Reviews for Gaining Weight, Justin?
Brenda Agaro chapter 1 . 3/9/2010
Great job with the voice here. I can hear the speaker, and to me it fits with the concept of aging.
karma-dollie chapter 1 . 1/30/2010
Congratulations on winning the January 2010 WCC!

The word choice in the opening definitely caught my attention. Right from the start it seemed very contradictory of itself (not as a bad thing!). Connecting words like "orgasmic" to "toupee" is an oxymoron in my mind, which made this funny. Ending the stanza with the word "inconsistencies" was fitting for how the opening felt.

Another particular choice I liked was using "gifting" when describing who I suspect is Justin sitting in the chair and letting it all hang loose. It makes his view on what his body has become as he aged more apparent. It doesn't seem like he cares/notices in particular like most men or most people in general as they get older before they hit a certain midlife crisis state. Here, Justin just seems very laid back and comfortable, but it feels like should the narrator ever say this poem to him, he would become self conscious.

Most of the descriptions were great. As I mentioned, you built up the image in the opening wonderfully. When describing Justin's stomach, the folded paper doesn't seem to mesh so well as I just imagine folded paper as crinkly rather than rippling. Comparing the beard to heavy foliage was a nice touch although autumn isn't the season I picture with "heavy" foliage unless you just mean color-wise perhaps. Everything about the scene with Justin in the chair worked with the descriptions though. I love that stanza.

I liked the subject of this piece. Everyone can relate to how we change as we grow old whether it's because s/he has gone through it or is anticipating it some day. You gave this idea both a humorous and serious light. No one wants to imagine growing old and getting fat and careless with your body, but it happens and this whole view is this person's observation of Justin, now older and larger than he once was. The person gives off a quirky persona while talking about it so it adds to the humor and you get some characterization that way as well, which is good. It was done well.

The piece flowed very nicely. The only part that felt a bit jarring as I read was the transition between "it is often the first misstep that I take in regards to you" and "But O!" Having "but" there makes it seem like you're about to go on a different path about Justin, but it continues to be negativity or it reads like a negative. But the rest flowed just like a short story about this man and it worked out very well.

Great job! I had fun reading this. And congratulations again.

Radio
in theory chapter 1 . 1/29/2010
Hahahahhaa how perfectly, artistically bitchy. I love it. From the title to the last line this piece just oozes sardonic giggling, I read it with a smirk ;D

The imagery is classy of course, but with the undertone of (mockery?) guilty pleasure in noting these flaws it comes across as ironic as opposed to odd. I don't think you could get away with "gifting the world with the mush of your hairy abdomen" in any other piece apart from this one!

Maybe I'm reading into this with my own sarcastic perspective but it really did amuse me. "Positively orgasmic" reminds me of something Stewie from Family Guy might say (I've been watching that program a lot recently) so maybe I'm biased.

Keep up the always interesting work :)

Jack
Inkspilled chapter 1 . 1/24/2010
I liked it. I found it's plotline very interesting, and it was a very unique take. The flow was good and nicely done, it had a very rhythmic tone to it. And the narration was calm and sincere while at the same time, the opposite. I really like the metaphors, and the way everything is described. In such a short piece there's quite a lot to digest, it's very detailed and handpicked, all the words fit in nicely.

Overall, I thought it was quite ironic and funny. A very light hearted drift, hiding harsh words underneath; at least, that's how it felt to me. Great job.
deefective chapter 1 . 1/20/2010
WCC Review.

Now this one, I liked.

Descriptions/images: Right off the bat, you open with a line that's not only incredibly clever, but it puts an image in our heads right away. I love the subtle, insulting way the narrator spoke about the man (Justin?). It had that cynical air to it that reminded me of just how people in general give each other compliments yet in that same instant they're thinking the opposite. You used a lot satire in your imagery and it all came together quite nicely.

Word choice: Just perfect. I was cheering a little inside when I finished reading this. Every single word fit together perfectly and they all retained the essence of the piece. There wasn't one word that felt out of place or bothered me. It's interesting, though, because I've read some of your other work and this is probably one of the less elaborate linguistically and yet you pulled it off even better, in my opinion. Maybe it's just my personal preference.

Subject: Basically, what I got from this was the basic satisfaction that comes from running into an ex later on in life, and seeing that they've either gotten fatter, uglier or both. And then smiling and laughing about it. It came across loud and clear in your writing but what I liked best was that you didn't take the traditional route of outright ridiculing them but you had insinuations all over the damn place and snide remarks hidden by word tricks. Very smart.

Tone: Maybe it was the first sentence but this whole piece had the feel of the rich of the Victorian era. Haughty and regal. I felt like the narrator was speaking in a light British accent the whole way through, as well.

Form: It was an interesting way you chose to format this whole piece, cutting off sentences like that. It had this even more interesting effect on the flow, which increased my liking of this piece. I really liked these lines especially:

"that you are more manipulative than that...

...and

all of that is just more hissing from my..."

Gave the effect of the narrator getting lost in old thoughts but checking herself without much effort.

Overall, I really enjoyed the writing in this piece. Very nicely done. Thank goodness you won.
Isca chapter 1 . 1/11/2010
"O, how the folds of your belly ripple." A cheeky & jovial image.