Reading Reviews for Ashes
18 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MajiKat Ashes

25th September 2010:
i wrote a review for this and it disappeared...annoying
anyway, here to review as requested!

i thought this was really nice - i felt strangely at peace after reading it. it was lovely and heartfelt and although the symbolism is there, it is not in your face. i don't feel like i am being forced to feel something/see something a certain way, which often happens with fic full of symbolism, so well done.

i liked the dream - it was a nice opening but i got a little confused - was Luna in bed? Before she had returned to bed. that implies she is, but then, she is by the lake and being found by professor mcgonagall.

other than that i thought this was very luna-ish, and her conversation with the professor at the end was great - both were in character and luna was serene and like she should be.

nice work!

Author's Response: I deliberately left the first part confusing. I wanted the reader to decide some if Luna was dreaming the entire thing, sleepwalking, or just sleeping by the lake. (My personal preference is that she went to bed as normal, and sleepwalked there, but the reader can decide that for himself or herself).

I'm glad the symbolism isn't too in your face and that it gave the feeling of peace that I wanted it to convey.

Thanks again for the review. I'm especially glad that you think I had Luna's characterization right, as I think she's the trickiest character to write well.

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Review #2, by Abhorsen Ashes

26th June 2010:
I liked that. The echo of Dumbledore's words to Harry during that dream in DH is really nice and you should be proud of it. It makes you think that what she experienced was actually real and the phoenix feather was a nice touch.

I like McGonnagall's stern kindness here too; it's very in character for her to be brusque and concerned at the same time.


Author's Response: Wow. Thank you very much for the nice review here. I will admit that this is my favourite of all my pieces that I've written.

I'm so glad you liked this and that you caught the echo of DD's words in what Luna said. It was very deliberate and I'm glad people are catching it. I really wanted to have a dream/not dream dichotomy and I think I captured that.

Characterisation is so important to me and it makes me so happy to know that I got it right.

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Review #3, by Arithmancy_Wiz Ashes

23rd March 2010:
I liked it. I really did. It was short and sweet and simple. I'm not a big fan of one-shots as they usually try to do too much with too little, but this was nice and understated...a perfect choice for a one-shot, both in subject and character.

You mentioned symbolism in your review request. I didn't find this overdone at all in that respect. Your last lines really capture the whole point. It doesn't matter which part was real and which wasn't. Luna said her goodbyes and is satisfied that they were heard. For a character like her, that's all that really matters.

As to the dream sequence itself, there were a few parts that weren't entirely clear. The line in the second paragraph that is not part of her dream (...she shifted in her sleep...) isn't really necessary. You've already told us it's a dream. I get where it comes form - like in a movie when you see the person's dream, flash to them thrashing in bed, and then back to the dream again - but I don't think it serves quite the same purpose here. It's also a little disconcerting that you establish her in bed with this line but then she "wakes up" beside the lake before Fawkes appears. Since in the end it doesn't matter what happened in real life and what happened in her dream, I think moving from the falling to the encounter with Dumbledore a bit more smoothly would give a more dream-like effect and bring to life in a different way the true waking moments at the end.

More generally, the piece is solidly written. No mechanical problems. I know it sounds small but things like sentence length variation and adding a few unexpected details (the buttons on the coat, in particular) really make a vast difference.

With a short piece, it's hard for me to find a great deal to comment on, but thank you for sharing. Good luck with whatever you're writing now.

Author's Response: I'm so glad you mostly enjoyed this. I respect your opinion and you've always been very respectful and easy to work with.

I'm also glad that I seem to have gotten the symbolism right without being heavy-handed. I think in a lot of ways that this is my best-written work from a technical perspective.

I see what you mean about the line in the dream sequence and it might not be necessary. I put it in because I wanted to show that Luna was using 'directed dreaming' and controlling her dreams to some extent, but since I explicitly state that later, it might not be necessary. Thank for the CC.

I know this is a very short piece, but I really wanted your opinion on it and I thank you very much for it.

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Review #4, by timeturner Ashes

8th October 2009:
Cute little one shot. Luna is a difficult character for most authors to sink their teeth in to but you've done a good job here. Following a dream and talking to a bird is something Luna would definetly do! I liked Prof. M's portrayal as well, you kept her right with canon being a bit motherly and a bit grousy as well. Well done!

Author's Response: Wow! A review from timeturner. I'd forgotten that I'd requested a review from you. Thank you so much for the review.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this and the characterizations of McG and Luna and that I didn't overdo Luna as so many people do.

I really meant this on the whole to be dream-like and it seems I succeeded.

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Review #5, by taylorj828 Ashes

24th September 2009:
Hi there! It's wisty with your review from eHPF. (o: This was a lovely little piece, short but emotional, just enough to capture meaning and yet also leave the reading still wanting, wondering, thinking.

From the beginning, I really felt a tone of remembrance, something somber, but yet this air of light aloofness, if that makes any sense. The dream part in the beginning, the rushing to the found - it was perfect. It has a Luna-feel, a mixture of dream and yet her own kookiness that makes you wonder what's real and what's not.

When I realized she actually woke up by the lake, I was startled. She was night walking, right? Er, walking in her sleep? Then I remembered that she mentioned that somewhere, right? Wearing her shoes to bed? Was it book 6? Or was it just in a movie somewhere?

Luna felt the music in her; it sang of grief not for the dead, but for those left behind.

Gorgeous. Perfectly Fawkes, perfectly Dumbledore, and perfectly Luna. Additionally, because we know what eventually happened as the battle came to Hogwarts, excellent 'foreshadowing.' Love it.

One small thing I'm unsure of, myself: Luna's voice in her 'dialogue' with Dumbledore. For me, I'm not sure it really sounds like her. It sounds very nice, something touching. But ...somehow missing her flare. Does that make any sense? But this might just be me, as I said, I'm particular about Luna. So if it doesn't help you, just toss it out.

Luna saw herself in the lake. Her nightgown was torn, rent down the front and covered in mud. Her face was covered in ashes and her eyes were red-rimmed from tears. She shivered.

I love the imagery, here. Also, were the torn clothes and ashes on the face an intentional thing? As I understand it, that was an ancient custom when someone became outrageously angry or aggrieved. They would tear their clothes, and put ash on their face. Is this what you were creating? It's lovely, if so, but wonderful even if it was accident. What I wonder...where did the ashes come from? Could there have been some burst of flame there? Or are we to understand it to have arrived the same was as the coloured feather?

“I came to say goodbye to Professor Dumbledore. I wanted him to know that he’ll be missed.” She met Professor McGonagall’s gaze and held it until tears started to brim in both of their eyes.

This, here, I love Luna's straightforwardness about her purpose being there despite the 'ill logic' regarding the fact of Dumbdledore being dead and unable to hear goodbyes. In this case, I definitely think the voice rings true to Luna. Very fitting.

Professor McGonagall shook her head. “It was just a dream, dear.”
“That doesn’t mean it wasn’t real, Professor.”
She knelt and picked up a brightly coloured feather from the ground.

Lovely! Totally adore it! These lines are brilliant - so Dumbledore, obviously, but so Luna, in my opinion too. A perfect ending to this piece, I think. (o: It was a pleasure to read and I hope my feedback could help in some way. Remember I am only one person so my opinions are only my own. Take what helps you and throw out what doesn't. (o: Excellent work!

Author's Response: First of all, I want to say that I think you're right about Luna's piece of dialogue to DD. I think I should make it more wistful and etheric; right now it's something that Harry would say more. Thanks for pointing that out.

Was she night-walking or did she fly there with Fawkes? That's the conundrum I want the reader to have. The ash is meant to either come from Fawkes burning or from Luna finding it somewhere as she sleep-walks; it's up to the reader to decide. I know the HBP movie she says that she sleep-walks, but I'm not sure if it's in the books (this was written before I saw the movie).

Yes, the ashes and ripped clothing was intentional. It's traditional for mourning.

Your feedback and review are very welcome. CC helps us grow.

I'm glad that I seem to have gotten the dream imagery right and it's not too heavy-handed.

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Review #6, by www_meat_org Ashes

16th August 2009:
It was just a dream

That doesn't mean it wasn't real

SO TRUE! Great story, really creative :-)

Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing. I consider this to be some of my best work, so I'm glad that people are enjoying reading it.

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Review #7, by wytchkitty13 Ashes

13th August 2009:
This was a lovely piece :) I love Luna and the way you had her interact with Fawkes in her dream was beautiful! But then again she picked up a feather at the end so, it wasn't a dream after all. This was short but awe-inspiring. It made me kind of sit here and just think about this scene for a moment. The artistry of the words, combined with the images you painted. Very nicely done, Pookha! :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much. When people ask for my best work, I point them here, so I'm glad you liked it.

I really, really thought about the words, descriptions and imagery that I used in this story, and I'm glad that the care I took translated into a good, albeit short story.

I really wanted people to have a hard time telling what was dream and what was real in the story.

After I wrote this particular piece, I thought that maybe I'm starting to get better at this writing thing.

Your kind words have made my evening.

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Review #8, by JLHufflepuff Ashes

11th August 2009:
I think this is so perfectly Luna. I love the way she gets to interact with Dumbledore's phoenix in her dream. I think it's such a creative idea to have her doing this and getting to bid him good-bye in her own special way. This is really short but simple, and even the title conveys the meaning. And her quoting Dumbly before the fact was a nice touch as well. This is just kind of breezy and fun (while having depth), just like Luna.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for doing this review for me. I value your opinion a lot and when I saw you had a review thread opened, I jumped at the chance to get a review from you.

I'm so happy you liked it and that you thought I got Luna right. I know how hard it is to get her right and I always feel satisfied when I do.

I meant it to be short and to the point, but with a deeper thought to it than I normally have and it sounds like I succeeded.

Thank you again for your nice review. I'm glad you liked it.

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Review #9, by Indigo Seas Ashes

25th May 2009:
Here as requested! ^_^

Wow, this was... wow. I really enjoyed it. Every bit of it. Wow.

Anyway... I'm kind of at a loss! It was really beautiful. The symbolism was wonderful, the description fantastic, and the emotion! Gosh, all the emotion was marvelous.

About the symbolism: I don't think you had too much at all. It was all very Luna-like to have that much of the symbolism that was there, so that's all good. Definitely not over the top; it was just the right amount. So kudos to you for that. ;)

And Luna was totally in character the entire time! That was fantastic as well. It seems so like her to say goodbye to Dumbledor (sp?) through a dream (or not, as you make it seem :D). Great job on that as well.

Overall: Fantastic. Terrific. Spiffy. It was great, and a beautifully written piece of fiction.


Author's Response: Wow! Thank you so very much for the nice review. I'm glad that everyone thinks the symbolism wasn't too much and that the dream and dream-like qualities come through.

Emotion is something I have trouble with (I'm an older guy), so hearing that the emotion was marvelous puts me over the moon. A lot of credit goes to my beta reader for my novel length, reallyginny. Her suggestions and help with that have really helped my other fiction grow.

Thanks also for how fast you got to this.

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Review #10, by celticbard Ashes

23rd May 2009:
Hello pookha!
I'm here to review your fic as requested. Dear Luna! She really is a treasure, isn't she? I definitely enjoyed your characterization of her. She had to say goodbye to Professor Dumbledore in her own, unique way. How very fitting! I also thought the Headmaster's appearance-without dialogue-was perfect. Nothing really needed to be said and I think he realized that Luna did not require any parting words of wisdom.

The symbolism of her dream...first falling and then growing wings, really spoke volumes. Luna has left the nest, so to speak and gained the ability to fly on her own. Dumbledore, I assume, helped foster her independence.

The only thing I wanted to comment on, is the ambiguity of Luna's sleepwalking. I wasn't quite sure until the very end that she had indeed strolled to the lake. Perhaps you would consider making this clearer at the beginning?

Thanks for sharing this piece with me, pookha. Please feel free to drop by my thread and request another review in the future. Take care!


Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed the characterisation.

Really, I wanted her sleepwalking to be ambiguous: was it just a dream or did she really fly with Fawkes?

I'm happy that I didn't go too heavy on the symbolism--that was my main concern here.

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Review #11, by Girldetective85 Ashes

20th May 2009:
Carl, this gave me chills! I can tell that Luna is your favorite character because of the sensitive and poignant way you write about her. I've always felt that she was more perceptive than the others and it makes absolute sense that she would be able to see Dumbledore and say goodbye when the others could not. The part where she said that there would always be someone loyal gave me goosebumps and reminded me so much of Harry. In many ways, Luna could be a Gryffindor and more. I so enjoyed this one-shot as I do all of your work. Wonderful job!

Author's Response: Jules, thank you for the nice review. You're correct that she's my fave character.

I found it interesting as well that Luna was the only non-Gryffindor to fight at the Department of Mysteries and the Battle of the Tower. She has many Gryffindor qualities.

I'm glad that you liked this story and that it's being so well received. I'm also glad that people are picking up on the echoes of other conversations that I placed in here.

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Review #12, by Joanne K Ashes

15th May 2009:
This was a lovely piece. I think you wrote the dream very well - it just felt like a dream, so lucid and surreal. I think your ending was quite strong: McGonagall was very in character and I loved Luna's explanation. But my favourite line was:

"That doesn't mean it wasn't real, Professor."

Which of course echoed Dumbledore's words to Harry in DH.

A really lovely piece, I enjoyed reading it.

Author's Response: Jo, thank you so much. As you are well aware, your opinion is highly valued here. I'm so glad that people are liking the dream-like aspect of it and that I seem to have gotten it right.

I'm also glad that I captured Luna and Minerva. I don't think I've ever written Minerva before, so I was a bit nervous about it.

And I deliberately echoed DD's words, so I'm glad you caught that.

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Review #13, by long_live_luna_bellatrix Ashes

15th May 2009:
Hey there. This was a really interesting story, and it had a distinct Luna twist on it. I especially liked the last line.

I think that if it had been a little longer, more descriptive, that would've been good. Overall though, nice work!!!

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for the review. It was written 'stream of consciousness' with very little editing deliberately, so that's why it's so short.

I'm glad that you enjoyed what was there and that you thought it had a good Luna twist to it.

I really meant it to flow like a dream, so I'm glad that you liked the last line.

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Review #14, by AndrinaBlack Ashes

14th May 2009:
That was dreamy. I had to read parts a couple of times to try to figure out when she was asleep and when she was awake and how she got from her bed to the lake and I still didn't quite get it. But that isn't a bad thing. When I came to the end I realised that it was meant to be like that. It was dreamy from the beginning to the end, leaving some open questions hanging. I believe that Fawkes at least was there anyway in "reality" because Luna had ashes over her and there was the feather. Such a wonderfully confusingish little Luna-like story! And it was beautiful too! I also loved how you made McGonagall show her soft side.

Author's Response: Hey! You caught that I really wanted it to be dream-like. I picture it saturated in bright, but slightly fuzzy colours, so you understand.

I think we all know that McGonagall has a soft side, but she just doesn't show it much. I wonder if she ever had children, or ever wanted children if she didn't have any.

As for how she got to the lake, it's up to the reader; did she sleepwalk? did she fly with Fawkes? Just because it was all in her head doesn't mean it isn't real (to quote DD).

I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

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Review #15, by RonsGirlFriday Ashes

9th May 2009:
I'm glad you chose Luna for this piece. She and Dumbledore have always seemed similar to one another...they appear a little bit odd to those around them, but it's because they see and understand things on a different level than everyone else, and their minds are open to everything. This was beautiful, and I loved her line at the end!

Author's Response: Thank you for the very nice review. I wanted people to see the similarities between the two: intelligent, odd, and they both see to the heart of the matter. I know canonically we don't see them interact much, if at all; however, I'm sure they must have and those conversations were probably interesting.

The line at the end was meant to echo DD's line to Harry near the end of DH.

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Review #16, by Heidiwood Ashes

5th May 2009:
YAY! Great little snippet about honoring someone's dream or memory. Nicely put, coming from Luna Lovegood as well!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I'm glad you liked it and my Luna, as well.

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Review #17, by datbenik513 Ashes

5th May 2009:
Breathtakingly beautiful, except the scene of Luna flying with Fawkes. This is a proper way to say one's goodbyes.

On contrary to your first reviewer, I didn't feel Luna being loopy here for one second. It's as if she suddenly aged several years, much more serious, much more adult. But in war people grow up much faster, we already knew that.

Luna will have a major role in my new story, Shadowlands, as well.

One question: how did you manage to have a story validated under the 800 word mark?

A very, very powerful story considering its length. Many emotions told in a powerful way.

Author's Response: Thank you for the nice review. Because of your PM, I know what you mean about Luna flying with Fawkes, so no sweat about changing it.

I don't think the first reviewer meant an insult by calling Luna loopy, she just meant that Luna sees things differently and I didn't take it as an insult. You're correct that I wanted this to be Luna as an adult, but child-like at the same time.

The word limit at HPFF for a chapter is 500. It's different on different archives.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, particularly since it's a short piece.

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Review #18, by padme_alejandra Ashes

4th May 2009:
I really liked this, all of it. Luna's characterization was spot on - slightly loopy and clearly distinct from others - and the plot was quite creative. And it all flows so nicely. Excellent job!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I'm glad you liked how it flowed. I wanted it to be dreamlike and descriptive and it sounds as if I succeeded.

Luna's my fave character and I think it shows when I write her.

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