booksandstories.com

March 2003 Review

Web Page Progress

Why is it that whenever I change something or add something new I always end up with egg on my face? Do any of you have this problem? This time all I did was add a little note at the bottom of the Order Page. Nothing fancy or complicated. Just a few little words. And what happens? The Order Page goes dumb. Typical. And the annoying thing is that it stayed that way until someone emailed me to say it wasn't working, because foolish me didn't check it. I never thought it would have been affected. And I still can't understand how I did what I did to stop it working either. Anyway, I've put it right now and it works again. So thank you to Sheila who took the time to rattle my comfortable cage and tell me. Her letters are included in the vast list below (alright, so it's only a few letters, but there's more than one, and they're from more than one person, so for me, that's vast!).

Letters

February has seen a reasonable exchange of emails between some of you out there and me in here. And to put your minds at rest after last months Short Story, by me in here, I mean in my little house clicking away on my laptop. I'm not completely mad yet, and I haven't lost my romantic touch, I just took a holiday somewhere evil. But more about the Short Story later. First some letters. And we'll start with Mandy:

Dear DG,

I just finished reading "The Dreamer" and I loved it. I read the whole thing at work and I was hooked! Just wanted to tell you that you did an excellent job, but you probably already know that. Really, I wanted to be part of the story.

Thanks for the enjoyment,

Mandy

I'm glad you liked "The Dreamer", Mandy. It started off as a short story and just grew. I enjoyed writing it and sometimes feel I should have done it as a proper book, but that might have just padded it out. It seemed to work at the pace I wrote it and I am pleased with the result. I am also very pleased with your comments, as feedback is very scarse. Thank you for the praise and for taking time to write to me.

I suggested to Mandy that she try some of my other romantic stories like "The Look Of Love" or "An Affair Of The Heart", but she had obviously beaten me to it:

Dear DG,

I started reading "An Affair of the Heart" and as you can tell, I am hooked. Did you ever see "Return To Me"? It reminds me of it, but I like your storyline better because it's more complex and I have a feeling that someone would actually do the same things! I hate people who sue for stupid things! But anyways, I'm hooked on your writing, so don't leave me hanging!

Thanks!

Mandy

I'm glad you are now enjoying "An Affair of the Heart", Mandy. It was one of the first stories I wrote. I was going to tell you a bit about it, but as you haven't finished it yet, I won't. As for "Return To Me" I haven't heard of it. Since I started writing in earnest I haven't read as much as I used to.

Mandy must be a busy user of the website because she wrote again a short time later:

Dear DG,

I just finished reading "The Curfew", and it was like watching an accident on the side of the freeway. You know you should just keep on driving, but you just have to see what happend. Why was this story festering in your mind, may I ask?

It has also made me mighty curious about you. I read the questions that Chris asked, and I want to know too! I also want to know if you had kids and maybe this was the reason for your angst, because I have a brother and sister that I would dearly love to sit on. They're Brats!

But seriously, I liked the story because I know, or at least I hope, you're not crazy. I know what it feels like to want to push your imagination and boundaries as far as it can go and maybe shock people. Besides now a days people take things at such face value, you can't say or do anything.

Anyways, can't wait to read Part 2. I have a morbid fascination and no patience.

Thanks

Mandy

I put Mandy's mind at ease by explaining that I wasn't crazy (not yet anyway), and by telling her what I told Chris.

Now for "The Curfew". Let's just say I have experienced some of the stress outlined in the first part of the story. Like everyone else I have a dark side (like Mandy wishing to sit on the brats). But it gets locked away because I'm normal and civilised. But in life things always annoy you, and these things are usually other people. "The Curfew" has been an idea that I have always thought of doing. It could be a single Short Story or it could be a Serial, or a book. I will just have to see how it goes. Basically it is about the silent majority rearing it's ugly head over those that have gotten away with tormenting them for too long. The moral at the end being that bad is bad whoever does it or whyever it is done. But its not always that easy to see. However, unlike nearly all of my other stories, I intend to let my dark side enjoy itself, so be warned, you might not like the way it developes (but I'm still not doing it until next month!).

I asked Mandy about "Return To Me" and this is what she said:

Dear DG,

"Return To Me" is a movie about a man whose wife dies in a car accident and then he later falls in love with the girl who receives it. But, you know, it's a cute romantic movie, so that's basically all there is too it.

Anyways, thank you for writing back and giving me your background. I don't know any publishers, though I wished I worked for one. But don't give up, because you never know what will happen.

Thanks!

Mandy

"Return To Me" has similarities with "An Affair of the Heart", but as my story doesn't set out to be a love story between the widowed husband and the girl who receives his dead wife's heart, they aren't the same. In "Return To Me" the heart transplant is just a plot device to get the two leads together. In a way it's all a little bit forced. I looked up "Return To Me" on the internet and the reviews were not very favourable. Like you said, Mandy, it's a cute romantic movie, and that's all there is too it.

It's funny but I wrote the "An Affair of the Heart" in 1997 and sent it off to a few publishers at the time. I liked the idea of a widowed husband and ex-lover of a dead woman fighting it out in court for her heart. No one took it up. Despite this I think my story is better than "Return To Me". It isn't as contrived and it also builds the relationships between the characters in a more natural way. It also isn't cute. There's a lot of hidden bitterness, love and hatred in some of the characters and it only gets sorted out at the end. And the female characters come across as strongly as the male ones. But then that's a trait of mine!

Let me know what you think, Mandy. And keep visiting the website, and please tell your friends about it too. The more visitors and readers I get the better. It gives me more incentive to keep going.

Now for my problems with the Order Page. Let Sheila begin the explaination:

Dear DG,

I want to order the remaining pages of "The look of Love" and can not figure out how to do it. I seem to be having problems. Please reply.

Thanks,

Sheila

I asked Sheila what the problem was exactly and explained how to work through the payment process. This is what she told me:

Dear DG,

I enter in the book selection and then click on the long button but nothing comes up. It only resets the page. I've tried several times and the same thing happens. I am very interested in finding out the end of the story. I even went to the library and the book store and they didn't have it. Please let me know what we can do.

Thanks,

Sheila

Her explanation sent me off to check the Order Page and she was perfectly correct. So apologies and red faces all round (well on my part anyway). As soon as she told me about it I set off hunting for the problem and found that it was my mistake as I had altered the Order Page a little while ago and I must have accidentally missed a command. I've put it right now and tested it a few times so it does work again. I explained things to Sheila (and apologised) and asked her to try again and let me know how she get on. And she did:

Dear DG,

It worked!

Thank you!

Sheila

I'm very much pleased that you got what you wanted, Sheila. "The Look Of Love" has always been my favourite, so please let me know what you think when you've finished it. By the way, you won't find any of my stories in libraries or bookshops unless they've been stolen. None of my books or stories have been published in hard copy. You can only read them here. So please feel free to petition or badger your local publisher into taking me on!

Writing Progress

I've been a bit slow this month. Maybe because it's a shorter month and it's just after Christmas. That's my excuses for being lazy over with.

"The Friendly Ambassador" is progressing steadily if not quickly. I have spent a few nights going over things and adding bits that I think are necessary in earlier chapters. It's been a bit of a review time now that I have reached more than halfway. It's difficult to gauge the length of a story but I think there's a long way to go yet judging by the things I still want to happen. So I think it is over halfway but not very far over. But even at this stage I'm still pondering on the ending. I have several different possibilities and I'm not sure which one I prefer. Somethings are fixed, but others are generally open. I'll have to see how things progress. As I approach the ending events may dictate my decision.

As I said above, no Short Story this month. I want to maintain my original one month's holiday between stories, and as this serial maybe a little bit more taxing than usual I may need the extra time to think. In the meantime "The Curfew: Part I" has been added to the List Page.

See you next month.

Copyright © D. G. Richards 2003

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