Reviewer: Psychrulz Signed [Report This]
Date: November 13, 2011 6:21 pm Title: Juliet, I'm Not Afraid Anymore

Beautiful. Lovely. Whimsical. I love it :)

I think this story really brings to life the idea of how so much focus is given to Shawn for his wandering ways. However, when we really stop to think, he's not nearly the only one who up and escaped what was once home for one reason or another. Henry did it, and yes, Juliet did it also! Neither to Shawn's extent, but they're not that much different from him in that respect. It's a refreshing and often missed perspective that I'm glad to see written so wonderfully :)

The idea of a chance encounter years ago, and meeting that person once again in a land far away (Santa Barbara) - where they all, even Shawn, ended up going back and finally calling home. It's like, yes, you *can* go home again. It won't ever be the same, but it can be just as great, even better.

I got warm fuzzies reading this. Thanks for sharing :)

Author's Response:

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your review!!!! I'm so happy you really enjoyed reading it! :D I so loved your insights—I hadn't looked at it that way at first but it's so true! All three of them are "guilty" of making their own escapes, "running away" for reasons known only to each, at first. That's just awesome to think about! Thank you for that perspective!!! :D 

And the one of calling a place home—yes!!!! That's spot on! In the course of this story, Juliet's preparing to get a transfer, and Henry's finding out maybe it's time he stopped "hiding out", and Shawn . . . well, he might be just a little behind their smarter reasoning. ;) 

Thank you so much again for your review!!!! Always excited to hear your wonderful insights and thoughts!!!! :D



Reviewer: dragonnan Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: November 12, 2011 7:44 pm Title: Juliet, I'm Not Afraid Anymore

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Okay, I'm going to do this the right way darn it and review as I go. Otherwise I'll get caught up in your magic all the way to the end, like always, and totally lose any coherency I may have once possessed.

Henry had . . . almost forgotten; a single day from years back, not even a full one—just a handful of hours that had slid through his fingers like a fine sand, or a scarf made of silk.

LOVE that piece of description! Of the things about your writing that make me explode and seethe with jealousy all at once, it's your manner of turning a phrase. You make words and sentences carry a unique quality, which marks them distinctly as your style. I was actually thinking about that a few days ago – how your writing has such a powerful component of your personality. It could be posted without your signature attached but I would still recognize it as your work. That is a wonderful and essential part of being a great writer!

Even her voice, musical but thin, like a teen's, as if she was still growing into herself.

You perfectly describe Juliet – just out of the gawky stage of growth but still young. A match to Shawn, actually, who maintains that aspect that, even into his thirties, still earns him the title of “kid”.

In spite of her casual appearance, she'd held herself with pride, calmly bringing her surroundings to her

hungry, lipless hours

Beautiful examples, again, of what I'd stated in the first part of my comments.

Maybe . . . one of the reasons he'd picked Miami was a roundabout way to be close to both of them

I love how you give this turn on why Henry may have chosen Florida. Not, entirely, as an escape, but as a way to stay close.

There is something so pleasing and warming about Henry trying to recall what it was, exactly, that Juliet had said about his shirt. A trite memory yet still, in hindsight, a precious one. This woman who was merely passing through – a casual and forgettable meeting suddenly taking on so many levels when now, she's darn near family.

Henry had spent that morning fishing off the pier, making occasional small talk with the locals and fellow tourists—mostly businessmen who held their poles rigidly, as if eternally accustomed to pressed suits and starched shirts; men who would never be comfortable in a simple cotton t-shirt and a worn pair of jeans.

I like the parts of this that are understood without being said. That Henry's observation of these men, while he doesn't mind being a companion, distinctly sets him apart. And even, that hint of smugness over their discomfort at trying to relax. They are incapable of working the kinks out enough to actually put up their feet. Yet Henry disregards his own faults in this way. His own kinks of discomfort. How much longing, at that moment, was he carrying for the suit he used to wear? Or was it eclipsed by the longing to just have his family back?

Was Shawn all grown by now, was he a man? No. Wasn't he still seventeen, disgruntled, displaced, with wings on his shoes?

THAT. Those wistful thoughts of his wayward son. It makes it ache in the throat just back of the tongue. Grown man numerically, maybe, but still a lost child wandering without anyone to look after him. To keep him safe.

But it was because of people that he left—because of his family, dismantled, shipped across the country and even overseas,

That puts in my head the picture at the end of a play – when the set it taken down and the painted scenery removed from the stage. It makes me so sad!

"Some of us aren't meant to live and die in the places where we come of age." She sighed. "Or maybe it's that the timing isn't right; that we feel"—she shook her head—"I feel that the world is out there and I'm missing all of it. The good stuff, the eventful stuff, the daily stuff, the crazy stuff, even the stuff that gives you bad dreams, or indigestion, or scares you. I'm missing all of that—and I don't want to."

You have this fabulous gift for capturing Juliet's personality. This is so perfectly “her”. In addition to how you've written her, I love seeing Henry's perspective – seeing her, not as the girlfriend of his son, but in this moment, as an attractive woman who, maybe, is a little too young for him but he can still admire her regardless. As well, someone he feels a bond with simply because of their shared profession – that thing that makes family of them all.

More from life, more from the career, more from love, Henry thought. For a second, he considered this a young person's desire—but he tasted salt and regret when he knew he wanted more too.

There is so much to Henry's grief. And really, that's what it is. He's gone to Miami to grieve, whereas Juliet is leaving there because of grief. There is escape for them both and Florida is a pivot point they share – this meeting even more profound for its timing.

Maybe she wouldn't remember, one day look at him as if she, too, were seeing a ghost.

I LOVE this line. It sums everything up so perfectly.

Juliet put her hand on his arm, stopping him from following Shawn into the house. "Doesn't this sunset just remind you of that day in Miami?"

I swear I gasped right there with Henry. I really never expected her to remember too and yet, and yet she would... being who she is. Juliet would remember. And, like Henry, she would treasure the meeting.

The way you wrote this, the back and forth from past to present, creates a stunning image of what once was and what is. Going from loss to wealth both in where they live as well as who they have in their lives. And there, also, is yet another pivot point shared between them. Shawn. Their lives are deeply woven together and it makes for such an elegant story! I want, more than anything, for this to have occurred in the series. So in my mind, it HAS occurred. It's just too perfect for it not to have happened lol!

Author's Response:

WOW! Your review is incredible and awesome, thank you so much!!!! Totally thrilled you had a lot to comment on! :D :D :D :D :D You always have this wonderful way of adding new depths and dimensions to my work that always leaves me breathless and gleeful that there was more within that I had yet to see. :D


I don't remember exactly where the idea came from for this tale, but somewhere I thought it might be an interesting exploration if these two met, what they would talk about, and eventually, what their motivations would be for being in Miami (or for wanting to leave it). The Juliet I was picturing was the one from the diner in the 2nd episode, and then sort of the one from Shawn's dream in "Polarizng Express", but also someone much younger (maybe a little bit of Maggie Lawson's character from Pleasantville), someone buzzing with life, wanting to know what could be (to quote from Pleasantville) if "the road keeps going". ;) 

So glad you liked the part about Henry's "escape" being a sort of not that. One of my favorite lines. :) 

The shirt! xD That's funny, because when I was going over what I'd written (and writing more), I found a more recent addition about Henry's choice of shirts but I decided to keep the original part. And then the next part you mentioned I added that day (the day I posted to story) because I wanted some anchoring for Henry of time and place (and setting) before he actually meets Juliet on the same beach.

GUHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I love the meaning you took away from it! Henry with his "early retirement" and Hawaiian shirts and Miami hiatus, he's able to "let go"— and YES!!! What you said about wanting his suit and his family, absolutely perfectly true!!!! :D :D :D

A set taken down, I love that image! It's so perfect—especially considering the "play" of Henry's marriage, career, and family unit is done, the curtain down, and all the "players" gone (except for poor Henry, standing alone standing alone in his empty house).

*BLUSH GRIN* I'm sooooo happy you found Juliet's "little speech" to be within the bounds of her personality. :) I was thinking about her in "A Very Juliet Episode", in the flashback at the beginning where she was "breaking up" with Scott so she could go live her life and all when I was writing that part. And GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHH. I *LOVE* what you said in that same paragraph about Henry's perspective! That's EXACTLY EXACTLY EXACTLY EXACTLY spot on to the way I wrote it!!!! *dances around in glee* :D 

And this: "There is escape for them both and Florida is a pivot point they share – this meeting even more profound for its timing."

OMG!!!!!! THAT IS, AGAIN, EXACTLY SPOT ON to my thinking!!!! GUUUUUUHHHHHH!!!!!! :D

Ah, the ghost line! :D I definitely wanted it to be a meeting that was so short and so uneventful that it was entirely possible for both of them to not remember it happening—but then Henry, out of the blue, gets it back. I almost took out the line with Juliet telling Henry she remembered but it felt right to keep it in, because "she would remember and treasure the meeting." Yes!!! Absolutely a million times YES!!!!!! I'm soooooo happy you got the meat of the story and its subtleties—including everything you said in your last paragraph. O.M.G.!!!!! Again, exactly what I hoped to give the readers—as you so elegantly put it, "a stunning image of what once was and what is". *SQUEEEEEEEEE* I thought about including more Shawn, but it felt like he was sort of there already, like another bond (to be) between them. If they'd met again under any other circumstances that didn't include Shawn, their first meeting would have been insignificant, just another stranger passing through. *IS GIDDY* GAHHHHHH!!!!! I love that you want this to have occurred in the show and this story has made it so for you! *melts into a puddle of goo* :D :D :D :D :D

THANK YOU SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH for your super awesome review and observations and insights!!!! I am so grateful and feel so lucky that you stop by to read and comment and bring your intelligent POV with you every time. I probably can't say thank you enough but I'll keep trying. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D



Reviewer: Spookysister7 Signed [Report This]
Date: November 12, 2011 7:32 pm Title: Juliet, I'm Not Afraid Anymore

oh, thank god. i thought i was gonna need brain bleach. i was afraid this was going to end up a henry-juliet fling story. thank you for NOT doing that! :)

Author's Response:

Thanks for your review. I thought I'd leave the content open to interpretation. Thanks for reading. :)



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