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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 of The White Horse  
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Wow, that was a powerful story. The story about a divorce attorney who pretty much spent his whole life dealing with the mess of ending relationships. Almost every metaphor that comes out of his mouth regards these things.

There is so much irony in the ending of the story. It made me wonder about the compulsion to spend time with those two. I think this is a very lonely and dark man and it made sense that he dumped all his alcohol. But I don’t know what that means for him in the end. He just needed to get out of that canyon.

ImThe Story had a good setting and Interesting characters that could interact and bring the story along. I also felt that the narration, by the main character, really lent to the overall feel of what was happening.

I guess the character of Billy is the more intriguing To me. Trying to decide how to treat him, with the guilt that was felt lifelong. That they seem to just put up with his unusual behavior Because of the head trauma when he was a baby.

I had a little trouble getting into the story. It would go back-and-forth and I wasn’t sure if we were in the past or the present from time to time, until I got into the meat of the read. Nice going on this.

Brian

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152
152
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Dear MuseinMeltdown ,

This has opened my eyes. Not only to the importance of getting a good, and the right, book cover produced for one's novel, but the need for this illustrators to coincide with a writing community like Writing.Com.

It never really dawned on me how writers and illustrators resided here, seeing so many people who link or talk about their work. Some produced images through Deviant Art's website. And now, I see the companionship here that I have overlooked all the years.

"Book Covers aren't just to stop dust was well written and spoke to me on different levels. It was actually not what I expected when I saw the title. The first thing that I noticed was (and relate to), we all do judge that book by its cover. It's just our nature. We might imagine good words inside but that cover may be hideously overdone and off-putting. And we, as writers, do not want our words represented that way. Sometimes, the font on the nicely colored cover alone is enough for me. Do we need images depicting our words? A color and font alone can connect a reader best to how we might determine the content should be presumed.

This also reminds me that publishers have all kinds of gimmicks to reap money from authors who want to see their words in print. Eager to get our words out there, the more hasty may make poor choices either artistically or financially in these choices. And, we can be uninformed or ignorant if we have not gone through the process. This piece points out the thought process and clues us in to not only what the author dreams of seeing but how that is interpreted by other who are employed.

I can only imagine who Lisa is, as the cover artist. I used to know Damiana was an illustrator, but no longer active. No link to be sure. I'm not even sure if this article conclusively states what the outcome was. But, it does cover this decision of working with publishers and self-publishing without going into too much detail. It's something that was in the future at this writing.

What inspires me about this is hearing an author talk about the process, the anticipation, the hurdles. All of this does not deter a reader like me, but inspire to finally put the final touches on the epic manuscript, to see it off into the world, even if ignored by traditional publishers. It reminds me of all the people who come into the message boards like newsfeed or chatrooms to talk about how they are forced to edit because their publisher wants this or that before they are finally done. They never talk about who that publisher is. It's all very vague and wonder if they are giving a thumbnail sketch for a reason, if real or fake or magnified.

I do know that online publishing has taken off. This reminds me that we can be discovered through using resources like Amazon publishing. Though, the financial rewards can be low unless we can rightly gauge the product we have to dispense, with the hopes of a traditional publisher picking up our works to put in print.

Well, maybe I've gotten off topic. But this article reminds me of the rewards. We have an insider's opinion that can give weight to our own decisions going forward.

Brian

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The opinions in this piece are my own, though I am reviewing on behalf of the PowerReviewers group. If there any grammar or spelling concerns or anything else that needs further explanation, please feel free to contact me. I can clear up or revise any comment that seems unworthy.


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153
153
Review of Tomorrow  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Mindertwenty

There are some very thoughtful moments in the this poem "Tomorrow that seemed like a wistful one thinking about opportunities that never came, that dreams are in the past. I found there is some potential in this piece, with a focused effort on punctuation and word choices.

Tomorrow is so far away,
But that seems like yesterday.

This was a great way to open the poem. It doesn't take me long, but I do have to squint to see the visionary at work. How does the future get behind oneself? Easy, it's about the tomorrows of yesterday. We are recollecting here how we had so much time, but then in a snap it's gone and realize too much time lost. This sets up the revelation to come.

The hours blur in what seems a minute,
I need to slow time down.

I thought the comma should have been a period. This very plainly sets the table as we are plodding through the narrative to get to the good parts.

Until today I felt I could reach for the stars,
But I’d surely have one by now.

Wow! I had to stand back from this one because it started out cliché and then took a 90 degree turn. We can take old expressions and update them, put a new spin or thought on them. That is what I have seen here.

This also ties the theme together further about that dreaming one who wanted to capture that brilliance that seemed unattainable. Perhaps, this is part of he problem of fantasizing. We don't really think it will come true by hard work. It has to land in our lap. And, if it doesn't, oh well. Should have bought more lottery tickets. Or gone to or finished college.

This is the flaw in our nature (stars) that we can't get there from here. And with time dwindling, it's coming to the end of the poem.

Then a revelation touched my mind,
Brief as it may have been.
It’s time to take the initiative,
To take the reins myself,
The future is mine for the taking.
© Cop

I liked where this went. But, this is also where I had a problem with the execution. You are definitely on the right path. The theme is time and stars with dreams or horizons mixed in. How can that all intertwine with this revelation at the end?

The revelation was quick, that's good. How did it strike? What thought revealed it? Does it tie to stars that die and burn out? Dreams that fade? Is it about never chasing them?

I needed to see what was happening that gets the shining light inside the mind to illumine in a brief moment, a thought that seems to be about completely changing and redirecting one's life.

Visually here, we have nothing but metaphors for things that are images. How does it connect to the narrative, the spirit and ultimately the realization? I needed that to get to that conclusion. It's that dismount. It's that perfect 10 you could get from the judges.

You're almost there. How, the last two lines presented a problem through redundancy with reins. Also, reins. To what? I think that might not be the best direction for this. It is cliché and no 90 degree reflection about it. We don't have the horse or wagon.

To me this is about time travel. You arrived at a destination in a snap. Warp speed. Probably don't want science-y stuff. That's where you tippy toe through a Thesaurus and dig for words that will help this arrive at the station for narrator and reader. Ultimately, poet.

I think you have a great piece of poetry on your hands than can be worked with more. I hope you have more time to devote or refocus on this poem, as it deserves your attention. And, maybe this revelation took you away from your words. Maybe, the journey will bring you back. Whatever it is, I look forward to more.

Brian
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Every once in awhile I can find a poem that I really want to sink my teeth into. I could have gone way overboard on this one. Probably did. This is me pulling back. *Laugh* Be proud.


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154
154
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.0)

I think Stories From Love Your Neighbors has potential from what I've read of what's still available to peruse. What I did not get in the "Love Your Neighbors piece is what direction these stories would take. I got perhaps a character that was getting settled and learning to deal with odd and unusual new neighbors. I did not see much conflict to overcome, just sweet, quirky people and their odd stories like the man who had the excuse for having one eyebrow and how the main charcter uncomfortably dealt with that. Oh, and a sleepwalker.

Whatever direction you go, I think keeping an eye to what makes getting to know neighbors difficult and hard to overcome is key. I know its not the same to look over those hedges nowadays. Feels so sequestered in our world. Perhaps, the conflict is actually opening up to people without seeming nosey? Guess that's for the author to decide.

Character development seems key in these stories as is setting. It has to be some kind of unique place that brings out unusual people. My first go to is Gilmore Girls or Pleasantville. Just off the top of my head. I know this is a single woman, so there is the potential to met men in this neighborhood and she's not off to a very good start.

Brian

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155
155
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Dear JDdurhamrn,

Funny story about Walt and the excuse for that one eyebrow. That was a big takeaway for me from your short story. I thought it was unfortunate that we did not get to this encounter sooner. I would love a story full of stuff like that.

The open to the "Love Your Neighbors needed a better hook as the narrative meandered. We didn't really get a good introduction to the main character. It went to the omniscient voice that seemed more interested in plodding forward to setting up that scene that would come until the end. And then it was over. No true conflictino and resolution, unless you count the uncertainty that made the main character uncomfortable.

The action that was to come never really was building. It seemed more like a chance encounter and then finish. People sitting around greeting a neighbor is fine, but wanted to see more eccentricities or odd happenings. Like Walt and his lone caterpillar.

There is some promise with this story. I think it could be quirky and/or cute. Needs a good edit to even out the eyebrowness of it all.

Brian
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156
156
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Strange Brain ,

I liked the use of the prompt words to give this vision of a farmer distracted from his toils by a drifting balloon in "Forgotten Troubles. It is a sweet and simple poem with a brief message about a toiling farmer who delights in a scene when spotting that balloon. A memory of childhood, or something that touches this person in such a manner to forget struggles with soil?

The poem shifts quickly after two lines about the farmer's agony to get to delight. i wondered if the delight was that immediate, if it was needed to describe the farmers feelings that could be used as action to describe the flight of the balloon, as in 'delightfully drifted'? That would cause his eye to wander where is rose to view a rainbow. Perhaps, it was a realization, the balloon got his attention to look at something he could have missed.

So the delight is shared by the collective of balloon and rainbow in scene, and then the farmer feels troubles are forgotten. I think he's going to remember them pretty quick again, once he turns back to his work, but maybe with a less toilsome attitude? He's still sunburned badly. I guess I wonder if he's not a good farmer, if it hurts that bad? Or, he's really poor and has had a bad year with crop and doesn't have the resources to work the land?

Yeah, hard to decide from all that, as you see I'm guessing why he's suddenly so happy. I think the poet and the reader would like to believe the farmer can take solace in a child's distraction. He might be a little soft in the head. I know that this is a poem that is trying to show a contrast and something to remind us that we can take a moment to appreciate life.

I think for a moment, he forgets his troubles. It's like getting a drink of water, something to salve that sunburn, that you don't feel it for awhile. All things I think about from your short poem. Very thought provoking.

Brian

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157
Review of The Book  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This was an interesting turn in the second chapter of this novel "Invalid Item. It transitioned out of the main character's body metamorphosis/change from old to young in Deal McShane. Now, weak, he falls asleep before finishing reading the book. I wondered if that would mean something bad would come of it. But, it was not foreboding, it would turn out.

I think the direction this story is taking is interesting. He may be learning too quickly, be a bit too wise. He is an older man living in a young body. He didn't seem to on board with Jenson while his body was changing in Chapter 1 and now he gets attacked by grows and figures out two things: How to fix that pipe that was broken...no big ceremony about how he McGuyvered that, and that he figured out how to use the pipe to speak to crows to leave him alone and/or give him info.

Deal's attitude has shifted and I don't know if he or I have contemplated why he is suddenly so resourceful. I get that he is wise, but I imagine his stubborness to be a shortcoming as an anti-hero in this story. He really hasn't faced any true conflict yet, but he has been set up with a few challenges that should keep him off balance until he gets used to being young and owner of this book that he could just toss aside and be done with. He doesn't owe anything to Jenson. He seems like the type that could walk away Han-style, unless there is something in it for him. Yes, motivation. Where is it? Just survival, playing with god powers?

This is akin to someone getting an unlimited number of wishes and they keenly devise a use for the pipe immediately. It's not too troubling, but I think that it would help to broaden the story and give the character some conflict to overcome. It seems to resolve too quickly in the moments portrayed. Maybe, the story needs to slow for better perspective, settings and depictions.

I do like the dialogue between man and crow, which gave me a distinct feeling of what the bird sounded like. I was also able to visualize that attack playing out. Though, it reminded me of Hitchcock.

Over all, I think you have something in the works here. McShane is just figuring things out. We've read a bit from the book about its powers and know that it will require complete knowledge of its contents by the user. It also made me wonder why the pipe worked if he still hadn't learned to apply magic. Though, that might still be coming. There might be repercussions for taking shortcuts?

Anyway, I'll stay tuned for me.

Brian

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Review of Realization No. 6  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear David Noet ,

This poem "Realization No. 6 acts as a slow motion time realization of death (time decay), in particular of those who lose a spouse before them. This poem will simple and straight forward using some visual depictions of aging people with rosy cheeks (to me implies merry) that there are rotten bones. Now, that could mean a lot of things. To me it just means no good. Won't last. Even the happiness seen in couples will end when one of them dies.

It was a sad realization in this poem that implies it is cruel, like Hiroshima, but only slow and sad. Maybe, more like a gas chamber at Auschwitz? I don't know WW2 references too well, but that might help as an expressive metaphor for life described like this.

The fallout from the bomb is skin melts. That again implies aging or what happens to bodies post death and then the ending: ashes ashes we all fall down, the children's rhyme that came out of he plague. It was cruel times even then, but the world keeps spinning, people keep making babies, they grow up, fall in love, lose someone and then die. Downward spiral?

It's a really dark way to look at life. It leaves a reader with the wonder of the inspiration for this. Wondering, if it could be tied in with the theme, give context? I thought the poem was succinct, didn't pull any punches, was informed and did not fall into weak word play or the cliche to deliver images and their connections to reality.

Pretty well done, all in all, as I saw it

Brian

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Review of Meadow  
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Sam Gamgee ,

Sad the way this poem "Meadow opens and speaks to a reader. There was something to its construct and the way the lines built in that open that made it seem like a poem that had a theme lending to its structure. It feels like someone pining, recalling and trying to ascertain what has happened:

Meadow
When was it
that my need became
nothing more than imagining
holding hands with you in silence
walking in a high mountain meadow?

I don*t remember.

The words carry a distinct feel with imagery building with a scene setting that parallels these emotions connecting with nature. It has a deep spiritual feel:

Or discover
again in silence and alone with you
a clear, cold, spring deep
within a forest that exists
only in my mind?

I can't recall.

Again, can't remember or recall. This is like a monologue setting up for narrator as I imagine mountain mists forming and a very picturesque setting. This felt a bit Shakespearean wherein he questions his own mind, like King Lear. Is this setting up for one playing a fool?

Remember?
This is not less for knowing
that my need for you
was finally so complete
that I was driven to invent
a you - and us - that never really was.
Its just as well.

I'm reminded of myself when I read this poem about longing and the wondering of what went wrong. It reminds me of those I wrote these types of odes to who said I romanticize too much. It could also be that memory doesn't serve well and we hold on to these things. Fiction fills in the gaps when we over dramatize and try to realize something that leaves us empty and we want to embellish and spackle those holes leading to the empty spaces around our hearts.

How it ends:

Remember?
This is not less for knowing
that my need for you
was finally so complete
that I was driven to invent
a you - and us - that never really was.
Its just as well.

The prince leaves the stage. There is no story truly to be told. This is very well depicted with sincerity and true realization of what is lost, quite possibly feeling old and frail and willing to acknowledge what hadn't been, what you were holding on to, will never be. You use all the right emotions and connect is to the words that common readers would relate to. The narrative speaks to the one that likely will not read. This is one of those odes that could be spoken to the ghosts of our past. It has that feel.

Well done.

B

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160
160
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Dear Shaara ,

This was an interesting stand alone sci-fi story that uniquely described two classes of alien creatures and a caste system that forces one to hide among the elite in hopes of getting into their university.

I felt there was much to learn from the first person narrator character in "Interview at Shetzun who was trying to avoid a life like ancestors working in mines. From trying to grasp a description from the way this person was trying to camflauge not only Cremorian appearance but fears of getting caught by the Shetzun inteviewers did a lot.

I almost wondered if too much time was spent observing the Shetzun leaving the interview room. I thought maybe this character lingered too long, but maybe that was to show that there was a chance they would crack in the interview and reveal their true alien nature. Much of the story hinged on situations either in the mind or in the interview room where this person might give themselves away.

Unfortunate that we only meet the main character. I think the rest of the characters were placed in scenes for purpose of story. I think more conflict could be felt if this person felt threatened by one of more Shetzun in this scene. It would be another opportunity to describe simiiarities between the two races that would give a reader a better depiction of what these people look like. I want to know the purpose of the extra finges, lungs, etc. Maybe, they were perfect for mining because of their, can we call it, genetics?

Just some thoughts I had upon reading the story over all. As far as grammar and structure of story, I would say it was pretty sound. I don't know if you planned to novelize this alien race in story, or if you already have. I think it could be developed into a chapter of something longer. It would need character sympathetic to the Cremorian cause and a better understanding of their customs and rules to fully realize life and death situations or more.

Technology was lacking in scene(s), wasn't it? I'm not sure I got a feel for galaxy, universe, dimension or time either. The ending seem like foreboding of further tales from this character. Or, other characters and storylines you could develop from first person, and then their paths cross? You never know. I'm not a big sci-fi guy, but I know a few things. Best of luck.

Brian

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161
161
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Dear Nalin Plad ,

When I discovered this "[WRITERS NEEDED] for WR fiction attempt, I was intrigued. Not so much to be a person who is part of a team of writers creating the longest document to be the world's record for longest book. I thought War & Peace was the bar for how long someone should go for book length.

Either way, the structure of this message and the call to writers shows you have an idea and a small game plan that can get larger once you have people committed to the project. Is the idea just to knock out whatever, if it's not good, just to be the longest? If you have writers worthy of novel length fiction, wouldn't it make more sense to create something that can sell?

I guess my other wonderment, is there any money in this? You don't cover the incentives of being involved unless you're just willing to give your time and effort away to a project that you will get a small amount of credit for and barely recognized, over the person who organized it and will likely be most noted for this effort.

If you pull it off, it will could be against incredible odds and circumstances. Writer's Block is number one, writers quitting, creative differences, lack of motivation and finally the ability to crank out that long of a book...that's if you can get really capable people on board with this.

I don't know anything of the current record holder, but it must be something they created that they are quite proud of. To hear that someone wants to supercede it by so much more will likely feel defeating. Perhaps, if you crush the record, no one else will never want to near it? Perhaps, if it is accomplished, you could send out false backstories about the torture and turmoil it caused. Maybe, writer's took their lives or something and make no one else insane enough to try to topple your record. Because, face it, if someone does. It might seem all for not. Do what you can to protect the legacy if accomplished. Though, if there is money making opportunities from this, make sure the reviews of your effort and any urban legend you can build into it, make it worthy of being talked about.

I'll have to admit, I never heard of the world record. I never would go out of my way to google what the longest book is. I'm sure if it makes news, you'll have to do a lot of PR for years to keep it's legend circulating. Well, I'm getting ahead of myself.

It's not out there yet. People need to be recruited and that's what brought you here. Good luck! BTW, what's the longest book for a legally blind person. I might go after that, since I can't seem to complete anything and need motivation.

Brian

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162
162
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Averren ,

This was a good essay that turned on a key phrase of advice that applied as a topic sentence or thesis, as I saw it. The essay didn't go into much detail but was folksy enough to keep a reader interested.

Perhaps, there were limits due to length required for the WDC essay contest. I know I see prompts like this that make me cringe over what to edit and what to keep in. Then I think after whatever activity or contest is over, I could use it to add detail and lengthen for the right amount of additional information.

I found myself waiting to find how the advice applied, “A moving target is hard to hit." It didn't have an a-ha moment attached to it. More of an 'I guess I sorta did that' kind of feel to it. When a reader is fed a baited hook like this, we can feel cheated after being reeled in. I don't know if there are better details you can add to make this advice apply. Usually, I see advice like this as a call to action. What it wound up being is just happenstance.

Otherwise, you kept the essay simple and didn't go overboard on it. You supported this with conclusive enough detail. You're kind of an 'aw shucks' kind of guy, relatable. Makes blowhards like me look bad because we want to puff our chests out and you're walking around with, what? Three degrees? Doctor?

Anyway, what you provide to this essay "A moving target is hard to hit... in it's straight forward approach made this easy to read.

Brian

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163
163
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Dear WindSpirit3

In your poem "The Soul Deep Growsing, I was so captured by the expressive Capitalized words the narrator is hashing out like thoughts that can't completely connect or fill sentences. I stopped after one read and decided, from the bottom, to read this poem in complete reverse and it had what felt like coded messages going the other way. Look at me spinning your record backwards.

But that's what a good poem with a unique structure can do for a reader. We are inspired, or at least I am, to look at meaning through different lenses. I think you have captured something here that might come from a great amount of experience penning words. I have come to this poem now want to take away some lessons and hopefully provided my response to what I've visualized and felt.

A beautiful Rose..

Of strawberry Awhaireness

Bam! Struck. I'm sure not a typo...right? But, a character is introduced, being created and the narrator is slowly and somewhat incoherently responding to her.

From down Deepness grows

The Intimate Intellectual Compassion, I so seek.

I can assume Rose was a nurse and the narrator was a patient in whatever state. The mind is struggling here for whatever reasons to process but is compelled by reaction to get it out. It could be a stumbling in the mind like one who is drunk, on drugs or just mentally incapacitated. Either way, this works on a real time basis, trying to sort out an assesment of this woman.

Not sure of next line to be

But now feeling Completes Thee

The Wisestubborn in me

There is more words enjambed and creating unique compound words that strangely describe. I especially enjoyed, "But now feeling completes thee". It feels a bit like self-awareness in this encounter. I can't help but feel patient is bonding to nurse, though I could be interpreting that wrong. I have the poem description line as a terse introduction to this that doesn't give a sense of any sentimentality.

The following seems like it would take a lot of inspection to fully inform a reader that this is more than gibberish, though I suspect some is. This first line starts out like words that just sound alike. Some may have meaning to the voice in this poem. The brain is aiming for something coherent in this moment, grasping all and anything that come to mind

Ground - Proud - Announce - Soundly

Admits me, from subtle - but Deep

Energy Agreed To Silently Unspeak

Natural Understanding: - of Souls Secret Speak

Gratitude in our need for close distant Quiet Speech

I think he's just trying to show appreciate for Rose, but also express, what she understands but he doesn't, that he's having trouble communicating with her.

I guess the title informs too. That should have been cited in my review. I would go on much longer about this poem, if I had time. I may come back again and take another stab at it. I was highly engrossed and want to find a way to inform myself as a poet to create language in poems like this. Thank you for share this inspiring writing.

Brian

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I apologize if my review seems rushed and possibly riddled with errors. I'm up against it and just wanted to get this offer before I retire for the night. I'm happy to following up on any concerning feedback.





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164
164
for entry "~ Jesus Loves Me ~
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Dear Ruwth,

I don't know if I've ever read a poem from you before. It struck me smack dab in the middle of the forehead when I saw that it had earned a prize in the Shadows and Light Poetry contest. Good for you.

The title was immediately recognizable, Jesus Loves Me, and this offering was sooooo Ruwth. *Laugh* While this surprised me, the content did not. I know of your strong faith and many items written about your father. I can feel that somewhat bittersweet connection depicted in your words. You use a progression of time in the poem to show the roots of your religion, where it started with that song that inspired the title. The song I know all to well as a baby boomer.

This poem goes on a journey for the reader viewing Ruwth with family: church to church, and song to song that ends with "Amazing Grace" which is really about the sweet appreciation of a blessed life of what we've been given. Appropriate to end with.

I believe this is definitely auto-biographical with this use of the freeverse approach to a poem. You did a good job keeping the lines tight and informed while keeping a nice flow for a reader that was easy to understand and relatable.

Thanks for the invitation in the WDC chatroom we call 'Scroll' to come and check out your writing to lend a review today. Congratulations again on the poem's recognition and your blessed life. How Great Thou Art!

Brian

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Review of The shadow  
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Well, you have somewhat stated the concept. A person might read this and ask, 'but what about it?' "The shadow is an opportunity for a foray into a part of the human psyche, and I for one might move on from this to learn even more.

I think psychology is intriguing when you get down to concepts like this. Questions for me include, how does one arrive at this theory. I feel like I'm checking myself to see where this shadow resides in me.

This could be an intriguing topic. But, it lacks even an argument, or defense. Or, is this the shadow? Definitely, Jung had little weakness. But, it is a worthy topic to explore to seek how we project our weaknesses on others and the world.

Brian
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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
This was intriguing. I like a good, axe-grinding argument. So then, you have no opinion?

Facebook is a mess. I'm sure they're taking steps to address it. It doesn't help that we have a President who likes but doesn't like social media. I think this should all die down some time after the election.

But, you are right. People are ignorant and misinformed and ripe for the picking. Putting aside Trump, the lightening rod for all of this. Does the right and left go at it as hard? You've posed some good points in your open but then strayed from your point about ignorance.

I think labeling and name calling is what got us in this mess in the first place. Everyone is so emotional and everyone is so right. Whether people vote or not doesn't mean they don't have a right to express an opinion. It is important that people come to the table and learn to have respectful discussion. Those days appear over. As dead as religion has become. Who made us think we don't need church?

We've lost our way. We've already been corrupted. Question is, can we get it back. It's too late. Call it. America is kaput.

And that's just my opinion. I'll be checking out in a few decades. Y'all can deal with it, since you won't clean it up. Decency. It's about that. As structured arguments go, thoughts weren't well organized. You could go on Facebook with this. But, a writing site? It came up short. It shows promise with such colorful language. You have passion, I'll give you that.

B

too tired to correct grammar or figure out acronyms used. not standard MLA stuff. *Laugh*


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Review of The Book  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Dear RodneyGray,

Well this opening chapter to your novel definitely seemed unique to me with the makings of something that could be the beginning of a fantasy series. I found that I wanted to read on and discover once the magic was introduced and wanted to know where the story was headed. However, I would have liked to know more about the main-character-to-be for this series of chapters called "The Book. I needed some kind of backstory or something about him to see as an anti-hero with some moral, as it seems to set up.

From their encounter to that darn pipe that changes them both, there are some keenly mapped out passages that take their time unfolding. But, when we get to the bodies metamorphizing into younger people, it was very intriguing. This served as a great open. I could envision this adapted to some TV series or movie scene, as it would take special effects to realize what I read.

The depictions of the two drunk on this body altering genetic magic is keenly riveting, as it feels we are watching the scene unfold in real time. And there is some real lively dialogue that is so period appropriate to enjoy. I had Siri read it to me in a female British accent. Good on me. The two with their sensibilities informing the other until the realization that Jenson would not survive this 'experiment' and that the Book would be passed on to the other who went from one-eyed, wrinkled and dirty to a young, renewed teen. This might be the only truly cliché thing about the scene is that something happens where someone else is entrusted with a secret power.

They broke the pipe. Why break the pipe? I guess, with the book, it will give the main character something to do and try remaster the magic from the author's words. So, we have one thing in the story to wonder about. Whether another pipe can be created. Does it have to be a pipe? Anyway, then others could be rejuvenated and restored. Perhaps, it could also work against evil some how. McGuyver it. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The stage is being set with the dialogue about keeping this sorcery as a 'Threader' as secret. It sets up good vs. evil. Playing God. Repressed by a government that would want this knowledge or to repress it. Threader, could be the title of another book in a series, or whatever. I just saw a lot of possibility with this one.

Great fun with the drunk dialogue, BTW. With British Siri, it was a hoot! It was a pleasure to read and consider this story and it's first chapter. I do believe I will be reading further to see how this moves forward.

Brian

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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I liked most of this, "American Insurgency. I was willing to give it a try. I haven't been reading too much fiction these days. Need to reavert my eye.

That is a mighty conflict-resolution in the works. You have an eye for storytelling. Part of me always asks does there have to be a love interest, too? How does this guy take on the mob whose out to take his life and still have time for the single life? I get that some are in it for a good romance, snares a larger audience. I forget it's not just for tv and movies so we can see a little lip action, or flesh on flesh.

This to me has potential, but the main character seems a bit starched, despite the love interest. I love that it's not the dime a dozen Italian mob as mafia stereotypes.

Good luck,

Brian
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Rated: ASR | N/A (Review only item.)
It's good that you're open to experiencing new music, just because it's on writing.com. But there is a lot to experience with this number one song that is an anthem of a generation going back over a decade ago. Here's what you missed:

Black Eyed Peas describe this as a, "college anthem for people looking forward to escaping life's pressures by going out and having a ball."

This club-inspired number is one of a number of songs on The E.N.D. that reflected Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am's newly discovered love for dance music. While he was in Australia filming the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Will spent his time off-set in Sydney's clubs where the electro grooves being spun by visiting DJs such as Italian production duo The Crookers turned the Black Eyed Pea musician on. He told MTV News: "It was hard, and it felt like hip-hop, only faster." Back home in the States, Will told his Black Eyed Peas bandmates, that dance music, not hip hop – was the stuff inspiring him now.

The E.N.D. takes its name from an acronym for "The Energy Never Dies." Will.i.am explained to MTV News that The E.N.D. "is our version of embracing change and celebrating the new."
Taboo of the Black Eyes Peas told Marie Clare: "This is the first time we actually had all four of us on a song simultaneously with the verses, which is something different for us. Usually we break up the verses and everybody has their parts. It was a good opportunity for us to show the world what would come of it."

When the song achieved its 13th consecutive week at #1, it overtook Glenn Miller's record in the pre-rock era. The Black Eyed Peas, totaled 26 non-consecutive weeks in charge to spend at least half a calendar year as the number one song.

The song's 14 weeks at #1 tied with Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" for the longest stay at #1 in the 21st century.

This won for Best International Song of the Year at the 2010 French NRJ Awards. This song appeared in promos as the theme for the CBS summer prime-time lineup months before it was officially released.

In 2010, Will.i.am told Rolling Stone: "What is the easiest emotion to act? Anger. What is the hardest? Joy. That's 'cause joy is complex. It's somber, sad, happy, heartbroken, hopeful - it's all these emotions in one. What you hear in 'I Got A Feeling'? To me, that's joy. You're in pain, but tonight's going to be a good night. You can't feel happy when you've been pissed off the whole week. You have to go straight to joy."

Will went on to explain that he wrote the song within an hour after standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the inauguration of President Obama. Said Will: "Nobody asked me to write 'I Gotta Feeling.' It just came."

It was announced by Nielsen SoundScan on May 3, 2010 that this celebratory song had reached 5,561,000 downloads. This meant it became the best-selling digital song of all time.

The song was the first ever single to be downloaded more than one million times in the UK.
The song was the Black Eyed Peas' most successful single of their career, topping over 25 charts internationally including the ones in Australia, Canada, Ireland Italy, New Zealand, UK and US.

Will.i.am told Nekesa Moody of the Associated Press that the reason the tune was so successful was because it gave people hope in a downward time. "It's a positive, feel-good song at the time where there's question marks and uncertainty. People want to be reminded that it's going to be all right," he said.

Until this song's success, there had been the occasional dance hit song, but in the main radio programmers fought shy of dance music. Speaking to Billboard magazine in 2014, David Guetta explained how "Got A Feelin'" was a turning point. "For so long, I couldn't understand why it wasn't on the radio like it is now," he recalled. "I was playing every weekend to thousands of kids who were going crazy for this music, and I could feel that everyone wanted to hear it. The demand was there."

"'I Got A Feelin' was when radio seem to say, wow, okay, this is actually working, this is marketable," he continued. "And then everybody changed their format. Now, of course, we're way beyond that and onto something completely different."


Probably more than you ever wanted to know! *Laugh*

Brian


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In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Dear M0nsterRain ,

It means you're disconnected. Example: When I'm reading text and something gives me a thought, I realize I've still been reading while thinking about something that took me away in another direction. Once this realization sets in, I have to go back and figure out where I drifted off. My brain is not capable of being in two places at once.

Here in "Nothing in Particular you have described a situation where hypothetically, and apparently commonly amongst us, we have looked into 'something' and then lost all memory of it, the thing. It begs questions: Is it a mirror? Could it be a painting? Might it be an event unfolding outside the window? You see, if you give context, a reader might better relate. You can give them a 'for instance'.

To me, this just explains so much about how we are becoming devoid of emotions, like dehumanizing zombies who roaming about, disconnected and overwhelmed by the world today, that we cannot connect with singular moments.

Another example: A person who watches a show on a screen who is also playing a game on their phone. I have three people like this in my house. I'm studying and analyzing away (visually) about the character's actions. I see them with their heads down and ask them if they saw it/that, could comment on it. There is no rewinding, just moving on. They are happy with distraction in a handheld box. This is the new movie experience. Why are more people not mugged or robbed everyday?

This is not how our brains were meant to be wired. It is not organic. It is unhealthy. I think these worlds we live in are dividing us. We turn to these worlds as if they contain all the correct information because it is immediate. But, in real time, we cannot look at an object and walk away with an experience or feeling.

You probably don't know how profound this simple statement sounds. It is not fleshed out. It does not take the idea further. It's just a 'did you every notice...' set up but without a punchline or tagline. You have an opportunity to give this functional statement more weight and fuller meaning. It is essentially your thesis/topic sentence. Why not build on it?

Oh, but I've done it. You probably have your own take, but maybe feeling a bit more informed? I hope that my review helps answer this poser and gives you fuel to write more. Do, write more. Let's see where this goes. And let me know. I'd like to come back and revisit.

thanks for sharing here in our community and keep writing,

Brian

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Review of In Praise of Dawn  
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Thankful Prosperous Snow ,

Wow, I had no idea how complex this poem was until I popped open the link to poet's note. The rhyme scheme is very ambitious. I realized I hadn't even noticed the rhyme scheme after two reads and had to read through "In Praise of Dawn again to pay closer attention.

I really did realize I had caught that rhyme with that triple rhyme in last two lines of first stanza. It's actually quite impactful with the short lines. Making use of those prompt words included one expression that caught my eye, 'soar thought' which for some reason made me think of 'sore'. I don't know if this is a stumbling block other reader's face. Apparently, I'm reading with an auditory eye.

I felt this to be a very spiritually connected poem without concrete images that connect to that reality. I did like that contrast at the end with the final verse where night is destroyed by that sunrise. It felt like hope for a new day. It was like getting through a difficult night but realizing with a beautiful sunrise, all is right again. Very connected to nature.

This was a pleasure to read and consider to inform me and lend my reactions.

Brian

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172
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Dear ♥HOOves♥ ,

So many items to consider in this long list of your favorites over the years. I started reviewing some of them as we are celebrating 20 years of Writing.Com. I thought it might be fun to explore old and new items to see what interests.

I have to admit, I was looking to see if I made the list. I don't think we've crossed paths. I made it a point to give attention to some of the members who are less frequented on their travels through our shared community.

I point out that there are a lot of invalid items in here now, as well. I suppose it's because people either left WDC or who only have basic accounts now? Unfortunate.

Thanks for the inspiration to consider and review some of these items.

Brian




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Review of Mercy  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Dear Riot ,

This is a poem that I see some thought and work went into, not only to deliver a horrific tale from days gone by, to its stark depiction and tempting rhythm with a rhyme scheme that was not consistent.

I poured over "Mercy several times and went over the poet's notes to self to get a better understanding of theme. I thought the mother had put the father out of misery at first, until closer inspection realized "them" was the parents and not the children. My Reread helped me to catch that. As a started to see this differently, I really woke to the poet's depiction of what was happening.

This poem made me realize that modern medicine lacking in olden times forced situations like this. It's very sad in its reveal, especially when you think of that vision of mother having to do this. But then, my mind is wondering how? How were people doing this to put a child out of misery from incurable disease? Is that horrible of me wanting to understand how they would do it and with what mercy?

The title of the poem is Mercy. And yet, it feels cruel and inhuman. Is that the irony of that, I wondered. It might not be fully conveyed in words why this was the only option. Were there no doctors? Some homesteaders on their own in early America? I think there is an opportunity to set scene better. However, the story is more anecdotal and serves to unsettle a reader's mind of the thought of a time when a young life might be snuffed out like a barnyard animal.

The middle stanza threw me with the last line not rhyming with the third line, but instead the second line. The meter was fine with the beats that flowed, but I wonder if this would trip up another reader who saw a pattern break at that point.

The message delivers well. The images are so stark and haunting and with the use of traditional rhyme, it reminds me of how grim related poems and stories were in earlier times. They did not sugar coat what was their reality. It's a good reminder to those who want to protect human rights and the flow of words from everyone's mouth because of tender feelings and sensitivities nowadays. To say, But, look where we arrived from. This gives historical context that we evolved out of harshness and it does still exist, just not as direct or straight forward as it used to be.

This poem gave me much to contemplate from a historical and social perspective. It really acts as a touchstone to poetry of yore. I'm glad I discovered this to consider for a read and review.

Brian

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Review of Peace  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Dear The Dreamer ,

I consider the weight of the world nearly every day now, just like your poem "Peace so poignantly describes. I'm putting a focus on poems with the theme of suicide as a considerable subject. I have come across this narrative ode to giving up and want to consume and possibly lend feedback to illustrate my concerns.

It's sort of a seductive freeverse poem with it's patterns and rhythms with stresses in just the right places. The poet twirls this text in and out of short to long lines while keeping the reader on that string. With that open, it starts with lines that short and sweetly repeat a rhythm over the word 'little' to entice us to move with the dance.

The narrator mostly talks to its audience, so it could sound like a plea for help. But, it also seems to call on someone or something else, like the night or someone who could make life more bearable. In a way, it's up to a reader to decide. I think the poet is just going for it here, already freeversing and styling while computating thoughts a somewhat freely associative way.

The third and last stanza tell a metaphoric story using the old cliche, 'weight of the world.' To me this is the poem's only challenge. It properly conveys a message, but to get to that next level of description, it requires metaphors as expressions that could still describe something crushing or heavy. It's pretty much all been done. No real points of for trying, but realize that telling the same story in a slight different way does not hold a reader.

I still like how you go into that final verse, catching one's breath, 'I let go.' Though, this doesn't sound like someone who is ready to give up on life. That may not be the targeted theme, though in my search for poems about this subject, it yielded this poem as a result, likely from a tag.

I think the order of events is a little off. The crush happens in verse 3 but the world falls in 4. I'm at peace line is good. It doesn't really hit me with that finality.

Overall, you use of language and structure was quite pleasing and I think you have a poem with a few tweaks that is worthy of commensurate audiences.

Brian

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Review of Going For A Walk  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Dear Flapjack_Destroyer ,

The subject of suicide in writing is something I want to investigate here in some of the latest poetry I chose to review. I have come upon this short, descriptive poem "Going For A Walk that reads like a poetic event that has happened. The narration shows experience of knowledge of how suicide might occur, I feel. But, I have questions.

First, is this a poem about suicide, because it came up in the search engine at WDC for poems on this subject? Obviously, one does not just walk to a ledge and step off and describe an experience like falling, with 'wind brushes your hair'. The landing is another issue, but birds singing you a song is like a goodbye. These images compelled me to explore further.

If this is about suicide, it's not impactful enough. I mean, the ground doesn't greet you with a kiss. More of a sucking noise or splat, I can only imagine. And we are imagining, because either the narration is misleading or this person is still alive after what was simply a failed attempt.

Now, what I really can envision, is a person who wants to die and is being dramatic. All the right words and descriptions are used to make this a beautiful demise. I think it's more of someone describing in a way like a person tries to get someone to believe they are leaping to their death after some dramatics and tada! Jumped five feet.

The title, too, is intriguing. It plays on the reader's mind as they read with the short, obtuse description line. We can only assume what it could imply. I find the poem poignant but not logical and yet compelling. So, two out of three for me there. It's brief and to the point. I like the depictions and drama. Overall, pretty good.

Brian

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