Author's Response: Thanks! I was actually working on said next chapter when I discovered this review! :) I haven't been getting a lot lately, so it really made me feel good! -Traveller
How nice to see an update here when I finally got to come back over to this site! I've been so busy lately that I've neglected coming here.
Poor Frodo, poor Merry and poor Pippin! This certainly was a very angsty chapter! But it looks as though things are looking up again.
Author's Response: I'm with you on the busy thing- it turns out this summer has been even busier for me than school! I was glad to finally be able to get a chapter up. Yes, poor everyone! But that, I suppose, is the essence of angst. A little bit more angst, and then some happiness- hang in there! And also more about Diamond and Fair in the next chapter- I haven't forgotten about them! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing- I always love to read your comments and I take them to heart! -Traveller
Author's Response: Thanks! I have to think things through, so I'm just taking this one chapter at a time, but hopefully it'll be up soon. Thank you for reviewing! -Traveller
First off, I am very pleased that the chapter starts looking at Diamond and Dale, who seems an interesting character; I like his personality; he just seems to come across as likeable and trusting at first and second glances. The fact that the chapter begins, too, with the description of the paddock and ponies is another favourite of mine in this recent update. I like it how sweet it is that Diamond compares the liver chestnut pony with Tawny, and that she finds a friend in Dale even after he finds out her true identity. He is a stout fellow. The angst, although not as strong in this chapter, is made up by the fact that the romance between Merry and his wife is beautifully written, and how well Pippin deals with it - keeping his nose out and being tactful.
Oh, I almost forgot. There is a new author recently joined this website; abatwa, she is a new author who wishes to write about the Hobbits. I don't know what exactly her stories are about, except that they will contain the Hobbits and a lot of angst, but rest assured she's good - excellent - at description. As I said, I'm not sure about her stories, but I think they contain something different - but she won't tell me what it is. Could be anything. Could even be slash in there somewhere! But check out her stories when they're posted if you can, as she's a very enthusiastic writer. I hope she does well on this website, whatever she writes.
Okay then, I hope that the shortness of this review is forgiven - I have to go and prepare some 'taters for dinner. :D Thanks very much for the update, happy birthday, and I love the ending of the chapter - a hint of suspense is all we need - and a brilliant author like you! Hugs, love, from
Author's Response: *Takes meerkatalex's birthday wishes and stow them in her pocket for safekeeping* Thanks! Believe it or not, seventeen really doesn't feel any different than sixteen! Oh well, I had a yummy giant chocolate-chip cookie with purple frosting that my mom made! Yeah, Fair's having some pretty scary dreams for the equivalent of a human twelve-year-old. I love Dale, too- I kind of based him a little bit off of my senior project mentor, in his looks and personality, although some things are different. I love talking about the ponies and describing each one's looks and personality individually because horses are such a big part of my life. I liked writing the angst scene between Merry and Estella. Oh, by the way, what did you think of Estella's character? I tried to make Stellie (there's another nickname for you, since you like them!) not quite as bold and strong as Diamond, but very sympathetic. Although I would like to make all the female characters strong, sort of like Tolkien did, I think that would eliminate some necessary contrast. And Estella is in no way weak. Tell me what you think of her! And the angst will be back full swing next chapter, never you fear! Hehehe. Lol, I'm such a torture monkey, but Pippin and Merry are both gluttens for punishment. I read about Abatwa on her homepage when she was under "newest member". I can't wait to read her stories, especially if they're about Hobbits. She said something about Pippin and auburn curls and emerald eyes and I was like, "Ok, you're my new friend"! Lol. But I have yet to speak to her. Tell her Traveller says hi and can't wait to meet her! And you always give me longer reviews than anyone else, so don't worry about it! It looks long on the page (that's what I love!) I bet your taters will turn out well enough to make even Gollum jealous, lol! Hug and love and plotbunnies, -Traveller
Lovely to see that Estella has come to visit, and to see how pleased Pippin is to have her visiting and to see her with Merry.
I still think something fishy is up with Diamond's teacher. Why didn't she tell Dale that Diamond was married? Or that her husband was the Thain's heir? Very odd.
And I am getting REALLY curious about the mysterious connection between little Faramir and his namefather. Has Pippin ever told his son about the Man he's named for? I'd think he might guess who the Man is.
Author's Response: I liked writing the scene with Estella and Pippin together because they both have one thing in common- their love for Merry. I thought that Pippin would feel very ashamed and guilty that his illness put off their wedding, and that it would take lots of reassuring on the part of both Merry and Estella that it was alright and it wasn't his fault. Yes, something is fishy with Mistress Hibbs (you'll just have to wait and see what, though!). I don't actually think Mistress Hibbs knew that Pippin was the Thain's heir, because she lives kind of in the middle of nowhere and keeps to herself, and Pippin doesn't really like to flaunt his importance. I love the fact that I'm keeping you in suspense- I love to keep my readers on the edge of their seats and guessing! I think that Pippin would have told Fair some about Faramir, but only happy tales because the sad or dramatic ones would have been painful for him to think about and he didn't want Fair to seem him hurting (also the reason Fair's still with Nellie and Cory and not home with his father). It seems to me that the stories about Boromir would have been especially painful for Pippin to talk about, and about Denethor's descent into madness and his attempts to fry poor Faramir. So that would be why Fair is still doesn't know who the men in his dreams are. I have to say, I really loved writing the boat dream in this chapter. I had no idea what I was going to write about when I sat down to compose it- I just knew that Fair had to have another dream and it had to be dramatic. I really loved the way it turned out, and I hope you did, too! Thanks for your continued reads and reviews! -Traveller
A very sweet chapter! I can tell that you are quite fond of horses and ponies!
I'm more than a little intrigued about the situation Diamond has found at Mistress HIbbs' home-- it seems a little fishy.
And I loved little Primmie's letter to her "Uncle Pippin"!
I look forward to seeing more.
Author's Response: Thanks! Yes, I am very fond of horses and ponies, as I ride on a regular basis (going in about an hour and a half, actually!) I do have a slight flaw when writing about them, though, I will admit. Although horses and ponies are actually two different species (my riding teacher taught me that), and have completely different personalities, I often tend to make my little Hobbit-ponies seem more like horses because it's the personality I want them to have. The only ponies I've written about that actually has a pony-personality are Tucker, Sam's pony, and maybe Cratez, Merry's pony. Cheyanna and Tawny have very much horse-personalities. But I try! Ooooh, the plot will thicken with Mistress Hibbs- you'll see! *Laughs to self, slightly diabolically* This is so much fun! But really, though, do you think the character is believeable? There's a fine line between eccentricity and believeabilty, and I'm trying really hard not to cross it. Primmie is just one adorable bundle of AWWWW! I love characterizing the cute little kids, like Fair and the Gamgees. But Primmie is a little bit special because of her empathy and connection with Pippin, which makes him love her back with an intensity that even he can't seem to explain. More on that later! Thanks for the review! -Traveller
He chuckled as he revealed the final ingredient. “And lobelia.”
Pippin raised an eyebrow and Merry’s eyes widened. But it was Frodo who spoke.
“Now there’s irony if I’ve ever seen it.”
These lines made me laugh, I'll admit that brewing lobelia in Sam's Magic Tea is probably what makes it taste so awful. :D Yes, I do love this chapter and am glad that you've updated so soon. In refrence to my stories; I'm really ever so sorry that I haven't got to them yet. I have really bad writer's block that seems to just keep returning. Whenever I feel the need to write it just comes out in a rush and I can't get pen to paper quickly enough... Then my ideas run away from me and it makes me feel useless. However I hope to update as soon as I am planning to kidnap a plot bunny in the near future so keep your eyes open!
Oh, and on the notes in your end chapter notes, (lol) please may I have the translations of human age to Hobbit age emailed to me? I think you know my email address or you can just contact me from my page. I'd like to update my profile soon too. Well I hope that this review has left you in a good mood. I like reviewing your stories as much as I like reading them! Oh and good going on calling one of the ponies Stybba. It reminds people of Merry's position in Rohan and of his importance. I love the original Stebba though; he's lovely. Afterthought: lying to someone would be uncommmon amoungst Hobbits, c'est vrai? I get the feeling that stealing, lying, etc would be frowned upon deeply by Hobbits and not many would dare to do that as it just doesn't seem like Hobbits to do that, does it? They are a fair and social folk and I wish I were a Hobbit. Well, glad to review again; please update soon! Your friend,
Author's Response: If I were a wizard like Gandalf, I'd poof us both into Hobbit-ness and we could live in the Shire! Wouldn't that be fun? I'm glad you're still liking the story- thanks for the long review, I live on these! I love giving my characters nicknames. A special thing about Primrose's nickname, Primmie, is that I always thought that Frodo's mother, Primula, would be called Primmie before she died. I'd like to think that Frodo gave little Primrose that nickname, but that it still hurts him sometimes to hear her called that because it reminds him of his mum. Primmie's going to be just fine, don't worry! The reason that she and Pippin are so close is because they both get ill easily- all of the Gamgee children can't be as hardy and invincible as Goldie or Sam himself, can they? I feel so awful for poor Diamond- she wants nothing more than to be with her Pippin, but doesn't want to let him down by giving up her chance to learn under Mistress Hibbs. Did I tell you that the reason I made Diamond play the flute is because I play it, too? Although I'm not nearly as good as her ! :) I actually googled about herbs for respiratory health, and I laughed when I saw that lobelia is one of them! And Sam's tea is actually supposed to taste good, which I guess adds to the irony of the whole situation! I'm sorry you have writer's block! :( I'm in the process of shipping a whole hutch-full of plot bunnies to England via priority mail for you! :) What helps me think about my stories is taking my dog for a walk, for like forty-five minutes or so at a time. It gives me plenty of time to think, but only Pepper (that's my doggie, like Diamond's pony but my dog's a guy!) can be with me- if there are any other humans, I get distracted. You should try it. The Hobbit age chart is actually Dreamflower's- you can find the link under one of her reviews of OMAF (that's "Of Magic and Friendship", in case you didn't catch on!). It should be like the third or fourth one down from the top. Let me know if you can't find it. Since my stories are usually slightly AU, I generally only base my ages loosely off of this chart- I go with whatever works for what I'm writing. I always thought it would be a cute idea for Pippin's pony to have a foal by Merry's stallion, and that Pippin would give Merry the honor of naming it, in a gesture of friendship. AWWWW! moment. All ponies are cute! I ride English-style- jumping is fun! The horse I ride is named Harry- he's a big bay American Quarter Horse. Get this- is show name is Second Breakfast! How cute is that?! Yeah, I do think that lying and stealing and stuff like that would be very uncommon in the Shire, but there are always dissenters to society (like Ted Sandyman- what a jerk! I get more into him later). Speaking of which, yes, there will be a sequel to this! It will be less of a plot-driven story, I think, and more of little chronological snapshots of their lives, but there will still be a point, of course. Does that make sense? Sorry if it doesn't, but the happenings haven't sorted themselves out in my mind yet! It's always great to hear from you! Love from, Traveller
I would really like you to describe a Hobbiton market; I think it would be interesting and thought-provoking; not mention it would spark off all the plot bunnies! I love the descriptions of Fair and Goldie playing together! They are beautiful, and I'm glad to hear from the Gamgees again! :) There was only one mistake -
"She knows that you’re fever’s broken and that you’re going to be alright; all of the children do." The 'you're' should be 'your'; I just wanted to point that out so it's perfect! Your friend, in the utmost respect -
Author's Response: Good things are always fun and reassuring to hear! I fixed the mistake, thanks for pointing it out. That's what I get for typing super-fast at twelve midnight! There are probably more, although I do try to edit as best I can before posting. Oh, well... Omigosh, visiting Hobbiton would be my dream come true! A Hobbit market (I'd be taller than everyone there, lol!) would be so amazing! I don't think I've ever actually been to a marketplace (define marketplace?), so I couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like. I've read in travel magazines about the marketplaces in London and they sound different from what we have in the US. Have you been to those? I'd love to hear about them! If I ever write a marketplace scene I will definitely set about putting my description skills to work, although I'm not nearly adapt as it as the Master was- setting descriptions were Tolkien at his best. And I'll do whatever I can to set loose your plot bunnies for you! When are you going to update Dreams, Difficulties, and Darkness? I was looking forward to reading about the Pippin/Saradoc showdown! Duh,duh,DUH! Please don't leave me hanging! :) Anyway, I've got homework to do and have to sign off now, but I hope to post again soon! I'm working on the next chapter of this piece, and then I'll probably move on to The Bachelors Babysit for a while. We'll see where the inspiration strikes! Love always, -Traveller
Author's Response: Thanks! When I'm not on an angst-roll, I do tend to go for the sweet factor. It took a lot of thought to discern exactly how I wanted Sam to talk about Pippin's illness with Cory- what should he reveal, what should he hold back, and how formal should their terms be? I decided that, since Sam is no longer calling a lot of people "Mister", and since he would probably know Pippin's brother-in-law pretty well, he would call him Cory and hae enough trust in him to discuss about Pippin. I love the children! Goldie and Fair are such intensely good friends, and Ham makes me laugh! Thanks for reading and reviewing! -Traveller
I've been waiting for this chapter for a long time. But it was worth the wait, as I'm sure you'll agree. I'm glad Pip is getting better, however slowly. :) I hope that Diamond doesn't worry about our favourite Hobbit too much... He is strong and I'm sure she would try to be for him too. However I see that it's hard for her, being in a room the same colour as her beloved's eyes. Pip's eyes are so emerald, aren't they? I'd just like to point out that to other readers. If you change Pippin's eye colour, you must be mad! He is adorable just how he is! Anyway, Pippin is getting better! Yay!
But I cannot help but wonder about poor Merry. What happened that night that Pip won't tell Frodo? And I hope Sam's ok. He's a good Hobbit at heart; they all are, for caring for their cousin/friend so much in his hours of need. The friendship of Hobbits is beautiful and at times tear-provoking. To quote Gandalf: "Hobbits really are amazing creatures."
Well, that's how I think it goes anyway. So, thank you Traveller for posting this chapter. It is beautiful beyond words - oh and is Fair going to speak to Goldi in the next chapter? I think that their relationship is so darn CUTE! Anyone agree with me? :) Overall, thanks for submitting, Traveller, and those who have reviewed, good for you! :) -
Author's Response: Yay, it's so great to finally hear from you! I thought you'd given up on me- I was sad! I'm glad you liked my new chapter- sorry it was such a long time coming. My exams are really close, so I'll probably be spending more time studying, but this week is spring break, so I'll do some writing now. I'm obsessed with Pippin's eyes- I even got an emerald (fake, unfortunately)on my class ring! (The fact that emerald is my birthstone only has partly to do with my reasons for choosing it!) Yep, Pip seems to be finally getting well, though slowly, but I suppose that's to be expected, since he was so very sick. Nothing happened that night other than what you already know- sorry if this was unclear. It's just that Frodo doesn't know, but he can guess. The thing is getting Merry to come to terms with what's happening to Pippin. More about this next chapter. I do feel really bad for poor Merry- he's suffering almost as much emotionally as Pippin is physically! Ahh, angst, sweet angst! Gotta love it! :) Gandalf's words are so true! Hobbits really are amazing creatures- that's probably got something to do with why I love writing about them so much! And Pippin is the most amazing of them all! :) Fair and Goldie's relationship is so incredibly cute, but also very strong, a bit like Merry and Pippin's, but soon to become more like Pippin and Diamond's or Sam and Rosie's or Merry and Estella's! If you know what I mean, hehehe. Yeah, I think Goldie and Fair might actually do some talking next chapter. Anyway, thanks so much for reading and reviewing- I've missed you! I was about to start emailing and stalking you! Lol, just kidding! :) Talk to you later! -Traveller
This is quite a story! I love the interactions here of all four of the Travellers. It's quite nice to have Frodo still in the Shire and available to help his cousins, and Sam was wonderful.
I don't think you are doing too badly with the h/c. It's hard to get that right sometimes, especially with no medical background of your own. But I think you are handling the illnesses all right. And there is no doubt of the comfort part of the equation! The love is clear.
Frodo's memory of the miruvor and how it had helped made me wonder if he might decide to write to Rivendell, or even to the King, to see if there is something that could be done for Pippin that Shire medicine could not. Did you indicate what year this story is taking place? I don't recall...
I do find myself getting curious about Diamond's new teacher...you put some hints in there that make me wonder if all is aboveboard in that situation.
And more and more I wonder about Faramir and the other Faramir and the dreams.
Author's Response: I'm glad you're liking it! Having Frodo back in the Shire and not a complete slave to his own illness is quite an essential factor in my story. Since he's always been sort of the leader of the group, being the Ringbearer and everything, the doctor role for him just sort of made sense- that he would be able to think clearly in a life or death situation. Merry also possess this ability, but when it comes to Pippin his fear for his dear friend overrides this natural calmness. I'm so I'm doing alright with the illnesses and treatments and such. Poor Pip- if only I didn't have to do this to him! Writing to Rivendell or Aragorn was not particularly what I had in mind, but it's a great idea! The purpose of that little flashbackish sort of thingy merely to say that Pippin did indeed get ill on the journey, but was prevented from getting worse by Gandalf and the elven drink. Umm, I don't have a particular year for this story. I have a general idea, but I'd have to do the math... I absolutely LOVE Mistress Hibbs! Yes, there will be more about her, don't worry! Sorry to keep you wondering about Faramir and Fair, but then again, that's half the fun of reading the story, right? Glad you're liking it- I'll try to update soon! -Traveller
I'm finally getting a chance to read this, and it's already very absorbing.
And I am wondering more than ever about the mysterious connection between the two Faramirs.
Author's Response: I'm glad that you're reading it, and that it's drawing you into the story- I'm doing my job right! The connection between Faramir and Fair Took is going to be discussed in more detail probably in the next book in the series, but more dreams will definitely occur in this story. Please keep and reading and reviewing and enjoying! -Traveller
Author's Response: Thanks and I'll try my best if you'll keep reading and reviewing! -Traveller
I very much enjoyed this story. It had the elusive quality I call "heart", which to me, means that the author loves the characters, and "gets" them.
Unlike many people, I don't have *one* favorite character: my favorite "character" is the deep friendship between all four of the hobbits. Any story which has that friendship as its focus is one that will appeal to me.
I liked the use of the movie-verse imagery, as Pippin awaited his fate, and the way that Arwen, Boromir and Theoden all came to him, to tell him of his choice. But of course, he knew it was not his time yet, not when he would be leaving so many of his dear ones bereft, especially Merry.
I also enjoyed seeing Frodo in "healer mode" which is something new and different.
I saw that you have a sequel, so I hope some of the mysteries of this story will be cleared up, like Fair's dreams of Faramir, for example.
Thank you for sharing this story!
Author's Response: "Heart"- I like that term! Thank you so much- I'm glad I've achieved this quality in my story. I most definitely love these charcters, more than any others in the whole world, and I feel like they are my old friends. I also love the relationships between all four of the Hobbits, but I still have to say that my favorite character is and always will be Pippin! The "white shores" vision scene took a lot of thinking over. I tried to make it ambigious enough to keep the reader guessing for just a little while, but I also tried to incorporate both movie imagery and originality as much as I could. After I wrote this scene, I relied the excessive amount of crying Pippin does in it; but, then again, considering his character and the circumstances... I love "healer mode"- it reminds me of "Grey's Anatomy"! I want to go to college to be a veterinarian, so "healer mode" is something I aspire to and hope to experience more of. Frodo exhibits much more of this in "Every Day". Please jump right in on this sequel and let me know what you think! Thanks again for all your reviews- I've had fun reading and responding to them. I think it really helps me as a writer to explain or analyze certain parts of my story, for it helps me understand my characters and situations better. Before I leave, I have a request to make of you- update "The Brandy Hall Incident" as fast as you can because that story has me absolutely absorbed! Also, you mentioned in "A Conspiracy of Hobbits" something about Merry getting angry at Pippin one time because he'd gotten so drunk he'd almost died. Since you've written stories about the two other times Merry was truly angry with Pippin, do you have one for this situation? Because I'd really like to read it! Thanks again, -Traveller
Oh, poor Merry and Frodo!
Frodo thinks that his jewel from Arwen will help? Perhaps it will...
Author's Response: I loved writing this chapter so much because of the angst. I cried so much, but it was completely worth it! I'm fairly happy with the way it turned out, although I'll never be completely satisfied with anything that I write. But I suppose most writers are that way. I know that you're a big fan of the relationship between Frodo and Merry, so I really hope you enjoyed this chapter! -Traveller
Author's Response: Goldie and Fair exhibit the same basic sort of relationship as Frodo and Sam or Merry and Pippin share, but of course each individual relationship is different. They're the best of friends, and understand each other better anyone in the world and can therefore provide the best sort of comfort in times of trouble. -Traveller
In my effort to be helpful, I forgot to reivew the chapter! Sorry!
I think you used the flashback technique very well hear. My favorite is with Frodo and Pippin, I have to confess, I have a weakness for a musically-inclined Pippin. *grin* I hope that when Pippin got a little older, his cousin relented about the lessons! That would be a fun story to read: Frodo teaching Pippin to play the fiddle!
Author's Response: Thanks! I was a little worried about how the flashbacks would work when I first wrote this story, but it seems that everyone likes them and think they postively enhance the story. I'm so glad! I'm also a fan of a musically-inclined Pippin, but to me he is a singer. Not only does it fit with movies (I think I tend to write more in movie-verse than book-verse because I've seen the movies about thirty times apiece and absolutely love them), but I guess it just kind of goes with his character. Frodo definitely has the character of a violin player- he is a natural leader, and has his dark moments as well as his light ones! So, Frodo never actually taught Pippin to play the violin, but if you would like to write a story about this, please feel free to do so! As a matter of fact, I'd really love to hear your version of that event. You have my permission to quote from this flashback, if you would like! -Traveller
You mentioned in your notes about figuring out the hobbit/human age ratio. Actually, I have made such a chart myself! I've posted it in a few places:
Is in my LiveJournal. I figured it out, using an "almost two-thirds formula ( .64, as figured by Topas Took. It uses the differential between a human toddler of two and a hobbit faunt of three, and also the difference between a human just come of age at 21, and a hobbit coming of age at 33--this works out to almost two-thirds.)
However, I should mention that not everyone agrees with this. *Most* hobbit writers do, but some feel that hobbits age the same up until their tweens, when their growth slows down. Others use a sliding scale, so that the difference is more gradual. Some use 18 instead of 21 for the human coming of age reference, which skews everything a year or two younger. And there are many people who don't believe there is any real difference at all, and that hobbits just delay the coming of age to 33 for social reasons, not reasons to do with growth at all.
The main thing is to be consistent, whatever system you decide on.
Author's Response: Oh, thanks so much for this! I will be sure to make use of it in the future. I try to be consistent as possible, but I guess that's where some of my stories tend to become ever so slightly AU... This chart is extremely useful to have though, thank you thank you thank you! -Traveller
I love the clever echo of Gandalf's words to Faramir of Ithilien.
I do find myself a little confused about some of the changes you've made to canon, but as it's an AU it works. I just have to wrap my brain around them.
Author's Response: Yay, someone caught my quote/allusion thingy! (Besides my sister, who I had to tell outright before she actually noticed it!) I never really thought of my story as AU, but I've probably made changes to canon that I'm not even aware of. I just write what I imagine to happen in the way that works best. I'm not saying that I tend to exhibit total disregard for canon- it's just that when something works better as slightly different (or AU, if that's the term you prefer), I'd rather go with the flow, to use a cliche, than have to sacrifice something I've thought up to happen to the characters. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them, but, as I've said before, there might not always be answers! :) -Traveller
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you like it. I differ from other Hobbit-writers in that I prefer the term "doctor" to "healer", even though I know that Tolkien liked to use the word "healer". From your stories, I notice that you (as well as most others who write about Hobbits) tend to make the healers women. For some reason, I've always imagined them as male Hobbits. I guess I'm sort of thinking of it as a male-dominated society, like old England- men hold the "real jobs", while women are the housewives. However, Elanor Gamgee, ever the rebel, deviates from this stereotype, as will come up later in the sequel to this story, "Every Day". -Traveller