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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/elaineelaine
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56 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: E | (4.0)
I very much enjoyed this little acrostic. I enjoyed each line which followed the poem's format, but also added to the picture of your celebrating your friend.

Thanks for sharing!
2
2
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: ASR | N/A (Review only item.)
I enjoyed this story. It was a heartfelt account of a family facing a difficult decision. I liked how you had various medical experts give their input and how the family came to make their decision. I liked how you had them say some last loving words to their mother at the end.

Any changes I would suggest are format in nature. Either keep the paragraphs all indented the same or keep them double spaced. At one point you call Dr. Toner, Dr. Turner.

That's all I saw that's the matter with this little piece.

Thanks for sharing!
3
3
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Wow. I've been enjoying your blog for awhile. This poem is a delight to discover.

I enjoyed the numerous twists and turns as you exhibit a marriage unraveling. Or, in your explanation, perhaps there was never really any thread at all.

Oh man, I really like the last seemed that also means seamed.

I have no suggestions or corrections for this piece. I was a little confused at the word

themselves

hanging out by itself, but I figured you knew/felt exactly what you meant.

Thanks for sharing!
4
4
Review of Thor  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Oh good, I don't have to rate this. I find poetry very difficult to rate. Of course there are the usual considerations of spelling. Phrases can be clumsy and not pleasing. Beyond that, a poem either works for the individual or doesn't.

I thought many of your phrases were powerful. I am not clear as to what elicited this poem. Okay, the name gives me more hints. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say someone loves Thor and doesn't feel the love reciprocated.

I particularly liked the refrain of "again, again, again." I always was a sucker for repetition. I would suggest more lines not beginning with capitals, particularly the lines beginning with in. Looking back at the poem, it seems as if each stanza is a separate sentence and therefore would only begin with a capital in the first line of the stanza.

Not sure why you have a comma in "Me myself I, have no pride."

The poem vaguely felt unfinished. If you like it, cool. But a few more indications of what is going on would be helpful to me.

Thanks for sharing!
5
5
Review of Memories Lost  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
This was an excellent first draft. The story had vivid characters. I could relate to Sammy and her concern for her friend, Jamie. I had to go back to the story and reread it to get straight Jamie and Janice. I have read a suggestion to keep separate characters with names that begin with different letters to more easily keep them straight. At one point I wasn't sure if I were encountering a typo. I found myself disliking Matt along with Sammy.

What I thought was there was too much recitation and not enough showing. I know this is a common statement to a writer and I have the hardest time seeing this in my own work. Let me try to give an example.

"Then she saw Matt talking to his buddy, Garrett. Sam never liked Garrett. He gave her the creeps. There was something underhand and slimy about him. She usually avoided him whenever she could. Him being here raised red flags. Serious red flags."

This was all telling. What if you had phrased it

"Then she saw Matt taking to his buddy Garrett. Sam shuddered. Garrett always reminded her of a mangled rat a cat dropped on the doormat. Like some awful zombie, he didn't belong at the party and his being here heralded disaster."

That's not a great example, but it is an attempt to punch up your descriptions. Based on the story, I think you have it in you to rephrase.

Thanks for sharing. I did enjoy the care Sam felt for her friend, Jamie. I wished I knew more where Janice fit into the story, except for some other person caught in Matt's and Garrett's little game. That explanation works!
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6
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: E | (4.0)
Oh, how perfectly sad. I'm sure many people get caught in a similar situation as Leah - totally ignored. You captured the situation well. I keep wishing someone had more sense to notice how Leah felt. This wish makes me realize how well you presented the emotion of family taking another for granted. Leah isn't stuck with a family that actively tries to hurt her, but she doesn't seem to matter to them. Not past the superficial. I can't help but wish more for Leah. I have no suggestions for the story. I didn't see any typos. It would be a whole different story if and when her family actually paid her any attention. The story could well be an early chapter of a book where Leah and her family grows into a more healthy relationship.
7
7
Review of Falling Slowly  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Goodness. I enjoy your writings and this story is no exception. You kept me worrying about this and that. The end was a good twist. You left me with yet another worry -- will Harvey finish his novel? I do have one problem with the story. Why doesn't Harvey know he's a vampire? That's puzzling. Other than that question, I have no other suggestions for the story. I liked the abrupt change from a spaceman facing death turning out to be part of a fictional story. It was an interesting twist. And the twists kept coming! Thanks for an enjoyable story.
8
8
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I have found the challenge holds a group of creative and supporting people. The challenge prompts are interesting and the support you receive from your fellow journalists is fantastic. The leader is enthusiastic. If you enjoy journaling, then this is a group for you.
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9
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Nice job! You made a wish-fullfillment story actually interesting. I am impressed. The only request I have of you is to put a blank lines between your paragraphs. It's very hard to read solid text online.

Again, thanks for sharing. *Laugh*
10
10
Review of An Object Lesson  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
First Impressions

Interesting. I liked the small slice of the world you presented. I ended up with one major question that wasn’t terribly important – what city and time and/or planet did this story take place?

Dialogue

The dialogue flowed naturally between the characters. I did think some of the dialogue was stereotypical of the “scorned woman” and her lover, but the conversation is typical of the romance genre.

Character Development

I think you showed a change of the main character and how she saw and dealt with the world around her.

Plot

The plot was solid. Though it seemed a bit interrupted from premise to the ending. Did the two of them go back to Zylene’s room and finish the setup of the beginning? Or did Laurence leave her back at the Scarlet Sash house with a object lesson for the day?

Point of View

I was comfortable with Zylene’s point of view.

Setting and Descriptions

Here is where you excelled. Aside from the omission of the larger world the two lived in, you did an excellent job of describing the character’s surroundings with all of the senses. I especially enjoyed

“Now, under Laurence's sharp gaze, she was glad for the preparation. There was value, after all, in knowing precisely how to pour wine so that it swirled in the glass like spun garnet, how to handle the bottle in just the right way as to draw attention to the elegance of a slim, well-turned wrist.”

Grammar and Spelling

If there were errors, I don’t remember seeing them.


What I liked best

The descriptions that pulled me into the characters’ world.

What I didn’t like

I do apologize. I’m not much for romance. I really didn’t like the melodrama of the main female character or the pseudo-cruelty of the male main character. However, the story is your story and many people like those romantic stereotypes. The story would be improved for me if you toned down Zylene’s conversation with Laurence.


Summary

In summary, this is one reader’s opinion. I’ve long found that people are highly individualistic and what one person enjoys, another doesn’t. I hope this review gives you something to work with.

Thanks and write on!

** Image ID #592453 Unavailable **



My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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11
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
First Impressions

I liked the story. It kept my attention even through the lack of double spacing between paragraphs. Please, please be sure to double space. It is too difficult to read online when the piece isn’t double spaced.

Dialogue

The dialogue seemed natural enough. There was a good mix of dialogue in with the other descriptive and narrative parts.
.

Character Development

This type of story doesn’t lean much to character development, per se, but there was a progression of the character so that we finally understood what situation he was in.

Plot

The plot was interesting enough. As I said, I wanted to read the story through to find out what was going on.

Point of View

I think you stuck with the point of view of your main character. At the end, narrative pulled the story out of that perspective, but the flow seemed natural.


Setting and Descriptions

I think you put enough descriptions in to let us know where your character was.


Grammar and Spelling

As I said, I had a difficult time with the lack of double spacing. I don’t remember seeing any grammar or spelling problems.


What I liked best

How you sucked me into the main character’s experience. I did end up caring about him and wanted him to stop hurting.

What I didn’t like

Although I enjoyed your premise, I wished you had a more consistent storyline going on in the character’s dream. The dream story seemed to jump around a great deal. I wasn’t sure if you wanted to stay as memories of the man or something different. In the end, I found the dreams confusing and not necessarily conducive to the whole storyline.

I also think you should not call the helpful woman on the plane beautiful. Twice, you stick with that word. Is there another way you can say how your character finds her attractive? Describing the helpful woman is a great way of revealing something about your main character. For example, would he say, “I’d like to jump her bones.” Would he use some phrase peculiar to himself such as, “She was perfect as mustard on a hot dog”?

Oh, and your consistency broke down a little at the end. I never saw where the woman consisted to sleeping with one of the workers. That would mean the other worker would have argued more.

Summary

In summary, this is one reader’s opinion. I’ve long found that people are highly individualistic and what one person enjoys, another doesn’t. I hope this review gives you something to work with.

Thanks and write on!

** Image ID #592453 Unavailable **



My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
You know, I love this. I can't think of a single thing I would suggest changing. You have done marveously well weaving the beginning into the ending. It's such a beautiful story of married love. See is you can find a publication venue for it. *Smile*
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13
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: E | (4.5)
You've done it again. You certainly have a talent for telling vivid stories about childhood experiences. *Smile* I really liked this.

I noted a few format problems -- just paragraphs without a blank line between them. I also wouldn't mispell the word acronym in the following sentence; it's not something the boy is writing to justify keeping the mispelling.

I wasn’t sure my Grandfather understood all the ackernims we use in the Scouts

You really do include a lot of incredible details in this story. After I read it, I felt as if I'd met the boy and his grandparents. Gee whiz, after seeing how intelligent his grandparents are, you can see why the boy is so smart. *Smile* I would suggest putting in a few more sensorary details. I always enjoy those sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile feelings. You could try to intertwine even more unique descriptions, similes, and metaphors that would express the boy's outlook. Not a lot, but a few go a long ways to making your writing even more vivid.

Thanks for entering Round 11 of "Invalid Item . It was a pleasure to read your story.
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Review of Men's Club  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
This was an intriging little suspense/horror/mystery story.

I think you have a good gift of dialogue. I could hear the characters' voices. I think you have a good grasp of plot, the story flowed naturally from the beginning to end.

I do see several errors. Every time you have Mabel address Artie, you need to insert a comma. You see, when you address someone, their name is considered parenthetical. You could say the same sentence without the name and it would make as much sense.

"I know, Artie. But thats what I'm here for. I am here for you when you need an ear."

She keeps saying that it's a men's only club."

when its is a substitute for it is, it needs the apostrophe and is spelled it's

I was confused by this statement.

It would appear that nineteen men, in varying states of decay were found inside the bar hidden in a secret room behind the big beer cooler."

I thought you said the men were found in a freezer. And then I was confused as to how much space nineteen men would take. You said that Mabel moved around. Where did she store these frozen men while she moved?

I also didn't find the paragraph

In weeks to come it was discovered that Mabel was quite intelligent after all and not a little bit crazy. She had studied to be a pharmacist, but had gone into the bar business instead. She had very specific potions that she offered the sad and dejected men who stopped in to tell her all their painful and pitiful problems. One made them happy, one loosened their tongues, one made them exceptionally open to her suggestions, and all were laced with extremely adddictive substances.

the least bit credible. Why would drunks need any other drug than alcohol to make them happy, loosen their tongues, open them to suggestions, and make them addicted? Poisen I could understand, but not the other drugs.

I thought your last sentence was particularly powerful. That was a great touch.

I was thrown by your inclusion of your question at the end of the story. You already told us the moral right there in the last sentence. The insertion of this academic question detracted from the mood of the story and its punch. It was as if the teacher didn't even allow the class to think about the story before speaking up. If you want to ask this question and interact with your readers, I suggest putting it at the beginning of the story.

Thanks for participating in Round 11 of "Invalid Item . I enjoyed your story.
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Review of Elzorath  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
I thought you did a wonderful job on this story. There was so many good details. I thought you had a solid beginning, middle and end.

However, I ended up being disatisfied with the story. Something still didn't fit together. I liked your beginning, that was fine. It's when we meet Jean that things don't really feel right. I really don't think you give Jean due process as she recovers from the killing of her boss. She should be much more scared than is shown, at least in my mind. By not focusing on her more and letting us see that she was looking for romance -- before having it thrown at her, the story just seems too easy.

And if you want us to believe that the vampire fell in love with Jean in Josh's office, well, more atmosphere is needed for me to believe it. Plus, Elzorath killed the collector before he met Jean. Why doesn't Elzorath tell a little bit more about his original plans so that the story is tied together a bit more?

In the following phrase

As she passed the building, however, her consciounce told her that something was not right.

I think the word you are looking for is intuition instead of conscience(consciounce)

I think you going in the right direction with this story, but you need to fill in the gaps. You didn't give any scenes of how Jean dealt with Josh's death. There was no dealing with the police as they think Jean may have had something to do with the death. I never got the feeling Jean was in danger, when she may well have been.

I didn't understand why you didn't give us the scene when Jean found the museum caretaker, Frank. Wouldn't Jean be under suspicion again?

How does Jean get the dentist to tell her who is patients are? Just what are Jean's credentials?

This story could easily be a novel. I'm not sure if you can tell it without making it at least novella length.

I even found myself wondering why this vampire could go out during the day and look normal.

I also wanted more details about what things looked like. At times you seemed to be rushing the story. I wanted more description. I wanted Jean to be less concerned about who or what she "loved" and be concerned with being arrested or getting killed. I wanted her to care about the people that died.

The story was also a bit confusing at the beginning when Josh was viewing the pictures. I never did understand how a picture could have glowing eyes. Something just didn't make sense there.

Please, I very much encourage you to continue working on this story. You have a good structure. I just think it needs expansion, emotions, and realistic touches inserted into it.

Thanks for participating in "Invalid Item . Your story was a pleasure to read.
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Review of The Second Coming  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I really, really liked this story. It was a wonderful slice of life. You have presented your narrator and Clifton and where they lived so vividly. And surely there was a real miracle if it stopped Papa from drinking.

I wouldn't mind at all reading more stories from your narrator. He surely has a ton of them. *Smile*

I saw a few minor mechanical errors.

We told his grandparents that we were going to check our trotlines.

Is it troutlines?

You need to be sure to always set off names by commas.

"Oh Lord, I've stole from my neighbor."

"Pray to Him
, brother"

"Lord
, I'm a drunkard."

There are more, but if you put the story through a spell/grammar checker, I think you'd find the rest of them.

And please, please, please put in just a little bit more about who was the man waiting for GeeHaw. I'm almost positive I know, but I know upon first reading, I didn't catch on. I think you could just say so when Clifton realized who it was. That would be the natural place to let the reader know for sure. And that one fact would let the rest of the story flow even easier to the ending, not that it wasn't an excellent summation of the event.

Wonderful job!
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Review of Only You  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I really had trouble rating this piece. I always do. *Confused* I liked a lot in this story. I thought you did well in establishing a wistful atmostphere. I found myself wanting a little more action, but you shifted from description to action shortly after I began to get tired.

I had to think about why I ended up not really enjoying the story. You see, you set up a scenario at the beginning. You have a solid middle. It's the ending that did not follow from the previous premises. I know you wanted a surprise ending, but not every story is designed to give such an ending. I tried to be fair to the story, but I ended up asking that if your main character is so over Jeff, why is she even having this vivid dream about him? I also do not like "It was all a dream" stories. More often than not, these are out-of-fashion. It takes something unusual to make that plotline work. I don't think your story succeeded.

I have a couple of hints. You may have dreams mentioned at the beginning of the story, in that conversation with her sister.

Like I said, I really liked your description and evocative emotions. I really liked the travel through your main character's emotions. Perhaps you can still use most of this story and still have the dream, but don't have your character recognize who's in her dream. Make it more surrealistic. Hide who she's finding in her house. That way you can more smoothly move from her desire for Jeff, acceptance that he's gone, and prepare the reader for the fact that she truly has moved on. You can use your strength of description and forget about trying for a sudden surprise. Just tell the story straight. I, for one, would probably enjoy the story better that way and would accordingly give you that extra 1/2 rating point that means, "yes, this is a good story and publishable."

Thanks for participating in Round 11 of "Invalid Item . It was a pleasure reading your story.
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Review of The North Shore  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
This is a decent story. Please put blank lines between paragraphs. It was very hard to read.

I wish I could tell you what you need to do to improve the story. Everything is there, but it didn't quite work for me. Maybe you need Susan to remember more things before working to the climax? As it is it seems Claire blames herself for something that wasn't her fault. Susan has repressed the memory. And Susan has to get Danny back on track. And yet, so little of this is shown. It's told. I'm thinking the story is way too short as is. It needs a lot of expansion to fill everything in and make the tension work.
19
19
Review of Masquerade  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Whee! This one was so sad. I really did end up with more questions than answered in this story. Is it an installment of a larger work?

What made you decide to place it in High Fantasy? Where is the battle against great evil? Did I miss where you mentioned it? Assasins aren't usually considered good people fighting against evil. If you want to convince the reader they are working for the forces of good, you're going to have to work extra hard. As it is, the story reads more like Adventure Fantasy, where we are following the adventures of Kyelle and Jethros. Perhaps you have in mind a longer work where Jethros ends up fighting against evil?

Would you consider changing the mention of elves to another race, making up your own world with your own races of people? I think it would read much better and give you room to develop your own unique world.

Please put a blank line between every paragraph. Each change of speaker demands a new paragraph. If you choose not to do that, then follow the print convention of indentations before each paragraph.

You've got a solid good story here that is interesting. You almost lost me as a reader in the first three paragraphs. That first couple of paragraphs should be a lot less description and a lot more action. There is so much room for vivid heart-stopping action as Kyelle escapes.

Thanks for entering "Invalid Item. I enjoyed reading your story. Let me know if you decide to revise it or continue it. *Smile*
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Review of Burned  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Woohoo! This was truly excellent. Clean up the couple of times you didn't skip a space between paragraphs and it will be perfect. You should try this one for publication, it's that good.
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21
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hrm. Wasn't sure about this one. It's very clever. Loved your re-interptations of all the lines. Did you think of this all yourself or did you have friends to help? If you thought of it all on your own, I may be tempted to go back and re-rate as a 5.0 just for sheer comedic brillance! Giggle. You may come help me be funny any ole day.

A few potential technical problems. I'm torn with the first paragraph. The use of second person isn't recommended, and yet, it did seem to work for this story.

My ole complaint about varied sentence structure. I know you say you work to achieve an aim with your sentence structure and I'm impressed. I'm just not so convinced you can't have simple sentences without the typical "subject, verb, object" format. I could be wrong. *Smile*

I think I'll leave the piece a 4.0 in that we were only given a small glimpse at all of your characters. We still don't know much about the teacher and the two students. For all we know, the two students *are* poetical, but the teacher hasn't figured it out. Or we don't know if the students will pick up on what the teacher is trying to teach, if not in appreciating literature, but in growing to enjoy the world around them.

Other than the two technical points, I'm not really asking you to change the story as is. It works! And is quite funny. Comedy is fun just for its own sake. But, you have the beginning of something still comedic, but a learning opportunity for all of your characters as well as your audience -- if the comedy serves to help them all realize something wonderful about themselves and the world around them.

Again, thanks for a nice giggle this morning.
22
22
Review of Left  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: E | (4.5)
Wow. I really like this. You have captured the candance so very well. A couple of requests/suggestions.

Please put lines between each paragraph. I was lucky to be able to read the story, but lines between each paragraph makes it so much easier to read online. I know this is different from written copy, but then, online is different.

I really, really liked this story, but I wanted just a tiny bit more from it. You see, I wasn't sure the mother learned anything at all. You've got the conflict between the daughter and the mother. You have a nice tale, but you still not have a resolution. Not really. The story does work as written. It is true to life. But, like I said, I wanted just a little more. I wanted the speaking character -- the mother -- to learn something from the experience. I wanted her to have an ephiphany of understanding. I wanted her to have some glimmer of what it was like to be her daughter.

I think in some ways, you have the beginning of a short story. It's very good as written, but you could do another draft and start putting in dialogue, description, and setting -- all of the elements of a short story. You've done great with your characterization. You have a theme. You do have a rudimentary plot. It needs fleshed out more to become a full story -- one that might make us cry or laugh. I liked the story so much because you spent time on the mother and letting us hear her thoughts and feelings.

I encourage you to keep going! *Smile* Work on that second, third, and nineth draft. Until you get something presented that meets all the requirments of a short story. I'd love to read it.
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Review of A New York Virgin  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
I like this little item. You've captured the feeling of being in a strange place. A number of your images were particularly good, for example, I really liked

Fountains and statues were ever frozen above the crowds, sharply contrasting the ever flowing motion of the people passing by.

However, you do exhibit a tendency to wordiness and vagueness and passive tense. See the above example. Here's a suggested rephrasing:

Frozen fountains and statues rose high above the restless stream of people below them.

See how I'm tried to change it to active tense and fewer words?

Let me pull another example of wordiness:

Repulsed by the smells of fried food, we lingered uncomfortably in a shifty cluster near the doorway, all pretending to scrutinize the boards we’d memorized at our last McDonalds stop.

This could be rephrased as

Repulsed by the smells of fried food, we clustered nearby the doorway, shielding ourself from action by staring at the memorized black and white menu board above the steel counters.

Or something like that. I still don't exactly like my rephrasing.

I like your dialogue and quips. I'd stick with putting names to most of the quips, even if you don't exactly remember who said what. This would make the action more vivid and you get a chance to characterize another of your classmates.

Oh, and please put blank lines between paragraphs. This makes the item a lot easier to read online.

As I said, I enjoyed the read. I just think you can phrase it even stronger than you have. You've got some great quips and observations. Keep up the good work!
24
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Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: E | (5.0)
Oh, this is so precious. I like this one a little more than the one about the drowned boy. I get very sensitive in trying to tell a story with a message. I don't think a message is a bad thing at all, but I work very hard at making the message part and parcel of the story. I'm sharing this, just to let you know why I like this one more than the other one. This one started out with a question that was answered at the end. There wasn't quite as much "lecturing" as found in the other girl's thoughts. Those thoughts were perfectly immeshed in the story, but this one has a bit more action. And I loved the double answer! God allows, nah, encourages us to create Easter Eggs -- things of beauty. *Smile*

Once again I saw a few instances (very few) of extra words. I loved the way you translated the Spanish words.

Oh, this is the third story I've read. It is considered less professional to use ellipses, unless the character's dialogue is trailing off, or you are quoting something and want to leave something out in the middle.

Oh, what a gift of storytelling you have. *Smile*
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Review of Life At My House  
Review by ElaineElaine
Rated: E | (5.0)
Oh, my! That was soooooooooo cute! You have such a gift. I loved it. *Smile*

I noticed a few minor errors. A few times you left in an extra word or so. Let me illustrate with the first two paragraphs:

“Polly wants a limousine,” Frances, Father’s parrot always squawked. And every time she did that, Peter Cottontail, Mother’s cat, would meow in response, and my little brother Joey would immediately fall to the floor in giggles. Then the dog, Simon Says, would start to bark and chase after Peter Cottontail. Round and round the couch and chairs they’d go, and if Father wasn’t around, up and over them as well. It was quite a circus!

We older children mostly stood around and watched, half-bored with having seen it so many times. But if there was a visitor, we’d watch through their eyes, and find ourselves laughing once again.


Let me see, I thought I saw another paragraph that was slightly rough. Let me see if I can find it.

This might be it:

Then there was Leonard. Leonard never stopped reading. He used one hand to turn the pages of his book, and the other hand – never bothering with utensils (which Leonard had declared interfered with his ability to feel texture, size, and shape of food,) he tossed the meal into his mouth like a basketball player at a gymnasium.

I am finding it is very easy to let extra words slow down the telling of one's story. I'm trying to learn to edit out these words. And that's all I saw wrong with this item. As I said, I loved it!


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