Friday, June 13, 2008

New Beginning 515

Papa adored Mama, and normally he gave her whatever she desired. Luckily, Mama didn't ask for much, but when she did, he made it happen. He was resisting this time, however. They'd been arguing, discussing as Mama said, since the far rider stopped by with a message three weeks before.

That's when her mother embarked on a frantic mission to make Gentyl's skin velvet soft, with no blemish or scratch to mar it. A farmer's daughter with perfect skin? If she hadn't been the object of this unwanted attention, it would have been laughable.

Gentyl glanced up from the smoky gray kitten, purring loudly in her arms. She continued to stroke the silky fur and grabbed at a tiny paw from time to time as he batted at the braid draped across her shoulder. Kittens were almost the only animals allowed to trespass in her mother's immaculate herb garden and even they were frequently shooed away if they started chewing on the plants. Yet, there was Papa, with his large farmer boots, standing in the middle of a lush green mass, and Mama too busy arguing to notice the molested mint.



Does this story make you want to plow a few furrows?

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Opening: Julie Weathers.....Continuation: Pacatrue

78 comments:

Sarah Laurenson said...

Nice. I'd read on.

pacatrue said...

I'm not proud.

However, EE's addition of naughty sounding plant names like "bearded tongue" lift my continuation to a whole nother level. Well done, EE.

Sarah Laurenson said...

After all the POV talk, I had to go back for a second read. It does shift from paragraph 1 to paragraph 2. First read through, I had no problem with it. Second time, I was a little pickier, but all I did was note that it shifts.

I'd still read on. I love the flow, the descriptions. I want to know more about far riders and what they are and what's about to happen to Gentyl. Seems like marriage is on her horizon and all that entails - like resistance, etc. Very nice, JW!

Dave F. said...

The only problem I have with the opening is the "message" that the rider brought three weeks before. The message that prompted her mother to pester her father. The message that made her mother decide that Gentyl's skin should have no blemishes. The message that leads to hair braiding and making her mother too busy to notice her father trampling the precious plants.

What is the message and why is it a mystery?

Bonnie said...

The disconnect at paragrah three almost gave me whiplash. We're remembering something that happened three weeks ago, talking mostly about the parents and what they're doing to the girl's skin. We hit a paragraph break. And suddenly we're in the garden, apparently in Gentyl's POV, starting over.

I like either opening, but not both together like this...

Bernita said...

A sweet opening.

Bernita said...

And this will probably cause several of you to curl your lip in disdain at my lamentable ignorance but I don't see any POV problems with this piece.

Whirlochre said...

I keep coming back to this like a mean-spirited old spinster, wanting to pick fault at the succession of wedding dresses parading from a village church.

Fifth visit.

Nothing yet.

BuffySquirrel said...

Way to lose a reader, Khazar-khum, EE. Please do not ever do that again.

Wes said...

Nice opening. Sweet. Give some thought to the qualifiers (don't know if that's a correct discription) which tend to weaken strong sentences. Consider the difference between ".....and grabbed a tiny paw from time to time as he batted at the braid...." vs. ".....and grabbed a tiny paw as he batted at the braid....". Also "Kittens were almost the only animals allowed...." vs. "Kittens were the only animals allowed...."

I have the same question as Dave, and it makes me want to read more.

Wes said...

Most of the continuations are sick...........and I love them.

Evil Editor said...

Me? It was the minions' idea that I should post the unchosen continuations, not mine. If I'm to post only those that wouldn't bother anyone, I'll need a list of everything that's off limits.

Ulysses said...

"If I'm to post only those that wouldn't bother anyone..."

...You wouldn't post any at all, E.E., and where would the fun be in that?

Wes said...

No problem. I liked them.

Robin S. said...

Hey buff - I usually agree with you- but I think all of these guys need posting.

I've had kitties for years - have an eight-week old little cutie now (to go with my 17 year old decrepit one, what fun they are together - um, not at all). Sh'es sitting here looking at me.

It's like so much around here or anywhere else - humor is a personal thing. I can't remember which one it was - but I hated a continuation EE had on here a while back- about a woman keeping her legs closed or something like that - I said I didn't like it- and we had a much bigger discussion than I ever thought we were gonna have - but I didn't want EE to take it off - I just wanted to be able to say I didn't like it. So I did. Just being feeling free enough to voice my opinion is good enough for me.

Hell. I just reread this and realized it sounded all righteous. Hope you don't take it that way.

I'm the polar opposite of self- righteous. I hate those fucking kinds of people.

Julie Weathers said...

I guess I am completely ignorant about POV.

It's supposed to be Gen's all the way through.

Julie Weathers said...

Thanks all. Been kind of a rough week and I came home to find this. I have to admit I laughed out loud.

You people...

Good job, minions.

As for the discussion about appropriate, nothing offended me.

I'm not thrilled with men who refer to women like a piece of meat, but there is a reason I live in a convent.

Julie Weathers said...

Dave, they received news a close friend of the family was murdered. Remember the knight in the sanctuary?

Mother wants to put her in an academy where she will eventually join a sisterhood and be protected. Her father thinks they can keep her safe on the farm.

Thanks for picking up on the message.

BuffySquirrel said...

So we can have a long debate about a dislike of swearing, and have moves to respect people's feelings there, but when the "humour" reduces me to tears, that's insignificant.

I'm out of words here.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hi JW,

When you go from 'Papa and Mama' to 'her mother', it's a switch from inside Gentyl's head to outside. That's the POV switch I saw. No biggie for me, though.

Robin S. said...

Hey Julie-

I didn't realize this was from your novel- I thought this was about Texas or something. Now I feel stupid. Sorry!

I already liked it- got sidetracked!

And paca - your contin was a scream!

Evil Editor said...

but when the "humour" reduces me to tears, that's insignificant.


I don't think anyone said it was insignificant. And swearing still goes on here.

And while KK's cont. involves making a kitten stole, no need to single that one out, as others have a kitten hat, a Gentyl/kitten jacket, and a murdered Papa.

In real life I usually find the unnecessary death of an animal more distressing than that of a human, but it's common to consider human life more important, and I wouldn't be surprised to discover that a hundred people have died in continuations, and that's just the chosen continuations. If there's anything on this blog that's not worth reading, it's the unchosen continuations, which would have been chosen if they were any good. So sensitive people shouldn't risk reading them, knowing they're sometimes cruel.

Julie Weathers said...

And suddenly we're in the garden, apparently in Gentyl's POV, starting over.

I'm not trying to be defensive or argumentative. I'll refrain from commenting after this, but I do need to know if others feel the same.

Gen is sitting in the barnyard, waiting for her father so they can go do chores. Her parents are standing in the herb garden arguing. She sees them, notices Papa standing in the mint, but she can't hear them. Her pov.

Anyway, I'm obviously confused about pov again, but it wouldn't be the first time.

Julie Weathers said...

Since I posted this, I did change the first graph.

In her nearly sixteen years, Gentyl had never seen her parents argue, but that's all they'd done since the far rider stopped by with a message three weeks before.

I need to turn it into a coherent sentence, but that's the gist of it.

Robin S. said...

Hey buff- I didn't agree with the long debate on swearing. I thought it was fucking stupid. I said that, as I remember.

I'm not a big fan of anyone driving everyone else's choice-of-words decisions for them - and I'm notoriously obscene, and have no plans to change for anyone, ever.

I don't think anyone here would purposefully offend you! I really don't.

Julie Weathers said...

Rob, why do you feel stupid? Did I miss something good?

Wes, your advice is spot on. Much better and tighter this way.

Robin S. said...

In real life I usually find the unnecessary death of an animal more distressing than that of a human...

Damn. I thought that was just me.

Julie Weathers said...

"If there's anything on this blog that's not worth reading, it's the unchosen continuations, which would have been chosen if they were any good."

*sobs uncontrollably*

But I try. I can't help it if I'm lousy.

Robin S. said...

Oh, Jules - no worries. EE is overstating his case. I think.

I didn't have a POV issue, to be honest. I just thought it was about the hill country of Texas. Maybe that's a bigger mistake?

Robin S. said...

I bet I'm the only one here wacthing golf and loving it, aren't I?

Julie Weathers said...

"I don't think anyone here would purposefully offend you! I really don't."

I already expressed my opinion on language on my blog, so not going into it again here. However, me visiting someone else's blog is like being a guest at their party in their home. If the party gets too loud or too rough, then quietly leave. It is, after all, their home.

Do I get offended by some things said here? Occasionally, mostly just irritated. Then I remember that guy talking about chasing a piece is someone I don't have to meet in real life, number one. Number two, it's good to be reminded women really are just a convenience to many men.

I just think of it as rattles on a snake.

So, it's all good in the hood.

Dave F. said...

Julie,
I didn't see anything wrong with the opening other than including her distress at her parents deciding were she'd going to be next year. It's normal for a kid resist those wishes.

The POV does move but not annoyingly so. What I perceive is a narrowing of the POV from a wide view of Papa and Mama over the years, to Mama doing her hair, to just Gentyl watching them argue. That seems logical to me.

And that's why I asked what the discussion was about... The opening pointed to a decision about something affecting Gentyl (and she wasn't going to like it, kids never do). I'm guessing that the big deal in this chapter will be that decision and Gentyl's response.

Can this opening be longer or shorter? Yes and Yes. It's up to your style.

Evil Editor said...

Not the only one. Been watching since 1.

Robin S. said...

Well, you beat me, then. I left work early- popped that Open on at 4:00.

I don't think ESPN does a good job of showing the leaderboard. It's driving me a little batty.

Julie Weathers said...

"I didn't see anything wrong with the opening other than including her distress at her parents deciding were she'd going to be next year. It's normal for a kid resist those wishes."

She doesn't know yet, and doesn't find out until the end of the chapter. However, there is a running skirmish up to that point.

"The POV does move but not annoyingly so. What I perceive is a narrowing of the POV from a wide view of Papa and Mama over the years, to Mama doing her hair, to just Gentyl watching them argue. That seems logical to me."

Yes, it's more of a wide angle focusing in, I think, or at least what I intended. Her mother doesn't fix her hair until much later. Did I give the impression she is doing it here? She's just sitting in the dirt, playing with a kitten, while she waits.

Methinks I need to look at this again.

Thanks, Dave. I value your opinion as a writer and reader.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I didn't mind the switch and I liked the 'Papa and Mama' language.

Julie Weathers said...

"Without free speech, we would have the kind of tyranny that is found on Mormon Writer's sites."

*snickers*

Yes, Kiersten the Tyrant. Has a sort of ring to it.

Julie Weathers said...

"I didn't mind the switch and I liked the 'Papa and Mama' language."

Sarah, thank you. Not trying to be obtuse here. POV is my nemesis. That and grammar. And theme. Well, I have many.

Aren't you supposed to be getting ready for a wedding?

talpianna said...

Like Buffy, I didn't care for all the gleeful kitten-slaughtering; but I considered the source and didn't let it upset me.

I do find this opening intriguing.

Which convent, Julie? The Little Sisters of the Delicious Viand?

Julie Weathers said...

"Which convent, Julie? The Little Sisters of the Delicious Viand?"

*narrows eyes*

Have you been watching me? How did you know that's where I live? How did you know I would use it in a book?

Kiersten said...

Wait, I'm a tyrant? If I were self-righteous and controlling, I'd hardly be on this blog, would I?

And would Robin, Julie, WO, and EE be my favorite people I've never met?

Probably not. And I'd say let's refrain from making blanket judgments based on things like religion, but that wouldn't go with the flow of this conversation ; ) Feel free to bash Mormons, Arlyle; the rest of us recognize that one is no more defined by his or her religion than his or her language.

That aside (and Kiersten the Tyrant actually does have a nice ring, Julie, you're right; now I just need a kingdom) Julie, I'm just excited to read this! I did get a little taste of an Amy Tan book where the mom begins treating the girl like a possession, distancing herself when she gets promised (betrothed? whatever), but knowing that it's because Gentyl is going to school and not being given away in marriage changes that.

I didn't especially like any of the continuations, but I also didn't submit any, so I can't complain, right?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Ring shopping tomorrow. Wedding on the 27th. Civil ceremony. No frills.

Julie Weathers said...

Hello, Miss K. Still on vacation?

Surrey is closing in on me. I need to get this beast finished.

Hopefully, I will be in a position to put you to work next month.

Kiersten said...

Just let me know, Jules.

Congrats, Sarah!

Jeb said...

Great continuation, pacatrue!

I think the POV thing could be cleared up simply, with a few attribution changes, ie by having the first line of para 2 read: That's when _Mama_ embarked on...

and the last sentence of para 2 read: If _Gentyl_ hadn't been...

Then start papa 3 with _She_ instead of 'Gentyl'.

I am curious. I'd turn the page.

pacatrue said...

Hey buffy, I know you didn't mention my continuation, but I'd want to say that I apologize if any joke I came up with really offended someone or made them cry. It's obviously not successfully funny if that's the reaction. Humor is liable to offend someone periodically as one brand of humor is going for the outrageous twist, which is why continuations on the site have been filled with murder, cannibalism, and more. Still, apologies if you were offended.

Whirlochre said...

Having differently tipped antennae is what makes us human.

talpianna said...

Well, Julie, it could have been the Order of the Blessed Julia Child...

Julie Weathers said...

"Ring shopping tomorrow. Wedding on the 27th. Civil ceremony. No frills."

None? Not even a little frill?

Julie Weathers said...

"Just let me know, Jules."

I will, Kiersten. We're working on structure in the workshop now. Plots, sub-plots, story arc, beginnings and ends as they tie the story together. I already realized this beginning needed work, but I didn't want to bug EE to take it down.

The actual beginning workshop is mid-July. I'll put it through the mill there and then through Books and Writers. Then you get to put the pen to it.

With boy child deploying sooner than expected and me moving the end of July, things have just been hectic, so I am behind.

Even so, I have to stay on some sort of schedule if I want to get this done. You'll be getting started soon.

Julie Weathers said...

JEB

"I think the POV thing could be cleared up simply, with a few attribution changes, ie by having the first line of para 2 read: That's when _Mama_ embarked on...

and the last sentence of para 2 read: If _Gentyl_ hadn't been...

Then start papa 3 with _She_ instead of 'Gentyl'.

I am curious. I'd turn the page."

Thanks, very good comments. First graph is gone and replaced with a single, unwieldy sentence.

I think the rest of your comments will line out the remainder.

I changed Mama to Mother in the rewrite to distance her a bit, but I think your suggestion is still valid.

Julie Weathers said...

Well, Julie, it could have been the Order of the Blessed Julia Child...

*groans*

That would be me, actually, since Julia is my given name. I just don't get called that much unless I'm in trouble. "Julia Marie, what have you done now?"

Robin S. said...

Wow, Lyle. Good stuff.

freddie said...

Wow. What a discussion this touched off.

I sort of love how these continuations (and other exercises) make us veer off into topical issues. Makes me feel like I'm getting to know everyone a little better.

I know Buffy doesn't like mention of kitten killing and Robin is sick of the attitude that women should keep their legs together. I know that I have a problem with mention of suicide as a viable alternative to fixing your screw-ups. (Strangely, jokes are okay, as I understand the need to push the envelope to figure out what's funny and when a joke just moves into offensive territory.)

I know Kiersten is a Mormon. I know R. Lyle is a Christian.

We come from all walks of life. And if EE had to filter jokes for fear it might offend someone, this blog wouldn't exist.

I could never do what EE does. I'm too afraid of offending, which I think is why I'm so quick to agree a lot and wind up contradicting myself.

See? I even learned something about me. Bonus of this blog, I say. And definitely a good thing for writing.

freddie said...

Oh, BTW, Jules, I do like the opening.

I'd read on.

Very constructive, I know, but I'm running late. Gotta get ready for lessons.

Kiersten said...

It's true, I have been killing a lot of people based on religion lately.

Or maybe it was ice cream flavors. I'm just not sure.

And Arlyle, I'm going to argue with you and say that it's not religion, it's socioeconomic disparities. Money was the basis for the crusades--not religion. Why else would the crusaders sack the Christian capitol of the world?

And I guess Jules and I thought you were referencing me because you said Mormon's writing sites, not Mormons' writing sites.

Also, I really like calling you Jules, Julie ; )

Well, I'm off. Someone in the next beach house is yelling about how much they like cookies and cream ice cream; I'd better go teach them a lesson.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I'm a simple girl. Nearly simple minded.

Our friends are banding together and adding flowers, photos and deciding what we're wearing. We're thinking of eloping. ;-)

Anonymous said...

A right rippin continuation there, Pac!

I have to say that I have somehow managed to cross over to the darkside (as a NB reader) and I require dialogue, action, some progress or titilation in the first 150 or I'm disappointed.

Also haunted by this from the Gallimaufry:

Evil Editor's comments are intended for entertainment purposes only, although many readers insist on finding them instructional as well.


More later, gotta go!!!

ME

Julie Weathers said...

Actually, I think the Turkish crusades started in 630. Leading up to the first "crusade" Christians and other faiths were conquered and allowed to pay a tax to remain in their faith, but that changed to become Muslim or die. The conquering of Christian Jerusalem launched the first European crusade in 1095 if I remember correctly.

Julie Weathers said...

Thank you, Freddie. I appreciate it.

Dave F. said...

Let me ask a question -
How do you "crush" a character?

Now ya'll know that I'm a Battlestar Galactica fan and they just ended the half-season with a HUGE revelation. They found Earth, the 13th colony, the home of the lost tribe. (Lorne Green found the 1960's earth and turned into a hippie.)
GUESS WHAT THEY FOUND? Earth is a radioactive wasteland of destroyed cities. Nothing lives.

Now tell me HOW do you crush a character. How do those people go on when their salvation no longer exists? How do characters cope?

Julie Weathers said...

"I have to say that I have somehow managed to cross over to the darkside (as a NB reader) and I require dialogue, action, some progress or titilation in the first 150 or I'm disappointed."

Sorry, ME, I'm not that kind of girl.

Julie Weathers said...

"Now tell me HOW do you crush a character. How do those people go on when their salvation no longer exists? How do characters cope?"

The same way we do. You go through life one day at a time because it's a habit to go on living. Then one day you wake up and realize you have a reason to live.

Julie Weathers said...

All right, not trying to wear out my welcome, but is this better?

In her nearly sixteen years, Gentyl had never seen her parents fight, but that's all they had done since the far rider came by with a message three weeks before.

That's when her mother embarked on a frantic mission to make Gentyl's skin velvet soft, with no blemish or scratch to mar it. A farmer's daughter with perfect skin? If she hadn't been the object of this unwanted attention, it would have been laughable.
Gentyl glanced up from the smoky gray kitten, purring in her arms. She continued to stroke the silky fur and grabbed at a tiny paw as he batted at the braid draped across her shoulder. Kittens were the only animals allowed to trespass in her mother's immaculate herb garden and even they were often shooed away if they started chewing on the plants. Yet, there was Papa, with his large farmer boots, standing in the middle of a lush green mass, and Mama too busy arguing to notice the molested mint.

I didn't make the changes JEB suggested in para 2. Well, I did, but they seemed awkward with the new first line.

Do I still need to work on POV?

Sarah Laurenson said...

It's a different voice and not as interesting to me. I really like the original.

Evil Editor said...

You don't need to work on it, nor did you in the original version. It's Gentyl's POV in both cases.

The change comes in referring to Mama and Papa versus "her mother and her father." Mama and Papa feels like what they'd be called if Gentyl were telling the story in 1st person rather than 3rd. In which case she would also refer to them as my mother and father rather than her mother and father.

But if you see Mama and Papa as their names, which they may be to Gentyl, it's probably no more a shift than calling someone her sister here and Eloise there.

It might be interesting to see how this sounded in first person, but if Gentyl isn't in all the scenes, that would be tricky.

Dave F. said...

I miss the voice of the original. You lose something in the later version.

And EE"s right about first person. Let Gentyl speak about her Moma and Popa. It sounds better than the third person.

I wouldn't have made minimal changes. If you see three xxx's that means a deletion.

Papa adored Mama, and normally he gave her whatever she desired. Luckily, Mama didn't ask for much, but when she did, he made it happen. He was resisting this time, however. They'd been arguing, discussing as Mama said, since the far rider brought news of the knight's death.

That's when xxx mother embarked on a frantic mission to make my skin velvet soft, with no blemish or scratch to mar it. A farmer's daughter with perfect skin? If _I_ hadn't been the object of this unwanted attention, it would have been laughable.

_I_ glanced up from the smoky gray kitten. It purred loudly as I stroked its silky fur and grabbed at a tiny paw from time to time as he batted at my braid xxx. Kittens were almost the only animals allowed to trespass in her mother's immaculate herb garden and even they were frequently shooed away if they started chewing on the plants. Yet, even at this distance, I could see Papa, with his large farmer boots, standing in the middle of a lush green mass, and Mama too busy arguing to notice the molested mint.


I think that preserves the charm of the opening and adds to the narrative.

Julie Weathers said...

Just for grins.

In my nearly sixteen years, I'd never seen my parents fight, but that's all they had done since the far rider came by with a message three weeks before.

That's when Mother embarked on a frantic mission to make my skin velvet soft, with no blemish or scratch to mar it. A farmer's daughter with perfect skin? If I weren't the object of this unwanted attention, it would have been laughable.

I glanced up from the smoky gray kitten, purring in my arms and looked toward the house. They were "discussing" again, as Mother called it. I grabbed at the tiny, velvet paw as he batted at the braid draped across my shoulder. Kittens were the only animals allowed to trespass in Mother's immaculate herb garden and even they were often shooed away if they started chewing on the plants. Yet, there was Papa, with his large farmer boots, standing in the middle of a lush green mass, and Mother too busy arguing to notice the molested mint.

No, I couldn't do the whole thing first person.

The word count is already horrible. The only way I can weave in the various subplots seamlessly is to have several chapters told by different characters.

"But if you see Mama and Papa as their names, which they may be to Gentyl, it's probably no more a shift than calling someone her sister here and Eloise there."

That's what I was thinking, but I've been confused before.

Thanks, EE. You're a gem.

Julie Weathers said...

"It's a different voice and not as interesting to me. I really like the original."

*snickers*

One of the major complaints in the workshop is she sounds too young in the original version. This seemed to be the most expeditious way to age her. Since this opening borders on a sleeping aid, I needed to get to something interesting asap.

Julie Weathers said...

Dave, I can't do first person with this. It started out first person and I switched it to third. Aside from the part about me hating to read first person, it would require skills I doubt I have to do it well.

"And EE"s right about first person. Let Gentyl speak about her Moma and Popa. It sounds better than the third person."

I think Mama and Papa can be her names for them, as EE said even without switching to first.

I have noticed she refers to her mother as Mother, when she's irritated with her and Mama, when things are more relaxed. As a people watcher, I've noticed a lot of people do this. It might be too subtle to use in writing, though. Readers might just think I can't make up my mind if they don't notice why the switches take place.

"They'd been arguing, discussing as Mama said, since the far rider brought news of the knight's death. "

They haven't told her Aegis is dead yet due to the circumstances and he is like an uncle to her. That is one of the things they're arguing about.

I do appreciate you thinking about this and trying to help me.

Julie Weathers said...

Paca, I didn't comment directly, but thanks for the continuation. It was excellent.

Julie Weathers said...

Rob, if it's any consolation, I do envision this area as Texas hill country. Do you have esp?

Robin S. said...

Nope, Jules.

But I've been to the Texas hill country, and I know you're from Texas, AND the mama and papa and the getting-the-girl-ready thing sounded about right.

But now that I know it's about putting her away somewhere - well, screw that. Hope she gets away.

BuffySquirrel said...

I can live with the kitten stole and so on. It's the physical act of killing the kitten that got me. It still gets me. While I'm typing this I actually have that part of the screen covered so I don't have to see it.

But I didn't ask for it to be taken down. I just asked for it not to happen again. Please. There's a lot of things on this blog that have offended and even upset me--and sometimes I say so and sometimes I don't. But this went too far for me.

la. thanks for all the support people :) sorry I snapped at y'all

Julie Weathers said...

Buffy, you know we love you. As for me, I just had to put the vision out of my head.

Robin S. said...

I'm only gonna say this one more time in this thread, as I don't really want to beat a dead horse.

Censorship sounds good when it starts out- because it's seen as a common good - 'protect this' or 'protect that'. Exclude this or that from a discussion - animal death, promiscuity (a word I loathe), human death, maiming, sex with animals, obscenity, whatever.

The problem, is, next thing you know, the Nice Police, the PC Fucks, are everywhere, and everything is dumbed down, and I do mean dumbed down, to make nice-nice pablum-ized prose for everybody.

In my opinion, skip over what you find distasteful, and enjoy what you enjoy. And keep in mind that others here and just about anywhere else (that isn't a mental cellblock) are going to find your tastes and choices, in writing comments,continuations, Christmas cards or anything else, offensive sometimes.

The 'you' I mention here is the 'universal you', and by that definition, it includes me.

Julie Weathers said...

Robin, I agree. We have to gloss over the things not to our taste.

Having said that, as related in my F-Bomb story, I sometimes draw the line. Even though it's a free country, sometimes a bit of common courtesy is nice. Does that mean anyone should be censored? Nope.

Just be aware.

Just as bad as the PC police are some radicals, who insist their free rights mean they have the duty to do offensive crap just to prove they can. If the other person doesn't like it they can just get screwed.

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:


With a swift twist she snapped the kitten's neck, tossing the carcass onto the small pile of others she'd killed today. Mama would be pleased; there was almost enough fur to make a decent stole.

Smiling, she called to the kittens frolicking near the mint.

--Khazar-khum


"Oy vey, will you never learn about these traveling salesmen?" Mama asked.

Gentyl put the kitten down. The Fuller Brush man cowered in the sweet woodruff, his eyes moving from Gentyl to Mama to Papa and back again.

"You said you wanted grandchildren," Papa pleaded his case. The salesman began to whimper as Papa stropped his knife.

"Good thing you're a mohel, Papa," Mama said. "And what a good boy you are, Mr. Salesman, to agree to convert. Maazel tov."

--Mignon



Gentyl lowered the kitten to the ground and, with a giggle, watched it start to frolic in amongst the herbs. She glanced over to her parents: mama was standing straight, with her arms folded across her heavy chest; papa waved his hands and pointed and spoke in a loud voice that was whipped away by the breeze before Gentyl could hear the words.

The little cat mewled. Gentyl watched it roll in the plants and chase its own tail. She bent down to pick it up.

If only she’d known the argument was about how her silly mama had picked up the wrong seeds at the market and paid good mint prices for catnip seeds. Then she might not have picked up a kitten on speed; she might have had a chance at having that perfect, unblemished, scratch free skin her mama yearned for her.

Still, at least mama got a nice new fur hat.

--anon.


Gentyl smiled at the kitten and rubbed its soft head. She could smell the bruised mint that Papa was trampling on. It would be no use for face packs now.

I knew Papa loved me best, she thought.

--anon.


Ever since she had caught him with that cactus, Mama had done her best to ignore Papa's unnatural attraction to plant life.

Every time he called me his little desert flower, my skin prickled.

--Ulysses



Usually, the far rider bought a lot of Mama's mint; he would pay bundles of money for great bags of it. But this time, the far rider didn't buy any mint.

Mama said the crop was spolit and worthless. Papa said, what are we going to do without any money? That's how the argument started.

I thought the mint was fine. I liked the sharp, pungent smell of Mama's mint plants. I liked the thin leaves shaped like skeleton's hands, and the nice feeling I got when I chewed the leaves. And despite all the worry about money, Mama still cared about my skin.

* * *

For Sale: Soft, white leather jacket. Unique item. Perfect and unblemished. Gray fur collar.

--ril