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Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #1677545
"Putting on the Game Face"
My Blog Sig

This blog is a doorway into the mind of Percy Goodfellow. Don't be shocked at the lost boys of Namby-Pamby Land and the women they cavort with. Watch as his caricatures blunder about the space between audacious hope and the wake-up calls of tomorrow. Behold their scrawl on the CRT, like graffitti on a subway wall. Examine it through your own lens...Step up my friends, and separate the pepper from the rat poop. Welcome to my abode...the armpit of yesterday, the blinking of an eye and a plank to the edge of Eternity.

Note: This blog is my journal. I've no interest in persuading anyone to adopt my views. What I write is whatever happens to interest me when I start pounding the keys.

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July 22, 2017 at 1:00pm
July 22, 2017 at 1:00pm
#915940
Some of you might know that another one of my interests is Radio Controlled (RC) model airplanes.

Last week out at the flying field I tried to snub one of my glow engines I was trying to get to stop. I could have just tilted it forward and let the ground snub it but oh no I tried to pinch the fuel line. Low and behold my knuckle got just a bit too far forward and the prop whacked it. No stitches seemed were necessary but it still hurts and today the scab fell off while I was cleaning up outside. So I had to wash it and get my wife to put on a new bandaid. Naturally, she had her usual commentary while applying the bandage.

"You need to come out of that foggy world you life in and start paying attention to what you do!" She scolded.

I hate it when she does that and she knows it and does it anyway. Then I give it back to her, in a gentle sort of way, and she really gets bent out of shape. Oh well, I guess that after fifty years there's gonna be some ups and downs.

Every day I walk the dogs for twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the evening. When I do I think about whatever book I happen to be writing or about the class, the Exploratory Writing Workshop, that I happen to teach here at Wdc. I always come up with something that has percolated and then been buried in my brain.

I often tell my students that man created the computer with the human brain in mind. You have two types of memory. Read Only Memory (ROM), which operates all the functions you don't have to think about and Random Access Memory (RAM) which is what your conscious mind uses to think and write about things. I repeat over and over that the RAM part of your brain has a capactity of about three to nine thousand words. You can juggle that size a requirement but beyond that you need to save (Remember)what you're thinking in order to clear your mind and make some space. Thus writing notes to yourself or keeping a journal, diary or outline is a good idea....that is if you really want to remember what you're thinking about.

When the RAM filled up it automatically dumps the excess material into a trash file that might or might not flash as a recollection when stimulated by the right thoughts, words or events. So if I clear my mind on these walks, my muse talks to me, knowing that she isn't just spitting into the wind. It makes my muse mad when she shares nuggets of wisdom and I don't write them down. Then she stamps her foot in frustration and storms off to find somebody who'll listen and pay closer attention.

Sometimes when I can't get the words to flow smoothly and spontaneously I know she was by and left a message, but I have to think about it and dredge up where she put the answer. Have you ever saved something to a file and then forgotten the file you saved it in? Well for me that is a common occurrence so when I have problem and don't have an answer, I know its there somewhere and I have to go looking. Often I lack the mood or motivation and have to prod myself to put on my thinking cap and concentrate.

Invariable when I do, the plug of confusion comes burping out of the fire hose and the cleared blockage produces a rush of insight and understanding. Is it just me or does everyone have these moments?
July 16, 2017 at 12:17pm
July 16, 2017 at 12:17pm
#915503
Socialism is the Red Headed Stepchild of Communism. It provides just enough free enterprise to keep those with ambition, from drowning in a sea of apathy.

Son of Comey

Now that James Comey has thoroughly discredited himself and indeed might be facing charges for his criminal behavior, we have a new actor on the scene. The Demorcates have been pleading for a "Special Prosecutor" to look into the Russian Connection. This is all a part of a smokescreen to keep the focus on the Russians and away from the corrupt activities that ran so rampant in the previous adminsistration. Robert Muller, Comey's friend and mentor has been picked for the task of doing the investigation and given broad latitude for a fishing expedition into President Trump's background. Keep in mind that the Intelligence Agencies, that include the DIA, CIA and FBI have access to a data file that can go back at least ten years into every telephone call anyone has made in this country, and probably abroad. Further that these agencies have been missled by a naive assumption that everything they hear via this fandango surveillance box is God's own truth. Regardless of whether or not what they hear can be validated by "National Interests" they have been prone to fall for whatever they hear, foot line and sinker. It is almost as if they slept through the espionage class on "Misinformation." Somewhere in this universe of lies and obscufication Muller is bound to come up with some dirt on the President. And when he does the American People will see Robert's true colors, colors no different that his disciple Comey, who claimed the reason he leaked the Memo For Record was to make sure that Muller was named to head up the investigation.

It is common knowledge that Comey "Slow Rolled" the investigation into the Clinton Email server. He would have gotten away with it if Uma hadn't decided to stash some of the classified emails on her husband's, Anthony Weiner's, computer. Fortunately, the pervert, an past congressman, was under investigation for soliciting sex over the internet and the revelation of yet another stash of purloined emails sprang to the surface. It happened at the worst of times for Hillary Clinton and demanded that Comey reopen the investigation. So if the "Deep State Fix" was on to protect Hillary, is it any stretch to believe that Comey's best buddy is going to show religion and actually run a fair and impartial investigation. I doubt it and agree with Newt Gingrich that Donald Trump and the Justice Department made a big mistake.
July 15, 2017 at 9:09am
July 15, 2017 at 9:09am
#915436
Whenever I see James Comey I experience a surge of loathing reserved for public servants who shamelessly betrayed the special trust and confidence placed in them by the American People. Others such as Lois Learner, Susan Rice, David Perteatus and the Clintons come readily to mind. Now that James Comey has thoroughly discredited himself and indeed might be facing charges for his partisan behavior, we have a new actor on the scene. Enter, Robert Muller.

The Demorcates have been pleading for a "Special Prosecutor" to look into the Russian Connection. This is all a part of a smokescreen to keep the focus on the Russians and away from the criminal activities that ran so rampant in the previous adminsistration. Robert Muller, Comey's friend and mentor has been picked for the task of doing the investigation and given broad latitude for a fishing expedition into President Trump's background.

Keep in mind that the Intelligence Agencies, that include the DIA, CIA and FBI have access to a data file that can go back at least ten years into every telephone call anyone has made in this country, and probably abroad. Further that these agencies have been missled by a naive assumption that everything they hear via this fandango surveillance box is God's own truth. Regardless of whether or not what they hear can be validated by "National Interests" they have been prone to fall for whatever they hear, foot line and sinker. It is almost as if they slept through the espionage class on "Misinformation."

Somewhere in this universe of lies and obscufication Muller is bound to come up with some dirt on the President. And when he does the American People will see Robert's true colors, colors no different that his disciple Comey, who claimed the reason he leaked the Memo For Record was to make sure that Muller was named to head up the investigation. Now that James Comey has thoroughly discredited himself and indeed might be facing charges for his partisan behavior, we have a new actor on the scene. The Demorcates have been pleading for a "Special Prosecutor" to look into the Russian Connection and now they have one. Their Deep State Mole, Robert Muller.

James Comey was a political operative masquerading as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He single handedly trashed the Bureau in ways that have no precedent. Since Comey, nobody trusts the FBI anymore. The Bureau is now seen as just another bureaucratic organization run by hacks for the purpose of serving partisan politics and sending political adversaries to jail.

HIs lament must have been loud and pitiful indeed..."Here I got the dumb broad out of the Closet Server Soup and now we're right back in the middle of it."

However, Comey's true stripes came clear following his firing by the President of the United States. Just prior to his ignominious removal from office he had a private meeting with his boss. When the meeting ended he couldn't run out to his car fast enough, and print up on his government computer a Memo for Record, which was a one sided transcription of the events of that meeting designed to bring discredit on our President. If this wasn't bad enough he leaked the Memo through a friend to the Media. What a sleaze bag! He didn't even have the moral courage to do it himself. Imagine, the Head of the FBI "LEAKING" a memo for but one purpose.... committing political espionage. If President Trump needed any vindication for why he Fired the Bum, Comey provided it on a silver platter. He not only brought ruin and discredit down upon himself but tainted an agency with a long tradition and proud reputation for public service. Can you believe the shameless extent to which this sorry excuse for a bureaucrat, let alone a human being was willing to go?

I don't know what gets into these people...!
July 14, 2017 at 9:13am
July 14, 2017 at 9:13am
#915364
In Russia there is something I call the "Hacker Gene." It doesn't only exist in Russia but in India and Packistan. The gene is also found in the United States, Israel and elsewhere. It is a talent for computer espionage, commonly referred to as hacking. Many people with this natural talent are employed by their respective governments but many more are not. Those that are not often use their skills in the pursuit of criminal activities, which include information and identity theft. Just because an IP address, used by a hacker, can be traced to a country does not necessarily mean that the individual or groups are necessarily sanctioned or operated by intelligence agencies, even though this is frequently the case.

It used to be in the "Good Old Days" that a presumption of a government's intentions were based upon a perception of "Interests." The assumption was that a Nation State tended to act in their National Interests. This was actually a pretty good gage of what both friendly and hostile governments were up to. The idea is that a Nation State tends to do things that serve their National Interests and most definitely things that serve their vital or survival interests. Over time this has proven to be a pretty good measure but in more recent times has become subordinated to the Great and Mysterious Black box.

Other Nation states now suspect that the United States has a capability to do telephone, and computer monitoring in near real time and certainly the ability to go back in time and reconstruct telephone conversations and modem transmissions. Most foreign governments realize the United States is involved in such activities and while they don't know exactly how, accept it as a fact of life. They protect themselves by telling high ranking officials to assume all telephone and computer transmissions, regardless of encryption, are potential targets for monitoring and compromise. Based upon this general understanding, officials are circumspect on what they say over the telephone, internet and even over systems that were designed to deny eavesdropping from taking place.

These monitoring activities operated by the United States , Russia, China, Israel and others seem to be operating on the new assumption that if one can actually hear what hostile neighbors as saying to one another over the telephone and read emails, there is no longer any need to rely on outdated assumptions that nations operate in their best interests. With the advent of all these new electronic toys such outdated assessment techniques are more and more seen as the outdated tools the "Old Farts" once used and why rely upon any questionable assumption when you can listen in and get the "Facts" straight from the Horse's mouth. The problem with such thinking is that the "Horses" know they are being listened in on and don't discuss the real important stuff over a telephone or in an email. Foreign governments are not stupid. The stupidity lies with those who assume what they are hearing in surveillance and reading in emails is gosple when they query the data bases of these fandango new electronic toys.

It comes as no surprise to me that all our Intelligence Agencies lined up and unanimously concluded that Russia was meddling in our recent election. The Ruskies were no doubt involved but the degree of that involvement was obscured by circumspection and misinformation. Had there been a Litmus test in place which required a "National Interest Test" to be used in conjunction with the "Telephone/Computer monitoring Test" they would not have been so quick to raise their hands and wiggle their sage insider fingers at the Russians. The reason I say this is because it was not in Russia's National Interests to see Donald Trump Elected President.

Trump was seen, before the election, as an unknown quantity, a rabid capitalist, and someone with a known track record of success in capitalistic economic enterprises. Clinton, on the other hand was seen as weak, short on judgement and someone who would continue the Obama policies that had led to a dramatic slowdown of United States economic potential. The prospect of eight more years of a Democratic Administration made the Soviets salivate. Conversely they could still recall that it was the revving of the US economy, more than any other single factor, that brought about the collapse of the Soviet Empire. The absurd notion that they would support Trump over Clinton can only make sense if there is a generation of intelligence analysts who naively believe everything they hear over the telephone. President Trump told the American People that there were some very stupid people negotiating our interests over at the State Department. He could have extended that line of criticism to the DIA, CIA and FBI and all the other Intelligence Agencies that have let this country down by over reliance on all these fandango new surveillance means that are no better, but are indeed poorer than those that were historically used.

So if it wasn't the Russians who were behind Week-leaks then who was? If you really want to know ask the obviously questions. What Nation State on this planet had its National Survival Interests, threatened by the Obama Administration? Where were US political operatives sent to try and influence a major election? Who was the Nation State that got thrown under the bus in the Iran Deal? Who was the Nation State that was threatened by the use of US combat power if they made a military intervention to prempt a growing Iranian nuclear capability. Who was the Nation State having the surveillance and electronic monitoring capability to hack the DNC computer, and Hillary's closet server like it was child's play? If our intelligence Agencies are not asking these questions and rely only on listening in on telephones and computers, then one can easily see why they lined up like a bunch of monkeys and collectively pointed to the Soviets as being the ones responsible.

The Democrats claim the intrusion into US politics was unprecedented. WRONG! The precedent was established long ago and reaffirmed by President Obama sending operatives to Israel. In fairness, this was only the most recent precedent as numbers of other sources have shown. So if we can interfere in the elections in other countries when it serves our interests then why is "Turnabout" not fair play? Americans should be grateful that whoever did the hacking did it and got the word out while there was still time to influence on the election. It wasn't a foreign government who wrote those damning emails showing the contempt the Democrats have for the people they are supposed to represent. It was politicos with their hands on the levers of the Democratic party.

All this Russian Hoopla is a smokescreen to distract the American People from the crimes of prominent Democrats who operated with impunity during the Obama administration. They know that if the winds of truth ever blow away the fogs of obfuscation there will follow a string of inditements unprecedented in American History.


July 8, 2017 at 8:09am
July 8, 2017 at 8:09am
#914932
Here I am in a bit of a dilemma. How to I describe what I'm trying to accomplish in getting students to understand the Three Step Character Developmental Model from a practical as opposed to a theoretical standpoint?

The theory is straightforward enough. To begin novel a student picks a potential candidate for Central Character (CC) and puts them through the three hoops. Theses are writing three vigenetes that show the Before Snapshot, being caught up in an uptempo of fact moving events, and carried over the brink into a Life Changing Event that will change the direction of their lives.

Once these three are written for the candidate Central Character, they will reveal other characters, some major and some minor. Starting with the Major ones the next most likely candidate for CC is auditioned or put through the same hoops.

Essentially the writer is saying to themselves, maybe my first character is not the best choice for CC. Let us now check out Major Supporting Character #1 and see how he/she will perform and if the performance is stellar, maybe I have a new CC for my novel.

Now here is the rub. Everybody who is interviewed is shown the same story line. They are all constrained by the same events and dialog. The story line is this... Show the CC in Placid Waters, then Caught in the Current, and finally carried over the falls. The problem is that once the first candidate auditions the events and dialog become a matter of record. No longer is the next auditioned CC able to write anything they want. In vignettes 2 sonf 3 they are bound to go along with what the original auditioned CC described as the events and dialog that transpired.

So the purpose of the exercise is to first provide an example of the three part process and second to audition another character to potentially fill the starring role. In doing this the student gets practical experience using the model.

The question becomes, what is the best way to explain this once the student is shown the model and sees Prudence run through the auditioning process.


July 1, 2017 at 9:15am
July 1, 2017 at 9:15am
#914484
This is the Three Step Character Development Model, we'll be using in the Exploratory Writing Workshop next term.

I'm hoping this will make it easier to understand. The model is both an example and a teaching aid.

As an example it shows the three step process at work.

As a teaching aid the student is asked to write the three vignettes from the POV of a supporting character.

In the example Prudence is the POV character. In the exercise the student is asked to replace her with Kindred as the POV character.

It is a real challenge getting students to grasp the difference between a Character and a Plot driven vignette.

Kindred is a prince, heir to the throne of the Kingdom below the Falls. He is on a quest to prove that he can survive in the wild with only a minimum of aids. He is fishing upstream when he sees Prudence chased by wolves, jump into his boat and drift out into the current.

 
STATIC
Three Step Character Model  (E)
This is a model to exemplify the first three character vignettes.
#2126778 by percy goodfellow
June 28, 2017 at 5:09pm
June 28, 2017 at 5:09pm
#914314
The main thread of a novel goes from beginning to end. Some call it the Story line and others the Plot. Springing up and submerging from time to time are what I call the "layers" and others refer to as subplots. Throughout are the characters, the central or POV character, major characters and minor ones. A novel generally has three phases, a beginning, a middle and end. These are sometimes referred to as the Phases. Each phase contains a string of chapters. The number can be shortened or expanded. Normally a writer conceptualizes thirty (30) to start with but this is arbitrary and expands or contracts to fit the normal flow of the story. A chapter contains about 5K words and a novel about 90K words. This too is arbitrary.

The model we use starts with Character Development. A three vignette model is used to identify who the author thinks the Central Character (CC) will be. The first vignette is titled "Placid Waters," the Second "Caught in the Current" and the third "Life Changing Event." This model is used in the Workshop to identify the POV Character, however as a side benefit they also constitute sketches for the first three chapters of the Novel. While only the CC is given this treatment in the workshop, students are encouraged to audition their Major Characters using this method in determining who will get the starring role. Often a supporting character will emerge and steal the show and when this sometimes happens it is a good rather than a bad thing. The results of putting all major characters, "Through the Mill," is it gives the author a greater familiarity with who they are plus they are easily fitted into the context of the story, even if they don't get the top billing.

The reader realizes who the CC is since he stands front and center when the novel begins, and gets to see her thoughts. For want of a better term I call these Character Development Vignettes (CDVs). Again I stress that a vignette is not a completed chapter but a sketch...used in much the same sense that a fine arts painter uses sketches in preparing for a major work.

After the first three CDVs, development transitions to Plot. The first three did not require any consideration of plot. Their purpose was to develop an interesting character(s) and put them through some developmental hoops. The next three Vignettes are different. These are what I term "Vista Sketches." To use the fine arts analogy again, the first three were portrait sketches and these next three deal with the panorama of the novel. These three vignettes are designed to plop down in the middle of each phase and provide an anchor point in the center of each. The writer is like someone, who with arms outstretched reaches back with one hand and forward with the other. The span of her arms extends into the unwritten chapters that proceed the anchor and forward to the unwritten chapters that follow. At this point in the Workshop the student learns about the difference between Tactical Writing and Operational Writing.

Tactical Writing is the art of writing something below the 5K threshold. Operational Writing is the art of conceptional stringing links (Chapters) within the phases and transitioning them from one phase to the next.

A premise of the Workshop is that a human mind cannot deal with more than 5K worth of alpha characters (AC) before it becomes saturated. Thus it becomes necessary to clear one's mind of AC data after about a chapters worth of development. To use a computer analogy, there is something called Random Access Memory (RAM.) You're only born with so much and once you exceed it your brain starts to forget what you've done previously or hiccups when trying to process more.

With this assumption a writer is encouraged to use an outline as a developmental tool, allowing them to put the smaller parts in place without having to juggle the entire scope of a novel at one time. The Exploratory Writing Workshop is a compromise between the process by which the "Pantzers" write and the Process used by the "Structuralists." It allows for a free and uninhibited approach in the sketches (Vignettes) but hands off to a more structured approach once a fuller picture of the novel begins to emerge. I can't stress the importance of this handoff enough. It allows a writer a clear mind to focus on each chapter without simultaneously trying to remember and juggle what came before with what needs to follow.

Most aspiring writers deciding to take the leap from writing shorter works to a longer work, have already acquired what I term "Tactical Writing Skills.' For example they can write an essay, short story, article or other manuscript under the 5K threshold. Without really understanding the differences in process between a longer and shorter work their tendency is to think they can extend what has proven to work for them in the 5 K range and simply extend it linearly into an effort of regional scope. The direction this effort takes is what I call a "Boxcar" approach. Their novel begins with an engine and coal car worth of character development followed by a string of boxcars. These boxcars get abutted end to end and after writing each one the writer clears their mind and goes on to the next. Many novels are written using this technique. The fundamental problem that emerges is that the nature of the process makes it impossible for the writer to really clear their mind. Some of their RAM must be devoted to remembering what was written earlier, remembering subplots, managing the rising action and dealing with the major conflicts while CONCURRENTLY, working on a given chapter. All of these conflicting requirements have a parasitic drain on the amount of RAM that is available. At some point the hick-ups start and the further along the author gets the more the ability to remember, concentrate, and creatively manage is diminished. Like the "Die Hard Bunny" the drum starts beating slower, wheels begin to grind and the author feels a growing disenchantment about where all this is heading.
June 27, 2017 at 10:30am
June 27, 2017 at 10:30am
#914218
Amplifying Instructions on Lesson 8 to the Exploratory Writing Workshop


To understand the outline you have to understand why and how you wrote vignettes 1-6. The first three provided an avenue into the beginning of your novel. The next three are an anchor for the three phases of the novel. Think of them as an implant the dentist will use, anchoring the bridges after all your teeth are extracted. No! this workshop is not about extractions, even if it felt like that at times. *Bigsmile*

The outline is the heart and soul of Operational Writing. For many aspiring writers learning how to do it is like groping around in the fog. After Lesson seven (7) you're ready to begin your outline. In school many of you were taught to write your outline before you began a longer and more complicated work, like a term paper or thesis. This approach was always totally impossible for me. "How can I write an outline," I lamented, "if I don't know what I'm going to be writing about?" Well, now you know what to write about and its time to don our operational Hat.

There is nothing sacred about starting out with a thirty chapter outline. It makes the math easy for the phases, ten, ten and ten. In phase 1 you've already sketched chapter 1,2 and 3. You also have vignettes 6, 16 and 26 anchored in each of the phases. This gives you a starting point for your outline. At each anchor point you can reach back into the unwritten chapters that proceed it and forward into the unwritten chapters extending into the next phase. This is a dicy part of the process and can be like sticking jelly to the wall. Still you have some idea now as to where to begin.

As you get the feel for doing it, it can become one of the most interesting aspects of writing a novel. You loose the hounds of your imagination and see where they head off to and start sniffing around. If you haven't already thought about the layers your novel will contain this is a good time.. If you're a "Pantzer," new to the idea of Operational Writing, this will be an exciting learning experience.

When you begin filling in the blank chapters in your outline the first thing that comes to mind is the basic thread of the story. This thread will be woven from beginning to end. By now you already have a general idea of what this will be. However, if you read many novels you'll note that there are often stories within the main story line that pop into the main thread and disappear as the main thread continues. These are called "Layers." They come and go teasing the reader, providing background, foreshadowing or a host of other insights for the reader. A layer can be about a major supporting character, or an event that is happening concurrently with the main story line and is limited only by the writer's imagination. As a learning vehicle in the Workshop we recommend four layers, however if you read Game of Thrones you will get an idea for the scope of what is possible.

So, you now have a general idea. You've identified four layers and have already plugged in sketches for six of the chapters. Chapter 1 you named Placid Waters, Chapter 2 Caught in the Current, Chapter 3 Unexpected Developments Chapter 6 The Yellow Brick Road, Chapter 16 OMG, Chapter 26. Awe. The reason for the canned names, which you will change when you write the first draft is to keep you focused on the process. Next you will focus on the primary layer of the novel or the main story line. A couple of chapters on either side of the anchor vignette is commonly devoted to moving along the thrust of the the main story line. For example, since the anchor of phase 1 is chapter 6, "Stupid." The name implies a crisis that the CC brings upon themselves as a result of their naivety or inexperience, Chapter 5 might be entitled " The Yellow Brick Road," which suggests events that led up to the first crisis and Chapter 8 might be titled "Anguish" suggesting that sorting out and dealing with the first crisis is a painful learning experience. As you can see the writer now has the Anchor named and sketched, and the chapter before and after named in a way that suggests the essence of what they'll contain. This leaves Chapter 4 to the left of the anchor yet to be named and Chapters 9-10 unnamed to the right. Normally Chapter 4 deals with the Life Changing Event and how the CC intends to deal with it, maybe some resolve girding, and perhaps a course of action to begin their new direction in life... This is part of the main story layer. So you title this one Chapter 4 " After Shock." As you look at this you think, hey! I really want to add a new layer and introduce it here. I have this enigmatic character named "Scaggy," and she is going to require some developmental space. Hmmm, how do I handle that? Duhhh, Do I make the chapter two parts.? I could but I really think Scraggy needs a chapter all her own. How do I deal with this?. Answer! Take one of the unnamed chapters at the end of Phase 1 and move it forward. So now you have an additional chapter lopped off the end and repositioned earlier in the phase. Instead of four empty chapters after the anchor vignette now there are only three. Hey! the chapters are starting to fill up. Now after a little switching and renumbering all you have remaining are Chapters 9 and 10. So what about chapter 9? Maybe here you decide to involve Scraggy more in the Action. So you name it Chapter 9 "Unexpected Friend." Here you bring Scraggy back and she touches down once more preparing to connect with the main thread of the story. By this time the obstacle has been faced and its time to bask in a feeling of accomplishment and transition into phase two, an even bigger obstacle. So you name Chapter 10, Kicking the Can...(down the road.)

Thus you now have Phase 1 roughed out conceptually, the chapters named as shown below.

Phase 1: Chapter sketches

Chapter 1: Placid Waters.
Chapter 2: Caught in the Current
Chapter 3: Game Changer
Chapter 4: After Shock
Chapter 5: Scraggy
Chapter 6: The Yellow Brick Road
Chapter 7: Stupid
Chapter 8: Anguish
Chapter 9: Unexpected Friend
Chapter 10: Kicking the Can.

Since many are scratching their heads as to the details of the Operational Writing Process I hope this helps.

percy bob
June 26, 2017 at 5:42pm
June 26, 2017 at 5:42pm
#914170
Workshop Summary

The following is a summary of where the journey brought us in the Exploratory Writing Workshop up to Lesson 8.

The first three vignettes had to do with Character Development. It is a three stage process you can use with virtually any major character in your book. It happens, as a sort of side benefit that you can also use the three vignettes, that go into birthing your Central Character (POV Character) as the basis for your first three chapters. Keep in mind that a vignette is like a sketch that a writer uses just like a fine arts painter uses in preparing for a canvas or a mural. So there are really two types of vignettes (sketches) To continue the analogy with the painter, one type is like a portrait sketch and the other type is a vista sketch. The first three vignettes were portrait sketches of your Central Character acting under different circumstances... placid waters, sucked into the current and swept over the falls into a Life Changing event. In writing them you could have had some inkling of plot but none was really required. When you use the model on other Major Characters the same holds true. Only the slightest glimmer of plot or no glimmer at all is necessary. Plot or story line really begins after chapter 3. These vignettes are not completed portraits but "Sketches." When you come back after the outline is completed they will need to be fleshed out. This is because in the fuller context of the outline they will evolve and change.

This brings us to the last three vignettes. These are vista vignettes and are place holders you plunk down in the middle of each of the phases. They are rough sketches in the true sense of the word. These vignettes are an anchor in the middle of the gulf between a string of empty chapters. You don't even know yet what these chapters will hold. All you know for sure is that the vignette will reach from the middle of the Phase, on one hand and stretch forward on the other. So what will the Phase contain, you ask. The answer is a serious crisis... but it's more than that. This is where the Operational Hat comes in. You know three things for sure. The vignette will be somewhere in the middle, there will be unwritten chapters before and after it, and the sublayers will be on either side with the main thread layer running throughout the length.

OK! you tell me.. "Got It" but you wonder where exactly will this anchor vignette plunk down? This is a bit fuzzy for me to answer but I'll hazard a guess since I asked the question. In any phase the action starts small and begins to rise...there is a crisis looming, and maybe some conflict swirling about. At the point where the CC has a clear idea of what he/she is facing is where the vista (Plot) vignette needs to begin. In the unwritten chapters proceeding it is a bit of layering, stuff that moves the main thread of the story along and suddenly you see it. OMG! The CC realizes what he/she is up against... The full scope of what is opposing him/her becomes crystal clear. This is what you sketch for this vignette. It stands in the center of what happened earlier in the phase and what is going to happen in the chapters that complete the phase. It is not the whole shebang, it is not a hundred pounds of mackerel in a 5 gallon pail... it is a consequence of what came before, the OMG realization and a foreshadowing of what must happen in the last three chapters of the phase to surmount the obstacle.

June 25, 2017 at 10:12pm
June 25, 2017 at 10:12pm
#914110
I make no claim to being an exceptionally talented writer. Students are welcome to use what I provide in doing a "Scrub" of a small portion of their work. What this scrub is is taking the work of another and rewriting it as if it were my own. It's gift I provide students for showing due diligence. The idea is that they take their original copy and highlight the changes I made in the scrub. Then they study each one and try and figure out why I added, deleted, or changed the things I did. The challenge is to see if they can note a trend of weaknesses in their writing skills. If an edit only appears once, no big deal. However if the changes show a pattern developing they should take a long hard look to see if there is a systemic problem in their habitual writing style.

One of the areas I often notice is word choice. For many reviewers, venturing into these troubled waters is verboten. They can correct grammar issues but being critical of word choice is generally off limits. The rational is that an editor has no right messing with the natural style of a student's work. With this attitude a whole lot of conflict is avoided but a student never gets told about some glaring deficiencies in the way they express themselves. For example ofttimes a student will use a suboptimal word to express an image and compensate by over-amperage. Usually the result is overstating the image with more emphasis than necessary. A reviewer knows what the writer is trying to say but is often loath to point out how changing a word or phrase might improve things. It is my view that an author should say no more or no less than what is required to create a perfect image. That image should take the reader over the edge of clear comprehension. From there I expect the reader to complete the picture using subtext. So, a writer should always stop just short of saying too much and allow the reader to do their part in filling in the blanks.

After going line by line and finding systemic problems, I encourage the author to write a checklist and use it in their own editing with emphasis on those areas where they're weakest. I only do a scrub edit once for a student. I expect them to use it. More than once can easily become an opiate and make the student overly dependent on an outside influence.
June 24, 2017 at 9:46am
June 24, 2017 at 9:46am
#913983

Tactical Writing is the ability to write a Chapter Sized work. It might be an essay, a vignette, a chapter or a short story. A human brain can juggle that sized requirement. You have demonstrated that you can write Tactically. When a writer tries to go beyond that, say write a novel thinking they can simply expand their Tactical skills... the brain hick-ups. it's too much trying to write a novel by simply expanding what was successful at the tactical level. A chapter has say 5,000 words and a Novel has say 90,000 words... you can juggle 5K but not 90K words. It is like a computer that has Random Access Memory (RAM). When you exceed the RAM limit you need to go to Best Buy and purchase some more. The problem is that there is no Best Buy for a human brain You are only born with so much. Thus in writing a novel the process has to be broken down into workable chunks under the chapter threshold.

Operational Writing is the ability to string Chapters together. This is a writing skill that requires you to clean out your mental RAM and look at another aspect of writing. You can't write tactically and operationally at the same time... not enough space. To acquire an operational writing skill you, like i said, you have to empty your mind and make it stretch from beginning to end of your novel, thinking in outline form about how all the chapters are going to fit together, a small synopsis of each with transitions, where some of the key components (FACT) are going to go and how the layers are going to fly in at one part and lift out at another.

Those who don't understand the importance of operational writing cope after a fashion by what I call "The Box Car Technique" which is to write one chapter, finish with that and then write the next one they think is in the next logical sequence. This works after a fashion because when a writer finishes with one boxcar (chapter) they clear their minds and go onto the next. These writers are called "Pantzers" and I don't have space here to talk about all the problems this method can lead to. In a nutshell the result often results in a sagging middle, a story that is one dimensional and chapters that lack integration. It's like pushing a noodle.

Another problem with the Pantzer approach is that RAM is consumed writing a "Boxcar" and even if it is saved and the next Boxcar is started fresh, a bit of RAM is still necessary to recall what the last one was about. As the chain of Boxcars grows longer there is more and more of a parasitic drain until around Chapter 20 there is as much devoted to remembering as their is to processing a new Boxcar. For that reason an outline is a much better approach than butting chapters end to end in a linear fashion. Compounding the problem is that a layered approach to writing a novel is all but impossible.

I realized, after a couple of years, what was happening and last term rewrote the class giving stress to Operational Writing. This term I decided to really hammer it. I describe it as learning to wear another hat. It is like being a beat cop and cross training to become a Detective. To be a street cop you wear the street hat and to be a Detective you wear a Detective Cap. As a writer you don't have the luxury of hiring two "Yous." You have to do them both yourself.

The Lessons explain how you learn the basic principles of Operational Writing. It is a skill a Tactical writer simply has to face and somehow try to learn.

The purpose of the first three vignettes has little to do with plot or story line. They have everything to do with character development. They showed a way, using a three vignette approach to develop your Central Character in a manner that would dovetail into the first three chapters of your book. It was intended to teach the student how to quickly give birth to an interesting character by showing them in placid waters, sucked into a quick moving current and swept over the falls. Story line and plot began after Chapter 3 once the basic character thread was in place. This approach turned out to also be a pretty good model for developing all the main characters in the novel and not just the CC. Using just the Template was not working, but the three vignettes were.

The reason a student often has difficulty at first is thinking too much about plot and not enough about character. Better that a beginning author start with only a fuzzy idea of one of your main characters and follow the workshop model. Students who do this breeze through the class. I learned plenty this term and have already begun to integrate the lesson's learned. Next term everybody will start out with just the amorphus character to begin with.

The idea for layering came from two sources.... looking at how most novels are written and seeing how most of my students were trying to write them. I was seeing good tactical writers who didn't seem to have a clue about operational writing.

So this is where we are today.... some of the frustration is my fault for being too dumb to figure all this out earlier and some of it can be attributed to assumptions made by students of the best way to do developmental work on their novels. Like I said, next term I'll apply a host of lessons learned.

percy bob
June 18, 2017 at 11:24am
June 18, 2017 at 11:24am
#913564
The EWW has not changed much over the years since I first wrote it, however it has certainly evolved. The evolution is not so much in structure as it is in finding new ways to explain what has existed all along.

One of he things I did to begin with to was "Shadow Take" the class. By this I mean that before opening the door to the first students I pretended I was one myself and did all the lessons. This required that I accomplish all the Practical Exercises and write all the Vignettes contained in the Lessons.

There were a host of core premises behind developing the Program of Instruction. These were:

1. A novel uses a common set of writing components.

2. Character Development trumps Plot Development.

3. Enigmatic Characters tell the best stories.

4. The human mind has a finite capacity for concurrently processing data.

5. An outline is a prerequisite for writing a novel

6. An outline is impossible without first developing Characters .

7. Developing Characters is impossible without drawing sketches

8. A vignette is to an author what a sketch pad is to a fine arts painter.

9. The first three vignettes are crucial to writing a novel.

10. Vignette 1 shows a Before Snapshot of the Central or POV Character (CC) moving about in a relatively static environment.

11. Vignette 2 shows the CC sucked from this placid pool into a swift moving current. Here the author must begin to show the Wants, Needs and Desires of the POV Character.

12. Vignette 3 shows the CC swept over the falls and caught up in a Life Changing Event (LCE).

13. These three vignettes are sequential and flow from one to the next. They make up the essence of and are analogous to the first three chapters of a novel.

14. A novel has three phases. A beginning, a middle and an end. Phase 1, 2, and 3.

15. In Phase 1 the POV character faces the first major obstacle.

16. In Phase 2 the POV character deals with the second major obstacle.

17. In Phase 3 the POV character deals with the climax of the novel.

18. Each phase consists of about ten (10) chapters.

19. How a writer strings chapters together is called Operational Writing.

20. Operational Writing requires the author to take off the Tactical hat and don the Operational one.

21. In the middle of each Phase a vignette shows the respective hurdle developing.

22. In phase 1 the obstacle is centrally treated in Chapter 7 with a proxy vignette.

23 In phase 2 the obstacle is addressed and developed in Chapter 16 with a proxy vignette.

24. In phase 3 the obstacle is treated in chapter 26 with a proxy vignette.

25. The sketching vignette for each phase provides a pivot for working backwards and forwards and developing in story chain the intervening chapters transitions and a synopsis.

26. Once an outline is developed it is possible to Tactically write in bite sized chunks, one chapter at a time.
June 14, 2017 at 10:58pm
June 14, 2017 at 10:58pm
#913320
Rindar "Rindar

Hello Everybody,

The reason I'm providing this is to show an example of a Character Driven story line. This is the model we use in the workshop. Here I have combined into one what you have been given three vignettes to complete.

When you read this be thinking...

1. Do you see two characters being auditioned for Central Character (CC)?

2. Do you see an enigmatic character and a stereotypical character?

3. Which character do you like best and think will become the CC?

4. Do you see the characters paddling around in the story world?

5. What is Volusia's Want Need and Desire?

6. What is Rindar's Want Need and Desire?

7. Do you see the vignette transitioning from placid waters to a fast moving current?

8. Do you see the vignette culminating in a Life Changing Event?

9. Do you see some backstory woven in?

10. Do you see the character development taking place?

11. Do you see scene setting in the story world?

12. Do you see exposition that moves the story?

13 Do you see dialog that moves the story.

14. Do you see interior dialog?

15. Do you see Foreshadowing?

16. Do you see symbolism?

17. Do you see subtext?

18. Do you see "Head Hopping?"

If you want, show me where you see these things.

Template:

1. Backstory: 6%
2. Character Development: 12%
3. Scene Setting: 12%
4. Exposition that moves the story: 31%
5. Dialogue that moves the story: 35%
6. Foreshadowing: 2%
7. Symbolism: 2%


Word Count 2340

The Encounter

It was hot, very hot. The middle of the summer, and Rindar sat beneath a rock overhang looking into the valley below. He was in his early twenties and kept his beard cropped although he often wondered why. For a year he had lived the life of a hermit, an outcast from his people. The solitude had taken its toll and often he would creep to the edge of the tribal encampment and and watch the activities and listen to the voices he longed to see and hear. He missed the hunts, the comaradarie and the delightful nights in the arms of a young women. He cursed silently wishing for evening when the temperature would drop and he could venture out to hunt. So, he sat looking about, swishing away sand flies, and trying not to dwell on his miserable state of affairs.

He watched as a buzzard circling overhead. Ever since being exiled, the bird never seemed far off-- ever circling, riding the currents and biding its time. Waiting for me to die Rindar thought. Well, he'll just have to be patient.

He was jerked from his reveries by a sudden movement. A figure passed between the rocks followed by two shadows. They came into clear view and he noted a woman and her cubs. Fool, he thought shaking his head. Has she no sense for the surroundings? Is she unaware of the dangers that abide this valley?

He sniffed and the faint smell of wolf came to nose. His senses were keenly attuned. He towered at over six forearms and enjoyed the prime of his life. He got to his feet and began to scramble down the loose shale. Descending, he wondered where the female came from. It was not common to see one so far from camp and with her litter no less. Upon reaching the path his stride lengthened and he continued in haste down the slope.

...

Volusia


Volusia my character for EWW Volusia is my CC in the EWW course
Volusia is my CC in the EWW courseVolusia my character for EWW [#1839818]
Volusia is my CC in the EWW course


“I’m hungry,” complained Moogy as he walked behind holding his sister’s hand. She plodded along next to him, a vacant look in her eyes. Volusia, their mother, walked ahead, wondering how much longer they could keep it up. She was in her early twenties, with striking blue eyes. Her complexion was pale, a Wardarian trait, a wiry girl but attractive, with a woman's curves.

They had eaten the last of the food two days earlier and only avoided thirst by guiding on the river. True, they kept back during the day and only in the evening ventured close, but today their parched lips drove them to greater risks. At night they had been hiding along the rocky bank with their backs to the swift flowing waters. Several times, when confronted by the sounds of predators, they had swum out into the flow and let it carry them along for a few minutes. She picked up her daughter and kissed her forehead. It was pasty and almost dry. The absence of sweat caused her face to squinch in foreboding.

“We must get to the river and cool her off--- Maybe catch a fish.” She told her son. He wasn't listening and instead his eyes were wide and fearful.

She spun about to see what held his attention. A man was running towards them. He was carrying a spear and stopped short, lowered it and uttered some unintelligible words. As they stood motionless, he began gesturing excitedly. Volusia looked in the direction he pointed and saw nothing unusual. The encounter was unnerving and she wondered if the stranger meant them harm. His sudden appearance was both disconserting and welcome. Then she heard the barking and the issue became crystal clear.

“Urwa, Urwa,” he urged pointing out into the swift flowing current. She needed no encouragement and stepped into the waist deep waters. The stranger shoved Moogy behind. Then he took a defensive stance, holding his spear at the ready.

The first of the pack to arrive was a young wolf and walked to the edge snapping and snarling. Soon others followed at his heels, yipping and barking excitedly. From behind came the pack male and his bitch. Several ventured out and began swimming about. Rindar nudged them with the tip of his spear and they whelped in pain hastening to find footing and scramble up onto the bank. The pack leader barked a command and began to lope off to the North. The others snapped, snarled and nipped at one another as they followed his lead.

The woman and her whelps are in a bad way thought Rindar. He walked up out of the water and took a knee in the sands giving thanks to some deity. She watched the ritual, quietly understanding it’s meaning, if not the words themselves. They sounded vaguely like a dialect of Kupinchin and some of the words like Urwa (water) she had heard before. She listened closely and if she didn’t understand everything she knew what a prayer was. At length he stood and spoke to Moogy.

“Urflow hagga an tu purpo.” Moogy's blank look showed a complete lack of understanding. The man then launched into what is sometimes loosely termed “Universal Sign language” which was not exactly universal but had its uses. The sense of it seemed to be that he wanted them to follow. Moogy gave the Wardarian sign for “Yes”. The big man started and stepped back with a look of hostility and dismay. The protocol in signing is to first give a tribe signet and then the message. The stranger seemed unnerved by the tribal designation and visibly perplexed. Still he motioning for them to follow and they set off up the slope.

From behind, in a low voice, Volusia cautioned her son. “Don’t sign him again in Wardarian.”

Rindar began the slow assent up from the valley floor. The woman and the small girl were practically spent and he chose the path carefully until they reached the trail. Wardarian, he reflected, Not good, not good at all… Who is this woman and why do they venture so far from home.? The trail became steeper and he looked back seeing them lagging behind. He paused reflecting further… Runaways, that’s what they are, Runaways and there’s going to be hell to pay when her people come looking. Perhaps they’ll accuse me of “Snatching.“ Not good, not good at all.

The boy called "Moogy" looked to be of about ten seasons but big for his age. His mother, beneath the smudge and dirt could not hide her attractiveness. She had a visage that was compelling and curves that brought to mind the urgency of his need. She had that pale Wardarian complexion and piercing blue eyes.

The camp, where he served penance, was a lonely place, stuck out in the wilderness. He had at least another year of exile and hated to think that he was jeopardizing his hopes of ever being accepted back. A Wardarian woman and two children could only spell trouble. Then again there was no assurance of his pardon and if that was true, perhaps this was an alternative worth exploring. The woman was young and carried herself with a dignity uncommon to his experience. She had a power and influence exercised over the boy and he saw him continuously deferring to her. Can you imagine giving deference to a woman? Was that unmanly or what?

At the first plateau, still a mile below the rim, they jumped a rabbit. Rindar usually snared the creatures and if in dire straights, ran them down. He paused, not intending to give chase and heard the whirr of a sling. Ducking his head, reflexively, he saw the boy cast a stone and heard the “plunk” as it found its mark. The rabbit lurched, fell on its side and began to jerk spasmodically. The boy ran forward to retrieve it and his mother clapped in delight. “Urgowambi.” she cried out.

Gathering some dried sticks she reached into a pouch and laid out her fire-starting paraphernalia. There was tinder and flints and she shielded with her body showing the mark of experience. With a long practiced motion sparks began to fly and smoke was soon rising as she blew on the tinder. Concurrently Moogy skinned the carcass and in short order it was spitted over the rising flames.

Rindar shook his head in disbelief. Eating a prey on the spot, over a fire no less--- in the middle of nowhere was not part of any protocol he was aware of. A prey was killed, taken to the camp, cooked and distributed in accordance with time honored traditions. Never was it eaten on the spot.

"Magua, suree, tu'wally," he said, in a disgusted tone. They ignored him as Moogy scurried about for more sticks for the fire. The big man walked towards them intending to scatter the embers only to be confronted by a determined look and drawn blade. He paused. In the presence of his people he would have acted forcefully to punish such flagrant disrespect. Still, he hesitated. In the months of solitude he had learned to curb his impulsiveness and give thought to his actions. They glared at one another as Mookey quietly fed a rock into his sling. The motion wasn’t lost on Rindar and he shook his fist with one hand and shielded his face with the other. Then he pointed to Volusia and said, “Urbawamby Taskatooma.” and walked a safe distance up the trail. At about a hundred paces he stopped and settled on his haunches looking in the other direction.

"What did he mean?" asked Moogy,

"He warned you not to shoot him with the sling."

"I got that part."

"Then he called me a dumb female swearword."

Flesh began to sizzle and popped on the spit. Volusia cut off a leg and bit into it. She chewed it until the stringy consistency softened and pushed the wad into Tupa’s mouth. The young girl's eyes opened and she began to chew. Moogy cut off the upper portion and began to gnaw ravenously. Volusia began cutting at the carcass and eating some of the less delectable parts. At length, she took the other hip quarter and walked towards Rindar. She handed him the man's piece and went back to gather her belongings.

"Is he mad at us?" asked Moogy.

"Confused is a better term."

"What do we do?"

"Try and get him more socialized." The real meaning of her words were lost on the young boy. She wondered how to reconcile her son's innocence with the demands the stranger was sure to make. We owe him Volusia thought with resignation, and that part, a woman is expected to pay.

"How do we go about doing that?" Moogy asked. He was tall yet his slender frame held the promise of a father's size and strength.

"You'll see..."

Rindar finished the hindquarter and was crunching the bones.

"He's motioning for us to follow..."

Volusia set Tupa on her hip and slung her knapsack.

"I don't like that look," said Moogy. "Does he intend to spear us?"

"I think not. He's sulking but means us no serious harm," she answered. The spear part she didn't elaborate on.

Rindar set off up the trail. Minutes later they reached his digs.

The camp was a cave beneath an outcropping of rocks. In front was a hide-covered structure with a hole in the top. Inside were stones and more hides. Behind was a cave entrance. It was cool as she entered the fizzure in the rock. Hanging from a rack inside was a deer carcass. A stream flowed nearby. He opened the flap and motioned them inside the enclosure. He smiled with a clear sense of pride in the dwelling he had crafted. Then Rindar set about gathering wood. Volusia had the fire going when he returned with another armful of seasoned branches. He pointed to the hanging deer with satisfaction. She walked into the cave and carved off a section for the night’s meal. In addition to the carcass there were numerous potted containers. He pointed and said "Abuloga Feneister" inviting her to explore the lauder. The earthen jars were full of herbs, mushrooms and dried fruit. He picked up one half full of water and gestured towards the stream nodding his head.

"Do I look stupid?" she asked her son.

In short order Volusia had a meal prepared using some of the spices from her stash. It was a feast by the standards of the past week and everyone fell to eating.

Rindar could not believe his good fortune. "Erco Malacouie!" he said when he finished, rubbing his stomach in satisfaction. "Erco Ventracouie.," she answered, hoping it translated. He stood exercising his arms and looked sideways at Mooky and then back at Volusia. Then he made the sign...

Her heart jumped and Mookie stared in dismay...

"Did he just do what I think he did?"

"Take a walk Moogy..."

"Are you sure?" he asked pleadingly.

"See if you can't stone us another rabbit....NOW!"

Rindar stepped back surprised by the unexpected tone.

What is going on with all this? he wondered, All I did was give her the sign.

Moogy stood blushing, brushed aside the flap and went outside.

Rindar made the sign again, this time more emphatically. Surely this woman knows what the sign means?

Volusia gave him a nod of understanding and went over to where Tupa was sleeping. She covered her daughter with a hide blanket and unrolled her own leather sleep pad. Kneeling, she laid down and positioned herself. Rendar loomed above and their eyes met. With a sigh, Volusia motioned she was ready.



May 2, 2017 at 9:38pm
May 2, 2017 at 9:38pm
#910354
My class here at New Horizon's Academy completed registration on Saturday and will begin on Wednesday. I've been very busy! Not only with the Exploratory Writing Workshop (EWW) but also with my wife's latest project, new wood laminated floors in the two bedrooms.

This required moving everything while the carpet company workers laid in the floor panels. Tomorrow they do the guest room. What a pain in the pettootie.

I have some talented students in the Workshop. Some are further advanced than I am... That is always exciting. Fortunately the E-Course follows a strong model and I'm on fairly solid ground in the Program of Instruction.

Sometimes I get a journey man/woman writer with well developed tactical skills but less developed operational and strategic skills. For them a healthy dose of process is the key to keeping up their interest.

One of the things I learned in teaching the EWW was that many aspiring writers lack a familiarity with all the gizmos in a literary tool chest. For example their writing is heavy on exposition or dialog to pretty much the exclusion of other components, like back story, foreshadowing, interior dialog, symbolism and the other components that make for an interesting novel.

To remedy this common deficiency, the first lesson is writing a Favorite Author Chapter Template. Here they take a chapter from a favorite novel and identify all the components... like we used to have to do in diagraming a sentence. In doing this they also identify the percentage of words this component generally uses. It's like a chef interested not in just the ingredients of a dish but also the measure or proportions.... you know, like a pinch of this and a dollap of that.

So, for the first week that's what I hammer on. Making a template of examples in each category that go into writing a good chapter. By comparing their template to what they write they can insure a nice blend of components and not just some one-dimensional stream of conscious.

Once the template is completed they write a series of "Vignettes" (Chapters) which are combined in the final lesson into formulating the structure of an outline. This becomes the backbone of their novel.

It is amazing how professional sounding their work becomes when a chapter has the right ingredients mixed to proper measure.

This is where I'm at now in the Workshop.... actually ahead of the curve since about half the students have already completed their templates. How cool is that?





April 29, 2017 at 6:14am
April 29, 2017 at 6:14am
#910063
There's a great example on the internet these days of what a UFOologist faces in separating the pepper from the rat poop The Intelligence Agencies are the gatekeepers who keep a lid on secret government programs. In the event of a leak they shift gears from hiding the truth to misdirecting the revelation using, among others, denial, missinfomating and false narrative.

They are very good at what they do... having been at it for three quarters of a century.

For illustrative purposes I'll used a video that is circulating on the internet. The video begins with caption, For NASA internal use only....Project Redsun 1973. It shows what appears to be a voyage to Mars. Someone holds up a sign, which displays how many days into the voyage the journey is. From a porthole the earth and moon are shown receding in the distance. As the voyage continues pictures are shown of Mars approaching and finally a close up view of the Martian surface. It ends showing a a large jagged fracture in the planet's mantel.

The first impression that anyone gets in viewing this video is Wow! I didn't know there was a Mars mission in 1973... It looks like a wannabe Snowdon has leaked some of NASA's coverup laundry.

Several publications bite and rile on NASA condemning their secrecy and coverup.

Then, there appears on the internet an expanded version of the tape, that now includes the crew with enough detail to distinguish their features. At the end the source supposedly reveals himself at the culprit, a prankster who claims to have made the video using old NASA footage and photos, cobbled together with Photo Shop software.

Anyone who saw the original is left with the impression .... shucks this prankster ought to be locked up, imagine pulling such a stunt!.. and I was so convinced.... am I ever stupid.... just goes to show that we shouldn't be questioning NASA's integrity.

The dilemma faced by OFOologists is this. The best hope for ever piercing the veil of secrecy is through a leak. This example shows how easy it is to discredit one. I don't know if the video is a hoax or if it is real. I do know that if it's real there will follow a flood of convincing misinformation. This is part of the modus operandi by which the Gate keepers operate.

This raises the question of how a UFOologist should proceed in this milieu of obscuration. Clearly it is not by falling on one's sword over any one "Each." The Eachs are too easy to refute as stand alone events or revelations. A better approach is to look at the bigger picture the Each is a part of. Then use the collective weight of the total evidence to make a case for the bigger picture the Gatekeepers are trying to hide.

In my study of UFOology I tend to divide up the pie into five events. These are: Roswell, Alien Exchanges, Mars, the Moon and most recently Antartica. I call these the Great Citadels of Secrecy. A better approach to quibbling over the Eaches, is to focus on the Citadels they are a subset of.

Let's face it.... we're not going to be invited inside one of these Citadels. Pounding on the door is to no avail. Shouting from beyond the walls is futile. Going hat in hand, shuffling your feet and making a Freedom of Information request is not likely to yield very much.

The way to make real progress is to note the growing body of evidence and let the collective weight bring pressure to bear.

After all a Gate Keeper operates primarily in a defensive capacity. Then get paid to deal with minor distractions and protect the truth by covering it up and mitigating the occasional leak that slips through a crack.

More than anything else the Gate Keepers hate a leaker. A close second is anything else that might cast some light on a secret they're mandated to keep. So if the Project Redsun Tape dated 1973 is in reality a hoax actually perpetrated by some idiot... they'll still move to squelch it. This is because true or not it raises a question they don't want to see raised... does the United States have a manned presence on Mars?

The first Citadel the Gatekeepers chose to defend was "Fort Roswell." In 1947 two alien saucers crashed in the Southwestern United States leaving a trail of exotic debris, dead extraterrestrials and one survivor. Despite everything that was done to coverup the truth the facts have slowly leaked out. In Declarations contained in the Public Acclimation Program are several that can be traced directly to this incident. Surrounding it were a host of Eachs, all of which relate to a simple YES or NO question... Did the Roswell Incident take place?"

The other Citadels are...

1. Does the United States have a manned presence on the Moon?

2. Does the United States have a manned presence on Mars?

3. Does the Unites States have a liaison with off world Intelligent Life?

4. Does the United States have knowledge of an Alien presence in Antartica?

In summary don't get too hung up on any one Each. Eaches don't count for much. Instead note the piece of evidence and file it away, letting the growing weight exert an ever-increasing and unrelenting pressure. When the sheer volume of evidence becomes too much to bear is when serious disclosure becomes possible. This is the only way to ever get to the bottom of what is going on.
April 27, 2017 at 11:05am
April 27, 2017 at 11:05am
#909959
In my study of UFOology I tend to divide up the pie into five events. These are: Roswell, Alien Exchanges, Mars, the Moon and most recently Antartica.

When I see claims that sound like they could contain a germ of truth, I put them into one of the categories above. If the claim looks particularly noteworthy, that is the writing or video is particularly compelling , I use this as a starting point for peeling back the onion.

To start with I treat everything as conjecture and if it is convincing enough I promote it to a hunch.

So the first step must meet the compelling or noteworthy criteria. After reading and seeing so many of these claims I have developed my own filters for what to examine closer and what to pass by. If it resonates the next step is to see if the hunch is collaborated by unrelated sources. If it is I promote it to a working hypothesis. This usually takes three or more independent sources of validation.

Once this test is passed I promote it to an assumption. If this assumption begins to pan out I begin to give the matter some serious consideration.

The first consideration is blow back. If the material, photo or video resonates I check to see how the government is treating it. If it is silence then I consider that a sign. If could be a sign that the material is so outlandish the gatekeepers don't even consider it worthy of note. On the other hand silence could mean a willingness to let it pass or the Government sees it as a truth they are willing to let emerge such as a sanctioned leak to promote a desirable level of growing Public Awareness.

Most commonly however, there is a reaction or official explanation. For Example after Roswell the explanation was a weather balloon. Many UFO sightings are dismissed as natural phenomenon, such as swamp gas, or atmospheric conditions. Others, like the face and pyramids on Mars elicit virulent denials. This pushback are good indicators as to wether or not the claims are true.

Start with the Roswell incident. Two saucers are alleged to have crashed in the desert of New Mexico. Alien bodies are recovered from the debris.


1. The event is initially reported in the media as "Crashed Saucers."

2. This is changed to Weather balloons.

3. When the questions lingered on for a few years it became parts of a super secret program to monitor Soviet Nuclear testing.

4. As the story persists and refuses to go away, stealth technology is given as an explanation.

5. Hand and glove is the time interval to which the story persists.

The Roswell coverup is a great example of how misinformation and false narrative are used to obscure the truth of what really happened.

Next consider the development, that came in the aftermath of the Roswell crashes, where one to eh aliens was said to have survived... that this Extraterrestrial Biological Entity (EBE) helped repair a communications device used to contact his superiors.

What followed was an Exchange Program of one sort or another complete with a bogus Defense Intelligence Agency cover story of what took place.

Concurrently there begin to leak out that a manned presence had been established on the Moon. Just as with Roswell, and the Exchange Program, there came a groundswell of claims that such a base was established as part of the United States Secret Space Program.

Almost concurrently other claims started leaking out that a similar base had been established on Mars.

The latest in a long series of credible revelations is that Antartica could be about to reveal definitive proof of extrateresterial visitations and past presence.

The next several of Non Declarations I'll be posting takes a look at these five areas in a nutshell. In each one I'll go through the process above and eventually promote my assumption to the level of fact.
April 26, 2017 at 8:54pm
April 26, 2017 at 8:54pm
#909931
Non Declaration 21: The Secret Space Program (SSP) is real.

Buried in an obscure appendix of Journey to Planet Serpo there's a nugget of pure gold. This is the Public Acclimation Program. In twelve declarations on two pages there is more truth than all thats been written since the Roswell saucer crashes.

When I search Serpo, astronauts, return home, I see volumes about the Planet Serpo disinformation story and practically nothing about the Declarations. The Planet Serpo story was written to cover up where the Astronauts actually went in setting up the Secret Space Program. The Declarations were written by military, scientific or bureaucratic writers. The cover story is science fiction. The Declarations are as factual as the turkey world of UFOology is ever going to get.

It is a Promotable Assumption that following the Roswell crash contact was made with Ebens with the help of a surviving crew member EBE 1. For several years afterwards work went on to establish a line of communications with EBE-1's superiors.

By this tlme MJ-12 was up and running and trying to get to the bottom of several nagging questions. Paramount of these was getting a sense for the EBE's and determining if they were hostile. EBE-1 turned out to be a pretty good ambassador and MJ-12 was reassured but not convinced. As time went on and other races of EBEs were discovered, the comfort level with these benign assumptions began to grow slimmer.

It was widely believed that a race of aliens worked with the Germans prior to WW2 and provided them with sanctuary after the war in the base a Neuschaubstein. Admiral Richard Byrd in following up these rumors had an encounter with this group in Antartica around 1947. The clash bloodied his US Task Force putting it to flight. This was a foreboding development.

Put yourself in the mindset of the MJ-12 working group When contact was made with the Ebens (Greys) the question that would have loomed as most portentous was Determining the best way to protect against an extraterristerial threat, with emphasis on where the battles in such conflict would be fought.

Whatever strategy they came up with in dealing with these two questions would have had a component for acquiring the required weapons and space technology and also a preference for the environment in which a potential contest would be waged. Whatever form this initial assessment took, it involved back engineering the technologies found in the wrecked space craft as well as a sober realization that waging war with aliens on the planet Earth was not a good idea.

It follows that once contact was made, MJ-12 already had something of an idea in mind. This was an Exchange Program. As soon as it became clear that such a program was possible the next question was the nature of the exchange to take place.

It is another promotable assumption that this exchange did in fact happen and was witnessed by a large number of people. The evidence is a Video by an Air Force General welcoming the team home. Such a video would not have been aired as disinformation. It verified that the exchange took place.

The Intelligence Agencies would have immediately gone into gear to clamp a lid on this exchange but also, realizing there was a good chance for a leak, put together a cover story that would point away from what was really happening.

So what was the nature of the exchange? First it involved a transfer of the hard science of Space Travel and Weapon's development. Second it would involve bases on the Moon and other planets in our solar system to keep potential enemies at an arms length. These are such obvious components of any strategy for planetary defense that I hesitate to mention them, except that the second aspect is often overlooked.

So what was the quid pro quo? From the onset it became clear that the EBans, were interested in what might be termed "Soft Science Technology." This is an euphamism for Life Science Biology which was the magnet that drew the EBEs. Human abductions, Cattle Mutilations and Genetic Hybridization are hard evidence of what they were after.

In return for our willingness to look the other way while they pursued their goals they agreed to share some of their space science technology.

This leads us back then to what the deal was with the twelve astronauts. We know the cover story, that after the Eban space craft lifted off it went to the Planet Serpo. Forget all that. So where did the Ebans take our stalwart astronauts?

The answer is to establish bases on the Moon and Mars. The sheer size of the Eban saucer that arrived for the exchange showed the potential lift capablility these craft offered. Where we measure payloads in lbs using rocket lift propulsion, the Ebans, with anti-gravity technology would have looked at tonnages, rolled their eyes and shrugged their shoulders.

If you look at the training and preparations of the Astronauts you will see that the team of twelve had a built in redundancy.

Team Commander: 101
Assistant Team Commander: 203
Team Pilot #1 225
Team Pilot #2 308
Linguist #1 420
Linguist #2 475
Scientist #1 633
Scientist #2 661
Doctor #1 700
Doctor #2 754
Biologist 518
Security 899

From the team make-up it appears there were two two sub teams.... i.e. two stops. What makes the cover story so bogus is including the two team pilots. If the destination was Serpo, were they supposed to drive the Eban craft if the alien pilots got sick? Duh... I don't think so. Were they planning on stealing an Eban space craft if things went sideways on Planet Serpo? Duh... I don't think so.

A rational for the pilots is that they would be operating craft similar to the ones that crashed at Roswell from the bases they were going, somewhere in our own solar system. In return for off world bases we reciprocated by building them huge underground facilities out West.
April 22, 2017 at 10:39am
April 22, 2017 at 10:39am
#909638
For those who don't know, here at WDC, I teach at New Horizon's Academy a class called the Exploratory Writing Workshop. Sign up is 29 April. When I wrote it I envisioned a typical daily session.

First, is to try and get onto a regular schedule. It's best to find a timeframe where you are free from interruptions or other distractions. I know how hard that can be.

For some, getting up earlier works and for others relaxing at the end of the day.

Go to the classroom forum and check out the week's assignment. You do this by clicking the blue underlined link beneath the assignment.

This takes you to the weekly lesson page.

On this page is a list of requirements and Lectures. Read the requirements, paying particular attention to the prompt for the weekly vignette. With this in mind click on the first Lecture. I have tried to make this e-class like a regular classroom. Envision it as a college course and me pontificating like some old stogy professor. In most lessons there there are five lectures, one for each working day of the week.

With the prompt in mind and the first lecture under your belt, start writing the vignette. Write until the time window for your session closes.... This could be time to go to work, feed the kids or when your head nods to the side and the laptop falls on the floor.

In the next session take what you have written, read the next Lecture and continue writing with a goal of reconciling the two.

This goes on from one session to the next, until you finish writing the first Vignette. If you're disciplined, that will leave two days to clean up your copy and do any written objectives the lesson requires.

Prior to the Thursday night deadline post your work into the classroom forum. I'll write you a comprehensive review and send it to you, via private email, by the following Monday. I've never missed yet.

I know! I know, the approach shown above sounds like a bunch of pie in the sky and a long jump on theory. In practical application each of you will approach the workshop in a different manner. Some will be quasi-organized but for most it will be hit and miss throughout the week with a mad scramble to meet the Thursday deadline.

Many of you will not be ready to submit on time. The reasons I've gotten for requesting extensions are legion. Perhaps the biggest stumbling block is a quest for perfection. Do not let that become the insurmountable hurdle that leads to submitting late. This is not a Pulitzer Prize novel writing
class. All you're trying to achieve in the workshop is an understanding of some of the basics needed to write a longer work. While you might want to use the results as a preparation for NANO, the key is not the end product but rather an understanding of the process that will get you there.
April 21, 2017 at 10:29am
April 21, 2017 at 10:29am
#909581
Len Kasten, in his Book, Secret Journey to the Planet Serpo, A true Story of Interplanetary Travel, has provided readers with the Holy Grail that UFO reachers have been searching the past seventy-five years.

The Revelation came as a series of leaks from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and a leaker called "Anonymous." This same source also claimed to be the editor and custodian of "The Red Book" a document used to brief Presidents. The disclosures can be viewed at WWW.Serpo.com. To many these disclosures are the answer to what UFOlogists have long believed but were hidden by coverups.

The book cherry picks information regarding an exchange that took place between astronauts and an Extraterrestrial Biological Entity (EBE) race of aliens. The story goes that in the Roswell crash(s) saucers and aliens were recovered. Most died at the site, however, one survived and helped the United States make contact with a race sometimes referred to as the Greys.

What is remarkable about the leak is not so much the exchange program, that lasted about ten years and ended when the astronauts returned. That is what most of the book is about but not the real bombshell. The smoking gun is contained in an appendix 12 and titled "A Framework for Public Acclimation." The framework lists twelve Declarations. They were leaked not by Anonymous but rather by someone high in the DIA or "... at the pinnacle of the MJ-12hierachy. In these short and concise statements"... is everything we have secretly learned about the extraterrestrials."

Of everything I have read about UFOs this Framework for Public Acclimation rings with the most authenticity. If I've been conned the artists have done a masterful job. It is in my view however, that this is the real deal. This is a bureaucratic document and not something written by a science fiction writer. What this two page document says stands on its own merit and reconciles all those longstanding nuggets of truth with all the unanswered questions.

For many the story about the Visit to the Planet Serpo is something of a stretch. It's a lot to swallow and could have been seeded to allow for a massive program of denial and misinformation, had the leak gone viral in ways the DIA did not anticipate...

However, it did not go viral or anything close to it. The information that started leaking on 2 November 2005 caused hardly a ripple. Fear that the Website might be taken down prompted Kasten to publlsh his book in 2013. There it sits on a silver platter waiting for someone to take an interest and give the manuscript some serious note.

I guess it proves the adage that if your repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Nobody believes that these sanctioned leaks are to be taken seriously! Seventy-Five years of misinformation, intimidation, ridicule and lies have taken its toll on the psyche of the American People. Americans still believe that UFOs and the presence of aliens is a bunch of malarkey.

So much has happened under the umbrella of deception for so long that the very approach to untelling the lie of the century must be done indirectly. Note how the DIA has gone about serupticiously implementing their Public Acclimation effort. Rather than just having the President admit what has been going on they have chosen instead to resort to "Sanctioned Leaks."

The Public Acclimation Program is a backdoor attempt to get out from under the stifling weigh of lies and deception. How do you suppose the public is going to react when it begins to sink in that trillions in "Dark Money" has been spent on the Secret Space Program? How do you suppose the public will react when they find out we've turned a blind eye to abductions, cattle mutilations and hybredization and given an alien race a free pass to further their biological agenda? How will the public react when they find out a small group of elitists have been negotiating with extraterrestrials ever since the Roswell crashes? I could go on and on. It isn't fear over another Orsen Wells hoax that keeps the Government silent but fear of a groundswell of indignation when the people find how grossly they have been kept in the dark for thee quarters of a century.

The hoaxsters are not misguided individuals but the gatekeepers of national security. How ironic is that?

Now it's beginning to appear that another great coverup is taking place in the Antartica. Leaks are turning from drips to a drizzle as evidence of a Pre-Adamic civilization comes to light. As the ice continues to melt it will become virtually impossible to cover up all the discoveries that are rearing their heads in our own back yard.
April 21, 2017 at 1:21am
April 21, 2017 at 1:21am
#909568
I've been working on my New Horizons Workshop Class, The Exploratory Writing Workshop. Actually most of the quality work has been done by Katz, who is the Head Mistress of the Academy.

I'm dyslexic but otherwise fairly normal. Certain things that don't confuse the average person confuse me but the upside is that I have what I can only refer to as "A connectional Mind."

I have a wide variety of interests and in order to keep up with everything I have to spread my focus over a wide range. So instead of believing myself to be a "Dumbass" that many think I am, I'm comfortable under my skin and wouldn't trade my brain for anyone else's on the planet. This is not to say that I don't run into other smart people... it happens all the time, and when I do... what they're capable of amazes me.

This is my experience with Katz... watching what she does with my course to bring it up to Academy Standards fills me with a sense of awe. My E-Class is very complex while at the same time the complexity is not all that transparent. She sees the inner workings and understands it even better than I do and I'm the one who wrote it. Some of the changes she has made are such an improvement that my jaw drops open. I know if she reads this it will probably embarrass her but I'm not too worried because the number of people at WDC who read my blog is extremely low.

Most of the readers I have are unknown, and seem to find my blog using bots. Occasionally I will get several hundred hits in a single day when the average is about 12 and eleven of those are from somewhere off site. The reason I blog is not to get read but to try to focus my thinking.

The point is that everybody thinks a bit differently and comes equipped with a unique mind and distinctive way of looking at things. Regardless of how smart or dumb a person thinks they are there are others who can dove-tail into your thoughts and take them, for better or worse, far beyond what the originator ever considered. I know that many are troubled, as writers, when others have the "audacity" to rewrite their work, but when they do take the time, the result should not be viewed with indignation, but rather as the most precious form of critique. I leaves absolutely no doubt in the originators mind exactly what the rewriter is thinking. There is no mincing around with "...consider doing this or that."

Further, my experience is that often your friends will tell you what they think you want to hear while detractors, who don't give a "rats petotti" about your feelings will tell you exactly how they see it. This is a hugely valuable form of critique. In my profession I learned a whole lot more from my competitors than I ever did from my teammates. By understanding where an opposition comes from rather than dismissing the bitter taste, I came to see what at times was "mean spirited" as a huge advantage in reaching the optimal solution.

I guess what it all comes down to is one of the great lessons I've learned. To use a computer analogy, mankind is a distributed rather than a centralized data base. All wisdom is not reposed in a single mind but is spread over a sea of individual little awarenesses. Learning to network is the key to getting ahead and those who do it best rise to the highest levels of self actualization.

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