Forum: Elena Tiriel - Star Gazings

Discussing: Fell and Fair Drabble Series (Current)

Fell and Fair Drabble Series (Current)

Hi everyone!

This thread is a continuation of this one: Fell and Fair Drabble Series - Thread 1 (link opens in a new window)....

- Barbara

 

 

12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Hi everyone!

I've just posted the dozenth drabble... Maybe now I can really believe that this will be a series...

The new one is called "Elrohir", and it is posted in the Edit: "Early 2510 Third Age" chapter.

Any thoughts are much appreciated!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: 11th Drabble Posted: Glorfindel

Hi Barbara

Continuing from the previous thread....

I really like all the changes you've made on the Glordindel drabble, and don't have any more suggestions. I think it's a great drabble now - well done!

(And I take back all the nasty thoughts I had about beta-readers as I grudgingly wasted an entire word on the "and" before the "then".... )

Bwahahaha! But see, there's always a better way to phrase things.

So -- let me get this straight: lack of parallelism is bad, but sometimes presence of parallelism is bad, too? LOL!

Yep. Well, too much parallelism is just dull. Any rhetorical device taken to extremes loses its power, I guess. Btw, mixing up the nouns and verbs in that passage made it very powerful - good idea!

The best part is, whenever I start getting teary-eyed about what a wonderful friend he is, he comes over here and hugs me, and thoroughly distracts me from any maudlin sentimentality I might be suffering from....

*snork* Although I see apparently Elrohir is capable of interposing himself in the picture, even so.

Cheers, Liz

PS: And after our IM conversation and the change you made to the Cirdan drabble, I don't have any more quibbles on that one either.

 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

H Barbara

I very much like the way you show the SoE taking on their role of protectors here, setting up their decision to participate in the Battle of the Field of Celebrant. I particularly like some of your phrasing in the penultimate paragraph, such as stand sentinel.

However, I have some rather big issues with this drabble that I think may need to be addressed before I comment in detail.

....while our father carries Mother's fragile form aboard.

This is a lovely image, but it seems to me to be against canon. Appendix A says: ...though healed in body by Elrond, lost all delight in Middle-earth.... This doesn't sound to me as if Celebrian is too frail to walk - or even that she suffers any particularly debilitating physical effects of the Orc attack.

Also, I think this is part of a tendency in this drabble to make the females of Elrond's household seem weaker than I would characterise them. In the next paragraph you say:

Arwen stares intently at the deck, quivering... Do you fear that Father, too, will leave us? But she relaxes slightly when his drawn and ashen face emerges alone.

To me this makes Arwen seem physically, emotionally and mentally fragile, particularly through your use of quivering and her apparent lack of trust in her father's intentions. She also seems to be a very junior partner in the sibling relationships.

At this point, all of them are well over 2000 years old and have lived through events such as the destruction of Arnor, the depredations of the Kingdom of Angmar, and the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. Yet in this drabble Arwen doesn't seem to me to have yet developed the kind of fortitude it must have taken to be betrothed to Aragorn for nearly 40 very dangerous years.

I think the SoE could want to protect both father and sister from more of the kind of grief that has befallen all of them as a result of what happened to Celebrian without you making Arwen seem quite so weak.

Finally, I do have one phrasing quibble at this stage. You have ...when his drawn and ashen face emerges alone.. My first reaction on reading this was that a disembodied head was floating out of the ship (sorry!). It might work better as when he emerges alone, his face drawn and ashen. (Although I realise that's an extra word.)

Sorry not to be more positive about this drabble. I like the overall concept, and you have some of your usual lovely phrasing, but I think your characterisations of Celebrian and Arwen are somewhat off the mark.

Cheers, Liz
(*hoping Barbara's cat is out of the room when she reads this*)

 

 

Re: 11th Drabble Posted: Glorfindel

Hi Liz!

I really like all the changes you've made on the Glordindel drabble, and don't have any more suggestions. I think it's a great drabble now - well done!

Thank you, Liz! One more marked "finished"....

(And I take back all the nasty thoughts I had about beta-readers as I grudgingly wasted an entire word on the "and" before the "then".... )
Bwahahaha! But see, there's always a better way to phrase things.


True.... I just wish I could count on them to come to me when I need them! *grump*

Yep. Well, too much parallelism is just dull. Any rhetorical device taken to extremes loses its power, I guess. Btw, mixing up the nouns and verbs in that passage made it very powerful - good idea!

Yes, I agree that the list was so long, the parallel structures got boring... and I'm really glad that you think that final version works *grin*.....

The best part is, whenever I start getting teary-eyed about what a wonderful friend he is, he comes over here and hugs me, and thoroughly distracts me from any maudlin sentimentality I might be suffering from....
*snork* Although I see apparently Elrohir is capable of interposing himself in the picture, even so.


LOL! But Liz, you can get Celeborn to tell you things that he would never consider saying to me....

PS: And after our IM conversation and the change you made to the Cirdan drabble, I don't have any more quibbles on that one either.

Woohoo! another one marked "done"....

Thanks, Liz!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Hi again, Liz!

I very much like the way you show the SoE taking on their role of protectors here, setting up their decision to participate in the Battle of the Field of Celebrant. I particularly like some of your phrasing in the penultimate paragraph, such as stand sentinel.

Thank you!

However, I have some rather big issues with this drabble that I think may need to be addressed before I comment in detail.

Bring them on!

....while our father carries Mother's fragile form aboard.
This is a lovely image, but it seems to me to be against canon. Appendix A says: ...though healed in body by Elrond, lost all delight in Middle-earth.... This doesn't sound to me as if Celebrian is too frail to walk - or even that she suffers any particularly debilitating physical effects of the Orc attack.


Hmmmm, well, yes and no... I interpret the phrasing "lost all delight in Middle-earth" as either being on the verge of Elven fading (which we don't know much about, but I see as a physical decline)... or as being what we would now call profoundly depressed. In either case, I thought that there could be potentially serious complications of physical weakness....

So, I'm not sure it is truly against canon -- at least, not my interpretation of that passage. Even though her physical injuries might have healed, she might still be in a decline that causes physical manifestations, like weakness.

I also thought it demonstrated Elrond's dedication to her. And, it might also be seen as a romantic gesture, like our tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold.

That said, I'm going to be rethinking several aspects of this drabble per your feedback, and that part might be changed....

Also, I think this is part of a tendency in this drabble to make the females of Elrond's household seem weaker than I would characterise them.

But they absolutely refuse to talk to me! *Wails in frustration* I have followed them everywhere, begging for an interview, Quick-quotes quill at the ready, promising a front-page story on the Daily Prophet... and they keep giving me the slip!

Arwen stares intently at the deck, quivering... Do you fear that Father, too, will leave us? But she relaxes slightly when his drawn and ashen face emerges alone.
To me this makes Arwen seem physically, emotionally and mentally fragile, particularly through your use of quivering and her apparent lack of trust in her father's intentions. She also seems to be a very junior partner in the sibling relationships.


Oh, dear, it sounds like Arwen ended up looking weaker than I really intended.... and my last-minute addition of quivering made it worse.

What I *really* think, which I did not try to convey, is that they *all* had a niggling doubt as to whether Elrond would return to them from belowdecks.... not that this is a sensible fear, mind you, but that it is the kind of gut reaction one might have in a highly emotionally-charged situation like this... not the kind of reaction that a rational adult would admit to, but present nonetheless.

(A real-life example: I was at home one day when we had a moderate earthquake. I swear that my first reaction was "Oh, no! A gang of teenage boys is shaking my house!"... Er, should I mention that gangs of young Samsons are rather uncommon where I live? )

And I had Elrohir focus his attention on Arwen at this moment because I wanted to avoid falling into the trap of having each twin focus only on the other twin, as if there is no one else present... (not that there won't be other times when that is appropriate). And, yes, though I do think that some older brothers may not ever see their sisters as fully adult, it sounds like that is coming across much more strongly than I intended... I think he's being sympathetic here, not demeaning.

At this point, all of them are well over 2000 years old and have lived through events such as the destruction of Arnor, the depredations of the Kingdom of Angmar, and the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. Yet in this drabble Arwen doesn't seem to me to have yet developed the kind of fortitude it must have taken to be betrothed to Aragorn for nearly 40 very dangerous years.

No quarrels here... did I mention that I was in my 40's when I had that reaction to the earthquake?

I think the SoE could want to protect both father and sister from more of the kind of grief that has befallen all of them as a result of what happened to Celebrian without you making Arwen seem quite so weak.

Okay, well, obviously I have to rethink how to have this interaction without, er, seeming to pick on Arwen.... but in my defense, I did say to stand sentinel henceforward between our loved ones and the foul touch of all forces of the Dark. I had always intended for the SoE to want to protect their entire family, not solely Arwen.

Finally, I do have one phrasing quibble at this stage. You have ...when his drawn and ashen face emerges alone.. My first reaction on reading this was that a disembodied head was floating out of the ship (sorry!). It might work better as when he emerges alone, his face drawn and ashen. (Although I realise that's an extra word.)

Good idea! Actually, if you think about it, the head does emerge first when coming from below... but I didn't intend to suggest that the rest of the body wouldn't follow! I like the wording.... thank you!

Edit: I adopted your wording here, and also removed quivering, for now....

Sorry not to be more positive about this drabble. I like the overall concept, and you have some of your usual lovely phrasing, but I think your characterisations of Celebrian and Arwen are somewhat off the mark.

Hey, as I keep saying, no problem! Your feedback is too valuable to ignore, even -- or especially! -- when it's negative.

I agree with you on the content of your concern about my treatment of Arwen, but not necessarily the degree. However, I haven't been really very happy with the middle of this drabble -- though I'm not entirely sure why (yet). I think I need to step back from it for a few days, then try to re-think the whole thing. Clearly, the vow will be there, and I like the support that they give each other (especially the contrast between their loving touch and the foul touch of Evil), but the middle definitely needs work.

Thanks, Liz! It's back to the drawing board on this one....

- Barbara

P.S. No virtual cats were harmed in the production of this post.

 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Hi Barbara

But they absolutely refuse to talk to me! *Wails in frustration* I have followed them everywhere, begging for an interview, Quick-quotes quill at the ready, promising a front-page story on the Daily Prophet... and they keep giving me the slip!

Could that be because they're wondering who this madwoman is who's apparently wandered in from the wrong fandom?

I agree with you on the content of your concern about my treatment of Arwen, but not necessarily the degree.

Thanks for explaining what your thinking was. I agree with a lot of where you're coming from, but I'm afraid very little of that came through for me when I first read the drabble. So I look forward to seeing a revised version.

Edt: removing "quivering" helped a lot for me in the current version.

P.S. No virtual cats were harmed in the production of this post.

Glad to hear it!

And from the post before: But Liz, you can get Celeborn to tell you things that he would never consider saying to me....

Believe me, it surprised me as much as anyone when Celeborn started talking dirty to me.

Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Hi Liz!

But they absolutely refuse to talk to me! *Wails in frustration* I have followed them everywhere, begging for an interview, Quick-quotes quill at the ready, promising a front-page story on the Daily Prophet... and they keep giving me the slip!
Could that be because they're wondering who this madwoman is who's apparently wandered in from the wrong fandom?


You know... it's odd, but they do seem to be particularly alarmed at the fashionably pointy glasses with the sequins... I thought Elves *liked* sparkly things?

Thanks for explaining what your thinking was. I agree with a lot of where you're coming from, but I'm afraid very little of that came through for me when I first read the drabble. So I look forward to seeing a revised version.
Edt: removing "quivering" helped a lot for me in the current version.


Good! As I said, it had been a last-minute addition... and it seemed a good candidate to lose when you suggested adding a word to the Elrond's floating head....

I have a few possible ideas for rewording things to make your objections somewhat less violent.... but won't be around much today. And I still want to really re-think the thing....

And from the post before: But Liz, you can get Celeborn to tell you things that he would never consider saying to me....

Believe me, it surprised me as much as anyone when Celeborn started talking dirty to me.


LOL! But when he did, he was such a smooth talker that a whole challenge was spawned! Way to go, Liz!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Well, I was going to say that a whole challenge was spawned! But HASA swallowed my link to the thread, and now the message can't be edited! (because the HTML code for the "submit" button, among other things, keeps showing up in the text area....)

- Barbara

Edit: Problem fixed. Thanks for the tip of switching to Internet Explorer to edit the post, Liz! But I left out the link... not sure why it was badly-formed, and didn't want to fool around with it....

 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Hi Liz!

Thanks for explaining what your thinking was. I agree with a lot of where you're coming from, but I'm afraid very little of that came through for me when I first read the drabble. So I look forward to seeing a revised version.

Well, I didn't need to cogitate as long as I expected... Just posted a new version... and I like it much more than I did the original (which is always reassuring)!

Many, if not most, of the changes were in response to your feedback, Liz... thank you again for your help!

- Barbara

(Off to struggle with a mad octoped....)

 

 

13th Drabble Posted: Éomund of Eastfold

Hi all!

I posted a new drabble from the POV of Éomund of Eastfold. It's in the chapter Edit: "3002 Third Age".

I also made a minor change to "A Young Rohirrim Boy" in the prior chapter, which is now named Edit: "2995 Third Age" (changing both the time and the place). The two drabbles are related, although I would like to add another after "Boy", from the POV of his mother, (hint, hint!) Théodwyn.

I would be pleased to hear what you think!

Thanks!
- Barbara

P.S. And no, Éomund is not the mad octoped that I was expecting to write about this evening....

 

 

14th Posted: Celebrían with her children

Hi!

I posted a drabble wherein Celebrían says farewell to her children, and becomes concerned that she might not see some of them again. It's in the chapter Edit: "Early 2510 Third Age".

Tolkien said that Celebrían "lost all delight in Middle-earth" (see the Author's Notes, currently chapter 8, for the full quote and citation); I interpret that as meaning that she became profoundly depressed (using modern terminology), which is why she had to leave for the Undying Lands. But although I write her as depressed at this moment in her life, that does not imply that I think she is a weak character; in fact, if she were not so strong, she probably would not have survived her traumatic experience with the Orcs.

I hope to write one more Celebrían drabble, in which she says good-bye to Elrond, which would complete this chapter.

If you have any thoughts, I would be pleased to hear them!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Hi Barbara

Well, I didn't need to cogitate as long as I expected... Just posted a new version... and I like it much more than I did the original (which is always reassuring)!

Ah, I'm so pleased you like it more than the original - always reassuring for the beta reader as well. I too like it much better - and think it conveys exactly what you wanted to say. It's now a very powerful drabble, and possibly my favourite in this chapter.

Now, on to the quibbles....

My brother and I stand flanking our sister, sheltering her from the bitter sea breeze, while our father escorts our frail mother aboard.

I think you can save a couple of words, which I want to use elsewhere, and avoid the somewhat heavy-handed repetition in our father...our frail mother, and just make it flow a little better by changing it to: My brother and I flank our sister, sheltering her from the bitter sea breeze, while Father escorts our frail mother aboard.

As they disappear belowdecks, we three huddle together, taking comfort in our embrace.

I keep tripping over belowdecks and I'd personally prefer below deck

Silently, we stare at the deck

May I suggest companionway in place of deck, as that's where Elrond will specifically emerge from?

Silently, we stare at the deck -- uneasy that Father, too, might choose to stay on board and sail with Mother... until he emerges alone, his face drawn and ashen.

I don't much like the fact you have a dash and ellipses together here. It looks unbalanced. I think you either need two dashes or two commas, but maybe that's just me.

Arwen's shoulders drop imperceptibly.

Maybe, using one of the words I saved earlier, Arwen's hunched shoulders relax imperceptibly.

to stand sentinel henceforward

Maybe henceforth rather than henceforward?

I really do think this is a wonderful drabble, and I'm so glad my earlier feedback helped.

Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: 13th Drabble Posted: Éomund of Eastfold

Hi Barbara

*sniff* This is wonderful. And very much as I imagine Éomund's end being: a brave fighter, caring about his men, but too angry or too enthusiastic and therefore getting out of his depth (somewhat like his son ). I love the reference to Béma, btw, and the way this drabble ties in with both the overall legend of the SoE and the piece about the little boy's nightmare in the previous chapter.

I have very few nitpicks here:

I think of my family at home, and grimace as I recall spinning fireside tales about the Grey Ghostriders. But false assurances of rescue comfort only children....

Ah, hmm, I actually preferred the earlier version you had here, although I can't remember exactly what it was. I think I was going to suggest a variation along the lines of But mystic rescuers are for children's stories only. It seems to me that false assurances suggest Éomund would never expect any kind of deus ex machina intervention to save him, which makes his prayer to Béma at the start a little odd (or simply a blasphemy).

Let him not be branded by my rashness....

It took me a couple of goes to work out that you didn't mean "don't let Éomer inherit my rash nature" but "don't let people in future think badly of him because of what I got up to" (ie let him be judged on his own merits). I'm not sure what to suggest to reword this, but it definitely wasn't immediately obvious to me what you meant by branded, because Éomund and Éomer did seem to have rather similar personalities.

The blackened Orc-blade at last finds its mark.

You may prefer the cadence you have, but I would suggest as an alternative: The blackened Orc-blade finds its mark at last.

I really do like this drabble, and I'm so pleased I set this particular nuzgul on you!

HTH

Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Hi Liz!

Ah, I'm so pleased you like it more than the original - always reassuring for the beta reader as well. I too like it much better - and think it conveys exactly what you wanted to say.

I'm so glad (and very relieved) that you like it, too!

It's now a very powerful drabble, and possibly my favourite in this chapter.

Thank you! (but if you don't mind, I won't mention that last part to Glorfindel... wouldn't want to start another major sulk.... )

My brother and I stand flanking our sister, sheltering her from the bitter sea breeze, while our father escorts our frail mother aboard.
I think you can save a couple of words, which I want to use elsewhere, and avoid the somewhat heavy-handed repetition in our father...our frail mother, and just make it flow a little better by changing it to: My brother and I flank our sister, sheltering her from the bitter sea breeze, while Father escorts our frail mother aboard.

I'm not sure about flank; I like the parallelism between stand flanking at the top and stand sentinel near the bottom of the drabble, though I'm not pleased by the juxtaposition of flanking and sheltering. And -- this is fuzzy -- I like the "rootedness" or "solidity" of the twins standing (relative to the solid ground/quay), rather than flanking (relative to their sister), if that makes any sense. They are also going to be very shortly making a stand.... Also, flank has the unfortunate military connotation of attacking someone's flanks.

Father is fine with me. I was originally concerned that each of the two phrases referring to their parents should be internally parallel; but, since my beta doesn't agree, who am I to argue?

As they disappear belowdecks, we three huddle together, taking comfort in our embrace.
I keep tripping over belowdecks and I'd personally prefer below deck

Done (though now I'm tempted to insert the).

Silently, we stare at the deck
May I suggest companionway in place of deck, as that's where Elrond will specifically emerge from?

May I counter with hatchway? I do like the idea of being more specific about the location, but I don't want to send my readers scurrying off to look up companionway in the dictionary... although I may have a use for it (with enough context to make the meaning clear) if I do a Celebrían/Elrond drabble....

Silently, we stare at the deck -- uneasy that Father, too, might choose to stay on board and sail with Mother... until he emerges alone, his face drawn and ashen.
I don't much like the fact you have a dash and ellipses together here. It looks unbalanced. I think you either need two dashes or two commas, but maybe that's just me.

Er, I don't much like it either... should have repunctuated after I swapped Arwen's shoulders with Elrond's head.... It's now twice as dashing.

Arwen's shoulders drop imperceptibly.
Maybe, using one of the words I saved earlier, Arwen's hunched shoulders relax imperceptibly.

No, I really don't like that at all.... Liz, I was trying to be subtle! And how could you possibly imagine that an Elf's shoulders could be hunched? Impossible!

How about: Arwen's shoulders relax imperceptibly.? If you convince me that I also need a adjective, I'll use tense, rather than hunched, but I think it would be redundant....

to stand sentinel henceforward
Maybe henceforth rather than henceforward?

Done. I was thinking of changing that myself....

I really do think this is a wonderful drabble, and I'm so glad my earlier feedback helped.

Your feedback more than helped -- it made the drabble much better than before. Thank you again!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: 13th Drabble Posted: Éomund of Eastfold

Hi again, Liz!

*sniff* This is wonderful.

Woohoo! Thank you! I'm glad it gave you the emotional response I was looking for....

And very much as I imagine Éomund's end being: a brave fighter, caring about his men, but too angry or too enthusiastic and therefore getting out of his depth (somewhat like his son ).

LOL! Do I detect a hint of hunky Rohirrim worship?

I love the reference to Béma, btw, and the way this drabble ties in with both the overall legend of the SoE and the piece about the little boy's nightmare in the previous chapter.

Ahhh, good! I was worried about tying two drabbles together that were in different scenes (chapters), but I guess it worked.... (and I'm rather fond of Béma myself....)

I think of my family at home, and grimace as I recall spinning fireside tales about the Grey Ghostriders. But false assurances of rescue comfort only children....
Ah, hmm, I actually preferred the earlier version you had here, although I can't remember exactly what it was. I think I was going to suggest a variation along the lines of But mystic rescuers are for children's stories only.


Well, I've gone through at least five more iterations after we spoke on IM, and have come up with: But only trusting children dare to rely on rescuers from legend.... Better?

It seems to me that false assurances suggest Éomund would never expect any kind of deus ex machina intervention to save him, which makes his prayer to Béma at the start a little odd (or simply a blasphemy).

Yes, that was stronger than I meant it to be... and we certainly couldn't allow blasphemy against Béma! (Although I saw the first sentence as more of an exclamation of extreme surprise than a prayer....)

Let him not be branded by my rashness....
It took me a couple of goes to work out that you didn't mean "don't let Éomer inherit my rash nature" but "don't let people in future think badly of him because of what I got up to" (ie let him be judged on his own merits). I'm not sure what to suggest to reword this, but it definitely wasn't immediately obvious to me what you meant by branded, because Éomund and Éomer did seem to have rather similar personalities.


Ah, good thinking... thank you for making the effort to figure out what I meant, not what I said.... It is now Let my rashness not brand his reputation....

The blackened Orc-blade at last finds its mark.
You may prefer the cadence you have, but I would suggest as an alternative: The blackened Orc-blade finds its mark at last.


Done!

I really do like this drabble, and I'm so pleased I set this particular nuzgul on you!

Thank you, Liz, both for the compliment and for siccing the nuzgûl on me... Changing the setting of the little boy's nightmare (and surrounding events) from the death of King Walda by Orcs to the death of Marshal Éomund by Orcs was an absolutely brilliant idea! I think it is more interesting to more readers, who will figure out that the little boy waking up from the nightmare is Éomer, and that his father is Éomund... making Éomund's death much more personal and dramatic.

- Barbara


 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Hi Barbara

I think this is getting close but want to quibble back at some of your quibbles on my quibbles....

I'm not sure about flank; I like the parallelism between stand flanking at the top and stand sentinel near the bottom of the drabble, though I'm not pleased by the juxtaposition of flanking and sheltering. And -- this is fuzzy -- I like the "rootedness" or "solidity" of the twins standing (relative to the solid ground/quay), rather than flanking (relative to their sister), if that makes any sense. They are also going to be very shortly making a stand.... Also, flank has the unfortunate military connotation of attacking someone's flanks.

I think my objection to standing is that it's simply nondescript, and you're not telling me much I don't already know (except that they're standing rather than, say, sitting). I think that if you want the parallel with stand sentinel near the end of the drabble, you should show me here how they're standing. So I'd like this to become My brother and I stand [adverb], flanking our sister to shelter her from the bitter sea breeze... Fill in the adverb of your choice, but it should convey that "rootedness" you wanted, perhaps even their "fixed" nature: that they won't leave the quayside themselves?

Father is fine with me. I was originally concerned that each of the two phrases referring to their parents should be internally parallel; but, since my beta doesn't agree, who am I to argue?

Hmm, I think if you want them to be internally parallel, you need an adjective with father to match that with mother, or an adjective with neither. So e.g. while our sorrowing father escorts our frail mother aboard. or while Father escorts the frail figure of Mother aboard.

(Yes, yes, I know I'm playing havoc with the word count here....)

No, I really don't like that at all.... Liz, I was trying to be subtle! And how could you possibly imagine that an Elf's shoulders could be hunched? Impossible!

Hmm, If you were trying to be subtle, it might have been better to have left out imperceptibly, which IMHO tells me too strongly what to think about Arwen's movement. I think you could achieve subtlety much more effectively by simply showing me Arwen's movement without any commentary, with Arwen's shoulders drop. (although I'd maybe prefer Arwen's shoulders relax.). I think it's enough to tell me Elrohir senses this change in his sister and to trust me to deduce on my own that Arwen was tense.

Uh, I think I just told you I wanted both more adverbs and fewer adverbs. Oops .... Umm, are beta readers supposed to be consistent? Er, I want correctly placed adverbs, yeah, that's it....

HTH

Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: 12th Drabble Posted: Elrohir

Hi Liz!

Quibble away!

I'm not sure about flank;....
I think my objection to standing is that it's simply nondescript, and you're not telling me much I don't already know (except that they're standing rather than, say, sitting). I think that if you want the parallel with
stand sentinel near the end of the drabble, you should show me here how they're standing. So I'd like this to become My brother and I stand [adverb], flanking our sister to shelter her from the bitter sea breeze...Fill in the adverb of your choice, but it should convey that "rootedness" you wanted, perhaps even their "fixed" nature: that they won't leave the quayside themselves?

ah, okay! I've selected steadfastly. What do you think?

I was originally concerned that each of the two phrases referring to their parents should be internally parallel....
Hmm, I think if you want them to be internally parallel, you need an adjective with
father to match that with mother, or an adjective with neither.

I meant parallel with respect to using the familiar form Father and Mother (which, for example, I definitely would have used for any dialog among the three) vs the more formal, descriptive form our father and our mother. Since you suggested Father, I will go with that. Frankly, I don't want to make this sentence any longer than it is already.

(Yes, yes, I know I'm playing havoc with the word count here....)

*Snicker* You would have, if I had let you....

Liz, I was trying to be subtle!
Hmm, If you were trying to be subtle, it might have been better to have left out
imperceptibly, which IMHO tells me too strongly what to think about Arwen's movement. I think you could achieve subtlety much more effectively by simply showing me Arwen's movement without any commentary, with Arwen's shoulders drop. (although I'd maybe prefer Arwen's shoulders relax.). I think it's enough to tell me Elrohir senses this change in his sister and to trust me to deduce on my own that Arwen was tense.

Ah, yes, I see your point. What I meant by "subtle" is that I simply didn't want to use an adjective (hunched or tense) that conveyed the same information as the verb (drop or relax). I didn't think redundancy helped here. However, I have already switched to relax, which more clearly implies the reason for the movement, instead of the more neutral drop.

As far as imperceptibly, I am going to leave it in, because I want to hint at the idea that Elrohir (and Elladan) could see the change, but Elrond would not likely be aware of it as he leaves the ship. Arwen did not let her worry show much... but her brother standing right next to her could detect the subtle shift in posture.

Edit: We agreed on slightly in IM.

Uh, I think I just told you I wanted both more adverbs and fewer adverbs. Oops .... Umm, are beta readers supposed to be consistent? Er, I want correctly placed adverbs, yeah, that's it....

Bwahahahahahaha! It's okay Liz -- you don't have to be any more consistent than the author is!

Thanks for all the help, Liz!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: 13th Drabble Posted: Éomund of Eastfold

Hi Barbara

LOL! Do I detect a hint of hunky Rohirrim worship?

Oh, I'm always up for a bit of hunky Rohirrim worship. Assuming there aren't any raven-haired angsty Gondorians around, of course.

After our discussions in IM and the changes you've made, I'm happy that this drabble and the Elrohir one are "done".

Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: 13th Drabble Posted: Éomund of Eastfold

LOL! Do I detect a hint of hunky Rohirrim worship?
Oh, I'm always up for a bit of hunky Rohirrim worship. Assuming there aren't any raven-haired angsty Gondorians around, of course.


A woman of refined tastes....

After our discussions in IM and the changes you've made, I'm happy that this drabble and the Elrohir one are "done".

Two marked "done"! Woot! And I really like the final versions.... thank you!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: 14th Posted: Celebrían with her children

Hi Barbara

I've been thinking and thinking about this drabble. I really like some of the things you've done here, such as the way you've described Celebrian's depression, the phrase my sober Noldorin loremaster and the insight into Celeborn fears and feelings on his daughter's marriage.

However, I'm afraid that a lot of this drabble doesn't work for me, particularly the second half. If I hadn't read your post, I wouldn't have understand what Celebrian was feeling about leaving her family and her fears she won't ever see her children again. I don't really know what her sons' response to her words is meant to mean or say about their feelings. And I'm not sure I know why Arwen is getting teary at that particular phease (if it is, indeed, more that general upset at her mother leaving).

I'm really not sure what to suggest, as it's not as if it'd any particular phrase or sentence that doesn't work for me. I just don't "get it". Sorry.

Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: 14th Posted: Celebrían with her children

Hi Liz!

I've been thinking and thinking about this drabble.

LOL! Usually a bad sign.... (for both author and beta!)

I really like some of the things you've done here, such as the way you've described Celebrian's depression,

Liz, that's a relief! From our prior discussion, I wasn't sure you would agree that depression is the right interpretation for Celebrían's loss of delight in Middle-earth, and, even if so, I wasn't sure that you would accept the way I conveyed it.

the phrase my sober Noldorin loremaster and the insight into Celeborn fears and feelings on his daughter's marriage.

Woohoo! That's the part I like best!

However, I'm afraid that a lot of this drabble doesn't work for me, particularly the second half.

Oh, dear.... another complete rework ahead..... *grin*

If I hadn't read your post, I wouldn't have understand what Celebrian was feeling about leaving her family and her fears she won't ever see her children again.

Okay, that obviously needs some serious work.... (Come to think of it, the fact that I thought to mention it in the post was probably already a bad sign....)

I don't really know what her sons' response to her words is meant to mean or say about their feelings.

Hmmmm, I meant that to be ambiguous to Celebrían (at that point, I'm not sure if the sons knew what they meant, for that matter....) But that's hard to do without making it ambiguous to the reader, too.... and I guess readers don't like that. *Sigh* Back to the drawing board.....

And I'm not sure I know why Arwen is getting teary at that particular phease (if it is, indeed, more that general upset at her mother leaving).

It *is* general upset at her mother leaving, but I was trying to indicate that she was trying to keep her grief hidden for her mother's sake, but that the phrase had touched her in a way that made her mask slip a bit... Obviously, I didn't get that across in the two words allotted....

I'm really not sure what to suggest, as it's not as if it'd any particular phrase or sentence that doesn't work for me. I just don't "get it". Sorry.

That suggests to me that it is beyond help in its current state... So, I need to take some time and set the muse back to work to re-think it, particularly the last half. And that is valuable feedback, Liz!

Thank you, Liz, for always telling me both what you like and what you don't like!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: 14th Posted: Celebrían with her children

Hi Barbara

From our prior discussion, I wasn't sure you would agree that depression is the right interpretation for Celebrían's loss of delight in Middle-earth, and, even if so, I wasn't sure that you would accept the way I conveyed it.

I agree that depression is a good interpretation for Celebrían's loss of delight in Middle-earth, and I agree that depression has a physical component. I just felt you'd over-egged it in the other drabble.

Oh, dear.... another complete rework ahead..... *grin*

'Fraid so.

(Come to think of it, the fact that I thought to mention it in the post was probably already a bad sign....)

Yes, I rather think it was!

Hmmmm, I meant that to be ambiguous to Celebrían (at that point, I'm not sure if the sons knew what they meant, for that matter....) But that's hard to do without making it ambiguous to the reader, too....

Yes - I'm afraid it felt more like the author wasn't clear what she intended than that the characters were in two (or more) minds about what they felt.

It *is* general upset at her mother leaving, but I was trying to indicate that she was trying to keep her grief hidden for her mother's sake, but that the phrase had touched her in a way that made her mask slip a bit... Obviously, I didn't get that across in the two words allotted....

Well, if it helps, I can offer the specific criticism that newly glittering somehow implied to me that she'd been crying earlier, dried her eyes and was now starting again...

That suggests to me that it is beyond help in its current state... So, I need to take some time and set the muse back to work to re-think it, particularly the last half. And that is valuable feedback, Liz!

I hope the muse co-operates and I'm glad the feedback was valuable!

Thank you, Liz, for always telling me both what you like and what you don't like!

Oh, blunt and ruthless, that's me. Always delighted to speak my mind.

Cheers, Liz

 

 

15th Drabble Posted: Théodwyn

I have posted a drabble from the POV of Théodwyn, following the "A Young Rohirrim Boy" drabble in the Edit: "2995 Third Age" chapter.

Any feedback would be most appreciated!

- Barbara

 

 

19th and 20th drabbles posted: An Orc Captain, and A Snaga

Hi everyone!

I'm soooooo excited... after a year of a dead-as-a-doornail muse, the creative juices started flowing again.... resulting in my 19th and 20th drabbles! [Cue fireworks here...]

And, to top it off, the new ones are for the morning of the battle... up until now, I had a series without *anything* about the day of the central battle! A series with no heart.... a pitiful sight indeed!

These two drabbles illuminate some tensions in one of Sauron's armies just prior to the battle.... all is not sweetness and light in the orc-ranks (imagine that! )...

One drabble is from the POV of an orc captain, and the other is from the POV of one of his snagas (think: "grunts" in American military-speak ). For some odd reason, they don't see eye-to-eye....

The new drabbles appear in the chapter called Edit: "!4 April, Early evening".

If you like drabbles, I invite you to read these... and if you choose to let me know what you think, all the better! Feedback is always welcome!

- Barbara, thrilled to be writing again....

 

 

21st through 26th Drabbles Posted: The Folks in Lórien

Hi everyone!

The muse has been exceedingly kind, so I am thrilled to announce the addition of a new chapter with six, count 'em six, new drabbles!

The new chapter is called "8 April 2510, Morning", and these are the new drabbles:
Galadriel, at her Mirror
Elrohir
Celeborn, Commander of the Galadhrim
Hirvegil, Celeborn's Second-in-command
Galadriel
Celeborn

In this chapter, Galadriel foresees the impending battle in her Mirror, and Celeborn oversees Lórien's resulting preparations.

For all you elf fanciers of the pervy persuasion, I'd like to whisper that one of the drabbles contains a pair of sweaty, semi-nekkid Elves doing what comes naturally...

However, in the interests of truth in advertising, my conscience tells me I should inform you that they are only mentioned in passing. More's the pity...

Enjoy!

- Barbara


P.S. I have also renamed all the chapters, so that the story overview page shows dates as the chapter titles. I hope there will be lots more chapters soon....

 

 

Posted 3 new chapters with 5 drabbles!

Hi everyone!

I am pleased to say that the muse is continuing in a chatty mood. But, rather than posting one chapter at a time, I'm adding all the new drabbles at once:

8 April, Evening:
Lórien, at Mealtime
- Arwen, arriving with Galadriel
- Celeborn

!3 April, Evening:
At Camp in the Vales of Anduin
- Eorl
- Elladan

20 April, Afternoon:
Near the River Celebrant
- A Deserter

Enjoy!

- Barbara

 

 

Posted 3 new drabbles!

Hi everyone!

I have added a new chapter, in which Eorl, his Riders, and, more importantly, his horse Felaróf finally get to meet the sons of Elrond.

12 April, Afternoon
The Vales of Anduin, Near the Mirkwood Narrows
- Félarof, Father of Horses
- Elladan
- Eorl, Lord of the Éothéod

Enjoy!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: Posted 3 more drabbles!

Hi again!

I've posted another new chapter with three new drabbles, and added the Author's Notes for this chapter and the last one that I posted.

In this chapter, Arwen makes lembas, Galadriel makes mist, and Celeborn makes time....

8-9 April, Midnight
Lórien
- Arwen, with the Lembas-maidens
- Galadriel, a Few Hours Later
- Celeborn, with Galadriel

Enjoy!
- Barbara

 

 

Ten new drabbles posted!

Hi everyone!

I have posted one new chapter and ten -- count 'em! -- ten new drabbles!

Edit: Er, actually, it's nine new drabbles and one existing one....

In this scene, Elladan and Elrohir take leave from Lórien, and their family crowds around to send them off in grand style!


Lórien, Morning of 9 April
- Galadriel, greeting Elladan and Elrohir
- Celeborn, appraising Gondor's situation
- Galadriel, conveying tidings from her Mirror
- Celeborn, recommending tactics
- Elladan, approaching Arwen
- Arwen, having doubts
- Arwen, saying farewell
- Galadriel, saying farewell
- Celeborn, saying farewell (existing drabble)
- Elrohir, hours later, crossing Anduin

As always, your comments would be most welcome!

Thanks for reading!
- Barbara

P.S. I have decided to challenge myself by writing the drabbles in British English, starting with this chapter. It will take me a few days to convert all the chapters, so please bear with me while it is in progress.

The Author's Notes will remain in my native American English, though. And I will post the new Author's Notes for this chapter as soon as I revise what I have written. Edit: Whoops! I accidentally posted the first draft of the notes for this chapter. Take pity on me, please! -- I was forcing myself to finish them while I was half asleep! Anyway, will re-read them (while awake) and post revised ones this evening....

Edit: P.P.S. The author's notes for this chapter have been revised, and actually make sense now....

 

 

Update complete!

Hi!

I converted the entire drabble series to use British spellings as an interesting challenge.... Liz/Tanaqui caught several mistakes, for which I thank her. She is an extraordinary beta reader, and I am ever grateful to her!

The Author's Notes will not be converted.

I am also working on adding notes for those chapters for which they were missing, and hope to be done with that in the next few days.

Thank you everyone for reading, and for your kind comments and encouragement!

- Barbara

P.S. If you read one of the Fourth Age chapters last night during the handful of hours when I had inadvertently posted it with "Caradhras" instead of "Caras Galadhon", please accept my apologies for the rather embarrassing - and inadvertent - abbreviation!

 

 

New Drabble!

Hi everyone!

I just added a new drabble to the end of an existing chapter about the twins' deciding whether or not to sail to the Undying Lands. In this drabble, Elrohir contemplates the consequences of his choice.

The drabble is called "Elrohir, late that afternoon", and it is in the chapter called "Rivendell - Fourth Age".

This is the 47th drabble in the series.... and the drabbles about the battle are still missing in action! LOL!

I hope you enjoy the addition!

- Barbara

 

 

2 new chapters posted!

Hi everyone!

I have just posted two new chapters of Fell and Fair, with eight new drabbles, in which Elladan and Elrohir meet with Arathorn and Gilraen under unhappy circumstances, and Orcs meet the sons of Elrond under even unhappier circumstances:

The Angle: Late 2930 Third Age
- Elrohir, riding with Elladan to a Dúnedain settlement
- Elladan, at Arathorn and Gilraen's home
- Gilraen, beside Arathorn
- Gilraen, with Elrohir
- Arathorn, leaving the house with Elladan and Elrohir
- Gilraen

Eriador: 2933 Third Age
- Ufghâsh, an archer
- Lúgnuk, his brother

Hope you enjoy these!
- Barbara

P.S. There are now 55 drabbles in the series!

 

 

New chapter, 3 new drabbles posted!

Hi everyone!

Just posted a new chapter with three new drabbles, in which Cirion and the Gondorian army are in camp the night before the battle, contemplating the possible outcomes....

With these new drabbles, the count is now 58 -- and I have a dozen new drabbles in the works, which I will post as the author's notes are completed. The muse has been enormously kind to me!

Late evening of 14 April
At camp on Parth Celebrant
- Cirion, Steward of Gondor
- Cirion, with his messengers
- Cirion's scribe

Enjoy!
- Barbara

 

 

Re: New chapter, 3 new drabbles posted!

Hi everyone!

Forgot to mention in my last post: I have decided to use a two-level marking system to indicate new chapters (or existing chapters with new drabbles added to them), so those readers who have read the whole series before can focus on the new work.

The most recently added chapter(s) will be renamed to say Newest! in the title, and the second most recently changed chapter(s) will have New! in the title; these titles will be visible in the Story Summary.

So, as of today, chapter 10* is titled Newest! 14 April, Late evening, chapter 15 is New! Late December, 2930 Third Age, and chapter 16 is New! 2933 Third Age.

I'm not sure whether to mark chapters that are modified, but don't have new drabbles — unfortunately, I'm an inveterate tinkerer, and often improve drabbles that I wrote and posted earlier. At least for now, I'm not planning to mark those, but I would do so if anyone would like to know where they are.

Hope this helps!

- Barbara

* But since I don't write or post the chapters in chronological sequence (that would take a disciplined muse, which mine most certainly is not!), any given chapter is likely to have different chapter numbers assigned to it throughout the life of this series... so treat chapter numbers like statistics: be very suspicious of them!

 

 

New chapter, five new drabbles posted!

Happy holidays everyone!

As an early Christmas gift, I've posted a new chapter in Fell and Fair!

In this chapter, the Balchoth commander prepares for combat the night before the battle, and two of his men scramble to do what's expected of them:

The Crossings of Limlaith: Night of 14-15 April
- The Balchoth commander
- A Balchoth seer
- A young Balchoth conscript

I've also added two new drabbles to an existing chapter, in which two Gondorians are scouring the battlefield after the battle:

The Battlefield on Parth Celebrant, The Day after the Battle: Morning of 16 April
- An injured Eorling (existing)
- Bronad, a young Gondorian soldier
- edit: Cúfaron, a Ranger of Ithilien

Added: (I changed the Ranger's name from Erfaron to Cúfaron after posting a later chapter, so I could use the name Elfaron for Glorfindel's horse.)

Enjoy!

- Barbara

 

 

Fell and Fair Drabble Series: Another Holiday Gift!

Hello again, everyone! The Santa muse has been exceedingly kind, so there is another holiday gift for my readers.... I just posted two new chapters, with three new drabbles, to my drabbles series Fell and Fair.

In the new chapters, the sons of Elrond escort Aragorn and his mother to Rivendell after his father's death, and then must return to the Angle a few weeks later to relay a distressing decision to his grieving grandfather:

On the Way to Rivendell, Three Days Later: 2933
- Elladan

The Angle, Weeks Later: 2933
- Dírhael, at Ivorwen's grave
- Dírhael

This has been a productive year; these new drabbles bring the total number in the series to 66! And I have 8 more in various stages of completion, too.... (and to think, when I wrote the first drabble in the series, I didn't know whether there would be a second! )

I hope you all enjoy your holidays, and have a Happy and Blessed New Year!

- Barbara

 

 

The infamous Lost Drabbles have been found!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I have an unexpected gift for my readers: the publishers have located three of the infamous lost drabbles from the Fell and Fair drabble series, and have now published them!

And if that doesn't entice you, perhaps this will: hot!nekkid!Elves with swords!

If you're interested, take a peek at the last chapter:

Addendum: A Note from the Publisher
- Hirvegil, approaching the sparring fields
- Celeborn
- Hirvegil

Enjoy!
- Barbara

 

 

Re: The infamous Lost Drabbles have been found!

Hi, Barbara,

Well! I am quite proud to have provided the final prompting (since I'm sure you've had plenty of previous pokes for hot!nekkid!Elves with swords) that brought about the Hirvegil-Celeborn match.

I'm glad you enjoyed my MEFA review. Your author's notes are all-around entertaining, but that specific reference to "lost drabbles" particularly caught my eye. *g*

I ... added slowly at the very last minute ... I think it added a certain je ne sais quoi...

Oh, yes. It makes the image much more tantalizing. Just the thought of a glowing, glowering Lord of Lorien gradually and furiously peeling everything off, eyes positively throwing sparks... *cough* Well, I'm glad he wasn't looking at me, but I was very happy to share your vicarious vision.

Gosh, I can still perfectly picture Hirvegil's smirk, too.

I just let them snark....

Please continue doing so! Every great lord needs an "underling" who will help keep him humble. Their relationship is wonderful.

Denise

 

 

New Chapter and Drabble added

Hi everyone!

I've added a new chapter to my ongoing drabble series, Fell and Fair, in which Elrond departs Middle-earth and hears a voice from his distant past... a character that I didn't expect to see in this series! (But I'm just the scribe... you have to blame the muse for anything unexpected....)

29 September 3021 Third Age, Evening:
- Elrond, at the stern

I expect there will be more drabbles in this scene sometime later, when the muse deigns to reveal them to me.

Enjoy!

- Barbara

P.S. Jay, I haven't forgotten your birthday drabbles... I haven't posted that chapter yet, because I'm having a hard time writing Author's Notes for it... Don't worry, they'll come... I just don't know when.

 

 

Two new chapters and 7 new drabbles posted!

Hi everyone!

I've added two chapters, with seven new drabbles, to my ongoing (aka never-ending) drabble novel, Fell and Fair. With these chapters, the count of drabbles posted in this series reaches 77!

Unfortunately, my muse has been very reticent in the past several months, but these two scenes were sparked by requests in the HASA Birthday Cards Forum. Thank you, Jay of Lasgalen and Nath, for providing the inspiration!

Each of these scenes describes an emotional crisis in the lives of the sons of Elrond. The first shows them burying their sister (hanky alert! I needed several while writing it), and the second depicts Elrohir seeking solitude to contemplate his decision whether to sail west or become mortal, prompted by a dream that came to the brothers in the prior chapter.


Cerin Amroth, Late Winter: 121 Fourth Age (for Nath)
- Elrohir
- Elladan

Rivendell, Late that Afternoon: Fourth Age (for Jay)
- Elrohir, late afternoon (existing, from the prior chapter)
- Glorfindel, that night
- Glorfindel, with Elrohir
- Elrohir, with Glorfindel
- Elrohir
- Glorfindel


Enjoy! And happy (very) belated birthdays to Jay and Nath.

- Barbara

 

 

Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone!

As a holiday gift for my readers, I have posted one new chapter and an additional new drabble to my ongoing drabble mega-series, Fell and Fair.

And I have also made minor changes throughout the posted chapters, mostly to assign names to many of the original characters.

Why, you ask? Because, after almost four years of working on this series, I am pleased to announce that I am finally writing the central chapter, about the Battle of the Field of Celebrant! The battle is large and complex, which results in a very long chapter (27 drabbles), with well over a dozen original characters of eight different races. I had to assign names to them or go crazy.


The Vales of Anduin, Near the Mirkwood Narrows: Late Morning of 12 April
- Félarof, Father of Horses (existing)
- Elladan (existing)
- Eorl, Lord of the Éothéod (existing)
- Elrohir, that evening (new!)

This chapter has one new drabble at the end, in which Eorl's second-in-command, Éomund, talks horses with the sons of Elrond on the day they join the Ride of Eorl.


Elvenhome: Fourth Age
- Celebrían, expecting a guest
- Olórin, sitting with Celebrían
- Olórin

This new chapter shows Celebrían enticing Gandalf to a picnic lunch, so she can request his help for her family.

I hope you enjoy this humble gift....

Happy Holidays!

- Barbara

 

 

New chapter with 7 new drabbles posted!

Hello everyone!

I have posted a new chapter for my WIP drabble series, Fell and Fair.

In this chapter, Elrohir and Elladan are among the many people escorting the body of Théoden King home for burial. They are sharing a congenial campfire one evening with the Rohirrim; much ale is consumed, and both E&E and the Rohirrim learn something new about each other.

This chapter is dedicated to Jay of Lasgalen for her birthday (but that's a secret, because I haven't told her yet ).

Firien Wood: Early August, 3019 Third Age

- Elrohir, with the Rohirrim
- Elrohir, with Elladan
- Elladan
- Elladan, with the singer
- Elrohir, with the singer
- Sigebryht, Gléowine's prentice
- Elladan, some time later

Enjoy!

- Barbara

 

 

New chapter posted!

Hi everyone!

I've added a new chapter to my forever-in-progress drabble series, Fell and Fair.

This chapter is a birthday gift for Imhiriel: Happy Birthday!

In this scene, Gandalf responds to Celebrían's request from the prior chapter (Fourth Age — Undying Lands, currently chapter 25) to aid her mother. He takes Galadriel to the Halls of Nienna, the Valie who has powers of healing.

Nienna's Halls, Sometime After: Fourth Age
- Nienna, greeting Galadriel
- Galadriel, on Elrond and Celebrían
- Nienna, with Galadriel
- Galadriel, on Finarfin, King of the Noldor
- Nienna

Enjoy!

- Barbara

 

 

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