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Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of I Write In 2020  
for entry "Angels Linger
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Carly - Happy New Year!

Thank you for sharing your poem "I Write In 2020 I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful

I’m reviewing this poem for ‘I write 2020’. I have no skills as a judge of poetry and rarely try my hand at the art. I learned a little about the different types of poetry when I was being tutored by Hannah as part of joining the ‘Rockin’ Reviewers’, and was blown away by the complexities.




*StarfishB*First Impressions
My first impression was that such a short piece will be difficult to give an in-depth review on. Then I decided I needed more information regarding the Lady Slipper genre, so I did, what else? Googled it!
Now I understand what you had set out to achieve, an internal rhyme within each line. This you did successfully, so well done.
The last line designed to leave the reader questioning. Well, it did that, now I want to know the reason for the chaos and loss🤔



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thanks for sharing and increasing my minimal poetry knowledge.





Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of Raging Fear  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hello JJ Del

Thank you for sharing your story. "Raging Fear I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
First of all let me welcome you to WdC. You will find it is a place where you will receive great feedback and help with your writing should you ask for it.
The first chapter of Raging Fear sets up the introductions to the main characters. They certainly are a strange trio these brothers and younger sister. It is obvious this camping trip is not going to end well.



*StarfishB*Plot
You have set up the scene where Dash the oldest of the three siblings is wanting to go away for a long weekend camping. The parents have asked he takes his brother and sister along too. For some reason the parents turn a blind eye to the middle son’s violent behaviour. As this is just the first chapter there is little action but you have given the reader a detailed description of these characters, both physically and attitudinal.



*StarfishB* Characters
Timber, aged sixteen, seems to have a handle on everything, she says she’s not afraid of unstable brother Jinx, but maybe she should be. Dash is as yet an unknown quantity, we’ll find out more as the story progresses I’m sure. There are going to be others going on this camping trip, Jinx’s best friend and also Dash’s companion, as yet we know nothing about these characters.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
Although it’s good to describe character’s physicality, it is better to not overwhelm the reader with too much descriptions all at once. When you described each character, especially Jinx and Dash you mentioned their names too many times. In the passages where you are describing Jinx you mention his name 16 times, similarly with Dash’s description, 7 times in a few sentences. We knew without repeating the names who you were talking about.
It would read better when introducing their parents if instead of writing Anndee Emerson and Alex Emerson, my mother and father... it would read better to write that as my mother and father, Alex and Andee Emerson...


*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thanks for sharing this first chapter, it has merit. Good luck, keep on writing.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Memories  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: E | (4.0)
HelloJJ Del

Thank you for sharing your story. "MemoriesI hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
I was moved by this story and not just because I can empathise with the loss of a four-legged companion, but because it was written from the heart.
At first I thought you were speaking of a person, until I read about the doctor putting her down!


*StarfishB*Climax
The ending was poignant, you exposed your true feelings.



*StarfishB*Suggestions
I had the feeling you began this piece as free verse poetry, then it seemed to morph into a story. Perhaps a different lay out would make it work. There were several places where a comma is necessary. It was a very dark time for you comma you were sick the doctor said....there was nothing they he....
nobody could ever fill that hole in my heart comma Mittens.


*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thank you for sharing your feelings and giving me the opportunity to read and review.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello Odessa Molinari smiling

Thank you for sharing your story. "Burgh Island MysteryI hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
I enjoyed the story, it had it all, time travel, glamour, fashion, intrigue and mystery.



*StarfishB*Plot
Ami sets out on a journey to a mysterious island alone. We are not privy as to why she has decided to go there. She soon discovers she has travelled back in time from the present day to the late 1920’s.
The journalist in her longs to report the fact that Hitler himself is having secret meetings with an armament supplier.
Ami is discovered snooping around but manages with a little help to avoid being detained.


*StarfishB* Characters
The characters are all brought together in the scene in the restaurant, where they are celebrating New Year’s Eve. Ami is the observer and the narrator and describes the characters well.
Herbert Lang, loud mouthed wannabe Knight, Herr Fleisch who turns out to be Hitler himself and Mathadius Potts an old gentleman who is more in tune with what’s going on than Ami suspects.


*StarfishB*Climax
Ami avoids Fleisch until after the impromptu party in her room, then she and Potts are attacked and captured. After wakening up from a bang on the head Ami discovers she is back in present day.



*StarfishB*Suggestions
The story certainly has merit. The descriptions of the Art Deco era are spot on. The music and the opulence of the time was well researched and I felt as if I was back in the roaring twenties.
There were a few errors I noticed you wrote the door was thick oat (oak) charleston should be capitalised. wifi(WiFi).
I was confused by the first sentence: What is that strange contraption?” You mentioned it again What about that contraption I came over on?” That thing wasn’t built until ‘69 I still have no idea what it was supposed to be.
Perhaps to differentiate between the times Ami is speaking and thinking, her thoughts could be italicised.
I found the lay out distracting. Can I refer you to "[How2][Ref] Is Your Story Ready for a Review?"   I read this item from northerwrites just the other day and found it to be valuable.



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thank you for sharing this mystery story, I enjoyed the chance to read and review.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Out Damned Spot  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello dragonlayd60

Thank you for sharing your story, "Out Damned SpotI hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
My first impression when first reading this story was how inventive it was. It made me laugh out loud as I conjured up an image of our Angus attempting to rid himself of some evil little being which had invaded his house. Of course we all know that the aptly named Niggles would have come about because of his crazy imagination, I wouldn’t be surprised if his house is harbouring other such creatures as yet unseen.



*StarfishB*Plot
The story involves Angus spotting a stone he’d never previously noticed embedded in a wall. The next day it had caused a crack to appear and despite his best efforts to contain the damage he is under siege from his nemesis the Niggles. What a great name for this creature, perhaps we’ve all had the “niggles” at one time or another when things were not going too well.
I adored how he “went back to his pedestal” how apt following the accolades he’s received this week for his amazing efforts.


*StarfishB*Climax
The climax comes when he realises that a massive Niggle has escaped to begin a new colony. I imagined the niggle as a Capital S wriggling from under the huge boot intent to destroy him.
Angus is however not to be defeated and sets his brain power to the task of inventing an extermination machine to see off the hordes of Niggles once and for all.


*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thanks for sharing this exciting tale. May your life be niggle free.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of The Perfect Gift  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello James F Martin

Thank you for sharing your story. "The Perfect Gift I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
Reading your heartwarming story so soon after Christmas forced me to once again examine this time and all it stands for. You wrote this piece well with a tongue-in-cheek bent.



*StarfishB*The premise
You ask the question, what is the real meaning of Christmas to those for whom the religious meaning is absent or meaningless. As each year passes I get more cynical as people feel the pressure to purchase gifts they can ill afford. You mentioned the oft spoken phrase, “it’s the thought that counts,” but do folk really think that as they unwrap a gift of lesser value than they imagine they deserve?
When one sets out to the crowded stores to get a gift for someone, we do indeed have a monetary value in mind for that particular person according to the relationship they may have with you.
It’s all so false. I actually loved the idea of gifting cheese! Keep it in mind for next year.
This essay also brought home to me the plight of the people who work in less than ideal conditions in Third World countries manufacturing rich men’s toys.


*StarfishB* Characters
The wonderful characters Henry and Teddy as they sat shivering in a cold bus shelter melted my heart. You managed to turn a personal perspective of the season into a Dickensian type happy ending tale.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
I just wondered when you wrote you wished Henry a Merry Christmas, followed by the statement, “which I never do,” did you mean that you personally never have one?



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thank you for sharing this observational piece, it contains so many references to the season. Crowded stores and music in the unattainable Cloud being a few. I really enjoyed reading it, it gave me food for thought. Although this year I did refrain from much of my usual gift giving and gave my eldest, time poor daughter the gift of ready prepared meals which I cooked for her.
I fervently hope that in this climate of global warming, recycling and getting back to basics that Christmas consumerism also gets reigned in.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Prosperous Snow

Thank you for sharing your poem "New Year's Day in Christmas TownI hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
Although as I’ve previously mentioned poetry is not my forte and feel unqualified to critique. I’m reviewing this poem as part of ‘I write 2020’ and it made me smile. Especially the last line as Mrs Clause sits contemplating her future as she sits all alone playing Solitaire! I’ve never heard the expression ‘Wolf Moon’ before, I’m sure there is such a thing it’s just my ignorance.
I loved the line about the Jolly old elf checking out his selfies, it brings together the ancient and the modern beautifully.


*StarfishB*Parting Comments
I liked the Tercet form of poetry, it suits this poem very well, it has a lighthearted rhythm to it when read aloud.
Thank you for sharing and increasing my knowledge of the art form.



Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of Dear Me 2020  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Prosperous Snow

I’m reviewing your Dear Me 2020 because you’re one in front of me in the I Write 2020 Challenge.

Thank you for sharing "Dear Me 2020 I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful


I enjoyed reading what seems to me an impressive and challenging amount of goal setting. However you seem to believe you’ve let yourself off the hook somewhat this year. It only serves to remind me that I could do more writing if I put my heart into it.
January seems to be a difficult month for you although you haven’t stated why, but as the letter is to yourself then you have no need to explain anything.
A bonus is the eradication of rodents, I’d certainly put that as big plus for 2020.

Making New Year resolutions has never worked for me, so I no longer state them out loud. If there were to be one it would be to stop and smell the roses more, to enjoy each day and appreciate what a wonderful world we have.

Finding ways of improving one’s financial status is always a great idea, I wish you luck with that endeavour.


*StarfishB*Parting Comments
I enjoyed reading your plans for this year, even though it felt a little as if I was prying into a personal letter. I wish you well with all your plans.

Cheers Sue



Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello BlueJay

Thank you for sharing your story. "It Can't Be That Bad I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
I enjoyed the story. A common enough tale of a wife berating a lazy husband for not doing his share of the household tasks. The withdrawal into a “man cave” away from “the wife” is every mans desire. The modern day version is the gaming room where a man can pit his wits against the digital enemy.




*StarfishB*Plot
Luke is having his quiet time, knowing it will probably be short lived as he plays his game. Then comes the voice he’d been dreading, that of his wife Marta. It seems Marta has always a list of chores for him to do. Luke is a great procrastinator though as he hopes things will wait until he feels like getting around to doing them.




*StarfishB* Characters
Luke and Marta are the characters in this story. They have accepted their roles in their lives. Luke is the avoider, both of chores and his wife’s nagging. Marta has long ago stopped expecting Luke to fix things around the house but continues to harp on about them.



*StarfishB*Climax
The ending was one of the reasons I wanted to review the story as this scenario is one which happened in our house not too long ago. There was a crash in the living room whilst we were in bed. I’d got up to investigate and shouted to my husband. He said those very same words. “What? It can’t be that bad!” Our ceiling’s too was on the ground.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
My only suggestion would be the times when Luke is not speaking out loud, and we’re just privy to his thoughts, to put them in italics.



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
An amusing story. Thanks for sharing





Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
HelloMax Griffin 🏳️‍🌈


Thank you for sharing your story"The Christmas PuppyI hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
I read both of the stories, Christmas Eve Puppy and Christmas Eve evil and I agree with you, I too much prefer the first one. Maybe because it could be a factual account, and maybe because it was heartwarming to think an evil, although not extrinsically so, character could still find it in his heart to have empathy. I’m a sucker for a Christmas story, one which shows the true meaning of Christmas from a source so unexpected.





*StarfishB*Plot
A selfish, greedy burglar sets put to steal from a family that from his perspective deserves to be taken down. Scornful of his victim’s lack of security he breaks in. Confronted by a flashback to his own childhood experience his heart melts and he determines to save a child from parental abuse.


*StarfishB* Characters
The perpetrator is described as a disillusioned character, Christmas means nothing to him other than an opportunity to make a profit from others whom from his perspective deserve to be robbed. The small boy accepts his lot in life not knowing any other way. This reader felt helpless as his injuries are described, but the moment when the thief determines to help the child is the moment the meaning of Christmas becomes apparent.



*StarfishB*Climax
A satisfying ending, the evilness you wanted to portray comes not from the thief but from a totally different place from the one we expected. That is what differentiates this first story from Christmas Eve Evil



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thank you for sharing both stories, I’d be interested to hear the views of your group members.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hellokzn

Thank you for sharing your story "A Village With No Name / 1 & 2 I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
On my first read through my first impressions were, that this was a story that even I, someone who has never read a western in her life, found herself wanting to know what happens next.




*StarfishB*Plot
Gideon McCraw sets out into the amazing landscape which you describe well, we realise as we read further into the chapter he is a man destroyed by grief and a thirst for revenge. As he arrives in yet another small town, he tries to avoid getting involved in the troubles, however one gets the feeling this isn’t going to be easy for Gideon.




*StarfishB* Characters
As the main character so far in this story you paint a clear picture of his physique, his mental state and demeanour. In fact the posse and the stable boy are well described, giving a feel of the era, the environment and the tension.



*StarfishB*Climax
We only get a taste of what is about to happen next but I’m sure our hero is going to find himself embroiled in the politics of this town without a name. We already know there is segregation happening with the blacks and Chinese inhabitants.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
For my personal taste I find the descriptive passages a little too flowery. When you spoke of his dead wife I felt there was just a bit too much description and the reader may start skipping to reach a more interesting part. This is purely a personal point of view however. The sentence rocked his body as water gushes over large rocks after a violent thunderstorm... is another case of overdoing description.Westerns usually appeal to a more male readership and I think if you cut down on the floweryness it will be more readily received.
Just one other point was when you wrote villages I think you meant to say villagers, meaning the occupants?



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thank you for asking for feedback. I hope you continue with the story, it has potential to be a good read with a strong main character.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of The Nightmare  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hellojaya

Thank you for sharing your story."The NightmareI hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
My first impressions when reading your story was a vivid memory of that time. My husband and I had planned a vacation in Sri Lanka and India, arriving a few weeks after this terrible time. In Australia our nearest neighbours Indonesia were impacted badly and many of our countrymen went to assist in the clean up. The beach scene was described well and reminded me of similar scenes we saw when on
Kerala's beaches.



*StarfishB*Plot
The twins return from a successful year at college for the New Year celebrations. Their parents were overjoyed to see their children home again, planning for a family reunion on the beach. Best of all the kid’s father’s parents had at last accepted an invitation to meet the grandchildren they had long denied. As the twins parents walked along the edge of the ocean discussing their marriage and the fact that until now the grandparents had never forgiven them for running away and getting married, a huge wave engulfs them and the horror of what is occurring becomes a dreadful realisation.



*StarfishB* Characters
This is a simple family, enjoying being together again after a separation. They are but one of a cast of thousands in this dreadful story of Mother Nature’s fickleness.



*StarfishB*Climax The ending was almost as shocking to the reader as to the poor people dragged out to a watery demise.



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
This story is a huge one, the 500 word format can’t and doesn’t do the subject justice. I believe you should write this story again, using as many words as necessary. The characters are interesting with a great back story of family division and cultural differences.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello Richard Parrish, more cowbell!

Thank you for sharing your story. "A Lifetime of Firsts ~ Chapter One I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
On my first run through, my first thought was that the idea of a camera being a human’s lifetime companion was a brilliant one. Especially one that becomes humanised itself, taking and storing only images it knows intrinsically its owner would want to archive.



*StarfishB*Plot
The story begins with both the lives of Emily and Gigi, set in the sterile labour room. It continues to follow Emily’s life up to the time she’s a mother of three young children. Throughout she is accompanied by her camera, which has taken on human qualities, being able to move around at will, surprisingly at no time does this seem to be anything other than normal to Emily.



*StarfishB* Characters
The main characters are Emily and Gigi. It was mentioned that technology had superseded Gigi, a thought which certainly entered my mind after the first ten years of its use. However it seems to have overcome its limited capacity and updated itself.



*StarfishB*Climax
Gigi saved the day, as well as the lives of her loved ones, by capturing the images of the perpetrators and requesting immediate assistance from the police.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
The one thing which I found a little disconcerting was the fact you never said who was speaking during, before or after dialogue. I know sometimes it was obvious and could be surmised but I felt as if there was something missing by not including Greg said, or I said, or the policeman remarked.
The dialogue in the first scene: ”Get that thing out of here.” full stop. Capital letter. Not quite a scream but close enough. full stop and then capital letter. Never mess with a woman in labor. The following dialogue should be similar. ”I don’t care.” Okay that definitely qualifies as a scream. “Get it away from me..”





*StarfishB*Parting Comments
A great little story, good concept. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the read.



Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review of Christmas Dinner  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
HelloThe Milkman

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
At first read through I couldn’t quite get a feel for Stanley, his age or ethnicity or whether he was just not a very smart guy. He was a delivery driver and yet he seemed to enjoy the finer things in life. I did wonder whether he may have been stealing the expensive items he possessed. However I was off the mark there, he was just a bit of an unlucky dude it turns out.




*StarfishB*Plot
The story is set on just one normal day in Stanley’s life. He sets out to deliver his quota of parcels, determined to do a good job, unaware this was to be his last day.
The fact it seemed common knowledge that folk tended to disappear from his delivery address didn’t seem to worry him in the least.



*StarfishB* Characters
Stanley is the main character in this story, we gather he is interested in girls but the impression I got was that he hadn’t much self belief, or that he was capable of getting the receptionist to go out with him. This seems at odds with his self confidence as he kisses himself in the mirror.



*StarfishB*Climax
The ending sure surprised me, I must confess. It seems there are a family of cannibals and murders living at the bottom of Long Hollow Road. The ending seemed a little abrupt, a more descriptive paragraph showing the father and son instead of just telling us the scene would have made it more interesting. I imagined them to be a little like the Munsters, especially the boy. He popped into my mind as Eddie Munster, but you may have had a different image?


*StarfishB*Suggestions
There were occasions where you changed from present to past tense in sentences. This is really easy to do and it does detract from the flow.
In the second paragraph the speech, which I presumed was the radio announcer speaking, or the television presenter, should be one continuous flow, not broken up into two separate sentences.
When the receptionist was telling Stanley off for parking in her spot, maybe it would look better to use italics instead of the capital letters for emphasis.
When you wrote he didn’t want to travel to fast write too fast and ten O clock ten-o’clock.





*StarfishB*Parting Comments
A fun story which could be improved with a little more fleshing out. Maybe a little more of Stanley’s character and back story and perhaps a prior hint of evil doings at the house in Long Hollow Road.
I did notice the year this story was written and it is a very long time ago. Hopefully my comments don’t appear to be too critical to the writer you are today.
Thanks for sharing Stanley’s demise, I enjoyed reading it.





Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Helloruwth

Thank you for sharing your story"~ The Traditions of Man ~hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions

The first impressions of the item was that it was from a mother’s point of view. It can be a sad thing when the children you have taught to believe something you and they have believed to be intrinsically the truth, decide for themselves it just isn’t so. How is a parent supposed to feel under those circumstances?
Maybe a sense of betrayal? Or would one be proud to have raised a free thinking young person, one who could make their own mind about the way they choose to live their lives and traditions?

I found the fact that your daughter’s work colleagues were even more surprised by her rejection of Santa Clause. Surely we don’t expect any child past ten years of age to believe in such a character, flying around the world visiting every child on the planet? What made me sad in reading this, was not the fact that rational adults chose to research the whole Christmas myth, but that commercialism as been allowed to hijack the season of “goodwill” and the gross image of grown people fighting over a manufactured doll to ensure their children’s happiness on Christmas Day. The adults making children greedy, I actually don’t think children are greedy for ‘things’. They want their parent’s attention, their time, their love. This is the real meaning of Christmas, not the endless gift giving, but time! Time for each other. It doesn’t matter if your daughters choose to celebrate the festive season in a way different to the one you gave them when they were children, just as long as they share it with others in a loving way.


*StarfishB*Parting Comments
It may be easy for me to be blasé about something you may feel a problem, or one that makes you feel uneasy in anyway, but I believe everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. What an amazing blessing it is that we each have our own thought processes and the strength to live our lives according to those beliefs. As long as we aren’t hurting others along the way.

Thanks for sharing this thought provoking post.
Cheers Sue




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review of Bully  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello{s-user:bobinusa

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
A great story of consequences for impressionable young minds.



*StarfishB*Plot
This is a story of how the mind of a twelve year old girl works. She’s old enough to know that cruelty to animals is wrong and deserves some sort of penalty, but too young obviously to realise capture and kidnap is all little over the top. She’s determined to get the culprit and decides that poor unfortunate Chett is the perpetrator even though she has no evidence.



*StarfishB* Characters
Judy is our main character, a force to be reckoned with as she goes about her plan. Using her wiles she coaxes her victim into her lair with the promise of sweets. Although not a trusting sort of lad, he follows her into the basement and becomes her captive. Apparently once Judy has made her mind up she cant be dissuaded from her decision. One wonders if perhaps she was a young Judge Judy?



*StarfishB*Climax
The ending is as it should be in a children’s story, I was worried her captive may have met a sticky end down there, starving to death whilst a man hunt goes on for his discovery. It seems I read too much horror!
No a satisfying conclusion, everyone got what they deserved. Judy awaiting the wrath of her mother and young Chett got a slap across the backside, just in case.




*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thanks for sharing this story, I enjoyed the simplicity. A refreshing change.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello free writer

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
On my initial read through I could see what this story intended to portray, the experience of a man terrified of something beyond his control. You did this well



*StarfishB*Plot
A man in trouble drives a long, dark road, worried about the worsening weather conditions. We, as the reader, come to realise it is in fact rain that terrifies the driver. We are left to surmise he had been in an accident that he’d survived but perhaps someone he’d cared about had suffered in the incident?
He meets a stranded couple on the road and is forced to assist them against his better judgement.



*StarfishB* Characters
The main characters are the driver and the woman and daughter. One gets an unsettling feeling as one continues on this nightmare journey, something has to give eventually, either the driver refuses to drive any further in the rain, or the woman uses her instincts and gets the hell out of there!



*StarfishB*Climax
We’re left at the end where the main character drags himself into the mud to drink the hours away in the rain, rather than remain in the dry car. He is certainly one strange dude.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
The story has merit. You were intending to portray the menace in the piece which you certainly achieved. You gave this reader a real feeling of unease, which never really had anywhere to go. The ending felt a little disappointing. Keeping tenses from past to present can be a problem, it’s so easy to do. You wrote: Suddenly I lose control.. present tense. Slip into past tense my hands groped faster
I found the use of the word WASa little over used. the car was, the movement was, was peaceful, was in tears, was crying, was trembling etc
Maybe just choose one of the broken down car’s faults instead of ran out of gas and a flat tire You described the caras a simple white car maybe a better description?



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
A good edit would make a huge difference to this story. It has a real chilling feeling. Thanks for sharing, keep on writing.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review of I Am Phantasm  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Capt. Crankypants

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
My very first impression was when I began to read was the font is extremely small, making it difficult for me to read. I later read your introduction to your portfolio and can now understand why as you are struggling with your own eyesight problems. However if you can remember to upsize a little by entering the size in writing ml it will help enormously.
By the way let me welcome you to WdC I hope you enjoy your time here with us. You are sure to get all the help you need and of course encouragement.
Back to the story, I really enjoyed it, it’s quirky and original and also very funny.



*StarfishB*Plot
The story is about a death, although the person is aware all the time what has happened to him and seems to accept that was what he deserved given his sedentary lifestyle. There is no sense of distress other than impatience for “the light” which he is sure is going to arrive anytime soon. We are surprised to learn just how long he has to wait until even his long suffering patience is sorely tested. At last he accepts his lot and decides it was about time to do something with this eternity which stretches out before him.



*StarfishB* Characters
There is just the one character in this story, I found him a very amiable chap and one the reader bonds with, wanting him to find satisfaction in his current situation.



*StarfishB*Climax
The ending is surprising and very funny, just as he was getting excited about a future, with plans for expansion, the very thing he has waited so long for eventually turns up.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
Other than the size of the font I couldn’t see anything that needed changing, it is well spaced and spelling and grammar seem fine.





*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thank you again for sharing this unusual story. I loved it.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
19
19
Review of The Appointment  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello mjfeatherstone

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful




*StarfishB*First Impressions
I read through the story quite quickly the first time and my first impression was that it was written by someone who has a unique ability to be an astute observer of the human condition. It made me laugh out loud which is a really good first impression I’d say.




*StarfishB*Plot
You take an every day occurrence we have all been subjected to, that of waiting for our turn. Sometimes this is harder to bear than others. The vision of the waiting room you described was reminiscent of my experience as a small child when I lived in England. You described to a tee the weather conditions. I could almost smell the dampness and the odour of people’s damp clothing.




*StarfishB* Characters
I love the array of characters in the story, all feeling somewhat the same and trying hard not to make eye contact made all the harder by a dearth of reading material. One wishes you could have included a few children to liven up the proceedings and maybe break the atmosphere. I loved the optimism of the main character arriving early so as to make his getaway quicker when unbelievably everyone had the same thought.
I especially liked your line a growing sea of humanity pressing against the sliding glass window like zombies in search of a brain
and who has not felt like doing irreparable damage to the person shouting a one way conversation on their phone?




*StarfishB*Climax
The ending was good with the laid back doctor totally unaware of the stress and anguish the guy had gone through before being seen.



*StarfishB*Suggestions
The only suggestions I have to make reading the story more enjoyable is to not use so many spaces, I felt as if this made the text feel a little stilted. You used the phrase sea of humanity twice in quick succession, maybe find another way of describing the crowd.





*StarfishB*Parting Comments
A very enjoyable read using a difficult genre, that of comedic writing. Almost as hard as stand up? Making people smile and see the funny side of life is a hard thing to do but you certainly made this reader smile. Thank you for sharing.





Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
20
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
HelloBeholden

Thank you for sharing your story, I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
I really laughed out loud, it is a really unique storyline. Being from the same neck of the woods myself, the voice of the storyteller was loud and clear.




*StarfishB*Plot
Writing in the vernacular is a tricky and difficult thing to pull off successfully and you certainly did that. Having lived in the UK for many years at first I wondered about this wayward gecko having never seen one in chilly England. It certainly makes one wonder about the minds of these advertising guys, maybe they thought geckos are scurrying all over London. Perhaps it would have been a good idea for them to have him dressed in lots of warm clothes, a flat cap maybe.




*StarfishB* Characters
I loved this little guy, but then you consider other ways the Brits are portrayed in the media, such as the villainous somewhat cheeky Brit or a darker character, yet you considered the Scots get a fairer hearing. Not sure you’re on the money there, lots of villains in Glasgow’s narrow streets.




*StarfishB*Climax
It finished as it began, a real good laugh for anyone who takes the time to understand the nuances and witty turn of phrase.




*StarfishB*Parting Comments
I appreciated the time you took with this short piece getting it right on. Thank you for brightening my day.





Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket
21
21
Review of Ol' Fat Charlie  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Poor Jack, he couldn’t win a trick. Even though he was saved by the old man, he lived a life having to deal with disfigurement and ridicule. I enjoyed the way the story unfolded, the narrator’s voice relating the facts of Jack’s interaction with the vicious dog seemed so matter of fact when describing the horrible injuries, and one knew that the boy’s life wasn’t going to end well. The first paragraph gave a lot of information without feeling in anyway forced or rushed.

The dialogue throughout was natural, sort of laconic and innocent but with undertones of menace. Your descriptions were good I particularly lend the lines: he smiled, showing teeth the colour of bark and honey. and ”it looks like you mighta lost some parts yerself “

I quite like the idea of old Mr Death being upset at being thwarted just when he came to claim his victim, but not keen on the idea he’d be forever stalking, waiting to get his own back. Obviously Fat Charlie and the dogs were ghosts but chained to the living world until he undid his previous good deed?

I really enjoyed reading Ol’Fat Charlie, thanks for sharing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review of The Library Lady  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello, Mara ♣ McBain

Thank you for sharing your story. "The Library Lady I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
The story impressed me with its portrayal of a simpler time. Although set in the present it reminded me of a small town’s innocence.


*StarfishB*Plot
The story begins in the local library, it is Halloween and the town’s children have been convinced by the librarian to enjoy the evening at the library instead of trolling the streets seeking treats. The town has come together to make the event a success, contributing either money or goods. I liked how you set the scene with your descriptions of the time of year. the crisp bite of fall in the air as you speak of warm cinnamon doughnuts and apple cider. Tricia the librarian is concerned about her protégée Kasey, and we the reader are left with a sense of foreboding that something ill has befallen the child.



*StarfishB* Characters
Tricia’s character is well drawn, she knows that she was lucky to have been adopted into a loving family and that is why she is so concerned about Kasey’s welfare. She can see herself in the child.




*StarfishB*Climax
The ending to the story is unsurprising and at the same time satisfying and heartwarming.



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
I enjoyed reading this well written story, it flowed well from the beginning, leading to the happy ending Kasey deserved.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review of Silent Witness  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Hello, hullabaloo22

Thank you for sharing your story. "Silent WitnessI hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
I found the concept intriguing, ensuring that I continued to read to the end. You have personified a house, giving it a character of its own. It is an observer, a silent witness, showing no favour or giving no opinion to the events within its walls.



*StarfishB*Storyline
There is no plot, just an observation by an old house, and although it is unable to relate to anyone the events unfolding within its walls, it retains them as if it was an actual living breathing being. Who knows if our own dwelling places look on at the events of our lives, approvingly or most likely disappointed in its tenant’s behaviours. Do they actually become so sated they can no longer hold any more dramas, sadnesses or joy?




*StarfishB* Characters
The only character in this story is the house. You give it life, one can almost feel it say, “Enough.”



*StarfishB*Climax
The climax comes at the moment the house starts to release its secrets, having held them close to its heart for so long, to make room for fresh dramas, tears and laughter.



*StarfishB*Parting Comments
I enjoyed the story, and wonder as I look at my home and remember all the things that have occurred here, if the walls retain the memories within. Thank you for sharing.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
24
24
Review of Hey Gary  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Whitemorn

Thank you for sharing your story. "Hey Gary I hope you find my comments helpful


These comments are just one person’s opinion and are given in the hope you find something useful





*StarfishB*First Impressions
An enjoyable romp, following the adventures of two young boys, maybe you were remembering being one of the two brave lads and expanded fact into fiction.



*StarfishB*Plot
The story flows well, easy to follow, as they enter the old house, thinking it may be haunted, but they got more than they’d bargained for. The wanted felon had been hiding in his old home from the police who were seeking to arrest him for murder.


*StarfishB* Characters
Ronnie and Gary are the two boys, they would have been too young at the time of the young girl’s murder to have realised the impact it must have had on the community. It would have been their parents who had told them to avoid the grave site house, because the killer was still at large. Maybe it would have been better to have made the boys older. Maybe ten years old?
The boys were very brave and ingenious to escape the clutches of the crazed killer, escaping through a hole in the roof and striking him with a fallen branch. Once more I think it would be more plausible if the kids were older.




*StarfishB*Climax
The climax of this story was really after the kids had managed to overcome the killer. However when they returned to the house and the organ played and the old woman in the picture grinned, ithe story went a little too fanciful for me.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
I suggest when writing dialogue to use a separate line for each speaker, otherwise it becomes confusing as to which character is speaking. You put child eating and my best friend in brackets which didn’t seem correct. I think it would read better if you wrote my best friend Gary...





*StarfishB*Parting Comments
A nice little story, which had it all. Ghostly sounds, morphing portraits, axe wielding killers and two naughty boys. What else could you possibly want? Thanks for sharing.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
25
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with Mental Health Writers Alliance  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Thanks for sharing ‘Just another love story’, and welcome to WdC. I hope you enjoy being here and you get the encouragement to write more. The story has promise, it is a topical one, that of on line dating, getting to know someone before actually meeting. Of course it’s fraught with danger isn’t it? The actual meeting is often disappointing.
I found the story a little confusing, but maybe Abigail herself was confused?
Try to watch your tenses they talked for multiple hours, even days, she has never met anyone like him. should read had never...Maybe choose a different word for multiple, perhaps numerous?
...dating app, but why not don’t forget the question mark.
Try and experiment with different size fonts and double space your paragraphs so that the text is easier to read.
Thank you for sharing your love story, I hope Abigail finds her true love on line some time.
Well done, keep on writing.

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