Reviews For Eleventy-One Years: Too Short a Time; Book One

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
08/10/14 - 01:41 pm
Chapter 41: A Day in the Life

A chapter filled with a sense of peace, especially the last paragraph.

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
08/09/14 - 10:46 pm
Chapter 38: Farewell to Bungo

Such a sad chapter, but ending on such a hopeful note.

Just two little slip-ups that caught my eye: in '"Now see here!" exclaimed Largo . . . Mr. Grubb fixed Largo with a glare . . .', 'Largo' should be 'Longo'; and in one instant you wrote 'Drogo' instead of 'Bungo'. Alas, hobbits have such similar names!



Author's Response:

It was sad, but inevitable, and I am glad the hopefulness came through!

I'll have to try and fix that...again. I think I must have forgotten to hit save when I corrected it on another site before posting here, which means fixing it in both places. The similarity in names really doesn't help, but that's hobbits for you!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
05/15/14 - 12:40 pm
Chapter 36: Hopes and Dreams

Another beautiful chapter. I loved the reference to the pocket handkerchief, and, of course, Bilbo's little talk with his mother.



Author's Response:

Thank you! Bilbo and his mother are very close.

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
05/15/14 - 12:29 pm
Chapter 35: Coming of Age, Part 2

It's great to see an update! I really enjoyed these chapters, from Bilbo's friendship with Rory to the birthday party. Beautifully descriptive, as always, and very hobbit-y!



Author's Response:

Oh, I'm so glad! I'm really pleased to be updating this again!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
11/08/13 - 06:28 am
Chapter 32: Harvest Time

Poor Bilbo. He's met a girl he likes and who likes him, and a silly convention is abou to hamper their happiness. Rotten luck!



Author's Response:

Well, he was of course, destined to be a bachelor. I didn't want to take the overly dramatic path of killing her off or have her rejecting him; so it seemed most logical that something else had gotten in the way of their getting together. Since I established that healers rarely wed in the Shire (although the Fourth Age seems to be an exception to that), I thought it might be a good alternative!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
08/05/13 - 03:34 pm
Chapter 30: Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn

It was wonderful to see Bilbo as a teacher - he's a natural at it! Teaching does seem to be his calling and it definitely shows he enjoys it.

Author's Response:

It was canon that he taught both Sam and Frodo--I simply take the position that they must not have been his first or only pupils! I too, think he'd have been a natural at it, just in the way he enjoys telling tales and writing and other scholarly things.

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
07/29/13 - 07:50 am
Chapter 29: Fireworks and Forgetfulness

Lovely chapter, with a hint of sadness. It was nice to see the Old Took have a good time with his family (and not suffer during his last days) before his passing
I must say Lalia is positively horrid; and I rather like Aunt Citrine.
Gandalf's line of "I think that you will forget for a time--but when the time is right, you will indeed remember!" was epic and the reference to certain events to come couldn't be more well-placed.



Author's Response:

Thank you! I didn't want to prolong Gerontius' suffering any more than I had to. And truly, Bilbo needed to see the Old Took one last time "to speak to".

Lalia is most dreadfully horrid. She's a drama queen, completely self-centered. Aunt Citrine has the privilege of being outspoken both because she's family and because she holds a rather privileged position--outspokeness tends to be a trait of Shire healers who are almost always female, and who use their authority rather crisply.

Gandalf, I think, was having one of those intuitive times. He realizes that for some reason he might need Bilbo in the future, but he also realizes that the young hobbit needs to "forget" about him for a while, and he helps the process along.

(Honestly, I can't think of another reason he'd forget such a memorable person, can you?)

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
07/29/13 - 07:24 am
Chapter 28:Cousins and Calamities

It's quite an adventure they had! As always, it's so wonderful to witness the escapades of a younger Bilbo and canon characters who were never truly expanded on by the Professor.



Author's Response:

Yes indeed! Just a little adventure, safe in the Shire, but an adventrue nonetheless.

Of course, that's the delight of fanfiction--every character was younger once, and had a life before the book opened, it's clear. So we get to have the fun of figuring out what must have happened for them before that time happened.



Author's Response:

Yes indeed! Just a little adventure, safe in the Shire, but an adventrue nonetheless.

Of course, that's the delight of fanfiction--every character was younger once, and had a life before the book opened, it's clear. So we get to have the fun of figuring out what must have happened for them before that time happened.

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
07/29/13 - 04:15 am
Chapter 27: Highday Before the Wedding

Such a cheerful and very hobbity chapter, what with the preparations and the singing.



Author's Response:

I had a lot of fun writing this chapter--especially coming up with the song!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
07/11/13 - 10:13 am
Chapter 26: The Wedding

I loved all the little details of the wedding! Everything was so very vivid and cheerful. It was a nice treat to see Bilbo interact with Pomona - I think many readers, including myself, are so used to imagining Bilbo as an older chap that we forget he was young and interested in lasses once. :)
I have a feeling Chop isn't done with Siggy and Bilbo, though. Looking forward to the next chapter.



Author's Response:

I always have fun writing hobbit weddings, and you may have noticed I indulged myself in a nice long chapter this time, LOL!

That's why I am writing this story--I want to show what kind of possible influences his early life must have had on him when he made his later choices in life--yes, he was young once, and he had to grow up like everyone else!

Well, Chop did say they were even. And he has a new bride to keep him busy. But we'll see!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
06/17/13 - 10:03 am
Chapter 24: One Eye on the Mirror as You Watched Yourself Go By

I really enjoyed those moments between the cousins, and hearing the story about how Chop and Periwinkle met and finally began courting was lovely. No wonder Chop wanted to make a good impression, what with his reputation preceding him; he seems to have achieved that wonderfully.
It's good to see his old self hasn't vanished, and I must say I am looking forward to his reaction to the prank. I have a feeling he will laugh with Bilbo and Siggy, and that even Periwinkle will, too.



Author's Response:

I think you may be right. *grin*

He definitely does not have the best reputation in the Tooklands--and so Periwinkle was justly wary. But obviously his charm won in the end--since they are getting married, LOL!

I wanted Bilbo and Siggy to see his old self was still there for themselves--and I think they are reassured now.

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
05/09/13 - 03:54 am
Chapter 22: Afternoon at the Great Smials

I do like the description of the Great Smials, it feels like a vast but comfortable place. Chop has definitely changed, and his bride does not seem to share much of his previous humour, but no doubt she has other qualities that have endared her to him. I am very much looking forward to the prank!



Author's Response:

Yes, a vast but comfortable place is a good description.

Periwinkle does have some lovely qualities, and her practicality and "propriety" will make a nice balance for her husband.

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
01/23/13 - 03:00 am
Chapter 21: You Are Cordially Invited, Part One

A very cheerful chapter. Nicely descriptive and the riddle-game was quite fun to read!



Author's Response:

I'm glad you enjoyed it! It ws fun to imagine what Bilbo would do to while away the hours on a journey like that.

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
12/26/12 - 09:17 am
Chapter 20: Deep Roots Are Not Reached By the Frost

A chapter full of hope for the present and future. It is very good to see the Hobbits recovering from the Fell Winter.



Author's Response:

I am SO glad to be through with the Fell Winter; it was an awful time for them, and I am so glad to let them have some joy again!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
11/27/12 - 08:22 am
Chapter 19: When Winter Comes Without a Spring

An excellent chapter. It truly takes the reader on a trip through emotions: from feeling dread at every knock on the door, fearing the arrival of more bad news, to the contentment felt after a successful fishing expedition, to Bilbo's excitement when noticing those first blooms peeking shyly from the snow.



Author's Response:

Thank you! I was afraid I was being too "narrative"--telling, not showing enough. But I knew I still had a lot of information to convey from canon, such as the deaths of Bilbo's Great-aunts and -uncles. It was noticing how they all died during the Fell Winter that began to get me thinking along these lines in the first place.

And I was truly as ready to see the end of the winter as the hobbits were!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
11/15/12 - 03:40 am
Chapter 18: The Wood Was Burning Fast, and the Snow Still Fell

Horrible winter indeed! Very nicely written scenes, very emotional. The effects this interminable winter has on everyone are shown quite clearly and in a way that makes it easy to relate. Like the Hobbits, I can't wait for spring to finally arrive.



Author's Response:

This winter went down in hobbit history, so it needed to have a real impact. Spring is still a little way off, especially in this particular year.

I can tell you though, this author is also ready for spring--it's been difficult to write about such a long winter, and to spread out all of the events that had to occur during it.

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
10/29/12 - 01:18 pm
Chapter 17: Beware the Wolf in Darkness Born, part 2

Beautiful chapter. A bit grim, perhaps, but wonderfully written. It's so very nice to read about things Tolkien hinted at, all done in a unique perspective. Hobbits truly shone in this, showing that they are capable of true bravery and great achievements when roused.



Author's Response:

Thank you! I'm glad you think it well-written. It's difficult to put the characters through such hard times--and yet this is just the sort of thing JRRT did hint at! And of course we know how brave hobbits can be "in a pinch".

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
10/16/12 - 05:50 pm
Chapter 16: Beware the Wolf in Darkness Born, part 1

This chapter and the previous ones are harrowing...hobbits weakened by hunger, made vulnerable to disease (the 'flu) and now wolves!  And then you end it with the wolves howling!  Oh, you cruel thing, you... :^D

Doesn't sound like Bungo and Belladonna are quite out of the woods yet, re: the lingering cough.



Author's Response:

There was a reason that year went down in Shire History as the "Fell Winter"!  I'm just recounting in detail the things that JRRT hinted at! (But I'm glad you found them harrowing--it's hard sometimes for me to judge how I'm doing with things like that.)

It's quite likely you are right about Bungo and Belladonna.

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
10/16/12 - 04:29 am
Chapter 16: Beware the Wolf in Darkness Born, part 1

Welcome back! Beautiful chapter, as usual. Good to read Bilbo wasn't sick too long; and the account of the Hobbits going after the wolves sure is exciting.

Looking forward to the next chapter.



Author's Response:

Yes, Bilbo was pretty sick, but not nearly so sick as his parents had been, and with the special medicine was able to recover more quickly.

I'm glad you found it exciting! I always worry about action/adventure scenes!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
09/17/12 - 11:23 am
Chapter 15: A Gleam of Good Hope

A very uplifting chapter, despite the bad news Bilbo's uncles bring. It's very nice to see Bella and Bungo (and other ill hobbits) are on the mend. And the New Year song was simply beautiful!



Author's Response:

Thank you so much! The year has turned, and Bilbo's parents have taken a turn for the better!

Every year I try to write and post at least one (and sometimes more) "Shire Yule Carol".  I often use them in my stories as well! I'm glad you liked it!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
09/10/12 - 10:24 am
Chapter 14: Tidings: An Interlude

Beautiful insights into the characters, especially Gandalf and Isengrim. My heart went out to Gerontius - he was so clearly devastated by the passing of his wife of so many years.

I am looking forward to the next chapter and the appearance of the wolves.



Author's Response:

Yes. I knew it was risky to move away from the Hobbiton POV, but I knew all along that I was going to have to when I got to this part. I'm glad you liked the characterizations!

Ah, yes! Those white wolves!

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Reviewer: Certh (Signed)
09/04/12 - 05:02 am
Chapter 13: Over Snow by Winter Sown

Another very good chapter. I loved how everyone's emotions were portrayed so clearly, showing their worries and innermost fears. The characterisation of Sage was wonderful: despite not feeling very confident herself, it truly showed that she is competent, doing her best and remaining calm. Using dowsing to detect the source of the illness was a nice touch - I had forgotten all about that practice.

Overall, a great chapter, very emotional and poignant.



Author's Response:

The use of the pendulum for my hobbit healers is derived from real Healing Touch practice. My husband, in addition to being an RN for nearly 40 years, is also a Certified HT practioner, and I have often observed him using his pendulum. I've taken a little dramatic license in my stories, making it more exact for my hobbit healers. My idea is that Elven healers and descendants of Isildur are able to see the patient's energy fields, which is how they do much of their healing; but hobbits compensate for the lack of that ability by the use of the pendulum. I used it first in one of my very earliest stories, and it is a practice unique to hobbit healers in my 'verse.

These chapters are so important to my understanding of Bilbo's character-- I was hoping they would come across as emotional without being too angsty! Thank you for your kind words!

 

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Reviewer: Oshun (Signed)
08/29/12 - 08:26 pm
Prologue

I was just gping to say--not too ambitious are you? Then I read your ;ast paragrph above. As a queen of long-sstanding ambitious WIPs, I say: go for it! Looking forward to getting started on it.



Author's Response:

Oh, I do hope you have half as much fun reading it as I am writing it! It is so fun to imagine Bilbo as a baby, a child, a tween! And of course, I have various canonical events to work in and some events of my previous stories.

I've found the new tale less of a drag on my other WIPs than RL and my modly duties!

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
07/06/12 - 07:18 pm
Chapter 3: Encounter, part two

Oh, you are on a roll with Eleventy-One Years!  Belladonna is marvelous.  Nice job of capturing her character.  Really appreciated her inner thoughts about her husband and that she wished he had a little more fire in him, but Bungo found his courage to seek her out.  Very nice how you showed him overcoming his uneasiness (already feeling uncomfortable in the Great Smials) to seek Gandalf's assistance.  The POV of Gildor was neat, too.

The blessing is almost prophetic!  



Author's Response:

Oh, thank you!  I am so glad you like my Belladonna and my Bungo.

Bungo, like his son, will find his courage in a pinch.

I had a great time with Gildor. (Of course much of that part is directly taken from my AU story "Eucatastrophe: The Return".  The "blessing" is a quotation from Edith Nesbitt's Five Children and It, and was given me as a challenge element when I was writing that story.  The minute I read it, it just shouted "BILBO!" at me, and I knew that even though that part was in an AU story, it was still a part of my non-AU universe as well.

It really is almost prophetic! I could not believe I got so perfect a quote for that challenge!  And I was so pleased at the Sindarin translation that Ithilwen was able to figure out for me!

 

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
07/06/12 - 07:01 pm
Chapter 2: Encounter, part one

Oh, wow!  And this chapter amply illustrates why I like your hobbits so much: they read as real people with real problems and with very relatable issues.  I love Belladonna.  She wears a veneer of domesticity, but she seems to me to be a brilliant firebrand under that.  Worthy of "the remarkable Belladonna Took" moniker.  The constrast and compliment of Bungo and Belladonna are neat, too.

And this cracked me up!

"Not content to wait while his parents discussed such unimportant things, he picked up his entire bowl and planted his face in it."



Author's Response:

Well, you see, my dreadful secret is that I think of the hobbits as real people, so of course I try to show them as such. I am convinced that somewhere in the multi-verse (as I was once introduced to the concept via DC comics) there IS a Middle-earth and a Shire...

Belladonna is definitely a firebrand, and yet also practical and domestic. The latter tends to hold sway when she is in Hobbiton, where she is by turns patient and amused by and very much a part of, the staid Bagginses.  But at home among her Took kin, well, she can easily revert to her Tookish side especially when supported by her sisters or thwarted by her older brothers!  Bungo really is a "decent and respectable hobbit", extremely patient and while he feels deeply, he is not outwardly passionate.  Yet he is inwardly, and he adores Belladonna to distraction.

*grin* Yeah, I kind of loved that part myself.  Bilbo is awfully fluffy in these early chapters, but I love it.

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