Reviews for Fruits Of My Garden
mangatake chapter 20 . 10/5/2012
I'm not normally one to disagree with a story's direction - a plot with flow as it is meant to, and I'm just there to enjoy the ride. But I have to admit, I loathed Lorne for his reaction with Robert. Or maybe I felt too badly for Robert. Either way, I'm very glad you wrapped up with a quick summary of what happened to him, because if it had ended with Lorne's happiness and Robert's obscurity and certain misery, I would have resented reading this forever and ever. _

That being said, I really enjoyed this, thank you for sharing it :)
heyitsstupidme chapter 20 . 8/28/2012
I liked the fisrt part of this story very much. Yes, it went slow and not that much happened, but I liked it that way better than when it had just jumped from event to event. I also found the characters, especially Lorne of course, very interesting.
Yeah, the story had manic and depressive phases and the depressive phase came kind of surprising. I didn't really understand Lorne's behaviour and I still don't know exactly why Robert's and Lorne's relationship turned so different, because he said he trusted Robert and told him about Terrence. Maybe it started wrong and Lorne wasn't ready for it?
I would have liked to read more about Lorne's thoughts about his relationship with Robert or their conversation when Lorne apologized.
Anyway, maybe this story wasn't perfect, but I think it was very good and I really enjoyed reading it :)
the old contemptible chapter 20 . 6/22/2012
So, there's another gay Canuck on this site, eh?

Anyhow, this is a strange story. It tries to be cute at some places, realistic at others, and rather cynical at others. As well, the story doesn't really just kind stops. And the "stopping" (as opposed to "ending") is unsatisfactory to all characters. There's no resolution.

Lorne's breakup with Robert is sudden and completely out of character. He also recovers far too quickly. As well, having the main character treat his BF like a dishrag made me lose whatever sympathy I had for him.

In short, your story tries to cover all the bases, and... well, it don't succeed, and that's a fact.
PalindromeIsntOne chapter 20 . 2/25/2012
I totally loved the envelope licking. Just...ha. Brilliant. Also I really enjoyed the summary ending. Informative, and amusing. Can't really put a finger on it but its own way I thought it was rather perfect. And now it's over.

Oh, and sorry for not reviewing in a while.
plumblossom chapter 20 . 2/17/2012
Honestly, I think you started to write a particular story and found it annoying to do after a while. This does happen to all of us sometimes.

Mark Twain started out writing a story about Siamese Twins. I had an edition of "Puddinhead Wilson" that included all these earlier drafts (the final product was not about Siamese Twins). All the earliest drafts ended up with chapters where all the characters jumped in the well, one after the other. So that's what happened to Mark Twain!
diwu6398 chapter 20 . 2/17/2012
So, I don't have MAJOR problems with the way you ended it, but it was kind of abrupt. But it was very cute. Nice job, Johnny.
PalindromeIsntOne chapter 19 . 2/6/2012
The hints work. I want to know how Double Mirror goes. Don't keep me in suspense! But then - you seem to update really fast.

Having established the purpose of the fic, I must say this chapter is cute. Short, but cute. Looking forward to Lorne/Fed happiness in its full glory.
PalindromeIsntOne chapter 18 . 1/27/2012
‘It has officially eclipsed 'Fruits of my Garden' as my most popular story.’ – Yes, I see what you did there, haha.


Ok, time to get to it. I’ve been looking in on this for a while. It’s nice and easy to follow, with relatively short chapters, so I check in often just to see how it’s doing whilst seeing if you’ve uploaded anything else. I’ve reviewed all of your other stories; I guess I’ve left the longest until now. Go ahead and accuse me of procrastination.

I understand that you realise ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Earth’ is ‘more coherent and well-put together’ in your own words, so I’m guessing you can see any of my criticism coming a mile off? So I’ll start with the good stuff.

You had a great premise. I liked the summary, and the first chapter hit it off well. Plunging straight in and meeting a/the love interest is always fun, as a reader you think that you can half-see the romance coming and wait with hopeful expectation to see how it will get there, and where Federico comes around again to play his part. Though of course, the first potential love interest doesn’t ALWAYS end up the love interest, which makes it exciting. Nice set up – I like the way you easily show us his work life, his friends, and how they perceive him within a relatively short period of starting the story.

And then we get Robert. Here we go, stuff is rolling. We want Lorne to be happy, but now we’re suffering from the ‘Where’s Federico and when’s he coming back?’ premonition. Nice. Terence was a neat idea – not mentioned straight out at first (classic) and we see another side to Lorne. Now we add ‘What’s happened to Lorne?’ to ‘What about Federico?’ and keep reading in suspense.

Ok, now I’m not sure we need this many characters. You could have used Liz for the art gallery trip. But the story is still just beginning; I’ll forgive it because I don’t know how important she is yet or how large a role this Marie is going to have in the story. Art exhibition – more characters! Ok, just tell me who to focus on, and I’m cool. Marie’s back, she’s had some emotional discussions with Lorne, so they’re obviously close. But the ‘Do we need Marie AND Liz?’ question still lingers. Maybe I’ve missed something here. Anyway, going with it.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of the Rosie section. Am I happy that Lorne’s moved on from Robert, and is pushing back whatever happened with Terence? It would seem so, but then just when we think he’s making an improvement and getting somewhere we find out that Rosie is in an open relationship. Personally, I feel a little cheated. Either I would have liked a premonition/s that Rosie wasn’t always going to be as good as he seemed or had their involvement go on a little longer (perhaps a few chapters, with flittings of Federico in the background) before the sudden realisation and disappointment (at which point exposing his relationship with Federico and posing an opportunity for Federico to move to the forefront now that no other interest is there). At this point we don’t feel he has anything much to fall back on, so it’s almost like the story has jumped back to square one. As it is you invite us to get invested in Rosie just to snatch him away. It’s not as dramatic or sad as you would like because of its halfway nature – it’s just disappointing. For Lorne, and possibly the story in general. Also, it doesn’t sit strong enough with me at the point that he agrees to sleep with Rosie that Lorne ISN’T just after a one night stand. I don’t think Lorne’s desire for a long-term romantic relationship is really established at this point, or made completely clear. At that moment I’m more with the idea that he’s simply trying to get over Terence, so sleeping with Rosie is just a step in this that could POSSIBLY lead to later romantic involvement. Also, no real need for Lorne to insult Rosie’s family at the end. We can take character snapping and surprises, but at this early stage it holds ambiguous weight and we don’t know if we’re meant to rethink Lorne’s character of not or how in character that action was.

You didn’t need to stage Lorne’s birthday as an excuse for a get-together, a random party would do that just fine, no excuses needed. I would rather have saved Lorne’s birthday for something else, or perhaps just had it as a ‘he-comes-home-‘Surprise!’’ type thing. But I’ll overlook. So. Party. His short friends list of people to invite does, I admit, help us re-picture him as this supposed hermit(ish), whereas all the social interaction had us hanging in limbo a bit for a while, wondering. There don’t actually seem to be many scenes on his own, or long scenes of reflection to reflect any loneliness he might have. Does he really need a relationship? Does he want one? I’m beginning to wonder.

Robert comes back – ideal angst situation returning familiar character – I approve of the idea.

Chapter 89, more characters. I don’t really know if I’m meant to be paying attention/significant attention to them or not, but I’m going with not by the looks of things. Unfortunately this also weakens the power of naming and defining your main characters. You might have staged the opening conversation of Chapter 9 as Lorne overhearing two nameless strangers talking on the bus or something. On a bus would be better still actually, as it is reminiscent of Federico which Lorne could have picked up on too before meeting him. A point – as a reader, I am more interested in learning more about the existing characters and enjoying developing a familiarity with them than the excitement of meeting new characters and situations. We’re not shy readers, we’re not afraid of change, but returning to a familiar setting, feeling, behaviour pattern – things like that mixed in every now and then tie the story together and give greater character stability and depth. It’s nice. We can enjoy metaphorically patting ourselves on the back when we spot something we recognise – a sort of ah, that’s SO HIM, etc.

The Robert/Federico conflict. We’ve sort of predicted it, but on the outset, we have to half-wonder if it even exists. Federico we’ve barely got to know; he’s essentially a stranger and to my mind Lorne appears more emotionally invested in Robert. Hmmm. Time gap, Federico steps it up. Let’s see how this plays.

The Terence bomb. It is brilliantly tragic, and has massive angst potential. The effects of this bomb beyond its initial revelation, however, appear limited, and I would expect something as huge as that to have a larger impact or surface more often, if only subtly. Or, alternatively, you could have quietened it as a sort of – ‘I’ve got over it, it’s a numb scar but don’t poke it’, but some of Lorne’s emotional moments subvert this idea too. Anyway, so he’s trusted Robert with this huge (?) piece of information. Also, Robert’s gentle response? Should have made Lorne feel a SERIOUS amount of gratitude, commitment and closeness, if you’re playing this event as so dramatic.

Chapter 12. Now it gets odd. ‘The Society of the Dark Night of the Soul’? I’ll accept a little peculiar humour, but this story looked initially set up as serious, and here it seems a little out of place. Adding a little humour is fine and you could have carried it off, but this is a complete bolt from the blue. To tread the borderline you might have kept it in Lorne’s home, but had ‘All the single ladies’ playing in the background or several empty walnut packets strewn around him as an odd form of comfort eating, for example. Then the juxtaposition against the serious would have slid together a little better, for me. You mention that you felt the story was running wild there for a minute. If this makes you unhappy, there’s editing. If this doesn’t make you unhappy, then my point still stands as my opinion.

Chapter 13. Lorne’s sudden cold treatment of Robert comes out of nowhere. You would not want to mistreat someone you’d told about something as important (?) as Terrence. It CAN be explained (regret for revealing so much and potentially to the wrong person, fear and desire to take it back, anger at himself manifesting as anger towards Robert), but you don’t explain it, (Lorne doesn’t seem to know why later either), and leave it looking like it could just be because of the Robert/Federico issue, which is out of character. To my mind, this shouldn’t be the reason for his behaviour. (See reason at beginning of paragraph.)

Lorne is hard on Robert, and then HE cries? Who are we meant to be feeling sorry for here? Because I’m inclined to root for Robert and think Lorne is being overdramatic, selfish and uncaring if this is about the Robert/Federico thing. Dislike of the main character is fatal. Explain his actions to me, please.

I’m going to glaze over the rest (the OLD LADY, the spontaneous beach trip, the oddly disappearing angst, Federico angst and sudden forgiveness etc). I can almost feel the plot fraying, not to be cruel, and as new things are thrown at it the old issues remain unresolved. If you’re giving up on this story, then this review will be wasted. But if it’s going to be written, and you can do it, why not write it well? A good sit down, rethinking characters’ motivation and moves, their actions and reactions, and what you really want from the story and where it’s going and how you’re going to get there, could help. Is this story meant to be funny or serious? If both, intertwine because alternating sections do merely that – section off your story. The potential in this story is brilliant. Lorne, his Terence history, and Federico alone could have made a story. Robert makes it thicker still. Add the rest correctly and you have an adorable, classic romantic epic. I’d be willing to help or talk about it.

This review is EXTREMELY long, and obviously the longest I’ve ever written. Sorry if that bothers you… Personally I love long reviews and think longer is better. But hey.

Feel free to discuss!

diwu6398 chapter 17 . 1/17/2012
Gah! I so wanted to see... oh my God, I forgot his name. I think it ends in an "O." (Sorry, I'm bad with names.)

That's okay, though. Because you write beautifully, and you write quickly too. I'm going to try to review every upcoming chapter to motivate you more. But I have midterms, so no promises for this week.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Good luck with the next chapter.
plumblossom chapter 17 . 1/16/2012
I am thoroughly bemused. It feels like an interlude into a different story, kind of. In a good way?
diwu6398 chapter 12 . 1/8/2012
Do you want some serious advice? I love this story, but I feel like it's a bit exaggerated in the angst department.
nffhkasjfnbsdkjb chapter 6 . 1/1/2012
Just a few thoughts that ocurred to me as I was reading this- Lorne’s character at the beginning seems kind of shy and lonely, so I was surprised how he acted when he met Rosie- he took the initiative when he kissed him, and he didn’t really know him. After what had happened with Robert it just feels a little inconsistent. And then he was understandably pissed when he found out he’d been used but his rudeness to Rosie’s family seemed out of character. And also, if he is able to act like that, I can’t understand why he doesn’t just go for it with Frederico.

Maybe this all gets explained in the end? You did hint that he had been hurt in past with Terrence so maybe that accounts for the inconsistencies in his actions?

Anyway, I’ll keep reading.

plumblossom chapter 15 . 12/31/2011
Yeah, I'm pissed off with Lorne, but you know, he's a young person, and young people get a little slack when they behave ungracefully for a while. He seems, at least, to be handling most aspects of his life equally badly.
nffhkasjfnbsdkjb chapter 2 . 12/28/2011
This is sweet

I like how the brief description of Fredrico has me imagining his long eyelashes whenever he's mentioned. And I'm interested to know what Lorne thought he was over and why he's so upset.

The flow is pretty smooth, but I did notice in the first chapter you started a lot of sentences with 'Lorne' which tripped me up a little (varying sentence structure is something I am very concious of in my own writing)- and could be easily remedied by just swapping the sentence structure round a little.

Anyway, I look forward to reading the other chapters you have up.

plumblossom chapter 14 . 12/24/2011
Lorne is just really being awful right now. He should have the grace to neatly break up instead.
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