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26
26
Review of Vortex Of My Mind  
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi, My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your poem on behalf of the The Poetry Pond. Hi, I came across your poem on the Newbie page. Please understand that I do not mean to re-write your poem, I am only interested in helping you to make your work the best it can be.


Proud Member of the Poetry Pond *Reading*



TITLE: SUICIDE

THEME: The theme: killing oneself

RHYME: The rhyme is very tightly constructed and well done.

RYTHM:The rythm of the poem is good, no real flaws.

PUNCTUATION, GRAMMAR AND SPELLING:
In this category I have some comments. I know that in many cases punctuation is left out of poetry. Many authors like the feeling of steady flow for their poetic comments. However, I find it more dramatic to use punctuation. For instance:

"What will it take to make me die

Upset now upset then

Cry cry cry

There is no end"


In the above verse the crux of your poem is written. It is the wrap up and very important. If you puntuated it, it would look something like this:

What will it take to make me die?
Upset now, upset then.
Cry, cry, cry;
There is no end.

I believe in punctuation in poetry, because with commas, question marks and semi-colons we make the reader pause and give consideration to what they are reading. The words still flow, but with time to give the reader a steady picture of our feelings and ideas.

Take a moment to consider punctuating this poem. Set it up with punctuation and read it aloud, pausing after commas and other signals to the reader. If you do not like the result then leave it as it is. You are the master here and you know what you want your poem to read like.

MY IMPRESSIONS:This poem has power. It is a direct statement that explains a great deal of what someone who desires death feels deep inside.
I believe it would be made more powerful with punctuation.

FAVORITE PART: There is a sense of hopelessness here that is defeated by the will to live. The subject swims to the shore instead of drowning, vomits instead of dying from pills; there is a feeling that the person does not want to die but is so overcome by reality that it is impossible for them to want to live. That is a difficult concept to capture and you have done a great job at that.

MY SUGGESTIONS: Try punctuation and see how you like the rythm. If you do re-write, please give me a holler, I would love to see what Suicide reads like then.

Thank you for permitting me to review your poem. Keep writing, Blessings, Bertie.
27
27
Review of Shadow  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing this short story on behalf of WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP. I am not an editor or expert in the field of writing. These are only my opinions meant to aid you in making your work the best it can be. Remember, you make take some of my opinions or none at all. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

TITLE: SHADOW


THEME: A story about a man's relationship with his shadow.


STRUCTURE: The story's structure could be tightened up a bit. In this review I hope to alert you to some of the fine points that will subtract from the wordiness and compact your story so that the finely stated eerie qualities shine through.


SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION: I understand from our correspondence that you enjoy long sentences. However, structuring a sentence in the right way makes all the difference in the readers ability to appreciate the story.

"I swear I have never, ever, trusted any human being, for they are all selfish evil things, products of this terrible world,that is and always will be nothing else but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours, exactly like the old Danish prince once said. "

I have never, ever trusted any human being; for they are all selfish, evil things; products of this terrible world; that is and always will be nothing else but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours, exactly like the old Danish prince once said.
Note the use of the semi-colon. It is very good for long sentences and for joining sentence fragments together so that they are better understood.

"Anyway, from humans I have been able to stay away, except for myself, for that I am human, still I wish I were not."
Omit the word (Anyway) it serves no real purpose and weakens the sentence.
From humans I have been able to stay away, except for myself; for that I am human. Still, I wish I were not.
Once again the use of the semi-colon is helpful here.

"However there is one creature who follows me, stalks my very soul everywhere I go, at least everywhere with lights on: my shadow!"

Place a comma after (However)I would also italicize (my shadow!)
However, there is one creatue who follows me, stalks my very soul everywhere I go, everywhere there is light: my shadow!
Note: I did change the phraseology a bit as to the light. I believe it adds to the impact and highlights the words (my shadow!) better.

" . . . still the racionalization of my paranoia is not enough to end it.
Spelling error: rationalization

"And I don't even trust myself, for I am human too, so how can I know if this rationalization that fearing my own shadow is something insane isn't a plan created by myself... to fool myself into not fearing it?"

Omit (And) begin the sentence with (I)
I do not even trust myself, for I am human too. Begin the next sentence with (So)
So, how can I know if this rationalization of fearing my own shadow is something insane? That it is not a plan created by my self to fool me into not fearing my shadow?
Note that I separated the sentences and added *my shadow) at the end of the sentence instead of (it) to be more explicit about what the man fears.

"Also, the paranoia might had been created by myself, just to destroy, this time completly, all I still had left of sanity!"
Omit (Also) Begin the sentence with (The)
This paranoia might have been created by myself just to destroy completely, all I still have left of sanity.
A spelling error on (completely) and keep the sentence current to the action with changing (had) to (have)

"Still, I can not get rid of this fear, this panic: everywhere I go, I feel like the shadow is stalking me, haunting me, watching me, just waiting for... for what?"

Still, I cannot be rid of this fear, this panic; everywhere I go. I feel the shadow is stalking me, haunting me, watching me, waiting . . . for what?
The changes I have made to the above sentence make it more dynamic. I know you are a fan of Poe. He used long sentences, but every word he wrote counted toward the reader's understanding of the mood he was creating. Economy of words does not need to take away from the story's ambience.

"That I don't know!"
To keep that archaic feeling you are fond of, do not use contractions.
That I do not know.

"And that is the worst part, what is a shadow capable of?"
Omit (And) Let the sentence stand with (That) as the first word.
That is the worst part; what is a shadow capable of?

"Everyone tells me I'm insane, and I pretty much know that, still I don't trust anybody, neither myself, as I've just said."
Everyone tells me I am insane; I pretty much know that. Still, I do not trust anyone, even myself.
There is no need to tell the reader that you've already said you were insane, omit that phrase.

"So, I keep being alert, paying attention to the shadow's every movement, I'm sure there is something wrong with this thing."

So, I keep alert; paying attention to the shadow's every movement. I am sure there is something wrong with this . . . thing.
Note: I did separate the sentences, but this adds to the flow. Also placing elipses after (this) makes the reader pause and amplifies the word (thing) making it stand out as something foreign to the protagonist.

"During the day, and everywhere where there is any light at all, the thing has my own shape, with some odd distortions, and follows my every single action. However, what does this thing do at night, when all the lights are out?"

Note: This is the sentence that first gnawed away at my imagination and made me cringe. Therefore this has to be stated clearly.
During the day, and anywhere there is light, the thing has my own shape. It follows my every action. However, what does this thing do at night when all the lights are out?

"'cause it imitates me in the light, it has a pratically human shape, that I can see, but what about in the dark?"

(Because)it imitates me in the light; it has a practically human shape that I can see . . . but what about in the dark?
In this sentence, the use of elipses (. . .) set the final statement apart, causes the reader to pause and delivers impact.

"What if does not have any shape, and once the lights are out, the shadow can take over all the space of an entire room?"

Very spooky sentence.
What if it does not have any shape? Once the lights are out the shadow can take over all the space of an entire room?
Just a bit of tweeking with the punctuation.

"And if I'm in the street, in the dark, at night, can this shadow take all the space of the street?"
And, if I am in the street in the dark at night, can this shadow take all the space of the street?
I have never thought about a shadow in this way and it adds to the spooky feeling.

Omit (And)
"Oh no, I know, this is too insane!"
I would italicize, I know, this too is insane!

"I should not keep on thinking about these things, now I'm only getting worse, this paranoia is killing me!"
I should not keep thinking about these things, I am only getting worse; this paranoia is killing me.

"All right, were I sane at all, I would not even be considering this murder, since I am not sane, I have to wonder, it is possible to kill a shadow?"
Omit (All right) Were I sane at all I would not even consider this murder. Is it possible to kill a shadow?

"I mean, is it alive, does it really have a life of its own?"
Omit (I mean, is it alive) Does it really have a life of its own?

"Well, it if is alive, it shall be alive no more, not being around me, and there is no other place this thing can be!"

Omit (Well) If it is alive, it shall be alive no more. It is around me constantly for there is no other place this thing can be.

Note: This sentence seemed a bit muddy as stated, I changed the wording a bit.

"That should be the time for my evil laugh, but something worse comes to mind now... a hideous thought that frightens my very soul... the thought that this thing, this shadow, might be already dead! What if... what if it is a ghost, or a spirit, or even a demon that imitates human shape to walk around among humans unnoticed?"
I laugh; an evil sound, but something worse comes to mind now, a hideous thought that frightens my very soul. The thought that this thing, this shadow, might already be dead! What if . . . what if it is a ghost or spirit . . . or, even a demon that imitates a human shape to walk about unnoticed?

Note: I did not change much above except for punctuation and the beginning of the sentence.

"However if it its alive, what frights my soul anyway, then at leat I can kill it, or so I hope."
However, if it is alive, that frightens my soul. At least then I can kill it, or so I hope.

"After all, it's only a shadow, it has no solid substance I could cut through with a knife, a bullet,"
After all, it is only a shadow; it has no solid substance I could cut through with a knife or bullet; I could not make it drink poison. Omit (for it has no mouth or stomach) the reader knows this.

"I could not push it to the edge of an abism, for it has no body of its own . . ."
abyssis the word you are looking for.

"Or is it right?" Omit this sentence it adds no information and muddies the content.

"That's right, tonight I shall kill it."
Omit (That's right) Leave (Tonight I shall kill it.) to stand alone as a stronger statement.

"There are only a few seconds left to midnight."
Change (to) to (till)

"After the clock strikes midnight, I'll attack it, I'll atack my own shadow!"
After the clock strikes midnight: I will attack it; attack my own shadow"

"I am in the dark, all the doors and windows of this house are closed, so the shadow has no shape now, it can be anywhere. Or, as I believe, it must be everywhere, so it must be easier to hit it and kill it."
I am in the dark; all the doors and windows of this house are closed; the shadow has no shape now, it can be anywhere. Or, as I believe it must be, everywhere. So, it must be easier to hit it and kill.

This is where you want the most dynamic after creeping the reader out with the information on how the protagonist feels about his shadow.

I am holding a knife, a very big and sharped one, and at any moment now, after midnight, it will be the time for my release, this paranoia shall end.c}
I am holding a very big, sharp knife. At any moment now it will be time for my release and this paranoia will end.

"I move forward with the knife, attacking the darkness, then I fall to the ground... or maybe something pushes me?"
I move forward with the knife attacking the darkness. I fall to the ground; it feels as though something has pushed me."
I would be more definite here that this man was pushed. It gives more substance to the Shadow as an entity, and it is the right time to make the shadow more solid.

"I drop the knife in the dark, then, when I fall... all I feel is the knife cutting through my throat,"
I drop the knife (he has already fallen to the ground) and feel the knife slice across my throat.

"I feel a terrible pain, the unique taste of blood in my throat, taste of pain and silence."

I feel a terrible pain in my throat and the unique taste of blood in my mouth: the taste of pain . . . then, silence.

"The taste of my sweet relief, my dear bloody ending, because now I'm free. The shadow is gone, I'm gone. The madness is finally over, at least for me. The world is over now."
The taste of sweet relief (release), my dear bloody ending; for now I am free. The shadow is gone; I am gone. The madness is finally over. The world is over, now.

MY OVERALL IMPRESSION: This story impressed me with its potential to be a very good story in the manner of The Tell Tale Heart, or the poem the Raven.


MY FAVORITE PARTS: I enjoy the way the man's mind decends into madness and the his end is mysteriously caused by either himself or his shadow.


MY SUGGESTIONS: Understand that I am not trying to re-write your story, but that I am trying to make it more dynamic by utilizing punctuation.


Thank you for permitting me to review your work. If you disagree with my review, that is fine. Take what you need and leave the rest. If you revise, please email me so that I may read. Keep writing and offering your work for review. Blessings, Bertie
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28
Review of SUNDERBANS  
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your poem on behalf of the THE POETRY POND. I am not an editor or expert, I only seek to help yhou in making your poem the best that it can be.c}

PROUD MEMBER OF THE TALENT POND REVIEW GROUP

*Reading*



TITLE:SUNDERBANS


THEME: This is an excursion into a Mangrove swamp

RHYME: Once again, you handle rhyme so well, that it blends into the poem and is hardly noticed. The second verse, however, has some problems with rhyme.
I believe it is because your second line does not rhyme with your last one and you are using an a/b/a/b rhyme scheme.
Try to rephrase this line using some other words, look in the Thesaurus and find some that mean the same and try using them. You will have to re-write the lines, but as they stand now they make the reader stop. And you have a great gift of making your poetry flow seamlessly.

RYTHM:If you re-phrase the last two lines of the second stanza, your rythm for this poem would improve greatly.

PUNCTUATION, GRAMMAR AND SPELLING:

"The mysterious Mangrove breathes in dark shadows.
The deer roam and graze verdant emerald leafy feast,
Something fierce lurks there veiled in thick meadows.
Monkeys rant beholding a dark-streaked yellow beast."


Place a comma after (graze) and a period after (feast) Omit (The) and begin the second line with (deer) so that it reads like this: Deer roam and graze, verdant emerald leafy feast.

"Even a sunny morning seems to be dark, dark twilight.
The murky rutted soil keeps the treading feet tottered,
Still they gaze not bellow but peek around upper sight
As they feel something moving near them, unsighted."


If you eliminate words like (the) (to) (be)from the above verses, the statements per each line become more dynamic. The first line could read something like:
Sunny mornings seem dark, dark twilight. Added words tend to bog the subject down and turn the readers attention away from the beautiful mind-pictures you paint.

In the third stanza, the only critique I have is the second line where there should be a period at its end.

In the fourt line I would look for excess words, like: (some) in the first line.


MY IMPRESSIONS: I have never been in a Mangrove swamp. I have seen them on TV. I am certain that the very feeling of the swamp is just as you portray it. You have a talent for descriptive, powerful images.

FAVORITE PART:

"The mysterious Mangrove breathes in dark shadows.
The deer roam and graze verdant emerald leafy feast,
Something fierce lurks there veiled in thick meadows.
Monkeys rant beholding a dark-streaked yellow beast.
"

This verse transports the reader away to the Mangrove swamp.

MY SUGGESTIONS: Only to make the corrections I suggest. Remember, you do not need to use them, you are the only one who knows how your work should be read.

Thank you for permitting me to review your poem. Keep writing, Blessings, Bertie.
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29
Review of Shadow  
In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing your short story on behalf of TGDI REVIEW GROUP. These are only my opinions. I am not a professional editor and can only suggest changes that I feel may improve your work. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

TITLE: SHADOW

THEME: This is a story about a man who fears his shadow.

GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION:
"The most infortunate of all creatures, of that I am so sure!"
Spelling error: unfortunate

"I swear I have never, ever, trusted any human being, for they are all selfish evil things, products of this terrible world, that is and always will be nothing else but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours, exactly like the old Danish prince once said."

The above sentence demonstrates the overall problem that I have with your story. The sentence is really long and could be divided into three sentences.

For instance:
I swear, I have never, ever trusted any human being. Omit the word (for) Begin the next sentence with: They are all selfish evil things; products of this terrible world. They are and always will be nothing else but a "foul and pestilent congregation of vapours", exactly like the old Danish prince once said.

Please do not be offended, this is a really good story with some wonderfully strong points. At times, it was really creepy. But, with so many excess words and thoughts, it detracts from the eeriness. Please read my re-written suggestion above and note that the punctuation is corrected too. If you use the punctuation correctly, it will change the whole tone of the story.

"Anyway, from humans I have been able to stay away, except for myself, for that I am human, still I wish I were not."

Omit the word (Anyway). Begin with From. Try reforming the sentence omitting the comma after (except for myself) and place a period there. Rephrase the end of the sentence, it is very awkward and hard to read. If the story is hard to read, no one will continue, and that would be a shame, this is a great idea.
Try something like: However, I am human, though I wish I were not.

STRUCTURE: This story has some basic writing problems that I do not want to overburden you with. I will be very glad to return and do an in depth review of Shadow, if you wish me to. I would love to see it reworked for the joy of reading a truly spooky story.

MY FAVORITE PARTS:The idea and the handling of the tale, especially parts where the person questions the abilities of his shadow have a high creep factor that will pay off in the long run with some editing.

MY SUGGESTIONS: Please let me know if you want me to continue and edit the rest of this story. I would be very honored if you agree. You will see that with just a bit of fine tuning, this will be a class A tale.

Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and posting for more reviews, it is the way we learn. Blessings, Bertie
30
30
Review of Fear  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing this short story on behalf of WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP. These statements are only my opinions of your work. I seek only to aid you in becoming the best you can be.

TITLE: FEAR


THEME: A short missive about the fear one may feel in the night


STRUCTURE: The presentation of this story hinders the reader. What I mean, is that placing the story, or in this case the exposition, (a written statement) all in bold and crammed into a short space, makes the read a bit uncomfortable. I kept losing track of the next line.
Take it out of bold, space the sentences out more to look like a paragraph and this will be easier to read.


SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION: . The use of elipses ( . . .) should be used sparingly for the effect. Elipses denote, something left out of the sentence, or something incomplete in the characters statement or mind. Overuse, weakens the elipse and makes it redundant. Commas are just as good at separating thoughts. For instance:

"Your not alone...your never alone...I'm always here...dont you see?"
The same effect can be made with commas as in: You're not alone, you're never alone, I'm always here. Don't you see?"

Also, "Your not alone...your never alone..." The word (your) should be (you're) which is a contraction of you are.

"like...something or....Someone was...there with you?"
In this sentence I would remove the elipses, use commas and capitalize Something and Someone and place them in italics to highlight them and amplify the creepy feeling of the question.

"Some where inside im roaming free . . ."
Some where should be somewhere, all one word and (im) needs and apostrophe and a capitol I

"The Shepard is here...to watch over his sheep." Misspelling of shepherd. Shepard is usually a proper name as in Sam Shepard the famous astronaut.


MY OVERALL IMPRESSION: This could be a very spooky piece. I think the presentation holds this back. Try using a standard paragraph format and see what you think. I believe it would be easier to read. Also, make it clear as to whether the Shepherd ia something the "sleeper" desires. The ending makes the one taking control seem ominous.


MY FAVORITE PARTS: The potential for this to be a very frightening piece of flash fiction.


MY SUGGESTIONS: Draw out the style, using standard paragraph presentation and take away the bold print. You can make the print bigger if you want it to be more noticeable. Also, the lead in sentence that we place beneath our stories should be something that attracts the reader. It is okay to tell folks it is your first post, but do not use the word "just". It sells the story short making it look insignificant. Instead give a one line lead in, something like:
"Night fears - we all have them," or something of that nature so that the reader is intruiged and wants to find out more.


Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and offering your work for review. Blessings, Bertie
31
31
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing this short story on behalf of WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP. I am not a copy editor or an expert. These are only my own opinions. I seek to help you to make your work the best that it can be.

TITLE; UFO's AND HUMANITY


THEME: The theme is the discovery that man is not alone in the universe.


STRUCTURE:
Structurally, this is more of a thought than a complete story. It lacks dynamic, but it can be fixed. Suppost that the "Leader" of whatever country, said all the things that you break from the news conference to say as an aside to the reader? In other words, let the Leader do all the talking even your exposition. Show how much this upsets the listeners. I mean, if you were in this room at this time, how would you react? Use that in this story and I feel that this would be a much more interesting piece.


SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION: There are no errors in this category.


MY OVERALL IMPRESSION: This could be a really strong piece of writing. I think the separation from the news conference unsettles the reader. I think this would frighten most people, highlight this in your story adding more emotion.


MY FAVORITE PARTS:
The idea behind this story is intriguing. I would like to see more.


MY SUGGESTIONS: Expand this a bit, use the idea of a news release all the way through.


Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and offering your work for review. Blessings, Bertie
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32
Review of A SOMALIAN CHILD  
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, My name is Bertie. I am a poet, but not an editor. I do not know all the answers necessary to make a great poem and the following statements are only my own opinions. Therefore, I hope that I may help in some way to encourage and aid you in making your work the best that it can be.

PROUD MEMBER OF THE POETRY POND
*Reading*



TITLE: A SOMALIAN CHILD

THEME:The theme of this poem is the starvation death of a family, with focus on the child left behind.

RHYME: The rhyme is so much a part of the poem and flows so well into the next line that it is almost unnoticed. The transition from abab all across the poem is smooth and does not blare rhyme. In that way this is excellent for it draws attention to the theme and not the construction.

RYTHM: I had a bit of trouble with the rythm. The lines were more like staccato statements than the body of a poem. Not that this detracted from the work, it did not. I only mention it because I could not find a permanent "beat" to the rythm.

PUNCTUATION, GRAMMAR AND SPELLING: I found no errors in this category.

MY IMPRESSIONS: This is an impressive poem with a strong mental image. The poem makes a statement with a "show, don't tell" quality usually found more in story writing than in poetry.

FAVORITE PART:

"This child, like all newborns here, was born with a constant Curse
Of utmost struggling life until it moves, stares, breathes no more.
Even showers upon the drought-infested land cannot reimburse
The untold tales of such millions of children, the Pain-store."

Your use of the phrase "Pain-store" was such a powerful image. As if the tragedies of life were bought and paid for by this poor little child. Very powerful imagery in this poem.

MY SUGGESTIONS: Enter a contest. I would like to see this one gain some recognition.

Thank you for permitting me to review your poem. Keep writing, Blessings, Bertie.
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33
Review of The Seeing Stone  
In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi: My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your work on behalf of CSFS . These are my opinions, and as such you may take all of what I suggest or nothing. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER OF COFFEE SHOP FOR FANTASY SOCIETY
*CoffeeR*


TITLE: THE SEEING STONE


THEME: This story is about a young hunter who has a great and hidden advantage over others.


PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, GRAMMAR: I noted no instances of errors in this category.


STRUCTURE: Very well written. The story moved along at a quick pace. It was very enjoyable. I did feel that there was more to be said, and would like to see an expanded version with a bit more of the history between Harok and Gundar. They seem to have been friends at one time. I would like to know how Harok received the stone and how he learned to use it.


MY FAVORITE PART: My favorite thing about this story is the originality and the use of the Seeing Stone. I thought that was a great way to have your protagonist take advantage in such a way that it was a positive force. Harok provided for his clan well using the stone, and Gundar's jealousy spoiled it all


MY IMPRESSION: I would like to see an expanded version of this tale. I would like to see the development of Gundar and Harok's friendship.


MY SUGGESTIONS: If you wish, expand the story. I would love to read it. It is really unique and very interesting.


Thank you for letting me review your work. Keep writing and posting, that is the way we learn. Blessings, Bertiebrite.
34
34
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
My, my, my, you do practice what you preach!

That said, I will make the following comments:

Your rythmic sense is very well adapted to this form. You follow your abab pattern very well except in this verse:

And if he'd read his Bible,
he would’ve found troubling things,
for his own God, like this dragon,
has both fiery breath and wings.

I would change the second line to (he'd have found out troubling things) , or something to that effect, so that the beat measures out better.

I am not certain about the reference to the Bible in the above verse, are you saying that the knight worshipped the Devil? For the God that most of the world's Christians are familiar with is a glowing being without wings. Or, at least that is what I am lead to believe, not being a Christian myself.
Also, I was not aware that Moses crafted an idol of a reptile on a stick. I know that the Children of Israel crafted a Golden Calf which they worshipped, and which caused Moses to break the tablets of the Ten Commandments. If you are referring to the snake that he used to try to scare Pharoah, scientists have concluded that Moses used a species of snake that freezes stiff when handled and relaxes itself when released. That is why it looked stiff as a staff and slithered off when he let it go. If you recall, the mages of Egypt duplicated this trick for they were familiar with it as well. It was not something Moses crafted, but a real life entity he took advantage of. Too bad I forget the name of the snake species.

I agree with your premise that the knight would have been toast. That is something that this realistic poem would seem ridiculous without. You have done a good job proving your point and the poem is enjoyable. But for the little problems I pointed out, I would have given a five star.

One more thing I would like to say, don't you think that belief in a book, any book anywhere is just a tinge tainted by fantasy?






35
35
Rated: E | (5.0)
Wow! I have never read a story of war more absorbing than this. You have a wonderful talent for putting the reader in the place where your character resides. Your narative is rich and detailed and I enjoyed this very, very much.
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Review of The Bridge  
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi: My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your work on behalf of CSFS . These are my opinions, and as such you may take all of what I suggest or nothing. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER OF COFFEE SHOP FOR FANTASY SOCIETY
*CoffeeR*


TITLE: The Bridge Good title; fits the story very well.


THEME: A young boy goes exploring in his new neighborhood.


PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, GRAMMAR: No errors in these catagories.


STRUCTURE: Very well structured. You have a gift for the "twist" ending that I deeply enjoy.


MY FAVORITE PART: The ending. It is a real surprise and fun.


MY IMPRESSION: I liked this. As a piece of flash fiction it is most complete.


MY SUGGESTIONS: Keep writing.


Thank you for letting me review your work. Keep writing and posting, that is the way we learn. Blessings, Bertiebrite.
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Review of Alternate Ending  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing this short story on behalf of WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP. I am not an editor or copywriter. These are only my opinions. You may take all or none, in the end only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER OF: WDC POWER REVIEWERS
*Reading*



TITLE: ALTERNATE ENDING This title really hits the nail on the proverbial head.


THEME: The last struggle of a person fed up.


STRUCTURE: This story flows along at such a fast pace. I really enjoyed the way a great deal of information was placed in so brief a piece. The story covers all the basis, there is even a bit of back story here so that the person's solution does not seem out of place at all.


SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION: I find no errors in these areas.


MY OVERALL IMPRESSION: I really enjoyed this story. I found it to be very realistic.


MY FAVORITE PARTS: "I close my eyes, whisper "fuck you" to any deity that may finally be listening, and step off the ledge."
I found this ending to be a perfect wrap up to the story.



MY SUGGESTIONS: Very well done, I have no suggestions for changes.


Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and offering your work for review. Blessings, Bertie
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38
Review of Trophy Hunter  
In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing your short story on behalf of TGDI REVIEW GROUP. These are only my opinions. I am not a professional editor and can only suggest changes that I feel may improve your work. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

TITLE: TROPHY HUNTER This title fits the story well from beginning to end. In fact it is an essential element in the story.

THEME: A fellow collects trophies of human beings he has murdered and is in for a shock when he tries for one more.

GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION:I find no errors in these categories. It is obvious that you have edited well, a fact that I especially appreciate.

STRUCTURE: Well structured. Not only does your story have the requisite, beggining, middle and end, it bears an eerie quality that adds to the overall ambience of the tale.

MY FAVORITE PARTS: I epecially liked the twist at the end. The intended victim turns out not to be a victim at all.

MY SUGGESTIONS: This is so well done that the only suggestion I have is to seek publication. WDC has a ezine called Spectacular Speculations that is on WDC. Try to see if there is an ezine that will take this on. I enjoyed it immensely and I am certain others will as well.

Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and posting for more reviews, it is the way we learn. Blessings, Bertie
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In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing your short story on behalf of TGDI REVIEW GROUP. These are only my opinions. I am not a professional editor and can only suggest changes that I feel may improve your work. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

TITLE: THE DARK OF THE MOON

THEME: A man uses underhanded dealings to achieve his goals and pays the consequences.

GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION:There were no errors in thes categories.

STRUCTURE: This is a well timed tale that does not bog down with overused explanation and detail. It tells the story quickly and held my interest. Your characters are believable and well rounded.

MY FAVORITE PARTS: My favorite thing about this story is the mood. It is set at night, in a windy, cold atmosphere that adds to the overall ambience of the story. These facts keep the reader on edge, expecting anything to happen.

MY SUGGESTIONS: Very well written. I have no suggestions for improvement it stands alone very well and keeps the reader interested from beginning to end. Very much like a Twilight Zone drama. Good work.

Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and posting for more reviews, it is the way we learn. Blessings, Bertie
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Review of LISTENING POST  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing this short story on behalf of WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP. These are my opinions, I am not a copywriter or editor. I only seek to help you make your story as good as it can possibly be.

TITLE: LISTENING POST Perfect title for this story.


THEME: A young woman, a veteran space fighter is caught up in a secondary invasion against humans.


STRUCTURE: This is a very well structured story. I enjoyed it and I am not a fan of Sci-Fi. The story held my interest and I wish to read more. The most important point for me as a reader was that you used technology without being over technical. That is one of the reasons I do not read Sci-Fi often.


SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION: I noted no errors in these catagories which to me is a great plus.


MY OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is a unique and engaging tale which hints at backstories and future stories. It is rich in its scope and if expanded I hope that you will let me know. I am looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.


MY FAVORITE PARTS: My favorite thing about this piece is the emphasis on human nature as a contrast to the cool calculations of the machine.



MY SUGGESTIONS: Only that you let me know about any future installments. I am very interested and look forward to more.


Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and offering your work for review. Blessings, Bertie
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41
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing this short story on behalf of WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP. These are my opinions. I am not a copywriter or editor and you may take my suggestions or leave them alone. I only seek to help you make your work all that it can be.

PROUD MEMBER OF WDC POWER REVIEWERS *Reading*


TITLE; DESERT THORN, DESERT ROSE

This title's meaning is not immediately evident. The entire story must be read for the title to have significance. Also, I feel that the title promises more drama than the story entails. Although there is ample reason for the title, I feel that the emotional impact of the story could be heightened in order to amplify the significance of the title.

THEME: A young man works in Dubai and is mislead by a co-worker. He then finds love with another co-worker that he longed for and dreamed about.


STRUCTURE: As a story this is complete. The problem is that it TELLS the reader and does not SHOW them. What I mean by this is that the story lacks action. It may be more to your advantage to take it out of first person and tell it in such a way as if it were a rememberance rather than a blow-by-blow description. Right now the story is one of "and then this happened and this happened next." That is why it seems to bog down. Taking the story to a more active level will enrich the theme.

SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION:

I only noted one or two little errors: "creature had ended"
"Two years ago, I had arrived from India . . ."


Try to look through your story and eliminate the word "had" when it is not necessary. It takes up space and slows the sentence down.

"I am not part of that statistics." I am not part of those statistics, or, I am not part of that statistic.

There are no spelling errors and it is obvious that you have paid attention to your editing, something I find commendable.

MY OVERALL IMPRESSION:This tale is a good character study. Your characters need no real fleshing out. The problem is with the style told in the first person. You cannot really get a feel for the full characterization in a first person piece, unless you flesh it out more fully because first person is all about accounting the actions and not involving the reader in the more detailed second person style.


MY FAVORITE PARTS: "I look at the cathedrals of consumerism – the huge sky scrapers on either side of the road. Every structure’s name here is preceded by, ‘The world’s largest.’ They stand testimony to the slick modernity of this gleaming metropolis. ‘Ostentatious’ is the word that comes to mind as many of the attractions seem to have been created simply as a means of saying to the rest of the world: “Look how much money we’ve got”.

From films I've seen of Dubai, I can quite understand this paragraph. The cities of The Emeritis are over the top but beautiful too. Perhaps if you described one or two of the buildings in this part of the narrative people would actually see the way you see.


MY SUGGESTIONS: I know this is a tall order, but in this instance I would re-write this out of the first person narrative and put it in the past tense. You will have more occasion to add descriptive passages in that mode. This is only a suggestion. I do not mean to re-write your story. Your question about whether or not the story is engaging is answered in my critique. I think that it would flow more smoothly with a bit more added detail and if taken out of the first person.


Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and offering your work for review. Blessings, Bertie
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42
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing this short story on behalf of WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP. I am by no means a professional editor. These are merely my opinions and as such you may take or leave any of my suggestions. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.


TITLE: I GOT TO WALK IT BY MYSELF
Good, strong title that fits the story well.


THEME: A man on the verge of execution recounts a story about his father. He hopes that this will give him strength to face his inevitable future.


STRUCTURE: This is a successful vignette. Since I do not know this song by Johnny Cash, I cannot comment on whether the story fits the prompt. However, the body of the story is wonderfully constructed and is a fluent and enjoyable read.


SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION: I see no errors in these categories.


MY OVERALL IMPRESSION: Very well done. I found that after reading this I was left wondering what twist of fate put this man into his predicament. This could be expanded to a longer story.


MY FAVORITE PARTS: The whole story works together and makes it a favorite in its entirety. I wish there were more because I am very interested in these dynamic characters. Perhaps you should consider expanding this.


MY SUGGESTIONS: Try filling this intriguing story out. It has a wonderful theme and potential to be an exciting account of the life of a preacher and his family in the Old West.

Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and offering your work for review. Blessings, Bertie
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In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your poem on behalf of the THE TALENT POND. I am by no means a professional editor, these are only my opinions and as such you may use my suggestions or choose not to. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER THE TALENT POND
*Reading*



TITLE: THERE IS A HOUSE . . .
The title is perfectly fit to this poem. The use of the ellipse at the title's end adds to the mystery prevalent throughout this poem.


THEME: A house, apparently abandoned and slated for the wrecking crew. The writer gives the impression that the house is hiding from view to protect itself. In this way it adds a sense of personification as if the house itself were alive.

RHYME: Rhyme is not a component of this poem.

RHYTHM: Wonderful rhythm. The way the author feeds one line to the next shows an adept appreciation for the cadence of the poem. It also leads the reader deftly line to line.

PUNCTUATION, GRAMMAR AND SPELLING: I saw no errors in these categories

MY IMPRESSIONS: This poem is filled with a sense of mystery and loneliness. It is as if the house were afraid of the outcome of time.

FAVORITE PART: The entire poem is a favorite. The brevity with which you constructed so many complicated feelings and made the reader aware of a multitude of ideas is both skill-full and enjoyable. The use of the pines and shrubbery add a cloak of mystery,

MY SUGGESTIONS: Enter this poem into a few contests. You have a gift of briefly stating a book's length of feelings and moods in a short set of verses.

Thank you for permitting me to review your poem. Keep writing, Blessings, Bertie.
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44
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi, My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your poem on behalf of the WDC POWER REVIEWERS. I am not a professional editor by any means. I only seek to help you make your work the best that it can be. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER OF WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP
*Reading*



TITLE: 3rd LYRICAL BABBLE

The title fits in the way that the poem is a series of thoughts pushed at the reader so that it is a constant stream of words.


THEME: The theme seems to be a warning. The writer is listing a whirlwind of facts prevalent today.

RHYME:The rhyme is tight. Only the last line fails in the rhyme scheme.

RHYTHM:This poem is set in staccato verses, much like a rap song. The rhythm moves the poem along very well.

PUNCTUATION, GRAMMAR AND SPELLING:

"Charlie Sheen seems to be a commercial Lier/" (Liar)

"No-one will be there to be humanities's griever" (humanity's)

{i)"Maybe its World economy debt getting Cheaper," (it's) a contraction of it is.

"Charlie Sheen seems to be a commercial Lier/
The Celebrity insanity void seems to be expanding Wider/"


I would try to use another word beside (seems) in these two lines. With the word used in both lines they become redundant and detract from the strength of the message.
Perhaps the first line could read something like: Charlie Sheen seen as a commercial liar

MY IMPRESSIONS:{/c} I enjoyed the fast pace of this poem. I am a fan of rap music and other forms of "in your face" poetry such as SLAM. I enjoyed reading this.

"Or phoenix not a creditable story teller,? No.. Neither/"
The meaning of this line totally escaped me.

FAVORITE PART: My favorite thing about this poem was the fast pace. I could picture the author reciting this aloud in a SLAM competition.

MY SUGGESTIONS: Only make the few adjustments that I suggested already. Keep the fast pace. It is the meat and potatoes of this poem. I would also suggest that you make a clearly stated lead in to the poem. While this his dbiyhfidshi ishyudfish may mean worlds to the author, it means nothing to the reader. The lead in is an important part of your presentation, telling the reader what the poem is about in a nutshell. Since this truly is babble the reader gets no taste of this dynamic poem. Unique beginnings do not always attract attention in the way in which we wish.

Thank you for permitting me to review your poem. Keep writing, Blessings, Bertie.
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45
Review of Dragon's Wish  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your poem on behalf of the WDC POWER REVIEWERS. These are my opinions and as such, you may take all of my suggestions or none at all. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER OF WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP*Reading*


*Shamrock*ERIN GO BRACH!*Shamrock*


TITLE: DRAGON'S WISH

The title fit this delightful poem to a "T"

THEME: A dragon wishes for a mate and he knows exactly what to do to get one.

RHYME: The rhyme is well constructed and moves the poem along.

RYTHM: Some of the lines are a little over-long and interrupt the flow,
"He woke her gently and breathed her name
for she was Alyeria, was plain to see."

The above lines are an example, when read aloud it seems just a bit off kilter.

PUNCTUATION, GRAMMAR AND SPELLING:

adornement, misspelling - adornment

tis no fun to fly as one
should be 'tis since it is an old fashioned contraction of it is.

MY IMPRESSIONS: Such a delightful poem/story. I love stories done in this style and write a few myself. This story is so sweet; blends forklore with fantasy seamlessly.

FAVORITE PART: The lyrical way in which you tell your tale held my interest to the end. I enjoyed the story, the style in which it was told and the description of the goods from which the leprechaun made the dragon queen.

MY SUGGESTIONS: Work a bit on the rhythm and make the little corrections in spelling. Other than that this is a most delightful poem, I enjoyed it completely.

Thank you for permitting me to review your poem. Keep writing, Blessings, Bertie.
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46
Review of Happy places  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your poem on behalf of the WDC POWER REVIEWERS. These are my opinions and as such, you may take all of my suggestions or none at all. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER OF WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP
*Reading*



TITLE: HAPPY PLACES Goog title, leads the reader in.

THEME: A poem of hope and determination.

RHYME: Your rhyme scheme is consistant and works well within your structure

RYTHM: There a few bumps along the way in your rythm. When read aloud, some lines have one or two extra syllables that alter your timing pattern.
IE: "As soon as I find something that’s perfect and peaceful and pretty and calm
That’s exactly when they come along
And they take it
They break it
And then they try to make it their own"


The second line would work better if you wrote, 'that is exactly when they come along . . .'
Try reading the poem aloud, or clapping out the rhythm as you read, that will help you to keep the timing flowing well.

PUNCTUATION, GRAMMAR AND SPELLING: You do not use punctuation. I would like to see you use it in this poem. There is much information and a great deal of feeling here. The use of punctuation in a poem helps the reader move from one complete thought to another. With pauses, the reader can absorb one sentiment and move on to the next after digesting the feelings.

IE: "It was mine it was perfect and serene until they come and make me want to scream
They ruin all my happy places but I try to always fill the empty spaces . . ."


Try this: It was mine, it was perfect and serene; untill they come and make me want to scream.
They ruin all my happy places, but I try to always fill the empty spaces

You see? With puncutated lines you force the reader to pause, absorb the thought and move on.

MY IMPRESSIONS: This is a powerful poem filled with emotional statements. Very well done.

FAVORITE PART:

"As soon as I find something that’s perfect and peaceful and pretty and calm
That’s exactly when YOU come along
And you take it
you break it
And then you try to make it your own
Well you should know that I have grown"


This is so powerfully stated. It is filled with determination.

MY SUGGESTIONS: Try the suggestions already made, but don't alter the content of the poem. It has power as it is and a world of information that makes it rich.

Thank you for permitting me to review your poem. Keep writing, Blessings, Bertie.
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Review of The Hollow Keys  
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi: My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your work on behalf of CSFS REVIEW GROUP. These are my opinions, and as such you may take all of what I suggest or nothing. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER OF COFFEE SHOP FOR FANTASY SOCIETY
*CoffeeR*


TITLE: THE HOLLOW KEYS This is a genius title. Especially after the piece is read. Hollow keys from bird's hollow bones. Well done.


THEME: A man wants to write dark fiction and must pay a high price.


PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, GRAMMAR: "But he needed her. He needed this."
Place a comma after 'but'.


" . . . but I do want them." Comma after 'but'.

STRUCTURE: My only critique about this story is the ending. It is not really clear who the men are in the cages. Are they the muses? How come Lief did not end up in a cage. The bird is the lifeless skeleton on the floor with the sword through his heart, right? I got a bit confused here, perhaps a little more explanation would clear it up.


MY FAVORITE PART: My favorite part was your explanation of Lief's unwilling murder of the hummingbird. Actually made me flinch to think of such cruelty to a being so beautiful. Well done.


MY IMPRESSION: I liked the story. It was brief and to the point, a pleasing tale. I think the ending should be a bit clearer.


MY SUGGESTIONS: Only those already mentioned.


Thank you for letting me review your work. Keep writing and posting, that is the way we learn. Blessings, Bertiebrite.
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48
Review of The Burden  
In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing your short story on behalf of TGDI REVIEW GROUP. These are only my opinions. I am not a professional editor and can only suggest changes that I feel may improve your work. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER OF TGDI REVIEWERS GROUP
PROUD MEMBER OF WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP
*Reading*


I truly enjoyed reading this story. It held my interest from beginning to end. The plot is unique and there is a thread of suspense throughout.


TITLE: THE BURDEN
The title fits the story very well. Although it is a simple title it sums up the tale.


THEME: A young woman inherits a necklace with a world shaping power.

GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION:There are some errors in these categories:

I note that you use the word "had" alot. It becomes redundant after a while. Try stating the sentences in such a way that "had" is not necessary. For instance:

After high school, she took off, hopping from town to town, trying to find answers. Her mother was a closed book, never speaking of her past or why she made them move so often. Every time Bran came to visit, they took off again.

I think that without the word 'had', the sentences become crisper, more immediate. I made this same error. It was pointed out to me by a thoughtful reviewer and I did see a definite improvement when I stopped using it so often.

" . . . she left footprints . . ."

I would opt for 'prints', here. Using 'footprints' confused me because footprints are not so deep, but snow to the calf is.

"The apartment was exactly how she remembered it: . . ."

The apartment was exactly as she remembered it . . .

"She eyed him, nervous."

Place a semi-colon after 'him'.

"Tell me about it."

Why is this line italicized? If she is thinking it, Albert won't hear her, if she is saying it, it would be a part of normal speech, unless she was shouting.

"Though his eyes were so strange. Besides, he could have taken the necklace at the hospital if he wanted it.”

Place an open quote before 'Besides,' and place it on its own line, so we can see the difference that now, Mariel is speaking and not thinking.

"For just a moment she his face sag with regret."

There seems to be a word missing, 'saw his face?'

"He finished a great beast, halfway between cat and crocodile."

I would say, 'He finished as a great beast . . .'


STRUCTURE:

" . . . barnacle growths that covered it."

I believe that barnacles only grow on articles that have been submerged in salt water. If there are truly barnacles on this medallion, and it was under salt water as in the sea, this could add another dimension to its story. If not, then another word should be chosen for the encrustation. However, if you stick with barnacles, then you should explain briefly how this heirloom became encrusted with barnacles.

" . . . didn’t trust me with any of this stuff."

This hints at more items than just the necklace, but they are never revealed. It would be advantageous to either add more articles or limit her statement to the necklace alone.

“The door was unlocked. Hey!” he shouted, as she swung at his head."

This seems kind of shakey. If the door were unlocked, why didn't Mariel notice it when she entered? I doubt whether it would have been left open if Mariel's mother was in the hospital dying. It begs an explanation. If Mariel came in and didn't lock the door behind her, then take away the impression that his young man was in the room before she came. Perhaps Mariel could hear the door open and jump to the offensive. There needs to be a clearer explanation here.

"That’s why I had to find you, or your father, that is. I saw his address in her notepad.”

If Mariel's mother was so upset as to keep the info about the necklace from her daughter, would she keep addresses of persons she was trying desperately to avoid? Perhaps you should add a bit of explanation as to why she kept the address of Albert's father.
I like your choice of names. They are as are mine, ones you don't hear often This adds a bit of spice to any story.

"Look, I’ve had enough of this. I’m sorry I wasted your time.” Mariel stood up."

I think this would be a stronger statement if Mariel said: Your wasting my time!
She really has no desire to be friendly to this young man and he would be looked on as a dangerous intruder.

"The tears turned to ice on her cheeks . . ."

Tears are comprised of saline (a salty substance). It would take tremendously low temps to make them freeze. I have seen this but, at the North Pole on explorers faces. I know that in the next paragraph you say the weather is crazy, but you should mention the unusual freeze as well. Does this fact have anything to do with the story? You may need to modify this.

"When he opened it, the rough growths and blemishes that covered it had been cleared away. He held it back out to her."

I would expect some sort of reaction to the change in the necklace from Mariel.

“Don’t believe him!” Albert shouted . . ."

They live in NYC and nobody locks their doors? I would re-think this.


MY FAVORITE PARTS: "How did you know my mother?” she asked, barely able to meet his eye. He’d been such a friend to her, and she was nothing but suspicious. “What I mean is, how did you become friends with her?”

Bran was quiet for a moment, and she could tell he was weighing his words. There was a secret, then.

“I have never been friends with your mother.”


The simple blatant honesty here lends refreshment after each of these men have "lied" to Mariel. They are both trying to play her, but Bran is more truthful and his feelings for Mariel come through.

“It’s powerful, and just like humanity, it isn’t entirely good.”

Wonderful summation on the powers in the amulet.


MY SUGGESTIONS: I would like to see more. The story's ending leads the reader to want the whole tale. If you are intending this to be a chapter in a longer version, you are very successful in hooking your reader and interesting them in the next chapter. If you do write more of this adventure, I would love to read the rest.

Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and posting for more reviews, it is the way we learn. Blessings, Bertie
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49
Review of The Photographer  
In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing your short story on behalf of TGDI REVIEW GROUP. These statements are only my opinions I am not a professional editor. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

TITLE: THE PHOTOGRAPHER The title fits the story, although it does not pull the reader in. The blurb beneath the story is what interested me.


THEME: A young photographer finds a very unusual camera lense with many resultant surprises. I liked the way the story played out and the theme was revealed slowly. Good handling of suspense.


GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION:

Please don't be discouraged by this long list of errors. I only seek to help you to make your story the best that it can be. Overall, these are small items and your story really is very well constructed.


" . . . looking for and didn’t care that he looked crazy."Find another word for "looked" perhaps 'seemed'?

"It was a Nikon telephoto lens that was in perfect condition."

If Glen is only looking through the window at this point he would not be able to tell that it was in perfect condition. I would move this line to somewhere after he is in the shop actually holding the lense.

" . . . beach and selling any of the photos he could."

Try: . . . selling any of his photos . . . This makes the statement more personal, they are his photos and that fuels the idea that he has had some success.

"Glen never imagined that he would find it so close to home, he’d dismissed local pawnshop from the get-go, not expecting any modern camera equipment to be in Largo."

This is a run-on sentence. Divide it into two, or, use a semi-colon after "get-go".

" . . . being minuets from . . ." Spelling error minutes

"He pointed out the Nikon lens he wanted and checked out."

Something is missing here. Perhaps you meant, checked (it) out?

"If it weren’t for a bit touch-up paint . . ." 'for a bit of touch-up

"Franticly he sat up and looked . . ." Spelling error, 'frantically.'

" . . . and he found himself board by 4:00." Spelling error, bored
Also, spell out four o'clock.

"The pizza was gone and he was board again ." Same as directly above.

"he was a Photographer after all." No need to capatilize photographer.


STRUCTURE: "Glen tried to open his eyes but found them glued shut."
I find this image a bit difficult. I think it is the term 'glued shut'. Perhaps you could find an alternative way to state this?

" . . .that may or may not be him . . ."

Omit this. It weakens the sentence and takes away from the surprise later on.

" . . . in the next room . . ."
Omit this. It does nothing for the story. When you edit your work, look for superfluous information and cut it out. The story will flow more rapidly from line to line. I find your flow to be very smooth, only a few of these little bumps to take care of.

" . . .quickly washing himself before donning some comfortable beach clothes.

Omit this, it is unnecessary info and it stops the run-on sentence. Place a period after "shower" and begin the next one with "It was Saturday."

"Since then, they have been meeting every Saturday . . ."
You change tense here. This should be 'they had been . . .'

" . . . that was just about done in years."

I would consider omitting this. Information that is not pertinent to the story only bogs it down.

"Glen Othello Ramos the second, . . ."

Glen Otello Ramos, Junior. I know this because I have a son that is a second Dennis. The direct decendant is always Junior, his son would be the second, then the next the third and so on.

"Glen couldn’t mask the horror on his face, what are the odds that the Amazon would come up after that dream I had last night? This can’t be a coincidence…"

You should place italics from the word 'what' so that everything Glen thinks is italicized and we know he is thinking and not speaking, or that you are narrating.


"I’m fine, just tired.” He tried to muster up a smile, but it was a pathetic attempt and he knew that she could see right through it, but she didn’t prod, just gave him that reassuring smile that he loved so much."

Place the dialogue on a separate line. Make the remainder of the statement into two sentences ending with 'smile' and beginning with 'It' omitting the word 'but'.

"He swallowed hard and clicked to the next picture where the man was suddenly closer. He was more distinct in this photo and much more threatening. Next, the man was closer, pulling something from his jacket pocket, Glen couldn’t see what. On the next several photographs, the man was closer and closer, and the object that he held appeared to be a sharpened metal bar, or a hilt-less knife of some kind."

Perhaps it would be advantageous for you to state that in every photo the image of the man seemed closer. I would try to re-work this so that it is not redundant. This passage adds to the suspense and fright. It is a transitional area. Try to shorten it to the point that the statements are staccato, pounding and rhythmic.

For instance: He swallowed hard and clicked to the next picture, the man was closer. In each photo after the first he was closer to the lense until . . .

Something of this nature would make this important passage a real nail-biter.

" . . . moving steadily closer to Christine." Is he moving closer to Christine, or Glen?

"It was 11:00, just starting . . ." Write out eleven o'clock

"He declined any additional information and asked Glen to leave."
Why would he be asked to leave? If he is being belligerant toward the owner then show this. It would add to your character's sense of hopelessness if he fought with the owner about the information, then when the result is revealed the argument will have much more force, and so will the result.

"He saw blood splattered all over the windows and took another picture. The dark man had his hands back in his pockets and watched Glen, waiting for the next order to kill."

Is this really happening? If so, what was Glen's reaction to this? Did he run away? Were other people on the street witnessing this?

"His father’s camera killed people."

Relate this back to his mother's statement about what the people of Peru felt. Something like, 'the people of the jungle were right, is father's camera . . .'

" . . . depths of his evil soul, . . ." I would not term Glen's soul as evil just yet, maybe he was becoming evil, but the turn is too quick to be realistic. Perhaps you should omit evil.


MY FAVORITE PARTS: "Glen couldn’t mask the horror on his face, what are the odds that the Amazon would come up after that dream I had last night? This can’t be a coincidence…"

This is perfectly placed and so casually stated that it is chill inspiring. As a matter of foretelling it is a direct reference in an off hand manner, very difficult to achieve.

"Using a razorblade, Glen carefully scraped the touch-up paint . . ."This is a wonderful recall to the man in the Amazon with the razor blades in his mouth. Chilling reference.


MY SUGGESTIONS:I would love to read this piece if you revise. It is filled with suspense and is quite a novel premise for a story. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and was not bored for one moment. I hope that you revise and encourage you to enter it into one of the many contests that are held on WDC. Please let me know if you re-write or enter a contest.

Thank you for permitting me to review your work. Keep writing and posting for more reviews, it is the way we learn. Blessings, Bertie
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Review of Dragonborn  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi: My name is Bertie. I am reviewing your work on behalf of CSFS RAID 4 U REVIEW. These are my opinions, and as such you may take all of what I suggest or nothing. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.

PROUD MEMBER OF COFFEE SHOP FOR FANTASY SOCIETY
*CoffeeR*


TITLE: DRAGONBORN The title catches the imagination, especially since the story centers around a human.


THEME: Dragons have attacked a young man's world. He is chosen to defeat them with the aid of a dragon.


PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, GRAMMAR:

"I look over a quaint scene set up on the top shelf: . . ."

Omit the colon. Use the word 'at' omit the word 'of'.

Omit the dash between wise men.

"about... and:"

Elipses should be typed thus: . . .

" . . . and turning my deprecated house into a palace . . ."

I had to look up 'deprecated.' I learned that it is an archaic form of depreciated. It's first meaning in the dictionary is "disapprove of" with the third meaning depreciated. Although it is used correctly, the form is unfamiliar. You may wish to go with the more familiar form to avoid confusion.

"I threw myself at the base of the tree, probably more happier . . ."


Replace the comma with a semi-colon (;)

"There was no tag, leaving me to believe someone broke into my house or Santa was real. It had not been there before"

Try this sentence this way, or something similar: ;It had not been there before. Had someone broken in? Was Santa real?'

With these questions, we see a bit of the wonder that Jacob feels when he is confronted with this gift.

"Something happened that caused my heart to skip a beat or several . . ."

It would be better for the action here if you stated what it was that made his heart skip beats. Perhaps the egg shaped object vibrated in his hands, perhaps he heard the first littl peck, or peep . . . Decide whether his heart skipped a beat or several. I would go with several for emphasis on how affected Jacob was.

"It had begun to shake. It began as a faint quiver, growing to a violent rattle."

Here is the reason Jacob drops the egg. Use it to explain the above action.

"This happened several times, until light shone from cracks everywhere."

Omit "This happened several times." Try instead: Light shone from cracks that appeared across the egg's surface, or something similar.

"Then it exploded."

Use an exclamation mark here for drama. Then it exploded!

"I lowered my arms, and with heart-pounding, I froze."

Omit the dash between heart and pounding.

" . . . from pointed-snout . . ."

Omit the dash between pointed and snout.

"I felt like passing out when it began experimenting muscles, and unfurled a pair of transparent, tissue-thin wings. No. Frickin. Way."

Why not go for a bit of dialogue here:
"No frickin way!" I exclaimed as the lizzard flexed its muscles and unfurled a pair of transparent, tissue-thin wings. With the dialogue we place more emphasis on Jacob's reaction to heighten his shock.

"Oh, its you Jacob! Merry Christmas! What's--"
There is no need to italicize here.

"Yeah I do."

Place a comma after Yeah.


STRUCTURE:

" . . . hinges as valance electrons hung around pure Francium."

This sentence is difficult. Frankly I had no idea what you were referring to except that it was scientific. Perhaps it would be advantageous to offer another comparison?

"The dining table was fitted with a circular candle-holder centerpiece encompassed by a bough of artificial holly. I lit the candles, realizing delightedly I only had to wait one more day before lighting the last big one in the center. Beneath the candle light, and humming to the radio, I began writing letters. The first was to my dad, whom I hadn't seen in ten years nor knew if he still lived. The second was to my mother, several states away, visiting relatives and in rehab. A half-hour later I signed them both: Your Son, Jacob Ross."

This is a very wordy paragraph. Brevity in writing speeds up the action and keeps our readers interested. Fast pace is achieved not by omition of detail, but economy of words in expressing those details.


'I lit the candles on my dining table. I realized with delight that I only had one day to wait to light the big center one. I hummed with the radio as I began my letters under the candle's light. First, my dad whom I hadn't seen in ten years. The second was to my mother who was visiting relatives. One half hour later I signed them: Your Son, Jacob.'

It is to your advantage to decide what information is important to move your story along and which is not. I do not want to re-write or re-format your story. That is not my intention. I only want the flow to be smoother and the reader to be as immersed in the body of the story as we are in the first paragraphs.

"smoothing the product that stiffened my short blond hair out in front, and stepped outside."

Here is one more example of unnecessary information:

" . . . smoothing the product that stiffened my short blond hair out in front, and stepped outside."

Omit 'the product that stiffened' it does nothing for the action. Neither does it add to Jabob's personality.

" . . . orange-striped . . ."

Omit the dash.

"We could hardly work for five minutes without being interrupted by thrown snowballs . . ."

Clarify this statement. It seems as though someone else is throwing snowballs. After you complete the sentence, the reader knows you are referring to Rachel and Jacob, but the way it is worded leades to stumbling.

"The fond memory of Rachel and I decorating my house returned, invoked by tranquil feelings."

Did the memory of Rachel and Jacob evoke tranquil feelings, or did the walk invoke tranquil feelings that evoked the memory. This sentence is a bit confusing.

"An hour later I returned home, made a quick dinner, got in some Call of Duty, and before heading to bed at exactly midnight, bent before my Christmas tree and shook the two gifts beneath it."

This is a run on sentence. Also, it ends in a preposition which is not good gramatically.
I would try this: 'An hour later I returned home. I made a quick dinner, got in some Call Of Dutyand exactly at midnight I checked the gifts under my Christmas tree, shaking each one.'
When you use a title in a story, italicize the title.


"I gently touched the porcelain baby raising his hands to the sky. Seven months ago I would have hated this image. It would've made me sick. But I hated everything back then. Mostly myself. This was, as I saw it, my first Christmas. I've lived through fifteen, sure. And it would've ended there too, if Rachel hadn't seen me and jumped off that bridge after me. Since then, my life has completely changed."

I realize that this is the beginning of a much longer story. However, having read this through to the end, I realized that there is not enough information about Jacob and his problems. The above sentence tantalizes, but the story delivers very little factual information about him and I feel I lost interest not knowing him. If the reader does not feel empathy for your character, the reader will not complete the read.
The fact that (surprisingly) he is only fifteen years of age, is remarkable when you think of the quest he is on. We need to know more about him and how he came to be where he is at this moment. Just a paragraph, telling a bit about his past would be enough to enliven interest.

"I was upright in bed, eyes wide, with sweat trickling on my brow."

Sweat that trickles falls off of the brow, try the word 'beaded', or say, 'trickling from my brow.'

" . . . calling on a morning like this . . ."

Lot's of folks call relatives and friends on Christmas morning, I would re-think this statement.

"Thank God, she understood. "I'm on my way."

Reverse this so that the speach begins the sentence. Also there is no need to italicize dialogue.

"Before me stood Rachel Scott. She hadn't bothered with a coat . . .:

I would try, 'Rachel Scott had not bothered with a coat. She ran out in a pink sweatshirt over her pajamas and a matching hat over her long blond hair.

"I led her inside. She almost freaked out."

Omit: 'She almost freaked out. Let the dialoque that follows express her reaction and feelings.

"She listened intently, completely blown-away as I told her about my dream."

Omit: completely blown-away. Once again, let the dialogue express the attitudes and feelings.

Then the sky went dark for less than a second as a shadow passed over the street.

Omit: 'for less than a second' it slows down the action.

Heads turned upward. My heart beat began accelerating. I have a bad feeling about this. I only added this as an example of when italics are used for the right reason; to show someone's thoughts.

"The Jurassic Park T-Rex couldn't compare to the roar."

Omit the word 'the' use Jurassic Park's T-Rex . . .

"The town went nuts."

Omit this sentence. The next sentence begins to tell what the people were doing in response so this is unnecessary.

" . . . many of which were suddenly burning."

Omit 'suddenly'.

"WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO??" she screamed over the chaos outside

Using a question mark denotes a question asked by a character. Two question marks mean nothing. Only one at a time to a customer.

" . . . in a voice like an erupting volcano named James Earl Jones."

I would use either the erupting volcano or James Earl Jones as an example, but not both.

"Nearly breaking down the garage door and screaming frantic and incoherent orders at Rachel, I threw the dragon into the back while Rachel scrambled into the passenger seat of the station-wagon. And the next garage door, I did break down."

Clarify the action here. It is too wordy and needs to be more concise. I would make these paragraphs into shorter sentences so that the feeling is more staccato, and therefore more immediate.

"In the whole suburb there were easily a hundred dragons . . ."

Unless Jacob can see the entire suburb it would be impossible for him to come to such a conclusion. If there are one-hundred dragons flying over his block alone, then, that really heightens the interest and should be clearly stated. That's a lot of dragons for one block.

"strung up like a Christmas tree in a tangle of lights, and at its current rate would probably catch us in a matter of seconds."

Does this mean he had become entangled in Christmas lights? A bit of clarification here.

"Though terrified, Rachel, God bless her, was not one to lose control in a time of need."

Omit "God bless her." It is not necessary.

"She clung tighter to the folds of my shirt. "I know. But what are we going to do?"

Omit: "I know," it is better for the future story to not have Rachel be so certain that things will be okay. Let her feel mournful for her parents and the things she has lost. Let Jacob be the hope that he is supposed to be and all positive things eminate from him. Rachel is strong, but she just lost everything and it will not be appropriate if she does not show sadnees, or anger or even despair.


MY FAVORITE PART: My favorite part about this story is way that Jacob's personality and character will bloom under re-write. He is a sensitive and caring soul with some deep issues that when revealed will endear him to the reader.

MY IMPRESSION: This story has a good premise and excellent potential. As a character, Rachel has more personality at this point than Jacob, because the way that she is portrayed is caring, sacrificing, supportive. Jacob's character is shallow. We know that he tried to kill himself and feels re-born but that is all you have told us about him. Since he is "Dragonborn" we need to know more about him in this first half, or else we will not have interest.
Your grasp of action is good, but you need to make the settings more immediate without so many words in order to crisp the action up.


MY SUGGESTIONS: Only those made already. When your continuation is up let me know if you would want me to review it.

Please visit my port any time you like.
Thank you for letting me review your work. Keep writing and posting, that is the way we learn. Blessings, Bertiebrite.
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