Amount

The LaPorte Caves - Revised

08 Feb 2020 18:26 #66721 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Yeah.  Been looking forward to see hoe Julia gets out of this one and how Howard reacts.  Take your time circes, quality writing takes time.  Needs the attention to not make mistakes and to ensure a consistent story.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 Feb 2020 19:14 #66725 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

circes_cup wrote: I just uploaded 9d, which the admins will post when they are ready.  

Future postings will probably be on a once-every-other week schedule.  Real life has been very busy.  Woking on the story requires a certain amount of calm and emotional space that is hard to find when the rest of life is so hectic!


It will be online tomorrow.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Monty

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Feb 2020 18:22 #66738 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Sometimes I go back and re read previous chapters, just to make sure I'm not being overly critical or harsh based on one chapter in the overarching plotline. After 9d, I did it again.

I still think it's very well written, despite a plot hole or two, and Julia WAS a much more sympathetic character this time around. But based off her actions in 9d, I really hope circes writes a turnaround for her. It's starting to become a little silly how unaware she is. I'm judging based on the context of the story Circes has written, and she shouldn't be this straight up naive. She's a college educated older woman, not some teenager in their senior year. The gaslighting, the lying, the disregard for literally anything Howard is saying in this chapter kind of goes against the more self aware Julia from previous ones. She doesn't even appear to feel the slightest guilt for anything anymore. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but it's more satisfying if they can both come to grips TOGETHER, which would mean Julia has to recognize Howard as an equal, even if she does have super abilities. I think it's still possible, but it depends on where the major plot goes from here.

I did have a theory about where Circes was going with the dreams, that the fruit was never meant to be distilled and used this way to dominate men, and that it has stagnated the progress of the Weald, so the over purification and use of the fruit is killing it. This would lead to interesting plot points, where consuming the fruit alone is OK, and the only way to sustain it, but it obviously doesn't elevate the women to such godlike levels. Instead, they're just abnormally strong, tall, busty women that don't get sick. Instead of being 1000 of times better, maybe they're only 2 or 3 times better. Then it becomes a level playing field, and Howard and Julia could actually be a partnership, and teach the Weald how to be co-dependent, not just leave everything to the god-women.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Feb 2020 23:53 #66741 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Torque wrote: I still think it's very well written, despite a plot hole or two, and Julia WAS a much more sympathetic character this time around. But based off her actions in 9d, I really hope circes writes a turnaround for her. It's starting to become a little silly how unaware she is. I'm judging based on the context of the story Circes has written, and she shouldn't be this straight up naive. She's a college educated older woman, not some teenager in their senior year. The gaslighting, the lying, the disregard for literally anything Howard is saying in this chapter kind of goes against the more self aware Julia from previous ones. She doesn't even appear to feel the slightest guilt for anything anymore. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but it's more satisfying if they can both come to grips TOGETHER, which would mean Julia has to recognize Howard as an equal, even if she does have super abilities. I think it's still possible, but it depends on where the major plot goes from here.


I disagree on this point, as far as I can tell, Julia is exactly a teenager in senior year. Her body underwent a series of absurd changes, her biochemistry is a complete mess -- possibly made worst by the fact that she wasn't "prepared via pre-Nourishment" -- her hormones are, probably, playing pinball with her mind... which all sound very much like being a teenager to me. Still, I agree with the rest.

Torque wrote: I did have a theory about where Circes was going with the dreams, that the fruit was never meant to be distilled and used this way to dominate men, and that it has stagnated the progress of the Weald, so the over purification and use of the fruit is killing it. This would lead to interesting plot points, where consuming the fruit alone is OK, and the only way to sustain it, but it obviously doesn't elevate the women to such godlike levels. Instead, they're just abnormally strong, tall, busty women that don't get sick. Instead of being 1000 of times better, maybe they're only 2 or 3 times better. Then it becomes a level playing field, and Howard and Julia could actually be a partnership, and teach the Weald how to be co-dependent, not just leave everything to the god-women.


This is something I would love to see.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Feb 2020 00:42 #66743 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Woodclaw wrote:

Torque wrote: I still think it's very well written, despite a plot hole or two, and Julia WAS a much more sympathetic character this time around. But based off her actions in 9d, I really hope circes writes a turnaround for her. It's starting to become a little silly how unaware she is. I'm judging based on the context of the story Circes has written, and she shouldn't be this straight up naive. She's a college educated older woman, not some teenager in their senior year. The gaslighting, the lying, the disregard for literally anything Howard is saying in this chapter kind of goes against the more self aware Julia from previous ones. She doesn't even appear to feel the slightest guilt for anything anymore. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but it's more satisfying if they can both come to grips TOGETHER, which would mean Julia has to recognize Howard as an equal, even if she does have super abilities. I think it's still possible, but it depends on where the major plot goes from here.


I disagree on this point, as far as I can tell, Julia is exactly a teenager in senior year. Her body underwent a series of absurd changes, her biochemistry is a complete mess -- possibly made worst by the fact that she wasn't "prepared via pre-Nourishment" -- her hormones are, probably, playing pinball with her mind... which all sound very much like being a teenager to me. Still, I agree with the rest.

Torque wrote: I did have a theory about where Circes was going with the dreams, that the fruit was never meant to be distilled and used this way to dominate men, and that it has stagnated the progress of the Weald, so the over purification and use of the fruit is killing it. This would lead to interesting plot points, where consuming the fruit alone is OK, and the only way to sustain it, but it obviously doesn't elevate the women to such godlike levels. Instead, they're just abnormally strong, tall, busty women that don't get sick. Instead of being 1000 of times better, maybe they're only 2 or 3 times better. Then it becomes a level playing field, and Howard and Julia could actually be a partnership, and teach the Weald how to be co-dependent, not just leave everything to the god-women.


This is something I would love to see.


I think it could open a lot of really interesting narratives while still having fun with the Amazon idea. There's a long way to get to that point though, and it all hinges on how Circes chooses to follow up on Howard and Julia's next actions.

You have a point about the extreme physiological changes she's gone through having an effect on her judgement. But even if that's the case, she's still being shown as having restraint, such as keeping Mindy from outright killing the biker dude, so it would appear she still can appreciate right from wrong. I want to see it actually exercised in Howard's favor, which ironically, would probably go a long way to winning him over, instead of the Weald's method, which is going to include some sort of mental and physical torture.

Having a super strong, sexy girlfriend is actually really appealing to most guys. It shouldn't take Julia's genius brain to realize that if she backed off, he's more likely to find it less threatening.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Feb 2020 02:04 #66744 by BrokenIron
Replied by BrokenIron on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Well, I always firmly believe the stories belong to the authors, but I believe there are a bunch of possibilities here. Here are some of my rambling thoughts:

For instance, what if Mindy decided Howard - as the only Earth guy - was special?  She certainly had more fun in Kentucky than anyone since Daniel Boone!

Maybe Earth guy are just better in bed?

Maybe that would change things if Howard is constantly being ravished and starts to like it. Or manages to somehow flip the script on these superwomen. He has an incredible ego and he would not be the first man to dominate a more intelligent, more attractive, and even more physically fit woman through sheer force of will.

I saw this once with a guy in a wheelchair.  His GF was all of the above, but he was still the pure alpha dog in their relationship and he was almost as dependent as Howard in this story.

(This is a theme that almost never gets played up, but relationships are not as simple as the most beautiful, intelligent, and powerful always in control.  That's normally the case in our stories here though.)

What if Julia had a real competitor or two or three or a dozen? Maybe Howard is just that GOOD?  And his crazy Alpha personality hits some deeply hidden nerve in this world where all men have been so totally cowed for generations.

Maybe he gets the greatest Athlete or the president or both as GFs. 

Wouldn't it turn the whole world upside down if Howard was so gifted that he made women submit to HIS will!

I can buy the story if at some point Julia realizes how unreasonable she has been.  Given everything the juice does it probably would impact judgement significantly. 

Just some thoughts. I will read anything published!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Feb 2020 13:08 #66745 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

BrokenIron wrote: Well, I always firmly believe the stories belong to the authors, but I believe there are a bunch of possibilities here. Here are some of my rambling thoughts:

For instance, what if Mindy decided Howard - as the only Earth guy - was special?  She certainly had more fun in Kentucky than anyone since Daniel Boone!

Maybe Earth guy are just better in bed?

Maybe that would change things if Howard is constantly being ravished and starts to like it. Or manages to somehow flip the script on these superwomen. He has an incredible ego and he would not be the first man to dominate a more intelligent, more attractive, and even more physically fit woman through sheer force of will.

I saw this once with a guy in a wheelchair.  His GF was all of the above, but he was still the pure alpha dog in their relationship and he was almost as dependent as Howard in this story.

(This is a theme that almost never gets played up, but relationships are not as simple as the most beautiful, intelligent, and powerful always in control.  That's normally the case in our stories here though.)

What if Julia had a real competitor or two or three or a dozen? Maybe Howard is just that GOOD?  And his crazy Alpha personality hits some deeply hidden nerve in this world where all men have been so totally cowed for generations.

Maybe he gets the greatest Athlete or the president or both as GFs. 

Wouldn't it turn the whole world upside down if Howard was so gifted that he made women submit to HIS will!

I can buy the story if at some point Julia realizes how unreasonable she has been.  Given everything the juice does it probably would impact judgement significantly. 

Just some thoughts. I will read anything published!

Some interesting ideas, but I'm not sure they'd work in this story.  If Howard did turn out to have some unique sexual desirability in the Weald, it would be a nightmare for him. I can't see the women there competing to win his favor. As bad as Julia is, she hasn't taken him against his will, yet. Any other woman would.

I'm curious why you say Howard has an incredible ego. He wants not to be branded like a bull, and for Julia to keep her promises. By the standards of the Weald, I suppose that does make him egotistical, but I happen to think he's right. At the moment in the story, he just needs to find a way to survive the next two days.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Feb 2020 15:09 #66746 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

BrokenIron wrote: Well, I always firmly believe the stories belong to the authors, but I believe there are a bunch of possibilities here. Here are some of my rambling thoughts:

For instance, what if Mindy decided Howard - as the only Earth guy - was special?  She certainly had more fun in Kentucky than anyone since Daniel Boone!

Maybe Earth guy are just better in bed?

Maybe that would change things if Howard is constantly being ravished and starts to like it. Or manages to somehow flip the script on these superwomen. He has an incredible ego and he would not be the first man to dominate a more intelligent, more attractive, and even more physically fit woman through sheer force of will.

I saw this once with a guy in a wheelchair.  His GF was all of the above, but he was still the pure alpha dog in their relationship and he was almost as dependent as Howard in this story.

(This is a theme that almost never gets played up, but relationships are not as simple as the most beautiful, intelligent, and powerful always in control.  That's normally the case in our stories here though.)

What if Julia had a real competitor or two or three or a dozen? Maybe Howard is just that GOOD?  And his crazy Alpha personality hits some deeply hidden nerve in this world where all men have been so totally cowed for generations.

Maybe he gets the greatest Athlete or the president or both as GFs. 

Wouldn't it turn the whole world upside down if Howard was so gifted that he made women submit to HIS will!

I can buy the story if at some point Julia realizes how unreasonable she has been.  Given everything the juice does it probably would impact judgement significantly. 

Just some thoughts. I will read anything published!


In the old version of the story, Howard was actually very sought after by Mindy and her friends, who found his spunk and constant attempts to keep up with them utterly adorable.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HikerAngel

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Feb 2020 23:19 #66749 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I don't think suddenly giving Howard superpowers or be super influential would make sense here. And given where there are currently in their relationship, it would lead to more animosity. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 Feb 2020 01:20 #66750 by BrokenIron
Replied by BrokenIron on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Torque wrote: I don't think suddenly giving Howard superpowers or be super influential would make sense here. And given where there are currently in their relationship, it would lead to more animosity. 


All stories are built on friction.  But right now Howard creates about as much friction as a soap bubble.  But I agree it would change the story. I'm not saying it is the right solution, but it would change the dynamics.

I would be outright opposed to Howard getting super powers, but super influence is something else.  Some of the smelliest and physically least attractive men on the planet still score at will - if they are rock stars - particularly rock stars with an ego.  

Thanks for the comment.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 Feb 2020 16:50 #66755 by RevTekkX
Replied by RevTekkX on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
circes_cup’s “Laporte Caves The Revision” is one of my all-time favorite pieces of SW fiction.

While the narrative is unfolding differently from the original the underlying structure seems to be the same. A man and a woman from Earth with the same, for the most part, social footing are thrust into a land identified as the Weald. It is not a stretch to identify the social structure of the Weald as DWO (Different World Order, if there is such a designation).

After a humiliation, in an early chapter, involving her partner being Borrowed, and probably a fair amount body insecurity relative to Earth women (a female spelunker early on), and HUGE amounts of insecurity when compared to Weald women, along with the overwhelming encouragement of a Weald late teens girl she has the hots for, Julia forgoes a promise to Howard and becomes one of the Nourished.

Julia is enthralled with the transformation. Howard hates it. They have lots of fruitless conversations about getting back to Earth. Julia, at best, is reluctant to return and give up all the Weald offers Nourished women. Howard is desperate to return. 

The DWO order fits Julia and her elevated abilities. She is perpetually being told, by both Weald sexes, ALL MEN, including (and maybe especially) Howard, are inferior to her in all respects. I notice that while there are mountains of evidence in the story of Julia’s overwhelming advantages in physical and mental abilities there is absolutely no proof of understanding from ANYONE in the Weald of Howard’s qualities he honed for 30 plus years on Earth, excepting Julia’s hollow statements. 

In the original in a later chapter it is explained that Nourishing does this:
‘Meanwhile, the fruit modified the emotional composition of the female brain, disassociating sex from love. This, in turn, enables women to cycle men in and out of their lives, supplementing deep and committed relationships with ones that are shorter and based solely on the physical pleasure of sex’ | ‘By contrast, a woman’s milk has the opposite effect on her man, enhancing his associations between sex and love.’

Howard did not receive powers beyond imaging that would put him on equal footing with Julia. He has the same gifts Julia LOVED on Earth. Now in some respects he’s an ant to her: “Going from normal Howard to best-he-can-be Howard seemed little different than an ant going from pushing one piece of dust across the floor to push two.”

From very early in the story, when they were entering the caves:
“To make it thrive you have to cut it down to nothing,” she huffed to herself. Those were the words her boyfriend had used when they first met. …” It is easy to see Julia willingly and with little to no regard for their Earth-borne lives together cutting Howard down to nothing then turning him into a mere supplicant for her own self-centered reasons.  

Also there seems to be the impossible task of speaking to each other without ANY preconceived notions of the other person’s situation. Their relationship situation seems unsalvageable.

Although emotionally I hope they will, it is my opinion they’ll never reconnect as anything close to the couple from the beginning of this story. Beside the gigantic differences in her superhuman physical and mental abilities compared to his normal abilities, their social positions have changed drastically. Relative to their Earthly Western social positions, in the Weald Julia is a transcendent member of society and Howard is a subordinate member.

There is likely a long way to go in this series. There were 24 chapters in the original that was incomplete. So far, numbering aside, 15 chapters are available for LPC Revised. Despite my belief that Julia & Howard, not just won’t, but CAN’T return to the happy life together they shared as equals on Earth, I hang on the release of every new chapter!
  
Thank you so much for your story circes_cup!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Pepper, BrokenIron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 Feb 2020 01:18 #66791 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I realized something reading up through chap 9d.  What one thing has Julia taken away from Howard, besides freedom?  What one thing was Howard always trying to do in earth?  Get Julia to love herself.  He might have been the center, but I'm very convinced he wanted better for her.  She took that away from Howard.  She needs to realize Howard loved her in spite of her imperfections.  But even more, Howard wanted her to love herself in spite of those imperfections.  Now she cannot.  She's perfect now.  I think this love is slightly narcissist, and definitely does not involve Howard.  But, if Howard can realize that one of his purposes in life was to improve Julia, then maybe he has something to work with.
The following user(s) said Thank You: BrokenIron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 Feb 2020 18:25 #66794 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

mpac00 wrote: I realized something reading up through chap 9d.  What one thing has Julia taken away from Howard, besides freedom?  What one thing was Howard always trying to do in earth?  Get Julia to love herself.  He might have been the center, but I'm very convinced he wanted better for her.  She took that away from Howard.  She needs to realize Howard loved her in spite of her imperfections.  But even more, Howard wanted her to love herself in spite of those imperfections.  Now she cannot.  She's perfect now.  I think this love is slightly narcissist, and definitely does not involve Howard.  But, if Howard can realize that one of his purposes in life was to improve Julia, then maybe he has something to work with.


The relationship between Howard and Julia was always absolutely unbalanced. In a way they're both narcists, who look to their partner for some for of validation.
Back on Earth Howard felt validated by the idea of helping Julia, of being both her lover and her caretaker. I think it's fair to say that Howard loved Julia because of her limits, because giving her the helping hand made him felt validated and empowered.
Julia is a bit more complicated, on Earth she was, probably, a covert narcist, i.e. a person who craves admiration and importance, but also had enormous trouble creating an empathic bond. We know for sure that Julia loather herself and wanted to be more intelligent, more beautiful and more athletic. Becoming a Nourished provided Julia with everything she ever wanted, while flooding her brain with a hormonal storm that makes puberty looks like a walk in the park. In short, her narcissism turned from covert to overt, but this didn't help her empathy problem... if anything made them worse.
In general, the society of the Weald has a lot in common with the Tokugawa era Japan. In the Tokugawa era, Japanese society experienced a complete stop of any kind of social mobility. One's status was determined by his or her caste, without any way to improve oneself. At the bottom of this ladder, there were the hinin (literally, non-human), who were considered "human-shaped items" rather than people. Even the heimin (i.e. farmers, craftspeople and merchants) weren't considered fully human, but rather individuals that had just some human qualities. Only the upper classes were seen as fully-fledged humans. This situation is hardly unique, but the analogy struck me because here the non-samurai were considered almost a different species, just like many the Nourished seem to consider males in general.
Of course, a similar situation is custom-built to suppress any level of higher empathy. When someone gets told time and time again that might makes right and she's mightier than anyone else... it's hard not starting to actually believing it.
The following user(s) said Thank You: mpac00

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 Feb 2020 23:35 #66795 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Woodclaw, you said it quite well.  I agree that Howard has lost his control over Julia by being the primary caretaker.  Even states that in the story.  I also agree that was a strong driver for his attachment to her.
I really like your assessment of Julia.  I would not have thought about her being covertly narcissistic.
Fun. to quote her.
Still goes back that I don't see a recovery of their relationship without some forget drugs.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
14 Feb 2020 00:35 #66796 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I have to strongly disagree with your assessment woodclaw, at least in how you are considering Howard. Nothing has indicated any sort of extreme power imbalance between the two in the real world, let alone the kind of malicious gaslighting that such a relationship has. Just because Howard is a "fixer," as most males tend to be, that doesn't automatically prescribe narcissistic intent. From the limited backstory we have of their interactions, he doesn't try to put her in situations where he knows she will fail; asking her to partake in his own hobbies that push her boundaries is not the same thing. There is nothing limiting her from improving herself, should she so choose, and it had sounded like she already WAS improving, with Howard's support. I can guarantee that no one wants a partner that is dependent on them forever, unless they truly are sociopathic, and I don't think Howard is at all.

Your points about Julia seem more well founded though, and line up with many of my own thoughts about her. She's never been the strong one, in any sense of the word, so she's never known how to handle that responsibility in a mature way. This in contrast to the point I made about how Howard gently guided her to pushing her boundaries and get her on her feet. Julia isn't pushing Howard's boundaries in a healthy way; she's telling him to accept being less, while engaging in the "frivolous banality of suburban life," which is a perfect observation.

Howard has always been someone who enjoys pushing his limits; Julia is taking those limits away and telling him to be happy with just getting laid. Anyone who's ever been in a sex filled but loveless relationship can tell you how hollow that really is. It's only been a few days for them in the Weald, and I think Howard realizes that if they don't get out now, or if Julia doesn't change, he really is going to be stuck.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RevTekkX, mpac00

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
14 Feb 2020 14:10 #66800 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Torque wrote: I have to strongly disagree with your assessment woodclaw, at least in how you are considering Howard. Nothing has indicated any sort of extreme power imbalance between the two in the real world, let alone the kind of malicious gaslighting that such a relationship has. Just because Howard is a "fixer," as most males tend to be, that doesn't automatically prescribe narcissistic intent. From the limited backstory we have of their interactions, he doesn't try to put her in situations where he knows she will fail; asking her to partake in his own hobbies that push her boundaries is not the same thing. There is nothing limiting her from improving herself, should she so choose, and it had sounded like she already WAS improving, with Howard's support. I can guarantee that no one wants a partner that is dependent on them forever, unless they truly are sociopathic, and I don't think Howard is at all.

Your points about Julia seem more well founded though, and line up with many of my own thoughts about her. She's never been the strong one, in any sense of the word, so she's never known how to handle that responsibility in a mature way. This in contrast to the point I made about how Howard gently guided her to pushing her boundaries and get her on her feet. Julia isn't pushing Howard's boundaries in a healthy way; she's telling him to accept being less, while engaging in the "frivolous banality of suburban life," which is a perfect observation.

Howard has always been someone who enjoys pushing his limits; Julia is taking those limits away and telling him to be happy with just getting laid. Anyone who's ever been in a sex filled but loveless relationship can tell you how hollow that really is. It's only been a few days for them in the Weald, and I think Howard realizes that if they don't get out now, or if Julia doesn't change, he really is going to be stuck.


I never meant to imply that Howard had malicious intent toward Julia, what I wanted to highlight is that he didn't help her just out of the kindness of his heart. I can imagine that he liked to see her grow and improve, but I think he did it because it gave him some sort of satisfaction. As you said, it's entirely possible that he had a narcissistic intent. Howard pushed Julia to test and overcome her limits, but always measuring her up from his own point of view and his own limits. This is probably due to Julia's inability to see limits as a challenge to overcome, rather than an insurmountable obstacle.
Right now, the Nourishment completely flipped the terms of their relationship, on Earth Howard shielded Julia and pushed her to take chances, now Julia have to shield him. The big problem is that Julia isn't used to be in charge, from what I can see she was always highly dependent on others, letting them dictate the terms of her life, so now she expects Howard to just fall in line as she has done for so long. In her mind being "claimed" is normal-ish, because she sees just one side of the argument: Howard provided for her for so long, it's only fair that she reciprocates now. What Julia fails to understand is that the protection she is offering Howard is a dog tag and a leash. I can't honstly say if Howard wanted her to stay dependent from him for the rest of his life, but Julia surely wanted to be dependent from him, so now she thinks the opposite should be fair game. I've seen a few friends suffering from similar situations in RL and I can tell you there are people who enjoy to have or to be a dependent partner.
The following user(s) said Thank You: BrokenIron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Feb 2020 04:49 #66801 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Can't help myself to weigh in again.  Circes, you've got us stirred up, good job.  Guess there's several of us passionate about your story.

First off, I have to admit I haven't figured out Howard's initial love for Julia.  She really does seem out of place for him.  I understand he enjoys, maybe even needs, to take care of her.  But still seems out of place.  Julia is definitely misguided. First she misunderstood Hawk's repentance as change.  So therefore she extrapolated that to mean Howard could change as well.  But changing another person is a mistake in many relationships that lead to disaster.  A person cannot change unless want to and even then with a lot of difficulty.  Julia wants to change Howard into something completely opposite to what he is.  She'll have no chance of that.  And that is her tragedy.  Unfortunately, the tragedy will be on Howard not on Julia, as he will suffer, she'll blame him, then she'll move on to join the rest of the Weald woman and lose memory of Howard.  She's finally learning what it takes to be the lead in a relationship, but has no idea how to do it.  She mistakes dominating Howard as leading.  Due to inability to empathize she cannot see the effect, or worse sees him cowering as adorable.  Now lets look at Howard.  He's being a whiny teenager.  Man up realize you loss the basis of your relationship and figure out how to manage in this world.  He's doing everything he can to lose.  Albeit, he's not given any opportunity to win.  But still, to make snide comments in public more than once and know that they can be heard is irresponsible.  He's still in denial what her capabilities are.  Get over it, realize she's super human and assume you're in for the run of your life.  If he doesn't start taking responsibility for his own protection and wise up, he will not have any protection at all.  I still think their relationship is non-recoverable.  I think it become non-recoverable back when Julia took the swim with Ruth.  Of course, nourishing was the real point, but it would have been recoverable if initial steps were taken immediately.  What I'm a little uncertain on is the foundation of the relationship in Earth.  Woodclaw describes both as narcissistic.  I think the debate in my mind is Howard.  Did he need for Julia to admire him to try to improve her, or was his need more altruistic in that he saw her as someone that could be improved and felt that he could help her do it and enjoy watching her blossom.  The relationship is a rapid moving train wreck which the three forces, Howard, Julia, and Mindy, cannot stop.  I think the only person to mitigate the wreck is Ruth.  But for her to do that will require losing the inherent bias against men and realize Howard is not a Weald male, but more.  So I'll throw this out there.  Maybe the pill is a setup from Ruth.  Can't quite see how as she was not directly mentioned to be in the house during the argument prior to the rehearsal, but since everyone was getting ready, one can assume she was.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RevTekkX, twitch99

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Feb 2020 10:11 #66804 by RevTekkX
Replied by RevTekkX on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
The following could have been from Captain Obvious:
From where Circes has started this story Julia has, for good or ill, evolved past their original relationship. For any hope of happiness Julia would need to devolve, or Howard needs embrace, without reservation, Julia's evolution and a new role in their relationship. IF he doesn’t adapt, he’ll either be miserable or dead.

Lead on Circes, lead on.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
17 Feb 2020 18:15 #66836 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

mpac00 wrote: Can't help myself to weigh in again.  Circes, you've got us stirred up, good job.  Guess there's several of us passionate about your story.

First off, I have to admit I haven't figured out Howard's initial love for Julia.  She really does seem out of place for him.  I understand he enjoys, maybe even needs, to take care of her.  But still seems out of place.  Julia is definitely misguided. First she misunderstood Hawk's repentance as change.  So therefore she extrapolated that to mean Howard could change as well.  But changing another person is a mistake in many relationships that lead to disaster.  A person cannot change unless want to and even then with a lot of difficulty.  Julia wants to change Howard into something completely opposite to what he is.  She'll have no chance of that.  And that is her tragedy.  Unfortunately, the tragedy will be on Howard not on Julia, as he will suffer, she'll blame him, then she'll move on to join the rest of the Weald woman and lose memory of Howard.  She's finally learning what it takes to be the lead in a relationship, but has no idea how to do it.  She mistakes dominating Howard as leading.  Due to inability to empathize she cannot see the effect, or worse sees him cowering as adorable.  Now lets look at Howard.  He's being a whiny teenager.  Man up realize you loss the basis of your relationship and figure out how to manage in this world.  He's doing everything he can to lose.  Albeit, he's not given any opportunity to win.  But still, to make snide comments in public more than once and know that they can be heard is irresponsible.  He's still in denial what her capabilities are.  Get over it, realize she's super human and assume you're in for the run of your life.  If he doesn't start taking responsibility for his own protection and wise up, he will not have any protection at all.  I still think their relationship is non-recoverable.  I think it become non-recoverable back when Julia took the swim with Ruth.  Of course, nourishing was the real point, but it would have been recoverable if initial steps were taken immediately.  What I'm a little uncertain on is the foundation of the relationship in Earth.  Woodclaw describes both as narcissistic.  I think the debate in my mind is Howard.  Did he need for Julia to admire him to try to improve her, or was his need more altruistic in that he saw her as someone that could be improved and felt that he could help her do it and enjoy watching her blossom.  The relationship is a rapid moving train wreck which the three forces, Howard, Julia, and Mindy, cannot stop.  I think the only person to mitigate the wreck is Ruth.  But for her to do that will require losing the inherent bias against men and realize Howard is not a Weald male, but more.  So I'll throw this out there.  Maybe the pill is a setup from Ruth.  Can't quite see how as she was not directly mentioned to be in the house during the argument prior to the rehearsal, but since everyone was getting ready, one can assume she was.

It's not necessarily wrong to try to help someone change. Julia wasn't happy with her body back on Earth. Suppose Howard had cooked healthy meals for the two of them (or chosen healthy options when eating out). He could have helped her give up smoking. It can be a loving and generous act to help someone make positive change in their life.

That's not what Julia is doing. First off, Howard doesn't want to change. Julia is trying to change Howard, not for his benefit, but for her own; to make her life better and to get what she wants. And the change she's trying to get him to make is to accept a life of subservience and abuse. If you want to know how evil Julia is being, imagine Howard, back in Kentucky, saying she "needs to be put in her place."
The following user(s) said Thank You: RevTekkX, twitch99

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
17 Feb 2020 19:53 #66837 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I think the next chapter or two is going to be very illuminating to where circes wants to take the story. If it's just a straight up super woman fetish, then Howard will be beaten or coerced into submission. This will be evident in how Julia reacts if he tries this magic mind control pill that seems way too convenient, and if Julia doesn't see how desperate he must be to try it. She will either accept that he's serious and does not want to be there, and returns him to Earth, or she will try to "break" him.

If it's more than a male domination fantasy story, then Julia will SOMEHOW realize that she has completely lost sight of what was attractive in their relationship, and that it is not right for her to "put him in his place." He hasn't done anything wrong, even if he tries this pill. He has no way out of the situation, and it's tough to swallow that he is ever going to just accept that she's superior.

I love a strong independent woman, but going that route would not be reflective of how real relationships actually work. Julia and Howard are supposed to be similar to real people, so IMO I have certain expectations of how they would react, especially given the context of their history already.

Looking forward to seeing the next chapter so most of the debate can be put to rest.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RevTekkX, BrokenIron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
18 Feb 2020 13:33 #66843 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Torque wrote: I think the next chapter or two is going to be very illuminating to where circes wants to take the story. If it's just a straight up super woman fetish, then Howard will be beaten or coerced into submission. This will be evident in how Julia reacts if he tries this magic mind control pill that seems way too convenient, and if Julia doesn't see how desperate he must be to try it. She will either accept that he's serious and does not want to be there, and returns him to Earth, or she will try to "break" him.

If it's more than a male domination fantasy story, then Julia will SOMEHOW realize that she has completely lost sight of what was attractive in their relationship, and that it is not right for her to "put him in his place." He hasn't done anything wrong, even if he tries this pill. He has no way out of the situation, and it's tough to swallow that he is ever going to just accept that she's superior.

I love a strong independent woman, but going that route would not be reflective of how real relationships actually work. Julia and Howard are supposed to be similar to real people, so IMO I have certain expectations of how they would react, especially given the context of their history already.

Looking forward to seeing the next chapter so most of the debate can be put to rest.

circes_cup said that it'll take the best part of a year to post all the chapters, so there's still quite a lot of the story left. Because of that, I suspect that things will get worse for Howard before (and if) they get better.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RevTekkX, Monty, BrokenIron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
22 Feb 2020 01:30 #66886 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Narcissism is one of the most common personality traits. Everyone has it in lower and higher degrees, I recommend this youtube channel about it www.youtube.com/user/RioGrande51

The real question is when or how Narcissism becomes a disorder and leads to abuse or self-harm, and as far as I can tell, Julia and Howard are a pretty normal couple. It is the situation they find themselves that is nothing normal, and there is no psychological study that could clarify what would really happen.

Besides, without Drama there is no story. If Howard and Julia came to terms with her immense superiority as the perfect couple would do, the story would be over in a few chapters with a forgetful happy ending

So, I hope Howard doesn't 'come to terms' for at least 10 or 20 chapters  
The following user(s) said Thank You: RevTekkX, jnw550, circes_cup, twitch99, BrokenIron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
24 Feb 2020 23:39 #66934 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

lowerbase wrote: Narcissism is one of the most common personality traits. Everyone has it in lower and higher degrees, I recommend this youtube channel about it www.youtube.com/user/RioGrande51

The real question is when or how Narcissism becomes a disorder and leads to abuse or self-harm, and as far as I can tell, Julia and Howard are a pretty normal couple. It is the situation they find themselves that is nothing normal, and there is no psychological study that could clarify what would really happen.

Besides, without Drama there is no story. If Howard and Julia came to terms with her immense superiority as the perfect couple would do, the story would be over in a few chapters with a forgetful happy ending

So, I hope Howard doesn't 'come to terms' for at least 10 or 20 chapters  


Correct, there is a difference between selfishness and narcissism. We all have selfish tendencies, and I would even say that most of our physical limitations are the biggest negating factors to becoming raging narcissists. Julia hasn't quite hit full on narcissist because she hasn't completely abandoned Howard, but she's right on the cusp. If she wants to enjoy the super powers she's been given, that's entirely her choice, but when she starts imposing her choices onto Howard is when it's no longer ok.

Of course she's going to want to enjoy her new powers, who wouldn't? But she is clearly losing sight of what made their relationship special. It's not about one person being the "alpha" and the other the "beta." 

I'll reiterate again, because it's what I think (hope) that circles is aiming for, that I think Julia just completely lacks the maturity to understand the implications of what her powers mean for their relationship. For her, it's been all fun and games, literally. Circes hinted that the men went snorkeling in chapter 9d, but we don't know how that went. In fact, my biggest criticism so far is the lack of perspective from Howard's side. Did he enjoy it? Is there hope for him to treat this like a vacation like Julia wants? If there is supposed to be more nuance around him becoming more desperate, we haven't seen much. Instead, we just see Julia's descent into Mindy's and Ruth's manipulations, while not actually caring what Howard wants.

I'm like the drama, and you're right, it's how a story stays interesting. But what I can't abide is a story with an unsatisfying conclusion. If Julia gets her way, that they stay for years in the Weald, that Howard just accepts her will, then any drama that builds to that point is meaningless. Both parties need to lose AND win for the most satisfying ending. I know we're a long way off from that, so maybe it's just the format of a chapter at a time that is giving me the narrative blue balls.

Speaking of....Hope to see the next chapter soon!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Feb 2020 01:59 #66985 by eromacque
Replied by eromacque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I'm fascinated.  Because the more I read, the better it gets.  And the angrier I become.  

It's well written, of course.  Circe is a genre writer with a strong command of language.  Skillful scene-setting.  A laudable effort to make the Weald into a fleshed-out, 3D world.  Even if it's a place that's looking less appealing to a male reader with every chapter, regardless of the glories of the Nourished themselves.

Why do I get so irritated?

Is it because Howard is initially so over the top in his insecurity?  So cartoonishly intolerant of the steel Amazon into which his girlfriend has been transformed?  His hapless flailing ego refusing to permit thoughtful engagement with his newly-goddessed girlfriend?  With each thing Julia does....each comic-book feat of strength or speed or mental prowess, he seems to just repeatedly butt his head against it, though Mindy's appalling bullying and threats seem to've made some sort of impression.

Is it because Mindy is so entirely awful, with so few redeeming qualities as to make Julia's interest in her seem egregiously shallow?  Her vanity, petulance, ego, and sadism are appalling, and feel somehow off, given her age.  They seem more fitted for an 11 year old.  Certainly they feel wrong given that Ruth herself is vastly more mature and circumspect.  She seems to have imparted almost nothing in her daughter.

Is it because Julia herself is flirting with asshole-dom as her powers rumble through her, her mind expands, and her ego grows with it, leading her to keep Howard essentially a prisoner in a place so completely, profoundly uncongenial not only to his soul, but also his physical health?

The problem is that you can't get inside a story like this because none of the protagonists feels worth cheering for.  Howard wasn't perfect, but he loved Julia and encouraged her.  The shoe's on the other foot but he apparently possesses absolutely nothing in the coping mechanism department, and his rebuffs of Julia seem both one-note and increasingly strident.

Julia was a doughy plain-Jane who became a goddess.  Yet the wonder of what she can do is often perfunctory and she too-soon shifts to patronizing, condescending, and unsympathetic.  I can run 200 miles per hour!  I'm benching 60 tons!  My mind makes Deep Blue seem like a Casio calculator!  Awww....look at Howard trying to better himself.  Hee hee!  Lookit Widdle Howie pretending he's capable and stuff like on Earth!  It's teeth-grinding.

And you know what?  I wouldn't give half a shit if it wasn't So. Well. Written.  So perhaps that's Circe's great gift.  Creating something so interesting and so compelling that I want to read every bit of it.  It's a world that's fascinating and repellent.  Maybe that makes it hard to look away.  Maybe having no one to really root for is deliberate.  A way to disorient a reader and perhaps help empathize with Howard.  I don't really know for sure.  But the quality is too high for me to stop, even as I sometimes shake my head as I read.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Woodclaw, RevTekkX, jnw550, twitch99, guimachajo1

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
01 Mar 2020 01:13 #66998 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Julia's and Howard's relationship is doomed but let's take a hard look at why.

Let's look at Julia from Howard's point of view.  She used to be smaller than him, less capable.  He viewed her with potential but needed help.  She was his lost puppy to be loved.  She was smart, but did not conform to the job she chose.  She was sweet.  Now she's huge, and significantly more capable than him.  She's far more intelligent and can do any intellectual pursuit she wants.  She's now domineering.  She also is very threatening, she hurt and possibly killed some of the 50 men without remorse.  She also has realized her body is fantastic and loves it.  I think she's completely opposite in every way from her Earth self.  She has some slight resemblance to the old Julia, but even that is slight.

Let's look at Howard from Julia's point of view.  He now is no longer the leader, he cannot keep up in any physical endeavor.  He no longer can provide financially for her.  He is easily intimidated by her, and totally insecure due to fears of his environment.  So from Julia's perspective Howard also is the complete opposite to the Earth Howard.  In this case he looks the same.

So the only thing they share are common memories.  Their relationship will be fundamentally different going forward so those common memories will be confusing and at conflict.  I also propose that Howard does not love Julia since she is now totally different than she was.  Julia loves Howard since she's still retaining those old memories and now feels like she can control the relationship, kind of like vindicated in her feelings.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Time to create page: 0.112 seconds