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Silk last won the day on September 20 2012

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  1. Sounds like we have four players with @shatteredsmooth, @kais, @hawkedup and @Robinski on the roster so far. Anyone for the last slot?
  2. I enjoyed this first chapter, and really don't have too much to say about it. Plenty of questions about the setting and world-building, of course, but nothing that I feel really needs to be addressed right now. The one thing that kind of caught my attention was the mention of the "all-woman" planet on p5. It seemed like an odd place for that particular factoid to come up, with E lost in her thoughts about T. And, of course, there are a whole bunch of questions one wants to ask about a planet that's only women. I know you and your work so I'm not worried about it, though of course I'm curious to see how it plays out; but if I were reading this from an author whose work I'd just picked up to try out, I'd probably be bracing for the possibility of poor logistics and questionable representation. Just a thought. As I read: p2 If the stones are from Earth and irreplaceable, why does E have them in an exterior pocket where she can lose and/or throw them? p2 "In lettering so large it blocked most of the landscape" and p4 "the red dunes faded into a semi-transparent image..." Wouldn't notifications that block the suit user's field of vision be awfully dangerous, especially since it seems they can pop up without the user's input (and therefore will inevitably do so at inopportune moments)? Also p4, mentions of "fierce" wind caught me by surprise, since this is the first time we've heard of it while E's been standing outside. p4-5 I don't quite get what's happening with the message being delivered on hide? If they can transmit an image of N holding it up to the camera, surely they can just transmit the text directly to E, or use audio? p9 The comment about "Earth's legacy" seems to imply that cancer is specific to earth and its immigrants, which ... seems unlikely. Agreed. I did a mental double take when I got to the part that told me the beetles were farther away than I thought. I'd just assumed this referred to different kinds of topsoil. No need for a geotech survey for that. To be honest, I didn't find this to be much of an issue, especially since it's all tied in with T's death and E's determination to find her body. I was a little surprised that the chapter took us as far as a confrontation with the m, since N's message told us to expect them at E's next destination, but I thought the chapter had an arc with E getting at least some piece of what she was looking for.
  3. Overall, I didn't have much to say about this chapter. It's a needed break after the action of the last chapter. A bit more description of the area would be nice, especially given that this was so well-done in the last one. As I read: Ah, so we do get an explanation for A's absence in the last chapter. I definitely think we should see this or part of this on-screen, even if we don't understand what we're seeing at the time. I think it would help the disappointment/confusion some of were feeling at his absence, and done right it could really ratchet up the tension of the last chapter a few notches. I do like the concept of ghosts as memories by the way. I think some of the earlier comments about more world-building in the early chapters to set this stuff up also apply here. P5, "who was murdered by a property developer and college student..." Okay, so it took me way longer than it should have to realize that the college student was the second ghost, not an extremely precocious person with a drug problem who managed to become a property developer despite being college-age... P6, A says "the day someone outed me..." Nitpicky, but is this terminology they would have had back when A was still alive? Or maybe A has picked up current terminology and this doesn't matter. Also on the subject of terminology: Is A. gay, trans, or both? The story seems to conflate them here. I see it's been discussed downthread but it's not necessarily clear in A's narration that both are true. Okay, with this revelation about M and the arsenic, I am now extremely curious about what her motivations are. It's good to see she's not just a cardboard villain, but yeah, I have questions. I think the last sentence of the chapter is a fragment? I had difficulty parsing it. Agree. It certainly feels like the dead bodies etc. would be a bigger deal. Both E and D seem to shrug off the supernatural quite easily throughout the entire narrative, so I didn't notice it particularly here, but @Mandamon's not wrong. Same question. Also wondering this! I think ID is probably right, here. I didn't really stumble over the comparison since it makes sense that a kid who's never really experienced a comparable loss would reach for the closest thing they can, but at the very least you could probably cut a lot of it and we wouldn't lose much. The only really revealing information in there is "those phrases feel hollow and fake." I stumbled over this a bit too. I know they biked a fair distance to the park from the mill, and assumed there were restaurants or whatnot on the way, but "a few streets away" from down seems a stretch. You probably could, though certainly easier if you use both fictional towns. Oooh. Yeah, this isn't clear at all. I think you're spot on in saying the description of the overall area is lacking. We've gotten some great description of individual places, but very little idea of how they all fit together. Another angle of the world-building problem, I think. Certainly, I don't think this would be a problem at all.
  4. @shatteredsmooth thanks so much for commenting! I always recommend listening to the audio track because it changes the meter, etc. of the lines pretty significantly, but Mandamon mentioned tripping on the line break in this one too, so something to look at. I actually really like that set of lines too! Glad to know it's not just me. Yeah. Maybe I can do something on this with the "self-help" line that nobody likes. Might also try to work something into the end of the chorus... Your comments have definitely been useful! I knew this would be outside of some folks' comfort zones, but I really don't get any sort of feedback on my songs unless someone makes a point of commenting on one after a show or something, so if you're ever stuck on what to say even a listener reaction along the lines of "this resonated/didn't resonate with me" is useful. If nothing else, it gives me a better idea which songs I should be considering for the final cut of an album.
  5. They really were! I see we had similar favourites too. Although I also enjoyed the Stranger Things demagorgon.
  6. @shatteredsmooth sounds good. Who else do we have for Monday?
  7. Sorry I didn't get to this sooner! This week has been ... interesting. Glad it seems to have worked. And yes, it might be a moderator thing..?
  8. I stumbled over the start of this chapter, I think because it's not the problem I was expecting to come back to; the last Q&M chapter left off with E being disconnected from the net. I'm also surprised that the characters don't try to address the fact that E has been disconnected in this chapter at all. Have they already tried and failed? Does obliterating the registration number on the plane really buy the gang a lot of time? Surely it's not something that anybody would be able to see and check until they're already landed, and the circumstances of their landing are going to be highly suspicious no matter what. I don't have a ton to say about this chapter, honestly. On its own, I enjoyed it. Overall, though, I'm getting anxious for Q and M to actually get to Yellowknife and start doing actual case work. Right now it feels like they are spending a whole lot of time getting to the main story. I wonder if perhaps some of these chapters could be condensed and combined? (The same might be true for the other POV chapters as well.) I'm also getting really anxious to see Q and M having the upper hand for once. They've spent the entire story at a disadvantage (to say the least) and I'd like to see what happens when things actually go well for them, too. A few little things: p.9 "Going up against completely prepared" should be "going up against him" p.10 " contemplate his guilty feelings aboutu" extra vowel! Slay it ! p.12 "He had it to the passenger door..." should be "he made it," perhaps? p 12 "...the right blow could cause an live reset" should be "a" The ambulance android points out that our friend the android is not connected to the Net as if that somehow detracts from his credibility, but I don't really see the connection? P. 13 "...before someone who gives a **** arrive" should be arrives
  9. Oh, I have my ways of making you work. I'll just start throwing in obscure jazz chords everywhere. Ebm7b5 anyone?
  10. So I should keep sending the versions that include chord symbols then? Thought that might be the case. I'll stick with two as the cap then.
  11. That is also a service I am happy to provide! [insert 'buy my album joke' here]
  12. Thanks for these! The trouble with synonyms is finding one that means the same thing and is the right number of syllables. (And one-syllable words are the easiest to replace because you don't have to worry about where the stressed syllable falls.) The only one I could do a straight-up swap with is "ease" which I think would give me exactly the same intonation problems I'm trying to avoid. I can play with a few of these, though. I might be able to make two syllables work here. Good point! I could just cut "somehow," although that leaves an awful lot of space between those two lines... Ooh, this is a good point, and is one of the things that I've been going back and forth on with this one. On the one hand I'm a bit worried that it would dilute the impact of the chorus, but maybe the contrast is needed to really give it a punch. I could try to do something around the line break @Mandamon was having some trouble with, maybe? Also, I will forever be giggling at the thought of saying to someone "my love for you could move a toaster." I feel like there's a parody song in there somewhere... That's a really interesting comment! I wasn't thinking of it exactly in those terms, but I definitely wanted there to be a progression from setting the stage (what "everybody" says) to something grounded more in the narrator's experience. Haha, yep, that'll happen. It's why I wanted to sub the recording and not just a lyrics sheet. Flow in particular becomes a totally different ball game when there's a specific rhythm involved. Thanks for commenting! (And, I am expecting to catch up on your subs in the next couple of weeks...) And now, time for some Leading Questions (based on some feedback I got recently about this piece, but not in a format where I have the opportunity to ask those folks for clarifications or details, so): Are the lyrics doing too much "telling" rather than showing? Do you feel like you're getting mixed or contradictory messages at any point during the song? I think perhaps @kais's comments get at these first two questions, a little bit. Does the chorus (melody and rhythm in particular) stand out from the verse enough? Does the bridge? And, just in general, I'd be curious to get people's thoughts on how much work this was to critique. Would it reasonable for me to sometimes to submit, say, two at once? Three? Of course, that's assuming I can write them that quickly...
  13. Alright, so we're four for this week! One last slot if anyone wants it!
  14. Overall: I agree with everyone who's commented that E seems very different from when we've seen her in previous chapters. It does make her a bit more sympathetic, but it also feels very abrupt. The story does also seem to wallow tad too long in her misery towards the middle of the chapter before she makes the decision to head out to the sheriff's office, and I think seeing some of that corporate toughness reassert itself a little sooner might help drive things forward a bit quicker. There were two things I had trouble swallowing. The first was the apparent lack of police involvement right up until E goes to the sheriff's office. It's one thing for the company to be conducting its own internal investigation--that makes perfect sense. But it's extremely difficult to imagine that corporate espionage at this level, which includes an ongoing threat to the general populace, wouldn't trigger a police investigation, especially considering T.'s status as "presumed dead or missing." I think the time jump is muddying the waters to an extent here, since we already know that she will later be recovered and that the police know where she is, but even E. thinks of T. as "missing, presumed dead." I didn't realise until E. got to the sheriff's office that T. had not been reported as either of those things. That leads me into the second thing I had trouble with, which is a bit more nebulous, so hopefully I can articulate it adequately here: I'm really kind of lost on what's a normal level of corporate politicking in this world. By this point, I expect larger-than-life shenanigans from Mor, so I'm not surprised that he would hide the security tapes from police (though I would expect that the police would have asked for them, or that they will soon). E jumps from realizing that she might be in some hot water over the login to assuming she's being scapegoated, but is still willing to withhold information from the police on behalf of that company for some reason. It just feels like a lot of characters are willing to go to extreme lengths to climb the corporate ladder. Maybe the setting is just more dystopian than I thought? I too am eager for E to make the leap to realizing that Mor may be the accomplice himself, and I do think there's lots of opportunity for tension and stakes-raising here. The chapter just didn't quite do it for me as is. As I read: Again we start with a "three days earlier..." time jump. My first thought when we encounter these--especially when there's more than one of them, and with recurring to characters--is always to wonder why the chapters couldn't have just been written in sequential order. More to the point, I found myself nodding along with @Mandamon's comment that this isn't really adding anything we didn't already know, and I think that's one of the reasons I'm having trouble with the POV-and-time-shifts. The shifts between POVs before have basically given us different perspectives on the same events rather than moving the story forward. It seems to me that T's disappearance for a few days might have been overlooked, but I'm seriously wondering how the security breach and the MTs getting loose, and possibly their mauling of T (since we know there were witnesses) did not end up in local media. For that matter, even if it wasn't in the local media, E seems relatively high up the food chain at this organization. Shouldn't she have been called in for this kind of emergency? Ah, E wonders the same thing herself. Glad it was brought up in the text. Though it still begs the question of why Mor didn't suspend her sooner, especially if he is looking to cover this up. Top of p6, "The human prick..." I really stumbled over this one, since everyone (except the syRen, I suppose) is human in this story. Isn't "prick" more common? Or is this a regional thing? p7 "T was missing presumed dead" you need a comma between "missing" and "presumed" E. goes to visit the sheriff's office (which probably should be a police detachment?) and it occurs to me that we've seen no police activity on this so far. Of course the company would be doing its own internal investigation, but given that the security breach has lead to at least one person missing/presumed dead and the ongoing threat from the MTs, surely there should be an active police investigation going on. Could give you some opportunities to increase the tension, too. E being hammered by investigators while she's at her worst might be a fun scene. Okay, the office politicking is really starting to lose me at this point. I get E being concerned that this might end her career, and even thinking that she might be being set up as a scapegoat within the company, but she's willing to mislead the sheriff/police about T being missing? Is Mor just hoping E won't say anything to the police about T having been mauled by MTs, even though he's the one who showed E the tapes? Is he hoping she will say something for some reason? And why on earth does E keep her mouth shut here? Another thing that raised my eyebrows: the sheriff is willing to bring E to the site of what is presumably about to be an active investigation. Bottom of P15, "...pull her zip tight" probably you meant zipper. I agree. That would help make the eventual shift to E realizing that Mor's actually involved in all this. Yep. Might help with the "wait why are they bringing her to a crime scene?!" reaction I had too. I actually thought this worked. Even E notes that Mor is quite stressed out, and as readers we already know that things haven't gone to plan, so I don't have a problem with him not gloating. Similarly, E is getting her own shock here, so I don't think she needs to cotton on that something's up right away. I am hoping/expecting that she'll catch on sooner rather than later though, especially now that she knows that Mor didn't report T's mauling to the police. Yeah, I'm feeling this a little too. I do feel that the Q&M chapters are starting to carry a little more weight, but if not for the title I wouldn't consider them protagonists any more than E and her crew.
  15. Oh man, @Robinski, I meant to ask you if you saw the Lego displays outside the art show at Point Square!