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G'day/Moin moin/Hello.

 

My name is Paul. I'm in my late 30s and Australian by birth but somehow a bit mixed-up geoculturally, coming from a family that was French-Jewish and solid German on my father's side and mixed English/Irish maternally. To make matters worse, I've emigrated 6 times in the past 20 years. But I suspect/hope that I am now stably resident in northern Germany.

 

I've been a passionate writer most of my life, and an actively passionate writer whenever my health has restricted my other creative activities, meaning that MS relapses over the years have coincided with bursts of work on my projected "Great Australian (mixed-up) Novel". The aim, however, is now to be a little more dedicated and to keep working at it even when the current relapse passes.

 

So, that's me. Just thought I should say hi.

 

Best,

Paul

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Hi Paul,

 

Welcome to the forums! You'll find that Storyist is a great app for helping you organize your thoughts and disparate plot points and characters and help that novel come together.

 

On a family note, I can identify a bit. My family is solid Jewish, but on my German-Eastern European mother's side, my grandmother's cousins fled pre-WWII Germany to Austrailia, where a pair of twins became concert pianists. Go figure! I was born in California and lived here my whole life, but mom had been born in Jerusalem, moved to Sweden, then came to Boston, where she lived for years (through college) and eventually ended up here in Sunny California (which is currently quite rainy, but no matter).

 

One of my close friends in 90s was dealing with MS, and I've seen how challenging it could be for her. We lost touch when she got married and moved away, but she always managed to keep such a bright outlook, which I found inspiring as hell because I was a little gothic goblin who would fall to pieces if my soup wasn't warm enough and wished my attitude was more like hers. ;) All the best to you!

 

Take care,

Orren

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Hello Paul, and welcome to the forum.

 

I've been using Storyist for a few years now (almost since it first came out) and consider it the best noveling software available. It doesn't pretend to be the product that builds your next business presentation—it focuses on the novel and screenwriting process. But I imagine you're going to discover all this for yourself.

 

As for myself, my family is from all over the place, including the USA. This makes me a bit different from the rest of my relatives since I was born and raised and worked my whole life in New York City (except for five weird years in Connecticut). I currently live in the part of NYC called the North Bronx (a.k.a. Da Glorious Bronx, it's an inside joke). You've probably picked up a few languages, moving around so much. I'm painfully lacking any foreign language facility—except for Spanish, High School French, and Latin, in which I'm barely conversational. Picked up a little ASL (American Sign Language), though. Then e-mail and voice-to-text came along and I no longer needed it.

 

So sorry to hear about the MS. I hear they're doing some interesting things with stem cells. As for myself, I'm wheelchair bound (more or less) but have learned to live with it. I wonder if we will ever live to see mind transfers to android bodies? Or would that just be copying, leaving the old body in the same shape? The social implications might make for a good story. (Always thinking.)

 

I hope the current political problems here in the USA aren't making you crazy—perhaps they're just fodder for a good laugh. I know I keep alternating between laughing and crying over the mess we have made here. Germany seems to be doing alright.

 

Happy writing,

-Thoth

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Hello Paul, and welcome to the forum.

 

Thank you!

 

I've been using Storyist for a few years now (almost since it first came out) and consider it the best noveling software available. It doesn't pretend to be the product that builds your next business presentation—it focuses on the novel and screenwriting process. But I imagine you're going to discover all this for yourself.

Don't get me going on software that builds business presentations. I've had to work with too much of that rubbish. I can't remember where I first read it, but I have made this one of my life slogans:

Powerpoint is for people with no power and no point.

Now I know it ain't that bad really. At least as a concept. But it is misused completely. The whole audiovisual aids thing is just overdone. A great communicator can achieve wonders without all this gimmickry, and a poor communicator will never become a great communicator just because of a presentation. On top of that, there are software packages out there that actually work properly. But I think I just got myself going on this subject! blink.gif

 

In the past I built myself some custom templates in OpenOffice and in Word. They worked reasonably well for things like chapter and section breaks, contents, numbering, etc. I even scripted stuff to put in dedications, standard title page information, etc. But they didn't provide me with note-taking or indexing facilities that I needed, and to integrate it all in an OpenOffice DB just seemed too much work. Yes, I used to be a programmer – but the past tense there is important. MS has nuked certain types of concentration and I am happy to do the work I am passionate about and can still do well. What a blessing that these are one and the same thing!

 

As for myself, my family is from all over the place, including the USA. This makes me a bit different from the rest of my relatives since I was born and raised and worked my whole life in New York City (except for five weird years in Connecticut). I currently live in the part of NYC called the North Bronx (a.k.a. Da Glorious Bronx, it's an inside joke). You've probably picked up a few languages, moving around so much. I'm painfully lacking any foreign language facility—except for Spanish, High School French, and Latin, in which I'm barely conversational. Picked up a little ASL (American Sign Language), though. Then e-mail and voice-to-text came along and I no longer needed it.

Connecticut reminds me of the 80s sitcom "Who's The Boss?". I believe the character Tony in the show actually hailed from the North Bronx. Other than that, I did get to know a family from Connecticut once, but nobody has ever held me responsible.

I picked up a little Auslan, the Australian equivalent of ASL, in my teens. Then when I got to Germany I discovered that they have "International Sign Language" here, almost as much of a misnomer as your "World Series" in baseball. wink.gif My French used to be good enough that even French people thought I was a native speaker. The trick is to master regional accents and always deploy one that comes from the opposite end of the country as that used by your interlocutor. Many years have passed, however, since I needed to use French, and I have to concentrate very hard to even follow a radio broadcast these days. I can understand about 80% of yiddish but not speak it, and I have a passive smattering of a few other European tongues. (aside: imagining Europeans smattering me with their tongues while I loll passively...) German is my principle foreign language though, and translating and interpreting between German and English makes up the majority of my income. I would say I am close to bilingual, and there are many aspects of life and many subjects which are now easier for me in German than in English. I actually find it overwhelming to visit an English-speaking country now. I appreciate the possibility to withdraw in a crowd that one has as a foreigner with a minority language.

So sorry to hear about the MS. I hear they're doing some interesting things with stem cells. As for myself, I'm wheelchair bound (more or less) but have learned to live with it. I wonder if we will ever live to see mind transfers to android bodies? Or would that just be copying, leaving the old body in the same shape? The social implications might make for a good story. (Always thinking.)

May I ask what has put you in a wheelchair? (Feel free not to answer in a publicly readable forum) As for me, I'm still mobile most of the time. I was ordered into a wheelchair a decade back but refused to get in. I know myself too well to get into a wheelchair when I can manage without it – I would not get back out. Instead, I move on crutches when I have to, or I move slowly and not very far. And between relapses I am as good as platinum. The trick is knowing when I can and when I cannot drive a car safely!

I hope the current political problems here in the USA aren't making you crazy—perhaps they're just fodder for a good laugh. I know I keep alternating between laughing and crying over the mess we have made here. Germany seems to be doing alright.

We have our own mess over here, so it is a welcome distraction to see the world's purportedly greatest democracy not doing much better. The big thing here at the moment is the sudden revelation that at least 15% of the most active neon*zis in Germany are paid by our equivalent of the FBI for information, which is why the movement as such never gets criminalised: the informants have contracts to keep them out of jail, but it would be too obvious! The information they have been providing, however, appears next to useless in view of dozens of murders a small cell have carried out throughout the country. And there is good reason to believe that this cell was actually funded directly using informant money. Nice one, Bureau!

Happy writing,

-Thoth

Is there a nicer way to sign off than that?

 

Ah, but now I have a question about life here on these forums:

I have seen a couple of older and seemingly "finished" threads related to topics which I would like to discuss further. What is preferred/common practice here: tag something on the end of a thread that fell asleep a year ago, or create a new donkey for people to pin tails on?

 

 

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Welcome to the forums! You'll find that Storyist is a great app for helping you organize your thoughts and disparate plot points and characters and help that novel come together.

That's just what I need. It will probably never replace the sketchy lists on the back of envelopes, but who knows? I always thought that I could never do public addresses that I prepared on a computer, because I like to draw out my list of bullet points by hand, almost like brainstorming, and when I sit at the computer afterwards I find myself filling in too many details so that parts of the address are just a script being read. But I have mastered the software and stopped the software mastering me, so I guess I can do that with Storyist, too. At least it seems to want to let me work my way.

On a family note, I can identify a bit. My family is solid Jewish, but on my German-Eastern European mother's side, my grandmother's cousins fled pre-WWII Germany to Austrailia, where a pair of twins became concert pianists. Go figure! I was born in California and lived here my whole life, but mom had been born in Jerusalem, moved to Sweden, then came to Boston, where she lived for years (through college) and eventually ended up here in Sunny California (which is currently quite rainy, but no matter).

Having moved to what Rumsfeld disparagingly termed "Old Europe", I am often surprised at how little interest non-new-worlders show for their own family history. I guess it has something to do with the feeling of being uprooted and growing up in a part of the world where our history really didn't begin. Growing up in a mixed-up cultural heritage in rural Australia, I often felt excluded from the monolithic Australian bush culture. I have since come to appreciate my mestizo background immensely and don't even feel too bad about having created even more extremely mixed children here! If nothing else, it makes it easier to fit in elsewhere, and having learned to do that (just a little - the quasi-exotic nature of my accent and background is enough to win me a lot of tolerance here) I can now even appear less odd when I am back home. And most importantly: it is great material for writing!

One of my close friends in 90s was dealing with MS, and I've seen how challenging it could be for her. We lost touch when she got married and moved away, but she always managed to keep such a bright outlook, which I found inspiring as hell because I was a little gothic goblin who would fall to pieces if my soup wasn't warm enough and wished my attitude was more like hers. ;) All the best to you!

Thanks, Orren. You know, the thing with chronic illness is that you either have to learn to make the best and see life in a positive way, enjoying the opportunities and even the depth of perception that such clear uncertainty fosters, or you go under. It is a lot easier to be accepting and positive when the only other option is to let something destroy you. And my own health, in particular the intensity of recent relapses - along with a closely related series of bacterial infections that nearly killed me three times over at the start of the year - has forced me to make decisions that I should have made a decade and a half ago. I didn't, and I will take the richness out of the life I have lived as a result. But now I am recognising that many of the options I thought I had are no longer there, and so I can focus better on those that are open to me. And love doing so!

I think it is hardest of all to see a loved one "suffering" and not be able to help. That feeling of powerlessness can create an awful chaos inside... and this line of thought may well rescue my marriage, so thank you for prompting it! wink.gif

 

All the best to you too, Gothic Goblin!

 

Paul Ironbark

 

 

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Ah, but now I have a question about life here on these forums:

I have seen a couple of older and seemingly "finished" threads related to topics which I would like to discuss further. What is preferred/common practice here: tag something on the end of a thread that fell asleep a year ago, or create a new donkey for people to pin tails on?

Just wake them up, Paul. Old threads tend to move down to the bottom of the lists, so people forget about them. No harm in restarting them, as others may want to comment too.

 

There's no etiquette either way, so starting a new thread is just as good. But if some of the threads you want to reanimate are feature requests, you may as well restart the old ones, because that will let Steve know people are still interested in these things.

Best,

M

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May I ask what has put you in a wheelchair?

I'd rather not talk about it. (But it's not MS.) After trying a hand-controlled vehicle, and found it wanting, I've voluntarily given up my driver's license. Outside, under certain conditions, I can use a walker for an hour or so. Inside a quad-cane will do as long as there is a wall nearby. My greatest accomplishment? Mastering the midnight toilet transfer. I broke my right humerus a while back (all healed now) which landed me in the hospital for two weeks and then in rehab for a month. I still managed to post from time to time. It gets bad sometimes (as I imagine it does with MS) but I tend to keep upbeat.

 

Ah, but now I have a question about life here on these forums:

I have seen a couple of older and seemingly "finished" threads related to topics which I would like to discuss further. What is preferred/common practice here: tag something on the end of a thread that fell asleep a year ago, or create a new donkey for people to pin tails on?

Feel free to pick up any thread at any point. The forum alerts us to new posts.

Or start your own thread.

 

Happy writing. ;)

-T

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Hi Paul,

 

Sorry it's taken me so long to send you a quick greeting. In another post you mentioned your hat and that you're looking for another/new one. Feel free to post pictures and may ewe can give you our opinion as to what we prefer(either for your avatar or to cover your noggin)

 

-W

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Almost tempting with the photos, Whirlybird. I narrowed it down to four possibilities and sent photos to three semi-cultured female friends from Vienna for their views. They almost agreed with one another so I may go ahead with their decision, even if it is a little on the conservative side. I just couldn't sell anyone on the idea that I need a deerstalker to go with my habit of smoking a pipe.

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Almost tempting with the photos, Whirlybird. I narrowed it down to four possibilities and sent photos to three semi-cultured female friends from Vienna for their views. They almost agreed with one another so I may go ahead with their decision, even if it is a little on the conservative side. I just couldn't sell anyone on the idea that I need a deerstalker to go with my habit of smoking a pipe.

I think the deerstalker with the pipe would be oh so cool but maybe a bit eccentric. I guess it all depends on where you're going to wear it. I hope you at least wear it at home.

 

I have confidence in the three semi-cultured friends from Vienna. Will you post their choice (if you agree with them) as your new avatar?

 

-W

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I think the deerstalker with the pipe would be oh so cool but maybe a bit eccentric. I guess it all depends on where you're going to wear it. I hope you at least wear it at home.

 

Eccentric is not a problem, it's a reality that I just try to keep under control in public. The pipe, however, is something people just have to deal with.

 

I have confidence in the three semi-cultured friends from Vienna. Will you post their choice (if you agree with them) as your new avatar?

 

 

I shall have to think about whether I agree with them first... the opera singer (who hails from rural Oregon originally, and wears a cowboy hat herself when not on duty) cast two votes. But the majority decision shows that they have accepted my encroaching middle age (see the darker of the two attached) whereas my preference fell slightly on the other.

 

post-1627-0-96702400-1322734451_thumb.jpg

 

post-1627-0-84455600-1322734484_thumb.jpg

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Eccentric is not a problem, it's a reality that I just try to keep under control in public. The pipe, however, is something people just have to deal with.

 

 

 

 

I shall have to think about whether I agree with them first... the opera singer (who hails from rural Oregon originally, and wears a cowboy hat herself when not on duty) cast two votes. But the majority decision shows that they have accepted my encroaching middle age (see the darker of the two attached) whereas my preference fell slightly on the other.

 

post-1627-0-96702400-1322734451_thumb.jpg

 

post-1627-0-84455600-1322734484_thumb.jpg

It might not be a pc answer but with the right tobacco pipe smoke can have a very nice smell.

 

As for the hats I'm afraid I won't be much help. I like them both equally. But I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

 

-W

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I like the second one better but if life has taught me one thing, it's that people change their tastes over time.

I currently wear (when out in the rain) a Men's Scottish Tweed Rain Hat with Gore-Tex, by L.L. Bean. (Click here is you want to.)

If it's cold I wear the hood on my parka. In between I wear my hoodie (it's a zip-up not a pull-over).

And yes, I have a deerstalker but it has fallen out of favor and into the transdimensional section of my closet in whose shadows a cult of lost socks skulk and prey on the unwary.

-T

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I like the second one better but if life has taught me one thing, it's that people change their tastes over time.

I currently wear (when out in the rain) a Men's Scottish Tweed Rain Hat with Gore-Tex, by L.L. Bean. (Click here is you want to.)

If it's cold I wear the hood on my parka. In between I wear my hoodie (it's a zip-up not a pull-over).

And yes, I have a deerstalker but it has fallen out of favor and into the transdimensional section of my closet in whose shadows a cult of lost socks skulk and prey on the unwary.

-T

I like the Scottish Tweed Rain Hat, T. Question is, do you smoke a pipe while wearing it too?

 

Don't go in the closet or we may never hear from you or your sock puppet again! :D

 

-W

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I like the Scottish Tweed Rain Hat, T. Question is, do you smoke a pipe while wearing it too?

Nope. Don't smoke. Never smoked. Oddly though, my Dad smoked cigarettes, cigars and pipes and lived to a ripe old age. There's definitely a genetic factor.

 

Don't go in the closet or we may never hear from you or your sock puppet again! :D

Sage advice.

One of my first physical therapists ventured inside and is still missing. The only clue was a message drawn in blood on an inside wall:

♃♄♆☿⚇〒♨☃

The snowman in the fez is the only character we haven't quite figured out.

-T

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Nope. Don't smoke. Never smoked. Oddly though, my Dad smoked cigarettes, cigars and pipes and lived to a ripe old age. There's definitely a genetic factor.

 

 

Sage advice.

One of my first physical therapists ventured inside and is still missing. The only clue was a message drawn in blood on an inside wall:

♃♄♆☿⚇〒♨☃

The snowman in the fez is the only character we haven't quite figured out.

-T

Have to agree about the genetic factor. My Dad is 82 and he smoked from about age 14 to 60+ and likes to play golf without a golf cart.

 

Sorry to hear about your first physical therapist. Maybe you should ask Frosty the Snowman for some help. His top hat is sometimes mistaken for a fez and he's only available for questioning during the winter months.

 

-W

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Snowmen are notoriously unreliable (except for Frosty, of course).

-T

Glad you didn't say anything derogatory against Frosty. He's magical, you know.

 

Oh and if anyone's interested Amazon is giving away a free MP3 every day in December. The one for December 1st is Ave Maria from the Celtic Woman album. It went right into my iTunes.

 

Here's the link Click here

 

-W

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Glad you didn't say anything derogatory against Frosty. He's magical, you know.

Not so much the snowman as his hat: "There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found..."

 

Oh and if anyone's interested Amazon is giving away a free MP3 every day in December. The one for December 1st is Ave Maria from the Celtic Woman album. It went right into my iTunes.

Here's the link Click here

-W

Thanks W.

-T

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Not so much the snowman as his hat: "There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found..."

 

 

Thanks W.

-T

 

You and Ironbark can fight over his magical silk chapeaux then.

 

You're welcome.

 

-W

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It might not be a pc answer but with the right tobacco pipe smoke can have a very nice smell.

 

As for the hats I'm afraid I won't be much help. I like them both equally. But I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

 

 

PC is bad. Good pipe tobacco is good. And I am a little careful with how much I smoke, what I smoke, etc. A little. My stepfather smoked a pipe for over 70 years (he did have to top up the tobacco a couple of times) and it wasn't that that killed him.

 

As for the hats... my wife finds the second one makes me look too much like a Parisian street artist. I asked her to define "too much" :)

 

 

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I currently wear (when out in the rain) a Men's Scottish Tweed Rain Hat with Gore-Tex, by L.L. Bean. (Click here is you want to.)

 

Not too far removed from the Trilby, which has made an incredible comeback amongst the under-30s here, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Roger Cicero, Roger Cicero, and Roger Cicero. (No, I'm not stuttering, I just wanted to put in three links).

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One of my first physical therapists ventured inside and is still missing. The only clue was a message drawn in blood on an inside wall:

♃♄♆☿⚇〒♨☃

The snowman in the fez is the only character we haven't quite figured out.

 

It has to be asked. Tell us what the rest of it means.

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It has to be asked.

Yes. But it took you to ask it.

 

Tell us what the rest of it means.

Isn't it obvious? These are fairly standard signs.

 

is the sign for Jehovah (Great Jove) or Jupiter.

is the sign for Saturn or Satan or Planck's constant (equal to the energy of a quantum of EM radiation divided by its frequency).

is the sign for Neptune or the sea or "Road ahead splits three ways".

is the sign for succubus or devil woman or the planet Mercury or some band I can't remember the name of just now.

is the sign of the Great Mouthless Smilie emoticon.(Chilling.)

is the Boolean sign for "not Thoth" and it's also a postal mark.

is the sign for sewer cover or hot springs or stinky button. Possibly the sign for "pie cooling".

is a snowman in a fez. (I have no idea...)

 

This is clearly a warning. Or an invitation. Or a supplication to a god or a snowman or...well, maybe it isn't that obvious after all. I'm not even sure if it's supposed to be read left-to-right or right-to-left. Are the signs supposed to be taken in groups? Does one effect the meaning of another? Is the fact that it was written in blood in any way meaningful?

 

You're smart. Imaginative. Helpful. What do you think it means?

-T

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I think it means we have to buy your book to find out why your physio was designing a new version of Zapf Dingbats as he bled to death.

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