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    Prompt 744 and Prompt 745

    By comicfan

    Spring is here! Or it is supposed to be in the Northern Hemisphere. So is it inspiring you or do you need a little help? If you need help, might I suggest some new prompts?     Prompt 744 – Creative Tag – List of Words Use the following words in a story – a sea shell, a blue blanket, a snowman, a caution sign, and a bench.   Prompt 745 – Creative Tag – First Line “I’m so tired of always being the one to apologize.”   If you wrote a prompt story feel free to add the connection to it below. Enjoy! Remember to read, write, and comment.
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Prompt 744 and Prompt 745

Spring is here! Or it is supposed to be in the Northern Hemisphere. So is it inspiring you or do you need a little help? If you need help, might I suggest some new prompts?     Prompt 744 – Creative Tag – List of Words Use the following words in a story – a sea shell, a blue blanket, a snowman, a caution sign, and a bench.   Prompt 745 – Creative Tag – First Line “I’m so tired of always being the one to apologize.”   If you wrote a prompt story feel free to add the connection to it below. Enjoy! Remember to read, write, and comment.

comicfan

comicfan

 

My Mental Illness Is Not Your Punchline

Mental illness and disability carry a lot of stigma, and a lot of people don’t understand it. Assumptions are made about various mental illnesses and the people who have them. And the way that we use terms related to mental illness in everyday language to describe completely different things can do a lot more harm than you think it might.   This isn’t about getting offended, by the way. This is about enforcing harmful stereotypes that actually hurt people who suffer from mental illness and disability. I’m going to go over a few phrases that I’ve heard intelligent, grown up people say. This is far from the extent to which terms related to mental illness are misused, but it’s a start.     ‘I’m so OCD about this stuff.’    Are you really? Do you feel like if you don’t do this one little thing in exactly this way the world is going to end? Do you risk a panic attack if you deviate from your routine? For real? Because that’s what people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder experience. You don’t have OCD; you’re pedantic or nitpicky or just really thorough. That is not the same thing. Stop it.     ‘He’s a little autistic when it comes to music.’    First of all, no one is ‘a little’ autistic. People are on the autism spectrum or they’re not. Secondly, being autistic is not the same as being Rain Man. Not all people with an autism spectrum disorder can pick up a skill as easily as breathing, and not all people who can pick up a skill just like that is autistic. Humans are complex. Either way, neuro-atypical people struggle so much to exist in the world we’ve created, a world that they don’t fit into because they experience things differently from how others do. Don’t diminish them.     ‘The weather’s so bipolar!’   There are a few things in the world that are bipolar. Magnets, say. But when people talk about the weather like this, they’re not talking about magnets. What this usually means is that the weather is changing rapidly. The funny thing is that that isn’t even how bipolar disorder works. Bipolar disorder isn’t the same as mood swings. In fact, most people with bipolar disorder don’t swing rapidly at all; most bipolar people have fewer than four depressive, manic, or hypomanic episodes per year. People who have more frequent episodes have what is known as ‘rapid cycling’. But we’re still talking weeks or at least days, not hours, unless you’re having a mixed episode, which is fairly rare.      ‘I will literally kill myself.’    No, you won’t. I don’t think any more needs to be said about this one, other than that it’s melodramatic as fuck. Oh, and it makes people take those who actually do want to kill themselves less seriously.     ‘Well, someone’s off their meds…’   It’s true, if I get off my meds my behaviour will likely be a bit erratic. But for one, erratic behaviour does not mean a person needs to be medicated, and for another, the knowledge that you do need to be medicated really fucking sucks. I hate the fact that I will probably never not need medication. I will likely spend the rest of my life taking medication in order to function from day to day. Don’t turn that into a joke.       There are others, but these were the ones that came to mind just now. When people say things like this, I never know how to respond. Calling them out on it can be really difficult, cause people get defensive about it, and I’ll end up backing down and I’ll have changed fuck-all at the cost of my own mental wellbeing. Like many other such 'debates', it’s not worth the risk.    I’m not saying you can never joke about mental illness. Not at all. As a certified lunatic, I think mental illness jokes can be hilarious. You know, provided they’re actually funny. But if you’re not a person with mental illness, don’t ignorantly use our diagnoses for punchlines. It’s not original, most of the time it’s not even funny, and it’s a dick move.

Thorn Wilde

Thorn Wilde

 

March Classic Author Excerpt: Kombat Kids by GhostRyder15

How's your schedule? Spring break looming for you? Or are you just looking to crash from all the harsh winter or summer weather and need a good reason to take a break? Well, once again we have another Classic Author feature to tickle your interest and catch your eye in case you missed this early author from GA's beginning days!    Kombat Kids is set in a place very familiar to me... the Pacific Northwest. Not far from the Columbia River, this is a region with a lot of rich plant-life, varied animals of all shapes and sizes, and so many outdoor activities you don't ever have to go inside if you don't want to! The perfect setting for this story. Add in the stellar snippet of the review from Myr on Monday's feature, which you can read here if you didn't see it, and I am happy to also get to share an excerpt of this story with you to showcase just what you're missing out on if you haven't read it yet. You can also download a copy of the graphic to add to your signature if you want to share how much you enjoyed the story!      To read more, click here. 

Cia

Cia

 

March Classic Author Feature: Kombat Kids by GhostRyder15

This time of year, I'm always hoping for some spring to warm things here in the north, and I'm sure the south is getting ready for some relief from their heat. Either way, the extreme swings and highs and lows are starting to level out... usually. Washington is a great place to enjoy this time of year, and if you read GhostRyder's Kombat Kids, you'll get a great glimpse at the wonderful settings his story has to share as he takes readers on a journey along with his characters as they learn to overcome problems facing them.      Length: 278,295 Description: The Kombat Kids belong to Unit One. Unit One was Started by James and Matt Bateman to give the local boys an option to the mostly homophobic Church run youth groups and the scouting programs. The Unit is located near the Columbia river in the South East Corner of Washington State and is made up of mostly gay boys and men. Members learn to cope with their own fears and problems during the first year and a half of the Units existence.   A reader said: Kombat Kids is an emotional rollercoaster of a story.  Tons of funny one liners.  A lot of deep dark emotional pits to fall in.  You'll laugh.  You'll cry.  You'll cringe.  You'll swear.  You'll grumble about some grammar issues.  But chances are good if you start reading it, you'll keep reading it.  ~ Myr     If you want to spread the word about GhostRyder15's story, download the graphic below and add it to your signature! Make sure you come back on Wednesday to see the excerpt I chose to share!

Cia

Cia

 

Weekly Wrap Up (Mar.10 - Mar.16)

So, don't tell anyone  but I think Renee missed her hour of sleep this week  . This makes less work for me, and gives me something to tease her about  . I do have to admit that I don't have a lil' one under that age of 1 that I'm tending to day in and day out, so I guess I shall forgive her  Why don't we all share our love  .   On a more sad note, we have members in New Zealand that we should share our love with too  .   Monday, Renee introduced us to another featured story from our Review Team.   Jump to Friday where we had not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 prompts this week!   Saturday was a celebration and milestone for Comicality, 50 GA Articles are under his belt!     Anthologies 2019 Spring Anthology: In the Stars - Due May 15th 2019 Spring Anthology: Snapped  - Due May 15th   Blog Opportunities   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. Reader Recommended: Recommend a completed Poem/Story/Series for a short blurb at the end of the Weekly Wrap Up and PM @wildone to share your favourite stories.   Premium Updates:   A Leg to Stand On by Valkyrie *Premium*   Classic Updates:   A Mourning Storm by Ronyx   Candy & Kisses by Dabeagle   Dancing on a Star by Ronyx   Rich Boy: Growing Pains by dkstories   Terre Nouvelle by Mike Arram   The Castaway Hotel: Next Generation Book 3 by Bill W   Signature Updates:   A prompt a week by comicfan   Adrift by Mann Ramblings   Aria Graice by Nephylim   Confessions of a Diabetic Cat by Cole Matthews   Denied by Cia   Kabal by aditus; Book 3 of The King's Mate   Life Changes by comicfan   Lonely Pride by Cynus   Spirit of Fire by Stellar   Promising Updates:   Changes, Again by Mikiesboy   Disasters, Delights and Other Detours by Parker Owens   Georgetown: Goodnight, My Angel by Carlos Hazday   Keep Quiet by albertnothlit   My journey through pain by albertnothlit   Tales of the Underground: Blinded by Aceinthehole; Book 3 of Tales of the Underground   **Reader Recommended**   Red Running Shoes by @aditus   Come meet quirky, irrational, impulsive Jonah, who runs when life gets complicated. This time he is in Sicily, Italy. What else? Oh yes. He talks to Zach, his imaginary laptop friend, collects people who want to take care of him, as well as slightly possessive, manipulative boyfriends. Time for a change.   Recommended by @Valkyrie  

wildone

wildone

 

Bluegrass Symphony

I miss many things about Kentucky.  And though it took a while, I finally realized what it is that I truly long to experience again.   Let's start with what I don't miss - the people.  Those are the most mixed bag when it comes to my thoughts of my home state.  I've met some of the most honest, hard-working, and caring people there.  Yet, I've also run into some awful apples.  They were judgmental, hardened by poverty and suffering from a lack of opportunity - all of which conspired to make some men and women folks you'd never want to know.  I know this sounds awful, but I can take or leave most of those living there.  That's not where the magic is for me.   What I miss the most is the place itself.  Stepping out onto the porch in the late afternoon of July, you're hit by the humidity, temperatures in the upper eighties, and my memory of those experiences takes me right back there.   But, mostly ... it's the sound.  There's nothing like that sound.  Summer in my homeland is green, vibrant, and thrumming with the constant reminder of life.  The forests of northern California, where I live now are solemn, silent cathedrals.  But Kentucky gently roars with a symphony of birds, cicadas, grasshoppers, and crickets.   That's what I really miss.  I miss the symphony.

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Patreon: What It Is, and What It Isn't

Patreon is a service that I think a lot of people don't quite understand. Some people find it disingenuous, for instance, to ask people for money for a product that they will later be giving away for free, as many do. Others see it as akin to begging. That second one I find particularly odd... If anything, it's like busking.    Some history first: Back in the olden days, it was common for talented artists to acquire patrons. A patron might provide the artist with food, a place to live, money for paints and canvases/ink and paper/instruments, and general support so that they were free to create rather than worry about surviving. Many of the great painters, authors, and composers of history had patrons to help support them, especially when they were just starting out. Mozart earned the patronage of kings. Not that I'm comparing today's online content creators with Mozart.   Patreon is not Kickstarter. While some may certainly use it in a similar way, the platform is different. Some creators ask for support on a per project basis, one sum per thing, which is similar. Some of these creators later give away their project for free, others use it as a pre-order service.    Most use it for monthly contributions. People use the system differently. Game developers or creators of popular mods for games, for instance, often release versions for their patrons prior to releasing it to the public for free. Creators of game mods often spend an awful lot of time on creating something for their community. Digging down into the core scripts of a game and altering them is no mean feat. And every time a game is updated, the mods have to be as well, so that they are still compatible with the new version.   This is how most people who offer their content for free use Patreon. It is a voluntary donation toward creation of further content. Some then offer sneak peeks of their work, pre-releases of content, exclusive progress updates, blog posts, and so on to their patrons. Authors often offer people the option of reading a chapter before everyone else gets to.   The most important part is this: When a patron chooses to support a content creator, they are not buying a product. They are contributing to future content creation by making it easier for a content creator to make and publish content. Patronage is voluntary. It's a donation. Some patrons even choose not to receive any of the rewards offered by content creators. Most importantly, no one will be upset with a reader/viewer/content user/etc. for choosing not to do so. In the end, no matter how it's used, the basic purpose of Patreon is to give people who want to contribute the option of doing so, out of their own free will.    We reside in a capitalist society where this may be hard to wrap one's head around, really. We're accustomed to paying for goods and services and then receiving what we paid for. When we're used to this mindset, it may feel like you're paying for nothing when you support a content creator on Patreon. But what you are really 'paying' for is a person's ability create more and better content. Personally, I pay more money to content creators on Patreon per month than I'm getting from my grand total of two patrons (one of whom is my mother). Counter intuitive though it sounds, maybe I'll break even soon. 

Thorn Wilde

Thorn Wilde

 

Emote Control

And here we are, distinguished ladies and gentlemen! This is officially the 50th article in the 'Comsie Rambles On' series! Hehehe! I just want to take a quick second to thank you all for the likes and comments, and for offering your own touches and advice on the topics being discussed. I'm still learning too! So I love to see them! And now...let's take the first step taken towards Article #100!!! This weekend's topic took some extra effort, trying to figure out how to put it into words that people could understand. Emotion can be such an intangible idea when it comes to explaining it or trying to bring it out in a story. Not to mention the fact that methods of doing so drastically differ from author to author, and it translates differently from reader to reader. But there is a hidden essence in all this that truly connects us all together in a variety of ways...and if we learn to tap into that energy, our stories can truly create some moving moments for everybody involved, writers and readers alike. But how can I even approach a conversation like that?   The best way, I figured, was to do so through music. Music has this incredible ability to truly affect us when we need it most, and expect it least. It takes the intangible idea of being able to emote in your writing, and makes it a little more easily absorbed. It's more than an inner concept. You can hear it. You can feel it. So I'd like to use that as my tool this week as we talk about bringing real emotion to the words we write, and how to dig even deeper once we know what were looking for.   As always, the idea behind this goes back to the whole 'show, don't tell' mantra that every writer should keep going on in their heads at all times. When you're writing, always remember that it is not enough to say, "My main character is sad." Let your main character's inner thoughts, sullen actions, and painful dialogue, display that. If done right, the sentence, "He/She was sad," shouldn't have to be mentioned. Instead, concentrate on what's going on around that character. What led up to that moment? What might happen after that moment? How does this take the story in a 'sad' direction? If your readers have been absorbing all the details around this particular event or the circumstances surrounding this character, then their empathy should kick in and they'll feel sad for him or her without you having to 'tell' them that they should. It's like seeing a well decorated slice of cheesecake behind the counter at your local bakery. Hehehe, nobody has to 'tell' you it's going to be delicious! You can look at it, you can smell it, you begin to salivate at the very thought of it. (Ugh...now I want some cheesecake!)   But this connection between you and your audience comes from digging really deep to the very core of the emotions that you're trying to convey in your story. And that takes practice. Not just skill, as I'm certain you all have the skill, without a doubt. But practice. It takes time to really drudge up those emotions and memories and personal experiences that you might be drawing from to create that particular scene, and then put it into words. You have to 'feel' it, so your readers can feel it. I can, honestly, say that I've sat at this keyboard with tears in my eyes MANY times, myself, while writing some of the more painful moments in my stories. And while it may be emotionally draining, and it might force me to take a break from time to time...the effect that it had on my readers worked out even better than I ever could have imagined it would have. Hehehe, so...I guess you could say that I was proud to depress so many people at once. The sadist that I am! LOL!   But this comes from being able to really understand emotion in general, being able to relate to it from times in your life when you felt the same way, and then bringing that to the surface. Because, at its deepest level...I think we really have the ability to all relate to the shared experience of life itself. We've all been heartbroken at one time in our life. We've all been angry, we've all been scared, we've all been head over heels in love with someone, we've all been full of joy and fireworks. It might have been on different levels or for different reasons, but believe me...a 14 year old boy who got a Playstation 4 this past Christmas and a 65 year old man who got that first shiny bicycle in the store window when he was a kid BOTH understand the same kind of joy and surprise that comes with that. The bike or the video game isn't the connection. The JOY is the connection. And you can touch the hearts of an infinitely wide range of readers once you teach yourself to make that part your focus.   So where does the 'music' come in, Comsie?   I want you guys to listen to a few songs down below that I chose specifically for this article. I want you to think about how these songs make you feel inside. The voice. The lyrics. The instrumental arrangements. And more importantly, how they all fit together. These were meant to 'move' you. They are presenting a particular feeling and guiding you to sympathize and possibly end up feeling the same way. Try to let go and feel what it wants you to feel. What is it doing to you? Why are you suddenly feeling something that you weren't feeling before the story started?   This is a South Korean artist by the name of So Hyang. Now, a friend of mine shared this with me last year, and she is being hailed as one of the most emotionally moving singers in the WORLD right now. Naturally, I was skeptical. I mean...the world? Really? Ummm...but I have to admit, she is pretty damn moving to say the least. What starts off as a really cool, soft, and pleasant song...ends up as a near religious experience by the time it's over. She's about as close to a living, breathing, Disney princess, as you can get. Hehehe, I just listened to this again a couple of minutes ago, and I feel really good now! Give it a listen...   Hehehe! Did you feel that? Maybe a little bit? Maybe a lot?   Now, when you think about the song itself and her performance of it...how did it affect you, emotionally? And why do you think that is?   No matter whether you're a singer, actor, writer, painter, or architect...the unique value of your art comes from your personal 'choices'. For a singer, it comes from knowing when to draw a note out, or to cut it short. To reach a higher tone, or a lower one. These choices may be pre-planned or totally subconscious and spontaneous...but it is those choice that personalizes the song to them and them alone. Writing is no different.   Can you move someone with text on a screen the same way that song might move you with visuals and audio and expert arrangements? YES! You can do all that, and a LOT more, in fact! Because the people reading your story have more than a few minutes to spend with the characters and themes that you're hitting them with. If anything, your writing should be able to touch them on a level that a three to five minute song can't reach. And while it may not be as immediately devoured as a song or a movie...the impact can be just as powerful. Just like these singers, you, as an author, have a 'voice'. Your choices will make your story relatable and unique to everyone who lays eyes upon it. It's all in how you communicate the emotion that you're looking to broadcast to your audience. I think that there's something 'unspoken' between us all that can be instantly discovered when an artist presses the right button or finds the right trigger. Something about hearing that song above touched me. It connected to something within me that I might have buried or forgotten about. An old memory? An emotional experience? A faded dream? A release for some bottled up feelings that I never faced or dealt with properly? Who knows? But something about this particular song made contact with a deeper part of me. It went searching for certain emotional strings...and then gave them a little 'tug'. THAT'S the power of being able to emote with your work. You can have all the vocal skill and training in the world, perfect pitch, breath control, and the best sound equipment that money can buy...but it's the emotional connection that will always make your work stand out over everything else. There's a spark, an untitled glow, to it that can't be faked, manufactured, or imitated. I believe that emotion easily separates a really good story from a GREAT story. One that your readers will never forget.   Like I said, it takes practice. It takes exposure. And sometimes, it's going to be exposure to feelings and memories that you may not want to relive or dwell on for any length of time...but the more experienced you become with experiencing those feelings, firsthand, the easier it will be to project those feelings through the characters in your story. Spend some time thinking about it. Take a moment, and think about that very first time that you really got your heartbroken. Go back to that time in your life...the pain, the tears, the denial, the acceptance...honestly approach those feelings, and think about how you (at that particular moment in your life) would have to explain how you were feeling. Put it in focus. "I felt like my heart had been torn in half by someone I trusted." Good! Put that in your story! "I was so ANGRY that he cheated on me!" Great! Put that in your story! "I wish I never met her! It was like she destroyed my whole life!" Excellent! Take those emotions, and tell that story through the eyes of your main character!   I won't lie...sometimes it hurts. It does. I've dealt with some really painful moments in my life through my stories. From "My Only Escape" to "Save Or Sacrifice" to "Never Again"...I had to draw from some pretty disturbing memories in order to write those out. But it can be a truly therapeutic experience when it's all said and done. I don't know...tears are good for the soul and all that. But the more you sort of dig around in that wound, the more you pick at that scab...the more you begin to get a clear understanding of the subtle differences involved when dealing with one emotion or another.   In the two songs below...they are both dealing with heartbreak. Someone that you love who is now attempting to be happy with someone else. Now, hearing that part of the emotional description, one would think that the songs would be pretty similar to one another. "I love you. You left me behind. I can't let go." They both deal with loss. They both deal with a mixture of pain and anger...so, I guess 'painger'! Hehehe! However, give them both a listen. The emotion and the theme is the same, but lyrically and emotionally...they're both sending out a very different message. Sad, yes. But the Yebba song is a bit more determined. She seems like she's in pain, but there's a certain feeling of strength and empowerment in her delivery. I can feel the pain in her performance. But she's still standing strong, despite her being so close to breaking down.   However, in Conor Maynard's highly emotional cover of Drake's 'Marvin's Room', he seems a bit more somber. More defeated. It feels more like he's trying to maintain some kind of strength, but he's struggling through it. It's almost like he's lost as to whether he's going to make it or not.   And is he crying? it almost looks like he was crying! Geez! Where was this coming from? I think he was 17 when he covered this, so...recent heartbreak maybe? Who knows? Anyway, you can tell two completely different stories from this subtle difference alone. One of someone getting over a massive heartbreak, or one of someone being crushed by it. Put yourself in both situations. Feel it in your heart. And think about how you would put those feelings into words when your characters are going through something similar.   000 The thing to remember is to always draw from your personal truth. Somebody out there has been through the same things that you have struggled through in your life, and when you make that connection...when you find a way tug on that heart string...the reader/writer dynamic becomes a symbiotic experience. When you dig deep enough...you're no longer just telling your story, but their story as well. You reach out and you actually 'touch' a part of them that they didn't even know was there.   Hehehe, I didn't mean for that to sound anywhere NEAR as perverted as it did!   The subtle changes on one side of the emotion or another comes from the words you use, and the way you describe the plight of your character. If you want to empower them, your word usage should reflect that. The tone should be different. Convey strength through your descriptions and vocabulary. If you want them broken and hurt beyond repair...change the way you describe their handling of the situation. You wouldn't describe both sides in the same way in real life if it were happening to you. So don't do it that way in your stories. Pay attention to the difference. A sentence or two can make a huge difference in how your readers perceive your protagonist's state of mind. And that state of mind can be the rise or fall of an emotionally potent scene in your project.   These next two songs show a slightly different take on the idea of misery. Just...plain misery. Now, this first one will always have a special place in my heart. Johnny Cash and his wife, the love of his life, passed away about 4 months apart from each other. After losing her, he said that his music was all he had left, and he made this cover of 'Hurt', originally from Nine Inch Nails' album, 'Downward Spiral'. This was the last video he ever filmed before he died, and the flashbacks to a long life of entertaining and basically being country music's number one badass, mixed with the heartbreaking lyrics, is sure to twist a few hearts here and there when watching it.   The second video, however, is more 'angst' than misery. You watch the video and listen to the song, and while Alessia Cara is 'miserable' where she is, it has a totally different vibe to it. She isn't sad about it. She just doesn't want to be there. I remember seeing this for the first time and thinking, "Omigod, I remember being like that at a party!" I'm supposed to be having fun, but...I'm just not into this at all. I'd uch rather be somewhere else. Anywhere else.   Again, these songs have different tones to them. The inspire different emotions and therefore need to be treated differently in order to connect to different people. It all depends on what you're looking to broadcast with the picture you're painting for your readers at that moment.   Will it be Johnny Cash, a dark place with a slightly optimistic outlook? Or an Alessia Cara party place with a slightly darker, isolated, outlook?   000 Now, emotions don't all have to be sad and depressing! Hehehe! Of course not! Evoking emotion comes in the form of love and joy and blissful happiness as well! So, don't think that you have to have some kind of heavy drama going on in order to explain making an emotional connection with your audience. Some of my more lighthearted stories are extremely fun for me to write as well. "Kiss Of An Angel", "Jesse-101", and others have given me a few giggles and good vibes, typing them out. But still...joy is an emotion that you want to push forward when you're writing your story. Let your readers feel it like YOU feel it. Right?   The slight shift in these two videos below is expressed mostly through an 'internal' and 'external' version of joy. Both by the same artist, same voice, same theme. However, in the first song (Which ALWAYS makes me smile when I hear it! Hehehe!) is all about feeling good. It has the kind of feeling that you get when you just wake up, the sun is shining, you've got the day to yourself, and everything is AWESOME! This is an internal joy. Nothing can touch you. It can't bother you. It just makes you feel good inside! The music, the lyrics...everything about it is all sunshine and good vibes! The second, while having the same theme, is more external. It's sharing that joy with other people. It's inspiring. It tells you that you can feel just as amazing as she does, if you only shrug off the bullshit and realize how beautiful you really are. (A song that I desperately needed to hear when it first came out and I was feeling down. Because...sighhh...'the internet'!) Both of these themes can connect to readers in a way that will keep them smiling until their cheeks hurt while reading your work. And that is what is going to make your writing memorable. It's more than a story. It's an experience. Something that they can go back to when they want to feel that way again. Something that they can share with a friend or family member when they're in need of connecting to that happiness the same way that they did.   If only you knew how much power you had when it comes to affecting people on an emotional level. You really can change lives with what you write. One emotion at a time.   000 So, there we go! Emote control! It's not about me telling you what to write or how to write it. You all have the talent and the passion to figure it out for yourselves. Your very presence here proves that. This is just meant to shine a spotlight on a few things that you may have a feel for, but never really pay attention to. It's there. Many writers think about emotions in terms of joy, sadness, anger, jealousy, and indifference. But there are infinite shades of grey in between. Combinations and lethal cocktails and conflicting ideologies, that you can personalize and use to your story's benefit. But the first step is diving into those emotions, feeling them fully, and attempting to figure out how they work for you and for your readers. Learn the subtle shifts from one to another. Teach yourself how to deescalate or intensify those emotions at will. And, as always...practice, practice, practice.   I've been doing this for almost 21 years now...and I still find new blind spots that I didn't pay attention to before. So get familiar with your own hearts, and go out there to give them your best. Do it better than I did.   Thanks for the love and support you guys! I hope the music/writing comparison helped to get my point across. Like I said, it's kind of a hard thing to put into words. I love you all! And I'll see you next weekend with more!   Also...one more...   If you think you can't find the emotional power within yourself, check out the video below. This is a Latin pop artist, Abraham Mateo. He made this back when he was only TWELVE years old! How a twelve year old was able to tap into such heartfelt emotion is a complete mystery to me! But listen all the way through. By the end of this song, its like, "Who IS this kid???" It just takes passion, effort, and practice. That's it. If he can do it...you can too.   Best of luck!    

Comicality

Comicality

 

Writing Prompts #740, #741, #742, & #743

Well, I've kind of slacked this week (read as completely forgot), and there was no Wednesday post. I had a plan, but the good news is that the current Q & A has been extended, so you have until the end of this month to get your answers to me! Also, there were no prompts last week since we had a promotion announcement, so this week I'm making up for it with 4 new prompts for you to contemplate and perhaps use to pen your next story!  Happy Writing!         Prompt 740 – Creative Tag – Elf You needed a vacation, away from all the noise, people, and technology. You dug out your hiking boots, tent, knapsack, and packed up. You took the bare necessities and go deep into the forest to relax. Your first night was great, but after your second day you feel like you are being watched, and by the third you know so. When you decide to find out who is tracking you, you find yourself face to face with an elf. Now what?   Prompt 741 – Creative Tag – Vampire In this day and age, he was a rarity. He was twenty four, handsome, intelligent, healthy, and crushingly shy.  He worked on a computer from his apartment and barely had any face to face contact. When he spotted the odd man one night outside his apartment, he was sure he had to be mistaken. He was tall, dark, with red eyes, and sharp white teeth. Being the nerd he was, he raced home and began to research on his computer. What he wasn’t ready for was opening his door and finding him standing there. He sniffed once, smiled widely, and simply said, “A Virgin!” What happened next?     Prompt 742 – Creative Tag – First Line Smell of fresh dirt and rotting flesh filled the small bedroom as he crawled away from the nightmare that slowly shuffled through the doorway.   Prompt 743 – Creative Tag – Spring The first buds of spring had broken through the ground. Demeter smiled as her daughter slowly made her way into her embrace. This time Demeter decided she would create something special for her daughter, Persephone. What does Demeter do to celebrate her daughter’s homecoming?         So, have you written a new prompt response over the last couple of weeks? Share a link in the comments!    
 

Religion and manners (or lack there of)

Going through chemo I haven't minded too much the physical changes happening. Well showering when my hair was falling out was a nightmare - very fine hairs that I could feel but not get off.   How others are reacting is getting to me. At work I've had to report two cancer survivors to administration. Both tried to offer me support, before I had announced my cancer. One chose to discuss it in the public bathroom where students were present. The other thought it was a great idea to tell me her horrible experience with the IV port on the day I was getting the port, then the day before my first infusion with it.   There are also all the people wanting to pat me somewhere. I understand the need to touch. But chemo doesn't just kill cancer and hair follicles. It also kills bone marrow cells, the ones making blood cells. So chemo patients get sick and bruise easily.    Now I have complete strangers wanting to give me blessed or annointed religious objects, while I'm on my cell phone.  

DynoReads

DynoReads

 

The Strong One

I've always been the helper - the strong one.   I'm the one people go to, to be heard.  I'm the one people know can handle more.  I carry my load, and then yours, and theirs, and the world's too.   But today, I didn't want to get out of bed.  I feel like there's a band of iron around my chest like the world is crushing me.  There's no reason, and if there's no reason then there's no fix.   There's nobody in my life who I can lean on, simply because I've never asked that of anyone.  Fuck, I'm the one they all lean on.  Nobody expects to have to do that for me.   Why would they?   I'm the strong one.

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Aquaman Movie Review

Starring Jason Momoa as Arthur/Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Patrick Wilson as King Orm/Ocean Master, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Manta. It was directed by the wonderfully talented James Wan, the creator of the Saw Franchise.   Aquaman takes place shortly after the events of Justice League. This bit of information seemed to be slipped in right away to make sure we all know this is part of the DCEU. But just as Wonder Woman carved her own path away from the sadness that was Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman, and Justice League with a story that focused on plot supported by CGI, Aquaman at its core, is a character driven film that made me care about the characters and their journey.   Aquaman lives somewhere between the dark vision of Zack Snyder and the playfulness of Patty Jenkins, taking elements from both while carving a visually stunning film. I would venture a guess that the script was heavily rewritten multiple times attempting to course correct after the tepid reception of the Znyderverse and the sheer fun factor of Wonder Woman. The downside to what I am assuming is heavy rewrites, leaves us with a film that doesn’t seem to know what its suppose to be sometimes from moment to moment. Is it a light-hearted underwater tale with horrible dad jokes or a morality tale of sons paying for the sins of their fathers? As I type this, I still can’t tell you what this movie is about. In one of the darker moments of the film, Arthur takes out a bunch of pirates as they try to steal a submarine. While this sequence is visually stunning and really showcases the raw power Arthur can command, Arthur allows the father of one of the pirates to drown, thus creating one of the major villains in Aquaman’s cannon.   This act really shocked me, as it was hard for me to believe that considering Arthur’s own mother was killed when he was young, that he could dismiss the pleas of a son to save his drowning father so flippantly.   This sequence reminded me how I felt while watching Black Panther last year. Like Killmonger, Manta has a great back-story and a reason for revenge that makes his story arc believable and compelling.   And in almost the next scene, Arthur and his father are in a bar drinking beer for breakfast when several scary biker looking guys approach them. This scene is played for suspense at first, when one of the guys barks out, ‘are you him’. Arthur turns around and for a moment, you think it’s about to go down. Then the scary biker looking guy exclaims out like an excited child that he wants a picture of Aquaman. This is like five minutes after Arthur kills numerous pirates on the submarine. And to make it a bit worse, there is a collage of Arthur drinking beer and taking photos with the scary bikers. The transitions between the dark and light moments happens so fast it was rather jarring at times. Yet Amber Heard was delightful as Mera, and has one of the coolest powers in the movie. Mera is far from being a damsel in distress. Not only does she stand toe to toe with Aquaman, but manages to save him numerous times and is a complete badass in her own right. Amber’s performance is well-rounded as I’ve seen in a long time. Plus, she’s a great strong female character for young teens.   Orm makes a great villain and is almost underplayed by the talented Patrick Wilson. Though his motivation flips between his hatred towards Arthur whom he blames for the death of his mother and his hatred for the surface dwellers that has polluted the worlds oceans. I did find it a bit odd that his hatred for Arthur seemed misplaced as it would make more sense to hate his father who ordered the death of his mother.   Take away the over the head message of the dangers of pollution, the jumps between light-hearted dad jokes, and brooding craziness, the core of the film is entertaining and I would recommend you watch it as the CGI is breathtaking.  

Holiday

Hello my faithful readers, just letting you know that I am currently in the city of Darwin, in the Northern Territory Of Australia, after completing a three day and two night.experience on the Ghan train from Adelaide in the South to the Northern capital of Darwin, which is a 2720 kilometre journey. Saw some incredible sights, and I hope to include my experiences in future stories. The Ghan train had a total of two engines and 38 carriages and it was 902 metres long. Regards Preston, aka Quokka

quokka

quokka

 

Featured Story: Lighthouses

Welcome to another Monday!  Did you remember to set your clocks forward an hour? It's time for a new story review, and this one is brought to you by Cole Matthews!  Enjoy!     Lighthouses: Volume One ValentineDavis 21 Reviewer: Cole Matthews Status: Complete Word Count: 67,960   Gayauthors is a great place for writers and readers for many reasons. There are lots of new characters, topics, engagements, love, folly, and fictional conflict providing us with a venue to communicate with one another.  We can explore relationships between people who are gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and many other points on the spectrum or rainbow of human affection. We can delve into what it means to define ourselves and to show our many perspectives.  
I think the best thing about Gayauthors is we love to experiment with different kinds of writing. While we enjoy our coming of age and coming out stories, we also try new avenues of fiction. There is a vibrant poetry-writing community here and lots of exciting genres from mysteries to fanfic to fantasy and sci fi, yet we aren’t limited by these choices, which leads me to a book by Valentine Davis21.  His experiment has made me think and wonder about what lies beyond.   Lighthouses’ Volume One tells the story of three couples who over time find a lighthouse that acts as a lodestone or magnet in their lives. These three couples have very different stories, but they occur in different eras and so we begin to see patterns even as the times change so radically.
We start with Judas and Duane in the present day. They are traveling to an island. Judas is a bit needy and Duane is happy to take care of him. Their back story begins to come out as Judas remembers:  
Something else is going. We’re not sure what is happening, but we get a glimpse when Judas has a visitor. This guest isn’t a flesh and blood one, but not really a ghost either.  Here is how Judas introduces Johnny and Thomas.  
Judas and Duane’s story pauses in a bit, and we are then introduced to Johnny, and the setting in 1959.  The young man was found with another boy and in those days, it was believed that something needed to be done. Johnny is being ‘treated’ and ‘helped’ to cure his ‘illness’.  
Johnny’s predicament is handled delicately. It’s obvious his aunt and uncle are trying to help, but it’s not working. That’s when we get a glimpse of the lighthouse again, and we meet Phillip Russo. There is something haunting and familiar about their meeting. It slides inside your brain and makes you squirm.  So much is going on, but we don’t know what.
And then we meet Thomas.
In 1929, Thomas was invited to the island to ghostwrite a biography for an accomplished man. He meets Agamemnon Angelopoulos, and something passes between them, and here is a taste of it:  
The story has interwoven links and themes that suggest things, hint, and let the reader wonder. What is the main story? Are all three couples the same people or are they drawn to an object that warns of danger?  What is the peril that binds these men?  Certainly, Thomas, Judas, and Johnny are connected but how?
Valentine Davis finished the story, but it’s not complete. He promises to revisit it in another volume, but what I love about this book are the questions it raises. I adore the characters who are fresh and flawed, open and yet bound to each other. They are struggling to cope, yet there is happiness and promise. You can feel hope right around the corner, even as you realize you just passed the corner filled with despair.
Read and savor the ideas and see where it takes you. This lighthouse is the calm within the storm of these men’s lives.    Category: Fiction   Genres: Thriller/Suspense, Historical, Mystery, Paranormal  Tags: mature adult, depression, abuse  Rating: Mature
 

Well Adjusted?

"You know, for a guy who grew up in Kentucky, you seem pretty well adjusted to the whole gay thing."   I thought about what Greg had said as I drove home.  I hadn't replied other than to smile and nod.  What would he feel if I told him all of it?  I toyed with the idea, but it was too early for that.  He didn't need to know just how damaged I was.   Regardless of my choice to keep the entirety of the truth from Greg, I couldn't stop it from replaying in my mind.  It was just as well.  I had hours to go before I was home.   ____________________________________________________   I was raised Southern Baptist in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.  Fire and brimstone were a part of my world, and variation from the word of God was a sure path to damnation.  That's how this begins.   Something drove me to join the US Navy.  I was seventeen years old, and I had never been away from home. Yet I signed up for a six-year stint in the military.  I was terrified to go, but something in me knew that I couldn't stay.  The Navy was my way out, and I took it.   I made a fantastic sailor because I was great at doing what I was told.  I didn't let myself think all that much, and I just acted on the orders given.  Something is freeing and therapeutic about a lack of choice.  I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it allowed me to function during a time when my mind wasn't ready for the processing it would need to do later.   My first duty station after a year of training as a Hospital Corpsman (essentially a medic) and some additional schooling was Okinawa Japan.  I was eighteen, and I quickly found a fellow named Chris who needed a roommate for his apartment off-base.  We also worked together, so it was great.
That first year was good.  I got to know Chris well, and I came to feel for him an amount of fondness I'd later know as love.  At the time I didn't know better.  I just thought we were best friends.   We even shared a bed.  That was fine until the morning I woke, and Chris had his arm around me.  He had turned in his sleep, and it was purely innocent (Chris was straight, through and through).  I lay there, more turned on than I had ever been in my life.  I had no understanding of why - and I told myself it was merely the fact that another person was touching me in a somewhat intimate way.  That if it were a girl, I would have reacted the same.   After that, I insisted we sleep in different beds.  I was deeply disturbed that my body behaved in such a manner.  I even paid half for his bed, and we put it together.  All was well again, for a time.   A few months passed, and Chris met Gina.  They hit it off.  A part of me wanted to be happy for him, but by far the most consuming emotion I felt was a burning ache of jealousy.   I tried hard to find someone of my own.  I was still a virgin.  I dated girls, but none of them made me feel anything at all.  Chris and Gina continued to try and set me up on dates, and eventually, I came to dread them.   There's only so long that a person can deny the truth.  My moment came to me, just after I had turned twenty years old.  I lay in bed.  It was two a.m., and I couldn't sleep.  I had work that morning at six, so I sat up and said aloud, "What is wrong with me?"   The answer struck like a bolt of lightning.  It slammed into me, the undeniable truth, and I sat there, stunned.  It was the worst possible thing I could have imagined, and I couldn't fix it.  I couldn't make it go away.   Something broke.  Something just snapped in my mind.  I don't remember deciding to do this, but I got up, went to the bathroom, and I took down a package of Bic razors.  Chris and I had just bought a new set of six, so I had plenty to work with.   I started with my head.  Shaving cream, all through my short hair, and I scraped it all off with one razor.  After that, it was dull as hell, so I tossed it.  Then I moved on to the next.  My chest was next, then arms, legs, and groin.  Why I saved it for last, I have no idea, but by the time five a.m. rolled around, the only thing left was a tiny patch of hair on my belly.  As I was shaving that last bit, Chris surprised me.   "What the fuck are you doing?!?"  He stood at the doorway to the bathroom, gaping at me.   Imagine for a moment what he saw - twenty year old me, completely naked and hairless, covered in splotches of shaving cream.  I jumped when he spoke, and I snapped the razor I had been using against my belly.  I frowned down at the cut I made, dabbed it with some toilet paper, and very calmly spoke, "I'm shaving."  Then I picked up the last razor and continued.   Chris blinked.  "Are you all right?"   "I'm fine."  I finished up, rinsed the razor, and put it on the sink.  I looked at him.  "I'll buy more razors today."  Then I toweled off and walked past him to get my clothes on for work.   The next six months I lived in this weird state.  A few nights a week I would go up to the top of our building, and stare down at the concrete six floors down.  The scary thing now is how fearless I was at the time.  I only had one worry - and that was if the fall would actually kill me.  I didn't want to live through that, because I'd have to tell people why I jumped.  My logic was - since there's nothing I could do to fix me, and I was going to go to hell, then why wait?   I got sick of living that way.  So, one night I decided that I was going to either do a swan dive off of my building or learn to live with being gay.  Unbeknownst to my sister, I decided that however she reacted would do it.  It took the choice from me since I couldn't seem to make it.   I worked nights at the Blood Donor Center on the island, and I called my sister in the middle of my shift.  She picked up and immediately knew something was wrong.   "Bub, what's wrong?"  I could hear it in her voice.  She was worried, and I had barely spoken.   "Sis, I've got something to tell you."   She was quiet for a beat, then she said it.  "You're gay."   It wasn't even a surprise to me that she knew.  There were only a few things which could warrant the tone in my voice, and that was one of them.  I nodded, "Yeah."   There are these moments in other lives where we have a tremendous amount of power, and she exercised hers without even knowing it.  "Well, bub, that's okay."   And that was how my sister saved my life. ____________________________________________________   I pulled up to my apartment in Ridgecrest, California.  Finished with the drive, I was tired.  But the weekend with Greg was fun, and he was worth the time and effort of the trip.  As I unlocked my door, I smiled slightly.   "Well adjusted."  I shook my head, entered, and kicked the door shut.

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Weekly Wrap Up (Mar. 3 - Mar. 9)

Lucky I'm doing this tonight before I go to bed, as tomorrow, don't come looking to borrow a cup of sugar (do people actually do that?) as I might bite your head off . Yes, last night was this biannual silly thing called Daylight Savings Time. If you don't have this annoying time shift in your neck of the woods, it resets our clocks an hour ahead or behind to accommodate for longer days for the summer and shorter days for the winter and energy consumption. Unfortunately Saturday night was the kick in for Daylight savings time, and some annoyingly happy person said, "Let's Spring Forward", but never considered that I'm losing a very important hour of sleep . Oh well, I should be back to my usual, chipper, happy, self around the end of June .   Shall we look back on the week of GA Blogs?   Monday, Cia introduced us to our March CSR Feature, so start to read and come back on March 25th     Wednesday was another round of one of our most popular features, Ask An Author 2.0 from Carlos!   Friday, instead of having some Prompts, Graeme introduced us to our newest Classic Author:   Then on Saturday, Comicality gave us some ideas to get something everyone needs:   Anthologies 2019 Spring Anthology: In the Stars - Due May 15th 2019 Spring Anthology: Snapped  - Due May 15th   Blog Opportunities   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. Reader Recommended: Recommend a completed Poem/Story/Series for a short blurb at the end of the Weekly Wrap Up and PM @wildone to share your favourite stories.   Premium Updates:   A Leg to Stand On by Valkyrie *Premium*   Classic Updates:   Apple of Her Eye by Ronyx   Candy & Kisses by Dabeagle   Rich Boy: Growing Pains by dkstories   Terre Nouvelle by Mike Arram   The Castaway Hotel: Next Generation Book 3 by Bill W   Signature Updates:   A prompt a week by comicfan   Adrift by Mann Ramblings   Aria Graice by Nephylim   Cozy Contemplations by Headstall   Denied by Cia   Kabal by aditus; Book 3 of The King's Mate   Left Without Words by Comicality   Life Changes by comicfan   Lonely Pride by Cynus   Love Looked at Me and Laughed and other poems by AC Benus; Book 11 of Verse   The Secret Life Of Billy Chase 9 by Comicality; Book 9 of The Secret Life Of Billy Chase   Promising Updates:   Changes, Again by Mikiesboy   Georgetown: Goodnight, My Angel by Carlos Hazday   Here Kitty, Kitty by Caz Pedroso   My journey through pain by albertnothlit   tim's poetry workbook by Mikiesboy   **Reader Recommended**   Dome and Teapots by @Jack Scribe   The dynamics of Washington, D.C. swirl around in the background as we follow the lives of four young men who work in different government-related jobs. Intrigue intertwines with personal relationships in this intimate behind-the-scenes depiction of politics in action as the nation approaches the 2006 elections   Recommended by @Carlos Hazday  

wildone

wildone

 

Bled the Blood

My musical buddy, a guy named Jonathan Foster is going to use a song I wrote in his next album.  That's pretty damn cool and flattering.  I wrote it for a story, and it turned out pretty good.   If you want to abuse your ears here's me singing my acapella version of it. Bled the Blood  Jonathan will do a better job though, thankfully.   I've got just enough of a few gifts to know that I am not quite at a level that can be considered exceptional.  But, that's all right.  I'm pretty happy with honorable mentions in multiple areas vs. champion of one.    

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

Writer Confidence

The biggest trick that any writer can pull off when it comes to their finished product...is making it look like writing is easy. Hehehe, getting your readers to think that you just sat down at a keyboard with a cup of tea or coffee, and tapped into some level of genius to type something out from beginning to end.   (Cue snickers and laughter from the writing community.)   Obviously, this isn't true. Sure, it becomes easier through practice and discipline, and we get used to the habit of expressing our thoughts in this particular way...but there is nothing 'easy' about writing a story. Not at all. From conception, to creating characters, to plot devices, to dialogue...it takes a LOT of time and patience and skill to pull off a story from beginning to end. You have to juggle a series of different talents all at once, and once you're finished...you've got to edit it and start all over again to catch anything that you may have dropped along the way. Yeah, to say that it's easy to do is not only a mistake...it's an outright lie for many of us.   Because of this pleasurable, self torturing, practice that we love so much...it can sometimes cause our most ambitious ideas to seem more intimidating than they have to be. At least that's been my experience so far. There are stories that I wanted to write years ago that still intimidate me to this day. Every time I consider sitting down and just getting it started, I almost get overwhelmed with anxiety about how I'm ever going to create that story, those characters, and actually get it right. I get intimidated by the time I'm going to have to put in. Intimidated by the emotion I'll have to pour in. Intimidated by whatever research I might have to do for the details. I feel the story idea looming over me to the point where I'm forced to back away from it, and like the procrastination savant that I am, hehehe...I put it off until later. And as we all know, 'later' often never comes.   This week, I'd like to spend a few moments talking about writer confidence, and maybe clear up the smoke and mirrors aspect of possibly beating the intimidation when it strikes. For me, personally, it doesn't always take some massive new project to intimidate me into shying away from putting the work in. Sometimes, it might just be a particularly important chapter that I'm worried about getting right. Or a specific scene where a big secret is revealed, or a dramatic argument or major event has to come along to change the course of the rest of the story. As I mentioned in a past article, sometimes I know exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it...but there's a 'hesitation' involved anyway. For me, that's WORSE than writer's block! LOL! I can deal with writer's block. But fear or lack of motivation? Nothing makes me feel more helpless when it comes to my writing.   Also, there are times when the intimidation isn't even creatively inspired. Sometimes I have to ask myself if I'm going to have the time and the focus to really dive into this new chapter/story the way I want to. What is my work schedule like? What are my friends and family up to? Will I be able to remove myself from the world for a week or two to get this as well polished as I want it to be? Some of you guys have kids or partners that need attention and quality time. Some of you have a busy few weeks of work ahead of you, and you know that's not going to leave you with a lot of energy to write when you come home. There are more factors that you can ever imagine that have to be shifted around in order to concentrate on the task at hand. And that can cause a writer to hesitate as well. It's nothing to feel bad about. It happens. And if you decide that this isn't the time for you to jump into that particular project...then so be it.   However, you can't let these things destroy your writer confidence.   See...being intimidated by a story, chapter, or important scene, in your project isn't going to be like an explosion at the base of a tower, causing it to crumble to the ground all at once. It's more like an aggressive army of termites. It erodes the foundation in secret. You start making little excuses for why you can't jump into it today. You start getting randomly distracted by things like getting your house cleaned, or a sudden Netflix binge. "I'll do it later" and "I'll get around to it when I have more time" become your mantras, and before you know it...it's six months later and you haven't so much as brought it up on your laptop once in all that time. Don't believe me? Look at your files right now? Do you have any lingering projects that you were going to 'get around to', and haven't? When was the last time you opened that file? It might be longer than you think. Hehehe! It usually is for me.   So how can we fix this?   I think the first step in starting this new project or getting a previous project back on course comes from asking yourself...'What am I so afraid of?' When I mention fear, I'm not talking about outright TERROR or anything! Hehehe, it's not that serious. But something is stopping you from sitting down and typing out the thoughts and emotions in your heart. What is it? What's bullying you out of tackling the next chapter? Find out what is giving you the most hesitation, and give it some thought. Loosen that knot. And be brutally honest with yourself. Maybe you don't like where the story is going. Maybe you're bored with it. Maybe some negative comments on the last story made you doubt your abilities as a writer. Maybe you have such high expectations for this next chapter that you worry you're not up to the task? Whatever it may be...find it, face it, and think about how you might be able to get around it. Diagnose the problem so you know what to fix. As long as you keep putting it off or making excuses, the actual issue that you might be trying to avoid is going to remain vague and unclear. In fact, you may deny that there is a problem at all. "I can't write tonight because...it's National Hot Dog Day! That's all." Hehehe, yeah, that's not a reason.   The second step? Take a leap of faith. Find a few minutes of peace, open that file up...read what you've read so far, maybe doing a soft re-edit and making a few changes along the way, and then move right into the next sentence without hesitating. You just read what you wrote, your memory's been refreshed, you've got the file open, your fingertips are touching the keyboard...do it. Right then and there. Pick up where you left off and just start writing again as if it had only been a few hours since your last entry. If you're starting something brand new from scratch, and you're not sure how to begin...stare at that blank scene and think about ONE thing that you want your readers to know about your main character. And then create an opening scene that displays that one trait or attribute (or flaw). Put them right in the middle of it. Like, let's say that your protagonist is madly in love with some boy on the basketball team, right? Your first sentence...   "I don't even really like basketball all that much. But I show up to the high school games for 'him'. Only for him."   This is an opener that you can easily build off of. That little bit of text both gives answers and creates questions. The answers? This person is probably in high school. He's infatuated with someone on the team. He doesn't like sports. The questions? Who's speaking right now? Who is 'him'? Why is he so infatuated with him? You've immediately planted the seed, and you know have avenues to pursue your next few sentences. You can get into the thoughts and feelings of the main character, or you can describe the beauty and allure of the boy he's watching on the court. You end up writing a few more sentences to complete your thought...and that thought leads to a few more thoughts. You're already a few sentences deep into this new project, right? You might as well follow that path to the next logical idea. And when you complete that thought, you open the door to two or three more things that you might be able to add. Before you know it, you might be 1000 words into your project, with enough inspiration to keep moving forward. Sometimes, getting your brain to operate in that creative mode will create the momentum needed to get things started, and far enough along to actually enjoy yourself again instead of worrying about whatever problem you had getting started in the first place. Believe me, it works. But only with practice.   I feel much more confident when I play around with my stories and sort of feel my way through it. I have to put things into motion, and that takes a push and a few extra nudges when I feel myself getting distracted again...but once I actually start writing and get my wheels turning again, the intimidation of taking that project head on ceases to be a problem. I think about what I'm feeling, and what I want a certain scene to accomplish, and I just keep feeling my way around until I feel good by what i see on the screen. That doesn't mean that everything I write is going to be flawless or error free. I don't even worry about that part. The emotion is what matters most. Capturing that moment, and bringing it to the people reading. Most of the time, I'll start a sentence without any idea as to how it'll end. The same way that I might have a spoken conversation with a friend. I don't plan what I'm going to say ahead of time, or what he/she will say after that, and how I'll respond. Stay in the moment. That's important. more times than not, the intimidation you feel is coming from this magnificent vision of what the final product is going to be. But you haven't built it yet. Don't start worrying about the dangers of life on Mars when you haven't even figured out how to get there yet. Hehehe, one brick at a time.   I'll just start writing a sentence, let the emotion sort of swirl around in my head for a bit, and I may stop halfway to stare off into space for a second or two, trying to find that one magic word to add next...and then keep going. Don't worry about it being good enough. Worry about it being honest enough. Take one step, and then another, and then another. Learn to trust your instincts. The only way to do that is by putting your instincts to work for you. They're like any other muscle in the body. You have to give them a workout in order to strengthen them. Build them up, sentence by sentence, through little leaps of faith.   With time and practice, it'll become second nature to you. Your confidence will grow, your instincts will become more involuntary...and then...there will be these truly magical moments when you truly feel in tune with what you're doing. You own it. You start typing and you feel as if you're in complete control of everything that you're doing, to the point where you might get in the zone and turn out half a chapter in one sitting. Let me tell you, that's the greatest feeling in the WORLD! There are nights when I feel like I'm playing this keyboard like a piano at the Philharmonic! And when I click that 'save' button...I'm truly proud of the work I put in, and get excited for the reaction I might get back from the readers.   Now...mind you...I might come back the next day, look at it, and rip it to pieces again, because we're all our own worst critics. LOL! But at least I put the work in, and I got it done. That hesitation that I felt because I was intimidated by my own expectations of what I wanted the story or chapter to be didn't beat me. It didn't bully me out of my creative expression, and once I actually made the decision to get it started, it wasn't anywhere near as scary as difficult as I thought it would be. But it will be a leap of faith. Each and every time. That's not going to change, but you learn to deal with it. And before you know it...you'll have much more written than you ever though possible.   As always, I hope this article helps any of you guys who might be struggling with a few 'I'll get to it later' issues as well. Whether it comes to you starting something new, getting back into something old, or even going back to edit and ultimately publish a story that's already finished...you can get it done. Just find your earliest opportunity to sit at your keyboard, and dive right in without waiting. You're all creative people, and you've spent a long time honing your craft. Have enough faith in your instincts to carry you once you make the effort to get started. Start writing, and let your instincts take the wheel from there. They won't fail you.   Take care! And I'll seezya next weekend!  

Comicality

Comicality

 

Gay Bookstore Goodness

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/03/group-strangers-shopping-bookstore-suicidal-gay-man-called-shop/#disqus_thread   If you want a feel-good story that will probably make you cry, then click the link.   I really needed something like this when I came out.  I didn't get it, and it was a very rough time.  Maybe I'll write about it at some point, but not right now - I want to function for the rest of the day.    

Wayne Gray

Wayne Gray

 

GA's Newest Classic Author: Mike Arram

Please join us in congratulating Mike Arram on becoming GA's newest Classic Author! @Mike Arram has been writing and posting stories on the Internet for many years, and we're pleased to announce that he's now started to also post them here at Gay Authors. Mike Arram is the author of The Peacher stories, The Crown of Tassilo, as well as the first story he's posting here, Terre Nouvelle.   Checking out Mike's bio, we learn that even as a child and then into adulthood, he has an amazing imagination to create worlds and characters to fulfill them. Some with a touch of royalty or pagentry, some with a touch of sci-fi, more than a few gay characters, it all adds to the escape that readers find themselves absorbed in.   As Mike says, 'My characters live in that alternative place as well as in the alternative worlds.'   Leave a note here to congratulate Mike Arram on his promotion, and then check out his stories here!

Graeme

Graeme

 

Pickled Garlic

I was out with Michael last week, in a local grocery store and while He was looking at poppadoms ... i wandered off.    Wow, i found pickled garlic. Pickled garlic if you've never had it, is a wonderful thing. Delicious with a steak, a good sandwich or served with antipasto or just cold cuts.  But i digress, this store, which has ideas above its station, had small jars of pickled garlic on SALE for $7.99. I mean if there were two full heads of garlic in there i'd be surprised. The regular price is $10.99.   Mmmm, i wanted some.  But this boy is not paying that price.   Fresh pickles are a glorious food. They are still recognizable as what they were. Cucumber still has it's clean flavour, onions are still aromatic and garlic is garlic just mellower.  I often quickly pickle some red onion to have with burgers or on curry. You only need a few hours, the produce of course, and a few basic ingredients.  Things like mustard seed, fennel seed, whole black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, red or white vinegar and some sugar.    All those are nice but i often don't have them, well except the peppercorns (always grind your own pepper!!).  So i make the pickling liquid from what i have.. sometimes water, vinegar, pepper and sugar. If i have whole seed mustard i add a bit, or even just some ballpark or Dijon... just a teaspoon or so.    Pack your sliced onion, or cucumbers or nice garlic (buy the freshest you can find) peeled of course into a heat proof jar. Pour the pickling liquid over the top. Put on the lid and stick it in the fridge.  In a few hours... heaven.  There is a basic recipe below but add a bay leaf and a couple of peppercorns if that is all you have in...   I'd recommend dropping the garlic cloves into a bit of boiling water and cooking for 3 minutes.  Then pack in a heatproof jar. Then add the following to small saucepan and boil until  the sugar disolves. Then pour over your garlic:   ·        ⅔ cup water ·        ⅓ cup white or red vinegar ·        ¼ cup sugar ·        1¼ teaspoons kosher salt ·        ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns ·        ½ teaspoon mustard seeds ·        ½ teaspoon fennel seeds ·        ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper Refrigerate the jar(s) for up to a month.   But don't keep it... eat it!!   The above can be used for any pickled vegetable. These need to be in the fridge and eaten. They will not last like your jar of Vlasics !!   Enjoy ... Make your own food!  

Mikiesboy

Mikiesboy

 

Deconstructing Gender Culture

To preface: This is my blog, I have posted about politics and philosophy on it before, and I will continue to do so. I welcome discussion in the comments, but I ask that you keep it civil. Misogyny and transphobia will be reported, even if it means that this blog post is taken down. If you put words in my mouth, you will be summarily ignored. This is a personal and important subject to me. Please respect that.      Today is International Women's Day.   I've always considered myself a feminist. I firmly believe that the same societal structures that are to blame for misogyny are also to blame for homophobia, transphobia, and the oppression of many other marginalised groups. You can call it the patriarchy if you like, but that word tends to rub some people the wrong way. You could also call it toxic masculinity, but that one just pisses people off. So I'm not going to call it either of those things.    I am simply going to call it culture.   We exist within a culture, a social framework, that teaches us certain established truths. I'll preface my argument by pointing out that individuals are not to blame for this. It's not the fault of straight, white men. It's not the fault of Donald Trump or Harvey Weinstein or Brett Kavanaugh. It is an insidious culture that has grown as the result of centuries of social norms. While the actions of individuals and groups continue to perpetuate it, these people are not to blame for the culture (though they should still be held responsible for their own actions, as should anyone).   Religion holds a great deal of responsibility for spreading this culture, Abrahamic religions in particular. Many older religions and cultures from around the world have no problem with homosexuality, operate with multiple genders, and have large degrees of gender equality. But even today, people use religion as an excuse for bigotry. It has been, and continues to be, a very effective form of social control. And countries where these bigotry based religions have grown strong roots, have spread the culture further via colonialism. India had no sodomy laws before the British arrived. Most African countries had no sodomy laws before the British arrived. Yet today, homophobia runs rampant in many of these countries.   A lot of homophobia is based on the premise that gay men are effeminate and therefore lesser. Some gay men internalise this and feel that if they were to bottom they would lose some of their masculinity. The submissive role is the 'female' role. Conversely, gay women and other women in same-sex relationships are often asked which one of them is the 'man' in the relationship. For some lesbians this is also internalised; many butch lesbians think less of lipstick lesbians, that is to say gay women who dress and act in a more traditionally feminine way.    How anyone can deny that these aspects of homophobia were born from sexism and misogyny is beyond me. Sexism and homophobia are steady bedfellows. They perpetuate one another in the culture.    I said I wasn't going to call it toxic masculinity, but toxic masculinity is a symptom of the culture. And again, it has nothing to do with individuals. Nor is it saying that masculinity in and of itself is toxic. It isn't. But there are certain conventions within the culture that are harmful to men and women alike, and toxic masculinity is one of them. Toxic masculinity is when people laugh at men who are sexually assaulted by women. Toxic masculinity is when a man feels ashamed because he cries. Toxic masculinity is when we say 'boys will be boys' when a child hurts another or when young men sexually harass. Toxic masculinity is when a man reacts to strong emotions with aggression instead of facing them head on. It's when a man takes up so much space that it infringes on the space of other people. Many women also perpetuate these ideas, by demanding that men be strong, and by teaching their sons different values than they teach their daughters. And all that is also a symptom of culture.   Another symptom is cis-sexism. This comes in many forms, and often from within the LGBTQ and women's movements. Many gay and straight people are downright rude, sometimes even violent, if they find out that a person has other genitalia than they expected. When I began my journey in earnest, one of my friends who's a lesbian said to me, 'I accept that this is who you are, but I don't get how wearing men's clothes makes you not a woman. I wear them all the time because they're comfortable and I like them.' Certain women's rights activists will use a similar argument. They'll say that girls think they're boys because they prefer dressing like them. Why do our daughters think they want to be men? And, conversely, they say of trans women that they're perpetuating stereotypes by conforming to traditional beauty standards and femininity. The truth is, in order to pass as the gender we are, we have to. I like pretty dresses and heels and make-up, but I don't feel comfortable wearing them right now because I would be immediately read as female. A friend of mine who's non-binary trans and on hormone replacement therapy, didn't dare cut their hair until they had facial feminisation surgery. Because they felt like they would have looked too masculine. Gender expression is a way to make our outward appearance match what's inside us.   These are all symptoms of culture. Of homophobia, sexism, and cis-sexism. And they go hand in hand.   Because we are taught from birth what we are supposed to be like, based on our genitalia. Girls are meant to like pink and play with dolls and like princesses and frilly dresses. Boys are meant to wear blue and play with soldiers and play war and like action movies. We are taught this to the point where it becomes hard-wired. We're not necessarily taught this by individuals, but by the culture that we live in. Many women experience internalised misogyny, where traditionally 'girly' things are shunned. How often don't we hear, 'Oh, I was always a tomboy, I preferred hanging out with boys, girls are just so much drama.' And there is value placed on that, on being less feminine, because being feminine is being lesser. Culture teaches us so, even if we don't realise it. Even if we don't believe it.   Nobody lives in a vacuum. It's easy to think, oh no, I'm too smart to be affected by advertisement or TV or books or the news. You're not. You are affected, whether you're aware of it or not. The dominant culture in which you live will always affect your morals, your thought patterns, your feelings. The way we're raised affects us, and we're not solely raised by our parents. We are raised by culture. We can break free of that. We can learn to tell ourselves, this thing that I'm feeling or thinking right now, it's not true. But teaching yourself not to feel it at all is extremely difficult. I know I've never been able to, as aware as I am of why I feel that way. Anyone who's ever suffered from depression, for instance, can tell you how hard it is to unlearn internalised basic truths that we've learned about ourselves based on our experiences, truths that aren't true, but that's a topic for another day.   One of the ways of making yourself aware and ridding yourself those thoughts and feelings is to deconstruct. To ask why. 'It's just the way things are' is not an answer. Things that are 'just the way things are' are born out of centuries of building a social framework. They are agreed upon truths that we simply accept. Deconstruct them. Pull them apart and look at the individual parts of these structures. Try to understand them, and you'll find that they don't make much sense.   As a person who straddles the gender divide, I probably feel these things more strongly than most. I'm in a unique position to notice. I didn't make a choice not to conform; I innately don't. It's the same for other members of the LGBTQ community of course, but for trans people it's something we're reminded of daily, and something we are forced to be acutely aware of if we want to live as anything like who and what we are. And we need every tool in the toolbox to do so.    I was going to march today, but I have a very persistent cold and don't feel well enough for that, sadly. I usually march every year, with the sex workers and the trans lobby; the feminists the traditional women's movement don't want, because we break with their established truths; that being a woman is a fact of gender assigned at birth, and that anyone who sells services of a sexual nature is a victim (also a debate for another day, and one I don't want in my comments today, please). It's an odd contradiction, to first deconstruct the idea that women are inherently unable to do the things that men do—that they are innately nurturing and are supposed to give birth to and raise children, that they can't do what they want with their own bodies, and so on—only to turn around and perpetuate the idea that chromosomes is what makes a woman and to dictate what others do with their bodies. It also utterly erases the existence of intersex people.   In spite of this, I continue to consider myself a feminist, just as much as I consider myself an LGBTQ activist. I don't have to be a Woman™ in order to do that, and even though I'm not, I'm still a person with a vagina and many things that the women's movement stands for are important to me. My feminism is about deconstructing a culture that hurts women, men, intersex people, non-binary trans people, binary trans people, gay and bisexual people; in short, everyone. It's nobody's fault, but it is everyone's responsibility, so that we can all be free.   I kind of went off on a tangent I hadn't planned for this, and went way more philosophical than I had planned. Like I said, I welcome discussion if anyone has anything to say, but keep it civil, consider arguments put forth before you react, and don't put words in people's mouths. In short, don't be a dick. The more likely scenario is that no one will comment at all.    Happy International Women's Day.   PS: I wrote this little batch of poems a while back, and it seems apt to share it with you today. You can also read it here.     #NotAllMen   1. misandrist     you said i hated men and i said  that would be weird  since i’m transmasculine     you said  there was nothing masculine about me  that if i wanted to be a man i should  act like one  and i said  if being a man means being a dick, then i know few men     you said  fuck this  and went home        2. incel     she said no  so he took a gun  and shot three people  for the crime of being women  who wouldn’t have sex with him        3. feminists     on the eighth of march  you said  when is men’s day?  and the feminists said  it’s on the nineteenth of november     on the nineteenth of november  you said  fuck this  and went home        4. traps     are trans women traps?  are traps gay?  is it wrong to be gay?  is it, though?        5. masculinity     as the women aired their grievances  you said  what about the men?  and the women said  fine  let’s talk about the men     let’s talk about men’s rights  paternity leave  male birth control  domestic abuse against men  men who are sexually assaulted, by other men and by women     let’s talk about why men can’t wear dresses  about homophobia  about aggression and anger     let’s talk about why men get depressed  why men kill themselves  why men don’t report rape  why little boys don’t cry  let’s talk about why men are afraid to be vulnerable     let’s talk about masculinity  and which parts of it are toxic     and you said  fuck this  and went home        6. man     what makes a man a man?  why am i not a man?  or am I?  it doesn’t matter  but it does  and sometimes i wonder  do i want to be?  when i know that most men  will not accept me as one of their own  not as long as i look like this        7. activism     you said  do something  help us  fix our problems  and lists were made  ideas shared  we said  here, these are things you can do  to fix your problems and make your lives  better     here are your tools  organise  protest  march  fight  like we have done     but you said  fuck this  and went home

S H E L T ER: Soundtrack

Soundtrack       Tracks Only Once Away My Son (Brian Eno) - Main Title: Waking up to the end of the world Shelter (darkDARK) - The Shelter’s Theme (Don’t Fear) The Reaper (HIM) - We Could Become Like They Are Purgatory (Digital Daggers) - The Realities of the Shelter The Dead Are Dumb (Nothing) -  Not so much . . . Teenagers (My Chemical Romance) - When in doubt, blame the kids . . . Wicked Game (HIM) - Finding Love In The Death The Crow (Hurts) - The Plague Theme Somebody To Die For (Hurts) - The Truth of Boys and Heroes Apocalypse (Cigarettes After Sex) - Life Found Where Lips Touch Your Pain Is Mine Now (Title Fight) - Pain Shared Is Love Found Soma Dreams (Rhian Sheehan) - Making Out In A Dark Place No Longer Making Time (Slowdive) - Time Grows Short Heroes (Depeche Mode Cover of Bowie) - A Man Going To The Wall Bravado (Rush) - Against All Odds, Odds Against All Zombie Apocalypse (Base Case) - Battle For The Shelter Zombie Killer (Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard) - ‘If They’re Already Dead, You Can’t Call Them Casualties’ Subhuman (Throbbing Gristle) — Descending Into Madness Whispers (Vancouver Sleep Clinic) - When Walker Speaks Ruin (So Below) - Nowhere Is Safe Departure (Hundredth) - Making An Escape Leave Me Behind (No Sun) - Sacrifices Along The Way Survive (Chelsea Wolfe) - Finding The Will To Survive Disintegration (Chromatics) - Looking For A World That Is Gone The Dead Next Door (Billy Idol) - ‘You and me and the Dead next door’   ——————————————————————————————————————————— Only Once Away My Son (Brian Eno) -  Main Title: Waking up to the end of the world   Apocalyptic Instrumental   Shelter (darkDARK) - The Shelter’s Theme   I keep trying to take Shelter . . .   (Don’t Fear) The Reaper (HIM) - We Could Become Like They Are   All our times have come Here, but now they're gone The seasons don't fear the Reaper Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain   And we can be like they are   Come on, baby... Don't fear the Reaper Baby, take my hand... Don't fear the Reaper We'll be able to fly... Don't fear the Reaper Baby, I'm your man...   Valentine is done Here, but now they're gone Romeo and Juliet Are together in eternity... Romeo and Juliet   40, 000 men and women every day... Like Romeo and Juliet 40, 000 men and women every day... Redefine happiness Another 40, 000 coming every day...   We can be like they are   Come on, baby... Don't fear the Reaper Baby, take my hand... Don't fear the Reaper We'll be able to fly... Don't fear the Reaper Baby, I'm your man...   Love of two is one Here, but now they're gone Came last night of sadness It was clear we couldn't go on The door was opened and the wind appeared The candles blew and then disappeared The curtains flew and then he appeared   Saying, "Don't be afraid"   Come on, baby... And we had no fear And we ran to him... Then we started to fly We looked backward and said goodbye We had become like they are We had taken his hand We had become like they are   Come on, baby... Don't fear the Reaper   Purgatory (Digital Daggers) - The Realities Of The Shelter   Bleak Instrumental   The Dead Are Dumb (Nothing) -  Not so much . . .   Always try to keep up  Always fall behind  Belly pains  And headaches  Inside you    Isn’t it quite the same  And isn’t it such a shame  Too heavy for the lightness  But weightless in the rain  All our words are wasted    Never fails to fail me  Never say never  Loathing phase  Self-inflicted pain  I’d never  Oh, I’d never   Teenagers (My Chemical Romance) - When in doubt, blame the kids . . .   They're gonna clean up your looks With all the lies in the books To make a citizen out of you Because they sleep with a gun And keep an eye on you, son So they can watch all the things you do   Because the drugs never work They're gonna give you a smirk 'Cause they got methods of keepin' you clean They gonna rip up your heads Your aspirations to shreds Another cog in the murder machine   They said all Teenagers scare The living shit out of me They could care less As long as someone'll bleed So darken your clothes Or strike a violent pose Maybe they'll leave you alone But not me   The boys and girls in the clique The awful names that they stick You're never gonna fit in much, kid But if you're troubled and hurt What you got under your shirt Will make them pay for the things that they did   They said all Teenagers scare The living shit out of me They could care less As long as someone'll bleed So darken your clothes Or strike a violent pose Maybe they'll leave you alone But not me   Oh yeah   They said all Teenagers scare The living shit out of me They could care less As long as someone'll bleed So darken your clothes Or strike a violent pose Maybe they'll leave you alone But not me   All together now   Teenagers scare The living shit out of me They could care less As long as someone'll bleed So darken your clothes Or strike a violent pose Maybe they'll leave you alone But not me   Teenagers scare The living shit out of me They could care less As long as someone'll bleed So darken your clothes Or strike a violent pose Maybe they'll leave you alone But not me   Wicked Game (HIM) - Finding Love In The Death   The world was on fire, no-one could save me but you It's strange what desire will make foolish people do I'd never dreamed that I'd need somebody like you And I'd never dreamed that I'd need somebody like you   No I don't want to fall in love This world is always gonna brake your heart No I don't want to fall in love This world is always gonna brake your heart, with you   What a wicked game to play To make me feel this way What a wicked thing to do To let me dream of you What a wicked thing to say You never felt this way What a wicked thing you do To make me dream of you   No I don't want to fall in love This world is always gonna brake your heart No I don't want to fall in love This world is always gonna brake your heart, with you   The world was on fire, no-one could save me but you It's strange what desire will make foolish people do No and I never dreamed that I'd love somebody like you I'll never dream that I lose somebody like you, no   Now I want to fall in love This world is always gonna brake your heart Now I want to fall in lust This world is always gonna brake your heart, with you   Nobody loves no-one   The Crow (Hurts) - The Plague Theme   Golden days  Are so far away There’s a black rain Up above Out on the wind  You hear her call She’s under your skin And you drift away   She spreads her wings  When she’s gonna fly The Crow… If you make her sing  When she’s coming  She will let you know   Her frozen hand Takes your breath away As she leads your soul Through the dark You know that she came To break your heart But on then she moves You fall in love again   She spreads her wings When she’s gonna fly… The Crow If you make her sing When she’s coming She will let you know   She spreads her wings And they black out the sun You won’t hear her sing And she’ll leave When the damage is done   Cold heart Warm gun A dying sun Bright eyes Black soul She’ll never let you go   And she spreads her winds When she’s gonna fly… The Crow If you make her sing When she’s coming She will let you know   She spreads her wings And they black out the sun You won’t hear her sing And she’ll leave When the damage is done    Somebody To Die For (Hurts) - The Truth of Boys and Heroes   I could drag you from the ocean I could pull you from the fire And when you're standing in the shadow, I could open up the sky And I could give you my devotion, until the end of time   And you will never be forgotten,  With me by your side   And I don't need this life I just need . . . Oh oh oh   I've got nothing left to live for Got no reason yet to die But when I'm standing in the gallows I'll be staring at the sky Because no matter where they take me In death I will survive   And I will never be forgotten With you by my side   Cause I don't need this life I just need Somebody to die for Somebody to cry for When I'm lonely   When I'm staring in the fire I will look him in the eye And I will let the devil know that  I was brave enough to die And there's no hell that he can show me Deeper than my pride   Cause I will never be forgotten  Forever I'll fight   And I don't need this life I just need Somebody to die for Somebody to cry for When I'm lonely   And I don't need this life I just need Somebody to die for Somebody to cry for When I'm lonely   Don't go gentle into that good night Rage on against the dying light    Apocalypse (Cigarettes After Sex) - Life Found Where Lips Touch   You leapt from crumbling bridges watching cityscapes turn to dust Filming helicopters crashing in the ocean from way above   Got the music in you baby, Tell me why Got the music in you baby, Tell me why You’ve been locked in here forever & you just can’t say goodbye   Kisses on the foreheads of the lovers wrapped in your arms You’ve been hiding them in hollowed out pianos left in the dark…   Your lips, My lips, Apocalypse   Go & sneak us through the rivers, Flood is rising up on your knees Oh please… Come out & haunt me I know you want me Come out & haunt me   Sharing all your secrets with each other since you were kids Sleeping soundly with the locket that she gave you clutched in your fist…   When you’re all alone I will reach for you When you’re feeling low I will be there too    Your Pain Is Mine Now (Title Fight) - Pain Shared Is Love Found   Swept in like a dream Drew the sting Then I died White light trembling Shadows bring Tears to eyes   Twisted in a summer mist Burned alive a while Wrestled with your loneliness Echoed from a wire   Gatling gun Your pain is mine now See-through smoke Clouds warping around  I know you're scared Don't cry your eyes out Gatling gun Under your spell now   Swirling through a tunnel view  Tangled in the dark Flirting with a kiss of death A canopy of stars You'll sleep beneath them I'm in your room I am your nightmare I am the moon   Cry Die Boo hoo Boo hoo   Gatling gun Your pain is mine now See-through smoke Clouds warping around  I know you're scared Don't cry your eyes out Gatling gun Under your spell now   Gatling gun Your pain is mine now See-through smoke Clouds warping around  I know you're scared Don't cry your eyes out Gatling gun Under your spell now    Soma Dreams (Rhian Sheehan) - Making Out In A Dark Place   Light and Sensual Instrumental    No Longer Making Time (Slowdive) - Time Grows Short   Come anyway Say you're clean, you like it that way You got a new boy He keeps it light, you like it that way Who cares anyway Oh lord I remember the days And all those nights When you wanted so much more   Honey, don't wait too long We're no longer making time Forever we'll be Together, we breathe No longer for too run   Come anyway Come on down in your Green eyed way Comes and it goes You come around and I don't know why Just lovers and life Common ground, Yeah there's no surprise Just holding your arms Holding on till the fear, It goes   Honey, don't wait too long We're no longer making time Forever we'll be Together, we breathe No longer for too run   Who cares anyway Oh Lord, I remember those days And all those nights Holding on till the fear, it goes    Heroes (Depeche Mode Bowie Cover) - A Man Going To The Wall   I, I will be king And you, you will be queen Though nothing will drive them away We can beat them, just for one day We can be Heroes, just for one day   And you, you can be mean And I, I'll drink all the time 'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact Yes we're lovers, and that is that Though nothing, will keep us together We could steal time, just for one day We can be Heroes, forever and ever   What d'you say? I, I wish you could swim Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim Though nothing, nothing will keep us together We can beat them, forever and ever Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day   I, I will be king And you, you will be queen Though nothing will drive them away We can be Heroes, just for one day We can be us, just for one day   I, I can remember (I remember) Standing, by the wall (by the wall) And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads) And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall) And the shame, was on the other side Oh we can beat them, forever and ever Then we could be Heroes, just for one day   We can be Heroes We can be Heroes We can be Heroes Just for one day   We can be Heroes   We're nothing, and nothing will help us Maybe we're lying, then you better not stay But we could be safer, just for one day Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh, just for one day    Bravado (Rush) - Against All Odds, Odds Against All   If we burn our wings  Flying too close to the sun  If the moment of glory  Is over before it's begun  If the dream is won --  Though everything is lost  We will pay the price,  But we will not count the cost    When the dust has cleared  And victory denied  A summit too lofty  River a little too wide  If we keep our pride  Though paradise is lost  We will pay the price,  But we will not count the cost    And if the music stops  There's only the sound of the rain  All the hope and glory,  All the sacrifice in vain  And if love remains  Though everything is lost  We will pay the price,  But we will not count the cost    Zombie Apocalypse (Base Case) - Battle For The Shelter   Dubstep Nightmare    Zombie Killer (Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard) -  ‘If They’re Already Dead, You Can’t Call Them Casualties’   Special forces, black ops It won't go down On our watch Slowmo killin' Slowmo killin' Battle tested and battle ready For the biggest fight of our lives (You know we're ready!) The few, the proud, the deadly Hold strong and hold steady It's the zombie apocalypse, boys Whole life come to this moment This is what I'm made for Don't come close cuz' I… might not hold back might blow the whole place, one match I know I won't hold back Every mother fxcker going… down, down, down, d-down, down Every… every mother fxcker going… down, down, d-down, down, down-d-d Every last one going… DOWN I was fxcking made for this I'm a ZOMBIE KILLER! I WAS FXCKING MADE FOR THIS! I'm a ZOMBIE KILLER!   Hours on days Load-loading Aim-aiming High levels of ghost weapon training Hand-to-hand combat Street warfare (YEAH!) We can go there Our team is stacked We got heros-on heros-on heros Fearless And we're coming to your area Cuz' we're here to SAVE AMERICA! Every mother fxcker going… down, down, down, down, down Every… every mother fxcker going… down, down, d-down, down, down-d-d Every last one going… DOWN I was fxcking made for this   I'm a ZOMBIE KILLER! I WAS FXCKING MADE FOR THIS! I'm a ZOMBIE KILLER!   Yo… yo Hand me that kill, Cliff Son, their drainin' my energy Out here got me depending on my enemies Man, you know what I'm about Got that zombie mentality Take a zombie head And hang it right above my mantle piece Snipin' mother fxckers… casually   If they're already dead Can't call 'em causalities   In the day I'm all good Night i don't lose sleep I was fxcking made for this A zombie killin' fiend   I was fxcking made for this I'm a ZOMBIE KILLER! I was fxcking made for this I'm a ZOMBIE KILLER! I was fxcking made for this I'm a ZOMBIE KILLER! I was fxcking made for this I'm a ZOMBIE KILLER! Every mother fxcker going… down Every mother fxcker going… down This is my entire unit… my entire unit This is my entire unit… right here This is my entire unit… this is my unit This is my entire unit… right here Slowmo killin' Slowmo killin' Cuz' we're here to save A… Cuz' we're here to save A… Cuz' we're here to SAVE AMERICA! Every mother fxcker going… down, down, down, down, down Every… every mother fxcker going… (I was fxcking made for this) down, down, d-down, down, down-d-d (I'm a ZOMBIE KILLER!) down, down, d-down, down, down-d-d    Subhuman (Throbbing Gristle) — Descending Into Madness   Subhuman Subhuman!   I see you grunting I see you grunting   Subhuman Subhuman!   I see you grunting  I see you grunting   In the gutter In the gutter   Subhuman Subhuman   You're like a virus in my body Subhuman Subhuman   Subhuman Subhuman   You're like a virus in my body   Subhuman Subhuman   Subhuman Subhuman Drinking dirty water, to make you clean Subhuman Subhuman   Subhuman Subhuman Subhuman Subhuman   You make me dizzy with your disease I want to smash you and feel at ease   Subhuman Subhuman Subhuman Subhuuuuuuuuumaaaaaaaan   Subhuman Subhuman   I see you grunting I see you grunting   Subhuman Subhuman!   I see you grunting  I see you grunting   You're like a virus, a stinking virus   In the gutter   Subhuman subhuman    Whispers (Vancouver Sleep Clinic) - When Walker Speaks   You lost your purpose quietly In the night In your eyes   No paving to your heartstrings On your own Left alone   A silent rush of thunder A voice that pulls you under A whisper that stole you away it all We never fought to lose it We didn't build to burn this You don't have to carry the weight of your sin   We didn't rise to cave in We never left for safety I will not just age to grow weary and bleed   These burdens brought you crashing Under doubt Through the ground They sealed your lips with silence No resistance Not a sound   It's worth too much to give in You gave it all for this    Ruin (So Below) - Nowhere Is Safe   Know enough to keep above Watch you fall back down as we start to run I feel it too as it calls to you Hit the dark, I will come through   You think you're safe right behind the door You think the worst of it happened before You're all alone on the highest floor What are you waiting for?   This is how it feels No use in these tears Shadows interfere Reach into the clear (I take the blame but you never know)   Even out this far Who knows where we are Never where you start We're in the red, in empty air Acting up, don't take me there If you only knew what I've got to lose It's enough that I'm losing you   You think you're safe right behind the door You think the worst of it happened before You're all alone on the highest floor What are you waiting for?   This is how it feels No use in these tears Shadows interfere Reach into the clear (I take the blame but you never know)   Even out this far Who knows where we are Never where you start And now Even though you drag me down I will keep you all around And now Even though you drag me down I will keep you all around    Departure (Hundredth) - Making An Escape   Sad truth The judges rule On who you used to be Not what's new Old spark   The flame burns out We're not the same The smoke pushes out   Was it all just a dream Inside a wide-eyed teen?   New order Lay it all down The old is gone Put it in the ground   New order Lay it all down The old is gone Put it in the ground   Departure Departure Departure Departure Departure Departure Departure    Leave Me Behind (No Sun) - Sacrifices Along The Way   Cleanse me in your fire let me feel the burn of your light before i fade away Indefinite and cold as always leave me behind i swear i don’t mind i’ll find my Disguise under the foliage a mask of dirt and leaves for me to hide behind i’ll Disappear hiding in plain sight the earth will swallow me the soil will surround       My skin i won’t be here anymore i won’t be anywhere    Survive (Chelsea Wolfe) - Finding The Will To Survive   you said you won't break my heart unless you do you said you won't fall apart until the end   did we travel all this way just to survive did you stay another day? we could survive   all the sinners and the saints move in the same direction they walk in place until the end ramble on this barren place we call our home dreams of endless landscapes morphing, in love    Disintegration (Chromatics) - Looking For A World That Is Gone   The Horror, The Horror, The Horror   The Dead Next Door (Billy Idol) - ‘You and me and the Dead next door’   Watch the sky For a reason why I'm safe here Sunday it was part Monday it was none Monday was none For the dead next door One pair of silent terror reins And we're the dead next door   The heat of the day fades away Fades into the night The heat of the day Offering a wedding Suffering away For the dead next door You see One error, silent terror And we're the dead next door   In animal land And dark is in command One thing you should know Don't hear that knocking Don't eat out of their hand Don't stumble, die You say Don't stumble, cry They see you and me You and me With the dead next door You and me With the dead next door You and me With the dead next door

MrM

MrM

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