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BlacklightResponsive (May 14th, 2003, 11:19 pm)

Hey, I'm new round these parts and am looking for as much feedback as I can get. I'm not sure exactly how you work around here, if you prefer links to the writing or just the writing right in here. Since it's a rather short piece I hope you don't mind me just pasting it right here. Thanks in advance to any who help, and I'll make rounds trying to help others.


30 mintues earlier, 12 windowpanes. 12 glass panels into another world. Crystal clear and gaping, a dream's fantasy of the stars through a telescope. But directions can be forgotten.

Slipping under the covers, a blue wave of salt. A wall bent and blown out into a morning sky. Objectifiable, if not completely understandable. Eyes blink and grass grows ten stories through the basement ceiling. Clinging to the bedpost, the tree's trunk, slipping on the rocks and sliding down a waterfall over the edge and onto the floor. A ceiling tile drips into the figure of a woman, a beast, a ju ju bee with slender arms and a quirky way of using hand motions while speaking. A small community of candy creatures disappears into a cave set into a great wooden relief. A stainless steel lamp grows a curious look, peers cautiously over the edge, and slowly tips till it plummets towards the ground. Argentum wings sprout and spread wide, saving him from fatal impact at the last second. Melting through the sky, dripping drops of Skittles and flavors of the rainbow, the newfound tropical bird sings a song layered into infinity. Echos, chirps, and the forrest from a nature cd collide in waves like those of heat. Shimmering and wet, froathing at the top, the sound is as physical as the pillar of salt now standing taller than any skyscraper in the middle of the basement. Dirty clothes make up a quilted path into a world deep and newborn. As a cat, as a kid, as a new place to explore. A greater need to be a part of this fantastic world, where dreams come true.

A mother came to find her son asleep on the cold floor of the basement, face towards the ceiling and eyes smiling at eyelids. Warm, alive, unconscious. She shakes him, and he won't wake. There is no physical sign of harm, no clues, just a steady heart beat and eyes that do nothing but flutter occasionally. Screams insue, people rush in and out, people weep. Answers and questions are flung from slingshots and smack against the wall, only to slide slowly down till we end up at a point around a week in the future, in a hospital across town.

All tests show he should be up and running. He should be up and working, up and dealing with reality, up and about and moving on. But tests aside, he's still unmoving, and the only good news is the smile remains.

But what could it be, could it be that if a dream were real enough, whole enough to embrace, and good enough to want, that you can stay there forever. Is it any waste to live in happiness, to explore and learn and play by a new set of rules. Is it wrong to be so arrogant, as to pose some questions and end them with a period instead of a question mark. Shouldn't it be acceptable to aim for your dreams and hit them dead on, to live free of regulations and vile taboo? Is it bad to realize that asking questions is more intriguing than just giving people answers. That they, the questions, open more doors of thought and push more boundries, or do they? With answers it's hard to find a way past agree and disagree, it's hard to find individuality because you're almost only given two choices to start off with. Don't you find the most intriguing parts of movies to be the parts where something is open ended, or came about because of it? The spots which are open to debate, and breed arguments or discussions between friends. "No, it worked because at this point he said this and then that happened, you see what I'm saying?" If you could live life to death, and you could do so in the world of your choosing, picked from a catalouge to find the one that best suits you, would you not seize the opportunity?

This doesn't end with the kid waking up, and this doesn't end with him dead to his parents forever. It ends where you want to be. But it also ends with a new spin on an old question, did curiosity really kill the cat?


cruise (May 15th, 2003, 1:10 pm)

Now this I like. I was having real trouble following the surrealness at the beginning, but after a bit my mind clicked.

I love the ending - though admittedly I'm biased because I agree entirely with your questions. "Curiousity kills more mice than cats." :P

There's a few grammatical errors, mainly comma's in unnecessary places. The method of delivery too, especially toward the end, leaves a little torn. I like it, but it becomes more a philosophical article than a story, and that bothers me a little. It's more a commentary on the story, than the story...a meta-story, if you will. An instinctive feeling says a story should be self-contained, rather than reliant on "outside" information...the questions should be obvious from the story...or at least posed from within the story.

Howver, considering the length of the piece, this was probably the only way to do it, and another part of me likes the idea of boundaries being pushed...and questions being asked, so yeah, ignore the entirety of the previosu paragraph if you want... :P

So yeah...damn cool. Glad to have a new, um, "face," and hope we'll being seeing more of ya :D


BlacklightResponsive (May 15th, 2003, 5:47 pm)

Posing those questions while staynig in the bounds of the story is one of the best ideas I've heard yet (I've posted this a few places, to little success). Let me revamp it and show you how it might look the other way. I've got a ton of short stories like this that I've been working on, so you'll be see more of me for sure. I just didn't want to start spamming you with them. Some people on other boards get pretty uptight if you put up too much stuff on their precious boards. I'm gonna put up one other for right now anyway though, just to give you something to play with if you'd like while I work on this. I was thinking of doing it slightly Alice In Wonderland style, with the characters asking the questions. My voice is different than Alice's though, so it shouldn't read to copy-catish ;)


BlacklightResponsive (May 16th, 2003, 3:56 am)

It got to messy when I tried posting it in here, so here is a link:

Feel free...

cruise (May 16th, 2003, 11:51 am)

It's what the Feedback forum is for...Feedback :P

Post as much stuff as you like in it fulfil its purpose in life... :D

And yeah, the questions work much better built in to the story...though maybe the child should give some response...try talking back, even if there's no answer each time.

btw, most of your "questions" don't end in question marks...I actually found it disconcerting, as I kept re-reading the sentence to double-check it was actually a question, and I hadn't just misread...


Narainsbrain (May 17th, 2003, 4:04 am)

I absolutely love the concept. Especially the last paragraph.

Maybe I'm biased because, like Cruise, I think the way you do too, but what the hey. =)

Somehow, though, the questions in the second version don't feel right to me... This is the kid's dream, after all, it's in his head, why would he be asking questions like those? Self-containment is good, but the place you're asking questions in doesn't make sense. Though I can't think of any better place either...

You know, I think it's okay to have some philosophising in a story, as long as it doesn't take precedence over the story. So instead of one whole huge paragraph of it, you could scatter it around in one-or-two-sentence paragraphs, which often makes an interesting effect. (The image of chocolate chips in a cookie keeps coming to me :D)

Btw, I think you misspelled 'ensue'.


BlacklightResponsive (May 19th, 2003, 8:20 pm)

I really should get spell check on this computer.


cruise (May 19th, 2003, 9:28 pm)

To my mind, it's better if you just use a reference like when you're not sure...because then at least you're trying to spell it by yourself, and looking it up tends to embed it in your mind better...too much reliance on all these new-fangled grammar and spell-checkers is half the cause of all the bad English around these days...

ok, rant finished :P


BlacklightResponsive (May 19th, 2003, 10:44 pm)

the problem isn't always that I don't know how to spell it. I just don't even notice I made the typo in the first spot. And finding them all in a re-read for me isn't very...helpful, as I will tend to just read through and not notice at all.


cruise (May 20th, 2003, 2:57 pm)

See, now that's more awkward...

I still mislike the automated approach, for the same reason...if it is corrected for you, it's very hard to learn what it should be.

But then, if you don't know it's wrong, then what choice is there? I guess at least turning auto-correct off, and looking up the words yourself if they are highlighted is the best compromise...yeah it sounss a pain, but it is actually what I do...I have no grammar/spell checker except on my mail client, and I always make an effort to try and work out the correct version before I ask it...

Yeah, this is just my personal opinion, and it may not work for you...but hey...see my editorial for Issue Three (when it comes out) for a longer version of this rant :P

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