Reviews For Simple Gifts
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Reviewer: M C Pehrson Signed [Report This]
Date: 15 Nov 2014 12:44 Title: Simple Gifts

A very moving story. I'm so glad that young Peter went to live with someone who understands boys so well. You've created a beautiful image of Winona as a warm, caring woman. Living with her out in the country will help Peter heal from the tragedies scarring him. I also love your vivid description of their moonlight venture into the woods. 

Reviewer: Mistral Signed [Report This]
Date: 13 Jan 2014 04:33 Title: Simple Gifts

Damn you and your story. The onion ninjas must have heard me reading it, as it seems they paid me a visit. Bravo.

The bit about the home-made ornaments being her favorite? I totally get that. Our foil candy cane is one of my favorites, even if its a little crooked...

Author's Response:

LOL!  Those damn onion ninjas are everywhere, aren't they? ;-)  And yes, some of my favorite ornaments are ones my kids have made over the years.  Thanks for reading and reviewing. :D

Reviewer: FalseBill Signed [Report This]
Date: 28 Dec 2013 07:11 Title: Simple Gifts

A great story LBD. It was a bold choice for favorite things challenge to focus on Peter Kirk hurt at Christmas time and the ways that Grandma Kirk try to connect with him.

I think using the Kirk family tradition of taking a sledge ride selecting and cutting down a real fir tree and then decorating it was very clever.

Then putting up the boy’s hand made decorations as Grandma favorite thing was a nice touch. Then using the wooden curving of the NX-01 and the painful story behind it was so well handled.

The fitting final touch of Peter healed heart decoration gift to Grandma was a beautiful image and end what could of being a dark story on a very bright note, that lift the whole story.

Well Done.

Author's Response:

Thanks, FB.  I'm sure this wasn't quite what TS had in mind when he threw down the gauntlet, but I was trying to show that with love, patience and a little ingenuity, even the darkest tragedies can be conquered.  His first Christmas without his immediate family would have been one of those times for Peter, but his grandmother wisely turned the holiday into something filled with bright memories that hopefully Peter would cherish in the years to come.

Reviewer: Strider Signed [Report This]
Date: 28 Dec 2013 01:04 Title: Simple Gifts

Like Jespah, I appreciate Winona's wisdom (and yours as well!) in making Peter do things by hand. We lose something when everything is too easy, and making a child--especially a boy--use his hands and his whole body gives his mind a chance to rest and heal, even if only a small step at a time. I also think she was very wise to retell the horrifying story of Tarsus IV within the safe context of family tradition. For one thing, people need to know that someone has experienced what they have and survived--how else can you know YOU can survive? For another, the larger context of love and safety is the only place it's safe to let grief come out--if you're not surrounded by warmth and support, grief must be buried in favor of more pressing concerns. I appreciate that you seem to have an instinctive sense of that.

I also like Peter's 'tude--as the mother of a 10-year-old boy, I can tell you that you're spot-on. But (and don't tell my son this please), I like a little bit of rebellion in my kids, and I liked it in Peter. It tells me he has some spirit left in there--wounded, but still alive. Beautifully done!

Author's Response:

Thanks, as always, for making me see an aspect of this I'd missed.  I must confess, the bit about Tarsus really was just a way to explain why the model of the NX-01 was her favorite decoration, and hopefully to give Peter the inspiration to show her that he would heal, as his uncle did.  It never occurred to me that it was a lesson about survival, and perseverance.  That he is not the first one in his family to overcome a tragedy, nor is he likely to be the last.

It's been quite a few years since my son was ten, so glad to know my memories of the 'tudes ten-year-olds can muster still rang true. ;-)

Reviewer: jespah Signed [Report This]
Date: 27 Dec 2013 21:27 Title: Simple Gifts

I had to check, but Hoshi Sato's death is also listed as having happened at the hands of Kodos the Executioner. See -

Good work tying that in with Peter's trauma, as the losses are rather similar. It is a bit surprising that this was not done in canon - it should have been.

Winona's actions make a lot of sense, involving him in the process, stretching it out, and giving him something physical and productive to do. Peter is able to point to the tree, and the ornaments, and say that he did that, that those things are his handiwork.

I love the ornament that he made. It works well, as a symbol of his healing but also, truth be told, of hers.

Well done, as always.

Author's Response:

Again, an aspect I didn't see.  Yes, the broken and mended heart at the end could represent both of them, much like some of the jewelry of today where two people each receive half of a broken heart.  Having it healed at the end shows how the two of them came together to conquer their grief.

Thanks for the thoughtful, insightful review, and for helping me to view this story through fresh eyes.

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