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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/elle
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472 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I generally give an overview of the item, then point out any corrections, suggestions or highlight favourite lines. I am a member of "P.E.N.C.I.L., "WDC Addicts Anonymous the Paper Doll Gang and a captain of the "WDC Power Reviewers Group. See my reviews below for examples.
I'm good at...
Proofreading and catching typos, spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar.
Favorite Genres
Romance, fantasy
Least Favorite Genres
Horror
Favorite Item Types
Poetry.
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review by Elle
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Gabriella ,
This review was done on behalf of House Targaryen as part of "Game of Thrones!

*Dragon* GENERAL:
I was so intrigued when I opened this poem to find paragraphs rather than stanzas. Of course, now I see that the short description says that it is prose poetry, but somehow I missed that earlier!

Prose poetry is something that I've only become acquainted with since coming to Writing.com. I think it can be difficult to get the balance right, but you've done a great job here. There's no real plot, as such, so it's not too heavy on the prose side of things. It is highly descriptive, and makes use of a number of poetic conventions too, so yep, I think you've done really well with the 'form'.

The poem starts off with the narrator having quite morbid thoughts, but the description is so beautiful and peaceful that I found the whole poem quite restful and positive. Then that last sentence closed the circle and brought us back to the morbid thoughts. Honestly, I found that a little confusing. Or maybe unsettling is a better word. Like, I felt that I knew where the poem was going, and then it turned out to be in another direction entirely, and I wasn't anticipating that. I'm unsure if that was deliberate or not. If it wasn't, I think I'd recommend revising to make some of your description darker. For instance, the deer are peacefully grazing. What if they were startled, or even just wary? The birds speak in comforting gibberish, but what if they were squabbling instead? It really does depend what mood you were aiming for.


*Dragon* CONVENTION:
You use a lot of personification, which is my very favourite convention. *Bigsmile* I love how the sun 'climbs', the birds 'talk' and the crows 'bicker'. It adds a lot of depth and personality to your poem. Great work.

Right at the beginning you speak of a sweeping tide, but I don't know if this is literal or figurative. I know that here, in New Zealand, it is entirely possible to have the shore, meadows, and forest, all within easy eyesight of each other, but I don't know if this is so common overseas. I did think that perhaps you meant it figuratively, and the narrator might be drowning in the beauty or innocence of the new day? I think this could probably be clarified without too much difficulty, and that would be better than leaving your reader guessing.

Your middle paragraph uses soft consonants and quite a bit of sibilance (s sounds). This gives it a soft feeling, and an easy, smooth flow. Then your last paragraph contains more hard consonants, especially in the second half. This works really well for both paragraphs, moving from the light to the dark. Hmm, this makes me think that maybe your change of mood was deliberate. *Wink*


*Dragon* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
I didn't notice any spelling or grammar errors, but I thought your last paragraph could use a few more well-placed commas. *Smile* I know that punctuation in poetry is subjective, so you can disregard my advice if the choice to leave the commas out was deliberate.

'It is here, at this early hour of the day with its tree rustling breezes and the single bumblebee flying in circles around my half empty cup of coffee, that daybreak warms...'

The description of the early hour is basically an interjection into the primary sentence, so that's why I've placed commas either side of it. *Smile*


*Dragon* FAVOURITE LINES:
I really love the description of the animals. Here, in New Zealand, we don't have foxes or crows, and we don't really have much wild deer either. The descriptions of the animals made the whole poem sound quite exotic to me. *Smile*


*Dragon* FINAL NOTE:
I think this is not just the first time I've reviewed your writing, but might actually be the first time I've read your writing. We all know how much work you do for the community, and your groups and activities are pretty legendary in both scope and impact, but of course, you are a writer too. I'm counting myself lucky that I managed to find this wee gem in your portfolio. I hope my feedback is useful.
Elle



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by Elle
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewer's...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Damas
I found your poem at "I Write Romantic in Winter. *Smile*


*Burstp* GENERAL:
This was an interesting poem about desire. Rather than speaking about a single instance or example of desire, it instead spoke about desire as a concept. In truth, it was a poem in defense of desire, as it challenged the idea that desire was something bad or evil.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
I'm not sure if this is a specific form or not, but it uses an AA BB rhyme scheme until the last four lines which use an AB CB rhyme scheme.

That we lose sight of everything else in our mind.
Staying fully entranced, completely hypnotized.

This couplet stood out to me because it doesn't rhyme. I couldn't see any reason for it. Maybe you changed a word and forgot to fix the rhyme? Not sure, but I'm pointing it out just in case.

When in it’s presence we can become devote.
Although 'devote' is a proper word, it doesn't fit in the sentence, or seem to rhyme with 'without', so I think the word you actually wanted was 'devout'.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
To desire means to want, to want to hold, to want, to love.
You say 'to want' twice, once before 'to want to hold' and once after. Not sure if that was deliberate or accidental repetition...

Don’t ever think that that to desire is evil.
You've got an extra 'that' in there.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
A place where those without desire have always fell
Although this rhymes with the previous line, it feels awkward. If you're not going to use 'fallen', I'd have a play with it and see how else you can express the same meaning.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
Desire has turned beggars to kings and turned empires to dust.
It has watched civilizations rise, and broken men trust.

I really love how you finish this couplet. 'Broken men trust'. Definitely my favourite part of the poem. *Smile*


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
There's a few minor spots to tidy up, but overall the poem works well. It's easy to read and easy to understand. I enjoyed reading it.
Elle



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by Elle
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewer's...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
*Flowerw* This is a review from "WdC Kind Hearts *Flowerw*


Hi Damas
I found your poem at "I Write Romantic in Winter. *Smile*


*Burstp* GENERAL:
This was an interesting take on the prompt. Whereas I saw the prompt as symbolic of two opposing elements, the old 'opposites attract' or even two people from different classes or worlds that couldn't be together... You interpreted it literally. What fun! I never would have thought of that. Very clever. The idea that it was literally fire and water that loved each other is a fun and fascinating concept.

You start off with descriptions of each as they were individually, then how they reacted when they were together, then finished with a description of the current situation with them apart. I thought the ending made the whole thing read like a folk tale or a legend.

I thought the poem started off hopeful, but then finished on a sad note with the two forever parted and forever changed by their love. Almost depressing!


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
This poem is quite unique, and I certainly haven't see a form quite like this on Writing.com before. When I was younger my friend and I used to write poems that had long lines of text and didn't have the line breaks that I now use. After some education here at Writing.com, I came to believe they were a form of prose poem. But yours is like a compromise between a free form poem and prose poem. I find it quite fascinating. You have some short lines, as one might expect from a free form poem, and then there are some longer lines, much longer than is currently conventional in poetry. With the mix of longer and shorter lines, the poem has a feel of going from prose to poetry and back again. It's very unusual, but I think I like it. I'm honestly not sure if your poem would be stronger with shorter lines or not. I quite like the current layout, even though it feels rebellious to say so!

If it weren't literal, I would you have some wonderful figurative language, but it can't be both figurative and literal, can it?! *Laugh*


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
The two were imperfection at it’s finest.
You don't need an apostrophe in its.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
As much as I like the use of the longer lines, there are some aspects to this poem that do feel more like prose, and I think it is the use of unnecessary words. If you went through and condensed it, refined it a little, I think it would be much stronger. As an example:
She would drown in her own deadly tides, just as he would burn in his own self-loathing embers
'She drowned in deadly tides, as he burned in self-loathing embers.'

It says the same thing, but is more condensed, more succinct. I think you could do this in a number of places throughout the poem, and it would definitely make it stronger.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
The two were chaos and serenity.
Hope and despair.

I love love LOVE these opening lines. Just brilliant. Chaos and serenity. Perfect. And I love that you haven't bothered with proper sentence structure for the second line, just pared it down to the absolute minimum that you need to get your point across to the audience. *Smile*


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I found this to be a really interesting poem, both in form and content. I really enjoyed reading it, and I think you've inspired me to play around with some of my own line lengths.
Best of luck in the contest you entered!
Elle



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review of Watchful Tree  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)


Hi there,
I found your poem when I was looking for items about autism to review for "a very Wodehouse challenge. *Smile*


*Burstp* GENERAL:
One of the first things I noted is that there is no mention of autism in the poem. Indeed, the poem is quite abstract, leaving a lot open to interpretation.

I got a little confused by the mention of Boo, but not of Jonah, in the poem itself. I concluded that Boo was a nickname, but at first I wondered if it was a soft toy or imaginary friend or similar.

There were a number of lines that I read multiple times, trying to make sense of. An eye-like impression on Boo's birch bark...what does that mean? Is it figurative or literal? I finally came to the decision that it was literal - there is an indent in the bark that he feels watches over him as he sleeps or sits.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
I love your use of italics.
or sits alone.
That makes such a powerful line, especially left isolated as it is.

Cinn and I have been having a long-standing debate about the use of ampersands in poetry. She likes them, but they bug me. *Rolleyes* I'm not sure what your specific reasoning was for using ampersands instead of writing the word out in full, but I think for this poem, you could go either way.

(covers rock, loses to the scissors)
The brackets here work really well. Just a wee interjection, that kind of breaks up the resigned, defeated tone of the poem, and makes the reader smile a little.

Whipping leaves that lash & cut, pull & fall…
For days now, yet, the birch of him has stood:

These two lines (I've removed the extra line break just to make it easier to understand what I'm referring to) were the ones that confused me in the poem. I'm all for the use of figurative language, but I struggled to understand what you mean here.

I know that punctuation is up to the poet, and entirely subjective, but I found the inconsistency in your poem made some parts harder to understand. You use a capital letter at the beginning of a new line even though it is clearly part of the same sentence, and then in other places, don't use a capital letter at the beginning of a new line. For me, this made it hard to tell where sentences started and ended, and added to the confusion.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
His mood impermanent as paper.
I really love that line, and even with the repetition, it still stands strong. It's such an interesting comparison too. Some paper has been around thousands of years, withstanding the test of time, and others are gone in moments. It's easily destroyed, yet can last for a long time with care. So it's very much open to interpretation, and I confess, I'm curious as to what you actually meant about the permanence of his moods.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
Thank you so much for sharing your poem. It was an enjoyable read, and I hope my suggestions are of some value. *Smile* Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)


Hi there,
I found your poem when looking for items about autism to review for "a very Wodehouse challenge. *Smile*


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I really liked the way the beginning of the poem captures the reader's attention. We're swept in, but still wondering 'What is happening? What is he talking about?' We're drawn in by the abstract, and slowly you start to build a picture around us.

I find it hard to tell from the poem whether the narrator is the one who is on the autism spectrum, or if the narrator is speaking of someone else.
"That music's too loud!"
But it's quiet enough...

Which is the narrator's voice. I'd be inclined, normally, to suggest that the 'But it's quiet enough..' is the narrator, and therefore the poem is about someone else who is on the spectrum, but it's not clear. If it weren't for the subtitle (which isn't technically part of the poem itself), I wouldn't have given it a second thought, but that subtitle suggests that it is you, the narrator, who is the one on the spectrum, and so that leaves me feeling quite confused about who is saying what in the poem.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
The poem uses an ABCB rhyme scheme. I couldn't make 'silence' rhyme with 'credence', but it's possible that's because of my accent. If it works for you, that's great, but it might be worth taking another look at.

The short lines give the poem a fast pace, and so the poem overall is quite a quick read. I think that helps, because we're not left wondering what's happening for very long, we're drawn in, but then the picture is built up around us very quickly.

I do like the way you circle back at the end to revisit the blue piece that doesn't fit. It gives the poem a nice sense of completion.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
But then, how many do,
In a puzzle you can't quit?

I really like the idea of a life being a puzzle you can't fit, and some people being 'odd shaped pieces' that don't slot easily into their designated spaces. It's a wonderful analogy. And instead of forcing the fit, we need to rethink the space.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
Thank you for sharing your poem, it was an easy read and one that got me thinking as well. *Smile*
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)


Hi there,
I found your poem when looking for items about autism to review for "a very Wodehouse challenge. *Smile*


*Burstp* GENERAL:
This was a really interesting poem about your son. I found the chronological order to the poem gave it the feel of a story being told, almost like the old bards would use poetry and song to tell stories. I like how you told us what he would or wouldn't do, but didn't spell things out to us, allowing us to draw our own conclusions.

His speech was rushed and when ignored his voice was numb,
Then when sounds would overwhelm he would tap and hum.

You don't tell us what the 'explanation' is for the tapping and humming. It's just what he does. Nor do you suggest that any of his behaviour is negative - these are simply facts of life for your son. It's not good or bad, it's just who he is. There is a very definite negative tone for the reactions of others though. That comes through quite clear.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
The poem is a La'ritmo, and I thank you for including a link to the form. There is a certain amount of repetition in the form, and I think you utilise it beautifully. It reinforces that idea that no matter what your son does, and no matter his behaviour, the reactions of others remain negative. It's such a terrible truth, but people do fear and dislike that which they don't understand. And for someone to be exposed to that over and over again, especially as a child, that's terrible. So yes, excellent use of repetition there.

The poem uses an AABB rhyme scheme. I couldn't make 'Trek' and 'Mac' rhyme, although I admit it could be due to my accent. If it works for you, that's fine, but if not, it might need adjusting.

The last stanza was the only one where I felt you let go of the 'storytelling' mode and instead expressed YOUR emotions regarding your son and the reactions he has received from people over the past 18 years. I really liked the 'human norms assembly line'. I think it would make the poem stronger to have more emotion in it, but without being able to compare it, it's just a guess. It might be worth playing with and seeing if it works.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
Doctors probed and couldn’t gage what he wouldn’t show;
'Gage' should be gauge, unless that's an American spelling I'm unfamiliar with.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
I really love that last stanza. I think that's where you nailed it, both in summing up the whole poem and poetically speaking. You note that the last stanza you deliberately 'strayed from the form to show a link between the past and present'. I'm actually not sure what you meant by that, but I do feel that the last stanza was your strongest, and so it leaves the reader feeling satisfied (albeit a little angry at people who treat others the way your son has been treated).


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
Thank you so much for sharing your poem. I know there are a number of people on the site who are either on the autism spectrum or who have family members on it, so I know you will find others who understand and empathise. Equally, there will be others like myself who don't see things the same way because we've never had to, and your poem can teach and illuminate, showing us what it is like to be judged by others for something that maybe should be appreciated instead. A really interesting read, thank you.
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review of Autism  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)


Hi there,
I found your poem when searching for items about autism to review for "a very Wodehouse challenge.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
My first impression is that this is a simple poem that speaks of a mother's angst. As a mother myself, I can certainly feel the anguish in the line 'My child seems different.' The idea of a new parent checking all the newborn baby's fingers and toes is a classic symptom of this desire to have a 'normal' child that blends in.

Finishing with the bald statement 'I'm scared' leaves the reader feeling quite unsettled, which is no doubt what you were going for.

I'm not personally familiar with autism, although I have known a child with Asperger's, which is on the spectrum. I do understand that the symptoms vary wildly from child to child, but it is not uncommon for a child with autism to have trouble communicating and making eye contact, so I understand that aspect of your poem.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
The poem is a cinquain which has a set syllable requirement. At first I thought 'Autism' was the first line, and was confused, but then realised you had merely repeated the title. Once I understood that, I noticed no errors in syllable counts. All looks perfect in that regard.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
I think you need a line break between the title and the poem, to separate them. At the moment, the title looks like it is part of the poem.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
The poem is very simple, and for that reason I haven't given it more stars. But it was clear and easily understandable, and I think your fear, and the reason for it, comes across to the reader quite strongly. I commend you on sharing a poem on such a difficult subject.
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of Two Week Summer  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)


Hi there,
I found your poem at the "Invalid Item. *Wink*


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I am very familiar with your thoughts on the brief English summer, so your poem came as no surprise! *Laugh* Aw, only two weeks! When we were there in 2014, it was quite hot in London, and nice enough weather in England generally, but it rained in Scotland. Having said that, we were only there for a little over two weeks, so maybe we just caught that window of summertime. *Laugh*


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
This is clearly free verse, and of all the poems entered into the contest, it is the most descriptive. You speak of the bare feet on the grass, the conversations, and the dearth of bikinis and ice creams in the stores. I was amused that you used Ben and Jerry's, which is an iconic American brand, and not an English brand. Don't you have a classic British brand?

The capitalisation of each line disrupts the flow a little. I know that punctuation in a poem is subjective and entirely up to the poet, but I do think the poem would flow better if you used regular punctuation, and only used a capital at the beginning of a sentence. Might be worth playing with and seeing if you like how it looks.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
My World is complete,
You don't need capital letter on 'world'.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
A bikini graveyard in Primark,
Although I loved the descriptions of the beer gardens overflowing and the cold brown toes peeping from sandals, that line about the bikini graveyard was brilliant. *Thumbsup*


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
Thanks for entering the Power poetry contest! I enjoyed your poem, and as I mentioned earlier, I found it to be easily the most visually descriptive of all the entries. I could see scenes and hear people chattering, and feel that shiver as the skies darkened again. Well done. *Smile*
Elle

Image #1887773 over display limit. -?-


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (2.5)


Hi there,
I found your poem at the "Invalid Item. *Smile*


*Burstp* GENERAL:
The poem has a nostalgic tone, as it compares the summers of the your childhood to the summers you currently experience.

There is not a lot of interpretation required, as the poem appears to be of the 'what you see is what you get' type. The part that I find most interesting is the last stanza where you say that you are addicted to living in the city which 'generates / nostalgic memories' of your childhood. I was trying to work out if it was living in the city that you loved, or the comparison. Sometimes our memories of the past are better than the reality (as you note with your line about the tornadoes) and rather than seeing it all disappear and change as time progresses, sometimes we are better off pretending that it is all just as we remember it.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
You use a lot of repetition, but it's unclear whether it is deliberate or not. I do think the poem would be stronger without it. Examples of repetition:
In the first stanza you mention 'memories' twice within four words.
You mention 'triple digit temperatures' three times.
You mention 'monsoonal moisture', 'nostalgic', 'cooling' and 'childhood' twice each.
It's just a personal opinion, of course, but it feels to me like the poem would be stronger if you found different ways of expressing the repeated ideas.

You don't use a lot of imagery, and I think that would help to bring the poem to life. What does that humidity feel like? What do the rains look like? What does the air smell like? Those are all things that could help improve this poem and make it a more enjoyable read.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
instead a frying eggs on the sidewalk
The 'a' should be 'of'.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
nostalgic memories
of my half-forgotten childhood
in Oklahoma.

I like the idea of bringing back memories of a 'half-forgotten' childhood. *Smile* As we grow older, sometimes it can be interesting what triggers a memory, and I think those lines sum up the rest of the poem well.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
Thanks for entering the Power poetry contest. It is always interesting reading about another person's point of view on a particular topic. In New Zealand, we don't have wet summers unless we get a cyclone, which only happens once every 3-5 years or so. I hope that the feedback I've given you is of some help. *Smile*
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)

Hi Jim,
Happy birthday!! I am celebrating your birthday with a poetry review. *Smile*


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I chose to review this poem because it was highlighted in your port, which meant it was either important to you, or you were looking for feedback. I suspect the former. I may have known you were a vet (can't remember) but I definitely didn't know you worked on submarines for the navy. Fascinating!

The poem basically gives us an overview of your naval career, from start to finish, and then ends with letting us know the direction you've gone in since then. There was a little bit of jargon, but not so much that we couldn't understand it. I did see that you'd made notes at the bottom to explain things, which is brilliant, but I think the poem was fairly clear anyway.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
The poem uses AABB rhyme scheme. I didn't notice a set meter or syllable count. Occasionally I tripped up on the rhythm. It may be because of the difference in our accents, and I have had that cause problems in the past, so I am merely pointing out where I stumbled, and if you don't see a problem, then it's probably just my accent.

Six months of prototype training, we operated a plant
Another learning curve; we studied hard, but still some can’t

For me, I think this was about the emphasis on still. I originally thought that removing the word 'still' would fix it, but actually I think if you changed it from 'still some can't' to 'some still can't', that would work better. See what you think.

Transferred to the Sargo in seventy eight
Made a WestPAC on it, came home 3 months late

This one I think would work better if you removed the word 'came' so it just read 'home 3 months late'.

As nukes we were tested to keep us at our best
Had O.R.S.E boards once a year, test and more tests
Operational Reactor Safeguard Exams were always tough
We had to know it all, yet never knew enough

If you changed the second line here to 'Annual ORSE boards, tests and more tests', that would flow better, I think. And then 'Operational Reactor Safeguard Exams are tough' rather than 'always were tough'.

By now it was eighty five, I could see the end near
Of course I was making, the Navy a ‘career’

I think this would be more smooth with 'Of course I was making a navy career'.

Once again, these are merely suggestions, and you should double check it's not just my accent making issues before making any changes. *Smile*


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
Of course I really liked the end where the poem moves on to writing, and you finding love, but my favourite parts were these:
Made Chief Petty Officer in less than eight years,
Unheard of, I was still young, wet behind the ears

and
One day I realized that twenty years had passed
Now I was ‘old’, yet felt so young when asked


You have a very natural style that is quite conversational, and I can easily imagine you sharing this poem by reading it aloud. It has that feel of a poem that anyone could listen to, appreciate and enjoy, regardless of whether they have an interest in poetry or not.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I definitely learned some new things about you from reading this poem, and that's always fun! You're an interesting man, Jim. Happy birthday, and I hope you are spoiled rotten today. *Smile*
Elle

Image #1887773 over display limit. -?-


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review by Elle
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewer's...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi LostGhost: WhiteWalker
I found your poem on the newsfeed, and was so pleased to see a poem from you. It feels like forever since I've read one of your poems!


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I love the gentle mood of this poem. I tried to figure out exactly what you'd done to create that mood, and thought maybe it was a lack of hard consonants, but there are hard consonants in there, so that can't be it. Maybe long vowels? Long sentences? Or maybe a combination of those and more that I can't see. It makes it a pleasant read, very mellow. I think I've been reading too many hard hitting poems lately, and this one feels like a balm after some of them! *Laugh*

The poem is clearly about the colours of nature, and I interpreted the first set of colours as being the colours in the sky as the sun rises. The black of night gives way to grey, then the colours of a vivid sunrise come into play, and finally, the blue sky of day. You said all that in two succinct lines, and it felt very vivid for me as a reader, I could definitely picture what you were talking about. Later you talk about trees and the colour of desert sand, and that works quite well too. It certainly sounds peaceful. I'd love to see it in person like you did. *Smile*


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
The poem appears to be free verse, and I can't pick up on any set meter, rhyme, or syllable count. It flows well, except for a couple of small hiccups in grammar, but they don't so much impede the flow, as much as my brain stopped enjoying the poem and went into editor mode. *Facepalm* I'm actually more worried that correcting the grammar will spoil the flow. *Rolleyes*

I love the metaphor of nature weaving a tapestry. That's such an excellent metaphor. We are all familiar with the idea of weaving, even if not personally experienced at it, and so we can imagine the colours sliding over and under each other to create a larger picture. Perfect. I also like the idea of people being threads in that tapestry of life, all contributing to that big picture. That's awesome.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
But there are places where there is nobody exists
The grammar of this sentence isn't right. It would need to be 'But there are places where nobody exists' or 'But there are places where there is nobody.' Either of those would work, but as it is, it doesn't read correctly. I'll leave it to you so that you can choose what works best for your poem.

where everything stand stills,
In this context, 'stand' should be plural. 'where everything stands still'.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
weaving the tapestry of morning with them.
As grey, black, orange and red moved in and out

I really like this imagery of these two lines, as I mentioned above.

and let oneself be drawn as a thread,
in the pattern produced.

This is such a perfect ending for this poem. Love it!


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I always enjoy your poems, which is why I was so pleased to see a new one posted on the newsfeed. And of course, this one didn't disappoint. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!
Elle



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Christina,
I can't believe we're at the end of your story! It has been a long time coming (and I do apologise again for that). I hope my comments and feedback have been helpful.

It was lovely that Butchie surprised Christina by coming all the way to Manaus to live in Porto das Dunas with her. I could imagine them exploring and deciding to settle down somewhere that suited them both but was more neutral territory than moving into her apartment or his house.

You mentioned that Christina slept for 13 hours because she was depressed, then in the email Butchie said he slept for 13 hours because he was depressed, and then again after they were reunited they slept for 13 hours together because they were happy. It seemed a little bit repetitive. I know it's a true story, but if they really were sleeping for 13 hours each time, it would make it easier on the reader if you wrote something less specific and just let the reader assume how long they were asleep. Otherwise it sounds a little fake, the coincidence of three lots of 13 hours sleep.

I would love to have more dialogue and action in your description of their explorations, and more action and description in your dialogue. Ha ha! I know it is the same things I have been saying all the way through, so I won't repeat it all again.

I will point out the use of all capitals and one word per line, which I have mentioned previously - this is hard for the reader to read.

And also, we don't need all the email header information, just the text of the email, as I think I've said before.

It has been fascinating learning about your life - you have done so much and lived so many amazing experiences. I really do hope that you consider rewriting this as a memoir, as you have lived an extraordinary life and I think people would enjoy reading about it.

I do hope my feedback has been helpful, even if I took a ridiculously long time to finish reviewing the story. *Blush*

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*


13
13
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (2.5)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
I'm so close to the end now, just one more chapter after this. *Delight*

I found this chapter a little bit confusing. There is a man on the plane, staring at Christina. I thought the way you described him staring at her was really well done. It put the reader right in the middle of the action, and we could see the man staring. She goes to the bathroom and comes back, and he is still staring. It's starting to get a little bit creepy! It was good though, I was really curious to know what would happen, and you had me caught up in the action.

But then nothing happened. Christina goes off on a daydream about why people fall in love, and nothing at all happens with the man on the plane. Very confusing. Much of the chapter read a bit like a science paper on the science of love. Was it necessary? Does it add to the romantic story we are reading? Maybe a little bit of it would be fine, because you're right, they met over the internet, defying all the normal rules of relationships. But it is just Christina daydreaming and I still want to know what was up with the man on the plane! See, maybe you didn't intend to do anything with the man on the plane...in which case, why mention him at all? It confuses the reader. Or, maybe it happens in the next chapter. If that's the case, I'd combine the two chapters, because finishing this one without any more mention of the man is confusing.

I am looking forward to reading the last chapter. As a reader, I feel the story is very unresolved. I know the couple are in love, but there are big cultural obstacles in their way. As a reviewer, I know this is a true story and that you and Butchie did end up together, and I look forward to reading about that. *Smile*

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*



14
14
Review of on the wire  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

Hi Rhyssa,
I am reviewing your poem as a fellow contestant at "The Seasonal Construct Cup. I know you review my poems all the time, and I wanted to find the time to review at least one of yours this round. *Smile*


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I found your choice of subject matter intriguing, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I'd never heard of Philippe Petit, and secondly I found it fascinating that you chose a tight rope walker as your admirable historical person. It was that last line that really drew the whole poem together, telling the reader exactly why you so admired him, and leaving the reader with a sense that it should have been obvious all along and indeed, we should have been writing about someone just like him. Brilliant.

The tone of the poem is quite conversational, and it feels like you're explaining things to the reader. Some poems feel like we are snooping in someone's diary almost, because they feel like the author never intended to share such personal insights, but this feels like you're addressing us directly and informing us of something that we should know. It works well.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
There was no set meter or rhyme that I noted, so I assume it is simply a free form poem.

I did love the way you wrote that 'the shriek of metal on metal / warned them that the day / was beginning'. Bringing sound into an experience where the audience were 110 stories apart, was well done. It made the poem feel more real.

I loved the use of the word 'danced' to describe his movement across the wire. Whether he literally danced (my heart wants to beat faster just thinking about how dangerous that would be!) or not, it is a vividly descriptive word that catches the reader's imagination.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
My inner editor is very upset that you didn't use capital letters for the start of sentences, or for your title. It appears deliberate though, and poetry allows such a vast creative licence that I only mention it because my inner editor would scream if I didn't. *Laugh*


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
I felt the second stanza detracted from the poem. We can assume that this took place before the Twin Towers fell, simply because the Twin Towers are no longer there. By telling us that it took place before the disaster, you immediately date the poem, and I feel it detracts from the reader feeling like he or she is witnessing Philippe's amazing feat for themselves. Anyway, it's just a suggestion (and I know you can't change anything until the month-long challenge is complete) so you may take it or leave it as you choose.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
The last stanza, and in particular the last line, are definitely my favourite. 'The artist within nods' is just brilliant. Love it.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I'm so pleased I finally had a chance to review one of your poems, since you have been such a huge encouragement for me in the two Construct Cup challenges I have done so far. Thank you for all your reviews and encouragement, and I assure you that I read far more of your poems than I review! *Wink*
Elle

Image #2039493 over display limit. -?-


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
We're nearly at the end of your book! *Bigsmile*

This was a short chapter, very easy to read.

The dialogue was a little bit stilted, felt a little bit fake. It's possibly that way because English wasn't your first language, so it might not be the writing that makes it sound that way, but the conversation you actually had may have sounded more formal or stilted because you are not an English speaker. I wouldn't ask you to change the conversation to make it sound more natural if that's how it actually was, knowing this is a true story, but I do suggest you rethink. Usually when people speak, they speak more informally, sometimes not using whole sentences, that kind of thing. Anyway, it's just something to think about.

I'd like to see a little more action sprinkled in with this dialogue. What are they doing while they have this conversation? I can't picture it at all. Are they standing toe to toe in a bedroom? Making dinner? Driving a car? Does he raise his eyebrows at her? Does she shake her head at him? I'd like to be able to picture them having the conversation, and at the moment I can't. It wouldn't take much to go through and add things like 'she said, raising her eyebrows' to a few of them. Not all of them, sometimes you don't need dialogue tags at all, but enough to help me picture it. Were there any sounds around them? Smells? Help me visualise the scene. Does she shout? Raise her voice? Does she go quiet or mumble at the end? I'd love to know.

I think it would be easy to work this chapter into another chapter, as it is very short, but if you add all the extra information, so we can hear them, see them, picture the scene, then it will probably be okay as a chapter on its own.

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*



16
16
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
I'm back for another chapter review.

This chapter was much better, and it kept us in the action the whole way. This made it much easier and more enjoyable to read. *Smile*

The dialogue should be properly formatted, but it is quite readable as it is. You correctly put each new speaker on a new line, but you should have speech marks or quotation marks either side of their speech, rather than using a hyphen at the beginning. Dialogue tags (like he said, she said) aren't necessary, but you can use them sometimes to help us see what they're doing as they talk. The dialogue is good though, well done.

The non-dialogue text works fairly well. It needs editing, but as I don't know if you're going to rewrite or not, I won't point out specific punctuation. Overall, it works well with a good balance of action and telling. *Smile*

I don't have many major suggestions for this chapter, so it's a short review this time, but I think this one was much better than the last few. *Thumbsup*

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*



17
17
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
another chapter review for you. *Smile*

Butchie showed Paris to Christina but Paris was different now and they saw hoe it was slowly deteriorating.
You have a typo there. I'm not sure what you meant to write when you wrote 'hoe'.

They saw transit, agitation, small cars, motorcycles, much, much noise, smoke and fumes, people and more people, tour buses and tourists; they saw strike and strikers that were protesting about banking systems and looking at the tourists in their tour buses and showing their middle finger at them just because they were tourists; they saw a local, big bus hit a biker, they saw him fall on the street, get hurt yet quickly get up, pick the bike up and ride away as fast as he could otherwise the buses and cars would go right over him... They heard the tour bus driver noisily shout Merde! Merde! Merde! every time he reached a red light; they saw the decaying fall of an empire in ruins...in the 21st. century. They saw black immigrants shouting words of anger and revenge at people that calmly sipped their little coffee in their little tables on the Cafés' sidewalks. They saw lonely, older people dressed in black and younger, hungry, homeless people in the street corners. They saw Paris the way Paris really was now... and that lovers from all around the world don't notice, don't see... Fury and beauty. Beauty and fury. This was the Paris that Butchie had seen or felt but kind of forgotten about. He was sad, shocked and surprised and so was Christina.
That list is very intensive, but also quite fascinating. Did they see anything good though? It's so negative. Surely there must be some good things to be seen in Paris?

After all the dizziness and assault, the pain and the mental rape, he knew that he had lost all his credit cards, his money and his identity, in Paris.
The pickpocketing sounds terrible. It sounds far more like a violent mugging than a simple pickpocketing (which is supposed to happen so sneakily that you're not even aware it happens). How awful. I wasn't sure what you meant by mental rape though. He was bruised and battered, yes, but mentally raped? What does that mean?

She could not go into a McDonald's public bathroom to pee??? Many American soldiers had died in this country fighting against Nazism and Fascism and now Americans and tourists from all over the world were bluntly disrespected this way?
Surely Americans fighting in WWII has nothing to do with McDonalds allowing or not allowing someone to go to the bathroom. I don't see the connection here. *Confused* It was amusing to read about Butchie stomping on the hamburger though, and the two of you fleeing while giggling madly. *Smile*

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*



18
18
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (2.5)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Chris,
Another chapter review for you. *Smile*

Brazil won its 3rd Soccer World Cup, in 1970 in Mexico. Yes, thanks to Pelé, Gérson, Jairzinho and Carlos Alberto and Brazil kept the Jules Rimet Cup forever. Oh yes, Brazil had la crème de la crème in sports. In soccer: Pelé, Garrincha, Rivelino, Kaká, Cafú, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo Gaúcho - the best today - and many others; blá, blá, blá...in Formula 1: Ayrton Senna; in tennis: Maria Ester Bueno and now, Gustavo Kuerten or Guga; in ballet: Ana Botafogo; in box: Maguila; a Miss Brasil, Adalgisa Colombo lost the Miss Universe in California only by 3 inches; model: Gisele Bundchen; actress: Fernanda Montenegro, Talk Show: Jô Soares; TV: Globo TV; Magazine: Veja; blá blá blá and the lovely beaches of Brazil; Carnival - which she particularly hated; the Dictatorship years, the Military Regime, and now, Democracy and Lula, the freedom and happiness but a still conservative country to foreigners... and so on and so forth... (She loved talking about Brazil) ... blá, blá, blá ...Then... suddenly, from the bottom of her heart she realized that Brazil was not that important anymore. It was a country, not a person. It didn't matter how much you loved your country, it would not love you back.
I understand what you're trying to achieve here - showing how much she loves Brazil, then showing how that has changed thanks to Butchie, but it doesn't quite work. This is a long list for your reader to wade through. I think it needs trimming or even taking out altogether.

But ONE THING SHE KNEW (as a true Wicca or by just being a human being...with no age, nationality, religion or gender here).She was getting a new start at this point in life and she would do her best to make it work!
Forgive me if the Wicca thing has been mentioned in previous chapters, but I don't remember it. That might be because I have taken so long to do these last reviews, but you definitely need to double check, because that should not be introduced so late in the story. Also, I don't understand why you say that she is thinking as someone with no age, nationality, religion or gender. No one can put these things aside. It didn't quite make sense to me.

Maybe it was that "Lover's Door To Whereabouts" silly thing she thought about once in the airport in Brasilia... hum... not that silly...
I don't understand what this refers to, this may need more explaining for your readers if you choose to keep it in here.

Longs corridors and a heavy suitcases.
Long and suitcase don't need an s on the end.

"He lives in a castle..." It does look like a castle and it even had two towers and it was up on a hill.
Wow, that sounds amazing. I'd love more detail. Can you describe the house to us? What was it made of? How many rooms? It sounds incredible.

She heard a noise in the closet. What was that? Ohhh a dog. Is that Riley? Ohhh little doggy, come here...how cute, how sweet and how quiet he is... hum but he is full of ticks, and dirty... What's wrong with his eyes? Ohhh is he blind? Oh yes, he is. He is an old man, 14 years old. A time traveler. Like me. Like you. Hum Come here, Riley, come here little one... to my arms.
Your dialogue needs to have speech marks so that we know what is speech and what is thought, and also what is description.

There were still places in America where PBA (Public Display of Affection) could be considered indecent or dangerous, differently from Brazil, with all that touching, and holding and kissing!(Not that he didn't love it when she kissed him or when she hit his butt with her open hands when they were walking in the Malls in Brazil. He loved it.)
'PBA' should be 'PDA' because as you say, the D stands for Display. You don't need the brackets around the last two sentences.

This chapter had a strange mix of negative and positive, leaving me unsure exactly how Christina feels about Butchie's homeland. She seems to hate American culture but loves that Butchie owns a castle and a boat. She says she is happier than she could ever be, but her thoughts about the culture were so negative that I'm left feeling unsettled. Maybe she'll convince him to move to Brazil instead? Hmm, I suppose I best read on!


*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*


19
19
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (2.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Chris,
I know it's been ages since my last chapter review, and I apologise for the delay. I won't rehash all my previous advice regarding the memoir/romance novel approach to this book, or the idea that it should be told chronologically rather than with constant flashbacks. So I'll just pick up on any errors that I think need fixing if you decide to keep the overall story as is and just edit.

Hello, old friend, hello Mister Mo! How are you? It's me? It's good to see you. I am back from my trip to Brazil. What an adventure. What a woman. It was good, you know? Well, let's go home? I must stop at Mailboxes and the bank but we'll be home soon. I'll stop on the way and get my beer and your chicken, alright? Just give me some minutes more. Off we go, now! It's just you and me at home, now. I managed to get home safe and sound.
I found it tricky to work out what was happening here. Was he talking to a person? The dog? Or just thinking...? I think this needs to be explained with dialogue tags. For instance if he was talking to a dog, it would be 'he said, as he patted the dog's head'.

The house looks dirty but I guess it's alright.
'Alright' should be 'all right'. In formal writing, there is no such word as 'alright'.

I had a nice day, today. Yes, a very busy day. Good. I feel really good.
This kind of train of thought writing doesn't add much to the story. You need to go through these and trim out the unnecessary parts so that we are only left with the interesting, relevant parts.

I taught all my classes and enjoyed my student's feedback.
'Student's' should be 'students'' with an apostrophe after the s, not before. This is because there is more than one student.

I am going to call Miriam, Ingrid and Else. Tell them about Butchie.
Wait, what? I thought this was Butchie talking...? *Confused* There was nothing to say that we were switching from Butchie to Christina here, very disorientating for your readers.

I go out, work, work, work, teach, teach, teach...come home, read my mail, have a glass of wine, eat something, check my e-mails on-line, watch my TV programs, listen to music and think about him in my bed...
I know I've mentioned these long run-on sentences before. This sentence needs to be chopped into two or three smaller sentences to make it easier to read.

The bed is so big, now. My bathroom is so clean. The toothpaste is in its right place now... BUT... I don't care if the toilet seat is up or down anymore...My life is so empty... I'm miserable. Does he feel the same??? Does he think about me as I do of him?
She says she misses me. She is miserable. Would she come and spend some time here, with me? Would she?

Argh! *Shock* This head hopping is so hard to keep up with. We're looking from Butchie's point of view, then Christina's, then Butchie's, then Christina's, with no warning at all. I can't tell who is talking until they say 'he' or 'she'. You need to stay in one point of view for a whole chapter, not changing partway through a chapter, and certainly not changing back and forth multiple times within a chapter.

They hadn't noticed it but they, together yet apart, were slowly building up something that was called... a real relationship.
And now we're in third person point of view for the last sentence but we were in first person point of view through the rest of the chapter. It needs to be consistent.

I'll move straight on to the next chapter now. *Smile*

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*



20
20
Review by Elle
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewer's...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Weirdone-Back in the games ,
I found your poem at the "I Write in August-September-October challenge. Hard to believe we're at week eight already!


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I am not very knowledgeable on religious matters, but of course I have heard of St Peter. My interpretation is likely to be different from that of someone who views this with a more knowledgeable eye. So with that 'disclaimer' in mind, I saw it as St Peter saying that people are putting their faith in him, instead of in God. It is my understanding that Catholics do pray to various saints, as well as to God, so it wouldn't surprise me that some people are focusing more attention on the saint than on the deity.

I was quite confused by the last line. His name is Peter, not Simon, right? *Confused* Then I thought...maybe they change their names when they grant them sainthood? So I Googled that, and found out that he was originally known (during his lifetime) as Simon (or variations thereof) and became known as Peter later in life. And, what's more, Peter means 'rock'! Ta da, another aspect of your poem is revealed to me. *Bigsmile* And as I read further, I find that Jesus is believed to have said to him 'You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church'. Wow, your poem has a lot of depth for three short lines! Well done!


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
The poem is a senryu, which means it should contains five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. All your syllable counts appear perfect to me. *Thumbsup*

I know that with senryu, the final line is supposed to provide a twist to the previous two lines, showing them in a new light. I think your poem would do that more successfully if you hadn't 'given away the game' with your title. I think senryu are not supposed to have titles (is that right?) in which case it would do the job perfectly, but of course Writing.com requires items to have titles. Would it be better with a more obscure title? I don't know. I don't think I'd have understood the context and subtext of the poem if it weren't for the title, so...I'd probably suggest keeping it as is.

One more thing about senryu - it was my understanding that they should not contain punctuation, ie full stops. I'm not 100% certain of this, but it's something you can check.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
When I first opened this poem, I wondered if I could even find enough to say about such a short poem. But after taking the time to learn the context of your poem, I was surprised by how much depth this poem had. It's very clever. Thank you for sharing it.
Elle



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
Review by Elle
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewer's...  
Rated: E | (2.0)
Hi Jon Woodcrest ,
I am reviewing your story as a judge for "Short Shots: Official WDC Contest. Thanks for entering!.

I thought you had a really unique idea and the way it was narrated was fascinating, but it placed a great distance between the reader and the action. You may have heard the terms 'showing' and 'telling' before, and 'show instead of tell' is common advice given to authors these days, but that's for a reason.

Everything in your story was 'told' to us. You tell us that there were battles, but we don't see any of the action. If the battle had been 'shown' to us, the action would be described with magic blasts flying in every direction, or what-have-you.

Some 'telling' is fine, and indeed a good story should be a mix of both. But yours is entirely told, and so I found it a bit like reading a dry history of some fairies that once existed, rather than getting lost in a magical short story featuring some fairies. Do you understand what I mean?

I think this has great potential, and your ideas certainly seem unique. I'd love for you to take a scene from within this history and write it out in full. Allow us to see it as if it happened. Maybe a millennia festival, or maybe one of the battles fought against the rogues. There is a lot you could do with this. *Smile*
Thank you so much for entering the contest.
Elle



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review by Elle
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewer's...  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hi Earthenware_Haven ,
I am reviewing your story as a judge for "Short Shots: Official WDC Contest. Thanks for entering!


*Burstp* GENERAL:
This entry was certainly unique. I thought the idea of incorporating the image prompt into a letter to the members of a writing group was very novel. However, I did feel like it missed the mark a little in terms of being a 'short story' as the contest requested. It was amusing, and created the feeling of a lot of backstory. I felt sure the writing group had been running for years and you knew all the characters well.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
This piece was very polished, and I only picked up on one or two minor grammatical errors. Where you mention James Walter, in the penis line (that sounds so wrong!) his name should be preceded by a comma as his name is an interjection into the sentence.
The group belongs to the writers, so every time you say 'writers group' it should have an apostrophe after writers.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
It pains me to act like such a control freak, but we don’t want to be there all night listening to Ginny talk about “The Fallacies of Fungi,” that poem she wrote for her podiatrist, Dr. Drake, back in 1973; she just re-writes it for every prompt and contest we have.
This sentence was really long and convoluted, and it felt like it could have been made more simple.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
There will be no mentions of penises even though we know that mushroom caps do look a lot like the head of the penis James Walter. We do not want to hear a penis or phallic story or poem on Friday night.
Ha ha ha ha! *Laugh* That line made me laugh, as juvenile as that makes me!


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
This was a fun read, and it seemed like you must have had fun writing it too. Thank you so much for entering the contest.
Elle



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review by Elle
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewer's...  
Rated: E | (2.0)
Hi Mary Ann MCPhedran ,
I am reviewing your story as a judge for "Short Shots: Official WDC Contest. Thanks for entering!.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I love the imagination of this piece. It is wonderful to imagine little people time travelling from 1940 to our time and seeing our [giant] world from their perspective.


*Burstp* PLOT:
I thought turning the image, with the toadstools, into artificial Lilliputian display was very clever. The story has a beginning (when the friends arrive in 2015), a moment of danger (when the crowds of people arrive) and an ending (when they decide to head back to 1950). However, the story feels very incomplete. This is possibly just because it is so short. The danger felt like it was over before I even thought to be concerned. And I didn't feel like I knew the characters well enough to be worried about their safety. It has great potential though.


*Burstp* CHARACTERS:
There are four friends, but we don't get much impression of their personalities. Jimmy is obviously some sort of inventor, because he built the time machine. We know Taffy is Welsh, and the other two are brothers, but we know very little else. We really don't even get a sense of how they react in a crisis, because the four of them all cope exactly the same and disaster is easily averted.


*Burstp* SETTING / IMAGERY:
You make an effort to describe the area where they hid, with the toadstools and grasses. I'd love to have seen more use of figurative language, more colour and imagery. There was a good sense of perspective with the way everybody 'towered' above them, but the four friends were not really described at all. Were they stocky or slim? Dark haired or blonde? It would be good to know, and that would also help us feel like we knew them better.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
This work needs proofreading. There are a number of grammatical errors, such as missing punctuation, capital letters where they aren't required, etc. Running the story through a grammar check on Word or similar would pick up most of these.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
My biggest suggestion would be to add greater detail in terms of setting and imagery. Not just their surroundings, but the characters themselves and what they do. Every time they speak, we should know exactly how they sound. Is it deep? High pitched? Rough? Smooth? Whispered? Shouted? Every time they move we should be able to picture it. Are they walking? Strolling? Swaggering? You do use 'crept out', so I know you can do this. Help us visualise the story so we feel like we're watching it on television instead of reading words on a page.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
The group blended in amongst the giant toadstools. With bated breath and hearts pounding waited until the crowd moved on to another attraction.
This needs editing for punctuation (it should be one sentence) but I like the suspense you gave to this line, particularly with the pounding hearts and bated breath.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
This story has huge potential, and I do hope you take the time to work on it. Thank you so much for entering the contest.
Elle



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
24
24
Review by Elle
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewer's...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Robin - I'm a Blackstar ,
I am reviewing your story as a judge for "Short Shots: Official WDC Contest. Thanks for entering!.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
This was a hilariously original piece. Who would have thought of making the mushrooms into the characters and naming them all after pasta? *Laugh* Brilliant!


*Burstp* PLOT:
The mobsters were at a birthday party, and there is a lot of mingling before one character makes a short speech and presents a birthday cake. A fairy emerges from the cake, much to the surprise of Don Bigoli. However, I didn't see the significance of the fairy cake, and it felt like the story was missing the basics of a beginning, middle and end. I suppose it felt more like a scene from a larger story. I'm left with more questions than answers. It felt like this was the very beginning of the story, and it was abruptly cut off. I wanted more.


*Burstp* CHARACTERS:
The characters are definitely the strongest part of this story. You give them distinctive personalities, with quirks and flaws, and even backgrounds. That's impressive in a story of less than 1,000 words. You use humour but also allow us to sense the real danger and ruthlessness of these 'men'. Very clever.


*Burstp* SETTING / IMAGERY:
Your imagery is pretty good. We get to visualise the scene, with the long tables laid in a U shape, Manicotti's scar, etc. You have a knack for weaving subtle imagery into the story without disrupting the flow.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
There are a few minor errors, which would probably be picked up by a grammar check in Word or similar, but overall the story is pretty polished, so well done.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
His booming laughter defused the dangerous situation that had developed.
I could absolutely feel the tension and then hear the laughter. This was a well described moment in the story that felt real.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
This story has fun and I would love to know what happened after the fairy cake was revealed. *Smile* Thank you so much for entering the contest.
Elle



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
25
Review of A Mess  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewer's...  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hi Carly - Pink Team Rocks Nano! ,
I found your poem at the "I Write in August-September-October challenge. I was also participating in the "Construct Cup v.?, although I didn't quite get all my missed entries completed. This one was both the hardest and the easiest of all the poems we were challenged to write.

I presume by now you realise that the intense requirements and restrictions you were given for this poem were a ruse. The instructions finished with the words 'Discount all prior directions except Theme'. It's like one of those old tests they do to teach kids to read all the questions in exams before they start. *Laugh* I was intrigued to read your poem, knowing that you followed all of Fyn's convoluted rules. It seemed that so much restriction would stifle creativity, so yes, I was very interested to see what you came up with.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
The theme of the poem was set by the contest, so it was supposed to be a poem about the contest itself and what you enjoyed or what you learned. Honestly, I had real trouble deciphering a theme for your poem, but it had a sense of perseverance, of rising to meet a challenge, and of conquering one's foes. That does fit this contest, which is a challenge of endurance, of overcoming really difficult obstacles and of glorying in the success if one does accomplish the daily challenge. But I admit, the message is a little lost in your poem, and it was more a general feeling than a specific message coming through.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
There were so many required conventions that I'm so impressed you managed to work them all into a poem. I enjoyed your use of alliteration in the first line of each stanza. Demonly droppings was my favourite, although I wasn't entirely sure how droppings might devour a mind. Nor was I entirely sure what was meant by 'pathetic paw prance piteously'. Perhaps making 'paw' plural would have helped add meaning to that line.

I'll admit that I didn't know what a heteronym was. Words that are spelled the same but sound different and mean different. I'm sure to forget that, but I'm pleased I learned something! *Laugh* You did really well with this challenge. 'As wind winds wildly' was my favourite. *Smile*

The challenge to use the same word at the start and end of the sixth line in each stanza was very tricky. I thought you did brilliantly with 'Cheer on your fellows, cheer' and 'Fight into the night, we will fight', but the other two were definitely more awkward.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Ponder the host at this symposium now injest
I know that 'injest' was a required word, but I can't find it in the dictionary. I assume it's either a misspelling of 'ingest', but you've used it as if it was supposed to be 'in jest'. That's fine, but 'in jest' is two words.

Minute bits of supercilious hit minutes before
This lines feels like it's missing a word. Minute bits of supercilious what are hitting? Supercilious is an adjective, but there's no noun to apply it to.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
Bloody visions silence the convoluted crowd
I thought that line was brilliant. Macabre and visual. Very good!


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I am still not sure how you managed to comply with all of Fyn's 'diabolical' requirements, but you did well. I think if you choose to revisit this poem and edit it, it will need some tweaking so that the lines make more sense and impart more meaning. But I appreciate that it was near impossible to craft anything sensible unless you skipped all her instructions and only wrote to the theme...as was intended. *Vamp*

Thanks for sharing your poem, and congratulations on completing the challenge. *Delight*
Elle



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