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Author Topic: Random musings.
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Bordering on politics here.
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walexander
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The US constitution needs a rewrite and update for the 21st century.

The selective service does not allow you to bring your own weapons, but they will be happy to supply you with a uniform and gun when you are drafted or volunteer.

The notion of personal weaponry needed in the modern age is based on the break down of civilization or personal self-defense against hostile citizens - gangs, serial killer, rapist, disgruntled employee, domestic violence, but odds are you won't have your weapon at the time they do because they pick soft targets to victimize. Evil doesn't choose a fair fight.

I'm neither for nor against the right to bear arms or the second amendment. Just stating the facts on the matter. No politics implied.

@E. Were they using the hyphen in the 18th century?

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extrinsic
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well-being is a model hyphenated-words example, hyphenated circa 1582.

Matters of syntax canons; that is, subject and nominative referent; i.e., pronoun-subject antecedent aptitude or error.

"Last-Antecedent Canon. A pronoun, relative pronoun, or demonstrative adjective generally refers to the nearest reasonable antecedent.

"Series-Qualifier Canon. When there is a straightforward, parallel construction that involves all nouns or verbs in a series, a prepositive or postpositive modifier normally applies to the entire series.

"Nearest-Reasonable-Referent Canon. When the syntax involves something other than a parallel series of nouns or verbs, a prepositive or postpositive modifier normally applies only to the nearest reasonable referent."

Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner. Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts.

For prose applications, these matters more so rely upon writer and reader aptitudes and implication and interpretation aptitudes -- and grammar aptitude.

Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities "It" prologue start is an example of nearest reasonable referent postpositive subject referents and of the series-qualifier canon.

The three canons fail for wills that use journalism's serial list separation and for likewise False Documents (texts factual in a fictive milieu). I, Noblious Tiberius Klink, patriarch, do hereby and herewith, to my next heirs, Jonathan, Jerold and Jane, scion siblings, bequeath mine whole fortune and estate in equity.

Anyway, this grist is offered for a de copia exercise prompt, not political discourse.

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LDWriter2
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quote:
Originally posted by walexander:
The US constitution needs a rewrite and update for the 21st century.

The selective service does not allow you to bring your own weapons, but they will be happy to supply you with a uniform and gun when you are drafted or volunteer.

The notion of personal weaponry needed in the modern age is based on the break down of civilization or personal self-defense against hostile citizens - gangs, serial killer, rapist, disgruntled employee, domestic violence, but odds are you won't have your weapon at the time they do because they pick soft targets to victimize. Evil doesn't choose a fair fight.

I'm neither for nor against the right to bear arms or the second amendment. Just stating the facts on the matter. No politics implied.

@E. Were they using the hyphen in the 18th century?

As you probably know there are two ways to change the Constitution. By amendment and by a special states convention. You might be interested in learning that there is a movement to have that special meeting of states. I should know the name of it, but I apologize for my poor memory today. Anyway, some states have already said they would join in. Personally I would be surprised if it happens but it is creeping onward.
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LDWriter2
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Um, hmm. Not many people here publishing lately? Or they just do not feel like announcing it here? I can't find the right forum because of that for I have a new book out.
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extrinsic
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Post publication notices at "Hatrack Writers - Publications & Reviews."
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LDWriter2
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
Post publication notices at "Hatrack Writers - Publications & Reviews."

Thank you Been too long since I looked for that,
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extrinsic
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Merry Tax day, U.S. Coincidence the date falls midway between April Fools' and Mayday [sic]!?
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Robert Nowall
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Taking a moment to cite the departure of the Statues of Liberty. Season's over.
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walexander
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Well, I know this will shock everyone, but the names are out, and I still haven't won a Pulitzer yet. [Cool]

And I thought my investigative reporting on when is the best time to rototill your soil for planting was riveting. Or when you should spray for those pesky spring weeds and insects. I just don't understand it, that was a story every American could identify with, but no, I've been passed over again. [Frown]

I better do some serious reflecting on my life because at age fifty I still don't have a Pulitzer, so I believe my career is all downhill from here. I better just give up.

Well, maybe I'll give it one more year, they can't pass me up again. [Big Grin]

W.

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extrinsic
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Pulitzers, like most all or all of literary prize culture, insidiously distinguish notable satire works, regardless of genre, yet award winners are appealing and fulfilling entertainments, too. Some might assert that fantastic fiction's literary awards are exceptions, includes the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future quarterly and annual Golden Pen awards. Nope, only more covert and deeper satire subtext than other genres, more, perhaps unintended, smart subconscious plants than other genres.

I can see how garden till and spray schedules could be satire. Meantime, red onions grown from seeds planted twenty-six months ago bloomed seed heads this week. Finally, ripe and ready for table. Never mind deer ate all the tomato and bell pepper sprouts and all but three of the onion sprouts planted back when.

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walexander
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Well, another form letter rejection today. At least when you get feedback, you have something to work with, but when it is just a form letter, you have no idea what was the problem, or if there even was one.

Another one to add to the pile.

Onward and upward.

A funny thing happened the other day also: A couple years back I wrote a short story that I thought at the time was brilliant. Then my computer crashed, I lost it and was devastated. Then the other day I found a hard copy of the first seven pages of that story in a file of old stuff. It was cr*p. Funny how your perspectives change the more you learn.

It jump-started a lot of thinking on the human condition, hopefully, this rabbit hole leads me somewhere good.

W.

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Robert Nowall
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I *get* why they send form letters. But that doesn't mean I find it any less distressing.
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extrinsic
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Guidance, insight, catharsis, what all, for submission acceptance, decline, and form letter rejections within The Sobering Saga of Myrtle the Manuscript, by Tappan King, editor of now defunct Twilight Zone Magazine, (1991, SFWA hosted).

Though electronic submission becomes ever more so the norm, and an update of Myrtle, therefore, might be overdue, the processes behind manuscript submission mischief remain valid. An update by anyone other than King, though, would best be about a whole other topic, a standout subtext, so to speak, to defuse idea plagiarism.

What? Maybe cyberpunk satire about social and artistic commodification, acceptance and rejection, and self-promotion in an impersonal Digital Age, a la, say, Patty Smith, godmother of punk, Just Kids, 2010, a personal essay novel.

[ April 28, 2018, 07:33 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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walexander
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Fudge, a coworker at my part-time night job just quit and now I have to work both shifts until we find someone else. He didn't even give two weeks. This younger generation doesn't have much honor. They see a dollar, and off they run.

There went most my writing time.

Fudge,

W.

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extrinsic
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Gig work, gig economy, contingent employment, transient labor: new terms for the state of jobs of late, coping mechanisms, really, for the several vocation and commerce factors that result from a post-industrial society and transition to service economy and public assistance economies emphases. Main influence factors are mechanization, automation, transnational corporate business unit agglomeration, jobs exports, jobs elimination, jobless laborer refugees displaced in place, welfare and nanny state subsistence, taxpayer rebellion, and overpopulation pressure.

Now, how to transform political geography articles into a satire, say a futuristic, dystopic, fantastic prose novel, is a whole other thought process. One facet could be the estates system revived; resident laborers are permanent indentured servants and less-than-at-will transient tenants of monopolistic corporations, wear corporate livery and all aspects of daily life are homage, mandated if not practiced at will, to the given corporation. The Divided Estates of Feudal Transnationals, DEFT. Although, be a personal satire drama about, say, one laborer's personal employment identity crisis development and personal satisfaction of the crisis, or a tragedy. The opioid epidemic an apt motif, too.

"Soylent green is people!" Soy and lentil protein foodstuff subsistence for the masses, the green, though, spirulina algae grown on human remains. (Richard Fleischer, director, 1973 motion picture Soylent Green, loosely inspired by Make Room! Make Room! Harry Harrison, 1966.)

[ April 30, 2018, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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walexander
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Well, took an honorable mention/semi-finalist with my first fantasy novel in an annual open call writers guild competition that was filled with dramatic writers. It was an extreme longshot to win with fantasy, so I feel lucky to even get the HM. I'll get a cert. and judges/editors notes in a couple weeks.

Better than a rejection form letter right?

I took 5th, everyone above me, dramatic writer, everyone below me, dramatic writer. They should just advertise as - send us your best country song in novel form. You know, the dog died, the girl walked out, mortgage do on the farm, and someone kicked the bucket when old rover went.

Accept now its: teen angst, someones gay, homegrown terrorist, bullied at school, girl power, evil men, dying of something, and the mortgage is do. Usually put it all together for dramatic effect.

I'd like to see these guys create their own languages, create a world, cities, people, animals, plant life and a way of life/culture from scratch.

Considering I'm not a member of the guild, I've never met any of the judges or attended any of the conventions, and entered as an outsider, 5th is probably pretty damn good.

Oh well, onward and upward.

W.

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extrinsic
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See Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular, L. Rust Hills, 1977, for the crystal-est clear definition and explanation of "melodrama." Though Hills doesn't note nor contrastively compare melodrama to Aristotle's likewise simple plot definition and explanation, see that, too.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Way to go, walexander! That's pretty cool! Thanks for letting us know.
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extrinsic
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Fifth out of many dramatic writers is less daylight between leading the pack than also ran. Congratulations seconded. And a novel at that. If as proverbial they say, a fourth novel is the charm. . . .
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walexander
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Thanks KDW & E.

I, unfortunately, am missing a good opportunity today to put this unpublished novel in front of a bunch of lit. agents, due to money issues. I was supposed to travel out and receive the award today at a writers convention, but the cost and distance just weren't in the budget.

At least I can add the novel's award to when I send it out to try and get it published. Perhaps it will move it a little higher on the slush pile.

If I only didn't need to pay for my house, car, food, clothing, gas, kids, life would be a lot easier.

W.

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walexander
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I got a secondary prize today out at a thrift store. A best of Henry Melville (Moby Dick, Omoo, Typee, Isreal Potter) for a dollar. And 'In the heart of the sea' by Nathaniel Philbrick for 30 cents more.
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extrinsic
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Herman Melville's White-Jacket is my favorite from the writer.
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walexander
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OK, they sent me the judges/editors remarks and scores with all thirty questions they rate on a score of 1 to 5, five being excellent, one being a complete rewrite, This they add together to get your total points.

I have to admit I had no problem taking the criticism, but the views and points are so different between the two judges/editors who rated mine, I'm not sure what to use. One loved it and gave it all 5's and 4's, the other 4's and 3's with a few stray 5's and 2's. One rated it very publishable, the other, a maybe. One says I just need to adjust cliche sentences, more description on place, and remove semi-colons/colons for commas. The other more clarification of secondary characters and time and place in the second half.

Both said the opening was excellent/5 and because of the action it was a 5 for page-turner, but-but- and this is what I often bring up when posting to Jay's comments about actions sole importance, I got hammered by the second judge that my world building needs more development and clarification, and my secondary characters need work, I think I was already sensing this when under the 'novel support' thread I was talking about how my second protag. for my new novel seemed lacking.

Overall I'm still amazed I took fifth.

It just goes to show you how invaluable the forum is because it preps you to take these kinds of criticisms and start to decipher two completely different opinions. What to use and what not to use. And deal with the mind-numbing thought of yet another rewrite.

W.

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extrinsic
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Another essay in the May/Summer 2018 The Writer's Chronicle, "Parsing Elfland: Style and Syntax in World-Building," Jonathan Helland, reflects upon Ursula K. Le Guin's "From Elfland to Poughkepsie." Both essays speak of the importance of authentic language apropos to a milieu and accessible by contemporary readers for a subtle world-building, character development, and setting appeal feature. Both essays speak to any fantastic fiction: science fiction, fantasy, and etc., any prose, for that matter.

A paywall for the Chronicle, Association of Writers & Writing Programs membership or subscription, that is, for online content access and magazine delivery or six annual print editions. Le Guin's essay can be found online PDF. I read it, too.

Like what? Medieval era situated fantasy? "What ho, simian varlets?" Mitchithan Ab Dold said, and whilst he glared as if the boarhound of Danu loosed. "Perchance what for doth thou brung forth this angry cyclone?" Over the top? Vague? Mixed milieus?

Or "Capitol Hill" -- "Poughkepsie" -- everyday-bland television news pundit, commentator filibuster speech? "And what are you dissidents here about?" Connor Mitchell asked, as he evil-eyed the crowd. "And you here stirring up trouble again?"

[ May 09, 2018, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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extrinsic
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Through ongoing research, realized another Postmodernism convention and its relationships to other literary movements, and that it, too, defines the whole of the canon. That is, want for change for novelty's sake without regard to if for individual or overall advancement, mainly, virtue and prudence, though applies as well to material circumstances.

Modernism, for example, seeks genuine advancements, of prose craft and method as well as the human condition and individual and overall status. Realism more or less attached to material advancement and social mobility and coping with Industrialism and attendant Urbanism's rises.

Human consciousness also attaches to explicit movements: Realism's self-existentialism, Modernism's self-consciousness, Postmodernism's self-awareness; and how each approaches notions of moral propriety; Realism, society assigns behavioral conditions; Modernism, self-responsibility; Postmodernism, question and challenge presupposed notions of moral propriety.

And the dawn of Pluralism to supplant Postmodernism: change as identity exploration and experimentation process for personal growth, self-determination, self-empowerment, prose craft seeks an intimate and individual and vivid and lively dramatic experience, self determines responsible social behavior parameters, copes with or outright transcends Digital Age technology and science and social and commercial complexities, and Incidentalism's haphazard ironic coincidence of mystical ephemera as actual meaning, as opposed to Transcendentalism's metaphysical realism. Huh.

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extrinsic
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Understood when I composed the above that the topic content is deep and obtuse. For me, though, literary movement categorizations inform a narrative's topic, subtext, composition, revision, and unity overall, plus, the reading experience.

Anyway, have been on the prospect several years -- well, a decade-plus now, for signs of toxic Postmodernism's wane. It was a good run, past time for its popularity to fade and a new movement to soar, one Millennials can own for their own generation, as movements are generational, reactive to prior generations and movements, and significant departures from what came before. Thus the human condition and the wisdom of the ages and prose craft advance -- if at all.

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extrinsic
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Called to grace, Tom Wolfe, May 15, 2018, New Journalism essayist and nonfiction and fiction novelist, and hysterical realism: elaborate language, plot, or characterization, or melds of those, and social satire. New Journalism adopts fiction story craft methods and refuses journalism's traditional, expected objectivity and balanced accounts, for which Wolfe advanced the form.

Thank you for The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, essay collection; nonfiction novels The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Pump House Gang, The Right Stuff; and fiction novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities; and others.

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walexander
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Some of Wolfe's stuff is interesting, but he tended to wine a lot for upper white men. His article for S.E.P. "Down with sin." should be served with crackers and cheese. I'm sorry, but the whole poor ivy league, wall street broker vs. the evil artist hippy community is pretty silly. Hippy=Sin cult. Some of our leading physicists were part of that Sin cult. You can't really blame women for wanting to break out of that 50's cookie-cut housewife, be a good servant and shut-up, crap they had to put up with. Gee, women want adventure, romance, and meaningless sex, what a shocker.

But yes, he did make strides that broke the boundaries, for that, he will always be remembered. R.I.P.

PS: All you Hatrackers remember the deadline for entering S.E.P.'s great American short story contest is July 1st, it's your chance to be recognized beside some of the greatest writers in history.
contest Good Luck! You'll need the very best you got for this one and you don't have to be American, in case you aren't.

W.

[ May 16, 2018, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: walexander ]

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extrinsic
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Name me an accomplished writer without a public soapbox. Wolfe's wholehearted adoption of Boomer generation Postmodernism and New Journalism and hysterical realism limbs of it, yet a Silent generation writer, is a dichotomy. Plus, his ironic satire aptitude -- Wolfe's not known for much of it. Sarcasm, yes.

The Saturday Evening Post "2019 Great American Fiction Contest" prompt: "Think local. The Post has historically played a role in defining what it means to be an American. Your story should in some way touch upon the publication's mission: Celebrating America — past, present, and future." $10 entry fee.

[ May 16, 2018, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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walexander
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I think the inherent problem we have as we jump through the information age/social media age is they act as polar opposites of themselves.

The rise of full information access to any subject matter allows free thinkers to bring to the table arguments they might have been limited by their social class. You can literally if you have the drive learn whatever your heart wishes with access to the web.

Counter to this, social media has the lynch mob mentality. Something is right if enough people get together and say it is so. It is literally in opposition to fact-based thinking. Justice, rule of law, science, truth by fact, has no bearing on social media's opinion. Only what the mob decides due to widespread disinformation campaigns.

It's a cultural platform for instant gratification and/or victimization.

Millennials are lost in the blender between these two blades circling each other. X-gen is running hard with info/social media platforms, blogs, facebook, twitter, snapchat, etc, Heading face first into the AI age.

The sad part is Millennials are in the delusion that AI can rein in social media, the X-gens are only going to become more dependant on computers to do their thinking for them. It's on my smart phone so it must be true.

W.

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extrinsic
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Socrates, Quintillus, Nero, Constantine, René Descartes, Martin Luther, and so on and so forth, made those same claims in their respective ages about their contemporary, concurrent generations, cultures, beliefs, technologies, and sciences.

The proverbial pendulum swing spans polar opposites, at present, more toward nihilism emphasis than mutual, shared, or reciprocal social responsibility emphasis. Each past age ended its nihilism swing after great horrors ran their courses, and social coordination (reciprocal), cooperation (shared), and codetermination (mutual) processes proved essential for recovery.

And since at least Socrates' times, a vehicle for social recovery has been prose and poetry Poets' courtly social satire: part wickedness's vice and folly causes exposed, part catharsis, part caution, part life lesson, part celebration of the human condition at its truest, most horrific, most noble goodness, and most beautiful expression.

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extrinsic
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For we who are aspirants, the Nobel literature laureate will not be awarded this year; two next year, 2018's reserved award and 2019's. Not since World War I & II's disturbances has a year passed in which no literature Nobel was awarded.

The Nobel Foundation postponed the 2018 literature award for lack of a committee quorum; sexual misconduct, financial malpractice, and leaks of Swedish Academy internal materials scandals caused four members' departures. Three had departed previously due to controversies about an Iranian fatwā against Salman Rushdie. Seven of eighteen gone, eleven remain, one shy of a quorum. New members will be appointed and a review and update of the Academy Nobel literature committee's bylaws instituted.

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Robert Nowall
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I was mystified when they gave it to Bob Dylan.
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walexander
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I'm tempted to read "Less" by Andrew Sean Greer. The 2018 Pulitzer winner. There's a ton of hype. I'm always curious if the writing is actually as good as they say.

To me, the synop. reeks of our current tropes. You can't write anything now without a gay character, badass woman, the nerd gets the boy, teen angst, and men get their come-up-ins, oh, and the world is a horrible place.

But I like to be proven wrong, so I may give it a chance.

I have to admit I have been racking my brain trying to think of a positive future storyline, but it's hard, almost near impossible finding a positive outlook when prognosticating our future.
All past evidence points to a dismal future.

Too many weapons, diseases, prejudices, religious conflict, for us all to work in harmony like a star trek universe. Especially when capitalists would never give up the power of a monetary system. We really still live in a monetary feudal system, people just like to fool themselves that we aren't still ruled over by the rich.

What's ironic is even star trek is really about the same conflicts but against the galaxy, even murder and the hungry for power are prevalent in the star trek canon.

But there's no story without conflict.

We are born to be miserable and relish in the fleeting happy moments.

Life is not in the winning or losing but the struggle in between.

W.

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extrinsic
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Within the Hebrew idea of righteous persons, sans religious and political and social pressures and artifacts, is an idea for a "positive" story structure.

Complication and conflict contests nonetheless, an outcome therein is the cold shoulder of quiet, personal refusal to be caught up in the Keeping up with the Jones rat race and masuclinism exhortations to compete for utter conquest. Less, per se, "off the grid," more so denial of junk commercial materialism co-option and refusal of or boycotts of partisan party duels, a third space or more non-capitalist, non-party, non-mob, no-brow participant Pluralism.

See, there's this religion of the ages for which to advocate for or preach its tenets is a mortal sin. . . . Now I've sinned.

[ May 20, 2018, 06:37 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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extrinsic
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Advertisement touts the merits of a product. One panel emphasizes the accuracy of the product. The word "Precisley" is misspelled. Greater than even odds a typo or such will contradict an intent. A Freudian slip that calls undue attention to the claim -- the precision claim is invalid anyway, like an assertion a wood yard stick is a precision measurement device. Also, that is a situational irony: observed contradiction between a circumstance and the intent. Precisely is imprecisely spelled. Yet amusement obtained, although product ad persuades purchase rejection.
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extrinsic
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Odd how knowledge goes missed and forgotten. Stumbled on a piece of sailor arccanum a few years back and spent time in its recovery. Lately, found the last lost part.

A spritsail rig requires a sprit boom foot control to manage sail trim, called a snotter. Different rigs and makers come up with a variety of methods and devices, none as simple, effective, and elegant as when sprits where common. The traditional snotter is a figure-eight double eye splice, a marlinspike sailor and sailmaker's eye splice technique. No other rig required if the eyes are a cinch-tight fit for the sprit heal and peak and mast taper. Yet sprit heal pulleys and cleats and levers and outhaul and downhaul and uphaul lines clutter and tangle the fore deck and mast for most or all present-day sprit rig designs, part due to mass production and -- well, snotter technology's loss.

The final piece found for me was from study of spritsail mast and sail design. The sprit boom's heel should stand where the mast taper narrows above the deck, and the mast step should rotate. Counterintuitively, the snotter should be placed from the top before the mast is stepped, and jammed down the mast to its desired position. If the peak of the sprit needs adjustment when underway or on a luff, then the snotter can be jammed up or down farther and stay where set, against the tension of the sprit boom, the sail, and winds. A three-inch diameter mast's large snotter eye should be a quarter inch or so less diameter and of a non-elastic fiber line. Likewise the sprit boom foot eye a quarter inch or so less than the boom tenon which it seats.

I know how to and have fashioned many eye splices. Not yet the sailmaker and marlinspike sailor's eye splice. Tucked ends should be tapered, the difference, in particular, for the snooter eyes and all other sail and eye splice beckets, and suitably seized.

[ July 02, 2018, 09:30 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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extrinsic
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All my projects entail investigation, research and development, study, trial and error, and, soon or late, attain success. Ones mentioned for mill grist move apace or enter completion.

One long term thought exercise, at last, attained a full realization, and opened up and narrowed prose projects. First, a full question realization arose. The question itself presented long after first set upon its trail. Backtracks to first principles and first causes raised the initial question: Why do people favor urban lifestyles? Urban revolution began long ago, long before the Industrial age, which escalated and energized urbanization.

The first non-kin group settlements began urbanization, cities, as it were, of the mid to late Neolithic era. Prior settlements were kin group semi-nomadic "towns."

The real and true question arose from that track: Most, how does a society stratify? Less so why, and somewhat, more so, who, when, where, and what. Biblical and scriptural parables offer answers, though of a more anecdotal and invented nature with ulterior motives than dramatic expression, likewise, piecemeal archeology and anthropology reports and documentaries. A synthesis of the corpus was wanted. Lo and behold, huh? due to civilization forces and consequent taxation from laborer labors and surpluses and wealth concentration for newly self-ordained elites. Biblical, for sure, certainly part of the Book of Moses and Joseph and the Israelite's Egyptian odyssey.

Much earlier origins, though, first cities like Göbekli Tepe. A common theme for the earliest true cities is a religious function, that is, shared beliefs and worship, and social celebrations. What started out as reserves sequestered against shortages doled out to the needy became inducements to trade labor for subsistence and, later, taxes collected from real or perceived laborer surpluses and used to support elites and their hired enforcers and city-state monopoly of violence in support thereof.

The Tell of Five-toed Sloths? "Tell," a hilltop settlement. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14. Hence, needs fortification and a war fighter force. more often for offense than defense. Basis, justification, really, for the often anymore cited phrase "Shining white city on a hill" as an ideal of Exceptionalism beliefs, actually, a survivorship bias type.

How, then? By inducements to volunteer labor for subsistence provisions, then forced subservience from force majeure coercions of Exceptionalists. And best not rock the boat or otherwise suffer eviction into the cold, blighted, miserable wilderness, into shunned exile, or worse.

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Disgruntled Peony
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Hey, all. It's been about six months since I was last active on Hatrack. I'm not sure I'm *back* back, but I consider everyone here friends, so I wanted to update people on some things and ask how things have been going for everyone else.

(It is an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes friends have disagreements and arguments. I'm sorry about the way things went the last time I was here. I was going through a difficult time, both with my writing and in my life in general, and I just... needed to step away. I was fresh out of 2017, and 2017 was a hell of a year for me.)

Anyway! I've been working at a bank since the end of January. It's... not great, but it doesn't leave me violently stressed like Rite Aid or violently angry like Dollar Tree. Nine days out of ten I can leave my thoughts about the job at work instead of bringing things home, and that's definitely a step up.

I've been taking a pseudo-sabbatical from writing for the last couple months. I found out about some controversies related to WotF that put me off from submitting there, and that contest was one of my biggest reasons to keep pushing for short stories. What I really want is to write novels, but in order to do that I need to stop being afraid of them. I've been prepping for a novel, and I think I can write a full draft for it once I get the outline down. (I've got characters and a setting, but I'm still working out how all the various conflicts will go down.)

Most importantly, to me at least, I'm 16 weeks pregnant. With twins! It's definitely going to make for a lot of changes in my life once the little dragons are born, but my husband and I have been trying for years, so I'm usually more excited than terrified. [Wink]

How have things been going for everyone else lately? I'd very much like to know. [Smile]

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Robert Nowall
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Well, I retired a year ago---it hasn't made much of a difference in my writing productivity, basically because of other things expanding to fill the time.

Aside from that, one day is much like any other.

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extrinsic
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On pace for this year's resolutions, though ever one more concept beyond my fingertips' reach. Odd that the concept that most eludes is the ever elusive abstract-concrete cognitive aptitude correlation.

The projects on the draft board are that close and far away. When I am distracted by other pursuits' focused efforts, sometimes a thought rises about the works and as soon slips away. If the thought recurs, and does sometimes, the thought clears.

Congratulations, Disgruntled Peony, on all things positive and may they persist, pleasant, and reward.

Pay little mind, if any, to the culture wars and gossip about the WotF and bias. Creative jealousy drives much of the nonsense, as also of publication culture overall. If a work speaks for itself, all of that noise is trivial and pointless and ignored. Satire, even of the sort that appears to bite the hand that feeds, and doesn't, actually, that ironically reconciles diverse oppo-positions, overcomes all feudal resistance.

Worth note that social occasions often are less about the content and more about emotional evocation for a sense of social belonging, even belonging through exclusion for provocation's sake.

[ July 22, 2018, 06:21 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Congratulations and best wishes on your pregnancy, Disgruntled Peony. How exciting for you all.

I'm of an age to retire, but as long as there is a need for this forum, I hope to stick around and keep it going.

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walexander
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congrats DP, wishing you smooth sailing.

I stepped aside from writing about two months ago. Needed a break. Realized my real life was on hold. I was getting foggy-brain sitting at my desk. So I have been hiking back trails, traveling around, exploring new things, basically challenging my norm in hopes to ignite some inspiration and at the same time feel life isn't just passing me by.

I have to remind myself sometimes to stop what I am doing and take a moment to look around and enjoy this life.

You would think as a writer the last thing I need is quiet alone time in my own thoughts, but it is a whole different quiet when out in nature, on the move, and meeting new people you would have never encountered or imagined unless you step out the door. That's what I have been up and down too.

Your novel is just like your twins, inside waiting to see light of day, when its time, it will happen.

Best wishes,

W.

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extrinsic
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Now is a season of stepbacks, reconsiders, and reboots. Mine started last year this time and has moved along leagues. A year-log project development of considerable significance reached full realization today: a five-point star decorative accent for platewares. Tedious math and troublesome angles and two miter sleds made and tried for the accurate, precision 36 and 54 degrees angles wanted. Huzzah! The prototype turned out precise.

Writing, the stepback was -- is prose's irony and satire functions and methods. Not symbol plants, rather, apt and natural and necessary and accessible abstract expression between narrative's overt, concrete dramatic movement expression. Closer and farther away, I gain headway on ever elusive concepts beyond my fingertips' reach for now.

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Grumpy old guy
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I have been, and still am, considering beginnings. I could not have done so without the insight I have gained from Hatrack, yet the incessant 'noise', in the end, prompted a break. Congratulations DP, I wish you all the happiness in the world. On the downside, I will be back, eventually.

Phil.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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We'll keep a light on for you, Phil.
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extrinsic
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According to a supposably Ghana bank, purportedly, I only am due a million-plus that was forgotten to be disbursed. Yea! If I send privacy data, of course, and confirm this is me, really. Odd that the return email address is registered in Ukraine and sender source is an Istanbul address. Much grammar fault in message.

If I had a dollar for each of these I've received, I'd have a million. More than a dozen some kind of phishing scheme per day for years and years. I guess, it is what it had been, was, is, and will be for the foreseeable future: cons, scams, and schemes calculated to prey on the naive and enrich lazy yakholes and sow dissensions.

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Grumpy old guy
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I've only been phished once. Didn't bite. But I have the online presence of a misanthropic hermit.

Phil.

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Robert Nowall
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Microsoft has been leaving messages on my phone telling me to contact them. I ignore them---and for the ones online I find closing the browser does the trick.
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