Friday, April 22, 2016

Beta Bio

Author has written 14 stories for Twilight, Halo, As I Lay Dying, and Alex + Ada.
Husband. Father of two daughters

Gamester. Go-player. Algorist


I write.
I do not write things that make me sad.
No. I am sad, and from that sadness, I write. I write to cope, and I write to hope.

Neither of which I do very well at all.

Yes. I have no reason to be sad, and no excuses, either. But I am. This is how I am. This is what I am. This is what I write.
I am an unreasonable man, and the world ... well, the world doesn't like unreasonable men, and it doesn't change just because a wish is begging it to.

So I write.


"An able reader often discovers in other people's writings perfections beyond those that the author put in or perceived, and lends them richer meanings and aspects." — Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)

(by way of Pandora.Writing)


A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. — Thomas Mann

(by way of @HarryShannon via @itscomplicated)

The only end of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it — Samuel Johnson


I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are. – NORA EPHRON

My stories

  • My Sister Rosalie, Book II: Lover 
  • Chapter summary: 'Du' in German means 'you.' It just means 'you' ... unless you say it like somebody from the Old Country, when they are saying it to somebody they love, then it gets really embarrassing for everybody else, and you have to look away. But Rosalie didn't say it that way, did she. Twilight - Rated: M - English - Romance/Family - Chapters: 9 - Words: 31,838 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 24 - Follows: 32 - Updated: Mar 5 - Published: Dec 26, 2015 - [Bella, Rosalie]
  • My Sister Rosalie, Book I: Captor 
  • Chapter 92: You know what's hard? Being with Rosalie. Fighting with her, all the time. You know what's worse? Being without Rosalie. That's really hard. I just didn't know hard it was... until now. And now I know, don't I. So, what am I going to do about this? More importantly, what are WE going to do about this? The end. Twilight - Rated: M - English - Drama/Family - Chapters: 92 - Words: 422,385 - Reviews: 747 - Favs: 217 - Follows: 212 - Updated: Oct 21, 2015 - Published: Dec 27, 2008 - [Bella, Rosalie] - Complete
  • Sentience
  • Supper. Food. Very simple concepts for humans: they eat, they work, they sleep. But for my new owner, Alex(ander Wahl), nothing is simple. So how do I serve and service him? That's my meaning. I'm Ada, a Tanaka X5 android, his birthday present. Author's note: No android models were harmed during the writing of this fluffy fanfic. Alex + Ada - Rated: T - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 1 - Words: 19,086 - Reviews: 1 - Published: May 17, 2014 - [Alex, Ada]
  • An Interview with Dr Catherine Halsey 
  • Lamentation: What greater love that this? That we lay down our lives for our friends? Or, ... that we go on, when they die. What am I going to do, when she's gone? I'm not up for this. Motherhood. It's what I always craved, wasn't it? So why am I terrified at the prospect of its eventuality? Crossover - Halo & Twilight - Rated: M - English - Mystery/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 4 - Words: 22,936 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Updated: Jul 19, 2013 - Published: Jul 4, 2013 - Complete
  • Hanuman Chalisa
  • Maya. Rosalie told me that it's Illusion. Dream. Sadness. But sometimes a dream can be, yes, sad, but I wouldn't trade this dream, this sadness, for anything in the world. For she was in it. No, she was it: my dream, my all. And that was enough. One shot. Twilight - Rated: T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Spiritual - Chapters: 1 - Words: 2,866 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 2 - Published: Mar 26, 2013 - Bella, Rosalie - Complete
  • Pro Patria Mori
  • A young man goes off to war for King and Country As I Lay Dying - Rated: T - English - Drama/Tragedy - Chapters: 1 - Words: 4,560 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Published: Feb 15, 2013 - Complete
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Tra-la-la, fa-la-la, here I am, little red riding hood, skipping through the snowy forest to the little cabin in the woods to deliver a basket of brownies to Grandma. Except Grandma died almost a year ago. I wonder who lives there now? Dark. Twilight - Rated: M - English - Drama/Horror - Chapters: 1 - Words: 8,543 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 7 - Published: Jan 20, 2013 - Victoria, Rosalie
  • Soiled Doves
  • When Rosalie takes interest in you to be her 'baby's plaything ...? Run. Run for your life. Dark. Chapter summary: 爸爸, 妈妈 this is America now! The 八仙 stayed back in 中国. Besides, what would the Immortal Lady Lotus Eater 何仙姑 want from a soiled dove like me? Twilight - Rated: M - English - Drama/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 1 - Words: 4,867 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: Jan 13, 2013 - Rosalie, Victoria
  • Remember Harvest
  • We remember Thermopylae; we remember the Alamo, and now: we remember Reach. But before Reach was Arcadia, and before Arcadia was Harvest, and that's where I first encountered the Covenant and ... 'my' Spartan. Halo - Rated: M - English - Sci-Fi/Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 4,313 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 3 - Published: Dec 7, 2010 - E. Anders, C. Halsey
  • Her Transformation 
  • Chapter 2 — Night: Something is very wrong. My transformation hadn't gone this badly. Is she fighting it so hard that she's killing herself before the venom changes her? Twilight - Rated: M - English - Tragedy/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 2 - Words: 7,345 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 9 - Updated: Mar 14, 2010 - Published: Mar 13, 2010 - Esme, Rosalie
  • Reminiscence
  • Reminiscence: n. a story told about a past event remembered by the narrator. Follows “My Sister Rosalie,” ch 22 “Compulsion.” Twilight - Rated: T - English - Tragedy/Horror - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,394 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 3 - Published: Jan 15, 2010 - Rosalie, Bella - Complete
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird 
  • Verse VI: I'm an easy going, adventurous bloke in the midst of a den of gorgeous, Slovakian female predators. Succubae. A bloody dream come true, right? Yeah…well…not so much. Twilight - Rated: T - English - Family/Drama - Chapters: 7 - Words: 18,882 - Reviews: 33 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 6 - Updated: Dec 18, 2009 - Published: Jun 5, 2009 - Garrett, Kate
  • Rose by a Lemon Tree 
  • I have a task to do. It is as simple as that. Bella Swan must die, and I will be the one to kill her. — Rosalie Lillian Hale. Companion piece to "My Sister Rosalie" Twilight - Rated: M - English - Tragedy/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 18 - Words: 65,310 - Reviews: 101 - Favs: 51 - Follows: 17 - Updated: Jul 25, 2009 - Published: Feb 3, 2009 - Rosalie, Bella - Complete
  • Bella's One Fear
  • It's not blood-thirsty vampires, nor rampaging werewolves, nor school gossip, nor even needles. But there is one thing that utterly terrifies Bella Swan, and she doesn't know how to handle this fear. Epigrammatic/Eclipse. Bella and Angela.

Beta Bio: general description as a beta reader
I am a hard man to work with. Demanding. Sullen. Persnickety. Perfectionist. Protectionist. Luddite. Grammar Nazi. Sort of like a male version of Rosalie Lillian Hale. Yes, I may feel complimented when you start calling me a 'biotch.'

I more than occasionally overstep bounds and put my foot in my mouth, but I am very grateful to receive a "STFU, geophf" or a "this is my tolerance line." When I do receive your warning, I back off very quickly. When I'm wrong, I apologize. I can work with people who can work with me and, much more importantly, work on improving themselves.

I want you to fight me. I want you to win. I severely doubt that you can, but I want you to try. And when you do win, and when I do lose, you've made my day. I'm the happiest man in the world when I lose a fight. Why? Because that means that there's something in your story worth fighting for, and that you've managed to convince me of its intrinsic worth.

Oh, and if you can't bother to use spell check, don't bother to talk to me, either, because I'm far more interested in story arc than I am at correcting word choice, spelling and usage. I am a person, not a human resource: use me, but don't you dare abuse me.

My Strengths: beta, writing, or reading strengths
Grammar. Full stop. Do you know the difference between the objective and nominative cases? You d-mn well better. Do you know when to use the subjunctive case? You will when I'm finished with your first chapter.

Punctuation. Full stop. You are missing commas. You are seriously missing commas, aren't you? After a couple of chapters, you'll get the hint ... or you can get lost.

My Weaknesses: beta, writing, or reading weaknesses
Impatience. Intolerance. Indiscretion.
If your story sucks, I will really, really try to break it to you gently.

I'm not very good at that.

If you want honesty, I'll give it to you in spades.

If you want someone to cry into your hefe weizen with, well, then, I'm good for that, too, but you had have better have shown me that you've earned the right to sit next to me and cry in yours as I cry in mine.

Preferred: types of stories I prefer over others
Preferences? You bet.

You had better have a story, not a "Oh, this is Bella IMing Edward drabble."

If it's cutesy, it had better have a really good raison d'être for being cutesy.

Is life random? Maybe. Are random fan-fiction pieces good? ... maybe not. Show me you and your story have a clue.

Show me your story is populated with people who think and feel and talk and breathe and need to go to the bathroom and bleed and cry and live and die.

Show me your story is set somewhere. In a house? What kind of house? In a town? Which town? When? What is the population? Ethnicities? Are they Indians? Which tribes? I'm Choctaw. Did you research the town? The state or province or country? Alaska IS NOT covered in snow (maybe Attu, Alaska, with it's national forest of 14 pine shrubs has a BIT more snow). I have lived there. Seattle is sunny ... often!

What is the reason for your story? Why are you telling it? What happens in the story, and why? And how does that happening develop the character or advance the plot? You have heard of plot, right? Show me your plot diagram. What is the climax? What is the dénouement? What are the visceral mise-en-scene in this chapter? Why?

Would Rather Not: I do not beta for these stories
Do you know what I hate?
Glad you asked.

I hate deus ex machinia. I see that, and you are in major trouble, particularly, multiple POVs in one chapter. I see that, and I say bye-bye. Sure this is fan-fiction, but just because (nearly) everybody else writes crap does not give you a license to present yours for my review.

You trade in archetype, and I'll show you the exit. You give me a hyperactive shopaholic named Alice who tells the story's conclusion whenever she is magically needed, then I'm giving your chapter a thumbs down.

Oh, Edward reads everybody's mind? Deus ex machina if not handled properly. Most fan-fiction DOESN'T handle it properly. Yours had better.

Jasper diffuses a tense situation? Then why have that standoff in the first place if Jasper was going to render it moot?

Sure, you are handling very, very powerful characters, so you had better handle them with respect.

You disrespect your characters, you disrespect your story. You disrespect your story, then I'll have to ask you to go elsewhere.

Beta Preferences
Language: English
Content Rating: Fiction K » M
Categories: categories in black are ones this beta has authored for
Book  Twilight
Genres: General, Romance, Humor, Drama, Angst, Tragedy, Western, Crime, Family

Sunday, March 6, 2016

FORE! Golfer-geophf on Motivation for Writing

4. What was your motivation to write your book?

My ... 'motivation'? Well, my motivation was to put the Galaxy under my Imperial Rule, and to that end I build a battle station that could obliterate an entire planet with one massively-powered laser beam, but ...

Well, these things never work out in practice, and some rebellious, misguided upstarts exploited the (inevitable) weakness using some stolen plans, so, plan B: writing.

geophf: not just another pretty-'Everybody wants to rule the world'-boy,
but the fo'-realz deal, yo!

K. That's one way of looking at my motivation. Another way ... 

You're a writer, so you know: it's impossible not to write.

But then I started getting reviews. I planned to write MSR, and that was it, no problem. Chapter 24 was written for a girl whose daughter's second birthday was the next day, and could I please write something thematically as a gift? Then I got reviews, three marriage proposals. These girls were so disappointed that I turned out to be a man. So weird: a guy writing about two girls talking and fighting and talking and fighting and then talking some more. Whoda thunk?

And then I got a review, then another, then another, that said MSR saved their lives.

And I got review after review after review saying they screamed when they saw I published a chapter, or: how could I so completely describe the depth of their despair, and that they weren't alone anymore, or: was this what love was? Yes, in all its struggle and dirtiness and sadness and relief and joy, or: how could Bella and Rosalie be so stupid? Can't they see love, right in front of them, or: "I could fall in love with your Rosalie, ... in fact, I kinda did."

What is my motivation for writing?

My writing touches people's hearts. What else do I need?

"The only end of writing is to enable the readers to better enjoy life, or better to endure it"
– Samuel Johnson

Friday, March 4, 2016

Questions II + III: Book/s, when and how long

2. When did you write your first book?

MSR I started 2008 after I wrote the short story: "Bella's One Fear" Bella's One Fear surprised me because I thought I never would be a writer, always a reader (insert bride's maid joke here).

It started then. I wrote chapter after chapter, up to chapter 55 or so, and then I left it for three years, you know, because it was too much for me to bear, writing this sad, sweet story.

I haunted me every day. So I went back to writing. Writing hurts less than not writing.

So, yeah. I finished this (first) journey Oct 2015. YAY! Confetti!

3. How long did it take to write your first book?

Two days, right? ;)

Meditation for these questions 2 + 3 ... hm. Fives are everywhere.

First Question: Who are you?

1. Tell me about yourself and the book / books you have written?
Me: shy, ... and quiet. And see my twitter bio. It was written by my evil twin brother, Skippy.

Book ... I am that three-volume novelist Oscar Wilde loves to ridicule, my first book of this trilogy/tragedy is My Sister Rosalie, Book I: Captor (MSR), 427k words, 92 chapters. I am currently writing Book II, which I've just published chapter 9 and now weighs in at just under 32k words.

The novella, Rose by a Lemon Tree, is 65k words. I've also written short stories of one-two chapters. The corpus of my works of fiction are all published on my landing page, so you can see my completed and uncompleted works there.

Day-job-wise, I am a mathematician masquerading as a data scientist, so I publish a daily puzzle here, have written articles for mathematical journals, given lectures at symposia, and done several case studies on big data, particularly against the (stock) markets, as I've been in the financial industries: taking a break from satellite mission planning. My most popular lecture to date is on graph theory, entitled Graphing with Goats. Meh!

Oh, and I like to cook, but I have to fight for kitchen time with my daughters now, so I occasionally surprise the family with roast chicken or gnocchi or lamb simmered in burgundy sauce. Ya know.

Meditation for this question: The sky is blue, isn't it.

Twenty Questions: Preamble

Being interviewed. Been given a list of 20ish questions, but, hey, who has all the power?

The person who asks the questions?

Nope, that's what they think.

The person who has the power is the person to whom you've empowered.

I am one self-empowered badazz. So, here we go

Readers and Writers

A reader PM'd me: "I've been a fan of your stories for a several years now. My Sister Rosalie is one of my most favorite fanfictions ever"
Readers: write to the writer you love. Tell them what you like about their stories and why. You will make somebody's day ... forever.
Writers: when you don't write, you break your readers' hearts. #writerslife
Writers: when you do write, then, goodness, the scary moment when you publish, you make your readers fist-pump.
Writers: write

What Being a Writer Is

A review just left for me: "i wished you would update these chapters sooner..." #reviews #amwriting
I admit it. I got angry at first. It's not like my life is to serve you chapters on demand, the whole season, like $NFLX. I have a job.
But then I thought of them. Here is a person who is hanging onto my story so hard, that when I don't write (fast enough), they hurt, waiting
This person's well-being isn't my job. Or is it? I don't know. I do know my writing means so much to so many now, I have a responsibility.
Look at Queen @ssumflower leading the kingdom of Artemyra, so brave and true! @daekis
MSR, Book I: 143,733 page views, 747 reviews
MSR, Book II (WIP): 2,979 page views, 27 reviews

I am grateful to have touched so many lives.
I'll write some tonight. Maybe, for that one special person who needs it, I'll publish a chapter tonight. IDK. Writing is hard. #writerslife