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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in readers and writers' LiveJournal:

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Sunday, November 20th, 2016
10:25 am
help, I'm stuck
Hi! I really need your help with a story I'm writing. I'm stuck. For my story to work I need to come up with a job for my characters where every day one or two teams are put together. I just can't think of any jobs like that and I'm wondering if any of you can?

My story has about eight or so characters, two of which are strong individuals who will have the role of leading the teams.
Among the characters being picked out for the teams every day is my protagonist, who wants to be in the team led by one of the team leaders and definitely not on the other leader's team. The story revolves around what happens when this character is on either team.

So can you help me out? *hoping*
Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
7:57 pm
Participants needed for a short survey!
Hello everyone!

I'm currently working on my master's dissertation and I need YOU to be a participant!!!

I'm conducting two surveys, one for unpublished writers and the other one is for everyone who likes to read. You would really help me out if you could take 5 minutes to answer one or even both of these. (They're really very short.)

Survey for writers

Survey for readers

You can find more information under the links or take a look at this LJ entry here

Thanks to anyone taking the time to do this, I really really appreaciate it.
Friday, January 30th, 2015
10:39 am
A Tale of Two Cities - Thoughts
There are some books that stay with you long after they've been read, like a delicious meal savored hours after its been savored and its plates washed. The feelings and ideas invoked in the story linger on long after they've been fully digested by the mind. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens is such a book.

Despite the fact that it has many Dickensian elements that are quite easy to spot, such as contrived coincidences, the book has a great deal more depth and nuance than any of his other works.

First of all, the characters are not completely one dimensional walking ideals. The true hero of the story, Sydney Carton, is an anti-hero, who doesn't realize his true potential until the end. The villain of the story, Madame Defarge, is also a somewhat sympathetic creature. She was made the ruthless tigress, as she is described, by circumstances.

This is a little different from some of the other, earlier tales, in which characters were either totally good, to exemplify everything that is good in the world, or utterly corrupt, to exemplify that which is evil. I don't fault him for this. It was a literary device that he used at the time in order to explore issues of the age, but it is refreshing to see something a little different.

Second of all, the themes he uses of duality and redemption are multifaceted. Charles Darney was willing to redeem the sins of his fathers, despite the fact that he was not responsible for them. This noble act of redemption, which meant facing the guillotine, was foiled by Sydney Carton, who died in Darney's place. This act served a dual redemptive quality. In it, not only did he redeem himself, but also the name of a family he had absolutely no connection to.

Some have likened his act of redemption to Jesus, but I think that there is a problem with that analogy because he was not just dying for the sake of another, but also for the sake of himself. It is an imperfect allegory. This was done purposely to humanize the redemptive act. In short, the final famous phrase has more impact because it he is it is done by someone who is so fallen, that losing his life is his only salvation.

Dickens is, despite his revulsion for the baser acts of the revolution, sympathetic to it and it shows. One of my favorite scenes is when Dr. Manette's testimony, written during his time at Bastille, is read. In it, he gives an account of the events that led him to be falsely imprisoned in the first place. The description of the treatment of the serfs is pretty bleak, and surprisingly explicit considering the time period in which it was written. But, my favorite line in the whole book can be found in it, as Dr. Manette leans over to treat a young man who is mortally wounded.

The young boy tells Manette, "We common dogs are proud too, sometimes."

It contains some powerful imagery and interesting characters. His wordy, overly descriptive Victorian style, which is sometimes a hindrance, works very well giving us a sense of the period through language. The dialogue was impressively handled, nuanced and consistent with the individual's characterization. Darney, for example, is properly reserved and aristocratic, despite his humility, while Carton is properly roguish and snide.

This isn't a real review, because I am not qualified enough for such a task. But I hope that my thoughts on the subject will encourage someone to pick up the book and read it. It really does deserves the title as one of the great English classics, but that has already been determined by those much greater than I.


Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
4:14 pm
The Life of an American Muslim
I'm writing a book, I'll post a chapter or two every Wednesday:

Chapter 1

You come into this world expecting nothing.

A small human being full of love, kindness, acceptance, and understanding. You’re first experience is horrible. You’re covered in blood; a blast of icy cold air, loud noises, large things, and everything unknown seem to attack you. You cry.

For the first part of your life all you do is cry. You cry, eat, and… go to the bathroom. Then you start to crawl, and walk, and run. You begin to dress yourself, finding that style that fits you just right. You find that food that makes you salivate every time you think of it. You find that song that makes you just want to bust out screaming in excitement every time it comes on the radio. You find your favorite boy band or supermodel. You find that book that you just can’t seem to put down and end up losing two night’s sleep over it. You find who you are. Then you look for friends, people who you go out with and just have fun with no plans. You

look for that best friend who you call family, who you can tell all of your locked-diary secrets to. You look for that special someone who, at first sight, you know that you can spend the rest of your life with them. You look for that one job that doesn’t even feel like a job because it’s what you love. Then you make money. You make love. You make a family. Then you die.

That’s life. I know you weren’t expecting this, but it’s fact. You do, you find, you look, you make, you die.

Chapter 2

Family traditions are forced onto the upcoming children generation after generation. One thing all parents want their children to share with them is religion. Depending upon the area, you will get a different ratio to what other common religions may be. In the Middle East, it’s Islam.

I’m from America, born and raised in the Northwest. My ancestors are from all over Europe with different branches of religion. One thing they all had in common, they were Christian. Now, I don’t mean “pray to God when you break your iPhone 5” Christian. I mean, “make a crazy person shrine to God in the middle of every room and put a cross on every wall” Christian. That means I was baptized as a baby. I won’t say my given name as a child, but I will tell you it means follower of Christ. I ended up not living with my biological parents anymore when I was little, but I was given new parents with my half-sister and her brother by my side, leaving my other half-brother alone with an aunt and her daughter.

This new home was a lot bigger, but luckily the new parents weren’t “crazy person” Christian. Though, they were still heavy advocates for Christianity. So was the rest of the area, and I mean heavy. The house was even next to a retired church. Within a four square mile area, there were sixteen churches. All of which were Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and every other branch of Christianity you can think of. My sister and brother went to Youth Group at the nearest one which was a block away. When I got older I decided to go a couple miles away. I admit, it was for a guy, but I truly was interested in learning more about God. I ended up not going anymore because it just didn’t make any sense to me. I didn’t understand the logic in what they were saying. I couldn’t seem to “connect the dots”.

I was told that Jesus is the son of God, and that he is the lord.

Then they said that God is the lord. Does that make Jesus God? And then they said that God is the father and Jesus is the son; and that the father, son, and Holy Spirit aren’t separate people. They’re one. So I ask, who’s the Holy Spirit? They said that the Holy Spirit isn’t anyone. So what is God’s

name? He doesn’t have a name, he isn’t a person. But Jesus is a person. Yes. And Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are one; right? Yes. So that means Jesus is God and the holy spirit. No. But they are one. Yes. Okay, that was delusional….. Then I ask, how did Jesus heal people and perform miracles? Through God. How did he do that? He didn’t, God did. But God isn’t a person. Exactly. So, I changed my standpoint and asked, how did God create everything? He just did. He just did? Yes.

I was getting so frustrated with the contradictory answers that I finally gave up and asked: Why did God create everything? And I got no answer at all. The previous answers went against each other and were completely confusing. I finally got silence. Eventually they said, I don’t know. That was the moment I walked out of the church and said I will never believe in anything.
Sunday, November 17th, 2013
8:45 am

Hi All

Robin Leigh Morgan here, I'm a new member to Live Journal as I've just found out about it. This naturally makes me a NewBie member to this group; so please excuse my ignorance here about how things are done as I'm still getting my feet wet. This is one of the groups I've join which coincides with my writing.

I'm a retired NYCity employee who's been married for 20 years [November 2013] with no children. My written commentaries for a community newspaper for several years prior to June 2006. My first romance writing endeavor for a novel is a YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss entitled "I Kissed a Ghost" which got self-published on December 20, 2012, the KINDLE addition got released on May 12, 2013. I'm currently writing a still untitled adult Contemporary with a paranormal element running through parts of the storyline.

As I'm a newcomer to this community as well as to LiveJournal I'm looking to make some friends here.

Please check out my journal.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
10:26 am
Поетичні зустрічі з Альбіною Поздняковою
Розмова про нову поетичну книгу Альбіни Позднякової "Тяжіння", про дозрівання жінок, зв"язки між поколіннями, війну і кохання, а також про поєднянням літератури з хендмейдом, відбудеться

в Києві у книгарні "Є" (вул. Лисенка. 3) у четвер, 21 червня о 18 годині
(модеруватиме Ірина Шувалова)
і у Львові у книгарні "Є" (просп. Свободи, 7) у п"ятницю, 22 червня о 18 год
(модеруватиме Катерина Оніщук).

Позднякова Тяжіння

“Тяжіння” Альбіни Позднякової — це книга, схожа на кошик для шиття, де переплутано різнобарвну пряжу, шерехаті слова змотано у клубки, на кінцях речень зав'язано вузлики на пам'ять, несподівані голки встромлено у серцевину тексту. Ці поезії беззахисні й сильні водночас — власне, й сильні своєю беззахисністю. Вони вимагають від читача ніжності й уважності — їхні тонкі ребра світяться під шкірою: діти-драже, міста-намистини випорснуть з рук, якщо не прийняти їх голо і з любов'ю. Ця книга віршів схожа на коробку старих м'яких іграшок — ось ведмедик без лапи, ось зворушлива власноруч пошита лялька — і там, на дні (дочитай до дна!), ховається твоя особлива, твоя улюблена іграшка, про яку забув і яку — раптом, до болю — хочеться пригорнути.

Де можна придбати книжку: http://tryagaine.livejournal.com/443317.html
Saturday, October 8th, 2011
10:02 pm
"A little library, growing larger every year, is an honourable part of a man's history. It is a man's duty to have books. A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessaries of life."

--Henry Ward Beecher
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
2:59 pm
Anna Solomon's debut novel "The Little Bride"

In my New York Journal of Books review I describe the book as  “. . . a plot-driven novel conveyed in crisp, descriptive, and thought-provoking prose via an engagingly intelligent third-person narrator. . . . an auspicious debut” and recommend it to both adult and precocious young adult readers.  via examiner.com

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011
6:46 am
Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat - new novel
Hi all - hope you don't think I'm being cheeky by placing this posting here! ;)

My sci-fi/noir novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, based in Melbourne (Australia), was recently published through Another Sky Press
in the USA and I'm hoping (with fingers partially crossed!) that you might at some stage be interested in perusing same.

Because Another Sky has a great philosophy that I really support (providing the paperback at cost price of production, enabling readers to
"donate" more if they believe the artists behind the book deserve this), and because I live in Tokyo, Japan (ahh, the tyranny of distance!), I also hope you don't mind looking at a digital version as an option, since that's free.
We're currently selling the paperback version for just $4.74 at Another Sky, but it's a wee bit more expensive to buy from Amazon, etc.
If you have any questions at all or would just like to find out more, please don't hesitate to contact me - and I hope you can assist us with
getting knowledge of the novel (and my wonderful publishers at Another Sky) out there into the wider world.

All the best,
1:10 am
without installing software,make your laptop as a router

What is mhotspot ?

> Mhotspot makes your windows laptop/pc as a virtual router.

> It enables to share your internet for other laptops,smartphones,PDAs,Ipods,tablet-pcs,Ipads,gameboids and every wifi enabled devices through wifi.

Overview & Features:

> No need to install this software.

> It is FREE.

> Any number of devices can be connected to the hotspot.

> No router or external hardware is required apart from your existing one.

Thursday, September 1st, 2011
7:28 pm
"What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past" published today

In my New York Journal of Books review I quote Ms. Miller, "Every new piece of information keeps me on the road to the ever-expanding possibility of the quest, a quest that in the end will still yield only partial knowledge--and will never give me, return to me, those past lives." Ms. Miller, a retired CUNY Graduate Center English and Comparative Literature professor, is an appealing prose stylist, but because of its focus on the genalogical search process this book will mostly appeal to genealogy buffs in general and Jewish genealogy buffs in particular.

Continue reading on Examiner.com 

Sunday, August 7th, 2011
11:54 am
Game Of Thrones
Is anyone reading Game of Thrones, or has read it?
Notebook In Hand has picked that book for our first book club. We're reading a chapter a day, but we're making it so people who want to join in can join in at any time/catch up, by having chapter threads, as well as clearly labelled discussion threads.
I was wondering if anyone wanted to join in? I'd really love the book club to be successful!
However, I'm also wondering if any of you can think of some good discussion topics. I'm the admin yet I'm behind in reading the book, so it makes it a little hard! What would you like to talk about re: Game of Thrones?

Friday, April 29th, 2011
3:06 pm

By D. A. Stafford

Nights blending – and there’s no matter where time’s concerned.
Time to sing a made-up song. Buy flowers: irises, just because.
Feeling desperate, but looking aloof… Just another hour in the cold, please?
Before we find ourselves at home…
Calculating no more – nights blending without a date to mend the days (we left behind).
The calendar no longer works – as obsolete as last year’s mourning:
“Let it pass,” wise words expressed
When you came over that night
Spent it blending with me.

So, this is why
It’s time to sing an impromptu song. To buy flowers and say, “Just because.”
Don’t be sad; after all you’ve done for me.
Let the night & day blend on their own; and, please, remain in the cold
Just a moment more.
I want to keep you warm
Even if we are feeling eternally desperate.
We can fool them all.
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
2:52 pm
“Grey Heart”

By D. A. Stafford

Grey is a favorite color
Of hers
Here is now in the swollen city
“I think I…whisper too much”
Sudden fall and autumn crispness
Grey sweeps in and it’s her favorite
Time of year
She’s sheathing her fingers in knitted knots
“It’s okay if you leave…I’ve winter to come”
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
10:55 pm
“Time to Run”

By D. A. Stafford

Got it exactly the cut across “I knew I wasn’t happy”
Trade me in spades and all cards I will toss unto the felt
Guarded against finding my own mind the face I know
The face I’ve touched enamored as if I came from another world
Across a dozen seas too many lovers too many nameless wonders
Softened enough that I become numb to their very touch
Drugs I’ve known got them exactly “I somehow knew I wasn’t in love”
Petty trinkets and fighting over scraps that have fallen from the grace
Of any god that might be out there blind by my second thoughts
Though I thought for one moment longer that I might run…

Now I know better as it itches across “somehow I could not be happy”
Trade me in for firmer leather younger clothes and those knowledgeable of hidden scents
So many lovers before & after I count the faces guarded for falling graces
Gambling Queens and one-eyed hearts
Fires to be sparked four-post beds spent into kindling
Things that cannot be purchased so gladly spoken to “And then I knew that I was no longer in love”
Kiss them one more time glitter stains spread and as the falling tears proudly state
Smearing into my clothes ruining the one-night-stand as I reach for the soft
Skin that is not there on second thought I should run…

Seems exactly that as I hold wrists forming phantom pain “I know I am not happy”
Trade me in for a better broken fool and I will toss
Back the face of the adorned doll nameless beauty shameless acts all these lovers
Still feeling the far-off touch torches that burn a propane blue dress
Trying to guide back to me from second thought to second chance
Another gambler’s spin of the fixed wheel I know the outcome “It’s not you I love”
Crowded by maps & posters far off spotlights of gravity fondling me
One more game another roll of imaginary numbers how I deign to play
The delight that leaves the scent deep seated in my bed settling instead
For foolish girls that refuse to dance on second thought I think I will run…
Friday, April 15th, 2011
11:57 pm

By D. A. Stafford

Inside – it seemed so complete:
Our heads abound with simple goals – fantastic little dreams.
Can’t help but find new ways of climbing up
New, dusty stars to seek out, discover, sleep underneath:
It’s a sweetness filling up (and too-soon falling down)…

Indeed – as you shiver under me:
Feeling through your hair – our heads so filled with aching things
“How could we survive? – Why even try?”
Same old thing they all repeat: we’ll seek out, we’ll discover
It’s like they say, sweetness filling over (as it crystallizes, brittle and too sharp to swallow)…

Ideal – it seemed best to stay quiet:
Being loud got nothing after all – only the urge to vomit.
We tried to teach each other how to love: losing all sweetness; our eyes watered & obscured:
“Before we leave, let's do it one more time,” out of heart, lost to time,
It’s one of those things: striving to feel complete (and here’s the cop-out: our last line’s incomplete)…
Friday, April 8th, 2011
9:12 am
“Clean Break”

By D. A. Stafford

Look above “see the shapes” of things to come – clouds forming “Looks like a cat – a massive dinosaur stomping” moving as the sun sets you finally speak “or a knife forming and the blood – looks as though the sky’s been murdered.”

14 years ago trying our hands at various drinks – illegally exploring intoxication & love – the ripe scents of being close we’re looking above to observe the city-light enhanced thunderheads – as the feathered touch makes my stomach jump you whisper “it won’t last – the rain will wash away”

Passive aggression “I think it’s unfair” no the way you seem – coiled up and shutting off all lights “we had fun – at least I tried to” you drink your wine perfectly legal now and watch the waves break – the tip of your tongue grabs one last drop “is there a curve where the sky meets the sea? Or do we simply fall?”

Another spring and autumn past and I engage in another sort – one I do not love but has an ounce of hope flowing through her blood – many drinks later and even more laughs afterwards I find another taste – and a softness that doesn’t find blood swarming in an ending sky…

Look up above and see the shape of things to come? “Yes” I am sorry “it’s okay” these things happen as you take another sip another drink another escape into your shadows – all my clothing is already packed off I go when I catch site of a note you wrote “I saw the cat. I’m sorry I could not bear to tell you.”
Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
12:30 pm
“Bright Young Things”

By D. A. Stafford

Where did they all go? Through the rooms, backs on the floor, screaming & shouting
Finding each other in-between – catch a temporary escape: yeah, it’s a liquid mixture
Bitter & sweet. Changes in the wind indicate self-destruction: “Try to phone me, try to contact me,
Be my friend, meet me halfway (so I can finally shut up and die).”

So young and so free: feeling trapped and misunderstood. We live completely dangerously,
We won’t die, we’re not that lucky, after all. Instead we cut ourselves to feel inspired: listen
Loudly to Amanda Palmer’s Bad Habit – “Don’t say you can relate!”

Where do we go from here? They tell us to grow up – so sad & angry, why must
They have forgotten what it is to be young? “I’m not stupid, just naïve. I want to be an artist,
Writer, model, singer or something in between…” We look in the mirror:
We break it, punch it, stain the sheets because we hate hate hate what we see…

So young and always with the inclination to cry – “Let me go. I want to be alone.”
He wants to approach & she wants to be respected – fumbling hormones and quietly
Loving so her parents won’t hear: “They won’t care. They hate me anyway.”
Yeah, backs on the floor and tears will shed when they part…
Knowing that when they look back, it wasn’t love after all…
So, keep this a secret: “When I want to die, I really just want to escape. Be my friend,
Phone me up, contact me: I don’t love you, but could you please love me anyway?”
Saturday, March 12th, 2011
12:28 pm
“Chemical Reaction”

By D. A. Stafford

With it a metal taste hits – sucking in the vapors
I wave at the passing ghosts – automatic atomization
I cling to permanent press dry-clean only – with your drug intake
I am your best friend your evil doer – life-sized pleasure victim
Menthol cigarettes and ghostly halos – poster girl gel-sprayed hair
Curling at your clothes – bright-eyed pornographic storyboards
Gorgeous pleasures – and I am taken in by razor lines
Buying drinks you surpass me – chasing it with kisses tinged with coke
Crashing through “I’ve already got a ride” – instantly I’m erased magnetically
Fighting in scenes perfectly played – rolling eyes touching lips sugar-coat
An instant later Polaroid paranoid – chemical pressed and I forget
With you a metal explosion hits – shooting up vapor I see another ghost
Waiting for another accented girl – counting off clock-face quartz
Pouring liquid madness – “I’ll never buy anything bottled in plastic”
Black vinyl tightly formed – finding the ridges wishing I had a box cutter charm will have to do
Words playing out loosely formed – peeking sideways I watch the slit come undone
Halo made by an illuminated gas – a lifelike bait & switch
Eager and ready to be made – break out the camera set the timer ready made
Up close & personal – it’s automatic that I hug the floating girl
Gorgeous fingertips purchases me another drink – pulsate prostrate bad skin goes noticed but ignored
Sleepy head & stimulated intentions – off for another it’s automatic
Saturday, March 5th, 2011
10:01 pm
“November Second”

By D. A. Stafford

Someday I’ll catch on fire and I’ll capture, too, a look from you
And sing a few blue keys of G.
As a matter of fact, we’ll some night find ourselves entangled in the dirt of a graveyard
Trying to listen out for ghostly yawns
And give an ofrenda, an extra day or two for Día de los Muertos.
Lost again to the sight of you as if I were spinning diodes
Tossed into the evening sky while captured on film and touted as something spectral
As we giggle inwardly knowing all the secrets of these apparitions.
They’ll be a day that’ll come sooner than later
When we’ll try to walk out to the crest of the sea
So we can meet the monsters underneath: we’ll speak to them
And look them right in their glowing globular eyes and elongated fangs:
We’ll say something like “I love you, too,” and tell them not to worry because,
“No one digs their hooks this deep anyway.”
Someday, when we’re done hiding in the dark, we’ll end all the crime in the world
And they’ll have no need to say “you’re too idealistic” when they see us
Partnered up, looking silly, making funny faces…

Someday they’ll find us here: smoldering from a put-out fire
Telling each other how young we were: how we had no idea
And looking for someone to blame.

In this form, I’ll happily sing you songs of blue: and we’ll laugh loudly as dead leaves blow,
As sugar skulls are formed,
And as they silently weep while forming the cempasúchitl:
After all, we now know all of the secrets of the apparitions.
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