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Bruin Fisher

Distorted Perspectives

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I dunno, I think they're just right. You know what I think of you Cole, it starts with a "G"...

Tracy

Cole's not Greek...is he?

Perhaps Tracy means Gorgeous?

A Giant among authors.

Yeah that works.

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Hi Des, nice to see you.

He is all of those of course, and more, and i'm trying to decide which will have greater effect, every "G" word we can think of,

or the one I was referring to...Cole will argue with them all, of course, and some might think, convincingly.

He and I cannot come to any agreement as to what constitutes GENIUS :icon_geek:

Since we have no problem with dork, it might be more a problem of who than what. Forget tickling, let's just hold him down and compliment him

until he says "Uncle".

Back to the "G's", somebody said grumpy but it wasn't me.

You'll still talk to me even if he doesn't, right? Haha, that reminds me of another genius I knew, 7 years old and a master of "I'll show you".

Did you know you can get a whole class of kids to not talk to someone for GUM? Amazing. Lucky I had a sister.

So, you will, right?

What does constitute Genius? And this is not hijacking, since we're still talking about Cole.

Tracy

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Well, now that the final chapter is posted, let me be the first to say it... Though I haven't read a Cole Parker story I didn't like, Distorted Perspectives is my absolute favorite and I believe his best effort yet.

At various points it made me livid with rage and generated tears of both sadness and joy.

Congratulations, Cole. It's a total winner!

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Distorted Perspective is finished, and I have done reading it.

My first reaction was to just sit and take it all in. The ending is so... right. What an accomplishment for a writer!

Then, thinking about all the principal characters, I realized they had all changed. Each had undergone a transformation before our eyes, and we could now see who they really were as our perspective on each of them shifted. This transformation was never inevitable, and for several of the characters it was highly unlikely. But it was fully possible. Thankfully, those possibilities became actualities, to the benefit of all.

As for us, the readers -- we have changed, as well. Our perspective, no longer distorted, can now see what might be accomplished: through understanding, through effort, through love.

Absolutely wonderful, Cole.

James Merkin

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I'm not sure how James does it, but he seems to see more clearly than most anyone what I'm doing, what I'm about, and I'm usually in awe when he does it.

I entitled this story Distorted Perspectives thinking how well it fit, but also as something of an inside joke that I was positive no one reading it would understand. I should have figured on James. His insight is uncanny.

But I'd thought anyone, everyone, reading this story would assume the ones with the distorted perspectives were the characters in the story. They were, of course, and those perspectives changed as the story progressed. But, to me, the intriguing part of that title was, it also referred to the perspectives of the readers. The perspectives they had on the characters as they first appeared in the story were also distorted. And I hope, I'm pretty sure, they changed too as the story progressed.

So I was playing a little trick on the readers with that title, and was sure it would go unnoticed. I should have realized, very little gets past James.

C

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I cannot begin to explain my pleasure and delight in Cole's latest story, Distorted Perspectives.

As James has so aptly described the extraordinary nature of this story, I can only add how much I enjoyed it and I have to add to Mike's comment that it is my favourite too, because Cole has not only achieved that all too rare phenomenon in our fiction of an intricate, yet powerful plot, but also managed to give us believable and realistic character development. The fact that he has included the reader and involved us in the title and our relationship with the story isn't just great, it is the hallmark of a true literary master.

When I conceived the idea of my appreciation award I had considered that I would only ever give one award to each author.

It was evident to me about half way through Distorted perspectives, that I wasn't going to be able to keep to that limitation.

So I have made a new variation on the symbol for a second award for outstanding literary achievement. Cole is the first author to have well and truly earned this second award of my personal appreciation.

EnthMan2a.jpg

Awarded to

Cole Parker

For outstanding Literary Achievement

in his story

Distorted Perspectives

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Des' award, I would think, would be an honor for any author, and the new addition is that and more, and richly deserved in the case of this story. Congratulations, Cole.

And thanks to James for putting words to what truly is my experience with this piece, though I would never have been able to articulate it. That it was the epitome of Cole's intention, and that James got it, is a credit to both of you. And is really the best that an author or a reader can hope for. Well done!

This is a remarkable story. It ran the gamut of my emotions, which is my own personal touch stone, how I measure the depth and breadth of a story, it's possibilities, it's believablity, and it's attainment of those things. All are well represented here, with the grace I have come to associate with all of your work, Cole. Thank you.

At the end of chapter 17, I had a moment where I feared the end was coming. But the ending was done so well, it was easy to accept and even welcome. After all, it was all here, and this was where it was going, and it's job was well and truly done.

That there seems to be complete agreement, i'll say no more.

Tracy

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Wow!

I'm more than humbled.

Thanks so much. You guys make an audience it's always rewarding to write for.

Two of Des' achievement awards. Two!

Incredible. Des is one of the most intellectual individuals I have the privilege of knowing, and I also have the greater privilege of calling a friend. I think he sees more in me than is there, but at his age one would expect some degree of myopia.

Thanks, Des, and everyone else, too. I enjoy writing. It's is heartwarming that others also enjoy what I do.

Cole

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I entitled this story Distorted Perspectives thinking how well it fit, but also as something of an inside joke that I was positive no one reading it would understand. I should have figured on James. His insight is uncanny.

But I'd thought anyone, everyone, reading this story would assume the ones with the distorted perspectives were the characters in the story. They were, of course, and those perspectives changed as the story progressed. But, to me, the intriguing part of that title was, it also referred to the perspectives of the readers. The perspectives they had on the characters as they first appeared in the story were also distorted. And I hope, I'm pretty sure, they changed too as the story progressed.

So I was playing a little trick on the readers with that title, and was sure it would go unnoticed. I should have realized, very little gets past James.

C

Actually, Cole, you should have known your readers are much more aware than that, and not just James. I realized it was the reader's perspective that was distorted from paragraph one. For one thing, with the exception of Josh Evolving, Dominos, The Hamill Academy Stories and a few of your short stories, virtually everything else you've ever written that I'm aware of, you've written in first person. When you do use third person, it's almost always more a matter of being able to control the reader's perspective rather than to provide multiple viewpoints. First person puts the primary character in charge of what the reader sees. Third person puts the author solidly in charge. It was evident from the start of Distorted Perspectives that you were manipulating the reader, controlling what they observed and when they observed it.

I was also struck by your use of metaphor. Andy's hobby, photography, was a brilliant literary tool that allowed you show the reader how one's perspective can be controlled, manipulated and even cheated through the careful use of shading, focus and the combination of disparate images. You are just as guilty of the same approach, and just as Andy was an exceptional photographer, you are an exceptional author. This is an outstanding literary work.

I've long considered you the best author in this genre and the one I most seek to emulate, but with this story, you've outdone yourself. Congratulations on completing what is now my new favorite story of all time.

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High praise indeed, Altimexis, and thanks much for it. Like Des, you give me too much credit.

I'm not sure how you write, but my style is different from many. I do no outlining. I decide what message I'm trying to convey to readers, what kind of characters will best allow me to accomplish that, what the setting will be, and how the story will end, then set out on a journey of discovery. I certainly don't know when I begin exactly how I'll get to where I know I'll be going. The characters help me with that.

But the idea I began the story with the view in mind to manipulate the readers, while beguiling, isn't factual. I didn't even know what the title would be till I was well over half way through the story. I think I was operating on the working title Todd. I don't really remember, but think it was that. I didn't like it, and discussed in with an editor, he tossed me back a few suggestions, and together we worked it out. Once the title was in place, I backtracked through the story adding a word here and a thought there to solidify the title.

It of course fit with the story as it was. That's why we chose it. But the idea that I knew about it from the beginning simply isn't true. And the idea I had set out to fool the readers into thinking about the characters being one way when they almost all turned out to be different from how they first appeared wasn't intentional as a theme from the beginning, either. Perhaps that's why I thought of it as something of an inside joke when it occurred to me that that was indeed happening.

You're right. I should have given my audience more credit.

Writing for me is an adventure. I have to make decisions all the way through. Should Geoff be a real stinker throughout, or can I accomplish more by showing his background, explaining his psychology, and then letting him change? I could have written it either way. I find writing to be all about decisions.

And I change my mind a lot. I do much, much rewriting. That's part me and part my blasted editors niggling at me. I never feel I give them enough credit.

Altimexis, thanks so much for such a paean, but I'm sure I don't come close to deserving it. I'll take credit for the metaphor, I do like metaphor and try to use it in an unnoticeable way quite often, but the other stuff is probably just luck.

C

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What could I add more to aal this?

I am not going on the uncertain path of saying this was your best story ever, because there were so many more bautiful stories.

The end of this one however was beautiful and just how i should be.

I enjoyed every part of it.

Thanx Cole!

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Great character work Cole. Too often the changes in dynamic characters are forced but in this story they was so natural and worked.

The only one that bugged me was Mr. Mortensen's complete transformation in such a short time. When I thought about it, after so many years of being almost a machine, it was probably like a dam breaking and his humanity won out.

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I was concerned about his transformation too, James. It seemed too hurried, but I was under time constraints due to Vic and Geoff needing to have their situation resolved. I don't doubt such a change can happen; it's the few weeks that makes it problematic. I guess one has to believe in epiphanies.

He did have strong motivation to stop and look at himself. Everything he'd worked hard for and achieved was being brought into peril if he didn't change, and he knew that. So his decision to try to change was basically one he made for himself, which was well within the constraints of his character. And once he started down that road, and was sincere about it as he was being forced to be, the possibility for change improved immensely.

But I too would have liked to have been able to stretch out the timing. I have a problem when writing of keeping things too condensed, time-wise. I see how other authors solve this problem, but I frequently fall into that trap anyway. I think one reason for that is I like to write about teenagers, and if I let too much time get away from me, soon they aren't teens any longer.

C

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Cole, generously gives us an insight into his writing methods. It really isn't all that surprising that he gets great pleasure from the adventurous nature of his writing; he allows himself the freedom to develop not only his story but also his creativity.

Wow!

I'm more than humbled.

Thanks so much. You guys make an audience it's always rewarding to write for.

Two of Des' achievement awards. Two!

Incredible. Des is one of the most intellectual individuals I have the privilege of knowing, and I also have the greater privilege of calling a friend. I think he sees more in me than is there, but at his age one would expect some degree of myopia.

Thanks, Des, and everyone else, too. I enjoy writing. It's is heartwarming that others also enjoy what I do.

Cole

While it is true Cole and I regard ourselves as valued friends, I have to say that it doesn't influence my decision to recognise his talent and worth with my award. I would give the award to any writing that so moves me, I just wish I had more time to read the many stories from all our wonderful authors. As for his regard of my intellectual abilities, I guess we each have difficulty in recognising what each of us sees in the other, but that's what friends do. They share their insight with each other. I think I'm far too emotional and intuitive to ever make a good intellectual and I'm content with that, most of the time. :icon_geek:

Anyway, I am really happy to see everyone giving Cole the accolades he so richly deserves.

Make no mistake, Distorted Perspectives is a landmark achievement in our literature.

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There are stories that I read that are entertaining, moving, thoughtful, surprising, and more. Every now and then I'm lucky enough to stumble onto a story that manages to combine more than one of those elements into something really special.

The wonder of your stories, Cole, is that you manage to combine all of those elements, and more, on a consistent basis throughout all of your work. So what does that leave me to say about this one? One that has surpassed even the excellence of your other stories, many of which are my favorite stories anywhere, on or off the internet.

A perhaps peculiar measure I use to judge the value and impact to myself of a story I'm reading is my emotional reaction when I realize I have only one more chapter to read and then there will be no more. On that scale, you broke the scale. I had to order a new one. Amazon.com will be shipping it shortly. I'll be expecting restitution.

Thanks, Cole, for a wonderful tale and characters that are more human than should be possible for words on a screen.

Gee

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All you guys are incredible, and I'm left with nothing more to say. Please know, however, how grateful I am for all your kind words.

I've written another story, much more in my usual fare, a short story much lighter in feel, more humorous vein. It'll go up sometime before Christmas, Mike permitting. Perhaps I can offer it as a gift. It certainly is a thank you for all the wonderful things you've said and how you've made me feel.

C

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Cole,

Reading this over the course of the past few months was a very, very enjoyable experience. The characters, plotting, pacing, scenes and 'little details' drew me in & kept me there throughout the novel. It was such a pleasure reading.

The characters were just pitch perfect in your delivery of them--from Andy's hobbies to the "secret life" of various characters--just perfect.

The language crafting drew me in from the very beginning through the end--each chapter shifted our perspective ever so slightly, until we understood the characters and their motivations, as well as the journey that each of them had taken through the course of the novel.

Magnificent work!

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I'm a little late for the party, but I finally read it.

Before ch10 I wanted to strangle the VP and Geoff, after ch10 it's a deserved handshake and a pat on the back to start. There was a couple surprises, one being the VP's family.

+2 on the nailgun. Hopefully they were the spiral coated type, good for infections and can be tough to get out.

If you haven't read it, do so along with the rest of Cole's catalog. You won't find it boring.

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Late for the party? If that's a problem, I'm in some serious trouble...

Of course I second everything said here, though it may not qualify as seconding if I've done it a thousand times already.

But Cole, I couldn't help but notice how well these readers "get" virtually all of what, over the course of so many patient conversations, I have come to understand of what you want, and fearlessly pursue, from a particular story, from your work in general, and from yourself as a person and as a writer.

The reader comments seem to suggest a good degree of success for your considerable effort, and your responses seem to suggest that, finally, FINALLY, we are getting somewhere with convincing you. Whether convinced of your talent or of our regard for what we're proclaiming is talent, I'm just glad to see it, and you, a little more pleased with yourself by way of your reception. It is a significant part of the goal, as I understand it, of the feedback option, which you know I consider to be, for me, the chance of a lifetime, and for you all...a can of worms. :icon_geek:

I'd especially like to thank Gee for his "particular measure", and Constantine1453 for the degree to which he nailed down your number and his ability to just say it. ( begging pardon for that last part, its an insider thing, folks)

And Des, there's enough unembodied intellect in the world, and your ability and willingness to bring your whole self to the table is essential to the times we live in and to the lives we are living, and you would be my first choice as representative of the inherent value of intuition and emotion under the firm guidance of sound intellect-- it is a coalition with the greatest potential for workable solutions to the problems of a world, inhabited by human beings and dependent upon their participation in any and all solutions. Words make us think, but it is the appeals to our hearts and to our higher selves that will move our feet.

Jeez, I've really missed you guys. Can you tell?

Thanks for your constancy, all.

Tracy

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This was the first Cole Parker story I ever read, and the story which led me to AwesomeDude in the first place. I love this one.

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