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Boy of two worlds (March 30th 2018)

 
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Foolster41
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:36 am    Post subject: Boy of two worlds (March 30th 2018) Reply with quote

Boy of Two homes

Chapter 1 - Sports
“Come one, we’re going to go to Kai’s house”. Laila waved to me, and then I followed him up the sandy streets, through the yellow-white square sandstone houses of the city.

I ran with a little difficulty and caught up next to him. Laila was only a few months older than me at nearly nine, and about the same build. Still, I was surprised how fast he could go dragging a tail behind him. Laila was, like the other people in this country of Saltha a lizardfolk.

I’m still one of very few humans in this country .When my father announced we were moving, only a few months before, I was excited to go. I think my dad expected me to put up more of a fuss, but I grew up on stories of explorers and seeing new lands. This was a completely new kind of people.

We moved in with Laila has his parents. It had been just me and my dad since my mom died when i was just a baby. When we first met, just yesterday it felt like Laila’s mom was trying to fill that place that I’d been missing.

We made our way through the streets and people. The town was packed. Only these oasis towns supported life in the desert, which meant lots of people concentrated in relatively small spaces inside the walls. I yearned to just run down the streets and explore this new place, but Laila wanted me to meet his friends.

We passed by a large cow-sized reptilian creature called a Kes, pulling a cart with produce. It was late morning and already hot. Sweat lined the neck of my shirt. Even in short pants and a short-sleeved tunic I was boiling.

Laila, like the other kids that I saw his age wore nothing at all. They didn’t have to worry about sunburn with scales, and to them, it was perfectly normal.

I followed Laila to a courtyard of a large house. It was a square, about fifty or sixty paces across in each direction. There was a stone overhang canopy covering the first quarter of the length of the courtyard that extended from the gate to the side of the house. Stone pillars ran along the edge holding it up.

A group of four Salthan boys say in the shaded area, except for a taller one who was bouncing a ball made of animal hide off his feet.

Between the six of us, I was the only one wearing a stitch of clothing.

“isana! ” it’s him! One of the boys said. The ones who were sitting got to their feet and came over to me. The older one kept bouncing the ball,

“This is Zack, the hunan.” Laila said. Hunan because Salthans have trouble pronouncing the letter “M”.
“This is [Ka], [Lykea], [Kakela] and Kyrathe.” Laila said, pointing to each boy. They each greeted me in turn in the Salthan fashion, holding arms out with the palm upward. The boy with the ball, Kyrathe was the last one. He greeted me, but never stopped bouncing the ball as he did.

A flood of questions came from the three who had been seated, though they were aimed not at me, but at Laila for him to translate from their language. Laila would then translate it back, or answer and tell me what he said if he knew the answer.

The first question I got, from [Ka] was whether or not I was a Uagi. “What’s a Uagi?”
“Reached the age of ten.” Laila said.
“I’m eight.” and Laila translated back.
Tasa gave me a funny look. He looked me up and down, and raised a hairless ridge over his eye what we would call an “eyebrow” on a human.

Sometimes one of them would ask a question in my language, but it was always “ask Zack”, never directly to me.

“Ask hin what food he eats”
“Ask hin what animals there are where he’s from”
“Ask hin what the weather is like there”
“Ask hin what sports they play.”

And so on.

After a while he waved his arms and said something to the others in Salthan. He then turned to me “We’re going to play Tashnense”
“What’s Tash- that?”
“I’ll teach you”

Kythea went to the center of the wall in the shaded end of the courtyard and picked up a piece of chalk and drew a rectangle in the center of the wall.

“The objective is for the attacking team to hit that part of the wall with the ball” Laila said. “If they do, they get a point.” Laila pointed to the opposite wall on the shaded side “but if the ball hits the other wall, we tgrade sides, and the defending team becomes the attacking team.”

“No holding the ball. Just kick, or hit.” he said.

Kyrathe and [Ka] were elected captains. Kyetha went to the goal and rolled the ball, and one of the other boys kicked it back to Laila and stood parallel against the house to where the ball stopped\, a few paces shy of the wall. [Ka] then rolled the ball. It hit the back of the wall and bounced back. Kythea had rolled closer, and got first choice, and choose Laila.

Each of us were picked for a team, leaving me last to join Ka’s team.

The game began, with me on the attacking side. [Ka] had the ball, and the rest on his team ran parallel, kicking up sand.

I waved my arms and called “I’m open”, but they ignored me. None of the others on the other team even tried to really cover me.

[Ka] Kicked the ball to .[Lykea]who kicked the ball, hitting the goal with a loud TWAK, sending the ball bouncing back.

This happened with every play we did, it was like I wasn’t there to either team. A few times I got the ball, from what seemed like luck, but I either got the ball stolen from me by the other team, or I was getting crowded and passed it quickly to a teammate.

I don’t know which side won. I don’t think they were even keeping score.

After the game I walked home with Laila. “I don’t think they like me.” I said.
Laila looked at me, his mouth open with surprise. “What?”


Did he not see it?

“DIdn’t you see they didn’t pass the ball to me once, it was like I wasn’t there.”

Laila didn’t respond, but looked at the ground and we walked in silence.
“It’s not you, it’s that you’re dressed.” he said. “Those who are dressed who are not yet Uagi are busy, doing chores, not free to play.”
How could I ever fit in then?

Chapter 2 - Bath house

The next day Laila invited me to go to the public baths. Laila took with him a wicker basket, in it was two sponges and two copper coins.

The front entry room was small, with a desk on the far end and on either side doorways covered with curtains. Each was embroidered with a symbol. The one of the right had a horizontal line. The other had a diagonal slightly curved line that ran roughly from upper left to lower right.

A portly attended stood behind the desk.

Laila put the two coins on the table. He pointed to the right curtain. “Ee, fenale”. Laila pointed to the curtain on the left “ah, nale.” He then went through that curtain, and I followed.

The next room was about as big as the last. It had cubby holes around the sides of the walls, and low stone benches in the center.

There were Salthans here dressing or undressing.

“You can put your clothes here.” Laila told me.
I undressed, feeling a but shyt and put my clothes in one of the cubbies, then followed Laila through another curtain, embroidered like the first.

The room was much larger. Small raised basins of water dotted the room, each surrounded with a set of four stone benches.

We each found a seat around one of the basins, and he took a sponge and dipped it in the water, and began to wash himself with it. I did the same.

He then took a rock from the basket and began to rub himself with it.

“Laila” I looked up, Kythea, [Ka] and another boy who looked to be a few years younger were approaching us. I then happened to glance down and notice they wasn’t a boy at all, but a girl. “This is my sister, Naknei” [Ka] said.

I covered myself with my hands, and my face burned hot.

“Are you hurt?” Laila asked. I shook my head, mute from embarrassment, looking at the ground. I turned to the door. “I gotta go.”

“Hey” Naknei said. I turned to her, out of instinct.

“Dika esha” she gave the salthan greeting, arms outstretched, palms upwards.

“DIka Eshi” I replied with the female noun, but keeping my hands where they were.

She dropped her hands and frowned. She raised her right hand, and held it out with her hand sideways. “Nice to neet you.”

“Uh, nice to meet you too.” I said, again keeping my hands were they were.

She growled out some word that started with a click and walked away.

“I gotta go” I said in a single breath and dashed through the curtain into the dressing room.
Laila was soon through the curtain after me.

“Why were you so rude?” he asked.

“Huh?!” I said, a little louder than intended. Some of the others in the dressing room looked at us. My face burned hotter than I thought it could. He had put me in this awkward situation.

“Why didn’t you greet back, she even tried to greet you in your way.”

I shook my head, partially in disagreement, and part in confusion. Was he just not paying attention?

“I did greet back,” I said

“No, you only mouthed it.”

Mouthed it? I realized they were upset because I didn’t raise my hands in the Salthan greeting. Then she tried to shake my hand, but I didn’t do that either.

“You didn’t tell me there would be girls.”

Laila raised one of the ridges above his eyes that we would call eyebrows if it had hair. “So?”

I crossed my arms. “It’s just not something I’m used to.”

“But can’t you get used to it?”

Get used to it? I was shocked by this. Was he being serious?

“No, I can’t. It’s a human thing, you wouldn’t understand.”

He looked at me with a disgusted look on his face.

“But you can understand our ways, that’s way you came here. But we’re too dumb to understand yours?”

“No- I didn’t mean it like that-”

“I just wanted us on equal ground,” he said.

“I’m sorry I have to go.” I grabbed my clothes and threw them on, and ran home. I was sure Laila hated me now, and I had no friends at all.

3 - Fitting in
The evening at dinner Laila wouldn't look at me. The next day when he went out to play, I followed him. “Why are you following me?” he said.
Where else was I going to go? Stay home bored all day? The only people my age I knew was Laila and his friends.
What I had said yesterday was eating at me. I looked to the ground. “I’m sorry, for what I said, about how you couldn’t understand.”
Laila sighed. “I guess there’s stuff we both need to understand. Come on.”
We went to Kythea’s house and played Tashnense. This time Laila was one of the captains, but Kythea was the other.

It seemed they traded off captains for one team, but Kythea, being the oldest was always a captain.

Laila chose me first. Even though I was clothed he passed to me. Perhaps he thought this would be an example that would spread, or maybe that this way at least one person acted as thought I was there. None of the others still passed to me, but it was nice being at least a little more involved.


.
I didn’t tell my dad about the bath house, not because I was afraid he would be angry, but I was a bit embarrassed. I did tell him about how the kids ignored me, because i was clothed.
“Give it time.” he said. “It just takes getting used to you, as you’re getting used to them and this country.“

A few days later while we were playing I stopped. “Wait a minute, there’s something I have to do.”

I went to a corner of the courtyard and took a deep breath. Was I really going to do this? It was an enclosed courtyard, no one on the street could see us with the door covered, but someone in a window or roof of a nearby house could.

I pushed that aside and took off my shirt. I tried to act faster than my brain. I pulled down my pants and pushed them to the corner. I took another breath, standing in the corner, what was a few seconds but felt like many more. With another breath I turned around, forcing myself to keep my hands at my side.

I felt a bit of excitement, made of different shades, fear that I was disobeying my father, and maybe a bit enjoyment at that. Also, the excitement of freedom of being naked, unburned, and also the same as these other boys, and of doing something new.

When [??] passed the ball to me, I got so absorbed in the game, I forgot about the awkwardness.

We played for a while, I had my back turned to the doorway when I heard “Zack!”
I turned. There standing in the courtyard was my father. Next to him was another human about my father’s age, broad shouldered, and with a grey mustache like his hair.
“What are you doing?” there was an impossible tangle of hurt, confusion and anger in his voice. I couldn’t decide which was more dominant.

He marched towards me. I flinched as he grabbed my arm, and pulled me to the corner where the clothes lay. “Get dressed. Now.”

I put on my clothes, while the others silently watched me. My father grabbed me by the arm again, and pulled me to the door. We stopped at the other human “I’m sorry, [name. Bill?] have to take care of this.” and pulled me to the street.

“I’m very disappointed in you.” he said.

I sank down, his grip still on my arm, fearing what was to come when we got home.
“I’m not going to punish you” he said, sensing what I was thinking. “But we need to talk about you obeying me.”

He took me to the house and into the small bathroom in the back of the first floor. The room consisted of a small table with a basin on top. Hanging from a rack was the tools we had used at the bath house, and also a wooden about a foot long.

“That was someone I worked with, from home I was embarrassed that he saw you like that. Not to mention who knows who could have seen you from a window. Look at me. I told you, we are living here, and we try to fit in as we can, but also our ways are not like theirs. I expect you to behave as a Braydon and be modest when in public. Do you understand?.”
“Yes sir.” I said, though I didn’t fully understand how I was supposed to live here and fit in if by not following the customs it made it impossible to fit in.

“Net time, I won’t be just talking, do you understand?”
A glance to the switch made the meaning clear.
“Yes sir.”

4 -Escalation
I was still angry with my dad, as a sort of ineffective act of rebellion, I started undressing whenever I went to my to read or sleep in my room. A technicality since I wasn’t undressed outside, so I was obeying his wishes. Laila slept undressed, but I had up to this point kept my tunic on. It was a sort of freeing feeling of not having clothes I discovered

When my dad came to wake me he glared at me. “Zack…”
“I’m still in my room. No one can see me.”
He signed. “Fine, just as long as you don’t leave here that way., and keep the windows closed. Get dressed and come down to breakfast.”

When I went to play again I stayed clothed. A few days later when Laila and I went Kythea’s house, he was wearing a loincloth, and a shirt. It was two-colored, split with green on the left and red on the right. Kythea turned showing the back. On it was a picture of a Kes with it’s tongue sticking out to the side, looking like was going to fall over on its side. Above it was some text in Slathan I couldn’t understand. Kyethea’s face beamed with a broad grin of pride.

The others were congratulating him. “Gisal”, Much happiness! .

I turned to Laila. “What’s happened?”
“It was his tenth birthday yesterday, he’s a Uagi now.”

Kytthea showed us a mark on his arm. Scales were removed to form a picture. It was in the shape of a circle with three horizontal lines out of it’s left side.
“A moving Tashnense ball” Laila explained.

“Does it hurt?”
Laial gave me a look. “I would think so..”

Here was a chance. My tenth birthday was still almost another year, but if I could go through the ceremony I could honor my father’s wishes and fit in.

We played more, and though Kyteea was dressed, he was treated like any of the others. He was Uagi, so he was dressed all the time, free or not. I wanted to run home and ask my dad, but I also wanted to stay. Even if I was barely more than a spectator, I enjoyed the companionship.

When afternoon came we parted ways, I asked my dad right away.

My father shook his head. “You don’t know what you’re asking.”

“Sure I do, you get a picture cut in your arm.” I tried to sound calm when I said this, though my stomach fluttered at the thought.

He looked surprised as my answer. “And you still want to do it?” My father shook his head. “Give it time, they just need to get used to you.”

I’m maybe a little ashamed to admit I was somewhat relieved. I didn’t want to do it, and this was an excuse, and escape.

I played some more as days and weeks and months passed, still the same, and it didn’t seem like there was any inkling of progress of them letting me in. I got up the courage to mention the ceremony again a few times after that.

“I’m serious” I said one time. “I don’t want to be hurt. But if we are staying, I want to fit in.”

“I still don’t think it’s a good idea, son.” my father said. “Just give it time”
“It’s been almost two years now” Two years since we had moved here. My father said nothing. I found out later that every time I had asked, he had gone to Gilelsal, Laia’s father for advice, and he was advising him to let me go through with it.

Then one day we went to Kythea’s house to play, and found that Kythea was sick. So we went to [Ka]’s place to play.This was my chance to really join again. There’s no reason why my dad would know I was here. I turned to a corner and undressed. I turned, and and jumped when I saw a girl standing there, it was Naknei. I felt my face flush hot.

She saw me, but then turned away, pretending I wasn’t there. I turned to redress, but then stopped. This was my once chance to fit in again. Besides I argued, she’d already seen everything. It was hard getting used to undressing the first time, but I pushed myself, and I would just push myself again.

I turned to her. “Dika ehsi, Naknei”, and I gave the greeting gesture She looked up, started, but gave the gesture back. “Dika esha, Zack”.

We played for a few hours. I had just scored a goal and turned away, towards the door when I saw the curtain flare and my father step in. “Zack!”. I felt myself jump, and it felt like my heart fell in my chest. I covered myself with my hands. He stomped over to me, I could feel his steps. “Get dressed, now.”

I turned away but then stopped, put my hands at my side and turned around.

“No” I said. “I belong-”

My father bent close, and grabbed me by my shoulders. He spoke loudly enough for Neknei and the others to hear. “You’re acting tough to impress your friends, but when we get home, you’re getting swatted. Now get dressed.”

My father dragged me home, this time he didn’t say anything. He pulled me back into the bathroom. “I warned you, and you deliberately disobeyed me behind my back, and in front of a girl. Undress.”

I hesitated, more from fear than embarrassment. I’d been switched before, but never on the uncovered bottom.

“Are you not embarrassed to be naked in front of them, but are in front of me? Now.”

I pulled inside to my anger, thinking of my impossible situation I was put in, hoping to use it to hide my fear. I pulled my tunic over my head and threw it down.

“That’s fine, be angry. You are still my son, so I expect you to obey me.I’m punishing you this way will help you remember to obey.” He pulled me over his lap and gave me ten hard swats with the switch. I was crying long before it was over.

Then he let me get up and I rubbed my burning bottom.

“If you are too tempted, then you should stay home.” my father said.

5 - Uagi
The day of Laia’s birthday finally came. The upstairs curtains were cleared back to make a single larger room. All of the bed mats and curtains were were put to one side.

“Son, can I speak with you alone?” I followed him downstairs.

“I’ve been thinking about what you’ve said, and I watched you a little these last few weeks playing the game. If you really want to go through with it, I thought it best if you did it with Laila, and have it more a surprise so you’re not counting down the days. Are you sure? It’s up to you, but as far as Laila or anyone knows, if you say no, it’s me saying no.”

I took a deep breath, and nodded my head. “Yes” I managed to say.

“Alright” my father said.

“Do you know what you want, as a picture?”

I nodded He gave me some paper and a charcoal and I drew as best I could the shape of what I wanted. I was pretty proud of the result.

My father smiled, ran his hand through my hair and and turned to upstairs.I followed him.

Laila’s father nodded. “It’s time to begin” he said.

Laila’s father pointed to the floor, and we sat down, with Laila sitting on my right.

In front of us was a scroll, some cloth rags, a paper fan, and three bowls. The bowls had in them mud, water and the third had some sort of blackish-yellow translucent gel,

Gielsala, Laila’s father sat down in front of us. He dipped all his fingers into the bowl of mud, and then ran his four fingers on Laila’s forehead, painting a line downward to just above his eyes.

“Kakeels Gikakela Dasanai, great Gikakela protect them” he said, and did the same to me.

He then wiped his hand on the cloth, and took the scroll. He touched the scroll to the top of Laila’s head, and then mine.

“Shu Kai Dansalileksai, Great Ksai light their way”

FInally he picked up the fan and opened it and fanned Laila and then me vigorously. “Olan Lykei Dasanai, Great Lykei, watch over them.”

Gielsal took something from a pocket that glittered in the light, a small blade. He held Lail’s arm just above the elbow. that was nearest to me “Try to relax, and hold still,” he said.

Laila’s arm moved to his hand to mine and held it tight. I saw on his face a smile, but fear in his eyes.

He then began to make incisions.Laila winced a little, and made a pained noise.

I wanted to look away, but I found somehow I couldn’t.

Gisal cut away the scales and they fell to the floor. He made a small line that angled up and to the right. Then another disconnected line down to the right with a tip that looked like an arrow.

Above it he “drew” two lines that intersect and became one line, and a circle on the top. Below that he drew lines going out sideways. Laila’s father took some of the gel with his finger and rubbed it on the area of Laila’s arm.

“Done,” Gielsal said, and he let go of his son’s arm. I realized what the image was, a human, standing above a broken spear. The gel had dyed the places where the scales were missing, making it stand out more as a pattern. I was told it was also a salve to help in healing and prevent infection.

Laila looked at the mark, and smiled, and I could see a bit of a grimace from pain. “It means, ‘Peace with humans’” he said.

“Now it is your turn” Gielsal said. I happened to glance to my father, who smiled and nodded at me, as if to say, “you can do this”

“You have no scales, so I will mark with cut lines” he said.

I held out my arm and he took it. I looked away, and shut my eyes. I jumped a little when I felt the poke of the blade on my arm. I gritted my teeth hard.

I could feel the blood dripping from my arm to the floor. Gielsal took a rag and periodically wiped my arm. With it.

The repetition of cutting and wiping went on for, I lost track of how many times. FInally Laila’s father said “Done”..

I looked at my arm. The shape was a compass, with eight diamond-like lines going off in different direction with a circle going through all but the tip of each line.

“We did it” Laila said with a smile.

“We did it” I agreed.

E: New updated version, as of March 29th, 2018
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Last edited by Foolster41 on Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:01 pm; edited 34 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's a mermior (in the thread title)?
Do you mean memoir (which is in your Opening Post)?
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. Fixed.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New chapter added
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Chapter 3. (I really need to more of this. Suggestions are welcome for sorts of things the character might do in Saltha that might spark interesting conflict.)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
No can argue that my childhood was an unusual one.


Could you have meant "No one can argue that my childhood was not an unusual one."?

I'm pretty sure you meant "No one" or "No-one" or "None" rather than just "no".

If someone argues that your childhood was unusual, they say, "Your childhood was unusual!". Clearly your first-person narrator's childhood was unusual; practically anybody can argue that it was.

If someone argues that your childhood was not unusual, they say "Your childhood was not unusual!". Clearly your first-person narrator's childhood was unusual. Anyone who argued that it wasn't, doesn't know what they're talking about.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BTW I am glad you are creating and writing, and I appreciate your posting to us, and I enjoy reading it.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, your correction "no one" and "not" makes more sense. The first was a typo, I had meant "not", and the second I think i was thinking something like "argue against" but as you point out, it really sounds like the opposite of what I meant to say.

Glad you're reading it and enjoying it! (It's been pretty dead around here in general lately. Sad )
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, your correction "no one" and "not" makes more sense. The first was a typo, I had meant "not", and the second I think i was thinking something like "argue against" but as you point out, it really sounds like the opposite of what I meant to say.

I'm glad it helped! Thanks for letting me know.


Foolster41 wrote:
Glad you're reading it and enjoying it! (It's been pretty dead around here in general lately. Sad )

I don't know about others, but I've been busy actually conlanging and conscripting and conworlding and conculturing and suchlike stuff (with a little bit of "real life" thrown in to help keep things confusing).

First I need to get stuff I want to post, then I need to figure out how to post it.

Today is the first day in the last half-week or so I've actually checked in! Sorry. Embarassed Sad
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bit about the return customer tradition is a bit confusing.

Is it a bracelet, or a necklace, or does it change from bracelet to necklace, or can it be any jewelry?

It seems like it might be verging on impossible in practice, though, unless the merchants have very good memories, or the towns are pretty small; and even then, it might be problematic as a target for thieves, no?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blake: Darn, I see I used "bracelet" and "necklace" interchangeably. It should be bracelet.

You may have a point there about it being impracticable. I was trying to come up with something loosely based on the "kula ring" system of the Trobriand Islanders. I'm thinking I may need to rethink this (and of course, change the chapter accordingly).
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's just a nit, but, want to check on your capitalization?

In particular sometimes you write Saltha and sometimes saltha.

I suspect you always mean Saltha.

I imagine there are other proper nouns you'd like to capitalize.

I'm not sure which non-RL-English nouns are proper and which are common.

Perhaps you don't feel like capitalizing adjectives derived from proper nouns; that's an Anglophone thing.
Some languages (e.g. German) do all the capitalizing English does and more, but some (e.g. French) do not, in particular they don't capitalize adjectives (Francais the language is capitalized AIUI, but francais the adjective is not).
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. Good catch. I changed the capitalization of "Saltha" and a few names I missed. I'm not sure if there are others I'm still missing. the names when spoken in Salthan is tricky, and I decided to leave it lower case. The problem is often names have prefixes such as to mark subject, and it looks weird to me to capitalize that part, or to capitalize in the middle at the actual name itself.

Thanks, and of course, further feedback, and ideas for types of places for them to go is welcome
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm working on this again!
Do people know of any good travel "Culture shock" type stories that might help me generate ideas for this story?
Good examples of "culture shock" in fiction stories such as fantasy or science fiction?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of what I have experienced has to do with different perceptions of rudeness, and things different cultures might not find as disgusting.

That probably doesn't help much though...

Sorry, I don't know of any specific sources, but you might want to check expat forums for different countries for ideas (loads of stories on those).
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Working on this again with new chapters.

All the culture stuff I had written before hand, and then wrote this story, thinking about what sorts of things would be conflicts. For clarity on the custom, this aspect of clothed/unclothed only really applys to those under 10, since they are seen as too innocent to know any better. After that they wear at least a waist covering.

One of the big things I'm having trouble with is coming up with interesting conflicts of culture. A big conflict obviously in the story is attitudes on clothing and nudity. Because of the cultural norms of separation of working (clothed) and "free" (naked) with Salthans not wanting to interact with Zack, there's pressure for him to disrobe to fit in. Someone at the CBB said it was inevitable, and this might be true, but I find it hard to imagine someone from a culture like mine would do it (even in the relative privacy of the walled-in yard), or at least they'd find it very hard to do.

Also, I'm not sure if the Salthan kids would necessarily apply this cultural trait to an outsider anyway, seeing he is human I feel like maybe they'd just accept the difference, but I also feel like that just ignores the conflict completely. I want some sort of conflict with social norms, and I don't want it to be too easy for Zack to fit in.

On the other hand, I want the issue resolved in some way, with them accepting his norms, or him accepting theirs (stripping down), or some compromise that makes sense. Maybe it makes the most sense he has to stick out being somewhat ignored and eventually they do accept him, and pass he ball to him in his clothes.

If he do it, I'm not sure how his father would react. I imagine negatively. The father wants them to fit in with the culture of this place (accepting of the punishment in chapter 1). There is a sort of hypocracy from Zack's POV, where his dad wants him to live in this culture, but gets upset when he does.

The dad would probably see this as much too far and tell him that while they respect the difference in culture he'd want him to be modest and keep with their own culture in this case and tell him not to do it again, and that if he gives it time things will work out.

I tried to find some examples of this, a non-fictional account of a person from a clothed culture moving to a naked culture and learning to adapt, stripping off their clothes and "going native" but I'm having a hard time finding any. Generally this never happens with missionaries or anthropologists, since they are expected to stay, somewhat as cultural outsiders.

TLDR; summery: The three possible resolutions to this cultural conflict of pressure to be unclothed I see are:
(0.This is too weird a conflict, and I abandon it completely, find another kind of conflict)

1.Given time, the Salthans accept the human as an exception wearing clothes
2.Some sort of compromise (just shorts, no shirt), though I need a clear reason why this is accepted.
3. Zack "goes native" and strips. I need to figure out how he comes to this, as this shouldn't be easy to do this since he's been living a few years with the expectation of being clothed.
(Or 4: something else)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was imagining a compromise between 1 and 3.
Zack still wears (Salthan) clothes in some circumstances where a Salthan boy his age would strip;
but he gets used to the idea of stripping in situations where not doing so would keep him from participating in something he wants to participate in (such as a Salthan group-game).
Meantime those Salthan kids who become well-acquainted with Zack just get used to the idea that he'll wear clothes when they wouldn't, and it doesn't mean anything. They still might unconsciously treat him as if he were busy, unless he strips; and those who don't know him well certainly do that.

Stuff like this has happened. Remember "Dances with Wolves"?
He started dressing and painting himself like the people he was sent to. When men of his own culture found him, though, they thought ill of him for so doing.
Another example; T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia). Certain Englishmen in the area, who hung out mostly only with other English people, thought ill of Lawrence (who mostly hung out with Arabs) for dressing like an Arab.

I think in more modern times this is less likely to get the adaptor of local culture frowned-upon by his/her home culture. I have relatives who've worked in Middle Eastern oilfields. They say that you can't tell from looking who's a local and who comes from the home office until he trips and falls and you can see his bare legs.

I once read a book about an American woman who (along with her husband and young daughter) spent time in Thailand (Bangkok, I think?) as a teacher. Someone she knew died; and she went to the funeral, which was also attended by an American preacher who happened to be a newbie to Thailand. As part of the ceremony she was supposed to bow before the jar containing the decedent's ashes and plant two lit sticks of incense in the bowl of sand in front of and below that jar. It so happened that a statuette of Buddha was on a shelf above and behind the jar. She did what was expected of her, knowing that the horrified preacher would think that she had just bowed to a heathen idol.

So I think Zack will acclimate, and will drag his father's opinions along; until they're again visited by "humans", and then his father will suddenly be embarassed by how native Zack has gone.

What do you think?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
Working on this again with new chapters. ….

What, if you can tell us, has been happening since the end of January this year?
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh gosh. I've been working on a new job I just started, and I've been working somewhat on a book (an unrelated to Saltha collection of modern fantasy stories and poetry), and some board game designs. I haven't really been working on Saltha at all.

I've been thinking of working on this again recently though...

I'm flattered you're interested in enough to ask. Smile

"So I think Zack will acclimate, and will drag his father's opinions along; until they're again visited by "humans", and then his father will suddenly be embarassed by how native Zack has gone. "
Ha, I like this idea. I'm starting to think maybe diplomat/envoy doesn't make much sense, and maybe he's a businessman of some sort, arranging for trade agreements. I'll have to figure out why he'd have to end up staying for a long time (I like the idea of Zack growing up in Saltha)
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
Oh gosh. I've been working on a new job I just started ... haven't really been working on Saltha at all.


"So I think Zack will acclimate, and will drag his father's opinions along; until they're again visited by "humans", and then his father will suddenly be embarassed by how native Zack has gone. "
Ha, I like this idea. I'm starting to think maybe diplomat/envoy doesn't make much sense, and maybe he's a businessman of some sort, arranging for trade agreements. I'll have to figure out why he'd have to end up staying for a long time (I like the idea of Zack growing up in Saltha)


I'd be interested in seeing how things turn out! Father could be still be connected in some way to officialdom. Trade envoy sort of thing? He'd certainly be busy enough, perhaps, to not notice exactly hów native Zack is going!
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I went back to editing this, and one thing that feels a bit weird to me is the spanking thing in chapter 1.

It was a cultural aspect that I had written in that they do a regular punishment sort of "just in case", and I thought it'd make for interesting conflict, but the way it's introduced here feels a bit weird, and maybe not believable that the father would just accept it.

I feel like it'd come up in some way that affects Zack, but I'm not sure how.

I guess the problem is simulaur to the other with being clothed/unclothed, where I want there to be conflicts, and this is one because it's something I wrote about the culture that's different, but I feel weird aobut it being too easily acquiesced to.

What do people think? Does it feel really weird that the father would punish his kid? Does there need to show more resistance (the conversation being i Salthan makes it too hidden)?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
…. the spanking thing in chapter 1. ….
What do people think? Does it feel really weird that the father would punish his kid? Does there need to show more resistance (the conversation being i Salthan makes it too hidden)?


I just don't know. My first impulse, if I were the father and it were my kid, would be to resist it. But I think that's a cultural thing; as I understand it, in Medieval Christendom, corporal (added in edit -- chiarizio) punishment was thought to be less "spiritually" damaging than rewards (or bribery) were.

We'd need to know more about Dad's culture, I think.

If it's a book-length story, you probably have time for some backstory.
Even if it's a novella, you probably have tiime.
(Maybe not if it's a novelette; but maybe even then.)

In any case, we haven't yet seen/heard the discussion that led the father to the conclusion he should abide by this custom and that the son would also understand. Such a discussion could clearly show him resisting; "acquiescing" might, even, be too strong a word for his eventual decision to comply.

I'm surprised the son went along with his father's decision without a lot more discussion!

If you decide you don't like the "spanking" conflict, you could leave it out or replace it with something else.

I think you could make the "clothing" conflict work fine. It could gradually turn into a non-conflict until someone from the home office shows up to reignite it.
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Last edited by chiarizio on Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I'm thinking, this being a medieval setting spanking is pretty much presumed normal everywhere. I picture Zack's culture as being somewhat European style (in fact, in the original game this world is based on their culture, Braydon was very knights themed).

So, he probably only spanks Zack when he feels it's really needed (outright disobedience) a few swats, so the issue isn't spanking his kid, but basically being told he has to spank his kid for really no reason (or, that is, for things that Zack Might have done).

I suppose there has to be some ultimatum to this too. Maybe they refuse to let them live with them if they don't comply, and so this puts the dad in a tough spot. Since this is the place that;s sponsoring their stay, it could potentially mean leaving immediately for home. I still need to decide why Zack's dad is here.

I'm not sure if that makes sense for the Salthan to insist that. They might, but I'm not 100% sure.

For the conversation, that is a problem since it's Zack's POV and he doesn't speak Salthan, and I was thinking it adds a sort of suspense, but I guess they speak Braydonian "common" too, so maybe I should make the conversation in English and that would make things flow better.

Yeah. maybe the son should resist a little more and complain, but then realize he's not going to win.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IRL, as for me, I think spanking is justified if, and only if, the child did something that would have caused physical harm to himself/herself or someone else; running with scissors, punching through a glass window, sticking a fork in an electrical outlet, playing in the street while there's traffic, etc.

Don't know if Zach's dad feels the same way or not.

I don't understand one thing; does this spanking have to be public so everyone can know it has taken place?
If not, can't Zach's dad just give him one or two pro forma swats? Maybe on a place he knows Zach has padded?
And maybe it can be pro forma anyway, even if it has to be public.

Does Zach have to be unclothed during this spanking? That'd be hell, I think, especially if he hadn't yet gotten used to going unclothed; I think this spanking might need to be half-a-year or so after they moved in.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Don't know if Zach's dad feels the same way or not. "
Zack's dad is probably a little more stern than that (situations that aren't dangerous, but willful disobedience with warnings). Yeah, Zack's dad's attitude on spanking is needed to be known as a sort of context and contrast.

In the Salthan culture, the spanking takes place as part of the purification of bathing once a month. I was thinking for them it's the spiritual half of the cleaning to the bathing is the physical.

It's not meant to be public in a humiliation sense. Kids go around without clothes in the hot climate all the time. I suppose it'd be somewhat embarrassing maybe to be punished in front of siblings, so maybe Laila's not in there and they paddle them one at a time, though separating out kids would be a bit impractical, since then Zack would be in the bath.

Zack's already undressed for the bath, so there's not really any padded place, though I suppose he could ask Lail's mom to leave and give a sort of token swat, let him have something to cushion the blow. I feel like she'd guess that's what's happening, and she'd try to hold him to honesty in doing it if he did it ("give 5 decently hard swats". 5 is the number of perfection in Saltha - though maybe that's too much and should be 1-2 instead. Maybe it should be based on age)

Then again maybe there is some way he can reason his way around this, and kind of give a token to the custom. I'll have to think about this.

I suppose it could delay to not be the first thing, though because it's monthly and Salthan months are 25 days, at best it'd be 25 days after arriving.

Yeah, it'd definitely be more embarrassing for Zack, not being part of the culture, though Zack is only like 6-8, and I feel like the embarrassment would be somewhat mild her being a motherly figure. Maybe I'm wrong.

The mom insists on bathing the newcomer (as a sign of motherly hospitality), so it's not like he's not already unclothed. She doesn't think it's weird because she's a mom of a boy the same age. IDK maybe this all comes off as weird and implausible culturally.

It's probably happened where a kid was staying over a friend/cushions house and was young enough to be bathed, but old enough to feel at least a little shy about it.

(Edited some)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my subculture of the USA -- perhaps yours, also -- it used to be the custom (and maybe still is?) to give a person one open-palmed swat on the butt for each year of his/her age on his/her birthday.

That didn't seem like so much. It was just once a year, and you had a whole day that was your day. And there were presents, and there was cake, and there was a party! The spanking seemed like a joke that everyone else "got" but you didn't.

Obviously there were allowances for youth and age. A person old enough to support himself/herself and help support someone else was exempt. So were kids too young to talk. Or at least so I think!

It may have all started with the custom of slapping a newborn baby on the butt to stimulate breathing. That turns out to have been unnecessary as a general rule; maybe it was necessary once in a great while, I suppose.

Anyhow, the frequency of this ritual seems to me to be likely to be what bothers Marcus and Zack about it. OTOH if there's a celebration included Zack might think it could be worth the "price". Or, their Salthan-blended family might accept it as a modification of the ritual.

If they gave him one swat for every month of age, I imagine not only Zack, but also Marcus, might be very sore.

Don't adults also have to be "whipped" in Saltha?

_________________________________________

When I was a kid my father was always careful to avoid spanking us on the site of an injection, or a bruise or sore or injury.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I've heard of the custom. I think maybe we did a "spanking machine" a few times, but it wasn't really a tradition in my family.

(I've heard of cases where the birthday kid had to be spanked in their "birthday suit" in front of others, including people of the opposite sex! yikes!)

I think this was inspired by the custom, though I was trying to do something a little different, a less severe but more frequent punishment.

Getting a hand spanking of equal your age even every 25 days seems a bit harsh. I'm thinking maybe it should be every half-year. (every 7 months, since there are 14 regular months and then a 15 day "outside the year" month in their calendar.), and it's the same as a regular birthday spanking.

Do you think then it'd be more acceptable to the dad if it only happens every 7 months, even if it's not associated with a party/celebration perse? I'm thinking maybe the paddle is too severe too, and maybe the mom just is going to use her hand, though the reaching for the paddle more signaled what's going on.

When I said based on age, I meant based on years, not months. Doing it by months would be excessive. I think even swat for each year every month would be a bit much, especially if it was done with a paddle and not the hand. The thing is, I want this to be believable in a medieval culture, and I realize realistically it's likely a culture with a custom like this might be more extreme, but I'm not really comfortable with doing that, so I want to tone it done a bit.

(Someone actualyl complained about this on a topic, on here, or CBB or ZBB because I wasn't being realistic enough I guess because it wasn't severe enough? They also called the practice of regular spanking "paedophilic", so yeah. I feel like it wasn't really I was getting mixed feedback, and it wasn't very reliable.).

"Don't adults also have to be "whipped" in Saltha? "

It's an optional thing, but yeah, pious Salthans do whip themselves (though it's not a barbed whip, just leather, and it's sort of like with the spanking where it's a token, probably no more than a few. Perhaps even for adults it's less frequent.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dad thought an adult should never spank a kid except in a way where the adult knew exactly what the kid was feeling; therefore, only with the open palm.
He also thought the spanking should target only the area that was best naturally-padded -- i.e. the butt.
And I already told you about his care not to hit an area that was specially sensitive, such as the site of a recent injection.

Reserving corporal punishment for offenses likely to result in bodily harm was my idea -- I don't think he ever articulated it -- but IMO it is an elaboration which is directly in line with his general philosophy.

He wouldn't have been cool with "don't ever spank kids". He was a preacher's son and he knew the proverb about "spare the rod and spoil the child". OTOH he wouldn't have countenanced using a rod or switch or paddle or belt. Or a shoe, or a hairbrush.

So, yeah, I think an open-palm spanking once every seven months might be OK. And I think both Zack and Mark might be better with it if they win a campaign to have a family celebration on the same day (or the next; like a spanking for Good Friday and a party on Easter, say).

_____________________________________________________________

BTW it's only with one of your more recent posts that I found out Zach was about 6 years old at the time of this story. The way he writes I thought he was probably an average late teen, or a bright middle teen, or a really, REALLY bright tweenager (ten to twelve).
Is he perchance writing some years after the events being narrated?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was growing up, I think the average was a spanking every month or so, (that is, at the most frequent. That's how often we'd misbehave enough that it was felt warranted, after warnings). We were spanked on the clothed bottom with a spatula, never more than 5 times as the "base" spanking (Maybe plus a few if we were really struggling during/before). At worst very rarely we'd get 10 whacks (we were less likely to struggle I think, since we didn't want it even worse). I was the oldest wth two younger brothers, so when we were all in trouble it was the worst to have to wait for the younger ones to get it first. I think 9 or 10 was the oldest I was when I got my last spanking, they just became less and less frequent until they stopped and I had other punishments (grounding, lost privileges).
----

the one thing is, every 7 months feels a bit arbitrary a little. I keep going back to maybe 1/month with the open hand with swats equal to the age, and then a feast on this day as well (sort of like Sunday ham).

Looking up info on advice about spanking, I saw someone said about 2-3x the age is normal for a spanking on the bottom with a hand.

Then again, I feel like they would normally use a paddle/switch for "normal" spankings (as was a norm in medieval times), and it feels weird that they'd just use their hand for this. I was thinking maybe they just use 1/2 as many swats as normal, or age - 4. But that raises questions about rounding, and feels kind of unnatural a medieval people would be so "mathy". I don't want them to be cruel, frequently giving a severe punishment, but I also think a lot of my hesitation has more to do with my modern views on punishment than anything.

E: That is, the visitors aren't modern humans, but from a medieval culture, with an only slightly less extreme view on corporal punishment (probably same severity, but not for "just in case"). Maybe it's just a token single swat with the paddle, regardless of age every month?

Also, having the paddle means she reaches for it, which adds a beat for the dad to call stop, rather than likely her getting in a swat before the dad can object.

I wish there was more to my Salthan culture. That we've had this back and forth over a few posts on just corporal punishment kind of illustrates what's wrong with my coculture, that seems to be really there is to it. Razz


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He is supposed to be an adult, writing a memior. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough in the introduction, though he does mention it happening a long time ago.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been working on this more, and did an update. (Though I got rid of chapter 1 for now)

I was thinking Zack would be wanting to take part in a sort of painful coming of age ceremony (10 licks with a short whip across the bare bottom), which would make him an "Uagi", and would solve the issues with clothing (Uagi are supposed to wear clothes all the time, so the kids would treat him as normal even dressed)

But, I think a kid would be pretty hesitant to get whipped( a kid at all costs would want to avoid a spanking even), and I feel like even with the sort of isolation, he'd be hesitant. What do you think?

Originally I was thinking he would take part of the ceremony as a sort of sacrificial thing where he was taking some of the punishment for Laila.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read your last post.
I don't think my comments are going to be too helpful;
they are:
1 (of 2): "I sure am glad to read another post of yours in this thread!"
and
2 (of 2): "I dunno, they all seem like good ideas to me, and I don't know which would be better".

I look forward to whatever's next!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you don't think it's too weird if a kid to ask for a (pretty severe) whipping, for the sake of fitting in?

Another hypothetical question: if you had a son, about 8-10, and he asled to undergo the ceremony, given the reason that he wants to fit in, would you allow it on the first request? if not, would you if he came back and kept insisting? What would you tell him?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
So you don't think it's too weird if a kid to ask for a (pretty severe) whipping, for the sake of fitting in?

Depends on the kid's age.
Also, perhaps he asks for it "sometime, but not right now".
I'm thinking of a movie I saw about a white (USAnian) kid who was raised as one of "the invisible people" (a Native South American tribe) in South America.
When he just about hit puberty, he asked his father (that is, the tribesman who'd adopted him) about becoming a man. (That is, about undergoing the ordeal after which he would be recognized as a man instead of a boy.)
(btw I can't remember whether it was the case for "our hero"; but for at least some of the boys, when they "started noticing" a girl, or she "started noticing" them, they would start thinking "now's the time I need to become a man".)
His father kept his cards close to his chest, but agreed with the boy's (adoptive) mother and the other men of the tribe that it was time.
Without hinting, to the boy in question or any other boy, that it was about to happen, he and the other men one day surprised all the boys and accused his son "You say you are a man, but I say you are just a boy!" and dragged him off to the ordeal.
The ordeal was difficult enough to be scary, but not so difficult that an actual adolescent couldn't be counted on to go through it.
The point is; yes, the kid volunteered for the ordeal; no, he never said "in fact, let's do it right now!".
Perhaps if the usual age for the "bar-mitzvah" (or equivalent) was, say, 12 or 13, but the boy were, say, 17 or so, he might get impatient and ask to be put through it "immediately if not sooner".
But maybe that almost never happens.


Foolster41 wrote:
Another hypothetical question: if you had a son, about 8-10, and he asled to undergo the ceremony, given the reason that he wants to fit in, would you allow it on the first request?

At that age? No. I would think this would apply only to adulthood rites-of-passage. IRL those occur between about (say) 12 and about (say) 21. (? maybe I'm wrong?)
Getting a driver's license;
getting gun-training and a gun license;
getting to go hunting;
getting tapped out to undergo the Boy Scouts' "Order of the Arrow" Ordeal;
and so on.
Among other families (not mine! we were Methodists!), maybe being allowed to order an alcoholic drink, or to buy and smoke a tobacco product, or even a (supervised) visit to a (legal and licensed!) brothel, might be on the table. Or, these days, a legal marihuana or cannabis product, if such are available legally for merely recreational use.
And, of course, bar-mitzvahs and bat-mitzvahs, and joining the church as a member, and getting your own Bible, and whatever the Islamic equivalents of those are, and other religions' ideas, and the Hispanic-Americans' quinceañera (sp? probably erroneous as heck), and sweet-sixteen parties, and making debuts or "coming-out" cotillions (being a debutante), and girls getting their ears pierced for the first time, and getting their first tattoo, etc.

Foolster41 wrote:
if not, would you if he came back and kept insisting?

Eventually, when I thought he was really ready (i.e. really deserved the change of status, as well as really probably would pass the ordeal), I'd decide to do it.
Every time somebody -- especially the boy -- brought up the idea, I'd discuss it with the other adults involved; his closest adult relatives (including his mom and his uncles and grandpas and maybe also his aunts and grandmas) and maybe also his coaches and teachers (especially the men), and those of his adult brothers I could count on to keep it a secret from him.
Just in case my own independent judgment happened to be wrong, and they could convince me to change my mind. Or, vice-versa, theirs was wrong, and I could convince them.

Foolster41 wrote:
What would you tell him?

It would depend.
In keeping with the mind-set I'm in for this post, I'd tell him nothing; I'd spring it on him as a surprise.
But IRL I'd probably just gradually offer less and less resistance until, one day, I said "OK". That's what I am doing about my daughter and her desire for a tattoo and her desire to legally drink "soft" alcohol. I'll probably buy her some "hard" cider (5% alcohol, not really "hard" IMO) tomorrow, even though she won't turn 21 until the 19th.
She already snuck around my (and her legal guardians'!) objections and bought some "vaping" stuff. I made my displeasure known -- too late to stop her, of course -- but didn't make too big a deal of it (not too big IMO, that is). I mostly tried to impress on her how impolite it was for her to vape in her house or my car when the management of said house or the owner of said car didn't want it done there. She's never vaped in my car, and AFAIK she's never again vaped in her house. I think the "thrill" of vaping wore off rather rapidly for her.
The year she was going to turn 18 (but hadn't yet), I offered her some of those Seagram's flavored beers (they're 3.2% "near-beers"). She refused. I think she thinks that drinking alcohol is something only adults should do, and she wants to do it as soon as she's adult and not a day sooner.
Or something. I'm not an accomplished mind-reader; she can read mine better than I can read hers.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chiarizio wrote:
Depends on the kid's age.
Also, perhaps he asks for it "sometime, but not right now".

The kid is about 8-9.
Quote:
The point is; yes, the kid volunteered for the ordeal; no, he never said "in fact, let's do it right now!".
Perhaps if the usual age for the "bar-mitzvah" (or equivalent) was, say, 12 or 13, but the boy were, say, 17 or so, he might get impatient and ask to be put through it "immediately if not sooner".
But maybe that almost never happens.


I'm going to have to look up that story. (E: I can't find it. Do you remember what was the ordeal?)

Yeah, the breaking down his defenses and then kind of springing it on him makes more sense. And I was thinking he'd be saying "when I'm 10", which is the normal time a Salthan would undergo the ceremony. I'll be sure to make that more clear in the story though.

Quote:
Eventually, when I thought he was really ready (i.e. really deserved the change of status, as well as really probably would pass the ordeal), I'd decide to do it.

Keep in mind the "normal" time for this would be age 10, and "passing" is merely going through a whipping, so there really isn't a failure, just that it'd really hurt.

Quote:
Every time somebody -- especially the boy -- brought up the idea, I'd discuss it with the other adults involved; his closest adult relatives (including his mom and his uncles and grandpas and maybe also his aunts and grandmas) and maybe also his coaches and teachers (especially the men), and those of his adult brothers I could count on to keep it a secret from him.
Just in case my own independent judgment happened to be wrong, and they could convince me to change my mind. Or, vice-versa, theirs was wrong, and I could convince them.

That makes sense, he'd talk about it with Laila's father.

In this scenario there's no other family members, just you and your son. Also, the other people are maybe not insistent (I don't see Salthans telling people what they should do with their kids) , but gently hinting that at least when he turns 10 he should go through it. or you should "consider it" (their way of saying you should allow it).

They'd probably say that he is living here, and since the plan is to live here for now on (at least in the conceivable future) it makes sense he would be adapting to their ways. They'd say it'd solve the issue with getting along with the other boys. They'd say it'd be a sort of bond between him and the Salthan boy (Laila), if they went through hit together (I'm thinking Zack's birthday is a few months after Laila's, so they'd suggest them just doing the ceremony on the same day).

I guess I'm afraid people in general would find the situation too implausible, (that I don't back up the pressure Zack feels to belong that he wants to do this), and maybe even horrified that the dad (who I want to portray as sympathetic, he's not a carelessly allowing his son to be hurt) would do such a thing.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
(E: I can't find it. Do you remember what was the ordeal?)

My memories of the movie are getting a bit hazy, so I do remember some ordeals the boy voluntarily went through, but I don't remember which ones were for the manhood rite and which ones were for the vision quest.
At any rate:
One or the other involved ants with hallucinogenic venom;
one or the other involved hallucinogenic smoke;
and one or the other involved dancing himself into a trance.
(edit: apparently it was the ants. /edit)
Pretty sure the dance was part of the vision quest instead of part of the manhood rite.
Anyway the other young men went through the vision quest ritual with him; their young women had been kidnapped (by South American whites) and they needed the vision to figure out what to do. "Our Hero"'s vision was the one they decided to follow; they went into the city in search of his biological dad (the dad thought the boy was dead, the boy thought the dad was a spirit instead of a physical person), and to do that they first had to find some urban Native South Americans (from, IIANM, some other tribe, not "the invisible people").
To me it seems that the ants would be more of an ordeal, but the smoke would be easier for the adults to make sure the boy was not permanently harmed by the rite.
And anyway there may have been another ordeal I'm not remembering.


Foolster41 wrote:
That makes sense, he'd talk about it with Laila's father.

I guess I'm confused.
Isn't Laila the name of Zack's stepbrother?
Isn't Zack's father married to Laila's mother?
Is Laila's father still alive and also no longer married to Laila's mother?
Or is she married to both men and that's fine with everybody?
Or is Laila actually Zack's stepmother?
Or what?


Foolster41 wrote:
…. (lots of stuff that sounds great to me but that I won't quote because space) ….

Yeah!


Foolster41 wrote:
I guess I'm afraid people in general would find the situation too implausible, (that I don't back up the pressure Zack feels to belong that he wants to do this), and maybe even horrified that the dad (who I want to portray as sympathetic, he's not a carelessly allowing his son to be hurt) would do such a thing.

Foolster41 wrote:
…. people in general ….

You mean the reading public? I'm pretty sure that if I'm fine with it, readers like me will also be fine with it.
You mean Salthans and Braydonians (or whatever Zack's and his father's native ethnic group is)? I think they'll think and feel whatever you say they'll think and feel.
IMO there's nothing in your proposal that's not unfixably "leave it out" material.
Either don't worry; or figure out a way to make the whipping not hurt too much to horrify whoever it is you're afraid of horrifying; or remember that whoever needs to "plaus" this probably is willingly suspending their disbelief, and will try to work with you to find your plot "plausible", for the sake of the game or the story or whatever.
Or some other solution I haven't thought of. You've proven to be creative; I'm confident whatever solution you come up with will actually solve something.

Anyway: Beset of luck!
I look forward to hearing from you again!
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry if I wrote confusingly.

Laila is the Salthan (lizard-folk) boy who Zack and his father are living with. Zack also lives with Laila's biological mother and father (both also Lizard-folk). The only humans though of Zack's family who are in Saltha are Zack and his dad (Zack's mom died).

I guess what I was trying to ask was, you said 10 seemed too young, but if you advised by the natives that you should just go ahead ("it'll hurt like hell, but won't kill the boy"), would you do it, even if your son was 10? I guess I'm trying to figure out at what point a dad (from my culture, or roughly) would say "yes" to this, and I feel like I like I don't have that frame of refrence, never being a father. (I don't remember if you ever said if you've been a parent or not)

Quote:
You mean the reading public? I'm pretty sure that if I'm fine with it, readers like me will also be fine with it.


Yes, I did. Okay, maybe I am worried too much about this.

Quote:
or remember that whoever needs to "plaus" this probably is willingly suspending their disbelief, and will try to work with you to find your plot "plausible", for the sake of the game or the story or whatever.


Well, this is just a stand-alone story, not a colaberative story or roleplay.

Quote:
Anyway: Beset of luck!

Thanks! Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to wait until I actually read the scene for my writer's group tomorrow, but there's no real point in waiting.

Instead of just talking about the hypotheticals of how the scene might be too much, here's the scene. (Editing into OP)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Foolster, I still like this.
Are you still among us?
Have you gotten further with your story?
Maybe you finished it?
Maybe you published it?
Let us know!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh! This forum is back!
I hadn't been around because it was gone, I thought permanently.
I've done a few re-writes of this, and I actually just started today a completely new re-write of this story. I can post it here when I'm done.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
Oh! This forum is back!
I hadn't been around because it was gone, I thought permanently.
I've done a few re-writes of this, and I actually just started today a completely new re-write of this story. I can post it here when I'm done.


I am so glad you're back!
And I look forward eagerly to reading your latest revisions!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chiarizio wrote:
I am so glad you're back!
And I look forward eagerly to reading your latest revisions!


Still looking forward to your next post, Foolster!

'Course, I also need to compose my next substantive post about something.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah. I hit a few snags in the re-write, I feel like I've improved what I have (folded in information of the missing first chapter, got rid of the temple section, changed the weird passive whipping ceremony to a scarification ceremony which works way better).

But I feel like this is still a skeleton of a story (I want more side plots). But, I might as well post what I have so far, though the main story isn't terribly different.

Edited in to the OP.
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