Monday, May 04, 2015

Same old Sex?

Same old, same old...SEX?
----- Original Message -----
...I've reviewed three erotica anthologies in the past few months, published by well-known houses, full of tales by well-known authors... They all used the same sentence structures, the same imagery, the same tone, as a million other stories I'd read before.
--Bored with Erotica
The key phrase here is:
"They all used the same sentence structures, the same imagery, the same tone..."

That is definitely the sign of authors using only Erotic Literature and porn movies for inspiration. That can make for extremely DRY and Repetitive stories because both Erotic Lit and porn movies have the same Tone, use the same types of Characters, and happen in the same Settings.


The cold hard truth is: 
SEX is an extremely simple and repetitive action
and anything repetitive gets Boring.

So, if you wanna jazz up your Sex--


Change:
WHERE sex happens,
WHY sex happens, and
WHO wants to have it.



So, how do you do that? 

The easiest way is by--
Genre REMIX
Add Sex to another Genre at a 50/50 ratio.
50% genre-specific Story and 50% Sex.
  • Romantic Erotica: "I love you! Let's f*ck!"
  • Glam Erotica: "He was rich, she was famous, they f*cked."
  • Mystery Erotica: "Who f*cked them?"
  • Crime Erotica: "Oh my god! Someone's been f*cked!"
  • Suspense Erotica: "Oh no! I'm going to be f*cked!"
  • Humor / Satire Erotica: "You call that f*cking?"
  • Sci-Fi Erotica: "They f*cked where no one has f*cked before!"
  • Horror Erotica: "Oh my God! It's f*cking me!"
  • Fantasy Erotica: "They f*cked and it was Magic!"
  • Paranormal Erotica: "What the hell am I f*cking?"
  • Fetish Erotica: "Mmmm-mmm f*ck! Mmm-mmmm!" (Ball gag.)
  • Literary Erotica: "They came together in a glorious explosion of glittering climax. The roses painted on the battered wallpaper of their silent room watched them in the approaching twilight, a reminder of how fragile pleasure is..."

Another way to do this is through--

Pure REMIX.

1) Change WHERE Sex Happens:
Pick an exotic Location or Time period.
  • Deep Space, 
  • A Forgotten Temple, 
  • An Egyptian Pyramid, 
  • The Wild West, 
  • The Regency period, 
  • The Middle Ages, 
  • A Tattoo Parlor... 
  • Anyplace that ISN'T a bedroom. 



Don't be afraid to use a favorite movie for visual references, but make damned sure you change all the place names and don't use anything that's easily recognizable -- such as a 'light-saber'.



2) Change WHY Sex Happens:
Love and physical attraction are common reasons for sex, but they're not the only ones. Sex can be used:
  • To learn a secret
  • To stop a transformation or induce a transformation
  • Out of pity or gratitude
  • To comfort someone
  • To express anger
  • As a form of control
  • As a form of worship
  • In reaction to a life-threatening experience
  • To relieve boredom
  • To generate physical warmth when cold

In short, sex can happen for pretty much any reason at all. All you need is a half-way decent EXCUSE.



 

1) Change the WHO wants to have Sex:

Pick two favorite characters from two vastly different movies or TV shows and put them in bed together. Just make damned sure you change their names!








Not Original enough for you?

That's fine because the truth is; Nothing is Original.
Everything is a REMIX.


To quote my friend The Gray Mouser:
"Originality is merely the Arte of Concealing Your Sources."
Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

You Are what you READ


You ARE what you READ.
 by Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the Snowflake Guy.

Years ago I was talking to a fellow novelist whom I’d just met and I asked him what his Top Five favorite novels were. This is a question I ask writers a lot. I’m always looking for great books, and one place to find them is on the Top Five list of another writer.


He said, “I don’t read fiction.”

This guy’s answer just about knocked me over. I couldn’t believe it. I asked him if he meant he didn’t read much fiction.

No, he didn’t read any. He was a nonfiction kind of a guy.

He wrote fiction, but he didn’t read it.

That was years ago, and I haven’t seen anything from him recently.

To put it bluntly, I don’t see that as a recipe for success. If you’re a novelist, you need to be reading fiction. There’s a saying that you are what you read,” and I think this is partially true.

If you read great fiction, you’ll absorb some of it, and you’ll become a better writer. You’ll learn what’s possible to do in writing, and it can’t help but expand you as a writer. But I think it goes beyond that.

I recommend reading widely, even if it isn’t great fiction. Because the fact is that--

--you are MORE than what you read

What you read is fuel for your mind—it’s necessary, but it’s not sufficient.


Novelists need to read Fiction.

A lot of fiction. Not just the bestsellers. Obscure stuff. Good fiction. Great fiction. Horrible fiction (not too much of this—if you do manuscript reviews at a writing conference, you’ll see more than you need).

When you read other people’s fiction, you learn things that you couldn’t learn any other way. Because when it comes to the craft of writing--

--you don’t know what you Don’t Know. 

The only way to Learn
 what you don’t know is by 
Reading other people’s work.

For starters, you should read widely in your category. You need to know the rules of your genre—which ones are ironclad and which ones can be bent. But that’s not enough.

Read widely outside your Genre. 
Read outside your Demographic. 
Read outside your Worldview.

Read Romance fiction. 
Most novels have a romance thread in them, no matter what their category. If you can improve that thread, your story will improve.

Read Suspense fiction. 
Most novels have some element of fear in them. Learn how to do that better and your novel will be better.

Read Fantasy. 
Even if you, personally, would never want to read a vampire or werewolf story, it’s quite possible that one of your characters would. If you understand that character better, then you’ll do a better job writing that character.

Read Mysteries. 
Even if you hate mysteries. Most novels have an element of mystery to them—some secret that needs to be uncovered. If you know how to unwrap that secret, one layer at a time, then your story can only get better.

Read a Spy novel. 
One of your characters is reading a spy novel right now. Do you know what he likes about it?

Read a Historical novel. 
The better you understand history, the better you understand the present.

Read Science Fiction. 
You might learn a bit of science, if it’s a hard science fiction novel. But for sure, you’ll expand your universe a bit. Never hurts.

Read YA fiction. 
It’ll give you insights into your younger characters. It might give you some insights into a few young adults in your life.

Read Women’s fiction. 
If you’re a guy, you’ll understand women better, which is good all by itself. If you’re a guy writing fiction, you’ll understand your readers better, because the odds are that the majority of your readers are women.

Read fiction that features characters with wildly different Beliefs from yours. 
I understand hyper-capitalists better after reading Ayn Rand. I understand Jews better after reading Chaim Potok. I understand Wiccans better after reading S.M. Stirling’s apocalyptic series that begins with Dies the Fire. I understand Muslims better after reading Khaled Hosseini’s book The Kite Runner. I understand fundamentalists better after reading the first book in the Left Behind series.

The better you understand your characters, the better your novel will be.

Read Bad fiction. 
Yes, really. If you find a particularly bad piece of writing, read it all the way to the end. Figure out why it’s so awful. Resolve never to do the things that the author is doing. 


I confess that I have a favorite bad novel, written by a high-school kid who graduated a couple of years behind me. This thing is fearsomely, wonderfully, amazingly awful. It’s bad on every possible level. No, I won’t tell you the title. Find your own dreck. I’m keeping mine a secret. My family knows which book I’m talking about, and they’ve all read it. We sometimes quote particularly horrible lines at the dinner table.

There are a billion ways to write great fiction, but only about a dozen ways to write truly horrible fiction. 

Good writing starts by learning to avoid that dirty dozen of Desperately Horrible Writing Follies.

If you’ve read some really awful fiction, I guarantee it’ll improve your writing. But there’s such a thing as too much of a bad thing, so stop when you’re had enough. A little goes a long way.

Read a little bad fiction and a ton of good fiction.

Reading Fiction
is the foundation of Writing fiction. 
Make your foundation
broad and strong.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Reprinted with permission of the author.

Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the Snowflake Guy," publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 9,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visit www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Strong Characters but a Weak Plot?

 Secret Place by Dawn Elaine Darkwood

----- Original Message -----
...I have very strong characters, but a very weak plot. While my story is primarily character driven, I feel I feel I put them in a place where there's not much plot, or that the plot itself is uninteresting. How do make my plot stronger? Furthermore, how do I find a balance between plot and characters? Or is it okay that my plot isn't gripping, as long as I have strong, well-developed characters?
 What should you do when you have
Strong Characters but a Weak Plot?

First, I think we should clarify what Character-Driven means.

Character-Driven does NOT mean:
A story that focuses on the characters.

Character-Driven means: 
A story's events happen because the Characters choose (or refuse) to make things happen. In other words; the story's Plot is Driven by the events caused by the characters.

Examples of Character-Driven stories: 
'Hero' stories where the character volunteers to be a hero such as Iron Man, Batman, the Harry Potter series, How to Train your Dragon, and most Romance stories such as; Miss Congeniality, Secretary, Pride & Prejudice.

In comparison:

Plot-Driven means: 
A story's events happen because the world around the characters makes things happen to the characters. In other words; the story's Plot is Driven by the events happening to the characters.

Examples of Plot-Driven stories: 
Hero stories where the hero is pushed into being a hero whether they want to or not such as Spiderman, Pitch Black, most broad-range High fantasy stories such as The Sandman graphic novel series, The Wheel of Time, The Sword of Shannara, Lord of the Rings books and movies, and most Science-Fiction such as Brave New World, Equilibrium, The Matrix, Soylant Green, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica.

To simplify:
  • If the Characters make things happen to each other and/or the World around them it's Character-Driven.
  • If the World around them makes things happen to the Characters it's Plot-Driven
Now that we have that straight, on with your questions!

----- Original Message -----
How do make my plot stronger? Furthermore, how do I find a balance between plot and characters? Or is it okay that my plot isn't gripping, as long as I have strong, well-developed characters?

Let's start with this:
"Is it okay that my plot isn't gripping, as long as I have strong, well-developed characters?"

NO, it's Not Okay.

No matter how interesting your characters are, if they're in a boring story your characters will seem boring too. To show off interesting characters, they have to DO interesting things. A cool back-story is Not Enough.

Example:
Batman, Spiderman, and Iron man were fishing on the bank of a river. As a result of the smart-assed comments passed around between them, an argument broke out over whose superpower was best. To decide, each one one caught a fish using their superpowers. Still unable to decide, they went home.

Boring.

Why? Because even though we had 3 interesting and engaging superheroes, they didn't really do anything but fish. Sure, the dialogue between them was probably pretty awesome, but honestly? You could have told the same story with 3 old men, 3 little kids, or 3 grannies. In fact it actually would have been a better story if the 3 old men, 3 little kids, or 3 grannies had used superpowers to fish.

Those three superheroes were WASTED on this story.

To put it bluntly:
If you're going to use super characters,
you need a super Story to show them off.


"How do make my plot stronger? Furthermore, how do I find a balance between plot and characters?"


To Make a PLOT Stronger:
Add More Problems for Them to Solve.
AKA: Add More CONFLICTS.

In other words... 

What's the Worst Thing that could happen? Make that happen! (AKA: Murphy's Law)

"So where do you Get this Worse Thing that could happen?"
From your Characters.

Begin here...

Who are your
3 Main Characters?
  • the Main character:
  • the Ally or Middle-man character:
  • the Villain or Trouble-maker character:
This doesn't mean you can't have a huge cast of characters! Simply that these are the 3 that the main story focuses on.

Examples from Anime:


In Hellsing (Plot-Driven) the 3 characters are thus:
  • the Main character: Sir Integra Hellsing
  • the Ally or Middle-man character: Seres Victoria
  • the Villain or Trouble-maker character: Alucard
Until an actual Villain is added, then the cast changes to:
  • the Main character: Alucard
  • the Ally or Middle-man character: either Sir Integra OR Seres Victoria; depending on the scene they're in
  • the Villain or Trouble-maker character: Guest Villain

In Full Metal Alchemist (sometimes Plot-driven, sometimes Character-driven depending on the episode,) the 3 characters are thus:
  • the Main character: Edward Elric
  • the Ally or Middle-man character: Alphonse Elric
  • the Villain or Trouble-maker character: Colonel Mustang
Until an actual Villain is added, then the cast changes to:
  • the Main character: Edward Elric
  • the Ally or Middle-man character: Alphonse Elric, Colonel Mustang, or guest Victim
  • the Villain or Trouble-maker character: Guest Villain
Keep in mind that Hellsing and Full Metal Alchemist are both Series stories so new characters are constantly being introduced as Victims (Ally characters) and as Villains to expand the story.

The idea behind all this is:

The better you know your Characters' Problems, 
the easier it is to make MORE Problems for them to solve.


In a Traditional (Bodice-Ripper) Romance story, the roles change drastically

In a Traditional Romance, the 3 Main Characters look like thus:
  • the Main character: Heroine
  • the Ally or Middle-man character: His best friend and/or Her best friend.
  • the Villain or Trouble-maker character: Hero
These Romances are traditionally told from the Female point of view and the Heroine does Not initiate the romance --or hardly anything else-- the Male character does. This is because these stories were invented (and codified) during the 1700's and 1800's where a female that was 'forward' about her affections was considered to be 'impolite', 'pushy' and low-class. Since most of these stories featured high-society females; lost princesses, impoverished Ladies, and down-trodden heiresses, being 'pushy' was not something they would do. Only female Villains acted that way.

Keep in mind that the original romances were written by 18th and 19th century middle-class authors Fantasizing about how they thought high-class noble ladies would act. It proved so popular an 'ideal' that this fantasy of nobility persists today.

So! If the Heroine never initiated the first move...
How did Romance happen?

It started with some sort of Event where the two crossed paths, and the Hero decided that he wanted the Lady's . . . company, (think: Cinderella.) The rest of the story consisted of the many ways the Heroine sought to 'escape his clutches' until he finally rescues her from some sort of mortal peril and confesses his love. She then decides that she loves him. He fixes the story's major conflict and Cue: Happily Ever After.

Traditional Romance in detail:
   1) They cross paths during an Event. (Normally during an attempt to deal with her Problem.)
   2) He decides he wants her . . . company. (Despite certain personal problems.)
   3) She decides she wants nothing to do with him. (She has her own problems.)
   4) He seeks to get her into his clutches.
   5) She escapes -- repeatedly. (Sometimes before he catches her, sometimes after. If After: insert bodice-ripping love scene.)
   6) She falls into mortal peril. (While attempting to fix her own problem.)
   7) He rescues her and confesses his love. (Insert: Major Love Scene.)
   8) She decides that she's in love. (Or that she's been in love since their first encounter.)
   9) He voluntarily fixes her problem for her, as a wedding gift.
   10) Marriage and Happily Ever After.
Unfortunately, I am not exaggerating, the plots really were this simple, (and that sexist; the Hero does all the heavy-lifting.)
Unfortunately, I am not exaggerating, the plots really were this simple. 

Modern Romances are a tad bit Different. 

More Modern Romances have the Heroine rescue the Hero (or they rescue each other) from some sort of mortal peril at the center of the story, and during this discovers that she loves him. Even so, she still runs from his 'clutches' for quite a bit until he admits that he loves her. Deciding to fight together, they solve the story's major conflicts and Cue: Happily Ever After.

Modern Romance in detail:
   1) They cross paths during an Event. (Normally during an attempt to deal with her Problem.)
   2) He decides he wants her . . . company. (Despite certain personal problems.)
   3) She decides she wants nothing to do with him. (She has her own problems.)
   4) He seeks to get her into his clutches. (Insert: Seduction Scene.)
   5) She escapes -- repeatedly. (Sometimes before he catches her, sometimes after. If After: insert love scene.)
   6) He or They Both fall into mortal peril. (While attempting to fix their own problems.)
   7) She rescues Him or they rescue Each Other. (Insert: Major Love Scene.)
   8) She decides that she's in love, or that she's been in love since their first encounter, but still runs from him.
   9) At next encounter, he admits that he's in Love. Cue: Double Confession and they find a way to fix their problems Together.
   10) Happily Ever After or Happily For Now.

Yaoi Romances 
tend to have a bit more in common with Bodice-Ripper Romances.
They generally start with some sort of Event where the two cross paths, and both are immediately attracted to each other. One decides that they will do anything to have the other's . . . company. The next part of the of the story consists of the many ways the Pursued seeks to 'escape his Pursuer's clutches'. At the center of the story, The Pursuer rescues the Pursued from some sort of Peril and takes that chance to reinstate his attraction, usually forcefully. During this time the Pursued admits to themselves that it might be more than mere Attraction. It might be love. (Oh Noes!) Cue more running from 'clutches' until the pursuer admits that they're in Love. Insert Double Confession. Deciding to fight together, they solve the story's major conflicts and Cue: Happily Ever After.

Yaoi Romance in detail:
   1) They cross paths during an Event. (Normally during an attempt of each dealing with a Problem.)
   2) One decides he wants the Other's . . . company, usually with a stolen Kiss. (Despite certain personal problems.)
   3) The Pursued decides he wants nothing to do with his Pursuer. (He has his own personal problems.)
   4) The Pursuer gets the Pursued into his clutches. (Insert: Seduction Scene.)
   5) The Pursued escapes -- repeatedly. (Sometimes before he catches him, sometimes after. If After: Insert aggressive love scene.)
   6) One or the Other or They Both fall into mortal peril. (While attempting to fix their own problems.)
   7) The Pursued rescues their Pursuer, or they rescue Each Other. (Insert: Major Love Scene.)
   8) The Pursued decides that they're in love, or that they've been in love since the first encounter, but still runs from their Pursuer.
   9) At next encounter, the Pursuer admits that he's in Love. Cue: Double Confession, and they find a way to fix their problems Together.
   10) Happily Ever After or Happily For Now.


So...! What should you do with
Your cast of characters?

Once you decide who your 3 Main Characters are:
  • the Main character:
  • the Ally or Middle-man character: 
  • the Villain or Trouble-maker character:

Ask EACH character these 3 questions:
1. Who am I, and what do I do?
2. What do I want?
3. What is the Worst thing that could happen to me?

Once you know the answers to these three questions, you pretty much have your whole story.
  • By combining the 1's you have the Opening scene to your story. 
  • By combining the 2's you have your External Conflicts scenes (what the character DO and what happens TO the characters,) and your Internal Conflict scenes (how they Feel about what's happening.) 
  • By combining the 3's you have your Main Character's Ordeal/Self-Sacrifice scene; the one thing they don't want to do, but have to (often to survive,) and your potential Climax scene.
Do not be afraid to change things around or adjust things to suit the story you want to tell.

Do Not Forget....!

A story cannot END until the Main character's problem AND the Ally character's problem have been Solved!

Morgan Hawke

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Fifty Shades of ABUSE

Fifty Abusive Moments in
Fifty Shades of Grey

Yes, you read that title right.  I'm so tired of being told that there's no abuse in Fifty Shades of Grey, that I've decided to compile something of a list.  A list of fifty abusive moments, to be precise.  Because, well, I'm a sucker for a blog title that's also a play on the book title.  I'm aware that this is going to be a LONG process and therefore a long, long blog to read, but if you've somehow stumbled upon it as a Fifty Shades fan, I implore you to at the very least give it a look. Think there can't possibly be fifty examples of abuse in the biggest-selling "romance" novel of all time?  Think again...

This is supposed to be a "love story" and I don't know how many ways of saying "it's not" there are left.  All I'm going to say is NO.  If someone treats you the way Christian treats Ana, get the hell out of there.  You deserve better.  We all do.  And we all deserve better "erotica" than Fifty Shades of Grey.

To read the entire thing, in all it's wondrous glory: 
Go HERE. Read that. 
Posted on: The Rambling Curl


And just for the record, I AGREE.

Monday, January 26, 2015

So you want a Critique? [RANT]

So you want a Critique?

WARNING! Incoming Rant!

A Critique...? Really? Are you sure that's what you want? 

From the responses I've gotten on many different forums, and the responses I've seen others get, plus the resulting peanut gallery commentary, I'm not so sure a Critique is what some of you are actually looking for.

Let's start at the beginning.

Do you even know what a Critique actually is?
cri·tique
kriˈtēk/
noun: critique; plural noun: critiques
1. a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory. 
synonyms: analysis, evaluation, assessment, appraisal, appreciation, criticism, review, study, commentary, exposition, exegesis 
"a critique of North American culture"

verb: critique; 3rd person present: critiques; past tense: critiqued; past participle: critiqued; gerund or present participle: critiquing 
1. evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way. 
"the authors critique the methods and practices used in the research"

THINK: Are you actually looking for a Critique; a detailed analysis of your work, or are you really looking for something else, but that's the word everyone else is using so you're using it too? 

Things you might really be looking for:
    • "Can you check my sentence structure and look for typos?"
    • "Are my characters interesting enough to keep reading?"
    • "Is this fight scene or love scene confusing? Did I describe it well enough that you can see what's going on clearly in your imagination?"
    • "Does this story drag? Is it boring to you?"
    • "Have I used too much narrative and exposition? What should I trim out?"
    • "Should I use additional characters to tell this story, or stick with what I have?"
    • "Should I use more description in this scene, or more dialog?"
    • "Do you like this Main Character, or should I use someone different?"
    • "Should I keep writing this or scrap the whole thing?"
    • "Is my dialog entertaining enough to keep you interested?"
    • "Did I do good this time? Is this an improvement on my last work?"
    Once you know what you're really looking for,
    you then need to know:
    How to ASK
    for what you actually Want.

    Here are some examples of how you DON'T do it.
    • "Will you gimme a critique?"
    • "Can you take a look at my story?"
    • "Can you give me an honest opinion of my story?"
    • "Can you tell me if this is any good?"
    None of these questions will get you what you're after so Stop Asking Them.

    Instead:

    Be Direct!
    Ask point-blank for what you actually Want.
    Don't play around. Ask for what you want in clear, simple English. Being indirect or too broad in your request for help with your work will not only Not get you want you really want, it frustrates the hell out of those of us that want to help you. How are we supposed to assist you when we don't know what kind of assistance you're looking for?
    • You want a Character Interaction check? ASK for one.
    • You want a Plotting check? ASK for one.
    • You want a Grammar and Typo check? ASK for one.
    • You want an Action Scene Description check? ASK for one.
    • You want to know if a Scene is boring? ASK if it's boring.
    • You want to know if you have enough info in your info-dump exposition, or if you have too much? Ask exactly that.
    • You want all of the above? List the entire set of questions and ASK for those things to be checked.

    And just for the record:

    Specify if this is a Creative Writing piece or something you intend for Professional Publication.
    The advice from the Professionals such as myself ("Follow these rules,") tends to be diametrically opposed to the Creative writers ("There are no rules!") If you want to avoid a fight breaking out between them, specify the type of writing advice you're looking for. Seriously.

    So...!

    Don't just throw your writing at us and ask for a Critique!
    ASK for Precisely what you Want.

    This way, those of us experienced enough to offer you solid advice can give you the solid advice you want.

    And for God's sake...

    Don't Attack those of us that answer you!
    No one wants to help someone that bites the hand that gives them what they asked for. If you're not mature enough to gracefully accept that you're going to hear things you may not like about your work, then you're not mature enough to ask for assistance from those of us that actually know what the hell we're doing.

    There are tons of people that are damned good at writing, but won't say a word because they've been bitten one too many times when all they did was try to help, myself included.

    Suggestion for the Shy
    that want to offer their help:
    Private Message (PM) the person you want to help and ASK if they're interested in hearing what you want to say. If they say "Sure!" PM your analysis of their work. If your analysis is particularly long and detailed, in other words; it's going to take a lot of rewriting to get their work straight, don't expect a reply for at least a week. It takes about that long for the impact to wear off. Remember, it always hurts when someone points out something you got wrong.

    Also, don't expect them to follow your advice immediately. Nine times out of ten they will wait to see if anyone else says the same thing -- or offers an easier solution. If your analysis is supported by others the next stage is to try out your advice and see if it actually works for them. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won't. All you can do is offer. It's up to them to decide if they want to take your advice or not, so don't freak out if they say, "Thanks, but I wanna try something else."

    One more thing...

    Members of the Peanut Gallery?
    Stay the hell OUT! 

    Don't get in the way of someone trying to help someone else. If you don't like the advice offered, it's fine to offer your own take on the situation -- that's actually Helpful. However, don't attack the other people offering advice. That's not just Rude, it's extremely Unhelpful to the person who posted for help. So what if it doesn't agree with what you believe to be true? It's up to the person who Asked for said advice to decide if they want to take the advice offered, or not -- Not You, so Butt-Out!

    I have spoken.

    [/rant]

    You may commence with the bitching. ♥