I do so enjoy the characters and the setting, in this story! Both the theatre production and St Andrews are very vividly present. And also your love of music comes through.
Claire and Maglor/Mark seem to be good for each other, at least for now. It can hardly be permanent, but I do hope it lasts for a while, for both of them.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Himring! I'm really pleased it all works for you. And yes, I think they do each other good; as you point out, it can't be forever so there is going to be that bittersweet edge, but I don't want to spend too much time on the sad side of things - at least, not in this story. It's supposed to be a relatively happy interlude!
I think you write so wonderfully because you read. It’s so obvious. Some author said that if you don’t read extensively you don’t have the tools to write, and I honestly think all the best writers are very well read. And although I love fanfic, you can tell if some-one reads simply by their vocabulary, and it seems more and more now as if people who write fanfic don’t read much at all. So I tend to stick ton the fanfic authors who clearly do. It’s brilliant to write, but writers do need to read as well.
Author's Response: I want to say it was either Kurt Vonnegut or Stephen King - possibly both? It's good advice. Pink always told me to read everything I could get my hands on! I know what you mean, though; you can definitely tell who reads. For example, your work has an incredible Biblical/epic/Shakespearean quality to it, and you can tell from Pink's prose that she devours modern American literature. I'm flattered you think it comes across in my stories too - I actually don't read half as much as I'd like to, but I guess that's just life!
I was so caught up in the play and the little things Mark did and the family feel to it, only to have you suddenly pull me into the ancient past:
*I saw smiling faces, bathed in the dancing glow of firelight. They were all male, all beautiful, and long-haired like Mark - one red-haired, several dark, one silver and one golden. One of the dark-haired ones lay cradled in the arms of the redhead, who was stroking his brow, and the firelight glinted against the golden thread braided through his hair.*
It brought tears to my eyes. Really it did. The memory, the nostalgia, the sorrow. So beautifully done, Narya.
I didn't expect it to make me feel the way it did, as if I was actually there listening to Mark's music and transported. Wow!
Thank you. Lovely chapter. :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Gabriel! I like playing about with that contrast between the modern and mundane, and the mythic power of Middle-earth's early days. And no prizes for guessing who was sitting around the fire ;)
I'm delighted that you felt you were actually listening to the music and experienced in the way Claire did; that makes me a very happy author!
Oh this may be my favorite chapter yet! It is wonderful all the details you've put in that hint to his background and harken back to his life before:
then I gasped as he tossed his blade into the air, rolled away, and caught the rapier in his other hand without even looking to check where it was.
This part was excellent, how those lyrics take on a different meaning when you know who Mark really is.but his eyes flared dangerously when the lyrics spoke of sinking ships to retain his crown, and you couldn't help wondering if he might just mean it –
This made me laugh out loud! I love the thought of Maglor in a glam rock phase because OF COURSE HE HAD A GLAM ROCK PHASE WHO ARE WE KIDDING?“I went through a glam rock phase. In fact...”
He hunted through the pile of trousers and produced a pair of supple black leather leggings. “I used to wear it with these.”,
Her description of him was so spot on in so many ways and you could tell it affected him.
But oh the song! And the images it created for her. He still has the Power in his songs--to create music of beauty and depth and conjure up images and memories.
truly a lovely chapter and I feel so for him. Never staying in one place long. Always keeping himself apart. Lovely, Narya.
Author's Response: Yay, I'm so happy you like it! And yes, I couldn't resist a little bit of a nod to the past there; those lyrics have too many tempting parallels for me to just leave it alone ;)
Ah, the glam rock comment - had to be done. At some point I really must explore what Maglor got up to in the second half of the 20th century - no doubt lots of adventures and shenanigans!
He does still have Power in his music, yes, to conjure up specific stories, and to generally enchant. I have half an idea for other ways that Power could develop and manifest, but I don't think it will come into this story. And you're right, he does keep himself apart, but Claire has it spot on; it's a long and lonely existence for him, and every so often he can't stop himself from getting involved in the lives of mortals.
Thank you so much, Nelya, as always.
I am so enjoying this. It’s so beautifully written, and your descriptions are to die for : when the nights were still long but autumn is drawing near, and with it the bite of frost and the damp, bitter taint of rotting leaves. As someone who grew up in the country, I can ‘taste and smell this’
I also love this because it so not a typical Maglor-in-the-future story. And because your Claire, is just not typical either, whereas everyone is going ga-ga over Maglor, there’s such a sensitivity and caring about her in regard to him, a protective ness, almost, so it is no surprise that he is beginning to open up to her.
Author's Response: Aww, thank you so much, that means such a lot! I do like to write "with all five senses" but I worry that it'll sound pretentious or forced, especially in first person narrative, so I'm glad you think the balance is right.
Funnily enough I haven't read many Maglor-in-the-future stories - some, but not loads. I've had this arc in my head for such a long time and I wanted it to develop my way, and not be too influenced by where other authors have taken the trope (does that even make sense!?). I'm really pleased you like Claire :) she's a joy to write - protective is definitely the right word! She does mother her flatmates, although not Maglor to the same extent, but that protective streak is something we'll see more of as we get further into the story.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave such lovely comments, especially with everything else that's going on. *Hugs*
Sorry Narya. For some reason this didn't appear in my gmail like it should have. :/
Anyway, I loved this! I love the 'family' dynamics that go on in this. How Claire treats her cousin and Theo almost like they're her sons.
And the dream she had Narya! Interesting. How she felt the despair and saw the ancient light under the waves. That just dredges up all the torturous misery and loss that Maglor/Mark has been through. Terribly sad. :(
Author's Response: Don't worry at all! :) I'm so pleased you liked it. Claire is a bit of a mother hen - although I don't think she'll have much luck if she tries to mother Maglor/Mark ;) the dream was actually a bit of late inspiration, I added it while I was redrafting the chapter. I'm glad you think it works. It is sad - but don't worry, the idea for this story is to give Maglor/Mark a bit of a respite from all the darkness. Of course it will be alluded to, but I wanted to explore him developing a genuine friendship with someone, or several someones. I can't cope with the idea of him alone and unhappy for all time!
I don’t know if your ever read the Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper, though I suppose they’d be classed as ‘teen’ books, but they’re incredibly good. She has the same skill at blending ordinary daily lives and normal people with myth and magic and ‘otherworldy’ characters so that it’s absolutely believable. It’s surprisingly rare to read, and I feel the same about this.
Author's Response: I haven't read that, no - I will have to look it out! I really enjoy playing about with the modern and the mythical/magical overlapping; I had fun with it when I was writing Second Chance, so it's nice to explore a similar dynamic here. Thank you for your lovely comments :)
this is so beautiful: I'd dreamed of the sea, I remembered, as a gull wailed from a rooftop across the street – of the sea, and an ancient white light under the waves. Suddenly I felt deeply, achingly unhappy – beyond sad, drifting near the edge of despair, but too numbed to hurt now to feel its full force...
What I love is how you weave the every-day, modern-day, into the legendarium, the aches and tragedy and drama of so long ago!
Author's Response: Aw, thank you so much, that's exactly what I'm aiming to do so I'm really happy you think it's working! I am going up to St Andrews this summer, so now I am going to be imagining Maglor standing on the end of the pier, staring soulfully out to sea...
Oh! So it's 'Pirates of Penzance'. I've heard of it, but am not familiar with the story. [Sorry, just looked it up.] Sounds really good.
Were you ever in a production of it, Narya? It's just you seem to know a bit about it. :)
Author's Response: Haha, yes I was :) I don't think you need to be familiar with the story of it though. I love musical theatre in general; it's something I really miss, working full time. Oh well! When I retire I can be the mad lady in the local Am Dram society ;)
Hi Narya! Really sorry about taking so long to review. Minds been churning over with many ideas and if I don't write them down straight away, it's gone.
This was such an enjoyable chapter.
I love how Claire takes on the role of 'Mum' to her cousin and Theo when they get up to mischief or do idiotic things.
And just out of curiosity is Theo a friend of theirs or family? I feel a little silly asking. I just can't quite remember if it's already been mentioned.
I did feel a little sorry for him on several occasions, thought Claire was a tad harsh on him. Playing Mum, maybe she thought he should have known better, or at the least, thought before he leapt. But, then again, she is only reacting this way because she cares so much.
And Maglor. Gorgeous Maglor. How does he put one foot in front of the other, when the scar on his hand is a reminder of all he has lost. And what a guy! Offering up his expert assistance to fill in for Harrison. And it's absolutely no surprise that Maglor fit in perfectly with everyone on stage and in his role. He is in his element.
*Theo turned to Mark. "There's a bit of sword fighting, but you can always just jump about and wave the sword around if you get stuck."
Mark laughed, a wonderful, melodic sound with a soft dark echo. "How hard can it be?"
Somehow I got the impression he was well-versed in stage fighting too.*
Well-versed indeed. Sadly, he is an expert on the subject.
Author's Response: Don't worry at all! We all have lives to lead, and I know how demanding story ideas are. Make sure you give them the attention they deserve ;) thank you for the kind comments about the chapter. Yes, Claire does do the "Mum" thing a fair bit; she's older than her housemates, we'll get a bit more of her backstory later. Theo is a friend, but I don't think I've said so explicitly yet. She's hard on him at times, yes, but he can be a bit of a prat, as we'll see! And Maglor, of course, makes a perfect Pirate King ;) do you know the show at all? Thanks for commenting, Gabriel :)
Narya this was wonderful! Oh how I love Maglor in the modern world. He's just lovely. Confident, charismatic but with just that bit of distance. I loved how the others were skeptical and as the reader you just know he's been down this road so many times and that his performance will be electric, brilliant, awe inspiring because this is Kanafinwë Makalaurelë Fëanorion and there is nothing he can't do with music.
Ahem. And sword fighting. I think he might manage a bit more than just waving his sword around.
The description of his hand burn got to me. Very believable.
Author's Response: Ahh, thank you Nelya, I'm glad you like him! Confident with a little distance is just how I see him, so I'm glad that came across - and he's Maglor, he's bound to be charismatic ;) I think the boys are sceptical because he looks unusual, but of course we know he'll be amazing. I think they might be surprised by his sword fighting too. Writing the burn made me cringe a little; I hate doing that to him, but in my head that's the only one of the many physical scars he picks up over the years that will never fade.
This is lovely, Narya, and also poignant, that sadness, that melancholy that is in Maglor’s playing and his voice, really runs through all this; it’s an impression that never leaves me.
Author's Response: Thank you! It's something that has always struck me too - the power and sadness of his voice. Glad you're enjoying :)
Sorry about this Narya! Been very busy lately. :/
*As soon as the door swung shut behind him, she turned to me with wide eyes and a giddy grin. "Oh-my-GOD!"
"What?" I asked, although I had a fair idea.
"He is gorgeous! Who is he?"
I was right. "His name's Mark. He's a Philosophy post-doc."
"Older than you," I laughed. "I don't know - maybe early-thirties?"
"That's not too old," she said thoughtfully. "Single?"
"Can you invite him over for drinks?"
"What? No! Rosie."*
Haha! Yes, he is gorgeous isn't he, Rosie. Wow! She doesn't waste any time does she. In her mind she and Maglor are already married with three kids. lol
Poor Claire. Unbeknowns to her, she's been effectively, roped, hog-tied and chucked on a truck headed for the next town, by her own friend.
Super enjoyable. :)
Author's Response: I am so late replying, I'm sorry! I'm pleased you like this - thank you for your comments. I plan to post more either later today or early this week. And nope, Rosie is not a time-waster ;) although Maglor will undoubtedly not see things in the same way at all!
I am looking forward to where you tak this, Narya :)
Author's Response: Ahh, thanks! Glad you're along for the ride; I hope you enjoy it.
lovely- def another few chapters needed!!
Author's Response: Thank you, ziggy - it's mostly drafted, don't worry! :) Just needs a bit of spit and polish.