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Cia

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  1. Cia

    Chapter 44

    I wiggled my tongue against the capsule cautiously. I couldn’t break it, but I wanted to. My heart was racing, and tears were leaking from my eyes. Captain was cursing and pissed, Deke wasn’t any better, and their struggle and failure to suppress their rage helped our disguise. Only the promise I’d forced them to make kept us going after I’d become paralyzed and the first salty drop streamed down my cheek to drip off my chin. I’d feared it would happen, because losing control was a trigger Lakshou had taught me all about. All the things that could go wrong floated through my brain. The capsule might not work. We might be walking into a trap. Someone could get hurt. Deke said he had my back, but I’d rather he stayed close to Captain’s. Two of the guards from the other ship were pushing me. One was a tiny Phlonian with its rounded body protected inside its large, jointed legs, two on each side. Its body rose and fell as it walked, making me dizzy so I tried not to watch it. The other was a tall, sharp-edged female of some species I didn’t know. All her limbs had points on them, spikes with jagged tips in bright orange. Her large eyes were the same color and set on the sides of her head, protruding outward and rotating constantly to scan our surroundings. She’d be my warning if something or someone was coming for us, so I focused on her. I listened for Captain and Deke, but they were quiet, keeping up our pretense of being under guard. And I gently touched the capsule, the barest flicker of my tongue the only movement I could manage. Whatever code Freska had obtained got us in a side door apparently because we didn’t encounter the security I expected. We were greeted by several voices, but they took our escort at face value, didn’t search Captain or Deke or me. “Move.” The Phlonian shifted to one side. A human stepped up to the grav, peering at me. “So that’s the one, huh? Where’s Lakshou?” “How the hell do I know?” one of the others said. “He’s expecting a big payday for this one.” The human stepped back. “You expect us to believe he doesn’t want it?” He narrowed his eyes and sneered, his voice screaming suspicious. Not good. If my heart could beat any faster, it would have. “From Elliard? Hardly,” someone scoffed. “Frujil’s the money man.” The ugly twist on the guard’s face smoothed out. He pursed his lips before he clicked his tongue in a rude sound. “Truth. I’d make three times as much for him. And not be in as much danger as here.” He looked around the Intelligence building. “Damn government. Never know who’s crooked and who isn’t.” “Isn’t everyone crooked?” someone else said. “Sort of the definition of government. They’re all out to screw us if we don’t get ours and get the fuck out before they can.” “Ha!” Elliard’s guard barked out a harsh laugh. He clapped one of the guards on the back. “Truth. And if you have to stab a few family members in the back…” He eyed Captain Querry. “Too bad. I heard you weren’t a bad guy to ship out under. That’s what you get for being too fucking honest like a naïve stripling. Someone your age who’s been through the war should’ve known better. Old fool.” Captain lunged forward, and the guards caught him, pushing him back into Deke. I couldn’t tell if he was really angry or if it was acting, but he had to hold it together. I needed him calm and cool; he had to stick to the plan. “You need to calm down, like right now. Or someone might get hurt.” He looked at Deke and then me. The guard turned. “Let’s go. This whole section’s deserted for renovations. We got a lab set up to dissect the freak later today as soon as the docs get here.” If my body had been under my control I would’ve hyperventilated, or I would’ve attacked and ruined everything just so I could escape. Those words set off a cascade of images and fear not even Captain’s promises could hold back. If his hand hadn’t landed in mine, if he wasn’t squeezing my fingers tight under the cover of Deke’s body from where they’d stumbled together, I might have broken the capsule before we got through the scanner so I could do all that. But he was, and I held onto the brink, barely keeping the terror from swamping my mind and sending me into survival mode. We broke apart to move, but it had been enough. Enough to get me through the corridors. To the scanner where I was shoved through, one of my guards going first and then the other following so the machine only picked up my vitals. Techs scrutinized the screens but passed us, weapons and all. I was afraid there would be a second scan but Aparoe said the antidote needed time, so I had to break the capsule. Praying I wouldn’t destroy all our plans, I gathered all my strength. It was like trying to move the shuttle, taking every bit of my strength straining just that one tiny muscle, but the fragile capsule broke and cold swirled through my mouth and down my throat as I inhaled. After that I kept my breaths even and steady through sheer force of will. I couldn’t test to see if it was working. I had to stay still, not twitching a muscle, not even the tiniest flicker. Two of the guards opened doors and the third led the way in. “Elliard, you traitorous bastard!” Captain shouted. “Shout all you want. It’s soundproofed.” His cousin smirked. “Good,” I said. I curled my body and spun off the grav, my foot catching the guard under the chin, snapping his neck.
  2. Cia

    Will Hawkins membership

    What you should have done was use the FAQ to check out how/what you could change on your account and/or profile (it's your display name which can be changed through your profile settings and takes about 2 minutes to change, and you can do it on your own) or asked for help before your violated the site rules and created a second account. Having only one account is the primary rule on GA and is part of what you agreed to when you opened your accounts, and it is highlighted prominently on the sign up page for just that reason. You clearly did not do this maliciously or for any reason to create site issues for hiding your identity (as you are 'coming out, as you say). Usually staff would address this more privately as it's a moderation matter where we'd want to keep it private between you and staff, but as I don't think there's anything untoward going on here and you wish to be public in this by using the coming out comparison, I just need you to confirm that you wish to keep the Will Hawkins account as the 'live' account and information to show. After that we can merge your old account and remove it. Please reply with a mention of my name (type @ Cia with no space and click on my name when it appears and then becomes blue, if you don't know how to do those) so I get a notification that you've replied. And, thank you, because you highlighted that FAQ doesn't have a separate 'topic' about changing display names that shows up in the question list, and maybe it will help prevent newer members from starting second accounts if they can more easily find out how to change the names on their existing accounts and not think they have to start new ones. That will be addressed.
  3. One thing many readers have in common here on GA is that, at one time or another, we've had to grapple with the fact that we're not quite what everyone expects us to be when we're growing up. We're different. But others can't tell. And sometimes, when you're reading, that's a good thing! There are a lot of teen coming-of-age stories on GA, but BlindAmbition really connected with this one for his review. Read on to find out why! Losing Kevin Ronyx Reviewer: BlindAmbition Status: Complete Word Count: 57,913 Choosing a story to read can be difficult, whether you’re craving a certain genre, or a specific mood. Deciding which story to review can be just as difficult. GA has a vast library of stories and authors. I gravitate more to stories that evoke reaction, or real emotion. Losing Kevin by Ronyx is one of those stories. This story has your typical teenage angst, but there's so much more complexity within these characters and their relationships. It’s a binge worthy pleasure from one of GA’s Classic Authors. Losing Kevin centers on Kevin Williams. A boy who is coming to terms with his sexuality, and what exactly that means for him going forward. A difficult moment for any teenager. Add in his identical twin Devin, and well, it’s a recipe for disaster. The brothers have become increasingly distant as they grow older. Kevin is a master at blending in and keeping secrets, while Devin is Mr. Popularity juggling a social climbing girlfriend. The only thing these two have in common is pleasing a demanding father. Each has their own way of dealing with him. This has created a certain level of sibling rivalry. Kevin has kept a low profile. That was until new student Cameron Lynch enters the picture. There’s instant chemistry. Something which hasn’t gone unnoticed. Brewing storms from multiple fronts are ahead for Kevin and Cameron. The realization of secrets and truths will pit brother against brother, friend against friend, parent against parent, parent against child in this complex tale. Ronyx masterfully dissects these relationships layer by layer, giving the reader multiple views of situations. He does this with extreme neutrality, leaving the reader the opportunity to form their own opinion. I’m usually not a fan of too many teenage coming of age tales. Ronyx is an exception. He tackles tough and taboo subjects. Sometimes the issues are hard to read about, but they are handled with an honest and delicate curiosity. The teen characters are well formed individuals. You know they are teens, but there is a level of maturity there. Losing Kevin is a good introduction to Ronyx’s stories if you’ve never delved into his library of work. Happy Reading! Category: Fiction Genres: Drama, Romance Tags: teen, gay, coming of age, university Rating: Mature
  4. Friday is here! Busy week for me yet again, with the CSR on Monday and the post about crafting characters on Wednesday. But maybe you can use some of that info to help you when writing for one of these great prompts supplied by our guru, Comicfan! Prompt 690 – Creative Tag – The horoscope Imagine reading a horoscope and having it come true, but only in accidental ways. What happens? Prompt 691 – Creative Tag – Fairy Tale Gone Wrong You’ve been trying to make your father happy, but your first three quests have gone wrong. The frog you kissed turned into a three hundred pound woman who ran immediately back to her husband. The cat you saved and gave boots to, well she turned out to literally have been a witch’s lover. You won’t even tell your father about fighting to a ruined castle to save some sort of sleeping beauty only to arrive moments after some other guy got there. Now he is sending you on a quest he found. What happens? Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.
  5. This morning a total stranger with 2 dogs at the school/park said good morning and told me I had real dedication because he saw me out there working hard all the time (I have been hobbling the last few days with an ankle/foot brace getting a 5k in my hour workout due to the dog's trap aka yet another hole in the yard leading to me falling while mowing incident last week). It was a little strange, but also a great pick me up because I'd been sweating and suffering for 45 minutes and flagging. Plus, his dogs were super cute so I enjoyed the brief pet while they mobbed me (they were leashless which led to our exchange) before I finished up with 3.31 miles today. Sometimes a much needed boost comes from an unexpected source at a random moment!

    1. Renee Stevens

      Renee Stevens

      Totally agree!!! Sometimes you just need that little boost :)

    2. Daddydavek

      Daddydavek

      Random acts of kindness are the best!

  6. Well this was a nice long month between Mondays, so I picked a short story and the novella continuation of the tale written by BHopper2 in A New Life and a New Home and My Son. Did you have a chance to read them before or this month for the feature? Make sure you share you thoughts below! You might also consider writing a review for the story or copying your comments there; authors always appreciate those! But first, as always, I have an interview with BHopper2. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point? The short answer is no, and yes. Back when I was still in college, I took a course in Human Reproduction and Development. One of the assignments we had involved reading over a report from the CDC about the dangers of making your bed in the morning. Basically, it is better to not make your bed so that it can air out during the day, and get rid of the sweat and germs you slept off overnight. Of course, I do make it if someone is coming over that might see my room, but overall, nope, I don’t make the bed. If you were an animal, what would you be? I’ve been called a cuddly bear many times by my Ex’s, so I would be a bear. LOL. In the nomenclature of the Gay Culture, I would be classified as a bear. However, I’ve been partial to cats most of my life, and I’ve always liked Snow Leopards, Florida Panthers, and good old alley-cats. So, I think I would be a cat of some sort while hoping it was a Snow Leopard. Which is odd, because my native Floridian self can’t stand the cold. Or a bear… LOL If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? I have too much free time as it is. I’m disabled, and not currently working. But if I had 30 mins to spend on anything thing I want, I would look for a nice quiet place to perform meditation. I’ve started to get back into the practice of doing meditation daily, and I feel that it helps. Just need to find the quiet, which is hard when all the family is running through the house. Especially now during summer. What brought you to GA? I first came to GA in early 2016. I was over on Nifty, reading some stories, and it was Comicality’s story called Shelter that I wanted to see if there were any more chapters. I did a Google search, and that led me to GA. I started reading the stories here and eventually created an account to interact and post my own stories. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Depends on the day, and if my disabilities are getting in the way. But, if it’s a good day… watching sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, sipping coffee with some friends while talking about various topics, hockey, taking a stroll on Bayshore Blvd and the longest sidewalk in the world, hockey, watching the military men that use Bayshore as an exercise trail, hockey, watching some good shows, reading, and of course my Tampa Bay Lightning hockey. What’s the best part of being an author? Creation. Being an author it lets one create a world, fill it with dynamic characters, and tell a story (or stories) set in that world. Yes, some may use the real world, and take elements from real people to make a character, but the bottom line is storytelling is creation. We are making something from nothing. I recently relearned that according to one study it is estimated 75-80% of Gay Men have some form of Mental Illness, with the primaries being Anxiety, Bipolar, and Depression. I have all three. The feeling you get from creating a world, even if you don’t share it, can help with these issues. Most gay men will never experience the birth of a child that they help create. Not to take anything away from that experience, but writing can help fill the gap with the creation of stories and characters. My stories are my children, my legacy if you will. A prompt inspired A New Life and a New Home. What led you to expand the storyline in My Son? When I wrote A New Life and a New Home, I had just finished talking to the real-life person that inspired the character Chandon. I was looking for an idea to write about and saw the first line prompt. It reminded me of how the real-life version of Jill met her son’s boyfriend, and the rest they say is history. I changed the names of my friend, his boyfriend, and mother, and wrote the story. (They liked it btw.) It was the first story I worked with @Kitt on with her as my Editor. Posted it, and got some good feedback. When I started My Son, I was actually struggling with a different story. I was posting in tim’s Chat Thread @Mikiesboy Drop-In Center about struggling, and tim’s husband Mike (@MichaelS36) suggested I try something different from what I usually do. I had notes and an outline from a story I was planning on doing, that I felt could be used. I sat down at the kitchen table and was looking at House Design plans for a cousin that was building a house. While I was there, that’s when I spotted the house that I would use in My Son. It was gorgeous, and it sparked the first paragraph of the story. I excused myself from the family, set up my laptop, and immediately started the first chapter. Later, I took the notes and New Life and combined them as I kept thinking about Chandon and Brayon, while I was writing about Adam, Duncan, and Rob. I had originally only planned for one chapter for My Son, but the readers wanted more. I had the notes ready to go and finished out the story of Adam and Robert coming together. I now have Tampa Chronicles 3, which is about Duncan’s Nephew Jeremy Isen, and getting ready to start writing Tampa Chronicles 4, which will have all the character together. I must give credit to two people though. Without @Mikiesboy’s and @Kitt’s editing help, neither story would be as good as they are. If your story were made into a movie, could you picture anyone playing the main characters parts? I can see Christian Bale playing the part of Adam Smith, and Duncan Isen would be played by Chris Pratt. As for the kids, Tom Holland would make a good Robert Turner. Brayon Hopper could be played by KJ Apa (Archie for Riverdale). For Chandon Bolton, I can see Cole Sprouse playing him. What was your favorite part of the stories? Showcasing my hometown in My Son. Tampa is just as much of a character as the rest of the ensemble. Also, the sense of love and family, I’ve tried to convey. Can you share a little idea of your currently working on/future projects with us? I’m currently working on three projects. Getting Tampa Chronicles 4 plotted and planned. I do High Overviews in long arc stories, and I have a list of places I want the boys to go see. I have to give credit to @BabyXander1990, a fellow Tampa resident, for giving me some places for them to visit, that I hadn’t thought of. It will start off with a train trip that has Adam and Duncan taking Robert, Giles, Brayon, Chandon, and Jeremy to Boston for a bit, and then other places around the country before coming back to Tampa. Freedom Station is a new SciFi story that I’m working on. It tells the story of Twin Brothers who were separated and adopted by different families at birth. Their biological mother was part of a government gene-therapy program, and her pregnancy wasn’t discovered when they started. So the twins are more than they seem. They are a successful splicing of Human and Alien DNA. While the story is character focused on the Twin’s reuniting and developing a relationship, in the background Earth is in danger from an alien armada which will reach the Sol System in 36 months. Earth and her alien allies are trying to mount a defense, and Freedom Station a space station in lunar orbit, will be the shield. The last project is called Timeless, and it’s about Garrett. He’s a former US Army Ranger who was a career military officer until a roadside IED caused him to lose both legs at the knee. He’s an avid gamer and went to college to be a computer programmer. Garrett wakes up inside the game Timeless a VRMMORPG. He doesn’t know how he got there, and the story is about him escaping. Think TRON or TRON Legacy, but inside an MMO game, with other players playing normally. This is my first attempt at a LitRPG story, where it’s a story within a story, and when writing the game-world portions, there will be a discussion on game mechanics, the damage being dealt, etc. It’s a fairly new genre of stories that a major motion picture was made of one of the books called Ready Player One. Of course, there is a lot of shorts, practice pieces, and others I’ve done that don’t get published. I would say, about 90% of what I write, doesn’t see the light of day.
  7. This week we have something a little different for today's blog post though we're keeping it all about improving and encouraging authors. Remember we have various opportunities for authors to be featured such as: Story Critique: Open to all GA authors. Sign up here. Ask An Author: Send your questions for your favorite authors to Carlos Hazday (no questions = no Ask An Author) Story Recommendations: Open to all GA authors & readers. PM your recommendation and why you recommend it to a Site Admin. But since last Wednesday was the Ask An Author post, and we don't have a story review to post, and no one has signed up to do an Improve & Encourage Story Critique, then... what could we do? I wanted to continue to feature content for authors, and I'm all about improving writing skills. My focus is often on grammar and the stickier rules relating to line editing, but today we're going to focus on an older blog post that Lugh added way back when we first started sharing site blogs to help encourage authors to improve their craft, and I also have a few Word files for authors to to use while crafting characters to download if they want so make sure you scroll to the end of the blog post! There are two minds as to if a story should be plot or character driven. But, no matter which way you pick, you need to ensure that your story is crafted to its fullest potential on both elements. This week we're going to focus on characters. First up, we're going to take a look at a blog post Lugh shared in 2012 about physical descriptions for characters: CassieQ shared some thoughts about character motivation and stereotypes: How about creating a villain? Renee shared her thoughts on the bad guys here. There are a ton of great articles like these, all about writing and editing, in the writing tips blog especially toward the back of the blog and last pages. These are just a few to whet your appetite! And, now that I hopefully have you hooked, I'm going to share a few Word files below. The first is a Blank Character Bio Sheet. You can use this to fill in your character's physical characteristics, age, birthplace, background, religion, family, habits, likes/dislikes, skills, home-life, job, fighting ability, backstory, etc... it's as comprehensive as I could make it and open enough to cover just about any genre. And, to help you fill it out, there's a character interview question file to make you think about what your character might answer if asked more abstract thoughts to help flesh out their personality and beliefs. Blank Character Bio Sheet.docx Character Interview Questions.doc
  8. Cia

    Chapter 43

    There was a lot of talk that sounded like words I should know but somehow, I knew that what the people around me really meant wasn’t what they were saying at all. All I could do was wait beside Captain and absorb everything I could. I’d learn. They’d given me that, along with the strength and speed I’d need to take down everyone who Captain said stood in our way to a life together in freedom. I’d barely adjusted to life on the ship, but I already couldn’t bear the thought of losing what few choices I’d learned how to make for myself. I stared at Captain’s profile, at the dark stubble starting to speckle his cheeks and the growing circles under his eyes. His hair was lighter than the others, colored with age just enough to give him a air of command. You knew by looking at him that he held power and responsibility and he didn’t hold it easily. The lines beside his eyes and mouth showed he knew how to set it aside too—he smiled and laughed. He had friends among the crew that enjoyed spending time with him, so he knew how to relax. I wanted to see that happen. He’d been so serious since I’d met him, so burdened. I caressed the handle of the weapons Deke gave me, reassured by their weight and pressure against my skin. “Shouldn’t Deke have gone with Freska when she goes to the port to arrest Frijul?” Kekillill asked. “It’s going to be chaos.” “No. He’s too recognizable. There’s no way he’d leave my side during a mission or an attack. Elliard will be expecting both of us.” Captain stood. “Kekillill, you are in command here. You will stay on the ship with our escorts, responding to any demands from Intelligence as vaguely as possible until we engage.” She jumped to her feet and snapped a salute to her chest. “Yes, Captain Querry. I won’t let you down.” Deke snorted, and she shot a glare in his direction but didn’t relax until Captain said, “I know you won’t. Thank you.” Captain stepped away from his chair, and I stayed at his side. Kekillill took his spot immediately. Deke and several others abandoned their screens and gathered near the exit. Captain turned smartly, and I nearly ran into him. He smiled and put a hand on my arm, pulling me to his side when I stepped back. “This mission has a high risk of failure. We are going in knowing that should we fail, but you have a chance to escape. If you can, do it. You can’t attempt a rescue mission if you land in the shit right next to us.” He gave them a look, one I didn’t really understand, but they all stood and saluted. Captain nodded once, saluted back, and then turned on his heel and led the way off the ship. They were almost clear when Aparoe joined them. “Leaving it a bit late, aren’t you?” Deke said. “Shut up. This wasn’t easy.” Aparoe held several things, but I didn’t like the look in their eyes when they turned to me. “I did my best.” “What?” “You didn’t tell him?” Outrage colored their voice. “What the fuck were you thinking?” Captain squirmed. Literally squirmed, right there, in front of the crew that was watching, like a little boy. “I couldn’t. Not after what happened. How can I ask this or tell him…?” “How can you not?” they said tartly. “Did you just think the whole situation was going to go away? That it wouldn’t be necessary because it would be hard to say? For you?” They made a sound of disgust. “No! Not for me. How can I ask that of him? But if he doesn’t come….” “Can you guys stop talking about me?” I knew they were, every time they said he, and the tension between them and whatever they meant was making my stomach twist. “What’s going on?” “Lakshou paralyzed you,” Aparoe said bluntly. “Because you’re too dangerous not to. And they have scanners at Intelligence.” I put a hand over my weapons. “You can keep those,” Deke said. “Do you really think I’d give you something if I was just going to let someone take it away? They’re coated to block the scans. Well, to not block them. They appear invisible as long as you keep them covered.” I nodded. “Okay.” “But the biometric scans are trickier. If you just stood still and let one of them haul you along, it’d sense your body chemistry is off. You have to appear to be paralyzed without actually being paralyzed.” Aparoe scowled. “Not an easy task.” The word made my skin crawl, but I trusted Aparoe when I’d trust no other doctor. They’d helped me. “So I will be able to move?” “Not at first.” They held up an injector. “In here is a compound that will paralyze your body, but—” They threw up a hand when I went rigid and started shaking my head. “Calm down. You could move if you needed to, but you’d be sluggish and slow. This will counter the compound.” They held up a tiny pill. “I will place it between your tongue and your teeth. It will take some force, but once you break it, the gas inside will be absorbed into your bloodstream immediately, countering the paralysis in seconds. “It was the best I could do.” Aparoe and Captain held their breath, looking at me. It was a mental mind fuck but what did I expect? I should have thought about it. Did I really think I was going to go striding in there behind Captain like a warrior? No, I was the bait. Again. “I’m sorry,” Captain said softly. “I just couldn’t tell you.” “It’s fine. I’ll be fine. Let’s do this. I’m guessing someone has a grav lift?” Deke held up a small box. “I’ll be close to both you and the Captain. I have your back.”
  9. Oh, how the world turns... for so many in the upper hemisphere, summer is coming to a close and that means school is beginning again. And with school, we think of teenagers and all that comes with them--the angst and pain of growing up and fitting in or maybe not fitting in. One of our recent promotions to the ranks of Promising Authors, Aceinthehole is one of the site authors who has written a popular story featuring a story that is "a slice of reality of broken people. The ups and downs of growing up" (review by mogwhy). Intrigued by that review and the others on the story, I'm going to take a leap and feature a story that so many readers seem to have been drawn to already even though it's a lot longer than a normal feature. So take advantage of these few last lazy days, if you have them, and enjoy August's CSR feature before the Discussion day on Monday, August 27th. The Hidden Ones: The Spotlight by Aceinthehole Length: 188,633 Description: Imagine your perfect life. What’s it like? Are you rich? Are you popular? Do you have a million cars? Well 17 year old Teddy Haner doesn't have to imagine. Being student body president, and captain of his lacrosse team…he has everything! However when a new mysterious friend flips his world upside down, and starts to ascend to stardom, he finds that there’s a lot more to life than popularity. A Reader Said: Great story about the rejected kid and the most popular one in school and what they want in life. but keep a box of kleenex nearby for some of the chapters. ~tabaqui Remember to come back and share your thoughts on the Discussion day on Monday, August 27th.
  10. Happy Friday, blog followers! Time for some flash fiction and for some weekend fun. Hopefully fun, at least. If you have to work the weekend, maybe you can write a short story for a character to have the fun you can't inspired by one of the following prompts provided by our prompt guru, Comicfan. Who doesn't enjoy a good death threat? Prompt 688 – Creative Tag – List of Words Use the following in a story – a nest, a spider, a snake, a bottle of wine, and a motorbike. Prompt 689 – Creative Tag – First Line If you die on me, I’ll never forgive you. Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.
  11. Cia

    Premium Story Guidelines for Submission

    This varies, and I know we've posted the information in other Help questions before but it'd probably take me longer to find it than to just write it out. We have some authors who ask to move their content to Premium in lieu of removing it since deleting content from GA is one of the ways an author can ensure they won't be able to be promoted; we do want to provide a way for authors to learn and grow, but we don't want to be a place for authors to polish their work with site reader feedback and then remove it for publishing constantly. So that's one way we have stories moved to Premium. Other times we put out calls for short stories or novellas for specific events. This is usually for fun and we offer up a small payment in return such as a Premium subscription or a payment or do it as a donation basis. These terms are usually spelled in the open calls so everyone knows what is being asked for and offered, then the stories are run at a set time. The third way is the most common and that is for authors to approach us, or vice versa, and provide a manuscript they have ready or idea for one, and we do a review to see if it's something that historically is read well by our Premium subscribers. We prefer longer novel-length stories that are already edited, though we will work with authors on that, and then we will do a variety of remittance options depending on the situation the author prefers. Anywhere from a single payment to exclusively post the story and maintain a copy in our Premium subscriber archive before the author self-publishes, to a reduced payment and providing an ISBN and advertising when the author self-publishes in exchange for the exclusive posting/maintain a copy, to no upfront payment but we will provide all editing, formatting, and self-publishing assistance for the author who wishes to follow that avenue from platform and pre-marketing advice like some branding and graphic assistance and cover art, ARC and eBook formatting, creating a book tour and book review site tour advice, etc... in exchange for exclusive posting and rights to maintain a copy. Payment amounts vary and are discussed privately with each author. These stories are usually run back-to-back whenever one story/novel is complete then the next begins. That means authors can submit a query to write a story well before one is needed and have time to write or edit it. What you probably remember was the discussion and information Myr posted in your Bait & Switch topic, btw.
  12. Cia

    When to Critique

    Tact. Man, it's hard. I don't always have it, and yet I constantly have to strive to find it. I have the sometimes rough job of working with all new-to-GA authors, and sometimes that goes well and sometimes it doesn't. I try to offer up editing tips, point out various spots on the site we have posted editing and writing advice and information, and let it go unless they ask for more specific help and I have the time or the moderation warrants it due to our guidelines. I rarely have the time to read on the site for fun anymore, though, and offer up constructive criticism on a more casual basis or in comments/reviews, which may actually be good since I tend to be rather exacting when it comes to editing when I do it as a job. One thing I always try to balance is sharing what I do think the author did well versus what needs work, though at times that can be harder than it might seem when someone is extremely new to writing. Too many people get a story idea in their heads and think they can just plunk down words and readers will lap it up. While most readers can't define the parts of speech down to what a dangling participle is or tell you the reason the sentence sounded wrong is that preposition needed to move from one object in the sentence to another or the author made it seem as if a bed was hovering in mid-air since the adverb phrase was misplaced... most readers have subconsciously picked up on the proper formats and styles. Writing is a craft, and an art, and you have to pay attention to BOTH. That's why I'm eagerly awaiting my shipment of books from Writer's Digest's latest sale (got all 4 for under $20 US with free shipping!) on writing like: Write-Brain Workshop: Revised and Expanded, Writer's Idea Thesaurus, The Secrets of Story, Creating Characters. I'm always trying to learn new techniques and expand my skill set. I will say, however, that editing and spelling and grammar are EXTREMELY tricky. Not even the rules are firm and constant rules, because those are constantly changing. I know, I've got quite a few books that have been 'revised' year-to-year. Chicago Manual of Style makes a pretty penny each year doing it, in fact. No, I will NOT buy yet another one of their books, dammit. Because damn it just isn't accepted nowadays; don't you know that everyone says dammit as one word so it should be spelled that way (grr, I hate this one)? And the whole possessive s changed over 2-3 years along the lines of "s' is the only way, to s' and s's is okay but be consistent, to s's is the only way... but only if the word has the extra 's-sound' when you speak it verbally". Seriously... these are what they expect people to learn and know. And then you have things like, 'Alright is never all right' as a trick to remember that the word all right is the proper way to spell that word, but it's misspelled constantly in even published work. AND it's only all right as the common spelling in the US, so if you are a writer elsewhere, or your publisher is from elsewhere, or even if you write a story set outside the US, it would be all right to use alright in your manuscript. Or the VAST number of words that are two words or should be compound but Word lets you write them either way without marking it, or words that should have a hyphen but Word lets you write as compound or two words instead of hyphenated, yet again without a single mark or worse, telling you it's wrong when it's not! Thank heavens for Merriam-Webster! You can only do your best work, trust your beta and/or editors will do their best work, and then hope your readers will either forgive what mistakes remain or let you know about them so you can quietly fix them (I have at least 3-4 who do so for me; you guys know who you are and thank you again, I always appreciate it and never mind being told I've flubbed up yet again! lol). The rest comes down to your own personal dedication to this form of self-expression. Stellar editing is never going to make a good story or plot great... but bad editing can turn a great story into total trash.
  13. You mean like restaurants or cafes or clubs or stores that fly giant rainbow flags on top so you know it's an establishment that's basically owned by/for purchasing things gay-friendly/specifically welcoming people who are gay or gay-friendly and not somewhere you're going to experience homophobia unless some random asshat comes in and acts like a jerk because it's flying a giant gay flag and is a place that caters to those who are gay or gay friendly...? Yeah, those are fairly common here in the Pacific NW in the larger cities. Or, like the large community area(s) where the community tends to be very gay-centric Matt mentioned in his Do You Identify As Gay? topic.
  14. Cia

    Chapter 42

    I watched everything. I wanted to ask questions, but once Captain issued his orders, the crew moved very quickly. We approached the central planet, and I couldn’t help but wonder at what was coming. Would we succeed? Deke and Captain were exchanging furious looks, but Captain kept avoiding my gaze while Deke would look at me. Captain finally stood and went over to where Deke was sending orders to the security crew through one of the consoles. They spoke low enough I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but Captain grew more rigid with every stab of Deke’s hand in the air. “Kohen!” Captain barked my name, and I jumped. I strode over to him, stopping a few feet from him and Deke. “Yes?” Was he going to order me back to his quarters? I didn’t want to go. I squared my shoulders and took a deep breath, locking my jaw and preparing to argue with him. “See?” Deke said. Captain’s shoulders slumped. “It would be safer if—” “No one on the ship is safe. And if the goal of your cousin and this other guy has been to get me this whole time, me hiding in your quarters wouldn’t do anything but ensure they tear apart the ship until they find me there—though, since Lakshou was a traitor and feeding them information, he probably told them exactly where my quarters were and they’d go directly to that ring anyway.” Deke snorted, and Captain grimaced. “Arm him.” He turned and walked away. “What?” I stared at Deke who didn’t look happy, but he did look relieved. “You made the same points I did. Captain Querry allowed you here, and you’re never going to be safe. You’re too valuable as a hostage, or a patient, or an experiment, or an assassin.” He said it so blithely, like it didn’t even matter what they’d done to me in the years they’d twisted my brain and body. He didn’t shy from it or break eye contact, and that alone was what let me do the same. “So whatever the hell else they want from you, they’re not going to just give up. Not even if we take out these guys. And Captain saying this would only take a few days?” His gaze flicked over my shoulder. “You should be ready for this to take more than a few days. This could spark another war. Brox has been pushing for too long. This isn’t just a business or a few politicians giving a company contracts for stations and planetary developments. This is bigger. This is power and control. Mind control.” Like he had to remind me. I knew exactly what had terrified me and forced me to make him trap me in Captain’s quarters until I was sure I wouldn’t be a danger to everyone else. Because if they could do that—turn anyone into an assassin without warning—then no one would be safe. Isolationism would rule the universe. Easy pickings after that. “If this is bigger than we know, if we can’t cut the head off the snake, then the decision will have to be made. Run, let the universe take care of itself until it reaches wherever we try to hide away, or stay and fight even if some of us don’t make it.” Deke turned and led me to a corner of the room. He pressed a finger to a sensor on the wall, and it slid open to reveal a cache of weapons. “Though I think you’ve already made that decision.” I stared at the array of deadly options in front of me. This was more than just thinking I probably wasn’t a threat; this was being sure I was on their side. This was giving me a way to protect myself and Captain too. To make sure I never ended up in that cell again. My eyes burned, and I blinked rapidly. I cleared my throat. “Yeah.” “So anything here something you’ve been trained on?” I pointed to a few, and Deke started handing them over along with the proper shields and attachments to secret them about my body. Accustomed to undercover work, I hid them all away. There was something reassuring about being armed. Most of the time, on the missions I’d been sent on, I’d had no weapons but the ones I’d managed to find in my environment. “We’re closing in, and our escorts should be joining us at any moment.” Captain stood. “All hands to your assigned stations and quarters. Freska, how close do you need to be to get with the ships for the raid on Intelligence? Do you need to transfer ships?” “Not as close as they’d like to think,” she said gleefully. “I’m patched in, and they won’t know what hit them. And I don’t need to leave my girl at all.” Deke returned to his console and I went back to stand beside Captain where I belonged. He stared intently at his screen, watching the increasing traffic on our approach. I didn’t understand all the information on the vid, but I could see the movement and paths plotted. There were at least six on a course straight for us. “Captain….” “Everett,” he corrected me. In front of his crew? Impossible. I opened my mouth, and nothing came out. He brushed his fingers lightly against the back of my hand. “Everett….” It came out wobbly and hoarse. I swallowed. “Six ships?” “It’s okay. I’ve had pings from each of them on a private channel, one that those traitors could never have learned about. They’re all captained by people we can trust. Only four were assigned to us; two more are tagging along cloaked to everyone but us.” I nodded. “Okay.” I brushed my hand on the weapon at my waist, only a slight bulge revealing it. Captain caught me. “You know I didn’t count on this, to be honest, but it makes me feel better that you’re armed. It feels right.”
  15. This morning I dressed, made the bed, made my hubby's lunch, cleared my email, fed the dog, started a load of laundry, read while I walked for an 65 minutes (3.71 miles), showered, transferred laundry, put away the clean dishes, moved the frozen food back out the garage freezer and picked up the clean cold packs/ice chest/storage bags from where they'd been washed/dried in the backyard after Xander's birthday party this weekend, and could've walked out the door for work at 7:15 AM this morning, which I'll be doing in about a month.

    If I do online work during half of my walk on my phone, which I keep on a swivel mount on my forearm, and only read the other half, my days will start off even more productive and I won't have to sacrifice my morning walks. I got this!!

    1. Valkyrie

      Valkyrie

      My "productive" days are a small fraction of what you mentioned.  :worship:  :unsure:  

  16. Hi prompt blog followers! I was a little late this week, just by a few hours, but I actually dozed off last night looking for a picture and didn't get the blog quite up in time. Sorry! But you still have plenty of time today and the rest of this week to post your flash fiction inspired by the following prompts, and I did find a picture that was perfect this morning. Prompt 686 – Creative Tag – Wish The sign read, Wishes Fulfilled – All magic comes at a price. Your friend came wishing to find her perfect wedding dress. You though spending money on a wish dress was stupid. When the strange owner of the shop asked what it was you wished for, you laughed. “Anything can be had for a price!” You still don’t know why, but you took three hundred bucks out of your wallet, handed it to him, and told him the one thing you always wished for. The little man smiled and clapped his hands. Today, you have your wish. What was it? Prompt 687 – Challenge Tag – No more I Love You Write a love story, but you are forbidden from using the words “I love you.” Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.
  17. That notification setting is for any comments made on the stories you follow, so that setting is correct. It's something some members who like to do a conversation in the comments may wish to keep active but others just may want to have notifications that the author has responded as we had previously. But, as that format has changed, the authors will have to either quote the comment or use an @ mention for the reader to know they've commented specifically to them, just in case the reader has turned off that notification feature. Something to look at and see if we can change or not. But, no, the notifications for chapter comments is not a bug and it is working properly.
  18. Cia

    Stories 2.3.2 Is now Live

    If you guys find any bugs as you use the system to read, post stories or chapters, edit, etc... please remember to post them in the bug topic with all the requested relevant information:
  19. Stories 2.3.2 went live today. We are aware there are some new bugs and a few other things cropping up, such as: 1. Attempting to view past page 1 of an author's story listing sends you to the page with a list of all authored stories. Using the browser back button returns you to page 1 of the all author story listing, not page 1 of the single author's stories, even though the author's name is selected in the author filter options. Hitting refresh does then refilter to a list of the single author's stories. Tested via my Surface in Edge and Chrome. If you find any bugs, please remember to share them with the proper information so we can follow up on what you're seeing.
  20. Cia

    Writing Prompts #686 & #687

    This picture goes with prompt #686. With your wish, perhaps you got a magical potion. Which bottle did it come in? What does the amulet have to do with your wish? Is it a liquid, a gas or smoke, a powder? Do you need to drink, inhale, ingest it or does someone else? What does it have to do with your wish? Enjoy!!
  21. Well, hello again, lovelies! Did you all have a good week with all my blog features? It's me again, yes again! How about some writing prompts this time, once again thought up by the amazing guru, Comicfan? Though, I did add a photo in the comments last week that went well with one of the prompts. Was that helpful to wiggle a few ideas loose? Should we add in the occasional picture inspiration to the mix or just throw some in the comments as the fancy strikes? Share your thoughts! Prompt 684 – Creative Tag – Soldier You’ve run into him three different times this week, and his stiff outfit and manors mark him as newly minted from the service. Considering the Army base is at the edge of town, seeing a soldier isn’t so surprising. However, when you nearly walk into him on the sidewalk in front of your home you decide to talk to him. Who is the soldier? Prompt 685 – Creative Tag – First line What do you mean, you’re dating Death? Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below!
  22. Hey authors! Comicality did the Adjectives and Adverb writing challenge, (with a cemetary scene, check it out!) but he's the only author so far! 😥It's 100 to 300 words only, and you have a few more days. Plus, we're doing a part two challenge next weekend/week to play around with the scene you write. AND you'll get a newsletter feature! 

    1. Valkyrie

      Valkyrie

      I really want to tackle this one, but am not sure I'll have time.  I may have time tomorrow, since it's so short.  

    2. Puppilull

      Puppilull

      I'm in Spain with no laptop... can't think and write on my phone. :(

       

  23. Cia

    Chapter 41

    There was a void between the group even I could feel. Original crew and new. One eyed the other, not quite trusting, but needing each other to run the larger ship and get to port safely. Or as safe as we were all going to be. Because Captain was right. Their ship couldn’t help but tell Freska everything. If I wasn’t sure there wasn’t an AI yet developed, despite all attempts over the years to create the independently-learning computer brains in robot bodies, I’d think it was the first of its kind. Almost before she finished it was spitting out information, sharing files, vids, and even the log history. “I think we have it.” Deke stood behind two crew members who were feverishly working on the vid screens in front of them. He had his arm cradled against his chest but it wasn’t even wrapped. “What?” “There.” Deke stalked over to a vid screen on the wall and pressed his hand against it, turning it on. He tapped two buttons and the planet on the screen rotated until a large, sprawling cube expanded into millions of tiny cubes. A city. “This is our first destination.” Captain’s hands clenched. “That’s Councilman Breck Mejer Frijul Major’s seat. Are you sure he’s part of the conspiracy?” “You doubt me?” Freska asked. “No, no.” Captain was quick to reassure her. I didn’t blame him. What she could do with technology…. “Deke said first,” I said. “How many are we actually up against?” I had the vision of half the Central cities and districts being in on it and against us, with all their planets and military resources allied against us with Brox. “I sent him two. I’m sorry, Captain Querry.” Her aggressive, cocky tone was completely gone and in its place was a true sorrow. Just two. That was good. Way better than I feared. But why was she sorry? The crew member brought up the second location, and Deke stiffened at the same time Captain surged to his feet. “No.” His objection was implacable, his refusal absolute. “There’s no way.” “What? What is it?” I moved to stand beside him, but there was so much tension running through Captain’s body that I didn’t dare touch his clenched fists. “We got roped into this business because one of the people asking was Captain Querry’s cousin.” Deke spoke slowly, watching Captain as he spoke. “He’s our contact in Intelligence. Freska’s ship has pinpointed multiple communications coming from his office and his residence.” “You think she’s wrong?” I asked. Silence fell over the entire room, like everyone held their breath. Captain’s shoulders were rigid, and he looked at me. I tilted my head, trying to decipher what he was thinking and feeling. I couldn’t quite do it. But then his shoulders sagged, and his hands opened. I put my hand on his arm, then ran it down and squeezed his hand. He grabbed mine and didn’t let go. “No. She’s not wrong. It would make sense. It’d have to be someone in Intelligence; they’ve sent us on too many easy missions where everything has gone exactly right. They knew all our moves, all Central Command’s moves. Working with Frijul, they’d have access to the ear of almost everyone who travels to planet. Almost all trade, all travel, goes through his district.” The grip on my hand was so tight, my knuckles were white. I was strong enough to take it, and anything else he needed to support him. “What are we going to do?” “That depends.” Captain took a deep breath. “Our guests were supposed to escort us back. If our counterattack remained undetected, we have the element of surprise. My contacts are ready; I reached back far, into our early days. Military escorts will rendezvous with us, in stealth mode, now that we know our targets. We’re going to hit them both, hard, and take down this conspiracy.” Deke grinned. “I’m all for hard.” Someone groaned, and Deke made a rude gesture. Kekillill scoffed. “Can you grow up? Captain Querry, I’m unsure of how you expect to be able to land at Intelligence when all air traffic is closed to that location except by express permission; your cousin won’t just allow you to land when he knows you or your soldier allies have figured out what’s going on when you don’t go to Frujil’s ‘port with the escort.” “We will go to Frijul’s port with the escort. And to Intelligence. Two of the ships are matches to these vessels, and if Freska will agree to ask them to change their names and location pings, we can split the crew between the ships and strike in a coordinated attack.” Kekillil stood, placing both hands behind her back. “I would be honored to lead one ship, sir.” Deke snorted. Captain shot him a look, and he subsided. “This ship is mine by writ, and I cannot gainsay that without Command’s express permission in certain situations, and I have already given command of the other ship to Freska. She answers to her, and her alone. You will simply have to remain under my command a bit longer, I’m afraid.” Kekillill nodded abruptly. “Yes, sir.” She sat. “Once we get there, what happens?” That’s what I wanted to know. “Then we take Elliard and Frijul into custody. We find any others involved in this little scam when the vermin scuttle from the light we’ll shine on filthy collaboration. And, with any luck, it’ll all be rooted out in just a few days.” Even I knew that was highly unlikely, and a few weeks was probably be pushing our luck. Months if we weren’t lucky. “Then we’re free? Brox has no hold on us? We can just disappear?” That sounded… amazing. I never thought I’d want to hide from the world, after being in that cell, but if Captain was there with me? I was in.
  24. Well, happy Monday! Are those groans I hear? Well, hopefully you will either survive, if you're checking this blog before work or you obviously managed to make it through the day if you're home and hopefully relaxing. And what better way than to first read this review by LitLover of this eko tale written by our very own Promising author, Craftingmom? Blood of the Neko craftingmom Reviewer: LitLover Status: Complete Word Count: 61,158 Blood of the Neko is the sequel to the very popular Tears of the Neko by Craftingmom. This is a story about love, loyalty, and most of all, trust and how easily trust can be damaged. I’ve had a hard time reading stories about abused characters, but there was something about Kaden that drew me in and had me impatient for this sequel. Kaden is a young Neko hybrid; people who in this world appear part feline, with ears and a tail, and the agility of a cat. In Tears of the Neko Kaden was a slave, purchased as a gift for a nobleman. His sweet and loyal demeanor quickly endeared him to the household and to his new master, who eventually becomes his lover. In Blood the new lovers are learning how to live together as a couple and Kaden is adjusting to his freedom and life as the consort of a powerful lord. Kaden, fiercely protective of those he loves, decides he want to learn how to properly fight so he can protect Damien if he’s ever attacked again. Knowing his duke would disapprove putting himself in harms way, he decides to keep his lessons a secret. Damien, still smarting from his brother’s deception, immediately thinks the worst when he realizes his young lover is keeping secrets. The seeds of doubt fester as the days go by, resulting in angry accusations, a devastated hybrid and a kidnapping. The whole thing leads to an exciting ending that I won’t spoil for you. You’ll have to read the story yourself to see how everything plays out. Blood of the Neko is a story that pulled me in and had me wanting to wrap Kaden in a protective hug, while smacking Damien on more than one occasion. Warning; there is reference to abuse of a child in this story and it does involve physical abuse in the present day. It won’t be a story for everyone, but I think if you give this series, and this tale in particular, a chance you won’t be disappointed. Category: Fiction Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance Tags: young adult, alternate earth, serious, renaissance, love, abuse Rating: Mature
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