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1
1
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, DauntlessDruid

Thank you for sharing your story. "The Stranger at My DoorI 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
After my first reading I wanted more. I think it’s a great start for a novel.



*StarfishB*Plot
The plot so far is about a psychic who has seen a vision of a girl being abducted. This girl was later found murdered. The first paragraph was good. Within that paragraph you gave the reader a lot of information. It introduced us to the intriguing character of Mallory Devlin, and that she had witnessed a murder of a girl called Kate. As is usual in the case of people who claim to have ‘second sight’ she is not believed. The suspect’s mother tries to get him exonerated.





*StarfishB* Characters
There is a good cast of characters in this story, with plenty of opportunity to expand on each of their stories. Mallory so far is an enigma, the reader will be keen to hear of her Gift and how it has affected her throughout her life. Lara, the private detective is intriguing, as is her relationship with Zeke, the policeman on the murder case. Your descriptions of the police were very good, I could picture them both in the interview scene with Mallory. Mallory herself was a little more of an enigma, a bit more description of her would be good.



*StarfishB*Climax
Obviously this is just the first chapter, but so far so good. I will be pleased to read more to see how everything evolves. When Zeke reveals Mallory’s name to Lara, at the end of the chapter, I did wonder if maybe it was someone Lara knew?


*StarfishB*Suggestions
I know you didn’t really need examples of grammar and spelling pointing out, but could I suggest you watch your use of adverbs? I noticed during the interrogation scene you used “sarcastically” three times in eight sentences. I wasn’t sure of the word infactactly in the sentence,”I didn’t tell you any of this,” he said, infactactly





*StarfishB*Parting Comments
I really like this start to your novel, it has all the elements for a good story. There are couple of intriguing women, one a spirited, in more ways than one, psychic, and a female private eye with a history with a detective. Lots to get your teeth into. I wish you luck with your writing. Well done.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, mjoshmo

Thank you for sharing your story. "Unfortunately, The Milk 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 title I found intriguing, leading me to read the whole story. As I read I smiled and did so until the end. It is a delightful tale.



*StarfishB*Plot
The premise is someone makes a wish which comes true. She wishes to meet her favourite author who happens to be Neil Gaiman. The reader doesn’t realise until the last chapter that it is all a dream, well I imagine it is! You display a wonderful imagination throughout.
The first paragraph was one I enjoyed the most. You took approximately 150 words to describe meeting your idol and shaking his hand. Just lovely. In that paragraph the lines I most enjoyed: bubble of time around me, like a mosquito in amber. I thought that was beautiful. Also: Reality swatted the top of my head with a newspaper, Sometimes I need a swat across the head with a newspaper to wake me up!




*StarfishB* Characters
The character M, I suspect is yourself and how you imagine you would respond to meeting your idol. The interaction between you and Neil is comedic, and spontaneous. The character of Mr Gaiman is well drawn, he comes across as personable and very likeable with a modesty that is endearing.



*StarfishB*Climax
Well what can I say about the Climax? For a start it was most unexpected, the imagery was well described, I could almost see a sailing ship above my head, ducking as the heavy rope ladder narrowly misses me. What an amazing birthday gift.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
There was very little I could suggest to improve this piece only that I was confused as to whether it was the waiter who spun the tea-pot or Neil. I presume it was Neil as it was a flamboyant action, which seemed to go with the remainder of the story.





*StarfishB*Parting Comments
I loved this story, it’s quirkyness (if there is such a word) and comedic style. Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to reading more of your portfolio.




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 Buried  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, MDK1754

Thank you for sharing your story. "Buried 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
This is a very powerful story. Shockingly realistic, very sad and a snapshot of war, and one man’s experience.


*StarfishB*Plot
Harry is a conscripted soldier during the First World War. He begins by describing a day, which although extreme, has become almost normal to him. He is one year in to the war, and having survived thus far, each day has a familiar routine. But this day, sadly was to be his last. The words, replacing terror with boredom, reflect the extremes of life in the trenches.
The story begins like any other day for Harry, attempting to stay alive. However he and his fellow soldiers are taken by surprise and end up being buried alive.




*StarfishB* Characters
Harry is the sole character in the story. We are able to ascertain he is a family man, desperately trying to survive to be able to return home to his wife and child. The first part of the story sets the scene as the soldiers leave their dug-outs to take their turn to face the enemy position. The trench and dug-out become almost other characters in this story, and I think there was an opportunity for you to describe the conditions in more detail. The smells, sounds, and taste of the place. It is hard for anyone to imagine such conditions.




*StarfishB*Climax
The second part of the story is horrific. You described his attempt to escape from under the corpses of his fellow soldiers amazingly well. The last sentence is shocking, just when we think he has extricated himself from being buried alive he is shot in the head by the enemy. The sentence containing the words How many more times would he have to change partners, is powerful in a macabre sort of way, indicating a sort of dance of death.


*StarfishB*Suggestions
There are just a few minor grammatical errors I spotted. Spitting out dirt, he took a few breaths, and then yelled comma “Help.”
Each carcass moved made, or was the difference between being alive...
The words feldgrau and feldwebel didn’t mean anything to me until I Googled them. I think it would have been better to have explained feldgrau is the colour of the military uniform of the German armed forces and a feldwebel is a military rank.






*StarfishB*Parting Comments
This story is a well written account of a soldier’s valiant attempt to stay alive against the odds. The content is quite graphic with a very sad ending. However it is a story we should never forget that so many fine young men like Harry died so that we remain free. Thank you for sharing.
Well done.



Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
for entry "1993 - Chapter One
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Linn Browning

Thank you for sharing your story. "Alley - Because of YouI 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 began to read chapter one and was immediately hooked from the first few lines. I wanted to know what had happened to this person who was so obviously distressed, and to such an extent she wanted to run away, both physically and mentally.




*StarfishB*Plot
Having only read the first chapter it’s hard to know where the plot is heading, but so far it is a good read with the potential for an interesting, maybe gripping story.




*StarfishB* Characters
It seems as if your main character is keeping the name Lara gave to her. It seems to suit her. Even after six months she hasn’t let anyone into her world of pain, one wonders why.
There is little in the way of description and even her age is not clear.
There are lines I particularly liked, “nothing was right, so nothing felt wrong”and also “Are you in trouble? If I am it’s mine”
Chapter one’s scene is set in the bar of the Road House. The dialogue between all the characters sounds real and believable. I felt as if I was a fly on the wall watching the interactions.

*StarfishB*Climax
The ending to chapter one was good, I was left wanting to read more. it set up a feeling of tension between Dex and Abbey and the reader knows there is so much more to come. What happened to her husband? Why does Lara dislike Dex so much?


*StarfishB*Suggestions
Some of the lines are too spaced, it’s as if you are starting a new paragraph each time you leave a double space. Regarding Abbey’s age you wrote two lines giving an estimate, both sentences very similar.
She was older than I was, but not by too terribly much, maybe late 40’s This sentence would read better by omitting the words “too terribly”
He was older than me, but not by an unreasonable amount. Late 30’s I would decide which of these sentences to keep.





*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thank you for sharing chapter one, I’m looking forward to reading more and commenting on them if that is what you’d like.




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 Last Words  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
hello, Ezekiel Stephens

Thank you for sharing your story. "Last WordsI 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 title was the first thing that drew me to read your story, good choice. The first paragraph made me feel as if I’d been in the same place many times. That desire we writers have, wanting to write something amazing, something no one as ever written before. Even when we have an idea, words seem to let us down, they’re just not good enough to describe events as we know them inside our heads.

*StarfishB* What I particularly liked
I liked the phrase on the penultimate paragraph about a heart that had burned out being fanned by the last words of a dying woman ...a burning fire that spread to the page in front of me, creativity and conviction coming to life. I also enjoyed reading the words: standing on the brink.....Teetering on the edge before finally falling off

*StarfishB*Plot
The plot or series of events ran smoothly, from his unsuccessful attempt to write the greatest story ever told, up to the final paragraph when his fingers fly across the keyboard, apparently urged on by some other entity.


*StarfishB* Characters
All the characters rang true, although Rob was a bit of an enigma. I found it hard to place him, either in age or stage of life. His living arrangements suggest a struggling student and yet if he were able to pass himself of as a clergyman he surely would have been older?



*StarfishB*Climax
The ending was very satisfying, he was no longer writing for himself, but writing for the dying lady in Room nine. Maybe it would have been a little more believable if the dying lady had locked eyes on Rob. Seeming to ask him to write the story she had to tell?

*StarfishB* Suggestions
I thought the sentence I pulled into the driveway before climbing up the stairs to my apartment, a little superfluous, not really needed. My fingers, hitherto completely under my control, started acting on their own. Perhaps another word other than acting, perhaps typing may sound better. When you write numbers in a story anything under twenty should be written as words.


*StarfishB*Parting Comments
I really enjoyed reading this story, I loved the concept of being able to tap in to a dying person’s thoughts. Only they know what it is to see into the next life, “teetering on the edge.”
Well done.





Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
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Review of Little Things  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello Linn Browning

Thank you for sharing your story. "Little Things 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 sweet story, one that most parents can relate to. It meets the requirement for the Quotation Inspiration Contest perfectly. Peg certainly made sure she did a small thing in a great way.
I really liked Peg’s never say die attitude.


*StarfishB* Plot
This is a simple story, the premise is one of a six year old child, for whom everything is possible, and failure isn’t an option. A problem for her is simply an opportunity for a solution, and she finds that solution perfectly.
Her Mother suggests that when Peg gets to be grown up she should build things. I loved Pegs’s reply that she is already building things. It made me realise how we project our attitudes onto our children. Peg taught her mother a lesson with her reply. We only have the here and now, and to speak of a future when Peg will do even better is shortsighted, and maybe a little condescending, without meaning to be.


*StarfishB* Characters
The main character in this story is Peg. Her strong personality was portrayed perfectly. You captured her independent, feisty nature. Her rebelliousness leapt from the page.
I really enjoyed the dialogue in this story, it seemed so natural. I particularly liked the line: Peg’s father made an irritated sound and glared at her until she put a bookmark in it and laid it flat on the blanket. “Sorry mister big-shot-librarian.” This made me smile, as I often get that look from my husband, who is a stickler for book care.

*StarfishB*Suggestions
When Peg answers her father after he asks her what she is building her reply ”It’s a well.” should start on a new line.
Peg started to eat the sandwich slowly. Not she, as it reads as if it was her mother who started to eat the sandwich. Maybe to give more of an atmosphere you could have used the senses a little more. I imagined the algae would have been really on the nose, so to speak, and the smell of the sunscreen is always so evocative of a hot summer’s day. What could they hear, were there other people there, kids playing and splashing in the water?


*StarfishB*Climax
I loved Peg’s solution to the problem of her collapsing walls. She somehow knew she needed something to reinforce her castle walls, and came up with the idea of using sea weed. Even when she couldn’t get the materials she needed, she didn’t give in and improvised using algae. The story reaches a satisfying conclusion. Peg was satisfied with her work, her parents learned a valuable lesson in perseverance and problem solving by their six year old daughter.


*StarfishB*Parting Comments
I really enjoyed this story. The characters were believable, and young Peg delightful. Good luck in the contest.



Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review of A Gingham Girl  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello NordicNoir
Let me first welcome you to WdC. It is a place where you can share your poetry and stories with like minded people. They will appreciate your work, and give thoughtful and respectful feedback.
I dropped by your portfolio and read your poem "A Gingham Girland these are my reflections on your piece. I enjoy reading poetry, but I don’t consider myself as knowledgeable. Please take what you find useful and disregard the rest.


What I Really Liked
I liked the subject, it reminded me of the movie La La Land, which was one of my all time favourites. You describe a young woman’s dream of being a star and at sometime in the future, walking down the red carpet. but deep inside she had red carpet dreams I could see her in her red checkered apron, dreaming of getting out of her small town and heading toward the bright lights of Hollywood.


Poetic Conventions Used
Your use of figurative language when you call her a gingham girl, was good. I liked the use of Assonance chattering people and clattering dishes You made good use of repetition, employing it wisely. You implied although she had fled her town and was where she wanted to be nothing really had changed. Men who eyed her with salacious gleam. Those men were everywhere, she couldn’t escape them.
I liked the terms, a square life, and a gingham world, which somehow tied in with her checkered uniform and a life hemmed in by borders.
Your character’s awareness that beauty as an asset is bittersweet was poignant.

Suggestions to Consider
The only suggestion I feel equipped to make was the rhythm of the poem. I read it out aloud, as that is how I ascertain if a piece flows well or not. A few of the verses I found didn’t flow as smoothly as others. Verses three and eight had a really lovely rhythm and I think it has something to do with the amount of syllables in each line.Try to keep the same syllable count, this helps to keep a nice rhythm.

Parting Comments
This was a lovely poem which I really enjoyed reading. I look forward to returning to your portfolio as you further expand it.

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 A Profound Place  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
hello paul

Thank you for sharing your story. "A Profound PlaceI 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 drawn to read your story by the title. A Profound Place is the perfect title for this story, as that the word Profound in the context of emotion, means intense. The emotions you experienced on your first passing the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbour, were certainly profound, and are still very much with you today as you relate the experience.

*StarfishB* Characters
The characters in the piece are yourself, and the ship. The ship itself is certainly a character in her own right. I could almost feel the connection you and her had, as you sought out a private place to enjoy her strength, and her heart beat. The other character is you, although we didn’t get a physical description, we are aware of your need for solitude. We know you’re someone who appreciates the beauty of machinery and technology. Also that you are someone who values the lives of the many who died in the service of their country.

*StarfishB*Description
I really enjoyed your descriptions of your time aboard the aircraft carrier, being only one among 3,000, whom you describe as meat puppets. I’ve never heard that expression before, but I suppose that is all we really are in this theatre we call life.
I appreciated how you attempted described the smell of the sea. It’s a hard one to describe accurately, but salt, with undertones of fish, and green things, is as good as anything I’ve heard.
I could almost see you standing, mouth open to catch some of the salty spray in your mouth.
There was a soft, barely felt thumping that was several beats a minute faster than my heart.... but in five minutes they were beating together. I particularly enjoyed that line, as it points to the fact you saw the ship as a real live being with a life of her own.
Adding the photograph of your ship passing the Arizona adds another dimension and realism to the story. It must be a surreal feeling to gaze down upon the wreck and think of all those young lives lost.
The only suggestion for improvement I may offer is, you wrote, the intense feelings of Peace and The Worlds Okay maybe would have been better italicised, or simply left lower case instead of capitalising the words. Also world’s has an apostrophe.

*StarfishB*Parting Comments
Thank you for sharing this snapshot of your service in the Navy. It was a delightful read.


Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of Captured  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello Scribbler

Thank you for sharing your story. "Captured I am currently completing lesson five of the Rockin’Reviewers Academy. As I searched for a suitable short story to review I came across this one, and it is fair to say it captured my heart. 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* Setting
The story is set in the home of the main character Drew. The first scene is a dream sequence relating to when his daughter nine-year-old Chelsea goes missing. She climbs the slide in the park but never reappears. This first chapter was what drew me to read the story in it’s entirety. It surely must be every parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child. This was a strong start to the story, and a situation I’ve personally had experience of, which thankfully was one which was resolved after thirty minutes of panic.
The setting is a place of intense unhappiness and fear. Drew describes the morning when his daughter actually was abducted. The description of the day was good. The morning light with long shadows formed by the rising sun was evocative and the reader sensed that the place was deserted save for a lonely jogger.

*StarfishB* Plot
The story flows well. It begins when Drew is paralysed by the shock, unable to function until he has the inevitable break down in the bathroom. I particularly liked the phrases, fractured image, and, Like some schizophrenic picture, after he’d put his fist through the mirror. This event shocked him into action, waking him from his stupor. He is then able to remember the clue that will eventually lead to the discovery of his daughter’s whereabouts. The only thing I had any doubts about was that Drew said he was embarrassed to admit he couldn’t stop focusing on the fact five little girls had been murdered in the last six months. Maybe it would be more truthful to say he was “plagued by images when he thought of the five little girls.” The police resume their investigation and the story continues on to a satisfying conclusion.

*StarfishB*Conflict
Drew is tortured by the realisation he was unable to protect the ones he loved and by the guilt of not remembering the evidence he had in his possession sooner. This would have saved his child from three weeks of captivity at the hands of a psychotic killer. It would have been difficult, if not impossible, to forgive himself for not thinking of the film in his camera. However the police were also at fault for not thinking to look at the camera footage, as they would have been informed of the reason Drew and Chelsea were at the park so early in the day. He berates himself for not being able to hold on to thoughts until he at last remembered the vital piece of evidence. “this time I plucked it from my tortured mind and nurtured it until it opened like a flower” I thought that line was particularly poignant.

*StarfishB*Characters
The main character in the story is Drew McCann. The reader is aware of his fragile emotional state throughout, this is well described as he experiences the roller coaster of emotions, shock, helplessness, extreme anger, hope and relief. There is no physical description of Drew, leaving the reader to form their own picture.
Chelsea was another character whom, although we never saw her, we heard her voice “Did you capture me Daddy?” they were the words that gave the story its title. The word, capture, became a word with two very separate meanings as Chelsea was captured from the park by an unknown assailant.
*StarfishB*Theme
The ongoing theme was one of fear and anxiety. We shared these emotions with Drew throughout, each of us praying for a happy ending.

*StarfishB* Climax
The story reached its climax as we waited along with Drew to find out if the film footage was going to be useful, would it actually capture the kidnapper, and even if it did, would the police be able to apprehend him in time? We didn’t discover the details of Chelsea’s rescue. The final paragraph in the psychiatrist’s office still left the reader wondering about the outcome, until it was revealed the appointment had been for Chelsea, and a year had passed since the kidnapping. The reader was able to give a sigh of relief.

*StarfishB* Parting Comments
I noticed you wrote Captured, ten years ago. If written today a few details would have to be changed. The camera in question may not actually have film, it would probably be digital. Drew was unable to leave his house because he was waiting for a phone call from the police. This too wouldn’t happen today as we all possess mobile phones and are in constant contact wherever we are.
However this could easily be fixed if the story had 2009 in the title.
I really enjoyed this story, the tension was real and I was along for the ride with Mr McCann. The ending was satisfying, leaving me to hope they did manage to live happily ever after.
Well done.

Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of Salamander Stew  
Review by Sumojo
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi Bob, Nambo failed to learn a salutary lesson. Never make a meal of your new host’s fauna.
Cheers Sue
11
11
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello {suser:Professor Q}
I am a student member of the Rockin’ Reviewers Academy, currently considering poetry and it’s complexities.


I dropped by your port and read your poem "The Rights of Women and these are my reflections on your piece. Please take what you find useful and disregard the rest.


What I Really Liked.
The thing that made me stop and read your poem was the subject matter. The rights of women are close to my heart. I enjoyed your light hearted take on what is a serious subject. You took what could be seen to be a lecture in poetry form, to one of encouragement and persuasion in a humorous and satirical manner.
I loved the humour and satire of the piece, although in the penultimate verse, it did appear as if you may have been tarring all men with the same brush, with the line ”This man, like all men, ain’t nothing like at the ball”
I loved how you allude to the literary figures of fairy stories and how you drew comparisons between the fictional characters and females who still believe they need a man to fulfill them.



Poetic conventions used.
I enjoyed your use of enjambment throughout the piece, resulting in a poem that flowed well especially when read out aloud as you suggested at the beginning of the piece. I particularly liked the line ”These shoes aren’t what you want, they’ll shatter like your hopes,” when referring to Cinderella’s glass slipper, using it as a metaphor for shattered dreams
.


Suggestions to consider.
I don’t really have any suggestions, as I don’t feel qualified to suggest anything which would improve the piece, other than to mention the line which I found confusing. ” Be anything but what you want to be, unless what you want to be is what we want to see”. The first part of the sentence seems contradictory.
The only other comment would be the fact that each line begins with a capital letter. For me, it loses much of the meaning of the enjambment . I realise though that it is a well used method of poetry writing and a personal choice.



Parting Comments.
I really enjoyed reviewing this poem. I loved the subject matter, and the humour with which it was composed. It would appeal to many who read it, but particularly young women on the cusp of womanhood. The poem points out,in a satirical manner, the fact that numerous women over the years, have fought for rights and conditions, which today enable women to be on an equal footing to their male counterparts. Thank you for an enjoyable read.




12
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Review of Annie  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (1.0)
Hello suser:carlton607}

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 impression My first impressions were, after reading the story through several times, ones of concern for the poor lady. She sounded as if she may have been under the influence of an hallucinogenic drug! I, along with her was in a state of confusion. It never became clear what it was in Annie’s past, that frightened her so.



*StarfishB* What I liked} I do enjoy a story which includes a good and faithful companion. Buster is my kind of guy, protecting his mistress until the end. The story, about a woman who has a secret past, whose only companion is a dog could be quite a fine premise for a good tale in the right hands..


*StarfishB*Suggestions My first suggestion would be for you, the writer, to read your submission before placing it for public scrutiny. Read it out loud, this will help you hear if there are any parts you think may need re-writing.
Use your spell check app after finishing a piece of writing. This will ensure that at least every word is spelled correctly, there are numerous spelling errors in this story, too many for me to point them out in this review.
Please be careful using the word, was.
You used it seven times in the first five lines. You mention three times in the first three sentences that Annie screamed, it would be best to omit a couple of these. When you first introduce Buster it would read better if you put all the information about him at the same time instead of randomly mentioning aspects of him out of context. Something like Buster was a mixed breed, Annie remembered how playful he was when a puppy.
When you mention that Annie loved to knit socks, were you inferring she was caring and kind with many friends? If so, simply writing she knitted socks in her spare time lacks relevant information.
You mentioned her eyes on a couple of separate occasions, each time describing a different shade of blue, for the sake of continuity it is best to choose just one.
Your descriptions are contradictory, you mention Annie’s face frozen in the heat. Petrified but calm. Peaceful slumber but woke in a chilling puddle? Try to keep the story straight or it becomes impossible for the reader to understand your meaning.
Annie wondered why Buster did that? What was that exactly? When you wrote that Buster knew Annie would never referred to him as a mut. It would have sounded better if you wrote that Buster knew Annie loved him, and would never abuse him.
I wasn’t expecting Annie to die, after all she apparently had been restored to her former healthy self. An unexpected ending is often a good thing, it takes the reader by surprise. In this case though it didn’t add to the story or make it more interesting.



*StarfishB*Comments On the whole the story is confusing. I think a re-write is called for. Maybe the writer is wanting the reader to comprehend that the whole scenario was all in Annie’s drugged up mind. Then it may make more sense. She has overdosed and at first Buster is in the room and then he’s disappeared. In her confused state, she is young, blonde and beautiful, but her mind is playing tricks on her. Please let me know if that is what you had in mind when you wrote this story. I would very much like to read it again after you have fixed up the spelling and grammar.
Do please keep on writing, it’s not an easy road, but one worth the effort.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket
13
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Review of Even A Snail Will  
Review by Sumojo
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Monochrome, I hope you don’t mind me saying that your name sounds as if you think you may be colourless? I would say after reading your story you have a colourful imagination.
Well, I have just finished reading, Even a Snail Will. I must say I’d never thought about getting under a snail’s shell before. You certainly made me appreciate one of God’s creatures that I may have ‘accidentally ‘ trodden on in the past.
I liked that you gave him an identity, you described his day to day activities really well. We all have people in our lives that we see, maybe have a chat to, but they are so busy getting on with their lives they really have no time for us.
Thank you for giving Snail a story.
Well done, thanks for sharing.
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Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello suser:Owolugandapete

Thank you for sharing your story."MY OBESE YET HEALTHY PARADOX 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 impression
. First of all, let me welcome you to WdC.



I really enjoyed your observation piece regarding society’s obsession with weight and all that surrounds the topic. I’m presuming that English may not be your first language? If so you have done a remarkable job.





*StarfishB* What I liked Having read many articles on the subject of obesity, yours stands apart, as you raise the complex issue of culture in this regard. People from Western countries might never have previously considered that those who are fat or obese, could be lauded as being prosperous or healthy in another culture. It certainly opened my eyes to that fact, and also to the predicament you personally may find yourself in having to explain the Paradox.
You also raised the subject of social media, and its part in the whole obsession with weight, beauty and health. I agree with your view that each of us should be able to wear what we want, and to eat a variety of foods in moderation, and not be so constrained by what is considered to be socially acceptable. I liked the way you opened the subject up for discussion. You asked the question of the reader of how to explain to your friends and relatives the different outlooks.




*StarfishB*Suggestions As I mentioned at the start I thought the whole piece, well written. It would have been easier to read if the really long paragraph had been spaced out more. Other than that I found little to suggest which would improve this observation piece. Your grammar and spelling are good.



*StarfishB*Comments To sum up I think you did a fantastic job of bringing the subject out into the open. I really hope you get a good response from others that may read this article. It is thought provoking. I love your outlook on life, may you continue eating, drinking and wearing what pleases you. Well done.




Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket
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Review of Benjamin  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello sonny


Thank you for sharing your story. "Benjamin 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 impression I really liked this story. It gave an insight to the plight of the homeless in our communities. However Benjamin didn’t recognise his situation as a plight, he was thankful for everything he had. I could hear his voice. A slow Southern drawl. Well, it was to my ear, maybe everyone hears voices differently when listening to a character on a page.



*StarfishB* What I liked I liked how you conjured up a word picture for the reader. Although you didn’t give a physical description of Benjamin or his age I could tell he was a gentle man. Of course I imagine his skin colour was meant to surprise at the end?



*StarfishB*Suggestions I have a few observations, none about the way the story is written but about grammar, punctuation and line spacing. Having all your i’s in lower case I found distracting and I wasn’t sure if you meant to do it deliberately. It is a beautiful story and one worth spending time on, ensuring a good edit.



*StarfishB*Comments There are many lessons we can all take from this story. One of compassion and understanding of our fellow man.
Writing in the first person can be difficult to pull off successfully, and I feel you did a good job. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work. Well done.





Reviewed by Sumojo

Frog in a Hanging Basket
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Review of Where's My Voice  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)

Thank you rae.marie for sharing your story "Where's My Voice
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.


*Star* First impression. You described the despair of your character realistically as she gasped for breath after a near drowning. She was aware of her rescuers and yet felt the pull towards oblivion.

*Star* What I liked. You described the scene on the beach well. The frantic rescuers trying to keep the victim alive, dragging her from the water and shouting out for more assistance. The reader felt the urgency and the need to get air into the empty lungs. At the same time we were in the mind of the dying girl, seeing what she was seeing and hearing. Well done.

*Star* Suggestions. Use a capital letter to start your dialogue. Take time to read your stories over and over again. Edit, and edit again until you’re completely satisfied. Examples. The day’s clear blue sky
Air filled my lungs


*Star* Comments. Over all quite a good effort describing a traumatic event. Anyone who has ever experienced the desperate fight for air will be transported back to that time. Well done. Keep on writing.


Reviewed by Frog in a Hanging Basket
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Review of Little Dreamer  
Review by Sumojo
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hello, welcome to writing.com.
This sad little poem sounds as if it about a child not yet conceived?
Maybe it’s about a longed for baby who as yet is just a dream.
I can feel the longing in the words.
Thank you for sharing.
Cheers Sue
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Review of Love Is....  
Review by Sumojo
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi there,
Thank you for sharing your poem.
Any wife would be happy to receive such a tribute from their husband.
If you wrote this for your wife , she’s a lucky woman.
Cheers Sue
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Review by Sumojo
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi again, just thought I’d check out Miss Evelyn whilst I was here.
I love the concept of a winning call and the battery running out at the last moment.
You have a wonderful way with words and are able to conjure up real characters which the reader is able to empathise with.
I can see one typo. You say she’s not a fun of gadgets. Should it be fan?
I felt for her being so tired after her work. You described her aches and pains well.
Well done, thank you for sharing your story.
Cheers Sue
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Review by Sumojo
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello and a very warm welcome to writing.com.
This story, ‘Song of the birds’, I enjoyed reading very much.
I think we all know someone ageless, a person that we’ve know throughout our lives, who we somehow expect to be around forever.
The shock we feel when we realise he isn’t immortal is real and profound. Quite shocking really.
The sentence starting messages flowed in, was too long, especially as it was followed by two extremely short ones. Other than that I couldn’t see anything that needs attention. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.
Cheers Sue
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Review of Strangeland  
Review by Sumojo
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there, thank you for sharing this story. I found it very evocative, stirring memories of going back to a place that had once been home.
The visuals were strong, I could see the view from the top of the hill. The hill wasn’t as you remembered with the new road going over it, but still you knew that it was stilll the same place.
Going back is often hard to do, especially to a place of childhood. I liked how you described the local children playing and tried to place yourself in that time and place. The loss of a parent is so very hard and it is true that what was once a home becomes just a house after that person leaves.
I really enjoyed reading this story.
Cheers Sue

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Review of Trauma  
Review by Sumojo
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Izzy
Thank you for your poem, it describes the trauma of sexual abuse and the aftermath amazingly well. Well done.
I think I would have found it easier to read if the format had been different. Separate lines to bring out the rhyme and rhythm.
However the lines about the loss of innocence being as a flower without sunshine are beautiful and symbolic.
I really appreciated the story this told.
Thank you for sharing
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Review by Sumojo
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hi Sarim, you obviously wrote this piece from your heart, it was as if you needed to get down words that were rushing to be released.
I felt for you, maybe it wasn’t you but someone you imagined was going through this torment you describe so well. Whatever, or whoever, you let this reader feel the emotions he/she was experiencing.
Of course there are grammatical errors throughout but one feels in this case they could be excused, as anyone would excuse a person who was experiencing all you described.
Well done. Keep on writing.
Cheers Sue
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Review of Daring Greatly  
Review by Sumojo
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, congratulations on a well told story. One of determination, bravery and a carelessness that only an obsession so fierce would cause a man to risk everything.
One can only imagine the fear and responsibility the fourteen year old would have felt after the father died.
The story is one of many of that place and time and the reader is taken along for the ride, feeling sad and worried for this little family who through no fault of their own found themselves in such dire straits.
A worthy winner, well done.
Cheers Sue
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Review by Sumojo
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Huntersmoon,
This poem has it all, poignancy, reflection and yet speaks to today’s need for greed.
I particularly liked the line how your plans changed to accommodate the needs of others.
I’m not qualified to comment on Rhyme or meter but as they say “ I know what I like”
Cheers Sue
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