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Coming soon to a gay narrative site near you...and other musing

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Adam Phillips

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Well, I'm ready to finish up Crosscurrents. The final chapter and the epilogue will be posted no later than Sunday, July 28, at 11:59 pm CDT. :P I hope I still have a few readers who started reading when I started writing it, a decade ago.

 

Wait. A decade?

 

How did this happen?

 

Let's see: In the course of a decade, I got finished with college, got finished with grad school, got a job, got married, started a business, had a kid, quit a job, went full-time at my business, took another part-time job, added another side gig...and had another kid.

 

Whew!

 

Along the way I met hundreds of wonderful people online and made some online friends that continue to brighten my life on a daily basis; I dealt (for the most part) online and offline with some internalized homophobia; I grew in my love for the two most important people in my life: I had my heart broken a couple of times twice through deaths and once through the loss of a relationship that meant the world to me; and I got a much better handle on my tendency to rip people new orifices when they piss me off. I'm not completely healed of that last tendency, but the signs are encouraging. :*)

 

Thanks, everybody who came along for the ride.

 

I'm going to keep writing. And that brings me to the musings upon which I based this entry's title.

 

The next works I post to Gay Authors (after I've finished Crosscurrents next week) will come much more quickly than CC did. I have two short stories already in progress at different places on the web. I'll get those finished first and bring the completed stories to Gay Authors. Then I'm going to turn my attention to the other story ideas I have.

 

The two in-progress stories are called Brushfire and Tumbleweed Connections.

 

Brushfire is about a twentysomething "straight"--and married-with-child--young college prof who is drawn to an airman at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. It's currently only at Tickie's place, though I've done a considerable revise which I haven't gotten him yet.

 

Tumbleweed Connections is a scandalous little short about a twentysomething-young high school football assistant coach who can't get a certain 18-year-old senior football player out of his mind. There are four "chapters" posted to Nifty. There are one or two left to go.

 

Those will be easy to finish quickly. I have several other short stories cooking in my head that I'm itching to get started on:

 

One I'm going to call Piel Canela. It's about a staredown with a young stud behind a cash register at a local restaurant. This one will be primarily prurient in nature, so be careful who's reading over your shoulder at work.

 

Lawnboy is an overdue literary keeping-of-a-promise to a longtime online friend. The title should give you the general ideal. As with "Piel Canela," there will be nothing morally redeeming about this piece. But hopefully it'll have a little art to it, if you're not too...busy to appreciate that kinda thing while you're reading.

 

Remix will follow a young thirtysomething guy as he wakes up on some parallel Earth somewhere in the multiverse (think Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics) and discovers that the elements of his life--including some people--have been...well, remixed.

 

Solve is a dark, disturbing story of love, obsession, loss, and pain, and of being driven toward a solution. A literal one.

 

Small-Town Boys is a coming-of-age slice-of-life short that looks at four high school guys dealing with themselves, their peers, and small-town living. I think this a short story. I'll only know for sure once I start writing.

 

Spunk is a triptych whose individual pieces are united thematically by that white gloppy stuff that gives this short story its name. This one may be the most abstract of all the pieces waiting to get written. Even so, it'll take the reader places. As you might infer. :devil:

 

American Honey is about an unlikely love affair between a married thirtysomething artist and a small-town, newly-graduated high school guy who's headed toward the armed services. Although I have it in my head as a short story, this one may turn out to be a novel, and of all the stuff I'm previewing here, I need it to be the last one I get to. Some of it's already been written, though.

 

I have another novel just barely begun. It's called Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, and it's about that odd interstice between graduation from college and Starting Real Life. It chronicles one summer's misadventures between a Texas boy and an online friend from New York. Said Texas boy goes to meet said online friend at the top of the Empire State Building (oh, shut up; they're gay, okay?), and Mona Lisas lets the reader watch them live out and love out that summer (cue ABBA singing "Our Last Summer") (oh, shut up; I'm gay, okay? Or, at least I'm allowed to carry that card!). This is the story that's going to be the most difficult to write of all those I have in the lineup. But it too is a way of keeping a promise I made some years ago. I have one chapter of Mona Lisas--a prologue--up at Nifty. But I abandoned it years ago. I'll pick it up again and finish it off eventually.

 

A novel that has some considerable life in my head already is Not to Touch the Earth, a book that explores the question, "what if you could go back and take roads not taken?" Better yet, what if you went back and the world actually accommodated some of those choices you were too scared to make back then? This story is something of a period piece and something of a science-fictiony piece. But the SF element is only a vehicle for the story, which isn't SF at all. Anyway, It's set in the early Seventies for the most part, with occasional intrusions from the 21st century. I have a great opening sequence in my imagination. Unfortunately, the way I have it in my imagination is as a movie. I'm not at all sure how to write that sequence. :unsure: That aside, I have much of this story plotted out mentally.

 

I'm anxious to get CC finished and to get on with all these other projects. The thought of it kinda jazzes me.

 

Stay tuned and I'll let you know how it's all going.

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I always thought it was hilarious that Brushfire started out as a very short story that you were writting to get through your writer's block for Cross-Currents, and it's taken a 6-year hiatus and is now a period piece. LOL.

 

I kinda felt like Tumbleweed Connections actually works as is...the story feels complete for some reason.

 

I'm really looking forward to Remix, though. It sounds so damn cool.

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Yes. I was having trouble with CrosscurrentsIt's not that I didn't know the story, heh..it's that the writing wasn't singing any longer. It was flat, heavy, and tiresome, and I just couldn't get the lead out of it. I was pissing and moaning about this to a writer friend of mine. He said, "Get away from it. Write something else. I promise it'll help."

 

So I decided to. I started with an idea based on...based on...well, based on a guy who used to watch over the goat in my basement whenever I had to leave the house. (inside joke). I imagined a scenario involving him, and I starting writing. And it was as though someone flipped a switch. Writing difficulties over.

 

I can honestly say that I think Brushfire features my best narrative writing. But once I'd cleared out the creative roadblocks with it, it had served its purpose. I had no need to finish it. I treated it like an exercise, or maybe as therapy, and I returned to work on Crosscurrents. But it was better than just an exercise. Hell, it was better than Crosscurrents, literary-quality-wise.

 

The other thing you have to remember is that somewhere around all of this I took on the sacred task of trying to finish Sam's It Started With Brian before he died. So Brushfire just sat there abandoned.

 

But I have a warm spot for it...and it will be one of the first two pieces I finish after the end of July, when I'm finished with Crosscurrents. As for the fact that it's now a period piece...yeah. Barely. I'm turning over in my head whether or not I need to update the allusions and bring it into 2013. It can be easily done without hurting the story in the least. Stay tuned.

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Dude, if you bring Brushfire to 2013, it loses the tension of whether or not Fitz could be found out and kicked out of the military. That was such a strong undercurrent to Fitz and who he was as a character. It's your story, though.

 

Anyway, I did enjoy the hell out of the story, especially because I knew from the moment Fitz was introduced who you based him on, and just squealed with joy.

 

I'm looking forward to American Honey as well.

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You know what? You're right about that. I can't bring it into 2013.

 

And...I never squeal.

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