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Holding On (sequel to Letting Go)

Title: Holding On
Author: Natalie L nat_1228
Artists: Mella mella68 and PattRose pattrose
Genre: Slash, AU
Word Count: 24,150

This story is a sequel to:
Letting Go (slash): http://www.squidge.org/~nat1228/lettinggo.htm
Letting Go: (slash, dark fic): http://www.squidge.org/~nat1228/lettinggoms.htm

Warnings: This story contains some graphic references (in flashbacks) to rape and torture, and deals in the present with PTSD and prejudice.

Summary: Blair returns to South America to bring Jim back to Cascade. At home in Cascade, both men have demons to wrestle: Blair with PTSD flashbacks and an unexpected medical condition, and Jim with extreme prejudice on the part of his fellow police department peers.

Author's Notes: This story has waited seven years to be written. I'm pleased to finally be able to present it to the fandom. I hope you enjoy it.

I want to add a special thank you to my editor, A.S. Nightbird asnightbird, without whom this story might never have been posted. She put up with a lot of my drama over the course of the edits. Her help has been invaluable, especially with the medical procedures. If you think this story is any good at all, it's because of her. THANK YOU, my good friend!

I also want to give my sincere thanks to Mella mella68, whose cover art graces my story, and to PattRose pattrose (who jumped in when it looked like Mella's computer problems might prevent her from doing art) for the interior and ending pics. Both artists deserve a round of applause.

Links to Story and Artwork:
Holding On: http://www.squidge.org/~nat1228/holdingon.htm
Artwork: http://pattrose.livejournal.com/358314.html#cutid1

Two "New" Stories posted

I recently posted two "new" stories to my Web site, and thought it might be a good idea to announce them here:

Dust Motes, Sunbeams, and Sandburg

was written in 2009 and published in The Sensual World 6 zine by MKASHEF Enterprises.

Summary: Jim finds inspiration for a little-known talent.

Warnings: Slash, NC-17

Art by Kaelana and Lisa Adolf.


The Godiva Proposition

was written for the 2009 Moonridge auction and was subsequently published in The Sensual World 6 zine by MKASHEF Enterprises.

Summary: Blair participates in a stunt to earn money for the local food bank

Warnings: Slash, NC-17

Art by Semper.

Comments welcome.


Winds of Change

Disclaimer: Pet Fly and Paramount own the copyright to The Sentinel and its characters. This piece of fan fiction was written solely for the love of the characters and to share freely with other fans. No profit is being made from the posting of this story.

Summary: In the wake of the dissertation disaster, Blair has been offered a place in the PD by Jim's side. Before he attends the academy for the summer, Blair decides he needs some space. He goes to visit a friend in Oklahoma and gets caught up with storm chasing. Tornadoes are awesome forces of nature and Blair is excited by the adventure and danger inherent in the chase. But how will Jim feel about it when he finds out?

Warnings: Slash--m/m (J/B); Gen--mild bad language

Ratings: Slash--NC-17 / FRAO; Gen--PG / FRT

Acknowledgments: I wish to thank all my betas for this story: Bluewolf bluewolf458, Alex sgjacksgirl, Annie annieb1955, and A. S. Nightbird asnightbird. This story is far better for their help. I'd also like to thank my official cheerleader, Bluewolf, and my unofficial ones (you know who you are ). And last but not least, I'd like to thank the "Clucky Ducks" for their input, and the Chief Duck for use of her plot bunny.

Special Thanks: I wish to give special thanks to Virginia Sky cluesby4 for her beautiful illustrations of this story.

Author's Notes: This story was written for the first Sentinel Big Bang event. It came about as an adopted plot bunny, which the "Clucky Ducks" were going to write as a collective. As it turned out, that idea fell apart, but from that, three similar but different stories are emerging. Some ideas from the collective brainstorming have been used in this story and, therefore, some of the elements in this story may be similar to elements in the stories written by the other two authors who also took on this challenge. No plagiarism; just great minds thinking alike.

Comments are most welcome. Please let me know what you think.

Winds of Change: SLASH or GEN

Anatomy of an Archive

FYI, making a screen capture archive is a lot of work. While I enjoying doing (most of) it, I wanted to let people know the amount of effort that goes into such an undertaking. The majority of end users of an archive such as this have no idea of the amount of work involved. They may think the owner clicked a few screen captures and tossed them up on a Web page. No biggie. While I'm not here to garner pats on the back for all the work involved, I thought it might interest some to read the background -- what goes on behind the scenes in the creating of an archive. Maybe this will give you more appreciation, not only for my archive, but for all the other similar archives out there that we have depended upon for years. (Nods and kudos to Starfox's TS screen captures, which inspired me to create this archive.)

So here goes:

1) Do the screen captures. This can take, on average, 1.5 to 2 hours per episode; more if it's a "good" one that requires a lot of capturing. Despite the episodes being only about 42 minutes in length, all the starting, stopping, backing up and capturing makes the process take more time. I use a program called "Power DVD", and while I like its capture capabilities, it has some weaknesses, too. I'll freeze the screen and go forward or back frame-by-frame to get the exact expression that I want. Then, when I click on the capture button, the picture often jumps to something blurry, the next scene, or just an expression I don't like as well. The program captures that picture. So I have to back up and try again, over and over and over, up to five or six times before I get the result I want or give up and move on. So, if a picture is a little less sharp than you (or I) would like, or I missed the exact shot you wanted, please keep this in mind and be grateful for what you have.

2) Once all the captures for an episode are done, I must open Photoshop and edit each and every one. They all have an ugly, uneven black line around them that I crop out. Some also have that ugly banner at the bottom of the screen that needs cropping out (which is why some of the pictures seem smaller than others). Some pictures are too dark to see the details or faces, so I have to lighten them a bit. Some are just dull and lifeless looking, so they need a touch of brightening to get the color perfect. A few need an ugly "TV 14" painted out. When I'm lucky (which is most of the time), the lighting is perfect and all I need to do is crop.

3) After all the editing is done comes the easy part. A couple clicks of the mouse, and Photoshop creates all the thumbnails of the pictures and all the HTML for the episode.

4) But even the HTML has to be edited. The headers need to be changed to give the colored background, layout, and links that I want. Photoshop creates a single index page with all the pictures. In order to allow for quicker loading of the page, I break that index page down into pages with 100 images each -- anywhere from 3 to 10 individual pages for each episode.

5) I create a zip file of the "images" folder.

6) Index pages for each season need the appropriate links to the episodes added for each new episode uploaded.

7) FTP -- Uploading the episodes requires babysitting the computer as the FTP program does the work, since it frequently chokes and has to be restarted from where it left off. It took me two FULL days of FTPing to get the archive moved onto the Squidge.org server, and that was only about half the total number of episodes for the series. Since then, I completed the rest of the series at a rate of a few episodes a week.

That should be the end of it, but.... There's one more thing that ought to be done ... that has been done on approximately half the episodes -- navigation. When Photoshop creates the HTML for an episode, it creates not only the index page, but an individual HTML page for each and every screen capture. These pages have navigation buttons for "previous", "next", and "up/return to index page". Well, since I divide the index page into several and rename it/them with the episode title, that "up" navigation button no longer works. It goes to "index.htm", which no longer exists.

To fix that, I have to edit every single one of these pages to add the new "index" name (episode name). That means, opening 100 pages at a time and doing: replace, save, close; replace, save, close; replace, save, close; replace, save, close.... Mind you, each episode runs approximately 250 up to 1000 (or more in the case of Cypher) captures, and this has to be repeated for each and every one of them. It is extremely boring and repetitive. Since the final push to get the last of the episodes uploaded, I stopped doing this job. In part, I don't know how many people actually use this navigation, so I could be putting myself through a lot of work for very little appreciation. On the other hand, I would like to get it done for all the episodes eventually, just because I'm a completeist.

Repeat the above another 64 times, once for each of the 65 episodes total, and in the end you have a complete archive with a total of 24,639 (average: 379 per episode) screen captures for your enjoyment and use.

And that is the anatomy of an archive.
Great news! The Sentinel Episode Archive is now complete. All 65 episodes are represented with a total of 24,639 captures (an average of 379 per episode). Zip files are also available for those who like to download an entire episode of captures.

Episodes added this week:

Foreign Exchange
Neighborhood Watch
Night Shift
Murder 101
Four Point Shot
Dead End on Blank Street
The Waiting Room
The Real Deal
Most Wanted
The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg

Please note that complete does not necessarily mean finished. When you click on a thumbnail to get to the full-size capture, there are navigation buttons just above the picture for "previous," "up/back to index page," and "next." In order to make the "up" arrow work properly, I have to edit the HTML page for each picture -- an average of 379 per episode. It is repetitive, slow, and boring work. In order to be able to complete the archive and have all the pictures available, I stopped fixing the "up" button, since that slowed me down considerably. Over the next however-long-it-takes I will be slowly fixing and uploading the navigation on the episodes that need it (roughly half). Please have patience if the nav button doesn't work. You can always use your browser's "back" button.

Enjoy the archive! It's there for all to use. I only ask that if you use my captures on your Web page(s), please put a link back to my site (it can be "fine print" at the bottom of the page, I don't care). Thanks!

The Sentinel Episode Archive

Archive Weekly Update - Sept. 5

Just five episodes (Season 3) completed this week,
but we have some good ones:

Mirror Image
Finkelman's Folly
Sweet Science
Love Kills

With luck, Season 3 will be completed this coming week.

The Sentinel Episode Archives

Show of Hands (Navigation)

In the Episode Archives, after you've clicked on a thumbnail to get the big picture, there is a series of three arrows above the screen cap: previous, back (to thumbnails), and next. DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY USE THESE?

I ask because I came back to this project after a LONG break, and thought that getting all these episodes up again was a bit too easy. Now I remember why. All the HTML for the galleries is generated automatically by Photoshop. I go into the main pages and change the headers to match the look of the site. BUT... I forgot that I also have to go into every single HTML page for EACH screen cap. You see, each of those large pictures is on an HTML page of its own. The "back" (up) navigation arrow goes to the originally created "index.htm" and I have to go into EACH PAGE and change that to the renamed page's name. That means hundreds of edits per episode -- THOUSANDS of edits over the course of just one season.

Some are done, but about half of second season and most of third season got uploaded without these edits. If no one uses them, I'm going to ignore the problem. If people do use them, I'll have to go in and make the changes. It's very repetitive, boring work that takes hours and is hard on the hands and wrists (carpal tunnel syndrome, anyone?).

So... back to the question: Does anyone use this navigation, or can I ignore the fact that I haven't done the corrections on dozens of episodes?

Archive Weekly Update - Aug. 29

Permission to repost to other interested Live Journals.

More episodes have been added to the Season 3 archive:

Fool Me Twice
Storm Warning
Red Ice
Dead Certain
Breaking Ground
Prisoner X
The Trance

The Sentinel Episode Archives

Archive Update

Added to the Sentinel Episode Archive Season 3 so far this week:

Three Point Shot
The Girl Next Door
The Inside Man

I'm take a short break from doing captures to reload a couple other archives that have been off-line for too long, but as soon as that's finished, I'll be back with more updates.

Sentinel Episode Archive -- Live again!

After ten long months off-line, the TS Episode Archive is now back live, fully loaded, and being updated.

You can still reach the archive through http://www.knightwatchman.net/ or, if you prefer to bookmark it directly: http://www.squidge.org/knightwatchman/.

You may recall that I had to take the archive down due to "number of files" limits on my KnightWatchman site. While they have no limitations on the size of a file, they do have a limit to the number of files you can upload (50,000). Since I had exceeded that number by almost triple, two of my vidcap archives had to be moved. Walter Hopgood was kind enough to give me space on his Squidge.org server to host my Sentinel archive. THANK YOU, WALTER!

The archive has now been successfully moved. All first and second seasons have been reloaded. "Warriors", a third season episode, had only just been uploaded prior to the move. It is back along with an all new episode(s) -- Sentinel Too, Parts 1 & 2. Part 1 has 410 captures; Part 2 has 790, for a total of 1,200 new captures! I hope you enjoy them.

Meanwhile, I hope to do more updating over the next few months, until I have the archive completed. I will post periodic updates to let you know when new material is available. The capturing, HTMLing, and uploading of new episodes will be as time and RL permits, so please be patient.