Oh my God Deana this was so heartbreaking! I’m actually fighting back tears as I type this! What have you done to my heart? Seriously this was so relatable and I could feel the pain that everyone was going through and have been in those situations many times myself. I really have no idea what to say about this other than I loved it. It was beautiful in many ways and it was easy to see the beauty through the pain.
I have been in the shoes of almost everyone you mentioned and even though it brings back memories I wish would stay hidden, it helps me look back and see just how far I’ve come and how much I’ve had to overcome to get to where I am today so thank you for that. It helps knowing I’m not alone when my demons come out to play.
I can’t gush about this enough without rambling so I won’t even try. But seriously thank you for writing this you’ve done a great job capturing what depression is and how it’s different for everyone.
Hello Deana! I thought about leaving a review on ‘Love, Not War,’ but I wanted to refresh my memory up to the point I last left off and I didn’t want to keep you waiting on the swap until I was able to do that, so here I am! I’m excited to see what you’ve done with original fiction :)
Okay, so right off the bat I love the opening line (and title) ‘You are a light’ - it evokes an image of something that leads people out of the darkness and I think it fits in beautifully with the way this story evolves. [I wrote this before I got to the end where you used this exact imagery!] It’s difficult for me to pick out specific bits and pieces out of here to highlight because it’s all resonating extremely hard for me.
That said, I adore the section in which you begin each paragraph with ‘you see’ - here’s where it really begins to take on that poetic feeling with the repetition really driving home the idea of someone taking in the world around them. Unfortunately, the world you’ve described here is all too real.
That this is a personal piece makes sense, because it’s bringing out a lot of emotions out of me to do with my own past. As I’m sure is kind of common knowledge at this point, my absence from the site (and really the internet as a whole) was heavily related to my pretty mental health struggles that I’ve been dealing with for, basically, my entire life. I say that to make the point that after reading this I felt, somehow, understood. Seen, almost.
We first interacted about nine years ago, and in all that time you’ve been the most positive, encouraging person I can imagine. But with this I know that even if I had never spoken to you before, it would be very apparent that you are overflowing with a kind of empathy that is RARE.
You’ve touched me deeply with this story. I feel inspired to go out into the world and give a bit more of myself to others than usual. It’s not often a story makes you reconsider the way you’ve been living your life, but this one has and I want to sincerely tell you that I appreciate you writing this. SO much love went into this piece and it shows!
Thank you so much for the swap, I loved this.
Deana, I barely have words to say. This is such a raw, emotional piece, and it hit so close to home at times, to be honest, that I'm mostly speechless.
And partly in awe at how beautiful this fic is.
I loved the way you used the concept of the painting that inspired this story and how you molded it to your will so that you could tell the story you wanted to tell. All the situations you described felt really relatable to me, some more than others, but I think the reality of them is what drew me in the most. Also the way you used 2nd person makes it all feel much more personal, not only for all the examples you give that paint such a vivid picture, but also for the conscientialization of every single one of those situations, especially for how true their are in this day and age.
And the ending... Gosh it felt so true to so many things I've gone through in the past and still am working out... I don't know, your fic really did speak to me, and so I'm here now babbling and gushing about it!
I think you did amazing in this challenge.
Hi Deana I’m here for your wishlist and I needed to get that out of the way early so I could get to the main point of this sentence which is OH MY GOSH THIS PIECE IS INCREDIBLE. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE.
Alright, I’m gonna need a sec to put things into words properly.
Okay, I’m back. This whole thing was just so powerful and emotional and raw - you said that this piece was very personal, and that 100% comes across when you read it. There’s something truly special about being able to read something and feeling the author’s heart and soul come through in the writing. There’s so much that you’ve conveyed here and it all feels SO INCREDIBLY AUTHENTIC. Whether it’s through the choice to use second person POV, the repetition, the metaphors, all of it - this whole piece just feels so powerful.
(Someone please force me to find a thesaurus and look up synonyms for incredible because I have already grossly overused that word in this review.)
I love that all of this is one cohesive piece, but it also feels like there are separate, distinct sections in it as well. The imagery of light and dark is just so powerful in this first section, starting with that idea of “You are a light.” and then turning it into “You have seen too much, and the darkness is blinding…”
And then the middle section, with the repetition of “… and it breaks your heart” is written so beautifully. There are so many real and heartbreaking stories in there, and they all create such a build-up to the end of the story. And the mention of how seeing all of that can make you feel guilty for complaining about a life that’s nowhere near that bad - that’s such a relatable moment, and it’s all too common that people are forced to discount their own trauma and experiences and emotions because “at least it’s not that bad.” And that relativity is so harmful because, as you mention, it makes you feel guilty for feeling what you feel, and that’s just an endless negative cycle.
And the ending. Just… wow. There’s so much of this that I’m about to quote at you because I adored it so much. “You are a light, and you do your best to let your light shine at its brightest.” - I love how this ties back into the beginning, and then this - “But sometimes… Sometimes you need a light too. Who is pouring into you while you are pouring into so many others?” GAH. This is so wonderfully written, and the imagery is beautiful, and it’s SO REAL. Every light needs fuel to stay burning bright, and humans are so much like that as well. Being a light is exhausting when you’re not stepping back to take care of yourself and to satisfy your own soul every once in a while. It’s such a genuine emotion, and so beautifully conveyed. And then you tied in the “… and that is what breaks your heart the most.” repetition at the end, which is such a powerful note to end on.
The story also fits the painting it went with absolutely perfectly, turning that one piece of art into all the emotions and intensity that it conveys. I can almost imagine the woman in the painting thinking all of these exact things in a moment of melancholy reflection.
Anyways, this whole piece was stunning, Deana, and so raw and real and wonderful. Thank you for sharing this. <3
Hello, my love. I’m here for Team Silver!
Man, this story... It’s just one of those things you read that really hits hard. Something that lingers, and has you thinking about it, feeling it, for a while after you read it. I think a lot of that had to do with the second person narrative you’ve chosen to write the piece in. It makes it feel more, I don’t know, like personal or something? It’s just so heavy, and it makes you want to envelop the main character of the piece, and let them know that they surely have people who can be their light as well. That people love them, too, and want them to be happy. That they shouldn’t take on the weight of the world. But you also admire the way that even though they are obviously suffering, they want to be the light for those they care about, who are also suffering.
The snippets of the people’s lives the character talks about... Just, wow. It’s so heartbreaking. Because, you get a sense that the people she’s talking about suffer in silence, for the most part. But the main character of the story has either seen through their masks they put on in day to day life, or the main character had become a confidant for those people. But, for some of the situations, what can you really do for them? And the desperation the mc feels, when they know they can’t really do anything for them, it really comes through.
This is such a powerful piece, Deana. It’s beautiful written. Almost poetic. But so filled with melancholy. I know it must sound weird for me to say I love it, when it’s such a sad story, but truly I do. It’s raw, and the mc is vulnerable. And there’s something quite beautiful in that. This is outstanding work, Wifey. You should be truly proud of this. And remeber, I love you.
I am so glad that you posted this OF onto the Archives. When I first read it during NaNo, I was blown away by this piece. I still am. This piece of writing has such a poetic and reflective nature, and it pulls you into the heartbreak the narrator feels. I am so proud of you for posting this. Not only because it's for a challenge but because this is a part of you; it's original fiction. You're not in the agical realm of Harry Potter. You're on your own here--writing wise (because you're not really alone because you have such wonderful supports here at HPFT to cheer you on with your writing).
The way you approach the mood and theme of this piece is really intriguing. The use of second person can be tricky, but you nail it here. I get the sense that whoever is speaking is this person's consciousness, that you is really I or me (first person). You (Deana the writer) illustrates the frustration, sadness, and guilt the main character is feeling, and you do so effectively by listing challenges some of the main character's closest friends and family members. These challenes are hefty, and it's clear that they've taken a toll on your main character.
I want to tell the main character Please use self care! You're such a caring person, but in order to be effective, you must practice self care!!! This is something that I'm learning a lot about myself right now. The connection I feel to this main character is strong because of that. But I think the consciouness addresses self care with this line: "Nothing makes you feel closer to those whom you love more than being their light in the darkness when they need it the most. But sometimes... Sometimes you need a light too. Who is pouring into you while you are pouring into so many others?" Your consciousness here is hinting towards self care, I think, or at least finding a confidant who can give the main character the support they need. Lights need kindling. This main character hopefully is on the path to finding some kindling (self care, confidant, mindset shift, heck maybe just a cup of tea.)
The ending, with the feeling of lonlienes and isolation... it is difficult to care for others, to love them. I think you do a brilliant job at highlighting one of the uglier and thornier and more painful sides of love.
Your details and description are breathtaking and elegant. Your syntax is outstanding. This piece is wonderfully written. I hope to read some more of your OF in the future!
Merry Christmas, Deana!! Love, Abby
EvS - for team.emerald!
I thought this piece was really strong! It's depressing to think about how even the people who support others always, no questions asked, and are absolutely always there, are often forgotten about in terms of what they need and how they too need someone to support them, at least once in a while.
Everyone needs support, even if they're the strongest people in the world...and when they feel/express that, i don't think it's something to feel guilty about. I obviously know it's hard to just not feel guilty because it's something ingrained, especially when you're always the strong one...but it's important to know that it's unwarranted and maybe that helps too, at least a little bit.
This was a thought provoking and well written story, i enjoyed reading it even if it is a bit bleak...but in the end it's what life is about.
Wow! this piece was so emotional, I love the use of 2nd person but it makes the piece so much more powerful because it just feels so close to home. I think this one-shot really offers some strong messages about the wider society and you've address some deep issues throughout the story which is very brave to be questioning everything the character knows.
I think your writing has been so strong because I feel very connected this character that is narrating the piece. I thought the structure of this piece was wonderful, I really like the repetition of the piece which packs such a emotional punch especially 'and it breaks your heart' which makes the last line especially bold and strong.
I think it's interesting concept about feeling like you have to be the 'light' and it makes you happier but while you're busy saving everyone else who is helping you. It's rather heartbreaking thought. I think this piece is so amazing because it is heartbreaking but it offers so much food for thoughts. It is the type of writing that makes you think and question of wider issues but also feel a connection to your writing.
It wasn't until I finish writing the review that I decided to look at the art which inspired your piece. It is really fitting, you've really captured of the emotion of the subject there.
thank you for sharing this piece with us.
Happy Holidays, Deana!
- Abbi xo