Reading Reviews for By the Firelight
17 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Beeezie By the Firelight

16th February 2012:
So I'm scanning your author page trying to decide which of your stories to nominate this month, and I realised that I'd never actually read this. I meant to, because I love James/Lily and because I've discovered that I tend to love the way you interpret and portray characters, but then that didn't happen for some reason.

But I'm here now!

I really, really enjoyed this. As I have said to you over and over and over again, you are just a master at capturing the human condition. I wondered so many things while reading this - why was Lily sad? Would this be the turning point in their relationship? What would they say to each other tomorrow?

In typical you fashion, you didn't address any of that. And I'm glad for that. This is a lovely snapshot of one of my favourite HP couples, and I'm so glad that I finally read it. :)

Author's Response: I don't mind that it took you a while to get here because your reviews are always well worth the wait!

You've mentioned it before and I will also say it again - I love that you 'get' (for want of better word) my one-shots. I love just having a snapshot of a few moments in time and writing about them, I don't necessarily feel the need to have a complete story arch in a one-shot. And whenever you tell me that while, yes, I did make you ask questions which you never had answers to, you still enjoyed the one-shot, I always have a huge smile on my face. I have one now!

To answer your questions (and know that there aren't really any 'real' answers to them): I imagine Lily was sad because she had gotten another horrid letter from her sister, I don't think this was the pivotal point in their relationship but it was definitely a step in getting there, and I think the two of them would be quite shy tomorrow and perhaps have a talk where they realise that they have both matured. Again, I don't know if any of that is correct, because I'm as clueless as you are in this. And I'm the writer. How weird, lol.

Thanks so much for your lovely review!

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Review #2, by Secret Santa *hands you a fourth candy cane* By the Firelight

17th December 2011:
*clears throat and sings to the tune of Jingle Bells*







Hello! It's your Secret Santa once again! I think you figured that out though! Let's get reviewing!

This was beautiful:

It unsettles him to see her like this. The girl he sees every day walks through the halls and corridors with confidence and a bounce in her step. The girl he sees every day is adored by everyone, students and staff alike. The girl he sees every day is like a shining gem; whenever she enters a room, every eye is drawn to her.

The girl he sees every day is the most beautiful thing in his life.

The entire one-shot was beautiful. You really have a way with words. I imagine you typing away and building these images with ease. It doesn't seem like you have any problem with writing at all. It's as if your just slashing away at fanfiction and creating something much more.

I was really moved by this. Again, I'm such a repeater but your imagery is amazing. You describe down to the slightest detail and I appreciate it so much because I cannot do that. I cannot think down to the smallest things. I would never think to describe Lily and James like this. James, it is clear, is at that stage where he has grown up, where he has finally become the man that Lily would want to date. His movements and his thoughts make me crumble. The way he describes her and looks at her, the way he thinks about her and is afraid of his thoughtsówow! I'm getting teary eyed just thinking about it. The ending was perfect, truly perfect in my opinion. When he smiled, I smiled. I just couldn't help myself.

I'd write on your MTA but I don't want to give myself away. So, I have a question.

What exactly inspires you to write? Do you prefer writing one genre to another and is there one genre that you struggle with?

Secret Santa out! :D

Author's Response: I LOVED your rendition of Jingle Bells! That made me laugh so much and I'm still grinning as I write this!

I don't even know what to say. Your reviews are something else, you know that? You shock me with the things you say and I don't know how to respond. I just write for fun and then when you say things like me creating something much more, it's just... wow. Thank you. I can never express just how much your words mean to me!

I love writing little details. When I write, I can see everything so clearly in my mind and I try my best to show the reader what I can see. I don't know if it always works but then a review like this comes along and I can't help but smile.

James is, indeed, at the more mature end of his career at Hogwarts in this. I think he's scared of his feelings and I just wanted to portray him as someone who really has deep and genuine feelings for Lily, rather than the cocky teenager he is so often seen as in fanfiction. I'm not saying that he isn't a cocky teenager, but I guess I wanted to delve into his character further.

I remember thinking the ending was a bit abrupt and empty so I'm so glad that you thought it worked!

Answer to your question: Everything inspires me to write. My experiences, the things I see, the things I think about, people, music, everything. It's hard to say that one thing in particular inspires me. I do write as a bit of a getaway from the hustle and stress of life, though. Sometimes it's nice to just write and forget about everything else.

I prefer writing romance and angst. I love writing about feelings and emotions and I think that is most closely linked with romance and angsty drama. I do struggle with things like suspense and action. I have tried to write action (in a previous fandom many years ago) and while I don't hate it, I don't love it. I'm not very good at writing down a plot for each chapter and I think that's needed in action.

Thanks so much for your reviews, Secret Santa! You have no idea how lovely it was to wake up to not just one but four new reviews this morning. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas!


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Review #3, by DaBluBanana By the Firelight

11th August 2011:
Oh, this is so sweet!! :D It's well-written, too, and although there are a few errors (ah, typos, they'll be the death of us all), they don't really mess with the flow or anything. I loved it!

Author's Response: I agree with you, typos really will be the death of us all! I am well aware that this needs to be edited and I have a list of them, it's just a matter of getting around to it! I'm glad that you didn't think they ruined the experience too much, though.

Thank you for saying that this was 'sweet' and thank you for your review!

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Review #4, by Lillover By the Firelight

18th May 2011:
Ooooh this was so beautiful, no dialogues but pure beauty

Author's Response: Not using dialogue was difficult, but it's always lovely to see that a reader liked it!

This was such a short review but I cannot thank you enough for it. It lifted my spirits and I can't stop smiling and won't for a while.

Thank you so much!


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Review #5, by girly1393 By the Firelight

6th March 2011:
To your final comment about errors and validation, I must agree! I always find them after I put it int he queue. Annoying, isn't it?

It was so beautiful, so gentle. The depth of his love for her left me breathless.

Bravo to you.

Author's Response: Very annoying. Ah, well. That's just how it is, I guess!

The words you used, "beautiful" and "gentle". I think they are one of the nicest compliments I have gotten for my writing. I aimed so hard for that to be conveyed to the reader and it means the absolute world that you thought it came across.

Thank you so much!


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Review #6, by Capella Black By the Firelight

21st August 2010:
This is such a vivid and tactile piece of writing! Your descriptive prose is fantastic; you capture the colours and textures around the action beautifully, but without slipping into the horror that is purple prose - each description is apt and precise.

There was I believe a typo when James is working out what is wrong with Lily; he thinks "He does know what could..." when I think you mean he doesN'T know. Also, "red and scarlet tie" is an odd choice; did you mean gold and scarlet? Other than that though, the imagery was perfect, and the thought processes very believable and intriguing.

Overall, a lovely and honest look at how a teenage boy might feel about such strong emotions - I love how you capture the confusion in them, and the desire not to name it, as this makes it much more powerful and real than if he were professing his undying love. Really great stuff!

Author's Response: I was reading something about purple prose not too long ago. And knowing my love of descriptive writing, I have been slightly worried over my more descriptive-heavy stories such as this one. It's reassuring to know that you didn't think I had slipped into purple prose, though!

Those two errors are such simple ones. And I can't believe I overlooked them! I have read this so many times and I have not been able to pick them up yet. It just goes to show what another pair of eyes can see. Thank you so much for pointing them both out and I will edit them when I get some time to!

I think that James would be outwardly quite brazen about his feelings with Lily while, inwardly, he would be confused and just a little bit scared of them. I tried to portray that here and I'm glad you thought it worked.

Thank you so much for your review,
Joop :]

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Review #7, by krazyboutharryginny By the Firelight

20th August 2010:
That was great! Beautiful language and descriptions. It was sad and very touching, and you captured James perfectly. Wonderful job!

Author's Response: The descriptions in this gave me a lot of grief, so it's always so nice when a reader tells me that they enjoyed them. You have no idea how much I appreciate it!

I'm glad that this touched you but I'm sorry you found it sad - I wasn't really going for sad, but I suppose it did have an element of sadness to it.

Too often, James is portrayed as quite one-dimensional in stories. He plays pranks, he runs his hands through his hair and he pines over Lily. I wanted to explore his character and show that he is a bit more than that, and I'm just happy that he has been so well received by readers!

Thank you for your kind words,
Joop :]

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Review #8, by ericajen By the Firelight

17th August 2010:
Aww. Joop. Quit being so romantic and awesome.

This was adorable. Honestly, I don't know what other word you would use to describe it. Simply and totally adorable. Although I suppose the words sweet, cute, lovely, and darling work as well.

I loved the way James just carefully observed her. He wasn't superficial or awkward, he was just honest and real and his emotions were practically rolling off the page (err, screen). The feelings were tangible.

I also liked that you didn't clutter it up with unnecessary dialogue. It was much more romantic without words. That small smile that Lily gave him was the only thing needed to complete the scene and to create much happiness for the reader (aka me, who is smiling right now).

This was, as I said, adorable.


Author's Response: It makes me smile to read that you thought this was "adorable". That word does not get used too often with James/Lily stories and it makes me really happy to know that you thought it was!

Thank God you found James's feelings were tangible. I was honestly scared that he would be borderline creepy in this, but he seems to be well received by readers including you, so I can't really complain!

The no dialogue was actually an experiment of mine. I felt that the song lyrics were enough and I wanted to see how well I could do with no dialogue. I think that the lack of dialogue made it a little bit more personal and close-up and I'm glad that you liked it!

Thank you so much for your review,
Joop :]


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Review #9, by MrsKatieGrint By the Firelight

19th July 2010:
Wow. This was amazing!

This James, he's so deep. I LOVE it! It's different from the shallow James I'm always reading about and I have to say I love the change! Its nice to know that someone besides me thinks of James as not shallow!:D

Also, I liked all the description. It really made the story stand out from others I've read. It made the story a whole lot better too!:)

Welp great job on this! I really enjoyed how cutesy it was!^.^

Author's Response: I refuse to believe that James spent all his time pranking, pining after Lily and running his hands through his hair. In the books, we only really get Lily's perception of James when it comes to his character and I really think there was something deeper. He did, after all, get through to Lily, in the end. And I suppose this is my way of exploring the idea that he really was just an ordinary teenager boy who was feeling something that scared him. It makes sense to me.

I'm glad you liked the description! I remember that it was particularly difficult, especially the parts about the blanket. Sometimes the simplest ideas can take the longest to write, but I'm glad it paid off!

Thank you so much for your review!

Joop :]

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Review #10, by maskedmuggle By the Firelight

11th June 2010:

I loved this story. You write very well!
It was so sweet, and I think you really captured James' emotions.
Well done :)

Author's Response: Thank you for your compliments!

I tried really hard with capturing James' emotions and I suppose I wanted to take him further than what he is portrayed in fanfiction, as a teenage boy utterly obsessed with Lily. I like to think that there was more to him than that and that his feelings were quite true, and it's nice to know that readers have picked up on that.

Thank you for your review!

Joop :]

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Review #11, by pinkcatheaven By the Firelight

21st May 2010:
Aw, that's pretty cute.

Author's Response: Haha, thank you!

Joop :]

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Review #12, by Shelby95 By the Firelight

1st April 2010:
I loved this. It's a truly beautiful one shot... and the entire intricacies of the written word were completely perfected. I was really taken aback... wonderful job, Ju!

Author's Response: Well, I don't know if they were perfected, but I did certainly try very hard with the description. I can't tell you how much I agonised over the little details - I'm glad that the pain was worth it!

Thank you so much for your kind words!

Joop :]

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Review #13, by 1917farmgirl By the Firelight

28th January 2010:
Okay, first off you need to know something. I'm not a huge fan of reading Lily/James stuff. It's not that I don't like them, I just like reading about others better. But I so loved your other story I figured I'd give this one a try as well.

So, wow. Just wow! Again I'm sitting here in awe of your talent. I don't really even know how to begin giving a review. When I read your stuff, I'm overwhelmed by the sheer brilliance and depth of it, to the point I feel like I ought to take notes so I remember what to comment about when I'm done. I get so caught up in the reading of it, the beauty and emotion of the story, I get done and can't figure out what to say!

I absolutly LOVE the images you paint. The details! I could see everything, from the ink spreaking unnoticed across his essay, to the green blanket, to the fading firelight. You have SUCH a gift with words and using them to paint images, as well as convey feelings. Are you sure this isn't your career?

I also loved the way you let us see James' feelings. How he knows what he's feeling is powerful, and different from an ordinary teenage crush, but he's also not sure how to handle that, since he IS a teenager. Wonderful contrast. I especially loved this part: "He is hesitant to label his feelings. Words have run through his head time and time again, but he is careful to not let one linger for too long. What he feels for her is so frighteningly intense and real that he feels naming them will cause him to stumble into a deeper spiral of confusion than the one in which he already is." So intuitive!

Honestly, blueirony, this stuff you are putting out is amazing. I hope you have more soon! You got me, a stanch Twins fan, gushing about a a lily/james fic. THAT is talent!

Author's Response: You are way, way, way too good to me, you know that?

I'm with you on the James/Lily pairing. I only really wrote this because of the character I was given. I think the problem with James/Lily is that it is so repetitive. Every plotline is the same. It's a shame, though. Their story could be quite lovely.

People are saying that the description worked and I'm glad that it did! I do work hard on description. I get worried that sometimes I work a little bit *too* hard on description, but it does seem to work. And that makes me happy.
And, no. This is not my career. Though that is such an amazing compliment. I don't think I quite match up to the calibre you think I supposedly have in terms of writing talent, but it's nice to know you think so!
To be honest, I have never really thought I have been exceptional at writing or English. I was decent at it in school, but it's never something I have never thought of as a talent. Writing this stuff is just a creative outlet for me and, time and time again, it's so... humbling to read people's kind comments. I don't think I'm worthy of them, but I can't deny that they make me smile.

Regarding James and his feelings, I sort of wanted to show that he has a deeper, more emotional side than is perhaps portrayed in fanfiction. The song I was given for this challenge played a big part in it, but it makes sense to me. It makes sense to me that he felt very strongly for Lily and that he was confused by it. I tried to show that. I don't know if "intuitive" is the right word, but I tried.

I do have some longer WIPs in progress that are, honestly, a lot different to what I have written so far. I think they're more 'me', in a sense? I do have that deeper side that I guess is the reason for me putting out things like this and Raindrops, but I am quite childish and loud for the most part. So hopefully what I am currently writing is more indicative of that side of me!

Again, thank you so much for your reviews. They are very difficult to respond to because they are so filled with praise that I sometimes just sit in awe for a while before I can fathom putting together a response.

Ju :]

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Review #14, by ClearCutDiamonds By the Firelight

11th January 2010:
I loved this - from the first paragraph to the end. You're amazing at writing description. I could picture the scene so clearly thanks to your imagery skills.

I love how you took this song and interpreted it in your own way to write this amazing song-fic. I think you captured James emotions perfectly in this.

I loved reading this because well, I love reading description and I love how you wrote James. The fact that you had no dialogue really added to the story, it allows the reader to focus more on the imagery, which you write so well.

I thought this was unbelievably cute, how James gives her his blanket, it was adorable, really.

I will now listen to this song in a different way thanks to your awesome interpretation.


Author's Response: Wow, what a review!

I hardly think that I'm as good as what you said regarding imagery. I did try very hard, though.
That's amazing that you thought you could picture the scene so clearly. That is such a big compliment to a writer, you have no idea.

You know, I normally hate writing song-fics. This was the first one I have really enjoyed writing and it just worked so well with how I wanted to portray James's emotions. Glad you thought it worked!

The fact that it had no dialogue tied in with the fact that I never use either of their names. It made it seem more personal, I thought, without going into first-person. I never thought it would allow the reader to focus more on the imagery, but I'm glad that you found that!

I know, isn't James such a cutie-pie? I tried to show that he really does care for Lily and it's not just an obsessive crush that so many writers make it out to be. I quite liked the blanket idea and it was surprisingly hard to write in. But it seemed to have worked.

Wow, I can't believe I managed to change your views on the song that dramatically. But I'm happy I did.

Thank you for an amazing challenge and an even more amazing review! :]

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Review #15, by spam_up_sam By the Firelight

11th January 2010:
That was a really nice read =]
I like how you portrayed James, it's great to read something that picks up on his emotions

Author's Response: Portraying James was harder than I expected. I wanted to show that he had a deeper, more emotional side to him. And I'm happy that you thought it worked!

Thank you for your kind words. :]

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Review #16, by Bianca By the Firelight

11th January 2010:
Absolutely beautiful. I love how it was written, I love the details! I love James/Lily fanfics and am eagerly awaiting a sequel :)

Author's Response: The details were something I worked really hard at, so I'm glad that you enjoyed them!

Wow, I really wasn't expecting to write a sequel at all. But you're now the second person to mention it. Perhaps I will. I don't know for certain, though.

I love James/Lily fics, too! Glad you enjoyed it, thank you for the review! :]

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Review #17, by viccitoriaa By the Firelight

10th January 2010:
sequel??? its really good :) very nice description on everything.

Author's Response: I'm so excited that you liked it!

I worked really hard on the description, so it's really nice to know that you appreciated it.

At the moment, I have no plans to do a sequel. But, who knows? In the future, I may come back and write another one-shot, perhaps one with a focus on Lily, more so than James.

Thanks for your review! :]

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