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4/12 c4 Guest
Some more great work, CW. ~J. Willem
12/11/2020 c1 1Darkwood Princess
This was beautiful! I loved the description of the Earth during a summer storm, of Eilonwy's instinctive feel of the magic, of Taran as a palette of brown and green. Coll's wisdom reminds me so much of my mother, that earthy, down home knowledge that comes with working the Earth. I tried my first real garden during quarantine and I can relate to this piece on so many levels!
10/30/2020 c4 34LMSharp
While I don't have much to say regarding the content of either of the new chapters, I want to comment on your style writing thirteen- to fifteen-year-old Eilonwy (and slightly older Angharad) and say that I hope that someday you write an original coming-of-age novel for a girl, whether that original is historical fiction, historical fantasy, pure fantasy, or realism. You have a special kind of voice. While it has something of the romantic to it-the idea that growing up is a magical, sacred, and exciting time for a girl-you don't necessarily romantiCIZE. You don't ignore that growing up can also be terrifying, traumatizing, confusing, and messy. You pay attention to women of different ages with an eye to how mentorship and fellowship shapes young girls-not just from mothers and peers but from aunts, sisters, and neighbors. You capture how terrible and frightening and upsetting it can really be to have a crush on a boy despite the high. It's a real strength in your fan fic-your girls feel like /girls/, not pretty little Victorian portraits in a romance of what an adult wants to remember about childhood or dramatic ideals girls themselves aspire to be. And you give your girls all the dignity and beauty and wonder of their office. I enjoy your fan fic. But I'd like to see the kind of novel you would write.
10/30/2020 c4 4Prydainer
Love the idea that she's realizing that it's not the trees changing as much as she is herself. Beautiful writing as always, and so interesting to get this window into Eilonwy's mind in this pivotal period of her growth.
10/29/2020 c3 16Princess of Words
This is so beautiful! It fits very well in this collection. You capture Eilonwy and Taran's relationship perfectly, and I like Eilonwy's memory flash.
10/29/2020 c3 72Belfast Docks
I so envy your writing, it's truly beautiful how you use words to describe these scenes.
10/29/2020 c4 5ZosiaDetroit
There is something almost magical about trees, isn’t there? So emblematic of life and seasonal change (in temperate climes), and with that inherent sense of steadiness and shelter... it truly is the perfect setting for this scene in which Eilonwy faces the inexorable changes in herself. You’ve handled it beautifully (as always), capturing the natural frustration and emotion of such a moment, right along with the eventual sense of resignation and appreciation for change that nature so often seems to instill. You’ve fleshed out the hint of a backstory that L.A. provided into something luscious and lovely and rich — just like one of those apple blossoms ripening into full fruit.
10/29/2020 c4 2Skyboy91
I think this a heartwarming and fitting conclusion to this cycle. You’ve gone so far just with the idea that Eilonwy loves the apple trees, and climbing them, and rediscovering them. From just a few lines in a few books, you’ve built a whole fascinating and vibrant world of art and literature.

I appreciate the idea of Eilonwy going off on her own occasionally at Caer Dallben, a chance to think, to experience, to love, to absorb everything around her. Here her growing realization that she is changing, that she herself is part of this cycle.

I loved the line about Coll providing her with what she needed with quiet practicality…as the father of two now almost fully grown daughters, I can relate to those times, all those physical and emotional changes. Change is the only thing one can really inspect with certainty, indeed.

Her flash of vision of the spiraling dance at the end was beautiful. In my mind I saw a scene similar to the armillary sphere sequence at the beginning of the Game of Thrones – but with less violence and more green Prydain. Yes, land and space and life and water are all locked into a lovely cycle – but unfortunately it is by no means eternal or endless…at least not our little blue sphere piece of it.

Beautifully and soulfully done, as always.
10/19/2020 c2 34LMSharp
I love this. The interaction, but also the philosophy behind it. I really don't have anything else to say. Just a deep appreciation for this little vignette. Thanks for writing.
10/18/2020 c2 16Princess of Words
This was such a good exploration of the meaning of autumn, and Coll's interactions with Eilonwy were so sweet.
10/17/2020 c2 5ZosiaDetroit
This is simply masterful. I don’t know if it was because I read it while sitting beside a fire on an autumn evening, or because I’d just been mulling over similar thoughts this week as I watched the colorful leaves fall, or simply because of the poetry of your writing, but this genuinely brought tears to my eyes.

Coll is absolutely, heartbreakingly wonderful here on multiple levels. I love his tenderness toward Eilonwy—not denying the darker side of things, but addressing them with a gentle honesty. I love his peaceful acceptance of the cycle of life, with all the steady-yet-pliable mindset of some Zen monk. I love how (you’ve made) his musings foreshadow his own death in a way that somehow lifts a little bit of the gloom from it for me as a reader (even as this scene simultaneously makes me wish all the more that he’d survived). I love his warmth and humility shining through in every line. So very, very touching.

Bringing in Eilonwy’s thoughts about her parents and Achren was also a nice touch that added even more depth to this piece—as did the hint of loved ones Coll has lost. I know you’ve envisioned him as a widower in previous stories, but who else do you imagine in his past?

There are so many lovely lines and images in here, too: “the trees: a smudged line of glorious colors...”; the leaves filling her lap “like a pool of ragged fire”; Coll’s comment “that may be a fence even his vine won’t climb”; and so many more. I always feel a thrill of both admiration and envy when I read your work because of lines like those.

Overall, this was just achingly wonderful—both poignant and uplifting—and captured so well the essence of autumn. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
10/17/2020 c2 2Skyboy91
Eilonwy’s first year at Caer Dallben seems to be packing a whole lifetime of emotion into it, doesn’t it?

I’m glad you got over your writer’s block, and you are finding a little time to write. Your prose here is as beautifully descriptive and poetic as always, you do have such a rich talent for painting emotions, personalities and relationships with words. I appreciate this interesting development of Eilonwy and Coll’s relationship. Leaving Taran out of this one gives a little more room for a new dynamic, and for this relationship to grow. It’s nice that she is already looking to him for his fatherly and earthy wisdom, the way that Taran always has. I’m sure many people would have loved to have had a father like Coll, but that isn’t what most of us ended up with, unfortunately.

Eilonwy has never had a proper parent before, and she seems to be asking Coll the questions that many of us asked our parents growing up, but usually an earlier age than she is now, so the questions were not asked as astutely. Is it ever right to kill? What happens after we die? She probably has a whole pile of them stored up, and now that she has a sounding board that is willing to listen and ponder those questions, I hope she wears Coll out with them.

Interesting how her mind returned to the barrow, and how the rich and supposedly noble in vain try to preserve themselves - vs. being a part of the circle of life, as Coll suggested.

I would like to see Eilonwy with a crown of autumn leaves…I hope a talented artist makes that happen sometime…In fact, a painting depicting her and Coll together would be wonderful!

A beautiful addition to this cycle, and so appropriate as I myself watch the autumn leaves beginning to fall. It does seem to be the right time of year for deeper thoughts - about all the eternal questions that are on Eilonwy’s mind. Thank you!
10/17/2020 c2 CairbreLifechair
That was lovely.

Thank you for those beautiful thoughts, I think I needed it.
9/24/2020 c1 5ZosiaDetroit
Short pieces like this so beautifully showcase your talents with vivid, lyrical descriptions and spot-on character interpretations. I feel like I can fully immerse myself in them in such a story, without plot stealing any of my attention (not that you don't keep the two elements in balance in your longer stories, but I appreciate the narrower focus at times). There are just so many excellent lines here, and they make the sensations and emotions so /palpable/.

I love the metaphors you're working with here, too, with Eilonwy being cleansed, and awakening to a new, more fruitful, life. Coming to Caer Dathyl has indeed been a ray of light through the clouds, transforming even the rains she formerly resented into something exhilarating.

Great job also with capturing all of the characters so accurately. Taran's behavior here is entirely /him/ at this age, and Eilonwy's reactions are just as spot-on. As always with your interpretation of her, I appreciate how you reveal her inner conflict over how to think of (let alone interact with) Taran. We could only guess at that dynamic being there in canon, but you illustrate it so poignantly.

I'm looking forward to the subsequent stories in this series. : )
9/23/2020 c1 Wildcard2030
What a nice little story! Very descriptive and painted a wonderful mental picture of the warmth and safety of Caer Dallben. The character beats are great and it brings a tear to the eye when thinking about Coll, thus giving the events of THK even more emotional depth. Well done. I also appreciate how you are so skilled at writing simple stories like this but can also shit to heavier subjects in others seamlessly. You’re truly a master of this world. Great job!
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