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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/blanghinrichs/sort_by/r.review_creation_time+DESC/sort_by_last/r.review_creation_time+DESC/page/6
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126
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
An interesting start to the story. While Tess comes off as somewhat unpleasant, there are hints that maybe she is that way because school is too easy for her, and her family life is too hard. Finally, it appears that something is going to happen when the two strangers accost her on the path.

While this is a little rough so far, it is interesting. I'd suggest that you be careful about the line, "Our job is to make you happy and put you in a new world where everything is perfect." as it seems a little trite. She's not likely to believe it, and they don't seem likely to say it to someone like her, even if it is true. Instead, maybe they could hint at being from a special place, but not be too specific.

Keep on writing! (I gave this 3 stars because it feel like it is still a work in progress, but would be happy to re-review when you have written more.
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127
Review of The Beast  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
I like it. Nice job of evoking the dread and fear, and the idea of "the beast within" is powerful even without more explanation.

There are a couple of small things you could do to tighten it up, but neither is exactly "wrong", so you should use your judgment.

The first is "takes to flight", which could be shortened to "takes flight". The latter is a more common way of expressing the phrase, as feel (to me) a little more in keeping with the spare nature of the poem.

The second is the phrase "it's teeth so bare", where bare doesn't really seem a thing that has relative levels. Something might be "so high" because there are different levels of height possible, but someone wouldn't usually be "so pregnant", because there aren't levels of being pregnant. Of course, you may not agree, but it seems like you could find another way to express this.

Write on, and thanks for sharing the poem.
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128
Review of 'Digital Times'  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (2.5)
There are some things you do well in this essay, and one thing that is very problematic.

To start with, it is good procedure to cite your sources, and you have carefully done that. You have also managed the tone somewhere between folksy and business like which works well with these sorts of articles. You keep a balanced perspective, which is also key because outright advocacy of one position or another is too easily dismissed.

Now, on the downside, you badly misstated (probably misread) the first bit information you cited, which is both unacceptable and a signal to a reader that your research and thus your thesis are unreliable. If you go back to www.internetworldstats.com, you will see that you were reading the second column, which is total population, instead of the fourth column, which is estimated internet usage. (As a somewhat more minor point, you use a value for North America as if it were a value for the U.S., which might make Mexicans and Canadians a little grumpy.) The true figures are worldwide usage of under 3 billion, and North American usage of 300. I did not check the other sources, but I would suggest that you do.

I'm giving this 2.5 stars for now, but would happily re-rate if you fix it up some.
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129
Review of First time essay  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (2.5)
There are obviously different kinds of essays with different goals, but it is important with any essay to make clear the purpose from the beginning and stick to it. It is a little unclear in the beginning whether you are writing a review of the article in question, "An analysis of Nuclear Energy," or a response to it. The way to be sure for yourself is by asking yourself what you want the reader to take away from the essay. Whatever that is, you then follow the classic essay pattern of starting with 1) explain what you are going to say in the essay, 2) say it with supporting evidence and arguments, and 3) conclude by reiterating what you have said.

In this regards, while the first paragraph is rough, it mostly serves the point. You should tighten up the introduction by avoiding language such as "I have decided to read you information on this topic" since the reader doesn't need the thought process you went through. Instead, focus on the part "I will discuss in detail the benefits and downfalls to nuclear energy" as the 1) explain what you are going to say in the essay introduction.

The middle part of the essay is muddled by being a combination of "what they said" which might belong in a review of the article, and "what I believe" which might belong in a response to the article. You need to choose which you want and focus on that more. Be especially wary of filler such as "I would like to move onto a new subject". Don't explain, just do it.

The conclusion is critical and needs to pull together the threads you present in the middle to show how they support your original argument, and sum them up with a strong statement. Remember that your thought process should not evolve during the essay, but rather should unfold. You could start with "I will show why..." and end with "I showed why". I also got lost in the use of proponents and opponents, because you didn't clarify which was which.

Keep working on this, as I think you have pieces which can go together to make a strong essay, but you need to work and rework until you have a compelling argument and a solid structure.

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130
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.0)
I like the feeling and energy behind the poem, and you make good use of alliteration. There are a few places where a little more work would make this stronger, mostly due to slight misuse of words. I encourage you to work on it further, and with that in mind, wanted to point out a few things:

Your mere presence is perplexing.

The word render isn't quite right for this phrase, although you could get away with it as poetic license. You might consider an alternative alliterative choice such as regard.

The word deject isn't right at all, as it should be reject. If you want to keep the alliteration, you might try another D word,such as detest or despise.

Best of luck, and keep writing.
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131
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
Very nice job writing this story of childhood love, and the fear of being left behind and forgotten. I like the format, and enjoyed the ending.

I thought you handled the song titles well, both in foreshadowing and in resolution. Keep writing!
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.0)
It's certainly an interesting start to the story, though I am a little unclear about your intent in posting it here. It appears that the book is already written, so there is little use in critiquing it. I wish you the best of luck with your writing, but hope you take the opportunity to post new things for people to read and comment on, and don't simply use it to promote.
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133
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
A fun story of a clever plan by a boy to get what he wants. I enjoyed this very much (and it was an appropriate read as it is the the first day of school across the street, and I can see the kids pouring out of the building now).
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134
Review of Coffee Shop  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
You do a good job capturing the sinking feeling someone has when waiting for a date who doesn't show, especially when surrounded by others who seem far happier. I like the way everybody else seems happier and happier, thus emphasizing how down the narrator is. Good work.

I would suggest that you read through the poem out loud, as there are a few places where the rhymes or rhythm seem a little forced. I bet you can tweak these and make the poem even better. Also, when writing poetry, don't be afraid to streamline a little. For example, take the lines:

I look at the place around me,
Wide smiles and life is all I see.{/}

Try it as:

I look at the place around me,
Wide smiles and life all I see.{/}

and see how removing the single word is balances the two lines without losing any meaning.

Good work! Keep up the writing.
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135
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
By the end of your poem, I had a different opinion than I did in the beginning. I can sense your pain and frustration with both genders, and anger at a society which makes this so hard to even talk about.

That said, I have trouble with both the sentiments (especially in the first part) and with a structure that makes it hard to communicate your intent. I'm not sure whether there would be a way to mix in the positive and negative, but I am sure that the night and day difference you see between claw and scratch is not as clear to the reader as it could be.

Still, I applaud you for lifting the pen and trying. These are difficult topics to write about, and badly need writing about.
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136
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
First, best of luck with the new blog. It can be exciting at times, and quite daunting at others. Persevere, at least for a while, because it is the very beginning which is hardest.

These suggestions are offered in the spirit of constructive criticism. While I have a number of small suggestions, none or high severity issues, but rather cumulative issues that you might want to consider:

I tried to look looked for advice suitable for beginner investors.
I have a tendency to add the "tried to" in front of things, but you either tried something of did something, you didn't try to do something. It sucks the air out of the sentence.

This is why I’ve started this blog. This...
Too many uses of the word "this". While it is always good writing advice to avoid repeated words, blog posts can be a challenge because this topic on this post of this blog are all a bit hard to name, which can lead to excessive "this" use. There is no perfect answer, but re-read your post before submitting and watch for those repeated words.

Why does it do my findings on finance matter to others? Well, at the moment, it might not.
If you don't believe in you, why should anybody else? Beware of the blog trap of asking why people will care and answering that they won't. Presume that if they made it past the first line or two, they care enough to be reading. Get on with the point of the post, even if you feel insecure about whether people will care.

Who knows, in the not too distant future, this humble initiative could bloom into a full-fledged community of rookie investors irrespective of their background, including the size of their portfolio.
This is good, though it could be better. Express your dream in as positive a way as possible while still being humble about the distance to the dream. Don't be afraid to say "I hope" or "I'd like" rather than acting as if something is happening to you. A blog is fundamentally an expression of your personality, hopes and dreams. People aren't expecting the semi-objective tone of a news article, but a more personal perspective. Tell that what you hope will happen, and how you hope to get there. Then, invite them along for the ride.



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137
Review of Chapter 1  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.0)
First of all, congratulations on getting this written. Going from an idea to a first chapter can be hard.

While rough, this chapter does a good job of introducing the characters and setting up the world in which they live. We meet Carina, who seems a little scatterbrained and innocent, but clearly means well. We meet her cousin, Bianca, but don't get as much sense of who she is yet, just that she is very close to Carina. (It might be good in revisions to build out Bianca's character and relationship more to make clear the loss Carina feels when she leaves her behind,)

We are also introduced to the world in which they live, one which at least visibly consists of all females. Brothers, as the males are referred to, are seldom seen and it is shameful to even talk of them. Yet, it seems that Carina has reached and age where she is about to discover that Brothers are necessary for some things, and that they are not quite as "other" as she had thought.

Overall, a good, intriguing introduction to a different society. There is a little of the feel of Lois Lowry's The Giver in the way the society deals with secrecy and revealing things at a certain age, but with more mystery. I think there is a good basis for a novel here. Well done.

I am rating this three stars because it has good promise, but is still in its rough first draft form. Keep on writing!
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138
Review of A Great Invention  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
I thought the story was a lot of fun. You build the setting well, and establish the reasons and driving force behind Pyhruss and his invention. I thought the eventual story of his legacy was fun and light-hearted, while still making a good point that our legacies seldom develop quite the way we expect. Nice job!
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Review of Factory Boy  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
Thanks for sharing this entertaining poem of the Pillsbury dough boy and his grumble-inducing existence. I like that he has dreams of getting revenge, but settles for complaining and trying to make it through another day. You echo what a lot of people feel about hopeless jobs, but in a humorous way through the eyes of the dough boy. Good job!

The meter is a little sloppy, but I don't think it detracts much in a humorous poem. The last stanza in particular made me laugh.
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Review of Constellation  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Review of Constellation  for "Let's Publish!"...

I don't have a lot to say, as I think the story is in very good shape, but I'll mention a few little things.

Title: I like the title.

Plot: This is well constructed. It does feel like the ending should have some slight echo of the beginning, especially to avoid the sense that the first line was just tacked on to meet the prompt. Perhaps she could just mutter the partial phrase "Dulce et decorum" and he could ask what it meant, and she could not answer, or something like that.

Style & Voice: I like the voice. It is the best part of the story. Only one line feels off to me, and that is “God, I don’t care! Any damn place we want!” I'd either get rid of "we want" and just have "Any damn place" or use something like "Any damn place other than here". "Want" feels contrary to the tone of helplessness.

Referencing: I was too young to be drafted for Vietnam, but old enough to watch the anguish. Ugh!

Scene/Setting: Well described, in general. I thought a couple of more words to describe the waterfall as they sat down, mostly to act as if they were trying not to think about the inevitable, so were thinking of the waterfall instead.

Characters: I like the characters, and was pulled into the story because of them.

Grammar: I saw no issues.

Just My Personal Opinion: I think this has a good shot, except for the referencing of the poem at the end. When people make a prompt like that, they tend to be very sensitive about it blending in properly. You do a great job with it at the beginning, but need to tie up the loose ends.

Best of luck!
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141
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+
Review of Are You Listening To Me ?  for "Let's Publish!"...

Welcome to the group. I enjoyed reading your story.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

Title: The title isn't bad, but it isn't great. It focuses too much on his interacting with her (or not), rather than on her interacting with him, which is what the story is about. How about something from the other side, like "If Only I Could Help" or something a bit more abstract, such as "Shining Through". Just don't use "Tears" in the title, as they get used all the time (ask Fadz about that).

Plot: I read this through once and completely, totally missed that she was a ghost. In other words, I got confused, especially when he smiles at the end after being so morose the rest of the story.

Then I read Fadz's review, and he said that it should be transparently obvious (hee hee) what she is, and you shouldn't hammer it home the way you do (did?).

Now that I get it, I like the story a lot. Thus, the main objection to the plot is that people need to be sure to get it without it being hammered home. Another hint or two, but not too many.

Style & Voice: This is well done. I liked the voice (at least once I understood her nature).

Referencing: I am confused by Amanda's role in the story. Why would the MC put her hand on the doorknob and smile. Presumably, the girl was killed with the mom in the accident.

I was also a bit confused by "If I could make you understand. If you could feel what I feel, you'd be alright." What exactly is that supposed to mean?

Scene/Setting: This is generally well done, although the first sentence feels overblown and flowery. You might want to tone it down a bit. I also wasn't quite sure whether the phrase "to that particular sunrise" made sense, since she acts as if this is a fairly unique sunrise. Couldn't it just be "to the sunrise" and still communicate the idea, or perhaps "to a particular sunrise" if you want the phrasing.

Characters: We get a sense of the worried wife, and the distraught husband/father whose life is falling apart, but who still has a friend looking in on him and a wifely ghost to encourage him.

Grammar: Seems pretty clean, although I didn't focus on it.

Just My Personal Opinion: If you can make her ghostliness a bit more apparent, I think this is close to ready. I agree with Fadz about Every Day Fiction, although there are lots of venues that would appreciate this sort of story.
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142
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: March 2010

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
~George Moore


Overall impression
Well written and creative. A good action/adventure story.

Adherence to rules and prompt
You used a very creative story to follow the prompt. All other rules were followed appropriately. Good job!

What I liked most
I like the mystery behind the words spoken at the moment of death--classic mystery/action stuff, but well conceived to confuse the reader and protagonist alike.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
There are a few places which felt rough, such as "and a freshet blood spouted from his mouth" which should have an "of" after "freshet". There are other places where you could work on making the prose a bit less forced, such as the paragraph about the seven years of bad luck.

Rating and Rationale
You have written a fresh and creative story using the quotation, so I have awarded the story 4 stars.


Good luck with the contest!
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143
Review of The Epiphany  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.0)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: March 2010

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
~George Moore


Overall impression
A story about a man who misses home, and then goes there.

Adherence to rules and prompt
While you technically follow the prompt, there is very little searching and a whole lot of convenient epiphany.

What I liked most
I liked the descriptions of why he liked home.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
The story happens without any real tension or action. He is miserable, misses home, and suddenly realizes he can go back. There is no story arc or reason for his revelation, and you don't even have him actually finding out what happens when he gets back.

Rating and Rationale
The story could be a good one, but it isn't really a story and doesn't really follow through on the prompt, so I gave it 3 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
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144
Review of Quotation contest  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: March 2010

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
~George Moore


Overall impression
The story is about a man who has been a wandering spirit but has returned home in middle age. At a high school reunion, he discovers a reason to stay home longer.

Adherence to rules and prompt
You followed the prompt, although it was disappointing that you only showed him after he had already returned home.

What I liked most
I liked the idea behind the story, although the execution was a bit rocky.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
The biggest issue with the story is that it doesn't unfold. Most of the story has already happened, and it is just told, not shown. Then, very abruptly, we are given an ending, but without any real foreshadowing.

It is also hard to read on a screen without a line between the paragraphs.

Rating and Rationale
The plot was good, but the execution was rough, and the story was told rather than unfolding, so I gave it 3.5 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
145
145
Review of Seven Skins  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: March 2010

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
~George Moore


Overall impression
An interesting story of a an Indian boy who leaves home to become a warrior, but returns after many years as a wise man.

Adherence to rules and prompt
You used the quotation fairly well, with the boy leaving to find spirits, but finding his true self back home.

What I liked most
I liked the idea behind the story, as well as the interesting perspectives.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
The use of so many Indian names made the story harder to follow than needed. Also, the side bet of the skins seemed both odd and distracting.

Also, the time away in the opposing tribe's control was rushed and a little hard to follow.

Rating and Rationale
I liked the story, and it followed the prompt fairly well, but there were some confusing areas and choppy scenes, so I gave it 4 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
146
146
Review of Two Wise Women  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: March 2010

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
~George Moore


Overall impression
A clever and goodhearted story about finding your true purpose in life at home.


Adherence to rules and prompt
This worked well with the essence of the quotation. Good job.

What I liked most
I liked the daughter, and how her fresh eyes saw opportunity where her father's jaded eyes did not.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
The bit about the funding seemed a bit weak. It was also unclear why the mother and daughter were just visiting. If you made it clearer (because of commitments back home or jobs or college or something), the ending would feel more true. It also seemed a bit unlikely that he would have so much difficulty selling the pump but that it would be so ideal for the purpose in the end.

Rating and Rationale
This was well written and innovative, although it had a few logic issues that could be ironed out, so I gave it 4 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
147
147
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.0)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: March 2010

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
~George Moore


Overall impression
An interesting story of a man who does not learn to appreciate what he had until it is gone.

Adherence to rules and prompt
This follows the prompt to some extent, but it feels like it misses the mark a bit. Your story has more to do with having something and then losing it, then realizing what you have lost when you go home, while the quotation is more about going home and finding it.

What I liked most
I liked the way you built up the character of the protagonist by showing his way of dealing with people.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
The tenses are mixed up between present and past. Even in the first paragraph, you have "I am feeling nostalgic" which is present tense, mixed with "The image in the mirror was" which is past tense.

There are also places where you slip up with words. For example, you have "I fell back on the sit" when you should have "seat". A careful edit would probably catch those. Try reading the story out loud, as that will also catch some issues.

Rating and Rationale
You wrote an interesting story with good characters, but were slightly off the mark on the quote and had some grammar issues and typos, so I gave the story 3 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
148
148
Review of Home  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: March 2010

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
~George Moore


Overall impression
A young man dreams of going far as an investigative reporter, stops for a while to marry and have kids, then leaves to follow his dreams before returning to find his real life waiting for him.

Adherence to rules and prompt
You followed the prompt well.

What I liked most
I like the way you describe his character using actions as well as description.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
The one glaring flaw is the children. I could almost believe the rest, but a father abandons his wife and children for two years, and everybody rushes to accept him? It just doesn't hold up. If you just had the woman willing to accept him back without adding the children, it would feel much more realistic.

In general, your scenes work well, but the logical stitching between them could use a bit of work.

Rating and Rationale
Because you wrote this well and followed the prompt, but had a little trouble with transitions and realistic reactions, I gave this 4 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
149
149
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Review of Temptations of the Flesh  for "Let's Publish!"...

Title: Great title. I don't remember what it was called before (it was different, right?), but I like this a lot.

Plot: It's not exactly realism, but this genre seldom is. It is creepy and makes me glad I don't pick up women at the mall (though I was already fairly glad about that). You don't provide a lot of insight into her motivation, but I think that is appropriate for this sort of story.

The simulated sex scene was great.

Style & Voice: Good in general, but there isn't a line of dialogue in the whole piece. I think you could have worked in some where she picks up the handsome young man. It would help us to care more about him and identify with his plight.

Referencing: A scary world where people chop up other people... oh yeah, sounds like our world.

Scene/Setting: The scene in the mall is well described. The kitchen could probably use a few more words.

Characters: Bad Bev is fairly well drawn. The handsome man could use a bit more of a third dimension.

Grammar: Good.

Just My Personal Opinion: I think it is highly publishable, which probably says terrible things about the world we live in. But never mind that, with a bit of polish, there are certainly places where this would be accepted. Good work.
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Review of Thinking  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
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
This is an interesting poem that explores how a person's mind can lead them places they don't want to go.

What I liked most
I like that you leave it a little unclear whether the thinking is dreaming or daydreaming or what. I particularly like the following lines (except the typo):

Just blows away like dust
With that first breathe of air as I wake


My general suggestions
When writing poetry, the rhythm and pattern of the words matter a lot. So, in your first few lines, when you use "root of my evil" then "root of all my pain" and then "extension of all my sorrows", it feels jarring. You would normally either use a pattern of "root of..." for all three (which I would not recommend in this case), or avoid repeating the same word twice. In this case, I'd change the middle thought to something else other than "root", such as "source of all my pain" or something like that.

Technical issues
In the line, "Just blows away like dust", the noun is plural so the verb needs to match and just be "blow" instead of "blows".

Conclusion
Welcome to Writing.com. It takes a while to get to know your way around here, but it is worth the effort if you hang in there. Thanks for letting me read your poem.

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