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2,953 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
Honest. I give my overall impressions, let you know what worked well for me and what didn't, and when that happens, I like to try and offer suggestions--totally up to you if you want to take any notice; it is your writing, after all. I am just glad to have the opportunity to read and review. I rarely think anything is perfect, so please do not request a review if you value ratings over review content.
I'm good at...
...being interested. I take time over reviews. My reviews are intimate, informal and honest. They aim to help, offer insight, and celebrate the graft of craft. I love commas. Punctuation is a personal passion.
Favorite Genres
Comedy, supernatural horror, sci-if, fantasy, thriller, detective, slice-of-life, history.
Least Favorite Genres
Dystopian glumness, romance, personal.
Favorite Item Types
Scripts. Fiction. Essays, especially academic
Least Favorite Item Types
Free form poetry. Other than that, little offends.
I will not review...
Unless previously agreed, novels and chapters are a no go with me. I am sorry to say that I haven't the time.
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of Author  
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (4.0)
So you're a horror writer, too, eh? I can't think of anything more horrible than a blank page staring back at me, that's for sure...

Thank you for the opportunity to visit your port again. I do like this poem because you have captured that desperation of writer's block so well. Giving the paper anthropomorphic qualities was a nice tool to use in compounding that horror:

The paper stares back, still blank.

One of the things I am beginning to appreciate about your poetry is its raw nature: part of its power comes from the energy and pace you put into it when drafting. I would hate for you to ever lose that. Reworking drafts and editing can sometimes 'over prune' a poem but it is always worth coming back to a passionately paced work with fresh eyes the next day to tidy up typos. Of course, the danger in proofing for typos is that you don't see them as you get swept away by that passionate pace again! One tip I can share is to read the poem backwards, line-by-line, when proofing for typos--they seem to stand out clearer for me. Here are some I spotted, but do look for others:

far to long

I know? what I know

How do I put on paper what is in my head.


Thank you again for the chance to visit you, and thank you, too, for sharing your work. Write On!
2
2
Review of The Visit  
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi JustMe

Thank you for visiting my port and taking time to review. I thought I would come have a look see at you *Smile*

As a new visitor to your port, this poem seemed a great way to start. I am glad I dived into your poetry. Typically, if I ever dare go near the stuff (reading or badly writing) I need form. Free verse, with no rules scares me... because I don't know the rules. This poem, however, is what I do enjoy about free verse--you give yourself the freedom to really crack open your poet's tool box and play around with the construction of the poem. This highlights your influence on your reader by way of pace and in turn the tone.

The poem begins with despair and wounded pain. The isolation of the voice is palpable from the outset with the coffee routine, contemplation of 'what's it all about...', memories of callous actions and the most haunting line: just nod and agree. That phrase chilled me because it was so accepting of the loss and futility and helped convey later the huge importance of the visitor.

Again, I think you have a real intuitive understanding of controlling pace in your writing (handy if you ever want to get into mystery/thriller/action writing). There is a definite shift from the quiet desperation of the start of the poem to the stuttering, spluttering relief and thankfulness of the 'rescue' by the visitor, and you echo the words you chose with the stop-start rhythm and rhyme pattern of what is a beautifully crafted stanza:

it was the beginning
of a plan
the reason I was grinning
the hope building that I can


I thought this a smashing poem of rescue and hope. To highlight this poem to more readers in the community, consider using all 3 of the genre fields available to you and which readers search by.

Thank you for the opportunity to visit.

Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Escape Artist  
Review by Acme
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*

This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it!


What a delightful and inspiring story! Good use of the prompt, for sure, but oh so much more than that. You conveyed so much in so few words and each one gilded--not one wasted.

I had to read and re-read a number of times. I was trying, and failing, to keep myself from becoming fully submerged in your story world. I had hoped to offer some constructive critique. I am sorry, I can't offer any. I seldom give 5 stars, as I always assume that means 'perfect: ready for publication'. This is perfect: ready for publication. These were people on the page, not just characters, and their story was one of raising self-esteem and horizons, as well as positively impacting those around them. It wouldn't be the same story without the supporting cast of Sanjay and John.

I am a firm believer in the positive power of the creative arts and in education in general. I am lucky enough to have worked on literacy projects (via creative writing workshops) with ex-cons, those with addictions, with marginalised communities and with mental health patients, and whilst there are always challenges, the rewards for all involved are tangible.

Favourite part? The camaraderie at the end, of course, but more than that: I kept seeing you when I watched Jinga flit across my mind's eye *Rolling*


*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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4
4
Review by Acme
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


Overall impressions and suggestions


Hello River,

Thank you for this essay entry for PWW. Good and clear use of the prompt, and nicely set out for the eye, I looked forward to reading, especially noting that references were included (my kind of essay *Wink*)

Your opening paragraph gave me a clear and concise overview of Canadian correctional services. This really is appreciated, as it works well to set the scene for international readers like myself.

This is one of the best essays I have read in a while (yes, I know you can see the a swathe of comments below, but, please bear with me, they are there because I want this gem to shine with a bit of polish after the contest). Having no idea of the state of Canada's prison system, you gave me a very good overview of one Province's jails, and selected those which served a variety of different needs in different ways. Could the prison system be better? Yes it could. No one should ever get complacent about the care and treatment of other human beings--remorse, retribution and effective rehabilitation programs all add up to potentially fewer victims and less crimes. And who is a criminal? You touch on these interesting points for further debate throughout, but I particularly liked your presentation of the Ontario lawyer who represents prisoners abused by guards. It reminded me that out laws are made from general consensus of what is and what isn't acceptable to the majority at any particular time.

As an informative introduction to another country's prison system, this worked well. As an interesting view on the make-up of a Province's prisoner profile, it opened further avenues for exploration of women's prisons, indigenous populations, and mental health.

I do think you can improve the essay, though. Predominately, I think you could do with asking yourself where this is going to go after PWW. I say that because I got the impression there were two different types of essay fighting against each other here: the academic vs the editorial. Whilst I am a fan of journal articles and ache for you to turn this into a prime candidate for an academic journal, you have such a strong editorial voice that wants to put its two-cents in, and I don't think you can afford to ignore that. Up to you, but this does feel like two parts of two different essays, rather than one whole. And you have such a strong and compelling editorial voice, I really would love to see you use it. If not blogging already, please consider it: you will end up with a firm following. Have you submitted articles to local papers? If not, you should do that, too.

Once the contest is over, you might want to proofread and edit with a fresh eye, as spellcheckers don't catch everything, like here:
It's minimum security unit opened in 1968 and its medium security unit opened in 1969 = no need for possessive apostrophe in first its, just as it is not needed in his, hers and theirs.

Our eyes read what we want there to be there so it pays to proofread after time away from a piece. You can always proofread backwards, too. Seriously, starting from the last paragraph and working back is not a bad idea, as it means you don't get sucked into the flow and voice of the work. Here is an example of loss of meaning/change of sentence structure/syntax issues:
These focus on each offender’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritually healthy, in order to help them regain balance in their lives.

I also go a little confused when the 3rd person narrative voice suddenly became more intimate, informal and 'we' (see earlier commentary on two-types of essay):

Aboriginal Healing Lodges are correctional institutions where we use Aboriginal values [...] we thoroughly assess an offender’s risk to public safety = Do you work for the Aboriginal Healing Lodges? Do you assess offender risk? The use of 'we' implies this. If this is the case, and you do work for an Aboriginal Healing Lodge, I think you missed a great opportunity to create an editorial style essay, acknowledging your specialist knowledge as a integral part of one of the many correctional system's support staff. If you do not work for a correctional/healing facility, are you using 'we' to mean Canadians? If so, please re-consider this; the majority of the the essay takes quite a nice objective look at different prisons, different programs of punishment and reform on offer, and does this by keeping to the facts, which speak for themselves: Canada's prison system is constantly evolving, takes its population's needs and protected characteristics (including, and not meaning to exclude others, gender, cultural/religious, and race).

If you are citing straight from source, be sure to clearly show this by using quotation marks and referencing--APA, MLA, Harvard, etc. Whichever one you are using, the in text citation is typically last name and year of publication:

'Beyond unacceptable': Auditor general rips treatment of First Nations.

Auditor general Michael Ferguson attacked the treatment of First Nations as "beyond unacceptable" in the penal system (Harris 2016*).
*or however you want to ensure your referencing, dependent on style

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

The WDC Army Angels


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5
5
Review of Real Arts  
Review by Acme
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (3.5)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*

This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*



What are my overall impressions?


Hi Kerri,

I am lucky to be a Rising Stars judge for the dialogue challenge. I hope this review is useful to you. As we are not at the actual deadline yet, please feel free to make any changes you want to following my commentary, and then notify me as soon as possible if you do so, so that I can come back and re-rate/re-review!

First, let me congratulate you on taking the challenge on: writing pure dialogue is a craft that needs graft. It takes a lot of hard work to make dialogue sound natural. In fact, I personally believe dialogue shares more in common with poetry than any other creative writing form, because it isn't meant to be read; it is meant to be spoken and heard. Have you read this aloud? Have you had your friends or family read this out loud? Asking people to read dialogue aloud will give you a chance to explore where your readers hear the voice you intended or if they stumbled--this makes for easier rewrites *Thumbsupl*

Visually, using colour is a great way to distinguish the speakers *Smile*. One quick thing you can do to make it easier for readers and actors to follow is to double-space return between each speaker. Big space returns make it easier for readers to keep their place when scrolling down a screen or working script-in-hand.

I wasn't sure whether you were offering an example of persuasive dialogue or argumentative dialogue before I read the piece--consider popping that into the brief description field, if you have room, for example:

Is digital art really an art? Persuasive dialogue exercise.

After reading, I considered this dialogue to be an example of persuasive dialogue. You held my interest, although there wasn't much overt tension or suspense. That's not particularly a bad thing in this instance! These two characters get on well, and there are some lovely insights into the relationship between Callie and her uncle, revealed through their interaction. Here, that tension/suspense is much more subtly conveyed and based around an all-too familiar premise: the young being able to teach an old dog new tricks. Age-related gulfs in understanding (socially, politically, technologically) are universal in many cultures, and you capture that tension well by showing us an intimate familial relationship and the sometimes clash between 'new' and 'traditional' ways of doing things. Nicely done. Like I said, subtle.

Your first line is strong. You use so few words to say so much. It's the holy grail of good wordsmithying, especially in dialogue where you cannot afford to waste a single word. A good, strong opening is the best way to capture attention. Not only is this one strong, but you introduce the two characters to the reader straight away so we are completely aware of who these characters are and the basis for them having a relationship. The hello and hug also tell us this is a good relationship. I want to know more. I want to listen in to what they have to say after not seeing each other for so long. Good hook. Good writing. Nice.

So, by the time Callie responds, we know she is Callie and her uncle is Daren. Once this is established, there is no need to use their names again. That might sound a little bizarre, but think about it: when you talk with your mum or your friend, and there's just the two of you, do you use their name throughout your conversation? Probably not. Prose writers (and I am guessing you write short stories) often have to slip character identifiers in, because they use descriptive prose to show us the characters in their situation. Raw dialogue between two people is very different, so remove all the other 'Callie's and 'Uncle's, then read their dialogue out loud to yourself again. Sound more natural? It should *Smile*

Talking of natural...you know I mentioned that it takes a lot of work to make dialogue sound natural? It also takes a lot of artificiality. Real-life conversations between people are typically very poorly constructed! Lots of erms, well, ums and omissions, and these often don't translate well to writing. I did a research project some years ago, which involved recording interviews and then typing up the transcripts. Oh my, you wouldn't believe how long some sentences could be--one sentence alone took an entire half page of A4, was full of ands, ums and erms, but was a true reflection of the verbal experience. If you fancy recreating the exercise, and your phone has a record mode, record you and your family conversing over dinner and play it back, typing it up as a transcript. You'll be amazed, and you will definitely want to 'tidy' their conversation up. Do that here, too. Your characters use filler words and you want to make every word work to be here. One example you could try in a re-write is to remove all of the 'well's and the sentence-starting 'but's, even if you think they sound like they should be there. Doing so will really tighten your write:

Well, I've become a digital artist since we last spoke.
I've become a digital artist since we last spoke.

Well, um, digital art, is a real art. Just as traditional art is.
"Um, digital art, is a real art. Just as traditional art is.

"But is it really something worth pursuing for a career?"
"But what is a graphics tablet?"
"But why wouldn't you want to do real art?"


The rules of punctuation are very useful, for sure (without following them, I doubt readers would be able to follow what writers were saying and how they wanted to say it). It was live dialogue/playwrights who invented punctuation. Seriously! Greek playwrights wanted their actors to know when to take a little breath or pause for a big one, for emphasis, so the Greeks invented the little breath (comma) and big breath (period). Other than that, it is generally agreed these days that style can be relaxed inside dialogue, so where, for instance, you might have a colon(:) or semicolon(;) in prose, using them in speech could be replaced by an em-dash (--). It's more relaxed and informal, just like people are when they are in conversation. You do a fabulous job of misusing punctuation to great dramatic affect here in the extended 'big breath' pause of the mid-sentence period:

No, it isn't a replacement for traditional art, but it is a separate form. Like the difference between classical music and modern pop music

Watch out, though, for excessive punctuation. An exclamation mark denotes an exclaim, excitement, or shouting. Best to use them sparingly, as using them too often lessens their impact. You have, for example, 4 of them in the first line of dialogue, where only one would be needed and the reset could be exchanged for periods:

Callie! Hello! I haven't seen you in forever! Come give your uncle a hug!

This is a good example of persuasive dialogue. A little time spend editing as mentioned will make it an nice, little, tight write. When you are editing again, fix up the few typos that are in there, too. I won't list them all, but here are a few I noticed:

am still thinking about where to go. I'm thinking about graphics design." = missing "I ...
"It, it is, Uncle. It's just that. = missing is.
Digital art needs it's own special skills. = no need for possessive apostrophe in 'its' (you wouldn't use one in 'his', 'hers', or 'theirs').
I wouldn' know, Cal. = missing t.


*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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6
6
Review by Acme
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Ooh, this one hit a nerve. I've been a smoker for decades--more than half my life. What was really good about this dialogue, was that the content, tone and arguments are all ones I have had myself, with myself; whilst reading it it became an almost internal dialogue!

Just a couple things to mention:
Smoking is a drug culture, so change your rating to 13+

Some typos and phrases 'sounded' wrong:
Don’t you mind it cost a fortune? = costs

You cannot think only about yourself. = can't (contractions work well in informal dialogue)

That’s more than 40,000 dollar you put through your lungs. Are you crazy? = dollars

How many years are you smoking? = have you been smoking?


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (5.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*

This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it!


Hi ♥tHiNg♥ ,

I wanted to stop by sooner, but was a bit of a procrastinator, window shopping in your port (so much to see, and so little time--I shall have to come back)! I had to stop by this, though, when I saw the title. I whiled away many a confused childhood jail sentence on the Thinking Step (none of those progressive 'chairs' for the likes of me).

I adore wordplay. It is one of the best ways to cultivate confessional intimacy with a reader. The subtleties of comedy featured delightfully here: I had a temper, mind you, but I took that out on my big brother at home. How fabulous to smile at 'mind you' as an informal aside to the reader as well as 'mind you' as a warning of the temper referred to...marvellously mischievous writing makes for a rewarding read *Thumbsupl*

We never forget out first taste of injustice. The fact that the cause of such injustice ended up serving justice is, again, delightful and playful...if a little ironic! Wonderful wordsmithying. A real treat to read.

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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8
8
Review of Katherine  
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (4.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


Thank you for entering the History Contest, and welcome to WDC! The whole point of the brief description field in a static is to sell your wares, entice the reader in, and grab attention. You did just that. What a thing to wonder about! I was aching to read your entry from the minute you posted it, but am glad I restrained myself to my time-honored annoying habit of reading and reviewing in order of posting: it felt like waiting for Christmas morning to come; half the fun is anticipation.

First person POV works well; having the narrative come from Katherine herself is an intimate way to ponder what it must have been like to go through the heartache and politics of her position. I think you captured her tone, the weight of history and her innermost emotions well in such a short write.

Some suggestions for you:

Talk of bastards, whores and wifely duties mean this is probably better suited to an ASR rating than an E-rating. Have a word with a blue-cased Moderator, if unsure, or check out "Content Rating System (CRS) for further information *Thumbsupl*

The months grieving for Arthur were over and the sun shone again for both of us. We were in love and he did everything for me, even gaining a dispensation from the Pope, allowing us to marry. = You and I might know Katherine's history and her prior relationship with Arthur, but not everyone who reads your write will know that Arthur was Henry's brother. Sometimes, spelling things out makes life easier for those coming to a piece of history which is new to them. Even a small change, such as "His brother, Henry, and I were now in love and he did everything for me..." can make a big difference for your reader *Smile*

they did not wish to upset their 'New' Queen = no need for new to be capitalized.


*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

history contest illustration


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (4.5)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


This is such a fun read. It has to be your narrative voice. The humorous asides to the reader make it really informal and chatty, echoing your opening paragraph that history isn't for dusty old books, it's made by real people doing real things. Short, snappy and direct sentences work well, too, adding to the overall tone and pace that had me hooked.

The history itself is pretty impressive, too. I could allow myself the chance to really enjoy it: knowing that Douglas Corrigan died in 1995, meant I wasn't too far forward on the edge of my seat reading about him being surrounded by gasoline, or flying the wrong way. The story is just as intense, as is the action, but I felt 'safe' reading it, if you know what I mean?

This fabulous flight of fantastic history made my day. A little piece of up-lifting depression-ear history that was new to me and fun to research--thank you. A thoroughly enjoyable read that once a few typos are addressed, will be a real treasure.


Just a few typos I noted for future edits:
An exceptional and intrepid aviation pioneer find fame by stealth or plain dumb luck = finds

Second para has a mid-sentence return typo in the final sentence.

He was so taken by Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic; he decided that he would duplicate the feat. - no need for semi-colon; a comma will do.

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

history contest illustration


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by Acme
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


I am a sucker for the supernatural, so thank you for entering this short story, set in 13th century Italy, in the History Contest.

Showing, not telling, is something a great many folk advise. There is worth in it. It can be hard getting characters' backstories across without an 'info dump'. One thing to do, when you include backstory information, is to look at it afresh and ask if really needs to be there at all--in other words, is the information only something that you as the author needed to develop your characters--does it deserve to be there, and such things only really ever deserve to be there if they advance plot and/or character. Take this for instance:
It was 1209, Italy, and Richter was a successful carpenter, having immigrated from Germany to become an entrepreneur with a close friend of his, who came from Sicily. After he and Alisse were married, they settled in Apulia, and lived in tranquility as they began to raise a family. You have already shown the love and tranquility Richter and Alisse live in, before this information is offered. You have shown it through the characters' names, the action of Richter making the rocking chair, the action and dialogue between content and loving husband and wife, and hint at relative prosperity as you have shown Richter as a carpenter (having made the chair) and having made it for his child, rather than to make money.

Adverbs are not the devils people make them out to be. They are, in fact, bloomin' useful! That said, it is best to employ them sparingly, as they will not do your descriptive job as well as you will. Cutting back on them will tighten your write, making every word count. Showing can often breed less words, rather than more. It is good to look for extraneous words, too--why say her hair is long? If she can drape it over his shoulder, then the length is implied. Here is an extended example:

He noticed a mischievous smirk on her lips. “Looks more like violet to me,” she told him teasingly.

Richter's thick, dried up lips twitched into a frown, but after a moment turned back into a grin after he grunted amusingly.

“Oh, is that so?” he then replied sarcastically, as he approached her.

They exchanged a kiss. His lips must have felt rough against hers, but she reciprocated just as tenderly.

“It looks wonderful,” she conceded.

She carefully shifted Kamen in her arms to lean against him, her long chestnut hair draping over his shoulder as she did. He wrapped his arm around her lean frame and pulled her in as tightly as he could; she sighed comfortably.


He noticed a mischievous smirk on her lips.

She teased him. “Looks more like violet to me.”

Richter's thick, dried up lips twitched into a frown, but turned back into a grin as he approached her. “Is that so?”

He kissed her. His rough lips burned. Her tender kiss cushioned him in reply. Richter wrapped his arm around Alisse's lean frame and pulled her in as tightly as he could, his wife's chestnut hair draped over his shoulder.

She shifted Kamen in her arms to lean against Richter and study the chair. She sighed with a smile. “It looks wonderful.”


Do you really need to end it by explaining what will happen years later? The third from last paragraph makes for the stronger ending. You could strengthen it further by relating it back to your initial imagery of the creation of the chair, by the destruction of a chair--after all, they are sat by the dying embers of a fire. Instead of moving them to a cave to have a fire and a chat, why not keep them at the previous scene's vineyard farmhouse, where such a rocking chair would not be needed by the tenants anymore... Just a thought *Wink*

Many of your readers will read online. As such, it can be helpful to use site-common formatting for your stories, which includes leaving a double-spaced return between paragraphs and dialogue (or in your case, 2x double-spaced return, as your main body of writing is double spaced). It will allow readers to scroll down without losing their place.

Overall this is a smashing supernatural action piece and I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue. There is such a spark between Ulfric and Richter, and such tenderness in the brief portrait of Richter's life with Alisse. I am firm believer that dialogue should only ever be there if it advances either plot or character and you make your dialogue work twice as smart by having it do both. Excellent *ThumbsUpL*

A little time spent editing will turn this good story into a great one. Thank you for the chance to read, rate and review. If you do work further on it, please let me know if you would like me to come back to re-read, re-rate, and review!

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

history contest illustration


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of Driftwood  
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (4.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


Hi there and welcome to WdC. Thank you for submitting this flash fiction into the history contest.

I love a vignette. To me, one of the most important aspects of a successful one is to take the reader straight into a particular and intense moment. You do that very successfully here. The imagery is strong, as is the tone and pace.

I know that punctuation can be a very personal expression of style, but I am a bit of a fan of commas. There were a few places in this write where I would have liked a few more, so that I could be directed by you as to when to take a mental breath. Predominately these places were before sub-clauses and when listing. Same goes for hyphens, like here:
[...] his blood soaked broken leg.
And with possessive apostrophes, like here:
his brown leather aviators jacket , or did you mean 'aviator jacket'?

Overall, a short, but enjoyable read *Smile*


Entering contests is a great way to get people to notice your work and visit your port (portfolio). Here are a few more ways you can attract more readers to your work on site:

*BulletO* Use the brief description area to hint at the content and grab the attention of prospective readers

*BulletO* Use all 3 genre fields available to you. As we as 'History' you could consider fields such as 'Drama', 'Mystery', 'Action/Adventure', 'Transport', etc.

*BulletO* Review. Reviewing other writers will encourage return reviews and visits to your port

*BulletO* Join groups of like-minded writers. There are a host of review groups, groups by genre, and community groups that will expose you to more and more readers, writers and reviewers


*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

history contest illustration


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Unseen Secret  
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (2.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


Thank you for entering this inspirational biography of one of my favourite scientists, Tesla. Thank you, too, for using one of my favourite site tools: the Edit Points system *ThumbsUpL*

Overall, this feels like a good start rather than a full draft or finished piece. Your narrative style is informal and passionate; it made me want to read on. The first paragraph is intriguing and grabbed my attention, and it would lead nicely into introducing Nikola Tesla's name at the start of next paragraph.

Tesla led such an interesting life; from his early days in Europe (family and education), to his move to the states, his success with AC and the potential of his never-realised bankrupt project... an intriguing character, too--which you have hinted at. Hints are fab, but facts and explanations are necessary for your reader to appreciate just how magical Tesla's world was, and how much foresight he had at the core of his inventive genius.

I would be happy to return to your work and re-rate after further drafts. thank you for the opportunity to read and review *Smile*

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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13
13
Review of We Were Wrong  
Review by Acme
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


As a Brit, I come from a history rich in stealing other people's history, so your poem really struck a chord with me from the opening lines...and then I realised it carried on striking chords because this is my history. British settlers settled in America. British bibles bragged and conquered, and British ships enslaved, dominated and decimated continents in the pursuit of Empire and purse.

I have visited your port before, but I think this is one of only a few poems that has left me without that little glimmer of hope, because here you are quite astute in that last line's observation: we haven't learned a thing from history.

A thought-provoking poem that looks candidly at history without rose-tinted anything. Thank you for sharing.

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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14
14
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (2.5)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


Nice to see a 'sample' item being submitted for the history contest. Thank you for entering it.

Wouldn't it be great to be a fly on the wall at some of the world's most pivotal historical events? This short write of a scene of a world on the cusp of adventure gave me that tickle of fantasy, and I found myself wishing you had written more than a sample!

I liked how you took me straight to the heart of the action through the characters hesitance and feelings outside the reception room. This is one way you could expand the story, too, by concentrating on how your protagonist feels at each turn of the die: after all, to want sponsorship for one vessel and to come away with triple that, must have left him reeling.

For all my enjoyment, there are a few places you could look to tightening the write as either a more developed piece (mentioned above), or as a stand-alone sample:

Adverbs are not the devil, but it can pay dividends to question their presence, as there is often a more direct way of expressing yourself:
Christopher stopped hesitantly in front of the door to the Royal Reception Room
Christopher hesitated in front of the door to the Royal Reception Room

A lot of on line readers appreciate a double space between paragraphs and speech; it is easier for their eyes to keep their place when scrolling.

For a short write, there are a lot of exclamation marks. Using too many can lessen their impact, and so readers just start to read them as periods.

Where you see descriptive words repeated, ask yourself if another word could describe what you want to convey, by widening your vocabulary:
the King called from his lavish throne. Queen Isabella sat next to him in an equally lavish throne

Proofread specifically for punctuation and typos. There are a couple missing and extra spaces throughout.

Thank you again for entering this into the contest; it was a brief but pleasant dip into the past *Smile*

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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15
15
Review of The Printed WORD  
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


Thank you for entering the History Contest. This is a lovely, personal write, which shows how 'big' historical events impact on little people. The story of your grandparents finding and exploring their religion, and ultimately shaping the religious history of your family, is part of a wider history of the religion itself. That intimate connection to history is truly wonderful. It is one of the reason so many of us like exploring our own family histories: history itself connects us to our ancestors *Smile*

I really enjoyed that personal touch to history here, but I think that a little more time spent on future drafts could make this a smashing read for a wider readership. WdC is an international site, and as such, has an multi-cultural readership who may not be entirely familiar with your particular religion. Some time making (what may seem to you obvious) explanations of ideas will allow you to connect to people ignorant of this form of religious practice. As the overall tone is editorial article, why not put some useful links to resources in, too? It won't spoil the flow of the piece, and if you think it does, then you can always add them as footnotes.

You may want to proofread for typos, as I was not looking specifically for them, so here are a few I noticed:

Its well documented = contraction, so apostrophe required

When outcast by his own church, he set up a school in Topeka, Kansas. Later went to Houston = 'later went...' is not the start of a new sentence--it is part of the existing one, so requires a comma before it, not a period.

body and spirit.This paper included = space required.


It was one of these papers that came to my great grandparents home in Virginia
= possessive apostrophe required (grandparents' home)

As the religion and its history may not be familiar to all readers, it can be wise to ensure your religious explanations are simple to understand. If you ensure that your sentence construction is solid, it may also help. Here is an example:

A little over 100 years ago a revival began in Wales and spread to the United States. Its well documented and is referred to by religious leaders as the "Fall of the Latter Day Saints."

Charles Parham, an evangelist, began preaching about this phenomenon and what was required to receive it.


The paragraphs above seem related enough to be joined, not separated. If so, receive what exactly? It seems like the phenomenon is the "Fall of the Latter Day Saints". Which saints are these and what fall does the phenomena relate to?

Again, it may be my limited understandng of religious phrases, but what do you mean by 'outpouring' here?

In Los Angeles he met with a group of people, on Bonnie Brea Street, hungry to hear what he preached. The result was the beginning of another outpouring in that city. = an outpouring of what?

Seeing repeated words and phrases can be an indication of where widening your vocabulary may enrich your prose:

Bonnie Brea Street, hungry to hear what he preached ...

From the hunger to hear more about the miraculous changes

...publications that are free for the asking...

There are printing plants in Africa and and in Asia. Still, all are free for the asking and we have never




*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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16
16
Review of Herculaneum  
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (3.5)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


Thank you for entering a poem in the History Contest; it is a great way to share distilled moments from the past *Smile*

Herculaneum is chilling. Your poem captures the fragility of the townspeople's lives and lifestyles. I have seen film and photographic footage of those boat sheds, and the scale and violence of loss and destruction is phenomenal. We too kid ourselves that our homes, towns and ways of life are permanent. You reveal and connect these ideas subtly in the poem, like where you liken the everyday town's inhabitants daily lives to our own.

The poem is set out in 6 four-line stanzas. There is no fixed rhyme and rhythm. This doesn't detract too much from the poem, but first half of the poem is so different in line structure to the last half that it almost felt like reading a different poem. In that way it sort of felt like an early draft, rater than a finished one.

I did like your wordsmithying; the imagery of the volcano brooding, the alliteration of 'bleached bones ... boathouse' and the direct narrative address 'you'. All of these little touches were evidence of the range of poetic devices you have available in your poet's toolbox. Nice writing *Thumbsupl*

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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17
17
Review by Acme
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


This is a review on behalf of "The History Contest


Thank you for entering this history write into the contest.

History is all action, reaction and consequence--and so is your story. This insightful and action-packed imagining of a pivotal moment in the history of an island's people makes for visceral and fast-paced reading. More than that, the subtle weaving of plot is driven by the historical backdrop in the hands and mouths of some very well-wrought portrayal of the characters, especially the antagonists.

I know you are as much a fan of dialogue as I am, and your characters step off the dusty pages of history and become flesh and blood through their interaction with each other. Whilst their voices felt authentic, in places, the narrative voice seemed a little inconsistent with their tone, like here, where the narrator is inside Hurao's head:

Hurao figured that he was just helping the spirits out = would Hurao really 'figure' something?

I was really excited by the thought of reading an article, but other than the first and last few paragraphs, the majority of your prose is, to me, the fictionalisation of history. Nothing wrong in that! It's my favourite kind of read and a perfect entry for this contest. It just isn't the kind of write I would associate with being called an article--I am aware that defining what an article is is open to debate and that I have a preference toward journal articles that demonstrate rigor in striving for objective and critical non-bias, but to me even a heavily-biased, editorial opinion piece is closer to being an article than fictionalised speculation of historical events. You may attract a wider, fiction-loving readership if you consider presenting the write as fiction.

I wasn't really looking for typos, and this is a tight write, but you may want to proof again, as I did pause in the following places:

Yes, we know of your matriarchy society matriarchal?

They have no respect for our ancestor's spirits, ancestors' ?

I am splitting hairs, I know. This is an excellent story, well-written, and thoroughly enjoyable for any reader. Just a final edit for typos and time spent interrogating the ocassional word choice will make this good story a great one. A real pleasure to read. I thank you heartily for entering the contest.

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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18
18
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (4.5)
This turned up on the Random Reads listing, and of course I wanted to stop by and visit a Lornda-related write *BigSmile*

I am glad I did! This is a smashing rhyming acrostic homage to one of WDCs favourite reviewers. Although the sporadic use of punctuation did make my internal voice stutter in a couple place, it's nothing that a few more periods wouldn't solve. Overall, you left me with a smile on my face, which I am sure was the end result for your subject, too. Thanks!

Only one other small suggestion: why not pop in a link to Lornda's port, so other random readers can stop by once they have read your lovely tribute?

Write on and take care,
Acme *Heart*
19
19
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


What are my overall impressions?


It is a shame your poetry entry was not accessible sooner, but I am glad it finally is *Smile* You may want to revisit the poem after the contest ends to review punctuation, and whether or not it might add some clarity, as it did feel more of an early draft, than a finished and polished piece. Free form, cut up into bite-sized (or idea-sized) stanza's that looks first at the definition of society, before tearing urban, inner-city society into pieces, in favour of a rural idyll. The prompt was clear, as was the link with Africa, but I did get the impression you may have been somewhat rushed, and would love to see future drafts capture the rawness of energy and ideas you have here in a much tighter presentation *Thumbsupl*

What are my favourite parts?

Rhetorical questioning, or better yet, pure rhetoric, is a great way to capture a reader's attention. Your first verse is strong. It sets out your stall, hooks my attention, and begs me to read on in order to earn a reward from the poet's insights:
Society, the soul of a community
morphed into a living being of sorts
which functions, as if autonomously
within a realm, a city, or a culture,
sourced from people's collective intent.
A general way of life - it may seem.


What are my suggestions?

References to drugs and alcohol, even though a mild, mean you should consider upping your content rating. Consult a Moderator or "Content Rating System (CRS)

Free form is fine, and I recognise the poet's right to choose to use (or nor) punctuation. That said, there were places I really struggled to understand your intended meanin, and still do not know if I 'got it' the way you intended me to do so. Look am the second stanza as an example:
A natural succession of cultural values
predominates society's core, families
Evil within families, abuse of all kinds
Prevail and dominate each little child
Parent's lifestyles set the norm
which is perpetuated ad infinitum.


Here is what I eventually read, when I added my own punctuation, or corrected yours:

A natural succession of cultural values
predominates society's core. Family's
Evil within families, abuse of all kinds
Prevail and dominate each little child.
Parents' lifestyles set the norm,
which is perpetuated, ad infinitum.


Is that what you meant? I hope so, but if not, perhaps you could add clarity in further edits, once the contest has concluded *Smile*

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

The WDC Army Angels


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20
20
Review by Acme
Rated: ASR | (2.5)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


What are my overall impressions?

Less of an essay, and more of a thoughtful and general pondering about society's well-being (or lack of it) through the distress some children suffer. The prompt is used, but, as this little write asks some big questions, it would have been rewarding to have been offered some deeper insights into them, through examples, case studies, and debate.

What are my favourite parts?
The poet in you makes for powerfully distilled prose; those short, snappy, direct opening sentences worked well. They set the tone, captured my attention and encouraged me to read on--I only wish there had been more than a few hundred words to read.

What are my suggestions?
This did feel rather a short item for the essay category, and you may want to expand on it, once the PWW contest has finished. You pose a lot of questions, but do not seem to offer any insight into how they are/can be answered. This might be a good place to look at areas for development. You mention some national and international days and agencies. What benefit, if any, have these been to the promotion and development of children's rights?

Good essayists have a distinctive and alluring narrative voice. You have this, which makes you very lucky. Speak longer. Say more. I ache to listen *Smile*

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

The WDC Army Angels


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
Review by Acme
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


What are my overall impressions?

A thoughtful and thought-provoking write which clearly demonstrates a link to the prompt and resonance with place.

If it was the aim of the writer was to show the ills of society through powerful caricature examples of the children, there was always going to be the danger of painting the ills of the children themselves, and that may have been the case in the portrait of the little girl who had everything, including too much pizza. Overall, though, the device works well, and demonstrates some very clever penmanship. Taboo-fuelled questions arise that not all may want to examine, but whenever a reader questions their response to what is written, I believe it has to be a positive thing--I like feeling uncomfortable; it means I am confronting issues that need confrontation. Strangely, the most discomforted I felt was reading the maid-servant's daughter's story: it was as if the best example of a life well-lived in balance was to have good manners and study in a middle-class environment. I wonder how many people have access to this life, or such sensible mothers with the ability to save and spend generously on education. Rather than showing how society treats this child/children like her, I thought it demonstrated the determination of her mother: rather individualistic, but, then again, society is made up of the sum of its individual parts... And then I wondered if I was reading two essays: the one about karma, or the one about education; the one about children being poorly treated and that association with karma as a concept, or the one about education being the answer to all of society's ills in general. Maybe that's what you have here: two essays to work on post-contest, or a clearer, more seamless way of demonstrating a marriage between karma and education.

Like I said, a thought-provoking read, and one well-worth reading. A good essay, interesting slant on the prompt, and the prose style of a poetic soul. A privilege to read, rate and review. Thank you.

What are my favourite parts?

A culture's mind-set is not an easy thing to take on as a write, as it can be all-too easy to offend, or to end up offended as the writer. You captured that aspect well here:

It's a theory that can comfort when times are bad and keep you grounded when times are good. Or it can be a cover for the helpless and an escape route for a dodgy conscience or a neglectful attitude.


What are my suggestions?


Some time spent with fresh eyes will catch the very few typos, fragmented sentences and some grammar issues that are present. Look for others, but here are some examples I noted, and consider my very personal opinion about this being two essays as just that: my very personal opinion! *Smile*

This is more a question of style, really, so please feel free to ignore. A conversational tone does create intimacy alongside a strong narrative voice, but the second sentence here lost some natural cadence through the rhythm the punctuation and extraneous words created. Did you need a comma before 'actually' and was 'anyway' needed? Sometimes less is more; it adds more punch:

She cannot help herself or her daughter. She will not actually, because she knows it's all their own fault, anyway.
Could be:
She cannot help herself or her daughter. She will not. She knows it's all their own fault.

Spacing typo:
"Shh," the maid-servant admonishes her."Don't vomit so loudly."

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

The WDC Army Angels


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (4.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*
This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it! *Smile*


What are my overall impressions?


Good, clear, use of the prompt in this essay that focuses on, what amounts to, the birth of children's rights in the UK from being liberated from the 19th Century work force, by education and labour acts. The reader is then led into examining similar issues that still affect children in today's Britain. I was very pleased to see footnotes being used. These told me that research had taken place in creating the essay, as well as allowing me access to further information on the subject, should I wish to dig deeper. The only potential issue that arose from this, was that I sometimes wondered if the inclusion of the links themselves absolved the essayist from deeper exploration of discussion/debate within the essay itself. One example was the deviation from historical child labour issues in the workplace, to the introduction of child trafficking, which didn't seem to be fully linked or explored within the rest of the context of the essay.


What are my favourite parts?

Your flow. Your style. Your 'voice'. Honestly, I felt like you were talking to me, as if you were in the room, and yet the overall tone was not too informal. The structure was clear, thoughtful and moved purposefully through the points you wanted to address. You seem to have a natural, editorial tone and voice, perfect for essays and articles. I hope to read more, so you really must write more. Please. A real pleasure *Thumbsupl*


What are my suggestions?

You had the option for a much greater word count--don't get me wrong, sometimes you only need the amount of words you need, but in this case, I think you could have expanded on some of your ideas in a bit more depth. In places, it felt like a really good first draft, more than a complete essay.

It can be helpful to distinguish literary titles by using italics or inverted commas.

Style can be a very subjective thing, but I personally prefer a 'which' to a 'that' in a subordinate clause:
Yes, there is still child poverty in this country, that is perhaps not being addressed as it should.

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

The WDC Army Angels


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*

This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any, or all suggestions. This is your work, and I'm just happy to have had the chance to review it!


Sorry it has taken a while before visiting this poem. It is lovely. Sad, dour, but beautiful.

Here are a couple places you may want to make revisions:

Would she be the proud queen of under dug,
Floundered in her bed of rock.
= The end line punctuation should be a question mark. As should this: Was she
Dead, but more than that she was the disconsolate
Undermining of the moss.


She would be nailed onto wooden cross pillars
And growing under green roller blinds.
= Tense modifiers mean extra word use, and extra word use can mean a padded poem, where the potency of your word choice is lessened. Suggest you consider changing 'would be' and check tense of 'growing' in light of whatever you decide.

The following displays a collection of fragmented sentences. If this is what you want to do, to control pace, flow and impact, that's fine, but thought I ought to mention it:
The crawling sucking swarm festivities of a
Digging court.
Where she took the horrors of Corylus avellana and cheering
Servants. To turn
And wallow till the grizzled underlayment.


A moles way repleted gripping towards the light = Not sure what you are trying to say here, as I think 'replete' is the past tense of 'replete'. Also, the way belongs to the mole, so mole should have a possessive apostrophe.

A lightning and there was crawling in empty flight: she. = Typically, you might say 'A lightening strike...' Or lose the 'A' and just start with 'Lightening...'

Happy to come back and review again--please just ask if you make any changes *Smile*

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

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24
24
Review of Halloween Night  
Review by Acme
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*

BOO!


What the spook are you on about?


Not every costumed fright is wearing a costume on hallowe'en! This spooky, fun poem, is a great one to read to little kids: just the right amount of fright and thrill, combined with funny horror imagery and a lovely aabb rhyme pattern with a rhythm that works well for the most part *Thumbsupl*

Did I giggle with hint of mmmmmwwwwwaaaahaaaahaaa?

Loved the description of the narrator, and the insight it gave to his character:
I'm a normal and handsome fellow
with three eyes and whites that are yellow.
I wasn't afraid, I have the power.
My magic wand can make you cower.


Chillers?

A bit of a tenuous link to the ghost prompt, but a fun poem all the same. A little edit after proofreading for pesky punctuation flaws will tidy it well *Smile*

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

Acme Comedy Scream Hallowe'en Sig


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25
25
Review by Acme
Rated: E | (4.0)
*Star* An Acme Review *Star*

BOO!


What the spook are you on about?


So much fun to be had with pure dialogue, and oh, boy, is this a Monster Mash-up! Flashdancer's, Aunt Margaret visiting, Baker Street originals and Addamses *Crazy*

Did I giggle with hint of mmmmmwwwwwaaaahaaaahaaa?

I might not have guffawed out loud, but I definitely grinned and chortled in all the right place. My favourite exchange was between Pugsley and Jennifer Beals about Thing *Thumbsupl*

Chillers?

Just a few typos peppering the write--proofreading with fresh eyes should reveal them, but they mostly comprise of missing commas, inconsistency of whether a capital letter is used for titles, and a missing quotation mark. Once you have edited, please let me know and I will be happy to return to re-rate.

I am not a clever reader (think of Watson's constant state of astonishment about Holmes's deductions), so for the mystery-challenged amongst your readership, you may have to spell out subtleties; in this case, who the murderer/property developer is (no spoilers in this public review, but please confirm my unspoken supposition by return mail!) *Blush*

*Star* Thank you for sharing your work! Write on and take care *Star*

Acme Comedy Scream Hallowe'en Sig


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