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Su Cuy' gar

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Very difficult to comment without giving a spoiler, but a nice tale that has several aspects that are not usual. I liked the descriptions given and I ended up with all sorts of pictures in my mind as a result. Although a written work, confirmation of the old adage about radio plays being better than TV ones because the pictures are better.

Many thanks, Dabeagle and you can read it here http://awesomedude.com/dabeagle/short_stories/su_cuy_gar_.htm

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Nice story with many places it could diverge into something else. Easy to see this as a framework for a longer novel with all the divergences all being given greater heft. I can't go into anything without creating a massive spoiler for those still waiting to read it, but think a lot more could be made of what happens to many of the characters throughout.

As usual, Dabeagle writes a lean but complex story and keeps our interest right up to the end. Well done. Well done.


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Lovely. Plus I learned a new word: gallimaufry. Plus I learned all about product placement...

When Quin used the term to refer to "Camy's Shorts," what immediately popped into my mind was "Camy's Gallimaufry." Isn't that what he used to call his web site?

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Su Cuy'gar is a wonderful, warm, wuzzly read. A typical DaBeagle story that leaves you wanting more. Ma briikase!

When Quin used the term to refer to "Camy's Shorts," what immediately popped into my mind was "Camy's Gallimaufry." Isn't that what he used to call his web site?

No, it's always been 'Camy's Gaff.' Quin was reading an advanced copy of a book a short stories - though where he got it I really don't know....


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So I couldn't resist reading the story. What a wonderful story it is, too.

Avoiding any spoilers, I have to say that the authenticity of the characters and the situation they find themselves in seems so accurate to real life, but also intriguing for the purposes of telling a story. Rarely does fiction provide such a sense of reality and manage to keep us so engrossed. The nuances are most rewarding. The psychology, spot on.

Yes I think it could have continued on, but the ending is perfect just as it is.

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Guest Dabeagle

Thank you for the kind comments. I have to say, I'm always shocked at how easily this group gets off subject. Some of the longest threads on this board have zero to do with the original topic! :lol: Given that, everyone is encouraged to find out when they can get into Camy's Shorts and nearly as important, should send him messages simply asking where Martin is?

As my own sidetrack, I have posted to my own message board before story notes - how some stories came to be, what influenced what, inside jokes, etc. I was toying with the idea of attempting a 'video story notes' for this one - does anyone care?

Don't forget - Where's Martin?

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I won't spoil anything by saying: what a great story! Complex plots always attract me otherwise I would read comic books. Dabeagle's cast of characters is well thought out and explained in detail.

The story is really a snapshot of time in a boy's life during that long slow climb into adulthood. I think those who long for the return to being a teenager have forgotten the angst of those years. It doesn't help if your family is less than supportive, although I never had a crazy aunt filled with one-liners. Too bad for me.

An unpredictable plot, gives us the unexpected and keeps us focused...isn't that what good writing is all about? Kudos, Dabeagle.

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I agree with Cole and Des in particular, Dabeagle has created a rich mixture of widely differing characters and then woven them into a credible and enticing plot. Chris is right... most of us yearn for those years... but I for one dont remember them as nearly as enjoyable as our stories would suggest... Dabeagle has caught that nicely too.

Oh yes, and a wonderful restraint in the replies... I would have got to it earlier if I had read the reviews... and it would have been safe to this time ... no spoilers, many replies but no spoilers!

Sorry not to have commented sooner... It's a great story... my bad... as the kids say.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Dabeagle

With Mike's permission, I am including the story notes here that I have taken to posting to my own message board. These notes reflect my own creative process and the details that formed bits and pieces of the story.

Su Cuy'gar Notes

icon_post_target.gifby dabeagle on Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:39 am

My attempt to make a video of this was horrid, so here are my notes for this story.

Su Cuy'gar story notes

My stories always have several influences throughout their writing. Movies or televisions shows or stories I read can affect the end result of what I am writing because a new idea comes from this influx of information. That idea will be reflected throughout the notes on this short story and, hopefully, illustrate my process – and why it can be so long – in producing a story.

I assign working titles to a lot of my stories, just something to reflect the basic idea for where I want to go. This story started out life as 'Country Time' due to being set in a rural environment. It was going to be my VW Bus story – but while I was playing with the idea, I was reading some of Gee Whillikers stories and thought, well I bet he could bring some good ideas to this! So I sent him the first few pages and he came back with his take on where things were headed. It was really cool, in large part because where you see something going, virtually any one else can see a different – unimagined – route. Of course, I lost that copy (don't start with me) and never mentioned to Gee that I lost it.

Later I decided to adapt the story into something I called 'Note to Self' which made use of the idea of the main character writing notes to himself. Even though I enjoy the level of personal involvement when we have a character that writes in a journal of some type, and allows us to see what's in there that can't be seen by the rest of the world, it comes at a price. Namely that these stories almost always end with the journal falling into the wrong hands and then the aftermath.

I think the only story that comes to immediate mind that handled it in an interesting way was 'Tyler's Dance', but there have been many stories that used this idea. Hand in hand is that the idea of a paper journal is outdated which then leaves us with another tired idea, that of leaving one's computer 'unlocked' or somehow available for someone to catch us out on our internal thoughts. To address this I thought it might be more fun to have the character hand their thoughts to someone they felt they could trust, but who wasn't the 'object' of the journal.

Also in the original version, Quin had a sister who was edited out. This was a headache to do, I was always finding things after multiple revisions that implied her presence. I chose to eliminate her because I couldn't think of a way to make her relevant, other than as a comic relief and I already had the Aunt.

This brings us to Aunt Gabriella who was based on the Shoebox greetings character Maxine, who smokes heavily, drinks coffee in excess and has an acerbic thing or two to say. I borrowed or adapted lines attributed to her out of pure enjoyment.

The beginning of the story was inspired by the movie 'Secondhand Lions'. The movie wasn't what I'd hoped for, but it wasn't bad overall. The story element was that the mother, played by Kyra Sedgwick, dropped her teenage son, played by Haley Joel Osment, off with his 'rumored to be rich' uncles. The uncles were played by Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. I had always thought that the true gem of that movie had been the final scene between Osment and Sedgwick, which I won't spoil here.

Torian's name was, originally, Landon. Landon was a placeholder name – I just couldn't get comfortable with it and it was affecting how I saw the character. Torian got his name because of a video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) that introduced a neat change in the game play in that your character gets a series of companions that become your crew. One such is Torian Cadera, a young Mandalorian, and dammit he should have been same sex romanceable. Just sayin'. In any case, that's where the name and the Mandalorian idea came from as a story element.

Right away I knew Torian couldn't be the love interest, too obvious. So I introduced Kevin. I had a read an article of someone who was attacked by the person that wanted their affections and I took that idea and adapted it for my own ends. Unfortunately that left me with a quandary – how do I handle the aftermath? Does Kevin claim that Quin came after him? Do we go with the 'I was drunk' defense? I came across an article for a movie, I think it was Kidnapped for Christ, detailing kids that are swept out of their homes by pseudo-military style raids and placed into these brainwashing schools by their parents. I thought this would be a much more interesting idea, and decided to adapt that. The school I modeled this on used to be a school for boys, a work school, that is now a museum of sorts. I found it on Google and used Google Earth to describe the exterior for the story.

Again, feeling that Torian couldn't be revealed yet, I went with Matt. I wanted Matt to be especially pretty, but lacking in empathy – in fact the example of someone who knows they are good looking, have probably been told so all their lives, and it has defined them. In a way I feel sorry for Matt's character because he doesn't really know what he's missing – what Quin realizes for himself – and may not discover it until his looks fade.

Torian's mother is, in fact, a stand in for Cyndi Lauper. I rediscovered some of her songs (ordered discs on ebay) and fed her into it. I also felt that her appearance helped to bring Torian's choice of blue hair into focus – his home obviously being a haven of free expression. I also took the opportunity to plug Camy's book as well as the MD collection, because reasons.

When I started this story I had a list of zingers I wanted to use, and I was happy to have gotten most of them in although I did have to add scenes to make them plausible. At least they worked in my mind. Quin's mother coming back into the picture wasn't something I hadn't planned ahead for, nor the fact of his parentage. I do think that she comes out a bit more sympathetic with the ending she got. The grandmother is a composite of wise, older characters – as Kelly is on the younger side.

Torian's inspiration came from a young man working behind the counter of a chain pharmacy. He had a wonderful face, and his personality was infectious. He was a tad heavy, but he easily countered that with who he was. It served to remind me that tight stomach's and slender appendages aren't the only measure of beauty and so Torian was intentionally described as a bit on the heavier side and, of course, blue hair.

The town mall is based on a concept from my hometown in Redding, California. The Downtown mall was a couple of city blocks with a roof placed over it. It was surreal and cool. Unfortunately the Mt Shasta Mall was built near the same time and had much more desirable stores. The Downtown Mall is having it's roof taken off and a new promenade experience is being promoted.

The play, Oklahoma! By Rogers and Hammerstien, was one I did in high school – and even played the part of Jud. The scene leading up to it was from a version of Note To Self that I had started – and with some tweaking, I was able to insert a chunk of story. The auditorium, as described, was what my own looked like at the time – right down to the spotlight in the back and the hole on the third floor that it shone through.

The teachers from the play have been used by me before, I think. At least the male. I had a high school business teacher who had long curly blond hair and wore sunglasses and red Reebok's to school. He stood in front of his room with a hockey stick, minus the blade, and surveyed the hallways as if he were a much more imposing man than he was. He was funny, one time throwing his hockey stick through the speaker at the back of his room – the Vice Principal had interrupted his class one too many times. He was rumored to have 'parted some kids hair' with the thrown stick at one time as well. The last time I saw him he said he was going through a second childhood and couldn't wait for puberty to hit again.

Mrs Harikova was know to us as Mrs K, and she was as described. One of the janitors, a fellow with a bum leg and a wandering eye, once told me she had a body that just wouldn't quit. It was a confusing phrase. She had a son with the blond hair, high cheekbones - but that's where the resemblance to Matt stopped. He had a very good, strong character and I wished I'd known him better when I had the chance.
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  • 1 year later...

I just had to comment on this, especially after reading the story notes, which aren't available on Dabeagle's site since the updates.

I agree completely with DesDownunder about the how story is so true to real life, and creates a complete sense of its own reality.

I`d really be willing to nominate this as the best all time Dabeagle story, ever. (There are still a couple other contenders).

Nothing else really comes close to the depth of the characters and the completeness of the world from the story. Reading the story notes has also given me some new ideas of things to try to maybe actually start some writing of my own. I have a few characters who are looking for a place to be, so...

I do also agree it really begs to have a sequel, but if it does, I would really love to see something from Torian's point of view, especially if it somehow included an exploration of his feelings while he was waiting for Q to finally notice him. Having said that, though, I had a sudden thought that the end result might be something very close to the love-at-a-distance story we just had from the Sanitaria Springs universe.

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"Wayward Son" would have to be in the contender lineup.


Ha-ha... It could be, but not at the very top:

Tull Unification is definitely my next favorite, and then pretty sure it`s the whole Sanitaria Springs universe.

After that, for me, my next favorite is a bit of an older one: I really liked Rainbow's End, and then next is The Meaning of Living.

Wayward Son would probably be next, but I'd be hard pressed to actually try ranking the rest of his library. I like them all, but I think I've stroked his ego and patted his head enough.

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As long as we're assembling our personal Dabeagle hit parades, I'll put in a word for "Boy, Bus and Key." Endearing protagonist dealing with issues of self-esteem, isolation and a vintage VW microbus camper. Also, a dog. Then the little-known charmer "A Matter of Time" on his site's short story section.

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