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Aug 6, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

I hope there will be more after the third part. I think this will go well as a series. Go into each character and each one would have their own secrets. Also some back-story would be nice. How did Mason come to be, a previous partner or some kind of breeding program?

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This story is part of a series of ten stories. The next story will take place in The Cooperatives territory in Siberia. Not all the characters are recurring, but one of them will reveal some secrets in the next story. But the rest of the stories are still pretty much open and I can add a lot of stuff. Thank you for the idea, I'll have to reflect on it.

The back story of Mason is an actually a nice detail. It wasn't part of the story but after your questions I've decided to add it in part three.

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Nice continuation, Claudia.

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Thank you, Alexander. Also for the email with the notes, really appreciate it. 🙏

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Aug 6, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

I love it, the scene with the blue corn and honey, reminds me our Merida trip-🥰

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Yeees, I did some research about corn types in Mexico. There are so many varieties, it's fascinating. I loved Merida and hope that we can go back. Especially all the corn dishes and the traditional vegetarian foods were amazing!

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Aug 6, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Excellent, maybe too short. 😉

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There's a third part coming and it's as long. 😅

Thanks for reading and for your feedback. 🤗

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Great Part II, Claudia, really excited for Part III.

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Thank you Garrett! I'm doing the last edits for the 3rd part. It will go out this week!

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Aug 11, 2023·edited Aug 14, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Yes, reading backwards subverts the brain's fill-in feature, which is what makes finding typos and missed words so difficult.

I guess the scary thing will be if -- like supposedly playing a Beatles' record backwards -- some hidden semantic meaning emerges and you get messages from Hell, unintended in your forward-directed writing. I don't know why the presumption is that such reversals of musical (or as we are saying for possibly any creative) work would necessarily produce diabolical semantics. I mean, if you were to play the ramblings of writings by known "bad guys" or, say advertisements, [in reverse] would saintly messages emerge with nine choirs of Angels singing in the background? This is what makes me suspicious of the whole "backwards" angle regard musical pieces. I have never really been convinced to the supposed demonstrations regarding musical works. It mostly sounds like rwah-whah-ruhn-rah gibberish.

Only a fiction writer could deal with this stuff without becoming unhinged., hopefully.

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I'll let you know when I start reading my stories backwards! 🤣

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Don't do this alone. Make sure you have friends around.

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And during day time, who knows what I might call forth in the dark night...

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[Possible Typo.] Miss, Befu, did you mean 'gapes': "Alaska gaps at the trail of bots squirming at the girl’s feet?"

Also, I loved the confluence of this line above, "Corn. Corn. Corn. Everything is corn. This is corn. And this is corn. And this is corn.," with my favorite scenes and lines, by Robert DuVall in the movie, Second Hand Lions: "Corn, corn, corn. nothin' but corn."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjoJ2QH3Rkw

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It does look like a typo, thank you 😊.

I don’t know this movie! That’s a great line!

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Well, my brain is a generator of typos. The problem is that I cannot spot my own until many hours -- if not days -- pass.

I liked the 'Lions' movie with DuVall and Michael Caine, except for one thing. I will not ruin it for you by blabbing out my opinion before you have seen it. IF you do see it, I would be interested in your take.

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It seems like mine as well, I got feedback about several different typos from their readers for this piece. And I edited it more carefully than others. Who knows what is hidden there... I actually use Grammarly to check for grammar issues but it doesn't pick on correct words used in an incorrect context.

I rarely watch movies but I'll add this to my future list. 🙏

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I deliberately do not use devices like Grammarly. As you point out, proofreading is still necessary. Further, why would we want such an instrument employed in creative writing? I write both commentary and technical things. "Spell" and "Grammar" checkers are a nuisance for these purposes. I also seem to be out ahead of automated spell checkers regarding even rather basic vocabulary. What is more, on very selective occasions I push the boundaries of typical syntactical constructions for the purpose of creating a tension and attention.

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Yes, proofreading is still necessary because sometimes the tool suggests the wrong word for the context, turns perfectly good sentences into gibberish and doesn’t understand literature much. But I don’t have money to pay someone to proofread my stories and I would feel very uncomfortable publishing anything without even some basic grammar check. I’ve been a translator for many years and worked with web content and I simply need this extra check. A second pair of eyes even if it’s just a tool gives me reassurance.

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A friend of mine was an editor. On one pass he would read a manuscript backwards for spelling errors.

I wonder if there might not be an opportunity here for a proofing cooperative. Details to be pondered.

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Aug 8, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

You are developing a great world. Every story reveals greater detail and more character development. I started this series with part one of The seed grower and had to go back and read Human Island and am now starting to get a feel for this world and its story line. I think your doing a great job of developing this world, and it will support many, many, more stories and I hope you continue to develop them. I am really starting to enjoy your writing.

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Thank you so much for this very kind feedback 💚! It means a lot to know that my stories resonate and the reading brings some level of pleasure and even curiosity to go back to the beginning and read the first story.

Also for me it's an amazing experience to give shape to this world that spawned in my head over several years. And this has been possible only because I'm on Substack and I can have a conversation with readers like you. It's a huge motivator to sit down and write the next story.

Did you also have a chance to read Shia's letter from the future 'The day I learned I would die' which follows 'Human Island'?

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Aug 7, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Excellent! The writing feels careful and intentional. It’s a fascinating world, and I love that beekeepers are the symbols of resistance!

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Thank you, Peter. As I continue publishing on Substack I noticed that my writing is also evolving, I'm happy to know that, as a reader, you noticed that. I'll keep on working on my craft!

Thanks also for the feedback about the world. I'm trying to add as many details in the stories as I can and also as the story flow allows. Sometimes when I edit I realise that some of the information is only in my head but not on the page and then I add another layer of worldbuilding around the plot. It's a dance.

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Aug 7, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

Another great read, Claudia. Lots of nice details in here that continue to add to the world.

The tension notched up with this one. I was fervently scrolling through, wondering if she'll get caught and who she can or can't trust.

I love the quality of the AI Ghost, the description of it, Alaska's fear of it. So good!

Just noted a couple of typos: I think there's a "gaps" that was meant to be "gasps", and a "starring" that should be "staring".

Also, the tattoo on the palm. Is Shia worried about being relatively open about her sign of the resistance, or is that not an issue?

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Thank you, Nathan, for taking the time to read and send me your feedback. Always very appreciated 🙏

I had several typos in this one, thank you for pointing them out. Alexander also pointed some out (different ones). I need to pay more attention next time.

Great to hear that you liked the idea of the AI Ghost. I thought that we don't necessarily need android bodies for the AI, a simple gadget with a projected body made of a field of energy should suffice. But I was a bit nervous about how this idea will be received.

The tattoo... only few people have an idea that there is a resistance movement going on. Even Alaska is not sure but hopes that the plants that she secretly grows are the work of this resistance. For everyone else, the bee tattoo is the symbol of an urban legend about some scientists who went rogue and are somewhere in the desert trying to revive Earth's ecology. The Cooperatives don't care.

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Aug 7, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

I *love* the fact you've put the AI Ghost into a ghostly projected form, rather than a specific android body. This lends it something extra menacing/intrusive, in my opinion.

Fantastic details and info on the tattoo. That's brilliant lore info.

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Great to know! It's one of those details that was in the first iteration of the story back when I wrote it as a screenplay. Then the character was eliminated during the editing process, and now the idea came back. He looked different in the initial story, he was was overviewing the distribution of rations to poor people. Now he has a higher rank. 🤣

Sometimes I wonder how much lore I should include in the stories. I am so familiar with my fictions world already, sometimes I forget that the readers don't know everything I know.

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Aug 7, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra

The most important thing is that you know all these details. That fact alone means you write with more meaning, even if that meaning is hidden, or lies within subtext. I've said this many times, hehe, but that's the stuff I love. When it bleeds through a little, seeping into the writing but only in places, those are my favourite moments. Or when you go back and reread something and realise it was there all along but it was subtle ... *Chef kiss*

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Aug 7, 2023·edited Aug 7, 2023Author

Somehow the details kept piling up over the years. And as I write new details are added, new aspects of the world are made up. The fact that I put things on paper frees up space in my head to imagine new stuff. Until I write things down I keep repeating them to myself in my head all the time 😅

I also have the same take as you in revealing lore. Less is more. But it’s interesting for me to know what questions the readers have. I might or might not answer them. Sometimes, the best books are the ones that leave us with more questions than when we started reading them. I love it when a story sparks my imagination eager to fill in the gaps.

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Fun, I love this!

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Thanks for reading and for leaving a note, this keeps me going 💚

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deletedAug 14, 2023Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra
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There is too little talk of the threats that big pesticide corporations pose to the future of our food with their predatory seed patenting practices and their market monopoly with their sterile seeds. Growing food from seeds is indeed an act of resistance. Did you read 'The wind Up Girl' by Paolo Bacigalupi? The central plot revolves around a seedbank. It's very well written.

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