Hello all! I am back... as myself. *grins* In other words, my cynicism is done for now. Still don't love JKR, but her books have given us fanfiction writers a lovely playground and I'm very grateful to her for that.
With that apology (?) out of the way, I am still unsure about "Serpent in the Moonlight" and its "update status." At this point, I am working more with photography than I am with writing (except, of course, for "Black as Snow," which I simply adore), so it's quite touch-and-go. But who knows? I'm fairly certain that "Heavenly Hell," etc. will not be updated. Totally lost interest in that. HOWEVER! "In the Shi of the Setting Sun" should be coming along sometime.
Now, let's see, what have I been doing lately? Well, I'll list it for you guys!
- One of my best friends is engaged! O_O I'm so happy for her. =)
- I'm heading off to University soon and I'm really excited about that.
- Now, just random thoughts: Keeno, Megan, costumes, clean room, history, ballet, Broadway, hats, boys or girls, washing clothes, Autumn, music, soundtracks, photography, models, bed sheets, writing, Netflix, Norah Jones, vibratto, Yoga, Dance Magazine, Hollywood, movies, sweaters, Good Earth tea, Burt's Bees Carrot lotion, face paint, Harlequin, Batman, clipped nails...
You know, I think I want to have a contest! For my readers, and then I can, like, have a prize or something... That would be fun, although I'm not sure how it would work. Any ideas?
Okay, now I'm just rambling. Anyway, that's my life right now. So...
...a great and expansive Thank You to all my wonderful readers and reviewers! You've all been angels and helped me through a very tough time in my life. Bless you.
- "Black as Snow" - 5th chapter In The Works
- "The Shi of the Setting Sun" - COMING SOON
Banner 1 ~ Eowyn89
Banner 2 ~ Colores
Banner 3 ~ Eowyn89
Banners 4 & 5 ~ wendelin the wierd
Banner 6 ~ Morwen
Banners 7 & 8 ~ sayiansirius
All the best on this fine evening. First, let me tell you that I have enjoyed reading your story and hope that my review will have something in it that you can use. =)
I really admire your use of descriptive language. I feel that, as a writer, the very best thing that one can do to ... bring your reader into the story is to describe absolutely everything. That, as you know, means anything that can be appreciated by one of the five (or, perhaps even six) senses. You've done a lovely job of that in this story. Particularly the smoke ... I can smell it and it's disgusting, which is wonderful. =)
As I am a bit of a nitpicker, however, I hope you will not find it amiss if I critique a few elements in your story. Not much, of course, and not major errors, but the odd one here and there that may help you improve your writing. That is what I hope, anyway.
In the first paragraph, Remus mentions his self control: “...myself control...” However, in context, Remus his not referring to himself, but rather to his self control, which is a single entity. Thus, it would read better as: “my self control.”
Also, as a general rule, whenever one asks a question, such as this, “Strange isn't it?,” one ought to have a comma after the ... well, the statement that one is questioning. Thus: “Strange[,] isn't it?”
In HP, too, “Muggle” is always capitalized, just like Healer, Quidditch, and Lumos.
Your reasoning behind Remus's beer-drowning depression was very well thought out. The reader—or, me, in this case—truly feels his pain, his embarrassment, his fear, his emotions in short.
A quick thought, though, before I lose it: You might want to work a little on your point of view. First, you have it in the first person narrative: “...a voice asks me.” But then you switch to 3rd person: “She brought a cigarette...” instead of “She [brings] a cigarette,” which fits the whole motif of Remus's thoughts/Remus's story a little better.
I like, though, the description of that smoke-blowing bimbo. *giggles* She's quite a character. I like her, although at the same time, I positively detest her forward manner. One thing to watch out for, however, is consistency in her speech. If she drops one 't', she has to drop every other one after that. Otherwise ... her character falls apart, and she's too good of one to have that happen.
*giggles* “...as straight as the wand they cast spells with.” Very nice. Sounds like a Remus!answer to me. Wry, yet morosely humorous. Very nice.
“...like she was asking a question,”
(I'm so sorry; the review below was defective. I've continued where I left off in the previous review. Please forgive the faux pas.)
“...like she was asking a question.” I think, perhaps, that a period would do better at the end of this sentence than a comma, because this phrase describes the manner in which she spoke the previous sentence and needs, therefore, an end to the thought—a period, in short.
Even within spoken dialog, when you introduce another's speech, you should capitalize the beginning of his or her sentence. Also, because you're usually introducing another thought, you ought to use a comma as well. For instance: “...he was all[,] '[W]ell, I can't really put...”
“...one," for...” Again, you're ending a thought, so you might want to have a period instead of a comma after “one.” It just solidifies things for the reader and makes the idea more concrete.
I like Remus's behavior throughout this story; I really do. He has a serious, dignified presence about him, yet he is inescapably human. Very nice, dear.
Oh! Quick thought. “I loose myself in the past.” should be “I [lose] myself in the past.” as Remus is LOSING himself and not letting himself go (LOOSING) himself in his memories.
“...firewhiskey in his head...” I believe this should be “hand” instead of “head,” unless you mean to imply that Sirius has already drunk the firewhiskey. =)
I've noticed, going through your story, that some sentences incongruously have commas at the end of them instead of periods. I think that this may be a mis-keying, though, because the comma and period keys are so close together. You might want to search for a beta to spot things like that. After all, you've had the creative idea and with a little collaboration with a word mechanic as I like to think of betas, you could eliminate little errors like that that could make the difference between a truly stellar response ... or a slightly mediocre one.
Always the humour: “my ... much younger sister.” Again, the Remus character that you've created is so real. Great job.
Ha! I knew I liked that girl. She was really a stellar spot in Remus's dismal life. And the ending: brilliant. It was so very well done.
Really, besides the odd punctuation mistake, there is a lot of substance in this short story. You've got talent; all you need is a beta to help you hone that talent. There are many who are looking for a great alpha and writer like you. If I were you, I would certainly try to find a beta—it's worth it, believe me. =)
Again, great job, and I'm so glad I found this. Thank you.
I am intrigued by this story. What a bleak picture you have painted. An eloquent one, but bleak nonetheless. I'm looking forward to the next chapter, so this is going to stay a short review. :)
Congratulations, dear! *huggles* You won the QSQs! =) I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I am that this won. It was absolutely lovely writing and deserved the award without a doubt. *squishes* Three cheers for you!
Dear lord. THAT was absolutely beautiful. You have quite a gift. I nearly cried and it's HARD to make me cry ... unless I'm emotional at the time. :-)
First of all, I loved your imagery. You commanded it very well. I also love the tense in which you wrote the tale. Admittedly, I was very sad, heartbroken, even, to read of the deaths of our favorite characters. I nearly died when I read of Ginny's death. And Luna's last words. And Neville's bravery. And the others. So sad. And still, you've shown their deaths in brilliant, vivid imagery. Fantastic job!
This story is absolutely going in my favorites. Marvelous, beautiful, magnificent.
I forgot one thing. I'm absolutely certain (because I've seen) that you've heard it MILLIONS of times. However, the last part of the one-shot, the paragraph that gives the story its name, is absolutely breathtaking. The personification of the flowers lends an air of life to this otherwise dead childhood that Harry, Hermione, and Ron have lost. This is their new beginning. Wonderful.
That was wonderful. Your writing is so eloquent, but that wasn't what drew me to the story most.
You see, I understand completely what Padma is going through because I went through the same thing. Your description of her mindset is completely correct.
I wonder: Have you ever had, or do you know someone who has had anorexia?
I, personally, have been both anorexic and bulimic and the following sentence truly sums up the exact emotions that I was experiencing.
"But Padma does not see them as they are. She sees thick arms, thicker than Parvati's. The body Padma sees does not exist; it is no more real than the pudding she never ate."
You have a gift. I'm so thrilled to have found this. My own fic, "Serpent in the Moonlight," is also about an anorexic girl, but she's an OC. I began writing her during the summer and it was a balm for my healing process. I'm rambling, I'm sorry. You don't really need to know all that.
However, I just want to say, "Thank You," for such an insightful story.
P.S. The repetition of "For Padma's sake" throughout the story is wonderful. There is a feeling that one gets when reading it ... a feeling of urgency and also of despair that is really heartbreaking but strangely lovely at the same time. Thank you.
Author's Response: *hugs*
As my username suggests, I spent many years of my life training as a ballet dancer (while I still dance, college really changed my focus). Anorexia is fairly common. One of my best friends from high school was anorexic, and this story began as my way of working out my feelings about how it hurt our friendship.
Another marvelous chapter. I do not know why you continued the story, but this chapter, again, sums up exactly what anorexics feel. How clearly do I remember standing in front of the mirror, crying, because those last pounds wouldn't come off.
I was one of the lucky ones, though, I didn't end up in the hospital. I got help before that.
I sincerely hope that Padma doesn't end up there. I'm not quite sure what happens after "she shatters," I hope she gets help.
You have also addressed the reason why so many people become anorexic: Feelings of inadequacy. It is so hard to live in a world where, seemingly, only the so-called 'perfect' are praised and valued.
Padma's reason for becoming anorexic is entirely plausible; my experience was similar. Must be thin for football season and the semi-formal. It was tragic that I felt--and, yes, still do feel--that. It is tragic, and I sympathize greatly with poor Padma. And she's right. Once you start, you can't stop "dieting." And, once you do... you feel like a failure. I sincerely hope you can save Padma.
I have spent so much time drawing my own experiences into a parallel with Padma's and haven't complimented you on your writing. I'm so sorry.
*ahem!* Your style is truly lovely. There are just the right amount of short sentences to contrast the complex sentences. The use of these short sentences, in fact, increases their impact in the chapter and gives a feeling of despair. (Yes, I used that word to describe the last chappie, but it's completely applicable.)
The tense in which you wrote the story is interesting. By using a rather omniscient voice in the italicized parts, you give almost a distracted and objective view to the suffering of the twins. Not ... removed from emotion, or anything like that, but very ... interesting.
Your vocabulary is formidable and I wouldn't like to be in a spelling contest with you because your story is mistake-free. Wonderful! It's such a pleasure to read properly edited fics. I hate wading through fics that would, otherwise, be joys to read, but are so riddled with grammatical errors, I have to close the window before I explode. =)
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I thoroughly enjoyed your story and would have liked the story to remain as a one-shot because I could fathom the ending at that point. I had my own ideas about what would happen. However, now that we have "She shatters," I'm hoping you'll continue and show us what happens to poor Padma. No pressure, though. Thanks, again!
Author's Response: I\'m glad you came back for the second part of the story (which I never intended to write, originally). In some ways it was harder for me to write this chapter, because my experience with anorexia is much more from the outside perspective than the inside perspective. I did share a pair of journals with my friend who was anorexic over a period of a couple of years (we actually filled up the journals), so I have a pretty good idea what she went through, and I can\'t honestly say that I never came close myself, even if I never went over the edge. It\'s really good to hear feedback on this PoV from someone who has experienced anorexia from the inside rather than the outside, so thank you.
You would probably beat me in a spelling test –– I\'m actually a pretty horrible speller. I just edit well, and I usually have good betas. Although, this story has never really seen a beta; it was too personal, in a way.
I\'m not currently at a place where I think I\'d be able to write a good story about the recovery process, partly because of the emotional energy required to write about this subject and partly because I think recovery would need a chaptered fic, rather than snapshots. However, I am considering it as a possibility for the future.
Ohh... that was so very sad. I was really quite depressed after I read it. The dreadful things that happened to the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc. during the Holocaust are one of the main reasons I have always avoided going to a local Holocaust museum with my history class.
However, your story has let me see this in a different light because it takes the world of HP and applies it to the "real world."
Thank you for such an insightful, though terribly sad, look into the frightful mindset of racism.
P.S. Your writing was beautiful!
Ooh, what an intriguing beginning to your story! It moved along rather quickly at the beginning--and left me wondering what he was crying about, Grr--but everything settled out as you went on.
The characterization of Hermione is perfect and Malfoy's Obliviated character is extraordinarily believable.
Furthermore, your imagery is really lovely and I could picture Draco's mussed appearance. The day, the messy hair, the rivulets of dirty water. Very nice. :-)
Your grammar, too, is very nice and that's such a joy for me because I've too often come in contact with stories that would, otherwise, be marvelous but for the excessive amount of spelling errors, commas, and what-not. So ... great job!
I only found one glaring mistake ... and it really wasn't all that glaring. It just stuck with me, that's all. Here it is:
"He kicked a stone way..."
I think that should be "He kicked a stone AWAY..." It's really quite a minor, understandable mistake, but I just thought you'd like to know.
All in all, an intriguiging beginning. This has the potential to turn into one of the best Dramione fics I've ever read. It's so believable and really entertaining. Well done!
I hope you feel better soon. *huggles and gives chocolates, tissues, and a teddy bear*
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your helpfu; and constructive reveiw. I\'m afriad the chapter does move very quickly in the beginning -- I\'ll have to fix that some day. The mystery of why he was crying, however, is an intentional one! I\'m thrilled you like the characterisation; it\'s osmething I\'m always concerned about, especially in this fic, where I\'m essentially trying to create a new Draco without him being too far removed from his usual self. Thanks for pointing out the typo -- I\'ll fix that immediately. *huggles back and gratefully accepts lovely gifts*
Ha! Now that IS hilarious. I'm not a comedy person, but, dear, that's absolutely wonderful. Very, very nice work. It's definitely going on my favorites, which, I'm sure, is something you hear all the time. *rolls eyes*
I think, perhpas, my favorite part of the story so far is ... Well, Hermione's suggestion, "We can go to the Libarary!" Seriously, do authors think there is nothing more to Hermione than brains and books? (Not that that's a BAD thing, of course.) =)
Another point I liked that you mentioned (ack! Badly worded intro. *giggles*) is that 'Infinity' *shudder* thinks Harry is Gorgeous, with a capital 'G'. It amazes me that skinny, scrawny, ______ I can't think of another 's' word at the moment, morphs into this gorgeous, desirable fellow in Mary-Sue stories. Very clever way to bring that out.
All in all, I truly enjoyed this. You have a gift; it would be a funny play. I would watch it. ... Oh! And I don't like comedy and I loved this. Marvelous job, dear. =)
Nominated for a Quicksilver Quill for Best Romance-Non Canon 2007, 2008, and 2009. In 2010 mods changed the rules (they got tired of the same fics being nominated ^_~) so no more QQ hopes, but that's okay. No proof is needed that Draco/Ginny = love.
* Written before the HBP, this tale presents an alternate sixth year in which Dumbledore lives, Draco is more than a foil to Harry, and Blaise Zabini is a girl. I hope readers who ship Draco/Ginny will enjoy the story which includes dancing with faeries, Celtic and Norse mythology, school holidays in London and Spain, and loads of fantasy and romance. "Is this a kissing book?" (to quote the Princess Bride) Yes, it is. *
(Warnings were added for safety, due to brief allusions in later chapters, not graphic content.)
...And this chapter did it for me. *huggles Kerichi* I don't even know you, but I seriously love you. =) That was so very beautiful.
You are one of the most talented writers I've ever come across. Your work is virtually perfect and I'm so thankful that I found it.
Thank you for this beautiful gift and I'm sorry I could not leave a longer review. Suffice to say, this is going in my Favourites and, well, the best of luck in getting your original work published in the future.
I believe in faeries!
P.S. I use the older spelling as well, and I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that you included the Seelie Court. =)
Author's Response: *sniffs happily* Thank you, Julia! *hugs* I love reviews of all sizes, and reviewers kind enough to leave them! On this site, if you don\'t review, there\'s no hit count to show that you have, so I appreciate it very much!
Lovely! Very "catchy" beginning...I thought this was about a girl named Ariel at first, :). I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I discovered that Ariel was actually a boy. This made much more sense when he was comparing his (relatively identical) body to his mother's.
Author's Response: Well, in the summary it says that he\'s a boy and the story is under same-sex pairing so.... Thanks for the review!
Hee! I enjoyed that very much. You have a great writing style; very sweet and funny at the same time without being sickeningly sweet at all. Marvelous! :-)
However, I do have a touch of critique. (I always do ... sorry.) *shrugs* You wrote that "Remus asks for gritted teeth." This is not the correct expression--at least, it isn't one that I'm familiar with--I've always heard it as, "...THROUGH gritted teeth." And, yes, I know, it's so very minor and you really don't need to change it. But, there you have it... I'm picky; what can I say? :-)
All in all, though--and I'm going to leave my review for the first chapter of this, too--I really enjoyed this story. As I said before, you have a lovely gift for writing and it made me happy to read this.
I enjoyed the extra information on the second chapter because, first and foremost, I am a details-oriented reader and writer. I adore stories that are full of imagery and my writing is chock-full of it as well. However, I find myself enjoying the first chapter as much as, or maybe more than, the second. The short sentences truly captured the innocent feelings of Sirius and Lupin's exasperation showed through the pages extraordinarily well. Really, I commend you for taking those short sentences and imbuing them with meaning though you were limited to dialogue. Really lovely two-part one-shot. I enjoyed it very much. :-)
Oh, I do try SO hard not to be sickiningly sweet
*rushes to correct*
I\'m a detail oriented reader/writer myself. I want to know everything that\'s going on. Writing this the first way, with only the dialogue was a bit of a challenge for myself. To see if I could provide a visual without actually GIVING one. I\'m glad I managed it.
What a lovely chapter. You are a wonderful writer.
I particularly enjoyed this: "Memories confused the mind, befuddled the senses." It seems to be an endearing Slytherin sentiment. Maybe it's an unofficial House motto? :)
This was flawless; a joy to read!
Author's Response: Thank you! I\'m glad you enjoyed it. :-)
My, my... what an ambitious young boy!
There was only one point during this marvelous chapter, where I stumbled slightly over the words, "...with a brain far advanced from that of a normal five-year-old."
I struggled a bit with 'from,' but this is quite correct.
I do not presume to know more about this... I was just informing you of the impression I received.
I felt it should have been written, "...with a brain far more advanced than that of a normal five-year-old." However, your way is absolutely fine.
I truly am enjoying this story! :)
Author's Response: *nods* You\'re right. That does read awkwardly. *adds to list of edits* *considers grabbing Julia for some beta work*
Another marvelous chapter! At first I wondered why his "master" was suddenly so cruel ... and then I saw that his name was Malfoi! Marvelous job at incorporating everyone's favorite evil family, :).
There was only one slight bit of syntax that I disagreed with, "...who [was] yet to give the young boy his name."
Should this be "...who had yet to give the young boy his name." ?
Of course, I suppose it could be written the way you had it.
That was the only thing I noticed, though. I really love this story; it's unique and riveting!
Author's Response: Thank you. And I\'m glad you\'re dropping in concrit. I\'ll edit in the alterations.
Oh, my! That was beautiful... at the end, um... about Rowena. It was perfect. You really have researched this extensively, haven't you?
Just one tiny little typo: "Would that, he though with an inhibited snort."
Shouldn't it be he "thought"?
Other than that... flawless.
Author's Response: I hate though and thought. Word should be able to read my mind and change them accordingly. ;-) The only research I did for this was for the first chapter - the rest is relying on memory of history lessons. Thanks again for the review!
Mmm... I see why Rowena is the way she is. There were no problems with this chapter. I thoroughly enjoyed the village woman's reaction to their "spark of magic."
Author's Response: Glad the chapter was trouble free. :-) Thanks for the review.
He had better go! I will be VERY vexed with him if he doesn't. Nonetheless, a very good chapter! :)
One, itty-bitty typo, "...with a stifled giggled she turned and disappeared into the pantry..."
Shouldn't that be "giggle" and not "giggled"?
I am absolutely infatuated with this story and can't wait until the update!
Leaving us with a cliffhanger, tsk tsk, not very nice, :P
Author's Response: Thanks, Julia. Hopefully the Secret Santa will have made up for the cliffhanger... and I will update!