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So, don't tell anyone but I think Renee missed her hour of sleep this week . This makes less work for me, and gives me something to tease her about . I do have to admit that I don't have a lil' one under that age of 1 that I'm tending to day in and day out, so I guess I shall forgive her Why don't we all share our love .
On a more sad note, we have members in New Zealand that we should share our love with too .
Monday, Renee introduced us to another featured story from our Review Team.
Jump to Friday where we had not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 prompts this week!
Saturday was a celebration and milestone for Comicality, 50 GA Articles are under his belt!
- 2019 Spring Anthology: In the Stars - Due May 15th
- 2019 Spring Anthology: Snapped - Due May 15th
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.
Guess the Author: Open to all GA authors. PM @Renee Stevens to participate.
3 Story Promo: Open to all GA Authors. PM @Renee Stevens to participate.
Author Interview: Open to all GA Authors. PM @Renee Stevens to participate.
Favorite Self-Written Story: Open to all GA authors. PM @Renee Stevens to participate.
Story Recommendations: Open to all GA authors & readers. PM @Renee Stevens to participate.
Reader Recommended: Recommend a completed Poem/Story/Series for a short blurb at the end of the Weekly Wrap Up and PM @wildone to share your favourite stories.
A Leg to Stand On by Valkyrie *Premium*
A Mourning Storm by Ronyx
Candy & Kisses by Dabeagle
Dancing on a Star by Ronyx
Rich Boy: Growing Pains by dkstories
Terre Nouvelle by Mike Arram
A prompt a week by comicfan
Adrift by Mann Ramblings
Aria Graice by Nephylim
Confessions of a Diabetic Cat by Cole Matthews
Denied by Cia
Kabal by aditus; Book 3 of The King's Mate
Life Changes by comicfan
Lonely Pride by Cynus
Spirit of Fire by Stellar
Disasters, Delights and Other Detours by Parker Owens
Georgetown: Goodnight, My Angel by Carlos Hazday
Keep Quiet by albertnothlit
My journey through pain by albertnothlit
Come meet quirky, irrational, impulsive Jonah, who runs when life gets complicated. This time he is in Sicily, Italy. What else? Oh yes. He talks to Zach, his imaginary laptop friend, collects people who want to take care of him, as well as slightly possessive, manipulative boyfriends. Time for a change.
Recommended by @Valkyrie
Collaborative stories can be fun but, sometimes they can be a pain. There have to be ground rules and unless you want a grand mess on your hands, a consensus on setting, characters, and just how far you can go.
I was the trail boss for a collaborative story some years ago called Collision. It still out there somewhere. CRVBoy's I think. It was fun to do and it turned out to be a good read.
While I NEVER want to be trail boss again, it could be fun to collaborate. It all depends on the genre, what you like to write and how it's organized.
See if this gets you interested:
The Mobaye Strain
Classified CDC/Homeland Security Lab
Forty miles North of Cedar City, Utah
The outbreak in the Congo was typical of central African outbreaks. A hemorrhagic fever creeps out of the jungle, wipes out a few villages and then burns itself out.
It had happened before and, it would happen again.
This one was different. Most outbreaks left survivors. This one did not. That's why this little monster had landed in Dr. Andrew McAlister's BL-4 lab.
It was assumed that it was just another jungle bug that emerged from time to time. McAlister was absolutely sure this was not the case. The more he looked at the little bastard's RNA, the more he was sure of it.
It took him, and a few dozen graduate students, a couple of weeks to figure it out and when he did, the terrifying truth of it was chilling.
Mobaye was a chimera. Thirty-three percent of the RNA was an H1N1 flu variant. Forty-four percent of the RNA was India-66, a particularly nasty variant of smallpox. The other 23 percent was unidentified but, this little bastard of a virus was in no way natural. It had been engineered. The outbreak in an area famous for outbreaks of absolutely hideous hemorrhagic fever could only mean one thing: someone had taken this bug out for a test drive.
McAlister picked up his phone and a ring later the Lab Director answered, "Andy. Have you got some answers about Mobaye?"
"Yeah boss. I'm pretty sure, you are not going to like it. Mobaye was engineered and, it sure looks like someone was testing it."
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Wow, I guess it's been a month or twelve.
So yeah, I actually had a minute to sit down at my PC and look over some of my old files and realized that I haven't written anything in almost a year (sigh). I guess now's as good a time as any to start moving again on my stories, since the wife and baby are out of town until Sunday.
I can't honestly say that I don't know why I haven't been writing lately, but it's the same old shit.. work, school, family.... everyone gets it. The fact of the matter is that I haven't taken the time to sit down and write because I never take time for myself anymore, and I think I've burnt myself out, so to speak.
That said, there's only one way that I know of to relax, and that's to sit down at my desk and either read or write. Preferably both, but if I had to choose right now, I think I'll write something. Not sure if it'll be good enough to post on my site here at GA, but if it is, I'll put it up.
Right, I am somewhat in a dizzy miffed off mood today.
So this one is a bit of a rant.
There is something that I really just do not get! What is it about sex with a child????
Right, sex is about giving pleasure and taking pleasure right? It is about enjoyment and climax and orgasm right?
It's about love and lust and emotions.
And you can get ANY of that from a bloody kid???
Ian Watkins today pleaded guilty to a series of depraved child sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh for heavens sakes man. Come on!
For those who don't have a clue who the hell Ian Watkins is, he is lead singer of the massive Indie Rock band The Lost Prophets.
They are a South Wales band, and as I used to live down that way, I've seen then perform at several gigs and concerts and really love their music.
The singer has always furiously denied the allegations which surfaced a few months ago in the wake of the whole Kiddy fiddling scandal that came to light when Jimmy Savile popped his cloggs.
Now ok, the allure of youth I can understand to a degree. A young man in his teens can be remarkably good looking and have curves and shapes that are not worn down by time and over indulgence.
But I am talking about a young man that's into the latter half of his teens.
In the UK the age of consent set by those that have wisdom in these things is 16. Now exactly what that is meant to mean, I am not 100% sure.
I guess, what they are trying to say is that by the age of 16, young people have some sort of understanding of what sex is and the fact that a whole load of emotions and feelings and all that other mumbo jumbo is tied up with it, even if they are not equipped or experienced to deal with it. So if they are going to get sexual, at least they are capable of some reason and sensibility.
Look, kids are going to be kids. They will want to experiment and try it out and get into mischief. Bloody hell, I did it, and I am pretty sure most of you did too.
We all did right?
But, for the most part, we did it with someone we chose, most probably with a peer or friend within our own age group, and if it was with an older person, that decision was probably made at a time when we decided we really wanted to find out what all this sex stuff could feel like when done properly, and with someone who had experience.
Am I being sensible when I say that this is normal, natural behaviour for a young person?
To suggest that a child, one that has not even entered into sexual maturity, or let alone puberty is sexually active and desires a relationship with an older person??????????
How do you get gratification for a kid that cannot even perform yet?
When I see people that I have looked up to and admired as celebrities and heroes abusing their position of trust and access, I feel really mad first and fore most, but completely disillusioned and let down. Why?
Look, this has been going on for ages, I know. It is a very dark and dirty part of our world. It is something we know about, hear about, but never really want to discuss or think about, because let us be frank, it is appalling and sickening to think that young, beautiful children are subjected to this wickedness.
So no one really says much.
But, the worms are crawling out the woodwork here in the UK recently. The police are doing a lot to sort this. About bloody time.
I just really needed to have a rant, and put my thoughts down on paper. I work in music, have always admired some of these people. How many times have I sung that song by Rolf Harris called Two Little Boys. It's even moved me to tears! Now, to find out he another of these men?
We live in a sad world. I suppose that stuff like this has always been there, but now that it comes out into the public domain so easily! It hurts.
Tell me, is there a limit to our depravity? Just let a kid be a kid for crying out loud. They have a whole life to grow up and get caught up in the shit that goes with the emotional roller coaster of sex. We all know this right? Our youth is a precious time, let the young enjoy and build treasured memories, ones like you and I have. Not stuff that they should NEVER have to be thinking about.
Meh, enough said, rant over, but just really needed to get this crap off my chest today. Thanks for listening.
Thought for today - "Virtue is bold and goodness never faithful." - William Shakespeare
Yes, it has been forever and a day since I added anything to the blog. I feel like one of those co-workers who leaves the office for a new job and promises on their mother's grave they'll stay in touch. Then you only see them when lightning strikes and you're in the same place at the same time and you swear once again you'll stay in touch, but in reality you know the demands of your job will never allow for it. That's a convoluted way of saying, sorry I've been so absent, but I've been crazy busy.
That said, I need to say thank you to GA and Caz Pedroso for nominating Chosen of Honorus for story of the month. Chosen of Honorus was the precursor to The Last Grand Master - the first book in the Champion of the Gods series that DSP Publications is publishing. It was/is the book that jump started my publishing career. I owe a big debt to GA for taking a chance on me and giving me the confidence to push out into the wide literary world.
There is a prequel to Chosen of Honorus - First Love - that is available on the DSP Publications site or you can find a link on my website. If you sign up for my monthly newsletter, there is a link in one of the welcome emails as well. If you want to sign up for my newsletter, you can use this link:
In addition, if you like Chosen of Honorus, there are now three more books in the series available from DSP Publication and the last book in the series will be released in 2018. Books 1-3 are also on sale now through the end of April. Here is a link to the sale page on my website:
Despite what I said above about being the co-worker who left, sometimes a little jolt reminds you of what you're missing. In my case, I realize how much I miss the people I met here. I think if I have time to socialize with fans on Facebook and Twitter, I can use some of that time to come here once a day too. I'm going to do my best to do that. That said, the new set up is going to take me some time to get used to so if I miss your comments, you can always email me - Andrew@andrewqgordon.com. I'm usually very good at responding to emails.
Thank you all again. It's humbling and flattering to realize people haven't forgotten you. It's a very good feeling.
PS In case you forgot what I look like or want to see a new picture of 'lil q (way more likely than wanting to see me) I'll post a few pictures in a few minutes. .
Wow, with summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are definitely seeing a drop in people online. Even I'm getting more sun.
I'm going to cut back on the number of blogs I'm doing for now and pick up again in the fall. It'll give me more time to do these silly summer homeowner things I'm suddenly stuck with. lol.
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Once upon a time… That’s how these things start, right? The line that starts the whole story. After that, nothing else even matters but getting to the happily ever after. I used to think I could see mine, out there on the horizon, but each time I think I’ve got it in my sights, something happens that shows me differently.
The settings and circumstances change, characters come and go, and there’s plenty of romance and drama to make it interesting. Even if you could predict how it ended, it’s so much fun to get there that you wouldn’t want to miss a thing, wouldn’t change a thing. And in the end, that’s what matters… that you lived and loved with your whole heart.
No matter how much or how well I plan, no matter how much I might work toward it or want it, the truth is that happiness is elusive, evolving, ever-changing. It’s conditional and comprehensive and you haven’t got a chance at actually attaining it without perspective. It’s different for each person, without justification, and the same. We’re all searching for it.
We pack up our hopes and dreams in our knapsacks, swing them over our shoulders, and head out into the great big world in search of it. Things happen on our quest, as they inevitably will, that make us change what we think will make us happy. Force us to examine our original plan or dream and decide if it’s still worth pursuing, if it’s still the thing that’s going to make us happy and whole.
So often, people hit a wall, and instead of figuring out how to get over it or around it, they just turn around and go back the way they came. We justify it to ourselves, the giving up, by telling ourselves that we were mistaken, that we didn’t really want that after all. The truth is it was too much work to learn to climb the walls. It was easier to just walk away.
That entire idea is absurd. Of course, we don’t know that then. Not only are we walking away from our dreams and our potential happiness, but we leave little pieces of ourselves behind every time we do. Living our lives as a fraction of our whole selves isn’t easy or conducive to finding the happily ever after we’ve been looking for. Worse, it’s actually more work in the long term to continually have to convince ourselves that we happily left those pieces behind.
Sometimes, actually, a lot lately, I wonder how much one person can take before they give up. It’s been said that you’re only given as much as you can handle at one time. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’ve been given an extraordinary amount. Definitely more than any one person’s fair share, then again, as I was often reminded as a child, life isn’t fair.
My life has fallen apart so many times now that I’ve lost count. Not really, but I don’t like to recount them. It’s not a contest and no one knows the rules. Does the scoring work like golf or like bowling? Does the survivor of the worst situation win, or is it the person who never had to find a way to exist in spite of the worst happening?
Being a party to the first group, having set aside my dreams repeatedly for the good of the cause, literally learning things the hard way, and learning to breathe with a broken heart makes a good case for the people in group number two. Still though, I wonder. In return for survival, I’ve earned an appreciation for making the most of each moment, for putting my whole heart and self into everything I do, being genuine, and the value of true happiness. That’s definitely got value, and it’s something the people in group number two will never have.
Without perspective, and a heap of optimism, it’s fair to say that a lot of people who have suffered some upheaval in their lives miss the things they were supposed to learn at the time. And that’s what life is all about, isn’t it? Learning the lessons, learning from the experiences, growing as a human being, and finding happiness. Not that it’s easy to remember that in the moment.
Often it comes to us in flashes, tiny pieces of clarity and knowledge that we grab on to and use to pull ourselves out of the ugly hole of despair. It’s a slippery slope, and for some, it takes years and a Sherpa to find their way out. Even with a trail of breadcrumbs and trail signs, it’s one of the most difficult journeys a person will ever make. One would think the third or fourth, or even the fifth time, you’d know the way out, but it doesn’t work that way. No one ever said life was for the faint of heart.
I rummaged through one drawer in my mom’s old, cherry wood jewelry box that sat atop my dresser before moving to another until I found it. It wasn’t in great shape when I pulled it out from amongst the old watches, the matching one I’d gotten for him a month later, and the shamrock pin I wear once a year. Tarnished and so scratched from years of wear, you could barely make out my name where it had been engraved on the front.
Still, I turned it over and read the inscription on the back of the very first gift he’d ever given me. It was to celebrate my 16th birthday and our one month anniversary. An ID bracelet, simple and silver, with a message straight from a heart experiencing those first delirious moments when you fall so crazy in love for the first time.
I wanted to wear it again, to remind me of what we once had, what we could have again, if he can find his way back to me. A reminder to soothe myself with hope when I’m so scared that we’ll never get it back, and because it’s the closest I’ve been to feeling his love in weeks.
I squeezed a little toothpaste into my hand and rubbed it between my palms a second before cleaning the bracelet the best way I knew how in the absence of any silver polish and wondered if he’d even remember giving it to me, remember what it said. Eventually, I silently admitted to myself that I hoped it reminded him of what he’d promised me all those years ago.
Forever yours. Love, Rich.
Hours later, when I was serving dinner, our daughter, Annemarie, just weeks from turning sixteen herself, noticed it and asked, “What is that bracelet?”
Unsure if I was relieved that she wasn’t complaining about the peas I was putting in front of her, or suddenly nervous that Rich had taken notice now also, I vaguely answered, “It’s mine. I’ve had it a while,” and handed Rich a plate of beef stroganoff that he eyed cautiously. He doesn’t like mushrooms or sour cream, but he’d have to actually speak to me to find out if it contained either. Instead, he just ate it.
Like any typical teenage girl who is all wrapped up in her own life, she let it go, and in an effort not to let me down, went on to complain about the peas. It was a welcome piece of normalcy, something I could count on in the chaos that had become my life. Besides, I like peas and beef stroganoff.
It’s equally horrifying and comforting to know where Rich and I were in our lives at her age, and knowing that she’s so far from that place. We were so sure at sixteen that we had it all figured out, or if not, that we’d conquer the world together. We’d show them, prove them all wrong. What the hell did we know?
There are two types of people in this world. The type who crumble in the face of a crisis, who panic and act without thinking, who let their fear and their emotions control their behavior and decisions, and then there’s the other. These remaining people are the logical type. They keep their heads when times get tough, are always thinking their way through several scenarios until they find the best one, and easily separate their emotions from their thought process.
That’s not to say that these logical thinkers don’t have emotional reactions to things. They certainly do, it would be inhuman not to. They just typically don’t act on them. As it turns out, intuition and emotional responses don’t usually lead us down the smoothest or the safest path. Certainly not the smartest.
Typically, it’s the outbursts of anger, the confessions of love made with such bravado, and the feeling as if you’ve just had the wind knocked out of you leaving you with a horribly painful sadness where you would normally find oxygen that can create the biggest opportunities to make the worst moves. I would have said decisions, but to be decisive requires thought, consideration, and evaluation.
Being a logical mind can be both a phenomenal power and a crippling weakness. To know that you’ll always know what to do and how to go about getting it done, to take things literally and to be able to count on that as a constant, and to feel the comfort that logic is your default setting can be immensely comforting in a world that changes faster than many of us can keep up with. Consequently, it makes it a major difficulty to let that default setting go and find enjoyment in basic things.
Personally, I can’t make it through most cartoons. Even if I could overlook the fact that there are talking animals who can lift anvils that weigh twenty times their own body weight or drive cars along the ocean floor, what I cannot discount is that the responses those cartoon characters have to whatever circumstances they find themselves in, become moot, ridiculous, illogical.
Instead of being entertaining, it’s frustrating. Possibly as frustrating as being the person on the couch next to me watching a movie or a TV show. Perhaps it comes from my depth of life experience, or because I’m a writer and a storyteller, or because, as logical as I am, I’m more in touch with my emotions and the emotions of those around me than most people, but whatever the reason, when I can predict the ending, most people would say there’s no point in watching anymore.
I disagree, for it’s there, in that moment when we’ve connected with that character enough to know what will happen in their future, that we learn about ourselves. How would we act or feel in that situation? What would we do? What would our next move be? Little lessons and explorations that can be learned and taken without consequence. A free pass.
Logical people watch everything, analyzing, organizing, forming patterns. They are supervisory and certain about what they feel is right or wrong. These people are easily adaptable and energetic, have a keen eye for details, and typically, a logical person is the decision maker. They are realists.
I’m not sure anyone but a logical personality could understand what it feels like to be faced with a situation that is anything but logical. To be able to do nothing to make it right or organize it so it can be dealt with. To be the one not making the decisions. There are no ‘right’ answers; there are no ways to best this dragon. The only thing there is in bountiful quantities is a frightening feeling of helplessness.
After 19 years, Rich has decided he's not in love with me anymore, started sleeping with a girl he works with, and has destroyed my dreams, my marriage, broken my heart, and crushed my children's entire existence with his selfishness.
After 19 years, I've crossed more things off my 'I Never Want To Experience This' List than my bucket list. Here's one more: I'm getting divorced.
This chapter is really hard to write for Book 2 of 0's and 1's, so I will share with readers its problem:
I feel like I can't skip an important event, but if I write it, I am never going to hear the end of it.
This will mark probably the darkest chapter I have ever written, maybe one of the darkest chapters on GA. I am making sure the guidelines are followed, nothing graphic or explicit, but the implication is more than enough with a dark imagination. And to top it all off, I have to make sure people know why it's needed for the future of the story and the future of the characters. This ain't gratuitous plot point, it's a revolutionary spark, a call to arms against an injustice that transcends LGBT fiction. It's something our society and many of us are guilty as indirect participants.
I call this chapter by a nickname, "the Crucible".
If this chapter gets completed, the rest of the story can follow, but it must be done right or nothing else after it will matter.
Anyone who has any ideas, thoughts, or is just curious as to what I am doing, feel free to PM me.
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New year - same me but trying new ways.
After a horrendous year last year I needed help and have been talking. Hard admitting one is only human. It also helps to hear or be reminded that there are two or more sides to any story, and while your choices are your own, sometimes the things leading up to it,and the choices others make after it you aren't responsible for.
In other news I'm working on three projects. A story for the anthology using Seeon and the Waza family. A new chapter in my seer story. (I know I said it was done but sometimes your characters just don't want to be forgotten.) Finally I'm hoping to complete a 5 or 6 chapter story I'm calling Next Chapter. It is about a man forced to start over after being kept on the edges of everything.
That's all for now.
I had probably the most enjoyable Thanksgiving ever last week. For the first time I didn't spend it with family, and instead did it with friends. I wish I had figured out how much more enjoyable it was doing it this way sooner, but better late then never. My boyfriend lives in New York, so Tuesday after work I hopped on a train up there to spend my Thanksgiving break with him. He had to bring his mom to the airport that night, so I met up with a friend I hadn't seen in a long time and we had dinner and drinks. Meeting up with someone you haven't seen in awhile is so much fun. You have so much to talk about, and can just go on and on catching up with each other. We hung out for almost four hours before finally saying goodbye. My boyfriend took off Wednesday, and we went exploring around some potential neighborhoods I could live in when I move there. That night we went to a house party of these two daddies who have this beautiful apartment in Hell's Kitchen, then went to a drag show at Therapy. While I'm not a big fan of drag, it was fun just getting drunk and hanging out with a group of people. Thursday morning I was supposed to take the train out to Long Island for thanksgiving with family, but was really dreading going. I love my family, but put all together at once they can be a lot to handle.
Them: Oh you're gay?
Them: Well you're still having kids right??
Them: Well you're still young, you'll change your mind eventually!
As I was about to leave for Penn Station, I checked the Long Island Rail Road app for service advisories. If I believed in a god, I would say he granted me a miracle. There was a downed power line at one of the stations and it was causing huge delays and cancellations throughout the whole system. It gave me the perfect excuse to stay in the city. So instead, I plus-oned with my boyfriend to a friends-giving on the Upper West Side. It was cool because they live half a block from Central Park West, which is right where the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade goes through, so we watched a bit of the parade until it got too cold. It was the first time I'd ever seen the parade in person. We spent the next nine hours all just getting drunk, eating tons of food, gossiping, and just enjoying a big 'ole gay thanksgiving. It was an interesting mix of guys too. You had guys in their 60s all the way down to guys like us in our 20s. You had millionaire tech executives (the guy who hosted it all) to a guy who is a professional escort, to everyone in-between. I've been spending more and more weekends up in New York, and every time it gets harder and more depressing to go back home.
I guess life here has changed a lot recently, and mostly not for the better. My roommate and best friend moved out of state, and she was a big source of support in my life. Another very close friend of mine got a new job and moved to Germany with his boyfriend. He has been my closest gay friend and party buddy since we met 3 years ago. With him gone, that has left a big social void too. I used to go out every weekend, and now I've only been out here in the city once in the last two months (and that was for his going-away party). To make matters worse, another close friend of mine moved with his boyfriend out to the far-flung suburbs and doesn't come into the city much anymore. He was probably my first real gay friend that I met back in college, and we've stayed close since. So I now have no close friends left around me on a daily basis, and not much of a social life to be had here anymore because of it. Because I know that I am moving next year and also because I'm so busy with other stuff, I've stopped investing much into my life here in Philly. I'm not really trying to make new friends, I'm not getting involved in anything outside of what I already am, and am instead putting that energy into making connections, both professionally and personally, in New York. I just don't see a reason to start over again here when I know I'm going to leave. I see investing in the future as a better option. That being said, I'm a bit sad at losing so much of what I had of my life here. I love this city with all my heart, and it gave me a great start in life. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I've come out in one piece.
I'm also entering the final stretch of grad school, and the workload has absolutely skyrocketed. I'm routinely putting in 60 hours a week between work and school. Because I don't have much of a life here anymore, I've started falling into the workaholic mode again, which makes me low-level depressed. In a way it works, because I have so much that needs to get done and get done right that being able to focus like I do is important. In the next six months, I need to finish up all my remaining classes, take the New York State licensing tests (multiple ones), and then begin applying and interviewing for public school teaching jobs in New York City, which is a feat unto itself. If even the littlest piece has a crack, it throws off the entire plan. I'm such a nervous wreck right now because trying to balance all this for the next six months is exhausting and there's still so much time left to go. I am so motivated though. The one dream I've always had was to live in New York, and now I'll finally have the earning power to afford a good life there. My boyfriend lives there, and I definitely see long-term potential for us.
I'm of the attitude right now that this phase is just the challenge before the prize. If it all goes according to plan, I'll have the life I always dreamed of when I was a closeted 16 year old kid growing up in a depressing small town. I'm hoping it'll make the moment it all comes together that much more satisfying. Until then, I just gotta suck it up and push through.
I like blogging. I like just sitting around and thinking or chatting about a topic. Writing out my thoughts is nice because it helps me frame them in a more concrete way. It's nice just doing it in my head, but it's more fun and more satisfying on a computer screen...not on a piece of paper, physically writing sucks. Typing is nice though. Anyway, over the years I've grown thoroughly attached to this site and its members and whatever else I'm doing in my life I still enjoy a place to just sit and thing, and type about it, so I figure it might as well be here.
A few short updates about my life since I figure that's the least I can do before I ramble about inconsequential topics. The boyfriend and I are doing well, in exactly a week it'll be two years. Work is lovely this time of year. This is our slowest time of year, and since I work from home anyway, it mostly means that I can sit around all day doing whatever I like as long as I keep one eye and ear on my work computer. Not a prob
I've been enjoying my hobbies quite a bit as well. It's very hard to avoid reading. Despite being a technophobe I opted to get an Amazon Kindle (I once started a thread on these in the Lobby when they first came out! :-P) as well as finally jumping on the Ipod wagon. So anyway, I adore the Kindle, strongly prefer it to physical books. I go through a couple of books a week, which is a lot for me given what a slow, methodical reader I tend to be. Interestingly though, I also tend to read more on the Ipod than I listen to music or do anything else. The graphics, browser, and interface are much better on the Ipod (which I think is called an Ipod Touch) than they are on the Kindle. Which is fine because I didn't want the Kindle to be flashy and distracting. I kind of want it to be only good for reading books (and buying new ones), because that's all I want to do on it. So I read the books on the Kindle, but I've found that "web reading" is so much better on the Ipod than it is on the Kindle or the computer screen. The thing I don't like about reading for hours on a laptop that you're stuck with this big, heavy, bulky thing. A tiny handheld reading device like the Kindle or Ipod (or *gasp* a real book) is way better to read on. So with its flashy browser capabilities the Ipod is ideal for handheld reading...but yeah I keep getting distracted with games, music, and the rest of the internet when I use it, so I'm glad the Kindle's there for more hardcore reading.
Anyway all this reading has, unsurprisingly resparked my desire to write so I've taken that back up again. Unfortunately I have to admit that I don't really plan to post the stuff here. I'm hoping to attempt real life publishing and as a last result might try eBook publishing. In any case I don't intend to do it for years. I'm working on a series of books and I have no intention of publishing anything, or even showing it to anyone, until I have like the first four or five completely finished. That way I can make them as complicated as I would like since I can go back and add/remove things to all the previous stuff. I find that when I post online on a chapter by chapter basis, even if I'm pretty far ahead, I end up wishing I could change something, but it's too late (or at least feels too late) since it's already "out there." I'd really want to shoot myself if I had a great idea in book four that was being precluded by something I'd written in book one. So yeah, gonna wait and work a long time on these before they see the light of day.
This winter has been surprisingly pleasant. One of the best ones I've had in years. I've been lazy and energetic, like I get every winter, but I've avoided the anhedonia and enveloping numbness this year. Granted, I haven't felt like going out and partying, but at least I've felt like staying in and reading and writing rather than being disinterested in everything and marking time till spring.
The boyfriend and I have been living together about a year and a half now. Overall it's been remarkably smooth and pleasant. The main conflict comes from the fact that I'm a really tidy, organized person. I really am the sort of person who has a place for everything. I don't own any items that I leave in random places. What's more, I don't even acquire new items unless I can mentally figure out where I'll be keeping them. I definitely like for all items to go back to their designated places at the end of every use. The boyfriend on the other hand is the sort of person who picks something up, uses it, and then just puts it down wherever he happens to be. He'll think nothing of leaving the soy sauce sitting on the coffee table or at his desk indefinitely. That really doesn't work for me. I'm also the sort of person who won't even think about going to bed until everything is put away. Him on the other hand, when he gets tired that's it. Since I have to go to bed earlier than he does for work, that means that every morning I end up cleaning and tidying. Somehow I'm still always shocked by it too. My god! he left his half full glass of tea on the table next to saran wrap from something he opened! Somehow this just shocks me more than it annoys me. I couldn't have slept knowing it was out there if I were him.
I'm also generally just a great deal more organized than he is. I got really ticked off last month because he just up and told me that we had to drop everything and go visit his mom for her birthday. I like his mom, I agree that it's important to visit family for special occasions. What annoyed me is that I had zero notice, and why? Not because he forgot to tell me (although he probably would have ), but because he forgot her birthday was coming up at all. He hadn't known at all until his dad texted him. That also meant of course that he didn't have a present, and although I tried to insist that we just go pick something up on the way, he refused because "he doesn't like to get things just to get them. It has to be something he knows the person will like" and he didn't have any ideas. Which is fine, quite thoughtful actually, but that ship had sailed and personally I would have rathered gotten something nice, but generic than shown up empty handed.
Of course I'm not trying to make him sound bad or difficult to be with; he's certainly not. He's very thoughtful and agreeable. He's also quite a lot less set his ways than I am, and in all honesty he puts up with nagging, neurotic requests far better than I could put up with similar such things from someone like me. If he were as particular as I am about how things are done and where they go then we never could have put up with each other.
Yikes, I can't believe it's been, like, 8 months since my last blog! It's amazing how quickly life passes by sometimes ...
Anyway, since my last blog post, I closed on my new house, spent about a month dealing with contractors to completely renovate the whole place (quite the undertaking -- both in terms of the stress involved and the cost!) But, I'm all settled in and love it. The commute to work is awful, but living sort of out in the country is nice -- peaceful and quiet! Moving from a 600 sq. foot apartment to a 2,400 sq. foot house required me to buy lots of furniture and spend lots of time decorating. It's not all done yet (will it ever be?), but it's probably about 80% complete.
Work is busy, busy, busy ... and more stressful than usual lately. When I get home in the evening, I just want to crash on the couch and watch television (or just pass out from exhaustion). But, it pays my mortgage, so I can't complain too much.
On to more 'important' things, though ... Yes, I have started writing again. WISYA hasn't been 'speaking' to me lately, so I'm not sure at what point I'm going to pick it up again. I've 'tentatively' started a new serial novel, called "Home By Now" (unless I change). It's a bit on the 'dark' side, but I like how it's going so far. I at least want to complete a few chapters or more before I start posting, and I really have no clue when that will be, but progress (or something like progress) is at least happening ...
Final note for the evening ... I'm now reading the 'Twilight' series for the third time, and saw 'New Moon' on opening weekend. For the longest time, I refused to read the books or see the movies, but I finally caved when I was bored one weekend, and now I'm hooked! No, Stephenie Meyer won't be winning any literary awards anytime soon, but there is something really captivating about the story ... and it doesn't hurt that Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are soooo dreamy! ;-)
Anyway, that's it for now ... Hopefully I'll be back again soon ... :-)
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Thanksgiving and the Adhesion Among Men
@Parker Owens brought a certain song to my attention yesterday. I did a little digging on The Vacant Chair and learned a thing or two. Although the lyrics portray a Civil War family mourning the loss of a beloved son, the poem was actually written in tribute to love. Henry Stevenson Washburn was 48 years old when he met and watched 18-year-old John William Grout lead a charge and die in the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. The young lieutenant must have meant a great deal to the poet, and since the death occurred near the time of Thanksgiving, he imagined himself as a loved one gathered around the table with the rest of the dead boy’s family.
This is the poem he wrote in tribute.
The Vacant Chair
We shall meet but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him,
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer.
When a year ago we gathered,
Joy was in his mild blue eye.
But a golden cord is severed.
And our hopes in ruin lie.
We shall meet, but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We will linger to caress him,
When we breathe our ev'ning prayer.
At our fireside, sad and lonely,
Often will the bosom swell,
At remembrance of the story,
How our noble Willie fell.
How he strove to bear our banner,
Thro' the thickest of the fight,
And uphold our country's honor
In the strength of manhood's might.
We shall meet, but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We will linger to caress him,
When we breathe our ev'ning prayer.
Composer George Root set it to music and moved the entire nation, both North and South. Here is a straightforward, but emotionally charged recording of the song.
By the end of the war, and the carnage wrought by the murder of the president, Washburn and Root’s song took on national significance at Thanksgiving time.
Walt Whitman memorialized the slain war hero like this:
O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved?
And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone?
And what shall my perfume be for the grave of him I love?
Sea-winds blown from east and west,
Blown from the Eastern sea and blown from the Western sea, till there on the prairies meeting,
These and with these and the breath of my chant,
I'll perfume the grave of him I love.
And so I bid you all a happy Thanksgiving, and feel it’s appropriate to remember those who made this day about family and love.
You and I, we have a strong bond
Like brothers, like lovers;
We disgust the world with our vain perversions,
our inane attachment with the word and the seas of heresy
part at our command revealing the shells of untruths hiding
beneath the silt of social justice.
Ecstasy beyond judgement is what we share
in the binding fallacy of corporeal pain
battling to win over the spirit.
Our ascension begins at the alter of ego.
Broken down pieces of the mirror of self-hate, we tread
upon our steps to immortality. Morality, ethics, civility, higher power
are all suspended in space as dwindling starlights, reaching us
from the outer edges of cosmos.
You and I, we have a strong bond.
Like brothers, like lovers;
We step over millions of corpses to reach the quintessential truth, the poesy of nature.
When I see you talking to others I think of it as betrayal
When I see you smiling with others I question if you are loyal
When I see you moving on with life going roundabout your business
I feel I have been left out from it all in order to hide your menace
I know the wheels are turning
I know the fires are burning out
Emotions are condensing in big chunks of ice
And soon it won't suffice to tell you that I love you,
that the earth only blooms for you,
that my breath begins & ends with you
And soon you will leave me for the others who make you smile, who kiss
you behind my back, smell your hair, bend you over to the road of infidelity
And it drives me mad, mad like a ragging bull,
Like a substance user craving his previous high
I can't stand them making you smile
One of these days I will tell them of your lies
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Does anyone else get hiccups a lot? I seem to get them a lot and I can't figure out why...I just hiccuped my way through some toast and it just makes eating seem like a lot of hard work...*sigh* back to the essay. It's so close to done, I almost just want to hand it in right now, even though it's incomplete so I can then come home and take a nap...
Also, my friend that I've not spoken to for like a year after we had an arguement and stuff should have got the package I sent her today... I hope she doesn't hate me...
In the early 70's, my family moved to Mississippi from Louisiana. I was enrolled into a military school to begin my high school years. At 14 and being a female it was quite terrifying. My first day to attend classes, I was as lost as a student during his first day on a college campus. The school I was going too also had boarding students and their dorms. It was a new world to me.
I'll never forget the first break of my first day. I sat on a bench alone pretending to be absorbed in a book. Someone plopped down beside me and said, "Hi, I'm Sandra Faye, but everyone calls me Sandi." That was the beginning of the first true friendship I ever had. We spent nights with each other during the week, all our weekends together and weeks on end during the summers between our high school years. We had our first drink together, double dated on our first date and she taught me how to smoke a cigarette.
My family moved back to Louisiana the end of the summer before my senior year. It didn't affect our friendship in the least. I still came back to Mississippi at least one weekend out of every month. We kept in contact almost daily. Even when I went away to college in North Louisiana, we still kept in touch. She was already working in a NAPA auto store. When I turned 20, I moved back to Mississippi and moved in with her. We both worked in the parts store for a year before I met my first husband and moved out from her house. My first husband and I visited with them a lot since we lived within 20 miles of her and her boyfriend, later to be jusband. My marriage only lasted 13 months..
I was her Maid of Honor in her wedding and played the piano at her sister's wedding. I even spent two Christmases with her family instead of my own because they were like a second family to me. My parents would come to their house on Christmas Day to see me. When I met my second husband, which is who I'm married to now, once again, we were apart. She and her husband moved about an hour away. We both had baby girls and kept in contact on a daily basis.
After three years of marriage, Jimmy and I separated for about six months. My daughter and I moved in with Sandi and her daughter. (She was separated from her husband also.) We were like extended family. When my husband and I worked out our differences, I moved back home and she and I kept in contact but since we both now worked time consuming jobs, we had less contact. But every year, on my birthday she called early in the morning. She never missed one. We'd meet for lunch every once in awhile when one of us was in the other's home town at the time.
Her dad died a couple of years ago and I attended the funeral. She and I found time to visit and it was as if we'd never been apart. She was the sister I chose for myself.
I could write a book here and not even tell a third of our history together. Sadness, happiness, mischief, but friendship beyond all friendship.
Sandi died of a massive heart attack yesterday. Her younger sister made sure that I got word of her death this morning. I'm shocked and heartbroken by the news. The part of me that was connected to her is shaken beyond repair at this moment. Hoping that writing this would give my heart a much needed breath of relief, I'm finding it even heavier and I know it'll stay that way for days to come. Her friendship is one that'll never be replaced. To me she'll always be that sweet little red-headed teen that plopped down beside me on that bench that day when I felt so alone and offered me the gift of her friendship.
Rest in peace my friend. An angel has been added to the heavens.
Thanks to those of you who have sent me e-mails, pms, or otherwise showed concern as to where the fuck I’ve been. To answer the first, most obvious question: I’m fine. Life has its challenges, and I have mine, but there’s nothing there that’s debilitating.
There are three major areas of my life that can impact my writing. My health/wellbeing is obviously one of those, but as I’ve said, that’s pretty good. The next one is the relative level of activity in my life, and I’ve had an awful lot to do. This looks to be a pretty active year for me. To do what Will does to JP, that means I’m busy. J The combined forces of work, home stuff, research, etc. are a bit crushing right now.
The third factor is my muse, or ability/desire to write. For some reason, that has temporarily left me. When I’m busy, but still want to write, I usually find time to do it, but my production fades. In this case, I really haven’t wanted to do much writing, so with the added pressures of real life, I’ve let my online life sort of drift unattended. And I’m finding that there’s really no fighting the relative apathy that envelopes me when I’m in this mode.
In the past, this has happened when I’m in a conundrum about a story, but I have a very clear idea of how I want to proceed with both of my series. With CAP, I have an idea of how I plan to end “Streak” and the initial parts and premise of the next story is already forming in my mind. With Bridgemont, it’s a bit more open-ended, but I have some pivotal events in store.
I’ve been feeling a bit more motivated lately, and I’ve actually done a little writing, but I’ve spent more time reading than anything, and that includes going back over my recent stories for reference. Spring Break approaches, so I hope that in the next month or so I’ll be productive again.
I really do appreciate all of you who read my stories and give me feedback, and I feel bad for leaving you in a lurch. At the same time, I know that you’ll understand life’s pressures, and how a perfect storm like this can really impact my writing.
Nine years. I've been a part of GA for just shy of a decade. I've seen it grow from only a few forums and some scattered author websites to a community of thousands of people across the world with millions of visitors every month. I was member 937 to join the site. GA is now approaching the 25,000th member. I joined this site on a random Wednesday and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. The people I've met through this site have guided me and made me who I am today and I couldn't be more thankful. Without them, who knows where I would be.
From the first core group of regular chatters, I was hooked. Viv, Snowdog, Myr, Robert, Lugh, Nate, Krista, Vic, and so many more that I can't even list. They were there to listen to me bitch about high school homework, my first crush on a boy, getting my drivers license, my first relationship and subsequent breakup, graduating college, moving across the country God knows how many times... they were there to listen to me and help me through it. They gave me advice when I needed it and told me to grow a pair and man up when I needed that too. Meeting up with them in San Francisco and Dallas was a blast, but having them guide me through some of the roughest parts of my life was more than I could ever ask for.
I will be officially stepping down in all areas across the site. I will no longer be a moderator, admin, or board member for the parent company. It's been an amazing nine years, but I can no longer hold up my end of the workload and need to part ways to allow someone else to grow with the site as much as I have. The growth this site has seen is nothing compared to what else will become of it. The teams running everything behind the scenes are dedicated to making this site the best possible place for everyone when it comes to gay fiction stories, and I have no doubt it'll continue to grow for many years to come.
Without trying to sound like I'm accepting an award of some sort, I'd just like to thank everyone on the site that has made it what it is and made me who I am. I'm truly grateful for all of the conversations and guidance you've all given me throughout the years. I'll still be around from time to time and may even take a stab at writing some more, but for the most part, this is my final goodbye to Gay Authors. It's been a great journey, but it's time for me to move on with my life and see what else awaits.
Good luck to everyone on the site. I hope you find happiness and gain as much from being a part of this community as I have.
So, I would imagine that many members here wont remember who I am. i've not been active for a while because... well, life gets in the way sometimes doesn't it?
8 Years ago last week, I started a relationship right here on GA. I met Paya right here, and our friendship blossomed into something more. I was in the UK, he was in the Czech Republic. We had a long distance relationship for 2 years, before finally moving to London together 6 years ago.
This is just a quick stop by to where it all began, to announce that yesterday - We got Married. Yes, another GA wedding.
We were lucky enough that our friends from GA, Bleu and Jian, were at our ceremony as guests - I told them they were our GA ambassadors for the day.
Now... not to rush away, but a honeymoon awaits.
All the best.
I've been saying for years I would get around to learning how to play piano. I kinda started trying to pick it up in college, but there wasn't really anybody to explain to me basics and back in the day we didn't have all the wonders of the internet that we do today (omg I'm so old).
Anyway, so I broke down and bought one! It's nothing crazy special, but I did make sure it had the full 88 keys and fully weighted hammer action keys and all that jazz so it's as close to a real piano as I can afford. Today was pretty hectic so I only sorta scratched the surface getting together basics of what NOT to do and then started learning scales and how you're supposed to move your fingers over/under to get the basic idea of how your hand sorta... there must be a word for this but you get a tuck and move sorta action going. And I have to say, there is a night and day difference on this keyboard versus the ones I tried to use more than a decade ago, this feels so much more like a real piano that it's almost annoying, my fingers have unequal strength and responsiveness right now, so that tuck and go motion gets me sometimes, the left to right motion of the right hand catches me if I'm not paying particular attention to my thumb for the tuck maneuver. That should get easier in time.
I might be super lame, but after an hour I can finally do that mostly correctly, and I was super proud of myself for learning this. I'd like to spend longer, but I think the most I can really budget and stay faithful to is about 1 or 1 and 1/2 hours a day toward this, but I'm pretty happy with that progress. I also have Mary had a Little Lamb stuck so thoroughly in my brain now that I want to eat a shotgun and my fingers keep trying to twitch toward where the keys should be.
Found a lady that gives lessons locally and sent her an email to get that sorted, so I'm quite looking forward to this. I like the idea of having a goal to work toward that I can ever improve upon, especially when I get frustrated/anxious/depressed about actual life. Perhaps that way I could escape into something meaningful and worthwhile instead of moping or feeling bad.
On another note, I remembered a thing from a very long time ago, because I was standing outside on my front porch and I still keep my Christmas-style white string lights on my porch because when all of us hang out on the porch it provides nice lighting. Don't even know why I remembered this. So have a random memory.
Work starts at one pm. Each day, I stay until at least ten pm, and drive home afterward. It is Christmas, so we have decorated our home with Christmas lights to festively welcome Santa. We can't do much, because we don't have the money, but we can afford a few strings of lights for the front, and a string around the indented, shaded-by-trees carport. One day a lady with a child (perhaps about five?) waves to me as I pull into my carport and I see her kid grinning and pointing, and I wave back. I remember when I was his age, and seeing those lights was a wonder.
As an adult, it hardly seems special. I am twenty-one years old, and I can barely imagine anymore what it was like to be his age, but I can vaguely recall that amazement crystalline in his eyes when his mouth tilts open and he points, and his mother smiles and waves at me. Christmas passes, and we take the lights down. Except for the carport lights; we like those, it gives ambient light to a dark carport, and we're fine leaving them there indefinitely. We keep talking about taking them down, but I just don't want to. Maybe I'm lazy. Maybe I'm just short and can't reach them and we don't have a ladder and I don't feel like climbing. Who knows, but I'm not taking them down.
Weeks pass. It is now mid-February, and we still have Christmas lights on our carport. They're visible from the street and, while shaded through some trees, easily identifiable for what they are. I drive to work. I drive home. I rinse, wash, and repeat, and forget about that mother with her child. One day I'm driving home again and this time I see the kid and his mom again. They're both motioning to me, but my car window won't roll down; it has broken and it is too expensive for me to fix. I stop. After all, we're headed toward each other in a deserted side street, and I might as well say hello. I open my door slightly motioning that my window doesn't roll down. As I do, she lets down her window. At first I think they might be having trouble, I don't recognize them for who they were.
"We wanted to tell you that we look at your lights every night, and my son wants to tell you to never take them down. He loves Christmas!"
I laugh; a deep, genuine, rolling laugh. "I promise they'll stay up as long as I'm here! You guys be safe and have a great night."
She smiles, he smiles, they wave in tandem and drive away as I shut my door and pull into my carport. It is no problem to keep these lights on as long as I live here if it makes them happier to see them each night. It makes my concerns seem silly, even. I can't voice why I feel the way I do, but I feel that if I can keep these lights on, if they smile when they see them even though to most adults they're a bit tacky after the holiday, then who cares? Isn't it hopeful, isn't it incredible that something so simple makes them happy? If they feel joy because of something that I do, something that requires almost zero effort from me and hardly any money, who am I to deprive them of it?
This is one of those stories that has no ending, though. I moved on. The house moved on. The other person living in it moved on. I'll never know what happened after that. But for the space of several months, I kept those fucking lights up and on, because who wouldn't?
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