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101
101
Review of Meaning  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, vg,

My name is Bob and I've been around here for about 5 months or so. My portfolio is an open book, pun intended, and if my review clicks with you at all, consider dropping by and seeing if my chops are more than just pork *Smile*

What I liked about your all too brief item, and why I stopped and decided to take some time with it, is because there's some real magic happening among its few words. I like the message, the passion and enthusiasm which is there. You've captured a certain feeling and theme that deserves more, and hence my following suggestions:

What you have here is a terrific outline for a much longer piece. Each line is almost the basis for its own small story or segment of wisdom or encouragement. Likewise, I can't encourage you enough to expand the great stuff you've started in what deceptively appears to be a single paragraph.

You could write this as a poem, also, but it sounds like you have a lot to say, a lot of good things to talk about, and the experience and intelligence to make it all work for you and your readers alike.

I'd love to see you take each thought, each suggestion that you enumerate so well, and make the whole thing four, five, ten times bigger and better than it is presently. Tell us more about each item, each idea, and explain the joys, sorrows, and benefits of doing all of them. What such advice did you for you personally, and what one can expect to derive for themselves.

Please let me know if you decide to develop this work into a more expanded rendition, as I would love to see and read it. And so would others. You're off to a great beginning, and have all the necessary headlines in place, ready to rock and roll *Smile*

Let me know if you have any questions, or are curious as to how to turn this into a poem, if that sounds appealing to you.
Good luck on your journey.
Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
102
102
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi, Spanky,

Wow. This is really good. Hi, my name is Bob and I've been hanging around here for about 5 months or so, doing mostly reviews and causing trouble whenever possible.

You've got some good rhymes here, and some great rhymes. It's all terrific and I'm left with not much more to say other than, wow, I just really like this. You did a wonderful job making it all work. Congratulations.

I like the absence of punctuation. Nicely done. It doesn't need any.

Stanzas? Hmmm. I wondered about that. Maybe. At 30 lines, you could do some nice experimental treatments with groups of four and five lines each. It would be fun figuring out where to make the breaks.

I like the idea of dreams and blindness as metaphor, in addition to their being taken literally. If our interpretation is expanded in such ways, the poem takes on a much deeper, far more profound context. All with multiple layers and strong implications.

My only objection is the last two lines. Or the second to last line. You've simply got to change it to read as follows:

Someday I'll see no doubt
What a blind man dreams about

Now you've added death as part of the story. In this sense, the poem now includes all of us, and brings the piece to an ultimate and satisfactory conclusion. Just a suggestion, of course, but one I can't make strongly enough. And if you don't like my exact wording, do your own version of what I'm trying to say here. The poem is immediately catapulted from excellent to great, and from four 1/2 stars to a solid five.

Regardless, this is one damn fine piece of work.

Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
103
103
Review of Welcome to Earth  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi, Tab,

Although this poem is its own kind of fun, and one would be hard pressed to criticize it for any particular reason, I found it too predictable and somewhat of a rehash of what we've come to expect from these kind of thoughts, whether comedic or serious in nature. That said, you've created a great opportunity for yourself, should you want to explore it.

I wonder if you asked yourself, when finished with this, "Have I said anything new here?" Or, how could I spin or twist this so that smart-alecs (aka wise-asses) like that Bob guy, won't say it's just a repeat of what's been played-with a thousand times before?

These are the kind of questions that convert so-so poems into great ones. The question, of course, is whether or not we can provide a satisfactory answer. Which is to say, a clever enough twist to something old, to make it something new or more interesting.

The obvious solution here, for me, was how I immediately considered the alternative, the opposing point of view. As you likely already know, seeking opposites and reversals of what is otherwise mundane, will typically take us to new territories, and new ways of exploring tired, well-cooked themes.

In your case, again with an accent on humor, we might ask how would humans conduct themselves upon arrival at an inhabited planet? Since we philosophically consider ourselves the be-all and end-all of everything, that same arrogance might likely show itself in how we "greeted" the rightful inhabitants of another world, as if they were the "foreigners" who were occupying a planet that already belonged to us.

Secondarily, the dialogue here is strictly from us to them. I can easily imagine the same piece as a translation from them to (and about) us. Which could be equally funny. If not more so. Something like, "Who are these assholes?" Though not in those exact words *Smile*

The best I can do here is point-the-way, so to speak. I don't want to be any more specific or write any actual lines. You're more than capable of doing so, and the most I can hope for, is to inspire you to be less restrained and more gutsy. Get in touch with your crazy self and toss aside almost all regard for sensibleness.

While no one, including me, is expecting you to be the world's best comedic poet, your own dry sense of humor, which I detect you have, can be a real asset if you let it. You started out great here, but held too much back (held back too much), that you might really have wanted to say.

Yeah, I know it's just a little puff-piece of a poem, but those are the best kind to revisit and rejuventate. Breathe some new life into this, then toss it aside and move on to the next. All while asking the same questions of how you might revamp "tried and true" with "wild and uninhibited". Not always, and not with respect to every poem, needless to say, but when the subject matter allows for it -- go for it *Smile*

Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
104
104
Review of reward  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, Shreyans,

You have a much more interesting name than I do, which is Bob. I'm glad we're not having a contest on who has the nicest name. *Smile*

The reason I'm reviewing your story, which is more of a poem, I believe, is for two reasons:

1) I think the moral it speaks about is both true and important for us to learn.

2) I assume that English is not your first language, and I'm curious as to whether you would be interested in seeing how your own words might look, if written and punctuated correctly.

As an author of several published books, I am a little like the monk in your own story, who recognizes the importance of helping people. And enjoying the reward of self-satisfaction that comes from assisting others who could benefit from the help I offer.

Your piece is just the right length for someone like me to "edit" the work, rearrange the words correctly, and properly punctuate everything accordingly. I think it might be interesting and informative -- and educational -- for you to see what this would look like if it were written "perfectly" or close to it.

As it is, and as you probably already know, there are a lot of technical problems that are not your fault, but simply the result of an unfamiliarity with the language. I also assume that because you're now a member of this website, that you would like to share your writing with others, plus read and review their works as well.

Part of your goal, therefore, would be the desire to have others read, understand, and review your writing, which can be very helpful in learning to write better English. With your permission, I'd be happy to "convert" your current item and let you see the most important corrections.

If you have any questions afterward, I would be equally pleased to answer them. Let me know what you think of my idea, and allow me to also welcome you to WDC.
Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
105
105
Review of Lost  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, FirstMate,

My name is Bob, and if you like your review, consider taking a peek at my portfolio, just to see who I am, and take note of the fact that I've not only won a Pulizer once, but twice. So I must really know what I'm talking about. Because I'm good at multitasking, winning that Nobel would be a real feather in the old cap.

This is actually related to your poem because I kind of hate people like me. Or is the envy and jealousy so great at times, that it just seems like hate. I'm on your side, my friend.

How is it that some people just fall out of bed in the morning and they're successful? It drives me crazy that in an insane world, so many people seem to have things figured out, or pieces just appear to fall into place for them, and they don't work any harder than I do. They aren't any more talented, or smarter, or better looking than I am. So what's up with that?

There's a kind of conspiracy going around, where some folks are "insiders" and almost instinctively "get it" as to how the world works, and what it takes to make it work for them, instead of against. There's a saying about "old" souls who've been through the process so many times, that they're far ahead of their less experienced peers. So where's the fairness in that?

I'm already bitter enough as to the present circumstances, standing back while others go marching by to the sound of all their own drums, while I whack a twig against the bark of a dead tree, wondering who all these people are, and why do they know so much more than I do.

One of the few things that keeps me going, is an awareness that there are others even more lost than I. At least I'd know the lght if I saw it. I don't think these others who do little more than clutter up the path for the rest of us, would find their way strapped to a mule. '

Nothing I can do for them. It's barely all I can do for myself. But I'm as worthy as any. More than some, not as much as others. But where's the helping hands, the maps, directions, the hand signals which point the way? My more successful friends offer pity more than shoes with bootstraps. Maybe that's why they're them, and I'm me.

The irony that haunts me is that I can see the light I crave. It lies outside -- beyond the hole I'm in, where the occasional golf ball plops inward and knocks me back to where I started.

I hate all of you who play the course. And the best I can hope for is to be your caddy. But I love the game, yet am denied the sport of it. While others slip and trip their ways into holes-in-one.

Well, my friend, I think it's safe to say that your poem certainly struck home with me. Can I relate? Absolutely. And I think you said it extremely well. So well, that I couldn't even keep my own mouth shut up about it.

Bravo and kudos to you, for you really rocked my boat, or overturned my kart with your insightful and extremely poignant observations. Thanks for letting me get a lot of that off my chest.

Good job.Strong stuff -- if we can handle the truth.
Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
106
106
Review of White Beach  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi, Jessie,

My name is Bob and found your poem as I was preparing to call it a night. I think it's very good, very deep, and even Poe-like in some ways. Which I mean as a total compliment. It's a little hard to read because of the font size, and I recommend you put it into a more standard format. Usually when I see items which are small or hard to read -- compared to what we get used to around here, I turn away and look for something else. This was sooo goood, though, that I felt compelled to say a few words about it.

It is almost too haunting and dark, at one and the same time, depressing and freeing, where the person who we think of as the victim, is now the uncaged bird while the rest of us go back to our largely dreary little lives. Not realizing the glory of...how did Shakespeare put it...shuffling off this mortal coil?

Very nicely done. A terrific piece of work.

My only recommended change is "Black holes echoing..." where "black holes" reminds me too much of those astronomical things and it's a bit distracting. Maybe it works. This might be better: Holes black and echoing why why why.

Otherwise, this work is worth etching in stone on the girl's marble headstone. Beautiful, wistful, disturbing, lasting.

Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
107
107
Review of Red-Eye  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Eric,

My name is Bob and I'll be your flight attendant tonight *Smile* Despite some small, technical errors in grammar and punctuation, I think this is an extremely well written, thoughtfully conceived piece of writing. I thoroughly enjoyed the metaphorical play on contrasts, between life and death, humor and pathos. I'm not even sure I'm smart enough to comment adequately on all the wonderful interpretations that can be extracted from this singularly terrific work.

My only real criticisms involve the lengthy paragraphs which slow the piece down to a crawl at times. It's not that there's too much content, but that it's jammed together into "blocks" which force us to read them as though the story was a magazine article instead of a fast-paced thriller that gradually builds to a shattering, climactic ending.

I wonder if even you know how good this is? If you don't, please allow me to take center stage for a moment and applaud the quality of your effort. One of the many things I like about this work is how any number of things could be substituted for any number of others, and the story still maintains its power and impact.

The fake, surreal nature of movies, TV shows and the like, whether comedy, news reports, whatever, is never more real and sobering than when actual life intervenes in the process and shakes us, slaps us, kicks us in the head, and often kills us or our loved ones. I love how the parallel paths of comedy and tragedy intersect here, and do so with devastating results. All while the victim, caught in the appropriately described blinding flash of reality, even in the end, still remains unaware, almost oblivious to the fate that is upon him or her.

What's both ironic and funny, in its own way, is how this little story with its big implication, could very well be its own TV show, a Twilight Zone episode or other similar kind of short teleplay. It could also be an entire movie with a strong, apocalyptic ending.

Once again, congratulations on a job well done. A very nice piece of work in my opinion. With some additional editing, and a doubling (if not tripling) of the number of paragraphs, breaking the action into shorter, faster segments, this is award-winning prose, without question.

Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
108
108
Review of Simply Me  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Orieene,

My, what a pretty name that is. This is my last review of the day and I'm glad I found your work to comment on.

My name is Bob and I read your piece with interest and a good amount of delight. It brims with a childlike innocence that is balanced by a mature appreciation for your own worth as a person. Nicely done and well written.

Now you're waiting for the other shoe to fall, right? And the proverbial "but" that comes next. Well, I try not to disappoint, so I'll get right to a point. My problem, for which I have a very creative solution, is that the whole piece sounds like one long personal's ad for a "singles" magazine or some such. The work is far too beautifully written, however, to be wasted in such a manner, if I might be so bold as to think of it in those terms. My job is to try to be clever, innovative, and offer you alternatives that may not have occurred to you. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not. I hope I do in this case.

What you have here is the makings of a lovely, deeply moving poem. But you've fooled us by writing it as a straight prose. Nice try, but you didn't fool me. I'm too good at this. Or so I think. It remains to be seen if I can make a believer out of you as well *Smile*

You're probably wondering how the hell this can be made into a poem. Firstly, it would be free verse and we wouldn't be changing any of the words that are already there. Nor would we (you) be adding any new ones, either. At least not necessarily. Once the initial formatting was completed, you might see some things to add or take away. That's where the fun come in.

What I suggest you do is, "stack" everything vertically. Cut each sentence into a kind of separate "thought" and start stacking. Allow me to start things off and show you what I mean:

You will not find me
under the hot lights
of center stage.

Those years have passed for me.
But instead dancing from my soul
across still warm wood
after everyone else has gone home.

Okay, your turn and just keep going. Your options are to do stanzas with the same number of lines, stanzas that are each different, or form some other pattern or no pattern. Maybe all one stanza, a reverse version of what you currently have, but all as one running narrative. Personally? I think the end result would be beautiful and that you will thank me profusely. Maybe. *Smile*

You'll have to take some time with it. This won't be as easy as I make it appear. You'll likely have to make several attempts before you're happy with what goes together and what doesn't. But it's immensely doable, and should be done. In my never to be humble opinion. *Smile* Plus I think it would be fun for you, also. To turn a nice piece of otherwise ordinary prose into a striking, even powerful piece of free-verse poetry.

The last part of the last stanza would, I think, be pure magic and read as follows:

That is just not me.
I am found lost
in unheard music
and dancing in the rain.
Because even silence
has a melody all its own (of its own)

Don't you love this? I absolutely do! Your words take on a dynamic that knocks my socks off, and that's not easy to do. *Smile*

If you take me up on my offer, please send me the results so I can see them. And if you want, or run into a little trouble, I'm at your disposal. Seriously. Let's do this.

Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
109
109
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi, J,

My name is Bob and I almost dismissed your story too quickly, thinking it was just another flimsy stab at sci-fi mediocrity, written by someone who didn't know what they were doing. But something about it grabbed me and I read it a second time. Then a third. And each time it got better -- and more interesting. But you do have your work cut out for you, because it wants to be a sophisticated tale and will be, if not already, a demanding test of your ability as a writer.

That said, I quickly grew to like the "shared" quasi-symbiotic relationship between what's his face, and what's her -- whatever she is. There is real potential here, and the theme, if played well, could result in a successfully unique storyline -- one we've seen only rarely and far from overdone.

"...the thousand pounds worth of extra mass vomited out of it's dimensional limbo and engulfed me." I inserted this here because it represents a good description of what you'll need in the way of added descriptions and other details in order to get his thing into working order. *Smile*

I assume there's a prologue, or is this intended as such? Usually the trouble of getting something like this to work for you, instead of against you, is the lack of a functional outline. You might want to consider this as a short story, but a long one, if you want. 6,000 to 8,000 words. I really like the theme and even in this totally rough condition, you won me over.

I like the hint of romance that's happening here. Of an impossible relationship that if you so chose, could end up materializing as a real one. That might make a good ending in and of itself. If you don't already have an outline for the entire story, please piece one together and send it to me. I'd like to take a look at what you can reduce down to a single page and let me give you the benefit (or detriment) *Smile* of my further advice and suggestions.

For whatever it's worth, in the meantime, I give this an enthusiastic thumbs up *Thumbsupl* Great potential, wonderful possibilities. Let me know how I can help.

Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
110
110
Review of Dragons' Vale  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
ZombeeLuv,

Catchy name, I like it. I also like your story.

Hi, my name is Bob and as a frequent reviewer, I've grown used to reading over stories and poems, most of which are typically in need of literary CPR in one form or another. Sometimes it's tedious wading through large numbers of works which usually range in quality from unreadable, to mediocre, to barely passable. But then again, a lot of that has to do with why they joined this site, and why I enjoy helping those who are so obviously in need of serious coaching.

Once in a great while, however, it is a reviewer's great pleasure and joy to stumble upon a piece of writing that is so fine, so professional in its presentation and execution, that it makes all other challenges worth every minute of one's time. Writers of your quality virtually define the rhyme and reason for why sites like WDC exist, and you are to be congratulated for finding us and sharing your work.

I hope your stay here is long and worthwhile; it certainly will be for anyone who has the good sense to read and study your superb writing style. Before moving on, allow me to ask that you envision a figure standing and applauding what is nothing less than one of the truly outstanding pieces newly on display here.

I confess to not reading any of your other pieces yet -- which is my loss, I'm sure, but I will make every effort to correct that particular oversight *Smile*

That said, you are somewhat of a mystery to me. As well written as this piece is -- and relatively error-free -- it remains riddled with numerous, albeit minor mistakes in punctuation. Some of the word choices and arrangements are a bit awkward also. The dialogue, overall, is as good as it gets.

So what's with all the little errors? What you have here is similar to the very last draft of a finished piece that needs but one more final editing, after which it's ready to publish. Either that or you were in a hurry to get it done and out. Which is often the case, and one I can relate to personally.

I smile as I say that because I want to take my editor's buzz saw and starting at the top, hack my way through to the bottom. A task that would be more fun than work, because it's like polishing gold.

Welcome, my friend. I come across few writers from whom I can still learn a thing or two. Thanks for reminding me of why I take this place so seriously.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of any help whatsover. And yeah, I liked this that much. Somebody draw me a sixth star to award *Smile*

Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
111
111
Review of The beast  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, A E,

My name is Bob and I really liked your short poem. I think it's a remarkable little piece with a lot to say, so I decided to make a few little remarks of my own.

You did a great, even masterful job of encapsulating the totality of human psychology and emotionality, all into one solitary stanza of free verse. Congratulations are definitely in order here.

What I love about this piece in particular, is the idea that it serves as a form for self-diagnosis, meaning just fill-in-the-blanks for what ails you, or for what titillates your psyche, what angers you, calls to you, appeals to you intellectually, cerebrally, or terrifies you emotionally.

Rather than dally with egos, the poem personifies the quintessential id of the untamed mind. It is us, we are it. We can never escape from our bestial selves, nor would we want to? Pain is pleasure, pleasure is pain. And the ever-present monster is never sated.

Terrific work, my friend.

Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
112
112
Review of Nightmare  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Mimi,

My name is Bob and I thoroughly enjoyed your poetic monologue about the nightmares that invade our sleep. I'm quite new here at WDC myself, so here's a warm welcome to both of us *Smile* When I had only read the first couple of lines of your work, I knew I would be reviewing it because it reads smooth (in a scary kind of way) and your descriptions not only cover the subject, but do so in a clever and compelling fashion.

By capitalizing nightmare and making it Nightmare, plus keeping it singular, you give life to what is otherwise just a word describing a restless, disturbing kind of sleep. The Nightmare in your story/poem/essay is a character as real as any person or demon, and readers will appreciate what you've done.

If you compare your original version with my slightly revised version below, you'll find a few minor changes here and there. These changes do not express my personal opinions, but rather incorporate some basic grammar and punctuation corrections that neither you nor I have much control over.

I did move one sentence (Nightmare gradually envelops you until your body is immobilized) from its original location to another paragraph where it fits better, but see what you think. Otherwise, this item is now not only near perfect, but it is a beautifully written piece of work, even before my corrections were added. *Smile*

You'll also notice how I broke your work up into several paragraphs instead of just the two you had originally. While there is no specific "rule" that says you have to do it the way I did, I hope you can see how much clearer things are by splitting the work into multiple paragraphs. The exact beginning and ending of a given paragraph is always a subject for debate, so you can take my suggestions, or put the breaks where you think they should be.

Be that as it may, welcome to WDC, and as far as I'm concerned, and if your other work is as good as this first piece, you're a very nice addition to the membership here. Please let me know if this was helpful, and when you have another work or two posted for us to read.

Bob

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Nightmare, a wicked entity, envelops you at night when you fall deeper into an exhausted sleep. It teleports your mind into a place where darkness and malevolent entities prowl in the dark, ready to strike you with fear and force.

Nightmare loves to play tricks with your fragile mentality. It provokes your darkest secrets, sins, and fears, to diminish your courage and pride. It creeps into your past and memories and spoils their purity and innocence.

The surreal elements that Nightmare utilizes to formulate a scene are so vivid and factual. The screams, the pain, the physical movements, and what you witness within Nightmare are nothing but fictitious beings and feelings.

When you are being chased by an unknown entity, your fear increasingly dictates over your strength.

Nightmare gradually envelops you until your body is immobilized. You feel scared, and you try to move your leg muscles but you cannot. It seems like you are immobilized and chained. You turn around and attempt to swing your arms with the hope of defeating that unknown entity.

However, Nightmare knows and plays you like a puppet. It lets you slip and fall deep into the oblivion. The void instantly consumes you, and you only see nothing but darkness.

Nightmare's amusement concludes and you wake up, drenched in your own sweat.

Your body feels heavy, your heart beats faster, and your muscles ache. Nightmare withdraws its cloak of fear from you and disappears. Again, you fall into an exhausted sleep.

Do not forget that Nightmare will come back whenever it pleases.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
113
113
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hi, Shannielle,

Oh, this is strong stuff you've penned here. And it gets stronger as it gets longer. I really like it. I hate bullies, and those who mistreat spouses, girlfriends or boyfriends, are the worst of the worst. They torture and destroy under the cover of love, which is like a sociopathic cop, beating someone under the color of authority. It's the very definition of abuse.

Hi, my name is Bob, and when I came across your poem, it kind of stopped me in my tracks and I decided, well, here's one that deserves some high praise. Maybe I can find a missing period or comma so it looks like I did a review *Smile*

There's only one thing I would add at the very bottom, which will make this near perfect poem, absolutely completely perfect. Seriously. See what you think. It's not a bad addition.


They judged you from afar, but I,
I know who you're with. I know the pain of
not knowing what you're looking at in
the mirror when he's standing behind you,
calipers in hand. You can leave him, you know?

He's less than a man.

And you're more than a woman.


Hi, I'm back. Don't you agree that this adds just a pinch more relevancy? More pride that's been regained and restored since she got away from this bum. Anyway, I hope you like it. If you don't, I still love this almost absolutely *Smile*

It's a great piece and you're to be congratulated. Really. No other criticisms, not from me. And if I praise it any more, people will think we're related *Smile*

Thanks for sharing and listening.
Bob

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
114
114
Review of 1000 steps  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, Catalyst,

First and foremost, I really liked your little tale. I think it is charming, and to a large extent, well written. To another extent, it needed a lot of fixes. If you will compare, word for word, and punctuation, mark for mark, my revised version with your original, I think you will see some magic happening. Not because I am some great writer and you're not, but rather how nice a piece of writing can become when the basics are applied to a work which is somewhat rough around the edges, so to speak.

It's always risky for a reviewer to just jump into someone's writing and make all kinds of changes. I agree. It's not a good idea if what the reviewer is doing, is supplanting your original concepts with his or her own ideas. I hope you can see that this is not what I've done here.

If what you built was a bridge across a flowing river of ice, then I'm like a building inspector who found that your bridge was unsafe to travel across. And so I pounded in a few more nails, strengthened a support beam here and there, and otherwise tightened things up. The bridge is now safe and secure for the heaviest loads *Smile*

There are, however, many different ways to write the same thing. I tried to stay as close to your original as possible, but I'm sure you will, and rightfully so, still want to word things in your own way. Hopefully, I've given you a stronger framework on which to build. So see what you think.

Speaking personally, I like your story three times more now than I did at first. And I liked it a lot a first. A lot. Even I was amazed at how good it got with all the changes I made. That's a compliment for what a great job you did to begin with, however, and something for which I cannot take any credit. And don't want to.

Let me know if you have any questions. Especially about the greatly increased number of paragraphs, which represents the most dramatic (and I think, powerful) change of all. But you tell me, my friend.

Thanks for listening.
Bob

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1000 steps from door to door didn't seem far for a young man to walk.

But on this winter day the vespers creeped by unnoticed, and night had surreptitiously appeared. The moon at perigee had exposed most shadows for what they were, but distant objects cloaked with the ambiguity of darkness, still found their way into his mind.

The howls of the night wind seemed ominous, and created an unsettled fear deep inside. Each pace closer seemed to draw him farther from the safety of where he had walked earlier. His feet grew heavy as his steps rang out against the ice and snow in which he trod.

The sounds of wind and falling leaves had all but ceased when something new made its way to his ears. Another set of steps sounded not far behind.

They were just an echo, he reasoned, as his gait became more purposeful, despite his not fully believing his own excuse. A sudden stop aimed at quelling his fear and proving himself paranoid, only furthered his horripilation when the other steps failed to hault.

His heart raced as his body ran towards his door and climbed the snow-covered steps. Slipping, he could feel his imagined assailant's icy hands grasping at his coat.

Quickly running inside and slamming the door behind him, he pulled aside the curtains of the nearest window and peered outside. He yearned to see the evil which had taken upon itself the cold design for his demise.

A moment later, he spotted only a little red fox as it curiously trotted along the niveous lane.


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115
115
Review of The sun is asleep  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Insane,

My name is Bob, and part of my job is to troll for new material that catches my eye -- and imagination. There is something about this work that grabbed me and wouldn't let go. It's rough in places, and needs work here and there. The two main paragraphs need to be broken up into many smaller ones. And if this was a first draft, say, then I would expect about a dozen more would be needed before this thing was ready for prime time.

Given all that criticism, all the things wrong with it, most of them small, I absolutely love this piece of haunting, superbly thought out work. It's powerful, chilling, and mysteriously wonderful. It captures almost perfectly, if even unintentionally, a magnificent native American flavor that saturates all of one's senses, filling them with sorrow, melancholia, a deep, reverential joy, and other emotions and ideas that I haven't even finished realizing yet.

This is some kind of minor epic, a saga in miniature that doesn't allow us to easily forget its piercing tale. If and when the piece is fixed, revised, corrected, punctuated properly, its grammar smoothed out and so forth, it's hard to imagine how good the work could be in a more polished, refined state. In a word -- tremendous. And that's saying a lot for such a small, diminutive piece.

For now, I'd like to break this into much needed multiple paragraphs which is a good place to start. That's all I want to do for now, because the rest will be up to you, my friend. I need you to tell me that you're interested in seeing all the corrections that are needed. But more than that. There's not that many grammar problems -- not really. It's more a matter of how to write this in such a way that all the beauty that's there, is given a chance to breathe and realize its full potential. There are a few different ways to go, and I want you to see what I'm talking about -- if you're interested. If not, that's fine, too. Even leaving it as is, a certain, albeit smaller audience will always enjoy it. Some will love it. And others, like me, will simply dream about how much more glorious this might have been, given half a chance.

So let me know. In the meantime, here's how the paragraphs break down better, as I see them. Even then, this is a first go around, but you'll get the idea.

Thanks for listening.
Bob

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It was dark, the sun resting behind the mountains so that it could shine bright in the morning. That's what her ma used to say to her when she asked why the sun went away at night.

Silver ears rested in a mass of silken hair a dark black color. Grey eyes looked to the mountain where the sun had set. "I wish you'd skip rest tonight," she told the sun as if it could hear her whispers.

Her mother flushed in the face from fever but shivering from cold. The little girl stayed by the side of the bed watching the unsteady rise and fall of her mothers chest counting the wheezy breaths and looking to the grandfather clock in the room.

The pendulum swung in time but though it was the same as ever it seemed to be moving so slow. The girl could hear her own rapid heart pitter patter in her chest but her ma's breaths were coming out slower.

Again the girl looked out the window to the mountains begging the sun to wake up so the doctor would come.

Time passed and hot tears of liquid emotion fell from the grey eyes of the child. She pawed at her mothers blankets despritly, "Mama hold on the suns coming," she said in a thick and shaking voice there was no reply from the woman. The girl counted the ticks of the clock 'tick- tock tick- tock' Her tail swung in time with the clocks.

The little girl fell asleep that night. Waiting for a morning that would not come, as the sun had faded and its magic died.

put hiatus here

The morning doctor saw a black and white marbled fox laying upon the dead woman. The fox was still and cold with wet cheeks and glassed eyes.

After the doctors task was done the cause of death for the woman was the illness in old age the fox, of a broken heart. Both were buried in the yard where the sun first woke and shinned.

The old woman, a grandmother to all in heart had no children of blood. There were many who came to greive the woman but none cared for the fox, her pet fox who was to her, the only child she ever had. The one person who even in death would never leave her side.


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116
116
Review of Wish Mix  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, August,

This poem is fabulous. Okay, so let's get that out of the way. It's beautifully written, I love it, it's one of the best I've read in a while, and it should win a prize of some kind. So why am I troubled by it, and what's bugging me?

Hi, my name is Bob and I'm always happy when I come across work that is especially well written and poses a challenge for me in one way or another.

My guess is that Sam is around 5 or 6-years-old. If that. My problem is that Sam is too good a poet for his age. He writes with the acumen and wisdom and humor of an adult. More like you, the author. Are you beginning to see where I'm going? And I'm just getting started *Smile*

I tried thinking of the "work around" on this. You and most others may not consider my concern to be a problem whatsoever, in which case, you're home free because the poem, as I I said, is otherwise virtually flawless. It's wonderful. So I should quit while we're all ahead?

Well, just for the sake of being a nag, let's see what my big ideas were for a "fix". Who knows, maybe you'll agree and like one or the other of my two "solutions".

My first idea was to re-approach the poem from the following POV:

"There once was a boy who wanted a brother instead of the sister he got." In this scenario, the author tells us a story about Sam, instead of Sam telling us the story himself. You can keep 90% of what's already there and simply re-word a bit of this, a fragment of that, and voila! The whole thing still works, and grumpy grouches like me, who go around just looking for trouble, will go away happy. That's one remedy.

My second answer -- all of these are offered free of charge, by the way -- is my wife's idea. Pretty much. In this situation, Sam is a grown man looking back, which we don't find out until the end.

Oh, and by the way, in all cases, we keep your delightful (albeit somewhat predictable) ending, whereby Sam is thrilled to have a sister, of course.

At the end, the adult Sam tells the Stork Man how he would have had things no other way. Yada, yada, yada.

I'm not sure which version I like the best -- probably the second one, where Sam is now an adult. But the first one is pretty good, too. That one was mine *Smile* I suspect you'll go with neither and stick with the old axiom: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Which is okay by me. Pretty much. It's the difference between 4 1/2 stars and 5 stars. Big deal, I guess.

Let me know what you decide. My feelings won't be hurt if you don't change a thing. Well, only because they don't have an emoticon for "tears".

Thanks again for sharing this adorable gift of fluff'n'stuff with the rest of us *Smile*
Bob

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117
117
Review of Fight  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hi, Warrior,

My name is Bob and since I write about dragons, I took a quick look at what you self-describe as a rare attempt on your part, to write poetry. I read your other portfolio piece and noticed that you're a pretty good writer of prose, but I wanted to focus on this poem -- for obvious reasons. And what I mean by that snide remark *Facepalm* is to state what you already suspect is true -- which is how poetry is not exactly your strong suit -- not right now anyway. But I have good news if you're interested *Smile*

I have no real idea what you're really talking about in this piece. But you do. And that's all that matters, of course. The idea is to let others in as to what's on your mind. There is an easy solution here -- a fast and easy fix -- if you're interested. And it will work for any future poems you might also want to write as well.

If you were willing to work with me, I'd ask you to do me a personal favor. From one dragoneer to another *Smile*

I'd ask you to write this poem as a very short work of prose. When done, each stanza would be it's own brief paragraph, and your end result will be a short story that tells us pretty much what's going on here.

Once you show me what this would look like if you'd written it as a "tiny tale" of sorts, then we can talk about doing it as a poem. I think this would be a real eye-opener for you. And you would be amazed, I think, at how much easier going back and making it into a poem again, would be. Really.

And I'll be there with you every clawstep of the way *Smile* -- if you should want. This could be real fun if you got into the spirit of it. Or not.

Let me know if you want to come out an "play" *Smile*

Bob

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118
118
Review of The Epiphany  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, Burney,

Take a look at the horrible things I did to your writing. I hope you'll see what I saw, and like what I did about it.

Hi, my name is Bob, and here's your chance to maybe see this work in a whole new light. Putting our words into a different structure -- in this case converting it into a nice-looking poetic format -- can make a dramatic improvement in our writing. I think that's particularly true in this case. I hope you agree.

I changed some words here and there, and while nothing I did should be taken as absolutely correct or necessary, you can begin to quickly see the possibilities that are at your disposal. I really like the way this piece broke into evenly matched stanzas and dramatic one-line entries.

This could still be made over again in a dozen different ways. This version's not too shabby, though. It certainly should give you food for thought as they say. Unless you're on a diet like me.

Let me know how you feel about this, and whether it is helpful. And especially if you have any questions. Your message is a good one, and I like how there's just a smidgeon of humor mixed in with the rest. Take what I've given you here and have some fun with it, all over again. Or keep it as is.

Thanks for listening.
Bob

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Lying on the road,
blood running down my chin.
Legs broken, but I was satisfied.

Don't get me wrong,
I'm not suicidal,
but it seemed a good enough death.

It wouldn't be a suicide,
but an end to my miseries.
I longed for the reaper to appear.

Instead came the epiphany.

My life wasn't over.
After experiencing every
horrible thing possible.

Losing my job,
Losing the love of my life.
My body was apparently useless.

Yet, I was alive, more alive than I had ever been.

I realised my strength
to face whatever life throws at me.
Now I'm ready!

Ready to embrace my life.


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119
119
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hi, Jerry,

My name is Bob and your poem caught my attention for any number of reasons, some of which gave me pause, a need to catch my breath, and inquiry what you truly had in mind when you wrote this *Smile*

I must admit, to begin with, that this is first time I've seen smiley faces -- with big smiles yet -- used in conjunction with scenes of death and destruction. You get some points for originality for that one. Though I'm not sure I mean my comment as an encouragement for you to continue doing so.

There are so many little, nitpicky things wrong with your poem, that it's hard to separate out the relevant and interesting parts and pieces that are poignant and both worth reading -- and commenting on.

Before I jump all over this and point out every little flaw, and they are both numerous and small, I need to take that pause again and ask if you care to know what I'm referring to. Sometimes writers just jot stuff down for later reference, or they consider a given piece of work unworthy of further attention, but nonetheless a piece of their personal history.

In a highly revised and corrected form, this work could come out of the workshop with new paint, new tires, and full engine tuneup, and have something to say which is truly worth listening to.

I actually like the sarcasm, the wit and wisdom you've injected into the work. You just need to aim your humor in a direction opposite the death and destruction parts *Smile*

The main question as to whether science is a boon or a bane is an excellent one. And it can't be asked too often. But in a poem filled with "devastation", "ISIS terrorists", and "daily death", the division between humor and pathos needs to drawn without vagary or inappropriate "jokes".

Please let me know if you'd like to explore this work as a more general piece of writing, where we take a look at what's wrong and what's right about it. If you're curious, I'd love to help. These things can be tricky sometimes, and that's why my reviews are always intended to be helpful first, and sadistically cruel second *Bigsmile*

Thanks for listening.
Bob

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120
120
Review of Do I?  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Heather,

I once heard a famous psychologist give a definition of the term, resentment, that I really liked. She defined the word as meaning, "When we begrudge someone for not feeling guilty that they did something wrong." Something "wrong" further referring to an affront made against us personally,

Hi, my name is Bob and I almost dismissed your sneakily (stealthily) powerful poem and moved on too quickly. I'm glad I didn't and instead lingered around just long enough to think, "Whoa, this is really good."

Can you guess what single word caught my attention? And when it did, and I analyzed its meaning both via its standard interpretation and by the one I came to like even more, then you begin to see how the poem itself can be interpreted in a way that made me love it all the more. Seriously.

It will be interesting for me to see if you gave the same weight to that word, generally, as I did. In such a short piece, every single word and punctuation mark carries great weight. There's no room for mistakes or second-guessing. For me, the work passes with flying colors on all levels, but particularly because of the power and meaning of "resent" -- including how it's used and where.

Naive now fits perfectly because the prince is, in theory, not aware of his admirer's feelings, or their intensity at least. And it's the prince's very passivity that is a cause for passion, which itself carries two distinctly different meanings -- one of which refers to pain and sufferring.

The woman (or indeed the man) is torn as to how to proceed. Pride is involved, and of course, the resentment felt as a result of one's love being unrequited to some extent. "What should I do?" is precisely the right question. But does the question ask what should be done to gain the prince's notice more, or is the question more directed towards quitting the relationship altogether?

My guess is that she (or he) hangs in there for the long run. For better or worse.

Please write another poem so I don't have to toss and turn tonight fretting over what eventually happens *Smile*

A lovely, delightful work for many reasons.
Bob

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121
121
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Kvetha,

I like your name; it's kind of poetic all by itself. My name is Bob -- a little more ordinary, but that's what they gave me. *Smile*

I like your poem, also. It says a lot. A lot of really good stuff. It's so well thought out and makes so much sense, that I found myself wanting more. These are great ideas and ideals you speak about, and poetry can sometimes make too brief, those things which deserve more expression, more explanation.

Much of what you talk about, or your poem, rather, is so deep and so profound, that a lot of readers will "gloss" over the words, giving more attention to the cleverness of its rhymes, than to the meanings themselves.

I'm not sure whether this makes your work successful for the right reasons, or less powerful due to the wrong ones. I sense that the poem loses some of its potential impact because the second stanza makes the point of where our true priorities ought to be focused. And then the piece concludes without a return "wrap around" that brings us not only back to that second stanza, but fails to emphasize it with a repeat (and final) mention of how the mind and soul -- the intellectual and spiritual duality of our existence -- lies at the very heart of everything else in the poem.

The second-to-last stanza tries to get us there, but then ends with a cliche about feet on the ground and keep your eyes open. Good advice for someone standing guard duty *Smile* but a bit of an anticlimactic conclusion to all the preceding profundity.

Which is exactly why the second stanza is so important and needs additional repetition at the end. Not the exact words again, of course, but the idea that it is precisely through our intellect and heart that we make sense out of the rest of it, out of what is essentially just information -- just data that a robot might otherwise make use of.

One of the tricks to making these kind of things work is to write them a straight prose. This piece is so well conceived and presented, that writing it as a monologue or a straightforward article or essay would be a snap. Especially for you.

A real test of your mettle would be to see if you have what it takes to write this as a short essay, but one which is about 3-4 times longer than the poem version. Doing so would force you to use and find words that more precisely describe what it is you're talking about, without the restrictions or limitations forced upon you by the poetic format.

At which point you can always revert back to a poem, but one which would be even better than this original. Which is almost not possible, but I know you could do it *Smile*

So give this some thought. It's like a big jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces there and none missing. The real challenge is putting the puzzle together in its 2-3 different possible ways and see what you like best. If it were me? I'd do it as both. I'd reduce the poem to a shorter version and add that to either the beginning or end of a longer essay or monologue that takes the poem to a next higher level, which is where it wants to go, anyway.

Let me know if any of my mental meandering makes sense and if you have any questions as a result.

Good job, excellent work, my friend.
Bob

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122
122
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, there, LiveToWrite,

My name is Bob and really enjoyed your poem. It's tough to read, both physically and emotionally. Can we fix the physical part first? The piece is too good to be lessened by the all that unnecessary space between lines. When you have a beautiful work of writing, it doesn't need any window dressing or any dolling up to help it along. It's solid and terrific just as it is, in its most standard and typical format -- because the writing itself is anything but standard and typical. It shines without any added polish or dramatic touches *Smile*

I quickly realized that while the poem is about a woman, it is totally universal in nature. It's about all of us, and all the trials and tribulations we go through, whether it's from aging or trauma, or just sheer fatigue. It's about how two powerful forces are at work. The one being a strong, irresistible desire to feel and think and do the things that motivated us when we were younger, or at a different place in life. Like a calling, in reverse, to return to being a person we loved more, whose company we enjoyed more. And had everything to live for.

The other force or forces are those things that hold us back, keep us in prison cells of our own making, maybe forced upon us by circumstances, but which have nonetheless turned dreams to nightmares, turned love to hate, to self -loathing and otherwise brought us to a place where if we are to survive, we must be born anew, as the person we used to be. Or should have always been.

I don't care who you are, you'll find yourself inside the words of this powerful poem. You'll see the denial, the lies, the self-deception, the withdrawal , failures to act and to do the right thing -- by ourselves, for ourselves. Wake up. It's not too late. Do the Bucket List before a doctor says you have to. Save your sanity before a psychoanalyst says you're losing your grip. It's all there. In this deceptively little poem. Read it and weep. Then stop your crying -- and dying -- and live again.

Be the real you. And do it right this time *Smile*

So did I like this? Yeah, a little. Did I love it? Yeah, a lot. I'm glad somebody put this into words. I was going to, but I got sidetracked by rescuing homeless orphans -- in Bangladesh. Otherwise I'd've been right on it.

Thanks for a great chunk of reality.
Bob

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123
123
Review of Caterpillar Hero  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, MichelleP,

This is a great message for adults as well as children. Hi, my name is Bob, and I decided to review this little masterpiece precisely because it is so childlike and profound, both at the same time. Of course an entire essay or a much longer poem could be written on the topic you touch upon (or that touches upon you) *Smile* but for what this is, it says a lot. I want children to read this, and wish that more adults would also. Yeah, they think you're weird because they're not smart enough to realize or understand the connection between caterpillars, whales, and their own children. Wake up, people! *Smile*

Except for Black Widow spiders and scorpions (and cockroaches), I'll usually capture most anything else, take it outside, and let it go. No doubt many of my friends consider me weird as well. But their opinion not only doesn't matter in this regard, but I actually feel sorry for them; I pity their inability to understand how sacred life is, regardless of size or beauty.

The whole transition business, where those scoochy little bodies will one day be magnificent butterflies or moths, adds a whole other dimension to the story, almost needless to say. This piece would also look great with one or more pictures accompanying it.

I recently suggested to another writer who had written a short, serious piece about whatever, that they combine it with a small poem. If you ever write a brief work of prose that addresses this topic from a more serious direction, this poem would make a delightful beginning or end to the piece. Very nice. I loved it.

Bob

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124
124
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi, KeepingBalance,

My name is Bob (frequently out of balance) *Smile* and I really enjoyed your short article on computer gaming. It is an interesting mix of philosophy, social commentary, part confession, part warning, and gives us some important insights for those of us to whom "gaming" is as alien as a foreign language -- spoken by real aliens -- from outer space *Smile*

I have never once played a video game. Well, not since the days of "Pong". My personal reason was always because I knew how addictive they could be, not unlike gambling is to other people. In the worst case, not too much different from a drug addiction itself. You did a wonderful job of taking us into that world and making us realize it's not all fun and games.

The last paragraph, I think, is still missing. I'd like to see you give us a more definitive "conclusion" (your personal opinion) as to what all of that means to us -- as people, as a society, even as a community of global civilizations.

Lastly, take a look at the first paragragph of your article, that I've pasted below:

So today, I suppose, it truly hit me.

I am 24 years old and madly in love with computer games. I have been since the young age of five when I got my first games console, the Mega Drive made by Sega.

The feeling of accomplishment once you complete that game, or finally getting past its many challenging levels, captivated my innocent, naïve mind; I was addicted to the gaming industry from then on.

Now that I'm older, I've seen friends, family members, and random people -- while commuting -- all playing more and more. The gaming industry is now so huge, there seems no chance that its growth is ever going to slow.

This had me thinking about how I, too, actually use computer games and about their effects upon the world. The word play has become more and more distant -- more removed from the real meaning of the term.

When playing a computer game nowadays, instead of looking at all the cool graphics and enjoying the game's story line, I instead find myself racing to finish the game. I'm too often doing all I can to be the best at the game.

As mentioned, I don't actually play the games anymore. I used to find such games enjoyable; they could entertain me and make me laugh. But now I see some games as a way of life -- even as a job. I also believe I'm not the only one who is experiencing this revelation.

I am sure, now, that there are many people who are going through the same awakening, but have not yet come to terms with the fact that gaming has taken over theirs lives.


I hope you will forgive me, my friend, for taking over your story *Smile* Sometimes it's better just to show, than to try explaining every little change that needed to be made.

You will notice that I converted your original first paragraph into a bunch more little ones. I hope you notice how much better it reads now. If you compare, word for word, your original with my newly corrected version, you'll also see a lot of other changes, both in word choices and punctuation. All these corrections are important, as are the reasons for making them. I hope you will study what I've done, and ask me my reasons if you wish to learn why I made the changes, I did.

While it's true that there's lots of different ways to write these kinds of stories, they all need to be clear and concise, with good (not perfect) grammar and punctuation. And spelling.

I hope you won't think I am too hard on you. Instead, here's your chance to double your writing skills overnight, in one big leap. If you take my changes to heart. The story itself, as I mentioned, is not only important, but you know all the right things to say about it, based on personal experiences.

Let me know if all this makes sense, and whether or not we're still on speaking terms *Smile* I hope so. Your story is one that people need to hear.

Bob

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125
125
Review of Stuck in Time  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Catness,

My name is Bobness (just kidding -- it's really just Bob) and I like your poem because it really captures what it means to be depressed. I hope the piece is not too personal a reflection of who you really are. Although the work is something all of us can relate to at one time or another. But then we move on. The power of your poem is the whole idea of being "stuck", and the inability to move along with the rest of our life.

Psychologists and psychiatrists both would love this poem. It's like a mini-course in the diagnosis and description of how we can be so overwhelmed by past pain or trauma, that it's as crippling as any disease we might suffer from.

I was also curious as to whether you used both forms of "break" and "brake" on purpose. It works either way, interestingly enough, and I would encourage you to play with those two forms of the same word a bit more. They work well in this piece.

I'd like to see a last line or two added to this. I know -- what's this dude talking about, right? I'll show you, and then see what you think:

So I stay stll
Stuck in time
Because I can't move on
Until I find love again
Or it finds me

I don't know that those two new lines are the ones you want. And even if you like them, you'd want to put them into your own words. You can, however, take mine -- I won't mind *Smile*

The reason I think something like this is needed here, is because what you have is a suicide note otherwise. We don't want to leave you in the depths with no hope. And hope is exactly what is missing here. Robin Williams is a good example of what takes place when that happens.

By the same token, you don't have to get all smiley face about it, either. So I tried to give you something, equally serious, but leaves us with a small light at the end. Instead of a bottomless pit. Trust me, I'm not a big happy face kind of guy, but I know good writing and good poems.

Your poem is too good, is the problem. It's too strong in one direction only. It's all black, all dismal, and nothing in life is all anything.

Let me know if you take my suggestion and what you end up with. Seeing you like your poem even more will help lift me out of my own doldrums *Smile*

Bob

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