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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. 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.

  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. 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.
  6. 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?”
  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!
  10. …? 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.
  11. Specifically, I’m trying to find a suffix which would be considered intentionally rude and insulting for a situation involving bullying. Beware, long post to include all relevant details. The story in question (Shifting the Paradigm - WIP, don’t recall if I’ve posted it here yet) portrays a fair amount of culture clash between Western/Japanese cultures and Earthling/Alien cultures, and racism (both ways) is touched upon and implied. These conflicts are a vital part of the story’s character-building and required for certain characters’ growth, and they foster a feeling of mutual-unbelonging within the human/alien pairings. (Dragon Ball Z fanfiction, knowledge of it shouldn’t be required to answer this question.) I’m going to try to keep this as concise as possible but I’m a bit scatterbrained on a good day. Background: characters “Rio,” Sierra, and Cordelia Stone have a Latinx American mother (call her E) and Japanese-born father (call him T) in southern/midwestern America. (specifically Missouri. It doesn’t really fit with either region culture-wise.) The family bounced back and forth between E’s hometown in Missouri and T’s hometown in Japan while he finished his schooling and built his career. In her mid-teens, Rio became an underage mother. (messy complicated situation, skipping the details here) T urged for abortion and shamed Rio, while E insisted keeping or aborting was Rio’s choice and the family needed to support her, not condemn her. Rio chose to keep and raise her daughter and named her Rowan. Rio dropping out to provide for her kid (and, specifically, her parents’ inability to agree about how to handle it) was the last straw in E & T’s strained relationship. After the divorce, Rio, her sisters, and Rowan remained in Japan with T because his income was more stable and capable of caring for four kids, and they spent school breaks in America with E. Rowan and her aunts all have dual citizenship though they’ve (permanently) settled in Japan. The character in question, Rowan Stone, attends a traditional Japanese high school with a few canon characters and is finishing up her last year. She doesn’t fit in with her peers in appearance or behavior, and she’s gotten into some trouble, one of which incidents resulted in expulsion from her previous school in her second-to-last year. As a result, Rowan has undergone various amounts of bullying, exclusion, and harassment. Rio hasn’t encouraged Rowan to fit in – if anything, Rio’s got a “we’re different, they can suck it” attitude which is just as toxic/exclusionist as “you’re different so we don’t want you” – and Rowan hasn’t yet felt much inclination to make friends or socialize. Her only goal at the moment is to finish school, get the heck out, and take up full-time work. She’s still very much finding herself as the story progresses. Finally, the scene in question takes place from the POV of a neutral Canon peer just now noticing Rowan. I’m including the scene [with a few non-vital bits redacted in a belated attempt at brevity] below. No spelling/grammar checking or proof-reading has been done yet – this is a rough draft. There will be too many commas and grammar mistakes. Canon characters, Bullying OCs, sentence in question.) SO. What suffix would be the most insulting and offensive in this situation? According to what I’ve read, the word Gaijin can be seen as A, an innocuous social descriptor, B, a compliment to a foreign associate, or C, a racial slur depending on the situation, tone, and context, and the personal beliefs and biases of those involved. I believe the article said it means roughly not one of us or not Japanese. I don’t know the accuracy of these statements and have done as much research as I can to determine what I can. In this case, Saschelle is trying to provoke Rowan to retaliate (and thus get in trouble) by using the word as a slur, and she’s adding an honorific to cast doubt among the rest of the class that maybe she isn’t using it as a slur. (Obviously it didn’t work; the others’ reactions show they recognize Saschelle’s bullying for what is) Rowan and Saschelle are the same gender, grade, roughly the same age, etc; I think using -kun would thus be more insulting because it would insinuate Rowan is of a lower class/inferior to Saschelle on account of her non-Asian ancestry. What I’ve read indicates -kun is used by upper-classmen referring to lower-classmen and, in the workforce, superiors referring to their inferiors...but I’ve also read that -kun is normally just used for male persons outside of the workplace. The other option I’ve considered is -chan which can seen as childish or affectionate. Saschelle isn’t denoting affection, she’s a stereotypical mean girl spewing nastiness from behind a superiority complex, but that might emphasize her pretense of I’m actually sweet and nice, you’re the one with a problem. So. I’m honestly trying to keep this socially and culturally accurate instead of just spewing out what feels right. Do I go with -kun, or -chan, or is there something entirely different which fits better? Anyone got an answer? This question (and the proofing) is the only thing keeping this chapter from being complete and posted.
  12. The difference between this site’s forums and FFnet’s forums is...uh...what’s a good solid word for “incredible?” There’s no doubt which of the two is better.

    FFnet forums are plagued with simple, honest, non-aggressive questions which are subject to aggressive dogpiling, bullying, retributive reporting, and immaturity from users who don’t comprehend that you can disagree with someone without that disagreement making them a horribly nasty and evil person AND without being an utter dickbag about it. I’ve seen questions about site functions and guidelines turn into cyber-bullying sessions that have made people log off for weeks to recover; many of these times, I’ve given up on getting my answer to track the bullied user down and reassure them only to find out they were brought to tears and considering deleting their accounts entirely. The immaturity and bullying on that site is appalling, and even more so that it’s allowed to continue without repercussions. 

    AFF forums? I’m looking for a thread to get answers from; instead, I just found a topic titled “Uses for a pet demon” and sprayed hot tea out my nose. No attacks in the replies, just people having fun with the idea and being – GASP! – rational human beings! Even more, users replying are – if you can believe it – JOKING about it! I feel like a kid who heard “Detention” but instead wound up at Disney World for the week. Plus, I can say someone’s being a dickbag without being reported for profanity, and I can write “this hit me hard” without the censors leaving only “me hard.” That's always awkward.

    I love this site, and I love its users. Y’all are awesome. If only the site was easier to navigate and use on my tablet and if only it had better log-in security, I’d love it twice as much. Either way, it’ll be a while before I bother with FFnet’s forums again.

    Now I just need to find a thread for language research & resources...

    1. BronxWench


      We have some language research and resources tucked away in here:

      But you know, I love the forums here, too. That’s what really sucked me in, and I wound up joining the staff because, well, why not? :lol: 

    2. Ghost-of-a-Chance


      I think that’s the very place I wound up posting a new thread with my question, BronxWench. :D Much appreciated!

      Honestly, if I have to choose between people who have a sense of humor and people who clutch their pearls over someone saying butt in the forums when not referring to cigarettes or weapons...uh...I’ll go with fun people every time.

  13. Listening to Loreena McKennitt….because only in Celtic folk music do people respond to finding a drowned woman by making a musical instrument from her corpse.


    “The swans swim so bonny, oh.”

  14. I’m confused here. I got a ‘disclaimer’ review on one of my older stories (Denial) from mod PIPPYCHICK. It includes this text:


    Your disclaimer doesn't have one of the two parts we need to see. It must say that no money/profit is made. Saying that it’s just for fun or just for entertainment purposes is not enough.

    BUT! my disclaimer for that story states just that. I double-checked, and the disclaimer has these words exactly:


    I do not own TMNT, Hellboy, or any mentioned music, movies, etc; I make no money from this. I DO own Alesha, Maggie, Dante, the Willows, and Amber...and coffee. LOTS of COFFEE.

    This is the basic disclaimer format I used for that series of stories with the exception of the word “story.” (I think maybe I ran out of characters…? I dunno. It’s been a while since I even thought about that story or series. Anywho, I replied to the email immediately upon receipt of it but haven’t gotten any answer yet. (I can't recall if replying to the email will do any good. In my defense, I’ve been oscillating between fine and suddenly retching most of the day.)

    Was this an error? Does acknowledging ownership of my OCs throw the rest of the disclaimer into question? Was my dorky joke about owning lots of coffee the problem? Or does “I make no money from this” translate to “Dude! I’m totally getting paid for writing this story!” and somehow, I’ve never noticed before?


    I’m so confused right now. (...or am I queasy? Or is it both? ...both. Both is good.)

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. BronxWench


      I took a look and the disclaimer as it is right now is fine. The no-profit statement you have there is more than sufficient for our needs. I’ve updated our records to show it’s correct, so your story won’t be hidden.

      And I’m on grand jury service until the end of January, so I’m confused, queasy, and occasionally out of my mind :lol: 

    3. pippychick


      Oops… I am so sorry! I am moving, mostly in secret, and so this week has been a bit of a daze.


    4. Ghost-of-a-Chance


      Hey, Folks! I’m not ignoring y’all like a brat. I’ve tried replying to this post several times but my tablet browser keeps eating the replies when I click ‘post.’ <_< Pardon the mental image but Kindle’s “Silk” browser is about as useful as bollocks on a heifer.


      Basically no worries because real life ALWAYS comes first and it always should come first, and I greatly appreciate the help.

      WillowDarkling, thank you for posting that link – I couldn’t find it before I posted the original status, probably because I was stuck in a sick-fog. (I was worried I wouldn’t be able update fix the disclaimer within the time allotment on account of said sick-bug. It was doing its darndest to take me down and keep me there. Next time something like this comes up, I’ll be sure to follow that link. :thankyou:
      BronxWench, very much appreciated! Also, you never fail to make me grin. You’re a hoot. Hope the jury duty went well!

      pippychick, eh, no worries. Mistakes happen, especially when you’re stressed and busy. ;) I spend half my days in a daze and I don’t have your excuse so you’re doing just fine. I hope the move is going well…?

  15. There’s nothing in the world like going from a long night of white noise to the day’s first song. It’s a shift from ennui to enlightenment – tense stillness to sudden and flurried movement.

    The only comparison I can ever come up with, odd as it sounds, is standing on the edge of a bald drop-off, staring down into the early morning fog seeping through the treetops, and watching the rising sun slowly burn through the mist. No matter how beautiful the sunset may be, no matter how the clouds swirl or the fog swoops in as dusk falls, nothing the rest of the day will ever match up to that first moment of burning elation. Delay never weakens it; urgency never strengthens it. 

    Blindness, I could maybe learn to tolerate. Silence, more likely. Losing all ability to hear? That, I’m sure, would slay me outright. Thus why this afternoon, I’m blaring “After the Rain” and grinning like an idijt for no reason whatsoever.