[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

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The player scrapbooks forum is literally a place for writers to warm-up, brainstorm, keep little scraps of notes, or just post things to encourage themselves and each other. Each player can feel free to create their own thread - one per account - and use them accordingly.

Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on February 28th, 2010, 7:00 am

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The Frog & The Princess


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So, this is friday's story. I was talking to my buddy at work Darryl and as we walked into the office, he pointed at a stone pole near the doorway in the middle of this cement parking lot that was large enough to park several hundred or close to a thousand trailers. There was a pacific tree frog clinging to the yellow paint on the pole. I'd like to think he looked terrified, but the truth was he looked froggish. I stopped to look at him a little bit, and then had to go into the office to grab some paperwork. It was a busy night and I was tired, but I told myself I'd go walk him to one of the ponds on the way out even though I was in a hurry.

Truthfully I forgot.

I felt guilty about it all the way to where I was going and all the way back. I was gone about eleven hours and when I returned I dropped paperwork off at the office and he was gone. On the way out, I stopped to look around again, and low and behold there he was, clinging to a bit of moss where the building met the ground. I bent down and picked him up. I then walked with him to the parking lot and realized the ponds were really really far away. So I decided to take him to the car.. I could pull over near the front pond out by the road and let him go. Well once in the car he started squirming in my hand and I let him go. He hopped over to the window and sat on the door where the glass met the plastic and kept moving his little head watching things go by. I didn't stop at the pond, but kept going, heading home. He rode all the way home with me to my nice flower garden with its chinese maples and nice moist froggy friendly areas. He even chirped a few times on the way home. It took ten minutes to drive, then I was in the driveway. I carried him over to the biggest tree, stuck him on one of its branches several feet above the ground, and left him there. He snuggled down and looked really happy.

This morning I heard him croaking happily. Other frogs across the field were answering, and he obviously was quite a bit more happy where he was then where he'd came from. So, new pet? Maybe.. .maybe not. But I'm glad hes not on cement anymore but where there's plenty of bugs, worms, and the like to amuse himself with. The picture above isn't one of him. I tried to snap a shot of him with my cellphone and it didn't turn out due to darkness... but if I run across him in the morning, I'll be sure to post one up then. The photo above though is of a pnw tree frog. :)

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Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Malia on February 28th, 2010, 3:05 pm

I'm not sure whether I should count me as a person involved in one (or even both) of those incidents, but even if I wasn't I'm just going to pretend I was.

In my opinion your attitude is a very healthy one. Honestly, people like you are very important because they don't hesitate to speak about the mistakes of others for the better experience of all. Sometimes this can be very painful for those who made the mistake, but I think in the end everyone is grateful that someone was honest about it.

I should say thank you. And I'm doing it in a voice that sounds grateful and ... maybe a bit ironical. ;)
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Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on February 28th, 2010, 6:04 pm

*hugs* You were involved! But only in the second incident and you played the role of the big bad wolf that no one wanted to go talk too even though last time I checked you hadn't eaten any grandmothers and were a perfectly reasonable person. I think in this case the problem was they liked you so much they didn't want to quibble over 1 or 2 XP points they thought they had coming. Like I said in post, all parties manned up and I'm pretty proud of you all now. If the XP gets changed, it gets changed, if it stays the same I'm sure you have a good reason for the way you awarded it. You aren't the bad guy, Vanessa. And truthfully neither are the ones that grumbled. It's odd to have a pet peeve that involves how someone goes about doing something rather than what they do. I have no problems with someone contesting XP Awards. Seriously I don't. And I hope that if anything comes out of this situation, its simply that if you don't like what you got, talk to the person that awarded the XP... they might be willing to change it or might be willing to give you what you think you earned if you just add a line or two.... or justify why they didn't. But the important part is - and I think everyone understands this - talk to the person that awarded the XP (or caused whatever it is that upset you) FIRST... not everyone else.
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Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Sorian on February 28th, 2010, 7:16 pm

*hugs*

Just dropping by to let everybody know that I am the one who needed to man up. And I'd like to think I have, and I would like to say that I will never ever allow somebody else to take the blame for my actions. I did not mean to do it, it wasn't malicious or intentional. Like Jen told me, it was batshittery, a lapse of common sense. I don't mean to sound self-serving, but its true. I love Mish, I would never do this deliberately.

Jen, you know that I have but the utmost respect for you, and I am honestly happy that you bashed my head in for what I've done. It was stupid and inconsiderate of me to have done it, and like the good friend you are, you made sure that I got the message straight and true. I told you that you can expect a better Dave from now on, and you should. I know how to accept my faults and make myself better through them. Manning up will no longer be a problem for me, and while I am confident that you already know me as an AS and a Mizahar player, I will be sure to improve me, Dave, for everybody's benefit.

Mishy, you are a truly sweet friend, and I so regret what I have done to you. I swear to God I did not mean to take advantage of your kindness, but the fact to the matter is, I have. I was selfish in my pursuit, and I let you share my issues, my burden with me. Still you selflessly acted upon my request. I don't know if I am going to apologize again and again or just conclude this by thanking you, so I will do it both ways. Mish, thank you for caring for me, for listening to my whims, no matter how blatantly idiotic they are, and forgive me for putting you in a bad position. You will not be disappointed in my pledge to continue to be here for you, not only as a friend, but from now on as a true protector and confidant.

Van, it was wrong of me to do this, and I'm telling this to the rest of Mizahar because I want them to know that I was wrong to be scared of you. You have always been a very nice person and a wonderful player, and I let my misguided notions take me away from those facts. I was scared because I didn't know you too well. But this I promise you, when we play that thread of ours, I will do the best that I can to be a good thread mate for you, and prove that you are worthy of adulation. You deserved more from me, and I will do everything I can to make sure that you receive all of that.

Sammy, you know that I'd do anything for you. You really are my driving force to excel, and nothing will deter me from doing everything I can for you. Yet while I sneaked into this mess thinking that I was all so willing to take the heat to make you happy, I unwittingly--and stupidly--had MIsh take it for me. I know you have nothing in your hands about this, you are blameless, and I am all too happy to take what I deserve. I will always be happy to serve you, no matter if its my head on the plate. Still, from now on I will try to serve you not only in the best way I can, but in the ways that I know are right. My devotion to you remains unswerving, and I will always remain by your side, no matter what happens.

Mizahar, this is me, as Dave. You all know me as Sorian and Jedo, now meet the real me. Here I am, humble and contrite, manning up to my mistake, and pledging to be a better person for everyone's benefit. I want everyone to know that I am not all about childish jokes and playing around. I know how to be serious when my number is called, and this has been a real wake up call for me. I introduce you all to me, and while I hope you receive me with open arms I will happily take whatever stones are thrown my way, just to prove that I am indeed sorry and sincere.

Yes, it was my bad.
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Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on February 28th, 2010, 7:37 pm

Dave-

You're way too hard on yourself - asking someone to do something for you is not a capital offense in any way shape or form. It just happens sometimes. I hope Samantha knows what a great friend you are. I kinda think she does because she never speaks anything but highly of you. And with a speech like that, any time you want to run for office you've got my vote. There's nothing wrong with the Dave that you are. I kinda like him and am totally proud to call him a friend. Always have been since our first thread together! I just hope when I do dumb stuff (wait - I have!) that you will be just as good of a friend and call me out on it too when its necessary (no, not if when.. cause we both know it will happen). That's what is going to make Mizahar the wonderful place it can be... we will have succeeded when we all have the ability to speak open and honestly to each other without fear of offending/hurting/belittling etc the other.

You know, that is truthfully what makes the Founder team so special at times. We aren't afraid to talk openly to each other when its necessary. I kinda have a feeling society as a whole would be a whole lot better if everyone had the type of respect to be politely frank to one another and held each and every person accountable for their own actions.

But I digress. Dave, your a gem. Don't forget it.
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And I call it home. And there's no more lies. And the darkness is light. And nobody cries. There's only butterflies."


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Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Malia on February 28th, 2010, 7:49 pm

This was amazing, and - as awkward as it might sound - a beautiful read. There's nothing more beautiful than someone who is brave enough to be honest to himself. You have apologized and I have accepted - it's as simple as that. I echo Jen's opinion about you being too hard to yourself, but now you have learned how to do it right and that's everything that counts.

I'm also looking forward to our thread - not as some kind of payment or something, but because I like your writing and you like my writing and we would have a lot of fun together. We should have done this earlier. Yes, we should have talked earlier and more! ;)

But it's cool that because of this happening we know each other better now.

Jen - Sorry for abusing your scrapbook for this! ^^°
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Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Ashivirsthargon on February 28th, 2010, 8:10 pm

On the point of perfect characters -

I swear, one of these days, I'm going to see someone list "heat vision" as part of their character.

"Johnny is extremely strong and quick, qualities that are rivaled only by his intelligence and charm. He is a cold-blooded killer, yet women find him irresistible. He also has heat vision and is immune to all non-jello based forms of damage."

Maybe it comes down to the fact that people sort of have to get to a level of "narrative maturity" where they see the value in their characters "losing" from time to time - whether it's an external or internal conflict. It takes getting over a "saved game" mentality where your character's journey through life isn't an uninterrupted stream of correct choices and victories. You have to be able to appreciate how your weaknesses can make for a powerful story moreso than a character without any. I think it can take some people a while to get there.

On the point of trying to work out your problem with the person, first -

This is great. Whether here, in the workplace, or in a romantic relationship - it pays to be able to limit the circle of involvement when you have a problem with someone, and only get others involved if the two of you can't work it out.

If I want people to deal with me that way, though, I also have to remember to be a person that people feel like they -can- deal with. If I bristle or blow up every time someone says they have a problem with me, why would anyone try to work things out with me, first?

I like what you said about your own response, because it can be easy to expect other people to "man up" without keeping in mind that we have to be the kind of people it's worth "manning up" to.
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Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on March 7th, 2010, 6:45 pm

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10,000 Posts


I have always been very opinionated. Even as a child I was sure and certain, but normally only after a lot of contemplation and reflection on whatever the topic was. It got me in trouble a lot because in certain places it never pays to make older people look like fools by pointing out something that should be obvious. But in later years, it made me feel slightly brilliant in the science field. I'm just an average person though, but every time I feel brilliant, it helps me feel like there's a reason I'm here. I can tell you stories about being a biologist that still bring a big smile to my face, and truthfully some of the things I started doing in the field are still in use today. And even though I miss being a biologist, I wouldn't go back to being one for the world. Why? There were too many battles to fight, too much nonsense in government that equated to stupidity on the ground, and too much song and dance to make sure that people always came before the environment and its denizens. I got really tired of the self important nature of folks - and of the lies I found time and time again in the people that were supposed to be liberal and pro-environment. The truth I found walking the world as a scientist has never left me, and to this day it has made me a conservative through and through. I witnessed first hand state officials in the name of 'law' raping and pillaging the landscape while private industry who used it for a profit showed excellent stewardship on par with a parent lovingly raising a child.

It changed me... my time in the field. It changed me in ways that stomped out the idealist in me and transformed me into a realist who has made her artform of being outspoken first and foremost. I care very little for people that have an opinion but never share it and most importantly the why behind it. I also care very little for the people that refuse to listen when someone else is making a point because its equated to wasted years in my past. I tend not to give them the time of day, especially after trying to tell them something different.

How does this relate to Mizahar? Easily enough. I got started in PbP's in 2006 when I stumbled upon a game that while full of fabulous people was ran very poorly. The owner thought highly of himself and his business savvy, though in truth he was failing on so many fronts it wasn't even funny. Most importantly, he was lying and not catching his lies in time to save face. I didn't realize this until I started helping to run the site. Prior to that, the only thing I really noticed was that frankly it was ugly. Totally ugly. Mental and visual puke come to mind. And truthfully no amount of formatting can dress up a forum if the people there don't have any skill or the code to do it. They didn't even allow pictures in threads, for gods sakes, which was something of a crime. Their magic system was a mess... it looked like someone ripped off D&D, Cyberpunk, and Call of Cthulu and locked them into a room together until they were forced to breed and spit out some hybridization that simply DID NOT WORK. Their 'compendium' was made up of directly ripped off unicorns, and flying kitty cats, and creatures that were frankly cut and pasted directly from AD&D's monster manuals 1 - 40,000. It was sad because so many people had tried to 'fix' it to make it better, but in the end it wasn't really salvageable - especially as is - because things built of stolen material never truly are worth the weight of what they are built on. Putting band-aids on things never really fixes what is broken. But that was a lesson they haven't ever learned. I did implement a whole lot of things while I was there. I got the people in charge to allow images in posts, then created a city that was unrivaled in its aesthetics in which everyone tried to emulate thereafter. Some people were even successful... but I still have the satisfaction of knowing they were there YEARS before me and never thought outside of the box until I showed up. They were just posting machines, doing the same old thing, the same old way... to this day I'm not sure why I stayed. I think I saw all this potential unfulfilled. And I'm glad I did. I met an incredible group of friends there. But when I started sitting on their equivalent of a board of directors, it became laughable.

The owner of the site finally pushed too many of my buttons. The best thing the site owner ever said to me - the thing that enraged me - was that they called the people that played the site without paying - FREELOADERS. That was, at the time, about 80% of the playerbase (its way more now). Those freeloaders were my buddies, my friends, and people I really admired because they could write. It goes back to the age old adage of 'Don't bite the hands that feeds you.' The owner bit and I had no problems deciding there and then if we could do it another way - a better way - we should. I was best friends with Liminal and when he decided to pull away from that site due to the management, I felt like I had no choice. Liminal, for all his silly ways, was something of an ethical compass for me. He still is. And when hes had enough, you know its getting bad. The man has sadness in him, but often times his joy outshines that sadness to such a bright extent that its hard not to be blinded by it. I often feel unworthy of his friendship truth be told, though hes always kind to me and never makes me feel so. We have a sibling beauty and the beast type relationship, only hes the lovely pure beauty and I'm of course the beast. He makes no apology for me, and this day and age doesn't even try to check my baser instincts - though if I ever got out of line he surely would be the one that would have no problem saying 'Jen, what in the world are you thinking?'. So, I have that site to thank for my friendship there.

I also met someone else there I truly admired. I have an acute sense of fairness and perfection and a bullshit meter that will go off the charts... but I finally met someone that makes me look like a newborn kitten when it comes to the art of striving for perfection. Its a beautiful burdonsome gift to be made of stuff that doesn't allow you to really ever be told you 'can't' do something. That someone is our beloved Tarot. Tarot has a bullshit meter that puts my little internal buzzer on par with those cute little thumb chimes they put on children's bikes while his tolls like the Liberty Bell used too. Someone tells him something thats bs and it takes him less than five minutes (normally five seconds) to either think about what they said and come up with five or ten reasons as to why thats not possible... or see through what they are saying to understand the whole truth. He notices details... so many little details it builds for him a bigger puzzle. I always thought that the writer must have modeled the main character in National Treasure after Tarot... and let me tell you its pretty incredible having a fact filled fact finding friend like he is. It brings respect for human intelligence to a whole new level. You might not know it talking to him, but once you get to know him its blatantly obvious. He has a gift... several in fact... for never giving up, learning new things, and being a pioneer in the pbp sector. That is how I see it. So, being so focused on details, it also made him one of the best writeup producers I've ever seen. His writeups are detailed, they make sense, and conduct a sense of wonder to the reader that inspires others to simply go out and write. They want to learn his skills. They want to produce his magic. It's like Tarot is a provider of wonderful paints and canvas'... all the players have to do is produce artwork with them. And they truthfully do.

But getting back to being disenchanted. I have this philosophy. Put up or shut up. If you can do something so wonderfully, then why the hell don't you go do it? Don't talk about it. Do it. I can't tell you how many times I say that. I even say that to new roleplayers - show don't tell. I really really wanted to show what I could do. I think Liminal was on board immediately too. But the problem was... I couldn't go build a site on my own. There's no way. Neither could Liminal. I have trouble turning on my computer sometimes, let alone configuring an entire set of forums, the support structure behind them, security, backups, and interfacing wiki software. My brain doesn't work that way so its not going to be something I can do. Tarot didn't exactly have the immediate skills either, because these boards aren't his main field. He had the subsequent skills though to produce the immediate skills. And the result was fantastic. I think Tarot found himself really enjoying the frustration, the challenge, and then the ease at which he produced this site. I know it took incredibly long hours, quite a few new skills having to be learned spot on, and making friends and reading some work of others to figure out just exactly how to run the game successfully and have search bots index us properly, search engines list us, and how to acquire new players. And if I were him, I'd be sitting back looking at these boards and going ... "Look at what I can do?" He was never appreciated elsewhere - because he was too much of a threat - people just simply liked him better because hes easier to deal with, honest, and shoots straight from the hip unlike a lot of other admins on other sites.

But... I find it funny too, almost daily, that he's never going to be 'done' with Mizahar. He's always finding a new or better way to promote us... to tweak our boards... to allow bots to scurry over us with glee. You have to love him for that. If I met a player that didn't love Tarot, I'd totally know it was someone not suitable for this site... the reason being the whole premise of Mizahar is to dare to be different. We're different. He made us so.

So do our players, especially the newer ones that know nothing about us, our history, or where we came from and why. Because, truth be told, we didn't want to bring many from the old site over here. They were simply too used to bickering, the politics, and putting up with a lot of BS we didn't want here. So we plodded away at Mizahar for a few months until I was really acutely aware that we weren't ever going to get open unless we recruited some help. Colombina and Cayenne soon joined us, and Gillar started taking us a lot more seriously. With the six of us working, things really came together a lot faster than I expected. I truthfully needed them too because I was missing roleplaying and wanted a canvas to paint so to speak.

Now, looking back, none of us had any idea of we were going to succeed. It took a little convincing and a whole lot of work on a number of avenues. I remember a late night discussion on the skills system - because I thought limiting skills was absolutely insanely stupid - most people agreed. I remember waiting for GP to produce magic and be incredibly impressed when he did. I remember Cayenne and I working on gods and goddesses and placing city names on the map. I have loved every minute of this journey. I really have. And I wouldn't trade it for the world. We have a magic system, a skills system, a gnosis system and a lores venue that really works. I enjoy it. Its player driven, player controlled, and moderator light.

And most importantly, it attracts new blood. We get folks from all over the place - writing sites - word of mouth - googlers - folks stalking top ten lists - and countless other ways.

And who would have thought that 10,000 posts later we have what I think is a fairly successful site that is blooming with new pcs and new ideas and providing a home for lost roleplayers that are longing still for the days of tabletop while living a life where time doesn't allow for such horrible wastes of time anymore. I can't imagine my life without Mizahar. And we have provided a framework and a safe sense of community where I truly see the players here as family and friends. We may not always see eye to eye, but I'm going to treat them with the respect and enthusiasm each and every one of them deserves. And above all - I'm going to keep being honest and saying what I think - because that is who I am. And who I am, just like who any of the founders are, is what makes Mizahar what it is. This is our world, and we open its doors and invite you to make it yours as well.

Thank you for the 10,000 posts. It's been an amazing ride. I can only imagine what we've done and seen when we reach 100,000. I don't know if you guys realize this, but the last major PBP that folded had just over 200,000 posts and that was after being open years and years and years. If we stay on schedule and keep growing the way we have, we're going to hit that far sooner (and under a year) than the last site that went down. That's phenomenally good news. So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to our contributors. Those are the people that write on this site, hang out in chat, create writeups, volunteer storyteller, and donate funds for site costs.

We appreciate it and are truly glad to call you friends and family.

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And I call it home. And there's no more lies. And the darkness is light. And nobody cries. There's only butterflies."


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Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on March 8th, 2010, 3:30 pm

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The Chocolate Story

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Well, most of you are familiar with the story I once told about driving down the road with Matt and the notorious incident wherein we almost had a car wreck due to my inaccurate aim in issuing an enthusiastic knee slap because I remembered something funny to tell him. Well, I have another funny story for you. All the silliest things happen to us in the car it seems... or at least the most noteworthy of them.

I love chocolate but I loathe milk chocolate. I want my chocolate dark and rich not kiddy creamy. If its a bit bitter, thats all the better. So sunday I had to go to Home Depot for a shovel and where I live the Home Depot is in the same complex as the Walmart. We live in a pretty oppressed rural community, so the first of the month at Walmart can be daunting even to the bravest souls. So anyhow, did my errand at the good old HD (drooled over some fruit trees I'm going back for) and cruised the Walmart parking lot. I cruised in, did one lap, found no parking but a ton of people loitering around, and glanced at Matt who was with me. I was like... "Okay, I'd rather skip this today but you need those vitamins... lets go to Walgreens across the street. I can even see parking from here and their generics are just as cheap as Walmarts. So we went, opting to get groceries at Safeway instead too since the produce was always so much better there.

We cruised into Walgreens, got the Vitamins, and was headed down an isle when something caught my attention. Dark Chocolate! Not only dark chocolate, but Extra Dark. 85% cocoa! Mmmmmmm. It was a rough weekend, having to work, going on no sleep, so I got myself a bar. It was expensive stuff too. And we got out of there, headed for the grocery store, and restocked. Then we had a bit of a drive home so I broke in to the chocolate. I'd been anticipating it for the length of Walgreens to Safeway and throughout Safeway.

I love chocolate... and bit down on the piece I broke off from the bar anticipating glorious flavor. Instead, it tasted like licking and then biting an old rotten piece of steak with the bitterness of coffee grounds that someone had left used, damp, and moldy in a coffee maker somewhere. Matt was watching me, eyebrow raised, and was making a hand gesture like... 'how is it...'

I said nothing. I was in shock. I had no idea someone like this prominent chocolate company could produce and market something as awful as this and expect it to sell. I looked at him (I was driving) and said 'It's quite possibly the worst thing I've ever tasted.' He looked shocked, puzzled, and went 'huh'. A few seconds later hes like 'Really? the worst thing? How can it be THAT BAD? It's chocolate.' So I gesture at the bar and he breaks off a piece. I don't know if he thought I was kidding him... we joke a lot around the house. But anyhow, he broke off a piece, popped it into his mouth, and got really quiet. We were on the freeway by then. Suddenly, he jerked, made this horrible noise, and glared at me with rage in his eyes. All he said, and this was spoken with true rage (I understood - it was seriously this bad) ... "I hate you." Then rolled down the window and spit the contents of his mouth of it. Then he spent the remainder of the car ride comparing all the things that would taste better in his mouth than that. The list included cat pee as a highlight. I was busy with traffic by then, but honestly it was all I could do to keep from laughing my rear off as I took our northern boonies exit and headed home.

The moral of the story is... never read the back of the package and allow some company to tell you how good something is. It could quite possibly be the biggest BS you've ever heard in your life. And the second moral is believe your spouse when they say they aren't kidding. :)

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"There's a place that I go that nobody knows where the rivers flow.
And I call it home. And there's no more lies. And the darkness is light. And nobody cries. There's only butterflies."


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Re: [Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Abashai on March 8th, 2010, 4:42 pm

Ha! wish I could have seen the look both of your faces!

O my gosh Jen...Dark chocolate is my favorite. No smooth creamy pansy stuff for me. I like high cacao percentage, but I don't think I have ever tried 85%...and now I don't believe I will have to !!!
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