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Arcadia, cats and dogs

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Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby waytanblee » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:16 am

I've been writing for a while now. It seems to supplement computer games for me, that's how much I enjoy it. Though for the past five years I've been on medication for being psychic, and it decreases enjoyment, so it is hard to enjoy a good book anymore unless it is really good. Too, it is hard to view my work as good, but I still like it better than a lot of other stuff that I read. I would leave writing something serious till later, but God is telling me to write a book and isn't happy when I'm not. I just don't think I'm ready, and I jump around from book to book Like crazy. What I have here is the work of the morning, small though it be, and I was wondering if you would like to read it just for fun. I also need plot ideas. All I have now is the concept of companioned cats and dogs, ferals, post apocalyptic world where humans have died out, and the city of Arcadia where cats and dogs are raising the technologies of old.

Mistle walked in front of Rolfus, leading him through the forest path. It was green here, sickeningly green. Wet bugs tunnelled through the leaves and the mosses and creepers wove their way through everything. The ground was wet and the ferns tickled their faces, and they padded their way along the thin path that had been signposted “The Murger trail.” They were tired and unless they found water soon they would have to dig into the stores, their personal carafes had been exhausted. Mistle was pretty sure that they’d seen the last of the ferals, the last of the decrepit cities were far behind them now. They had been traveling for months, not even sure how it fared behind them, in their home town of Huttle. This lay of the land was quite free of the masters’ settlements. That meant no ferals.
Rolfus was plodding along, kicking up his dog paws with each step rather slowly. He’d been complaining of a sore foot-paw, and that was strange for Rolfus. He was usually the stoic kind that was common for his breed, that being an Irish wolfhound. He let out a whine. That was when Mistle turned and noticed. Then she suggested a rest. They veered off the path and into the shrubbery, taking no care for the pristine environment. They were warriors on a quest, not monks.
‘Let’s break into the cheese and bread,’ suggested Mistle, unwrapping the haversack and taking care of the extra finger on her right hand once she had sat down on a rock.
‘I am hungry,’ replied Rolfus, sitting down like an obedient dog, ‘But my paw, it’s really sore.’
‘Maybe you have something in it,’ Mistle shrugged.
‘Can you have a look at it then?’ Rolfus pleaded, nipping at it.
‘Don’t do that. Here.’ She shuffled over even though her belly told her to do otherwise, and after a haphazard pause grabbed a bit of bread anyway and gripped it in her teeth. Then she inspected Rolfus’s paw.
Rolfus was Mistle’s companion. That was what it was called when a cat and a dog were bonded together, which they usually were since cats could only preform some tasks and dogs too could only preform some tasks. Cats, you see, could walk on two legs and they could use their hands, and dogs could defend and fight, and they could apply force, and they could plough the earth. Pedigree cats and dogs these days lived in self-made towns stretching along the landscape. The moggies and mutts however lived in the decrepit cities that the masters once occupied, scavenging rats and wildlife and the farm animals that had turned wild and had let loose on the land. The ferals didn’t work together between the species of cat and dog. It was a great fear that someday they might, but it was seen as an impossibility because of how dark and demented they actually were. The ferals were nothing more than pests.
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby Tony » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:40 am

Waytanblee, Hi.

I've had a good look at what you've uploaded and give you some of my thoughts. I like the concept - it's sort of gentle and harks back to the sort of thing Clifford Simak might have written. I love his stuff.

I can be a little bit of a stickler about plot, words and facts which is why I really appreciated your feedback on my Song world. So don't mind me, I mean well. I know you've just started on this but it is darn good so far.

I think you start it off really well. I am not sure about "their personal carafes" - I think another types of container for liquids might be more suitable, eg canteens.

"The ground was wet and .. ... ... .. They were tired and unless they found water soon they would have to dig into the stores, their personal carafes had been exhausted" - I am a little uncertain at this point as to what the difference is between their personal carafes and the stores. I can see they would want to keep their water containers topped up - as the ferns are dripping and the ground is wet this probably would not be difficult. They would probably only be carrying a canteen of water each as water is heavy.

"Rolfus was plodding along, kicking up his dog paws with each step rather slowly." For me, you do not need to say "dog paws" just "paws" as Rolfus comes over as a dog from the start and you give his breed a little further on. You know your cats and dogs. They both work really well.

"He’d been complaining of a sore foot-paw, and .. ... ... .. That was when Mistle turned and noticed. Then she suggested a rest." I think you can lose the "Then". See what I mean about me being picky.

"That was what it was called when a cat and a dog were bonded together, which they usually were since cats could only preform some tasks and dogs too could only preform some tasks. " Spelling - perform. Some rewording here would work better for me:

"That was what it was called when a cat and a dog were bonded together, which they usually were since they balanced out each others deficiencies. Cats were good at things that dogs found difficult and dogs, well dogs, could do everything else, which they did with a smile on their faces." Or something simpler.

"the farm animals that had turned wild and had let loose on the land" - how about if the farm animals had broken out of their fields / barns / something unpleasant like factories?

Are you going to introduce some feral characters into a story arc of their own to show their "humanity"? It could be something to think about as they could intersect with Mistle and Rolfus.

I really want to read more of this.

Tone (I am tired of Tone - all me Tony"
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby waytanblee » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:05 am

Thanks, Tony. I've committed those thing to memory and will deal with them. The introduction of the Ferals could be another good plot point. What I've etched out so far is a love story between Mistle and another Ragdoll cat, but this story still seems like a dry sponge to me.


Arcadia 1

Mistle walked in front of Rolfus, leading him through the forest path. It was green here, sickeningly green. Wet bugs tunnelled through the leaves and the mosses and creepers wove their way through everything. The ground was wet and the ferns tickled their faces, and they padded their way along the thin path that had been signposted “The Murger trail.” They were tired and unless they found water soon they would have to dig into the stores on Rolfus’s back, their personal canteens had been exhausted. Mistle was pretty sure that they’d seen the last of the ferals, the last of the decrepit cities were far behind them now. They had been traveling for months, not even sure how it fared behind them, in their home town of Huttle. This lay of the land was quite free of the masters’ settlements. That meant no ferals.
Rolfus was plodding along, kicking up his gauntleted paws with each step rather slowly. He’d been complaining of a sore foot-paw, and that was strange for Rolfus. He was usually the stoic kind that was common for his breed, that being an Irish wolfhound. He let out a whine. That was when Mistle turned and noticed. Then she suggested a rest. They veered off the path and into the shrubbery, taking no care for the pristine environment. They were warriors on a quest, not monks.
‘Let’s break into the cheese and bread,’ suggested Mistle, unwrapping the haversack and taking care of the extra finger on her right hand once she had sat down on a rock.
‘I am hungry,’ replied Rolfus, sitting down like an obedient dog, ‘But my paw, it’s really sore.’
‘Maybe you have something in it,’ Mistle shrugged.
‘Can you have a look at it then?’ Rolfus pleaded, nipping at it.
‘Don’t do that. Here.’ She shuffled over even though her belly told her to do otherwise, and after a haphazard pause grabbed a bit of bread anyway and gripped it in her teeth. Then she inspected Rolfus’s paw.
Rolfus was Mistle’s symbiot. That was what it was called when a cat and a dog were bonded together, which they usually were since cats could only preform some tasks, and dogs too could only preform some tasks. Cats, you see, could walk on two legs and they could use their hands, and dogs could defend and fight, and they could apply force, and they could plough the earth. Pedigree cats and dogs these days lived in self-made towns stretching along the landscape. The moggies and mutts however lived in the decrepit cities that the masters once occupied, scavenging sewer rats and wildlife and the farm animals that had escaped their farms. The ferals didn’t work together between their species of cat and dog. It was a great fear that someday they might, but it was seen as an impossibility because of how dark and demented they actually were. The ferals were nothing more than pests, pests that should be wiped out.
‘Yeah, you do have something in here. Let me get the needle.’ Mistle jumped up and went to the pack on Rolfus’s back, which was significantly larger than her own haversack. They kept a needle and twine incase their clothes were to break when they were on long journeys. They each wore leather, Mistle’s was a tunic vest, and Rolfus’s was a jacket. Mistle had a belt with a dagger stuck into it as well, though that only came out when she had to fight, which had happened twice on this journey. They had kept to the shadows as much as possible on their trip to the mystic’s town of Yuren, but they hadn’t counted on the ferals taking hunting trips in the forests.
Once it had been a feral cat, a moggy, looking for meat. Ferals weren’t fussy about what they ate. Cat and dog were always on the menu for them. Mistle had taken it down with a dagger thrust to the throat. Then she had buried it with all the proper rites on the side of the road, with a tiny collection of rocks as the headstone. It was always sad when she had to put down one of her own kind. She felt for them even though they were evil at heart, right down to their very core. The next time it had been a pack of mutts, by an old quarry near a unity settlement. Mistle had jumped on Rolfus’s back at the first sound of their padding paws and they had flown wordlessly into the night, only escaping because of the mutts’ likely malnutrition, or perhaps Rolfus’s superior running strength particular to his breed.
There was a thorn stuck in Rolfus’s paw, that was sure. It looked infected too. Mistle got it out without a whine from Rolfus, as she was skilled and he was tough. Once it was out she inspected it with her digits, right up close to her eye. ‘That’s a nasty one, Rolfus. It’s not a splinter, it’s an actual thorn, from a plant.’
‘Funny, I don’t remember feeling it.’ Rolfus looked sodden and bent down to untie his gauntlet with his teeth, feeling it would be all the better to lick at the wound like that.
Mistle took another bite from her bread and cheese, Rolfus’s was by now sitting by his feet, but he had more interesting matters at hand. ‘You must have picked it up from that flee from that pack of mutts by Avernere.’
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby Tony » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:12 am

Hi

Some nice development going on. I've got some questions that might help:

What is the quest that Mistle and Rolfus are on? You may want to drip feed some hints along the way.

What sort of warriors are they - who are they loyal to?

Is it something to do with the monks?

Who is Mistle's love interest? Is he / she at risk in any way or on a quest as well?

What happened to the masters?

Why do the pedigree dogs and cats build their own townships and let the mutts and moggies have the old town?

What is the relationship between the pedigrees and the masters? Was there some conflict between them? How long ago was it?

What happened to split the pedigrees from the feral dogs and cats? Did one side support the masters and the other side support some power?

Does that help?

Bye

Tony
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby waytanblee » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:33 am

I more or less know the answers to those questions now at least, I suppose. Thanks for posing them. I'll attempt to answer them now.

What is the quest that Mistle and Rolfus are on? You may want to drip feed some hints along the way.
They're looking for warriors for Huttle.

What sort of warriors are they - who are they loyal to?
Loyal to the "unity" between pedigree cats and dogs.

Is it something to do with the monks?
Not sure yet. I may need to use another word instead, because monks generally are fighters.

Who is Mistle's love interest? Is he / she at risk in any way or on a quest as well?
Just a normal farmer I think.

What happened to the masters?
Nuclear apocalypse.

Why do the pedigree dogs and cats build their own townships and let the mutts and moggies have the old town?
There are so many ferals.

What is the relationship between the pedigrees and the masters? Was there some conflict between them? How long ago was it?
The masters died out from radiation. What remains of the animals are mutations.

What happened to split the pedigrees from the feral dogs and cats? Did one side support the masters and the other side support some power?
Well, that one's just a plot devise.

I hope you enjoyed entering the world of Arcadia. :)
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby Tony » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:20 am

OK. I look forward to the next instalment.

Tony
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby waytanblee » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:16 pm

‘Yes, something like that of course,’ Rolfus said busily. It wasn’t his fault after all, sometimes these things just happened. ‘Can you perform some healing magic on it now and bandage it up?’
Mistle moaned. She was just getting into her lunch. ‘You know, we should arrive at Bank sometime in the next day or two. Possibly today, and if so we won’t need to be stingy about our water supply or gather it from these plants.’ Whilst Mistle talked she cupped her hands over Rolfus’s paw and a blue glow started to emerge from her paws.
‘Have you read the map?’ Rolfus asked.
‘Yes, but there’s a water stain on it right above the town of Bank. It’s all blotted out.’ Mistle’s eyes were watering from the strain of healing now, and her whiskers were taut.
‘Auspicious. You might want to ask a monk about that, it could be a sign.’ Rolfus himself was looking up at the greenery. There was a bird about, flitting too and thro among some creepers hanging from a tree. It was a robin redbreast, a small and delightful little bird. Rolfus watched it with a smile. Respite was rare for a warrior. ‘Hey, look at that bird, Mistle,’ he said with passion. ‘I think it wants to be friends.’
‘Frens!’ tweeted the bird.
‘Did that bird just speak?’ Mistle queried wryly.
‘Nonsense, birds can’t speak,’ woofed Rolfus, amused as if a master had pulled out a ball. Dogs had still retained their love of balls after all this time, but the masters unfortunately were no longer around. Cats had to throw for them.
‘The bird is gone now, Rolfus. You probably scared it off with your bark.’ Rolfus looked very emotional at this suggestion and sadly went about eating his bread and cheese.
The locality of the forest was inland about 30 kilometres from the ocean on the south side of the landmass. It was rumoured that all there was south of the....

It's all I've got at the moment, I'm reading a book called The Secret in the Bible. It's jam packed with interest. Found out that the Illuminati was the name that some elect Christians gave themselves. The writer lives in Cairo now, but he's from Australia.
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby Tony » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:24 am

Keep working on this story - its fun.

Just some ideas you can use if you want:

You could get more mileage out of Rolfus' injury if you skip the healing scenario and just get Mistle to bathe it and bandage it up. It would slow them down and could open their journey up to more dangers particularly if an infection gets hold. That could lead them to having to find a healer rather than have Mistle do it.

In addition, she could tell him that the water to bathe the wound is coming out of his share and he had better start looking for more water and take more care in future.

I wonder if there should not be a few more difficulties as a result of the nuclear devastation. The dogs and cats seem to have won hands/paws down when the master destroyed themselves. There could be some downsides that cause them more problems.

If the animals are going to get "super powers" as a result of mutations then maybe some of the feral animals would be very powerful and dangerous.
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby waytanblee » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:33 am

I'm thinking of a sci fi at the moment, you inspired me with yours. So I might work on that, but thanks for complimenting this one. My idea with the injury was that it was going to flair up and they would have to stay at Bank where Mistle would meet her love.
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby Tony » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:27 am

That would be a nice twist (or is it move?) for Arcadia. I'm looking forward to reading it. I know what you mean, I'm working on at least 3 strands of my Song World sequence - it has some downsides as I cannot always get to work on the bit I want as some other development has got me hooked and won't let me go.

Good luck with the sf story, you've already got an audience.

Tony (*v*)
Last edited by Tony on Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Arcadia, cats and dogs

Postby Ariel » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:03 pm

Cool story! I enjoy stories with animals in them. Keep at it!! :D
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