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[Sasha Distan] Summer Camp - a nanowrimo novel

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Ladies, Gentlemen and Those of you Who Have Yet to Make Up Your Minds....

(drum roll please)




The most estimable Kitt is editing the chapters as i type them up in my cider and jerky powered frenzy, so updates will be erratic and fairly swift. Remember, in a month it'll be over.


I will come and answer questions when I can, but Kitt knows everything i know, so i hope that y'all will be nice and let her be my rather more sensible voice if i can't make it on.


I love story involving a young man who is a bear, a guy who is a lynx, and lots of messy and wonderful sex. All while trying not to be discovered. Did i mention that they work at an adventure campground for school groups?

Edited by Sasha Distan
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I like that Kitt is estimable.  Like she can be estimated. :lol:


EDIT: I know that it also means deserving of respect and admiration.  However, the capability of estimation was the first thing that came to mind.

Edited by Myiege
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Let's see if I can get this party started.  In a review a reader said:


 "He's also so resistant to the Great Spirits and yet he does not seem to resist the one and only mate aspect of the shifter culture. Is that just because the biological imperative of meeting his mate so strong, or are we coming later to that issue?"



The Great Spirits are the shifter cultures version of "God".  I have seen many people over the years accept portions of a religion without question, only to rail at how unfair it is that the same deity allowed a loved one to suffer and/or die.

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The way Paddy thinks and talks about the Great Spirits does not make me think about them as God-like, or at least not in the monotheistic sense. Rather they seem like animal spirits or ancestor spirits risen to a level where they can watch over and in some ways help or influence those who belong to the shifter universe. 

Also it makes more sense for shifters to have a pagan type religion rather than be part of one of the world religions like Christianity. After all both the British Isles and Scandinavia had their own beliefs long before the Christian missionaries came along. With Paddy I'm thinking Kelts / Picts / Druids maybe even Puck of Pook's Hill. And Troy is of course from the Nordic region with Asgard (Odin, Thor, the Fenris Wolf etc) as well as the troll and elf folklore.

In any case, it will be interesting to see what this difference (as well as the other issues) will mean for their relationship. I guess the pressure is really on, when you HAVE to be together (or be physically ill) no matter how you fit in backgrounds, opinions or likes.

Edited by Timothy M.
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My apologies if my reference to higher powers came across as monotheistic.  Chalk that up to a Roman Catholic upbringing.


My intent was not to spark a discussion of comparative theology, it was to open discussion on the characters themselves. My point was that Troy's rejection of the Great Spirits stemmed from a personal loss.  A catholic priest would call it a crisis of faith. I am sure other groups have their own names for it. To Troy the Great Spirits can't exist any more than Santa Claus does because if they did and protected them the way he had been taught then his father would not have been shot by poachers.

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Ehmm, didn't you just do a spoiler with those last few words ?!

And I think that spirituality on a very relaxed level seems to be part of Paddy's personality, so it makes sense to discuss how it influences him and what that means for his relationship with Troy. Maybe he'll be able to restore some sort of acceptance in Troy, or maybe he'll find out that not all shifters are into the Great Spirits concept. Though they certainly all bow down to the mating imperative. But that seems to be a biological imperative rather than a religious - and we've not heard Paddy say or think that rejecting your mate or cheating on him would be sacrilege.

But I agree there are many other interesting matters to discuss about those two guys, especially as the story unfolds further and Sasha will think up more obstacles for their love ;-)

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Nope, all it said was:


“Your Great Spirits weren’t there for me or for my father when we needed them!” He thumped his mate again, and Paddy pulled him closer, wrapped big arms around the tense bundle of anger and energy that was the man he wanted to love. Troy was shaking in his arms, and when the wetness touched his skin, Paddy realised he was crying.


But I did make a wild guess, with this review:


Yikes more potential conflicts, issues and differences:
Spiritual vs cynical (but I'm almost with Troy here, though I can go with Paddy's form of religion better than if he was Calvinist or something like that)
Selfcontained and selfconfident vs insecure and restless
From a large, loving and accepting family vs - well we don't know, but something's wrong in relation to Troy's father (wonder if he got shot). Hopefully he'll open up tonight.

So you did not spoil it too much for me :-) And noone else seems to be here, so not to worry. But I had hoped to see ch 4 today.

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i was indeed. it was all the best things together on the greatest night of the year. christmas ain't got nothing on the fifth round here.


Timothy, your guess was very good, so much so that it was hard not to say anything. you might just get more chapters very soon. give me time, there were no words at all yesterday. the wolf was out howling instead of inside typing. 


As to the faith thing, i have always considered the best religions to be pantheistic, and shifters don't have a "god" so much as a rich connection with the spirits of old and ancestors from the past. after all, the first cave drawings were of shifters, they've been alive maybe longer than humans have.

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Glad my question catalyzed some interesting discussion, even if it was not quite in the direction expected. I, too, have known plenty of folks from various religions that take part of it and leave the rest. But since the direction was to discuss the characters and not theology, I'll leave those thoughts for later.


Now, Noah is an interesting character who has not been discussed yet. Sounds to me like he could be from a shifter family the way he described his family and growing up. Only thing is: neither Paddy nor Troy recognized him, however, and it seemed as though they would have if he were. Are there shifter families where not all the kids are shifters? Then again, he could be just what he described: someone who grew up in the wilderness. Guess we'll know sometime before December...

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I didn't mean it to sound like I was forbidding the subject of comparative theology. I just sort of lump it into a grouping with politics as a discussion topic. Shaky ground bound to cause arguments and usually not the good kind!


Bearing in mind I know no more about the future than the rest of you since I have decided i will try and stick to responding here BEFORE I edit the next chapter each day, I was having similar thoughts about Noah.  Maybe he grew up with a shifter friend or something?

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Why would shifters automatically know each other ? Paddy and Troy did not know what kind of shifter the other man was, they had to tell each other at the end of chapter 1. Sure they knew that their room mate had to be a shifter, but that's only because they were real mates too (unless humans could be mates as well). So I'm fairly certain Noah is a shifter too, and I'm gonna guess Grizzly just because I think they are awesome.


Oh and great furry chapter today, Sasha. I'm glad Troy seems to be coming around about the gay stuff. I actually think he is handling the situation quite well cnsidering he's had to adjust to a whole new truth about himself, Good that Paddy is patient but honest about what he wants and feels. Wonder if Troy's mum will want to relocate to Scotland !

Edited by Timothy M.
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 So I'm faily certain Noah is a shifter too, and I'm gonna guess Grizzly just because I think they are awesome.


You are incorrect but you do get more guesses.


Telling a shifter apart from a person is a bit like gaydar for shifters. usually, the scent gives it away to another shifter, but not always. especially hard in crowds and large groups.

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Scent as a way of recognizing another shifter, that makes sense. And I'm guessing that the reason that Paddy did not recognize Noah's bear nature, is that his nose has been too full of Troy's scent every time he has been in Noah's company.

Nah, I'm not going to guess again, I'll let other readers have a go at the promised prize. Though I'll be really surprised if he's not some sort of bear.

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Recognizing the signs of mates and that of being a shifter doesn't mean Noah HAS to be a shifter himself. He said his cousin exhibited that sort of mating behavior. Maybe there are shifters in another branch while he is not one.  All we know for sure about Noah so far is he is damned observant and has at least a passing acquaintance with another shifter.

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Ehmm Kitt, I'm really sorry to have to point this out, but I think you just used your advance knowledge again. I've not been able to find anywhere in the five chapters so far that has anything about Noah talking about his cousin or recognizing shifters and mates. But I hope that means chapter six is on it's way :-) And I think it will be good for Paddy and Troy to have someone friendly to talk with about this stuff.

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Noah does raise more questions: in your universe, do shifters always have shifter children? Can shifters and humans mate, and if so, do they have shifter children? Can 2 shifters mate and have children if their animals are not closely related?


I agree with Kitt that Noah's words so far only show that he is aware of shifter culture. Still, I would have to say I think that he is a shifter or from a shifter family. Grizzly was an excellent guess especially since there is a Grizzly sanctuary not too far from the Kitimat River, but since it is wrong, what other kinds of bears are up that direction? Kodiak and Polar are the two that I know of -- both big, which would go with his dad's side of the family being bigger than he is. I would love for him to be from a polar bear family! It was interesting that he only mentioned his mom's family was from Kitimat River, however. With the size difference, the comment about others in his family "built like bears" but he takes after his mom's side, I'm guessing his mom is a smaller bear species (Black or the white Kermode are the only two I know around there) or not a bear at all. Stocky could hint at a badger. I don't associate wolves with "stocky". Guess I'll go with badger as my guess -- with the assumption that cross-species children are possible with shifters.

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shifter genes pass through the male line only. So even though Paddy's mam comes from a family of black bears, he gets the shifter gene entirely from his dad. His mother in humans and if his parents had a daughter, she'd be human too. if his father had mated with a human from a non shifter family, the sons would be bears, the daughters human. it's a gender biased sort of trait.

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But do ALL male offspring exhibit the shifter traits?  Basic genetics say a white and a chestnut horse have a 50% chance of producing palomino foals, and 25% white, 25% chestnut offspring.   So would shifter family momma + shifter pappa always produce shifter male offspring? and would shifter papa + non shifter mama have a 50/50 shot at shifter boys?

Edited by Kitt
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But do ALL male offspring exhibit the shifter traits?  Basic genetics say a white and a chestnut horse have a 50% chance of producing palomino foals, and 25% white, 25% chestnut offspring.   So would shifter family momma + shifter pappa always produce shifter male offspring? and would shifter papa + non shifter mama have a 50/50 shot at shifter boys?


Because of the selective gendered natural of shiter traits, they are aggressive dominant genes, a bit like brown eyes vs green eyes. you are extremely unlikely to have a family with a shifter father which do not produce shifter boy children. Though a female from a shifter family might marry another shifter, she has no added shifter properties than any normal human female. women are not 'carriers' for the gene.

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