Our community blogs
Well I am finally home after my 7734 km/4805 mile drive! Thank you Cia for helping me out last week.
First off, are you like me and getting lots and lots of notifications? Well even though we didn't have a Tech Tuesday, Myr showed us all how to authorize what we get notified on. Check it out here by clicking 'Read more...' on the big red bar on any page or via the announcement. Or just go check out the actual options to selection what you are getting notifications for, not just how often/how/when that appears UNDER the blue save button on the 'Notifications Settings' box by simply scrolling down a little farther on the page.
Monday, Cia introduced us to our August Can't Stop Reading Feature Story:
Wednesday, Cia rubbed two sticks together and came up with a new Blog feature for the day
Friday, sorry about not getting the Author Prompts featured until later in the day
Harbinger by Cia *Premium*
Conversations With Myself by Altimexis
Dawn of Tears by dkstories
Mark's Revenge by Ronyx
The Kandric Saga by Kyle Aarons
Wild Heart by Dabeagle
April Musings by Valkyrie
Aria Graice by Nephylim
Denied by Cia
Mojo by AC Benus
Prompts? by CassieQ
So Weeps the Willow by Cole Matthews
Disasters, Delights and Other Detours by Parker Owens
Here Kitty, Kitty by Caz Pedroso
The Golden City by Aceinthehole
I have had an extensive physical at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and am in great shape.
I have been tested for all sorts of viruses and conditions and have none of them.
I am in great shape and will be an excellent stem cell donor for my brother- who has bone marrow cancer.
We expect to give him the transplant around the 1st week of September.
Since we are such a good match, that ups his chances for recovery considerably.
This is excellent news for our family and, we're going out for a steak tonight.
I will be flying home in the morning.
This chapter is really hard to write for Book 2 of 0's and 1's, so I will share with readers its problem:
I feel like I can't skip an important event, but if I write it, I am never going to hear the end of it.
This will mark probably the darkest chapter I have ever written, maybe one of the darkest chapters on GA. I am making sure the guidelines are followed, nothing graphic or explicit, but the implication is more than enough with a dark imagination. And to top it all off, I have to make sure people know why it's needed for the future of the story and the future of the characters. This ain't gratuitous plot point, it's a revolutionary spark, a call to arms against an injustice that transcends LGBT fiction. It's something our society and many of us are guilty as indirect participants.
I call this chapter by a nickname, "the Crucible".
If this chapter gets completed, the rest of the story can follow, but it must be done right or nothing else after it will matter.
Anyone who has any ideas, thoughts, or is just curious as to what I am doing, feel free to PM me.
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I wrote this article for Reddit just for the hell of it.
Someone posted earlier about the annoying amount of over-development and suburban sprawl in Delaware. I thought it would be interesting to go a little bit over the reasons why the system is set up like the way it is, and how the forces of suburbanization have made Delaware into the bedroom community it is today.
Wilmington developed at a steady pace throughout the 1800's- especially during the Civil War, which the du Pont Company really flourished as at the time they were known for gun powder. In 1864, a horse railcar line was developed around Delaware Avenue, which allowed for Wilmington residential development to expand out towards the "country", and leafy residential neighborhoods began to sprout. Note that this would be a continuing pattern for Wilmington's elite- building pretty "country" houses and pushing north of Wilmington.
Soon, the railroad came, as well as the trolley car. This allowed for Wilmington's first official suburb, Elsmere, which was developed in 1886 by Joshua Heald for working middle-class families. Though there were talks for Wilmington annexing Elsmere into their city boundaries, Elsmere had incorporated as its own town by 1909. Wilmington couldn't really do much about it, because they had a weak city charter and New Castle County government would thwart them time after time whenever they tried to expand their borders.
World War I and World War II brought continued prosperity to Wilmington, which reached 112k in population by 1940. Again, given that Wilmington had a weak city charter that made it hard for them to annex surrounding land into their city, a lot of residential development began to spill out of the borders of Wilmington, which was made even easier by the car. It was around this time that the prosperous North Wilmington suburbs were developed, originally for the du Pont company chemists and their families. (Think Alapocas, Greenville, Talleyville, etc.)
Meanwhile, the more solidly middle-class suburban development continued out from Elsemere along the newly built Kirkwood Highway. Newark, which had been a relatively small town throughout most of its history, also exploded in population, going from just 6k people in 1950 to over 20k by 1970. The first wave of suburban sprawl began to hit the Newark area as areas such as Brookside were developed.
As the 1950's continued and gave way to the 1960's, suburban development and flight from Wilmington continued. There are a couple of factors for this. The first is that the building of I-95 required demolition of several city neighborhoods, which destabilized the entire area and also made it even easier for people who worked in Wilmington to commute from the suburbs. The second is that the G.I. Bill, which returning WWII vets were using to buy homes, strongly favored new construction in the suburbs as opposed to the older housing stock. Third, the returning G.I.'s and their wives would give birth to what is known as the Baby Boomer Generation. This cohort was so large that entire children-consumer industries sprang up. These G.I.'s preferred to raise their kids in their suburbs, continuing the suburban flight from Wilmington. Finally, the perception of Wilmington being unsafe stemmed from the Wilmington riots of 1968, which led to most of suburban Delaware turning their backs on Wilmington and never looking back. From the 1950's through the 1980's, Wilmington's population would drop from 95k in 1950, down to about 70k by 1990, which is more or less where the population has stabilized.
In the late 1970's, Christiana Mall began to be developed, which drove more development. The success of that mall meant that developers have clamored to build retail in the areas surrounding the mall since, hoping to capture that success as well- you see that today with the new Christiana Fashion Center. The building of nearby Christiana Hospital in 1984-1985 would also be a major driver of development in that region. Another biggie would be MBNA, which was founded in 1982 and became a massive behomoth of a suburban office complex in Ogletown.
Ah, yes, we can't forget about banks, which began a boom in Delaware in the 1980's due to laws passed in 1981 that were favorable to banks. This did in fact led to a lot of office development in Wilmington, but the Baby Boomer bankers preferred living in the suburbs to living in the city. I mean, there were some city neighborhoods that got revived (think 40 Acres/Trolley Square) but by and large the affluence that was being driven by the banking boom of the 80's/90's was going out into the suburbs instead of being invested into the city. At least, beyond the gleaming office towers.
The next round of suburban development (the 1980's-1990's) would take place around the Bear/Glasgow area. Originally cheap farmland (this area was big on horses), it became known for townhomes and cookie cutter housing developments. On the more upscale side, the affluent developments around Hockessin began to pop up as well. Both of these areas were not incorporated, which meant that developers did not need to go through city laws/city councils in order to get their developments approved- just having to deal with the city. I grew up in Bear during the 2000's, and I remember my jaw dropping when someone told me that Bear had largely been the "country" back in the 80's. You can still see some remnants of its past (I remember seeing some horse farms close to Old Porter Road) but man.
Anyway, another really, really huge factor in the suburban sprawl deal in Delaware comes up in the 1990's. That would be the construction of Route 1. Originally built to bypass Route 13 and create a faster route to the beach, this would help the MOT area (Middletown, Odessa, Townsend) explode in population, as it was now a more convenient area to commute from. Middletown had 3k people in 1990, now it's up to over 20k, and that's just within the city limits. One difference in the suburban sprawl story of Middletown is that the mayor of the 1990's actually set this in motion on purpose, because Middletown was a dying farming town. The town began to aggressively annex surrounding areas so they would benefit from the building of the housing developments and strip malls. This would led to Middletown's population growing by 206 percent between 2000 to 2010. Not that there hasn't been some pushback- in 1999 Middletown residents rejected a school referendum purely as an attempt to stop the suburban development, but of course, it didn't really work.
Route 1 has been a major driver of suburban development all across the state for the past 20 years. I lived in Dover from 2005-2006, and I remember there was a lot of suburbs getting built around the former farmland. Downstate also saw a lot of this growth, particularly with the beach areas, although that growth hasn't extended out to the western part of Sussex County.
One thing that began to happen, especially during that 2000's real estate boom, is that developers in New Castle County started talking about "re-developing" golf courses, nature preserves, and former office complexes, particularly in the more crowded part above the canal. One particularly nasty fight occurred when the Stoltz Company wanted to build a 13-story tower in Greenville at the former Barley Mill Office complex, and basically the residents banded together to sue them 'til kingdom come until those plans were dropped. Another really controversial move has been talk abut re-developing the Newark Country Club, which has been bandied about for at least the past 15 years but it keeps getting thwarted. I also remember there were some whispers about developing in Bellevue Park around this area, although I don't know if that came to fruition.
The Great Recession did put a damper for a while for suburban development in Delaware. Development has come back, but if you notice, a lot of what's getting built currently are townhomes aimed at seniors as well as apartment buildings. (Notably, the Newark student apartment buildings that everyone likes to bitch about.) You're not seeing as many plans for McMansion developments the way you would have back in the 90's and the 2000's.
1.) Delaware has always been a really convenient place to travel through when it comes to go to Philly, D.C./Baltimore, or New York City. This convenience has only increased with the building of roads like I-95 and Route 1. (Probably the new 301 is really going to jumpstart some new suburban sprawl as well.)
2.) Delaware has historically stayed away from compact urban development. Newark was originally a sleepy town that had a small college. Dover was small town until the 1970's. A lot of Delaware was rural for most of our history. (Still shocked at the thought of Bear being a sleepy little farming community as recently as the 80's.) Our only "big" city is Wilmington, and even when they had 100k residents, they weren't building tall apartment buildings- note the row-homes and townhomes.
3.) Developers like building on flat, open spaces, which Delaware had/has a lot of because we had so many farms. And we are largely on the Atlantic Coastal plain.
4.) Wilmington lost 40k people in the course of about 50 years, and been unable to entice people to come back. One interesting fact- in 1940, Wilmington had 112k people. Delaware itself only had 266k people. That means that over 40 percent of the entire state of Delaware lived in Wilmington in 1940. Now that percentage is down to about 7 percent!
5.) Government, especially in New Castle County, has a really, really hard time saying no to developers. There's also this mindset of not thinking ahead. I've learned in the Memories of Newark group that in the 1960's, the Newark City Council was floating the idea of building a by-pass that would have gone around the Main Street area. Sort of similar to what's going on right now with the 301, which is going to by-pass the current 301 that goes through Middletown. It was floated because at the time, Newark was booming, and the traffic problems we see today started to appear. However, the city council voted it down because they thought it was unnecessary. Today, the proposed bypass would be impossible because most of that land got developed, so Newarkers today basically have to pay for the mistakes that were made 50 years ago. And you see similar stories to that again and again- developers getting their way and our government not making them put in the infrastructure needed because they don't want to lose the development deals.
So yeah, there you have it. It's basically almost inevitable that Delaware basically is the way it is. We're basically just reaping what Elsmere sowed back in the early 1900's when they refused to become part of Wilmington because they didn't want to pay city taxes.
TL;DR: Delaware's life as a suburban bedroom community is the result of forces that were set in motion as early as the 19th century.
Edited...looks like people want some sources so here's a couple:
"Corporate Capital- Wilmington in the 20th Century" by Carol Hoffecker, Temple University Press, 1983.
Save Our County- Website for the group that fought the Stoltz Company tooth and nail over the proposed Greenville development
Growing up as suburban kid...I wouldn't have it any other way. I fucking LOVED hanging out at the mall growing up. I don't know if I would have liked being a city kid, or being in some small cow town or something.
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Wow, with summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are definitely seeing a drop in people online. Even I'm getting more sun.
I'm going to cut back on the number of blogs I'm doing for now and pick up again in the fall. It'll give me more time to do these silly summer homeowner things I'm suddenly stuck with. lol.
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I don't know how long it's been since I've posted a blog here. Last night, I totally freaked out, like completely. I feel like I've wasted years of my life. I feel like nobody really knows me. It makes me feel empty. I need to do something about this, like really do something about this before I just cease to exist.
I’m at a juncture in my writing where I seriously think I need to stop it. The problem is basically for the most part I write violent shit and I don’t like it.
I’m tired of having likeable characters die in the most horrible ways. For chissakes, how many assaults, rapes, and murders have to be written before I go down to the local sporting goods store and buy a pistol to blow my diseased brain out of my head? I suppose I could call my new therapist, but what the fuck will she do?
I try to throw marshmallows, but bricks leave my hand.
I tried to start a sequel to 319 about the remaining four boys in the house. But, I threw a brick and hit one of the boys; and, then the last he was seen crying on his bed with his pants and underwear around his ankles with blood and shit smeared across his butt and on the bedspread. After the police were called, he was found stuffed in the chest freezer in the pantry, near death from hypothermia.
All my other choices for the next story are also chock full ’o nuts, bricks, knives, guns, homophobes, and every other evil I can think of.
So, once The Angel of Retribution has finished posting, I’m going to concentrate on raising our new puppy. Sara, another purebred German Shepherd imported from Germany will be arriving sometime around the end of July/beginning of August. Plus, I’ll return to trying to learn how to play jazz guitar. I have to buy a new (or, refurbished used) guitar, but that shouldn’t cost over $500.
I’ve got to go now because my attention whore (purebred German Shepherd), Nana, is begging to go out and chase cats out of the backyard.
Maybe, after discussing my situation with my therapist, I can think about going back to writing. Or, possibly, she’ll just tell me to give it up until I can get the evil out of my mind. (Therapists really do not like patients who get suicidal.)
Wow, I guess it's been a month or twelve.
So yeah, I actually had a minute to sit down at my PC and look over some of my old files and realized that I haven't written anything in almost a year (sigh). I guess now's as good a time as any to start moving again on my stories, since the wife and baby are out of town until Sunday.
I can't honestly say that I don't know why I haven't been writing lately, but it's the same old shit.. work, school, family.... everyone gets it. The fact of the matter is that I haven't taken the time to sit down and write because I never take time for myself anymore, and I think I've burnt myself out, so to speak.
That said, there's only one way that I know of to relax, and that's to sit down at my desk and either read or write. Preferably both, but if I had to choose right now, I think I'll write something. Not sure if it'll be good enough to post on my site here at GA, but if it is, I'll put it up.
I'm in love. I have fallen in love all over again! WITH THE SAME PERSON! hmm...anyway,
since my last blog post, I have taken Kevin's advice and rekindled our friendship (between Joe & I) again (read blog post below to get up-to-date). We are starting out as "new" friends, and are just becoming comfortable with ourselves. The funny thing is, it seems as if we were never apart! The words just flow, our bodies just feel comfortable, and we just really connect. We went to the movies on Monday (just the two of us... ) and we watched The Hills Have Eyes which was uber fun! I forgot how frightened joe gets in scary movies, and it was such an exhilerating high watching him squirm, close his eyes, cover his mouth, jump, shake, and tremble with fear. I laughed so hard during the movie that people around us got antsy.
Oh well...after the movie was over, I just sat there laughing at him, which was then concluded by a sharp punch to my left shoulder (the bruising is just starting to wear off). It was so much fun. We then went to go get icecream from Coldstone (except I'm on this strict 500cal-a-day eating diet so I can drop a weight class in Wrestling) in which he bought a huge LOVE IT size of my favorite icecream...vanilla bean with reeses... mmm...we then ate out of that one bowl (we had half left-over...which was dumped out) and then he dropped me off home.
It was a great night.
I'm still dreaming about it.
Anyway, the next day, I saw him at a 7-11, and I was wearing a work-out shirt with cut-off sleeves, and he saw the bruise that he left me so graciously the night before. When he saw noticed the black-blue-purple, his face fell with a really...sullen look. He ran up to me and like...starting feeling my bicep! he started rubbing softly over the bruise, and he actually starting mumbling to himself. He finally stared up at me, and said that he was sorry, but I replied with, "hey don't worry bud, I'm a big boy, I can handle it," followed with a (i'm such a bad flirt!)
I haven't seem him since tuesday, but I have talked to him over the phone (4 hours for the past week to be exact!) and I also conversed with his parents at a party this week (I was very close to them before, because of Joe's younger brother).
I'm just so elated right now...I'm going out with him tomorrow....gosh I can't wait....
I <3 him!
p.s. I hope...that he has the same feelings for me...
p.p.s. (OR IS IT p.s.s.?): GO MICHELLE WIE!!! YOU ROCK!
p.p.p.s (OR IS IT p.s.s.s.?): I loved the new chapter of With Trust by Domluka...ANYONE WHO HAS NOT STARTED IT...SHOULD START IT! IT'S SO GREAT!
Part I Here Goodbye, My Love, Part I
When I wrote part one, I was at a critical juncture in my life. I had just come back a two month vacation in China and Thailand, which was very indulgent, to say the least. I was just beginning graduate school, and I was studying for a pre-licensing exam. Both doing well in grad school and passing that pre-exam were going to be my ticket to career success. I was partied out from my vacation, and determined to do as well as I could in school. A close family member was also dying, so I was traveling back home a lot of weekends. It made staying away from the scene pretty easy. I buckled down, spent hours every night after work and every Saturday and Sunday grinding away, doing work and studying for the exam. I didn't go out once in September, October, and half of November. I thought I had finally broken the grip the scene had held over my life for the totality of my post-college life. All I needed was an intense distraction that commanded my entire attention, and I had found it.
Then my pre-exam date was the next day, and even though I had been studying for two months, I was convinced I wouldn't pass. The morning of the test came, and after three and a half hours of exhausting mental gymnastics, I passed. Not only did I pass, I passed with flying colors. I was in such shocked elation that I couldn't even think. On the train ride home, I blasted music through my headphones and had the biggest smile on my face. As soon as I got back to my apartment, I went over to the Chinese takeout place and ordered enough food for three people, and ate it all. I was still riding the natural high of passing the test, and caught a train back downtown and went on a shopping spree of new clothes and shoes. I spent way too much money, but didn't care one bit. I called up some friends, and planned a little celebratory party at my apartment and then hitting the Gayborhood. We started around 5 in the afternoon and didn't stop till about 6 the next morning. It was like we were back to being the irresponsible, anything goes, who-gives-a-fuck group we were in our college days. It was all so over the top. It was as if all that pleasure I had been denying myself the last couple months came flooding out like a hurricane, and I had no desire to try and control it.
After that night and coming to my senses when the mental high of freedom wore off, I realized how dangerous what I had been doing was. Since graduating college, my identity has been built around my "gayness", and the scene in particular. Growing up, I felt completely out of place and had zero sense of identity or belonging. In college, that transitioned into a sort of half-way in/half-way out mode. I had come out to close friends and started exploring some aspects of gay life, but the vast majority of my word was still lived in the sphere of 'straightness'. I felt comfortable enough, but still not entirely there yet. Then I moved to the city, and suddenly there was this huge, well-established gay community that one could live a pretty self-enclosed life in. I realized this was my chance to finally find that belonging and acceptance that I didn't get growing up. I dove head-first in, and for better or worse, became immersed in it. Clubbing and dancing became my outlet from working in a stressful job, and a way to connect and feel a part of the gay world. It was more to me then just something to do. It represented the ending of my coming out process and the completion of a search for belonging that began as a miserably depressed, fake-faced teenager. Simply quitting cold turkey as I did stripped me of something that had been such an identity marker. I tried telling myself through all those months that I was better off without it, but truth be told I craved it in the back of my mind.
I've gotten to the point now that I realize that going to either extreme is just not a good way to live. I went from a full-time party boy to a workaholic basically overnight. Because I'm a person who tends to operate at extreme ends, I thought the best solution was to do a total 180. As the night after the pre-exam showed, I really failed to control those extremes. When 2018 rolled around, I knew I needed to try and find some kind of balance. I needed to reconnect with the part of me that needed that social outlet that going out provided, but also balance it with the massive amount of time that grad school demanded. Going out every Friday/Saturday night till 4 in the morning wasn't going to fly, but neither would working 12 hour days and every weekend either. Admittedly I'm still far from perfect in this. Whenever I do too much of one thing, I sometimes tend to chastise myself by swinging far the other way. Finding some kind of agreeable middle ground is tough, because the two things seem to be so much at odd with each other. I guess I'll keep trying until it reaches equilibrium or eats me, whichever comes first.
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Once upon a time… That’s how these things start, right? The line that starts the whole story. After that, nothing else even matters but getting to the happily ever after. I used to think I could see mine, out there on the horizon, but each time I think I’ve got it in my sights, something happens that shows me differently.
The settings and circumstances change, characters come and go, and there’s plenty of romance and drama to make it interesting. Even if you could predict how it ended, it’s so much fun to get there that you wouldn’t want to miss a thing, wouldn’t change a thing. And in the end, that’s what matters… that you lived and loved with your whole heart.
No matter how much or how well I plan, no matter how much I might work toward it or want it, the truth is that happiness is elusive, evolving, ever-changing. It’s conditional and comprehensive and you haven’t got a chance at actually attaining it without perspective. It’s different for each person, without justification, and the same. We’re all searching for it.
We pack up our hopes and dreams in our knapsacks, swing them over our shoulders, and head out into the great big world in search of it. Things happen on our quest, as they inevitably will, that make us change what we think will make us happy. Force us to examine our original plan or dream and decide if it’s still worth pursuing, if it’s still the thing that’s going to make us happy and whole.
So often, people hit a wall, and instead of figuring out how to get over it or around it, they just turn around and go back the way they came. We justify it to ourselves, the giving up, by telling ourselves that we were mistaken, that we didn’t really want that after all. The truth is it was too much work to learn to climb the walls. It was easier to just walk away.
That entire idea is absurd. Of course, we don’t know that then. Not only are we walking away from our dreams and our potential happiness, but we leave little pieces of ourselves behind every time we do. Living our lives as a fraction of our whole selves isn’t easy or conducive to finding the happily ever after we’ve been looking for. Worse, it’s actually more work in the long term to continually have to convince ourselves that we happily left those pieces behind.
Sometimes, actually, a lot lately, I wonder how much one person can take before they give up. It’s been said that you’re only given as much as you can handle at one time. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’ve been given an extraordinary amount. Definitely more than any one person’s fair share, then again, as I was often reminded as a child, life isn’t fair.
My life has fallen apart so many times now that I’ve lost count. Not really, but I don’t like to recount them. It’s not a contest and no one knows the rules. Does the scoring work like golf or like bowling? Does the survivor of the worst situation win, or is it the person who never had to find a way to exist in spite of the worst happening?
Being a party to the first group, having set aside my dreams repeatedly for the good of the cause, literally learning things the hard way, and learning to breathe with a broken heart makes a good case for the people in group number two. Still though, I wonder. In return for survival, I’ve earned an appreciation for making the most of each moment, for putting my whole heart and self into everything I do, being genuine, and the value of true happiness. That’s definitely got value, and it’s something the people in group number two will never have.
Without perspective, and a heap of optimism, it’s fair to say that a lot of people who have suffered some upheaval in their lives miss the things they were supposed to learn at the time. And that’s what life is all about, isn’t it? Learning the lessons, learning from the experiences, growing as a human being, and finding happiness. Not that it’s easy to remember that in the moment.
Often it comes to us in flashes, tiny pieces of clarity and knowledge that we grab on to and use to pull ourselves out of the ugly hole of despair. It’s a slippery slope, and for some, it takes years and a Sherpa to find their way out. Even with a trail of breadcrumbs and trail signs, it’s one of the most difficult journeys a person will ever make. One would think the third or fourth, or even the fifth time, you’d know the way out, but it doesn’t work that way. No one ever said life was for the faint of heart.
I rummaged through one drawer in my mom’s old, cherry wood jewelry box that sat atop my dresser before moving to another until I found it. It wasn’t in great shape when I pulled it out from amongst the old watches, the matching one I’d gotten for him a month later, and the shamrock pin I wear once a year. Tarnished and so scratched from years of wear, you could barely make out my name where it had been engraved on the front.
Still, I turned it over and read the inscription on the back of the very first gift he’d ever given me. It was to celebrate my 16th birthday and our one month anniversary. An ID bracelet, simple and silver, with a message straight from a heart experiencing those first delirious moments when you fall so crazy in love for the first time.
I wanted to wear it again, to remind me of what we once had, what we could have again, if he can find his way back to me. A reminder to soothe myself with hope when I’m so scared that we’ll never get it back, and because it’s the closest I’ve been to feeling his love in weeks.
I squeezed a little toothpaste into my hand and rubbed it between my palms a second before cleaning the bracelet the best way I knew how in the absence of any silver polish and wondered if he’d even remember giving it to me, remember what it said. Eventually, I silently admitted to myself that I hoped it reminded him of what he’d promised me all those years ago.
Forever yours. Love, Rich.
Hours later, when I was serving dinner, our daughter, Annemarie, just weeks from turning sixteen herself, noticed it and asked, “What is that bracelet?”
Unsure if I was relieved that she wasn’t complaining about the peas I was putting in front of her, or suddenly nervous that Rich had taken notice now also, I vaguely answered, “It’s mine. I’ve had it a while,” and handed Rich a plate of beef stroganoff that he eyed cautiously. He doesn’t like mushrooms or sour cream, but he’d have to actually speak to me to find out if it contained either. Instead, he just ate it.
Like any typical teenage girl who is all wrapped up in her own life, she let it go, and in an effort not to let me down, went on to complain about the peas. It was a welcome piece of normalcy, something I could count on in the chaos that had become my life. Besides, I like peas and beef stroganoff.
It’s equally horrifying and comforting to know where Rich and I were in our lives at her age, and knowing that she’s so far from that place. We were so sure at sixteen that we had it all figured out, or if not, that we’d conquer the world together. We’d show them, prove them all wrong. What the hell did we know?
There are two types of people in this world. The type who crumble in the face of a crisis, who panic and act without thinking, who let their fear and their emotions control their behavior and decisions, and then there’s the other. These remaining people are the logical type. They keep their heads when times get tough, are always thinking their way through several scenarios until they find the best one, and easily separate their emotions from their thought process.
That’s not to say that these logical thinkers don’t have emotional reactions to things. They certainly do, it would be inhuman not to. They just typically don’t act on them. As it turns out, intuition and emotional responses don’t usually lead us down the smoothest or the safest path. Certainly not the smartest.
Typically, it’s the outbursts of anger, the confessions of love made with such bravado, and the feeling as if you’ve just had the wind knocked out of you leaving you with a horribly painful sadness where you would normally find oxygen that can create the biggest opportunities to make the worst moves. I would have said decisions, but to be decisive requires thought, consideration, and evaluation.
Being a logical mind can be both a phenomenal power and a crippling weakness. To know that you’ll always know what to do and how to go about getting it done, to take things literally and to be able to count on that as a constant, and to feel the comfort that logic is your default setting can be immensely comforting in a world that changes faster than many of us can keep up with. Consequently, it makes it a major difficulty to let that default setting go and find enjoyment in basic things.
Personally, I can’t make it through most cartoons. Even if I could overlook the fact that there are talking animals who can lift anvils that weigh twenty times their own body weight or drive cars along the ocean floor, what I cannot discount is that the responses those cartoon characters have to whatever circumstances they find themselves in, become moot, ridiculous, illogical.
Instead of being entertaining, it’s frustrating. Possibly as frustrating as being the person on the couch next to me watching a movie or a TV show. Perhaps it comes from my depth of life experience, or because I’m a writer and a storyteller, or because, as logical as I am, I’m more in touch with my emotions and the emotions of those around me than most people, but whatever the reason, when I can predict the ending, most people would say there’s no point in watching anymore.
I disagree, for it’s there, in that moment when we’ve connected with that character enough to know what will happen in their future, that we learn about ourselves. How would we act or feel in that situation? What would we do? What would our next move be? Little lessons and explorations that can be learned and taken without consequence. A free pass.
Logical people watch everything, analyzing, organizing, forming patterns. They are supervisory and certain about what they feel is right or wrong. These people are easily adaptable and energetic, have a keen eye for details, and typically, a logical person is the decision maker. They are realists.
I’m not sure anyone but a logical personality could understand what it feels like to be faced with a situation that is anything but logical. To be able to do nothing to make it right or organize it so it can be dealt with. To be the one not making the decisions. There are no ‘right’ answers; there are no ways to best this dragon. The only thing there is in bountiful quantities is a frightening feeling of helplessness.
After 19 years, Rich has decided he's not in love with me anymore, started sleeping with a girl he works with, and has destroyed my dreams, my marriage, broken my heart, and crushed my children's entire existence with his selfishness.
After 19 years, I've crossed more things off my 'I Never Want To Experience This' List than my bucket list. Here's one more: I'm getting divorced.
I figured I would let everyone know I'm still alive and functioning. Just been a bad year.
I have managed to get some stories done. Luckily I did them early. This has been a year of things going boom. My car died. My computer dies. I became a full blown diabetic. I lost 70 pounds. I've been really sick, but I keep going.
I do apologize for not being around. Hopefully things will get better in 2017.
Wishing everyone all the best. Just know I'm thinking of you if not here.
Thanks to those of you who have sent me e-mails, pms, or otherwise showed concern as to where the fuck I’ve been. To answer the first, most obvious question: I’m fine. Life has its challenges, and I have mine, but there’s nothing there that’s debilitating.
There are three major areas of my life that can impact my writing. My health/wellbeing is obviously one of those, but as I’ve said, that’s pretty good. The next one is the relative level of activity in my life, and I’ve had an awful lot to do. This looks to be a pretty active year for me. To do what Will does to JP, that means I’m busy. J The combined forces of work, home stuff, research, etc. are a bit crushing right now.
The third factor is my muse, or ability/desire to write. For some reason, that has temporarily left me. When I’m busy, but still want to write, I usually find time to do it, but my production fades. In this case, I really haven’t wanted to do much writing, so with the added pressures of real life, I’ve let my online life sort of drift unattended. And I’m finding that there’s really no fighting the relative apathy that envelopes me when I’m in this mode.
In the past, this has happened when I’m in a conundrum about a story, but I have a very clear idea of how I want to proceed with both of my series. With CAP, I have an idea of how I plan to end “Streak” and the initial parts and premise of the next story is already forming in my mind. With Bridgemont, it’s a bit more open-ended, but I have some pivotal events in store.
I’ve been feeling a bit more motivated lately, and I’ve actually done a little writing, but I’ve spent more time reading than anything, and that includes going back over my recent stories for reference. Spring Break approaches, so I hope that in the next month or so I’ll be productive again.
I really do appreciate all of you who read my stories and give me feedback, and I feel bad for leaving you in a lurch. At the same time, I know that you’ll understand life’s pressures, and how a perfect storm like this can really impact my writing.
Yikes, I can't believe it's been, like, 8 months since my last blog! It's amazing how quickly life passes by sometimes ...
Anyway, since my last blog post, I closed on my new house, spent about a month dealing with contractors to completely renovate the whole place (quite the undertaking -- both in terms of the stress involved and the cost!) But, I'm all settled in and love it. The commute to work is awful, but living sort of out in the country is nice -- peaceful and quiet! Moving from a 600 sq. foot apartment to a 2,400 sq. foot house required me to buy lots of furniture and spend lots of time decorating. It's not all done yet (will it ever be?), but it's probably about 80% complete.
Work is busy, busy, busy ... and more stressful than usual lately. When I get home in the evening, I just want to crash on the couch and watch television (or just pass out from exhaustion). But, it pays my mortgage, so I can't complain too much.
On to more 'important' things, though ... Yes, I have started writing again. WISYA hasn't been 'speaking' to me lately, so I'm not sure at what point I'm going to pick it up again. I've 'tentatively' started a new serial novel, called "Home By Now" (unless I change). It's a bit on the 'dark' side, but I like how it's going so far. I at least want to complete a few chapters or more before I start posting, and I really have no clue when that will be, but progress (or something like progress) is at least happening ...
Final note for the evening ... I'm now reading the 'Twilight' series for the third time, and saw 'New Moon' on opening weekend. For the longest time, I refused to read the books or see the movies, but I finally caved when I was bored one weekend, and now I'm hooked! No, Stephenie Meyer won't be winning any literary awards anytime soon, but there is something really captivating about the story ... and it doesn't hurt that Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are soooo dreamy! ;-)
Anyway, that's it for now ... Hopefully I'll be back again soon ... :-)
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I don't know what it is about politics that makes us all foam at the mouth. Sometimes--like the people who rubberneck at terrible auto accidents on the highway they're traveling--I can't keep myself from looking at the comments to political essays posted to the Internet, but most of the time it just depresses me. People are mean, hateful, and ignorant on matters of politics, and they seem to be enjoying being those things and beating up other people with those things!
We had a politics-place in the Forums here once. And, predictably, it got mean and ugly too. And that's why we don't have it anymore and why we're not allowed to talk about politics here.
I'm a team player and don't wanna tick anybody off. The good people here host me and they make decisions they feel are best for the health of the site. And I'm not gonna argue (much) with them...athough from time to time I poke a little bit of fun at the enforced "niceness."
But a thread devoted to exploring people's visions of the future got locked here because people couldn't keep politics out of it...and something in me offered up a silent "hey, now, waitaminnit."
How you gonna do a vision of the future without reference to politics? The state of income inequality? The environment? Etc., etc. At the heart of all our hopes and fears for the future are realties which are inescapably political. So I guess we just can't talk about the future at the Forums.
Or the state of health care in this country and the rest of the world? This is no inconsequential topic, and it actually has some specific relevance to gay men as gay men, though not only to them. Seems like it would be something we should be able to discuss here.
Or how about how society looks at and treats people of Our Community. Marriage is only one of the issues in this category. These have inescapably political ramifications, too, and seems like we could have some great discussion. But I'm not sure how to discuss these without venturing into politics.
Is your state board of education trying to put non-science in science books, rewrite history for their history books, and legislate about the moral worth of gay people? Doesn't seem like we can talk about it here, because it inevitably involves politics.
The more I think about this topic, the more subjects it appears we can't talk about here in the forums. Because politics touches us all over the place.
Which leads me to wonder...instead of banning a topic from the site, can't we just warn people that the political threads will be aggressively moderated, and that we have a two-strike, or even a one-strike-and-you're-out policy regarding rudeness or incivility or flaming or whatever it is that has made political discussion taboo here? Maybe that would take up too much time from moderators, but would it take any more than they're having to give over to it now, locking down threads and warning people? That way the people who play nice would retain their ability to discuss, and the "problem children" would be escorted out and sent to the nursery to play with the Duplo blocks.
And we could have a fun thread like "What's your vision of the future?".
Just my wandering brain, wandering and wondering.
I like blogging. I like just sitting around and thinking or chatting about a topic. Writing out my thoughts is nice because it helps me frame them in a more concrete way. It's nice just doing it in my head, but it's more fun and more satisfying on a computer screen...not on a piece of paper, physically writing sucks. Typing is nice though. Anyway, over the years I've grown thoroughly attached to this site and its members and whatever else I'm doing in my life I still enjoy a place to just sit and thing, and type about it, so I figure it might as well be here.
A few short updates about my life since I figure that's the least I can do before I ramble about inconsequential topics. The boyfriend and I are doing well, in exactly a week it'll be two years. Work is lovely this time of year. This is our slowest time of year, and since I work from home anyway, it mostly means that I can sit around all day doing whatever I like as long as I keep one eye and ear on my work computer. Not a prob
I've been enjoying my hobbies quite a bit as well. It's very hard to avoid reading. Despite being a technophobe I opted to get an Amazon Kindle (I once started a thread on these in the Lobby when they first came out! :-P) as well as finally jumping on the Ipod wagon. So anyway, I adore the Kindle, strongly prefer it to physical books. I go through a couple of books a week, which is a lot for me given what a slow, methodical reader I tend to be. Interestingly though, I also tend to read more on the Ipod than I listen to music or do anything else. The graphics, browser, and interface are much better on the Ipod (which I think is called an Ipod Touch) than they are on the Kindle. Which is fine because I didn't want the Kindle to be flashy and distracting. I kind of want it to be only good for reading books (and buying new ones), because that's all I want to do on it. So I read the books on the Kindle, but I've found that "web reading" is so much better on the Ipod than it is on the Kindle or the computer screen. The thing I don't like about reading for hours on a laptop that you're stuck with this big, heavy, bulky thing. A tiny handheld reading device like the Kindle or Ipod (or *gasp* a real book) is way better to read on. So with its flashy browser capabilities the Ipod is ideal for handheld reading...but yeah I keep getting distracted with games, music, and the rest of the internet when I use it, so I'm glad the Kindle's there for more hardcore reading.
Anyway all this reading has, unsurprisingly resparked my desire to write so I've taken that back up again. Unfortunately I have to admit that I don't really plan to post the stuff here. I'm hoping to attempt real life publishing and as a last result might try eBook publishing. In any case I don't intend to do it for years. I'm working on a series of books and I have no intention of publishing anything, or even showing it to anyone, until I have like the first four or five completely finished. That way I can make them as complicated as I would like since I can go back and add/remove things to all the previous stuff. I find that when I post online on a chapter by chapter basis, even if I'm pretty far ahead, I end up wishing I could change something, but it's too late (or at least feels too late) since it's already "out there." I'd really want to shoot myself if I had a great idea in book four that was being precluded by something I'd written in book one. So yeah, gonna wait and work a long time on these before they see the light of day.
This winter has been surprisingly pleasant. One of the best ones I've had in years. I've been lazy and energetic, like I get every winter, but I've avoided the anhedonia and enveloping numbness this year. Granted, I haven't felt like going out and partying, but at least I've felt like staying in and reading and writing rather than being disinterested in everything and marking time till spring.
The boyfriend and I have been living together about a year and a half now. Overall it's been remarkably smooth and pleasant. The main conflict comes from the fact that I'm a really tidy, organized person. I really am the sort of person who has a place for everything. I don't own any items that I leave in random places. What's more, I don't even acquire new items unless I can mentally figure out where I'll be keeping them. I definitely like for all items to go back to their designated places at the end of every use. The boyfriend on the other hand is the sort of person who picks something up, uses it, and then just puts it down wherever he happens to be. He'll think nothing of leaving the soy sauce sitting on the coffee table or at his desk indefinitely. That really doesn't work for me. I'm also the sort of person who won't even think about going to bed until everything is put away. Him on the other hand, when he gets tired that's it. Since I have to go to bed earlier than he does for work, that means that every morning I end up cleaning and tidying. Somehow I'm still always shocked by it too. My god! he left his half full glass of tea on the table next to saran wrap from something he opened! Somehow this just shocks me more than it annoys me. I couldn't have slept knowing it was out there if I were him.
I'm also generally just a great deal more organized than he is. I got really ticked off last month because he just up and told me that we had to drop everything and go visit his mom for her birthday. I like his mom, I agree that it's important to visit family for special occasions. What annoyed me is that I had zero notice, and why? Not because he forgot to tell me (although he probably would have ), but because he forgot her birthday was coming up at all. He hadn't known at all until his dad texted him. That also meant of course that he didn't have a present, and although I tried to insist that we just go pick something up on the way, he refused because "he doesn't like to get things just to get them. It has to be something he knows the person will like" and he didn't have any ideas. Which is fine, quite thoughtful actually, but that ship had sailed and personally I would have rathered gotten something nice, but generic than shown up empty handed.
Of course I'm not trying to make him sound bad or difficult to be with; he's certainly not. He's very thoughtful and agreeable. He's also quite a lot less set his ways than I am, and in all honesty he puts up with nagging, neurotic requests far better than I could put up with similar such things from someone like me. If he were as particular as I am about how things are done and where they go then we never could have put up with each other.
This probably isn't a sudden revelation for many of you, but my writing is officially (at least my GA writing) on hiatus until further notice. After chatting with Myr, I decided the best option was to close my forums and my site here until further notice. It doesn't make sense for me to steal bandwidth when I'm not actively contributing.
I'm not packing my bags and going anywhere, I simply feel that I don't want to string anyone (especially the ever huggable Myr) along when my priorities are elsewhere.
Thank you for reading this udderly (moo) pointless service announcement.
lurve and huggles
I figured after my last blog I owe you guys an update about what's going on. I'll start with my cat. She's still doing great. She's gained about three pounds though and I'm kind of scared to take her back to the vets at the end of the month, cause he may yell at me for over feeding her. But I mean really, if someone tells you your kitty is not going to be able to eat for much longer wouldn't you feed her anything and everything she wants in the meantime? I just didnt' expect her to live another four months and now she's in the habit of eating whenever she gives the slightest hint. When I don't feed her she gets aggressive by digging me in the face. Not real hard but hard enough to jump me and say 'okay okay you win!' I tried feeding her less every time but then she just asks to be fed twice as much. Sam suggested 'light' cat food so I think I'm going to buy some of that this week and see how she likes it. I can say one thing though, she's awful cute as a little fatty! But the last thing I want is for her to struggle with this cancer only to die of a heart attack from being overweight. I guess I'm a big ole softy cause I can't seem to say no to my cat.
As far as my back is concerned I'm doing better. I spent a week in bed since my last blog and after that it gradually started to get better. It's still there and still hurts when I move just right but nothing compared to what it was. My doctor still wants me to have surgery though. I have some nerve damage and my leg is still very weak. He said there was a 1 percent chance of him making me worse and a 99 percent chance of him making me better. I guess most of the reason people wouldn't get the surgery is because of a risk of nerve damage but since I already have that he says there's no reason not to go ahead with it. It's not a major surgery, I won't have to spend anytime in the hospital except maybe one night and that's just cause I live so far away. They expect I'll only be out of work for a couple weeks too and that's good because I only have two weeks of time coming to me. So the surgery is going to be in September, so I have plenty of time to fret over it in the meantime.
I hope to get started working on One Moment again soon and I really really thank everyone for being so patient with me.
It is weird to revisit stories written. Kind of like wondering down the street you used to live on as a kid. There are a lot of memories bound up in the words. The gloss of nostalgia is tempered with the clarity of experience.
Its hard to say what my aim was with the stories I wrote. I do know that if i were to write them today they wouldn't be the same. Who knows maybe there is yet still another draft or two living inside of Living in surreality. Decimate it to the basics of the story, and build it back up stronger and better than what it is.
I spent too much time trying to emulate domluka, trying to mimic CJames. the truth is I can't. I get lost in Dom's interrelationship intricacies. I utterly lack Cj's flair for plot building and tension. So I have to wonder what am I left with? a characters personal struggles, seems the most obvious. Perhaps that is what I should focus on. Jacob and Matt both want to ditch there past. Poor Valerie is just along for the ride. She needs to fight harder against the change that rushes at her. Can she accept that change in the end and remain a friend? That seems a more compelling story than just a willing cheerleader.
But everyone needs a cheerleader, especially Matt who seems so left without.
And then there is Cody, suck waiting to find who is outside that door. Trouble with Cody is that everyone wants him, when he truly wants no one. I need to cut out all the chasing boys and focus on Cody. The big problem is I just don't know where to start.
from the beginning. Thats always the best place.
Yes, it has been forever and a day since I added anything to the blog. I feel like one of those co-workers who leaves the office for a new job and promises on their mother's grave they'll stay in touch. Then you only see them when lightning strikes and you're in the same place at the same time and you swear once again you'll stay in touch, but in reality you know the demands of your job will never allow for it. That's a convoluted way of saying, sorry I've been so absent, but I've been crazy busy.
That said, I need to say thank you to GA and Caz Pedroso for nominating Chosen of Honorus for story of the month. Chosen of Honorus was the precursor to The Last Grand Master - the first book in the Champion of the Gods series that DSP Publications is publishing. It was/is the book that jump started my publishing career. I owe a big debt to GA for taking a chance on me and giving me the confidence to push out into the wide literary world.
There is a prequel to Chosen of Honorus - First Love - that is available on the DSP Publications site or you can find a link on my website. If you sign up for my monthly newsletter, there is a link in one of the welcome emails as well. If you want to sign up for my newsletter, you can use this link:
In addition, if you like Chosen of Honorus, there are now three more books in the series available from DSP Publication and the last book in the series will be released in 2018. Books 1-3 are also on sale now through the end of April. Here is a link to the sale page on my website:
Despite what I said above about being the co-worker who left, sometimes a little jolt reminds you of what you're missing. In my case, I realize how much I miss the people I met here. I think if I have time to socialize with fans on Facebook and Twitter, I can use some of that time to come here once a day too. I'm going to do my best to do that. That said, the new set up is going to take me some time to get used to so if I miss your comments, you can always email me - Andrew@andrewqgordon.com. I'm usually very good at responding to emails.
Thank you all again. It's humbling and flattering to realize people haven't forgotten you. It's a very good feeling.
PS In case you forgot what I look like or want to see a new picture of 'lil q (way more likely than wanting to see me) I'll post a few pictures in a few minutes. .
Right, I am somewhat in a dizzy miffed off mood today.
So this one is a bit of a rant.
There is something that I really just do not get! What is it about sex with a child????
Right, sex is about giving pleasure and taking pleasure right? It is about enjoyment and climax and orgasm right?
It's about love and lust and emotions.
And you can get ANY of that from a bloody kid???
Ian Watkins today pleaded guilty to a series of depraved child sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh for heavens sakes man. Come on!
For those who don't have a clue who the hell Ian Watkins is, he is lead singer of the massive Indie Rock band The Lost Prophets.
They are a South Wales band, and as I used to live down that way, I've seen then perform at several gigs and concerts and really love their music.
The singer has always furiously denied the allegations which surfaced a few months ago in the wake of the whole Kiddy fiddling scandal that came to light when Jimmy Savile popped his cloggs.
Now ok, the allure of youth I can understand to a degree. A young man in his teens can be remarkably good looking and have curves and shapes that are not worn down by time and over indulgence.
But I am talking about a young man that's into the latter half of his teens.
In the UK the age of consent set by those that have wisdom in these things is 16. Now exactly what that is meant to mean, I am not 100% sure.
I guess, what they are trying to say is that by the age of 16, young people have some sort of understanding of what sex is and the fact that a whole load of emotions and feelings and all that other mumbo jumbo is tied up with it, even if they are not equipped or experienced to deal with it. So if they are going to get sexual, at least they are capable of some reason and sensibility.
Look, kids are going to be kids. They will want to experiment and try it out and get into mischief. Bloody hell, I did it, and I am pretty sure most of you did too.
We all did right?
But, for the most part, we did it with someone we chose, most probably with a peer or friend within our own age group, and if it was with an older person, that decision was probably made at a time when we decided we really wanted to find out what all this sex stuff could feel like when done properly, and with someone who had experience.
Am I being sensible when I say that this is normal, natural behaviour for a young person?
To suggest that a child, one that has not even entered into sexual maturity, or let alone puberty is sexually active and desires a relationship with an older person??????????
How do you get gratification for a kid that cannot even perform yet?
When I see people that I have looked up to and admired as celebrities and heroes abusing their position of trust and access, I feel really mad first and fore most, but completely disillusioned and let down. Why?
Look, this has been going on for ages, I know. It is a very dark and dirty part of our world. It is something we know about, hear about, but never really want to discuss or think about, because let us be frank, it is appalling and sickening to think that young, beautiful children are subjected to this wickedness.
So no one really says much.
But, the worms are crawling out the woodwork here in the UK recently. The police are doing a lot to sort this. About bloody time.
I just really needed to have a rant, and put my thoughts down on paper. I work in music, have always admired some of these people. How many times have I sung that song by Rolf Harris called Two Little Boys. It's even moved me to tears! Now, to find out he another of these men?
We live in a sad world. I suppose that stuff like this has always been there, but now that it comes out into the public domain so easily! It hurts.
Tell me, is there a limit to our depravity? Just let a kid be a kid for crying out loud. They have a whole life to grow up and get caught up in the shit that goes with the emotional roller coaster of sex. We all know this right? Our youth is a precious time, let the young enjoy and build treasured memories, ones like you and I have. Not stuff that they should NEVER have to be thinking about.
Meh, enough said, rant over, but just really needed to get this crap off my chest today. Thanks for listening.
Thought for today - "Virtue is bold and goodness never faithful." - William Shakespeare