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211 Public Reviews Given
211 Total Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by Ned
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
I like the way the third stanza brings a stark reality in to strip away the magic of the first two scenes and replaces the idealized blush of dawn with the soot that bleeds the color from the day. The descriptions paint the picture and the imagery rings true with the reader. Nicely done.
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Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a powerful poem full of honest emotion. I can relate to the experiences and feelings detailed in the first part of the poem and felt uplifted by the ending. I enjoyed reading this.
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Review of Lem and Lime  
Review by Ned
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I just knew they would eventually discover what a good team they made! The meter is steady and the rhymes enjoyable without being cloying or sing-song-y (is that a word?). A tasty little poem about friendship,teamwork and the sum being more than its parts. I enjoyed this tale in rhyme. Thanks.
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Review of Our Inn  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
Pretty good concept for a story with a surprise ending. Ants in lines is believable as they are extremely organized creatures. I wondered why if the narrator could find the body so easily, the family couldn't. Or perhaps that is the point? A mystery that is both solved and yet deepened at the same time. A few issues with tenses need to be cleaned up but that is a minor concern.
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Review of Aground  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
The powerful emotional impact of this poem may initially distract the reader from its masterful use of language and consistent imagery through the ocean/sailing metaphors, from sudden storms to the doldrums and the shallows and the double meanings that express this helpless time of life exactly as in "washed up and beached". Wonderful, evocative, painful portrait of the human condition.
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Review by Ned
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
I really liked this story, it has a certain cheeky surreal approach to fiction, and the reader is not required to have any relationship with reality at all. It reminds me of a story I once wrote about mayonnaise and time travel. I don't think many people understand the intricacies of science fiction cuisine. I might assume that the bolded words are the prompts, but I don't think that knowledge is necessary or even helpful. I would rather just enjoy the story and try to live with the final image of Mark eating spaghetti wherever he could find it haunting my evening meal. Great stuff.
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Review of Recliner  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a very amusing poem. The tone is friendly, the imagery and the situations are accessible and relatable to the reader. The rhyme scheme is consistent and it flows well. A poem of excuses could be a very useful thing to have if one is ever called upon to go to the gym. I enjoyed reading this.
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Review of The Bridge  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
Now that's the kind of ending that puts the twist in plot twist. Teaches you also to never do anything on a dare, never trust a small boy and don't mess with trolls - even if you think they don't exist. Nearly an Aesop's fable. Very good, thanks for the link.
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Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
You paint a poignant scene, allowing us to experience Mrs. Johnson's thoughts and visions as she slips beyond this life. It's an interesting concept, unique. We are given vignettes from her memories which show us that the highlights of her life and memory are the people that she loved and her enjoyment of nature. I think we can all relate to those feelings of nostalgia for the simple but lovely things in life.

My main impression is that you may give too much description. It is hard to resist telling all the colors you see in a beautiful sunrise for instance, but if you give the reader everything then it doesn't spark his imagination. If you can engage his imagination then he will paint the scene in his head with your words. If you give the reader the impression of a rambunctious puppy, he will see many of the things you describe about it without being told each one specifically. I would choose two or three of those descriptive phrases to bring the puppy to life in the imagination of the reader.

I also felt that the memories and visions ought to stay as close to Mrs Johnson as possible. This is her life drifting peacefully in front of our eyes, and I think that closeness and relationship to the scenes depicted is strained when we follow sunrise North to South or the sky mirroring into puddles on roadways. I can see that you are setting up the larger world around her and then pulling it down to just her small part of it, but I think the piece is strongest when we are engulfed in her memories, experiencing actual moments and feelings from her life. We want to know her and we learn about her from the memories and sensations she is sharing with us.

The piece begins with a joyful feeling and ends slightly melancholy, which is right for your subject. The contrast of the rain and the hush over the funeral with the sunshine and lively chatter of children and neighbors in her life's memories is a nice touch and the difference is felt by the reader rather than perceived.

I liked the concept and the piece is well-ordered and constructed. The reader feels the joy of those lovely memories and the mourning of those who have lost this important character in their lives. We feel the difference that one life makes in many others.
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Review of Niffery's Notion  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is a very well-written story that creates its world in a vibrant and evocative way. The dialogue is creative and helps us get to know Nifery and Jimmery (love the character names). The capture of a memory to use as bait is a lovely touch. But of course, Time cannot be held captive, a lesson we all have to learn. Lovely. Just a question - do you mean cookie "dow"? or should it be "dough"?
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Review of Hot Diggity Dog  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a pretty good story and one that anyone who has worked at a convenience store at night can relate to. And to think that good dental hygiene was the fellow's downfall! There are a few minor punctuation problems and a couple of cases of missing letters. The story holds interest and seems very plausible. The reader agrees with John's decision to look for other employment but we enjoy the little jokes he makes about the situation.

The worst thing about the backshift, though John I think you meant "thought John"

It had been little more than an hour before whn the man first entered when?

The man had felt different "Punk kid," he said as he shuffled towards the door, " You haven't heard the last of this!" he shouted as he left.
Period after different and door?
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Review of Never Again  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
I absolutely love the line "Smug as canned ham" and for me, that description brings the poem to life. The poem is full of descriptive terms that build an attitude that the reader can feel -"struts", "slam doors", "bucket over his head so closed-minded". I enjoyed the vigorous and lively run to the bottom of the page.
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Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
I enjoyed this pretty winter's tale about a snowflake and how it reminds us of the many ways and places snow decorates our lives and our world. The snowflake is given free will but submits to the will of his Creator.A beautiful allegory about finding your place in the world and about contentment.
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Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
I wish I could express how wonderful and refreshing it is to run across a really fine poem while clicking through "Read & Review". I doubt I could express it as well as you have expressed the deep yearning for true companionship and love, looking for the one who is looking for you and the longing to meet that one. I have no edits to suggest or word choice to question. The poem does what a poem should do, indeed, what any example of art should do - it impacts the reader on an emotional level. Thank you for the poetic oasis in my review desert.
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Review by Ned
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I loved this hairy horror tale wrapped up in a cautionary tale turned into a crazy grandpa tale. And who could not love a story about guinea pigs? Very well done, well-written, great to read aloud - too bad my kids are grown up now. I was shakin' in my boots, considering getting a carrot for protection from the veggie-munching hordes. Thanks for a fun read.
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Review of The Beginning  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
You put forth some uplifting thoughts. Fresh starts and resets, sounds like you have a good attitude on life. I hope we can all learn to reset and get a new start daily. Thanks for sharing.
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Review of A Game of Soccer  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
What a shocking story! I found you through "Read a Newbie". Something of a newbie myself but would like to say "welcome". I like the way we don't know that the man dies until the final line, it gives it more punch. Keep writing!
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Review of Sadness  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is good flash fiction. At first, we believe that Alyssa is grieving over being dumped by Tom. Her actions and demeanor are convincing. Then we hear the phone message and all our assumptions are up-ended. I appreciate a flash fiction that surprises me and one that gives me a full and rich vision of the story while still being economical with words. That you did this in fewer than 300 words is impressive.
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Review of Honor  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
Your poem "Honor" reminds us all of the great sacrifices our veterans have made and still make for us today and encourages us to reflect on the great price they've paid to secure our liberty. I enjoyed the sentiments and the serious nature of this poem. Thank you for sharing.
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Review of The Abduction  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
The concept of the story is a fresh one and the story has what I think every flash fiction needs to be successful - a twist. You lead us to believe this will be a story about alien abduction but then pull the rug out from under our assumptions and instead we see a visit to the dentist through the eyes of an unwilling patient. Very amusing. One possible typo- was "I was lying of a table" supposed to be "on a table"?
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Review of God’s Glory  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is a lovely poem in which your perceptions of God in nature are phrased in very expressive imagery. In fact, the imagery and language is so strong in stanzas 2,3,4,and 6, that the similes in the first and fifth stanza seem more timid in expression. That is, you say the trees stand tall, reach to heaven and sway. You declare the flowers dance and wave their petals. These are great ways to describe what we observe and to give meaning to their actions. It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 55- "all the trees of the field shall clap their hands". But the use of the word "like" in the 1st and 5th stanzas weaken your creative imagery. If I had any advice to give at all, it would be to believe more in your imagery and remove the "like". That is, instead of "Like a mighty trumpet in God's ear" say "They are a mighty trumpet..." etc. In the first, just let the breeze be God whispering. I hope you understand my comments. I think your poem is very good and more confidence in your metaphors will make it perfect. I enjoyed reading it very much.
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Review by Ned
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Some of the imagery here is very strong and moving and works well within the overall ocean theme. I won't pretend to understand all of the imagery, but the concept of desired communion and communication is clear and the comparison with the lack of understanding from the sea lion helps to make the point. I enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing.
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Review of Crash  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
A nice little twisted tale - flash fiction should always have a twist at the end. The first thing you need for a good story is a gripping plot. I didn't understand the meaning of this line: "But sometimes bodies, because I couldn’t imagine people still being trapped in them...". Do you mean people still trapped in the vehicles or the bodies? Anyway, it's good story-telling.
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Review of Shedding  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a perfect Senryu. The last line is perfect in the way it captures the absurdity of human nature and our imperfect choices. I am very impressed as both haiku and senryu are so often done by those who do not truly understand the forms and their purposes.
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Review of The Lion's Roar  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
That's quite a thrilling tale! And I am glad that I will never come face to face with lions, because I am also untrained in how to handle that situation. You tell it well and give plenty of detail. If I had one question it would be the "Lori". Do you mean a truck? If so, should that be "lorry"? Keep writing your adventures, especially if they are all this interesting.
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