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14 August 2018 @ 10:03 am
_Cooking Hot_  
Is approaching final takeoff: Let me know if I've left anything out, too abrupt transitions and so forth.

(Anonymous) on August 14th, 2018 06:42 pm (UTC)
Early on Ebsa is serving steak rare. After the princess glow-down, he refers to properly cooked medium rare steak. Memory error, or actual change?
(Anonymous) on August 14th, 2018 07:06 pm (UTC)
Who wins?
Are we going to find out, or will we forever wonder if trilobite beats rare steak?
matapampamuphoff on August 14th, 2018 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Who wins?
Well, since there was in fact, no judging organized, we'll never know.
cnmckenney on August 14th, 2018 08:01 pm (UTC)
Chapter Fair Day
Ra'd pulled out a sign. EXTERNAL RELATIONS all wood, nice a heavy to sit on the ground and not blow over.


Ra'd pulled out a sign. EXTERNAL RELATIONS, all wood, nice and heavy, it would sit on the ground and not blow over.
Mike Weatherford on August 14th, 2018 11:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Chapter Fair Day
If written that way, it should read "nice and heavy, that would".
(Anonymous) on August 14th, 2018 10:46 pm (UTC)
I feel like the ending is not satisfying. Maybe because of all the threads that don't wrap up-Sophy and Arwen, Good and Epic, Coffee, Ashe . . . Even if it's something like Good coming around at the end of the day to say, "Hey, I got a job offer from Disco, my dad can't decide if he's having kittens over my step-mom announcing she's pregnent, me dropping out of college to work for Lon, my sister (I lost track of which sister was his and which Epic's) getting accepted to the Fallen school on Embassy, or your mother, but I think he's going with your mother!" and Coffee stopping off to say "Hey, thanks for sorting my kids into school here on Embassy", and something involving Ashe's Chef . . . I feel like there are too many threads left hanging.

It doesn't feel done.

I hope that's helpful.

(Anonymous) on August 14th, 2018 11:42 pm (UTC)
Rael didn't have to fake that giggle. "Isso says he's trying to steal a chef. He says he doesn't appear to even realize that Ebsa's a warrior."

"Steal . . . "

Should be Izzo

matapampamuphoff on August 15th, 2018 12:40 am (UTC)
Drat. Thought I'd gotten that one already. No doubt on one of the other comps and it didn't get transferred.

And that's another unsettled thread (good point, Holly!) since it started with Ashe's chef hijacking, it needs with him acceding defeat. "My beautiful plot! Foiled!"
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2018 03:32 am (UTC)
Intra-mural food fight
The tension between Ebsa and the head chef of the embassy builds nicely, then is totally dropped. Should there not be some resolution?
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2018 03:44 am (UTC)
At 1/4 lb per serving, 5 Kg of emu would serve around 40 people. I had the impression that Ebsa was cooking for a lot more than that number. Just the project staff (that survived) were around double that and there is the rest of the XR embassy staff as well.
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2018 08:51 am (UTC)
RE: Emu
Nah. He just cooked emu for his pals to test it. Everyone else got steak.
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2018 10:04 am (UTC)
I don't know if this needs to be addressed or not, but when Paer & Ebsa are warning Xen that the Comet Fall God-mares might try to nip off with some of the Black Horse mounts, they decide not to mention something else, & I haven't got the foggiest what they're not mentioning (so I'm not sure if I just missed it, or if you might need to telegraph it more).
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2018 01:31 pm (UTC)
First I want stress that I really enjoyed the story and I adore Ebsa. I will read anythingbyou write, especially in this series. I appreciate how hard it must be getting with so many viewpoint characters running off and having adventures of their own,call atcthe same time!

However, this story is written as a series of vignettes which is a very different approach from the other books in the series. I kept waiting for Ebsa to save the day, but the day never needed saving. Issues were hinted at, but not fully teased out and resolved. Lots of smoking guns. Situations were set up and left open ended. I found the lack of a central problem being fully resolved a bit disconcerting. Sorry if that sounds negative because I value you work too highly to put it down. You have a very fertile imagination and a great gift for vivid adventure stories.
matapampamuphoff on August 15th, 2018 03:31 pm (UTC)
The sort of advice I'm getting here is the prefect example of why writers need beta readers. We--or at least I--have so much fun writing along that we lose track of the plot. That's especially easy when you're just cruising along hoping everyone else thinks it's as funny as you do.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 16th, 2018 12:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 15th, 2018 03:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pamuphoff on August 16th, 2018 02:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 16th, 2018 03:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pamuphoff on August 16th, 2018 09:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 17th, 2018 12:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 16th, 2018 05:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 17th, 2018 03:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 17th, 2018 04:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pamuphoff on August 17th, 2018 04:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 17th, 2018 08:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pamuphoff on August 17th, 2018 12:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pamuphoff on August 17th, 2018 04:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2018 03:54 pm (UTC)
Enjoyed, but have to agree about it being "not done"
Ebsa is definitely one of my favorite characters and I enjoyed reading your current draft, but I have to agree with what others have mentioned that it doesn't feel "complete." It wasn't quite clear who all his helpers were or how they ended up working for him -- I got enough to know that they were probably the teenagers you mentioned, but they were suddenly just THERE. Also, there wasn't enough drama between him and the Head Chef AND I'm surprised there was no mentioning of him checking out the Comet Fall witches' food or any of them coming to check out his (though I know his mother did try their food). It didn't have a satisfactory conclusion to tie it all together. Also, there was this big deal about these unicorn dishes, but nothing came of that later that I remember. I was disappointed with the ending and felt like there needed to be MORE, but I can't really put my finger on what was missing.

I also wasn't really clear why exactly Ambassador Ashe did all this in the first place??? And I was quite surprised that Ashe was so amazingly non-involved when the Head Chef told Ebsa to "get lost" and did absolutely nothing about that situation. He didn't tell the Head Chef to work with Ebsa or track Ebsa down and apologize that he was being left hanging like this. He had told Ebsa that he was in charge, but never followed through with his own staff. Was that your intent -- that Ashe had no true power or authority with his own people and was just a figurehead throwing his weight around with Ebsa, someone who he COULD bully? I don't remember how you portrayed him in earlier books, so perhaps that is consistent with what you've written before, but if you've portrayed him earlier as being competent and respected, this just doesn't work, IMO.

There was one typo I noticed you did more than once, which was use "desert" instead of "dessert."

Overall I really like the concept and think this will be a great addition to your series. I just think it needs some polish and a little more "umph."
(Anonymous) on August 16th, 2018 04:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Enjoyed, but have to agree about it being "not done"
Considering the quality of the food in "Fractured Loyalties" and where Ashe ate more than once in this story, he may have been giving his chef enough rope to hang himself. Any bets that he offers the position to Ebsa's mother after Ebsa turns him down again?
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on August 17th, 2018 10:05 pm (UTC)
I notice a typo, /Pear/ for /Paer/
(Anonymous) on August 18th, 2018 12:58 am (UTC)
Off topic Earth Gate
On a totally different book: In "Earth Gate" you have Weg Kasik both kidnapped by the Earthers and working in Karista with Q at the same time. If you re-issue it at some point you might want to fix that.
(Anonymous) on August 18th, 2018 04:27 am (UTC)
Wine and Cream
10 gallons of cream would be 1/8 oz each for 10,000 people. The wine would be far less as it will be reduced a lot in cooking. I suspect that Ebsa will need three to four times the amount that Ra'd bought.
matapampamuphoff on August 18th, 2018 05:11 am (UTC)
Re: Wine and Cream
The actual volume of the sauces will depend on the rest of the ingredients. A wine reduction sauce for beef, for instance will have roughly equal parts red wine and beef stock. Cream sauces frequently have milk and flour.

However, I'll also make sure the implication that that's _all_ the supplies he'll need isn't there.
Re: Wine and Cream - (Anonymous) on August 18th, 2018 08:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mbarkermbarker on August 19th, 2018 10:16 am (UTC)
Really odd thought, and it would take a while to fix up, but this would be a great book to use as a gateway book, with little (for more about this, see The Oddballs Meet) references scattered throughout when you give those little hints of other books. I mean, you have almost everyone in the multiverse, and little bits and pieces talking about various events...
matapampamuphoff on August 19th, 2018 02:36 pm (UTC)
"Hotdogs are disgusting."

Ebsa looked over at a tall fellow. Hard to put an age to him, silvery streaks in dark hair.

The red-headed teenage girl beside him threw up her hands. "Docter Storm! We're on vacation, you should try to enjoy the all new experiences."

"Hotdogs are not new." He eyed Ebsa's little plates and picked up a mixed chicken and beef one.

The girl grinned and grabbed all steak. "At least they eat good in this weird place."

The old guy chewed and swallowed. "I'll give you that." He caught Ebsa's eye and gestured around the plaza. "Do you do this often?"

"This is the first time we've tried a fair. Usually it's all business and diplomacy . . . are you new here?"

The girl grinned. "Yeah. We found this weird portal thing and just walked through . . ."


"C'mon, Doc, they're friendly!"


Ebsa cleared his throat. "Well, this is Embassy. Where the various parallel worlds try to talk instead of invading each other. If you want official contact, that black building over there is the place to start. Umm, probably not today, though."

(no subject) - mbarker on August 20th, 2018 01:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 20th, 2018 01:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Clarify please - cnmckenney on August 20th, 2018 11:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Clarify please - pamuphoff on August 20th, 2018 01:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Clarify please - cnmckenney on August 20th, 2018 05:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mbarker: Me typing?mbarker on August 19th, 2018 10:56 am (UTC)
Like everyone else, I’m going to say it needs an ending. One notion might be to have a news piece again, with your star reporter explaining just how the vote went? Or something more exciting? But it needs some kind of climax. Right now it just kind of trails off, and as a reader, I was looking for more... heck, you could have Ashe offering to put Ebsa in as head chef, while Izzo just grins and says we’ve got rumors of ... and I was thinking you could take the team direct from here... and there go Ebsa and Ra’d!
matapampamuphoff on August 19th, 2018 01:25 pm (UTC)
Ah,Zambroni! I was wondering about having the Oners do a satellite survey as to popularity of various booths, but Zambroni is even better.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 19th, 2018 03:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)