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Hi, all. I'm not dead (yet) - checking in with the old-timers

chefann

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Nov 4, 2005
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KG sent me a note the other day and I realized just how long it's been since I've popped in to say Hi.

What's up?

Let's see... what have I been up to?

Around the end of 2009, I taught myself to knit. And a few months later I got a job at a local yarn shop that, a few months later, expanded from "general sales clerk" to "knitting and crochet instructor." I've been active on and off on a couple of other forums - both of which I wish had some of the features this place has. :) Some of the goofing around on one of those forums led to a new hobby (that I'm not necessarily good at yet) - writing short stories of the, ahem, erotic type. :eek:

PC-wise, I had been getting away from the biz for a while. Some of you may remember some of the mess from when my former Exec lost her status after my former Director quit. Long story short, the few of us who were left bounced up to our National, who ignored us because we weren't a high-performing group (and we were several hundred miles from her). We managed to hook in with another group, but they held meetings quite a distance from me so I stopped going. But that was ages ago. My PC consultantship officially ended in May, though I still occasionally get newsletters from my National (she obviously does a bang-up job maintaining her mailing list of active consultants). So I obviously am a little behind on any company scuttlebutt.

What have I missed?
 

baychef

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Mar 27, 2005
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Good to hear from you Chef Ann! Still doing PC and trying to get my mojo back!
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

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Nov 4, 2005
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I'm sure you've missed me, but I bet your aim is improving.
 

scottcooks

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Jul 7, 2005
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So - May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct it has been 6 months...any interest in re-PC'ing?

We've missed you. The ride is fun if you can stomach the bumps and turns.
 

chefann

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Nov 4, 2005
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Nope, not rejoining. My life is so much nicer without worrying about sales quotas or the pettiness within the cluster.

And it makes me laugh to see again that you're in Washington state. My running joke with Car Guy is about my internet "boyfriends", 3 of whom are in greater Seattle. Which got PNW eliminated from the list of possible anniversary vacation destinations pretty quickly. :( And one of those guys pesters me about why he's "Internet Boyfriend No. 2." I had to tell him KG is #1.
 

chefann

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My profile pic here weirds me out. Not the avatar, the one of me in the red top on my profile. Mostly because of the hair. My hair isn't that short anymore, and it's now purple. I'm thinking of dressing as Leela from Futurama for Halloween.
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

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Nope, not rejoining. My life is so much nicer without worrying about sales quotas or the pettiness within the cluster.

And it makes me laugh to see again that you're in Washington state. My running joke with Car Guy is about my internet "boyfriends", 3 of whom are in greater Seattle. Which got PNW eliminated from the list of possible anniversary vacation destinations pretty quickly. :( And one of those guys pesters me about why he's "Internet Boyfriend No. 2." I had to tell him KG is #1.

[blush]You sure know how to make a guy feel special![/blush]
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

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My profile pic here weirds me out. Not the avatar, the one of me in the red top on my profile. Mostly because of the hair. My hair isn't that short anymore, and it's now purple. I'm thinking of dressing as Leela from Futurama for Halloween.

Purple hair, huh? You remind me of a great old joke - this guy is riding a bus in San Francisco when a kid gets on with hair of many colors that don't occur in nature…oh, wait a minute. This is a family site, I can't tell that one here. Well, trust me, it's funny.
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

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I used to hang out on a site like that, too. I hardly go there anymore, not because of the free flow of the profane but because of the morons who think their opinion is the right one and try to shout down anyone who disagrees with them.
 

chefann

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There are a couple of people like that on the (other site) forum, but they usually get shouted down a couple of times a year. And then they'll be good until their urge to s***-stir takes over again. Some people are just magnets for drama.

Today I'm cursing my scale. It's up again. Doesn't it know that's the wrong direction?!?

And the characters in my current story don't want to cooperate with me, either. I think they know it's not going to end well for them. If I get to follow my outline. *grump*
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

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Nobody wants to work this week, including characters. Mine tend to beat me up about not spending enough time writing their stories. One in particular.
 

pamperedlinda

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Mar 17, 2006
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Hey Ann!!!!! HUgs and smooches girlfriend!!!! I have missed you! So glad you checked in here, I was beginning to think you were lost forever. I'm gonna send you a pm so watch for that in a little while.
 

chefjeanine

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Jan 19, 2006
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Good to know you're alive and kicking. How are the bird children? I'm glad you're doing things that make you happy!! (even if that means NOT being a P-Chef consultant)
 

chefann

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Nobody wants to work this week, including characters. Mine tend to beat me up about not spending enough time writing their stories. One in particular.
Yeah. The story I'm currently working on is the new incarnation of the meet-up story in the collection I emailed to you, the rest of which has been scrapped because they were all garbage. After leaving the one story alone for a couple of months, I finally got back to it last month. Reworked most of it, and now I'm stalled. I took it from first person narrative to third, changed names, tried to make the characters more sympathetic so that readers can relate better to them. But now they don't want to cooperate. And you'd think that because the female protagonist is still semi-autobiographical, she'd be easy to control. (I vented about this yesterday on my writing blog.)

Oh, since I'm thinking of it, you can delete that file I sent you months ago with my stories. I'm kind of embarrassed at how completely awful they are.

Well crap - I can't pm ya! Is your email still the same? Or pop me an email @ [email protected]
Email sent. I deactivated PMs here because it's showing that I have 5 messages, but the messages themselves don't show up in my inbox. *hug*, sweetie. :)

Good to know you're alive and kicking. How are the bird children? I'm glad you're doing things that make you happy!! (even if that means NOT being a P-Chef consultant)
The birds are doing well. Beaker has started saying "Yay" like Fluttershy from the first season of My Little Pony (oh, yeah, Car Guy has decided he's a Brony).
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

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The character who keeps bugging me to get writing is kind of a slut and she loves reading about herself. Her main boyfriend is bugging me, too, although being a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragger I don't think reading about himself is part of his psyche.
 

chefann

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I should give you the link to my friend's latest offering on her blog. It's a teacher/student romp, but like most of her stuff there are some good twists and real emotions involved.

Start here Good Grades « Eros and the Muse and then follow the "keep reading" links. It goes to part 14 on the blog, though she's already shared the next part in a private group on Facebook. (Which reminds me, I need to remind her to put that part up on the blog.)
 

chefann

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Nov 4, 2005
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Sure. Except it's about a female college student and her male history professor. And the boy she meets at a party.

And there's a pretty hot Santa story on the blog, right in the middle of the student story, too. ;)
 

chefann

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Aw, I just checked with my friend, and the segment I thought was the next one is actually only the first part of it (she has to split them up because of character limits on FB). She used to post on that other website we've mentioned, but stopped because she found people stealing her stuff and selling it as e-books.
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

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One of the risks of internet publishing. I've seen my text lifted in its entirety and marketed as the author's own. I've also had a lot of my photographs stolen.
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

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I should give you the link to my friend's latest offering on her blog. It's a teacher/student romp, but like most of her stuff there are some good twists and real emotions involved.

Start here Good Grades « Eros and the Muse and then follow the "keep reading" links. It goes to part 14 on the blog, though she's already shared the next part in a private group on Facebook. (Which reminds me, I need to remind her to put that part up on the blog.)

I saw the twist coming up the beach, but I won't say any more than that or anyone else who decides to read it. I like her attention to detail, both physical and emotional.
 

chefann

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Yeah, I guessed that twist, too. Had to promise to keep mum about it because another of our clique (Internet Boyfriend #2, actually) hates spoilers.

Her finished stuff is really good. There's one in her NSFW book that had us all astounded.
 

chefann

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What?

Nobody ever misses me. That's just you hallucinating. I'm the person who people wish would go away.

--
If the copies I have weren't signed by J, I'd lend you my copies of her books. But I've been burned lending books out before.
 

NooraK

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Feb 6, 2008
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What?

Nobody ever misses me. That's just you hallucinating. I'm the person who people wish would go away.

I've missed you. Not that I've been around all that much myself, either.

Today is my last day as a consultant. My six months is up, and I totally know how you feel about not having the sales pressure, etc. I do plan to leave the door open to return some day, but not anytime soon. DH started a new job two months ago, and still doesn't have a regular schedule.
 

chefann

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Well, now I'm thinking I should make a stop on my way to Mauston in January. :)

*waves* Hi, Noora!
 

chefann

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Ooh, #2 is the guy my dream story was originally about. :blushing: And that's not who's in Mauston. That's Internet Girlfriend #2.

So, in a probably cataclysmic collision between 2 separate areas of my life, J wants to know your user name over on "that other site" so she can stalk your stuff. She's "favoritesgoddess" but no stories still posted there. If you don't feel comfortable posting it here, you can email me. ;) I haven't posted anything there yet, but I'm afpblackwood.
 

ChefBeckyD

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Sep 20, 2005
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Hi Ann!
I'm hardly ever here anymore. I discovered I like Facebook better, since I only have to friend the people I like, and don't have to listen to all the complaints of others. :)
I've missed you - in fact, I've looked up your page on FB, but it looks like you aren't on there anymore either. I couldn't find you anymore!
It's good to hear from you...sometimes I really miss the "old gang" on here. It's just not the same anymore. (which is probably another reason why I seldom visit.)
 

chefann

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Hi, Becky! I have my Facebook locked down. Well, as locked down as it can be with the recent changes that allow anyone to search for anyone else. (I really hate that. What if I had a creepy stalker and I didn't want them to be able to search for me?)
 

ChefBeckyD

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Hi, Becky! I have my Facebook locked down. Well, as locked down as it can be with the recent changes that allow anyone to search for anyone else. (I really hate that. What if I had a creepy stalker and I didn't want them to be able to search for me?)

Oh...so now I'm a creepy stalker? ;)
 

chefann

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I didn't say that! KG is a creepy stalker. ;)

No, wait. I might be the creepy one.
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

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stalk_zps7e455d4d.gif
 

chefann

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Why does that not surprise me?

And people are now getting a whole new view of you. And me.

OK, story time!
This story is the intellectual property of Ann Szwarc. Copying, modifying and/or distributing it without permission is prohibited.

Warning: This story contains adult themes

At Convention

The sound of laughter came through the doors of the banquet room. She had just checked her hair; she was as ready as she was going to be. “You can do this, Dotty,” she muttered under her breath. Opening the door at the back of the hall just enough to slip through, she entered. She quickly and silently made her way to her assigned table and slipped behind the last empty seat. Several sets of eyes turned her way, and she gave her tablemates a little wave and a smile.

Washburn, sitting in the next chair, was mid-conversation with the person on his other side. She bent to his ear, asking, “Is this seat taken?”

“Yeah, actually it’s saved –“ he turned as he started to answer, then recognized who was asking. He stood, shocked. She watched his face change, emotions flickering across it like text: disbelief, surprise and joy. “Dotty!” he cried, “You made it! I got worried when I saw your nametag still at the check-in table.” He opened his arms for a hug.

“Just running a little late,” she answered. And as she returned the hug, a bit tighter than he probably expected, she purred near his ear, in a voice meant only for him, “I’ve got a surprise for you in my room. Talk after dinner?” She kissed his cheek as they pulled out of the embrace, their hands remaining clasped. He stared at her, still a little in shock over finally meeting, but she could see a twinkle in his eyes, too.

She knew he was checking her out, resolving purposely posed and cleverly cropped internet images with the reality standing before him. She fought her instinct to cover herself. In her case the reality was never as appealing as the pictures: she was short and overweight. Her ageing facial features would never be held up as an example of beauty, but they matched her mousy, shapeless hair that she had wrangled into a presentable twist.

That evening, Dotty had very carefully selected clothes that looked innocent enough at first glance, but would gradually drive Wash wild. Her lightweight sweater clung to her curves, the v-neckline framing just a little more cleavage than propriety would usually allow. The pencil skirt that covered her bottom half ended just above the knee, with the rest of her legs highlighted by shimmery black fishnet stockings. She gained some height from the six-inch platform stilettos into which she had crammed her feet.

Looking Wash up and down, she picked up details that didn’t come across from profile pictures or Skype sessions. He was clean-cut and slightly nerdy, the kind of man you’d feel comfortable introducing to your 90-year old grandmother. His short hair was brown, richer and shinier in person than via webcam. He stood a few inches taller than her – even with her heels – and was dressed simply in khaki pants and a button-down shirt. He looked like he smelled like soap, clean and fresh and wholesome. And she couldn’t wait to get beneath that façade, to unleash the troublemaker underneath.

“What’s the occasion?” Wash’s voice broke through her daydream.

“What?” It took a second to come back to reality. Dotty realized he was talking about her skirt. “Well, this is a party, is it not?”

“I guess. Usually the party is on Saturday night at these things.” He chuckled. “You need to get out more.”

Panic flashed across Dotty’s face before she regained control. No, there was no reason to believe that he knew - that anyone here knew - that her husband kept her on a short leash. There was no getting out more. It was only because of some careful planning and a serendipitously scheduled business trip that she was able to be here at all. With a nervous laugh to cover her awkwardness, she turned to greet the others at the table.

They sat as the banquet staff served dinner. Conversation at the table was lighthearted and full of laughter. How could it not be? This was no typical business convention or reunion. It was a fan convention. Attendees this weekend were here voluntarily from all over the world, connected by their online friendships. Though most of them hadn’t been physically together before, they had extensive interactions forming their relationships. They felt like they knew the others around them already, oftentimes better than members of their own families.

“I’m glad you could come.”

“That’s what she said.”

“How was I to know he nicknamed his penis Gilligan?”

“That’s right; you take a movie quote and replace a word with ‘penis.’”

Lighthearted flirting and jokes filled the air around the table, comments coming fast and furious. To an outsider, their group of eight would look exactly like what they were – a close-knit subset of the larger gathering, like the table of long-time friends at a wedding. Appropriately enough, they were also tucked away in the corner of the room to reduce the chance of accidentally offending someone. The only seemingly odd detail about them was that they insisted on using forum names, even in real life. It was easier to remember one name per person than two.

At the end of the dinner, Washburn and Dotty bade their farewells to the others. The crowd poured from the room, toward the elevators. They lingered, waiting, so they could have a little privacy. Stragglers walked past their table toward the exit, laughing and engrossed in their own conversations. Wash waved and smiled at someone he knew, then turned in his chair to her, grinning. “I love surprises. What did you bring for me?”

She almost panicked, nervous that he wouldn’t accept his gift. She needed to continue the playful mood from dinner, to give him an out in case her feelings weren’t reciprocated. “I don’t know if you deserve a surprise.”

“Tease!” He laughed. “You can’t tell someone you brought them a surprise and then not give it to them. At least give me a hint.”

“Me.”

His laugh sounded loud in the now-empty room. “Well, that’s a pretty vague hint.”

She watched him for a moment, waiting for the other shoe to drop, but his expression didn’t change. Her blush started on her neck, and she felt it creep up her face. She pulled her hand from Wash’s and started gathering her things, too embarrassed to stay. Pushing back her chair, she stood, ready to flee. “Never mind, I’ll bring it with me and give it to you at breakfast,” she mumbled, turning to leave. As she stepped away, she heard him move. His hand gripped her elbow and she froze. He stepped in front of her, blocking her escape. She lowered her head, too mortified to look at him, staring instead at the carpet beneath his feet.

“That wasn’t just a hint, was it?” His voice was softer, gentle.

Dotty shook her head no as she tried to think of a way out. She needed to get around him and to the door before giving in to temptation made the situation worse. He reached for her chin, lifting her face and forcing her to meet his gaze. Not that she could resist; her eyes were drawn to him, like iron to a magnet. The deep coffee-brown pools of his eyes looked down at her, searching for something.

The moment stretched around them, full of unresolved questions.

“I shouldn’t have said anything. I say stupid things without thinking all the time. Just because I… well, it’s not a good idea for either of us, actually a monumentally bad idea and if you could forget that this happened, that would…” The panic that had been rising in Dotty finally overwhelmed her and with a small cry she pulled away from Wash and ran from the banquet room.
 
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chefann

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Nov 4, 2005
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Bonus points to anyone who knows where the name Washburn came from. :)

And I think I have that much again written, and it only includes kissing. But it's still Day 1 of the planned 3-4 day arc, plus epilogue.


No, I'm not overambitious. Why do you ask?
 
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