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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/bumblegrum
Review Requests: OFF
439 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I'm discursive and I want to have a conversation with the writer. I'm not keen on "checklist" ways of reviewing, and as a result, some of my reviews are quite long. I like to focus on the positives and highlight the good points, but if a piece is obviously "sloppy", I won't hesitate to look closely at it. I won't be deliberately negative and NEVER cruel, malicious, abusive or intolerant. These are definite no-nos. I can be a bit of a wimp about this, and I would rather not do a review than focus on a piece's shortcomings.
I'm good at...
Looking at how a story builds to its climax and then to it's end. Good characterisation is important as is the strength of the story idea. I look for the internal logic of the story - that it follows a predictable pattern; not that the outcome is predictable, but that we can see what's happening. While not a grammar/spelling/punctuation fiend, I do look for obvious errors, but not let that have too big a bearing on my rating. I love happy endings, but that never influences my reviews.
Favorite Genres
Romance/love, Erotica, Relationships, Philosophy, Psychology, Family - more to come.
Least Favorite Genres
Fashion, Food/cooking, Religious. But almost anything else
Favorite Item Types
Watch this space
Least Favorite Item Types
Watch this space.
I will not review...
There's nothing I won't review; if you can write it, I'll review it. I will, in fact, review anything, but I'm better at some than others (see my favourite genres).
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... Next
1
1
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Johnny.

This is horror fiction of a high order, and although this isn't one of my preferred genera, I enjoy quality horror stories. Of which this is one. You have taken a simple idea (turning humans into androids) and developed it smoothly and with appropriate tension and story line. I'd like to know a little more about Mark; how come he lives in this isolated world; what drives him, does he have relationships, etc.

The story works well, but I have a few minor technicalities to mention. In the last two sentences you appear to have switched tense from past to present. I would suggest (and it is ONLY my suggestion - take as much or little notice of it as you please) changing "But a disobedient android was of no use to anyone, especially when it couldn’t follow simple instructions. An error that must have been fixed for the next test run."

I would also like to suggest a couple of grammatical changes; in paragraph two, "Mark's curiosity was peaked." should really read, Mark's curiosity was piqued.

Then later, "his body is forced down" should be "his body was forced down" again, a tense change issue. These are really pretty minor points, a pedant picking away at form rather than content. The content is excellent, and I commend you for a fascinating story. If you are interested in the horror genre, I recommend checking out stories by Angus ; he makes my nose hair curl

Thank you for your story,Johnny, and in true WdC fashion, keep on writing.

Regards

An angel appears to be rising from the fire.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi krichmond

Thank you for an interesting glimpse of life in Southern California. I was brought up in suburban London (England) around 70 years ago, so my experience is quite different from yours. But there are some fleeting similarities - the kids who terrorise and the kids who are terrorised. I can identify with that.

Now, about your story, and these comments are in no order of importance. Please try to avoid the word “that “. It’s weak, and there are stronger alternatives. For example, “There was one family that for whatever reason ...” and “... and a younger son that seemed to be our age.” In both cases, try substituting “who” for “that “. You are emphasising humanity rather than a rather ambiguous entity. In fact, you can often ignore “that” altogether, although it won’t work in either of these examples. Secondly, I know that You use capitals for emphasis, but it’s not really necessary. The context and your choice of language should carry the message.

I found “... this pile of a person that they tried to reassemble ...” to be a very strong statement conveying the inherent tragedy behind the words. By the way, this is somewhere where you can leave the “that” out entirely without sacrificing any of the power of what you’re saying.

One other thing springs to mind. I would be interested to know what happened about your relationship with the younger brother after his brother had been injured. Could be an interesting development here for you to consider. Even though this is based on fact, you can tweak the story to give it extra impact and holding power. Remember, you are a story-tellerand you can easily take a bunch of basic facts and spin them into any sort of tale you like. For instance, what happened with the boys’ mother.? How did she cope? Did she start a relationship with one of the cops? Did the guy(s) who beat up the older brother ever get caught? What happened to him/them? The possibilities are almost endless, and replete with ideas for the development of the story. In fact, this could be the core of a full length book. Just let your imagination run with it.

One other thing, your story sounds almost autobiographical. There is a line between fiction and biography, and you need to be aware of you start to cross it. In fiction, the story is largely, “made up”, coming from your own imagination. Biography/autobiography is essentially factual, so you are dealing with the real lives of real people. So, be careful.

Thank you, krichmond for a very enjoyable story. Keep up the good work, and keep on writing.

Regards

Bumblegrum
"The Fiery Angel



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Just $29.95  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi Angus. Reviewing your stories is always a challenge, mainly because they’re so very good (I wanted to use a different word from ‘very’ but thought better of it!) Let me just say that this fits the definition very well. This is a true horror story, told in a modern idiom, something I think most of us can identify with. But wait, there’s more! You’ve managed to blur the lines between reality and fantasy very effectively, and given the reader plenty of nightmare material. Fortunately, I don’t.suffer from insomnia. If I did, this story would lead to yet more sleeplessness, and i’d Have to make sure the TV was turned off. And lock all the knives away!

Thank you, Angus, yet another outstanding horror story. Please keep on writing and I’ll keep on reading - and reviewing! And I will resist the temptation to send you GPs.


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4
4
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
One has to comment on this, having been acculturated in London. It’s beautifully observed, although why a gecko I have no idea. Maybe, if you pull it’s tail orff, it grows another one.

This is rather similar to a persistent ad on Aus TV for hotel choices (Trivago). In one of the ads, two female characters mouth “Trivago” in what I, to my disgust, would call an Essex accent. I was acculturated (here we go again) an I gotta tell you, my accent is/was nothing like that.

Might one also make a minuscule suggestion as to your wording. The phrase “an ‘orl” might be pronounced “a norl” with a soft “a” almost from the back of the froat. As I suspected you and I share a common heritage, although I wound up on opposite sides of the world. Thank you for this highly entertaining and sadly accurate piece. Anyone who has been baffled by the “Lunnun” accent should read this, aloud. Then they might get an inkling of what it’s all about.

One salutes you for your accurate insights and hopes that you will keep on writing. PS This rhyming slang habit has taken root in Australia. What would yo imagine “dead ‘orse” to be?


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5
5
Review of Rainy days  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Yes indeed, E, There’s an Anglo saying, “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” So rainy days in the Punjab are very similar to rainy days in South Australia.

Yours is a lovely little poem, E, I wish I knew more about you - how about filling out your bio block? I do so agree with you, dance in the rain and let it wash away the pain of yesterday. Too many people hold onto that pain, unwilling to let it go, almost as if it is a special artefact that mustn’t be lost. It’s rather like people who keep the ashes of loved ones on their mantelpiece. Why? Let them go!

Your blank verse doesn’t leave itself open to any real criticism. I’d be pretty certain that English isn’t your first language, so you’ve done a good job of using it. I hope you build on this and keep on writing.


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6
6
Review of The Break-Up  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi Ms Penguin

Good to see you writing again, and this is a nice, compact exploration of domestic violence. His fault, no doubt, but ... Does the punishment fit the crime? IMHO, no, not really. I don’t know the US legal systems, but in Aus, it would probably be a charge of manslaughter (just as an aside, I sometimes wonder if that can be interpreted as “man’s laughter”. But I suppose not). She’d probably get a custodial sentence, but not too savage. And, at least she’s well rid of the idiot!

Thank you, Ms P for a well written story. I couldn’t find any major problems with the grammar, syntax, spelling or punctuation, but it was written somewhat using your way of speaking. None the worse for that! Now you’re back writing, please, keep up the good work.


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7
7
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi Kay. Thank you for your intriguing item reminding us that the limits of our mindset are self-imposed. It is important to realise this, and not attempt to blame our limitations on ‘the other’, be that is a h partner, a parent, or even the government. We are free to soar like eagles (although I recently saw this cynical comment, “you can soar like an eagle, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines!.”). Funnily enough, there is some truth in this, don’t limit your mindset but be aware of the environment through which you are growing..

But, William Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, Beethoven, Mozart, Einstein, Stephen Hawking all demonstrated unlimited mindsets. But, then so do, for instance, Olympia athletes who submit themselves to years of rigorous training, not subjecting themselves to limited mindsets. The world is full of examples of this pushing; many disabled people seek and achieve seemingly impossible goals. IMHO, you make too much of seeming physical limitations, and many of these depend on knowledge at any given time. Copernicus and Galilep broadened the frontiers of human knowledge, although it took many years for their ideas to be accepted.. and Isaac Newton exploded those frontiers, as did Albert Einstein.

It is impossible to argue with the pure physical reality of the first two verses of your poem. But you then go on to ask, “Why do we people limit ourselves by our mindset?” I’m not at all sure there is a necessary connectin between physical reality and human mental/emotional functioning. Then your last two lines state,”Failure to improve your mentality is the failure to rise above your level. For no one in life can ever rise above his state of mind.” On the face of it, these two statements appear to be self-contradictory, unless you are distinguishing between your mentality and your state of mind.

The concepts ‘mentality’ and ‘state of mind’ are rather difficult to define, mainly because they depend so much on individual differences. My state of mind is quite different from yours, as is my mentality. So the possibility of variation is virtually infinite.

Thank you for this piece, it sets out your philosophy well. You have stated a range of physical imperatives that really can’t be challenged and you have set out to make an equivalence with human behaviour. I think there may be some difficulty with that process because humans are all different. So, I look forward to more of your work; write on.


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8
8
Review of Him and Her.  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (2.5)
Hi Pen Wielder. Your first erotica, and it does read that way. Just in passing, I suggest you should rate this as XGC rather than 18+ for it covers most of the bas3s in submissive pornography. Don’t get me wrong, your writing is very explicit, and the reader is in no possible doubt about what is happening. We don’t know the true relationship between these two people - she refers to him several times as “daddy”. If she is, indeed his daughter, this takes it to another level, that of incest.

Like I said, you covered many although not all the bases of a sub/dom relationship. None of us can get away with just throwing a bunch of four letter words at the screen and calling it erotica. I like to know about the characters, who they are and what drives them; how did they come to be in this place. IMHO, the best erotica is part of a more complex encompassing story. So tell me a story about these two, how it is that she wants to submit to him and lose her independence. As it is, we know little about her and less about him. There is a limited story line and no perceivable plot, but the action is all there in specific detail. Tell you reader more about your characters.

But there’s more to it than this. Again, good erotica, at least the specific interactions are short and to the point. I noted that several of your sentences are very long. There’s a sentence in paragraph 7 with 55 words and in the final paragraph, by my count, 64 words. IMHO far too long. Let’s just take the sentence in the last paragraph in detail, “He smiled with glee and started thrusting the big rod in and out, it slid so smoothly because she was dripping wet, even each thrust forced out some of her lubricant and issued lots of wet noises and suction sounds, today she’s at her peak, the man thought to himself, his member getting even harder and ready for the prospect of the real penetration.”

Let’s break that down., although I want to emphasise that these are only mu suggestions , and not an absolute statement of accuracy. So, “He smiled with glee. Thrusting the big rod in and out slid so smoothly because she was dripping wet. Each thrust forced out some of her lubricant. This caused lots of wet noises and suction sounds. Today she’s at her peak, the man thought to himself. This caused his member to get ever harder and ready for the prospect of the real penetration.” This would break it down to six sentences, more punchy and each covering a separate concept. erotica needs to be like that - don’t leave the reader

I’m not really a grammar/punctuation maven, but I do want to comment on one or two points. So, for instance, “and lied down on her back” should be, “and lay down on her back”. I don’t think she was telling any porkies. Then we have a change of tense. You are in the past tense but suddenly we read, “But her body IS utterly submissive” should be, “nut her body was utterly submissive.””.

Pen wielder, I would encourage you to visit one of Northernwrites excellent articles, Fiction Basics: Speech paragraphs at (b-item:1904853). Northernwrites portfolio is an Aladdin’s cave for any writer; she is so generous in making all her expertise available:

Okay, Pen Wielder, I don’t think I can go much further. In a brief summary, you have created a distinctive dom/sub piece, unquestionably erotic.. IMHO it would benefit from having a story woven round it, and keep your story in short punchy sentence paragraphs. That said, thank you for your story and, keep on writing


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9
9
Review of The House Elf  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Once again, Bill, you hit the jackpot. A lovely piece of children’s fiction. The story line is complete from the first discovery to the meeting between the two elves. You’ve left an intriguing little tag, right at the end, and I hope you write the next part soon. You have an ability to move from a sweet story for children to the depths of horror, eg The Picture Of Carolina Stump. Back to this story, the plot is clear Theo, the House Elf forms the relationship with Billy, climax, the arrival of another family, anticlimax, Theo meets Rebecca. And, as usual, your cha caters are beautifully drawn and entirely believable.

A great story again, thank you so much, Bill - there is almost always a W D Wilcox story in the daily Newsfeed, and one I can’t resist. Why aren’t W D Wilcox stories in bookshops across the land ??


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10
10
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hi Petra

Thank you for this challenging item; I find it difficult to review because, basically I agree with you.

Let me briefly state my position. I limit incest to sexual intercourse between consenting adults (over the age of 18). Below the age of 18 it becomes child abuse. Now intercourse, but not necessarily marriage, is legal in New Jersey and I think, Delaware. But also the following countries, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Estonia, France, India, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, South Korea, Spain and a few others.

The issue of insanity is rather misleading. The real problem is in genetic interaction. If one set of genes is flawed and it interacts with another set of flawed genes, genetic anomalies may arise. This can happen with extensive inbreeding, and a good example is the Habsburg dynasty in the German states of the 18 th and 19 th centuries. The extensive interbreeding between related members of the family led to more than their fair share of genetic abnormalities. And the heir to the Russian throne was a ‘bleeder’, he suffered from haemophilia. Even the British royal family was not immune. The ‘forgotten prince’, Prince John, was born in 1905 and died in 1919. He had suffered from epilepsy and autism and was hidden away from public view . He was the youngest brother of King George VI, who had his own problems - see the movie, The Kings Speech.

So what we’re talking about is not really insanity but genetic abnormalities that surface through generations of inbreeding. It is highly unlikely that a single act of intimacy between two related people would produce a genetically deformed offspring. Think about it, the number of children born with genetic abnormalities to non-related parents is quite high. And I suspect that most of the consenting adults come together not to breed but for mutual comfort and succour.

Petra, the literature is extensive and I would encourage you to explore it in a little more detail. There s no evidence, I think to suggest that incest leads to insanity; inbreeding may lead to genetic abnormalities over time and there is clear evidence of this. You are right that many legislations forbid any form of incest, but, on the other hand, many accep consenting adults in an incestual relationship.

Thank you,Petra, you wrote from the heart, and that’s okay. You do one yourself to the critic who claims you don’t know what you are talking about (not this reviewer) ,, but you are clearly passionate about this subject. Good for you; you might like to season your writing with a little more hard research, and that will make it even more powerful. So, keep on writing!.


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11
11
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
Hi Simone. Thank you for this poem; it’s self-evidently love poetry of a specific kind. Dedicated to the one you love, I wonder if this is really for public consumption or should it be deliberately aimed t “the one”. This is truly “in your face”; maybe it is meant to be, but there are ways of “covering” the raw emotion of your piece to make it even more potent.

I would suggest you look at Shakespeares Sonnet No. 18, perhaps his most famous. It begins:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day
Thou art more lovely and more temperate

But I would focus on the last six lines, particularly the last two

But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st
Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou gravest
So long as thou can breathe or eyes can see
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you should try to be a second Shakespeare, just that you could “cover” some of the raw emotion, and by doing so, make it even more powerful.

I’m certainly not going to rewrite your poem; that would be arrogance of a high order. But let’s just take the last few lines:

You makes me love myself
Which I can never thank you enough for
I just really like you
Is what I’m trying to say.

Okay, so you might try something like this:

This golden fire through every pore
Engulfs me, and I know the source
And bless him for it.
Words are not enough
But that source lives in me
Vital and eternal, flooding my senses
And flowing back towards that source
My strong, bright, radiant love.

Now that’s my weak attempt to suggest how you might, and I stress might, be a fraction less direct in your writing.

I’m not going to attempt to comment on the structure of your poem. Free verse, having neither rhyme or any form of rhythm, is almost prose. In fact, with very little alteration, you could turn your poem into a love letter. Grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation leave little to be desired. All that said, I would be delighted to read/receive something as openly loving and caring as this poem.

Thank you again, Simone, I sense you are young, maybe a student. As 77 year old male Anglo-Australian, lying in a hospital bed, we are very much opposites. So could I encourage you to complete your Bio block. It helps reviewers, well this one, anyway, to get a sense of who the writer is, which can help to tailor a review.
So keep on writing, and very best wishes.



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12
12
Review of The Great Secret  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I’m not going to do a big review of this, I can only say that I found it a powerful, demanding piece of writing. I’m 100% with Jack Finch and neuro-biological research will tend to support that. You’ve made the case clearly nd without emotion to cloud your case.

I’m not going to comment on grammar, syntax or any of that stuff, save to say I reckon it was all pretty well perfect. Thank you for a real “keeper” - you’ve done it again!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review of NOT ENOUGH  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Angus, how are you today?

One of the things that, IMHO, makes you a fine author, is your ability to write convincingly in many genres. Horror, obviously, "Alias Colt Dawson" and now this genuine gem.

You and I are of different generations, different countries. I remember 1962 and the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the genuine threat of nuclear annihilation. That said, it was a time where parents were less concerned about kids' safety and the music was about love; Beatles etc. all you need is love; she loves you (yeah, yeah, yeah!)

Your points are not invalid - but. I now need what youse guys refer to as a "cane" - arthritis having got its claws into me. So I walk slowly and often need to stop. I am amazed at how many people will stop and ask me if I'm OK and offer to help. I don't need help (yet) but I am always touched by people's kindness, and thank them profusely. This tends to result in smiles on both sides.

The other thing I am acutely aware of is when shop assistants and service people wear name badges. I always use their name if only when thanking them for their assistance. This guarantees a smile on both sides, and I feel good out that. And I think, generally, they do too.

I think these, and the examples you have given, are perfect examples of the prescription to think globally and act locally. I agree with you that we need more kindness, more civility. There are many reasons for the changes, but, like many older persons (old codgers if you like *Laugh* ) I'm inclined to blame the spread of technology. We don't talk face to face nearly so much any more, or talk on the telephone. Instead, it's all Facebook and txt messages. And anonymity offers opportunities for vicious, downright nasty messages.

WdC is a venue that offers lots of opportunities for kindness and compassion. We see that all the time in groups, Newsfeeds, e-mails etc. Long may it prosper. And long may you prosper, Angus, my friend. Keep on writing, have a good day and

Warm regards

Special sig designed for messages to Jay


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14
14
Review of Celebration!  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Angus.
No, I can't take this just in jest because I sincerely hope it comes true. The man is dangerous, the Republican Party wholly short-sighted and the Democrats stuck in the past. Never mind, I found this a delightful piece of satire.
Part of the problem is that the political system has become so internally focused that the parties can't see past their own needs. And it's exactly the same in Australia. With the exception of 2% indigenous people, everybody here are either "boat people" or descended from them.
You've constructed a powerful little story, highlighting many of the fears of many people. But unfortunately, there are still people who believe he is the next Messiah. Hopefully your prediction contains germs of truth.
Thank you Angus, this is a little gem - I know I don't need to say this, but, keep on writing!
Warm regards
An angel appears to be rising from the fire.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I love it. You have captured all the important elements of our traditional Christmas, and bunged in some of the usual suspects from WdC.written, I think, entirely for its fun component, you deliver very effectively; the laughs come easily and in appropriate places.

There's a satisfying plot about what will happen if Santa is indisposed, and his mum steps into the breach with bustling efficiency. The reindeer are poised and ready to go without any problems - they seem pretty self-sufficient, probably because they have done all this before. I have to say that that silly pup knocked the tree down entirely without any urging on my part, but sneaky Steve dobbed me in. I'll get him for that, see if I don't.

Sonali, you have created a happy little Christmas story, well spiced with recognisable WdC characters, all with very positive roles to play. Thank you for this lovely seasonal invention; a cheerful and charming read. Could easily be submitted for a Christmas contest with a good chance of winning. Thank you.


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16
16
Rated: E | (5.0)
I'm never quite sure exactly how this works, but I want to send a bunch of GPs to Project Write World. Okay, so here they are.
17
17
Review of The Eyes Have It  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Angus

We know you and know what to expect, so when you add a delicious twist in the tail, it is even more effective.

Thank you for an excellent slice of life (if I may put it that way). You create an "Angusian" expectation with the character of Josh, only to discover at the end that all he's been doing is peeling potatoes. Although why he should need a twelve inch butcher knife for that job, I don't know. And pizza, applesauce and sushi for breakfast? What about muffins? What happened to the fricassee of brains? (Now there's an idea for a story!)

Angus, this is well up to your usual standard, and I really enjoyed the twist in the tail. Well done, and thank you for another enjoyable read. I,d encourage you to keep on writing, but I also know that nothing will stop you.

Warm regards

~~Image ID# 1904344's Content Rating Exceeds Item Content Rating~~


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18
18
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Anika

Your Aunt Sonali encouraged me to provide some feedback on this piece, especially as I live in Australia; I understand you are visiting here, too, and I hope you are enjoying your stay.

Now, about your "Eva Peron Monologue". This was obviously written for performance, and I ought to say that, personally, I much prefer to see "plays" performed rather than read them. That said, I was impressed by your writing. You have provided a penetrating insight into the final days of Evita's life in a way that draws the reader in to her central belief, namely her concern for the "descamisados" of Argentina. Although I don't speak Spanish, I understand that this literally means, "those without shirts", a term that became identified with the followers of her husband, Juan Peron, and later with Evita herself.

You have said that this is a non-linear piece, and so it is. At the same time, there are two powerful themes threaded through it. Firstly, the scarf, the purely physical representation that appears with great relevance in each scenario. Secondly, the theme of her love for the people of Argentina, focusing on the descaminados. This has been the central theme of her life, and remains powerfully persuasive at her death.

Again, I should say that I would like to see this performed, but the words carry a vital message concerning the life and death of Eva Peron, her beliefs and her passion. This is all the more remarkable in that it remains potent today, sixty-four years after her death.

Anika, I have a few quite minor comments about the "mechanics" of this piece - spelling, punctuation, grammar, word choice, etc. To me, the most obvious of these is that you appear to have two paragraphs numbered 4. The first starts "Angry with Military" and the second, "SFC cheering". I also note there is no paragraph numbered 6. You may need to re-number your paragraphs. On the latter subject, I don't know what SFC is. Now, that may be entirely due to my ignorance, but in case there are others in the same situation, you might want to spell that out.

A couple of minor points about word choice. You have said, "Yes I deserve this, signor." As Argentina is a Spanish speaking country, you might want to use "senor" as "signor" is the Italian equivalent. And you have said, "Oh clement, oh loving one" in Eva's prayer to Mary. Now, I understand the meaning of "clement" but it is a little archaic. If I was writing this (which I'm not, so feel completely free to ignore me *BigSmile*) I would have said "merciful" or something like that.

All these little quibbles aside, I believe you have created a powerful and memorable performance piece. I hope it is the success that it deserves, and you have a great champion in your Aunt Sonali.

Regards

Abstract impression of a clock


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19
19
Review of The Job  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi Angus

I really ought to resist the dreadful temptation of reading your stories because I KNOW they're going to be gruesome, grotesque and gory. Not my thing at all - I like sweet, tender romances that end happily ever after. And I suspect you would be highly insulted if I suggested you should write something like that.

Problem is, your stories are so damn good, and this is certainly no exception. The story is compact and without any extraneous material. Bear collects living specimens and keeps sandy for the specific purpose of dissecting the bodies, regardless of whether they are, at that point, actually dead. The sub-plot, the hidden agenda, is that Bear and/or Sandy then eat the remains, or the most tender and tasty bits. Now you've got me thinking like you!

Angus, you have compressed the maximum horror into a tense and gripping scenario. We feel that Sandy has no option but to do Bear's bidding, but does she ...? Hmmm.

Thank you, Angus. Another first class piece of horror writing. Like Sandy, I feel compelled to keep on sampling your wares!!

Warm regards

Special sig designed for messages to Jay


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
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Review of New Year  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi Moarzjasac

As requested, I am (at long last) reviewing this item in your portfolio. I'd like to emphasize the fact that these are solely my opinions and have no more weight than you may choose to attach to them

I must confess I have some difficulty providing a review for an item you have characterised as a c-note. Writing.com defines them as:

"Community Notes (cNotes) are virtual greeting cards designed by and organised into collections of varying themes, images and wording for different occasions by Upgraded members and above" (Community Note (cNote) in Writing.Com 101 "Writing.Com 101)"

IMHO, c notes tend to be brief, most often with a picture of some kind, indeed sometimes just the picture with space for the sender to add their own comments. If I was creating a c note of this kind (which I'm not, so if you disagree, you, too, have a delete button), I would have limited it to the last sentence, "May this year be the best experience of your lifetime." although you might well choose to preface this with "Life is how you choose to define the things that happen."

My point is not to argue with your wisdom or, indeed, to criticise the content of your creation. However, as you may see by making a survey of existing c notes, they are general short and designed to carry a brief message of support, congratulations, comfort, compassion, humour or encouragement. I suppose my main point here is that, very much IMHO, less is more.

I should also comment on the Creole French tag, "Le Bon Ton Roulier." As I don't speak Creole French, and I doubt whether too many other WdC folk do, I headed straight for Google which identified "Le Bon Ton Roulet" as, "May the good times roll". A very relevant sentiment, but you run the risk of confusing people who are not familiar with the saying. And I guess the Roulier/Roulet distinction may be a local variant.

Another point I will make concerns the sentiment, "Too soon oldt too late schmart!" I was immediately reminded of a book, "Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart" by Dr Gordon Livingston, published in 2008, a book for which I have a great deal of respect, although the sentiment is probably well-worn folk wisdom.

Moarzjasac, I don't want to give the impression that I believe you shouldn't create this c note - I can't and won't. But it may help to consider who you believe will use this creation and under what circumstances.

Thank you again for the opportunity to review this item and, to use the traditional WdC sentiment, Write On

Regards

Abstract impression of a clock
21
21
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Moarzjasac

This is a very personal, subjective look at the moon, its influence and its effect on the writer, in an idiosyncratic piece of free verse..

As such, this makes providing an objective review quite difficult. It starts with the moon's light as it embraces places and the haunts of animals. Then we wait for sufficient light to paint the colours of the moon as it rises and shines into the secret places that are the moon's alone.

And then the moon flowers, the moon scent, the moonlight dance and moonstones and Labradorite. Finally, the moon yields place, waiting for another night to reveal her mystery.

The poem seems enigmatic, paining pictures in moonlight. And :

The Moon drags her satin sheets
Across my naked skin hiding
My ignorance as I wander
Fitfully through the darkness below.


Thus, the author finds himself "moonstruck" but entranced by the cool beauty of moonlight and recognisisng its subjugation to the sun.

Moarzjasac, this is clearly a deeply personal experience, and one that conveys an intense feeling for the effects and influence of the moon. I could find no mechanical issues,(spelling, grammar, syntax or punctuation) worthy of mentions, and I'm very grateful to you for the opportunity to read and comment on this piece.

Regards

Abstract impression of a clock


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review of The Maybe's  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Jen

Thank you for publishing this poem. Poignant, potent and supremely important, it carries a message that cannot be understated. I can't remember who made this statement, but, "In life there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences."

You have highlighted, with merciless precision one of the iron rules of this life. Everything we do - or don't do - is a choice. And for every choice there are consequences. And is we have any smarts at all, we will consider the likely consequences. It ought to go without saying (but far to often, it doesn't) that if you drink alcohol, you don't drive. Doubly, triply, by a factor of hundreds, if you have innocent children in the car.

Jen, this is such a moving and important poem that I hesitate to make any adverse comment. But that's never stopped me in the past *Blush*. My problem is with some of the cadences in some lines. I know it is impertinent to try and revise other people's writing, particularly poetry, so I shall have no problem if you completely ignore these comments:

"She picked it up, and began swirling it around." Try, "She picked it up, and then began to swirl the booze around."

"Knowing if she drank it, she'd hit bottom ground". Try putting "soon" between "she'd" and "hit".

"Telling her to come back and play the game". IMHO (and this is all very much IMHO) it might run a little more smoothly as, "Telling her to come on back and to play the game"

"She promised to herself, it's just a few sips". Try "She promised to herself, now, just a few more sips."

"Slipping behind the wheel, her hands slightly unsteady". Try substituting "were quite" for "slightly".

"full of laughs and chatters". You could drop the "s" off "chatters" for a better rhyme with "matter".

"Her eyes are getting drowsy, her head starts spinning
Glancing up in the mirror, her kids back there grinning". Maybe replace "starts" with "has started" and insert "now" after "mirror", and then insert "are" after "kids".

"She tried to jerk the wheel, to do anything that she can". IMHO, leaving out "that" makes this line run more smoothly.

Jen, my sincere apologies if it feels as if I've torn your poem to shreds. I don't think I've changed the message, which remains so important. I hope, however, that my suggestions make some kind of sense in setting the rhythm of the words. But, as I said, you are perfect liberty to ignore everything I wrote.

Thank you for this genuinely significant piece, and I really do hope you write on.

Regards

Abstract impression of a clock


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Angus

No, this isn't Rhonda, not even remotely like her *Pthb*.

I don't normally start a review with the more contentious stuff, and I can say I was enthralled by your story - and shaken by it as well. However, you asked a serious question, and my serious answer is, no, I don't think you need the coda. For a horror story, IMHO "Forever and ever" works well just by itself.

If you were writing a straight romance (good heavens, the very idea of Angus writing a romance has me watching for the flying pigs *Shock2*), it may have some value in tying up a loose end. But not this time; you've stunned us with the ending as it should be - no need to gild the lily.

All that said, I do have a couple of suggestions. You might find it effective to finish like this:

"Tiffany forgives me, and now we are together.

Forever.

And ever."

I'd even substitute the final "ever" with "always" but that would spoil the title.

I did like the idea of the final clap of thunder; maybe you could work it in this way:

"Our fingers intertwine, and a loud clap of thunder violently shakes the ground."

Angus, let me repeat, I did like this story. It has the trademark Angus build-up through a plot that focuses on jealousy and a driven desire for redemption. The character of Angus (no relation, I'm sure *Smirk2*) is clear from the outset. He sees himself as a loser, catapulted into a loving relationship with Tiffany. But his own self-esteem and self-image is flawed and jealousy overcomes him, leading to Tiffany's death.

Well done, my friend,another spine tingler from a master of the art. Still'n'all, IMHO, it would be better without the final sentence. Hope that's okay with you; please feel entirely free to completely disregard anything I've said. Your story and you must craft it as you wish. And it's still good.

Warm regards

Abstract impression of a clock


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
24
24
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi Maddie

I promised you a review of this story, and here it is.

You have crafted a delightful relationship story in the genre that I would call YA Romance. That's one I couldn't, wouldn't ... shouldn't try to write in - I'm too removed from the action. But it does give me the luxury of sitting back and reviewing the story more objectively.

First, let me say I liked it. You have crafted a strong, insightful story of a developing and strengthening relationship between two basically different people. You have used a not uncommon literary device of taking a chunk out of the middle of the story and used it as your opening to provide a hook to draw the reader in. well done.

The story develops well from her frustration at the attitude of her lecturer where Minho does his "white knight on a charger" act to support and defend the young woman. Incidentally, I can find no reference to her name. As this is essentially seen and told through her experience, this isn't/shouldn't be a problem. So we see how they get together and how they relate over time and through their daily challenges, including parental attitudes.

The plot is basic, but in a story of this nature,. doesn't need to be complicated. It is very much a boy meets girl story, with the challenges of collegiate life in the 21st century. I'm tempted to ask if this is at least semi-autobiographical, but you might not tell me *Pthb*

Your characters are well drawn. We see Minho as a confident young man, sure of himself and popular with others, particularly the girls, but tending to be a little self-focused. But he's supportive, compassionate and friendly, and he forges strong bonds with the narrator of the story. She, in turn, is more conflicted and is eventually driven to stand up for herself against "the system", which is where Minho's support becomes important. Importantly, they have matching sense of humour, a bit way out, but, in the end, he remains "her idiot".

In summary, a good read that I thoroughly enjoyed. However, there are a few things I would like to query with you. In no sense to they detract from the quality of the story as such, but they hint at issues that you may like to consider.

Firstly, you've managed a "tense shift", something that happens to all writers sometimes. IMHO, "God, he was so frustrating sometimes." ought to be "God, he is so frustrating sometimes."

Secondly, and this is very much my take on a practical situation, I wonder how two college students are able to afford "...you and Minho moved into your split level apartment together. You fell in love with the bay window in the living room. He fell in love with the old fashioned spiral staircase leading to the kitchen." In other words, where did the money come from fro an attractive place such as you have described, and where does the money for its upkeep come from? Maybe that's just a comment from a cynical old codger. Maybe it's not.

My final point, and IMHO again, this is significant for any writer. It concerns the use of "...ly" adverbs, which have much the same status as the word "that". In other words, they are usually either superfluous, or they are used in an attempt to reinforce a weak verb. This seldom works. So let me show a few examples:

"phone ringing cuts him off. He answers brusquely," You could either leave out "brusquely altogether, or change the verb Maybe, "He snaps."

"proudly stating #1 status." This might be more effective as simply, "proclaiming #1 status".

""Come on, professor," you say charmingly, now inspired by the boy backing you," You could leave out "charmingly" altogether, or replace "you say charmingly" with something like, "you plead" or "you appeal to his better nature, in the hope that he has one"

"the morbidly instructive science posters". You could change the adverb to an adjective and make it, "the morbid science posters."

"You think your soul is slowly floating away from your body". The idea of slowness " is contained within the idea of "floating" - we don't float quickly. So you could leave out "slowly" altogether.


"Minho lithely crosses the room" This may be equally as effective by saying something like, "Minho eases across the room", or even just, "Minho crosses the room."

"The teacher was wrong to scold you so harshly." Here, too, the idea of "harshness" is embedded in the verb "to scold." You don't scold someone gently, so you could just leave out the adverb, "so harshly".

"You glare at him slightly." Now here, IMHO, I'm not at all sure it is possible to glare slightly. You could leave the adverb out, or change the sentence to read something like , "your eyebrow flicks up as you look at him."

Maddie, there are others, and it isn't my intention to dissect your story for every errant adverb. But I hope you can get the gist of what I'm aiming at. Have a chat with your lecturer about this if you feel so inclined, but my objective is to transmogrify you into "Maddie, The Adverb Slayer". *Devilish*

Maddie, I want to be very clear that my criticisms in the latter part of this review in no way reflect on the quality of your story. It is effective, somewhat idiosyncratic, but none the worse for that, charming and a most enjoyable read. My concerns are with its technical infrastructure, but this involves skills that you are very capable of developing.

Thank you for an excellent read, and i will return to your portfolio for more pieces of excellence. Write on.

Warm regards

Abstract impression of a clock


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
25
Review of The Soup  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Bill Wilcox in the soup again! Well, maybe, but you've created a first class short horror story. Toe soup - I don't think I'll be able to look a soup bowl in the face again!

As I said, this is the epitome of compact, effective short horror. It is the twist in the tail that creates the real impact, and you've told a story without any apparent plot, right up to the last line. Stanley's character explodes in our face at the end. I know you can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant, but remind me never to go anywhere near Stanley's restaurant.

Congratulations, Bill, a great read.

Regards

An angel appears to be rising from the fire.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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