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Doing Something - by Cole Parker


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Cole Parker has a new novel, Doing Something, with two chapters posted so far.

As usual, Cole writes an engaging story and I was drawn in.

The story is about a family with each person broken and damaged by loss. The dad and son have just moved to a new place which is empty and old, and Troy, the son, is trying to find some way to adjust to this strange new life and begin making the place home. In the move, Troy has had to leave behind his closest friend too.

That theme of "doing something" can mean many things. We'll see what turns up. The theme of being broken, damaged, or neglected can transform into many things too. And the boxes of stuff.

This, I'm sure, has hit me personally, because...I'm still picking up, trying to rebuild my life. I know about boxes and feeling like everything you knew has fallen apart, including yourself, and having to start over. My life has been on hold for the last many years, and now, it is like I'm Rip Van Wynkel, waking up and seeing there's a weird new world out there, and even at home, things aren't quite the same. I've alluded to that before, but if you were to actually see it...well, I just wish I was making better progress. A bit here, a bit there, then something else happens and I'm playing catch-up again. Motivation, depression, anger, sadness, and the feeling that all those people I knew didn't care...are hard to ignore, or shut off, or turn into something positive again. When I get depressed or pissed off or get into self-pity mode, I try to remind myself it will get better, just keep working on it. I don't always believe it. I think what has hurt most was the friends and family who said they cared, and then showed they didn't. I have a few people who are still friends, some in person, some online, and I really value them. I'm the kind that misses friends from years ago. I don't let go easily, even when it should've been obvious, perhaps all along.

I was procrastinating on writing some more, then read Cole's story. It'll be hours before I feel like sleeping again. I'm sure I'll write some before then. I have some yard work to do, new at gardening, and oddly enough, putting out grass seed, because of last year's drought. I got a smile out of that bit in the story.

I get Troy. Unlike Troy, I get his dad too. My situation's different, but in some ways, enough the same to see it.

Thanks, Cole. This may be an odd way to say thank you and say how much I like the story. But there it is.

This is a really great story, and I'll be reading along with interest.

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I get Troy. Unlike Troy, I get his dad too. My situation's different, but in some ways, enough the same to see it.

Sorry, Ben. Unless you've had a sibling, or a Son or Daughter missing/kidnapped/taken I don't see how you can possibly 'get' the emotions involved. A traffic accident would be better: at least you could grieve and have closure.

These first two chapters feel like the start of a very powerful story, and I can't wait to see where Cole takes us. The change of tense he uses is interesting, too.

Read 'Doing Something' HERE

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I have been waiting for this story for a while. A new Cole Parker story. It is very good... intense. It also brings up memories for me. I understand the literary intentions to make the reader feel what the character is feeling.... Not a good place to stop it. I do not like feeling this way.

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I'm reminded of so many moments in my own childhood, even though they are different, by Cole's new story. His trick with the tense is admirable, particularly as I know how difficult it is to do what he is doing with it, so effectively. But it is more than a tricky literary device in Cole's hands, it is an evocation luring the reader into the minds and lives of the characters, from which there is no escape.

Irresistible writing. Captivating reading.

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My computer was down for a bit so I had to reopen all my usual haunts. And lookey what I found!

I didn't read any of the above, so I could go in blind.. I mean fresh.

Nice to see you, Cole, and I love a chase I can win.


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I finally started this. Now I shouldn't have because now I want more and it isn't there, yet.

I like the flashback parts, brings more to the story. Take two people trying to cope with something epic and we get to see how they deal with it.

Great job Cole. :icon_thumleft:

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I have been reading Cole's stories since the beginning and I see a difference in this one from his other work. It is more mature and is the first to seriously deal with such a difficult issue. Without a spoiler, let me say that its also the first with serious drama. He has written others with drama and difficult issues, but this story shows a greater ability to present it in a compelling and believable way. I have repeatedly told him that he needs to write for money and try to get some of his work published and Doing Something is definitely something I think could and should be published. But, then, just about everything his writes could and should be published!

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OK, let's not get carried away now.



I'm enjoying this. A little darker than you usually go but the characters are deeper and well developed.

Good show so far.

James :cat:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've really been enjoying this story. It has also answered a couple of questions for me, without trying to.

The story is covering some really good points for anyone figuring out where they are on that scale from gay to straight, and what happens along that scale. It's also covering, or about to cover, a lot about what it means to be a friend, or a boyfriend or girlfriend. (No, I wasn't an editor or beta reader, I don't know any more than anyone else reading it.)

I had started an email draft to Cole, but when I can get the rest of my thoughts together, and maybe in something less than a major thesis paper, I'll post it. :)

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I hate to sound like a spoilsport but most Macs do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. I'm not going to go into details, as that would involve spoilers, but suffice it to say that using Acrobat Reader as described on a Mac simply wouldn't work. I'm not saying it's impossible to use a PDF attachment as such on a Mac, but Apple wrote their own code rather than using Adobe's. PDF is native in OS X - it is the format used by the display rendering engine. Apple did that when they ported the NextStep operating system to the Mac as the core of OS X. This allowed them to get around paying Adobe's licensing fees for Display Postcript, which would have added hundreds of dollars to the cost of every Mac. The PDF format is open source and, hence, free. PDF attachments are directly visible in any program that runs on a Mac - no Acrobat Reader needed. Apple wrote their PDF rendering engine to prevent just the kind of attack described in Doing Something. I'm not saying it's impossible but, for it to work, someone would have to have intimate knowledge of Apple's implementation of PDF.

For what it's worth, the issue of exploitable code is at the heart of the bad blood between Apple and Adobe these days. Well that, and perhaps getting around licensing fees has something to do with it too. In any case, Apple banned the use of Flash on the iPhone and iPad because it was too easy for hackers to exploit it for malicious intent. Apple used its muscle to force Adobe to abandon Flash in their longterm strategy in favor of HTML 5, over which Apple could exert some control.

One more thing - what if one of the computers in question ran Linux? A lot of computer entheusiasts like Linux because they don't have to rely on Microsoft or Apple.

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I guess I am more inclined to go along with Cole's scenario in much the same way I accept the somewhat impossible situations presented as fact in fictional movies and television dramas. After all, all kinds of real life details are compromised when we tell stories, sometimes annoyingly so, and at other times with some degree of justification. For instance I am always amazed at how quickly some murder trials come before judge and jury with the victim hardly cold in the grave. Then there is the whole disturbing world of movie 'computing', such as viewing code that is nothing short of gobbledygook, which characters read and then know the answer to the riddle of the Sphinx.

Cole's pdf 'trojan' is a lovely idea for two reasons.

1. He works very hard to make it seem plausible, plus his characters believe it to be possible, and

2. It won't work, which means that Cole can't be accused of inciting a real life attack on our computers.

I am more disturbed by my reading a scene about an intimate heterosexual relationship, but such is Cole's writing skill that I just want to know what happens next.

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Actually, my scenario will work. The problem is, I didn't want to give any details because doing that bogs down the storytelling and the tale becomes terminally BORING! But I have it on good authority that such a scheme is workable. And as Altimexis says, it involves a deep understanding of Adobe code.

But this is storytelling, too, and if I explained it to the extent the layman could understand it, I'd have needed pages and pages of stuff that the majority woud have skimmed over, and that wsn't the puprose of the story. I felt I used just the right amount of technological mumbo-jumbo and included the fact that professional hackers are involved. Those guys are amazing. Not necessary moral, not necessarily working on the side of the angels, but amazing.


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Cole, readers wouldn't skim over those pages and pages of details, they'd stop raeding the story.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I am often reminded that many readers get so fixated on the small details in a story it becomes absurd, especially when they know it is fiction to begin with.

Like many others, I have been reading right along with Cole's posts, absorbing the emotion and pathos of the story figuring I would comment when he is done. This is a fine story, mysterious in plot, so true to life in the confusion sown between father and son. I don't even care if the kid turns out to be straight, I have empathized with every moment of this young life.

How little it seems that a detail I don't even recognize could disturb the read of such a wonderful story. And so I will continue to be amazed.

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One more thing - what if one of the computers in question ran Linux? A lot of computer entheusiasts like Linux because they don't have to rely on Microsoft or Apple.

Linux is a geek/CompSci tool/toy. Typical home users don't use Linux no matter how "user friendly" a distro might be. They use whatever is preloaded on the computer they buy.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I must confess to also not being worried about minor details in a plot being inaccurate. I had a colleague who condemned the movie Lawrence of Arabia simply because the plane was the wrong type for the era.

On the otherhand, the liberties taken with some of the comic book based movies annoys me immensely, but those liberties are actual deviations from what 'really' happened, as anyone who read the original comics, knows. :evilgrin:

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I hate to sound like a spoilsport but most Macs do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. I'm not going to go into details, as that would involve spoilers, but suffice it to say that using Acrobat Reader as described on a Mac simply wouldn't work.

I'm willing to let this technicality go, because there's always the chance that somebody does have Acrobat Reader on their Macs, and it's possible the trojan could work. Granted, the default app is to look at PDFs in Apple Preview, but let's assume it's possible. The other way I would go is just to come up with some other Mac-specific spying tools (which do exist) that use some other method. Hey, it's still more accurate than 90% of the movies out there, which routinely do things like copy 50,000 files in 10 minutes.

The story has the feel of The Lovely Bones, which is a terrific book and a horrible movie. It also deals with the disappearance of a young girl and the tragic effect on her family and friends. That's a tough one to get through. I really like the fact that Cole's story has a huge degree of difficulty, far more than the typical "boy meets boy" story you read nowadays. This is a very, very ambitious novel that's going into some very unexpected territory, and I applaud him for it.

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Straightens out ruffled tail feathers.

Yikes! I didn't mean to make it sound like I get mired in the details. On the contrary, I focus on the story. However, I can't help myself sometimes. I often notice the little details. I would have never expected Cole to explain precisely how PDF could be used to coopt a computer. Frankly, I'm not sure how I might have phrased things differently and only brought it up specifically because Cole mentioned Macs. The fact that a PDF interpreter is built into the heart of every Mac makes the use of PDF even more stealthy, if anything.

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