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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/deadbluesea
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109 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of First Hunt  
Review by the last cicada
In affiliation with Contest Central Station  
Rated: E | (5.0)

*Confettib* *Confettiv* *Confettib* A Supporting Contests Review *Confettib* *Confettiv* *Confettib*



Aww, love them kittens! *Delight*

Found your story as an entry for Round 209 of the "The Hint Fiction Contest"   by Lt. Storm Machine .

Thanks for a wonderful chuckle. I notice you didn't add the Comedy genre to it although the item does have 1 slot left.

I loved the use of "nascent". Very melodic and apt for a young animal and says so much.

Good luck in the contest!

~ Amy
the last cicada (deadbluesea)


sig 5 for supporting contests

2
2
Review of Wilgar's Dilemma  
Review by the last cicada
In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
*Flowerb*           *Flowerr*           *Flowery*           A TGDI Second Look           *Flowerb*           *Flowerr*           *Flowery*


Hi bertiebrite hoping for peace !

Such a wonderful story to revisit! Thank you for giving me a heads up about Wilgar's new adventure. I can't wait to check it out *Delight*

I've noticed that you've made a few changes that now compels me to update my rate and review *Shock*. Here is a link to my previous Review of "Wilgar's Dilemma" .

Thanks for including my suggestions about the ironwood rod and the punctuation suggestion. No bumps in the read for me this time.


~ My Second Look ~

A. Funny how I didn't notice this the first time around. The ironwood rod must have given me tunnel vision *Laugh*:

... and that is just where Herta would land that damnable rod.

... and that was just where Herta would land that damnable rod.

B.

Herta used the ironwood to roll out bread, but Wilgar knew she used it for other things as well, he had the occasional bruises to prove it.

Herta used the ironwood to roll out bread, but Wilgar knew she used it for other things as well. He had the occasional bruises to prove it.

I would like to say that the phrasing in the original version worked fine without the recent addition of ... he had the occasional bruises to prove it. . Just the hint of the other uses was quite funny on its own.


~ Rating: 5.0 ~

As a whole, the flow of the story has improved with the changes. In my opinion, an edit will improve line B.

Since the errors are negligibly few and you, as an author, have been actively revising it, I see no reason to withhold the 5.0. I am confident, that line B. will get the attention it deserves *Smile*


I hope my comments have been helpful. Until my next visit to Wilgar's, take care of Snow and Silver!


*Butterflyb* Amy
the last cicada (deadbluesea)



The Last Cicada (DeadBlueSea@Writing.com)


My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
3
3
Review of The Race  
Review by the last cicada
In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
*Coffeey* *Cupcakeb* Happy 11th WDC Birthday! *Coffeey* *Cupcakep*

from the

*Burstb* Dragon Wizard's Apprenticeship Contest *Burstb*


Hi Nedshi !

*Delight* This in depth rate and review is a thank you for your fantasy short story entry in the August Round of "Invalid Item.


Gist and Tone

A tale of two men who settle their differences with a high stakes sled race across the icy land. There's a sense of urgency, combativeness, and a touch of panic.


August Picture Prompt

Good job of meeting the prompt! A man and his faithful sled dogs trudge homeward across the icy land.


My Favorite Moment

... was when Toralf said, "Don't worry, I haven't taken them all. Couldn't come near these two."

Awesome moment when the reader realizes that Toralf is after something more valuable than gold. I genuinely felt sorry for Leif.


My 2nd Favorite Moment

... came when... Pit-pat Pit-pat, Crunch, ... Pit-pat Pit-Urrrh?

Loved the doggy whimper *Bigsmile*


Character Analysis

Leif and Toralf are like polar opposites.

Leif: An honest man with nothing to hide. This includes his feelings, his beliefs, and his belongings.

The story starts off with a weary, frustrated warrior. Flashback scenes reveal a man of the fist restrained by principles for fair play. It is these principles that make him fall prey to Toralf's trickery.

Toralf: He's a master of deception. A man so devious that even the reader doesn't know what he is up to until he's already done it.

His two favorite techniques appear to be:
          a) convince his target to underestimate Toralf and the situation.
          b) irritate his target's sensibilities to the point of distraction.


Other Impressions

*Bulletg* After witnessing the deviousness of his deeds, I felt a little let down by Toralf's golden blunder at the end of the story. No one can ever be perfect; not even Toralf. Although he's lost some of my respect for a master criminal, I suppose I ought to forgive him. He should have known better than to carry all that wealth during a race. But I suppose his greed wouldn't let him part with his bounty for even a few hours.

Or... possibly Toralf stole the gold from the villagers but lost it before he could hide it. That would be just like him to complicate an already convoluted and elaborate heist. Poor Leif won't know better until he reaches home.

*Bulletg* Made me laugh: At least that weasel was feeling an unpleasant draft on some portion of his anatomy.


Edit Suggestions

*Bulletb* "Just that I could lick any one of you in any one of you village idiots in any of the manly arts."

Repeated twice: any one of you in

If this was deliberate (to show laughter induced stuttering) then I would suggest punctuation to direct and smooth out the flow.

*Bulletb* Typo: bu = by. both held in trust bu the village headman.

*Bulletb* Typo. Toralf pulled began his insults again.


Rating: 4.5 stars

Minus 1/2 star for typos.


Thank you for sharing this story, full of clever twists and surprises. I hope you found my comments useful.


*Suitheart* Amy
The Green Dragon Inn Member &
Dragon Wizard's Apprenticeship Contest Judge

Wishing you a very Happy 11th Birthday! Writing.com

4
4
Review by the last cicada
In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
*Coffeey* *Cupcakeb* Happy 11th WDC Birthday! *Coffeey* *Cupcakep*

from the

*Burstb* Dragon Wizard's Apprenticeship Contest *Burstb*


Hi Dovetailed !

*Delight* This in depth rate and review is a thank you for your fantasy short story entry in the August Round of "Invalid Item.


Gist and Tone

Ooh! An epic tale about magic, vengeance, and tragedy, in a time of swords and monsters. A very dark and serious drama.


August Picture Prompt

Great use of the prompt! There's desolation, the lone warrior, snarling wolves, and a magic battle axe.


My Favorite Part

*Shock* "As Jorgund had said, he had met giants before in battle, but only those that were young and that had arrogantly wandered too far from their own kind."

Your Notes say: "Finally, you may well end up sympathising with the monster to some extent..."

I would say you accomplished this feat with flying colors. My mind was churning after I read that line. I was wondering hm... was this redirection of sympathy accidental? I was very happy to find out that you were pushing for it all along.

Other thoughts:

a) This section explains why Jorgund felt the debt between Ograr was nearly square by killing Thragg. Ograr may have slain offspring related Jorgund.

b) Of course, it's also quite likely these offspring brought Ograr's wrath upon themselves, at the very least by terrorizing the locals.

c) Who (the locals) in turn probably did something to cross the elder giants over some other matter.

Pretty much the feud escalated with each newly cast stone.


Magical Moments

*Bulletb* Oh I do love a rhyming ice giant. The act of spontaneously bursting out in rhyme is so unnatural that it has to be magic.

*Bulletb* "the giant’s curse had a blessing"

I liked how the curse cloaked Ograr's movements through enemy territories.

*Bulletb* "With a clap the giant fell and melted away to nothing."

Magical yet thought provoking. The area is cold enough that Stilled Cascade is fast moving water turned to solid ice. However the giant melted upon death.

Makes one wonder what the giant is made of. Or did the axe cause the giant to melt? Very little is known about the powers and effects of the axe.


Favorite Imagery

*Flowerb* the knock had come – ‘boom... boom... boom...’

People huddled around a fire, trapped in the greathall by a raging blizzard. A loud steady knock booms on the door. Omenous.

*Flowerv* Fortunately his wolves, his enchanted axe and his horse still remembered their master well, for the curse...

Great snapshot of Ograr and his odd lot of companions.

*Flowerr* She clearly did not trust the wild looking warrior who stood before her, flanked by terrifying white wolves, and besides - she had fulfilled the obligation Jorgund had placed upon her.

Another great snapshot of Ograr and his companions.

*Flowerb* Food was scarce in these lands such that their empty stomachs gnawed at their resolve

I could imagine them almost giving up and turning back.

*Flowerv* Fortunately their destination was only at the very edge of this land.

Gave the sense that the land of eternal night is much much vaster than what I've seen so far.


Miscellaneous Thoughts & Impressions

Oh dear! The story gave me a lot to think about...

*Bullet* ... and although men may have forgotten what lay in the lands without light, wolves were not so foolish.

I had trouble agreeing with the message this statement implied.

eg -- Were I a stranger that ever came upon a place where darkness was the norm, I would most certainly be on my guard.

eg -- Had I grown up there and never known or lived in a place with more light, I would probably lower my guard due to familiarity and set routines. I would focus more on fulfilling my daily needs rather than on dwelling on dangers that lurked in the darkness somewhere outside of my known universe and routine. So the dangers are not so much as forgotten as they are ignored and replaced by more urgent immediate needs.

*Bullet* The dogs ceased their yammering and...

The switch from wolves to dogs doesn't work for me.

I can't help but view wolves and dogs as vastly different animals. For me, wolves are wild with unpredictable natures, whereas dogs are domesticated and often bred to exhibit specific traits and behaviors.

In my opinion, I think it would work better to just stick to either wolves or dogs, but not use them interchangeably without some explanation to lead in as to how in this particular case, dogs and wolves are synonomous.

*Bullet* ... shone in the dim light. A beard of icicles hung from his chin, occasionally dripping melt water down the patchwork of furs that clad his monstrous bulk.

Mysterious! Now why would an ice giant wear skins? Are they trophies? Customary displays of rank and family history to other giants?

Also, "dripping melt water" also sounds a bit odd like a typo.

*Bullet* The occupants of the hall cowered in mortal terror – all aside from young prince Thragg, only begotten son of Ograr, whose father had taught him not to fear such evil. --- versus --- Thragg said with a strength that masked his fear.

A contradictory moment breaks the flow of the story. After convincing myself to believe the boy had learned to not fear evil, I then realized in the next statement that the boy was in fact fearful.

*Bullet* What he had said was true – the Ashraen contained only the women, children and old folk that peopled these lands.

Interesting... I suppose it's plausible for a king to leave his kingdom defenseless by taking all his warriors with him if he's convinced the rest of the world that he is too strong for them to attack and risk retaliation. If I accept this premise, then this King Ograr must be powerful indeed.

*Bullet* ... whilst the other would hunt game that Ograr would occasionally eat mindlessly.

The following questions spring up from my mind about mindlessly:

What game could he eat with little preparation? Bugs? Snails? Soft edible chunks torn out of larger animals such as the flesh and organs? Regurgitated meat? *Sick* Do wolves cook? Do they skin or pluck their catch?

*Bullet* The only one brave enough to stand up to him was our young prince - Thragg son of ... son of ...

Apparently Thragg's princely identity was not forgotten.

This makes it all the more perplexing as to why the people did not appear to mourn his loss or bury his body whether out of respect and sympathy or for political gain. From the description of the moment that Ograr discovers the boy's body, there was no mention of other bodies so I assumed that all the bodies of the other victims had already been claimed and buried. If he is remembered, then why was Thragg's body left behind? Why did his kinsfolk treat him more like an orphan nobody than a fallen prince and hero?

*Bullet* ... he went anonymously and relatively unmolested...

relatively unmolested? *Laugh*


Edit Suggestions

hidden edit suggestions


Rating: 4.0 stars

*Bulletg* minus 1/2 star for the punctuation. I felt the sentences were unnecessarily lengthy and chopped up the flow.

*Bulletg* minus 1/2 star for that bit about the "dogs" and the line: "... and although men may have forgotten what...". Though used early in the story, "dogs" jolted me and lingered in the back of the mind. It still feels odd in subsequent readings. I still disagree with the implication of the line. It made getting into the story a bit awkward.


Thank you for sharing this story *Delight*. I hope you find my comments useful. It's very complex for its length and style. Each time I read it, there's like a whole different perspective demanding consideration. I bet if I read it again, this review would gain yet another impression. Many wonderful ideas. I hope you will continue to polish it.

*Suitheart* Amy
The Green Dragon Inn Member &
Dragon Wizard's Apprenticeship Contest Judge

Wishing you a very Happy 11th Birthday! Writing.com


My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
5
5
Review of Wilgar's Dilemma  
Review by the last cicada
In affiliation with TGDI Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
*Coffeey* *Cupcakeb* Happy 11th WDC Birthday! *Coffeey* *Cupcakep*

from the

*Burstb* Dragon Wizard's Apprenticeship Contest *Burstb*


Hi bertiebrite hoping for peace !

*Delight* This in depth rate and review is a thank you for your fantasy short story entry in the August Round of "Invalid Item.


Gist and Tone

Ah, vikings and their marital tiffs. Delightfully funny.


August Picture Prompt

Great use of the prompt. Every bit and morsel played a part in your story, from how your character, Wilgar, donned his massive attire piece by piece, to how he "steered the animals over to a snow drift".

My favorite section was this amazing and concise display of imagery: "He pulled on his breeches, his thickest oxen skin tunic, his disk armor and wound his leggings with ox-hide bands around his bulky legs to secure the extra layer of fur against the freeze he would encounter in the mountains." I could almost hear him think his thoughts as he selected his clothing.


Made Me Laugh When

*Bulletb* "He started for the doorway to the midden, to the outside where ..." Loved how he tried to sneak out the back door.

*Bulletb* I made the connection between the wolves and what Herta expected Wilgar to do.

*Bulletb* I imagined: "massive piles on the midden floor..."


My Favorite Part

*Laugh* ... is when I tried to reconcile the cute and cuddly mental image of Snow and Silver, to the snarling and slinking counterparts portrayed in the August Picture Prompt.


Miscellaneous Thoughts & Impressions

*Bulletb* Loved the dialogue: dramatic, informal, and very chatty. It brought the characters to life and made them feel like one of us.

*Bulletb* I don't know the story behind Wilgar's name, but, relative to the context of the prompt, the name reminded me of a cross between Wilma from the stone age Flintstones and the viking Hagar the Horrible. Also, both characters are defined by their particular brand of spousal causality. This marital dynamic is also evident in Wilgar's and Herta's relationship as they try to resolve the issue concerning the wolves.

*Bulletb* The "iron wood rod" that Herta used to roll out bread, "but Wilgar knew she used it for other things as well."

Interesting choice of words to describe and define some everyday tool with multiple purposes. I suspect it's the viking verson of a rolling pin.

*Bulletb* Loved how you wrapped up the story with Herta asserting her will to the very last, upon a flustered, deflated Wilgar, as he marches off to glory.


Edit Suggestions

*Bulletb* But, Herta, all the men are assembled."

Missing double quote at the beginning.

*Bulletb* "You go nowhere until..." is a bit confusing. Perhaps add a comma: "You go nowhere, until..."

My first impression was that Herta was accusing Wilgar of spending more time with Silver and Snow instead of with her.

Even after I realized who Snow and Silver were, during subsequent read overs, I still found the line a bit bumpy and misleading, but I think the comma will help.

*Bulletb* "ironwood" versus "iron wood rod"

After 2 instances of "ironwood", the phrase "iron wood rod" looked out of place and distracting. Also, it gave me the impression that Wilgar didn't know quite what to make of the tool / weapon. Perhaps the story will flow better by removing the space to show "ironwood rod".


Rating: 4.5 stars

minus 1/2 star for the occasional bumpiness in the flow of the story.
          *Bulletv* "You go nowhere until..."
          *Bulletv* "iron wood rod"


If I could sum it up with one thought, that would be: The more times change, the more they stay the same. I hope you found my comments useful. Thank you for all the laughs. I hope you will write for us again.


*Suitheart* Amy
The Green Dragon Inn Member &
Dragon Wizard's Apprenticeship Contest Judge

The Last Cicada (DeadBlueSea@Writing.com)


My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
6
6
Review of Room 315  
Review by the last cicada
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This review is brought to you by
*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1*Power Raiders Review Raid
*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1*


Hi Nasreen Chaudhary !

Welcome to WDC Power Reviewers *Heart* I'm pretty new too. I think I joined the group on July 16, 2011.

I found this story in your port. As the only item in your port without stars, it caught my eye and I decided to read it.

And oh, what a morbid tale it turned out to be *Delight*

*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1* What I love

*Bulletv* Very well told. I loved how the words and the lines flowed together, fluidly one after the next.

*Bulletv* The imagery was strong and clear.

*Bulletv* I loved how the last line tied the story to its title, while at the same time, revealed more about the location.

*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1* Not a case of "oops, I did it again"

At first, I thought this story was going to be about some crazy businessman who did things on the spur of the moment. That's the impression I got from the brief description about "some uncontrollable urges". However, as the story unfolded, I'm more inclined to believe that restraint didn't even register on his mind.

*Bulletv* For one thing, "one quick movement" was all the time he needed to wrap his package.

*Bulletv* For another, he's prepared. After making a filthy mess, he's got a nice, clean suit to change into.

*Bulletv* Also, he's clean as a whistle. Even the package didn't soil any exposed skin or hair. He didn't appear to devote any time to cleaning and grooming himself (except to admire himself in the mirror). I'm left wondering, how did he manage that?

*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1* Do clothes make the man?

I'd love to know! After he donned fresh clothing, my head was swimming with questions about his identity. Was this:

*Bulletv* his real self?

*Bulletv* a very elaborate disguise to deflect suspicion?

*Bulletv* just another lure designed to draw in more business?

*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1* Suggestion

*Bulletv* I think "room 315" should be capitalized. From the context, it sounded more like a name than a place.

*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1* Final note

Your story packed quite a riveting punch with less than 200 words. There was one hiccup though. That bit about "uncontrollable" kept nagging me. It could just be me, but I don't feel that the description fit the story.

Since I had read the description before I had read the story, the following actions stuck out and seemed to run a different course than the description did:

*Bulletv* The first moment happened when he wrapped his package. He displayed too much ability to be random or sudden. Surely, he must have had lots of practice.

*Bulletv* Unless of course the uncontrollable urge was in the over planning and preparing. However, I didn't get that impression.

*Bulletv* The next moment was when he amazed me by his readiness. Not only did he have the wrapper handy, he also had a very nice change of clothing. In my opinion, clearly, he is in control. For this particular incident, he didn't demonstrate any spontaneous eruption or lapse in judgment that would require some immediate and sloppy fix. (On second thought: It is possible that his judgment was impaired although it's difficult to ascertain without more details. He spent a great deal of time admiring his reflection. Either he set aside time and made sure that he would not be interrupted, or he momentarily forgot himself and couldn't resist.)

*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1* I hope you found my review helpful

Thank you for sharing this very excellent tale of morbid pursuit. If you should change the description, please let me know and I'll update my rating to 5 stars.

Write on and take care!

~ Amy
the last cicada

*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1*

*Sun**ButterflyO* A "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group Member to Member Raid Review!*ButterflyO**Sun*

*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1* was presented by *Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1*

the last cicada

*Music1* A Member Of *Music2*

WDC POWER REVIEWERS

Group

Sig created by A.E.Willcox

*Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1* I hope you found my review helpful *Vine2**Flowerv**Vine1*

7
7
Review by the last cicada
In affiliation with Reviewing News and Views  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Budroe ,

Thank you for sharing your method of reviewing and critiquing.

I've been looking for examples to help me set up a "How I Review" item of my own and your essay has been very illuminating on various forms of feedback.

I found the essay in Setting Up A "How I Review" Item - by vivacious from Reviewing Newsletters .

Great Intro:
I like how you dive into the heart of the matter by differentiating between the verb form and the noun form of the feedback words: review and critique, to ensure clarity of their usage throughout the essay.

Definitions are wonderful:
Providing feedback with appropriate rating has always been a complex issue for me. It's wonderful how you illustrate the different approaches a reviewer may take and how each approach may affect the final rating.

Labels:
I love the manner in which you labeled the types of feedback via a permutation of the words: Review and Critique. eg: Review, Critique, Review and Critique, Review/Critique, R/C.

Emotion:
This is a very emotionally charged essay. I can feel the passion jumping off of each word.

Color of Yak Milk:
Creamy, yellow color? Haha! Did you stick this Q into the essay to measure the thoroughness of the reader or to elicit a review by dangling a hefty gp enriched carrot? *Bigsmile*

Final Thoughts:
I had a wonderful time exploring the different forms of feedback. I now have a better idea of how I might compose my own How I Review item.

According to the spell checker, I actually missed a number of mispelled words. But it was the 2 instances of "plagarism" that caused me to consult the spell checker in the first place. Oddly enough, "grammer" was in the beginning of the same paragraph and my eyes missed it. Hurray for spell checkers! *Bigsmile*

My Rating: 4.5

Because "plagarism" jumped out and bit me.

Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom! *Heart*

~ Amy

*Music1* A Rounded Reviewer of *Music2*

Reviewing
News and Views
Group



8
8
Review by the last cicada
In affiliation with Reviewing News and Views  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hi DragonWrites~The Fire Faerie~ ,

Surprise! Bet you didn't expect this review.

Something compelled me to (specifically an old newsletter that I'd finally gotten around to reading - "A Reviewer's Intention - by Lotusneko). It's quite old. *Cool*

*Noteb* I apologize in advance for any redundancies that I am about to share. *Noteb*

My Initial Impressions:

*Shock* This story turned out scarier than I thought it would be. You see, I'm very comfortable around cats. Love them! After the story... Now I'm... Much less...

*Laugh* It's been 8 years since E.B.'s met the cats. Has anyone told you these cats are evil?

And not just to non-felines but to each other as well: "I’m not going to help you. You know I hate water."

I'm not at all surprised the invasion failed. Even with 9 lives, with friends like these, 9 lives aren't enough.

*Shock* Poor E.B. I am surprised that the cats didn't scare him.

I guess that could be one reason people might have trouble believing that E.B. is, um, was real. E.B. just doesn't react to situations in the same way that you or I might have done.

My Favorite Line:

The humans were safe, of course, even though Rye had had other plans for his "masters".

*Thumbsup* Excellently put. This simple line perfectly illustrates the calm after the climax. It delivers the right combination of relief, humor, and matter-of-factness.

My Favorite Character:

*Laugh* Rye, of course! My kind of villain: cold, calculating, and comical (in a sinister sort of way).

My Rating: 4.5

Because I couldn't avoid noticing the errors in this beautifully told tale.

example: spelling: waver should be waiver

example2: punctuation: She had opened the window, cats can open just about anything by the way,

~ Amy

*Music1* A Rounded Reviewer of *Music2*

Reviewing
News and Views
Group



9
9
Review by the last cicada
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)


Oh, and the mystery continues! I love it *Delight*

My impressions:

The story continues from the The Other chapter very well, adding to the suspense. The narrator's pace continues to be steady, relaxed, and reflective. I feel a connection to the main character growing.

My favorite moment:

*Heart* The letter his student gave him at the end! Leaves me wanting to hear more.

What I liked:

Line: a terminal condition...
The way you described Grave's Kiss is absolutely awesome!

Minor edits:

Line: the people had thought of me as an idea choice;
Line: the people had thought of me as an ideal choice;

Line: and at most strengthen the towns trust in me;
Line: and at most strengthen the town's trust in me;

Line: it seemed a pair of travelers had found him and rush him
Line: it seemed a pair of travelers had found him and rush him
10
10
Review by the last cicada
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)


Great start of a mysterious adventure!

First impressions:

I liked the first person narrative. It's very rich in details and the character has a distinctive manner of speaking. The pace is steady, laid back and reflective.

My favorite line:
Line: Though before I could question her any further, in hopes of...

*Heart* Loved the moment; the woman's actions took me by surprise. Very vivid imagery. This line very much struck a cord. There's enough conflict generated here for me to stick around and learn more.

Minor edits:

Line: A old settlement hidden just a few kilometers west of Bobcaygeon, Ontario.
Line: An old settlement hidden just a few kilometers west of Bobcaygeon, Ontario.


Line: However if you were ever to set food on its streets
Line: However if you were ever to set foot on its streets


Line: She put her hands quickly on my shoulders, looking into my eyes, and spoke fateful works in which I follow to this day.
Line: She put her hands quickly on my shoulders, looking into my eyes, and spoke fateful words in which I follow to this day.


Line: Moments after the ships security had asked me if I had seen a woman of eastern decent on the ship, it seemed she had been a stow away, the ships workers had discovered her only moments before our encounter crawling out from between crates in the ships hold.
Line: Moments after the ship's security had asked me if I had seen a woman of eastern decent on the ship, it seemed she had been a stow away, the ship's workers had discovered her only moments before our encounter crawling out from between crates in the ships hold.


Line: Weeks later I decided to quit my work aboard the Moirae and adhere to the worlds spoken to me that day.
Line: Weeks later I decided to quit my work aboard the Moirae and adhere to the words spoken to me that day.
11
11
Review of Acmeland  
Review by the last cicada
Rated: E | (5.0)
1) definitely more legible than traversing the portfolio *ThumbsUp*

2) and the presentation is most entertaining too :) I swear I really am in a theme park! Fun, fun, all around me, fun!

3) I came to the port and have to say the title grabbed my attention (and very well placed too, its item number 3)

4) the only hard part is figuring out what to read *RollEyes* Where do I start?
12
12
Review by the last cicada
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Oh Acme!

I don't think I have ever left your port without chuckling. Now that I have finally completed my own tournarounds entry I just had to start reading the others.

Robin of Loxley, imprisoned over mead? Oh, I just can't stop laughing at the new spin on the Crusade.

Even the return address "Infidel Cell" cracked me up!

I liked that bit of history you put in there: Istanbul/Constantinople. I have Armenian relatives in Istanbul and the history channel and neither could help me link the two cities together the way Robin's sweet letter to Daddy did *Laugh*

My favorite line: once we'd beaten the Saracen hordes in battle, we failed to beat them at several games of chance

Good luck with Round 1 of Tournarounds and thank you for the puns!

Amy

Tournarounds Reminder: don't edit yet
'cos I'll be crushed if you do!
as we had imbibed neither the grape or the grain
as we had imbibed neither the grape nor the grain

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Review by the last cicada
Rated: E | (5.0)
*Snow3*A wee review for *Snow1* *Right* "Invalid Item *Left* *Snow3*


*Laugh* Oh the horror! When a (half) partridge wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting family's Christmas gathering.

What a delightfully light hearted tale when an unexpected visitor who drops in for lunch and grabs a few things for his missus.

I love how he rips right through the presents and gobbles up the ornaments. Even better, how he thinks the popcorn garland is so much better fruit than the natural fruit that grows on a fruit tree.

My favorite line: There’s nothing like a good pecking order.

My favorite paragraph: When the Yuman shouts something about a partridge and a pear tree *Laugh*

Great monologue. You revealed just enough clues and hints via descriptions to give the reader an idea of what's happening. That was very clever getting the bird to wake up, not knowing how he wound up at the top of the tree! And the ripping was fun to watch too.

Thank you for sharing this story. Good luck with Challenge #1.

Amy
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Review of Season Tickets  
Review by the last cicada
Rated: E | (5.0)
Every c-note looks fabulous, like bright colored mouthwatering candy!

I don't really know much about c-notes since I haven't set up any of my own but I noticed that for #6 View full c-note only mentions 2 of the 7 prizes. I am assuming that is how the c-note will come out when sent.

http://www.writing.com/main/handler.php?action=pop...

In case you are wondering how I noticed, well, I was actually checking the volume purchased for each ticket to weigh the odds of winning *Bigsmile* Then I zipped straight to the c-note section, never once looking at the descriptions in the White Box. I was surprised to see only 2 options listed for #6 and I was going to consider a ticket with more option variety when I noticed the description in the White Box for #6 was way lengthier than the c-note list. Now I can't decide.

Thank you for offering such awesome prizes. These make great holiday gifts.

Amy
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Review of Little Green Men  
Review by the last cicada
Rated: E | (5.0)
Congratulations on your ribbon!

*Smile* I have finally stopped laughing to write a review but I still can't get the grin off my face. I never thought I'd ever find aliens as goofy as Blog and Blang. Oh my cheeks hurt.

The Positives:
Great job with the names and vocabulary. They were cute and funny and made the aliens appear harmless and lovable despite their gangly eye stalks and boom-da-ba-wrooos (I just can't take this weapon seriously *Confused*). I especially loved the double Zs. That really helped to set the aliens apart from Earthlings. The naming of technology and other alien artifacts seem to revolve around the sounds they make as opposed to function.

The way you tied together the different Earthly cultural elements with new meaning was awesome.

My favorite bit: crop circle explanation. Duh! Why didn't I see that before? Those miscreants should be locked up in some intergalactic dungeon.

My second favorite bit: coke and pepsi sentients.

Other Thoughts and Impressions:
Great portrayal of the otherworldly aliens. Despite our cultural differences, I had no trouble empathizing and relating to Blog and Blang. Although I have one question, why only 2 aliens? Must be rich people to travel in a hopper all to themselves *Laugh* That was just a question, not a suggestion *Smile* The story is perfect the way it is *Heart* For all I know, there were other aliens on the ship but they weren't the party animals Blog and Blang were.

I notice that the story starts out with:
Blog was a Zzippian from the planet Zzip.
I take Zzippian to represent citizenship or the highest form of life on Zzip because this is the only instance where Zzippian is capitalized in the story.

Thus, when I came upon this line, I felt this instance of zzippian should be capitalized:
this is about the worst insult you can give to a zzippian
this is about the worst insult you can give to a Zzippian

Overall Impressions:
Your aliens are so endearing. This is the perfect story to wipe away any xenophobia I have, especially at bedtime right before the lights go out *Smile*

The story rolled smoothly off from start to finish. Great pace and timing and every scene was playfully hilarious.

If there were any errors or room for improvement, I am sure I missed them with the tears rolling down my eyes.

Thank you for sharing this story. I had a blast.

Amy
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Review by the last cicada
Rated: E | (5.0)
Wow, this is a really nice idea!
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Review of Rate Yourself!  
Review by the last cicada
Rated: E | (5.0)
Sarah Rae "Rate Yourself! [E]

*Laugh* Wow, a few 'Pretty much perfect's.

*Bigsmile* I actually feel like a 3.5 but that wasn't an option.

It was pretty scary to take a look at myself.

Review: well presented, good fun, very introspective, humourously phrased options *Thumbsup*
The best part: that you included a reviewer's note. Very informative.

*Smirk* Out of curiosity, and you don't have to answer this, but how do you rate yourself?

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18
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Review by the last cicada
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
The alphabetical twist is a great idea! Fun and challenging. Do you have one that goes backwards?

Some goofy lines actually make sense *Laugh* My favorite: Opinions pose questions, require sentences. by bobbikann

Write on!
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Review by the last cicada
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
*Gift3* Amy's a review for "Invalid Item

What a nice story about a wonderful dog named Maury. It combines the best of what we've come to expect from heroic animals with the potential of how much more pets can enrich our lives, if only they could speak.



Favorite prop:
I love that device that Matthews invented to facilitate communication between people and Maury. Boy would that revolutionize dog training. Or human training, depending on the point of view of the species in question.



Plot:
Very tight story, especially where it concerns the sci-fi elements. I like how you worked the discussion of theology into the story and used Maury's final words to tie it all up. Very well chosen words. The ending came out powerful, conclusive and satisfying.

The last words were pretty positive too. I was feeling pretty bummed about the way Matthews felt about losing Maury so unexpectedly and in such a tragic way. It's good for Matthews to know his dog's last thoughts didn't linger over pain and helplessness.



Areas to improve:
Since you've already published the story, odds are, these issues have already been addressed. Anyhow, I'll point them out as an exercise for this copy *Smile*



Maury was able to walk, run, and do all the normal things dogs do--plus later, something more.
I found 'later' confusing. What does it refer to?
-- Did the device allow Maury to catch up on dog skills later in life than was usual for dogs?
-- Will the device allow Maury to learn more complex skills later on?



Matthews has confirmed what a lot of pet owners already knew--dogs were intelligent and had personalities.
No problem with this line. Just thought I'd mention how much my dog would appreciate this statement *Smile*



Instinct was a part of it, but it wasn't all of it.
The first and second parts of the sentence seem to say the same thing to me.



"Go ahead." Maury thought was nice that he didn't have to stop eating to answer.
"Go ahead." Maury thought it was nice that he didn't have to stop eating to answer.



"Go ahead." Maury thought was nice that he didn't have to stop eating to answer.
"Go ahead." Matthews thought was nice that he didn't have to stop eating to answer.
Maury thought or Matthews thought?

I had the feeling it was supposed to be Matthews. So far everything we know seems to be coming from Matthews perspective.

Of course, maybe Maury did say something but it came out as a description of his thought rather than spelled out with actual dialogue. However, were this the case, the line still feels awkward.



"I'll set down with you tomorrow night, and we'll add some more words to it...
"I'll sit down with you tomorrow night, and we'll add some more words to it...



Then there was a loud screech from outside, and then a thud.
Too many 'then's. I think it would sound better by cutting out at least one 'then'.



Maury must have gotten excited, and the bus hit him...
I feel that the paragraph should break at the end of this sentence to help the 'bus' stand out more.

I had a bit of trouble following the sequence. At first, I thought Maury got hit by a car.

Then I thought I was mistaken because Matthews found 'that it wasn't what he had originally thought.'

Finally, I realized that Maury was hit by a car but I got confused because I missed seeing the 'bus'. Let me blame it on 'bus' for being such a short word *Blush*



Maury had already lived longer than most dogs do.
Maury had already lived longer than most dogs did.



...so he fast-forwarded to find what were Maury's last words:
...so he fast-forwarded to find Maury's last words:
Take out 'what were'. I don't think they're necessary.



He noticed that the recording stopped a lot later than he thought it would, so he fast-forwarded to find what were Maury's last words:
I had to go back to figure out the 'recording stopped a lot later' part. Maybe add a bit more to the paragraph to remind readers that Maury's thoughts were recorded by computer. I kind of forgot about that detail and only realized it when I went back to read the story again.



minus 1/2 point for errors.

Total: 4.5 stars

Thank you for continuing to share this wonderful story online. I enjoyed reading it.

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Review by the last cicada
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
*Gift3* Amy's a review for "Invalid Item

Another great how-to guide to help improve my writing skills *Smile*

What I liked:
I like how you underlined and bolded each point. The highlight made each point stand out from the explanation and made it easier to find the next point.

The example in point 2 not only drove home the point but also made me chuckle.


Most helpful bit:
I never thought about it until you mentioned it. It is easier for the author to lead the reader to the correct emotional display exhibited by a character when the feeling is stated at the beginning of each line as opposed to the end.


A suggestion:
6) Find ways around the "he said, she replied" cycle.
I agree with this point. This is my most frustrating part about writing dialogue (besides actually coming up with dialogue *Laugh*).

However, as silly as it may sound, but I was actually hoping for an example or two to go with this point.

I drop the 'he said/she replied' bit and let them toggle the speech whenever I can.

However this isn't a practical remedy for when a conversation happens during an action sequence. If you have any suggestions in this area, maybe this could be a topic for a future how-to article?


Thank you for sharing these pointers. They have elucidated some of the more difficult concepts I'm still struggling with when I write dialogue.

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21
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Review by the last cicada
Rated: E | (5.0)
~~Image #1116574 Sharing Restricted~~

Thank you so much for all the gps! I don't know who to thank personally but they linked to this page so I have to assume a connection.

Thank you, Anonymous for the nice comments. I appreciate your support. It's wonderful to know when one of my reviews can encourage someone to read the work I based my review on!

Thank you for reading all my reviews! "Invalid Item, "Invalid Item, and "Invalid Item


Amy *Heart*
the last cicada

my review sig
22
22
Review by the last cicada
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Oh boy! This is hilarious!

Tell me if this is the first episode of the evil Acme Empire? I always like to start at the beginning but I don't mind reading back issues *Bigsmile*

I love how there's a good guy BOND agent wrecking your organization one square mile at a time.

I love how henchmen try to curry evil favors from you. The kidnapping request is so original. *Thumbsup* for a bashful henchmen requesting a 2nd kidnapping in so short a time. Such an insightful way to deal with unwanted family members.

It's so sweet that you are so attached to Minty and how you try to make your evil henchmen feel more competent even when they're not.

My favorite part is the intro. It really humanizes you... So fallible... So taking it all in stride.


Amy *Laugh*
the last cicada
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Review by the last cicada
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a wonderful group to have! I love this place. Feels like a secret garden. I've been in WDC long enough and still every day brings up new and wonderful places to discover and cherish.

Thank you for setting up such a forum. It's a much needed place to thank Anonymous.

Amy
the last cicada
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Review of A dragon story  
Review by the last cicada
Rated: E | (4.0)
Good story. I liked it. The reason I picked this story from your port was by the title. I love dragon tales.

Your story didn't disappoint *Smile* It was very original and I liked the way you told the story, giving history and info on the dragons in the first part and then telling the reader how you discovered them.

The story had some typos and mistakes. I highlighted those that I found. My comments on the other hand may be easier to follow if you go through the story as each point is made. I focused mainly on tackling the assertions the story makes about dragons and the main character and providing my first impressions.

Thus minus half star for edits and minus half star for plot strength equals four stars.

I had a wonderful time reading it. I hope you find my suggestions useful.

Amy
the last cicada


I assumed the narrator was a woman.


Time, not magic, changed the appearance of the Dragon.
Great first line. Now I am curious as to how.


The size of a horse would give an accurate description.
Very nice comparison. Easy to imagine.


Their bodies are mostly covered in small cone-shaped features, with a smooth, leathery spot along their back and bellies.
Their bodies are mostly covered in small cone-shaped features, with a smooth, leathery spot along their backs and bellies.


They are four legged creatures with the ability to stand on the back to legs to give them more height and a more intimidating look, although they are actually gentle creatures.
They are four legged creatures with the ability to stand on the back of their legs to give them more height and a more intimidating look, although they are actually gentle creatures.


Their wings are made of a thick, leathery skin covering the cartilage and bone. This allows them to fly gracefully as well as very high.
Sounds more like stiff. Maybe convince readers that this type of leather is soft and flexible to make graceful more believable. Since this is a dragon, first assumption that came to my mind was this was tough leather, natural protection against sharp objects like rocks, missiles, weapons, ...


If they were found out, they would surely be hunted again.
Why? I don't even know why dragons were hunted in the first place. Hasn't man evolved at all since then? Why would we kill our own best protectors? ** They have come out of hiding to help us fight the evils of the world. This point you made came from the third paragraph **


Once the gland shoots the it out, it causes a friction which then ignites the it.
Once the gland shoots the it out, it causes a friction which then ignites it.
Very nice explanation.


The dragons are natural earth tones with sky blue eyes.
I'm assuming that skin color is earth tone?


This helps when they go against the evils in the world since both dragon and human know exactly what the other is planning on doing.
How do they retain their own identity? A potential telepathic weakness is to lose one's identity. How do you know whos thought is in your head? Is there a way to tell?


Well, this has given the description, now it’s time to find out how I know about all of this.
Cool transition. I like. Feels like reader and narrator have been conversing. History lesson is over and now the real story is about to begin.


How I spotted the second path, I’m not real sure.
Very believable and brings on suspense.


I would call it more of a path that a deer had made.
Very eloquently put. Says so much with so few words. A beautiful and graphic description of path. Also reveals a lot about the background scenery of the wilderness you're exploring.


A difficult feat in itself since it barely showed.
showed? I'm not familiar with this expression. Just thought I'd mention it. Sentence made me lose my place a bit.


Rainbows were forming everyone I looked.
Rainbows were forming everywhere I looked.


There really are caves here, I thought to myself. My excitement was building quite rapidly.
I like this part. I'm connecting with character. Now I know she's the adventurous type and she's going to explore the cave for me.


I looked around thinking there had to be a picnic area or something.
Cool. She still doesn't suspect anything unusual which is completely believable. I like the buildup of suspense to when she discovers dragon. My curiousity is building, still waiting for the dragon to come into the story.


I really didn’t care that I would be soaked before getting through to it.
Down and dirty type. My kind of girl. I can feel the determination.


Easing inside (I really don’t care for spiders either) my eyes began to adjust to the darkness.
I'm not sure where the spiders came from. Why mention this fear? either implies earlier mention in story but I don't recall. If there was a mention, please emphasize this detail more strongly because I seemed to have missed it. Also, either implies I share her sentiment. Kind of disconnects me from her a bit and stops the flow of the story a bit.


Curious now more than scared, I began to walk further into the cave.
I've never sensed scared in her. I only sensed her excitement and my own self imposed trepidation from relating to her in her shoes.


It was looking straight at me! Oh lord, I thought. What has my rebellious nature gotten me into now?
Great section. I can see how she views herself. In her mind, she's a rebel who's gotten into trouble before for rebelling. Very nice way revealing character. I can sense her worry.


And it was just as scared as I was.
Curious. I still can't sense her fear.


Wait a minute……how did I know this????
Cool. Nice self discovery that also addresses my questions.


As it rose on, I backed up a few feet.
As it rose up, I backed up a few feet.
As it rose on all fours, I backed up a few feet.


Not really scared, but this was quite an intimidating creature.
Not really scary, but this was quite an intimidating creature.
scared/scary - I assume this describes its appearance


It radiated confidence and gentleness.
Good point. You knew the dragon was scared and yet it radiated positive feelings. This makes it all believable your statement that dragons are protectors against evils. I can feel the nurturing side of dragon from this combination of feelings.


... and I saw the world from the sky!

Nice! I feel your wonder and at same time I feel envious of your experience. You did a good job leading me to this mood.



My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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Review by the last cicada
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I found your story from "Invalid Post"  

Through quiet marshes, myserious forests brimming with danger, and around dead lakes, the rivers feeding them long since dried up.
Through quiet marshes, mysterious forests brimming with danger, and around dead lakes, the rivers feeding them long since dried up.

One of the warriors, a small but muscled human figure, limping from a leg wound, muttered under his breath “God, when will we get out of this accursed place?”
One of the warriors, a small, muscled human figure, limping from a leg wound, muttered under his breath “God, when will we get out of this accursed place?”

Meeliae, the tall and slender elven mage, was tempted to drop a fireball on the pair, but managed to resist the urge.

I like the placement of this line. Meeliae really sounds peeved.

Sollvelis, skilled elven bowman, marched on ignoring to the two fighters.
Sollvelis, skilled elven bowman, marched on ignoring the two fighters.

Starting from They attacked. The battle was short lived., I feel the end of the prologue needs more work. The words feel too abrupt especially since the story seemed to be progressing so leisurely and descriptively. It doesn't seem very a satisfying end to such a good start.

Also, Thedaeus doesn't get mentioned until the end when he is killed(and he's only mentioned once in the entire prologue) . His introduction comes as a surprise especially since his name didn't seem significant enough to mention earlier in the prologue. Dropping his name by that point feels awkwardly gratuitous and a bit confusing (I had to read the piece again to see if I missed anything; it is hard to connect the dots by that time to any subtle references mentioned earlier about him).

Very good writing at the first half of prologue, second half needs work to do justice to beginning. I think this is a very promising start to an exciting novel.

Amy
the last cicada
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