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351 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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26
26
Review of Double Rainbow  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Yes, it's more accessible. But still beneath your art. I know, I know, the contests force it on us but you're capable of much greater depth. Not that there's anything wrong with this story - it's so well told and neatly wrapped up. It might help if I knew what contest you wrote it for - I've started to add details like that instead of just saying "Contest Entry". It helps me to remember what the point was.

Funnily enough, it reminds me of a long joke but I won't tell it here. I do wonder about the mother's reaction to her daughter producing a bedraggled kitten from nowhere. Somehow I think that Annie's illicit expedition might be discovered.

Having said which, it's still a beautifully written piece, of course. Did it win?


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
27
27
Review of Cecil  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Oh, I like this! Clever little twist in the tail and everything tied up very neatly in only 24 syllables. Rhyming too! Is there nothing you can't do? The stuff of great writing is a simplicity that looks easy but hides the careful construction behind its appearance. Yes, it's a beautiful poem for a child but has the depth needed by adults as well.

Excellent work.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
28
28
Review of Heat  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I've read quite a lot of your stuff now, Lilliy. Probably because it annoys me that I don't get it. If only I could understand the "why?" of your writing, I'd probably copy it to learn how to do it and then make it my own. But I don't get it. That's very frustrating, you know.

This piece, for instance - it's full of heat and you are the heat and it's around you as well. I have no doubt it's a metaphor and, taking the hint from your list of genres, I presume that it's sexual. In which case the ending would make sense as some form of release. The more I think about it, the more this seems true to me. But I'm probably doing the wrong thing in trying to extract a logical meaning from this. It's clearly about feelings and what has logic to do with that? Maybe I'm supposed to feel the piece rather than understand it.

That's a high ambition and I begin to understand a little bit. Logical creature that I am, I have to understand. So, once again, all I can do is salute the technical writing of the piece while talking a load of rubbish about the content. You'll have to forgive me my crassness.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
29
29
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (4.5)
What an encouraging message! This well written and thoughtful piece is a great help to those who have recently lost loved ones, I'm sure. Thank you for posting it.
30
30
Review of Que sera sera  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Wonderful story of canine loyalty and persistence. Come to think of it, you have a fair bit of patience as well. It's not everyone who would continue to bring the dog back to his home.

What saddens me is that I cannot see a good end to the story. You're going away and who will take notice of the dog when you're gone?
31
31
Review of Frogs and toads.  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Those African bullfrogs are scary things. They have teeth, you know. I had one once, sitting on the edge of the reservoir we used as a swimming pool. Get close to it and he would dive in and stay at the bottom until we left. I was young at the time and had an air gun. It was useless against the monster - the pellets just bounced off his thick hide. In the end he wandered off when the rains came.

There was another occasion when I was walking across a field one dark night and heard the sound of a dripping tap. Boink! it went. I know that there are no standpipes in the African bush so I started searching with my flashlight and eventually found the source of the noise. It was a tiny frog sitting in the grass and calling out his love song to his mate. Boink! Funniest frog call I've ever heard.

In Bulawayo we lived in a huge stone house at the top of a hill. Further down the hill was another stone house, also built by the same eccentric New Zealander, and this one had a pond. In the hot, humid nights before the rains arrived, hordes of frogs would gather at the pondside and join their voices in a chorus of mating calls. The racket was incredible - like a 747 revving up for takeoff.

Ah, Africa, there are still times I miss you...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
32
32
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Didn't quite finish it, I'm afraid. The leaps of setting, at first intriguing, became annoying as one story after another was abandoned. Maybe I don't have the stamina to stay with it but I suspect that many other would feel the same.

It's a pity because the imagination that created this piece is quite impressive. You have succeeded in creating a powerful atmosphere of looming threat in a world that, while undescribed, seems to occupy a position somewhere between the Dark Ages and the Modern.

Your sentences are very long and would be improved if you were to cut them down somewhat. I know the temptation to pile as much information as you have into a sentence but it is better resisted. All can be told rather better at a slightly lesser pace and with more consideration of the reader. Read it aloud and see how often you run out of breath.

I have not mentioned the minor grammatical errors in the piece. A quick edit should fix these.

Very interesting and atmospheric piece but it needs work.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
33
33
Review of Ritual  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
To be honest, I haven't read the entire piece but felt I should tell you why. It's all about presentation. For anyone who hasn't perfect eyesight, this is very difficult to read. That's because the font size is too small. This leads to very long lines and the reader having difficulty finding where the next line begins. A slightly larger font would go a long way to solving this.

The paragraphs tend to be long too. Because there is only a single return inserted between each paragraph, many of the breaks gets lost and the reader is presented with daunting blocks of print that do not encourage reading. Put two returns in between the paragraphs and it will be come easier on the eye immediately. Consider also cutting the larger paragraphs into smaller ones. Reading on a moniter is tiring at the best of times and this breaking into shorter parts makes things a lot simpler.

I think you'll find that this helps readers a lot. Of course, I could be wrong but it's the way I see it.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
34
34
Review of Connect  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I was right - I don't really understand this. All I can do for you in this review is relay my feelings towards the piece. My age counts against me for anything else - at 71 this speaks of things I know nothing of. The funny thing is that, if I catch your gist (as they say), I have written something that is about exactly the same thing. It's the way of doing it that's different.

My first reaction is that these are emotions unfamiliar to me. The horizons of an earlier age hold me back and I can relate to nothing here. Which is pretty much how I feel most of the time about the modern age. So it's a limitation in me and has no bearing on the quality of your writing. On that score, all I can say is that you seem mired in the present. Is there no past in your world? As inheritor of the future, do you not peer into world's beyond ours? They're questions, not criticisms. It's just that I don't understand you as Runoffscribe seems to.

As a result of all this, any advice I give you would be ill-informed and probably worthless. But I do wish to encourage you that you should continue to write. It's obvious that you know where you're going. And, when it comes down to it, would Dickens understand what I write? Every age has its own means and methods of communication.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
35
35
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
An amusing tale. I salute your ability to invent logical yet ridiculous questions. And this facility for creating wonderful characters like Charlie. Nice little twist in the tail, too.

Most importantly, I see in the narrator a very likable character, one who cares about people and is interested in them. And it's not too difficult to tell that it's you (I cheated and read your biography first). Howdy doo, Whiskerface. Nice bit of writing.

And so to my last point. I find it interesting that you chose Whiskerface as your alias. When I met my wife (in internet chat), her name was Ned. There were complex reasons for that but, essentially, the name was part of an anagram of her real name. And now I'm wondering why your alias is so self-effacing (or do I mean gender-effacing?) Of course, you don't have to tell me. I'm just registering my curiosity.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
36
36
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
This reminds me of the veldskoens of Southern Africa. They are not as dangerous as the drop bear, being flying creatures similar to bats. Capable of giving one a nasty bite, they attack people wandering in the bush at night and can become a serious nuisance. Their strategy is to gather in packs and then fly at the faces of humans invading their territory, slashing at them as they swoop by. Locals guard themselves against veldskoen attack by carrying a cricket bat whenever they venture out at night. There is also the mambie, a little known creature found in woodlands in Zimbabwe, but I don't want to hijack this review completely.

I found this to be a most interesting and informative description of the drop bear, an animal that I have heard rumours of before. This matter of little known creatures of the outback needs more investigation and I applaud your sound research into reports of their murderous activity. Well done and more power to your writing arm!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
37
37
Review of The Unknown...  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I take it that you're writing in the style of H.P. and not just the same genre. Not having read any Lovecraft, it's hard for me to judge but there are several rather antiquated constructions along the way that don't sound at all like Angus. Personally, I would tone that down a bit. Going easy on such means of expression would lead to a smoother blend with your own style. Let's see, how can I say this? Concentrate less on H.P.'s circuitous sentence construction and instead work on seeing the world through his eyes. Both writers and readers back then were less world weary and jaundiced than we are and it is this, not the style, that gives the flavour of writers of the time. There is something so matter-of-fact about their descriptions that identifies their era immediately. They are very restrained when writing of their feelings, too.

Having said which, there is nothing wrong with the story and I think it deserves to be finished. And don't take what I've said about style too seriously. It's only my opinion, after all, and I've been known to be wrong on occasion.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
38
38
Review of A Helping Hand  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Well written, tight little story that keeps its punch until the end. The pace is perfect, drawing us into the story with just enough information to keep us hungering for more. I particularly like the way in which you allowed me to work things out for myself, even down to the cop's inevitable conclusion on seeing the flashlit tableau. This involved me in the story and meant I could not hurry onwards for fear of missing something important. Great technique.

It's not a genre I have attempted but you've shown me how it's done. Thank you.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
39
39
Review of Oh  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I chose this one to review because you described it as a love poem. I have tried many times to capture at least an essence of what love is to me and I've failed (miserably, judging by the few reviews of such poems that I get). So I wanted to see how you set about it. And, of course, you succeeded.

At first I thought it was going to be one of the usual angst-ridden laments of anguish so common in this genre but no, this turns from the pain to gratitude for the experience (echoing the saying that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all). And the result is that you made me feel the extent of your love, the sharedness of it. Lines like "Knowing What Love looks like in the mirror of your eyes" are exceptionally good, wringing a response from the reader. Even the halting, brief impressions of the stanzas in the beginning are reflective of the first tentative efforts to deal with the loss of love. They are soon developed into longer stanzas filled with emotion as acceptance is followed by celebration. It's very, very good, you know.

At least, I think so, and I should know, having failed enough at this myself.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
40
40
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
2010? Things have moved on since then. Now the technology talks to the young and they answer without the need to read. Judging by the way the devices interrupt at unexpected moments with complaints that they didn't understand some point of the human conversation, we are witnessing the destruction of polite society, to be substituted by some form of digital information exchange that has no need of verbal contact at all. Brave new world indeed.

But, to your delightful piece. It's a great read to us older folks (I cannot speak for the youth - are they still able to read?) and I'm sure we all appreciate the droll turns of phrase and descriptions. Entertainment is clearly you and I can't wait to read some of your fiction. Well, that's not quite true, as I have to wait for a while at least. It's hard to concentrate for long periods when reading from a monitor. But I shall return to read more, I promise.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
41
41
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Beautifully written. Almost sounds like me, except you're better at detail. It was nice, too, to learn, from the second word of the piece, that I was reading a fellow Brit. Americans prefer to have "dreamed." Regardless of that, you have a fine grasp of the language and use it with great skill. I cannot fault the story from a technical aspect and I wonder how you managed to lose that half star from your rating. Still, I know how haphazard ratings can be; you'll get five from me, that's for sure.

It is good to welcome such a fine writer to the Yellow Case Files group and I can understand why the Blimprider invited you in. This may not be a proper review but is more a way to applaud and greet you. Welcome indeed!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
42
42
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I thought this was very good and it deserved to win the Screams Contest. The fact that it was named Stockholm Syndrome lulls us into the supposition that we know what's going on from the beginning, which makes the denouement all the more surprising. Well done in keeping it hidden right to the end.

The writing is ideal for this type of piece, being straightforward without self conscious flourishes or flowery descriptions. It tells us what we need to know, exactly as is required in the short story form. Pace is right too and the simple language provides the flow that brings us, without hiccup, to the end.

The piece is flawless as far as I can see. Great work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
43
43
Review of Peabody's Ride  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Delightful. A tale told with just the right amount of detail and panache Funnily enough, it reminds me of an incident I saw when I was working in the High Court of Zimbabwe. My office overlooked a long flight of steps leading from the main entrance to the court down to the sidewalk. I was staring vaguely out of the window one day when a well-dressed lawyer appeared in the doorway and then started down the steps. On the second or third step, he was just a little too close to the edge and his foot slipped. Unfortunately, this gave him enough forward momentum to hit the next edge. Arms flailing and somehow retaining his balance to remain upright, he slipped from one step to the next, bumping down the entire flight. I know its not nice to laugh at another's misfortune but I couldn't help it - I laughed and laughed and laughed.

What really put the frosting on the cake was that, at the bottom, he landed with one final bump. Without pausing, he walked off as though nothing had happened. I wish I could tell you that he whistled as he did so but it would be a lie.

But, to return to your story, I particularly like the idea of Mr Peabody surfing down the steps on a binder. You bring the whole scene vividly to life and have the subtlety not to overstreess anything so that it launches into slapstick. The story requires your cool, matter-of-fact approach and that is exactly what you have achieved. Well done.

And, of course, the ping pong ball eyes bring everything full circle. Bravo!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
44
44
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
It seems cheeky, especially as I see this has been rated 29 times, but I really wanted to applaud. Maybe pushing the count to 30 will make up for my boldness.

I love this poem, its atmosphere, its stream of images, its sudden insertion of dialect (wonderful way to introduce more colour), the tale that holds attention, everything about it. Even the length of the lines (verses) encourages me since I have recently begun to extend the length of my own lines (partly because it's a way around WdC Contests' usual restriction to a mere 40 lines).

There is no way I am knowledgable enough about poetry to make any sensible suggestions but I know enough to know just how good this is. Applause.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
45
45
Review of The Story  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Your last line gave me a wry smile. I had guessed where you were going through the second paragraph but that final sentence was still a neat way to end the story. Nice work.

I have one minor point to make. "Jake seemed to weed his way into every thought these days." Normally, I would expect to see the word "wheedle" there, rather than "weed." But then I had a think about it and came to the conclusion you might actually mean it in the sense that weeds work their way into everything, even invading the cracks in the concrete sidewalk. In which case it's kinda poetic and I like it. But it's all about the original intention, isn't it? My advice would be to stick to your guns and claim it was always intended. *Wink*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
46
46
Review of Lost and Found  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Nice little surprise at the end. Your story brings out a little-known truth - that maps are only useful if you know where you are! I do love a good map but, when you're out there in reality, telling one hill from another may not be so easy.

Well written and described piece and I have no criticisms of it.

Well done!
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Review of Stone Fences  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
A poem about walls or fences makes me think immediately of Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Wall." That's a hard act to follow and I've seen many fail in the attempt. But you have nothing to fear on that score - your "Stone Fences" can stand shoulder to shoulder with Frost's poem and not be ashamed.

There is much of the same feeling in both and an age old wisom too. It makes me wonder if there are ancestral roots, not only between you and your Grand Da, but also between Frost and some Scottish ancestor. There are stone walls in both Scotland and New England, after all.

Which is all to say that this is far too good a poem for me to criticise. I can applaud, however.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
48
48
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
A beautiful tale. Your handling of the situation was masterful and your writing of it flawless. In simple and straightforward language you have described Rodney's appearance and character so that we join you in rooting for him. There is a quaint logic in the conversation leading to the unmasking of the spies, too. Your solution to the problem is brilliant, however. Consume the desired objects and the spies have no reason to invade.

I must admit that my preference for the unusual makes me a sucker for this story. But isn't that we all are looking for - the new, fresh and interesting?


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
49
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Review of Fraidy Grady  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Bravery is not the absence of fear but the conquering of it. Great story, common to all of us in one way or another. The giving of nicknames is so often the reinforcement of failure, of course and Grady has broken through to a new freedom from such humiliation.

The description and setting of the scene is expertly done and Grady's feelings communicated to us with sensitivity and honesty. It's the telling of a simple story without pretence at anything greater and, as so often with such things, it carries a deeply-felt message. Well done indeed!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
50
50
Review of Worth a read !  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (5.0)
It all makes sense at last. If only all our questions were so expertly and logically answered. An excellent fable.
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