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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » Random musings. (Page 84)

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Author Topic: Random musings.
extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by tesknota:
The silver lining to losing power is that I've been reading OSC's "How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy" again for the first time in many years. Every time I read it, it feels like I'm learning everything anew. Maybe that means I'm bad at retaining information? =)

Rereading for me reveals further contexture from greater appreciation of content. New and deeper appreciation comes from enhanced learning due to cognitive leaps caused by prior and related content grasp brought to rereads. It's cumulative, part of personal growth.
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tesknota
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I'm alive and well! Traffic's taken a turn for the worse though; two major highways have closed down (or something like that), and my 1 hr commute to work has nearly doubled.

It's not looking great for Florida now though...

I agree, extrinsic! I just don't appear to get around to rereading things as much as I'd like.

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LDWriter2
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quote:
Originally posted by tesknota:
I'm alive and well! Traffic's taken a turn for the worse though; two major highways have closed down (or something like that), and my 1 hr commute to work has nearly doubled.

It's not looking great for Florida now though...

I agree, extrinsic! I just don't appear to get around to rereading things as much as I'd like.

Good!


And even though not extrinsic-obviously-I too could use a rereading of my various books on writing.

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tesknota
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I'm not sure where to post this, so I suppose this goes here, even though it IS writing-related. I didn't think this would warrant a whole discussion, but it's a thought I wanted to put somewhere...

I remember that Grumpy Old Guy thought of third person as a superior to first person as far as writing goes, so I kind of took this as an opinion shared by a good segment of the publishing industry. But just now, looking over the current issue of Clarkesworld (issue 132, Sept. 2017), I noticed that 4 out of their 7 total published works (fiction category) were in first person.

Now I'm revisiting my earlier thought that the industry slightly frowns on works in a first person POV...

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by tesknota:
I'm not sure where to post this, so I suppose this goes here, even though it IS writing-related. I didn't think this would warrant a whole discussion, but it's a thought I wanted to put somewhere...

I remember that Grumpy Old Guy thought of third person as a superior to first person as far as writing goes, so I kind of took this as an opinion shared by a good segment of the publishing industry. But just now, looking over the current issue of Clarkesworld (issue 132, Sept. 2017), I noticed that 4 out of their 7 total published works (fiction category) were in first person.

Now I'm revisiting my earlier thought that the industry slightly frowns on works in a first person POV...

I think it really depends on the editor and how well the story is written.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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A lot depends on how well the story is written. An author who can overcome the disadvantages of first person and write a story that works, can certainly go ahead and use it.

First person tends to be the POV of choice for new writers, and because they don't know how to overcome the disadvantages, it is frowned upon.

I have asserted in the past (and continue to do so) that Stephanie Meyer's Twilight books would have been better if she had not written them in first person - Bella would have certainly come across as a more sympathetic character to some readers, at any rate.

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Robert Nowall
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I've been impacted by Irma. I've been without internet access for five days, and right now am working from my mother's house and there's no air conditioning. My house has air conditioning, but lacks cable, phone, and internet. More as warranted.
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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
I've been impacted by Irma. I've been without internet access for five days, and right now am working from my mother's house and there's no air conditioning. My house has air conditioning, but lacks cable, phone, and internet. More as warranted.

That sounds... less than pleasant. I would be crawling up the walls. [Frown] I hope that the lack of connectivity is the worst of what you're dealing with, though. *big hugs*
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
A lot depends on how well the story is written. An author who can overcome the disadvantages of first person and write a story that works, can certainly go ahead and use it.

First person tends to be the POV of choice for new writers, and because they don't know how to overcome the disadvantages, it is frowned upon.

I have asserted in the past (and continue to do so) that Stephanie Meyer's Twilight books would have been better if she had not written them in first person - Bella would have certainly come across as a more sympathetic character to some readers, at any rate.

According to an agent, editor, and publisher consensus, as much anecdotal and apocryphal as stated, first person's commonest shortfall is lack of character development. Second, though a more pertinent shortfall for publication aspirants, is narrator identity establishment, as well common to aspirant third person selective omniscient and detached narrator narrative points of view. The viewpoint persona and the alter-id narrator of such are lumps on logs, mere pass-throughs, as if only emotionless and pointless machine recorders. No attitude about the subject matter of the moment or overall. Third person close, limited, though, does entail an unidentified and unestablished narrator persona, near if not altogether invisible.

Whoever expresses the strongest attitude toward a subject matter is who, by default, readers most align with. This persona linguisticians refer to as the attitude holder -- the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Isabella Swan expresses very little, if any, attitudes about anything. Natural, presumably, for an oblivious doe-eyed wallflower ugly duckling who blooms into the most popular girl (swan) in her new school-place home.

Social elitism is, after all, and its glorification and appeals for the audience, what the cycle is really about, and vampire genre overall, either in favor of, since Anne Rice's fresh interpretation, or against social elitism for the earlier Bram Stoker vampire era. Attitude! one of three core essentials for dramatic development and movement, attended by motivation (complication) and stakes (conflict). Attitude accumulates persona characterization, for both narrators and viewpoint personas, as the emphasis may warrant, and, to lesser degrees, other, lesser dramatic personas.

Attitudinal reactions to stimuli make a dramatic scene on the page, though are widely socially discouraged, conditioned against, that is, hence, a profound challenge for publication aspirant writers to develop on the page.

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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Disgruntled Peony:
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
I've been impacted by Irma. I've been without internet access for five days, and right now am working from my mother's house and there's no air conditioning. My house has air conditioning, but lacks cable, phone, and internet. More as warranted.

That sounds... less than pleasant. I would be crawling up the walls. [Frown] I hope that the lack of connectivity is the worst of what you're dealing with, though. *big hugs*
Been there, done that, a few dozen times. Now have a better-than-somehow-eek-out-the-time-until-utilities, etc., are restored kit. Mi-fi would not help Conchs, though; Irma took out cell towers across the lower state, too. AC? If I have ice, I have AC -- DIY shop-made AC system that cools okay on a small battery-powered fan. 900 amp hours of backup power, enough for a few or so days' electrical backup. Then recharged from, say, the car or a kindly neighbor's generator or -- next on the wish list -- solar power cell.

Best wishes for as brief an inconvenience as possible and a leisure time of the hardships.

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Robert Nowall
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Cable-phone-internet came up at my house shortly after; I've spent the afternoon catching up here and there. I suffered, but hardly as bad as others have, and certainly as others are.
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LDWriter2
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
Cable-phone-internet came up at my house shortly after; I've spent the afternoon catching up here and there. I suffered, but hardly as bad as others have, and certainly as others are.

Good you are back on line Robert


When I am offline I don't worry about as much as some. My wife has her crafts so she needs to be online but I would be writing anyway. But without electricity that would be hard-hopefully my laptop would be charged at least for a day or three. But if I had paper and pen I would probably write anyway.
Of course if I had stories out or a political comment to address I would feel differently. [Big Grin]

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LDWriter2
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I have been meaning to say this for four weeks at least.

Been seeing Spirit Halloween stories popping up. The first one may have been five weeks ago. Only one has a person out on the street corner in costume. Last year they had some one with an electric guitar. But this year the girl is boring. Just a sign.

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tesknota
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Glad to hear that you're okay, Robert!

LDWriter2, isn't it too early for Halloween stories? It's not even October yet. =)

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by tesknota:
Glad to hear that you're okay, Robert!

LDWriter2, isn't it too early for Halloween stories? It's not even October yet. =)

Retail doesn't care. XD
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by LDWriter2:
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
Cable-phone-internet came up at my house shortly after; I've spent the afternoon catching up here and there. I suffered, but hardly as bad as others have, and certainly as others are.

Good you are back on line Robert


When I am offline I don't worry about as much as some. My wife has her crafts so she needs to be online but I would be writing anyway. But without electricity that would be hard-hopefully my laptop would be charged at least for a day or three. But if I had paper and pen I would probably write anyway.
Of course if I had stories out or a political comment to address I would feel differently. [Big Grin]

For laptop backup power supply, consider a four-in-one jump starter: the jump pack itself, an on-board power inverter that converts 12 v DC to 120 v AC, plus a cigarette lighter socket for 12 v DC power takeoff, and usually an air pump and work light. Five-in-one models also provide a USB device charger (0.7 to 2.1 amps, 5 volts). Jump starter 120 v AC output 4 ~ amps, or 200+ ~ watts, enough for an average laptop's power consumption and, dependent on jump pack's amp hour rating, good for a week or so of uninterrupted backup power. On-board jump pack recharger included, plugs into a live household socket. Price range high $$ to low $$$. Anymore, an essential for uninterrupted connectivity in this electricity-insistent Digital Age.

[ September 18, 2017, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Robert Nowall
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Oh, my laptop battery lasted fine. Power was off just under one day. (Not during the storm, though.) But internet access doesn't work if the wires down the street have come loose.

My landline phone was down, too. It's bundled with the cable and internet. I'm thinking of unbundling it.

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extrinsic
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Hope all impacted by Harvey and Irma are well on the way to full recovery. Our best wishes and prayers go out to Maria's Puerto Rican and overall Caribbean sufferers for timely and full, safe, healthy recoveries.

[ September 28, 2017, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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LDWriter2
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Hey you all know that you can now give out cans of soda for Halloween???

At least one soda company has made smaller cans for that purpose evidently.

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by LDWriter2:
Hey you all know that you can now give out cans of soda for Halloween???

At least one soda company has made smaller cans for that purpose evidently.

This... hurts my brain.

I mean, from a marketing standpoint it makes sense.

God, I hate retail.

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Robert Nowall
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Wasn't sure what those were for, but I was pretty sure they weren't for that. They don't satisfy my thirst, though.
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LDWriter2
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
Wasn't sure what those were for, but I was pretty sure they weren't for that. They don't satisfy my thirst, though.

Read the cans. My wife agreed with me on this. But she likes the size for other reasons.

At the same time surprised it didn't happen before.

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tesknota
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How small are they, LD? I think I've seen small cans of soda around before... maybe about 1/2 the size of regular cans?
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extrinsic
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The "mini" can size is 150 milliliters, about 5 fluid ounces. The mini can has been around for decades, in part, often used for catered bar service mixers. New marketing, though, this year for a Halloween trick-or-treater treat.
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tesknota
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I'll have to check the store. I'm really curious if they're smaller than I think! Thanks, extrinsic - I'll keep the 150 ml volume in mind =)
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extrinsic
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"Mini" can manufacturer Crown's page with image.
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extrinsic
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The Nielson people sent $2 cash and asked "recipient" to fill out a short media content survey, promise $5 cash more for its completed return. How delightful! Even if a small token. Like finding money on the road.
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Robert Nowall
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Been there, done that. They'll send you another one (and more money), and another after that. I kept it up a couple of months, then was on vacation when one arrived and couldn't meet their deadline. Go for it.
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Jack Albany
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Important safety tip: Ensure your supply of antivenene has NOT passed its use-by-date before you tangle with a startled Taipan. Ta muchly RFDS.
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Jack Albany
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Ten days ago I had a run-in with Joe Blake (a snake) that landed me in hospital. This had two upsides: being fussed over and pampered by some delicious nurses *sigh* and unlimited Internet access (gawd, but there’s a lot of rubbish out there). It also had one enormous downside: having to endure my daughter’s shrill tirade. This consisted mainly of disparaging remarks about my mental capacity and included many references to how much of a nong, dill, galah, numbskull, moron, and demented geriatric I was. It was enough to set a flock of concrete budgies to flight. The result; I’m being hauled off to the big-smoke down Sydney way where I’ll be put up in a granny-flat at the bottom of the garden among all the ferns, fairies, and phantasms. Free food and board in return for looking after the rug-rats (grand kids) on an ad hoc basis. Could be worse, she could live in Adelaide.

So I guess I’ll be hanging around here more than I thought would be possible and sooner than I planned; Internet is rather spotty in the middle of the Tanami Desert.

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extrinsic
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Had my share of poisonous snake encounters, many snakes of many types, some pets, many nonpoisonous. For some reason, snakes dislike me on general principles. Otherwise tame and calm snakes become enraged around me. Water moccasins go out of their way to pester me, will climb into a boat far from land to start an argument. I also worked casually as a wild animal control contact for a time, removed snakes from folks' homes and such. No bites.

Then there's the time a boa ate my kitten. The snake escaped its owner's cage and stayed on the loose for a year. The boa owner moved away, never to be heard from again. The well-fed snake sold for $$$$. Captured water moccasins sold, too, $$$, to venom farms.

Alas, those revenue streams dried up, anymore now require certifications and entail permits and red-tape paperwork and explicit regulation. To which I say, fair enough, good for the career professionals' job security and for conservation. Other vocations interest me more, and wild animal control became too much of a distraction from those.

The most bizarre wild creature encounter in my portfolio involves a locust plague. Untold billions of locusts, landlubber grasshoppers in their gregarious phase, descended on a seaside promontory. The heavens roiled with pewter clouds and strong gusts. Restless surf tossed and turned. Panicked locusts whirled about, sought a hold on any surface. Seashore vegetation was too course and rough for their diet. They died of exhaustion and many drowned overnight. The next morning dawned sunny and mild; yellow and black locust bodies lined the high water mark. Seabirds idled next to the dead line as far as the eye could see up and down the barren coast's strand, too gorged on delicious bugs to fly or even move away from curious humans' touch. Biblical!

Oh, found a Jackson (U.S. $20) tire-poked into roadway gravel the other day!

[ October 28, 2017, 06:28 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Jack Albany
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Ah, natures merciless destruction: bloody of fang and claw. We have not seen her best, or worst, yet. That too shall come.

Imagine 10 cat 5 cyclones in the Gulf of Mexico in a season. Would the USA abandon that area?

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Robert Nowall
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Probably not---just start building buildings that could take it. (This last hurricane, I didn't have any problems worth reporting to the insurance company, just lots of brush to carry to the curb.)
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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But Irma didn't stay very long in any one place the way Harvey did.

The category of the storm would not be the only factor to consider.

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extrinsic
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Three category five hurricane landfalls for one season strained government and business resources as it is. Where they made landfall added to the strain. Hurricanes that impact Georgia and the Carolinas can be just as powerful and numerous though lower impact on the countrywide economy.

No, no country or government in its right mind would abandon territory due to one or ten or more hurricane impacts. Balk at recovery assistance costs, yes. Now, sea-level rise, consequent return of glacial epochs that rebound from climate warming, no choice but to let Mother Nature have her due, though much teeth gnashed and clothes rents and pleas for aid and heroic, last-minute, costly, and futile efforts to stem the inevitable tides and ice marches.

Meantime, climates turn evermore extreme in every which-a-way; as well as the Apocalypse's equestrians evermore extreme famine, pestilence, war, and death do their due toll, too.

[ October 31, 2017, 01:57 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Jack Albany
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Climate change is about intensity, not temperature. There is speculation that the first category six or seven cyclone isn't all that far away. I'm busily looking for a mountain cave to live in.

Added later:

The moment I wrote this knew people would point out that temperature increases are what drives intensity of weather events. Just trying to keep it simple.

[ October 31, 2017, 07:32 AM: Message edited by: Jack Albany ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I wondered, after Katrina, if New Orleans would "come back." It apparently has.

(I remember thinking it might be a good idea to turn New Orleans into a theme park of sorts - or a "living history" museum, instead of trying to rebuild completely, especially since so many of its residents had been relocated all over the US.)

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extrinsic
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Cyclonic activity intensity indeed derives from increased temperature differentials caused by greenhouse gas concentration rise. The big sexy depicted and bantered about is carbon dioxide's impact. Yet any atmospheric "gas" component heavier than molecular nitrogen, the major atmospheric component, is a greenhouse gas, water vapor more so than carbon dioxide.

However, atmospheric humidity levels are a function of air temperature and wind velocity. Lake-effect precipitation downwind from large bodies of water illustrates, orographic effect, too: of or related to mountains, especially, precipitation from terrain elevation that causes warm humid air to rise and cool and precipitate.

Yet those above are only a few factors that drive climate change. The more insidious factors are thermal polar effects, disequilibrium of natural global climate patterns caused by thermal contamination of cold polar regions. The seminal era for runaway atmospheric carbon dioxide increase is also the seminal era of anthropomorphic polar thermal contamination: increased polar latitude human activity -- the onset of the Industrial Age and polar explorations and industries circa 1781.

They spewed and more and more spew hot greenhouse gases willy-nilly and disequilibrate the global air and seawater convection system. Polar caps and tundra permafrost melt; the globe's ability to reflect and radiate excess global heat dissipates; dormant carbon sinks release evermore carbon; polar and deep oceanic methane-water ice clathrate deposits release evermore carbon. Equatorial and temperate latitudes accumulate greater temperature and humidity extremes.

Plus, few realize that unburnt hydrocarbons decompose into carbon dioxide and water vapor, both with greater thermal forcing than the hydrocarbons themselves; for instance, methane's half life is ninety years. Half of a given methane release decomposes within ninety years, half again the next span, and so on.

Nor do many realize as well the damage is done and already past the point of no safe or easy return to a metastable global climate equilibrium. Only left to see how much can be mitigated by, what, humankind, Nature, other interventions? in the meantime, and how soon and how severe an outcome.

Ah, but here at Hatrack climate politics discussions are generally proscribed except as pertain to creative writing contexts. Ripe, plentiful fruit here above for fantastical fiction with a subversive intent, satire, sure, social-reform driven. I'd consider a narrative or narratives about the ironically Polyannanic glorious aftereffects of climate change -- again, not so much how it works or what detailed form climate change takes, more so the detailed impact on personas' lives, one or a few focused personas and a focused region's post-global climate equilibrium collapse milieu.

[ November 01, 2017, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Jack Albany
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This morning I was disgorged from within the belly of a Great Silver Bird (white and blue, actually) and found myself on the tarmac of Mascot Airport. Following my fellow disgorgees, I ended up standing startled and confused inside a crowded terminal, eyes wide and blinking like a barn owl caught in the light. I jumped out of my skin when a hand reached out and grabbed me.

Whipping my head around I saw a smiling face. “G’day, daughter.” I said.

What followed was a disorienting and confused journey out of the airport where I was squashed into a small tin can on wheels for a less than exhilarating dodge-em-car ride out into the ‘burbs’. On arrival, I was bustled into a small house where I was rugby-tackled by three small people as I walked through the door. After much rolling about the floor with excessive amounts of tickling and laughing, my daughter blew the ump’s whistle and a bit of decorum returned.

Oh, my aching back!

After the compulsory safety briefing, I was led out into the back garden. Walking past a sign saying, “Gramp’s Cubby. Keep Out!” I was proudly shown around my new digs by a smiling little girl who had grown so big in the years I’d been away. Nothing so satisfying as the joy of family.

Right now the sun is going down on a very busy day and I’m sitting at my new desk contemplating a whole new future. To my left is my small kitchen, for sustaining the body, while, for sustaining the soul, I can see through the sliding glass doors in front of me out to my small patch of garden and its birdbath; installed for the pleasure of the other inhabitants around here.

Let the journey begin.

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LDWriter2
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Jack sounds like a Government agent retirement story. [Big Grin]
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Jack Albany
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Albany, Jack Albany. Licensed dill.
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extrinsic
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Jack, diminutive of John, means first of -- of God -- or God is gracious. Albany means from Alba, which, in turn, means dawn. First of God from the dawn: Jack Albany. Gin gibson, please, poured and served on the rocks straight from the bottle, very-very dry gibson, the vermouth mentioned by name only, within earshot of the cocktail, and the pickled pearl onions' juice serve instead.

[ November 14, 2017, 10:08 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Jack Albany
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Casino Royale: the Daniel Craig movie version was compelling, but I intend to get a copy of the original book for a better taste for the genre. Just did the same with Tarzan of the Apes. Enlightening.
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Robert Nowall
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Yeah, the books are never that much like the movies.
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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
Yeah, the books are never that much like the movies.

It's really hard to translate an internal sensory experience to a purely visual one--or vice versa, for that matter.
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Disgruntled Peony:
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
Yeah, the books are never that much like the movies.

It's really hard to translate an internal sensory experience to a purely visual one--or vice versa, for that matter.
Plus, except for voiceover gimmicks, no narrator commentary (emotional attitude [tone]) shown, nor summary and explanation tell.
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Jack Albany
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And, let's not forget putting on the screen a period based bias that a 'proper man of good breeding' (white, upper-class male) can overcome any adversity; like teaching yourself to read English, for example. Anyone also think it strange that Tarzan's first spoken words were French--"Mais oui?". What was ERB thinking?
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extrinsic
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Rudyard Kipling observed that Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the Tarzan franchise, a few dozen novels, to see if and show and tell how badly he could write and get away with it. If Tarzan's disdain for civilization is any measure of Burroughs' true nature and sentiment, the irony of a civilization veneer overlaid upon a feral beast is lost among the melodramatic excess -- Kierkegaard's "infinite absolute negativity."

Tarzan says Mais oui (Of course) because the first civilized person he meets in his adulthood is a Frenchman, who "discovers" the ape man, and whose language Tarzan naturally and easily picks up as if by osmosis, really, from reading his mother's and father's books, though only then needs to hear the language spoken, any language, to know its pronunciations and speak with a cultured air.

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