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1/27/2019 c1 12MrsVonTrapp
Firstly, I am never considering the Ingleside garret in the same benign way again, when it has stood as witness to such a beautiful scene as this. We don't need Candles for Witness here when we have a different sort of candlelight, but it is just as mellow and soft and beautiful, as is this. It's taken me too long to review this, and I am so sorry for the delay, and will try now to finally do justice to your incomparable prose, and the gorgeousness of this moment with such perfect renderings of these characters. I love Nan and ADORE Jerry and, truly, you capture them with a haunting delicacy that I believe is unmatched.

It is so appropriate that you enlist such painterly writers to reference here, and all of whom I love and have referenced myself, so you had me at hello, for Nan has always lived and loved as a writer and your Jerry views the world as an artist, noting colors and textures and particularly light. The war took away their time together and Jerry still feels the memory and ''weight'' of those letters being all he had of her and his promise to come home all she had of him - "come back to me" is particularly poignant here, when Jerry muses through Marvel about "having world enough and time," for it is also the lynchpin quote of Somewhere in Time, and there remains a similar otherworldliness to this. These two have, rather, belonged to each other and found ''home'' in the other and have always existed within convention but outside of the real world; perhaps flirting on the cusp of it, but their romance and their interactions, here as everywhere, owes as much to a faraway time of lily maids and knights-errant and "kissing gates" as it does to the real world below and around them that you detail so wonderfully, late in this - the noises and the snuffles and the existence of the rest of Ingleside - but that doesn't quite touch them. "Always them, only them" is a refrain Jerry repeats, and it reemphasises this notion beautifully, as does Nan with her glancing joke about their "private mythology", whilst also acknowledging that this moment is very much theirs alone - even if Di, inevitably, hears her share of it.

These two, as others have noted and you indeed emphasise, are gentler, quieter versions of Anne and Gilbert, from the injokes and the sparring (debating!) that even here informs and strengthens their relationship, to the literary way in which they court, flirt and love. But whilst Anne and Gilbert are life writ large, these two are painted in softer shades. Yet the Anne-isms in Nan in both her imagination and her wonderful distraction, and Jerry's lovely, winning, Gilbert-esque uncertainty and vulnerability (the repetition of May I? is charming and sweet) are given a gorgeous airing here. I love Jerry's internal musings - how he could never keep up with Nan on even his best day; his noting of Nan's "dancer's feet" and then envy of all those who had the opportunity to do just that with her in his absence; and the lovely attempt at a waltz step that neither have the appropriate focus for. Jerry is unbearably and unapologetically trying to keep up, but he grounds Nan and brings her back to him, even if she is occasionally the one who asks the same. He will still call Nan on things, as she will do the same; it is their special dynamic, and you portray it wonderfully.

The writing here is so sensuous and sensory, and it weaves a spell. The idea of taste is rendered wonderfully - ink and charcoal, and later, apple-blossom and chalk. Jerry's loving gaze is also replete - awash! -with the noticing of the light and how Nan becomes it; and time transitions from candlelight to the no-stars dark just before dawn, and finally projecting to the time when "the sun would be upon them... and he would learn Nan by that light too." Just lovely. Your prose needs no embellishment from these known writers and yet you weave quotes as thoughts so eloquently; this is how Nan expresses herself, and it is a language Jerry too has learned and adopted, though he perhaps woos best in Latin!

Some unbearably wonderful phrases:
"a joke folded at the corner of her mouth"
"before the waves brought war rolling in with the tide" and the water imagery throughout - I loved "tidal lure"
"the promise of a promise"

all the musings about Time - and the idea of Jerry, so long still and suspended in time as young Gilbert was, now "falling forward" and "falling into her".

This was really a masterclass in writing, and a gift. Thank you x
12/16/2018 c1 3AnneWithAnEStory
Elizasky reccommended your story to me. It was really beautifully written. You are such a good writer. It was so beautiful it made me tear up. I thought it was scary at first, just them being so close and a vulnerable feeling, but you really showed that they felt so comfortable and safe with each other and they wanted to be closer and that when they were doing that everything felt right in the world.
9/29/2018 c1 7Bathsheba Blythe
Gosh, it's been far too long since I've had the time to read something of yours (I will be eternally sorry about that). I must say that this chapter was a pure genius in all ways possible.

I don't even know how and where to begin...
I was always very interested in the relationship between Nan and Jerry. LMM left a nice gap for us fanfiction writers to fill in and you did a fabulous job at that here. The intimacy, love and genuine closeness of all mind, soul and body between them is more than palpable here. I really loved how you used so much of sensory imagery with Jerry listing all the different components that make up Nan's smell as Nan's smell. I also loved how they didn't rush into anything, it was all slow, steady and exactly right. The fact that both Jerry and Nan were back and forth quoting verses to each other made me smile as well. And of course, I am so impressed that you wrote this chapter from Jerry's perspective! You did it so wonderfully.

In addition, your descriptions in this chapter were brilliant. They were just as gentle as the moment that Jerry and Nan shared with each other, they were revealing but not too much so as to almost protect their privacy in that special moment. Your descriptions capture most of all the genuine love the two of them share, rather than anything else which was a great joy to read.

Honestly, this chapter was incredibly refreshing for so many different reasons and I can't wait to read its continuation!
9/27/2018 c1 1definitelynotskittles
aw 3 I love the Nan/Jerry pairing sm.
I broke off reading Love, Laughter, and Tenderness a while back (school -.-) and now I just really want to go back to reading it... I think I will.
Your prose is so lovely.
9/27/2018 c1 8Catiegirl
I wanted to read that letter to Di, so this was just wonderful- and I loved those chapters from love and tenderness! I adored it. Firstly your language as ever is beautiful- poetic and tender, and exactly what I would have wanted for Anne’s daughter- and how I love that you gave her Cordelia for a middle name! I loved the reminder that Jerry sees her as an artist would- not just for her own creativity, but his, as well. You write those tiny touches with such emotion- for some reason the butterflies and wrists touching is so wonderful here. I love it when writers write about writing- Nan’s distraction and ink stained hands made me smile, and I love that this was just a part of her, to Jerry. You wrote this amazingly- the sorrow for what the war stole, the nervousness and excitement here- and their love-making was just wonderful. I love being able to see Jerry’s wonder, and Nan’s sureness made me realise just how much Anne’s daughter she was- you made me smile, and blush a little- it was exquisitely done. Well done!
9/23/2018 c1 14elizasky
I keep sitting down to try to write something smart about this, but it just keeps coming up as, “This is good. Real good. Good good.” So that’s my summary. Doubleplusgood.

But I have to write SOMETHING to pay you back for this lovely read. I’ve fired up my Paris-writing playlist to get in the right frame of mind.

As with all your most successful chapters, this one has your signature sensuousness thrown into deep relief by the added axis of TIME. That was your Faith and peaches chapter as well. But here it is Nan and Jerry, who are always about time in any iteration. Right from the first paragraph, you have Jerry blur the chronology of all of this with having the Nan or the moment merge with the Nan of memory in her eternal posture of writing. There are a dozen different times in those four lines – the present reported in the continuous past of “was writing,” the past as a time of looking forward to the imagined future of his homecoming, which is now accomplished, etc. The whole thing is all time collapsed just as all Nan’s many genres blur together and just become her collective self, or at least the part that is legible to Jerry.

Ok, so that’s the first hundred words so this might get kinda long.

Oh, and then we add the Renaissance in there, so we are adding in historical time predating their timeline and also Saints and an eternal present etc. etc.

There were *several* ways to tick your “taste” box in this chapter, and the fact that you went for ink was both perfect and hilarious. It is just right, of course, to make Nan’s writing perceivable in a sensory way, on her hands and later lips. Lovely, also, that it brings them their laughter.

The apple blossoms and apple trees have always been Anne and Gilbert’s symbol since canon, and these two are the right ones to inherit that. That was (partially) a story about time as well, though on a less cosmic scale than Nan and Jerry have navigated. Nan inherits the writing and Jerry is a worthy successor to earnest, striving Gilbert, so I’m satisfied that they should get the apple blossoms. After everything, to still find themselves in blossom phase is another stopped-clock sort of thing. I laughed at Nan clarifying whether cherries had any place in their “private mythology.” Nope. I wonder who might be cherries – two separate people, each whole in themselves but connected at the stem.

The pearl buttons were perfect. Small detail, keeping things intimate and just a *hint* suggestive without being vulgar. You are never vulgar. Explicit writing has its place and I like it fine, but this is not that. I don’t know whether you meant Jerry’s fumbling to be anything but clothing-related, but I read “button” double anyway, so there you go. It made “Easier if you do it” and the next line pretty wonderful, so I’m keeping it. Do you know the lesbian poet Amy Lowell? (Sister of Harvard president A. Lawrence Lowell, who ran that whole Secret Court business, which is a story for another day.)

I also loved Nan’s corset and her “acrobatic manoeuvers” that puzzle Jerry so. That was fun. (Hi, Jem!)

If I may venture one suggestion – really my only one here, as this is a little jewelbox of a chapter (double that as the spirit moves you) – when words fail Jerry and he asks for permission to undo Nan’s braid, I thought for just a moment that he could have asked his “May I?” in Latin. He’s lost words and this is the inflection point in their interactions and they have asked those important questions in Latin. So that is my one suggestion. As to whether that is asked with an open-ended subjunctive or one of those presumption of a “yes” answer endings, I do not know.

There’s lots of good light stuff in here, too – the candlelight, “look like a sun,” Nan being illuminated like an old-world book. Old World/New World will always leap out in these WWI stories and the fact that they are holding on to so much Old World feels significant here. Jerry’s painting, too, though he is part of a more modern school – he doesn’t turn to film or photography, but paint. Cold/hot and maps/globes as well, but this is getting long, so just know that I noticed. Also I learned a new word — enisled — so thank you for that.

I know you approached this with some trepidation, but really it is wonderful. Jerry’s reverent wonderment (“that he could do anything half so momentous”) was beautiful and you give us enough specifics while keeping the focus on his experience of the moment in all its out-of-timeness.

I’m serious about never attempting to write this scene for Madness and Joy. There’s no work left to be done here. If I ever make the attempt it will have to be something drastically different (along the lines of ace Jerry as previously discussed), but this is all done. Bows on top. Stick it in the publishable file.
9/22/2018 c1 74kslchen
And you claim to struggle with writing romance, yes? Well, this is clearly 4048 words of pure fluff and excellent fluff at that, so that's this particular theory disproven. Just so you know.

Trust Nan and Jerry to do their quoting thing even 'in the heat of the moment' ;). They've always done their sweethearting partly through borrowed words, all the while making them their own, so it feels natural to continue this here. I maybe expected them to pause with the unbuttoning and neck-kissing during the war trauma talk, but I suppose those two are know for being honest even when it's not easy, so this could be seen as a physical continuation of their emotional closeness.

Actually, that's true for this entire story. It's their closeness in all matters that runs through this like a thread. It is, as always with you, beautifully portrayed, too. There's a loving gentleness to the descriptions, a very light touch, that elevates this above 'typical' M writing. You give us enough to know what is happening and to fill the gaps, but without this ever becoming crass or too explicit. This story is about the love between these two people, with the physical aspect merely another and perfectly natural part of it - as it should be!

All in all, this is your usual beautiful writing, employed to tell a lovely scene between those characters to whom you've given so much life already. Nothing to be terrified about! In fact, you should be proud. I reckon this didn't come all that easy, but it fulfilled all expectations and then some. And writing from Jerry's POV no less!
9/21/2018 c1 NotMrsRachelLynde
I have read most of your work and follow Everyday Courage but have never commented. I find the artistry with which you write so beautiful. This was just as lovely. I would be hard pressed to consider this M it is well written with allusion and language that conveys ideas much better than explicit words. This was just exquisite and thank you for making me revisit some of your other work so I could place when this was taking place.
9/21/2018 c1 elizasky
Sigh. And sigh again.

I’ll come back and review this properly when I’m not stealing minutes out of my mundane day, typing on my phone. I’ll need my own stretch of time to reread and catalogue all your lovely little turns of phrase (many of them certainly yours, however many allusions there may be). But for now, I will just sigh and say that this was lovely. And thank you for saving me from ever, ever having to write an M for this couple, as I will certainly never attempt to go one better than this.

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