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112 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review of 'That' Month  
In affiliation with SENIOR CENTER GROUP  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Good Morning! Sand Castles Shopgirl here. This "colorful" rhyme popped up for a review. Please remember all suggestions or opinions are just that, mine. You are free to heed or not as you see fit. This is your creation after all.

I love the use of alternating colors. They give a major hint as to the direction of your rhyme. I am curious. Was it part of the rules not to mention December or Christmas? If so, you did an admirable job! Your rhyme flows well. I know you say it is utter nonsense, but you do manage to tell a small story with your poem.

It is amusing, especially the Santa and lap sitting part of the poem. I am a mother of three sons...that type of humor is right up their alley.
There is nothing in this poem that I would suggest you change. It is apparent you had fun with this. It is light-hearted, engaging, and made me smile.

I loved this. Keep up the good work. We could all use a reason to smile these days. Well done.


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In affiliation with SENIOR CENTER GROUP  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Good evening! Sand Castles Shopgirl here. Your writing caught my eye because I too love working with yarns and fabrics. Please remember, all suggestions that I give here are just that, suggestions. They are only my opinions. This is your creation after all.

Most of your story is written in past tense. The first two sentences are in present. You might want to check that out.

I, too, learned to come to love the fiber and fabric arts through my mother and grandmother. I eventually got enough gumption to take part in craft shows and sell my items. So I can really relate to the sense of pride you have in your work. I am really impressed that you took it to the next level and made a professio of it. Good for you!

You have a wonderful story here. The bones are good. I do find the format of the story a bit disconcerting. You could condense some of the sentences and paragraphs.

May I suggest the use of the Grammarly or ProWritingAid apps. I find them to be of so much help with tightening up my writing, vocabulary and style.

These are wonderful memories. Treasure them.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of A Woman of Honor  
In affiliation with SENIOR CENTER GROUP  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Good morning! Sand Castles Shopgirl here. Any suggestions or comments here are just that, mine. Please feel free to use or ignore my impressions as you see fit. This is your creation after all.

First of all, you have a really neat premise here. The women of the American Revolutionary War era were extraordinary behind-the-scenes characters. Throw in the Culper Spry Ring and you have my attention. I have a great fascination with that period of American history.

That being said, there is a lot to digest in this short piece of fiction. There seems to be a great deal of telling versus showing going on here. It is one thing to say the house is over 300 years old. Perhaps some description of the architecture would help get across the point of the age of the premises. Another thing that I found jarring was in the description of the items Liz was going through to get information on Elspeth. There would not have been photo albums from that time period. Any depictions of the inhabitants would have either been sketches or paintings. Photography did not come into play until the mid to late 1800s.

There is a lot of backstory on your characters included in your writing. To me, this seems to interrupt the flow of the story. Your piece really picks up the pace when Liz heads out to the point. Again, more description of the area and tunnels would help rather than just saying they were there.

Another suggestion to consider here with the discovery of the journal. Since the journal dates from 1778, I find it a bit off the mark to think that the book was just shoved in a niche in a tunnel with no form of protection from the elements or from possible flooding from incoming tides.

If you are considering this as a first chapter, perhaps concentrate on Liz and her hunt for information on Elspeth. Other characters could be introduced and developed in subsequent chapters as the story progresses.

Good luck with the story. You have good bones here. I would love to see how this story progresses!

Sincerely,
Sand Castles Shopgirl



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In affiliation with SENIOR CENTER GROUP  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Merry Christmas!!! Sand Castles Shopgirl here. What a lovely tale! Your story grabbed my attention from the get go. Your description of the snow falling in the woods was spot on. All of the characters were so alive, even the ghostly visitation by the father. It was a great lesson in love that was shown the son by his father. A lovely tale to tell around a Christmasy fireplace.
I do not find anything that needs to be corrected. Well done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with SENIOR CENTER GROUP  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I, for one, look forward to Pumpkin Spice everything every year!!! Good morning! Sand Castles Shopgirl here. I can not agree with you more. Now, more than ever, we need Pumpkin Spice time. We need to be reminded that life does indeed go on and the holidays and calendar will continue their march forward in time despite this scourge called Covid. I did not know about all of the time line info on the development of Pumpkin Spice. Whenever my mother and I would bake for the holidays, we just used the single ingredient spices and would measure them out as needed. I will let you in on a little secret. I use some of the latte K-cups in my Keurig and will add a bit of Pumpkin Spice seasoning anytime of the year. I am not so sure what I think about Pumpkin Spice antacids, lol! But never say never!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Madam President  
In affiliation with SENIOR CENTER GROUP  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Good Evening, Mr. Baker. Sandcastles Shopgirl here. I stumbled across this story while watching the NY Yankees try to play baseball tonight. Your story helped take my mind off how awful they are playing right now. But I digress...

Your story started off so calmly and quite quickly became the scenarios of nightmares, but that is not how I thought the story would play out. Each calamity following so close on the heels of the one proceeding it, led me to think this was all a kind of test that the main character, the President, was being subjected to a series of tests by the military - industrial complex denizens that would be answering to her. Then the story zigzags to the familiar, it was all a dream, albeit a very bad one.

But even using that much used plot device, your story was well done!!!! You had me hooked with the stunt the uncle of the President pulled. That was very clever, but considering the current state of the media, I don't think he would have gotten away with that one. This is probably the only thing that I would consider expanding on. How he managed to get away with that and the President never knowing what he was up to it even being questioned about it by reporters. That would be a fascinating story all on its own.

Other than that nit-picky take, I really enjoyed the story.

These are only my suggestions and observations. Info for you to use or discard as you see fit.





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Boxes  
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Good morning! Happy New Year! Sand Castle Shopgirl here. Your poem succinctly captures the "I'm right and you are wrong" mindset". We are all guilty of it at one time or another. Even

those who profess to "see" both sides of a situation.

Your rhyme scheme is spot on. There is nothing in this poem that I would suggest needs correction. It is philosophical food for thought for the reader. A serving which we all need every now and again. Well done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Why I'm Fyndorian  
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I have always adored The Muppets, and marveled at the creativity that went into each and every character. You were definitely blessed to have known Jim Henson.
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Review of Wonders of a Pond  
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Good Morning! Sand Castles Shopgirl here. I love the imagery created here. We once owned a home in the Pocono mountains and our house fronted a pond. Every summer, water lilies made an appearance. As the winds would ripple the water in the sunlight, it would look like the water lilies were moving. Your poem brought back those images in full color to me. Nicely done. I am giving it five stars for the imagery evoked and the syllable format. I am still learning the art of Haiku and love it when I see someone create a picture with so few words.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with Pink Fluffy Unicorn Pinky Bank  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Congratulations to all the winners and participants!
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Review of Resting Stone  
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Unratable.)
Hello, Sorji. Sand Castles Shopgirl here and I am offering a review of your story. Any suggestions or recommendations are for you to consider or discard as you see fit.

While no time or place is definite, the scenario could be anywhere, at any time along the timeline of history. Your faceless, nameless narrator, who represents anyone and everyone, has experienced an invasion or war raid. He/she chronicles the injustice inflicted on his or her tribe/country with such sadness and disbelief.

His/her questions are timeless. Questions one could imagine the survivors of conquests or incursions asking in the aftermath of such tragedy. The unanswerable question of WHY? But despite your depiction of the harm that mankind inflicts upon his fellow man something survives among the fallen stones. An ephemeral spark that survives not in the fallen stones, but in the bones of the builders. That spark is hope. Despite the helplessness and defeat so aptly described in your story, one of your survivors found the spark and courage to give it room to grow.

Your story, as I see it, needs nothing to improve its telling. My only suggestions would be a few spelling changes.
The word in the story "hurdling" I would change to hurtling. And your use of "alters" I would change to altars.

Other than that, I found your story moving and well written. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Good morning! Sand Castles Shopgirl here. Any suggestions or comments here are for you to use or discard as you choose.

I was captivated by your description of the sea. Giving it a life of its own, feelings and emotions of its own I thought well done. I have often heard the admonition of never turning your back to the waves whenever visiting the islands of Hawaii. The twist added here works well with the beginning of your story and the idea of the ocean as a sentient being.
You cast Bronagh well, as a person trying to separate themselves from their beginnings. Only to realize those beginnings stay with us all our lives.
The early teachings of appeasing the sea seemed to take root for Bronagh as shown in her artwork offered up to the waves.
Your opening chapter is a wonderful hook. Bronson seems a complicated character that will need to learn to balance the old with the new.
Perhaps a bit more physical description of your characters and perhaps the time and island itself could be included here.
I think you have the makings of a lovely story here!
Signature image for finalist in the 2017 Quill Awards


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with  
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Poor Gemma! Hi Angel, Shopgirl here. You have described well the sense of helplessness that poor little girl is feeling. The sadness and loneliness she feels is palpable. Her wisdom beyond her years only makes her feel it more acutely. You have a good grasp on making your reader really root for this little girl to be rescued and finally undedstood. All the while, your reader is still trying to figure out just how the drugs the into Gemma's ability. Write on!!!
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In affiliation with  
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Hi Angel, Shopgirl here.

Wow! Gemma's secret is out...at least to Bobby and your readers. Your descriptions of the evacuation center and how the people reacted to the situation are quite believeable. But letting everyone in on Gemma's special ability opens the doors to even more questions about just went on with her mother.

So many questions and so much anticipation! Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, Angel..Shopgirl here. I am really intrigued by your little girl Gemma. She seems almost too good to be true. Your descriptions of her are vivid and well done. She is almost eerily self-possessed. Your depiction of everyone's unease is nicely shown. Throw in Gemma's nearly psychic abilities and her inability to let everyone know what she sees and you have set up a spooky situation. That drug cocktail that her mother took...going for the conspiracy theory here...was her mother experimented on? I am interested in what happens next...what happens when THEY figure out about Gemma's special abilities.

This will be quite a tale!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Our characters can be such demanding entities! MayFlowers Shopgirl here. This is so spot on and I love it! Sometimes I wonder if those who populate our daily lives ever think we are just a bit crazy, lol. I know my hubbie tends to look at me a bit funny when I get frustrated with my writing and complain that the characters are giving me a hard time.

I see nothing that needs changing here! I can almost see one of your characters wagging a finger at you like a mother scolding a slightly naughty child. Keep in writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I had enjoyed reading the John Jakes series when I was much younger than I am today. I had forgotten how much history he was able to pack into a story by his use of his characters in the specific time period and their dialog. I think I might be needing a trip to the library and dig up some of his books for a re-read this summer.
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Review of SPAZZZ  
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
You put to paper, what most people only think. I love this!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This made me really laugh out loud this morning, waking up the dog and the hubbie. Me thinks you speak from much experience.


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Review of Freedom  
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Hunters Moon...Shamrock Shopgirl here.

What a lovely image you paint here! You make use of your syllables per line very well. If you had not mentioned your image was a hummingbird, I would had guessed at the Green Heron. Equating flight and freedom is done well here. I like the image of feeling the wind of their wings in your hair. Lovely poem!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Not one of us can move forward until we learn to let go of the past. "Let the dead bury the dead" as the saying goes. Or they most assuredly will come to bury us.

Well said. I can find nothing to argue with in your commentary. Only a request for reason. Well said.


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Review of Fat  
In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Good Morning, Salt Water Taffy Shopgirl here. I have walked in your shoes more miles than I can tell you. The only time I was very thin in my life, some of my family that I was battling anorexia. And yes, I was pretty sick all the time too.
You really highlight the dilemma weight challenged people face. You give voice to the pain and frustration very well. The problem mostly being the judgement of other people.
It took a long time for me to realize that most people are just so petty and insecure, that the only way to feel good about themselves is to denigrate others. Sad commentary on our fellow man. I have also developed a sharp tongue and will use it when necessary. More importantly, I have come to accept that I do my best to be healthy. All things in moderation and if people can not accept me for me, that is their loss, not mine. I feel very sorry for them mostly and wonder why they are so unhappy that they need to make others so miserable about themselves.
Chin up! Keep working on being healthy in ALL aspects of your life. Remember, the biggest weight loss you will ever have is losing the weight of living up to others expectations. It's time to start giving your expectations the precedence they deserve.


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Review of To Refuse A Duke  
In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello! Spiced Jellybean Shopgirl here. I would like to give my thoughts about this lovely story.

Your description of the party atmosphere, from the perspective of the Duke was a spot on. He seemed to be as ill at ease as was Lady Charlotte. The interesting aspect of his surveillance was the revelation that he was no different than those he seemed the Wallflowers. He seemed more interested in the Incomparables, despite his wanting to show his disinterest. Each group looking for that "something" just slightly out of their reach.
I did feel a bit sorry for Lady Charlotte. Your brief description of her mother as buxom and of fierce disposition was all that was needed to bring a picture of her to mind.
I suspect that Lady Charlotte is not really a Wallflower, just a young lady chafing under the social mores of the day.
I loved this piece! Despite only brief physical description, I could picture the whole scene. I hope there is more to this story.
Well done.


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In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Good Morning! Spiced Jellybean Shopgirl here. Hopefully, your morning is not off to as soggy a start as mine is right now!

This is wonderful. I am never ceased to be amazed at how just the smallest scent can transport one back to a specific time in one's life. And how so many memories are built around the food we share with family and friends. Your imagery is spot on and I can almost smell those waffles and syrup right now.

It is a gentle remembering and your poem reflects this. Well done.


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Review of On the Runway  
In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Good Morning! Spiced Jellybean Shopgirl here.

This is wonderful. I can really visualize the creative process at work here. I confess to being a Project Runway junkie at one time, so I understood all aspects of this story. I also love your choice of Milan.

Your characters are very interesting and a breath of fresh air, especially Tina. She comes across as focused and dedicated and confident. She believes in herself and her artistry.

Your depiction of that final runway walk was wonderful. I would have liked to have read a little bit about the crowd reaction. The dress described sounds spectacular.

I find no faults with this and really loved it.
Keep on writing.


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