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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/jonjacques
Review Requests: ON
180 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (5.0)
Salam sejahtera !

Enjoyed your essay regarding your national language !

I believe it's a GREAT thing to be able to speak more than one language, regardless of who you are or where you are from. Unfortunately, most people in the USA only speak one language, which I believe is the failure of our educational system (and our parents) for not making it mandatory that students learn to speak another language other than english. An exception, however, is that most hispanic americans speak spanish AND english, which I think is a tremendous asset as hispanics compromise approximately 17% of the total US population, and that percentage will certainly increase over the next several decades. I certainly understand your frustration regarding your national language. I've been to Singapore twice, and can confirm the majority of citizens speak english. I've also been to the Philippines several times, and most citizens there speak english in addition to their native language, tagalog (or a dialect of it).

You know, if I had to do it all over again, I believe the thing I would do is major in LANGUAGES at a good University. That would open a LOT of doors, personally and professionally. There are a LOT of opportunities for people that speak multiple languages fluently.

Thanks again for your very interesting submission !

Semoga berjaya !!


Jon-Blair Jacques
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2
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (5.0)
Greetings Gabriella!

Thank you for posting ! I recently published several 'short story' ebooks via amazon. As part of that effort, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that ISBN's are not necessary for publishing ebooks on amazon (paperbacks/hardcovers require ISBN's). Nevertheless, I obtained them anyway. Prior to publishing, I did file for copyrights via the US Copyright Office. Your essay made no mention of this, but I'm assuming that function would be handled by the agent and/or the publisher. Would that assumption be correct? What's to protect the author by handing over a non-copyrighted manuscript to an agent or publisher should the manuscript be rejected? Perhaps I'm missing something here (maybe that protection is in the contract) but authors disappointed by receipt of rejection slips can be pleasantly surprised by subsequent acceptance letters (from OTHER agents/publishers). More than 30 years ago, I submitted a synopsis of a novel I was writing to a literary agent, and while I have no proof, several years later a movie came out that was eerily similar to the content of that synopsis. Was it coincidence? My own vanity? Perhaps. PersonalIy, I wouldn't send page one to an agent (or anyone else for that matter) without that story being copyrighted, or at least a pending application. Although it doesn't absolutely guarantee against copyright infringement, it does broaden the author's legal options.

Thanks again for your very informative post !

Jon-Blair Jacques
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3
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Greetings Akshar!

Very interesting essay! As a retired member of the military, I pretty much agree with your analysis. I noticed there was no mention of the GREAT WAR (WWI), but I would venture to say you would also agree THAT particular conflict was a righteous war as well. My primary concern presently is not so much the 'justification' of any new war we might involve ourselves in, but rather the effect "progressive politics and thinking" will have on military 'readiness' in the future, ie...., the "me too, WOKE & it's all about ME attitudes" which have swept through this nation like a plague, particularly over the last 10 years or so. What affect will it all have on military readiness down the road? I mean we may not even being able to beat HAITI in a war (or any other third world country for that matter) should it ever come to that in the future. Obviously I'm being somewhat facetious, but the socio-political changes previously described could very well overshadow any future war, whether it's justified or not ! I'm a Vietnam AND Gulf War veteran. My (and my peers) military service days are over. Will generation X, the millennials and beyond be able to answer the call to duty should the need arise? I don't know what generation you're a part of, but if you're a part of the post-boomer generation, I would be concerned - very concerned indeed !

Thanks again for your essay - very enlightening !


P.S. I would be interested to know your analysis of the American Civil War ?
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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Greetings x The T Lady x !

I enjoyed your very interesting story, eloquent and soulfully written -

Your story reminded me somewhat to author Henry David Thoreau's infamous quote from the book, Walden - Life in the Woods: “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” believing misplaced values are the cause. We feel a void in our lives, and we attempt to fill it with things like money, possessions, and accolades. We think these 'things' will make us happy. And when they don't, we just seek more of them.

Perhaps it is as you stated. I wonder what Henry David Thoreau would have thought of your story ?

Best,

Jon-Blair Jacques
5
5
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (5.0)
Greetings Lucky Lady !

That was a great story. Initially it reminded me of those 'Hallmark' movies; you know, the ones where guy meets girl (or vice versa) they fall in love; then a problem of some kind arises, they split-up, then they (or with the help of others) resolve the issues/problems; they get back together, marry or live happily ever after, OR another person comes along, and VOILA, everything is as it should be! Only the Hallmark movies are predictable and make believe. What you experienced is/was for real. And, like you, I KNOW all about it. Been there - done that ! My point is, I can relate. I've been through it as well with a woman who had the same/similar issues (emotional abuse as a child and alcohol issues later as an adult). Maybe the problem with the man you mentioned in the beginning of your story was more one of, "he didn't love himself." That was the conclusion I came to in reference to the woman I was living with. I came across a quote not too long ago, and it has stuck to me like glue since: WHEN PARENTS HURT THEIR CHILDREN, THEY DON'T STOP LOVING THEIR PARENTS, THEY STOP LOVING THEMSELVES. As sad as that is, nothing is more truthful.

Having stated the above, I am very HAPPY for you and the new man in your life !!

And THANK YOU for sharing your story !

Best,

JBJ
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Review of MIRACLE  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (5.0)
Greetings DeeJain !

Enjoyed your story. I thought it was particularly brave of you to share this aspect of your life, not only in reference to your new journey regarding writing, but of other aspects of your life . That takes a LOT of courage! I believe many of us live with fear of some sort or another, whether, as you stated, it's one's health, fear of failure at work, relationships, parenting, flying, etc... I believe to be fearful of certain things is quite normal, and in some cases, healthy. Fear of catching the flu motivates us to obtain a yearly flu vaccine, for example, not only so we don't become ill, but to prevent passing it on to our loved ones. Fear of spending all our income before the end of the month motivates us to create a budget, another healthy kind of fear. These are just a few examples. Your positive outlook regarding five different jobs that rejected you leading you to believe "something good" will come out of it is another healthy outlook. For me personally, there is an old saying which states, "nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." And it appears that is exactly what you are doing.

Bravo, keep up the good work !!

Best,

Jon-Blair Jacques
7
7
Review of Chewy,s Story  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (3.0)
Greetings Wishful !

Enjoyed your story, but I agree (per your biography) that your submission could use a, "grammar and punctuation tune-up." Otherwise, I enjoyed the 'premise' of the story very much ! Speaking of pitbulls,
we've all heard of (or even seen) pitbulls that are dangerous. Like any breed (most) of the time it's the
'environment' they're raised in that determines their behavior. My sister and her husband have two pitbulls
and they are the sweetest dogs ever ! That's because they were properly 'socialized' and given lots of attention, love and affection, healthy food, exercise, and vet care, and that's exactly how they developed ! They LOVE company, and they'll lick you to death if you give them half-a-chance. Pitbulls are also a very
loyal breed. Personally, a pitbull would not be my first choice of dog, but again I've seen (on more than one occasion) how PROPER care of this breed can make such a difference !

Best,

JBJ
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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Greetings Proton !

I enjoyed reading your submission -

Having said that, I believe you should continue writing. You have already posted several very interesting stories, and that should be enough to convince to continue to write, even if you feel otherwise. I can tell you from personal experience that I sometimes feel like I want to stop writing, but deeper inside I feel a compulsion to continue, so I do. I sometimes review stories and essays I've written, and feel very good about them, something I would not be able to say had I quit. So my advice to you is: KEEP WRITING ! You will never look back and regret that you did NOT quit, believe me!

Best wishes,

JBJ
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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (5.0)
Greetings Camistare - very interesting story !

As I was reading I couldn't help but feel bad for John. 'She' on the other hand (as described by John) was every man's dream. Two beautiful children and a spouse he appeared to love dearly; a storybook tale of his rise from rags to riches to CEO of a fortune 500 hundred company and all the money and privilege that comes with it. He would do 'anything' for his wife and family. Yet she alleges she could not forgive him for not fighting hard enough (most puzzling to me) for the love they had, initiated the break-up, and connived to have him locked away. Now, after ten years, he is released from prison - angry, bitter, and determined to 'free' himself and seek justice, to 're-write' the story, change the narrative. Begs the question: Will he succeed ??

Thank you for posting !


Jon-Blair Jacques

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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.0)
Greetings murli !

This is a very interesting biographical story of your life beginning with your arrival in Frankfurt, Germany on October 13, 1978, the on to West Berlin. You go on to describe how you received permission to stay in Berlin for one year to learn or improve speaking the German language. You went on to talk about you, the Persian Girl and Yasmin. The rest of the story is a little confusing, but it appears most everything worked out for you and now you're where you want to be, both personally and professionally. And for that, I am pleased for you !

Thank you for posting your very interesting story

Best,

Jon-Blair Jacques
11
11
Review of Time  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Greetings MediocreStephenKing:

Interesting story - very creative and mysterious, and very descriptive in its narrative. I have always wondered how Stephen King cranks out one novel after another - it's like he's a perpetual writing machine on steroids! In any event, I was reviewing one of his most recent releases a few weeks ago at a Barnes & Noble near me, and the first thing I noticed (as I always do) was the immediate personal dialogue involving the initial characters. It's something you might want to keep in mind as you continue with your writing. While descriptive background narrative is (certainly) important, I believe readers identify more with the story and the characters through personal dialogue. An exception to this would be an essay, or a , "how to" type of book, etc..., but I believe you did a FABULOUS job with your submission !

Thank you for posting !


Jon-Blair Jacques
12
12
Review of Danny  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Greetings Shadow !

Enjoyed your story. Having lost a sibling in the prime of his life many years ago, your story certainly resonated.
My own faith has since strengthened, if for no other reason that (current) life would be meaningless if there were no life afterwards. In other words, what would be the point? You story goes on to say you reminded your brother to forgive and to accept God's gift of forgiveness. Something tells me he did both, whether you heard him acknowledge it or not. Rest assured he IS in a better place, like my brother !

Thank you for sharing, and thank you for your very eloquent poem, "Today."


Jon-Blair Jacques

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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Greetings Princess Megan Lily Munster (interesting name) !

Enjoyed your poem story. Appears the Crow and the Squirrel were able to share friendship, food,
the good company of others, and they even had a nice security arrangement. Sometimes when you
think a friendship could/would never occur because of certain differences, the strangest things DO happen !
Your story is certainly proof of that.

Thank you for posting !

Jon Blair Jacques
14
14
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Greetings !

Your story reminded me of the novel (and movie) "Of Mice and Men." Have you ever seen it ? Basically, your story is similar in its lesson, that no matter how foolproof plans of humans may seem, they often go awry. Your characters reminded me of those same characters in the novel (and movie) I mentioned. And it also reminded me of that famous phrase, "The best-laid plans of mice and men."

I enjoyed your story. It made me smile !

Jon Blair Jacques
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Review of Working Novel  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)

Greetings !

Interesting story of a retail store loss prevention detective. It reminds me of my time spent in the Insurance Industry investigating my share of phony or exaggerated claims. Bottom line is we ALL pay for this illegal behavior. And now even more alarming, is the lessening of penalties (thank you 'justice' system) for those involved in Organized Retail Theft (ORT) employing all their criminal skills and tricks of the trade. It could actually threaten the core of of our retail economic system.

Thanks for your submission !
16
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Review of Football God  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Greetings !

Looks like Benny didn't 'kick' so well that evening. Question is, why? Benny was the, "star kicker" so what happened? Why couldn't the Wildcats "Star Player" come through for the team that particular evening?
Both teams were undefeated, and they were rivals. Neither side wants to lose THAT game when they finally meet. Benny certainly APPEARED to be ready to make that winning kick. When the coach said, "Alright Benny. This is your time. Nobody can take this time away from you. Just go out there and do your thing. Put the ball through the uprights. Win this game for us.” And Benny said, (enthusiastically I assume) “Yes sir !" SO, what happened?

I enjoyed the story. From a metaphorical point of view, I can see it as symbolic regarding many of life's challenges. Good job !
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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thank you for your very eloquent, "letter of thanks" to the U.S. Military. I was a very proud part of that, "Greatest Military in the World" for 20 years, the first ten during the Vietnam War era. During that period the military was not held in the highest esteem by the general public - that changed after the first gulf war, in which we were "warmly and appreciatively greeted" upon return home, which was in stark contrast to being, "spit on" when we returned from Vietnam. As a veteran of both wars, I can tell you this: either way, men and women in uniform don't forget.

Thanks again for your tribute !!



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Review of A New Look  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Greetings !

Exactly my mental process(es) whenever the thought, "is it time for a new phone?" arises. A new look ? Yes ! Software updates? Yes ! A new ringtone ? Yes ! A new phone? NO ! But not without a fight, because they (the phones - or their sales person advocates) will still try their level best to persuade you otherwise ! Oh yeah, been there, done that !

Thank you for the very eloquent (and timely) reminder !

Jon Blair Jacques

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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (5.0)
Greetings amy-Looking Forward !

Thank you for a very eloquent and informative essay. The first thing that came to mind was my recent foray into the world of eBook writing, and the publishing of my first three eBooks. My current task now revolves around (marketing) those books. Your essay really hit the proverbial, "nail on the head" spot regarding this subject.

In any event, MARKETING what you write (if that's what you want to do )is the mainstay of your submission above, and without a doubt just as important (if not more so) than writing the story(s). 'Getting the word out' begins even before you pen that first word!

Having said that, I wrote an essay (here on WDC) about my experience titled, "Who wants to write an eBook?" Please feel free to review and comment should you wish to do so.

And thanks again for your post !


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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Enjoyed your story ! Reminded me of a couple of things:

1. Ants are 'tireless' workers. Makes them PERFECT circus performers - and Andrew and his ants worked
well together !

2. When my daughter was little, she once asked me to explain the purpose of a 'flea' market -

Well, I thought it would be funny to answer by telling her it's a place where you can see 'performing fleas.'

"What?" she asked, a befuddled expression appearing on her little face.

"Oh, yes," I replied. "Big fleas, little fleas, talented fleas of every color in the rainbow. They hop, jump, and skip around like little circus performers. That's why people go to flea markets - to see the performing fleas."

Of course, she looked at me like I was stone cold crazy - her mother shook her head and said to me later, " I can't believe you told her that!"

Anyway, while visiting my daughter a few years ago (she's a married adult now) she was showing me her two new cats she had recently adopted. I was checking them out, and she asked, "what are you doing, Dad?"

"Checking them for fleas," I answered.

"FLEAS?" she yelled out.

Now "I" was the one who rendered the befuddled expression.

"DON'T even go there," she bellowed !


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Review of The Printer  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Mice, a snake, and a ruined printer, ughhh !!

Can't say I blame Phaedra for wanting to strangle her brother. Did he (her brother) go to that same store Phaedra called (and eventually visited) and purchase that printer from the worker she spoke to who earlier told her the printer was available? Was that a set-up he engineered just to aggravate his sister further ? At the end of the story it seems like she didn't know whether to hug him or choke him, LOL !

GOOD STORY !

Thanks for posting!

Jon Blair Jacques
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Review of The Last Goodbye  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
That was a sad story. It's always a very sad event to lose someone close. You think of all the time spent together, but also of the time not spent together, and what you could have or should have said and done. It does make you feel like your world has ended, and about that last goodbye never said. It makes you reflect for sure.

Thank you for posting !
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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
Very excellent flash fiction short story and use of the three words, "skeleton, grave, and moan." The story reminds me of the many 'creepy' places I was assigned to investigate over the course of my career in the Insurance Industry. Also reminds me of, "Halloween Horror Night" at Universal Studios in Orlando. Some of their shows scare the bejesus out of adults !

Thanks for posting !

Jon Blair Jacques
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Review of Why I Write  
Review by jonblair
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Those horrible parents of yours should be 'horsewhipped' for the crime of encouraging you to be your best !

And taking more English classes than was necessary for a Psychology major? Well, did you know the (preferable) undergraduate degree for law school is English, NOT Political Science ? Now, why do you think that is ? Hmmmm -

Thank you for posting, and thank your parents again as well. It WAS all their fault !

Jon Blair Jacques
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Review by jonblair
Rated: E | (4.5)
I enjoyed the story !

Having said that, however, Rachel was already hurting when she decided to trust complete strangers. The moral of the story is it's okay to be kind and giving to others, but not at the expense of your own vulnerabilities. The Good Book says, "BE MEEK." It doesn't say, "BE WEAK." Don't be WEAK while being MEEK. I think Christians conflate the two at times - not a good thing !

Thanks for posting !

Jon Blair Jacques



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