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101
101
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Rated: E | (5.0)
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

The first line of this poem reminds me of the song "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" As "When will we ever learn?" is a repeated question throughout the tune.

I like the rhyme of this piece, and the appreciation showed to the mental health nurse. They certainly have a tough job to do!

I have no suggestions for this, I think it's great as-is. Nice job!

IceSkating SugarCube
102
102
Review of A cancer poem  
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Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

Such a scary time! This poem is a testament to courage and perseverance. I really have no suggestions here. It's a sad, scary poem with a happy ending. Something that others who have dealt with cancer can loop upon and understand.

My mother had breast cancer several years ago and had to lose one breast and go through chemo. It was an uncertain, and horrifying time.

I'm glad you had a happy ending.

IceSkating SugarCube
103
103
Review of A Pain Endured  
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Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

Such a sad poem. I can relate to this after taking care of someone in chronic pain. The imagery is powerful, and I enjoyed the flow and rhythm. Phrases like "A shiny pearl in her own kind of hell," and comparing her pain to a pair of gloves she must wear really stick out to me as fantastic.

If I had to suggest one thing, it would be that toward the end of the poem, the word "must" is repeated twice. I would maybe revise to use a different word in one of those places. Otherwise, this is a very touching poem.

Nicely done!

IceSkating SugarCube


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104
104
Review of Insanity  
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Rated: E | (5.0)
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

I like the imagery of the dark clouds. I'm assuming this is an entry for the 24 syllables contest? Anyway, my suggestion has nothing to do with the poem itself. I think it's pretty well perfect the way it is. BUT, I would maybe arrange it on the page something like this:

So what of those dark clouds
         gathering above?
They imbue my mood
with toxic thoughts.
         My mind is lost.

Either way, it's still a very nice, descriptive, and poignant poem. Good job!

IceSkating SugarCube
105
105
Review of Broken Pieces  
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Rated: E | (4.5)
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

I will post any typos or corrections first, and then I'll give my opinion at the bottom.
"What hope have I of love, peace and joy?" There should be a comma between "peace" and "and."

The first stanza is in the person's POV, and the rest of the piece is in God's POV. I would suggest doing something to separate these POVs. Maybe put the first stanza in italics?

My thoughts: This is a very nice poem! The rhyme flows easily and is not forced. Nicely done!

IceSkating SugarCube


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106
106
Review of A Cry For Help  
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Rated: E | (5.0)
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

Before I give my thoughts, I'll post any errors that I see.
"But you need to know right now my friend" There should be a comma between "now" and "my": "...right now, my friend."

My thoughts:
This started out as a sad poem, but then (by the grace of God) became full of light and hope. Very nicely done. If I could make one small suggestion it would be this: I think if you reworked the last stanza so that it rhymed, it would have more impact. BUT, it's still a lovely poem, even if you decided not to change it.

Good job!

IceSkating SugarCube


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107
107
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Rated: E | (5.0)
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

The first thing that struck me about this poem, is the title. It's very interesting and made me want to read more.

It's sort of a sad poem, as losing independence and having your health begin to slip is never a happy time.

I feel for this "turtle." It is a lovely poem though, so at least there's that.*Smile*

I hope it did well in the Shadows and Light contest. Nicely done!

IceSkating SugarCube
108
108
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

Dang, this poem is just so darn easy to read. It flows right off the tongue like music. It's very nicely done!

I can see why this was featured in the newsletter. I don't know if that contest has been judged yet, but I'm sure this will do well there.

I really have no suggestions. I love it!

IceSkating SugarCube
109
109
Review of The ones I loved  
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Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

This is a sad poem. I think I like the last two lines the best, they really sum up the mood of the whole piece.

My opinion: I think some of the longer lines of this are awkwardly worded and could be smoothed out.

However, I didn't see any grammar, punctuation or usage mistakes here. It's very well written.

"And I miss love" is a very powerful, simple line. It packs a lot of feeling into those four words. Very nicely done!

IceSkating SugarCube


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110
110
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

Ooh, I like this one! The easy rhyme of this is impeccable. I did notice one tiny little thing. In your line "this whole parties turned into a big disgrace." You are using the plural form of party when I think you are trying to say "this whole party has turned..." so, the contraction for party and has would be party's. However, that's also the possessive form of party, so to avoid confusion, you could also just say "party has" unless it interferes with the flow of the poem. I hope that makes sense.

Otherwise, this looks pretty darn perfect. Nicely done!

IceSkating SugarCube


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111
111
Review of Silk curtains  
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

"The moon rises in violet" is a lovely image. However, I'll point out that this is an eight-syllable line, as "vi-o-let" has three syllables. (Assuming this was meant to be a haiku).

Otherwise, I love the imagery in such a short piece.

Nice job!

IceSkating SugarCube
112
112
Review of Treason  
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#1300305 by Maryann

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This is an interesting poem. Thank you for sharing it with me. I like the rhyming couplet style, but I'll point out that some of the couplets don't rhyme. It's not really that big of a deal, but it might have more impact if they did. For instance, "voice," and "twice" and "truth" and "lie" don't rhyme. Again, it's still a well-crafted poem, so if you choose not to rhyme everything, it's not a big deal.

I think my favorite part of this, is "The Symbolized slavery, mocking bravery." That's quite an image! Nicely done!

IceSkating SugarCube


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113
113
Review of My Best Friend  
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#1300305 by Maryann

Heart and Mind Raid

This is a lovely, wedding vow type of poem!

I just have one small suggestion:
"Side by side" is repeated in the first part of this, and it detracts from the piece as a whole.

However, if this was used in an actual wedding ceremony, I could totally understand wanting to keep it as is, and that's okay too.

This is a very nice reminder to even us old married couples to keep the romance alive. Very nicely done!

IceSkating SugarCube


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114
114
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#1300305 by Maryann

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Y/n = your name
F/c = favorite color
E/c = eye color
H/s = hair style
Reader's P.O.V.

I would ditch the abbreviations completely. No one is going to scroll up to remind them what they mean.
You were in your room when your phone buzzed. You picked it up and it was from your best friend Natasha. You answered the phone.
"Hello." You said leaning against the frame of your bed.
"Y/n, I have a surprise for you. comma--no period" Natasha said with excitement.
"What is it this time?" You asked.
"You're going on a blind date." Natasha said happily.
"What?!? With who?!?" You exclaimed. There are WAY too many dialogue tags here. It reads like a Dick and Jane book
"I can't tell you. It's called a blind date for a reason." Natasha said.
"Fine, when is it?"
"At six, today."
"What?!? That's in one hour!" You exclaimed.
"He'll come and pick you up. It's formal, so wear a cute dress." Natasha said hanging up.
You threw your phone on your dresser.
"Natasha comma that little matchmaker. I told her I haven't found the guy." You said looking through your closet for a dress. I don’t know what this means. “I told her I haven’t found the guy” What??
You found a f/c long dress with short cuffed sleeves and found some cute shoes to go with it. You did a h/s hairstyle and put on a tad bit of makeup. He should be there in ten minutes, so you decided to get a good book and read until he got there. *Ding dong* You opened the door only to reveal Tony Stark. He was wearing a nice tux and smiled as you opened the door.
"That evil soul." You mumbled under your breath.
"Excuse me, what was that?" Tony asked, a smirk crossing his face.
"Nothing. So where we going?" You asked closing the door behind you.
"Can't I get a name?" He asked.
You sighed. "Y/n."
"Tony Stark." He said extending out his hand.
You gave him a firm handshake, which surprised him. "I know who you are Mr. Stark." You said. "And, whoa... that is a nice car."
Tony smiled. "I know right. I mean the decals are pretty nice don't you think?"
"Yeah sure. Can we leave now? It's getting kinda chilly out here." You said with a shiver.
"Yeah." Tony said opening the passenger door for you.
"Thanks." You said getting in the car.
He drove you to a really fancy building Some description would be nice…
"Ready." He asked. If this is a question, there should be a question mark.
"I guess." You said getting out of the car.
You guys walked in and there was a lot of people, and not just any people rich people, like really rich. You feel you didn't quite fit in. Tony took notice and whispered into your ear. "Don't worry, you'll be fine."
You took a deep breath and nodded. A slow song started playing.
"May I have this dance?" He asked extending out his hand. “You guys” is repeated SO MANY TIMES in this story.
"Of course." You said grabbing his hand as he took you to the dance floor.
You were really glad you took those dance lessons, no comma because it really paid off.
"You're pretty good at dancing." Tony said as he twirled you around.
"Thanks, you're not too bad yourself." You said.
The song ended and you both sat back down. Another slow song started and a handsome young man walked up to you and asked you to dance. Tony raised a quizzical eyebrow and sat quietly as you two walked onto the dance floor. *Natasha did pretty good this time.* Tony thought staring at you. How did we get into Tony’s head? This is a strange POV. *She's pretty cute. I should invite her to the tower.* The song ended and you sat back down next to Tony.
"Hey, um, uh, do you want to go for a walk?" Tony asked hesitantly.
"Yeah, I kinda need the fresh air." You said walking out with Tony.
You and Tony walked around and started to get to know each other.
"Look at Tony." comma Natasha whispered from the roof to Steve. "He's actually laughing and talking with y/n."
"I haven't seen Tony this happy in a while."comma, no period Steve stated.
"Me too." comma, no periodNatasha said. "Come on. Let's give them some privacy."
"How about we meet at the park tomorrow. Sound good?" Tony said.
"Yeah, besides I walk my dog there every morning." You said.
"Around 8 a.m.?" Tony asked.
"Yeah."
Then you and Tony walked to his car and he drove you home.
"Bye." He called.
"Bye." You said with a wave as he drove away.
When you walked inside, your dog happily jumped to you. He was a cute little dog, that you had gotten a while ago. You set him on your bed and you both drifted off to sleep. The next morning, you got ready for the day and headed to the park with your dog. You were walking your dog along the park, when Tony came running towards you, tripping over your dog's leash, and face planting face-planting on the grass.
"Are you okay Tony?" You asked hiding a laugh.
"I think so." He said getting up and brushing off his clothes.
Your dog walked towards Tony and snuggled next to him.
"I think he likes you." You said as Tony pet him gently.
"No one can resist Tony Stark, and no animal for that matter." comma, no periodTony said with a smile.
"Sure Tony." You said playfully rolling your eyes.
Then a big scary looking pitbull pit bull is two words came charging after Tony. Tony quickly started running away, and the dog continued to chase him.
"Y/n!!!!" Tony screamed. "Please help me!!" So, Tony Stark is a total wimp?
You laughed and called the dog over. It obeyed and came right to you. You pet it and then it went off to play.
"How...did...you...do...that?" Tony said between breaths.
"I'm a dog trainer. I know quite a bit about dogs." You said petting your dog.
"That's really cool. Anyway, I was wondering if you wanted to visit the tower."
"Yeah sure." You said with a smile. "I also got this all on video.
"Great, we can leave right now. Wait, what did you say?" Tony said.
"Nothing." You said quickly.
You followed Tony to his car and you all got inside the car.
"Your dog is house trained right?" Tony asked.
"Of course." You said buckling your seat belt.
Tony drove to the tower and you guys walked inside
"Why if it isn't y/n." Natasha said giving you a handshake.
"Nat, nice to see you." You said happily.
"You must be y/n." Clint (a.k.a. Hawkeye) said. "Tony wouldn't stop blabbering about you last night."
Tony's face went red. "Don't listen to him, he's a little crazy."
"Sure." You said playfully rolling your eyes.
After you meet everyone, you guys all went into the living room and watched movies.
"What movie do you want to watch y/n?" Tony asked.
"What? Who are you and what have you done with Tony?" Clint said quickly.
"What do you mean?" You asked.
"Tony NEVER let's lets anyone pick the movie. He always says 'My house, my pick.' " Clint said.
"That's not true." Tony defended. "I've let you pick before."
"On my birthday, and then you turned it off after two minutes." Clint argued.
"It was boring." Tony defended.
"GUYS! Shut your mouths and let Steve pick." You yelled.
"Wait, what?" Steve said suddenly. "Why bring me into this?"
"Come on, I know you want to pick." You said.
"Honestly I do, but..."
"Okay then. Pick the movie."
Steve picked the movie and you guys watched it peacefully. After the movie commaTony drove you home. You guys exchanged phone numbers and you went inside. As you walked inside, three guys with masks were standing inside your house.
"One word and you're dead." One spoke harshly.
You stood there and didn't move. You really wished Tony was here right now, but that wasn't going to happen. Another one grabbed you and started tying you up. You looked for ways out of this situation, but you couldn't find any. You had electricity powers, but you hadn't used them much. You shot a ball of lightning at one of the guys, but it wasn't strong enough and made him ticked off.
"Shoot." You mumbled under your breath.
Just as you thought this wasn't going to end well, there was a knock on the door. One of the guys walked to the door and opened it. Tony was standing there with your dog's leash.
"Uh, who are you?" Tony questioned.
The guy didn't answer, insteadcomma he lunged towards Tony.
"Not a good guy." Tony said as kicked the guy and tied him up with the dog leash.
Then Tony saw you and his eyes widened, as he saw a guy coming towards with a blade.
"Y/n!" He yelled jumping towards the guy.
They fought on the ground as you tried to get out of the ropes,no comma but failed. This time you focused your energy and shot a lightning bolt towards the guy Tony was fighting. It blasted the guy off of Tony and he crashed into a wall. Tony rushed over to you and untied you.
"How did you..."
"No time to explain, we've got company." You said pointing towards another big group of masked people.
Tony pulled out his phone and called the other Avengers for back up. You and Tony tried to hold them off, but there was a lot of people. The other Avengers came and helped you guys fight them. They retreated, but before they did, you got shot in the leg.
"Y/n, are you okay?" Tony asked rushing next to you.
"I just got shot with a gun, but yeah, I'm totally fine." You said sarcastically.
"Right." Tony said helping you up.
"Great, my house is totally ruined." You sighed, looking at your destroyed home.
"Look on the bright side. You're dog's still alive." Tony said as your dog came running towards you.
"Seriously Tony?"
"Sorry, I was trying to be helpful. Let's get you back to the tower, we can fix you up there." Tony said helping to the car.
Tony quickly drove to the tower and you got bandaged up.
"Thanks Tony." You said.
"Yeah, no problem." Tony said with a smile
"Question. Why did you come back to my house?"
"Oh, I was going to return your dog leash, you kind of forgot it here."
"Well, I'm glad you came." You said.
"Well, you can live at the tower, because your house is destroyed. I think we could also train you to become an Avenger." Tony said. "Is electricity your only power?"
"Yeah." You responded.
"Do you have much practice?" Tony asked.
"No, hardly any at all actually." You said
"Don't worry, I can help train you." Tony said.
"Alright, let's start." You said happily.
"Right now? You just got shot in the leg!"
"Don't worry, I'm tough." You said.
"I'm sure you are, but I don't want you to get hurt. How about we start training after your leg is healed, and in the meantime, you and I can watch a movie, alone." Tony said staring at you with his warm brown eyes.
"Deal."
"Great, I'll help you to the living room." Tony said helping you up.
You guys got the the living room and Tony put on a movie. You both sat next to each other and Tony leaned in, but was interrupted by Thor.
"A movie!" Thor said sitting next to you.
Tony was not very pleased, but tried to conceal it. When Thor was distracted Tony leaned in again, but this time he was interrupted by Bruce.
"Y/n, I need to take a look at that leg. I need to see if there is deep damage." He said walking towards you.
You smiled at the irritated Tony as Bruce bandaged your leg.
"Somebody's jealous." You teased.
"Am not." Tony said crossing his arms.
Then you leaned in and gave Tony a quick kiss on his cheek. Tony smiled and wrapped an arm around you. The evil people were still out to get you, but you knew you were safe with the one and only Tony Stark.

Okay...here are my thoughts. There’s a reason that the second person isn’t a popular point of view. It just doesn’t work well. Very few people will relate to it. Plus, you have to use phrases like “you guys” a billion times, and repetition is the devil. Also, this story seems to be in everyone head at the same time. A second person omniscient point of view is extremely strange and doesn’t seem to work well.

Also, every character in this story acts like teenagers. ALL OF THEM. The main problem with the second person is that your character is everyone reading the story. For instance, I don’t have a friend named Natasha and I would never date Tony Stark because I’m married. But, I might enjoy a story about someone else doing that.

There are way too many dialogue tags. Said, exclaimed, asked…

It’s also strange to point out that the main character, (who was me, but also not me) has some superpowers. This was revealed halfway through the story, which makes the reader not trust the writer anymore. It’s like holding a big secret behind your back to bring out when it’s convenient. It makes us wonder what else is being withheld.

Putting empty space between ALL paragraphs would make this much easier to read.

I can see this as being a fun story written by a teenager, to share with fellow teenagers who share being fans of Iron Man in common.

Thank you for sharing it with me.

IceSkating SugarCube


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115
115
Rated: 18+ | (1.0)
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#2179952 by IceSkatingSugarCube


This is hilarious! I'm only giving the one star because I understand that's how the contest works. So, here's your single, solitary star. I particularly liked how you rhymed friend with "agained." *Rolling*

Good luck in the contest!

IceSkating SugarCube
116
116
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Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
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#1300305 by Maryann

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Thank you for submitting your story to "Give Me Something to READ!!

I strolled up to the inviting house at the edge of town, stopping at the gate to sensually stick my fingers into the mouth of the Jack-O-Lantern. That’s a very strange thing to do. I’m sort of intrigued. Though I would try to find a better verb so you can get rid of the adverb, “sensually.” I leave claw marks as I draw my hand away and laugh. My fingers go to my mouth to suck the pumpkin from under my nails as I walk to the door. The cool night breeze whips my hair around my face, making it hard to see. I am surprised when I hear a voice. I’m confused. Now we switch from past tense to present tense. It looks like the rest is in present tense, too. You’ll want to rewrite the first sentence to make it present tense.
"Come in please, we are expecting you" the voice calls to me through the door.
There should be a blank space between paragraphs
I turn the knob and enter. There is a cloying smell of spices inside, the only lighting is hundreds of candles, this is worded strangely. The only lighting is supplied by hundreds of candles, maybe? everywhere I look. I hear distant moaning, not of pain or sorrow, but pleasure. Taking a few steps into the room, I notice a sign on a table. Enter at Your Own Risk I would put this in itallicsMy hand goes to my throat, sliding past my right breast as it drops back down to my side, I notice my nipple is hard. This feels contrived to me. Trying to force an erotic moment Knowing what awaits me, my breath quickens and a warm feeling spreads to my entire body.
There should be a blank space between paragraphs
Lingering in the outer room before proceeding ahead, I remove the light jacket I was wearing,this sounds too much like past tense creeping back in. I would say “I remove my jacket, and lay it on a chair near me. laying it on a chair near me. A mirror on the other side of the room catches my reflection. Slowly I move closer to the mirror. Ditch the adverb “slowly,” find a verb that means “to move slowly.” Looking into my own eyes, I drink in the vision of my face. My hand involuntarily slides along my cheek, again stopping at my throat. I then slowly unbutton my shirt, opening it to the sides and running my hands over my breasts, watching as my nipples come alive. WHY? This seems like a strange thing to do My hands travel down my abdomen and my fingers reach the waist band Waistband is one word. of my pants. Diving under the waist band, my fingers spread out and slide to my hips pushing down on the material. My pants drop to the floor and I step out of them. Fingers wander over my lower abdomen and slide up and down my inner thigh. A small moan escapes my lips; I'm so ready to do this!
With a sigh comma I turn from the mirror and gather my clothes. I stuff them in the bag I brought with me and lay it next to my jacket. Facing the door before me, I can almost smell the sweat of bodies beyond This should be two sentences it excites me and I can hear myself breathing. I need this so bad!
There should be a blank space between paragraphs
I reach forward gingerly for the doorknob, then draw back. Visions flash in my brain of the last time I attempted this. Sights of sweating bodies all writhing in one room, keeping pace with the rhythmic music, groaning, grunting, and sometimes even screaming! Lose the exclamation. It My breath was catching in my throat, “was catching” is past tense, and awkward. choking me, yet urging me on. I could feel droplets of sweat roll between my breasts. I was getting soaking wet just standing there!
Again I reached “reached” is past tense for the door knob.”doorknob” is one word. Pushing it open the room was “was” is past tense. suddenly awash with light. People grabbed ”grabbed” is past tense at me to enter, "Come join us!" they pleaded.”pleaded” is past tense. Smiling and looking over my body, they sought ”sought” is past tense to find the areas that needed ”needed” is past tense manipulation. The scent of male and female sweat assaulted ”assaulted” is past tense. my olfactory senses. I found ”found” is past tense myself looking over their bodies as well, finding pleasing sights on some and not so much on others. There was ”was” is past tense. a cacophony of sounds in the room until one dominant person demanded “demanded” is past tense. attention; then all fell ”fell” is past tense quiet.
The dominant speaker paced ”paced” as they spoke “spoke” is past tense , telling us the rules for the evening. They were ”were” is past tense. simple; we should guard against being harmed at all cost. Endurance was expected but there was no shame in sitting out for a while to catch your breath. It would be strenuous, but the rewards would be
immeasurable. As always there would be ”would be” is repeated three times here. a slow start, very vigorous activity, then a cool down in which we could use the hot tub if we so desired.
"Let's get started, shall we?" the dominant figure turned and started the music. "You know the routine, for those that don't, watch your neighbor beside you. We will do two sets of ten leg stretches to start, ready now, one...two..."

This is all over the place with tenses. Pick one, and stick with it. By the last paragraph, I stopped pointing them out, but there are more.

Also, I’m confused by this. If this is leading up to be an exercise class, why was she doing all the weird erotic stuff before she entered the room? Strange, and the eroticism falls flat because her actions are too bizarre.

I appreciate the attempt at a twist ending, but in this story, it just doesn't work well. Maybe the character can tone down the sexuality and give the reader a faint hint that there might be an orgy on the other side of the door. That would work much better, I think.

Thank you for sharing this with me,

IceSkating SugarCube


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#1300305 by Maryann

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Thank you for entering your "lovely" poem into SugarCube's contest!

This is a sweet poem. I was a little confused about the line "If I were this Princess in his waking hours daily,"

I'm not sure what it means?

However, I do like the repetition of "today" in the last line. Reminds me of some of the old classics.

Good luck in the contest!

IceSkating SugarCube


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#1300305 by Maryann

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Thank you for entering this "lovely" poem into SugarCube's contest! I'm getting some pre-judging reading in, and I really like this. The repeated line adds a nice effect in this poem, with a "circle of life" sort of theme. It's lighthearted, sweet and charming. Nicely done! Good luck in the contest!

IceSkating SugarCube


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#1300305 by Maryann

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Greetings, Ken!

This is another brilliant entry for the contest. My cat does the same thing. Sometimes it creeps me out because I wonder what she sees that I don't. I like how most of your 24 syllables poems rhyme. This is another great one. Good job, and good luck!

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#1300305 by Maryann

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Thank you for submitting your story to "Give Me Something to READ!!

Here's a line edit for your cute story.

A noise in the direction of the front door startled him. Running to the door he flung it open and glared menacingly at the two women attempting to enter, “Don’t wake them up!” he hissed. Is this the mom and aunt who are at the door? It’s not clear who is at the door.

He has been this sentence is present tense. The rest of the story is past tense.a total wreck since THEY came into his life. Between the bruises, his nerves, and sleep deprivation, it was a wonder he was still standing. the word “was” is repeated.I’m going to put all the “was”s in red so you can see what I mean.

Today was the worst. With the caterwauling, the fighting, and the general mayhem he was at his wits wit’s end. He was on a deadline here! Then finally, They slept and he got to work.

Ignoring the women he went back to work while they silently made their way out of the room casting him furtive glances as they went.

Painstakingly he and his ladder moved quietly around the room making sure everything was perfect.{This wording seemed awkward to me, but I think if you just remove the adverb “painstakingly, it will help. He was on the last juncture when an ear piercing scream rent the air. The string he was holding instead of “was holding”, how about “held”. slid out of his shaking hands, he leaned forward to catch it and promptly fell face first onto the floor.

Before he could get up he heard the unmistakable pounding, the floor trembled beneath him, They were coming! Quickly he covered himself as best he could. In the merest of moments comma he was set upon. was set upon is a very passive, and boring way of saying it.

Feet and fists pummeled him, while nails bit into his skin as tiny kisses peppered his cheek. Laughing heartily he sat up, “Happy Birthday kids!” Twin smiles beamed up at him.

After shuffling them off to the kitchen with their Mother and Aunt he was able to finish decorating for the party. Just in time too, the guests started arriving moments after he put the ladder away.

Being a Dad was not easy, but, he glanced at the twins, it was worth every sleep deprived moment.

This a cute story! I'd be careful at how many adverbs are being used, as well as passive voice, and the use of "was."

Thank you for sharing it with me!!


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#1300305 by Maryann

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Thank you for submitting your story to "Give Me Something to READ!!
I’m going to do things a little differently, and do a line edit.

The private eye saw Rose in the window, wrapped in the arms of a man, kissing him passionately, unaware that a camera with a long distance lens was clicking away exposing her infidelity.

Jim had been sitting in his car all night waiting for Rose to make an appearance, his training from a previous career enabled him to remain awake, only the empty flask of coffee gave any clue.
Add extra space here
He watched his target through his camera lens as she left the block of flats, hurrying on her high heels. He wondered how women walked in shoes like those.

Stretching his long legs he followed her on foot down the busy high street. He found keeping her in view easy as her red scarf, casually thrown around her neck, wafted in the breeze making her easy to spot.

He kept a good distance between them, occasionally needing to stop and gaze into a shop window to avoid her seeing him.

She imagined no one would be interested in following her and Jim was good at his job; she didn’t see him. This is worded awkwardly. Maybe something like: She didn’t think anyone would be interested in following her, and since Jim was good at his job, she didn’t see him.
Add extra space here
Jim was a patient man and patience was an attribute one needed in his line of work, that, and an ability to just sit and watch and wait.

He didn’t fit most people’s image of a private detective, (dirty raincoat, chain smoking, chain-smoking borderline alcoholic,) appearing more like someone’s favourite uncle.
Balding slightly, steel-rimmed glasses, with a studious air, he could have passed for a College lecturer. I’m not sure why this sentence is on a separate line. It should go right up next to the last sentence. Also, since you’re not talking about a specific college, it doesn't need to be capitalized.

Jim got into the PI game after he left the army where they called him Bomber, or Special Forces Sergeant, James Cameron.

After leaving the army he found it difficult to fit into mainstream society until he started his own agency. The concept of “leaving the army” is repeated here. Maybe consolidate the two thoughts into one sentence?

‘James Tracker. Private Investigator. Discretion assured.

Rose hurried, even those shoes.sentence doesn’t make sense. Jim tailed her discretely, she was keen to get home he surmised, back to her husband and children, to continue the lie she’d been out all night with “the girls”.
If this is a new paragraph, there should be a blank line here.
She was unaware that her husband had his suspicions and that he’d hired Jim to find proof of his wife’s lies. Whose head are we in? If we’re in Jim’s head, then we don’t know what the woman is aware of.

These were Jim’s usual cases, exposing the activities of cheating spouses and returning runaway teenagers to their families.
There should be a space between paragraphs.
About a year ago a formidable-looking man charged through Jim’s door. He stood nearly two metres tall, massively built, giving the impression he often got his own way. His greasy hair hung past his shoulders and a thick black beard almost covered his face.
{There should be a blank line between paragraphs
“I need information and quickly, I want you to get it for me,” he boomed.

Jim decided it would be a good move on his part to accept the assignment, which he found, on being given further information, was to discover all he could about the Devil’s Warriors, a new outlaw motorcycle gang from interstate. is “interstate” a proper name?

The man, who called himself Mack, had heard rumours that the gang intended to set up shop here in the city. Is the next sentence part of this paragraph? If so, it needs to be up with it. If it’s a new paragraph, there should be a blank space between paragraphs.
Mack needed to know the leader’s name, how many they were and their plans.

“There’s only room for one gang here,” he grunted.

Jim had contacts all over Australia, also ways and means of gathering information. Within two weeks he delivered all the information “information” is repeated. Use a different word. Mack had asked for, including the name of his rival, a vicious character named Karl, better known to his followers as Lucifer.
{There should be a blank space between paragraphs
The gang had already purchased premises near Mack’s territory and would ride into town, thirty strong in the coming weeks.

Mack took the news badly. The look on his face would have scared a lesser man. Reaching into his jacket he threw a wad of banknotes onto Jim’s desk. “Thanks, maybe I’ll use you again,” he growled.

Jim had grave misgivings about being involved in a stoush interesting word. I had to Google it between two vicious rival motorcycle gangs and didn’t want to be in Mack’s employ. Bad things were about to happen.

Six months after the Devil’s Warriors moved into the city, the drug culture worsened considerably, to where drive-by shootings became a common occurrence.

Bikies This must be a regional term...in the U.S we call them “bikers.” It’s not a big deal. I had just never heard it before. delivered warning shots to the houses of people that owed them money for drugs.
There should be a blank space here if it’s a new paragraph, but I think the next sentence could be part of the paragraph above.
Local girls were being lured into prostitution and there’d even been a shootout in a city car park between the rival gangs.
There should be a blank space here.
The police arrested members from both groups but such was the code of silence no one would give evidence.

The violence in the city became worse, the police seemed helpless to curb the ongoing animosity between the rival gangs and newspaper headlines told of illegal activity escalating out of control.

Jim decided it was time to get rid of Mack, Lucifer and their bands of thugs.


It further strengthened his resolve after an encounter with Mack one hot summer’s day.
Jim’s daughter Jen was earning extra cash doing bookkeeping at her dad’s office, no comma when the deep-throated growl of a dozen Harley Davidson Harley Davidsons cut the air as the gang rode menacingly through town.
Jim recognised Mack’s distinctive bike as he was standing outside his office and lifted a hand in recognition, the huge bike pulled over.

Jen stepped out of the office at the same time and Jim saw the gleam in Mack’s eyes as he laid eyes on the eighteen-year-old.

“Hi comma Jim, and who’s this?” Mack growled, his black eyes scanning Jen’s slim body.

Jim laid a protective arm around his daughter’s shoulders. “This is my daughter, she’s home from university, she’ll be returning in a few weeks,” his voice held a warning.

“Fancy a ride?” Mack asked Jen, his tone suggested he meant something more.

Jen stared in awe at the bikie’s body. He was wearing a sleeveless tee shirt, his bulging arms covered in tattoos and his teeth gleamed white against the black beard.
She gave him a shy smile which gave her father chills. He saw it impressed her that Mack was showing her interest.

“Go back inside Jen. Jen,” Jim ordered.

“Jen, that’s a pretty name.” Mack drooled.

“She’s off limits comma Mack.”

“See’y Jim,” he opened the throttle and roared up the highway.

“He’s a dangerous character Jenny, keep away from guys like that,” Jim warned his daughter when they went back inside.

“Dad! I can look after myself,” she said, picking up her mobile and storming out.

Jim and his wife Alison were beside themselves with concern when only a few short weeks after their young daughter had first set eyes on Mack, things deteriorated to such a degree that Jen was spending more and more time inside the bikie enclave.

Jim tried unsuccessfully to convince her to see the danger she was putting herself in but she seemed to be under Mack’s spell and nothing her parents said made any difference.

As soon as Jen’s safely back at Uni, Mack and the other lowlifes won’t know what’s hit them, Jim thought.

Alison tried to talk a little sense into her daughter and get her to return to her studies.
“Mack will respect you more if you show him you’re not like the usual girls that hang around bike clubs,” she pleaded to her daughter’s sense of pride.


Jim thought he’d start the war off small with a Molotov cocktail through the Devil’s Warriors’ headquarter’s window.

‘Lucifer’ was furious and retaliated with a drive by drive-by shooting at the Sewer Rats club house.clubhouse
There should be a blank space here
It was as if it had mortally wounded Mack when someone blew up his Harley one night; the explosion caused half the town’s people to lose their sleep.

The violence escalated, retribution followed retribution, helped along by Jim’s knowledge of explosives and stealth.

Jen and Mack still kept in touch while they were apart and it concerned Jim that his beloved daughter would be home again soon and that the relationship would escalate. He needed to finish this once and for all.

His plan was to destroy the Devil’s Warriors’ headquarters causing them to assume that Mack’s gang the Sewer Rats had been responsible.

Waiting until the next new moon when the night sky was in darkness, Jim carried out his plan.

He’d purchased an ancient unregistered diesel truck and quietly parked it outside the Sewer Rats’ club house. clubhouse

He could hear the men inside laughing, planning their next illegal activity or sharing out their ill-gotten gains.

Jim filled the rusty old vehicle with diesel fuel, the truck bed contained several barrels of petrol.

Dressed in black clothing, he slipped out of the driver’s cab as quietly as he could and crossed the road, carrying a rifle and the bullets needed to penetrate and ignite the diesel.

He positioned himself in the shadows.

Taking aim, he fired into the old trucks’ fuel tank, the resulting explosion rocked the quiet suburb, and blew Jim off his feet, temporarily deafened.

The fire quickly spread, engulfing the club house.clubhouse Flames shot into the night sky and Jim saw leather cladded clad men running from the building, like the sewer rats they were leaving a sinking ship.

Jim casually walked away as fire engines raced to the scene.

It was a few days later that the Sewer Rats retaliated.

“Massacre on the Streets,” read the newspaper headline.
There should be a blank space here.
‘The police arrested several members of the Sewer Rats motorcycle gang today. They are accused of the slaying of Douglas Mackintosh (Mack), on the streets of our city. Tough new laws are being implemented to give the police power to enter club houses, clubhouses question members and force them to leave the state.’


It was a quiet night, Jim sat in his car, he sighed contentedly.
He was investigating a man whose wife said he was a “cheating bastard.”

Taking a sip of his coffee, Jim settled in for a long wait.

I’m sort of confused why we get so much information about the woman at the beginning of the story when the story isn’t about her at all. It switches gears and then talks about Mack and his gang. It felt a little disjointed because of that.

There’s also a couple of mentions of the woman not being aware of him following her. We shouldn’t know that unless we’re in her head.


I recommend shortening the first part quite a lot. Maybe open the story with Jim being happy that the city has calmed down after what happened with Mack, and that it’s nice to be following cheating wives again. Obviously, not in those words.
This was a bold genre choice, and though it could use some work, it definitely has potential. There’s a story here. Thank you for sharing it with me.


IceSkating SugarCube


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#1300305 by Maryann

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I'm leaving this review as part of the "I Write in 2019 requirements.

This is a lovely poem. I didn't see the prompt image, but I appreciated the author note at the bottom describing it.

My favorite lines are at the end of the poem.
"your job is to connect
the east to the west,
while civilizing America."

That is a poignant image. I can almost hear those sledgehammers crashing down.
Good luck with your contest!

IceSkating SugarCube
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#1300305 by Maryann

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Thank you for sharing this story with me, Ken. It definitely has a twisted ending! I was starting to think this Don Diego fella was a perv. I also appreciated the fact that you had so few words to work with, but you gave both characters extremely long names *BigSmile*

I'm not sure if this won the contest, but it is a winner either way.

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#1300305 by Maryann

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I love this entry, Ken! The rhyme, the simplicity. It's a very nice entry for 24 syllables. I love the new words that this contest introduces me to. I usually have to Google them, but it's a nice vocabulary builder. You have used today's word nicely. Good job!

Here's a trinket for you *BigSmile*

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#1300305 by Maryann

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Thank you for submitting your story to "Give Me Something to READ!!

Initial thoughts:

To make this easier to read, I recommend not indenting paragraphs. Instead, leave a blank space between paragraphs. This is the norm for written pieces online.

The first paragraph uses the word "was" a lot. That means you're using a lot of passive voice.

Also, in this sentence " it wasn't just her's, but her mothers as well." You shouldn't put an apostrophe in "hers", but you do need one in "mother's."

"The ground was vibrating, or was it her imagination taking flight?" more "was." Repeating words in a story gets tiresome for the reader. "The ground vibrated", or "the ground shook," would work better.

The word "was" appears 20 times in this story. I read ahead a little and see that it changes from past tense to present tense, which is most likely why there aren't more "was"s in the rest of the piece. It's mostly found in past tense.

"not her imagination but rather reality, a cruel reality." this is a bit wordy. I would cut "rather reality."

"Another wave of sob rushed up at her"
"wave of sob" makes no sense.

"Crashed" is used twice in the last paragraph of chapter one.

Chapter two switches from the third person to first person, and from past tense to present. Plus it has chapters...all very strange things to happen in a short story.

"stiff uniform and an their arrogant swagger,"
I'm not sure what this is supposed to say, but "an their" can be cut completely.

"children who slinks in alleys although..."
children who "slink"

"we are in fact one of them."
This doesn't make sense, because "we" implies many, and "one" is, well...one.

"I scan the market again to see if there's any easy target."
an easy target.

I suggest getting the free version of Grammarly. It will catch most of these. There are a LOT more, so I won't go through each one, but running it through a spelling/grammar checker would help a lot.

I've looked pretty hard, and I can't see chapter three. It skips from 2 to 4.

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a short story or the beginning of an outline for a longer work. If it's a short story, I'd rework it so there are no chapters, and the whole piece stays in the same POV and tense.

BUT, if this is going to be a longer piece, then stick with it. There is good writing in there, this is just a little rough as I'm assuming it's the first draft. Those are always rough, no matter who you are.

Having now read to the end, I see that the story doesn't end, which leads me to believe that it's an ongoing longer piece. That's good. I wouldn't spend too much time on grammatical changes, because once the first draft is done, there's a lot of rewriting that will need doing. (Again, that's not because of problems with this particular story, rewriting ALWAYS needs to be done with every piece.)

Thank you for sharing this with me.

IceSkating SugarCube









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