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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/nixie9
Review Requests: OFF
2,824 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
Template most of the time, covering setting/plot/characters/conflict/resolution if applicable. For shorter works, I concentrate more on feelings evoked.
I'm good at...
Short story, chapter reviews and in-depth reviews.
Favorite Genres
Sci-fi, Romance, mystery, children's
Least Favorite Genres
Historical
Favorite Item Types
Short stories, novel chapters
Least Favorite Item Types
essay, editorial, non-fiction, somebody's homework assignment
I will not review...
XGC, poems, prose. I am an animal activist and vegan, so cruelty or violent, unnecessary, death due to negligence is overwhelming. I am unable to review any pieces involving abuse of any kind to anyone. I like to keep my corner or the world happy, because I grew beyond my "challenges" of childhood and don't want to look back.
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi Mastiff. Nixie here. I'm reviewing your work for "I Write in 2020

Wow, that's a great title. I like the play on words.

I have to admit to total confusion. Maybe if I knew who the narrator was in the beginning, the story might have made more sense. So, this back woodsman has found paradise, and he's walking to the store for supplies? The first paragraph contains his observations? Maybe we could hear the story from him as he's approaching the store.

The story had an off-balance feeling. Blocks of text with dialogue interspersed. In the second line of dialogue, is Mike speaking to himself in the first line? It would make more sense. Also, it's a bit of a clumsy sentence, and you really don't need it. If Mike simply stares at the guy and asks who he is, wa-la! the reader can infer the meaning.

I could easily relate to Mike's message. Now, I don't live off the grid, but I am happier with fewer possessions. It took me a few years to figure that out.

After the dialogue about Bezos, the following paragraph isn't in quotations. It took me awhile to realize Mike was still talking, not narrating his life. Also, that's a big block of dialogue. I wonder if, in real life, the reporter would have interrupted him here and there? It would bring the passage to life, and the dialogue would sound normal. Of course, I don't know your reporter. Maybe he's the kind who listens forever.

So the big story was that Mike moved off the grid and lived in the woods? It was the reporter's luck to have tracked him down? It didn't seem like much of a story to me. What am I missing?

I really liked the part about Kindle. *Laugh* I must have 400 books loaded on mine. I do miss holding a book, though.

The stories I come across with mention of Covid are interesting. I wonder how this time will go down in history. Authors who write stories with a mention of Covid are smart. They'll have a reference point to look back on years later.

The final paragraph wound the story down, and let the reader, along with Mike, fall into a contemplative mood. It is good.

Thanks for the opportunity to read your work. It was my pleasure. High five for entering the contest!


My vulnerable side
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2
2
Review of Take Us to Orange  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Hi Hooves! Nixie here. I'm reviewing your work for "I Write in 2020

First impression
What a beautiful and pessimistic poem. The images you painted were extraordinary and unique.

The form
Technically speaking, the lack of punctuation allowed me to read at a pace personalized to me. I don't mind when the author guides me with punctuation, but without those little marks the presentation appears cleaner. No punctuation enhances the flow of the words.

The poetry form itself sounded challenging enough. No need for me to count the syllables. I liked the way you introduced the poem, making no apologies if somewhere along the way, a line popped up without the precise syllable count.

Hauling in the reader
The first line set the theme, creating a feeling of uncertainty. A sense of foreboding.

Delving deeper
As the poem progressed, I fell deeper into your dark well of negativity and was very much at home there. The dark and dismal words echoed my own thoughts. Where all this will end remains unknown. Surely, our society will be changed forever. We all have concerns, caught in the whirlwind of chaos.

Emotional reaction
No point in looking back. It is what it is, and we'll all have to adapt. Hope is a strong emotion, and yes, merely the thought of hoping is frighting. Your words spoke to me; I've read this several times, each read broadened the range of my reaction. Sometimes I nodded my head, others I cringed, aware of the truth unfolding.

My thoughts
Which is better? Hope or nope? I tend to go from point zero to ten-thousand when speculating. Nothing in between. I'm a drama queen in my mixed up mind. I merely say the worst is awful x 1000, but those who know me understand it's just my way of coping. I back down from the dire predictions after proclaiming my negativity. I don't know. Maybe it makes situations more bearable when the conclusion is exaggerated. A time to laugh in a time of fear?

Continued speculation
Humans need to be touched. In the fourth stanza, I carried the thought one step further. Humans need to be touched, even beyond childhood. It's simply too weird to keep a distance from my family. I suspect we'll see extreme emotional ramifications from this restriction, necessary as it may be.

Strength in words
The second sentence in the same sentence had the word 'bloody' chance. I think that's a British 'swear' word, and it always shocks me, which worked to great effect. Although I was already entangled in your web, that word startled me. It's a strong and emphatic word. No prisoners taken.

*Questionb*
I did have one question. The first line sounds like present tense, 'seems like' and the second sentence sounds like past tense, stolen and changed. It's possible I read it wrong.

*Heart*
The best I saved for last. The title made me think of America's state of response. Next from orange would be red. I admired the way you used the a color to paint a different image than one splashed on canvas. Fall was personified. I've never heard anyone write the word sing in relation to falling leaves.

Evocative write. You caught me unaware and left a lingering impression. Beautiful pessimism that resounds in me.


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3
3
Review of Painter of Dreams  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi Zelphyr. Nixie here.

HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM
*CakeB* "Anniversary Reviews*CakeB*




Awesome title. I sure wish the brief description hadn't given away the meaning of the story.

Although the plot and conclusion were determined from the beginning,except for the final revelation, Maya fascinated me. I continued reading, wondering what had happened to her and how she came to such a tragic fate. Where was she from? How did she end up as a science experiment?

The puzzle of Maya chugged along at a steady pace. I was relieved when the new psychiatrist at least inspired a limited response. He was the only person in her life who saw her as a human being, not an object. That endeared me to him.

But neither character gave me anything to relate to. I couldn't engage with Reil or Maya, other than in an abstract way.

I liked the supernatural theme, especially as expressed in the sentence below. The word [sector] initially triggered that response. I was thinking a different dimension. On the second read, it was clear the setting was of the scientific research center. Correct?

"You can see for yourself that the dimensions of this sector would not accommodate this garden.

The glaring mystery wasn't Maya and the way her paintings come to life. I'm comfortable with that theme and enjoy writing similar stories.

*Heart*
My favorite sentence.
The word was so sudden and hard that, for a moment, Reil wondered if perhaps hed simply heard a rock fall.

What a shock when I read the last two paragraphs. Finally, a few of the puzzle pieces came together. Then the story threw me off a balcony, where I'd been reasonably sure what would happen.

As I mentioned from the beginning, I knew Maya would be painting someone's death. As I read, since she hated everyone, I wondered if she would paint their deaths. The story reminds me a bit of an episode from the 10th Dr. Who.

Maya found a way to gain freedom. I bet she was relieved.

Was the description of her eyes as cloudy meant to show her dying? Sort of an oxymoron. She could only see with clouded eyes. Hmm. Something for me to ponder after the review is concluded.

Most likely, I stumbled in a few places. I read carefully, as this kind of read requires. It's not a story to be rushed through. I'm frustrated when any reviews are received where it's glaringly obvious the reader skimmed the page. Hopefully, I avoided that.

Thanks for the read. I enjoyed the entire experience.

~Nixie *Smile*



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4
4
Review of Noah's Ark  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi Shannon. Nixie here.

HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM
*CakeB* "Anniversary Reviews*CakeB*



Gorgeous cover art.

Yikes! What a dangerous read that crept up to me with no warning. The title drew my curiosity, the plot tore apart my heart.

The beginning made me both comforted and then frightened. That last sentence in the first paragraph destroyed my mind while propelling it further. I had to find out what happened to Mary and her child.

Words hold readers transfixed. I was a victim caught between Oh, I can't keep reading this and Oh, but I can't stop. I continued reading. Just now, I flipped back to your portfolio, positive you were a published author. If not, you should be.

I hated (related to) the burial scene of Noah's little body. No, coffins shouldn't be that small. And they should't be occupied by someone's big sister, taken too early in life. I threw a rose on her coffin so it could die, just like her. We buried her yesterday, we buried her in 1983. Noah's mom is caught up in that warped window of memories. At this point, after all these years, I smile, rather than cry when my sister comes to mind. She was the talented one. The true author.

Even though she was in her 30's, my mom's face never lost that haunted look. For ten years, she wouldn't even say her name, nor was anyone in her presence allowed.

I meant to mention in the beginning how the tree drew me in. Call me weird, but for me, they're wise and magical. I think of all the hundreds of years rooted to one place. What if they absorb knowledge? Every time I walk, each tree I come across is caressed until their peace and unity become mine.

Good grief. I've turned a bright anniversary review into a sea of tears. I marveled at all your descriptions. The characters moved through the plot. This word about the father brought me up short. 'migrated' Fascinating word choice.

My dad died in 2014. I find no comfort in visiting graves. But two of my brothers went a few days after. Similar to Noah's Ark, they saw a silver balloon float gracefully straight up from my dad's grave into the sky.

This couldn't have been an easy story to write, having to tap into emotions that are real for me.

Thanks for the fantastic, but heartbreaking read.



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5
5
Review of ZANAMON  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Angus!

HAPPY 9th WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM
*CakeB* "Anniversary Reviews*CakeB*



Unbelievable and unique opening paragraph. No one's ever written that before!

You have a distinct talent for at least two (opposing) genres. Mostly when I visit, my determination to read a horror story carries me through the scary parts. I'm careful though. My brain's full of its own terrifying thoughts. Should I laugh or cry?

On this fantastic day, your 9th anniversary day, I'm here laughing. The plot built slowly like Livingston's idiot ideas that carried him to success. The tongue in cheek parts had me shaking my head. It seems, according to what his family had been eating, he was already at the top of his game.

The upside down humor continued throughout. His unfair treatment of workers and family evaded him. A selfish man, at best.

His creations? Boxes and bottled water from the tap? I can't decide which is worse. His nonsensical success or the intellect of the people falling for his scam.

And that was another weird part. Livingston didn't seem at all concerned, or had a guilty conscious. He believed in his products.

Life is perception. Livingston had only one vision of himself. Rising up. Excellent job showing both his mental state (the other buildings are falling) and the actuality. You couldn't resist adding the Trump Tower to the story, could you? *Laugh*

We harp on each other for using the verb [was]. Despite the entertainment, every time that verb appeared I winced. However, in this write that verb didn't detract from the story. Action carried the reader forward.

I zeroed in on the many excellent word choices. Cool going.

Since this is an anniversary review, no editing points shall be mentioned. *Heartv* It's pointless anyhow because the story didn't overly suffer from an unspoken rule here or there.

I can't see your name anywhere, or stop the thought when I look at review pages. 4000+ reviews. You'd best stay right here and keep inspiring the community and entertaining us. Today, you can wear a *Crown*.

~Nixie


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6
6
Review of Hat trick  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi! Nixie here. I found your flash via random review. What a challenging contest.


*Baretree3*
The Hook
I liked this read! It had a catchy first sentence. Remember using contractions lessens word count and creates shorter, punchier sentences.

Always shorten sentences for dialogue. No one speaks like this.

This is unlike any other room in the library, Jess exclaimed.

Example: "Weird room," Jeff said.

Passive verbs (was) (were) should be avoided. Show vs. tell. that's what we aim for. So, why were they drawn to it? be more specific. Show the fascination. *Wink*

I can't resist reading flash. So much has to be included in flash. All aspects of a short story in 300 words. It teaches writers to choose words carefully and remember less is better. Let the reader be drawn into the vision.

A library comes easily to mind.
Consider adding more.
Were the lights dim? or not working? Did they bring flashlights? Brush aside cobwebs? Hear something skittering? Shortening dialogue and using contractions gives the writer room to show more.

*Baretree3*
Thoughts

"A peculiar looking hat that looked out of place. It was the shape of a palm, but with six fingers. I counted."

This was the only sentence that seemed out of place. If your character is far away, as indicated in the sentence above this one, how could he discern the details?

J-Jess, Im not so sure色 I said weakly."

Ah! no words ending in (ly) allowed. *Laugh* But seriously. Adverbs are an indication of a weak verb. And definitely do not use them as sentence tags. Since the character hesitated, one possible alternative would be [I stuttered]

Jess? I was terrified."

Imagine being terrified. What would your actions be? Trembling hands, sweat on the brow...

I began searching the room for something to help him. And thats when I saw it.

Stronger sentence. Fiction is immediate. Nothing begins...
I searched the room for something to help him. (him) is unnecessary. We know who he's searching for.

*Baretree3*
Emotions evoked
I was thinking Please don't pick up the hat! Jess. Of course, the character has to do the wrong thing to create the tension and conflict.

This was a hopeful sentence. And also led to scarier mind sets.

"For a moment, nothing happened."

I thought, just for a sec, maybe nothing would happen. *Rolleyes* See? You drew me into your story.


*Baretree3*
A closed book=lasting impression
My suggestion would be to learn (if the review helped) and move onto another write.

The conclusion was inevitable, but still a good read. The last line made me shudder. *Checkg*

A decent write for a newbie. (no offense intended) We all start somewhere.

*Idea*
I only offer advice if the story has potential.

*Heart*
I still hold dear a member who helped me in the beginning. She's no longer here, but I'm forever indebted to her.


Love this image from Brooke! Personal signature

"WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupOverwatch Guardian



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi R. King. Nixie here. I found your story via random review.


*Baretree3*
The Hook
Usually, a title or brief description draws me in, but not in this case. Obviously, the poem was a love song. At first read my overall take was a more experienced person finds someone to love later in late. The love is more profound. But...something, somewhere in those words I realized the poem meant much more.

Congrats to you for letting members meet you by filling out your portfolio. There I found the missing piece.

*Baretree3*
A closer look
In no way would I call this a 'strange love', unless you meant perplexing or unexpected. Love is love and we can't change who we are. Who we were from the moment of birth. I think you're expressing your journey toward self-discovery, which ended in something delightful.

*Baretree3*
Emotions evoked
Surprise, for sure encompassed me, once I understood what was happening. Surprise that should not be taken as judgment. Never from me. I'm happy for you. Am I correct in my interpretation that all but the last stanza refers to love previously experienced?

My only distractions were the excessive punctuation and stanzas that ran on for too long. Rather than a block of text, I visualize this as broken into even 'chunks' if you will. This is not a reflection on the writing, only my personal preference for presentation. *Wink*

*Baretree3*
A closed book =a lasting impression
Because this poem was singular onto you, I have no lasting impression of emotion. So, I'll leave you with this. An expressive and heartfelt write. *Heart*



Love this image from Brooke! Personal signature

"WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupOverwatch Guardian



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Blue. Nixie here. I found your story via random review.

*Vignette2*
From the top
I worried a bit at first, thinking, uh-oh, a once upon a time story? I should have realized this story was for children.

*Vignette2*
Emotions evoked
I liked little Jen and how thrilled she was with her discovery. I loved the mom for picking up the enthusiasm and validating the worth of Jen's discovery. Not all moms pay attention to their kids. Thank goodness this is a happy story where the mom character cherishes the child.

*Vignette2*
Hot spots
Let's look at the use of adverbs demonstrating emotions. It's a shortcut, and doesn't engage the reader. I'm sure you've heard of show vs. tell Here's a few adverbs (any word ending in ly) that could be replaced with action. And you know how, as demonstrated in the sentence below.

excitedly
merrily
anxiously
happily

Jen said happily wile jumping up and down while she pointed at the flowers.

*Checkg* Wonderful! You're showing her excitement with action. (jumping up and down). You can take that pesky adverb right out of the sentence. Yay for show vs. tell.

[Mother isn't capitalized unless the word is being used as a name.)

She loved to plant lots of flowers in her Mother's backyard
She loved to plant lots of flowers in her mother's backyard

Here is the one sentence where mommy should have been capitalized.

"How neat mommy!" Jen said happily.
"How neat Mommy!" Jen said happily.

*Vignette2*
The successes
I liked the enthusiasm in the story. I raised three children and always encouraged them in any endeavor. The description of how the seed revealed itself bit by bit kept up a swift pace, while engaging the reader. What will happen next?

The pow in the success~
The last paragraph rounded out the story in a delightful way. It made me think of kids developing something in their mom's basement, and it ends up being a discovery of magnitude. Right now, I'm thinking of the two boys who came up with the 'dispensing' method for their product named Method. You'll find their 'pumping products' in stores everywhere.

In our family, we have a reading tradition. It came from my parents, and is still alive in my grandchildren. What a wonderful outcome for Jen's family, as her discovery carries on.

What a proud moment when Jen opened up her own shop.

I wondered what all the characters looked like.

*Star* Ferret out all the adverbs and passive verb sentences and you'll see a whole different story. I promise.

*Vignette2*
Wrapping it up
I can imagine this story as a picture book where the child can see the flowers developing. Cute write that needs editing.

The crowning conclusion thrilled me.


Damiana Matrix SPR

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9
9
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi Odessa. Nixie here. I'm reviewing your work for "I Write in 2020

I really liked the repetition of the reference to walking alone. It drove home the point and wrapped up the story of the narrator satisfactorily. At least she/he would try to help. (I didn't see the narrator's name mentioned anywhere.)

If you work on the dialogue, Suri can mention the narrator's name, which would make the story more personal.

The way the story began and the progression to the next paragraph confused me. Were they children when Suri said "I am to marry." Is that why the narrator didn't understand the implications? Seems to me most are familiar with this situation.

I've never watched the TV series you mentioned, but because it was in the story, I wondered if this was non-fiction.

All the salient, cultural points were covered. Suri's fear was real and that came across as authentic. Excellent job showing her in the Burka with downcast eyes. How sad.

This little bit had me puzzling over the timeline.

What I got were excuses.

I ran into Suri last week in the supermarket.


How did the narrator hear excuses before she saw Suri? What were the excuses? Or had the narrator seen Suri before? A plot misstep? Or am I reading this incorrectly?

Each new line of dialogue from a different character requires a paragraph break. I can think of one way to solve the mystery of the timeline. If Suri's statement was shown in italics, the reader would deduce (most likely) this was heard when both girls were children. Either way, a paragraph break is required after "I am to marry." statement.

More questions. Sorry. Who arranged the marriage and when? How old was Suki? Still a child?

In the beginning, the narrator understood the basics of the marriage. But if the narrator only learned the exact nature of the arrangement by watching TV, that leaves a non-watcher like me in the dark. (Except I know from my son's tours in Iraq what was happening.) I figured the narrator would, as well. If the two girls were best friends, why wouldn't the narrator understand all the implications before the marriage? I'm confused.

The preponderance of the word [was] dragged down the pace and created the need for unnecessary words. Remember, less is more in fiction. The reader's looking for a way to connect.

Although the overuse of the passive verb continued throughout, the story picked up some momentum after the narrator received Suki's cry for help. Since this arrangement is cultural, the narrator's plan to free her friend would never succeed.

Suki's character and her actions broke my heart. Excellent description of her appearance in the supermarket.

What happened to those bright almond eyes I had known all these years.

Did you mean almond-shaped eyes? The way it's written sounds as if her eyes were almond in color. And from the description of her eyes, it sounded like Suki was from the Middle East and would know what an arranged marriage meant.

I don't ask questions about stories that confuse me, unless I see potential behind the words. A cultural clash is a fantastic obstacle for characters to overcome.

Give yourself kudos and a pat on the back for entering this challenging contest. You've more confidence than me!


My vulnerable side
GROUP
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Join the fun! We inspire reviewers through kindness and learning! Four time Quill winner!
#1300305 by Maryann






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10
10
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Snow! Nixie here. I'm reviewing your work for "I Write in 2020

*Checkg*
First off, what a wonderful idea for setting up a blog. Collections and the like can be overlooked, and get cumbersome.

*Reading*
I've been thinking ever since I read this how it could possibly be reviewed. Then I read the prompt and it all made sense. The ride was a little bumpy, mostly because of me. Symmetry and rhyming. That's what's captures my attention.

*Idea*
So, I focused on the content, which was my first impression. Trying to go deeper and ferret out more than my feelings ended up a fruitless and unnecessary journey. Do most ignore that little voice in their head, or brush aside what first comes to mind?

*Pantsr*
Every facet of clothing appeared here. From shoes, to pants or skirts, from fashion conscious to relaxed and enjoyable. You're comfortable with where you are right now.

My problem with being at home, especially with being a Covid Captive, is my tendency to slump and forget proper posture. That habit I am sorry to have lost.

*Woman*
My mom raised me to dress up all the time. Heels and dresses. That was me. In school, we weren't even allowed to wear pants until the 8th grade. Funny, how stories or poems speak to the individual reader.

*Sneaker1*
I'm on the borderline. Around the house, it's whatever goes. That must be true of everyone. But I'm still hard-wired to skirts and dresses. No more 3 or 4 inch heels, though. *Heel* Mostly, I pair my attire with low-heeled sandals or sneakers in the summer.

Since I live in Florida *Sun* where the norm is sandals and shorts, or something super-sloppy, I draw unwanted attention. Like you, I can't change who I am at this point in my life. In a few years, though.

*Snow4*
In the winter, I cling to my high-heeled boots.

*Angry*
How true about men looking for older women with insurance! Years ago, someone warned me and suggested I stay aware.

*Clock*
A long time ago, I found a 2nd-hand store where rich, super-rich women traded in their clothes after wearing them once. I was the best dressed woman at work. I miss that opportunity.

*Heartv*
My favorite part was the 4th stanza, and I bet you know why. Those WdC clothes are mighty comfy. Hoodies never appealed to me, but I have the shirts. A few times, I've sent one of my grandson's home in a WdC shirt, but now I can't remember why. *Headbang* They looked so darn cute.

*Thinker*
Look what you dragged out of me! Sometimes I worry that the best is in the past. I hope patched up memories stay sentimental, not forefront in my mind.


Some writes bring out these memories and make it easy for me to relate. I also enjoy the opportunity to 'chat with the author' as if we were sitting down together enjoying some alcohol coffee or tea. *Laugh*

In the end, here I am, smiling. *Bigsmile*

~Nixie




Me with another persona. Am I a spy?
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#1300305 by Maryann






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11
11
Review of Treasured  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi Nixie here. I'm reviewing your work for "I Write in 2020

Aw, Mastiff. You caught me in a solemn mood, which ended up being the perfect state of mind for reading your work. Due to the title and mention of a particular contest, the first three lines gave the impression a love poem was blossoming.

Not so, as revealed in the fourth line. The message sinks in slowly, as the lines build, carrying sympathy and empathy. You tackled a much-talked about subject (maybe the only thing on peoples' minds) and made it your own.

In my mind, I hold the remembrance of a daughter visit today, and the other daughter yesterday. Practicing and suffering that blasted six feet away rule. Not being able to touch another isn't conducive to good mental health. Humans need contact. I guess we're together in our solitude, each struggling in their own way.

The punctuation throughout seemed excessive, although I understand you wanted to control how the poem flows. Just sayin'.

I liked how the lines slowly added a deepening awareness of what's to come. At first, a whiff of whimsy, maybe a question, but by the fourth line, the seriousness settled in. The emotions captured here are surely ones we all feel. Time passes as is its way, at its own pace.

Covid changed the world. The last line slams the door on the topic. To think of distance as an awful thing is exactly right, but oh-so-very-wrong, under the circumstances.

Nicely penned!

~Nixie


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12
12
Review of The price  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi Bluejay. Nixie here. I'm reviewing your work for "I Write in 2020

I really liked the premise of this story. The execution of the plot confused me. Backstory rarely works, as it interrupts the flow of events. I understand why you wrote it this way, but it might be a good idea to begin the story with the backstory, and then progress to the conclusion, which, presently, is at the beginning.

Many instances of passive verbs and run-on sentences made this difficult to understand or connect with. I liked Ronan as a character. A nice guy with a mission, helping others on the way to the wizard.

Ronan didn't progress as a character. His challenge (to see the wizard and get back home) was downplayed by repetition. He had no difficulties along the way. His demeanor and mannerisms stayed the same. Even after everyone forgetting him, he wasn't that upset. He picked up a solitary life and began again. For example

He would bear the price because it was worth it, but his life would never be the same.

*Wand*

The wizard came across as expected. Wise and odd. Same as Ronan, I would have done the same. Again, I wish the story had started with the beginning.

including Jenna's parents. When he saw Jenna,
Did I miss something? I thought her name was Jendra.

Ronan paid a steep price, but in the conclusion Jendra appeared, signalling a chance for a new beginning. I wonder if she recognized him.

I can't edit this for you, demonstrating passive writing vs. active. I think it's a skill picked up over time.

If this were my story, I'd work it over. It's an interesting story, unfortunately bogged down by passivity and run-on sentences.

The conclusion came across as uplifting and encouraging.


~Nixie

Spring fantasy contest image

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13
13
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Bubblegum Jones. Nixie again, delivering your third and final review, as included in my package at "Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Have you ever noticed the review tips that appear whenever a review is composed? Right now, it states tip #14. "Give thoughts about the inside of the writing, not just the outside." Do you think it means I should discuss the innards of the moon pie? *Laugh*

You definitely enjoy gathering food facts. Usually, I google to check the writer's accuracy. But this article is so convincing and detailed, I dropped the investigation. I only hope this isn't some elaborate joke. It's weird enough that I collect rocks.

The word [unique] means it's a singularity. So the word [very] doesn't apply. It's already unique. It can't be more unique. I know that [very] word is tempting to use, and sometimes the author is unaware of its presence. The president sure likes to use that word.

One suggestion. Watch out for non-word filler (very). It's a natural part of our language, and I imagine that's why it pops up now and again. Not using that word makes authors think a little bit more.

It's disturbing to think a moon pie counted as a meal. The contents are nothing more than sugar and calories. Thanks for the calorie count, by the way. Since sweets are not on my list of groceries (only dark chocolate) wasted calories are not my thing.

This 'article' shows not just the story behind the moon pie, but it's also a historical lesson. I remember when gas only cost 50 cents a gallon!

I have a food fact. Subway was using horse hoofs in their bread. They had big trouble when that was revealed. I rarely ate there because I don't eat meat. And 'vegetables only' in a sub is really only a salad on bread. lol.

The hoo-rah about states celebrating the moon pie sounds bizarre. What a weird world. I guess moon pie lovers are serious about their choice. And the fame isn't only in America. That really had me shaking my head. Who knew?

Thanks for another informative article. I doubt the memory will last, so I can't rattle off the facts and sound smart. Your article is hardly about one simple fact. The title is catchy. The cover art could not be more precise.

You're making it difficult for me to award a ribbon because I enjoyed reading all three items. It will be a surprise for both of us. *Wink*

~Nixie

Damiana Matrix SPR

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14
14
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Bubblegum Jones. Nixie here with your second review for "Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Thanks again for your generous bid on my package, and for your support of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

I definitely needed to laugh today. What a grumpy rock. Most of the year, Florida's weather is between 90 and 98 degrees year-round. So weathermen/ladies have it easy. And don't they love spreading panic during hurricane season.

Probably the hardest part of that job is pointing at that map from the opposite direction. My head would be spinning. Words to shock and awe, most accurate. Maybe they get bored?

I have a collection of rocks numbering over 100. No joke. And that's not even counting my crystals. Some of my rocks have really weird shapes, one is not that dissimilar to the cover art for this story. *Laugh* I find them magical and comforting.

Now, do any of them predict the weather? I have this huge smile on my face after reading the last paragraph. You demonstrated the woman's fragility by the careful approach of the narrator. Great imaging, because if it were me, I'd take my time walking up to her.
And not necessarily so as not to spook her and never discover the secret. Her going around the back made me feel antsy, no idea why.

I liked the responses from the woman. She honestly believed in the magic. (great job using 'remembered' dialogue to show her personality.) Her sincerity was funny and worrying. Gratefully, she's only a character in your story. Although, I do remember the money made when someone invented a pet rock. I've had people offer to buy my rocks, but no way. They all mean something to me. It's okay to call me weird.

The chip of the rock fell a little flat, despite the double-meaning. The comment didn't add any ka-pow to the story. A concluding line is definitely called for though. If you ever want to go back and edit, maybe something else will come to mind. Or, you can completely ignore me. (Probably your best option) *Laugh*

Time to take out the trinket, unless you want it there for posterity. *Wink*

Thanks for the read. I'm delighted you won my package, giving me this opportunity to stop by your portfolio.*Bigsmile*

~Nixie

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15
15
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Bubblegum Jones. I am reviewing this item because you placed the winning bid for my package at "Mad Hatter's Tea Party Thanks for supporting "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group.

Okay, I thought once the final paragraph was written, there'd be ha-ha moment, admitting you'd made it all up. *Laugh*

Oh, so tempted was I to jump to that last paragraph. That is often my habit. Can you tell me why you have a fascination with Oreo cookies?

I've never heard of the others, but that lemon version sounds awfully tasty. I wonder how many times the company changed hands. I wonder a lot about other stuff, too. Like, who were the people who made all the changes, and why? (market testing, obviously). But Key Lime? I don't even like Key lime pie. I wonder if that iteration had the same chocolate outside.

Did I eat Oreo cookies? Nope. Maybe as a kid. I have two memories. One of unscrewing the cookie and scraping out the filling with my teeth. And it's possible I dunked them, as well. That was a popular way to consume them. It sounds disgusting now because I'm a vegan. Cow milk? Ick.

I keep a national supply on hand for my grandsons. Oreo cookies are their favorite. They both 'unscrew' the outside and eat the cream first. One grandson found some weird layering inside a cookie. Maybe 3/4 of the cream was there, in an odd looking pattern. He claimed that was only the 5th one he'd seen. *Laugh*

I enjoyed my time here, learning about cookie facts that never would have interested me, otherwise. Now I feel clever and bright. Thanks for the info and delightful read. *Bigsmile*

~Nixie

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16
16
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Tinker. Nixie here. I'm reviewing your work for
FORUM
I Write in 2020  (E)
Write and review once a week for all of 2020
#2208028 by Annette


I enjoyed reading your inspirational entry. Years ago, I developed of habit of at least doing one thing per day. And sometimes, it only involved making my bed.

How kind of you to offer some quotations and books that have helped you over the years. I wonder what you found when you opened your journal. I had one for years, but later on, it was only depressing so I destroyed it.

Your tone carries both determination and the malaise you're experiencing. Mostly, I found this sad, but the paper clip psychological prompt struck me. How simple, yet complex.

At one time, my life was full of 'objects'. I read a book that suggested putting everything you didn't use into large plastic boxes and stacking them in a garage or basement. If six months passed without the need to open them, it meant it was time to let go of them. I made a few hundred bucks at my garage sales. lol.

I totally understand this feeling you speak of. Some days, I wonder why doing anything is worth it. Other days, I move furniture, or anything around to change the energy flow where I live. Even one small item usually leads to another. And the humble paperclip spurred you on.

Your words were genuine, and it's obvious you gave thought before penning this. The words seemed to plod along, not because of the way you write, rather as the words created the experience of slowness. Like snow melting in March.

I'm both angry and in agreement with asking people to focus on the positive during this pandemic. That's all fine, except some days I want to be unproductive. On those days, I resent being asked to express happiness.

But, as you have shown, it takes little to change thought patterns, encouraged by One Small Step Can Change your Life. You've done this, and shared it with the community. I spend time learning exactly (as much as we can understand) how our brains work. But that's a complicated topic that isn't appropriate for this review.

Thought-provoking write. *Checkg*








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17
17
Review of Wheel of Fortune  
for entry "March 3, 2020
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi Riding Hood. Nixie here, again. I'm reviewing your work for "I Write in 2020 I'm always finding you when my entry is ready. Hope you're not worn out by my comments.

Very sensual and precious.

I can smell the bread and taste the butter and honey.

The last stanza's my favorite. Something about the heat from the sill feels cozy and warm. The last two lines caught my heart, as I imagined, through your tender words, this miraculous sight.

Excellent word choices: fragile/courageous. They create the moment of the tendril's first breath. Nicely done~!

I wonder if the experience of eating of the bread is the thing that's better than the storytellers? What am I missing?

Are the no-spaces between some words intentional? (first stanza, second line) (second stanza, last line)

Thanks for the read. *Smile*


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18
18
Review of Heavy and Lite  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi T.L. Nixie, here.

HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM
*CakeB* "Anniversary Reviews*CakeB*



I often think of how much money Americans send to other countries for assistance, when we have so many starving in our own country. Yes, we have organizations and people that help, but it's not enough for 16 million hungering souls.

Based on the statistics, your poem housed in the folder 'lighter moods and comedy' didn't seem like the right place for it.

But it's a fun read with lines flowing one to the other, all with appropriate and clever rhymes. I've eaten snake, but an eel? Ick. Cats? double ick. *Laugh*

In the last few stanzas, we're forced to look in the mirror and see how our food consumption affects the body. Some people, though, are naturally thin.

With all the words swallowed whole, the reader finds both comedy and some introspection. Excellent write.




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19
19
Review of Mountains  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Sun Smiles. Nixie here.

HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM
*CakeB* "Anniversary Reviews*CakeB*



I chose to read this because going north on NYS highway 81 brings me around a curve where I first see the mountains. Their purple majesty makes me cry. A glorious sight. Expectations are dangerous. I expected a poem that brought these feelings upon me. And that's not what happened here. I had to find another approach.

Form poetry is difficult and admirable when written. I don't study the qualifications that adhere to Cinquain. I rely on my feelings to guide me. Since I wasn't moved, I focused on the specific words so carefully chosen. I never thought of mountain heads. I paused and pondered. And then I smiled.

The mountains would be pleased by the words. As for me, images of hiking and sights come to mind. Here you offered the perspective of the mountain itself. Exploring. Fantastic thought!

I had to find the definition for the word [ gigantesque]. *Thumbsup*

Except, from my understanding the word relates to giant. So huge is redundant.

2010 sounds so close to 2020 when really it's not. Work going back this far often indicates the author moved forward from this point. I wouldn't edit any work penned so long ago. But I wanted to leave my thoughts here, because the mountains deserve both your effort to form them in a specific style, and the expressions of my wild feelings.

Good job making me sit here and puzzle this through. *Star*





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20
20
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Don Two. Nixie, here.

HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM
*CakeB* "Anniversary Reviews*CakeB*



No way was I skipping over this write, despite it being labeled as poetry. Nothing wrong with poetry, it usually doesn't speak to me.

This piece is more like prose. Why did the story worm its way into my brain and insist on being read? The title, but not the brief description was the culprit.

I enjoyed reading every line, smiling as it flowed, painting unique images, bringing to mind memories. Transcending time for you means something quite different from where my mind travels. I liked the unexpected twist. It gave me pause, thinking of one cat embodying several others in small ways. How did you ever dream that one up? A living metaphor, indeed.

My cat understands time, which is another reason why I wanted to read and review. At seven, if I'm not eating dinner, she's prowling around, annoying me with her meowing. She reminds me when it's three in the afternoon, even though my alarm is set. And if I'm not headed towards bed by 9:30, she can be downright mean. All this from a feral cat who wandered into my apartment eight years ago. She was a parking lot cat. When I moved, I had to teach her not to go down the stairs. No more going outside. It was awful, but I'm proud of the relationship I managed to create. Sometimes, she even dozes on my lap.

I do tend to babble when a write resonates with me. Sorry. Your work is elegant and inventive. Imaginative and concise. All the words flowed together as you showed me the different cats and their quirks.

Among other things I like about anniversary reviews, they often introduce me to authors I've never met. This evening was a lovely surprise. Thank you.



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21
21
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Mumsy. Nixie here to say...

HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM
*CakeB* "Anniversary Reviews*CakeB*



Wow, that's a lot of information to take in. The only overwhelming part was the tightly-packed words. A giant block of text that looked discouraging.

I read the first paragraph, interested in the brother. I'd have a hard time putting up with his 'city', but I'd do it because I love my brothers. With the porta-potty and all the tarps, I wouldn't want to look out my window. His address was right on target and unique onto him. Too funny.

A lot of character development here. A good start for a novel. Because the story was told through Ells's eyes, the voice comes across as natural and upbeat. Friendly. I liked her.

The plot progresses. I suggest adding some white space, especially when the dialogue appears.

Throwing my wet curls up into a clip, I chased the kitten down the stairs.
Best not to begin sentences with a gerund. She can't be simultaneously doing her hair and chasing her kitten. I noticed this sentence pattern quite a bit.

All the scenes were complete, visuals, colors, smells...I wanted to relax in the bakery part, but after all that reading, the upcoming end was more compelling. Not to say I rushed or didn't appreciate!
Good hook at the end to encourage the reader to keep going. I hope he found a skeleton, not a real body. *Pthb*

I don't see stories like yours around much anymore. And it's pointless to note anymore observations, considering the year the chapter was written. At any rate, I saw the 35 four star ratings. I didn't find enough errors to dock a full point. If nothing else, here's to a 4 1/2. *Smile*

~Nixie


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22
22
Review of Uncle Lion  
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hi Bob. Nixie here.

HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM
*CakeB* "Anniversary Reviews*CakeB*



What? No bio filled out? Since your writing is near impeccable, I found something for you to do. I tried to find a story that called to meone that hadn't been written so long ago. A year after WdC was born. Among the many, this one stood out. Not from the title, and not from the brief description. General curiosity?

You write with word economy and unusual descriptors. I realize a review after all these years may be pointless. It's your own fault.

Although I anticipated a boring story to skim, I don't know. You cast a net over my brain and pulled me in? *Laugh* *Facepalm*

One wish. Less past tense verbs. Less instances of [was].

I unearthed a favorite sentence! Uniquely descriptive.
And Mercer thought she belonged there as much as the maple tree.

Oops

His buddy Hawk had telephoned last night from there favorite watering hole,
their

No only had the second hand stopped moving
Not

"I think youre a little young to be climbing trees
Missing period and ending quotation marks.

"Dont know what your missing," he said.
you're

with Alan hot on its trail.
its

His face was crimson.
How does he know his face is crimson?

Oh, therej would be a dozen of um
there

As he went out the front door he head Alan say,
heard

I suspect part, if not the majority, of the plot was written from first hand experience. No way someone who doesn't know kids would be able to write this. Oh, good grief, who can forget the (why?) stage.

Absolutely engaging read.



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23
23
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Rima! Nixie here.


HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM
*CakeB* "Anniversary Reviews*CakeB*



Congrats on winning first place! I would have stopped by anyway, sci-fi is my favourite genre.

Cool story. I liked how you showed the various screens coming into view. Although it's trope for sci-fi, it's not always easy to show it well enough for the reader to visualize.

What distracted me was the perfect past tense and the multitude of passive verbs. Here's a few an examples.
"I had never had the opportunity."
Suggest: I've never had the opportunity."

And here:
On a small screen were scrolling giant numbers.
Suggest:
On a small screen giant numbers scrolled.

Misspell
I released my breathe at one go.
breath

The beginning and ending of this paragraph was the same.
At that moment

Remember [just] is a meaningless word and twice in one sentence really stands out.
When just a minute and a half was left, just three men remained on Sparta.

Rewording needed. Double negative.
Commander wouldn't abandon his ship till the last man hadn't departed.

Excellent observation, how one person's attitude can travel to another. Well done! And surprising.
Kelly's voice had slightest of strain, maybe infected by mine.

When I review, it's a bad habit for me. I change verb tenses as I go back and forth in a story. In this story, the verb tenses need to be fixed in several areas.

Split comma separating noun from action.
The HDC that had traveled three light-years, was racing for Sparta.

Same here
The grating sound that it made, obliterated all other sounds

A suggestion for word economy and passive verb elimination.
but Commander Wilson's voice could be heard across the battlefield.
Commander Wilson's voice boomed across the battlefield.

*Questionb* Why was a battlefield mentioned? They're not in battle yet. I had the impression Murray had never met the commander before. So how would he know from experience?

When I read the prompt, I understood where the focus was for this contest entry. The design was easy to visualize (even with the passive verbs)

Aw, I finished reading the story. What a sad, but predictable (in a good way) conclusion. The captain always goes down with the ship. The scenario reminded me a movie I can't recall, where Bruce Willis sacrifices his life for the sake of this daughter. Father/daughter moments create strong emotions. By the end of the movie, I was sobbing. Of course there's not enough room in a short story to develop that tight relationship, so good job finding a way to get the point across.

All in all, a good write that needs some editing.

~Nixie


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24
24
Review of Wheel of Fortune  
for entry "February 19, 2020
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi Ridinghood. It's Nixie again. I'm reviewing your work for "I Write in 2020

I'm struggling with this. Here's the definitions of 'resile' I found.

recoil, retract especially : to return to a prior position resile from an agreement.
oxford dictionary

To spring back; rebound; resume the original form or position, as an elastic body.
wiki

It sounds to me like 'whatever' (in this case a person) has to be in one position to recoil or return. So if the subject is waking up in the dark, she can't resile the light. Wouldn't she have to be in the light and from there she can resile. Tough word to work with.

What about more unique words, other than dark and deep?

I know how hard 24 syllables can be. *Pthb*

I liked the last line the most because we do have to keep an open mind to receive. For me, I can be in the light or the dark to find wisdom.

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25
25
Review by Nixie
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi flyfisher. Nixie here. I'm reviewing your work for "I Write in 2020

Oh! One of my favorite songs! My dad used to sing it all the time. Me too.

Non-fiction, huh? If she was your first and only love, did you ever find another?

I think you can shorten this a bit by using less passive verbs. Since it's a personal story, it's not a huge deal. But the verb [was] does tend to get tedious. A quick example.

Snow was falling outside the Pocono Manor Inn.
Outside the Pocono Manor Inn, snow fell.

This weekend was a package deal offered..

Less details, perhaps? We already know you're with the ski club. Rearranging your words, not changing them. What about...*Idea*

The hotel offered a package deal. Even so, I was out of ....

And what about starting a new paragraph after [worlds]?

***

Unfamiliar with the content of the work, I struggled over this sentence, out of context until the story progressed.
For a city kid in the 50s
I finally figured it out. What about the 1950's?

A native of NYS, I have similar memories of snow. The snowbanks sparkled, until they turned to grey slush.

Remember not to use semi-colons unless what follows is a complete sentence. *Wink*

Avoid repetition. In the paragraph beginning with "Forty years later" [story] appears twice.

You may want to fix the font and size after the song snippet to match the rest of the story. Unless you changed it deliberately.

You have a wonderful story here. You don't need to change anything. But if you want to make it more compelling, bring the experience to the reader by being more direct, less wordy.

I'm happy your story came my way! I enjoyed reading and imagining it. And now that song is stuck in my head. *Music2* Thanks for including some of the lyrics. I'll be singing all day long and remembering my dad. Bittersweet, as you said.

~Nixie *Bigsmile*




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