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112 Public Reviews Given
128 Total Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of RIB  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.5)
I liked what you wrote. You taught me something about a naval exercise. You gave me an emotional jolt. I cringed at the thought of that drill, and I was thankful that there are those who learn those skills and become proficient in them. I would not. I clearly visualized your experience. Finally, I felt that you were sincere in taking responsibility, feeling responsibility.

I think you've done the hard part in having achieved these qualities. Now, I think you would benefit in a challenge to cut 25% of the words. I stole this from someone (maybe Stephen King), but I think it is appropriate. There is nothing magic about 25%. It could be 30 or 40%. The point is that I wanted to get the story with less effort. I felt like you could do it because you're starting with good material. Besides, so what if you can't and you end up back where you started? It is still a great piece.

David


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2
2
Review of They Are My Home  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Oh, my first review of the year, and it is challenging. Why? I don't know what to do with it! I'll start with what the piece did.

I got a sense of wonder from the author, wonder that some entity, whomever that may be, would want a relationship with the author who found themselves thinking they were harmful, hurtful, and unappreciative.

I got the sense that this wonder never stops, it loops through the author's head without end.

There is no resolution.

Now, you have to decide whether I read it as intended. I cannot tell.

Option A: What I described is what you wanted from the reader. Be aware that as a reader, I got bored with the redundancy. There was nothing new for me after half-way through the piece. I've lived the experience of never-ending loops of same thoughts with someone who had Alzheimer's. I felt very sad for them, and I could only pity the story lines because I doubted them because they were unhinged from the reality I had lived with them and how they had described their lives during better times.

Option B: You are disappointed in how I read it and wanted there to be more clarity. If so, I recommend that you eliminate the redundancy and give the reader more specificity about who is giving you the affection the author needed. Describe what hard edges were improved. Make the reader appreciate those who helped the author other than just accepting that the author found value in them. Then, provide some closure to the passage.

Option C: I'm completely off base and missed the point. If you wanted that, you got it. I end as I started. I didn't know what to make of the "story." Maybe this is what you wanted.

Know that I've tried to be respectful in this review. These are all varying perspectives I would choose in trying to understand the piece. Every writer has intent, but they don't own the reader's interpretation. Only the writer can answer whether their intent was met. What say you? I give the piece three stars only because I could not understand it, and I prefer things that I enjoy reading. This is the privilege of every reader. Readers owe authors nothing. Authors will grab some readers and not others.

Regards,

David

Option B:

Option B:


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3
3
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Here, here! I like it. Although I guessed where you were going by the second line of the second stanza, I didn't guess the last line. I wanted to wait.

My comments are preferences more than anything else:
1) From an aesthetic standpoint, I'd rather not see the numerical representations, 50, 1/10, and 30. Like Pavlov's dog, I slobber, me thinking about engineering.
2) I would rather hear the ring of 1/10 of them gone, than it gone.
3) The last phrase seems awkward to me. I think I'd say something like the "the wide grin of their sharp teeth shining through their embroideries. I can't see something masked, and I want you to make me see the image as you've done with the rest.

Good job!!!
4
4
Review of Before Quarantine  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello,

First, I like it. I can relate. Touching. I find poetry hard to review because I'm convinced there are no hard and fast rules. In poetry everything is so condensed, and any author can defend their verses. Know that I am trying to convey my respect for what you've written before I offer anything for consideration.

Ultimately, I'm expecting symmetry. Your first stanza's rhythm has some chop to it, abbreviated phrasing that makes me use my mind to fill in the blanks. I find myself liking the challenge. But, then your second stanza includes more complete phrasing, and I find myself missing the excitement of found in reading the first. Dare I set hammer to someone else's sculpture?

That little red petal dark alone
No concern
She smiled I back a kiss at last
Then home yet fearing
Won't last must give my best
oh no!
She's gone

I only provide the above to demonstrate the rhythm I was expecting, nothing in the way of wording recommendations. Yet, I have one other unrelated recommendation: Be consistent with capitalization: Fire Hair Girl.

Good work. Keep it up.

David Burke


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello. I find you write wonderfully well regardless of whether I agree with you. The fact that you held my attention when, in fact, I do disagree with you is a testament to your writing skill. Otherwise, I would have stopped after the first paragraph.

There's a part of me that wants to refrain from reviewing because I'm unsure as to what right someone has, or whether it is right, to critique someone's personal musings. So what if a diary is filled with cryptic notes, sentence fragments, and grammar errors. Was it ever meant for someone else to read?

All I can truly do is characterize what I've read. You are a person with high standards when it comes to documenting your thoughts in a diary.

Regards,

David Burke (aka Jack Stone)


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of More Lysol!  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Great poem. I love the rhyme, the comedy of Lysol in contrast with the emotion. There is only one thing that I would consider and that is your fourth stanza. All other stanzas ring perfect, but this one clashes with the others to me.

For example, where else would one be buried if not beneath ground? The mound seems of lesser importance than what you bring forth in the other stanzas. I would have been startled with this:

I buried you solemnly in the ground
No one saw that you were bound
Though trees stood witness all around
They hid your final resting sound

Just something to think about.....

Regards,

David Burke (AKA Jack Stone)



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7
7
Review of Waltz  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello,

A musing is hard to rate because I doubt seriously that you are writing for other's formal consumption. Nevertheless, I'll dare to tread where I fear I'm not wanted. Know that I only want to help...(with some humor).

In your first sentence, I want to turn my head with a with a "phew!" Morning breath sounds disgusting. In your second sentence, do birds chirp to melodies made by others? And, why would anyone want to turn their head to escape the shadows? Is there something sinister this glorious morn?

These are only minor things for your consideration. If, however, your musing was as you expressed it, far be it from me to revise history!

Regards,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of The Hero  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (2.0)
Dear Ordinary Guy,

I have absolutely no doubt that your heart is in the right place and that you are striving to write well, but I ask that you start with one goal on your piece....eliminate the purple prose. And, before you feel that I am your enemy or mean, please look up the definition on Google and defend why your piece would not be so characterized. (I've had many people get upset over my "purple prose" characterizations.) Know that I am in your corner and will defend free speech. It is your piece. I am only one reader providing my perspective.

Your humble reader,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of High School  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello,

I think your piece is instructive. You write with a sense of being genuine. That being said, I would like you to consider some of the technical aspects of your piece. In your first sentence you state that you are "stuck in between." That implies two things joined by an "and" instead of a "but" and "also" as you've done. I'm not sure dimming of pain is symbolic if you then provide a concrete example. Do you really need the word "symbolic" to make the point? Finally, it is unclear to me how a feeling begins to overuse itself. That implies that the feeling has some sort of autonomy.

Writing is personal. Editing involves a push and pull between author and editor, the author always feeling misunderstood. I say this to temper your reaction and to understand my intent is to make you better, not change you. Ultimately, you can keep anything you want.

Your humble reader,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of The Wall  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Jillian,

I've read a number of your poems, and you are good, especially if you're cranking these things out on the timeline they're being posted! I like reading poetry because the message, the emotion, is so intense, being written in so few words. I also hate providing a critique because I think poetry is so personal, and rarely does the author seem to want to hear anything other than "Wow, fantastic!" Ok, you got that from me already, and now I'll dare walk the plank.

The only thing that strikes me a little discordant is in the third line. If you can fly, you're not going to hit the ground and break your bones. Perhaps if you were to fall? Everything else was spot on.

Your humble reader,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of All the Things  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hmmmm…...being a Christian, and you offering up a "religious" genre poem, I have to say that your last line surprised me!

People are depraved. Happened with the fall.
Yes, nothing lasts, all of our desires on earth pass away...without faith, let us do as Nietzsche suggested, despair.
But, with faith of a better future, an eternity beyond, prayer is all we have to build upon that faith. Why is that not the conclusion? Why would we ever expect more?

Just a thought. (Oh yes, I do get it. If we lose our faith, why pray? But, maybe that was the real delusion. There was no faith to begin with.)

Your humble reader,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Fog  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Good, you've built suspense, and I want to know what happens. Can you keep me interested? That's the question, the challenge. Here are a few things you might want to consider. Let's start with my synopsis: For whatever reason, you're on a date in the fog with a guy named Bobby. You're headed back to the truck, but fog rolled in. You hear things in the fog that scare you. Bobby heads back to the truck. You get impatient waiting on a bench and find your way to the truck. No Bobby. Fall asleep in truck only to be awakened by a cop tapping on your window. Bobby dead at back. You scream.

You introduce some things that seem to distract, or not make sense, in this context. You're holding Bobby's hand in the first line, then you scream as if he's not right there beside you. The reactions to such a scream and the conversational dynamic after such an event are questionable.

You introduce not wanting to go for another date with Bobby only because the fog rolled in? There seems to be no intent on his part, especially given the ending, that he had done anything wrong.

The cop tapping on the window as you sit in the truck asleep is cliché. Surely, you can come up with a more original way of getting from finding truck to unconsciousness to cop to realizing boyfriend is dead. (We want to avoid the zombie movie issue, that we already know that all zombie movies start with someone waking up from a coma in a hospital a month after the zombie outbreak.) And, why does the cop slam you against the car if he's assuring you that he'll get you home?

Nope, nope, nope, avoid thinking I'm being terse.....just lazy writing a bunch of words and trying to get my point across. Writing is tough stuff. I'm just a reader who is willing to let you know how it hits me. You get the joy of deciding whether to consider it or throw it out. Know that I wish you the very best.

Your humble reader,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review of Man Among Men  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.5)
Love it. So true. I think often of where I stand in line from beginning to my end...behind my Dad, behind his Dad, on and on. You captured it so well. That being said, there is one thing that I would ask you to consider changing because I can't relate to it...…

I don't think of myself as drinking a poison. That seems suicidal rather than fighting the good fight only to tragically lose against curse.

Your humble reader,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.5)
I think I start each poetry critique the same way....apologizing, careful to avoid making an offensive comment about what is clearly someone's heartfelt emotion wrapped in words. Who dares offer a change?

Oh well, here it goes...… The piece is packed with emotion, and the only thing that I would offer for your consideration is what seems to me to be a conflict between the feeling I have with the first stanza where you are smiling sweetly and thinking of what could be and a later stanza where you are filled with hate. No doubt, there is a razor's edge between love and hate, but the present tense for these feelings, how you've written it, seems to clang rather than ring.

I think it is a simple fix with some past tense hatred...…


Your humble reader,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review of Future generation  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi,

Good. Here are few suggestions:
1. "Every day holds a memory to be made.." (The memories are yet to be made.)
2. "Every day holds a risk to take... (Similarly, risks are yet to come.)
3. Why should we be led to believe that every breath has a tear? (depressing thought)
4. Similarly, I'm turned off by the idea of smiles being connected to scars. You've already used the word "scar" earlier, and that is enough. Can you connect smiles with something positive, someting to look forward to? Or, maybe "Hurts will heal and we will smile..."
5. "But pain is nothing to keep us from living, if only for a little while.."
6. "lessons learned and scars embedded" seems so clinical
7. Similarly, "embodiment" seems formal....maybe "We are the memories we collected..
8. "We are the future" skip generation.
9. Delete "We are the future leaders" This is the first you've brought up the topic of leadership, and it seems out of place.


Although, I've provided you a lot of text, the ideas are simple. But, it is your poem.......


Enjoy,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hello... Poetry, poetry, how hard to critique,
Is it really
Or is my mind just weak?

I want to love your poem, but I'm struggling with why anyone would let their blind friend trip in the first place. Noble to see someone in need and let them trip? If I'm the blind person, I'm thinking about Star Trek: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."


Without the rhyme challenge, what do you want to convey? There are some lessons that can only be learned through experience, like a child learning that a stove is hot. No matter how much we want them to learn through instruction, they will eventually touch it.....never having to be told again. I feel like you're trying to write a variation on the theme...you want the person to experience need, so they will appreciate your steady hand. Only in this case, you're allowing the supposedly reliable hand to fail.


All this being said, I don't know what to suggest for your consideration. Maybe the best thing I can offer is my interpretation.....the knowledge that someone else may read it differently than you intended.


Regards,

David


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review of Breakups  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hmmmmm…...Have to say that this will be the first that I've ever reviewed a few opening lines with no other context. Here we go.....

First, you hook me with the snarky comment. I want to know what she said, what happend that make her snark. Next, (with tongue in cheek) I wonder what happended to her feet. How, exactly is she mobile, if she's dragging her feet? Did she throw a rope around them, rotten and ragged, and drag them as she wheeled herself in her wheelchair? What is she going to do with her feet when she gets to the car? (Ok, you get the point.)


Next, why should I wonder whether she would miss you, whether she would cry? You've introduced nothing so terrible to make the reader think this iss the end of a relationship.

Fix the two things above, and the last sentence can stand as is.

All said, again, you have intrigued me with what you're imagining.....tighten it up.

Happy writing,

David

P.S. Opinions are free, and you need to test mine, think it through for yourself, before you take the advice.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review of Free  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (5.0)
So true! Cats own everything, time, people, attention,.... You captured "Cat." Of course, what you didn't capture is the cat mentality. Watch an episode of "Rick and Morty." Cats think like Rick.


Great job!


The Jackster


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19
19
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.0)
I like it. So true. One thing that you might consider. Finish the contrast you started with the leaf. You say that confidence built on ignorance is a leaf easily blown. So, what is confidence built by failure? Maybe the oak that bends and sways but never gives way. I was ready for that image, but was left jarred by a dream becoming rational belief. But, that's just me and my mental ears. ;)

The Jackster


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20
20
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.0)
I get it, and I like the message. More people should think like you do. But, #2 strikes me a bit off key. Maybe if we loved ourselves more, we would change rather than remain the same. I think the rest of your points are pointing out the changes that occur when we do take care of ourselves. Maybe you have something else in mind, and if so, maybe you could word it such that the idea of remaining the same is not confused with positive change.

Regards,

Jack


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21
21
Review of The Quest  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.0)
Ok, so let's just be friends. No, not those dreaded words. And, you mean you really like Derick better than me?! Noooooooo! Great poem. Only one small consideration....If I'd only fallen for this girl for a few "days gone by" I'm not sure I would have found myself worshipping her. Is there some way to give an idea of a greater, more reasonable, passage of time that would lead to the final despair? I'm not going to despair over someone I've only known a few days.


Have a great day.....


Jack


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22
22
Review of RUNNING SCARED  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.0)
I like the poem. Clearly sad, depressing, at a loss for understanding. There is one thing that I would ask you to consider, but this is your poem..... My heart is breaking for you as I read the first three stanzas. When I get to the fourth, however, I get a discordant jolt from the image of a rainbow in the sky coupled with an echo in the next line. Rainbows evoke happiness, promises. I would have been "Fantastic!" if you had referenced your pieces swept away by some river in a canyon of loneliness where echoes would be expected. Just a happy thought..... ;)


Jack


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23
23
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi,

Technically, the writing is good, but I have two comments for you to consider, the easier one first:

1) The piece has the feel of a Wikipedia entry. If that is what you were trying to achieve, you did it.

2) You make a bold claim without acknowledging someone like Tom Brady. I was a Joe Montana fan back in the day, and I would have held the same opinion 20 years ago. Now, I think I've lived to see someone better, and I think there are many people like me. Therefore, for me to take your piece seriously, I need to see you make the case for Montana in light of Brady's achievements. I would be interested in reading a compelling argument comparing and contrasting those two. Otherwise, without acknowledging someone who has a comparable record, your piece reads like that of a die-hard fan boy who holds irrational devotion no matter who rivals your hero.

Regards from an old Montana fan,

The Jackster


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24
24
Review of Gold Mining  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello,

Great words of wisdom. I true, and I assume it is, then you were blessed. I have only three "polishing" comments. Look back through you piece and think about where you might put a comma around the word "but." Also, I would move the first four sentences of your last paragraph to the end of the previous paragraph. The move will make for a better transition between what happened that day when your mother complimented the woman and your future contemplation. Finally, punctuation....last paragraph, first sentence (one of the ones to move)....

"Thank you," she said timidly.

Good piece of work.....

Merry Christmas,

The Jackster


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25
25
Review of Lost Love Found  
Review by Jack Stone
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello,

I like the effort you put into your writing. Overall, it is technically correct. You have few grammatical errors. (I would have added a few commas in some places, maybe after the introductory clauses of your first two sentences.) What's left to criticize (constructively)? Style. I recommend you go back through your piece and try to eliminate 50% of your prepositional phrases. No doubt, some are needed, but many only take the shine off vibrant writing.

Merry Christmas!

The Jackster


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