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Ghost-of-a-Chance last won the day on July 27

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    Under a rock in the Missouri Ozarks
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    Rabid reader and writer. Occasional digital artist - hobbyist level.
    Unrepentant overthinker. Spotify addict and musical frissonist.
    Lover of symbolism, Drambuie, wildflowers, rainstorms, and foggy days.
    Certified Crazy Cat Lady - send me cats and I'll love you forever. Ask about my cats and I'll never shut up.
    Browser tab abuser - "online" may actually mean "nope, I'm not really here."

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  1. An ongoing beta would be awesome but I’m not holding my breath or asking for one currently. (I had a beta for this...once...I miss her.) What I really need is – as the title says – a second opinion on a single completed chapter of my WIP Shifting the Paradigm. The last few scenes just...don’t feel as urgent and oomph-y to me as I hoped for. Wanted: Second opinion on oomph, intensity of suspense/threat, and cliffhanger. Fandom: Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z. There’s maybe two canon characters identified on-screen. Type of story: Drama/family/romance, heavily influenced by the characters’ traumatic histories and recovery from them. There won’t be any real romance until the OCs Rio and Sierra start getting their shit together and recovering from the damage they’ve done themselves, and any smut will have to wait until after that. The basic setup of the story (I’m heavily paraphrasing so this is gonna be weird, feel free to skip.) Main OCs are three sisters (Sierra, Rio, and Cordelia) and Rio’s teenage daughter Rowan. Rio got involved with an older man as a teenager, was nearly killed after she wound up pregnant and went to him for help, and has raised Rowan despite mild-to-moderate brain damage, serious post-traumatic stress, and stalking/abuse/physical attacks from the father when he’s not in prison. Rio’s sister, Sierra, was always there to help but when Sierra needed help (her health started failing, she got a diagnosis of something that would eventually cripple her, their parents died, and a few other crises) Rio shut her out and threw blame. Cordelia washed her hands of the entire family and shut herself away because she’s an asshole. In a fit of pique, depression, and desperation, Sierra ran away to a forest in hopes she’d die there instead of have to actually keep living with her new medical problems and her family falling apart. Instead, Piccolo and Gohan find her and bring her to Bulma, and Piccolo’s attitude and shouting helps her realize she’s throwing her life away over nothing. Sierra has spent the last several months getting medical help, undergoing counseling, and working up the nerve to confront her family and take back her life. Meanwhile, Rowan found herself on Dende’s radar (and he commenced guardian-stalking her because he’s an awkward teenage alien with a crush and nothing to do) and Rio still hasn’t figured out that Sierra’s running away was partly her fault. Cordelia is still moping at home with her dog. Most recently, Rowan’s sperm-donor was paroled, Rio got warning and they started packing to leave town until he’s gone. In this chapter: Rio is an asshole, we see that she’s not just an asshole and how her anger issues have affected her relationship with Rowan. Planning. More drama. Shtuff. Dende finds out Rowan’s sperm-donor is coming after them and sends help, it doesn’t go as planned, a family ally beats the tar out of Dad on the front lawn, and Rio and Rowan are brought from their home to the Lookout for their own safety. Sierra FINALLY reaches out because she knows her niece is in danger, but the call goes unanswered because Rowan forgot her phone. Cliffhanger followed by furious readers with torches and pitchforks. A whole list of triggers in this chapter alone: violence some mild referenced gore panic, panic attacks, and Post-Traumatic Stress complicated relationship between a mother with PTSD and her teenage daughter references to previous physical assault, child abuse, coerced sex between an adult and a minor resulting in pregnancy, stalking, attempted murder physical assault and threatening with a firearm (happens mostly off-screen) alien abduction (because...ya know...they get taken to aliens. It fits the canon.) ...suffice it to say this is WAY out of my usual writing boundaries and I’ll be slapping some heavy warnings on it when it’s posted. The scenes in question have no romance or sex, just impending doom followed by DOOM. Work examples: I’d love to read examples of y’all’s work – or, alternatively, some examples of what you would consider well-written stories – but it isn’t an absolute requirement. Again, I’m just looking for an opinion on the impact of the last few scenes here!
  2. My brain does the weirdest shit sometimes.

    A little-known fact about PTSD: even when it’s ‘managed,’ it can affect your ability to concentrate and focus in entirely awkward ways. In my case, this often means losing concentration when there’s background noise, getting distracted, and visually blending words, sentences, and lines together when I’m struggling to focus. Blame hypervigilance and its many little cohorts.

    Stressful? Very.
    Annoying? Definitely.
    Amusing? Sometimes.

    This is one of the funny moments. I’m doing research on TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) for the next chapter of Shifting the Paradigm, specifically looking for details about common materials used for cranial plates. (...I may need help.) I hit a generic article, beginning...


    Brain injuries can be acquired in a variety of ways, including:

    ...and I began scanning down the bullets on the list. I stopped – THAT doesn’t sound right! – I double-checked.

    ...yep. I seriously managed to read

    • Haemorrhage; 


    • Disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis)

    and visually combined them into Hemorrhoids. The funny part? There are folks I know IRL for whom TBI by hemorrhoids could be a valid know...they’re such massive buttheads.


    ...I’m gonna shut up now. :safetocomeout: 

  3. Ghost-of-a-Chance

    Injuries, illnesses, and etc!

    Surely I’m not the only one who wonders “is this medically possible or am I exposing my n00bitude?” Alas, I couldn’t find a thread devoted to such a thing! So...uh...I guess if you find yourself with questions regarding injuries, illnesses, and other such junk...ask here?
  4. Fair warning: next person to call me "Gimpy" gets my cane up their ass. 

    (...I'm looking at you, ColdWarriors. I know where you sleep.)


  5. The state of the world has finally convinced me: humans are too ridiculous for words.
    From here on out, I choose to identify as a porg...


    ...because I, too, am small, awkward, chunky, incredibly useless, frequently in the way, and undeniably adorable, and I, too, make obnoxious sounds to communicate with others of my species.





    1. Strange_idea


      This went in a much Better direction than the first few words made me think

    2. Ghost-of-a-Chance


      What can I say? Porgs make everything better.  :thumbsup:

  6. Next chapter of A New Lease on Life“61: Forgiveness Goes Both Ways” – is complete, sent out for beta-reading, and with a little luck, should go live on ALL SITES (except Tumblr because Tumblr is run by censor-happy dickbags) by the end of the month! 

    And just think: it only took almost a YEAR to get that chapter completed. :eyebrow: Kimber Bryant is, again, a very large part of the delay. She’s so hard to write, I swear, sometimes I want to just give in and kill her off AGAIN. Forget second chances in other worlds, it’s too hard to get in her headspace to deal with writing her often. At least we only have two more Kimber-centric chapters before we can get back to our regular programming.

    ...why did I commit myself to her arc? I must be a masochist or something.

  7. Ghost-of-a-Chance

    Title Help

    It’s been a good minute since I’ve had a chance to pop on here to reply, but your suggestion hit the mark! I wound up going with “Forgiveness Goes Both Ways.” Thanks, everyone, for your advice and time. Until next time!
  8. Ghost-of-a-Chance

    Title Help

    Thanks, but...that’s the exact opposite of what I’m going for. It’s also the opposite of the ‘lesson’ I quoted from. The basis is “Forgiveness is for the person who has been hurt, not the person who has done the hurting.” Traditionally we’re taught to forgive those who have hurt us but we’re not always taught WHY we should forgive them. If the person who hurts us regrets doing so, then yes, forgiveness is for them more than us. If the person who wrongs us regrets nothing and hasn’t/won’t apologize – that’s the case here – then forgiveness is to help US regain control and move on from the injury. Despite trying to make amends, Kimber doesn’t regret her actions, only what those actions led to; even knowing what happened on account of her decisions, she’d still do everything all over again because she stands by her reasoning. She is not sorry, but the people who have paid for her mistakes are learning to forgive her anyway because they need closure. The other main party concerned – the ‘boss’ who led her down a road of destruction and eventually death – is definitely not sorry for what he’s done, only sorry that he got caught and incarcerated. Still, Kimber has decided to forgive him because she’s tired of being afraid of him – she’s taking back control. Not what I’m looking for, but thank you anyway.
  9. 20165486_2020-04-19(1).thumb.png.7580f40bfbb133c883b6204d3739f224.png

    THIS is why I have no faith in Reverse Dictionary. Granted, I suck at summarizing phrases and that doesn’t help the AI anyway, but its best guess for “Someone who has had wrong done to them” is VIRGIN?!


    ...I can’t. I just can’t even.

    1. BronxWench


      I have never actually used Reverse Dictionary, and I think I may continue that way… 

    2. Ghost-of-a-Chance


      The idea behind the site is a good one but the, it’s horribly lacking. I’ve never gotten a single good answer from the site no matter how many times I rephrase what I’m looking for.

      Highly suggested. It’s more trouble than it’s worth unless you’re looking for a laugh.

    3. Ghost-of-a-Chance


      Another recent flub from the Reverse Dictionary:

      “frustration over a recurring unpleasant event.” Suggestion: Pantaloons.

      I have a feeling that wouldn’t even make sense in the Matrix. I may never cease to be frustrated by my brain’s inability to find the words I need, but at least that makes sense. “Pantaloons,” however….


  10. Ghost-of-a-Chance

    Title Help

    Oh, I forgot – in case anyone’s wondering “does it really matter if the title fits the theme,” the answer is YES. The previous arc – “Absolutes,” Amber’s return to her world to clean up her messes and tie off her loose ends – also had a theme and a similar setup: Intro chapter – Secrets, Solutions, Certainty Crossing Worlds is Impossible The Living Cannot Hear the Dead Parallel Worlds Do Not Collide The Dead Do Not Rise Conclusion chapter – The Choice Between Darkness and Light The four main chapters related things which are supposed to be absolute laws, but each of these is explored and disproven in their titular chapter. 1, Amber and Kimber crossed worlds, though by no choice of their own, and Amber and her S.O. managed to return to her world of their own accord. 2, During Amber’s visit to her world (where she is dead) she continually ran into people who knew her in life. 3, Despite all logic pointing to the opposite, evidence abounds that Amber and her S.O. were interacting despite their separate realities for many years, and that may be the reason behind her being dumped in that world after getting herself killed. Lastly, Amber died once before and lived again in another world, found her way to her old world only to start dying again without any injury. TL,DR: Yes, it’s important. I’m a symbolism nerd. Stuff.
  11. Ghost-of-a-Chance

    Title Help

    Looking for some advice for a chapter title...or, more specifically, how to word said chapter title. There’s a particular theme I’m using for this set of chapters and a specific message I want to get across with this chapter title but I’m having trouble with the wording...and ReverseDictionaryDOTorg thinks the word for “someone who has had wrong done to them” is “Virgin.” No help there. (No, I’m not joking. I took a screenshot.) Incredibly Vague Explanation: Chapter in question is part of a 4-5 chapter arc unofficially entitled “Reclaimed Honor.” Setup: “Kimber” both screwed up her life and had her life screwed up by others, then unintentionally bit the dust before she could make amends and fix her shit. In another reality, “Amber” died of TBI and was yoinked out of her afterlife and dumped in Kimber’s recently-vacated corpse. (long frickin’ story) Over the time since waking up and starting over, she has paid for Kimber’s wrongdoings, was targeted by Kimber’s enemies and former friends on account of being mistaken for Kimber, and nearly died again, more than once. Kimber, meanwhile, was dumped in another empty human body in Amber’s reality and told “don’t screw up again.” Currently: In the previous arc, Amber found a way to her home reality, met Kimber, and after spending too long there, nearly died of the same injury which killed her before. After going over the facts, timeline, and details, Amber’s S.O. hypothesized there might be a time limit on how long someone can be in the world they died in without dying a second time, but none were willing to test the theory. Kimber, upon finding out Amber nearly croaked, volunteered. During this arc Kimber returns to her world to intentionally risk her life to prove or disprove the S.O.’s theory, all to make amends and fix her shit. She apologizes to people she’s hurt, finally takes responsibility, makes good on promises she didn’t keep, etc. Atop of that, she finally stands up to the person who sent her down her destructive path in the first place and was responsible for her going into hiding, and thus indirectly responsible for her untimely death. The chapters in this arc are all titled for feelings Kimber’s finally admitting and lessons she’s learning. A Matter of Honor – intro – feeling: she’s risking her life to reclaim her honor. I Slipped Along the Way – feeling: she’s finally admitting to herself “Wow, I fucked up good, huh?” and realizing she really needs to fix her shit. [CURRENT CHAPTER]: - Lesson. (This is the one I need help with) Redemption is a Process – (projected, may be combined with previous instead if [current chapter] comes out too short) – Lesson: redeeming yourself isn’t something that happens overnight; it’s a process that can take years of effort. So here’s the problem. The title is a much-condensed version of a lesson sometimes taught in abuse, assault, and trauma recovery: The beginning of the title is, and needs to remain, Forgiveness is for the, but the last word/words are what I’m struggling with. The initial idea (and the one that’s stuck with me) was Wronged but it sounds weird to me for some reason. Other ideas are Victim or Victimized but those aren’t a very good fit. Kimber isn’t an innocent party here in the slightest. She’s done wrong to other people and had wrong done to her; she’s both forgiving her unrepentant transgressors and being forgiven by those who have paid for her transgressions. This chapter is a two-way street and using a word like victim in the title sounds (to me) like it’s supposed to be one-way. Does anyone have any synonyms for “person who has had wrong done to them” which would work for this title, or should I just stick with “wronged?”
  12. Quote


    For the first time in his life, Leon was entirely, utterly alone, and with no end in sight. Unbidden, he recalled his brother’s final words to him: it was always you or it’s just you. Yet again, he wondered what Norton meant by that; yet again, he wondered if, in some backward way, it meant only one of us will survive this life, so I’m choosing you to do it. The suspicion always left a twisting, burning, aching feeling in his gut—something somewhere in the messy middleground between resentment, heartache, and resignation. That middleground was nothing new – before Norton’s sudden and grisly death, it was where Leon’s heart inevitably landed after any length of time around him.

    ...and that, Leon admitted if only to himself, was what hurt the most.



    Excerpt from A New Lease on Life – 61: Forgiveness is for the Victimized (WIP)


    Sometimes when I read back over what I’ve written, it feels like I just vomited up words on a page, swept it into a pile, and called it good. Other times, like this, I wonder if I carved them out of my chest and walked away without realizing a piece of my heart was missing. :cry: All I meant to do was get into the groove of the chapter and I stabbed myself right in the feels.


    *From a WIP/rough draft, no checking done yet – expect mis-comma-ing all over the place and maybe a spelling/grammar error or two.)

    1. InBrightestDay



      All I meant to do was get into the groove of the chapter and I stabbed myself right in the feels.

      I do that all the time.  It’s actually how I write, and I’ve made myself tear up multiple times while crafting scenes.

  13. Grammarly had a blonde moment. :coffeescreen: Grammarly identified “blonde” as two different incorrectly spelled words somehow jammed together. 

    This is why you always, always, ALWAYS either do your own proof-reading or have a beta proof-read your drafts instead of just running them through spellcheck and accepting all corrections. Grammarly’s free checker is, so far, the best I’ve come across, but it works best in combination with proof-reading. No checking program can replace proofreading.1755767260_Grammarlyhadablondmoment.thumb.png.d56c9ea1ec0dcd66fd9cc0c38e84265a.png

    1. InvidiaRed



      I’ve had similar mishaps. Been using grammarly for ages.  It’s helped me become a much better proofreader well that and microsoft word having an audio function where it reads whatever you wrote back to you.

  14. Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation! I’ll try to keep that in mind from now on, WillowDarkling. Thanks again for your advice! Y’all are a blast!
  15. …? I take it I missed something? Was this flagged, or reported, or did I unintentionally bugger something up? I’ve been down with a migraine all day (it’s still trying to bounce back up from headache to pickaxe pulverizing my frontal lobe) so this is the first I’ve heard or seen about anything. I’m confused... I’m still new to this forum so apologies if I misstep. The one I used to work with is...let’s just say less than reasonable, entirely unhelpful, and crawling with irrational kidults looking for a punching bag. (...stay away from FFnet’s “Writers Anonymous.” Just stay away.) When posting a question I always try to include the relevant information and keep it brief – or at least summarized and formatted for easy reading – but different opinions on relevance are a hurdle. Every attempt on W.A. got answers of TLDR, try Google and not enough info I must know everything about your story and characters including each protagonist’s blood type and pet’s maiden name or I absolutely cannot help you with anything on the exact same post. Once in a while I was lucky enough to merit a dunno, ask Jeeves. When hours and even days of searching and reading didn’t get me the answers I needed, the only way I ever managed to keep the too much and not enough repliers happy was by including snippets for context...or offering cookies and begging for intruding upon their space. The character Saschelle is being abusive and antagonistic to character Rowan so the slur is very much intended as a slur there; at least in my previous experiences, bullies don’t generally pull their punches. Glad I was able to get the attitude across there. I recalled reading that the polite term was gaikokujin, hence the exaggerated pause between syllables – a sudden and emphasized jump from feigning manners to blatant insult to throw the recipient off-kilter. I’ve gone through the lists of sites and article links in my fan-writing Notebook (thank goodness for OneNote!) but for the life of me, I can’t find the article I got my G-word info from. If this instance follows other recent ones, it means I bookmarked the article on my old computer and forgot to add a link in my Notebook. My dear old Betsy effectively went battery-up recently and has been replaced. I can’t access my bookmarks until I get Firefox working and updated on the replacement computer…or until I can manage to get Betsy working again long enough to save my research bookmarks. I’ve searched the internet but haven’t found the article again, only other sites and articles referencing similar answers. (“It’s horribly offensive and considered a slur” and “It’s not always used as a slur, it’s just a word meaning foreigner. Even sports leagues use it for foreign teams.”) No idea of how to determine which sources are accurate besides good ol’ “avoid wikis, Wikipedia, and social media sites.” Without the article I referenced I have no way to be sure but I feel like I remember something about the writer being affiliated with a college or university perhaps, maybe connected to a language or cultural arts program…? So basically using -san would be the way to go? Basically, Saschelle is using the word with a title to compound the insult - like a certain relation of mine who calls people “Mister Jackwad” and “Little Miss Bitchfest” when he’s offended by their very presence. ...crud. Now I’m not sure if the word we’re talking about is a noun or adjective. My head hurts and I need some wine.