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Reduced If you hate rants, then read no further.

I swear if I read, "give it to us to read--for free!",one more time I'm gonna pop.

I thought groveling at the feet of literary agents was demeaning, boy--not even close. I thought I had a mountain to climb...nope, turns out that once you finish your written work, you are already at the top. The remaining forward progress is a long, head-banging roll into the rocks of begging for reviews. And let me tell you, it stinks down here.

Which is worse, a 5 star review or none at all? I say a phony 5 star review is worse. Give me the gritty-realism of a 2 star any day. At least a kick to the groin lets you know your work had some form of inspiration on your opponent.

Oops, did i just say opponent? Yeah, that's how readers see us, punching bags that can't hit back.

I say we self-published authors unite and take 'free' completely off the menu.

From now on, if they want to read my work, their gonna have to arm wrestle me for it!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, my debut novel Tribunes of Altward will be offered for free for the next three days on Kindle.


March 11, 2015, 05:55:45 PM
Re: Reduced But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and that Reviewer is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:

It is a literary Agent, O, it is my only hope!
O, that she knew she were!

The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!

March 11, 2015, 11:16:38 PM
Re: Goodreads Troll - Words of Radiance
Anyone care to come help slay this troll? I couldn't resist...  :P
What is exactly to "troll"?
In patents, a troll is someone who buys up patents in order to sue anyone over the slightest pretext to get a quick settlement.
Doubt that's the idea here.  ;)

March 22, 2015, 09:20:50 PM
Re: Need help with dead meat Can't help with how long you can store a cow without refrigeration before it goes off, but I can give a little advice on blood sausages, or black pudding as they call it in England. It's not generally made out of cows blood, but usually pigs.
April 04, 2015, 12:29:43 AM
Re: Need help with dead meat If they are going to use everything, then they would have to have a system already in place.

They would need access to clean water and very sharp knives and possibly an ax or a bone saw.

Much depends on temperature. If the internal organs have been stewing for a couple days, those would need to be removed first and discarded.  The tongue and eyes would probably need to be thrown also.

You could possibly boil the heart in salt and herbs, but I would ditch the liver.

They will need to string the animal up by the neck to get it off the ground and away from dirt. If the animal is in the 400 lb range, then a good hemp rope might work. One end will need a loop. Thread the rope through the loop and make a lasso, put it around the neck and then feed a new loop from the free end under the noose and loop it over the nose so that it can't come off.

If the animal is heavier, a ratchet come-a-long with a steel cable will be needed. It's possible the hide could still be saved, but they would need an adequate quantity of salt to cure the hide until it could be properly tanned. 

Best bet scenario--peel the hide and strip the carcass of the back straps. Then quarter the animal and hang it in a smoke house for a week. If it still smells gamy, they should still be able to digest the meet without getting sick if a huge amount of pepper is added. Of course, the smoked meat could also be stewed or roasted or whatever is most convenient. 

It is a labor intensive job and very exhausting. You would need a table for sure and if it is cold out you would need a way to keep your fingers from freezing.

Add some post-apocalyptic potatoes and toxic beer and you've got yourself a party.


April 04, 2015, 01:02:09 AM
Re: Need help with dead meat I would say a few days is pushing it, unless it is freezing outside.

Cattle are extremely heavy. If the thing is stiff, that would add to the complexity of moving it.

Perhaps dog food is the better option.

April 04, 2015, 05:50:27 AM
Re: Need help with dead meat
I would say a few days is pushing it, unless it is freezing outside.

Cattle are extremely heavy. If the thing is stiff, that would add to the complexity of moving it.

Perhaps dog food is the better option.

Agree, a few days is pushing it, and you really ought to get the guts out pretty fast after death or they will taint the whole. If it's been shot and there is blood you'll have flies and maggots spreading all through fast.

"A female blowfly lays up to 300 eggs at one time, and with numerous females visiting a corpse, the number of maggots can be immense. For example, 48,562 maggots were found on a 156 g piece of meat after 24 hours exposure. However, because this was insufficient food to sustain them, only 231 flies finally emerged"

Think you'd better be in freezing temps :(

April 04, 2015, 10:28:48 AM
Re: Need help with dead meat Watch the movie "Into the Wild" if you haven't already.
Besides being a really strong, fascinating movie (with a great soundtrack by Eddie Vetter),
it has a great scene about dealing with dead meat.
It won't add much factually to what knowledgable folks here have described,
but you'll get an emotional and physical sense from the performances and plot.

April 04, 2015, 11:34:53 AM
Re: Need help with dead meat I have never butchered a cow so I asked a colleague who used to be a slaughter man for some pointers. By choice you transport your cow to where you want to kill it as they are very heavy, up to 1500lbs for dairy cattle and 1800lbs for a bull. Not possible in this case. As with any animal you want to raise it up by the back legs to Grollick it. You cut the throat to bleed it out and slot from the throat to the anus to remove the internal organs stomachs and what have you. The blood and all organs can be used as can the skin, tallow, hooves, tendons, brains and bones. A quarter to a third of the animals weight will not be meat.
Raising up a cow becomes a lot easier with a crane, off road forklift, JCB or tractor and chain.
Getting the blood out of any beastie quickly is imperative in preserving the meat. The organs will rot quicker than the meat but blood is key. Get that out as soon as possible or you lose the lot.
Next you skin and scrape the layer of tallow from the meat, both useful.
If the unmaking is outdoors one possible idea would be to remove the lungs, heart and least useful offal and use that to keep the flies off the carcass. You would move this a hundred feet away to an undisturbed area and let the flies feast, This will not be wholly effective, but will help and is often done by hunters in hot countries to prevent meat getting flyblown as they are breaking down a kill.

Chainsaws used to be used to quarter a beef carcass up to the CJD scare when new regulations meant the spine had to be left intact. No more power tools used, a cleaver is used to cut away both sides of the spine and to cut the halves to quarters. You are messing with a 500lb slab of meat here hanging from 15 foot to the ground, you need a means of working from the top to the bottom and need to be sure the back leg is not going to break free and crush you under a lot of beef and bone.

At this point the quarters would be frozen or refrigerated for 50+ days if this was a commercial process. I have not eaten beef off the cow as it were but hanging improves flavour and tenderizes the meat which off a dairy animal won't be great to start with.

On a 15th centuary site I once had to show 4 vegans how to unmake a deer. They were happy to do everything required in taking it apart, just were not prepared to eat it.

April 04, 2015, 07:16:27 PM
Re: Need help with dead meat
Thank you all for your comments this has been really helpful. Considering it all, I think the waste of that much possible food might be a much more important point for the story then figuring out the butchering and such.

I realize that a full grown dairy cow is huge and extremely heavy. Moving it probably takes more planning than this scene ultimately needs. It's more of a point of reckless greed - bandits killing a milk cow - and having the meat go to waste makes it a much harsher point.

I think you all have convinced me to go in a different direction. I really appreciate the dose of reality!
This is exactly the problem in Into the Wild. Seriously, go watch it if you can.  :)

April 04, 2015, 07:23:48 PM