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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/beholden
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254 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi Wrider,

One of the most shocking scenes in a movie I remember was in Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. In the scene, Billy has just escaped fromn his cell and arrives on the balcony of the jailhouse. Below him, the sheriff is on the way back to the jail. Billy shoots him without a thought or a word, not even giving him a moment to see his impending doom. It was terrible in its cold, offhand manner of execution.

Your story, Sasha's Safeway Stop, reminds me of that scene. The bag boy's unfeeling murder of Sasha without reason or care is chilling in a way that motivated murder is not. It makes us realise how any of us can be targets purely from being in the wrong place at the right time. And that, I'm sure, is what you wanted to achieve with this story. You have succeeded excellently.

The story flows without stumble and I detected no errors in grammar. Altogether, a fine piece of writing.


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Beholden


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of Buzz  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi Phoenix,

Thank you for saving my bacon this morning. As an assignment, I have to do two reviews of newby short stories and I was thinking I'd never find anything until I ran across your delightful Buzz. It seems almost all the newbies are writing teenage angst or poetry at the moment. Anyway, here we go. Remember, it's just my opinion and I'm not yet completely infallible.

Initial Impression: Your title to the story is excellent, with just the right amount of intrigue over what you mean and thoughts of bumble bees. Very clever. The "sex toys" in the description might put a few oldies like myself off but hey, I got past it. And then the story itself was a pure delight. After wading through acres of despair and gloom, how wonderful it is to find something genuinely funny and well written.

Content: You're on a winner here. Not everyone can write entertainingly of toilet brushes, plungers and vibrators. An original idea is more than half the battle in writing and this story has it!

Style: I love your conversational and confidential style, as though you are speaking to only the reader and no one else. You have tremendous confidence and ability in writing and the lack of errors (I spotted one typo somewhere - I'll try to find it again when I get to "Suggestions") speaks of someone who knows what she's doing.

Flow/Pace: Just the right pace, neither hurried nor lagging. Everything flows along smoothly without hiccup.

Suggestions: Ah, now the typo. Couldn't find it but noticed an "its" that should be an "it's" - "Its going to be great."

Overall Impression: The bright spot in my morning. This little story revived my belief that comedy is possible in serious things like writing communities. You handle it like a professional, leaving the reader with a grin and better attitude to life. Thanks for a really great read.


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Beholden


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Hullabaloo,

As an assignment, I have to write a couple of reviews of stories written by newbies, using a template designed by myself and a signature, also self-designed. I came across your story in the Read & Review feature and pounced on it (Most of the stuff by newbies in there is poetry at the moment). Remember that this is my opinion only and I'm not quite infallible yet!

Initial Impression: I liked this a lot - your last line made me smile. As old as I am, I can remember what it was like to be young and in the grip of raging emotions so I was able to identify with your protagonist.

Content: Great idea, to have the young lady performing surgery on her own heart and emotions. A fresh take is always a good place to start with a story (or a poem, as I've discovered). I have a little worry that some readers might assume that it's the normal teenage angst complaint and move on before they've finished. But we all have to take risks sometimes, don't we?

Style: You write well but I did notice a few habits that jarred me somewhat. Twice you have used "in to" as two words where correct usage would be "into". I know that there are occasions where "in to" is correct but I'm pretty sure that the instances mentioned require "into". Then there's my old bugbear, "lay down" instead of "lie down". Yes, it's a local thing (in Britain too) but when writing we need to use standard forms unless deliberately writing in dialect. And there's a typo at "I want he wiped clear from my thoughts." Pretty sure you meant "I want him".

Flow/Pace: The piece flows well at a steady pace.

Suggestions: Can't think of any.

Overall Impression: This a good story with an original take on the subject. It follows the age old advice to "write what you know." You can't go wrong with that.


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Beholden


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review of Speak Easy  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

This is beautiful. I love its evocation of experience and place in such simple words so carefully chosen and placed. My experience of a misty St John's morning is zero (but my wife knows it) yet you have taken me there and let me feel it.

Poetry's power is in its ability to share emotion powerfully. You have made me nostalgic for Newfoundland even though I've never been there. Can't say better than that.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Short poems  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

I think you have a way with words and an ability to inspect and dissect your own feelings that is quite rare. I don't really have a favourite amongst these poems since it seems to me they're all dealing with the same thing - your emotions. This is fine but does tend to group your work with the hundreds of others who spend their time staring at their own navels. You're better than that, as shown by your command of language. You are able to get the point across with very few but well chosen words. This is the essence of good writing, particularly in poetry.

Now let's expand this ability by looking beyond your emotions to the world outside. Write some poems about seemingly ordinary things that yet mean a lot to you - perhaps a hastily written note from someone else, a dried but preserved flower, a drop of water on a leaf, light reflected in a cool drink in a glass.

If I can add a minor quibble about your third poem, "Not Your Fault", I think you should change the last line to read, "You could and could not do." The use of "they" in the line stopped me dead with the question, "Who are 'they'?" The title tells me the poem is about "you" so let's not complicate the issue with these interlopers labelled "they".

You can write, young lady (I can say that because I'm ancient), so I insist that you keep writing! *Smile*

Beholden


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
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Review of Under My Thatch  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

I'm not entering this one ("loggia" is too hard a word) so maybe I can get away with doing a review of this. I think it's absolutely beautiful (brilliant use of "loggia" too). More than anything else, the choice of illustration is perfect. I love anything medieval so maybe I'm a little biased, but not much. It's so clever how the picture sets up the poem and the poem refers back to the picture.

Haven't read the others yet so I would be guessing to predict a winner. But this entry certainly deserves at least a joint win. I think. And I'm not judging until tomorrow so it doesn't matter what I say about today's contest! *Wink*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Got me! Didn't see that coming at all. I really like this story and, if you hadn't written it, I'd steal the idea!

The device of seeing the reflection in the puddle is brilliant. And the building of tension as we read on to find out what happens is quite masterful. This story is a little gem.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This reminded me of the Philadelphia Experiment where members of the crew were said to have become stuck with limbs partially buried in the ship. Your version is interesting in that doesn't result in the death of the protagonist. Yes, it would be useful to be able to travel through walls!

The piece is also an excellent view of the birth of a superhero. Altogether a clever piece well written and without flaw that I can see.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
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Review of Unmasked  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Ah, you caught me there, sir. Part of the joy of reading short stories is the attempt to discern the twist before the writer gets to it and you have beaten me with this one. A delightful tale, especially in the descriptions which have to be so brief in flash fiction. I love the clouds spilling moonlight across the courtyard. The whole thing is a tour de force.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of Dream  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Nice little story. It's an interesting theory, tying dreams to a tree, but it would never catch me. I'm too lazy to go around sticking things on trees. Still, it's a pity it didn't work.

You have a point, however. Dreams don't come true just because they're dreams. Being an optimist is all very well but I think the world needs realists more. Or even a few more pessimists. As I always say, "The pessimist is never disappointed." *Wink*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of Night Walk  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Good story, well told. Your descriptions really got to me - I'm not great at them. I love the dog's "stilted shadows of their legs" and "his high-beams bored a passage through the cathedral of night".

I didn't suspect about Jack until Jan said, "I'm sorry about Jack." The story had me totally involved and I wasn't really expecting a surprise in the ending. Nicely done.

Altogether a fine piece of writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Balancing Act  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Nice idea, to record your feelings with a couple of lines after every four. Achieves a sense of balance, I might even say!

It's an unusual prompt and your response is a perfect response to it. Meets the criteria but retains your right to make comments too. The urge toward independence remains within the American heart!

Most enjoyable. Even though I'm not crazy about rhyming.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
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Review of The Dying Game  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
That's pretty nasty. In the best way possible, I mean - it's supposed to be nasty. Trouble is, now I have to get that image out of my head. Which means it's good horror. I know it's your specialty but sometimes you excel yourself and this one certainly does that. Great story, finely constructed and expertly delivered. I guess that means five stars.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Impromptu  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Truth is truth no matter what age we are. It takes courage to allow writings like this to be seen - they are very telling about the person creating them. But it's honesty where great art lives and so you're on the right track.

I think everyone feels like this at times when they're young (oldies have other things in common) but you take a step beyond the rest because you know exactly what you're doing. You're fully aware of what people will say but you continue regardless, knowing that it has to be said.

The best writing I've ever done was when I opened up my soul for people to a have a peek. Doesn't happen often, needless to say. *Wink*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
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Review of Old Mermaids  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
What an excellent story! I enjoyed every second of it. It's well written (of course) but what I really love is the philosophy behind it. This little story contains more wisdom than the weightiest tome and the most famous dogmas. Mermaids without tails or fins - the concept that brings enlightenment!

Kudos to the Riding Hood.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
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Review of Her First Time  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Ah, Zeke, you tell us not to jump to conclusions, knowing that we would. You even had me fooled (just a little bit) for a while. I was ready for the punchline but that may be because that's what short story writers deal in - the surprise ending. The reading public may be lured in more easily.

Well written and a nice idea. Can't fault it.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Wow, better and better! This one is really great - I love the statements of how perfection would be so far above us, mounting up higher and higher until the collapse of the last verse. Brilliantly done and true, true, true!

This one's a real gem, Zeke.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

A wonderful love poem. Simple, no nonsense and honest, it speaks so clearly to your wife. This, again, is a type of poetry that I find very hard to write - it requires so much openness and vulnerability. You seem to be good at all the things I find impossible!

Truly great poem.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of All the Time  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Writing poetry about our faith is, I think, the most difficult thing to do of all writing tasks. I should know - I've failed at it so often that I gave up even the attempt for many years. Having a tentative go at it again now that I'm in WdC but I still find it incredibly hard. How to achieve the balance between honesty and not sounding self righteous, that is the problem.

With this, you achieve the deed. With these simple statements of your faith, there is no need to dramatise or perform. You point always to Him and in that you cannot go wrong. Well done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
20
Review of Aloneness  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Realised it was about time I repaid you for all the reviews you've done for me. So I went to your portfolio...

Aloneness is an interesting poem. I have taken the liberty of assuming that it's really about you and that you have taken the journey from isolation to involvement. Hence your membership of WdC, no doubt. It's a product of our social nature that we find it hard to bear being alone for long periods. Many of us, artists (including writers) in particular needing to be alone at times, yet always we return to the "herd" for refreshment and interaction. That is where we get our inspiration, after all, even though we need time alone to reflect and allow creations to grow in us.

Your poem is a very complete statement of the problem and its solution. It is engaging and direct but could do with a little editing in the form of reducing length and avoiding repetition of ideas if not words. It is better to say something briefly with the right words than to hammer things home with repetition.

Not that you have done much of that. I just feel it needs some slimming here and there. Great poem, even so.


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Review of A SHORT STORY  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Great article, very amusing and full of truth. I'm only surprised that you didn't mention the most obvious fact about tall people. They're all more stupid than the little fellers. Personally, I ascribe that to the thinner air at high latitudes - they're all suffering from oxygen starvation.

But anyway, never mind what I think. It was a pleasure to read your article and I can find no fault in it. Well done!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
To be honest, I'm sick of hearing what publishers think is the right or wrong way to go about writing. Let's face it - they are what they are because they failed in their real ambition to be writers. The fact that the vast majority of books accepted for publication are total failures, is an indication that they are not the wise and wonderful arbiters they think they are. Were you to pick books for publication by the "close your eyes and stick a pin in the pile" method, the statistics would probably be the same.

Personally, I don't write to genre. I write the dang story and decide afterwards what genre it is. Genre is the least important aspect of any piece of writing. All that matters is whether people read it or not.

Okay, you can all tear me to shreds now. I've given this five stars to prove I do not always disrespect authority.


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Review of Fit for a Nerd  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Most amusing poem, well written, subtly rhymed and maintaining the form throughout.

One thing bothers me, however. When you say it was his "last birthday", do you mean it was his most recent or that he was not going to have another? The second interpretation leads to a dark undercurrent of suicide running beneath the light-hearted face of the poem. Don't misunderstand me - I like the darker meaning. It's just that I'm unsure whether I'm supposed to notice it at all. Or are you messing with my head after all?

Either way, it makes for a very good poem that bears reading again and again. And that's what poetry is all about, isn't it?


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Review of Gravity  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Interesting. Thoughtful, insightful poem expressed with an admirable economy of words. Especially clever in that the full meaning is not revealed until the last word of the poem. That is really excellent.

Dang, the more times I read this, the more I get from it. Obviously, it's very good. Such sure and confident handling of words. Great stuff.


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25
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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
A moment in time captured forever. Believe me, the leather pants will lose sooner or later and the relief and comfort in yourself that follows will make you wonder why you waited so long. Of course, I admit that I still wear the uniform of my generation (jeans and T-shirt) but I was persuaded to try on a pair of old fart pants a while back and I confess that they are wonderfully comfortable. Looked awful, of course, but felt so good that I sometimes wear them when I'm not going out. The thin end of the wedge, no doubt.

A brave, personal essay, written with style and humour. i can't even find a comma out of place to quibble about!


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