I use[info]questails for her computer geniousness. 

After the Singapore Incident, I went a-searching for online document storage because emailing stories and notes to myself (and backing it all up on three separate flash drives, or posting it and locking it here) didn’t fully satisfy my ocd. I discovered some nicely recommended storage sites, but I’ve successfully locked myself down with anti-malware everything and the sites won’t allow me to upload without turning it off, which I cannot do because something might explode.

So I asked[info]questails and she put up with my ignorance magnanimously (as always) and said, why don’t you just use the document feature on gmail?


I’ve been playing with gmail docs for a couple weeks now and I love it love it love it. I love that I can email stories in and send draft links without attachments to whomever I want (the rest of you might not share in my ease of sharing). It’s clean text that keeps the style definitions so that I can copy and post without having to fiddle with font, unlike Word 07 which is of the devil, notepad takes too much out, etc.  

Curious about word count last night, I searched around to see if there was any difference between Word and gmail and discovered – my writing is easily understood by the average eleven year old and I typically write at the fourth grade level according to the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Tests. Occasionally, rarely, I step up to the fifth grade level. That puts me about even with Reader’s Digest and a little better than our local disaster of a newspaper. 

I’m sure Word offers the same information, but I never go deeper than the word count at the bottom of the screen. I know the tests don’t qualify as ratings, if it did, my fondness for a certain word that begins with f would push me at least into middle school (where I will eternally remain in heart and action). So, I’m going to be more polysyllabic this week. I’m going to keep telling[info]questails that she’s magnanimous, because she is.  And[info]victoriawiley, who writes shopping lists at the doctorate level, I’m going to tell her that she’s perspicacious, because that’s why I love her, and with her help I will use more semi-colons and develop complex sentence structures and I will finally understand the past perfect tense. I will try, and fail, to stop beginning sentences with And and But. 

So, using Flesch-Kincaid, who is your target audience?


From: [identity profile] ahpookishere.livejournal.com

Flesch-Kincaid told me my grade level is 7.12. This is clearly false, because there is no grade level 7.12. It tries to explain this logic to me using mathematics, however, in my world, logic and mathematics do not always go hand in hand.

I don't think semicolons are the answer. I rampantly abuse them, and half the time, my sentences would not be grammatically correct in any known language, living or dead.

From: [identity profile] ahpookishere.livejournal.com

Oh no! I meant to use my monster icon, and I fucked up and used my monkey one instead. Am I banned from your journal, now? :-(

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

You're not banned today because someone, someone that I thought liked me, had me click on a link that led to CLOWNS. And then they told me to be extra careful opening my car door because there might be one hiding underneath. I won't be okay for at least a week.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

I'm going to try to reply, but that thing keeps looking at me.

Tonight I'll see if I can write a ninth grade sentence. It will be hard; (semicolon!!!) I want to know the criteria. And I like your sentences, which tells me that I, at least, can read at the 7.12 grade level.

Oxford commas. It might have something to do with oxford commas.

From: [identity profile] ahpookishere.livejournal.com

I'm beginning to suspect that my 7.12 was falsely achieved. Mostly, because the text I used was Unfinished Novel Excerpt, and Unfinished Novel is a transrealist mess of transhumanism and probably a bunch of other transthings, and if a proper science term for something does not exist, I just make one up, and they usually have a million syllables, because that's how I make myself seem knowledgeable. Anyway, the whole point of that was: syllables. Your rating has something to do with syllables.

Also, whenever someone says Oxford Comma, I get that Vampire Weekend song stuck in my head for two weeks. Thank you.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

It was the least I could do. After the monkey.

Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmışsınız, is an actual Turkish word. I'm going to use it in my next story.

From: [identity profile] lonely-lycanth.livejournal.com

I generally hover somewhere between sixth and eighth grade. I've gone up to ninth before, but it never stays there very long. As far as readability is concerned, there is definitely such a thing as being too high on Flesch-Kincaid, so I'm pretty happy where I am.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

See! You made it up to the ninth grade level. Show me your sentence, give me a sample. This is intriguing, I want to know the criteria.

You're right about readability - I'm finding it hard to believe that the average adult would be able to swim through a 10-12 sentence, and a story written entirely in that language would be deliberately obscure. I wonder where Finnegan's Wake lands on the scale? *off to google*

From: [identity profile] lonely-lycanth.livejournal.com

Just for fun, I typed this sentence into google docs:

"It intrigued me to discover that your Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level was so miniscule; however, the readability of your writing definitely benefited."

That sentence received a grade level of 18.00, and a Reading Ease of 0.21. It's not ninth grade level, but it kind of illustrates what the test is going for. It doesn't measure the concepts in your sentence, but the use of vocabulary by averaging your syllables, and sentence structure. Simple active voice sentences get lower grade scores and higher readability, whereas things like passive voice, multiple independent clauses, and a variety of dependent clauses (noun, adverb, adjective clauses), make readability more difficult and raise the grade level.

I get higher scores because I play with sentence structure and clauses quite often. Also, I tend to favor long sentences with multiple clauses rather than breaking up a united idea. (For fun, the above paragraph got a 10.00 with a Reading Ease of 51.59!)

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

I knew passive voice would make my sentences more complex, there had to be a reason I used it so often.

I'm going to go play with this all night, but the longer I think about it all, the more it sounds like math and math makes my brain explode.

Reading Ease of 51.59! Comparatively, I shouldn't be able to comprehend that paragraph. I hearby vow to be more complex.

From: [identity profile] lonely-lycanth.livejournal.com

Actually, the reading ease score is supposed to be higher. The lower the score, the more difficult the passage. I think it goes up to 120 or something. It's supposedly a tenth grade paragraph.

It's not so much that passive voice makes the sentence more complex as that it inverts the sentence, slowing the pace down and making it harder to read. That's why your grammar school teachers always told you to avoid it. In general, that's good advice, unless it really matters that the subject the receiver of the action. If it's not essential to the meaning, passive voice can sound like you're avoiding the topic or being wishy washy, but mostly it's just that active voice sounds more lively and direct.

Clearly I spent too much time in writing and lit class.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

The very, very sad thing is that speciality high schools for writers, two BA's with a writing focus, writing workshops, start of an MFA in writing and numerous other writing things behind me . . . I do not know this stuff.

Actually, they should ban me from writing. I drive my betas to drink.

From: [identity profile] lonely-lycanth.livejournal.com

Actually, I learned more in a one semester linguistics night class than I did in all my years of grammar and high school. The professor who taught that class is absolutely brilliant. Mostly, though, I'm just a grammar nut.

From: [identity profile] questails.livejournal.com

I don't know about magnanimous, and not just because I had to say it, quietly, under my breath to be able to spell it. I can be downright pernicious if the situation calls for it.

In general I try to be a wellspring of serendipity.. serendipitousness?.. what a damned made-up word that is! How else would I know that what you needed on a particular night was a gay man in a luchador costume?

I would love to be a professional purveyor of oddities. Nothing would please me more than to be able to reach into a dusty cupboard and withdraw whatever it was that a patron desired; anything from a moth-eaten stuffed kingfisher with glass eyes that didn't match to a very tall man with ink-red hair, handsome but somewhat spooked, insisting that the kingfisher is quite alive.

That paragraph garnered a Grade level of exactly 11.

I don't know what that means.

You'll have to ask the kingfisher.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

There's not many people who can do what you do, you know. There's no way to chart the gay luchador costume situation statistically - and I have a feeling that this is de rigeour (ha! take that! french!) (I think that should actually be de facto, but I'll list them both to up my grade level) de something for questails. My people are going to start following you about and making notes. They're very quiet. (I think I need a semicolon somewhere -- I see that you used one very nicely); and just the other night I was sitting here thinking that I would really like to have a daily writing prompt of pics from abandoned places (I'm not kidding) and then, boom, questails magic, I receive a link to just that. How do you do it? Does it have anything to do with telepathy? If so they my people will take notes and I'll use you as a character sketch.

Even having used the word luchador in the above paragraph I achieved a grade score of a big, whopping 6. Sixth grade. 6th. Maybe I need to think up a new past time. Like knitting.

You do realize that I need to write a kingfisher scene now, complete with frightened red head (unless it's already been done, if so, could you send me the link?)

From: [identity profile] questails.livejournal.com

Hah! I thought. Her people will never find me, they'll never find the door behind the glass that conceals the strange path to my mind! I am the artist, unknowable and inscrutable; mysterious and--

At this point I noticed a quiet scratching sound, punctuating my ridiculous mental diabtribe. I looked around to find a crow with an antique fountain pen, making a list on a bit of fine vellum. His penmanship was exquisite. Toward the bottom, I read the following:

-pretty easy to find
-inscrutable, in her own opinion anyway
-poor situational awareness; I have been here for fully three-quarters an hour and she's just now noticed me

I glared at the crow over that last one, he ignored me, and set about cataloging the contents of my pencil-box. So, I sketched him while I was on a very boring phone call. Hmmph. So much for my delusions of mystery, I suupose.

I don't think I'm telepathic; I think I just have a muse of .. erm.. probably there's a word for it that I don't know. A muse that brings what you need. I wouldn't have guessed that the ability would extend to gay luchadors. That one is definitely a statistical outlier.

I would be beyond delighted to know what else happens in the scene with the red-haired man and the kingfisher - what I told you is what came to mind, so that's all I know! Tell me, so I can sketch it? It's been nibbling around the edges of my mind all afternoon!

6th grade, OH! Literally, grade, now I get it. Well, I call BS - some of my very favourite books were intended for 6th graders, or thereabouts. Some of my least favourite books grace the reading lists of 11th graders. It's the truth!

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

Oh! That would be Edda. He’s cagey, without actually living in a cage, and he’s drawn to pretty, shiny things, like artists who give careful attention to shoulders. He volunteered for the research position when we first started the Questails Project. I’ve found that he responds well to filigreed hair clips, fountain pen nubs, obviously, and wine corks. If you decide to keep him around for a while, and there’s really no way to gently send him packing once he’s decided on an interesting subject, he prefers three fresh, free-feeding dishes of: honey, port wine and beignet powdered sugar – for breakfast – and fresh, seedless cucumbers, figs and peanut M&M’s for lunch/dinner. He also answers to Eddie. In typical crow fashion, he’s a little standoffish-ish at first, but one he settles in he’ll entertain you and your friends with a distinctively crow-ish wit. I will warn you that he likes to nibble earlobes, softly.

Some of my best friends are fourth graders, so as long as I tone down the subject matter, I don't mind writing for them. I as awfully proud of myself last night. I wrote a tenth grade sentence! But it was terrifically boring and I crumpled the page after I finished.

It would be a shiraz-merlot evening in the twopoint household. I just spent two days writing a migraine scene. Do you suffer from migraines? I only get stress headaches, but I do have family members who are out for days with the big ones. I trying to figure out how I can place a kingfisher into the scene. Two birds with one . . .

Which reminds me! Show me the sketch you drew of Edda while he surveyed the contents of your pencil box.

From: [identity profile] questails.livejournal.com


You'll note he's got a wee shiny rock to hold down the corner of the parchment, to keep it from curling as he writes. The weird green smear looks like some strange mossy hieroglyph, which I liked, so I left it; all it really is is a smear from a leaky inkjet cartridge.

Crows are actually a bit tough to draw just from memory, but I'm amused enough with handsome Edda that I kinda want to make a painting out of this. I'd use gold leaf in there somewhere - of course - I'm not above flattery, particularly in exchange for witty crow-songs and earlobe nibbles.

Books for fourth graders are likely to have pictures in them; I vote you keep the subject matter, and add more pictures, because the world needs more beautiful men kissing. Or trying to kill each other. However you like. I love books with pictures in them. <3

It has been a ridiculously long nap evening in the questails abode; how in the hell did I sleep until 11pm?! So much for my half-hour power nap. One glass of tea, then something with a reasonable amount of liquor in it.

I do get migraines (thanks, Mom), but so far - knock on wood - not bad ones. I .. I have no idea how to get from a migraine to an odd-eyed stuffed kingfisher, but it wouldn't be the weirdest thing I'd (thought I'd) seen, lying in the dark, trying to will my head to stop hurting.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

I LOVE HIM!!!!! Please, please make a painting! Please! And make prints so I can have a copy of him. Please!!!! I see Edda having a vast collection of polished rocks to use as paper weights. You even know how he holds his pen (that is how he holds his pen!) and that is his pen! Also, he is left handed, so I now know with certainty that it was Edda at your window. Edda's face, Edda's eyes. *Sigh*

I'm holding my breath to see a painting of him, but this sketch is delightful.

They made me work long hours today and I couldn't get online with my phone and they kept asking questions and they kept telling me to do things, and it was only now that I could sit down with a glass of wine and look at Edda. I love him.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

TEMPTATION!!! It's like Christmas, but better because it's not like Christmas. Thank you for sending me over there! Here's the chance to write Weiss as it should have been written the first time.

From: [identity profile] ahpookishere.livejournal.com

PS -

On the off chance, if there is a possibility, however miniscule.. can we maybe consider the option of co-writing a teeny weeny Soviet Russia art heist Schwarz thinger?

I know you're busy, and you have your originals to worry about, but alas. I thought I would overcome my shyness and ask.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

Nothing would make me happier! And you're the only writer I know that I would want to co-write anything with.

I will warn you that the reason I don't write for a living anymore is -- I have a tendency to write utter shit when pressed with a deadline. Also, I'm an only child so I have a tendency to wander off and be sullen when I'm writing utter shit. If you can live with these things, then I think we need to get started immediately.

It must not be tiny. It must be epic. Or epically tiny. What can we have them go after? Why do they need it? There must be a night train from St. Petersburg to Moscow. There must be eccentric oc's.

This is the most exciting thing ever!

From: [identity profile] ahpookishere.livejournal.com


Deadlines hurt, but at least we can be sullen together. XD I am ready to start when you are, but please be prepared to catch me, when I collapse under pressure. Oh my! I may get the vapors!

It's you. And, it's me. They need to acquire a certain icon, of course. Unless, you can think of some other wonderful object. And the OC's! Moody iconographers! Cynical Orthodox priests! The possibilities are endless.

You need to get on AIM. :-P

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

We have ways of reviving you. And your vapors are making me laugh. I was trying to explain the vapors to the turk the other day because he is surrounded by far too many southern women, but apparently the vapors are still a very credible ailment in Turkey where many women still fan themselves while eating sliced fruit in the parlor after dinner.

There's going to be some serious icon lovin in the coming weeks.

I'm zehiragac on AIM.

From: [identity profile] ahpookishere.livejournal.com

I'm ganzfeldeffect.

I shall contact you shortly, with further information about the whereabouts of a certain Byzantine treasure. XD

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

After a month of going back and forth on how necessary it was to be obvious in characterization I named a major player in my original story Ganzfield. I made this decision last week.

If I can keep channeling you, co-writing will be simple.

From: [identity profile] ahpookishere.livejournal.com

:-O Is he a snarky telepath? I must know more.If you have another one, you can name him Zener.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com

Nope, not a telepath, but a blank slate, all sensory deprived. If I try to write an "original" snarky telepath - and I have tried really, really, hard - then someone, someone whose name might begin with S makes the story self destruct.

From: [identity profile] ahpookishere.livejournal.com

Ah, yes. I can see how that name is appropriate, then. XD


Was in the middle of a long original thing, full of (artificial) telepaths, but the snark wouldn't come. This person named S blocked all transmission of snark. Instead, they're just all kind of maudlin and socially inept.


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