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101
101
Review of Arachnids  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Neva,

I like spiders, so it was a natural for me to gravitate to this particular piece. Your mind is very fertile and you've certainly grown a lot of crops around here. Along with some crop circles. *Smile* Your portfolio is very impressive and you're to be commended for both the quantity and quality of your accomplished collection.

That said, I thought this was very well written, got funnier as we read on, and finished up with an entirely satisfactory end. I only had two questions as follows:

There had never been so many of them all in one place.

The first line above is too long for me. Though I know why you likely made it one long sentence. I like this version better, however:

There had never been so many of them
all in one place.

Sometimes writers (including me) make the mistake of "forcing" their own sense of drama on their readers. Notice in the two lines above, how it still reads beautifully, without the bolding, and carries as much if not more dramatic impact than your original. Though it's tempting to add extra emotion using "other than the words themselves", I generally find it to be both unnecessary and needlessly distracting. Take a look at the Newbies section and you'll see many writers using color, different font sizes and styles, all in an attempt to dazzle their readers with things other than words. *Smile* It's up to veterans like you and I, to show these whippersnappers the best writing possible. In form and substance.

You know, there's one line also, that left me scratching my head, and in my never to be humble opinion, needs to be changed. A lot. Here's the line:

He left after my house completely razing.

Forgive me, but I can't make hide nor hair out of this. It just makes no sense to me, no matter how I try to read it. Maybe it's me, but I don't think so. See if you can reword this a little, and fix what is otherwise a near flawless piece of work.

Please let me know if you do, I'd love to see the new line. Then again, if I had my way, you would have taken the jar, released the spiders into the yard, and saved yourself a hefty expense. *Smile* Someone has to speak up for them, so it fell on me to do so.

Nice job, well done. Truly.

Bob

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102
102
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Irina,

My name is Bob and I thought your poem was very well written. In fact, I enjoyed everything about it, except the very end. Which I felt was weak, and didn't do justice to the rest of the piece. My two main comments, beyond what is worth repeating, namely the work's beautiful structure and nice, rhyming rhythm, are as follows:

Truth versus honesty? The word, truth, sounds so...universally knowledgeable, as if you're sharing some great wisdom you've come by. It's the word that bothers me, because although I know what you mean, I don't think it's the exact word you're really intending to say. Then again, if neither of us can offer a better word, then truth is fine. This is why they make thesauruses. *Smile*

The word I like is honesty. And if you don't care for that as much as truth, then there may well be another term which means both, and I'd have to look around to find it. If you do, please consider using it. *Smile* I think the poem would be stronger for it. Just my opinion.

My second and most important quibble are the last two lines:

One thousand hearts can mend one broken heart –
That is the very essence of my art.

I must confess that I don't understand the meaning, and it's critically important because they come at the very end, where every word takes on added emphasis. It may be me. I don't claim to be an expert decipherer of poems. But you would want me to be truthful and honest *Smile* which is why I mention it.

Obviously you know what you mean. But I want to, also. Sometimes what is clear and plain to us, may appear obtuse or too esoteric to others. You do such an outstanding job throughout the rest of the piece, that in my humble opinion, we need a stronger (or just clearer) conclusion. I even like the last line, and its summation quality, but I just can't wrap my brain around the thousand hearts stuff.

So either help me out, or pity me *Smile* I guess. Because as I said, otherwise, I think this is all pretty terrific, and tells me that I would enjoy reading just about anything else you write.

Thanks for sharing.
Bob

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103
103
Review of Yes, All Women  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi, Alyx,

My name is Bob and I have no inappropriate comments to make about your well written monologue *Smile* The most striking part of your first portfolio entry is, as a matter of fact, the excellent writing in which I found very few errors. You appear to have a natural flair for storytelling, and I appreciated the skillful manner in which you presented each of your anecdotal tales.

In all honesty, I found myself wondering, what is the point here? Okay. Many men are pigs. Check. Many if not most women, from their youngest years on, are forced to endure the crude and offensive behaviors that our sexually obsessed society seems to encourage. Lastly, how often it's the case that women don't respond directly to abusive incidents, nor report them to friends, family, or the authorities. The classic case where most rapes go unreported because the trauma of doing so is almost worse than the assault itself. Check. Got it.

In the end, however, you leave us hanging without a personal conclusion or constructive overview on your part. What did you learn from your experiences, and what suggestions would you make to other women, both young and old, in terms of dealing with the issues you so rightfully raise?

That said, I want to return to the obvious quality of the writing itself that is present here. Instead of a somewhat rambling piece that takes us no where in particular, I would respectfully request that you give consideration to turning a work like this into an actual story with a beginning, middle, and an end, of sorts. Fictional, but based on fact, if you catch my meaning. You certainly have the ability to do so, and I'd love to see you fly free, so to speak, and be totally creative, inventive, and give your readers something we can all relate to, both men and women.

Good luck on what I hope will be, for you, the beginning of a long and pleasant journey here. WDC needs all the real talent it can get, and writers like you (no one's like you) *Smile* make the place shine even brighter.

Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for sharing. Now go tell us a bit of who you are, and feel free to let me know when you add more to your portfolio.

Bob

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104
104
Review of Let Me Out  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi, Lezismore,

What a rare and exhilarating pleasure it is to read the poem of someone who, in my opinion, is truly gifted.

My name is Bob and I, for one, hope you stay around this site for a long time to come. This is one of the better pieces to be found here, and you're to be congratulated for sharing it with the rest of us. The work totally blew me away, and I felt like I was reading some lost Poe piece only recently discovered.

I have only one suggestion which is the space break indicated below:

Oft times inside these padded walls,
I hear those dreaded chanting calls.
I clasp my ears to drown them out,
By stamping feet and start to shout,
With swollen fists I bang the door
"I can't take no more! I can't take no more!"

The Doc he listens to my woe
But what I endure he does not know,
He does not hear that haunting cry.
From the man who did not die,
It's not madness that makes me shout
"I'm not insane, so let me out!"

I hope you consider entering this in one or more contests to be found here. I think it's a total winner. It's so good, that I feel a bit uncomfortable even looking for errors to correct, or word choices that might be better than your own. I know when I'm out-gunned, so to speak, and the best I can do here is applaud what I believe is a masterful work of art.

Again, allow me to encourage you as much as possible, and emphasize the great contribution I think you'll make to this community. There is much that fledgling poets can learn from this piece alone.

Beautiful job, my friend. Like I said, but it's worth repeating, I hope you're around here for a long, long time.

Bob

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105
105
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, Irina,

My name is Bob and I really liked your poem. I wanted to leave it and go elsewhere after reading it, but something about the work pulls me into it, calls to me, and won't let me leave without making a few comments.

I think the theme is excellent and strikes a chord with anyone who's ever suffered, or still does, from the daytime nightmares and evening terrors that can plague us the same as a physical disease.

Though there is much to like here, a lot of which I love, some of the wording is awkward and rough. Something I think you know, and struggled with here and there. The footnote stuff is interesting but out of place with respect to a poem. If this were an essay, it would fit just fine, but few will want to stop reading, go check your footnote, and then resume where they left off. It's just an unnecessary complication to your fine verse and while it may hold some personal meaning for you, it won't to your average reader. It's one of those things we have to let go of, but stings when we do.

I like how you've given life to thoughts as if they were living demons that might be punished, banned, even destroyed. If only we could. How often we've seen in books and films where a guilty conscience alone brought a criminal to justice -- often voluntarily. Equally frequent, but nonetheless awful, are regrets, embarrassments, and other acts where, although no laws were broken, the punishments inflicted upon us are precisely what your poem strives to address.

The grammar is also inconsistent, but nothing that isn't quickly fixed. Overall, however, this is a great little piece that wants to shine just a little brighter, which it can with a couple of rewrites and if you wish to really make it sparkle.

I'm available to help along these lines, should you want to take this to another (and higher) level of excellence. That said, thanks for sharing this interesting and diverting peek under the covers *Smile*
Bob

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106
106
Review of Crush that Crush  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, Jehn,

I enjoyed your essay/monologue about crushing crushes. My name is Bob and I'm sure everyone, whether male or female, who reads this will relate to everything you're talking about. The whole piece tends to ramble on a lot, but that fits well with the topic. The tone and tenor of the writing itself reflects the confusion and indecisiveness that is so much a part of being drawn to someone despite our best judgment and better instincts *Smile*

The idea of seeking out and presenting intellectual solutions to emotional entanglements is indicative of the helplessness we feel when our heart thinks it's smarter than our brain. The situation reminds me of the fish who flops around with the hook in its mouth, as if all the twists, turns, and gyrations will somehow save it from the frying pan. In similar fashion, people sometimes get their hooks in us and finding our way back into the water can be difficult. As you point out very well.

It might be fun (and therapeutic) if you included the definition differences that exist among love, crushes, and infatuations. Once we figure out exactly what we're feeling and why, which can be the direct result of defining ourselves more clearly, that can put us on a real path to recovery.

My other thought about this piece is how it would also work as a poem. I frequently come across well written items like yours, and it often appears obvious that the person is capable of doing a nice, free verse version of what otherwise reads like a complaint letter stuffed in a suggestion box.

In the end, I think this work has a lot of merit, but could be much better if you wanted to spend more time refining it. Pieces like this are not easy to write and to do them well can take some work and several drafts. I still like the poem idea, and if you do too, let me know and I'd be happy to help you get started.

I'm also available for any additional questions you might have.

Bob

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107
107
Review of Hunger  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Justine,

I made the mistake of reading your devastating poem, and so now I'm stuck with having to comment on it, because I share your contempt for, and dismay with, the human disparities you so aptly describe.

Hi, my name is Bob and I've written an essay or two myself about the contradictions and dichotomies of the human condition. None is more striking, however, as you point out so well, than the issue of hunger.

I like how I can read your powerful poem and take it literally, as presented, or interpret the word, hunger, as the perfect metaphor with respect to so many things that comprise the best and worst of humanity. Hunger for knowledge, versus hunger for attention, affection, wealth, and last but not least, food itself.

This is a classic piece of work that says it like it is, and I love everything about it. Well, almost everything. There's a bit of punctuation here and there, maybe a word choice that might be improved such as:

Thin. Skinny. Pretty.
“Starvation is beauty,”
they tell her. (lower case "t" because a comma precedes it)
Is not that poor, (I removed the word, then, which reads awkwardly)
Pitiful, hungry urchin
of a boy
the most beautiful creature
to ever bless this hideous earth? (I don't like the word, hideous, here. It's as if you're angry with the planet itself, instead of the selfish stupidity of people themselves. Try to find a better word, impervious, maybe, that keeps things real and less judgmental)

Be that as it may, this is one fabulous piece of work. Although fabulous might not be the right word. *Smile* More like how I started out with, devastating. I was rightfully moved by your accusatory, if not condemning message. Anyone who isn't, is part of the problem. You touch upon one of the great ironies of humanity, and do it with finesse. That being how, at one and the same time, so few have so much, while so many have so little. It is indeed the enigma of our existence.

Congratulations for a job well done. If I was younger, you tempt me to quit my day job and go help somebody less fortunate than I am. The least I can do is compliment a good poem when I read one. Or in your case, a great one.

If the rest of your portfolio contains this quality of work, well, you don't need me to say anymore, that's for sure.
Thanks for sharing your stuff with the rest of us *Smile*
Bob

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108
108
Review of Joe Leprechaun  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Shaara,

Wasn't this more about a first date where everything went right, more than wrong?

Hi, my name is Bob and I really liked your little story. No pun intended *Smile* The romance was just enough, without crossing any lines that might make one uncomfortable, and the first person POV -- while difficult to pull off well -- was just right. Congratulations on a great piece of work that moves fast, gets to the point, and leaves the reader feeling as satisfied as the main character herself.

I also like how I didn't jump ahead of you and that you surprised me at every turn, especially the ending which is complete with its own epilogue of sorts. Nice.

Okay, that said, what's not to like, right? Not much. Overall, this is quite well written. But not without its share of flaws and a slew of minor punctuation errors. For example:

He was frankly gorgeous, and I salivated over his body.

You didn't really physically drool onto his actual body *Smile* Try this:

He was frankly gorgeous, and I salivated at the sight of his body.


I guess I should back up and fill you in on the details...

Either a period or a colon. No on the ellipsis.


The problem is it grew into a lot more than that...

Once again, a period is fine. An ellipsis just mucks things up and doesn't work.


Now, any girl would have been happy to be with Joe Leprechaun, given the way he looked

This was a bit more tricky, but the comma puts the emphasis in the right place. And "given" is the right way to word these kind of things. Other ways are also possible. Your way, however, is just plain awkward, even as a thought. *Smile*

There's a bunch more, but unless you're interested, it's silly to belabor the points. Let me know if you want to see the rest.

Nonetheless, though, worth repeating is how good, otherwise, this piece truly is. If slightly revised and its errors fixed, this is definitely award-winning material, in my never to be humble opinion. *Smile*

Now where's that green suit I used to have?

Bob

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109
109
Review of I am That  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Clarence,

My name is Bob and I really enjoyed your poem. I think I'd love it if not for a technicality that bothered me and still does. Maybe you have an explanation that will scratch my itch, but it's doubtful.

So what's not to like here? I think you covered all the bases, so to speak, and that you described perfectly the special kind of relationship that exists within the framework of pure, unconditional love. Well done, my friend. Very nice.

That said, most writers are unfamiliar with the grammatical differences between "that" and "who". For example:

I like people "that" like my poems. This is an incorrect usage of the word, that. Here's the correct version:

I like people who like my poems. See the difference? It even "feels" more natural, don't you think?

It was a dog that ate my homework. Correct.

It was a dog who ate my homework. Wrong.

Here's what's going on:

The rule references the differentiation between humans and objects. We should always use who when discussing people, and use "that" with everything else.

Ever since I learned about this, I've really grown attached to the rule, and I think you will, too. And I'm not all that big a fan of rules, generally. Assuming you wish to rewrite your poem accordingly, how would that look?

I am he
He who wishes
He who desires
He who knows

or

I am he
he who wishes
he who desire
he who knows

Personally I like this second version with lower case. In either case *Smile* I leave the remainder in your capable hands, heart, and mind. This would then apply to a woman, of course, if we changed the gender of the pronoun. That makes the poem even stronger in my opinion.

Let me know what you decide, and how this looks if you change it. Thanks for listening and keep up the great work.
Bob

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110
110
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, Maurice,

My name is Bob, and I've got a soft spot for all action and adventure stories. I think you're off to decent, interesting beginning, but your prologue is all skeleton with no flesh on the bones, so to speak. Granted it's a short piece and you likely have more to add to this, allow me to help you along if I might. I've written and published six action/adventure fantasy novels, so you can understand my desire and enthusiasm with regard to what you appear to have in mind. *Smile*

Right now, what you have would be about the minimum length for a prologue, and given what you have going, it is currently much too short -- or abbreviated, I suppose, would be a better description. You have the right idea in terms of a prologue setting the stage, and "hooking" a reader so that they can hardly wait to jump into chapter one. But prologues can be tricky, risky, and even dangerous to you, as the author. Dangerous with respect to losing readers before they even get started.

A prologue sets the stage in more ways than one. It tells us very quickly how good, average, or even poor a writer is, and what we, as readers, can expect in the pages that follow. If I were reading this as a potential novel, I'd soon be moving on to another, different book -- not because the writing here is so bad, but simply because it's sparse, empty, absent any particular shine or sparkle. I love the idea of the five gates and the characters' arrival at Forbidden Island. But the writing style itself is so devoid of the kind of details that make these stories come alive, that boredom threatens us far sooner than whatever -- or whoever -- lurks behind those gates.

So what kind of details am I referring to? Okay, that's the key question, isn't it? The answer has to do with the proposition that as soon as possible, the author must answer the following questions: Who, What, Where, How, When, and Why.

These are the big "six" that put the reader inside the helicopter, let him or her step out onto the ground (along with the rest of the crew), and then survey the immediate environs. We want to smell the odors that hang in the air, hear the sounds that emanate from what is likely a surrounding jungle, feel the humidity of the warm, summer heat, and watch as the sun sets low on the ocean horizon.

Based upon the skimpy pickings you've given us thus far, we know the Who, and a teeny bit about the What. All the rest is unknown. At the end of a good prologue, however, the only one of the six that is typically left out of the mix is the Why. That's what we're here to find out, right?

There's a number of small grammar and technical issues that also need to be addressed, but I don't want to do too much all at one time. Certainly not before you've had a chance to "juice" this up like I hope you're now inclined to do *Smile*

In closing, keep in mind that the reason we love movies with these kind of themes, is precisely because five of the six items I list here, are not only answered, but done so with lots of music and other fanfare. Although you can't provide the music, you can offer your readers all the rest, and do it with style. So grab your dictionary and thesaurus, and start dog-earing those pages *Smile*

Let me know if I've shaken the ground a bit, and if you have any questions. I'd also love to see a rewrite of this, if and when you do. Thanks for listening.

Bob

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111
111
Review of Welcome to Earth  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi, Tab,

Okay, you got me with this one. I am so proud of you, I could spit -- and I don't even spit. What you've created here is about ten times better than it was previously. I usually don't re-review the same piece because there's no point, but in your case the rewrite was so terrific, so blew my proverbial socks off, that I wanted to give you the stars that it deserved. I'd give you a slew of GPs if I weren't saving them for a contest I want to host one of these days.

So why did I like this so much? First, I was glad to see that you took my suggestions and instead of incorporating them literally into the new version, you adopted my ideas in the broadest possible context and made the piece totally your own. I never expected you to take things in the direction you did, and I'm truly amazed by what you came up with.

Secondly, I had to read the damn thing about five times before I finally got it. The good news is that it got better each time, and the smile on my face grew wider with each reading. I was looking for something, I think, that got in the way, but new readers ought to zero-in pretty fast on what's happening here. It may still take a couple-three readings, and for those who take the time, the reward is more than worth it.

The fact that you "invented" this out of the meager pile of fluff you had before, tells me you have a real knack and flare for this kind of thing. Nicely done, my friend. I am so glad that I prodded you, and that you took it all in stride. Even more, that you developed a rather intricate storyline which certainly went way beyond what I had intended or envisioned. I feel it is no wonder you wanted me to look at this again. I think you know how good it is.

Time to nit-pick a bit:

put a space here

“But sir--" (two hyphens form a dash)
“Yes, yes, I know; (semicolon)
they are a type of dinosaur,
but are they intelligent?
NO! So I don’t want to hear another word (added "So") (combined the lines so it's clear who's speaking)
about any damn birds!”

“In that case, sir,
there is nothing more
for us to do here.”

“Right. Let's check our progress (I like combining the lines so they're not too short for no reason) (all the others look good)
on planet Blue32.”

“Yes sir. The course is set.”
"Then let's go."

Tab, even if with my nit-picks, this is one tricky piece. I debated whether or not you even need the quote marks, but I think so. It has to be crystal clear who is speaking what. It is, from what I can tell. Thus my suggestions which may or may not be valid. I think they are, though.

I wonder how many peeps will pick up on the idea that these aren't even necessarily humans who are debating the problem of another failed attempt at promoting life to stage-two, presumably where these quasi-human types (or whatever they might be) survive their own setbacks or vices. Don't get me started. I could go on and on with this thing. And each time I come up with something slightly new and different. And funnier.

I don't give out many five star ratings. This one is well deserved. In a perfect world (on a more perfect planet) this ought to win a prize of some kind. Until then, take care and be well.

Bob

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112
112
Review of The Fences  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, 21,

My name is Bob and I'm and old timer around here, since October of last year. *Smile* I really enjoy reviewing written pieces by newer authors, but it takes a while sometimes sifting through the many items available, before I find one that deserves some serious critiquing. Yours is certainly the sort of thing I look for, which is to say it's rough enough to warrant a good deal of constructive criticism, and definitely good enough to take the time doing so.

There's a lot of potential here, but it needs a lot fixing, tweaking, and maybe some additional thinking. That said, I really like the whole mood of the piece, the characters, and the underlying -- and terrifying -- message that rides on the truck like just another of its doomed passengers.

I think this work may well be better than you realize, and deeper and more all inclusive. The theme of political, religious, or any other form of persecution is so universal, so strong and powerful, that there is no need to identify it with a particular country or government -- such as you've done with the Russians here. This kind of terror could exist in any country at any time, even in America -- which is what happened during WWII when the Japanese were rounded up and placed in concentration camps.

The true horror that your story presents comes precisely from its vagueness and lack of specificity. It could be some future situation where social unrest, even a plague, may have resulted in losses of freedom, and arrests based on God only knows what kind of criteria.

The focus on the woman and the young girl is perfect, and the inter-generational span is an additionally eerie touch that I liked. My only criticism here is that the child's dialogue is far too sophisticated for her age. Otherwise her innocence shines through the chaos and fear just as it should.

That said, I don't want to waste your time with the bunches of technical corrections that are needed throughout the piece. If you're interested, I would be happy to make the necessary punctuation changes, and let you see what is wrong and what is needed to make something like this "sing" grammatically. At which point, it will read even better, faster, and leave us breathless instead of just perspiring *Smile*

I think the ending is okay. But just okay. Not bad. Not great. In a final, totally finished version, you might want to consider another line or two that doesn't "drop" the reader quite so abruptly. Justina might give us an added response, or Rosita might see (or think) something else that heightens the tension even higher, then cuts off, leaving us hanging.

Overall, I think this is a wonderful little gem that, with some added polish, would truly glitter as a terrific -- and frightening -- glimpse of the kind of thing that has happened all too often, still does, and may be growing even worse. Not only is this a short tale right out of today's headlines, but may, in fact, be a persistent threat of things yet to come.

Again, let me know on the grammar stuff, if you'd like to see where the various issues and concerns exist. Also once again, thanks for sharing this remarkable piece of writing. I really like things that make me think and touch us where we live, so to speak.

Bob

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113
113
Review of Motion Blur  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Alexander,

My name is Bob and I liked your poem a lot. I almost love it, but something is holding me back. When I say I love a piece of writing, btw, what I mean is that it strikes me as possessing a profound importance which is not immediately apparent, and grows better the more it's read and thought about.

Just for fun, I want to try something, if you'll indulge me:



We're dying one second at a time and you're getting lost in the motion blur.


So take the job and spend the money.

Drive the car and see the stars.

Stand up high and don't fear the fall below.

And most importantly

Tell them how you feel.


Life is loud

and it's bright

and it's impossibly fast

and you'll die

before you even get a bite out of that sandwich.


Just tell her how you feel before it's too late,

live life like the sky is falling.


If you blink you'll miss it

and you'll regret what you did.


Life goes by too fast

and you've gotta meet people

in the motion blur.


As is obvious by now, I reversed your whole poem and played it backwards. I must be honest. I like it even better this way. But I'm not sure why. I'm hoping you can tell me, and by doing so, add the small, indescribable detail that might be missing. It reads so well to me, now, however, that I could easily live with it as is.

If nothing else, I hope this demonstrates how fluid and dynamic these kind of things are. There is no up and down, right or left. Success is spawned via experimentation, and this is never more true than from the manipulation of words. Or poems *Smile*

I love the term "motion blur" and it's the perfect title. The poem is haunting, all too true, and does it job extremely well. Congratulations on an excellent piece of work.

The right punctuation for this is somewhat complicated, I think, and would require a bit more thought than we can give it here and now. As it is, there's some inconsistencies that could be quickly resolved, one way or the other. No big deal.

For now, it's time for me to reenter the motion blur of my own existence *Smile*

Bob

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114
114
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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115
115
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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116
116
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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117
117
Review of Grandma's House  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Asim,

My name is Bob, I've been around here at WDC for about five months, and I really like it. I hope you will too.

I found your little tale very interesting, but then again, I'm an easy touch, as they say, when it comes to time-travel stories. In the case of your small gem, here, I particularly liked it because it can be read literally, figuratively, or both.

If taken literally, the world in which these people live would be quite extraordinary. No one is truly mortal, and everyone virtually lives forever. Were such a time machine truly real, life would generally be chaotic, unpredictable, and filled with unlimited joys and problems both. One could never be quite sure what was permanent or lasting, and what might be done or undone at any moment.

Things are all the more interesting given that Death itself is part of the story, when in fact, death has become impermanent in the sense that the deceased can live any number of alternate realities based on the "visitations" they receive from others.

One is left, therefore, with the secondary idea that the time machine in question is entirely metaphorical in nature, and simply represents the wishful thoughts and remembrances we all possess regarding the losses in our lives. What is likely a young man or woman, in their late forties thereabouts, and who narrates the story, shares with the reader a very personal journey -- one filled with fanciful notions -- fantasies of how great it would be to revisit the truly happy times in our lives.

I think we all have had similar dreams throughout our lives, especially those of us who are older. We look back fondly and miss, all over again, someone who was special to us, but long gone over the years. And in some leisurely moment of melancholia, we imagine boarding that time machine.

Such a machine is, of course, constantly with us and at our disposal. It might be an old photo, an aroma that can take us back instantly, maybe some article of clothing or a nicknack of some kind. Perhaps just the memories themselves.

It's these ideas and more which this great little piece conjures for me. And will for others, I believe. Aside from its few technical errors here and there, not worth going into unless I'm specifically asked, I really enjoyed this diversionary tale that challenged my imagination on a number of different levels. Good job. *Smile*

Bob

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118
118
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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119
119
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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120
120
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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121
121
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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122
122
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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123
123
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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124
124
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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125
125
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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