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1,299 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
This story got me involved in the progress of the effort to recapture "Big Mama". I wasn't as impressed with her beauty as the narrator of this story was. I don't find snakes to be cuddly animals, but hey, to each their own. I did find this story humorous, though. There are some good images in this story - the snake in the swamp and in the large dog holder are a couple of them. If you really want to write a thriller out of this material you might show the snake wrapped around someone, getting ready to squeeze the life out of them. These are just suggestions. You can reject or accept them as you wish.
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Review of Dust  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
From what I understand most of the VA hospitals stateside are pretty gnarly places to be. We owe our veterans better than that. ... I liked this poem, particularly the final two lines. I would like to see it go on longer and get more involved. Elaborate. Maybe a word or two of description of these animal beings would expand it and involve the reader in it more. Saying "the long necked blue and brown heron" would personalize the poem more. This is just a suggestion. It's your decision how you want to present this poem.
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This works well as a short little tale about how a guy's grandfather spun a ridiculous yarn to his grandson, probably to teach him not to believe everything he hears. I was intrigued by this short story, but it covers enough material that you could write a book about it. Who knows, maybe you could use this as an outline for a grade school book.
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is a thoughtful piece that covers one of the greatest tragedies experienced by humanity. It is well written and engaging. I would have liked it better if it had worked in some images of the Holocaust, treated with dignity, respect, and at least a little realism. You wouldn't want to be too explicit, because that might look like you were sensationalizing the Holocaust, but you would also want to make an impact. There are a few minor mistakes in usage in this piece. For instance, in the line third from the end of the second paragraph you wrote, "I knew not that the piano would not have that beautiful mahogany stain ... " I noticed a similar error in another place. I'd like to see you expand this piece and work in some images of the actual Holocaust. This piece is good, but it would be better if you did that.
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Review of The Rock  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.0)
This piece did pique my interest. I was concerned for that rock. It's not a bad subject you just dreamed up. But you have several awkward constructions in your prose. For instance, you could combine the first two sentences into: "The rock lay beside the well-worn path through the wooded area of the park." ("Woodsy" is not appropriate usage for formal writing.) Also, the third sentence of the second paragraph would be more effective if it was changed to "The rock did not know it was sunlight." You need to tighten up your prose here and there. You can embellish your prose as long as you stay within the rules of conventional usage.
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
There is a strong sense of story in this piece. Every detail supports the plot, and it drew me in. There are some flaws in usage and grammar, though. The presentation could be smoother. I find it unlikely that a girl who had just nearly gotten into a car wreck would say, "You maybe" when her father, Warren, asks if she is trying to get them both killed. There are other incongruities like that in this story. You need to slow this piece down and relish a few moments in it. You got enough material to write many more pages of this story. Concentrate on a few moments, like - "Grace confidently put in the key and took a breath. Warren visibly cringed. The car roared to life. Warren's knuckles turned white as he clenched the arm rest. His whole body stiffened." You have the makings of a good story here. Just slow down and be more attentive to detail.
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
I'm a hermit too. I stay as far away from other people as I can. I've built a life like that. In AA they say, "Don't judge your insides by other people's outsides." That saying has helped me. There is a poem titled "Richard Cory" that illustrates this theme. If you haven't read it you ought to. Being alone does have its hazards, though. I find myself becoming more and more eccentric as I remain aloof from others. At a certain range you start to compare your life with the lives of other people. I confess, I'm a little jealous when I see someone unloading a ski boat, but I wouldn't trade that for the enjoyment I get from surfing the internet.
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Review of MAMA'S DEMONS  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
This piece contains some strong emotions and vivid language, which all poetry should. The imagery is a little weak, but that is the hardest thing to render in a poem. It takes work and practice. I would have liked to have seen your mother reach down to caress you, "a reassuring touch behind anguished eyes". Stuff like that. Your poem is very good. It's just that the imagery could be perked up. Using the world "denial" is something that is done a lot in twelve step meetings. I've been to a few of those. But it has been used so much that it has lost some of its impact. This poem is a near miss. It's on target, but not a bull's eye.
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Review of MAMA'S DEMONS  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I liked this poem a lot. It is a story of a woman beset by demons that are destroying her. There are a few of what I would call minor mistakes, that consist mainly of using language that is a little bit trite for a poem. For instance, in the first stanza the word "denial" is used. It's a small mistake, but I feel like that word has been used so much in the psychobabble of the day that you might want to look for a better expression of your mother's anguish. You might also want to lessen your story's dependence on phrases like "to let them down". There is nothing wrong with this phrase, but I feel like it could be better. This poem is a very good poem, and I feel like it deserves a better phrase there. You do a good job of portraying your mother's struggles. I had a strong sense of her angst as I read this poem. I also sensed a deep personal meaning in it. I hope this helps you come to terms with your mother's self tortured life.
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Review of Deadwood  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
You do a very good job of building suspense in this story. It was great. I started out wondering if this girl really posed any threat to Meacham, mainly in the form of pressing false charges for molesting a minor. The tension keeps building, and you see Meacham getting into more and more trouble, but nothing like what he is about to meet. When we start to see the real peril Meacham faces his previous worries seem insignificant. There was one mistake in your prose when you wrote, "He liked not at all". You have a chance to use a strong verb here, like "He hated, or he loathed, or he feared". That was the only serious mistake I saw in your writing. I'd like to see you go on with this. The possibilities are endless.
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Review of Untitled WIP  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is good. You have a good command of language. It feels like you have polished this quite a bit, and you have it almost ready for publication. You could start a whole genre on the things cop have to deal with in their profession. It is needed. This story is ultimately positive in its outlook, in spite of the violence in it. I like that.
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Review of Pretension  
for entry "Chapter 1a
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
You do a good job of portraying Matt's sullen nature here. It brings back memories of my own youth. Matt is a typical teenager lacking direction, and who was only likely to work if he was made to. You make it sound like some greater force is compelling Matt to get a job, which is exactly what is happening here. That's very good in a story with a strongly religious theme. The last sentence sounds cliched. There are two of them in it - "stole my heart" and "from day one". You might could get away with just one cliche, but if you put two of them in this sentence it won't work well.
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.0)
This poem expresses some strong feelings about a situation too many young women find themselves in. I would have liked it better if it showed some kind of struggle against these feelings, but I know how that can be. I've stayed too long in a hopeless relationship myself.
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.0)
This has some good points. I like the designated titles of the different characters. They helped involve me in the story. You might add just a touch more description. Maybe mention a burning torch at night, or a roaring fireplace. Show a few birds flying out from the ramparts. This type of realistic, interesting detail would further engross the reader in your story. That's a minor flaw. ... You do a little too much "telling, and not showing" in this story. You might focus a little more on the chess game. You might show people bowing to St. Clare and maybe showing other forms of obedience. You have a few awkward constructions in your language in this story. They are minor slip ups in usage, but in a formal story your prose needs to be perfect. This story has great potential. It just needs a little work.
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Review of The Old Bank Barn  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
I enjoyed this poem. It had some good rhymes. It is inventive and imaginative, and yet it is full of realistic details. When I read this poem I kept wondering what region this poem is from. For some reason I put it in New England, where the great poet Robert Frost lived and wrote his verse. There is one little flaw in the last line of the fourth stanza - the barn "just" had to wait. The word "just" doesn't need to be in there. I know that in the heat of creation that word seems to come in by itself. A lot of writers use it, but it is rarely needed. You might think about removing that. Otherwise, this is a very good poem.
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
Wow! You have really fallen for this person. You have some good imagery here. Maybe you could add something like, "Your eyes peer deeply into my soul, giving me an ecstasy I cannot control". That is a little heavy, but it will do. You have a lot of potential as a poet. This is a good start.
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Review of The Fall  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (5.0)
I like this. It is straight forward and easy to enjoy, but it is also subtle and deep. You describe the experience of falling in love well. I particularly liked the last stanza. Poetry like this embellishes life, making it a heady experience. I'm hoping you have a couple more on the same subject.
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
We both have a strong interest in the natural world and the natural beauty around us. You depict it well. I really liked "fog ghosts dance on a pond at sunrise". It is an image many of us can relate to, and you put it into words that enhance the effect. It draws the reader in. I could feel the cool Autumn air on my nose.
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Review of Before Quarantine  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a poem that appeals to many lonely males. Many of us have had similar situations and similar feelings. This is a little understated, which is okay. You could have gone into melodrama and made it more engrossing, but the situation does not call for that. I haven't come across any poems written by a male that has covered this situation before, even if a lot of us have experienced what you describe here. You gave it all it was worth.
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Review of FOOTPRINTS  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a masterful piece of work. Some of the meter and rhythms remind me of Robert Frost's poetry. I'm wondering if he has influenced you. This is the kind of work that inspires me and gets my creative juices flowing. I like the moral of the story - that a person has to submit to life rather than trying to beat it down to fit their wishes. I could identify with it.
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Review of Time  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.5)
I bet the theme of this story touches a lot of people. I've often wished I could replay parts of my life again. I'm almost certain a lot of people wish that. But there are parts of my life I definitely would not want to experience again. I sometimes wonder if the good times were all that good. This is a fascinating scenario. You breathe life into it. Sometimes I think that if I hadn't made a "bad decision", my life could have been worse. But I do have regrets. I remember a line from a Willie Nelson song - "I could cry for the time I wasted, but that would be a waste of time and tears."
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Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (5.0)
This has a good rhythm and flow. I liked the way you ended every stanza with a comment that brings it together and expresses the core of the emotion you feel in this poem. I'm wondering if this is a specific kind of poetry that you have written here. I like the fact that this poem portrays a benign view of the universe, a universe that is founded on love. Well done.
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Review of The Grind  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This does a good job of portraying the plight of the low wage workers in our economy. I heard about this one political cartoon where this guy was talking about how many jobs had been added the last month, and this woman was saying, "I know. I have three of them, and I still can't make the rent." I think they are going to be looking for ways to automatize a lot of the work of fast food, but I don't think they're having much success. One way to get good jobs into our economy might be with the Green New Deal. It would beat the hell out of coal mining. Let them automatize fast food. You do a good job of portraying the emotional grind low paid work usually is. You might try to expand and embellish it, and get it published in a journal. It is very apt.
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Review of High Violet  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is good. You created a whole scenario and a whole world here that strike the reader as familiar but strange. This is fantasy you write here, but there is still good verisimilitude in this piece. That is the mark of good fantasy writing. I take it that you want to go further with this project. I hope this is just the beginning of something bigger.
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Review of A DAUGHTER  
Review by tpaulter
Rated: E | (4.0)
I've seen many examples of what you describe in this piece. My sister home schooled her kids, put her husband through Princeton Seminary School, filled the role of a preacher's wife, and became a Corporate Executive Officer of a savings and loan. I know another woman who was educated at a state university, came to work early and stayed late, and who climbed the ladder of bank presidents until she was in charge of a whole region of the United States. She went through a rough divorce, though, and I think she was kind of miserable for a while. Her husband was a drunk. These women are putting us men to shame.
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