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93 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
You'll probably win today. you have that style of writing that is so engaging. I can't duplicate it. The only mistake I could catch was when you wrote:

"Over the next five hours, Kavion danced, and talked, to all nine of the females there several times."

There should not be a comma after talked. The reason why is that when you put a double comma, it carries the clause from the preceding statement. In this case it would read as:

"Kavion danced to all nine" and Kavion "talked to all nine"

With just one comma, it reads:

"Kavion danced" and "Kavion talked to"

Of course you don't have to worry about the judges finding that.

The story was more related to dancing than romance, but my story had the same problem. I love how you added in the future technology to make it more Sci-Fi. That really fit the theme.

Quickly, Change this sentence at the top:
"Just as Kavion and Catonna got to the other dancers, the music stop."

Change "stop" to "stopped."
That is all.
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Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
The last line is CLASSIC! "And an anniversary is an anniversary." I loved that. It was nice that you copied the prompt to the top. I probably wouldn't do it, but I think it helps the judges a lot. The gun made an early appearance. Guns in stories and go either way. They raise the stakes really high, because all the character would have to do is accidentally discharge and then spend their lives behind bars, or get the death penalty. But you added a gun AND kept it light. You meticulously followed the prompt as well. It was very clear as to what your were referring to. I also didn't detect any typos in the story. The only part I didn't like was when the main character is like, "I almost shot you, and I might just do it anyway." Paraphrasing, but that reminded me too much or Riggs and the other guy from Lethal Weapon. Other than that, fine story. Hope to see you for the next four days. 171 Words.
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Review of Insert title here  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I liked the first stanza because there was so much mystery involved. Unbeknownst vs Unknown. It makes me want to research the meanings of words to get a better understanding. I see the idea of love existing without hate as being a sort-of cliche. I mean, theoretically it is possible, but life isn't fun without something to hate. Love gets tiring after a while. But the ending was tremendous. To see one's own blindness. That's one thing that blind people have over us. They can actually see that they are blind. For the rest of us, even if we close our eyes, we still see that ring of light.
It's sort of a paradox at the end, because we go from being blind to realizing that there is no light.

130 Words.
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Rated: E | (5.0)
I like this poem because it's so "poemy." A lot of times people write poems and they're just "prose in stanzas that rhyme," but you have taken the time to add a poetic twist and there's a certain overall character that speaks to your personality.
I always try to date your poems, and in the first stanza it has the word "core." When I think of that word, I think of computer cores, because that's the realm that I'm most familiar with, but in actuality the word could denote any time. And truly this poem could be from any time.

I didn't understand "no eye he thus displays" except to think that maybe his eyes aren't visible. But it wasn't a deal breaker for me.

When I read the second stanza, I could see the Christian influence. "[L]ife that may yet be" could be a reference to the birth of the baby Jesus. And I couldn't figure out why you put "me" in quotes, except that maybe you were quoting the bible. On a side note, I like how you've added the "hath, speaks, shows, gives" to each stanza. It makes it easier to read, and more enjoyable.

In the third stanza, you used the word "knows" and that is interesting, because when we studied the bible, in many cases to "know" meant to have sex with. I know it's an obscure reference, but that's what I kept thinking about.

This is going to seem quite odd, but in the fourth stanza I would've put "While self may yet increase." I understand that it's a Christian thing to say that "let me decrease so that He may increase," But I tend to think that if you help others, you increase your own potential as a human being. Your spiritual power grows. Just a slight point of contention.

It was really masterful how you put "if...if...is" in the beginning of the next three stanzas. It's repetition without stagnation. I assume that in the sixth stanza you were saying that Santa Clause was "the source of Joy or Sad." That's probably an oversimplification, though.

In stanza you're saying that we should become daily Santa Clauses, sort of like how to the bible says "I die daily." Interesting. I think in stanza 8 you're saying that things get worse, even though you thought you'd suffered enough.

Was the 9th stanza about the 2016 election? Sorry I went there. Are you saying that Trump stole Christmas?

412 Words.
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Rated: E | (5.0)
I question the choice of entering a Newbies Only contest when anybody can look at your work and tell that you're an expert. But I digress. It is true that if you have a "best," you'll "stand the test." I can think back to my own life. I never had anybody that really cared about me, someone that I could go to in an emergency. When my back was against the wall, I had nowhere to go. So I could not "stand the test." There must be an evolutionary element to this. In prehistoric times, if you couldn't build beneficial relationships, you were dead. That simple. We can still see that play out in modern times.

But at the same time, we are not our friends. We have different personalities and (hopefully) different histories.

It would've been so funny if you had written, "Some hear my jokes, and frown" in the sixth stanza. It means the exact opposite of what you wrote, but it still fits the narrative. "As youthful man I 'toed the line'" in stanza eight is an extreme cliche, and probably shouldn't be in quotes. And I know you're not going to like this, but "toeing the line" is more about conformity, whereas this stanza is about being wild and disobedient. It doesn't fit narratively. I know it was more nuanced than that, but that is what stuck in my head. "Live and let live" is also a cliche, albeit a more pleasant one to look at.

In the first two lines of the last stanza, you start by saying "one" and then you say "my." You're switching from the third person to the first person without warning. That's jarring. Maybe it should've been "the day" instead of "my day".
But that's all conjecture.
The only problem I had with this poem was that it didn't actually tell you "How to become a friend." And at the end it basically says, just be a Christian and only befriend Christians. What I learned when I was a Christian was that that is not real friendship. And that's why I became an Atheist (not trying to preach).

358 Words
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Review of Blessed by Stress  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Compared to my younger life, stress isn't even an issues anymore. I don't know what it is. Compared to my younger days, my life is worry-free. But this poem was still informative. I like the "Ev'ry" it makes it seem as if the poem was written during the industrial revolution, or slightly before. In order for the last line of the first stanza to work, you have to do one of three things. Either 1) put a comma after "Know," 2) take the "K" off, or 3) take the word out.

When I read the first and second lines of the second stanza, I couldn't help but thinking that you were talking about this year's presidential race. In the second stanza, I would've put "All gifts of mind are forever fell/all the dryness of throat goeth thirsting for well" There are two reasons for this. First off, you used "Ev'ry" twice in the first stanza, and now it's getting old. Second, back in the old days a fountain is something that rich people have in their gardens, or at expensive public places. The average "plebian" would get his water from a well. Obviously it wasn't until I read the end of the second stanza that I realized that this poem was in fact about this year and not the past, so "fount" might be more appropriate after all.

So were trying to nudge us toward Hillary Clinton in the third stanza or were you absolving Trump of his "sin"?

When I read "We to throne you would bring" in the fourth stanza, I actually thought it meant that they were asking the olive to help them find someone to bring to the throne, not that they were asking the olive to rule over them. That was my fault.

This would make an excellent children's book.

"All of our days" seemed like a platitude. I didn't like it, personally.

So the message is, forget politics! Get saved!
Expect nothing less from the best.

333 Words.
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Rated: E | (4.0)
The only problem with this story was that you kept going back and forth between capitalizing the proper nouns (like "Sifu") and uncapitalizing them. I do know that some languages put proper nouns in lower case in certain situations (French, for example) but at least be consistent. For some reason it took me straight out of left field when I read that it was in Fujian. I guess I assumed that if there was a Coffee pot, it had to be in America. That was my mistake.

Sifu not noticing the rain means that he was going to force the American student to work through the rain. In that sense, it reminds me of the old war movies, like Stripes and Full Metal Jacket, where they are forced to low crawl through mud puddles with leeches and worms in them. The school having never accepted an American student seems mysterious at first, but with what we know about the world it's much more likely that a school of this kind would have had at least one American student.

You wrote "...which upset sifu," and "Sifu spoke very little." You're telling instead of showing. Use action in the story to demonstrate, instead of telling it deadpan style. I would take out "staring" because this is supposed to be an action scene and the verb "staring" has to be the most boring, inactive verb in the dictionary.

The story really redeems itself in the end. When he transforms into the bird. It's something that we all want to do. It speaks to the heart of human desire. We all just want to get up and fly away from our problems. I didn't understand the story until the end. And it was very nice how you were unapologetic about it.

297 Words.
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Rated: E | (5.0)
When I started reading your poem, honestly, the first thing I thought was, "How am I supposed to beat this?" I think I should maybe keep reviewing your work, because it's really edifying. The first line was a jackpot. It sets the scene and it's like when we were in school and they made us write a thesis statement. The whole poem flows from that initial declaration. I honestly wouldn't have used "The One," because people will think you're praying to Keanu Reeves. I like the second stanza where you write "whose intent was our coast." It personifies the storm and it creates a gap for our imagination to fill.

I would've used the word "tested" instead of "ravaged" in the third stanza. That word is what we call, in writing, a nuclear fly swatter. The image of a cloud raping an island is so horrible that it's absolutely hilarious. "Expire" is also a nuclear fly swatter. An island may have a bad storm and be flooded, but it won't "expire," even if it's just buried under the water.
In the sixth stanza I would've written "in manger of straw/His judgement is Law." I would've used straw because it sounds older than hay.

Stanza seven may be the most sophisticated of them all. It really tells a lot about the other, but the author is invisible at the same time. Stanza eight is the exile, almost like the chronology of the bible itself. "Hope is on display" reminds me of the Disney movies that I grew up with, like Pocahontas.

261 Words
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Review of Autumnal Equinox  
Rated: E | (3.5)
"A chilly morning breeze" brings back great memories for me. I love the winter. It's like high-octane fuel for the body. Everything in life feels so much more real when your skin is icy. I know you meant fall, but that's just my preference.
Awaken by a simple breeze? Or maybe it wasn't so simple. The title forced me to ask Cortana what an equinox was. I think you should've added more about it in the poem. Though I understand that this is more about your childhood than equinoxes. Maybe it needs a new title.

Listening to birds belies a simple lifestyle that I could never achieve. That's part of the allure of your poem. Most of us couldn't have the simple life if it was mandated by law. It would take an act of Congress to get me from behind the keyboard and out to the beach, much less on a nature expedition. I don't know why, but "the coming harvest" seems a bit cliched to me. It's because I come from the inner city and, frankly, I've never seen a harvest with my own eyes. But I do understand that for some people, very few people, it is their whole life, the thing that they work towards all year long.

Soul also seems cliched. So few people even know what a soul is, so when it's used it just seems off. "My Oklahoma childhood" seems dry. Maybe it could've been "I remember raising cattle in Oklahoma". I like how you used "its" in this stanza and not "it's". The last stanza has a special place with me, because I have often noticed how I don't feel experiences as intensely as I did when I was a boy. Things now seem to be coming out of a dispenser.

299 Words.
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Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
MAD TV was the show that really formulated my sense of humor. During the early and mid years of MAD TV, I was treated to the likes of Stewart, Phil Lamar, Aries Spears, "You know what" lady, and so many great comedians (Key and Peele). It came on about the same time as Saturday Night Live. This was at the time that SNL was no longer funny, so it was great to have MAD TV as an alternative. There was so much funny stuff about the show, but towards the end it was just no longer funny. It's funny(!) because MAD TV was funnier than SNL, but at the end it was less funny than SNL, and it turned out that SNL had more longevity than even MAD TV. MAD TV had everything going for it: the comedians, the writers, the station (FOX 32), the time slot (just before SNL), and the attitude.

I went into this whole diatribe about MAD TV because that's my generation, and it is very gratifying for someone else to reference something that is endemic to my past, but it's really bitter-sweet (see what I did there?) because I know how bad the show got by the time it was canceled. The failure of MAD TV was the failure of my generation, which is why the SNL generation continues to dominate us (Gen y) economically, culturally, socially and politically. You can see it with Trump fighting Hillary for the white house, with Bernie Sanders losing the nomination, The Avengers dominating at the box office. My generation has been swamped. I still don't like SNL, but there's a lot that I could learn from a show like that. In truth, I would learn more by studying what MAD TV did wrong.

I went into this long diatribe because MAD TV was so symbolic of my generation and I, how we had the talent but couldn't go the distance And now we're waiting for Gen X to feed us and pay our bills. There was a slight misconception. At first, when she lifted her clothes, I thought she was going to fart on the candles and make a fart flamethrower. I totally misread that part. But after reading it again and watching the video, it became obvious. Thanks for writing.

383 Words.
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Review of The Interview  
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a small gripe, but maybe you could tell the reader if menopause was really the cause of the sweating, or if she was just a very sweaty person and was just trying to cover it up. The reader naturally wants to have the "inside track," so-to-speak. The word "uncontrollably" is a word that I don't like to read. It's something about the meaning of the word that I don't like. It is hyperbole on a whole nother level and the world ultimately ends up eating itself. It would've been hilarious if it had read "sweating buckets," or "sweating like David Beckam".

I like the term "for me" because it adds complexity to the story. It sort of folds in on itself and gives off energy. For example, it lets you know that the main character is thinking of herself and what is best for her. It's sort of a window into her soul. "But here I sat" should be the beginning of a new sentence. In fact, the story would have been better if you had cut out all of the sentence after this. Why? I know that I sound like a prude, but someone just soaked in sweat, and funky, is not only sickening, it's unrealistic. She never would've gotten the job if she had been sitting there, sweating like she stole the entire Fort Knox (If the interviewer didn't feel sorry for anybody else, why for menopause? I mean, even though she had it herself?).

It was amazing that she could tell that the other hopefuls were not happy, even though her eyes were closed. Amazing.
When she went for the water, it added a sense of urgency to the story. A lot of stories do this. It's sort of annoying because when drama is added on top of drama it calls attention to itself. I was really impressed that you used the word "draining". That dates the story in the twenty-first century (I don't remember people saying that in the nineties).

336 Words.
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Rated: E | (3.0)
I don't know why, but my eye went directly to the second half of the first sentence, then read the entire first sentence. The invocation of "Thursday" didn't register anything with me. Really, the recognized days are Monday, Hump Day, Friday and, of course, Sunday. But in the very next sentence you explained why Thursday was so important. It may not have been intentional, but it did help me out a lot.

The concept of putting the headphones on and blasting music seemed so foreign to me, even though I do it every day. I guess for me it's just that I see music as being an extension of my body. I don't really see it as a separate action. The story makes it seem as if you actually know what a cam is (I don't) and also it's good that the character works. It was a little strange that a farmer would have four cars. Most rich people only have two cars, much less a farmer. It seems a little strange that a farmer would pride himself on having four cars, and not "the best gosh-darm corn this side of Mississippi!"

I understand why you called the music "music" instead of Country, or Alternative or Johnny Cash. It's risky to put specific names in the story, because people may judge that music and make judgements about you. But I'm going to say that it would make a better story if you would just pick an artist for him to like. And it doesn't have to be an artist from the Bilboard Top 100. I actually know somebody who has nothing but elevator music on his phone. Worst taste in music imaginable, but even that tells a story.

It didn't seem likely that he would run out of fuel when the fuel gage is right in front of his face. I live in a city with millions of cars and I rarely, if ever, see one of them run out of gas. That's just my experience, but it rings true. I felt for the character at the end, because if he didn't know how to fix a tractor, he'd be stuck until he could contact somebody towns away to come by later. It's good that you didn't tell us if he could fix it himself.

385 Words.
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Review of Hunger  
Rated: E | (3.5)
In the fourth stanza it says:

Hunger.
She lives for it,
Thrives from it.

Then at the end of the stanza it says:

To be revolting,
Repulsive to the human eye
seems not so great a worry
if it would mean a full belly,
An end to the (Hunger)

This is the only thing I didn't like about the poem. In the previous stanza, someone who doesn't want to starve is starving. They want "a full belly." But the person in stanza four "lives for" hunger. To be revolting, repulsive to the human eye would seem to be a very great worry, especially if it would mean a full belly, an end to the (Hunger).
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Review of Harlequin  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
It seemed like a Disney movie until the last paragraph, where she get naked. The only problems I could remember were in the second to last paragraph - you used the word "dances" when it should've been "danced" - and in the last paragraph - you wrote "the the" when it should've been "in the". I outgrew the Disney style of storytelling, so I'm not a big fan of this Flash Dance style of escapism. Actually, it's more of a Cinderella story. She starts out as a despised peasant and transforms into this powerful being. I understand that it's just not my style, but it was a pretty big jump from getting food thrown at her to having her own galaxy, hence the Disney designation.
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Review of Our Only Kiss  
Rated: E | (3.0)
All I can say is, you probably shouldn't start out with although. It makes the beginning look a bit clunky. Also, don't be afraid to put the entire sentence, "Perhaps it would not last forever" in the last stanza. That way, everyone know what you're talking about.
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