Date: October 26, 2023 05:09 pm Title: You're On Your Own Kid
Sometimes doctors can be jerks. Just when a family thinks there's any ray of hope in comes Mr. Clinical and Sterile to quash it at once. I've had a couple like that in real life and called them out on it. The look of "you can't talk to me like that, I'm a Doctor," was priceless.
The scene where they walk Cece to the operating room was just heartbreaking. Same with how Phil told them what he'd been hearing and saying to Cece. The plot thickens for sure. Looking forward to more as always.
Author's Response: I think there's this separation in doctors' minds between a patient and a case and they have a really hard time connecting those things, or maybe its intentional. Either way on the receiving end it just sucks, because you're just looking for empathy and kindness. Sometimes you gotta knock them off their high horse lol I'm so glad you're enjoying! More to come!
Date: October 26, 2023 10:14 am Title: You're On Your Own Kid
Oh woah… that was a huge chapter. One I am going to reread for all the subtext. Between the spaces of care and support and raw emotional vulnerability as you hold on to your child and take them to surgery willing them to survive to the end with the beginnings of a secret coming out…
Woah… well done
Author's Response: So much going on here, right? I feel like there's a lot to unpack and how everyone is reacting to what's happening in the moment is a unique circumstance as well. It's hard to draw focus on what's most important when you're in fight or flight mode.
Date: October 17, 2023 12:52 pm Title: Haunted
More rays of light are starting to poke though. Thing is, it seems some of those light rays are also shining on a few things they'd rather keep hidden in the dark. Jim thinking he has to do this all alone or that he's the only one who might feel like this. And of course what Phil knows.
Speaking of Phil, I'm glad we got to see him here. We really get the sense of how he might have been feeling overlooking though this whole ordeal. Everyone is paying so much attention to Cece but since he's fine, he gets overlooked. No wonder he's so scared. Especially if he's been picking up on his parents moods.
But also progress from Cece! I love that it's her brother that she first responds to. That's really adorable. Hopefully such things continue!
Author's Response: I wanted Phil to come into this in a dynamic way, and also show the relationship him and his sister had before all of this happened. It?s easy to get overlooked when you?re the ?easy? kid, and your parents don?t think he needs anything. I wanted Phil to be the one who would get some progress out of her because I think their bond is strong. I also wanted to call back to the iPod moment between Jim and Pam :)
Date: October 16, 2023 08:11 pm Title: Afterglow
I don't think there's anything that can prepare a parent to see their child in that state. Pam freezes, Jim tries to be brave, but they're both balancing on the edge of a knife. And then the puff of wind hits and they both topple off the edge. Though it feels like one more ray of light just flickered on in the form of Brittany. Just before Jim and Pam tumble into the abyss she reaches down to catch them. A calm and guiding hand with a flashlight to help them navigate seemingly endless night.
The flashback scene where Cece slams the door in Jim's face helps to round out just where Jim is coming from earlier. Seems like for a while now there have been some regrets floating around. So at her bedside those are really starting to hit hard.
But like I said there are at least two rays of light now rather than just one. Here's hoping a few more shine through soon.
Author's Response: I think a lot of parents seem to think they're at least going to see something familiar after their child goes through a major procedure like that, or any loved one really. It can take such a toll on their body and physical appearance that they really do look unfamiliar and the atmosphere around them doesn't help at all. It's certainly overwhelming and that image often gets burned into your brain for a long time. A friend of mine mentioned that parents often sift through every memory or interaction they've had with their loved one when their in that state and over analyze and have a lot of regrets so I think Jim's feeling extra hard on himself for even the simplest of parenting moments everyone has had. Brittany is my little ray of light, I'm excited to introduce her character and hopefully bring some happiness or at least relief to this situation Thank you for your wonderful reviews! .
Date: October 16, 2023 08:46 am Title: All's Fair In Basketball
I got totally hooked reading this. I love how well you wrote Jim and Pam as parents who are dealing with their child’s sickness in very different ways. Can’t wait to see what happens.
Author's Response: Yay a new reader! Thank you so much for finding this little gem and reviewing. It means so much to me and helps with the writers block!
Date: October 16, 2023 07:31 am Title: Afterglow
A very hard topic to read (for me personally as it's bringing back a lot of what I went through with one of my babies), but you've written it so well, with a lot of care and attention.
The before and after works really well together too.
Bracing myself for the worst, and hoping for the best with what happens to Cece!
Author's Response: I totally understand, I appreciate you taking care of your needs while reading too and taking care of yourself. It's a very close story to something in my own life I'm going through and so it's cathartic but it's also very heavy at the same time. Thank you for your reviews and sticking with it, it helps with the writers block!
Date: October 16, 2023 06:32 am Title: Afterglow
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh…. I feel the ‘Jim is going beat himself up’ about the “she won’t die” comment at some point. Parents spend the time at the bedside combing over EVERY interaction and just whack themselves on the head with things over and over.
And the early changes in likes/dislikes are so tough for parents. I feel for Jim seeing the connection with his child ebb some.
(Of course, you know you NAILED Brittney and the hospital SW. Having been in her position many times I loved her arrival!)
Author's Response: Thank you so much, I'm so glad you enjoyed it and for your super helpful suggestions getting me through this chapter! Parents definitely spend a lot of time worrying about everything they've ever said and that felt like a good call back for him. I'm going to delve into those few minutes before she goes to sleep for surgery next and I'm not sure I can emotionally handle it lol
Date: October 12, 2023 05:43 pm Title: Delicate
Ok, so, you're just about tearing my heart out here. To start on that sweet tender moment from when Cece was six and then the trip in Dallas where Cece missed the shot, got drunk, and had a seizure. Oof.
Then it's Jim and Pam just sitting in the waiting room, just waiting. Yes they're there together, but that's just about it. Phil's away and there's nothing they can do. Then when the surgeon comes in and says that? I can't even begin to fathom what's going on with them at the moment. I have an idea of what they're about to walk into. Cece laying in a bed with seemingly ungodly amounts of medications, tubes, IV lines, and monitors surrounding her. The one ray of hope is that the surgeon said they got it out. Slim and faint as it may be, it's at least something. There's still a spark, but will anyone have the energy or tenderness to fan that spark back to flame? I really hope so.
Author's Response: Kids, man. It honestly feels like one second they're this tiny person and then a moment later they're making choices that adults should be making. I like writing Cece in a more vulnerable state, especially as a fourteen year old who definitely isn't going to want to share everything with her parents, even if she should be. Thank you again for your amazing reviews, they help the writers block and keep the creativity coming!
Date: October 12, 2023 10:32 am Title: Delicate
Pulled out the big guns of memory with this one for sure. The simple moment between a mother and child, having 'personal celebration' time for a birthday bustling with people. Then you hit us with the phrase 'Shirley Temple curls'... ooof gut punch.... but so appropriate, the happy sing/song face of Shirley Temple crossed with cutting off the curls so the cranium can be accessed... wow.
And... now to the ICU... oh, our hearts are in a tangle.
Author's Response: My Nana loved Shirley Temple and I watched so many of her movies as a kid. I always imagined Cece would get those curls and stepping on them might be the most uncomfortable thing I could think of in the moment. Woof this story is a doozy, so glad great people like yourself are along for the ride!
Date: October 10, 2023 05:03 pm Title: You Were Mine
Well...damn (pun kind of intended). Just the thought of seeing Cece drift off like that I'm sure would be terrifying. Add it on top of every other thing pressing down on them. Barely holding it all together, trying desperately to maintain some semblance of order. They're trying all the right things, and it's still not enough. And what's more is that there really isn't anything they can do. They're lost in a desert with not even a hint of mirage let alone an oasis.
Then Jim breaks. He's put so much on himself that this final crack is what shatters him. Pam of course is right, it's not his fault, but there's no way to get that through him at this stage. What I do love is that even in her fear and pain, Pam is still there for Jim. There's nothing she can say, so she's just there. It's all they can do at this point, just be there and endure.
So like I said...damn. Powerful writing to be sure.
Author's Response: Eric I love your reviews so much, they?re so insightful and you put so much effort into them and as a writer I just have to say THANK YOU! It truly means so much. Writing this story is hard and heavy and at times painful for myself. As a parent as well, going through anything with your children while they?re in pain is so stressful and most of the time you just can?t do anything but sit and wait. The thing I like about Jim & Pam is that I think they?re strong enough as a couple to be able to withstand the storm without breaking but although they won?t break apart, it doesn?t mean there isn?t damage done.
Date: October 10, 2023 01:48 pm Title: You Were Mine
Bawling, just a puddle of tears over this whole thing.
Perfect capturing the distraught parents who are not connected but not fighting either. The fear and terror of the thought they might lose their child, being powerless against it and the crushing weight of ‘we didn’t notice soon enough’ … wow
Author's Response: I think Jim?s finding anyone to put blame on in a blameless situation and himself seems the easiest at this point. If it?s his fault he didn?t notice something was wrong earlier then maybe it will take the weight off everyone else. So difficult to write and read but the reviews keep me going and I adore your lovely comments, shout outs, and promoting this story! It means so much to me.
Date: October 09, 2023 07:00 pm Title: One More Night
Well I'll say one thing, from the outside at least Jim is doing everything he can to hold them all together. Literally here. To use those lines of comfort from her earlier childhood felt like a source of comfort.
Though with everything else, the weight seems to be crushing everyone. Phil's gone quiet. Pam thinks she's a failure again. Cece's thought's are really turning dark. And Jim it feels like Jim is trying to duck tape everything together and it's only halfway working.
Feels like a dam is going to burst sometime soon and no one knows what if anything will remain.
Author's Response: I like to think she's heard those things a few times throughout life, like a mantra. Have you heard of the concept of glass children? Phil is definitely teetering on the line of becoming that so easily, it's an impossible task to figure out how to manage in those situations. I think that dam may burst soon.
Date: October 09, 2023 11:19 am Title: One More Night
This whole beautifully written story is reminding me of “A Summer to Die” by Lois Lowry which was a book I must have read a hundred times over as a teen. The emotions and experience captured in Cece and the response from her family is just beautiful.
Author's Response: I completely forgot about that lovely book until just now. It was a re-read for me many times as well. I can definitely see the resemblance. I was excited for your review, they're always so lovely and complimentary and I really like your perspective working in this field. I am hoping it's as real as possible.
Date: October 07, 2023 07:00 pm Title: Stormy Skies
Well a firm diagnosis is something. Better to know what you're fighting against rather than playing a guessing game.
Though logic and facts probably aren't going to do anything for anyone right now. Somehow I get the feeling that Cece feels alone and also thinks she deserves to be alone. Thus shutting herself away. The docs saying she can't go back to school reinforced that. Now she has to cut her hair. Slowly her identity is being stripped away. The pieces that made her, her pulled back one by one. Makes me wonder how Jim, Pam, and Phil are going to react. Clearly they're still physically there with her, but will they also be there for her in the depths of her feelings? I hope so.
Yeah, lots of big feelings in this chapter for sure. A lot of fear, anxiety, and solitude. It all feels very real.
Author's Response: Thank you so much- I'm really enjoying trying to write the story albeit third person but also from the perspectives of those surrounding Cecelia and what they're experiencing. I think the need for solitude often comes in moments of fear and difficulty and supportive family often don't know what to do with it. Thank you so much for your reviews, they're so thoughtful and insightful and they keep me going!
Date: October 06, 2023 11:12 am Title: All's Fair In Basketball
Woah.... this comes in hot... love Pam being an art therapist, very realistic, and I adore the back and forth of general every-day life with parents of adolescents.
Author's Response: Yeah I had to drop something a little strong to come back ;) but I love your reviews thank you so much. Unfortunately this is based on my own knowledge and experiences but I love coming in a little hot and strong!
Date: October 04, 2023 06:06 pm Title: All's Fair In Basketball
Vivid descriptions to be sure. Jim and Pam getting into the teen years seems very real. Cece's attitude feels very much like a typical teenager trying to find herself a bit.
Then we get to Jim finding her in a seizure. Yeah, I can feel the panic, fear, anxiety, and everything in Jim right there. In that regard I'm glad for that little intro while Cece is in the scanner. Clearly she'll make it through this first episode. But of course who knows what it'll mean for everyone.
I for one am very interested to seeing where we go with this. Hopefully there won't be to much heartache along the way.
Author's Response: Hi there dear friend! Planning to keep it relatively light but a touch of drama. I?m enjoying writing them as teenagers although mine are still in pre school so this is new and uncharted territory! Thank you so much for the kind words!