Each year, Gay Authors sets a number of themes for stories. Typically, there are 4 themes during the year. An author writes a story that is related to that theme and the story is posted as group with the anthology.
These are GA sponsored events.
More extensive details can be found here in the Anthology Forum:
So, personally I've had to deal with some changes. I've had all sorts of issues and still dealing but fighting on. Two years ago I had two detached retinas and had surgery. Last year I ended up having a triple bypass. Add the end of a seven year relationship and things have been in a dark place.
Decided I needed to focus on things I could do.
First up is complete a story I left in limbo. Life changes was originally finished, but the computer I had died and then my life hit the wall. Anyway, I can't remember what I'd had originally so I just wrote a whole new ending. So the story is 8 chapters and an epilogue.
Secondly, I'm finishing a story for the anthology. Seeon and company will be back for this story. With a topic like in the stars how could I ignore him.
Third, Cia has a piece up about writing a story under the theme "Coming Out". Going to try and tackle that as well.
Finally, working on a new story but won't even say anything til that sucker is complete. When it posts I want it all set with no delays
I'll start off by saying I'm healthy for the moment. Last year, it was detached retinas. This year, I had triple bypass surgery. Needless to say, I haven't been in a good place and writing was very sporadic if at all.
I'm trying hard to make a comeback. Right now, I have finished a story for the fall/winter anthology which is being read and commented on, so yeah, something is done.
The final chapter/epilogue for Jonas is written. Now it is waiting on me finding a beta and editor. Yes, the long wait is over.
I have been writing a dragon shifter story. It was put off when a beta read it and we couldn't mesh. Took a while, but finally gone back to it and am determined to finish.
Finally, writing on a story that was begun and was abandoned. It's not because I didn't like it, more like health issues stopped it, and to be honest, I forgot it completely. Anyway, in process of finishing the last three or four chapters. What i did have written was lost when my computer died at the time, so basically been trying to remember what i did, and recreate it.
Sorry for delays, but think I might be ok for a bit. Anyone interested in beta or editor work, let me know.
By Renee Stevens
It's hard to believe that the year is almost over! With the end of the year comes our final 2015 Anthology. The theme for the Winter Anthology was Blackout, and ten authors took the challenge. There are some different takes to the stories and we hope that you enjoy them. Don't forget, if you enjoy a story, leave the author a little note (via review) to let them know how much you appreciate their work! To get you started, here's a brief snippet of each entry. Happy reading everyone!
08:15 AM Redux
Romeo was over an hour late. No texts. No messages. And he had forgotten his keys left on the kitchen table. Julian flicked his finger against the little cake pendant. He had found it on Etsy and immediately bought it. A deceptively realistic slice of strawberry cheesecake, with red sauce dripping down its sides. The whole evening he had been feeling inexplicably on edge.
When the doorbell rang, he breathed out in relief. Finally! Snatching the key chain, he ran into the hall.
Ripping the door open, he grinned. Romeo didn't need to know he had been worried. “Someone forgot their k…” But the smile froze on his face when he saw Ren.
Oh god, not again.
I clenched the steering wheel as the first twinges of pain hit. Maybe I could still make it home before the throbbing started. I’d really hoped the new medication would prevent my migraines. They had for the most part, but occasionally one still managed to slip through the cracks. The fuzziness in my vision had been my first indication that a migraine was looming. The colorful zigzag pattern started at the edges of my vision and proceeded to work its way inward, until they multiplied and blurred even more of my vision. It made it impossible to see clearly, and the only respite from the distorted vision was to close my eyes.
As we passed through the decorated market, lit by the orange glow of ancient lights that simulated ‘sunset’, Marius dragged me across the ‘town square’ at the center of the market past the tall pine tree that grew there, and around the small tables toward the ancient collections stall located against the far wall of the Market Bay. We weaved our way through the throngs of families with children dashing about, the various people surrounding stalls, haggling for the best price, the lines at the food stalls, and others just looking for some excitement. The various stalls had small decorations for the holiday to draw attention to their secondhand and recycled wares. At one stand, a woman was trying to trade a small shirt for a larger one while holding on to a young growing child's hand.
Day and Night
Going to Adam’s, I’ll be back by 9. Love you.
The message sent, Luke quickly put away his phone after making sure once more that a teacher wasn’t in sight. With a sigh of relief, he closed his locker and with everything in tow, made his way to the main entrance.
Autumn had finally set in, the trees were now mostly bare and most of the leaves had finally dispersed, with some colorful patches still seen here and there. With the afternoon sun shining so brightly, Luke hoped it might be a warm day. But after stepping outside the school’s main doors, a cold breeze blew past him. Luke wisely zipped up his sweater and after adjusting his backpack, placed his hands in his pockets.
My head hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. I groaned and sat up, only to immediately lie back down due to the shooting daggers of pain exploding through my skull. What the hell did I do last night? And where the hell was I? I was lying on the floor, as my back was very clearly letting me know. I sat up much more slowly this time, and opened one of my eyes, then the other one.
It was pitch black, wherever I was. The pain in my head lessened to a dull ache. My body felt like it’d been run over by a freight train. I tried to remember the last thing I did, but felt a surge of panic as I realized I had no memory. As in none. I didn’t even remember my name. I fished in my pocket, relieved to find my cell phone. I turned it on, wincing from the bright light slicing through the impenetrable ink.
“No, no, no.” The junk ship assigned to me had parts shaking loose every time I landed, but during my last furlough, it’d supposedly gone through a thorough diagnostic and repair. From the outside, well… it still looked like a rusty pile of shit, but nothing had been dangling from damaged hinges or loose wires for once.
“Fucking Anslough.” He was the lead mechanic. I’d blown him once and then let him suck me off, but his skills had been on par with his repair abilities; I should have known better—on both counts.
Now I was about to crash on an uncharted planet in an unresponsive ship. Hard. I banged on the panel with my fist, and the display lit up once, flickered… then went black. My internal links didn’t work, the backup system was down, the engines unresponsive, and I couldn’t even close the external viewport screens.
Black out – Lights on!
Seeing what is veiled
By the dark.
"... come on, dude, you have to go..."
Colt paused as he passed by Ryan's door. He smiled at the voice of his son's new friend, Trent, from down the street. It had taken Ryan a couple of months before he'd even talk to any of the other teens who played basketball at the neighborhood court. Ryan had come a long way since he'd moved in with Colt and Shane, but he still had a ways to go.
Colt knew Trent was a decent kid, having met his parents at several of their block parties. Trent had caught Ryan watching their pick-up basketball games several times, and even though Ryan had tried to avoid the boy, Trent had been determined to draw him out.
The intermittent rain had begun late the previous evening. As Jessie eased the skiff away from the dock, there had been no sunrise to enjoy―gray clouds blanketed the sky. Heading out on the Guana River, the young man kept glancing towards the west, where the darkness above him appeared to expand with each passing minute. His furrowed brow hinted at the growing apprehension the Texan was experiencing; this one was going to be a big one. The frequency of periods with precipitation and gusting winds steadily increased, as he used the fishing net to retrieve each catch. An hour or so after setting out, Jessie decided it was best he remove himself from the path of the intensifying storm. It was time to return to the environmental station building which had become home to him, Lars, and Aitor over the previous year.
I stood in the entryway of the restaurant, rather disgusted by what I was witnessing. A cook was in clear view in the kitchen window picking his nose. He was really digging in there, and had a haunted, almost vacant look on his scruffy face. I wanted to turn around and walk away, but I couldn’t. For some reason, this place had drawn me.
"Can I help you?" a woman's voice diverted my attention. She was in her late teens, possibly early twenties, and still had a rash of angry acne on her cheeks. Her impossibly blonde hair with telltale brown roots was tied back in a ponytail. Her white shirt had light pink stains on the sides and arms, and her black apron was crusty and smeared with something white and pasty.
He stood in nothingness. Mired. It was an endless void… limbo… and somehow, he knew that. But he was also aware there was a defined path. A direction beckoned, like a pull on his cells, urging him, no, commanding him to obey. He wasn’t supposed to have a choice. He understood that too. Could he accept this new reality? Could he let go? He should be pleased the debilitating pain was gone, yet what it signified was worse, wasn’t it? Yes. His awareness grew, and fed his conviction. He’d be leaving something precious and irreplaceable behind if he took the fated course, the artery he could feel pulsing beneath his feet. Sight wasn’t needed here, though he still possessed functioning eyes, for he could see a light in the distance. It was a heavenly orb that flared gold on the outer edges. The center, though, was the purest white… a revelation that drew him. He had to look away. The power of that light, its beauty and its call, were too strong, too insistent. A siren? A promise? Another chance? He didn’t care. He wasn’t ready. Dammit. He needed time.
2015 Winter Anthology Support Team
Anthology Banner Creation
By Renee Stevens
I know a lot of people have been looking forward to the release of the Fall Anthology. Luckily, the wait is over! Sixteen stories have now been released for your enjoyment. I hope you find something you enjoy and don't forget to leave the author's a review to let them know what you think of their work! Thank you to all the Authors and their teams, the Anthology Proof Team for giving the stories a final polish, AJ for his Tech help, and Mann Ramblings for the Anthology banner!
Julian watched the high rises on the other side of the street. A few bright rectangles here and there showed some people still at work.
Or they'd forgotten to turn off the lights.
It was Friday night. Everyone should be at home with family or at some bar with friends or at an expensive Italian restaurant celebrating their one-year anniversary…
No, no, not going there. Lights…right. The cleaning crew going through the offices? No. Julian’s analytical mind discarded the idea immediately. Then the whole floor would be lit.
Angel or Human?
The alarm breaks the silence of the room, although I am already awake. I reach out and turn it off. All it really means is I have to get up and go to work, nothing I really enjoy, but it is a necessary evil like most things in my life. It is hard to pretend and go through life acting like everyone else, when your own life is totally screwed up. However, that is the normal state of being for someone like me. My parents long ago blurred the line between good and evil, normal and superior, angelic and humanity. After all, I am the proof those two didn’t follow the rules. When an angel and a mortal have a child, their child is called a Nephilim. See, there is good and bad to being a Nephilim. The good being, we can detect lies and have a burning desire to help those in need; the bad, we are always being looked for by the Fallen to switch sides and help drag humanity down. Like all who live, we are neither black nor white, but all of us are really just shades of gray.
As soon as the Supreme Court announced its decision that the right to marry was protected under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, social conservative heads began to explode. Not literally of course, but they couldn't believe they had lost this battle and hadn't gotten their way, so now all people had the right to marry whomever they chose. How were they going to live with this decision and were they now going to be forced to accept gays totally?
The day after this historic decision, social conservative think tanks began to ponder this very issue. Was the war concerning this topic now over and they had to abide by this decision, or did they still have other options to pursue? I'm not saying this was what transpired at each of those meetings, but I believe it gives a fair account and representation of what might have taken place at the various discussions.
“This old mansion looks like a palace in a fantasy movie,” Sally said to her husband as they ascended the stairs to the wide entrance of the hotel.
“Uh,” Sally cried out when she stumbled.
Her husband, Tom, jumped forward to stop her from falling down the stairs. Sally took a deep breath and smoothed down her jacket.
“A broken step,” Tom said, pointing at the step, then took another bite of the turkey sandwich that he had bought in a diner on their way to the hotel.
Exhaling the Past
Fuck. The damn kid was there again. It figured.
I sighed as I dropped my head back against the headrest, wondering again just what the hell I was thinking. It had been several days since he'd been brought in. And, while I'd made my decision then, there was the hope that maybe the kid had gotten scared and gone home.
No such luck. Or maybe it was actually really lucky, depending on how you looked at it. My captain was going to have my head for what I was going to do though. But hell, the kid just looked so much like...
Glimpses in Time
"Jason, what's wrong? You got some lovely gifts for your birthday, but you don't look happy," his mother observed, while looking down at the frown on her son's face.
"I didn't want this stupid truck, that dumb fishin' game or any of that other stuff," he snapped back, not at all happy. "I said I wanted a Barbie and a Disney Princess Songs Palace."
"I know, but Daddy thought you'd like these too," she offered with as much sympathy as she could muster. "Your sister will let you play with her Barbie, so you don't need more."
"Let's face it, the educational system and unions are the two biggest factors affecting our bottom line," Jim bemoaned as he sat down with a bunch of similar minded individuals for dinner.
"I can see why you listed the unions, because whenever a large number of individuals join together they gain greater influence and power, so they become more difficult to deal with. The thing is, I'm confused about why you added education too," George stated and his puzzled expression emphasized the point. "Don't we need a fairly intelligent workforce in order to keep our businesses functioning smoothly?"
I had a problem and didn't know what to do about it. To be more accurate, most of my family had the same problem, but no matter what we did in an attempt to resolve the issue, nothing worked. To put it simply, each of my siblings and I were dealing with the same conundrum, and it was how to escape our father's obsessive and domineering nature.
You see, my father was a super control freak who wanted to manipulate his family like a bunch of marionettes. At home this meant my mother, my other siblings and myself, because none of us dared to do anything without his knowledge or approval. He had each of us under his thumb so tightly that it was difficult for any of us to even breathe without his permission. The only time we were out from under his authoritarian grip was when we were at school, but the principal and teachers knew what he expected and acted in proxy for him. If we were to vary even slightly from his prescribed course of behavior, one of them would immediately report our transgressions to him, and we'd be severely punished.
It's Only Natural
The ring was still too small. However, that fact could hardly come as a surprise to him after all these years of wearing it. The daydreaming man squinted at his manual task, and suddenly saw all too clearly this kind of thing had been happening to him his whole life. He had the perfect metaphor within his grasp as he stood at the kitchen counter.
Every morning since he started to drink this kind of coffee, his cup would be a little too full and he'd have to pour some off. Somehow experience never rose to the level of being able to alter expectations, so he eventually gave up estimating the perfect amount of water to heat for the freeze-dried crystals of his instant caffeine. He told himself he was content to pour the excess of his mistake down the drain.
“I’m dating the quarterback of the football team,” the teen said, smirking at Ben. “His name is Dez, and he’s such a stud.”
The paralegal smiled back and nodded. “That’s terrific, Clay. When did that start?”
“A few weeks ago. He finally asked me to the fall homecoming dance,” Clay said, clasping his hands in front of him excitedly. “We’ve been flirting and stuff and it happened. He’s the man of my dreams.”
“That’s awesome,” Ben said. “I hope he’s good for you.” He looked around his boyfriend’s living room nervously. He was supposed to stay with Rush for the weekend. It had shocked him when Clay Taukkala, the kid from Boy River, answered the man’s door. “When did Rush say he’d be back?”
Out of Focus
Every morning I'm confused when I look into the mirror
Because the face staring back isn't what I expect to see
No! I can't be that person, it just doesn't seem possible
He looks more like my grandfather, but that's not how I feel
Tail to Tell
Marcus had gotten up while it was still dark, grabbed his surfboard and wet suit, and then headed out to his car to head to the beach. He hoped to get his wave of the day shortly after sunrise.
“Good morning, Long Island. This is Danny K, bringing you the news this morning. First on the list is a violent storm that’s due in shortly after day break today. High winds and violent thunderstorms are expected. All beaches are due to be closed down as riptides and strong currents are expected. A fire in—”
Marcus turned off the radio and hurried down the highway to the beach. He knew if he got there before the dawn, chances were damn good that he could get a few rides in before the patrols caught him and forced him off the beach.
The Welcome Home
“It’s time for me to go. Kevin told me so.” The old man’s voice was low, and his breathing labored.
“Don’t say that, Great-Grandpa. Stay… I don’t want you to go.” The boy’s face twisted with the effort of holding back his tears.
“Ninety-three years is enough, buddy. It’s time to go be with Grampy. He needs me.”
The boy hugged his great-grandfather tightly, sobbing into his chest. “But I love you, and I’ll miss you. We need you, too.”
Walking the Line
“I’ll see your fifty and raise you a hundred.” I slid the money to the center of the table and sat back in my chair. I had a great poker face, and did my best to maintain it. I knew Josie well enough to know she was bluffing. I intended to call that bluff, no matter how much it cost me.
The other four players folded in rapid succession, leaving only my best friend and me left in the round. She narrowed her eyes, scrutinizing my face for any ‘tells’. I raised an eyebrow. “Well? In or out?”
“In. You’re bluffing.” She added another hundred to the pile of money in the center of the table. “Ok, show ‘em, big shot.”
I grinned as I spread my cards out face up. “Full house. Read ‘em and weep.” I reached for the money, sure of my victory.
What's Real To Me
We sat down on a bench in the park, enjoying the cool breeze as the sun set. The leaves were dancing all around us as they swayed and glided to the ground. The entire place was painted with the leaves—hues of crimson, orange, and gold making a vivid display on the trees and the earth. I appreciated his company. He was always there for me, since I was a little kid until even now as I just celebrated my twentieth birthday.
His brown hair, usually let down to just graze the nape of his neck, was tied up into a short ponytail he seldom wore. His deep brown eyes gazed over the path as passersby came and went. He hadn't aged a day since I last saw him; his frame was still as firm and solid as when we first met. Even in twenty years, the only difference I really noticed was a beard. He watched the small families playing at the playground with unbridled laughter and mirth. He smiled to himself. I remembered how he'd tag along with me as I explored the forests by our old home, always keeping watch on me when I was still a child. I remember how he would hold my hand as we made our way back to the house even in the dead of night.
You Never Can Say Goodbye
I had just returned home after graduating from college and was planning on taking a short break so I could have some fun before I started looking for a job. I felt I had earned the right to relax and enjoy life for a while since I'd just spent four years studying and meeting all of the course requirements to earn my bachelor's degree.
When I first got home, most of my old friends from high school were there too. They were either home for the summer before returning to college or just taking a few weeks off before starting a job. Seeing there were so many people around that I knew and was friendly with, the first part of the summer was a blast. It was a series of cookouts, parties, clubbing and even a few road trips as we headed to the beach, amusement parks and other places where those our age tended to hang out. As the summer progressed, however, all of the good times began to wind down. Slowly, those beginning their careers left the area, and then those returning to college took off to go back to their campuses. It didn't take long after they left before I became hopelessly bored.
2015 Fall Anthology Support Team
Anthology Banner Creation