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Cia last won the day on November 7 2016

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About Cia

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  1. The Martian

    I like where he dips the potato in Vicodin "because there's no one here to stop me and I ran out of ketchup 7 days ago".
  2. Latest Story Updates

    How did you add the chapter? That's vital information that must be shared for us to have any hope of helping but people continually forget to give us all the information we need to look into problems. Did you add the chapter to your story and publish immediately? Post-date? Add it unpublished and then use the drop menu to publish it? Use a computer, a tablet, a phone? What browser? Did anything happen differently from times before when the chapter saved? The more you share, the more we might be able to figure out what happened to prevent your story from announcing in the recent updates list.
  3. Page Views

    That chapter you mention from Unwilling is from 2015, so it would be unrelated to anything happening now. I just went through the first 3 pages of stories and looked at the stories with multiple chapters posting relatively consistently over at least the last few months to a year plus, and there's no consistent drop in page views per chapter that I can see. Just an fyi that a quick look at the current stories doesn't seem to show a big issue. I'm sure when the techs have time, they will look into the back end of the system to see if there's anything that jumps out at them that could be a bug.
  4. Did you catch Monday's blog featuring Sara Alva's coming of age short story, No Strings? If you're a fan of her story, don't forget to download the signature graphic to share it through the month. If you haven't read the story yet, maybe this excerpt will help change your mind! I chose this except because it tells you a lot about the story. Yes, it gives away a bit of the "BIG EVENT" but the true insights you get are into the characters. Sara has a knack for bringing them to life in amazing ways, with so little information shared about the actual characters. Instead, we learn about them as they're facing whatever trials and tribulations stand in their way... even a best friend who is making you her reluctant wingman in a bid to get her laid. To read more, click here.
  5. Chapter 27

    “So you’ll tell Captain?” I took a deep breath and blew it away, trying to stay calm so Lakshou wouldn’t sense my emotions. I’d open that box I’d used before, the one that helped me survive my years in my cell, and stuffed all the things I couldn’t afford to think about inside it. Including how much I wanted to talk to Captain myself. But it was best that I didn’t. We hadn’t spent much time together before, so even though we lived just down the corridor from each other, it would seem odd if we spent a lot of time around each other. And we didn’t want anyone paying more attention to me than they already were, apparently. “About what? Ss’merit asking about you?” Lakshou bent one leg and extended the other, and I tried to mimic him. “I can, but that’s not odd in and of itself. He’s a counselor for those we rescue. It’s very unusual for someone to be so segregated from the other survivors, but that station lab was different from the others we’ve raided. What they did to you was extreme, and you wouldn’t do well in a communal setting. Captain recognized that immediately, beyond your extensive medical needs at the time.” I tilted my head. “Different? Like how?” “We’ve never rescued so many people at once. And there were far more records than we normally find. Actual copies of surgical reports, test results, and then of course, there was you. The Brox Consortium rarely deals with humans. They are too well connected politically.” “Well I certainly wasn’t.” I’d grown up with next to nothing on a poor planet chosen for colonization when it never should’ve been. The summers were so dry the land cracked into giant flat pancakes that were barely scrapable, and the acidic winter rains burned all but the hardiest of plants. My parents could barely feed us on subsistence rations and getting rid of me had to be a relief for them. I couldn’t forgive them. Starving in that wasteland would’ve been better than what I went through. “Hey, hey… Kohen? What is it?” Lakshou’s horns were glowing. The pounding of my heart and the bitter churning in my stomach slowly eased. “Nothing. Just a memory.” They’d gotten stronger. I’d looked up a lot on the vid since I’d been freed. The planet I’d been born on, other species of aliens in the sector and surrounding sectors, the ones around the central planets where Captain said we were going. That reminded me. “I’m being tracked by a Trepharo,” I said. “Does Captain have one following me?” If he was, it needed to stop. “How could you possibly know that?” Lakshou straightened and focused all of his intense attention on me. “We don’t have a Trepharo as part of the crew, and we didn’t rescue one.” “Yes, you do. They can mimic any form, but I know their scent. I’ve smelled it before.” It was a test, a particularly disturbing one. Trepharos had a specialty: virtual reality. I’d used the vid to search for species I’d come in contact with that I could remember, and this was one of the first I’d looked up because the memory was unusually vivid. Nothing like seeing your insides on your outsides and feeling them plucked away one by one to stick with you in your nightmares, all while surrounded by that smell. It was one of the reasons I was unsure if what I remembered was real or not. Trepharo technology was capable of fooling any race’s senses into believing what they saw, heard, even touched, was real. They hadn’t quite figured out how to handle scent though. And I’d recognize that bitter spice they exuded anywhere. It was something from inside them, like part of their digestive system. Every time they breathed or opened their mouths, no matter what their form, that smell came out. “If Captain doesn’t have one from the crew tracking me in different forms, and you don’t know of any that was rescued from the station… then there’s a stowaway on board, and it’s following me.” And how could I trust anything? “Does this ship have a null field?” “I-I don’t know. We’d have to ask.” I jumped to my feet. “We need to ask. Now.” I half expected Lakshou to ask me why or to put me off, but he simply rose and grabbed his vid. He sent a coded message to Captain. By the time he messaged back, I was about to jump out of my skin. I winced… bad imagery. I couldn’t go there again. It was a good thing I’d barely had any lunch because my stomach was churning. Lakshou passed the screen over to me. “What is it, Kohen?” Captain’s eyes drilled into me. My mouth watered, and I swallowed convulsively as I explained about the Trepharo. “If you have a null field, you need to engage it to ensure they’re neutralized and lose their camouflage.” “Camouflage?” “It had two forms today; I thought you had it following me.” Captain blinked. “I wouldn’t do that except keep you safe. And I’d tell you first, Kohen, I hope you know that.” I couldn’t say yes but didn’t want to tell him no either. “Please say the ship has a null field.” “I’ve already engaged it. I also patched Deke in. He’s readying security teams to find the Trepharo as we speak.” My knees sagged, and I sank down on a cushion. “Thank you,” I said, closing my eyes. I’d killed the Trepharo who’d tortured me, just like I’d been ordered to, but it had taken days to break free of the virtual reality prison it had locked me in. I’d felt something was off since I first became aware of the horrid being, and I was glad I’d followed through on asking about it. Who knew what crew member it had been impersonating? I gasped. “What if he’s the one? Working with the Brox Consortium?”
  6. Oh, those tumultuous days of teenage angst, as the high school years are winding down and graduation looms--real life is coming. How do they bridge the gap between child and adult? Well... Yeah, so it's not necessarily a complicated question. But then again, for some, it's not that easy either. Check out this great short story by Sara Alva, that just so happens to be our featured Classic Author story this month. No Strings by Sara Alva Length: 11,010 Description: Josh's friend has made an important life decision. Given the opportunity, will he make the same one? Some Readers Said: Really cute tale with some interesting switches, role reversals and a clever take on strings attached. Thoroughly enjoyed it. ~ Bill W The story is powerful and impactful without the length, something I hadn't expect Sara to be able to grasp immediately since her last story was technically a multi-part story. ~ JT Oh. My. God. I am literally the slowest person on earth. I FINALLY GET WHY BRENNAN TIED THEIR SHOELACES TOGETHER LOL, I think I read it too fast the first time around. OH GOD SO ADORABLE *dies* ~ Luc Rosen If you want to spread the word about Sara Alva's story, download the graphic below and add it to your signature! Make sure you come back on Wednesday to see the excerpt I chose to share!
  7. I'm doing a book study at work on The Power of the Adolescent Brain and love this section from the peers critiquing work being more effective due to adolescents' physiological drive to bond with their age group that included a quote a teacher had for teaching kids about giving feedback in order to foster a better peer review system. From educator Ron Berger's philosophy: "In order to create beautiful work, we must be willing to refine. To refine, we require critique and feedback. In order to critique, we need models and standards. For feedback to be useful to us, it must be: kind, helpful, and specific." 


    Yes, yes, and more yes!! 

  8. @comicfan sorry it took me a few days to get back to you! Your idiom is: When pigs fly. It's also in the first post in this topic.
  9. Overworking a Story

    There's minimalist... and there's not showing the true vision in your head because you already see it. I try to make sure you're more of the former and less of the latter, @Myr. And fix this, this, this, that, those, these, and all this too. I will admit to loving to revise based on others' edits of my work, but I hate revising on my own because I will take FOREVER and tweak every line. Then I still have to find the typos and errors. It's much easier to trade beta/editing with fellow author/editors and move forward in a more timely fashion because they identify the true issues and edits needed and less of the perfectionist tweaks.
  10. Just remember everyone... It's all for fun and to stretch your writing brain, so if you come up with a little 4 paragraph scene, or a 4k short story, or nothing at all... that's okay!
  11. Chapter 26

    Sardella cocked her head sideways. “Ahh. You are part of this crew?” I dithered, not quite sure how to answer that. Captain kept saying I was part of the group of rescues, but I was working on the ship, unlike the rest of them. “Sort of.” She didn’t move and kept staring at me, so I kept talking. “I was on the station where the crew found everyone. But I can be helpful to the crew, so Captain lets me help out.” “You were there?” Her voice dropped even deeper on the last word, and her hands fluttered along her sides which curved outward from her armpits down to her hips—or where her hips would be if she were human. I couldn’t quite tell, since she was wearing a swath of cloth that was wrapped around her body under her armpits and then tied around her neck. “For years.” “Oh.” She blinked slowly. “I was not there long. But….” “Any time was too long,” I finished for her. “Yes.” The glow in her eyes intensified. “You are well, after being in their hands?” Saying yes would be a lie. Nodding would be a silent lie. I shrugged. “As well as I can be. I talk to Lakshou. He helps me meditate and focus on the good. I can’t forget what I went through, but I can learn to deal with it, he says.” Here was an in for me to talk to her about that guy who came to my door once. “There was a crew member who wanted to help introduce me to everyone right after we were freed, but I wasn’t ready. I think he does stuff with you all. Ss’m… something. Do you know him?” “Ss’merit. Yes, he has been assisting the group with acclimating to the ship.” “I didn’t see him down on the surface.” “No. I believe he stayed on the ship with those of us who could not go down to the surface.” Not everyone went down to the planet? That was news to me. I thought everyone had gone down. I had the feeling that Captain and the rest thought they had all gone down on the shuttles as well. “Oh. The planet was beautiful, but those things that attacked that being who died were scary.” “As I couldn’t risk exposing my get to anything, I did not visit the planet, so I did not see it.” Sardella blinked, throwing sudden shadows in the corner of the room where we were talking when her eyes were shuttered by her thick lids. She licked her thin lips with a speckled tongue as she rubbed her hands along her sides. Her get? “You know, your name feels familiar. I think Ss’merit was asking about you. He was concerned that you were being kept away from the rest of us.” A chill swept over me. He’d been talking about me? Did he know… things? Like about what the Brox doctors had done to me and put in my brain? How I was different? The tests? The missions? Did he tell the others? “What did he say?” I asked in a rush. Sardella opened her eyes, looking into mine. “He asked if any of us remembered you from before. If we had seen you on the station when we were all being held captive or since then on this ship.” I swallowed hard. “And?” “Well, I had not. And I did not hear anyone else speak of you.” “Do you guys talk together a lot? Like… about the stuff that happened to you?” “If we wish. We have times set aside to meet here to speak to others. Ss’merit says it is best to speak with those who have gone through what you have been through because only they have true empathy and understanding.” It seemed strange. The doctors had always treated me as if I wasn’t a being at all, just a thing for them to poke, prod, test, and torment for their results. Reliving it, processing the emotions I’d felt then and still continued to feel when the dreams and flashbacks hit me, was intense. I couldn’t imagine sharing it with a large group of people, all their eyes on me, staring and judging and then maybe even talking about what I’d said later. I shuddered. “You are suffering from the temperature in here?” she asked. “What? No.” But I was there to fix it. “But I should probably change the sensor so that no one else is. It was nice to finally speak with you.” She inclined her head again. “And with you.” She turned and gliding away. I expected that large head to overbalance her or make her wobbly, but she moved smoothly and gracefully through the sparse crowd of beings. Would she go tell Ss’merit that she’d talked to me? What about the others I’d exchanged casual comments with? Were they reporting to him like I was reporting to Captain? More stress added on to what I was already feeling. I’d worried about what to say but it was even worse thinking that others were watching me that closely. My skin crawled, and I shuddered again. I activated the lifts attached to the work foot coverings and shot toward the ceiling. Changing the sensor didn’t take me very long. I told Priella I needed to take the rest of the shift off, and she patted my arm and let me go. If another crew member tried that, she’d demand to know and make them work if they didn’t have a good excuse, but she still treated me gently. I was grateful in that moment as I escaped into the silence of my small quarters. I could relax there with no one watching me or trying to overhear my conversations. Even though I’d looked straight at Sardella during our conversation, I’d seen that Trepharo linger nearby. And I’d seen him before.
  12. More players, yay! I gave you a prompt, even though you didn't tag me, @JayT (tsk!) Hope you had a great birthday, @Drew Espinosa and keep having more fun with your prompt! And there's one for you too, @Caz Pedroso Just check the first post to find your idiom!
  13. *rubs hands together* More victims! @Mikiesboy @Renee Stevens check out the top post in the topic, you have your idioms!!
  14. No, it really is weird! So, like Dolores said she's sick at home on the couch and could use the time to think of a story... and the thing totally gave her food for thought as the idiom. Maybe it's a haunted website randomizer? Or the internet has gone all AI and is tracking everything we see/say/do online?
  15. Why do need billing info to become an author?

    These sorts of questions are best addressed in separate help requests so that it's clear you're asking separate questions so they aren't missed and you don't receive answers, or sent to me via PM since I am the staff member who oversees the Stories area, or by you reading the FAQ topics for authors which has the answers already lined out. You also asked this question yesterday in a comment on a blog about a completely different subject, and it was answered with a link to the faq as well. The Stories system faq has a list of topics which is topped by #1: How do I post a story? and #2: How do I add a chapter to an existing story? which has all the information authors need. However, as you have not posted your first story per the site's posting guidelines and need to make changes to it before you add any chapters, I have put your story into the moderation queue and will be sending you a PM with a list of fixes you need to make and how to do them so you can hopefully get on track and learn how to post stories as an author on GA.

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