Hypocritical Influence
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Jacqueline O.

Breath of Time by C. Gale Burnett

Excellent
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Love the idea behind this! I can see the thoughts of the author peeking through the narrative, and it has a delightful self-reflective feel to it. The idea was well thought out, but to make it an even more enjoyable read you may consider tweaking the syllable stresses to be consistent line to line. This gives the poem a rhythmic, natural feel, but is a personal aesthetic and craft preference. Thanks for sharing!
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 15-Jan-2019

Recovering From The Fire by JDRBAR
Chapter 49 of the book Charlotte/Daughter of the Sword

Excellent
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Hey, great chapter! Though I have not read any of the previous parts of your book, I can say that the characters intrigued me and that it felt true to setting. I connected easily to the main character and found her story compelling, and enjoyed the progression of events. It did seem a little rushed, however, like the events are happening sort of in a narrative summary sort of way. Unless your intention was for this part of book to feel rushed, I would suggest slowing it down a bit by adding more descriptive language and maybe including a few more elements of setting. For example, it seems as if this chapter is occurring during the harvest? Yet there was no mention of turning leaves, cool autumn winds or the fear of encroaching winter. What does the soil feel like when the women plough it? Does it smell bad having all those animal carcasses around? What about their clothes? Do they draw their shawls tighter or toss them away as they work and grow warm? Just a few thoughts to expand the narrative and make the writing more rich. You may also want to add more character action, like showing them crossing their arms or smoking tobacco or fidgeting as they talk. Just a few ideas. :) Also, "peaked" her interest should be "piqued". Common mistake! :)
I'm also curious to see how you could pump up the arrival of the natives a bit. Honestly, it seems a bit contrived that they only came for ginger, seeing as it would most likely have grown all over the area and the Indians would just have needed to go find another patch. And if they had several sick tribe members, I would have thought two bunches would not have been enough, as traditionally ginger was used in tea as well as pultices and brews. Just my thoughts tho!! I would just suggest having there be more at stake than a bit of herbs to be traded- if this is going to be the first time Char has seen natives, you want it to pack a bit more punch and have more stakes attatched.
Thanks for writing, and hopefully these suggestions are more helpful than hurtful! I can tell you've spent time perfecting the dialogue and vernacular, and it reads well. Keep writing, and I'll see you again next time!
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 13-Jan-2019

God will listen ... by royowen

Excellent
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I loved the thought behind this poem! At first I disliked it, thinking you were taking a nihilistic view of God and prayer, but as it progressed I understood that you were simply rendering Biblical truths into verse. As you stated, though God is compassionate and open to everyone who seeks Him, He will not tolerate vanity and falsehood! Thanks for sharing this well-done piece of writing.
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 13-Jan-2019

Ode to Winter by poeticjustice13

Excellent
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This is cute! I liked the child-like focus of the poem, and it brought to mind strong images and vivid memories that almost anyone who has lived somewhere where winter is serious would be familiar with. The last line, however, did not make as much sense to me. Maybe add a comma after "angel" to make the meaning more clear? Also you may want to consider making "kid" possessive to "kids". We wouldn't say "kid laughter" in real life, we would show that the laughter belongs to the children. Anyway, just a couple quick suggestions! Overall it was an enjoyable read- post again soon!
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 08-Oct-2018
Read and reviewed with blinders on.

Costly Mistakes by Mistydawn
Chapter 2 of the book Death by Delivery

Excellent
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Updating my rating!

Reading back through, I really like your descriptions. You have a flair for being both specific and tangible, and I thought the description of Penny especially vivid. Thanks for writing!
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 08-Oct-2018

Faraway Dreams by Ulla
Chapter 38 of the book A Collection Of Short Poems

Excellent
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I love how simple and timeless the message of your poem is...everyone can relate to the feeling of wanting to be loved and held, regardless of time, experience, stage of life, or history. Your picture pairs perfectly with the words, and I think this is a beautiful entry for this competition. Thank you for sharing!
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 08-Oct-2018

The Light From Your Eyes by WildWithWords

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How sweet and tender this is. I agree with your note- this is what every woman hoped to hear from a lover, particularly when he is declaring his love. It is reminiscent of Song of Solomon, with the list of attributes the narrator find irrisistible and the high praise he is eager to bestow. I don't think it too sappy, but certainly many men I know would struggle to express such bald declarations. ;)

I also liked the build up from becoming snared in her eyes, to feeling her touch, to finally falling in love with her. It gives the poem a feel of authenticity.

While I do find poetry with set meter and syllable stresses easier to read, this poem has a nice rhythm and rhyme scheme, and this is only *my* preference. :)

Thanks for submitting! I enjoyed the read!
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 12-Sep-2018

Let Me Go! by WildWithWords

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

What a beautifully meaningful work, colored with real life and shot through with heavy emotional burdens. The message was clear and well-delivered, ringing out in the flavorful language and apt use of metaphors and description.

I felt this poem was especially meaningful because of the universality and relevance to us all- we all will watch loved ones age and die, and eventually, we too will be in life's final season. This was a raw and honest look at end of life issues, and I felt its resonnance deeply.

I liked the last line in particular, where it speaks of holding a hand that can never respond. When my grandpa turned 65, we actually held his party as if it was his funeral, saying all the amazing things we loved about him while he could still hear us. This turned out to be a blessing, because he died of an instant heart attack some time later, and we all got to have closure because of the things we had already told him.

All in all, this is a truly raw look at a special time of life, and I would certainly read it again. Thank you for your work!
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 12-Sep-2018

Derailed by Sis Cat

Excellent
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There are so many great things going on in this writing. On the surface level, the writing itself is superb: well structured and with active nouns and verbs, it conveys a vivid retelling of this event and provokes strong imagery. Second, you have a great line of internal development running throughout as well, using the wreck as a metaphor for the narrator's own life. I liked the line "my life barreled down the wrong tracks/ before I knew tracks existed", and also the repetition of "wail" in the last stanza. Thank you for submitting- this was a beautiful work!
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 11-Sep-2018

Milk and Eggs by Debbie Pope

Excellent
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How cute! What a clever little urchin you portrayed, as well as a benevolent and likable adult. The boy's last words killed me haha! This was so sweet and was a perfect snapshot into the past, but reminiscent and aware of the hardships people endured in times less fortunate than our own. It's a perfect entry. Thank you for submitting!
Comment Written by Jacqueline O. on 11-Sep-2018


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