Reviews For Penned in Vain
Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 05/02/11 2:50
Chapter: Life Rekindled

Well I have to say, you really did a fantastic job of completing all the challenges and prompts. I particularly loved how you used the "fairy tales are true", because that just flowed so naturally as something Luna would do to tell him that she's pregnant.

Life, however, cannot be lived in passing shadows, secluded in libraries and schools. Escapism is a wonderful fantasy in theory, but life catches up with you eventually. Your past revisits you, haunts you, will never let you rest… How well-written and how true. To me, that really shows how Theo has changed throughout the fic. I loved the reference to the dream again, as well, and the idea of coming full circle. It gives this fic a sense of completion.

~Katrina

Author's Response: Ha! Thank you. I'm so glad you saw the quirkiness in Luna. At first, I wasn't sure how to use the prompt without sounding cliché, but then I just remembered how unorthodox Luna is, like her response to Theo's proposal. Heh. Also, I'm quite pleased that you got the feeling that Theo has not only changed but come full circle. I must admit that I had a lot of fun writing these prompts, although they can be challenging, but now I look forward to writing something "big" in the future, featuring my new favourite person, Teddy Nott. ^_^

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing all the drabbles and keeping at it. I really appreciate it. ~Lia

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 05/02/11 2:34
Chapter: Love Found

I loved the letter to Pride. Really ingenious and quirky and funny and clever. I also love the idea that he's fallen for Luna. The way you've presented the two of them here, they just work so well together. It's not a pairing I would have thought of, but you've really made it work.

I also like the nickname Teddy - somehow it's softer and more innocent than Theo or Theodore (or perhaps that's just because it makes me think of Teddy Lupin).

Anyway, despite my first review, I'm really enjoying this fic, and in the last few chapters you've worked the prompts really well and it hasn't felt disjointed. Great work :).

~Katrina

Author's Response: When I was first writing this story, I'd receive a new prompt each week, so I never truly knew where I was going with the story. I had never intended for Luna and Theo to be a couple, but she just sort of became his rock, and it felt natural to make him slowly fall in love with her. Plus, I totally understand how the beginning seemed disjointed. Like I mentioned earlier, I was too focused on literally fulfilling each prompt and bonus, but, as you saw, as the story progressed, it sort of took a life of its own outside of the prompts. So, thank you for sticking with it. ^_^

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 05/01/11 23:03
Chapter: Going Home

I hope you didn't find my previous review negative. In fact, after reading this chapter, I almost feel like taking it back, because somehow after this chapter everything begins to make sense and doesn't feel disjointed anymore. But I guess I was just telling you how it felt at the time...

Anyway. I loved this chapter. You write Theo being uncomfortable thrust back into this world so well, particularly in how he has become a celebrity and something of a heartthrob. It sort of makes me think of how uncomfortable neville would be with the fame of his heroism post Battle. Anyway.

The idea that Daphne had used his poetry for her vows was wonderful. Just such a great connection between them, that's there despite being nothing like what Theo dreams it to be.

A few things - as far as I know, it's "Witch Weekly", not "Witches Weekly". And at one point you wrote "decent" when I'm pretty sure you meant "descent" (when Theo went to meet Draco and Astoria).

Luna is very in character, you write her very well. And I loved the house elves, and the way you showed that Theo has changed from the way his parents behaved. (As in, in the difference between Kip and Gracie.)

Lovely story,

~Katrina

Author's Response: Thank you so much for spotting those typos. All fixed now. :D And, I'm glad you liked the drabbles from this chapter. It's the beginnings of Theo slowly breaking from his shell, and you'll soon see how well he deals with rejection (from Daphne).

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. It's nice to see someone invest themselves in the characters and pick up on all the little nuances that I tried to add. ^^

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 05/01/11 22:51
Chapter: The Journey

This is a very interesting look at Theodore, who I think is an interesting character, because he is the loner, and we see so little of him in the books, but we know that he didn't join in the Battle, which makes him interesting to me.

In the first chapter, I loved the idea that he'd wanted a career change and gone to work for The Quibbler. It's logical, too, because Luna wouldn't be concerned about prejudice. I know it must have been hard to include all the prompts... but bits of it just didn't flow quite right to me. I don't know, the bit about Luna's shoes just seemed a little contrived and didn't really seem to have any purpose... but on the whole, it was a great start with excellent characterisation. Oh and the writing at the beginning was absolutely beautiful.

I'm sorry to say that this chapter also seemed a little disjointed, although somehow I think it worked a little better. I'm hoping you explain more of this in the later chapters, though, particularly about the woman, because it was written so well but I was a little confused. I loved the line about painting the sky any colour you want... also you set up some very interesting family dynamics in the flashbacks, particularly contrasted with Theo being alone at the funeral in the first chapter.

Your imagery and use of language is absolutely beautiful, and I love your characterisations, but the plot just seems a little disjointed/jumpy at this point. But great story :).

~Katrina

Author's Response: Yes, unfortunately, I can't post one drabble at a time - as it would probably make more sense. This was part of a challenge, where we were given a prompt (and extra challenge) once a week. I do believe I'm the only one who followed a linear narrative - and completed all twenty prompts. Heh. So, think of all the drabbles as vignettes, snap-shots in time. I probably shouldn't have included the challenge for the sake of it, but I was greedy for the extra points. ^_~ As the "story" moves along, you'll find that I care less about the challenges and just write. (The plot will seem to leap forward a lot, though.)

Thank you for the review. I'll have to try my hand at a one-shot of Theodore some time soon. ^_^

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 02/03/11 9:33
Chapter: Love Found

I am always amazed at how you can take these random prompts and challenges and tie them together in a story.I agree--out of Theo's ten reasons as to why he shouldn't write his life story, the biggest reason is his fear. And, I think he wants his story to be perfect but doesn't have the confidence that it will be. Heaven forbid that someone laughs at him or is disgusted by his story. He is probably too young to be writing his life story, unless he plans to write a little at a time. This reminds me of a young friend of mine (guy in his early 20s) who was writing his memoirs. He didn't have any astonishing experiences. I remember thinking "what do you have to write about, baby boy? You haven't even lived yet." I also thought that project was a very arrogant undertaking. What made him that amazing that anyone would read it. Who knows? Maybe I was jealous because I hadn't written mine:D Great chapter.

Author's Response: I'm amazed myself. Some of those challenges are hard! Lol. That's very interesting about your friend's memoirs. I wonder what he would have to write about. The only thing I can think of is if you had an amusing childhood life. I'm reminded of the novels by the outdoorsman, Patrick McManus. He's books were a thundering success because they were all about his childhood, and they were insanely funny (like A Fine and Pleasant Misery). Of course, he wrote these as a reflection at least some thirty-odd years later.

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 01/30/11 11:18
Chapter: Remembering Love

Sometimes I wonder if Theo is dreaming these scenes or if they're really happening. It seems that in a lot of your stories, you use dreams. I guess it doesn't matter. The story is well written as always and it all becomes clear in the end. I think that also keeps me reading because I want to know what the reality is:D Now I would be afraid of flying because I have a fear of heights. I don't think Theo has a fear of heights. I think it's more a fear of his mother abandoning him. Whether it's a symbolic abandonment because it became time for him to grow wings and leave or if she really did abandon him, through death or leaving him. It really doesn't make any difference because whether it happened or it's his imagination, it is affecting his reality and his comfort with flying. Great chapter.

Author's Response: I think Theo's flashbacks do have a dreamlike quality to them, especially since these are memories of so long ago, at such a young age. What he remembers are truths, for certain, but they could also be distorted because of his age at the time - a sort of deterioration of the mind. And, yes, I do use dreams a lot in my stories. Hehe. I suppose I'm fascinated with the subconscious. ^_^

You are very right that Theo is not so much afraid of heights or flying. Instead, he has abandonment issues. While his mother did not consciously abandon him, she did die - and he is afraid of losing those close to him, which is why he doesn't allow anyone to get close... until Luna (aww). ^_^

Thanks so much for the review, love. I do love my Theo drabbles, and I hope that they connect to tell a story. I did what I could with the prompts and challenges. :D

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 01/20/11 11:50
Chapter: Going Home

Did I mention that I love how you are writing Luna? She's so mysterious, almost like an angel or a ghost, popping up when you least expect her. I'm almost getting the feeling that she doesn't exist except in Theo's mind. Did Daphne have any idea that Theo loved her? That was so sad. I can see him wandering the earth, mourning his lost love who is always there but just out of reach. I got the feeling that Theo was startled to find that he had become so popular. I'm not sure if I can describe this or not, but it was almost as if he had used his time to work hard and fit into the Muggle world--that he had learned something--but when he came back, other magical folk treated him as if he had gone on a cute, little adventure just to get his restlessness out of his system. Great chapter.

Author's Response: Oh, I'm glad you're liking Luna. I've tried to keep her like the Luna we know, but tempering her with a bit more intelligence and maturity, which, in my mind, does make her a bit more mysterious - almost Dumbledore like. And it's very interesting how you note that she doesn't seem to exist except in Theo's mind, because Theo makes mention of that later...Hehe.

And, no, I don't think Daphne ever knew, and, if she did, she's a cruel woman. But you do end up feeling quite sad for Theo, but I promise it does get better. As for his popularity, Theo is startled. He was just writing about being a Muggle and didn't think that his journey would become so romanticised. I'm also very pleased that you noted that this wasn't just some thing Theo needed to get out of his system - it is a part of who he is now, another page he has turned in his life.

Thanks so much for reviewing, love. ^_^

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 01/14/11 7:33
Chapter: The Journey

I am not at all artistic when it comes to painting or drawing or things of that nature. I have always thought, though, that if I were an artist I would have the most fun painting sky scenes. I love to watch the sky at sunrise and sunset. I love to watch sunrises and sunsets, as well as, moon rises and moon sets. I love to watch the clouds, especially if there's a bad summer storm coming. I love lightning. I hate grown-ups who squash the creativity of children, and of dogs for that matter. Those types of grown-ups are just jealous because the children or dogs are more talented than they are. Great chapter. I almost forgot. Thanks for assuming I might be a trusted author and could publish whenever I want. But, alas, I'm a mere fledgling author and have to wait for my chapters to be validated. I have Chapter 7, entitled "A Ritual Journey" sitting in the queue awaiting validation.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review, love. And, yes, I have to wait a while for validations too. Poor us. =(

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 01/11/11 18:56
Chapter: The Beginning

I liked that a lot. It was very interesting. I was especially intrigued after reading the End Notes. I loved how you described Luna. She sounded so mysterious and more unusual than she's typically described. Theodore Nott is a character who's not usually written about. Even though it's after the War, I find it curious that a Slytherin Pure-Blood would not live the life of a gentleman but would choose to work for the Quibbler--to write something that might actually mean something. It was strange to read about a cold place, like Moscow. Do you know that it was -33 degrees with the wind chill when I drove to work late this morning? When I drove home late in the afternoon the landscape looked like I was on another planet. There was this pristine snow swirling about--snow crystals glittering in the sun. It kind of felt like I was in a snowglobe. I do hope you check out Once Upon a Time. I'm submitting Chapter 7 tomorrow. Excellent chapter, yours is, by the way:D

Author's Response: I have come to adore Theodore while writing these drabbles. I must admit that the prompts /and/ challenges were a bit tricky to fulfill whilst trying to write a chronological narrative. And Theo, in my mind, is kind perfect for a Slyth who decides to try something noble. He has never been a follow the crowd type. He never participated in the war - so I kinda saw this as Theo consciously making the effort to change, to be a better man.

And, yes, it is cold. Although, it hasn't been as cold in Canada as it has been the last few years, which I have spent in the US, where it's cold! I swear the snow is following me!

I shall check out your chapter as soon as my head stops throbbing, which will hopefully be tomorrow. ^_^ Thanks, love.

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