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Review Requests: ON
375 Public Reviews Given
378 Total Reviews Given
Review Style
My review style will change to conform to the needs of the work. If I find no grammatical issues, I move onto something else, and I will always key on requested aspects of the piece per the author's instructions.
I'm good at...
Helping with descriptive phrasing, less capable in the realm of grammar, but always aspire to be honest yet polite. I feel that those who concentrate on criticizing are compensating for something, which is lacking in themselves.
Favorite Genres
SciFi, Fantasy, Horror, Country, and almost anything else I'm asked to do.
Least Favorite Genres
X rated. Other than that, I haven't met one yet.
Favorite Item Types
Short Story, Novel chapters, etc.
Least Favorite Item Types
Poems, because I know very little about that art. However, I am very willing to give my impression of a poem. I just make no promises as to how helpful it will be.
I will not review...
X rated or anything over a rating of 18+
Public Reviews
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76
76
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.5)
jonblair,

This is a great story, however, one suggestion would be to break up the HUUUMUNGOOOUUUS paragraph in the middle. You have captured several thoughts in this one paragraph and by breaking it up you: 1. Give the reader a chance to catch his breath. 2. Separate the different streams of thoughts into individual packages for consumption. 3. Give the reader a chance to catch his breath. (Yeah, I repeat myself often, if not frequently or even continually. And yeah, I'm even more guilty of this transgression than you are.) The below is only a suggestion and doesn't change anything as far as wording, impact, or substance.

*****

"What the hell?" I yelled out loud. I was in north(ern) Oregon and had slowed to navigate a sharp, round curve in the highway. A soft blue pulsating light, about two miles ahead and on the other side of a hill seemed to appear out of nowhere. I was a little 'zoned out' to begin with, considering my time behind the wheel and miles I had already driven. I slowed my vehicle, a 1968 Ford Mustang.

As I slowly completed the curve in the road and straightened my car, the soft blue pulsating light I previously noticed was now an intense, pulsating blue/white light, round to oval in shape with a distinctive humming sound. It was hovering approximately fifty feet off the ground, over a space devoid of any trees, brush or other vegetation. The craft appeared to be rotating in a clockwise direction, or giving the illusion it was rotating. My best description was that it looked almost identical in appearance and size to the interplanetary vessel from the movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still," except it was silvery in appearance, like stainless steel."

Then it happened. The stationary craft moved in an instant over the road and directly in front of my car. I stopped. The ship then advanced slowly toward me, and to avoid contact I turned and drove to my right off the road and onto the spot the UFO had previously occupied. I turned my car around to face the highway and the unidentified object. I was attempting to position myself so I could put the 'pedal to the metal' at my first opportunity, but the UFO moved again in my direction, blocking any escape route. It then slowly descended, coming to rest on the ground approximately twenty(-)five feet in front of my mustang."

Over the next several minutes, the pulsating lights dimmed, the humming sound slowly faded. Finally, the rotation stopped(,) and an opening became visible. The UFO appeared to spit(split?) in a straight line all the way from its apex to its bottom ridge, with a ramp appearing, only smaller and steeper than in the movie I previously mentioned."

The cold was no longer an issue. The combination of adrenaline and fear soon had me perspiring, beads of sweat forming on my forehead. I remember turning off the car's heater. It was difficult to think straight, or even think logically."

I finally reached down under the right front seat of my mustang. I grabbed a handgun I carried with me whenever I was in unfamiliar territory, except this time I was scared out of my wits, and definitely not ready to be a captive, or worse, their guinea pig - not even their well treated 'guest'. Yes, I had read and heard about alien 'abductions' and the stories about what they do to their captive humans. I had absolutely no desire to be their next 'victim.' I wasn't going anywhere without a fight."

I sat there, my heart pounding, waiting for one or a group of extraterrestrials to walk down that ramp. I was going to blow its (or their) head(s) clean off at even the slightest hint of hostility or foul play. What else could I do? I was trapped. Personal cell phones were not available to the public at that time. I couldn't call anyone for help. I waited for what felt like an eternity for someone, some being, or some life form to exit that ship, but nothing happened. When I couldn't stand it any longer, I opened the car door and stepped out. It was time, one way or the other, to end this."

With my gun in hand, I stood directly in front of the saucer's ramp no more than twenty-five feet away. And then something totally unexpected happened. The ramp began to disappear, followed by the opening in the ship closing as seamlessly as it had opened. Simultaneously, the pulsating lights began to flash brighter, the humming resumed as if the UFO was powering up its propulsion system. Instinctively I began to slowly step backward, past my vehicle and well away from the energized vessel."

The ship rose steadily until it was above the surrounding trees, then accelerated at an angle of approximately sixty degrees at an astonishing rate of speed. In the blink of an eye it was out of sight, and I just stood there, now in the dark, and totally bewildered."

I finally walked back to my car, placed the gun back under the seat, and left. I never stopped in south(ern) Oregon. I was in no frame of mind at that time to enjoy a visit with anyone, not even a good friend. I continued on to Eureka in Northern California before checking into a hotel and sleeping the remainder of the day. I wouldn't have slept a wink had I not been so mentally and physically exhausted. When I finally reported back aboard the Enterprise, I just kept my mouth shut. No one would have believed me, anyway."

(*****)

I think this is a fantastic story, and after reading it, I believe it to be a true story. Is it? If not, you captured and reflected realistic reactions to a truly abnormal occurrence. Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.
77
77
Review of Hunger Pangs  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Angus,

Saw this on Second Time Around contest and had to read it. This story caught my attention from the beginning and didn't let go of me until "no complaints from its stomach." You have a great talent for capturing the reader's full attention and holding it throughout the story.

The only thing I saw that might help it is this: "Tonight would be their last night up here ‘roughing it’." You might remove "up here" since you don't indicate what being "up here" is all about. What I mean is it might be pertinent if "They had come to the mountains to camp because of the beautiful view" and then later said "up here." I mean it is innocuous enough and doesn't hurt anything, but that was just the only thing I found to complain about and I'm really not complaining. Just trying to help in my own clumsy way.

You have done a wonderful job in writing this piece and I hope you win the contest.

You friend,

Dennis (jdennis)

78
78
Review of Writer's Block  
Review by jdennis
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
cliffjack,

This is hilarious. You had me until almost up to the end. Of course, I realized what probably went on when "Mom" was "helping Mr. Kates move furniture." I didn't know how pornographic it would turn out to be. Thanks for your decorum. I have always believed that a simple inference is better than an overt "slap" of reality and you still got your message across. Probably more so than if you had spelled it out, with me anyway. Because my imagination is raunchy and that would have really shocked me.

I found no obvious issues with grammar or wording and your writing style is definitely engaging. Please keep it up and I'll keep reading."WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

This is a really wonderful short-short. I hope you won the contest. If not, you should have.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
{#2187984}

79
79
Review of Your move  
Review by jdennis
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Lilindi,

This is a sad experience that we all go through or have gone through in life. You have expressed it well in your poem and I congratulate you on the accomplishment. You seem to have a knack for capturing emotion with words. I hope you continue and let us see the results.
Welcome to Writing.com! I hope to see more of your work in the future. "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.
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jdennis
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
80
80
Review by jdennis
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Kenzie,

This is the happiest story I have read in a long time. It is an allegory for everyone who is looking for their better half. I think we all go through this in life. Not many people have been fortunate enough to find their perfect match with ease. I vaguely remember my younger years and the worries that I would be cursed forever, alone and lonely, but I found my light or my saucer. I think everyone can identify with your lovely fable. "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

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jdennis
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
81
81
Review of Unremarkable  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
lollycrow,

This is a wonderfully enchanting, mystical story about a chance meeting with a mysterious and desirable character in a dark alley. The writing is spot-on in almost every way. You pulled me into the story with an inviting introduction to the main character and the circumstances bringing her into the setting. Your descriptions of this setting were realistic and you painted a perfect image of where you wanted me to be. Your dialogue was crisp, realistic, and appropriate for the story.

I found only a couple of grammatic issues: "His voice sent my spine tingling." I believe there should be a hyphen in spine-tingling unless you meant to say "...set my spine to tingling." or "sent a tingle down my spine."

Also, "In spite of myself, I kept walking toward him too." I don't believe the "too" is necessary, although that may just be my preference.

Of course, these are nit-picks and are meant for your consideration, not your immediate action.
I found your story engaging from the beginning to the end. Your writing style crisp, concise, and your descriptions are involving to the point of capturing the reader inside the story. "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.
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jdennis
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
82
82
Review by jdennis
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Beautiful XOXO,

The first thing that I noticed, which may help you in your quest to create a better story, is the fact that you tend to use some very long sentences. As you can tell, I'm also guilty of that. As an example, take your first paragraph. It consists of 199 words in only 4 sentences. That is almost 25 words per sentence. That is not a bad thing, it is just something you don't want to do continually.

Why? Your reader needs a pause for several reasons. I've had it explained to me as, "the reader needs to take a breath." Try reading your own work both ways. Take this first paragraph, read it, then break it into shorter sentences saying the same thing, and see how it reads.

Example: Emily is a 16-year-old girl whose been in Abbot House orphanage for as long as she can remember. She’s always been curious about the past life she was too young to remember much about. All Emily can remember is small bits and pieces of the beautiful women stroking her hair back from her forehead and singing her a lullaby as she slowly drifts off to sleep, or laughing moments with the mystery women she believes is her mother in the front yard of a house she doesn’t remember a single detail about. She’s been an orphan for 11 years now and after having her curiosity get the better of her she root through her files on her past she knows she has a mother out there in the world still alive and is more determined than ever to find her and find out the reason why she was given up. She has to figure out where she’s going to start and go from there because she knows that no matter how desperate she may be to find her long lost mother she needs somewhere to start and her desperation won’t be enough to get her that start she needs.

Rewrite: Emily is a 16-year-old girl whose been in Abbot House orphanage for as long as she can remember. She’s always been curious about her past life. She was too young at the time, so she is unable to remember much about now. All Emily remembers small bits and pieces with a beautiful woman, stroking her hair off her forehead. And the same woman sang her lullabies while she slowly drifted off to sleep. There were laughing moments too when the mysterious woman, whom she believed was her mother, stood in the front yard of a house. However, she doesn’t remember a single detail about the house.

She’s been an orphan for 11 years now and after having her curiosity get the better of her, she rooted through records from her past life. She knows she has a mother out there who is still alive, and she is more determined than ever to find her. Emily is compelled to find out the reason why she was given up. She has to find out. So she’s going to start with those files because she has nowhere else to look. If Emily fails, she will search for another place from which to begin. Her desperation won't allow her to quit, so she will continue her search no matter what.

*****


I know I took liberty in a few areas, but that is only to give some examples of alternative wording. I mention this to bring up something that most beginning writers overlook. A good writer is miserly with their words. Choose carefully. Don't repeat words in the same sentence or even the same paragraph if you can help it and try to construct simple sentences. The easier it is to read what you write, the more readers you will have.

You made a shift in P.O.V. in the story, and you denoted that by labeling it. That is fine, but it's not something you must do. You can simply denote a shift in the story with separations between paragraphs like (*****) where the change begins and again when it ends if necessary.
Now all of these are structural habits that you will come to use. You will probably become proficient in their use, judging by what I have seen in the rest of your story. After your shift in P.O.V. character, you begin to tell a compelling story. Judging by the rest of the story, you have a gripping tale to tell. So please, don’t be disheartened by my review. It is intended to assist you in developing good habits, nothing more. The above is not the opinion of an expert. I am not an editor, and I have only been published very few times.

This site, however, is filled with individuals who are just like you, beginning on a quest. There are also writers here who are well published, and editors who know what magazines and book publishers are looking for. So you made an excellent choice in coming to Writing.com to learn.

As for myself, I am always available to assist in any way that I can.
Thank you for writing this and letting me read it. "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

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jdennis
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
83
83
Review of New  
Review by jdennis
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
BeautifulXOXO,
You asked this question in this posting:

"I just want more people to be able to see my writing so that i can have more people give me their opinion because I don't really have a reader's point of view on my own writing so I don't know what they see when they read it. I need to know what kind of direction I need to either keep going with or change too. I feel like not enough people are seeing it through to really get the opinion's I need."

I would like to help you if you would let me. Let me use this example: There are two types of drivers, drivers who know the road they travel, and drivers who travel a highway they are unfamiliar with. The first driver comes upon a driveway, the end of which juts from a thick stand of trees. That driver slows as he approaches the driveway for fear that someone coming down it may not stop and inadvertently enter the road in front of him. The second driver knows the road and the neighborhood. Therefore, he knows Tom, who lives at that address. He also knows Tom is not married, has no children, and no one else lives at that address. Tom always leaves for work at seven in the morning and the driver is passing his house at nine in the morning, so he speeds on by the driveway.

Now, what you are thinking is, "What the heck does that have to do with writing." Well, it's quite simple. Inexperienced writers seldom see the problems with their own writing. That is why you wrote the above question, asking for help. People on this site will be glad to review your work and give you advice. But the best way to understand the pitfalls of your own work is to read and review the writings of others. Travel the road that is unknown to you. Become familiar with that road by studying its hazards and its beauty.

Here, on Writing.com, reading other people's work serves more than one purpose. You see the mistakes that others make and become familiar with them. Eventually, you will be able to spot those same mistakes in your own writing. Another perk of reviewing other people's work is that some will return the favor by reading and reviewing your work. You will also learn from many of those critics. Finally, you will be exposed to a wide variety of talent in the field of writing, from the beginner to the professional. That exposure will help you to recognize those qualities that each of them has in common with your work.

So, my advice is to utilize the range of talent on this site to build your experience by reading and reviewing other's works. You will make friends, build relationships that will help you grow as a writer, and I believe you will enjoy the experience. Learn from your experiences. That knowledge will guide you for a lifetime.

Thank you for being so inquisitive. I will read and review your other posting as well, although it may take me a day or so. "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

jdennis
84
84
Review of Street Lights  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.5)
NorahMae,

After I began reading this poem, a thought crawled up my spine to reveal that I was intruding into a very private moment. A moment filled with angst, loss, and monotonous actions shrouding empty, wakeful thoughts. Emptiness in a world mostly in their dreams and only the sleepless, crawling through the night. You have a talent for capturing emotion, intense emotion, and you have used it well in this rendition. Keep writing and I'll keep reading. "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
85
85
Review by jdennis
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
atiya,

This is an emotional rendition filled with loss and yet hope for the future. I like it when both coexist in a poem because one without the other is the worst heartache one can experience. When I come across that, I am at a lose for words. "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
86
86
Review of After the Flood  
Review by jdennis
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Dadikus,

You have certainly experienced a torrent and depicted it well in this story. As a would-be writer I assimilate your thoughts. As a reader, I am in awe of the way you have captured an experience that most of us see as the trailing edge of a dream, and usually forget when it slips into oblivion. Your wording is eloquent, precise and captures the reader's attention until the very end of an experience to remember. I hope very much to see more of your writing here on writing.com. "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
87
87
Review of A Study in Grey  
Review by jdennis
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Madeleine,

Wow, this story grabs the reader quickly and drags them through a horrifying tale of, well, HORROR. I believe this is a rough draft, and you will need to go back through the story for grammar, some punctuation, and a few small wording issues, but the story itself is fantastic. If you need some assistance with this, I'll be glad to help. However, the quality of the story's content and depiction is something I don't believe you need any help with.

I don't normally write in the Horror genre, but I have read my share of Steven King and a few other authors in that genre. Therefore, I appreciate the qualities this story possesses. So I want to encourage you to keep going with this story to bring it to completion.

Again, if there is anything I can do to help or if I can help you to become acquainted with Writing.com, let me know. There are many great sources of help and information on this site and I encourage you to explore and utilize them all."WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
88
88
Review of The incident.  
Review by jdennis
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
rinsoxy,

I really like this short story, rinsoxy. It is quick, holds many punches, rings true to life, and resolves in a most satisfying way. You surprised me with the ending. I thought she was going to leave him, I think most women would have. But the poor old dummy rescued the evening and the rest of HIS life by having the foresight to do the right things to make the evening a success.

I saw no issues as far as grammar, word choice or so on, but I really didn't expect to. As always, though, you might reread and check it yourself as I am no expert.

I think this is the second or third contest that I have entered, which you have also entered an item in, so either I am following you or we both think alike. I think you have outdone me again in this contest, but I will keep trying. So watch in your dust because I will be there, I guess. "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

I hope you win because this is a terrific little story with a great punch at the finale.

Good luck,

jdennis
89
89
Review of Kirya and Nero  
for entry "Prologue
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Sorry this is so long, but I couldn't figure out how else to do it. I didn't change any content in your prologue because I thought the content was perfect. I simply changed wording in some areas where I thought you might find more impact with some slight changes. Just suggestions. I found nothing structurally incorrect, just looked to increase the impact of your wording.

I did find an absence of attribution throughout the piece. Which can be an issue in first chapters and especially in the Prologue because the reader is still trying to find their footing and familiarity with your style of writing. As the story progresses, you can be more lax with attribution. Especially within Action sequences, where quick transitions are integral to the progression of the action. However, early in the novel, attribution is important to keep the reader aware of who is doing and saying what.

You have an interesting story going here. My first reaction was to keep reading a make comments on the substance, but as I read, I couldn't help but to correct areas where I saw much potential. Like I said, you have a really good story going here. I know editors will correct most of these issues, but you will have a better chance of getting this published if you take care of the issues before you submit. At least on your first attempt at getting published.

I look forward to reading the rest of the story and will let you know what I think of each as I progress.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
90
90
Review of Why Nine?  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is great. Sounds like "Govermint" mentality to me. They know how to get thin's organized. If you don't believe me, just look at how well OUR govermint is working (not)these days. Nine sounds like a logical number to me. Especially if that's all that fits.

jdennis
91
91
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
Zatykhan,

Your philosophy is solid. You reveal a mind that thinks, I believe, beyond your years with an surprising understanding of others in the world around you. You either utilize a stark new adaptation in a writing style or you need to practice. However, what you have to say is beautiful, so keep writing. I want to read more so I will be visiting your site, recommending it to others and adding you to my favorites list.

If there is anything I can do to help you, please feel free to ask. I'm ready to offer what help I have. I'm available to assist in rewrites, editing, but let me assure you that you need no help with originality. Those who don't see that are not looking close enough.

Your friend and fan,

jdennis
92
92
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
Damian and Holy,

You have created a very imaginative and wonderfully written children's short story in "The Friendship Between Damian and the Bear," and I would like to congratulate you on that accomplishment. Children's stories are probably the most challenging undertakings for any author due to the nature of the audience. Children are finicky and hard please and to entertain for a lengthy duration of time. Your story is succinct, precise, and contains all the aspects of a tale, which young ones will appreciate.

My only two suggestions for edit would be the following:

1. "Thank you for breakfast, I was starving and it was delicious. You are a kind, considerate boy. So yes, you have my permission to hike along my trails, fish in my river and sing(--quietly.)" Just to emphasis "quiet" as stated in the note.

2. "Then he left the wagon beneath a large tree by the main road(.)"

Thank you so much for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
93
93
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Wow! You caught me off guard with that ending. Great job. I guess "You have been warned," in bold letters, was the prompt? I hope you won, because if you didn't, I definitely want to read the story that beat this one.

Only one suggestion: "It looks like a ball with an upside-down saucer stuck to the bottom." Your tense slips here, might I suggest: "It looked like a ball with an upside-down saucer stuck to the bottom." or "It appeared to be an upside-down saucer stuck to the bottom." Of course, your imagery here is strong without a change. This entire story reveals your mastery of that talent.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
94
94
Review of Dear Me  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
Angus,

You need to listen to yourself sometime. After all,it sounds like you're the only one you have. Well, you do have me. At least, you have me reading what you write. Well, I might not understand all of it, but I still recognize all the words or most of them anyway. You gave me some advice once,"Submit some stories to..." and I'm going to do that this year. Why don't you submit too and maybe you won't have to get a job. Just work from home and hire someone to come in and clean.

jdennis

If you want to return the favor for the above wisdom read this short-short-----

 Tomorrow Now  (E)
Could this be our ultimate fate?
#2209283 by jdennis
95
95
Review of Tea Time  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Reads complete to me. And you kept "me" attention from opening line to "close" of story. You've obviously done this before. I mean, writing a short story, not flushing the "finger." Gulp! "I hope."

Great short story, wonderful character portrayal,complete structure (opening,middle and end), and satisfying afterthought on the part of the reader. (No gas)

Good job! No reward! You have accomplished the task.

jdennis
96
96
Review of Dude!!!  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
I like this story. I was always the big brother. It is hard to image a little brother doing this, but you brought it home for me in this wonderfully surprising and even shocking short story. Excellent work. I found only one small mistake that most people probably won't see: you would "cock" the "hammer" on a gun, not the trigger. However, that minor faux paw fits your story because a young boy probably wouldn't possess that knowledge.

I enjoyed your story very much.

Thank you for writing this short story, and for letting me read it.

jdennis
97
97
Review of Poor Muppett  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
A touching story. We have dogs and I can imagine the pain expressed in the main character of your story. I guess that means I belong to your target audience. I hope you win the contest. But if you don't, please don't give up because you have talent and that will bring you the prize soon.

I will return to your portfolio to rummage through your works at a later date. Today, I prepare for the upcoming New Year and all the opportunities it will most certainly offer.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
98
98
Review of The Snowflake  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
The Snow Flake

*****This is quite a mind-opening story. The subject matter is quite intriguing. I believe the process you write about here is CAR-T cell therapy in which mitochondria from a donor are placed in cells of a patient, and over time a new genetic structure actually replaces the original genetic structure in the replicated cells. You have utilized this process in a unique manner in the telling of this enthralling tale. Are you going to expand upon the premise in a broader context? I know you said in your email that this story was for a contest on this site. However, you could take this story past the horrible word count restrictions these contests always impose. If you do, I would be interested in reading the results.

I obviously included some grammatical observations below. I am sure you already knew about their existence and would have corrected them upon your rewrite. Also, I think the ending needs some work. I think I see what you are getting at concerning the snowflakes and the blankets of snow. The main character's genetic changes transformed him into something different than what he was in the beginning. Like the individual flakes of snow piling atop the cars, masking them, yet maintaining their shape under a blanket of white. I believe you can create something memorable if you work a little at the ending of this story. These few suggestions are all that I could find to comment on. This is a very good story, and I wish you luck in the contest.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

Dennis

P.S. Please see below for a few grammatical issues where all of my suggestions are in parenthesis. I apologize for reprinting the entire story, but I couldn't think of any other way to include the issues in a more economical manner.



Dan stood outside his brownstone and stared up at the falling snow. The cars parked along the street wore their coats of white until their owners came out to sweep them clean.

A snowflake landed on his eyelash and he thought about how unique each flake was formed. All of them falling, collecting, stacking one on top of another until there was no definitive flake. Only the piles of white stuff that would eventually be trampled by boots, tires, scraped into trucks and hauled away.

Stuffing his gloved hands into the pockets of his wool overcoat(,) he headed to meet a reporter at the Blue Moon Cafe. As he maneuvered his steps he still thought about all the snowflakes his boots disintegrated, obliterating them in his wake. Soon he would be like them. Everything he started out as was gone.

Entering the cafe he searched the faces for the woman who'd sent him the email along with her picture. None looked like her. He accepted a booth near the back next to the window. He wanted to watch the snow fall(snowfall).

"Mr. Minks? Daniel Minks?" A woman's confident voice interrupted his thoughts.

He looked up to see a statuesque woman wrapped in a bright red wool coat (,which) she was in the process of removing. Under it(,) her brown hair danced in the air from the static electricity the action caused. She wore a sweater dress over black tights or those leg things women wore now days(nowadays). Her boots were fur(-)lined and serviceable instead of stylish.

He'd stood when she called his name and he'd taken her coat to hang next to his on the hook next to their booth. "It's good to meet you Ms. Regan. Did you have any trouble getting here?" He pressed his lips closed to keep from blathering.

She smiled and her lips parted to reveal white teeth. A squint in the corners of her eyes showed it was a true smile not the artificial ones he'd been used to.

" Please call me Tori. It was fine. I took a taxi over. It's not far, that's why I picked it. Half way(Halfway) between your place and my work." She'd pulled a leather notebook and fountain pen from her bag as she spoke, unscrewing the cap. "Now I am very interested in what you had to tell me over the phone. I already called the Doctor, whose name you'd given me(,) and he sent over the DNA explanation." She looked at her notes. "He did tell me he had to withhold some details as he was writing this up for publication."

"I'm sure he would. He's a great guy and deserves to get acclaims for this research. This is just my story. What happened to me can happen to anyone."

A wait person(waitperson) stopped to take our order. Neither of us looked at a menu and none had been offered. Asking for suggestions, they took their cue from her and placed their order. When she'd left(,) Tori took a sip from her water goblet and asked. "Who are you?"

I paused. This was going to be a hard story to tell. "I'm glad you have Doctor Bream's reports. What do they say? What do you know?"

Again she looked at her notebook and then at him. He felt her eyes look into his soul or was it somewhere else? He let his gaze lower to the table where he pressed creases into the napkin.

"You got a bone marrow transplant six years ago. You work for a forensic lab and have your own DNA from swabs and blood on file. My guess is you aren't going to be committing any crimes."

He felt(the warmth of) her smile before he looked up to see it. He needed a life, if just looking at this woman he'd never met was affecting him. Maybe it was his new DNA? He almost smiled.

She continued after his nod. "You and your colleagues talked about the possibilities of chimeraism." She paused and waited for his(him) to look at her. "I had to look that up. At first(,) I didn't get the comparison. It took some explaining from your doctor. You have two DNA blood types in your body."

"Not really. My DNA has been almost totally replaced by my donor's blood DNA."

"How could that even happen?"

"Think about it. I have weak blood and I need fresh blood to strengthen mine. Since I had leukemia(,) I looked for a marrow donor and we found one. After the transplant, I had that donors blood transfusions. It didn't take long. We tested by(my) blood before and after. I no longer have the DNA I was born with." he stopped. Their food arrived.

Dan wasn't really hungry any more(anymore). The conversation had obliterated all thoughts of food. When he'd seen the results of the test his mind couldn't conceive the ramifications of what had happened.

"So if you sent your DNA into one of the data bases(databases), you'd no longer be related to the family or tree you'd been born to." She held her pen poised above the page.

He'd just nodded. "Had you already had a DNA sent in to(into) one of them?"

Again he nodded. "I did. I got a profile and matches to family all over."

"What if you did it again?" Her expression showed true interest and curiosity.

"It would come back that I'm related to my donor's family. The markers match his DNA exactly."

"Like you're twins?"

"No. We have gene differences. Even my chromosomes are different."

"Wow(,) this is amazing."

"You're telling me." This time he picked up the toasted brushcetta(bruschetta). The crusty texture and seasoned tomato tasted good. When had he liked this food? Odd. He didn't remember ever ordering it. Yet when he saw it(,) he knew it would taste good.

"What other things have changed?"

He didn't know if he wanted to get into that. He took another bite and watched as she also ate. Seconds passed and she took a drink then looked at him, expecting an answer.

"My child will not have the same lineage I was born into."**( "You might clarify this sentence a little with something like this: "After my treatments, my children will not have the same lineage I was born into.")

Her fork dropped. She gulped and then began coughing. Apparently, she hadn't swallowed her drink. He started to get up but she waved him back to his seat. "I'll be fine," she wheezed.

He waited while she got her breathing under control. She leaned across her plate, her expression serious. "That means your next child wouldn't be a match to any child you had before this. Are you married?"

"I'm a widower and I have a daughter." Dan dipped bread into the oil and vinegar dish between them and bit off a piece.

"I'm sorry. How awful." He watched her face as she made a horrified expression.

"I am the same person. My personality, my likes and dislikes are the same, so far." He didn't mention he hadn't like(d) the brushcetta before. "Who I am, based on my experiences, didn't change. Only the molecular(genetic) make-up inside my body has changed."

"How do you feel about that?"

"At first, as horrified as you looked a moment ago." He smiled at her.

"I'm sorry. I seem to be saying that a lot. I-apol-ah, never mind. Did you seek help to deal with your acceptance?"

"Not really. I talked to my coworkers about it since they're forensic specialists and understand that aspect. I talked a lot. It probably helped more than I realized until now."

"Do you have any fears going forward?" She slipped into reporter mode.

Dan relaxed a bit,(. or ;) this conversation was easier to deal with than the emotional reaction. "I don't know. It's all still a bit new. As I said, who I am is the same."

"So far." She raised her eyebrows at him in question.

He gave a bit of a nod to one side. "True."

Her phone buzzed somewhere in her bag. She looked at him.

"Go ahead and answer it." He looked at the snow piled on the cars parked along the curb, (t)They were the exact same as those parked outside his house. The outline of the snow followed the car's detail. The flakes lost their unique formation as they piled on top of each other, just like he was.
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Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Sean,

I would like to answer your main question first with a short answer. Yes. This story is definitely worth the time it will take to complete. You seem to have a knack for grasping current events and extrapolating them into a future setting. And you have done that well in what you have so far. I do have to say that I don’t believe you will be able to cram this story into the frame of a short story, however. Maybe a novella, probably a novel. There are too many plot lines to be resolved in a short work, but they are solid ingredients in this story, so I would not ignore any of them if I were you. You have an opening with a love affair and a possible romantic entanglement with his co-worker. You have the aspect of the government controls on knowledge and the doling out of that knowledge along with the restrictions on how a citizen may acquire such knowledge. You present the main character, who is in turmoil over his love life and aspects of his job, which are in conflict with his core values. You have only briefly exposed the reader to an underground movement in revolt of the controls placed on their world by the current leadership, and you left the reader dangling on the end of a thread concerning the main character's relationship with someone he is in love with. In my opinion, resolution is a long way from where you have left us as readers. There is a lot of plot to be resolved in what you have so far, but I believe it will be well worth completing. Especially after the work you have put into creating such a well fleshed out world and the intriguing characters you have introduced.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

Dennis
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Review of Doors of my Heart  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
SomaSilver,

This is a beautiful poem. You capture everyone's reluctance at embracing new love after, and before, the scars of an old love heal. Keep writing. They say "Time heals all," but does it without releasing the anger that pain brings after love turns empty?

I have enjoyed reading your work and look forward to reading more.

jdennis
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