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    Weekly Wrap Up (Nov. 11 - Nov. 17)

    By wildone

    I know most of the members here are from the US of A, and this week is their time to celebrate Thanksgiving. If you want to take a moment and let us know what you are thankful for this year, and you don't have to be American, add in a comment . Then on TV, US shows are having their fall finales, so in that light, I'm dedicating today's blog as the GA Fall Weekly Blog Finale!!     Now on to what wrapped up our fall season , stay tuned for the all new Winter lineup starting tomorrow!!   Monday, Renee gave us a Featured Story that will get everyone into the Christmas spirit early:   Wednesday, Renee was back at it for a first I think, an info dump  Make sure you check it out for all that it contains   Friday, the nearly all Renee week closed with a couple for new prompts from comicfan.   Saturday, Comicality shared some good advice on how to attract your readers with a good blurb: Anthologies 2019 Spring Anthology: In the Stars - Due May 15th 2019 Spring Anthology: Snapped  - Due May 15th   Blog Opportunities Story Critique: Open to all GA authors. Sign up here. Ask An Author: Send your questions for your favorite authors to @Carlos Hazday (no questions = no Ask An Author) Story Recommendations:  Open to all GA authors & readers. PM your recommendation and why you recommend it to a Site Admin. 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. Questions & Answers: Open to all GA authors, readers, and editors. Visit the thread and PM @Renee Stevens to participate.   Premium Updates:   Harbinger by Cia *Premium*   Classic Updates:   It's Not Easy Being a Tree by Ronyx   Rich Boy: Growing Pains by dkstories   Thanksgiving Dinner by Altimexis   Signature Updates:   Adrift by Mann Ramblings   Aria Graice by Nephylim   Denied by Cia   Headstall's Reflections by Headstall   The Secret Life Of Billy Chase 9 by Comicality; Book 9 of The Secret Life Of Billy Chase   The Strange Life of Jonas Marks by comicfan   Promising Updates:   Disasters, Delights and Other Detours by Parker Owens   Here Kitty, Kitty by Caz Pedroso   The Cockney Canuck by Dodger   The Golden City by Aceinthehole   tim's Bits and Pieces by Mikiesboy   ***Check out this GA Classic***   The Search for Pandora  Graeme    Iswirl and Herk are searching for Herk's sister and they are down to their last lead.   Don't forget.... Read, Write, and REVIEW!!!
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  1. As I had stated to Page and a couple others on Cott... we need to be aware and pay attention to our teens and how badgering and "Just kidding" remarks bring issues and tragedies... how we just don't know how much weight and burden it can produce...!!! Sadly... Dennis 191 is that example... we knew him as the crazy Hun that would go into fits at Cott Say and do CRAZY things...Not knowing the deeper issues and horrors he had and lived... Dennis191 had a mindset, but there were reasons for those mindsets... I knew Dennis had deeper rooted problems, dealing with teens for 27 years you tend to pick up on things, especially the boys, they will blow things off to their peers but in their alone time and internally it eventually peaks... Dennis peaked on GA before he left, became spiteful and rebellious to moderators and others as well... he was crying out the best way he knew how, and the only way he knew... Dennis and I remained in contact after he left we became very close as he had begun to allow me into his world... A very cruel and difficult world I might add... being a loaner not for fear... but of the penalty of letting anyone too close in his space. But I was very persistent every day to connect and encourage edify, and even hug from 5000 miles away. Christmas last year he was all alone and I could tell as it approached it bothered him even though he would never say it... because Dennis through a series of events always had to suck things up and cope with life as it was dealt to him... this all began at a very early time in his young life, his parents blamed him for being  born, continually calling him a worthless piece of crap... only to send him away After his Grandparents died ( his one and only outlet, he Loved his Grandparents) Dennis was sent to a boys Military school at the age of thirteen so his dad wouldn't have to look at him, the military School was located at the site of an old Anthrax testing ground. it was said to be safe, but it was just a story. Dennis had contracted Anthrax while there its effects were somehow  not life-threatening to him as with others 2 youth died... he was at the firing range when the staff person monitoring them became aggressive with Dennis and Dennis shot  and killed him they ended up out of fear of being found out to kick Dennis out of the School and send him back home to "Dad". Dennis went back to School at the Public Schools where he met His soul mate Jon who was the only thing keeping him going and giving him the love he lacked for the next two years. Then Jon because of his home and school Situations of bullies and an abusive stepfather... ended up Killing himself, leaving Dennis alone and angry again until last November when he was asked by his cousin who lived in Serbia to come and  spend the Holidays with them and if he liked it he could stay which was good for him to be around people who did care, and know what he had gone through. But we remained in contact and drew closer and I could even tell when he was getting ready to have one of his fits and divert it into something more positive... he did get better and even found work for a while... I had sent him funds on many occasions to help out as they don't make much there... we had talked about my Eye surgery and well he was the very First person I was able to see with my eye after surgery and he was proud of that, but there were many things still Haunting Dennis he had 3-4 times talked about committing suicide when he would return from the store or back from venturing out... he was Teased and ridiculed for being Hungarian and had gotten to the point he would fight back when he went out. We began talking about me going to Serbia and then we would tour his Native Hungarian land and he was excited as I was... I began to make all the arrangements and set stuff in order, then my eye needed surgery again and he thought our Visit would not happen, had quit his job there and was going to go to London to work...He said he could make more money there... I asked about my trip and he said we were still on when my eye situation was finished. Then he became irritated again but wouldn't share, And I did finally find out he was having complications with getting his ID? passport renewed, but I knew it was more... had started to revert back not sleeping and Nightmares all the time, I knew I needed to get there ASAP. I remember his birthday on may 5th he turned 19... although I could not be there I was bound to make it memorable for him, I had bought my New computer and decided I would have my Old lap top refurbished( he was using an old hp D760 we called it the Dino) I had  upgraded everything on it and sent it with Cables and Speakers and Even a new LG4 phone, his screen was so cracked I just imagined him with Bandaids on his fingersThe box weighed about 21 lbs full of converters and every thing needed for him .... it was very expensive to ship and even cost  a lot to have it delivered there, but to me it was worth it to give him a grand 19th birthday, I played his Native birthday music and sent him some songs we had enjoyed for hours together... when He said it was just another day I knew no one had spent time to show him his value and worth with "No strings attached" Dennis was a good kid and would give his very last to a stranger... he often thought of others and said he was not important... So untrue I got to know the real Dennis not the one he would try and show... Yes he was a little off but anyone of us would have been Dead already if we were in his shoes....So When a kid is acting up or out maybe  we need to step closer, ask those questions we are afraid to ask help edify and encourage before it's to late....!!!  my Heart is truly broken and heavy The pain will linger at His Death, yes he couldn't take it any longer the screams the agony and terror the teasing  and the disrespect for his culture... he laid down  boldly in front of a train leaving the station to end his alredy numb and disembodied life... I lost a Brother, Friend a child still in the heart but a very very confused one... I am just in tears I could not get to him in time... but then was there ever any time, or was he just biding time... That We will never know... So those who knew Dennis 191 please take a moment in remembering him and now you know more than ever before, I am so glad to have taken the time and spent what was a bonding moment, I am glad to have spent the hundreds of hours on the net  and even video chatted with him, the eyes  don't lie and well they told his life story, and his connection with me ... the challenges we both faced... take a moment to remember him and then think is there someone in my own life I should be more aware, spend more time with, and just love them for who they are... not who we want them to be...!!! Here's to you... you Dennis are not or ever was a mistake you are Loved an always will be loved and now maybe you can truly Rest in Peace...???:heart::kiss::heart::heart:

  2. Needless to say, my life is one big fuck up right now. Everything seems to be going to the shits. Well, not everything. Two significant parts of my life remain on track. My reading is prodigious right now. I am actively reading: Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman, Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, The Seventh Cross by Anna Seghers, Hiroshima by John Hersey, Blood’s a Rover by Harlan Ellison, and most of The New Yorker when it comes to the house most weeks. Yeah, you’re asking how do I keep track of it all. Well, I do, somehow. The other thing going on correctly right now is my next story. It had a working title of The Reluctant Father up until yesterday when I changed it to Canes. I working on Chapter 8 right now. It is a psycho-sexual family drama about a sixty-something gay widower and a young gay teen who has an unhealthy relationship with railroad locomotives. It’s not so much that they go fast, but exactly what happens if you’re standing in front of one when it’s going 50 mph.

     

    So, what’s going on with the rest of my live? Well, you see we have this thirteen week old German Shepherd puppy that—although she belongs to my son—is my responsibility during the day because he works swing shift, comes home and stays up until three or four in the morning, doesn’t get up until one or one-thirty in the afternoon, and he leaves for work at two-fifteen so he can get to work an hour early so he can read the newspaper.

     

    Then yesterday afternoon when he got up to eat his breakfast, his regular bowl was dirty because he’d used it for a snack the previous night, so, he got a bowl out of the cupboard. Now, these bowls are not cereal bowls; they’re more dessert sized, which means he has to keep the box of cereal and the jug of milk on the table so he can have a sizeable breakfast.

     

    “Why didn’t you wash your bowl?” I asked foolishly.

     

    “Oh, you know, I don’t do service work anymore. The house nigger should’ve cleaned it before I got up.”

     

    Yeah, that’s his nickname for me.

     

    The house nigger does the dishes, sweeps the floors, does the grocery shopping, and raises his mastuh’s dogs.

     

    Plus, my knees are giving out on me, but the VA orthopedic surgeons won’t send me outside to get artificial knees because I weigh too much. I think I need to lose about another ten pounds. My bad knees are forcing me to decide whether I’m going to give up the idea of leaning how to play the guitar because I have to drive 27 miles to my lessons every Saturday. I know you’re thinking, “Oh, the poor old man has to drive TWENTY-SEVEN MILES and back for his guitar lessons. Well, if it’s all that far, maybe, he should give up his dream. Poor old man.”

     

    Well, fuck, I drive down there and back and not surprisingly it takes me six days to recover (yeah, six days means I miss that day’s lesson) because unlike most people, I don’t have any cartilage in my knees. It’s all melted away and has been replaced with arthritis, but my orthopedic surgeon says I gotta walk to keep that synovial fluid sloshing around in there to cushion what I have left of my knees. If I don’t, then just maybe I won’t be able to walk at all. I’ll be lucky if they issue me one of those walkers with handle bars, a seat, and hand brakes. Worse? Well, I don’t want to think of worse because when the surgeon told me about what worse entails, I figured I’d better get out there and walk some more even if it makes my knees feel like dried dog shit on a hardwood floor.

     

    And, of course, there’s the head or, rather, its contents, that collection of gray and white matter which is supposed to keep me on an even keel, but doesn’t. Sure, I take meds, I’ve been taking meds since April, 2008. But, now, I’ve been released by my local VA shrink and sent out to a vendor. An example of this vendor’s expertise in mental health meds is she prescribed Amantadine for my Essential Tremor. It’s a mild Parkinson’s drug given for tremor from that disorder, but one of its rather insidious side effects is narcolepsy. If I take that, I’ll be subjecting myself to my personal “My Own Private Idaho.” Just think of it, no more tremors, but going to sleep in a school zone and wiping out a street crossing full of first graders. Not my idea of fun. They do recommend not driving or operating heavy equipment if you take it. So, I’m not going to be taking that med. When she asks how I doing on it, I’ll let her know about the narcolepsy side effect. Probably, the worst thing about that side effect is that not only can it occur when you first start taking the med, but it can crop up years away. I wonder how many old people who’ve been given that drug and fall asleep while driving down the street and take out a sidewalk full of kids on their way to get Slurpees. It certainly won’t be me.

     

    But, speaking of mental health, I’m in a general funk right now. Yesterday, I was ready to pack my bags and books and take a powder. I don’t know where I would’ve gone. Probably, a city where there is a VA Med Center where I could get treatment for my various ailments. And, of course, although I would’ve left a note, I wouldn’t say where I was going and I certainly would never come back. No, this house nigger was going to be a runaway and I wouldn’t give a fuck about whether my son could remember how to wash dishes.

     

    Today? Well, today I listened to all of my Vangelis CDs and typed this blog, which dumped a whole lot of shit on you guys. I apologize, but you see I don’t have anyone else to dump on because my VA shrink won’t talk to me and my vendor shrink only speaks to veterans on Thursday’s. So, thank you for listening and sorry for the “N” word, but when you’re called it, it kind of sticks to you in not a very nice way.

     

    Better go, time to feed the dogs or mastuh be mad.

     

  3. This week I'd like to talk about two of the new features coming to the site soon.  I've shared this a bit with the authors, but I wanted to share them a little wider.  This is a more focused view for readers.

    We currently have one way for authors to group their stories: Series links.  They work, but I've wanted them to be more obvious.  So, with the new version, we're giving a bit more depth to our Series.

    image.png

    Series now has a description.  We can also add a series banner and special enhanced displays for series that have special circumstances.  Authors should take note of the red Xs on the side.  We can now very easily remove stories from a series (and yes, it asks to confirm the delete, so no accidents) or reorder the stories by simply pressing the up and down arrows.

     

    But a series of stories isn't the only way to group stories in the next update.  As anyone who has ever read Tom Clancy, Mercedes Lackey, J.K. Rowling, or Rick Riodan knows, you can have a whole bunch of different series featuring different aspects or couples that all take place, along with stand-alone stories, in the same world.  And hence, the next new feature: Worlds.

     

    image.png

     

    Worlds function almost exactly like Series, except that there is no order like in a series and you can add Series to your world.  For the sharp-eyed readers here, you will spot "Contributors".  For the purpose of this demonstration, I added dkstories' Dreams of Humanity Series to my Psionic Corp world.  Series listing also allows contributors, though I didn't show it in the example above.   Also in the picture, you can see that Series has one highlight color (black currently) and Worlds another (Violet, currently).  Also, Dreams is tagged with Premium, so that is also listed.  I see this feature getting used for authors who share the same writing world or for authors like @Comicalityand I who write stand-alone stories that share the same area.   In the example, you see two of my Anthology entries which are stand-alone entries in my Psionic Corp world. 

     

    Good news too, current existing stories in a series will import in as is.  The Author or staff members will just need to go and add a description to the series page, and it'll be good.  (if one isn't added, it'll just look as it does now)

    image.png

     

    The browse menu will now have a "Browse by Series" and "Browse by Worlds", as you can see in the right-side menu in the above image.

     

    image.png

    There are other things coming as well.  But as you can see from the screenshots, the test server already has these features working :D

  4.  

     Dear Alzheimer’s, 

     

    You’re just a dirty sneak thief.  You sneak in and steal from people. You don’t even have the courage to announce yourself.  Your nasty cousin, cancer, at least starts with a cough or a pain. But not you, oh no.  

     

    You waltzed in, and started taking things. Little things. Things you didn’t think would be noticed; like where the car keys had gone, or the reading glasses. “Everybody remember where we parked!” became a family joke. 

     

    You started taking bigger things.  Like conversation. Gone were the days when we talked about so many things over coffee.  Now there were questions asked, and answered, and asked again. Trains of thought, derailed before they even left the station.   

     

    But now, everyone notices.  Stolen glances behind backs, eyes rolling like teenagers at hearing the question, again. And, occasionally, “Oh wait, I asked that already, didn’t I?” "You know, I'm just not worth a damn some days." She knows now, that something is missing. But you’re sneaky, she’s not quite sure what’s going on.  

     

    And while this is cruel, what is worse is that the past is now crystal clear.  Phone calls and emails to grandchildren to apologize for things that happened 13 years ago.  Knowing for certain, with absolute clarity, what she wore to that Halloween party 40 years ago.  

     

    You’re getting bolder now.  Walking, moving, becomes difficult.  You’ve stolen our walks. When we would wander the neighborhood, the park, even the mall.  The shuffling gait leads to trips, trips to falls, falls to fear, and fear, to inaction. 

     

    We ask, “What’s next?” There’s a caregiver now.  You’ve taken her ability to feed herself, and care for herself.  She’s like a small child again needing help with daily activities like brushing her teeth, and even going to the bathroom.  Unmarked boxes, full of “incontinence supplies” start showing up with the mail. Like a small child, she lashes out in anger, and frustration.  She knows things are missing. 

     

    If that wasn’t enough, you’ve taken her spirit, the very thing that made her, who she is, or was.  She lays on the bed, not knowing anyone, or anything.  There isn’t even any fighting. We know she’s gone, only her body doesn’t realize it yet.  We mourn, but we can’t fully, as we try to care for what you’ve left behind. 

     

    You’ve taken so much.  Will you ever be satisfied? 

     

    Sincerely, 

     

    molly

     

     

    We all have fears.  When i was a teen, and into my early twenties i lived in a part of the US that has high rates for MS, Multiple Sclerosis.  It was my boogeyman. Now, three people i know, two of which i went to high school with, are battling it. It doesn’t frighten me anymore. 

     

    The area i grew up in has been labeled a “cancer cluster."  Talking with classmates from high school, we’re losing parents and each other to cancer and other chronic illnesses.  i deal with this daily, it’s no longer a fear. 

     

    But Alzheimer’s.  That’s fecking scary.  My Grandmother had it; her sister had it; my mother has it; my sister's mother in law has it.  My aunt lost her husband to it last year. We’d been saying goodbye to him for three or four years 

     

    Losing ME, that’s scary. So scary that it can make me cry.   

     

    This month in the US starts a series of "Walk to End Alzheimer's" events.  You'll see commercials for it, hear stories on the news programs, they'll say that "the first survivor of Alzheimer's is out there." If you are so inclined, get a team together, volunteer at one of the events, or find a way to sponsor someone who's walking.  For more information on the Walks check here
     

     

     

    As always, my thanks to tim, @Mikiesboy, for helping me find the courage to do this in the first place xoxo

    And tonight, to AC, @AC Benus, thank you for looking at this for me xoxo

  5. This morning I woke up, pretended to eat the imaginary ice cream (green flavour!) that Goblinboy pretended to feed me, got up and fetched Baby Wolfeater from his cot, gave them milk, and went back to bed to snuggle my husband. Dashi joined us, because the best place for a lurcher to be is cuddled on our duvet, and after a little while we were invaded by our small and not so small sons. Then I got up.

     

    It's Sunday, so I abandoned my husband with the small boys, and Dashi and I went to the farm. Many people have told me I'm a lucky bastard, and trust me when I say that I believe them. Our great friends Clare and Christian have rented us (back in April) a little scrap of unused woodland with a pond in it (about an acre all in all, but not all useable) in return for one pig per year - ready for the freezer. So we built a fence (cue swearing, shouting, bleeding) and now we have pigs, six chickens in a run we got for free (score!), a greenhouses we have yet to rebuild (secondhand for nothing), a shed containing the very beginnings of a rabbit tree (meat rabbits, don't get all sappy on me), and a raised bed growing potatoes.

     

    I fed the animals, walked to Copper's field and gave him breakfast, and went for a walk with Dashi and the farm spaniels. It was a good morning.

     

    Then I came home to be greeted by all my boys.

     

    Goblinboy will be three (THREE? where did the time go?) at the end of October, and Wolfeater has just turned one. Goblinboy is all about the talking, playing pretend, the questions (Why is rain?), the learning about hammers and anvils (he's learning from his Daddy. I'm proud), and the helping with absolutely everything (anyone need a tiny gardener?). Wolfeater is walking (properly walking) and has been able to climb the stairs since six months (yeah, we've had no rest), and is busy eating whatever he can lay his hands on and trying out new word-sounds.

     

    And.... now neither of them are napping anymore, and I gotta go.

     

    Oh, and I wrote something. Kitt's been great at keeping my secrets as always. Bye y'all!

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    Superpride
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    Listed below are the story cards and the ending card that you will use to create ideas for a story that you will then write down as a response to this entry.  More details are in the description of the blog.  Enjoy!

     

    Story Cards

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  6. Dear G A

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    Dear GA

    I know it has been a while, I have been in a state of nothingness this past week.

    i have just started writing again, and although I am still taking it easy, I have managed to complete another two chapters of an un finished story, which I am sure my followers will be pleased about.

    life seems to be sliding by at a rate that I can sometimes not keep track of, with me having to check my mobile phone, to see what day it is.

    i sometimes wonder what the hell have I done during my life, and the truth is stuff all really, which doesn't help with my moods.

    well that is all for now.

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    Me: Hey! Hi ! Hello ! How are you ? Can we be friends ? 

               I am so like that! it is so funny that I am so hopeful that I can find my true love. True love that I can’t see , it’s like I am blind or that “true love” is so far to see . I am now 18 ! and that existence I didn’t have a relationship yet! I have so many crushes and sadly none of them like me? Am I ugly? “ looking at the mirror” Me: No , my friends and other says I’m cute . 

    Am I super girly? 

    Me: No

    Am I sweet ? 

    Me: sometimes 

               Maybe months have passed, I started chatting on many guys online, I found out that I am inlove to guys who is older than me, like some of my batch mates are for crush and for day dreaming  only. I am a joker in class, I make the whole class laugh ! What’s wrong with me? Why like there are no guys wants me? “urghhhh” . 

    Everyday and night I didn’t stop to add guys , text them , or call them if I am so upset that no one really want me. Maybe some says they have their “bf” “hubby” “honey “ “mine” or “my boo” etc. Some says they are not yet ready. Some says they want to see me real and meet me. And like “ hooooo” you know what is the reason why ? I look for that ideal man! “No” I mean the man who can love me truly, accept me, care for me, and willing to visit me here in country. The main reason why I don’t have any bf right now because I am looking for a foreign guy or some guys from other country. Look how many guys I added on Facebook, followed on Instagram, and etc. Like maybe there are only 4-5 persons last for a month in chat. They say that love is hard when you are in different country , “ yeah , I know “ but we can be if we will do something which will make us strong.  

    One time I said to myself I should wait, until one time,  I was about to sleep and I am still scrolling who is onlins, and I saw a message request coming from  a guy in London, not so cute but he has that look. Like he is so sweet and weeks after  chatting, he is now saying that he loves me! OMG! and I really don’t that he is 25 !!! but then I should say that I am so lucky ! I expect so much , and this is it, I said my “YES” and we are both so happy after. After 2 weeks he said that he has plans for me, so sometimes he is busy on his work and he is hardly working. Before our monthsary maybe 4 days before , I was like waiting to him to get online, and then my text is became like an essay! he is not replying or even say 

    Good morning, or even a thumbs up”  . 🙄 Is this real? like at first he really loves me , and he always say those excuse that he is so busy. So after 4 days is our Monthsary, like I am the one who greet him and made a long sweet message. Then the only reply he said was “ thank you”  Whaaaatttt??? I am a kind person so I understand him. 

                2nd Month , like sometimes we do video call and we are like laughing while he is walking to go to his work, then he’s like making me happy.  After  weeks, is our second Monthsary and like he greet me, then I said “ I love you” and like I am so blushing all day when I think of him. I suggested to him that he must have an haircut because he has long hair , then he said that soon! After all these days, he was like a smoke like gone for a week, then he is calling me like he is drunk, like his face was so haggard and stressed, so I really worry about him, you know what’s worse that he said to me that “ You may leave” like I don’t understand him that night.  So we ended the video call incompletely and I am worried . Early in the morning I open my inbox from Messenger he was apologizing , and like I forgive him. That’s me easy to forgive and very kind.  

                                      To be Continued.

  7. Valkyrie
    Latest Entry

    On August 9, 2013 I decided to take the plunge and join GA as a member instead of reading stories as a lurker.  While I'd dabbled a bit with writing poetry and some creative fiction, I'd never actually finished anything I started writing.  The closest I came was a vampire novel I started writing in the early '90s (which I may yet finish ;) )  The atmosphere on GA was so welcoming.  It felt like a place where I wanted to interact with others, and one of my favorite things was reading the weekly prompts.  There was more participation in the prompts back then, and I felt like they were a good way to ease back into writing.  Bolstered by the positive and encouraging responses to those early scribblings, I expanded one of them into my first novella. I then decided to tackle the anthologies, which helped me develop my writing skills even more.  I was beyond thrilled to be promoted to Promising Author, and then Signature.  I still feel a flash of pride whenever I see the maroon rectangle next to my name.  :) 

     

    Writing and GA has opened so many doors for me.  I love writing and sharing my work with like-minded people.  My editing/beta team have become dear, dear friends. @Cole Matthews, @Lisa, @aditus... I can't imagine a life without you all in it :hug:  There are too many to name, but know everyone on this site holds a special place in my heart.  It's hard to believe it's been five years since I de-cloaked and became a member.  Yes, I'm a Star Trek nerd :gikkle: 

     

    Many of you know I have been spending the summer re-doing my house.  I bought new appliances, a new recliner, a giant cat tree, and a boatload of other new things for the house.  My mom and I moved every piece of furniture, scrubbed the walls and floors, and went through every box downstairs.  I threw out a ton of stuff, donated a ton of stuff, and now have a manageable living space.  There are a few reasons we did all this.  One, it needed to be done.  I've done a lot of travelling in the ten years I've lived here, so I let a lot of house stuff go.  Two, I had my BFF planning to visit for a week and I wanted a house that didn't look like it was inhabited by trolls. And three... I am having major surgery this week.  

     

    This has been a summer of reflection for me.  I found a lot of things from my past when going through all those boxes.  Mostly good memories, but some bittersweet.  I don't want to get into all the details of my surgery, since it's rather personal, but I will say I have a pre-cancerous condition which requires the removal of some parts.  The risk of cancer is relatively low, but still there.  I've had two prior surgeries, and admit to being most nervous about this one.  So I will be away from the site briefly while I recover.  I'm hoping my absence will be less than a week, but it all depends on how I feel and what they find.  I won't have my laptop with me until I'm back home, but I will have my cell phone and will keep Cole updated.  He has my permission to post updates here.  

     

    I am hoping to do a lot of writing while I recover.  I'd like to finish "The Hollow Hills" and start my next novel.  I have some editing to do, and something exciting in the works for GA.  I also hope to be able to do some reading... something I've been neglecting lately.  

     

    So that's what going on in my life right now.  Thank you to all my readers, followers, and friends. You guys are awesome :hug: :kiss: 

  8. I wrote this article for Reddit just for the hell of it.

    ***

    Someone posted earlier about the annoying amount of over-development and suburban sprawl in Delaware. I thought it would be interesting to go a little bit over the reasons why the system is set up like the way it is, and how the forces of suburbanization have made Delaware into the bedroom community it is today.

     

    Wilmington developed at a steady pace throughout the 1800's- especially during the Civil War, which the du Pont Company really flourished as at the time they were known for gun powder. In 1864, a horse railcar line was developed around Delaware Avenue, which allowed for Wilmington residential development to expand out towards the "country", and leafy residential neighborhoods began to sprout. Note that this would be a continuing pattern for Wilmington's elite- building pretty "country" houses and pushing north of Wilmington.

     

    Soon, the railroad came, as well as the trolley car. This allowed for Wilmington's first official suburb, Elsmere, which was developed in 1886 by Joshua Heald for working middle-class families. Though there were talks for Wilmington annexing Elsmere into their city boundaries, Elsmere had incorporated as its own town by 1909. Wilmington couldn't really do much about it, because they had a weak city charter and New Castle County government would thwart them time after time whenever they tried to expand their borders.

     

    World War I and World War II brought continued prosperity to Wilmington, which reached 112k in population by 1940. Again, given that Wilmington had a weak city charter that made it hard for them to annex surrounding land into their city, a lot of residential development began to spill out of the borders of Wilmington, which was made even easier by the car. It was around this time that the prosperous North Wilmington suburbs were developed, originally for the du Pont company chemists and their families. (Think Alapocas, Greenville, Talleyville, etc.)

    Meanwhile, the more solidly middle-class suburban development continued out from Elsemere along the newly built Kirkwood Highway. Newark, which had been a relatively small town throughout most of its history, also exploded in population, going from just 6k people in 1950 to over 20k by 1970. The first wave of suburban sprawl began to hit the Newark area as areas such as Brookside were developed.

     

    As the 1950's continued and gave way to the 1960's, suburban development and flight from Wilmington continued. There are a couple of factors for this. The first is that the building of I-95 required demolition of several city neighborhoods, which destabilized the entire area and also made it even easier for people who worked in Wilmington to commute from the suburbs. The second is that the G.I. Bill, which returning WWII vets were using to buy homes, strongly favored new construction in the suburbs as opposed to the older housing stock. Third, the returning G.I.'s and their wives would give birth to what is known as the Baby Boomer Generation. This cohort was so large that entire children-consumer industries sprang up. These G.I.'s preferred to raise their kids in their suburbs, continuing the suburban flight from Wilmington. Finally, the perception of Wilmington being unsafe stemmed from the Wilmington riots of 1968, which led to most of suburban Delaware turning their backs on Wilmington and never looking back. From the 1950's through the 1980's, Wilmington's population would drop from 95k in 1950, down to about 70k by 1990, which is more or less where the population has stabilized.

     

    In the late 1970's, Christiana Mall began to be developed, which drove more development. The success of that mall meant that developers have clamored to build retail in the areas surrounding the mall since, hoping to capture that success as well- you see that today with the new Christiana Fashion Center. The building of nearby Christiana Hospital in 1984-1985 would also be a major driver of development in that region. Another biggie would be MBNA, which was founded in 1982 and became a massive behomoth of a suburban office complex in Ogletown.

     

    Ah, yes, we can't forget about banks, which began a boom in Delaware in the 1980's due to laws passed in 1981 that were favorable to banks. This did in fact led to a lot of office development in Wilmington, but the Baby Boomer bankers preferred living in the suburbs to living in the city. I mean, there were some city neighborhoods that got revived (think 40 Acres/Trolley Square) but by and large the affluence that was being driven by the banking boom of the 80's/90's was going out into the suburbs instead of being invested into the city. At least, beyond the gleaming office towers.

    The next round of suburban development (the 1980's-1990's) would take place around the Bear/Glasgow area. Originally cheap farmland (this area was big on horses), it became known for townhomes and cookie cutter housing developments. On the more upscale side, the affluent developments around Hockessin began to pop up as well. Both of these areas were not incorporated, which meant that developers did not need to go through city laws/city councils in order to get their developments approved- just having to deal with the city. I grew up in Bear during the 2000's, and I remember my jaw dropping when someone told me that Bear had largely been the "country" back in the 80's. You can still see some remnants of its past (I remember seeing some horse farms close to Old Porter Road) but man.

     

    Anyway, another really, really huge factor in the suburban sprawl deal in Delaware comes up in the 1990's. That would be the construction of Route 1. Originally built to bypass Route 13 and create a faster route to the beach, this would help the MOT area (Middletown, Odessa, Townsend) explode in population, as it was now a more convenient area to commute from. Middletown had 3k people in 1990, now it's up to over 20k, and that's just within the city limits. One difference in the suburban sprawl story of Middletown is that the mayor of the 1990's actually set this in motion on purpose, because Middletown was a dying farming town. The town began to aggressively annex surrounding areas so they would benefit from the building of the housing developments and strip malls. This would led to Middletown's population growing by 206 percent between 2000 to 2010. Not that there hasn't been some pushback- in 1999 Middletown residents rejected a school referendum purely as an attempt to stop the suburban development, but of course, it didn't really work.

     

    Route 1 has been a major driver of suburban development all across the state for the past 20 years. I lived in Dover from 2005-2006, and I remember there was a lot of suburbs getting built around the former farmland. Downstate also saw a lot of this growth, particularly with the beach areas, although that growth hasn't extended out to the western part of Sussex County.

    One thing that began to happen, especially during that 2000's real estate boom, is that developers in New Castle County started talking about "re-developing" golf courses, nature preserves, and former office complexes, particularly in the more crowded part above the canal. One particularly nasty fight occurred when the Stoltz Company wanted to build a 13-story tower in Greenville at the former Barley Mill Office complex, and basically the residents banded together to sue them 'til kingdom come until those plans were dropped. Another really controversial move has been talk abut re-developing the Newark Country Club, which has been bandied about for at least the past 15 years but it keeps getting thwarted. I also remember there were some whispers about developing in Bellevue Park around this area, although I don't know if that came to fruition.

     

    The Great Recession did put a damper for a while for suburban development in Delaware. Development has come back, but if you notice, a lot of what's getting built currently are townhomes aimed at seniors as well as apartment buildings. (Notably, the Newark student apartment buildings that everyone likes to bitch about.) You're not seeing as many plans for McMansion developments the way you would have back in the 90's and the 2000's.

     

    Anyways...

    1.) Delaware has always been a really convenient place to travel through when it comes to go to Philly, D.C./Baltimore, or New York City. This convenience has only increased with the building of roads like I-95 and Route 1. (Probably the new 301 is really going to jumpstart some new suburban sprawl as well.)

    2.) Delaware has historically stayed away from compact urban development. Newark was originally a sleepy town that had a small college. Dover was small town until the 1970's. A lot of Delaware was rural for most of our history. (Still shocked at the thought of Bear being a sleepy little farming community as recently as the 80's.) Our only "big" city is Wilmington, and even when they had 100k residents, they weren't building tall apartment buildings- note the row-homes and townhomes.

    3.) Developers like building on flat, open spaces, which Delaware had/has a lot of because we had so many farms. And we are largely on the Atlantic Coastal plain.

    4.) Wilmington lost 40k people in the course of about 50 years, and been unable to entice people to come back. One interesting fact- in 1940, Wilmington had 112k people. Delaware itself only had 266k people. That means that over 40 percent of the entire state of Delaware lived in Wilmington in 1940. Now that percentage is down to about 7 percent!

    5.) Government, especially in New Castle County, has a really, really hard time saying no to developers. There's also this mindset of not thinking ahead. I've learned in the Memories of Newark group that in the 1960's, the Newark City Council was floating the idea of building a by-pass that would have gone around the Main Street area. Sort of similar to what's going on right now with the 301, which is going to by-pass the current 301 that goes through Middletown. It was floated because at the time, Newark was booming, and the traffic problems we see today started to appear. However, the city council voted it down because they thought it was unnecessary. Today, the proposed bypass would be impossible because most of that land got developed, so Newarkers today basically have to pay for the mistakes that were made 50 years ago. And you see similar stories to that again and again- developers getting their way and our government not making them put in the infrastructure needed because they don't want to lose the development deals.

     

    So yeah, there you have it. It's basically almost inevitable that Delaware basically is the way it is. We're basically just reaping what Elsmere sowed back in the early 1900's when they refused to become part of Wilmington because they didn't want to pay city taxes.

    TL;DR: Delaware's life as a suburban bedroom community is the result of forces that were set in motion as early as the 19th century.

    Edited...looks like people want some sources so here's a couple:

    "Corporate Capital- Wilmington in the 20th Century" by Carol Hoffecker, Temple University Press, 1983.

    Wilmington DE population

    Newark DE Population

    Dover DE Historical Population

    Delaware population figures

    Middletown DE Wikpedia Page

    Save Our County- Website for the group that fought the Stoltz Company tooth and nail over the proposed Greenville development

    Push for country park on former orphanage site remains strong, Newark Post Online 2017

    West Main Street Residents Want By-pass, Newark Post Achives September 2,1994

    Christiana Fashion Center's first phase on target, Delaware Business Times March 2015

    Northern Delaware's Christiana Mall remains resistant to retail's rough patch, BisNow 2018

    Banking Haven- Washington Post 1983

    Middletown, Delaware Annexing Farmland- New York Times 1990

    Market Street Renaissance- Out & About, October 2015

    Developers Target Delaware Golf Courses January 2016

    ***

    Growing up as suburban kid...I wouldn't have it any other way. I fucking LOVED hanging out at the mall growing up. I don't know if I would have liked being a city kid, or being in some small cow town or something.

  9. DQDk556.jpg

     

     

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Computer Game (Yellow Magic Orchestra) - The Arcade
    2. High Score Summer (Arcade High) - Matt Meets Sam
    3. Digital Love (Daft Punk) - “Why Don’t You Play The Game?”
    4. Ready To Start (Arcade Fire) - Matt Levels Up
    5. Slow (Kylie Minogue) - The Body Game, No Batteries Required
    6. Boom, Boom (Let’s Go Back To My Room) (Paul Lekakis) -  Scoring Tyler
    7. No ‘I’ In Threesome (Interpol) - Matt + Sam + Tyler = Mamler
    8. Moments In Love (Art Of Noise) - Manage A Toir
    9. Behind The Mask (Yellow Magic Orchestra) - Taking On ‘The Green Monster’ Game Boss
    10. Goodbye (FM-84) - The Threesome Breaks Up
    11. Innocence (Electric Youth) - Suddenly Becoming Too Old For Games
    12. Send Me An Angel (Groovecatcher Cover Of Real Life) - Tyler Meets Ariel
    13. Young & Unafraid - Robert DeLong Mix (The Moth & The Flame) - The Courage True Love Brings
    14. 21st Century Digital Boy (Bad Religion) - Matt Gets His Game Back On
    15. Why Did I Say Goodbye (Tommy ‘86) - Sam Comes Back To Play
    16. Look Into My Eyes (Arcade High) - Sam Meets Matt Again For The First Time
    17. Put Your Money On Me (Arcade Fire) - Matt Learns To Bet And Win
    18. The Comeback Kid (The Midnight) - Matt Comes Back
    19. Running To You (Arcade High) - Sam and Matt, Playmates Forever
    20. Arcade Summer (FM-84) - ‘The Sun Still Shines Bright On Our Arcade Summer’

    ————————————

    Computer Game (Yellow Magic Orchestra) - The Arcade

     

    Electronic Overture

     

    High Score Summer (Arcade High) - Matt Meets Sam

     

    Electronic Tenderness

     

    Digital Love (Daft Punk) - “Why Don’t You Play The Game?”

     

    [Verse 1]

    Last night I had a dream about you

    In this dream, I'm dancing right beside you

    And it looked like everyone was having fun

    The kind of feeling I've waited so long

     

    [Verse 2]

    Don't stop, come a little closer
    As we jam, the rhythm gets stronger
    There's nothing wrong with just a little little fun
    We were dancing all night long

    The time is right to put my arms around you
    You're feeling right, you wrap your arms around too
    But suddenly I feel the shining sun
    Before I knew it, this dream was all gone

     

    [Verse 3]

    Ooh, I don't know what to do

    About this dream and you

    I wish this dream comes true

    Ooh, I don't know what to do
    About this dream and you
    We'll make this dream come true

     

    [Interlude]

     

    [Outro]

    Why don't you play the game?
    Why don't you play the game?

     

    Ready To Start (Arcade Fire) - Matt Levels Up

     

    Businessmen drink my blood

    Like the kids in art school said they would

    And I guess I'll just begin again

    You say you, can we still be friends

     

    If I was scared

    I would

    And if I was bored

    You know I would

    And if I was yours

    Well I'm not

     

    All the kids have always known

    That the emperor wears no clothes

    But to bow to down to them anyway

    Is better than being alone

     

    If I was scared

    I would

    And if I was bored

    You know I would

    And if I was yours

    But I'm not

     

    Now you're knocking at my door

    Saying please come out against tonight

    But I would rather be alone

    Than pretend I feel alright

     

    If the businessmen drink my blood

    Like the kids in art school said they would

    Then I guess I'll just begin again

    You say you can still be friends

     

    If I was scared

    I would

    And if I was pure

    You know I would

    And if I was yours

    But I'm not

    Now I'm ready to start

    If I was scared

    I would

     

    And if I was pure

    You know I would

    And if I was yours

    But I'm not

     

    Now I'm ready to start

    Now I'm ready to start

     

    I would rather be wrong

    Than live in the shadows of your song

    My mind is open wide

     

    And now I'm ready to start

    Now I'm ready to start

     

    My mind is open wide

    And now I'm ready to start

    Your mind surely opened the door

    To step out into the dark

     

    Now I'm ready

     

    Slow (Kylie Minogue) - The Body Game, No Batteries Required

        

    Knew you'd be here tonight

    So I put my best dress on

    Boy I was so right

    Our eyes connected

    Now nothin's how it used to be

    No second guesses

    Trackin' on this feelin'

    Pull focus close up you and me

    Nobody's leavin'

     

    Got me affected

    Spun me one eighty degrees

    So electric

     

    Slow down and dance with me, yeah, slow

    Skip a beat and move with my body, yeah, slow

    Come on and dance with me, yeah, slow

    Skip a beat and move with my body, yeah, slow

     

    Don't wanna rush it

    Let the rhythm pull you in

    It's here so touch it

    You know what I'm sayin'

    And I haven't said a thin'

    Keep the record playin'

     

    Slow down and dance with me, yeah, slow

    Skip a beat and move with my body, yeah, slow

    Come on and dance with me, yeah, slow

    Skip a beat and move with my body, yeah, slow

     

    Oh, oh, read my body language

    Take it down, down

     

    Slow down and dance with me, yeah, slow

    Skip a beat and move with my body, yeah, slow

    Come on and dance with me, yeah, slow

    (Slow down and dance with me)

    Skip a beat and move with my body, yeah, slow

     

    (Slow down and dance with me)

    Skip a beat and move with my body

    Skip a beat and move with my body

    Skip a beat and move with my body

    Slow

     

    Boom, Boom (Let’s Go Back To My Room) (Paul Lekakis) -  Scoring Tyler

     

    Hey baby I'd like to talk to you 

    How about coming back to my room for a little boom boom

     

    You keep coming to me 

    I can dig your dynamite 

    Know the way you move 

    Get in the groove 

    You're driving me crazy, crazy for you

     

    Second time you moved me 

    It's time for us to Boom Boom 

    You can come right close to me 

    And feel the burning fire 

     

    All the time you got me 

    It's fine for us to boom boom 

    If you see the spark in me 

    And feel my strong desire

     

    Boom Boom Boom 

    Let's go back to my room 

    So we can do it all night 

    And you can make me feel right

    Boom Boom Boom 

    Let's go back to my room 

    So we can do it all night 

    And you can make me feel right

     

    Do the honor to me 

    Don't you know I like to bite 

    Get to the view 

    Closer to you 

     

    You're driving me crazy, crazy for you

    Second time you moved me 

    It's time for us to Boom Boom 

    You can come right close to me 

     

    And feel the burning fire 

    All the time you got me 

    It's fine for us to boom boom 

    If you see the spark in me 

    And feel my strong desire

     

    Boom Boom Boom 

    Let's go back to my room 

    So we can do it all night 

    And you can make me feel right

    Boom Boom Boom 

    Let's go back to my room 

    So we can do it all night 

    And you can make me feel right

     

    No ‘I’ In Threesome (Interpol) - Matt + Sam + Tyler = Mamler

     

    Through the storms and the lie

    Baby, you stood by my side

    And life is wine

    But there are days in this life

    When you see the teeth marks of time

     

    Two lovers divide

    Sound meets sound, babe

    Her echoes, they surround

    And all that we need is one thing

    Now what is there to allow?

     

    Babe, it's time we gave something new a try

    All alone we may fight, so just let us be free

    And, baby, tonight

    I see your lips are on fire

     

    And life is wine

    Now the windows are open, the moon is so bright

    There's no one who can tell us

    What love brings for you and I

    Sound meets sound, babe

    The echoes, they surround

     

    And all that we need is one thing

    Now what is there to allow?

    Babe, it's time we give something new a try

    All alone we may fight, so just let us be free tonight

    Through the storms and the lie

    Baby, you stood by my side

     

    And life is wine

    You feel the sweet breath of time

    It's whispering its truth, not mine

    There's no "I" in threesome

    And I am all for it!

     

    Babe, it's time we give something new a try

    All alone we may fight, and feathers bend like trees in the moonlight

    Babe, it's time we give something new a try

    All alone we may fight, so just let us be free tonight

     

    Moments In Love (Art Of Noise) - Manage A Toir

     

            Moments In Love - Now!

     

    Behind The Mask (Yellow Magic Orchestra) - 

    Taking On ‘The Green Monster’ Game Boss

     

    [Verse 1]

    Now the mask you're wearing

    Is stoney and staring

    Lines and tears, age and fears

    Growing old, passions cold

     

    Now the mask you're wearing

    Is stoney and staring

    Lines and tears, age and fears

    Growing old, passions cold

     

    [Verse 2]

    There's nothing in your eyes

    That marks where you cried

    All is blank, all is blind

    Dead inside, the inner mind

     

    There's nothing in your eyes

    That marks where you cried

    All is blank, all is blind

    Dead inside, the inner mind

     

    [Outro]

    Is it me

    Is it you

    Behind this mask, I ask

     

    Goodbye (FM-84) - The Threesome Breaks Up

     

    As summer fades away 

    Lost in a cloudless haze 

    Just hold me and touch a wave 

    There’s no more we need to say 

     

    Yet I don’t want to say goodbye 

    And I don’t want to see you cry 

     

    And now it’s too late to say goodbye 

    Now I love you 

    And now it’s too late to say goodbye 

    It’s not over 

     

    We’re caught in a moment 

    Lost in a summer breeze 

    Moving in circles 

    As light flickers on the sea 

     

    Now I don’t want to say goodbye 

    And I don’t want to see you cry 

     

    And now it’s too late to say goodbye 

    Now I love you 

    And now it’s too late to say goodbye 

    It’s not over 

    And now it’s too late to say goodbye 

    Ohh na na ohh 

    I know it’s too late to say goodbye 

    Now we’re forever

     

    Innocence (Electric Youth) - Suddenly Becoming Too Old For Games

     

    You catch a shooting star

    You tell me make a wish

    Your word is all I know

    But if the plane is moving fast

    Please secure your mask

    Before you put mine on

     

    And now the rain is falling 

    The truth is bittersweet

    A different voice is calling

    Where have you gone sweet innocence?

    Where have you gone sweet innocence?

     

    Now you ask me what to say

    It used to be your way

    Was the only way I'd known

    But when the table starts to turn

    The teacher starts to learn

    The child starts to grow

     

    And now the rain is falling

    The truth is bittersweet

    A different voice is calling

    Where have you gone sweet innocence?

    Where have you gone sweet innocence?

    I Wonder

     

    Send Me An Angel (Groovecatcher Cover Of Real Life) - Tyler Meets Ariel

     

    Reprise from ‘new kid in school’

     

    Young & Unafraid - Robert DeLong Mix (The Moth & The Flame) - 

    The Courage True Love Brings

     

    Reprise from ‘Kiss Of An Angel’

     

    21st Century Digital Boy (Bad Religion) - Matt Gets His Game Back On

     

    I can't believe it

    The way you look sometimes

    Like a trampled flag on a city street

    Oh yeah

     

    And I don't want it

    The things you're offering me

    Symbolized barcode, quick I.D

    Oh yeah

     

    'Cause I'm a twenty-first century digital boy

    I don't know how to live but I got a lot of toys

    My daddy's a lazy middle-class intellectual

    My mommy's on Valium, so ineffectual

    Ain't life a mystery, yeah?

     

    I can't explain it

    The things you're're saying to me

    It's going yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

    Oh yeah

     

    'Cause I'm a twenty-first century digital boy

    I don't know how to read but I got a lot of toys

    My daddy's a lazy middle-class intellectual

    My mommy's on Valium, so ineffectual, oh

    Ain't life a mystery, yeah?

     

    Tried to tell you about no control

    But now I really don't know

    And then you told me how bad you had to suffer

    Is that really all you have to offer?

     

    'Cause I'm a twenty-first century digital boy

    I don't know how to live but I got a lot of toys

    My daddy's a lazy middle-class intellectual

    My mommy's on Valium, so ineffectual, yeah

    cats, sports, iron claw

     

    (Twenty-first century digital boy) neurosurgeon screams for more

    (Twenty-first century digital boy) innocents raped with napalm fire

    (Twenty-first century digital boy) everything I want, I really need

    Ain't life a mystery, yeah?

     

     

    Why Did I Say Goodbye (Tommy ‘86) - Sam Comes Back To Play

     

    My telephone is playing dead

    I'm hearing voices in my head

     

    I'm going through the words I said

    They replay

     

    I sit on benches in the park

     

    I'm lighting candles in the dark

    I came alone cuz you're too far

    gone away

     

    I did something wrong and I'm

    wondering why

    Why did I let go

    Why did I say goodbye?

     

    I have a void I try to fill

    I was your soulmate although still

    I didn't realize until It was over

    I wish I could slip back in time

    When we were one and all was fine

    But it's too late to make us chime

     

    Love is over

     

    I did something wrong and I'm

    wondering why

    Why did I let go

    Why did I say goodbye?

     

    I did something wrong and I'm

    wondering why

    Why did I let go

    Why did I say goodbye?

    Why did I let go?

    I did something wrong and I'm

    wondering why

    Why did I let go

    Why did I say goodbye?

     

    Look Into My Eyes (Arcade High) - Sam Meets Matt Again For The First Time

     

    Tenderer Electronic Tenderness

     

    Put Your Money On Me (Arcade Fire) - Matt Learns To Bet And Win

     

    Put your money on me

    'Cause I can barely breathe

    Put your money on me

    Put your money on me

    If you think I'm losing you, you must be crazy

    All your money on me

     

    I'm never gonna let you go, even when it's easy

    Put your money on me

    Go tuck me into bed, and wake me when I'm dead

    I know that you gotta be free

    But I'm never gonna let it go

     

    If there was a race

    A race for your heart

    It started before you were born

    Above the chloroform sky

    Clouds made of Ambien

    Sitting on carpets in the basement of heaven

     

    We were born innocent, but it lies today

    And baby you can give all the money away

    But if there's a race, a race for your heart

    It's over, before it starts

    Singing put your money on me

    If you think I'm losing you, you must be crazy

    All your money on me

    I'm never gonna let you go, even when it's easy

     

    Put your money on me

    Go tuck me into bed, and wake me when I'm dead

    I know that you gotta be free

    But I'm never gonna let it go

     

    All my presents are broken, before they're open

    And the promises, the second they're spoken

    I know I've been different

    My skin keeps shedding

     

    My mother was crying on the day of our wedding

    Trumpets of angels call for my head

    But I fight through the ether and I quit when I'm dead

    If you want to know who'll be there in the end

    When you bury me baby, I'll still be your friend

    Singing put your money on me

     

    If you think I'm losing you, you must be crazy

    All your money on me

    I'm never gonna let you go, even when it's easy

    Put your money on me

    Go tuck me into bed, and wake me when I'm dead

    I know that you gotta be free

     

    But I'm never gonna let it go

    Singing put your money on all your money on me

    I know it's not the last time

    Put your money on all your money on me

    (Put your money on me) I know it's not easy

    The Silicon Valleys melted back into silicon

    We'll find a way to survive

     

    Singing put your money on me

    If you think I'm losing you, you must be crazy

    All your money on me (All your money on me)

    I'm never gonna let you go, even when it's easy

    Put your money on me (Put your money on me)

    Go tuck me into bed, then wake me when I'm dead

    I know that you gotta be free (I know that you gotta be free)

    But I'm never gonna let it go

     

    Singing put your money on all your money on me

    (Put your money on me) I know it's not the last time

    Put your money on all your money on me (put your money on)

    I know it's not easy

     

    Put your money on all your money on me

    (Put your money on) I know it's not the last time

    Put your money on all your money on me

    I know it's not easy

     

    The Comeback Kid (The Midnight) - Matt Comes Back

     

    i been so low 

    felt the wind blow 

    like i was a screen door 

    in a thunderstorm 

     

    yeah i've been down 

    i've been laid out 

    but you always were 

    what I came here for 

     

    waiting all day 

    waiting all day 

    just for my say 

    for a bell to ring 

    for the first sting 

     

    Yeah I been blue 

    that ain’t nothing new 

    it’s you my friend 

    you’re why I get up again 

     

    I’ve make mistakes 

    I’ve been hard hit 

    I say so what 

    so what if I did 

    I’m the clear eyed 

    I’m the 

    comeback kid 

    start it over 

    start it over again 

    I'm the clear eyed 

    I'm the comeback kid 

     

    it’s been a rough year 

    been some tough tears 

    I’ve lost so fast 

    all that I had 

     

    but when it’s time to 

    i will fight for you 

    cause you know you are 

    why i’ve come so far 

     

    I’ve make mistakes 

    I’ve been hard hit 

    I say so what 

    so what if I did 

    I’m the clear eyed 

    I’m the 

    comeback kid 

    start it over 

    start it over again 

    I'm the clear eyed 

    I'm the comeback kid

     

    Running To You (Arcade High) - Sam and Matt, Playmates Forever

     

    You’re still the one

    I Run To

    You’re still the *One*!

    (X)

     

     Arcade Summer (FM-84 & MrM) - 

    ‘The Sun Still Shines Bright On Our Arcade Summer’

     

    Do you remember

    When we were young

    A certain shopping center

    Where we could have so such fun . . .

     

    In our 

    Arcade Summer!

    In an 

    Arcade Summer!

    In our

    Arcade Summer!

     

    We were alive there (In our Arcade Summer)

    We were in love there (In our Arcade Summer)

    Life was so simple there (In an Arcade Summer)

    Love was so perfect there (In an Arcade Summer)

     

    And the cruel school year was so far away

    And all our best friends would come down to play

    And the Arcade was open every day

    And the Summer of love was here to stay in our

     

    Arcade Summer!

    In an 

    Arcade Summer!

    In our

    Arcade Summer!

    In an

    Arcade Summer!

     

    We were alive there (In our Arcade Summer)

    We were in love there (In our Arcade Summer)

    Life was so simple there (In an Arcade Summer)

    Love was so perfect there (In an Arcade Summer)

     

    You were standing

    Right beside me

    While I was playing

    Then I was falling

     

    And I thought that

    It was passed time

    That we ought to

    Get in some Funtime

     

    And We were so alive there

    And We were so in love there

    And Life was so simple there

    And Our love was perfect there

     

    And so I kissed you hard then

    And so you smiled at me then

    And so you kissed me hard then

    And so I smiled at you then

     

    In our 

    Arcade Summer!

    In an 

    Arcade Summer!

    In our

    Arcade Summer!

    In an

    Arcade Summer!

     

    We were alive there (In our Arcade Summer)

    We were in love there (In our Arcade Summer)

    Life was so simple there (In an Arcade Summer)

    Love was so perfect there (In an Arcade Summer)

     

    We were ALIVE there (In our Arcade Summer)!

    We were in LOVE there (In our Arcade Summer)!

    Life was so SIMPLE there (In an Arcade Summer)!

    Love was so PERFECT there (In an Arcade Summer)!

    Love was so very PURE there (In our Arcade Summer)!

     

    The sun still shines bright on

    Our Arcade Summer . . .

     
  10. 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.

  11. The Tampa Chronicles series is a set of stories that are set in my hometown of Tampa, FL. Each story is built features a cast of characters that show family, love, and values.

     

    In the first book, A New Life and a New Home I introduce to you the small mother/son family of Jill and Chandon Bolton, and Chandon's boyfriend Brayon Hopper. In this story, Brayon is disowned by his parents, when he comes out as gay to them. It is the binding of the new family unit, that completes this short one chapter story. Interesting note: Chandon, Brayon, and Jill are all based on real-life friends from high school. I still talk to them occasionally.

     

    In book two, My Son you learn of the lives of Adam Smith and his estranged son, Robert Turner. Adam is a successful businessman in his own right, and after selling off several patents in medical devices, he moves back to Tampa. While setting up his new life, as a 38-year-old retiree, he gets a call from the Florida Department of Children and Families. The story follows the process of Adam meeting his son for the first time, and trials and tribulations they go through. You also meet Adam's longtime friend Duncan Isen, who admits he's Bisexual and has been in love with Adam since they were teens. Their budding relationship is secondary to the main story, much like Rob's relationship with Giles O'Sullivan.

     

    Book three, A Few Days in the Life of Jeremy Isen introduces a new character to the story. Jeremy is a freshman high school student who is an active practitioner in martial arts and photo-journalist. He's the son of Duncan's older brother Ian and his wife Debbie. The story follows shortly over events that happen during the last month of the school year, and the start of summer vacation. 

     

    After the introduction of Jeremy to the story, the currently untitled fourth book will center around the core group of Adam, Duncan, Rob, Jeremy, Giles, Brayon, Chandon, and Jill. It will show their lives, and how they connect together. It will also include a look of my hometown of Tampa, FL through their eyes. The stories are told in a Deep-PoV style and will head-hop as necessary in order to give you the perspective of each of the characters, as they interact with each other.

  12.  

     

    The other day, my husband tim told me about a little poetry challenge on GA, offered by @AC Benus  He had decided to rewrite his Tanka Poetry prompt. 

    I decided to 'support my local poet' and offer myself up as a guinea pig. But frankly, I had doubts even though I've written some okay poetry, following the instructions and writing something 'properly' rather worried me. 

     

    But, I just had to try. 

     

    So I read the prompt.. Tanka's should be personal, emotional, show how things affect you. Of course there's the syllable count 5-7-5-7-7 as well. AC had given lots of wonderful examples. Here is one I really enjoyed: 

     

    The bursting cherries,
    Blooming with all their might,
    Bid me to please stop;
    To give them some attention,
    If not all of my power.

     

    You can feel the power in this little piece, the beauty of the blossoms, and you are in the moment with the poet, urging those blossoms to open. 

     

    So with AC's excellent prompt read and sort of in my head and along with some history and examples, I wrote the first:

     

    Cool in his t-shirt

    No longer afraid to be

    The man that he is

    There is no shame in his scars

    They are badges of courage

     

    AC had included a checklist, so you could try and determine if you were close or not to writing one of these gems correctly. Well, to me, the 'personal' wasn't really in that poem.  So I reread the prompt

    and tried again. I hoped this effort would be better. 

     

    Cooling soft breezes

    Chase off remnants of the heat

    They chill my hot flesh

    And I stop to watch my skin

    Reply with welcome shivers

     

    I sent them off to AC, saying be honest, I will not collapse into a heap of ego if you say they aren't right. 

     

    I hope AC doesn't mind me quoting him here:

     

    Well, it's true that you as the poet are missing from the first one, but perhaps me knowing it's Tim made up for that. I can see your point and I'm really glad it led you to try again. I thought perhaps you thought the first one was too like a series of complete lines. What you did by providing no punctuation is one to deal with that, but I think with some careful punctuation, you can make it flow. That being said, you did make the theme of the poem travel over the five lines (and create a stanza), so that is very good to see.

     

    As I think you already know, the second one you wrote is stronger as a Tanka. Your efforts give me hope the checklist self-quiz is going to be a good tool to help people improve That's a relief.  

     

    For punctuation (if you want it), I might suggest the following: 

     

    Cool in his t-shirt,

    No longer afraid to be

    The man that he is,

    There is no shame in his scars:

    They are badges of courage.

     

     

     

    Cooling soft breezes

    Chase off remnants of the heat;

    They chill my hot flesh,

    And I stop to watch my skin

    Reply with welcome shivers.

     

    I think anyone who truly wants to try and learn more about poetry will want to do this. I see what he is saying about the punctuation.  But too, I see what he means about flow and single lines, rather than the whole stanza being a single flowing thought. 

     

    I wish more people would consider poetry. Prose is wonderful, but poetry offers more for the soul I think.  In any case thank you for reading, if you don't want to write, then please give reading some poetry a try.  Poets have come a long way.  Support Your Local Poet!!

     

    Only by trying will we do ... 

     

    Thanks AC!

  13. The following short essay was first posted on my external blog, A Pencil is Best. While I realise a lot of it is preaching to the converted, I hope some elements may be interesting. 

     

    It's such a simple phrase, but to many LGBT couples, it's been a long time coming. Or it is still the stuff of dreams. A hope kept barely alive amidst widespread persecution for simply being who they are.

     

    In this Pride season, it is sobering to be shown how many countries don't allow their LGBT citizens to register their partnership. Human Rights Watch has issued an interactive map illustrating exactly that. Simply looking at the graphic rubs the facts in. Since 2006 when South Africa allowed same-sex marriage, it is still the only country on the African continent to allow any form of partnership. Looking eastwards beyond Greece, on one edge of Europe, and Finland and Estonia on the other, the map is entirely blank up until it reaches the Pacific ocean. The only exceptions are Cyprus and Israel.

     

    In fact, out of the 195 states that exist in the world today, 41 allow a same-sex relationship to be registered. The fact this list is expanding is a cause for optimism - Australia joined last year, and HRW notes that:

    Quote

    Austria, Taiwan and Chile [are] expected to join the list soon.

     

    However that still leaves in the region of 150 states who don't.

     

    In some states, being gay is tolerated, in the sense there is no criminal law being broken. Sometimes though, this is a sham. Writing about a report published by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, a Guardian newspaper article last year noted that while living a gay life isn't illegal in Egypt, LGBT individuals

    Quote

    are vigorously pursued and hundreds of people are reported to be detained on morality grounds.

     

    It gets worse. It will come as no surprise, I guess, to be told that Saudi Arabia is one of five states where the death penalty is actively invoked for being gay. Should you wish to give expression to your love for another by having sexual relations, there are still 71 states where this could result in a prison sentence. This isn't for any crime as would be recognised by any right-minded individual - stealing, assault, murder - this is for displaying love or desire for another like-minded individual.

     

    Looking around the web for gay fiction, you'll find, amongst all the porn, a huge number of romance stories. Again, no surprise perhaps, given how popular straight romances are. But there's a difference, particularly with the older stories. Many of these don't have the hero walking off into the sunset with a prince, a millionaire, or a handsome stud. They are content to show two individuals getting married and living a partnered life together. That's the height of their romance - simply a desire to mark their love and commitment like any straight couple can.

     

    These stories are food for the mind and soul of those who aren't able to give open expression to who they are. And that could just as easily be in the UK or US. They give hope. They make normal what may be labelled perverse, sinful, or abhorrent.

     

    There are many organisations dedicated to changing attitudes towards LGBT individuals, some international, some country based. The Guardian article notes another cause for hope, where in

    Quote

    countries including Botswana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tunisia, advocates have recently won court cases affirming the right to form organisations to lobby for rights.

     

    There are also those which seek to make young LGBT people feel less alone, to be able to accept themselves. To hope perhaps, that they might one day find love and marry. In a slight detour, I'd like to highlight one group whose reported reach made my jaw drop.

     

    Frameline is mainly known for the LGBT film festival it runs every year in San Francisco. One of its outreach projects, Frameline Voices, provided free access to queer films for anyone to view. What made my eyes widen was the statement that these films had been viewed in every country of the world. Yes, you read that right. Yemen, Saudi Arabia, North Korea. Three and a half million views in five years. The power of the internet as a force for good.

     

    What I've mentioned so far are small beacons, trying to lighten the darkness that too many LGBT individuals live under. So in this seasons of weddings, if you're tired of making decisions, having to buy another outfit, or listening to speeches, spare a thought for those would love to be at a wedding. Their own.

     

    My thanks go to @droughtquake for the information about the Frameline outreach project.

  14. 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.

     

     

     

  15. Gay Song Seven – “You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see”

     

    Note: for this series of postings, the term 'Gay Song' refers to music written to/for/by or about Gay men or women. A second category also deals with music identified as Gay because it speaks to the heart of the Gay Experience.

     

    So to make this easier, I will call them Gay in the 1st Degree (to/for/by/about), or Gay in the 2nd Degree (like Judy Garland singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow).

     

    ---

     

    This classic hit is both Gay in the 1st and 2nd degrees!

     

    By the 1930s, the popular black slang expression for having sex made its debut in songs. Alberta Hunter had a hit with My Castle’s Rockin’  (and yes, castle is slang for a part of the female anatomy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpOtXGFS4Gw), and later in 1938, Ella Fitzgerald released Rock it for Me, which cemented the sexual slang with a type of ‘swinging’ music (swing itself being another way to describe sex https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmdVTJPbdTs).

     

    Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s 1957 Jailhouse Rock is one of the most explicit pop songs to ever deal with same-sex relations. If you don’t believe me, get a copy of the dictionary The Slanguage of Sex and you will see the lyrics positively bristle with a fun-loving tribute to what can go on behind bars.[1]

     

    At this point we should talk about a few things. For us, men dancing has become a provocative sight. Part of that is a cultural reaction to post-Stonewall resistance where men in love did not care if they were seen dancing together. In the knee-jerk oppressive straight world, it became an act of defiance to their rule of ‘order’ and a powerful tool to spread fear that it was taking over; in their dirty minds the image of men dancing equaled the sight of two guys having sex. However, in the 1950s it was considered harmless and cute. The evidence is abundant. In 1955, the Hollywood film Blackboard Jungle, fanning adult fears that teenagers were a dangerously criminal subset and out of control, opens with an incredibly sweet moment of ‘good boys’ dancing together in the schoolyard before classes started. Another strong piece of evidence is the music video made in 1957 to promote Elvis’ single release of Jailhouse Rock on television. This is attached below, and you can see it involves the inmates cutting a rug, including a tender face-touch after the lyrics "You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see."

     

    Secondly, how were same-sex partnerships in prisons viewed at the time? Lucky for us, we have a firsthand account. Jonathan Ned Katz conducted an interview with one of the victims of the Boise Witch Hunt of 1955; it was an incident in which Gay teenagers were rounded up and imprisoned. The young man says this about being transferred to the State Penitentiary: “The captain of the yard was an old friend of my family’s. I’d know him all my life. The first thing he said to me was, ‘Now, just go out there and find yourself a jock, and settle down, so we don’t have any trouble with you.’ I said, ‘How am I going to settle down with somebody when I’m locked up in my cell twenty-four hours a day?’ He said, ‘Well, don’t worry about that right now.’” It turns out this family friend began working behind the scenes to arrange for a suitable protector for the young victim of homophobia. “[Four days later], as I was going through the chow line, I saw this gorgeous guy handing out silverware. You wore anything – they didn’t pay attention to how you dressed – and he was wearing a shirt that was completely open, with sleeves torn out. He had been a prizefighter. […] He said, ‘You got any magazines?’ ‘No,’ I answered. […] Later he brought me a big stack of magazines and shoved them in my cell. […] Before the month was out, Larry and I had found a way to become lovers.”[2]    

     

    So now that we know viewing men dancing was innocent at the time, and that same-sex partnerships were seen as good and stabilizing elements for prisoners, we can focus on the lyrics of Jailhouse Rock. Meant to pass as ‘straight’ to the uninitiated, it’s incredible just how many of the words are synonymous with sex among males. Here’s a small breakdown.

     

    Intercourse: wail, swing, rock, crash-boom-bang, nix (nicks; slang for the buttocks).

     

    Oral sex: sing, play, blowing, saxophone; trombone (references to the male member).  

     

    Purple has a well-known association with Gay men, so the song’s “Purple Gang” could simply mean the fellows dancing (having sex) with one another. In Slanguage, on page 155, appears this about another of the song’s lyrics, the word kicks: “sexual tastes; like the phrase ‘whatever turns you on.’ The meaning was immortalized in the pop song Route 66 by Chuck Berry – ‘Get your kicks on Route 66.’ The song was taken up by the Rolling Stones in the sixties and the meaning still survives. Compare with [get your] ROCKS OFF.”  

     

    So then going to page 230, the entry about getting your rocks off says: “likely derived from the U.S. black expression ‘rock and roll’ = sexual intercourse."

     

    As for Elvis himself, he was pretty open about liking the boys, that is until his career took off and his ‘people’ tried to keep him more discreet. After documenting the singer was not interested in sex with women (“preferring to watch TV and talk to his girlfriends”) Keith Stern goes on to say this about him: “In his 2003 book, Elvis: The Hollywood Years, author David Bret documented affairs with men, including actor Nick Adams. […] Elvis’ stepmother Dee Presley also refers to these [relationships] in her unpublished manuscript The Intimate Life and Death of Elvis.”[3]

     

    If you wish to investigate further, I’d point you in the direction of reading about the singer’s relationship with Dennis Hopper. The actor was just starting out in Hollywood and connected the singer with lots of out guys in town at that time, like James Dean. Hopper and Elvis stayed intimate friends until the singer’s death.

     

    Also see the released FBI file J. Edgar Hoover kept in his desk drawer on Presley. The incident when Elvis was in the Army and stationed in Germany is very telling. Namely that the soldier and his entourage had a local hairdresser coming on base and bringing young men to them for sex and other fun. The FBI was drawn in when the hairdresser began trying to blackmail the singer.

     

    The following link has the full lyrics for Jailhouse Rock

     

     

     

    So, what do you think?

     

     


    [1] The Slanguage of Sex by Brigid McConville and John Shearlaw, 1985 London.

    [2] Gay American History, 1976 New York, ps.179-180

    [3] Queers in History, 2009 Dallas, ps.369-370

     

  16. I don't know how long it's been since I've posted a blog here. Last night, I totally freaked out, like completely. I feel like I've wasted years of my life. I feel like nobody really knows me. It makes me feel empty. I need to do something about this, like really do something about this before I just cease to exist. 

  17. Foster

    • 33
      entries
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    Recent Entries

    Foster
    Latest Entry

    A pale pink

    Lightly shields

    Conceals

    A darkly heated

    Will

    Gilded ego

    With imitation patience

    For kindly meant

    Compliment

    You look nice today

     

     

     

    6.21.18

     

     

     

     

     

  18. Although nearly 15 years old, this New York Times article still provides a good description of my city.

     

    https://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/15/us/a-gay-boomtown-is-more-mainstream-and-less-the-cliche.html

     

    I dug it up after walking through closed-to-traffic Wilton Drivethe town’s main streetduring the Stonewall Festival this past weekend.

     

    The outrageous outfits, loud music, and alcohol consumption were still there, but what grabbed my attention was something else. Lots of kids, from infants in baby carriages to slightly older ones walking with their parentsboth same-sex couples and heterosexual ones. Corporate America and governmental institutions amongst those with booth displays. Police officers from neighboring cities who volunteered to work the festival to show their support for the gay community. These are all signs our lives as outlaws are nearing the end. That the GLBT community is becoming an integral part of the melting pot. And that it does get better thanks to the struggle of those who came before us.

  19. Arpeggio
    Latest Entry

    Unfortunately, I’m going to have to make a new email address which is a pain, but I just had to delete over 300 emails, all from the same guy: Stalker. My whole life practically comes through my email. My paypal, my contacts, my student loans, my bill receipts! On top of that, there’s a chance he will find out my new email, because I can’t really keep it a secret from everyone or I’ll be isolating myself, and I already feel like my life is as remote as possible. I understand that he’s mentally unstable and desperately needs help, but right now I hate him. I wish he would die in a car crash.

     

    I got a few emails from him that I was set on deleting, but I opened a few with the intentions of not replying, and he’s prepared to blackmail me by posting everything I ever confided with him about on all the sites I frequent, including GA, then he’d start telling everyone in my actual life all the same stuff. I felt like my stomach dropped to the floor because, like an idiot, I’ve told him a lot about myself. I trusted him at one point and I told him things that I have only told two other people: Chris and Jamie.

     

    The first thing I did was reach out to most of the admins, including GA, and they’ve been very understanding and supportive which I’m deeply moved by, but Stalker is hard to track down, block, and ban. I don’t even know what username he’s using on here, but if anyone has PMed you about me at all that seems suspicious, please relay it to an admin. I also reached out to my in laws and what family I have left and warned them about Stalker’s intentions, and most of them assured me that whatever he tried to tell them, it would not matter.

     

    But it does matter, TO ME, to the point where I’m having suicidal thoughts.

     

    I won’t give him what he wants, but I can’t stop him from posting anything. Just don’t judge me from what he says. I suffered from my addiction for a long time, and I have a lot of problems from it, and I’m deeply ashamed.

     

    I wrote and deleted this blog several times over the past few days, but I guess I might as well let everyone know that I’m prepared for the worst. I’d like to ask everyone to refuse to read it, but let’s be realistic. Some of it might be lies, but some of it might be truth, and that scares me most.

     

    I’m really sorry.  

  20. Hudson Bartholomew
    Latest Entry

    I mentioned in my last blog post (which was back in December, omg!) that I have a couple of books being published this year! The first one came out on Monday!! It's called Inside Darkness and it's about a humanitarian aid worker struggling with PTSD and an Asian American journalist who encounters systemic racism. It's dark and gritty and angsty; the sex is fast but the emotions are slow burn (I stole that last part from a reviewer, hehe). 

     

    It's hard to believe that I am officially a Published Author (TM). There was no party, no cake, no one handing me a big cheque. Just some nice people sending me congratulations messages on social media and a friend took me out to lunch. From the outside, being an author looks so glamorous, but at the end of the day it's a job just like any other: finish one project and move on to the next! Still, I'm super proud of myself for having chased after this dream and having accomplished it. I have another book coming out in July and a couple where I'm waiting to hear from the publisher, and still more waiting to be written on my laptop. 

     

    Big thank you to everyone here who read my early stories and gave me such encouragement to keep going! I couldn't have done it without you!

     

    If you would like more information about my book, you can find it on my website: http://www.hudsonlin.com/book/inside-darkness/

  21. So, tomorrow is officially moving day. The U-Haul is parked in the driveway waiting to be loaded. Everything in the house, with the exception of my room, is packed in boxes. For some reason, I can't bring myself to pack my room. We're moving from the Dallas area to a small East Texas town called Rusk. It's about 3 hours away. I know absolutely nobody down there, with the exception of my 2 cousins and their wives. They are all very umm, let me try to explain. My cousin Justin, the younger of the two, broke his femur years ago when he was bucked off the bull he was attempting to ride. His wife, Rachel, teaches Ag (agriculture) for high school. My other cousin, Clay and his wife Melissa, along with his two step-kids, his adopted son, and their son together, whose name is Rodey Owen (pronounced road-e, go ahead and say it out loud) are going to my new neighbors. They always make me feel like the odd man out. They'll talk to me if I insert myself into their conversations, but they won't go out of their way to speak to me. Now, I'm practically related to about half the town we're moving to, but they're all my mom's cousin's kids and I think I might have met them for all of 5 minutes 35 years ago. The closest Walmart to where I'll be living is 15 miles away, and it's not even a Walmart Supercenter. For the next 6 months or so, we'll be living with my grandmother in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house, while our house is being built. Right next door. For major shopping, we'll have to drive about 40 miles to Tyler, where there's a mall. This isn't going to be fun. It's going to be hell. I'm a 41 year-old gay man moving to an area of Texas that isn't well known for its acceptance. I did actually tell my cousins I was gay. But, that was 22 years ago and we've not talked about it since. I'm not even sure their wives know for sure or not. I"m freaking out here I think. HELP!!!!

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