The Far Reach begins its wider journey

Chapter 11 signals the start of our couple moving into the wider world.  Where Swimming was almost entirely set in the larger world of vampire politics, the first part of Far Reach has focused on the ties that are forging to keep our heroes together.  I find that I have missed the characters of Swimming: the kings and the Stackhouses; Alcide and Maude and Isaiah.  For Eric and Sookie the time they spent as ‘just them’ is over and the job of creating a kingdom begins.

TFR 1-11086683_10202615483863142_130170048_n (2)Click the graphic to go to Chapter 11- Coasting to the Banks

enjoy

VOTING IS NOW OPEN!

Fanatic Fanfics Awards

The Voting Booths are now open for the Multifandom Awards …. several people from the TB/SVM fandom have been nominated … Hisviks has put up a list of these here.

This is just the 1st round of voting and it ends June 14, 2015.  Please go vote (you don’t have to vote for me but I would love it if you did) LOL.   Let’s show the very talented authors, betas, artists how much we appreciate all their hard work and generosity.

Before you begin to pick your favorites, a few things to keep in mind:
YOU CAN ONLY VOTE ONCE, so make that vote count.
You can pick up to 10 nominees per category,
or 5 if there are less than ten nominees.
1st Round of Voting closes on
June 14th, 2015.

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Stolen Time

I sit on the edge of another time of transition.  These come every so often in all our lives.  We transition from infant to child; from school days to working world.  We transition from friend to lover; from lover to husband or wife.  And sometimes (twice my my case) we transition from wife or husband to independent again.  My youngest child; my baby is poised for a transition.  He will transition from elementary school to university student.  He will move away and no longer live under my roof and the last of my chicks will have flown triggering a transition of my own.

It is during these times that I think we are forced to look at our lives and wonder about the choices we have made.  Have the roads chosen been the best?  Were there opportunities missed; friends that might-have-been passed by in the rush to get to that next place?  Are there forks in our past; forks where we turned left still visible, offering the opportunity to try the right road?  And when we lift our eyes from the things that lie just over our shoulder, what does that path that now shines before us hold?  What future choices will we be presented with and what adventures will we find when we make those choices?

I have spent some time in my life agonizing over choosing paths.  I have spent years staring at crossroads, paralyzed by the unknown.  And during those times I have watched others on parallel paths pass by or double back.  But rarely do I see a person who steps forward with purpose; who makes bold choices find that those choices ultimately led no where but to a great mistake.

I believe that life is like a river; that some part is the free will and decisions you make but some part is the fate you were born for.  I do believe that your choices can steer your fate, but I have come to a place that tells me that the large, open canvas of fate can never be truly altered.  It is in accepting and then steering within that current that you can find your best happiness.

As The Far Reach addresses the transition of becoming king, our heroes are likewise discovering that their lives belong to fate.  There have been so many crossroads for them that fate decided.  He is vampire.  She is fairy.  He was turned at a time of great secrecy.  She was made aware of her heritage during a time a great revelation.  They will be faced with more choices as their days advance; some they can control but many they can only hope to influence.  It will be in accepting their fates and finding a way to steer the current together that will bring them to happiness on their distant shore.

Thank you as always for sharing this journey with me.

– Natsgirl11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.med

Southern Vampires Mysteries/True Blood Exchange Update

Calling all writers. Think of this as the best cookie exchange ever!

Greetings, all.
I would like to thank everyone who showed interest in the exchange. I believe there is enough interest to go ahead with the first of what will hopefully be many exchanges. Sign ups will begin on Monday 8th June and be open for two weeks, closing on 22nd June. Assignments will go out on the Wednesday 1st July and you will have two whole months to complete them, meaning they will be due on the 1st September.

As this might be the first exchange for some of the participants, I will include a sample sign up so you can see how it is done. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me either by leaving a comment or directly by email @ svmtbficexchange@gmail.com

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The Far Reach – Chapter 10 – Beating for Home

TFR 1-11086683_10202615483863142_130170048_n (2)Time for a new chapter in the story.  I am hoping to have one more chapter to you before I head out on vacation next week.  This will be the first of two treks planned for this summer.  My younger son and I are headed for France for mostly camping and exploring Verdun, Ypres and the Embarkment beaches.  Then a pilgrimage to Notre Dame Cathedral and back home.  He heads off soon for his summer job and then college and the attractions of no raised toilet seats or runaway socks looms large.   Well – I’m smiling!  Hope you enjoy the new chapter.

Lynch mobs need not apply…

Getting the message out

Kjwrit Fanfiction

I’m torn.

Like Eric through Sookie’s panties torn.

eric-and-sookie

But I feel compelled to say something because others are talking about it on Facebook and the like. So here’s what’s going on.

I got a review on the last chapter I posted, telling me that there’s a story being posted on FFN that was a plagiarized version of mine. I clicked the link and saw that yes, the first chapter is VERY similar to the first chapter of Life and Death, but the next few chapters I skimmed through aren’t – other than a few key plot points.

Sookie’s a daywalker and can read vampire minds.

Neither one of us were really breaking any new ground there.

But the other author gave her Sookie other gifts that mine do not have and, from the little bit I skimmed through, they really do seem to diverge from there. I replied…

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An Open Letter to our Community from Natsgirl

I was dismayed by the recent unrest within our writing community. Things were written and feelings were hurt. I am told there is an effort underway to improve the You Want Blood Awards, and that is worthy. In my opinion there should be recognition for our writing. There have been statements made that if there were suggestions as to how things could improve in the process, these suggestions should be put forward. I am happy to make my suggestions public in the spirit of full transparency.

First though, I’d like to address an educational concern:

Cyberbullying:

  • 49 states in the U.S. have laws on the books making cyberbullying either a misdemeanor or a felony (a crime). It is already considered a matter for civil litigation. While most case law is specific to school-age individuals there is a growing body of litigation involving other classes/types of individuals
  • Those who can be sued:   Those bullying or anyone who aids, abets, incites or otherwise encourages cyberbullying
  • Those who have cause of action: Those who are the target or any person who witnesses the bullying and suffers damage as a result. Damage can include stress, anxiety or depression
  • How does the law define cyberbullying? Sending hateful, threatening or frightening messages online or through texting; spreading slanderous rumors online; harassing the victim with persistent insults or threats via internet
  • Is information within Facebook or other media sites private (not discoverable) if a group is private? No. The courts have determined that Facebook and other media sites are public by definition, so there is no confidentiality of information permissible regardless of security setting.

 

My suggestions for improving future You Want Blood Awards:

  • Be clear about the reason for the award: This is, in my opinion, the primary cause of our current confusion. I have seen two different purposes stated: recognition for writers of popular works that have drawn readers; a method to reward and recognize new writers/new stories as a way to build this writing community. If the purpose is the first, I think the current way of operating works well aside from the suggestions I make below.   If the purpose was the second the current method did not work. Bottom line: If the purpose of the award is clearly defined, then rules can be set to drive toward that end and participants should have no confusion as to what it takes to win.
  • Limit the number of categories for any author/story: There will always be one story/a handful of stories that are the ‘favorite son’. If you do not impose a limit any contest will resemble a lifetime achievement award rather than an open contest.
  • In no case should anyone associated with the running of the awards be a nominee: Perception is reality. It is not possible for a person, no matter how well-meaning, to be perceived as impartial if their work is up for recognition and they are in any way active in any part of an awards activity/contest. I applaud padfoot4 for removing herself as a nominee in this most recent contest. It was an honorable gesture. To that end: I will volunteer myself to help in running any future awards of this type. I understand that would remove my body of work from any consideration in the particular contest and I am good with that.
  • Voting is one per person: Unlimited voting can lead to an appearance of impropriety. Again, perception being what it is, limiting voting to one vote/one person avoids confusion.

Suggestions if contest/award is for the purpose of building the body of work:

In addition to the above suggestions I would add:

  • Do not differentiate new writers from more seasoned writers: If the playing field is level and the purpose is to encourage writing, then anyone with a new story should be eligible.
  • Only new writing (not updated writing) is eligible with a clearly defined ‘as of’ date: This encourages writers to flex their creative muscle regularly and continue building on the body of work.
  • Only completed works are eligible: Stories have a beginning, middle and an end. Readers should be able to judge the whole work on its merits. One hopes a story will end as well as it started, but that is not always the case.
  • Authors must self-nominate: Let the writer choose the work(s) they feel best exemplifies their skills. This method is tried and true in other writing contests and it allows participants to put their own best foot forward.
  • Works are posted without authors/titles identified: While it is a certainty that there will be some who will identify themselves privately to their friends, this approach does promote a more level playing field. This also implies that the period between nomination and vote would be longer, but if the category and date restrictions mentioned are in place, the number of works within any one category should be limited by definition.
  • Voting within any category is one story – not multiples: First, second and third will be determined through the natural fall of numbers. Should a run-off be needed that could trigger a second round of voting for that category. Current survey software makes tabulation the easy part.
  • Different rules apply to betas, banners and those who provide service to our community: The rules that apply to stories do not make sense for those who provide their talents in these other disciplines. Rules that are specific for their disciplines should be developed. And, if this moves forward, I would be happy to make suggestions for those as well.

Last – I’ve seen references to rules from the Academy Awards in some emails.

The specific comment I saw mentioned that in the Academy Awards nominees are allowed to vote for themselves.   I would agree – and why not? People should always be allowed to support their own work! With that said, there are many more rules that apply to the Academy Awards. Here are a few: 1-Nominations can only be made for work that is released/published within the prior calendar year; no other work qualifies. 2-Categories are, by definition, self-limiting. An actress can only be nominated in two possible categories: Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. 3-All results are assembled, tabulated and reported by a neutral, disinterested third party. I would be in favor of making rules more like those used for the Academy Awards.

I hope that my suggestions are helpful in improving any future awards event. I would hope that mine are not the only suggestions. With the creativity and talent we have in our midst I am sure there are other ideas and suggestions.

I am honored to be among you. You all make me want to be a better writer.

Damn it Eric!! | You Want Blood Awards

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and to the winners.
Thank you to everyone who reads my stories, who shares their feedback and who chose to vote for Swimming for the Light. My thanks to Breathesgirl and American Android whose work is a part of what you read. I am most grateful

SVM & TB Stories

Damn it Eric!! | You Want Blood Awards.

Apparently I slept through five days since the winners have been announced!

Congratulations to all the winners.

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