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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
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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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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
hello Tab ,

I'm reading and responding to your poem "Dreaming of Higher Places about musings of a poet in the suburban life.

The Poem:

Dreaming of Higher Places

I think I should want
computers, televisions,
fancy cellular phones,
trinkets and shit.

I guess I should need
a man with prospects,
greenhouse roses
and a kiss on the cheek.

(I think that I want
and I guess that I need
and I second-guess what I think.)

I dream that I wed
to the seasons…
in the mountains…
with the sunrise at my feet
and the night sky as my veil.


I dream
that I will set myself free.

There is a mix of poetry styles in here that I think you intend to directly conflict to show the narrator's mind at work on the confusion of chasing dreams versus the satisfaction of everyday life that serves oneself. It's either reaching for the brass ring held up as the superlative over mailing it in and just grabbing whatever you can from life in a sloven way.

We are often forced to face our own ethos in this way. We are drawn and pulled in all directions, a very relatable and appreciated theme. I cannot speak so much to the style of the poem, as it suits the author's own tastes. Though I can say, what I most respect is the section in italics. That's how we dare dream and must confess what we wish most life to be. I think the conclusion that follows befits.

Thanks for sharing,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer





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Review of Untitled  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)


Hello and let me apologize in advance for a long and rambling review, based on your request for feedback. Just want to show my support of a fellow writer.

I appreciate the approach to this poem with use of a rhyme scheme that pushes on until end. I think the structure could use a little work. Sometimes, tight clean lines work best for the read so there are natural pauses. If this were free verse poetry with no lines, you can stagger out those lines anyway you please, provided the flow of line breaks doesn't trip up a reader.

Looking at how your lines could read smoother, while still appreciating that first inner rhyme in the open:

There is progression
in my aggression
but i am trying not to stress.
Life is teaching others lessons,
while it is making mine a mess!

I cannot let it affect me.
I have to do what is best.
I want to live my life without
the constant burning in my chest!

The time has finally come
to lay this rage to rest!


This might be the most successful way to lay out your poem. I made a few alterations, connecting 'can' and 'not' for 'cannot' and removing a comma at end of 'the time has finally come' before 'to'.

The structure might still look flawed and the language, while direct and to the point is perfect, could be structured to make this a two line open, followed by two four line verses and end on the two line close. You are very near to a sonnet structure, if you wanted to play with the form. That would require much more attention, as to meter, etc. It's a great form to learn to develop a rhythm with that rhyme.

The message of your poem:
It is personal to the poet. It's obvious that opening was what drove the initial feeling to create this. I find putting one's heart and soul into the logic of beliefs can really make a poem sing, if you can find the right words. For the type of audiences you find at Writing.Com, this will hit home with readers.

I have and do live through feelings like what you express. It sort of intones what could be an anthem. You could create poems based on impulses to events with interactions and described struggles about how life isn't working out, as well as others like feeling left behind, frustrated. It has the 'haven't found my way' or 'my calling' theme to it.

There is much to explore either in this poem further, or in other things you write.

I saw your post in newsfeed. I quick jumped in and looked at titles of poems you offer and assigned descriptions and picked this 'untitled' piece first. I like short poetry that can say a lot in a few words (unlike this review *Laugh*.

I also find, when I'm in a particular mood like this, I quaff whatever stirs my muses and just open up a window and keep writing through all the ugliness and weirdness until my brain starts composing words that start intoning, hitting home with how I feel. If you get a great hook, keep writing. It's hard to push through sometimes, but the more words you reach for (I google words constantly), you stretch vocabulary and mind to places you didn't know it could go.

You might think it a bore, or tedious. You'll hit a euphoric high when you're in that mood, because your mind will be astir with all those thoughts until they coalesce on a higher plain. You essentially level up in this process. You might have a mess of a poem, right? That's when you can learn to cut out those crappy parts and keep the best.

Just like sculpting from a piece of clay to see what beauty lies beneath, editing lets you smooth and shape until you find it pleasing. Feedback is great. Stay true to what you believe. Only accept responses that help shape your vision, as you continue to scheme.

Look at me. Sounding kinda preachy. But, not really. I've spent a long time at this. As someone still hanging out at the starting gate, because they won't let me run the field with the other horses, I've learned a lot from watching others while writing my dreams.

I also have another name for short poetry. "Antithetical📝Jottings by UnRenownPoet, where I house my stuff, though it's not all short -- based on the premise that all singular ideas can be like Twitter posts waxing poetic to epic visions of words assembled that can ramble on; again, like this review.

Good luck and write, write, write to your heart's content. Your answers are in there, seriously.

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer *StarBl*


And listen, I don't expect a review. Let's just keep the lines of communication open, if there is a need to share thoughts on writing. You can just talk about your reactions to my writing or anything else.


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Review of Golden Years  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Redtowrite ,

with "Golden Years, it's beautiful sentiment that I'm sure Kurt appreciated. There's an intense and deepening attempt to reveal feelings in these metaphorical expressions, yearning to coalesce and show love.

As I read the dedication, it's easy to see this is a one time attempt. It a poem that will remain for time. I think if there is one take away, it would be honing those metaphors to fit theme. They almost cohesively succeed. I think there is an opportunity to see and realize the value of really intoning your message by using those comparatives to strike a singular theme with precision.

You have everything right until switching out your metaphors for pillows in the end. I was on this ship coming to harbor with the narrator wanting to know if love was waiting and ready. I personally enjoyed seagull skies because I was there alongside captain for this ship to shore moment. I do wonder if ocean would be better than lake. Otherwise, I felt I was envisioning too large a vessel to dock at that harbor. It could be just in the way I interpreted.

One other small suggestion is the flip the first two lines with the last two lines of first verse. I think establishing scene works great every time for something of storytelling within the narrative view. We don't need to know what the narrator is thinking until we get our bearings. It reveals what is happening more slowly and gives a reader a chance to catch on and catch up with this hopeful, loving theme unfolding.

Great poem with so much opportunity. I couldn't suggest how to revise the end, whether you would even attempt. I only point out for future writes that you can emphatically drive home your message by staying on that metaphorical point, keep everything aligned with the vision. With a visual write like this.

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer


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Review of 'photographs'  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Dear Kåre Enga, P.O. 22, Blogville ,

There is much introspection in this well prosed piece of writing. I think reflecting on childhood and connecting it to one's own human condition is revealing and worthy of sharing with others who can relate.

One of my favorite lines:
The dirt beneath my nails knew more of me than what a picture told.

This says more to me about the person by revealing how being photographed makes you feel versus being the photographer. Perhaps, it's a sense of control over the subject. Rather than acknowledging this life you've led has caused you to compose and capture great things, you deflect. It's troubling when we get to a point in our life where we cannot fully help the child in us, but must move on from it. It's tragic and yet it is very endearing and very normal in that sense.

There is a part of us hiding that we cannot connect with, that even if we going looking for, will never be able to fully picture those fleeting and fading moments from the past that defined us. You have photography as a tool to envision creatively what you will. You make it your own, and write to put a stamp on it. Without complete actualization, the part of you that brilliantly paints and projects pictures is shared and love by the rest of us.

You do well with this to show us a good portion of who you are and how you function so well in our community and wherever you travel. Thank you for sharing this.

Brian


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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Redtowrite ,

I think this "Voices are Thunderbolts is very poignant and sad with revelations and imagery that paint a picture about an abused one questioning God over mother in this poem.

I found that your punctuation could be applied a bit differently. I'd have to go through line by line and to point out opportunities where commas could be periods. I think completing thoughts and moving on to the next would show patience with the text/subject with getting across this narrative scene of emotions unfolding.

I think this tells an underlying and vague picture of abuse that compels a reader to feel something for the victim, who is leaning toward to the teachings that do not fully protect a soul tainted by torment.

There is a powerful message contained with a necessary story to be revealed. I think with some patience and some focus, this could be a very fine piece.

Brian



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181
181
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Great, great uses of imagery that caught my imagination with what you do with the inner workings of this mind beset by Alzheimer's. It is no doubt the experience of living with someone with this type of dementia has to feel much like the way you describe a sort-of beautiful mind coming unhinged.

I'm sure this is deeply personal to you and I do not want to dehumanize your subject with a cold, callous review. But, as I view of the words constructed herein, I'm impressed with the mastery of such vividness that you portray with the condition, as if inside that head. But, using experience from the relationship to piece it together in a wonderfully charismatic story.

From the moment you started listing (a poetic device) in that first stanza, I was hooked. You have all the images at work. At times, the poem is rough and raw, the way it should be, as to your subject. But within, in this crazy storm with so many images depicting it like a whirlwind of objects flying, there is beauty that could be plucked from former majesty. It's all there, just disassembled.

The final stanza kind of puts us at ease, like we have gone on this crazy ride with the poet until we can be calm in end scene. You captured this wonderfully. I wouldn't suggest any changes. I think I am in awe and just want to celebrate the creativity and the effort to craft this, knowing that it must be a difficult subject to contain and structure well enough to share.

Brian


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182
182
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I'm not sure how this story was conceived or if I am to believe objects were animated for the purposes of story telling. I'm game. Let me take a stab at this 10o words story.

The word processor made you do it? Sounds like an oddly disconnected story about a person who would trust their hand to a pencil over a keyboard and monitor.

It reads like you were having fun playing with words and personification. You even gave time a personified feel. I think you meant drivel instead of dribble?

Though, this could also be blamed on the dastardly CPU, which has yet to be held suspect. It's rather hidden from the mind's eye. But the real question is where do words come from?

Did the words come from pencil shavings or from what the processor converted to text? Hmm. I suspect the wordsmith would rather blame the tools of the trade than admit fault.

Well, we've had our fun.

BK


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183
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello,

I'm about to ply this poem I found on the review pages to see if I can understand it's somewhat hidden meaning.

I read this through several times with an eye toward the description line about an activist couple, but am not sure who you mean or exactly what you imply. Thankfully, with poetry, we can sort of assign our own values to the words and how they provoke a reader to gather evidence and what to feel out the subject.

My mind wanted to tell me this is about our nation's handling of the COVID_19 pandemic in America, especially where you mean 'chief' that I felt refers to the president. The poem seems to be mostly about his handling of the crisis, or failure thereof.

It felt like your poem did meter and rhyme well enough and was landing some punches at this vague topic. You have cloaked your meaning in a passive message that appears to be about how arrogant government blindly leads us against something that is unknowable or invisible to knowledge. It is a tricky disease to the medical community to comprehend, let alone public figures like Donald Trump.

I think this poem aptly describes what we are struggling with in a politically charged time with a deadly, sinister virus. If this is not about that, it's still what I infer.

Brian


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184
184
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
HI Savannah Thomas ,

I'm reminded of the old Temptations song when I read the poem you wrote. It goes:

You've got a smile so bright, you know you could have been a candle
I'm holding you so tight, you know you could have been a handle
The way you swept me off my feet, you know you could have been a broom
The way you smell so sweet, you know you could have been some perfume

[Chorus:]
Well, you could have been anything that you wanted to
And I can tell, the way you do the things you do

As pretty as you are, you know you could have been a flower
If good looks was a minute, you know that you could be an hour
The way you stole my heart, you know you could have been a cool crook
And baby you're so smart, you know you could have been a schoolbook


Perhaps, I'm introducing you to this style of poetry, lyric writing, from an oldies song for the first time to help inspire your poem.

I like the construct, but think it could be reimagined and perhaps the Temptations can help. Good song. Give it a listen.

You have some good things at work but perhaps it's not as smooth as a Motown song, and it may remind some of the readers here of it. It does show invention and innovation. You neatly introduce these ideas and how they can work to secure this relationship. Nicely summarized, too.

Keep up the good work,

BK
Yet Another Newbie Review


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185
185
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)

This poem was very succinct and a knowable subject about encouraging one not to despair, to know life has much greater things in store. It is meant to encourage and embolden the belief that set backs are not the end, but new beginnings.

I look at the structure and see a mix of traditional rhyming poetry to start and end with a free verse mix within. It could be that this is a raw poem in work. I noted the emphasis on articles with 'the noon' which actually give the poem a flair. I felt the first four lines were strongest, usually the epiphany that causes a poet to pen before it loses its way a bit:

"The gentle rays of the morning sun get stronger by the noon,
the scorching heat gets weary and gives way to the rising moon
dark long nights last not forever, a bright new day shines upon
So, mere mortal, why despair, when challenges come along..."

Next is where the write becomes subject to run on sentences and loses its pace, strength and feel by leaning into clichés and lacking the early imagery that flavoured the open:

"...seasons change, time is a fleeting,
why harbour the ills of the past
Sorrow, vengeance, shame and sins,
have ripped your heart apart..."

I liked that you rhymed again in the end, but the dismount lacks originality or some of that style in the opening. You are British, are you not? You could lean into ye olde style a bit? Give 'em the buck up speech and hope for a brighter tomorrow stuff?

"Fret not, a new dawn will bring hopes galore,
a more wiser You will soon emerge and soar."

Maybe, the poem would be aided by a grammar checker and better punctuation. Definitely focus on middle four lines. I'd like to see examples of overcoming sorrow and holding out for a bright tomorrow with that early inspired magic.

Brian
Another newbie Review


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Review of End Time  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
*Clouds* *Clouds* *Clouds* *Clouds* *Clouds* *Clouds* *Sun* *Clouds* *Clouds* *Clouds* *Clouds* *Clouds* *Clouds*


Hi Lori J ,

I saw your post asking for a review in newsfeed. It 'tis but a wisp of a poem that begs a reader to look within and see they psyche at play teasing us with this notion about wanting to give up.

It felt like the beginning of something more. I think for the poet, it's knowable this feeling. I can feel it, share in it. But concretely? I needed more to go on, the why's and wherefore's of it. It's not like it needs direct explanation.

Sometimes, describing surroundings is a start. Describing the narrator in attire, appearance, etc. helps us, too.

I liked how the poem started out,

"She came and slipped down,
Silently beside me."

It felt like a real person. Though, it felt like the hook was a set up. Because the poem is so tiny and reads so fast, there is not enough for a reader to become introspective already, or really at all, without additional details beyond the discovery characterizing the spirit of oneself. I assume she's sad or done with the world, somehow. I can infer my own meaning from thoughts of suicide to giving up a particular vocation or lifestyle. We don't know. No little clues to go one.

But the spirit is described, somewhat kindly,

"Uttering nary a word,
This gentle spirit of mine."

She definitely is trying to be noticed. I think of a character's soul slipping from it's shell and sitting beside this person, who could be hallucinating for all we know. who could be losing it and wants to hold it together, because:

"I ignored her completely,
Totally -
I didn't want to consider
End times.

My end time.

Not today."

Why? It feels like half the story. In essence, the poem does not want to deal with it. So, is the poem the personification of the spirit of the person? That's me over-interpreting. Using my imagination, too.

It was fun to read and hopefully my thoughts as feedback can help you see from another perspective what one reader perceives.

Best of luck in your writing endeavor,

Brian
Another newbie review


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187
187
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I can't be fully sure I understood what this poem is specifically about, despite reading the description introducing this. I can say there are some universal truths at work here about how we reflect on opportunity around us and failing chances to seize.

The structure of this poem is unique to me, but might want to run through a grammar checker. I think there are a lot of commas where there could be full thoughts instead.

You showed some mastery of the English language, but connecting these thoughts to the three words chosen to title each verse seemed disconnected. I think the message still holds true, despite, with a little filtering as I read.

Best writing to you,
BK


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Review of What is Silence?  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I found evident truth in your poem about Silence and the ways it manifests itself and how we are to perceive its affect on us and our surroundings and life.

That first stanza was full of potential with imagery of snow quietly falling that I found myself wanting to fall for that imagery connected to feeling and see where it goes. But, the poem marches on to mimes and then back to a window and then sitting quietly with thoughts. The poem is reaching for higher meaning while leaving some of the skill of poetry behind, which could help with the message.

Starting with that imagery. That's where I turn to that snow again. It connects with the third stanza. I'd kill the mimes, though they could be inferred. I'm just thinking how you could connect thoughts to the quiet snowflakes covering the ground. In my own mind, another poem is brewing that shows how each tiny prism layers the ground like inside a person's mind. The brain is a quiet container, collector of these thoughts good or evil or otherwise.

Just saw some possibilities when I read that first verse. I thought the rhyme scheme was a bit touch and go, ending by rhyming 'good' twice. But, I'm sure if this is still raw for you, much can still come from it. In fact, it could be the basis for other poems given how you can connect to the quiet collection of snow.

Good luck,
BK


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Review of Pretty  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is actually catchy and I would use it for some alt-rock song sung by a goth woman who is tormenting a man Fiona Apple style.

The lines read quick and tight and had a lyrical value that made me think it could be a song. It is cliché at times, but what songs aren't.

You make a great message with truths about human nature. I suspect by stating what you are doing in a Machiavellian way makes it smarter, edgy.

Well done,

BK


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Review of Love To Fly  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: GC | (4.0)
I think I get the idea of what this poem is about. It made me feel the need to disconnect from the conformity and banality of life and fully experience, metaphorically.

The symbol of a magic carpet might be cliché but makes the point about leaving the ground and rising into the atmosphere. It's about escaping dullsville and finding something greater. But, there is something sad about this also.

I think the narrator is negotiating, trying to find a party somewhere else rather than acknowledge that it's inside you. It feels like a need to fill a void rather than constructively find a goal, a dream to achieve. It sounds like someone damaged by life, left out, needing to create their own clique away from those who've rejected us.

Yes, I feel the same way. I'm more directed on staring down the petty snobs and manipulators and letting them feel the guilt and shame they try to impose on others to justify their actions so they can feel good about themselves, rather than acknowledge how rotten they are on the inside. I'd rather watch them squirm.

That's my party. You're welcome anytime.

BK


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Review of SAD  
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Rated: E | (4.5)
I know exactly what this is about and what it means. Today's society, gender confusion is on an upswing, especially beginning in middle school. I think it's unfortunate that people feel they are in the wrong gender body and compelled to switch. They may have been lead to believe it is easy and safe to have surgeries to do this, but it is expensive and dangerous to health life long

You make a point that it is a sad story. We are in a time when people think they can put on whatever costume of personality they like and be that. I think being average or ordinary isn't good enough. We all need to be unicorns and witnessed. But, to borrow a line from the Incredible, once every one has super powers, no one is super.

Thanks for sharing this,
BK
Another newbie review


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192
192
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Rated: ASR | (4.0)
You have done well to emotionally depict a place to retreat to in the mind with this poem. It stays true to a rhyme scheme and a general theme as it doesn't not get trapped by its own structure and naturally builds with progression to conclusion.

It's like navigating the mind and all the external forces that cause one to retreat, though not specifically. It's being philosophical and a little emotional revealing damage life has done and doubt caused.

I applaud your effort,

BK


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Review of Void  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I think you have perfectly caught a mood with this poem. It doesn't say a lot, but says enough. You describe as well as reveal this gloom. The poem ends on an ironic statement, one that the reader should ponder.

Describing the night on his face gave me a feel of someone caught, motionless, in awe and yet alone absorbing this nature and connecting to it. In some way, I felt it just a preface to more to come, with further perspective from this dark one breathing and coalescing with new vision in the night.

BRIAN


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for entry "Living Small
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Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Jay,

I was working on reviewing some entries for Taboo Words contest round about isolation before I got the notion to submit, too. I was inspired by entries like yours and decided to send my stuff to review tool, when I rediscovered my unfinished thoughts there today. I thought I might send along this feedback now to see if it may help you envision this poem or future poems you may be working on with taboo words in mind.

Mind you, this is cryptic. I copied and pasted some lines from your poem "Living Small that didn't meet criteria of contest and paired them from definitions found in Webster's online dictionary:

'is living from my loves away'

'This distance from my world imparts'

both lines very close to suggesting alone living...away = apart
also, distance from my world = apart

I think you had a strong entry. Hope this info was beneficial, as I clean out my review tool today.

Brian


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Review of Dreams  
Rated: E | (4.0)
*Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Sun**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds*


I agree with the writer's view with this poem. I think you have an opportunity to dig deep and show. You started to use a metaphor with the football field by end, but maybe not the best to make a point poetically. Practically it does well to describe.

Here you have an undescribed piece, that could categorize as spiritual or psychological as we are attacking the playing fields of a mind. Wherein, a person could visualize a little utopia or Eden waiting to be discovered by the idealist mind constructing these thoughts hacking through thorny jungles or scaling tall cliffs to find some wise man for truth and keys to life. They all hide inside the mind. A game or puzzle to solve.

You could go in a thousand metaphorical directions and I implore you to start there and try each thematically with sole purpose to connect these thoughts coalescing with visions to inspire readers and writers to revel and explore with the same enthusiasm you share here.

It is better to show than tell to get a true meaning. Thank you for sharing,
BK *Zebra*


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Review of Hope  
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Rated: E | (3.5)
*Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Sun**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds**Clouds*

I saw some opportunities to improve this essay that was difficult to read because the thoughts run on and need to be separated. In the open, for instance:

Fear of losing a loved one to death or leaving us stranded abruptly, pain after failed relationships or after a rejected proposal, feeling helpless after being cheated on, struggles to keep our survival going by hunting for that job, to cope up with ill-health, etc and many more such life agonies we have to face in our lifetime.

Instead:

Death of a loved one or being left stranded abruptly are causes for fear. Perhaps, it's the pain suffered after a failed relationship, a rejected proposal, or being cheated on. That struggle for survival comes when hunting for a job, coping with ill health, and many other life agonies faced in our lifetime.

You can see that you can weed out a lot of articles this way that clutter text and focus more on verbs and a few adjectives. You were grouping these struggles appropriately and it made it easy to edit.

I think you have a few more cumbersome paragraphs like this. You do make an introduction that suffices to introduce. The core catalyst for this is hope with a good summation. I think describing how to harness hope or remain steadfast knowing these ills will only be hiccups in one's life should give assurances to bolster writer's argument.

I wish you luck with your essay
BK *Clouds*


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Review of Lost  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
*Bird*
Interesting story that had a poetic, lost feeling to it. I had some early impressions to share right away.

That first paragraph is description of surrounding but not who this person was. Mind you, a name is not necessary, but just a description or two of some kind if you intend to lead us along. Parents just not enough, but That's okay.

Paragraph two gets tedious and the thoughts are enjambed so that it is difficult to see things unfold. You can simplify sentences by separating thoughts. If you intend to show anxiety, run on sentences do tend to help with emotion of read.

Third paragraph is powerful and descriptive. This is poetry and gives the mind plenty to consider about this mysterious character and the situation in. It continues into paragraph four and the raven appears and I'm thinking of Native American folklore. I can't decide if this is a true tale because the arrows would surely kill. It feels like a story that would be good for a campfire telling.

I see a brave but lonely person who has spiritual support, but sometimes these stories bend toward to supernatural to god-like where she or the bird is given special powers. But, it's hard to tell if she's deserving after being described as a backstabber. Is this why she is alone?

Many questions for an intriguing write that I would like to see developed further.
BK


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Review of Paragraph  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
*Fox*
I thought I would offer some input on your item titled paragraph to see if I can inspire or help shape some story out of this.

I think a few things are in order to begin with. What is your vision, even if a little fuzzy? Every good opening paragraph establishes something that gives a reader something to start evaluating and anticipating going forward. Writing devices like foreshadowing are a good place to start with a beginner writer.

Also, have a title and description line befitting what you hope to envision writing. It can change, so don't sweat committing to anything. Nothing is set in stone. Give us something to anticipate as we read the first draft. You can add the instructions and what this is about just above the paragraph for readers and reviewers to consider. We like instructions and what the writer needs help with.

As to story: I think it needs a hook and to spend some time describing or developing characters and the scene just a bit better. Not enough to chew on yet. It is also better to imply things, instead of telling us what you call this hangout spot, let us assume from that awful establishment's name. Mine was the Pop Stop, growing up.

Each time you introduce a character, you have to give us a flavor of that person. Do we like them, not like them, or are they inconsequential? When you refer to them by name, we assume they'll become a part of the story, as with Duke the bartender. I think you have four characters and the last is just introduced at the end.

I think you are doing well to establish a conflict, the main character being dragged there and not wanting to be involved in sweaty, grinding dancing. Hard to know how this character will fare under peer pressure.

Considering it is a young adult genre, might be a story about overcoming idiots who want to get crazy and the unpopular choice of saying no to all this stuff. But, as far as developing conflict, it might mean booze, drugs, sex? I don't know what qualifies under that genre. Helps to know what is currently popular and being published to know what fits.

I think it will take some work, but you've laid the ground work. Hope this helps.
BK *Fox*


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Review of The Diagnosis  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I read this story with much anticipation for the outcome. There seemed to be some foreboding (as with message on phone) and some twists and turns to the manners and outcome of the hitman. I honestly thought Duncan would get that message and have to figure out how not to get whacked.

This was not pleasing as a gruesome, sad story with a bit of irony at the end. I'm not sure Duncan is a sympathetic character, because he did not consider how horrible this would affect daughter. That he decided his wife's fate, as well. I feel set up a bit by the need to enjoy that last day, like he was going to miss both members of his family. In retrospect, he might have agonized over a double murder.

Characters were a bit ordinary and stiff. I think it was hard to be invested in anyone but Duncan. Waitress cliché, hitman intriguing needs more description/mannerisms. The story plays from Duncan's perspective until he dies. I almost feel the hitman is a more likeable character for how he carries out his craft.

Sticking points for me:
I'm not sure you can request no autopsy with a homicide, especially if his wife has not agreed. Remaining family could request autopsy, I would think. It could be assumed the autopsy is an unnecessary detail for the story. Even when one is done, it can only conclude he was murdered. It is more likely questions would center around staging of scene. Even if he has cancer, it's not what kills him. It's not the smoking gun to prove a hit. The 10k could be traced. The meet up might be checked. Credit cards, phone records are all more damning than what autopsy results, unless the killer is sloppy and gets caught.

More: Doctors seldom leave detailed messages. It can be assumed a nurse would call instead and only request they immediately call back. Privacy laws are pretty strict now. Unless this was set in an earlier era, but the cost of coffee would belie that.

I think this reads closer to noir-style fiction. If I'm paying that much for coffee, I'd be describing a goth barista who I'd still stiff on the tip because of her flat affect and indifferent no-eye-contact demeanor. Or, someone serving who's even more progressive. But, Wheel of Fortune just seemed so sad and tired.

Duncan does seem pathetic. I didn't know how to feel about him. Very dark and stunning result. It leaves a reader with intense emotion, if they're into that sort of thing. You categorized the genres correctly.

Nice going,
BK


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Review of Mother  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I think as haikus go, from what I know, you seem to have nailed it. I think beyond the syllable form is where you have successfully completed this mission.

Opportunities for improvement might include somethung beyond using three -ful words conjoined. There are many ways to go in that middle of the haiku that are endless. Lines one and three hold the structure. You could repeatedly create multitudes of Mother's Day type tributes from this.

Well done.
RR


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