a 28-year-old male from before they made you forget.

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"Someone's a little up on the slowtake."

Updated Thursday, July the 1st, 2010

I am here for the collaborations. I rarely ever post or read solo works.








Hello, and welcome to my profile! Name's is Aaron, though 'Dys' will suffice. I live in a city on the west side of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Come September, I'll be living in Toronto as a university student at York University. I'll be taking a major in English so that I can get into the Creative Writing program in year two!

I'm writing this section so that you can better understand where my writing comes from, as well as to state who and what I am.

First, my alias. A dysphemism is not some nonsensical word I made up, rather it is a literary term. It's the antonym of euphemism. Thus, it is the substitution of an offensive, disparaging or otherwise negatively connotated expression in place of something comparatively inoffensive. I chose it because at its core, it refers to something good disguised as something bad. That was how I felt about myself, at the time.

I am my family doctor's most stubborn case of depression... ever. My depression and its treatment, even before we identified it as such, put a significant dent in my education. Anxiety issues ensued! That put my life on hold, and I learned a lot amidst the struggle. I'm breaking free of that chrysalis now, and spreading my wings. And I really hope I'm a butterfly, like everyone else, now that it all seems to be over. Or at the very least... a moth?

This isn't so obvious about me. One in five people will struggle with depression at some point in their lifetime. So, if you passed me on a street, I'd probably look like any other ordinary person. That's because I hide it. But here, in my writing, a lot of it comes out, freeing me. And I think that's a lot healthier than cutting myself.

Though it's one of my reasons for writing, it's not the one I'd like to depend on. I'm a creative person who likes to escape from the real world whenever he can. But that's not very noble either. Self-expression belongs in a diary -- it's personal. So, I always try and make sure that anything I write on here, even if it doesn't get read, has a plausible audience other than my own two eyes.

I try to write with clever subtlety, a deeper meaning, and insight into the human condition.

As a reader, I believe that sympathy is a true and tested emotional hook. It helps us relate to characters. As a writer, I try to draw upon the reader's empathy. And I think my depression has helped me with that, as it's taught me a lot about pain; emotional, physical and spiritual pain.

Spiritually, I'm an agnostic... on most days. I believed in God as a child, and I believed in God again for a time, later in life, when I was in love... or close to it. That relationship ended, and so too did my faith. I still can't quite wrap my head around that correlation.

My father is a clergyman, and was once a religion columnist for the Hamilton Spectator. However, he's liberal-minded. And I'm pretty sure that, like me, he's an evolutionist - not that that makes him any less of a believer.

Furthermore, I don't condone using holy scriptures of any kind to justify social norms. For the most part, religious texts are written by people rather than by God through people. And those people couldn't be intellectually bothered enough to put aside their cultural frame of reference. Religion is a fountain of discrimination, and thus it scares me.

I was taught tolerance and acceptance of other religions, faiths, ethnicities, ideologies and sexual orientations. I also believe in climate change, and accept it as fact.

Politically, I favour democratic socialism. Canada runs itself like a social democracy, even though its most prominent parties aren't nearly as left-wing as the system itself.

People often tell me that I have a strong notion of justice, ethics and morality. I don't know if that makes its way into my writing or not, but it comes from being parented by a lawyer and a minister, and also from three and a half years of being heavily bullied in middle school. The latter left quite the emotional scar, which took me a long while to get over.

I tend to write a lot of medieval fantasy, and a lot of my stories portray characters with unnatural abilities. I think that's rooted in my old hobbies. I play a lot of medieval fantasy video games, mostly roleplaying and strategy. I've even worked on amateur online game design projects with friends. And in terms of living vicariously through fictitious characters, the prospect of magic, clairvoyant or psychic abilities is always comfortingly empowering to me. I'm also a fan of mythical creatures, and ancient weaponry, so that works its way into my stories as well sometimes.

Another thing I find myself putting into a vast majority of the things I write is the themes of love, romance, affection and, in some cases, lust. Because it's a natural part of being human, I feel a need for it, to some degree, in most of the things I write. It makes the characters real, and gives the story some more vivid emotional content. I'm not afraid to let a story get extremely intimate with its characters, and sometimes that's a flaw. I often restrain myself, in that respect.

I also write occasionally about non-heterosexual characters. This isn't rooted in my own sexuality. Mainly, it stems from being a liberal-minded person who recognizes that 10% of the world's population is lesbian or gay. That percentage is significantly lower in TV characters, according to the Toronto Star, and, I imagine, also in literature. So, why not help correct the injustice? Also, such thematic content offers a certain boldness and secrecy that rebels against society. I use it mostly to be inclusive and dramatic. Maybe it alienates a lot of my readers, and I'm too tolerant for my own good, but I think it's a price to pay. One of my best friends is in the figurative closet of lesbianity.

In October of 2009, when I was more-or-less cured of my presumably chemical depression, I also became prone to wildly obsessive love at first sight crushes. Sadly, not the mutual kind. The other relationships I'd been in and the feelings they caused pale in comparison to these daft infatuations, fruitless though they've been thus far. In March, I proceeded to write a psychology essay on the phenomenon itself, rather than my own experiences, for a major school project. The passionate essay got 100%.

I fear I am becoming a misandronist. This poses a threat to my fragile state of pan. Oh well, isn't half the world is made up of closested misogynists?

My greatest work on this site is Abstinence, my finished, 80,000 word collaboration with Robyn Brees (jdxx). The primary protagonist, CJ Archvale, is the only full and accurate self-portrait I've ever intentionally written. It bares all. Yet, it depicts my past self, and events that never happened, albeit with a few exceptions.

Also, I might as well mention my muses, which sometimes appear in my display pictures. I'm a bird-keeper of two parakeets. There's a green and yellow female, named Siren, and a white male with a pale blue tummy whose name is Niveus. Siren is named after the Greek and Roman mythical creature, portrayed sometimes as winged women (such as Iris & The Harpies), and other times as mermaids. She has a violent temper and a narcissistic personality. However, Niveus is much kinder, and his name is the Latin word for 'white' and 'snow'.


  • Dune (and its many sequels) by Frank Herbert
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer


  • Paul of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
  • Destination: Void by Frank Herbert
  • The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.


  • La Roux (a music duo)
  • Infinite Space a scifi JRPG for the Nintendo DS
  • The nine weeks I spent as an inpatient for my mood disorder in Homewood Mental Health Centre. I went in feeling worthless and came out feeling priceless. They allowed me to change and restore myself in wildly powerful ways.
  • Erik Hassle singer / songwriter
  • The L Word a lesbian romantic drama. I've watched every episode.
  • The many months I was on the anti-depressant medication wellbutrin. It altered my personality in disturbing ways. I was not myself. I came to hate what I became and I did under its influence. Also, the withdrawal would cause me to suffer minor hallucinations whenever I missed a dose.
  • Joss Whedon writer / director (Dollhouse, Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer... he even directed an episode of Glee.).
  • and various JRPGs.



Want to get a five from me? I'm tougher to please than most. With poetry, my judgments are rather abstract, but with prose I think I can give some reasoning. Here's a list of  common potential flaws I'd rather we all avoid as best we can with our prose:

  • Bad spelling.
  • Bad grammar.
  • Capitalizing entire words or phrases for emphasis more often than is tasteful, especially when italicizing is a far more tactful alternative.
  • Not separating often enough into paragraphs.
  • Paragraphing that does not convey a semblance of organized thought.
  • Improper or non-conventional dialogue punctuation. See this website for help: http://mrbraiman.home.att.net/page25.html I benefited so much from that site, and I know a lot of really great writers on this site that still haven't fully grasped the standard rules.
  • Clichés that aren't justifiable and tactful.
  • Consecutive question marks, exclamation marks or combinations there of, though I condone the occasional use of '!?' and '?!'. Just don't overdo it.
  • No attempt was made to remotely follow the style established by the first author in the first chapter, if applicable to the context.



I'm not perfect. And hopefully I don't come across as an anally-retentive perfectionist. Nobody on a high horse ever wears a seatbelt. All I have is two years of experience on the site, and an average rating that wasn't as highly ranked as it once was, but still respectable. Most of these tips were copied from my profile, with my permission, by the administration (nickb) and put in one of the help sections.

  • Tags provide a greatly ignored service to your work. Please add as many relevant tags as possible.
  • Always split big chunks of prose into paragraphs, no matter how disorganized. People will be unwilling to read huge blocks of text.
  • Ratings will rarely ever tell you anything worthwhile about a writer, story, branch or chapter. Comments and readings tell far more.
  • Giving constructive criticism and well-thought praise is far more useful than a rating.
  • When branching, please consider any pre-established level of formality, narrative mode, style and themes. Always read the author guidance, as well. Otherwise, you may be irreparably damaging something dear to someone else.
  • Ending branches and chapters on 'cliff-hangers' is a common and effective technique to keep the reader's interest.
  • Be as gentle as possible when giving advice and critiques.
  • If all you usually give out for ratings is ranged from 4 to 5 or 4.5 to 5, you're not doing nearly as much of a service to the system as you could be.



You may, or may not, have noticed that almost all of my stories and some of my friends' stories are tagged with 'red fire truck'. This is somewhat of an inside-joke. It dates back to the original tag examples Nick Bouton wrote for the site, which included "red fire truck". There are 68 stories and counting, tagged with it. Furthermore, an actual red fire truck makes the occasional cameo, sometimes completely at random, in a few of the many stories with the tag. It's a wierd little joke, and I guess I started it because I was frustrated at how badly other users tag their works. Anyways, that's what the RFT joke is about. Sometimes I even put one in my profile picture. Who knows, someday it might be the name of a publishing company. ;-)



MSN and Windows Live Messenger Address: words underscore of underscore stone thirteen at hotmail dot com, written that way so that it doesn't get spammed. Replace the word underscore with actual underscores, and remove the spaces. And replace the word thirteen with the proper digits.

Contact E-mail, all one word, no brackets: (ac) (bassoonist) (at) (g mail) (dot) (calm)

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