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Public Reviews
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101
101
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (4.5)


Hello, Rashi! I reviewed and rated your piece entitled:

LIVE EACH MOMENT.... ITS PRECIOUS!!

*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

Of course, I whole-heartedly agree with you. This is the sort of wisdom that takes a lifetime to fully comprehend... Something most important to teach children.

*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

It will be vital to say," MORE EXPECTATION LEADS TO MORE PAIN AND LESS EXPECTATION LEADS TO MORE HAPPINESS".

This is excellent advice... but, again, unfortunately sometimes it takes a lifetime to fully embrace and comprehend.

*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

Nothing.

*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

No suggestions. I realize English is not your native language; so we can't expect it to be perfect.

*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

Spacing, especially between paragraphs, might make this an easier read.

*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

I found this piece of writing admonishing as well as encouraging. Anyone can certainly glean something from what is written here.

*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
102
102
Review of Itchy  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)
Delightful.

ITCHY has a nice ebb and flow. We've all been ITCHY at one time or another --- not a good thing, but often memorable... hard to forget.
103
103
Review of The Creator  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)


Hello there, Tazia! Thank you for entering my contest. I reviewed and rated your piece entitled:

THE CREATOR

*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

You definitely have a way with words... While your word count is 124 for a submission in a 300-words or less flash fiction contest, you've made each word count and work well for you.

*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

The spotlight shines down on the Creator...an ovation is left to be found; only silence remains except for the slight chirp of the crickets.

I thought it was a perfect, anti-climactic ending.

*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

Nothing found.

*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

No problems or suggestions. Looks good to me.

*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

If you can write this well with 124 words, imagine what you could do with 2,000. (I believe that is the minimum word count for a piece to be considered a "short story.") Not that you haven't already written one that I'm unaware of..., but this piece is definitely something you could work with. However, I find it "perfect" as-is.

*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

The light airy quality was quick, genuinely artistic and imaginative.

*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
104
104
Review of The Cave  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello.

I've reviewed your piece entitled:
         THE CAVE

and wish to give you my humble opinions, comments and interpretation in order to help, strengthen and encourage you.

*Bullet*Point of View (Who is the story teller?):
         This story is told by Cristina's point of view... since it is her dream. =)

*Bullet*Time and Place:
         This story could take place at any time... apparently near a mountain range.

*Bullet*Situation or Circumstance:
         A little girl has recently lost her mother and she is on an adventure (in her dreams) with her Aunt Heather.

*Bullet*General Plot (chain of events):
         We are guided through a dream apparently inside the caverns of a mountain. The chain of events is clear:
         (1) A child's mother has died and she now lives with her aunt;
         (2) The child dreams of climbing a mountain and exploring its caverns with her aunt;
         (3) The child is awakened from her dream by her aunt calling her name; and
         (4) As she awakens, they are really going on some sort of a hiking adventure.

*Bullet*Exposition (background information):
         We're told Cristina's mother has recently died and she is now staying with her Aunt Heather.

*Bullet*Protagonist (main character):
         Cristina

*Bullet*Other Important Characters:
         Aunt Heather and the little creatures in Cristina's dream.

*Bullet*Incentive Moment:
         I found the incentive moment to be right at the end as Aunt Heather gently calls Cristina's name three times while awakening her.

*Bullet*Conflicts are between:
         (1) Cristina and her mother's death;
         (2) Aunt Heather and the death of Cristina's mother;
         (3) Cristina and the little creatures in her dream.

*Bullet*Complications:
         Cristina's mother has recently passed away.

*Bullet*Title (appropriate/inappropriate):
         Appropriate.

*Bullet*Resolution:
         The resolution is as Cristina awakens and we discover she was only dreaming; yet an outing with her Aunt Heather is planned for the afternoon.

*Bullet*Theme (controlling idea or central insight, the purpose of the story):
         How a little girl and her aunt cope with the death of the child's mother.

*Bullet*Areas to be reviewed for improvement:
         Review the first paragraph, I believe you have a word out of place. (You may have changed your mind while writing or revising and left a word in there by mistake.)

*Bullet*My favorite part:
         When Cristina is awakened by her Aunt Heather calling her name three times in unison with the little furry creatures of her dream.

*Bullet*My overall thoughts in a nutshell:
         I found this a delightful story. I enjoyed the fantasy of the little girl's dream and it was a relief to discover she was dreaming. (I was beginning to wonder about those little furry creatures with squared teeth. Though Cristina and her Aunt didn't seem to feel threatened by them, I wondered about their intentions.)

If anything I've said is not helpful to you, please think it over. Disregard it, if necessary, because you are the author and these are merely my personal thoughts/comments.

If you have any questions; or if you feel I've missed some aspect of your writing, let me know.

Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202 -- Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
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105
Review of A Terrifying Life  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello. Thank you for entering this contest!

I've reviewed your piece entitled:
         A TERRIFYING LIFE

and wish to give you my humble opinions, comments and interpretation in order to help, strengthen and encourage you.

*Bullet*Point of View (Who is the story teller?):
         The feral cat.

*Bullet*Time and Place:
         No specific time. The setting is in a neighborhood, around a tree.

*Bullet*Situation or Circumstance:
         A cat is in search of nourishment so as to feed its kittens when a predatory dog's teeth tear into the flesh of the cat's hind leg.

*Bullet*General Plot (chain of events):
         (1) A feral, injured cat is in a tree playing a waiting game with a dog closing in on her;
         (2) The dog's owner provides a small distraction when he comes with food and water to feed his pet;
         (3) The cat seems on the verge of losing hope when she suddenly awakens after an unplanned but refreshing snooze, catching the dog off-guard;
         (4) The cat bounds out of the tree and over the fence to find momentary safety, away from the dog.

*Bullet*Exposition (background information):
         We're not given a lot of background information... only that the cat in this story is feral and has a litter of kittens waiting to be fed.

*Bullet*Protagonist (main character):
         The cat.

*Bullet*Other Important Characters:
         The dog, its owner, and hungry kittens.

*Bullet*Incentive Moment:
         When the cat escapes the dog, bounding out of the tree and over the fence.

*Bullet*I found Conflicts:
         (1) Between the cat and the dog;
         (2) The dog's owner and the dog at feeding time (because food and water are a temporary distraction for this dog and its intended prey);
         (3) An injured cat and her waiting kittens, all on their own without anyone to care for them.

*Bullet*Complications:
         The injury to the cat's hind leg causes a complication as it slows the cat down and makes it weary, thereby increasing danger.

*Bullet*Title (appropriate/inappropriate):
         Appropriate.

*Bullet*Resolution:
         The cat gets away safely.

*Bullet*Theme (controlling idea or central insight, the purpose of the story):
         A homeless cat and her kittens lead a terrifying life.

*Bullet*Areas to be reviewed for improvement:
         If you look this piece over a few more times, I'd bet you could make it even better.

*Bullet*My favorite part:
         I go a little farther and see nothing of him. I am so afraid; my heart is pounding. He is coming. I have to jump – over the fence into the yard next door! I am safe!


*Bullet*My overall thoughts in a nutshell:
         I liked this story told from a feral cat's point of view. It demonstrates imagination, creativity and empathy. It also makes the reader think about the plight of feral cats.

If anything I've said is not helpful to you, please think it over. Disregard it, if necessary, because you are the author and these are merely my personal thoughts/comments.

If you have any questions; or if you feel I've missed some aspect of your writing, let me know.

Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202 -- Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
106
106
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)


Hello, Magoo! I reviewed and rated your poem entitled:
WHY I LOVE BABIES IN HIGHCHAIRS

*Bullet*My overall thoughts:
Delicious. I merrily read through your poem until the mystery was revelled... (I'm playing now.) Then I experienced an ah-ha moment. (I thought the protagonist was the baby's dad!)

*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:
Yes, he's my new best friend and I'm his special pup,
He makes quite the mess and I'm glad to clean it up.


It made me laugh at myself! (...maybe your intention?)

*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:
I enjoyed the entire poem.

*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):
None.

*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:
None.

*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:
I found this piece fun in a crazy sort of way, as I was imagining the daddy and was delightfully surprised by the puppy.

*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
107
107
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Congratulations, Davis! I wish you success. Enjoy your retirement and keep putting your gifts and talents to good use.
108
108
Review of The Big Lie  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: ASR | (5.0)


Hello, D.L. Robinson! I reviewed and rated your poetry entitled:
THE BIG LIE

*Bullet*My overall thoughts:
The title is what pulled me in, along with your brief description.

This piece has a definite rhythm and rhyme scheme that works well for you.

*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:
It’s all been a big lie,
I am shaken to the core;
The things I used to think of me,
I don’t think anymore.


You grab our attention and captivate us with your opening stanza. You then continue drawing us through your poetry -- each line of verse, stanza-by-stanza.

*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:
I liked the entire piece: raw honesty and imagery, with a perfect blend of emotion.

*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):
Nothing found.

*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:
I have no suggestions for improvement. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and interpreting THE BIG LIE.

*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:
In the first grade, before visiting the zoo, we were taught the following:

         Monkey see, monkey do.
         Monkey do the same as you.


As I raised my own daughter, I made mistakes, but I made sure I practiced whatever I preached. For instance, I wanted her to wear a seatbelt in the car. So, I made sure to fasten mine.

Also, I think there comes a time in every life when we become an adult and have sort of an epiphany of understanding: (1) We can't please everyone; (2) Our parents aren't always right. [Those were two biggies for me.] The same can cause angst until we come to terms with the fact that our parents/guardians did the best they could under the circumstances, that they're human, and as humans they make mistakes --- some big, some small. (No one really teaches you how to be a parent. We learn by example.)

*Bullet*Final thoughts:
Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
109
109
Review of Winter Night  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)


Hello, Arakun! I have just reviewed your poetry entitled:

WINTER NIGHT

*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

Lovely. I enjoyed both rhythm and rhyme, but especially your very appropriate descriptions of a winter night.

*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

I found it hard to choose something "most liked" because I found perfect symmetry here. However, your beginning stanza sets the stage perfectly for the rest of this piece.

Twinkling diamonds, shining bright,
Snowflakes falling in the night.


*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

I liked the entire piece.

*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

No mistakes/suggestions found.

*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

This piece is beautiful... no improvement necessary from my perspective.

*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

I was there. You took me there with your words.

*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
110
110
Review of Blinded?  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: ASR | (5.0)


Hello there, Mars! I have reviewed and rated:

BLINDED?

*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

Your poetry gracefully forces one to pause, think, stop.

*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

I most like the way you've formatted this piece.

Three stanzas, three lines each. The first line of both of the first two stanzas is a gentle phrase starting with the word "when;" each middle line is a dramatic one-word axis, which hammers line three and its simple words of clear imagery.

Finally, the wholesome question in the third stanza brings your point home.

The format is captivating and extremely appropriate.

*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

I thoroughly liked this piece.

*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

None.

*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

I wouldn't change a thing.

*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

I was impacted by simple, stark, bold imagery within the first two stanzas, especially poignant when contrasted by the final question and tranquil imagery of stanza three. The third stanza makes the first two stanzas all the more stunning.

*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
111
111
Review of A Lunar Tan  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello.

Hi, Lyle "Sticktalker," I've reviewed your piece entitled:

A LUNAR TAN

and wish to give you my humble opinions, comments and interpretation in order to help, strengthen and encourage you.

*Bullet*Point of View (Who is the story teller?):

Uncle Mark's unnamed nephew.

*Bullet*Time and Place:

The future... at a space station on the moon.

*Bullet*Situation or Circumstance:

Building the first human spacial habitat on the moon.

*Bullet*General Plot (chain of events):

The chain of events had a good flow --- from lift off, to Guinea, to outer space coasting toward the moon and landing.

*Bullet*Exposition (background information):

We're told the "skin-tight" suits had not yet been invented... Yet this is surely in the future; since to my knowledge no space stations have been setup to date.

*Bullet*Protagonist (main character):

The storyteller --- Uncle Mark's unnamed nephew.

*Bullet*Other Important Characters:

The three men working with Uncle Mark's nephew; Commander George Wilson; the Lunar Corp.

*Bullet*Incentive Moment:

When the "cat" hit the volcanic rock and wouldn't budge.

*Bullet*Conflicts:

         -- Waiting for the rocket to be fueled;
         -- Waiting in Guinea because of a glitsch;
         -- When the "cat" hit the rock and wouldn't budge;
         -- When the guy smashed his hand with a wrench while working on the "reactor;"
         -- When the "cat" had a freeze-up;
         -- When one of the "cat's" cracked and peeled off;
         -- Timing -- since they had to work only during certain hours to keep away from the intensive heat of the sun;
         -- When Uncle Mark and his nephew devised a plan to string up some nylon on poles to circumvent the heat of the sun and have light to finish some work, blocking about 85% of the heat;
         -- Since Uncle Mark and nephew did not go through the proper channels of command in order to string up the nylon, they experienced the diminshed wrath of Commander Wilson since Lunar Corp gave them a bonus for their efforts...

*Bullet*Complications:

Hitting the rock; fighting amongst one another in the Mess Hall; pleasing both Commander Wilson and the Lunar Corp.

*Bullet*Title (appropriate/inappropriate):

I found the title appropriate -- enticing...

*Bullet*Resolution:

The ending wasn't abrupt but seemed to follow the story in due course.

*Bullet*Theme (controlling idea or central insight, the purpose of the story):

The future in space -- space stations, etc.

*Bullet*Areas to be reviewed for improvement:

Since I haven't written a lot of short stories myself, I find it hard to say anything here --- though from what I've been told the characters --- especially the main storyteller --- needs to be more clearly identified. Also, the three men he worked the reactor with... tell us more about them.

*Bullet*My favorite part:

We waited around another couple of days (in zero gravity, Essy didn't spin like the Wheel) and then there were three days of coasting to the moon.

*Bullet*My overall thoughts in a nutshell:

I liked this piece. I enjoy Science Fiction, stories about the future...

If anything I've said is not helpful to you, please think it over. Disregard it, if necessary, because you are the author and these are merely my personal thoughts/comments.

If you have any questions; or if you feel I've missed some aspect of your writing, let me know.

Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202 -- Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
112
112
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)


Hello there, Valet Dave! I have reviewed and rated your commentary entitled:

BUSH FIRES LIGHT UP STUPIDITY

*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

A very thoughful commentary, easy to understand and follow... Definitely a very good Editorial --- "letter to the editor."

*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

This disaster has been tragic, but the burnt remnants that remain are more indicative of our society, rather than the stripped assets that will be replaced as memories are systematically erased.

Quite a resolution to such a persuasive commentary.

*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

Nothing.

*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

None. (I'm sure you spell words differently than we here in the USA... We use "z" where you use an "s.")

*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

None. I liked this thoughtful commentary. Your points were clear and well-founded. I see the same things happening here with the economy and the "so-call" bailout.

*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

"Freedom of speech" is a fundamental right that shouldn't be taken for granted. Any time we have the opportunity to speak out, honestly, truthfully and with integrity and honor, we should not hesitate to do so.

*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
113
113
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)


Hello there, Tree Hugger, aka Paula! I reviewed and rated your column entitled:

WEAVING AS THERAPY

*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

What an interesting, unique hobby...

*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

I find it difficult to choose a favored line or phrase since I enjoyed the entire piece so thoroughly. With that said, I believe the following could be a favored line:

Each stroke gives me a chance to work out my tensions physically, without doing damage to the subjects of my ire.

*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

I liked the entire piece. Sorry I couldn't find anything wrong, unsuitable... anything that gave me pause or needed clarification... =)

*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

Appropriate.

*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

I suggest you write more about your weaving. I found this an interesting "column" about your craft. Reading this piece made me wonder, How does one learn to weave?

*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

Your writing was graceful and smooth. I found my interest in weaving peaked. I'd like to know more about it.

*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
114
114
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)


Hello there, Khalish! I reviewed and rated your poetry entitled:

THE PAIN: a sonnet

*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

I didn't check to make sure you followed the style. I feel that's your job.

I found this piece quite lovely, bubbling over with honesty.

*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

I most liked the gentle flow of your rhythm and rhyme. I found your poetry simple, well balanced, not over-reaching or falling short.

*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

I cannot find anything least liked... This is the sort of poetry I most enjoy reading --- a smooth flow of words spoken with candor and passion.

*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

None found.

*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

None.

*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

This piece gave me pause to consider how easily our hearts and minds are wounded by words mis-spoken by another --- sometimes intentional, but most often not.

*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
115
115
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)
I found this piece very informative... Are you studying fabrics? You certainly have a lot of knowledge as to the different weaves, etc.

I would like to know more of your personal background because this piece certainly peaked my interest in who you are and what you do to earn a living. It was nice of you to share with us.

This was a delightful learning experience for me. Thank you.
116
116
Review of Life of Denial  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Thank you for entering my 500-Word Flash Fiction Contest (2-21-09 thru 2-28-09)!

I've reviewed your piece entitled:

LIFE OF DENIAL

and wish to give you my humble opinions, comments and interpretation in order to help, strengthen and encourage you.

*Bullet*Point of View (Who is the story teller?):

An older lady with a drug addiction.


*Bullet*Time and Place:

This story takes place in the present, in the worst part of a big city at around 7:00pm.


*Bullet*Situation or Circumstance:

The lady in the story seems stuck between a rock and a hard place. She wants to stop "using," killing herself, but can't seem to find the strength of will to do so.


*Bullet*General Plot (chain of events):

The chain of events is clear and stays on course. The story line doesn't falter or waver.


*Bullet*Exposition (background information):

This lady has a drug habit and her dealer's street name is 'Eight Pound.' The author is very descriptive in detailing her mixed emotions as well as the tell-tale signs of her addiction.


*Bullet*Protagonist (main character):

...an older lady with a drug habit.


*Bullet*Other Important Characters:

...Eight Pound. He seems to enjoy the profits from dealing drugs and the thrill of quick cash helps him remain blind to the negative influence his business has on the people within his community -- apparent by the grin on his face when he sees a junkie approaching and he gains confidence to raise his price.


*Bullet*Incentive Moment:

...when Eight Pound grins at his victim.


*Bullet*Conflicts:

The conflicts I see are as follows:

         --The main conflict is an internal one for this elderly junkie as she wants to quit poisoning herself but can't seem to muster the strength required;
         --Eight Pound presents a conflict because his grin seems to melt her resolve to stop using; and
         --The addict's thoughts of days gone by when she was free from the bondage of drugs and ...life was full of hope, not scars and tears.


*Bullet*Complications:

...Self-control and freedom from both addiction and an eager dealer.


*Bullet*Title (appropriate/inappropriate):

I found the title appropriate and compelling. If browsing the site, I would definitely consider a closer look after reading the title.


*Bullet*Resolution:

The ending is not happy, though it is a good fit.


*Bullet*Theme (controlling idea or central insight, the purpose of the story):

The life of a drug addict -- denial in believing sheer will-power is all it takes to quit.


*Bullet*Areas to be reviewed for improvement:

I found a few grammatical errors -- tense conflicts -- and one misspelled word:

         --In the first paragraph, third sentence "There's" should be "There are."
         --In the third paragraph, "loosing" should be "losing."
         --This piece could benefit from some tightening, getting rid of unnecessary words; for instance, in the fourth paragraph, the last sentence might be stronger with a period after the word "deny" and by dropping "which is" and making "She's here for a purpose..." a stand-alone sentence. Or if you choose to keep the two parts together, maybe lose the "which is" and insert a semicolon after "deny" and before "she's."
         --"That" is usually an "unnecessary" word we all tend to over-use.
         --In the second to last paragraph, I believe you need a comma after "lying down," and drop the word "a" before the word "poison." Perhaps instead say:

She hates herself for lying down, but it's so much easier to run than to face her life. Here's something that will fill the void, even if it is poison.


*Bullet*My favorite part is your last paragraph:

Her hands relax and she stands up straight. There’s another sigh of resignation. Then with silent distinction she crossed the intersection in front of a multitude of cars, her dress billowing in the wind and wispy white hair streaming...


*Bullet*My overall thoughts in a nutshell:

This was good. I enjoyed reading your work. (Last night I watched a movie called "The Dead Girl," though quite different than your piece, the dead girl wouldn't have died if not a prostitute feeding her addictions.)


If anything I've said is not helpful to you, please think it over. Disregard it, if necessary, because you are the author and these are merely my personal thoughts/comments.

If you have any questions; or if you feel I've missed some aspect of your writing, let me know. (With a little more revising the 4-star rating would easily become a 5, if I were doing the reviewing.)

Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202 -- Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
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Review of Be Free!  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (4.5)
Thank you for entering my 500-Word Flash Fiction Contest (2-21-09 thru 2-28-09)!

I've reviewed your piece entitled:

BE FREE!

and wish to give you my humble opinions, comments and interpretation in order to help, strengthen and encourage you.


*Bullet*Point of View (Who is the story teller?):

This story is told by an elderly lady.


*Bullet*Time and Place:

Daytime, in town, close to a park.


*Bullet*Situation or Circumstance:

An elderly lady, though living in the confines of a nursing home, seems to savor every moment of freedom. She especially likes to frequent a certain park and doesn't mind stopping traffic if necessary.


*Bullet*General Plot (chain of events):

The author's plot is clear and concise as he uses an elderly lady to tell us about a frequent experience in her life, how she longs to be free --- living on her own, making her own choices, enjoying the fresh air found out-of-doors.


*Bullet*Exposition (background information):

We know this lady is nearing the end of her life and has learned the wisdom of enjoying the freedom most of us take for granted. She is definitely not a wallflower by the description of her outing, her thoughts and motivations.


*Bullet*Protagonist (main character):

An unnamed elderly lady.


*Bullet*Other Important Characters:

None, other than the minivan driver from the nursing home.


*Bullet*Incentive Moment:

...when she sees the minivan from the nursing home.


*Bullet*Conflicts:

Conflicts I see are:

         --she stops the flow of traffic;
         --the site of the minivan pulling to the curb, stops her from enjoying the nearby park;
         --she is confined to a nursing home and, therefore, is no longer free to live her life by her own means and will.


*Bullet*Complications:

(1) She stops traffic; and (2) the appearance of the minivan.


*Bullet*Title (appropriate/inappropriate):

I found the title appropriate and inspiring. I would definitely be drawn to this piece if browsing the site for something to read and, perhaps, review.


*Bullet*Resolution:

The resolution of the story is when this elderly lady's trip is cut short as the fateful minivan from St. Anne's Home for the Elderly pulls to the curb to interrupt her excursion.


*Bullet*Theme (controlling idea or central insight, the purpose of the story):

Freedom -- how we should enjoy it while and when we can.


*Bullet*Areas to be reviewed for improvement:

In the last sentence of the first paragraph I found "experiences" should be "experience" and ...for example - "were" should be "was."


*Bullet*My favorite part:

She escaped the cloistered confines of her own residence as often as she could knowing, even as she left, that the freedom would be short-lived. The hunt was on, she was sure, and would soon end. There was only one park nearby, and it always drew her as a moth to a flame. To be sure, the grounds where she lived were well maintained but, as she always reminded the others, the grass was inside the walls and, therefore, held captive even as they were.


*Bullet*My overall thoughts in a nutshell:

I enjoyed reading BE FREE! I found it flowed nicely and told a "proverbial" story in the sense that we sometimes don't appreciate what we have until it's gone. One of the most important things we have to enjoy is freedom.


If anything I've said is not helpful to you, please think it over. Disregard it, if necessary, because you are the author and these are merely my personal thoughts/comments.

If you have any questions; or if you feel I've missed some aspect of your writing, let me know.

Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202 -- Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
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Review of Sophia  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (4.5)
Thank you for entering my 500-Word Flash Fiction Contest (2-21-09 thru 2-28-09)!

I've reviewed your piece entitled:

Where is your title? =)

I suggest maybe: UNREAL or SOPHIA (Something that will prompt someone browsing to look inside and read your story.)


Here are my humble opinions, comments and interpretations to strengthen and encourage you.

*Bullet*Point of View (Who is the story teller?):

Sophia is the obvious storyteller.


*Bullet*Time and Place:

This story takes place in the present with flashbacks to the past.


*Bullet*Situation or Circumstance:

During the Christmas Eve holiday, Sophia begins to pine over the love of her life whom she lost to cancer.


*Bullet*General Plot (chain of events):

The general plot distinguishes itself by starting in the past, proceeding to the present, with a "reality check" twist at the end...


*Bullet*Exposition (background information):

From Sophia's point of view, the reader is told of two people deeply in love. Then we are given a insight through a few memories of their life together.


*Bullet*Protagonist (main character):

Sophia is the main character.


*Bullet*Other Important Characters:

Derek.


*Bullet*Incentive Moment:

I believe the incentive moment is when Sophia reminisces over her life with Derek compared to her life without him.


*Bullet*Conflicts:

Sophia suffers from internal/mental conflicts, as she grieves her loss of Derek, relives past memories, and looks in the mirror at her present reflection --- grief-stricken, old, sad and lonely.


*Bullet*Complications:

Derek's untimely death.


*Bullet*Title (appropriate/inappropriate):

There was no title... =)


*Bullet*Resolution:

The resolution is clear --- death by suicide. [I've only just begun to wonder about the driver(s) who hit Sophia and the grief they suffered.] This story is a significant tragedy --- as many tragedies written throughout the ages.


*Bullet*Theme (controlling idea or central insight... the purpose of the story):

Death, sadness, grief, suicide.


*Bullet*Areas to be reviewed for improvement:

         (1) You need a title.
         (2) The first paragraph was not indented.
         (3) I wasn't sure "special" and "especially" worked well for you in the first sentence --- sort of redundant in a roundabout way.
         (4) In the last sentence of the first paragraph, I believe "anything" should be "anyone."
         (5) Get rid of any unnecessary words; for instance, "had" (in the second to last word of the second paragraph, and again in the third line of the fifth paragraph). Instead you might say:

                   (a) ...this was how she thought love was meant to be. (Also, this a run-on sentence, which should be separated by either a period or semi-colon from the preceding sentence.) In other words:

                   ...breathing sweet nothings in her ear; this was how she thought love was meant to be. --or-- ...breathing sweet nothings in her ear. This was how she thought love was meant to be. --or-- ......breathing sweet nothings in her ear. This was how love was meant to be, she thought.

                    (b) ...The doctors called it cancer.

         (6) "Goodbye" should be "good-bye".


*Bullet*My favorite part:

...Carefully she continued forward until she reached the mid-section of the road; she stopped. She took a moment to whisper a quick prayer, a tear slowly etching a route on her face she held the photo in her pocket. She closed her eyes and took a blind step out in front of the oncoming cars.

(Notice the semi-colon before "...she stopped," which remedies another run-on-sentence.)


*Bullet*Final thoughts:

This is a great piece of work. Many people like to read tragedies such as this one. They tug at our hearts.


If anything I've said is not helpful to you, please think it over. Disregard it, if necessary, because you are the author and these are merely my personal thoughts/comments.

If you have any questions; or if you feel I've missed some aspect of your writing, let me know.

Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202 -- Thank you, Dr. J

A helpful link for every writer: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/passivevoi...
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Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thank you for entering my 500-Word Flash Fiction Contest (2-21-09 thru 2-28-09)!

I've reviewed your piece entitled:

THE ODDITY IN THE STREET


And wish to give you my humble opinions, comments and interpretation in order to help, strengthen and encourage you.

*Bullet*Point of View (Who is the story teller?):

This story is told by its main character, an old lady, whose name is not revealed.


*Bullet*Time and Place:

Apparently the story is told in the present, and it is daytime.


*Bullet*Situation or Circumstance:

The old lady follows a daily routine. On one particular day, her routine changes in the most unusual way; and as a result, she lives on to tell us many more stories. =)


*Bullet*General Plot (chain of events):

The story contained a well-organized and focused chain of events, not at all confusing to the reader.


*Bullet*Exposition (background information):

We're really not given any background information except for the fact that this story is about an old lady out for a routine walk.


*Bullet*Protagonist (main character):

The main character is the old lady, of course; however, the duck runs a close second.


*Bullet*Other Important Characters:

...the duck, of course, as he saves the life of this old lady in a most unusual way.


*Bullet*Incentive Moment:

When the duck takes off in flight...


*Bullet*Conflicts:

- The lady seems to be trying to help a duck who refuses to be helped and actually seems to turn on her.

- When she tries to describe what happened, the duck has left the scene, is no where to be found. I had to wonder if the duck wasn't an angel in disguise.


*Bullet*Complications:

- The change in her daily routine;
- her dealings with the duck and
- then trying to explain what happened.


*Bullet*Title (appropriate/inappropriate):

I liked it. The title captured my attention and peaked my interest.


*Bullet*Resolution:

I really liked the way this ended with a twist --- not shocking but clever --- as the old lady tries to tell a young man (asking about her well-being) what just happened. She tells him about the duck, and he says, "What duck?"


*Bullet*Theme (controlling idea or central insight... the purpose of the story):

A peculiar duck saves the life of an old lady in spite of herself.


*Bullet*Areas to be reviewed for improvement:

In the first paragraph you say "mid stride". I feel it should more correctly read "mid-stride".

In the next sentence you use the word "middle", which is too similar to "mid-stride". A synonym of the word "middle" may have been a better choice---especially due to the close proximity of the words.

Then in your fourth paragraph you've used the contraction "it's" which is only correctly used when it is a contraction for "it is," and not to show possession. (...a common mistake --- often made without a second thought.)


*Bullet*My favorite part:

The duck stood in silence. It cocked it’s head to the side and bobbed it once or twice. Without another gesture, it took off in flight.


If anything I've said is not helpful to you, please think it over. Disregard it, if necessary, because you are the author and these are merely my personal thoughts/comments.

If you have any questions; or if you feel I've missed some aspect of your writing, let me know.

Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202 -- Thank you, Dr. J
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Review of June's Here  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (4.5)


Hello there! I'm a fellow member of writing.com and have reviewed and rated your piece entitled:

JUNE'S HERE


*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

Since this was written apparently for an 100-word contest, it's quite short --- just a snipet into your life. Bravo for giving us great insight with so few words.


*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

"...a grown woman is crouched under grandma's dining room table singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

What a wonderful scene you've created both visually and audibly. I'm delighted to hear sweet June singing this pleasing song most of us learned in elementary or nursery school.


*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

"Who knows?" It didn't really help me gracefully slide into the meat of your writing here.


*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

All good, as far as I can see...


*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

Work on your beginning a little more so as to whisk the reader into your writing.


*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

I loved the simplicity of this piece and the joy June seems to bring to an otherwise routine holiday dinner.


*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J
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Review of Title Forgotten  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)


Hello there! I have reviewed and rated your piece entitled:

TITLE FORGOTTEN


*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

This piece was mysterious, thoroughly intriguing.


*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

I found the letter to Mr. Raz at the end exceptionally appropriate.


*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

I found nothing I didn't like about this piece. Its point of view was focused, consistent.


*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

No errors/suggestions found.


*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

None. You've followed through quite thoroughly in perception and style. My interest was peaked from beginning to end.


*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

I found this rather dark -- an enlightening entrance into a disturbed mind. Left hanging with my own interpretation, I found contentment/closure through your ending.


*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J
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Review of Bits of Irony  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)


Hello there, Gabriella! I have reviewed and rated your piece entitled:

Bits of Irony: Combining Prose & Poetry


*Bullet*My overall thoughts:

I found the descriptive use of words here both lively and captivating. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading of each uniquely written vignette.


*Bullet*Most liked -- and why:

I most liked FOOD WAS AN AFTERTHOUGHT. I was a hidden guest at this very entertaining and unusual gathering of talent and personality.


*Bullet*Least liked -- and why:

Though I found each piece beautifully written, A WOMAN'S SHOULDERS was my least favorite... only because I had to re-read it a few times to make sure I understood it fully, and then I wasn't totally convinced my comprehension was correct.


*Bullet*Grammar/Spelling (suggestions):

Perfect.


*Bullet*Favorite lines -- and why:

Four hours, twelve faces, and martinis five times their number; untold laughter, tears, an Olympic version of musical chairs, and not one sign of lunch, I slipped away just in time for dinner.


*Bullet*Least favorite lines -- and why:

I really cannot pinpoint a "least favorite line." As you see, I've given you a five-star rating. Each stroke of the pen was full and alive.


*Bullet*Mere suggestions for improvement:

Unravel the mystery of A WOMAN'S SHOULDERS just a wee bit more for your reader.


*Bullet*Why/how this piece did (or did not) impact me:

I was delighted to read each vignette and found your writing playfully entertaining.


*Bullet*Final thoughts:

Please remember, you are the author here and my comments are merely my own. Whether or not you agree or disagree matters fractionally to me in comparison to my hope that I have encouraged and provoked you to even better writing. It has been my pleasure to read, rate and review your writing. Write on!

As you continue participating in this small, growing community of aspiring writers, may your success continue to climb! My hope is to see more of your work as your journey progresses!


Signature created by our dear talented friend, Kelly1202
Thank you, Dr. J
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Review of Burning  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I found this a compelling historical account of the "dark ages," when the "wicked," without love, mercy or grace actually committed atrocities under the guise of "Christianity" --- not unlike the "holy wars" of today where crimes are still committed in the name of God or Allah by those who don't even know Him.

I found your writing captivating -- you held my attention throughout with unique phrasing, imagery and use of "not so common" words.

--------------------------

You may wish to double-check the color of the eyes----from "emerald green" to "blue eyes staring"... I'm thinking this is the same guilt-ridden person whose eyes must remain "emerald green."

Then "Bethany," sister of the "burning one" has the "blue eyes."

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Review by Maria Mize
Rated: E | (5.0)
I have to agree with whoever gave you that 5-star rating. This is a beautiful piece of prose --- full of imagery, wonder and mystic --- yet natural and free-flowing from an inspired heart. I'm glad you are writing again. "Writing" too is a healing force. As I read your "thoughts on music," I sense a release as well as a song reverberating through the graceful rhythm of thoughtful words.
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Review of Dead Curse  
Review by Maria Mize
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Great beginning. I love how you start in the middle of things. It peaks our interest right from the get-go.

In the sixth paragraph down, you've gotten your words a little crisscrossed:

         We thought some he had come across some highwayman.

Then here, I personally believe you can leave the parenthetical expression "as the saying goes," out. It's unnecessary, in my opinion:

         "May the gods preserve your life tonight, as the saying goes. I'll bar the door behind you," he said, walking them out. He closed and locked the large double door. They heard him slide a bar in place behind it.

You captivated me from the beginning with DEAD CURSE... It was so compelling, I couldn't seem to read it quick enough. I love the use of your imagination intermingled with truth. I would consider this "fantasy/adventure." Your word use created good imagery. (I was there.) Great work! I enjoyed reading this. Thank you!

I am giving this a 5-star rating, despite the items I mentioned above. I found your writing truly magnificent here. Again, thank you! Happy New Year!

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