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Review of Truth  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

Author: Thea Marie
Title: Truth

From a curious fourth grader whose enthusiasm and
curiosity were treated as a nuisance, to become a teacher
who loves having curious children in his classroom, has
to be a great victory.

You righted a wrong in ways that
are gratifying and rewarding for each and every student
in your classroom year after year.

Whether or not this is your story, it is a story that should
be posted in every classroom from 1st to 12th grade.

Bravo, Thea ! This is a delightful story. You told it well.

Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)

Chapter 1, The Birds Glide
Author: Morag MacShuibhne

A warm welcome to you, Morag ! i hope you're making your way
around Writing.Com comfortably. If you find you need a little help
or guidance, don't hesitate to get in touch. I notice that you live
in Scotland. I don't recall having seen a Scottish writer here.
You may be the first !

As for your story, it is compelling from the first to your story's
last sentence. While Crow lives on the scraps he finds
walking the streets, he needs much more. He has a family to take care of.
His 4-year-old sister is his greatest concern. She doesn't get
enough food to eat. Crow worries about her, and feels inadequate.
Stealing might be the only way, but it is also dangerous.

In this first chapter, Crow literally bumps into a lovely lady who
gives him enough money to buy a few meals. This unplanned
meeting is a miracle. Crow is now able to buy a couple of meals.
He leaves this woman wondering about her and hoping
he'll see her again.

Morag, you are a talented writer. While you write a good story,
I wonder where you get help to follow up on your stories ?
This story's oldest brother, Crow, and the youngest child, Arabelle
are introduced right away in this story. You've done a good
job introducing these two characters.

I see some small fixes are needed. If you'd like, I'd be happy to
send my suggestions to you separately so that you're able to
make changes privately. Your story is well worth the effort to
fix as you go. You'll find your story has greater appeal when it
is presented without errors. *Smile*

Thanks for sharing your story, Morag. I look forward to reading

All the best,


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

Title: A Few Life Lessons
Chapter: 7: The Quest for Home
Author: Jay O'Toole

Molly Muskrat is charged with teaching Quest how to tie his shoes. This little one with his big bear feet finds it hard to manage this task. He pitches and rolls in an effort to reach and hold onto his shoelaces. Molly grows more impatient each minute. In a moment of frustration, she barks at Quest to scare him into pulling himself together to tie his shoes, causing a serious logjam. Molly's voice is much too loud for the little bear's ears.

This is where the author sends his beloved Ms Julie to rescue Quest. Ms Julie Jaguar wastes no time to send Molly packing rather than allow her to discourage and be unkind to this well-intended little bear who is finding it awkward to put on a pair of shoes. While Quest loves Ms Julie and the school, he develops a twitch over one of his eyes. It is hoped this will disappear as he regains his confidence.

Equally important, the school works at teaching Quest to develop
good eating habits. This is an impressive addition to this little bear's kindergarten education.

"The rest of the year came and went all too quickly for the enjoyment of little boys like Quest. When his Dad picked him up from school on the last day, he cried because he had grown to love his teachers and friends. As luck would have it, summer break means Quest will work with his Dad, and learn more about his dad's plans for him. "Where am I going to school next, Daddy? What do they call the next year after 'Kindergarten'?"

Quest's Dad responds: ""'First Grade." He explains:" this is a time to take a more school-like approach in the way we learn" subjects like arithmetic, writing, history, and a bit of science.. "I have found Carrier Elementary School in the deepest part of the thick forest. Your teacher is a gentle raccoon, named, 'Mrs. Dickerson.' You're really going to love 'First Grade,' Quest. I promise you!"

From the 1st to the 7th chapter, this talented author has shown us how he transports his readers and this adorable bear from one compelling chapter to the next without a glitch. He never overlooks an opportunity to teach this bear some of life's most important lessons, the kind every child should learn one way or another. Jay O'Toole's ability to remain loyal to his book's goal to serve as a powerful magnet for the eyes and ears of young children is his greatest asset.

Bravo, Jay ! Keep up your good work,


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

Author: Lizlee
Title: Marriage of 23 Years Ends with a Text

A warm welcome to Writing.Com. I hope you're enjoying your first week here with us. If you find you need a bit of help or guidance, don't hesitate to get in touch. We're delighted to have you here with us, Lizlee.

The first question I had as I read this story: is this your story ?
I ask because you write this story with compassion, understanding, and the ability to describe how devastating and challenging it is to find the marriage this woman cherished for many years, is gone without warning. The relationship that had been a mainstay in her life for so many years ended in the few seconds it took to read a telephone text.

The long, painful process from grieving to recovery included seeing the doctor and baring her sole to a wonderful, sympathetic nurse, who showered her with compassion and words of encouragement. This was clearly a turning point.

I particularly admire the message this woman communicates:
"I understand the true meaning of happiness through contentment. More importantly, I learned to love myself and take responsibility for my actions. No longer am I going to stand on the sidelines and cheer, I want in the game. My marriage of 23 years ended with a simple text message, but in return, the confidence I gained is immeasurable and irreplaceable."
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

Author: geomayr

Title: It is Well With My Soul

This is a loving account of this family's 92 year-old father's death.
It is heartfelt, real, and considerate. It is also a time when one
family member's sadness includes not having done more for their father.
There are always moments at a time like this when regrets and hard
feelings can surface. Eventually, those worries are replaced by good
will. In this case, love of family draws the mother and siblings
together to sing and pray at their father's bed before he is moved
to the morgue. "The lyrics flowed as Mama, Hannie and Dodong joined me singing:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea, billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well; it is well, with my soul.”

"When your parent finally finds peace, you realize that your parent is still teaching you about life."

Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

Author: Jacky

Re: Getting What You Need

Jacky's story is about a well known 85-year old author who writes best sellers. He has been dragging his feet, writing the final pages of a book
his publisher has been waiting for too long.

His publisher decides to send him to stay in a hotel, away from life's distractions to finish his book. Here in this glamorous hotel, he is treated like a king.

This author tells his publisher he can't live in the fancy hotel alone. He must walk each day for his health. and he must have someone to walk with him.

The publisher who will do anything to get this book written and published, calls this old man's grandchild. She arrives with her children to spend
a few days with her grandfather while enjoying their luxurious surroundings.

The publisher doesn't know the book is already completed. This wiley old author managed to pull off securing a free family vacation at a fancy resort hotel for the author, his grandchild, and her children.

Our talented author, Jacky, is a clever man who writes wonderful stories as well! He creates a charming character in this elderly writer who drives a hard bargain. Jacky not only tells a good story, he knows how to surprise
his readers with an unexpected ending.

Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: Yesmrbill

Re: Harborfields High School
Class of ’63, 50th Anniversary Reunion

This is an excellent description of your high school reunion. It must
have been especially gratifying to see the blending of a large group of
once -boys- and girls, to see the now-much-older men and women, who have mellowed and appreciate that they are mostly healthy, together again, and grateful to experience 1st-hand what the passing of time and life experiences have wrought.

"Another thing. While we are all 68 years old, have grey hair and some wrinkles, everyone I saw was filled with vitality. We are very healthy people; in very good shape for our age. I know I’m in much better physical shape than my father was at this age. The same can be said about most of my former classmates, who I met there. I don’t remember any of them having trouble moving. While many of us have some memory problems, they are very minor."

This is a wonderful report ! You approached it with a positive outlook,
an overall sense of your current value, and your worth-sharing life experiences. Thank you for sharing another of your well written pieces,


All the best,

Review of Smashed Potatoes  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)

To: Yesmrbill
Re: Smashed Potatoes

This is a wonderful story ! We learn at the outset that you are a talented writer. You write with ease, and an ability to describe the story's backdrop as though you were right there. Most impressive, you write armed with a fine sense of humor.

Where the amusing conversations are concerned, your timing, and ability to emulate broken English are fine features of this tale. We read this is a story
that has been passed down through your father's family. I laughed and enjoyed every moment of this timeless tale.

I must add, your characters spoke and responded in ways that were just right for the situation. I particularly enjoyed the description of Aunt Marie.
Last but not least, your story is polished--minus errors--in ways that your readers are bound to appreciate. For this, you deserve praise. I hope you will go on to write more delightful stories.

Keep up the good work ! I look forward to returning to read more !

Bravo and all the best,


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: Hannie
Re: Cherry Blossoms

A warm welcome to W.Com, Hannie ! I enjoyed
reading your description of this romantic

Your descriptions are lovely.
The brief conversation you shared with this
handsome man on the bench, is gentle and spontaneous.
Your smiles convey a shared attraction.
And, there is a sprinkling of sweetness that
permeates this touching exchange.

There is one moment I found confusing.
If I understood correctly, the man turns his
drawing pad around for this woman to see.
He drew a man. Assuming that
the person in front of him is a beautiful
young woman, why would she ask him
if she is the person on his drawing pad.
Take a moment to explain if you have
a moment to do so.

You write well, Hannie. I hope you will continue
on to write more.

All the best,


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Jay O'Toole
Re: Mrs Bear's Playschool
Chapter 6
Book: The Quest for Home

Isn't this grand ! Mrs Blair is a cheery hippopotamus with "a smile that could light up any room." And, Ms Jaguar assures little Quest she doesn't eat bears ! She tells us she is a "transformed" jaguar.

I have to admit, I'll be sitting close to Quest, a bit afraid of a creature I've never known to be gentle and kind. Oh dear, maybe O'Toole is hoping we'll overcome a fear that is fair enough, but clearly not a worry here in Mrs. Blair's school.

Last night I read about the South American Andean bears and jaguars, where illegal poaching steadily reduces the number of bears and jaguars. Ms Jaguar is fortunate to have this job where she is safe, and she can teach the little bears in her class to admire the beauty and agility of this school's graceful jaguar.

Meanwhile, "a tear trickled down Casa's furry cheek as he walked away, pausing every few steps to see his son enjoying his new friends as he forgot for the moment that he had a father. "Every parent's challenge," Casa thought, "is to let go, while still loving deeply."

Another great revalation: Ms Jaguar tells her small class: "Talking animals like those of us, who have Narnian blood coursing through our veins, often go to these 'dress up' festivals 'dressing up' as ourselves with a few variations to our appearance. We have learned to wear shoes, coats, gloves and hats to seem more human, thus 'blending in' to avoid frightening the humans as we talk to them to learn of their ways at closer range."

Ms Jaguar asks Molly Muskrat, her class assistant, to take Quest to the shoe room to find a pair that fits him. Then Molly will take him to the "gnarly juniper tree where she will teach him how to tie his shoelaces."

What a day this has been ! Little Quest is as happy as a little bear can be, having had such a wonderful first day. He realizes he is not only enjoying himself, he is also not afraid to be without his dad right now.

Jay O'Toole is a remarkably gifted storyteller ! He teaches us at every juncture. Two of his driving forces, love and a sense of adventure, capture and hold the interest of children and parents alike.

Bravo, Jay !
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Jay O'Toole
Chapter 5
The Quest for Home

"Time to start your schooling, Quest,
learn for life and class,
When we're Home's the time for rest,
effort helps us pass."

Chapter 5 opens as Quest's dad broaches the subject of school with his son.

He describes it well: "There is a bear school just a little further north in the forest outside their town. Mrs. Blair has a School for Learning to Play. You frolic in and around the trees! She shows you how to find berries that are safe to eat. She teaches you what types of snakes are friendly as well as the very important concept of how to recognize snakes with a bad temper, ‘whose bite really is worse than their rattle."

There is so much to digest and enjoy in this chapter. This father bear is a veritable fount of wisdom. I particularly enjoyed his explanation of "Making Hay While the Sun

Dad:" The farmers have to work harder and faster during the daylight hours in October in order to get their crops into the barn before they go bad in the fields. We on the other hand have a long way to go today. Since we slept in so late, we now have a shorter day in which to go that long distance and find and make a new bed at the end of the trip. Does that make sense now?"

Quest: "O, Yeah! We've got to 'make hay, while the sun shines'! Now, I get it! Thanks, Dad! Great lesson!"

The long trek to school includes overnight camping and cooking. The father-son team push through tall grasses, to huff and puff while climbing up the ridges on to the plateaus. From talking about school, to making their way to school, this little bear and his dad bond in many wonderful ways. The author of this charming book is a wise man who takes great care to constantly reinforce, for our children, the definition of fatherhood and the selfless nature of a father's devotion to his family.

Review of HORROR ENTRY  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)

To: SteveDan
Re: Horror Entry

This author wastes not time to launch a horrible story of a girl who survives
a highway pile-up to wander around in ice cold weather, not
knowing where to turn in the tumult of the many crashed vehicles
and injured or deceased individuals, including her family. The
story is seen through the eyes of a west coast family who
arrive on the east coast just as a monumental crash occurs.
Slipping and sliding in the snow and ice on the highway,
many cars and a few large trucks collided on the highway.
Fortunately, this family's vehicles were spared. This meant they could
proceed to their new home as soon as they could get off the
highway. Church on Sunday just a few blocks from their house included
looking around to see many of the survivors of the highway catastrophe.
When the service was over, the family of 10 set out to walk home, taking
great care to step gingerly through the fast-accumulating snow.

It is right here that one of the children let out a chilling shriek and the
family came running. Below an icy patch in the snow, they saw the
frozen face of the child who had wandered off in a fog from twisted metal and sounds of children crying as the rescue services worked to remove
individuals from crushed vehicles. The girl appeared to be dead, frozen
overnight in this pile of snow and ice. The father lifted her out of her
icy grave to hold her in his arms. Figuring she was probably dead, he
held her as if he might revive her, certain that this couldn't happen. She was
frozen. No sooner did he hold her close to warm her poor
body, she awoke ! I won't tell what happened next. Now, the story
is transformed. Hello, Horror ! The story earns it title and then some. And, while I
don't usually read horror stories, this one is a hum-dinger. Not for the

Review of Origin: Chapter 5  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: thebigeasy
Your Story: Origin
Chapter 5

I came across Chapter 5 in "Read and Review."
While looking at this "Chapter" I checked your
portfolio to find Chapters 1-4. I know this is a bit
strange, I decided I'd read Chapter 5
to determine if this story is one I'll enjoy
reading. And, while I can't promise anything, I
can share my appreciation of this chapter.

When I opened this chapter to begin reading, I
wasn't sure I'd like this story. It is rare that I read
and enjoy sci-fi/fantasy. However, I thoroughly
enjoy action/adventures. So, I decided to stick around
to see how the story proceeds now that the
storyline has been introduced. Happily, it looks like a wildly
challenging story, one that tells us, our people and planet
are in jeopardy. I'm a little wary of the
character who has been magically altered
from human to dragon, an odd choice of a critter
to engage in a battle to save our planet from
being overwhelmed.

We are told the foreigners plan to conquer humans by
secretly thwarting our military system, taking it down in covert
operations until our planet has no defense. This is
worrisome. The next chapter calls out to its
readers to return to read Chapter 6 to see what lies

This is a good start ! I look forward to reading more.

All the best,

Review of Say What?  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: Jacky
Re: Say What ?

This delightful story earns its "flash fiction" sub-heading !

It is a wonderful story with a closing twist.
The story opens with Lisa, the mother, and
Jayden, the little son.

Jayden is in the kitchen, sitting in his high-chair
playing, while his mother watches with great joy.
Lisa is also thinking about her monther-in-law.
She dreads her mother-in-law's visit. The
mother-in-law isn't especially appreciative of her daughter-in-law's
mothering. Each and every visit, the mother-in-law asks
when Jade is going to speak--an annoying question
she thinks is worth considering.

Over time, Lisa spends more time than she thought she
should attempting to teach her Jayden how to speak,
without luck. Eventually, Lisa abandons this foolishness.
She decides her child is fine. Lisa is determined to wait until
this adorable little one speaks on his own without
prodding. I won't share the outcome here. Suffice it to
say, this is a delightful story with a great ending !

Nice going, Jacky !

All the best,



Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Jay O'Toole
Chapter 4,
Among the Fir Trees

Chapter 4 transports us back to the time with Ossie gives birth to her
dear little bear. She gives birth to Quest while munching on
White Willow bark, a gift from nature that humans are just beginning to
discover as having "healing properties." Both bears dream of happy
times with Ossie, devoted mother and wife.

Why is it Wrong to Steal:

This is the conversation every parent hopes to have with his or her children.
It shows Jay O'Toole's eloquence and fatherly respect for the youngest
member of his family. In this book, Casa's love and careful way of addressing
the young bear is cheerful and understandable.

This loving Dad is determined to explain the difference between right and wrong. What a wonderful vehicle this is for carrying moral imperatives to the children who are enjoying having the book read to them. Regardless of religious beliefs, stealing is wrong in every language.

This is a brilliant book written with purpose and devotion to children's upbringing in
a way that is down-to-earth, fun, sometimes serious, filled with opportunities for
young readers to ask questions and talk over some of this papa bear's commitment to teach his son to be a good bear.

Well done, Jay. This is a wonderful chapter !



Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)

To: Netty
Re: Sprinkler of Showers

This is a lovely poem, Netty.
It is gentle and a treat to read.
I enjoyed it, especially:

"The Sprinkler
of showers bring
drops that's true
and want dissolve.

The Sprinkler
of showers water ones
soul filled with love
and harmony one has been told."

I have one question that is also
an observation. When you say
Sprinkler of Showers then you
need to say:

The Sprinkler of Showers
brings (not bring) drops that
are true and want to dissolve.
See if this makes sense.
Or, you can replace Sprinkler
with Sprinklers.

Warmest best,


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)

To: Cookson2
Re: Your Poem

"Love and cherish me as you promised
On our wedding day
You will always be my love
And be by my side every day
Loving you forever until God calls and
takes you away."

This is a lovely small poem, written
to remind a spouse the
vows made on their wedding day.
Nicely written, Cookson2.
Thanks for sharing.

Is this part of a series ?

Review of Unclear  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: iamwatiam
Re: Unclear

Written by the author:

"Time and time again I find myself lost
Lost in a world where I can't find my way.
Too many paths to choose, which one to take.
I hope God will help me find my way, I will give
thanks to Him and pray."

This is a spiritual message, one that is touching and
powerful. Putting yourself in the hands of the Lord
will be comforting. This is a lovely poem
written from the heart. Trust in God to help you find the
way to your next destination.


Review of "Lafitte Coin"  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: Rojodi
Re: LaFitte Coin

The story begins in the store of an antiques dealer. A shopper, Nina Harrington, comes in to have a gold coin appraised. The antiquarian begins by telling Ms Harrington the curse and legend of French pirate, Jean LaFitte.

LaFitte attacked and plundered Spanish ships. In this legend, agents of the Spanish government searched for and found LaFitte. The men attacked LaFitte and removed his gold coins to divide among themselves. Lafitte begged the men to leave the coins behind. With a single shot, the leader ended the life of the buccaneer. It is said that Lafitte cursed the gold, saying that anyone that possesses it for their own greed would never have peace until the gold is given to someone less fortunate.

Nina didn’t want to admit that there is a curse on the coin. She tried to sell it to other dealers in the city, but all refused to take it as well, most using the excuse that they can’t legally purchase old coins. No one wanted the piece of gold.

One night while Nina was struggling to sleep, a voice in the dark came to her. She felt She trembled with terror. She called out, “In the morning, I’ll put the coin in Our Lady of the Assumption’s poor box.” Her room warmed. She heard the sound of a coin dropping on her bedroom floor.

Rojodi, this is a good story. You tell it well. It is a story with a moral. And, it is
persuasive. You capture our attention and you keep us in your grip throughout
the story and its outcome. if we listen closely, we can hear something beyond the reader's sighs—something that sounded like LaFitte's last laugh.

A few quick fixes are needed:

"French pirate that helped" should be: pirate who helped..
"The leader raised his gun and with a single shot to the head ended the life of the once proud buccaneer. Comma needed before with and after shot.
"Friends had been barely able to recognize her." should be Friends hardly recognized

Nice work, Rojodi !

All the best,


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Jay O'Toole

Re: Chapter 3,
They Have Nothing But Themselves

How wonderful ! This adorable little bear and his Dad
have been reunited. Quest's dad has to explain that his mother
was lost in the earthquake. This is terrible news!
Fortunately, this dad is a loving, practical man. He won't allow
his son to cry too much in light of their need to find a place to settle
down to eat and rest. It looks like Peace Valley is the next stop.

After a terror-filled second chapter, it is a great relief for
readers and bears alike to find a patch of green grass and
a bit of food to rest comfortably before moving on to happier days.
I love this story and can't wait to read chapter 3 !
Bravo, Jay. You have a great sense of timing, starting and ending
this chapter just in time to catch the bears heading out for
their next adventure.

Just a few quick fixes are needed: Ms Fixit, at your disposal !

"expressions of love lasting"-should this be lasted ?
"They hugged and the rolled"-should be: hugged and rolled
or: they rolled.
"losing each other, again, any time soon." how about: losing
each other again, not anytime soon ?
"The terrible Mist" --is Mist a name ? "The terrible"-The should be: the
"Black Hole spit them out" --how about spat ?
"Coursing"--do you mean coarsing ?
Review of The Search  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: JJ Del
Re: The Search

This is a fine story, JJ. My daughter is adopted. Your story strikes a
wonderful chord. How fortunate this woman is to have been
adopted by loving parents who provided a stable, loving home for
this baby. It is sad that Jace's mother has been diagnosed with
cancer. Apparently, she has very little time left to enjoy
her beloved daughter.

Your story is heart-rending and appealing, JJ. I hope to
see the second chapter of your story. It looks like Jace
will search for her birth-mother. I imagine a search like
this will be filled with mixed emotions.

You tell a good story JJ. Just a few fixes are needed:

"adopted father" should be adoptive
"because I was a girl or so I have been told" -drop "or"
"rest and to get cleaned up" eliminate: "to"
"die there but she does" -die there, but she does
"coffee just how my mother and I" coffee the way my mother...
"Time also made my mother and I closer." --my mother and me

Bravo and all the best, JJ.

Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Jay O'Toole
Re: The Quest for Home
Chapter 2: The Nothing and Its Friends

Surviving this earthquake involves an endless amount of slipping,
sliding, rolling, and falling. My, oh my. Poor little Quest is confused and scared. Is there no end to this whacky, jumbled nightmare !

This freak of nature uproots an amazing selection of plant life, including most everything that was once attached to the forest's floor, causing a cyclone of flying everything. Will this never end, each bear cried out !

"They "swam" and they "swam" and they "reached" and they groped.
They stretched to grasp a foot or a hair or a hand. They "Yes"ed for awhile in ever striving hope. Then, they Noped in despair and finally in resignation, they Noped."--a great paragraph !

At long last:

"Finally, SPLAT! All four limbs, splayed, in a "pond" that appeared to once be a grassy meadow. SPLAT! A smaller bear-sized lump, splayed, in a newly-formed crater beside him.

"Are you kidding me?" They rejoiced in unison.

This author's imagination gone-wild makes for a wild and wooly (forgive me, bears) adventure. Everything, including the kitchen
sink flies by the little bear who can't seem to get a decent foot-hold
to climb past this massive combination of roiling soil, flying
objects, and eyepopping colors.

Bravo, Jay !

Review of Earthquake  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Jay O'Toole

Re: Earthquake

This is a gifted author of children's stories.

Jay's pen is blessed with a loving stroke.
I found this story mesmerizing from the get-go.
And while his story is promising, wonderful
visuals are guaranteed. What a lovely
book Jay is creating for a father to read with
his children at bedtime.

There is no escaping from the earthquake. Poor
little Quest is disoriented and tossed about.
Each step he takes is described in a way that
we wish we could reach out to reassure him.
We see right away that even though the earthquake
is raging, the bears live in a wonderful, magical place.

Whether or not this is appealing to Jay, I imagine
Disney would love to have this story.
This author immerses us in beautiful visuals. His story
slips from pen to page with remarkable ease.
In no time, we fall in love with his two bears. Jay's
greatest asset is he still knows what innocence looks
like and feels. He sees the world through the eyes of
a little bear while he looks around in an effort to make
sense of where he is.

Only a loving father who has the ability to write
wonderful children's books could write about these two
bears the way Jay does. I hope he will let me read
another chapter. I'm hooked on this story.

A message for Jay:

You write beautifully. It has been a while since
I've read one of your stories or poems. I'm glad I've
had a chance to spend a little of my down time
on a Saturday afternoon, enjoying this charming story.

Bravo, Jay ! This is a 5-star chapter !

Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Mari

Re: Wealth and Health

This is an impressive essay ! You not only covered AIDS, you went on to cover other debilitating illnesses like Parkinson's and Cancer that have plagued our country over the years as well. Re AIDS, there were always people who were diagnosed with HIV who did not go on to develop full-blown AIDS. The pressing concern was, of course, that HIV was the stage where the disease was most apt to be passed on to others.

The point you made is privilege doesn't necessarily mean you're
protected from these diseases. The one observation I humbly offer is the folks who have the means to pursue every angle of a disease
like Cancer and Parkinsons, have an advantage. It's wonderful if
you can fly around the country to visit the doctor(s) who are reported
to be the most innovative, well respected, and most promising.

Nevertheless, the effort you put into studying the diseases and care of wealthy people and public figures is fascinating and makes for great reading. You've made several compelling points, Mari.

Thank you for sharing your excellent research, Mari.


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: Bike Rider
Re: She lit up the Sky

This is as touching a story as I've read in a while, Bikerider.
It is a joy to read with a lovely ending.

I found myself rereading the paragraph that begins with
"Fidgeting." I wondered if I jumped over an important piece
of information. Your story jumped from returning to base
to reenlist, to dressing to go back to your old high school.
Was this a high school reunion ?

After this, your story sails forward to your happy ending.
Imagine having this dream come true ! Is this your
story, Bikerider ? You write it comfortably with such fondness.
Clearly, you tell a good story. I hope this also means you're
this happily-ever-after guy too.

Thanks for sharing this fine story, Bikerider !

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