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Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
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  
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  
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 !

Review of Waking Up  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: Jacky
Re: Waking Up

This story is well written with a surprise ending.
I won't give it away here. Well done, Jacky !
The conversation Amy has with herself is real
and right on the money. Most of us remember one of
those ridiculous arguments where we don't recall what
started it. This reminds us what is important
vs what isn't worth fighting over. We also sometimes
learn the argument isn't really what is wrong.

You tell a good story, Jacky. I am going to enjoy
visiting your portfolio to read more.
Review of Locomotive Days  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)

To: Bruce
Re: Locomotive Days

They say if you write what you know best, you can't go wrong.
You give new meaning to that saying with this superb poem describing
your Locomotive days. For someone who doesn't know or understand locomotive jargon, it made no difference, because I was mesmerized by your poem. It is articulate and beautifully written. Your expertise in
the field of your choice emerged with flying colors, as did your writing
capabilities. This is a 1st rate poem. I hope you will go on to write more.

Bravo and all the best,

Review by Gabriella
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: *tonyabrown*
Re: Learning to Let Go

This piece is a prayer of sorts.
You seem to be working your
way forward to discover you
are the person who needs to
forgive yourself. Doing so will
very likely lift the weight of
hatred and bitterness from your
heart. I send you warmest best
wishes for your journey.
All the best,

Review of Love Scars  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)

To: Lyn
Re: Love Scars

First and foremost:
How wonderful it is to see this
poem, written for KansasPoet's
contest a long time ago.

I miss him the way I miss
Marlena and now, Bobbie,
who I find on Facebook now
and then. When I go through
my poems, I am reminded
that most of the ribbons I
received came from Sherri.
What a lovely, encouraging
lady she was !

As for this well written poem,
it brings back an entirely different
set of memories. I know how
it is to come to terms with
what you aptly describe.

"love scars the one it owns."

This is a powerful poem, dear Lyn.
It reminds us the wrong person
can't be forced to become the right
one, no matter how hard we try.

Thank you for sharing your poetry.
I look forward to returning to read

All the best,


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Christina

Re: Barton Robinson's Letter to his Mother

And, what a remarkable letter this is !
It is not only inspiring, it is compelling,
touching, credible, and noble.
I can't suggest a single change
in the letter. It is genuine and articulate.
It is the simplicity of the letter and the
young man's good instincts that makes this
piece special. I expect this will serve as a great
example for those young people in
need of a role model.

The White House staff and
surroundings are covered beautifully.
I particularly enjoyed Barton's conversation
with President Roosevelt--one of
my favorite presidents.

When I reread your letter. I remember
seeing a contest that might be a great
match with your writing capabilities
and this letter.

Historical Fiction Short Story Contest  (13+)
Interesting prompts to keep you interested in history. CONTEST CLOSED
#2143467 by Abby Gayle

Best of luck,

Review of Boots and Spurs  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: Lou

Re: Your Pony

This is a wonderful poem written
to revive the memory of your beloved pony.

I can imagine pulling on those boots,
the leather cracked and torn
with the sides gaping open.
Worn out but comfortable.
Gone are the days of cowboys
and indians on the TV when
saddles and spurs were a real
wrangler's trademark.

As for your travels, I enjoyed reading:
"We chased Piute and Shoshone,
when we dreamed in the afternoon."
A cowboy's fantasy, to chase
Nevada's Paiute-Shoshone indians.

While you say you grew old too
soon, you introduce us to your
pony and your shared adventures
as though they are here with us
right now. Thank you for sharing this
fine poem with us, Lou !

All the best,

Review of Dog onna Bog  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Elysia
Re: Dog on a Bog

I like this poem so much, I have to
rethink the label I will apply to this
delightful task to substitute
the overworked "review."
Instead, I decided to regale this
Dog on a Bog with an epilogue.

First, the playful dog you call your "furry
black shadow" is clearly no John
Doe. And, your description of your
surroundings is truly astounding.

"My shadow
and I
enjoy blue sky
the bog afloat with cranberries
the golden sand of the road
littered with the spoor
of deer, horses, geese."

Finally, I found your encounter with
this "denizen of the wild"
both nerve wracking and
wonderful. Needless to add,
I was thoroughly beguiled.

A note for Elysia:

This poem is beautifully written
and a joy to read. You are a talented
poet. The camera you forgot
couldn't begin to
capture this event the way your
stunning poem did.

Bravo and warmest best,


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Schnujo
Re: Gift for the Prince

And, what a wonderful gift it was ! I love this story, and I admire your writing, Schnujo. Great stories for children contain strong messages that inspire them, uplift them, motivate them, and delight them. Emily learned as her story unfolds. This is one of your story's great assets.

I love that your story pointed to a purpose greater than Emily's well-being.
The authenticity you show as an author will always have an impact on your success as a storyteller. You get high marks for your sincerity and integrity as a writer, Schnujo. I hope you are planning to write more children's stories. You will always be a
fine story teller.

Bravo and all the best,


Review of My LADA  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.5)

Dear Petra,

I tripped over your Lada's history, and was surprised to find
this wonderful quirky car was yours. I am afraid I
won't be able to give this story of yours the kind of
careful attention it deserves. I am a car person, but not
quite the car devotee you are ! I must say, your Lada
sounds wonderful ! I had a SAAB for several years.
It was my quirky Lada. It was a car that many people
admired, not so much because it was gorgeous because
it wasn't. It was homely and unique.

It was a car with lots of pep that was said to be extremely
safe given its sturdy build. Most of all, it lived for a long time. I
miss it, and thought about it while I was reading your excellent report
about your car. Thanks so much for the gift of a great read,
Petra. As always you write beautifully. You add a great deal
to our reading and writing experiences.

Before I go, I hope you'll drop me a line when you have a few
minutes to let me know how you're doing. It's great to
see you here again !!

All the best,


Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)

To: AngieB

Re: Finding Solace

This is a good poem, Angie !
It starts off simply enough
to tell us how it is to step into
the shower, finding the water
that drips a drop at a time
on the glass window exudes

It is thanks to your resourcefulness
that you are able to find solace and comfort
at a time of grief and suffering.

Decide if you want to use punctuation.
I see commas but almost no
sign of periods. Take a few moments
to add them where needed so the
poem is consistent.

Bravo on having created a fine poem.

All the best,


Review of Unknown  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)

To: Finch
Re: John Doe

This poem is brilliant !! Every line, rhythm, and rhyme
is beautifully matched with another, to produce a smooth-
as-silk read. The story, a sad one, is
impeccably well crafted. The same is true
of your format.

It is good to see another old-timer like me here !
(not referring to your age as much as your
everlasting ability and the stunning poetry you

Bravo and all the best,


Review of Time for Bed  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Jacky

Re: Bedtime

This is a delightful children's poem, Jacky !

“It’s time for bed!”
My mother said.
The trouble seems to be,
When Mother says
It’s time for bed,
She only means
for me."

I'm reminded of Robert Louis Stevenson, who
gently evokes the injustice of having to go to
bed when it's still light outside in his 1885 classic,
A Child's Garden of Verses.

I hope you continue on to write lots of children's
poems !

All the best,

Review of You drowned me  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.0)

To: Vivienne
Re: My Place Below the Waves

This is a powerful poem, Vivienne !
I expected a beautiful day
at the beach, with a safe swim,
given the promises made to protect
one another. The shocking
shift from tranquility to losing your
life to the undercurrent
that carried your body out to sea is
dramatic. This is a heart laden with the pain
of abandonment.

Thank you for sharing your poem,
Vivienne. I look forward to
returning to read more poetry.

All the best,

Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.0)

To: Bella
Re: Your First Story

And, what a good first story this is !
You convey your story thoughtfully.
This is a story about a young woman
who sits in the coffee shop
how it is that she graduated from
her life as a free-spirited,
uninhibited child to
her teenage years where she
she cares too much what
people think.

Your story needs a little work: nothing
serious, Bella. If you would like me to
send suggestions for corrections,
I'd be happy to do this.

Congratulations for having
successfully completed and
shared your first fine
poem, Bella !

All the best,

Review of The Diamond  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Azul
Re: Failed Attempt

This is a very fine effort to create a 55 Word Story !
You captured this woman's attempt to steal a
diamond beautifully. And, the policeman arrives
just in time to catch the thief before she leaves the store.

Nice work, Azul.

It's great to see you here.

All the best,


Review of A MAZE IN POETRY  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.0)

To: Duke
Re: Poetic Pathways

This is a wonderful, expressive poem. I enjoyed reading every word !
Your description, "writing poetry is like working
a maze, peering through a verbal maze" is often correct.
And, you give us good advice when you state:
"If you stay focused, you might find a finish."
Regarding your poem's format: your first two and the second two
stanzas are different enough that they don't appear to belong together. However, since I'm a fan of free-form poetry, I decided this doesn't seem so important. It is the message that counts !

Bravo and warmest best,

Review of Agree To Disagree  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Teargen

While I know those friends, I am called Agreeable.
I dropped by because this place is inviting,
and there is no question, I can make myself at home here.
You should know, I sing "Let it Be" often.
My brother is Amen Able, and my sister is Dee Cent. (pitiful)
Regarding Agree to Disagree,
your poem is clever, delightful, and artfully
crafted. The rhymes are
perfect. You are a talented writer, Teargen !

This was fun !!

Bravo and all the best.......A

Review of Borderling  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (3.5)

To: Annwid
Re: Annie and the Small Cabin in Canada


A bit of advice:
Create more paragraphs,
and take care to add space between the paragraphs.
This will make your story more inviting and
easier to read.


While this story is intriguing, and I found
myself in its grip quickly, I noticed that
your descriptions are sometimes
repetitive and distracting. I understand how tempting it is
to repeat what Annie looks like. However,
when your readers travel from line to line,
they will find it distracting to see you repeat
your use of "small" and "tiny"
approximately 6 times. Once you've
established that Annie and her hands
are small, and her eyes are blue, there is no need to repeat
these descriptions.

*Vignette6*Repairs Needed: You'll find these are quick fixes !

*Fleurdelis* You write: The red embers of the fire inside were stating to go dim
Correction: "stating" should be starting.
*Fleurdelis* You write: "she already regeted her decision"
Correction: "regeted" should be regretted
*Fleurdelis* You describe: "long, soft, black hair"
Correction: Do you think long black hair is sufficient ?
*Fleurdelis* You write: "hair gently fell down behind her"
*Fleurdelis* Question: is this description important ? If you want to keep
it, how about: her hair slipped down below her shoulders ?
*Fleurdelis* You write: "She Cursed as the heavy iron door gave.."
Correction: "Cursed" should be cursed.
*Fleurdelis* You write: "shivering off the cold before settled"
Correction: how about: shivering off the cold before settling
under the covers ?
*Fleurdelis* You write: "loosen the cover's"
Correction: loosen the covers
*Fleurdelis* You write: "Yes, She was thankful she had the pastor of her church that took her in and took care of her when an accident had took the lives of her parents 4 years ago"
Correction: Yes, she was grateful for the church's pastor. He took her in, and
he took care of her when an accident took the lives of her parents four years ago.
*Fleurdelis* Final corrections. How about: While the community gave her work so she could make money to survive, it just wasn't enough.
*Fleurdelis* You write: "Someday, someone was going to take care of her."
How about eliminating this line ? You talk about finding someone to
take care of you a couple of times. What do you think ?

*Vignette6*In closing:

I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter in this story.
Before placing your chapters or stories in your portfolio to be
read and reviewed, take a few minutes to make sure you
trim the descriptions that are repetitive.
The goal is to become your own best critic.

In the meantime, if you make changes, I will
rewrite your review and bump up the number of
stars attached to your story. Be sure to let
me know if you want a rewrite.

Thank you for introducing Annie
and her dilemma, Ann.

Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.5)

To: Andrea
Re: A Sky Full of Stars, Part II

Having reviewed Part 1, I am delighted to see there is a sequel.
This piece opens up the potential for dreams come true for these true loves.
I have to admit, I am a sucker for love, and this is lovely
and romantic. The question of the day is: will there be a
Part 3 ?? These two romantics must find
each other.

This chapter is well written, clear, and compelling, Andrea.
Thanks for sharing this lovely story with us.

All the best,

Review of The Day We Met  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (3.5)

To: Bobby
Re: The Day We Met

A warm welcome to Writing.Com, Bobby. I hope you're
finding your way around this bustling writer's forum.

This is a good story, Bobby. I enjoyed reading every word !

I know Jaspar has just arrived in a new town where everything
is new and strange. It's clear his first day raced by quickly.
In his haste to report on his first day, he jotted down
the news as to how he fared quickly. He decided
he'd clean up his story when he had a little time, perhaps
after dinner. These are the errors he discovered. I'm sure
he will have fun repairing this otherwise good story.

Jaspar's repairs:

Jaspar: "I woke up this morning still agitated by the fact we had to move"
Correction: I woke up this morning, still agitated that we had to move.
Jaspar: "My mother was a doctor." Should read: My Mother is a doctor.
Jaspar: "You don't want to be later for the first day of school"
Correction: You don't want to be late for the first day of school.
Jaspar: "told my mom bye and got out of the car. "
Correction: I said "goodbye" and got out of the car.
Jaspar: "I has started to grow board of just sitting in one spot and was getting ready to head home."
Correction: I was feeling bored sitting in one spot, so I decided to go home.
Jaspar:""I knew you looked familiar!" Said Alexis as I exited to store"
Correction: When I opened the door, Alexis said: "I knew you looked familiar."
Jaspar: "but I was also exited to have her on mine."
Correction: I was excited to have her on mine.

This story has a wonderful future in the making, Bobby.
One other suggestion: make a space between paragraphs.
This will make the story easier to read.
Car, bike, and truck lovers will love this story, Bobby !
How fortunate Jaspar is to have met a lovely young woman who is encouraging
and enthusiastic on his first day in Wimberley.

I look forward to reading your next chapter.
Nice work, Bobby !

Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (5.0)

To: Laeril
Re: Going Fishing

A warm welcome to Writing.Com. I hope you're
finding your way around this bustling writer's
forum without too much trouble. If you're looking
for a place to hang your hat for a while, try the
Newbie Academy--a great source of guidance
and support for new members.

The Newbies Academy Group  (E)
Need assistance and guidance. Stop on by!
#1949660 by ~ Sisco ~ Back!

Re "Go Fish" you tell a good story, Laeril.
This one is touching and a treat to read. Needless to say,
your clever response to Ryan's request for a certain
Scripture Mastery is the high point of your tale.
This one is bound to go down in your family history.
In addition to this tale, you share some important information
about yourself. It is nice to know you, Leril.

Best of luck with your writing. I look forward
to returning to read more soon.

All the best,

Review of The Grip of God  
Review by Gabriella
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.0)

To: Netty
Re: The Gift of God

This is a lovely poem
written to introduce
the concept and
importance of a greater

Stanza 1:
"The Grip of God
a moment of his
holiness rise above
my soul to commune
with him every day."

A suggested repair:
"rise" should be rises.

Stanza 2:
The Grip of God,
a moment of truth's
that abide in my heart.

A suggested repair:
Consider writing:
The Grip of God,
A moment of truth
that abides in my heart.

Stanza 3:
The Grip of God
call's to wordship
as the stars and universe
commune with his spirit above
the heavens.
(a lovely stanza)

Stanza 4:
The Grip of God
Let's abiding spirit of his love kept and to be found
in me, and is kept in his loving arms.
Suggested Fix:
May the abiding spirit of his love be sent to me
from his loving arms.

Thanks so much for your inspiration, Netty.
All the best,



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