Forum posts made by nicola

Topic Abuse of Power?
Posted 26 Mar 2017 08:26

You made some good suggestions in that thread latecomer91364.

I don't think the Moderator in question, was deliberately being insulting.

When you've been managing forums for a long time, seeing very old threads bumped back up again, after they've (usually) been thoroughly answered (necroposting), it gets a tad irritating.

It's usually done by people wanting to get their post count up.

On this occasion, you offered some good advice, and it clearly wasn't the case.

There's a fine line between Necroposting v "Good Thread Revival". If in doubt, it's always best to assume the thread has been put to bed, and interest has dissipated.

Topic RUMPLATIONS: Honky Tonk and Cyber Bar
Posted 21 Mar 2017 08:35

You have to be careful in here with your drink orders. You may assume that a g and t involves gin, but he's liable to interpret the initial any way he wants.

I'll set you up. There's a bottle of Hendricks around here somewhere.

*slides glass down the bar*

Thabks for the badge, by the way. Did you have to find every single contest results announcement thread for each comp's top 10 list?

Yes, pretty much, except I went through dozens of spreadsheets instead.

Ah, that hit the spot. Thanks my favourite bar keep. Hugs

Topic RUMPLATIONS: Honky Tonk and Cyber Bar
Posted 21 Mar 2017 06:53


Still waiting for my G & T... Not sure where the barman has wandered off to. Sheesh.

Topic RUMPLATIONS: Honky Tonk and Cyber Bar
Posted 21 Mar 2017 06:40

To celebrate BC's EP, there's a one-for-the-price-of-two special on 'Hannah's' all day today. Now who wants a drink?


After 3 hours of badge giving, pick me! (make it a double)

Topic Competition Top 10 Badge
Posted 18 Mar 2017 11:19

Thank you for implementing a Competition Top 10 badge.
I've placed top 10 in seven of 14 comps. Any way of having the number of times you placed showing on the badge?
The comps on Lush are fierce, bring out the best in the authors, and provide an extraordinary amount of quality stories.
If a member places Top 10 multiple times in comps, it would be fitting that it be recognized.

Have a great day.

You're causing Gav's blood pressure to raise further...

Let's take it one step at a time for now!

Topic Loudmouthed Liberalism Is Losing
Posted 18 Mar 2017 02:55

^^ @LYFBUZ, did you C&P my chart? f-hihi

Topic Loudmouthed Liberalism Is Losing
Posted 18 Mar 2017 02:40

That was an interesting test.

And here was me thinking I'd be right next to Hitler in the chart...

Topic Competition Top 10 Badge
Posted 18 Mar 2017 02:22

A post in the site improvements thread, made me realise, it would be nice if more credit were given, to those who are placed in the Top 10 in our competitions.

So, in future, all competitions will have a Top 10 listed, and each member making the list, will be automatically given a "Competition Top 10" badge.

Next week, I'll go through the results of all our previous competitions, and manually assign the badge to those who featured in the Top 10's.

Enjoy a restful weekend folks!

Topic Announcing our "Passion" Poetry Competition
Posted 17 Mar 2017 12:56

What Sprite said!

This competition is a little out of the ordinary, so we're not fussing too much over the categorisation or content of the poems all that much. Of course our preference is that the passion is of an erotic nature, primarily due to the nature of the site.

Think of it mostly as a homage to DM, and a way to show our appreciation for everything he did for so many online writing communities.

Topic Announcing our "Passion" Poetry Competition
Posted 17 Mar 2017 06:52

My friend wants to know if a 'politically charged' poem would be acceptable.

I'm not really sure that politics has much of a place in this particular competition.

I don't know what you have in mind, but does anyone want to read poetic political rants, on an erotica site?

I'm sure you wouldn't simply be doing that, so if you'd like to PM me the details of your concept, I'll be able to give further guidance should it be required.

I try to keep politics out of the site, as much as possible, particularly on the publishing side. It tends to put a lot of people's noses out of joint. Discussions in "The Think Tank" being an exception to the rule.

A fictitious racy political thriller with lots of twists and turns, would be welcomed, for example. But bashing an existing politician, via a thinly veiled character disguise, would be a can of worms we like to avoid.

I hope that helps.

Topic Awesome Award 3/16/17: Dirty Martini
Posted 17 Mar 2017 04:54

I'm sure Alan would have been touched by this tribute Sprite. Very nicely done.

He would probably have had a chuckle to himself, about the comedic timing too.

He's left a big void in the writing community. He's touched so many people's hearts.

Topic Announcing our "Passion" Poetry Competition
Posted 16 Mar 2017 07:29

As a tribute to one of our longest serving members and contributors, DirtyMartini (Alan W. Jankowski), who unexpectedly and sadly passed away last Friday, we are running a poetry competition in his honour.

DM was always incredibly helpful and supportive of writers, putting in an enormous amount of time and effort into sharing writing resources, tips, competition links etc., as well as helping individuals directly. He really did give selflessly, and with good humour.

He was also a very passionate person. His passions ran deep, and included his writing, music, photography, and charity work.

His work can be found both here, and on Amazon, amongst other places. " I Often Wonder " is perhaps his most well known publication, featuring his famous 9 - 11 Tribute Poem, "We Shall Never Forget."

With that in mind, we bring to you our "Passion" Poetry Competition.

The $250 prize money for this competition, will go to one of Alan's favourite charities, The Woodbridge Animal Group .

On top of that, the 3 winners will receive a Premium Membership (Platinum / Gold / Silver - can be gifted if you're already a premium member), as well as a "DirtyMartini" Profile Badge.

Competition Theme


Passion: "A very powerful or compelling feeling, for example of sexual attraction, love, hate, anger, or other emotion."

We are looking for poems, which convey the emotion of passion. For this competition, they do not necessarily need to be overtly sexual in nature (although they can be if you wish!).

A modern day equivalent of ‘Wild Nights’ by Emily Dickinson (surprisingly racy for the early 1800's), would surely catch the eyes of our judges:

Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds
To a heart in port,
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!

We are deliberately keeping this competition open to interpretation. There are no minimum or maximum word limits.

Note: We welcome audio submissions for this competition, provided they are accompanied by the written version. Please message Gav should you wish to take this route, as audio entries are manually added.

Full competition details here >>

Topic Rebel Girls: The Ugly Truth of Children's Books
Posted 16 Mar 2017 02:56

i am waiting for the day when a movie, book, or tv series can have an lgbtq character or two and it's not a novelty or a headline. it's just so normal that no one really takes exceptional notice. that's my gay agenda. to be treated like anyone else. nothing special, nothing freakish, just a normal person who is not defined by my sexuality.

"Oranges are not the only fruit"? Mind you, that caused a bit of a stir when it came out, so I guess it could be considered a "novelty".

I've enjoyed reading the thoughtful replies to my original post.

Topic DirtyMartini.. Alan... Did he pass away?
Posted 15 Mar 2017 23:52

Alan really went out of his way to help and encourage other writers, and it would be cool if there was an in memoriam poetry writing contest on Lush or SS. Who wouldn't want to win a Dirty Martini award?


We've been discussing this for several days in the Mods' forum, and a poetry competition in his honour, will be up soon. Bright minds think alike!

We were thinking it would be nice to donate the prize money to the animal shelter he supported.

A DM badge is a good idea for the winners, we hadn't thought of that. Winners would get a complimentary membership too.

Changing the name of the poetry corner is another option.

Further details will be announced soon.

Topic DirtyMartini.. Alan... Did he pass away?
Posted 14 Mar 2017 09:21

This is terrible news, and very unexpected.

When I chatted to him a few months ago, he said he was taking some new medication, but his condition didn't sound serious (perhaps in his kind way, he was protecting me from the truth of the matter, and didn't want me to worry).

I'm in shock.

He was always incredibly helpful and supportive of writers, both here, on SS and throughout all the FB and other groups he belonged to.

I don't think there has ever been anyone else here, put so much effort into sharing writing resources and tips. He really did give selflessly.

R.I.P. DirtyMartini. You will be dearly missed.

Topic Awesome Award 3/13/17: MostPreciousLittle
Posted 13 Mar 2017 09:15

An excellent choice Sprite.

MPL is one of the site's biggest contributors, in so many different ways.

Thank you for being you Margot! Hugs

Topic Moderator of the Month for February
Posted 13 Mar 2017 07:07

A relative newcomer to the story moderating team, this person has blitzed the story queue in February, processing a shade under 200 stories.

Courteous, professional and approachable, it gives me great pleasure to give the award to ChrisM.

Thank you for all the hours you put in Chris. We were rather under the cosh in February.


Nicola x

Topic Announcing the Winners of our, "On the Road" Story Competition
Posted 13 Mar 2017 06:47

With the word limit opened up a little, writers were able to stretch their literary legs rather more, and this competition really brought out some terrific stories.

Top of the pile, were these excellent winners:

1st Place ($150) - Pick Me Up Then Let Me Down , by puddleduck
2nd Place ($100) - Worth The Risk , by WannabeWordsmith
3rd Place ($50) - Alien to Pleasure , by littleduchess

Following hot on their heels, were these quality entries:

Haunted by Proxy , by VirgoGo
Security , by browncoffee
Queen Of The Road , by Stormdog
The Dark Necessities of a Lonesome Chameleon , by MadMartigan
Out Of Habit , by Ping
Free , by Simmerdownchick
Cocktail Umbrellas and Other Things , by Gillianleeeza

To everyone else who entered, thank you for taking part!

A new competition will be set up in the coming week or so.



Topic Rebel Girls: The Ugly Truth of Children's Books
Posted 10 Mar 2017 02:23

Publishing is big business, money rules. They'll publish what they think will sell.

I think that's the most intelligent thing you've ever written here.

Topic Voice Chat for Premium members
Posted 10 Mar 2017 02:17

i was thinking about this the other day. what if lush had Voice chat for Premium like gold members.

It's a good idea, and we looked into this. There are no off the shelf products which would be any improvement over things like Skype.

Our already horrendous bandwidth costs, would also skyrocket.

Topic Rebel Girls: The Ugly Truth of Children's Books
Posted 08 Mar 2017 02:33

The stats in this video, are shocking.

It's time for authors and publishers, to wise up and get with the times.

What kind of messages are they teaching children with these books? Stereotyping gender roles and behavioural expectations, from an early age, primarily.

There needs to be wholesale change in my opinion.

I agree with one of the commenters, their message is admirable, and a good one, but the title of their own book, "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" could perhaps have been a little better thought out:

"Isn't the title of the book a bit contradictory in the message? You want to teach girls that these these women aren't rebellious or that doesn't make you a rebel to be strong and seek out your place in the world...just makes you awesome. Book looks good though!"

I'd like to know the same stats for books written only in the last decade or so. Then we would know if measures are being taken to address the issue.

Topic International Women's Day - 8 March
Posted 07 Mar 2017 22:04

Thanks for this, Nicola.

You're welcome!


Topic International Women's Day - 8 March
Posted 07 Mar 2017 08:49

I'm just drawing attention to this important campaign.

IWD 2017 campaign theme: #BeBoldForChange

For International Women's Day 2017, we're asking you to #BeBoldForChange.

Call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a better working world - a more gender inclusive world.

International Women's Day as a vehicle for change, is it possible?

Last year, organizations and individuals around the world supported the #PledgeForParity campaign and committed to help women and girls achieve their ambitions; challenge conscious and unconscious bias; call for gender-balanced leadership; value women and men's contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures. From awareness raising to concrete action, organizations rallied their people to pledge support to help forge gender parity on International Women’s Day (IWD) and beyond.

But the World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait. Around the world, IWD can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity.

Full details.

Topic Otaku time!
Posted 05 Mar 2017 03:39

You might get more responses if you'd posted this elsewhere, not the "gaming" forum.

Orphan Black is excellent. Jessica Jones is good too.

Black Mirror is disturbingly entertaining and thought provoking.

Topic Awesome Award 2/27/17: Rumpleforeskin
Posted 02 Mar 2017 01:36

Congratulations Rumple! Hugs

You've been one of the most giving, positive and engaging personalities on the site, for as long as I remember.

A very deserving beneficiary of the award.

Topic hiding stories
Posted 25 Feb 2017 05:46

Gav will confirm this, but I’d assume the links will all still work, just the stories will be hidden from your profile.

So, unless you knew the link URL's, you'd never find the stories. Effectively hiding the story to everyone other than those who know of the link address.

The reason for doing it that way, is that the page generated for the story, comments, scores etc., will remain intact, and easily referenced in our database.

Gav may have added another layer, as Milik says, making the reference to the hidden story head to a 404 error code, but I'd be surprised if that's the case.

To be confirmed!

Topic Watch out UK readers, Doris is coming!
Posted 23 Feb 2017 13:52

Pretty much a lot of nothing in the North East, just some wind and rain, nothing exceptional !

Topic Honorary Awesome Award: Buz Bono
Posted 23 Feb 2017 13:00

You've summed Buz up beautifully Sprite.

He has always given unconditionally, and gone out of his way, to help people around the site. It was his selfless actions and kind spirit, which drew me to contacting him in the first place, asking him to join the Moderator team.

He also epitomises the spirit which we try and foster here. Encouraging fellow authors, and always stepping up to the plate, when we're short handed. He never needs asking, he just gets it.

I don't say the following lightly. Online and off, including people I've met in the corporate world over *cough*, a decade or so, I don't think I've ever worked (well, it's kind of work!) alongside someone who's more of a team player. He has taught me an awful lot in that regard, and I feel like I am a better person for it.

It's also been wonderful to see his raw writing talent and unique style, grow and flourish over the years. He's been Top 3 placed in quite a few of our recent competitions, which is testimony to his ability and dedication to the craft of writing.

Pic from the early days, being placed in a comp for the first time, giving out high fives:

So, a monstrous thank you Buz, for everything you do around here for our members and the moderation team. And thank you for always being there when I needed someone to confide in, or a strong shoulder to lean on.

You're awesome!

Topic Watch out UK readers, Doris is coming!
Posted 23 Feb 2017 04:13

I was watching a TV show yesterday, and one of the guests (comedian / poet), had a job for 2 years, as the person who names storms.

What a great job! He said it was quiet for 11 months of the year, and he didn't have much to do.

So, how on earth did someone come up with the name, "Doris" for a storm?

I'm sorry, a weather bomb with 94 mile winds and 12 inches of snow, does not conjure up imagery of a name like "Doris" for a storm. Bingo, afternoon tea and blue rinses do!

We want dramatic names like, Hurricane Hawke, Blizzard Bacchus, Cyclone Phoenix!

Stay safe folks!

Topic Competition Entries should be primarily SOLO efforts
Posted 23 Feb 2017 00:21

Personally, all I ever wanted to do was be a part of something that included everybody!

Anyone who knows this site well, or has been around a while, will know that nobody will ever be excluded.

If someone is severely dyslexic for example, of course we would allow them to seek the help of others.

That's very different from someone who can write, asking for editorial help, from more established writers.

Please try banging a different drum. That tune is becoming tiresome.