JSDC
Entry: Greyfeather (Catch)
Official= Official Comment

From Curtis M Sawyer
Website: http://ussexcalibur.blogspot.com
Awesome!!!
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From James Cooper
Website: http://www.visiblewear.com/
Ah, it's on its way. Excellent.
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From Mike
Website: http://herdingchaos.net
Sweet. /me does excited little dance.
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From Q
Excellent. I'm eagerly awaiting my package!
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Official Comment From Jessica
Who will get theirs first? The anticipation is maddening!

#2 is 4x as long as originally listed.

True story.

PS: Have I mentioned that I won a sweepstakes?

From Dave Grant
Website: http://www.divergingroad.blogspot.com/
I faintly recall hearing something about that. The Awesome at work.

Eagerly awaiting my copy (seriously doubting it'll arrive anywhere near first).
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From Katie
Maybe it will be me! I WAS the first to order, you know. (Yes, I'm still gloating.)
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From Curtis M Sawyer
Website: http://ussexcalibur.blogspot.com
Settle down, Katie. wink The way I see it we are tied 1-1 right now.

I can tell you mine did not arrive today. I get an e-mail from my doorman when a package arrives and no such e-mail has appeared in my inbox today.
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From James Cooper
Website: http://www.visiblewear.com/
Got it! It arrived in the mail today in all it's paperbound glory. I'll be looking forward to reading it soon smile
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From Jason Masuda
I received it on Saturday. It is bumping my current book from my nightstand. Thanks for the inscription!
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From Curtis M Sawyer
Website: http://ussexcalibur.blogspot.com
It made it to NYC today. I like the numbered edition - nice touch!!

Glad to support such a worthwhile cause.

smile
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From Mike
Website: http://herdingchaos.net
I got mine today!! I am so excited. smile
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From Sean Stubblefield
Website: http://www.geocities.com/exastra/home.htm
The book arrived on the first try this time! I'm all giddy. (true story)
Jess, I like that you personalized the inscription... regarding me as distinct individual and showing that you recognize us. It's a nice touch that makes a happy difference. I also like how you defy my expectations again for the book's appearance. Interesting thing about expecting the unexpected: it's a paradox.

"Catch"-- verb or noun or instruction?
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Official Comment From Jessica
FYI: I ran the tracking numbers and all of the domestic orders have been delivered. (Hang tight, international. Yours are en route.)

From Q
Just arrived home from work to find my copy at the door. An excellent way to close out this frigid evening!
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From Dave Grant
Website: http://www.divergingroad.blogspot.com/
Just checked this afternoon and still nothing for me up here in Canuckistan.

Curses!
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From westsidekef
Website: http://www.westsidekef.blogspot.com
Yeah, I am in the same boat as Dave. It seems the USPS and CanadaPost are having trouble handing off a package...*grumble*
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From Mike
Website: http://herdingchaos.net
Jess,

Wow. I finished last night. I don't want to post the specifics on what I loved because I don't want to spoil it for anyone... but Wow.

I loved the timeless message in the undertone and how it is totally appropriate for our current events.

But even more than that I love your story telling. I loved it in the first story and even more in this second installment. I want to learn so much more about the characters, the history, the locations, the everything.

You left me wanting more. Much more.

Thank you!

Please do not stop. smile

--Wingman Mike
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From C.Sto
Great story, perfectly sized book, love the feather (props to M.Sto)!

Seriously, I really, really, really love the story. The day after I read it I couldn't stop thinking about it while I was at work. (I was the first one to read it months ago, suckers!)
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From Sean Stubblefield
Website: http://www.geocities.com/exastra/home.htm
(spoilers involved)
I think in reading Greyfeather2, it is important that in all cases and at all times we keep in mind that this is only a piece of the whole, and somewhat out of context. We don't know the big picture (though C.Sto might.)
For instance, to me Krilley's behavior regarding the approaching Mero seems out of character, considering she seeks to protect people. Why DOES she run and hide? Is that a discrepancy? Is it really out of character for Lordane to let Bal carry her pack that one time? Initially, I made the foolish error of percieving such illusory deviations as a mistake or flaw, because I was asking the wrong question. As Jess rightly corrected me, it's not "why is their behavior wrong"?, but "how is it right?". Jess confirmed my intuition that there is more going on here, between the lines and behind the scenes than we are aware of/ privy to. It doesn't mean what you think it means, and it may mean more. I might have already said too much.

I realize this is a minor point to note, but it is satisfying that Jess uses the oldschool/ proper word "lit", in an era when most writers are erroneously substituting with "lighted".

I love morality tales, when stories include a message or have a point... and the message here-- stated, it turns out, on the backside-- is the most significant element of the story for me.

One of my favorite parts of the book wasn't even the story, but the author's "bio". Each time I read it brings greater nuance and appreciation, and with that more insight into the author and her work.
It is my understanding that Greyfeather is designed as a form of self-reveal/ declaration for Jess and of Jess, but I'm not sure if she is meant to be represented by Lordane, or if each character is an aspect of her.
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From Sean Stubblefield
Lorridian's passive approach resembles a Buddhist perspective, while Lordane's active approach resembles a Nietzschean one.
The unity of these 2 is like yin/yang in reverse, with Lorridian as Yin and Lordane as Yang. Does Bal depict a "Western" attitude of minding his own business and taking care of his own? Seems he only gets involved in other's business when it effects his friends, not others.

"Girl in boy's clothing" serves as a good metaphor of Jess, a sort of "tomboy".
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From Curtis M Sawyer
Website: http://ussexcalibur.blogspot.com
I finally finished Greyfeather last night, not due to a lack of trying but rather too many other high-priority family commitments. Here are my thoughts.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and the writing is suburb. Reading Jessica’s work makes me want to be a better writer. When I read Terry Brooks, for example, I always think to myself, “I could write like this!” Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy his work but the writing is not terribly complex. When I read Jessica’s work I always think to myself, “I wish I could write like this!” It is inspiring.

When I read Aidmheil, I banged out the first 18,000 words of a book over the next 3 months just to see if I could do it. Reading Greyfeather makes me want to write the next 62,000 words. It is a different feeling to read something some author who is just a face on a dust jacket wrote, compared to reading something by someone you correspond with and to some limited on-line degree, know. I know I said it once already, but it really is inspiring. It makes the would-be author in me sit up and take notice.

When I was reading the book I was constantly worried that I was missing some metaphor for life, for Jessica’s life, for the current political situation, and/or the current entertainment industry. As Matthew Broderick’s character said to God in Ladyhawke, “I’d like to think there was some higher meaning in all of this. It certainly would reflect well on you.” I found that I had to set the search for a higher meaning aside so that I could just concentrate on the story. When I take a second pass through the book, I’ll see what revelations I have.

Jessica had an unenviable job of trying to present enough of a story to take us from point A to point B, while ensuring there was enough background on the characters so we cared about them as they made that journey. While she did present enough background, I think the result was that the start of the book was a little slow. Again, it is tough to convey enough about the characters so that we sympathize or empathize with them enough to care what happens to them later. And the world in which they live must also be set up and established so that it feels real to us, and so that we understand it and its rules. All this takes time, and in a much longer work it perhaps would not have felt slow to me, but there was a lot of exposition up front and I kept thinking to myself, this is all great, but I’m almost half-way through and when is something going to happen?

Now that being said, when the action picked up I could barely put the book down, and I quickly devoured from the appearance of the scouts to the end. That part was perfect – perfect timing, perfect action – just perfect.

Finally, at the end I was left wanting more. More! Now I care about the characters, now I want to see what happens to them, now I want Jessica to sit down over the next few months and pound out the 80,000 word version of this story and I’ll buy the first copy (if Katie doesn’t beat me to it!).

You are a great writer, Jessica.

Don’t stop.
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From Dave Grant
Website: http://www.divergingroad.blogspot.com/
So, I finally finished Greyfeather: Catch last night.
I feel as though I may have missed some things as I was only able to read a few pages a night, usually while tired, and often interrupted.

I enjoyed the story. I like how it reads a bit like a fable. Also of note was the use of language such as "tree-kind" which illustrates the power of words. Using the word "wood" saps the power and life and makes the subject a lifeless material, whereas using the former language illustrates the reverance and respect for nature. (perhaps some of those Native American studies rearing their head...)

I found bits of the story a bit hard to follow, but that may have been due to the atmsophere (distracted/tired) in which I read it. I was also curious as to the decision to use variants on words such as "kei", "lukk" and "peypir", whereas others such as "door" and "table" and "tree" were in common language. Perhaps to communicate things that were alien to the residents of Lower Eain?

Anyway, as I said, it deserves a second reading. Then perhaps I'll have more intelligent comments to make. smile Nice work, Jess.
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From Sean Stubblefield
Website: http://exastra23.deviantart.com/gallery/
Repling to Curt's point: "there was a lot of exposition up front and I kept thinking to myself, this is all great, but I’m almost half-way through and when is something going to happen?"

A small part of me agrees, but the larger part appreciated that aspect of depicting the "mundane" or meandering elements that most of our lives mostl consist of. It makes the story more real/ realistic. Too many stories are so action packed and action driven as to be incredulous.
such slow pacing and exposition helps to distinguish from the moments of action, like the pauses between musical notes.

And Dave brings up an excellent point/ trait with the use of language (I congratulate him for noticing despite distractions). An example of the many subliminal/ subtextual goings-on. I had the same interpretation of the odd spelling. Brilliant bit of texture. And the in-story discussion on what a Tree is made of is a clever method and insightful perspective that inspires us to reconsider and question the meaning/usage of words-- all the while describing the characters, as well as the world and worldview they live in.
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From Dave Grant
Website: http://www.divergingroad.blogspot.com/
Another question I had was with respect to the running narrative (no breaks in the story). Is this a personal style, or an element specific to this story?
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Official Comment From Jessica
The running narrative is specific to Greyfeather. Breaks are chosen carefully (whether it be chapter breaks or breaks inside of a chapter), usually to denote a change in character view, such as in the beginning and end of “Catch.” Chapters have dramatically different lengths, too: This one was 80, another one is two pages long, et cetera. The overall story is told from the point of view of a few different characters. I chose this chapter because it’s pivotal early on and touches on many things explored more in depth in later chapters through different points of view, some existing within the same adventure/sequence of events.

I'm curious, when you guys read this new installment, did you first go back and read the first chapter or did you dive right in?

From Dave Grant
Website: http://www.divergingroad.blogspot.com/
I dove right in, but in retrospect wish I had gone back and read Introduction first. I'll be sure to do so the second time around.
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From Sean Stubblefield
Website: http://exastra23.deviantart.com/gallery/
I never learned to dive. So I jumped right into the new chapter. Though having read them separately, they each work well enough as stand alones.
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From Curtis M Sawyer
Website: http://ussexcalibur.blogspot.com
Dove right in, but as I was reading I kept thinking, "Should I go back and re-read the 'first' part?" Like Dave, I was pretty tired and distracted as I was trying to read it and only got a few pages each night, until the action picked up.

And I wasn't implying that I am against all exposition, but when you have a small sampler you don't want every piece to have coconut in it. In other words, this book had a limited number of pages and I wanted as much crammed in there as possible and for the small page count the exposition seemed long. That was my point. As part of a longer novel it will work fine.

And yes, I remember that the page count is much higher than originally planned, so lets not digress on that point. And if you are insane and actually like coconut in chocolate, substitute something else in my metaphor.

smile
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