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Wes B

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About Wes B

  • Birthday 05/12/1952

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  1. Throughout most of history, most people couldn't afford to own the scriptures, and couldn't read them anyway. The scriptures were absorbed through hearing. Perhaps you're getting back to the roots of our faith...
  2. You might want to read several romances to get a feel for how they play out and how the genre works. The Ladies can often see us guys and our relationships through some very different eyes than we guys see them. While the genre may not appeal as much to us, reading stories by women, for women, about their relationships can also just give some interesting insights about life. Not saying they mirror reality, but I think we may often read about how we'd like life to be. They might offer some understanding. While the standard story arc in many genres has the protagonist overcome an obstacle and undergoes change in spite of some personal flaw, in the romances I'd read it was more the man who undergoes the biggest change, even though the woman is the protagonist. The woman undergoes some change too, but it seems to be a big thing for the guy to change. Wish fulfillment? I dunno... (My wife loves me, as I do her, but she certainly has a list of ways she'd love for me to change...) Anyway, there's a very different kind of story development, and a very different way of viewing life. It's good to understand these different ways, and learn from them. It's probably essential if one were to want to write about them.
  3. This is probably just one of my foibles, but I'm very enthusiastic about reading the Bible chronologically. It means you have to do a lot of flipping around, but there are not many times where you'll get into passages that seem obscure, or where you don't know what's going on. In addition to a commentary as mentioned above, I'd suggest a good Bible handbook, that helps you understand exactly what's happening in each passage, from a historical standpoint. All the myriad Bible stories you've ever heard all merge into one single, beautiful story: God's magnificent plan for His people. I haven't given out too many references to my website yet (still smoothing the rough edges) but this page on reading thru the Bible covers my way of doing it, for what it's worth... http://touringthebible.com/439-2/uncategorized/associates/
  4. Thank you... I suppose "analytical" would apply; I'm a retired engineer and programmer, so that's firmly in my wheelhouse. The analytical bent might explain why I'm currently working at nonfiction, with a strong storyteller feel to it, and (I think) a playful and quirky sense of humor. I'm very much into Biblical history and background, and am particularly fascinated by the world that the commonfolk lived in. Besides trying to illuminate stories from parts of the Bible that many people might not be too familiar with, I'll also enjoy giving really odd and offbeat background info. I might explain why, when Paul told Titus that all Cretans were liars, he was actually making a literary reference, and that the people of Crete would have got the point immediately. I might explain why the most prime real estate in an ancient (or even medieval) city was the western end, how the various portions of the armies functioned in battle, or how the people used long pools of urine to bleach their linen. It's a strange/crazy/wild world. But it's not presented as scholarly or lecture-like; it's more like animated dinner conversation. I have offered a number of critiques of others' work since I've been here. I've yet to post something of my own, but I've done enough to make my own posting appropriate, so I probably will, soon.
  5. That's absolutely correct... depending on who you are... Sort of... I've noticed some people here occasionally mentioning their Meyers-Briggs personality type. According to the claim, everyone is actually a mix of opposing pairs of characteristics, where one of each pair is likely to dominate. (Though some might be toward the middle.) The pairs are shown as a string of four letters, where we each get scored with only one of each pair: I/E (Introvert,/Extravert), S/N (Sensing/INtuitive), T/F (Thinking/Feeling), and J/P (Judging/Perceiving). That last pair embodies exactly what you've described. Those who are largely the Perceiving types will see much of the world as a continuum, or in shades of grey, rather than at the extremes. You've done this by pointing out "The ones in the middle." The Judging types might at least initially prefer to put everyone into one group or the other. For many people this binary classification will work, as most people will probably be more like the pantser or plotter description, but some will foil the system by being too much toward the middle. People in either the Judging or Perceiving group will have their strengths and weaknesses, and we are most effective when we can realize where our preferred way of classifying things is helpful, and where it can break down. You've pointed out a place where using strict categories breaks down.
  6. No problem; I hope it helps. Planning is really important... up until the point where it stifles the creative process. There's a balance, and we probably each have to find it in ourselves. I might be able to tell you what works best for me, but it might not be anything close to what works best for you. There's a reason that some people can be good at completing our sentences for us, however annoying it might be. A lot of our thinking is more predictable than we can imagine, and as a corollary, our story plotting can be, too. By all means, experiment. make a good outline, try different types of outline, but always be on the lookout for that special moment where you find... something so much better. Then depart from the plan, and maybe make a new outline, or maybe explore and see where your creativity leads, first. Those breakout moments when a brand new world opens unexpectedly are exhilarating, magical, and far too rare. The more rigidly we're attached to an ironclad plan, the rarer those moments tend to be. Just don't get lost wandering around. eventually you have to get back to some kind of plan: whatever planning works best for you.
  7. Erin, the wonderful thing about being the author is if you see something missing or don't like the way things are turning out, you can revise. And revise. And revise again. To your heart's content. And the story may take a whole new turn that surprises and delights you. You don't need to expect your early draft(s) to be complete, or even coherent. You can save that for a later step. Each time through, your work becomes more beautiful, more exquisite. You might start out just splitting a log into boards, Later you'd smooth them out, cut them to shape, and eventually finish a fine piece of furniture. You don't have to chop that finished chest of drawers out of a rough log. Don't be afraid to let your rough draft be rough. You might find that smoothing things out can wait. It can contain as much, or as little as you want. Make parts of it minimal, and others detailed, just to see what will happen. No one but you will see the outline, so it matters not a bit, and you can add detail later if you absolutely need it. It's just a preliminary plan, and hopefully inspiration will strike and your'll go off in brand new directions, even better than your original idea. Eventually you'll set it aside, but until then, it's just a rough guide showing what you might do. don't force it to be any more than that.
  8. It's nice to not use a lot of gasoline. If you're ever down to filling up 4 times a year though, gasoline has a shelf life, and you're hanging on the edge. Ethanol blended gas will only last 3 months which is... lesseee... 4 fillups a year. (Google: How long does gasoline last) It might not be a good idea to fill the tank all the way. (Unless filling it halfway causes too much hardship, having to fill up 8 times per year...)😁 And yes, we can assume that all those post-apocalyptic stories that have people driving cars around and using old gasoline were written by authors who never actually had any experience in a post-apocalyptic world...
  9. It might be worthwhile to think through all the logistics of running such a contest. For example, even if you drop the length to 7500 words, consider the amount of work needed to judge, say, 100 entries. That's a lot of words to read. Yes, there will be many entries that can be eliminated without full reading, but there will be quite a number that will have to be read many times, to make the final rankings. Quite a while back, I had a position in an organization in which I ran our local chapter's part of a contest that gave a yearly scholarship to student essays. i believe they were under 1000 words, but even then, just judging 25 entries was a huge job. I'm not trying to discourage you; it sounds like a wonderful idea. But you do want to think carefully about details.
  10. Some of us are still here... we just grew up and acclimated... sort of. Church i go to is still very much like things were back then. There are lots of people (maybe half) who, 18 months ago, never saw the inside of a church, except for funerals & weddings; many people are recovering from all sorts of addictions & problems, and all are joyously glad that Jesus made all the difference. It's always exciting.
  11. It can get complicated... Each publisher may have their own in-house style guide, and that takes top priority when submitting to that publisher. For items not in their style guide, they'll tend to defer to a major, published style guide. Not sure about in the UK, but in the USA, these will tend to be either the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) or the Associated Press style guide (AP) both of these tell us to use double quotes for short quotes within the text, (which includes dialogue) and single quotes for quotations-within-quotations. You do want to go to the publisher's website and get their particular style rules before submitting. Then <sigh> you make a custom edit of your work, according to their rules.
  12. Instead of remembering what my English teachers said, I define pronouns as short, imprecise words that we use instead of longer, precise nouns, so we can speak faster. (...or read faster... and they may substitute for long phrases, too...) The point is, pronouns are by their very nature imprecise, and any train of thought that contains more than one group of people risks being ambiguous when using they/them. It can sometimes be done, but must always be done with caution. (BTW: you have both a they and a them in the sentence, and both are ambiguous.) To avoid repetition of "skateboarders," put the pronoun and skateboarders reeeeealy close together. Presuming that both the they and the them refer to the skateboarders: It made Valentine fidgety, but with Teddy and Spaulding by her side, she bossed the skateboarders into planting three rows of tomatoes before they could show off their new tree fort. This is a little better, but I'd still want to use further context to show that the tree fort belonged to the skateboarders...
  13. Thanks, Erin... my wife got a good laugh out of that... I can't think of a nicer gift than sharing a smile for others to pass along...
  14. We have only one enemy... all the rest are prisoners of war...
  15. Doesn't look like something even I'd try, though I do like to try unusual things (I had haggis in Scotland multiple times. It's amazing you can make something taste good out of parts that I don't think are even legal for human consumption in the USA...) For a little while, a local supermarket had a Japanese candy that was like a sweet taffy, with an intense cola center... very unusual to have that taste in a non-liquid, non-carbonated form. And there's a traditional British sweet that's a hard candy, red on one side, and pale yellow on the other: custard & rhubarb! (I may have the order backwards...) It's actually a pleasant sweet & tart combination. It's hard to imagine someone trying the combination in a candy in the first place, though. But gravy-flavored candy... that's just wrong... (I might go for pizza & buffalo wing flavor...)
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