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2/3 c26 Guest
As beautiful as this is upon re reading it is bittersweet when one has skipped ahead a few years. And that is all I will say.
11/29/2021 c24 Parnokianlipstic
Now a bit of rereading binge of your different verses here.
This verse is so refined, and exellent, as I have already said, the blend of wistfullness, creeping shadows of WWII and Toronto bustle, classical music, and the uncommunique of queer-relationships and dancejoints, to the cherubs, and the pondering queer shades of Jims are here so brilliantly landed.
And your Persis and Cass the colors, and deep feeling between them.
Deep joyful thank you for them, as I have already said.

Now there truly is no possible option for me than go to listen Händel and Dvorak. For a music recomendation: Raimonds Pauls jubileum concert, a latvian musican very popular exellent tunes, and his teamwork with Garanca who sings in latvian here is wonder to behold, it can be found on Youtube, if you are interested.
Best and most warm wishes!
8/18/2021 c35 Andrea1984
I like the story.
Do you have time/interesseted, to make a Family Tree ?
I don't check, who is married/have children and so on.

Cu

Andrea
8/12/2021 c61 38oz diva
And so finally here we are. At the end of a marvellous story. You've crafted such a wide range of characters and kept them all in your head, though I still refer back to the primer on occasion.

What I loved about this last chapter is that you've reunited the two continents, North America & Asia. Not that it was overdue as such because Singapore is a long boat ride away and as we've established not everyone loves sea voyages but it was lovely for Rosemary and John to gain an understanding of what their family are experiencing and to meet new family members of the human and not so human variety. And later we know she'll be able to fret even more, knowing what's been lost.

But I'm skipping ahead and ahead.

We start with Rosemary knitting, funny really because there's precious need for warm socks where she ends up in her head at least. I can't begin to imagine the terror everyone around the Pacific must have felt (in Australia too) when the Singapore news flashed around the world. Mum says they were dismayed. You've said that the British promised to protect it, but honestly even if they had I suspect it would only have delayed the capitulation not put it off altogether. The Japanese were a devastating force, though nobody knew that beforehand. European arrogance got in the way there.

She smelled different. What an interesting observation, that you smell of the food you eat. Great too was the observation that she was lighter, but not in weight but mood. John remarked upon it later too, how happy they were dancing, how light, John never says much so this is rather mammoth for him, to have said and have noticed. (he really is vague). As Una put it herself, she had come home.

The image of Puck playing piano is gorgeous. I wonder if we can teach Goliath? There must be an unsuspecting piano rattling around Avonlea somewhere. The moment Iris is lost at the market tells us much about the yawning gap between their approaches. John & Rosemary are worried (as I would be) but her parents are cool as cucumbers or should I say lychees? Carl says it's age but as Rosemary weakly points out, they're not old; it's cultural. The incident with the cake was delightful, because what else were grandmothers for? The relationship between Iris and Puck is beautiful, her little simian brother. So pleased to see those evocative red bowls make an appearance and in full technicolour too. And heartwarming to hear Rosemary take in her 'girls' for Li is really one of the family now, bible family even.

Them all sat there in her memory fixed and now the utter horror of the capitulation and all that it will mean is descending upon Rosemary (and us) and all that they had and built and knew would be stolen from them in as awful a way as possible, in ways which Rosemary, thankfully, cannot begin to imagine.

I'm simultaneously eagerly anticipating and dreading the next story because I know it will be magnificent yet tragic and handled so well in your deft hands.

Thank you for writing this wondrous story and bringing all these later characters to such life for us, for continuing LMM's work for her. Hopefully she's reading and nodding in approval in some celestial spot. I think I said it before but sometimes I think of those interwar years as a bit of a blank slate, but you have reminded us that they were as full and tragic as any other decades and that people lived and loved and died and argued and killed each other in as much profusion as ever.

It's impossible to sum up this story in one trite paragraph so I won't even try. I hope I get the chance to sit down and savour it again some day.
8/4/2021 c61 74kslchen
You went and did it! I'm now cross with you. See, I knew we were heading towards the events we shall not speak off, but they were for the *next* story! This story was supposed to be nice and safe, except for some light foreshadowing and except for Jims, who is never allowed to be safe (though he is nice). Now, alas, you went and wrapped it up in this story as well, so in conclusion, I must be cross. That's not to say it's not terribly effective as far as cliffhangers go, but still. I won't forgive you for the buffalo in a hurry, nevermind that it hasn't even happened yet!

Such grievances aside, however, this is some excellent writing, as I must admit despite where the writing is taking us. I'm not a lover of flashbacks in general, because they often feel cluttered and heavy-handed, but you use it to very good effect here. I think the key point is that we're in Rosemary's head throughout and we're seeing events not previously covered, so it's not a rehash of what went before and, since we stay in her head, it does feel like it's her own memories surfacing in light of the terrible news. We're simply sharing in both the memories and the shock she's experiencing and it's the memories that make the shock more palatable.

One lovely thing about reading Rosemary's impression of Singapore is that we get to see Una through her eyes. We got a lot of Una's POV early on and then we saw a little of her via Li, but Li only knows Singapore Una. Rosemary knew her before, so she can reflect for us on Una's progress. She chronicles where Una came from and which parts of her changes and which didn't. Una's thoughts alone were enough to let us know that she's at home and at peace in Singapore in the way she might never have been in Canada, but to have it recognised from Rosemary, who's known her since she was a child, really emphasises that. (And makes it even crueller to think that all that is about to be ripped away!)

This chapter also reminded me of the one we got of an older Iris remembering the pre-war days a while ago. In her memory, there was something a little other-worldly and magical about those early childhood years - really the impression of something forever lost. That's true for most childhood memories, I suppose, but we get a similar vein here from Rosemary as well. It's the description of a lost world that existed for a while in a sort of haziness. It's not a world without problems, as Li can attest, but Iris is too young to understand it still and Rosemary too much of an outsider, so to them, this pre-war Singapore has that sort of fairy quality to it that can't be recaptured after the fact.

As we move on within the universe, I think it will be very interesting to watch Iris. She's obviously a spoiled child (in the sense that she's hardly ever denied anything, not in the sense that she's a brat) who grew up surrounded by love. Knowing what she's about to experience, she will have all spoils and all protection ripped away from her in the cruellest way. She is about to be taken from a world of love, safety, acceptance and Puck, to be thrown into one that has none of that (except maybe love, if she and Li are allowed to stay together). I'm curious to see her handle this as she grows up and grows old, because those two parts of her childhood must feel like they can never fit together to form a whole. That's a lot to work through and it'll be interesting to watch her do it.

Speaking of Puck, as you can guess, I much appreciated watching him and his antics through Rosemary's eyes. He's definitely one clever monkey and a very amusing one, too, providing the perfect partner in crime to Iris as she navigates childhood in a world full of adults. Also, of course, I'm always in appreciation of Nenni the Aloof Cat (as if a cat can be anything but!) and I *definitely* appreciated that Harry the Lizard got to make an appearance! He, at least, shall be able to slither away and make a good lizard life elsewhere as the coming disaster unfolds, yes?

This coming disaster is, I guess, what also brings us full circle with regards to this chapter. You plunge is into it right at the beginning, with the radio and its "Singapore has fallen", to come back to it at the end as Rosemary tells John. In the meantime, you do an excellent job of staying with her as she tries and not fully succeeds on processing what she's hearing. Churchill's words, while normally effective, are of no comfort whatsoever here, feeling instead empty and thus being a sort of reminder of the helplessness that Rosemary also experiences. She knows, but there's nothing at all she can do. She tried to capture them all in peaceful times and conserve that memory, but it's not more than a memory at all and it does nothing to stop the inevitable. (But wouldn't it have been nice if Singapore, in this universe, *hadn't* fallen after all?)
8/4/2021 c60 kslchen
I go on a Bavarian weekend trip just this once and you proceed to post not one but two chapters! I'm unused to having to play catch-up like this, so do please give me fair warning, next time. Not with this story, alas, but with the next one, little as we shall speak about it. (I'm counting on Yesterday-Thursday to make her appearance in the next one, by the way. Don't think I didn't notice the lack of her in these last two chapters, or the lack of all the cold cases she must solve. I don't care if there's a war going on, there must always be a cold case to solve somewhere!)

But to move back to the chapter at hand, you don't write a bad Anne by half and I applaud you for your patience with her. Age appears to have mellowed her over-the-top tendencies, which makes her much more bearable and, with many of her generation already deceased, she is a useful character when it comes to observing the children and grandchildren and how they have developed over time. It gives this chapter a somewhat wistful feeling, which we get right off the bat when Anne muses about Marilla and Cornelia and Susan and Jo and Phil, who're already gone. It also nicely drives home that by now, Anne, too, is in her eighties and is inevitably looking back on life.

This chapter doesn't have the same catch-all approach that the previous one did, which I think managed to include very nearly everyone in the far-reaching family web, but we get more of Anne's private thoughts here, both the good and the not-so-good kind. Given that it's summer 1939, there's also an appropriate bid of foreshadowing and I applaud you for pulling it off without ominous Pipers and ominous window crosses, because boy was LMM heavy-handed with those. I do now worry about Anthony, because any comparison to Walter is not a good thing (also not a compliment in my book, but you know that) and this one is a war-related comparison to Walter, which is even worse. This doesn't bode well for poor Anthony!

I did enjoy all the little things you sprinkled into this chapter. It starts amusingly with Marilla's gift of a book (such genius!) and continues not-amusingly-at-all with the lack of Jims and Persis. (I was surprised to see Rilla actively lying about having spoken to him, because I had pegged her to try the evasive route, but maybe this is what it takes to keep the entire situation under wraps.) Anne chronicling the red-haired granddaughters was a nice nod back to the old days, though I suspect there's not much red in her own hair left at this point. It's nice to see both Isobel and Mandy wear their own red hair with pride, because it is a much lovelier colour than Anne ever gave it credit for.

Of course, the Recipe for Perfect Happiness is familiar, though it got me thinking here. It's the *perfect* happiness, I think, that I got stuck on. Without wanting to be too philosophical, it does make me wonder whether there's such a thing as perfection in happiness and how one achieves it. Given that these characters are at the cusp of yet another awful, horrible, terrible war (which they seem to be aware of to some degree), the title of Anne's recipe doesn't really fit with the situation. I mean, it's all nice and well that she looks back on her life and considers herself happy, but thinking of all the sadness looming, perhaps she should have thought harder to fit a title that's less simple.
8/3/2021 c61 Parnokianlipstic
Well. I had a little moth of an idea hovering around my head that maybe the last chapter would be connected to Singapore, and of earlier, happier times and it did, partly. This was/ is sheer willpower and tenacity; wonderful double-shading, the Trip and in Rosemary's perspective at that, and the 1942, the difficult time of perilous period of one of the turning point of WWII. The use of Churchill was inspired and the whole chapter is in a way pre-prologue of the Singapore Merediths verse.. And as your various Unas in between years of writing, this is one of the best things ever: that Una of Singapore is truly living in world, just as visibly and vividly as all the other Glen girls and others have done in their turn a at your different verses of your work. Brava! I especially loved Rosemary's observations of everything we did already get Johns perception of the trip earlier after all.
As for your musings about the impossibility of Anne- very true, but you did it excellently. I have always coded your Nina in a little bit queer, cause the dedication of her work was in that verse so all consuming, and because of the observations that she did make of men and her voice casting a spell, I do know that Nina and Stuart have had their story but I just had to thank you for them also. Classical music and singers are , and Dvorak, is so close to my heart as you know; Garanca fans united. So best Wishes and have an excellent and amazing time!
8/2/2021 c61 47Tinalouise88
Oh goodness the horror that is running through Rosemary's mind at the news.

How she running through every happy memory she has of meeting her daughter in law, her grand-daughter, to see Carl happily married as he was .

I love your way with worlds, slippery shawls, and the matching jewellery, its poetic and just sends my mind into over drive, thinking about slippery silk and brooches and hair sticks. How she remembers the colours of clothing, how vibrant and almost other worldly in a way to her? Its all very much all veiled in mist of happy times.

All the memories about Puck as well, such a clever little monkey. I know what you're doing here...buttering us up for the something that should not happen. Puck should be like Tuesday.

Her musings on Una, thinking back to the childless mother, watching her grow into a women during the war, to find her place in the orient of all places. Seeing her happy and at peace with her life, settled even if she wasn't married. The close relationship she had with Li, and Iris, Carl.

Also I enjoy how Iris called Carl, Carl at one point, not dad in a memory.

In essence, she is remember all these moments, terrified at the prospect of never seeing those four again. the idea that her family, so far away could be taken away for good and there is nothing she can do, and she resorts to thinking happy thoughts. Because if she relives those happy memories, then maybe she'll wake up and it's all a dream, that Singapore is safe and they are safe.

But it's not...and we get another story!
8/2/2021 c60 Parnokianlipstic
So. These last few chapters have been so wonderful: you truly write excellent prose in poetry; the ponderings of Rilla&Ken and peeks of Singapore Merediths, the whole verse of Blakes, Blythes and Kingsport contiguent. And the summer of 1939, the shadows of WW II are almost on a doorstep. The glimpses of Jims, and Persis, the solid solidarity of Cherubs, and Mandy. And older Anne, that truly is talent, the inner voice is so on point. Maybe it is august time and the (1938-1939 cultural newspapers of my PhD work, in Russian) but all the same the whole time and sense of last golden season is remarkable and staggering. Waiting with shivers for the last chapter. But anyway; thank you so much this has been excellent pleasure, that just keeps on giving; the one brilliant high point of the chapter was for me twofold Anne's Walter-queercoding, or some ephemeral feeling of such and the books... You my dear are a gem.
7/31/2021 c60 Tinalouise88
Oh Anne, It really nice to see the family through her eyes. It's something of motherly pride, nostalgia about the days before the war, then during the war, and after the war. Noting how in some ways, some groups are tight as ever, and Rilla doesn't still quite fit into those groups being far away in Toronto.

Of course was Lissy-lou, her grand baby, she must have thought those days of a brand new babies would be long over, but here Rilla was with another little one, deck out in little lacy dresses. Of course asking about Jims, and noticing how tired Rilla was. of course she has an infant, three other children with a long journey, of course no wonder she is tired.

Anne seeing Walter in Anthony, was bittersweet in a way. Her son, taken to soon, which only brings memory of the war, how she, every hope that this next generation will never have to know those years, or have those years shape them. But the adults know, they've seen it before and its only a matter of time.

I love the small moments with her musing on the red haired children of the family. Mandy, Isobel... he still has her own deep rooted issues, but its like she is glad she had passed it down to the younger generation who aren't appalled by it.

A recipe for Perfect Happiness, such a conclusion to this, as morbid as it sounds, I feel if Anne drifted away in her sleep the next day, she would be perfectly happy with her last days surrounded by family, and grandchildren, though hopefully she will see a great grandchild before that happens.
7/30/2021 c60 38oz diva
Aw shucks, thank you.

Now I'm possibly the only person on the planet who will laugh at Marilla's choice, but if that isn't some next level characterisation I don't know what is. And for the record I'm with Anne. Still I loved how the book was retained and loved for the sake of the giver rather than the fact.

Otherwise this was a lovely exploration of the family on the brink of another war. How worried they must have been, having been so scared by another not so very long ago, so much for the war to end all wars.

So many winks back to the rest of the story and canon, what with sore ankles and Jims & Persis' lack of appearance and the shadow resting on Rilla as a result. One wonders what Anne would make of that situation? Would she be sympathetic to Persis & Jims or Rilla & Ken, or perhaps a little of both. Interesting that Anne noted the loss the family were enduring as a result.

Lovely nudges back to carrots and slates and the whole box and dice here and of course to the way Anne's generation are aging. From her stick to John Meredith's vagueness. And then again to the family in far off Singapore, who I hope (expect) we shall hear about in due course.

And if that isn't a recipe for life, 'to start you must find a suitable person.' (which when I think about it is very Marillaish too.) I shall be sad to say goodbye to this wonderful story, but knowing you you won't leave us hanging for too long.
7/30/2021 c60 Guest
Love this. Thank you.
7/29/2021 c59 47Tinalouise88
It lovely to see all the family in one chapter, it really is!

Poor Bruce being subjected to all the gossip and rumours pertaining to his choice of wife, and what it means for him as well. I do enjoy how Di has to ask around for details, in the store while looking at fabric

then of course we go to Jem and Faiths home. Poor Tuesday being subjected to a bath, and Helen wanted to be every the grown up! Jem must have some sort of recollection of his sisters wanting longer dresses, and now in the 1930's less smocking, which of course so juvenile at best to Miss Helen. She wants a young ladies dress and poor Jem is not ready for it. I can see him being papa bear, or much like Captain Van Trap with Liesel...oh Helen getting her floaty, chiffon dress?

We move on the Ford, who I want to slap Silly, but they are at this crossroads of upholding the family name/business/society expectations/being possibly genuinely afraid for Jims at the root of it as well but not knowing how to accept and support him, because what about the other children? It such a sad thing, to work through for them.

I did Enjoy Rilla's fantasy of what she could dress Lissy up in, oh my that would the frilliest, pouffiest little dress ever!

Mandy, worried about leaving her Mick, but to see the little twins walking and talk, and being excited the wedding is lovely. I love that she's the one who called Jims. She understands how unfair it is. It is also rather a moment when you do realize the little girls, barely know there on sister. Miri is just most likely a photograph, someone who potentially writes on occasion. She's not really a sister, just some person they don't know.

We get Singapoore as well, and knowing what is coming, I wish that had gone, oh it maybe it would have solved all their future war problems. But alas they stay...

The ending with Anne and Gil looking over the family that came from them, their children, spouses, and grand children. Such a moment for them, it will the last moment where they might all ever be together again.
7/29/2021 c59 74kslchen
After reading this chapter, I actually scrolled back upwards to check whether you'd marked this story as finished. Not, of course, that I want it to be finished, because I do always want more of your writing and because I know that as long as this story continues, we will not reach the events we do not talk about. Despite this story not being complete yet and me not wanting it though, I do still think this chapter would have made a very effective final chapter. We check in with all the different families and end on a surprisingly hopeful (maybe delusionally hopeful) note from Anne and Gilbert, with whom it all started, for better or for worse,

The first scene is the very embodiment of the Glen gossip and also very in the tradition of LMM's writings. She did love a good bit of smalltown gossip and you write it excellently also. Of course, Irene Howard (Howard still, huh?), as is Olive Drew-Kirk, whose double-barrelled name really doesn't work as well as she probably thinks she does. Di, Naomi, Miranda and Betty provide a nice contrast to them, because while they're strictly speaking *also* gossiping, they don't do it with the same malice. Their little conversation also comes in handy with regards to filling us readers in, so that we're now perfectly well-informed about the family and marital background of Bruce's intended.

I had to laugh at Faith commiserating with Alice Caldicott, because it just goes to show that not even big sisters know and understanding everything. (And why would she, having lived away from Bruce since he was what? Nine years old?) Much as I always enjoy the Kingsport dynamic, Tuesday does still steal the scene away from them all, as he really ought to. (Just imagine what a double scene stealing act he and Yesterday-Thursday will have going on!) Unapproved bath times are really a right bother in the life of any innocent little Dachshund, so he does well to escape from them!

You know, I think everyone would have forgiven you if you'd decided to write Rilla and Ken out of this story henceforth. It would probably have been the easy thing to write them out of it, or at least have them pretend that Jims never existed or something. It would have turned them into cardboard villains though, so your actual approach makes it much more interesting. I'm not saying this scene exonerates them, because nothing can do that, but it gives them back a sort of... humanness? They still take the easy way out and the hypocrisy of Rilla's thoughts if breath-taking, but we do see glimpses of her missing Jims and even feeling somewhat protective about him, which does make her more human, given that this *is* still a boy she raised. Ken is harder to gauge, but at least he does seem to not want to upset the children he has left, even if he goes about it utterly and completely the wrong way!

This might be the first real look we get at Nan's younger set of twins, I think. We saw them as babies, but they graduated to talking and independent thought here, which does go a long way to giving us a better look at their personalities. Mandy having to explain Miri to them had a bit of a gut-punch effect, being a stark reminder that these girls never really knew her. Miri doesn't feature much in the collective thoughts of her wider family, but she must still be present in Mandy's thoughts, despite how very far away she is now. Mandy has grown her circle of people in Miri's absence though, from the younger sisters to Mick Challow to Jims. I do love the friendship between her and Jims and I thank you for giving me that phone call, both because it shows us Jims being sort-of okay on the surface and because I adore the mutual support thing they share.

Singapore! Singapore with threatening clouds hanging over it, but still Singapore in peacetime with everyone being alive. Can we freeze and conserve this scene, please? Not that it's altogether a happy one, because of said threatening clouds, because of time passing too quickly, because of Li knowing she can't go without the Glen people rejecting her, because of Una not being able to see Bruce getting married and because Iris being so desperate to keep her adults close is both a concerning sign and a concerning omen, but, well, everyone is alive, yes? Counts for a lot, as far as I am concerned. They can stay that way.
7/19/2021 c58 kslchen
I can confirm that you did, indeed, fit in all my requirements - and you did it to excellent effect. This has been such a fun read, in a moment when, as you correctly assumed, I definitely needed it, so I thank you heartily for it. (Also, I cannot be blamed for the butler being the murderer! It's in that one German song, see? I know I told you about it many moons ago. It says that the murderer is *always* the butler, so lets blame the guy who wrote it, alright?)

In other news, I firmly count on reading a best-selling murder mystery from you one day, if only so I can point and tell people "this is my internet friend and we go way back" ;). Also, the announcement that there are only a handful of chapters left is acceptable for one reason alone and that's because this way, the story will be over before the thing happens that we don't talk about. The deaths of Mr Archer and Miss Foley might be excellent entertainment, but that of Papatee not so much!

Speaking of the deaths of Mr Archier and Miss Foley, those Toronto policemen can surely count their lucky stars that Teddy was sent to that boring conference, because without him, they'd not only be less a first suspect but also less a person who can solve their crimes for them. (Or is it a singular crime when two murders are commitment by the same person for the same reason in the same place? I'm afraid I'm wobbly on the correct terminology.) He's definitely doing a much better job of figuring out who the murderer is than they are! It's therefore a doubly good thing that they let him off early, because not only did that solve them the case neatly and quickly, it also saved them from having Kitty descend on them after they locked up her brother.

The excellent sibling relationship of Teddy and Kitty was something that stood out in this chapter. They've both grown so much since we first met them - and they first met each other -, with him now being the inspector and her manning the politics desk, but they treat each other no differently from when he was only starting out at the Station House and she was a would-be reporter/street urchin. Theirs has always been a special bond, perhaps because they're the oldest and they share the experience of looking for a roof over their heads and finding an entire family, but it does not need and sort of sentimentality to express that. There's instead lots of the familiar affectionate teasing they've done for so many years, alongside the unquestioning support of each other (though mainly of Kitty to Teddy here). They really have come a long way since then, Kitty quite literally, but their bond is still strong and that's lovely to see.

Something else that stood out to me personally, because I can very much identify with it, was Teddy recognising other people by their clothing or another outer characteristics. That's absolutely what I did when I still taught at college. "You in the blue jumper," is a perfectly adequate way of addressing someone, if you ask me, and you better believe they got called "Blue Jumper" in my head. So, this way of address is something Teddy and I share, right along with our dislike of taxidermy, which is, if you think about it, utterly bizzarre. I'm not sure we're of one mind about badgers, but that might be because most of my knowledge about them comes from Animals of Farthing Wood and this one included a very nice badger. (It also wasn't taxidermied, which is always a plus.)

Next request: the advent of Yesterday/Thursday/Whateverday!
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