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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/purplesunday
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1,751 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I tend to write in depth reviews, discussing all aspects I feel need addressing. I am always positive and encouraging, but I'm also honest. If I feel something needs looking at, I will mention it.
I'm good at...
I'm a grammar and punctuation fiend. It is always one of the first things that strikes me about a piece of writing. I'm also good at offering suggestions to back up any comments I make. I'm always happy to re-review once changes have been made.
Favorite Genres
Dark or emotional poetry. The same goes for short stories; I like writing that makes me feel something. I love to read mysteries, thrillers, romance. I'll give anything a go, though.
Least Favorite Genres
Steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy.
Favorite Item Types
Emotional or dark poetry. Heart warming short stories. Mysteries. Thrillers.
Least Favorite Item Types
Chapters from the middle of books.
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of Deserted island  
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hi Maryann ,

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This review comes to you via my Chocolate Emporium. It is a gift from Lornda.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: I love your opening paragraph! Your description of the island paradise is vivid, and I could clearly see the scene. And I really wanted to be there! You really have a great hook at the start of the story. I could have read pages about this wonderful South Pacific island.

Plot: I had no idea this story would end where it did. As I first read, it felt as though something big was going to happen, but I imagined some kind of creature attacking them, or them turning on one another somehow. But I was totally wrong. When the war was announced on the radio, I did a physical double-take at my computer screen. I had to re-read that section. What a fantastic twist! I love how you end this story with uncertainty about what would happen to the four friends. Writing, "The End?" is brilliant. That question mark is a touch of genius.

Grammar: I have a few suggestions which I have put in a dropnote.
Grammar Suggestions

What I liked Your descriptions of the island are lush and sensory and just fabulous. The end is a wonderful surprise. You left me contemplating who would be better: Ken, who could have perished in a nuclear attack, or the four friends stuck on the island by themselves for all eternity.

This is a great read, Maryann. Really immersive. I absolutely loved it.


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut


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2
2
Review of Morning Snow  
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi PiriPica ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This is your second Turkish Delight review from my Chocolate Emporium.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: I had never heard of this form of poetry before, so I was interested to read your poem and see how it works. After researching the rules and reading this, I have to say, I love the form. I am going to have to try to write one now. I think it will be a challenge, but it's one I want to try.

Voice/Tone: This is like a lament for the unseasonal, cold, and snowy weather you have had in April. I can really relate today because we had a couple of inches of snow in southern England a couple of weeks ago, and we keep getting a sprinkling of it every few days. I have railed against April in this same way, demanding better weather.

Mechanics: This poem fits a Koel perfectly. Each stanza, and the poetry overall, completes a thought or feeling that is how we feel when we see those white flakes falling at this time of year. You have the rhymes spot on, also. Your middle lines are really good. Those, I think, must be the difficult lines.

Rhythm: The last stanza seems to not work quite as well as the rest. I've tried to figure out why it feels a little off, and I think it is in, "warms me through." It feels like it's missing a beat. Which, technically, I don't think it is. But if feels off.

My Favourite Part: I love the cleverness of the poem. This form looks like quite a tricky one to write, and you have done it very well. I love: "April, you have tricked me so." This made me smile. April is good at lulling us into a false sense of security.

Suggestions: I just have one query. "filling me with an urge to go." This line doesn't have any kind of qualifier, and I found myself wondering where you had an urge to go.

This is another fab poem. I really enjoyed reading it. Great work!

Keep writing!

Choconut

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3
3
Review of Soup of the Day  
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi PiriPica ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. It is the first of your Turkish Delight reviews from my Chocolate Emporium.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: I was initially drawn to your brief description for this poem. That crossover between soup and love intrigued me. And, I have to say, I love what you did with it. The soup is really secondary to your feelings for the person who serves you. This poem made me smile as I read about your shy crush on his person and, ultimately, the good soup you eat every day because of it.

Voice/Tone: The tone is light and warm, and the narrative voice makes me route for you in your quest for love.

Mechanics: This is a perfect Shakespearian Sonnet. You have the rhyme scheme and rhythm spot on. This makes the poem skip song at a great pace.

My Favourite Part: I love your rhyming couplet at the end: "I wouldn't have it any other way, / She usually makes good soup each day." That's so sweet. I did wonder, though, why you said she "usually" makes good soup. Does that mean sometimes it isn't good? I also love this line: "Although the hunger's really in my heart." I love this acknowledgment that it's not really the soup you are in love with.

This is a really great example of a Shakespearian Sonnet. It is also a sweet love poem. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Nice work.

Keep writing!

Choconut

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4
4
Review of Moment of Truth  
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Elle

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This is your second Mad Hatter's review.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: Wow. This is powerful stuff. Your title drew me to this poem. However, as I read through the whole poem, the passion with which you write, particularly near the end, makes this title seem a little lacklustre. I can't think of another way to say it. It just feels like it would be better with an impassioned statement or plea. Because this poem is about passion and injustice and subjects that stir up a lot of emotion. Or, even, if you chose just one word that stands out, like, "Unchecked,' for example. Something a bit edgy that will pique your readers' interest.

Voice/Tone: Your voice comes across clearly in this poem. Your words call for people to end their prejudices that are based on things as ridiculous as the colour of one's skin. You ask us to try to understand what it is like to grow up facing this on a daily basis. But, all the time, you are speaking of how the world is changing, and now is the time to act to make things more equal. The whole poem is like a rally cry, a call to arms if need be. Your voice sounds angry, and rightly so. It is compelling, and the passion is very powerful.

Mechanics: I don't think this is a set form, except that it follows the rhythm of Savage Garden's 'Affirmation.' The rhythm is spot on. It all flows nicely. I like the rhyme scheme of aabbcc ddeeff, etc. It gives the poem a fluid feeling. When I read it aloud, it sounded good.

My Favourite Part: These two lines are so, so good: "This is not 'agree to disagree' like what brand of cola you select, / this is that moment where no longer can evil go unchecked." I love that metaphor of something as ordinary as your favourite brand of cola. It reminds us how much this kind of hatred and racism is in our society. It is everywhere, and people who aren't born as privileged as we were have to live with it constantly. When the Black Lives Matter movement first became big last year, I tried to put myself in the shoes of a young, black man who runs from the sight of a police officer even though he has done nothing wrong. I tried to imagine how his experiences would cause him to do that, and I my conclusion was: I could never imagine that because I am a white woman in the UK. But, back to your poem. I love that idea of evil no longer going unchecked. I wish we could get to that place, but I think we have a long road ahead of us. You're right, though, to sit back and do nothing, no matter how small, puts you on the side of those who do wrong by your complicity. Something like writing this poem is a great way to help to raise awareness and to make people examine their own lives.

Suggestions: I only have one minor suggestion. This is entirely up to whether you want to change or not. Each time I read this poem, I stumble over this line: "Some ask the 'why now?' question, some stuck on 'but why me?'" The "stuck on" part doesn't sound right. I think it's because "stuck" doesn't work in this tense. I would maybe change it to, "some stick on 'but why we?'" Or, maybe, "stick with."

This is a great poem. It is filled with passion, and it is emotive. Plus, it's really well written. Your language is perfect for the subject matter, and you maintain a great rhythm and rhyme scheme. What more can I say? I love it.

Keep writing!

Choconut

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5
5
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi Bill,

This review is in affiliation with "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group.

I want to say a huge thank you for my story. I've only just had the chance to read it, and I absolutely love it. It is brilliantly dark and creepy. Every time I read the parts about the spiders, both in my brain (very clever, where did you think of that?) and in the dark place or someplace in the distance, I got shivers running up my spine.

I have to say, I love how you have made this a psychological thriller/horror because that is my favourite genre to read. The darkness from being blinded by a cancerous spider is probably my actual worst nightmare. I think that makes it even more chilling: the fact that it could be true. I'm guessing this kind of cancer really exists.

Interestingly, my hubby is legally blind, so this story made me think about what he goes through day to day. Not that he falls through the cracks on a regular basis, but it must be quite lonely to be so much in the dark.

When I reached the end of the story, where Alfie comes running, and David and I are living in the cabin, I thought for a moment maybe the cancer had all bee a nasty dream. But then, that last sentence got me: "She smiled up at him, reaching for her beer, and then she blinked." Brilliant!

Thank you so much for writing this story. I've never had a story written for me before. I will treasure it.

Rachel

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6
6
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi LegendaryMask💗 ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This is your second Chocolate Emporium review.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: I like how you have set this poem in the middle of the page, using comic font. It looks appealing. What really drew me to it, however, is your title. I am a firm believer that we could all be happier if we stop to notice the little, beautiful moments and things in our lives. So this poem spoke to me straight away.

Voice/Tone: The voice is authoritative. It reads like the thoughts and musings of one person who understands the importance of taking the time to notice the incidentals, to accept the beauty around them. The things you mention, like "The beauty of a child / being born with its first cry," are the truly wondrous moments in our lives. We shouldn't take them for granted. They make our lives so much richer.

Mechanics: I have a couple of suggestions to make this read a little smoother. Mainly, I would say to check your punctuation. Your use of periods at the end of lines means the lines read as short, staccato, almost. This breaks up the flow. If you use commas or other less-abrupt punctuation, the whole poem will come off as a lot more fluid. Also, for uniformity, check whether you capitalise the first letters of each line. If you have a period before them, okay, use a capital. But in a couple of places (for example, "Daffodils are growing!), you use capitals where they are not needed.

My Favourite Part: I love the overall sentiment. Taking the time to appreciate the natural beauties we have in this world is so important. I think it's because it is so pure and not manmade. Natural. It is interesting how a lot of the things you hold important relate to children. I think that is lovely to read.

Suggestions: My first suggestion is that in the first line you say, "You made us mere mortals with free well." I think you have a typo here, and it should be "will." The second place I'm not sure about is, "Loving on one another to bond / lasting relationships." I can't make sense of this. It may be a US vs. UK thing, but it just doesn't sound right to me. Finally, I'm not sold on the beginning of the last verse: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder / if we choose to stop and smell the roses." Here, we have two cliches in one breath, and I just wonder whether you could think of an alternative way of saying this. Something more original, that hasn't been said before. That would really make the poem pop off the page.

I enjoyed reading your poem. The sentiment is great, and I agree with everything you say. It really does make us happier when slow down and notice the masses of beauty surrounding us.

Keep writing!

Choconut

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7
7
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi LegendaryMask💗 ,

I am reviewing your contest in affiliation with "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This is the first of your Chocolate Emporium reviews you were recently gifted.

Please remember these are purely my own opinions, and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Starv* Firstly, I love the graphics on this page. The main image, with the moving light on the lighthouse, is fabulous. Absolutely perfect for this contest, and it makes the contest really appealing straight away. The lighthouse theme is carried beautifully through the page.

*Starv* I love, love, love your welcome statement. Your words are so passionate, and it is clear you want to share the purity and power of God's love with as many people as possible. It truly is a treat to read someone with so much passion. As soon as we read this, it is clear what the contest is about, and we will know whether we want to take part pretty quickly. That is good.

*Starv* You have set out the rules very clearly. You go through everything, from specific details of the entry requirements to how to enter and when to enter by. I love the clock counting down the time until the close of the round. This works brilliantly. I do have one suggestion regarding the rules and specifics, though. You don't say who will judge the contest. You tell us when it will be judged by and how it must be set out for judging. But you don't mention who the judge is. (I assume t is you, but I don't now whether you have permanent of guest judges each month.)

*StarV* You have a great prompt. It is descriptive and, actually, will help to give people ideas of what to write. The one thing I would mention is because the prompt is so long, it leaves the main page with a lot of writing on it. Which is okay for most people. But some may be put off without reading it, assuming all the writing is about the rules. (That is me being super picky.)

*StarV* Finally, I am glad you have the different levels of donations set out clearly. This is fab for drawing people into donating to your contest. I also like how you can earn one of your MBs by entering five contests in a row. That's a great idea.

In summary, this is a clean, professional contest page which will entice people to enter, I'm sure. It looks nice on the page, and the rules could not be clearer. You obviously put a lot of thought into creating this contest. Great work!

Choconut

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8
8
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Jessica ,

This review is affiliated with "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. It is your second Chocolate Fudge review.

Please remember these are purely my own opinions, and any advice is offered with the sole intention of being helpful.

*StarV* I was drawn to this piece, firstly, because you have it highlighted in your portfolio. But, mostly, because New York holds a special place in my heart. I married my husband there and we spent a three week honeymoon enjoying the city. It was magical. My favourite place was Tiffany's. It has long been a dream of mine to visit there and have my photo taken outside. So, this was a super special moment for me.

*Starv* I have to say I admire your guts. I can't imagine ever being brave enough to travel anywhere on my own. I would love to, but I'm a bit of a coward. I love the way you start up conversations with other people and you aren't afraid to ask for help. That kind of thing induces a full blown panic attack in me! I really admire you for it. The people you spoke to sound like friendly people. You must get so much out of it.

*Starv* I have one place where I think there is a grammar issue: "I liked looking (and apparently photographing the signs) as I waited for the next train to come." - I think the end parenthesis should be after "photographing" not "signs."

*Starv* The Beatles and John Lennon tribute sound amazing. I would love to have visited there, but, although we went to Central Park, we somehow never found the Imagine area. I'm a big Beatles fan, but my hubby can't stand them, so maybe that's how we missed it!

I loved reading this piece about New York City. Did you get to Brooklyn in the end? I really do admire the way you travel all over the place on your own. I hope you are soon able to recommence your travels, once Covid is more under control.

Choconut

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9
9
Review of The Maytag Man  
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi Redtowrite ,

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This is your second Chocolate Emporium review.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: I was drawn to this story by the title. I wondered what a "Maytag Man" is. I live in the UK, so I don't know if it is a real company in the US, or one you made up. Anyway, I wasn't expecting him to be posing as a delivery driver.

Plot: This is the story od a woman who has a mystery visitor call on her. Before she can do anything, the visitor pushes her inside and murders her. I don't know whether there was a word limit when you wrote this? I felt as though it could have been longer. You spend roughly 95% of the story having your main character reflect on times past and her daughter, all from a knock at the door. And then, the action part when something exciting happens is a tiny add-on at the end. I thought maybe you were showing us how the woman's life flashes before her eyes just before she dies. But, then, I thought she didn't know she was going to die, so that doesn't really make sense.

Characters: Your main character is likeable. I didn't really feel like I got to know her as well as I could have, though. And, I have a lot of questions regarding the Maytag man. Is he really from Maytag? Why is he at this woman's house? Is it random? Why does he kill her? At the moment, his actions don't make sense, and I want to know more. Also, I found myself holding my breath when I realised the guy was not a good person. Which is good; I was excited to see what he would do. But it kind of fell a little flat. (As an aside, I found Wendy really interesting. I would have liked to meet her.)

Grammar: As in my last review, I would just say to watch your passive voice.

What I liked: I loved the mystery. The part where the Maytag man prevents your character from shutting her door, my heart beat a little faster. I also liked the woman's reflections, especially the ones from when she was a teenager sunbathing with the best friend. It brought happy memories back to my mind.

Suggestions: I would switch the focus of this story. Yes; show us your character's thoughts and memories. Show us what she has to lose. Take the time time you took on this, but take as much time with what happens once the man is inside. Why is he doing this?

I enjoyed reading this, but I would really love to read more about the man's motives. It is still great work. i look forward to reading more from you.

Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut


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10
10
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Redtowrite ,

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This review is part of a Chocolate Emporium gift you recently received.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: Wow. This is incredibly powerful and emotional. I don't know whether it is based on your own experiences, or whether it is a fictional story, but I believed every word. You write about a subject that is so important right now. In many ways, we haven't come very far since 1930. At least, some people haven't. Thankfully, a lot of people have come a really long way.

Plot: This is the story of a writer who finds a newspaper article about the lynching of a black man in 1930 for a crime he did not commit. The writer endeavours to find the truth of the situation. Through this story, you remind us just how ugly certain people have been and still are. This is huge news at the moment, with Black Lives Mater, too. I found myself completely engrossed in the story of James Agree and his family. For me, it is hard to understand how people can be so corrupt, so prejudiced, so racist, and get away with it. It's hard to wrap my head around. But, I think, it is important to try. Because it's probably the only way to elicit change. I like the way you write the details of the crime in the letter. I think it may have been too hard to read the details if we were right there as they were happening. Does that make sense?

Characters: I love the journalistic curiosity and desire to write the truth of your main character. I love how they investigate what happened by getting up close to it. I also love Majesty. What a great character she is! She epitomises strength and confidence. The way you describe her as being ready to meet death works well. Especially, when she dies after telling her story and having the rope cut down from the tree, finally.

Grammar: I don't have specific suggestions, but I would just say to watch for passive voice. I understand you tell the story in the past tense, and I'm not going to say never use the word "was" when it fits fine, but I did notice quite a lot of passive voice.

What I liked: The emotion and passion with which you write. As I mentioned at the start, I can imagine this being completely true. I can certainly understand the desire to find out the true details of what happened. More specifically, I love this sentence: " It is amazing the secrets people keep and then gloss over with superficial beauty." That's fab! Such a keen observation.

Suggestions: Just one suggestion ... "Betty's Beauty Salon was busy, a lady in all three seats." I read this as there is one lady in all three seats, but I know that's not what you mean. I would maybe change it to, " ...ladies in all three seats.

This is fantastic writing! The story had me completely gripped from start to finish. So powerful. So relevant. Love it!

Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut


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11
11
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Bubblegum Jones ,

This review is in affiliation with "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. Your Secret Valentine asked that I give this item an awardicon, so I thought I would use your Strawberry Surprise review for this also.

Firstly, I was intrigued when I saw that this is a dream you had. You say you always write down your dreams when you wake up. I do the same! Dreams are so random, aren't they? When I look back on what I've written a few months down the line, I have to wonder what on earth I ate before going to bed the previous night! *Laugh*

This dream is brilliant. "Imposture Vengeance." Like, what? Is that an actual thing? Is it something you read or heard? Although, in your dream you go looking for whomever you were talking to about "imposture vengeance", you don't say whether the phrase means something to you. It sounds like it could be a part of a video game, or something?

I love your ending, where you say, "To be continued in my next dream, hopefully." That made me laugh. It never works like that, though, does it? Our brains seem to flick through every file in them and pick the most random items and throw them together. It's fascinating stuff, I think.

This is an enjoyable read. I think I'm going to have that phrase popping into my head for the rest of the day. What would be really funny is if it turned up in my dreams tonight!

Great work!

Choconut


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12
12
Review of Flights of Fancy  
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Sand Castles Shopgirl 739 ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This is your second review from my Chocolate Emporium.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: This poem brought a giant-sized lump to my throat. It is so beautifully written, and the relationships between you and your mother, and then you and your daughter (or granddaughter?) are lovely to witness.

Voice/Tone: There is a strong feeling of love that runs throughout this poem. It sounds as though your mother is very special to you. I love that image of the waves being like "gymnasts on a long tumble run." How creative, but how perfect a description. I love that you, in turn, passed it on to the little girl. I am guessing you inherited your mother's creativity. You have a wonderful way with words, also.

Mechanics: This is free verse which is my favourite form. You have used it well. There is a good rhythm that helps make the lines flow into one another really well. Your use of internal rhymes is fab. They are subtle, but they help with the overall rhythm.

My Favourite Part: "Her vein-aged hand is in mine." This image is the one that really made me feel tearful. Who is not able to relate to that? We've all had elderly relatives and loved ones whose hands we wish we could hold just that little bit longer. This whole verse is my favourite, actually. I love how you remember all the things your mother taught you when you were younger. The comparison to this lady who is lost in her own mind is stark. Very moving. But, at the same time, it is joyful. Your memories are happy, and this is a delight to read.

Thank you for sharing this fantastic poem. It really tugged at my emotions. More importantly, though. it paints a vivid picture of your mother and the relationship the two of you had. And it gives hope for the future in the little girl who sits with you at the beach. It is simply beautiful. Love it!

Keep writing!

Choconut

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13
13
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Sand Castles Shopgirl 739 ,

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This is the first review from a Chocolate Fudge package you hold in my Chocolate Emporium.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: I chose to review this story because the title jumped out at me. And then, your brief description pulled me in tight. I wanted to know who Molly's friend was. When I reached the end, I thought the reveal was really well done, with the parents finding Lucy's gravestone.

Plot: This is a ghost story about a little girl who passed away a long time ago but is buried in the back garden of her last house. I think all little girls who live there after her death are able to see and connect with her ghost. The parents, though, do not approve.

Characters: Molly is a lovely, big-hearted girl who leaves her favourite teddy bear so that her friend, Lucy, is not so lonely. The story is told through Lucy's eyes, and I really got a feel for her loneliness. It seemed a little unfair that she was stuck on her own in that house. I was a little unsure why Molly's parents were so intent on leaving, though. Lucy doesn't seem like she is a malignant ghost. Unless the other parents, in their warnings about the house, told of bad things happening because of the resident ghost. I did find it a little odd that Molly's mother gasped when she saw the gravestone. Surely, she would have seen it before? She must have known it was there.

What I liked: Molly. What a kind and selfless little girl. All that matters to her is that Lucy has some company, and she is prepared to give up her favourite teddy bear to achieve that. I thought her parents were a little mean in making her go back to collect it. I also loved the ghostly Lucy. The twist at the end with the gravestone is excellent. I had huge sympathy for Lucy, being an only child myself.

This is a great story. I really enjoyed reading it. What you master particularly well is characterisation. Both of the little girls are so nicely written. Great work!


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut


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14
14
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Tina Stone ,

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This is your second Chocolate Fudge review.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: This story made me smile so much! I love how you draw your readers' interest because we know that something has to be up with this holiday that Lydia has won. I spent the entire story trying to figure it out, and the ending absolutely delighted me. It was so funny.

Plot: Lydia, a naturally distrusting kind of person, wins a holiday to the Blue Lagoon Resort. There is something off about Maybel, but we can't quite put our finger on it ... until the big reveal at the end. Suddenly, it all fell into place. I loved the part where Lydia felt as though she were being watched the whole time. If only she knew! And all those salty soaks in the bath and massages with oils, then lying in the sun, baking themselves to perfection. Brilliant! I like how you used the grocery list prompt in this story. Very creative.

Characters: As I said, Maybel seemed a little off, as though she could be dangerous. I just couldn't work out how, until the end. Lydia seems to relax into the holiday really well. Once she is convinced she won't have to pay anything (in terms of money, at least!), she sits back and enjoys the hospitality.

Grammar: I have a few suggestions which I have put in a dropnote:
Grammar/Spelling/Typos

What I liked: The way you build the suspense by not revealing who (or what) Maybel and her company is until the end. I like the way you have split the story into three sections, as well. And, I just have to say, as a Brit, I will always smile when I hear the words 'PigglyWiggly.' We don't have them over here, and I think it's one of the best names ever. I think it is great how you show Lydia and her husband doing and eating all the things the aliens want them to eat to make them tasty.

This is a fab story, Tina. A real joy to read. Not only is it funny, suspenseful, and shocking; but also, it is really well written. Nice work!


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut


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15
15
Review of A Kitten Calls  
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Tina Stone ,

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This is the first review of a Chocolate Fudge package from my chocolate emporium.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: Oh, what a lovely, heartwarming story. I really enjoyed reading this. It is so nice to read about a couple of young lads who are kind and caring. And, how adorable is that little kitten?

Plot: Two boys hear the cries of a kitten in distress while riding their bikes to school. You show us really well how Caden is the leader of the two, and Parker; a little more uncertain. Yet, when they hear the kitten's cries, they know they have to try to find her and save her.

Characters: One of my favourite places in this is where Caden first sees the orange eyes and lets out a gasp. He is worried Parker will have noticed and think him weak. I love the way boys worry about that kind of stuff. I also loved the little detail of Parker's Hulk watch. That's a great way of reminding your readers how young the boys are, and it also highlights their innocence.

Grammar: Just a few points I will put in a dropnote for your ease:
Grammar/Spelling/Typos

What I liked: I love your description of the alley and the place they find the kitten. You write it so well. I could see, smell, almost touch the scene. Actually, your descriptions throughout are awesome. I felt as though I were right behind Parker, watching the scene unfold. I also love the cute factor. I can just imagine how much fun the boys' Friday 13th would have been.

I enjoyed this story a lot. Your writing is first class, and the story is so adorable. Great writing!


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut


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16
16
for entry "the blue markings
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi Brian 'Hunter' Compton ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. It is your second Chocolate Emporium review.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: I had to review this poem as part of your chocolate package. I couldn't leave your port without reviewing it. I absolutely love it! I think you entered it into "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest, right? One of my contests, anyway. It feels so nostalgic, so wistful, so filled with love. It is just beautiful to read. Words like "gentle" and "atop" and "darling" work together to create warmth and a feeling of terrific love. It brings a lump to my throat each time I read it. One thing I can't quite figure out is whether this is written about your own children, or yourself and a sister or brother (who perhaps isn't here anymore?). Either way, the emotions blow me away.

Voice/Tone: As mentioned above, there is a definite tone of nostalgia. In reading this, I could see the doorpost with the height markings on it, and I could see a little person standing on tiptoes, trying to make themselves taller, desperate to be older and more grown up. I adore your little touches like adding this line, "your backpack idle by the door." It seems so simple, but it adds that little authenticity to the memory. These incidentals tend to stick in our minds, too, as we grow older.

Mechanics: Free verse. What else? I love the lack of punctuation and lack of ca[pitalisation. This makes the poem look fantastic on the page, and it really adds to the impact of your words. I love to play with presentation, and punctuation is a great way to make the poem look appealing. Another thing I love about your poetry is the easy, natural rhythm you always achieve. There are no flaws or "bumpy bits" which, as a reader, can make a huge difference to the overall impact of a poem. You have it exactly right, though.

My Favourite Part: I want to say all of it. But these are the parts that really reached inside and twisted my heart: Where you describe the "gentle notations" as "darling with age" made me smile so big. "Darling" is the perfect word. Perfect. The last verse left me pondering on its meaning. "the potential of you / was in memory / not in the future / anymore." This is why I wonder if the person you are writing about is not here anymore. Or, maybe, you simply mean they have grown up and are no longer the innocent child of the poem. Or, maybe, they have lost their way, and that is why their potential has decreased over time. I'm not sure. But I do know it's a wonderful observation. It's probably true for a lot of us if we're honest.

This poem is so well-written, Brian. I love every single part of it, and I am in awe of your poetic artistry. You pack so much emotion into each of your poems, and this one, well, it just does it for me. Does that make sense? Great work!

Keep writing!

Choconut

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17
17
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi Brian 'Hunter' Compton ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This is the first of your Chocolate Emporium reviews.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: The thing that struck me the most as I first read this is how much I can relate to it. The way you describe your father's judgment and criticisms being reflected through your own eyes, your own view of yourself, resonates greatly with me. I think we, as children, take on board everything our parents tell us, and if those things are negative, then that is how we feel about ourselves. Because, why would our parents lie to us, right? They are supposed to love us.

I think, in this poem, you are seeing your father in yourself. This is possibly because you are getting older and looking more like him. Or, at least, his eyes. You lament the fact that even though you are doing all of the right things, like eating healthily, you can't stop the aging process. It is coming at you, and that is a fact you can't deny. Unless you avoid looking in the mirror. That might help.

Voice/Tone: The tone is one of wisdom. I feel like you are accepting those things you cannot change, maybe for the first time in your life, and allowing yourself to be you. This kind of wisdom, perhaps, is something that comes with age. It sounds as though you are beginning to understand that your father's insecurities and hang-ups are just that: your father's insecurities. They don't have to be yours. As an adult, and with some distance, you are able to think and feel more rationally. (At least, that is the theory. It's not so easy in practice.)

Mechanics: I like the way you compare outward beauty to what is on the inside. All those knocks you received as a child have left you feeling you are ugly inside and out. Your use of free verse makes my heart sing. I love your style. It flows beautifully. I love the way this poem looks on the page — your presentation is spot on, as always.

My Favourite Part: I love the second verse which describes breaking that cycle of putting yourself down. You describe breaking the mirror, in terms of physically breaking the mirror and metaphorically breaking it. Stop looking at your reflection. It only makes you unhappy. This is reinforced in your wonderful last two lines: "Tell yourself you're still beautiful... / uh-uh, no looking." This is fab. I love this sentiment.

Suggestions: Only one tiny punctuation change I might make: "you know... / yes, feel that the indifferent eyes" Here, I would add a comma after "feel" because it reads as though this word should be emphasised. I'm not sure if you would want to take out the comma before this word?

Really great writing, Brian. This is a brilliant, reflective poem.

Keep writing!

Choconut

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18
18
Review of Cards of Love  
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi LegendaryMask💗 ,

It's me, Choconut, again, and I am here with your final Orange Creme review. This is affiliated with "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group.

Please remember these are purely my own opinions, and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

Well. I couldn't leave your portfolio without taking the time to review this fabulous item. There are so many wonderful things to say about this forum. I will do my best to mention everything.

*Holly1* Firstly — most importantly — the idea. The idea of sending physical greetings cards to those who are struggling a little or unwell, or those who just need a little cheering up, is fantastic. What a thoughtful and caring idea. Who isn't cheered some when they receive something in the physical post? I know I definitely am. Email and electronic media are not the same as something physical you can hold and look at whenever you want. It really is a great way to let people know we care and that they are not alone. (I also love that you got the idea when you received a postcard from The Storymaster.)

*Holly1* The next thing I love about this forum is the graphics. All the hearts, in groups of balloons and having the letters LOVE in them, is so appealing. Anyone who happens across this page will be drawn to it, without a doubt. They will read it and, hopefully, sign up to take part. I can see from the list of participants that there are quite a few people already signed up.

*Holly1* You have explained your goals and aims for this group clearly. I also like your description of where your idea came from. It tells us everything we need to know about the group, and it gives clear instructions of what to do if we want to join the group. It also describes what we can do once we have joined. It is all very clear.

*Holly1* I do have one question: How often do you add new names to the list of recipients? That is the only extra thing I would mention on the forum page. I see the last list was in November.

This is another example of your caring personality, and it is great to witness. I really hope more people sign up, and then we can all flood the mailboxes of those who could use some good cheer.

Keep writing!

Choconut

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19
19
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This is your second Orange Creme review. I thought this was a pretty apt item to read on Christmas Eve!

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: Wow. This poem is so powerful. Your emotion comes through clearly as you describe your relationship with God. It really is inspirational, and it captures the true meaning of Christmas.

Voice/Tone: The voice is very much your own. This poem sounds personal. I particularly like the way you describe God's unconditional love. It's very reassuring and comforting. Your faith obviously means a lot to you.

Mechanics: This poem is not any set form, and there is no rhyme scheme. When I first started to read it, I thought there would be an abcb rhyme because of the use of "world" at the end of lines one and three. But I think this was just a coincidence. It did have me going into the second verse with a rhythm that then didn't quite fit. But it didn't take much to right myself.

My Favourite Part: I love the overall feeling of love and warmth that runs through the whole poem. I have to mention the last two lines of the fourth verse, though. They are fantastic! "Today a child was born, / He changed my world for eternity." I also love these lines from the first verse: "He shows me unconditional love, / forgiveness in this cruel world."

Suggestions: The only place I'm not sure about is beginning. I note you have highlighted the second line, so I'm not sure if it is part of the prompt? I also know these first two lines are mentioned in the prompt. However, to say, "And this day a child was born" and then, "one who will change my world" doesn't sound quite right. The change of tense reads a little off. To me, it would read better if you said a "child is born" or "one who has changed ..."

I really like this poem. It is wonderful to read how strong your relationship is with God. The emotion is fabulous. I really like it.

Keep writing!

Choconut\n\n
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20
20
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi LegendaryMask💗 ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. It is your first Orange Creme review from my Chocolate Emporium.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: This poem is filled with love and wistfulness. I've read it through a few times now, and I think you are writing it about someone you are missing because he is not with you at the moment. You are looking forward to him returning. When I first read it, though, I thought maybe you were dreaming of a future with someone as yet unknown to you. Maybe, it is that. I'm not sure. I almost thought it could have been about your relationship with God, but as the genre is romance, I don't think that's it.

Voice/Tone: The tone of the poem is one of love. The bright future with "sunrises and sunsets" feels very peaceful and laid back. It definitely sounds as though you are looking forward to your future, from this poem. I can relate to that feeling that something is missing when your other half is away from you. I think you portray it really well.

Mechanics: The poem is free verse with no set rhyme scheme. Free verse is my favourite form of poetry. I love the freedom it gives us to be ourselves and to be original. You have used that to your advantage. I like how you have centred the poem on the page. It looks appealing. There is a wonderful rhythm that runs throughout this poem. It reads smoothly. One thing I would point out is to watch your punctuation. Okay, I know this is free verse, but the same punctuation rules that are in prose still apply. Unless you use no punctuation or specifically use punctuation as part of the organics of the poem. There are a few lines here that end with periods when they appear to continue to the next lines. For example: "I think about the joy that you will bring into my life. / The smile that is on my lips as I think of the future." This second line becomes a fragment that doesn't make sense as a sentence on its own. I would use a comma instead of a period after "life." There is another place that I think needs a quick change: "I hope the thoughts of me brings a smile upon." As "thoughts" is plural, it should be "bring a smile ..."

My Favourite Part: I love the end lines: "and whisper in my ear / You take my breath away." What a beautiful, romantic sentiment. I also really like the image of the "smile on my lips when I think of the future." It makes me feel light and warm and filled with hope.

Suggestions: I have one suggestion that I think you could maybe look at. It relates to the word "take" and all its derivatives. You use this word(s) eight times in the poem which is only eighteen lines long. That's almost once every other line. It stands out.Can you try to think of other ways to phrase your feelings. For example, where you write, "As I take in another breath" you could say, "As I inhale another breath." Just a suggestion.

I enjoyed reading this poem. It is a lovely tribute to everything that is wonderful about having someone to share your life with. Great work!

Keep writing!

Choconut

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21
21
for entry "The Life of Bob
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi WakeUpAndLive~No cig for me! ,

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This is your second "Rach's Chocolate Emporium review.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: Oh, my word, I feel so sorry for Bob. With the odds stacked against him his whole life, I think his ending was inevitable, wasn't it? I really like how you start with background information about Bob, from a fairly up-close perspective. Then, you tell your readers about how he died by having these guys standing around talking about him — even though none of them really remember him. Poor, poor Bob. At least Saint Peter knew who he was!

Plot: This is the story of a man who nobody takes any notice of because his life is an endless run of hardships and sorrow. I like how you incorporate a little Covid into the story, making it very timely. It is no surprise that Bob tests positive. Although, I did think it odd that this would be the point where he takes his life. I mean, he's had hardship after hardship, and he's always survived before. But, maybe once he is in Heaven he will gain some recognition and attention. Also, maybe his workmates will remember him by the Covid legacy he has left behind.

Characters: Bob ... I come away from this story thinking of Bob as being grey, drab, dreary, gloomy. I think it is clever how you have created this in so few words. And all of them, without actually sharing his voice. We don't need it because your descriptions are so crisp and on-point.

What I liked: I really laughed when I got to the end of the conversation and one man said, "Bob, who's Bob?" They have forgotten him even while they were talking about him. That's so funny. I really liked the ending and the feeling that in Heaven, finally, Bob would get some peace.

This is a cool story. I enjoyed reading it. It made me smile, and I liked the Covid reference. I like how you mention the illness, but don't let it take over. Fab!


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut


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22
22
for entry "The doll
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi WakeUpAndLive~No cig for me! ,

I am finally catching up with my "Rach's Chocolate Emporium reviews, and I have two for you at the top of my list. My reviews are on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E].

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: Oh, this is delightfully dark. What starts out as a sweet story about a present a loving father buys for his daughter ends up as a tale of horror inflicted because of that doll. I love it.

Plot: When I reached the end of the story, I wasn't entirely sure whether the doll really was an evil entity placing the bad thoughts in the girl's head, or whether the girl was schizophrenic, or something. Maybe, the father really was evil and this doll gave the girl the courage to escape him. So many possibilities. And I really don't know which is right. But I like that. I like to have something to think about when I come away from a story.

Characters: The main character in this story is the doll. She affects every other person. I really liked the father at first. I liked the way he let his daughter open her gift before she really finished eating. He gave in to her because he loved her. At least, that's what I thought before I reached the end. I wondered if the doll was, in fact, a gift to win his daughter's affections.

Grammar: The only thing I would mention is "When I first lay eyes on her ..." This should be "laid eyes on ..."

What I liked: The twist at the end. I love how the doll manipulates the situation. Or, does the doll actually mirror the mental illness of the girl? It's a great teaser. You have done a fantastic job of grabbing my interest. Your last line is perfect: "When they found us the next morning, we were both still asleep." That really made me smile. It shows the evil of the girl and the doll. Or, maybe, it shows how she can finally sleep soundly now her father is dead. Whichever way you look at it *Wink*.

I really enjoyed this story. It's very entertaining. I'm going to be thinking about it for the rest of the day. Nice work.


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut


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23
23
for entry "Joy for All
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi ruwth ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This review is also part of "I Write in 2020.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: I saw this contest and prompt and thought about entering a poem. But, then, when I really thought about it, I decided it was too hard. So, huge kudos on writing a brilliant lipogram with no Es. As I first read this, I loved the simplicity of it. Your message is clear and well communicated. It is also a very comforting and calming sentiment, and I like that. We need more of that in the world right now.

Voice/Tone: Your voice is light and caring. It has a warmth to it that is really nice to read. I love the description of you sitting and thinking about what you wish for everyone in the world. I can imagine doing the same thing.

Mechanics: A lipogram with no Es! Now, that's difficult! E is used in so many words and sentences, so you must have really had to think about the words you chose here. And, on top of that, you managed to include some fantastic rhymes. These really help the poem to read smoothly. It has a wonderful rhythm. After reading your poem, you have encouraged me to try to write a lipogram. Not necessarily for the contest, but I think the challenge could be good.

My Favourite Part: I love the rhymes and the layout. They are so appealing, so easy to read. The second verse is my favourite. It's so smooth: "On this day, / I will say / This is my wish:" Fantastic!

Suggestions: The only place I might change is the last line. "All and always" made me stumble over it. I understand you are saying you wish glad joy for all and always, but the way it is set on a line of its own, as a separate sentence, just didn't sound quite right. I had to read it a couple of times to be able to include it in the flow of the poem.

I really enjoyed reading this poem. It is a fantastic example of how to write a lipogram. And, as I said, you may have inspired me to have a go. Great writing!

Keep writing!

Choconut

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24
24
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi Mastiff ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This review is also part of "I Write in 2020.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: This poem has a seriously creepy feeling. I love the way it tells a story about this youngster called Mary who meets with some scary figures when trick or treating. But, it's okay; it's only a dream ... Or is it?

Voice/Tone: The tone is very dark. Very Halloween-y. I really like the way you begin with the innocence of Mary getting dressed up to go out to collect candy then show the scary, hairy bats, followed by the various Halloween characters, then ending up with the whole thing being a nightmare. I couldn't help wondering if it really was, though? I mean, I find that nurse a little freaky.

Mechanics: This poem is a traditional English Quatrain, for which there is a set rhyme scheme (which you've 100% nailed) but no set meter. However, to make the poem really smooth, it is good to keep a fairly even meter. There are places where you have achieved this, but there are also places it feels a little bumpy; the second and third verses, in particular. Although the choice is yours for how many syllables to each line, these are a couple of the places I would change: " She was all decked out so frightful and dandy." I would take out "all." Also, "It wasn’t anyone special that they were chasing." I would probably change this to, "With no one special they were chasing." The key is to keep the narrative sounding natural. Also, to keep the pace up and the words sounding fluid.

My Favourite Part: Although creepy in general, there are some moments of humour that really appeal to me. For example, "Then she fainted away as if punched in the jaw." Not that I'm into violence, you understand. But this made me laugh out loud. My favourite verse is the one that begins, "Pennywise, Mike, Jason, and Freddie." This made me smile as I had instant pictures of these scary folks in my head.

Suggestions: Only to look at the rhythm. Try reading it out loud. That's a good way to test how well it flows.

I enjoyed reading this poem. You tell a great story, and you have left me still wondering about that nurse. Nice work.

Keep writing!

Choconut

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25
25
Review by Choconut
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Hi ♥HOOves♥ ,

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This review is also part of "I Write in 2020.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: It is always a treat to review your writing, so I'm really happy I came after you on the 'I Write' list this week. I was not disappointed as I first read through this poem. It captures the emotions of this year perfectly. But, in the end, you offer some comfort from having faith. I like that.

Voice/Tone: The tone starts out by reflecting the anxiety and difficulties we all feel as we move through the world with the pandemic. That line: "No touching allowed" sums it up perfectly. That is so hard, isn't it? I've seen my two best friends three times since March, and we haven't been able to hug. That has been tough. However, your poem does offer some hope as we move towards the end, and I'm glad you include that. "Faith" is the word with so much importance placed upon it. By having faith, you are able to have some comfort. You feel a little less alone, and you believe things will be okay again one day.

Mechanics: The poem is free verse, which you know I love. This is a wonderful example of that form. I love how you begin each couplet by saying "To ..." This gives the poem a fantastic pace and rhythm. Then, the second lines of each couplet begin with "No ..." I love this. And the way the poem turns when you mention your faith is clever.

My Favourite Part: I love the last line: "No more seasons in the rain." When I first read it, I thought the narrator was dying. But, when I thought about it, you are saying that better times are ahead. And they are. They have to be, right? I think my favourite couplet, though, is the fourth one: "To know that just one other heart longs for / No more sorrow and pain" reflects the comfort that having a faith brings.

This is a most enjoyable poem. I'm so happy I got to read it through 'I Write.' Beautiful writing, as always, tHiNg!

Keep writing!

Choconut

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