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Paradise Reviews

Percy%s's Photo

Jul 30 2012 07:57 PM

(Chapter 20 Review)

Good ending! I like that you left it open to possibilities of friendship and more for Steve, Tim and Steve's wife.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

Thanks for reading, P. You're a great reader. I'm so glad you read me. x
Lisa%s's Photo

Jul 30 2012 06:20 PM

(Chapter 20 Review)

So that's what happened to Steve!

It seems Jenny knows about his travels while he was in a coma. So what's Jenny and Tim's plan? That they all have a relationship together? Just curious....

Good story carrington! I enjoyed learning about all the historical figures. Some I knew about and some I was really surprised. lol :)

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

Well, I wanted to leave something to the imagination. People are so imaginative here! But I guess 3 is the magic number! :) Thanks so much for reading. It was fun to write.
podga%s's Photo

Jul 24 2012 06:24 AM

(Chapter 18 Review)

Intriguing! Anxious to see where you'll take us next!

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

Thanks for sticking with it. Two more chapters to go! You're a star for responding so nicely, so consistently.
Percy%s's Photo

Jul 23 2012 11:12 PM

(Chapter 18 Review)

Hmmm. I'm not sure what to make of this episode. It's unsettling but not for any particular reason. Beautifully written, as always, carrington. I am curious to know what happens next. You may need to provide footnotes to this story. I couldn't figure out the identity of the last specter.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

it draws to a conclusion now. two chapters left. emily dickinson, ludwig II and marcel proust were the main figures at the end. thanks for reading.
podga%s's Photo

Jul 17 2012 07:23 AM

(Chapter 17 Review)

What a breathtaking challenge you've undertaken! Wow. Just the concept of this amazes me, let alone the execution.
And I am so curious to see how this will be brought back to the here and now, how Steve will move from the sublime to his life again.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thank you so much for your comments. you're a great reader! as to the return to reality ... hmm ... i'm not sure how i can pull that one off either, but i do like a challenge. thanks so much for reading. :)
podga%s's Photo

Jul 17 2012 06:42 AM

(Chapter 12 Review)

Wow. I think it must be over twenty years since I last sat down with friends or even my lover, to discuss what love is, to find a definition for it. These days we talk about business, and politics and the climate and art, but never about love. I remember those discussions though, and how I enjoyed them even if we never agreed.
So thanks for this. It's good to be reminded and to think about it again.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for this. interesting response. why don't we talk about love more? i guess we figure we have it all sorted. as if! thanks so much for reading.
podga%s's Photo

Jul 17 2012 06:21 AM

(Chapter 10 Review)

You have me wondering about the language: it's lush, opulent, and fits the scene, but then I think that it's from Steve's point of view and would he really speak or think that way, but then, he's in this dream/trance/alternate reality, but then...
In any case, I want more, more, more!

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

ha. i love to write with all that flowery language. i think steve is probably entranced, yes. and he's a sensitive soul, really. thanks for reading and repsonding.
podga%s's Photo

Jul 16 2012 01:30 AM

(Chapter 4 Review)

Posted Image

I thought you were going all metaphorical on us with that image of cresting the hill and first seeing the balloons, but I had NO idea!!

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for this. i hope you don't find it too weird! i had a bit of a crazy idea for this story. it has been fun to write. hope it is fun to read. :)
podga%s's Photo

Jul 16 2012 01:15 AM

(Chapter 2 Review)

Posted Image Love absolutely everything about this. And you write in a way I want to linger over, even though I also want to move to the next chapter and see what happens.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thank you so much. what a lovely response. thanks for reading. :)
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jul 06 2012 07:56 PM

(Chapter 15 Review)

Hmmmmmmmmm
Palace of Versailles? Not sure that I like this idea of a world without men mind you! tut...
I guess that idea of multiple orgasm has been a feather in the cap of the fairer sex in many a tale of domination over men who could never experience that thrill of endless extacy. I would agree that there is definitely merit in the idea that it would be someone of the same sex that would understand the possibility of pleasure more based on their similar experience.
I'm not sure that I get that last bit though! Posted Image

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

women may be superior, it seems!thanks so much for reading. you're a star. :)
Percy%s's Photo

Jul 06 2012 06:54 PM

(Chapter 15 Review)

Bravo! I wondered when the feminine would make a reappearance in the story! Women had disappeared for awhile from Paradise just like they've been written out of so much of the world's history. Well done!

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

ha! you spotted that. well, they may come to dominate yet. perhaps the ideal is someone who can speak with understanding about both the female and the male! :)
Swhouston44%s's Photo

Jul 06 2012 11:51 AM

(Chapter 1 Review)

I finally read this first chapter. I read all the other reviews. More than one expressed my feeling of deja vu, or that I th reader felt I was inside the head of the main character.
That said, I quite liked it. I look forward to all the chapters waiting for me. Thanks for allowing me to read.

RC

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for the review. so nice of you to take time to read my stuff and comment. really nice response too. :) thanks again. it means a lot to me to get positive feedback.
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jul 01 2012 04:57 PM

(Chapter 14 Review)

Thought Provoking as every RJ.
Got me wondering. Two personalities within? Could split sexuality be a factor in multiple personality disorder?
Weird line of thought I know, but just a stray thought that rose up with I was reading the Queens story of her romantic persuasion.
I totally agree that Happiness comes from being allowed to be who you are around those you love. Great point that.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for reading. you're a star! so nice to hear your responses to my daft ideas. thanks so much. x
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 27 2012 09:46 AM

(Chapter 13 Review)

Ok so it was Shakespeare. Hmmmmm

Interesting. Sexuality is ambiguous. Love is the paramount factor of sexuality and love can be given or shared with male or female.
Your prowess at seeing beyond the written word and presenting a whole new idea of who or what Shakespeare is as a man is very interesting, and through provoking. I do have to wonder, is it possible that sexuality of another can influence us?
Did Marlowe maybe awaken something within Shakespeare that made him more aware or acutely in touch with his feelings? Did his ministrations open Shakespeare's eyes, give him an understanding that allowed him to less rigid and open to possibility?
Hmmmmmmmm
Great chapter as ever RJ, posing as many questions as giving answers as always. :)

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for the great response. you're such a brilliant person to have reading! really, thanks for the thoughtful, engaged response. it makes it worthwhile. x
Percy%s's Photo

Jun 27 2012 12:59 AM

(Chapter 13 Review)

Of course Shakespeare is in Paradise! Interesting introduction to shifting gender or gender ambiuity and the continued exploration of sexuality and love. I'm reminded of some of the new terms I hear kids using to self-identify today: panromantic, polyromantic, demisexual, genderqueer. I always think of Shakespeare as so timeless and enjoy how directors will set the plays in such a variety of periods. I'd like to think Shakespeare understood all those identifiers, albeit under different names. Heck, maybe he could explain some of them to me.

Also, love the idea of a smile being inflicted:

" I wanted to charm him into that knowing, rippling, generous smile that he would inflict upon me whenever I said something that pleased him."



View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

feels great that you're reading my stuff. you are such a thoughtful reader. and thanks for taking the time to pick out something interesting. you know how much it means to me to have your approval. ,£
Percy%s's Photo

Jun 27 2012 12:13 AM

(Chapter 12 Review)

I would declare this chapter my favorite but I'm afraid that might be premature. I wanted the conversation with Montaigne to continue. Michelangelo's depiction, the artistic temperment-very humorous.
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 25 2012 05:16 PM

(Chapter 12 Review)

Oooooooooft Michaelangelo!!!!!!!! They got to meet Michaelangelo!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jealous! Posted Image MUCH!!!!!!!!!!
RJ the twists in this story are legend. I find I'm excited to see who they meet next, what turn the obscure revelations reveal to them as they search for enlightenment.
Actually if I am blatently honest, I wish I was with them along for the ride. This story looses us in a world of rich opportunity, intense confusion and a mixture of emotion. It is life in a nutshell, carefully thought out and put on display in a narrative that I can see clearly in my mind. I love it.
Next chapter please boss! :P

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks so much. what a great response! you really, really made my day. you're a star reader, mate! :)
Percy%s's Photo

Jun 21 2012 01:36 PM

(Chapter 11 Review)

There’s a lot to think about in this series of encounters/lessons.  Paradise is one story that I am happy has an intermission between scenes.  If all the chapters existed I would read them straight through.  In my eagerness to find out what happens next, I would not take time to let the ideas about love –love’s nautre, love’s expression - roll around in my head.  (Of course there’s no telling what they’re rolling around and bumping into in my head.  They’ll definitely be oddly shaped ideas once they’re done in there.)
 
Briefly: I like that Tim recognizes he has something to learn on the journey too.  I like that we saw more than one episode here. So many themes raised.
 
Is love invisible to us until we know it's loss? Until we encounter rejection? Experience loneliness?  Can we know the paradise of love’s fullness without knowledge of a deficit?  I am surprised that I don't know my own answer to that when I feel I know myself pretty well.
 
The friendships unearthed or suggested in Paradise are marvelous, envious.  I believe a spiritual friendship can evoke the same intense feelings as a romantic friendship. There can even be a devoutly physical yearning in such a friendship without the yearning being sexual.  There’s a lot I could say about the passage on idealized womanhood, but this review is already too long. 

 Keep writing!  Keep writing! 

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thank you so much for your really thoughtful words. you really made my day. i'm so pleased to think of you reading my ideas and letting them bump into who you are! you're a star reader. hoping to get the next chapter ready tonight or tomorrow. x
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 20 2012 11:48 AM

(Chapter 11 Review)

Ok. So we've wondered through History and Steve's coming to the realisation that the good old Homo has been around for eons!!!!
I got to be honest I didn't stop to consider that this was a learning curve for Tim too, I figured he was only part of the illusion of Paradise, not physically there with Steve.
So that adds another curve to the ball I'm trying to swing for!
You are weaving an amazing tale of intrigue here RJ.
So in summary they've learnt that men and women cross the divide of sexuality and homosexuality. They've learnt that love is painful, mysterious, confusing and hard. It's glorious, joyful, wondrous and pleasing. They've learnt love by a man of a man can be spiritual, emotional, physical. It can be liberating and should be accepted unlike society that ignores it, tried to eradicate it and fails to understand it. They've learnt it's as modern as it is ancient, a struggle that has afflicted men and women right through the ages.
Perhaps the easiest conclusion they can draw from this - so far - is that the complexities of life cannot be answered in a moment. The uncertainties, questions, hesitations have existed throughout time and history. Mankind has puzzled long and hard to figure out the intricate workings of love and the heart. So maybe, it would be wiser to stop struggling to understand it, accept it and embrace it. We are who we are, and can only be what we are made to be. If we can be these things, life might be more pleasant. huh?

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

what a brilliant response. i'm so pleased to read those words. you have seen a lot in my work. i tried to put ideas like the ones you define here into the work. it's so good to know that they are coming across, in spite of the weirdness. you're such a smart, postive, supportive reader. thank you a thousand times.
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 20 2012 10:50 AM

(Chapter 10 Review)

You know the clever way you've written this is wicked. I've re read the last few chapters trying to garner an understanding by reading it all at once in quick succession, and each time I've read it something else has stood out to me.
It's as if each revelation hides a collection of truths, possibilities or opinions. I don't really know how the hell you managed that, but it's really impressive.
Oh I got a question! How come Steve isn't allowed to ask any questions??? :P

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

what a lovely thing to say. thanks so much. you're being so patient and interested. thank you. steve is not allowed questions, because he really has to learn for himself not take short cuts to pre-worked-out enlightenment, i guess! :)
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 20 2012 09:59 AM

(Chapter 9 Review)

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I don't know.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

you're amazing to read so much in one evening. i feel guilty for boring you! :)
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 20 2012 04:30 AM

(Chapter 8 Review)

Well the fantasy evolves.
I must admit I know nothing of Chinese Emperors, but I guess that even they must have had their gay icons. :P
I sense a bit of an awakening within Steve, or is that just me reading too much into his curiosity? Next.......... :)

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

awakening, yes. that's the idea. and the fact that there are indeed gay icons everywhere. thanks so much for reading on! :)
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 20 2012 04:11 AM

(Chapter 7 Review)

Being Alexander must have been a blessing and a curse. So much ambition yet so much of it achieved in loneliness. You touch on the inner turmoil so well.
It's something I have thought about often. It's strange how so many of us yearn for celebrity, yet if you talk to one who has it, they yearn once more for obscurity. Our privacy and the ability to be who we are out of the gaze of everyone is so important to us, that when we loose it, we do seem to become isolated, vulnerable, maybe even miserable!
I'm still not sure I understand the relevance of these 'enlightenments' but I am sure they will all tie together in a clearer picture of realisation in due course. And in the mean time, we are meeting some amazing characters along the way! :P

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for reading on! i guess in part i am just enjoying telling all these stories. there is a key to what inspired the whole thing though!
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 19 2012 06:27 PM

(Chapter 6 Review)

Hmmmmmm
So I sat there thinking lots after I read this chapter.
Is this all happening in his head in a dream?
I quite like the way Percy describes another possibility.
Maybe he's day dreaming. :P
I agree as well that it's more interesting and authentic that the answers he seeks are not given to him on a platter.
The plot thickens! :P

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for reading and sticking with the weirdness!
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 19 2012 06:54 AM

(Chapter 5 Review)

Ok. Completely lost! Haha
Hmmmm.........
I guess that just means that I should carry on reading and try figure out what this all means.
:P
A very unexpected twist RJ. Vivid imagination.
I gotta say I want one of them waterfalls in my garden please, oh and "amber warmth"....This is my new favourite saying.
What a wonderful way of describing it. :)

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

well, i'll try to explain if you like, or you could just go with the flow and see where it's heading. it becomes a bit clearer. it is a fantasy, i suppose. thanks for the positives. so glad to have you as a reader. :)
MuddyRiverGirl%s's Photo

Jun 17 2012 03:02 PM

(Chapter 11 Review)

Yeah! Another amazing chapter in which I understood some parts and didn't understand others. So, Tim is looking for real, true love because he feels that he has only looked for desire and not true companionship. Or that is what I got from his part of the story. And Steve's part of the story is that he is going along and learning about love and gay love at that? This is a very good story, just a little hard to wrap my head around! So is this "Paradise" in their minds, in the real world, or in history? Is Tim trying to show Steve what it is to be gay? ...And I was also wondering if Steve and Tim are going to fall in live and be together ;)

Great story and I can't wait for the upcoming chapters!! :D

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks so much for the comment. so pleased you're enjoying it. you really made my day. i'd say you got everything spot on. steve needs to get used to the idea that gay love is everywhere throughout history. tim needs to stop using people and start a proper relationship. i guess it's a dream world, maybe a hallucination, maybe just weird trip, maybe a metaphor ... you decide. as for how steve and tim end up ... well, let's see, huh? :) thanks again for reading and being so positive. i'm going to try to post twice a week from here on, to get through it all in a reasonable amount of time!
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 15 2012 04:40 AM

(Chapter 4 Review)

Haha, Ok now I'm officially confused! Alice through the looking glass much? lol Posted Image

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

i did warn you! it goes a bit mad from here on, but see if you can work out what i'm up to! thanks so much for reading. :)
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 15 2012 03:00 AM

(Chapter 3 Review)

Hmmmmmmmmm See now I'm not sure whether to like Tim or dislike Tim. :/
That's pretty clever. :D

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

yeah, tim is as mixed up as anyone really, at this point. i think he needs to get something out of the forthcoming journey too. thanks so much for reading.
Percy%s's Photo

Jun 15 2012 02:30 AM

(Chapter 9 Review)

"...fits with me like pieces of a broken vase, finally slotted back together." Loved the poetic phrasing peppered through this episode. Rich words, in abundance.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for the lovely response. so glad to know you're reading. :)
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 14 2012 01:34 PM

(Chapter 2 Review)

I love the way you've developed this. It must be an awful feeling to wake up to the reality of suppressing yourself so much for so long, yet uniquely empowering all at the same time, and your narrative carries the emotion of that so well.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for reading. and thanks for making such positive comments. i'm so glad you're enjoying it. this part was fun to write. :)
Yettie One%s's Photo

Jun 14 2012 12:12 PM

(Chapter 1 Review)

I love the sense of humour and light hearted air that you feel as your reading. It's as though your right there.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks so much for you comment. glad you're enjoying!
joann414%s's Photo

Jun 11 2012 01:51 PM

(Chapter 5 Review)

Beautiful, beautiful imagery in this chapter. I loved all of it. Thank u

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thank you so much for the lovely comment. you just made my day. x
Percy%s's Photo

Jun 04 2012 01:48 PM

(Chapter 8 Review)

Another captivating interlude. Your writing never falters!

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

You're such a great reader. Thanks so much for your support. It means a lot to me.
Percy%s's Photo

May 21 2012 09:18 AM

(Chapter 6 Review)

"Must I sacrifice my happiness in order to be good?” I asked him, boldly."
Provoking question. I like the way you've set this up. Our protagonist gets to explore all this and other questions as he and Tim encounter various characters during their walk about the countryside. While the ideas explored could easily be one person's internal dialogue, this presentation is much more entertaining than having the protagonist sitting in a hotel room thinking through the problems.
True to life, no one is offering hard and fast answers to the difficult questions - only perspectives. Looking forward to the next installment, as always.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thank you for a really thoughtful comment. i'm definitely trying to do what you say. there's another dimension driving things too, but that might not become clear for a little while. as ever, thanks for reading. :)
Percy%s's Photo

May 08 2012 12:27 AM

(Chapter 4 Review)

Marvelous! You're taking us on a real adventure now. Perhaps some Alice in Wonderland type of magic and mystery ahead?

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for that response. it is going to get strange from here on. hope it's fun too. :)
Percy%s's Photo

May 01 2012 06:11 PM

(Chapter 3 Review)

Each chapter has a nice balance of action, plot development and introspection by the protagonist. The provocateur, Tim, has the potential to be interesting as well.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks so much for reading. tim could develop further - he has his issues and does really want to change. the plan, however, is to take the story off in a bit of an odd direction. we'll see how it goes. :)
Percy%s's Photo

Apr 24 2012 05:20 PM

(Chapter 2 Review)

Glad you decided to develop this story. Hope we're not waiting too long for part 3!

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for the response. so glad you're reading it. :) part 3 is ready.
K.C.%s's Photo

Apr 21 2012 04:56 PM

(Chapter 1 Review)

Oh, is there going to be more? I want to see where this goes. Nice chapter!

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks, KC. I'm so glad you liked it. Yes there is more, some of which I'll post next week if you think it would be worth it. It goes in a fairly predictable direction, but will eventually take a strange turn, which might put off anyone who has so far liked it. But I'm really pleased that you're interested. Made my day! :)
LEN%s's Photo

Apr 21 2012 01:17 PM

(Chapter 1 Review)

How uncannily real. Sort a like deja vu

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thanks for the comment. i'm glad it's convincing. things like this do happen, i guess. ;)
Percy%s's Photo

Apr 19 2012 05:27 PM

(Chapter 1 Review)

Liked it. Good mix of the serious and the humorous. Easy delivery. You marked it complete but it would be worth continuing. Exploring sexual identity at middle age-woven with the family, career, body image baggage most people carry around by then-can make for a compelling story.

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thank you so much for your comment. so glad you like it. there is more actually. so i might post the next meeting between steve and tim. actually, i have an idea ...
Zenobia%s's Photo

Apr 19 2012 05:10 PM

(Chapter 1 Review)

Oh, I like this kind of short stories very much! The language flows so smoothly, the line of thought is quite convincing, it seems like it was written effortlessly - I got the impression that I could see right into the main character's mind. For me it is absolutely fine just as it is, I especially like the last paragraph as an ending for a story. But indeed, one could wonder what Steve will do next or when it is exactly that he sits in a bar just by himself (the next day?). :)

View Post Reply from carringtonrj (author)

thank you for you comment. that's so lovely. there is more of the story, which i might post next week, i guess. but i'm glad it works well on its own. maybe i should just leave it here?? thanks again for the response. :)