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The children are: Moppet, Lassy, and Lad.
Like really? Lad and Lassy are—wait—no one cares? Ok, no one cares. Three children are really too many, after all. Let the servants take care of them. They have a nice Christmas and all the little girls and boys get presents! How many, you ask? Like 20 or something. They will surely someday become the new group of backbreaking labor LGP sits his fat ass on. Well, things go on, and little Moppet is such a darling girl. No, she does have to be returned to her mother eventually. It held my attention. I commend Audible and Richard Armitage on the production.
Geez, LGP. You might see where I start to have problems with the plot of this story. Of course everything is resolved, LGP and his daughter and his grandchildren live together for ever after, and Charisma-drifter is a fast friend, his mooching lifestyle guaranteed. Oh yeah, and LGP was gracious enough to even give his daughter pounds a year to live on, when he happened to read the husband died. This was one of the final nails in the coffin for the story for me. But through the book we start to see him start to become a better man, and by the end he is resolved, and helps out those lesser than him.
Also, and this is key, the story takes place at the very beginning of the Victorian Age. Hell no. He still thinks any other children are vile little things, especially the ones from poorer families. Should have grown up rich instead! And Lassy and Lad—wait, remember them? No one else does either.
There is no redemption in this book. LGP is coerced and tricked into giving his pride a rest, and it only works because a 4yo child almost died under his watch. What does a person have to do to rise in society? Especially when pushed down, randomly, by an old pouty lord with ill will. Victorian Society Was a Dumpster Fire. Welcome to my TED talk. What would our society have been like if the Victorians had kept their prejudiced and bigoted opinions to themselves?
Over a hundred years of climbing back up the ladder if equal rights. My hope is that a new movement is rising. Happy Holidays. Join us, two authors, to discuss the ins and outs of beta reading, from a writer and a reader perspective. This is the second post in a series on reviewing and critiquing. You can find our first one here, with details on reviewing.
5 McLaren Vale Cellar Doors No Wine Loving Woman Should Miss
Like last time, we are J. Fields and William C. Tracy, author of a series of space opera science fantasies, collectively known as the Dissolutionverse, in which a series of planets are connected by music-based magic instead of spaceflight. I also have an epic fantasy coming out next year from NineStar Press. The principles are the same.
I also write science nonfiction.
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I recently got an agent yay! Like most writers, I started doing beta reads and critiques when I began writing as a way to get feedback on my own work. My day job is a professor in the hard sciences, so I am very used to being given critical feedback, and giving it as well. Peer review is a brutal, brutal thing sometimes, but I think it prepared me well for fiction writing. WCT: Critiquing is a different animal from reviewing, which we talked about last time. Even if you are not a writer, you are trying to give impressions back to the author, not to other readers.
Why did it make you feel this way? Could you have felt a stronger emotion or been more involved in the plot? There are a couple different types of critiquing, too. A lot of writers have critique groups, where several other people read a chapter or so at a time and give in-depth feedback on that piece. Then there may be an alpha or beta reader, who gets the whole story at a time closer to publication. They give their thoughts on the plot, character, and setting as a whole rather than on individual sections. Finally, there are ARC readers, who are reading a work that is very close to what will be officially published.
This is often less for feedback to the author and more to gain a first reader reaction to help publicize the book right when it goes on sale. Crit is meant to help the author, and is not at all meant for reader consumption. Above what he wrote, there are a few categories of paid readers. The first are technical readers, where a beta reader or critique partner is selected based upon their knowledge of a certain field I get pulled for this a lot because of my background.
These people fix technical issues of worldbuilding, like the physics, the biology, etc. There are also sensitivity readers, who are paid italics because this involves not just time but also a heavy dose of emotional labor to read through the work and identify cultural issues. People use sensitivity readers when writing both outside their lane and even when writing in their lane, just to make sure that the experiences presented land as authentically as they should.
WCT: If you are just starting out critiquing—say a friend excitedly gives you something they wrote and asks what you think of it—what do you do? Not necessarily. The first thing is to find out what kind of feedback the author really wants. Do they just want affirmation? In that case, read it and tell the author how proud you are that they finished a story.
Maybe mention the parts you liked best, and if they seem comfortable, one part you liked the least, and why. Just give them your honest feedback as a reader. Often, what you think was wrong with a scene might be just one aspect of a larger problem in the book. This second type is usually accomplished by leaving little notes as you read to tell the author what you were feeling at the time.
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You do no favors by sugar coating your comments and reactions. They have to learn to take feedback and critique of working drafts is the first place that starts. New writers, especially, are prone to sterilized works when too many rewriters have had their hands in a manuscript and have overwritten the original text. Give the author feedback and let them decide how to integrate it. In the world of writers, this is a no-no. DO NOT respond negatively to critiques from your writing group, your critique partner, or your alpha or beta readers. If you asked for feedback, then you have to be open to getting it, bad or good.
Some writers take this even further, and when a writing group meets, the one who wrote the submission for that session is not allowed to speak at all, or defend their work. Why so harsh? Because the writer needs to turn off their protectiveness when getting constructive feedback so they can instead focus on fixing problems. Responding to a single critique will bog things down and keep a writer from getting all the information they need to make a better story.
Instead, swallow that pride, gather all the feedback in the spirit it was given, and figure out where the collective input points out holes in your story. Then use it to turn your baby from an ugly mess to a beautiful creation. If you have to explain something in person, your text has failed. Just listen.
I will add one caveat. If you are writing marginalized characters you will at some point get critique feedback that has obvious bias in it. It can be really tempting to just shout the critique giver down. For instance, I specifically chose to send my nonbinary fantasy novel through my critique group made mostly of cis white males, knowing that they would miss the more nuanced discussion in the book. Their feedback helped me identify areas where gender needed to be better discussed for a broad audience. However, there are cases when this is allowed. Usually, this is when the writing group knows each other very well and has worked together for a long time.
They understand some of the common problems that author makes, and some of them may have experience with the same issue. This also may depend on the skill and experience of the people involved. If a very experienced author is giving feedback to a less experienced one, they may be able to give some simple prescriptions to help lead the newer writer to a quicker fix for their story, rather than struggling through everything alone.
However, if you are that more experienced author, this gives you an extra burden. This is not your story. You may think you can help out this poor newbie with some of the problems obvious in their craft. But make very sure you are not influencing the story they want to write.
Offering prescriptions on certain character traits or technical issues with the story is probably alright. But prescribing the direction the story should take leads to taking the story away from that writer. This is the danger, and why you should only prescribe if you are aware of the ramifications. If you can get into one of these groups, as William said, many of the above rules may not apply. You can also get down into the weeds a lot more with a critique group.
William and I have been in the same group for about two years now, and also beta read for each other. Over time our feedback has changed, especially as we are familiar with the deeper worlds each of us write in. This is so true. I think it also helps us as writers to be able to give each other such raw feedback instead of formalized phrases.
WCT: Books are complicated creatures. The popular version is a lone author, slaving for months or years over a draft, which then is sent to publishers and produced into a novel. This is not to mention the revisions the author does alone. So if you are in the position to offer feedback, do what you can to help that author out. Give your honest opinion, as much or as little as you are asked for. The person writing may or may not take your changes, but know that they are appreciated. When the finished novel is published, take pride that you were a part of it!
You need the feedback from other perspectives to help identify problem areas you were not aware of. It can seem hard to find time to balance doing critique for others when you barely have time to write, but seeing issues like pacing, head hopping, etc. Time spent critiquing is never wasted. Long term critique groups tend to grow up together, too, which can be a very exciting phenomenon as you all hit those bigger milestones together. William C. It originally appeared on twitter in a daily format between September and October I now run my own dojo, where one of the things I focus on is body mechanics.
What is body mechanics, you ask? Standard disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.
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Do you lean forward when you walk? Is your back straight? First, walk like you usually do. Walk in a straight line forward. Now walk sideways. Now backwards, now turn quickly. How fast can you change direction? Next, try the same sequence with the changes above. Lastly, you can move your legs faster, and take bigger steps. Now to the writing part. Read with an eye to their physical descriptions. Knowledge of body mechanics makes you more efficient at doing physical things. It can also make your descriptions more precise.
This is also why I like teaching karate. You can use the exercise above to sit in a good position to write. Head up, shoulders back. If you like to stand to write, this definitely applies. If you want to type words a day, and not have your wrists crumple in agony, posture is important. Get a comfy chair, or a good place to stand, and keep your body relaxed while you type.
It will make things go faster. Relax them! You can move a lot faster, and with less effort, if you are relaxed. This is one of the basic tenants of marital arts. It also helps while writing. Want to up your words typed per minute? This is also useful in games of skill, and tense computer games, like Call of Duty, Overwatch or Fortnite.
First step, be aware of how your body moves. You may need to set a 1-minute timer to check your shoulders, for example. You might be surprised how often you tense up. A good way to release tension is through breathing. Take a deep breath, hold it, then breathe out and let your eyes, jaw, neck and shoulders, etc, relax. Figure out what that feels like, compared to your natural state. Releasing tension as above is also important in martial arts. Any more requires too much energy. My students sometimes struggle with tension in fact, I talked about it in class a few weeks ago.
This third one is the one you want, most of the time. It helps generate power. This goes back to that walking example above. Ready to sleep, but also ready to pounce on something. This type of movement is also I believe what a character sees in a fantasy book one they eye up another character and profess them a warrior of some sort. Relaxation is tied to speed. Physics-wise, speed is a function of friction and resistance in a system.
The less resistance, the faster you go. Resistance, in part, comes from binding muscles up in opposition to what you want to do e. To add more bio engineering, when you are looser, your body operates and learns better. This is where accuracy comes in. Back to the example with the pen, did you notice you make little loops in the air while finding the cap? You are basically damping a recoil motion. Your body is learning to find the best path from pen tip to cap. This is how martial artists train.
Repetition has uses. Once the student learns that action and can do it perfectly, a complex move becomes simple. Teaching this was is rewarding and hilarious. My co-teacher and I once broke the most complex section of a kata into individual, meaningless, movements and taught them over a few weeks, without telling what we were doing. They still talk about it.
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This can apply to writing, as well. Have a list of character reactions, and write words a day on one. You might write linearly, or not. Aromas of pear honey vanilla spice and toasted walnuts on the nose. Smooth and polished on the palate with fine silky bubbles and notes of fresh dough on the finish. The extra measure of Chardonnay contributes elegance and austerity, which balance nicely with the delicate fruitiness of the Pinot Noir.
The aromatic elegance and precision of Chardonnay is apparent: white fruit, sweet pollen, fine citrus fruit and very pure minerality. After a few minutes, the aromas move on to more confit, lightly grilled hints. The bouquet is rich and sweet, almost generous, remaining precise and impeccably refined. The bite in the mouth is full and creamy, revealing an incredible concentration of juicy fruits: yellow peach, apricot, mango and others. This silky, meaty concentration, which is both dense and soft - and typical of great pinot noirs - is immediately combined with a sophisticated touch of acidity, bringing the wine alive with minerality.
The overriding impression is one of a true harmony of flavors, senses and silky textures Absolute sensuality. Toasty smokey notes to the bouquet very complex and rich with hazelnut and light ginger spice. Lovely richness on the tongue with a fresh dough and nutty quality coming through on the finish, with pear and apple fruit lemon citrus and a smoky character on the finish. Strawberry and red cherry fruit on the nose with notes of red plum and red licorice spice along with rose petal floral notes. Well-integrated and bright, with the savory element echoing on the finish.
Drink now through The hills surrounding Trento, Italy; all between - ft above sea level with either south-eastern or south-western exposure. Lovely Salmon pink color with distinct and very refined, with the fresh fragrance of hawthorne flowers, red currants and wild strawberries. Dry, clean and elegant, with a delicate finish of sweet almonds. The NV Brut Grand Rose is made in a powerful, austere style that is best suited to the dinner table rather than for drinking as an aperitif.
With air, pretty floral red fruits appear, yet this remains a muscular Champagne with notable thrust and vitality. In short, this is a very serious wine.
The cork is labeled C , and this bottle was disgorged in May, Anticipated maturity: A soft, delicate pink wine with subtle hints of peach, rose petal and pepper on the nose. A surprisingly complex wine, with intriguing notes of raspberry, cherry and black olive. Creamy cherry, lemon and cola flavors combine with a lush palate, small, lively bubbles and a persistent finish. Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut has an intense aroma of raspberries and blackberries with a fresh and fruity mid-palate followed by a lovely, sweet aftertaste with a soft acidity. Fresh strawberry and raspberry like fruit on the nose with notes of ginger spice and rose petals.
Fresh and lively on the tongue with a good amount of dosage very fruity light red berry fruit with a creamy mousse light mineral notes on the finish. Blanc de Blancs white from white made from Chardonnay is the counterpart to the Blanc de Noirs white from black , made from Pinot Noir. Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs gained international recognition in when then President Nixon served the wine at the historic "Toast to Peace" in Beijing, China.daquidezanos.co/wp-content/map15.php
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It is explosively bubbled and is bristling with acidity and becomes a trifle hard and austere, yet it counters that minor bother with a minerally streak and a long finish. George H. Mini grilled emmentaler Swiss cheese sandwiches offered with tomato soup dip. Shrimp with cucumber Fresh Roll with fresh mint, orange honey scented mirin. Bilini served with a garnish of caviar and traditional accoutrements. Alan Kalter, David Letterman's announcer and our emcee, will announce the winner sometime between 9 and 11 Eastern time.
If the winner is not present, Alan will call them from the stage, so keep your cell phone with you that day. The Wagner's have branded each varietal with a label of their own. The Chardonnay is Mer Soleil, the Pinot Noir is called Belle Glos and the wunderkind phenomenon Conundrum has taken the wine world by storm and is in a category of its own.
The Special Selection is the Wine Spectator's all-time high scorer with the 30 some odd vintages made to date with an average score of 95 points. Peaches and cream style of chardonnay with some distinct minerality lightly buttered toast and hints of butterscotch candy.
Lovely texture on the tongue smooth and creamy with a nice touch of lightly toasted oak spice butterscotch, smooth and creamy texture with a hint of minerality on the finish. This is the unoaked version of Chardonnay, picked a bit earlier and aged without the use of oak. Fresh green apple and green pear like fruit on the nose with a steely notes very clean and bright. Fresh green apple fruit on the tongue lemon zest nuance on the palate with steely minerality, very fresh and clean. Perfumed bouquet of white flowers and white peach and lychee nut fruit quinine tangerine.
A fruit cocktail like wine with some nice zesty acidity and a touch of residual sugar. Fresh and fruity with raspberry and red cherry berry fruit fresh floral notes very pretty bouquet. Fresh and bright red berry fruit on the tongue very fresh and bright with pretty floral notes. Nicely concentrated raspberry coulis like fruit very pretty bouquet with a good amount of exotic spices, very rich and concentrated. Raspberry and strawberry jam like fruit on the tongue with silky smooth tannins a big pinot noir but still quite fresh. Sweet black cherry liqueur like fruit currant and cassis like fruit, sweet tobacco spice, dark chocolate, espresso nuance on the nose.
We love the wines of Tuscany as this is the only area in the world of wine that the wily Sangiovese varietal can turn grape juice into magical elixir. You may have had a wine made from this varietal from some other way off wine producing country but it is hard to imagine a place were you can find anything that comes close to the great wines that are made in Montalcino or Montepulciano or even Chianti Classico.
Light red berry fruit strawberry and cherry fruit with fresh plowed earth nuance and some fine herbs. Light and savory style of Sangiovese with bright red berry fruit and a nice savory finish. Very Good. A bit more terroir here with nuanced bouquet of dried porcini, hints of black tar and spice with a nice core of tart red cherry fruit. Bright and fresh on the tongue with a good amount of red cherry berry fruit smooth silky tannins and a nice fresh finish fine tannins. Le Ragnaie is the name of the bird nets used in this area.
Nice complexity on the nose fresh earth and dried leather saddle with porcini and red plum and dried red cherry fruit. Nice elegantly fashioned on the tongue well built with nicely balanced tannins a lighter vintage but a nice long finish. Fresh and fruity on the bouquet berry pie like fruit with dark spices and fresh floral notes. What is the best winery in Oregon? You could easily make a case for Domaine Serene.
These wines go from strength to strength and the Chardonnay are some of the best made in Oregon, a wine producing region that is now well known for one Burgundian Varietal but has fallen short with the other. Green apple and with lemon custard fruit hints of nutmeg spice and distinct minerality, anise flavors very Burgundian like. Lovely freshness on the tongue with crisp green apple like fruit and lovely lemon zest on the finish and wet stone like minerality and chalky minerality as well.
A good amount of toasty oak spice on the nose with more of a hazelnut like character and flinty smoky nuance and fresh delicious red apple like fruit.