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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/bobinusa/sort_by/r.review_creation_time+DESC/sort_by_last/r.review_creation_time+DESC/page/2
Review Requests: ON
89 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
26
26
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

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27
27
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
28
28
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



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29
29
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Billy Joe ,
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, Billy Joe
Bob

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



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30
30
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


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31
31
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!


32
32
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!

33
33
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Great to see the different authorial personalities coloring alternating sections.
34
34
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


35
35
Review of Making it Work  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: E | (4.5)
Very good read with a light touch. Enjoyed it.
36
36
Review by Ari Lox
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Lady Holly.
Thank you for the opportunity to read "His Kiss." This young adult story is in a close vein to one I have written in.

*StarGr* Bullet} Overall Impression: I found the story enjoyable, a pleasant read with only a couple spots causing me to stumble.

*StarGr* Favorite Aspect: The flashbacks showing the complicated evolution of Henry and Mark's antimosity. They flowed well.

*StarGr* Characters, Plot, Story Comments: Henry, as a nickname for Henrietta, is one I'm not used to here, in the states. I had to remind myself that Henry's a girl.
In opening scene we often are in Mark's head. That had me identifying with him, then you switched to Henry's point of view who turns to be the lead character. I would have preferred a single POV throughout.
Two more quick points. The lack of setting description in the initial paragraphs had me envisioning a cupboard in a house, not in some science lab, which is much more interesting than my presumption. Also, without any immediate cue to ages, I must admit I thought them acting young, than later events developed.

*StarGr* Spelling, Grammar, or Punctuation: N/A.

Lady Holly, I enjoyed "His Kiss" and look forward to the next chapter.
Bob

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37
37
Review of Paris  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi, Sumojo }.
Thank you for the opportunity to read "Paris."
I'm using my PDG review template, although perhaps for others I shouldn't use it until I complete their courses.

*Bullet* Overall Impression: I like the feel and atmosphere that you captured.

*Bullet* Favorite Aspect: You capture Celeste's emotions, concerns, and ambiguities well.

*Bullet* Characters, Plot, Story Comments: I felt cheated not seeing something of her fighting at the climax. Also, I didn't pick up until then that her father had showed her some excellent self-defense moves.
Just a thought. You might consider a more concrete reference to her father's role in her earlier musings, then her referencing that technique when the light is out.

*Bullet* Spelling, Grammar, or Punctuation: Very minor. Shouldn't twenty two be twenty-two?

I look forward to reading other of your stories.
Bob My Rocking Reviewer Signature
38
38
Review of Fog  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Interesting fragment, William. Not a short story in my view - an opening, rather than a story.
So many mentions of Bobby before we discover any specifics of the person holding his hand made her unveiling as his date a long-coming reveal. Not bad, just a crafty curiosity as to the choice.
The question the story raises for me was why Bobby left her in the fog. If the culmination includes a insight into his character, the story could be very satisfying. As it is, he calls her a dummy hardly the sentiment of a suitor.
I hope my frank opinion gives you something worthwhile to chew on for your future writing.
Bob
39
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Review of AMY FOSTER  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: E | (3.5)
Emilia Lanza,
I enjoyed picked up your story. You have a nice way in some passages.
The format of your story made it difficult for me to lose myself in it. If a story is single spaced, then I expect indentation of the next paragraph. Without that, it's tiring.
But don't let that technical issue throw you, keep writing.
40
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Review by Ari Lox
Rated: E | (4.0)
Good solid story, Catch-up Fyn.
Clear, easy to follow, and made this reader want to see what Sarah's story would be.
It's minor, but IMO a tag describing Kelly would have eased the dialog identification where Kelly first speaks.

41
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Review of Backwards  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: E | (3.5)
Welcome, FeatherPoetry.
If I understand, you are a newbie too. Welcome. I've been on the site only 2 weeks myself.
I like the backward thrust of your story. I got into the rhythm of it, but I couldn't make good sense of
the ending.
You can't change what will happen, but you are fifteen minutes early. The significance of that eluded me.
I look forward to more of your writings.
Bob
42
42
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Interesting story with close parallels to today's US political situation. It reads pretty smooth.
The story lacks a convincing argument over the force field. Why did one side want it so badly and the other side so despise it?
Then to have Kallik kill Dimcea, not because of a dispute over the force field, but for personal aggrandizement, undercuts the theme of the story.
Despite that, you did a good job with 1800 words. Keep writing.


43
43
Review of When Ends Meet  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Good try and keep trying.
The story flowed fairly well, but the characters didn't have back stories that would motivate their actions. They did things because the story demanded them, not because their characters forced them to act that way. Until the dangers and tensions are lined to character emotions, the story will fail to evoke emotional reactions from readers.
Anyhow, that's my two cents.
44
44
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Well-told bleak story, especially after the opening.

I had to puzzle through the meaning of the first sentence and a couple more. After "Moments later, the supervisor ...", I was totally in the story.

Copy alert: the paragraph starting "Despite a sour whiff ..." is doubled.

Thanks for relating a difficult situation facing first-responders


45
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Review of Antonia  
Review by Ari Lox
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
"Antonia" is the first story I read on this site. A very smooth, enjoyable journey into a life style outside my experience.

With its short length, the character development and motivation are necessarily circumscribed.

An excellent story to introduce this site.
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