Hello Magoo. Thought I would check your portfolio and this lovely poem caught my eye.
Probably one of the best poems I have read here. I felt like I was reading from a book of prize winning poems! Your delivery was very smooth and the story excellent. The ending left me in suspense which is a splendid twist.
I would not change one word of this. My favorite quatrain is:
My mom said, "Purple pumpkins lie,
so trust them not, my son,
a promise they will never keep;
they always fib for fun."
I saw this in the news feed. I found no errors or corrections of any sort.
My favorite color is bright green and pretty much always has been, so you can imagine my liking this little ditty! The green found on the rocks of a forest stream are so beautiful and I hope to be hiking in them soon!
I was hunting for a short story and found this one. Did I like it? Yes. You demonstrated a well-rounded writing style throughout, using adjectives and verbs appropriately without becoming boring by using too many.
I enjoyed the accents you gave to the foreign couple and the surprise ending.
Corrections: I found only four:
"The woman was sat in a garden chair and the man was on his phone talking in broken English and she caught some of the words," (in the paragraph starting with "As")
Should that be "The woman was <<(sitting)>> rather than (sat)?
Also, this line near the end:
"I see you found the ghost,” He said. He looked embarrassed, wary as he moved past her in to the little room and the kittens ran to him.
"wary as he moved past her in to" <<(into)>> would be the correct word.
"After swimming, showering, dinner and a couple of drinks at the bar, Sarah felt just about ready to crash. It had been a long day and she wanted to be up early to take a boat trip. She had all but forgotten about the couple from reception and the ghost, had got<<(were)>> chatting to a Swedish couple at the bar who had been there a week already. As she climbed in to <<(into)>> bed, she sighed happily and closed her eyes.
There's a good program called Grammarly that you might want to check out for free at grammarly.com. I just started using it recently to find issues in my own work.
Over all impression:
This story was not what I expected from the title, which made me expect to be frightened. Instead, I found it to be interesting with a sweet ending.
What I think would improve the story: Perhaps you could have had a man hitting on Sarah at the bar who secretly slips a "Bill Cosby" into her drink. She leaves the bar having no interest in the rude man but when she goes to bed the drug makes her dream terrifying things about the supposed hauntings. (Of course, you would make it seem as if it were not in a dream until she wakes from the scratching. That would give this the horror factor that would match the title.
Keep in mind that these ideas are only my opinions and are not meant to offend in any way.
Found your poem on the "please review" page, so I am.
I read many items that I never review because I'm very picky and don't want to step on anyone's blue suede shoes, so If I'm reviewing your work it's because I think it has quality.
This is a fine poem indeed. The text body has a very good flow for a free verse writ, which is ignored by so many writers of this style. Most of the time, I label them as prose, (without the flow).
Your metaphor's reveal an individual who is torn between two worlds, the first being the moon ... (female, associated with the water element which reflects the light of the male Sun). Your character is attracted to that, yet eventually is pulled back by the shadow world of fears, self doubts and pseudo realities. The "frigid feet" indicate an unwillingness to adventure toward the moonlight. ("cold feet").
The "subtle call" added a nice tinge of ingenuity to the poem which to me made me feel as if your character was drawn back to the shadows perhaps "subconsciously", as we often are.
The only thing that I felt could be improved on is the title ... does it have a hook? (YES),
but it lacks the charm of the poem ... as if someone else wrote the title. That said I think something more like "Desperate Attraction" might fit a little better, or simply "Thought Provoking".
I wasn't expecting this yet was pleasantly surprised.
I have 9 years on you but had a totally different experience growing up. My dad was a minister in the seventies and served at a little country church in a town of about 1,000 people. One afternoon he was leading a small bible study when a strange man with a long knife came in and sat down in the circle of chairs. Somehow, he was able to distract the man and convinced him quite skillfully to leave. That was in 1977. In 1972, I was beaten up and knocked out by gangs on two different occasions while on my way to high school in broad daylight just outside of Chicago.
In 1966 at the age of ten, an off duty police officer grabbed me and started holding me under the water dozens of times at our public swimming pool, leaving me quite traumatized. So for me life has only been like "Leave it to Beaver" in short segments. I think the song has always been relevant for me and the world, the message more important, depending on where you lived in the 60's and 70's.
Your title is perfect for this item.
The only thing you might want to change would be regarding the song, as it was offered to Dionne but she turned it down. Jackie Deshannon sang it in 65. (My first wife was a Burt Bacharach fanatic). Hee hee! Here is the reference: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=3820
I enjoyed this story. What I really liked was how you totally hid any suspicion from the readers till Kevin was missing after his sleep in the cabin.
I think that Jake holding the head was a good method for horror, yet, were the story real, I think he would have buried the head to cover up any evidence, IE.. dental records etc.. and packed an arm or leg in for the meal, as the head has little 'meat' on it. That would also possibly add a little more terror to the writ, leaving the reader to question if Jake severed the arm or leg while Kevin was still conscious, leaving him to bleed out in agony.
Everything else in the story was very well written ... yer mountain man slang, spot on, and the title which tells it all.
Hello J.R.Kane, I am offering my review of this item found on the "please review" page.
This was a very well written short story (in every way). It was quite human, having molded your character well.
The title is wonderful, yet the image of the spider gave the story away, (the only thing I didn't like about the project). ;)
Your use of adjectives was right on ... not overused as some writers do which often serves as a distraction to their readers.
The paragraphical structure is nice within the writ and I found no grammatical errors.
My favorite part:
"That was when it sprung.
A scream escaped her, then, shrill and blood-chilling. The disgusting thing landed on her right shoulder and bit. She screamed again and batted it away with one badly shaking hand. It landed on the shower floor with a chitinous rattle and scampered for the other side of the small, enclosed space.
Hyperventilating and crying, Andrea tried her best to press her naked flesh through the pores of the linoleum tiles. A sickly, unnatural heat radiated outward from where the monster had bitten her. The space inside the shower seemed to darken a shade, and suddenly her head and limbs felt heavy...incredibly, impossibly heavy...
Before she could register the horrific implications of this new development, her legs wobbled once, and then buckled at the knees. She felt her back sliding (and, in those places where the linoleum was still dry, dragging) down the wall. She landed on her tailbone with a wet thud that sent electric jolts of pain out into her extremities.
Through watering eyes, she saw the spider watching her. It crept forward."
This story reminded me of my friend Angus's work. That's a compliment because I feel that Angus is one of the best short horror writers at this site, or anywhere.
I will certainly keep my eyes out for your future and past items J.R.
Greetings fellow members. I am wise with healing knowledge, a medicine man in my own community, people come to me with toothaches, headaches, infections, and muscle pains and I help them learn about ways to heal the symptoms naturally, rather than using the Big Pharma poisons to "mask their symptoms".
I am a licensed "Touch for Health" Massage therapist and foot reflexologist. My education in nutrition came Bill Vanderlaan, a previous president of the American Massage Therapy Association. He assisted athletes including John McEnrowe, the once renowned tennis player and many other professional athletes.
So if anyone has a question about health, I will be happy to offer assistance from my knowledge base if needed.
I found your item on the please review page, so I'll offer my opinions.
I thought that this short story was well written structurally. The only thing I think would improve the item would be a short paragraph describing the countryside, IE: Is this part of Tennessee wooded, or is it farmland? Does it smell like cattle country? Is it made of rolling hills, or is it flat land? Are there lots of waterways with bridges? What is the population of Springfield? I would have also liked to know the age of the biker. Those descriptions would have helped me paint a better picture in my mind, making the story more identifiable mentally, especially to folks who are inclined to imagery. Of course this is only my opinion, so like it or not. ;)
The title although true to the text body is a smidge lackluster in my opinion, since it really didn't grab at me. I probably would have named it "A Risky Lesson in Thankfulness."
My favorite line was: "I brought my tire patch kit but left my air pump at home. How poetic."
Personally, I have a different view of this story, since I believe it is we ourselves who teach the lessons in life ... in this case the (self) lesson learned was to have better lighting for evening country rides and to be fully prepared for a flat tire. :D
As far as any assistance from Heaven goes, I would have to ascribe that task to the angels.
Finally, the message is a valuable one, since gratefulness is the catalyst of more abundant blessings.
I liked your story. ;) Hopefully, your mom had a sense of humor to balance out the stoic father syndrome.
Good title. Title's should always draw in the reader by making them ask a question, which this title does. ;)
Suggestions: If I may ... (my opinions, so like or not) ;)
Third line needs comma behind Hospital.
Next: (you wrote):
"So I'm singing along to some of the songs that I know. Looking over at my dad along the way. Watching him kinda sing along, but not wanting me to witness him doing it."
(I would do this): So I'm singing along to some of the songs that I know, while looking over at my dad along the way, watching him kinda sing along, but not wanting me to witness him doing it. (It's a long sentence, but the flow stays unbroken without the periods). ;)
Next: (you wrote): "It was such an adult father, daughter bonding moment we shared."
(I would write): That was such an adult father, daughter bonding moment we shared.
Next: (you wrote):"She's a control freak. And anyone who knows her, knows the way she is. But I still love my big sister. We've been through a lot."
(I would write): She's a control freak and anyone who knows her, knows the way she is, but I still love my big sister ... we've been through a lot. (again removing the periods for better flow).
Lastly: (you wrote): "As soon as the song was over he reaches over and turns the volume down to tell me."
(I would write): As soon as the song was finished, he reaches over and turns the volume down to tell me his thoughts.
(So I've avoided using the word "over" too close together in the same line, plus, I finished the sentence with an easier to understand ending).;)
My father / son moments were playing "Battleship" together. Whenever I sank one of his ships, he would call be a "dirty rat" and we would both laugh big time! :D
Dropped by your port today to find this description of life in the 50's
You did a good job remembering what life was like. I was born in 56 so life hadn't changed much. Good points about the simplicity and innocence of that age. The worst trouble kids got into was giving themselves a butchered haircut. :D Now they get pregnant and shoot people.
I was an expert at getting people's TV antennas to work better, LOL.
I enjoyed this little work of art. It's simple, yet powerful at the same time because it accentuates the intimacy that we all have with inanimate objects.
I know that I have pillow issues, LOL! I have to sleep with two pillows, but not just any ... MINE! :)
Short works like this are wonderful. They are like when you're in a field full of flowers but you take a moment to focus on the beauty and attributes of just one.
My only criticism is that you left me with no explanation of why you wrote this for your Mom? Are you speaking as the pillow to her? That's the only idea that comes to mind. Perhaps a little note below the poem would be appropriate.
I woke up early this morning and wiggled into this sweet little piece (yawning) It will prompt me to consider my pillows when I re-crash in an hour. (wink).
I really enjoyed this little writ! It's so full of the innocence of youth that forces your readers to take themselves back to those early years of life.
My last memories of strawberry picking were with my wife and daughter helping out in a public field. My daughter ate as many as she picked ... perhaps more! My wife made the most delicious strawberry, raspberry freezer jam with them.
Guess what I had for lunch? A peanut butter and strawberry preserve sandwich. What would we ever do without them. ;)
I found no errors in this item, but I didn't really get the full meaning of the first line:
“Hello, my name is Sunshine.” "What is yours? " ... “I like that name...!" I supposed that the (...) inserts were meant as fillers for unwritten dialog?
What I especially enjoyed was:
(Nanny got me ready and cleaned up for bedtime. I told her that, "I had the most
wonderful tasty day ever. Can we do it again next year?" I asked.
She and Poppy tucked me into bed with hugs and kisses as always.
I said, “I can’t wait until next strawberry season.” Nanny kissed my forehead and said.
“Sweet strawberry dreams my little Sunshine.”) BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT LIFE'S ALL ABOUT! ;)
Finally, did you know that the best way to core and de-stem a strawberry is to push a drinking straw through it from the bottom up? It makes the process so very fast!
Write on! Whitemorn :)
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