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Claire Tucker

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  • Location
    Ladysmith, South Africa
  • Occupation
    Music Teacher (Private)

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  1. Hello

    Hey man welcome.
  2. What Kind Of Writer Are You?

    Err...I don't see myself either....maybe a mix. Or not.
  3. Group Effort

    Ah...sounds good. Maybe I'll try get some of their work. And love the advice very...practical.
  4. Group Effort

    Thanks Here's where I display serious ignorance...who's Raymond Chandler?
  5. Group Effort - Working Story Thread

    20 hours was a long time to walk, but the sooner I found this John Stone the sooner I’d be on my ride back home. Tunnel 63, Main Dome, was up ahead. The last vagabond I’d questioned had thought someone here would be able to direct me to my man. Just like the guy I’d questioned before him…and the one before that…and the one before that…. I’d learnt after the first bundle-of-rags I’d asked. Don’t pay until they give you something to work with. I learnt after the third to not give an indication of how much cash I had on me. Not that it’d helped. The last had held out his hand, reddened with the dust of this place, before even looking me in the eye. Stepping into 63, I inhaled a little sharply and nearly gagged. A monitor in the wall on my right glowed faintly in the dim light, an information-access point for the Martian Security. Beyond that I could vaguely make out bundles standing or leaning against the walls of what was supposed to be a travelling tunnel only. No homes. A bundle close to me shifted, and I detected eyes before I realized that it was a person. I stepped towards him. “I’m looking for a man.” He slowly looked me over and turned away. “Those services aren’t available here.” “He’s about five-foot-seven, light complexion, medium-length brown hair.” “Is that so?” The man gave an exaggerated yawn, scratching at the grimy knitted hat on his head. He was wearing at least two shirts, from what holes and random colors I could see. I gritted my teeth, refusing to play the game he wanted me to. “You talk, then I pay.” “Why don’t you go to hell? Maybe you’d find him there.” He shifted his attention back to me and held out his hand, dirty eyebrow raised. I shook my head slowly, and he looked away. “Suit yourself, pretty boy.” Cursing under my breath, I dug a chip from my pocket and dropped at his mismatched boots. “Anything else special about him?” the man asked, snatching the chip up and hiding it. “His name is John Stone.” “Never heard of him.” “Maybe this will help,” I snapped, dropping another chip at his feet. He ignored it. “No, it won’t,” he stated, gathering his rags about him and rising to look me in the eye. “Drop it, ok? He doesn’t exist.” I held his gaze as an indistinct echo reached us. He broke off first, looking up the tunnel. The echo came again, louder and more clear. “Rats!” The result was immediate. Every other bundle in the dim light dove for the walls, disappearing. The man before me whispered the same word harshly down the tunnel, before diving for a hole I hadn’t seen before. Even as I watched, a boulder appeared in the gap, sealing and concealing it. I looked around the now deserted tunnel, perplexed. The monitor was still glowing, the light was still dim, but there was no other sign of life. My gaze returned to the monitor. Most required finger prints to access, but the lower tunnels were still on the old system. Every citizen had to present their IDs once a sol to security, along with their latest address. All this was uploaded to the central security system. John Stone, or Jean-Pierre Baptiste, would have to do the same. Looking around the deserted and silent tunnel, I stepped to the monitor and tapped it once. A number pad flashed up, and I smiled. So easy to hack, I thought as I started pressing the glowing buttons. “Freeze! MMP!” Martian Military Police. I froze, grinding my teeth. Gloved hands grabbed my wrists and forced them together while the icy grip of cuffs held them in place. “Look, I’m not anywhere I shouldn’t be….” “Shut up, Marlowe,” someone replied, and my vision darkened as a hood was dumped over my head. They had me in a single cell, magnetic cuffs holding my ankles and wrists to the wall. You’d have to be the Hulk to break out of them. Dim light. It cost too much to make it bright, like they did in movies back on Earth. What unnerved me was the fact that there shadows. Plenty of them. Plenty to hide someone, while I was standing in what little light there was. “You’ve built an impressive reputation, Mr. Marlowe,” a cultured voice said from one of the shadows. Definitely masculine. And unemotional. “And you’ve been busy the last day or so. Walking the tunnels. Asking questions.” He paused, while I tried to pinpoint where he was. “Questions are dangerous things,” he added from the shadow close to me. “So? You’ve got nothing on me.” “Really?” He had moved away again. “Hacking the security systems is nothing? They’re there for a reason. And then there’s your escapade of ninety sols ago. And your questions about a certain man.” “Is that what this is about?” I asked slowly. The speaker sighed from a shadow to my right. “Still asking questions, aren’t you? Then again, fifty thousand credits would tempt anyone. What did you plan to do with that?” “Go home.” “To your hole in the wall?” He had moved away again. “To Earth.” “Really? Where would you go?” “That’s not your business.” “Actually, it is. The new government on Earth is looking for examples. And, as we get our supplies from them, our government is naturally co-operative.” “New government?” The speaker sighed again, this time on my left. “You are behind the times, aren’t you? All the borders have been dissolved. There are no countries anymore. Only their government, and ours. Your dual citizenship won’t help you anymore.” My breath caught, and he chuckled softly. “Yes, we know about that. Very nicely done, I must say, coming as a British citizen. They didn’t see that coming. Obviously, they’d rather have people with an Earth record. Makes the example stronger.” “There’s no proof,” I stammered. “They don’t need proof.” “What do you want?” I hadn’t meant to shout, and winced at the echo. “Stone. Blossom has her own reasons for finding him, we have ours. Find us Stone, and your records disappear. Just like that,” he snapped his fingers for effect, and my restraints released, humming softly as they retracted into the wall. I stepped forward cautiously, testing my new freedom, as the shadow ahead of me changed, releasing a man, tall, broad-shouldered, greying hair and cold grey eyes. He extended his hand to me, smiling a cool smile. “Find us Stone within 25 days, and we’ll even throw in a free ride home.” I hesitated before taking the outstretched hand. The man squeezed, and I grimaced a little as pain shot up into my wrist.
  6. Writing From A Christian Worldview

    So true. We get to pay attention to what perspective we present in our work, and I believe that this is important, even when we're not writing for Christians.
  7. Group Effort

    Awesome! I personally love flawed characters and walking a little bit on the dark side...will see where this goes and add something over the weekend.
  8. Group Effort

    Might be keen to try my hand, but I've never written sci-fi so don't know where I'd take it.... Will check out the other thread and try think something to add by the weekend.
  9. Giving Critiques

    Thanks so much everyone!
  10. Giving Critiques

    Hi everyone, I'm not sure that this is the right forum for this question, but anyway. I'm new to the whole idea of giving feedback on someone else's work and honestly, I'm a bit nervous at the thought of offering a critique. So my question to all the more-experienced critique members out there - is there some general advice you could give to make it easier to give feedback and critiques? Thanks in advance
  11. Wow, so true. And challenging.
  12. Why Do You Write (or Like) Fantasy?

    There are many reasons that I'm drawn to the fantasy genre, but they probably relate back to a few key points (some of which have probably already been stated above). A fantasy world often puts into pictures that which we cannot see in this world. Angels. Demons. Heaven and hell. You just have to read The Simirillion, LOTR and Narnia to see the parallels. And in putting those things to pictures, in committing them to a character, a race or a set of rules, we can explore them a little and hopefully understand them better. But my personal reason for wanting to write fantasy is to reach a broken and lost world with a message of hope and love. I want to speak to the world in "parables", and show them Christ where they weren't necessarily looking for Him.
  13. Your Areas Of Expertise!

    LOL!!! You guys had me giggling the whole time I was reading this!!! Areas of expertise... Well, I'm South African, so could probably help a little in general questions relating to that. I am also a (fairly new) SCUBA diver I am also a music teacher, giving piano and violin lessons. I was Home educated As for weapons...my brothers only let me near those under strict supervision And I wouldn't know where to start taking a car apart...and would probably have my family intervene if I tried.
  14. What Did/do You Like To Read?

    Nicholas, you're not alone. I also read the KJV, but also enjoy the Amplified version of late. So while we're on the topic of what everyone enjoys reading...favourite book(s) of the Bible anyone? Mine is probably Isaiah. Verne's 20'000 Leagues...yep, definitely a lot of looking at fish in that one. Although I will admit to having enjoyed the layers Verne put into Captain Nemo...twisted as he was. For those who enjoy fantasy, adventure and a twist on jumping between two worlds: Ted Dekker's series The Circle is a must. One of my favourites that I have reread and thoroughly enjoyed each time. As for classics, Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities will probably remain one of my most beloved books.
  15. Hi There

    Thnaks everyone I'm definitely feeling quite welcome. lynnmosher, I will definitely do some research before submitting my work to a publishing house. And ask plenty of questions. I have a habit of doing that. Yep, it is definitely summer down here. But the midday heat tends where I live tends to drive people indoors seeking relief next-to their air-cons. But the early mornings and evenings are lovely.

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