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Reading Reviews for Think of Funerals
5 Reviews Found

Review #1, by adluvshp Five Stories

18th May 2016:
Hello. So, MuggleMaybe recommended that I shower this story with some review sparkle, and boy, do I need to thank her?! THIS WAS INCREDIBLE.

Sorry for shouting but it really was. I read it twice, once directly, and once after reading your A/N. The first time round I didn't even realise this one-shot made use of all of these devices. To say that this piece of work is creative would be an understatement. Seriously, how do you do it?!

I loved the first segment of the jilted lover - it could be anyone really - and the anonymity of the characters makes it all the more enticing to read. Your descriptions were absolutely beautiful here.

The second one about the diary, I realised in my second reading that this was Ginny. I love your use of words here, especially how you say "the cursive dares". It's amazing that it's in alphabetical order, wow.

The Narcissa segment - I couldn't figure out the narrator exactly - but it was definitely haunting in a sense and portrayed Narcissa in a tragically beautiful manner. I could feel her pain.

I am guessing the black milk was about a death eater. Powerful descriptions there, and your interpretation of the poem to weave this into a narrative was superb. Still amazed.

And the last one. My, oh my. My WolfStar feels. You characterised Sirius perfectly. In such few words, I got him completely. The "how to" style was perfect here, and the way the emotions came through was magnificent.

All in all, what a beautiful masterpiece of writing this is. I'm so glad I stopped by. Loved it. Great work.

(Lost Muse from the Forums)

Author's Response: Angie! What an amazing surprise review! Thank you!

This was easily one of the most fun challenges I ever did. "The Wedding" was based on an exercise we did in one of my creative writing class - which is a fun one, because it forces you to narrow down and end on a sort of high-impact punch (I tweaked it a little to be descending odd numbers because that was the only way to get to 100 words total, and I was super excited when I realized that getting to 100 words was possible).

"The Diary" was also based on a CW exercise, only the original has you alphabetize the beginning of every sentence. But then that would be 28 sentences, so it would be hard to do only 100 words. So yeah, I just went nuts and alphabetized every word. That was REALLY interesting, and I recommend doing it! Like, I couldn't really plan what it was gonna be about or what was gonna happen. It was almost like automatic writing - I would just sort of make the sound of the letter and try to come up with a word that fit. I was all like "a-a-after... b-b-b-buying... c-countless. d-diaries? oh, I guess this'll be about Ginny and Tom." But yeah, I really liked "cursive dares" too, and that sort of word choice had a lot to do with how limited my word choice was :P

The Pantoum! I once heard a woman read an AMAZING pantoum during an open mic thing (that's how I learned about it) and I've been trying to make this basic structure work ever since! But UGH - it's never as good as the one she did! Like, it made me (and the rest of the audience) bawl our eyes out.

I imagined Black Milk to be from the POV of a muggle at Azkaban during the war, since the Death Eaters basically turned the prison into a concentration camp. (Also, the line about the serpent is based on an actual translated line from Todesfuge! And Voldemort genuinely had a serpent!)

Finally, How To Stories! That was one of my favorite CW exercises, and I really recommend that every tries to write a How-To Story. One of my favorites I ever read was called "How to be a Real Ballerina" or something - see if you can find it online, because it's really good (and funny). I think it was published in a collection called "Brevity and Echo." Anyway, How To stories are great :)

Thank you again so much for stopping by to review this very strange thing!


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Review #2, by MuggleMaybe Five Stories

5th December 2015:
Hi, Roisin! I'm here to review your entry for the Microfiction Challenge. :)

I first read this ages ago, but I was waiting for the challenge deadline to pass, and then it was NaNo and now here we are. But I did jot down some thoughts on my first reading:

"impressive, drippingly gorgeous"


In a way, these stories are almost like riddles. Really, really beautiful riddles.

I'm not sure I've solved the first one - I understand the idea because you've written it brilliantly, but I'm not certain about the characters. That's ok, I don't think it's entirely necessary to know the characters. Just an observation.

The Diary - oh, poor Ginny! This one I think I solved.

The pantoum style is new to me, and put to excellent use here. I personally really enjoyed this one.

I haven't read "Todesfuge" but your interpretation makes me want to. Beautiful writing. Just stunning!

I love me some WolfStar! And this one is just so telling in SO few words. I feel like you wrote a photograph of Sirius's soul. I know that doesn't really make sense, but it's true.

Your approach to this challenge was so diverse and... it's the best phrase I have... drippingly gorgeous.

I really enjoyed this. It's one I will likely come back to in the future - it made me think. Thank you for entering the challenge!

xoxo Renee

Author's Response: Yayayay thank you so much for hosting this! It was really /challenging/ in a fantastic way :) And then, just to be weird, I imposed extra challenges and limitations on myself.

For "The Wedding," I honestly didn't have any specific characters in mind. After the fact, I think it might work from Pansy's perspective. Like, her at Draco and Astoria's wedding, maybe.

"The Diary" was CRAZY to write, because the alphabetized thing meant I couldn't plan what I was going to say next. It was almost like automatic writing or something. It was all like "After... buying... countless... er, diaries - OH, I guess that's what's gonna happen here."

I LOVE the pantoum style but have always struggled to make it work for me so I'm really happy you liked this one!

The "Todesfuge" poem is fantastic, because the writer, Paul Celan, has this AMAZING recording of him reading it. Like, just such an amazing rhythm. It sounds a lot like a Jewish prayer, sort of.

It means a HUGE amount to me that you thought I did Sirius well, because he's not a character I ever really write. I'd never even considered WolfStar before I joined this site, but now I love the idea of it. That there might have been a complicated, unrequited thing between Sirius and Remus really adds an interesting and tragic layer to the books, I think.

"Drippingly gorgeous" - I love that! What a huge compliment, thank you!

Thank you again so much for hosting this, all of the entries were absolutely FAB.


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Review #3, by cherry_pop94 Five Stories

6th November 2015:
Oh man Roisin, I don't even know what to say. This was absolutely INCREDIBLE. I'm writing this on my phone though, so bear with me!

The devices were used brilliantly. I didn't even realize they were at play until your author's note. Its a true testament to your skill that you were able to pull this off. Microfiction is jard enough, but to do with such skill... In these short stories, I feel like so much happened. You've captured the whole narrative flow. There's plot, mystery, suspense. It's just incredible.

My favourite one is Narcissa. The reptition is stunning. Though its short, I feel like I understand so much about uer character. The overwhelming sadness, the narrator's pain. And the structure doesn't seem tired out despite the repetition, I think it only emphasizes the monotony of Narcissa's depression.

Ugh, Roisin, I could sing this story praises forever. Thanks for sharing your talent with us!


Author's Response: !! Yay! Oh man, thank you SO MUCH. It's a huge compliment that the devices weren't obvious (especially for the alphabetized one--although I did totally cheat with X :P)

I REALLY love pantoums (the verse style I sort of used for "Narcissa," though they're typically supposed to be a poetry thing). Like, this one time I was at a Lit Reading and this woman did this pantoum... Oh my gosh... The entire audience were all in tears by the time she finished. I've never been able to do it as well as she did, but in hers, the repeated lines had this just INCREDIBLE impact. I don't even know how she managed to write it and organize it all to flow so well. So. Many. Tears.

This was a super fun challenge, partially because I've never spent so LONG on just 100 word segments. Like, it definitely forced me to think really critically about every single word I used.

I'm really stoked that you liked this, thank you so much for the review!

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Review #4, by CambAngst Five Stories

25th September 2015:
Hi there!

This was a really neat story. I admit that I didn't figure out most of the techniques you were applying until I read your author's note. Some things made a lot more sense after that. ;)

I think you did a great job of rising to the various challenges and making great descriptions and imagery fit within some tight constraints. I didn't even notice the alphabetical arrangement of words in the Diary section until you pointed it out and I think that's a big compliment. It's really hard to have your word choice limited like that and you did a great job with it.

For some reason, I pictured the wedding in the first section as being Lily and James Potter's wedding. The narrator seemed like an ex-lover of James's who showed up solely to remind him of what he'd chosen to pass up on.

I really liked the Diary scene. I could imagine the sharp words of remonstration that Tom Riddle used to control and manipulate poor Ginny.

If not for the words "the last time I saw her", I would think that the narrative voice in the Narcissa section is Draco. Perhaps Lucius has written from Azkaban. Maybe I still think that.

How to be a proper heterosexual. Wow. Great job with the bitterness and self-loathing. I'm not a Wolfstar advocate, myself, but the sentiment is perfect for a one-sided version of that pairing.

I love watching you challenge and stretch yourself as a writer. Excellent job!

Author's Response: OK so I've still yet to reply to your last review on Y5 BECAUSE ERMGERD THAT IS SUCH A REVIEW TO REPLY TO.

But I can at least do this :)

This was actually only one challenge (disconnected short stories under 100 words each), and then I imposed the other stuff to make it interesting. And it is a HUGE compliment that the odd devices were invisible! Yay!

Ooh, I like your idea about it being James' wedding. I honestly didn't have a specific character in mind, though I kind of pictured Pansy at Astoria/Draco's wedding fitting after the fact. But yeah, it's definitely open to interpretation.

YAYAYAY so glad you didn't notice the alphabetization! That one was weird to write because I couldn't plan it, I just had to GO. Like, I started without any idea what it was then was like "after... buying... countless... diaries--oh, I guess it'll be about that." Doing it almost felt like automatic writing and was kind of trippy.

I had definitely imagined the narrator of "Narcissa" as Draco, and now I feel hella guilty because I'd imagined it that Narcissa had died after succumbing to crippling depression, and that was the last time Draco saw her. But I feel GUILTY because you always do such cool/strong/show-stealing Narcissas.

TECHNICALLY "How to Be..." isn't WolfStar, as I never named Remus (there are a handful of Sirius/James shippers out there). But yeah obv I imagined it as WolfStar. I'm not sure if I actually ship that ship, but I really like that ship. Then again, I'm not sure I actually HAVE any ships, I just like it when things are done in interesting ways.



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Review #5, by nott theodore Five Stories

31st August 2015:
Hi, Roisin!

I know I still need to catch up on the chapters of A Study in Silver, but I saw this in the recently added pages and couldn't resist stopping by here to see what you'd done with this story - I've seen the challenge over on the forums and I know that you had a similar challenge yourself, so I was sure that it'd be really interesting, particularly as you're a great writer!

I read this slowly, like you asked. I read it through to the end and then I read it again. And then I read each section individually with the notes that you'd provided, and then altogether again. And I'm so impressed with how much you've managed to fit into this story - how packed it is with detail and technique and interest, and the fact that each one of these segments is just 100 words each? Seriously, you should be proud of what you've achieved with this story - I don't think I've ever seen any story that's so experimental (for want of a better word) in so many different ways and manages to incorporate it all into one story.

The opening was really interesting - there was so much ambiguity with that section, and the others, too. I think part of that has to be because of the limited word count, but it also leaves the reader trying to fill in the blanks and work out who the characters are. In a way, each reader is going to get a different version of the stories here, and that's so clever and interesting!

Anyway, the first section - I loved how you titled it, and then completely subverted readers' expectations. The fact that it's a wedding makes you think that the woman getting ready must be the bride, but in fact it's someone who's caught the groom's attention and wants to go and cause trouble, wearing black so that they evoke a completely different impression. I wasn't sure who it was, exactly - part of me thinks this would fit with a Next-Gen love triangle (with Teddy, Victoire and another of the girls, I guess) - and I loved the contrasting images of the bride in white and the guest in black, and the fact that the guest was so confident she'd draw stares - from the groom, especially.

The style of the second section - The Diary - was something I don't remember seeing before, but I loved the scene you chose for it, because I don't think it would have fit with any characters quite as well as it does with Tom Riddle and his diary. The thoughts and the way that they spill out onto the page were so well written. I'm also amazed that you wrote a 100 word piece where each word starts with a different letter of the alphabet. I've read quite a few of the stories where each sentence does that for the challenge that's on the forums right now, but this takes it to the next level and I'm so impressed that you still managed to create a story that made sense, let alone one that fit so well!

The third section, Narcissa, was so interesting and ambiguous too. I loved the way that you incorporated the poetic form and yet still managed to include a lot of information with the repetition that section contained. I really liked the way that, even though it's titled Narcissa, we're not really sure who it might be about. It could be Narcissa narrating, talking about having spoken to someone - Andromeda, maybe? - who didn't care that their father had written. Or it could be Draco speaking to her, and 'dad' means Lucius; it could even be Scorpius speaking to her and 'dad' is Draco. There are so many possibilities there and I love the ambiguity of it and the way that it made me think and question the story, and try and decide who I think the characters are. I think I might just change my mind each time I come back and read this because then I get the best of all worlds :P

I'm not familiar with the poem (or the poet) that inspired the Black Milk story, but now I really want to go and look them up and find out more about them, because if this is based on a translation of that poem, the poem must also be hauntingly beautiful. This scene was so powerful - you captured so many feelings and emotions in so few words. The repetition of the phrase Death is a master from England was so effective, and fits so well with the idea of Voldemort, in this context - or perhaps another that we don't know of yet. It was beautiful.

The final story was so sad. I've only recently read any WolfStar fics, but I'm assuming that Remus is the one that Sirius is looking at - or stopping himself from looking at - here. And the idea that he wanted to cure himself of homosexuality just breaks my heart, and it's worse because I know that there are so many people who've believed that in the past, and so many people who still do, when it's something completely natural and normal and nobody should ever have to think that they need to be cured for being who they are. Ugh. I don't want to rant about it, so I'll go back to the story - I loved the way that you tied this in with both WolfStar and then the trope of Sirius being a player character in fanfiction - this would be such a good explanation for why he tries so hard with women in stories, and why he concentrates his efforts on them, because he's trying to distract other people - and himself - from the fact that he doesn't actually like women in that way at all. The vicious circle of self-hatred that causes is just so sad to read about, and in 100 words you've made tears spring to my eyes over the thought of this being true. I don't want to accept this as canon just because it's so heart-breaking, but it fits so well!

I'm about to max out the character count now (oops!) but, if you couldn't tell, I really loved this story (stories) and I'm so impressed with how much you packed into 500 words! This is fantastic, Roisin!

Sian :)

Author's Response: SiaAaAaAan! Oh my gosh thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to leave such a thorough review! This is one of those stories that I felt kinda weird and unsure about (why is it always the short ones that are the hardest?!?!?! I actually wrote it all out before even signing up to the challenge because I wasn't sure if I could manage it). So yeah, it's so encouraging to get this review!

Gah! Thank you so much for giving it so many read-throughs! It's one of those things where I spent so much time on the things and wanna be all like "loOoOok what I diIiIiIid!" Pretty much all of these styles came from my CW classes and our in-class writing prompts (descending sentence order, alphabetized words, and "How To"--then I'm just a big Celan fan and mighty fond of the Pantoum style).

I honestly didn't have a specific character in mind when I wrote "The Wedding." I kind of decided afterwards that Pansy would fit, and that the wedding in question could be Draco and Astoria. Like, it's all a bit delusional--with the "you will" tense becoming "he is" tense, and I figured Pansy is all about delusions of being fancied. But yeah, it's totally up to the reader, and I'm so interested that you thought of Teddy!

The alphabetized one was weird, because I couldn't really plan it very much. I hadn't even chosen for it to be about the diary! It was sort of like "After... um... buying... um... countless... um... diaries--oh, I guess that's what this'll be about." I kind of intended it to be a back and forth between Ginny and Tom, with him like possessing her and mind control and stuff? I DUNNO IT WAS VERY WEIRD TO WRITE.

"Narcissa" actually did have a concept behind it, but I love the idea that everyone kind of fills it in differently. Like a content-less play almost. Writing it, I'd imagined Draco as the narrator and that it would be set after the war, but now I'm excited by all the other things it could be!

Ooh! Ooh! Ok so I sort of recommend reading a translation of "Todesfuge" while listening to the recording of Celan reading it (in the original German). It had a really amazing sound and cadence and is written to sound like a Jewish prayer almost. In the original poem, the whole "providing the soundtrack for other prisoners to dig your mass grave" thing was more subtle so I really wanted to draw out that image here (and, you know, Voldemort=Hitler).

I definitely imagined Remus as the unnamed "he" in the last story, and even named him in the original draft, but decided to leave it vague for all those Sirius/James shippers. And yeah, UGH. It super bummed me out to write this. All the badness Sirius feels (self hatred, musing about self harm) is super common among people stifled by closets. Meh. Sad. I put that one at the end because I felt like it had such a High Impact ending, which is also a sorta cruel choice because that's what readers are left with. SORRY.

But really, thank you SO MUCH for this amazing fantastic review!


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