*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Get it for
Apple iOS.
Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/bobinusa
Review Requests: ON
75 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I aim to be straight-forward. My reviews will focus on my reading experience, not the way I would write your story.
I'm good at...
Story logic and motivation are important to me. I enjoy word play and crisp dialog.
Favorite Genres
Short stories of interpersonal drama, comedy that comes from character, and science fiction are my particular favorites.
Least Favorite Genres
Horror and gore have to be really good to keep my interest.
Favorite Item Types
Short stories and flash fiction
Least Favorite Item Types
Horror
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 ... Next
1
1
Review of Water Tubing  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hello, AJW . I found your story "Water Tubing in the short story newsletter under review request. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Of course, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Bullet* Plot:
Midway into the story, the lead says, I was too lazy to get it replaced. I liked that revelation. I understood it as motivation. Until then, I had no clue why the character acted as he did.

*Bullet* Setting: I did not feel the physical reality of the situation. An example occurs in the 4th paragraph, “Is everything alright?” I asked him. The actual situation is the lead character must call to Mark who's across an indefinite expanse of water from him and Sally. The dialog and tag could productively convey some of those facts, making it more concrete to the reader.

*Bullet* Ending:
I did not come away from the story with a specific feeling. When I write a story, there's an intended reaction I want the reader to have—either escapism or revelation (about some aspect the story explores).

I started thinking about the events on the boat, until I feel asleep. You might consider stating what takeaway the lead took from the events of the story. In traditional story-telling, this wrap-up often reflects back to an aspect of the opening scene (giving a sense of closure to the reader).

*Bullet*Mechanics:

*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: Story draft, structure and focus needed. Three stars.

Thank you for sharing your story, AJW . If you revise it and would like me to read it, let me know.

A flash story of mine, "Bully uses traditional technique. You might enjoy reading it and provide feedback on how it did (and did not) work for you.


Ari Lox





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of Philip of Waverly  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hello, Rbt618 . I found the opening to your story "Philip of Waverly on the review request page. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Of course, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*BulletG* Typos:
momma said Capitalize Momma when the word names the specific person. And stick with one spelling for her name.
"Ok Boys, open them!” Don't capitalize boys. That is not their names.
Pearl White Bel-Air Low-Rider boys. Use a comma after Low-Rider and before boys.

*BulletG* Character:
The comment about "orgasm" being a Chinese word threw me. I wondered what role this fake fact played in the dynamic between the mother and the boys. How young, naive, or ignorant were these boys that such could be uttered to them, by their mother?

*BulletG* Storyline:
A car accident that takes a boy's mother's life is a powerful story opening.
The transition Bending down, mama was searching for something on the floor. Crash ! Our car was hit. was too abrupt. It could use a swerve or other indication that the crash was coming.

*BulletG* Suggestion:
Even in this short introductory scene, I wondered how old the boys were, particularly the narrator. That's important for reader identification with the character and for understanding his place in the family and story dynamic.

*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: Good start. 3 Stars

Thank you for sharing your story, rham5798. Keep on writing!

Bob
Ari Lox





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of City of Dreams  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi, Joe Nelson
Your "City of Dreams caught my eye in Reviews Requested. My impressions are offered in the spirit of a constructive review. If my thoughts and impressions help you, grand. If not, grandly ignore them.

*Bullet* Plot:
I like the action and forward motion of the short first chapter.

*Bullet* Characters:
There was sufficient background to make Jax likable despite his amoral actions.
Fat Benny, the bouncer, and Charlie are stock figures. Since Benny and Charlie seem likely to reoccur, you might consider adding a hint of mystery to their actions or motivations—to be developed later.

*Bullet* Mechanics:
Mechanics

*Bullet* Setting: There are ample areas for a novel to develop.

*Bullet* Suggestions:
For this reader, ending on his goofy face was contrary to my reader identification of him. Crafty, perhaps? Resilient, although hard to depict.
You might consider a stolen cyberpunk good more exotic than cigarettes. Perhaps some such as, an e-cig that would erase yesterday's memories completely.

Overall Impression and Rating: I'd like to read more of Jax's rough-and-tumble way in his world. 4 stars.

Thank you for posting the opening chapter of your novel,Joe Nelson .

A story of mine, "Wilding in the Time of the Beatles has a point of view you might enjoy and consider providing story feedback in a return review.


Bob
Ari Lox



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello, Whitney ,
I dropped by your portfolio. Your poem, "Sweet Little Dove , was quite moving. My reflections follow. Perhaps you will find something useful in them. Of course, if the observations are inappropriate for your intention, ignore them.

Personal Reaction:
The warmth of love and affection suffuses the poem.
With the blurb in mind, I read the poem metaphorically, about getting on with an drug-addicted partner.

My Favorite Lines And Why:
Because I love you so much
I will always set you free

Ending the poem with this deep, true paradox is very satisfying

Mood:
I liked the presentation of the difficult choice between safety and danger without heavy-handed proclamation.

Pace:
The word choice and emotional restraint made for a pleasant read of a difficult subject.

Observation to Consider:
The poem raised a point that I wondered about.
The hawks will come
They want your life
To make theirs better

Are pushers to be seen as benevolently?

Rating:
5 stars. Excellent, thought-provoking.

Thank you for sharing your poem, Whitney

Bob
Ari Lox


He has the facts, but not the phosphorescence of learning.
Emily Dickinson

5
5
Review of Knowing  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, Myles Abroad . I found your story "Knowing on review requests. I like flash fiction and contemporary relationships. I hope you find this feedback useful.

Of course, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.


*Bullet* Plot: Woman is shopping for her significant other and herself, yet she ends up with more than she expected.

*Bullet* Setting: Supermarket setting is breezily drawn. It's adequate to the action as long as the reader can keep up.

*Bullet* Characters: Ellen's character emerges from her actions and narrative observations. Just a thought, in this reader's opinion, That blond ignoramus's long, shapely legs slipped out of character with 'long, shapely legs.' Her antagonism would bend it to 'unnatural' or 'undeserved long, shapely legs' or some such negative twist.

*Bullet* Climax: I loved she way she gradually put together the peach smell in time to ram Harry's car into the little red BMG.

*Bullet*Mechanics:

*Bullet* Suggestions:Although you may find it mostly another story, how did Ellen and Harry get to this loggerheads?

*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating:Enjoyable rush. 4.5 stars

Thank you for sharing your story, Myles Abroad . Keep on writing!

Ari Lox

Here's a flash of mine "Complicated Logic not far from the "Knowing" theme which you might enjoy reading and provide feedback for in a return review.




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of Wolf  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: E | (4.5)

I like it. The wolf looks with attention and purpose. Good impression.
7
7
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello, John Yossarian . I found your story {item:2202262 } on the FSFS newsletter. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Please remember, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.


*Bullet* Plot: Two lead characters struggle for control, including the control of a nubile assistant.

*Bullet* Setting: I enjoyed this depiction of the Martian world, the barges plying their way along Mars’ Valles Marineris river.
  I found the blithe assumption of sexual predation in need of rounding into the story world.

*Bullet* Characters:
  That Val thought about the girl's innocence was a nice touch of characterization.
  However, our introduction to Judith included Fresh out of grad school, and boasting a resume as well rounded as her figure, which made both Val's and Doctor Jenkins' dismissal of her intelligence contrary to this reader's expectation.

*Bullet* Climax: Nice comeuppance for the prime movers.

*Bullet*Mechanics:

*Bullet* Suggestions: It's a good story that could be strengthened by concrete details and clearer motivations.
  The Green Notes was a nice touch; however, in my view, they were not described crisply enough for their story role. A vacuous Green Note would be sent by many sites every week. Routine to the point of way low on the executive's to do list.
  I would have enjoyed a few more words about the Core Ignition Project. That could clarify character motivations and increase reader participation in the enticing story environment.
  [R]umble of the river’s distant falls That distant and the earlier barges lead me to think the taming of Mars was appear farther along than demanded by the ending. You might consider, mentioning the river's termination in a few kilometers to prepare the reader.

*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating:I liked the story (I wouldn't have spent as much time reviewing it, if I didn't). 4 stars

Thank you for sharing your story, John Yossarian . Keep on writing!

Here's a flash sci fi story "A Nanosecond in the Life which you might enjoy reading and provide feedback for in a return review.

Ari Lox



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of It's Classified  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, normajean . Although it's been a couple of weeks since you reviewed "Complicated Logic, I've finally gotten around to returning the favor. From your flash fiction folder, I read your piece "It's Classified and hope you find the feedback useful.

Please remember, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Bullet* Plot: Obstinate clerk who turns out to be a robot.
*Bullet* Characters: Nice touch, having the clerk move things left to right (mindlessly) on the desk.
*Bullet* Climax: Pulling the plug was mainly satisfying, although anachronistic, way to firmly reveal the robot.
*Bullet* Mechanics: Flowed well and seamlessly.

*Bullet* Suggestions: Although the story is succinct, it doesn't build. I wish there were an increase reveal of the clerk's robotic characteristics as the back-and-forth continues. The clerk could start with a generic name, then adding a descriptor like "seated erect" or "unsmiling." I’ve been instructed was a good touch.
*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: Read smoothly. 4.0 stars

Thank you for sharing your story, normajean . Keep on writing!

Ari Lox


9
9
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, AJW . I found your story "When Irish Eyes are Smiling... on the review request list. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Please remember, this review is only how I see your story. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Bullet* Plot: The warm, emotional connection of you and your grandfather comes across.
  If a story is to appeal to more than personal acquaintances, it needs to have an obstacle and a resolution. Your grandfather has the physical obstacle; however, the story resolution doesn't address the obstacle being overcome. Although his ashes are taken to Ireland, it's necessary to tie them to some memory or saying of your grandpa (which your real grandpa might not have said), something that fits your intention for the story—what you want the reader to take away.
*Bullet* Characters: Your real grandfather is a person who uttered real comments, yet not others. Your story grandfather could say things to make the point of your story more complete to the reader. Just winging it: "I wished I could hear the waves crash on the Cliffs of Moher, the way Da described." or "The sweet songs of a bonnie lass always soothes away any troubles."
*Bullet* Suggestions: Name a particular Irish county, place or landmark to give concreteness to the reader's experience.
*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: Enjoyable memory. 3.5 stars

Thank you for sharing your story, AJW . Keep on writing!

Here's a memory story "Honor the Ghost of mine which you might enjoy reading and provide feedback in a return review, if you are so inclined.
Bob

Ari Lox



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Hello, writerchuck . I found your old essay " " Don't Force Your Ideology On Us" when I looked for items to return the favor of your review of "Complicated Logic. Poetry I enjoy but can't comment on with authority. I often read older economic essays so that I can compare not just their ideas, but also the accuracy of their projections. I enjoyed reading your essay and hope you find this feedback useful.

Please remember, a review is only how I, as an individual, see your essay along three dimensions—expression of your idea, justification of argument, and ability to convince a skeptic. Accept what you agree with, ignore that which you disagree with. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*BulletB* Overall Impression: Your dissatisfaction with the current education system is clearly shown. Unfortunately, labels such as Progressive Liberal; far left President; misleading textbooks; political correctness carry your argument rather than concrete occurrences which the reader could use to assess the magnitude of the problem. Thus, readers who do not already agree with you are not persuaded by your passion on the issue.

*BulletB* Thesis: Getting back to values that made America great is a thesis no one will argue with. Truth-based history is another concept that almost everyone would agree is a laudable goal. However, exactly what those values are and how to achieve them are the details that are argued over.

*BulletB* Style: Using words and labels without concrete examples or references to back up the assertions result in your argument not convincing. Examples: Sexual education is graphically taught to kids as early as six and seven years of age. and Most of our union teachers have bought the far left ideology of their professors, and agree with it to the core.

*BulletB* Persuasive Power: With non-specifics but clear negative interpretations and projections of "far left progressive" teaching, only your opinion comes across, not a reasoned argument that can stand logical scrutiny.
  Our children are being encouraged not to discuss what they learn in the classroom with their parents. Justification for this claim is necessary. It is not common knowledge.
  Do you not see the irony of your essay's title? Any and everyone could make that claim. I agree with your intention to make schools support teaching the American Dream.

*BulletB* Suggestions: Add specifics that support your claims. For instance, American Dream as stated by James Truslow Adams “… life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.”


Thank you for sharing your thoughts, writerchuck . Keep on writing!

Ari Lox

PS Social Contract, Crime, and Opportunity   is an essay with a perspective that deals with a tangent of your essay's topic.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of Rain  
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, 🌙 HuntersMoon . I found your story "Rain when I was searching for sci fi stories. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Of course, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.


*Bullet* Plot: You raised the question—how the aliens on this dry would describe water?— successfully. I wanted to find out how. I've read your story three or four times in the past month. It gets more pleasing with time.

*Bullet* Setting: The summary stated Aridus is crisscrossed with a series of underground caverns making them a prime target for understanding the planet and its aliens. It seemed unbelievable near the end to read None of the surveys had explored the caverns.

*Bullet* Characters: Jim Hawkins's name put me in a Robert Louis Stevenson frame of mine.

*Bullet* Suggestions: It bothered me, on each read, that there no description of the aliens. Although Lisa had met with them the reader doesn't know if they are metallic, crystalline, or bipedal with water inside their skin.
   It would be intriguing to to see the early dispute of the term "men" tied to the story resolution; otherwise, it is a dangling thread.

*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: The final word "Rain" was led up to in very satisfying manner. 4 Stars.

Thank you for sharing your story, 🌙 HuntersMoon . Keep on writing!




My Rocking Reviewer Signature



12
12
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, bkies . I received your request to review story "Neil Armstrong's Dream and am happy to do so. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Please remember, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Bullet* Plot: His dream is to apply the unity humankind felt when they saw him walk on the Moon on problems here on Earth.
*Bullet* Plot Structure: The sequencing of events inhibited my immersion in the story. After the initial tease Neil Armstrong had a dream we are taken back Four months earlier, Four days later, Eleven days before, then a thousand words until the dream commences.
*Bullet* Setting: With the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing this summer, you have ready audience. Because you describe such background that is common knowledge or recently repeated on anniversary shows, is your audience school age children?
*Bullet* Characters:
  Neil's portrayal is a homage, rather than a character. An idealistic streak provides the background motivation for his dream.
  Older engineers passed on the jobs believing the mission doomed to fail. This made me think. Ahah! an answer to an oddity which I'd never pondered.
  We came in as a team and we're going to walk out as a team. No matter what. A nice insight into leadership.
*Bullet* Theme: Showing that humanity pulling in the same direction can accomplish anything is an alluring idea.

*Bullet*Mechanics

*Bullet* Suggestions: You might consider placing Armstrong's dream in the beginning, followed by such explanatory scenes as you deem necessary to put into the perspective that supports the reader takeaway you're aiming for.
*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: Good idea with some nice touches; however the order of events and extra information stopped my immersion in the story. 3.5 stars

Thank you for sharing your story, bkies . Keep on writing!


My Rocking Reviewer Signature


I also write in a similar vein "Hall of Fame. You might enjoy providing me feedback in a return review.


13
13
Review of The shelter  
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Sumojo . I found your story "The shelter on your portfolio. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Please remember, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Bullet* Plot: Sam proving to himself and others that he's brave by spending the night alone in the hideout provides a solid story line.

*Bullet* Setting: Children finding an empty or abandoned space and claiming it for their secret playhouse is something many readers can relate to, although a bomb shelter offers a special cachet. Smoking stolen cigarettes confirms the illicit nature that their clubhouse provides.

*Bullet* Characters:
  You say that Alice as a leader. Perhaps you had this in mind, but stating Sam and Brian continued fighting when she told them to break apart, forced her to ratchet up the pressure with "My mum told me somebody died down here.” would show it.

*Bullet* Climax: Sam's bravery was trumped in the end with no integration into Sam's character or world. See my suggestions further down.

*Bullet*Mechanics:
*Bullet* Suggestions: I would have liked some final reflection by Sam on how his self-image is modified by the discovery of the impossible photograph.
  You might consider making the card game early on some stakes, allowing you to show character attitude, exposing a reason the girls were not playing, and deepening the beyond normal limits of their environs.

*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating:Nice romp through a childish lark with an surprising result. Some hint of impact of the supernatural is needed for my taste. 4 stars

Thank you for sharing the unusual story, Sumojo . I look for more of your stories!



My Rocking Reviewer Signature





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Hello, Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 . From your email, the first short story, "An Ordinary Day in June sang out for me. I enjoyed it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Please remember, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Bullet* Style: I enjoy the smooth flow of words and ideas in the story. Then you doubled that by using some dialect with solecisms of natural speech. All very well done. A few favorites:
  "Ain't got nothin' better to do."
   Still and all. That transported me to a dinner at a friend's house with collard greens and black-eyed peas. His mother would bridge conversations with such a phrase.
  I like the casual insight of His tone showed he weren't interested and was just makin' talk.

*Bullet* Setting: Well described and moved to Oklahoma. I wondered if you have a special reader which enjoys the place names. Also I must admit, the rhythms of Bobbie Gentry's lyrics had me weighing every name change.

*Bullet* Characters: The narrator has a coarse manner and sees the world in coarse terms. That is not a total turn-off, but she didn't have likability factors to compensate.
  She had no dreams you get burned often enough, and you stop carin', no aspirations, no special empathy for others.
  This reader found it hard to root for her and experience emotion at the end. Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman comes to mind with a similar status in life, but presented more sympathetically.

*Bullet* Diction: These two phrases were eminently readable, but didn't serve to work for my understanding of character or theme.
  Lucky for us we's saved. Praise the Lord. This is so close to self-mockery that it muddied my understanding of her character.
  It's hard to credit the character of a woman who would think of and to herself 'Sides, Poppa hated painted whores.

*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: I enjoy very much the silky glide of words, both in dialog and of the narration in this story; however, the unsympathetic narrator and the steady emotional valence restricted my involvement in story.

Thank you for sharing your story, Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 . I'm going to wander around your portfolio for more recent story.
Bob




My Rocking Reviewer Signature



15
15
Review of The Examined Life  
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Hello, Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 . I found your story "The Examined Life on a search request for sci fi short stories. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Of course, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what you is useful to you, ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Bullet* Plot:The story pulled me right in. Oliver was just a computer program, it never hurt to be polite revealed it was near-term sci fi what-if with a psychological dimension. Following with a Kindle mention and concern over terrorist propaganda cemented that presumption.
  That the action of her off-scene mother precipitating the climax (not Clifford or Oliver or herself) in my opinion weakened the unity of the story. Constance's mother's impact on her daughter's quest for security no matter the cost was not developed.
  On p. 6, the Guardsman presence in their civilian compound surprised me. An early foreshadowing would establish that future world feature.
*Bullet* Characters:When Constance said, sex doesn't matter to me, Clifford that gave a clear insight into her and by implication to him. Well done.
  A good show of her OCD aspect with stacking them in careful alignment.
  Nice touch in character and theme development, that Constance felt compelled by her mother's letter to utter, Intimacy is over-blown
*Bullet* Theme:If you give up freedom for security, you might be giving up more than you expected and more than you want.
*Bullet*Mechanics:
*Bullet* Suggestions:The removal of passions from bodily existence
leads to broken relationships is a strong secondary theme. My interest was piqued but not satisfied at the end.
  Constance's refusal to meet Clifford at the hotel obviates imo the plot points revolving about their marriage difficulties from contributing to the climax. The main theme (cost of security) and the second theme (cost of removing physical contact) could be tied together but weren't. The story veers near with the narration on Lady Chatterley's Lover, but Constance doesn't bridge the gap. She only notices the gap.
*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: I gave the story 4 stars. The craft and diction were very fine; however, in my view the focus and logic of the story could use tightening.

Thank you for sharing your provocative story, Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 . Keep on writing!


My Rocking Reviewer Signature


Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 , my flash story "Calculus of Civil Disobedience may interest you.

16
16
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hello, Linn Browning . I found your story "The Most Beautiful Sound on Mars while searching for science fiction short stories. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Please remember, this review is only how I see your piece. Accept what is useful to you. Ignore that which doesn't help. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Bullet* Plot: The fear of separation that lovers anticipate at a long separation makes a fine force for drawing readers in.

*Bullet* Style: The scientific touches were nice, as have a communications chip implanted in your skull.
  Another nice phrase was wanted that illusion of freedom.
  I liked this description, chewed the firm, silky white around a yolk perfectly cooked without a hint of greenish dryness. I would have liked that specificity, in Trevor showing delight in his wife's laugh.

*Bullet* Setting: Since Mars was in the title, when the second sentence started The Early morning sunlight it flitted through my mind that perhaps civilization had made life on Mars as ordinary as on Earth, but the story soon set me in place on Earth.

*Bullet* Characters: When Bee blindly shoved the peeled egg at my face, I read it as rude and negatively aggressive.
  I liked the Is it useful to you? question to develop them further, Jeremy Bentham style.

*Bullet* Suggestions: You might consider having Bee laugh in the opening, perhaps to coax Trevor into eating the egg, to show the lure of her laugh to him. Also perhaps mention her name in their early dialog, so the reader is prepared when he thinks Bee and Honeybee.
  I doubted some of the story logic. Surely, an important, difficult, and expensive mission would have the astronauts preparing for the launch on their last day on Earth, not on shore leave.
  Also, it baffled me that Bee would hold back that she planned to join him in fifteen months.

*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: It has potential. Altering the time frame plus recognizing that astronauts have signed away their right to negotiate last minute flight changes would be useful changes. 3 Stars

Thank you for sharing your story, Linn Browning . Keep on writing!

Here's a very brief sci fi story "Salamander Stew of mine which you might enjoy reading and perhaps provide feedback for in a return review.
Bob


of the Rockin' Reviewers

My Rocking Reviewer Signature



17
17
Review of Zach  
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, Nitraits . As you might remember, I found your story "Zach by following the link on your Noticing Newbies entry. Thank you for updating your permissions so I could read it. I see that you wrote your story based on a prompt for a science fiction contest. I looked to find the specific contest rules, with no luck. A similar science fiction contest requested less than 2000 words short story based on the prompt. That's the presumption for this review.

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful. This review is based on how I see your piece. Accept what you find helpful, ignore what is askew to your purpose. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Bullet* Characters: I really enjoyed how you imaginatively handled the prompt. He possessed five fingers instead of his normal seven. An alien in a human body wondering at the sensations. Excellent.

*Bullet* Ideas: Ascension into a galactic community, Zach's invisibility shield and his telepathy arouse reading interest.
    I suppose, the little girl and her dog seeing Zach through his invisibility shield, relates to the comment that humans had lost their telepathic powers.

*Bullet* Plot: Zach's story goal was clearly stated. to aid humans with their ascension. However, this short story item ended prior to him taking action on that goal. I would call this the hook and background for the story. We never got to a climax, but perhaps a vignette was appropriate to the actual contest rules.
   You worked the prompt image very nicely into your story.

*Bullet* Point of View: In the middle of the first paragraph, there is this They were a tall, yellow, slim species.... That jarred me, shifting from Zack's 3rd person POV to an omniscient description of his species. It could be converted to something like We were a tall, yellow, slim species That's not smooth, but it provides a consistency of viewpoint to aim for.

*Bullet* Mechanics: I didn't see the importance of the pronunciation of the planet and species.

*Bullet* Suggestions: You mention other species visited Zach's planet because of the best technological enhancements and advancements. It would be good to include somewhere an example to give concreteness to the assertion, to the story world.

*Bullet* Overall Impression And Rating: I enjoyed your idea of having an alien inside of a human body to enliven the overtones present in the image prompt. My rating, 3.5 stars.

Thank you for sharing your story, Nitraits . Since I see you entered the Newbie Contest, which I also did, I'll see you about WDC.


of the Rockin' Reviewers

My Rocking Reviewer Signature
18
18
Review of The Big Bang  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, Ken.
Great piece of flash sci fi. I especially liked "we're here, Rebekkah – and we always will be ..."
A satisfying end.
Bob
19
19
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Hello, Amalie Cantor - We Got This! ,

The teacher in my poetry review lesson Turtle ~ KanyáthƐko:wa:h mentioned your poetry, leading me over to your portfolio, where I found your structured poem "And thus does the wind cry.

Perhaps my observations will recall to you the feelings that prompted you to write this very fine poem. Since I am learning, I may comment on some aspects not so ably. If you find this neophyte's observations off-the-mark, please ignore them.

Personal Reaction: Most satisfying poem I can recall reading. It melds completeness of concept with the promise of repeated pleasures.

My Favorite Lines And Why:
*BulletB*The sweet refrain of lover's call This joyful line harmoniously ties nature to the deepest need of humans.
*BulletB*The joyous lily's dancing hall Such a graceful and colorful image that shows spring through a happy human contrivance.
*BulletB*The close combination of the two lines more than doubles the delight in reading them.

Poetic Conventions Used: Empat Empat is a new term for me. You explained it well in your post note. The graceful partitioning of 4 stanzas into 4 seasons with the demand line rolling through titillated my mathematical tendencies.

Voice: Immediate, but not personal nor distant. A good match to role of nature.

Tone: The line Of summer's beauty now undone shows how the poem evokes images rather than describes concrete examples. I like that the reader has that job—thus does the wind pull one in.

Mood: Bemoaning cold and bitter plight shows resignation, yet that's immediately followed by Yet as if by spell, blooms burst free.with optimistic hope. A fine pair of moods to play off one another.

POV: Omniscience fits well the poetic theme of nature's progress beyond humanity.

Pace: Smooth, easy. Paced well with telling images to start, then deftly evoking specific notions which connote the progress of seasons.

Rhyme:The pattern of endings worked for me. I liked learning what a slant rhyme was and marveled at your skill in mastering the complex pattern of rhymes and syllable count demanded to meet the contest requirements.

Imagery: Another ring upon each tree perfectly made me see that the repetitive sequence of years is a part of this poem's appreciation of nature.

I had no choice but to assign 5 stars. Having read this poem several times, I know I will again and again. It portrays a truth of rhythmic nature that pleases again and again.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful poet,Amalie Cantor - We Got This!
Bob

He has the facts, but not the phosphorescence of learning.
Emily Dickinson



My Rocking Reviewer Signature

20
20
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Baloney Bill ,
I saw your poem "He Thought For a Moment He Was Rich in our Rockin' Reviewer Poetry Class Contest. I just has to read it. My reflections, a non-poet, follow. Perhaps you will find something useful in them. Of course, if the observations are inappropriate for your intention, ignore them.

Personal Reaction:
*BulletBr* I quite enjoyed reading it. The words, sounds, and sense flowed generally well.

My Favorite Lines And Why:
*BulletBr*Monday morning’s meteoric minute I love the rolling, vibrating hum of the M alliteration.
*BulletBr*The lone runner in this high-income race. It elicited a strong, clear image for me.

Poetic Conventions Used: Your comments below the poem on meeting the contest requirements were clear, except for onomatopoeia—the rendering of a word which evokes the sound the sensation makes. You cite He saw a sparkle on the sidewalk which. I don't see the poetic device there.

Punctuation-Spelling-Grammar:
*BulletBr* You might consider adding a comma after arrived to indicate the phrasing better But when he arrived, it was just a bus
*BulletBr* It might be my ignorance of poetic conventions, but I was surprised that a sentence crossed from stanza 1 to stanza 2.
          He saw a sparkle on the sidewalk which

          Shimmered and glittered like a diamond,


Suggestions to Consider:
*BulletBr*In line 7, it would be great if you could find a term other than blaster which is incongruous to the milieu.
*BulletBr* In my opinion, the last half of takeaway line, no loss, no gain. drifts from your fortune lost theme.

Thank you for sharing your evocative poem, Baloney Bill
Bob

He has the facts, but not the phosphorescence of learning.
Emily Dickinson



My Rocking Reviewer Signature

21
21
Review of Annie  
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (1.0)
Hello, carlton607 . I found your bad writing contest entry "Annie. Since you submitted to a bad writing contest, most of my suggestions will not surprise you.

Please remember, my review is only how I, as an individual, see your piece. Accept what you agree with, ignore that which you disagree with. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful, should you decide to revise your story.

*BulletB* Overall Impression: I applaud you on writing such a difficult-to-digest story. It is rife with poor spelling, grammatical errors, and illogical plot elements.

*BulletB* Characters: You have clearly shown that Annie is frail and something happened to her years ago that still haunts her, yet the reader doesn't know what it is.

*BulletB* Plot: The last sentence is not totally surprising.
Later that morning Annie died and Buster barked sadly at her.
However, the logical link between story action and the conclusion is not offered, leaving me unsatisfied.

*BulletB* Suggestions:
1 It's a worthwhile effort to read your story aloud, perhaps pretending you are telling it to your friends. Consider your opening paragraph.
It was a stormy and dark night and Annie screamed out loud. "Why?" screamed Annie? She was popular and she liked to knit socks in her spare time. Annie worried and was alone in her house.
Do the words roll off your tongue? Would your friends be anxious for what you say next or would they be wondering about what you just said?

2 Meld information with action.
Buster knew that Annie needed help. He barked again when he heard a flash of thunder and Annie pulled the blankets over her face in a quick and scared way. Buster was a mix breed dog and he liked to play.
The shift in the paragraph attention from Buster's and Annie's reaction to the storm to a flat description of Buster is jarring. You might want to consider integrating that description with the action. Perhaps this might trigger your thoughts
Buster, although a playful pet, knew that Annie needed help.

3 The paragraph below is wonderfully full of egregious constructions. Kudos.
The high winds caused Annie to fear a hurricane or a tornado. She was petrified like a peace of old wood. Her face froze in the heat under her covers and she sweat, but she remained calm in spite of what had happened in the past, a past she wanted to forget but she couldn't stop remembering. With those thoughts in her mind she drifted off into a pieceful slumber.
The reversed placement of peace and pieceful delighted me. The ironic narration imagining her a piece of wood, which would not worried by wind was as pleasing as freezing her face with heat. Ending with a thought she couldn’t forget but which the reader isn't given works to frustrate the need for fictional completeness.

*BulletB* Diction, Typos, Spelling:

Thank you for sharing your writing, carlton607 . I'll look for other illustrative entries you may post.
Bob


My Rocking Reviewer Signature

22
22
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, livp .

I found your comedic essay, your first effort in WDC, "So You Think You Can Vote? enjoyable and hope you find this feedback useful.

Please remember, this review is only how I, as an individual, see your piece. Accept what you agree with, ignore that which you disagree with. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*BulletB* Overall Impression: Excellent humor on a germane issue, presidential elections. "I propose a head-to-head battle" made me laugh and ensured I would continue for more of your fresh take on the political landscape.

*BulletB* Thesis: You humorously propose the replacement of the electoral system with a series of TV face-offs, winnowing the candidates with each round, something somber political pundits would never think of. Kudos for originality.

*BulletB* Organization: Logical and easy to follow
          *BulletB* The Jeopardy round to remove those with limited knowledge of government elicits a chuckle, as does your summary, "[N]obody wants an idiot-in-chief." Have you considered many readers may think a slow clicker finger not disqualifying? Some verbal hand-waving to mitigate that concern might serve your essay.
          *BulletB* Your Bachelor question, “What is the one thing you would not want your fellow candidates to find out about you?” makes me laugh every time I read it.
          *BulletB* During their Living with the Candidates week, the difficulty caused by candidates "so frequently change their promises" hits directly at a real problem of veracity.

*BulletB* Style:
          *BulletB* You might consider synchronizing your terms and the order of them. For example, "American Idol, the Bachelor, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and Jeopardy" starts in the second paragraph, but American Idol is not used below. Since your essay develops the Jeopardy round first, it eases things for the reader if it is also mentioned first in the list. While I reading, I thought of them as Jeopardy Politics, the Want-to-Bes, and Living with the Candidates.
          *BulletB* More white space would have made my reading easier, perhaps blank lines between paragraphs and/or a few subheadings.
          *BulletB* A spelling and grammar check would have caught typos like "top fives candidates" and "theAmerican voter."

Thank you for sharing your essay, livp . I hope to see more of your fresh humor. Write On!


23
23
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, Ametorpe . I enjoyed reading your story "An Act of kindness (Writer's Cramp) submitted for a Writers Cramp contest.

Please remember, a review is only how I, as an individual reader, see your piece. Accept what you agree with, ignore that which you disagree with. Any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*BulletB* Overall Impression: You pulled me right into the Lizzie's life.
The snippet "of Lorraine's hands and legs were hanging off the edge of the bed. Lizzy entered and placed her properly" forced my mind to recall when my children were little and placed me over Lizzie's shoulder. Also, when in mid night, she saw "the silent shadow of the neighbour’s dog prowling the yard", that put me right in the story.

The song prompts were seamlessly laced into the story. When Dela answered, "Nowhere man, nowhere." It was perfectly placed. Bravo.

*BulletB* Plot: The chaos, confusion, and fear in the family after multiple explosions in the neighborhood is something you capture, which I had a minor glimpse into two years ago when a gas pipe exploded rattling me and my den. Your story gets at a stunning event which can test what a person is made of.

*BulletB* Setting: I especially like getting dropped into the environment where regular electricity is a fresh improvement and yet the character motives and desires remain those of all humanity.

*BulletB* Suggestions: Of course this is merely my impression, but the story started as Lizzie's then shifted to Dela, and ended on the sheriff. You might consider having the same events by all filtered through Lizzie's changing perspective caused by the night's events. Here's an example: "Dela put Lorraine down and asked her to stay with her mother. He removed stone after stone till the boy's legs were free." You could, if you elected to, have Lizzie proactively request her daughter, so that her always helpful husband could assist the boy. Similarly, Lizzie earlier could muse about the need for guard dogs because of the lax sheriff and then at the end, note her opinion of the sheriff changed. Just two thoughts to consider.

By the way, what is a P.O.P ceiling?

Although they did not detract from my pleasure in entering your story world, consider capitalization in the title 'An Act of [K]indness" and not in "helter [s]kelter.

Thank you for taking me to another world, Ametorpe . Write On!

24
24
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Great to see the different authorial personalities coloring alternating sections.
25
25
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Great feeling to "Joanie's Blue Crab Cafe." I especially enjoyed the use of Tamiami Trail.

I see that it is a hoary treat from a decade ago, but to a Newbie it's as tasty as a fresh caught crab.

If you still visit this byway, thank you, ridinghhood.


bob
Ari Lox


37 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 2 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/bobinusa