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REVIEWS, RECS, FEEDBACK on B/A FAN FICTION, ART, OTHER

 
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sybil
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Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 861

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:21 pm    Post subject: REVIEWS, RECS, FEEDBACK on B/A FAN FICTION, ART, OTHER Reply with quote

For Janas, a loyal and devoted forum poster, artist, and fic writer of the IWRY 2013 celebration for her story, "The Predator"

http://iwry-marathon.livejournal.com/
I am trying to be a “good little soldier” and give feedback instead of just gobbling up the goodies and running.

Goddess! I just love your Buffy and your humor and the horror of Buffy right before the Gift already in my mind’s eye. I just knew Angel was with her—she did name him-- thoughts as “internalized lessons” in those who helped her to really hear her intuition and you really showed me how in the connection she left as lesson: the struggle can’t trump “believe.” The reason, the hope, the happy!

My sweet, dear, darling, Janas!

This is not just “feedback” but, like my posts, meanders all over because I love how you think and I love to chat with you about all kinds of stuff. (It’s all your fault (Ha!) because you seem to grasp these people the way I do. A lot).

CONGRATULATIONS! From the first sentence, I already knew “where I was” in time with your characterization of Angel and one of the best parts, of course, is that the reader * feels * the struggle Angel endures when he acts * and * when he doesn’t. It’s just all the time. That is pretty horrible and it also means his mind operates on several levels.

I think in rhymes and they pop out, out of control, so I couldn’t help notice that wonderful line:
“A vampire with a soul, but today he risked losing control” to poetically summarize this character; to follow with the wonderful way you pose the conflict of very different kinds of “satisfaction” that comes next in “saved” and “sated.” When is there “enough” seems to be a huge question you did pose, and I also happen to consider, not only Angel, but the nature of all human beings.

Jeebers, a predator “killing him” and “again!”

One of my favorite lines ever, and I am dying to know the answer. “How do you kill something already dead?” Your answer tells me and I don’t know how this guy is even walking. It all comes back and it isn’t just losing control, but finding any reason * not * to lose control and to keep moving, find a purpose, find a meaning that will sustain an eternity of always wanting to lose control and to also just give up. Another kind of “losing control.”

I love, love the contrast of sun to moon with Darla and Buffy; that is an “all about Angel” if I ever heard one.

Because I have seen you do some very difficult work in English in the ease of your sentence flow, the use of idiom and of slang, and make it all sound like a kind of musical “American” norm, I will stick this in for your consideration. Please know I barely manage English and I was born in it and don’t know much or enough of any other language. Kairos is a very practiced and knowledgeable person and I just want to offer a little thing that “gives away” you aren’t a native English speaker, even if you do communicate your feelings and your ideas very well.

This line might have more energy (and contrast). YOURS: The Predator was broken down like a wild horse which not meant to be tamed.

Now then. Check with Kairos because all the sentences around this one give the whole paragraph a weight, an emphasis and that is the art of the thing, too. (And I do think you really convey your own very clear understanding about the “art of the thing”).

MINE: The Predator had broken down, like a wild horse, never meant to be tamed.
Or The Predator had broken down, like a wild horse, never to be tamed. It is the “which” part of the clause and it needs a verb. Even “is” will do. Like this: “Which is not meant to be tamed. “

Kairos: this is passive voice, but I think to keep the “brooding” thing…active, is necessary for that sentence and should retain the passive voice in opposition/contrast to the active voice in Janas descriptions of actions, especially the phone call to Buffy, even if done in “past tense.”

Janas: “Daily grind English” is “put together” in a kind of “ iambic pentameter” a poetic meter, “saying five”

It sounds like a walking horse. Ha! Kaklop kaklop, kaklop, kaklop, kaklop. Boring!


Weak strong, weak strong weak strong five times.

Your meter is so melodic because of your own language and I enjoy your use of English because of it.

The following sentences in your work really do show your appreciation for poetry in sound and in contrasting structures. Even as you point out similarities, they “end up” so very opposite. I just love that. LOVE, LOVE. (You want to edit a huge book I have in a few pieces that needs serious chopping, the way you set up your images? Nothing like “giving in one hand” and “taking with the other.” I know everyone is all inspired and busy and the time of year means more pressure, but I really just want to say how much I do see and appreciate some very difficult, strong writing in a style (I think) is critical to explaining, seeing and understanding Angel/Angelus, and how he sees these women truly shape his very being in how to live in the world.

Then! You take me straight into the meat of the story and you do that wonderful poetry and opposition again with Kate.

I know the actress quit and went to “Law and Order;” and I know a lot of people hated her, so I am going to “just chat” I really like her. ( Cangel gives me hives, literally, because fans don’t want to understand “nothing happened..” Does no one understand the “lack of connection” symbolized in the phonecalls, for example? I saw Nina’s story as an entire failure from “going after the chefs and not the human diners that could be in a human court, not to mention the “slip” when Angel was NOT under “possession.” But I digress).

I really did hope Kate would have been an Angel helper/scoobie because of her access to the criminal justice legal system and also show a strong woman could ‘know a thing” “take care of herself,” as well as have emotional problems that motivate her to be “so good,” and to be vulnerable. And no, I hated “another terrible Daddy” that she kept trying to stupidly impress, * as if * she couldn’t be comfortable with any other man in her life. I think this episode of realizing she is indeed a visionary and she understands even the “evil world” is not as simple as she’d like was perfect. But your story really does some great things in describing Angelus in a whole fresh way).

I love the up and down and complicated view of Angelus’ feelings. Baroque, morose, contradictory, but the line that just slipped in as smooth as suede, was

“We all have a predator that lives within the depths of our souls. But mine, thought Angel, has a name. Angelus.”
That you surround each one of us with this HORRIBLE monster was shocking and humbling, but I also love how you show a weird kind of hope. If you name it, you know can hurt it, or learn to hurt it; you know what to fight.
I can’t even tell you what a soft place to hear Buffy’s voice, exactly in the thinky, hard to communicate with words that describe something wrong, but her emotional response always feels so open, sweet, loving, “him first” and you got all of that plus Angel’s emotional response to how deeply he loves even her mistakes, almost such earnestness is not “the funny” that such a man could be such a cynical person, but he isn’t and he knows Buffy likes to get it right, so he corrects “the words” but nothing about her. I find that you show this romance and “word smith” as two kinds of connection. One is unspoken, the other is how we approach others. Using the “right words,” but do we really “connect” in what we mean? How else can we begin to connect to others, but by “naming the thing” as you showed Angel does his Predator? Good stuff, Janas.
And Goddess! I just love how you show Buffy praise him, believe him, show him he can do so much good because he really is good! And then you go and do the reveal that TEARS MY HEART OUT! We never know when the last words will be the last words.
But I am so HAPPY!!! That you saved the whole story to “save” and “sate” us to have those moments that make “all the difference” the moment that saves us all
You answered the question of “what is enough” and kept the implied promise you would show us all how we can recognize it.
Thanks, for a wonderful story and gorgeous story in a language even more people can read, understand, and appreciate as much as I did.
HUGS!
sybil
cumaensybil@hotmail.com
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Kairos
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've often thought that translations into English, or writing from non-native speakers of English, are sometimes more beautiful than what writers who are trained in the language itself can produce. There's an unexpected quality to words that don't quite match the thought in the writer's mind, and in a way that's the best thing that we can strive for.

For example, when a wild or green horse is first trained to carry a rider, it's said to be "broken" - an archaic and uncomfortable term, but one which in fiction has the benefit of offering a double meaning. I don't know if Janas knew that - many English speakers don't - but either way, I like what it adds to her analogy.

Janas, I owe you more of a review than this, but for now just let me reiterate how happy I am that you wrote this. Your note about me was very touching, too. Smile
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janas
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Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 455
Location: Italia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a few days ago, I received an email from a very young girl, she only 25 years old and she said that for a long time following my stories, even though her never left a review on the site where I write my fic (it's a Italian site like fanfiction.net). She said that what prompted her to contact me, it's because she danger of losing the sight in both eyes for a terrible infection, (..and for a wrong diagnosis by incompetent doctors.) She asked me to keep writing fanfic, because, she says, I can carry her inside the heart of Buffy and Angel better than anyone else ..until she can still read, he wants to keep the emotions that her receives from my stories. He called my fanfic intense, real, corporeal, three-dimensional .. and now I'm writing a story dedicated to her. It is centered on the "See with your mind's eye.."

Ok, maybe I digress, Sybil ..then I read your comment and you also have talked about "See with your mind's eye.."

I read your post last night, but I couldn't answer because I was touched. I have done read your post at my son, and you are able to intrigue he, so he has read the fic. He wanted to read it in English and I said: "wow.. Mom, you're making progress, it is well written.." Smile Then I showed him the original copy (without Kairos corrections), and he laughed for an hour Laughing and saying "Anyone is Kairos, it's certainly a very patient person"

Okay, now I'm back touched, and YES, Kairos is many things to me ..in addition to being a patient person. She it's the first person who answered some of my LJ post, and I didn't know her at all. When I found out that she was the same person who had written some of my favorite fanfic (some of them I read them over and over again), you can't imagine when I was glad to have met her. So I started to read everything she wrote, its revisions comics, her thoughts, her re watching.. everything, and from a link from her LJ, I am then come on this forum ..and I met all of you. Home. For me this is home. The Italian fandom is now almost non-existent and the few remaining people, have left the fandom after the season eight. Instead I continue to love Buffy and Angel, I hear them still inside of me, and I still need to write stories about the two of them. Participate in this marathon was very important to me, and this has happened thanks to Kairos.

The Predator.

"The Predator was broken down like a wild horse which not meant to be tamed."

Every time I watch Becoming Part 1, I have this mental image of Angelus like a wild horse that runs away because he is aware that soon will lose its freedom. He does not want to be harnessed and runs in a vain attempt to escape capture. When the old gypsy recites the ritual of the curse, we see Angelus running wildly, as to escape the imprisonment of the soul. It's the last desperate attempt to resist, because he don't want to succumb to the weight of the soul, like a wild horse that loves freedom (the reins would be soul imposed against her will ) Angelus doesn't want to stop his run (mad rush)

No matter how I try to dispel that image and to rationalize it, I still see her in my mind. Even the background music, I seem to hear a frantic gallop and every time I think Angelus that at that moment he realized that his race was over forever, as if it was his swan song ). I hated Angelus from Surprise on, while in the scene Becoming I felt sorrow for him.

Thank you, Sybil. Can I publish your comment in my LJ? Heart

Kairos Smile Heart

hugs to both
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sybil
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Joined: 13 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Embarassed Shocked Drooling Laughing

Yes! Yes! You can do as you wish with that "review"--and looking it over, I wish it was stronger for you. I would have posted it originally to your site, but I couldn't find "how."

I agree that the shrinking fandom is sad, especially because of the efforts to keep these people alive. I just didn't realize that a. they were avatars; b. the idea is make everyone 12 to "do it again," and never "become". Becoming happens til we die, but we recognize growth in stages to which we can't return in the physical world, even if you think of thinking as "material." Foetus, infant, child, young adult, adult, aged.

I agree, it is very discouraging that so many people decided Spuffy was the "growth" * and * great destiny "at long last." ( Shocked Laughing Confused A Bit Shifty ).

I thought it was just "blind" to ever think Angel had one sexual affair after another in his series; with Buffy as some embarrassing episode as a "lap dog" to Buffy in what so many insist is the more "mature" show of ATS.

ATS is not more mature; it is ten times more confused--it isn't more "morally gray"--Buffy's choices and actual changes "in the gray" toward compassion are; and that is why Angel stays stuck as a vampire. Vampire=stuck.

I also was more upset at Buffy's character than Angel's in season 8, and I didn't think the entire premise was workable: Buffy always knows it is Angel. Even when he was human. He had to be "not Angel." I also think the "blame game" is fair because the writers refused to clarify the "when" of possession. Angel always blames himself for every act, even when he isn't himself. That's why they call them "demons."

Season 8 I finally got the "union of opposites" in a specifically physical and spiritual union that is exactly what happens with zen and/or tantra. I also got their declarations of enduring love for each other.

HOwever, I do understand the direction toward adulthood in the loss of magic and yet they also destroy "potential" (see Fray). This is simply that mankind will destroy himself, if not all life on the planet; this is the belief system where I get off the boat. There is never a death of "story," so how can this be?

I think it is "just genius" that you show Angelus trying to outrun his "fate" in the imagery of the untamed horse. First, the animal is the totem of Irish people. Second, consequences are running right behind him, and it is through the word--the very whips that hurt Liam and started him running, literally from his life. Now Angelus is the rogue stallion, destroying families, but fighting even the "rope" of his own position in the vampire family as he also runs *from * his own vampire family. (Kinda heroic, hee hee).

Let's face it. It is interesting that females are the power for survival in horse herds, and the top stallion of the "herd" has been Darla. Darla is topped, actually, by Buffy, who was shown running * to * protect, for she is "bound/cursed" by actions, not words, to protect the hareem of humanity; Just as fierecely as Angelus runs * from * the very vines of binding (curse) and his entire vampire family to save his own 'unlife.'

And you put that imagery of those different scenes together. Buffy and Angelus running as fire in wind--the limbs and manes. I do seem them as predator and prey in a reversal. Usually the "stag" is the prey to the "wolf. " I never thought of that "mirror" of Buffy and, oh, my, Angelus around the horse. Nooo he can't be a wonderful horsey, a prey animal. Nooo. But, you are right, he is.

Angelus is now prey and I should feel sorry for him, actually being tortured for all eternity *as much * as Angel and, worse, every slayer ever born facing the torture of her birthright? Nooooo. hee hee)

But what is really important in what you say is in the idea of freedom. The idea that "doing what you want, whenever you want" is NOT freedom. There is never "enough" of anything that way. That is torture.

That Buffy as the horse is within her training, she actually is the one who is free: she has purpose, she has meaning, she has satisfaction and self worth that isn't merely empty pride. These make the imagery of the horse so clear. It is the symbol of freedom and the "wild west" in America * still *. This idea of freedom makes the story both an Irish tale, an American tale with a human "tail" all recognize. hee hee.

I am anguished for this young woman; we are sight animals, and the simplest things of having to order everything around you to find them again, to not bang into things, to feel as if you are losing the world or even "going outside" become very difficult, especially because this person isn't trained in all the ways that are 'normal' living to someone born blind. This loss of a blessing into the unknown still having "the mind's eye" is a difficult balance between "the real world" and "a past that cannot return but in dream." It takes so much bravery to keep moving forward.

I really hope and wish that there is something to be done. I am aware that doing one thing means burdens somewhere else. I am aware that seeing a little still may not give her an easy path to career or an independence she may wish for herself and can actually be frustrating.

I am sure, while she is sighted, she will start finding those people who know, who can help, who will show, maybe by starting now to help those who can't see at all, she will start training herself. I am aware Braille is difficult and the internet isn't in it. She must have a strong mind already to appreciate Beauty, and yes, the eternal kinds of beauty, despite torments that so often blind us all to it.
HUGS!
sybil
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Kairos
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

janas wrote:
Just a few days ago, I received an email from a very young girl, she only 25 years old and she said that for a long time following my stories, even though her never left a review on the site where I write my fic (it's a Italian site like fanfiction.net). She said that what prompted her to contact me, it's because she danger of losing the sight in both eyes for a terrible infection, (..and for a wrong diagnosis by incompetent doctors.) She asked me to keep writing fanfic, because, she says, I can carry her inside the heart of Buffy and Angel better than anyone else ..until she can still read, he wants to keep the emotions that her receives from my stories. He called my fanfic intense, real, corporeal, three-dimensional .. and now I'm writing a story dedicated to her. It is centered on the "See with your mind's eye.."


What an amazing story. I'll say a prayer for her...very sad situation, but I'm glad she found your fiction, and I'm glad she spoke up to tell you about it.

Quote:
I read your post last night, but I couldn't answer because I was touched. I have done read your post at my son, and you are able to intrigue he, so he has read the fic. He wanted to read it in English and I said: "wow.. Mom, you're making progress, it is well written.." Smile Then I showed him the original copy (without Kairos corrections), and he laughed for an hour Laughing and saying "Anyone is Kairos, it's certainly a very patient person"


Patience? Being a beta means people thank me for simply reading and talking about good B/A fanfiction. Nothing could be better!

Nothing except reading this post of yours and what you said about me, that is. I just spent some time going through links in LJ and looking back at old posts and all the B/A discussions we all used to have there - I think I could spend days doing that, but anyway it's nice to nice to revisit memories sometimes. I'm so glad I met you too, and grateful for everything you've brought to our fandom. And now I'm wondering if it's time for another member love thread around here...

Interesting thoughts about Angelus running from his soul. Makes me want to use that metaphor in a fanfic...but not without crediting you, of course. Smile
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sybil
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One story website began with a note re abortion and my review noted nary a single effort to prevent conception between human Buffy and Angel was mentioned for so important an issue /belief of the author, so I won't add anything else on that review.

Taaroko is a member here.

11 7 13 My dear Taaroko. First off, your writing makes me think you a very warm and plucky human being. It is very hard to use characters that don’t talk “tons” in a medium using words.

I enjoy the fact you aren’t afraid of a longer sentence. Scenes and feelings in the same breath are rather how we, the viewers, see.
(I was surprised to read a B/A story starting off with a Riley that isn’t standing wall paper paste. I live in the Midwest and you actually do capture what the “heartland” is really like—even though “love of the land” for me would look a whole lot different). However! I really saw something that uplifted me so much. All these people actually * survived * their wars, even Riley, who was and did actually kinda “cut his heart out” to save Buffy. Anybody notice that in ticking off the generations—they had one to follow? That is the difference. They *lived * and that counts. Awesome, intentional or not. (And thanks for not bumping off Joyce—or is that the other shoe for the next story?)

You made Mr. Pasty and perfectly “normal” actually have an interior life of family pressure, angst, disappointment, and a whole porcupine of stabby “life is shabby.” (oh! So that is how the frankenweenie works).

Your story has lots of accidents that are pretty disastrous. Ha! Destiny can be described a lot of different ways.

It actually was so in character—because Buffy was having so many problems with her own life, he kept everything inside and then blew up in an ultimatum—it all makes sense with your backstory.

Anyway, I was “B/A only” and had avoided Riley anything (yes, the die!Riley!die squad, of course) and you made me take a look that “normal” isn’t a ‘dulcet choir of chirping little birdies,’ either. So put that in the “bone pile” of your writing victories over my hard head.

And the “H—K word! Oh, my! Reality is crashing in! I have to say I kinda snickered on “mental can of worms” for a play on “metal”—it’s an Eastern element for Angel—and even the *mother * --you bet Riley expects kids—Claire, as light, air, and all that (Buffy) stuff for the pastoral –snicker-- “life of Riley.” (a tv series of a normal guy fraught with comedic disasters)—but I look for symbols and pun fun; words never say what they mean, but mean what the say. Ha ha! You make my brain explode in happy strings of lights! Yes, those particular names picked have meaning, including “crown, “he who puts fixed”, “little king,” etc. Admirable canon and new connections.

I didn’t understand why the window was barred (until later, and jeebers, a child what a dark turn—Ryan) because * church (!) barbeques—inquiring minds want to know…(snicker). That is a juxtaposition I “know what you mean”—but visions of kids noticing that bed in the room beyond and forgetting the “church” part for the “heat,” also led to me thinking of “burning churches”—something Angelus might find amusing instead of just the evil of a burning cross.

Cordy…I so loved to hate her, but you make her, practical and priceless and so on point. But Wesley saying “smashing” “a little too brightly”—with Cordy judging the “dismount,” just left me laughing. The best part is the use of time. (Time is a favorite character and you just had to do such a great job with it! Goobles you up!)

As I was saying—well, you said. Fear is clearly expressed, fully expecting the worst to get “worser,” in “did you have a vision,” and actually stretching time to go through protocols and practical realities like pay—and more of it. (Something women really must learn to ask). And then the twist of time (fate?) that links the pyromaniacs and then through my totally B/A lens, the dread. It did. The soul.

(And, Buffy not giving up for “another way” gave me heart. Why haven’t they found it? Sigh).

You noticed that, huh. How Angel was an “extension” of Buffy and kept the outsider, despite his saving them all. (Still hurts, doesn’t it)? But you again salvaged Riley with all that really loving maturity, instead of that bratty ultimatum “love is about me!” But…then you did that thing…”someone after Angel? “ Die! Riley! Die!!! —I want to smash him harder. Okay, pant and rant over. Hee. He says he gets it, and then just misses the mark.

I love that you have Buffy’s circle of “those in the know” increase just by knowing her identity. But, I swooooooned that you understand the nature of magic in balance. I hadn’t realized “back in the tv day” how Xander, such a loyal guy, was also a creep that wasn’t about “Daddy or peer pressure.” Green eyes, much?

The dates you use are so considered, I just love how hard you worked to make your story really have a reality that just doesn’t feel AU, but extends understanding. (And thanks for Dennis and Doyle. OH, thanks for Doyle more. (“Steady supply” hee hee. Loved to smooshy pieces all the when and where and choice with * consequences. * : choosing your own life is also the sacrifice).

I think the connecting phones are interesting—they each already know the message and they “disconnect.”

And then you make us feel sorry for a monster! It’s all just horror. NO! A whole different past could happen? I’m slain. I love anyone who can make time past, present, future so at once and Kathy lives.

And you are killing me. The claddaghs! I think the good stuff bursts my banks more than angst. I laughed at the interrupting phone—we all drop our lives on a “ring”—like Pavlov’s dogs. Haha! I keep going Poor Buffy, Poor Angel. Ha. You wicked person.

Glad too, you didn’t let Buffy blow past that “I” in Angel being Angelus, and having to stake him. She listens, not just hears with Angel. Yes, I remember Riley’s (noisy –and mechanical) departing and she barely noticed, even though she is a kind of shock both situations.

And! The right * meaning * to “I’m not done.” It means together, finally!

“’She let out a noise somewhere between a laugh and a sob and kissed him back.’” That’s exactly the paradox that would happen—I felt that way, too.

It took me a bit to get through the final part, but “it all took.” Thank you.

I’m not a member of fanfic.net—hence, the email. The viruses there ate my computer, but I love seeing you have more fic. Thank you for all your thinky, the horrible awful worstest, and huge (happy) heart.


HUGS!
Sybil
cumaensybil@hotmail.com
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