Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2018.04.14 - 01:00AM Title: A Friendly Hand
I donít know if I am too fragmented or if we are just started to see some hint of cause and effect. Since starting this story I have been twice hospitalized for sepsis resulting from unrelated freak exposures to nasty bacteria. I am averaging two hours of sleep per night for the last month, and I fear my brain is working at about 25% capacity, but perhaps the characters of Hettie/Hermione and Ginny/Gemina/Anniisgwyl are starting to discover some sense of reason, if not outright control? Or am I simply grasping at straws and needing to start over.
Oh! Very sorry to hear that you've had run-ins with bad microbes -- I hope you're able to keep them away this time!
I can certainly relate to any uncertainty in the story, so let me offer a little bit of advice: it is very sensory, impressionist writing, so you might consider rolling with it; letting it wash over you. At the end of the work, everything converges, and details from prior chapters actually do make coherent sense, but prior to that it may seem all like a work of origami, with many strange folds whose final shape is difficult to grasp.
For a person such as yourself with an appreciation of characterisations, as well as of metaphysics and mysticism, I think the loose, sensory reading might be more fun. And later, knowing the final outcome, you might even come back for a second reading to see how the details fit into place.
I know -- it's a bit of a fiendish work, though.
Reviewer: CoffeeGuy Signed Date: 2018.01.31 - 09:30AM Title: A Friendly Hand
Reading these chapters is quite a trip! The forbidden forest scene with Harry and Hermione could have been straight off Rowling's pen, the mountain ridge with Annisgwyl and Traianius is like some 1950's vintage Hollywood clip, then the Hettie, Rob, Gemina banter is like a teen character drama. I think one of the other reviewers used the term 'ping pong'. Yeah, this is like three-way ping pong on a triangular table.
Reviewer: AuntieMuriel Signed Date: 2017.11.29 - 05:22AM Title: A Friendly Hand
Oh, ducky, that's a very awkward situation for me now, but I think I need to tell you.
Wow -- you really set me back on my heels and made me reflect. This *has* had a bit of a feminist slant, hasn't it?
First of all, I will have to admit (tipping my cards a little) that, apart from some male villains, the female characters do continue to have the upper hand for a while, however the Potter lad *does* break the inertia, effect immediately, and (after some false starts and misdirections) truly shines in the end. And, the finale does also provide a starring role to someone unexpected. Who happens to be male. So the girls are great, but the end is equitable.
As far as Rita is concerned, yes, I will indeed have to invest in that crate! Thank you for putting in a good word, dear Auntie M!
Reviewer: MollyandArthur Signed Date: 2017.11.28 - 07:26PM Title: A Friendly Hand
Oh, my goodness! I love this update! First of all, Hermione and Harry united in their determination to find Ginny is a beautiful thing. Between the two of them, I have complete confidence they will eventually succeed. Second, Rob and Hettie really do crack me up. Her line about missing the maths exam. Priceless! I love the scene between Traianius and Annisgwyl. I fully admit those moments in the distant past are the parts of this story that most strike my imagination and shorten my breath. Then, ending with Gemina and her 'hiply modern' manner of speech and thought (not the best way to put it, but I'm sure you see what I mean). Anyways, seriously, well done! I don't know how you write in such different voices for your various characters, but I really love it!
Touched and flattered by your words -- thank you!
Characters and voices. Hmmm... Needless to say, the dialogue parts are writing at its most *fun*. Often does make for more fun reading too.
Now, to give a few words on 'how' I go about that sort of writing... well, that's more difficult. Part of it comes from just being a 'listener'. Over time I've been immersed within many different dialects, and sometimes I seem to process 'the way things are said' more accurately than 'what is actually said'. In any case, that's probably the starting point. After that, what makes a huge difference is editing the heck out of everything, especially when those edits are spaced out over time. if you looked at first draft and compared it to final release, I'm pretty sure you'd laugh. I think the final key is to recognise that in comparing most people (except really thick dialects) you find that about 80% of the spoken phrases are interchangeable and indistinguishable, so it's that remaining 20% that you reserve for highly individualised spice. That's where Gemina's street-sass comes in; Ginny's peppy (if occasionally sardonic) wit; Hettie's silly little interjections; Hermione's precise articulation; Harry's self-inflected rants; Rob's (and Ron's) halting half-step-behind comments, etc.
Of course, now I'm rambling. One should definitely not let a character ramble... unless that is precisely what one intends to do ;)
Thank you again, Kimberly!
Reviewer: Dad Signed Date: 2017.11.28 - 04:11PM Title: A Friendly Hand
This story certainly exercises the mind. I think I will have to re-read it all when it is complete. Keep it coming.
Ah yes, I did have one (or several) reader(s) say similar things about Splinters -- that reading the story as it came out was fun, but that it was a lot easier to 'understand' everything reading it all together after it was complete. If anything, that ought to be even more true in this story; it is half again as zany as Splinters.
Thank you very much for the review and yes -- if I'm not struck down from now 'til then, you'll catch me again a week from today!
Reviewer: RighT3rantZ Signed Date: 2017.11.28 - 03:22PM Title: A Friendly Hand
Let's shake off this stuffy professor, and get back to a nutty one. Or at least half nutty, which could also be half smooth.
Bloodline? I was wondering how long it was going to take for someone to make that connection. Stuffy professor or not, you are a literate dude! You are also astute in emphasising the 'maternal' rather than 'paternal' line. That little deliberation that Annisgwyl has on the high Alpine ridge is a vague admission that Roman society is unlikely to be comfortable with a half-Gaelic Druidess rising in status, lock-step with Traianius. But in Rome, as in many prior and subsequent societies, powerful men had wives for political reasons, and had consorts for love. And thus it shall, perhaps, be.
'Scorcher = she?' I think, my friend, that I have confunded you. I can definitely assure you that the one you long for is indeed alive, and verily she has a crucial role to play... but not the role you might be imagining. Apparently I have reserved a small surprise even for you ;)
Yes, I do admit that Hettie is also more my style than Hermione, however in this tale I love them both, even if they are far more different than Gemina / Ginny.
Ah, well my sincere appreciation for the generous words and gestures. More to come. Next week; same time, same place.
Reviewer: Aurorofthelight Signed Date: 2017.11.28 - 02:50PM Title: A Friendly Hand
Meanwhile, back at Hogwarts, Harry is still flummoxed looking for Ginny, who may or may not have disappeared in a volcano or some other flammatory event! Strange, I don't remember Hermoine being a klutz in the movies or the books(did you confuse her with Tonks?)! (BTW, if you are interested in a fanfic that predominately features the Iceni, check out one of my favs, Remember by potterfan2008 on this site). Boy, that Versuvius sure gets around, and by different names too! (Has anyone ever told you that you are historically profound?) While reading this, I couldn't help but think I might be in an episode of Irwin Allen's 60s TV series "Time Tunnel"! I also think I've lost track of which of these characters might be Harry, Ginny or someone from your imagination! Nice little cliffie at the end! Can't wait for the next one! :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
Oops! I didn't really want to evoke Tonks or clumsiness with that. The intention was more to convey exhaustion, adversity and determination. As a former (long ago) cross country runner, I know that when one is most tired is the time when it is most likely, and most demoralising, to catch that wayward root. It is at such times, with a fresh batch of scrapes and bruises, that picking oneself off the ground can feel like summiting Everest...
The Time Tunnel? I actually hadn't heard of that, but quite appropriate allusion here! And (courtesy of a quick Google search) I see that they have that wacky rotating spiral that has become cliche for mind-bending plots. Also appropriate :)
Many thanks for the great images!
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2017.11.28 - 07:40AM Title: A Friendly Hand
Ah, finally. I've been chewing on my fingernails all morning, waiting for the new chapter to show up. ;-)
Ah, well you may be content to let Hermione/Hettie do the thinking, but that hasn't stopped you from a few sharp little observations!
Foremost is to highlight the Earth Magic. In early drafts, I resisted dropping this hint, but as edits progressed I decided it was a good point to begin shedding a tiny bit of light (or else the later 'reveal' might seem contrived). Anyway, Annisgwyl has been taught many aspects of Druidic lore (spirits, life forces, etc.) by her mother, and practical charms by her father. It was stated earlier in the story that they taught her well but it might be emphasised that it would be difficult to find two better teachers! So if Annisgwyl ponders magic, it is worthwhile to listen closely. As you did.
Your skepticism about the stone, by the way, is warranted. Some of the ancients will have dicey situations but I have worked out some non-stone-critical plot twists for them.
Hettie and maths... Yes, you're certainly correct. Hettie loves learning and loves school, but something about living a soft life down under has altered her 'drive' relative to Hermione. Hermione is a bit of the classic keener, who 'must' succeed, perhaps as a measure of validation. Hettie, however, knows that she's smart and it's become less of a big deal to her. What is truly a big deal to Hettie is that she knows that she has been artificially deprived of a huge part of her persona -- her magic. As a result, she is intensely curious, and she has acquired a lust for adventure that can readily push aside vestigial Hermione-like caution. Ironically, Hettie is perhaps less cautious than either Rob or even Gemina, likely because for the latter two, they've gone through life knowing that one imprudent move could easily have been the end of them.
Anyway, wonderful comments. Thank you, Martin!