Chat log for May 17, 2004

anneliese: Hi CM!
camidon: Hi, Anneliese
anneliese: Getting ready for your summer job?
camidon: Already here
anneliese: Well!
camidon: Had a power outage in the cave today, and I got to rundown with 30 flashlights in backpacks. Never a dull moment
System: davek joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: And you still have a computer to come home to.
anneliese: Hi Dave.
davek: Hi guys.
anneliese: Power outage...must have scared a couple of them.
camidon: my machine is well traveled! Never spent a full year in the same state
davek: Did I kick Chris off again?
camidon: Hi, Dave.
davek: HI
davek: HI
camidon: uh oh, you still receiving me?
davek: I am
anneliese: I wish I had the time (and the money) to go caving.
camidon: yay, didn't get booted
anneliese: yay
anneliese: I just noticed...your names are underlined. Mine is not.
System: Juanita joined us. Cheers!
System: Juanita joined us. Cheers!
camidon: Perhaps some year you will
anneliese: Hi Juanita!
Juanita: Hi everyone
anneliese: Whenever I travel, and I can find a cave system, I go.
camidon: my name is not either, so it must have to do with the user not being underlined
anneliese: Only the regular touristy tours, though.
anneliese: I guess the underline is to help you know your posts.
camidon: Froze up that time. Strange how it's never consistent.
anneliese: Maybe it is a function of the number of folks in the chat?
Juanita: It's the cyberspace bugs
anneliese: Like cyberfleas, they just get into everything!
camidon: I should just get off my cyberbut and download a newer web browser
anneliese: So should I
Juanita: sounds like something I should do
Elizabeth: Hello everybody!
Juanita: HI
camidon: hello
Elizabeth: how is everyone doing?
anneliese: Hi Elizabeth!
anneliese: Just warming up.
Juanita: Long pause -- we're here to talk about the website?
Elizabeth: Sorry I'm late. Had to bathe the five-year-old. Always a messy proposition.
camidon: No complaints here
Juanita: Oh, I found the conversation
anneliese: Yep, we can talk about that, as well as AOL and getting new members.
Juanita: I haven't had a look at the new site
davek: The critique schedule says we're talking about Juanita's story.
Juanita: Probably the age of my system hard and soft. all I get is the starry background
anneliese: Did I goof up the schedule?
Juanita: We can probably fit everything in. There aren't too many of us waiting in line to speak
camidon: So, with regards to AOL and SFWW, Here's what Mike Marsh thought about AOL and SFWW: "I think for SFWW to remain viable, it needs to shake off its AOL strings. As long as SFWW is an "AOL sponsored" group, it can only grow so much. That's part of the problem. " This is what started this chat idea.
anneliese: I'm sorry. I really should look at my calendar once in a while.
Elizabeth: The schedule looks good to me, as does the rest of the site.
Elizabeth: Good work, Anneliese and Dave, and thank you!
camidon: "When the group formed, AOL was structured to nuture groups like ours. Over the years the focus has become more about commercialtainment rather then knowledge, development, understanding, sharing. "
Juanita: As a non-AOLer, what strings?
Elizabeth: Juanita, AOL's made some recent changes that make our mailings more difficult.
camidon: I'm kind of speaking third party, but I thought his ideas were worth discussing
anneliese: Right now, the only strings are one chat a month.
anneliese: Thanks for sharing them, CM
Elizabeth: We're still trying to get details, but it almost sounds like AOL is discouraging ANY kinds of mass mailings.
davek: What are the mailing restrictions?
Elizabeth: Even for groups like ours, where you only get on the list by request.
Juanita: How large is mass
anneliese: They aren't specifically saying.
Elizabeth: Which is part of the problem.
Juanita: What are the options if we aren't AOL sponsored?
anneliese: At this moment, I guess we are acmfox sponsored.
anneliese: Don't know that that means much, however.
camidon: What benefits do AOL provide, if any?
Juanita: I seems to be working.,..
anneliese: In the past, most of our members came from AOL.
camidon: What do we lose if we aren't tied with AOL?
Elizabeth: There are also groups on Yahoo
Elizabeth: that have member lists, chats, etc. without all of the AOL rules.
anneliese: Have we looked into the AOL groups yet?
camidon: Anyone know when the last time we had a new AOL member?
Juanita: What's our percentage?
Elizabeth: I haven't. :::blushes:::
davek: AOL did sponser our web page and chat room, but now we have that through acmfox.
anneliese: Probably a little less than half.
Juanita: and is being part of AOL an incentive for new members?
anneliese: We haven't really gotten any new members at all in over 6 months.
Elizabeth: I don't have exact figures, but at this point I think we have more non-AOL members.
anneliese: Probably longer. Most of that, I think, is attributable to the bad web site links.
camidon: Agrees with Anneliese
Juanita: No wonder we seem a little stagnant
Elizabeth: And now that AOL doesn't let us send chat reminders, it's even less likely that we will pick up new AOL members via chat.
davek: My rough count is 18 AOL and 26 other.
anneliese: OK, I really did mess up. we were supposed to have this discussion next week, and Juanita's story this week.
Juanita: With about a dozen active?
anneliese: A dozen, give or take.
camidon: So, basically, all we lose if we chuck AOL is a required chat? But we also lose a possible venue to attract a few new members
Juanita: Hmmmmm. You'd think our fantastic writings would spur more people to comment
Elizabeth: And Anneliese and I will have to change IDs yet again.
Juanita: Maybe that should read inspire
camidon: We can certainly spend some time on Juanita's story
Juanita: You won't know who you are
anneliese: lol
Juanita: always ready to talk about my favority subject
Elizabeth: that's already the case, Juanita.
Juanita: That being things I've written
davek: Actually the count is 13 and 13
camidon: We can wrap this up quickly (the AOL discussion) if we need to. Simply this: Who thinks AOL is worth keeping ties to, and who thinks there's no good reasons to keep those ties
Juanita: If we're not getting benefits, why keep it?
camidon: Are there enough benifits to outweigh the AOL headaches?
anneliese: I think there are reasons to find the proper avenues within AOL for gaining members.
davek: If the only cost is one chat a month and that can get us new members - why not?
anneliese: It is not costing us much to keep the association.
Juanita: Yes, new members are important
Elizabeth: True. We need to explore multiple avenues for attracting new members.
anneliese: But I am definately in favor of developing other associations, in addition.
anneliese: Has anyone checked into whether there is a SF writing group on Yahoo?
Juanita: No
davek: I'm sure there are.
Elizabeth: There are a few. I'm actually part of a local (Dallas/Fort Worth) SF writing group.
camidon: I think that's a good avenue, Anneliese. Keep AOL for now, and if in the future they begin to restrict our growth (or lack thereof), then we can reevaluate AOL at thta time.
Elizabeth: Do you want me to research that and send you a list?
Elizabeth: I mean, SF groups on Yahoo?
anneliese: If you can stand it...I only join Yahoo groups as I am invited (required).
camidon: Look for new/other associations (the avenue that I meant)
anneliese: I say yes to both CM and Elizabeth.
Juanita: me too
Elizabeth: I can at least browse them and separate the wheat from the Tribbles, as it were.
camidon: Thta sounds good, Elizabeth
Juanita: That was triticale
anneliese: I was going to look into the AOL groups...just so we could get referrals.
Elizabeth: you're right, Juanita. :::blushing:::
davek: Aren't we in the AOL groups?
Juanita: Now, why can't I remember important things????
anneliese: Not that I know of, Dave.
camidon: If we're not, we SHOULD be.
Elizabeth: brb
anneliese: I agree. I'm putting it on my todo list.
davek: What is our association with AOL?
camidon: As long as we stay "affiliated" with AOL, we should be able to utilize all of their resources. If we can't...
anneliese: It is less clear than it used to be. We used to be a special intrest group within the Writers' club.
anneliese: Since the demise of the Writers Club, we still have the chat, but the connection is more tenuous.
anneliese: In fact, with all the email restrictions, our supervisor recommended the group route.
anneliese: It is essentially a mailing list.
davek: Maybe if we PO AOL they will remove the old web site?
anneliese: Doubtful. It is technically a member site, and, as such, can stay forever.
camidon: What do you mean by group route?
anneliese: Or at least as long as the account is active.
Juanita: Can it be changed to send poeple to the new site?
anneliese: AOL has a thing called 'groups' that entails a message list, private message board and posting space.
anneliese: I don't know of any way to get the old site changed since I cannot contact its owner.
davek: Are groups tied to one account?
camidon: My vote is for this: As long as we can utilize AOL to its full potential, then let's stay with it. But if we keep getting hassled by the mega-montrosity... I say we forge a new path, searching for bold new worlds (websites), with bold new members...
anneliese: Yes, I think they least they were the last time I set one up.
Juanita: Sounds good, CM
anneliese: Discussion closed? (for now)
davek: If groups are attached to one member then we run the risk of creating a new unable to change site.
anneliese: That is a risk, but I don't know how to avoid it.
davek: How is the contacting web sites with our old web address going?
anneliese: Except, that if we set it up under our HOST names, then it goes away if our HOST status goes away.
camidon: Very good point, Dave. In the future, if a member, who is in charge of the website leaves, or goes on hiatus, then we must immediately redo/move the website
davek: One way to avoid it is to create a group attached to a non-person ID.
camidon: So, Anneliese, if and when you ever move on from the group... Then we'll have to move the website
anneliese: In that vein, I was thinking of seeing what DSN we could get, and possibly register for SFWW.
anneliese: Then, the site could move, without changing its www address.
camidon: Ah, good idea, if we could do that , Anneliese
davek: What does a DSN cost these days?
anneliese: Domain names are cheap these days. I'd spring for it.
System: camidon leaves the channel. goes to channel: group-moderated
System: camidon joins the channel. "default"
anneliese: $8/year or less is what we are paying.
System: davek leaves the channel. goes to channel: group
System: davek joins the channel. "default"
anneliese: What did you just do?
camidon: whoops
anneliese: What was that?
camidon: That was strange, ah, well
anneliese: Anyway, Juanita, did you want to spend a few minutes talking about your sub
Elizabeth: bak
davek: That was a mistake.
System: davek leaves the channel. goes to channel: davek
System: davek joins the channel. "default"
Juanita: Sure
camidon: yes, Juanita, any questions?
anneliese: Anything you'd like to say or ask?
Elizabeth: Any comments/questions to the group, Juanita?
Juanita: don't think so. Just, if the story is working
anneliese: (looks like the pack is about to attack)
anneliese: Anyone else want to say something about the story? Jump in.
camidon: I think it is. Chapter two was much better than 1, in its flow and characterization
davek: I liked 2 better also.
camidon: Of course, future chapters might change whether the story is working...
Juanita: I'm going to have to come up with a good fix for chap 1
camidon: However, I really think Chapter 1 will be your hardest.
Juanita: Maybe I should start with 2
anneliese: How much of the rest of the story is written?
davek: You can always just drop it.
Juanita: I finished this story a few years ago
camidon: It may take a couple of tries, softening all those characters the first time, while also drawing in a hook
camidon: Well, you'd still have a few problems because even if you start at Chapter 2, now we've had no previous introduction
Juanita: True
Juanita: and some of what is in Chap 1 sets up things that happen much later
camidon: But that is a good thought. With some minor reworking, you might be able to make C2 into C1
Elizabeth: I liked Chapter Two. You did a good job of putting in some of David's backstory.
Elizabeth: I know that this is part of a series, but it's still good to remind us of where David's been. Plus it gives more insight into his character.
Elizabeth: Especially the hints that David has a lot of his past to hide.
Elizabeth: Sets up some good future tension.
camidon: You couldn't start C2 as C1 with the "Dream", Though I do think "Echoes from the past again haunted Davis' exhausted sleep.
davek: Unless the conflict with some of the characters from chapter 1 is used in the future.
camidon: is a great opening line
Juanita: Yeah, I don't like reading things that start with a dream
Elizabeth: The real conflict seems to start in Chapter 2. The combination of David trying (and not always successfully) to hide his past,
Juanita: or end with it
camidon: That line gives good potential for future internal character conflict. Gives something for the reader to look forward to.
Juanita: Maybe I need more of that in Chap 1
Elizabeth: plus the physical difficulties he's having, creates a lot of suspense.
camidon: I think that would help, Juanita
Elizabeth: Can David keep up? Or will he crack, mentally or physically?
Elizabeth: Plus the reader is, like I was, curious about just what is in David's past that he has to hide.
Juanita: I think I mention his illegal weapon in the first page or two. Maybe i have to put in there that he's killed someone in those dock fights
Elizabeth: Perhaps you need to start where Chapter 2 is now, and supply some of the other details (the conflict w/the other recruit, etc.) as backstory.
Elizabeth: Shouldn't be too hard to drop hints that David is keeping an eye out for the other guy.
Juanita: I have a terribly linear mind. My stories have very few flash backs or other timeline deviations
camidon: ====>Agrees with Elizabeth
camidon: ====>Agrees with Elizabeth
Elizabeth: I would keep the fact that David has killed somebody under wraps until a really critical part of the story.
Juanita: Actually, I don't think I mention it at all in this book
Elizabeth: Perhaps when David's reputation is really on the line, or when he's about to get the opportunity he's dreamed about.
Juanita: It does come up in the next one
Juanita: This whole book is about him NOT getting the opportunity he's dreamed about
Elizabeth: Though if it's not important to this story, you don't have to mention it. Just the idea that David has a slightly shady past is good.
Elizabeth: And his attempts to hide the less savory parts of that past from his superiors and buddies.
anneliese: But this is known from an earlier book, isn't it?
Juanita: Yes. the first book covers his two years between leaving home and joining the army
anneliese: In that case, guilt, or something, might color all of his actions in this story.
Juanita: ah, more motivation
anneliese: While no one might find out here, it might make for some of his growth in this book.
anneliese: So the reader might want to know more about it, even if none of the characters find out.
Elizabeth: His attempts to rise above, or deal with, past mistakes.
anneliese: Exactly
Juanita: good suggestions
camidon: Juanita, Send out more, when you get a chance. The critique queue is still woefully (or wonderfully) short
anneliese: It could explain some really bad judgement, or very good decisions, depending on how you use it.
anneliese: Yes Juanita, let's have some more.
Juanita: I'll do that. Apart from the first chap a few years ago, this story hasn't been critiqued
Elizabeth: It also rounds out David's character. Makes him much more intriguing to the reader.
Elizabeth: <=== agrees w/Anneliese
Juanita: Maybe he can do both
camidon: I think this book is good so far, but the first chapter stumbled, and you hit more or a stride with the 2nd
anneliese: Absolutely
Juanita: He does, bou obviously not soon enough
Elizabeth: The closer together your chapters come out, too, the easier it is for us to follow the story, and see how it progresses.
camidon: So, it's definately worth sending us more...
Elizabeth: Which is, IMO, one of the toughest things about a novel to critique.
camidon: ...and also spending your valuable time with it!
Juanita: I'd better enjoy spending my time on it because I'm certainly not making any money at it
anneliese: lol
Elizabeth: lol! Story of my life!
camidon: lol!
davek: That seems like a good point on which to exit.
Juanita: Well, I hope you all find the next chap entertaining.
anneliese: Oh, no! Not smiley battles again!
davek: See you guys next week.
Juanita: I think my biggest fix is required in chap 1
Elizabeth: Smiley WARS!
Juanita: Thanks for all your input
anneliese: Nite Dave.
Elizabeth: And on that note, I'll exit...
camidon: Oh goodness, what did I start! Quick, everyone flee before it's too late
Juanita: Nite all
System: davek left us (snif).
camidon: Gnight everyone
anneliese: After killing us all, Nice, Elizabeth.
camidon: oh, let's just bump dave' other topic to next week
anneliese: Well, I do apologize, Juanita, for usurping much of your hour.
Elizabeth: Thanks for chatting, and good night!
anneliese: Nite, Elizabeth
Elizabeth: Oh, I'm firing blanks.
Juanita: That's all right. It's been intersesting
anneliese: Hope to see you next week then.
Elizabeth: good night everybody! Great chat! And, Juanita, thanks for being understanding.
System: Elizabeth left us (snif).
camidon: later
anneliese: Your sub is still sitting (somewhere) on my desk. I'm planning to send you my comments.
anneliese: Nite CM
Juanita: Are you going to post a log
anneliese: If you don't see them in a few days, feel free to bug me.
Juanita: I can't seem to copy the comments
anneliese: Yep. I'll try to have the log posted in the next day or so.
Juanita: Thanks
Juanita: Thanks
Juanita: Thanksgood night
System: Juanita left us (snif).
anneliese: I found that I couldn't copy the comments into Word, but I can copy them into a text editor. Go figure.