VeryWellAged: Blog

A response to Zen Master

July 2, 2018
Posted at 12:31 am
Updated: July 2, 2018 - 12:44 am
 

I have not complained about the SOL webmaster. He is following the law as he must and yes SOL must be the way it is.

I am discussing censorship by "the State." You took my comments out of the context in which they were presented.

I have updated the original post so that, even those who might be inclined to misread my point will see I am not complaining about the decisions of the webmaster for SOL.

Responses to my entry about the definition of insanity

July 1, 2018
Posted at 11:01 pm
 

While most of the emails I received in response to the last post were friendly and thoughtful, two individuals were incensed. One wrote in only uppercase. I guess he was shouting.

Both seem to be of the school of thought that, as they disagree with this "disgusting practice" and, according to one of the two, even more of those who write about it, their feelings of offense are justification for censorship of the literary examination of the practice.

That some will find facts of life to be offensive is a given. In point of fact, not once in my stories have I ever suggested that marriage to an eleven year old would be normal or even tolerated within the general Muslim community. It is not but there are clearly exceptions to that rule.

However, stories about murder, rape, slavery, senseless violence are common and tolerated in Western culture and yet stories about sex, and love, are not if the age of one of the participants is wrong.

Should a story, about an eleven year old who is kidnapped, but not physically touched, be posted, that story would not generate the ire of the two who wrote me.

I find much in the world that does not match the hopes and ideals of some. I am not motivated by racial and religious bias, but I am surrounded on all sides those who are. By white Americans and Europeans, who thinking they are among fellow bigots, call blacks, niggers. By Filipino Christians, Americans and Europeans who label all Muslims as dangerous, untrustworthy and murderous. By Evangelical Christians who have the need to convert others to their beliefs to save those individuals from going to hell. All of these things are signs of intolerance, and bigotry.

The world is filled with hatred, fear and anger. It is also filled with longing for safety, shelter, food, and love. Nowhere in that mix do the artificial rules of formal society have any real bearing. They are the overlay; the 'rules of engagement.' But in the world as it actually exist, rules are subject to change, or to be ignored. None are truly universal.

Those who are morally outraged now see themselves as living in a society that represents a continuum of moral enlightenment; a progression from barbaric to enlightenment.

They are horribly wrong.

Our human history is one of technological ratcheting forward, but interpersonal relations more closely representing pendulum swings with the times of most "advanced" and "progressive" thinking being very brief.

It is no surprise that throughout Europe and the USA the "reactionary" "misanthropic" and "xenophobic" forces are in strong evidence. It is no surprise that strongman leaders in Russia, China, Cambodia, Singapore, and the Philippines are welcomed by large swaths of the population. Welcome to the real world. A world where there has never been at any time in history a period where slavery did not exist. A world where there has never been at any time in history a period where tribal hatred and violence did not exist. A world where there has never been at any time in history a period where young girls did not marry older men.

That we can write about all of it other than of younger girls and older men I find to be on the insane side of the ledger.

The definition of insane

June 30, 2018
Posted at 8:34 pm
Updated: July 2, 2018 - 12:40 am
 

For real legal reasons, the webmaster here cannot allow any new stories to be posted here regarding children under 14 years of age.

Somehow, fiction is just fiction and such things either don't happen in the real world, or are completely illegal, right? So the State seems to argue, never, ever mention such a thing.

OK, they are nuts. Here's the news from Malaysia this morning. There are dozens of stories you can read about the horror of it, but here is the truth of it. This is NOT fiction AND there is no depiction of any sex in the news article linked.

https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/06/385866/i-love-abe-because-he-nice-man-says-11-year-old-bride

All I have ever done is write stories reflecting the real world. That, it seem, is illegal in some places.

For those who care, ASSTR, which has been my home website for most of my work, is still impaired and I am unable to upload new stories, though the stories previously posted there can be read. But we are working to bring it up or bring up an alternate site.

Losing the my voice

May 26, 2018
Posted at 9:30 pm
Updated: May 27, 2018 - 1:12 am
 

There was a time when I was just starting to write fiction, and this site was a godsend.

I owe a great deal to the webmaster here, Lazeez Jiddan. This site is a good one and I mean no disparagement to it. That it doesn't work for me anymore is not an indictment, but rather a recognition that as my writing style developed and my desire to tell a different type of tale pushed me on, the structure of SOL and the content limitations meant that, for me, a new home for my voice was needed.

And so, before I go further, Lazeez, if you are reading this, thank you. I don't think I could have gotten started without SOL.

There are many writers who firmly believe that if it can't be put into simple text, the author isn't really 'getting it.' I have heard it many times, and received rebuffs here from other writers to that exact point.

On my bookshelves, here in my study, I have a collector's "The Illustrated Edition" of 1776 by David McCullough. Mr. McCullough is a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and this edition contains facsimiles of original letters, grants, maps, etc… that provide depth to the text. The reader can bypass each of these things and continue reading, or pause to dive a little deeper.

Also on my shelves is the Pulitzer Prize winning "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Within the book are collections of photos in clumps of pages, related to the text, but not "linked" to the text in any meaningful way.

There are many other examples here on these packed shelves. And yes, they are mostly, though not all, non-fiction. The maps of middle earth tell you where Mordor is, you know.

Footnotes are chockablock in non-fiction, but there is no reason why they must be excluded in fiction. The reason you don't see them in the fiction you read is related to a 'common understanding' of the world you and the author share.

Ah! You say, 'I don't share a fantasy world!' You are right and wrong at the same time. The fantasy world doesn't exist and the author expects you to populate it and place the furniture, not described, with your active imagination.

My work is different. It relates to a real world, but one you probably have never seen or experienced. I wish to bring you into this real place. To do so completely but adding all within the text both interrupts the flow of the tale or novel, and is redundant to those who are familiar with this world. Of those who are familiar, I have a significant readership, but they are not the majority of those who read my work.

You know what a dishwasher is. I would not have to describe one or how it worked to you. But to those I live with, the concept of a machine that washes your dishes, is totally unknown. If I was writing about your world for them, you would find the description of dishwashers and all else that is so mundane in your world completely unnecessary and intrusive to the narrative.

In fact I have run into the problem with my Filipino readers that they do not understand the things that make reference to your world, and how things are in it. I am considering more annotations for them in a few of my later works.

And then there is the issue of underage sex. Underage here being defined as under the age of fourteen. I am writing about a culture where sex can and does occur far earlier. Don't believe me? Read this PDF from a newspaper in the Philippines. It is not a sex story and contains no material that will violate any law. (https://www.asstr.org/~VeryWellAged/web-pdf/PDI-Birth.pdf)

I am not writing for pure prurience sake. This is a real world and one that Lazeez cannot allow to be posted because of laws in his region. I get that and respect his position, but when a nation wills the telling of reality away because it is inconvenient, what you have is thought police.

ASSTR provided authors a way to post stories that cannot be posted here due to format, links, or content. But ASSTR is essentially dead.

Yes you can get to author sites there, currently. But, as of now, no author can post to it. The upload function has been down for over a month. For over a year, authors who lost their password have been unable to gain a new password and post. No new authors have been able to get an account there for over a year.

A few of us are trying to bring up an alternative site, but the task is hampered by the need of authors to stay anonymous.

And so, this blog is the only place where I still have a voice at all and that is only at the forbearance of Lazeez.

An author's lament

February 16, 2018
Posted at 7:54 pm
 

Now that the ASSTR site is having security problems and locking some folks out of accessing it, I see here a spike in traffic to this, the SOL, site.

I have a strong sense of gratitude toward the SOL site as it is where I first published a story. And though all the stories here have been updated and (I hope) made better over the years at the other site, I can't bring my self to remove that which is here, even though these versions are expired.

I do wish there was a way to preserve the formatting, links, and footnotes that exist in my current versions of these stories, here, on SOL. I even have two complete novels that meet the age of child restrictions that could be posted here, if it were not for the formatting, and link issues.

There is no question that SOL is more stable and competently run than is ASSTR. But I can't post here and that is my lament.