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redwood

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About redwood

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  1. redwood

    Chapter 9

    A thrilling chapter, and a really memorable story. Thanks, DavidJ!
  2. redwood

    Chapter 7

    A real mystery here. We have some prospects but no serious leads. Is Clodia or her entourage involved? Something tells me you didn't introduce her character just to be a laughing stock.
  3. redwood

    Chapter 5

    For some reason, I assumed that adultery wasn't a big deal in the Roman Empire. So I was curious how Pericles hooking up with Iulia (if true) could inspire murder. Some ancient societies allowed men to be with multiple women, whether having wives, concubines, or slaves taken in conquest. A male prerogative, ya know? Wikipedia says marriage was "strictly monogomous" in ancient Rome. In fact, this influenced the Christian ideal of a faithful marriage. Adultery was illegal, except with a "permissible partner" like a prostitute or slave. Roman legal records seem to be more concerned with punishing a wife who commits adultery, not a husband who does so. Adultery was normally a private matter to resolve in the family, not in the courts. Maybe someone was taking justice into their own hands in killing Pericles?
  4. Not usually a fan of threesomes, but I second this motion! Etalos is adorable. Chris and Victor could show him the ropes -- an initiation into gay sex. I'd sign up for that! A night trading body fluids with them should increase his power!
  5. redwood

    Titles 1

    If it's a choice between "arrogant prick" and gifted but humble, I'll take humble. There's far too many pricks in this world who think they're way smarter than they are (looking at my president). Tough love from gramps and great-gramps! Chris was due for this, as he steps into his official role as Ambassador.
  6. redwood

    Chapter 3

    I vote for a murder mystery. Peris accidentally falling out a fifth-floor window doesn't pass the smell test. If there's a murderer, I wonder if Phillip becomes the next target. He seems to attract drama! The idea of eating while lying on your left side is hilarious. I had to look it up. According to Norwegian medics, this relieves pressure on the "antrum," the lower part of the stomach, while lying on your right side increases the pressure. "Maybe this is just what the old Romans were doing during their food orgies," one doctor said.
  7. redwood

    Chapter 1

    So glad to see this story continue! I love historical fiction that really immerses you in the life of past societies. I'll give Phillip a pass for nearly drowning, but he needs a refresher on geography. Rome was (and still is) an inland city on the Tiber River. (Ostia was Rome's major harbor by the sea, where ships would dock.) No wonder the medics were laughing!
  8. I really enjoyed this chapter. It's cute how Chris is still clueless and humble about his power. Guess he's reverting to form after the Ascension. I think of how so many people struggle with "imposter syndrome" when facing intimidating new situations, like a new job or parenting for the first time. In those situations you're like: how the hell can I handle all this responsibility? I think that huge fear of failure is really accurate for an 18-year-old who's been thrust into the role of most powerful person in two worlds in what... a few months? Ultimately the feeling of owning your power like a badass has to come from within, and Chris isn't there yet. Also, I really liked this line: "We've both lived far too long to be so naive as to expect perfection." Living for a thousand years will do that!
  9. redwood

    The Ascension

    Ok first, at least four times the size of the Cologne cathedral?! Boggles the mind. The ascension was so moving. The rituals were impressive, with all the classic high and mighty language of religious ceremonies. Definitely felt the awe! I liked the contrast between the pre- and post-ceremony versions of Chris. So much freaking out about the occasion beforehand, but he transformed in the moment and took full ownership of his awesome power. No one else has figured out how to stop Kumhaktas? No problem, Chris just combines the magic of all four elf houses to conjure chains that restrain his energy. And this line at the end just slayed me: “I intend to be the light of hope in times of darkness.” I wish we in the U.S. had leadership like this right now. Someone who uses their power for public service, not just for power's own sake.
  10. Yeah that was a special version of "the talk," with a little mind reading to know your worst sins, and the threat of elven spells to end you. It's one better than cutting your balls off! Oh wait... I was just kidding! Riiiiiiight. Don't mess with the patriarch!
  11. Brenn, I'm enjoying your writing, especially the use of detailed colors and smells to set scenes. My favorite is "rainbow sherbet" from the last chapter. I've never thought of a sky like that, but it conjured an immediate, clear image. Can't wait to read what's next!
  12. This line speaks to me the most. I'm kind of a humanist and don't believe in a traditional god, but clearly each of us has a unique and special consciousness. We all matter. To willfully ignore that is evil, in my opinion. Our current "leadership" in the U.S. doesn't see people outside their base as fully human. Just opponents to be vanquished. It makes me so angry. But I feel better reading your poem. About life and the economy: they should go hand in hand. The economy is based on individual households. It's not just money in the stock market. People need to be alive and healthy for the economy to function for them.
  13. redwood

    Preparations 3

    Yeah that was my first thought too: how could several artifacts go poof without anyone at the museum noticing? I guess Chris could easily manipulate their staff's memories if necessary. Anyway you can make a case that he's the rightful owner of elven artifacts that probably came from his ancestors. In my experience museum guards can be seriously... protective of their stuff. I've been warned to stay at least 1.5 feet back from paintings.
  14. redwood

    Preparations 3

    I love this story. It's always been compelling, even before editing fixed the occasional grammatical errors. With editing, the story shines and there's no distractions. Thanks, Etotsira! Can't wait for the Ascension after all this buildup! I hope no one ever has to perform a Hakta on Chris, if it could kill them. I can see a scenario where, as a last resort, someone sacrifices their life to diffuse Chris's energy and save him.
  15. redwood

    Chapter 12

    Ok this time you made me cry. I flat out love this story. After the freefall of chapter 11, the ending was more positive and satisfying than I dared to hope. It was fitting that Angelo showed up to save Gianni. And I like that Gianni stood up for himself at his grandparents' house, making his staying in Ravello conditional on their "understanding." He asked for what he needed and got it. For Marina's character, this was a fitting conclusion too. The same person who drove her daughter away over a difference in beliefs finally bent to accommodate her grandson's differences. James, I'm not sure if you were intending this, but I also like how the story has paired events, where characters get to revisit a similar previous experience with an opportunity to change the outcome. Like the two instances when Gianni considers jumping off the balustrade. The second time, Angelo is ready to save him. Or when Marina reconciles with family, instead of callously driving them away. And there's the moment at the temple when that line -- "it shouldn't have happened like that" -- recurs, and Gianni finally learns what Angelo meant. These episodes speak to the hope for redemption, for people to seize opportunities to learn and make the right choices. Please continue writing and posting your work. I don't care if it's nature writing or romance, I'd read it!
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