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TRUST JESUS TODAY
This one kinda reads like a hypnosis session. Does the style work for this piece?
I remember turning four.
Back in the old townhouses in Mt. Clemens.
It might have been the first birthday cake I didn’t destroy.
It was small and round. All mine. Four candles.
Family gathered around the living room
Cheering me on to blow them all out.
My cousin Bill made sure I got transformers.
Six tapes. Two per package.
Henchmen of either Blaster or Soundwave.
Two of them transformed into little soldiers.
Two of them were animals. A lion and a rhino.
Two were dinosaurs. A stegosaurus and a T-rex.
Each of them had their own set of weaponry
And you can bet the battles were fierce!
I also got a set of four Go-bots.
The off-brand Transformers.
No weapons. They shot lasers from their hands in the cartoon.
And their faces were visible while in vehicular mode.
Cheesy even to a four-year-old.
I got a book on dinosaurs.
Grandpa read it to me three times that night.
First time I learned that “Dinosaurs” meant “Thunder Lizards.”
And “Tyranosaurus” means “King of the dinosaurs.”
I remember thinking I was the Galemimus
But one day, I’d grow up to be the ankleosaurus.
Triceratops and stegosaurus were forces to be reckoned with
But they both had GLARING weak spots that I wanted no part of.
I also got a Transformers coloring book.
All I remember is that the last page said “And Hot Rod was proud.”
Hot Rod was my favorite. I wanted to make him proud of me.
I’d watched the original Transformers Movie with Bill many times.
He made sure that movie was a part of me, and thankfully, it still is!
I remember another movie that night. Some Freddy Kreuger flick.
My cousin Mike got the other cousins involved.
They wouldn’t turn it off, so I just tried to ignore it.
Played with my transformer tapes and stole occasional peeks between my fingers.
I remember Louis. Bald head. Chain necklace. Beer bottle.
He didn’t last long. Wouldn’t have made a good father anyway…
I remember Wayne baby-sitting me with his RC car.
He was so cool, I couldn’t believe we were distant cousins.
I remember Jeff. Business in the front and party in the back.
Once woke up and beat Super Mario Brothers without dieing once!
All while he ate breakfast, I tried and failed to even come close!
He was an idiot. Not a bad guy. But not too smart, I could tell.
I remember the Tortoise and the Hair.
“Hard work and perseverance brings reward.”
I remember the time my mother caught me terrorizing an ant colony on out front.
She said I had them in my mouth and up my shirt…
I remember the first time I was sent to bed without dinner.
Still wouldn’t eat the meatloaf for another ten years.
I remember the first time we talked about my father at breakfast.
Mom made clear that he wasn’t my “dad.”
I asked her what he was like. She said she didn’t know him that well.
She asked me what I thought he was like.
I thought a minute, cramming toast into my “dunky” eggs.
I came up with this wild image of a guy in terminator shades and a leather jacket
Who drove a Bigfoot SO BIG it could run over the whole townhouse.
The first of many wild stories I’d come up with to describe him.
He was a firefighter, police officer, pro wrestler…
Anything exclusive and important enough to explain why he was never home.
Why I didn’t know him personally.
I remember the time Mom told me we were going to war.
I asked her why, and she told me about a guy in Iraq who cut people’s tongues out.
I asked if there would be tanks, and she said there would be.
I told her I was scared, and she looked astonished.
“Are they going to be fighting in our neighborhood?”
She hugged me tenderly. “Oh, no… No, David.
War never comes here. This is America. We’re fighting over there.”
Uncle Chuck was in that war. At the time, he was only a name.
We hadn’t started driving down to Cleveland on vacation yet.
I found myself wondering if the kids in Iraq would get shot or run-over.
But I felt good that war wouldn’t ever come here…
Until 911. Now, I suppose anything’s possible.
I remember when we started going down to see Uncle Chuck.
My cousin Bill once went with us. Harry and the Hendersons was on TV.
It gave me the creeps. I assure you, I was deeply disturbed.
The next morning, Bill and my cousin Mike were minding their own business
Dribbling a basketball downstairs. I went screaming into Beth’s arms.
Beth called them and they came up the steps.
I asked them if Big Foot was down there walking around.
They both said yes, then went back downstairs and kept dribbling.
They followed me around the house, bouncing that basketball
Until Beth grabbed me up and carried me down there for proof.
I remember spending a week with Bill and Becky.
Bill and me would watch Transformers…
He would play with his Transformers. All I could do was watch.
I whined until he gave me two that sucked. I wouldn’t play with them.
Later, he bought me my very own Hot Rod.
I broke him in two places, then popped-off the head.
Thus proving I wasn’t to be trusted with toys of value.
I kept the head for a while. I don’t know why.
I think I wanted Hot Rod to be proud…?
I don’t even know what happened to the rest of him.
It still pisses me off that now that I’m grown
I STILL can’t touch Bill’s old transformers.
They just sit in a box in storage, never to see the light of day…
I remember sticking Mom’s keys in the electrical socket in her room.
All I remember was the shock… the rest is a blur.
Mom said I ran full-speed down the hall to the bathroom
And leapt three feet into her arms. She almost fell over catching me.
I remember the time two mosquitoes got into my bedroom one night
They kept landing and biting until I cried out for Mom.
She woke up trembling and came into my bedroom
Only to find them flying in circles, trying to find a way under my pulled covers.
I remember the Transformer I buried… and the… girl who took my G.I. Joe and…
Carol’s… Kermit the Frog phone… and… I… I don’t want to remember the rest…
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