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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/notebook/jbezar
Please follow an ASR rating.*
*Wolf*

Those of you who, like me, enjoy howling at the moon, remember that tonight is a perigean full moon, or Pink supermoon.

Our natural satellite is at its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit, so it’s bigger and brighter than usual.

Bring out your camera and hope for clear skies.
*Moon*

Did you know Earth has a new moon?


Well, technically, it's a minimoon or a temporary captured asteroid, and it's leaving sometime in April.
It's a tiny object with the diameter between 2 to 3 meters that was orbiting our planet for about three years but was only discovered in February. Named 2020 CD3, it's the second known asteroid to become our temporary satellite.

Let's celebrate our new passing companion!

2020 CD3 orbit  
That's exciting news! I stumbled upon your channel when I spotted a link referring to an article of yours, The Crossing.However, once I landed here, there are no visible items to read. I came to your notes. Most of the members here I know and love.

*If you would let me read your works, I will give you my fair and honest reviews.
*Check out my channel...I spend most of my time reading others' works but what I have posted will give you an idea of me, I hope. Please consider my request. I have worked on a project called The Crossing for several (almost 10) years but recently tossed it. I'd like to compare yours to mine to see where I lost my initiative. Thanks (:
Thanks for stopping by, PrettyPoetry .

I'm not sure why you can't view items in my portfolio. The access is set to "Registered Authors and higher only", but you are a registered author, so you should be able to see it. It might have something to do with the "Content Rating System (CRS), perhaps you've set yours to lower than ASR and don't want to view content that might somehow harm or offend you. If it's something else that is preventing you from viewing it, I can't tell what it is: there are no group or membership restrictions set.

That being said, I don't know if "The Crossing would be anything you expect it to be; it's an independent excerpt, describing experience and thought process of an alien species, using somewhat experimental language.
jbezar, I appreciate the answer. I am Premium member, if that has any effect, idk...You are probably right, I need to check my settings. I'd like to read The Crossing out of curiosity, if you don't mind. I'll pay you back with a review (: Thanks so much.
What happens to all the custom cover images in your portfolio when reverting back to a free account? I have a hunch they are removed, but I couldn't find it mentioned in "When Your Paid Membership Expires.
A better place to ask this question is "Technical Support Forum...

I would answer it here but don't know the answer. You will be able to get an answer on "Technical Support Forum pretty quickly and will know for sure then...

Dear past self,
The images remain uploaded but are not displayed, and a default picture of static item is shown instead.
We are black boxes.

Writing is encoding information, and reading is decoding it. Both the decoder and encoder are flawed in their unique way, creating a unique reader-writer combination. When you receive feedback, you go through additional encoding and decoding, and it creates more chances for misunderstanding.

If you strive for clarity, you need to know what impact you want to make with your writing, how you want your reader to react, and check it against the actual reaction.

Alternatively, you could input moderately abstract or ambiguous information and see what result might the system output.

The result still heavily depends on how compatible the two black boxes are.
I've taken some time to cool down and think.

I still don't know if I have good taste in stories.

I have a painting on the wall in my living room. I painted it ten years ago. It's not a great painting, it could never get into an art gallery. It's probably not even my best painting. But with it, I wanted to tell a story, and that story is visible there. I don't pay much attention to that painting, but when I stop to actually look at it, I don't feel ashamed.

That's precisely the relationships I want to have with my writing.
This past week brought a lot of all-changing questions.

My stories are flawed. But is it my taste in stories, or my ability to craft them?

I’m stepping away from writing to find answers.
An excellent reviewer should be able to tell you what the cause of the problem is, but I've found most reviewers on here aren't particularly insightful. There are some, but most are not. Even I can sometimes say that I do or don't like a story, but not necessarily why. Annoying. Good luck!
What if, for example, your excellent reviewer says your story doesn't follow the traditional structure. You bring climax too soon, spending too much time on falling action. You dwell on theoretical questions instead of keeping your readers on the edge of their seat until the very end.

This is true, but your present taste is against a mash of sure tricks.

I had an exciting piece of feedback lately (not for the short stories, though). If my stories were a dish, it said, it would look like a traditional dish and would be made of conventional ingredients. But as you eat it, it would surprise you with the taste because it's not what you expected, and it changes as you eat. And when you finish it, you cannot describe what you have consumed.

How do you keep that and process the feedback about the lack of classical structure? I'm not even mentioning all the conflicting feedback I receive.

How do you tell which feedback is about you failing to tell the story right, and which is about you not being their kind of writer? How can you be sure your taste in stories isn't flawed? This is the questions I'm trying to answer for myself.
I'll send you an e-mail so we can continue this. *Smile*
Edited
I’ve been GP-pranked.

How awesome would it be to get review-pranked? You open your email to see a new anonymous review that says how horrible your piece is (two and a half stars for the effort), making nonsense suggestions and completely misinterpreting the plot. That would be epic if done right: a good amount of blather, some irony, spiced with self-deprecating insights.
I’m tempted to do that myself, but I’ve never been a trend-starter.

Update: *Ninja*
Years ago there was an April Fools activity that did anonymous reviews. People had a lot of fun with it.

Are you familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect? As Bertrand Russell said, “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

How can you objectively evaluate your skills? How can you be sure your writing is worth something? What if this is just a bad case of graphomania?

Is doubting your skills the sign of your high-ability? Would knowing about Dunning-Kruger effect skew the results? Would anyone doubt themselves in hopes of appearing smarter?
I know it's your birthday, and this is not what you want to hear. But I need to say it.

I'm really trying to make this relationship work. I hesitated to go on our first date because you seemed like not my type. I know appearances can be deceiving, and I tried to focus on your rich inner world instead. And I must admit, I fell for you when I got to know you. You were charming and supportive, warm and colourful, and you showed me so much love the first month we were together.

But when the novelty of this passion faded, I found myself questioning if we are right together. We meet every day, and you talk in so many flashy voices, and I just don't know what to say. I nod quietly at your witty remark, but you never catch it. I guess I should be shouting to get noticed. You gave me a valuable gift, and now I feel obligated to stay with you even though I doubt this is working. I tried showing you who I am, but you wanted me to be someone else, pushed me to participate in all this activity, and... I got tired.

Should we take a break? Split right away? Give each other another chance? What do you say, WdC?
We're not all online extroverts. They're just the most noticeable. There's room here for quieter types, too, and different agendas. It's best to choose your own way to do WDC -- however feels right to you. It doesn't have to be the same as everyone else's, or anyone else's.

It's not unusual for members to discover they're overextended, even moderators. If all the activities you've been involved in are too much of too much, feel free to discontinue anything that doesn't further your own goals, and feel free to take a break from any that do help if/whenever you need to. It's normal for people to come and go and come back.

I took a look at your Christmas story - a random pick. It's fairly polished and had a few things that bothered me as a reader (whether the hitchhiker was really SC wasn't one of them), but I'm not sure it's what you prefer to write -- it didn't seem that not-obvious which I remember you said awhile back that you liked. Of course, you might be using the term differently than I would. *Smile*

What were you looking for when you joined the site?
A Hitchhiker is the least obscure story of mine (I never claimed I wanted unexplainable crazy stuff, though), and perhaps because of that, people seem to like it the most. Every story in my portfolio is something I wanted to write; but everything except Exposure Credits was written before I joined WdC. Anything I tried writing and was disappointed with is no longer displayed.

It’s hard to say what I was hoping to find here. Friends, someone who would inspire me to continue? Validation? An opportunity to improve? Meaningful conversations? Don’t get me wrong, I completely admit this is the classic “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. Some days, I open the reviewers page and randomly give points to longer, thoughtful reviews without some weird font and flashy signatures. It feels like the highlight of my activity.
Friends, someone who would inspire me to continue? Validation? An opportunity to improve? Meaningful conversations?

Those are all possibilities to be found here. Some of them might take a little more searching to find. Sometimes it helps to ask directions. I'll send you an email.
Edited
A friend of mine who doesn’t get my stories once asked me, what’s wrong with obvious.

Why can’t I just write it, so everyone understood what’s happening? For god’s sake, that bracelet is just electroshock that wiped out Connie’s memory, and she forgot what the right decision was. Doc might be a psychiatrist who used to indulge in speculative conversations with his patients, one that got world-shakingly real. That hitchhiker might be the real Santa. Christopher's mind could be just a simulation. Simon is experiencing vivid hallucinations because of his tumour. And Frank... Well, it was pretty obvious what happened to Frank.

I didn’t know what was wrong with obvious. But then another conversation gave me insight.

By making it obvious, I would kill the other alternative. Connie jumped in time. A professor didn't find enough evidence that travel between parallel universes was possible. Nick is blessed with a fulfilling seasonal job. Christopher has a damn good assistant. Simon knows that lies beyond the threshold of death. And Frank... Well, we don’t know who Frank really was.

In the quantum reality of my stories, all these alternatives are possible. And like in the quantum world, the reader determines what alternative to actualize.

I fully accept that by walking this path, I'm reducing my target audience to a small group of people who seek the joy of solving ambiguous puzzles. I'm glad I've already met some.
Oh wow, someone just gifted me six months of upgraded membership! What have I done to deserve such generosity? Thank you, anonymous, I will try my best to pass kindness on in one form or another.