11 Reviews Found

Review #1, by The Ghost of Fred Past Old MacDonald Had a Farm

25th December 2014:
I can tell I'm missing some background information here, not having read the other "Gravel on the Ground" stories. Some things are obvious enough (young Arthur Weasley for example), but of course I don't know what backstory there is with Charlie and Annalise and their mother.

Quick question: Is Charlie Weasley named after Charlie McLauchlin?

I personally really enjoy the "other" era and "other" characters that don't fit into the typical Hogwarts, Marauders, or Next-Gen slots. I feel like there is a lot more fresh exploration to do there, and it results in stories that are more unique.

Therefore, I greatly enjoyed the glimpse of young Arthur Weasley in this chapter. You've captured some characteristic traits such as the hair color, patched robes, and fascination with Muggle things so that readers recognize precisely who you are talking about. That provides a nice connection with the canon and information we are familiar with. However, it's in a different context than usual (not even Arthur and Molly as teenagers!), which lends it a fresh air. I loved how the Muggle fascination was a bonding thing for Arthur and Charlie, rather than a thing of puzzlement and ridicule as it more often is--and as you imply it has been for Arthur so far at school.

I'm definitely feeling my curiosity about the other characters (Charlie and Annalise) and their situation and stories being piqued.

Author's Response: Can I just say before I start this response, that your Secret Santa names were the best. LOL.

Yeah, you probably jumped in and started at the wrong end of this story, BUT you are smart. I know you'll figure it out. And I'm just excited that you are reading it.

Yep, you nailed it. Charlie Weasley was named after Charlie McLauchlin. See, like I said, smart girl.

I really didn't set out to write an "other" era story. But there were things in the background of my characters that I wanted to be able to explore. So I put this story up to have a place to dump them all.

I really had a lot of fun writing a very young Arthur. I've never tried that before and it was fun thinking of him at the same age as we saw most of his children at. And I figured that such a love of Muggles and Muggle objects couldn't have just happened over night. Had to be there for a long time.

You'll have to come back later and look for more information about Charlie and Annalise. :)

Thanks again for another great review present!


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Review #2, by The Ghost of Fred Past Rock-a-Bye Baby

25th December 2014:
I haven't read your "Gravel on the Ground" series, nor am I familiar with Charmed, but I decided to tackle this anyway. I have read some of your older work, though, and I was excited to be assigned your Secret Santa this year despite my hectic life right now (hence the lateness of this first gift batch).

This was a relatively light-hearted and sweet piece. I seem to remember much of your work being a bit more dark or sad, or maybe that's just one story in particular (which I shall not name :P ) sticking out in my memory. Anyway, I thought you did a beautiful job of portraying Jenny in this story, as a child. It seems to me that many HP fanfiction writers (probably because they are young) struggle to portray children in a realistic fashion. However, I think you did a good job, with a nice mixture of cuteness and dignity.

I found all three "moments" in this chapter to be moving. The first moment was the most amusing, possibly because the parents were amused. The second part moved me, partly because it reminds me of the stories I've been told about my reaction to my younger sister's birth (she was born at home).

The last "moment" moved me a lot as well. Even when you're looking forward to a new adventure, leave-taking can be very difficult. I've just gone through this myself. Two days ago I began the process of moving across the country, and saying goodbye to all the people I loved in the town I've been living the past couple of years was very difficult and sad despite my excitement and happiness over the next stage in my life. Jenny's moment of hesitation and sadness and worry that her brother might forget her really encapsulated things I have been feeling lately.

Author's Response: Hello Alo! So nice to have you as a reviewer again.

I hope you didn't feel too bad that I pegged you as my Secret Santa right from this very first review. I've just known you for too long and you have a very unique reviewing style. But knowing who you were only made me that much MORE excited to read your reviews.

I'm so excited that you've started in on this saga. It's very different from what I usually write, yes, but I think if you keep going, you'll notice the angst and darkness is there as well. I just can't seem to stay away from it.

Ah, I'm so happy you liked Jenny! Because, as you mentioned, writing kids is HARD. You want to make them childish, but not overly so and not insultingly so. If it worked for you, I must not have done too badly!

I really wanted readers to connect with Jenny, and feel her love for this brand-new baby brother she just got. For you to find the writing moving is a very high compliment.

It's hard to say goodbye and change, isn't it. I don't like change - never have, and I dig in my heels when it comes, even if what might come on the other side is better.

I hope you are settled in now and enjoying your new adventure. :)


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Review #3, by CambAngst Old MacDonald Had a Farm

16th October 2014:
Hi, farmgirl!

I love the air of mystery these chapters have. Or maybe "mystery" isn't the right word. More like "unfamiliarity", perhaps. It's not that I don't recognize the characters, but the situations are completely unfamiliar and I find my brain spinning to try to figure out where they fit into the broader narrative of Gravel on the Ground.

The first section is pretty obvious, I guess. It's well established in GotG that Sadie's father was a good friend of Arthur Weasley. It was neat to see how it happened, though.

The second section was much more interesting. It immediately had me wondering how much Charlie's sister and mother might have had to do with the terrible fate that befell his family. What was it that drove such a divide between mother and daughter? It could have been something completely pedestrian, or it could have been something more.

I really enjoy reading these little asides and I'm looking forward to seeing how they all tie into the whole!

Author's Response: Hello again! Thanks for reading this little set up fic! I'm glad you find it mysterious and intriguing! That was what I was going for - both giving information to fill in holes, but also giving information to make people sit and wonder "hmmm, how does this fit?"

Charlie's sister and mother - you are a shrewd guesser. I would hold onto that thought if I were you.

Thanks so much! Your reviews always make me smile.


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Review #4, by Chazzie Rock-a-Bye Baby

3rd March 2014:
Hey there!
Aw, that was so cute! I'll definitely read the Gravel on the Ground when I have some spare time. It was certainly believable, especially Jenny's reluctance to leave her little brother. She seems really forward and outspoken, especially at times when others wouldn't be. And the quote at the start fits perfectly with the rest of it.
Chazzie (Review 8/10 for the Slytherin/Gryffindor Blackout)

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks so much for the review!

I'm glad you liked this little story, even though you didn't realize it was part of a bigger set of stories when you started. And I'd be very honored if you came back and read the rest when you have the time. :)

I had fun creating the character of Jenny to be James' older sister. There was so much freedom to play with how to do things.

Thanks again for reading.


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Review #5, by Rumpelstiltskin Rock-a-Bye Baby

2nd March 2014:
I'm here for Blackout Bingo!

This was fantastically adorable!

I loved the beginning, where Jenny is questioning her parents as to why they would want another baby. :D They should have asked her first...that was hysterical but really realistic for a little girl.

It was a very sweet mental image of Jenny holding her little brother. Again, you nailed the child-like quality of little Jenny when she believes that her brother winked at her.

Oh my...the scene where Jenny is refusing to get on the Hogwarts Express because she's afraid that James will forget her... d'aww! That settles it, I'm having all sorts of happy feels! She wants to take him with her ;).

Great job!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Awww, thank you! I'm very glad you liked this story! I'm also a little curious about what make you pick it. It's not exactly my most popular story, or my most stand-out-ish one.

This story is the prologue to a whole series of stories. I updated it when I need to give information out. So Jenny Potter is Harry Potter's aunt, and I created her to set up a whole chain of events.

I'm really glad you thought she was believable and in character for her age. I've never read James Potter as a baby, so I didn't have anything to go off of. LOL.

Thanks again for such a great review! It made my day to see this story getting some love.


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Review #6, by marauderfan Rock-a-Bye Baby

31st December 2013:
!!! Farmgirl! You have a prologue to From the Ashes?! Yay! How is it that I'm just finding out about it now? (ok well I guess the answer to that is a fortuitous moment of author page creeping. But anyway. Aah! I'm so excited to find a "new" chapter because I really missed reading about Sadie! :D

This is an adorable introductory chapter to Jenny. She acted like such an 11-year old with the comment about "why do you want another kid, what about me?" So, I think you did really well writing her very true to her age, and exactly how an eleven year old would react upon finding out they have to share their Mummy and Daddy with a sibling ;)

The age gap is good, too. It makes sense because Jenny isn't mentioned at all by James' friends later on - they wouldn't have known her that well if she was that much older. Also, I understand James' parents were not young when they had him, so the fact that he has a sister eleven years older than him fits perfectly into that.

Jenny was adorable at the end of this too, when she doesn't want to leave because she's afraid James will forget her! She got very attached in a short time :)

I really loved this look into the backgrounds of these characters, it's so much fun to get to know them, and adds a whole new level to Sadie's story. Great job!

Author's Response: LOL! Yeah. I kinda sneaked this one in didn't I. And I haven't added to it in ages, but it's here, waiting for more background when I feel like putting it up. And sorry you are just finding out about it. It's hard to advertise the prologue to a story that isn't that popular anyway. hehehehe. But, feel free to creep away at my author page! Makes me feel kinda honored! And I'm sorry you've been missing reading about Sadie. I have the next chapter almost ready to go, I just can't post it until I catch up on review responses.

So, you really liked the introduction to Sadie's mother? Yes! I was worried people would be like "HEY, you can't give James a sister! That's blasphemous!" hehehehe. And it's double fun that you thought I made her age appropriate! I work with 11 year olds, but that doesn't mean that I understand their confusing brains.

The age gap was important if I was going to pull this off. I needed a reason why James could have a sister that was never mentioned and not have it be weird. I didn't want her to be "lost" or "disowned" or anything like that. Just not really in HIS story. And yes, I was totally playing with the rumor that James' parents were much older when they had him.

Aw, thanks! It was fun writing for someone else again. And I wanted to show that Jenny did love her brother very much.

Thanks so much for sleuthing out this fic! It was so fun to get another surprise review from you. :)


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Review #7, by Gaius Scipio Rock-a-Bye Baby

17th September 2013:
So saw you're review on missesweasleys story "Her Only Choice", liked what you wrote so decided to see if you had posted anything and voilà here I am.

I really enjoyed this very sweet, funny with some absolutely adorable moments. Looking forward to reading more.

Gaius

Author's Response: Wow, thank you! It's always nice when someone seeks out your stuff on their own!

Thank you for the great compliment and I hope you do keep reading.

Also, there is a companion story to this I'm currently posting as well, called From the Ashes, if you are ever interested.

Again, thanks so much for the surprise review.

- Farmgirl


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Review #8, by nott theodore Rock-a-Bye Baby

16th September 2013:
Hello! I'm actually really glad you requested this because I wanted to read it when I saw you'd posted it, but I've been busier than I expected in the last few days.

It's such a great idea to let us see the companion events that we're not going to get in the main story, and I always like getting a better background to stories. You've started in a place that I didn't expect, but once I read it suddenly it seemed the perfect place to begin a collection like this.

Jenny was brilliant. The age that she was made it more believable that she could be James Potter's older sister, and I thought you wrote her reactions to the news that she was going to get a younger brother or sister really well. The things she said - particularly the bit that her parents should have asked her about it first - fit really well with her age. There's a hint of jealousy almost, wonder at why she isn't enough for her parents, and I think that would definitely be the way someone who's been an only child for eleven years would feel at the news.

This was such a cute chapter as well, especially the fact that Jenny got attached to her little brother so quickly. The idea of her carrying him round to lessons in her bag is just adorable!

You have a real talent for capturing characters and emotions and relationships and presenting them in fiction in a way that seems so real, and it's a pleasure to read. I don't have any CC at all for you here, but I want to say that this is a lovely story!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey! Sorry I'm tardy with the review response once again! I really, really love your reviews and hate that I'm sometimes a slacker getting them responded to. :(

But I was so happy to see you read this! (And I totally understand the super busy thing.)

"Sadie Fic" as I affectionately call it, is this massive file on my computer, and it covers way to much time than any normal fic should. I had all these scenes and moments that I had written that went way farther back than Sadie's actual story did but that I used to help me get my backstory straight. I couldn't figure out what to do with them though. Finally decided to make a sort of prequel to the main story. Glad you enjoyed it and like the idea.

I started in a place you didn't expect...(way too far back, right, LOL?) I'm curious where you thought I would start, actually. You'll have to PM me and tell me.

I made Jenny purposefully much older than James, so she would be out of school by the time James entered. I figured that would be the best way to keep it as canon as possible and not have to explain why she was absent from all the Marauders stuff. And I'm really, really happy you thought I captured her emotions and actions for an 11 year old all right.

Awww.now I'm blushing again. Thanks so much. Your compliments mean so much to me.

I'm hoping to update this one soon, as we've passed a point I can put a bit more up, but I actually have to write a few scenes first.

Thanks again! I love your reviews. I look forward to them so much whenever I put up a new chapter.



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Review #9, by MissesWeasley123 Rock-a-Bye Baby

13th September 2013:
Hello again! This was so sweet I almost died. But that would suck so I didn't die. But got very close :D Wait, happy face? What... okay, now I'm getting off topic. (Also, this ones not for the exchange)

I just think this was so short and sweet and can't wait for you to keep on adding onto this.

I'm the youngest in my family, so I've never had the whole, "You're getting another sibling!" But I always wanted one and I just found the whole chapter so heart warming (and made me feel a bit bad because I don't have a baby sibling...) I loved the whole "wink" thing, it was so cool, and Sadies mum just seems so cool too :) I can't wait for more background on when they grow up!

All in all, what a great start! I look forward to updates of this and Ashes :)
-Nadia

Author's Response: Hey!

Please don't die! I would feel immense guilt if you were to die because of my story! And yes, that would be quiet inconvenient for you as well.

And it's so sweet that you read one for the exchange AND this one. *hugs*

Ah, I'm the oldest, so I got that moment twice. But I was so excited both times. I think deep down, Jenny was excited as well, but after being an only child for 11 years it would be a bit unexpected.

Glad you liked Sadie's mum! I'll let you know when more of this goes up.

Thanks again! You are so awesome!


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Review #10, by MC_HK Rock-a-Bye Baby

11th September 2013:
The minute you told me about this I had to come check it out!

It didn't disappoint. It is every bit as heartwarming as the main story line, and I love Jenny's connection to her baby brother! Oh, all the feelings! I especially love the opening! So cute and sooo funny. I like the relationship you give Jenny and James. I think it's great you didn't have this kind of hate an older child has for the new baby. I'm so happy that she loves him, and I'm excited to see what the future looks like for them.

Keep it up! I'm enjoying this! I'll follow both stories to the end and back (because more than likely I'll want to re-read)!

-Monica

Author's Response: Wow! That was fast! Thanks so much!

Only two people have discovered this story yet. I'm kind of curious to see how many people reading the other find it. I don't want to confuse people by requesting reviews for two different story, so for now I'm just going to let this sit here.

So glad you liked the beginning of Jenny's story here. I started these little background scenes for my own selfish reasons - to try and help me get my backstory straight, make sure everything was fitting together, and help me find the "personalities" of some of the OC's I'd invented. But, then I realized if I needed all of that information and I'm the author, perhaps readers might like it too. So, I decided to post.

YEAH! You thought Jenny being James' sister was believable. And it gave you feelings? Cool. It never crossed my mind to make Jenny and James not get along. Glad you're exited to read about their future!

Follow both stories to the end and back? WOW! *shy* I hope I can live up to this amazing praise.

Thanks again! These were so much fun!

More of the first story on Sunday.

- Farmgirl


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Review #11, by CambAngst Rock-a-Bye Baby

10th September 2013:
Hi!

I thought this was really sweet, and quite useful at the same time. You set a tone for Jenny's relationship with James and you helped to define the age difference between the two of them. I thought Jenny was just about perfect for an 11-year-old. The things that concern her, the way that she reacts to the news that she'll be having a younger sibling and finally her anxiety at leaving to go to Hogwarts all fit the picture nicely. I love how she managed to get so attached to little James in a relatively short amount of time. The idea that she would carry him around Hogwarts in her bag was hilarious!

Jenny nodded, still staring at them with huge eyes. "What do you want a baby for?" she finally blurted. -- This! The perfect 11-year-old reaction to the news. "Aren't I enough for you?" You can almost hear the thought behind the question.

The scene on the train platform was one of those things that, as a parent, was sweet and funny and a little bit heart-breaking. My kids had their first day of kindergarten a few weeks ago. Thankfully, the teachers met us in the school lobby and sort of whisked the kids away to their classrooms before anyone -- child or parent -- really knew what was happening.

There's really not much more to say. Nice job and I look forward to seeing more glimpses into the events leading up to your awesome new story!

Author's Response: Hi! You found this! Cool. You're the only one so far. :)

I'm glad you thought it was sweet and useful and not sappy and corny. I just have a whole bunch of these scenes written, that are just kind of like snapshots, that give background to Sadie's story. But I don't want to post them and spoil surprises. So this was my solution.

Writing Jenny was fun. I figured I couldn't just GIVE James Potter a sister and not at least provide readers with a little insight into her. And I thought it was much more believable that he would have a sister much older than him than one very close in age. It changed less canon things that way.

:) That was my favorite line writing this part, so glad you enjoyed it!

Kids grow up, don't they. Aren't you glad you didn't have to put yours on a train to go to boarding school? (Or, maybe you secretly wish you could, hehehehe.)

You think my story is awesome? Wow. Thanks! And thanks so much for reading this little one as well. Keep an eye on it. I'll update it once info becomes...for lack of a better term, declassified. hehehe


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