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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/elle/sort_by/r.review_creation_time+DESC/sort_by_last/r.review_creation_time+DESC/page/9
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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Review of Terror in White  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light

Hi Diane, you and I clearly took the opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to writing poems from a ghost's point of view!

I found that the first and last stanzas had the best rhythm and were the easiest ro read aloud. The third and fourth stanzas both seemed to have longer third and fourth lines which made it hard for me to maintain the rhythm.
I have to admit, I struggled with the last line of the second stanza simply because with my accent (I'm from New Zealand) route doesn't rhyme with shout! Here, it rhymes with flute or toot. So as you can imagine, I was reading through and went 'What?! That doesn't rhyme! Oh, wait a minute...' Ha ha! Oops! I try to be aware of American English spellings but forgot to look out for words that sound different even though they're spelt the same and mean the same. A good lesson for me!

I loved the description of foamy silvery white. Rhyming mutilation and creation is pretty clever too.

There are only three full stops in the entire poem. I prefer my poems to have correct punctuation, but I don't know if you've deliberately left the words bare or not. If not, it does need some more full stops at the end of sentences.

Thanks for sharing,
Elle

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My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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Review of Career Day  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


*Fire* Congrats! You're receiving a gift from "The Power Review Shop! The Lightning Package has been ordered for you from: blue jellybaby and includes the reviews of three short stories! Enjoy! *Fire*

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Well, this was certainly a career day with a difference! I was interested to see how you would tackle the situation, once I realised the identity of the main character. To be honest, I expected a light-hearted approach reminiscent of the Family Guy tv show where the kids end up thinking of him as just another character. Instead, whilst it was clear that both the main character and the children made a genuine effort to bridge the gap, I felt that you left the children with a natural fear and reticence. I don't know that I have a preference either way, but it made your story more unique, I thought. And do you know, I never thought of him as a 'mythological creature'. I am intrigued by the possibilities that presents!

One of my favourite lines was right at the beginning. *Cut*“If you traumatize these kids, I’ll haunt you, singing ‘Henry the Eighth’ for all eternity!”*Cut*
That struck me as a particularly funny threat, and set the tone for the relationship between those two characters. I also enjoyed the line where he tried to set the children at ease with the table manners quip. *Smile*

Your final sentence carried a subtle (or not so subtle?) double meaning that made me smile too.

Overall, an amusing piece. You mentioned that you might write more for children, so I thought about how my children would relate to this piece. My 11yo son would find it very amusing I think, and he would love the additional information you provided on the history of the main character. I think my 7yo daughter would have preferred the Family Guy version where no one cried and everyone was happy at the end. I have done some writing for children and I certainly can't please both my children with one installment/chapter but it would depend on your intended audience and also what characters/themes/moods you brought in to the next chapter. All in all, I think you should be encouraged to write more along these lines. You could expand this piece - it would certainly lend itself to expansion quite easily - but as it is, it's a nice sized read for a child to enjoy in one sitting, and then they could move on to the next installment. I'd be interested to read what you write next in this genre.

Elle

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Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light

I really enjoyed this piece. Lovely rhythm, fantastic use of words... Brilliant.

My favourite line was definitely the second line in the third stanza.

*Cut*while trees shift back and forth - ballet -*Cut*
I think that line is just perfect. It really makes you picture the movement of the trees and think of them as taking part in a graceful dance of nature.

One small correction to the third line in the third stanza:
*Cut*and underneath, the couple's sway...*Cut*
Couples doesn't need an apostrophe.

The fourth stanza is excellent. It has excellent rhythm and rhyme and just rolls beautifully off the tongue (when read aloud!). It makes me want to read it or hear it at a poetry reading - definitely a poem to be shared aloud. Beautiful.

Thank you so much for sharing your poem. I really enjoyed reading that.
Elle

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Review of The Fight  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light

Hi Krysha-More Testing, Scared , this is your third review for the Lightning Package from "The Power Review Shop that you won in C.A.T.S Auction.

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Firstly, I appreciate the authors note at the end of the page. I have never come across a villanelle and was interested to click on the link you provided and read more about it. It is also helpful to put your poem in the context that you meant it, in terms of Bipolar Disorder. I don't have personal experience of Bipolar, but I have known friends who suffered from it.

The first and third lines work very well for this type of poem, and for the mood and theme of this poem in particular. Good choice.
I thought the first stanza had the best rhythm and I found I lost the rhythm in the middle of the second stanza and found it quite hard to recover, although the fourth stanza had good rhythm too. How does the poem sound to you when you read it aloud? I always find that reading my poems aloud helps me fine-tune them. For instance, the first line of the second stanza seems like it would fit better if you removed the words 'of' and 'and'.
In your fourth stanza, second line, 'all right' should be one word - alright.
The first line of the fourth stanza is very good - I liked the term 'sanity anchor' and I liked the way you phrased the line, trimming it down to just the barest necessary words, and it works really well.

Overall, a fantastic effort at a villanelle. I have no doubt whatsoever that it's a difficult style of poem to write, and I'm sure it's even harder to get your feelings and your pain and frustration out on paper (let alone forced to fit into a certain pattern and style!). Well done. Great work.

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Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
A dragon reading a book by candle light

Thanks for requesting a review from "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. These are just my personal opinions, and of course others will have different opinions.

The overall story being told here is a good one, and there are definite moments of brilliance in your writing. However, I struggled to get past all the grammatical errors. It feels like you haven't proofread it yet. A good trick, especially for dialogue but useful for any writing, is to read it aloud. If you can read it aloud to another person, even better. If not, just read it aloud to yourself. Is it easy to read? Do the sentences flow? Does it make sense? For the dialogue especially, does it feel natural to be saying it? Once you have proofread it and made as many corrections as you can, then run it through the spelling and grammar check in Word (or a similar program) and see if it can pick up on anything you've missed. Once you've done as much as you can to get it perfect, then put it up for review again. Hopefully someone (like me or someone else from the "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group) will be able to help you polish it and focus on any remaining issues. Right now, I think anyone who reads this is going to be too bogged down by the grammar to give you any other useful feedback.

I won't go through the whole story line by line, but here are some examples of things you need to watch out for when you do your proofreading:

*Cut*He remembered the attack they grappled with the Russians,.*Cut*
You have both a comma and a full stop at the end of the sentence. How can you grapple an attack? You can attack an enemy or grapple with an enemy... Perhaps 'He remembered the attack where they had grappled with the Russians.'

*Cut*It had been brutal and savage and by god, did they manage to survive.*Cut*
Do you mean they survived by God's grace or God's will? Or is this some rough soldier talk and 'By God we survived!' It's unclear to reader which you meant.

*Cut*Other regiments wouldn't adhered endured the weather conditions as Gulliemont's regiment had.*Cut*
The word 'adhered' doesn't fit in this sentence. Other regiments wouldn't have endured in these weather conditions as Gulliemont's regiment had.

*Cut*They had fought the beasts, known as the Cossacks*Cut*
No comma needed after beasts. 'They had fought the beasts known as Cossacks' would work.

*Cut*They had pounded off the Russian soldiers now slowly regaining their strength.*Cut*
Who is regaining strength and who pounded who? Pounded feels like a very strange fit for this sentence. Maybe 'They had fought off the Russian soldiers and now they were slowly regaining their strength.' Or 'They had fought off the Russian soldiers but the Russians were slowly regaining their strength' depending on what you meant.

*Cut*For nature accumulated its toll on the Grandee Armee. Winter had caused the annihilation of Napoleon's army.*Cut*
I think that could be one sentence. 'For nature's toll had accumulated on the Grandee Armee and winter had caused their annihilation.'

*Cut*‘A report, mon general’*Cut*
This sentence needs a full stop at the end.

*Cut*How could Nature be so cruel as to allow them to march across half Russia only to be slaughtered within sight of Poland and salvation?*Cut*
That should be 'half OF Russia'.

*Cut*A skirmish against Russian soldiers had misled them to be in the punishing cold they had now been suffering from.*Cut*
I would say the skirmish had LED to them being in the cold, not misled them. 'A skirmish against the Russian soldiers had led them into the punishing cold they were now suffering from.' Something like that.

*Cut*Some soldiers died in the shadows while other’s had frozen to death without being noticed, the rest had been buried in the snow.*Cut*
Others doesn't need an apostrophe. This sentence gives the impression that some soldiers died in the shadows, some froze to death without being noticed and the rest were buried in the snow. Is that what you're trying to say? It might just need a little rephrasing, because it's not quite clear at the moment.

*Cut*It only bridled anger and hatred in his regiment for the Russians and their damn Cossacks.*Cut*
When you bridle something, you control it. A bridle is used to control a horse and keep it in line. I think you need to find another word there. Roused? Increased? Something like that?

*Cut*They had fought a war in which the enemy retreated and unsuited for them.*Cut*
The enemy unsuited for them? What does that mean?

Please don't think that my pointing out these errors suggests that I think you should just start the whole thing all over again, or worse, give up altogether. There are some truly wonderful parts to your work.

*Cut*Frigid winds whipped needles of snow into Lieutenant General Gulliemont's cheeks. He shivered and clutched at his bearskin coat with fingers turned numbed by the cold Russian winter. His breath fogged the air and left a trail of frost on his collar which he did not seem to notice. Icy sweat deluged the once fine uniform he'd worn every day since the Grande Armee began its campaign in the spring of 1812. He rubbed his hands and trudged through the snow. With each step, the cold penetrated deeper into his flesh making him shiver.*Cut*
THAT is sheer brilliance. I love it. Everything about the paragraph is perfect. And as the first paragraph, it really grabs our attention and sets the standard for the rest of the piece.

*Cut*A small scattered army running away from the wrath of the Russian Army, they had found the perfect opportunity to take back their homeland.*Cut*
A great line.

*Cut*Corporal Jacque Renard slogged through the snow towards him with obvious haste, holding his frost-coated black shako in place. The snow particles pinched and stung around his face like a horde of angry bees.*Cut*
Excellent. We can really understand how the snow must be stinging his face.

*Cut*The Line Fusilier lent in the first line was on the ground with their white trousers forming blended with the snow. The white surcoats were already placed into their uniforms. And dark blue coats were waiting to enter action. The red collars were straightened, along with the white lapels and cuffs as they prepared to get ready for the oncoming onslaught. The Second line of fusiliers were standing straight and waiting for new orders.*Cut*
This paragraph needs proofreading and tidying up, but once you've polished it up it will be a great, vivid image of the soldiers prepared for battle. I love that you've described the colours of each line. A little editing and it will be superb.

I really do hope you take the time to edit and polish up this work. It has huge potential and I think without the grammatical errors you could aim for 5 stars with this piece. And please, when you have done so, come back and ask myself or another member of the "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group to review it again. I'd be happy to do so.

All the best,
Elle

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Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light

Hi Taylor, I saw your request for a review, and thought I'd have a look at your work. Overall, it's an interesting piece, and I think you've done really well with it. One paragraph was only four words...and yet it worked. The flow kept moving throughout the piece, not stopping so long that the reader got bored. There were very few technical errors that I noted.

*Cut*'Yet, I can’t seem to summon the same kind of excitement that radiates off of my friends.'*Cut*
I think you need to remove the word 'of' from that sentence. The excitement radiates off your friends, not off of them. *Smile*

In the line that starts
*Cut*Lonely old men...*Cut*, I have to confess, I don't know what exactly the lonely old men are doing. I'm not sure if it's slang that I'm not familiar with (whether that's because I live in another country or frankly I'm just too old or naive!) but I would just suggest reviewing that line. If it makes perfect sense to you, it's probably just me and I wouldn't worry about it.

*Cut*Perfume stings the air.*Cut*
I love that line. Perfect. It tells us something about the scene, but the way you've done it leaves us with a feeling of discomfort. If you'd said that perfume scented the air, we might imagine it as a lovely, pleasant scent, but instead, you've helped us to feel the discomfort and disillusionment of your character.

*Cut*All sense of time bleeds out from the evening.*Cut*
Another brilliant line. Again, the word bleeds helps keep the tone of the story dark and miserable.

Your description under the heading tells us that the main character is 'depressed'. You clearly tell us that he has been drinking, but then you allude that perhaps he's been in to darker substances. I felt, as I was reading it, that he was detached and definitely under the influence of more than one substance which made me feel that 'depressed' is stating it too mildly, and perhaps not accurately. I felt that he wasn't in his right mind at all, and that's quite a different thing. I'm not suggesting you change the story, but perhaps the description could be altered a little to better suit. Perhaps even just as simple as 'his first encounter' with such a place.

All in all, I thought you'd done really well with this piece. Well done, and good luck with your future efforts.
Elle

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Review by Elle
Rated: E | (4.0)
I enjoyed this conclusion to your tale. I have to say, sending Hermod to Valhalla was inspired - I wasn't expecting that, and yet it seemed perfectly fitting.

As with my previous comments, I don't see why you need to divide this installment in to two chapters. It finishes nicely though, and wraps up all the loose threads in the story, while leaving a few doors open for the children to wonder how Loki will be captured, and how the elves will be rescued, etc.

Looking back now, I think when you first mention Ratatosk in the first chapter, I would remove all mention of magic and 'ordinary squirrels'. Silje wasn't at all surprised by a talking goat, and I would just leave the children to wonder or not at the magic animals. I don't think you need to point out to them which animals are magic and which aren't.


'Hanne and Silje were joined in the celebration, eating and dancing with Wiglaf and Bragi until they were exhausted.'
Something seems to be missing in the above sentence. Perhaps they were joined BY Wiglaf and Bragi instead of WITH them? Not sure, but it doesn't quire read right as it is.

'“I don’t know, but I hold certain that there will be many adventures to come,” replied Silje.'
I would change 'hold' for another word. Perhaps even just 'am' - 'I am certain that there will be many adventures to come'.

I saw in your portfolio that you have had some images done to illustrate this story. I'm sure it's possible to incorporate those in to each static item, and I think that would be nice for your readers. I would also add a bitem link to the next chapter at the end of each item, so that the reader is able to click on it and move on, without going back to your portfolio each time to look for it.

When you asked for me to review this story, you wanted to know if the mythology added to the story, and how it stood up to those produced by Disney. Firstly, the setting and the unique characters are a real drawcard for this story. I like the way the gods and other 'mythical characters' play their part in the story. That has definitely worked for you. In terms of comparing it to Disney, that's hard to say. I do feel confident though that this is a story that children will enjoy reading. It will capture their interest, they will enjoy the main two characters, and they may well find they're inspired to learn more about vikings, Denmark and Norway, and being inspired to read on and do further research is always a wonderful thing.

For commercial purposes, you might find it becomes more commercially appealing if one of the two main characters is a boy - that way any child reading it has a character they can identify with. However, I like it with two female characters - there aren't enough in children's fiction as far as I'm concerned. But then, I'm a girl. *Smile*
Keep up the good work.
Elle

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Review by Elle
Rated: E | (4.0)
A lot more action in this installment. I liked that the battle scene had lots of drama with the thunder and lightening, but no gore that would be unsettling for children.

'Both kings silently anguished over the loss of their beloved daughters as they watched the security of the kingdom begin crumble into chaos.'
I think you've missed a 'to' in there. 'begin TO crumble into chaos'.

There's no cliffhanger at the end of this chapter, but by this point in the story, I'm committed to reading to the end and I want to know how Silje fares and how it all works out. As advised in my previous review, I think you could combine chapter 7 with chapters 5 and 6 rather than dividing them in to smaller chapters. I think a child that is of an age to read this story will cope with the longer chapters and it allows you to break the action at points that encourage the reader to keep moving to the next chapter.

I have to say too, my favourite character so far is Hermod - brilliantly portrayed.

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Review by Elle
Rated: E | (4.0)
This was well written, and I liked the 'other worldliness' of this part. Again, I don't think it needs to be divided into two chapters, but could easily stand as a single chapter. I would even incorporate chapter 7 in as well.

'Everywhere she looked she was reminded that she wasn’t in Midgard anymore.'
When I read this line, all I could think of was the Wizard of Oz. I would reword it, just to remove that feeling of 'I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore'. *Smile*

'She could tell it was not going to be easy to trick this child,.'
Just an extra comma at the end there.

'“I heard you had arrived, said Surt, shifting his gaze to Loki.'
Just missing the close of the speech marks after Surt has finished talking.

The story is moving along nicely now, and I am finding the characters and plot more attention-grabbing. I'll add some more comments on chapter 7...

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Review by Elle
Rated: E | (3.5)
Further from my comments on the previous chapters, I think this 4th chapter can be absorbed half in to the previous chapter (as discussed in the last review) and half in to the following chapter. The pace and drama speed up in this installment and I am definitely finding that I'm reading more quickly and becoming more interested in the story.

“Hermod, please tell the guards to open the gate so we can go!” said'
You don't tell us who is speaking the above sentence. That's the only technical error I noted though, the rest looks fine.

Good work on this section and I'm off to read chapter 5!

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Review by Elle
Rated: E | (3.5)
I found these second and third chapters more engaging than the first. I enjoyed the second viewpoint from Hanne, and there was definitely a sense that you were setting up the scene for more drama further on in the story, which makes me want to keep reading.

I did note that Hanne was ten years old, then eleven, then back to ten years old again.
'Hanne had just turned ten years old, but he could see the striking woman she would be become.'
'Silje’s eyes were especially on eleven-year-old Princess Hanne.'
'“But you’re only ten years old!” exclaimed Silje.'

Just a continuity error there that is easily fixed.

'I saw her in a dream before I got him, so that is how she got her name.'
I think 'him' is supposed to be 'her' in that sentence.

“Oh I know how you mean,” agreed Silje.
Technically, this should be 'know WHAT you mean' but it does give some sense of immaturity and casualness to the sentence, which isn't a bad thing for a nine year old character. It depends on whether it was intentional or not. *Smile*

'“We are princesses, and the future will be about arranged marriage for both of us.”'
I think that should be marriages, plural.

I did enjoy reading this, but I feel that there was no need to divide it in to two chapters. Personally, I'd like to see these two chapters combined as one. Following on from our conversation about providing a 'cliffhanger' to encourage the reader to read the following chapter, I would even continue this chapter right through to where you have
“It’s a trap!” cried out Ratatosk. “Run! Run! Go! Go! Hurry! Hurry!”' The girls rushed to their ponies. With their hearts beating fast, they urged their ponies to a gallop in the direction of the castle. in the next chapter. Then start chapter 3 from there.

So far it's enjoyable children's fiction, and I think this second installment improves on the first. It was easier to read (better flow) and more engaging. I felt like the viking heritage had been well researched as it was easily incorporated in to the story and seemed very natural. Whether you genuinely researched viking / Danish / Norwegian life, I have no idea, but it comes across as real and that's what matters. Well done.

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Review by Elle
Rated: E | (3.5)
So far this story is well written. There were very few technical errors, in fact I only spotted one - an unnecessary comma in the sentence 'Leading the herd to the center of the ring castle, limited her view even more because tall long houses and huts lined the boardwalk.'
Having said that, I did wonder if it should be 'rounded up' in the sentence 'Spurring Draumur faster, she rounded one of the goats that had tried to stray and pushed them as quickly as possible, lest they become food for Molock.'

There's not a lot in this first chapter to grab me and keep me reading. I felt that there should have been a 'hook' at the end of the chapter that made me want to find out what happened next. It was pleasant reading, but not gripping. I am older than your intended audience though of course.

Your lead character, Silje, is nine years old, but as I was reading, I felt that she was portrayed as older. Perhaps it was the mental 'vocabulary' or perhaps it was when she leapt on to her 14 hands high pony. I would suggest increasing this age a little. Maybe 12 or 13 would be more appropriate? I might be able to clarify that after reading the next few chapters. On the other hand, in my own stories I use an older vocabulary than the character would normally use because I am writing for 'gifted' or intellectually advanced kids and I wanted them to be able to relate to a character their age with a higher vocab and intellect than the average person their age. Anyway, it's something to think about.

I'll continue on to read the other chapters and let you know more of what I think about the plot and character development, etc as I do.

Elle
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Review of A Note  
Review by Elle
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
As a short 'note', it's very good. It gets the reader feeling and thinking, and being able to communicate emotion or inspire your reader to FEEL is one that every writer aspires to, so well done indeed. In terms of the actual writing, my only critique is that you used flowed in the first sentence and then again in the second sentence, and I think the second 'flowed' would be better replaced with something else as the first sentence is perfect as is.
Technically, there are a couple of small errors.
'The daughter of the deceased did not cry, she did not wimper, she showed no emotion.' Whimper has an h in it.
'Noone seemed to notice it there on the desk. No one is two words.
Technically 'anyways' isn't a word but I appreciate that it gives a casual feel to your last sentence and so it's probably worth keeping.
'The last words on the page were, 'Deloria, my Dear, I am sorry'' I would remove the comma after 'were' and the capital letter in 'dear', then finish with a full stop. Keep up the good work!

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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Review by Elle
Rated: E | (4.0)
Great work! I felt just one small error in rhythm as I read it, and that was the line 'It dries and vanishes the driving rain' which didn't seem to fit so well with the rest. If you take out the word 'driving', I think it works (rhythm-wise). The previous line works only if you remember to put the beat on 'and', which I didn't when I read it through the first time, but the second time I did and it worked fine. Otherwise, great rhythm. I loved the line 'Across the ocean's endless brim' the most, but 'on fen and field and forest glades was also very evocative of peaceful countryside under the sun's warmth.
Overall, a lovely poem and well written. Elle

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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Review of Love Close Up  
Review by Elle
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi Tim, I saw your request for a 'second opinion' on this piece after a really unhelpful and rather scathing first review.
The piece comes off as earnest and sincere, but it doesn't read as poetry. It has no rhythm that I can tell, so it reads more like a paragraph in a story or an article. For instance, if the first stanza was rewritten as:
'Life often boasts unforgettable loves,
sharing and splendid events.
Richly rewarding, blessings gifted to us,
in all of the forms it is sent.'
Something like that. If you read your first stanza aloud, then read my revised stanza aloud, what differences do you note? Can you tell any rhythm in my example? Generally in poetry, short sentences are better. Your sentence doesn't necessarily have to be grammatically correct. You might take out 'the' or 'and' if it wrecks the rhythm. In poetry, the rhythm is more important than the grammar.
An example of how removing surplus words could improve it, would be your second stanza. Instead of
'And that love can take many wondrous
And highly distinct forms, such as pets,
Pastimes, travel, and careers… '

What about:
'And love can take many wondrous forms,
pastimes, travel, careers...'

I hope that helps some. Your first review was so genuinely unhelpful I wanted to try and give you some helpful feedback. Do let me know if you have any questions about anything I've said. And keep writing! You are obviously putting passion and effort in to your work, and that's the main thing. The rest will come with practice, reading other people's work and of course, constructive criticism (and not reviewers that say 'Tell you the truth, I'm not a fan of this'!). All the best, Elle

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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Review of Secret Mission  
Review by Elle
Rated: E | (5.0)
Brilliant. Short and sweet. I didn't see that last sentence coming and it made me laugh out loud. Very clever. :)
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Review by Elle
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I thought this was very good. I should probably point out that I'm not an American, but without a personal political investment in the outcome, I thought it was well written. I thought you did very well describing the clothes, the setting and things like the 'gunny sack' so we could picture everything. The American slang helped bring character and life to the story, such as 'the overweight and aging yella' dawg of a former West Virginia senator' - brilliant. As a non-American, even I appreciated the picture you were trying to paint. Phrases like 'The federal government doesn't open a window at the library of congress without a plan B' will appeal to most people I think - I sort of felt myself smirk and nod when I read that.
Some minor editing points:
Paragraph 1: shouldn't it be a strong 'Georgian' drawl, instead of a strong 'Georgia' drawl?
Paragraph 2: 'United states of America', the s should be a capital.
Paragraph 5: donation doesn't need a capital letter.
Paragraph 7: After 'the introductions have been made' you have a comma, then a capital letter for He. Perhaps should be a full stop instead there. Examining doesn't need a capital letter.
Paragraph 20: Same issue as above - after 'I do wonder, however' you have a comma, then continue with a capital letter for He. Maybe a lower case letter there, and then a full stop after BB? My preference would be for you to expand BB to 'ball bearing' as I think that's clearer but that's personal preference of course.
Paragraph 21: 'new' should be 'knew' in the second sentence.
Paragraph 25: I think there should be a comma after President Cooper and before 'I ask that for the safety of yourself'. I would also amend 'some how' to one word rather than two.
Paragraph 26: The first words are a question, so perhaps a question mark after 'lunatic'?
Paragraph 27: I think there should be a comma after the first two words 'Mr President'.
Paragraph 30: Spit doesn't need a capital letter.
Paragraph 35: You have finished a sentence with a comma, instead of a full stop (after introductions).

Sorry to be 'picky' but I appreciated you pointing out the extra comma in my work (which I have now removed) and I have found people prefer detailed reviews. On the whole, I thought it was very good with excellent characterisation, particularly of the president.

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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Review by Elle
Rated: E | (5.0)
We will remember them.
Made me think of my grandfathers who fought in WWII and the services we hold each year for them. One small edit: I thought it should be 'Valor and honor are laid to rest.'. An excellent tribute, it really touched me.
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Review by Elle
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, I saw your request for a review, and though I know little about writing or reviewing lyrics, I hope I can help.
The first verse I really liked. I liked the words 'torn heart' and it gives the listener (reader?) a good idea of what to expect from the rest of the lyrics. The second verse was good too - I did wonder, depending on how it was performed, perhaps you don't need 'the' in the last line? Perhaps just 'with deep and dark karma' would fit better?
The chorus was good, and I like the phrase 'point of isolation'.
The fourth verse I found difficult to appreciate. I didn't like the line 'I know I'm not profound' which made me frown and I thought it didn't flow with the rest of the lyrics prior to that point. I also was startled by the line 'Finished like those stationed in Iraq'. I didn't understand what you meant, or how that fit with the previous 3 lines in that verse, or anything. How are those stationed in Iraq finished? My suggestion would be to rework those last two lines of that verse.
The fifth verse was good, but I struggled with the last line of the sixth verse 'praying with my neck-lace cross'. I think the sentiment is good, and the idea of prayer will work with the rest of the lyrics I think, but perhaps that line just needs a little rephrasing. I think it's the rhythm and that line doesn't fit with the three above it, in terms of rhythm.
Anyway, I hope that helps some. Like I say, I have no experience writing or reviewing lyrics, but I also know how frustrating it is to want a second opinion and getting no reviews. All the best, Elle

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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Review of That October  
Review by Elle
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
That's pretty powerful writing. I can't say I enjoyed it, because it's sad and heartbreaking, but it was powerful. You really brought the reader in to your grief and confusion and guilt. I have no constructive criticisms, sorry. Just wanted to let you know that I thought it was an excellent piece of work.
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Review of Shed  
Review by Elle
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi John, this was certainly a scary piece of writing! I really didn't know what to expect as I read it, and couldn't have predicted that ending. I found the whole piece very well written (so I confess I'm surprised that you said it was just a first draft!). My only criticism would be that the main character Jason is portrayed as being very young - still sucking his thumb, cuddling a soft toy, having nightmares and wetting the bed - and yet you give him quite complex thoughts. As a parent, I felt that the thought processes were a little too old for how I was picturing him. I tried to find an example, but when I reread it, nothing jumped out at me, which is so unhelpful isn't it? I guess something like 'She could be lying inside, in agony and praying that her son or husband would come looking for her.' - that seems to me to be more complex than what a young child would think. I would expect more like 'Was Mommy hurt? Did Mommy need him? Mommy? Should he try and help Mommy?' I have learnt that children are VERY repetitive and talk in very simple phrases, and I suppose that's what I was looking for and didn't find. As an adult, I understand that he recognised it was a woman's voice from the pitch of the scream, but as a young child I would expect him just to think 'It sounded like a Mommy. Was it his Mommy?' or something similar. Erg. Sorry, I hope my rambling makes sense!
One editing point - I think 'meat clear' was supposed to be 'meat cleaver'. Oh, and the first mention of Grandad should have a capital G because it's a name and not a title.
All in all, I think it's excellently written. Very well done. You can really picture every move that Jason makes, every sight and sound and what he's thinking. I liked this inclusion of the memories of Grandad and where Spot came from. And the way his mother spoke just made me think instantly of battered women who fool themselves into staying with abusive men - well potrayed. *shudders* Great work, scary but great. :)

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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Review of Guadalupe Road  
Review by Elle
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Brilliant! Loved this. Loved the flow of the words, the almost surreal rambling of the descriptions... Loved it. My only (very minor) critique would be that I would prefer capital letters at the beginning of sentences. But as I read it, the rhythm flowed beautifully, the rhymes kept the flow going and I just loved the way it all came together. I loved 'vegetable sorceries' and 'the truffle dusted causeway' but truly the whole thing was amazingly good with beautiful words thrown in there. It feels like it was made for reading aloud. A wonderful surprise. Thanks for sharing!
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Review by Elle
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
The quality of your writing is excellent. You describe the past, the present, the person, the emotions, so well. I genuinely don't have any constructive criticisms that could help you to improve, but I thought it was beautifully written.
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Review of Searching.  
Review by Elle
Rated: E | (3.5)
I love the descriptive writing - you really paint a scene and allow a reader to visualise everything. I found that the story 'jolted' me a little as a reader when you got to the emotional parts - for instance, when you wrote 'I became frightened at the effect Joshua had on me' I went 'What? They've just found a pleasant companion in the midst of a strange place, and it genuinely hasn't been that long yet.' Perhaps you needed to allude to more time spent in conversation, or perhaps allow the reader to view Amy's feelings in more of a 'present time' scenario, as they were talking rather than reflecting back on something that had just happened. I was startled again by Oscar's appearance in the story. I thought it might have been less jolting for the reader if she had thought of him earlier in the story...perhaps wishing he was by her side to see the sights with her, or maybe even just 'refushing to think of the mess she'd left behind her' or something. The only other thing is that we are left with the knowledge that Amy broke many ribs in the robbery, but you note that Joshua defended her from injury after he was knocked down. Perhaps just allude in some small way to what happened - was she kicked? Did she hurt them in a fall after being pushed? I'm curious! I have to say again, I love the descriptive way you write. I love the way I could picture everything. Your story was very easy to read.
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