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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/amarq
Review Requests: ON
59 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review of Still Unknown  
for entry "Broken Wings
Review by vivacious
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
As I’ve come to expect from your candid, yet detailed writing, this new book does not disappoint. With only two entries, you’ve dragged me into this dark and despairing time of your life, yet at the same time you give us glimpses of light and humor I’ve also come to expect.

As far as grammar goes, I’ve seen a few things that will need tweaking. I will wait, because at this point, getting the story written is more important than the little grammatical details.

I wait with eager anticipation for more chapters.
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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.5)
Great job on all of these items! I'm especially fond of "Invalid Item. I now have a new appreciation of what a single GP goes through.

As for the others, I like how you made separate items for giving out GPs to reviewers, how you rate, and how you review. I found each one informative, and you added enough humor to make them entertaining to read.

I found no grammar mistakes, either.

Keep up the good work!

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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.5)
I really enjoyed reading this! In many ways I could relate your childhood memories to my own.

Plus, it's well-written.

I found but one minor error: I watch Mom pull the plug, wash down the sides of the tub and the water all go down the drain. Replace "watch" with "watched".

I'm still grinning, and you make me want to write some childhood memories of my own.

Write on!

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Review of Brooke's Bash  
Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a cute story, Jewels! I grinned all the way through, and it has a sweet ending.

I found only one minor error in the last paragraph: We went to the window and saw lots of snow people dancing, laughing and having a party Brooke and Jake fell in love and they danced all night. You need to add a period after "party" and before "Brooke".

Well done, and welcome to Writing.com!

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Review of Belated Valentine  
Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a touching story, Dan! It got me all misty-eyed.

I do have a few suggestions, but they tend toward structure:

1. Some wordiness:

At sixty-eight years of age, the morning seemed a little colder; it was a chill that came with age and had nothing to do with the weather. "it was" can be removed.

His eyes filled with tears as he realized once again that he missed her so very much, even now after all those years. Try something like His eyes filled with tears as he realized once again how much he missed her, even now after all those years.

As he suspected, the written material consisted of short messages written to sweethearts for Valentine’s Day. Perhaps something like As he suspected, it contained examples of short messages written to sweethearts on Valentine's Day.

He folded it and put it in the pocket of the robe that was a gift from Helen. Remove the part about the gift. The reader already knows.

2. Spelling:

Never would he have imagined it becoming such a part of him.

3. Passive verbs:

She was pleased with so little . . . This could be reworded to something like Little things pleased her the most . . .

It was a pleasant voice on the line. - The lady had a pleasant voice.

4. Grammar:

. . . this is your darlin,’ Sue.” The apostrophe and comma need to be switched around.

"Jonestown Star" being the name of a newspaper, even spoken needs to be italicized or underlined.

She chuckled, “Sir, we get inquiries every year when we do this. Replace the comma after "chuckled" with a period. A person can't chuckle at the same time they're speaking.

A touch of sadness flowed through her voice as her compassion visibly flooded to the old man. Pardon me if this sounds too glib, but Henry actually saw her compassion flow into him? Reword to something like The touch of sadness and compassion in her voice flowed into him.

5. Adverb usage:

Softly the voice on the other end of the line slowly spoke tenderly . . . The reader knows how compassionate the woman is to Henry, so to say something like Her voice soft and tender said . . . conveys the same.

You know how to weave a good story! Henry is a believable, sympathetic character. I had no trouble feeling for him. Well done! A fine submission to a Valentine's Day contest. Good luck!

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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is an amazing testimony of one man's faith in God, and God's faithfulness in return. It gave me chills.

My only suggestion is to tighten up the prose, such as replacing passive verbs with more active ones, and eliminating repetitions.

For instance: She was not one that overreacted to things so we knew her sense of urgency was not unfounded. can be tightened up with something like She never overreacted, so her sense of urgency alarmed us.

Haruna was a wonderful young man, he had just turned 22 and always had a smile. There's no need here to tell us Haruna was wonderful, because the reader discovers that as your story progresses. Also this can also be tightened up at the end with . . . and always smiled.

Things were progressing, and although there was a deadly time line, it looked like everything would work out.

Unfortunately, relative after relative failed to be a good match. Time was running out and things started looking bleak again.
Here you tell the reader twice time was running out.

Your grammar is top-notch, I found no spelling mistakes, and you kept my attention all throughout. Overall, a well-written piece.

Thank you for submitting it to "Invalid Item. It's a perfect example of what faith can accomplish, both as an individual and a church.

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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.0)
Another amazing story! God sure took care of you, and to do so through so many pastors is no coincidence.

My suggestions tend again toward tightening up, eliminating extraneous information, repetition, and passive verbs. For example:

We were only about 180 miles from our home when we had the first trouble with our car. We seriously considered fixing the car and heading back home. Instead, we stayed in a motel and had the car fixed the next morning. I don't remember what the problem was with the car. I don't really know that much about cars, and expect them to go when I get in and turn the key. Whatever the problem was, it was minor and inexpensive. We continued on our trip. Oh, I forgot. An Episcopal pastor we met at a restaurant recommended the mechanic who fixed our car. He was the first of many pastors we met on that trip.

Try something like The trouble started about 180 miles from home. We seriously considered heading back home after fixing the car. We decided instead to stay in a motel and have the car fixed in the morning. That night we met an Episcopal pastor in a restaurant who recommended a mechanic. He was the first of many we met on our trip.

I know little about cars except expect them to go when I turn the key. Whatever the problem, it was minor and inexpensive.


I recommend you go through and find other instances of wordiness, etc.

I found no spelling or grammar issues. This is another well-written piece. I enjoyed it and am glad you submitted it to "Invalid Item!

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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.0)
Miracles do happen indeed! Great story-telling here, as well. You kept my attention throughout.

A few suggestions:

1. Watch for repetition. For instance Suddenly, a truck came out of no where traveling on the street in front of us heading west. The speed limit on that street was probably 35 mph, and the truck was easily traveling 70 mph when the driver realized he had a red light. The driver slammed on his brakes, and when he did, his truck skidded and was suddenly coming straight for us. We were standing still, mind you, and we were about to be hit head on by a truck whose speed had, perhaps, slowed to about 50 mph.

This could be tightened up as well as made more active with something like Suddenly we saw a massive utility truck barreling down on us at easily twice the 35mph speed limit. When he noticed the red light, the driver slammed on his breaks, and the truck swerved straight toward us. Even with his breaks locked, I knew he would hit us going at least 50 mph Remove the 'standing still' part, because technically you were sitting in the car, and the reader knows the car hadn't moved.

2. Extraneous information: We were sitting at a traffic light on a street parallel to the one where we'd find the motel. We were traveling south, and the motel was a bit farther south and to the east of us. So, we were in the left turn lane, waiting for our green arrow. Some of this can be eliminated, because the reader at this point won't care where the motel is.

3. Show instead of tell. Add dialogue instead of telling the reader what someone said. For example: I told an officer that the man had been drinking. The officer asked for my phone number and then asked, curtly, that we get our car out of the way. He said that since we hadn't been hit and were not hurt that we were in the way.

This could read instead: I told the officer that the man had been drinking.

After taking down my phone number he said, "Get your car out of here. You weren't hit or hurt, so you're only in the way."
By his words alone, the reader can also tell his annoyed tone.

4. Spelling & grammar. I later learned that the truck driver plead guilty to a lessor charge, but what I didn't learn. I called the city where he worked and found out he still worked there and had not even been given a suspension. "Lessor" is someone who grants a lease. Replace with "lesser". Also, "but what I didn't learn" is out of place.

Other than that, your grammar is outstanding. This is a great example of how God intervenes when we are in dire need. Thank you for submitting it to "Invalid Item. Well done!

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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.0)
I enjoyed this! Sometimes the smaller miracles mean the most, because they show God as being engaged in our every-day lives, not only for the big, life and death stuff.

My only suggestion is to tighten up the prose.

For instance, look for repetition and cliches such as Honestly, it felt like it was going to be the straw that broke the camel's back. We’d just had it with so many things hitting us. This could be restructured to something like, We'd reached the limits of our endurance. Then go on to explain how your husband lost his job, etc.

Keep also in mind the order things happened: Off we went to take showers and to bring some water home from a friend's. This confused me at first, because I initially thought, "How could you take a shower without water?" Say instead something like, We went to a friend's house to take showers and bring water back..

Well done, and thank you for entering this in "Invalid Item!

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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (3.5)
This is a truly miraculous event! You had me engrossed through to the end.

A few suggestions:

1. Avoid passive verbs such as "was", "is", "were" and "am". For instance My heart was pounding. I wanted to jump, realizing at the speed we were traveling, I would be killed if I jumped. can be made more active with something like My heart pounded. I wanted to jump when I saw the speedometer reading 70(?)mph, but at that speed I would be killed.

2. Repetition: I was thrown from the truck during one of the roll overs, I landed flat on my feet. The forceful trauma to my legs when I landed, resulted in three compound fractures to my right leg. You mention here landing on your feet twice. Try tightening it up with something like I flew out of the cab during one of the roll-overs and I landed on my feet. The forceful trauma resulted in three compound fractures to my right leg.

3. Spelling errors:

Donner's Summit
She appeared luminous
I was going to be transferred
anointing me with oil

4. Grammar. I noticed a few places with spaces, commas and periods missing, but I think with a close edit you'll find them all.

Overall, you did a great job of capturing the experience. It gave me chills. Thank you for submitting this to "Invalid Item.

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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a touching story! I found myself remembering the times my own teachers encouraged me with small, kind words and deeds they likely wouldn't remember, yet I wouldn't be where I am today without them.

A few suggestions, but they focus mostly around sentence structure:

1. I was seven years old, and I had no concepts of terms like “relative poverty” and “working-poor.” Remove the 's' from 'concepts'.

2. See if you can avoid passive verbs such as "was", "were", "is", and "am" and replace with more active verbs. For instance Ms. Andrews was at her desk checking homework, and there were four other kids in the room playing with their gifts. This can be restructured to something like Ms. Andrews sat at her desk grading papers, and four other kids played with their gifts (sitting at their desks, on the floor?).

3. Avoid using "which" as it lengthens a sentence that should be two. Dad turned the door key to our apartment, and we found my mom folding laundry on the dining room table, which was proof that particle board could be passed down at least one generation. Try something like We entered the apartment and found Mom folding laundry on the dining room table. This proved that particle board could be passed down at least one generation. I removed the part about the key, because it doesn't necessarily move the story along. Now if the key turning had screeched making you cringe or caused another reaction, that would be different.

Overall, a well-written piece. You showed how your teacher's words impacted both you and Becky that ripples still in your life and those you come in contact with. It's a good lesson for all of us in that everything we do, no matter how small, can have a far-reaching effect on others.

Thank you for submitting this to "Invalid Item!

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Review of Hands of Hope  
Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.0)
Wow, Dan, this story contains an excellent message. I was near tears at the end.

My only suggestion, especially since it's a story, is to show more than tell. Perhaps start off with the characters having to endure the actual bombing, the rebuilding and finally seeing the wooden sign. That will help the reader to feel their fears, frustrations, hopes, etc.

Thanks for linking it to me. It contains much wisdom I know I'll need to be reminded of again . . . and again. The image of the statue of Jesus with no hands is not one I will soon forget, however.

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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.5)
I thought you answered the question of God's purpose quite well.

Because I'm the ultra picky sort, I happened to notice a few minor grammatical errors:

1. The question is, "What is God's Purpose?" Eliminate "The question is." It doesn't add to the question. We know you're answering it by the title.

2. To even attempt to classify God and limit Him regarding purpose would be to imply that we understood God and know His limits and boundaries, which we don’t know and will never this side of glory know. This could be broken up into two sentences: To even attempt to classify God and limit Him regarding purpose would be to imply that we understood God and know His limits and boundaries. We don’t know and will never this side of glory know.

3. The one, who proclaims they can never believe in God until they understand His purpose, does not truly want to find God. The comma after 'The one' is unnecessary.

This is a well-thought out piece and you give the reader much to think about in how we perceive God and His purpose.

I thank you for sharing it!

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Review of Helping Hands  
Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is a fun little story. You created the scene well, and in few words. The dialog seemed natural, and you captured both characters perfectly.

Recommendations

Wordiness:


Example: He was pleased to be able to give a bit of time to someone like his mum, who was obviously lonely and not very well off.

This could be shortened to something like He was pleased to give some time to someone like his mum: lonely and not well off.

Adverbs:

Example: The boss seemed highly amused, but Rodney’s voice stuck in his throat . . .

Removing "highly" doesn't change the boss's emotional state, so it can be eliminated.

I loved the twist at the end. Well done!

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Review of Serenity  
Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (3.5)
Well lookie there! You created your first item! Easy, huh?

Anyway, to my review:

I love the smoothness of your words, much like the ocean you write about.

The only thing I suggest is to give more at the end. I'd like to have an example or two of how Jesus gives peace and serenity like the ocean did.

Your poem has a good rhythm, and your words placed me on the beach with no trouble.

Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more!

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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.0)
For a first draft this is excellent!

I do have a few minor suggestions:

However, the South, due to ligering hostility toward the Union army, refused to recognize the day and they honored their dead on different days (usually after a birthday, death, or a significant day in the Civil War) until World War I (when it changed from only honoring Civil War veterans to anyone who served in war).

This is a long sentence, and should be both broken up and parentheses removed for easier reading and clarity.

It is now celebrated in every state, usually on the last Monday to ensure a three day weekend, and the South still has separate days honoring the Confederate dead.

Again, another long sentence. I'd remove the and before the south still has separate . . .

When you go through this item again, focus on all the "and"s and see if you can remove them to make shorter, easier to read sentences. A perfect way to find out whether or not a sentence is too long is to read it out loud. You will naturally find pauses as you read. When you do pause, likely that's where a period belongs.

Overall, you did a great job! You stayed on-subject, and kept it concise.

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Review of Lauren's Artwork  
Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (4.5)
Lauren, you are quite the artist! I'm so impressed! I especiailly love your attention to the smallest detail.

Just a small suggestion. To make photos of your artwork really pop, take them outdoors on a nice sunny day (and remove the glass in front of them if that's the case). Place your paintings directly in the sunlight to eliminate any shadows, and snap away.

You will be adding more artwork, right?
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Review by vivacious
Rated: E | (5.0)
Long? You call that long?

It could very well have been, but this was so rivetting, I detected zero passage of time. You had me horrified, crying and rejoicing from one part to the next.

Muchly well done! (Sorry. I get in a grammatically incorrect, word-creation mood once in a while).

Thank you for linking it to me. This has some fabulous life lessons that we all can learn from.

You taught me a thing or two.

I tried really hard, but I found not a single grammatical mistake (Considering my own breaking of the rules in this review, I doubt if it would carry much weight anyway *Wink*).
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