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WalkerMan

Neighborhood Smile-Maker

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

What a delightful way to safely entertain the neighborhood children (and their parents) during these tense and trying times! Only you would think of it. I like the view of Teddy's reflection in the window as he looks out toward the house across the street. I'm not surprised the local paper would deem him newsworthy as a break from all the stress-inducing headlines. Yes, spreading smiles and cheer around us is indeed a good way to ward off fear and depression in our neighbors. Perhaps, by such methods, when we all get through this calamity, we'll feel closer to each other than ever before. In that respect, Teddy certainly is building caring community. Someday, the mayor ought to give him a medal for his service.

Thank you for posting this superbly lovely story.

There are three minor punctuation issues you lack time to fix right now. I did not let them affect the rating because I know you will correct them. Then I will remove this comment to leave you a clean review.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 28-Mar-2020
Read and reviewed with blinders on.

ZM Not ZOOM by lyenochka

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Ha! This amusing post is also a public service, as buying the wrong stock because of confusion about the symbol can be quite costly, as it might drop while the one you intended to buy rises out of affordability. Your news-amuse limerick is well done.

Decades ago, I wanted to invest in the manufacturer of an advanced car called Arcturus Custom Special, which would have features no other car had at the time. I won't mention the right and wrong stock symbols here; but suffice it to say that I was surprised when a few days later there was a knock at the door, which I opened to find two aliens standing there to thank me for investing in the spacecraft they were building to replace theirs that had crashed while attempting to land. The automobile was never marketed, so I considered my loss to have been a donation to a worthy cause. ;}} (A little humor helps to break the stress of current times.)
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 27-Mar-2020

Love Saves the Day by Mastery

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

In these well-chosen twenty words, you have clearly expressed the stress imposed by being amid a still-growing pandemic which mostly threatens older people, especially if already health-compromised. (If my wife were still alive, she at 74 would be in the latter category.) You are most fortunate to have, and wisely to have recognized, the benefit of someone in close proximity to love. May that blessing continue, and may you both and the rest of your family come through these times unharmed.

Superb, and beautifully illustrated.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 27-Mar-2020

Blushing Bouquets by Susanjohn

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

This lovely 2/4/4/12 poem captures the delight of Spring blossoming in a wild meadow, and is nicely illustrated by a photo taken from ground level looking skyward. The rhyme of the last two lines enhances the pleasure of reading it. Well done.

I rarely bother to review all these short-form poems generally lacking rhyme, meter, and punctuation, but your unique style stands out.

Comment Written by WalkerMan on 25-Mar-2020
Read and reviewed with blinders on.

Coronavirus Blues by BethShelby

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

This amusing song expresses the thoughts of many at this moment.

The unscrupulous news media have far worsened the discomfort caused by the real effects of COVID-19; and, in the process, prompted panic runs on stores, panic selling of stock of otherwise stable companies, and a general mood of stress actually conducive to more illness, as schools and businesses close, a variety of events are cancelled, and many face loss of income needed to buy food and pay bills.

Well done.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 24-Mar-2020

Hell's Bells by Sally Law

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Though this Horror and Thriller Flash Fiction is an amusement to help us cope with the latest calamity, there is a wise truth deep within it.

There are only two categories of sentient beings -- those who serve others (whatever the personal cost), and those who serve only themselves (with no care about anyone else). The former group follows God's plan for our mutual welfare, while the latter group opposes that. It is the age-old Good versus Evil struggle, even though some participants may not recognize it as such. Well, ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse for nefarious deeds.

Despite being berated for trying to sneak an abortion-on-demand provision into the House relief bill, the current 1,200-page bill is crammed with every imaginable socialist nastiness the Demonrats could squeeze in, none of which benefit presently suffering Americans; and she got Schumer to oppose the far better bipartisan Senate bill he had already helped to draft. The effect is an unconscionable delay in providing desperately needed help. Clearly, Pelosi, Schumer, and all others who go along with them are on the self-server side. We can only hope American voters will remember this betrayal of their oath to represent the American people.

Your superb post is both timely and important.

Also, thank you for the song lyrics, as the video did not play because of some issue at YouTube.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 24-Mar-2020

Parable of the Storm by Robert Zimmerman

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This flawless five-stanza ballad well expresses the emotions of a sailor whose ship is battered by a raging storm at sea. Fearing the worst, he calls out to God to save him, and receives an answer affirming the basis of his (and your) faith.

It reminds me of "Ballad of the Tempest" (1880) by James T. Fields, in which a ship's captain acknowledges the fear of his crew that they won't survive, but new hope and resolve arises in response to these whispered words from the captain's young daughter: "Isn't God upon the ocean, / Just the same as on the land?" You can find the poem online here: https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/ballad-of-the-tempest/

Given the fear evoked by the COVID-19 threat, the answer is NOT panic but faith plus cooperation in positive endeavors to help each other through these times. When the Spanish Flu was taking far more lives a hundred years ago, the stock market did NOT crash, schools and businesses did NOT close, no hoarding occurred, the economy remained sound, no budget-busting bailouts were issued, and no panic occurred. People simply worked together to endure and survive the hardship.

Perhaps today's media-driven societal divisiveness and scare mongering accounts for the difference, while the selfish, power-hungry Democrats are attempting to use the crisis to force their socialist agenda on the American people. Instead of hastening to pass the Senate's bill of truly helpful relief for those affected, Pelosi and Schumer are delaying that in favor of wrangling over a 1,200-page House bill crammed full of harmful socialist policies in no way related to making a positive difference for anyone now suffering or endangered.

I consider your superb and aptly illustrated poem a metaphor for these times, and the REAL solution -- faith plus positive effort -- is the same.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 23-Mar-2020

Double Blind ~ Chapter Four by Sally Law
Chapter 4 of the book Double Blind

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This is another fine chapter, continuing the momentum of the story.

Tine's thinking during her trek through the woods is realistic, and the eagle soaring above as though to be supportive is a nice touch. Her fear about getting into the truck of a stranger is plausible, under the circumstances, despite her need for help. Fortunately, the driver, Bobby DeWoody, is honest and helpful, which might make even more of a difference in the next chapter (and possibly beyond).

Your knowledge of police procedure makes the ransom call and related events section realistic too.

Your heart full of love comes through in your offer to fund the ransom, though I wonder whether your deputized position would allow it. Still, most readers won't consider that, and just find it heartwarming (as I do). The rest of the conversation fits the characters involved.

In the last section, we see the villain preparing to evade capture by trading his Lexus for a less attention-getting Ford pick-up, and again
altering his appearance. That he will stop at Thurston's certainly puts the reader in suspense, as he will recognize Tine, but she might not realize it fast enough to get timely intervention from Bobby -- if he is even still there when her kidnapper shows up. No one will put your book down at this point in the story.

Superb, and aptly illustrated.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 22-Mar-2020

Match Made in Heaven by BethShelby

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This sincere remembrance of love "planned ... on High" is lovely. Though the match was unexpected, it clearly was right, as it stood the test of time through many years of marriage. I like the blend of faith and slowly growing romance. Superb, and aptly illustrated.

There are some easily fixed punctuation flaws, which I will send you in a PM rather than list them here. I did not count them against the rating.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 21-Mar-2020

Surrendering Night by Susanjohn

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

So beautifully you convey the "longings of a restless heart" in this lovely two-stanza Shakespearan Aubade, enhanced by well-scattered "s" sounds (from "s"/"ss" and "c") and soft "z" sounds (from "s" and "z") throughout. Your words softly blur the boundary between dream and reality, bring comfort to longing, and create fond memories from a mist of stardust. Superb, and illustrated splendidly.

I recommend changing this post's category to Romance Poetry.

This outstanding poem looks like a strong contender in its contest.
Comment Written by WalkerMan on 21-Mar-2020


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