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143 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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26
26
Review of Am I wrong?  
Review by Beholden
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This is very personal, so much so that it seems to me that it's not written for literary review at all. Anything said on that score would be irrelevant, I think.

So it comes down to my own reaction to the piece and there doesn't seem to be much that I can say except that you describe pretty much my own feelings - or lack of them - when considering my mother's death. The only thing I can suggest is that it's not uncommon to feel guilty for not feeling. In my experience, everyone will tell you that the grief will come, perhaps years after the event, and that may be true for you.

But it's been nearly twenty years for me and still nothing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
27
27
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
Kinda cool, I like it, Ken,
And anyway, it's time to say
Amen.
Old fogies have to face the fact
We have three score and ten
And then
Small mercies granted us, I think,
If I can hear imperfectly
At least it'll be a while before in the earth I sink...

Actually, I read a few of your poems and I thought it was about time I paid my dues, especially since you asked for it. As you can see, I don't really write po'try. *Wink*
28
28
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (3.0)
Well, you made me laugh. Great little story, well written and an excellent twist in its tail.

Just a tiny edit needed: in the last line - "plastic pedals" should be "plastic petals". I worry also about "a sheet covered presumably the rare plants". It's a bit clumsy and would read better if you took out "presumably". Is it really neccessary? I think the reader can guess that the flowers are under the sheet.

Clever story, however and I like it a lot.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
29
29
Review of Day of Awakening  
Review by Beholden
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
An interesting read. I do wonder why you have rated it as Fiction, however. It seems to be biographical - of your son, according to your Author's Note. I know some things we write are difficult to fit within the categories offered but this piece would benefit from a re-think in that respect, I think.

As regards the politics in the piece, you didn't really expect me to declare my own opinions, did you? I'm far too cagey to let that one out of the bag... ;)


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
30
30
Review of Full Moon Party  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (3.5)
Unsure where to go with this one. I suppose it all depends on what you want it to be. If it's a descriptive vignette, it's very beautiful, very celtic in its delight in the language, so ready to depart into the world of dreams. If it's a short story, the description becomes too much, a distraction from where we're going. Is it a part of something bigger you're writing? I think not, for the last lines are very suggestive of an ending.

I like it but that is thanks to the deliciousness of the words and says nothing about how effective it is regarding purpose. It all depends on where you're going with it...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
31
31
Review of The Talent Pond  
Review by Beholden
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Just one question: where's the survey I'm supposed to complete?
32
32
Review of The Pirate  
Review by Beholden
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
What a great story! The need for a parrot was totally unexpected but provided a sharp and amusing ending. Oh, to be a pirate now that summer is here...

I enjoyed the whole story but feel that the opening paragraphs are a bit too long and detailed for a modern audience. Some trimming would make them more effective in drawing the reader on.

The characters are well drawn and the dialogue natural and believable. Flow is a little slow to begin with, as I've said, but picks up and rolls on merrily towards the ending.

All in all, an excellent tale.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
33
33
Review of Just Us  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
Wow. I'll not pretend to understand why anyone would put themselves through the restrictions of an abecedarius (I looked it up) but you do it apparently effortlessly. I do understand, however, that free verse is an incredibly effective way to reach people (and it is, therefore, poetry). This is an intense, deeply-felt and honest poem. There is no way that I would suggest an improvement - it seems perfect to me.

It is very, very good. I just hope that others can see that too - they must, surely...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
34
34
Review of How now brown cow  
Review by Beholden
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
You made me laugh. And that sums it all up because that was your intent. Must be good if you did that!
35
35
Review of Tech-No-Type  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
Ouch! Well, you managed it when you wrote this. It's one of those "story in 75 words" I'd guess and very effective at that.

It's an excellent description of writer's block (clever title, by the way) - I know just what you mean. And the final four words are a knife twisted in my soul.

Excellent!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
36
36
Review of My First Purse  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (3.0)
Not really my area of expertise but you brought it to life for me, reminding me that one of my favourite items of clothing is really a bunch of pockets sewn together (a fisherman's vest, I believe, although I'm no angler).

Your writing is competent but a little given to redundant phrases and statements. "Truth be told" is an example since we already believe that you're telling the truth; "Not to mention" is another - don't mention it if you say you're not going to. It's all about what we need to know and feel; everything else doesn't matter.

As I say, it's an enjoyable read but needs a little trimming.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
37
37
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (2.0)
Quite difficult to read because it is divided into only two paragraphs. Breaking it down further into several paragraphs would help enormously.

The piece reads as a very personal account of past problems, present situation and wondering about the future. It is only the fact that it came up in the Read & Review section that enables me to ignore my feeling that I'm prying. Certainly, I am not qualified to make suggestions to solve any problems and I'm not sure you're concerned about the quality of the writing.

I do hope you overcome your problems and enjoy a happier future. Your positive attitude should ensure success, I think.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
38
38
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
A charming piece on memories. Do you really have such a detailed memory of that first day? I think you're embellishing a little - and that's okay. It's what writers do, after all.

The writing is competent if a bit overloaded with detail and aside. It's easily fixed with some careful editing to trim the unnecessary words or phrases. Keep the atmospheric detail, cut the the things we don't really need to know.

Otherwise it's an enjoyable read. Well done and keep writing!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
39
39
Review by Beholden
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
I feel like the last person who should be reviewing this - exercise is not exactly my forte in life. But perhaps I have the greater understanding because of this. You certainly taught me more about the "why" of it than I have ever understood before.

And you are quite lyrical about jogging. You have me trailing behind you in complete belief of what you're doing - me, the unbeliever. If that isn't great writing, I don't know what is. Everything is right about the way you've approached your task; the separated, short sentences like the breaths you take; the accuracy of the words that express the feelings you have; the steady progression through a well-chosen pace (the very word speaking of the activity you describe).

It's excellent stuff and I can find no fault in it.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
40
40
Review of Easy  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (4.0)
Great little tale told with economy and clarity (unlike the instructions!). I liked it a lot, particularly since it brought back memories of fighting with similar instruction sheets. It's a picture of home life as we all know it, culminating in the gentle twist in the end. Very nicely done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
41
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Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a delightful tale! I may be a little biased in that I love a good, modern, slightly tongue-in-cheek fantasy but that doesn't alter the fact that your writing is excellent. Everything flows along quite happily and the pace is just right. Dialogue, too, is natural yet economical.

The character of the leprechaun is fascinating - the device of the riddle is clever too, involving the reader in trying to solve it before the characters. It reminded me of Bilbo's encounter with Gollum in "The Hobbit".

Altogether a most enjoyable read. Keep writing!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
42
42
Review of The Breakwater  
Review by Beholden
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Wonderful story, told with warmth and feeling. I couldn't put it down (as they say) and I really mean that - it's an enjoyable read that grabs and holds the reader from first to last.

A minor point that needs fixing: "I’ve been more or going through the motions" needs a "less" on there.

Otherwise, I can find no fault in it. Well done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
43
43
Review by Beholden
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Excellent - can't fault it.

This a tale both beautiful and terrible. You guide the reader surely between the two poles, showing us things that raise us above ordinary life (and so smoothly) to awful things almost impossible to read. You're a master of the writing art and I salute you.

Now we understand the separation foretold in the title - blackberries and poison ivy, the sweet and the bitter. Brilliant indeed.

Flow: Like a slow, unhurried river, filled with ripples and eddies yet relentless in its drive to the sea. Superb.

Grammar: No way am I going to carp.

Mechanics: You understand more about this than do I. I'll keep silent and hide my ignorance. ;)

Dialogue: Beautiful in its simplicity, economy and contribution to the story.

Characters: So well drawn, especially Grace and Dylan. I cannot look again into that bedroom...

Closing thoughts: I'm so glad I decided to have one last look at the Please Review section in spite of the late hour. It has been a pleasure to read your story, sir, and an unwarranted honour to express my admiration. Applause.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
44
44
Review by Beholden
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Good story, although I think I've seen a TV show or film with a similar premise - that almost everyone has seen a show that they can't stop thinking about. The obsession with the show develops into some evil force attempting to take over the world and it's up to the few who missed the show to save humanity. Of course, you may well be going in a totally different direction.

I may have picked up on the sinister nature of the obsession-producing show a bit early, thanks to whatever it was I watched, but the unfolding development of the main characters' suspicions kept me interested. I still wanted to find out what was going on when I reached the end. Obviously, to satisfy my curiosity, you have to continue!

There's a bit of a problem with POV, I think. It was quite disconcerting when you first switched POV from Brad to Haley. I was more prepared for subsequent switches but it still didn't feel right to me. That might be because the first few occurred when Brad and Haley were together - it was unsettling to be jumping from one view to the other so often. The later switches are not so abrupt but I do think you need to consider whether they are necessary.

As I've said, it's a good story and I think you should continue, whether or not you do something about the POV. As seems to be the motto here, keep writing!
45
45
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
The world needs more limericks. It's good to see that, even in WDC, there are those who are prepared to attend to this deficiency. Yours is a delightful celebration of promotion (I forgive you "winker" since it's part of the fun) and I can find no fault in it. Wonderful stuff.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
46
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Review of Monday  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (4.0)
Poor Mr Barnes - he didn't really stand a chance, did he? I like that his problem is never stated but it is shown so well that the reader knows very quickly what the problem is.

In keeping with the flash fiction definition, the writing is tight and the flow direct. Dialogue is natural while still kept brief.

Overall an amusing read.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
47
47
Review of The Cat's Cradle  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
Excellent. You set the scene so effectively and with such economy of words. The piece reeks of the atmosphere of a seedy jazz joint in a rundown neighborhood. You know how to get a reader to go with the characters into their environments. It is so important to establish setting quickly in a short story and you do so effortlessly so that we run with the story as it unfolds.

I really can't fault anything in the writing - the dialogue, the grammar, the flow are just right. A great read.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
48
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Review of Pulpwood Truck  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
I don't often do poetry but this made me stop and read deeper. You know how to reach a reader, sir, and this poem does it in spades. Such economy of words and yet so effective in making us see and feel the scene you paint. I'm impressed.

Maybe it's the prose writer in me but I do long for poetry that speaks in sentences, rather than bunches of descriptions that go nowhere. The only example of this is:
"On the way to the papermill, a pulp load,
overstacked and held on by trace chains
that slowly shimmer in the summer heat."
It's easily fixed by removing the period, thereby allowing it to flow into what follows and create a sentence. It's a prose writer's niggle, as I said, and may be completely wrong.

Otherwise I love the poem, especially the fact that it deals with harsh reality instead of the usual "poetic" subjects (fancy a flower or a sunset anyone?). More power to your pen!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
49
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Review of Saving the Planet  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (3.5)
Nice. I got a little lost in the beginning - it becomes hard to tell who is speaking because we don't yet understand what is happening - but the last sentence rewards any work the reader has to do. It's just unfortunate that it becomes necessary to go back and re-read to understand.

The storyline is great and the ending the really cool bit. Nothing wrong with the writing, flow and grammar either. Well done!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
50
50
Review by Beholden
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
I am a little uncertain on this one. Let me tell you my impressions and then you can take or leave what I say.

You have said it's a short story so that's how I take it. It does seem a little like part of something longer, however, and this is reinforced by your indication that it's background to your "antagonist", as though the real story is to follow.

Having said that, I get the atmosphere of threat, the feeling that Patrick is not the pleasant character that he seems. This becomes stronger as we see him watching Amanda on the phone and then deliberately charming Nicki. The "presentation" is full of hidden meaning and unstated intent. This Patrick guy is not nice at all.

The final paragraph tells us that we were right to suspect Mr Smooth, if I may call him that. He has some deviltry plotted and this has all been a matter of "casing the joint".

The piece is well written, the dialogue natural and everything flows along admirably. It's just that thought that there is more to come - that this is merely the introduction. Ignoring my imagination, what really does Patrick have planned?



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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