I'm a writer who lives and works in Alaska.Several years ago I was casting about for an idea for some new stories. I came upon the premise of people who go out on a limb and take a risk by making a bet. Sometimes their motivations for doing so are sound and reasonable and sometimes those reasons are unsound and unreasonable. Sometimes those motivations are impulsive and sometimes they are carefully considered or have a particular purpose behind them. I thought the idea was an interesting premise to pursue as it allowed for people to be placed in jeopardy for various purposes: to gain something, to exact revenge, for entertainment, to accept a personal challenge, for personal growth in some way, and so on. And sometimes those plans work out well and they come out on top, and in some cases the plans blow up in their faces. Regardless, the act of taking the chance, making the bet, and seeing it through, win or lose, will profoundly affect that person's life and relationships.The most important decision I made early in the writing process was to root the stories in the real world. I wanted to write characters who are genuine, complex, and who grow and develop. I wanted the making of and the result of these bets to be part of the real world, to have all the real consequences that might flow from such an experience: personal discovery, affects to self-image and self-esteem, impacts on relationships. I hope I've been successful in that regard, and I believe I have been if the reactions to and the reflections on these stories I've received from readers is an indication. Readers consistently point to the realism of these tales as being a valued feature.All of that has meant that I've had to leave behind most of the conventions of 'erotica' or adult prose fiction. As I have, I'm sure you've read stories with a similar premise in which the character involved ends up discovering that they just love the experience of losing a bet and spend their time in complete bliss. But that's not the real world or real humans. Making wagers is often bitterly adversarial and losing such a bet can become an unwanted, even painful or humiliating, ordeal. Many of the bets in these stories (but not all by any means) end up that way, and I intentionally work for that realism.In 'erotica' or adult prose fiction the protagonists and antagonists are often undeveloped cardboard cutouts. But I wanted to write real characters in real experiences.Another aspect of 'erotica' is that the prose is almost always heavily or exclusively themed to a particular sexual orientation, practice, or fetish (gay male, lesbian, BDSM, spanking, cross-dressing, exhibitionism, and the like), but I specifically did not want to confine these stories in that way. They are prose fiction stories that just happen to have a great deal of sexual content (that I approach honestly and non-euphemistically). So the sexual events in these stories range from the tenderly romantic to the edges of kink. If you're looking for a specific sexual 'thing' I can't promise you'll necessarily find it in these stories. All I can promise is that you'll read stories with a fresh take on adult fiction, interesting and developing characters, and engaging plots. The stories of Taking Chances are available at smashwords.com, and I hope you will find them interesting and rewarding reads.
just couldn't resist getting some more insults in, could you? :) you've missed a few, btw. here, i'll help you. that sprite's a total cunt-faced bitch. that should start things rolling again. You think of yourself as "a total cunt-faced bitch" ??????? That really is indicative of absolutely lousy self-esteem. I'd really encourage you............Oh, wait. Oh, I get it! You typed that on your keyboard and clicked 'Post' to try to put those words in MY mouth. As a way to attack and insult me, and to trick people into believing (and who undoubtedly would just love to believe) that I actual said anything remotely like that.I'm sure you're a perfectly nice person, and I have enjoyed the stories of yours I've read. But do you really feel so threatened by the concept that Lush, while a good site that I consider contributing some dollars to as well spent, might be less than perfect that you have to go to such absurd extremities to attack me?
precise-amundo, thank-you! :)that being said however, this *H-A-S* to be asked:Don: do you still stand by what you say that Possibly is "shitty and clueless"?and DO NOT give me any obfuscatory, deflecting horsey-poo - hoping you have the cojones to give me a simple yes or no.and yeah I know I could have PM'ed this - fuck that shit - I'd like to hear it here, and maybe sooner than later, dude.:) Yes, GG, I understand your need to misrepresent what I said (and from another 'Forum Guru.' Surprise!). It's a time-tested way to attack.What I said (and perhaps a bit with an injudicious choice of words that nonetheless conveyed accurate concepts) was that the behavior Possibly (and her co-author) engaged in was shitty and clueless. And it was. That doesn't mean that she or her co-author are either of those things. To give you an idea of the distinction: I just said you misrepresented what I said. You did. But that doesn't mean I'm accusing you of being a liar and dishonest in the general conduct of your life and relationships. It's just that I understand that to accomplish the purpose of attacking me and trying to make me look bad you've elected to misrepresent my words. It's a common method to attack people (especially on internet forums ), and I recognize it. That's all.What you think of as obfuscation is just a matter of my having been around the block a few time, having the ability to recognize the sleights-of-hand and rhetorical tricks (English/Communications is my field) so many in this thread have used to attack the messenger and in so doing side-step and avoid the message, and my refusal to engage with that sort of nonsense. As I've said previously (and I think several times), it's great that Possibly has acknowledged that she made a mistake, has extended an apology, and made amends. That's appropriate and speaks loudly to her good character and personal qualities. (Of course, I haven't heard word one from her co-author.) Was there anything else I could help you with today?
It's true that you didn't bring it up in the op. You brought it up in your second post and that was the first mention of it. You also said that your stories hadn't come close but how do you know that? It not as though authors are told that they nearly got a RR.I do get acknowledged, it's a simple pm that says thank you and for me that is enough. The story is THEIR story, not mine! I just assist in getting it out to the readers.You achieved everthing that you set out to in the op. You have given your warning, you have received your acknowledgement and even an apology. After that you called a mod childish and churlish, for a man of our age, that displays both of those qualities. Is this STILL going on? Real life (as opposed to internet life) intervened for a few days, but I'm glad it at least seems to be winding down a bit.I'm not sure I know what you mean by 'assist in getting it out to the readers.' I hope if you're editing you're providing a real benefit. I get the impression some decide to edit just because they've been writing for a while, and that's generous but not necessarily helpful. (And I'm just asking. My assumption is that what you provide is helpful and worthwhile.) I enjoy editing because of the teaching function involved. I can provide authoritative information on the mechanics/punctuation/grammar/usage side, and informed and experienced opinion on the character/plot/setting/mood/etc. side. Hopefully folks can offer the same if they're going to set themselves up as editors.And you can't really mean to take me to task for being critical of anyone (although you specifically mentioned moderator, so I get it: site insider, sacred personage, above criticism). Have you paid attention to the crap that's been heaped on me for opening up to discussion and scrutiny that Lush, while a quality site, might have an issue or two and be less than perfect? (said B.E. to yet another Forum Guru - although I need to be careful, as if this thread goes on much longer I'll have reached a sufficient number of posts to achieve that exalted sobriquet!). I noticed omkn dropped out of the discussion fairly early, and that was a wise decision. It's my OT so I've stayed with it even though it makes me a target for the insiders and the powers that can't abide the concept of the site they're heavily invested in as being not in every way perfect. Certainly the idea of a heavy gender bias and a bias toward verifiers/moderators/site directors in story recognition is obvious. It's not an issue for me. I don't have an interest, which is why I very deliberately stay away from contests and competitions. But the issue exists, is readily observable, but is one which site proprietors and insiders just don't have the capacity to acknowledge or address. That's a shame.A surprising aspect of this has been experiencing the extremity of Liz's bad behavior. I've not wanted to engage with her directly, as who knows what sort of shit-storm that would incite. And I shouldn't be surprised, as in the few months I've been associated with the site I've seen her insult and flame others with whom she disagrees. I've been on my share of sites and forums, and I've always (I can't think of an exception except here) found that those who run sites very much want civil discussion on the boards. But Liz has no hesitation in insulting and flaming and engaging in behavior that is just not appropriate. She's great with people she likes, who agree with her, and site insiders. But suggest less than perfection in her site and she really unsheathes the daggers and starts slashing. The capacity to engage rationally and reasonably with those with whom she disagrees is a tool that just doesn't seem to be in her tool box. It would be nice if she could set a better example. I understand that not everyone has the capacity to lead and lead by example.Anyway, appreciate the response and your ideas.
LovelyKinkyKitsune, I understand what you are saying here as I have books published in the real world and there is a way this is done: The "Acknowledgements" at the front of the book. But I am writing in history, a non -fiction category, so a LOT of research is done into what others have said about the subject of your research, and you can have a lifetimes correspondence with many of these people. In short the need to thank or acknowledge meaningful assistance of any significant kind is a courtesy. Additionally, I make a royalty on every book that sells. So I do owe others a word of thanks.But isn't this whole matter this thread is about a very small matter by comparison?I mean, someone forgot to thank someone else in the specific way they would have been pleased with for help on a few pages of erotic writing? Maybe there is a "slight" here, but can it be of such magnitude that a whole thread has been used to call attention to that reputed slight? Plus the person who has allegedly done the "slighting" has given a public apology for doing so. I should think that would be more than sufficient. That this "slight" is now being tossed about on an almost "epic" scale is pretense......it is overblown......Additionally, so many tangential matters have been raised only to serve to hurt the feelings and impugn the integrity of others and this site itself, etc., that it is perhaps best if we just drop this whole thread and take each matter up individually in other more appropriate ways.I beg you all to please keep this in perspective and stop. I think you're right, Broccck. The thread has gone far afield of my intention. That's not necessarily a bad thing. As I've mentioned above - to the extent that the discussion raises consciousness among writers about the ordinary courtesies practiced in the real world, then that's all to the good. (And since you mentioned it, an acknowledgements section is found in every book, fiction and non-fiction.)Also, as I mentioned above, as the discussion got rolling I did develop a curiosity about how the powers that be would react to it all. As I've stated several times I find this a quality site that is worth my financial support. The forums always struck me as low key and civil. BUT I'd never seen a situation in which anyone was in any way critical (however slightly and, really, the issues raised in the thread are hardly earth-shattering) of the site and its proprietors. So as other posters began to raise issues critical in nature and the thread began to veer away from my intentions I became curious about whether or not the powers had the capacity to rationally and in a civil way address criticisms or issues. That curiosity was certainly satisfied. As you can see above, the reaction from the proprietors and long-time and faithful insiders and users is what often comes out of organizations: deny, stonewall, attack. There are some fine and open-minded organizations out there, but mostly organizations close ranks to repel anything that is remotely perceived as a threat or that suggests the organization is anything less than perfect. It's pretty standard organizational behavior. So, disappointing but not surprising.
BTW - I wanted to thank those who have gotten in touch via PM with expressions of support.I appreciate that with the people who run the site, and who are most actively involved, engaging in throwing insults and name calling and flaming that folks don't necessarily want to stick their heads up on a public board.But I appreciate your thoughtfulness.
You claim your original post was done as a warning to those that edit stories as a favor. But dude, really? Telling people they may not always be acknowledged for the things they do is like putting a 'Caution! Wet floor!' sign in the middle of the ocean. You edited a story, you got annoyed that you weren't mentioned, and you made a thread knowing the author would see it in order to shame them into submission. Mission accomplished. You wanted to rile people up. You wanted people to speak ill of Possibly and others who have the audacity not to publicly acknowledge those who help them edit their submissions. Please don't insult our intelligence by claiming otherwise.You accuse others of disparaging you, insulting you, and dismissing your points, but you've done the same. You say we haven't acknowledged any of your theories, yet you dismiss all of our attempts to reason with you all while questioning our intelligence. You say one thing, we present you with facts as to why that may not be the case. Calling a spade a spade is not the same as dismissing you. Perhaps you're the one that needs to develop a thicker skin.What's your end goal? If you're interested in figuring out how/why RR's and other such rewards are given, why not just ask instead of accuse? You're all fired up, and it's counterproductive. Don't take the offensive approach, and people won't feel the need to get defensive. The problem isn't in you bringing these issues up, it's your tact (or lack thereof) in doing so. You started this thread with a chip on your shoulder. Although this thread has changed directions, the chip remains on your shoulder, and is reflected in the way you post. Yes, yes, yes, Dani. We've already covered this ground. I understand the need to ascribe all sorts of dastardly motivations to me. It's a way to undermine me and to avoid addressing the issues that others have raised in this thread. What else is new?You're right that not acknowledging editing efforts is pretty common (at least in amateur writing circles). As I've stated several times: to the extent that this thread raises consciousness among authors that they should extend common and expected courtesies, and that acknowledging people who contribute to their project is simply normal behavior, then that's all to the good.
Oh this was bumping along so nicely until this post.Childish and churlish! Well well! I really don't believe I'm reading this correctly.You are a man of years, so am I. So what? If you want to attack a guy who has responded to you like a gentleman, as he always does, then you want to grow up.No, I'm not a mod. Yes I am a Forum Guru, as will you be after so many Forum posts. Yes I've had my run ins with mods in the forums, so what? Some may dislike me and others happen to like me, although I do question the soundness of their mind.What are you after? I do it because I enjoy spending hours improving a story. It means I don't have to write my own because I hate writing. I don't want to be acknowledged! A pm thanks is enough.I don't give a rat's ass about a RR or an EP. All I want is for one person to read my crap and go and beat his meat (that sounds so sexist but you know what I meam).If you are so good then it's your duty to help others and duty doesn't require acknowledgement. If you want to invest hours in editing someone else's project and don't care about being extended ordinary courtesy, then I say knock yourself out.I'm not concerned with any of these thumbs up things either. Go back and read my original post. But others have noted the discrepancy, and I can say I've noticed it too. I never submit to competitions here or anywhere else, because I simply have no interest in trophies or blue ribbons. BUT you've noticed that site people have to ascribe that jealousy to me. It's way to undermine, trivialize, and avoid issues.
How terribly "sexist" of you. Why does public acknowledgement mean so much to you? if that's what you want, you picked the wrong profession or hobby. Publishing a piece in the real world is a notoriously difficult and painful process. That's the reality for even the most well known authors who've gotten countless rejection slips of their work being shit or just not up to snuff.What do you want exactly? To have LUSH mods bow down on their knees to your writing?We don't have RR pow-wows or anything. There is, however, a panel that decides on EPs. RRs are entirely contingent upon each individual moderator and if they think a story is worthy of said RR.We don't doll them out like candy. That would defeat the purpose. Do you even fully understand what an RR is? It's one tiny step below EP. And EPs are EXCEPTIONAL stories. They have no technical errors, have well rounded character, well rounded plot, and show a very good skill at erotica crafting. An RR is just below that in that it may have multiple technical errors.It's like the NFL. EPs are stud, elite WRs like Calvin Johnson. RRs are steady, #1 WRs like Torrey Smith.Instead of bashing the system, look deep into your own stories at what is missing. Every writer misses at least something. I personally have awarded a grand total of 3 RRs. And I've been a mod for 6-7 months. Often times, I HEAVILY edit you guy's and gal's stories. Over and over again. Most times, that takes you out of the RR running unless the story content itself moves me.And back to this "vagina" designation. In my opinion, this is a thinly veiled, snide remark against the high quality of female writers we have. And that's just messed up. Be better writer if not having an RR pisses you off so much. Don't insult everyone because your ego hasn't been stroked.For the record, the reason so many mods have so many RRs, is because we recruit the BEST! We don't just recruit folks off the streets to mod. And, I guess I'm some dickless wonder as well since my very first story on this site was awarded an RR.I AM a dude btw.And what makes you even think all the females on here that say they are females, are actually females? They may not be. You're coming quite late to the discussion, so petty much everything you've got to say here doesn't have an applicability to my purpose in starting the thread. That was simply to let potential editors know they should think before investing time in others' work. The thread has evolved as other posters have noted the discrepancies you have an objections to. And I completely understand your need to put in my mouth words I never said so as to avoid addressing those things I did say. Par for the course.
This has been quite an interesting thread to read.Speaking not only as a story moderator here, but as an author ... Accolades are neither sought after, not required on the site for editorial effort. Those of us who spent countless hours moderating, editing and tweaking stories don't shine a great big neon sign saying "Look! I did that! They need to thank me!"Are thanks appreciated? Of course. Unbeknownst to you, dear OP, we even have a private thread where we'll share the thank-you notes we get from writers who've we've both verified and edited for. We love that thread. And sadly, it's dusty right now from disuse. But do you see us whining about it? Or "giving a heads-up to would-be editors", warning them of the perils of anonymity? No.We edit, tweak, assist, advise and help the writers here voluntarily. Without getting thanks, without getting acknowledgement. We do it because it brings us joy, and because we LIKE what we DO.For me, that's enough. Knowing the little thrill I get, even as a mod, when my stories pass muster and get posted to the front page ... Just knowing I give that thrill to someone else is amazing. And I love getting even just a simple "thank you!" in response.We're more than aware, as writers ourselves, that a story has a great amount of effort put into it, and behind it.I do personally tag in an acknowledgement when someone helps with a story, but it's far from required. Some people don't even think to do that. Not everyone shares the same thought process.As one of the "kids these days", I'm offended that someone of your "greatly advanced age" would fall prey to bickering and picking.I'm far from thin-skinned, but seeing your argument from both sides of the keyboard, I find it invalid. I, personally, am not disparaging you, or your writings, but can you try and see things from the other side? Even a little? Because it certainly doesn't look like it from my point of view. Thank you for a reasonable civil couple of posts, Katje.It's possible you don't get much in the way of positive responses to work on stories because what you do is required. It's great that you volunteer to put some of your time into verifying. It's all optional on your part. But from the perspective of those submitting stories, sending the story through a verifier is just a not-optional step required on the way to publication. So I suppose they may look at it (I don't) as more of a barricade to get over rather than an opportunity for growth. To the extent you make suggestions that's all to the good. Most sites just reject the story and append some generic reason that doesn't really say much.
Your issue is that you didn't get your public acknowledgement, correct? That has been rectified, has it not? You received a public apology, and Possibly went on to edit her story to give you your recognition.What's the problem now? Something about you not having a vagina? There are procedures for that. But in the meantime, you're not being punished or overlooked for not having one. I'm not even a story moderator, and I know for a fact that sex isn't even considered as a factor when verifying and dishing out rewards. That's laughable. The reception of your story is an entirely different matter. But that's based on the individuals who read, vote, and comment on your story. I'm not sure why this would be the fault of the moderating team, but I'm sure you'll find a way to tie it all in. I understand you can only base things on your own experiences and draw your own conclusions/opinions, but to state them as fact is foolish at best. The story moderators here happen to be just a snapshot of some of the best writers Lush has to offer. So it should come as no surprise to anyone when their stories receive accolades. As far as thin skin goes, people with far more experience in site policy only sought to correct you on things that you have said that are totally off base. Calling them thin-skinned for doing so is the equivalent of pissing in someone's face and telling them it's raining.P.S. To those that would imply or think that those who schmooze with the moderating team have the greater advantage of receiving recognition, accolades, etc., you are sadly mistaken. From my observations, this seems to have the opposite effect. Great. So now I get the conspiracy-theory-whacko attack. Does anyone here have the capacity to engage with issue rather that attack and deny? To be candid (why stop now), in the first weeks after joining the site (and, as I've stated several time here, it's a quality site that I consider worth my monetary support) one of my first impressions was 'Gee, I see a lot of those thumbs up things next to stories by moderators, and there seems a sizable disparity in gender.' But everyone here seems to have decided that none of that is worth examination and thoughtful consideration. Although, someone above (without going back to look maybe it was Liz) acknowledged that there is a disparity by story category. That raised a glimmer of hope in me that perhaps the site people were capable of acknowledging that maybe there was something out of whack. But that was short lived. But if moderators' personal subject preferences are seeping into the process in story category then they certainly can as well in other areas (like gender or degree of involvement with the site). But I understand the knee-jerk is to deny rather than think.Yes, it is nice and appropriate that Possibly belatedly appended an acknowledgement to their story. But at this point the thread has evolved far beyond that into other issues, mostly raised by others, but which seem worth discussion and exploration (as opposed to denial and attacks). But that will just be denied and dismissed, rather than intelligently engaged, by the powers that be. Such is life.
The following Spring, six and a half months later, in late April, early morning light shyly lit Peter's apartment as a key quietly slipped into the door lock. If the locks had been changed Heidi would know Peter was no longer there, but the key and the knob turned, and she let herself in. The plane had landed hours late. The trip from Hawaii, via Anchorage, had been held up at both airports...
Added 24 Jan 2014 | Category Love Stories
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Answers "Peter! My man!" The voice was low, in recognition of the library setting, and it was accompanied by hands tightly gripping Peter's shoulders from behind. A moment later, Jason sat in the chair across from Peter at a large table on the ground floor of the university library on a Monday afternoon. "Geez, Jason," Peter answered. "Hi. I haven't seen you since I don't know when." ...
Added 21 Jan 2014 | Category Love Stories
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Creative Non-Fiction Creative Writing 214 Clara Gould Questions I saw you running in PE class! Your buns are really cute! They make me hot! the note read. Below the message, as a signature, was written: Your Admirer! Peter had waited until almost the end of the class on Wednesday afternoon. He wanted to put off disappointment should a note not be there, and to...
Added 20 Jan 2014 | Category Love Stories
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Creative Non-Fiction Creative Writing 214 Clara Gould Questions I saw you running in PE class! Your buns are really cute! They make me hot! the note read. Below the message, as a signature, was written: Your Admirer! Peter had waited until almost the end of the class on Wednesday afternoon. He wanted to put off disappointment should a note not be there, and to make...
Added 19 Jan 2014 | Category Love Stories
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Sandrine knelt again on Danielle’s command. Danielle didn’t do as elaborate a tie job this time. She just quickly tied Sandrine’s ankles and wrists and ran a rope between them. As she did that she was talking to Sandrine. “So still think the Stars are so great?” Sandrine just looked straight ahead and didn’t answer. “Well, listen skank, you might want to notice which one of us has all...
Added 07 Jan 2014 | Category Reluctance
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Danielle rose and enlisted a couple guys to move the dining room table. The dining and living rooms adjoined in the shape of an L. She had them place the table on a diagonal in the middle of the floor some feet off the inside corner, half in the dining room, half in the living room. Then she was off down the hall and soon returned with a large armful of bath towels. These she spread in a...
Added 04 Jan 2014 | Category Reluctance
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When we entered the living room every eye was on Sandrine. We took a position standing together in back of the nearer love seat. The living room was as it had been: the seating arranged in three sides, the coffee table in the middle of everything. The only difference was that from the edges of the seating to the wall in back of where Sandrine had danced the floor was covered with bed sheets....
Added 01 Jan 2014 | Category Reluctance
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Danielle still had on her radiant smile. “Well, here she is: the star of the show!” The living room had been rearranged. The couch, two love seats, recliners and various chairs had been assembled into three sides of a rectangle. The fourth side was obviously where Sandrine would perform. Keith took the ‘stage.’ “Okay, you all know about Sandrine and Danielle’s wager. I told Sandrine she...
Added 30 Dec 2013 | Category Reluctance
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I asked Sandrine if she’d school me in the finer points of hockey as the game progressed. I put it that way, but really I didn’t even know the rougher points. So, between hurling partisan abuse and having it hurled at her, she obliged. “Not too much to it,” she’d started. “Two teams of six guys each. They get on the ice, skate, and try to beat the shit out of each other. If they happen to...
Added 29 Dec 2013 | Category Reluctance
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All of this happened six months ago. I suppose to someone outside the experience looking in, as you are, the episode itself would be unforgettable and terribly erotic: so far outside what normally takes place at a social get-together that just the novelty of the situation would lend it the ability to enthrall and arouse. All I really care about is that at the end of it all Sandrine and I...
Added 27 Dec 2013 | Category Reluctance
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