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Review by Scarecrow
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello K5Rakitan . I just finished reading your piece Kaiba's Prostitute - Part 4 and thought I'd offer my two cents worth. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


The Plot- Compared to other parts, in which there was more of a focus on character development, this part had a bit more action-- both in the arena and the bedroom.
It also appears that the feelings between Seto and Joan are going beyond a client/customer type of thing and into deeper waters. This adds an overall complexity to their dynamic and by extension, to the overall story.


The Characters- This part dealt mainly with the characters of Seto and Joan. After all the time spent on developing these characters, it feels like they've really come to life through their interactions and dialogue. To me, it feels like this is the point at which their introductions end and their arc begins.
Seto's possessiveness and borderline neediness show a certain vulnerability beneath the powerful exterior, and the exploration of his feelings towards mothers adds a certain glimpse into his psyche.
With Joan, it seems like she's at a point where she's torn between being overwhelmed by her current situation and really enjoying it.
With both of them, you've created a natural progression in feelings that doesn't feel rushed while maintaining a sense of authenticity.


The Imagery- As always, you've given enough imagery to form a vivid picture in the reader's mind without beating them over the head with it. From physical characteristics, to environments, to the excitement of an arena event, you've struck the balance between effective description that doesn't bog down the story.
Just a few examples of what I liked :

She kissed the ridges below his eyes, consolation for tears he refused to shed.

A woman with free-flowing blond hair that rivaled Dark Magician Girl's wig flounced up the aisle. Her tight purple bodice didn't allow her to bend into as many poses, but she made up for it by blowing even more kisses and flipping her luscious curls.

Mokuba's exotic cologne with cardamom and bergamot whetted her appetite...


Errors?- I'm always amazed by how you can crank out a piece of this size and have no flaws in the spelling, punctuation and grammar. And the amazement continues...no flaws!


Overall Impression- I'm completely clueless about the world of Duel Monsters, but I must admit I was totally drawn in to the chapter dealing with the tournament. It gave a wonderful air of excitement that nicely complemented the "private" excitements experienced by Seto and Joan.
The focus on the two and their complicated "relationship" added a more somber tone which gives the story a depth beyond the glamour and primal urges. Another well written piece...great stuff!


Scarecrow
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2
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Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Hello The Huntress ~ Autumn Calling . I just finished reading your piece A Diamond in the Dust for "Smiling Skies and thought I'd offer my two cents worth.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- This was a rather depressing take on thoughts of a "past-its-prime" hotel. The melancholy tone and reflections on grander days make this story seem like a memoir. The introduction of the hotel's "father" gives a feeling of hope and renewed purpose, only to be ripped away with the story's sad conclusion.


The Characters- The main character is the hotel. There's a bit of an arc here in its memories. In the first paragraph, there's a certain air of snobbery about it with its references to "blue- collar workers" and "small men". But as the story concludes, we see it as a forgotten relic who still maintains a certain grace and strength. I think what made this character work so well was the language choices you made. The hotel speaks with a refined eloquence that pairs well with the image of a grand, luxurious hotel.
The old man doesn't have a whole lot of substance, but that's ok. This was a personification contest and people are just meant to be props to move the story along. With that in mind though, you were able to wring some raw emotion from the hotel at the old man's appearance, and this gave a further depth ( and tragedy) to the overall character.


The Imagery- The imagery really popped on this one! Not only were you able to wonderfully convey the thoughts of the hotel, you also gave a detailed description of its perceptions of the outside world. This reviewer was able to conjure up images of the glory of the hotel's former self, the parties contained therein, and it's depressing, declining years all through your skillful word usage. Here's some of what I liked:

My elegance was known far and wide, the opulence of my countenance a marvel to behold

My existence was a Utopian epoch of bacchanalias that would have shamed the very height of Roman society...

No one stopped to gaze at me in awe anymore. I was invisible, grey, and sad.


Errors?- None that I could find *Wink*


Overall Impression- This was a touching and depressing look at the life of a hotel that also serves as a reminder of the ravages of time. It's somewhat of a cautionary tale to make the most of the good times while they last, because they won't forever. Well-written and emotionally stirring. Great job!


Scarecrow
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Review of Nobody's Shoe  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+
Hello Jimminycritic . I just finished reading your piece Nobody's Shoe for "Smiling Skies and thought I'd offer my two cents worth.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- This story had a little bit of everything and covered all the bases. You gave us an introduction followed by the protagonist's meditations on existence and past lives; a brief monologue on the slippers' lot in life and an out-of-nowhere ending that gave the whole thing a real punch.


The Characters- The shoe. What else is there to say, but that it's a thinking shoe. You've done a great job of developing this character into a somewhat tragic figure. The reflections on past forms and introspection on its current one give the shoe a certain noble thoughtfulness. This made its resignation at its own demise all the more sad.
I like how the shoe seems oblivious to the human world (apart from its love of feet). It's like the shoe is completely unaware of why people do the things they do, and is instead more internally focused. This makes sense given that shoes basically have just one purpose. What else do they have to do but sit around all day being introspective? *Smile*


The Imagery- I found the imagery to be a little light in this story. As far as descriptiveness goes. To be fair, the bulk of the tale is spent on expressing thoughts and feelings and so this story is more about conjuring up emotions than conjuring up images.
With that being said, there were some nice bits during the chase sequence that really amped up the final moments and brought the story out of the shoe's mind and into its perception of the world around it.

Errors?- I noticed a few little things:

During the "slippers paragraph", you wrote I suppose I should be bother by that. I think it should be...I suppose I shouldn't be bothered by that.

Also , near the end you wrote The yipping was defiantly getting closer... Did you mean to say definitely?

Other than that, the spelling, grammar and punctuation were all great!


Overall Impression- I like how this story was able to make me see shoes in a different light. The idea that they're a philosophical bunch makes sense now that I think about it. And you also gave the shoes a certain resigned dignity befitting of their purpose. This was a whirlwind of a story considering its length. Nicely done!


Scarecrow
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Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello K5Rakitan . As per your request, I just finished reading your piece Kaiba's Prostitute - Part 3 here's my review.


The Plot- The plot thickens, indeed! Part Three delves further into the lives of the characters, in particular, the characters of Joan, Seto and Mokumba. As the story progresses, I find it's becoming a lot more complicated (especially in the way the characters' emotions are developing), yet you're able to tell the story in a way that isn't confusing. I like the unpredictability of the triangle between Seto, Joan and Mokumba. At one point it seemed that Mokumba was in the lead for winning Joan's true affections, and then Seto and then maybe both were running a tie... in any event, you keep the story dynamic enough to maintain the reader's interest, without making it seem implausible. And that ain't bad for a story based on an anime *Smile*

The Characters- The main ones that caught my attention this part were the three mentioned above. Although Mokumba seems to have drifted a bit into the background-- both in the story and in Joan's mind-- he's still an integral part of the tale and I'm sure there's plenty more to come from him.
Front and center we have Seto and Joan. These characters have started to come to life in that you've really explored their thoughts in this part. I find it interesting the feelings that the two are beginning to feel for one another, and the inner conflict they both experience gave this reader some insight into their true characters.


The Imagery- The imagery is as always, on point. This seemed like a much more "cerebral" story and didn't have as much physical description as in other parts, but when you did go the physical route, it was expertly executed.

...a petite woman with olive skin and glossy black hair. She wore a midnight blue blazer and pencil skirt over a crisp white shirt. In just a sentence and a half, you were able to craft an image for the reader that covered all the bases!

A lot of the other imagery came from the emotions and sensations of the characters.

Mokuba felt time slow to a crawl. Red, gold, and green paraded through his mind's eye. He thought the kiss was still happening when he heard her speaking again.

She would never be that to him, never navigate that limbo punctuated by awkward moments the way she had to with so many others. Being an employee was much more straightforward, not to mention financially stable.

...all great stuff!


Errors?- I'm always surprised how in stories of this length, you're always able to have so few (or no) errors. There was one thing that stood out at me in Chapter 14 though. When Joan gets the hate message on Facebook, one of the lines reads Stop wreaking homes and buy yourself a clue!... Now I'm not sure if you meant to write wrecking, or if it was intended to be a typo in the sender's message. Kids these days often misspell or misuse words and I thought maybe this is meant as a reflection of that. I can't figure out if this is a mistake!


Overall Impression- This is a pretty meaty and interesting part to what's shaping up to be a pretty broad tale. Although it didn't carry the same tension or action as previous parts, it was still a well orchestrated piece of character work. With this kind of development, the reader gets a much better feel for the characters and moving forward can easily envision the players involved in the situations in which you'll place them. Awesome writing!


Scarecrow
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Review of What a night  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Sumojo . I just finished reading your piece What a Night and thought I'd offer my two cents worth. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- I found the plot in this story to be a little unusual. There didn't seem to be a chain of events leading up to the climax, which made it all the more shocking when it came. Instead, what you gave us was a "slice of life" sort of tale which outlined the unconnected experiences of one man's day. This gave it a feeling of authenticity as we follow along in his mundane tasks performed among the backdrop of a rain storm.


The Characters- The main focus is on Jim. As the story is told from his perspective, we don't get a good sense of his physical traits, but through his thoughts and actions, we get a good idea of his personality. He experiences a lot of things on this rainy day, from the aggravating (walking his dog) to the frightening (being a victim of a home invasion) but always seems to maintain a level-head. He's further fleshed out with a sense of duty (picking up his daughter in the storm) and as a calculated risk-taker (crossing the bridge). All in all, a rich character development in a short space. Nicely done.


The Imagery- I'm impressed by the simple yet effective imagery in this story. Without getting overly wordy, you're able to describe a scene in a way that the reader can truly envision. This keeps the story clipping along at a good pace without leaving the reader in the dark. It's the best of both worlds!
Here's some of what I liked:

The weather worsened as the evening approached, the windows rattled, rain beat a rhythm on the glass.

He drove slowly, crossing the boiling, raging torrent, relieved to get to the other side...

The rain bounced off the roof and gurgled down the drain pipes, but beneath all that noise he heard a clatter in the kitchen.


Errors?- The spelling and punctuation were great, but there were a few wording issues that sounded a bit off to me.
This first one could just be me, but my eyes kept getting drawn to this line because it just didn't sound quite right.

He could barely see out of the windscreen despite the wipers whipping back and forth, but still not fast enough to clear the relentless rain. ... It almost feels like this line is missing a few words making the last part of the sentence seem out of place. Again this is just my opinion, but I think it would sound a little smoother if it was something like ... whipping back and forth at a frantic pace, but still not fast enough...

Also, there was a line near the end of the story--It was during the night when he heard the sound of breaking glass above a crash of thunder and the bedroom was lit by a flash of lightening. I think the flow of the line would be a bit better if you changed the "and" to "as". So it would read ...he heard the sound of breaking glass above a crash of thunder as the bedroom was lit...

And that is all.


Overall Impression- I liked this story in that it wasn't told in a conventional way. One thing didn't lead to another, it was just a straight forward story about a man's day. It called to mind some of the writings of Shirley Jackson with its storytelling approach and abrupt ending. It's like you had a tale to tell and you told it how you wanted, and I admire that. Good job!


Scarecrow
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Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Ezekiel Stephens . I just finished reading your piece Audio-Visual Communication and thought I'd offer my two cents worth.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


The Plot- This was a really well-written and thought provoking tale about the direction in which the western world seems to be going. Our infatuation with technology and how it's begun to destroy our reality is explored with an almost unsettling undertone. I like how at the end the protagonist is transfixed by a natural appearance and in some ways finds it more attractive than the perfectly polished masses. It gives a nice message of staying true to oneself and avoiding becoming a "slave to the machine".

The Characters-The protagonist Calibri isn't particularly well fleshed out--by which I mean we don't get a very good idea of how he looks-- but due to the brevity of the story and the fact that it's told from his perspective it's not a tale-breaker.
Calibri as a character is explored more in his thoughts and impressions of the wired world and his appreciation of the "untouched" face on his screen goes a long way towards describing the type of person he is.


The Imagery- Great imagery throughout the story! You've managed to describe a utopia of physical perfection that seems cheap and artificial at the same time. There's something discomforting in the beauty described, most likely because it makes everyone seem as though they're wearing a mask. Which in a way, they are.


Errors?- I couldn't find any glaring errors with the spelling, grammar or punctuation here. Nicely done!


Overall Impression- I really liked this story for its portrayal of a future where no one is what they seem. The scary part is, it doesn't seem that far-fetched. Already we're seeing this tale becoming reality what with the advent of video-chatting and photo filters. It's getting so people are beginning to look like they're made of plastic; removing the flaws that make us all human. It should be interesting to look back on this story in a decade or so and see how much of it comes to pass. Awesome job *Smile*


Scarecrow
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Review of Torn  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Greetings elizjohn ! I've chosen to review your poem on behalf of the PDG reviewing group.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


Initial Impression- This is a powerfully written and perfectly articulated piece of poetry. Each line describes what seems like an OK relationship, followed by a line describing one that could be even better. Not for material gain or status, but for basic primal desire. This contrast works wonderfully in illustrating how the heart wants what it wants.


How's The Flow?- For the most part, you keep the flow nice and tight, but there were a few spots where I stumbled a bit. In the first verse, the line I’m unsteady on my feet seems to be just a touch long to flow with the preceding line. Perhaps another word could be substituted for "unsteady" (for example rocked), which would tighten up the flow without losing the initial thought.
Then in the third verse, the line But you’re my secret distraction again seems long in relation to the rest of the piece. I feel that dropping the word "secret" would improve the flow with a minimal effect on the overall poem.


The Rhymes- (where applicable) A lot of the rhymes were what I call "near-rhymes" (truth/absolute, passion/distraction) which is fine and dandy by me. I'm not a stickler for perfectly precise rhyming, but there was an attempt to rhyme "angel" with "devil" that was too far off and just didn't sound right. This is one of those tricky areas where it would be almost impossible to swap out the words while keeping with what you want to say, so I guess I'm just going to have to deal with it! *Wink*


Imagery- This poem is interesting in that it isn't overly descriptive, yet it still conjures up some rather strong emotions from the reader. All the points you make about the "man of her life" describe the type of guy that a lot of women would like to have, but the points made about the "man of her dreams" transcend that level and enter into the realm of fantasy-come-true. Such a clear outline of what each has to offer places the reader into the authour's mindset and relays an understanding of the difficult choices to be made along the path of love.


Errors/ Suggestions- Apart from the few minor rhythm and rhyme issues I mentioned above, I could find no flaws.


Overall-This poem struck a chord with me since I've often been on the wrong side of the love triangle. It helped to show that sometimes it's not so much that the guy is guilty of any wrong doing, but that he lacks the excitement or doesn't leave the same impression as the other. It also showed that the fallout from such scenarios doesn't only affect the heartbroken, but can be a struggle for the one doing the choosing. Better still is the fact that with a few pronoun changes, this poem could easily apply to any and all human relationships. Love is a fertile ground for creativity, and your crop has come in beautifully. Fantastic writing!




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Review by Scarecrow
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello K5Rakitan . As requested, here is a review for Kaiba's Prostitute - Part 2. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- And the plot thickens! Or at least it develops. I liked how you've further developed the characters from part one, and even introduced a new one in the dynamic Duke Devlin. I found the first part was much more character driven, whereas this one was propelled forward by the story. There's plenty of excitement and action throughout to keep the reader interested while maintaining a cohesive (although somewhat intricate) story-line. I really liked the addition of musical selections to accompany the reading. Although I think my speed wasn't quite in sync, I did find it made for an immersive reading experience.


The Characters- As I mentioned above, you did a great job developing the characters further in this part, although I must admit that the relationship between Seto and Mokuba went in a different direction than I anticipated. Not that there's anything wrong with that, in fact, I rather enjoyed the turn around. I like how you were able to show the differences between them by describing each of their encounters with Joan. While Mokuba was a meek and awkward gentleman, Seto was the aggressive and dominant type (or at least, he tried to be). A very interesting family dynamic.
I also like how you had Joan express some of her desires and the fact that she's married. This gives her a depth and complexity beyond what you'd expect from a typical portrayal of a prostitute.
And there's something about how you described Roland in this part that really brought his character forward. His loyalty, reliability and fearlessness are all on display here and for me, he really seemed to stand out in his appearances here. I sure hope he's OK.
Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention Duke Devlin. Again, I'm clueless about Yu-Gi-Oh! so I'm not sure if this is what the character is like in that universe, but you've certainly introduced us to an arrogant yet charismatic, dashing yet slimy character in him. I can see him becoming the antagonist that I previously expected from Seto.
You're really starting to bring in a lot of characters, but you've managed to give them each a very distinctive personality which gives a greater depth to the overall story. Awesome stuff!


The Imagery- As in Part One, your show a definite skill in describing an environment, character and mood. Each part deals with a significantly different theme ( the intimacy of each of the brothers' encounters with Joan; the professionalism of the Developers Summit; the depravity of the nightclub), yet you've managed to switch between them effortlessly and with an economy of words that doesn't overwhelm the reader.


Errors?- I usually have an eagle eye for these type of things, but I couldn't find anything wrong with your punctuation, spelling or grammar. Which is quite a feat for a story of this size. Usually at least a typo sneaks in there...but not here *Wink*


Overall Impression- This was a great progression of the story in that it went in a direction I didn't expect and introduced someone new to further shake things up. If Part One was laying the foundation, Part Two has certainly begun construction on a sure-to-be impressive structure. And probably even more so for someone who's actually familiar with the Yu-Gi-Oh! world. Fantastic job!


Scarecrow
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9
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Review by Scarecrow
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello K5Rakitan . I just finished reading your piece Kaiba's Prostitute and thought I'd offer my two cents worth. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I'm completely clueless about the world of Yu-Gi-Oh. But that may work out better since I won't be one of these purists who takes issue with the way you use the characters, and instead will just focus on the story itself.
With that being said, I found this to be a pretty complex story, but presented in a way that is easy to follow. Mostly focusing on characters, this tale weaves a rich tapestry of the personal and professional lives of its cast and lays a solid groundwork for a story of love, loss and intrigue.


The Characters- You've introduced a fair number of characters, yet you've given them all a distinct function and personality which makes the world that you've created seem more real.
The main focus seems to be on Joan and Marc. They have an unconventional but seemingly happy relationship and their dialogue and interactions underscore that fact. The story so far shows Joan to be a strong and independent woman, but I could see how her loyalties and morals could be shaken up as the story progresses.
The other two characters that really stood out for me were Seto and Mokuba. These brothers appear to be cut from different cloths and the tension and borderline animosity they feel towards one another gives the impression of a powder keg waiting to be set off.


The Imagery- Your word usage was excellent in conveying a scene in which the reader can be immersed. When Joan accompanies Marc into the office, I got a real sense of the hustle and bustle of a modern workplace. When the pair go shopping, I could almost feel the stuffy atmosphere and snooty clerk's contempt. Even the descriptions of Joan's outfits leave little to the imagination and help the reader to visualize exactly what you want us to.

Just a few tidbits of the stuff I liked...

The tall, Filipino descendant of Genghis Khan strode towards her on the platform, a prince of this urban jungle.

Daggers of ice shot from Seto’s gaze as traumatic memories of ancient Egyptian hooligans with magical 24-karat gold artifacts flashed through his mind.

An actual security guard arrived and sized up the two hulking men plus the woman in boots as tough as his.

Errors?- Surprisingly, for a story of this length, I could find no flaws with your punctuation or spelling. There was just one little grammar issue, and a few continuity errors that left me a tad befuddled.

In chapter three, there's a line from Roland that goes “Think all you want. I’m not at liberty to disclose anything without Mr. Kaiba’s express permission, and one of those few things I’m allowed to say is that he’s not gay.”... This sounded a little clunky whereas he says he can't disclose anything but then goes on to disclose something. I feel it would make more sense if the line went “Think all you want. I’m not at liberty to disclose much of anything without Mr. Kaiba’s express permission, but one of those few things I’m allowed to say is that he’s not gay.”

In chapter four, after the shopping excursion when Marc gets the call about Mokuba's intentions, Joan says, "I thought he was monogamous." This confused me a bit as the story went on and we find out that Mokuba not only doesn't have a wife, he doesn't even have a girlfriend. Isn't monogamy when you stick with one partner? Mokuba's personal life seems to be more of an asexual one than monogamous.

Another part that threw me for a loop was in the fifth chapter when Joan tells Mokuba about he and his brother only being her second and third clients, but then a little further down in the chapter it references her "refraining from mentioning her other guys". If she's only had three clients, and Mokuba knows two of them, it doesn't seem like there's really that many "other guys" to talk about. Unless of course she was fudging her numbers to keep from overwhelming poor Mokuba.


Overall Impression- I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this bit of fan fiction. I usually stay away from stories of this type since I fear getting lost in the narrative, but you made this tale accessible even to a clueless reviewer like me. You paint the lives of sex workers and polyamory in a way that is very down to earth and drives home the understanding that beneath our exteriors, we're all just people. A solid start to what could be a gripping tale, or it can stand as is and be left up to the reader's imagination as to where the characters shall go. Great job!


Scarecrow
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10
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Review of What I Fear  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Greetings Sir Zesto ! I've chosen to review your poem on behalf of the PDG reviewing group.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


Initial Impression- I love the chronology of this piece. Each verse takes the reader through a different stage of life by outlining the fears as they develop over time. What makes this so effective is that most everything you've listed is a fear that everyone has experienced and to which they can relate.


How's The Flow?- This is a free-verse style of poem, and as such, no structured rhythm was expected. With that being said, I found the repetition of ...what I fear at the end of each verse gave a certain structure to the piece. When you deviated from this in the last two verses, I found it slightly tripped up the overall feel of the poem.


The Rhymes- (where applicable) Again, whereas this is a free-verse poem, no rhymes were really expected.


Imagery- The imagery doesn't particularly smack you in the face, it sort of gets into your head and smolders. Through just a few words, you call up basic images for the readers to build upon from their own memories. Almost like you're saying " Remember this?"
Very effective imagery in very few words. Word economy at its best!


Errors/ Suggestions- As far as spelling, grammar and punctuation, I could find no flaws.
However, as I mentioned above, the overall flow of the poem suffers a bit from the alteration in the final lines of the final two verses. I feel like this poem would be rock solid if you were to somehow work '...what I fear' or even '...I fear' into those lines.
I can't really suggest something for the second last verse that would maintain what you wanted to say, but if the final line were something like Now, nothing do I fear or No more will I fear it would be keep in line with the rest of the poem.


Overall- I liked this poem because it was so accessible. Your straight-forward presentation and excellent word choices make it so anyone could read this and relate to it (except for the death part, I suppose). Great job!




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Review of The Ocean  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Greetings Spencer James ! I've chosen to review your poem on behalf of the PDG reviewing group. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


Initial Impression- I came across this poem on the Review Request page where you wondered if it was only meaningful to you or if there was a more universal appeal. Well, I can say that it only took me the first few lines before I found myself relating to what you had to say. I live not too far from the shore and have found myself enjoying these same types of feelings while staring out at the vastness of the Atlantic. Maybe your poem wouldn't affect a main-lander as much, but I think anyone who has spent time with the ocean will find meaning within it.


How's The Flow?- This poem has a certain loose structure to it that seems to defy classification. The brief opening line of the main verses keep the poem from falling into too rigid of a structure while the rest of the verse keeps a fairly tight flow giving the overall piece a certain lyrical quality. Especially with the short and concise refrain after the verses.


The Rhymes- (where applicable) To be honest, I wasn't sure this was a rhyming poem until I got to the second verse. Some of the rhymes in the first were a little off from being "true rhymes". For example: beach/keys, whole/home. This wouldn't be a really big deal, but in comparison to the precision of the rhymes in your second verse it seems a little inconsistent.


Imagery- The imagery in this poem is a little light, but at the same time you give enough detail to set the scene which allows the reader to imagine the rest. Certain key words set a darker tone, especially in the second verse ( regrets, pain) which give the poem a definite personal touch but one to which many can relate.


Errors/ Suggestions- I could find nothing out of place. *Bigsmile*


Overall- This was a somber and somewhat depressing poem, but there was something about the idea of the eternal ebb and flow of the ocean current carrying one's ashes across time that has an infinite yet peaceful vibe to it. There's an odd sense of hopefulness amidst the bleakness of it all... from an objective universal point of view. A "food for thought" poem. Nice stuff!




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Review of Fantasy  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Greetings LazyWriter ! I've chosen to review your as a way of welcoming you into the fold of the PDG reviewing group. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


Initial Impression- This struck me as a rather unconventional poem, given it's loose structure and random rhymes, but that's what seemed to draw me in all the more. There's something almost theatrically lyrical (and I mean that as a compliment) about your word choice and pacing...it makes me think of a soliloquy.


How's The Flow?- The flow doesn't particularly fit into any style of which I'm aware. To be fair, I'm not aware of all the forms, but I would consider this a free-verse style of poem. But the linear and concise delivery of the individual lines give the impression of listening to someone's words instead of reading them. Nice stuff!


The Rhymes- (where applicable) Free-verse doesn't follow any rules! And your poem follows this rule *Wink* I like the intermittent rhymes that do pop up from time to time. It's almost like you use them as punctuation or for emphasis which lends the overall piece a truly personal feel.


Imagery- What works with the imagery in this poem is that the first verse contains such vibrant description like In my mind's eye I see exotic foods and exquisite delights,/ Races of people with skin like sapphires and fiery eyes, and then the second verse lacks almost any imagery at all. This keeps with the theme of the second verse and counters the first verse's flights of fancy quite well. Topping it off, you get back to the vividness in the third with lines like I'll whip out a page and spin a story. /Saturated in fantasy with a spirited storyline. The back and forth is wonderfully effective at bringing the reader along for the highs and lows of reality vs. fantasy. Well done!


Errors/ Suggestions- I couldn't really find anything amiss with the spelling, grammar or punctuation. I have nothing to suggest.


Overall- At first glance, I found this to be a well-written and nice little poem. As I read through it further over the course of the review, I found a certain depth and flow to the overall piece that shows your skill not at writing a poem, but more in constructing it. Or do I mean composing? In any event, this is one heck of a poem. Great job!




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Review of Forever Dream  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello ForeverDreamer . Welcome to the ranks of the PDG! As a welcoming present, I've decided to review one of your pieces. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


The Plot- What a roller coaster of a ride! The repetition of the protagonist experiencing something horrible only to awake to something worse made for a gripping and engaging read. Generally with stories of this type, I try to figure out where it's going to go, but by the time I was halfway through, I resigned myself to letting the story take me where it would... and was quite pleased by the "ending".


The Characters- There's the unnamed protagonist, and that's about it. The physical descriptions were lacking, but since this story is told from his point of view, it would have been hard to work it in. Besides, you more than make up for it in the exploration of his experiences, thoughts and the soul-crushing torment he feels at the dissolution of his family. I could feel his pain which led to a large degree of sympathy for the fellow.


The Imagery- The imagery is like something out of a contemporary version of Dante's Inferno. Every experience is described by the protagonist in gruesome and horrifying detail until the reader is left with feelings of hopelessness and eternal pain.
Here are just a few of the highlights:

I could feel the ocular fluid flash into steam as my eyes burst out of my head.

She licked me with her eel-like tongue before she slid it down my throat in a passionate and disgusting kiss.

Very vivid, and quite disturbing.

Errors?- One thing I find always helps to make a story seem less imposing on the page is to put a space between the paragraphs. It's no big deal really, more of an aesthetic thing.

- Also, down in the sixth paragraph, The other clambers and guides were nowhere to be seen. I believe the word is climbers.


Overall Impression- I really enjoyed this story. As I mentioned it reminded me of Dante's Inferno with a little Groundhog Day thrown in for good measure. There's a certain level of skill required to make a "full circle" type of story like this and you've shown yours in a spectacular way. If this story was an experiment, I would say the experiment was a smashing success. Fantastic job!


Scarecrow
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Review of Fog  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hello William Stafford . Since you're a new addition to the PDG, I thought I'd offer my two cents worth on your short story, Fog. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- There are few things that set a spooky stage as well as the fog. I found the plot to be a little predictable, but given the title and byline of the story, one wouldn't expect a bright and cheery tale. I think what makes this tale unique is the way in which it was told.


The Characters- The main characters are the unnamed protagonist and Bobby the date. Not a whole lot of descriptive imagery is present here which makes it difficult for the reader to envision their appearance. But certain personality traits-- like Bobby's " I'll get us out of this" machismo or the protagonist's more level-headed and patient approach-- give us a glimpse into their characters. I also found your use of internal dialogue and perceptions really served to flesh out the main protagonist.


The Imagery- Although character description was a little light, I found the rest of your imagery to be quite successful in describing the creepiness of the environment.

Here's a few examples of the stuff I liked which really expressed the discomfort and uneasiness:

... I hear a sound. A rustling. A breath on the leaves. A crunch. Then nothing.

I’m cold. Wet and cold. Scared, wet and cold. It’s too quiet. Then I hear it.

My feet barely leave the ground as I feel my way along the path. Shapes start to form and I realize I’m near the buildings.


Errors?- Just a few little odds and ends.

- After the protagonist makes it to the truck and sees no sign of Bobby, they think He must have been here, but why would he leave.-- I feel this sentence should end with a question mark.

- Almost at the end, there's a line that goes...I pull away and run to the truck as the office rips my sleeve trying to stop me. -- A few things here. If the protagonist was already at the truck, how could they run to the truck? It would seem to make more sense as I pull away for a better look... or I pull towards the back of the truck....
Also, you misspelled officer.


Overall Impression- I found this to be a short and sweet (maybe not so sweet) little tale about a young couple getting worse than lost in the fog. I understand that this was written for a contest, and as such the light character development is understandable. This story is a great demonstration of your skills at creating and describing an environment in which the reader can be fully immersed. Keep it up!


Scarecrow
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Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E
Greetings Baloney Bill ! I see you're a new addition to the ranks of the PDG. As a welcoming present, here is a review. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


Initial Impression- With winter unmistakably on the wane, I felt adventurous enough to look at your poem, and wow, you definitely caught the vibe of childhood excitement in this one! The fast pace and multiple activities described really brought me back to a time when I didn't have to concern myself with shoveling or road conditions and could just enjoy the snow.


How's The Flow?- Being that this is a free verse poem, there isn't much structure to be expected. But at the same time, you've created a rhythm that is quite unique (even by free verse standards) and serves the poem perfectly. I love the lack of periods throughout the poem until the very end. It gives the whole piece that over-stimulated vibe that makes me think of a child recounting his or her day's adventures with breathless excitement.


The Rhymes- (where applicable) Again, since the is a free verse style of poem, I didn't expect any rhymes.


Imagery- It's hard to pin-point any imagery in particular that stands out because the whole poem is basically one big description of a day! I usually highlight the parts I like for reference, but I would have to highlight the whole poem. I especially like how most of the themes you touched on are universal enough to apply to anyone who had a childhood in a northern climate and as such make it very relatable to the reader. It certainly echoed this reader's childhood!


Errors/ Suggestions- Nary a one to be found with the spelling, grammar or punctuation. Great work!


Overall- Yup, I can't find a flaw in this particular poem. It's funny how after a miserable winter, you'd think I'd want to forget about snow, but this piece recalled the softer, gentler memories of a bygone time. Thanks for the memories. I'd give it five stars if I could *Smile*




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Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello Shawn Odette . I just finished reading your piece Mr. Walters Catches a Demon and thought I'd offer my two cents worth on behalf of the PDG Reviewers Group. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- Yikes, what a roller coaster ride! I spent the whole story waiting and hoping for the demon to appear, and as the story was coming to an end, I began to fear that it wasn't going to show up. But then, at the eleventh hour, the demon appeared, and I could breathe again. It seems odd to be hoping for a demon, but the alternative in this context would have been almost too shocking! Great job on bringing the reader to the very brink!


The Characters- Than main character Mr. Walters is quite well fleshed out considering the brevity of the story. You were able to explore some of his physical traits, his memories, thoughts and even certain mundane actions such as the care with with he sets down his coffee or adjusting his hearing aid. These all combine together to make a full and believable character.

The other is the girl/demon. You've made for a sympathetic character in her with physical description and her pleas for help. The fact I felt pity for her shows how convincing you were able to make her as a victim without giving away a hint of her true colours...until the very end.


The Imagery- The story is full of wonderful (and disturbing) imagery that really brings the story to life. From the opening description of Mr. Waters enjoying his cup of coffee to the demon's fiery demise, and all points in between, you've painted a very vivid picture for the reader to enjoy.


Errors?- I found a few little minor details that grabbed my attention.

- In the fifth paragraph, there's a line that goes... his wife made years, perhaps more than a decade ago now that he thinks about it, ago. The double use of the word "ago" seems a little clunky. Maybe if you left out one of them and wrapped the whole thing in parentheses it would work a bit better? Something like...his wife made years (perhaps more than a decade, now that he thinks about it) ago.

- In the sixth paragraph, there's a line that goes... Mr. Walters was amazed at how quickly this one was to take down. I feel it would sound better as... how quickly this one was taken down.

- In the seventh paragraph, "Well, well," said Mr. Walters, "what do you have to say for yourself"? I'm no expert on quotation marks, but I'm pretty sure if there's a break in the dialogue, you resume with an uppercase. So even though it technically follows a comma, the word What should be capitalized.

- And in the thirteenth paragraph, and asked for their wives, husbands, boyfriend, girlfriends, sibling, and such. I believe it should be siblings.


Overall Impression- I really enjoyed the well articulated and unsettling feel to this story. I ran the gamut of emotions on this one. The bulk of the story had me feeling disturbed and almost repulsed, which made the story's conclusion and Mr. Walters reaction to said conclusion seem almost comedic by comparison. Fantastic job!


Scarecrow
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Review of Sleepless  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Greetings mix n match ! I've chosen to review your poem on behalf of the PDG reviewing group.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


Initial Impression- I love the witty, upbeat and sprightly tone of this poem. Lately I've been reading a lot of somber poetry, so this was a much needed boost to see me through the gloom of winter.


How's The Flow?- The flow is amazing in your piece. At no point did I stumble with the rhythm, due mainly to the way in which you've chosen to word each line. it's all so zippy! And you made it seem so effortless. If most poems are a lazy river, then this one is a white-water rafting expedition! Awesome job!


The Rhymes- (where applicable) Great job in the rhymes as well. I especially liked some of the uncommon and unexpected choices (speeding/heeding, hesitate/investigate and cricket/wicket). I also admire how you made all the words rhyme without making it seem forced.


Imagery- The imagery used in this piece is both broad enough to appeal to all sorts of readers and unique to you as the authour. This makes the piece feel like a shared experience and allows for the reader to contemplate the things that keep them up at night.


Errors/ Suggestions- The spelling and grammar were all great, but there were a few little punctuation errors that popped out at me. In the third line, there's a space between the word "three" and the period that doesn't need to be there. There's a similar issue in the seventeenth line where there's an unnecessary space between "radio" and the comma.

The other issues I had were more in presentation. For instance, the title at the top could be put in bold. It would also make it pop more if the title and body of the poem were separated with a space.

And speaking of spacing, I was a little confused by your choice in verse lengths. The space between the first and last verse seems a little random and confusing, and chops up the poem. Perhaps spacing it out more evenly ( every six lines or so?) would give it a more refined structure.


Overall- I really enjoyed the quirky humour found in this poem. Between that and the tight rhymes and rhythm, you've created a truly entertaining and relatable piece. Fantastic job!




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Review of What's self-hate?  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Greetings John ! I've chosen to review your poem on behalf of the PDG reviewing group. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



Initial Impression- This was a rather jarring exploration of the thoughts and feelings that plague the mind of a self-loathing individual. The bleakness with which you've approached the subject along with the lack of any final positive outlook gives a raw and unflinching presentation to the reader. This gives the poem a depressing authenticity.


How's The Flow?- This poem straddles the line between a free-verse and structured poem. Something I like to call a "stream-of-consciousness" poem. Although there isn't any particular structure to the rhythm, you maintain a certain lyrical quality throughout which made me think of beat-poetry from the 50's and 60's or the lyrics of Bob Dylan.


The Rhymes- Again, the rhymes to be found aren't in any set pattern, but they are there. I like how you've chosen to rhyme sporadically, it makes each pairing seem like finding a little treasure along the way! It also seems to emphasize the emotions involved when the rhymes are random. Plus, it fits in well with the stream-of-consciousness rhythm.


Imagery- As a person who experiences self-hatred on a pretty regular basis, I can relate to the feelings expressed here. Through the use of metaphor, symbolism and simile, you've managed to explain the intangible in a way that is understandable to someone who doesn't suffer with the same affliction. The feelings of despair, torment and being overwhelmed are all quite well represented here.


Errors/ Suggestions- I had a few issues with the first few lines. For starters, when you said "slamming the breaks", did you mean "brakes"? Part of me thinks it's a play on words, but I can't figure out the play. Also, when you say "60 on the 20", are you referring to miles per hour? If so, I feel it would make more sense if it were "60 in the 20". "On the 20" makes me think it's a highway number.

- There's a few uppercase words in odd spots that left me bewildered. I can understand the capitalization of "Embarrassment" and "Shame" ( I often capitalize emotions as well), but I can't figure out why you capitalized "Flowering".

- A few of the lines also left me scratching my head. For example...by sue and shooting, or ...like a stupid disaster peace. This poem feels like a literary form of venting, and like verbal venting, sometimes things come out that don't really make much sense. This works in the context of the piece, but at the same time, tends to act as a bit of a hurdle to the reader as they try and sort out the meaning.

- There's a line in that last verse...was left, dusting in those old drawers. I understand what you meant, but I feel that gathering dust or collecting dust would make more sense. " Dusting" makes me think that your sense of self and spirituality are doing housework. *Wink*


Overall- I can appreciate this poem for it's lack of an upbeat conclusion. For a lot of people, there isn't any sense of hope and this piece is an accurate reflection of that. I also like the Coleridge reference at the end. Nicely done!




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Review of Open Mic Night  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello 💙 Carly - Happy 2022! . Since you've just had a birthday, I'm offering up a review as a sort of belated birthday gift. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- As an amateur musician, I found this story to be an accurate take on the emotional roller-coaster that comes in the moments leading up to a performance. In fact, it sums up the feelings so well that I'm led to believe that this story is auto-biographical in nature. Either that or you have some sort of empathic abilities!


The Characters- The main character is well fleshed out in a mental sense; Her non-stop thoughts throughout the tale give the reader an insight into the anxiety, uncertainty and "butterflies" that most performers face at some point or another. There wasn't much in the way of physical description (or even a name, for that matter), but given that this is a first-person perspective, it works regardless.
There are a few supporting characters (Levi, the parents) and they all serve their purpose in moving the tale along without too much detail bogging it down.


The Imagery- This story had a very in-the-moment vibe to it. The protagonist's detailed description of the nervousness she feels almost eclipses any description of her surroundings, but again this rings true. From my experience, those steps to the stage are quite introspective and the crowd and their response are almost secondary to the chaos in my head. Until the wheels get rollin' anyway.


Errors?- There wasn't anything amiss with the spelling, grammar and punctuation, but for one spot that didn't seem quite right to me.
Just before she starts her set, you wrote Without looking out into the crowd, a full house, I had heard someone say, I pulled in a calming breath ... it almost seems to me that this line would flow better if you put parentheses around the middle part. Without looking out into the crowd ( a full house, I had heard someone say), I pulled in a calming breath...maybe it's just me though. *Wink*


Overall Impression- I'm amazed at how good of a job you've done with illustrating the thoughts that go through some people's heads prior to a performance. Despite the enjoyment that generally comes from a successful set, there's a whole nerve-wracking anxiousness that precedes it, which you've nailed. Fantastic job!


Scarecrow
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Review of Just Me  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Greetings Reggie B ! I came across your poem on the "Review Request" page and have chosen to send you a review on behalf of the PDG reviewing group. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


Initial Impression- I liked the basic, underlying message of staying true to yourself that runs throughout the piece. If there's one thing that I've learned as I've grown older, it's that it doesn't matter so much how others feel about you, but how you feel about yourself. If you can be content with who you are at the end of the day, no matter what life throws at ya, then who cares what others think.


How's The Flow?- You mentioned that this is your first poem, and it shows a bit in the flow of your piece. Fortunately it's a pretty simple fix.
This definitely is classified as a free-verse style of poem, and as such there isn't really a defined rhythm or flow, but at the same time, the way it's laid out makes for a bit of a tricky read. I find a poem is easier to digest if you keep the lines somewhat uniform-- basically chop what you have into bite-sized snippets. I'll illustrate what I mean with your first verse :

When I was a girl, I was just me. I lived in my own imaginary world.
So called friends would tease, and others would laugh.
But I was content with being just me.


... now with a little bit of cut and paste :

When I was a girl, I was just me.
I lived in my own imaginary world.
So called friends would tease,
and others would laugh.
But I was content with being just me.


Nothing has to be rewritten, just move some words around is all. *Smile*


The Rhymes- (where applicable) Since this is what I would call a free-verse poem, no rhymes are really expected, so I guess this doesn't apply.


Imagery- The imagery is a little light, but given the subject of the poem, I wasn't expecting waving, flowery meadows and fragrant, cherry blossoms. This seems more of an introspective piece, and as such, you've focused more on experiences as a whole instead of wordy descriptions of the experiences. This works well in the context of the poem, although I feel there could be a bit more detail regarding how you tried to live up to society's norms, but were happier just being yourself.


Errors/ Suggestions- Apart from the things already mentioned, I found no flaws in the grammar, spelling or punctuation.


Overall- I liked the positive message that comes from so many negative experiences. I think this could be a really inspirational poem for someone who doesn't know where they fit in the grand scheme of things and could help them to understand it's ok to be who they are. Unless they're an axe-murderer or something I suppose. But anyway, nice job on your first poem, and keep on being the poetic you *Wink*





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Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Greetings WriterAtHeart ! I came across your poem on the "Review Request" page and am offering my feedback on behalf of the PDG reviewing group.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


Initial Impression- There's a certain bleakness to this poem to which I can relate. I like how each verse represents a different stage of a thunderstorm while at the same time works as symbolism for a relationship gone wrong.


How's The Flow?- I found the flow to be a bit choppy in places. It has a structured poem kind of feel, but the rhythm gets in the way of a smooth and flowing read. This can be fixed rather easily by adding or subtracting words. I usually count the syllables in each line to keep things tight; this isn't a fool-proof method, but it works most of the time. For example, the first few lines of the poem ( She always have bunch of people to roam/ Yet, her soul wanders alone.) would flow a bit better with a few tweaks to the first line. Maybe something like: There's many with whom she can roam/ Yet, her soul wanders alone.

The rest of the poem is almost there as far as rhythm, but it could use a little attention to word choice and syllable count to make the flow more consistent.


The Rhymes- (where applicable) The rhymes for the most part were well done, but the rhyme scheme is a bit off. Nothing major, but in the second and third verse, you follow a AABB pattern, but in the fourth you went with a ABAB scheme. I found this also made a smooth read through a little choppy.


Imagery- As I mentioned above, I like how you used the rain as a metaphor. The second verse's reference to a dark and cloudy night and "roaring,loud" voices suggested trouble on the horizon; the full on assault of the storm as described in the third verse works well in juxtaposition with the end of a relationship, and the cleansing rain of the fourth verse symbolized (to this reader) the tears of acceptance. For such a quick and simple piece, you've really done a great job of merging a thunder storm and a break-up into one cohesive piece!


Errors/ Suggestions- Apart from what I mentioned above regarding rhythm and flow, I couldn't find any grammar, punctuation or spelling issues.


Overall- I like how you framed your poem with the same lines at the beginning and end. It gives the poem a certain cyclical feel that implies the female subject will heal and carry on, albeit in a dismal and lonely existence. Certainly not a feel good poem, but it's definitely an honest one. Nice job!





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Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello Seffi . I see your WDC anniversary is upon us and so I thought I'd send a review your way on behalf of the PDG. Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- I always like a story as told from a different perspective, and this one did a bang-up job of conveying fear and uncertainty. Something as innocent as a fireworks display is no big deal to those with an understanding of it, but to an ignorant observer, it would seem confusing and alarming. You did a wonderful job expressing those feelings.


The Characters- The main one to speak of is Toby, the protagonist. You've wonderfully articulated his thoughts on what appears to be a ceaseless, catastrophic onslaught. I got a real sense of panic as I read his interpretations of the scene around him and worried about what was to come. Turns out it was just some fireworks.
The physical descriptions were a little light; it seems there was just enough information to let me know he was even a dog! ( He was a dog,right?) This seems to work well in the story, though. If we knew all along then a lot of the mystery and emotional impact of the tale would be lost.


The Imagery-The imagery is quite well executed. You've worded the story in a way that keeps the reader guessing as to what is happening ( I thought it was a war story as told from a civilian's perspective) right up until the end.
Considering that this is only a five hundred word short, you've done surprisingly well at making the most of every word. The descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells of the environment take the reader to the scene without becoming overly wordy. A much heftier narrative than its size would suggest. Awesome stuff!


Errors?- I can't really see any issues with the spelling, grammar or punctuation in this story. I was going to call you out for the phrase raft of explosions, but after a quick Google search, it turns out that 'raft" can be used in this way. So, thanks for introducing me to a new use for the word *Bigsmile*


Overall Impression- This was definitely an interesting exploration of how different eyes see different things. As humans growing into adulthood, we lose a lot of the fear of the unknown as experience and living teaches us to be more fearful of the known. Your story reminded this reviewer of a simpler time when my most terrifying experience was a thunderstorm. Nice job on a different POV!

Scarecrow
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Review of A Place Of Refuge  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello Robert Edward Baker . I just finished reading your piece and thought I'd offer my two cents worth.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.



The Plot- I always love a good post-apocalyptic tale and this one was right up my alley. The idea of a meteor strike causing widespread destruction isn't particularly a new one, but I found the mention of a frozen Texas wasteland a little jarring which drove home the point of just how extreme the changes could be.
And that ending! I was completely unprepared for the story's conclusion, but as soon as India said, “I wish he was an animal. I really wanna eat.", a morbid grin spread across my face as I knew where the story was going.
Great job all around!


The Characters- The main characters of Naomi and India are well done. We see Naomi's fierce strength and survival instinct throughout which makes for an impressive female lead. India comes across as a believable tot, especially with her inquisitiveness when the books come out.
For both of these characters I liked how it seemed more attention was spent on their bundled up appearances. It really underscores the stark and unforgiving climate of a post-strike winter.
Even the two bad guys were effectively written. Just by virtue of their dialogue and intentions I got a good sense of the beastly thugs they were.


The Imagery- You did a nice job describing a hostile environment. Mention of ferocious wind and perpetual dust cloud cover produced an image of a planet no longer recognizable as our own. This gave a bleak and barren feel that went well with the theme of the story.
The description of the basement sanctuary was also effective in that you described the room in great detail. The homey (although abandoned) feel of the place served to illustrate the contrast between it and the outside world as well as reminding the reader that the things that are common to us have become rare in the world you've created.


Errors?- I noticed a few little things here and there:

- 6th paragraph, India says “Is it a bunker? Like the one we hid in when the rocks fell.”... It's like the second part is a continuation of the question and not a statement and as such, there should be a question mark after "fell".

- 11th paragraph ( when they first gain access to the basement), you describe a A huge stone fireplace, and in the next sentence a A huge television. I feel it would be better if you swapped out one of the "huges". Especially since there are so many other words than can convey size; massive, giant, monstrous, gargantuan and so on!

- 33rd paragraph (shortly after the bad guys' arrival), one of the men says “See that. That there’s a boot print."... In this case it seems like the first part is a question and the second a statement. So it would make more sense if it started with “See that?"


Overall Impression- I greatly enjoyed this gruesome little tale. All throughout you were able to keep it moving at a brisk pace without missing any important information. Great descriptiveness worked to immerse me into the environment and gave me a sense of sympathy for the characters' struggles.
That ending though...like I said, I did not see it coming at all, and that made it all the more delightfully disturbing. Awesome stuff!


Scarecrow
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Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hello Pepper loving NanoWriMo! . I just finished reading your piece The Wrong Side of the Bed and thought I'd offer my two cents worth.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


The Plot- I love these types of "time-stamp" stories where the action is chronologically detailed. Whether marked in minutes, days or seasons, I find this writing style helps to draw in the reader. It gives more context to the proceedings.
I got a real kick out of the unfortunate events that befell our protagonist. I think everyone has had a day where everything has gone wrong, and this story proves that it is funnier when it happens to someone else.
One thing that threw me for a bit of a loop was the vampire references. I understand the dream part, but then there's mention of her eyeing her boyfriend's neck "just in case". Is this to suggest that she was still sleep-groggy and unsure of whether it was really a dream after all? Then later in the story she notices the unusually sharp eye-teeth of her boss. Is this a throwback to the dream? Did it have such an effect on her that she's seeing vampirism everywhere? I kept expecting some sort of gore-soaked climax, but it just seemed to end on a somewhat sardonic note. A fine ending, it's just the vampire thing confused me a tad.

The Characters- The main one, Kasey Leighman is a well fleshed out character, indeed. From the moment we meet her, she's described in a physical detail that allows the reader to visualize her quite well. As the day gets progressively worse (in short order), her almost cynical resignation gives an insight into her personality, which is one of toughness and perseverance.
The other two, (Jack and Mr. Granger) are also exceptionally envisioned, both in their physical descriptions, and by their mellow, bordering-on-apathetic approach to the problems at hand.
A great job on creating authentic, interesting characters.


The Imagery- The imagery is amazing in this story. I see this was an entry in a contest designed to hone your detailing skills. I would say your skills are honed to the extent that you could shave a mosquito with 'em. Every aspect of the story was described in a way that was effective without being overly verbose.
From physical appearance (She reached up a trembling hand to brush back long damp strands of blond hair. Her faded-blue nightgown clung to her body.), to surroundings (The row of lights above the room-length vanity and double sinks blinded her. Squinting, she could almost make out the marble counters and silver fixtures adorning them) to actions of the characters (Jack handed her the mug and briefcase, leaned over to kiss her cheek, and opened the door for her), you've imagined a world that feels like a living, vibrant reality to the reader. Top notch!


Errors?- Everything looked to be in order with regards to the spelling, grammar and punctuation but for one little thing in the third paragraph. There you wrote, A satiny black comforter filled with downy... I believe the proper context of the word would be down, as in "A satiny black comforter filled with down".


Overall Impression- This was a witty and enjoyable read all throughout. There was a certain crispness to the narrative (even with all the details) that kept me entertained while the story moved along a a brisk pace. The ending -- although a little unfortunate-- didn't destroy our heroine, and we're left with the feeling that she'll sort things out eventually. A fun little tragicomedy to be sure! I'm still confused by the vampire stuff though *GoLucky*


Scarecrow
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25
25
Review of Time Passes  
Review by Scarecrow
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Greetings Patrick McDonagh ! I've chosen to review your poem on behalf of the PDG reviewing group.Please Note:The following is simply my interpretation and opinion. Take it as you will.


Initial Impression- This poem was a straight-forward and accurate interpretation of the passage of time. It expresses the changes that take place in broad enough terms so that it appeals to readers from all walks of life. I like how your final verse suggests that instead of looking at time as an unrelenting and cruel inevitability, we should approach it with a positive attitude so as to take in all we can with the time we're given.


How's The Flow?- There are bits and pieces here and there that caused me to stumble as I read along. I find it tricky sometimes to find the proper word choices to keep the flow smooth...sometimes the proper words are elusive. Perhaps with a bit of word substitution and/or omission you could polish this right up!
For instance, the first line of the third verse felt a little clunky to me in relation to the rest of the poem:
Is there nothing in this world/ that will never change ... I feel it would sound a bit better if the line were changed to Are there things in this world/ that will never change .
There were a few other instances where the lines seemed a little out of place with the overall rhythm of the poem. If you read over the poem and something feels a little off, then usually it can be fixed rather easily by switching words around.


The Rhymes- (where applicable) The rhymes were all pretty well done. There were a few instances of what I call "near-rhymes" (change/same,passed/lasts), but that's close enough for this reviewer!


Imagery- As I mentioned above, this poem is expressed in broad imagery which is a good way to make it relateable to more people. Ideas like "grasping for something to hold onto" and "treasuring the moments" are the spiritual challenges that befall us all and are represented well within this piece. This form of expression avoids getting the reader confused by cryptic, personal references and makes for an overall easy-to-digest poem.


Errors/ Suggestions- Apart from some of the issues with the flow, I found this poem could benefit from a little more punctuation. A few commas, question marks and periods in the appropriate places could also improve the flow, as it would let the reader know the right places to pause.


Overall- I won't say this poem struck a powerful chord with me, but it was certainly one with which I could relate. As I'm putting more and more years behind me I'm really starting to notice how quickly time is slipping away. This poem did make me think about the time I've squandered in misery and makes me want to try and approach the remainder of what's left on a more positive note. Hopefully other readers will get the same take-away. Nicely done!





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