "...stolen from Green Bay FROM some unknown robbers." That should be "BY some unknown robbers." There are a few others but they are minor.

The things that detracted from your story were explanations of why the Green Bay Police could be bought off, (not very good fans are they) and how does Hans fit into this? Better stories will not have these loose ends.

I see your are still in high school. I sure couldn't write as well as you when I was in school. You are off to a good start. I truly wish you well in your future writings.
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Review of oneness  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.5)
I really like this little essay. It is quite unique. Meditation thru the mind of a lizard; very original.

One can tell from this that meditation is a regular habit for you. To notice the lizard, to empathize with its' possible meditations, to be in communion with a reptile is very unique and not possible for a novice.

The best line was, "Meditation and daily life are not two separate things."
Another good line was, "...our brain...has a fence around it..."

I liked the way this began; light and pleasant for the reader. But the last paragraph seemed a bit stern and instructive in its' tone.
Still, I liked your approach. The benefits of good meditative practices can be very uplifting, but it takes open-mindedness to overcome the barriers.
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Review of The Gun Shot  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
This has the makings of an intriguing story. There is suspense and the reader has empathy for Martin wanting to avenge his brothers' murder.

But the story became tough to follow. Martin never appeared in the story after the third paragraph, thus all empathy for him is lost.
The fact that Mark, Richard, Donovan and Edward were each supposed to kill someone was suspenseful. However, the reader is never given any motives.

Sometimes your sentence structure adds to the confusion. You omit the capital "M" in Mark more than once. Mark, with a capital is a name, but mark in lower case could either be a noun or a verb. The last phrase shows this. "...police found a body at a top of a building which is lying dead..." This tells the reader that the building was lying dead, not the body on top of it. "...and his name was mark." tells us that the building was named mark. It might read better as:

..."the police found a man lying dead at the top of a nearby building. The man was later identified as Mark."

Like I said in the beginning, this has the potential to be an intriguing, suspenseful and emotional short story.

Keep at it!

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Review of Hate Me  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Nice job here.
I like how this develops. He is the one who is angry at Mom. He is the one who hates Mom.
Yet in the end he realizes that he has no one to blame but himself.
I liked how he started out stomping, yet in the end he was whispering. Nice touch.

It was also quite clever that Mom never said anything. She had her "cocktail of emotions" but I couldn't help but notice that hate was not one of them. It's all on him.

As an older man who has not only experienced his emotions personally and raised two children thru those years I couldn't help but have two thoughts. I chuckled at though he hated Mom, the only place he felt was a safe haven was his room in HER house. Secondly,I kept thinking, "he's just a kid. He'll grow out of it. Once a father, always a father.

I would suggest that you take a little better care when proofreading. It was a bit careless in the beginning. Otherwise, this is a fine first story ever. You seem to have a future. Go for it!
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Review of Angel Songs  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.5)
This is pretty good for church writing. I appreciate that you could follow your inspirations to completion. That's not easy during church since there's usually something to distract your attention.
I usually have too much to do during service.

Your theme is nice. I enjoyed the consistency of, "Thy succulent truth", "warm honey running" etc.
It created a nice image.
One can sense that your world is indeed hungered and you are receiving God's grace.

More people ought to go to church with that attitude; church is worship and being open to God.
Obviously, you are open to God's presence.
Good for you.

Though I liked your metaphor of the honey's burst into "the very first sunshine" after that the imagery got a little lost for me.
From the physical flow, this went into intangible images of "breath" and "taste".
Perhaps, adding the word "sweet" to the last line might help: "the SWEET taste of angels songs; that might continue the imagery of the flow of honey right to the end.

Still, a nice work to work of. Keep it up.

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Review of Tainted Tunes  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (4.0)
Well thanks so much for dashing all my hopes at ever becoming a decent piano player. (Just being silly)
I too have a piano though only my cats run when I play.
However, you seem to play a lot more than I but we have the same difficulties.
I won't even attempt Beethoven or Bach. You must be far more adept than I.

Your poetry is good too. I particularly enjoyed the adjectives you used concerning the piano (worn down, fallen, cherished was good too). This prevented the poem from having mundane repetition.
The humor is good too. The descriptions of the animals noises are accurate and consistent.
Also consistent are the good rhymes as well as the rhyme scheme.

It's is so nice to see someone who knows the value of the arts.
I applaud your efforts and encourage you to keep up with both.
Keep up the good work
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
This was a nice idea; quite original. Thanks. I enjoy originality.

I appreciate two things here. One, that you didn't go on and on with a whole hour or day of myriad help desk calls. That would have become rather boring after a while. Here, you kept it short and the reader could grasp what your day is like.

I can also appreciate how frustrating and annoying it must be to go thru this over and over on a daily basis.

Conversely, as someone who still needs your services far more than I care to admit, I did feel somewhat left out by how adroitly you handled each situation and crisis.

I personally could not refer to this article as "comedy" since I and many others do not find any humor in being unable to navigate computer issues.

On the other hand, I am glad you have this venue to vent. I would appreciate this a lot more if I was anywhere near as capable as you.

Thanks.
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Review of Doubt  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.5)
I like the way you put this together; it seems to fit well with the topic.

There seems to be quite an abundance of turmoil here. When one is experiencing such dilemmas one is not usually prone to a clear well constructed thought process. Your poem portrays that well with its' quick and fluid notions. Here, it works well, in my opinion.

Then I noticed you wrote that this was also biographical and I felt compelled to your bio and opening of the portfolio.
I'm glad I did.
That makes your work stand out that much more. Though I have no direct experience with your issues I do know a few who have.
You are the same age as my son and I know he wouldn't be as open, honest and outgoing as you are.

Anyway, your poem is very moving and you said a whole lot in 15 lines.
One question. I am unfamiliar with the word "conflate". What is the definition?
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Review of Busy  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (4.5)
I like this. It is quite clever.
The message is clear and consistent.
I appreciate that you capitalized each new word. That made it eminently more readable. If you had not there would be words that the reader might see that aren't correct. This would throw everything out of kilter.

The screaming verse, (in caps) was well constructed. One can't yell loudly and still sound intelligible. Well done.

The ending drives home your point and is a fitting conclusion;
except as you say, one has to relearn it.
You're not alone with that.

Very nice!
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.5)
Thank you for this fine advice.

I liked the example you used with the pencil cup and pens, etc. That was a concise, picturesque way of describing IRAs and how they work. I found it quite effective, especially when you brought the scissors into it. Well done.

No one section is very long and each contains good information. I could tell that you have a "wealth" of knowledge (I hope my pun didn't make you cringe.). You covered the subject admirably, denoting various investments and their qualities. Plus, you didn't sound too preachy on any topic. Your figures are accurate and thought provoking.

However, while I understood and agreed with your planning and advice, I wonder if it may prove to be too much info for an inquisitive prospect. All those terms and figures tend to make folks wary and may drive them away. When my son came to me earlier asking for advice about IRA/Roth his bank had similar info to yours, yet without being as wordy. Fortunately, thanks to planners like you, I was able to to assist him some, moreso than any bank.

I work with many people whose income often means such financial planning is not only beyond comprehension but beyond financial possibility. It hurts to see so many will not even stop to contemplate sound advice such as yours. I am so very blessed to have been able to appreciate info that professionals such as yourself have imparted. Thanks.
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Review of I am a bully  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
I like your theme. I appreciate that you realize that often it is our inactions that can be more harmful than our actions.
You also get the reader to look at themselves and see how each one of us can be a bully, despite ones denials or protestations. The first two examples point that out well.

Then you begin to lose me. I understand the dilemma of the classmate who skipped lunch, but her issues may be too deep for you to resolve simply by showcasing her other beauties. She has probably heard many well-intentioned but flippant remarks regarding her size. This does not make one a bully.

Same thing with the line about "the canvas made of wrist". This sounds like a deeply troubling issue, most likely outside your realm of experience. Who were you thinking of speaking to about this? The "painter" may deny or rebut any attempts you make to intercede. Be very careful here. Again, this is not a case of bullying.

These examples you cite surely promote deep thought about the extent of what comprises a bully. This poem makes one think twice, and that is a fine thing for any poem to do.

I gather from your frequent use of the word classmate that you are far younger than I, but you certainly do not lack anything in regards to maturity. The fact that you took the time to write these words shows some wisdom as well. Sometimes it is right to stand up and defend the indefensible, but sometimes in is preferable to listen, say nothing, and develop a deeper bond, a more far-reaching path.

You are most definitely NOT a coward.
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Review of Heat Rises  
Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
There is some very enriching emotion in this story. I appreciate how you detail the widows feelings. They are honest and personal.

People handle grief in so many various ways. It is good that you didn't make her sufferings anything standard. One can sense and empathize that she will be grieving and perhaps even feeling guilty for a long time. I feel for her.
Again, I really found your emotional writings quite stellar
Still, I was uncomfortable with a few aspects.

One, the spacing was awkward. Sometimes it's double spaced, other times triple spaced. Keeping it in the same format makes it easier to read and comprehend.

Second, is that line about the coroner really necessary?

Third, you begin with referring to the beautiful day, then the third paragraph tells us that, "It was rainy and unseasonably cold." I didn't realize until the last paragraph that the first referred to the funeral. Maybe make the opening sentence, "It was a picture perfect day", EXCEPT FOR HAVING TO BURY MY HUSBAND, or something like that.

Oh, one more thing; you spelled "brakes" incorrectly (paragraph 5).

Again, I find your emotional writing very moving. Keep it up.
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.5)
This is nice work, Doctor. I appreciate that you are so very open and honest with your emotions. That should be especially helpful when dealing with God.

I am a bit disappointed in the closing 2 verses. These are standard thoughts from those dealing with God and ones anxieties. I know because I've expressed them in much the same matter
I am most taken by the second verse. I wonder if that might be better suited to be the final verse.
I say this because it shows some good personal growth. It is then followed by those 2 stanzas of standard prayer. If you followed those with the idea of creating a garden that beautifies, feeds and honors God, I think God would be proud at how you've advanced.

You might want to read a poem called "Well Watered Garden" here at wdc. The one that wrote that had God in mind when nurturing that garden.

Oh, one more thing. I liked your, a,a,b,a rhyme scheme.

Keep up the good work.
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (2.5)
My first thoughts on reading this is that you need to come out of your shell; don't be too timid; come right out and tell the reader what you mean. Just kidding!
Wow! You really aren't afraid to open up and express your opinion. That is generally a good thing.

There are truths to many of the examples you cite. Most people do behave in this manner, have similar dreams, wants, etc.
I also appreciate that you include yourself in these human shortcomings. You use "we" and "us", thus not putting yourself above the reader. That is important.

You have a good title too; that is what drew me to read this in the first place. However, I would have liked to find more evidence of the innocence and enthusiasm of children as the title suggests. You do mention several examples during your piece but I found far more citations of adult misbehavior, greed and avarice.

You list as genres - inspirational and how to advice, but your tone suggests otherwise. Perhaps readers would be more inspired if your advice was more along the lines of "X, Y and Z worked well for me and now I am much more happy and childlike", or something like that.

Still, as I said earlier, I appreciate your directness and honesty. Keep it up.
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Review by Karl Doyle
Rated: E | (3.0)
Thanks so much for this informative story. I enjoy history and especially the personal stories and tidbits that make up their lives. It brings some rationale and understanding to who they were and why they behaved and thought as they did and gives clues to why they became famous. So thanks again.

I had no idea about this. A lot of detail is often lost as time passes and with that some veracity may be lost and some legend gained. I get the impression from reading this that this love story has withstood the passage of time. It also shows one of founding fathers acting like a regular person; now I can appreciate him that much more.

I can also tell that you quite taken by this. I don't know if it's the "greatest colonial love story", but it sure is enlightening. Since that's what writing and reading are for, I encourage you to keep up the fine work and enlighten more folks as you write.

Welcome.
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