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  • Myr

    Anthology Flashback: Spring 2011 - People Are Strange

    By Myr

    It is time for another Anthology Flashback.  This week we are featuring Spring 2011 's People are Strange anthology.   Anthologies 2018 Spring Anthology: Now or Never - Due May 15th 2018 Spring Anthology: Encounters - Due May 15th 2018 Fall Anthology: Fight Back - Due Nov 15th 2018 Fall Anthology: Good Intentions - Due Nov 15th     Would you mind taking the time to leave a review for our writers?
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  1. I believe you should eat when you are hungry, so not necessarily three meals a day. I don't always eat breakfast. So, today my very dear friend said she was hungry.  Tra-la-la ... So eat!  Ah, but there is the rub. It was breakfast time and she's at work.

     

    I was a bit growly this morning, snappish, so when she showed me a picture of a package of Instant Oatmeal with maple syrup and brown sugar, I was bitter. I said, get some real food. 

     

    While it's better than some things, instant oatmeal is chopped up so small, so it will 'cook' when boiling water is poured over it, or it's microwaved. 

     

    And because it's so small, your gut has nothing to do, except absorb all the sugar and flavouring in it.  You will be hungry again in an hour. The glycemic load of instant oats is higher than large flake, so they offer less sustained energy than do the large flake.

     

    Please, please please, eat REAL FOOD!  Please do not say, tim, I do not have time, or tim, this is much too hard. Because neither are true. 

     

    My go to muesli is simple, good for you, it tastes good and you can make up a lot of it, keep it in dry form and then just add milk before you go to bed.  Or a quick search on the internet will bring up a ton of recipes if you want them.  Or use your slow cooker to make oatmeal ... mmmm it's warm, creamy and waiting for you in the morning. I've used this one: https://simple-nourished-living.com/crock-pot-apple-oatmeal/

     

    I have 5 small plastic tubs they each hold about 1.5 cups.  What do i do with them?  Make muesli, of course!  I put in each:

     

    1/3 cup of large flake oats
    1 tablespoon (approx, or to your taste) each:  seedless raisins and pecans, or dried cranberries and walnuts.

    A small sprinkling of saigon cinnamon (or whatever you have)

    Put the lids on and add milk to cover each night.

     

    Sometimes i will add a couple of tablespoons of finely grated carrot for a change and sweetness.

    Personally do not add sugar or honey, but if you think you need it go ahead. But the dried fruit and carrots if you use them will add sweetness.
    Add some seeds if you like, such as sunflower or chia.

     

    Just cover with your preferred milk ... we use skim, but you can use whatever including nut milks.  But please make sure you leave it in the fridge overnight! You can warm in the microwave if you don't like really cold foods. Like me ... room temperature.  I've been know to heat ice cream slightly.

     

    Invest a little time to eat healthier breakfasts. It's fast and better for you, and also less expensive.

     

     

    Enjoy and eat healthy!!

  2. quokka
    Latest Entry

    Hey folks.

    Just letting you know that my next story - Youth Detained is currently with my editor, and I will be posting the first chapter next week hopefully.

    It is a very short story, with just 3 chapters.

    The next story after that, will be - Detained, a story that I had posted a few years back, which has been a favourite of most of my followers, so stay tuned, as that will be arriving in May / June.

    Regards Preston

  3. It is time for another Anthology Flashback.  This week we are featuring Spring 2011 's People are Strange anthology.

    2011 Spring Anthology.jpg

     

    Anthologies

    • 2018 Spring Anthology: Now or Never - Due May 15th
    • 2018 Spring Anthology: Encounters - Due May 15th
    • 2018 Fall Anthology: Fight Back - Due Nov 15th
    • 2018 Fall Anthology: Good Intentions - Due Nov 15th

     

     

    Would you mind taking the time to leave a review for our writers?

  4. jamessavik
    Latest Entry

    A number of years ago, I was in a bad place. After a number of set backs, I was beginning to feel like a loser. Note the word FEEL. 

     

    I was overweight, getting older and feeling like the sun had set on me.

     

    I began to look and see what could make me feel like a winner again. To get back to where I wanted to be, FEELING like a winner, I had to get back in the habit of winning.

     

    Not just a few wins. Important wins. Life goal wins. 

     

    So I set some goals. A few rather lofty ones.

     

    There are were two fairly big ones that I wanted to accomplish. The first  because it was important to me because it was about how I saw myself and the other is about how others see me.

     

    First- the one about me was to put anther notch in my education resume. CHECK! I get a second degree in May.

     

    Second- the other one is about how others see me. That one is also going well. I'm down to 245 and will eventually go a little lower. 220 is my eventual target but, coming down from nearly 300 pounds, you can forgive me for saying mission accomplished.

     

    There have been other goals but these are key: I did what most people can not do or are just not motivated to do.

     

    I proved myself to myself after doubting myself for a very long time.

     

    I've won something back that I lost a long time  ago- self confidence. 

     

    Now that I'm facing new adversity, that's damn good to have in the bank.

     

    I can find a way to win.

  5. I want to be clear right up from that I'm all for getting properly toasted.  This toaster does the job and beeps when it's done.  There is a bit of an issue when you go back to back if you are doing 4 slices for some reason.  It does the job.

     

    Cheers to getting toasted!

  6. Renee Stevens
    Latest Entry

    By Renee Stevens,

    I hope you all enjoyed the last Improve & Encourage feature, because it's time for another one. These features are meant to both provide feedback to authors and, similar to story reviews, point out stories that readers might not otherwise have found. It's similar to a review, in that the person doing the critique tells you what they liked about the story, but it differs in that they also provide constructive criticism. Each author signed up to participate, and sign up's are still open!  These will post once a month until the last author signed up is critiqued. If you'd like to provide a critique for the blog, sign up in the thread. I'm hoping to have a lot more authors sign up, and just remember, by signing up, you are also volunteering to have your story critiqued and featured.

     

    TJ

    JayT

     

    Critique By: jkwsquirrel  

     

    Please give us a short summary of the story you chose.

    After his parents are killed, TJ must move in with his brother and nephew in Texas.  But his brother has a secret which sends TJ’s world into a chaotic whirlwind.  As TJ adjusts to his new life, he finds the love he needed, and begins to feel wanted.

    What do you see as the strengths of the story/poem?

    The plot of the story is strong and you can tell Jay did a lot of planning right from the beginning.  I think the characters really began to find their voices and hit their groove around chapter four and then continuing through the book.  Everything is well thought out and the story gets stronger as it goes along.  The reader can relate to TJ’s plight easily as the story develops.

    What do you see as the weakness of the story/poem?

    I thought the pacing of the first chapter or two was a bit rushed.  The reader barely has time to figure out who is who and what is going on.  The first chapter could have easily been three or four chapters.  When TJ’s parents die, it doesn’t have as much impact as it could because the reader barely knows them enough to care about their deaths.  The story doesn’t have time to breathe in those early chapters as everything happens so suddenly that it’s hard to keep up. It takes a few chapters for the characters to really find themselves.  TJ’s nephew, Josh, takes a while to mature.  He is a junior in high school but he sounds much younger in the early chapters.

    How do you think the story/poem could be improved?

    Again, the pacing of the earlier chapters is where I think the story could be improved the most.  We never have time to feel much of anything for the characters because everything happens too fast.  Jay sometimes has to backtrack in later chapters to fill in details that could have been fleshed out earlier.  For instance, the reader finds out that Robert is the assistant principal at TJ’s new high school out of nowhere with no build up.  Jay has a good story to tell but rushes to get through the introductory things.  Slow down and let the story develop, then when the events of the plot happen the readers will feel a deeper connection to the characters and the story.

    What was your favorite part?

    For me, my favorite part was seeing the growth that Jay displayed as a writer as the story advanced.  Much of the weakness in the pacing in the earlier chapters settles down in the later chapters, and Jay allows the story to tell itself without rushing through.  TJ is a strong protagonist, and it’s fun to get into his head.  The characters really begin to find themselves once the pace slows down and they are given room to grow.  I really liked the characters and grew to like them even more as they interacted.  The dialogue is witty and enjoyable.  Overall, an enjoyable reading experience!

  7. Myr
    Latest Entry

    By Myr,

    We are actively developing a change to the story system that will go with our forum software upgrade.  There are a lot of things going on under the hood, but there is a fairly sizable visual change coming as well.

    Clicking on Newest Stories currently shows you this:

    Newest Stories Navigation

     

    Our still-in-development software update shows you this:

    image.png

    A couple of notes here on the image:

    1. This is a work in progress and subject to change
    2. This is in the default color scheme and has not been updated to GA colors yet

     

    The idea with the interface is to put all the story sorting options right in front of you and have the listing update as you make changes.

    For example, if I wanted to list all the stories by either @Cia or me, I can do this:

    image.png

     

    Or maybe I want to see the Premium Stories?

    image.png

     

    We are working hard to make things easier for everyone.  The Stories Archive software offers some really powerful features, but they are a bit fidgety and in out of the way places.  The idea of the new update is to put the power right in front of you.

     

    Like... show me just the stories that I follow:

    image.png

     

    Do you think this sorting method will be easier for you? Do you think it will be helpful to find specific stories? 

    Now is a great time for feedback!

  8. Myr
    Latest Entry

    So, this week I wanted to plug a geekfest movie.  As anyone interested in space can attest, this is an interesting movie.  This movie is one of those rare occasions where I liked both the book and movie adaptations.  Definitely worth watching if you haven't seen.  

  9. wildone
    Latest Entry

    By wildone,

    Renee is taking a much deserved day off from the blog, so that means you are stuck with me :) Hope it all goes well!

     

    Monday, Cia started us off the week with introducing our April Classic Author:

     

     

    Tuesday it was Myr's time to step up to the plate and help us out with Tech Tuesday:

     

    Wednesday Cia followed up her Monday blog with an excerpt from for our April Classic Author:

     

    Thursday was Myr's chance to showcase a Anthology Flashback:

     

    Friday, Renee shared with us all a couple of new prompts:

     

    Saturday we had Comsie take over the blog for another great article:

     

     

    Anthologies

    • 2018 Spring Anthology: Now or Never - Due May 15th
    • 2018 Spring Anthology: Encounters - Due May 15th
    • 2018 Fall Anthology: Fight Back - Due Nov 15th
    • 2018 Fall Anthology: Good Intentions - Due Nov 15th

     

    Blog Opportunities

    • Story Critique: Open to all GA authors. Sign up here.

    • Ask An Author: Send your questions for your favorite authors to @Carlos Hazday (no questions = no Ask An Author)

    • 3 Story Promo: Open to all GA Authors. PM Renee Stevens to participate.

    • Author Interview: Open to all GA Authors. PM Renee Stevens to participate.

    • Favorite Self-Written Story: Open to all GA authors. PM Renee Stevens to participate

    • Story Recommendations:  Open to all GA authors & readers. PM Renee Stevens to participate.

     

    Premium Updates:

     

    Harbinger by Cia *Premium*

     

    Classic Updates:

     

    Losing Kevin by Ronyx

     

    Re-Emergence by Kyle Aarons

     

    Signature Updates:

     

    A Man in a Room, and other poems by AC Benus; Book 6 of Verse

     

    Black Widow by Mark Arbour; Book 16 of Chronicles Of An Academic Predator (CAP)

     

    Denied by Cia

     

    Exes and Ohs by Headstall

     

    GFD: E & E Forever by Comicality

     

    GFD: Outside My Window by Comicality

     

    Mojo by AC Benus

     

    My Twentieth Year by AC Benus; Book 4 of Verse

     

    Northern Exposure by Mark Arbour; Book 8 of Bridgemont

     

    Poetry Book by Dolores Esteban

     

    Shadow Honor by Cynus

     

    Twenty-Two Early Poems by AC Benus; Book 3 of Verse

     

    Promising Updates:

     

    April Weather: NaPoWriMo2018 by Parker Owens

     

    Here Kitty, Kitty by Caz Pedroso

     

    Ripped by craftingmom

     

    tim's Bits and Pieces by Mikiesboy

     

    Will I or Won't I ... napowrimo 2018 by Mikiesboy

     

    ***Check out this GA Classic***

     

    Everything's Jake

    Dabeagle

     

     

    Don't forget.... Read, Write, and REVIEW!!!

  10. Comicality
    Latest Entry

    By Comicality,

    There are two sides to every story. And two sides to the critical review of every story, once it gets released. Hopefully, with a little bit of insight on both sides of the equation, I can help both the critics and the creators deal with their, often vastly opposing, views on what a good story is, and what it isn't.

     

    This week, as the initial approach to a 'two-parter' blog post...we talk about giving and receiving criticism. Two sides of a coin that I don't think most people fully understand each other on these days. Especially on the internet, currently plagued by unprovoked rants and knee-jerk reactions. So I'm going to highlight FIVE points that I think both the critics and the creators need to recognize so we can all have a symbiotic relationship here. One that will ultimately be beneficial to both parties in the long run.

     

    Now, seeing as I am a self-proclaimed author and one of the 'creators' myself, I'm going to use my insufferable bias and start off with the 'giving criticism' part of this article! LOL! Because, for every single person that has ever told an artist of any genre that they can't take criticism and are way too sensitive (I can't *TELL* you how many times I've heard that lame argument over the years), they need to look back at what they actually said to this person to provoke that particular response. Seriously. Some critics have gotten way out of control, and they have not been given the green light to be as hurtful and as brutal as they want to be to a writer, simply because they are viewing the extremely hard work of an individual and feel entitled to something more than what they got. So...with a certain level of grace, let's start with the rules of engagement aimed at the critics...

     

    Rule #1 - Be constructive! For the love of God...have a point. When reviewing an author's work, think about what you didn't like about it, or what you thought could have been done better, and then give them your honest feelings on the matter. Simple, right? Not for some people. Don't just charge in like a wild rhino and send harsh comments like, "Your story sucks!" Not only is that not helpful in any way, but it's just plain rude and unnecessary and it makes you look like a total jackass. STOP IT! Take some time, read and absorb the writing as a whole, and find places where you think the story could use some improvement. What is it about the story that you didn't like? What turned you off? What questions did you have? What are some of the things that you felt were unfinished or needed more exploring. If you're taking the time to comment on somebody else's story, then we (as authors) should assume that you've put some actual thought into your critique, and have something more intelligent to offer than "I hated it, and you're not a competent writer because I didn't like it." Well...why? Explain in detail. If you can't make any valuable suggestions and articulate your distaste for said story...then you're not a critic. You're a 'heckler'. That's not the same thing. Also, along with the critique, feel free to mention what you liked about the story. You're taking the time to write a comment, right? Something about the story must have grabbed your attention and inspired you to review it. Make that a 3-dimensional part of your comment. "I liked the beginning, but I wasn't so crazy about how it ended." Then provide examples. While negative reviews might be hard to hear, this is the very purpose of feedback. "What did I do right? What did I do wrong?" Take some time and express yourself in your comments. It helps more than it hurts.

     

    Rule #2 - The words you use? They matter. I'm sure that we all recognize the usage of words and the tone of voice in everyday conversation, even online. Not just as writers, but as human beings in general. Sometimes, there are language barriers that occur, worldwide, but try to be aware of what you're saying and how you're saying it, if possible. Use TACT when talking about the work of an individual who has just poured their entire heart and soul into a project that was meant to entertain you. NOT to ruin your day, or to frustrate you to the point of throwing a mini tantrum, simply because you don't like what you see. When reading a story that you think has a few flaws in it, feel free to be honest and let the writer know what might have confused you, or what might have been inconsistent from one chapter to the next, or if someone was acting out of character. These are criticisms that can actually help an author realize his or her mistakes and get better at their craft. But, please take a moment to calm down. The theatrics aren't necessary to get your point across. Why are you so angry? It's not an author's job to write 'your' story. It's an author's job to write their own story, and then share it with you. That's it. If you refer to an author's plots and their stories and their characters as...'stupid', 'annoying', 'weak', 'frustrating', 'cliche', 'contrived', 'bullshit', 'ugly', or any one of a thousand other negative descriptions that you would NEVER want to hear about yourself if you overheard other people talking about you, personally...then expect a backlash. Why would you do that? Every artist bleeds openly on the screen and reveals who they truly are in their writing, whether they know it or not. So when you make those nasty comments and use the 'just being honest' shield as an excuse, I think that's a cowardly way to express yourself. You can be honest and direct without being an asshole. Take it EASY, for Christ's sake. It's a fictional online story. Never forget that there is an actual person bearing the brunt of the humiliating rant that you're putting out in public for the whole world to see. Maybe you get off on hurting people for no reason. I do not.

     

    Rule #3 - If you decide that you want to stop reading a story? If you decide to leave? Leave SILENTLY! Please, pay attention, because this is something that needs to be addressed. I'm SO sick of it, and I'm sure a lot of authors can agree with me on this one, even if there's a large group of readers out there who can't see it for themselves. If a story that you're reading isn't going the way you planned...if you feel the writing has gone downhill, or the plot is entering territory that you don't want to jump into...if you think the updates are too scarce or that certain story elements just aren't your thing...you may decide to stop reading. You might want to leave and find another writer that is more to your liking. And that is totally ok with me and with the authors that you've supported in the past. But...if you decide that their story is no longer an enjoyable read for you and you want to move on...then, just move on. Go away. Leave. It's alright. Just click on something else. No harm, no foul. Follow whatever story makes you happy.

     

    Some people act as if they can't do that.

     

    If you actually take the time to sit down and type out an angry email or post a nasty comment to specifically tell an author that you will no longer be reading their work because it's not what YOU want to read? Yes! I, personally, find that to be extremely rude, and you should stop thinking so much of yourself. Just leave. Why are you making an announcement about it? Why the big production? A reader that does this usually has one of three major motivations. One...they're trying to deliberately hurt the feelings of the author writing the story, and is just being cruel for the sake of feeling important. Two...they're hoping other people will see it and agree and feel empowered by damaging your story and your reputation as a whole. Or three...it's an empty threat that was made to emotionally manipulate you into writing everything their way instead of bringing your own personal genius to the written word the way that you intended from the very beginning. Neither one of these scenarios will make you look like anything other than a narcissist and a bully...so don't do it. There is content on the internet that you see every single day that you don't like, and you don't care for...but you don't feel the need to make some grandiose comment about every single one of them, do you? Why do it for THIS particular author? Why are you suddenly a 'warrior' for content that you don't agree with or enjoy? If you really care about the stories you read, and the authors that created them for your entertainment, then show your support for their hard work, and offer constructive criticism whenever you feel they give you less than 100% of their true effort. Don't INSULT them! And don't think that your departure from their readership is going to have some major impact on their fanbase that it didn't earn and doesn't deserve. That's your ego talking, and nobody asked you to walk away. There's the door. Exit of your own free will. We don't need to hear about it. Chances are, you never gave us any real love or support to begin with. No feedback at all. No comments. No emails. No word of mouth promotion. Nothing. So if your 'first' email to me is, "I'm not reading your stories any more!" My first reaction is probably going to be, "I didn't know you were reading my stories in the first place. Who are you, again???" What have I lost? Honestly.

     

    Just stop reading. It's ok if you don't like a certain story. Nobody is faulting you for that. But it is an act of cruelty to go out of your way to shame an author just because a story isn't what you wanted it to be. Or because it takes too long to update. Or because the characters don't follow your idea of how they 'should' act and react to what's going on. I stand up for any author that has had to hear comments like these, and will continue to do so for as long as I'm alive. This isn't easy, writing and exposing your true feelings for a judgmental audience. Please, remember that. If any of you want a story done your way...then YOU write it. That's what I did in the beginning. Now you're reading writing tips from ME! Hehehe, and I'm a complete idiot. Trust me! So what does that tell you?

     

    Rule #4 - Know your biases! One of the elements that is most endearing about well-written stories like the ones on GayAuthors, is the fact that we can all put ourselves into the stories and identify with the main characters and relate to the situations being put on display. We can reminisce over what it was like to be in that same position, to get that first kiss, or to experience those nervous jitters, or re-live that first time walking into a gay bar. The best stories take us back to moments when everything was so exciting and sweet...and we tend to personalize those moments and make them our own. I do it all the time. However, again...it's important to remember that it is NOT an author's job to write your life story. Writer's don't know you, personally. They weren't hired or contracted to build your fantasy and base it solely on your personality. Maybe you shared a similar experience, and that grips your heart and makes the reading all the more enjoyable, but don't burden the writers you love with the task of writing your personal fiction. Please don't. They are telling things from their perspective, and delivering a message that they understand as an individual. It's their story. So if the storytelling deviates from 'what would *I* do in this situation?' that doesn't mean that the story is unrealistic or wrong or lacking. I know that it's natural to connect with a story or a character and really WANT to take control and have your own personal motivations, ideas, and desires, take over and guide the story in a certain direction. I get that. It's flattering. But if you're giving serious criticism on a story or a character or a certain plot point...you have to make an effort to understand and recognize your own biases in your perspective sometimes. You need a slight disconnect. It's essential in how your comments are conveyed by other people.

     

    I think "Billy Chase" is the one story where I've had the most trouble with this issue. And while I am HONORED that readers invest so much love and effort and can relate to what's going on...I have spent years trying to defend the poor kid and reminding people that it's JUST a fictional character and that the plot points and story arcs that I make are done for the sake of conflict and drama. It's IMPOSSIBLE to please every reader that comes across that story, and I understand that. But people that I've talked to in my emails have severe biases that factor in to how they view the series. And sometimes it's just not fair to fault the story itself for something that is so personal to that specific critic. I have to keep that in mind when I post new chapters, because Billy Chase was me when I was a 15 year old kid in the 90s. Shy, insecure, secretive, HORNY, hehehe! This is MY story, dangit! This is who I was back then. It's the foundation of who I am now. But not everybody grew up the same way I did. Some grew up in an earlier time, some are currently going through high school right now. Some grew up in a major metropolitan city like I did, and some grew up in a small rural area in the Bible belt of America. Our experiences are different. And since I'm the one piloting this plane...you'll just have to ride with me and hope for the best. Readers personalize the "Billy" character and then get frustrated and angry when he does something that they wouldn't do themselves.

     

    Again...that's not fair to us as writers. We're not responsible for rewriting someone else's history. If they are so fired up about it, then they can sit behind a keyboard tell their own story. Don't let that get you down. K? Some people have been cheated on in a relationship, some people have made bad decisions while they were drunk, some people have had issues with drugs, or suffered through physical or sexual abuse, or simply have regrets over not going for the boy of their dreams when they had a chance. All of these things factor in towards how they read your story. It's baggage that some critics bring with them, and you just can't satisfy them all. It's insane to even try. They are triggered by certain situations and get flustered and full of rage, or deeply depressed and full of sorrow, and want to make your writing the culprit for making them feel this way. It isn't. That might be an unsolved issue that they need to take up with their therapist. That's not your fault. You're a writer. Take care of your own issues while you're writing. If you have something to say, then say it. And if critics disagree? So be it. You expressed yourself with honesty and integrity. So, by the time they read it, you've already done your job as an author. Be proud.

     

    Rule #5 - Don't automatically expect an author to submit to your suggestions or demands just because you make them. I will admit, I have gotten plenty of emails with really GOOD ideas for stories, or for continuations of my own stories, and I was like, "WHOAH!!! That's a damn good idea! I wish I had thought of that!" Hehehe! Because there are a lot of fans and loyal readers that come up with concepts that never even crossed my mind. As writers, some of you guys might even incorporate some of these ideas into your story as time goes along. But don't feel pressured into using every idea that is sent to you. Like I said, you can't please everybody. Don't try. To you creative critics out there, we LOVE to hear your ideas, and I'd never discourage any of you from sending them in to your favorite author. But don't think that just because you hit the 'send' button and your idea is awesome, that an author is going to suddenly shut down their original game plan and follow your new path towards an ending that you're not even aware of yet. That's not how writing works.

     

    See...some folks have an idea for a 'scene' or two. Something exciting and provocative and 'wouldn't it be cool if?' scenarios. But, when writing a story, those great ideas need a build up. They have an impact, and consequences, and have to fit into the rest of the plot . I can't speak for all writers, but I, personally, have a master plan in mind from the very beginning. And most times, other ideas, no matter how awesome they may be...don't fit. I'm thinking of my story as a whole, and I only make changes when they fit the narrative. For folks reading the story, they might think ahead and, again...think 'wouldn't it be cool if'? But those ideas only fit a scene or two, and then it skews from my timeline and leads to an ending of their design, not mine. Which defeats the whole purpose of me writing a story of my own in the first place. But who knows? If you think you've got a great idea for your author's project, maybe you'll inspire something great within them. But, if your ideas are far removed from what the author is trying to say or the message that they're trying to convey? It might not happen. If it's a fully fleshed out idea that you think would make for a great story...then take a shot and write it yourself. Don't say that you can't do that, because you already came up with the idea. That's one third of the battle already done. Maybe even HALF! Writing is very personal to most people. It is for me. I need to be connected to every part of it. Every word, every sentence, every phrase and metaphor. So, I may think your idea is fantastic and should be made into a story...it might not fit into my current expression. The story ideas were finished long before you guys got to read them.

     

    So those are my five rules for critics that are reviewing and leaving comments on stories. I know that there are a lot of critics really don't mean to be cruel, but honesty doesn't mean brutality. If you think something is terrible, then the writer is going to assume that you know why it was terrible. So let them know your true feelings about it. Write your reviews as if you were talking to them face to face, instead of from behind the anonymous protection of a laptop screen. A true critic gives both positive and negative feedback if necessary, and concentrates on the writing itself without making it personal. Word choice is important, and you might be striking at a very sensitive nerve when you attack a story. So be civil. Have some class. And with a little coaching and true support...the writers you love will get better and better with every chapter or story they put out. That's what you want, isn't it? Give some encouragement when you can. It'll only make things more amazing in the future.

    Alright! This ends 'Part 1' of this blog post! I hope it resonates with you all and will help out in the future. Don't worry, writers! It's our turn next! Hehehe, and we've got five rules of our own that we need to think about when it comes to criticism! So don't get too comfortable yet. See you next week! :P

  11. Hope everyone has had a great week so far. It's time for this weeks writing prompts. If you're stuck, or you're considering writing for the first time, these might be perfect for you. Don't forget that stories under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.

     

     


     

     

    Prompt 664 – Creative

    Tag – List of Words

    Use the following in a story – red basket, old coat, a boat, a diary, and a pear.

     

    Prompt 665 – Creative

    Tag – Chance Meeting

    Last night you went out with friends and met a man who checked every box you ever had. He invited you back to his place, but you were out with friends, felt you couldn’t be in his league, and slipped away, eventually going home alone. Today, you met the new partner at your firm. The partner just happens to be the man from last night. What do you do?

     

     


     

     

    Don't forget to share your prompt responses from last week!

  12. This Monday in my Monday Movie Mania blog, I posted about The Towering Inferno.

    The movie was based on two books, that were also worth a read.

     

    It's actually kind of fascinating how they took concepts from each book and made them into a unique movie that worked really well on its own.  Oddly enough, I like the movie better than either book, but both books stand well enough on their own.  They are worth a look if you're into disaster stuff.

  13. CarlHoliday
    Latest Entry

    Back in October my VA shrink told me she could no longer see me long term. I was to be sent outside the VA. Well, my outside mental health provider took me off Seroquel and put me on Lithium in addition to my existing prescription for Valproic Acid (Depakote). As the Lithium dosage increased to a therapeutic level the tremors in my hands and arms increased until I could no longer hold my medication in the palm of my hand without it jumping out before I had a chance to put it in my mouth. I couldn’t hold a glass of water without the water sloshing out. But, the worse problem as far as I’m concerned is that I can no longer type without great effort. My fingers simply do not go where I tell them.

     

    As a result, my story “A Love Story” will end at chapter thirteen. Future stories will be put on hold until such time that I can type sufficiently without having to stop and go back to fix some niggling error.

     

  14. We had our opening today and I got named Volunteer of the Year. Pretty proud of that. I have a plaque and everything. Nice cap to 5 years of service to them this May.

     

    The immature, spiteful part of me wants to snap a photo of my plaque and send it in an email to the archives that canned me as a intern 4 years ago with the capture, "Fuck you", but gladly I've learned a lot in the past few years.

     

    It's been a pretty gratifying experience in general. Volunteer work can really enhance a person's life if it's done right and at the right place.

  15. How to Start this, I would hope we all would have particular questions, and input on how important Life is, and what we see ourselves contributing to life ...? do we question or even ask what do we care if anything about others in this world, I mean sure we all have lives to lead and our own choices to make each day...But even at that people watch to see how we act and respond to even critical circumstances we deal with daily ( or should be dealing with) lets' face it, it is a fact people are watching in the shadows and monitoring our life' We are under the Scope of people looking for examples to apply in their own life, we need each other, and I believe were created to need each other. Everyone has something they can do or share with others that help us through daily Issues, everyone has the same Capacity to give and share Valued input to make life a little easier, or just encourage others how to move forward in their struggles, without the consideration of doom and worthlessness... My Heart Says Everyone has Value and worth and should not just be ignored because they can't see how to apply it in their life. I praised our Teens for their stands on Safety in their schools, and the Magnificent way they handled themselves! A display of honor and Integrity that they created certainly embarrassing points directed at adults and with righteous means. Our teens are our Future, Important to our lives as well as future generations... I will be the first to admit they still need Adult and senior guidance, but they are Part of the Importance of life, we need to corporately come together and listen and consider and share with an open mind not dictating, but with Mutual respect and admiration. If there is one thing I have learned when we hurt and ignore teens is when we have rebellion and confusion. the same principle works for adults and Seniors and the trickle-down effect can make or destroy a person we tend to put the fire and passion for responsibility... out before it has a chance to get some good hot coals going, and in the process discouraging others to even try again because of our results, being premature in accepting that anyone else can give proper input. We need to know it's not all about "Me" the importance of life is to mentor and guide and teach and remain Teachable and when we share these Standards with each other we form a strong "UNBREAKABLE BOND" that has been the Value of Changes of life That has been the Strength and standard of life for centuries! I have found My boys ( where I work) even though they have been to hell and back can be changed ( from Trauma ) and taught to lead in a manner that is beneficial not just to them but to society, and in doing so gives them Part ownership in the very Future they will be living in...!! The importance of life is not Complacency but One of Options and opportunities... So are we helping Each other to get there...? or are we being the stumbling block Not just to the teens, but to each other...!! I am curious about your thoughts and if you agree or disagree if you see and feel the same way, what are your feelings I encourage all ( Teens, Adults and Senior's)  to get involved and work out between ourselves what the world can't seem to do... find a common ground being openminded and encouraging is the Only requirement... this is not a Gripe session... consider it E/I to all of us to learn and teach what seems to be Lacking,  and why I think we may be having a lot of the Issues ... we Can change on a small scale and take it to a bigger scale we all just need to get out of our comfort zone and realize Change is part Of the Importance of Life, But means Nothing when we fail to do our Individual Parts in it. I love dealing with teens, they are serious about their passions and compassion, the only one who is not are the ones who continually are shut down and led to believe they are not important...But if we are "HONEST" with ourselves we as adults and seniors chose the same means to not have to deal with change and opportunities and options sitting right in our faces...!!!! so Talk to Me I welcome your Input...!!!:yes::heart:

  16. And we’re back. Sometimes I wish a few of my favorite GA authors were still around. I have questions about what inspired them to write a particular story, how they decided on locations, or even how they settled on a character’s name. Unfortunately, those I’d most be interested in asking aren’t around these days.

     

    Will you face the same regrets I do in a couple of years? Think of one of our new hotshot writers and send me a question. I’ll get it answered and we can all learn a bit more about those who entertain us.

     

    @Dodger

    Well-known for his distinctive avatar and having published ninety-five chapters of his long-running story The Cockney Canuck, Dodger is not a one-hit wonder. I’ve enjoyed reading several of his short stories and this month’s question is about a different ongoing story: The Church and the Tradesman.

     

     

    Your The Church and the Tradesman is a highly original and engaging work. How did you get inspired to create these characters? 

     

     

    Most of my characters are loosely based on people who I have met in real life and The Church and the Tradesman follows the same principle with the exception, unsurprisingly, of the unruly and thoroughly dislikeable pop star, Tyrone.

     

    It’s definitely not fan-fiction so I’m not going to throw any names out there but his character is based on the typical, manufactured, teenage, pretty boy, pop idol. Needless to say, I’ve never met anyone who falls into this category so it’s possible that Tyrone’s personality isn’t an accurate representation, but I like to think it is.

     

    The protagonist Andy, his friend Jazz, and sly colleague Bob are all slightly exaggerated variations of people who I met or worked with whilst living in the UK. They do, however, come from completely different backgrounds and environments and their paths in real life would probably never cross. I just thought it would be fun to put them all together and throw in a pop star for good measure.

     

    The inspiration originally came from an iconic gay nightclub in London that was nicknamed ‘The Church’ because of its unusual opening hours. In the story, this is the spiritual home for Andy’s gay alter-ego and a counterbalance for his very straight weekday job with Bob.

     

    This bizarre, hardcore dance venue, only opened one day a week on Sunday mornings from 4 am until 1 pm and gained notoriety in the nineties following a number of high-profile sex scandals. In its day it was probably the most infamous gay nightclub in the world but a reputation for sleaze and drugs inevitably led to its closure.

     

    Mercifully, I was never old enough to attend church when I was in England but I once had the dubious privilege of meeting some ex-members of the so-called ‘congregation’. Their vegetated states and vacant expressions were enough to convince me that the stories that I had heard about this place were probably true.

     

    This was supposed to be a light-hearted story but it does touch on the very serious problem of drug abuse, which I do not condone but could not ignore either. Drugs play a very big and very destructive role in Andy’s life and it was difficult for me to write about this without glamorizing it in any way. I hope I did okay.

     

     

    @Dabeagle & @Cynus

    One question, two top dogs in the GA greyhound track– talk about a perfecta. I gambled and posed the same question to both authors in one message so they could read each other’s responses. Here’s what they had to say.

    Dabeagle has just finished writing a story The List which is set in the universe of another writer's creation: Cynus' Weightless and Fearless. I'm curious as to the effect on both writers. Cynus, with someone else using, inhabiting, and possibly changing his own world. And Dabeagle about the pressures of writing something knowing that another author was likely to take a close interest in what resulted. How much collaboration was there? Or did Cynus hand over the characters and their environment and let Dabeagle get on with it? What attracted Dabeagle to those stories in the first place? 

     

    Dabeagle

    For me writing with others is old hat. Some of my best ideas and stories come from discussion and brainstorming with other people. I had worked with Cynus before - he's a relatively old friend - and we'd been successful in our plotting and execution of the story we'd wanted to tell.

     

     With respect to The List, Cynus had put out an invitation for people to come write in his universe. That particular thing isn't something I do. I have borrowed characters, with permission, such as Craftingmom's Devyn Kennedy. Sometimes a character, usually a secondary one, resonates strongly with me and I'll be moved to write them. My motivation in this case was to create characters that could interact with the existing universe yet be individual.

     

    I follow some basic rules or guidelines when working with other's characters. First is not to change them in order to suit me. For instance, breaking up a couple for my own use unless the original author approves. For instance, Cynus had already told me that Angie and Travis wouldn't last, therefore opening a door. I'd never have broken them up on my own. Secondly this sort of thing needs the blessing of whomever you're either working with or, in this case, whose universe you're playing in.

     

    Cynus was very supportive and loved Parker and Shane which made things much easier. I asked him a lot of questions in order to stay true to characters as well as not running afoul of any plans he had made in terms of new stories. So this wasn't a collaboration in the traditional sense, but neither was it a carte blanche. As I completed scenes or had ideas for new ones I'd often chat with Cynus via text or once a phone call. Communication is essential, for me, to create in a situation like that.

     

    I didn't feel a great deal of pressure as Cynus was involved in my idea process and read things as they got done. As far as what attracted me to them, I've read most of Cynus's work and given him critiques as well as sought critiques from him. I liked his characters and thought it would be fun to start out on the ground floor, as it were, and see if things would go like my Sanitaria Springs series. Primarily, though, I did it because Cynus is a friend and I felt I could do it. If this had been in some of his other universes, I'd have not had the ability.

    Cynus

    Dabeagle's being a bit kind to me here. The perk of answering second is being able to read his response first, and I intend to take full advantage of the opportunity.

    There was a point in time where I was feeling a bit sorry for myself as an author. I felt I wasn't properly connecting to my readership, and that I wasn't having the level of success I felt capable of reaching. I kept complaining to Dabeagle about how no one ever wanted to write with my characters, and I questioned if that meant they weren't lovable enough. It sounds silly, I know, and in hindsight my mind really wasn't in the best place at the time (If you have any doubt, check out the note at the end of "Weightless").

    Dabeagle knew I wanted someone to care about my work in that way, and he was generous enough with his time and talent to accommodate my self-pity. I'm grateful to him for that, even if it didn't quite pan out the way either of us expected. That was a rough time for me, and his willingness to contribute to my universe was in fact something I really needed emotionally. We'd collaborated before on Sanitaria Springs stories (where Dabeagle fell in love with one of my characters, Logan Whitmore), and working with him has always been fairly natural.

    With respect to the world/setting, I gave him fairly loose rein. The only areas which became tricky at all involved his use of my characters, but through extensive communication I think we handled that very smoothly. Shane and Parker are delightful--I have a soft spot for Parker especially--and I think they play well with my characters.

    For the record, if anyone else wants to consider a collaboration (or sponsored fanfiction) in my worlds, please feel free to talk to me about it. My characters always need friends, and if you're as good at collaboration as Dabeagle, we'll create another great story like "The List".

     

    @MythOfHappiness

    Although no stranger to prose, MythOfHappiness has delighted many a reader with poetry. In my continuing effort to highlight GA poets, here’s another one for you.

     

    You write so beautifully in poetry about images and experiences common to so many of us. Do you see poetry as a way to tell stories and share experiences?

     

    What led you to share your gift for image and word in poetry with everyone?

     

      

    I write because it makes me happy. I can't really do anything else artistically, I don't play any musical instruments, I can't draw worth anything... writing is kind of all I have. I publish on here because I want to improve at writing and because if I didn't, I wouldn't ever finish anything I started. My drive at home is half-full of stories and poems I began to write but never finished. I'm not good at ending things, I guess. Thanks for asking. You're the first person to ever do so, and it really surprised me when I opened my GA account today.

     

  17. stephanie l danielson
    Latest Entry

    For those that don't follow me on a regular basis, I have been pushing myself to write despite a badly sprained wrist for the past 3+ weeks. I wear a splint day and night and have to have assistance with the craziest simple things like putting socks on or even picking up anything over 2 lbs.  I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel at 18 yrs old, but a night of overzealous knitting pushed it over the edge, and I'm still paying for it.  

    That said, I was able to finish a story in two months time :)  Now to edit. :(

    That's the fast.

    The slow part is the painful, horrible process of trying to find work. I live in a medium town, but not many opportunities over minimum wage.  I have two college degrees and loads of experience, but no one is willing to pay a decent salary. Or become a nurse. NO thank you. I get enough abuse as it is.  So, my only option is to cross the river...which means a 45-60 minute commute at least, daily. Not fun...but it's my only doable option until I either become the next JK Rowling....or start a side business.

    So...my life is slow at home, with my surviving cat (my girl died 6 weeks ago, and I am still coping with her sudden loss)...and husband.  

    Slow is not a bad thing, but unemployment will run out soon...so keep me in your prayers that someone will see I have worth again and not too old to work. :)

     

  18. You know what comes with age?  Silver highlight on your hair and hard of hearing.  Which I am sure are what most people referring to as wisdom and grace.  This year, I am turning Four-Zero, and I will become a legend because my sexlessness seems to inspire a movie.

     

    In any case, what also comes with age is the fact you began to see how history repeats itself again and again (ad nauseam).  When young folks were only starting to be disgusted by human nature for the first time around, I began to see no evil, say no evil, and hear no evil, as I know too well what's coming.  The smile on my face upon hearing aggravating political events is not that I am grace on the margin of being aloof, or wise to the point of condescending, but more like if your boss is being unreasonable again, let's shrug it all off to nirvana, because what else can you do?  How glamorous right?  I don't mind you complimenting my wisdom and grace, or is that my hair and my selective listening skill you're referring to, but a better compliment would be check my ID again when I am buying an alcoholic beverage.  It's wonderful to be young again, even if it's filled with angst.  The very idea of exploration of this world for the first time is just so refreshing.  I am just a simple folk like that.

     

    What really inspires me to ramble today is because my fourth decade milestone is making me childish again (not really).  I won't do some self-destructive behavior such as buying a Porsche and happily pay for the speeding ticket.  I am too Taurus to do that.  Okay, so what really make me ramble today is because 1) I am gay, 2) I went to Target today (pronounced Tar-JAY, like any French with self-respect would do, except I am not French), and 3) I am about to hit forty years-of-age (which is about 107 in gay years citation needed). 

     

    I am going to explain what I mean (you don't have to ask, because I am sensible like that).  I don't know if you frequent REDcard™ carrying, Cartwheel App abusing Target shoppers have noticed, Target employees belong to a couple of genres (roughly).  They either are outcasts, which back in my high school years, were those kids who worked at movie theaters with pimples (who I loved dearly, but high school kids liked to judge), OR they are gay (either openly or in naive stage, because dying hair pink is totally not gay but a mode of self-expression *wink wink, nudge, nudge*).  The latest Target Boy I am focusing on is way too beautiful that pimples refuse to tread on him, so I'd have to assume he's gay until proven guilty.

     

    Like many wonderful strangers I've met throughout my life, Target Boy #3 (hereon, TB3) sparkles on the first sight.  Usually the guys on the sparkle list belong to either one of the two archetypes I like (which I have no idea why..., because I don't have a type... but apparently after careful analyzing I do.  And they're polarizingly different), he belongs to neither.  He actually reminds me of a high school classmate who has the same first name as TB3.  TB3 is way too young to be a love interest, but it's nice to watch him, in a nostalgic way, as he reminds me of that classmate when he was that age.  Not like I've ever considered that classmate as a potential love interest, because I was "not gay" yet...

     

    I am going to describe what TB3 looks like (again, you don't have to ask the embarrassing question.  See what a gentleman I am?).  His hair is blond, meticulously groomed to have that unkempt look.  The wavy bang, like The Great Waves off Kanagawa, hovers over his forehead as if it can defy gravity.  If he were standing outside, the bang was long enough to cast a shadow in 11 o'clock sun.  His facial feature is a cross between young George Michael and Jesus Christ look (if that makes any sense to you), and his angular jawline was carpeted with short dirty blond beard.  His eyes are electrifying blue.  You can't miss him out of an ocean of generic looking Target employees.

     

    I have a habit of making REDcard™ payment in store, typically a week day and late evening to avoid a long line.  It used to be a gender queer boy/girl who took my payment, who is coy around me and very sweet.   One day, TB3 just showed up in that place.  It must be his first day of work because you could literally see his hands tremor and his eyes dilated around me.  He had a hard time making the proper change when I paid payment in cash.  I had to tell him how much to give me back, and remind him what's the proper procedure (take the receipt and staple it to the credit card statement).  He is either bad at basic arithmetic or he is just happy to see me.  You could tell he is from a good family, but due to recent financial distress he now found himself a need to work; too common a story in this area.

     

    Today, a month later, I am there to make payment again.  I was hoping to see him but at the same not a deal breaker if I don't.  After all, the boy is high school age or Freshman in college and not someone I want to have a relationship with, even under my current situation.  I just want to see how well he adapts to Target.  You see, I used to work at a retail environment as a supervisor, working with kids on average ten years younger than me.  Coincidentally I am currently being a trainee at a location that's not my typical station of duty.  Not to mention my worst crush ever is a Costco Boy and I literally witness his up and downs over the years.  I only want to see young folks thrive.

     

    I was in mischievous mood.  I wanted to pick up a copy of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the novel Love Simon is based on.  I wanted to ask him if I am too old to read young adult novels, just to see his reaction.  After all, that movie, at least based on trailer, is about a high school boy coming into term of his homosexuality.  Given how self-conscious he was every time I saw him, it might help him somehow, even if I was not the intended audience.  I did not do it, however.  I know when I was at that age, I was easily agitated due to angst and for a boy still trying to come into term with their sexuality, it may not have a positive consequence as intended.  I certainly don't want him to think I am coming onto him.

     

    Instead I was just making a bill.  I gave him a hundred dollar bill today and again, he was nervous around me when I thought he had done a very good job with the prior customer.  He made some very silly mistakes when I told him I would like to pay my bill off, he thought I wanted to make $100 payment and I had to point out the pay off amount is on the bill.  He was just super nervous and I swore his beard was 1/4" longer today than the last time I saw him, and his jaw fur had been perfect.  His hair bang was still defying gravity and meticulous curled with a hair straightener I think, but telling another person to trim their beard to a certain specification might be a little too much.  I know how much a retail job can be exhausting and make you stop caring how you look.  Again, his beautiful blue eyes were dilated, as if he went through the whole war zone, so I left him in peace.

     

    Anyways, as you see, age is a bit of a frustration at times.  Though I have to say the Red Daddy is on vacation with his family and I am not feeling too well.  Not like I am a homewrecker, but he has been somewhat of a propelling energy to come to work at my temporary duty.  And Costco Boy sighting has not been found for a while now.  It's nice to see young folks but hoping one day I would find someone my age (though Red Daddy turns out to be very close to my age, but I am not going out with a married guy!) and more permanent.  Though at my current status, I am not holding my breath.  I will be a legend. LOL

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    daemok
    Latest Entry

     

    Warning: Some spoilers for those who haven't read the story

    Accepted GA Story: 31 March 18

    Vigilant

    *In Progress*

    Sci-Fi Futuristic Gay Romance

    *

    Summary

    Ardant is an ex-Corps soldier faced with the harsh reality that everyone is moving on from the war against the Gahlamons except himself.

    Swept into a group seeking to protest the executive laws passed by the United Planets Association,

    Ardant struggles with personal issues and a shocking love interest.

    *

    Chapters

    ( ! -with beta reader )

    ( * -in queue to be posted )

    Arrival

    Meet Ardant, the veteran with a sunny disposition and witness the arrival of the Gahlamons!

    Stuck

    Urgent problems with your airship? 

    Natibo Station has a Hub for all your needs as you wait for further notice!

    Program

    The Enemy-to-Allies Program set up by the UPA offers all Natibo Community clients the opportunity

    to meet and mingle our new friends, the Gahlamons, with lower rates and new amenities!

    Come visit our Port and you'll fall in love the features, join us today! 

    Confront

    Not everyone will greet our newest guests to the community, 

    and we understand your concerns but please remain calm and civil!

    Spoiler

    Opportunity

    Here at Charter's Security we're upgrading everything to offer better services to our clients!

    Every employee under the division is fully trained and eager to help in any way,

    including the new recruits that have been accepted by the UPA!

    Characters

    (those presented so far)

     

    Harthens

    Ardant

    Main Character

    Human

    Charter Security

    likes: coffee

    dislikes: Gahlamons

    Sarklet

    Ardant's Sister

    Human

    Stay-at-home-Mom

    likes: gardening

    dislikes: ignored

    Xar

    Ardant's Nephew

    Human

    Child

    likes: toys

    dislikes: Ardant


    Wilanos

    Maza

    Ardant's Friend

    Human

    -

    likes: running

    dislikes: confusion

    Lakla

    Sarklet's Friend

    Human

    -

    likes: -

    dislikes: not being in control


    Volders

    Rhagler

    Ardant's Neighbor

    Human

    -

    likes: family

    dislikes: Gahlamons


    Su'klythops (Suyi)

    Dathar

    Ardant's Neighbor

    Gahlamon

    -

    likes: -

    dislikes: -

     

    This blog post is subject to change through regular updates!

  19. Well.  Here I am.  I've finished off my two weeks at my last job.  Saying goodbye to the great people I worked with was hard.  I did that on Friday.  I finished packing and moving Saturday.  (and did 13,600 steps before taking off the Fitbit...).  Sunday was Easter with the family and now I'm looking at the giant pile of boxes and furniture and trying to figure out how all that stuff fit in my old place and will fit here at home.

    I've known this was coming for awhile, of course.  I built my mancave last year.  It will serve as my entertainment and fun room.  One of my computers is in here so that I can enjoy writing and what not.  I'll do some site work in here as well.  My main computer is set up in the Family room, which was the other renovation we did in the last 3 years.  We converted a covered porch into the family room.  It's all windows.  Perfect place to work most of the day until the sun swings around and then you have to close some of the blinds or get blinded by the sun (on those rare occasions the snow stops and the gray clears).

    I'm in the mancave at the moment taking a break from moving things.  I'm hoping by the end of the week, that things settle down and I can start work on my new normal.  The new job starts next Monday.  I figure by May, I'll get my routine all settled again and instead of so many trips on weekends, they'll be more open to doing site stuff and getting into a regular writing routine.

    I'll be on at weird times this week as I pop on and off between sorting and organizing my disaster.

  20. It's the first of April. And I'm too uptight to pull pranks. So, here's news you can believe in.

     

     At 12 noon Central Standard Time, the first chapter of new story will be published.

     

    New to GA that is.

     

    If you've read my blog entry 

    or if you've read

    You'll already know what I'm going to tell you. "You're not the One, Neo." XD

     

    Sorry, sorry. That's not it. "There is no spoon." NO! That's not it either,

     

    "The cake is a lie,"  No, that's not it either. But I might make cookies,

     

    Okay, okay. Weird attention deficit puns aside. What I'm trying to tell you in that at noon 

     

    my story Predators: 2-14-9X should be making it's Gay Authors debut.

     

    Please, read, react and comment.

     

    Edit: As of 12:06PM 4/1/208 it's published.

     

    Enjoy!

  21. vEETalk

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    Wow, this is joyously freaky!

     

    I'm long-in-the-tooth, but only recently committed to writing full-time, all the time (a Coming Out of sorts for me). I suppose I finally got tired of keeping my head down, preaching that old mantra, "you have to do what you have to do, to do what you want to do" (paraphrase of St Augustine). I think it's fitting thus, to start off with immortal words that shook me out of space, into my true and rightful place:

     

    "It's better to physically force yourself to write 1000s of words, which may be shit, than to not write anything, and nurse vague and anxious thoughts about wanting to write something amazing." Shon Faye, 2017.

     

    Here's to the wordsmiths!

    Blessed be!

     

    .vEE

  22. So here’s what’s new.

     

    I’ve returned to the land of my ancestors. The little, funny-shaped island on the top left-hand corner of Europe where I spent most of my childhood, including half of my school life and a few chaotic years as an adult.

     

    This is the fourth time that I have been back since I was shipped off to the new world as a teenager and it seems that each time I return, this once very familiar place has moved a little further away. I have to admit that after seventeen years in Canada there is very little English left in me and I am now no more than a tourist in a city which for so long, I regarded as my home.

     

    One of the reasons for this visit was to attend a surprise birthday party for a friend who I have known since primary school. It was organised by his wife and she was the one who persuaded me to come over in a series of clandestine telephone calls and emails. It was a genuine surprise for my friend who didn’t suspect a thing and as you can imagine, it was quite an emotional reunion.

    He was completely unaware of the secret cross Atlantic messaging between his best friend and his wife and had no idea that she had already moved me into the spare room in their house earlier that day while he was at work. Understandably I suppose, he wasn’t that concerned by my harmless cavorting with his good lady and I spent most of the evening trying to free myself from his endless, tearful man hugs.

     

    I didn’t mind at all; he has always been one hundred percent straight but completely at home and supportive of my sexuality. I couldn’t want for a better friend and I shall miss him the most.

  23. mollyhousemouse
    Latest Entry

     

    Words are amazing aren't they?

    Are we even aware of how much they can affect other people?

    The casual use of a nickname.

    A  kind “Hello” when you’re having a bad day.

    A softly muttered “Bite me,” when someone crosses you, or you cross someone else!  

    Words we use to make light of a situation; or that attempt to pretty something up, make a concept or idea less gritty, better for polite company.

     

    Yes, words are powerful.  Think of a parent with a child.  A sharply spoken “STOP” can avert danger, cause the child to not touch that hot stove, or dash into the street. “I love you,” can be the sweetest thing you ever heard!  “I don’t want to see you anymore,” can be the harshest; or could cause a sense of relief to wash over you.

     

    If someone tells you that something was difficult the words that you choose to bring comfort, or support, may sound like you are dismissing their pain or the effort that it took to get thru or past this thing.  It can have the effect of invalidating that person’s experience.

     

    Think about that nickname for the guy you work with, for that friend of yours, whether you’ve known them for 8 years, 8 months, or 8 weeks.

    What does it mean to them?  That you have christened them with your own appellation, something that only you call them, be it just between the two of you, or out where the world can hear.  Or maybe a nickname that confers some kind of acceptance into a group. Maybe you have taken it upon yourself to shorten their name, Richard to Rich, or Dick, Jonathan to Jon, Victoria to Vicky.

     

    Does that person even like that you have done this? Does he or she grudgingly accept that you have done this, would they rather you didn’t? Was it the name that an old nemesis used as a form of torture or derision?  Does this nickname bring this person joy?  Does it makes him or her feel special? Make them a little giddy that you did this for them?

     

    Words can be truthful or they can be lies. They can help you make wants and needs understood, they can be used to baffle or enlighten.  Think about the proverbial used car salesman, that fast talking shyster, trying to make that old clunker sound like a classic driven by a sweet little old lady to the market, the church, and home. A legal eagle’s contract written with lots of loopholes, the language archaic and full of jargon.  Or those little quotes from someone you admire. A former president, or first lady. A spiritual leader you admire perhaps. A book or an essay that explains that thing you've always wondered about. They can tell you why the caged bird sings, or take you far away chasing a mysterious white whale.  They can transport you to fantastical mythical places, or the corner store.

     

    I believe that words are one of the most powerful tools in all of humanity. Just look at what they do.  They can bring comfort, joy, peace. Or they can wound, deeply, fatally even. Bring about war and division, foster hate and distrust.

    Because of the inherent power of words, we need to be mindful of them.  Words are forever. Yes, even those spoken, not written, as they will be passed down by word of mouth to become tomorrow’s folk tales, and legends.  So before you call that new guy in the office Jon ask, before you call the short cashier at the market “The Garden Gnome,” stop and think about the power behind what is about to come out of your mouth.  When you finish a poem, chapter, or story, reflect on the power in what you just read.

     

    MacGreg Sir wrote about just that in His poem “Taste Your Words Before You Spit Them Out”

     

    What is the point of communicating with someone

    If your intentions are meant to maim?

    Taste your words before you spit them out.

    Consider the impact of their flavor

    As they roll across your tongue.

    For once expelled, they cannot be retracted.

     

    Consider this:

    Will what you are about to say produce acidity?

    Or lay a foundation for common ground?


     

    So consider the power of words, your words.





     

    With many thanks to @MacGreg Sir for allowing me to use part of His poem. Please look here for the complete poem, and here for more.

    And as always to tim @Mikiesboy for his never-ending love and support. :kiss:

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