Jump to content

Comicality

Author: Signature Author
  • Content count

    2,160
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    1

Everything posted by Comicality

  1. We are still accepting submissions for Imagine Magazine, which is finally back in FULL working order! While issue 39 (To be posted in August!) was mostly finished before we had server issues and had to stop the momentum that we were building with the magazine in 2018 back in March...things are moving forward again! So if you guys have articles about LGBT youth, short stories, or anything else that you'd like to add...please let me know at Comicality@webtv.net so I can save you a spot! We've got featured authors for August and September, but if you want me to promote one of your stories and get more folks to read your work? Let me know! I'd love to help out! Anyway, Imagine returns soon! Feel free to look at previous issues at https://imagine-magazine.org/ and see if you like it! Cool? Enjoy! And get your submissions in as soon as possible so I can get you guys a secure spot ahead of time! ((Hugz)) In advance!
  2. We are still accepting submissions for Imagine Magazine, which is finally back in FULL working order! While issue 39 (To be posted in August!) was mostly finished before we had server issues and had to stop the momentum that we were building with the magazine in 2018 back in March...things are moving forward again! So if you guys have articles about LGBT youth, short stories, or anything else that you'd like to add...please let me know at Comicality@webtv.net so I can save you a spot! We've got featured authors for August and September, but if you want me to promote one of your stories and get more folks to read your work? Let me know! I'd love to help out! Anyway, Imagine returns soon! Feel free to look at previous issues at https://imagine-magazine.org/ and see if you like it! Cool? Enjoy! And get your submissions in as soon as possible so I can get you guys a secure spot ahead of time! ((Hugz)) In advance!
  3. Comicality

    Stuff...

    I slept super late today! And even then, I just stayed in bed for a while. I just wanted to take the time to truly appreciate my day off! And I'm in the BEST of moods, right now! Sweet! And I switched days with somebody at work because it's her birthday (You've GOTTA celebrate your birthday! How can I say no?), so that means I have tomorrow off too! That's the best news ever! My laptop has been updated with the new Microsoft 'let's break everything and make it un-usable' update! And I still have that tree in my backyard and a busted fence! LOL! I mean, it's been cut down into smaller pieces and all, but we can't haul it away until the ground in our backyard isn't so wet. I mean...it doesn't rain every day or anything, but it's enough to keep a truck's tires stuck in the mud while trying to get the power to pull a giant friggin' FOREST tree out of the yard. So yeah...it's still, like, total destruction back there. Que sera sera! ANYWAY...just wanted to pop in and say hi! I might try to pop in to the chatterbox chatroom later on tonight. I can't make any promises, but I'll try to stop by for a little while and give you all cuddles. K? In the meantime, I'm gonna give the new "Billy Chase" chapter some polish and post it! It's a bigger than normal chapter, so give me some time to make sure it's not embarrassingly bad. Hehehe! Seezya soon! While you wait... I fuckin' *LOVE* this song and video!!! Omigod, it's an obvious nod to old school Prince! Which is CLASSIC! I think Janelle Monet came out. Not like in a major announcement kinda way, but, yeah...she likes women. Or perhaps both. But, last I heard, she was dating Tessa Thompson (Who played 'Valkerie' in Thor Ragnarok), which is just plain HOT! Love you, Janelle!!! Mwah!
  4. Comicality

    Summer Break

    Gotchya! i'll be sure to keep babbling when you come back!
  5. Comicality

    The super slow down! :O

    So, my laptop has been extremely slow over the past two weeks. And that makes things difficult, but it hasn't halted any of the Shack's progress! K? I just have to work on other things while waiting for my internet to quit acting up! I'm thinking that Microsoft is forcing another update on me, and that's why everything is taking TEN TIMES longer than it should right now! But, whatever. I have the day off today, and I'll be working on emails instead today! So...'close a door and open a window', right? I've been focusing on all of you guys that are brand NEW to the Shack first, and welcoming you to the madhouse! Hehehe! But I never forget my friends, and the folks who go out of their way to write to me, support the stories, and post on the boards! So, you can expect to hear from me as well! Mwah! Love you lots! And just...thanks for thinking about me, you know? Even when I'm not around to 'entertain' and perform like I should be. It means a lot to have a sprinkling of true friends out there in the world! Just know that I appreciate it withmy whole heart! K? Gotta run! Seezya soon! I'll figure things out soon enough! Ps- MASSIVE work has been put In to get the "GFD: Blood Bank" website and "Imagine Magazine" site back in working order! Both are fully functional now, and while there may be a few changes here and there, you guys can visit them whenever you like! Expect new updates in August for both!!! That's just a few weeks away! So stay tuned! K? https://gfdbloodbank.com/ https://imagine-magazine.org/
  6. So, my laptop has been extremely slow over the past two weeks. And that makes things difficult, but it hasn't halted any of the Shack's progress! K? I just have to work on other things while waiting for my internet to quit acting up! I'm thinking that Microsoft is forcing another update on me, and that's why everything is taking TEN TIMES longer than it should right now! But, whatever. I have the day off today, and I'll be working on emails instead today! So...'close a door and open a window', right? I've been focusing on all of you guys that are brand NEW to the Shack first, and welcoming you to the madhouse! Hehehe! But I never forget my friends, and the folks who go out of their way to write to me, support the stories, and post on the boards! So, you can expect to hear from me as well! Mwah! Love you lots! And just...thanks for thinking about me, you know? Even when I'm not around to 'entertain' and perform like I should be. It means a lot to have a sprinkling of true friends out there in the world! Just know that I appreciate it withmy whole heart! K? Gotta run! Seezya soon! I'll figure things out soon enough! Ps- MASSIVE work has been put In to get the "GFD: Blood Bank" website and "Imagine Magazine" site back in working order! Both are fully functional now, and while there may be a few changes here and there, you guys can visit them whenever you like! Expect new updates in August for both!!! That's just a few weeks away! So stay tuned! K? https://gfdbloodbank.com/ https://imagine-magazine.org/
  7. Comicality

    OH MY!!! :O

    Hehehe...wow. Just...ahem. Let me get back to my Comsie-work. ::Tugs on collar:: Hehehe! https://youtu.be/aDPlWX0ilug
  8. Comicality

    Chapter 16

    Hehehe, I was kinda waiting for you to read this one!
  9. Comicality

    Too Cute . . .

    Hehehe, dawwwww! I wanna add this one to the list.
  10. Comicality

    Short Stories

    While an extended story with multiple chapters and layers of depth may give a writer enough breathing room to truly build and explore the lives and personalities of the characters they′ve brought to life, I think it′s still a good practice to occasionally go back to writing short, self contained, stories to keep that particular part of their creative muscle strong. Short stories and flash fiction can teach you things than the ′wide open canvas′ style of writing can′t. It can help you to focus your talents, work on self editing, and keep your storytelling less complicated than your average epic saga. Over the past year, I′ve been trying to write more, one-shot, short stories and smaller mini-series, myself, in order to do exactly that. Strengthen my ability to condense and control my writing skills in order to quickly and effectively get to the point without making any grand plans for an entire ensemble cast of characters and any big dramatic plot twists and turns that won′t happen until much much later in the story. Sometimes...keeping things simple is a good thing. And with just the right words and just the right characters, you can create something truly sweet and inspiring without having to make a 72 chapter blowout! Hehehe! So, let′s talk about short stories, shall we? The skill involved in creating a straightforward, one time, story is all about selecting a single situation and describing it in a way where only that single moment matters. Maybe you′re writing about a boy′s first kiss, and that′s great. It can be a moving story that gives your readers a really warm and fuzzy feeling inside when they read it. But (at least for me), my gut instinct is to create a relatable main character, then flesh him out through his actions and dialogue, then introduce the love interest, and then allow the readers to peek in to see how they got to know one another. How they relate to one another. How they get along and ultimately build up to that first kiss...giving it meaning and value and a giddy sense of relief. But, with a short story, you don′t have the time and space for all of that. Find the ′punchline′, and zero in on what′s most important. And only what′s most important. If you decide you want to give some background details about what led up to this miraculous kiss... that′s great! But do it in just a few sentences or perhaps a few, well worded, paragraphs. And tell it, almost, as if it was a flashback. This is who he is, this is how we met, and now we′re ′here′. Done. The idea is to concentrate on the kiss. That′s what the short story is about, right? That′s the punchline! Awesome! Keep it that way. Start your story ten minutes before the kiss happens, and end the story FIVE minutes after the kiss happens. Any bonus details that you add about what led to this moment and what hope there is for future events down the road are welcome, but mostly unnecessary. Practice restricting yourself from getting too far into details that will ultimately lead to ′other′ story elements that aren′t related to that one particular moment in time. For example...if the two characters sharing this kiss grew up together and have been best friends since they were in Kindergarten, and are now celebrating their seventeenth birthday together alone with a movie marathon in their bedroom...cool. All relevant information. However, if you mention parental divorce, or an illness, or ex-boyfriends, sexual confusion, religious constraints, or anything like that...those are details that have more ′story′ behind them. Those are elements that may need extra explanation for them to be considered important to the plot itself. And if you just mention it and then don′t do anything more with that info...then it isn′t important to the plot itself...in which case...why bring it up? Eliminate it from your narrative. Get rid of it. Keep things tightly wound around the special moment in question. It′s a first kiss. Focus on the kiss and nothing else. Don′t add, ″By the way, the boy I′m kissing happens to be a contract killer for the mob!″ Hehehe, that is a detail that will take at LEAST five to ten more pages to fully explain! Five to ten pages that have absolutely nothing to do with this kiss itself. So...stay focused. K? Hehehe! Short stories follow the same basic rules as the longer ones do. The situation at hand is just much more grounded and isolated in nature. The shorter the story, the more precise you have to be with choosing your moment. The story has to have a beginning, a middle, and (hopefully) a satisfying end. Just like any other. But you have to find ways to effectively narrow your vision as much as you can without sacrificing the essential details you need to get our point across. Some stories don′t lead to grand adventure and heartbreaking drama. Sometimes, I write short stories about a guy going to a gay bar for the very first time, or two boys that practice kissing on each other so they can be ready for ′girls′ later on, or about stalking a really cute classmate through his photos online. Those stories are short and to the point, without the need for much explanation beforehand, or much promise for anything afterward. It′s just a golden moment in time. A single snapshot of someone′s life, detailed in words, and then the rest is left up to the reader to figure out for themselves. If you ask me, that can be even more endearing to a section of your audience, sometimes. They can finish building the rest of the story on their own, and they can make it whatever they want it to be. Hehehe, see? You get to deliver the epic romance feel without having to do all the hard work yourself. Awesome, right? Anyway, the point is to occasionally return to your roots and try putting out a short story every now and then. Remember when the thought of writing 3000 to 5000 words in one story seemed like such an impossible chore? LOL! ″I can′t write that much! I don′t have that much to say!″ That was my feeling, at least. But, over time, I started adding details, expanding on my visuals, getting more comfortable with my dialogue and plot structure...and now it′s actually more of a challenge to hold back and keep things simple than it is to elaborate. I′ve learned that it′s best to find your particular niche and find a decent balance between being too broad and being too brief with my ideas. A taste of both is fun, but too much of one or the other can taint the ′broth′, you know? So try it out! When you get the inspiration for a scene or a short story that doesn′t really lend itself to a much bigger project, try writing it out and posting it for your readers to see every now and then. I think it′s FUN, myself! Hehehe! But I′m a psycho, so don′t take my example as anything made of sound mind! But, not only does the practice keep your perspective clear and fresh from time to time, but you get the chance to experiment with new and unique ideas whenever you feel inspired. Different styles of writing...and it helps you to truly learn how to paint a crisp and clear vision in a single scene without losing sight of what that scene is all about. A skill that will definitely help you out when you′re writing your epic ′War And Peace′ sized novel...and want one major scene or another to stand out as the centerpiece of that part of the book! Get it? Good! As always, I hope this helps spark a few ideas, and I wish you guys the best of luck! Seezya soon!
  11. https://www.youtube.com/embed/EzIzFfWR78M
  12. https://www.gayauthors.org/story/comicality/jessie-101onlinecelebrity/ Hehehe, yes, I am aware that you guys just got a new "Jesse-101" chapter a few weeks ago! Well, now you get another one! I hope you guys like it! And let me know what you think when you guys get a chance! K? "Jesse-101" was a story that was inspired by my earliest experiences with YouTube vlogs when they were really taking off! I thought that was the coolest thing in the world, that your average teenager could basically have his own TV show online and share it with the whole world! Shortly after, the Shack had a game where we tested our 'gaydar'! I chose about 15 to 20 teens and college students with multiple videos on their channel, and half of them were openly gay, half of them were straight. (ALL of them cute, of course!) And everyone had to look for certain hints or cues or mannerisms to figure out which was which. It was a fun exercise, and there were some surprises too for everybody involved. Thus, the idea of "Jesse-101" was born! And here we are! Twenty Three chapters later! Thanks for supporting this story from the very beginning! I couldn't let a 20 year anniversary celebration pass by without adding this Shack favorite to the list! Have fun!
  13. "Jesse-101" Online Celebrity Chapter Twenty Three: "Broken Restraints" By the time Lori had taken one look at the highly expressive grin on my face the next day in school...she was already beginning to hound me about my life and trying to figure out what was going on with me. She was WAY too nosy to let it go! And I was WAY too excited to not spill the beans! So, once again...Lori and I prove to be unnaturally compatible in every way imaginable. That should have been expected from the very beginning, though. Even when we argue, it's a rarity that Lori and I are out of sync with one another. "You're happy." She said. "Which means you've either gone mad, or something really cool happened recently. Which is it?" "Well, if I had gone crazy...would I really know that I was crazy?" "Don't avoid my commentary, you dick!" Lori grinned. I instantly caved in. WHAT? What good is it to be this excited if I couldn't share it with my best friend? "Jesse and I have a date for Friday! He wants to take me out again!" "Oh wow! You did it? You actually asked him out on a date like you said???" She had to subdue one of her fangirl squeals with both of her fists balled up in front of her mouth. "I didn't have to, actually." I said, and with a wink, added, "Jesse beat me to it." Lori melted. "Omigod...that boy is soooo sweet to you!" "I KNOW, right?" I said. "He's, like...super anxious for it too." "Psh! Like you aren't?" "God, Lori...he's SO perfect! In every possible way! I've never felt like this before. Not for anybody. It's unreal." She playfully stuck out her bottom lip, and asked, "So when are you gonna bring Jesse to come hang out with the rest of us?" If I had been chewing gum, I would have swallowed it. "What the..." There was a pause between us, and I was like, "I don't know. I hadn't really thought about it." Her jaw dropped slightly, "Hadn't thought about it? Really? You mean to tell me that you've got no plans to share any of your good fortune with us?" "Share??? No! Well, I mean...what do you..." "Oh, I get it! Hehehe! Tristan's got a serious cutie on his arm, so now he wants to hog the unforgivably beautiful celebrity Youtube boy all to himself? That's SO not fair!" I know that she was just teasing, but this was something that had honestly never crossed my mind before today. "It's not like that, Lori, I just..." I tried to come up with an appropriate collection of words that would explain my suddenly being challenged by such a simple question. "...It would be weird, ok?" "What the..." She said. "What would be weird about it?" "You know what I mean." "I don't think I do." "C'mon, Lori. I just need to..." "Don't forget that you were being a total bitch about even talking to Jesse before WE stepped in and forced you two to become an item!" "I KNOW! Ok? I do. And I'll be in your debt FOREVER for you unleashing the fury on me about that! But...I just...I want a little bit of time for us to get to know each other a little better before...well, you know..." I whined. "Before Michelle and I embarrass the shit out of you? Is that it?" She said, and then gave me a silly smirk, with me rolling my eyes, unable to hold back a smirk of my own. "You are being so extra right now. I can't believe you." "What happened to you wanting totake a step back and giving me some space to be happy? Huh? Wasn't that what you told me on the phone?" "So, you pick NOW to finally take some of my wise advice without having me cram it down your throat? Great!" "I'll bring him by to join the crew. I promise! Just...let me enjoy this for a bit longer. He feels the same way, for the record. He wants it to just be the two of us for a while. I mean, you get it...right? It's not a diss, I swear." Lori sighed to herself. "I know." Then she rolled her eyes as well, "Go have fun with your sexy new boyfriend, ya big ol' diva. But don't think for one second that I'm going to forget about this! We want to drool over Jesse too, ya know?" "Hehehe, my life wouldn't be complete if I didn't have my besties and my boyfriend in the same room at some point. You know me better than that." I said, giving her a hug around the shoulders and a light kiss on the forehead. Then, I felt her tense up a bit as she looked over my shoulder. "Fuck..." She grumbled. "What? What's the matter?" "Don't look, dude. Just...keep hugging me, k?" "Huh?" I thought it was odd, but then I heard a familiar voice over my shoulder. "Are you done with your little temper tantrum yet?" Something about Jason Fixx's voice just makes my skin crawl sometimes. But things were different this time around. I was in love. And I was spending time with someone who actually met me more than half way to give that same love, trust, and respect, BACK to me...instead of only being concerned with what HE was getting out of the whole deal. It was an entirely different situation. A different feeling. Turning around to look Jason in the eye, I was almost ashamed that I had ever given him the time of day in the first place. When is this loser going to take the hint? "Tantrum?" I asked. "I can't remember throwing a tantrum your way. Sorry." "You, totally, are Tristan. I sent you a message the other day. Didn't you get it?" "Yeah. I got it. And then I got rid of it." I told him. "Jason...you and I don't have anything to talk about. We're done." "Why are you being such a pussy about this? What's with the excess drama? Let's just put the bullshit behind us and get together some time. Quit being so difficult." He said, causing me to shake my head and laugh. "I don't think you're hearing me, Jason. So let me simplify this for you, so it can wiggle past your insufferable ego! I'm not interested. At ALL. NOTHING that you have to say has any meaning to me, whatsoever, anymore. It's just noise. Nothing more. I don't even care enough to be upset anymore. You're just...trash." I told him. "You had your chance to treat me like a decent human being, and you fucked it up. You were too selfish to care about my feelings when you had them aimed in your direction...and now you think you can bully your way back into having me give a shit about you again? No. You can't. I don't feel anything for you anymore. Nothing. You're the one mistake that is well on its way towards being forgotten about. I don't want to talk. I don't want to 'hang out'. I sure as hell don't want to get back together. You have nothing of value to offer me. I just don't have the capacity to care anymore. I can't be more clear than that. Sorry." I said, seeing Jason's reaction go from disbelief to one that almost resembled a convincing feeling of 'loss'. "I know that you'll probably go home and think that I'm the one being the asshole here, and that's fine. Think what you want. Whatever it takes to help you sleep at night. But, deep down, you know the truth. You had me, Jason. Ignorant and naive as I was...I was totally down to stand beside you, no matter what. But you ruined it. You, and you alone. What you've done to me, at this point, goes way beyond you simply saying you're sorry. You abused me until I finally realized that I don't have any use for a monster like you in my life. We're done. So...you're only left with two choices now." I said. "You can either learn from this, and treat the other people in your life better than you ever treated me...or you can try to blame me for being a 'pussy', and keep up with this behavior until you've alienated every single person in your life who took a chance on ever giving a fuck about you until they're all gone. Because I don't. Not anymore. And I never will again." I was surprised to see Lori standing there...speechless! Joyfully so! And before walking away from him, I said, "There. I'm done with my little 'tantrum'. I'll leave you to get back to your own life without me now. Ta- ta!" As much animosity as they've had for one another since our big break up, I think my defiant comments shocked both Lori and Jason Fixx into a state of utter paralysis! Neither one of them expected me to handle the situation the way that I did. Hell, until I was in the middle of it...I can't really say that I expected it myself! What the hell just happened? Did I really just tell Jason Fixx to fuck off, once and for all? A few weeks ago, I was pining away over his misuse of my body and soul, craving his validation and his approval of me! And now? God...he just didn't fucking matter! What was I thinking, trying to reason with that asshole? Why did I allow him to bring me down to his level? I'm so much better than that. And Jesse? Hehehe, Jesse brings me up to a level so high that I can't even SEE Jason Fixx's bullshit from here. Wow...it took a lot of time and effort to get to the point where I really hated Jason for everything that he was. But I never thought I'd reach a point where he ceased to have any impact on me at all. This is an entirely new feeling for me. One that I feel, finally, set me free. Jason sucked his teeth and made an attempt to look like he blew me off first with a dismissive gesture and a few curse words...but I wasn't watching. And I wasn't listening. This wasn't an act...I really did NOT care! Hehehe, and that felt so GOOD! You have no idea! "Tristan! My fuckin' HERO! What was that???" Lori said, nearly knocking me over with a hug from the side. "I don't know! I just...I feel like I'm top of the world right now! Everything is awesome!" Hehehe, it made me think of Jesse's singing over the phone, but I tried to keep my focus, regardless. "I think I can see why you were so angry about me sticking up for him before. Omigod, Lori, that guy is totally worthless! What was I thinking?" "I can't believe you just did that!" "I can't either. I kinda expected Jason to just go away and stay away. But now, he's like...obsessed with me. I almost wish I still found something to mildly like about the guy." I told her, resisting the urge to turn around to see if he was still watching us walk away. Nope. I won't do it. I said what I said it was a perfect opportunity to break things off right then and there...maybe he'll finally get a clue. "Holy shit, dude! I've never been more proud of you in my entire life!" She said, and then she started tearing up. "Whoah! No no no...stop that! Don't start crying!" I begged her, but she just fanned her face with both hands and let the tears run wild anyway. "It's just...he was so fucking CRUEL to you for so fucking long! And for no fucking reason at ALL!!! And you just sat there and took it like a champ without fighting back because...because you didn't want to be the asshole that he was. And now? Now you've got this amazing life that you're building up for yourself from square one, and you...you finally told that creep to go FUCK himself!!! And I don't think he even deserved that much of a response from you! It's just so...so special..." Lori's voice started to crack, and I looked around the hallway to see who was watching this meltdown as I tried to get her emotions back under her control before she started blowing snot bubbles out of her nose. "Lori...babe, you know I love you, but...can we stop? This is weird." I said. "Omigod, I gotta hug you! Come here!" "NO!!! You're all...wet and nasty. How about you come back and hug me later!" I said, but she was already pressing her face into my excuse for a boy chest. I cringed a bit, hearing her sniffle and swallow mucus as her sloppy expression of joy began to soak the fabric of my shirt. Ugh! I might as well just wrap my arms around her and hug her already. Anything to cut this 'bonding' time in half. "Ok. Alright. Ummm...there, there." I said. "I'm sorry, Tris. This is like a whole new milestone. We should celebrate." She said, wiping her eyes. "Great. We can do it at the laundromat while I try to get your snot and smeared makeup out of my shirt." "What? My makeup is running? Omigod, I've got to fix up." And with that, she let me go and headed towards the girl's bathroom to pretty up again. I called out, "Doesn't do much for my shirt, now does it?" "I love you, Tris!" "Lori!" But the protective barrier of the bathroom door had already closed behind her. "I still have three periods to go, ya know..." I mumbled to myself. But whatever. She was right. This felt like the beginning of a brand new day as far as life and love were concerned. A breath of fresh air. Naturally, Jason wasn't the kind of person who would take me having the last word on this fiasco kindly...but I barely found the need to care about that either. He was like that tiny house spider that you see crawling on the wall...on the other side of the room...way up by the ceiling...and you just shrug your shoulders because you don't want to waste the energy getting up to smash it with a napkin. It's like, 'meh'...whatever. This whole 'being in love' thing really changes a person, ya know? Both Lori and Michelle had a billion questions to ask me as they drove me home from school that day, but I didn't really have much to tell them. Jesse didn't really fill me in on much of a game plan. All I knew is that it would be a public place, he offered to pay, and he couldn't wait to see me again. Hehehe, that was definitely enough to sell ME on the idea! What more info did I need? Just as I was climbing out of the back seat of the car, Lori wailed, "Can you take a selfie of you guys kissing? I've GOTTA finally see what it looks like for you to kiss another boy! I can't stand the mystery!" "Shhhh! Jesus! Shout my secrets all over the neighborhood, why don't you?" I said, shutting the door. But, when she rolled her window down, I said, "I'll think about it." And turned to walk up the driveway to my house. "I'll be thinking about it too! I'm not gonna forget!" "I love you, Lori!" I grinned, and kept walking. So...a Friday night date. I was thinking that I'd have to come up with a decent excuse for my mom to let me hop on a bus and travel halfway across town without giving her any concrete details, but...it turns out that she just gave me the weirdest little smile when I told her that I was thinking of going out with a 'friend' tonight. It was the kind of smile a mother gives you when you give her a handmade ashtray from Summer camp...even though she doesn't smoke. She's just touched that you thought of her while you were away. Geez, I hope she's better at keeping her composure than Lori was. If my shirt gets any more snot-soaked, I'm going to have to burn the damn thing! I showered, brushed my teeth, and waited for my hair to dry a bit before teasing the everlovin' shit out of it. I picked a bright red t-shirt to wear, covered by a light blue jean jacket. I took time to pick out this combo because I think it brings out my eyes. Jesse loves my eyes. Then again, he has a fascination with my ass too. Hehehe, so I grabbed some pants that didn't look deliberately tight...but tighter than what I would normally wear. Might as well not deny my new boyfriend a bit of a 'show', right? I'm not done making my first impression on him yet. Do you think he thinks about my butt? Like...does he dream about me? Does he get in his bed, late at night, and strip down while thinking about pushing himself into my... "Honey?" My mom knocked twice on the door, and I found myself nearly diving on the bed, face first, to hide the sudden bulge in the front of my pants before she opened it up. WHAT? What does she want? What could she possibly need from me right NOW at this very moment? Jesus! "Mom...c'mon, I'm getting dressed..." I grunted. "I know. I just wanted to give you something for your...'outing' tonight. That's all." And when I looked back, my mom put twenty five whole dollars on top of my dresser! What the... "Huh? What's that for?" I asked. "It's just a little something extra. So you and your friends can have fun tonight." She said, giving me that ridiculous 'Mom grin' again. "This doesn't mean that you can break curfew. You hear?" "I know. Eleven O'clock, Eleven Thirty with a phone call and a good excuse." I said, repeating the mantra from memory. "That's right." She said. "And what's the only good excuse?" "That I'm on my way home already." I moaned. "Good boy." She leaned in and gave me a kiss on the cheek. "Go have a blast, sweetie." Well...that's ONE surefire way to get rid of a boner for your boyfriend in a hurry. I know that Jesse said he would pay for everything, but I kind of liked the idea of maybe buying him some stuff too. Or at least having the option to. I was feeling rather independent tonight, I figured that I might as well keep that momentum going for as long as I could. Alright, so...is this officially our second date now? Do I count going over to his house and having him...ummm...'put his mouth on me'? That was more of, like, a friendly visit with a huge bonus. Hehehe! I don't know, but I made sure to walk slowly to the bus stop. Didn't want to get all heated and sweaty. Besides, there's still a bit of nervousness when it comes to being close to Jesse. I'm sure I'm going to shake myself to pieces, no matter what, when I see him face to face again. But as I saw the bus coming from a distance, I got a message on my phone. All I saw was a picture of Jesse making this CRAZY face, with his tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth and crossing his eyes! Hahaha, what the hell? The message said, "Getting all pretty for you tonight! See ya soon! MWAH!" That boy is just the right kind of crazy. I'm on my way, Jesse. I'm on my way.
  14. Interesting movie idea. Kinda dark, but I like dark stuff! So I'll be sure to check it out when it comes out! Thought I'd spread the love! Bring on the macabre!
  15. For my very FIRST Shack anniversary ever in 1999, I wanted to do something completely different from everything that I had ever done before up to that point. Something that would catch people off guard. I kept it a secret, only letting one or two people even SEE it before it was released. I described it as "New Kid In School" meets "The Lost Boys"! And the vampire saga, "Gone From Daylight" was born! I know that it is hard for many people to believe, but GFD is the number ONE story on the entire Shack Out Back website! No other story comes close to the fandom and fury surrounding this one series, and it has held that title for 19 years without fail! I couldn't have been more surprised, or more proud, of one of the stories on this site! So, a new chapter is up to continue the saga, and I hope you guys enjoy it! https://www.gayauthors.org/story/comicality/gfd12bloodties/ Also, if you've never read "Gone From Daylight" before, you can find it on my 'Stories' page and start from scratch at the link below! https://www.gayauthors.org/comicality/stories.html Now, I realize that sci fi/horror isn't everybody's cup of tea...and folks who DO like it have been exhausted by vampire stories in general. It won't be the first time that I've heard that, believe me. BUT...if you're online, and don't have anything new to read...maybe you'll give this one a look. I'm willing to bet that I can change your mind and make you a fan! (Won't be the first time I've heard THAT either! Hehehe!) So give it a shot, and let me know what you think! K? There's a REASON why "GFD" has such a huge following! Don't miss out!
  16. Comicality

    Chapter 46

    "Gone From Daylight: Blood Ties 46" "Maintain the fire, Justin. Do not let it burn out of control." The Jeweler told me. I did as he said, holding the glowing ball of flame suspended in the air in front of me. I could feel the heat of the fire on my face, but did my best to concentrate and hold it still as The Jeweler walked a slow and steady circle around me. "Close your eyes." "But...the fire..." "You will know whether or not you are controlling the fire by the heat. Feel the burn of it through your emotions, not your vision." I closed my eyes, and he continued. "Tonight, I would like you to concentrate on your mother." Surprised, I opened my eyes and asked, "My mother? What's she got to do with this?" He slowly reached over to put his hand over my eyes and close them again. "Tell me...what were your feelings towards her, just before you left home?" "I love my mother..." "That's what you feel you're supposed to say. I want you to be honest. The night you left...what did you really feel?" He asked. "What is your last memory of her?" I didn't like this game. I don't like having him inside my head like this. But the sooner I can satisfy his curiosity, the sooner I can get this 'training' thing out of the way and get some answers. "I remember..." Thinking back...it all seemed so long ago. Ancient history when compared to everything that's happened to me ever since. "I remember her being passed out on the living room floor. She had been drinking. She drank a lot." "So...what were you feeling when you saw her like that?" "I told you, I LOVE my mother!" I felt the heat increasing on my face and attempted to get my focus back. "You're using 'love' as a very vague term, Justin. In that one moment...you looked down upon her, unconscious...uncaring...how did you feel?" Goddammit! Him and his dumb questions. I gritted my teeth, and thought back to how pathetic she looked. How I had been bullied and beaten up that night, how I had my best friend wasting away in a hospital all alone, and how the most beautiful boy that I had ever laid eyes on...made me give him my word that I wouldn't jump from the end of that Pier...and how I was too weak to keep that promise. And yet, she was too drunk to care. She couldn't help me. She couldn't comfort me. That's what mom's are supposed to do, right? They're supposed to protect and care for their offspring. And that night, she just didn't have the capacity to give a damn about me. So...I answered the Jeweler with the truth. "I was disgusted." I couldn't see the Jeweler's face, but I could swear he was smiling. "Disgusted. Much more descriptive..." "But that doesn't mean I didn't love her!" "I never said you didn't. Why would you assume that I would? Is this accusation directed at the doubt in my mind...or in yours?" My hands began to tremble as I fought to keep the ball of fire still, the flames calm. "What lingering effects do you think her behavior has had on you, Justin. The neglect. The dismissal." "She loved me..." "Yes. But she loved the alcohol more, didn't she? That's what you wonder from time to time, isn't it? That if it came down to choosing between you and the bottom of a liquor bottle...you might just lose." "This doesn't have anything to do with ANYTHING! Get on with it! You're supposed to be teaching me about the Vampire Dawn!" "I'm here to teach you about yourself, Justin. So you can discover the dawn for yourself. For all of us. I don't have the key, you do. And it is hidden. Hidden deep within your unwillingness to hear its message. In order to find the path, you have to hack and slash your way out of the vines." He said. "I told you in the beginning...you will have to break. But you're still using the chains that bind you to hold yourself together." "She wasn't the problem! My asshole father was the problem!" I said, the fire now burning hot enough to cause beads of sweat to roll down my cheeks, and my hands to burn to the point of discomfort. "Are you still blaming yourself for the destruction of your family, Justin?" He asked. "WHAT??? That's ridiculous! I don't know what you're talking about!" A giant flare up nearly singed my eyebrows. "I know you think about it. I know it haunts you, night after night. How long did that abuse go on? Why did you allow it? Did you want it? Did you ask for it? Did you tolerate your father's savage beatings in order to hold your family together...only to fail miserably in the end?" "STOP IT!!!" "And when your mother found out what had happened...what had taken place in her own hous, on a mother's watch...she turned to substance abuse, didn't she? Your father was gone, your mother was drowning herself in alcohol, and when the other kids at school told you that you were worthless...you believed them, didn't you? Because...in the back of your tortured mind...you wonder if maybe, just maybe, things could have been different...if only you were a better person. If only you were good enough to hold it all together." He said. "At the very center of your being...you are forever wondering if it was all...your...fault." "FUCK YOU!!!" I shouted! The sudden impulse surprised even me, and as the fireball in my hands blazed until it turned white, my blood red eyes shot open...fangs shooting down from my gums, and in an outburst of rage, I shot the fire in The Jeweler's direction with all of its intensity! I'm not sure how he was able to move so quickly and yet so gracefully, but with a wave of his hands he was able to pull the fireball apart in mid air and have it dissipate into the air around him. My attack didn't stop there, however. The fire was reborn in my palms as fast as I released it, and I threw one handful of solid flame after another, hoping to strike an angry blow to the very heart of him for what he was saying to me. But he dodged them all. It was almost as if he were moving in slow motion and double speed at the same time. Spinning and ducking and using his arms in a circular motion to snuff the flames out one at a time. Then, when my turbulent storm of emotions had built up enough juice...my brain geyser burst forth from my head with a powerful scream... ...And he CAUGHT it! I...I don't know how, but...he reached up with both hands, and actually caught the invisible brain geyser energy in his hands. It was powerful enough to cause his feet to slide back a bit across the floor, but he pivoted slightly to come to a complete stop, and I watched, amazed, as his trembling hands contained the massive blast, crushing and condensing it, until it became almost nothing at all. Then he lifted his hands, and the one extra that I possessed, a blast that would have leveled an entire mob of your average vampires...vanished with a slight 'pop', as The Jeweler straightened his robe, put his hands behind his back, and slowly walked towards me as if nothing had happened at all. Physically drained from my explosion, I found myself getting dizzy, and breathlessly dropped to my hands and knees. I was completely fatigued. Out of options. Emotionally drained. That's when The Jeweler looked down on me and said, "I would assume that your irrational outburst felt good to you...but what did it solve?" Panting, I looked up at him with teary eyes. "Had I been an enemy...this would be the end of you. All of your fighting would have been in vain, and any hope of finding the Vampire Dawn would have been lost." "I told you to stay out of my head..." I whimpered softly. "Those memories...those feelings...they're mine. They belong to me." "There are a great many things that we don't want to know about ourselves, Justin. But it is those very elements that we must explore if we're ever to conquer or own demons...before they conquer us." He said. The Jeweler suddenly sat down in front of me, legs crossed, and he lightly petted the damp locks of my blond hair. "I know it hurts, child. It is much more painful to break yourself down than it is to rebuild. But you must believe in me when I tell you that everything that has happened to you, thus far, is another brick in your foundation. A vital part of the very structure that must be broken. It rules over you...even though you don't realize it. It is the parts that we deny the most about ourselves that are the most dangerous. Hanging on to our most damaged pieces, defending them even when they are doing us harm...that is what leads to madness. That...is what leads to rage." "I'm sorry." I said, still trying to catch my breath, my equilibrium wavering, even while I was on all fours. "Don't be sorry for what is already done. Your attack, while reckless, was honest. That truth will be needed if you are ever going to get to the root of your aggression. Those feelings of helplessness, disgust, rejection...that feeling that you'll never be good enough no matter what you do for the people around you...they linger. They are the bloodstains that have seeped deeply into the very fabric of who you are. Find them. And wipe them out. This is the very first part of starting over. Building a stronger foundation. A set of personal laws that you willfully control in every situation, instead of merely reacting to the horrors that surround you. Stop taking orders from dead memories. Start creating your own orders, and leave the pain behind you." He said. Then, he stood back up on his feet and offered me his hand. He helped me up and held my shoulders to steady me as I was still weak in the knees. "It seems you have some prior aggressions to work out tonight. So...let's work them out, then. Perhaps a more 'physical' series of exercises would be more helpful. At least for now. So take a ten minute break to rest. You'll need it." Ten minutes is exactly what he gave me. Not a minute more. Before I could fully recover from my outrage, he had me sparring against for more of his well-trained human protectors, and two vampires that I had never seen before. They were both nearly twice my age, and dressed completely in black and red suits. The kind that looked like they came right out of comic book somewhere. The Jeweler introduced them as 'Brooklyn' and 'Haze', and added them into the mix for this particular sparring session. I guess he was assuming that my abilities had stepped themselves up another notch, and that sparring with regular humans wasn't going to be enough to challenge me this time. 'Brooklyn' had dark skin and super short haircut. Almost bald, but not quite. 'Haze', on the other hand, was very pale with ginger hair...and his pupils were completely white. He must have been blind, but his movements would have suggested that he could see twice as good as I could. They allowed the humans to do most of the sparring, but they stepped in when they found an opportunity to strike. "Maintain your focus, Justin..." The Jeweler called out. A feat that isn't at all easy when people are literally swinging their fists at you! I HATE it when he says that! I fended off their attacks efficiently, moving and dodging, blocking whenever I didn't have enough time or space to commit to either of the first two options. For humans, they were pretty damned fast. I thought my vampire make-up would keep me ahead of the game in terms of defending myself, but I took a few harsh blows every now and then, regardless of my skilled defenses. And even when I successfully avoided taking a hit, The Jeweler seemed dissatisfied. "You're not thinking, Justin. Don't rely on your habitual techniques to mindlessly save you from harm. Concentrate!" "I AM!" I said, and felt my feet being swept from under me, causing me to fall back on my shoulders and roll to the side while hoping to soothe the pain for a few seconds before they were all over me again. What the hell was I doing wrong here? Does he want me to get hurt or does he want me to concentrate? I can't do both. I'm not some great fighter! A couple of high school bullies dusted me on a public street before my crossover! I'm supposed to take on four guards and a couple of vampires by myself??? What the hell is he thinking? I felt a punch in my ribs, and circled my arms around to knock his arm away from me, taking a step or two back to keep him from landing another blow. Two more guards came at me from both sides, and my only way to evade their attacks was to quickly turn around and run up the wall for a few steps before flipping backwards and landing behind them. However, I caught a harsh kick to my spine and yelped in pain as I was pushed forward from the impact. I didn't even realize that I was airborne until I felt a forearm clothesline me across my chest. I hit the ground with a thud, the wind knocked out of me as I coughed and wheezed in pain. And to think...this is just them sparring with me. "Feels helpless, doesn't it?" The Jeweler asked. "Sometimes, no matter how hard you fight...you aren't guaranteed to win. The odds aren't always in your favor." Rubbing my chest, I quickly got back on my feet, pushing two of the guards aside while continuing the fight. They were quick, but I was quicker. More determined. And I watched as the two vampire combatants waited patiently for their next opportunity to step in. "You believe that your strength will be enough to push your way through to victory, Justin, but you have yet to release the anchors that I holding you back. Let go. Don't fight as a boy with a past of abuse and neglect. Fight as if you stand at the nexus...no lingering past, no evasive future. Just this one moment. Find the circle. Feel it's immediate design, and create your own path." I felt a kick swing around to hit me in the face, but followed the momentum of the spin to deliver an equally harsh spin kick to the guard behind me. Rolling back to my feet, I began trading lightning fast blow with one of the guards, blocking every strike, and eventually I swung my elbow around to catch the bridge of his nose, knocking him back on his shoulders. "You have the power to succeed, Justin. But do you have the courage to fail?" The Jeweler said. Constantly watching and analyzing my every movement. Waiting for me to lose my cool...but I refused. "Many a night you suffered through the self torture of a life that you felt simply didn't want you anymore. You lay awake...wondering if there would ever be a day when someone would come along and 'save' you. But no one came. No one." I found myself taking on two flurries of attacks at once, and I kept trying to block the Jeweler's words out while I concentrated at the task at hand...but some of his comments continued to cut deeply. "They couldn't save you, Justin. You had to be inspired to save yourself. This is what you must remember when searching your soul on your journey towards the Dawn." I felt a hand on my shoulder and swiveled around to quickly roll to the side and flip him to the ground beside me, then reaching back with my leg to sweep the legs out from under two more guards behind me. "You must understand, Justin...the same holds true for you. You can't save them all. Those closest to you will fall. You will have to be emptied so that you may start again. So those in darkness can start over with you. The structure must be torn down. Let it go, Justin." No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't keep him out of my head. It frustrated me to know that he had invaded so many of my memories without my permission. But as all four guards began to press their attacks on me even harder than before, I found myself taking more damage. Perhaps I was getting distracted. "Loss is a part of growth. It is the seed planted in the ashes and the dirt...necessary for the flowers to bloom." He said, just seconds before I took a sucker punch to the stomach, dropping me to my knees instantly. I scooted backwards on the floor, trying to get myself back up...but The Jeweler wouldn't let me focus. "You will learn to embrace the pain, Justin. You will learn to harness it, and channel it into something that you can use to positively effect everything and everyone you touch. It is that loss that will create the beacon of light you need to draw others to your cause like moths to a flame." Ignore him, Justin. Just...just fight! I know what he's trying to do. He wants me to fail. He wants me to surrender to another outburst. But I won't do it. Even though I could feel the anger tying itself into a tight knot in the center of my stomach. One that hurt much more than the sucker punch I took just a moment ago. As I fought harder, The Jeweler circled the area, watching my technique...slowly instigating another temper tantrum. "Your power becomes your greatest weakness when you rely on it as your only option in truly making a difference. If you had this power before...what would you have done to your father? What would you have done in that moment when you saw your mother with eyes of disgust. What awful crimes would you have committed if your abilities were as limitless as they are now? Many people claim to be righteous and just...because they don't have the power to be anything else. Now that you possess the strength to wipe away your every problem with rancor and violence, your moral boundaries are more important than ever. Your moral high ground must be a deliberate choice now, and not merely a reaction to the circumstances surrounding you." "I know what you're trying to do..." I panted. "Then why are you having such trouble defending yourself, boy?" He asked. Suddenly, I was caught off guard, and with a few punches to my chest and a jump kick from the guard in front of me...I found myself on the floor again, sliding all the way back to the wall. "Let it go, Justin." He said again. "I AM!" I grunted. "You're still basing your attacks on who you were before this moment. You pull punches when you shouldn't. You strike hard when you should be dodging. You run away when you should be standing your ground. These are not high school bullies, Justin. These tactics won't help you." "If you'd just SHUT UP and let me think..." "Thinking is all you need!" He he said with a grin. "These pointless punches and kicks mean nothing. Bruises heal, broken bones mend, blood can be mopped up in a matter of minutes. The physicality is but an expression of who you truly are. What moves will you make on this chess board when pushed to your limits. What deepest, darkest, parts of yourself will you express when you are forced to act 'in the moment'. There can be no masks worn during a fight, Justin. No rehearsal, no apologies, no open wounds that you've allowed to fester over time." My hands were beginning to shake with anger. "I don't understand what you WANT from me!" The Jeweler politely helped me back up to my feet as a ball of emotion got choked up in the back of my throat. My vision began to blur with the beginnings of tears, but I didn't let the adrenaline take over. I kept them at bay as best as I could. "I want you to fight as if your true identity was worthy of its true expression in this one moment. Here and now, in the nexus of combat." He pointed me in the direction of the four guards, who were already adopting a strong stance as they prepared to dish out more punishment. "Despite everything you′ve been through...you're worthy of facing this challenge. Nothing can take this from you.Nothing." He stepped behind me and lightly massaged my shoulders. Speaking softly in my ear, "Stop merely 'reacting' to what they give you, Justin. Move deliberately. Fight with choice...with purpose. They have no power over you other than the power you give them. Take it back. This is YOUR action to control, not theirs." Something about what he said clicked...and it seemed to clear my mind. It's difficult to explain the sensation, but...it was like a fog was being lifted. My heavy breathing began to calm itself. The ache and fatigue in my limbs began to fade away, and as I took a stance of my own...giving myself over to this one moment in time...I felt relaxed. Still determined, but somehow liberated from the fear of not being strong enough to win. I didn't think about what happened to me in the past, and I didn't worry about what might happen in the future. The fight is here. The fight is now. And I know that I'm worthy of walking away from this with a victory. I thought about the advice that the Vampire Zero had given me while staring at the goldfish in his tank in his final moments. I 'remembered to forget'. And suddenly...the emotional chains were broken. I began to slowly step forward. And that's when The Jeweler said, "Create your moment, Justin. Tighten the circle. Remember...you've already had this 'conversation'." The four guards prepared themselves, but I felt like I could see the circle completely. More clearly than I had ever seen it before. And not just one circle, but multiple choices for every possible outcome. Movements. Mistakes. Weapons. Thought patterns. Oh my God...it was almost like deja vu...but nowhere near as vague. The guard on the right has always been the most aggressive. He'll attack first. The second attack will come from the one in the middle, while three and four will attack in unison. It was almost like solving a simple mathematical equation. I felt like I could see and predict...'everything'. Just as I thought...the first attack came from the right. Right punch, left punch, then a double low/high kick combo from the right. That combination must have been one of his personal favorites. He used it a lot. I was prepared for the pattern. One combo, one circle, one defense. With my right hand alone, I blocked the first, lightning fast punch, then the second, and I brought my elbow down hard on his knee before his leg as fully lifted off the ground to deliver the rest of his rehearsed assault. The pain caused him to grab his leg with both hands...leaving his head a wide open target. Thrust forward with a punch of my own...connect! The second attack was from a more varied fighter, but as soon as I saw him draw his right arm back, I was able to anticipate the blow and figure out exactly where he expected it to land. I leaned out of the way and he hit nothing but air. Right arm extended, weight from his hips put behind the strike, his only other option from that position was to bring his attack back from the left side this time. Another punch that I was easily able to avoid. His hands moved down to attack my center, but as fast as his hands were moving, I could feel his next ten moves coming, and was able to block them easily. He'll attempt to change his strategy now. I notice his stance changing, and I duck as he brings a harsh kick up from the ground. He missed. I spin underneath him, and while I needed both of my legs for balance, my arm was free to swing forward and knock his standing leg out from under him. Holy smokes! This shit just became easy! As the first two tried to regain their footing, the second two approached. I moved in between them, calculating every motion with precision and a sense of calm that I had never really felt before. Complete the circle. That's all that I had to do. Visualize it, see it for what it is, and then follow it through to its most logical conclusion. Once the circle was closed, it left me all the room I needed to find the next one. And the next. And I found myself able to choose which one worked best for me. This is mind-blowing. One guard grabbed me from behind to pin my arms down to my sides as the other approached from in front of me. But it took that guard both of his arms to hold me...leaving his head and ribs wide open. My legs were free to kick out at the gurad in front of me, the force knocking us back a step or two, and I used that one disorienting moment to slam my head back into his face, following that with a few elbow shots striking him on the left and right sides of his ribs. He released me immediately, giving me the freedom to spin around with a roundhouse kick to the face of the guard in front of me. Another attempted to kick me from the side, but I spun out of the way. He'll have to redistribute his weight before he's able to strike again. Take advantage. His left side is weak. Head exposed. Connect! The first guard is swinging wildly now. Desperation and anger has tainted his focus. Dodge right. Spin left. Duck the swing. Pivot behind him. A well delivered back kick can exploit the lack of defense to the back of his head. Go for it. CONNECT! The second guard favors his right hand to his left. Block, block, catch the wrist. I have a hold of his strong arm now. I lift it up to drive my elbow twice into his ribs. Then I lower the arm to deliver a blow to the side of his face. I'm smaller than he is, so I duck under the arm and twist it behind his back where I kick him behind the knee and force him down on the ground. And that's when I feel it...that reactive impulse. That darker side of me, instructing me to brutally thrust upward and break the arm. But I don't recognize that inner voice of being a part of me. It's like...I could almost 'hear' it...telling me to do something awful. To cause pain. To teach him a lesson. But that's not me. It never was and it never will be. I ignore the impulse and push the guard forward without causing him any more damage than I have to. Even without looking in his direction, I just knew The Jeweler was smiling. I found myself spinning from one guard to another, and they never landed another punch. If anything, my speed and accuracy had them so twisted up that they had to restrain themselves from hitting one another instead of me. Something inside of me began to flow into my fighting style, and the very truth behind it made me stronger and faster than I ever thought I could be. I wasn't even using my extras to compete. I simply...knew the answers to what was going on. How crazy is that? While the vampires, Brooklyn and Haze, stood back and waited for their turn to jump in at The Jeweler's command, I took the four guards to task, causing them to hit the floor two at a time! Then... The large double doors to the room opened up...and I saw Strings walk in, yo-yo in hand, with a small crowd of The Jeweler's security detail. And when I saw what they were carrying...my sense of calmness vanished. My focus left me. My eyes widened and a fire began to burn in my gut as I saw three soldiers enter the room...and they were holding TARYN!!! His lip was bleeding, his face bruised, his clothes torn, and his legs so weak that they actually had to hold him up on their shoulders to keep him from crumbling to the floor in front of them. Strings gave me a bratty grin, and I suddenly snapped my look in The Jeweler's direction! "What the fuck is the meaning of this??? What did you DO???" The Jeweler merely gave me a smirk, and said, "Are we feeling distracted yet, Justin?"
  17. Comicality

    "Low Light" Reel

    Whether you are using an auto correct program on your laptop or PC, or whether you have readers constantly pointing out some of the same errors in your stories, chapter after chapter...there comes a time when you need to take an honest look at your writing and your bad habits...and make yourself a ′low-light′ reel for yourself. This is the opposite of a highlight reel, where you look at what you′re really good at and examine the best parts of what it is you do. That′s a good thing to do, and it keeps you inspired and pushing yourself towards excellence. But sometimes, a low-light reel helps a LOT more when it comes to reaching that higher goal of being a better writer. When you′re putting a story together, I always stress comfort and natural flow over everything else. Follow your heart, let the words flow through you, and whatever mistakes you make along the way...fix them in editing after you′ve poured your emotion out on the screen in its most potent form. Get the emotion out first, while you′re still in the moment. That′s the most important part. The mechanics? You can fix and tweak those later, and hopefully give your story the shine and gloss that it deserves. However, if you look at your project, and you′re constantly misspelling the word ′privilege′ or ′separate′? You should make that a part of your low-light reel. It′s not a typo or a random error. There′s a problem there. The sooner you get a hold on it, focus on it, and work to correct it...the sooner you can break that habit. And the sooner it will cease to be a problem, slowing your writing process down. We′re on the internet! We have access to every spelling, definition, tense usage, known to mankind. If you′re writing off the top of your head, and you feel like you′re in a particular groove at the moment and don′t want to stop...write it the way you think is correct, and make sure that you come back later to look for it when you start the editing process. As I′ve said in a previous writer′s article, I don′t think any author should just type out a story and then hand it over to an editor to ′fix it′ without going over it and doing some self editing for themselves first. Not ever. This isn′t your editor′s story. This is YOUR story. Own it. Go through it. What mistakes have you made? Have you made them before? Will you make them again? Keep track of your mistakes, and do two or three minutes worth of research to correct your flaws so you can take them off the table as obstacles on the road to you being the best writer that you can be. Google it. Commit certain spellings and punctuation use and turns of phrase to memory. Copy and paste them into an email if you have to, so you can easily bring them up and remember, ″Oh yeah...I always spell the word ′occasionally′ with too many C′s or S′s or L′s, and I need to keep that in mind when I′m writing from now on. Don′t depend on your writing programs or your editors to catch your consistent mistakes. You′ll only make their jobs harder, and you won′t end up learning anything in the process. So those weaknesses will remain until you work to fix them yourselves. In a lot of my earlier stories, I would often use the phrase, ″All of the sudden″. Or I used to write ′outloud′ as one word instead of two. And I thought that was perfectly normal. But I learned after a while and after some constructive comments that I was doing it wrong. So, I looked it up. I had a few minutes to spare, right? And, lo and behold, I had been doing it wrong all that time. Out loud is two words, and it′s ″All of A sudden″. So I had to try to add that to my loooooong list of grammatical errors that have repeatedly appeared in my stories from the very beginning. After creating a low-light reel for myself, I now keep a conscious and watchful eye out for those same mistakes. And even when my muse is on fire and I′m in a writing frenzy...when I get to one of those areas, I stop and think, ″Wait...let me make sure that I get this right on the first try.″ And eventually, I create new habits. Corrected habits. And everything becomes natural, to where I don′t have to look out for making that error anymore. THAT...is how you step your game up to the next level, one baby step at a time. Something else to look for on your low-light reel? Cliché phrases that you may use over and over again, and don′t even realize it. Now, I have seen this in a lot of other writers′ work, and I′ve seen it in my own, so it can be difficult to notice unless you′re actively searching for it. When I say cliché phrases, I′m talking about those easy to rattle off ′connecting′ phrases that we may all use in casual conversation, but come off as unimaginative and unimpressive when you see it written in a story on the screen more than once. Some of these phrases are: ″As a matter of fact...″ ″If I had to be honest...″ ″Well, before long...″ ″On one hand...On the other hand...″ ″I′m not going to lie...″ ″You know what I mean?″ ″If I had to guess...″ And of course...″All of a sudden...″ Now, I′m not saying that a writer shouldn′t ever USE any of these phrases. Just realize that it has become such a part of starting or ending a sentence in everyday conversation...that we may end up using it multiple times in our stories as well. And with the written word, it is MUCH more noticeable! If you often use the term, ″As a matter of fact...″ to start a sentence or to make a statement in your everyday speak? Go to your story, use the ′find′ function, and see how many times it shows up in your project. If it′s more than twice...then that may be a habit that you want to break. It might not be a full fledged crutch...but you′re definitely walking with a ′limp′ there. Hehehe! Make yourself aware of it, and try to find other ways to say the same thing, or find a way around saying it at all. If your audience keeps reading the same phrases over and over, it becomes tiresome. Get rid of anything and everything that makes you come off as anything less than AWESOME! K? Another thing to look out for? The themes and plot directions for the stories you write. I wrote a ′One Life To Live′ article not long ago, and depending on who you are and what you′ve experienced in your life...you should take that into consideration as a writer. You′ve only lived one life, so you only have so many experiences to draw from. Some of you have been rejected in love before. Some of you have been cheated on in a relationship, or have been abused, or have had to make difficult discussions about whether or not you should come out of the closet, in the past. Now...this pertains mostly to writers who write multiple stories, either at once or one after another...but if the themes in your stories seem to be recurring or repetitive, try to change that up as well. This is something that I occasionally struggle with, myself. So if any of you guys have any advice on how to effectively accomplish this, please respond below and let me know! Hehehe! There are themes in my stories that repeat constantly, and I have made an attempt to avoid most of the blatant tropes that I′m known for, but there are some more passive elements of my stories that pop up again and again from time to time. The fear of coming out, the single mother, the feeling that the boy you like is out of your league, etc. Just like the cliché phrases I mentioned above...these things are hard to spot until you deliberately go looking for them. Something that I′m doing more often these days. (Wish me luck!) So, take some time to make a mental note of all the places where you may stumble as a writer. What words do you have trouble spelling, what phrases do you use more than is necessary, what common themes do you have running through every story you write. Self analyze, figure them out, and then make an effort to correct those bad habits when you′re writing. If you have to make a physical notebook or webpage dedicated to the things that you feel you need to keep in mind...do it! No harm in that. Keep it close to you, and practice until you have it drilled into your brain where it′ll stay as a practical part of your writing process. It won′t take long. Promise. And you can knock these constant errors down one at a time. Hope this helps! And happy writing! ((Hugz))
  18. Comicality

    LMAO!!!

    I just...I can't even! XD
  19. Comicality

    Chapter 1

    ((Hugz)) I'm so sorry to hear that BabyXander. But I'm glad that you enjoyed the time you got to spend together.
  20. Comicality

    Too Cute . . .

    Hehehe, I really LIKE this thread! It gives me good vibes to start off my day! ::Giggles:: So, I've gotta add one of my favorite 'awww' shorts ever. Top ten, easily. It's just too adorable. (Keep adding more if you find some! I'm loving these!)
  21. Comicality

    Too Cute . . .

    Yeah, I did that once. My very BEST friend moved to Milwaukee (Which, to me was like...he might as well have moved to Mars!), and when he came back to visit we practically JUMPED into each others arms and got all choked up! LOL! Memories. Hey, I was a 6th grader! Gimmee a break!
  22. Comicality

    Weekly Wrap Up (June 17 - June 23)

    I stop sleeping! Takes up too much of my free time!
  23. Comicality

    Fleshing it Out

    Anyone who has ever read any of my personal story reviews of another author's story will almost always find a common theme popping up in my critique. Whether it's said in a positive or negative way, I am constantly pushing for people to give more and more detail in their work. (As a suggestion, of course.) Not in every single scene that they write about, but in a few choice scenes that I find myself wanting to dive deeper into as a reader. Now, that's just my opinion, and writers can take it or leave it as they see fit. But I can't help but feel like there are some events in the stories that I read where an entire chapter could be built around the scenes or plot points that writers sometimes choose to skip over. So, please feel free to absorb or dismiss this article if you want. Hehehe, no hard feelings. Promise. But as a reader and a lover of online fiction myself, this is what I see, and what I look for. And I'm hoping that I can give other writers something to think about while putting out new projects. Imagine that you were watching a movie about the Titanic, or 9/11, or...hell...the life of Jesus Christ, as told by the Bible. And you're totally invested in the story being told...but, at the last minute...you got robbed of the (Sorry to say it this way...but...) the dramatic 'punchline' of the whole story? What if the Titanic hit the iceberg, and the screen faded to black, and then came back up to show a few people in a lifeboat saying, ″Man...that sure was a tragic experience!″ What the…? There was SO much that happened in the previous moments that, conveniently, got skipped over without any detail at all! You can't just 'skip' that shit! Hehehe! You can't skip the falling of the Twin Towers, or the Crucifixion. These are major parts of the story that you're trying to tell, and where your most potent descriptions will become the payoff for every person who had traveled this far on the journey with your characters and your writing in general. Choose those moments. Flesh them out. Don't build up to fake promises, if you can help it. There's SO much more of a story to tell in the small places that you might ignore or shrug off in order to get back to other parts of the story that you're more comfortable with, or may feel are more interesting. That can be damaging your storytelling ability as a whole in the long run. So...let's talk details... Read the stories that you've written so far. Go back, skim over them, reminisce over how awesome it was to finish those projects and put them out for a beloved audience to read. I don't want to suggest that there's anything wrong with them! Not at all. This isn′t about criticism. It′s about ′enhancement′. These stories might be truly incredible as they are...but is there a scene or two that you might have wanted to elaborate on? I know that I am notorious for being extremely 'wordy' and repetitive in my stories in many people′s eyes, especially the older ones that I wrote years ago. But even now, I regret not going into more detail about certain key scenes in some of my projects. I didn't know how to pick my moments back then. I was always racing to hurry up and get to the end of the story without really filling in the gaps that, ultimately, proved to really matter and stand out as some of the most memorable scenes that readers took to heart and ended up remembering in vivid detail. I didn't have the patience back then that I do now. I think lots of practice makes a difference. When you're writing a story, it's easy to overlook a lot of details because the characters and storyline exist in your head before ′putting it on paper′. You see it so clearly. You know where it came from and where it's going, so moving from point A to point B is as easy as building a simple bridge between the two sides. 'This' happened, and then 'that' happened...and all I have to do is write some fluff in the middle to connect one big event to another. That'll work, right? No. It won't. Not the way you think it will. Your readers don′t have access to the full picture the same way that you do. The translation of your ideas to an audience is where the true talent lies. You have to be able to get readers to see your vision. That′s the whole point, right? I can't speak for everyone on this, but I can always tell when a writer is trying to rush from one major scene to another, and not really taking the time to focus on the cohesive situations that bind one moment to another. I can 'feel' it. I think that it's important to look at our own projects and find those 'passover' sentences that we use to progress the story forward, but don't really give the readers an idea of what those few sentences really mean. Example... ″I haven't been the same since my parents' messy divorce. The way that it happened...it just ruined my idea of love, trust, and loyalty, in general. And that's why I feel hesitant to give my heart to Michael. Even though he's offered me a promising way out of my predicament.″ Nothing wrong with that short collection of sentences. It conveys emotion, and it progresses the story forward, where a lot is implied, but never said. Understandable. Sometimes, 'less is more'. I get it. However...when I read something like that, I immediately start asking myself questions. What's a 'messy divorce' in his eyes? The way what happened? What did he go through? How did he feel about it? What did Michael offer him as a way out, and why did it work? There's an entire CHAPTER worth of flashback information in there with the amount of questions that I have about what was just said. You know? It doesn′t take a 1500 word essay to explain it...it can be done in just a few sentences. But I kind of want to know what happened there. A ′messy divorce′? Did one of his parents cheat? Did they just not get along? Was there a lot of fighting in the house? Was it abusive or just a scary experience from the main character′s point of view? Just a few sentences can give us a whole new perspective on his outlook on love and relationships and a whole lot more. It explains his discomfort in giving his heart away. It provides another layer to what he′s feeling, and how those feelings affect his behavior. So, if I personally read that in a story, this would be one of those moments that I′d be commenting on, and asking questions about. What happened there? If I keep reading...will this come up again later? Am I missing some important information? Will I find out more later on in the story? Hehehe, I have a ′noisy′ imagination! Sorry. But I know that some other people do too, and they′ve called me out on some of the scenes that I′ve skipped over as well. And they were totally right to do so. I just didn′t see it until later. I think the key is rereading the stuff you′ve written, and actively searching for places where you might ′hint′ at something exciting and important happening in your stories, but don′t really go into detail about it. Ask yourself...is there a ′scene′ in there somewhere? Something that will actually add something to your story? Don′t get me wrong...if your characters are standing in a room...you don′t have to mention the temperature on the thermostat or describe the wallpaper. That′s not what I mean. It′s more like... ″My boyfriend and I had a fight earlier today. It just left me in a bad mood when I went to work.″ Raise your hand if you′d like to know what that fight was about! Or, if you′re ambitious...to even create a scene with dialogue and all to let your readers be a part of that argument! Sometimes, that tiny bit of detail can really draw your audience into the lives of your characters, even if it′s not the main drive of your story. Take a few moments and create a full experience, you know? I hope this doesn′t sound like I want people to be more wordy when they don′t have to be! LOL! I swear that it′s not my intention. Just look at your work and see if you can pick out sentences here and there that target certain scenes that could use a bit more fleshing out. Be aware of your opportunities. Funny story...one of my best friends was telling me a story that he saw on the news afew years ago, and I hadn′t heard about it yet at the time...and he was like, ″Yeah, there were these two naked homeless guys on a bridge, and one of them was doing this bath salts drug, and he was actually EATING the other guy′s face! The cops showed up, and he didn′t go down when they shot him, and they thought it was some ′zombie apocalypse′ type of stuff″ (That′s a true story, by the way!) But I just broke out, laughing hysterically! Like...WTF??? There is SO much more of that story that I′m not getting! You STARTED with two naked homeless guys on drugs on a bridge! There are like...25 steps missing before I reach the ″How the fuck did we get HERE???″ stage! LOL! That′s what I′m talking about. Some statements made in your storytelling might just need a ′touch′ of finesse to paint a full picture for your readers to jump into. Something to depict a more layered vision of what′s going on, and bring your readers in to peek behind the curtain and become involved in it. That′s all. Keep asking yourself questions during the self editing process. If something was sad...why was it sad? If something tragic happened...what was it? Describe it for us so we can feel the weight of it all. If the main character finds someone super beautiful, or super annoying, or hilariously silly...show us why! Add a short scene to demonstrate that. Put yourself in the moment, and then expand on it so your audience can be right there with you. It takes practice to recognize these moments, and nothing in art is perfect...that′s what makes it art. But if you′re looking to make a few baby steps towards making your stories a little more involving...give this a try. You might just enjoy it! As always, I hope this helps! And I wish you guys the best!
  24. It has been a long time coming, but a brand new chapter of "My One True Weakness" is finally here to pick up where we left off! I hope you guys enjoy the new offering! And let me know what your thoughts are if you get a few free seconds! K? https://www.gayauthors.org/story/comicality/myonetrueweakness/
  25. Comicality

    My One True Weakness

    Russ was blessed with the gift of beauty. The kind of beauty that causes witnesses to stare in awe and fall into an immediate state of infatuation. And while he doesn't have much trouble finding boys who would give anything to be with him...Russ is missing that same desire in his own life. He wants more. He wants the chills, the thrills, the longing...is it possible that it simply isn't out there? Or will someone come along...and finally give him the thrill he's been searching for?
×

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..