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Messages - JMack

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[JAN 2019] Air / Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Voting Thread
« on: February 16, 2019, 02:32:07 PM »
I voted for two, so far.
I’m really torn between two others, so i’ll Need to come back and make a decision.
Really interesting takes on Air this month.  :D

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Cursing in Fantasy
« on: February 16, 2019, 01:11:35 PM »
I came across this today while googling on the very topic. Some sloppy writing, actually, but also much interesting and a fascinating take on the relationship between power, taboo, and cursing.


ShadowKnight, it's interesting you think Jmack's protagonist is a man, I thought it was a woman! Now I'm going to check if there's anything there that says either way ???

Edit: no hints there, so I'm not sure why I thought that. Too much "difference"? It does make more sense to be a man, I suppose, to gather a crew and all that...

Oooh. I want to know, too!  8)

There’s a story here.
I’m really struck, @ScarletBea, that you picked up on this. My original concept for the character was that she is a woman, and is in love with the male character. Who was originally someone else entirely than the Aelf. But in the process of eliminating complications to fit the contest length all sorts of things changed. Still, there must be an unconscious thread running through things. I’m actually quite delighted that she stuck around behind the scenes. 

Thank you,@ShadowKnight. Its clearly another case of a) too much story to fit into the contest length and b) author out of control of his plot.  8)

The positives in your comments are really helpful, though, since they tell me there’s a kernel of good stuff there to be mined in the future.

[JAN 2019] Air / Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Submission Thread
« on: February 02, 2019, 10:10:04 PM »
Ok. Unedited, and unpolished, but here is... something.  ;D
Everybody gets three votes!  8)


Spoiler for Hiden:

“You’ll have to do better than that, Antoine! Ha! ha! ha!” Maurice L’Avecnon clapped his liver-spotted hands and kicked his stockinged feet like a toddler in pinafore instead of a sixty-seven year old Medieval history scholar in a threadbare smoking jacket.

A hammer pounded on the other side of the room’s one door, the heavy paneled oak thundering in its frame.

Maurice popped a dried apricot into his mouth and smacked his lips. “I have quite enough food and wine to last to Monday.”

Antoine’s muffled voice answered from the hall. “What’s that?” Maurice replied.  “You’re just getting started?” Maurice took a long pull on a lovely bottle of Chateau R’buke 1852. “Well, do your worst, but remember the rules!” He raised one eyebrow in amusement as a slurry of wet cement pushed its way under the door, sealing off the light of a cold February afternoon.

And sealing out the air. Which was the point.

Nothing new happened for a time. Maurice strode across the crowded room in three strides to put his ear to the door. The study in the center of the second floor of the house was his home, his castle, his one piece of heaven on earth, and all that was left to his branch of the family after the long whittling away of poverty and the thieving, conniving, litigious, deceitful, sheer bloody-mindedness of Antoine Doublared, third cousin once-removed and social-climbing twit. The enemy. Satan himself. Or at least a minor demon.

A new sound began, grinding, circling sound, above Maurice’s head, and it took him a moment of trying different parts of the wall before he located its source. Something was… boring into the plaster from the other side.

Maurice put his mouth to the door’s keyhole. “You know, Antoine, letting more air in isn’t the same thing as keeping all the air out. And if you damage my room, you have no case.” The only response was a slurry of cement that pushed through and dribbled down the oak. Hmph. He supposed that hadn’t been his smartest move.

The grinding sound grew louder until a metal bit broke through the wall in a shower of white powder and sawdust, punching a hole right between the eyes of a faded wallpaper angel. The bit reversed and backed out.

It didn’t make any sense. For the first time since the judge had declared his ruling, Maurice felt unsure of things.

“Gentlemen,” the judge had said. “I am constrained by the terms of the loan agreement between Monsieur Doublared and l’Comte l’Avecnon’s dearly-departed father, which includes terms in case of default - which, of course, sadly, happened. ‘Only the room and its physical contents shall remain to the borrower and his heirs,’ it says. It makes no provision for a right of way to enter or leave said room, nor for - and here we come to the meat of the matter - nor for any Air to pass from the majority of the house into the study, since as we all know, Air is not a physical thing. This is well known and proven in law, science, and religion, as Monsieur Doublared’s suit so accurately points out.”

How Antoine had puffed with self-satisfaction at that. But Maurice had seen the twinkle in the judge’s eye, and knew something more was forthcoming. “But - and I must insist that you listen closely - in practical terms, I know of no means to remove the Air from said study without causing the death of l’Comte l’Avecnon, and the claim of property cannot have priority over the claim of life. ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ Monsieur Doublared.”

Antoine had gone red in the face, but grew redder still as the judge continued. “Therefore, I will give you three days to solve this problem - the removal of Air from the study without damage to the room, it’s contents, or the person of l’Comte himself. If you do not meet this deadline, then I declare the original loan document to be void and all .” Maurice had howled in laughter and heaped abuse on his cousin all the way back to the house they shared.

Now a niggle of worry intruded on Maurice’s good humor.

Perhaps Antoine would pour water through the new hole in the wall, and attempt to fill the room. If the water rose faster than it leaked away through the floorboards, it might certainly drive out the Air; but that would certainly kill Maurice and violate the judge’s ruling, not to mention damaging the contents of the room.

Or perhaps, he would push through burning brands to exhaust the Air. No. Even Antoine was not as obsessed as that.

What could Antoine possibly be about?

A rubber hose wriggled it’s way through the hole, flopping on the wall like a - well, like a rubber hose. Maurice was really off his game if he couldn’t think of a better simile.

The hose grew taut.  A hissing sound emerged from its end. With trepidation, Maurice picked up the end and sniffed at whatever it was that was rushing into the room. Agh! His nose rebelled, and his gorge rose at the intense smell of sulfur, a rotten egg odor tinged with an acrid and acidic edge. He coughed, the gas searing his lungs. The nerve!

Maurice pulled at the door to the hall, but it didn’t budge. He pounded on the oak, but got no reply. “Antoine!” he shouted. “Antoine! What are you doing? This is murder!” He gagged and coughed more. His heart pounded in his chest. He pounded the door again.

The hose withdrew from the hole in the wall. Maurice found that if he lay on the floor, he could breathe more easily.

One end of a tube of paper emerged from the hole, a few inches protruding, and stayed there. Reluctantly, Maurice rose, pulled it out, and unrolled it. There were two papers; one, a note from Antoine, and the other, what appeared to be a brief legal agreement.

The note read: “Cousin, affix your signature to the enclosed agreement and return it or I will turn back on the gas you have sampled. I leave it to your imagination how far I am prepared to go to be rid of you. Sign.”

The agreement ceded the study and all rights to the house to Antoine and made clear that it was entirely a matter of Maurice finally admitting his cousin’s superior claim.

The nerve! The nerve! Outrageous! Damnable! Satanic!

The tip of the hose pushed in again, spewing the gas. Coughing and hacking, Maurice tore a strip of cloth from his jacket and stood on a chair to stuff it into the end of the horrible rubber tube. The gas seemed to build up, then it spat the wad out across the room. Maurice found himself on the floor again, gasping for clean air.

The rush of gas stopped, and the hose withdrew.

Defeated.  Maurice had to sign, or the madman would surely kill him. He had no idea how the devil thought he would get away with murdering him, especially after the judge said all the things he said, but Maurice could not - would not - risk it. He scrawled his name hastily on the agreement without really reading it fully, rolled it tightly, and stood on the chair once again to push it through. It was pulled from other side and it disappeared.

Back to the floor. Maurice crawled to the door and pushed at the cement. It had hardened in no time at all. How could that be? How could any of this be?

Another tube of paper slid through the hole in the wall, this time coming all the way and falling into the room. To Maurice’s horror, the tip of the hose followed it and the gas rushed in again. He clawed at the new roll of paper and peered through watering eyes at the text.

“Cousin, you have accused me of being in league with Satan himself. Now discover the truth of hell yourself.”

Blackness rolled in, coupled with a terror unlike any Maurice had ever known and a grip,on his heart like a fist closing.

It seemed he watched at a distance as the hose withdrew. The door opened some time later, after considerable hammering to undo what had been done. Workmen repaired the walls and cleaned the dust from every surface. The judge came the next day and tut-tutted about the sad demise, while holding a cloth to his nose and commenting on the late l’Comte’s abysmal housekeeping.

It was strange to be dead. And quite boring, until he learned about the door in earth and the fires below. Perhaps a different approach to the problem of Antoine was in order. After all, he’d always heard it said that if you can’t beat them, then join them.

[DEC 2018] Unwanted Gifts / Re: [Dec 2018] - Unwanted Gifts - Voting Thread
« on: February 01, 2019, 07:44:16 PM »
Gosh, I am tickled. I really enjoyed this story. I’ll have tell Mrs. JMack her notion paid off  (She was the application of the vampire science to this month’s theme.)

I voted for @Carter and @Alex Hormann. I was soooooo close to voting for @Slaykomimi story. It was really tempting, but Bwca was a nasty fun story and just nosed ahead. Thanks, everyone for votes and for your stories!

:( my work computer never shows the pics you post, I'll have to wait until this evening to see...
I'm sure it will be lovely.

I woke up today to a light flurry covering everything, so pretty.

But then I realised I was complianing about a little bit when our american friends are being *really* cold! How are you faring, @JMack, @Hedin , who else is on the North East area?

We’re quite spoiled, I imagine vs. Iceland and similar places. But it was -5 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill yesterday. I drove out of my garage, drove into the garage at work and took an elevator to the office, then reversed that in the afternoon. So I honestly never noticed the cold!  8)

But I really feel for folks in our Midwest, like Chicago, where temp with wind chill was -40 Fahrenheit and crazy stuff like.

[JAN 2019] Air / Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
« on: February 01, 2019, 12:39:51 PM »
Not one month since Nov 2014!
Okay. I’ll give the old college try.
Thanks, all.

[JAN 2019] Air / Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
« on: February 01, 2019, 12:42:06 AM »
@ScarletBea, how much time can I have?
I had (yet another) new idea last night while reading a biography of Napoleon.

[JAN 2019] Air / Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
« on: January 28, 2019, 01:14:13 AM »
Still trying to get this done. New idea tonight. I like the premise, but don’t really have a plot yet.   >:(

General Discussion / Re: Fantasy Poetry
« on: January 28, 2019, 01:13:04 AM »
I did an “epic” poem (or epic fail, depending on your POV) for a recent contest here:

I also did a brief poem way back:

In terms of fantasy poetry and the hatred of free verse, Stephen R. Donaldson did some really bad free verse style poetry for the first Thomas Covenant book.

I’m not familiar with any modern writer doing an entire fantasy story in verse.

Wow, so upsetting, @ScarletBea. And I’m sure you felt embarrassed (?), especially with your niece along. I really feel for you. Here are my obsessions:

> Choosing a restaurant seat that gives me the widest possible view. Do not put me on the inside seat of a booth facing the back wall ten feet away.
> Height. I can’t look at movies where actors are (or appear to be) high up. I can sort of do ladders, at least to about 15 feet up.
> Crowds. Hate ‘em. Or stuck behind two people doing the Parchesi double-block down a narrow lane or hallway in slo-mo.

I hope you feel better now and more yourself. Hugs.

General Discussion / Re: Got a blog? Share it!
« on: January 16, 2019, 02:10:23 PM »
I don’t think the parallax or fly in worked on my iPhone.
I’ll check on a full browser.

General Discussion / Re: Got a blog? Share it!
« on: January 16, 2019, 12:45:12 PM »
@J.R. Darewood:

I have no idea what you mean here by parallax, but...

I like the images a lot and they really add to the visual experience of the web page. I also like the idea of the quote pop-out, thought this particular one is, of course, gross. But only one makes no sense. I’d put one at or near the very top as a teaser to build interest, one in the middle, and one nearer the end.

Meanwhile, I guess I should actually read the story, huh?  ;)

Writers' Corner / Re: Adventures in Writing
« on: January 16, 2019, 11:20:36 AM »
Congrats!! :D
I can't access the link, though, it seems it's only for members.

Ah. I’ll be putting it on my blog later today, and will link to that.

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