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Leftcoast

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22 Moving In The Right Direction

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  1. I can’t relate to the picture of Dom not writing because of pressure he felt from GA. Assuming he’s alive and well, I suspect it’s all about his livelihood. We didn’t talk about his life much in our emails, but I do know that in his late 20s he was already a businessman--had a partner and they employed quite a number of people. There was something in the news at one point about illegal immigrants in Colorado and I asked him if that was a problem for him and he said no, and then broke down for me the number of employees they had and where they were from. No longer remember the details but there were more of them than I would have guessed. And I suspect the Dom who worked so hard to improve his writing skills is someone who would also work hard to improve his construction skills, and that the business he and his partner started has expanded its services so that they’re working year round. The Dom I worked with was happy to have readers, but wrote to please himself. He’d written three coming-out stories and wanted to write something else. He worked to master telling a story in the third person so he could write In The Fish Bowl in the way he wanted. And when he began With Trust, he deliberately added more visual details in the story, trying to change his style a little bit, maybe to correspond to a story in which visual art was so much a part. As to In The Fish Bowl being unfriendly to the Long Way, in one of his emails, Dom said: Basically, things in the story in chapter seven are different than what's going on in chapter twelve (obviously) and I'm getting a little tired of the feedback I'm getting for the earlier chapters. The most popular are people who tell me that they're loving the new story, but they skip everything that's not about Owen and Aiden. It's hard not to tell them that if that's the case, they can't love the story since they're not reading it. I understand that it's their choice, but seriously, I don't need to know about it, since this story isn't just about Owen and Aiden. In The Fish Bowl wasn’t really so much a sequel to The Long Way, as it was a new story featuring most of the same characters as the earlier story. His idea in posting his stories to the Stories on Line site was to have some place available where all his stories had been edited. There were some that he imported directly from GA that had already been edited and these were unchanged as far as I know. We worked on the first 8 or 9 unedited chapters of Desert Dropping first and I don’t think, aside from punctuation and spelling changes, that there’s a lot of difference from the original version (although, somewhere in the middle of the original DD, he brought in a character from The Ordinary Us which I annoyingly didn’t catch, and I gleefully changed it in the copy that’s on SOL). The changes he made in The Long Way were because he’d changed a lot as a writer by then, and thought the telling of it could be improved. And I suspect if he’d gotten around to working on The Ordinary Us, there would have been a lot of changes to that, too. Like eliminating hundreds of “frowns.” I’d already edited the story for him and highlighted all the frowns in it. Hopefully, someday Dom will have a free block of time and feel like writing and finish the stories he started. If you do, Dom, appoint a new moderator for your forum, please. I really miss Vic, too. Jim
  2. I've been reading Andy Weir's The Martian. Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. This was a real surprise to me, but a pleasant one. Told in the first person, the tone makes the novel. Not a grim survivalist tract, but a somewhat lighthearted account of the ordeal. Highly recommended. Jim
  3. Assuming I can figure out how to do that, here you go: http://storiesonline.net/home.php
  4. As an addendum to LJH's post above, Dom also posted several of his stories to the Stories On Line site, and everything there has been edited. That Spirit of James story is edited there, and all of Desert Dropping. About two-thirds of The Long Way is edited there, but longtime readers should be prepared for something of a shock reading it. Dom had become a much more sophisticated writer by the time it was being edited, and readers should be warned that he was a bit ruthless in dealing with his earlier writing self. The story's the same, but the presentation is different. You do have to register on the site to see everything that he's posted there--I think without registering, you can only see the Spirit of James story. For some reason, his name is shown under the D's--something like Dominick Lucas, if I remember correctly. I've been registered there for years and never had any adverse consequences from so registering. Jim
  5. I started editing for Dom in 2005 and he was in his early 20s then, which would make him in his early 30s now. And I suspect his age has a lot to do with his disappearance. When he was writing, he had winters off because he couldn't work outdoors when it was cold and snowy, and writing was a way to fill the time. But both emails and his blog revealed him to be a brainy, industrious and ambitious guy who wouldn't be content to work part-time for the rest of his life, so I suspect he's either moved somewhere where he could work year round, or expanded his skills so that he could work indoors during the winter. The last time he had an extended absence, he found it difficult to get going again--a little unsure of himself, even talking about getting a beta group going to help him get in the groove again. That didn't happen, but it was an indication that he needed an extended free period in which to write; he couldn't just turn on the switch and find the inspiration he needed to construct a story. I don't think he was someone who would enjoy working full-time and also putting in a stint writing at the end of the day. He wanted a life. All this is just speculation, of course. If he were still living where he lived when he was writing, and something happened to him, I'd hope that his friend Ann, who used to be a moderator of his forum, and who lived nearby, would send us notice. So, I suspect he's OK, just busy. Jim
  6. As Trebs says, have you looked here? https://www.gayauthors.org/story/domluka/hellostupid Too soon to say whether Taylor is the one for him--one of the things we're waiting for Dom to come back and tell us. Jim
  7. I think that Dom, who mistakenly titled one of his stories "The Log Way" would have understood the typo and been amused. No doubt there were plenty of Chey's droppings in the nearby desert. Jim
  8. Dom wrote the first seven or eight chapters (I forget) and then left them to work on other stories. When he resumed writing, his comment was he'd forgotten what a brat Rory was. And, I think, modified the character so he wasn't so much one-note. There are tons of comments in this forum about readers' reactions to the pairing of Rory and Seth, but I always thought it was a smart move from Rory. You don't find too many grown-ups of any age, and when you do, you should hold on like grim death. And I think Seth is a grown-up. Jim
  9. Vic and I exchanged a couple of emails, usually straightening out something between Dom and me. The last time was when Dom had been missing for a year or so and coming back, couldn't find my email address not to mention several chapters that he'd written but not posted. This occasioned an entry in his blog: .....Posted by DomLuka, 13 November 2008 - · 105 views Thanks to Jim and Vic. Vic because he helped me find Jim and Jim because he had those missing chapters of ITFB and has fixed all those annoying mistakes in the new stories. I�m hoping to have both new ones and at least a chapter of ITFB on the site by this weekend. So at least it feels like things are moving there. Thanks to everyone who let me know what... * * * It was a real shock to hear of Vic's death; I always assumed he would always be here, and I'll miss him and his comments. Jim
  10. You can go to Stories on Line and there's a fully edited version of Desert Dropping on that site, as well as two-thirds of The "Long" Way, also fully edited. For some reason, authors on that site are shown under their first names, so you need to look under the D's, and Dom changed his name to something like Dominick Lucas. You do have to register to look, but it's free, and without consequences (read: you won't get bugged by them thereafter). Alas, Dom ran out of editing steam before he could finish TLW,or begin The Ordinary Us.
  11. For those experiencing a little too much Ho-ho-ho this Christmas, you might enjoy listening to David Sedaris narrate his sardonic, but funny, account of being an elf in Macy's at Christmastime. This has been a Christmas staple on NPR for years, but might be new to some. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17570326 Jim
  12. I think I've been doing too many sudokus -- I can't make her go clockwise at all. Jim
  13. Graeme The next time you're visiting the US, you should consider buying a Sony Reader. You can download a complete story to that and read it like reading a book. Unfortunately, they're only for sale in the US. Jim
  14. Sharon, How about Fiesta Potato Flan, which even my sister, a fussy eater, likes: 3 medium-sized russet potatoes (about 1 lb) 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup corn meal 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 jar (8 oz) mild (or spicy) picante sauce 1 cup shredded cooked chicken 1 cup (4 oz) Monterey Jack cheese, grated 1 tablespoon chopped parsley Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine warm potatoes, flour, corn meal, 3 tablespoons oil, garlic salt and pepper in large bowl. Mix to form smooth dough. Press into bottom and side of greased 10-inch flan or quiche pan. Spread picante sauce evenly over potato mixture, top with chicken and cheese, sprinkle parsley and 1 tablespoon oil over top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. I use more chicken (I tend to make this when I've baked a chicken and I use most of the white meat for this), I use a medium-spicy picante sauce, and I use a 10-inch pyrex pie pan. Tastes good left over, too. Oh, and I use a ricer on those potatoes, but I know everyone doesn't have one of those, so you could just mash them enough to get all the lumps out. Jim
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