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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/elle
Review Requests: OFF
531 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 the Paper Doll Gang and a captain of the "WdC SuperPower 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 of Tuesdays  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light

Hi Roland,

I'm being very daring by reviewing a poem from someone that I want to take a poetry workshop from!


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I love the mood of this poem. You start it off beautifully with the gingerbread, which invokes scent, taste and (for many people) fond memories of home, childhood and friendly kitchens. You then reminisce about an old woman you once knew, and then bring it back round again with the gingerbread. Overall, it has a sense of fond remembrance, sweet, loving, with a touch of the absurd, not really sad but just enough of a low tone to avoid being jarring. Perfect.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
I'm certainly no expert on meter and form, but this appears to be free verse. I didn't notice a whole lot of figurative language - no metaphors, no similes, no personification, any of that. I did notice some sibilance with phrases like 'days as a student of dance', where that s sound comes through repeatedly. That adds to the flow of the poem.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Poetry is very subjective, so these suggestions are offered with no expectation that you should use them if they don't feel right. At the end of the day it is YOUR poem, no one else's.

You use the word France once and French three times. Three times is too many in a poem this long, I think, unless the repetition is purposeful and it doesn't seem so in this case. I would suggest removing the word French from 'under the French full moon / in the Lac de Grand Lieu.' You've already inferred that they're in France because you've given the location. To use the term 'French full moon' offers only the opportunity for alliteration but gives no other advantage, so I'd remove it. I'm not sure how you'd change the word French in 'riding her bicycle / throughout the French countryside' but I think you need to, because it's too close to 'sometimes slipping into French as she spoke' which is the one place where you really need the word 'French'.

The poem doesn't have perfect standard sentence structure, with some partial sentences, but it's pretty close. If it were me, I'd be inclined to play around with removing some of the 'unnecessary' words. This might not work for you, I know that, but I came up with:

[Lines before this remain unchanged]
Bedecked in decades old
furs and costume jewelry,
she’d talk to me,
more so during the winter months -
lonely.
Stories of her youth
in France.
Recounting days as a student of dance
in Paris, eyes glazed with memories.
Absently spinning an old ring on her finger,
she’d tell of a lover in Nantes -
a giggle and blush as she whispers
that they once skinny-dipped
under the full moon
in the Lac de Grand Lieu.
A sigh and nibble
on her scone
as she recalled weeks
riding her bicycle
through la campagne,
and that far-off look as she'd
slip into French
without realizing it.
She’s gone now
but I still smell the gingerbread.

It's not customary to 'rewrite' a poem in a review, and I apologise if I've taken liberties. I just meant to show how some of the extra words could be removed to give extra weight and emphasis to those that are left.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
I just adore the gingerbread lines that you start and end with. Truly, these make this poem. Without those, the poem is nice. With them, the poem is memorable, vivid and enchanting. *Bigsmile*


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I really loved this, and thank you for sharing it. I'm sure this lady appreciated your company when it was available to her, and it's so lovely that you've passed on your memory of her to everyone who reads this poem.
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Roland,

It can be tricky to get reviews on non-static items, and I really feel like this forum needs more stars and more publicity. *Wink*

*Burstp* GENERAL:
The title is clever, but I do worry that it will put some people off. I had to look up prosody, which was a word I'd never heard before, and I'm generally considered to have a pretty broad vocabulary. Is it the kind of word you only see in academia? I know you explain it in the image on the page itself, but by then it's too late for many people. I do wonder if perhaps you'd be better off with something less clever but more enlightening. As dull as 'The Poetry Workshop' sounds, it tells people exactly what it is. Maybe something to think about?

Your short description does elaborate perfectly on the title and gives really helpful clarification, so when it's shared in bitem mode, the title is helpfully explained to people. A lot of people won't look past the bold title though. I strongly recommend you remove the capital letter from 'Place', 'Learn', 'Workshop' and 'Poems'. They actually make it harder to read, and you need people to be able to take that information in at a quick glance. Plus, if you're purporting to help people with their writing, using capital letters where there shouldn't be any isn't going to engender any faith in your abilities.

Your genre choices are good. *ThumbsUpR*

I like the image you've used. I probably would have gone for something with bolder, more eye catching colours, as this one seems to blend into itself a little, but I understand that when you're relying on someone else to make the images, you don't have full creative authority. The image is neat and looks lovely, although it does give an impression of water and the beach that seems a little incongruous.

The overall concept is a great one. I know that personally I have a lot of trouble writing and understanding metered poetry. Some people seem to just 'get it' and others don't. I'm one of the latter! *Laugh* I understand the rhythms when I read them aloud, but I don't understand the terminology. I'm kind of like that with all forms of English actually. I can write, but I get confused between verbs and adjectives, although I think I've got my head around nouns now. *Blush* It's nuts, right? I read an average of 120 books a year, I've written a children's novel, I write poetry and short stories, I've been blogging for 18 years, and I still don't understand verbs and adjectives. Don't even get me started on more complicated sentence structure! I liken it to cars - I can drive a car, but I couldn't name all the parts or take it apart and put it back together... *Smile* So when someone says that a poem should be written in iambic tetrameter (is that even a thing?), I kind of freak out. I was trying to do the Ultimate Poetry Challenge here on Writing.com but it seems like 90% of the poems have meters and I just ran scared. *Blush* So yeah, there's definitely a need for something like this on this site.

You use the word 'workshop' several times, including in the short description, so it seems an integral part of the whole concept. And yet, under your dropdown links, none of the services look like what I expected from a workshop. To me, a workshop is a back and forth, not me writing and poem and you giving me feedback on it. Okay, so technically that's back and forth, but I meant 'back and forth multiple times'. *RollEyes* So I write a poem, you give me feedback, I review it and try to correct it, you give me more feedback, I try again, and so on until I understand the concepts and the poem is as good as it's going to get. I guess I was envisioning something more like a class. I want someone to teach me about meters, rather than correcting a single poem of mine. I suppose it's a bit like maths - you can give me the right answer, but I'm still going to get it wrong again on the next question unless you teach me how to get the right answer on the first one, rather than just giving me the answer. The way I interpret your services, as written on the page, is that you're going to review the poem and offer suggestions for improvement. Which is great for the poem, and I presume you'll tell me why, but I guess I want more of a classroom/workshop style where you teach me what the different meters are, and give me exercises to do, and once I've nailed the exercise, I write a poem, and then we go into that feedback cycle I already mentioned. Maybe that's way more than you wanted to offer, and if so, that's totally fine. But if you're interested, I can see it succeeding. There have been poetry classes and workshops on this site before. The most popular was probably the MuseMasters Workshop. We each had a little signature made up for us and got a digital certificate when we 'graduated'. Which is probably overkill, but it was nice. Yeah, yeah, I'm a sucker for a gold star. *Laugh* And yeah, people will pay for a workshop like that. 10k or more? And offer the option of scholarships, and fund those by asking for donations. You could get a custom merit badge and use that to fundraise for donations. To pay for a custom merit badge (which is 500k) you can offer the merit badge exclusively to initial donors at a premium price (say 50k) and tell them it'll be 100k once it's arrived. That way you only need 10 donors, and that's not unreasonable. Let me know if I can help with that side of things...


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
You explain what scansion means in your dropdown note (another word I had never heard before), however that's the second time you use it. It's better to explain a word the first time you use it. If you don't want to add an explanation into your text further up, you could do a pop note on scansion with the meaning.

You've used font colour, size and spacing to emphasise the words 'This is a place' and yet I can't see why those words need emphasising. There are so many useful and interesting words on the page, and yet you've chosen to emphasise 'this is a place', the one thing that seems fairly self-explanatory. *Confused* I feel like you could get more creative with emphasising other aspects of the page that are going to be more valuable to the visitor.

It would be great if you could put in a date that the workshop/shop will be open rather than just 'soon'. And when it is open, make sure you're the first one to post in the forum. For some reason, people are always reluctant to be the first to post in a form.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
Hopefully I haven't put you off, because I do think that you're offering something that's both needed and not currently being offered on the site. In that respect, you've got a real winner here. And most of my suggestions are minor quick fixes, other than the whole workshop/classroom concept which might be a bit more than you were anticipating from a review. *Laugh* I do hope you continue with this, and I can't wait to see how it goes. I'll definitely come by for some help with my own poetry. *Smile*

Elle

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3
3
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hi there,
I found your poem a little while back while I was browsing through your portfolio. I saw that you had nominated some items for Quills, and brand new members don't usually do that. When I was going through your port, I found a couple of things of yours that I could nominate in turn, this poem being one of them. I've been meaning to stop by with a review, but I don't do a lot of reviews these days, so it's taken a while (and Shaye's newsfeed challenge!).


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I love the mood of this poem. It feels a bit like detached observation combined with a touch of whimsy. The subject matter seems pretty clear to me - the narrator is literally watching a black beetle scurry around the bathroom floor and personifies its thoughts, intentions and feelings.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
Firstly, I love the personification. Personification has always been one of my favourite tools, but this is a wonderful example. I love the way the beetle 'stalks' and 'marches', the fact that the beetle is so 'resolute' in its search and the indecisiveness is brilliant. *Bigsmile*

Secondly, I love your use of literary similes. 'Like a comma escaped from a half-finished novel'. That is FANTASTIC. That, right there, made this poem for me. Love it. But the canyon gaping like an opening sentence, and the novel determined upon suicide... Just brilliant.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
You've obviously chosen deliberately not to use punctuation except for a full stop at the end of each stanza, and a capital letter at the beginning of each line. I understand that is personal choice, and punctuation is always subjective in poetry. Having said that, I'd prefer to see it without the capital letters at the beginning of each line. I feel that would improve the flow. Entirely your choice though.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
I feel like the very last two lines of the poem take the whole poem and mock it. I mean, how silly is it to write a poem about a beetlee in a bathroom anyway? Right? And yet, this is a fabulous poem. I would SERIOUSLY suggest you remove those last two lines altogether. I feel they only detract and not add to the poem. It's stronger without them.

Unfortunately, suicide is a non-E word, which means that the whole poem must be rated higher than E. While I understand that this is a light-hearted poem, suicide does have negative connotations. I'm happy to discuss with you what would be a correct rating, and you're always welcome to ask for assistance with such things in "Content Rating Support.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
My favourite lines were the literary similes, as noted above. I've got to say again, just brilliant. You've personified the literary aspects as well as the beetle itself. A comma escaping from a novel? A suicidal novel? So clever.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
The more I read this poem, the more I enjoy it. It's just wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing it on Writing.com. And best of luck in the Quills!
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hi Brooke,
I found your poll on the newsfeed. I don't usually review polls, but I was inspired to give some feedback to your comment.

You noted that there were a lot of views but not a lot of responses, and then suggested that while several answers may seem right, a person should pick the one that most stands out to them.

I wonder if the problem is that some of the answers are too similar, and there are not enough answers that seem to be at different ends of the scale.

What is the difference between:
- a review that points out my mistakes
- true critique
- be honest
- a long, detailed review
- be harsh

To me, these are all virtually the same thing. The recipient is looking for honest feedback pointing out any errors or room for improvement, not a fluff review that just tells them they're wonderful.

For myself, I was torn between 'a review that points out my mistakes' and 'a review that inspires me'. But 'a review that inspires me' isn't a fluff review that just says 'Well done, awesome work!' That doesn't inspire me. I can get that from my mum.

A review that inspires me is also usually more detailed. It tells me what the reviewer liked and why. It should be honest. And it can point out some mistakes. I remember getting some like this from a reviewer of my children's fantasy novel a few years back. She pointed out any mistakes I'd made, told me her favourite parts and the parts that didn't work so well, and then told me she couldn't wait for me to revise it and finish it so she could read the whole completed work. The key thing was that the overall tone was positive and encouraging, while still providing valuable feedback.

I guess, in my opinion, the answer you don't have on your poll is 'I just want a fluff review that tells me my writing is good, without pointing out any mistakes'. And then next level up might be 'A review that points out my mistakes in a gentle way while still being positive'. I feel like this poll needs four answers of varying levels, and right now it only has two, but in multiple wordings. I know there are some people who want the harsh critiques, so for them you can have a merge of 'be honest, give me true critique, I can take it even though it's harsh'. And then another merge that says 'Definitely be honest and point out any mistakes, but no need to be mean about it'. Although now that I think about it, that's kind of the same thing as 'points out my mistakes in a gentle way while still being positive'. *Facepalm* Maybe you only need three options? A strictly positive review, feedback provided in a positive and encouraging manner, and 'just the facts, give it to me straight'.

Anyway, those were just my thoughts. It's not that I think you should use my wording instead of yours, obviously, but rather that I feel your current options are too similar and that's why people may be having trouble choosing the one that best fits them. That's how I felt anyway, and I hope that feedback is of some use.

While I'm here, I want to thank you for inspiring a resurgence of polls. It's great to see them on the newsfeed. Too often these items are overlooked, and it's crazy hard to find decent ones to nominate for Quills. I've seen at least one of yours nominated, so I'll pass on my congratulations now too. *Bigsmile*

Elle

Image #1887773 over display limit. -?-
5
5
Review of Venom of Truth  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hi Dominique

I found your poem at the Rebel Poetry Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
It's a dark poem, with a sense of bitterness or pain. The last stanza gives the impression that the poem is directed at a woman (I know, huge assumption, it could be a man!). Between the title and the words in the poem, it is evident that there are words that have wounded the narrator, presumably in anger. The words 'you pick a fight' suggest the words don't happen accidentally.


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
The poem rhymes, but otherwise appears to be free verse. Most of the rhymes works well, but I didn't feel like 'words' and 'curse' rhymed. It might be that my accent is different to yours, I get that a lot, but when I read it, those two didn't work.

I like the idea of clouds hovering denoting dark emotions and turmoil, but I didn't understand the word 'tenebrous' and I wonder how many of your other readers will know this word. Perhaps a more easily understandable word would better convey your meaning? Another one that I struggled with was 'cholers'. I've never come across that one before and it made me stop and try and figure out the meaning, disrupting the flow of the poem for me.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR AND SPELLING:
Shame and embarassed of the family name.
'Embarassed' should be spelled 'embarrassed' and I think instead of 'of' the family name, it should be 'by' the family name.

Customs prevail with you in absentia and I see no end.
To me this line says that things keep going despite her best efforts. Which...seems like a good thing? I feel like I'm missing something here, and I'm sure there's something I've misunderstood.

I can't tell?
This doesn't appear to be a question, so I think it would be better with a full stop rather than a question mark.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Stuck in rumination of the past that I still yearn
It's not clear here who is stuck in 'rumination of the past'. If the narrator is yearning for the past, it makes sense that the narrator is the one stuck ruminating, but it sounds more like the narrator is accusing the other person of doing the ruminating. Either way, it's not clear to me.

I'd take a bet- not one step you would climb
It's not clear what this means. Climb one step of what, to where? This doesn't seem to link to anything else in the poem. Of course, it may refer to something personal of which only you know, but I'm just telling you what I see as a reader.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
missing the young version of you, way back
I have definitely felt this yearning for an earlier time and a younger version of a friend or family member. I think many will connect with this line.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I think the poem is a little confusing, but I also think that it wouldn't take very much at all to make it clearer. You can change a few words and easily unleash the potential.

Thank you for sharing this, and good luck in the contest!
Elle

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6
6
Review of Cold Front  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Sir Various
Congratulations on being chosen to feature in the Rising Stars' poetry showcase for April! *Delight*

*Burstp* GENERAL:
I can't believe this is your first attempt at writing poetry. I wish my early poetry was so good! This is pretty incredible. *Smile*

The poem gives me the impression of a beautiful autumn or winter day which has clear blue skies and sunshine, but it's cool without the warmth of a summer sun. I love those kind of days!


*Burstp* CONVENTION:
The poem appears to be free verse. I love the description of the sky as a 'cerulean blanket' in the first line. It's what initially grabbed my attention and drew me into the poem. I also love the personification of the wind as a 'brusque bluster' (nice alliteration too!).


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
I didn't understand the line 'The crisp quip of tawny bermuda'. I love the 'crisp quip' part, but what is the 'tawny bermuda' referring to? I was a bit lost. I feel a bit stupid for being lost, but I still am. *Laugh*


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
I really loved the first two lines, they were easily my favourite. Fantastic start to a lovely poem.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
Seriously, how was this your first ever poem? That's insane. It's so good! I was really impressed. Your use of figurative language was wonderful, and your imagery was superb. I really enjoyed this, thank you so much for sharing.
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I must admit I had a little chuckle when I read that you started your letter just an hour and a half before the deadline. That's definitely something I'm prone to doing! *Laugh*

You spoke a bit about previous letters you'd written to yourself, and shared those with us, but when it got to your goals, we only got one sentence. *Sad* It would have been nice to have a clear goal, with the steps you'll need to take to finish it, and deadlines for each step. Research shows that goals that are specific, measurable and time-bound are more likely to be achieved.

Having said that, I'm fascinated by your 'big project'. You're writing memoirs? That's awesome! I'm keen to find out more. *Bigsmile*


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
There were a couple of years when I skipped this but, most of the years you heard from me.
I think in this sentence, the comma should go before the 'but', not after it.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
Your letter was easy to read and had a lovely conversational tone. Your project sounds fascinating. I would have just liked to have had more detail on your goal(s). *Smile*

Thanks for entering "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest! It was a pleasure reading your entry.
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of Dear Me  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I loved your goals. It's interesting how much our roles change over our time at Writing.com, isn't it? Mine certainly has, with a very obvious move away from in-depth reviewing, and it sounds like yours has too.

I particularly liked your comment about recording the family stories for posterity. That's a passion of mine, so I wanted to shout "Yes!" *Laugh* You mentioned finding contests to enter your stories into. I'm not sure that there are many (any?) non-fiction contests anymore. Maybe it's time to re-open "Roots & Wings Historical Fiction Contest!

The letters to your children sound amazing. What sorts of things are you going to say to them? I'm just being nosy now, but I'm intrigued. I've heard of people who write one letter a year to their kids from the child's birth, but I heard of the idea too late to do that one.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
that is negative and quite often inaccurate.
'Is' should be 'are' as the words are plural.

You are now the Patriarch of the family clan.
Patriarch doesn't require a capital letter.

one, a Life Story of some facet of your life before children
'life story' doesn't require capital letter, although I appreciate you may be trying to add emphasis.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
This was a wonderfully positive, encouraging letter to yourself. While you mention where you've fallen down in the past or how your journey has deviated from the plan, it's not overly negative, and if I found your letter motivating, I'm sure you did too! Your goals are clear and specific, and you've set deadlines for yourself, so I'm sure you'll achieve what you set out to. I hope you have a fabulous 2019 and I look forward to seeing you (and your reviews and stories) around the site. *Bigsmile*
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of Dear Me  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
This was such a lovely letter. I'm sorry that you haven't been well, and you're right not to overdo it or put too much pressure on yourself. You've still set some great goals though, and I'm sure you'll have a great year.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
You can’t get away with that sort of mind games this time around
This was the only error I found! I think you need make game singular or else say 'those sorts of mind games'.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
You need to take things one day at a time and work as you can each day without feeling as if you need to catch up on six weeks of life all in a week or two. You are good, dearest Me, but no one is that good!
I think a lot of people forget that they're still human and can't be perfect. *Wink*


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
It sounds like you're doing everything right, and I'm sure you'll have a fantastic 2019. Best of luck!
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of Dear Me 2019  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.

You've done a great job outlining your goals and plans for 2019. You've been specific about what needs to be done and when, and you've made it clear why those goals are important to you.

I didn't notice any typos or grammar errors, and I couldn't think of any suggestions for improvement.

Great job! And thanks for entering "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest!
Elle

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11
11
Review of Dear Me 2019  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
It sounds like you had a tough year in 2018. I'm sorry to hear that. Too often at Writing.com we only see what's on the surface. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought that you were having a spectacular year, because of the contest and Quill wins. Just goes to show, eh?


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Stop using work, sleep, and family time as excuses--nobody needs those, right?
Now now. Everyone needs those, and you know it. Don't be so hard on yourself. Baby steps is the way to do it. Slowly start building a habit of writing regularly. Start with once a week and see how you go. Or just write when a prompt inspires you, if you write to prompts. Don't beat yourself up if you can't do everything all the time. The key is balance.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
If it came with a year’s supply of metaphorical crack, it might even have carried you through all the other stuff.
I wish I could award metaphorical crack with Quills! *Laugh*

How many times can a zombie blog die before it can’t be brought back anymore?
Actually, I suspect there's no limit to it. In fact, I'm certain there's not. So many of us have resurrected blogs numerous times. You can too. *Smile*

I loved your goal of getting the family stories out of your grandmother while she's still living. I'm all about that! Make that a priority. Or is that just me pushing my own goals on to you? *Blush* I loved reading that though. Too many people don't acknowledge the importance of those stories and memories until it's too late.

you’ll survive being middle-aged and married, employed and healthy.
Yes! Those other things sound truly awful, but I'm glad to hear you're in a good space now. Onwards and upwards!


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
You got a little hard on yourself in paragraph seven, but otherwise, I thought this was a motivational letter. You've been through some really tough stuff, but you've dealt with those and now you're in a space where you can devote some precious time and energy to your writing again. You know that your writing is awesome. The contest and Quill wins can vouch for that. So go a little bit easy on yourself, and I look forward to seeing you around the site.
Elle

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Dear Me  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
This letter read as a scolding to yourself, which was quite amusing. It wasn't actually negative in tone, despite that. I felt motivated and inspired, and it wasn't even written for me! *Laugh*


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
Uh Oh !
You don't need the capital letter on 'oh', or the extra space before the exclamation mark.

There are a few places throughout your item where you have a space before a punctuation mark, such as a comma or full stop. I recommend you go through and check them all and remove the unnecessary spaces.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I'm highly impressed that you've been writing a complete piece each day, let alone submitting it. That's amazing. I definitely couldn't do that. It's a lofty goal to keep that going all the way through 2019, but it'll be superb if you can do it. Best of luck!
Elle

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13
13
Review of Dear Me, 2019  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
This was a very original entry, and I congratulate you for thinking outside the box! *Bigsmile*

It was a little awkward to read in places where you assumed that certain things were going to happen certain ways, because the 2019 you already knew how they turned out and so you had to say certain things. Man, I've confused myself now! *Laugh* Where you said things like 'I have a feeling' or 'I'm sure', simply because the 2019 you already knows how things turn out. I felt that you could be a bit more uncertain, because the letter was 'written' 51 years ago and therefore you could be more wild and even potentially make mistakes in your assumptions.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
I may even try to write some Poetry too.
There will already be a lot of Short Story and Poetry contests.
I wonder if the group or groups have writing Challenges.
I love writing Challenges.

Short story, poetry and challenges don't need capital letters.

I also want to become more with the group or groups.
You seem to be missing a word from this sentence. Maybe more 'active' with the group?

Who knows.
This is not a complete sentence in and of itself. I would change the full stop to a comma and join it to the sentence that comes after it.

At least I probably will for a lot of them. maybe even most of them.
I think the full stop after them was meant to be a comma.

If they don’t exist maybe that’s something new, I can start with the group or groups.
This doesn't need a comma after new. Although it might be good to add a comma after exist.

But what if they both die before then.
This is a question and should end in a question mark.

Another possibility is that what all I have written in this letter isn’t going to happen either.
This sentence sounds like it might be a bit colloquial. Perhaps consider rewording to something like 'Another possibility is that all I have written in this letter isn't going to happen.'


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
That is how I’m going to end it. I think I have finished this letter. So, it’s time for me to decide how I’m going to end it.
This confused me. You've decided how you're going to end it, it's finished, now it's time to decide how to end it? Um, what? *Confused* I think you need to review that section.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
This was an interesting read, and quite different to most of the other entries. It sounds like you've got a lot going on in 2019 and some great goals to work towards. I wish you the best of luck!
Elle

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14
14
Review of Dear Me 2019  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
Your letter was so encouraging and positive. There was a perfect balance of striving for achievement and relaxing. You noted all the areas of your life that needed to be remembered and looked after.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
Your life, your journey, your success. and even your failure is God-breathed.
You've got a full stop after success when it should be a comma.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
There were very few specifics and timeframes to your goals. They were lofty goals, but not broken down into specific tasks that needed to be done by specific deadlines. Generally speaking, goals are more likely to be achieved if they're specific, time-bound and measurable. I wonder if it would be worth taking the time to note some initial steps to get you underway and building the habits you want to create.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
You may not have achieved as much as you might have liked to in the first half of your life but there is nothing written that says the second half cannot be spectacular.
Yes! I love this line. So positive and encouraging. *Bigsmile*

Relax, smile and enjoy the process.
This is something that can too often be forgotten.

Most of all, remember to be fabulous and shine among the stars.
Perfectly said!


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
As I noted at the beginning, your entry was wonderfully encouraging. I'm sure you'll have no problem motivating yourself again by re-reading this letter if you should start to lose focus. I have yet to finish a tertiary qualification, so I can understand your drive to complete yours. Best of luck, and I hope you have a fantastic 2019.
Elle

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15
15
Review of Dear Me 2019  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
Overall, your goals are well thought out and specific. You have designated a certain number of times that you need to do a task, or how often a task should be performed. You also expand on the reasoning behind each goal and why you should be motivated to move forward with it, which will help you if you find yourself losing motivation or focus further down the track.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
no each day
You probably need a comma after 'no'.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Your first goal is to 'ground yourself in your faith'. You mention some concepts such as forgiving yourself and others, but I thought it might be beneficial to expand this goal into specific steps. How do you go about forgiveness? How does one 'take out the trash inside your spirit'? I just felt that some clear steps could be outlined that would make this goal more achievable for you. You did it for the other goals, so I think it would be beneficial for this topic too.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
Do not procrastinate or expect perfection—this thinking paralyzes you.
Oh yes, I'm very familiar with that concept! That's me to a tee - either procrastinating or expecting perfection. *Facepalm* Well done on recognising that in yourself and making it clear that this will be hurdle you will face but aren't prepared to let it stop you.

I loved your idea of contacting people you've neglected and baking cookies for the woman across the street. I should incorporate some goals like that for myself.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
This was a really positive, encouraging entry. I feel sure that you're going to have a great 2019. It feels like you've got improvements planned for each facet of your life, and I wish you the very best of luck with it all.
Elle

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16
16
Review of Dear Me  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
Your letter had a lovely conversational style that was easy to read, but made it feel a little like I was overhearing something I shouldn't. *Laugh* Your obscure references to things only you know about heightened that sense. I'm not saying it was bad, as actually I think it added a sense of personality to your letter. *Smile*


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
Or a form of writing that was not in you comfort zone?
Just missing the r on 'your'.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
I noted that your three primary goals were to continue with I Write and the Contest Challenge, and draft a 'big project'. Other than that, I didn't note any specifics. If you had any other goals hidden in there (perhaps in terms of your reviewing), you probably need to make them more specific. On the flip side, I do understand that those contests are challenge enough!


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
In fact, see if you can rewrite a story in a different voice! Double dog dare ya.
This made me laugh. *Smile* So, have you done it yet??


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
You've set yourself up with some major goals that should see you through 2019. I know from experience how tricky some of those are! I Write is no easy challenge. There were occasions you got a wee bit negative towards yourself and your own skills, but overall the tone was positive, encouraging and supportive. I'm sure you'll have a great 2019. Best of luck!
Elle

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17
17
Review of Dear Me, 2019  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
Your letter was heartfelt and packed a really powerful emotional punch. I think it was brave of you to share so much of yourself, but perhaps that was a small detail after you've achieved so much and overcome so many challenges.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
There's been plenty of times
I think this should be there've rather than there's. There have been plenty of times, rather than there has been plenty of times. Does that sound right?

this is the steps you'll need to take to achieve it.
This should be 'these are the steps' rather than 'this is the steps'.

Once your comfortable with the arrangement
Your should be you're.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
Not everyone is brave enough to admit they need help.
Too true. It sounds like you're doing everything possible to enable you to succeed.

Maintaining a healthy life with balance requires doing what you love as well.
Yes! So many people focus on the 'must dos' that they forget to just enjoy some moments.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
You've already achieved so much, and I'm sure it's down to your fantastic attitude. You're positive, you encourage yourself, you have great reasoning behind all your goals and decisions, and you're determined. On top of all of that, you're realistic and don't beat yourself up for your mistakes. I am sure 2019 will be a fantastic year for you. Best of luck!
Elle

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18
18
Review of Dear Me  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
Your project sounds like it means a lot to you, and you're clearly inspired to finish, you're just a procrastinator. Me too! I definitely saw a lot of myself in your comments.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
It was your childhood memories of choosing greetings cards that gave rise to the germ of an idea.
'Greetings' doesn't need an s on it.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
If you were an elephant, you could have given birth to two baby elephants in that time.
*Laugh*

It's only when there's no given time limit that you behave as if you have all the time in the world.
Oh yeah, that's so me! *Laugh* I'm a great procrastinator too, and deadlines are the only thing that get me to finish projects. I'm definitely with you on this one!


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
You've got the goal, it sounds achievable, and you also know how you're going to do it and why. You're positive, even while scolding yourself, and enthusiastic. I'm sure you'll achieve your dream. Best of luck for 2019!
Elle

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19
19
Review of 'Dear Me'  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
Your entry reads as if you got more excited and enthusiastic about your goals as you wrote. I love that! You have a wonderful passion, and it made your letter a treat to read.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
Due to unexpected health issues that halted my progress in the middle of 2018 to have my first book completed before the year ended.
This sentence doesn't quite make sense in isolation. I wasn't sure if it was meant to flow on from the previous sentence (maybe it should have had a comma rather than a full stop) or if it just needs rewording slightly so that it flows better.

This New Year 2019, will be a continued part of last years goal.
Years should be year's, and I think you need a comma after New Year.

I know it will not happen over night
Overnight is one word.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
I did feel like the steps you were going to take to complete your goals could have been laid out in specifics a little more. I wasn't 100% clear on what you were going to do in regards to the animated production or promotion. If you are, that's great, but if not, it might help to just set out those steps so you have a clear path to follow to help you achieve those goals.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
It's a promise I am making to myself, to my son and to my husband that anything can be done if you are determined enough.
I love the positivity and encouragement of this whole paragraph, but this sentence was my favourite. What a fantastic example you are setting. *Bigsmile*


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
You believe in yourself, and I believe in you too! You can do it! Best of luck!
Elle

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20
20
Review of Dear Me  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
The first paragraph really spoke to me. I've kept journals and blogs (the modern day equivalent of the journal, right?) since I was 14. Your words really resonated with me. It is a legacy, it is a record, and it has also been cathartic and a much-needed outlet. So well said.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
You have a lot of text in just a few paragraphs, and you've also bolded it, so it's a little hard on the eyes. Consider breaking up the paragraphs to add a few more gaps.

Your writing goal is great - clear and specific. I thought you could perhaps have expanded slightly on your contest goal and clarified perhaps which contests or how many you might enter.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
Ego’s hushed passion baptized as next of kin
I love the imagery of 'Ego's hushed passion'. *Smile*

To write life’s lyrics as the song emerges
Author the moments in romantic originality

This is beautiful.

March to my own band as the impulse surges
Yes! *Thumbsup*

I will find humor in mundane tasks of life and sculpt whimsical tales. Mystery and mayhem will jaunt through my pages as I lead the reader on a path of intrigue.
Your imagery is fantastic.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
You have a lovely style of writing that gives your entry a sense of whimsy. It was a pleasure to read. I wish you the best of luck with 2019.
Elle

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21
21
Review of Dear Me 2019  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
Wow, you've really set yourself a challenge for 2019, haven't you? At first I thought that your goal was too vague and too over-reaching to achieve. You stated that you need to 'discontinue behaviour', 'practice holiness' and 'put off sin', and I was thinking 'That's great, but how?' Then further down, you specify exactly what you need to do in order to make progress on your goal. Great work!

That said, the steps you've outlined have a deadline of January 10. So you've got the start of the journey mapped out, but what comes after that? I hope you've got plans so that you can make progress on your goal.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
Yet you "can do all things through Jesus Christ who gives you strength, Philippians 4:13.
You start quotation marks, but don't close them. You need the closing one after 'strength'.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
I want to require you to
You don't need both want and require at the beginning of this sentence. Either will do.

In your fifth paragraph, you use exclamation marks six times. The more you use an exclamation mark, the less impact it has. Maybe consider if each of these sentences really requires such emphasis, or if the emphasis would be greater if you only used one or two.

Most of your item was balanced, with reminders that you have support and that your goals are achievable. I did feel like it ended quite negatively, and that it would have been nicer to end on a positive, encouraging note.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
You may as well be flipping God the bird that doesn't fly as your attitude is one of outright rebellion!
I couldn't help but smile at this imagery. It's very visual, but also gives the reader a good idea of how you feel your behaviour disrespects God.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I think you made a start on sharing your faith with the community with this entry, but I hope you also look back on 2019 and feel you made progress with your more personal goals. Best of luck to you.
Elle

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22
22
Review of Dear Me  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
This item had a great blend of seriousness and humour. Sometimes I thought 'Ooh, that's a wee bit negative' but then you balanced it with the positive, the humour, the enthusiasm and encouragement. Great work.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Some of your goals could stand to be a little more specific. I was a bit gobsmacked when I read your line about reading every bit of fiction that crossed your path (that's a LOT of fiction!!) but then you specified that the goal was 52 books in 2019. However, most of your other goals weren't broken down into specifics. Your goal of getting up earlier, for example, or your hobbies goal. Research shows that we're more likely to achieve a goal if it's specific and measurable, so while your goals are definitely worthy ones, it might be of benefit to make them a little more specific.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
Please stick with them this time, as the last list made a lousy cat box liner.
This made me laugh. *Bigsmile*

Read every piece of great and terrible fiction that crosses your path.
Yes! Because we don't just learn from reading 'great' works of writing, we also learn from the bad. But not only that, sometimes it's nicer to read something less intellectual and we can just read and enjoy for fun, you know?

Digest it, mull it over, swish it around and breath in the floral bouquet of every pretty word.
Loved how poetic this line was.

Invest in memories, not things.
Oh, well said. I'm 100% in agreement with that. *Thumbsup*


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
I really loved that paragraph about making memories with your kids. That finished the entry off on a really powerful, encouraging note, backed up with your 'embrace spontaneity' sentence that followed. If you do nothing else in 2019, I hope you take that paragraph onboard and make some truly wonderful memories with your kids. And I shall endeavour to do the same. That way, we'll both be awesome parents. *Laugh*

Thanks for entering "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest! It was a pleasure reading your entry.
Elle

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23
23
Review by Elle
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I love the snarky way you start. It built anticipation, because I was sure something was coming that was going to make me smile, in true Sonali fashion. *Smile*


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
Nice side-effect.
Side effect is two words and doesn't need a hyphen.

The 'matter', as it turns out, is that you're finally breaking free of the phrases -- 'I can't' and 'but I'm not'.
You don't need the dashes in this sentence. You can say 'breaking free of the phrases 'I can't' and 'but I'm not'.'


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Write better to earn more GPs on WDC.
While this is a good thing to aspire to, it's probably not specific enough or measurable enough to truly aid you in achieving it. Goals are more likely to be accomplished if they're clear and specific. So how are you going to 'write better'? What are the steps you're going to take so that you can write better? As an example, a specific goal might be 'enter every official WDC writing contest in 2019'. See, it's specific, it has a deadline and that makes it measurable. You'll know 100% if you've achieved it or not by the end of the year. How will you know if you 'wrote better'?

Another important thing to consider is how much of the goal is in your control. Writing entries is in your control. Entering contests is in your control. Winning is not. So make the goal to be learning, practicing or entering, but not winning, because that's not something you have control over. Does that make sense?

Your health goal starts off much clearer, with remembering to take your medications, and it probably wouldn't have taken much to add the amounts of exercise and water you need each day, but then it regresses to 'stuff like that' and 'listen to your body'. Which is all well and good, but not specific or measurable, and therefore research shows that you're less likely to achieve the goal.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
So tell them, already!
This was the finale of the anticipation building that you started right at the beginning, and it made it feel like I was standing there listening to you talk to yourself. It came across so natural. Loved it!

I loved hearing about your photography exhibition, and I particularly loved the encouraging style and enthusiasm all the way through.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
This was a really positive entry, looking at the awesome stuff you have coming up, focussing on the positives in your life and how you can sustain and increase them. Great work!


Thanks for entering "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest! It was a pleasure reading your entry.
Elle

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24
24
Review of Dear Me  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
First off, I gotta say, this letter is hilarious. *Bigsmile* It made me smile from the very beginning until the very end.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
A good suggestion for goals is to make them specific and measurable. Your goals are a little bit vague on details. Don't get me wrong, I think your goals are worthwhile, but generally speaking, you're more likely to achieve your goals if they're specific and measurable. Be very clear about what you'll achieve and by when, so that you can look back on them and say unequivocally whether you achieved them or not.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
The first paragraph was my favourite. It grabbed my attention, made me laugh, and then you kept me smiling all the way through your item.

The way you phrased that Psychedelic Furs quote was funny too.


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
It's easy for the Dear Me entries to have a sense of sameness. I know that I've written entries for this contest before, and struggled to make them stand out of the crowd. Your entry, however, stood out, and was wonderfully unique.

Thanks for entering "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest! It was a pleasure reading your entry.
Elle

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25
25
Review of Dear Creative Me  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Hi there,
I'm reviewing your item as a judge for "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest.


*Burstp* GENERAL:
I love the fact that you start off so upbeat and positive, encouraging yourself rather than putting yourself down. *Bigsmile* In fact, the whole item is uplifting, which is awesome.


*Burstp* GRAMMAR/SPELLING:
That alone will release a tremendous amount of repressed energy, so I can accomplish my other wish: to become even more active at WDC (which I've already planned by joining I Write in 2019 and the MHWA, as well as blogging for 2 forums daily, reviewing daily, entering contests (I've spent hours today working on a short story revision in order to enter it).
Firstly, this is a really long sentence. Secondly, you start a bracket at 'which I've already' and then another at 'I've spent hours' and you only close one of them. You'd be better off breaking it into two or three shorter sentences. You could end it right before the first bracket and then start your second sentence with 'I've already planned to join I Write' or 'I've already joined I Write', whichever works.


*Burstp* SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
You started off with 'DEAR ME' and then immediately followed it up with 'Dear Creative Me'. I'm not sure why you used two greetings, unless it was just to get the mandatory one out of the way so you didn't get disqualified, and then you used the one you actually wanted to use. But I think it would have worked better with just one greeting. I would also recommend avoiding using all capital letters as you did with 'DEAR ME' as it is hard for readers to read.

In your fourth paragraph (starting with 'So good!'), you finish three sentences in a row with exclamation marks. And in the last line you use four. The more you use an exclamation mark, the less emphasis they actually impart. One in an item of this length would be sufficient.


*Burstp* FAVOURITE LINES:
I wish to relinquish and release my expectations that others will behave as I think they should.
Oh yeah, that's something I need to work on too! *Thumbsup*

What matters is that you are writing, not how you are judged (or not judged).
Yes! Love this line!


*Burstp* FINAL NOTE:
Although this could use a little polishing, I think it's wonderfully positive and encouraging. I hope you accomplish everything you hope for this year.


Thanks for entering "Dear Me: Official WDC Contest! It was a pleasure reading your entry.
Elle

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