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Review by Tadpole1
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)

HollyMerry – When Rainbows Dance – Ch 1

My ideas and suggestion are just that: ideas and suggestions. You are the author and know what is best for your novel. Please, take what you like and leave the rest.

My thoughts:

What a cool world we have here! I love it. There is tremendous potential.

Boroden shivers in a cave with his friends while his beloved Aira is being tortured somewhere above them. The companions hear a knocking sound and realize that there are other brownies in the next cell. Soon, the kraken’s daughter sends for the prince (who is the prince?), but they refuse to leave the cell. (Why? What can they do? What are they going to do?)

There are a lot of characters. In the beginning, not too many were introduced at once, and then there were a lot of them. My suggestion is to lengthen the chapter and add more actions and dialogue.

Most of the chapter is from Boroden’s point of view. I would suggest keeping the entire chapter in his point of view.

The beginning of the chapter is more developed than the end of the chapter. The end was confusing to me.

I would like more setting. I’d like to see the cave better and know what it smells like.

Where I come from, we put double quotes around dialogue. I notice that there are single quotes surrounding dialogue here. I suppose that the rule is different where you live?

It was a pleasure to read the chapter.

Thank you for sharing!



Boroden: hero, King
Carnelian: beloved tutor
Aira: a brownie girl, Bo roden’s love
Hëkitarka prince?
Harfan: prince? Hëkitarka’s elder brother

In adjoining cell:

Klaufi: clumsy brownie sorcerer

Bad guys:

gang of hobyahs: bad guys with bulbous eyes
Serena: chief handmaiden to Krysila’s daughter, Leanan Sídhe.
Krysila: a kracken
Leanan Sídhe: Krysila’s daughter

‘Aira’s dead… it’s all my fault. Why did I ever try to reclaim a home for our clan in Velmoran?’ Boroden whispered brokenly, hugging his arms about himself against the cold. The thick chill penetrated through his coat, along with water drops falling like a barrage of arrows from the cave roof.


Water drops fell like a barrage of arrows from the cave roof, and a thick chill penetrated through Boroden’s coat. He hugged himself and avoided the gaze of his companions.

“Aira’s dead…it’s all my fault. Why did I ever try to reclaim a home for our clan in Velmoran?” he whispered.

What’s different?

I removed the adverb—brokenly.
The first sentence grounds the opening by giving a setting.
We know right away that Boroden is not alone and that there are several people, but there is only one name, so we are not confused.
Dialogue tag – “he said” might be better than “he whispered” if you want to keep to the two recommended dialogue tags: said and asked.

‘Don’t blame yourself, lad. Nothing could be done. It’s too late now to wish things different,’ Carnelian tried to reassure him, ever kind despite his own grief. Boroden had been overjoyed to discover that he and his travelling companions did not share their prison with a monster but with his beloved old tutor Carnelian. Boroden had thought him dead when he disappeared some months ago, taken by the servants of the kraken Krysila. Now Krysila had them too locked away in the dungeons of the evil Unseelie Court.


Carnelian touched his shoulder. “Don’t blame yourself, lad. Nothing could be done. It’s too late now to wish things different.”

Boroden lifted his head and looked at his old tutor. Carnelian had always been kind. Boroden had been overjoyed to discover that he and his travelling companions would not share a prison cell with a monster but with his beloved tutor. For months, Boroden had thought him dead, taken by the servants of the kraken Krysila. Now, Krysila had them locked away in the dungeons of the Unseelie Court.

What’s different?

The line of speech is given its own paragraph.

‘Too late, aye,’ Torden, one of the brownie chieftains, echoed. ‘Too late for Aira, poor flower.’

“Too late, aye,” Torden, one of the brownie chieftains, said. “Too late for Aira, poor flower.

Boroden choked at Torden’s hollow sounding words. Aira’s bloodcurdling shrieks coming from somewhere above them had eclipsed his happiness at finding Carnelian alive. He loved her. The golden haired brownie girl had been part of his life for so long, befriending him during his childhood spent confined in one of the towers in the palace of Velmoran when others had feared to approach him. After that when he had felt just as isolated with most of the other brownies simply seeing him as a king, someone to be in awe of or to lead them, Aira had never treated him any different. She remained so dauntless and true, facing the kraken and coming to his aid when the others dare not even though she was the smallest of them. To Aira he had pinned his hopes. Hopes that he might live happily with her at his side once the brownies had a safe homeland again in Velmoran, that beautiful brownie citadel where rainbows danced on the roofs of the cavernous quays that were the centre of trade in the coastal kingdom. Now she was gone.

golden-haired (Microsoft Word)
treated him differently

I understand that they are actually hearing Aira’s shrieks.


Boroden choked on Torden’s hollow words.

A bloodcurdling shriek came from somewhere above them.

“Aira’s alive!” Boroden said.

Torden’s sad frown twisted his bearded face. “She’ll not survive; I tell you.” (using his speech)

Another shriek slashed the air. Boroden glared up at the cave’s roof. Aira. He had to rescue her. He glanced around the cave, ignoring his companions. There had to be a way out.

Another bloodcurdling shriek came from somewhere above them. He clenched his fist. He loved her. When he was a child confined in the palace of Velmoran’s tower, the golden brownie girl had befriended him and had been his rock during his childhood. She remained steady the long years of his confinement even though others feared to approach him. When he became king, she had been there for him. She always treated him the same. When the kraken attacked and the other brownies trembled (hid, ran, …) , she remained dauntless and true even though she was the smallest of all. He had pinned his hopes on Aira, hopes that he might live happily with her at his side once the brownies had a safe homeland again in Velmoran. He bit his lip, remembering the beautiful brownie citadel where rainbows danced on roofs of the cavernous quays that were the centre of trade in the coastal kingdom. Another cry pierced his ears, and his shoulder muscles tightened. Poor Aira. They were killing her. He marched over to the jail door and examined the lock. He needed to escape and save her before it was too late.

What did I try to do?

I tried to make the text more immediate, more here and now, less telling.
Say things in a positive way instead of a negative way whenever possible.

Positive: She always treated him the same.
Negative: Aira had never treated him any different.

Something latched onto Boroden’s shoulder. Looking round, he growled as he beheld one of the armoured worms that lived on the prison floor. He tossed it off. It writhed hideously towards him despite his cousin, Hëkitarka, kicking at it.


An armoured worm latched onto Boroden’s shoulder. He growled and tossed it off. His cousin, Hekitarka, kicked it, but the filthy creature continued to writhe toward him.

‘They can climb. Nowhere is safe from them,’ Harfan, Hëkitarka’s elder brother, exclaimed.

A knocking sounded, hollow and muffled behind the rock.

‘Surely that’s not one of them beasties,’ Carnelian shuddered, referring to the worms.

Harfan pressed his ear to the stone but as he did so their friend Quentillian could be heard calling from the other side of the rock faintly as though under water. ‘Is that you, Boroden? I’m imprisoned with Gefi, although swinging down on them ropes almost knocked Gefi senseless.’

Gefi protested his consciousness half-heartedly.

‘Where’s Klaufi?’ Hëkitarka puzzled.

Boroden made no answer, bowing his head as he imagined that the clumsy brownie sorcerer must be dead. Despite their dire situation, it gladdened Boroden that at least some other brownies of their clan survived. His relief sank as a gang of hobyahs peered into their prison, their bulbous eyes gleaming with malevolent glee.

‘Look lively. You’ve got a visitor,’ ordered one of the hobyahs who scavenged in the dungeons of the Unseelie Court. He and his companion guffawed as the grotesque monsters tossed the remains of their supper of decomposing offal over the prisoners. Boroden did not want to consider what the remains might be from. The hobyahs soon quietened respectfully as Serena approached. They knew better than to get on the wrong side of the chief handmaiden to Krysila’s daughter, Leanan Sídhe.

‘Come to gloat, have you?’ Boroden challenged her venomously.

‘I have a message from My Lady. She’s waiting to receive the young prince,’ Serena said coldly.

Harfan tightened his grip on Hëkitarka.

Though terror and revulsion welled inside him, POV here = Harfan?

Hëkitarka told the others, ‘I’ll go. It’s our only chance. I might be able to reason with her.’

Boroden looked aghast. ‘What? Are you mad? Leanan Sídhe means only to kill you. Such is the hatred she and her mother hold for our clan.’

‘Please.’ Harfan hushed his cousin as Hëkitarka lowered his head in anguish.

Boroden regarded his cousins bleakly. ‘No. I’ll not have him go alone. We’ll stay down here together, even is if

we must die together. Don’t get your hopes up about finding a way out for us if you go to Leanan Sidhe, Hëki. I doubt we’ll ever escape the dungeons of the Unseelie Court.’

I’m a bit confused.

Review by Tadpole1
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi HM,

My thoughts: I enjoyed your chapter. There are lots of cool ideas in a cool world. There are monsters and secret powers, and it’s only the beginning! Plus, the family dynamics promise to be interesting.

There were not too many characters thrown at once, so it was easy to know who was who. Good.

POV: Soon, I’ll send you information about Point of View. So far, I believe that the chapter is almost in third person. I felt bits of Omniscient Point of View here and there.

Setting: A fairy world. There are lots and lots of fun tidbits, but greedy as I am, I want more!


Fairies or house elves:

Boroden Ulfharen
Uncle Leon
father King Mazgrim
brother Ulfmolt. - younger
Brother Alfarren - warrior
Friend Aira –



Grammar: There are a few spelling and grammar hiccups, but I didn’t point them all out.

The coming day would decide whether Boroden Ulfharen lived or died. If this night was to be his last, then he could not have asked for a more beautiful scene before him. The full moon shone in perfection, her attendants the stars merely drops in the ocean of her silver radiance. The midsummer sky was already softening with hues of rose and hazy blue. Dawn approached all too quickly.

The loveliness of it was distant from Boroden’s own pained heart. He pulled the hood of his silver lined cloak close about his face and turned away. He was sick of his mind churning out nightmarish visions of how the hobyahs might attack.
Oh my, hobyahs!

That evening he had diligently practiced his sword skills with his uncle, Leon. Usually so deft, Boroden’s sword arm had felt leaden as he forced himself to stop trembling as he trained. If Leon had not ordered him to get some rest, he would have gone to him now as he stood alert by the watch fire.

Do you think it’s best to have “as” twice in a sentence?

Another figure crossed before the red glow. It was King Mazgrim, Boroden’s father.

This is a bit telling. Maybe it could be more active?

A figure crossed before the red glow.

I just read the next paragraph and wondered why the bit about King Mazgrim was here. If it is important, then maybe add a few thoughts. Why does Boroden notice his father? How does seeing his father make him feel?

Boroden gingerly entered the nest constructed of moss and cobwebs that was suspended from the beamed roof of the circular King’s Hall. The scent of damp thatch and the herbs strewn over the floor to freshen the air was now mixed with the tang of the metal polish that his younger brother, Ulfmolt, had been busily applying to their armour and weapons in readiness for the coming battle. Boroden did not want to disturb his brother’s slumber.

In the previous paragraph, Boroden was so tired that his arm was leaden, so how can he enter gingerly?

I’m imagining the cool setting here. I love the moss and cobwebs, but it seems odd that there would be a beamed roof with them. I love the smells.
So far, we have:
Boroden Ulfharen
Uncle Leon
father King Mazgrim
brother Ulfmolt. - younger
Brother Alfarren - warrior
Friend Aira -

There was no point in putting it off. Boroden knew that he would not sleep. He pulled on his mail shirt as softly as possible, though it gave a few treacherous clinks. The greaves and vambraces were harder to put on by himself. He was used to Ulfmolt helping him to arm himself.

So maybe Ulfmolt is his younger brother.

Boroden settled before the opalescent pool of the mirror to comb out his mane of black hair to neaten it before he fastened on his helmet. His face was not exactly handsome, though it was not easily forgotten. Most striking were his eyes; solemn and intense, they were the eyes of one whose past had aged him beyond his 466 years. When he smiled the sparkle in his eyes was a gift of pure sunshine. His eyes were midnight blue, like his mother’s. He squinted, trying to imagine that it was the yearned-for face of his dead mother that he gazed upon.

Would it be interesting to have him see the reflection of his eyes and then remember his mother and her eyes? While he remembers his mother, he could remember all the things she used to say about him. Maybe she tells him that his eyes are striking and intense and that the sparkle in his smile was her sunshine. Maybe she said that he was the most handsome fairy, but he knew that he was strong but not exactly handsome. …but that was last years ago, now the eyes that looked back at him were solemn. Maybe at the end, he looks away from the pool and thinks, but she will never…xxx…again.

These are just ideas.

The comb slipped from his shaking fingers.

He rose to retrieve it but it had already been snatched up. Add a comma.

The first part of the sentence can stand alone as a complete sentence. It is what we call an independent clause: He rose to retrieve it.
The last part is also an independent clause: It had already been snatched up.

When it’s like this and you connect them together with “and,” “but,” “or,” or “so,” then you need a comma.

He rose to retrieve it, but it had already been snatched up

Ulfmolt dropped the comb into his brother’s outstretched hand. ‘You look like you’ve seen a ghost.’

‘Sorry, did I wake you?’

‘No. I had a nightmare.’

‘About the hobyahs?’ Ooh, these must be scary things.

Ulfmolt nodded. Boroden beckoned him to sit beside him with an understanding smile. He pushed aside his fear; his brother needed him.

Try not to put words that rhyme too close together: beside, aside

‘How will it be do you think?’ Ulfmolt fretted.

How old is he? You don’t have to give his age, but maybe give some kind of sign.

‘Hobyahs are different to most foes we’re trained to fight. For a start they don’t use swords. Their weapons are whatever they chance upon, be it twisted stinging nettles or briar thorns.’

Ulfmolt shuddered. ‘Will you keep by my side? I’d feel braver with you there.’

Boroden ruffled his brother’s hair. ‘Of course I will. Do you want to do some more weapon training now?’

‘I don’t know. I don’t want to be too tired for the fight.’ With well practised efficiency, Ulfmolt stood on tiptoes to place the helmet on Boroden’s head. Ulfmolt still had a good two heads height of growing to catch up with Boroden, but then at just over three feet high Boroden was tall for a brownie.

Okay, now we have a sign that the brother is younger.

‘You must have been terrified when the kraken attacked Velmoran. I often wonder what happened,’ Ulfmolt said. Nice

Boroden turned away to fetch his sword. ‘You know. The others have spoken of it many times.’

‘But not you. You weren’t with us. Carnelian only found you a few years ago in that circus.’

Boroden cringed as he recalled the long, miserable years he had spent in the circus facing the desperate curiosity and lack of respect that humans had for House Elves. He glanced at Ulfmolt. He owed it to his brother to tell him the truth. After all, this might be the last chance they had to talk. Nice thoughts.

‘The day the kraken came I was sailing my toy ship in one of the quays in the cavern beneath Velmoran.

Hobyahs had been sighted on the beach so I couldn’t play there. These are two independent clauses, so you need a comma before the word “so.”

Alfarrin went to deal with them.’

‘Weren’t you worried about him?’ Ulfmolt asked, although he knew already that King Mazgrim’s eldest son, Alfarrin, had been renowned as a talented warrior.

‘Not more than usual. Hobyahs often made raids only to turn cowardly back when our warriors came.’

Ulfmolt anticipated him. ‘But on that day they didn’t.’

Boroden nodded. ‘The happy bustle of the harbour vanished into screams. Terrified brownies ran by, almost toppling me. I ran too. Amongst the wreckage I saw her. The kraken. In Krysila’s eyes there was only hate. I hated her too, her senseless cruelty.’

So, the Kraken is a female.

Ulfmolt winced. ‘Did you fight back?’

‘I wanted to, but I was only a small bairn, so I ran. A hoard of hobyahs were ransacking the palace, searching for the fruit of the Tree of Life that Krysila sought in order to become immortal.’

Cool! Immortality. Also, I watched a series where I learned the word “bairn,” so I actually know what it means.

‘What about Alfarrin?’

‘Alfarrin had been beaten back to the throne room. Father disappeared into a secret escape tunnel along with many others.’

‘But you never made it.’

‘No… I tried to save my best friend, Aira.’

‘I’ve not heard you speak of her before. What was Aira like?’

Boroden gave a wistful sigh. ‘She was always smiling and chattering. Like a bright little fire sprite - she was tricksy and hardly ever still.’

Cool, fire sprite!

‘She sounds like a wonderful lass. I wish I could have met her. Did you find her? That day in Velmoran.’

‘Yes. She was caught on the stairs. Those grotesque hobyahs surrounded her, their eyes bulging and their beaks wide with menace. No doubt they thought she’d make an easy meal.’ Boroden clenched his jaw bitterly, praying as he had so often that Aira had escaped.

Ah, the hobyahs are predatory, bird-like creatures.

Ulfmolt shuddered. ‘That’s awful…’ Ulfmolt hesitated before asking his brother with a tremor in his voice, ‘did they kill her?’ Did

‘I… I don’t know.’ Boroden cast rueful thoughts upon his own inability to save her. ‘Father shut the escape route on me. I tried to reach Aira but there were too many hobyahs. They had with them a great prize: the fireball from a dragon. I would’ve been burnt to a cinder had it not been for Alfarrin. There was nowhere to hide but in the well, so we dived in. But, the fall… It knocked Alfarrin senseless. I tried my best to revive him, but by night, I gave up hope.’

A dragon fireball sounds cool!

Ulfmolt’s face crumpled with anguish. ‘I’m so sorry.’

‘When it was safe comma
I searched for Aira. I couldn’t find any trace of her. If you hear word of her and I’m no longer here, promise that you’ll look out for her?’

‘Course I will. Don’t say that Boroden. You’re a way better fighter than me.’

I don’t quite remember who they are going to fight or why they are going to fight.

‘You’ll come through just fine,’ Boroden said, trying to reassure Ulfmolt despite knowing his callowness at training. Now was not the time to seed doubt in his brother’s mind. Boroden could not understand why his father pressed Ulfmolt to fight, but King Mazgrim was impossible to argue against. ‘It’s my first battle too.’

Ulfmolt’s lips trembled. ‘I’m scared.’

Boroden squeezed his hand.

A light came into Ulfmolt’s eyes. ‘Boroden, we could leave now - slip away from the camp. No one would recognise us and we’d run fast if we used our ability.’

Cool, they have special powers!

‘Ulfmolt, Mother told us to keep it secret at all costs. We don’t turn cowardly from a fight, no matter how scared we are. We fight for our clan, trusting that good will triumph.’

Ulfmolt’s mention of their shared ability made Boroden pause as he buckled his sword belt. Boroden’s anguish at their situation was nothing compared to his guilt. If he had used his secret power when Velmoran was seized then he might have done more to help his clan. Instead he had been too afraid of bringing his father’s wrath upon him. Would it be the same today?

Boroden debated with himself. Could he risk everything that he had to save the lives of his comrades? Wasn’t that the very thing that was required of them all in battle?

Hideous screeches and snarls tore jaggedly in the stillness, closing in on the camp. Ulfmolt’s eyes widened with terror and he looked to Boroden.

Here we have increasing tension. Good!

The nest shook. It was Leon, the risen sun flaming bright on his golden hair. ‘The hobyahs are advancing.’

Boroden drew his sword with a strength previously unknown. ‘I’m ready.’

They are going to fight the Hobyahs, and they have secret powers. Da, da, da!

Review of Courage  
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi S,

Thank you for sharing your poem!

Keep writing!

Review of Canyons of Light  
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Ken,

I saw your wolf with the lavender moon and decided to investigate. When I saw that you live in Virginia and then saw a poem entitled Canyon, I decided to read it. At first I thought "canyons in Virginia"? He must be from Arizona. Lol. Then I saw the photo that illustrates the poem. Also, I guess the Blueridge Mountains are in Virginia? Or, are they the Smoky Mountains?

I love dragons. It's interesting that you associated the mirrored exteriors of the towers with dragon scales. I like the analogy. Cool. Ah, yes, dragons hoard treasure, and naturally they stretch. And then, we have fledglings.

Thanks for sharing your poem.

Smiles to you.

P.S. I always give five stars for poems. There is no right or wrong, but its always great when a poem makes me smile. *Smile*
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Jordan,

I received your review request and had five minutes, so I decided to take a peek. My disclaimer is that I am neither a blogger nor a mental health specialist. I am an ordinary person with a happy, well-rounded life. However, I did write a novel in which a character has DID, so I have done research.

Is it random that you asked me for a review, or is it because I have a query for Chimera?

Chimera - Query  (18+)
Detective George Wright confronts the most bizarre murder case of his career.
#2052218 by Tadpole1

Your blog was touching, and I believe you when you say you have DID. It seems that not all psychologists believe in DID, but I've done enough research that I believe that many people suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder. Personally, I think that anyone who has problems and puts them on paper is helping himself whether the words are ever read or not, so I believe that writing your blog is good for you.

You have suffered immensely, but it seems that you have found someone who loves you for who you are, so you are not alone. It seems that you are moving forward. This is all good news. Even though your past is behind, it still lives with you, yet you have your entire future before you. Each day is a new promise.

May your days be filled with hope,

Review by Tadpole1
Rated: ASR | (4.0)

Hi HM,

I’m impressed! The blurb is clear and concise. It flows well and gives a good idea of what the book is about as well as an idea of who the target audience is. Well done.

Let me hunt for suggestions to improve it.

Aira is “a” brownie and not “the” only brownie, right?

Is “alike” necessary?

Perhaps, “…Aira dreams of the day she and her kin will be free”?

Is there a typo here? “these uncanny group”?

Suggestion: Can Aira uncover who this uncanny group of brownies really is…

A group “is”.

“Thus, “uncanny group of brownies really is…”

Repeated words: seemingly, seem

Your book sounds great!

Thank you for sharing!
Review of An autumn walk  
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Hollymerry,

After a long walk in the autumn wood today, this poem spoke to me. The following were my favorite lines:

Like green hedgehogs, chestnuts nestle the ground. (Great imagery!)
Nearby, mushrooms thrust furled fists. (I love this imagery as well.)

A pipping.
Long-tailed tits arrow across the fiery sky. (I like the sound invoking sight here.)
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Fyn,

Did you actually have eye surgery? What a fright!

I chose to read this poem because the title spoke to me. The Thanksgiving After...You don't know...until you know.

We haven't seen our kids for a year, and I am praying that they will be here Christmas. I won't know...until I know. With the covid mess, lockdowns, flight cancellations and prudence, we simply will not know...until we know.

About the poem, I'm looking at the rhyming, which is great, and see that the end of the first three stanzas rhyme but not the fourth. Is there a reason?

I ask because I would like to learn how to write more "correct" poetry.


Review by Tadpole1
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)

I'm reading the chapter as a random read, so I'm falling into the story after the beginning, and nevertheless, I am certainly enjoying it.

The word "croft" gives us era and setting all at once.

"brownie warrior" and "broad beans" made me smile. I wrote this while reading along. Now, I realize that brownie warrior is a fairy warrior. Nevertheless, it drew me into continuing reading.

"Tarn" is a new word for me, thank you. :)
I don't know what an "open fell" is even though I looked it up.

In general, I love the imagery. "Duty and rules could go hang." Lol!

I thought he was too young to be a warrior, and yet he has whiskers. Intriguing. Is the young poet a mouse? I must continue reading to find out...

Missing word - her - "The unexpected voice immediately above her head made jump round,"

.... I have now finished the chapter....

POV: The point of view is omniscient.
Setting: A magical world

Pace: I felt that the chapter moved along too fast. In my opinion, it needs more rhythm. There needs to be slower moments where the reader has time to breathe. In fact, I think that the chapter could be broken into several chapters.

Characters: There are a slew of them! The names are awesome. There are many different characters with different characteristics and powers. In fact, there are so many, and the action goes from one character to another so quickly that it is sometimes hard to follow. This of course, could be due to the fact that this is a random read starting at chapter six, but I think that is only part of it.

Personal opinion: This is cool. Perhaps it could be even better cutting the action into separate chapters and using the First Person Point of view or at least adding more thoughts for the characters in continuing with the omniscient point of view.

The chapter is a bit long, so that's another reason for dividing it into shorter chapters.

Once again, I love the imagery and the character names. I love the magical world.

Thank you for sharing! Awesome.


Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Biglew,

I enjoyed your poem. It was emotional and shared the way many policemen feel.

Thank you for your work, and thank you for sharing.

Keep writing,

Review of WHO WE ARE  
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Sarge,

Before I read your article, I would like to share that I read a book called THE MIND OF A COP, What They Do, And Why They Do It by Scott Fielden. I read it as research for one of my novels.

What I remember most from Fielden's book is that, often, policemen decide to join the force because they simply want to help people and make a difference.

Now, let me see what you wrote...

While reading WHO WE ARE, I felt a great pain and distress. The article felt honest and from the heart, highly emotional.

The writing was good, and I was so pulled into the content that I did not really pay attention to grammar or punctuation.

There is perhaps one group of people that was not referenced, and that would be the group that appreciates the services provided by the police. I fall into that category. *Smile*

Thank you for sharing!


Review of Live to Die  
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (4.5)
Wow, Slongentl,

This poem drew forth strong and conflicting emotions, and isn't that what writing is all about? Well done.

If I were to suggest anything, it would be that a painter's palette is not nude (to me). It is full of color. On the other hand, a painter's canvas is nude (to me) because it is waiting to be clothed in painted colors. This being said, perhaps a painter's canvas would be cliche?

Keep writing!

Review of The Siege  
for entry "On the run
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Plot: Humans and dwarves are running, through a town and toward the city gates, from attacking goblins and orcs. Two armor-wearing dwarf cousins are running together--Tomuk and Jarik. Goblin arrows down men and women as the two cousins race toward the gates only to find that the orcs are already taking the city. While the cousins are deciding what to do, an orc attacks!

Suggestion: Instead of "large quantities of" perhaps "large numbers of"

Point of View: Instead of simply telling us that two arrows hit the man, put it in relation to Tomuk. Maybe something like,

"An arrow nicked Tomuk's ear with a lancing pain. He winced and glanced sideways just in time to see the arrow plung into a human's elegant tunic. A second arrow ripped the life from the poor (fellow/fool). This pulls the action closer to Tomuk's point of view.

Setting: I imagined that they were running through the woods. It took a few paragraphs before I realized that they were in a town or a village (because of the rooftops). It would be good to ground where they are in the first paragraph.

I would guess that the attackers were more than pesky. Maybe they were mudereous? This being said, there were a few adjectives/phrases that made me chuckle, so maybe this is on purpose. By the way, I like to chuckle. Grin.

Questions: Why are they running? Why are they being attacked? These questions don't actually have to be answered in the first chapter.

My thoughts: This is a good first draft. It's a fast-paced chapter that leaves us on the edge of our seats, ready to turn the page.

Thank you for sharing.

Keep writing!

Review of The Wishing Tree  
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (4.0)
Good afternoon Fyn,

I enjoyed your story. The title pulled me in, and the heartfelt story kept me reading. It was very sweet and touching, a story of true love.

What could have made it better? I would have liked to know the couple's names earlier. It would have helped me to become attached quicker.

This may be a local expression, if not, is the word "some" extra? "We'll be fine. Bet you feel some better finally telling me about it."

"Another autumn" feels vague. Maybe "Years later"?

Thank you for sharing your story of lasting love.

Review of Her First Time  
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Zeke,

This was cute. *Smile*

You were able to misdirect what was about to happen to the young lady in the beginning. I smiled as I read along, wondering if she wasn't in a xxx xxxx (blanks to avoid a spoiler for anyone reading the review).

I liked it, but I'm going to go back to see if I can find any suggestions...It's quit good, so I'm "looking" for a suggestion. Here it is: Do you think that the two have the same voice? Do they sound the same to you? Is there a way to differentiate them? Perhaps one could speak with shorter sentences? I don't know, but it's a good idea to make each voice distinctive whenever possible. Sometimes, it's even possible to know who is speaking just by the dialogue.

Thanks for sharing!

Review by Tadpole1
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Ken, In my inbox, I saw congratulations written for you, so I popped by to check why. I’m not sure why you were being congratulated, but congratulations! Lol.

While I was here, I decided to read one of your structured poems. By the way, are you good enough with poetry rules to teach those unskilled?

Anyway, back to your piece.

abab bab abab Did I get that right?

I’m not sure what the glistening spheres are. Tears?

In my personal opinion, poetry is always good because it comes from someone’s heart, and the rules (such as I understand them) allow great freedom in the writing.

So, how does this piece make me feel? I find it a bit pessimistic and would like a final stanza of hope added. This being said, I think I wrote one about terrorism that probably didn’t give much hope either. (I’m rolling my eyes at myself here.)

Thanks for sharing and have a sunshiny day!


Review by Tadpole1
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

*RainbowL* *Grass* *PoseyP* *TulipB* *MushroomG* *ButterflyG* *FishP* *StarfishY* *Frog* *StarfishR* *FishB* *ButterflyV* *MushroomV* *TulipR* *PoseyY* *Grass* *PoseyP* *TulipB* *MushroomG* *ButterflyG* *FishP* *StarfishY* *Frog* *StarfishR* *FishB* *ButterflyV* *MushroomV* *TulipR* *PoseyY* *Grass* *RainbowR*

Hi everyone. Any of my comments or suggestions are just that: comments or suggestions. They are always given with respect and the hopes that they will be helpful. If you don’t agree with them, just ignore them; after all, you know what is best for your story. Also, three and a half stars means that it’s pretty good. Five stars means that I couldn’t make any suggestions for improvement. *Smile*


Just My Personal Opinion: *Smile*

Hiya D, *Smile*

It’s a pleasure to hear from you! I enjoyed your short story and didn’t see the end coming. Great!

I have two small comments. The first is that the sentences are often long, but if you add the commas before the conjunctions (and, so, but, etc.) that combine two independent clauses, it will help.

Two, I’m a tad confused. At first, I thought Sally was dead, then I wasn’t sure with the part about the mouthful of water. Yes, I noticed the part about the incontinence, but it could mean that the bodily fluids are weeping.

Suggestion: If Sally is actually alive, have her groan or struggle against her ties. If she’s actually dead, maybe make it just a tad clearer.

Otherwise, I enjoyed a few chuckles and the chance to say hello.




March 2018

Veronica Poem knew precisely why her palms had become so sweaty.

She could barely grip the Parker pen she wrote with and blotted her hands against the cushion on which she sat to absorb the excess moisture. She had not seen her boyfriend for a whole two weeks, and it being Thursday, expected to see him walk through the glass doors of her workplace at any second. They had been going steady for a little over three months and she was anxious to take the relationship to the next level.

Dennis Pritchard, depending on traffic, usually arrived between 1:12 and 1:19 and it was already 1:18 in the afternoon. Her heart danced and fluttered within the cage of her chest and threatened to catch the next train up her throat and out of her mouth. She checked her workstation again and it remained meticulous for his arrival, with every paperclip and rubber band in its place. She wore his favorite dress. The green sleeveless frock she bought online exposed her pale arms but it was worth braving the cold temperatures of the bank in order to please him.

Perhaps he'd bring a gift or a tasty morsel for her today, she thought. The fantasy fought for dominance against the attention required to complete the financial transaction before her. She asked her customer to repeat the request while keeping a distracted eye peeled to the entrance.

The customer left and another appeared before Veronica in the window slot. She needed to check her appearance once again before Dennis arrived and used her phone camera to view the condition of her makeup. To her horror the clear cellophane face-lift tape she placed just above her left ear had started to slip due to the excessive perspiration. Lol! The skin fold between her nose and mouth began to assume it's normal contour and the disparity between the two sides of her face looked as if a medical emergency was evolving.

Ian Wharton rapped on the plastic divider behind Veronica. The bank manager was not pleased. His generous mustache hid how rigid his upper lip had become.

"Veronica. Now is not the time to be taking a selfie when dealing with a client," he said, through a gnarled jawline. "You should know our electronic device policy use by now."

Veronica Poem, startled by the manager's controlled growl, almost dropped the phone through her already lubricated fingers. There was nothing she could do about her cosmetic malfunction at that time. She swiveled only a few degrees so she could conceal her entire face.

"Oh, Mr. Wharton. I was not actually taking a ..."

He interrupted her. "Save it, Veronica. And where is Miss Turner? Is she coming in today or not?" He scanned the empty cubicle next to Veronica's.

"Sal? She's stuck at her gynecologist. She's not well 'down below'. Didn't she call in?"

"No, she did not," he said in retreat.

Veronica covered for her rookie workmate by lying about where she was. She maintained that tellers, especially female tellers, should stick together and not rat each other out. But young Sally Turner would have to owe her for this one.

At 1:20 in the afternoon, Dennis Pritchard walked through the thick glass doors of First Financial Bank. Veronica was sure she heard a tabernacle choir begin to sing when he appeared and struggled to maintain her composure after not having seen him for such a long time. There was a tremor in her shoulders, both from the anticipation and from the cold draught spewing out of the air-conditioner ducts.

He tucked in his black and red flannel shirt, wiped his boots and headed towards her. She pretended not to see him and busied herself with the feminine flair of an innocent coquette.

As he neared, she bathed in the musk of cologne that preceded him. Dennis came to a stop not more than four feet from Veronica at the back of the roped, serpentine, customers service line. She allowed a knowing smile, signaling the start of their intimate game where he pretended to ignore her too. Keeping their relationship a secret from her colleagues was one of the more satisfying aspects of their courtship.

She stole a glance at his shoulders as he backed her. They were slouched and she made a mental note to tell him to straighten his posture and that he needed a haircut. A single piece of folded white paper was all he carried in his hand and Veronica could not wait to read the love note he surely penned. She had a gift for him too. A little something to celebrate their three and a half month lunaversary.

Over the years, she developed a skill to perfectly time the duration of her clients at the teller's desk to synchronize with whom she wanted to see in the line. It worked ninety-nine percent of the time, only foiled when another teller released their customer at the same time. Dennis neared the front of the line and she gathered the gift she prepared for him.

With perfect execution, Veronica handed her present client a receipt, bade her good-bye and called for her secret love to approach. It probably was not necessary for her to be as precise, as it was obvious he'd come to visit only her. She watched him approach with his boyish grin and quirky gait. Not much different from the steps he'd take as he would walk down the aisle to wed her, she thought.

Her entire pelvis flushed with a warmth and she squirmed in her office chair.

"Why hello, Dennis." She batted the extra thick eyelashes she picked up at the flea market last week.

He had never been a man of many words and Veronica absolutely loved that about him. He sort of scratched at his patchy neck-beard and swallowed the brown saliva from the tobacco wad wedged against his gum line.

"Hey yourself, this is for you." He passed her the note under the glass partition.

More than a few times, in the moments just before she drifted off to sleep, she fantasized the note would read... 'Give me all your money or there'll be trouble'. She loved Dennis so much, she thought she'd probably hand over a large amount of cash to her bad boy lover and they'd run off to Mexico or somewhere. She'd giggle herself to sleep in the darkness.

"How have you been?" She took the note.

Although her nails were beautifully polished in olive green to match her dress, she was disappointed how aged the backs of her hands had become. The veins appeared so prominent and looked like sick earthworms entwined under her skin.

"Been alright. You?"

Her heart sank. It was not a romantic note after all. Merely his unemployment check for $213.82. Lol.

"I've been good... Umm, you like my dress?" She ached for his soft word.

" 'Snice. Seems you been wearing that one the last time I was in here."

The tabernacle choir decibel level increased in her ears as it was so clear he noticed the little things about her, even though she had not been his teller. She counted his money and similar to the previous time, four weeks ago, she added a fifty-dollar bill of her own money to his stash. Her special touch this time was that she slept with the bill between her breasts so her unique lure would be imparted amidst the note's ink. She was sure it would make her irresistible. Once again she added her telephone number and hoped he'd figure it out when he matched her fragrance.

Veronica Poem could not believe the depth of Dennis Pritchard's romantic side when he said; 'Thanks', and promptly walked out of the bank. She immediately put out her 'next teller' sign to indicate she was on break. She followed him right up to the double glass doors and watched him trot to catch the waiting bus at the corner.

Her hormone levels plummetted typo?

after being with her boyfriend and it became harder to contain her emotions. She needed a minute, plus the frigid cold had become unbearable on her slender arms. A quiet saunter through the parking lot to pick up a sweater from her car would likely kill two birds.

The three sweater jackets on her back seat were fine but the red one would match the red fringe at her neckline. Where was it?
She removed the instant face-lift clear tape from the sides of her face as she opened the trunk of her car.

It stunk.

Sally Turner lay partially on Veronica's red sweater. The blood from her head wound had dried sufficiently such that Veronica could flick the stain off the wool fibers.

Sally groaned.

"Hot enough for ya? So this will teach you not to try to steal my boyfriend away from me while he's in line. You got that, Sal?"

Sally had become doubly incontinent from the prolonged heat exposure. A mere mouthful of water is all she needed from her rescuer.

"I had to cover for you with Mr. Wharton, so you owe me one."

Shutting the trunk, Veronica headed back to her workstation wearing her slightly soiled, button-down red sweater. Thank God the next day was Friday. It'd been a tough week. At least she already had her Grey and blue skirt-suit selected.

That was Darryl's favorite. She missed him. Hadn't seen him in two weeks either.

© Copyright 2018 Donkey Hoetay (mongo505 at Writing.Co

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your work. Please take any suggestions you like and disregard the rest because only you know what is right for your writing.


*RainbowL* *Grass* *PoseyP* *TulipB* *MushroomG* *ButterflyG* *FishP* *StarfishY* *Frog* *StarfishR* *FishB* *ButterflyV* *MushroomV* *TulipR* *PoseyY* *Grass* *PoseyP* *TulipB* *MushroomG* *ButterflyG* *FishP* *StarfishY* *Frog* *StarfishR* *FishB* *ButterflyV* *MushroomV* *TulipR* *PoseyY* *Grass* *RainbowR*

Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Imran,

Thank you for sharing your chapters. *Smile*

What I liked: I liked the feeling of intense emotion. It was almost as if there was a bit of biographical information here.

What I think could be improved: Show, Don't Tell. My guess is that you will hear a lot of that here. This story is being "told."

Write the story as if it were happening right now. Use strong active verbs, and avoid weak verbs like was and were. Add dialogue. Have the characters interact together. Give more setting. Write as if it were a film, one action triggering the next.

Good luck and thank you for sharing!

Keep writing,

Review of The Test  
Review by Tadpole1
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Jacky,


I have no idea, so of course, I Googled it. Roll eyes. This being said, I am still not sure.

I read your little flash fiction because I jumped into the Pond to see what was happening and I saw that your story won.

With only three-hundred words, you are limited to what you can write, but if you were to expand your little story (just to be able to write a critique in this review) I would point out that there's no setting (grounding) in the story and Mom only pops in at the end. Also, silly me, I didn't get the punch line. I suppose that Mom doesn't think that video games are worth fighting for? (I'm blushing with embarrassment here.)

Congratulations for winning!

Review by Tadpole1
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi PS,

You popped up again, so here's another review!

I enjoyed your satire, smiling all the while.

Typo: "I 'watch' in horror" I believe you meant "watched."

Review of The Survivors  
Review by Tadpole1
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi PS,

Thank you for your poem. It takes us through darkness to find hope.

My favorite line: Actually, I like the two first lines. I find them very poetic.

Thanks for sharing!

Keep writing,

Review of Ethnicity  
Review by Tadpole1
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi AngieB,

With so few words you were able to convey a positive outlook on several deep subjects. Impressive.

It was a very pleasant read, and we could all learn from the message.

My favorite line: "We share different texture hair, we share different accents." With this simple line, we already have an idea where the poem is going.

Thanks for sharing. Keep writing,

Review by Tadpole1
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi ya Sailor,

This was a mighty cute story. The kind I would have liked to have been able to tell my kids. It was a feel-good story.

How could it be improved? Well, I think the story itself was just fine. Perhaps, a grammar check?

Here are two things I picked out, but I believe there are more.

1) They added a variety of food outlets, and repositioned... Don't break up the two parts of the verb with a comma.

They added and repositioned.

2) ...then the current fashion. (than)

Thanks for sharing!

Review of A Tree for Me!  
Review by Tadpole1
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi K,

Very cute! At first, I thought that the folks were going to be magical beings. In the end, they were just a normal family at a very happy time of year.

I loved Bentley's name. Pretty cool.

What could make it even better? Conflict in stories is important. There was a bit of conflict and a rise in tension when Mom and Dad caught Bentley with his leg raised. Poor fellow. Maybe the conflict and tension could be a teeny bit higher?

To me, one of the most important parts of a story is to make the reader feel something, and this one made me smile. :)

Thanks for sharing!

Review of The Right Swipe  
Review by Tadpole1
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Dear Anu,

I must say this was truly a five-star piece. The best I have read in a long time. I was thoroughly hooked from beginning to end. I was on the edge of my seat. Smiles crossed my face several times as my eyes descended the page. Certainly, I don't want to give anything away to anyone who might be reading the review, so simply put, well done!

Thanks very much for sharing!

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