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277 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review of Ode to Concord  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thank you, Floyd. It's such a good thing to review our history on a consistent basis. I was reminded a few days ago by a dear friend, "You know, the Revolutionary War, actually, started about a year before the Declaration of Independence was written." To this, my mind added, "And it lasted a little more than a decade afterwards as well."

Great poem, Floyd.

The just cause of the "burdened soul" and "Liberty...stole" put followthrough in our souls because of "Freedom's glare" "Heralded upon the air."

The "despot's hand" was reason enough to maintain our ground of "Ragged lines" "with one mind."

Yes, I see great similarities between our poems, regarding the emotion and desire to serve our country as one soul at the beginning of our nation and to and through today.

Had we been called to live those momentous days, we could have done no more than they did to live and to die for the country and the people we love so dearly.

We remain, but we maintain the cause of caring for the Freedom they so gallantly procured for us. May God give us the ability to live well for that, which they died well to obtain.

Again, Floyd, you have created a great poem with a consistent rhyme scheme in consistent quatrains of iambic trimeter.

Nicely done, My Friend! WRITE ON!

Jay O'Toole
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Review of Nimrod  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Well put, Bubblegum Jones. I think Nimrod could have increased his skill in life as well as in hunting if he had simply allowed a good dose of humility to enter his life.

Not following the rules was certainly an issue in Nimrod's life and well as in the case of the online auction participant. I wish that one could have learned to enjoy the auction process as I have at times on eBay. I knew how to play the game. If I really wanted something, then I would set my AutoBid Option at such a level, that others would think twice before bidding that high. At times I paid a little more than I wanted to pay for an item, but I consistently got my prize when I really wanted it. I often watched the bid clock, putting in a final bid within the last minute, but, ultimately if someone else got the prize, then I just thought, "Well, that's money I don't have to spend. You win some. You lose some."

I think it would be interesting to read a follow-up essay in which you compare and contrast Nimrod with another Old Testament character, Nabal, whose name, actually, meant "Fool." The funny thing is that Nabal was married to Abigail, who was an excellent and wise lady. How that marriage happened, I have yet to figure out. At any rate, when the Lord killed Nabal after he had totally disrespected David and his men, with the Lord keeping David from killing Nabal in revenge, at the wise words of Abigail, David ended up coming back for Abigail and marrying her out of her widowhood.

There are definitely some interesting characters in the Bible. Nice treatment of the one you chose.
WRITE ON, my friend!
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Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is great to know, Princess Megan Rose!

We share similar interests, like Christmas being my favorite holiday. I listen to Christmas music throughout the year. As a matter of fact, I am listening to some as I write this note to you.

Jesus is the reason for my hope, now and forever, just like you.

I like Eeyore, too, along with Charlie Brown. It's probably due to the fact, that being of the Melancholy personality I've been able to relate to their misadventures in life. I can be positive, but it requires more discipline and effort than being blue.

Thanks for letting us know you better. Be truly Blessed. Jay

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Review of Christmas in July  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a great poem, J.L.!

I feel the grief, and the pain makes me sad, too. This is the mark of greatness.! You have made the reader (aka "me") care very much about the subject of your poem, who is your son.

To make this a fully academic review would render it meaningless because this poem is truly written from the heart. I've taken off my shoes, for I'm on holy ground.

I hear much of the same pathos in your poem as in Harry Chapin's song, "Cats in the Cradle."

Words seem so small to try to comfort you in this review, but that would be my desire, if I just knew how. May The Lord make His Presence very real to you in your grief. May He carry you according to His Greatest Blessing.

Sincerely,
Jay
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Review of For Andrea  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Nicely done, Beholden!

We agree, especially in the last two lines, "...it should be Christmas and Jesus every day."
My own practice is to listen to chorale and instrumental Christmas music most days of the year, since music keeps me in tune with the spirit of Christmas and the true peace it was meant to offer every day of the year.

As you have noted, Jesus came as the Prince of Peace, and since the season of Christmas does not often offer much in the way of peace, we both know that something is truly wrong with the process.

I've said to anyone, who would listen, "I seem to enjoy Christmas more January through November than I do throughout the entire month of December." Albeit, in recent years I've tried to carve out a few hours of peace in those late evenings with a nice, warm cup of tea and the same wonderful music, that I listen to throughout the year.

Charles Dickens said it best through the mouth of the redeemed Scrooge. "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!"

Beholden, your poem was written well in the free verse form.

May you know great success as a writer throughout this decade of your life and beyond. I read your Bio. You are not alone. Your profile photo and the man I see in the mirror every day show men, who have made the trek around the sun a few times past youth, but I sense, that in you as in me, there is a young man, who is much younger than the world may readily see. There is hope for the both of us!

The feedback we receive as writers does not always come in spades, but I pray, that my words of genuine praise may bolster your heart, and strengthen you to renewed success because it is from my perspective, that you have a great deal to continue to offer the world. Trust your words of wisdom to The Almighty, and watch what he will do. *Smile*
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for entry "Love in any season
Review by Jay O'Toole
Rated: E | (5.0)
Excellent, Sam! This is a great poem!

Much respect,...

Jay. *Smile*
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Review of Tisquantum  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a fine example of a rondeau, Bob. Great thoughts about the history of the pilgrims, who traveled from England to the New World. Great wisdom is shown in this poem about strangers, who help each other.

It is obvious to me that the Lord puts characteristics of Himself in human hearts. One of these characteristics is loving-kindness.

Great poem, Bob! WRITE ON!
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Review of Hats  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is great, Claire!

You have a gift for rhyming and keeping a strong beat in your poetry.

The alliteration of "Hats hats" keeps a strong cadence throughout the poem. The addition of "have have" in line #9 is an excellent choice because it adds another spondee (See the note below about poetic forms.) foot to the cadence in the middle of the poem.

Here's something to try. If you put a comma after each of the two incidents of "hats,"
then you give the reader a chance to pause slightly, and maybe even take a small breath as needed.

Let me give you an example.

The first line would become, "Hats, hats, in the store" and the cadence would be //xx/. (I know this is an impromptu homeschool moment, but these are things you will need to know about writing poetry. / = stressed [or long] emphasis on the word being spoken. x = unstressed [or short] emphasis on the word being spoken. A foot is one example of a sequence of stressed & unstressed syllables.)

Actually, the first half of every line of this poem is a very structured spondee foot of (//) or stressed, stressed words.
The first eight lines (or over half of your poem) has the structure of a spondee foot (//) followed by an anapest foot (xx/).

Did you know that Dr. Seuss wrote often using an anapestic structure in his books? Are you trying to become another Dr. Seuss? Congratulations, if you are. You've got a great start!

WRITE ON! *Smile*

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Review of For Your Love  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thank you, Patrick, for this opportunity to review your poem. I hope I will be able to encourage you in some way.

*Earth*Overall Impression - This is how I felt when reading your poem: I felt blessed to see the depth and length and breadth of your love for your Dearest Love. Your love is so strong that I felt a touch of embarrassment that I was looking at something quite private and beautiful in its richness.

*Pencil*Suggestions: Write more of these. I can assure you that after many years of marriage, my wife still likes to hear these types of expressions of my love. They never grow old.

In the fourth line of your fourth verse, you have written the word, "Fore." I believe that the meaning, in this case, is "since," which would make the spelling of the word, "For."

*Apple*Rhythm & Rhyme: The rhythm of your poem seems to be free verse, although the first line of every verse has the same wording and therefore the same cadence. Your rhyme scheme is A-B-C-D-C throughout the poem in every verse.

*Heart*What I Like: I very much like the fact that your Dearest Love is the strong focus of your heart. I like that you have found one key to maintaining a healthy love throughout a lifetime, "Tell her."

Take care, my friend. Thanks, again, for the privilege of reviewing your genuine poem, which is from the heart.

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Review of I write...  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thanks for the privilege of reviewing your poem, HuntersMoon. I've chosen this option in response to the seventh clue for hunting the Rascal Raccoon.

*Earth*Overall Impression - This is how I felt when reading your poem: I feel a sense of commonality with you as a writer. Writing has many challenges as well as many encouragements. The tongue finds it difficult to speak what's on the heart, while the pencil seems to find many ways to craft our thoughts. So true! Been that. Done that. Living the sequel.

*Pencil*Suggestions: Keep writing these honest poems that help many of us less experienced writers find encouragement for the process that is writing.

*Apple*Rhythm & Rhyme: I can hear the iambic meter that you've stated is pretty consistent here. Rhyme is A-B-A for the tercets and A-B-A-A for the quatrain.

*Heart*What I Like: You have a humility about yourself that admits some ways of communicating are easier than others, and you show us how to communicate most effectively, given these constraints. I'm right there with you. ONWARD & UPWARD! *Smile*

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Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with disABILITY WRITERS GROUP  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
You have beautiful feet because you preach the Gospel to all those, who still need to know. Nicely done. I love the photo and the description, Ruwth!

Not much to add, except the Bible verse.

Isaiah 52:7 King James Version (KJV)

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
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Review of 24 Syllable Poems  
for entry "Chrysalis
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Bob, this is a most EXCELLENT poem!

I believe this thought in strong agreement with you.

Nothing to add, except congratulations on your contest win!

ONWARD & UPWARD, Sir!
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Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with disABILITY WRITERS GROUP  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Great thoughts, Marvin!

Congratulations on being so close to your goal of a Ph.D.!

Your poem is rhythmically free verse, but the rhyme follows the patterns, A-B-C-B for each quatrain and A-A for the couplet.

Well said. Good to hear. Congratulations to you for the life you are living well.

Blessings Always, Dear Brother! *Smile*
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Review of Deeply Wounded  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
WOW, Crissy! Your poem has almost the same words I used in my response to your previous response.

You said,...
"I shall pray that you
are complimented
with the same
belligerent disregard
that you have
dowered to me.
"

I wrote this before I read your poem. "This movie has one of my favorite lines of all time. The disposition of the wicked stepmother is given with these words, "Let her be treated with the same kindness she has always shown me." What Wisdom!"

Great minds think alike!

Again, Crissy, you are a great poet! This is poetry at it's greatest level of reality. The feelings/emotions are indeed RAW. The pain is obvious. The compassion from the reader is palpable.

What can I say? WRITE ON!
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Review of Step-Monster  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Crissy, you are a great poet!

You understand the purpose of poetry. Poetry is all about bringing one's core into the light of day that it may speak honestly to the world about life as it really is.

Anyone, who has ever been ridiculed for any reason, as I have been, can relate to the words of your raw emotions in this poem with great understanding and clarity.

I'm sorry for your pain...for I can feel it in these words. However, I am so glad that Wisdom taught you to express the pain in the form of a poem. It was this tool that gave me relief when I was 13. The poem created was the spark of my career as a poet.

We may say that pain is never pleasant, but it can have a good result when it creates a skill that has lasting value.

https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/211... The link is to the rewrite of my very first poem, which I referenced above. The icon is a photograph of the exact poem in my own handwriting when I was age 13. I hope it helps to know that we are not alone. *Smile*
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Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
*Earth*Overall Impression: You have written a believable tale about talking animals, hvysmker. All the animals are written true to their perceived types, according to classic literature, including its more modern versions. This makes it a useful wisdom tale with the important point that "Life is lived with satisfaction to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon the viewpoint of the one, who is telling the tale." In this case, we realize that this is the tragic story of people, who have their story told by Oscar Rat, a member of an Italian Rodent Syndicate, who would sell his own mother if he thought he could get away with it.

*Pencil*Suggestions: The Almost Universe is viable, but a little tedious at times. Could new names be created for the places that would hint at the real places? In some ways going to Almost Africa is "almost" like taking the train to Hogwarts School. The students have to get on the almost train through the almost wall. In at least a few ways it ends up being almost a story, which as we all know "almost" is a rather subjective word. When you leave that much up to the reader, then the end result is different for every reader. I love the color, "blue." Therefore, much of the scenery in Almost Africa has some pleasing shade or tint of blue. However, others love the color, "red." Would their Almost Africa look drastically different? Quite possibly.

*Apple*Punctuation/Spelling/Grammar: There are multiple incidents of improper usage of punctuation and grammar. In some cases, these violations seem to fit the traits of the characters, who make the violations. Therefore, it begs the question, "Are we writing in dialect? Or are we intending to tell the story in the framework of proper English grammar rules? Use these examples, applying them throughout your story.

"You won't find her that way, walking in circles," the raven said, laughing, "unless she's walking in circles too?" A period rather than a question mark is needed here.

"If you're that smart, which way should we go?" from Ruffie, getting his fur worked up with anger. "From" makes this an incomplete sentence. Replace "from" with a verb, like "responded," "retorted" or "goaded."

"Pick any direction, they're everywhere," the bird said, ruffling her feathers, "everywhere at all." "Everywhere at all" sounds confusing to my ears. "Anywhere at all" offers a choice among many choices. "Everywhere" stands alone as the omnidirectional perspective.

WOW! Your raven sounds like the mean, filled with sniping remarks, dark part of Gollum (TLOR) without the gentle, obsequious, needy part, called, "Smeagol." By the way, you should name the raven during the first encounter, not when they're en route.

She tried to peck Homer on the butt, which only made the rhino angry, him trying to swat her with his tail. Since "him" is a direct object, let's turn this line into two sentences with the subject, "he" beginning the second. She tried to peck Homer on the butt, which only made the rhino angry. He tried to swat her with his tail.

Whoever owned the place must have been feeding a lot of different kinds of people, Doris thought, munching on yummy grain. Since the thought is not spoken, italicizing the phrase could set it apart as internal conversation.

"Isn't it bad enough that you guys invade my building? Do you have to tear it apart. There is a question mark needed for the second question. "Do you have to tear it apart?"

More than once I have seen you designate a speaker, using only the word, "from." The word, "from" is a preposition. To improve the story these each need to be changed to a verb. In every case these "from" sentences are in fact incomplete non-sentences.

Be careful when you use punctuation marks. I keep seeing question marks, where a period should be and vice versa. The following sentence is a good example of this concern. "You could sell that lovesick rhinoceros?" Mr. Samuels told her. In the present order of words, this sentence is a statement. Change the first two words and it becomes a question. "Could you sell that lovesick rhinoceros?" Mr. Samuels told her.

Mr. Rat made a call to the mouse mafia. Unknown to humans, the mouse mafia is a large criminal organization employing hundreds of thousands of meeses, worldwide. Was the term, "meeses," used intentionally for humorous effect? If so, it lacks a little punch in my humble opinion, since the correct word is "mice." Yet, if this is an incident of writing in dialect, then the point can be made for the use of the word, "meeses." In that case, it would be the author's call.

"Hello, Don Meesio? Alfredo Rat here. Look, I got a problem. Maybe you guys can help me out." Okay, I'm, assuming the cliché Italian mafia accent here. Traditionally, they are heavy on the cliché phrase, "youse guys."

*Heart*What I Like: I like the fact that you have told your story in parable (or fable) format. Talking animals can give humans a much-needed new perspective, regarding life in general and about the animals in specific. There are many usages of parables throughout literature of which I am personally aware. These are ones I like. The Holy Bible has a talking donkey that preaches a short sermon to a recalcitrant prophet. That is one of my favorites. Aesop's Fables are always excellent wisdom tales. C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia are some of my all-time favorite novel-length stories. The point is simply this. You are in good company. WRITE ON!

Sincerely,
Jay
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Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Nicely done, Teresa.
I am honored to be your inspiration for this poem.

That is so amazing! 😃
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Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Thank you, Magical Joey, for this opportunity to review your poem. I hope I will be able to encourage you in some way.

*Earth*Overall Impression: This is a wonderful homage to Emily Dickinson. You've taken one of her verses, breaking it into the several parts for the treatment of your main idea. You have used the inspiration of another to tell the thoughts of your heart in a broader way.

*Pencil*Suggestions: You might want to add a little bit of clarification, regarding the connection between your title and the body of your poem. The subtlety left me a little confused. I could see some possible references to monsters in the words, "haunts," "paranoia," "Frankenstein," "vampire" and "monsters," but most of the poem was a treatise of the word "Truth."

I'll admit that truth is a scary concept for people, who have something to hide, and what monster doesn't have something to hide?

*Apple*Rhythm & Rhyme: The rhythm varies between iambic and anapestic with a fairly consistent four feet per line. The rhyme scheme for each verse is A-B-A-B-C-D-C-D-E-E.

*Heart*What I Like: It's wonderful that you have tackled a subject that so many throughout history have tried to define to greater or lesser success. Truth is often maligned by those, who do not believe that it exists. Truth is often difficult to define for those of us, who believe that it does exist. Truth is best defined as a person, whom we are willing to trust as the standard of truth itself. I have Someone, who is my Standard of Truth.

Those, who neglect to choose a person he or she trusts above all others, are destined to perennially sound like congressmen or other political leaders of spurious character simply for the purpose of maintaining power and giving to constituents as little as possible to do so.

I think you stated it with clarity in the last few lines of your poem.

"Those who look truth in the eyes
And batter it with fisted hands,
Or make a mockery of a twisted man –
Revealed as a man, despite his size –
The Truth's superb surprise.
"

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Review of Tomorrow  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a Blessing, HuntersMoon!

That's our Joy!
That's our challenge!
That's our Hope!

Stay the course!
The Lord is in charge!

Great poem, Friend!
Well written!
I totally agree! *Smile*
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Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Tim Chiu, thank you for the privilege of reviewing your fine piece of poetry. I hope my words will encourage you to continue with the great adventure of writing poetry.

*Earth*Overall Impression: This poem is a bit like one of those rapid-fire sections in a slide show or music video in which many images comes by the eyes very quickly. The subconscious gets the ideas, but the tongue has little ability to express the concepts in words at the moment they are being seen.

The snapshots appear to be either the man's description of himself as a man as seen in the mirror of the "lady fair" in his life. However, it could be a description by the "lady fair" of the man as she sees him.

Let me describe the snapshots as best I can.

Snapshot #1: (Verse 1, Couplet 1) - The lady sees his smoking habit as being unattractive.
Snapshot #2: (V1, C2) - This appears to be a oblique reference to the First Contact of intimacy.
Snapshot #3: (V2, C1) - Housework could be an allusion to his tenure in her life. He could be swept away.
Snapshot #4: (V2, C2) - He decides to perform some lunchtime antics to lighten the mood.
Snapshot #5: (V3, C1) - Traffic jams are not beneficial to dietary process.
Snapshot #6: (V3, C2) - 'Tis best for a man NEVER to ask if a woman is pregnant...that is if he values his life and dignity.
Snapshot #7: (V4, C1) - Truer words were never spoken. Society tells a man to be sensitive, but when we try we often get it wrong, sadly enough.
Snapshot #8: (V4, C2) - Insensitivity seems to be the consistent accusation against men in general in societies that are dominated by female mores. Insensitivity, which was beneficial to male survival and success in agrarian and hunting-oriented societies of yesteryear, make such males have a lower place in the societal value structure of modern Society.
Snapshot #9: (V5, C1) - Turn off your phone, when in a social gathering or learn to ignore the vibrating ring.
Snapshot #10: (V5, C2) - We learn to gain social value by being willing to give in to the wishes and desires of others more often than is natural to the male personality.

*Pencil*Suggestions: More of these poems would help the discussion of how males can walk successfully in modern Society.

*Apple*Rhythm & Rhyme: Rhythmically there seems to be about four feet to each line, but the rhythms are not consistent. The rhyme scheme is A-A-B-B for each verse.

*Heart*What I Like: I like the fact that you have addressed a difficult subject with humor and obliqueness. Now, hopefully my level of clarity will get neither of us in trouble, since we're just two guys trying to find our path through the variableness of modern Society. *Wink*

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Review of Christmas Cheer  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Dorianne, I am happy to review your poem about Christmas! Christmas is the one aspect of my life in which I will always be a child. The Christmases of my childhood were some of the happiest days of my childhood. You have written a dear poem that brings back many of these great memories.

*Earth*Overall Impression - This is how I felt, when reading your poem: I feel both the challenges of the season as well as the warmth and joy of togetherness. Nicely done!

*Pencil*Suggestions: Christmas poems are wonderful! Feel free to write as many as you wish. There is good JOY here! *Smile*

*Apple*Rhythm & Rhyme: Each of these lines seems to have four feet per line. The rhythms vary between iambic and anapestic meters. The rhyme scheme follows the pattern of A-A-B-B-C-C-D-D-E-E-E. This pattern covers the entire poem.

*Heart*What I Like: In every line (as I see it) the Joy comes from giving to others. This is a great purpose of life during Christmas and throughout the year. It reminds me of that great quote from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. These words are spoken by the reformed Ebenezer Scrooge. "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." What a wonderful poem! What great thoughts!

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Review of Going Home  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi, HuntersMoon! I am grateful to be reviewing one of your pieces of prose. This one popped up when I pressed the "Read & Review" button.

Well, then, let's get to it! *Smile*

*Earth*Overall Impression: This is a great short story! Crises do tend to restore focus in life. Something life-threatening seems to point us back to our roots in a short-short.

*Pencil*Suggestions: You have given the reader an endearing character. I believe I speak for your readership, when I say, "We would love to know more about his background! What did he do all of those years away from home? Did his lifestyle choices lead to an "inoperable tumor"? Was the tumor mysterious like the voices and the faces at the end of the story? Should this be a larger story? Arguably so.

*Apple*Punctuation/Spelling/Grammar: The following sentence was a little confusing to me. Is there an extra "the"? "...where the all the possibilities of life had been discussed. " Nothing else caught my eyes, regarding the "nuts and bolts" of English.

*Heart*What I Like: I like the mysterious elements in this wonderful end-of-life story. Do we begin to see and hear things on a more spiritual level when we approach the crossing-over point? Of this I have no doubt. I see a bit of Bedford Falls in this piece. When we are forced to stop and look, then we see that it truly is A Wonderful Life.

Ultimately, there is very little that I could add or change. Your great story reads like the writing of someone, who has been a professional for a number of years. WRITE ON!
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Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thank you, Dorianne, for the privilege of reviewing your good poem. I found this poem by using the "Read and Review" feature.

*Earth*Overall Impression - This is how I felt, when reading your poem: This poem gave me a warm feeling of pride, regarding your obedient dog. What an excellent furry canine friend! I, also, experienced joy at the opportunity to learn a new form of poetry. The words, "Waiting for the..." in repetition have given your poem an excellent cadence that moves the reader forward at a good pace.

*Pencil*Suggestions: I think you should write more of these. This is a good form for your skills, if I may make that assumption from this one poem. Poetry seems to be a gift for you. Continue to write poems. *Smile*

*Apple*Rhythm & Rhyme: There is no end rhyme, but the rhythm is pretty consistent throughout the poem. This is a pattern poem that follows the form of using a beginning phrase very well.

*Heart*What I Like: I like the fact that you have a dear, faithful dog friend in your life that is your constant companion. We have this in common. My dog watches me with her constant eyes. She always wants to know what we are going to do next. Keep writing in this wonderful way! WRITE ON!

Here is yet another signature, that has been provided for me by my good friends, WS & GG.
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
24
24
Review of The Child  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Thank you, Mintygreengirl, for the privilege of reviewing your short story.

*Earth*Overall Impression: This short story has the feel of chapter #1 in a much larger story, which could be a novel, possibly. There is enough to spark my interest to know more. However, I don't know these people well enough, yet, to understand how we got to where we are in the story, nor do I understand where we are going from here.

*Pencil*Suggestions: I think this piece of prose could benefit from a backstory in order to give us an understandable canvas in which to place this vignette. Who is the babysitter? I don't see a name. I assume it is you. You might want to include, "Minty Green Girl" in the story, if this is the case. What is the babysitter's family like? How is it that they are so insensitive to the concerns of the babysitter? Is there are other-worldy spell or other environmental issue that causes them to "not see" the very things that she sees?

Could you develop the story line a bit more? I would like to know where Samuel James is going with his game of mind tricks. Does he intend to be harmful to her and/or others in some way? Will there be resolution in this story? Will the boy learn from his misdeeds to become an encouraging human being (or whatever he may be?) Will there be no resolution? Will the story end with everyone simply losing something of great value? Will they lose everything of great value?

The story presents a problem for the babysitter. However, since the boy, "Samuel James" is playing "mind games," nothing has been resolved by his moving "out of town." The babysitter's relief seems to be misplaced or false hope, since there is nothing to prevent "Samuel James" from continuing the mind games from his new location. The mind is the mind. There are no borders, when one accesses the limitless realm and skills of the mind.

*Apple*Punctuation/Spelling/Grammar: Allow me to make a few suggestions from my observations as the reader.

1. "When Samuel James moved out of town, I could finally start to relax. I only went over there to babysit, and what I saw was terrifying. He had the tendency to follow me around, sit very still, watching my every movement, and on occasion I had enough." I believe we could increase the intensity and anxiety by changing the punctuation a little bit. "When Samuel James moved out of town, I could, finally, start to relax." (How far did he move? Did the distance warrant the relief?) "I only went over there...(Where? The assumption is that you were babysitting in the child's home, but that is not always the case. Why did you feel safe at this undefined, "there"? What was the boy's family like?)...to babysit. What I saw was terrifying! He had the tendency to follow me around. He sat very still. He watched my every movement. On one occasion I had had enough."

Now, let's focus on the gait. "When Samuel James moved out of town, I could, finally, start to relax. I only went over there to babysit. What I saw was terrifying! He had the tendency to follow me around. He sat very still. He watched my every movement. On one occasion I had had enough." By breaking the thought into short sentences and by added the pronoun, "he," we have started a droning cadence that can raise alarm in the heart of the reader.

2. "I want to tell a disturbing Samuel James story." I believe the rule is to put quotation marks around the name, "Samuel James" because we are focusing on this "Samuel James" as opposed to any other person by the same name.

3. "In March, we were going out to eat for my birthday in a city park called Pete’s Palace, which got its name from the fact that the owner was a prince and wanted to make a place that was casual for his soldiers to relax after the battle at Lou Kai." There is a great deal that could be clarified in this quote by increased attention to grammar. "In March we were going out to eat to celebrate my birthday in a city park, called "Pete’s Palace, which got its name from the fact that the owner was a prince. He and wanted to make a place that was casual for his soldiers to relax after the battle at Lou Kai." (The last part of this quote leaves me a bit conflicted as to proper punctuation. I'm left asking myself, "What is Lou Kai?" It appears to be an arcade, but I am guessing. If this is true, then there needs to be a clearer connection between the name and the activities behind the name. At least that's my opinion.)

Please, visit
STATIC
New Horizons Academy   (E)
Poetry, Grammar, Punctuation, Reviewing, Fiction/Novel Writing, and More
#1535164 by Katzendragonz
for additional help in the area of grammar. I don't wish to seem to be picky, but grammar helps the story to be understandable. Grammar is like the road signs on a trip. They get us to where we are going. I hope this helps you greatly.

*Heart*What I Like: I like the fact that you have begun to tell a potentially exciting story. This story is ripe with twists and turns. The story has the potential for cliff-hangers as well as unforeseen plot changes in the middle of intense action sequences. I like the fact that you've started an excellent story that leaves me wanting to know about your characters and where they are going in the universe that you have created for them.
25
25
Review of Words Have Power,  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with disABILITY WRITERS GROUP  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Sfttarget, thank you for asking me to review this original account from your life's story. This is a great privilege for me, since I have the opportunity to help you to hone your great insights to share them with the world! These insights need to be heard!

*Earth*Overall Impression: We have something in common. You had a physical wound early in life that almost stopped you from succeeding. (You survived an arrow to the eye.) I had a emotional wound, which tried to stop me, too. (A pre-K worker told me that I was dumb because I couldn't tie my shoe laces.)

Your title, "Words Have Power," is spot on! You decided not to own your limitations. You have made a career out of your sport. I decided to keep trying, too. As a result I have run many 5K and 10K road races as well as a 15K, a Half-Marathon and three Marathons, completing two. Running shoes require very specific lacing and at times some rather intricate knots. I can most definitely tie my shoelaces!

Our past need not define us. However, the past can marvelously hone and strengthen our skills.

*Pencil*Suggestions: Please, allow me to urge you to contact Katzendragonz at
STATIC
New Horizons Academy   (E)
Poetry, Grammar, Punctuation, Reviewing, Fiction/Novel Writing, and More
#1535164 by Katzendragonz
. The account of your challenge in life would be helped greatly by improving your grammar. Your spelling seems to be excellent, but the run-on sentences and the quotable expressions that are written without quotation marks make for a challenging read.

I'm a little concerned that your great account will not be fully understood because like the Autobahn in Germany, your piece has few road signs and relatively no posted speed limits. The reader can drive through your wonderful mental countryscape, enjoying the ride, but potentially missing the landmarks along the way.

It would seem to be so much better to create a piece that is much more like Route 66 through the heart of America rather than the Autobahn in Germany. Route 66 is an attraction in itself. One does not drive Route 66 in a hurry. One looks for the unique places along the way that can be found nowhere else on Earth. Others may have accounts of the survival of difficulties in life, but no one else can tell your story of your victory over your obstacle.

*Apple*Punctuation/Spelling/Grammar: I've chosen a few examples to illustrate the need for improved grammar. However, Katzendragonz is your Go-To in this matter.
STATIC
New Horizons Academy   (E)
Poetry, Grammar, Punctuation, Reviewing, Fiction/Novel Writing, and More
#1535164 by Katzendragonz
is a wealth of tools and instructions for you!

1. "The world was great, summer coming up, fingers crossed I passed everything so mom and dad would not be mad and then onto fifth grade." Let's try a few adjustments in this quote. "The world was great! Summer was coming. My fingers were crossed. I was sure I had passed everything so that mom and dad would not be mad at me. Ultimately, I would be going on to fifth grade."
2. "My parents were told it had healed naturally as predicted but any hit to the face or head and i could lose my sight in that eye." This time the corrections are minor. "My parents were told it had healed naturally as predicted, but any hit to the face or head and I could lose my sight in that eye."
3. "(Personally I think this is what is wrong with the youth and country these days, back then if you shot your mouth off you got beat and you learned.)" Again, a few minor changes are all that is needed. "(Personally, I think this is what is wrong with the youth and our country these days. Back then, if you shot your mouth off, you got beat and you learned.)"
4. "We were assigned books to read and one of them was "Illusions" by Richard Bach. It's a tiny little paperback, this doesn't look so bad and look there are little quotes on some of the pages which will make it easier to read." In this case the concern is the change of verb tense from past to present within the same paragraph. (High school English taught me that verb tense MUST remain constant throughout a paragraph.) "We were assigned books to read. One of them was "Illusions" by Richard Bach. I realized that it was a tiny little paperback. It didn't look so bad and I saw that there were little quotes on some of the pages which made it easier to read."
5. "I didn't get into any of the first two games,..." Just change one word and you are good to go. "I didn't get into either of the first two games,..."
6. "I played my college career and became a man from a scared and scarred wounded child." Since I was challenged by the word choices in this quote, I would like to offer an alternative that would help me as well as any other readers, who are like me. "I played my college career and in the process became a man from a scared and scarred, wounded child." "In the process" slows the gait a bit. When I read this for the first time, I ran past the concept of the second half of the sentence because nothing slowed and directed my focus. (I hope the explanation of my reading process helps this to be more understandable.)

*Heart*What I Like: Your honesty and openness grabs me in a good way! These characteristics convince me that you have been given a platform for helping people in the world today. Please, continue to write from the heart! Way to Go! WRITE ON!
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