FreeThinker

AD Author
  • Content count

    791
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About FreeThinker

  • Rank
    AD Author
  • Birthday 09/18/1957

Contact Methods

  • ICQ
    0

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Middle of Nowhere
  • Interests
    writing, reading, YouTube, politics, history, science fiction, gay rights, fantasizing about moving to the UK before I die.
  1. Nickels and Dimes by Cole Parker

    This story truly spoke to me and affected me deeply. Cole's stories are so great because there is always something in them that helps the reader, speaks to the reader, finds something inside the reader that responds and grows as a result of reading his story. This is one of his best--but then, I always say that.
  2. Featured Author Joel

    Congratulations to the Featured Writer for August, Joel! He is an excellent choice! His work is excellent. Tom Browning's School Days is a delight for anyone who enjoys the canon of the English Public School story. His attention to detail and the historical research and the references to scientific work and studies occurring at the time of the story are remarkable and delightful to read. Strong characters and an engaging plot. I've already sung this story's praises, so let me also praise Mystery and Mayhem at St. Mark's, a story set at Cambridge University, and Flip's Tale. Joel is a great choice for this month's featured writer.
  3. Featured Author Joel

    Congratulations to the Featured Writer for August, Joel! He is an excellent choice! His work is excellent. Tom Browning's School Days is a delight for anyone who enjoys the canon of the English Public School story. His attention to detail and the historical research and the references to scientific work and studies occurring at the time of the story are remarkable and delightful to read. Strong characters and an engaging plot. I've already sung this story's praises, so let me also praise Mystery and Mayhem at St. Mark's, a story set at Cambridge University, and Flip's Tale. Joel is a great choice for this month's featured writer.
  4. A Voice from our childhood...

    ... has passed away. June Foray was the voice of Rocky the Squirrel, Boris Badinov's girlfriend Natasha, Dudley Dooright's girlfriend Nell, Tweetie Bird's owner, and the original Betty Rubble, as well as the voice of the Chatty Cathy doll. She was 99. For those of us who grew up on Saturday morning cartoons in the 60's, this is a sad day. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/june-foray-voice-of-rocky-the-flying-squirrel-dead-at-99/
  5. The Guardian has an interesting article on the evolution of the English Language and whether American English is choking out traditional English English. One point I found interesting is that colonists in the Americas and speakers of English in the homeland spoke a very similar English before the American Revolution. Apparently, it was not until the mid-to-late eighteenth-century that the upper classes and speakers in London and the southeast began to drop their "r's", or speak with non-rhotic English. This is called the "received pronunciation," (received from whom?). Today only three percent of the UK speak with received pronunciation. I notice that many of the news readers on the BBC World Service now DO pronounce their "r's". Interesting look at the evolution of English and what it means to be English. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/24/worry-americanisation-english-linguists And a related article, "Do You Want Fried With That?" https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/13/american-english-language-study
  6. The Guardian has an interesting article on the evolution of the English Language and whether American English is choking out traditional English English. One point I found interesting is that colonists in the Americas and speakers of English in the homeland spoke a very similar English before the American Revolution. Apparently, it was not until the mid-to-late eighteenth-century that the upper classes and speakers in London and the southeast began to drop their "r's", or speak with non-rhotic English. This is called the "received pronunciation," (received from whom?). Today only three percent of the UK speak with received pronunciation. I notice that many of the news readers on the BBC World Service now DO pronounce their "r's". Interesting look at the evolution of English and what it means to be English. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/24/worry-americanisation-english-linguists And a related article, "Do You Want Fried With That?" https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/13/american-english-language-study
  7. Comma Queen

    No, the Comma Queen is not a gay grammarian. She is Mary Norris, the proofreader at The New Yorker, and she has a delightful series of videos, two seasons of sixteen each, covering different topics in writing from the POV of The New Yorker. It's done in a clever and entertaining, as well as an informative, way. I think many on AD may enjoy the short five to ten minute offerings and find them helpful. She's commenting from an American perspective--albeit a literate American perspective--so our British friends, may still enjoy and find it of help. Oh, and SHE likes the Oxford Comma, so there! Pfft. Speaking of the Oxford Comma, Christopher Rice, son of Anne Rice and an author of note in his own right, recently remarked on Facebook that he now decides which men he will date depending on how passionate they are about the Oxford Comma! :-) http://video.newyorker.com/series/comma-queen
  8. Incorporating Music in a Story?

    This issue came up several years ago ( I raised it ) and there were several positions. I was using music in Wicked Boys and I wanted to link to particular works because at that particular point in the story, I thought the referenced work would contribute to creating the atmosphere. One respondent suggested the writing should be strong enough on its own to create the atmosphere without multimedia additions. I am a traditionalist and would generally eschew such tricks, though in the case of my story, I thought it would help. I chose to follow the suggestions of the respondents who wrote against it, but I am still of two minds. I think (and this is the weasel way out) it depends on the story, on your particular style, and the audience. I have read stories in which the additional material was quite valuable (sort of like a footnote in explanation). In other cases, its a distraction. This said, if I were writing Wicked Boys again, I would include the name of the song, when mentioned, as a link with a suggestion in the disclaimer that the reader <shift click> on the link so they can continue to read the story as the music plays.
  9. A Royal Achievement by Solsticeman

    I've spent an enjoyable two days reading Solsticeman's A Royal Achievement. I've almost finished it, but I can't wait to write and compliment him on a gripping story with amazingly well-developed characters and an engageing plot. The growth of the two protagonists is heartbreaking and inspiring. In some ways, it reminds me of Drummer Boy, from another board, but even better. I enjoy historical fiction and this is interesting in that it describes a period in English history that I've not read much about in novels, though I am familiar with the history. The descriptions of naval life and the technical descriptions of ships and sailing, and life in general during this period are fascinating--and sometimes a bit cringe-worthy! Bravo to Solsticeman!
  10. NPR tweeted the Declaration of Independence yesterday and, apparently, some Trump supporters didn't recognize it and thought they were calling for revolution. Huffington Post captured some of the tweets before the idiots who posted them realized what they had done and removed them. To quote a famous tweeter--or twit: "SAD!" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/npr-declaration-of-independence_us_595c6525e4b0da2c7325bd50?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009
  11. Something for all to listen to.

    It has been a tradition for almost thirty years for the entire staff of NPR News (the American radio equivalent of the BBC) on July 4 to read the Declaration of Independence. I doubt most Americans have ever read it, let alone listened to it and it might be instructive and valuable, especially in these times, to listen to the recitation of reasons why Jefferson, Adams, and the rest of the Continental Congress chose to cut ties with King George III. Notice that the fault is placed on the Crown and not the people of Great Britain. It might also be helpful for our British friends to listen, not as a reminder of past conflict and disagreement, but rather as provoking thought concerning your current government and actions they may be taking which are injurious to the dignity of you, a great and free people. Our Aussie friends, too, may wish to listen and then think about the Coalition and its treatment of refugees, indigenous peoples and your population in general. Never before in the United States has it been as important as it is now for our own people to remember the reasons we chose to cut ties with a King who did not respect our rights and our dignity as free people, and look at our government. I am grateful, however, that we have moved on from the reference to "the merciless Indian savages." http://www.npr.org/2017/07/04/534096579/a-july-4th-tradition-the-declaration-of-independence-read-aloud
  12. Workbench Chat

    Nigel's story is one of the most beautiful I have read. I am still misty-eyed after reading it. It reminds me of an O Henry story, but better. Please read it and let him know how much you love it. I know many of you will love it as I do.
  13. Yevgeny Yevtushenko

    The great Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko passed away Saturday at a hospital in Tulsa, Ok. He was eighty-three. One of the giants of twenty-century Russian literture, he wrote seering anti-Stalinist poety and was a fighter against anti-semitism. He wrote "Stalin's Heirs" when the dictator died and "Babi Yar" about a brutal pogram. He taught literature at the University of Tulsa and his wife taught Russian at the University School. When asked why he preferred Tulsa to New York, he replied that Americans lived in Tulsa and New York was the world. He called Tulsa, the "belly-button of American culture." I assume that's a compliment. Perhaps it sounds better in Russian. Nonetheless, he was revered by a generation of young Russians during the sixties and seventies. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/01/yevgeny-yevtushenko-russian-poet-babi-yar-dies-84 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/world/europe/yevgeny-yevtushenko-dead-dissident-soviet-poet.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
  14. Americans of a certain age will appreciate this. Maybe more, I hope. The caption wasn't captured when I downloaded the cartoon from The New Yorker. “Tell them is fake news, work of moose and squirrel.”
  15. Drummer Boy

    I certainly don't begrudge him the chance to recharge, it was just the abrupt way the story ended that disappoints me. I knew the battle was going to be dangerous. I knew Beresford had no concern for the boys. I knew Mr. Percy had warned Thomas of the Generals' true freelings, but the fact the ending came so abruptly is what I found so disheartening.