Wednesday 26 September 2012

Wednesday Wrap Up Post and other news and announcements...

Thank you everyone for your great takes on this prompt. Every story was unique and we met all sorts of friends, and experienced every emotion from hate to love. This week we welcome new followers - Encourage One Another and Paul Smith. Tinu and Crystal are our latest members. Crystal thought she had signed up, so check your member status before our Halloween challenge as you must be a member to be eligible for Featured Writer or any other accolade.

So, without further ado, here are the mini critiques on each entry, prepared by both of your hosts and in no particular order:

Yolanda - The hateful beautiful friend with the hair, the body - oh, the green-eyed monster! Isn't it all just one big happy family as the BF gets the ex and the children? Grr. Great use of theme.
Charmaine - continued with her Rosie story. What a dame! A real hoot as we see Rosie dealing with the weight she's piled on in the last years, no longer attractive to the garbage man - and downright repulsive to the friend down the road. I don't think Rosie and Debbie were ever meant to be friends! 
Donna - Here we have a spell-binding take on the theme with chubby, jealous Lacy casting a spell for her gorgeous, yet needy friend Crystal. Some interesting concepts such as binge eating. As Lacy twists the opal around her neck, we're left asking what is the price she's placed on her spellmaking? When will Crystal find out?
Candilynn - Yearning - a great poem by Candilynn who usually enters prose. The bitterness was palpable. Here we have the emotions - envy, hungering, craving, wanting what she doesn't have anymore, but once had. Will she or won't she win him back from 'her'?
Nancy - I love it when Nancy takes us into her fantastical world of faery. I think we all fell in love with these little characters in the fae community. Who knew such naughtiness existed there? What does Lilac have in mind for her erstwhile friend Rosebud?
Sally - My Friend. A beautiful, emotional tribute to a rare and precious friend. Was there a dry eye? My eyes teared up as I felt what was coming. A lovely life cut short by a drunk driver. So moving. I hope it helped to share with us, Sally.
Linda - took us to Efra, Northern Ghana, for a tale of two friends. Her beautiful, clever, dearest friend destroyed by other's greed. How some can turn good into evil and a cautionary tale into how at times global charities cause harm when they mean good. A peek into cultural traditions. I'm glad Linda's mc continued her friendship with her aunt.
Roland - Haunted by Whispers - we have Maxine, the 'goblin princess', a self-confessed 'freak', at this time not the friend of Becca, whose POV we had. I was pleased to see an explanation by Roland in the comments that these two, after their initial antagonism, would form an alliance.
Ghazala - presented us with a quirky story of the reunion of two best friend from school days, 20 years ago. It was hugely funny how the husband of the mc was digging a hole for himself with his comments about the hot new neighbour. It was touching how the two friends reunited, despite the rumours going around the building. She could easily have hated her friend.
Crystal -   A disturbing story with no answer. What did Phoebe's friend Katy do to come between Phoebe and her love, Daniel? We aren't sure whether the secretive Katy is having an affair with her best friend's boyfriend. True hate for a beautiful friend, whatever she's done.
Anna: has quite a mystery going with her love triangle; Charlottes zany, uncaring friend
Ramona has stolen many things from Charlotte, including boyfriend Emil.  Now Ramona is missing, and no love lost from Charlotte; except that leaves another mystery about the fate of Emil also.
Raelene: shows the bruised consequences of pettiness, the self destructive nature of a jealous heart.  Sometimes, all that is needed to pull out of the depths of despair is to look around at what you have, and be comforted.
Denise:  added another layer to her Sally and Inya story in the form of a best friend from New York, Aggie; dead set on interfering with the island romance that has turned the corporate beauty’s sensibilities.
Francine: posted a snippet from her upcoming Regency romance novel that involves two lovely ladies in a flirtatious battle of wills over the handsome, injured lord.  What better place for the jealousy monster to appear than the bedroom of a naked man.
Adura: added to an ongoing saga of Michael and Sadi, and introduced a new character - Michael’s best friend Femi.  This male perspective was fresh and original, a different take on the envy theme as the tables seem to be turn, and Michael is not the rebellious one.
Michael: offered a unique take on the theme with two opposing, yet equally beautiful elements of nature as they shine their glories for all the world to admire.  Cryptic, lyrical, a mystery to resolve, beautifully penned.
Nilanjana: This story was a completely heartbreaking in its simplicity; a friendship comfortably nurtured, the introduction of a new person, and the angst of watching the man you want fall helplessly love with the innate charms of your best friend.
Clare: put fresh faces on the childhood story of best friends on separate maturity tracks, drawn together by routine, as one falls in the shadows...until someone special notices the shadow, and draws her into the light. Welcome Clare!
Heather: propelled her shadow character into the arms of the best friend’s intended conquest; stealing the limelight in quiet conversation, a couple drinks, and a moment alone in the crowd.

Now more announcements...


Your hosts can no longer take the pressure of choosing between such great writing each FW challenge, so we've asked a couple of wonderful bloggers to help out as guest judges - Ann Best and Nas Dean. We'll give you more on their role later, but suffice to say Ann is a member of RFW, a qualified editor, published author and poet. Nas is a long-time follower of RFW, a reader for Entangled Publishing, so is especially qualified to see a winning story.   So whenever we have a FW prompt, your entries will be judged by more impartial judges. The Halloween House of Horrors entries will be the first to be judged by our pros.


More and more people are reading blog entries on their mobile/cell phones, so here are some points to keep in mind when posting:
  • Only the Post column is visible - not the sidebars. If you're using a Stretch template, not all of your post will be visible and readers will tire of navigating from side to side.
  • If you use Word Verification, forget it. Those evil Captcha codes are hardly visible on a large monitor, let alone a tiny mobile phone. And just try filling them on on a mobile. Impossible. Google added them with the new interface and apparently they keep reappearing, so check your comments occasionally.
  • If you use Google + there are more steps added to the reading/commenting processes. At times when I come across a Google + link all I get is an ad for a Google + app ad. If you've got a blog, I suggest you use your blog as your link. Just saying...
  • Depending on the mobile phone, a youtube clip may be inaccessible.
That's just some things I've come across as I use my mobile a lot to check blogs when I'm out and about. Do you have anything to share that would be helpful?


Please return on Monday, October 1st, for a guest post by fellow RFW member, Linda Katmarian who is working through the process of self publishing. She will be sharing the important points she's learned so far. We've learned a lot reading through it.

See you then!

Thursday 20 September 2012

Monday 17 September 2012

#Guest Post - Author Linda Gillard on Creating Characters in fiction.

Hello RFWers!

This week our guest author post is from Linda Gillard, a new favourite author of mine. Linda creates the most amazing, out-of-the-box non-stereotypical characters. She is going to share her method of creating characters with us.


Hello everyone. 
As a reader, I tend to have clear ideas about what fictional characters should look like, but I’m not always certain what my own characters look like. When I was writing my first novel, EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY, I kept visualising myself as my heroine Rose, simply because she was the same age as me and like me, she made quilts.

Rose looked quite different from me in the book, but somehow I still couldn’t see her, so I decided to look through magazines until I found a photo of someone who looked something like my idea of Rose. Eventually I found one and the character finally took off.

Photos bailed me out again when I was writing my third novel, STAR GAZING. I got stuck early on with my strong-but-silent Scots hero, Keir. I knew how he spoke, how he behaved and I knew he was a gentle giant, but I just couldn’t visualise him in any detail. (This was probably something to do with the fact that my heroine never sees Keir because she’s blind.) The book was limping along with a gap where Keir should have been in all his physical glory. Then one day I saw a photo in a magazine of Gerard Butler displaying the exact blend of virility and vulnerability that I’d envisaged for Keir. Once I’d “cast” Butler, the character took off and the book practically wrote itself.

Gerald Butler
Now when I’m starting a novel, I routinely “audition” for my major characters. I used to cut pictures out of magazines and make scrapbooks, but nowadays I tend to search online and put photos on my desktop. They could be of anyone, not necessarily celebrities. I don’t even have to know who they are or what they do. It’s just the look of the person that’s important.

I’ts a bit of a mystery where my characters actually come from.  Characters just seem to jump into my head. They seem like real people, friends I haven’t met yet. Writing the novel is a sort of discovery process for me. I’m only interested in writing about people I like or find fascinating, so I think I just make up people I want to spend time with. (And it’s a lot of time. I might spend two years working on a book, so my characters need to be complex to absorb me for that length of time.) But I can’t claim to understand my creative process. My son once referred to my writing as playing with my imaginary friends. I think that’s a pretty good description of what I do!

I write about spiky, awkward, real women and most of them aren’t young, pretty or thin, which only compounds their felonies. The heroine of STAR GAZING is middle-aged, widowed and blind and she’s not too happy about any of that. (In fact the Scots hero describes her as "crabbit".) Over the years my heroines’ bolshy behaviour has led to some editorial conflict as I’ve resisted attempts made by patient and longsuffering editors to make my female protagonists nicer

It’s not just that I think, in fiction, nice is generally boring. It’s that I’m steeped in the classics and know niceness is not necessary; that many a book has stood the test of time despite the heroine’s lack of social skills.

Don't miss LInda's latest book, The Glass Guardian

Ruth Travers has lost a lover, both parents and her job. Now she thinks she might be losing her mind...

When death strikes again, Ruth finds herself the owner of a dilapidated Victorian house on the Isle of Skye: Tigh na Linne, the summer home she shared as a child with her beloved Aunt Janet, the woman she’d regarded as a mother. 

As Ruth prepares to put the old house up for sale, she’s astonished to find she’s not the only occupant. Worse, she suspects she might be falling in love... 

With a man who died almost a hundred years ago.

Other books by Linda and how to buy -

Linda Gillard lives in the Scottish Highlands and has been an actress, journalist and teacher. She’s the author of six novels, including STAR GAZING, short-listed in 2009 for Romantic Novel of the Year and the Robin Jenkins Literary Award (for writing that promotes the Scottish landscape.) STAR GAZING was also votedFavourite Romantic Novel 1960 - 2010 by Woman's Weekly readers.  

Linda's fourth novel, HOUSE OF SILENCE became a Kindle bestseller, selling over 20,000 copies in its first year. It was selected by Amazon as one of their Top Ten "Best of 2011" in the Indie Author category.

Contact RFW hosts if you want to write for us.

Don't forget our next challenge this Friday Sept 21st.  Linky will go up Thursday AEST.

Go to the Challenges Page for more details of this and forthcoming challenges...

Wednesday 12 September 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - Wrap Up Post - FW - Challenge No 44 - I Should Have Kissed You! Next Challenge Guidelines

Hello Members and Friends!

Donna here. Is it just me, or did this Challenge inspire a lot of 1st person and male perspective?  The turn out this week was amazing; the excerpts well written with lots of sensory details – and steamy.  Nearly a week later, my lips are still puckering in anticipation of that life changing kiss.

We gained several new followers over the last couple weeks:  with Ghazala, Jasze, Elen, Nilanjana and Yolanda swelling our members list also.  Kavita, Suzy, Raelene, Michael, Anne and Vikram have also signed on as members.  

Your  hosts appreciate every contributed piece, and want to thank you all for your consistency.  With that in mind, here is our joint wrap-up of this week's submissions in order of posting:

Charmaine: I fell straight into love with Rosie, the dame. Rosie was more complicated than she seemed - she was quite rightly disgruntled when men were judgmental of her generous curves, but had a double standard -she was quite ready to hightail it when a less-than-perfect date arrived on the scene. Quite hilarious as she passhes the earstwhile 'red silk tie' guy by mistake. Can't blame her really for not wanting to hang around - but...but...that's when her mochachino finally arrives! Now we have a deep problem! Stay or Run? (550)
Anna: To everyone's delight (who has been following Anna's tragic story of Paul, Jenny and Priscilla), Anna delivered a flashback in diary style, a prequel to events most of us are now familiar with. Perfectly fitting for the theme as there is that regret for the missed kiss. (598)
Nilanjana: Nilanjana delighted our senses with her poem right from the start when she '...offered up bruised berry lips'. How smoothly it flowed. I loved the imagery, such as: 'drunk in the morning musk.' I also love the two POVs. I preferred No 2 for some reason, although both were a delight. Very true to the theme with the prompt words occurring regularly at the beginning of stanzas. (419)
Raelene: The Pre-Nup was fabulous! Let's leave the groom waiting at the aisle while Dave surprises himself with the slip of the tongue - 'I Should Have Kissed You.' Oooh, so not done as the bride is about to marry another man, especially if you're the officiating Reverend/Priest! Some great attention to detail. I loved the congregation watiing in 'murmuring rows.' (No Word Count given, but well under...)
Francine: Our very own Regency romance author, thrilled us yet again with an excerpt from Venetian Encounter, with a menage a trois mentioned, oh Lordy! The excerpt was replete with the colourful characters from a past time, with Francine setting the scene of the era. That Therese with her 'china blues' is quite a character. I am left wondering, will the Countess bow to the  charms of Lieutenant Herne? (596)
Sally: Sally does nostalgia so well! For this prompt she gave us a glimpse of a bygone era, when young ladies were shy looking at young men (overtly anyway!) A lot of emotion can be had when rail commuting five days a week to school! Sensory descriptions abounded: 'rumble of train wheels', 'musty smell of scratchy fabric of the seats...' Very Rosamund Pilcher. So frustrating when she missed out on that kiss! (598)
Denise: filled our hearts with the lust of returning love, then built cultural, career, and continental barriers as obstacles for the lovers to overcome.  Passions run wild, but the heartbreak of reality couldn't be washed away by the changing tides of a summer fling.  (596)
Nancy: Brenda is still longing for John from her past and asks herself why wasn't she brave at the time?  She still remembers the sensory details even though she is now married with children. Why? Young love stays with you - she 14, he 17. Very poignant. It looks like Brenda is only ever going to imagine John in her dreams. (574)
Madeleine: I felt the romance between Jessica and David. Many contributors wrote of the regret of missed opportunity in the throes of young love, but David takes the initiative. Obviously a close couple, he's changed his mind rather than live with a lifetime of regret. He's going to act - he's going to follow Jessica to her new job rather than look back years later. (411)
Heather: Remembrance. Bitter-sweet memories, but highlighted is a lack of communication skills. Could things have been different if they talked things through? Maybe then the closeness that felt so right wouldn't also feel so wrong. A different future may have been imagined, but would it have been better than the present? (398)
Roland: :used a scene from an earlier writing; one of heart break at death's door, with the lovers' confessions witnessed by their failed protectors.  Roland leaves us hanging as to whether Blake indeed dies without tasting Fallon’s kiss, or if her love brings him back from the brink once more.  (750)
Kiru delighted us with a caramel kiss, feeding our desire with a steamy memory, and refusing to fulfill the anticipation in the present.  My thigh is still feeling the heat of his palm. (over 600)
Adura: Michael and Sade. Adura's prose is surging along, with the same rhythms she delighted us with in her prosetry. Michael's overwhelming feeling for Sade is tangible as he was '... morphing into an animal lunging at her like she was prey.' Never mind separate offices; separate cities would be a more secure solution. (550)
Yolonda: broke our heart with her reunion theme; sent tremors of longing and passion with a greeting embrace, bumped us out of the expected kiss, and shattered our wistful expectations of renewal with bad news.  The closed avenue brought tears of regret. (596)
Janu: sent us down memory lane with a diary entry; the endearing friendship that kept the lovers apart, a life that took the usual paths of uncertainties, and finally the heart is rewarded with a unexpected marriage proposal.  So unexpected, the kiss was forgotten in all the excitement; and fate cruelly intervened to keep it from ever being fulfilled.
Kerrin: gave us pure sex; and what is sex without kisses?  So many years of wanting that single kiss built a steamy, unrelenting need that once tasted, led to more, and more, until the next natural stage is begun.  (562)  
Rek: wrote of a moment in time, suspended for eternity, as the years change who she wanted to kiss into someone not worthy of the desire.  Yet the uncertainty remains, if the past had been different, so perhaps the future for both. (495)
Ghazala: made us feel awkward in our own skin with a story of gawky friendship and exploration between two classmates on separate growth and maturity schedules.  The awkwardness was intensified with the last line of the story, a brilliant stroke of emotion to tie it all together in an Ah moment. (553)
Anne: showed the nervousness of re-entering the dating world, and renewing cherished friendships in a change of life setting.  A comfortable past that runs it natural course, and a new beginning with no regrets to mar the future.  (597)
Michael: left us in a shadowed, smokey room filled with secrets and sensual desire.  A mystery, an old flame under scrutiny, and a timely admission to interrupt the pending kiss.  (500)
Donna:  What a riveting first line - 'I'm not afraid of dying; but I fear the dark.' Donna, too, has used many sensory details to delight the reader as the male narrator remembers a day at the beach. You can feel the joy, the sun, taste the Corona, feel the sweat...then great juxtaposition as the blazing day ends with reality - the coldness of the cell. Great twist. (590)
Crystal: proved that love is love, and the heart wants what it wants despite the obstacles in place.  Sometimes that kiss has to work hard to find the right moment, with more than just desire to overcome before it can work it magic to fulfill destiny.  (600)

Only two contributors went over word count, so that still leaves 18 awesome entries eligible for the Featured  Writer and Runner up awards. We ask that you remember how difficult is the choice between so many disparate stories and poems. At the end of the day it comes down to the personal preferences of your hosts.

After careful consideration (several readings and discussions between your hosts - this was way tough), and using the basic criteria of:  following the theme; within word count; polished; (easy to follow the story); has a romantic element; and completely blew us away in all other reader aspects (your comments on the posts factored into our decisions) . As Crystal said in the comments after reading everyone's entries - I've never seen such talent and amazingly beautiful words in all my life! It's hard to pick a favorite at this time. That's how we feel. So many on our short list...We HAVE to make a decision. So Denise and I present to you...(((drum roll)))

Runner up Madeleine Maddocks. Perfect flash fiction piece, followed the guidelines to a 'T'. Congratulations Madeleine! Please copy/paste the badge onto your blog, linking to your story.

and our FW...

Our FW for this challenge is Nilanjana Bose for her spectacular prosetry which adhered to the theme and was replete with beautiful imagery encapsulating the I Should Have Kissed You prompt.

Because there were so many on the short list, we would like to offer the Encouragement Award to:

Michael de Gesu for his wonderful noir piece (a little lacking in the romantic element) and Charmaine Clancy, whose perfectly crafted piece was just SO entertaining. Michael and Charmaine, please accept the Encouragement Award and  place it on your blog, linking to your story. 

For those new to RFW, the Encouragement Award is handed out to those whose writing just didn't quite make the finals of FW/RU but was featured in the final discussions as a contender.

Congratulations winners of the I SHOULD HAVE KISSED YOU challenge #44.  Proudly display your badges on you blogs.

Thank you everyone for participating; we look forward to reading more of your writings in the next prompts.

Please return on Monday 17 Sept for our Guest Author Post, Linda Gillard, multi-award-winning and much published author! Learn about how she creates her characters. You'll love what she has to say...

Also, we have moved the RFW Safety Post re Internet Stalking and other matters to its own page. If you haven't read it, take a few minutes to check it out! Thanks!

Also, be thinking about our next challenge - 

CHALLENGE NO 45 - Friday Sept 21

Beauty is only skin deep- and it's remarkable just how shallow that can be. But not being the centre of attention has its own advantages. 

What has your beautiful friend done to make you hate her?

Do your really hate her, or are you just angry with yourself?

Hate is such a confusing emotion...and we all know it's closely aligned to love.

Think about this prompt. You might surprise yourself with what you come up with. 

(We've added an image to this prompt which might help you focus.)

I'm pretty sure our stories/poems will all be different, how about you? There are so many different types of 'friends'... 

Pen your 400 words of prose/prosetry for this challenge! Any POV, not necessarily first person. And, as always, don't forget the Romantic Element. Remember the creative guidelines are merely suggestions. Write your story/poem your way.

Thursday 6 September 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - Challenge No 44 - I Should Have Kissed You!

Trouble with Linky? Email Denise:
There will be a full summary and winners announced on Wednesday 12 Sept.
REMEMBER: This is for Featured Writer! Write your best.

get the InLinkz code

Monday 3 September 2012

RFW Safety Post Policy - Contributing to Safety and Respect on the Internet.

Hello there members and friends,

Not too long ago, we here at RFW had an incident that served as a reminder that no matter how supportive and loving this site is, it is still a social networking site, and subject to all the pitfalls and hazards the internet has to offer.  Stalkings; rude/offensive comments; unwanted sexual solicitations; inappropriate contact . .

Luckily, the situation was quickly and discreetly diffused without any interruptions to our scheduled events (a big THANKYOU to all parties involved who graciously chose not to cause a panic).  However, the incident has caused  your HOSTS here at RFW to develop and post a basic, common sense policy on safe internet practices while interacting with the site, the members, the followers, and the occasional/consistent contributors.

What follows below will also be permanently posted in a Policy Page to this blog.  Rest assured that RFW hosts are NOT singling anyone out, pointing fingers, or suggesting that you alter any of your browsing/following/contacting others within the site.  As this is a serious subject matter, you will find no humor in the policy.

Please take a few moments to read through the policy, and feel free to discuss your feelings or observations in the comments.  If you have specific concerns or questions, don't hesitate to contact the blog hosts Denise Covey and Donna Hole.  Our e-mails are shown on the "about" pages at the top of the blog.

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writers Policy on Respect and Safety Page

RFW is a public site, open to all writers and readers regardless of age, ethnicity, sexual preference, writing styles, and skill levels.  We are a social group who enjoy meeting and interacting with writers of all genres who also include a Romantic element to their writings.  There are no membership fees, no contracts to sign, no commitments to join as a member, follower, or occasional/consistent participant in the writing prompts, or to contribute as a guest poster.

As a social community, RFW encourages you to browse through the follower and membership thumbnails, click on the RFW follows, and offer your insights and feedback within the comments, including replies to other commenters on the posts.

Because RFW hosts such a wide variety of writers, with cultural as well as sensitivity differences, RFW has a zero tolerance policy for disrespect or abuse of any of our members.   While the terms “disrespect” and “abuse” have a broad interpretation, and we could not possibly touch on every circumstance that may occur -  the RFW hosts reserve the right to determine when such instances have been perpetrated, and to what degree a reprimand will be issued. (We understand at times disrespect may occur through ignorance, but if you have given offence to a fellow member/follower, it is expected that you will apologize to the person you offended, albeit unintentionally.)

Reprimands for misbehavior could include:
 - public (within the blog comments) or private (through e-mail) warnings from the hosts that the comments are disrespectful
 - deletion of offensive comments
 - requests for changes in feedback style or visitation to other members/follower/participants
 - request for an apology to offended person
 - or in the extreme, blocking from the site with a public warning to RFW viewers of the offensive behavior and the naming of the individual who was banned.

In the interest of conducting a safe, respectful environment for all RFW viewers, we have developed a common sense guideline for interacting with the site and its varied members.

-          Be respectful when you comment.  Treat the visitors and members as you would also like to be treated.  We encourage you to offer feedback and comments, even when you disagree with the writing or opinions of the hosts, guests, or commenters.  It is acceptable to say “I disagree with your opinions/conclusions or subject matter” (or something like that) but not acceptable to attack the Author or leave deliberately cruel feedback. 
-          Be respectful when you post.  We do not presume to advise you on the content of your own blogs, but when posting to a RFW prompt, keep in mind the diverse persons who will read your excerpts.  Please keep sexual content, politics, religion, violence, and foul language to a minimum.  This does not suggest that RFW discourages such writings for the prompts or guest posts; we are merely requesting you keep it to a diplomatic PG-13.  If your submission excerpt will contain more than the usual “grittiness” associated with some romance writings (women’s fiction, noir, urban/paranormal fantasy, horror/thriller, erotica) kindly warn the readers so they may choose not to read your excerpt.  This protects both the writer and viewer from misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
-          Respect the privacy of members, followers and contributors.  As mentioned above, RFW is a public social network site, with member links to e-mails, Face Book, Google +, Twitter, and other networking connections.  Common courtesy suggests that if you want to contact a fellow RFWer privately through e-mail, you leave a comment on their blog requesting permission to contact, and a brief reason you wish to contact them.  Another preferred method is to leave your e-mail in the blog comments to allow the contacted party to respond or not.
-          Respect the privacy of Social Circles.  Many of us are connected through “circles” in several networking sites.  It is the function of these sites to “suggest” people you may also know in the associated circles.  It is not acceptable to contact family members or friends in a networked circle.  USE COMMON SENSE IN SENDING INVITES to family members of individuals where your only relationship is as acquaintance/business associate.  If the writing community is your only connection to the “one friend in common” suggestion, there is no reason to contact/friend members of the individual’s personal circles.  In the extreme, this activity could be construed as “stalking” and will be dealt with severely if reported.
-          Respect YOUR right to privacy.  USE COMMON SENSE IN ACCEPTING INVITES from individuals you do not know.  It is YOUR responsibility to protect the safety of yourself and your family members through proper diligence.  If you feel you have been a victim of “stalking” or other inappropriate behavior, report it to the proper authorities using the ‘Report Abuse” button on the network site.  If you feel you have been targeted specifically through the RFW member/follower lists, PLEASE CONTACT THE BLOG HOSTS.  Our contact information is listed on the “About” co-hosts pages and we have access to all member e-mails.


Wikipedia uses a variety of sources to define stalking, including some of the information posted by The National Institute of Justice below.  The Wikipedia definition that relates to RFW is: Stalking is a continuous process, consisting of a series of actions, each of which may be entirely legal in itself. Technology ethics professor Lambèr Royakkers writes that:
"Stalking is a form of mental assault, in which the perpetrator repeatedly, unwantedly, and disruptively breaks into the life-world of the victim, with whom he has no relationship (or no longer has), with motives that are directly or indirectly traceable to the affective sphere. Moreover, the separated acts that make up the intrusion cannot by themselves cause the mental abuse, but do taken together (cumulative effect)."  Read the full Wikipedia article here.
The National Institute of Justice reports the legaldefinition for “stalking” and further includes a section on internet stalking:
  “Stalking can be carried out in person or via electronic mechanisms (phone, fax, GPS, cameras, computer spyware, or the Internet)  Cyberstalking—the use of technology to stalk victims—shares some characteristics with real-life stalking. It involves the pursuit, harassment, or contact of others in an unsolicited fashion initially via the Internet and e-mail. Cyberstalking can intensify in chat rooms where stalkers systematically flood their target's inbox with obscene, hateful, or threatening messages and images. A cyberstalker may further assume the identity of his or her victim by posting information (fictitious or not) and soliciting responses from the cybercommunity. Cyberstalkers may use information acquired online to further intimidate, harass, and threaten their victim via courier mail, phone calls, and physically appearing at a residence or work place.
   Although cyberstalking does not involve physical contact with a victim, it is still a serious crime. The increasing ubiquity of the Internet and the ease with which it allows others unusual access to personal information, have made this form of stalking ever more accessible. Potential stalkers may find it easier to stalk via a remote device such as the Internet rather than to confront an actual person. Conduct that falls short of the legal definition of stalking may in fact be a precursor to stalking and must be taken seriously."

RFW takes cyberstalking seriously; and we want you to take it seriously too.  Hopefully you won't see a stalker in every visitor or comment that may be slightly rude.  RFW take the stance that all behavior is unintentional - unless substantial evidence to the contrary is presented.

Please continue to enjoy the community atmosphere at RFW. Carefully considered posts such as this are not to alarm, but to protect 'all ye who enter here'...