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  • Cole Matthews

    February's Groundhogs and Mexico

    By Cole Matthews

    When I lived in Minnesota, I always called February the longest month.  It was in the depth of winter after the holidays and before the first spring melts were even possible.  It could get depressing, so we began planning a winter getaway to the beach, and Mexico was usually our choice.  However, not everyone had that option, especially going back in history.  Some enterprising people decided to predict just how long the dark and cold of winter would entrap people in their homes and hearths

'A Marvellous Light' by Freya Marske

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars This book contains magic, Edwardian society, arcane puzzles, soul-deep connections, and the British civil service. What a mix. And you know what? It works. It really works. Some reviewers complain there's not enough emphasis on the magic. For me, it's enough. Magic drives the plot, steers the action, and has sufficient internal logic to hold the story together. I don't want to be sitting through pages of lore or mechanics.


northie in Review

Moving Pictures

On a July evening, in 1991, three people are each caught in a moment of indecision, not knowing what the next right thing to do is. Helen has cooked a special, surprise meal for her husband, but he still hasn’t returned home. Paul has parked his car at the side of the road, but he doesn’t know where to drive to next. Craig is working late, but his mind isn’t on work. Moving Pictures is my newly published short story. It tells its story from the point-of-view of three different people,

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Writing

Wait, I wrote that? (Or, how 40 Souls to Keep began its life)

Happy Thursday to me! Thursday is the one weekday I have off. It’s dark, cold and rainy outside at the moment. Perfect for snuggling in front of the fire.  With the dogs.  Which is fine. I love a solid dose of unconditional adoration.  Who develops ideas like I do, I sometimes wonder? When a story starts as nothing more than a concept, leaving you to flesh out everything else -- characters, POV, time period etc. Many of my writer friends focus on characters. They have the perfect

Book Review: The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie

This play opens with a startling image. In a sitting room, at night, a man lies dead in his wheelchair while standing over him is his wife holding the gun that killed him. Onto this scene stumbles a man, a stranger to this household. But instead of calling for the police, or even calling for help, the man, the unexpected guest of the play's title, starts to coach the woman in how to get away with the murder of her husband. Agatha Christie had an equally successful career as a playwright as

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Hollyweird Articulated

I used to have a love of movies.  I have over 1500 DVDs/Blu-Rays/4K disks in my collection.  I could be counted on to buy multiple movies a month. 2022 I bought 5 total new movies.  I upgraded a handful of older things. This fellow, a published author, has articulated the problem rather nicely.   As a gay guy, I rather prefer men.  And Hollyweird can't even fake having those any more. It's a growing problem in books too, especially since 2015.  I was rereading


Myr in Movies

To Sequel or Not to Sequel

Should I or shouldn’t I? This has always been a relatively easy question for me because I have the attention span of a kitten. Rarely have I felt my characters need more once I’m done with them. Of course, they could always have more adventures. I’m just ready to move on. Again, kitten on catnip. When I type “The End” (or “Finis” if I’m feeling bougie) and readers clamor for more, then I feel successful. Yet the idea of writing a sequel makes me twitchy. I’ve noticed that when authors do pr


I originally wrote this blog post in German for another community, but I felt like I give it a try to translate and share it with you folks. This is the first post of a now three series which I’m intending to expand since now and then, I get new ideas or encounter other cases when writing or editing stories. I'm sorry if it appears to be a bit random, but I wrote it as the ideas came to my mind. Make sure, to also check out GayAuthor's writing resources!   I'm sorry if the in


Zuri in writing tips

Our Writing Evolution

Does anyone revisit older, completed stories and update them? Not in the “A Starbucks venti used to cost $2.35 and now it’s $4.00 kind of way.” More in the, “I’ve become better at ‘show, don’t tell’ since I wrote this, so I’m going to rewrite this scene and improve it.”  I’ve struggled with this since rereading some oldies of mine. In the end, I decided to leave well enough alone, even though some of what I wrote in the past makes me twitchy. I feel it’s a very personal decision, with no ri

Book Review: The Final Solution by Michael Chabon

It is wartime England and in a south coast village an old man watches a boy, with a brightly coloured parrot, walk along a train line. The boy is silent, a Jewish refugee from the horrors in Europe, while the parrot cannot keep quiet, happily speaking long sentences in German. The old man, who remains unnamed throughout the novel, is a famous “Consulting Detective” who has retired to the countryside to keep bees. This encounter with Linus Steinmen, the mute boy, draws the old man into his l

Life Comes At You Fast... but that's okay, because I won't remember it.

I logged on to GA on Christmas Eve to show my kid which book I was posting. This happened:   Him: I remember when you wrote this. My favorite part was that chapter when [spoiler].  Me: *stares blankly* Him: You seriously don’t remember writing that part? Me: Sort of? Yes? Him: Wild. Well, you are getting older. Me: Screw you, son. *checks to make sure my socks match* My point, I guess my question, actually, is… is it just me? Have any of you authors out there ever opened a

Libby Drew

Libby Drew in Life and Writing

Book Review: Stonemouth by Iain Banks

Stonemouth is a Scottish seaside town and after five years away Stewart Gilmour returns to it for the funeral of patriarch Joe Murston. Stewart has history with the Murston family, the crime lords of this town, especially with his treatment of Ellie Murston. Added to this is the strange suicide of Callum Murston. Iain Banks’s prose almost effortlessly evokes the Scottish town that has passed its sell-by date and the people who remained there for their many different reasons. He also present

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Book Review: On Our Own by Anne Atkins

The plot of this novel is riddled with cliches. A novelist, Caz, who is staying in a country cottage to write her next book. She meets a young fan, nine-year-old Theo. Through Theo she meets his mother Ann and finds out that Theo's father Alan was murdered three years ago in strange circumstances and the killer was never caught. Then Theo confesses to Caz that he killed his father. Caz and her boyfriend Will set about finding out who really killed Alan. They do and everyone lives happily ever af

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Book Review: Going Down in La-La Land by Andy Zeffer

Adam, an aspiring actor, makes the trip from New York to LA in search of fame and fortune. What he finds is a trip into the underside of fame in LA. Here is a modern-day Rake’s Progress; Adam (the narrator) arrives in LA with such high hopes, he has the looks and talent to be a star, but he finds an unfriendly city where he can’t get his foot on the bottom rung of the showbusiness ladder. This novel could have been a pro-faced, and even homophobic, grime tale, warning about the “evils”

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Book Review: Holocaust Tips for Kids and Smite the Heathens, Charlie Brown by Shalom Auslander

Satire is a difficult form to get right. If it is too humorous then it might not be biting enough; if the satire hits home then it can be dry and even dull, and then it can be humourless and miss its target. These two short stories take a satirical aim at religious persecution and antisemitism in particular. Holocaust Tips for Kids is a young teenage American boy’s view of the Nazi Holocaust. It reads like that teenage boy’s scrapbook, facts and reportage sit all beside the boy’s own w

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

My Naivety Betrayed Me

It was spring 1996 and I was on my break at work. The staff room was an old storeroom at the far end of the ward. A collection of old chairs had been arranged in a haphazard circle around an equally old coffee table. It wasn’t highly decorated, or even been decorated in years, and was barely comfortable, but it was a staff room actually located on the ward. Back then that felt like such a luxury. I was on my own there, so often I had to take my breaks alone so we could maintain enough nurse

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in My Story

Jurassic Park - Movie

This movie was crazy in 1993.  The soaring music, the visuals.  The special effects. The dinosaurs.  The humor. I miss when they made good original movies now and then.  No lectures.  No harassment. Just good entertainment.  They spared no expense


Myr in Movies

Forza Horizon 4

Don't let the slightly older Forza Horizon 4 scare you...  It's a hell of a beauty. This is a really fun game as well. It's on Xbox, obviously, but also Steam I think.  Fun game to mindlessly unwind.  check it out of you like pretty cars and arcade action.


Myr in Gaming


Survivalist's Guide to Spelunking is another book I've supported on Kickstarter that adds to my world building library.  I wanted more ready reference material for dungeon diving details for when I get around to those.  This is also a great RPG reference if you are doing any of those d20 type games  


Myr in Writing

iPad Mini 6 - 64GB

Earlier this year my Samsung Tab S2 finally gave up most of the ghost.  It's just the right size (about the size of a book), that I use it heavily for reading purposes.  This opened me up to replacing and Samsung no longer makes a small size tablet.  In fact, only Apple does with anything that even approaches the power of the Tab S2 I was replacing.  So I went with the Apple iPad Mini 6, 64-Bit Wifi version.  Like all Apple products, it is solidly built.  It's fast and stable.  So, it's been rep


Myr in Gadgets

Book Review: Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why; The Science of Sexual Orientation by Simon LeVay

Gay marriage has been making the headlines recently and there are a lot of arguments for and against it. At the heart of a lot of these arguments is whether homosexuality is “natural” or “unnatural”. Simon LeVay is a neuroscientist and takes an evidence-based approach to his subject. He doesn’t just look at the theories behind human sexuality; he looks at the evidence for those theories, or lack of it. This is what lifts this book head and shoulders above previous books looking at the origi

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Batman Begins

So, I really, really enjoyed this movie.  It had a more grounded comic book movie approach than the over-the-top-campy the George Clooney and Val Kilmer Batman movies went.  And of course, this set up The Dark Knight, one of the best comic book movies ever.  Which, unfortunately was folllowed by the worse Batman movie of all,  The Dark Knight Falls.  The batman movie that is 2.5 hours long with about 5 minutes of Batman.  Ugh.  Stupid. But knowing the end of the trilogy does not stop the gr


Myr in Movies

Gotham - TV Show

Let's see.  This was an interesting show.  I liked a lot of how they approached things, though it got repetitive later. They had good actors on it though.


Myr in Television

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