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Review of IF THE SHOE FITS  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
An accident, a misunderstanding and an unfortunate situation lead to a clown-sized argument.

What I liked most
I liked the set up, the way things developed, and the incidents at the party. All in all, it was a very clever take on the challenge posed by the prompts.

My general suggestions
My only nig problem with the story is that there seemed a real mismatch between the way Tracy was acting in the beginning and the way the story ended. It feels like the beginning was overdone, and Tracy's intractability was overstated. There wasn't any need to make her sound so unlikely to believe him, and that later made the story less believable. I think with just a bit of tweaking in the beginning, this would be a stronger story, more believable, and more lasting.

Conclusion
A good story that could be better with slightly more consistent characters. Still a good effort with a difficult set of prompts.


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Review of One Movement  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
Excellent story (and wonderful use of the prompts for the contest).

What I liked most
I liked everything about this. It was a wonderful glimpse into the intrigue at court. You showed a backstory with Syl and Marcus which left me wanting to know more. The ending was wonderful

My general suggestions
I really have no suggestions, except to write more. I'll have to check out your port, as I think this was excellent.

Technical issues
None that I saw. Good job!

Conclusion
It is hard to believe this was written to a whole set of prompts, because you wove such an excellent web that the different pieces felt like they must belong, not like they were stuck in to meet the rules. Write on!



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Review of Online Friend  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance as part of a Just Because I Want To Specialty package gifted to you by ~Vikki~ .
Review 5 of 5.


Overall impression
A heartfelt and joyous poem in honor of WDC and friends made there. It is, perhaps, not the greatest poetry, but it is excellent sentiment.

What I liked most
I like the sentiments expressed, especially about how friends can be important, even if they have never been met in person, or even if their actual names are not known.

My general suggestions
The languages is "poetic" but sound somehwat forced to meet the rhyme and syllable count. For example, "you will always have first seat," doesn't sound natural, and choices like "mile" and "smile" are just too obvious to feel real.

If you wanted to make this a very good poem, instead of just a very good tribute, you would really want to explore better word combinations and rhymes.

Technical issues
None that are important.

Conclusion
A tribute to a wonderful place we all share... virtually.


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254
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance as part of a Just Because I Want To Specialty package gifted to you by ~Vikki~ .
Review 3 of 5.


Overall impression
Wow, I thought this was fabulous, and can hardly believe you whipped it off in fifteen minutes.

What I liked most
You have done an excellent job of capturing the ambiguities and paradoxes of aging. I especially like the places where you juxtapose opposites (e.g., love/war, tight skin/folds, stoic/smile)

My very favorite part is the very end, which I'll leave to others to discover.

My general suggestions
None that I can think of.

Technical issues
None that I saw. Good job.

Conclusion
This is certainly a keeper.


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Review of Three Minutes  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance as part of a Just Because I Want To Specialty package gifted to you by ~Vikki~ .
Review 2 of 5.


Overall impression
A short tear jerker of a poem about hopes dashed.

What I liked most
I like that you don't get explicit about the dream, but still make it quite clear to find out what they are waiting to see. I have been through this process myself a few times, but now have three happy, healthy children (who are all growing up way too fast, with two out of three out of the house already). It is almost time for me to view this same sort of drama from afar.

My general suggestions
While I like the poem very much, I am a big believer in meter, and I think it would make this even more smooth.

Technical issues
None that I saw. Good job.

Conclusion
This was sweet and heartbreaking, and would especially speak to those who have struggled and never had the dream fulfilled.


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256
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
A story about a Russian firm attempting to do business with Arab customers who find the need to convince them of Russian superiority by making up a special honey.

What I liked most
I like the descriptions of the presentation given. That sounded like fun.

My general suggestions
The story is way, way too drawn out. In comedy, timing is everything, and the story could easily be pared down to a far more manageable size and retain all the important setup and humor.

Technical issues
It is not a good idea to leave the Russian words in the story, as English readers won't be able to read them.

Conclusion
This has some potential as a story, but it needs to be cut down considerably and then edited very carefully, as there are some translation difficulties.


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
A children's story about a father who would like to sleep in and his daughter who has other plans.

What I liked most
I like the scene outside with the leaves. It felt real, both in terms of the father's initial reaction and his subsequent "melting".

My general suggestions
I'd skip the dream in the very beginning. If he must dream of something, make sure it has to do with rest and not anything that could lead people to wonder what it means.

This sounds picky, but I'd find a nickname other than "Abs", which just sounds a little strange (to me) for a young girl.

I like the idea of the inedible pancakes, but am not quite sure if they should really have eggs in them. Perhaps if they were made with cornflakes and milk and flour, or something like that, it would feel more like what a five year old would cook up.

Technical issues
I didn't see any issues here.

Conclusion
This is pretty good, and I can see it appealing to children with some appropriate pictures.


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
An extremely powerful story about abuse and neglect of residents in a health care facility.

What I liked most
I thought you communicated the situation and behavior very effectively. It was easy to feel your dismay and horror through your descriptions.

My general suggestions
Be careful about transitions. Between your first and second paragraphs, you have:

Finally, I landed a decent paying job in the health field.

I began working for the organization in October 1999.


What organization? You don't need to identify it by name, but you do need to identify it somehow, such as "...in a residential care facility". If you refer to "the health field", you can't then use "the organization", as there is no organization specified. You could possibly say in "an organization", but it would be better to specify what kind.

There are a number of places where the writing is a bit choppy, often due to a mismatch between verbs or phrases. For example, you have "I took my job seriously and made sure that I learned everything I needed to know and caught on quickly." While you may have been able to make sure that you "learned everything [you] needed to know", you could hardly make sure that you "caught on quickly". That is something you did or didn't, but couldn't make sure of, so it reads awkwardly.

Another sort of awkwardness is shown in "If you read the tracking sheets of the medications you could see that they would erase numbers and change them to meet their standards." Cut that down to its essence and it sounds as if the "tracking sheets" were erasing numbers.

Technical issues
When a number is very small (under ten), it is usually expected that the words will be written out. Where you have "There were supposed to be 2 or 3 staff members", it should be written as "two or three".

Conclusion
A powerful story and an important witness to the dire doings which can go on in such a facility, but weakened some by writing that is not quite as crisp as it could be. This is an important story, and deserves to be clearly and cogently described so that it will have the best chance of being read and understood.


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Review of memories  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
An overly short poem with a simple, but poignant message.

What I liked most
I thought the message was fine, but I'd like to see some more substance.

My general suggestions
The shorter a poem is, the more you need to make every word matter. I'd like to see a longer poem that communicated more about why you wish these were not only memories.

Technical issues
If they were'nt just memories -> Should be "weren't".

Conclusion
A poem can be more than a bumper sticker, and while there are beautiful short poems, try writing something longer that communicates something more about why you feel the way you do, even in broad terms. Write on!

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Review of Another Time  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
Ah, shoot, I go out and write a poem I am really proud of for the Day 6 "Invalid Item, and you go ahead and show me up by writing one that is even better. Wow!

What I liked most
I like the whole flow and rhythm of the poem, as well as the message and the appearance, and pretty much everything else. Perhaps my favorite couplet is

To live that time again, just for a single day,
where sunshine's a promise, and life's filled with play.


My general suggestions
Keep on writing!

Technical issues
None.

Conclusion
Simply wonderful use of the prompt and the format. Kudos to you!


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Review of THIRST  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
An interesting, albeit somewhat uneven, poem about writing and the thirst for it. I am reviewing it as one of the "Simply Positive" picks this week.

What I liked most
I liked two parts especially, the part that starts "I search the ground..." down to "to be Gained", which captured my imagination, and the repetition bit at the bottom starting with "words are... which is very effective.

My general suggestions
I am not sure in what context the poem was created, but the additional titles after "Paradise Lost" seem to weaken the point some, making it seem more like a contest entry or gimmick. Given the power of most of the rest of the poem, it was a shame to see it so deflated in the middle.

I have more mixed feelings about the "rodeo" part. While I look the imagery in a stand-alone way, it seems distracting from the general theme without any particular purpose. If you had any entire poem using the "rodeo" symbolism, great, but to just have it in the one stanza feels a bit odd.

Technical issues
I didn't see any problems. Good job!

Conclusion
I liked the poem, but think it could be more powerful if it were a bit more consistent. Thanks for sharing.


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Review of Nails  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
Wow! I must admit, I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I saw the description, and was fully prepared for this to be more maudlin or predictable. Instead, it was simply fascinating.

What I liked most
I liked the sheer creativity of the story, as well as the sense of awe and terror felt by the man and wife, which was so well described.

My general suggestions
The only lines that I had trouble with were the first two, and not because they were badly written, but because the short, rhyming nature of the first seemed to suggest something completely different from the airy feel of the second, yet neither really led to the story. I'd look at the beginning a bit and see if there is anything to be done, although I hesitate to suggest any changes, as this is a wonderfully wrought story as it is.

Technical issues
None that I saw. Good job!

Conclusion
I am pleased to have had a chance to read this. A real work of art. Thanks for sharing.


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Review of Tommy Turtle  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. It is part of your Just Because I Want To "Congratulations" package given in recognition of your role as one of this week's Simply Positive Star Newbie Reviewers.


Overall impression
A Point of View exercise having to do with life as a turtle.

What I liked most
I liked the way the turtle was so attracted by the aroma that he ventured out wgere he should have gone, perhaps.

My general suggestions
Obviously, this was meant to be a short exercise, so I hate to be one of those reviewers who say "Make it longer!", but it really was fun enough to want more.

Technical issues
No problems that I could find.

Conclusion
An entertaining and fun POV exercise. It is good to see you try to stretch yourself with this and other contest entries that focus on elements of writing. Write on!


Simply Gold Just Because I Want To Sig
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. It is part of your Just Because I Want To "Congratulations" package given in recognition of your role as one of this week's Simply Positive Star Newbie Reviewers.


Overall impression
Absolutely marvelous story of your eraly love of trains and later chance to ride on them.

What I liked most
I loved your descriptions of the way you felt seeing the cars and later looking at the passenger coaches. Throughout the piece, you communicated your feelings in a wonderful and compelling way. I know it is often said that authors should "write what they know", and whether it is always true or not, you certainly wrote what you knew with great style.

My general suggestions
I have no suggestions. This is wonderfully written and very enjoyable.

Technical issues
None that I could find. Good work!

Conclusion
You absolutely earned a five star with this delightful piece of writing.


Simply Gold Just Because I Want To Sig
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. It is part of your Just Because I Want To "Congratulations" package given in recognition of your role as one of this week's Simply Positive Star Newbie Reviewers.


Overall impression
An enjoyable and romantic story about two people finding each other on a plane.

What I liked most
I liked the early interactions and getting to know each other dialogue. That part was well done.

My general suggestions
I feel like a grouch saying so, but the end feels a bit like you got bored with writing the story and just ended it. If you take a look at the section starting with "All of her life Maria had dreamed of being a writer" and then the section starting with "The relationship had developed from there...", you'll find that you spend more time eon the writer's workshop than on the 12 years. Hinestly, I wonder if the story might not be better if you simply ended it right before that latter section, with Maria's phone call.

Technical issues
This looks very clean. Good job!

Conclusion
You write very well, but it feels like you have a bit of a challenge with endinds. Not surprising, as that is a problem many authors (including me) have. Still, it is an area to focus on, I think.


Simple Gold Just Because I Want To Sig
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. It is part of your Just Because I Want To "Congratulations" package given in recognition of your role as one of this week's Simply Positive Star Newbie Reviewers.

Overall impression
A romantic tale of a shy woman dragged to a New Year's Eve party against her better judgment who finds that her judgment was mistaken.

What I liked most
You do a good job with the dialogue between Marianne and Sue, which sounds believable and carries the story forward well.

My general suggestions
Be careful not to get either overly flowery or overly descriptive. An example of the first is "Ugh, I must have really gotten used to all that fresh crisp country air flavored only with a hint of wood smoke." which is meant to be internal dialogue but sounds like the language on the back of a wine bottle.

An example of the second is "straining back muscles protesting her lugging the overstuffed bag up the stairs to her second-floor apartment". Besides what feels like a series of verbs fighting for attention, straining, protesting, lugging, you could just leave out the word "overstuffed" and let the reader imagine it, and could also leave out either "up the stairs" or "second-floor apartment". Just compare your current sentence:

Funny, she thought, straining back muscles protesting her lugging the overstuffed bag up the stairs to her second-floor apartment, how it always seems so much lighter going down!

with a tightened up sentence saying the same thing:

Funny, she thought, back muscles protesting as she lugged the bag to her second-floor apartment, how it always seems so much lighter going down!

Another issue to be careful about is subtle point of view changes. While you write too well to change POV explicitly, you do slip up a bit with implicit POV changes. For example, you have "She whirled around, soft golden-brown waves framing her face", but framing her face for whom? She should notice how he looks, but let him say how she looks, as it isn't her POV, it is his.

One final issue is character consistency. Marianne is supposed to want nothing more than to sit in her apartment by herself, but she couldn't resist buying a to-die-for "golden beige" dress "that shimmers when the light strikes it." She was planning to wear it around the house, perhaps? I think you need to either have her buy this at her mother's insistence, then have Sue comment on how spectacular she looks in it, or have her a bit less resistant to parties in general, and a bit more scared that she will never meet anybody. As it is now, the dress seems inconsistent with the rest of the character you are describing.

Technical issues
Your writing is fairly clean, although you were a bit sloppy with punctuation in this piece. For example,

protested the door’s opening She - Needs a period after "opening".

On New Year’s Eve Marianne - Needs a comma after "Eve".

Conclusion
This is obviously not an unusual romance story, but it is well constructed and reads well. I think you could pare down the descriptive paragraphs a bit and have more of them happen as reactions from someone else, but otherwise I think you have a good story well worth cleaning up a bit.


Simple Gold Just Because I Want To Sig
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Review of Joker Jack  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. It is part of your Just Because I Want To "Congratulations" package given in recognition of your role as one of this week's Simply Positive Star Newbie Reviewers.

Overall impression
A story about a "practical joker" whose jokes aren't very funny, and how his wife and friends react to his pranks.

What I liked most
The story started well, setting up a confrontation slowly, with each prank leading to an understandable reaction but spiraling out of control.

My general suggestions
I don't know whether this was originally intended as a first chapter or as the start of a longer story for later, but it currently ends without resolving the primary or secondary conflicts.

You set up a strong primary conflict between Jack and the couples, which then leads to a strong secondary conflict between Ellen and Ann. At the end, you imply that Ann is about to deal with her conflict, but then the story ends without finishing and without going back to the primary conflict.

Aside from this obvious issue, I'd look at the picnic scene and see if you can tighten it up some. You do a good job with the dialogue and scene setting, but it is still almost a page into the story before anything happens that is not setting the scene. A good opportunity to rework this might be the sentence "Usually it was great fun, but lately Jack had become a bit of a jokester and it seemed to be getting worse." which could be shown by a couple of quick, smaller incidents that require action. This would also lead the primary conflict to be more gradual, since right now it starts out with outright boorish behavior from the beginning, but would have more impact if the first couple of pranks were more acceptable, and maybe even a bit funny.

Technical issues
Your writing is clean, with no obvious spelling or grammatical errors. Good job!

Conclusion
You have built a good framework for a story here, with primary and secondary characters and a good primary and secondary conflict. If you wanted to make this really work though, you would need to complete the story, wrapping up the conflict, and hone the beginning some to make the primary conflict more natural and believable.


Simple Gold Just Because I Want To Sig
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268
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance as part of a gift to you from a Just Because I Want To "Friendship" package given by Gothic Angel gone .

Overall impression
This was fun, if a little on the lightweight side.

What I liked most
My favorite lines were the ones:

They seem to taunt, "Your push is no bother;
Thank you, Sir, may I have another?"


They definitely made me laugh.

My general suggestions
None to give. It is not exactly a deep poem, but it is fun.

Technical issues
None that I saw - good job!

Conclusion
This was an entertaining poem, even if the description and title confused me a bit.


Dynamic Heart Join Us At Just Because I Want To Sig
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Review of The Guide  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance as part of a gift to you from a Just Because I Want To "Friendship" package given by Gothic Angel gone .

Overall impression
A beautiful, inspirational poem of looking for the path... and finding it before you.

What I liked most
I thought the language was excellent, and the formatting helped as well. Very well written and presented.

My general suggestions
I kept getting stick on the two lines below. They just felt awkward somehow:

thinking of the days gone by,
mourning those I did squander.


I'd see if I could come up with a reworded way of saying that.

Technical issues
I didn't see any problems - good job!

Conclusion
This was a good find. I'm glad a had a chance to read it.


Dynamic Heart Join Us At Just Because I Want To Sig
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Review of I Like Spiders  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
A wonderful children's poem about spiders.

What I liked most
This poem is a great combination of the elements children love in poetry (speaking as one who has read many, many poems to my three children over the years, not as any other sort of expert). There are slightly scary bits, slightly "gross" bits, and it is all wrapped up in a humor that children would enjoy immensely. OK, adults as well.

My general suggestions
None to make. This is great. Is this one of your published poems?

Technical issues
None.

Conclusion
You have a very clever voice and sense of humor. I am pleased to have discovered your port (due only to your first reviewing my work - thank you!) and will come back to read more.


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Review of Panarchy  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
An absurdist poem about a universe that has decided to slip its moorings.

What I liked most
There were a couple of great lines, but I think I particularly like:

Light began zig-zagging about at irregular
And completely illegal speeds.


In some ways, this poem reminded me of "A Space Child's Mother Goose".

My general suggestions
None, really. This was quite charming.

Technical issues
Chaos at first like this state of affairs, -> Should be "liked".

Conclusion
I enjoyed this poem very much, and the title is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your poems with us here at Writing.com.


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
A contest piece that may suffer a bit from not clarifying the constraints.

What I liked most
I thought you did a good job with Damien's reaction to the situation. That felt real.

My general suggestions
The story isn't really a story. It starts, raises tension, then deflates it and goes on. Sometimes it is very helpful when writing a contest piece to explain the contest constraints. For example, was this required to be no more than 300 words, exactly 300 words, or was there no limit? Were you supposed to desribe a blind date where you ex showed up, or just an awkward situation, or something else? Those would help me as a reviewer to evaluate your story in context. Without them, I had to evaluate the story as if it were just a complete story which you wrote with no restrictions, in which case it is lacking in plot, characterization, description, suspense, etc.

Technical issues
My only technical gripe was that this should be categorized under "Contest Entry" rather than "Contest".

Conclusion
This was a very short story that started well, but didn't go very far, perhaps because it was a contest entry.


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Review of The Story of "Is"  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
A delightful piece of "educational-geek" (if you can make up terms, so can I) writing. Sadly, no matter how delightful, if it is meant to get information through to 7th graders, it is likely doomed to failure.

What I liked most
I like the "Desk in charge" game. What a great concept! Actually, I liked the whole story, but I am a bit of an education geek myself, wife and mother both teachers and I student taught myself in college, 7th graders as it happens. (Permanently changed my life - I went into computer software where the little bugs don't talk back or ask questions that no sage could answer).

My general suggestions
This sounds odd, but the only real difficulty in the story is the font face. While it might seem a trivial point, try to see the difference between "Is" and "ls" and then the difference between "Is" and "ls", same words but in Times New Roman. Even you vary the title from "The story of IS" to "The story of 'is'" to try and combat this.

Oh yes, and be prepared for the 7th grader who asks the inevitable question:

Is that all?

which doesn't look like either a linking or helping verb. I have an 8th grader, and my prematurely grey hair is not a complete coincidence.

Technical issues
I saw none. Excellent job.

Conclusion
This was wonderful, despite any obnoxious comments I might have made. I think the content simply brought out my inner adolescent. You sound like a wonderful teacher, only slightly "touched" by the wear and tear of teaching middle school. Best of luck with this.


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Review of Forever  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
A poem about love.

What I liked most
The poem was presented well, in terms of color and structure and format.

My general suggestions
This poem reflected a feeling of great emotion, but seemed to lack a certain depth. I kept waiting for the poem to say something more, and it really felt like you took sixty three words to say something that would be better expressed in three: "I love you". While a poem is not journalism, it is notable that there is no who, what, where, why or how in this poem.

Technical issues
Very clean. Good job.

Conclusion
A poem about love and deep emotion that doesn't really show it, just repeats it over and over. I think with just a bit of work, you could add more depth and purpose to the emotion.


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Review of The Boy Who Slept  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
I thought this was very well written and compelling. There are a few spots where I think you could clean it up slightly, but overall an excellent bit of writing. I have made a number of specific suggestions, not because I didn't like the piece, but because I liked it enough to want to make it as strong as possible.

What I liked most
I liked the whole tone and flow of the piece, and how the boy gradually comes to prefer his dream world, for good reasons.

My general suggestions
In the section which starts, "Whenever he walked the waking world," there are a couple of rough spots. You have "All the other children never invited him to play." which sounds quite awkward. I think the best fix would be to remove the first word, leaving "The other children never invited him to play." because the "All" and "never" don't go together well.

Somewhat less awkward, but still not idea, you have
"Neither would they cease their taunts and cruel jokes
Upon the innocent, hopeful child.
"

The word "Upon" feels wrong here. I tried out a few alternative ways to write this, and I'd probably change the word "Upon" to "Tormenting" as both more active and more correct with the nouns which preceed it, but you may well have a better idea of how to change it, if you choose to do so.

Later on, you have "You see, he found her one day", and I'd suggest losing the first two words. I tend to add things like that myself, but they really don't add anything, and detract from the flow to some degree.

You have "He kept her hidden somewhere in his tiny room, and the word "somewhere" weakens the line a bit. I'd recommend either removing it or adding a more specific spot.

You have "Keeping the bad dreams that came in the dark away." and I'd recommend moving the word "away" closer to the verb, as in "Keeping away the bad dreams that came in the dark."

Conclusion
Very moving and beautiful writing. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

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