Well joining GA has opened my eyes to a lot of different things, and one of them is the Anthology idea.
So summer 2012 was the first time I actually came across anything of the sort, and if it weren't for Bugeye pointing it out to me, it'd have slipped by unnoticed as I was caught up in reading some of the amazing stories on the site.
But thankfully I was encouraged to give it a whirl and submit an entry.
I actually got a good kick out of giving it a go. It was a lot of fun writing and coming up with something a little different. It took three attempts and two changes to what I was working on, but it was a good experience, and now that the whole thing is out there for everyone to read, I'm fairly happy with the result.
I've taken some time out to read through everyone else's entry the last few days, and realise what an amazing bunch of writers there are on GA. Some of these writers I read for the first time through their anthology submission, others I've checked out in the last few weeks.
But what I can say with absolute certainty is that there are some writers that are solid gold in terms of their content and output.
I really enjoyed reading the various entries and seeing the amazing selection in varied interpretations of the subject. That is the beauty of our individual expression. While it'd be easy to rave about almost all of the submissions, I decided that I'd choose my top three and rave about those, so here is my humble opinion in no particular order:-
Caught in a world of post apcolyptic survival, two young people are forced to face a daunting decision that will change their lives forever.
Andy has a remarkable ability to paint a picture of a future as scary as anything you may have viewed watching any of a number of "end of days" movies I could list. His canvas is filled with simple, eloquent brush strokes that paint us a vivid picture of the devastating consequences of man's overwhelming desire to protect and defend himself against himself. Caught up in these consequences of man's innate ability to destroy everything good are two young people learning to survive against all the odds.
I really enjoyed this story for two reasons. It's realism is unnerving and presented in simple, yet detailed precision. It's quite disturbing how easily this could come true.
Secondly it presents a quandary for its central characters that is a fundamental argument of our time. It is one I have sat and debated already with friends over a beer, it is one that our churches struggle with, it is one that society struggles with, and it is woven into the horror of a future world with little hope in such a clever way that show's that even in our future, there is no clear and certain answer to the things that trouble us today.
If your a fan of thrill and wild rides then this is a story for you. This is a display of skill and writing ability that will take you on a voyage of discovery, passion, confusion and decisions.
It is the first time that I have ever read a story and been left completely unsure of what I think. It presents a world that few of us have thought about, few of us will ever understand and even less of us will ever be able to so present so carefully, sensitively or creatively.
CarringtonRJ takes the huge world of sexuality and the overwhelming confusion of desire, lust and sexual identity, throws it in the tumble dryer and pulls a rabbit out of the hat. All while your right there in the middle of the confusion. It is emotional, thought provoking and daunting all at the same time.
When I was finished reading, I was left with a relief that my life is simple and remarkably straight forward in comparison with the central character of this story. It is an amazing tale of one persons struggle to make the right decisions for themselves in that quest for the illusive happiness of acceptance and identity. If your looking for something intense, then hell this is it!
Nothing to do with what I had imagined this is a story about an individual that has to face his past in order to make his future secure.
The great thing about this story is subtle build up that takes you up the mountain to the summit and then whips the expectation right out from under you. I love the intensity of the feelings that the writer is able to invoke through a simple yet complex use of word groups that build the scene perfectly for the purposes of this story. I also like the way the expectations that you form are the complete reverse of the reality for the plot, and how while your attention is drawn to things, it is not till the very end that the mist clears and the full picture becomes painfully clear.
I could go on and on about each submission, these are not the only stories that I enjoyed. I wish I could choose them all, but I set myself a task to choose three, and as hard as that was, these I think are them. I do not want to detract from the fine efforts of any of the other writers, or the opinion of anyone else who reads the submissions and has a difference of opinion. I can only thank everyone for providing me with a lot of enjoyment reading some amazing stories, and congratulate you all for your time and effort. I hope everyone else enjoys the anthology as much as I have, and once more thanks to Bugeye for convincing me to take part.
Thought for today - "I just want to be known for things other than my sexuality" - Eva Mendes
Song for today - Proud by Heather Small