May 26, 2019, 04:27:58 AM

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - JMack

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 433
Just watched Odd Thomas. Not how I remember the book.

Pretty bad movie. I watched it because... book. But it just didn’t match up in tone.
That said, I think it was fairly true to the plot.

Binged “The Umbrella Academy” on Netflix over the last few days. Loved every minute. So much fun.

[JAN 2019] Air / Re: [JAN 2019] AIR - Critique Thread
« on: March 02, 2019, 07:12:25 PM »
And I’m also interested in feedback. Two folks have already said my ending is confused, maybe even a bit WTF?!

What happened there is that I was pantsing something fierce and found myself near the end without a single iota of fantasy in the story. Plus, “he dies, the end” seemed, oh, boring?

Maybe if I’d not been two days late completing the first (and as it turned out, only) draft, I might have found my way to a different ending.

I’ve been reading Harmon’s full treatment of “his” circle at
Very funny, interesting and useful treatment of the Hero’s Journey.
I’m pretty psyched for this month.

I have my opening line...

[JAN 2019] Air / Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Voting Thread
« on: March 01, 2019, 09:11:19 PM »
What an excellent story, @J.R. Darewood.
It got one of my two votes. The other went to @OnlyOneHighlander.
I was stuck on two others for third place, and decided to just do two.

Great stories, everyone!

Thanks everyone for poets and PMs.  No change for my dad at this point.
But to add insult to injury, my mother-in-law of 34 years is about to pass away after 8 years in Alzheimer’s. My wife and her 3 siblings are gathered round watching pneumonia and sepsis make a slow march through her body.

I just hope things work out for both my dad and my wife’s mom with a minimum of discomfort for them, and peace for us all.

Hi, everyone. I’ve been away, haven’t I? And now things have taken a turn: my Dad, who’s been on a deep slide into Parkinson’s disease is now in hospital with a stroke, brain bleeding, and brain damage from a fall. The percent chance to recover any awareness is put in the low single digits. His wife wants all measures taken to give him that chance, but even if he regains some awareness, there’s the brain damage. So I choose to see him as gone. Which also means I won’t get in his wife’s way. If she wants to give hope a chance, that’s OK.

In the least important part of this post, I’ll miss writing a contest story this month for the first time since November ‘14.

Hold your parents close if they’re still around. At age 57, I have to get used to the idea that they’ll move on at some point. And then it will be my turn. So discover joy everywhere, if and when you can.

[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.

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 433