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Review by Jay O'Toole
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a wonderful place, Sister! What a wonderful testimony you share with the world. Blessings Always. 😃
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2
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Marvilla, WOW did you ever pick a movie to review!

This will challenge me to stay objective, since this was a once-in-a-lifetime event, that I had to live through, and to work through, while I was at work on April 20th, 1999. I still deal with it when I think about that day. As I write this review of your essay/review I've placed my copy of the original printing of Rachel's Tears right next to me on the table. https://www.ebay.com/p/1730702. This is the printing, that I have. It is certainly worth the read.

I wept through the reading of this book. It's significant to note, that this book only took me a little over a month to read in the fall of 2000, which was only 18 months after the event. My reading ability is slow for a writer. I think this is because I am exacting over the content I read, wanting to digest every word. It may interest you to know, that on average a movie review for the Rising Stars Summer Camp costs me well over an hour, sometimes two because I pour over the reviewer's words. After I think I have completed my review of the writer's work. I usually reread my own review 2, 3, or 4 times, making sure, that I have edited my own words well, making them presentable to the movie reviewer.

I take reviewing very seriously like I take my Christian walk. We only travel this Terran sod, once, in these dying bodies, and I want my sojourn to have a major impact on Eternity.

Every time I do one of these reviews, I like to see what famous person added their influence to the picture. Sadie Robertson and Jaci Velasquez were both important in my mind.

Now, as to some of the "nuts & bolts" of this review, check your spelling of "Jaci Velasquez" in your piece as well as "Ben Davies."

Your first paragraph, Marvilla, is a good one. Rachel Joy Scott was the first person killed that day, but did you know that the last one of the victims killed was also a young Christian sister, Cassie Bernall, whose story was immortalized in a music video by Michael W. Smith. This is a book about her life, She Said Yes on an Amazon page full of great reads. https://www.amazon.com/She-Said-Yes-Unlikely-Marty...



Marvilla, I believe this sentence, "There is the plot between the two boys in trench coats who decided to do the shooting," could have been stronger by including the boys names, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. This video is so powerful about how we humans face the same problems in life, but some like Dylan and Eric turn to violence to solve their problems, while others like Rachel Joy and Cassie turn to Christ. The girls were rebellious with Cassie dabbling in satanism, but she allowed Jesus to save her just in time. The boys were into satanism and rebellion and just stayed there, being eternally lost.

There is so much to pity about the boys. Yes. We hate what they did, but they, too, were souls for whom Christ died. We think about the pain experienced by the families and friends of the victims, but do we realize how much pain is still to this day being experienced by the families of the shooters? Dylan's mother created this Ted Talk.



Finally, Marvilla, these sentences, "Rachel Scott draws a mysterious drawing in her journal before her death. This ends up representing the 13 students, including herself, that was were killed on April 20, 1999,"are powerful, but they could have been off-the-charts powerful if the photocopy of this drawing could have been transferred to your review in some way. (It's not just you. I have trouble trying to figure out how to put still photos in something I'm writing. For some reason, videos are easier for me to input.) How amazing would that have been to see the drawing, and to slow down, writing about all of the elements in this mysterious, but poignantly prophetic drawing?

This drawing as shown at the bottom of this webpage, https://tosavealife.com/faith/inspiration/rachel-s... shows 13 tears coming down from the two faceless eyes. Encircling the rose are 19 tears, which nearly equal the 20, who were wounded on that day.

I'm sorry for taking over to be the resource guy on your movie review, but it's like I said at the beginning of my review, it's a little hard to take me out of this subject. So, I don't know if I've been the best guy to do a rational, logical review of your work.

I care very much about this event in the HIStory of our nation as well as in the HIStory of our world.

You said it best in your last paragraph, "Rachel Joy Scott wanted to make a difference, and change the world to make it a better place. She willingly sacrificed her life for her belief in God. As a result, her life and death did have an impact on her world. Her story has touched thousands of lives."

I am one of those lives. I am one of those lives.

Excellent review, Sister. WRITE ON!

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3
Review of Rising Stars Blog  
for entry "Movie Review: Clue
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Thank you, Loren, for the privilege of reviewing your thoughts about the movie, Clue. This is quite a thorough recounting of the movie. My wife and I have watched this, in fact. We went into it expecting some humor to be sprinkled in with the presence of certain actors, like Tim Curry, who always seems to express sarcastic humor in the way he speaks, and in the way he moves his body; like Madeline Kahn with her facial expressions, and Christopher Lloyd with his over-the-top facial and voice expressions.

Sadly, it wasn't as funny as I was hoping, since these actors can actually "do serious," too.

Now, let's move along to your review. Loren, you have quite a memory for details, including the pronunciation guide of "body" for "Mr. Boddy." For some reason, I was pronouncing his name with a long "O," until you made that application. Good for you. You taught me something. *Smile*

Thank you for your first paragraph, which proves to be an excellent caveat emptor (aka "Let the buyer beware,") for families of smaller children. These impressionable minds will face enough as it is throughout a lifetime on Earth. I, too, agree with the philosophy, "Let the child be a child."

If I may, I would like to offer an observation and a mild correction in the four paragraphs of your summary. First of all, this presents more as a newspaper account of a current event than that of a movie review. That may simply be my own personal perspective, since the essence of the word, "review" is "to view, again." If we use this meaning of the word, then you have done masterful job of giving me a play-by-play of the movie from the front to the back (or from the beginning to the end.)

However, there is something I look for in a movie review, that may be distinctive to my personality, but for which I believe there is good rationale as an applied principle to writing as well as to life in general. This first thing I search for in a movie review is quite simply, "What did the reviewer learn by watching this movie?" Furthermore, "What did the reviewer learn about the interactions between the characters? How can this help the reviewer to better interact with friends and family as well as individuals he or she meets for the first time?" Another insight would be "What Life Lessons, if any, has the reviewer learned from watching this movie?"

To be sure murder mysteries are solved through the observation of facts, and your piece has facts by the truckloads, especially in your caution to parents at the beginning of your review. This is good. In addition, I would like to see what you have learned through doing this activity. We are trying to develop insights, and the ability to see more deeply into the events of life, rather than merely seeing the facts of what happened.

I believe movie reviews should be no more than equal parts of restating the actions of the movie, and expressing opinions about the movie (aka "lessons learned.") Frankly, I like to see more of the latter than the former.

For instance, if someone were to ask me, "What did you learn by watching the movie, Clue?" I would be able to tell that person, "If I'm ever invited to spend the weekend at a Biltmore-sized Bed & Breakfast, then I'm going to have a few questions for the person, who sent the invitation. 'What is your end game to my stay at your mansion?' 'Will I be able to drive home in my own car? Or will I be carried out in a long black sedan?' 'What kind of reviews do your patrons give as to the accommodations, and regarding their experiences at your place?' 'Does someone have the ability to write a review after checking in, and walking around the halls? Or do they have pronation of more than their feet?' *Wink*"

Furthermore, Danger is not my idea of a good vacation. Some may enjoy that, but not me. I like going to an island where I can sit on a bench, and watch the sun go down. That may be an age-related preference but in my defense, I have consistently liked peace and quiet throughout my lifetime.

Were someone to ask me for a Life Lesson I learned from watching the movie, Clue, I would quickly respond, "Choose wisely the people you associate with because that could be the last choice you ever make." This is where, even though Clue was not as funny as I had hoped, I can add in my own brand of humor in my life lessons.

I hope these thoughts have helped you. I hope they've given you a new perspective as well as tools for digging into what you read and watch.

It is my humble opinion, that the word, "insight" will help you to go far in life. Doing reviews is a good way to develop this skill.

I appreciate your time and attention in reading my thoughts about your review of the movie, Clue.

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4
Review of "Pitch Perfect 3"  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Thank you for your essay/review of Pitch Perfect 3, Anna Marie. There is so much to discuss with a movie, like this, that it's hard to know where to begin. For me I see similarities to the movie, The Music Man because there is so much back-story in the piece, that we can forget the beautiful music needing to be highlighted.

You have recounted the story with such detail, you appear to know the movie front to back by heart.

Since I'm supposed to be teaching a little in my review, I'm going to get down to the "nuts & bolts" of your essay/review, making suggestions for improvement with the intent of encouraging you as a writer.

First of all, there is a phrase in your first paragraph, which I consider to need a change of nuance. You wrote, "and ended on April 2017." I hope it doesn't seem too picky, but I would use the word, "in," since you have referenced an entire month. I reserve "on" for use with a specific date, like "on April 20, 2017" for example.

You follow up with the cast list, which is good to know. However, it would be good to make a grammatical notation of the different actors in your list. (I will focus on the first paragraph of the cast list, but these principles apply to both paragraphs.)

You wrote,
"Anna Kendrick Anna Camp
Rebel Wilson Brittany Snow
Hailee Steinfeld Hana Mae Lee
Esther Dean Chrissie Fit
Alexis Knapp."
This can be confusing to the reader since all of the names seem to run together.

I am apparently not as familiar with this movie as you are. Therefore, I had to Google the cast list to learn, that "Anna Kendrick" was not playing the character of "Anna Camp," and "Rebel Wilson" was not playing the character of "Brittany Snow." That second line tipped me off because I did at least know Rebel Wilson plays a character, named "Amy" in this trilogy.

We can fix this in one of two ways. First, we could list the stars in sentences with the names separated by commas. "The film stars are as follows: Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Hana Mae Lee, Esther Dean, Chrissie Fit, and Alexis Knapp."

Secondly, we could list the cast in columns similar to yours, including the character names.

"The film stars are as follows:

Anna Kendrick as Beca
Anna Camp as Aubrey
Rebel Wilson as "Fat Amy"
Brittany Snow as Chloe
Hailee Steinfeld as Emily
Hana Mae Lee as Lilly Onakura
Esther Dean as Cynthia Rose
Chrissie Fit as Florencia Fuentes
Alexis Knapp as Stacie Conrad

I just thought of a third option in which you use an equal sign in the place of the word, "as."

It has always been personally enjoyable to me to know the back-story of the actors in any movie I watch. For instance, I am aware, that Rebel Wilson is the daughter of one of the members of the 1980s pop band, Wilson Philips, who were in turn children of some of the members of The Beach Boys band from the 1960s. How could Rebel be anyone, but a singer?

Sentence structure affects the readability of our prose pieces. I am sensitive to this issue because I am naturally complex with my writing, but readers often like more simplicity than is natural for me. I have to work at appropriate levels of simplicity. Too much complexity and I put the reader to sleep. Too much simplicity and I insult the reader as though I am talking to a child. This is a fine and challenging line to walk.

For instance, your first narrative paragraph feels like one long run-on sentence, even though I count six periods. Let's look at this paragraph to see how we can make it clearer, giving room for the reader to breathe.

"Two years after graduating from college, the Bellas are reuniting to do one final performance during an overseas USO Tour. They all hate their jobs. Between the second and third film, Beca and Jessie's relationship ended; Bumper and Amy's relationship didn't last long either, which only made matters worse. After arriving at the reunion, they learned that Emily only invited them there to see the new Bellas, not sing. Later, the disappointed Bellas gathered at a bar to express how much they missed each other. Hoping that her father sees, Aubrey convinces them to join a USO tour."

Here are my suggested changes.
1. "The Bellas have been out of college for two years. They thought it would be good to do one final reunion performance during an overseas USO Tour."
2. "That would be a good respite since they all hate their jobs."
3. I'm thinking this next sentence would be better served to be a separate paragraph. Also, there is an issue with the reader's comprehension in this sentence. Reviews should be understandable to those, who haven't seen the movie. As this can be the case, it is certainly courteous to sprinkle in the phrase, "spoiler alert" when appropriate. "Between the second and third film," assumes the reader knows something about the make-up of the trilogy. I'm a prime example of this issue, since I haven't watched the Pitch Perfect triology, although I know something about it from the trailers. "Beca and Jessie's relationship ended; Bumper and Amy's relationship didn't last long either, which only made matters worse." As a reader, I just have to take your word for it, since I don't know anything about those relationships.
4. I think the next sentence could be still another paragraph. "After arriving at the reunion, they learned that Emily only invited them there to see the new Bellas. Emily hadn't planned to actually sing with them."
5. The next sentence is another new thought. Therefore, another paragraph could be used. "Later, the disappointed Bellas gathered at a bar to express how much they missed each other."
6. Finally, the last sentence in the paragraph is yet another new thought, and it appears to need another word to clarify it. "Hoping that her father sees her, Aubrey convinces them to join a USO tour."

Anna Marie, I hope that my review isn't so detailed as to sound like criticism. I'm a teacher at heart, and I have a number of years in the classroom for my expertise. My intent is to hone your skills. I want to give you tools and greater confidence, that you may always know you have God-given skills as a writer.

Let me finish with a few principles, regarding the appearance and flow of writing a movie review.
1. "If the visual elements of an essay look like documentation by a CPA, then a reader may move on to greener pastures." The bookends of this review are very factual, and might not be attractive to the average reader.
2. "A review of any sort should contain no more than equal parts of recounted actions married to the discussion of the motivations behind the actions, and the lessons learned from the actions." (As a rule, the motivations and the lessons learned should be consistently more than the actions recounted.) Your review is very good about giving the reader a play-by-play of the movie, but there is little discussion to the apparent reasons why you think the characters did what they did.
3. "A review is about excavating nuggets of truth, and life principles from a piece of art. What can we learn from what we read or see?"

Anna Marie, you've gathered a great deal of important information for your readers. Simply teach it to the reader as you would to a classroom full of students. Please, keep writing and stretching yourself as an artist.

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5
5
for entry "A Film Review
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thank you, Lurie Park, for the privilege of reviewing your essay about the movie, The Man Who Knew Infinity. Your insights are quite gifted. Your critique of this movie is multidimensional, moving back and forth easily between the story of the film and the expertise of the actors themselves.

In order to assist you in growing your writing style, I will now point out a few things, that could help you with clarity to the average reader. Your detailed mind shows up repeatedly in complex sentences. In a venue, such as a university, such complexity can be quite a plus. However, since many day-to-day readers of news articles and items of social interest in the world tend to have a comprehension level on the sixth-grade (or middle school years) reading level, I have learned to write in more simple sentences, even though I have not accomplished this very well in these first two paragraphs of my review of your work. *Wink*

Bottom Line: Growing as a writer is a lifelong lesson as we can plainly see.

Let's get specific. I came across this sentence in your essay/movie review.
"He is a man who is troubled by poverty, away from his wife and mother at home; a Brahmin isn’t allowed to cross the oceans, he iterates." I believe it would help the reader to create two sentences in place of this one complex sentence. Here is my suggestion. "He is a man, who is troubled by poverty, and who is away from his wife and mother at home. 'A Brahmin isn't allowed to cross the oceans,' he iterates." Obviously, when you write it in your essay, you would need to use quotation marks in place of my apostrophes, since the sentence, "A Brahmin isn't allowed to cross the oceans" is a quote within a quote in my example.

There are other complex sentences in your essays, but I will not take the time to address them all as I wish to teach you a principle for writing to a mass market. "Two simple sentences are often better than one complex sentence." A second principle follows in kind. "Use complex sentences sparingly as a chef uses spices. Just enough makes a magnificent dining experience."

In your first paragraph, The Man Who Knew Infinity should be underlined as it is the title of a book as well as of a movie. May I offer the word, "tender" in place of the word, "timid," since timid means fearful, and tender is more in agreement with the other word you used, "reverential."

I like what you did with the words, "autodidact," "Kali," and "tuberculosis," using the hover-over insertion box tool. That is a part of ML with which I am not greatly familiar. This is something you taught me in this exercise. *Smile*. Thank you.

I have taken time to look at your profile since this helps me to better understand each person I review. I understand, that you are a "high school student" (as we call it in the US,) and I now know that you live in Great Britain. Your age makes me greatly impressed by the level of depth and insight in your writing. You have a great start as a writer.

Finally, I would like to add a note about the differences in expressions among the English-speaking peoples of the world. I have learned many interesting things as I have talked with people around the world over the years. I have been a sixth-grade teacher, (which in the US means students of 11 to 12 years of age,) and I have been an online ESL teacher with students from China to Texas, USA.

Let me highlight a couple of expressions you have used in this essay, that should not be considered "wrong" per se, but these are simply different from the expressions U.S. speakers would use, and is, therefore, worthy of your consideration as you expand your audience of English-speaking peoples.

1. "That's why this movie becomes a hit number." The wording is good, and well said. It simply sounds a little British to me, since in The States we tend to say, "That's why this movie has become a number one hit (or "#1 hit.") Americans seem to use symbols in our writing at times. That doesn't make us better than anybody else. It is a uniqueness to consider when we are the focus audience. "Less is more." The usage of symbols in writing for Americans is a learned art. Just enough is "talking like a native speaker" as my Chinese ESL students used to say. Too much seems forced and unnatural.

2. "For a layman Indian, its (Grammarly suggested this change) direction is thoroughly appreciated." The use of the third person in addressing oneself is more formal and as such appears to be British since Americans often introduce themselves in the first person, "I am..." However, as a student of the King James Bible, I have been known to use the format you used as well. I'm glad to know, that Indian is your heritage. All the Indians I have known have been quite intelligent, and I consider it my honor to know them.

3. "It had earned the overall income of 1.23 crores USD in initial year of release." I am assuming this is British because of a couple of words in this sentence. I am unfamiliar with the word, "crores." However, I assume it is a lot of money in USD. Also, Grammarly and I would both suggest using "the" in front of the word, "initial."

Lurie Park, you have done quite well in your movie review. I pray, that my verbosity does not suggest otherwise. My reviews come from the heart of a teacher, who wishes to help writers to shine in much the same way, that a classic car owner takes time to shine a car, already amazing to consider. You have great depth as a writer. My details should be considered as tools to use with your skills.

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6
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
That’s great, Brother James. Our world would be a better place with more Gospel preachers fulfilling their God-given calling.

My Dad was my pastor for many years, during my early life. He sounds like your pastor, and as a poet, he was like you because he wrote a poem about his pastor.

Blessings, Friend & Brother. Thanks for your service to the Lord. 😃

Jay
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Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Nicely done, Sis. Onward & Upward. 😃❤️
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Review of The Glory of God  
Review by Jay O'Toole
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thank you for sharing this good testimony, CrisMiss. I'm so glad you have been saved and are learning to obey the Lord, consistently. (None of us are perfect in our service to the Lord. In that, I share the road with you.)

How wonderful it is to know, that He has forgiven our past and that our future is secure, based on the merits of Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.

Be truly blessed, and write on, serving the Lord with your whole heart, Now & Forever! *Smile*
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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!
10
10
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 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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16
16
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 | (5.0)
Thank you 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: This is an encouraging poem. You have hope to overcome the darkness. That is a great sentiment.

*Pencil*Suggestions: Write more of these types of poems. Many humans, if not all, have challenges in life. The hope that victory is possible in the Light brings great strength when we need it most.

*Apple*Rhythm & Rhyme: This is a Free Verse poem, without rhythm and without rhyme. As a Free Verse poem, it is well-crafted.

*Heart*What I Like: I like that you see the desire of the darkness for what it is, the attempt to defeat you. However, you are determined not to be defeated. You have the motivation to pursue the light. May your perspective create more stalwart souls like yourself. *Smile*

Here is yet another signature, that has been provided for me by my good friends, WS & GG.
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
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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.
"

Here is yet another signature, that has been provided for me by my good friends, WS & GG.
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
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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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