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Cole Parker

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Everything posted by Cole Parker

  1. Thanks for the kind words, guys. That was the second story I ever wrote. Writing is a strange and beautiful avocation. It's a learn-by-doing sort of activity for me. It's challenging and engrossing and humbling all at the same time, and is constantly making me aware of how much I don't know. It's also a lot of work, but fun work. Trying to do most anything well is that, hopefully. Cole
  2. I was about to make the very points that were finally made. I agree. A good writer can even take a worn out clich? and make it interesting. It's the quality of the writing that's important. It's easy for a list like this one to make us defensive, or conversely, proud that we don't do those things. I don't think we should do either. It's interesting to read, but also easy to find fault with every point made. If we start writing with axioms like that in mind, I think we'll become hamstrung. I personally don't describe my characters dicks, and in fact often neglect to describe their appearances either. There's a reason for this. I want as many readers as possible to identify with the main character. If he is described as 6' 2" tall with shiny blond hair and eyes the color of a Colorado sky with a V-shaped torso, narrow waist and strong legs who can bench press 450 pounds but doesn't because his study load at Harvard and volunteer work in the burned children ward doesn't leave him the time, who'll identify with him? Not me, either. As I say, there's a reason I don't do this, and that's the point. I have a reason. I think about what I write, and have reasons for what's on the page. You guys do too. I can tell from reading your stuff. And if we do things with forethought, and make it work, then the rules in that list aren't really important. It's possible to violate every one of them and still write a good story. Granted, it might be harder, granted, some of these suggestions are soundly based and can help destroy or at least trivialize a weakly written piece, but they are not hard and fast rules that must be followed to the letter or the story will be crap. Individual writing quality will out. Cole
  3. James: I'm certainly no expert, but I might suggest you look really deeply at what is giving you the trouble. Think about it and identify the crux of the issue that's bothering you. Is it actually facing what happened? Is it letting other people know what you did? Is it reliving what you went through? If you can really identify where the angst comes from, maybe it would be easier to deal with it. If you hate the idea of revealing terribly private things you're ashamed of, but want to write them down, do so with the understanding that you're not going to let anyone else read them. That way you may gain the cartharsis you're looking for, you've completely bared your soul to the printed page and gotten the demons out of your memory, yet you keep what needs to be private, private. I've read Broken. It's difficult reading. Great writing, difficult to read. Must have been much worse to live through. You've shown lots of courage writing what you have. Cole
  4. And of course it makes one wonder just where you were in the act when she came in. were you-- NO! NO! Bad Cole!. Don't go there! Dont'ht think about it! I need anohter drink now. Cole
  5. I agree with Blue's views, but there's nothing new there. I almost always do. And I agree with Des. I like feedback. I like it a lot. If I get none, I feel it reflects on the quality of writing I'm putting out, and I feel I've spent a huge amount of time and effort rather futilely. I get discouraged and disappointed. I was surprised in the response I got from my Celebration series. I got some mail, but very, very little, especially when compared to the response of my stories at Nifty. There, it was typical for me to get at least a hundred pieces of mail per story. For long stories, even more. So when I get one or two responses per story here, I have to wonder. What am I doing wrong? And because no one seems to be reading what I write, is this really the site to be posting at? Perhaps another site would be more suitable. Having a counter in place so I could see that people are reading what I write would help. The way it is now, I just don't know if anyone is bothering to read my work. If they are, and not bothering to write, that's a lot easier to take. I can accept people don't want to write authors; Blue's explanations were right on the money. If no one is reading the stories, however, that's something else again. I don't want to take the time to write and have no one read it. I don't know about you guys, but I find trying to do this well is hard work. I will say something in defense of those who do take the time to write. The quality of the responses I get here is much higher than the ones I got at Nifty. Those ran the gamut, and Blue touched on some. Some were funny, some dull, but most all were sincere. With all the mail I've gotten, there was only one flame. Someone didn't like the way I ended Josh, Evolving. I thought the ending was perfect. This guy thought I was the devil incarnate. After calming down, I took his comments to mean he was really involved in the story and disappointed with the way I finished it. So, on reflection, I took what he said as a compliment. I also couldn't think of a better way to avenge myself on him. Screw him!<g> But back to the quality issue. What I like best in mail from readers is well-considered comments about the story, what they liked or thought weak, and why. I get this in the responses I get from what?s posted at AD, making me feel the people who do read stories on this site are a very high caliber people indeed, insightful, intelligent and just the sort of people I?m writing for. Well, to some extent. I?m writing mostly for teens. I wish more of them would write to me. I don't care a whit if more people are reading my stories, or fewer people, than those of some other author. I would just like to know my work is being read. One final comment. I have a pet peeve. I very frequently write other authors to compliment them when I find something they've written enjoyable, and especially when I find the writing top notch and compelling. I don't always get responses from the authors when I do this. I usually do. But sometimes I don't. That bothers me. If someone is good enough to take the time to write us, we should write back to thank them. It takes about 15 seconds to do so, and all you have to do is hit the reply button, so not much work or thought is required. There are authors at this site who could use this reminder. I?m no exemplar and don?t mean to suggest I am, but I always thank every person who writes me about my stories. They deserve it. Thanks for bringing this up, Des. Cole
  6. Please, please, please. Don't anyone else write about getting caught by their mom. It doesn't bear thinking about. I think I need a drink. Cole
  7. " Hmmm Could be the basis for a story? " Des, I think you're something like me. EVERYTYIHING seems to be a possible basis for a story! C
  8. Des, does this mean you're not sitting home praying Amazon will profile you next? Cole
  9. Sorry, but the poll insists I pick a choice from the second list, and none of them are right for me. So I didn't vote. I enjoy serial novels, but hate waiting for the next chapter. This is especially true if I love the story. Then the wait becomes intolerable. I generally wait till the story is finished, then go read the entire thing. If chapters are posted frequently, like twice or three times a week, I'll read it as it's posted. That doesn't seem to happen as a general rule, however. I began Laika about four times before I stopped reading it. I can't remember the charaters and what happend well enough with a month between episodes, so had to go back and read it from the beginning each time, and after reading chapter 1 four times, chapter 2 three times. . . well, you get the idea. When it's done, I'll read it. I LOVE the story, but find I can't read it in this format. It's great writing, and that makes it frustrating for me. But then, I'm old with no memory. You young guys probably don't have these problems. There are other problems we old guys have, but this is a PG forum, isnt it? Cole
  10. Me thinks me must take a class to figure all this out. C
  11. And just how would you know that? <g> C
  12. I think that's what I said, James. Just not quite so lustily. C
  13. Discrimination of any sort is truly horrible. I feel for you, Trab. It shouldn't happen. Maybe one day it won't, but I won't hold my breath. Human nature being what it is, people are always going to be looking down on others if and when they can. It makes them feel superior, and that too is a human feeling. Not a nice one, but one that certainly exists. To me, however, that's not the sort of thing I'm talking about when I'm discussing social classes. I was thinking about distinct classses as they had in England with one group definitely above the others and very little possiblility for people born below that class ever to move into it. That's the sort of class I was referring to, and it's the sort of thing that isn't pervasive in this country. Discrimination based on race, sexuality, handicaps and the like is an entirey different breed of cat. C
  14. You guys are truly amazing. Let me rephrase my argument. When I said America is inherently classless, moreso than other countries, I was using the word class in a more narrow construct than it is generally being used here. When I think of the word "class" to define and separate and categorize people, my first thought is to get angry, and my second is to look at it probably as it was used long ago in the Western world, as something defining the quality of people, something that sprung from their birth status, their lineage, their breeding, their titles and only then their education, property and money. So when I say this is not the prevalent way of separating people in this country, it was on that basis I meant it. We are not judged on our lineage nearly to the extend it was done that way in England. That there are still distinctions based on race, sexuality, economics and education and the like remains obvious. However, if we simply focus on the value of the person, who he is, we Americans don't hold who he came from as being terribly important. He can become whatever he wants here, and that isn't limited by his birth peculiarities. Okay, so I'm a hopeless romantic. Cole
  15. Really! That's completely new information for me. Separate holidays for different classes! How starnge! I had no idea! Here, holidays are entirly egalitarian except of course where economics are the controlling phenomenon. I just assumed it was that way everywhere. As for your other point, here it's very true that intermingling between workers and management is not only done, it's encouraged. That's socmething that's changed in the past 50 years. In the 1950's this was the exception rather than the rule. Today, company executives much more regularly meet with hourly and lower-level salaried employees. In the case where an operation is in many locations, even many states and cities, it is usual for top execs to travel to these locations and have open meetings, open Q and A sessions, to disseminate information and engender unity. At these sessions, the execs go out of their way to show themselves to be cut from the same cloth, to have the same goals, to be as down to earth and interested in the same things as the laborers. How well they succeed is dependent on to what degree they belive this themsevles. Some of them don't, and it shows.
  16. What an interesting subject for us to disagree upon! Does America have classes, and if yes, how important are they, and how conscious of them are Americans? I can't say I entirely agree with TR, if I'm reading what he said correctly, and I may not be. I get the sense from what he wrote that he feels there are strong class distinctions that play a role here. I disagree with that. Certainly it would be naive to say we are entirely classless. There is old money here, and there is power inherent where there is old money. But I don't feel this is a defning element in this country. I feel it may be so in England with their peerage and history, far, far more than here. I think opportunity exists here for those who will work. Nothing really holds any of us back accept how willing we are to do what we must to be successful. I think the sky's the limit here. I think one can begin here with a very humble background and by sheer effort become anything one wants. I think there are stumbling blocks in England that don't exist here. I don't know, but my guess is there are less limits on personal success in Australia than in England. I do know that in America, if you want something and are willing to work for it, in almost every instance you can attain it. I think TR is right that most of us here put ourselves in the middle class. But I also have the feeling that whatever class we put ourselves in, there is pride there, and a feeling that the class we assign ourselves to is somehow superior to other classes. I think there are working class people who DO feel a solidarity with others like themselves, and somehow feel they are a rung above those who sit at a desk or in front of a computer all day. This isn't surprising at all. I think there's a human need to feel important, to feel worthy, even to feel superior in some ways to those around us. I haven't met very many peole who don't have a feeling of personal pride. People talk of the American dream, of being free to be able to make a success of themselves. I think this is still very true. I think this is one of the distinctions that sets this country apart, that makes us special. In that regard, I think we are less bound by class than perhaps anywhere else. Cole
  17. Des: Now you've got me going. I never heard that you're supposed to come back as the last person you've seen. But wow, what an idea! This is a new cottage industry waiting to happen. Good looking people rent themselves out in hospices and hospital and in the backs of EMT vans. There might be lawsuits in the making as they'd need to be shoving some of these ugly doctors and homely last-rite-providers asside at the approprirate moment and families might object to that, but that could all be worked out, I imagine. You also make me wonder, are good looking blokes happier than ones that look like me? Ordinary, you know? I don't think there's anything recorded to support that. Certainly, some of these guys are blissful, but some are degererate druggies looking for their next fix, and they're definitely not happy. I think simply wanting to look great in the next life might be a shallow wish, don't you? Without evidence to the contrary. But then again, if you have the choice, I think going for pretty rather than ugly would get the bulk of the votes. Even if there is no assurance it would make a particle of difference, happinesswise. If you can be either happy or unhappy while being either handsome or ugly, I guess most of us would chose handsome. Cole
  18. Thanks, guys. If I can summarize what you?ve said, it would be like this. Graeme, you write something and basically are impatient to get it up. I know that feeling. I generally feel good about what I write and want people to see it. I have this problem, however, of being something of a perfectionist, and know if I post too soon, I?ll regret it later when I feel the need to change something, so hold off if I?m writing something long. I think you, Graeme, are much better at this than I am. Your style is so controlled, so calm and reasoned, and I?m much more frenetic with what I write, and I?m much more just feeling my way. I?d like to have your mastery of the craft. I don?t mind holding off, even if it?s for 12 months, because I know the story will benefit from it. Actually, however, it?s never taken me that long to write anything. I tend to write in fits and starts, and when I?m going along well, I can write for hours at a time. Do that, and no story is going to take 12 months. Des, you write very much like I do, and for very much the same reasons. You, like me, are shocked other people seem to know what they?re doing so well they can post a chapter at a time without painting themselves into corners. We both look on in awe the way others can write and post and write and post. I didn?t mean to imply I thought we were wrong doing it this way, Des. I?m more surprised everyone doesn?t do it like we do, and so am looking for compelling reasons why they don?t. I too can write more than one story at once. It keeps your mind working and prevents writers? block, I think. EC, you did it sequentially from necessity, and I feel even more admiration that it worked so well for you. As far as going back afterwards and finding things you?d liked to have done differently, I do that all the time, even after multiple edits. But of course, you?re giving one of the prime reasons I don?t post till I?m done. You have no idea how many changes have been made in the final product you see from what I began with. I did go back and I did make changes, changes that wouldn?t have been possible had I posted each chapter as I wrote it. I hope others will respond to this. It seems to me that many more people write and post a chapter at a time than do it as Des and I do. And I still haven?t heard a reason that makes me think that?s the way to go. But I still do think that you guys that do it that way are simply marvelous, and much more capable than I am. Cole
  19. You guys are making me blush, and I'm not sure I have enough blood to permit such an activity. I agree with you, EC. I prefer longer stories myself. I'm sort of in the process of deciding to write another. Hey, now that I have you gathered here, I have a question about that. I've asked before, but never seen an answer. You guys all tend to post chapters as you write them. My question is, why? I always write the entire story before I begin putting it up, and the reason is simple; this allows me to make changes at the beginning that events in the middle or end make necessary. You guys don't seem to need that freedom, which amazes and befuddles me. Why not? Why the rush to post? C
  20. "Cole, I should tell you I am a bit of a hypochondriac. However, I know the difference between mistyping and typing non-accidental gibberish. Why won't anyone believe me? Have you been talking to my doctor? " I believe! I believe! I just am going to advise you not to worry about it. Or try to treat it! It's a figment of your imagination. I hope. It's better to hope than worry, although worry does a better job with weight loss. Worry enough and you stop eating and so lose weight. If you just go around hoping all the time, you'll probably be too encouraged about everything and start eating too much. Maybe the answer is in a typo, which got us started with this mess. But let's try it. Instead of constantly hoping, try constantly hopping. You'll get your exercise, loose weight, improve your circulation and so make your brain work better, and perhaps even improve the work of your confused digits on your keyboard. "In addition to my hypochondria I also have to worry about world events and gay rights and...the list is endless. Woe is us." Sounds like more of this woeful worrying you love to engage in to me. Get a grip, man! The world is our oyster. Of course, I got food poisoning once eating oysters. I think I forgot to check for r's and ate one in June. Almost killed me. Sicker than a dog. But I don't want to think about it, running from both ends as I was, and you don't want to read about it. "Right you have made me feel a lot better...thanks Cole." Well, writing that last bit made me feel a lot worse, so we're even. "I can't afford a car with a/c and we just started our summer here where it is constantly approaching 100 degrees F. for days at a time. it is currently 90 degrees and it is only 6am. Believe me a wet hat can be the difference between life and death here. Our weather is very similar to LA I believe." If I can't travel here in an air conditioned car here, I don't travel. But I'd guess 98% of the cars here a air conditioner. It's almost inconceivable to have a car here without A/C. I moved here from Indiana. We didn't need A/C there. Well, we did, but only for about three months a year. Here we need it for 9 or 10, and then some days in the other 3 or 2. I quickly changed to a car that had A/C. Now I'll admit, buying a baseball cap and a bucket of water to soak it in is cheaper than buying A/C, but think of it this way: when you go to trade in your car with A/C or your cap and bucket, you'll get a lot more for the former than the latter. "I too hate exercise for it's own sake, but I am doing some when it isn't too hot to go outdoors." I ride my bicycle even if it's hot. I take a bottle of water with me. If you also cannot afford a bicycle and have to jog, I suggest you take a bottle of water with you as well as your wet towel around your neck and your wet hat on your head. I don't wet myself quite as thoroughly as you do before setting out, but then, American practices are different in these situations than Australian ones, I guess. "As for aging being better than the alternative, I don't mind being reincarnated provided I can skip childhood and go direct to puberty." Now that makes perfect sense. I too like to skip the veggy courses and go straight to the dessert. Maybe thath's why I'm trying to lose weight! Cole
  21. It's been forever since I attended high school, but we didn't have them then and for the most part we don't now that I'm aware of. I'm talking public high schools: private ones probably all have their own idiosyncrasies. Do they have them in state-run (I don't think I can use the word "public" as it has a different meaning there) schools in Australia and England? I know they do in boarding schools, but I don't know about regular schools. Here I think it would be a problem. We've become quite litigious, and I can imagine lawsuits emanating from one kid, under the color of a questionable authority granted him by school officials, bossing another kid around. I can imagine abuses, real or spurious, that wouldn't be tolerated. I can imagine jocks being remonstrated by officious nerds and how that would play out. I think you'd have to have a very accepting school population for that to work, and our school populations tend more to the rebellious and independent than compliant. As an American who reads about the goings on in English schools, I've always rather wondered how the prefect system worked in practice, as I have grave misgivings about it working here. Here, boys take advantage of weaker boys. I would think, boys being who they are, giving some authority over others is like letting the wolf loose in the sheep pen.
  22. "Yes, Cole, at 62 I can vouch for the lapse in memory and vocabulary effect. Writing and reading certainly help. So does a vitamin supplement along with a general amino acid complex supplement." If writing and reading help, I should be in good shape as that mostly what I do. "Recently I had a nasty experience of missing the keys I wanted to hit when typing. So instead of typing say the word, "many" it ended up as "anmu". The doctor wasn't concerned. Yeah Right!" You went to the doctor because you hit the wrong keys? I'd have to live in his office if I worried about that! I hit more wrong ones than right ones, and spend tons of time going back and fixing things. Of course, I do type fast. I'd hit fewer wrong keys otherwise, I'm sure. I don't worry about it. I have more important things to worry about than that, things like us increasing the number of troops in Iraq, whether the advances in gay rights that have been won in the past couple years will be whittled away during the next two year election run-up, and if taking twelve pills in the morning counts as having breakfast. "My family experience with Alzheimer's indicates the following things (for me anyway) and although it might sound a bit funny I am quite serious as I saw the effect happen. !. Do not watch TV daytime soap operas or mindless quiz shows after the age of forty. (habit forming that inhibits analytical thought processes.) 2. Keep active even if it is just for a 20 minute walk 3. Watch out for extremes in weather conditions avoid the heat with a wet towel around the neck and if you go out (driving in a car without air-conditioning) wear a baseball cap soaking wet. " I think anyone who watches any TV during the day has already given in to mind numbness. It seems to be getting that way for nighttime TV, too. Probably you have better TV down there than we do up here. You'd almost have to. I do keep active. I'm trying to lose weight and ride a bicycle an hour a day. I feel much better now than I did before I began that regimen a few months ago. I hate exercise for exercise's sake, but there's no question, being active is therapeutic. A/C in cars in LA, where I live, is a must. Especially if you're caught in one of our quotidian traffic snarls and can't move enough to even get air flow through the windows. I think I'll skip the wet hat. If something had to drip down my neck, I'll take sweat over cold water. "Isn't aging fun? " Is that supposed to be an oxymoron? No, it isn't!!! But it's better than the alternative. Cole
  23. Oops! I thought that sounded jaunty enough that the meaning was clear. Didn't mean to be the least bit dismissive of anyone suffering from the real thing. No, I'm not having that problem, or at least I hope I'm not. Once you reach your 60's you always wonder, though. My vocabulary seems to shrink daily. Surprisingly, to me at least, I do find that writing every day helps. When I write a lot, I have less problem bringing to mind the words I want to use. When I lay off for a week or so, I'm back to stopping every few minutes trying to remember the exact word that's lurking behind a layer of fog in my mind. But everyone I talk to that has reached my approximate grand age has the same problem. Thanks for caring, Trab. C
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