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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/lindyteep
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28 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review of The Letter Home  
Review by Lindy
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Bikerider,

What a beautiful tribute! I could visualize the scenes due to your descriptions. I like the way you gave me a window into the personalities of several soldiers via their good luck charms. I also liked that you mentioned that Mike saw his reflection in his black coffee.

In the first paragraph, you say, "The mountains stretched behind the encampment, barren and rough." Then later, when Mike is in Virginia, you say that he has never seen mountains before. I like that you included brief descriptions of both mountain ranges--this points out the contrast between Afghanistan and Virginia. Maybe you could say that Mike had never seen mountains in the U.S. or never been to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

A beautiful, bittersweet, poignant story.

Good luck with the contest!

Lindy (in nanowrimo class)
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Review by Lindy
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi! I prefer to add comments within the body of the essay, poem, story, etc. that I am reviewing. As you read through my review of your piece, look for the
( ). My comments are inserted within the parentheses. I will make a recommendation for change only once--you get the fun of hunting for similar problems in your work! This frees me up to enjoy your writing and turn my focus to content. I love to review and encourage other writers, so please know that my comments are offered with the best of intentions. I'm giving you more than what you asked for (grammar suggestions)--hope that's OK. Don’t miss my comments added after the story ends. Blessings, Lindy

Review of - Introduction
by Blue Head


It had been merely a year since the first boat had debarked (great verb!) upon the shores, carrying its cargo of citizens to the New World. The ageing ten-eyed wooden beast had watched them from the water, having brought them so far from the mainland. (In this sentence,"had watched" and "having brought" function as passive verbs. The tense your are using is called"past perfect tense". To create a sense of action, in this case, use "simple past tense." For example: "...beast watched them from the water, after bringing them..." If you aren't familiar with the terms I'm using, you can look them up on the internet--that's what I did! I googled, "perfect tense" and then selected http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/601/01/... .) Anchoring in the virgin bay, it had dispelled (I don't think this verb quite fits; I'd look for another verb) from its hold those pioneers who had inhabited the beast’s belly for nearly a month to the sandy southern shores, as a deity sending mortals to do his bidding; and just beyond the beachfront, after some initial scouting and debating, those people once held captive by timber and sea began their civilization. (That is a l-o-n-g sentence-I recognized this because I am guilty of long-winded sentences myself) Constantly,( "constant-ly" is an adverb. I'm told adverbs are no-nos. Watch for the "ly" ending and rework your sentence; try something like: It eyed them with diligence") it eyed them from the center of the waters as they erected their first government center and during the construction of their market place. Houses popped up on the outskirts of town, succeeding (I think "succeeding" is correct, but I stumbled over it as I read. I would probably look for verb that keeps the reader moving forward) the primary buildings, as did a sturdy harbor. Not but a few (This wording sounds outdated—is that what you intended?) days after the completion of a small church in the heart of the town, the once occupied bay was abandoned - the beast sent back to the old East, having served its intended purpose for the townspeople.

The land was quickly carved up among the citizens, as the local area was void of the heathen Indians that haunted other towns. In the first use of the government center, those elected to office began to measure out the land into chunks, and started allowing citizens to lay claim to the surrounding grounds. To Mr. Whittle, once a farmer in the old world, went a twelve acre strip just north east of the town center. To Mr. Bilberry, a former doctor, went the fourteen acre plot of land just below Mr. Whittle’s. Beside both property, the governor, one by the name of John Lewis, selected the plot that spread forty acres. In a similar fashion, the land was - as the self-elected executives said - sectioned honestly among the other men, plowed, and readied for farming for the early summer season planting.

The citizens quickly settled down in the rough world, cutting into the lush growth, and establishing a clearing in which to live. The wood surrounded the little civilization, enclosing them in a green canopy, and, as noticed by some of the more spiritually acute members, encapsulating a sense of anxiety throughout the town. As the church bells of home would once ring (I think “would once ring” needs to be changed to “rang”) through the clear air with such dignity and power, the church built upon the bay only loosed a dull, unattractive series of tonal thuds as the hours passed, as if the very air suffocated (wonderful verb) its potentially beautiful vibrations. (great description) As citizens of the Old World would feel free to roam the cobble streets without true purpose or direction, here, upon the dirt paths of the bay-set town, few felt comfortable under the forest’s gaze as they moved from their homes to the Sunday mass. Many feared the trees, though never openly proclaimed this to their neighbors. Under the moon’s gaze, branches would scrape and claw at the walls when the wind rolled through the leaves. Strange rustles and movements held captive the ears of the sleepless people in the early twilight. They were quick to blame this (rather than using “this” or “that,” be more specific: what’s the “this”?) on animals with their tongue, though none could convince themselves of this within their mind.

Stories soon emerged from the mouths of those living outside the town: of blood-red eyes peering from the undergrowth; of children disappearing without warning; of odd hymns being repeated by the most obscure birds. So, as a true (“true” is similar to “devout,” so use only one) devout and pious society is prone to do, they were quick to blame their fears on the darker spirits. So they erected a twisted tale, based solely on their spiritual values. A demon lived in the forest - said those gossips – cardinal-red hide, horns the length of a human limb, and teeth sharper than the tip of a bayonet. “Aye,” said they, “and ‘e’s out for the town, he is. We’ve seen ‘im sulkin’ (do you mean “skulking?)‘bout, ‘aven’t we, gossips? Aye, ‘is revenge ‘ll be quick on us. Quick as Beelzebub’s dark ‘orses can ride.” (great job creating dialect!) And, so, fear was personified by the townspeople, moderated and renewed daily by those with perpetually running mouths.

As Time’s beard extended ever further to his toes,(great description of time!) he, holding the sun and moon in either hand, let the days rise and fall with indecision; and the storyteller’s tall tales grew ever longer, and ever more complex.


Blue Head, you are a wonderful storyteller. The story built at a slow pace at first, and then, when you got to the paragraph beginning, “The citizens quickly settled down …”, the story took off—and I went with it. I love that you use unique verbs—this tells me that you are putting effort into your writing. I think the story flows well.
Blessings, Lindy

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.


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Review by Lindy
Rated: E | (4.5)
Endless Enigma,

You reviewed one of my essays awhile back ( "Research Reveals New “Restless' Syndrome") and I wanted to return the favor.

I found very minor things. Overall, I think that your story is well written. I have cut and pasted the specific paragraphs in which I have suggestions or comments, inserting those suggestions in parentheses. It may look like I'm suggesting a lot of changes, but it's all minor stuff. I'm a newbie here and am no expert!

Although I have no experience writing for children, I can see this as becoming a "chapter book."

I love reading dog stories and hope to read another one of yours.

Blessings,
Lindy


I stole the dog around the corner when I was eight years old. (I like your opening sentence. What kid hasn’t wanted to steal a dog! You caught my interest.) My mother used to tell me we won him, but that’s not entirely true because Zeus (nee Barker) eventually stole my heart and became my very best friend – ever. And, I his.

You see, it took me a little while to become best friends with the big black beast. That is what he was to me when I first encountered him. He was my scary nuisance to getting to my piano lessons down the road at Miss Jordan’s house. (I’m confused by “nuisance to getting to my piano…” Not sure What you mean.)

I didn’t know what a Liberace was at the time, (you made me smile) but I usually responded with something like, “I learned Three Blind Mice.” And then we would sing it all the when home.

On the day that summer was over, it was all gray and misty outside, and mom made me wear the yellow slicker and rain boots to piano class. When I looked in the hall mirror after Mom tied the yellow rain hat on me, I looked like a plastic banana (cute image). I hiked (I know what you mean by “hiked,” but there may be a better word) on my backpack and picked up a big red apple for Miss Jordan then skipped through puddles until I rounded the corner where the weeping willow lived.

The tree dwarfed the modest ranch style home with faded brown paint that was scabbed (excellent descriptor) away in places, and the really “old people” lived here. Mom said they were the Johnson’s. I guess they were nice people, but I really didn’t see them much at all. The front yard was nearly grassless (can you find a different way to say “nearly grassless”—nearly is an adverb and the use of adverbs is discouraged) from the shade of the tree. The majestic willow tree was dense with branches and whips of leaves that hung like curtains to the ground and hid the thick (how about describing the bark of the tree instead of say it is thick) trunk. There was a splash of potted yellow mums on the front step.

I heard the pounding sound of thunder before I actually saw the black beast running full out toward me from under the willow tree. Then the mad barking echoed in my ears and I smelled my own fear. (Nice image; perhaps you could describe the fear to avoid “telling”; “smelled" is telling instead of showing “My fear smelled like…, for example) Stunned and unable to move, my brain screamed: DANGER DANGER - RUN FOR YOUR LIFE - MOMMY! (I love the addition of “MOMMY”)

His head was the size of a volleyball. Just as it (what does “it” refer to; you just talked about his head and the volleyball and I know you don’t mean the head or volleyball leaped) leaped into the air to jump the privet hedges, I lobbed the apple over his head. As he took off from his leap, he caught sight of the apple and rotated himself around and ran after the apple that was rolling back toward the mysterious confines of the willow tree.

I spilled my guts about the big black beast and how it was ready to attack me. I blubbered and hiccupped (love your choice of verbs) as I retold the whole traumatic event.

Princess looked so cute with her rhinestone studded collar and pink leash. She (who are you referring to? the previous sentence talks about Princess…) had a dog that wore jewelry. That was so cool. Princess delighted us with some tricks she had learned. She could roll over on command, do a back flip, and sit up and beg. Uncle Ed laughed and said, “Any dog will sit up and beg if they know they’ll get a treat,” and of course, Chrissy always gave her dog a treat.

While the adults visited, mom said it was alright to take Princess for a walk to the corner and back. We loaded our pockets with treats for Princess, and fastened the fancy pink leash to her ornate collar and walked down Lexington Lane. However, Princess was not a very good walker. She weaved in around our legs, sometimes causing us to trip to avoid stepping on her. She wondered (wandered) off the sidewalk onto the curb and probably would have gone out further (farther) into the street if her leash allowed. With a slight tug, Chrissy would get Princess back on the sidewalk.

I hurried back home to find Chrissy blubbering out her story and sounding like a basket case. She kept sobbing that a big dog almost ate Princess. All eyes turned toward me for confirmation of this unbelievable story. I explained it rationally (adverb) and differently (adverb) than Chrissy did and emphasized that the dog did indeed jump over the hedges, but did nothing more than startle us and saved Princess from being hit by a car.

Chrissy finally calmed down long enough to admit she was mostly scared for little Princess, who by this time was asleep on a chair near a sunny window. Her jewelry glistened while the little white dog snored. (This sounds like “her” and “little white dog” are separate beings. Try something like: “Princess’ jewelry glistened while she snored in her sleep.” Or “The little white dog’s jewelry glistened while she slept.”)

Miss Jordan had (you don’t need “had”) heard me screaming bloody murder insert “and” was at my side in a flash, and (delete “and” and insert “having") “already dialed up my mom. Soon enough she was driving her car around the corner and we helped poor black beast into the back seat and drove to our vet.

That is all I had to hear. I was thrilled. Mom kept talking to the vet doctor (“doctor” is redundant; use either vet or doctor but not both) and the rest was blah blah blah to me. “Mom, can we take him home now?” I was anxious to take care of Zeus, (start a new sentence) yes, I gave him a name. He was mine now. I found him.

Mom frowned at me and tried to explain that he had tags on and he belonged to someone else. She was going to call the owner and let them know his dog was injured. Mom made the call from the vet hospital and a very short time later a man came and said he was the owner of the black dog that was hurt in an accident. I sat crying in the waiting room with dogs and cats waiting to see the doctor. Mom and the strange man continued talking for awhile (a while) and both of them kept looking over at me. Finally, the nurse brought out Zeus, he limped a little bit, but when he saw me he forcefully hobbled toward me and nuzzled his big head into my lap. I kissed his big fat head.

Zeus has been with me for a long time. His face is mostly white now, and he has a bit of arthritis, but he has been my best friend, ever (add "since"). He waits for me everyday looking for me out the window from my house when I get off the bus from high school, sleeps by my bed all night and even will catch a ball now and then. (Consider dividing that sentence into two sentences) Best of all, he sits at the piano and listens to me practice my Liberace tunes.

And that is how I stole the dog from around the corner. (I love the ending. I was surprised to learn that she got this idea from the man who said she was getting the dog for a steal. But it is consistent with how she learned new words from other adults and then utilized them—a cute twist.)
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Review of Mind Workers  
Review by Lindy
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Delightful--right up my alley, as I am a marriage and family therapist.

I love Freud as having mojo! How did you come up with that?

Your poem is very humorous, but it may be limited to a small audience. I recognized all the names, but someone who is not in a psychology field may be lost.

Spelling correction: "Frankle should be Frankl (Viktor).

Don't forget Carl Rogers (unconditional positive regard) and Fritz Perls (Gestalt). They're my buddies.

Great job!

Lindy

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Review by Lindy
Rated: E | (4.5)
Your story has an Asop's Fable feel to it. I love that the pigs are piggy banks instead of real pigs. I also love the tie-in to the popular phrase, "when pigs fly." I don't know that Aesop used non-animal characters, so your idea is unique. It also has a Toy Story feel, a movie that I love. So it has both atimeless/classic and a contemporary appeal. Is this a Is this story for children? If so, the vocabulary may be too difficult depending on the age range you're writing for (example: Machiavellian). I enjoyed your humor and creativity. Lindy
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Review by Lindy
Rated: E | (5.0)
I was drawn to read your story because of your clever title. I love nature/animal stories and this was delightful. A beautiful metaphor of generosity and kindness that we humans can learn from. Also, a great example for husbands and fathers on caring for their "flock." I love your closing sentence. You did a nice job of painting a picture that I could easily picture in my mind. I'm glad to know that Johnnie's good traits were passed on to future generations. Lindy
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Review of Harley Cat  
Review by Lindy
Rated: E | (4.0)
You made me chuckle. The picture is a nice addition for those of us who are visual, like me. I liked your use of "rolling thunder" and "rowdy" to describe your cat. Reminds me of some cats I've known. I write about my pets and invite you to check out my stories. Lindy
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Review of What Do You See?  
Review by Lindy
Rated: E | (4.0)
A lovely fantasy. You did a nice job of keeping the reader wondering, “Who is Annie?”

I only have two suggestions:

She picked up a handful of coin and poured it over Annie’s head. She--does this refer to Jennifer or Annie?—I figure this out by the end of the sentence, but I had to reread the sentence to confirm it. This could be my difficulty focusing and thus a need to reread the sentence-- but it might be better to say “Jennifer” rather than “she.”
The setting sun shone its beautiful colors upon the three joyous creatures, sparkling happy dyes of many joyous shades and hues. Regarding the phrase, “sparkling happy dyes”—even though “dyes” is appropriate, I found myself thinking about the incongruency between “sparkling happy” and “die.” Perhaps I’m the one in a million who might react this way, but I think using the word “hues” here would be better: “sparkling happy hues.” Then just delete “hues” at the end of the sentence.

Hope this is helpful.

Thanks again for reviewing my essay on restless dog syndrome.

Good luck in the contest!
Lindy

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Review of Ash Wednesday  
Review by Lindy
Rated: E | (4.0)
I am amazed at how such a profound experience can be expressed so beautifully in so few words. I love "Yesterday's glory/Smear of grit." Very nice! Lindy
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Review of The Do-Be Tune  
Review by Lindy
Rated: E | (3.5)
As a therapist who talks with clients frequently about the difference between "being" and "doing," I appreciate the dialog you've created. I like corn, too, so "do keep writing" and "be a writer"--dobedobedo!!! Lindy
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Review by Lindy
Rated: E | (4.0)
I enjoyed the picture you painted on the canvas of my mind. I hope the following comments will be helpful.

I am a nature lover and you grabbed my attention immediately by highlighting the ecological concerns of the present.

I liked that you provided just enough history to help me get a feel for the rich and deep setting for your story.

I love the picture you paint of the humidity: humidity clung to Jack like a rug bent on slowly suffocating him. Did you mean for the word “bent” to have a double meaning? Very nice!

You have quite a few sentences that are very long, for example, “An hour later after having crossed the Bay Bridge, Jack finally guided his classic green 1965 MGB GT carefully though the narrow driveway entrance, the car tires crunching softly over the graveled driveway that had once been all oyster shells and parked in front of a graceful, white framed, black shuttered classic tidewater "telescope" house - so called because the house was made up of several units, each of descending height, thus giving one the appearance of fitting together like the components of a collapsible telescope.” I think it would help the reader if you divided a sentence like this into two or three sentences. I found myself having to reread sentences in order to take it all in.

I’m a golden retriever lover, so I was pleased to see that you included one. : )

You made my mouth water with your descriptions of food!

I could feel myself sitting in the yard with Billie and Jack enjoying the fireworks.

I am puzzled by your title, “The House Across the Creek.” You spent a great deal of time describing Bell View, and placed your characters in Bell View, and the house across the creek doesn’t become figural until the last few paragraphs. To me it feels like the story is more about Bell View.

Thank you for giving me respite from a cold winter day. I can’t wait for summer—and Indiana sweet corn.

I look forward to reading more of your writing.
Lindy
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