Could You Survive in the World You Created?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

4 Chiming In
Obviously, this is for fiction writers. I'd say breathing is proof enough that one can survive a non-fic environment. ;-)

Fiction isn't just about life; it's about drama. Drama means conflict, and conflict means inflicting pain on those we've created or at least making them struggle to reach the finish line on the last page. And, since this is a commercial endeavor, said conflict must be a bit over the top.

Your average reader doesn't want mundane situations or the kinds of problems they could solve themselves by dinner time, at least not in fantasy, they don't. They want something out of the ordinary that makes them wonder if maybe you're the kind of person who would kill off the character they've come to love (hopefully!) before the dust clears. They want a thrill. And, they're just a tad on the bloodthirsty side when it comes to characters that can't actually bleed.

So, we as writers, throw everything we can think of at our creations: monsters, plagues, battles of wits with forces beyond their control. Right at the point that it seems they've surrendered to the revelation that they can't escape this strange, literary, reality show, the tension breaks and they find the way out.

But the question is -- could you do it? Could you play Dorothy in your own Oz?

If you woke up tomorrow as a citizen of whatever world you've created, could you survive the things your characters do (or don't do)? Are your characters smarter than you? Braver? More resourceful? Do they have skills you don't possess?

Sure, it's easy to know what to do if you're the MC. The MC's destiny is written out for you; all you have to do is put yourself through the paces. But what about those faceless people in the background? The ones your MC is responsible for saving if it's a hero quest or the best friend of a best friend if it's more contemporary?

The world I've created is literally light and dark. It's insular and oppressive for the characters who live in an almost constant state of fear that at any moment their world could shatter at their feet and the one piece of "normal" they have left will die with them. I'm not sure how long I could live like that.

I think we've all heard at one time or another that "self-insert" characters in fiction are (generally) poorly drawn. Self-insert, of course, referring to the tendency for new writers to make a thinly veiled version of their own personality, stick butterfly wings on it (or elf ears, vampire fangs, a really bad perm, whatever works for their world building) and drop that character in as the story's MC. The author gets so caught up in the character being liked by everyone and able to do everything there's no need for a story because Mary Sue/Gary Stu single-handedly removed all chance of failure, and therefore all tension.

But, are real life, ordinary people equipped to handle the pitfalls of fiction? We're pretty conditioned by the mundane, so after the initial adrenaline buzz fades, how long would it take for you to wind up a quivering puddle of tears on the ground begging for those ruby slippers to take you home?

Just How Real Are "They"?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

6 Chiming In
As I put my characters through their paces, I find they're getting mouthy. "Let's see you do it!" seems to be the rally-cry of choice at the moment. Maybe you've never had an overly opinionated character try and talk you out of inflicting some terrible fate on them, but I'd wager you know exactly what I'm talking about.

There comes a point, if you've drawn your characters realistically, that their voices become distinct. They develop their own personalities (much like children, those personalities aren't always what their progenitor expects and/or plans), and you can't help but care for them and what they've become.

Then it happens...

Also like children, they start to think they can manipulate you into getting their way.

They don't like the way they look, so they decide to dye their hair.

They come out of the closet or undergo complete gender re-assignment without notice. They switch nationalities like you'd change shoes.

They share secrets with each other that one will inevitably blurt out at the most inopportune (but dramatically perfect) moment.

Something's too hard, and they don't want to do it, so they whine and scream and cry and throw a full bodied temper tantrum, refusing to cooperate until you cave. (This is where their brilliant coup falls apart, because unlike children, no one else can hear them. Ha!)

Something's boring and they want to do something else. (This one you should probably listen to. If the characters are bored, the reader will be, too.)

Now you've come to the point where you have to decide if you want to keep going with the story you thought you were writing or do you want to let the characters "live" organically. You've given them the voice they use and the past that they draw from, so maybe you should trust that part of you that created them to know best.

It's strange, but exciting when characters come into their own. And the resulting words can be surprisingly perfect in a way you could never have planned on your own.

Elfin the Short

Sunday, April 18, 2010

4 Chiming In

This picture's a couple of years old, but so far it's the only one I've been able to locate of me in costume. (Seriously, there are more photos on record for your average vampire than there are of me. I think I'm allergic to flash photography. ;-P) Anyway, since my memory cards have mysteriously vanished, I dug up a print copy and scanned it, so the quality stinks. But, Terry asked for it, so...

Without further stalling, I give you: Elfin the Short. (The person beside me is 8 years old under the "helmet", so yeah... I'm that short.)

I'm particularly proud of this costume because I made it myself out of a set of leather curtains. No, I didn't make the bow, but the duster, the braces, the shirt, etc... all me. :-) And yes, it does make me Geek Queen for actually making my own RenFest costume.

Why I Love the Renaissance Faire

Saturday, April 17, 2010

4 Chiming In
I know, I know...

Ren Fests are those people that far more people attend than are willing to admit attending, but they're truly great places full of great people. (And some not so great people, at least one of which mutilated my favorite bridge troll by cutting it in half! GRRR!)

But, I'm not going to focus on the not-so-greats in this post.

The number one thing you learn when attending a Ren Fest is that - literally - everyone is welcome there. (Okay, so it's the 2nd thing you learn. The 1st is that ANYTHING can be fried and stuck on a stick.) Eclectic takes on a whole new meaning in that atmosphere.

The Faire I attended today is the one I worked a stint at when I was in high school (yes, folks, I'm an honorary carnie. Deal with it ;-P ) And because I'm used to it, I'm used to seeing the unusual. From the man who has spend the last ten or so years standing guard for hours on end in chain mail at the gate to guys who willingly wear tights and skirts (Skirt, kilt, potato, pottato) and suddenly lose the machismo that prevents them from hugging other men. (Apparently, in the Renaissance, it was no big deal.)

The shop matron of one of the long time costumers is a six and a half foot tall , two hundred pound man with a personality that makes even the hardest sell forget about his dress. Women who have nursing babies are free to feed them in the middle of the square and no one makes a scene or announces their displeasure. Couples that might draw strange looks elsewhere walk around like they're part of the family, and in a way that's what everyone there is. But I've never seen anything like the incident that made me decide that the world should be a little more like the bubble inside the gates of the Faire.

There was a little girl, maybe eight years old, who was more than slightly overweight. She was there with her mom and grandma, and this little girl wanted to dress in full costume for the day. She didn't go for the corsets and full skirts, she wanted to be a gypsy. For a moment, mom and granny (both of a similar body type to the child) looked unsure, but they went into the costumer.

A while later, I saw them again. And everyone of them was decked out in full gypsy regalia, veils, bare bellies and all. Yes, her probably eight-five year old grandmother was wearing what amounted to a gauze draped bikini. The amazing thing of it was - no one cared. NO ONE. Not one person whispered behind their backs or poked fun at this trio who would have elsewhere been shunned or pushed to dressed more "appropriate" for their physical appearance. No one suggested that the beaming little girl in pink and orange was anything other than the beautiful creature she believed herself to be.

Kudos to the kiddo that didn't let someone else steal her moment, kudos that mom and grandma for having the guts to go that far to support the little girl they loved, and kudos to everyone else for letting them be.

So, are you going to Scarborough Faire (yes, that's really its name)? If not, you ought to.

Write What You Know

Friday, April 16, 2010

3 Chiming In
Considering that I mainly write fantasy (and dark fantasy at that), this particular piece of advice may seem strange. But, I've found that it's more often true than not.

No, I'm not saying that I've actually met vampires, werewolves, or any other of the creatures that are fantasy world staples. And before you decide that my "eccentricity" just flipped the switch to "lock the doors, hide the knives, and break out the Thorazine" insanity, hear me out.

Even in pure fantasy, you can find a way to weave in things that actually can or have happened. Sure, the people in question might have to jump species for it to work in context, but the reality of the situation can make your story all the richer.

For example:

When I was about 14 or 15, I almost drowned. I was on a school trip to a local lake and the chaperones (who learned by the time we were 12, and ditched them en masse in downtown Dallas, that they were fighting a losing battle) were no where to be seen. A group of us waded out to the pier in the middle of the lake and were being typical teenagers. (Translation: we were being idiots.) We used the pier beams to shove ourselves down into deeper water and then bobbed back up... at least those of us who knew how to swim did.

I was not one of those who knew how to swim.

Sadly, when a group of teenagers gets together for the sole purpose of being stupid, they don't notice when one of said dummies doesn't surface with the rest of the group. Nor do they notice their non-swimming classmate has gone too far down to get back to the surface.

The strange thing is that when you're in that situation, you don't realize it, either. At least I didn't. Everything faded to black except the sun overhead and the oxygen that went with it. Since I'm still around to type this, you can assume I hauled by soggy backside out of the water before I passed out. (in fact, I never even told anyone there what happened).

This was the 2nd time I almost drowned while not being able to swim. The 1st was when I was 3 and found out the hard way that humans can't breathe water. Even that little, the same thing happened. I just focused on getting out of the water.

Those two incidents have found their way into my writing.

It doesn't matter that the book in question involves monsters that don't actually walk the earth (or swim beneath the oceans), the scene that resulted is one of the favorites of people who have read it, and I'm convinced that it's because personal experience comes through in the presentation.

I think most writers would agree that everything and everyone is potential novel-fodder. Listening and watching to the way people speak and move is a vital component to any story. If you get it right, no one's going to notice, but I guarantee that if you get it wrong, everyone will. Falling out of a natural cadence sticks out like someone stumbling through the pronunciation of a 2nd language - you might get your point across, but it's no fun for anyone involved.

So, go ahead and turn your most hated teacher into a Gorgon. Make your terrible neighbor into the life sucking zombie he's always acted like. And never underestimate the power of an unintentional punchline.

Someday, I'm going to find a place to use one of my grandmother's golden words. Upon meeting my cousin's fiance for the first time, Nanee sized her up and said: "But that wasn't her name the last time."

Off the cuff and both cringe and laugh worthy. Now, all I have to figure out is how to give that line to a werewolf...


The Name Game

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

7 Chiming In
Yes, another post on naming characters. A week full of headaches and pain killers has spawned a vivid storyline, but one set of characters is all "nicknames"


They're all easy enough to pronounce, so I think I'm okay there, but I'm wondering what others' thoughts are on the sound of them? Do they sound distinct? Can you get a feel for who's male and who's female? How about which ones sound like "good" guys vs. "bad" guys?

Early stages here, but I'd like to get some input on the ground work.

Driving Directions

Sunday, April 11, 2010

4 Chiming In
This post was inspired by a conversation on another site. Think of it as MapQuest for novel writing.

Someone asked how to get a story from an idea. (This person is a self-declared non-curious individual, so writing fiction is a puzzle to him.) He wondered how someone could hear a line of dialogue in a movie or maybe a tidbit on the news and use that as a jump point for a new novel.

His line was : A boy found a five-legged frog in a pond.

He asked how something so short could possibly be enough to lead to a full length novel. So, with the qualification that I'm not yet published, so take my opinions for whatever they're worth, this was my answer.

The first thing I'd do is start with a loose bullet list. I'm not big on outlining, but this gives you a basic direction.

* boy finds 5-legged frog

So, now you have to decide how the frog got 5 legs? Do you want this to be a supernatural tale of magic? Or do you want to write a story about some big business industrial waste site? Or do you want a mad scientist running rogue experiments?

I'm going to go with the last one. Which means, I have to decide what kind of experiments.

* boy finds 5-legged frog
*frog was the result of scientific experiments
* experiments = growing cloned limbs for use in medical research

Now, you have to figure out how the frog got to the pond. Is it a super smart frog who led an amphibian rebellion against the experimenter? Or was it set free by someone?

Again, I'll go with the last one, which leaves the question of who the frog-freer is.

* boy finds 5-legged frog
*frog was the result of scientific experiments
* experiments = growing cloned limbs for use in medical research
*frog was freed by angry college student in protest of experimentation

Since the story started with the boy, it should probably involve him in some way other than as a catalyst. You can, of course, have throw away characters that only serve to set-up action for the main ones, but for the sake of this example, the boy's going to be a real part of the story.

* boy finds 5-legged frog
* frog was the result of scientific experiments
* experiments = growing cloned limbs for use in medical research
* frog was freed by angry college student in protest of experimentation
* college student = boyfriend of boy's sister
* sister was supposed to meet boyfriend for froggy-freeing protest, but she was late, so he went in without her.
* she didn't see him at the meeting place, so she assumed he went home
* boy brings frog home, tells sister where he found it, now she's worried because she knows the boyfriend went in without her

This is the point the story needs some tension. What happened to the boyfriend/froggy-liberator? He could be at home, spending his afternoon as a Night-Elf hunter on WoW. He could be at the store, grabbing groceries for his mom. Maybe he hooked up with whatever cute co-ed did manage to show up on time. But, I'm going for something a little more sinister that will set-up the main action of the story.

For my purposes, he was captured by the scientist in charge of growing limbs on frogs. Said scientist is not happy that his specimens have been freed (mainly because he was told NOT to experiment until they got their lab to sign off on it in the first place), and he's decided that since the college kid cost him his experiments, it's time to move on to human trials with the kid as patient zero.

* boy finds 5-legged frog
* frog was the result of scientific experiments
* experiments = growing cloned limbs for use in medical research
* frog was freed by angry college student in protest of experimentation
* college student = boyfriend of boy's sister
* sister was supposed to meet boyfriend for froggy-freeing protest, but she was late, so he went in without her.
* she didn't see him at the meeting place, so she assumed he went home
* boy brings frog home, tells sister where he found it, now she's worried because she knows the boyfriend went in without her
* boyfriend is now the prisoner of scientist using him for cloning experiments.

So, now there's a pretty solid set-up for the boy who found the frog, and his sister, to embark on an adventure to find and rescue the boyfriend while uncovering a sinister scientific cover-up. Depending on whose POV the story is told from, this could be YA or even MG (depending on the boy's age) or even mainstream adult.

It's all fair game at the brainstorming stage.

Teaser Thursday

Thursday, April 8, 2010

4 Chiming In
And now for something a little different...

I thought I'd try writing from a male POV to see if it works better.

No one starts out thinking 'This will be the day that changes my life.' I know I didn't.

A blaring alarm that pierced two layers of pillow and a comforter, a cross-wise glance at a clock with blurry numbers I tried to will backward an hour or four, teeth brushed and breakfast from a toaster - I could have done it all in my sleep. If I had, it would have been easier to convince myself I was dreaming and that the world was the same place it was yesterday.

Maybe I should have thought it was strange that Mom left a brick of pop-open juice boxes in the fridge instead of the usual bottle, but that was the most normal thing she'd done in months. She probably had a coupon for them or something.

Can't make dinner because the oven timer's busted. Get some money out of the safe and grab something on your way home.

The safe. Right.

I fished the rusted peanut can out from behind a package of whitefish that expired when I was ten and pulled out twenty bucks, careful to make sure I didn't dislodge the strategic Popsicle stuck to the top of the can lid. Rotten fish sticks were the key to an effective freezer safe in Mom's mind, but she had no idea that the long expired box had been refilled every few months with new food that wouldn't induce vomiting or salmonella if someone actually tried to eat it.

The absolute sameness of that morning betrayed me. It tricked me into thinking I had nothing to lose by pulling on my almost clean jeans, doubling back up the stairs for my homework, and running for the bus.

I didn't know it was the day my world would change, otherwise I would have stayed in bed no matter what that stupid clock said. I'd have run hot water over the thermometer and slapped my face until it turned red enough to convince my mother I was sick.

(Copyright -- Josin L. McQuein; 2010)

Pharmacists are Tolkein Wannabes

Monday, April 5, 2010

7 Chiming In
I guess this is a sort of continuation on the post about choosing names for characters in novels.

After looking through some labels on recent prescriptions I'm convinced that whoever picks the names for these things is a total LoTR freak. Somewhere in their closets or attics or basements, there have to be old textbooks with full scale models of Osgiliath and The Shire, not to mention notebooks full of cyphers written in fluent elvish.

What's worse, after reading queries and "pitch lines" for a few books that are out there on the Query-go-Round, I'm finding it hard to remember which 13-character string of impossible to pronounce letters are medicinal and which ones are fantasy characters who should hate their parents. Take a random list of names from a drug store inventory and compare it to some of the things people put out there for their characters' monikers and you'll see what I mean.

Avandia was too sweet for her own good, thus she was smitten (smoten, smited, smot... whatever) with high glucose. The condition became a blight on the fair land of Rosiglitazone.

Celexor and Desyrel (twins, don't'cha know) live in the Dulldrums, and so are always more than a little blue. Their friend Gabapentin turns into their worst enemy, the evil Norvasc and it's up to them to find what's making him switch from one to the other.

And finally, we come to the land of Halcion, where life is a beautiful dream. Ambien rules there as the benevolent queen who brings her subjects whatever their minds can conjure.

Sounds a bit over the top, right?

I wish.

For the love of hobbits, people, if you're writing fantasy, it doesn't mean that you can't name your hero/heroine (or especially your villain) something a five year old can say without slurring. (If your mama called you Brtchighlin the Malformed, you'd be pretty nasty yourself.)

Stop it!

Stop torturing your characters, your readers, and any actor who might someday have to actually try and pronounce the words on your pages. Go buy vowel or two, and escort your characters down to the county courthouse where they can fill out the proper paperwork for a name change.

If you need something unusual, then minimize the syllable count. PLEASE... yes, this is me begging. Lem works fine for a strange name. His name can be Whotosizlem the Magnificent for all I care, but when you mention him in the book, take pity and call him Lem. Or better yet, go for less used names people have actually heard of -- try Naomi. Lots of vowels in that one, and people know how it's supposed to sound.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go raid the medicine cabinet for a nice antacid/evil overlord with intestinal issues.

A Happy, Hoppy, Easter

Sunday, April 4, 2010

4 Chiming In
Sorry for the cheesy title, but I'm pretty sure that particular bad pun is required by law.

Just wanted to wish everyone who stops in here a very Happy Easter (or at least a happy Sunday if you don't celebrate Easter).

Now I'm off to eat dinner with my relatives who will all give me strange looks because they've most likely forgotten (yet again...) that I don't eat pork.

(Weird tangent, but am I the only who finds it odd that the "traditional" meal for Christmas and Easter involves food that the man whose life is being celebrated couldn't eat?)

An Unintended Segue

Friday, April 2, 2010

4 Chiming In
First of all, for those of you with loved ones/friends on the autism spectrum, today is "National Autism Awareness Day". Celebrate the unique brilliance and perspective of someone who sees the world from a slightly different angle than the rest of the world.

Second, as promised, here's the "right-side-up" posting of the "Topsy-Turvey-Teaser-Thursday" post I did yesterday.

The defining moments of your life are supposed to be obvious. Birth, death, graduation - you know, those things there are entire shelves dedicated to in the card section of the grocery store.

Mine came with a set of keys.

I guess that's true in a way for most teenagers. The first time you get your own keys to your own car that you can drive all by yourself is big deal. It's freedom after sixteen years of being tethered to your parents and working on someone else's schedule.

But these weren't my keys; they were Elodie's. And she didn't hand them over for a joyride; she threw them at me in the middle of chaos.

"Hey Princess, grab the car," she said. It didn't even occur to me that she wasn't in my sphere or that "Princess" was an insult.

The keys arced in the air and landed in my palm like they were custom fit. They were solid and real in a moment where nothing else fit that description, and I was halfway to the door before I realized my feet were moving. Behind me, I left shouts and screams and a ton of people frozen without any idea what they should do next.

And finally, the source of this post's title.

It seems that some people out there are "tired" of strong female characters in YA books. Not just outliers, but insiders in the publishing industry. They seem to think it's time that girls exchanged their jeans for dresses and started shaping up into "wife material".

Better get to class girls, you'll need college to get that MRS. degree.

I spent the earlier part of this morning responding to a couple of other blogs equally as annoyed with this development, and I decided to bring it here, too. After all, I like writing strong characters - male and female. The two girls in the passage above are both strong females, but for very different reasons. Elodie, while the product of a light fantasy, is more overt with her strength. She's brash, maybe even a little reckless. The MC - the "princess" - has a different kind of strength, she just doesn't know it yet.

She has stubbornness and strength of character. She's loyal, and will defend her friends any way she can (and much to her surprise, she's willing to do this even though it means losing a bit of her social standing). Under her shell of pastel polish, she's strong enough to figure out who she is, and not lose that to the overwhelming personalities around her. She still likes her pink T-shirts and ponytails and manicures.

What I hate is the assumption that if the girl is the “strong” one, then the guy has to be a wimp, and if the guy’s strong, then the girl’s a wilting flower.

Strong girls can match up nicely with strong guys. Together they’re exceptionally strong, and hopefully each act as temper to the other’s steel. If you’ve got a teenage kid responsible for any sort of “saving” – be it of the world, or the family’s farm – they can’t afford to pair up with someone so inept they screw up the hero’s every advance.

If your hero gets his sword knocked out of his hand, there’s absolutely no reason his lady love can’t pick it up and take a swing while the villain is pre-occupied with his “monologue of impending victory” and gloating at the hero. (One of my female characters does this. The male MC gets knocked down by his nemesis and she picks up a weapon that has an adverse affect on her when she touches it, but she's defending someone she cares for. Once he finds his feet, the male MC takes the weapon back.)

And that's the other side of it - she's not weak because she has a weakness, and she's not tough because she "toughed it out". If your heroine meets a baddie who doesn’t mind hitting girls, then there’s no reason for her sweetie to stand back and watch her get pummeled. It’s not weakness to let someone who cares for the MC to step in and save them from a few bruises. (In this case, her hands are so badly burned she can barely use them.)

I've come to the conclusion that it's a bit like someone who's been exercising for a while, but finding it harder than they anticipated.

The people who are "tired" of these kinds of characters are finding that the majority of people still have those learned gender roles that have been subtly and not so subtly reinforced their whole lives as the default (or "norm"). It doesn't matter that it's an artificially created gulf, it's all they know - like an out of shape muscle.

Then along comes a strong girl character, and another, and another, and it seems like a good idea to work those muscles out. Get in shape! Woot!

But when those social norms don't change along with the characters, and people still look at them like oddities (or call them unrealistic! After all, moms still push their daughters to get hitched in that big production called a wedding. One of the top Halloween costumes of all time for munchkin's under 10.) those muscles want to go back to their inert state.

It's easier. It's familiar. It's comfortable. Why change an image when you can just "be happy" with the way you are already? Why swim against currents when you can float along the lazy river of convention?

And that's what it is - laziness - as well as a healthy dose of people confusing their mirrors for windows to the world. They think a certain way, and believe everyone else does the same. It's inconceivable that others might not share that view, and unthinkable that that view could be damaging to a young person on a different path in life.

The suggestion to hold such characters (agendas!!!) for adult literature only just means they want to get the "norms" anchored firmly in young minds before they have a change to be exposed to other ideas.

Having a character who doesn't want to get married, doesn't mean it's an anti-marriage agenda.
Having a character who doesn't want to follow the path set before her by society, doesn't mean it's a socially deviant manifesto.
Having a female rescue a male doesn't mean it's denigrating men. (Do you seriously expect me to believe that Mr. Macho would refuse a rescue from a burning building just because the fire fighter who reached him first doesn't have a Y-chromosome?)

And it seriously irks me that "strength" seems to always = physical ability. It's not.

Someone disease ravaged and so depressed from it that they don't want to live another day shows strength every day they don't down every pill in their medicine cabinet to end it.

Someone who works until their fingers bleed and they're so exhausted they see spots, but knows not working = starvation for their family shows strength with every shift they pick up.

Someone who stands beside the outcast because it's the right thing to do shows strength every time they don't laugh at an off color joke.

Maybe some of these people are tired of strong characters because they highlight a void in those people's lives. The way to fix that isn't to shove what makes you uncomfortable in a drawer and pretend it's passe. You deal with it.


Teaser Thursday

Thursday, April 1, 2010

10 Chiming In
In honor of April 1st, I give you a Topsy-Turvy Teaser Thursday:

˙ʇxǝu op pןnoɥs ʎǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ ɐǝpı ʎuɐ ʇnoɥʇıʍ uǝzoɹɟ ǝןdoǝd ɟo uoʇ ɐ puɐ sɯɐǝɹɔs puɐ sʇnoɥs ʇɟǝן ı 'ǝɯ puıɥǝq ˙buıʌoɯ ǝɹǝʍ ʇǝǝɟ ʎɯ pǝzıןɐǝɹ ı ǝɹoɟǝq ɹoop ǝɥʇ oʇ ʎɐʍɟןɐɥ sɐʍ ı puɐ 'uoıʇdıɹɔsǝp ʇɐɥʇ ʇıɟ ǝsןǝ buıɥʇou ǝɹǝɥʍ ʇuǝɯoɯ ɐ uı ןɐǝɹ puɐ pıןos ǝɹǝʍ ʎǝɥʇ ˙ʇıɟ ɯoʇsnɔ ǝɹǝʍ ʎǝɥʇ ǝʞıן ɯןɐd ʎɯ uı pǝpuɐן puɐ ɹıɐ ǝɥʇ uı pǝɔɹɐ sʎǝʞ ǝɥʇ

˙ʇןnsuı uɐ sɐʍ "ssǝɔuıɹd" ʇɐɥʇ ɹo ǝɹǝɥds ʎɯ uı ʇ,usɐʍ ǝɥs ʇɐɥʇ ǝɯ oʇ ɹnɔɔo uǝʌǝ ʇ,upıp ʇı ˙pıɐs ǝɥs "'ɹɐɔ ǝɥʇ qɐɹb 'ssǝɔuıɹd ʎǝɥ"

˙soɐɥɔ ɟo ǝןppıɯ ǝɥʇ uı ǝɯ ʇɐ ɯǝɥʇ ʍǝɹɥʇ ǝɥs ؛ǝpıɹʎoظ ɐ ɹoɟ ɹǝʌo ɯǝɥʇ puɐɥ ʇ,upıp ǝɥs puɐ ˙s,ǝıpoןǝ ǝɹǝʍ ʎǝɥʇ ؛sʎǝʞ ʎɯ ʇ,uǝɹǝʍ ǝsǝɥʇ ʇnq

˙ǝןnpǝɥɔs s,ǝsןǝ ǝuoǝɯos uo buıʞɹoʍ puɐ sʇuǝɹɐd ɹnoʎ oʇ pǝɹǝɥʇǝʇ buıǝq ɟo sɹɐǝʎ uǝǝʇxıs ɹǝʇɟɐ ɯopǝǝɹɟ s,ʇı ˙ןɐǝp bıq sı ɟןǝsɹnoʎ ʎq ןןɐ ǝʌıɹp uɐɔ noʎ ʇɐɥʇ ɹɐɔ uʍo ɹnoʎ oʇ sʎǝʞ uʍo ɹnoʎ ʇǝb noʎ ǝɯıʇ ʇsɹıɟ ǝɥʇ ˙sɹǝbɐuǝǝʇ ʇsoɯ ɹoɟ ʎɐʍ ɐ uı ǝnɹʇ s,ʇɐɥʇ ssǝnb ı

˙sʎǝʞ ɟo ʇǝs ɐ ɥʇıʍ ǝɯɐɔ ǝuıɯ

˙ǝɹoʇs ʎɹǝɔoɹb ǝɥʇ ɟo uoıʇɔǝs pɹɐɔ ǝɥʇ uı oʇ pǝʇɐɔıpǝp sǝʌןǝɥs ǝɹıʇuǝ ǝɹɐ ǝɹǝɥʇ sbuıɥʇ ǝsoɥʇ 'ʍouʞ noʎ - uoıʇɐnpɐɹb 'ɥʇɐǝp 'ɥʇɹıq ˙snoıʌqo ǝq oʇ pǝsoddns ǝɹɐ ǝɟıן ɹnoʎ ɟo sʇuǝɯoɯ buıɟǝp ǝɥʇ

(Copyright -- Josin L. McQuein; 2010)