Reviews for And Here I Am
Alaxe chapter 8 . 2/21/2009
This is amazing- when you are finished you should edit and send off to a publisher to see were it could go.
A.S Lee chapter 7 . 2/16/2009
This is amazing. I can't wait to find out what happens in betwwen 11 and 14.
Alaxe chapter 7 . 8/30/2008
This is amazing! You give everything so much detail, and that creates an allusion of realness I rarely ever expect from any book. I love how you tie in passions of your own (from bio), like the Hobbit and Garfunkel. This has been an overwhelming touching experience, keep it coming.
AddleBoy chapter 7 . 8/28/2008
Here I am from the Review Game!

First of all, I'd like to say that your use of detail in every description is truly amazing, at least to me. You made even the most mundane actions seem interesting. I was going to only read the first chapter or so, but I ended up reading all seven. Your use of grammar and diction were also very well done. I couldn't find any use of improper grammar, and each sentence flowed smoothly. At the moment, I can't really think of anything bad to say about this story.

Hopefully, I'll be able to read more from you soon!
Stars May Collide chapter 7 . 6/15/2008
I love the more interaction with the sisters. I'm appalled by the neighborhood's reaction- they leave food at their doorstep like they'd leave food for the neighborhood's stray animals. Granted, its a kind gesture, but far from the best gesture. Perhaps things were different in the 70s, or things are simply different in their small town- or perhaps Gracie hit the nail on the head and the residences all assume the family is crazy. I'm curious about how "crazy" the neighbors really find the Evan's family- eccentric, or literally insane?

Looking forward to the next installment.
Stars May Collide chapter 6 . 6/15/2008
It's sad that I just noticed the oddity that Malcolm thinks of his mother by her first name, and that their mother signed the note by use of her first name. In fact, Malcolm tends to avoid the title. I don't know if that is how it's meant to be, but it makes the novel more engaging.

I like to think Maggie is more apathetic than dense.

“God, Mal, your feet are gross.”

...that's a very sibling thing to say. I have a feeling Sylvia's not coming home for dinner.
Stars May Collide chapter 5 . 6/15/2008
I don't know if it was intentional, but the home tends to give the feel of a ghost "town" [pardon the lack of articulation on my part]aside from the kitchen and garden. It's curious as to why the living room seems generally uninhabited.

Short but effective chapter. Strong metaphor at the end. The chapter leaves a lot in question, and I wonder what the climax of the story might possibly be.
Stars May Collide chapter 4 . 6/15/2008
The only possible thing I could suggest is to type dialog more like you would talk. Obviously, not all the time- I think we all hate it when characters all tend to 'sound the same'. More or less, when it comes to phrasing things, think about how you'd phrase it [I'm thinking adverbs].

I like how you incorporate 'milestones' in his childhood, such as the first sleepover. I think you capture the excitement in a child well. Furthermore, the foreshadowing here is awesome. I like how everything seems to be off track, and it makes me want to know why, and how this is going to effect the rest of the novel.
Seigetsu Ren chapter 4 . 6/15/2008
Review Game!

I'll be writing as I read, so sorry if this sounds fragmented. I'll also be dividing my review into sections to make it easier to understand. Hope you don't mind!

Plot: Since you requested to look over chapters 4-7 in particular, I started right at this chapter with no idea of what your story was about. At first, I found the story to be a bit dry because it dealt with a seemingly very ordinary life. However, as the chapter progressed, I found your story to be rather interesting. It was about an ordinary life, but the way you described it made your story very realistic, vivid, and there is an "echo" in your story with my own life. The resonance made your story seem very meaningful. Good job on that!

Characters: I really liked how you present your characters. Through the things that happened, we can see the personalities of the characters without you having to tell us explicitly how they are like. Both your narrator and Sylvia's personalities are shaped very well. I like the details that you've incorporated.

Dialogue: I didn't like your dialogue very much. It sounded a bit stiff. Also, the first paragraph's dialogue is separated into too many fragments. I understand that you want to tell us how the character is speaking, but when you cut a piece of dialogue into so many fragments, it's hard for your reader to register what was being said.

Writing: As I've said previously, I loved the details that you've incorporated. In general, your writing reads fairly well. The flow is very natural and comprehension is easy. However, you have some awkward sentence structures. For instance

"In reality, I couldn’t have left my mother all alone in the kitchen then, and even today I wouldn’t be able to do it, if I could be offered the chance."

This sentence sounds somewhat clumsy. It would be better if you can break the sentence apart into shorter sentences. Maybe try, "In reality, I couldn't have left my mother in the kitchen anyway. Even now, I wouldn't be able to do it; not even if I had the chance." There are many sentences of this nature in your chapter. Try picking out the longer sentences and read it aloud to hear how it sounds. Does is sound like a mouthful? Are there enough pauses for you to read it easily?

Also, you have some unnecessary adverbs that I found somewhat distracting. For instance, "I nodded dutifully" or "I listened contently" weren't really necessary. Since he was nodding and doing work, we know that he was dutiful. Since he praised his mother's voice, we know that he was contented. These adverbs don't really tell us anything new, but they are there in abundance, which distracts us from the main ideas of your story.

For the most part, however, you writing is proficient. You've gotten your points across easily, which is very good. Just try to cut down on the amount of words you use, but keep the amount of details you're writing. That would make your writing more efficient, and therefore, more enjoyable.

some other minor issues

"It was moments like these where I felt immensely uncomfortable."

"where" suggests a location, so I would suggest using "when" instead.

"Did parents really have genuine interest in their children, and the goings-on in their children’s limited lives?"

do you mean "going-ons"?

"I answered, decisively, after a few moment’s of contemplation."

the word "of" already denotes possession. For instance, "sword of Kevin" is the same as saying "Kevin's sword". That's why you just need to say "a few moments of contemplation" instead of "a few moment's of contemplation"

"I nodded dutifully as she told me to put a few teaspoons the bulk yeast (ordinarily reserved for bread making) into a bowl"

I think you need to say "put a few teaspoons of the bulk yeast" instead.

"She also suggested I fetch the stackable..."

I think it should be "she also suggested that I..."

"I then mounted the wooden banister"

"then" is used as an interrupter here, so there should be commas before and after this word.

Thanks for the good story! Good luck writing! Hope my comments will help you in your future chapters.

~Dex
groovi-gal-numba1 chapter 2 . 6/13/2008
review game!

i didn't like the preface - probably coz i didn't recognise the song lol. but i'm sure for people who regognise the song its good. but for me, personally it didn't real me in.

but in the next chapter i truly was realed in - you have great descriptions! they're not to small and not to big - i can't stand to have no description, and i can't stand to have WAY to much of it. but no, i think you're right where you should be

i like your characters - you've obviously thought about them alot and it really shines through in your writing! keep up the good work!

xoxox
123456DoesNotExist chapter 4 . 6/10/2008
Review Game –

I like your preface, it gave me a little on what to expect, and got me interested in it.

You do a wonderful job of describing the boy’s mother, just by your description, I felt like I could really see her character.

It was peaceful, and I slipped into it quite easily, interested. I could really see the mother, your descriptions of her quite wonderful.

While I loved your descriptions of everything, there were some parts that dragged on, but overall, I think it’s wonderful.

And Oh! I wish I wasn’t so tired that I could read the rest of it!
Anastasia Ambrose chapter 5 . 6/9/2008
Thank you! I'm glad that you like it so much )

A note on the excess of description/occasions:

I decided that I would put in everything that came to mind to start with and refine it when I finished it so that I can have too much to work with, if I need it later or if it ties in well to future occurrences, as opposed to too little, where I'd have to create something new instead of refine and take things out. ) I'm glad that the descriptions and metaphors had their desired effects too, and that they weren't too much.

Thanks for reviewing! (and proofreading D always need more of that!)
C.M.F Wright chapter 5 . 6/8/2008
How can people not have reviewed this marvelous story? Shame on them!

I feel like the flow of the story so far is a bit slow - I don't know if you need to spend quite as much time telling readers every single thing the mother did before she left. I think that maybe chapters 1-3 could be condensed a little. Other than that, I really have no complaints. I really love the description, and the metaphor at the beginning of the chapter (and the bird at the end, too) was really cool. Poor Malcolm! I have a pretty solid sense of the characterizations, I think. My only other suggestion might be to include a bit more dialogue - not much necessarily, just a little more than you have.

Overall though, amazing writing. Keep it up!
C.M.F Wright chapter 2 . 6/8/2008
Review game!

Wow. I love the description - beautiful. I can picture the scenes really well.

The writing was *excellent* - a huge change from the typical stuff you get on fpress. I don't think I had any complaints on that score.

The flow feels a bit like a novel you'd buy in the bookstore - a little slow to begin with, but I quickly got pulled in by the storyline. I love how you hint at stuff to come (i.e. "It has often been said that Sylvia did not love us.") and I thought the idea of letting them buy anything they wanted at the grocery store was a really cool way to illustrate their mother's situation, etc.

The characters seem believable so far. I feel like I have a pretty good sense of Sylvia's personality and the narrator's - maybe not so much for his sisters, but I'm sure that will come in time.

Overall, excellent job with this. I really enjoyed it. Frankly, I can't think of anything to criticize.

Minor details:

I wanted to watch the sun turn her hair into honey, and turn her green eyes into a reflection of our lawn, peppered with multicolored flecks of flowers. - Awesome turn of phrase!

There was no where for me to hide, and so I stood next to the stovetop, waiting for her to come into the room. - "nowhere" is one word, I think.

“Would you like a mug of tea?” (s)he asked me, already pulling out my special mug from the cabinet.

We set out in a tight-knit school, huddled together for safety from stray shopping carts and big food trays that occasionally came shooting down the aisles. - I love the image
Anastasia Ambrose chapter 1 . 6/7/2008
Thanks everyone! ) I'm trying to update as often as possible, but I'm glas to see that you all are enjoying it so far!
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