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51
51
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Leger~ !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

A delightful tale. I related to the mother's constant harping about dirt in the nest, and the realization that kids remain sweet despite our inadvertent bitterness. Her squirrely reaction to the gift was a joy to envision.

Mrs. Oura wrung her paws and worried. “You don’t think he’s a little crazy do you? I’m so afraid he might run out in the road like poor Uncle Henry.”

Proof-positive we need an icon to mimic beverage-spewing laughter. I suggest {e:snorfle}

Write on!

Kimchi
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52
52
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Joy !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

What a great essay! It really explains the nature of the holiday, the melding of cultures that started at the first campfire and continues into the present. Moving and educational at the same time. *Thumbsup*

Thanks for explaining the silly ritual that always makes me smile--the turkey pardon. *Smile*



Write on!



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53
53
Review of On the Chance  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Mara ♣ McBain !

First Impressions:
A romantic holiday story with style, emotion, precision, and an "E" rating. What's not to love?

Suggestions:
The ending felt tacked-on to me, because there aren't enough hints that the priest's emotions will be important. He feels one-dimensional until the final scene. A clue or two placed earlier would go a long way toward filling in the gaps. An alternative is to whittle a sharper, condensed image of the priest lost in thought to stand as contrast.

My favorite line/s:
Her opposite palm flattened beseechingly against the window, fingertips curling against the smooth surface as she fought the wave of loneliness with little success.

Final Thoughts:
The flowing prose sprinkled with reflection and description carries this romantic story into our hearts. Your unique style shines in this short piece. Well done.

Write on!

Merry Christmas!
Kimchi

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54
54
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Beck writes again! !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

I suggest separating this into stanzas for ease of reading. Plus you know we're going to skip to the last stanza and sing the whole thing. At least I did. *Laugh*

This is a cute ditty. I only recognized a few of the terms, so I guess it's apparent I never fish, huh? I know what six spools of mono looks like, but I don't know what Senkos are. So I probably didn't get the effect you intended.

But I did enjoy the creativity of this parody, and got a picture of the author bedecked in the spoils of the sport and tangled in the mono.

Write on!

Have a fabulous 12 days of Christmas!
Kimchi


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55
55
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Leger~ !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

This poem drifts along gently to show the snowflake in all her glory. She and her beautiful ice-sisters are etched in my memory. I also enjoyed the progression of seasons shown by the flowers and leaves.

No suggestions. Sweet, simple, and beautiful.

Write on!

Happy Holidays!
Kimchi


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56
56
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Wow, this poem holds a ton of emotion!

I really like the repetition of "no more, that's it, enough," and the way it all turns around for the girl at the end. We have to hit rock bottom sometimes so we can see the path back up.

A few considerations you may accept or discard at your pleasure:

"lay there" - and lies there on the bed
(present tense matches "closes her eyes")

redy - ready

My favorite lines:
No more, that's it enough!
she states.
I will not let you win,
for I am armed with knowledge,
and redy to begin.


Thanks for inviting me into your port! I can relate to this poem on depression.

Merry Christmas!
Kim


57
57
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Maryann !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

An enchanting poem about a wonderful subject. It's short, but carries impact with the lovely rhyming and all the twinkleage.

I do suggest looking at the last two lines; they are much longer than the others, and the wording a bit awkward.

Also "incredibly enchanting" isn't concrete. I'm thinking of using a noun to describe the Milky Way, but I can't think of one at the moment. Only one opinion in the galaxy, of course.

I enjoyed the journey into outer space. Thanks for making me remember nights lying on a blanket, wondering who or what is up there. Nice job.

Write on!

Kimchi
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58
58
Review of Storm-story  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Fynanew !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

just laughed and said they’d be fine
Why not use dialogue? It might help orient the reader in the story. (Unless the exercise forbid it.)

sounded like I was back in Boston in my apartment near the T.
I assume the T is a train? How did that sound?

when something hit the house
Did the house shake? Was there a boom? Since this is an intense scene you may wish to describe it for more emotional impact.

I like the contrast of how two different women handled the chaos, the old pro keeping her valuables in the freezer and the newbie trailer dweller having no clue. The dogs provide some humor, too. Nice job.


Congrats on your impending nuptials! Hope your special day is stuffed full of joy! *Heart*

Write on!

Kimchi
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59
59
Review of Girls Night Out  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Diane !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

Such humor in this piece! I remember the days cruising in Georgetown with my girlfriends, trying to find a club and then a parking place. I like how you used "the rules" and especially the comparison of men to buses.

Still, this felt a bit flat. Maybe it was because I couldn't see the girls. Their personalities came through, but maybe put them in clothes that match? Part of the fun of clubbing is getting dressed to the nines, in my opinion. I have a hard time keeping characters straight when I can't see them, so it may just be my preference.

"Jillian, time is the one thing
I think this should be in its own paragraph, since you're switching speakers.

Great job fitting in the titles. Especially liked "wocket in my pocket", although I'm glad those days of being hit on by idiots are behind me.

Thanks for an entertaining read! Have a fabulous holiday season!

Write on!

Kimchi
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60
60
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hello Jimminycritic !

A Simply Positive review for you. If you have questions about the site or my review, feel free to ask! Please know that I offer any suggestions in the spirit of assistance, but take only those which might make your work stronger.

First Impressions:
This is so cute! Cyber-Santa rocks!

Suggestions:
a fast connection
You might want to specify--internet connection--for clarity.

employee’s. - employees

Mostly he did software and video games...he never talks
For consistency, you might want to use "does", since this is written in first person point of view.

The joke about Dad was - is?
I'm not sure if Dad isn't around anymore, or if the children are now grown and no one jokes about him as Santa. It seems strange to put Dad so far in the past when this clearly takes place in the 21st century.

she was careful not call him - missing word? not to call

Dad ruffled Jimmies hair - Jimmy's hair
Great job showing action instead of using a dialogue tag. *Thumbsup*

After a while, I started feeling really bad,
Why did he feel bad? I get the impression the speaker is younger than the 12-year-old, due to the ending, but this isn't clear.

I heard enough.
This feel anti-climactic after the line about Dad's eyes. Maybe stretch it out a bit to show how he believes? I think part of the problem is that the word count is right on top of it. *Laugh*

Shine:
Actually, he didn’t deliver the presents; he had his elves do it for him because he didn’t leave the computer room unless he had to. *Bigsmile*

Overall:
You still have a few hundred words--why not flesh this out a bit more? I'd like to see Santa sitting at his computer, or see Jimmy jumping up and down when he says, "Moon sand!"

I feel the affection the main character has for his family, especially his dad. I know he loves his brother, even though it's his duty to fake apathy, shown in the line, "I don't know why." I can see him rolling his eyes. *Smile*

Have a great holiday season!
Kimchi

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61
61
Review by KimChi
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello Split Infinitive !

I am reviewing your story as a judge for
 
Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  [ASR]
Use the photo to inspire your creativity. Write a short story and win big prizes!
by Writing.Com Support
Thanks for entering!

Please accept or discard suggestions according to your blueprint for this work. Also, do not edit this piece until the judging is completed.

First Impressions:
*Sick*

Plot
Great job getting inside one character's head. So little happens, but each emotion is portrayed so thoroughly and realistically that we are willing to ride along to the shocking climax. Especially enjoyed the irony of "having no choice".

Mechanics
focussing inward - focusing

Fave line/s
The room is getting smaller; everyone in it is shrinking, their voices fading away. I don’t feel myself walk over to the cage. I’m detached from the whole scene, but I know that I have no choice either way; they’ve decided I’m going to do it and they’re bigger and stronger and older than me. No choice.

Overall:
Very well done. The probability of this having happened somewhere in the world is far more frightening than a ghost or an alien. Great job fitting in the prompt in a unique manner. Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
62
62
Review of A Barn Dance  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello Nicola !

I am reviewing your story as a judge for
 
Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  [ASR]
Use the photo to inspire your creativity. Write a short story and win big prizes!
by Writing.Com Support
Thanks for entering!

Please accept or discard suggestions according to your blueprint for this work. Also, do not edit this piece until the judging is completed.

First Impressions:
Horrifying. Plenty of description loaded with vivid details.

Plot
It's a simple plot, but the dramatic musings of an insane farmer carry it well to the foregone conclusion.

I especially liked how you show madness in the man's comments about feeling sorry for the horses. The cough from the demons was also a nice touch. At least he was sane enough to have a conscience.

Flow
The melodrama reminds me of Poe. (That's a compliment.) I would only ask you to use past perfect (had carved, etc.) sparingly.

Also, a few instances of "that" were not needed.

Mechanics
Thanks for editing your work to bring out the plot and themes.

Fave line/s
God has called you to Heaven, Mildred, and you are not heeding His call. Such strange actions for a lifelong God-fearing woman.

Overall:
Great voice in this piece, showing a man's obsession with demons and "love" for his wife. Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
63
63
Review of Escape  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello ragefire2000!

I am reviewing your story as a judge for
 
Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  [ASR]
Use the photo to inspire your creativity. Write a short story and win big prizes!
by Writing.Com Support
Thanks for entering!

Please accept or discard suggestions according to your blueprint for this work. Also, do not edit this piece until the judging is completed.

First Impressions:
Way to twist that tale! *Laugh*

Plot/Flow
The only suggestion I have is move the third paragraph to the beginning. The cat would be able to see all the events unfolding, making for a smoother read.

Mechanics
but he has to be strong - had

Appreciate your attention to grammar and punctuation!

Fave line/s
He had hidden there on many of his previous escape attempts; he found it to be much easier to hide there than in the open fields where his movements could be heard.

Overall:
A cute and original take on the prompt. Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
64
64
Review of A Woman Scorned  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello C. Carlos Camacho !

I am reviewing your story as a judge for
 
Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  [ASR]
Use the photo to inspire your creativity. Write a short story and win big prizes!
by Writing.Com Support
Thanks for entering!

I offer this review in the spirit of helping us both become better writers. Please accept or discard my suggestions according to your blueprint for this work. Also, please do not edit this piece until the judging is completed.

First Impressions:
I can see why Jason was scared! It was a matter of time--thirty long years.

Plot
I'm going back and forth between liking and disliking the prologue as epilogue. The final line feels right, yet the scene comes too late to give any new information. Just thought I'd let you know my conflicting feelings.

I'm still not sure I believe Lily's motivation for staying tethered to the earth plane. It seems as though she would forgive someone she loved so much, so that portion doesn't ring true. I think more background about their relationship prior to her death would give the reader more emotional satisfaction--like she had the right to her rage.

Now Jason--his guilt and fear jumps off the page. I can understand his point of view. I can even understand why he might be waiting for his punishment.

Flow
Insert the character's name as soon as possible. In this case, "His name was Jason" feels like an author's intrusion.

He now knew that his dead wife....
This tells the reader what they already know. I'd remove it.

The scenes flow logically, although the jumps in point of view between the cat and man might be more smooth.

When that changed, she couldn't say.

He winced....


When changing points of view, it is often useful to have the two parties interact in some physical way. Touching the same item, or at least looking at the same item helps to re-orient the reader from one person's eyes to the other person's eyes.

Mechanics
just go." he pleaded. - go," he pleaded.

Fave line/s
A passerby would have seen an astonishing sight at that moment: the transformation of a cat into a spectral woman. Her gown glowed like moonlight, her eyes flashed with malevolence, and a sneer cut across her face.

Overall:
Love how Lily gives Jason a heart attack--it's fitting and realistic. Lots of details remind us how Jason is feeling his age versus just telling us he's old. A well-drawn character--old enough to know better but too attached to life to "give up the ghost". Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
65
65
Review of Trick or Treat  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Wow! She really is a strong woman. I'm sure I'd be scared witless in such a circumstance.

I would like to have heard her explain how she's going to keep him from contacting her, and then hearing him squirm, realizing it's true. Not sure how to do that, maybe they had a mutual acquaintance skilled at exorcism? *Laugh*

Great story. I know how hard it is to write all dialogue. Write on!

Kim
66
66
Review of Care and feeding  
Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hello peace !

I am reviewing your story as a judge for
 
Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  [ASR]
Use the photo to inspire your creativity. Write a short story and win big prizes!
by Writing.Com Support
Thanks for entering!

First Impressions:
A creative take on the prompt with a unique voice. I love seeing through the eyes of animals--especially when they are smarter than their humans.

Suggestions
found me of no interest. I quickly found the open window and found myself
Repetition; no suggestions.

a flying lesson”. He muttered
a flying lesson,” he muttered
If this is not a dialogue tag, perhaps "he continued to mutter" would work better. The comma goes inside the quotation marks, followed by the dialogue tag. "I'm totally serious," I said.

the front down suddenly flew
the front door?

here.” The thicker one said
here,” the thicker one said

came; “what happened?”
came, “What happened?”

The big man enjoyed hearing her scream
This is a shift in point of view. How does the cat know he enjoyed her screams?

said simply; “shut up”.
said simply, “Shut up”.

“it’s party time
“It’s party time

down the hallway to the bedroom
Perhaps "toward the bedroom" might make this more clear, since one goes into the bedroom and the other does not. Also, there's no mention of the cat following the men--he's near the kitchen and presumably sees everything from the hallway until the end. I suggest moving the cat between scenes if possible.

Jennie had never been this terrified. Who was this man?
Another shift in POV, which feels out of place. I have no suggestions; it is very hard to switch points of view in a story this short and do it seamlessly.

olafactory deprived
olfactory-deprived

in th rear of the kitchen.
in the rear

still lie asleep.
still lay asleep.

Shine:
With growing disappointment I recalled that humans are nearly blind and extremely olafactory deprived.

Overall:
The cat saved the day, and still remained invisible to Joe. That's a tragedy. *Wink*

Great job showing the cat's personality with active verbs. Reminds me a bit of Stuie on the TV show "Family Guy". While the cat cares greatly for his "pets", it is all forgotten come chow time. A satisfying ending. Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
67
67
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello katwoman45 !

I am reviewing your story as a judge for
 
Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  [ASR]
Use the photo to inspire your creativity. Write a short story and win big prizes!
by Writing.Com Support
Thanks for entering!

First Impressions:
Spooky and realistic.

Suggestions
Early on the text states she had given up on feeling guilty about wishing Starletta ill, and then later she chides herself for doing exactly that. Not sure if this was an intentional juxtaposition, but thought I'd point it out.

I wish there were more about the brother who left. We can guess at the end that he didn't actually leave, but more about his odd behavior after the wedding might help cement the notion that all was not as it seemed in their marriage.

I like hearing the narrator's internal thoughts, but consider building up from a general unease to the death fantasies. Her thoughts about how she wants Starletta dead seem a bit scattered, but not enough to say she's mentally unbalanced.

No technical suggestions. Thank you for the excellent mechanics--this story was a joy to read.

Shine:
A bitter retort would not penetrate the armour of this insanity. Starletta was no longer on the planet, she thought. She was delusional and trying to best her would serve no discernible purpose, sapping the little energy Eileen had left.

Overall:
The pacing is about right, except as noted above. I felt for the poor victim; it seems no good deed goes unpunished. Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
68
68
Review of A Journey To Love  
Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hello, Joy !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

Wow. I like that you've explored the benefits and drawbacks to so many different kinds of love. Through passion and friendship to true knowledge of your own self, shown in the final lines with the mirror. Excellent!

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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69
69
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, Billy is away--sick !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

Excellent tension and description here:
Then I noticed his eyes. The violet irises flashed oddly, which made me lean closer to be certain I’d seen it. Something grabbed hold of me from within.

Lots of unnecessary commas in this piece. The only other critique I have is the ending. The story starts with a woman telling the story of how her dream came true, but the ending suggests it was a dream. I felt a bit cheated at the switcheroo, but I have no suggestions on how you might keep the suspense otherwise. Just one opinion in a sea of readers.


Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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70
70
Review of A Friend in Need  
Review by KimChi
Rated: GC | (4.5)
Hello, Anne Light !

As a thanks for making people think, laugh, and sometimes cringe reading the review page during Review Ghouls--a review just for you.

First Impressions:
Thought provoking, to say the least.

Suggestions:
He got me into that mess.
He got me into this mess.

Otherwise, the ending feels like cheating the reader.

but it's my workplace, and I can't have him fuck with the punters.
but it was my workplace, and I couldn't have him fuck with the punters. {past tense}

“Entschuldigung?”
I like all the British terms; most of them come through in context. I assume this is German for "excuse me", but I'm not certain. Could you put a definition as a pop note or end note?

He was an artist and had been around.
You could hook his occupation to the next sentence, which describes Neil's jet-setting. It would also remove one of the two "around"s.

But here we stood, two ex-pats playing it right.
This summation is aces!

that I had a bird, I even brought Lisa
that I had a bird; I even brought Lisa

“It may be a quote, but I think the artist was just on some kind of trip.
I don't understand how a picture can be a quote, which has to do with words. Must be an another English expression.

My favorite line/s:
Neil buzzed around. The kitchen was spotless. There wasn't a single plate in the sink, only a cup, half-filled with tea, stood on the table. He placed a different one before me, on a saucer with a tea-spoon. The cups didn't match, but they looked carefully chosen.

Final Thoughts:
I'm not sure why, but I felt the middle got bogged down a bit. I've thought about it and read it three times, and I can't put my finger on a reason. I am tempted to say it's the "telling" vs. "showing", but of course the very form requires a narrator.

The three main characters have unique expressions and ways of speaking. The flavors of both Germany and England come through strongly.

I also like the symbolism, accidental or purposeful. Neil suggests the man's orientation, while Frank is also aptly named--he's a no-nonsense kind of guy.

And the sculpture!

It stood on it's own, but if you upset the balance there was a slight risk that it would topple and hurt someone.

I could go on and an about the two men collaborating to build a towering structure that should not be balanced, and yet is stronger than it looks. The ending was not expected, but it fits. Society's expectations and the inability of the two men to overcome them bring the tower of friendship and trust crashing down. Fabulous!

Plenty of clues, which in hindsight, reveal Frank's true feelings in the end. Excellent piece.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi


71
71
Review of Cissy  
Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hello, I Love WDC! Cissy❤ !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

You write about your life as if it's nothing special, but it seems exotic and interesting to me. All the challenges and tribulations have made you the sweet, caring person you are today. And strong, whether you believe that or not.

I'm sorry you no longer speak to your brother.

The only writing suggestion I have is to make it more clear why your sister took care of you. I assumed your mother had to work, but it isn't stated.

Also, the formatting is making the lines uneven. Edit the item and click "preserve spacing preference" if you imported this from a word processing program, and see if that will straighten it out.

Yes, mothers are there to lift us up and encourage us. But think about how you reared your own children. Did you give them false hope that they might excel in a pursuit they weren't suited for? Of course not. That would be cruel.

Your mom was right to encourage you in the art that has helped you so much.

So... Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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72
72
Review of Cloud Imaging  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Ms.Magi !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

Fantastic imagery! I especially liked "singular as snowflakes".

Fave lines:
Dragons in the clouds
Fashioned from iridescent mist
With sunbeam shrouds
Fantasy secretly kissed


I wasn't as keen on "fantasy secretly kissed" because it feels like a forced description. However, pantoums are incredibly difficult to write, and you did a great job with the form.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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73
73
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Harry !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

Kind of frightening, and it makes me glad I don't live in FL. Thanks for including the magazine that inspired you.

Read aloud, this sounds like a conversation if one ignores the line breaks. The rhymes seem forced into the structure, and that detracts from the flow. My suggestion is to eliminate the rhyme which might give this piece more freedom to roam.

I especially liked the word play of the last line! Thanks for making us aware of this threat.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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74
74
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hello Pammi !

Welcome to Writing.com! If you have questions about the site or my review, feel free to ask! Please know that I offer any suggestions in the spirit of assistance, but take only those which might make your work stronger.

First Impressions:
Good misdirection in the beginning--I was all set to hate Tony for being such a jerk to his wife!

Suggestions:
Check your formatting and punctuation. Only one blank line is needed between paragraphs.

"Oh well, here we go".
In dialogue the period (or comma if there's a dialogue tag) go inside the quotation marks.

"It can't be". He grumbled sleepily.
"It can't be," he grumbled sleepily.
This looks like a dialogue tag, which should be connected to the main sentence with a comma.

"Yes. He said that...."
Since the entire paragraph contains the speech of one person, remove all the quotation marks except at the beginning of the first sentence and end of the last.

firmly but gently and
firmly, but gently, and
(Comma before conjunction.) Punctuation helps the reader know which phrases go together. It is especially useful in mimicking natural speech patterns.

was laying in her basket,
was lying in her basket

Favorite line/s:
Tony murmured as he sat up, propped his head on his hand, and reached for a cigarette. As the smoke billowed from his nose, he scratched his head. Great visual!

Overall:
I found the dialogue somewhat formal for a discussion about birth. But I'm guessing you are from England or another country which uses more formal speech, from the expression "ring the vet". *Bigsmile*

I enjoyed this story about the trials and tribulations of preparing for birth.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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75
75
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Fynanew !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

Suggestions:
certainly not a dog as me and housebreaking a dog was a proven failure
Perhaps: certainly not a dog, as my attempts at housebreaking a dog were a proven failure.

toys and a big smile.
Since this is a list, consider emphasizing the smile.
toys--and a big smile.

You named the dog after me?
She says this twice.

she is giggling
she was giggling

Fave lines:
"You always said that you were the one person who would not have a problem with ‘empty nest' syndrome, didn’t you?”

I did say that. But that was before my youngest ever thought about using those wings I’d given her.
*Laugh*

I love your sense of humor, your ability to look back at the pain and laugh. This flows very well; the ending ties into the beginning nicely. And the picture of your cute ball of fluff is a nice touch.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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