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Name: Russia Snow (Signed) · Date: 05/30/10 18:16 · For: A Sense of Serenity
Hey, Katty =)

I really liked this story, well done! I see you already have a lot of very detailed reviews for this story so I won’t bore you with repeating everything the others have already said!

The way you waited until the end to reveal her name was very effective and you handled it really well. Your descriptions were just

Name: Binka Fudge (Signed) · Date: 11/29/07 10:35 · For: A Sense of Serenity
How awful, but you never know do you? Perhaps her mum hadn't just died through experimenting. I like the water finally giving her serenity as she says goodbye, only wish it were that easy.

Name: chasing_willow (Signed) · Date: 10/09/07 0:47 · For: A Sense of Serenity
Oh... *sad face*
My favorite character.. *sniff* is always involved.. in.. *sniff* such.. sad stories *sniff*
Wonderfully written this story is.
-- Willow

Name: kumydabookworm (Signed) · Date: 09/08/07 22:29 · For: A Sense of Serenity
Hello, dear Katty, my SPEW buddy! It has been wonderful getting to know you so far and it was a pleasure reading this story. I’ll just ramble along and leave you the job of finding useful things amid my babble. :-P

I think you have a great grasp on how Luna thinks and acts every day, every moment. The ethereal, slightly-detached tone of this piece practically sings of Luna. You can hear it in the way the words flow, the diction you used, and even the imagery. It’s just so pretty, and gently touched by sadness – this was the perfect way to show Luna in grief.

I also appreciated the setting for what it was. The fact that Luna – eternal lover of all things strange – would find peace in a creek – at that, a creek that no one else wanted to approach is so like Luna that the story just wouldn’t be the same without this setting. Might I ask where you got this idea from? :) It’s a very new and intriguing experience.

Your first line was simply wonderful. It starts off…so prettily and the ending twists the reader’s curiosity and yanks us into the next line. I think it was probably one of my most favorite lines in the story.

However, I felt like the second paragraph jars me a little from the rapture I felt after the first line. It switches us from third POV to second POV for this paragraph and the one following it. While I appreciate the power of second POV, I feel like using it to address the audience isn’t effective in this particular piece. We’re trying to feel what Luna feels and the second POV clearly shows that this is ‘our’ viewpoint, one of ‘common’ people and the third POV is Luna…but I feel like you can find a better way to make that delineation. A POV change is simply too jarring for my preferences. One other thing that bothered me was the fragments in this paragraph. I realize this is purposeful, but why did you make it fragmented? What emotion should that create in the reader? You see, to me, it simply agitated me and made me stumble over the lines. When you have such beautiful imagery in a paragraph, you don’t want to make your reader halt over punctuation and fragmented thought. Both of these points are things to consider in the second paragraph (and when speaking about 2nd POV, the third paragraph as well).

It did not sooth you in any kind of way nor did it keep you from strain or give you any sense of serenity. This sentence is wordy – while sometimes eloquent sentences can be beautifully long…to me, this one simply confused me. I had to read it several times and I felt like it broke up the flow I was really getting into from your beautiful beginning.

No one could appreciate its haunting beauty or long to be anywhere near it. I like this…but I feel like it shouldn’t be a compound predicate…rather a compound sentence with two subjects AND two predicates. Perhaps, something like: No one could appreciate its haunting beauty; no one longed to be near it. That repetition of “no one” emphasizes the creek’s…abnormalities, for lack of a better word; the ‘anywhere,’ again, is an empty word to me – the sentence can do without it and the meaning of the sentence pierces my heart deeper without that “filler” word.

She knew it was there. She knew it would find its way into her heart. She knew because it had once before. It had the last time she’d been here. I’m a SUCKER for parallel structures. The repeated “She knew” was really nice as well as the break from the pattern at the end to add emphasis. It went really nicely. I feel like the last sentence, though, falls a tad flat after the buildup. How about something like: She remembered it still – years ago – from the last time she had been here. Something more staggered and dramatic would be perfect for the end of that parallel structure you have going on! Beautifully done!

She would hide inside the closet and when she saw her mother she would jump out and yell ‘surprise!’ as loud as she could, hoping to startle and amuse her mother. I absolutely love the way you have portrayed Luna’s and her mother’s relationship. You can really see Luna in her mother, and see the ethereal happiness in their relationship. It’s so beautiful, so like Luna, and just…wonderful. Now, on a side note, ‘surprise’ should be capitalized. ;)

He had apologised and left urgently, eager find and study it. This is SO interesting, because I’ve written a poem about Luna and her mom and dad – not nearly done yet; it needs a good edit. Anyway, I pictured her dad as getting into the Quibbler and creatures etc after his wife died, to get away. I enjoyed your portrayal; it was refreshing to see a new take on the subject. On a side note, ‘eager find’ should be ‘eager to find.’

She had no idea how long she’d screamed herself hoarse at her mother, begging her to stop playing games with her, even though she knew her mother wasn’t playing. Oh my God. Katty, I was twelve when my dad died…I said something along these lines. He was overseas, but when I heard, I begged God not to play games with me. I knew that he wasn’t playing games…Well, here’s where I pull out the tissues. You got the raw emotion and the grief and confusion of a child facing death perfectly. It’s nearly surreal how accurately you portray it. To see someone as detached and ‘floaty’ as Luna act in this way is shocking and somehow more graphic than if it had been Harry or Ron or anyone else. *shudder* This was achingly perfect. It’s beyond words. *blows nose*

I can’t quote the rest of the memory, but I must repeat myself and say that I have no idea how you did it, but you understand it perfectly. We got presents that meant nothing; I got money…and I had no idea why people did this. Strangers visited and I thought, ‘Why didn’t they come when he was alive?’

And ordinary was everything you wanted after losing someone. My favorite line in the story – it’s so true, and so simply said. But I really, really wish you’d take the conjunction off the front. Then ordinary would be repetitive and beautifully emphasized and it wouldn’t make me twitch. *giggles*

Hmm. The narrative surrounding Isis’ death is nice is some parts. I like the monotony of it…the fragmented phrases…it’s very accurate for a grieving person. You don’t really think straight, you know? But…this whole narrative seems weaker in emotion and mood than the death of Luna’s mother. I really feel like this is the final rising action in the story, the second death – you got back up after you fell down, and years later, you’re getting knocked down again. But the narrative makes the reader distant from the emotion and the feeling…Now, it does give us a “deadened” sort of feeling, but I don’t think Luna is numb at this point. So, I think that this part would be powerful if you implemented flashbacks again. SHOW us instead of telling us. I did like the narrative regarding how she never came back to the creek, afraid to face it again, etc…and narrative in a few other places – but while keeping some of the narrative, also try to connect the reader more to the final death. Right now, it feels a bit rushed.

And I have no words for your ending. It’s just beautiful. The assonance of “sense of serenity” – the beauty of her goodbye to Isis and her mother – soothe the reader after this awesome rollercoaster of emotion. You can really feel that Luna has found some peace within herself and it’s just lovely.

So you’ve got Luna down pat. I’m very, very impressed, Katty, and thank you for being my SPEW buddy this month! I am so glad I got to read this! It’s a lovely story, and you just tug at my heartstrings – which is a WONDERFUL thing for an author to do to a reader! :)

Much SPEW love,

Name: LoopyLoonyLuna (Signed) · Date: 08/21/07 20:36 · For: A Sense of Serenity
This is an amazing story...Luna is one of my favorite characters. I almost started crying at the end. Oh, also, you've probably gotten my PM by now, but I would love it if you would beta my story....


Name: joybelle423 (Signed) · Date: 07/19/07 10:05 · For: A Sense of Serenity
Hello, Katty dear! I’m finally getting this SPEW Buddy review in … it’s only a month late … *facepalm*

Well, I hadn’t read this since I beta read it for you! It seems like forever ago, but it hasn’t even been a year. I remember I was impressed with your writing style back then, and that hasn’t changed! Re-reading this now, I’m completely overcome by its authenticity, simplicity, and poignancy.

Luna’s voice and emotions sound exactly the way I would expect someone who’d lost two people to suicide. I can empathise with what she’s going through – you’ve made her feelings very clear, as well as her confusion and her need to know the reasons and answers behind her losses. It must have been devastating for her to lose her mother at the age of nine, but then to lose a dear friend when she was old enough to recognise the signs, to try to stop it, to regret not being able to help … I can’t begin to imagine the effect that would have on someone, but you’ve captured Luna’s grief in a realistic manner.

I love all the questions Luna asks! They remind me so much of me, always wanting to know the answers and the explanations behind the way things are. It’s typical Ravenclaw behaviour, I think, and that’s why you, as a Ravenclaw also, are so able to portray Luna’s inquisitiveness and thirst for answers. I know some people would just try to accept what happened and move on, but Luna asks. She questions. She needs answers. She can’t move on until she gets them. That is SO Luna.

And yet, at the same time, you’ve kept Luna’s childlike naïveté. While she goes through all the questions in her head, what makes sense for her doesn’t make sense to everyone. Standing in a river wouldn’t cut it for Hermione. She would need textbook answers, authority answers, while we know from canon that Luna accepts things that others can’t or won’t. And that’s enough for her. Being soothed by the river is very in character for her. She questions like a Ravenclaw, but then she’s satisfied by answers coming from a unique source. *applauds*

And did I mention how heartbreaking this story is? Wow. I suppose it was different for me, knowing that the narrator was Luna and that she would witness her mother’s suicide, but that prior knowledge made it harder to read about her excitement to surprise her mother. It reminds me of reading GoF and falling in love with Cedric, knowing the whole time that he’ll be dead by the end of the book. Showing her joy and love of her mother makes her grief and loss stand out all the more. Then the parallel with her friend Iris! It’s just … her reaction to the death is different, because she was older and had a different perspective. That feeling, that she might have been able to prevent it, that maybe she let down her friend, gah … that really hits home. The “what if” game. I’m so glad that Luna was able to realise that it wasn’t her fault – it was Iris’s decision. I’m also glad that Luna was able to find peace, that sense of serenity AND that you mentioned that phrase at both the beginning and end of the fic! It ties everything together, makes it circular. It’s fabulous.

Reading over it now, after having beta read for months, I wish I had been able to do a better job. There aren’t many mechanical or spelling errors in there – I think I caught all of those – but I would work on some phrasing. You tended to use “has verb” and “had verb” a lot. I just counted all the uses of the word “had” – there are 47. It was noticeable while I read it the second time, checking for things like that, and this habit makes the sentence structures all alike. Just taking out that word switches things up a little; you probably don’t need it that many times. ;) At the same time, though, I don’t want any changes you make to change the utter brilliance of this piece of writing, so I’m torn. I just wanted to point that out to you – maybe you can keep that in mind for future fics.

And speaking of future fics … do you have any in the works? I really would love to see anything you write, whether it’s just ramblings, basic character or plot sketches, or something you want to submit. I love your writing style, and I want to see more! Though I understand the demands of RL, as I’m dealing with it myself, in case you couldn’t tell by the horrible lateness of my review. *cough*

I’m glad I was paired with you, Katty! You’re such a sweet girl, and I wish we could have talked more. Not to mention that I had a reason to re-read this gem! *hugs and loves*

~ Abigail

Name: Lavender_L (Signed) · Date: 03/27/07 8:52 · For: A Sense of Serenity
Thhat was good, really sad. Its hard for me to write sad stories so I thout it was great.

Name: Lavender_L (Signed) · Date: 03/27/07 8:51 · For: A Sense of Serenity
Thhat was good, really sad. Its hard for me to write sad stories so I thout it was great.

Author's Response: Thank you!

Name: lily_evans34 (Signed) · Date: 03/17/07 9:25 · For: A Sense of Serenity
*squishes SPEW buddy Katty*

Right, onto official matters. Reviewing would be good, now, wouldn’t it? XD

I really enjoyed reading this fic. I loved the way that you veiled her name until the very end. I’m a fan of doing that myself. If we know who the character is, we end up thinking about what we know about them – about who we think they are. But if we don’t know, so much more is open for interpretation. When we find out who the character is, we have to adapt our views of them to what the author has written them as. It can really make you consider the possibilities for that character, whereas, if you used her name in the first sentence, I may have thought ‘No, she wouldn’t act in such a way.’ And that would be the end of that. So I really liked the way you wrote this. It makes me think that the way you wrote her is really plausible.

The only noise she heard was the eerie hiss of the creek as the water rushed past her, sounding nothing the way a creek was supposed to sound. I love the finality here. ‘The way a creek was supposed to sound.’ We can tell just from this line that this character has very set views on matters. Something like the sound of a creek could in fact, vary, but it seems that she has a set idea for what a creek may or may not sound like. I like this blatant way that she comes to terms with things in this story. She asks questions upfront, and wants an answer for what she doesn’t understand. You managed to write this throughout this fic very well. For example:

She asked why Iris had done it. Why Iris had decided to take her life. She asked why anyone could do it. So many people wouldn’t want this answer. They’d want to forget that things like this had happened, where I can tell the genuine curiosity that she has behind her words. Like I said before, I couldn’t judge her character by this, as I didn’t know who it was. But upon reaching the last line, I can look back on the rest of the story, and really see her character as this curious, upfront person that you wrote her as.

Now all she had left was the flower in her hand. The flower that had been the last symbol of Iris. The last thing Iris had given her, carrying the message ‘to remember me by.’ Iris had known then. She had known it would be the last time they would ever see each other. She clutched the flower in her hand even tighter. I love this passage. It’s such a heartbreaking thought – looking back on someone, and realising that they had known that they would never see each other again, where your main character had no idea at the time. It really makes you think. This type of thing could happen with any two people – not only Harry Potter characters. That’s why I enjoyed reading this so much. With the basic themes you carried out, and not knowing who the character was, we could really envision anyone in her place, including other characters, and real people as well. This story is so beautiful, for just that reason. It’s real.

I love the last line, and the theme of closure that you wrote. It can be hard to find closure after this type of theme, but the setting you wrote worked wonderfully. I can really see someone like Luna feeling truly at peace somewhere simplistic and calm, like a river. And where this whole fic was terribly sad, it ended on a note that leaves the reader optimistic. I like to think that we can be able to let go of sad memories, and be able to move on, like Luna did. Again, I really enjoyed the chance to read and review this, Katty. A truly beautiful piece of work. *hugs*

♥ Rachel

Author's Response: SPEW buddy! *squishes Rachel* Thank you so much for this amazing review! Wow, this is the best review I've ever gotten. I'm glad you liked the idea of keeping her name unknown until the end of the story. I was hoping it wouldn't be too confusing there. Thanks for all of your lovely comments! I really appreciate them. *SQUEE* *Hugs* ~ Katty

Name: The Blank Page (Signed) · Date: 02/19/07 2:08 · For: A Sense of Serenity
Well lets get right to it then.

At first I was a little wary by the second paragraph as it seemed a bit over done but as I read on it did seem to remind me that some times you should stop and listen as a creek can be all those things and more.

One of my favorite things about this fic is how seamlessly you go from Luna standing in the creek to her seeing her mother dying and to everyone coming to offer thier condolences then back to the creek.

However, at then end when you use the line "to my two loves" I felt a bit of flemmslash that I don't think you intended to have. It was a bit unexpected and may ruin the fic for some people.

I love the plot for this fic and have never seen anything quite like it great job on originality.

Author's Response: *giggles* You know, I didn't expect you to actually review, but I'm glad you did! I can see what you mean about that line being mistaken for slash. I didn't notice that when I wrote it. Thanks for telling me and thanks for the review!

Name: DogLover4Life (Signed) · Date: 01/27/07 0:58 · For: A Sense of Serenity
Your descriptions in this story were amazing! *scrolls back up to re-read beginning* Wow. The way you showed what she was seeing and how she was feeling and all she needed was to get away. That's so sad. *sigh* Okay this review is all over the place, sorry. And the way you had Iris and even though you don’t really explain her you still connect with her. The way you described how Iris had been drifting and had cryptically said goodbye. That must be torture. But now Luna has closure in her Luna way.

Author's Response: *Smile* Thanks for the review!

Name: HermionePotter (Signed) · Date: 01/20/07 21:31 · For: A Sense of Serenity
This was so sad.... i liked it though....

Author's Response: Thanks!

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