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  • Renee Stevens

    Weekly Wrap Up (May 13 - May 19)

    By Renee Stevens

    Hope everyone has had a great week this past week. Let's take a look at what happened in the various GA staff blogs.     Anthologies 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: Dancing with Madonna by Ronyx You Don't Know Me by Dabeagle   Signature Updates: April Musings by Valkyrie Clouded Purity by Cynus; Book 2 of The Trial Denied by Cia Exes and Ohs by Headstall Mojo by AC Benus   Promising Updates: Georgetown: As Time Goes By by Carlos Hazday; Book 9 of CJ Here Kitty, Kitty by Caz Pedroso The Horse on the Iceberg by Mikiesboy The Promise by Mikiesboy   ***Check out this GA Classic***   Desert Dropping DomLuka    Rory's mom just died and soon after the funeral his life is turned upside down when he finds out that his mom has contacted the father that he never knew. Now, he's forced to live in the desert with a family he doesn't know, a father he doesn't want to know, and to top it all off, Rory's gay and no longer has anyone to confide in. Friends will be made and the meaning of family will be found as Rory discovers that everything isn't so bad in the desert.   Don't forget.... Read, Write, and REVIEW!!!
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  1. Hope everyone has had a great week this past week. Let's take a look at what happened in the various GA staff blogs.




    • 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:

    Dancing with Madonna by Ronyx

    You Don't Know Me by Dabeagle


    Signature Updates:

    April Musings by Valkyrie

    Clouded Purity by Cynus; Book 2 of The Trial

    Denied by Cia

    Exes and Ohs by Headstall

    Mojo by AC Benus


    Promising Updates:

    Georgetown: As Time Goes By by Carlos Hazday; Book 9 of CJ

    Here Kitty, Kitty by Caz Pedroso

    The Horse on the Iceberg by Mikiesboy

    The Promise by Mikiesboy


    ***Check out this GA Classic***


    Desert Dropping



    Rory's mom just died and soon after the funeral his life is turned upside down when he finds out that his mom has contacted the father that he never knew. Now, he's forced to live in the desert with a family he doesn't know, a father he doesn't want to know, and to top it all off, Rory's gay and no longer has anyone to confide in. Friends will be made and the meaning of family will be found as Rory discovers that everything isn't so bad in the desert.


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

  2. Comicality
    Latest Entry

    By Comicality,

    There are going to be times, every now and again...when the written content of your stories may take a very dark turn, or veer off into situations that are somewhat uncomfortable for other readers to absorb as readily as they do some of your 'brighter' themes. This can be an intimidating atmosphere for you to thrive in. The gritty realities and graphic nature of the story that you want to tell may be too much for some of your readers to handle or understand. But, while there is the temptation to avoid darker themes and controversial material at all costs, especially with the sheer brutality of the typical ′internet comment section′ working against you...I say GO for it anyway! They′ll get over it. The people who pretend to be the most offended by the story you wrote have NO problem ripping the author to shreds with their opinions. So you might as well balance things out by treating them the same way when you′re writing what′s in your heart. Hehehe, that being said, there are ways to tell a ′heavy′ tale without having it totally wreck the lives of the people absorbing it for the first time. Still, there are some stories with sensitive, and sometimes disturbing, details that deserve to be told. Whether your reading public is ready for it or not isn′t your concern. They have the option to stop reading. Period. But, as a writer, you have the right to bleed through your words and tell your story any way that you see fit. You just have to find a way to keep things ′accessible′ so at least some of your audience can latch onto it, and appreciate it for what it is. That′s the topic that I′m going to tackle today. So let′s get DARK! :P


    The thing about many of these darker themed stories you may read online...is that they often come from a very personal place in the heart of the writer. It′s not always an author trying to be dark for the sake of being dark. Sometimes, it′s a much needed healing process, translated into fiction and created to convey some kind of message or express some sort of personal tragedy. Stories of loss, heartbreak, suicide, rape, physical or emotional abuse...they can be extremely hard to digest for some readers. And if they take it too close to heart, they may end up turning away from the project instead of dealing with the turmoil the story is putting them through. That′s understandable. But if this is a story that you really want to tell, something you really want to put out there for public consumption, then do it. Why not? Get it off of your chest. Share it with other people who might relate and feel even closer to the work than you do. You may touch something deep within them that they haven′t fully dealt with themselves. So every paragraph may end up being a therapy session for the both of you. Again, these stories are often very personal in nature. You′ll never find a more exposed artist than one who is delivering you an unrestricted look at their pain. There′s a rawness in it. Strip every piece of armor away and speak from the heart. It connects to an audience in a way that your ′happy go lucky′ romance stories just can′t. So, if you′ve been holding off on giving a dark themed story a try...maybe you′ll change your mind and step up to the plate after you finish this article.


    Hehehe, I′d love to read it! But, then again, I happen to be a very dark individual, myself, at times. So that′s just me.


    There are a lot of readers out there who use fiction as an escape from the problems and stressful impact of the world at large. They may be looking for something cheerful, or uplifting, or inspirational. But that may not be the kind of story that you want to tell. And that can shake a percentage of your audience out of their comfort zone in ways that they weren′t looking for and don′t appreciate in the long run. When it came to some very painful memories about my own past, and I felt the need to talk about it and add them to one or two of the stories that I was writing for the site...I had some difficulty with it at first. I dealt with some extremely abusive memories growing up in a household with a father that was...ummm, less than fatherly. I remember adding ′elements′ of that abusive relationship in a few stories, but I clearly wasn′t ready to tackle that situation yet. Especially when I added it (Briefly) to ″New Kid In School″. If you notice, that plot point was rather quickly written out of the story, and never brought up again. I simply wasn′t practiced enough to take the theme head on like I wanted to. Not at that time. In ″Gone From Daylight″, I tried to do the same, but it was a side story until I was more comfortable talking about it. However...when the time came where I really wanted to tell a ′no holds barred′ account from my personal experience with physical domestic abuse...I started writing ″My Only Escape″, and that was the right time for me to do so. That was my release. A lot of that story is autobiographical, and I still have moments where I have to deal with the aftermath of what happened way back then, even when I would rather leave it behind for good. But it was a story that I felt was dying to get out, and since it′s first chapter, I have received sooooo many emails from people who could relate in one way or another. Emails of support, and sympathy, and encouragement, as well as messages of people who had gone through similar experiences (Or who were younger, and experiencing them currently). I have NO regrets, whatsoever, about finally writing that story, and waiting for a time when I was emotionally stable enough to get it right. If you have a painful part of your past that you want to bring to the screen, and tell from a perspective that only others in your position can truly understand...then don′t wait. Do it. Pour your whole heart and soul into it. Let your voice be heard, and know that your writing had an impact on your readers that they′ll remember. Good or bad.


    Three things to remember when writing a story that may come off as a bit disturbing to your readers, are as follows...


    1. Give it meaning! If you′re going to sink into some truly dark themes and bring that into your story, make sure that you′re doing it for a legitimate reason. NOT for shock value. Shock value doesn′t last long, and will ultimately just become a part of your story that people would rather forget about instead of taking it to heart. If you′re going to have a rape scene, or a drug overdose...a suicide attempt, or someone battling terminal cancer...then I think writers should make sure that it is actually a part of the main character′s growth and evolution as a person. Don′t just throw it in there as some kind of sucker punch to your audience. That′s just plain MEAN! Hehehe! If a character of yours has recently beaten Leukemia? Then have that be a part of his or her personality. What outlook do they have on life now? Maybe they′re super excited to get back to living their lives. Maybe they′re angry at the time they lost battling the disease. Who knows? That′s up to you. But let it be known that the dark circumstances of the story had some meaning, and some impact on how the rest of the story plays out.
    2. Don′t go overboard! Scenes of extreme violence and sexual abuse are hard to read. If it′s a part of your story, and you don′t want to pull punches about the reality of what happened…then use your own judgment when it comes to what you say and what you don′t say. I′m not saying that you shouldn′t include some of the graphic details needed to get your point across...but keep in mind what your goal is. You don′t want to depress and disgust your audience. Evoking sympathy and an emotional bond, capable of getting your readership to cheer for your main character is great! But let′s not drag our readers down so low that they can′t recover. Learn to ′allude′ to certain parts of your story, and go into painful details about others. As always, its important to find a balance. Don′t ′bully′ your audience into sharing a truly disgusting experience in a way that overpowers every other aspect of the story that you′re trying to tell. I think it′s important to not let the dark content take center stage, when it′s the characters and how they deal with the content that should be the focus of your story.
    3. Give us hope! No matter how horrible a character′s life may seem, no matter how graphic you are with the details of their suffering...readers will struggle through it if they think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Give us a few brief glimpses of joy. A possible solution to the tragedies they′re facing from chapter to chapter. If all you′re bringing to the table kis pain and murder and rape and misery...your audience will eventually get turned off and go elsewhere for a story that doesn′t make them feel like shit every time they read it. BUT...if you dispense some truly awful scenes here and there, but combine them with possible ways out of their situation...opportunities to experience some level of happiness if only they could get away...then people will keep reading. They may be disturbed and disgusted by the events that are currently taking place...but with just a few hints at a hopeful outcome, they will continue to read to see if things get better or that justice is served for the character involved. Be proud of that. It means that you told a great story and that people sympathize with your situations, no matter how dark they may be. This doesn′t mean that every story has to have a happy ending. It just means that you have to give your readers a break from the misery every now and then, to let them believe that things are not as dark as they may seem. At least for a little while. Think of it the same way as swimming underwater. Let your readers come up to the surface for a breath of fresh air every now and then before they drown. K?


    The world isn′t always a happy place. Not by any means. And the stories of the abused, the less fortunate, and those in turmoil, are just as important as the uplifting stories that are told elsewhere. But there′s a skillful way to deliver that message without sending your audience running for the hills.

    As always, I hope this helps you out! And I′ll be back soon for more! ((Hugz))


  3. Billy Martin
    Latest Entry

    President Bartlet: Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.
    Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.
    President Bartlet: Yes, it does. Leviticus.
    Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22.
    President Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be?

    While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police?

    Here’s one that’s really important ’cause we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town: Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point?

    Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side?

    Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?


    What Bartlet says in this TV show, is indeed chapter and verse. Further, the point he is making is a very valid point. A point I too hold. For whatever reason, that was the law, but then the law was fulfilled.


    I once prayed for God to let me know if being gay, active or inactive, was a sin. A three word verse came to me as my answer.


    God is love.




  4. If you have somehow stumbled through life and not read this, you really should.  I just loved that the history department head at my school, assigned this book.   Far too many of the current generation indoctrinated on BS need something to wake them up.


  5. Renee Stevens
    Latest Entry

    By Renee Stevens,

    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 670 – Creative

    Tag – First Line

    “After this, I never want to see you again.”


    Prompt 671 - Challenge

    Tag – Historical Fiction

    Authors like to write in a genre that they are comfortable with. Some genres require more work than others. Your challenge is to write a scene or story that is set in a particular time period. Think Victorian, Elizabethan, World War I, Colonial America, or another time period. You’ll need to research the clothes, tools, items, attitudes, and language so everything is appropriate. Good Luck.



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

  6. *Note: As I will be gone in the near future, for an extended period of time, if you have questions regarding the anthology, please copy @Cia into any PM until further notice.*

    The theme of the 2018 Fall Anthology is Fight Back and/or Good Intentions

    Feel free to interpret these themes in any way you want. The anthologies are not exclusive, but inclusive, so don't worry if you think your entry has only a tangential link to the theme. If you are inspired, then write a short story, poem or play, and submit it.

    Please read these submission guidelines carefully.

    You may address these themes in any style or genre you choose. Be as creative as you want to be with the themes. However, please note that this anthology is an anthology of short stories. By definition, a short story must stand alone and not require reading a prior story. It therefore cannot be a chapter in a serial.

    Who may participate

    Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. However, submission to GA Stories requires that you be a member here at GA so you can be assigned as the author. If you have author status (which is free and you can get after five posts in the GA forums), you can submit stories.

    Submission Guidelines

    Submission Date: November 15th, 2018

    Please Note: Submission date is for submission to the Anthology Proof Team. Proofreads should take no more than 72 hours once you have been paired with a proofreader, if you have not received your story back within 72 hours, please contact Renee Stevens via PM. If you send your stories in within the last 48 hours of the deadline, you have 48 hours after receiving it back to upload it in order for it to be included in the Anthology.


    • No Story Limit: Each story submitted must meet quality and editing guidelines and only one story can be under 1,000 words.


    • Each story posted as its own submission


    • Minimum Word Count Per Story: 1,000


    • Maximum Word Count Per Story: 25,000


    • Up to five poems


    • Posted as a single submission (a collection)


    • Each poem posted as its own chapter

    Submission Procedure *Please read carefully*

    Once your story is complete and has gone through your beta and editing team, please complete the following steps:

    • Contact @Valkyrie via PM. Include in the PM the following information: Title, original editor, genre, synopsis, word count, and excerpt in the body of the PM. Attach your story file. You will be paired with an editor from the Anthology Proof Team who will perform a final proof for the anthology and return the file to you. *Please Note: The Anthology Proof Team is not meant to take the place of an author’s normal editing team so all entries MUST be edited prior to contacting  Valkyrie*


    • Once you receive your proofed file, complete your edits and submit your story into GA Stories, for help, please read How do I upload my anthology entry into GA Stories?


      • Make sure the story is unpublished by clicking BOTH the publish sliders, one for the chapter and one for the story itself


      • Select “Fiction” as the category. It will be moved to the correct category by the anthology team.


      • Mark your story as COMPLETE. Only completed stories are allowed in the anthologies


      • Please note that once you submit a story it will NOT show up in your list of stories until the anthology has gone live.


      • Copy the URL for your story and provide Renee Stevens with the URL via the announcement thread so that your submission may be checked to ensure it has been submitted correctly and meets submission guidelines. This also ensures that it will get moved to the anthology category. Please give the URL to the STORY page, not the chapter page.


      • Each theme will have it's own category. When providing the URL for your story in the announcement thread, please state which theme your story best represents.

    [*]Please do a visual check of your story once it has been uploaded to ensure that it uploaded correctly


    Occasionally things happen that prevent an author from meeting the deadline. If you should find yourself in such a predicament, PM Renee Stevens, before the deadline (not the day of or after), and something may be able to be worked out. Please contact Renee only if you need an extension; requests will only be considered when requested by the author personally. However, if the same author is consistently asking for extra time, extensions may no longer be granted for that particular author. Deadlines exist for a reason. The Anthology Team needs time to prep the anthology to go live and extensions, while occasionally warranted due to unforeseeable circumstances, add to the already hectic workload. If you have NOT made arrangements with Renee prior to the deadline, your Anthology will not be included. Please do not send a message the day an anthology is due requesting an extension, these will not be granted. You are welcome to post your story on your own and include a story note stating that it was originally meant to be part of the anthology.

    Story Titles

    Please do not use the anthology themes or your GA Username as a title. Be as original as you can. In case of duplicate titles within the anthology, we will request that titles be changed.

    Unacceptable entries & Content Warnings

    Entries that are obviously unedited (containing many errors), are overly graphic, or which are deemed to have unacceptable content will be either declined outright, or changes may be requested as a condition of entry. For information on what is considered to be unacceptable, please see the Story Content Rules FAQ. If you still have questions, ask.

    Please include a Content Warning in the story notes if your story contains sensitive content. Examples of sensitive content: abuse, especially graphic/extreme abuse or child abuse, in-scene graphic violence, suicide attempts/themes, allowable incest, etc... if you're unsure that your story falls within this type of content please alert Valkyrie when you send the PM requesting the final proof.

    Previously posted stories (whether at GA or elsewhere) are not eligible for inclusion into the GA anthologies.


    All entries MUST be edited prior to being sent to the Anthology Proof Team. If you need an editor, please visit the Writing Support Requests forum to request one. There are editors who prefer to edit only one shots, such as anthologies. Please make sure to state that your story is for the upcoming anthology. Also, please make sure to follow the guidelines when requesting an editor.


    As with all content in GA Stories, the rights remain with the individual authors. Your story will post with a simple 2018 copyright notice, using your GA user display name. If you have another preference (for example, a different name, or a Creative Commons license, or specific copyright wording you'd like to use), please include that with your submission.

    However, with this anthology, by submitting your story, you are giving GayAuthors.org first worldwide rights with 14 days exclusivity. What that means is you are giving GayAuthors.org permission to archive your story on its website, distribute it via RSS, kindle, iphone, ipad, eyeball…. And you agree not to publish it anywhere else for 2 weeks.

    If you later decide to post your story at another site, please mention at the beginning or end of the story that it was first published as part of the 2018 Gay Authors Fall Anthology: Fight Back and/or Good Intentions, and include a link back to GA if possible.

    If you have any questions, please contact Renee Stevens via PM or via the Anthology Blog or Forum.

  7. Renee Stevens
    Latest Entry

    By Renee Stevens,

    Please join the Author Promotion Team in congratulating Aceinthehole as GA's newest promoted author! Aceinthehole has been a member of GA for approximately two years and during that time, he has written five novels and over 800,000 words to share with the members here at GA! His current story Tales of the Underground: Blinded is over 175,000 words. If you want to read more from Aceinthehole, you can visit his author page (and check out his new banner while you're there).


    Please join us in congratulating Aceinthehole on his well deserved promotion.



  8. Myr
    Latest Entry

    I have been using a Fitbit Surge for a little over a year.  Unfortunately, the Surge was a bit of a dud in the design category.  It was one of the few FitBits without a replaceable band... and guess what broke today.  If you guess the band, then you get a gold star.


    Anyway, I like the software quite a bit and I especially like the sleep tracking features, which I really need.  So I picked up the cheaper, but more useful Charge 2 to replace my on the way out Surge.


    This one also has the hourly reminder to get up and move.  Another thing I need. :)


  9. Myr
    Latest Entry

    By Myr,

    A few weeks back, our tech guru extraordinaire, A.J., compiled the reading stats to date for me.  I poked them around to see what I could see and I made a little pie chart for everyone.

    Genre Tags for the top 700 stories read on GA


    Now, any math person will tell you that you need context to understand what that means.  So here are the relevant details:

    • Data is compiled based on "reads" from Jan-April 2018.  This is about one quarter of the year.
    • The data shown here represents 2.89 million views, which compromised the top 717 stories.  The cut off for that number was 1000 views in the time period.
    • Stories can (and do) have more than one genre listed on them.
    • The displayed data was compiled this way:
      • Stories were ranked by most views Jan-April
      • All stories with more than 1000 views were left in.
      • We counted up the number of times a genre was tagged in those stories.
      • The pie shows the proportion of stories so tagged.

    As you can see, people are reading Romance and Drama in high numbers.  Though, to be honest, many of the stories on the site are tagged with Romance in addition to whatever else someone wanted to be listed. Western is not shown but is half the size of Paranormal.


    Enhanced story stats will be part of a future update to Stories.

  10. Myr
    Latest Entry


    I forgot to set this to post this morning... oops.

    This is one of those late 90's action movies full of one-liners.  And it features Samuel L. Jackson doing his thing as a BAMF. 

    If you haven't seen it and you like action movies and one-liners, this is a good movie.

  11. Well, it's the start of a new week, and for today's schedule, we're bringing you BlindAmbition's review of Button by Cole Matthews. Featured story days are a great way to highlight one of the many stories that can be found in GA Stories. With so many stories, it's easy for a single story to get lost in the shuffle. Now, onto the review. Hopefully you enjoy BlindAmbition's review enough to go check out Button for yourself!



    Cole Matthews


    Reviewer: BlindAmbition
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 77,786


    I’m happy to be providing my first official GA story review. There are so many wonderful stories on GA, so it was hard to choose one. I decided on highlighting the story Button by Cole Matthews. It’s a little gem that flies below the radar. The story is full of heart and meaning, without being preachy. It offers a little something for everyone. I read this story before joining GA, and it still resonates with me.

    The story revolves around a full cast of characters, but it’s truly Button’s story. He is left on the doorstep of his father Craig’s house. Craig and his partner Graham take on the Herculean task of raising Button. Each chapter represents another year in their lives. Craig is the buddy and most relatable figure to Button, whereas Graham is the overprotective nurturer. Each father plays an invaluable part in what Button will become.

    Button will experience hardship through his learning disability. He will also learn to achieve and overcome adversity. Button gains confidence through an abundance of love. Learning how to deal with the curves life throws at you can be difficult, but it’s what you make of any situation that counts.

    Cole has written a story with a lot of heart. It’s not fluffy and sugarcoated. It’s also not depressing and a Debbie Downer. Button is just an honest portrayal of life, life that isn’t certain and often changing. The story's strengths come from  showing people are flawed, constantly evolving and resilient. These are all things we inevitably learn in the game of life.

    The only criticism I have of the story is wanting more. Each chapter represents a year; this limits how much of Button’s life can be included in those chapters, although I  feel writing in another format would have taken away from the story’s special quality and voice.


    Category: Fiction   Genres: Drama  Tags: gay, light-hearted, parents, psychology, modern, love  Rating: Teen

  12. For those who noticed my status update, my Dad was jailed over the weekend for driving under the influence.  He had gone out of town for a golfing trip and this happened.  I don't know the details and I'm not sure I want to.


    Also, my aunt has an aggressive cancer that may be incurable.  We are waiting to hear on that as well.


    So, things are not great.  


    I have decided to write a few stories that cheer me up, and usually make me laugh or smile when I tell them.  Cause damn i really need that right now.  I am going to share them here.  


    The first one is about my first trip to New Orleans.  I went with my friend, who I am calling R, and we met up with @joann414 and her friend, D.  It was my first vacation after a really rough year, and I wanted to get a full experience, so I naturally rented a room at the most haunted hotel I could find.  I did not share this with R until we were already there. That was a mistake.  


    R does not like ghosts.  She was not thrilled when I shared the history of the hotel with her, she outright refused to check out Marie Laveau's shop and somewhat reluctantly joined me on a walking tour of some of New Orlean's most haunted places.  I was having a blast.  I loved the walking tour (which was on our last night there).  R did not.  She was freaked out by all the stories we were told (granted, some of them were pretty gruesome).  We get back to our hotel, set our cell phone alarms as usual, and go to sleep.


    Well, Cassie went to sleep.  R laid awake for a while, thinking about ghosts.  And quietly freaking out.


    Right at midnight, the radio alarm went off.  Which we never set.  Full volume.


    R sits up in the bed and starts screaming bloody murder.  Cassie is woken up and confused, as it is dark, the alarm is still going off and R is still screaming.  I finally get the lamp turned on, turn off the alarm.  R is out of bed at this point and is insisting that we leave right away.  


    It is still the middle of the night.


    I am trying to calm her down, telling her that there are no ghosts in the room, when the radio alarm which I am holding in my hand, goes off again.  We end up yanking it from the outlet, and hiding it in the closet for the rest of the night.  


    I am sure the cleaning staff came in and set it by accident.  But still, when we were getting ready to leave, we filled out the comment card:  "Room is haunted. Otherwise, had a great stay!"


    R has not gone back to New Orleans since.


    * * *


    Another story is from when I first moved to my current hometown and was working at the hospital.  It was the holidays and I had Christmas off, but had to work Christmas Eve.  Every Christmas Eve, without fail, all of the family gets together, usually at my Grandma's house, and we eat, drink, and open gifts (but mostly drink).  I got off work Christmas Eve and went to meet my sister at my parent's house.  Because of reasons, we leave a little bit late, around 6.  It usually takes around an hour and a half to get to Grandma's.  Since we were both moved here fairly recently, my sister was going to use her Garmin GPS to guide us to Grandma's.  


    Now Grandma lives in a very small, kind of run down town with very spotty cell reception.  Just FYI.  We start off and everything looks good at first.  We are following the directions that the Garmin gives us (well, my sister is driving, I am mostly looking around and delivering witty commentary).  Garmin takes us down this long ass road that looks like something out of a horror movie.  Narrow, poorly lit, with tall woods on each side.  I question our directions and then gleefully start telling my sister that if we were in a horror movie, this is where the car would break down and then a crazy guy comes out of the woods to chase us down before killing us.  My sister is hissing at me to "shut up, shut up, shut up".


    We notice a strange, flickering light in the distance.  We joke about UFOs.  We get closer and discover that it is a house that has caught fire.  On Christmas Eve.  (Foreshadowing IRL)!  There are already cops and firefighters on the scene, so we are forced to turn around.  But it is okay.  We have the Garmin.  


    Garmin flips out when we turn around.  We are sent down back roads, dirt roads, roads that don't have names.  A half hour later, we went up right back in front of the house that is on fire.  


    Somewhere during this entire fiasco, we decided that we should call our dad and see if he had some better directions than heading down some unnamed road in the middle of the nowhere.  Cell reception where Grandma lives is spotty, so we are unsure if this is going to work, but we were lost and desperate.  We also both had to pee really badly at that point, and there was nowhere open because it was Christmas Eve.  


    My aunt (the one battling cancer) answers the phone and she is, predictably, drunk.  Either the reception is so bad that she can't make out what we are asking, or she is too drunk to get it, because she is wanting to know if we are going to be there in time to open presents and if I like my new job.  We finally get our dad on the line and I try to explain best I can where we are at and how we got there.  His response was that he had no idea where we were and what kind of directions we were following.  


    We finally had to ask the police officer who was turning traffic around at the house if she knew how to get to where we needed to go.  She did, and the directions were so easy and simple that I wanted to throw the Garmin out of the window and run it over with our car.  


    We get to Grandma's around nine o clock that night.  We had missed dinner, but there were plenty of leftovers and once I had a deep fried turkey leg in one hand and a margarita my dad made me in the other, I was a pretty happy camper.  


    Those are two of my favorite stories, happening the way I remember.  I like them.  If anyone wants to share their own, they are more than welcome to, but I just needed to do something to lift my spirits because I have a feeling things are about to get really bad.  I hope I'm wrong.  

  13. So, I would imagine that many members here wont remember who I am.  i've not been active for a while because... well, life gets in the way sometimes doesn't it?


    8 Years ago last week, I started a relationship right here on GA.  I met Paya right here, and our friendship blossomed into something more.  I was in the UK, he was in the Czech Republic. We had a long distance relationship for 2 years, before finally moving to London together 6 years ago.


    This is just a quick stop by to where it all began, to announce that yesterday - We got Married.  Yes, another GA wedding.


    We were lucky enough that our friends from GA, Bleu and Jian, were at our ceremony as guests - I told them they were our GA ambassadors for the day.


    Now... not to rush away, but a honeymoon awaits.


    All the best.



  14. methodwriter85
    Latest Entry

    Can someone make it stop? Please?

    Ugh. I miss the days when I only really cared about the next party I was going to and whether or not I'd pass my classes.


    I've been using Medicaid since 2015. I got rejected for this year because I made 61 cents over the limit. 61 cents.

    So now basically I need to work less if I want to get my Medicaid back, or I have to buy insurance on the Marketplace. And I've got to get this all done by June 21st or else I won't be able to get discounted insurance on the Marketplace.

    Although I guess it's progress that I'm now on the edge of eligibility. I mean, in 2014, I made like 2500 dollars total.


    Anyway, I'm going to spend the next couple of weeks trying to work less, and then I'll re-apply for Medicaid. I really only care about this because I don't want to pay the tax penalty.


    You all know that tim is a dear, dear friend.  And you may have gathered that was me he was talking about in the blog.


    Well, i wanted to update you on some things.


    First off, about 3 weeks ago, i was told that i had to limit my coffee to just 2 cups (ok they are 20 ounce cups) and that i wasn’t to have a can of soda with lunch anymore.  i am to drink at least one 32 ounce bottle of water a day, and look to increasing that. i have noticed some changes from just this little change. i’m not snacking in the afternoon, and not falling asleep on the couch as soon as my butt hits it.  i may have noticed a difference in my skin, but too soon to tell on that. At this point i'm at about 1 and ½ bottles a day.


    What makes this so challenging for me is that i really dislike water.  It’s sometimes got a funny taste, or it’s got no taste at all so why bother?  There’s also this thing that i can’t drink cold beverages that aren’t like GLACIAL cold. As soon as the water in the bottle, cup or glass has no ice, i’m done.  What’s helped greatly, besides tim’s encouragement, is that i’m adding limes, lemons, mint, and cucumber to my water. i’ve found a water bottle that has a little basket thing in it for just this reason.  Lime and cucumber are so far the winner!


    So that’s one change i’ve made.


    After talking with tim last week, in a conversation that was the precursor to the blog post, i committed to trying “refrigerator oatmeal” every day for breakfast.  i’m not a breakfast eater, not hungry in the morning. In fact, the thought of food in the morning turns my stomach. i chose this as it would be the easiest thing for me in the morning, as mornings with 17 year olds can be rather hectic.  he and i talked about recipes, his is in the blog, and i looked up several different versions. i bought some nice plastic bowls with tight fitting lids, the old fashioned rolled oats, some good cinnamon, golden and regular raisins.


    i’m using ½ cup oats, and about a tablespoon of each type of raisin and a healthy sprinkle of cinnamon.  i shake it up to mix it, then cover it with milk. i’m using 2% lowfat. i’ve found that putting it together takes no time at all, and i’m doing it right after dinner, while the kitchen is being cleaned up.


    So, i’m on day 3 as i write this and there are a few things i’ve begun to notice. Most impressive is that i've not forgotten my breakfast at home once. After getting past the whole “But oatmeal should be hot” thing, i'm able to eat it all. i’m also ready to eat lunch at lunchtime. Previously, i wasn’t always ready to eat at noon. Surprising me the most is that yesterday and today, i was actually hungry by the time i got to work. This, y'all this, is big.


    Just thought i'd let you know what’s happening, and maybe show you that what tim was talking about, eating real food, doesn’t have to be a big production.



    If you missed the original blog post, you can find it HERE

    my thanks always to tim, he's always been so encouraging and is so very dear to my heart 

  16. 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!!

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.


  20. 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:

  21. 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. :)


  22. 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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    Recent Entries

    Latest Entry


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

    Accepted GA Story: 31 March 18


    *In Progress*

    Sci-Fi Futuristic Gay Romance



    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.



    ( ! -with beta reader )

    ( * -in queue to be posted )


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


    Urgent problems with your airship? 

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


    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! 


    Not everyone will greet our newest guests to the community, 

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



    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!


    (those presented so far)




    Main Character


    Charter Security

    likes: coffee

    dislikes: Gahlamons


    Ardant's Sister



    likes: gardening

    dislikes: ignored


    Ardant's Nephew



    likes: toys

    dislikes: Ardant



    Ardant's Friend



    likes: running

    dislikes: confusion


    Sarklet's Friend



    likes: -

    dislikes: not being in control



    Ardant's Neighbor



    likes: family

    dislikes: Gahlamons

    Su'klythops (Suyi)


    Ardant's Neighbor



    likes: -

    dislikes: -


    This blog post is subject to change through regular updates!

  23. 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.

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    • I agree with BHooper. If it's a mature story you've got your warning. You are also free to stop reading at anytime the story takes you towards somewhere you don't want to go. I doubt you open a book that starts with a graphic rape scene or violent murder, but I could be wrong. In any event I regard 'mature' as an adult library, for adults. You can easily wait for a book to be finished, read the comments and reviews, before embarking on the story. If you choose to post chapter warnings, that's up to the author, but personally I think they are in the wrong place. Who wants to get halfway through a book to find a chapter they can't read. If the book is violent etc. tell the reader in the summary using the description of the story or adding a specific warning if you like.
    • As someone who had written some pretty dark stories, I like the tag system so I can warn potential readers what they are getting into.  I write happy fluffy stories and I write some not so happy, not fluffy stories.  I would hate someone to start to read Not The Sun or Unrequited and thinking they were going to get something like Geeks.   As someone who sometimes has trouble reading dark content, I also like the tag system.  If I see a story that has a rape or abuse tag, it will not necessary deter me from reading a story, but I will take a good hard look at the writer and the storyline and see how much I trust them.  For example, I will read anything @Valkyrie writes because I trust her writing.  If it is someone new or that I don't know very well, I might nose around a little bit first.  Just my two cents as a sensitive little flower    As far as the article goes, Comicality has great advice as always.      
    • I don't think we have fundementally different ideas, we are looking at things from a different angle, that's all. "We simply ended up 'lucky' enough to have our dice rolled." I'm not picking you up on phraseology, but that does kind of beg the question - who rolled the dice! But I get what you are saying, it's random chance that we are here. However, there is one big question, do you have an immortal soul?
    • Here in America, we have an entire section of the country labeled "The Bible Belt" primarily in the South and Southeast.  In these places, it is not uncommon for people to ask you what church you go to, and where I grew up, you better say Baptist.      
    • I agree! It’s a level of decency. I would not wish for a rape survivor to stumble upon a violent rape scene, or so many other scenarios. GA is meant to supply enjoyment, not to traumatize.
    • I think we have fundamentally different views on the chance/purpose of life. Like I kind of said in my post above, I believe we simply ended up alive and here as we perceive it by total chance. Out of the infinite chances of things that could happen in the universe, we simply ended up "lucky" enough to have our dice rolled. I also don't believe their is a true purpose or meaning to life either. I full heartedly believe we create our own meaning as a way to cope with our inability to accept we are nothing but a random chance. It's not a bad thing either. The purpose I create for myself is intensely personal and reflects me and me only. Same for everyone else. The rules we mostly play by were again put in place so we could function past our most basic survival instincts. Just a thought. 
    • GA requires that warnings are used in certain specific themes. Such as Sexual Assault and Incest. Aside from what is required by the site, I think throwing a warning on the chapter, is a waste of time, and spoiling the story.  I do agree with tim that the Story's description on the main page, should be used to convey such feeling and tone of a book, in a creative way.   Also, there is the new Death tag... It was added earlier this year and has seven-stories with that tag.
    • Tim, i agree with you.   Paper books do come with 'warnings' of a sort, it's called a synopsis ... hardcover and paperbacks have them ... they give a brief description of the story and introduce the main character. Usually there is enough there to convey if the story is dark or a comedy etc.  No, there are no tags on physical books like there are online.  And frankly if you want to publish on other people's websites, and that website has rules, then they should be followed.  The other option is to start your own.
    • Story tags are there for a reason. Apart from guiding readers about content, the main one is to protect authors from the outcry of offended readers. If you tagged your story using any of the tags below, no one can say readers weren't warned. Number of stories tagged with: abuse  232
      dark  325
      depression  163
      hate  71
      rape  58
      suicide  58
      violent  63
      Assuming tags don't overlap, the total number of such stories are 970. Number of Fiction stories with rating Mature is 3675. Ration of Tagged as above to Mature: 26%, ratio of Dark tag to Mature: 9%. Staying away from Mature stories, some of which are the best on GA, simply to avoid dark or violent content, does not seem a viable strategy to me.   Warnings in story and chapter notes are up to authors, but why not provide the service ? Unless the author delights in the shock effect of readers not knowing ? You don't have to be specific, a simple Warning, violent content, will suffice. As for the argument of books not having such warnings, I thought a point of reading online is to have an advantage over books. Interacting with authors and other readers are the main ones, but tags etc. are useful too.
    • There are only three categories of books on GA, suitable for everyone, teen, and mature. That is reasonably clear. Thus any books with descriptions of graphic sex, violence, drug abuse, rape, fall into the label mature. Meaning, for adults 18 years or over. There is no need for trigger warnings on chapters. There are no warnings whatsoever on published books and I see no reason to change things. Any warnings such as 'Some of the content of this book is graphic and includes....' should if required be at the beginning of the book and such warnings should be compiled by the website owners, whose responsibiity it is for the material published on their site. So if required a choice of warnings, or a warning, to be checked on the new story publication process. This really is up to the website to decide it's policy. I think it would be difficult to introduce given the hundreds of books already published, so there really is no debate. If you think you might be adversely affected by something you read, do not read the category 'mature.'   I did a quick search of books by rating and it is roughly 50:50 split between mature, teen and everyone, so there is plenty of choice for every type and age of reader.

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