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115 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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26
26
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Oh God! *clutches chest* This poem is heart-wrenching. I was able to follow this complex account without knowing the news report to which you are referring. I'm a little surprised, actually, that this report didn't make it over to the states.

The only suggestion I could make would be the word choice in the final line. Applying the word "abandoned" to the molestors seems a little off, especially since the this little boy had no one in his life. "Abandonment" implies betrayal, and "betrayal" implies some sort of mutual trust. The way I see it this child was "abandoned" long ago; the murders "discarded" or "disposed" of him. Just a thought.

Cheers,
Anna R.

27
27
Review of Starship Sentry  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: E | (4.5)
Very cute. I can just imagine the "Sentry" scurrying around the house...er ship using its main sensor to make sure everything is O.K.

Best Part

Their sensory apparatus, installed eons past and by now improved upon immensely, could detect the swirling, ethereal beings of fifth dimension when they sometimes chose to haunt third dimensional space. They could mentally adjust time in a sideways manner in order to communicate in linear reverse. This last, simply a method of sending and receiving data using time waves to traverse all dimensions, was something the humans called telepathy. It was the most efficient way to communicate for the Sentry. In third dimension the Sentry's abilities were limited, and communication was more difficult. But it was also in third dimension where Commander was restricted.

This part cracked me up. I'll never look at my "Sentry" the same way again. I would say more but I don't want to spoil the secret. *Wink*

A very fun read!

Cheers,
Anna R.
28
28
Review of The Last Guardian  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
*Laugh* This is hysterical! I like the termite lore and legend you have created. Do termites have stingers? Do they really burst on contact with insecticide fogger? I haven't a clue.

I didn't see any grammatical or spelling errors.

“Where is Denk?” came a desperate question from my mate.

I've never seen a quote written this way before, but I can't think of what would be grammatically wrong with it. *shrug*

Overall, a cute and sad story that will give me a moment's pause the next time I spray for termites. *Laugh*

Cheers,
Anna R.
29
29
Review of Addicted to Love  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Best Parts

we are both in relationships that seem to be going nowhere but our lives are wrapped up in the history we have made within them.

I can’t help it, I stand as close as I dare. He doesn’t move back; we revert to the age old dance of uncertain adolescent sexuality as we stand in the parking lot together, not quite touching.

I am a big girl; I know that I am creating a fantasy in my head that no man could live up to, yet I relive every touch, every conversation, every second of our kiss while we talk about the details of our day.

My heart actually hurts. My stomach is slammed up against my backbone and I can only think that to survive I must leave this room. The tears are in the back of my eyes and my throat is tight. My reactions are ridiculous, I think. I have created this relationship that has no truth.

A parasitical relationship with two lonely people feeding off each other, we agree. We know it’s just a matter of time.

The tension between the two would-be lovers is the core of this piece and you portray it realistically.

Grammatical Errors:

I didn't see anything wrong in this area, which means I am either losing my touch or you're a very good editor. *Wink*


Overall:

You have a very deep and impressive knowledge of human nature. Well done.

Cheers,
Anna R.
30
30
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: E | (4.0)
Best Parts

Smoke curled and weaved till it reached the top of the low ceiling, where it branched off and encircled downward. The grayish color contrasted with the dimly lighted room, making it appear as ghoulish phantoms that were not welcome.

It was cold, for there was a crack in the glass, and I shivered. In the distance I saw the gray ghosts, warm and pale against the night sky, rising from their long brick pipes. I then figured that this house was the only one cold, the embers not stirred and the pipes dusty with age. The only one great and empty. Unfeeling. It lacked of burning coal, but was abundant in the ashes.

I like this. It sets a very creepy mood. *Smile*

Edits and Suggestions

"...I expect to be answered when you are spoken to..."

Okay, I usually don't edit quotes, but I don't think a violent thug would speak in passive voice. Maybe, "...when I speak to you," would work better.

I did not answer, but instead made some sort of mangled sound in my throat.

You will obey me, nothing else; I want it to be as if you weren’t even here!

“You will never look at me that way again!

My hands still shook from the episode-I was more caught off guard at my own sudden rash actions than his.

I then figured that this house was the only one cold, the embers not stirred and the pipes dusty with age.

This sounds a bit awkward to me. Maybe, "...the only one left cold..."

Overall

You do very well at setting the scene, and have aroused my curiousity about the story as a whole.

Cheers,
Anna R.

31
31
Review of Menu  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Overall Impression:

I thought this was very clever. The way you included the grotesque descriptions was very effective in setting the creepy mood. This story could have easily come out sounding silly but you've managed to avoid that by keeping it short and focusing on the actions rather than the interactions between the people.

The only trouble I really see is with your spacing. Usually quotes and new paragraphs are denoted by a double space. I confess that I'm not sure if this is an actual grammatical rule, but it is the form I'm used to seeing so seeing anything else is distracting. I inserted my suggestions in your story.

Best of Luck,
Artemismad


Macabre.
double space
In the afternoon I sat with the book on the deck. I liked to be at the cottage, especially at this time of the year. Late August had advantages: warmer water in Georgian Bay, fewer people on the beaches, deeper shadows in the forest. No space needed here. Would be better as one paragraph.
Spots of sunshine filtering through the branches of the nearby trees flickered on the porch floor. Crickets had a concert in the tall, yellowing grasses. Blackberries ripened slowly to perfection. With my eyes half opened, through the eyelashes I observed Mark unpacking something from the car.
I'd double space here since it's a new paragraph.
Mark had a strong muscular body and a boyish face, despite gray streaks in his hair. I liked everything in him, blue-green eyes, soft voice, a smile and a way he looked at me. Except those two times when his face turned white and his eyes became stainless steel cold, but that was on the beginning, at Christmas, now is Summer, our first Summer together.
Double space to isolate quote.
“Daydreaming?” Mark asked. He appeared suddenly on the deck. I turned, sun shone straight in my eyes. Something heavy fell from Mark’s back, a large bundle covered with black plastic. Mark stood looking down. I noticed shiny pearls of sweat on his forehead and large blue veins on his hands.
Double space for quote

“You have to help me this time. You know what to do.” He stepped in front of me blocking the sun. “We don’t have much time, The Larsens are on their way, I will pick them up from the station in Midland, but first I have to finish something. You know what to do.” Mark turned and walked toward the garage.

I knew what to do. Karen and George will come from Toronto in about two hours. I had to rush. The plastic bag on the floor swished and moved. My heart pounded. “You know what to do.” I knew, I never did it before but I saw on TV. Through the porch doors I went to the kitchen, opened the cupboard and took a hammer from the toolbox. I weighted it in my hand; the yellowish leather handle had oily spots. I took from the sink rubber gloves and a large knife from the stand on the counter. I checked, the knife was sharp, sharp enough. “I know what to do” I repeated to myself and stepped outside again. I looked around – nobody else, only me, crickets, a blue lake and a light wind high in the crowns of the trees. I hunkered down. I slightly uncovered the corner of the plastic bag, placed the hammer in the back of the head and hit.

I didn’t like the wet, squashy sound and a sweet taste in my mouth. I hit second time turning my head away. I jumped out when the body moved. I looked down. The corpse trembled, twisted spasmodically once, twice… one more convulsion and silence. I stood waiting.
Step after step, slowly, quietly I walked back. Ice cold drop slid down my spine. With pumping heart, I pushed the body with a tip of my slipper. It didn’t move this time all covered with plastic, all except the pierced corner.
The look of the bulging, glass like eyes and wide-open mouth brought back the sweet, sticky feeling in my throat. I noticed stir somewhere in the bushes. I froze. A squirrel darted between the trees. I looked around. I was alone. I grabbed the plastic and pulled hard to move the corpse deeper to the shadow.

---


Combing my wet hair I looked in the mirror. “I am a killer a MURDERER.”
Double space for new paragraph
I had to hold the edge of the sink when I recalled what happened in the last two hours. “Who am I now? I cannot say that Mark pressed me to do it. I just wanted to help, to do my share. The look of his eyes! I didn’t want to see again this coldness and distance. After all MY friends are coming to visit, I HAD to do my share! I had to!”
Double space for new paragraph
“Compose yourself and finish,” I said out loud and went back to the kitchen. I looked around checking again every spot. Kitchen shined. I cleaned everything methodically with the sharp brush and soapy hot water: the hammer, the knife, the electric saw, the cupboards, the counter and the kitchen floor. I scrubbed bits of meat from the tiles above the sink. The strong smell of chlorine brought me a strange relief.
I would include this in the last paragraphI looked in the fridge, large pieces of meat stacked neatly in layers separated by parchment paper. Double space for new paragraph
“Mark will be proud of me, he wouldn’t do it better.” I thought. I put bread on the table, bottle of wine, forks, glasses, napkins. I turned on the radio to kill the silence inside the house. ”No, no they can’t take that away from me” old swing standard sounded just right for the occasion. My hair almost dried after a shower. I looked back at the kitchen. “Perfect” I smiled to myself and returned on the porch. I checked the barbecue. “Clean and tidy, Mark does really good job. Everything ready for my guests. They should be here any minute.”


Crickets had their usual concert, blackberries shined like freshly polished, birds sang their love songs. Aroma of balsamic pine, heated soil and mushrooms filled the air. My act of violence passed unnoticed. Nothing happened. Nothing changed. Undisturbed comfort and peace. I stretched in the chair and looked against the sun at the lake.
Double space for quote and clincher

“I won’t do it again.” I said out loud, my voice sounded unnatural, rough, like not my own. “I will never kill a fish again. Never!” I said louder and sank deeper in the chair.
32
32
Review of High Occupancy  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
The problem, thought McDougal, is that I have too many young female aides.

Hmmmmm.


She looked at him as if he were stupid. While it irked McDougal, he forced himself to remember that he wasn’t elected because of his IQ. “There’s no chance that the press won’t get wind of it,” said the aide, tossing her head. “The only question is, will they see us act fast to contain the problem or not?”

Boy, this doesn't sound familiar at all. *Laugh*

“Yes, indeed. Get the docs on it right away. We’ve got to find a cure for carpool tunnel syndrome.”

I feel ya!

Grammatical Errors:

None that I can see. OOh...misery. *Frown*

Overall:

I don't see anything that needs changing.
I think this is very funny and original. I was chuckling from start to finish. Most excellent!

Cheers,
Anna R.
33
33
Review of LOVE’S WARMTH  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: E | (4.0)

The Best Parts:

The metaphor of the red shawl:

As I sit in lonely night,
Draped in the fading red shawl,
Which you gave on my birthday,
I do memories recall


“I am going now afar,
Keep this shawl with you ever.
It has warmth of my love,
Let it part from you never”.


Snuggling in the snow (awwww *Blush*):

Silent but yet professing
Deep love for one another,
Unmindful of falling snow,
Though it gave us a shiver.


Okay, I know this one doesn't rhyme like the rest of the stanzas but it's a great image.

Worth a second look:

I was now to get never.

<cringe>
I've just an odd aversion to the word "get" (in Virginia the pronounce it, "git". Aaaahhh!); there are better words, I think ("have", "know"?).

For the last time as you glanced:

Glanced at what?

Overall
A sweet poem that heartfelt and heartwrenching.

Cheers,
Anna R.


34
34
Review of Water Song  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: E | (4.5)
It took a couple of false starts for me to fall into this, but once I did I was happy about it. I've seen the "life as a river" metaphor before, but I like how you include paradoxes rather than just discussing smooth and rough currents.

Trickling slowly in places,
Rushing headlong in others

Time rushes and stops together,
Stalls and pushes in unison,


It's a more true description of water and life alike.

Cheers,
Artemismad
35
35
Review of Chaos  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: E | (4.0)
Yep, I can relate to this one too. I'm a clutterbug, not so much in the unsanitary, dishes piled to the ceiling sort of way, but in the "my lease and tax forms reside in a pile that includes all my junk mail for the last month" sort of way. *Bigsmile*

I laugh but it is a genuine struggle too. I notice a touch of sadness in this as well and rings very true.

Cheers,
Anna R.
36
36
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hmmm...this isn't one of my favorites of yours.

What needs a second look:

*The rhyme of the first and last stanzas do not match the middle stanzas or each other.

*The rhyme scheme of the last stanza does not match the two in the middle.

*"I bought a pool the dog ate up." Huh? *Confused*

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
Anna R.
37
37
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
No doubt this is a very articulate piece with a lot of passion behind it, but your base idea,

...a debate between my soul and my body. My soul says,“Celebrate Death and Mourn Birth” and my body says, “God is the Ultimate Terrorist in the Universe”., never really sinks in.

At first glance, I don't really see a "debate", but rather two statements that support one another so presenting this as a debate is already difficult. If being alive is a tragedy then birth could be considered an act of terrorism by God, yes?

The definition of terrorism as it relates to both God and Man should be presented earlier to give the reader a "step up" to your plane of thinking. Alternatively, you could adjust the first statement to something like, "Death is an act of love by God". That way you have a more straight forward arguement that starts with "Death is good; Death is bad" and builds its way up to "Ignorance is punishment; Ingorance is bliss" and so on.

Some Specific Suggestions:

Especially the recent Kumbakonam* incident, where 90 kids of 3-5 years old died (rather fried) due to a fire accident in the school building disturbed me a lot.}/i}

This insertion really isn't necessary and might be considered by some to be in poor taste. "Offensive" statements distract from your arguement; a subdued, objective kind of approach would be more effective since these events have plenty of shock value on their own.

"I can’t laugh and celebrate the death before 90 deep fried flesh of Kids died in a fire accident in Kumbakonam."

See last statement...

Some Typos:

"When Adam and Eve..."

I hope this helps. I'll happily re-review this any time.

Cheers,
Artemismad
38
38
Review of Visits Matter  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: E | (4.0)
Fantastic Illustrations:

"When I ask her the name of her children, she sometimes cannot tell me, but she never suffers one of her crying episodes on a day one of them comes to visit."

"Alzheimer’s and dementia can make big children out of grown ups. Imagine for a moment that your loved one at BUSINESS is a kid at summer camp, and think back to when you were a child away at camp for the summer. Do you remember visiting day – the day when parents would come and have lunch or dinner with their children? It could be awkward for sure, but didn’t you feel a little bit sorry for the kids whose parents never came for a visit?

I think you've presented a unique perspective on an issue that does not get nearly enough attention. The "Summer Camp" illustration really tugged at my heart strings and drove the point home.

NB: I gave a 4.0 because I suspect you are still adding to this; I'll happily re-review it at any time.
*Smile*

Cheers,
Anna R.
39
39
Review of Peacenik Prose  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)


Typo:

And our and strife.

Best Parts:

What if "they” gave a war,
And nobody came?


"But who dares to philosophize
When apathy is the rule.
“Don’t get involved,”
Versus
"Don't give a damn,"
Is the ultimate duel."


Overall, I think you make some good points, and this poem has a lot of great "parts". Try as I might though, I could not read it in its entirety without stumbling. Maybe the exclamations and deep questions should be separated out to allow the reader to pause and ponder, if only for a second because they'll want to regardless of whether you allow it or not.

Cheers,
Artemismad


40
40
Review of Inherited Medals  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: E | (4.0)
This almost seems like two poems in one, one that rhymes and one that does not. I have a couple of poems like this too, but can be a little jarring for the reader especially for contemplative pieces like this one. Rhyme has a way of speeding things up because it kind rolls effortless off the tongue (brain *Pthb*), so to switch from non-rhyming to rhyming rushes the reader through the conclusion of your poem.

Overall, I do like the message. Our legacy as a person is so much more important than our legacy as a hero.

Cheers,
Anna R.
41
41
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: E | (4.5)
This piece was so prolific that I just took what I thought to be the defining quotes for my review, and organized them for anyone who wants to read it.

Universal Wisdom:

Often times many of our happiest and most contented memories are rooted in the most simple and inane moments.

Hurtful words can often inflict more pain than a punch. Still,many people who use language to hurt never apologize or make any attempt to take back these words.

The process of becoming "adult" for many is a long one,

It has only been recently as my life has taken the path of discontentment that I have come to realize the healing nature of words, specifically the ones that are written from the heart.

The one thing I've come to know through much heartache and pain is that there is no greater comfort than that of emotional comfort, that unspoken contentment within yourself-- for yourself.



Comforting Wisdom for Divorcees:

"once you accept that this is not the image you had for your life and move on to create a healthy healing environment for yourself and child, life begins anew".

That said I also am of the mind that my marriage not lasting was not a failure, it's a promise unfulfilled, it was a dream broken, but it will not be categorized in my mind as a failure.

I also recognize that I am a much wiser and more sensitive person for having survived a divorce and it's effects on my child and me.

Still in all the confusion and heartache there are certain things I would never change, and our time together can never be diminished by the outcome.


Things I can relate to as a child of divorce:

My father had taken to drinking in the bar after work and often times I was left to prepare the meal and keep an eye on my younger brother. This was such a role reversal, something that really changed me; I knew I was not just a kid anymore. In retrospect, I can see now how much this depressed me as a teen-ager, and how all I really wanted was my family to be made whole again.

Okay, so my Dad didn't drink, but he was terribly depressed and non-responsive.

Typos:

This Sophia is what we all strive for, to be at peace, to be happy, and to give and receive love.

Our unwillingness to go with my mom was both because of a loyalty we felt for our father, as well as a condemnation of the whole process which was causing us this pain.

--Alfred Lord Tennysonpe (?)

Overall:

This was a beautifully written piece. I liked the first part best because of its universal applications. The 2nd and 3rd parts are more specific to your family, which is helpful as well.

I also enjoyed the insertions of recipes (especially the pancakes *Laugh*) and well-chosen quotes.

Write on!

-Anna R.




42
42
Review of Help Us Help YOU!  
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
I'm a little bashful about the whole "emails to other sites" thing. Besides, I'm happy here and have had some really disappointing experiences in the past (ahem...Poetry.com).

I think group involvement in general on this site is good for exposure, even if their express purpose isn't promotion of other writers. Public reviewing is another great way to gain exposure, not only for the author being reviewed but for you as the reviewer as well.
43
43
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Man can I relate to this! I feel so lonely sometimes in my singleton life but those times do pass. Independence is a highly underrated gift. You're your message universal and your language is simple enough for everyone to understand.

My Favorite Parts:

I have too much to lose
by making bad decisions.



What you think you're offering,
Isn't what you have to give.
Besides, I don't know what I want,
Except a chance to live.


Well Done!

Cheers,
Anna R.
44
44
Review by ArtemisMad
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This is great idea! I loved the original, but it is a bit outdated now. "Paparazzi" is spelled wrong, btw. You've managed to keep the rhyme and rhythm true to the original, which I'm sure was hard.

It's a little we sad think of the "stain on the blue dress" as a historical event. What is the world coming to?!

Cheers,
Artemismad
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