The Town Square II

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Re: The Town Square II

Postby stargazer » Sep 26, 2015 9:44 pm

Shawna! Great to see you again!

Count me in as one of those who'd read your Vampire Fancier book.

We're well into fall weather here, with changing colors, shorter days and cooler temperatures. I love it! The forecast is perfect for tomorrow night's total lunar eclipse. :)
"The eclipse will melt your spine!'

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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Oct 10, 2015 11:11 am

Shawna wrote:Someone mentioned a Christian writers' conference. I went to one of those quite a while ago. It was somewhat interesting, though rather irritating when pretty much every conversation went like this:
"What are you writing?"
"Well, it's about a Christian vampire--"
*laughter*
"I'm serious."


Now see, I'm just curious about the rules of vampires in your world when I hear something like that. :P (I imagine it's still similar to the Ditto Story rules, but assuming I didn't know you and heard that...)

Hello, everyone! :) It's been a little while since I stopped in. :ymblushing: QUITE a while! Since I last posted, I've gotten a new job, found out that I'M GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE AGAIN, and the best time of the year has begun again. :P :D

In that order: the really short version that my old job, which was a temp job, was really exhausting, especially with near-constant mandatory overtime and having to work almost literally every Saturday, so around the August I finally put in my two week's notice. Literally the day afterwards, I got a call from my temp agency asking me if I wanted to apply for a new opening, and I had the job by the end of the week. :D My new job is, the short and sweet version, that I work for a bank in the office reviewing loan applications (just making sure they comply with government/bank policies). The job is a 15-minute drive instead of a 45-minute drive, they would like you to work overtime and Saturdays but it's up to you if you do it, and it's a lot freer in terms of things like listening to music than any of my previous jobs. I've only been there a month, but I'm already very happy with it. :D

Secondly, MY SISTER'S HAVING ANOTHER BABY. :D :D :D Admittedly, this isn't fully real yet, but I have a feeling that's changing tomorrow, when we have the baby's gender reveal party. I've heard a popular way to do it is to have someone bake a cake with either a blue or pink filling inside, and you find out when you cut into it, but my family's too geeky for that. My younger brother bought a set of gaming dice, which is either blue or pink, and put it in a dice bag which my sister and brother-in-law will open tomorrow at the party. So yes, my brother is the only one who knows if the baby is a boy or a girl. It's a good thing the party is tomorrow; it's taking ALL the self-control not to ask about it. ;))

EDIT: Now that it's Sunday - it's a girl! :D She's expected in mid-February.

Finally, it's fall - it's even October, which is just my favorite month of the year. As I've mentioned in the past, I love love LOVE fall - the colors, the cooler weather, the baked apple goodies, plus my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) is coming up! Not to mention NaNo is next month, which I am doing this year for once - though it's probably going to be "Whatever I feel like writing when November starts" story. ;)) It's even nice and sunny today for us, which is nice because some friends of mine and I are planning to go to a park to see some of the fall colors. :D :)

(An added bonus for October this year is, as my avatar might suggest, the My Little Pony fandom has declared October Applejack Appreciation Month, and she's my favorite character from that show. :P )


narnianerd wrote:Attention to all whom this concerns;

As of tomorrow I officially belong to the United States Government and thus shall be departing for many weeks of training down south. As such I shall have both limited time and access to technological devices, therefore I regretfully find myself at crossroads in my life where I must officially separate myself from my internet persona, at least temporarily. I shall miss you all. Best of luck in all of your endeavors. Hoah and farewell.


I know you can't see this for a while, but I'm so proud of you! :) My brother just got back from military training in May, and it made me realize just how much dedication joining the military, and making it through training, really takes. I hope to hear from you when your training is complete, but regardless, my thoughts and prayers are with you! :)

Well, I have to get some things done before I meet with my friends, so I will talk to you all later!

*Rya, the internet persona, takes a long stroll through Ditto Town's woods, enjoying all the fall colors as she goes* :D :)
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby stargazer » Oct 20, 2015 8:26 pm

Congrats to all of you, Rya, on the announcement of your sister's new daughter. That party was fun.

Finally, it's fall - it's even October, which is just my favorite month of the year. As I've mentioned in the past, I love love LOVE fall - the colors, the cooler weather, the baked apple goodies...


I'm with you there! And this fall has been a really good one, the warmer weather seemingly going on and on. So many fun things to do. I've made several fall color tours, sometimes including orchards or stargazing by a fire - or today's trip, just a short walk around a nearby state park to soak in the colors.

Some of the best colors this year were right out my window, where a big maple blazed orange and yellow, even lending a golden hue to the light in my room.

Not to mention NaNo is next month, which I am doing this year for once - though it's probably going to be "Whatever I feel like writing when November starts" story.


Sounds like fun! You may want to visit the NaNo thread over in the Spare Oom. Right now my NaNo just insists on being written. I hope that enthusiasm continues next month.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Oct 21, 2015 7:19 pm

I just wanted to stop in and make sure everyone was aware that today, October 21 2015, is when Marty from Back to the Future came to the future. Starting tomorrow, the entirety of the BttF movies will take place in the past. :-o Just... just getting that out there. I remember when 2015 used to seem so far away....

Just had to get that out there. :P In unrelated news, I gave blood for the first time today - they had a blood drive at my church, and since I actually knew it was going to be there, I found the time! :P It went better than I expected, though I hadn't realized just how uncomfortable that needle would be. :-s I'm not deathly afraid of needles, but I'm not the biggest fan of them either! Plus I've never had one that they left in there for a while before. Yikes. But, apparently it went relatively fast for my first time - if you ever are going to give blood, drink lots of water; that's probably what did it for me. And... find something to do while you're waiting other than read, unless you have a book you can easily read one-handed. :P
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Oct 29, 2015 2:28 pm

Ryadian wrote:
Shawna wrote:Someone mentioned a Christian writers' conference. I went to one of those quite a while ago. It was somewhat interesting, though rather irritating when pretty much every conversation went like this:
"What are you writing?"
"Well, it's about a Christian vampire--"
*laughter*
"I'm serious."


Now see, I'm just curious about the rules of vampires in your world when I hear something like that. :P (I imagine it's still similar to the Ditto Story rules, but assuming I didn't know you and heard that...)


Actually, for this story, it's totally different. Every time I write vampires (when I'm making them up myself and not writing with established vampire rules), I reinvent them. The ones in this story ... well, there are 4 different kinds. There's one type that's basically an animal, and they're kind of like much scarier, more viscous versions of the Ditto Town vampires (kind of). The other three are all formerly humans.

Basically, I disregard all "supernatural" elements, all that "undead" or "demon" stuff in vampire lore. The vampires in my stories are just people who've undergone a physical transformation. They don't lose their souls when they become vampires. They're just people. Although, given various circumstances, most vampires are evil people. It's just that they don't have to be. More that vampirism draws a certain type of person to seek it out. So part of what I explore in the story is, "What if the urge to hurt other people was not just a desire but a biological imperative?" It's a lot harder to be a good vampire than a good human. Another way to look at it is that I use vampirism as a metaphor for human nature--in a sense, it's human nature cranked up a few notches.

I'm working on the second book now, in which a perfectly normal, modern, Christian young woman is becoming a vampire (she was changed against her will) and has to figure out how to survive as a vampire, basically, without sinning. (Meaning sinning any more than she did as a human.) (I don't put it in those terms, though, because it's meant to be mainstream, not Christian fiction.)
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby starkat » Dec 17, 2015 10:14 am

Falling off a horse during mounting is never a good idea. :P Thankfully, I bounced. Rolled onto my back and got right back up. Goofy horse decided to move while I was getting on. First time I've fallen off in awhile. Not the first time I fell off the mounting block. Last time was off a 3 year old. I was trying to get on him bareback and the mounting block wasn't stable. I fell. He took a single step back and looked down at me going "What are you doing down there?"

I'm learning to deal with goofier horses.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Lady Arwen » Dec 30, 2015 3:22 pm

* three months later.... *

Disney was great, Valia. I'll actually be going down again in a couple weeks for a training, and, of course, will stop by when I'm there.

Shawna, that sounds interesting, to me at least. I wish you the best of luck with it.

I am currently muddling through life, trying to determine what I am to do for the next few years. All of my well-laid plans have fallen through, so I feel a bit like a fish out of water. Hopefully I can find my footing--and make new plans--sometime soon.

Before I pop back out of the square, I would like to wish all of you A Most Frabjous New Year, filled with many unexpected boxes of jelly doughnuts.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Jan 05, 2016 8:41 pm

Shawna wrote:Now see, I'm just curious about the rules of vampires in your world when I hear something like that. :P (I imagine it's still similar to the Ditto Story rules, but assuming I didn't know you and heard that...)


Actually, for this story, it's totally different. Every time I write vampires (when I'm making them up myself and not writing with established vampire rules), I reinvent them. The ones in this story ... well, there are 4 different kinds. There's one type that's basically an animal, and they're kind of like much scarier, more viscous versions of the Ditto Town vampires (kind of). The other three are all formerly humans.[/quote]

Heh, sounds like the rules for each of my fantasy worlds every time I start writing a new story. :P Making rules just makes you want to play around with what the alternatives are. With vampires, especially - there are so many things you can do with them, but as far too many stories show, there's such a thing as too much. :P

Shawna wrote:The vampires in my stories are just people who've undergone a physical transformation. They don't lose their souls when they become vampires. They're just people. Although, given various circumstances, most vampires are evil people. It's just that they don't have to be. More that vampirism draws a certain type of person to seek it out. So part of what I explore in the story is, "What if the urge to hurt other people was not just a desire but a biological imperative?" It's a lot harder to be a good vampire than a good human.


It's a really interesting idea to explore - it's kind of taken for granted a lot of times in vampire/monster stories, but here it sounds like it's the crux of the story. So is this more of a sci-fi story with the transformations being some kind of procedure/mutation, or is it more fantasy with very different rules for vampires? Or some other combination I'm not thinking of? :P

Ahhh, I wish I had a good excuse for having been away for so long. But, truth be told, I've just been highly distractable the past couple of months. ;)) (Netflix has proven a terrible, TERRIBLE thing for my productivity.) I had a wonderful set of holidays at the end of the year, though - for Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday of the year :D ), we went to my aunt's house, who recently moved to Iowa from California, so now all of my aunts (on both sides!) live within 1 state of us. :D Most of her children still live elsewhere in the country, but some of them came to visit for Thanksgiving, so that was really nice. :) Christmas and New Year's were a little more low-key - just my family plus my sister/her husband/their son, then family/friends for New Year's, but I like it better that way. Christmas is crazy enough without juggling so many schedules. :P We still have to see my dad's side of the family, but that's coming up next Saturday. :)

In the meanwhile, I've been getting back into the swing of writing regularly again. I really fell out of the habit with my past two jobs (one of which had strange hours and the other would regularly having me work 6 days a week), but now that I've got a job with regular hours and mostly optional overtime instead of mandatory, no excuses. :P I actually managed to win NaNo this year!! :D :D :D First time ever! Admittedly, the story I wrote crumbled into a nonsensical mess by the end, but not only was it 50,000 words, but it technically had an ending! (If "The villain is miraculously defeated and carted away, we get a page of exposition, and then the story ends, YAY!" counts as an ending. ...I had close to 3,000 words to write on the last day.) Better yet, I think I've figured out how to fold some of the story elements I came up with into another story I'm working on, so overall, I'd call that a success. :)

Mostly, though, I've been writing a story I started when I was 16, though it has gone through many, many changes. As in, the main villain used to be part of a subplot I almost cut out. I think probably the only thing that has stayed the same is the identities of the main heroes, and even then almost half of them have had name and/or drastic age changes. :P Supposedly, I'm also working on a comic book with my brother, but I lost my momentum on that when NaNo rolled around and am trying to get back into it. ;)) (We, ah, have a lot to work on. :P )


Lady Arwen wrote:I am currently muddling through life, trying to determine what I am to do for the next few years. All of my well-laid plans have fallen through, so I feel a bit like a fish out of water. Hopefully I can find my footing--and make new plans--sometime soon.


That sounds all-too familiar. :| :ymhug: I almost miss being a teenager, when I was so sure that life would make sense when I was an adult.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby ceppault » Jan 07, 2016 12:12 pm

*Gorse glares at ceppault, inquiring, "Where have you been all this time, old friend?"*

Coming up on 10 years since I joined this forum. Went by fast. And that also means I was a tender age of 40 when I joined.

Kat, don't fall off horses. That can hurt :p
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Jan 07, 2016 11:39 pm

Ryadian -

Yes, their versatility is one of the things I love about vampires. It's also why it's disappointing to see so many authors falling back on the same overused tropes.

I wouldn't say there's a sci-fi reason for the vampires in my story. It's more that none of them really know how vampires came to be exactly, though there's a vague guess that magic was involved way, way back when. I don't want to have magic be a notable part of the story, though, so it's kept indistinct and in the distant past. Sort of the way that magic's referenced in the Old Testament without really going into detail about what it was and how it worked.

Congrats on finishing NaNo! I tried that once several years back and didn't do so great. I've been having a very hard time concentrating on my writing these past several months. At this point I'm not sure if it's purely a matter of self-discipline or if there might be some physical cause contributing. Possibly both.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby starkat » Jan 08, 2016 8:08 am

ceppault wrote:Kat, don't fall off horses. That can hurt :p


Trying not to. I've been working with a new horse and at about 17.3 hands tall, he's at or above 6ft at his shoulder. I'm ok once I'm on him. It's the getting up that's the problem. lol.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby stargazer » Jan 09, 2016 3:19 pm

Glad you're enjoying riding the bigger horse, starkat. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I don't remember the last time I rode a horse (it was several decades ago. ;)) )

Congrats on 10 years ceppault! Does this mean a big landmark birthday is coming up this year? ;)

The big news here is the weather. The bottom is falling out after a really warm December. About 6 inches of wet slushy snow fell the past few days; when I left to visit Ryadian's family's house last evening it was still slush. Perhaps 10 minutes the temperature had dropped enough that the side streets were sheets of ice, not slush.

There's an outdoor NFL playoff game here tomorrow, with temps expected to hover around 0F/-17C and wind chills much lower. Because of the cold, tickets are still available. I met friends for lunch this morning, and we half-seriously talked about going to the game together. But by the time we went back outside, the sky had cleared and the wind came up, reminding us just how cold it's going to be tomorrow, and that I can watch it from the comfort of my house.

I just may have to give up my honorary polar bear card. ;))
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Jan 13, 2016 8:18 pm

ceppault wrote:Coming up on 10 years since I joined this forum. Went by fast. And that also means I was a tender age of 40 when I joined.


Oh wow, has it really been 10 years?? I suppose I shouldn't be that surprised, since I've been here for 11 1/2, but still... wow. Time flies. Conga Rats!! :ymapplause: :ymapplause:

Shawna wrote:I wouldn't say there's a sci-fi reason for the vampires in my story. It's more that none of them really know how vampires came to be exactly, though there's a vague guess that magic was involved way, way back when. I don't want to have magic be a notable part of the story, though, so it's kept indistinct and in the distant past. Sort of the way that magic's referenced in the Old Testament without really going into detail about what it was and how it worked.


Ah, I see. That level of unseen magic really intriguing - though, admittedly, I don't have the self-restraint to do it myself. :P (Having characters with magic is just too darn fun!) But that would seem to fit with the kind of story you're describing, which seems to be less about epic battles with magic constantly at the forefront and more about humanity... umm, no pun intended. I've tried my hand at writing that kind of story in the past, but it inevitably starts turning more into the kind of story I read/watch the most... which tends to involve superpower-esque magic and epic battles, so. ;))

Shawna wrote:Congrats on finishing NaNo! I tried that once several years back and didn't do so great. I've been having a very hard time concentrating on my writing these past several months.


Thanks! :D I've been trying on and off since high school, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it was the first year I really tried after I was out of school that I managed it. ;)) I'm sorry to hear you've been having difficulty writing. :( I have, too, pretty much since after NaNo - I got out of the habit of writing (nearly) every day and now I'm having trouble getting back into it. (Not to mention I'm re-writing the beginning of the story I'm working on for the third time this month because I keep changing my mind). I'm focusing on amount of time vs. words per day right now - if nothing else, to force myself in the chair to try to write something, even if it's not always the project I intended to work on.

stargazer wrote:I met friends for lunch this morning, and we half-seriously talked about going to the game together. But by the time we went back outside, the sky had cleared and the wind came up, reminding us just how cold it's going to be tomorrow, and that I can watch it from the comfort of my house.

I just may have to give up my honorary polar bear card. ;))


Even native born Minnesotans have their limits. ;)) Besides, it was the first real cold spell this winter - that always feels a lot colder. Of course, usually it goes "It's 20 degrees out, it's so cold!" to "It's only -20 degrees out, I'm okay to run outside and back" over the space of a couple weeks, as I warm up (no pun intended) to the winter, whereas this year it went straight from 30's to below 0. ;))

Phew, it's been a busy January thus far. We've been rather swamped at my job lately - which means plenty of overtime. Not nearly as much as my last job (thank goodness), but... well, I'll have some nice paychecks in the near future, I guess. ;)) Add to it some late Christmas get-togethers and the fact that I'm focusing a lot more lately on being productive, and... well, at least I'm succeeding on the productive part on the weekends, don't even ask me about weeknights. 'Twould be nice to have a weekend where I actually got to sleep in, though. ;))
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby stargazer » Feb 04, 2016 1:12 pm

*bustles in after shoveling the car out*

Sure, it's warmer now, but we got a bit of snow on Groundhog Day. 13 inches or more was a common report around here, though I think my neighborhood got a bit less.

We may be famous for cold but really don't receive big amounts of snow at a time (like they do in lake-effect snow areas like Buffalo, NY). This was the biggest one-time snowfall since the December 2010 storm that collapsed the Metrodome. (I was out of town for the Chicago VDT Lion Party at the time. Ah, the memories).

The cold and snow make for good times to do a little work on last November's NaNo story, and I've enjoyed working on it. Maybe I'll finish by next November. ;))
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby You Will Find Me Bigger » Feb 09, 2016 7:21 pm

Just dropping in to say hi. :)

I see most of you on Facebook, but it's nice to visit the old homestead from time to time too. As you may have seen, I just traveled for an international mission trip, and I'm planning on going again in April. It's been quite the adventure!

Houston's been enjoying a mild, sunny winter. I'm not envying all the snow up north; I'm quite happy with our pleasant weather. It's almost Rodeo/ bluebonnet season - best time of the year!

Rya, glad you're liking the new job! :)
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Stylteralmaldo » Feb 23, 2016 7:52 pm

The Royal Bloodlines Guru pops in quickly, looks to and fro desperately trying to locate his beloved blue lobster to no avail.

If anyone locates said blue lobster, please contact him if you are fortunate enough to locate him.
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