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Public Reviews
Review by JoeMiller
Rated: E | (4.0)
What? No spiders?
The scarecrow costume was a good idea. When Timmy put it on, no one could hold a candle to him. The attic had some things that make for great stories.

Technical stuff: you deployed 16 lines of dialogue. Very nicely done. Although, when dad said, "Where's Timmy?" Right there, I asked Alexa to play the Banana Boat Song by Harry Belafonte. Right out of Beetlejuice. I simply couldn't help myself.

I recommend this story to other readers, and writers of light, humorous family tales.

Keep writing, Bob. Four stars.
Review by JoeMiller
Rated: E | (3.5)


Your work "Thoughts about Christmas" is an important piece that should be written. So, I'm placing this review on the public board for that reason. But, you need a little work with your craft. I found a few things that, I hope, will assist you to fix it up.

structure: please place a space between paragraphs, it makes the work easier to read.

Get a spell checker. Also, you might benefit from reading what you've written out loud into a recorder. You're punctuation needs lots of work.

What I found:

(suppose) supposed
(ideaology) ideology
(a understanding) an understanding

(ideas concepts) redundant

(Christ) birth possessive Christ's ... this occurs again later.

(almighty) Almighty capitalize: reference is not pagan

[The problem ... reason for it, or (not".)] run on sentence

(not".) not." period placement inside quotation marks

(maybe theres) contraction there's

(God) 5th paragraph pagan -- use small case god ... three occurrences

(Agriculture.) Okay (wheres) small case agriculture, contraction where's

(theres) contraction again there's

idea of (Santa Clause,) use period

(philantrophy) sp philanthrophy

(permeate) incorrect usage use the word ... spread

(something) eliminate this word

(real life character that lived) needs rewrite ... Santa Clause means St. Nicholas. The word 'character' is inappropriate usage.

(1800s and died in 1822) these dates are more appropriate for the time period when Clement Clark Moore penned "The Night Before Christmas."
Clement C. Moore 1779-1863
St. Nicholas was born before 300AD, and died 343AD.

It seems you're confusing the 'character' with the man who actually lived and was the role model for the character.

(if you think about we) ...if you think about it, we...

(expressely) sp expressly

(our deity) what deity? Do you mean God. capital G

about praying or prayers redundant

(It's) not your Birthday but (his.) small case it's, capital His not pagan. twice in same sentence.

(revelant) sp relevant

And those are what I found. I wouldn't have taken this much time with your piece unless I thought for a minute that it was unimportant.

What began as the role modeling of a Saint, has rapidly turned into activity that borders on idolatry. Point taken. And I agree. Christians might consider praying, and considering this very topic every year.

You have a good piece, here, don't drop the ball, give it an edit.

I give you 3.5 stars (above average due to importance of topic). Also, it's short enough to get to the point quickly.

Keep writing. And, Happy New Year.


Review of Harbor Towns  
Review by JoeMiller
Rated: E | (4.0)

You didn't give a name to any particular harbor town in your essay, but I visualized Salem on Boston's North Shore. Your descriptions held the following elements of scene: *light, *character, *pov, *purpose, *time, *setting, *sight, *sound, taste, *touch, and *smell.

You could have added a period food or two, beer, and wine. Song, and dance could have been added to social gatherings.

Conflict is suggested strongly by the mention of witches/priests, and leaders/lower ranks.

Juxtaposition is used in the last two paragraphs to suggest the nature of the same town today... where tourists show little respect for the history of the town and its founding peoples.

3 paragraphs -- scene
2 paragraphs -- conflicts
2 paragraphs -- juxtaposed pov

I spent a couple of hours thinking about what you were saying with your essay. And, I have to agree, based on the many, many times I've been to the harbor towns, that there seems to be a general lack of appreciation for the builders of the country. People should practise more discernment in the way they see, and treat those who attempt to pass on the achievements of those who preceeded us.

Generally, this work has promise. I wish you had fleshed out some character descriptions of men, women, and children. In addition, your overall description leans too much to the dark, it could have been balanced a little better. Yes, times were tough, but so were those settlers.

Well written, Mr. McGee, and I give it 4 stars rating.

Keep writing.


Review by JoeMiller
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)

This is a well written piece. Smooth, well-paragraphed, and to the point.

You wrote some real gems in here. I think everyone would get a real kick from reading this.

four and a half stars

My favorites were...

Anyone who complains about gas prices
this planet been around
sandals and socks
people who think they're better than everyone else

organic craze
CD stickers
Music today
business meetings that last six hours

Bill Gates
People who answer their own questions
subscription forms
pamphlet on the windshield
tinted windows on cars


the "Back to School" push

Thanks for posting. Keep writing!!


Review by JoeMiller
Rated: E | (3.5)

The work has quite a few spelling and grammar errors, and as a consequence, it does not read as smoothly as it could.

One major flaw is your second of five paragraphs. It's out of line with the tone, and enthusiasm of the rest of the work. I think the second paragraph needs a complete rewrite.

My general feeling about your paper is that I liked it. Some fixing up, and perhaps a galactic, hubble space photo attached, and I could recommend it for enthusiasm, originality, and challenge.

three and a half stars ... above average

Nice job, keep writing!



"...thought THAT CARE WE about..." end of 2nd paragraph
word ordering

"Cosmso" ...end of 4th paragraph

"Colunbus" ... beginning of 5th paragraph

"Einstien" ... near the end of 5th paragraph

"...ancestors 10,000 years didn't care?" ... middle of 5th paragraph
needs rewrite ... word(s) missing ... doesn't read well

"... will slowly but surely fade ..." end of 4th paragraph
split infinitive, should read 'will fade, slowly but surely'

"...back to Spain quicker." beginning of 5th paragraph
punctuation mark should be '?'

"Myspace.com, there would be no civilization." middle of 5th paragraph
Should be: 'There would be no civilization.' This is not a subordinate phrase, but a whole sentence.

"Duh!" end of 2nd paragraph
patronizing, ad hominem logical fallacy. Not up to the standard of the rest of the work. Same with "Little Green Men." beginning of 2nd paragraph. You are 'shaking your head', and 'rolling your eyes' with your writing... this is ad hominem logical fallacy.

"With a BANG!!!!" beginning of 3rd paragraph
Just use one exclamation point. I think it's stylistically inconsistent with the work, in general. On the other hand, I like the capitalization of the word 'BANG.' I think that idea is a well executed flair.

"Megastar" I love this idea.

Review by JoeMiller
Rated: E | (3.0)

You wrote...
"So where did this teaching come from?
...< very long paragraph ... no breaks ... too long to follow >
.....and live for today!”

You wrote...
"Hal Lindsey has done the same thing ... people are still embracing this interpretation of prophecy."
Hal Lindsey's book "The Late Great Planet Earth" was an eye opener, and its point was to keep on your toes. Lindsey was, and still is, very smart, and highly respected in his christian ministry.

Name dropping is NOT an acceptable means of making your case... it boarders on ad hominem fallacy.

Also, the very LONG paragraph cited above is basically annoying, and borders on fallacy by obfuscation. Are you fillibustering here?

Let me make a constructive suggestion. First, clearly show the case being argued against. What, exactly, is their line of thinking with all of their scripture references, and all in order of their presentation.

Then, show point by point your objections, with scripture references.

And why you think their interpretations are incorrect, or why their lines of reasoning do not follow.

Finally, sum up your case, reordering your scripture references to suit your presentation as necessary.

The only authority on biblical interpretation is the bible. So it seems that you have attempted to present the findings of several bible studies into this one piece. As a result, I have a difficult time determining whether your are opposing the main christian line, or simply presenting a book review of "Left Behind" ( none of which I have read, btw).

Remember, you are presenting a case study that disputes a long accepted, and well understood escatological study. Your "result" is completely different from the widely accepted result of
rapture-tribulation-wrath-millenium-eternity, but your communication seems too "passionate" to follow. Your line of thought, and logic, seemed to "jump track" at least twice. You reference the book series "Left Behind", the book "The Late Great Planet Earth", and an historical line of development from the reformation all in addition to biblical references. It became very confusing, very quickly.

Generally, in this very important topic, you haven't made your case.

Hope this helps.

Have a great summer.

Review by JoeMiller
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a well thought out poll. I liked it. My answer was Young Earth Creationism, and since this is not a forum, I suspect there won't be anyone who will argue this out with me here.

Your Intelligent Design section could have been phrased similarly ... to include the concept of a 'young creation', but still, this was a good poll.

Review by JoeMiller
Rated: E | (5.0)

You have written an excellent piece. Short, to the point, and says it all.

You're fortunate to have been with a band director who pointed you in a fruitful direction. And, you serve your peers as a roll model of someone who listens, imagines, and has the intellect and guts to try it out for themselves.

You're successful, and now, with this essay, you are passing it on. Good for you. It is the right thing to do.

Good luck, and good fortune.

Best wishes, happy new year, and...

...Write On!


Review by JoeMiller
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)


This piece was a fun read. Smooth! I picture you laboring lovingly over your computer keys wearing sunglasses, sipping an award-winning wine, and smoking a fine, premium cigar .... definitely an A.Fuente, or Punch.

This interpretation reminds me that one of the best sources of delivery of detailed information is with comedy. My own redundant admonitions to my calculus students over the past 30 years have been centered around the concept that they must get over themselves, and lighten up. Then, they'll begin to have fun with the material, and ultimately learn something. The best place to take in the news of the day is with Jay Leno, and Dave Letterman, and Conan O'Brien. This, of course, along with a hot french vanilla coffee chaser.

You have a nice "knack" for images in your humor. This is not easy to do, but you nailed it with this work.

My favorites were:

The abominable snowman you see at the top of the ride is actually Moses with his white beard.

... in Cuba possessed by Fidel Castro. That would explain how he’s been able to maintain power longer than eight U.S. Presidents, despite having one of the weakest militaries in the world.

...archaeologists can’t locate King Solomon’s Mines. It doesn’t exist.

His wives took all the treasure in the divorce settlements.

When the man who tried to give him sour wine, angrily asked why he didn’t drink, he quipped, “The wine’s not Korbel.”


The whole stadium is nervous, fidgeting with anticipation. All except Lot’s wife who ignored God’s order not to watch and was turned into a pillar of salt. Vendors are using her to season the peanuts.


Once again, Kurt, I'd like to thank you for posting such an excellent piece of work. I hope you're considering something for the 2008 elections. Given the candidate lists so far, we'll all be on this one.

Best wishes, happy new year 2007, and...

...Write On!


Review of The Hardest Blow  
Review by JoeMiller
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)

This piece reads fast. You have a gift for the visual.

Well written, and thought provoking. In today's world, such "work" would not be too surprising, would it? Metaphorically, one could fit the lead character into several positions... newsstand salesman, beggar, politician.

Great read. I enjoyed it.

Write On!!

Joe Miller
Review by JoeMiller
Rated: E | (4.5)

I like this story. It has a good three dimensional feel to it.
It starts right up with lots of action... rapidly switching locations... generating heat, and emotion.

Even though you have not given the characters their names yet, it reads well right down to the bottom line.

Your writing is very visual. This makes the story really "pop!" I'm looking forward to your next posts.

This is the season for a good "Spellbinder" tale, and yours promises to be a great one.


Review of Calculus  
Review by JoeMiller
Rated: E | (5.0)


I like your poem. It suggests the many and varied applications of the math, and your rhythm of exposition reads smoothly. Your transition from the question about limit ...>> "What is it all about?" to life...>>"Is it linear or polynomial ?" reads well.

Even keeping it real, life could be poly-trig-onomial, or poly-radi-rationomial...The functions are splendid, no?

I believe that Calculus (the mathematics) is the single, greatest achievement of the human species... even more than the electromagnetic spectrum, the human genome, the periodic table of elements, or the double helix ... maybe the accomplishment of artificial intelligence someday would surpass it. ( perhaps that will be your achievement. )

Your poem raises many good questions. I agree with some of your observations, too. And, importantly, I will have to think about some of your other points... such as life as an integral function bounded by birth and death, among others.

I'm going to post a printout of "Calculus" in my math classroom where I teach calculus. When I get feedback from students, I'll let you know.

That is... if it's ok with you. (If you say it's not ok, I'll remove it immediately.)

Have a great spring,

Joe Miller

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