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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:02 pm 
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Personally, I like collections to be at least somewhat connected. Partially, this goes back to my Graduate school days, where my Master's Thesis was on the importance of maintain the original order of poetic sequences, and partially it's because they will be sort of forever grouped together after the vote if they go up as one.

Oh, that's cool!

Your thesis probably makes for much better reading than mine. :)

This reminds me of the introduction to Dick Francis's Field of Thirteen, where he talks about how, in order to decide what order to put the 13 stories in, they just wrote the names of each story on cards, and drew them out of a bowl. As he says in the introduction, he went into the process assuming that it would just be a starting point, and that he would fiddle with the order afterwards, to make it better, but that he actually liked the random draw so much that he wound up keeping it exactly as it was.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:38 pm 
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I have a short one tonight, about which I'm afraid there isn't much for me to say, beyond the story itself.

Sisters

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:39 pm 
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:cry:

Something tells me that Raiker Venn is gearing up for a best seller: The Most Noble Tragedy of the Sisters LaRoux.

Thanks for posting, Orcish! I always love the LaRoux stuff. I very much look forward to the day when we have a LaRoux Family anthology (that will hopefully have a much happier theme than Raiker's version!)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Something tells me that Raiker Venn is gearing up for a best seller: The Most Noble Tragedy of the Sisters LaRoux.

I will never pass up an excuse to listen to this song:



:)

Thanks for posting, Orcish! I always love the LaRoux stuff. I very much look forward to the day when we have a LaRoux Family anthology (that will hopefully have a much happier theme than Raiker's version!)

Well, thanks for reading!

This one has been sort of ricocheting around my brain for months and months, now, but I never actually felt like I was in the right spot to write it, for whatever reason. It sort of shifted around a little bit over time, but the one sort of constant throughout -- and the moment that made me really want to write this scene in the first place -- is the moment where Brigitte says that the Comtesse wanted to destroy the horse, but that she persuaded her it wasn't what Margot would have wanted. There's something about that tiny little glimpse which I feel like tells me something important about all three characters, and it's rare to have those sorts of windows into so many people at once. That was what eventually convinced me that I needed to just put my head down and figure this story out, as much as I sometimes have an inclination to let the sad ones just slide by the wayside, if they aren't actively tormenting me.

So, yeah, I think I'm pretty okay with how it came out? It's maybe a little overwrought in places (I mean, it's basically just nice people crying a lot :( ), and I suppose that neither Brigitte nor Margot really need more context at this point, given that both of them have already gone to be with Goddess, as Elise would have put it. But I really do like seeing the LaRoux sisters again, even through the veil of tragedy. And I hope that the Eternities end up being kinder to Elise than they were to Brigitte or Margot.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:06 pm 
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A tiny wisp of fluff, on a Tuesday afternoon.

Starlight

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Last edited by OrcishLibrarian on Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:54 pm 
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A tiny wisp of fluff, on a Tuesday afternoon.

Starlight

Very cute.

I wrote something, too! Remember, everyone, it's called "inspiration," not "plagiarism."

:paranoid:

Moonlight


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:17 pm 
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Very cute.

My imagination was fighting me the other day. I was trying to write something which was decidedly not cute, only to have the muse rebel, and produce this instead.

But she's the boss, so this was what I got. :)

I like it, though. Even within my extensive catalog of aimless Aloise and Beryl smooch-fics, I like something about this one. And it doesn't even have any smooching!


I wrote something, too! Remember, everyone, it's called "inspiration," not "plagiarism."

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that inspiration is the sincerest form of flattery -- or something close enough to that, anyway. :)


Moonlight

Aww, I love it! :D

(Admit it -- this was all just an excuse to write "supine lupine," right?)

Anyway, this, clearly would have been a much smarter double date for the couples in question -- just a night out in the field, with no snail forks or scallop forks to complicate matters.

Oh well. Live and learn, right?

Anyway, again, I love this one. It's so great that I don't even mind that it's, like, ten times cleverer than what I wrote. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:47 pm 
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Aww, I love it! :D

:dance:

(Admit it -- this was all just an excuse to write "supine lupine," right?)

I can see where you would think that, but no! That came about as I was writing it. As an English instructor, I always hate to admit those moments when my vocabulary fails me, but for some reason, I was of the mistaken belief that "prone" was the opposite of "prostrate." And, since I knew that "prostrate" meant "face-down," I assumed that meant that "prone" meant "face-up." But, as I often do, I fact-checked myself, and learned that they were one and the same. So, knowing that there was a word which meant "lying face-up" but lamentably not remembering what that word was, I looked it up, and found "supine." Once I saw that and remembered that I should have known that word, I knew I had to do the "supine lupine" thing.

I hope one day to own a portrait of Kerik called "The Supine Lupine." That would be amazing.

Anyway, this, clearly would have been a much smarter double date for the couples in question -- just a night out in the field, with no snail forks or scallop forks to complicate matters.

Oh well. Live and learn, right?

As I was writing this, I did sort of imagine that this was set immediately after the double date, when both couples had gone "home" and were winding down from the exciting events of the evening.

I think the thing that tickles me so much about this piece is the fact that Daneera remembers that it was a full moon the day she met Kerik. I don't think of Daneera as much of a romantic, so that isn't something I would necessarily think she would remember or care about, but she does.

Anyway, again, I love this one. It's so great that I don't even mind that it's, like, ten times cleverer than what I wrote. :)

Well, thank you! This little bit of fluff would never have come around if not for the Beryl/Aloise fluff!

:D


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:04 pm 
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A Crack in the Pillar


Last edited by RavenoftheBlack on Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:30 pm 
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<Roy from I.T. Crowd> MY HEART HURTS! </Roy from I.T. Crowd>

Okay, wow, I *love* this. Thanks so much for sharing, Raven!

The LaRoux sisters have come to occupy a special place in my heart, and so it always makes me happy to see them again, even under the worst of circumstances. And I think one of the things that I've come to love about them is the fact that, while all three had their flaws and weaknesses, they did share this genuine and uncomplicated love for each other (and for their father, the Comte), and that love not only held them together, but it allowed them to transcend their own weaknesses, and to become better versions of themselves than I think they could ever have otherwise been. In Brigitte, and even in Elise, the weaknesses are a little easier to see, a little closer to the surface, and, almost by virtue of that, somehow easier to empathize with, and to forgive. Whereas Margot has always been the most distant of the three. Mostly, this is through no fault of her own, because, of course, by the time we arrive on the scene, Margot is dead and buried -- the proverbial marble woman (a theme to which we will return later), no longer flesh-and-blood, but a specter whose absence somehow casts a longer shadow over the present than many of the living characters do. And partly it's because we've never seen the world from Margot's point of view. The glimpses we have of her have always been through Elise's eyes, or Brigitte's -- or, albeit indirectly, the Comte and Comtesse's -- and, while I think those recollections are true, and not rose-tinted, they also can't show the whole story.

We've seen what it's like to love Margot -- and, as Brigitte once remarked, Margot was easy to love, and it's not hard to see why. But we've never really seen what it's like to be Margot.

And here, finally, we start to get to see that.

Because I don't think being Margot was easy. For sure, I don't think it was as hard as being one of the peasants on the estate, say -- Margot has drawn a very good hand in life -- but I don't think it was easy either. Because Margot's life is so defined by these expectations -- by these roles that she is supposed to play -- by these standards that she can clearly live up to, but which she can probably never exceed, because perfection is required, and from which she can never fully escape, except in those moments when she's alone with Robert and her sisters, or when she's just alone. Margot is a person, but Margot is also a part, a role. And, while she seems to be uniquely talented at subsuming the former into the latter, when the occasion calls for it, she's still human. She's not made of marble. And even marble -- when placed under enough strain -- will show cracks.

I think we've had maybe one little glimpse of that earlier, in the scene where Margot is explaining to Brigitte that Elise will be exiled, and there's just this brief moment where Margot can't quite bear to look at Brigitte, where she kind of has to face out the window, and force herself to speak slowly, as she pours and drinks a drink. And then there's the moment afterward, where she slams the crystal glass back down onto the serving tray maybe a little harder that she has to, and it makes that kind of sharp, angry sound that crystal makes when you hit it against something just a bit harder than you should, and, when I imagine that sound, I can just feel what's boiling away inside Margot, even as she mostly manages to keep everything on the surface calm, for the sake of her sister.

Then she turns around, and the steady Margot is back.

Here, we get to see the crack run a little deeper, and it really, really gets to me.

I've used the term "marble woman" to describe both Margot and -- in a different context -- Moira Trevanei, and, while I don't know who actually gets credit for coining this phrase, I come by it via Shelby Foote, who used the term "marble men" to describe the sort of sanitized, airbrushed, devoid-of-context versions of historical figures, as we come to venerate them in marble and bronze. People are people -- flesh-and-blood, neither sinners nor saints, but human beings, with all the virtues and weaknesses and infinite complexities that come part-and-parcel with our humanity. But call someone a "hero," carve their likeness in marble, and put it up on a pedestal -- whether literal, or whether just in the mind -- and, over time, those complexities start to fade away, the shades of gray vanish, and, eventually, we're left with almost a caricature of a memory, an angel or a devil, who could do no good, or could do no wrong. The person fades away, and only the statue remains.

And so, I think it's very easy for Margot to sort of become that marble woman, a kind of idealized version of herself, as seen through the lens of Brigitte or Elise's memory. But I didn't want her to be like that. I wanted her to feel more real than that, more alive. And I think Raven's story does a wonderful job of doing just that. So here we see Margot, at one of her darkest moments, and she isn't quite perfect. She can't quite handle it.

But she's still trying. She's still Margot. And she's still very easy to love.

Anyway, I definitely had this concept of "the marble woman" in mind when I wrote the little short about Brigitte and Elise meeting at Margot's grave, and -- while 99.44 percent of what I do happens by accident -- the fact that Margot's effigy is carved in marble is in the other 0.56 percent. I did it that way because I liked the moment when Elise touches Margot's stone face, and realizes that her own skin is still somehow paler than the white marble. I also did it because it seemed like a funeral tradition that fit well with what we know about the Thorneau aristocracy, and because I liked the idea that, while the effigies are usually depicted as veiled, Margot's would show her face, because I felt both like it was what her sisters would have needed, and what Margot would have wanted. But I also wanted to sort of raise that question about Margot becoming "the marble woman" in death, and, actually, when I wrote that particular story, that was the original title.

And so it's almost eerie to me that Raven came back to that exact same theme, here, and I love, love, love the way that he's done it. From the titular pillar itself, to Margot's own thought that "she would have plenty of time to be marble when her own time came," this story comes back to that same chord which has always been very, very resonant for me, and it does it in a really interesting way which I don't think I would have ever thought of myself. Like I said, it's eerie, almost, and I'm kind of gobstopped by it.

And it's similarly eerie that it happens in the context of the Comte's funeral, which, again, is another small episode from a much larger story which has nevertheless always had an outsize presence in my own mind. Up until now, the only reference has been in "Enough Rope to Hang By," when, in the context of Brigitte's larger musings about her relationship with her mother, and her father, and her sisters, she just sort of lets slip the fact that, on the day of her father's funeral, she tried to kill herself, and it was only Elise's intervention which saved her life. And, while I won't use the word "favorite," because it seems a little inappropriate in this context, I feel like that's one of the moments in that whole story which always impacts me the hardest, just because it does sort of appear from nowhere, before vanishing again just a second later, yet, in the moment that it's happening, I think it feels very real, and it somehow manages to be both unexpected and to make complete sense. The idea that there would be this notion of "formal mourning" on Thorneau, where the grieving must be seen, but cannot be seen to grieve. It makes sense to me, as part of the aristocratic ritual, but it's also so deeply cruel, so deeply unnatural. And, for a child like Brigitte, who loved her father, who connected with him so deeply, and who is now told that she cannot cry, that she cannot mourn for him, it's so easy for me to imagine how, in that moment, she could decide that she'd rather be with the dead than the living, and it's so easy for me to picture her opening that third-story window, and climbing out onto the sill, before Elise pulls her back. And it's also easy for me to imagine why, once the rawness of that moment has passed, it is essentially never spoken of again.

But the person who is conspicuously missing in Brigitte's half-glimpsed retelling of those events is Margot, because, of course, Margot is elsewhere when Brigitte is climbing onto the sill. And I love that now we're getting to see the other side of the story, and, so, again, the word eerie comes to mind, about the fact that Raven decides to go to this moment in Margot's story, of all possible moments. And I love that, although there's a difference in years, in temperament, and in expectation, which means that Margot has to express her own grief over her father's death in a different way from either Brigitte or Elise, we get to see that her own grief is just as real, and just as profound.

We see Margot playing Margot, but we also see Margot being Margot. And, while the latter can be subsumed in service of the former, it never goes away, and it shows the humanity beneath the marble.

Anyway, as will probably be obvious by now, I really like this story. It's basically perfectly designed to pierce right through the gaps in my feels armor, and it's pretty amazing.

So, thanks again, Raven, and very much so!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:36 pm 
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<Roy from I.T. Crowd> MY HEART HURTS! </Roy from I.T. Crowd>

:cry:

Okay, wow, I *love* this. Thanks so much for sharing, Raven!

Thank you for reading! I'm glad you liked it.

The LaRoux sisters have come to occupy a special place in my heart, and so it always makes me happy to see them again, even under the worst of circumstances. ... we've never seen the world from Margot's point of view. The glimpses we have of her have always been through Elise's eyes, or Brigitte's -- or, albeit indirectly, the Comte and Comtesse's -- and, while I think those recollections are true, and not rose-tinted, they also can't show the whole story.

We've seen what it's like to love Margot -- and, as Brigitte once remarked, Margot was easy to love, and it's not hard to see why. But we've never really seen what it's like to be Margot.

And here, finally, we start to get to see that.

I am very fond of the Sisters LaRoux as well, which likely comes as no surprise to anyone. I'm not entirely sure where this particular story came from, apart from a mental flash of Margot screaming and smashing glass in that deserted room. And that sort of made me think about what might bring her to that point, and more generally, it brings me to the question that you bring up here, which is basically "What is it like to be Margot LaRoux?"

Because I don't think being Margot was easy. For sure, I don't think it was as hard as being one of the peasants on the estate, say -- Margot has drawn a very good hand in life -- but I don't think it was easy either. Because Margot's life is so defined by these expectations -- by these roles that she is supposed to play -- by these standards that she can clearly live up to, but which she can probably never exceed, because perfection is required, and from which she can never fully escape, except in those moments when she's alone with Robert and her sisters, or when she's just alone. Margot is a person, but Margot is also a part, a role. And, while she seems to be uniquely talented at subsuming the former into the latter, when the occasion calls for it, she's still human. She's not made of marble. And even marble -- when placed under enough strain -- will show cracks.

This is basically what I arrived at, too. In Brigitte's musings in "Enough Rope," actually just before the scene you mention, Brigitte basically says that their mother only ever loved Margot. And while she is not necessarily bitter about this point, and certainly not bitter towards Margot, there is a sense that, in Brigitte's mind, Margot was "the lucky one." In many ways she ways, but that luck, I think, carries a very heavy cost. As you note, Margot has to be perfect, because nothing less is acceptable. And that kind of pressure, every moment of every day, just has to be too much for anyone.

I think we've had maybe one little glimpse of that earlier, in the scene where Margot is explaining to Brigitte that Elise will be exiled, and there's just this brief moment where Margot can't quite bear to look at Brigitte, where she kind of has to face out the window, and force herself to speak slowly, as she pours and drinks a drink. And then there's the moment afterward, where she slams the crystal glass back down onto the serving tray maybe a little harder that she has to, and it makes that kind of sharp, angry sound that crystal makes when you hit it against something just a bit harder than you should, and, when I imagine that sound, I can just feel what's boiling away inside Margot, even as she mostly manages to keep everything on the surface calm, for the sake of her sister.

Then she turns around, and the steady Margot is back.

Here, we get to see the crack run a little deeper, and it really, really gets to me.

In writing this little piece, I reread "The Sentence," "Sisters," and the first few paragraphs of Part Two of "Enough Rope" several times, and this moment is the one that really stands out to me, along with the moment when Margot sits down against the door with Brigitte, with Elise on the other side. I can just picture her so vividly there, with her head leaning back against the door, looking up at the clouds and trying, for the good of her sisters, not to cry at the injustice of it all.

Elise says that her sisters are her strength, and Brigitte, as well, draws strength from her image of Margot. And as great as I feel that is, there comes a point where those who provide the most strength to others must, I think, run out of it themselves. There's something really heartbreaking to me that, while Margot is always there for others, in this one moment, there is nobody there for Margot. That's the price she pays for "always being strong." It probably never occurred to anyone that she might not be.

At one point, I was tempted to have Elise come to comfort her, too, imagining that she had just finished holding and crying with Brigitte, but it ultimately didn't feel right. This is a moment for Margot to be alone, to look in the mirror and really see herself.

I've used the term "marble woman" to describe both Margot and -- in a different context -- Moira Trevanei,

...

And so, I think it's very easy for Margot to sort of become that marble woman, a kind of idealized version of herself, as seen through the lens of Brigitte or Elise's memory. But I didn't want her to be like that. I wanted her to feel more real than that, more alive. And I think Raven's story does a wonderful job of doing just that. So here we see Margot, at one of her darkest moments, and she isn't quite perfect. She can't quite handle it.

But she's still trying. She's still Margot. And she's still very easy to love.

I absolutely love in this story how carefully (and in how controlled a manner) Margot prepares herself to break down. She goes to a part of the house where she knows no one will hear her. She carefully takes down her hair, and slowly loosens her dress. And only then does she let go, and she let's go hard. All of her carefully pent-up emotions are released in a volcanic explosion of grief and rage. It's primal. It's destructive. And it's heart- (and glass-) breaking. But, to me at least, it felt like exactly what Margot needed at that moment.

And so it's almost eerie to me that Raven came back to that exact same theme, here, and I love, love, love the way that he's done it. From the titular pillar itself, to Margot's own thought that "she would have plenty of time to be marble when her own time came," this story comes back to that same chord which has always been very, very resonant for me, and it does it in a really interesting way which I don't think I would have ever thought of myself. Like I said, it's eerie, almost, and I'm kind of gobstopped by it.

Do you ever wonder if you and I are actually the same person, maybe in some kind of a crazy, split-personality, Edward Norton movie kind of thing? I'm just saying I haven't ruled it out...

Anyway, it's really not all that eerie, just because, as I said, I reread the other pieces before writing this, so the themes were pretty fresh in my mind. As for the pillar, that came about because, as I was trying to figure out what brought Margot to that point, the phrase that kept coming to mind was "cracked," like a cracked foundation. Rereading "Sisters" is probably what provoked the marble pillar image, although I may have thought of the pillar first. I honestly don't remember (I'm getting old that I don't remember three days ago...)

And it's similarly eerie that it happens in the context of the Comte's funeral, which, again, is another small episode from a much larger story which has nevertheless always had an outsize presence in my own mind. Up until now, the only reference has been in "Enough Rope to Hang By," when, in the context of Brigitte's larger musings about her relationship with her mother, and her father, and her sisters, she just sort of lets slip the fact that, on the day of her father's funeral, she tried to kill herself, and it was only Elise's intervention which saved her life. And, while I won't use the word "favorite," because it seems a little inappropriate in this context, I feel like that's one of the moments in that whole story which always impacts me the hardest, just because it does sort of appear from nowhere, before vanishing again just a second later, yet, in the moment that it's happening, I think it feels very real, and it somehow manages to be both unexpected and to make complete sense. The idea that there would be this notion of "formal mourning" on Thorneau, where the grieving must be seen, but cannot be seen to grieve. It makes sense to me, as part of the aristocratic ritual, but it's also so deeply cruel, so deeply unnatural. And, for a child like Brigitte, who loved her father, who connected with him so deeply, and who is now told that she cannot cry, that she cannot mourn for him, it's so easy for me to imagine how, in that moment, she could decide that she'd rather be with the dead than the living, and it's so easy for me to picture her opening that third-story window, and climbing out onto the sill, before Elise pulls her back. And it's also easy for me to imagine why, once the rawness of that moment has passed, it is essentially never spoken of again.

Yeah, this is a part of "Enough Rope" that really sticks with me, too, and probably a big part of the reason that I've latched on to the Comte as a character so much. It's very clear from just those few lines how much Robert LaRoux meant to Brigitte, and as we've seen since, to his other daughters, as well.

And I think what you say here, that this form of performative grieving is deeply cruel, is incredibly spot-on. I just can't help but feel for Margot here as she looks around the room - everywhere except at her father - and has to pretend to be the perfect hostess. And what I discovered as I wrote this was that moment when she looks at her mother, the Comtesse, and suddenly hates her, only to realize that to someone else, like Brigitte for instance, would see the exact same expression on Margot's face. I feel we have, in general, been unfair to the Comtesse, and there is a very deep truth in the statement that everybody grieves differently, but regardless, this is the moment, I think, when Margot realizes that she doesn't want to be the kind of person that the Comtesse appears to be.

One thing that really stuck with me after rereading "The Sentence" was when Margot tells Brigitte that she was the strongest of them (the LaRoux Sisters), and I found myself wondering what she meant by that. And when I was thinking about that funeral scene you wrote in "Enough Rope," I tried to picture it from Margot's point of view (well, obviously I did...). And that's when I sort of realized that at least one interpretation of it could be found in the way that Brigitte showed her grief for their father, the way that Margot was, perhaps, not strong enough to show.

But the person who is conspicuously missing in Brigitte's half-glimpsed retelling of those events is Margot, because, of course, Margot is elsewhere when Brigitte is climbing onto the sill. And I love that now we're getting to see the other side of the story, and, so, again, the word eerie comes to mind, about the fact that Raven decides to go to this moment in Margot's story, of all possible moments. And I love that, although there's a difference in years, in temperament, and in expectation, which means that Margot has to express her own grief over her father's death in a different way from either Brigitte or Elise, we get to see that her own grief is just as real, and just as profound.

We see Margot playing Margot, but we also see Margot being Margot. And, while the latter can be subsumed in service of the former, it never goes away, and it shows the humanity beneath the marble.

Yeah, knowing what we know about Margot, I got to thinking about where Margot was that she couldn't comfort her sisters, which we know she would have done if she could. Which told me that she couldn't go to Brigitte or Elise. And that, of course, lead to this story.

Anyway, as will probably be obvious by now, I really like this story. It's basically perfectly designed to pierce right through the gaps in my feels armor, and it's pretty amazing.

To be fair, your feels armor is, perhaps, not of the finest craftswomanship. No offense, of course, but Maral's work, it is not.

:)

So, thanks again, Raven, and very much so!

And thank you very much for reading, and for your kind words. We're getting closer to that LaRoux Sisters micro-anthology, you know.

;)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:22 pm 
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As you note, Margot has to be perfect, because nothing less is acceptable. And that kind of pressure, every moment of every day, just has to be too much for anyone.

And I think that also sort of gets at how deep the bond was between the sisters, because it really seems like they were able to just be themselves with each other, and all these external distinctions sort of fell away as soon as it was just them in a room. Which is pretty special, I think.


Elise says that her sisters are her strength, and Brigitte, as well, draws strength from her image of Margot. And as great as I feel that is, there comes a point where those who provide the most strength to others must, I think, run out of it themselves. There's something really heartbreaking to me that, while Margot is always there for others, in this one moment, there is nobody there for Margot. That's the price she pays for "always being strong." It probably never occurred to anyone that she might not be.

Absolutely.


At one point, I was tempted to have Elise come to comfort her, too, imagining that she had just finished holding and crying with Brigitte, but it ultimately didn't feel right. This is a moment for Margot to be alone, to look in the mirror and really see herself.

Yeah, no, I think you got it totally right.


I absolutely love in this story how carefully (and in how controlled a manner) Margot prepares herself to break down. She goes to a part of the house where she knows no one will hear her. She carefully takes down her hair, and slowly loosens her dress. And only then does she let go, and she let's go hard. All of her carefully pent-up emotions are released in a volcanic explosion of grief and rage. It's primal. It's destructive. And it's heart- (and glass-) breaking. But, to me at least, it felt like exactly what Margot needed at that moment.

Yeah, I really like those little details. And, honestly, that's something which I feel like I can relate to, almost. I've definitely had moments in my own life when I can remember thinking, with a startling amount of specificity and clarity, something along the lines of: "I have about twenty seconds to get out of here and into some place where no one else can see me, because that's how long I can hold it in before I'm going to lose it." So that's something about what Margot does that really strikes a chord for me.


Do you ever wonder if you and I are actually the same person, maybe in some kind of a crazy, split-personality, Edward Norton movie kind of thing? I'm just saying I haven't ruled it out...

Oh, God -- what if I've been trapped in the Black Lodge this whole time? :takei:


(I'm getting old that I don't remember three days ago...)

Welcome to my world. :)

Also, where am I, and how did I get here?


Yeah, this is a part of "Enough Rope" that really sticks with me, too, and probably a big part of the reason that I've latched on to the Comte as a character so much. It's very clear from just those few lines how much Robert LaRoux meant to Brigitte, and as we've seen since, to his other daughters, as well.

I have always loved Brigitte's description of the Comte: "The Comte had been a gentle man, a quiet man, fond of music, and books." Which is literally all that Brigitte tells us about the Comte, and, at a surface level, it doesn't say very much. But, somehow, I read that, and I just feel like I know the Comte, and why Brigitte loved him so much.

And then, of course, your stories have done so much to expand that out since!


And I think what you say here, that this form of performative grieving is deeply cruel, is incredibly spot-on. I just can't help but feel for Margot here as she looks around the room - everywhere except at her father - and has to pretend to be the perfect hostess. And what I discovered as I wrote this was that moment when she looks at her mother, the Comtesse, and suddenly hates her, only to realize that to someone else, like Brigitte for instance, would see the exact same expression on Margot's face. I feel we have, in general, been unfair to the Comtesse, and there is a very deep truth in the statement that everybody grieves differently, but regardless, this is the moment, I think, when Margot realizes that she doesn't want to be the kind of person that the Comtesse appears to be.

Yeah. The Comtesse has definitely taken a beating in all these stories, and I'm sure that she probably earned most of those licks. But I also suspect that, if we ever did get a chance to see things through her POV, we might get a better understanding of where she was coming from. Who knows how sympathetic that understanding would or wouldn't turn out to be, but she certainly has been at a disadvantage so far.


One thing that really stuck with me after rereading "The Sentence" was when Margot tells Brigitte that she was the strongest of them (the LaRoux Sisters), and I found myself wondering what she meant by that. And when I was thinking about that funeral scene you wrote in "Enough Rope," I tried to picture it from Margot's point of view (well, obviously I did...). And that's when I sort of realized that at least one interpretation of it could be found in the way that Brigitte showed her grief for their father, the way that Margot was, perhaps, not strong enough to show.

It's funny. When I was rereading "The Sentence" after reading this story, I sort of paused at that same line as well, and had to think about it for a minute. Because, I think, when I originally wrote that piece, I sort of assumed that it was just a case of Margot being kind to Brigitte, and telling her something that it would be good for her to hear, and that would help her to be strong in that moment. Because, when I think about Brigitte, "strong" isn't the adjective which immediately leaps to mind. But, like you said, when I went back to the story, I sort of got to wondering whether Margot isn't talking about a different sort of strength, much along the lines of what you mention, and I do think that Margot sees something in Brigitte which maybe Brigitte doesn't even see in herself until much later. And then I got to wondering whether, when Brigitte realizes that she has to sacrifice herself to save Elise and Henri and the others, whether it's this moment which she's thinking back to, even. Whether, when she's wondering what Margot would do, and wishing that Margot was there, she remembers Margot telling her that she's the strongest one, and that helps to give her the courage to do something so brave. And so, in that way, Margot's words almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And all that leads me back to thinking, like you said, that the "strength" Margot sees, and is talking about, comes from depth of feeling, and love for family.


To be fair, your feels armor is, perhaps, not of the finest craftswomanship. No offense, of course, but Maral's work, it is not.

I made it from cardboard tubes and string! :)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:45 am 
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The Reason for the Season

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:45 pm 
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I like it! I was particularly fond of the scholarly approach, and the "Clan Ruby" and "Clan Emerald" thing. It sort of reminds me why Borborygmos makes the best Santa.

Thanks for posting!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:54 pm 
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Oh, hey, I almost forgot about this, but I wrote a questionably-canon Chandra fic back around the holidays!

The Test


EDIT: Aaaaaaaaand a questionably-canon Lili fic, too! :)

The Heretic

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:23 pm 
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I felt like writing something, so here's a thing!

Enjoy!

Remembrance Mass


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:45 am 
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Aww... It's always nice to see at least some of the LaRoux sisters together. Thanks for sharing!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:38 pm 
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Aww... It's always nice to see at least some of the LaRoux sisters together. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks, Huey! As is likely fairly evident, I am also quite fond of the Sisters. Orcish really created some gold with those three.

This was originally going to be a Thorneau trifecta, so to speak, where I was going to write three little stories centering around the Sister LaRoux, but this one was the clearest in my head, and I wasn't able to get around to writing the other two, so I posted it.

Maybe some day I'll tell those other two stories. Only time will tell!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:51 pm 
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I felt like writing something, so here's a thing!

Enjoy!

Remembrance Mass

I'm not crying! You're crying!

*hides face, runs away*

I love it, Raven. I, too, am inordinately fond of the Sisters LaRoux, and it's nice to see them again, even under these circumstances. And there's something eerily powerful about imagining Margot and Brigitte's spirits now, still in that little chapel, still thinking of Elise, but no longer wishing to be together -- not just now, not just yet. Someday, to be sure. But not yet.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:16 pm 
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I'm not crying! You're crying!

*hides face, runs away*

There, there, Orcish. There, there.

I love it, Raven. I, too, am inordinately fond of the Sisters LaRoux, and it's nice to see them again, even under these circumstances.

I hope that we one day have a little anthology of stories and microfics all about the LaRoux family. We're well on our way, I think, but we could probably use a few more happy memories from their past.

And there's something eerily powerful about imagining Margot and Brigitte's spirits now, still in that little chapel, still thinking of Elise, but no longer wishing to be together -- not just now, not just yet. Someday, to be sure. But not yet.

And I'm just saying that if anyone wanted to paint this scene, with Margot and Brigitte looking all blue and transparent like a Jedi ghost, I would not be opposed to the idea.

:)

Thanks for reading, Orcish!


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