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

To: ShireenP
Re: Scattered Voices

A warm welcome to Writing.Com, Shireen. I hope you're enjoying your visits and you've been able to find your way around this wonderful writing metropolis. If you would like to join a group of new members, I've included a couple of links well worth checking. You'll enjoy making new friends while you learn about the many diverse programs and contests available to you here on W.Com:

Noticing Newbies  (ASR)
A warm welcome to our newbies; come meet new and not-so-new members of Writing.Com!
#126963 by The StoryMistress

"The Newbies Academy Group

Re: The Pros & Cons: Vaccines for Children

I read your essay on vaccines for children. As I was reading, I was reminded It wasn't that long ago that preventative solutions for several killer diseases had not yet been discovered. Everyone who lived during the deadly spread of polio in the early 50s knew people who were diagnosed. Polio was a crippling, infectious, often lethal disease. The polio vaccine saved millions of lives. The same was true of the measles. We knew many families whose children endured long, tough recoveries from the dreaded measles. At one point, volunteers in many cities were recruited by the Red Cross to go into poor neighborhoods with nurses to inoculate the children whose parents could not pay for the measles vaccine. By the end of the fifties, measles, the way we once feared and experienced it, was obliterated by the polio vaccine.

In the early 80s, I taught at a school for the deaf. A number of the children's medical histories reveal that the measles (with its potential for life-threatening high fevers) caused or contributed to the loss of hearing. Once the vaccine was introduced, the potential for serious after-effects or death from the measles virus were dramatically reduced to mild cases or the absence of cases.

I followed a few of your well organized list of links and applaud your efforts to give all parents
a chance to learn the pros and cons of the vaccines our kids are given. I'm grateful for your research, Shireen. In addition to recognizing that certain vaccines are inadequate, and more effective advance testing should be required to avoid giving the vaccinations to children who will be allergic, it looks like a counter-productive piece of 80's legislation, passed to absolve pharmaceutical companies of any responsibility with regards to vaccine injury, has lowered the bar where accountability and the potential for moving forward are concerned.

You did a great job preparing this treatise, Shireen. You made a good case for boosting awareness of the pros and cons of vaccinating our children. It seems clear these vaccines need to be improved, and obligatory effective testing is needed to ensure our children won't be required to take a vaccine she or he may be allergic to. Have you wondered what the doctors who treated the children who lost their lives to these vaccines would tell us ?

Thanks so much for sharing your views, Shireen. Your presentation is articulate,
compelling, and informative.


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

To: BlackAdder
Re: Chronicles of Annaria

Back Story or a Prequel ?

While we know what a back story is, the question is: can this backstory also serve as a prequel, a work that forms a back-story to a preceding work. If Lady Adeline dies, this chapter may indeed serve as a prequel if this chapter is the introduction to BlackAdder 's NEW book. Having said this, I see the author considers this chapter a "sequel" which means it is a continuation of an earlier work.

I don't know the Chronicles of Annaria. I was touring ports, enjoying finding new work by bright, capable writers. I'm not sure how this story caught my eye, but it did. In no time, I was mesmerized by the birth of this baby. I worried alongside Lady Adelin while her husband persuaded her he had to go to a meeting. His wife begged him to stay. She could feel the birth of their baby was imminent.

Lord Northspire departed, and in no time Lady Adelin was giving birth. All that could go wrong, went wrong. We watch as Lady Adeline begins to feel weak and faint. And she is looking frail. She struggles to stay alert. With all her might, she gives birth to a baby boy. From this moment on, Lady Adeline gradually slips away while her two daughters look on. Her eldest daughter hangs on tight, begging her mother not to die. Meanwhile, Lord Northspire hasn't returned. I look up and see the story's subtitle tells us Lady Adelin will die.

Circle of Light and Dark:

The dark moments were filled with fear and anticipation. Lady Adelin's baby is on its way. We watch this mother slip away after giving life to her baby boy. The bright spots in this story are those affectionate moments when the Lord and Lady are together. He is devoted to his wife and is alert to her discomfort. He worries that she will exert herself, taking care of her duties, instead of waiting in
bed for the baby to be born. There exchange triggers our concern for Lady Adelin.

Pacing and Delivery:

What is somewhat unique about this story is the author's focus on the story--noting the absence of attention given to descriptions of his characters and their surroundings. We are able to visualize Lady Adelin's suffering. At the same time, we don't need to see what she was wearing or how the room was decorated. This is an engaging story. The author keeps the flow of the story going and he knows how to deliver those pivotal moments. These are his great strengths. With this author, we will always want to know what happens next.

Bravo, BlackAdder and all the best,


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

To: Fiona:
Re: Leave Me

This is a poignant piece that all of us can
relate to. Not sure if this was a romance
that fell apart, or a friendship that
crumbled. In either case, it is a sad moment,
and you wrote about it from the heart.
It is a doleful poem. Every one of your readers
can appreciate how you must have
been feeling when you wrote this.

Thanks for sharing your poem with us,

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

To: Abby Gayle

Re: Unexpected Visitor

*BoxCheckR*Sharing a Common Thread

This delightful story begins when the Grim Reaper makes a visit to an elderly 70+ woman. She is
his friend. This friendship harks back to the time when Mr Reaper met her many years ago. She
was a 7-year-old child. She was choking to death. Instead of helping her meet her demise, he carries her away from death's door to live a long life.

*BoxCheckR* How the Story Resonates Within Us

Grim has visited this woman twice a year for the last 60+ years. He and she have become
close friends. This year, Grim announces he isn't stopping in for a brief visit and a cup of tea.

*BoxCheckR* The Light and Dark

The dark side of this story is also the most compelling. We learn at the story's opening that
Grim saved this child in the darkest of moments. She almost died. No one seemed to be
able to stop the choking. The little girl was near death when she caught her breath and
was able to gasp for air just in time. The bright light in this story is the wonderful life-long
friendship this elderly woman thanks to Mr Reaper. Now, she is in her 70s. It is the
transition from a long life well lived to the wonderful way the Grim Reaper brings this story
to a close.

*BoxCheckR* Leaving Room for Interpretation

Now, we wonder, how is it that the Grim Reaper was able to snatch the child from death's
grip. I remember thinking what a lovely, uncomplicated, story this is--delightful in its
simplicity and uniqueness. The characters are trusting and gentile throughout. We
might have worried when Mr Reaper approached the front door of his friend's house.

*BoxCheckR* Story first, structure second:

I admire the story teller's imagination and wonderful handling of the grim reaper and
his elderly friend. I am impressed that the writer spent almost no time describing
the story's setting and the appearance and attire of the people involved. The story doesn't need any help from the interior designer, fashion consultant, and landscape architect to throw open
the door to this compelling story sufficiently to capture the reader's interest.

*BoxCheckR* The Story is Authentic:

The characters in this story appear to be ordinary people. They communicate with affection.
And, they move about without fanfare and unnecessary drama. We are drawn into the story by the interactions of these two very special friends, and the wonderful way this story ends.

*BoxCheckR* Writing:

The author should be proud of this wonderful story. She introduces a vulnerable character, a setting that is integral to the narrative, meaningful choices that determine the outcome of the story, and reader empathy. At its most basic level, this is a story where a transformation is unveiled—the transformation of this elderly woman's life, our focus on the woman character, while we wait
to see where the author will take her. This story's ending is well worth waiting for !

Bravo and all the best, Abby !

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

To: Skymist1
Re: The Park

A Warm Welcome, Skymist !

I see you joined Writing.Com on November 1.
This is a wonderful way to introduce yourself.

Your poem could also pass as Prose-Poetry.
It is at once, a fine poem and a touching story.

Definition of Prose-Poetry

Prose poetry is written like prose, in paragraphs rather
than verse, but contains the characteristics of poetry,
with a focus on images rather than narrative, plot, and character.

Your Prose-Poem:

How many of us have seen that special person
who was once a critical part of our lives,
where we least expect to see them. Sometimes,
they are not that person after all.
This is a disappointing moment, isn't it.

Thank you for sharing this lovely poem
and this blessed retreat into times gone by.
I hope you will continue
on to share more of your fond memories.
You write well, Skymist.

Warmest best,


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

To: Sherababy
Re: A beautiful Place

A Warm Welcome:

I see you joined Writing.Com on November 6, Shera.
I hope you're enjoying W.Com's lively writing forum.
This is a veritable oasis. Friend-making is a
glorious bonus for most of us. I know you'll enjoy your
stay. If you need help of any kind, don't hesitate to
get in touch.

Your Prose-Poetry

It was fun reading your prose-poem, Shera. I read and
reread this lovely piece. You paint a gorgeous picture of
the fog, sun, and moon, and their distinct roles in our
daily lives.

I particularly like: "Painting a brighter image, the
world on its toes, it can't fight off the moon and the
suspenseful glow."

This is a great way to introduce yourself, Shera.
Thank you for sharing your prose-poem with us.

All the best,


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

To: JT Stanford
Re: Strike of the Clock

Your Poem:

This poem is clever, wonderful to read, and well written.

What a great introduction this is, JT Stanford !
Welcome to Writing.Com !
I see you joined us today. I'm impressed that you
managed to post two poems and an essay in
your portfolio post-haste.

We had a grandfather clock in our house when
my brothers and I were youngsters. Once in a while,
we were tempted to muffle the ticking and tocking.
Alas, we couldn't find an easy solution that wouldn't
damage the clock.

Thank you for sharing your delightful poem with
us, JT. I hope you continue on to write
many more wonderful poems like this.

All the best,


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

To: l-fonzi
Title: Pink Lemonade

Your "Fan Fiction"

First and foremost, I wondered if/how "Pink Lemonade's" lyrics inspires your stories.

What you describe and how you relate to this young woman's lament is impressive. The stereo- typical child of an alcoholic mother, this young woman is bereft. A high school student, Merci's
visceral reaction to almost everything in her life is a mix of gutsy straight-shooting and loathing.

Your story deserves kudos for its clarity and sympathetic introspection. At the core of this story: When the doctor diagnosed their daughter's deep depression, her father looked at her with a dead stare "as the tears were pouring out of his eyes." Her mom "took a swig from her flask."

Merci's problems with her parents, combined with feeling unlikeable, renders her alone and lonely: "I walked into the classroom and claimed the seat in the back corner of the room. I called it the invisible corner." And, later on in the story: "I slashed my wrists and chugged over four various kinds of medication. What should've been a successful suicide turned into a failed overdose. I fell asleep in my bed and was devastated to wake up in the hospital; my parent’s angry faces hovering over me."

You tell this story well. And, you leave us moved by this young woman's plight, given her mother's love of booze, and her father's addiction to pain killers. Where climbing out of a painful, destructive family dynamic like this is concerned, you show us the challenge is not in the descent, but the ascent. Happily, Andi Bleu, a new student in her high school class, befriends Merci at the story's end.

Your format makes for easy reading. On the whole, this is piece is clean. I found a few small items that need fixing. I hope these suggestions are helpful:

*BoxCheckR* After "drive alone" I don't think you need this ->;
*BoxCheckR* After " You see" add a comma. It should read, You see, about a year ago,
*BoxCheckR* Add a comma after "emotionally drained, "
*BoxCheckR* Ditch the word "Well" Begin sentence: One fateful day my gym teacher said I either changed or risked failing the class, so I had no choice. My suggestion: My gym teacher made it clear I must change or risk failing the class.
*BoxCheckR* Remove "But" and "but" in that same paragraph.
"In fact, if it weren't for my father then I would be"--I suggest: If it weren't for my father I would be..
(eliminate: "In fact" and "then")
*BoxCheckR* Add a comma after "towards the door"

Bravo and all the best,


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

To: Tommy Mooney
A New Member, Writing.Com

Title: Song of War

Subject: Football


This free-verse Poem is stunning !
An excellent pattern of sound and rhythm
emerges in these free-verse lines,

You have a natural ability to
paint the picture you want us to see
with your pen, Tommy.
Your descriptions of the football
players and their attire are
powerful. I am really impressed.
I hope you will continue on to write
many more poems.
You're a talented writer, Tommy.

Two Stanzas:

I especially like these two stanzas:

"The quiet thump of the ball
being pressed into the running
back’s chest as he vaults over
fallen brothers through the enemy lines;

The subtle crack of helmets
as the defender makes contact,
wrapping his prey before going
in for the kill assisted by comrades"

Your poem is nicely formatted
and well presented without errors.


Nice work, Tommy ! You mentioned
your teacher may not be as impressed
as we are. If you continue writing
wonderful poems, I'm certain your teacher will
see the error of his ways.

Bravo and all the best,


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

To: Tommy Mooney
Re: Writing

Greetings !

A warm welcome to you, Tommy Mooney !
We're pleased to have you here with
us on Writing.Com. I see you joined us
two days ago. I admire your pace,
and the impressive work you've placed in your
new portfolio in a few days.

Your Poem:

I particularly like your poem, "Writing."
While, I admire Raymond Carver's poem,
I like your poem better.
Carver's poem was written to share
all of the odd and not-so-odd places
the fellow in his poem has fallen
asleep. Yours is more adventurous
and meaningful. It tells us
writing is this fellow's lifeblood.

Choice of Words and their Relevance

"He wrote about the gray cloudy skies.
And the blistering, hot sun.
When inspiration hit late at night, he crawled out of bed and wrote.
He wrote because he liked to.
Because he had to.
Because it told him more about himself than anything else.
Wrote about growing up.
Living life, having fun, falling in love."

Your Writing Style:

This poem's style reminds me of the "stream of consciousness"
writers. Similarly, in your writer's veins there is a fast moving,
never-ending flow of words and sentiments looking to escape
onto the page.

I enjoyed my first visit to your portfolio, Tommy.
I look forward to returning to read more.
I hope you will continue on to write more poetry.

Bravo and all the best,



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

To: Skymist
Re: Burning Bridges

Your Poem:

Your story is touching, thanks
to your ability to create a doleful,
heartfelt poem that is also
well crafted. I particularly
appreciate this segment of
your poem:

"I've caged my heart and
purged my soul, but thoughts
of you remain.
I'm lost in time, but what
have I to gain?
I thought I'd find a refuge
once the bridges had been burned;
but, oh, the painful lesson
I have learned. "

I see you just joined Writing.Com
on November 4, Anita. Please
get in touch if you need help
getting settled in. Meanwhile,
I hope you will continue on to write
more poems. *ThumbsUpL*

Warmest best,



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

To: Mike
Re: Home


This is a beautiful, dignified story. You show us what real love
is all about. You spoke with your dad with such respect
and appreciation for what he said vs what you wish he
could say. You are an inspiration, Mike. We should
learn from your selfless love and kindness. You left your
dad happy. Your affection and your effort to recognize
the man sitting at your table on his terms are
especially touching. It's not surprising that the get-together
struck a chord which gave your father great comfort and a
feeling that all is right with the world. I am deeply
touched by your story.

Your Writing:

You related your experience with your dad beautifully.
I was riveted and am so grateful for what you teach
us by example. You show us that love is greater than the
power of your dad's Alzheimers sufficiently to
turn an emotional and somewhat sad visit into a magic
one for your dad. Your story is heartfelt as is your sincerity.

Thank you for sharing your dad with us, Mike.
This is a stirring, lovely account of a
wonderful father-son outing.

Bravo and all the best,



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

Good afternoon, Dr Write !

Welcome to Writing.Com. I see you just signed on today !
I'm impressed that you wasted no time to post your "Personal Narrative."
You chose a wonderful example of your writing to share with us. I thoroughly enjoyed it !

Several years ago, I spent a couple of weeks camping with friends on a sandy beach on Prince Edward Island. We loved every minute of every day and night spent on PEI. We fished for our dinners, and found lots of small stands on the sides of the roads bulging with baskets of fresh vegetables and fruits. Needless to add, the PEI countryside is breathtaking.

Clearly, your decision to apply for a scholarship to join the Sears Festival produced a once-in-a-lifetime life altering experience. You mentioned the Watermark Theater. I enjoyed looking at their web page. The Sears Festival looks like a wonderful program. Most important, you took full advantage of every minute of every day and each acting challenge. This says it all: "This conservatory was a part of my life that fueled my desire to act. It was worth every second of it, and I would do it again in a heartbeat."

Your descriptions combined with your excellent writing produced a compelling first post here on W.Com. I hope you plan to jump right in to write more. You will serve as an inspiration to many of the new writers who follow you down this path by joining Writing.Com each week.

While you settle in on W.Com, if you have questions or need help,
don't hesitate to get in touch.

Bravo and all the best,


Review of Birch Trees  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)

To: Slick

Re: Birch Trees

First and foremost:

A warm welcome to Writing.Com. I hope you're finding your way around this grand forum, loaded with fun activities, writing challenges, workshops, and courses. Below, you'll find links to two programs set up to welcome and encourage new members like you. You'll find it easy to make new friends, and you will always be able to ask for help to locate activities and a variety of W.Com newsletters.

Newbie Help And Support Group  (E)
Group dedicated to helping newbies learn their way around WDC
#1767965 by Tiggy - Go, Green Team!

"The Newbies Academy Group


This wonderful piece inspired my review, Slick. After reading it twice, to be sure I didn't miss a word, I decided we should talk about your format.

This will only take a few minutes.

While I admire this perfect rectangle format, I found it tough on the eyes. I mention this because I believe it may discourage readers in its present form. This grand block of words, planted with great care in this box, catches our attention, which is good. Having said this, try breaking your writing into several well placed paragraphs. Step back to see if you agree, it looks better and is more inviting.

This change will give your readers a chance to review comfortably. It is a grand piece, Slick. The second step I suggest is you take a few minutes to shift from all caps to caps and lower case. This will shift attention from the box to your writing. I hope these suggestions are useful.

Your Writing:

Having read this piece all the way through, I can honestly say, it is worth the effort to make it as warm and accessible as your lovely descriptions are, Slick. You invite us to walk in the woods with you to find the "magical place where hundreds of tall trees reach to the Heavens, standing side by side like soldiers." While you're walking you recall the long winter walks you enjoyed in these woods in the long-ago past. You display it as beautiful and peaceful with your writer's virtual brush.

Quick Fixes In closing, I found a bunch of small errors that I will be happy to share with you, along with offering easy fixes. I will be happy to send my suggestions to you via email. Receiving suggestions by email may make them easier to work with, especially after hours when you can do this in your favorite chair.

Nice work, Slick !!

All the best,



Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)

To: Brad J Shaw
Re: Meet Lizzie and her Axe !


It took me a few minutes more than it should have to place Lizzie Borden in the house next door to the house 12 year old Erin had just moved to with her family.
This has the making of a great story. Brad. I look forward to reading the next chapter.

Re: the fixes needed

There are some fixes needed in this first chapter of your story. If you'd rather, I will send them to you so you can fix them in the privacy and quiet of your home.

In the meantime, here are a couple of suggestions for you to consider:

*BoxCheckR* Starting at the top of this story, create a space between each of your paragraphs. While you created paragraphs, you haven't taken the next important step to make a space between each paragraph. You'll be rolling out the red carpet for prospective readers/reviewers when you do this.

*BoxCheckR*Look for RUN-ON sentences. When a sentence has too many ideas and/or it runs on too long, it is called a run-on sentence.

Here is an example. You said: "As soon as she said that, she heard the noise of doors and windows being slammed shut forcefully, but she knew that was impossible, because earlier, when she was outside the house, there was no way of getting in through a window, or door."

The following is an example of how you can break up what you need to say into shorter, more effective sentences:

*BoxCheckR*Example: "The moment Erin objected, the house shook from the sound of slamming doors and windows. She was confused. Why would this be happening ? The house was boarded up. She combed the entire house for a single opening before she went in through the basement. "

*BoxCheckR*Go through from paragraph to paragraph: read each sentence. Do your best to cut the length of slightly too long sentences using carefully chosen words where it will help to do so. I will give you a better rating and a merit badge for your progress if you do this and you're happy with your improvements.


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

Royal Eduardo
Re Your Crime Stories

After reading this crime story, I came away wishing you had
more 13+ or E rated stories simply because those
ratings will make it possible for your work
to become more accessible.

I can see why this crime story has an 18+rating.
Sadly, the great victory in this story is the
father, a terrifying man who beats his
daughter endlessly is set on fire
by his wife and daughter.
They commit this crime without a moment's
hesitation and a glimmer of regret.
The mother and daughter have spent a lifetime
living with violence
such that they can retaliate with a
heinous crime without giving it a second thought. How are
they different from the vicious husband/father ?

Setting aside how we judge crime stories, your story is
well written. I hope you'll take some of the
talent you've given over to ratings that prevent
you from being seen, to write stories
with the ratings that will make it possible for you to
become better known and recognized in the larger
W.Com community.

All the best,


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

To: Fonzi
Re: "Tragedy"

First and foremost: A warm welcome to Writing.Com,
Fonzi. We're so pleased to have you here with us.
I hope you're finding your way around this busy writers
forum. If you haven't already, take a few minutes to check out
a couple of wonderful programs set up to welcome and
and encourage new members:

The WDC Angel Army  (ASR)
Dedicated to promoting positivity, encouragement, and support to the WDC community.
#1188309 by iKïyå§ama

"The Newbies Academy Group

Feedback for your poem, "Tragedy."

This exceptional poem is laced with pain, sensitivity, and
wisdom, Fonzi. Wisdom that comes from having had an intimate
relationship with drugs and/or alcohol. Whether you know
this story as a result of having experienced it, or you write
out of caring and concern for those young people who
struggle with an absence of adequate loving care and support,
you've given your young readers something to think about
while you also reach out in an attempt to lift the pain.

Each well thought-out line in this poem folds seamlessly
into the next line. It is a fine poem. And, you are a talented
writer, Fonzi. I hope you continue on to write more poetry.
I look forward to returning to read more.

Bravo and all the best,



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

To: Tim Dagenhart
Re: The Proposal

What a lovely way to propose, Tim !
You tell us you write poetry to "impress girls."
Is this poem written for your wife or wife-to-be ?
Or did you write this sweet, sentimental poem
to capture the attention of someone special.

If this was written for your wife or wife-to-be,
I'm certain she will cherish your words.
As I read your poem, it looks like you and your
mate have been together for a long time.
If this is recent, congratulations !
If this is a trip down memory lane, what a
loving momento this poem is.
I hope you frame it and hang it on the wall.
If you enjoyed writing a proposal for the
pure fun of doing so, then, I hope
you enjoyed it.

Thanks for sharing your poem, Tim.
It's bound to impress !

All the best,

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

A Message for Anwesha

This story has a ring of sincerity and unguarded sadness attached to it that caused me to think you must have written this from the heart. If so, I admire your candor. I believe kindness and the loving support of friends and family make all the difference when those black clouds hang over you for what may feel like an eternity.

With the passing of time, your spirits will lift. And, your heart will glow with happiness when you find the right man, someone who will love you just as you are. As for this man who stole your heart and broke it into little pieces when he decided he didn't want it anymore, I hope you appreciate, nothing good ever comes from the many ways your ex-husband was cruel and demeaning. The best thing you can do for you is to stop thinking about this man. As long as you find it hard to fight off the memory of his cruelty and demeaning remarks, you're validating his messages. When you make up your mind to begin again with a clean slate while grabbing what is healing and positive, you'll begin to feel better, and you'll be glad he is gone from your life.

Best of luck to you,


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

To: D Reed Whitaker
Re: The Wall

Your Story:

This story is beautifully written and touching.
I read it twice. Each time, I admired it more.
My brother joined the Navy during
the Vietnam War. He was one of the lucky
ones. He came home without physical injuries.
For those of us who have visited "The Wall"
it was as remarkable an experience
as any we've ever had. I appreciate the
determination of this terminally ill vet who
must visit the Wall to honor a wartime
buddy to say "goodbye" and
run his hand over his buddy's

You write this story with sensitivity and
empathy for the soldiers who came back
from Vietnam permanently scarred
inside and out. In your story, we see
this ailing soldier is just a few agonizing steps from
death's door. How wonderful it is that
he was blessed to have a devoted
young friend, a daughter at heart,
to care for him for a long time. She will
miss him when he is gone. He was the
father she always wish she had.

Thank you, D. Reed, for this wonderful,
heart rending story. It rings true for those of
us who had relatives who volunteered
to serve in Vietnam. I'm certain this
story has been repeated in a variety of
circumstances for homeless
Vietnam vets who never fully recovered from
the war experience. Unfortunately, it is well known
that many of the shelters for the homeless
are dangerous places. This Director of
NY Social Services in Brooklyn shares
his view of the shelters.

"My colleagues from Hanson Place, and many
other shelters, know that the shelters are
dangerous for residents and staff members alike.
Assaults, often with deadly weapons, are
everyday occurrences."

Whether you wrote this story as a result of first-hand
experience or out of love and admiration for
the military men who served in Vietnam, you gave us
a much valued gift by reminding us that there are many vets
like this one who are still out there living in the
streets without adequate housing or medical care.

Nice work, D. Reed !


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

To: Annthurnherr
Re: Hope


*BoxCheckR*Do you think this piece is more like
an allegory or an anthology ? An anthology is
a published collection of poems or other pieces of writing.
An allegory can be described as a parable,
a moral story, a fable, analogy, or metaphor.
I think allegory is a much better
match with this wonderful tale.

*BoxCheckR* Before we proceed, I suggest you
break this solid block of writing, that can be
discouraging for enthusiastic readers to tackle,
into several paragraphs. You'll find this wonderful
piece will attract attention once you take a few minutes
to break this block into several paragraphs.
Be sure to create space between the paragraphs.
Your readers need to take a breath now and then.

*BoxCheckR* Make a few Easy Repairs:

Where you say: "her lips perfectly red"
try: her lips were perfectly red.
Where you say: "she brought upon despair"
try eliminating: "upon."
Where you say: "once she fell in love with
a charming young man, eliminate "once"
Where you say: "anyones mood,
replace with: anyone's mood
Where you say: "Who grew into.."
write: She grew into...
Where you say: "Her light amber eyes
changed to a scotch color and told Despair"
End the sentence after "color" and
start a new sentence with She told Despair
she understood.
Where you say: "where humans took her in
gladfully and Hope had given human life"
Instead, say: where humans took her in
happily. Begin the next sentence
with: Hope gave human life .....

This is a wonderful piece, Anthurnherr !
It is beautiful, tender, and loving.
I read it and reread it. Each time, I fell in love
with it all over again. Make these few repairs,
and shift your description from Anthology to
Allegory. I know you will receive much
deserved praise for the beauty
and elegance of this story.

All the best,

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

To: Sean O'Brien
EMP Perspective


The concept of an EMP, or something remotely similar, doesn't seem impossible. When we read about the sonic weapon's invasion of the American Embassy in Cuba's highly sensitive, well guarded communications center, we were astounded. All of this was achieved by pointing a sophisticated hand-held device, never deployed before, at specific offices in the Embassy from a building across the street. As quickly as this huge, troublesome front-page story came and went, we were left with the knowledge of this powerful, futuristic technology with its potential to do great harm without firing a single shot.

Sean's Story:

Sean opens his story with the discovery of the first unsettling after-effects of what you describe as a nuclear explosion in space. We can see how this will eradicate the most vital necessities of everyday living. The attack on the planet's ability to function in Sean's story looms large as a scary prospect, one that surfaces without warning.

The Author's Goal:

It is clear Sean set out to build on the knowledge of the main character who discovers and begins to recognize what is happening when she sees her electricity is out, her cell phone is out, and her neighbor's car won't start. The fear level rises when it is clear that there is no electricity anywhere, and most vehicles won't start. In one terrifying minute, we're reminded that people will resort to the lowest level of human behavior in order to survive. Sean has effectively, without fanfare, showed us what happens when our lives and livelihoods are threatened.

The Story's Content:

This story is exemplary in its careful preparation and organization. It unfolds with a minimum of fanfare- with very little effort given to describing the story's characters and surroundings. What matters most is the crux of the crisis and the after-effects of the bombing. Needless to add, the story's ending is not entirely unfamiliar. Life in war-torn Syria provides a far-off example of how it is to struggle (sometimes to steal and injure) while groveling for food and medicine. With one deadly act,
this author shows us what will happen as this population moves into survival mode.

In Short:

This story is a strong mix of unreal and real. There is something unsettling about this story. Perhaps this is why we find this story compelling.
Nice work, Sean. I hope you continue on to write many more good


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

To: JoJo
Re: Your Mother and WW II


JoJo tells us his mother "was born on February 1, 1935 in the province of Leyte in the Philippines. She grew up in a poor and patriarchal family. Ignorance and poverty were the prevalent mode in their small community.

Since the Philippines were colonized by the Spaniards for more than three hundred years, Jojo's mother grew up in a devout Catholic family. Farming was the life-blood of the average family. According to his mother "though they were poor, they lived a happy life, until the war came."

The Philipines during the World War II

JoJo tells us in 1940, "while Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler was ravaging Europe, the Japanese Imperial Army was moving fast towards East Asia region; conquering territories after territory. The Philippines was not spared in the war because aside from the fact that the Philippines were an American allied, it is at the same time part of the so called co-prosperity sphere (list of target nations) of Japan. My mother's family and other relatives were forced to leave the town after it was bombarded by Japanese airplanes."


My father was an historian. His descriptions of the military's return to the Philippines and the important details of the war have been lost with the passing of time. To this day, I recall what a brutal, overwhelming undertaking it was for the American and Philippine troops to engage the Japanese. Not only did the deep muddy terrain create a hideous deterrent, the complex and never-ending invasions spread from the Layette Valley to the Battle of Shoestring Ridge, the battles along the Ormoc Coast, Camp Downes, and Luzon. The troops were worn and the equipment and supplies were insufficient to manage the battles that were ferocious and unyielding, A record number of lives were lost in an effort to send Japan packing. .

Your Story:

This story is extremely well written. Your descriptions are clear and
your accounts are written to inform and shed light on how it was to live in Leyete before and during the Japanese invasion. I can't imagine how unsettling it must have been for your mother and her family. Whether or not the USA's attempt to rescue the Philippines was considered a collosol gift or a huge error, for the American families who lost so many soldiers to rescue the Philippines, there will always be, as you pointed out, people who think of America's role as audacious.


It is rare that we hear about this war from the standpoint of the Philippine people. Your views and articulate descriptions add value and perspective. You stretched our knowledge and awareness of life in Leyete during World War II with the recollections of the next generation whose parents recall how it was to endure the elongated war and loss of lives.

Thank you, JoJo, and all the best,



Review of Memoirs  
for entry "The Dress
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with Rising Stars Luminous Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)

*Star* Connieann:

I love this story ! How many of us have had to navigate our ways through whacky moments like this.

My daughter decided at age 14 she'd use some of the money she earned baby sitting to buy herself hair coloring. She snuck the box into the house and when she arrived at the breakfast table in the morning, her hair was blonde instead of light brown ! She didn't look terrible. She just looked different--not at all like herself.

That afternoon, she had a swimming competition. After swimming. she worked at drying her hair before leaving school in the bus. As her hair dried, she saw much to her shock that the chlorine in the pool mixed with the hair dye had turned her hair bright green. It took two hours in the beauty salon to modify the color so it was no longer green.

You see what your story inspired ?

You tell a wonderful story, Connieann. I'm impressed at how gracefully you write. Your stories unfold beautifully. They are engaging and thoroughly appealing. The flow of this story is perfect. And, the pace of your story is such that we are riveted from your story's opening line to the story's end.

Congratulations on a job well done, Connieann !

All the best,


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


This piece is remarkable !! You are a hidden treasure here on
W.Com, JD. I hope you will consider entering this poem in a contest.
It is exceptionally well written. It shows us you are an
intelligent, thoughtful man with the ability to write an extraordinary
poem and a compelling short story with equal ease. This poem
is one many poets would be proud to claim as their own. If you
haven't received many reviews, is it because you
value your privacy more than you want to be acknowledged ?

In any case, I'm delighted to have read two of your wonderful
pieces, both memorable and well written.

Congratulations and all the best,


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