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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/jerdixie
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39 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by writeaway
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I have always enjoyed mysteries and scary stories, well, not too scary! And I haven't read any in a while. But yours definitely had me breathing hard, with my eyes big and wide, sitting on the edge of my seat! The story was great. The old man Wyatt and his "crazy" talk of the trees (or not so crazy), the four teenagers in the wrong place at the wrong time. It started out a little bit slow for me, but then it began to build with Wyatt being killed by their truck. Then the trees began to come alive, being uprooted and seemingly gathering closer. I knew more was going to be happening, and this is when my breathing became harder and faster. Then it all began to happen fast -- the wrecked truck, the broken foot, the wolves, the teens splitting up. I pictured Michael and Sasha being surrounded by wolves (or surrounded by trees). And "they hate and they talk." That line was a bit unnerving! That actually could have been the title of the story. Then Kyle disappearing. And finally I could breath easier when Dana was in the hospital. Well, at least I could until she noticed the large oak outside her window! I guess what I'm saying with all this is that there was lots of action and lots of things to make this a great mystery and keep me properly spooked! It was kind of like the old Alfred Hitchcock movies. Not much if any blood and gore but lots of things to have you on the edge of your seat or hiding behind the couch until it was over!

There were some things that I had a hard time with while reading it. I knew the kids were not in a place they should be when they were at Wyatt's place. But it wasn't until I got to "next time pick an actually deserted place for us to party, willya?" that I understood what they were doing there. That was a good way down the story, so it might have been good to throw a hint or two out earlier so that part would make a little more sense.

It also took me a while to figure out that the kids were actually two different couples. And, maybe it was just me, but even when I got to the end of the story, I still was having a hard time remembering who was with who. I went back to the beginning and saw that Dana and Kyle were together. Maybe part of the problem was that as I read deeper into the story, the beginning where they are first put together as couples became a little hazy to me. Also, the names "Dana" and "Sasha" can be either a male or female name. So trying to keep straight if they were male or female while all the excitement was going on in the story was hard for me. Maybe not for other people, but maybe some who read it are like me. It might have been better to have those two names be female only names that I could remember easier. That would have helped me keep everyone sorted out! Toward the end when the couples separated, I had to go back and see who was with who. Anyway, just a thought that might make it easier to be able to absorb myself more into the story line rather than trying to remember the names.

I'm left wondering what happened to Michael and Sasha. Did the wolves attack them? Did they climb a tree to get away from the wolves? Although climbing a tree might not have been the smartest thing for them to do in this story! And what happened to Kyle? Maybe a continuation of this story is in order, with Dana getting out of the hospital and going to look for Kyle. And why was that tree outside the window? Possibly we can learn what happened to Michael and Sasha. And was Wyatt really dead? Or did they hit someone else who looked like Wyatt? Lots of possibilities!

All in all, I loved the story and found myself engrossed in it, wondering what was going to happen next. Thanks for a great story!



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of In Which I Obey  
Review by writeaway
Rated: E | (3.5)
I wanted to review your poem, because I, too, have a disability. It is such a true poem about how people tend to "walk all over" those with disabilities without even thinking about it. I know how frustrating it can be to feel like nobody cares. They can run or walk without a wheelchair. They can breath without oxygen. They have nothing to tie them down like we do. The worst for me is when they park in our parking spots. Do they not realize how hard it is for us to walk even a few extra car spaces to the front of the store? That can be so disheartening. For me, it buys me a few extra breaths as I walk in with my oxygen. Or don't they realize we can't get a wheelchair or walker in a regular bathroom stall? Usually when they come out of the stall and see me standing there with my walker, they realize what they have done and are a bit embarrassed. And they should be embarrassed!!

For me, I do find that most people are kind enough to open doors for me. I usually don't go anywhere without a friend or my aide, unless I have to. So that might be why it is not as hard for me. But it's not how I'm treated that keeps me from going out. It's how hard it is to take a bath and get dressed and walk to the car because of my breathing disability. It's the feeling of suffocating it gives me.

And though people who don't know me and aren't paying attention may be heartless at times, I have found that those who do know and love me have gone the second and third mile for me. My sons and my church family and relatives have shown me how my disability can bring out amazing love that I might not normally see but for my disability. I try to remember that during the discouraging times. My son, when he was 20-years old back in 2003 spent his senior year in college living with me for four months taking care of me, cooking for me, taking me to chemo, and taking his younger brother to and from school and band practice. And making us laugh for four months because he is just so funny! In doing that, he had to graduate a semester late. My close friend took me to the hospital in the late morning when I had 102+ fever, having come down with pneumonia, and she stayed there until 3 a.m. These things lift my spirits. They shine much brighter than the acts of those who do unkind or unthinking things. God shines through their deeds.

Your poem is very true, and I've seen such things time and time again. And though it may feel like it, it is not their right to use those bathroom stalls or those parking spots. They should be holding the door open for you. And they are not better than you. Because the way they treat you shows they are not using their brain in the better way. You see and know the better way. Hopefully they will figure it out some day.

But I'll bet if you think about the kindness that some people show to you, you will be able to write a different poem. One of love and hope and the good things in life that are there in spite of our hardships. The world is still yours to grab up and take like a golden apple. I know that my world is different than I thought it would be when I was younger, but there is good out there for me as well.

I noted one error, "your" instead of "you're". You might also want to check the punctuation at the end of each line. Did you mean for there to be no punctuation at the end of all but two or three sentences?

Hope this isn't too long-winded. Your poem really gave me lots ot think about. Thank you for sharing it.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by writeaway
Rated: E | (4.5)
I enjoyed reading that, and I chuckled throughout! You must be highly dedicated to still be running after all these years, including five years of unplanned events! I think you are more hopeful than hapless....hopeful that the next race won't have any unexpected incidents!

As for a review, I thought it was very well written. You kept me glued to the story (even more than the netting inside your shorts was glued to your thigh!), waiting to see what would happened next. I found what I thought were a couple of small errors. I looked up "percent/per cent" to see which was correct. Though "percent" is standard in American English, it can also be written as per cent. So your "per cent" is also correct, though I had never seen it written that way before. In "Calendar Malfunction", though, you do need to add a "?" after "Had he been jogging". Otherwise, it looked to be perfect!

Thank you for the wonderfully hilarious stories! Very enjoyable!
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Review of Tears For Two  
Review by writeaway
Rated: E | (4.5)
Well, you got me!! I was very sad, feeling your pain, when I began reading your story. How sad to lose two friends at once. Were they killed in a car crash? What had happened?

Then the farther along I got, I thought maybe it was your beloved dogs. When you moved, they moved with you. You even took them on the trip to California. "So close to your pets," I thought. When you said you had to kill one of them, I thought, "Well, one of the dogs died, and the other dog was near death, so he had it put to sleep." I was convinced it was dogs. Even up till the time you were shoveling the dirt into the grave.

Then, you got me. I could almost hear you standing up, pointing your finger, and saying, "Gotcha!!" I never suspected that it was your shoes. Usually it's the women who love their shoes. But you must have gone through many a jog or baseball game or hike with those shoes. Every tear and every scuff mark pained your soul as it did their soles.

The story was told perfectly. You built up to the ending perfectly and never gave the ending away. It was just a great story. I cried to myself in the beginning and laughed at the end. There were a couple of punctuation errors, one where a comma should have been a semicolon, and one where a semicolon should have been a comma. I'll bet you will find them if you look (second and fourth paragraphs).

Thank you for a great read. And you know what, the more I think about it, I'll bet I was right about you burying dogs. I'll bet your shoes were Hush Puppies!!!

5
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Review by writeaway
Rated: E | (3.5)
What an interesting read! And I agree with what you say! Isn't it a shame that half of marriages fail? If there were 2,000,000 marriages in the U.S. in 2009, and half end in divorce, that means a million of them ended in divorce. How sad is that? Think of all the children from divorced, broken homes. My husband left me when my sons were 8 years and 6 months. Thankfully, they grew up to be wonderful young men, but this isn't true in so many cases. I agree with the reasons you said that marriages end. I would add to that the lack of commitment on the couple's part -- they go into marriage with the idea that if it doesn't work, they will just end it. I think another is just plain selfishness on the part of people, like, its my way or the highway. How do we stop the madness?

I love what you said about trying to make people conform to other people's ideas that they should get married. Most people will get married, but its not for everyone. You are so right that if you have to talk someone into getting marrying, its best to walk away. Not only that, but if you think you can change all their bad habits after marrying them, run away! It rarely happens!

There were several places where I thought some of the sentences could have been written a little better or where punctuation was left out. I'll just take this last paragraph and show you how adding the appropriate punctuation and rearranging some of the wording can make it easier to read:

When I saw a few days ago that one of the lead stories was George Clooney and Stacey Keibler breaking up, I thought to myself, "Why does this surprise people?" The woman is in her 30's, she wants a family I am sure, and George Clooney has no intentions to get married, at least that's what he has been saying for at least 10 years. I don't know why the lead story was not "Stacey Keibler Dodged a Bullet". She is not going to marry George Clooney, who doesn't want to get married by the way. She has a better chance of staying married to someone else rather than marrying George and then getting a divorce and possibly becoming a single mom. This is the way we need to start thinking about marriage, not "Poor Stacey Keibler. George wouldn't marry her." I want women to see the George Clooney Effect, believe what the man says, don't try to convince him of anything, and find someone who wants what you want.

These are just suggestions for you. I'm good at punctuation and grammar, so maybe this will help. Sometimes your sentences are a little long, and it might be better to make two sentences out of them and change the wording some. You can maybe compare my wording and punctuation in that paragraph to yours.

I thought it was a great blog with great things to say. You are definitely on the right track for having a really good and interesting blog!
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Review of Drown in tears  
Review by writeaway
Rated: E | (4.5)
Natechia,

I love your poem. I can feel your pain deeply, deep enough to bring back memories of my own pain from the past. I think the rewrite is very good.

I know your first line isn't a change, but that opening is so strong and emotional. Its like, no matter what you do, your pain just won't leave. I know personally that when you have such pain, you have to move on as though its not there, but it never goes away. What a great way to start your poem.

The change is great. Your tears show your loved ones the pain, so if you could get rid of them, they would be much less likely to see the pain that you have. Its hard to hide pain when tears are flowing. To me, this line shows that you don't just want to wipe them away. You want to go to great lengths by throwing them into a deep vast ocean where they never can come back to give your pain away. That's how this sentence made me feel.

There is one change I would make to the next to last sentence to make it more powerful an ending to the poem. I feel as though the phrase "all of this" is a little too indistinct and does not make for as strong an ending as it could be. Possibly if you changed that to "all my feelings", "my innermost feelings", "my deep anguish", or something like that. This summarizes everything you have already said in a much stronger way than just using the word "this". But, even if you don't change it, the poem is still very moving.

Thank you for sharing with me.

Jan
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Review of Rib-eye  
Review by writeaway
Rated: E | (4.5)
I absolutely love your story. When I got to the end and read what the book was she had written, I just smiled. I suppose if this is the first time she has given in to her desire to try meat, then she is really still a Victorious Vegetarian! She'd better chew some gum so no one smells it on her breath!! It was a great surprise ending to a story that was really well done. Ha, well done like the steak!! :)

There are several punctuation errors, but you can go back through and find those. Some missing commas mostly. "It's" should be "its". I also think that rib eye is normally two words instead of one. But aside from that, the story was wonderful!! Thanks for sharing.

Jan


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of I'm Fine  
Review by writeaway
Rated: E | (4.0)
Ronni,

I absolutely love your poem. And its so very true!! I can't tell you how many times I've said "fine" to the question, "How are you doing?"....."Oh, just fine." If I told the truth, I'd say, "Well, I'm not feeling well today. I didn't sleep but about 2 hours last night, and my legs are hurting again, and I'm worried about my job, and...and...and...!!" I think your poem will ring true with more people than you can imagine!

I love the phrase, "Fine is society's word for feelings." I can picture a small box with the word "fine" on it, and all my feelings are stuffed in that box. Its the only box I dare open to anyone.

The only part that maybe didn't fit in as well with the rest of the poem was the part about "weakness". The rest of the poem didn't talk so much about weakness as it did about it being a bother to tell someone the truth about your feelings instead of just saying "fine". You made great points throughout about how people don't want to hear all the problems you have, not so much that they think its a weakness of yours as they don't want to take the time out of their busy day to hear and then have to talk with you about your problems. "How are you" is just fluff, not true concern. Just a thought.

I don't know much about poetry. Your poem almost seems more like a story to me, but that's only because I'm not familiar with the different types of poems. But the message is wonderful. It most certainly struck home with me!

I look forward to reading more from you.

Jan


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Drown in tears  
Review by writeaway
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Natechia,

I found your poem and just had to respond to it. I'm assuming that you are or have suffered from depression. If that is the case, I know just how you feel because I have also suffered from major depression in the past. So your poem spoke personally to me. If I've misread your poem, then please let me know.

I read what you said about the poem, about how this is how you deal with being sick and how your family deals with me. That was my first prompt that it must be about depression. So few people understand that depression is an illness, though it is getting better.

The words you spoke in the poem about how you feel describe the feeling of depression perfectly. They are strong words that let people know about the intense pain:

"Pain has become my shadow" lets people know the darkness of depression. Its as though the pain hovers over you and won't go away. I used to say it was like a dark cloud had come over me and wouldn't go away.

"The enemy I battle" speaks of the fact that it IS a battle. Its a fight every day to just get out of bed, and I felt that with these words.

"Misery resides inside of me" speaks to the fact that this type of depression is not just sadness that comes around when something bad happens. Its here to stay during good times and bad. Its like the in-laws who come at Christmas and just stay forever!

A couple of things:

1) When you begin to talk about the people in your life, I wasn't sure your words explained it as well. I wasn't sure what you meant by "If only I could drown my tears". Did you mean "drown IN my tears"? Are you saying that you don't let others see you cry and try to hide your depression from people? And this: "Although I know if I showed you this side of me You would drown with me." Are you saying that if people knew how you suffered they would be there for you? That they really don't know? Possibly you could rewrite this part and add a little more to explain this better. Are they understanding? Or do they feel like you should "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps?"

2) I would take what you wrote about your poem, "This is a poem of how I deal with being sick and how my family view me being sick", and include the idea in your poem that depression is an illness. Its not just a feeling, but an illness like any other (diabetes, parkinsons, etc.). So few people understand that and this poem would be even more powerful if you included that idea as well.

Very powerful poem. The words you chose were so strong and described the pain perfectly. I felt the pain of depression deep within from times past as I read it, even though I have my depression under control now.

Oh, I have a couple of poems that talk about my depression as well. I'd love for you to read them. You would really relate to "This World How It Seems" I believe.

Thanks for this poem.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by writeaway
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I must say that I really enjoyed this story! Is this part of a novel, maybe the first chapter? If not, you should expand your thoughts into a book. Maybe have Kate going back home to say goodbye before she returns to the small town. And at some point she could go to her grandmother's house, or even come back in contact with her mother or finally meet her father. There's the relationship with Brady you could talk more about. She and Evie are already friendly, but how about James? I'd like to know why he's so quiet. There are endless possibilities with your story line.

There were a few little grammar and punctuation areas that need changes, but I'm sure you can go back through and read the story and find those.

The one area that I thought needs the most work is the amount and choice of adjectives you use. I know adjectives are important to paint a picture of the characters and surroundings. But sometimes I felt like there were too many put in that weren't really needed as well as possibly using a different adjective for the one you used. For example, "beads of sweat populating my forehead" might sound better using "trickled" instead of "populated." Instead of "over the washboard road" maybe say "over the bumpy road" and then say something like, "It was as though I was traveling over an old washboard." Or just leave it at "bumpy." "The rain slacked off to a sparse drizzle" could just be "slacked off to a drizzle", since drizzles usually are sparse so it is repetitive to use that adjective.

There were times when I felt like you used too many adjectives one after the other. For example. I looked online for examples of using too many adjectives, and found this:

"After a few readings, you'll be able to find the extraneous words. It's like picking weeds. Too many adjectives lead to breathless sentences, like someone above mentioned:

The glistening orange fruits shimmered in the radiant morning sun, hanging from the skeletal branches like plump, juicy ornaments.

The above is how my first drafts look, because I tend to be "over inspired", if that makes any sense. I'm exploring the images that brought me to the story and putting them on paper. Later on, I'll come back through with a lawnmower."

I thought what this said explained it real well. I felt overcome with adjectives several times. Someone else said that if you notice the adjectives, that probably means too many are being used. Here's a link to the site where I found all this: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php...

I hope this was helpful. I really did enjoy the story very much and was wishing when it was over, well, that it wasn't over!! Keep writing!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
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Review of Strike You  
Review by writeaway
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello David,

I was drawn to your poem when I saw it was concerning bipolar disorder. I also have bipolar disorder, so your poem really spoke to me. As I read it, I could relate to almost everything your wrote in the poem. I love how the poem reaches out and makes people aware of what bipolar is and isn't. People truly do not understand depression and bipolar, and this poem helps educate them in the words of the sufferer. Your examples of what bipolar is and isn't are very well thought out and speak a message that needs to be heard.

I love that each stanza begins with a short description of what bipolar is: disorder, disease, condition, illness. This grabbed my attention and set the stage for a further description of the truths and untruths of bipolar disorder. The repetition of each of these lines further grabbed my attention even more. If the reader didn't get that it is an illness the first time, here is another chance for him to get it! It also seemed to express the urgency of this message. Its like when you repeat something three times to your kids. The first time, they just sit there, but when you tell them for the third time, they know its important!

Sometimes the verses did not flow in the same rhythm. This was especially true of the third line. You might want to read the poem out loud so you can hear the flow and then rewrite the third line if it is too long or change a word here and there to help it flow more smoothly. For example, here are two of the "third lines" that did not have the same flow,

But I have hope and faith that one day I’ll be freed
-and-
But Bipolar Depression is a disease that can affect anyone including you

The second example is too long and a little clumsy in comparison to the first. Possibly you could change it to something like: "This disease can affect anyone, even you". Check all these lines to make certain they have the same rhythm.

I don't know that there is a limit to how long a poem should be, but I felt this one might be a little long. Even though I am interested in this subject, I found myself ready for it to get to the end before we were there. I know each stanza has really good information about bipolar disorder, but maybe you could either have just two stanzas per first line (I'm depressed; I have an illness; etc.) or you could take out a couple of the three-stanza sections.

There are some punctuation items that need to be corrected (change "dont" to "don't", etc.).

Overall, though, it was such a good poem. What a wonderful way to help people learn the truth about bipolar disorder.

I have a poem I wrote years ago when I was going through major depression that I think I will add to my portfolio this weekend. If you'd like to read it, look for one entitled "The World How It Seems."


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Comment-In-A-Box  
Review by writeaway
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I thought this article was very easy to understand and answered pretty much any question I might have about rating articles.

There were a couple of things I thought of while reading it:

One is that, though something like this needs to be very thorough, it was also very long. I found myself drifting off while reading it. I wondered if there was a way to shorten it or make it easier to read. For example, sometimes it’s easier to list items like this with bullets so each point stands alone. Each point can be more concise, which would shorten the length and be easier to read.

Also, I wonder if it would be better if, instead of listing each item under the number of stars it receives, it would be better to list all the stars under each item. When someone is looking up an item, such as poetry, it might be easier if all the rating descriptions were in one spot under “Poetry” instead of needing to scroll up and down the page.

I don't know if you would want to redo the whole article for any of these suggestions, but this format might be easier to use when looking for how to review a particular item. Hopefully it wouldn't confuse the matter.

I hope this was helpful. Again, I really enjoyed the article. It’s good to know what to look for when I'm reviewing different items.

Jan

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