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Reviews from
The Puzzle of Relationships


Substance over style = Success

  19 total reviews 
Comment by
sandramitchell
Level 1 Pro
Sandra Mitchell
Sandra Stoner Mitc
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  84
Author Rating For Short Works
 
Author Rating For Novels
  Rank:  1
Review Stars
  Rank:  26
 

#1 Ranked Novelist!
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
I love your mother! She sounds just like my mother was, and now she's long gone, I miss her like crazy. Your assessment of a marriage that lasts is, in my opinion, spot on. In my marriage, I'm the forward one, while my husband is reserved. But, also like you, when something needs sorting, we are together on it. I enjoyed this story very much, Rachelle, it's another fun lesson on what to expect and what not to. Well done, my friend. :)) Sandra xx


 Comment Written 23-May-2019



reply by the author on 23-May-2019
    Thank you, Sandra. It's always such a better day when I hear from you. I appreciate all the validation that came with this review. xo
Comment by
2019 Novelist of the Year
Ulla
Premier Author
Premier Reader
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  71
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  Rank:  85
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  Rank:  2
Review Stars
  Rank:  45
 

#2 Ranked Novelist
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Hi Rachelle, I really like your no nonsense approach to whatever comes your way. I so agree that a long relationship needs the input from the other side as well. I think that's why my second marriage failed last year. I ended up feeling I always had to pickup the slack. Does that make sense? Curiously my ex and his new wife (Oh yes, he re-married within the year) and I have become friends. I can't live with the man, but I can be a friend. I see exactly what you're saying in this lovely piece. Warm regards. Ulla:)))


 Comment Written 22-May-2019



reply by the author on 22-May-2019
    Yes, that makes total sense, Ulla. It has to be a two-way street. No one partner should "always" being doing anything. It's got to be a give-and-take partnership. I'm glad you're free of that inequity, and I hope you are much, much happier.

    Thank you for the lovely review.xo
Comment by
Bill Pinder
Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  39
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  Rank:  54
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  Rank:  26
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  Rank:  33
 
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Thanks so much for this interesting and humorous story with some good common sense. I agree that that is a very important focus for a healthy relationship. Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your life.
Bill


 Comment Written 20-May-2019



reply by the author on 20-May-2019
    You are welcome. And thank YOU for the terrific review. xo

reply by Bill Pinder on 21-May-2019
Comment by
2016 and 2018 Script Write Of The Year
judiverse
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  Rank:  32
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  Rank:  7
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  Rank:  41
 

#7 Ranked Author

#1 Ranked Script Writer!
Excellent
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Interesting thoughts in this. Getting students ready for a recital must be quite a challenge. I hope your student rises to the occasion. I think there's likely to be a difference between a man's and woman's communication styles. For me, I would expect a woman's remarks to be more expansive, as were the woman's in the example you cited. It's difficult to make assessments about strangers, as your mother tried to do, because we really don't know what's going on underneath. As you mention, it the ability to come to common agreement on problems that matters. Great thoughts in this. judi


 Comment Written 20-May-2019



reply by the author on 20-May-2019
    Thanks very much, Judi, for all your comments and the review. You really heard exactly what I was trying to convey - the jackpot for any writer!! xo

reply by judiverse on 20-May-2019
    You're very welcome. People certainly have different styles when it comes to expressing themselves. judi
Comment by
susand3022
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  Rank:  29
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  Rank:  23
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  Rank:  32
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  Rank:  8
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  Rank:  17
 

#8 Ranked Script Writer
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I want to know what happens when you get there next Tuesday, Rachelle! Will she or will she not, be recital ready?!!! I never had a recital... I had muscle memory much faster than I could ever learn to read music... so I never learned. It was much easier to just transpose it into its letters and go bit by bit and learn the favorite song I wanted to learn. I expect that I could probably pick out some things if I wanted to... Your Song, or maybe a little bit of Stairway to Heaven... not too much of that one though! LOL


 Comment Written 20-May-2019



reply by the author on 20-May-2019
    I will keep you in the loop, Susan!!

    It's all about the Enjoyment Factor! If you're finding pleasure doing it the way you do, then you win! Do you still have a piano?

reply by susand3022 on 21-May-2019
    My dad's the pianist in the family. He has to have a baby grand wherever he is so there's one in each of his houses. (summer and winter) It's come to the point where he's spending May-Oct. in the summer house. If it weren't for winter they'd be there for good! He played the organ at church for years and still sings in the church choir... though it may be about time to join myself so someone can drive him... my voice is shot though. He won't let people drive him places... but if you're going... well, we may as well go together. I went to sleep every night of my life until I went to college, listening to him play the piano. When I went, I had to have him make me a tape of him practicing so I could sleep! LOL I've still got the cassette! ;)

reply by the author on 21-May-2019
    Oh wow; I love this vignette and am so happy you shared. xo
Comment by
Y. M. Roger
FantasyGirl
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  3
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  5
Author Rating For Novels
  Rank:  20
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Review Stars
  Rank:  3
 

#5 Ranked Author

#3 Ranked Poet

#3 Ranked Reviewer
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Oh, such a wonderful and so very relatable write, Rachelle -- you get these stars because you just guaranteed me that you and I are twins (IDENTICAL in pretty much EVERYTHING except looks!) separated at birth! :) My husband is a jeans and polo guy (they let Army/Air Force contractors wear that, especially when he's the brains behind a number of their systems - lol!) where I am just like you -- with the crazy, bright duds that only a quirky math/physics teacher gets away with -- I do my nails crazy, wear crazy jewelry, have two-tone hair (blonde and either deep red or violet depending on my mood at color time -- yes, I do my own!), and have been known to wear one of my many HATS (yep, the kind that are in individual hat boxes at the top of my closet!!) when I dress up for weddings, etc!! David, of course, will don khakis (dress slacks if a REALLY spiffy occasion) and a sport coat... if he's in a tie, there's either some big muckety-muck from the Pentagon visiting or someone died (please laugh, it is a joke!). :) ;) And ALL of my boys are accustomed to waiting on mom because she loves to talk!! :) ;) But, like you say here, David and I have a lot in common that doesn't show on the outside and always stand together (and when we do disagree, it's not in front of anyone else! lol!).... how else could we have gotten through 27 years and raising these 3 boys?!! ;) :)
Well, I've taken up more than enough of your space here -- again, a wonderfully worded observation of life -- thanx for sharing the thoughts and memories! :) ;)Yvette
P.S. My dad was the one of the 'outspoken voice and comments' in our house!! :) ;)


 Comment Written 20-May-2019



reply by the author on 20-May-2019
    This is the most delightful review of all time, Yvette!! It's official: we are identical twins!

    I have a huge closet, but it's not big enough to accommodate all my hats, so I have them on hooks on our biggest living room wall. (We have saved so much money on expensive art!!)

    But you are nothing like the math/physics teachers I've ever known. They are a VERY button-down crowd in this part of the country. Please come up here and teach them how to let loose!!)

    Bobby and I watched the movie American Gangster years ago with Denzel Washington, and despite what he was (THE American gangster) he was a very under-the-radar kind of guy in dress and demeanor. That's how he managed to stay out of the crosshairs of the law. But then he got mixed up with a woman who was flashy, and she bought him a full-length chinchilla coat that she wore to a fight they attended together (where there was LOTS of gangster types in attendance), and suddenly, poor Denzel got noticed by the police, and it led to his undoing. Bobby's take-away from it all was that it's ALWAYS better to be understated. My response? "But I'm your chinchilla coat!" He could hardly argue.

    Anyway, I loved your review. Thank you for the validation! xo
    Oh - and thank you for doing math. That way, I don't have to!!
Comment by
Alex Rosel
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Premier Reader
 
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  Rank:  201
 
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I found this a gentle read with a Golden Hollywood feel-good culmination.

Here are a few things you might like to consider:

Their daughter is an eighth grader, and though funny and entertaining -- I personally prefer to use although in this sentence structure.

So far behind was she this past Tuesday, in fact, that I actually used my No Nonsense Teacher Voice as I explained that this was the week I'd set as the deadline for being Recital Ready.
-- I find this sentence rather clunky. I'd nix the in fact. It adds nothing. If your intention is to emphasize the rarity of your No Nonsense Teacher Voice, I'd find a way to do it differently.

I like the distinct voices you've created for Mom and Dad -- and in such a small space of words :)

"Wow, Mommy! I love your clothes! They're bright like the circus clowns we saw last weekend!" -- Ha, ha. Children seem to have a knack for cutting to the chase.


 Comment Written 20-May-2019



reply by the author on 20-May-2019
    Once again, Alex, your edits are spot-on! I couldn't appreciate them more and will take care of the clunkiness later on today. Thanks for the excellent guidance. xo
Comment by
karenina
Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  110
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Review Stars
  Rank:  161
 
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I'm so glad I read this. When I got to the description of your mother and her judgmental approach to assessing couples I felt sad...can't judge books by their covers! I ought to have known you would carry on with the antithesis of her "wisdom" and weave a classy tale of what it does (and does NOT take) to make it "till death do us part."--Karenina


 Comment Written 19-May-2019



reply by the author on 19-May-2019
    Thank you for all this positive reinforcement, Karenina. I couldn't appreciate it more. xo

reply by karenina on 20-May-2019
    I confess I do not read a lot of prose...but I always appreciate yours!--Karenina

reply by the author on 20-May-2019
    You are some seriously sweet-talkin' reviewer!! xo

reply by karenina on 20-May-2019
    Oh pshaw..... Karenina

reply by the author on 20-May-2019
    : )
Comment by
Michele Harber
Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  78 (+1)
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  72
Review Stars
  Rank:  120
 
Excellent
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Hello again, FSBFF. This is a very interesting story, largely because you're seamlessly moving between three stories (your student and her parents, your mother, you and your husband) with logical connections.

I fully understand the student's parents facing the same issue from differing perspectives, but both headed for the same goal. My husband and I are like that with our daughter as well, with his being the immovable object more often, and my being the one to soften more quickly and work through what's bothering her more deeply, but both of us only wanting what's best for her in the end.

I don't fully agree that a marriage of opposites is the only kind that will work, as I have examples to prove both points in my family. My perfect cousin married her perfect boyfriend, and earned the nickname "Barbie and Ken." Two children later, the perfect facade fell apart, as did their marriage. Each eventually married the person for whom he or she was destined.

My other, more avant-garde, cousin married her equally avant-garde boyfriend 42 years ago today. They stayed together, as the most loving couple imaginable, until my cousin's death seven years ago. Even now, the love still remains, and the widower used Facebook to honor their wedding anniversary.

In other words, what works for one couple doesn't necessarily work for all. The trick, as you and your husband, and I and my husband, found out is that the important thing is to determine what works for you specifically. Your student's parents seem to balance each other out perfectly and, in the end, isn't that really all that counts?

I'm surprised that you didn't make this a part of your "Fly on the Wall" series. Yes, this is personal history and not just observation, but didn't that personal history figure intrinsically into the observations you did make? Obviously it's your choice whether or not to include this, but I certainly think it wouldn't be out of place in the "Fly on the Wall" series.


 Comment Written 19-May-2019



reply by the author on 19-May-2019
    You're right; I shouldn't have made it such a 'blanket statement' about opposites. Plenty of Similars probably live happily ever after. Just because I haven't seen them isn't fair. (Like I know everyone in the world or something.) So thanks for the gentle reminder.

    I considered it for Fly on the Wall, but it's longer and more "preachy" and less "amused" than I tend to be there.

    Anyway, as always, thank you for all your insight and help. Your reviews are always fantastic. xo

reply by Michele Harber on 19-May-2019
    Thank you. As for your "blanket statement," there's a reason the phrase "opposites attract" exists. It's just that there's a difference between something occurring most of the time and all of the time. My marriage is a combination of both sides of the coin. We were both the very smart misfits whom classmates liked to make fun of, but he had a wild side that I never had. I was brought up so squeaky clean that I probably did squeak. I'm also much more religious than he is, but we just made a conscious decision to accept and respect our differences.

    As far as including this piece in "Fly on the Wall," if you ever did want to, basically all it would take is removing the section about your mother, making the observation the differences in the way the student's parents approached the problem, with the same goal in mind, and comparing it to how you and your husband prove the same point.

reply by the author on 19-May-2019
    Yes, you're right. If I do end up doing that, may I run it by you for an edit? xo

reply by Michele Harber on 19-May-2019
    Are you kidding? I'd be offended if you didn't!!!

reply by the author on 19-May-2019
    Omg. I love you. You are too funny. xo

reply by Michele Harber on 19-May-2019
    Again, right back atcha! We're not FSBFFs for nothing.

reply by the author on 20-May-2019
    : )
Comment by
Mrs. KT
Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  9 (+1)
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  83
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Review Stars
  Rank:  91
 

#9 Ranked Poet
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Hello Rachelle,
Another delightful rendering.
And so relatable!
My husband and I will be married 40 years this coming June 30th. GAWD!
Inconceivable in the number of years, but what a wonderful adventure and journey it has been.
I dress - according to my husband - like a "Jackson Pollack" painting, while just this past winter, we relieved his closet of no fewer than 40 pairs of Dockers - all tan. Get the picture?
But we are definitely a pair - still best friends.
Your writing is smooth, witty, entertaining, but also realistic and perceptive.
So enjoyable.
Thank you!
diane


 Comment Written 19-May-2019



reply by the author on 19-May-2019
    Omg. That is sooo funny, Diane!! He's like Superman - all his clothes are identical! And his assessment of your couture!! Jackson Pollack. (We're leading such similar married lives, are we not??!!)

    Anyway, thank you for the wonderful review. I love it. xo
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