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*One of the most sought after reviewers at Writing.Com.* Seriously? *Laugh* There was a time my honesty could be brutal. Residing here 14 years, as a sensitive writer myself, I'm able to temper observations that neither flatter or off-put. I like to see the good, observe how each writing projects. If I review, it's mainly because I see the value. I want to strike up friendships and partnerships, though it can be quite isolating here for a non-conformist, who has bent part of the way, but not fully met with reciprocating compromise. This can temporarily cause me to bend back. *Smirk*
 
So if you want to see how I review, my feedback is public. Don't be afraid to tap in and see for yourself. *Smile* UPDATE: IF YOU'RE AN UPGRADED MEMBER, you don't have to gift me points for reviews. Send me that one free merit badge you're allotted monthly and I'll review up to 4 mid-length poems, or one short story up to 5k words.
I'm good at...
Sleeping. Retired now. I encourage writers with my reviews. I look for strengths and give direction on how to make something better. I am willing to continue to correspond with the writer if there is more I can offer. I look at what drives a reader. I think with my experience, I can see where your art derives from and is taking you. Sometimes, before the writer knows.
Favorite Genres
nature, love, psychological, drama, human interest, history, science, conspiracy, dystopian, fatalistic, tasteful
Least Favorite Genres
Horror, fan fiction, some fantasy and sci-fi, or anything Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones-ish.
Favorite Item Types
poetry, short story, essay
Public Reviews
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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)

Hello {super:firedude},

I've been looking at your poetry. Came across this: Shape poem that caught my attention with its word choice, pattern, sensory choices to put a reader in the moment.

I liked the feel of that driving line 'patters on the brim' and how one senses, like we are imagining the rain without seeing. We are disconnected but know it will drip down to muddy dirt/dust...for example.

'Beating beats' seems repetitive and for a purpose, the banality of continual rain is well described with that phrase. I enjoyed how the poem has a moment when the rain let up then started again. That connects me.

Word choices I wondered about, though, repeating 'sound' instead of something descriptive. 'Wilts away' also an odd choice, though I understand it. Wind interacting with rain to drive it away...one should really consider in that moment how rain is buffeted by wind. I think you can have a great sensory moment I'd described better.

Great opportunity to explore sound words. Great construct for poem that did help a reader appreciate how it affects perception of scene, developing cadence of rain.

B


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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

Hi, I am Brian K Compton and I am reviewing your chapter "Charisma- The Devil's Gap- Chapter 1 as a member of "The WDC Angel Army.

The title and description of this introductory chapter offer a reader something to look forward to, looking forward to a challenge of what we know about the world. Unfortunately, it's short and leaves us hanging -- maybe, that's good -- so we must read on in Chapter 2 to see what happens next. I think this needed more, however, either with characters and setting, or detailing and foreboding the coming details from Uncle Peter to Liam.

*Star* First graph/open...some thoughts:
Good hook to intrigue a reader. Perhaps, remove ‘even’ )unless you were writing in first person) as this distracts for an omniscient narration...sounds less authoritative — less mature.

Like: “The soft leather chattered...” because it plays with senses, puts reader in scene — connecting early.

*Star**Star* Early character descriptions give us contrast and helps visualize them, plug their differences into a reader’s discerning analysis of interaction going forward. Would introduce that Uncle mention sooner. Helps with dynamic of their relationship. We struggle to reform our opinion of how these two operate socially here as they dialogue.

I did not see Peter’s eagerness early enough. He seems collected before Orgone is mentioned...for someone whose about to spin a very intriguing tale. Characters can tempt with their words, give impressions of having seen something like god, or act smug. Just noting that some kind of foreboding, even a few words, can help describe to a reader who will read more closely, scavenge the text for evidence of what’s about to come. When Liam gets distracted not only will his frustration seem apparent, but the reader will impose their own feelings about that...connect us to emotion in story.

I think Liam should have a skeptical reaction to Peter’s initial reveal of the Prism flash. A little hesitation to add with attribution his first comment. I would be wondering why it would be important.

Suggest ending sentence from Liam like this...

“I mean, kind of cool, sure, but what’s this got to do with...” Add periods to show he’s reaching for — “...Orgone?” Could even use hyphens. *Bigsmile*

I found awkward — “His smile emanated his enthusiasm.” Maybe, something simpler to describe. You don’t want a reader to get caught wondering what that means when it’s quick and simple attribution you go for to keep us in story.

For 53, Peter seems to be stuck in high school nerd-dom. Thiscquality -- a person who is stuck -- can make a reader want to see him overcome this hangup. The discovery of Orgone and how it functions could be the thing to reform him. Interacting with it might be in the offing...super powers? See, I don't know. If you tease enough, forebode, I might want to read on to find out what happens to him.

Where are the other scientists/researchers? Why is Liam the one Peter needs to hear this? Is it something he needs to keep secret until, they can do more with Orgone?

*Star**Star**Star* As to Motivation:
Why doesn't Peter tease Liam with more to get his pseudo-nephew's interest? Would make Liam's character more aggravating if he still doesn't listen while Peter is trying to emphatically speak with him. Their dynamic in open is important to setting tone. I'm getting that Peter is repressed, afraid to assert himself to the type of character Liam is.

*Star**Star**Star**Star* What future story could contain:

I wonder if Orgone is supernatural, volatile?
I wonder if Orgone will give Peter powers that could get him respect?
Will Peter find self-respect?
Will a villain enter the story who has figured out what Peter knows about Orgone?
Will other characters be introduced? Maybe, a teen sidekick? He could be a powerful example to another how to get over insecurities as a nerd.

*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star* Just a few thoughts I had while reading your chapter. I am just interested enough, I may be back for more later. Definitely would consider edits to make this stronger/longer. Might want to consider you expected audience, as this is not advanced/mainstream literature...maybe teen/adolescent (they crave writers in this market)...in which case I would recast Peter younger...or not mention age but describe him for a younger audience. Definitely good stuff for sci-fi fans.

It was a pleasure to read and hope to see more,

Brian


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Review of Drowning  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)

"Drowning is a poem about drowning and eventually dying, but not really, so maybe, metaphorically. Honestly, a pity party would be what this poem is. Written by a teen who no doubt feels left out, hated, misunderstood. We've been there...angst at least. But then, the drama can become severe.

What functions in this poem is the driving one word open to each stanza. It's apt in its banal tone, indifferent, feeling life slip from one...emotionally. This person disconnects from realty because of its harshness.

There is supposed to be a moment when this character has drowned but keeps going on about how they are certain no one misses them. This is the epitome of someone actually trying to express themself in a way that begs for pity...or empathy...supposing others do or have felt this way.

The poem does not describe a predicament for these feelings. It's just about being alone and misunderstood. You know, if we all form a club, each club would have one member. It's about being misunderstood...so how would that work?

I would not describe this as good poetry, but it does well to utilize elements that are undeniably poetic.

B

100810

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Review of Whine Cellar  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I was impressed with the symbolic metaphor used in "Invalid Item, though not sure why the title...seems too cheesy. I was intrigued by the dusty shards of broken bottles metaphor cleared by bleeding hands. The notion is that spilled vessels once held dreams. The metaphor seemed a bit uneven and was trying to imagine why dreams still lingered among the bottles remains. I imagined they would be lighter than air and escape,...as it usually is described.

It's a good metaphor and it solidly services the poem, undisturned by anything that could complicate imagery that plies a reader's mind. I think I'm looking for something more than just bloody hands, but a moment that caused it and pain associated. Or, is the poet numb to it? Are the bottles neglected? How did they break? Seems we cannot find enough to infer to satisfy thoughts about what happened. But, this is good, even though unanswered. It means we are intrigued and want more.

Using the broken bottles as metaphoric words, we try to imagine who spoke that broke dreams. And who is 'you' and why is the narrator blindly cleaning up? Or, realize late that help isn't necessary? I tried to piece this one together but could not connect your truth with my reality.

Good work,

Brian

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Review of The Hunt  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)

A poem about an erotic female vampire who kills her male prey? The mood seems correct in a poem full of suspense until that final stanza. Truthfully, I didn't see the ending coming, though I got an inkling this was something different than the traditional vampire poem in the second to last verse.

Breaking away from the traditional vampire blood lust is good for twist. I think you could do even more, be even more specific in description. It's too generic in encounter. You could name and describe victim and blood luster, name her intention, describe setting. The poem is chock full of mood which without more succinct description leaves me disconnected...the reader needs to be in the moment, needs a bette pr feel of impending suspense. Active verbs are helpful.

If some foreboding were used with imagery in that open, you might be able to keep us in suspense until the reveal. Just some things to consider,

Brian

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Review of Nightmares  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)

A quick read of your poem "Nightmares impressed me with tone and mood, while wondering about what type of poetry the writer aims for. I was impressed with the forthrightness of this offering and how the message is relatable to human doubt, insecurity.

Psychologically, one can view this poem as a glimpse inside the mind that goes beyond dream analogy. We are looking into the human condition about unanswered feelings about self, where we stand in our world. It speaks to me as someone young and prone to doubt, lacking life experience to combat these nocturnal questions.

The poem was structured without rhyme. I would consider traditional rhyming or using non-traditional stanzas like free verse. Expression is good. I think it could be developed more. It really spoke to me, despite the flaws.

Brian

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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I just read your poem, "Another Butterfly Effect. Not what I was expecting. A poem with a revelation, but I cannot feel empathy for the spider. I understand the insect is misunderstood. Spiders get rid of unwanted pests. I don't agree with people for stepping on them unnecessarily.

We certainly do not step on butterflies -- they're pretty. Spiders are ugly. And the spider can eat some pesky flies or other spiders. I might not shed a tear for a moth, if it was on the arachnid's meni.. So, I could not feel moved by the hungered spider. We are the superior species...and we have heels.

Great poem!

Brian


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Review of Kite day  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Dear Maria,

I wanted to share this poem/lyrics with the WDC Angel Army, where I sometimes review. "Mystical Lullaby is delightful for parents nostalgic about raising our little ones. What I realized: Sometimes, poets write about an actual thing without realizing an indirect relation to something more poignant, most often - as in this case - about struggling with life. I found the poems lyrics keenly attuned to a beloved characterization of parent and child experience - a happy one at that.

Here we have a poem with an enthusiastic narration, coaxing a little one to try. The kite is a great symbol for our soul that flies or dreams that soar. The narrator implores they will be disappointed if the little one gives up, but is understanding that they must give up. It causes me reflect as a parent how much we want our little ones to experience and enjoy life. It reminds that we live vicariously through them. For instance, rewatching a movie with someone and enjoying their first reactions to the parts we want them to love.

The language is simple and perfect for the tone of these...lyrics. Perhaps, speaking is song. The poet does not try to be preachy. Understands the little one can't fully appreciate yet what they are experiencing, gets drowsy, must sleep. But, it reminds, memories are being made. That kite could still become a nostalgic memory for the child when they are old enough to properly reflect.

As parents, we often seek perfect moments, preserve moments. We want our children to know what we know about how special life can be. We are only able to expose them too these cherished events, hope it will enrich a life we wish blessed with perpetual happiness. We need that happy balance for them, know they will grow up with this perspective we instill to help navigate their life. The kite, a perfect metaphor.

Parent On!

Brian


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Review of No Takers  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
I think this is a curious piece that left me wondering about the psychology of the main character and how she was so particular about routine, why she avoided Trish and then changed her mind to impulsively go to that party.

The writing is clean and too the point. More description would help put us in those scenes. The ending needed more development. It's unclear what caused the crash, what Madonna's status was ... I assume bad but not dead since a coroner would not be at the scene yet.

There's not enough to help us feel who to blame for this scenario. I definitely wanted to know more about motivation. It was a really good launching point with a chance to get into Madonna's head and unlock that mystery.

*Sad* brian


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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I was intrigued by this essay on energy cost saving measures in "My tiny victory over the power company. But, now I'm not sure that saving 300 dollars on a $350 monthly is possible. I googled...

Based on the changes you made, it seems your essay reads more like fiction. The average home has 40 devices that can burn through about a dollar's worth of electricity a month in standby. If you unplug them all, you'd save 40 dollars. That would be an extreme measure. You didn't turn off the heat just set at a reasonable temperature.

Interesting item. It had a bit of suspense with each energy bill opening. You misapplied 'transcribed' in first paragraph. I liked the ideas to conserving energy. You should add up all the energy saving measures to weigh against the overall savings. Insulation wasn't mentioned. Energy credits on taxes, which I took advantage of about eight years ago.

Good piece that would be valuable to first time renters. But, they should know these sacrifices won't be more than 50 dollars a month unless severe sacrifices.







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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (3.5)

Hello, Tim. I'm reviewing your poetry on behalf of the WDC Angel Army. I've read and reviewed you on several occasions. Your poetry like "Finishing Tasks" is easily consumed and understood by this reader. Your writing style is direct and to the point. But, I'm wondering, should it be?

Poets are painters. We like to tease a bit with our words, the subject matter to provoke a reader. As an artist, if you describe indirectly without telling, we can get a better appreciation of story, theme, setting, characters, etc. Poets avoid the ordinary, tired language in this way. I see you as a storyteller. You have unique points of view. To draw your audience, you rely on insight from wisdom. This subject, while biographical, does not befit the charm you could supply.

The form is fine and it rhymes; the meter is clunky, needs a smoother flow. What I liked is that you do intone traditional poetry with the old flair like....

"The time-off’s great, no problem there,
No daily grind, or Monday’s care. "

Here, it tries repeat, but the ending 'it' throws off this reader, maybe because you linked the two comments with a comma. The two statements are separate...

"Just going for the wisest fit, <<--(suggest a period)
Avoiding long commutes, so ‘it’. " <<--- ah, I see 'that's' was added before 'it' since I started my review a few days ago. That changes it.

And 'it' is the end? Seems like just the beginning. We could chuckle but I don't think that is the intent. It looks like a poet stuck. I surmise there is more to this subject before it is done.

A very personal poem that relates well biographically about a job change and it's affect on the narrator. Do you think the traditional format restricts the process of indirectly describing? Maybe, try some other poetic forms, stretch your writer's wings a bit. Find a fresher voice? Might be fun.

Write On,

Brian

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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I read this through several times to get the best understanding of the poet's intent. It's a great depiction of that struggle to overcome depression that forces one to stay in bed. But, the title of the poem is not actually explained. And, there's a reason why.

Depression can be a chemical induced imbalance that suppresses desire. Basically, this person may not know what suppresses them, but the poet does devise an answer. The bed is a place to be idle. No exercise to make blood flow. The poet says even lacking motivation, just get out of bed.

It's not necessary to rehash this poem. It's a perfect setup and rationalization for overcoming depression. Just apply oneself. Very well structured and laid out to arrive at your conclusion.

Write On,

B


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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Here is a poem that assess the true value of success. Ultimately, it is boiled down to wealth versus self-respect.

I think there is great fodder for debate in your poem. If I read closely, it comes from someone who is not part of the one percent. It assumes that the rich lack morality and thus are not entitled to true happiness.

It's possible to consider that with wealth comes power and that this power is misapplied, perhaps to keep the other 99% from being in the same position in a capitalist market. It can be assumed to be true.

What your poem ascribes is that if you are true to yourself, follow the rules to do unto others, you can be at peace. This does not acknowledge propaganda put in place by the elite to distract lower classes from realizing all they are left are these principles left to the underachieving self-satisfied to keep them out of the way of the elite's world dominance.

You can have your cake and eat it, too. But, it's only cake.

Thanks for sharing a thought provoking poem,

Brian


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Review of Acceptance  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I was drawn to your aptly titled poem, Acceptance, noting it was free verse. I gave it a read through several times to give it proper consideration.

FORM: as free verse goes it did not rely on meter or rhyme and was very short using four couplets. Free verse lines usually run together. Free verse especially relies on word placement to emphasize words. You could improve this.

LITERARY DEVICES/STYLE: did not note devices like imagery, symbolism, metaphors, similies, etc. it's straightforward and gets to the point. Narrative would be the style.

MESSAGE: the first three couplets address the issues of facts, truth and reality forcing one into a tense situation. The resulting fourth stanza summarizes a need to cope and deal with the problems.

SUGGESTIONS: if specific subjects are introduced rather than generalities, you could expand on this. Knowing you are deep into psychological aspects, you could get back to describing feelings associated. What caused fear, what type of reaction, behavior resulted.

I feel you are scratching at the surface of something deeper. Go as deep as you feel comfortable. Remember, writing about personal experiences allows us an outlet to express, detach and get greater perspective of not only self but the writing process. True growth can be gained in this way.

Good luck and God Bless


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Review of Fairy Tale Lost  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (2.0)
There is some good stuff here and a rewrite is in order. You have conveyed some feelings with emotion. Could be some things that could be done if you want to make your words stronger and have it stand out.

FORM
What this poem lacks is structure. It's a short graph of sentences, reads like prose really. The aim is to order this thing so you have a free verse with line breaks that can intensify or soften the impact of words chosen. I also feel you bury the lead, so to speak. This is about those curtains placed before you and pushing them apart. You will want to reorder the lines to get to the expressed feelings. But, before you do that...

GRAMMAR
No problems here.

POETIC DEVICES
Really nothing but this curtain used as an expression to describe being mislead by someone.

I could go through more aspects of this writing, but what is needed is to restart the poem with a new lead, like a topic sentence, and support. What if it looked more like this (my offering):

You darkened my world
Clouds rolled in
With your form of reality

Complicated
Distorted
What was once easy and simple,
Now a jaded fairytale

Invisible
I cried
Begged,
Nothing I wanted mattered.

Time to shove back the curtain you
Placed over my eyes
See life as it really is.



Just really needed to tighten language from your original. It's still an inconsistent metaphor...storm to curtains. Some of the language is still tired and weak. But poetry deserves shape, emphasis on words, sounds where possible, unlike your original...

"Complicated and distorted is now what was once easy and simple. My fairytale now dark and jaded. I should have seen this coming, the clouds rolling in, as you darkened my world with your own form of reality. I became invisible as I cried and begged, nothing I wanted mattered. Time for me to shove back the curtain you have placed over my eyes and see life as it really is."

Write on and good luck,

Brian


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Review of Appreciation  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Your poem caught my interest with your use of metronome in the first line. It's a great expression to describe the heart's function. Unfortunately, the descriptiveness through similar expressions do not arrive here. I think you really had something there and could build on that.

There is a lot of sensibility to this poem that offers what reads to us as insightful wisdom. Not enough to connect a reader to what the poet expresses.

When you're feeling the 'explosion' of the soul, put us there. What is happening? We don't want recall, but action. We need to be more in the moment. Active verbs are key. Just like 'tasting the ripeness of success,' it could be more specific to more fully appreciate what you convey.

Words like 'makes,' 'seeing,' 'feeling' should be replaced with descriptive verbs. You could really drive your message with a focus on that metronome as theme.

Keep writing,

Brian


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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Wow! Someone has a case of hypergraphia. This is so long and involved it would take hours to consume and fully appreciate. No doubt fully vested, passionate write.

The opening statement is strong. The introspect and pondering invite. But this is 100 times longer than the average poem. This is immense and amazing.

You get five stars for making my jaw drop.


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Review of ETS- Prologue (A)  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello KR,

I read 1.1 and looked over this after consulting your message as a plea for help with writer's block. I don't know how much I can help. But, I have some thoughts.

Plot points are important in developing this. The structure of your story can help you visualize what you'll write about. If the ending is fuzzy, don't try to make it a plot point yet. You can add or subtract stuff from your story structure as you write.

Plot points can be used as prompts to write chapters or scenes. You might write what you think are chapters three and four before you think of events that count happen between. Reordering chapters can happen later. Even writing stuff out of order is fine. Just so long as you're getting it down.

First draft of plot points/prompts/chapters could be: they got out of the cabin. They went to buy medical supplies. She was afraid of running into the man she ran away from. They talk at a local market. They eat at a public restaurant.

Anything you plan on having them do in a particular chapter just write down. You can fill it in later, especially dialogue...good to write conversations later. Makes more sense to just outline stuff when you're blocked. The process of setting this up creates little bursts of writing energy. Capture whatever comes, but if you get stuck just ... leave and fill later.

You could also develop your characters while doing this: commit to names, occupations, motivations, descriptions, etc. Make them real. Write everything in each character profile, listing each trait, even if you don't use the info. As you write, add or subtract stuff from profiles as needed. It helps to know what each will do in particular situations. Writing them out commits them to your memory, like meeting them.

Tricky idea: Dreams. Keep thinking about your story and characters as you drift to sleep. Really hash it out and keep your writing tools handy. Many times I wake and all kinds of scenes are dreamed waiting for me to jot down. The more I chew on the story, the more my dreams seem to want to take over. Your dreams might have other stories. There could be interesting parallels to what you're working on.

You could journal about this writing process. Try to write 10 pages a day about anything. Your brain needs this exercise. Transcribe whatever comes into your head. It will produce eight or nine useless pages at first, but keeping it focused and sharp it will take over and an outpouring of needed stuff will come. If ten is too much, do a few, take a break, write two more. Just do it.

Schedule times during the day when you won't be distracted. No fun trying to write in a din. When that precious quit time arrives, I get myself set up with whatever vices like coffee and any writing aids, get comfy and go.

Too much? I'll stop. My thoughts for you now. I'll check back.

You want this? Envision your outcome, enjoy the process. Make it fun. Wear a silly hat when you write.

*high five*

Brian
WDC Angel Army
24K Luminous Reviewer
WDC Survivor...12 years


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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi Ruwth,

Not bad. I enjoyed your take on the Short Shots prompt.

If I were to attempt to edit (and I'm no editor: just something to consider from my take), this is what I might (did) come up with:

Mesmerized by the painting of autumn, an elderly woman stood quiet in the museum. She day-dreamed, pondering what might be around the bend and down the path in the scene. "I wish I was walking down a road like this right now," she bemoaned. There was a stark difference between the meandering dirt road and the drab city street where she lived.

The woman had one thing in common with the fall scene. The painting's shades of orange and yellow reminded her of that. It was also the autumn of her life — her own golden years. And, like the painting, she could not see what was beyond the bend.

(As the woman squinted to view) the warm colors of the artwork, it was easy to imagine something pleasant just out of sight. In her bleak existence, it wasn't easy to trust she would be blessed in her golden years.

Backing up from the canvas for a better look, the woman stumbled into a bench. It was a perfect place to sit and ponder both the painting and life. She thought again about what was around the bend.

"Father," whispering a prayer. "Show me what to do. Show me where to go. Help me with the choices facing me." She knew what the Bible said, "Lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He would direct your paths."

"I acknowledge you, God. I acknowledge your wisdom, your goodness, your love. I do not understand why I find myself in poverty at this stage of my life, but I choose to trust you to be with me no matter what.

"Give me feet to follow you to the mountain tops, praise and trust when my cupboards are full and when they are bare. In both times, you are good and You are my strength and my song."

The old woman gathered her books and headed for home. (A sense of calm overcame her?) Soon she would know what was around the bend, good or bad. She trusted who held her future and would sleep in peace that night. She might even dream she was walking down the dirt path of a golden autumn scene, just like the painting on the wall of the museum.



I would try to show something about her: clothes, hair, belongings. Describing yourself at a museum? What brought you there? Readers need motivation or conflict...lost lamb seeking a sign? Lonely? Family? something more to tie in with the poverty angle? And, you could give her a name to help us connect.

This was somewhat sad. The revelation was God talking to you? God is heavy on physical signs. We say he talks to us, when he is really showing us things that remind of His message. Falling into the bench was part of it. Maybe, something new viewed from that perspective? Maybe, part of a word on a gallery sign was obscured to give a word that reminds Ruwth of His message?

Good work. Go girl! *Laugh* our inside joke *BigSmile*

Keep writing,

Brian



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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
It's whistful, nostalgic and definitely sentimental this short story written for prompt. It's a slice of life with little story but a lot of well crafted visuals.

What I liked: There was a great sense of place, describing the apple orchard and the introduction of an apple to the small boy, given by the grandfather who holds down a branch and teaching how to pick, clean and eat apple.

What I felt: the bond between child and grandparent over the desire to learn how to craft stories.

What I envision with this story: a better understanding of what grandfather wrestles with. His dialogue is aloof and difficult to understand with his warnings. His motivation to teach writing seemed to change without knowing why.
I also wonder if the age of the boy is too vague. He seemed a toddler at first, eating his first apple. Then, he's old enough to write.

I did not struggle with this. Easy to read, visualize, appreciate characters and scene. I think with a little thought, this could be chapter one of something longer describing a grandfather passing on his story telling skills to a young boy with life lessons and gramps personal demons with how writing might not have always been easy.

Good write,

B



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Review of I am Sam  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
*Ghost*I was intrigued by this poem because I wanted to know what a creepy pasta is. The creepy part I get. Does the shape of the poem have anything to do with it?

*Bat1* There's some really great storytelling in here and it's about a friendless boy who needs eyes so he can see his mom one more time and the creepy part is how this describes how he goes about taking people's eyes.

*Grave*Now, as a poem, you find good rhythm at times, the rhyme though is not consistent. But, I think with some work, you can get there, if that's your goal.

*Cat2*I didn't understand how being trapped in time caused his condition or what that was about. I think keeping it about being a creepy, lonely boy is enough of an introduction to keep the poem interesting. If people have unanswered questions it distracts from the good parts you have written.

*Monster11*Great character development at Work. This is the type of character that acts out of necesssity and does not recognize moral dilemma, as with a child who acts on needs without realizing intentions are bad. Only now it's real disturbing.

*Wolf2*The descriptions of eye removal are good. I would play that part up more.

Write On!



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for entry "~ Proverbs 18:18 ~
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)

Thank you for this contest ruwth . It reminds me to revisit my origins with good memories of my mom who taught me to recite Psalms 23 before going to sleep each night. The calm it instilled in me reverberates in my writing to this day.

Did you know we are connected in faith by that song of David? You have inspired me on several occasions to write how I feel when confronted by someone who causes me bear witness. Little did I know when I penned "Efflorescence Song [E] (which started as a blog entry), it was because you popped into my notebook to let me know I was loved. Whatever the intention, unbeknownst to me, Psalm 23 was alive and well in my responsive discourse. But, I don't know if I shared with you, or linked your name in my reply.

The poem defines my relationship to the world and where I take comfort. Wherever I go in life, adverse situations appear. But I hold Psalm 23 in my heart because of mother.

Thank you for opening my eyes that I might see. I do not walk on the valley of darkness alone. I worry more for you and others than I do myself. I find when I fail I can look up to him and be reminded of my faith. I do not serve man, though some might create conditions that force Him out of our lives.

Though I do not quote scripture or point to my faith as I should, I shall remain with the meek. Each day I tell myself God decides when life is turned upside down. He decides if I should offer my writings to the world or keep thoughts to myself. When I feel it intones His message, he tells me to share with you.

Do you doubt yourself, the vision for the future he promises? Remember Psalm 23 wherever life takes you.

Brian Keith Compton
(He Lives!)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He causes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even when I walk in the valley of darkness, I will fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff-they comfort me.
You set a table before me in the presence of my adversaries; You anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.
May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for length of days.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalm_23

Hopefully, I have not exploited His message for the purposes of man. His love is to be shared, not used to prey on innocent lambs.




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Review of Just a Poem  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.5)

Hello Blank Page ,

Thank you for entrusting me with your writing. My review is affiliated with "Invalid Item . I feel this poem deserves attention and wanted to offer some insight, since we've had little time lately to discuss the finer points of poetry and its analysis.

With "Just a Poem , you have a tight construct that delivers a clear exposition. It's smart with the setup and use of its central theme about time. All of this leads to a proper summation, including a moral. Making it short and sweet with these tight lines help punctuate the final thought. This is a gifted offering for a beginner.

I don't see this poem as something you edit or improve on. This poem is a stepping stone for other writes to come. Its wisdom cannot be altered or refreshed. My belief is that we might write the same poem for the rest of our life with 100 different approaches. A unique voice is defined as we hone our craft. This is just one layer of who you are as a poet. Keep writing, keep creating new layers. You are developing a textile for the masses each time your muses spill a little more ink on the page.

What I'm impressed with is your handle on language. It's not easy to construct words that flow intelligently, play with one another. It's difficult to do this and create a concrete message easy to consume, easily understood. But, on the flipside, this is poetry. Poets prefer not to tell but show. So, let's talk about that.

Poems rely on imagery to depict. In radio, we called it writing with 'picture words,' because our audience needed to visualize what we were reporting. Time is not easily shown. But, when you pen your next poem, something like time can be constructed using words like clock, calendar, or seasons from fall to spring. These words could work best as expressions, verbs especially. His poem clocked like a metronome.

Let's look at your poem in sections:

Time never ceases,
Halting for no man.


Grammatically sound, you can flip the two parts and still have a perfect thought. Your subject is immediately introduced and offers an aphorism. Already a great start!

Even now, it moves ever onward,
Not pausing once for friend or foe.
End - of time, that is - is nowhere in sight.
Not for us mortals, at least.


Advanced use of indentation on second line allows pause but also showing that movement after 'onward.' Bet you didn't catch that one. These lines add another aphorism about time. It uses the time honored 'friend or foe.' Not cliche, bordering the overused; yet used properly, it fits.

Then, the hyphens! Yes, I say. You push the words apart. This does show. Punctuation can show! Last line in this section might be weakest in poem. It's a fragment, but perhaps a comma at end of the preceding line will fix. If worried about too much punctuation, my belief is it's acceptable to remove comma before 'at least.'

Don't waste what little time you have.
It's the only time you'll get.


The last and punctuating aphorism here. It's also what's known in the ad industry as a 'call to action.' Very true, in this case. *Laugh* I think adding the indentation on last line does more for symmetry than affect inflection.

There are many poetic devices you could use to show through your narration. Personification or symbolism could give depth, if pots and tea kettles could talk. A grandfather clock? But, another day...time. *Wink*

It's more than a little ditty penned. It's more than 'Just A Poem.' So, if you change anything...maybe re-title? It's a wise, sensible and poignant discourse. It's the first step for a poet heading in the right direction.

This writing thing is going to challenge. There may be something that begs you lay down your pen. Keep your head up; soldier on when it gets tough. Poetry has many bad days. Take time to discover; take time to rest your weary mind. But, always come back and write.

I'll be here as long as you need me,

Brian K Compton
24K Luminous Reviewer


Invalid Photo #1053018

"Explaining Poetry to my son



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Review of Free Fallin'  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello Dan,

You make skydiving sound like a rewarding, exhilarating experience. Such a natural telling of story that puts a reader in the moment, making me laugh, making me feel.

I'm connected to the first person narrative as if I am skydiving, too. There were about four minor editing issues with missing or misspelled words, most just in the last eight graphs.

There were a lot of great moments and expressions like the descriptions of that rickety plane and the sensation of it leaving the ground or the comparison of caffeine to hemoglobin in your body getting to the hangar.

Great story on overcoming fear: funny, insightful, informative. It draws you in and keeps you reading without distraction to the end.

Brian


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Review of A Northrup Moment  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Interesting prologue and two intriguing characters to possibly have a will-they-won't-they affair, though not if Laurel has anything to say about it. I picture Northrup akin to a more sophisticated John Wayne type. This reads like a period piece -- 40s or 50s.

You have a mystery serial rape case and she's a woman determined to get the scoop ove Northrup. The feminist will likely get the scoop and the man.

I liked the dialogue and the set up for this story.

B


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