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And the prompts are BACK! With all the site upgrade stuff going on last week, we didn't do any prompts, but this week we're back on schedule and it's time for a couple new prompts from the prompt guru Comicfan. Just remember that to post in GA Stories, prompt responses under 1,000 words have to be posted as part of a collection. And don't forget to share a link to your prompt response in the appropriate forum thread so that it just might appear in next week's blog post.
Prompt 566 – Creative
Tag – List of words
Use the following words in a story – broken watch, boardwalk, heavy rain, knapsack, and a cup of coffee.
Prompt 567 – Creative
Tag – Fire
The night started out calm and peaceful. You had just finished dinner and were curling up on the couch ready to watch some TV when a bright red glow caught your eye. Turning to look out the window you see your neighbors house engulfed in flames. Rushing outside you find nearly all the houses on the block burning, including the house next door. What do you?
I don't see any prompt responses posted in the thread for Prompts 564 or 565, so here's your chance to share your own past prompt responses.
Hey y'all! Hope everyone is having a great end of the week. While we didn't have the regular site blog features, this past week was a very busy one here at Gay Authors. On Friday, the site was upgraded to the current forum software, and we also upgrade to Stories 2.0. As with any major site change, there are bugs to be found and fixed and we are working on getting the kinks smoothed out. If you find what you believe to be a bug, share it with us in the Bug Collection thread. Prior to posting, please check the other posts in the thread, as well as the Site Upgraded Blog Post that is pinned on the main forum page. The blog post includes a list of many of the bugs that we are working on.
The biggest thing we ask right now is to please be patient as we work to get everything running smoothly. We know that change can be difficult and we are doing our best to get everything back in working order. Now is a great time to explore the site and the new features that are available with the upgrade.
***NOTE: All Deadlines are for submission to the Anthology Proof Team
- 2017 Spring Anthology: Jagged Edges / Unintended Consequences - Due April 30th, 2017
- 2017 Fall Anthology: The Fall Out / Secret Spaces - Due November 15th, 2017
Negative Splits by Cia *Premium*
Mine! by Cia
Sumeru by Dolores Esteban
Buy One, Get Two and Three... by Caz Pedroso
Cadet by Sasha Distan
Confide/ant by Sasha Distan
How I Met Him Here by carringtonrj
Morningstar: The Malaise by Headstall
Ripped by craftingmom
The Gay Experience by AC Benus
*Note* As the story update list was compiled later Sunday, if you posted a chapter on Sunday prior to the list compile, your story posting may not appear.
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Finding Each Other
The air was warm and the moon was bright. Fifteen year old Aidan McKenna was laying in the grass with his pack, relaxing after a run. There was no better feeling in the world in the young shifter’s opinion. Taking a deep breath he savored the familiar scents that filled the air. The grass and dirt, the forest filled with animals. The personal scents of his closest pack mates and family. The fresh baked pie smell of his mother, the warm leather of his father. Aidan sat up quickly and took a deep breath as a strange scent tickled his nose. With another deep breath he tried to catch more of the strange yet alluring scent. It was natural definitely, not quite human but not quite animal either. It was almost shifter, but sweet and mildly spicy. Aidan pushed to his feet, scenting the air, trying to discover what it was. He could hear the confused voices questioning him but it barely filtered from his ears to his brain. He followed the scent towards the tree line where it got stronger. The sweet and spicy smell grew sharp, almost like vanilla. Aidan froze again; another scent was layering over the first. It was sharp and coppery. Blood. The young teen took off at a run, following the smell to its source.
He didn’t have to run far into the trees when the sour mix of vanilla and blood filled his head completely. He stopped suddenly allowing his eyes to shift so he could make out the shapes in the darkness. Someone was moving towards him, slowly and with obvious difficulty. As the shape became clearer Aidan saw it was a child, and a small one at that. The child stopped and reached out to grab the nearby tree. His hand slipped off and he pitched forwards towards the ground. Aidan didn’t remember moving, but suddenly the child was in his arms. Aidan pulled the child, who he could now see was a boy, close to his body. His skin was ice-cold and scattered in bruises, cuts, and blood. So much blood. How can a child so small have so much blood? He pushed the dark hair out of his face. He was so small, so young. The small boy took a shuddering breath and Aidan felt his heart stutter.
“Aidan?” Aidan’s head snapped up and he gripped the boy protectively. He had been so caught up with following the smell he hadn’t even noticed his best friend, Logan, had followed him. “Hey, man, that kids in pretty rough shape. We should probably get him back to the house.”
“He’s so small. How can someone so small bleed so much?” If Aidan had been in a clearer state of mind he would have noticed how broken and rough his voice sounded. Logan took a slow step forward, freezing when his friend growled. “Hey, now.” Logan held his hands up, palms facing out, and tilted his head to bare his throat. He was no threat to Aidan; or his young ward. “Aidan, he’s bleeding a lot and his heartbeat is erratic. His breathing is slow and shallow. He is fading fast, Aidan. We have to take him back.”
Aidan nodded slowly. “Yea.”
“Do you want me to…”
“No! I mean… no, it’s okay. I’ve got him.” Pulling the boy close Aidan crawled to his feet, “I got him.” With Logan close on his heels he rushed back to house, trying his best not to jostle the boy around too much.
When Aidan broke through the tree line his lungs were burning and his arms ached. The boy may have been small but dead weight was heavy. Oh god...please don’t let him be dead. Please don’t let him die.
“Auntie Gwen! Alpha! Help us!” Logan yelled towards the house.
“Oi, what do you have there?”
“It’s a boy, Auntie.”
“A boy? Is he human? Have you lost your senses?” Aidan gripped his cargo as his parents came close with the rest of the pack.
“I’m not sure, Mama, his scent is strange. Please, he’s hurt. We have to help him.” This time Aidan could hear the fear and pain in his own voice.
“Quick then, bring him in. We’ll see what we can do. Lennox!”
“Where did you find him?” His father’s voice was steady, it gave him strength.
“Near the north property line.”
“Was he awake?”
“I saw him trying to walk towards the house. Then he just collapsed. I could smell his blood...”
“What is it, boy?”
“He saw me but...”
“There was no fear. It was like he was trying to get to me. Maybe he’s like us.”
“We will do what we can for him, call in the authorities tomorrow. If he survives.”
“Thank you Da, Mama...”
“Don’t thank us yet, there is a chance he will not make it through the night.”
“He’ll make it, I just know he will.”
Aidan tossed and turned. He couldn’t get comfortable, he couldn’t relax. He could still smell the sweet vanilla scent of the boy. No longer laced with the tang of copper. He felt worried, anxious and just a little scared. His father had called Pierce from the nearby town, he was the closest thing to a medic the Pack had. Even though he wasn’t Pack they trusted him with all their medical needs. The Doc had patched the boy up as best he could; the total injury tally was impressive. His right shoulder socket was shattered and he had two fractures in his ulna. A total of four broken fingers, five pulled or strained muscles, 26 stitches and countless swelling bruises and cuts. He had been walking on a dislocated knee for some time and one eye was swollen shut. He was malnourished and dehydrated. He had lost a lot of blood but not as much as Aidan had thought. The boy was stable when Pierce had left, but still in the danger zone.
Aidan took a shuddering breath and threw his covers off. No one believed the little one would make it through the night. His father had arranged to dig a hole in the morning. The sounds of sleeping shifters drifted through the air as he made his way quietly into the hall. He would just peek in for a minute and make sure the little guy was okay before heading back to bed. And if he wasn’t? Hell, if he wasn’t he would pull him close and tell him a story. Nobody deserved to die alone. Especially such a small child. As Aidan stepped close to the door he could hear heavy panting and low, muffled grunts of pain. The smell of pure vanilla laced with fear filled his senses. He couldn’t leave the little guy all alone in there when he was in so much pain. He opened the door and called out softly,
“Hey, hey now. I’m coming in okay?” The little boy whimpered but seemed to calm down. Aidan heard his little heart slowdown and his breath suck in deep. He could smell wolf; he knew the boy was one of them. No way could a human have survived that kind of trauma. “Hey, Little Pup.” He stepped closer with one hand out, unsure how the child would respond.
“It hurts!” His voice was small and broken, Aidan felt his heart contract. “Please! What’s happening to me?”
Aidan stepped closer; he was only a few steps away from the boy. He could see his muscles and bones shifting under his skin. He was changing. There’s no way! Aidan thought to himself, this kid is way too young to change! Aidan himself was an early changer and he had only gone through his first change last year. He took a deep breath and a small step closer. He kept his voice low and calm.
“Do you know what you are, Little Pup? You’re changing. Do you know what that means?”
“No, it’s too soon! I’m not old enough!”
“Shhh… I know, Little Pup. I know. But you have to relax.” Aidan sat down next to the boy and pulled his head on his lap. He gently stroked his raven hair. “You have to just relax and let it happen. Don’t fight it. Feel the pull and let it flow. I got you; I won’t leave you, Little Pup. I’m here. Don’t be scared.”
“I’m not scared.”
Aidan took a deep breath; anxiety and sweat mixed with vanilla. But not one drop of fear. “I know. You’re such a brave little pup. I’m so proud of you. I’m here now, you just relax and I’ll take care of you.”
The little boy took a deep breath and nuzzled his face against Aidan’s thigh. He took a deep breath and Aidan felt his body relax. It was as if the tension melted away now that he wasn’t alone. Gently stroking the little boy’s hair Aidan whispered praise and encouragement. He comforted him until his small body was covered in soft black fur. His change was almost complete. Aidan took his own clothes off and pushed his change. He pushed himself up on his four paws and looked over at the black wolf. Crystal blue eyes blinked up at him. The little wolf pushed to his feet with some effort but managed to hold his weight. He took a few shaky steps towards Aidan before pushing his muzzle into the larger gray wolf's fur. The little pup didn't even reach his shoulders. He seemed to be moving fine though, the shift would have healed most of his injuries. Aidan gave a little snort and rubbed his chin on top of the little pup’s head. He gave the pup a lick before jumping back. His head low, back haunches straight, tongue hanging out. He wanted to play. The little pup tilted his head to the side and gave a small snort. Really? He seemed to say, aren’t you a little old for this? Aidan snorted a laugh; his little pup was so mature. The little black wolf gave a big yawn and padded closer to the big guy, gave his muzzle a little nip the licked the bite. After a slow nuzzle the little pup curled up at Aidan’s feet and closed his eyes. Aidan smiled, as much as a wolf could smile, and lay down beside him. After curling his larger body around the small one and resting his head on top of the other boy’s he closed his eyes. Maybe a nap did sound good right about now.
Ash woke up just as the sun was peaking over the horizon. He was calm and relaxed. For the first time in a long time he felt warm and safe. With only a slight ache in his muscles. Ash stretched his limbs with a groan. The warm body lying behind him readjusted its position pulling him closer. It should have been concerning that he was lying in an unfamiliar room, naked, with a strange teenager cuddled up to him. But for some reason he couldn’t bring himself to care. He snuggled up to the warm body and yawned. He’ll worry later, for now he was going to get some more rest. He pulled the blanket off the nearby bed and draped it over them before slipping back to sleep with ease.
Aidan woke up when he heard the door click open. He pulled the younger boy closer, hiding his body with his own. He smelt his parents enter the room. He took a minute to make sure the blanket was covering the smaller boy completely. To keep him warm of course. Then he rolled over to face his parents.
“I told you he would make it. He’s a shifter like us.”
“What happened last night, Aidan?” His father asked.
Gwen gasped and put a hand on her husband’s arm. “There’s no way, Lennox. He’s too young. Could he have been bitten?”
“No, he knew what was happening. He’s definitely a born shifter.” Aidan turned back to the sleeping boy. His face was soft, almost angelic in sleep. He knew behind those softly twitching eyelids were the brightest blue eyes he had even seen.
“Aidan, he can’t be more than 10.”
“I know, I know. But that’s what happened. And he is completely healed.”
“Maybe his injuries triggered an early change?”
“Maybe he’s just special.” Aidan said absent-mindedly.
“Hmm…” Lennox grunted.
“He IS special.” Aidan insisted. He turned his head towards his parents, one hand playing across the young boy’s hair. “He can stay with us, right? We can’t leave him alone. I’m going to keep him. I’m going to take care of him now.” He looked back down on the boy, his voice going soft, “My special little puppy. I’ll take care of you.”
Without waking the little boy pushed his head into Aidan’s hand, deepening the contact. His breath soft and even, his heart beating steadily. Completely synchronized with Aidan’s.
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This month's feature is a little different. With the upgrade, we didn't feature any reviews on Monday, but I've also changed up the format for the typical Signature Feature, since this month we're featuring a Classic Author. The fun part is that I had a site member nominate a classic author and story that they really wanted to share with others. Read on to find out why Valkyrie picked In the Fishbowl by Dom Luka, and how she decided on the excerpt to share!
DomLuka is easily my favorite author on this site. He has the ability to bring characters to life in a way that draws me into the story immediately, and his stories stick with me long after I've finished reading them. It's very difficult to pick a favorite, but I think he did his best writing with In the Fishbowl, the sequel to the very-popular Long Way. In the Fishbowl takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions, but the ending is well worth it, in my opinion. It's one of my favorite stories on this site, and the ending--especially the final line--has stuck with me ever since I read it years ago.
The following excerpt is when Travis meets Dennis for the first time. I picked it because it shows Travis' incorrigible nature and is an important part of the story.
Beads of sweat felt frozen against Travis’s forehead, and he didn’t really know how they’d developed in the first place. It was damn cold behind the alley of a florist shop and the pet groomer’s, even colder since he’d removed his coat to manage more movement in his shoulders. There was some laughter around him, the scent of puke and heavy liquor in the cold air, and he couldn’t seem to stop staring at the chattering teeth of the redheaded jock in a letter jacket standing red-faced in front of him. At least, until the redhead pulled back his fist and Travis braced himself.
He felt a small crack of pain as a tight fist hit his frozen left cheek, but it was hardly enough of a blow to cause his head to snap back, and the satisfied look on the redhead’s face was almost enough to make Travis laugh; in fact, he must have because the halfwit in front of him suddenly looked furious with him as he raised his fist for another blow. This one, however, never made it to Travis’s face as his hand shot out and he openhandedly shoved the younger boy square in the chest, not quite hard enough to hurt him, but hard enough to make him tumble backwards into the snow, causing the small crowd to bust into laughter.
“What the fuck?” the boy demanded, but had the sense not to object when Travis reached down to pick the three twenty dollar bills from his pocket.
“You only get three,” Travis reminded him as he counted the money and shoved it into his pocket. “Bring another forty and I’ll show you how to make it hurt.”
He let the boy’s friends pick him up as he turned his attention to collecting a few more debts from others in the group, all the while watching a burly enough guy around his age with a blond crewcut, who was watching him just as evenly.
“Something I can do for you, Phil?” Travis finally asked. He hoped so. Phil was always a good customer, sending high-school boys who wanted to be tough his way, and on occasion, introducing him to someone who was interested in getting hit back. There was a small profit to be made in back-street fights, and there was always more of it when Travis could bet on himself, which, he always did regardless of what he thought the outcome might be. Tonight, however, had been too slow for his liking, and if something didn’t happen soon he’d end up going home to sleep. He probably needed it, too, but first he’d exercise all his options.
“That depends,” Phil replied. “You feel like taking a ride?”
Travis frowned, not liking the idea already. He stuck to places he knew, and the prospect of tagging along with the king of the rich kids, who acted like he was still in high school, just didn’t pique his interest. But still, he shrugged. “I dunno. What did you have in mind?”
Phil grinned. “An old friend of mine is stuck delivering pizzas tonight. Throught we could track him down and pay a visit.”
“Will he fight?” Travis asked. He wouldn’t mind a few rounds, and if the guy was delivering pizzas this late at night he was likely the tubby older man he’d encountered before while ordering one from the only 24-hour delivery service in town.
“He will if he has a reason to,” Phil insisted, and Travis was quick to shake his head.
“I don’t start ‘em, Phil. I just play along.” Even Travis refused to stoop so low as to pick a fight with an unsuspecting individual.
“Even if he gives you a run for your money?” Phil asked. It was enough to get Travis’s attention.
“Really? So why not call him up?”
Phil laughed. “Because he’d hang up on me. Come on, I’ll make it worth your while.”
“Three hundred, win or lose,” and to emphasize his point, Phil held up enough money to cover nearly half of Travis’s next month’s rent.
“Win or lose?” Travis repeated, wondering if it wasn’t worth it to just go throw the fight he’d likely end up starting just to collect the cash.
“Win or lose,” Phil repeated. “On the condition that you get at least one good hit in before you do anything stupid. Three hundred’s worth that.”
“Not really a friend of yours then?” Travis remarked as he weighed temptation against his own set of rules.
Phil grinned. “Are you coming or not?”
And Travis took the money.
It was uncomfortable enough being in a truck full of highschoolers that obviously worshiped the ground Phil Clayton walked on, and staking out a late-night pizzeria only added to the insult of the entire situation, which Travis was about ready to regret. They’d been waiting for thirty minutes, and he’d had enough to try passing Phil his money back. But, Phil shrugged it away and pointed out the fogging front window.
“Keep it. There he is.”
Travis took a look, and almost rid himself of the inevitable guilt when he found that he wasn’t about to ambush some poor defenseless kid that had managed to get on the wrong side of these guys. True, Travis still had about ten pounds on him, but they were similar in height, and the forceful walk of the shadowed figure making his way into the parking lot was overconfident enough to tell that he wasn’t the type to turn tail and run, meaning that even if he didn’t like what was about to happen, there wasn’t much of a chance that blue and red flashing lights would show up anytime soon.
“Alright. Let me out,” Travis ordered. “But don’t expect anything spectacular. I’m making this quick.”
“Sure thing,” Phil replied, and Travis left the warmth of the vehicle to make his observations from the street corner before he crossed into the parking lot. His target was steadily making his way towards an outdated sportscar that didn’t look like it had any business being out in the weather, and he made sure to take a path that would purposely cross his. The guy wasn’t carrying any pizzas, so Travis could only assume that his shift had ended, which was probably for the best, anyway. He couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to go back to work after this.
Moving closer still, he saw a little more of the guy as he moved briefly beneath a streetlamp. He looked cold beneath his red jacket that was nothing more than a uniform, and there was a flicker of short, brown hair beneath the baseball cap that matched the jacket. His pace slowed when he realized that Travis was coming towards him, a sure sign that he was using caution, and finally, as Travis reached him with a sloppy grin on his face that was fit for a drunken imbecile, he took note of the name tag neatly hooked to the guy’s jacket, and then loudly hollered, when there was absolutely no need for it: “Dennis! Hey, never thought I’d run into you here!”
Dennis stopped walking, and beneath the brim of his hat it was apparent that he was confused, and rightfully so. “Who the hell are you?”
Travis blinked. Obviously this wasn’t the sort of guy that was into common niceties, but, he smiled, anyway. “Well, since you’re asking, I am currently... scum. And, in case you’re wondering why that is, here’s the thing... I’m about to hit you for three hundred bucks. But hey, I score some points for telling you first, right?” Because otherwise, it would have been just plain unsportsman-like to Travis’s way of thinking. Of course, that’s all the warning he allowed Dennis the pizza guy as he walked steadily forward and swung as accurately as he always did. So, it was really a surprise to Travis when it didn’t turn out to be accurately enough, or maybe fast enough. Actually, he had no idea how he managed to miss Dennis’s face completely, or how Dennis’s fist ended pressed so far into his gut that he actually doubled over.
Instinctively, and still too shocked to comprehend, Travis grabbed the other guy’s shoulder, ready to either fend off more of an attack or to release one of his own, and then cursed when he found himself on the ground instead, flailing in the snow much like the redhead from earlier, except, now there was a lot more pain involved.
“Fuckin’ hell!” he cursed, having a lack of better words. But, the sudden voices calling out to Dennis was enough to get his attention, and he came to his senses just in time to hear the engine of Phil’s truck roaring down the street. Asshole, Travis thought. He should have known something like this would happen, and there was no way he wasn’t getting even with Phil for ditching him, either. That is, if he wasn’t spending the next few nights in jail.
But, he heard Dennis calling back that he was right, and when Travis looked back up, he was being regarded with a certain amount of annoyance as Dennis shook his head, seeming expectant.
“Well?” Dennis finally demanded.
“Well what?” Travis forced out in words that didn’t quite have enough air behind them.
“Was it worth it?”
Dennis snorted in disgust, looked down the street and glared as if he wished the truck would come back just to give him some more. Travis watched him with morbid curiosity, and when Dennis stepped over his feet to reach his car, Travis found his way up before Dennis even got the door open.
“Hey,” Travis called, and when Dennis looked over his shoulder suspiciously, Travis grinned another open smile. “Can I get a ride?”
The banner ad will be flashing on the site all month to feature Dom's story, but if you'd like to share it via your personal signature too, just copy the signature graphic below.
Over on Twitter, I follow some authors who are strong advocates of writing characters who are people of color. There are some strong opinions about this, and the general message I'm hearing is this:
1. There should be more characters who are people of color because (i) this is more representative of the real world (where not everyone is Caucasian), and (ii) readers who are people of color should be able to read stories about characters who look like them.
2. It is difficult for Caucasian writers to authentically portray characters who are people of color because they have not lived that experience and they may not understand the nuances of that community. This often leads to stereotypical characters who reinforce stereotypes.
3. Some people feel that Caucasian writers should not write main characters who are people of color because of #2 above, and because they should leave room for writers who are people of color themselves to write their own stories.
I, myself, am a person of color; full disclosure, I’m Chinese, grew up in Canada. Having consumed Western media from a young age, I rarely saw people who looked like me on TV, in movies, or even in the books I read. I never gave it a second thought.
I took it as given that the make-believe world of storytelling was supposed to be made up of all Caucasian people, and that has translated into my own writing. In all the stories I’ve written to date, all my characters, even the secondary ones, are Caucasian.
The movement for having more diversity in entertainment is something I’ve seen growing in recent years, and although the lack of diversity never bothered me before, I do believe that greater diversity is good. That’s why I’ve committed to writing at least one of my main characters as Chinese going forward—that’s what I know, and I know all its ins and outs very well, so why not put that out there for others to see?
My pondering on this subject has raised a whole bunch of questions: should people of color write characters of a different color (wouldn’t that be the same problem as Caucasian writers?); most stereotypes are based in some truth, so how much of that truth is allowed; do all characters who are people of color have to be positive role models?
At the risk of starting an internet shouting match, I’d like to see what other people think. If you have an opinion that you can express politely and respectfully, then let me know what your thoughts are.
I quickly threw this together to help out a member that messaged me. Please forgive the mumbling of the word author. lol. I have not have my caffeine at all yet and it's not even 6 am.
This video will show you how to use the quick search features built into the new Stories system. @Carlos Hazday, thanks for being the random author selected for this demonstration
I hope this helps show some of the power behind the system and why it is worth the patience as we work through these bugs.
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
I went to see Logan. What I expected was a bloody action gore-fest without a great deal of depth.
What I saw was a bloody action gore-fest with much greater depth than I expected.
This was Logan in his finest hour as we've never seen him. This is Dr. X and Wolverine as we've never seen them: old, alone and vulnerable.
It is difficult to see them that way. I shall not give away any spoilers but these are not the invulnerable characters they once were.
Old age has, as it will anyone who is lucky enough to make it to old age, humbled them.
Despite it all, they are still the people that they have always been.
This is a classical theme and if i have not completely butchered my school boy Latin: tu quoque mortale.
You too are mortal.
Such things are not popular to consider but they are the bitter truth of this life.
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When I first got my current job teaching, I decided this was going to be an ultimatum year. I had decided that if I didn't like teaching at this new school within the first couple months, I was going to leave education for good and sell my soul to corporate America for a bigger paycheck. My college background isn't formally in education, but my work experience at various teaching/mentoring jobs before was enough to get me in the door to teach temporarily. I liked doing it, but wasn't really sure if I could see myself doing it long term. To make a long story kinda short, my first job teaching was in first grade in a very rough part of West Philadelphia. I taught both the school day and extended school day (7:30am-6pm), which was exhausting but paid really well. My entire life during the work week was nothing but going to work, going to the gym, and sleeping. As a 22 year old with all that responsibility and stress, I turned to partying and sex to relieve the pressure. Despite the sub-par working conditions, long days, and general craziness of working in an inner-city school, I loved what I did, loved my kids, and loved the people I worked with. A month before the end of the school year, I was notified my position was being reduced to hourly, part time. I felt stabbed in the back, and lost a lot of my motivation.
That school year ended, and I went unemployed for the whole summer. I got really depressed, lonely, and again turned to partying and sex to give me some sense of being useful for something. I hit rock bottom when, on August 15th, 2015, my bank account was near zero. I was too prideful to ask my parents for money, and had only a loaf of bread, peanut butter, and jelly in the fridge. Instead of using my last $30 to go grocery shopping, I decided it would be better spent on a night at the club and bathhouse forgetting about the fact I felt totally useless. I woke up that next morning brutally hung over with somebody in my bed who I had no recollection of. I lived on PB&J sandwiches until I scrapped enough money together to buy real food again. I found a Teaching Assistant job, but we were basically nothing more then glorified babysitters to high-needs, mentally disturbed children. It was a huge pay cut and I wasn't much of a teacher at all. It was a long year where I basically just worked for a paycheck.
I hated it and decided to give myself one more year to figure out what I wanted to do. The only job I was really qualified for that didn't pay entry level, crap wages, was still education. I came upon a teaching opening at one of the top schools in the city, and almost didn't apply because I thought I had no chance. It is one of those schools where it is very rare to even have an opening, and when they do, they get flooded with applications from qualified people. I decided to give it a shot. To my surprise, I got the interview, and in an event that shocked me beyond words, they offered me the position. It was like a miracle. I was just happy to get a good paying job again, and planned to use it as a year where I could figure out what I wanted to going forward. I was ready to sell my soul to an office cubicle for a fat paycheck.
But things started to change. As I began to actually teach again, I started to remember why I loved teaching in the first place, and why I love working with kids on a daily basis. I remembered why teaching was such an important role, and how much of a difference one could make for kids who desperately needed it in the city. In just a matter of months, I had gone from being completely ready to jump ship to corporate America, to starting to look at Masters in Education programs so I could make teaching my career. I decided to apply to a lot of programs I knew I could get into, and a few that I had little chance of getting into. My grades in undergrad weren't bad, but they certainly weren't stellar either, and I thought that would hurt me a lot. But luckily for me, I have solid work experience in education, and got a letter of recommendation from one of the most respected principals in the city. To my surprise, I ended up getting into my reach school, and will be starting my Master's in the fall.
I won't lie, I'm nervous as hell about all of this. I'll be working full time still, and going to grad school at night. My life is basically going to be consumed by those two things. It's also nerve-wracking because by doing a masters in this, I am basically committing myself to this as a career for the next 25-30 years. I wrote about this previously, but I fiercely value my independence, my lack of firm roots in anything, and my somewhat libertine/hedonistic lifestyle. A lot of that is going to be sacrificed on the Alter of Adulthood, but it is basically now or never. I can't be the person I am now forever, so it's time to begin that metamorphosis (or whatever you want to call it).
I intend to live it up for the next 5 months as sort of a 'last hurrah'. Since I have summers off, I'm going to go spend a few months traveling through East Asia. Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Bangkok, and Pattya. In my head, I'm sort of billing it as the last trip of my care-free twenties. We shall see what the coming years bring.
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I've been thinking about getting a tattoo.
That may seem like a strange opening sentence, considering my five-and-a-half year absence from GA, but I guess it'll do. I can always go back and edit it later.
Anyway, back to the tattoo. I've been tossing around the idea of getting a tattoo down my right forearm (my writing hand), with the first line of the very first story that I ever attempted to write on GA. I won't bore you with the details, as I doubt any of you will remember it, but I do like the idea of having a little in-joke tattooed in plain sight. Who knows, maybe I'll even meet my future husband when he walks up to me in the street and asks, "Why do you have 'It all started with a potato' tattooed on your forearm?"
Then I'll be able to tell them all about my mad writing skillz and how I used to write stories for public consumption and oh-my-god-marry-me-you-amazing-attentive-man.
Anyway, enough of that.
You're probably wondering what I've been up to for the past five-and-a-half years. The answer is: A LOT. Won't bore you with all the details, but here's a pretty reasonable snapshot:
- Put a deposit on my first house, then withdrew the offer two days later and bought a one-way ticket to London instead.
- Lived in London for two years. Worked as a barman for a while, then got sick of that and worked as a tax consultant instead.
- Did the tourist thing. Visited Dubai, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, and Spain.
- Went to Toronto for Christmas, twice. Flew from London to Toronto to surprise my best friend the first time, slept on her couch for two months the second time. Fell in love with Tim Horton's.
- Spent a couple of weeks in the States in early 2016. Did the gay pilgrimage to San Francisco, then caught the Amtrak from SF to New York. Spent time in Chicago, DC, and Boston, along the way.
I also marched in my first pride parade in London, which was pretty cool. Almost as cool as the time my live-in landlord terminated my lease because I had a boyfriend (not even joking).
And finally, I did a whole lot of writing. Hours and hours and hours of writing. In coffee shops, in bars, in airports, in aeroplanes, on trains... you name it, I probably wrote in it.
I also joined a writers group in London, and met some of the most insanely talented people on this earth. Critiqued a lot of work, did some public readings of my own, and made some lifelong friends along the way.
...which brings me to what I'm working on. I'm probably sitting on 120,000 words' worth of material right now, all in varying stages of completion. Some of it good, some of it great, some of it absolutely rubbish. Most of you probably won't care, but for the 1.15 of you that do, here's a brief rundown of my two major projects:
Project 1: Novel-length, coming-of-age, approx 60,000 words in.
Teenage protagonist makes a stupid mistake that almost kills his younger brother, and leads to the breakdown of his best friendship and the separation of his parents. With his closest relationships now in tatters, protagonist begins exploring friendships with two intriguing new characters, one of whom is harboring a dark secret.
Project 2: Novel-length, suspense/thriller, bit dystopian, approx 50,000 words in.
Twenty-something protagonist gets caught up in a biological terror attack on the Tube. Thousands die on the spot, and thousands more fall terminally ill in the aftermath, including our protagonist. Protagonist subsequently learns of an underground casino operating out of a disused Tube station, where the alleged prize on offer is a cure to his disease. We follow the protagonist as he tries to hide his illness and his participation in this dangerous underground casino from his friends and family, while he effectively plays for his life one poker hand at a time.
I might eventually get around to posting project 1, as it involves a gay protagonist. Project 2 is way too hetero for this environment, though.
Anyway, that's enough for my opening blog. Once you've finished rejoicing in the fact that I'm still alive (or simply wondering who the fuck I am), feel free to leave a comment and say hi. Give me some reading recommendations, as well. I've no idea what's good around these parts nowadays.
It's time!!! For everyone that has been waiting, we've got 10 brand new stories for you to take a look at. After you've read all the stories, make sure to vote for your favorite. The winners will be announced on April 1st, 2017. The top three stories will receive not only the recognition, but the following prizes:
6 month Premium access
3 month Premium access
1 Month Premium access
Authors and editing/beta teams are prohibited from revealing the author behind each story. Revealing the authors' identity will disqualify the story in question.
We are going with a blind vote for this contest. Neither the voter, nor the staff member collecting the votes will know which author wrote which story. All stories have been posted under the author name of Anonymous Jester. The only site member/staff that knows the identity of each story's author is Renee Stevens. Reader1810 has willingly volunteered to collect votes. After you've read all 10 stories, PM the story name you'd like to vote for to Reader and use the subject April Fools Vote.
Members get to vote for one story. Please wait to vote for your choice until you have read all the stories and are certain as to which story you'd like to vote for.
Voting will conclude at 2:00 PM EST on March 25th, 2017. No votes will be accepted after that time.
Now, onto the stories!
Happy voting, and just a reminder, ALL votes should be sent to Reader1810.
Let’s get this straight right from the beginning. I am suffering from a writer’s block. I’ve had these before and they’ve passed in time, but somehow I feel that this time it’s terminal. In fact, I don’t know the process of moving from Signature Author to Classic Author, but this very well maybe the time for such a transition.
I’ve tried to work on 319 and The GMOs, but there just doesn’t seem to be anything there.
So, I’ve done the only thing that a failed writer can do. I’ve turned to reading and, in my case, I’m reading short stories by Ernest Hemingway. I never read much of Hemingway other than The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, but I recently purchased a collection of Hemingway’s first 49 short stories and they seem to be hitting a nerve.
Tonight, I read “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (I always thought it was a novel, but its just a long short story) and in between the lines there was another story that kept trying to come out. It concerns a transsexual by the name of Sara Jean and her friend Billy. Sara Jean is raised by liberal parents who accept their son Steven James is genetically programmed to be a girl and do everything they can to support her decision to go through the process of becoming fully female. Billy, her lifelong friend, is seen at the hospital where Sara Jean is having her penis surgically modified into a clitoris and a urinary outlet; and, after her testicles are removed a process of vaginoplasty opens a pseudo vagina between her testicles and anus. He, along with her parents, know what is occurring down the hall and through the doors clearly signed “No Admittance – Hospital Personnel Only.”
I don’t know if or when a story will come from this idea, but it’s there and that’s all I can hope for at the present time.
It's time for another author promo! If you'd like to promo your own work, take a look at the thread for guidelines and then PM me. For this month, our featured promo spot is for Valkyrie. There were three questions that Valkyrie had to answer for each story. The questions were What gave you the idea for this story? What was your favorite thing about writing this story? & Please tell us something about this story that is not already in the description.
30 stories · 975 reviews · 264,746 total words
Description: Bradley and Allen move into a new house in the country. They love their idyllic, new life until their son meets a new friend.
What gave you the idea for this story?I love Halloween and have wanted to write a story about the holiday for a while. I wove a lot of personal elements into this story—such as Allen being so afraid of spiders. The person he is based on is afraid of spiders, and so is my mom. I remember several times as a kid having friends freak out over the blood-curdling screams coming from the basement and looking at me like I’m insane when I nonchalantly reply, “Oh, my mom found a spider.” Zeke was inspired by my friend’s son, who as a toddler used to talk about the ‘man in the closet’. The title and ‘vodka’ were inspired by the name of a racehorse I saw when I visited Cole Matthews and his husband. I saw the name and immediately commented how it would make a great prompt or short story. I thought it fit this story well.
What was your favorite thing about writing this story?I really enjoyed coming up with all the twists in the story. I was hoping to keep readers guessing, and I think I managed to do that. I was also pretty proud of Bradley’s name. He’s named after Boo Radley—and another person whose name also starts with Br-.
Please tell us something about this story that is not already in the description.I’ve had numerous requests for a continuation. I won’t guarantee when, but I do have some ideas for a sequel.
Description: This story centers around The Hollow Hills - a horse farm in Vermont - and Galen and Joshua. Galen moves to New England after breaking up with his boyfriend and meets Josh. Their relationship is anything but easy, with many obstacles standing in their way. When tragedy strikes, they need to learn how to redefine their lives and live with the after-effects.
What gave you the idea for this story?This story has existed in some form since I was in high school. Josh first appeared in a story I wrote for my freshman English class. That story sparked the Hollow Hills universe, leading to the development of Alannah, Adam, Liam, and Roger, and eventually Galen. I’ve always wanted to write it, but had a lot of trouble narrowing down the storyline and finding an appropriate starting point. Now that I’ve gained more confidence as a writer, I felt ready to tackle such a daunting story.
What was your favorite thing about writing this story?It’s still in progress and hasn’t been abandoned. I will admit to being very slow with posting chapters, but I want to remain as true to the story as possible and hope that the wait has been worth it. I would say my favorite thing so far has been the varied reactions of readers. These characters are near and dear to my heart, so seeing them from a different perspective has been eye-opening.
Please tell us something about this story that is not already in the description.There is a crossover between this story and my storyAlex’s Legacy. Huge bonus points to anyone who can tell me what it is.
Description: Elliot is living the good life, even though he hates his job. Then he meets Max, who helps him answer some tough questions he didn't have the courage to face.
What gave you the idea for this story?I honestly don’t remember. It was written for The Backup Plan anthology, and was my first anthology submission to this site.
What was your favorite thing about writing this story?Writing Max and getting to know him was very enjoyable. I was also pleasantly surprised by how much people like this story and the sequels.
Please tell us something about this story that is not already in the description.Max and Elliot’s story continues inLawyer or Mechanic?AndProximate Cause. Pete’s story was told inExit to Redemption.
In two months, my home province of British Columbia will be heading to the polls. I'm looking forward to the campaign, and hopefully in displacing the long-ruling BC Liberal government, which has had a continuous legislative majority since the 2001 elections that obliterated the BC New Democratic Party. Now, politics in British Columbia are different from the rest of Canada, so here are the important players.
BC Liberal Party - Their leader and the current Premier is Christy Clark, who became Premier after winning the party leadership after former Premier Gordon Campbell was appointed High Commissioner to London. Premier Clark was, at the time, a radio host and former member of the Legislature, and won the leadership after a protracted leadership campaign. The BC Liberals, contrary to their name, are the main 'conservative', free enterprise party in British Columbia. Their membership reflects a combination of national Liberals and Conservatives, and is the direct successor to the Social Credit Party as the leader of the capitalist, free enterprise coalition in British Columbia. The Liberal Party vote has a floor of around 40% that does not leave the party, no matter what.
BC New Democratic Party - Like their federal cousins, the New Democratic Party is the progressive, social democratic party in British Columbia. Our (Full disclaimer/disclosure: I'm a paying member of the BC NDP and have served as a party officer since 2009) leader is John Horgan, who won the leadership in late 2013 after our previous leader surrendered a 25 point lead in the polls. The party and its predecessor the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation have been the main social democratic party in British Columbia since 1933, and has been one of the top two parties in terms of vote share and seat count since the party's inception. With the exception of 2001's massacre, the party can consistently expect around 38% of the vote in any given election.
BC Green Party - A progressive leaning Green Party that focuses on sustainable development and environmental protection as their main policies. The Green Party is lead by Andrew Weaver, an environmental scientist from the University of Victoria, and he is currently their only elected member of the Legislature. The party has been experimenting with new policy ideas, including a proposed pilot project for a universal basic income. The BC Green Party was created by dissident New Democrats in the 1990s, angry that the NDP government of the decade opened up part of the Great Bear Rainforest to development. Some recent polling has shown the Green Party surging in support across the province, taking around 20% of the popular vote.
BC Conservative Party - The BC Conservatives are a new party, fighting their second election in their newly constituted form. Parties with the name 'BC Conservative' have come and gone, with the party being de-registered as an active party at several points over the last seventy years. The party currently has no leader after the previous leader, Dan Brooks, resigned the leadership for the second time in as many years. The party is not currently included in many election polls.
With all of that contexty stuff out of the way, let's get to the interesting bits, the actual campaign!
This year's election is being fought over the context of a number of different economic strains on the budget. Last November, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the BC Liberals unconstitutionally destroyed the teachers' contracts and required the government to reduce student-teacher ratios and class composition (the number of students with individualized education plans) back to the 2002 ratios. This necessitated over a billion dollars in new funding to the public education system and the subsequent hiring of over three thousand new teachers (a process that is still ongoing). This is a particularly black mark for Premier Clark, as she was the Minister of Education that initially destroyed those contracts. Adding to the financial strain on the government is the Ministry of Children and Family Development, which has been repeatedly under attack by critics for allowing children in care to die, and without even ensuring adequate care for the children. As a case in point, the most recent investigation covered an 18 year old in care who was placed into a motel as his housing by the Ministry. Additional funding has been promised, which has impacted the budget projections for the government.
The Liberals have also been rocked by various ethics controversies, including accusations made against Health Ministry workers that directly led to the suicide of an accused graduate student who was later found to be innocent of the accusations. Finally, the government has been frustrated in its attempts to create a liquefied natural gas industry in the province, and failed to halt federal approval for the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion leading to the Pacific Ocean.
In the government's favour is the fact that the NDP hasn't won an election since 1996, and has only won three times in all of its history in British Columbia. The Liberals have much more money to spend on the campaign, and most of their incumbents are running again. Many of them also remember that at this time before the last election, they were trailing by 25%, so being in a tied election right now is a far more comfortable position for them than they faced the last time they faced the electorate.
The NDP, traditionally supported by the labour unions, is facing an internal revolt as private sector construction unions are beginning to endorse the anti-union Liberals, thanks to the Liberals support for massive construction projects that would lead to more union jobs in the province. This has sapped the organizational strength from the New Democrats going into the election, at a time where they could potentially be capitalizing on Liberal failures. The New Democrats also face renewed strength in the BC Green Party which shares an electoral base, especially on Vancouver Island where nearly a third of the NDP caucus is elected.
My home district is a bellweather riding that normally votes with the overall provincial winner, though in 2013 we backed the NDP thanks to superb organizing and volunteer efforts. I'll be interested to see whether the parties can break out of their traditional bases. The Liberals have strength in rural and suburban British Columbia, but face difficulties in some of the inner suburbs and the main cities, as well as Vancouver Island. To win, the NDP has to start performing in rural British Columbia and sweeping the suburbs along with its traditional progressive coalition. For the Greens, winning more than just the leader's seat will be seen as a successful campaign, though some Green insiders are hoping to supplant the NDP as the main opposition party to the Liberals.
That's a lot to take in about the BC Politics scene, so let's all take a quick break before I start talking about my favourite subject - my political career.
In 2018, the municipal elections will be happening (In Canada, different levels of governments have elections in separate years from each other). I'm planning on contesting the local school board elections in my hometown. The place I live is one of the few communities in British Columbia with organized municipal political parties, and my relationship with the dominant party would be considered strained at best. They have accepted me again as a paying member of the party, but in the past years I've attempted to defend my seat on the executive and was defeated for opposing the party stance on affordable housing. Since that's an issue of Council and not the school board, I'm hoping that it will not be used as a weapon against me in any potential nomination contest.
For those who don't know, I'm currently a private school teacher teaching in Downtown Vancouver. Now that I've been on the teacher side of the field, I see the importance of strong leadership in education, and I'm hoping that my past experiences in policy formation and execution will help me as a potential school board trustee.
Beyond the negative publicity of attacking my own party, the members who turn out for nomination races do otherwise have a favourable opinion of me, particularly those who have served with me in the leadership. There's also residual support in the LGBTQ community in the city due to my organizing and lobbying in favour of a local anti-discrimination school board policy that was enacted in 2011. Passing the policy over vocal objection both on and off the school board garnered lots of positive media coverage, but after seven years those views are unlikely to have remained with the electorate.
Which is fine, I'm not running to defend the policy or even to expand it. While I'm proud of the work I did to create the policy and defend it in the election of 2011, I'm not focusing on it as a campaign platform. My focus is to be on expanding access to trades training programs and advanced placement programs. The province, in partnership with the local school boards, offers a program known as ACE-IT, which provides students with practical experience and their first year trades training in a trade of their choice. The program is entirely funded by the district, and helps reduce the time needed to become a journeyman tradesperson. However, there's a lack of knowledge about these programs being available, and each school only offers a few of the programs, creating a patchwork where students in some parts of the city do not have access to the ACE-IT program at all. Expansion of the College Board's Advance Placement Capstone program is another goal of mine. It's currently being run as a pilot program in two of the eight secondary schools in the district, and I'd like to expand that program to all students in order to provide that additional benefit to students pursuing post-secondary educations.
Of recent issue is the idea of the district being a 'sanctuary district'. While I'm supportive in principle, I'm interested to see what happens with the new policy and how the district staff interact with federal immigration authorities over the next year.
This is service for me. I believe in giving back to the community and the schools that helped shape me, and while I have no quarrel with any of the school board trustees currently on the board, I feel that many of them have served their community for long enough, and that new voices are needed to replace those individuals seeking their eleventh term on the school board. Changing educational technology and new pedagogical practices necessitates the need for new voices at the board of education to ensure that the students of my city are best served, especially with the rollout of new provincial curriculum guidelines and additional provincial funding to uphold the Supreme Court ruling. As a new teacher who's recently obtained my teaching certificate, I feel that I would be an articulate voice for the new generation of educators that is not being heard at the board level right now.
Whew. That's all of it. I'll write another one of these soon, but I'd love to hear what people think about the BC Political scene, or any advice for a campaign I may or may not end up running. For the record, this won't be the first campaign I've run or worked on. I've been a past campaign manager, past candidate and past paid staffer for a few campaigns, so I already know what kind of costs are going to be involved.
See you later blog buddies!
American Steel began with a double purpose: replying to selected GA prompts and sharing some of my motorcycling experiences. The collection of loosely-connected vignettes allowed for each chapter to stand on its own while still telling a wider ranging story.
The first six chapters were easy to write. I have the next six outlined and number seven partially written. However, I’m uncertain as to when those will be posted. I’ve tried juggling several stories at the same time before and I wasn’t happy with the results. They all suffered when I spread myself around.
Future chapters will carry a stronger connection to each other and I don’t want to rush them. I’m going to wait until I have them ready before posting. Plus, I’m trying to concentrate on Walls for now. The CJ series is at a point where I want it to be the best I can possibly produce and that takes work.
I don’t know when American Steel will return, but it will. The next chapter will take place in New Orleans and since I’ll be there in the summer, I may wait until then to finish it. You know, I may need to visit a bar or two for research purposes!
Tonight, I watched Trump’s address to Congress. Yes, you heard right: I sat my little, lithe young ass in a seat a watched the most powerful man in the world address the whole of his government. Amazing, an engaged teenager? What’s the world coming to?
Well, hopefully it is coming to a more informed populous. But that is beyond the point; it is what came after his address that I really want to...well, address.
There was an interesting article from the Atlantic that I had found when I was browsing the site (which I do pretty often actually). Besides mocking and deriding Jon Stewart’s monologue aimed towards ‘the media,’ it surreptitiously went out of its way to inform Jon that he basically didn’t have any room to criticize. He was a comedian. He has lost his drive, and his ‘nuance.’ His show was ‘well researched,’ the article said, “but has abandoned that nuance.” It basically said, in my formation, that everything is media, so since there’s obviously a blurred line, he can’t proselytize and say that there’s a problem. Especially since everyone – and it does say everyone – is technically the media.
Uhg. I’m sorry. I call bullshit.
I want to outline a few things, and first of all is something that you may be aware of: the degradation of PewDiePie. If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, here is a clip of him talking about what happened. If you don’t want to watch that whole thing, I’ll sum it up.
Basically, he had a few joke posts on his channel (which has 50,000,000 subscribers, by the way) that involved ‘anti-Semitic’ imagery. Now, I’m not going to say that maybe these weren’t in poor taste. But the way that ‘the media’ searched, clipped, and crucified him is utterly unacceptable.
It’s no secret in the YouTube community that the elite ‘media’ holds them in utter disdain. The righteous journalists feel threatened by this new medium, and subsequently espouse that it is highly overrated. He covers this is his video. But this is my point:
This is just a symptom of a larger issue.
Think about it: most of the YouTube community is fairly liberal. Then this. This – this is something, that, for once, they can agree with the president on. The media went out of its way – out of its way – to find 5 or 6 clips, take them out of context, and slather it all over their papers and tout it on their television channels. GQ actually lumped him in with Milo Yiannopoulos, a despised alt-right figurehead.
But let’s all understand something crucial: when we say the media, we know exactly of whom we’re talking.
We’re not talking about random websites and relatively new places like Breitbart. No. We all understand the media is the ‘upstanding’ institutions that has a wide and bipartisan circulation. That means everyone knows who they are and what they do.
CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post. Even, gasp! Fox News, bless their hearts. We know what their purpose is. And I’m saying that instead of resisting people that call you out on your prideful arrogance, and turning it around on them, a la ‘well, maybe Jon Stewart should become more nuanced,’ I think that you should heed the advice. Pride comes before a fall, after all. And I think that getting excoriated yourself – by a Twitter account, no less – should be a kick in the pants.
Leave the satire, the condemnation, and the blatant out-of-context lies to the person who does it best; do your jobs, pick your battles – and tread wisely.
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Somewhat ironic that this may contain errors caused by only having my left hand to type...
my dad dad had died 3 years before I got engaged, so I wanted to keep my name. I also have some now obsolete software manuals authored in my maiden name. Our compromise was to combine, ex Williams-Smith. First issue is that my driver's liscense couldn't have 14 characters. The hyphen was deleted, and using the example, WilliamsSmith.
I have to bring photo I'd to all doctors appointments. So the office staff is aware of the correct spelling and punctuation, or lack there of, of my name. Yet I get asked, which name do you use? Do you know if that's filed under Williams or Smith?
The latest round of doctors I have pointed out "my last name is one word, 13 letters, no hyphen, no space, and I use the whole thing." Prior to the surgery a tech wrote on my right arm, in bright green ink, my name and the surgery being done. He even checked the spelling because the name is usually spelled with an e, but we use an I. Yet I still got a call today from a post op nurse checking my recovery, and she asked for my maiden name.
It may only be a big deal to me, butaa person's name is tied to their view of themselves. When someone arbitrarily changes it to fit his/her own concepts, it takes away from the individual. My husband puts it a little more crudely: "If someone says my name is Bob, spelled S-u-e. I'm d*** well going to say Bob, and write Sue."
I'm not one to talk about myself. I'm a listener, not a talker. But here it is.
This weekend I was talking with my mom (well she was talking and I was listening) and she said that during the week she had an "argument" with my dad translate by she asked something, he answered, she didn't like the answer.
So she asked my opinion. I knew my answer would hurt her, that she wouldn't like it but she insisted and I didn't feel like "stabling" my dad in the back (this sound dramatic but I don't know how to say this in another way) to somehow please her with something false.
She asked if, like my dad, I felt like she had abandonned us when my grandpa was sick.
To say grandpa was sick is a "nice" way to say he had Alzheimer.
Grandpa was dignosed with Al 3 years ago. We thought we had time, he would take some meds and Al would slow down. After all, his friend was dignose with Al 15 years ago so why not him.
Well not him. He died in the space of a year.
At first it was little things like losing track of the time, forgeting what he was doing, getting some of our names mix up (who wouldn't with 3 grand-daughters name Marion, Marine and Margot!) but quickly it became hallucinations, paranoia crises... My grandma tried to save the face for as long as she could but she wasnt sleeping anymore afraid of what he would do during the night, she just couldn't manage him on her own anymore. So in November grandpa start to go to a nursing home a few days per week until he had to be admitted there full time in December. At this point he only had a few moment of lucidity. His crises and hallutionnations became worst and worst until finally his heart got too tired in April 2 years ago.
Back to Mom. During this time she would go to my grandparents every weekends. I would come back home late friday afternoon and she would go friday evening or saturday early morning and come back late sunday when I was already gone back to my apartment.
I don't ressent her being present for her parents. She wouldn't be who she is if she hadn't done it. I love her even more for this.
But, yes, a part of me felt abandoned. For all those months I pretty much didn't see my mom when I was suffering too. A part of me is also angry. Angry she didn't put some distance to protect herself. It was always so heartbreaking seeing cry before going to see her dad and before taking the road to come home. Angry I was the one she came to talk to when she needed to cause her brothers were too busy with their lives or her sister was closing her eyes on the situation. Angry at myself cause all those times the only thing I wanted to tell her was to please not tell me all those things. I feel bad and egoistic for feeling this way.
But she asked and that's what I told her. She doesn't understand how I could feel abandoned when she was doing the right thing. I don't understand how I could fell abandoned when I know she was doing the right thing. I tried to make her understand but I'm not sure I understand it myself.
Some of you know I have health issues. I haven't spelt them out because frankly it's boring to hear about people's complaints, especially from people who aren't in your immediate family or circle of friends.
But my doctors have given me a time frame of my life expectancy. I guess I was surprised, but I wasn't either. I've faced death on a few occasions but wow, a time frame is kind of unnerving. It's scary. Michael is .. I don't know what he is .. sad, afraid.. mourning me already? He vows I'll live longer.
I have sort of vowed the same .. but who knows if the doctors are right. I'll go on living until I die, until I'm stopped in my tracks.
When they said those words, it made me think of skinnydragon's diagnosis and what doctors told him. I just have to wait a lot longer. I have the benefit of those last years, that he didn't but he so deserved.
I've made all my postings here 'complete'. I don't know how much more I'll post here. I don't know. I have much to consider.
I'm gonna tell you an interesting fact about my family.
On 11 February 1987, my eldest sister was born. On 12 February 1997, my little brother was born.
So this means, that for two days in a row, my family gets to eat a lot of cake! And what makes this year more fun (aside from my sister turning thirty and my brother twenty), is that it's on the weekend!
I wonder how much weight I'll gain by the end of the weekend? lol.
PS: Heeding Krista's advice, I didn't tease my sister. That's why I'll show her this:
Hey guys! Who loves free...? Of course, we all do! You can get a copy of my scifi short story, Married to the Enemy during the MM Romance Valentine's Giveaway just by signing up to get the LGBT Romance Deals newsletter in your inbox... that's right! You get a free book just for asking for great deals and offers (plus monthly contests!) to appear in your inbox. I've found several eBooks since the newsletter started.
If you're already a subscriber to the LGBT Romance Deals newsletter, not to worry!! You can still get a free copy of Married to the Enemy if you check the last newsletter. Otherwise, get in touch with me. And make sure you check out all the other great offers available during this event. Look at all those options!
And beta-readers, for that matter.
My editor and I had a slight blip a couple of months ago. I was about to publish my second prompt response when I realised that my main character changed his name halfway through. Neither of us had noticed. In the same prompt, I committed a style faux-pas which had also passed my editor by. He wasn’t impressed with himself and suggested that the next blog post I wrote, should be used to comment on his editorial abilities. So, I’m doing so, just not quite in the way he intended.
What I’m going to say will inevitably be focussed on him because I’m a newcomer to writing and he’s the only editor I’ve had. But they’re also meant as a general note of thanks and praise to those who edit here on GA.
I’ve only been writing stories for a few months but I do have a good knowledge of English and reasonable grasp of grammar. So, in theory at least, my editor’s life could be a lot worse. I’m lucky to be writing in English as my first language, something I share with my editor, sort of …
He is the person who started me writing and he has been unfailingly supportive, encouraging words at hand whenever I feel down or unsure about my writing. He has a full-time, mentally and physically tiring job, yet he always makes time to read and comment on anything I send him. And there’s the little matter of his own writing, as well.
I suspect that I’m lucky to have someone who, although not English, understands my quirky Englishness. His comments are often funny, always illuminating and they’re always couched as suggestions. Whenever I have a sentence or paragraph which doesn’t quite work, he always notices it and comes up with a reason why and a solution. I may not go with his solution, but his reasoning, I always follow and so, find my own solution. When I do make a recurring grammatical or stylistic error, it is corrected with an explanation of why, so I can learn.
These comments and notes are short, but they’ve all taken time to write and he’s had to think about the story in some detail. And just in case you’re thinking that three prompt responses are the sum of what he’s had to wade through, there are some 26,000 words of two ongoing stories as well.
He also acts as my beta-reader and his reader responses are fascinating. One chapter I wrote which I thought was nothing out of the ordinary, he raved about. Another, which I trailed because I was so convinced he’d love it, got a warm but unexceptional response. It’s an excellent reminder that I’m not my best judge when it comes to second-guessing reader responses.
Why does he do this? For the love of it and so he can help other writers express themselves to the best of their abilities. Certainly not for any payment. I thank him with all my heart - my writing improves all the time because of him. I also thank all the other editors and beta-readers on GA who give of their time and expertise so freely.
So, I’m going to share with you something I don't normally share much - though my characters share their sex lives with you often and graphically. Several of them are quite the exhibitionists!
But we're not here to talk about the boys, the men, and the demons, we're here for me. Now, people tell you all sorts of less-than-fun things when you get married, about how life in the bedroom slowly diminishes and all of that. But it's not true for us. Three years has already flown by, and everything is better than it ever was.
Cris isn't here, he's in Canada (you lucky people, he's over there programming fun military simulators), and in our bedroom, four weeks is a damn long time to sleep alone. His side of the bed is cold and empty, and as I understand it he too is sleeping only on 'his' side of the bed in the hotel. If this was that sort of movie, they'd cut the film and make a montage of us sleeping face to face but missing each other deeply.
Last week, my husband reported to me an interesting thing. He woke up in the morning... naked. He always sleeps in boxers (I'm the nude one). I joked he was missing me in his sleep, and he admitted that when he had awoken, he had found that, whilst asleep, he had rearranged the spare pillows onto my side of the bed, and slept cuddled up to them as though I was there. Oh how my heart aches.
This morning, I had a far more rude awakening. Not being jumped on by the dog, worse than being awoken by the screams of the teething Goblin, but being jolted into consciousness by my brain, at just the moment when I desired no such thing. It was a good dream: Cris was there, we were kissing in that fantastically warm and lazy manner one does in the middle of the night when neither of you are quite fully awake. It was incredibly vivid, the feel of his tongue, the familiar warmth of his body, and just as my hands were exploring the delicious heat south of his navel, my brain kicked me in the gut and forced me awake.
Great, I’m being cock-blocked by my own subconscious. Fucking wonderful.