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Home for Now  by daw the minstrel 18 Review(s)
pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 3 on 2/18/2008
You feel the loss of Ithilden and Alfirin's son. You see how the birth of a new baby affects them all. Lorien seems thrilled, and all chatty while those two wish for a child. very nice...

Author Reply: I felt so sorry for Ithilden while I was writing this. I decided he and Alfirin needed a baby! Thanks for the review, Pipinheart.

obsidianjReviewed Chapter: 3 on 1/4/2008
A lovely chapter. The beginning was so sad. I felt for Ithilden having to listen to the joy of a new father and so being reminded of his own loss. No wonder he needed a few minutes to compose himself.

Loriel is adorable. I love her simplistic world view. But she managed to infuse new hope into Ithilden and Alfirin. At least she got them talking and sharing again.

Author Reply: Thanks, obsidianj. I amused myself by imagining the look on Eilian's face if he opened a letter telling him to go home and make a baby. :-)

Poor Ithilden. His grief is so overwhelming and he still believes he needs to be strong for others.

IdhrenielReviewed Chapter: 3 on 12/29/2007
Wonderful job Daw. Every time you write I want to read more!
Hugs,

Author Reply: Thanks, Idhreniel. I miss these characters when I'm not writing them. I'm trying to draft a novel right now. As soon as that draft is finished, I've promised myself the chance to write fanfic.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 3 on 11/26/2007
Gosh, Daw, you did a wonderful job of capturing Ithilden's emotions. I felt his despair, his guilt for not being able to protect his son, and the emptiness left by Sinnarn's passing. I cannot and do not want to know what it must feel like to lose a child, but you put yourself into that place and allowed Ithilden to mourn. That must be as low a point anyone could experience.

Flower Face jolted him out of his memories. She is such a hoot: innocent and sweet, and wholly Eilian's offspring. She's quite a character. I loved her questions. And I mean really, just call Ada home and get us a baby. It's so simple.

I would guess Ithilden and Alfirin will still wait a bit before they actually decide to carry through with a new baby, at least until they're able to better manage their grief. But the hope of new life is a potent healer. I can see the time they have between this scene and actually making the leap as a cleansing time to remember everything about Sinnarn, then getting to the place where they feel ready to give him a brother or sister. Joy. Joy in Sinnarn and joy in new life. As sad as this moment is for Ithilden and Alfirin, I see hope in it too.

Just lovely. And when they get around to having this new baby, I think it should be another boy. Not as a replacement for Sinnarn, but as a means for the entire family to face all their fears of having another male to join the 'family business'. Oh, don't you just love conflict? :>) Just happily musing. Whatever you decide, it'll be good. I have no doubt.

Author Reply: Thanks, Karen. I think Ithilden is someone who keeps his emotions inside, which make it harder for him to heal.

Flower Face's questions are direct quotes from my son when he was a pre-schooler. It's all such a mystery. And I'm sure Eilian would be happy to oblige and take his wife to bed as often as possible. He might have to draw the line at another baby just now though. I think the one he has is a handful.

I'd been thinking about a girl, but a boy has real possibilities!

perellethReviewed Chapter: 3 on 11/24/2007
Well, you piqued me. Knowing you I knew it would be hopeful, and I suspected that the only way to hope, or at least distraction in that situationwould be that... but the doll was a beautiful detail and flower face is an amusing child. I loved the awkwardness of the situation!

Author Reply: Flower Face was delivering lines originally delivered to me by my son. And let me tell you, those questions are hard to answer!

You didn't have to do this, Perelleth. I hope it helped soothe the airport crankiness.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 3 on 11/24/2007
Poor Ithilden. At the beginning when he was facing young-warrior Anolad and new-father Calith, I felt so sad for him. Everything must be a reminder of what he has lost - and he wouldn't be Ithilden if he wasn't blaming himself for it all. And Alfirin is trying to shield him from her own desolation and, in the process, managing to make him feel that she is closing him out because she cannot forgive him.

Loriel - who has the potential to be far too like her beloved Ada - must be salt in the wound, too. When Ithilden allowed himself to drift into the past and her footsteps reminded him of Sinnarn ... well. You are too good at tugging heartstrings.

I hope, I must say, that Emmelin has already sailed. Although having another child would in no way be to make a Sinnarn-substitute, if she were to be there when her parents-in-law produced the baby she herself yearned for, but Sinnarn did not trust the state of the world enough to create with her - it would, at the very least hurt. At worst, it could embitter her and turn her against her baby brother/sister-in-law.

I do love Ithilden and Alfirin. And I'm glad he is prepared to go against centuries of caution to create a child. And the twig dolls are delightful. As is the symbolism of Alfirin repairing the one that was broken.

Author Reply: When Ithilden allowed himself to drift into the past and her footsteps reminded him of Sinnarn ... well. You are too good at tugging heartstrings.

Several readers said that line was effective, and I was relieved. I thought it might be too farfetched.

Emmelin is gone. Elowen whisked her away and I think that's a good thing. I have it on good authority that things worked out well for them in time in Valinor. :-)

ziggyReviewed Chapter: 3 on 11/23/2007
Here am I in tears, hoping so much for Ithilden to be happy- the bit when Loriel runs in and he hopes/ wonders/ dreams that time has gone back and Sinnarn's death was not real- oh that just wrung me out. I love your characters, Daw. I was re-reading My bother's keeper last night so its wonderful to get an update of this!But the pain of Sinnarn's death, and poor Alfirn's longing and that flash of jealousy- beautifully conttrasts with Loriel's delightful unawreness.

Just love the previous chapter too- Beliond thinks it serves Eilian right to have that keg and half of trouble! And the impression she does of Legoasl ina strop!! More Beloind and Loriel I hope in the future- a great combination!!
Thank you!!

Author Reply: the pain of Sinnarn's death, and poor Alfirn's longing and that flash of jealousy- beautifully conttrasts with Loriel's delightful unawreness

That's so true. The atmosphere at the stronghold must be thick with grief, but Loriel is just flying along, exploring her world. She must sense others' grief and I'm sure she misses Eilian and is bewildered by his leaving her. But she doesn't have that same numbing, incredulous grief the rest of them feel. And maybe that's good for the rest of them.

GwynhyffarReviewed Chapter: 3 on 11/23/2007
Oh.
My.
Gosh!

Poor Ithilden! I wanted to hug him for the entire first 3/4 of this story-well okay for the entire story. His pain was so real and he was trying to hard to be the stoic one. Breaking the twigdoll was so poignant. I almost bawled like a baby! Of course, he didn't react that way-his was already broken. Speaking of twigdolls, that was WONDERFUL! It's a perfect example of a cultural practice and symbolic act that (in my opinion) helps define a culture. The end was a big surprise! I was getting worried about Alfirin and Ithilden for awhile at the beginning because it seemed like they were being distant with each other. I hated to see that!

The promise of new life is wonderful, of course, but I almost feel sorry for any second elfling. I can only imagine how over-protective the 'rents will be!


Author Reply: I'm so glad you think the twig doll was a good cultural thingy. Given your profession, you know about stuff like that! :-)

This child would probably not be quite of age during the Ring War. So yes, I imagine you're right. Ithilden will want to be on guard.

ponypetterReviewed Chapter: 3 on 11/22/2007
It's so sad to imagine Sinnarn gone. I have to admit he was never my favorite of your OCs. Not that he's not a good character - it's just that he never jumped out to me like some of your others (Eilian, Ithilden, Beliond). His death was sad to me more because of how it affected the others, Ithilden in particular. He's one that I feel often draws the short straw.

The ending of this chapter made me so excited! I never imagined Ithilden and Alfirin would consider another child. I thought Ithilden would start to withdraw, become more like Beliond even. Perhaps that's the effect seeing Eilian with Loriel has had on him. It reminds him of why they decided to have a child in the first place - the joy it brings to them, and not the possible heartache if they lost it.

Loriel's innocent misunderstanding of the whole baby-making process was adorable. I can totally picture her telling her mother with Eilian's unassuming charm and Celuwen's frank nature that Ithilden and Alfirin need to make another baby. What a lovely chapter.

Author Reply: I always thought of Sinnarn as a minor character. And then I killed him and people reacted and I was just staggered. But I think you're right. His death affected almost all my other characters and they really felt the loss so maybe that's why readers did too.

Ithilden is lucky to have Alfirin. I think she's saved him from himself more than once, brought him back into life and let him see the possibility of happiness.

When Eilian hears about this little incident, he'll be mighty amused.

DotReviewed Chapter: 3 on 11/22/2007
I saw the chapter alert for this and after my initial reaction of ďyay, Ithilden!Ē I was a bit wary about how sad it was going to be. But it was so lovely! What a sweet note of hope runs through it.

I was so happy for Calith! I really do like him. Though Iím surprised the place is still standing with him missing. And Anolad is quite fun. Itís nice to see someone so cheerful and optimistic at what must be a truly awful time for the Woodland Realm. It was quite a touching insight too into Legolasí thoughts that he kept this young warrior as far as possible from danger. I notice Ithilden let him too. The idea of the twig doll is wonderful. I love when you drop little things about their culture and customs into your stories. Iíd swear my heart stopped when Anolad suggested giving it to Ithilden, though. Poor Ithilden. I thought he was very selfless in preventing his own grief from affecting Calithís time of joy. How hard that must have been. Not that Calith canít see right through him, of course. And the image of him in the garden, his pain such a physical presence, nearly had me in tears. I felt for him too in his worry about what Alfirin is thinking and his determination to keep his self control for what he feels is her sake. His head jerked toward the sound, and for a foolish moment, he thought his wishes had made time rewind, thought some merciful power had decided he shouldn't have to bear this pain after all. Ack. Even foolish hope can bring such crushing disappointment.

Loriel always makes me smile. Sheís so full of life and doesnít stay still for an instant! I donít know how the adults around her keep a straight face either with half the things she comes out with. Sheís so earnest in her explanations! Sheís clearly doing Alfirin a world of good anyway.

I love how Alfirin fixes the doll, the symbol of new life, that Ithilden has broken in his grief. Very appropriate. And Iím glad Alfirin and Celuwen have each other. After all, Celuwen must miss and worry about Eilian.

ďWrite to Ada and tell him we need him to come home and make a baby," Loriel said. ROTFL! Yes do! And can I see his reaction, please?!

Iím not sure if I felt worse for Celuwen or for Alfirin and Ithilden when Loriel made her next suggestion. Itís so hard when youíre afraid of saying the wrong thing. Though as it turns out, it wasnít the wrong thing at all and Ithilden might never have known otherwise what Alfirin was thinking. I feel bad for her that sheís kept this to herself because she feels he wonít agree and I bet a little part of her thinks heíd be right if he said it wasnít the right time. Iíd personally be wondering if itís a result of being around Loriel when she misses her own child so much but I suppose the strength of the longing that Ithilden can feel in her probably tells him everything he needs to know.

"Eilian and Loriel were both born during times of relative peace, and what good has it done them?" Hmm. Well, thatís true. And those born in times of danger might have no choice but to fight it but theyíve turned out no better or worse than those born during peace. Itís funny how Ithilden has learned the same lesson as his father Ė that a child is a gift and a symbol of hope no matter how dark the world is. Just because they canít offer the child peace doesnít mean they canít offer it love. And hey, theyíll have another child to grow up alongside Calithís! I wonder what Maltanaurís daughter is up toÖ

Iím actually not sure how I feel about Alfirin and Ithilden having another child. What Iím happiest about, I suppose, is how it will give them a chance to renew their own bond and perhaps take a step closer to healing. Iím so glad this story had a happy ending. And their families will be so pleased that theyíre looking to the future and beginning to see the chances for joy in the world again.

This is a wonderful story, daw. Iím delighted fanfic called you back even for a while! Now Iíd better get back to work. We donít all have a holiday today, you know ;-)





Author Reply: I was just telling Elliska that the first draft of this chapter started with Ithilden in the garden but then I decided to back up and show what happened in Ithilden's office. It turned out to be interesting to write--to figure out things like who whether anyone could do Calith's job and who would be attempting it and how he got there. And would be the ME equivalent of a father giving out cigars? That's fun to do, I think.

You're very clever to pick up that moment when Alfirin mends the doll. It's a tiny moment, but I meant it to be fraught with meaning.

I imagine Eilian would laugh at the invitation to come home and take his wife to bed. Then he'd count the days until his leave was due. Poor guy. He's missing a lot of his daughter's growing up.

You are NOT going to tempt me into giving Maltanaur another grandchild! I'm already groaning at the thought of another OC in the form of Ithilden's new baby!

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