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  1. Did you catch Monday's blog featuring Bill W's story, Consolation Parents? It's a short story written for the 2014 Summer Anthology The Backup Plan. The story is one of many of Bill's short stories written for the anthologies. Have you read them? He explores many different themes, social conventions, and more all packed into tiny bite-sized plots that can capture readers. This one pulled me in as a parent. I picked this scene because it resonated so well with the emotions and showed just how things can be, even in the midst of an emotional upheaval and trouble in family. Sometimes authors can be tempted to take the drama too far, or make things just that much more complicated that creates a situation that goes beyond rea life, but Bill's story felt like a story I could have told or been told by a friend who needed a sympathetic ear through a tough time. To read more click here.
  2. Cia

    Chapter 97

    Going between being scared and being angry and ready to murder the universe made for some very chaotic nightmares and cranky mornings. Aparoe moved out, more to get away from me than because they were done studying Chomper or the bond between us. Because, whatever other worries I had on my mind, his rapid growth and the changes in him were also creating a great day of anxiety in me. Every few days he seemed to gorge himself and then just… spurt up and out. The house could barely take it. Anything breakable had been broken. Our vids had to be locked in a cupboard when we weren’t using them. Technology endlessly fascinated Chomper. He fiddled with machines, tearing them apart and then, miraculously, putting them back together. Mostly. There was one replicator incident that led to a really stinky blob of something that jiggled and made a sound when tried to pick up the plate to recycle the matter. His one word and simple phrases started to get more sophisticated. He followed Captain around, sitting on his hind legs and mimicking him whenever Captain would stop for a few minutes and do some thinking. And all through this, the link between us never wavered. I could hear the thoughts in Chomper’s mind. He sent me pictures. The first time he sent a burst of flames, I ran out of the house shouting for him, planning to douse them… only to find him spouting thin rivulets into the air out of his pursed lips and flapping his wings in glee. “Look!” he cried. “I see.” I pinched the bridge of my nose. “What did we say about fire?” Chomper cut off the flame he’d somehow split into a circle that met in front of his face and dancing eyes. “Fire, hot. Fire, dangerous.” “Yes. And can start a bigger fire.” I waved a hand around the dry scrub around the house. “Especially out here. Be careful. No fire unless you’re right by the water or an adult is with you. Got it?” He nodded, and his wings drooped. Seriously, what was that face? Were his eyes glistening? “Want to show me your tricks?” I was already out there anyway. He perked up, nodding. “Show, show!” I walked him over to the backyard cistern, ready to peel back the cover and douse whatever needed it if his flames got out of hand. Yep, I had more than enough to keep me busy, yet I was slowly going insane each day we didn’t hear from Freska, Danie, and Deke. The wait felt like forever was stretching out into eternity. When the message came, Deke gave the news while Danie sat in blank silence and Freska hovered next to him in the background. She looked nearly as shell-shocked as I felt. “You’re sure?” “Yes, Captain. Danie tracked the ship to a planet not far from Central. It’s just enough out of the way to be discreet, but close enough to make use of all the jump points and networks.” “So that bastard really did have plans within plans within plans,” I whispered. “What?” Deke asked. “Nothing.” I shook my head. “Freska, what exactly did you learn?” “Well, it took some doing to land without being spotted, and then Deke had to hustle me over to the ship in person. He was locked down to remote transfers—someone has been spilling the beans.” “So whoever was employed by Brox on the ship before wasn’t as stupid as we thought they were.” I ran a hand through my short hair. “Cells. They operate though cells so different plans can be happening at the same time. That’s why some of this didn’t really make sense,” Freska said. “And why I wasn’t able to get all the information out of the other ship. It didn’t know about it, because the cell wasn’t using any technology on the ship to communicate or plan. They were dormant.” “Someone helped Lakshou escape,” I said. I shivered, thinking about his ability to influence a person. He’d told me how it worked and what he could do, but was what he told me true? Or did I have to worry about him knowing and being able to do so much more? “They did. And he definitely wants revenge. I think he thought we’d go to that planet, since it’s one the whole crew loved to stop at. Captain Querry never made a big secret of his plans to retire to a rich planet and live the quiet, natural life.” “Yeah, that’s why we’re here.” Quiet, yes. Natural? Yes. Rich planet? Um, no. Try middling to poor with people who might reach out a helping hand if you’re truly down but it might just be to rip your hand off so they can get inside your home and rob you blind. Well, if you’re an off-worlder at least. Not sure what we had to do to be considered natives. Captain’s face was like a carved stone. His back rigid. He stood with his legs apart, his hands locked behind him. “So we know the who. We know the why, or the probable why.” He held up a hand when Aparoe threatened to interrupt. “Or he could know about Sparkles.” “We know the ship does not have the coordinates there.” Freska picked up Danie’s hand, patting the back. “And Danie plumbed the data the ship shared. They definitely don’t know where you are.” “Good,” Captain said grimly. “Then they won’t see us coming. This time, Lakshou won’t be getting turned over to the council. This time, I’m going to handle this my way.” “You mean my way, right?” Deke said, leaning forward with a wicked grin. “That too.”
  3. As the year speeds up, seasons change, and my own kids grow and continue to make me older (so not nice of them!) I often find myself pulled toward stories that feature parents. But not every story is always sweetness and light and happy--and life is truly represented in this tale that will tug at your heart and maybe make you reach for a tissue or two as well. One of Bill's many anthology entries, you will have missed out if you haven't read Consolation Parents before. Length: 5,161 Description: Scott Fisher received an unexpected phone call early one morning, which ended up changing his and his boyfriend's lives. Although they didn't realize it beforehand, they were vital clogs in a contingency plan that had far reaching consequences. A Reader said: Very touching story. Never like tragedy, but happy when things turn out as positively as it did. ~ Quiet Man If you want to spread the word about Bill W'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!
  4. Happy Birthday Cia!! :wizard:


    1. Cia


      Thank you!


  5. To a very special lady!


  6. Cia

    Story Tag Request

    @Brayon We don't have the topic that I can find, but I am not sure if @Myr moved them to a new forum or removed them completely. This tag is something we may be able to look at adding in the near future, but I will be out of town for the next few days. As an fyi, drug use is a moderated subject for stories content. Drug use being included in the story as a graphic element does mean the story must be rated mature. As a graphic subject matter, and one that has negative results, it is one of the subjects that cannot be shown in a positive light (barring legal uses), and stories that include these themes must be included with content warnings, etc...
  7. Cia

    Chapter 96

    “How are we right back where we started?” Deke snarled. His face on the vid wavered, but his expression of frustration was clear anyway. I knew how he felt. Other than the fact I wasn’t in pain, or trapped in a tiny cell, and I had a bond with Captain and the crew that we both trusted at our back to help me… I was sort of right where I’d been when they first found me. My life was being directed by forces outside of my control. Someone, or someones, was arrayed against me. And it wasn’t just me I worried about. I worried about Captain. The crew. Chomper. He’d startled many of our friends who came as soon as Captain called, but he was too damn cute not to pull them in. Even Priella forgot to be nervous around Captain and got down on the floor to play with Chomper. He’d loved her hair, pulling it out of the plait she wore it in. My hair was still short, barely long enough to flop over my ears. Then again, watching her untangle his tiny claws, yet again, maybe that was a good thing. “We can’t think about it that way,” someone said. I glanced up, but I’d missed who spoke. “I agree.” Captain stood. “We have knowledge, skills, and they can’t surprise us.” “But who are they?” I asked. “That might be something Danie can help with,” Freska answered. She shoved Deke aside in the vid. “Move, you take up too much room.” Centered, she smiled. “Hi, guys. So Danie revealed another trick they encoded in his body. He’s able to pick up certain… signals. With that, we’ve been tracking where the ship went.” “How can you know it’s the right ship?” I asked. “These wavelengths are leftover from the ship’s energy waves as it destroyed the planet. Trust me, there’s not two ships just passing through that have the ability to do that.” Danie piped up in the background, but we couldn’t see him. “Right.” I nodded, taking a breath. “So, you think you will be able to find where the ship went?” “And the ship itself. If we can get close enough for me to link…” Freska paused significantly. Not everyone knew of her specific abilities, and it was a closely-held secret of her people exactly how they did what they did. “The ship will sing its every secret.” Captain smirked. “Remind me to give you a raise.” “You don’t pay us anymore, Captain.” “Well then it won’t be much of a raise.” He grimaced. “Thank you guys. Stay in touch. And, Deke, try to stay calm even if you don’t get to go on board and kill anything.” “We will.” She cut the transmission before whatever comment Deke started to snarl could be heard. “He needs a sedative,” Aparoe said calmly. “Added to his food. Continually.” “No drugging the crew,” Captain insisted. “Fine. But we’d all have less of a headache.” Aparoe stood. “You’ve all had the chance to meet Chomper, hear what Kohen and Captain Querry have to say, and we’ve been updated by the crew who are following up on where this all started. Anyone have biological questions for me that don’t invade privacy?” They eyed the room’s inhabitants who didn’t say anything. “Good. I’ll be retiring to my quarters. I want to look at the data from last night’s tests.” Aparoe quickly left the room. Chomper was still larger-sized, coming up to my mid-thighs now. If he reared up on his back legs he was up to my rib cage. And his sounds had morphed into chatter. Mental chatter. He kept up a running commentary of one and two word sentences, mostly demands or exclamations. Between the discussion, Captain’s feelings, my own conflicted emotions, and dealing with him, I was exhausted. I leaned into the warmth of Captain’s body next to mine and started to drift, letting the words wash over me. Plans. Secondary plans. Contingency plans based on the secondary plans going wrong. Defensive plans. Offensive plans. They were really good at this. I wasn’t. My job was to do what kept me safe. Me and Chomper. Later, we had another rare moment of peace. A few of the guards Deke had trained were patrolling outside—warned about our underground threats in case the pack came back—and Aparoe had chosen to eat in their room. “Who do you think it is?” I asked. The thought had been looming on my mind whenever Chomper wasn’t keeping me busy. “One of my enemies? Any number of opportunistic companies, governments, or forces who think you would be valuable who’d managed to covertly flip one of the Brox workers who knew of you?” “What about Sloak’s suggestion of it all being a coincidence? Life does find a way, after all.” “To destroy a whole planet?” Captain raised his eyebrows. “That’s the thing. Someone, on a ship, destroyed the planet where we used to restock our ship’s supplies. That’s a coincidence, maybe, but I doubt it.” “What if….” I paused, looking down at my plate. I swallowed hard, the bite like a rock in my throat. “What if I never stop putting the crew in danger?” “They had the choice to go anywhere else, Kohen. They stayed with us because they’re our family. You’d try to protect them too, if the situation was reversed.” Captain reached out a hand. “Whoever this is doesn’t know where we are. That’s to our advantage too. This time, we have the upper hand.” “Right.” I would find my conviction. “Freska, Danie, and Deke will find out who they are, and then we’ll pick our plan and strike. They’ll never see it coming.” I’d kill anyone who was after those I considered mine. Slowly and painfully. Then if anyone else had plans to hunt us…. Yeah, there it was. So not going to happen.
  8. It's a proven fact that students learn better with visual cues and aids. If you want to teach someone how to do something, or ensure they remember to do something, you show them pictures. Pictures help cue the brain better than words. It's also a proven fact that when teams, companies, etc... are trying to increase productivity, ensure results, etc... they use a visual strategy. Days without injury? Marketing goals? Graphs, charts, we want to sell this many of that product???? Visual goals. They're EVERYWHERE. Now we have them on GA due to Myr's creativity and hard work. GA exists to bring stories to readers and readers to stories. We thrive on communication and feedback. Myr has ensured that we are attempting to employ scientific, PROVEN, methodology in a friendly, fun, way that will be helpful to some, unobtrusive to most, and yet just might help authors out with that end goal. It took time and effort and thought.
  9. Cia

    Chapter 95

    Our bond was still a vital need that thrummed through me, like an itch under my skin I couldn’t scratch that slowly grew to consume me, even with the closeness I had to Chomper and the recognition I’d felt for Sparkles. I leaned into Captain’s body, relishing the skin contact as he cleansed the blood and checked me for wounds again. Nothing I had with them came close to the feeling of complete and utter need I had for him. I’d been forced to do many things with many different aliens, but I was thankful Captain was human. He was everything, and nothing about him felt like anything but sheer comfort and bliss as we touched. I gasped and leaned in as his hands slid down my back. “More.” “Promise you’ll be more careful.” “I was walking around the house.” I pushed back, looking into his eyes. “Nowhere is perfectly safe, you know that.” His eyes were intense as he stroked them down my cleft, stealing what little bit of focus I had left. I closed my eyes, groaning and falling against his chest again. “Just promise.” “Uh-huh.” He had me helpless and writhing in the bathing room, against the wall, and in our bedroom for the rest of the night. Morning brought light to the world and new clarity to my brain as I woke from the haze the synthgar brought to our bond when Captain touched me with his expert fingers—nearly as good as mine. I turned and faced him in the bed. “Why are you so insistent that I stay safe? Have you heard from Freska and the others?” Captain grumbled, rubbing a hand over his whiskers. “Huh?” On the planet, he didn’t always wake quickly and ready to stave off every problem that might have arisen in his absence from the command center on the ship. “What do you know that I don’t know?” I asked again in a new way. “Is that supposed to make sense?” Captain yawned. We hadn’t gone to sleep for a while, and I knew Aparoe had Chomper, so we could sleep in. Of course my brain had finally woken up and now adrenaline flooded through my body. “What. Are. You. Hiding?” Captain sighed and rolled onto his back. I sat up and focused on him, ignoring the way pulling the bedding to wrap around me left him deliciously bare. I didn’t get distracted by the scars, or the warm skin coating the sinewy muscles on his arms that he brought up to rub his eyes and over his short hair, or the rasp of the two in the quiet. I waited. It was something I had gotten very good at doing. Finally, he turned his head and looked at me. “The planet where we used to stop to resupply has been razed. The pristine surface? Not so pristine. Someone has destroyed that world.” Anyone could have knocked me over with the slightest touch. “What? But… we stopped the people returning the victims of the experiments. We exposed the Elites for who and what they are. Their plan to rule over the universe wasn’t exactly original, even if they did have technology and time no one else has had before.” “What we also did was create a lot of chaos, Kohen. That’s why we’re hiding. I swore I’d keep you safe. We thought that whatever happened that caused you to ingest Sparkle’s egg and combine your DNA with hers was random, but now it looks like it wasn’t. Someone was probably looking for her.” “I don’t get it. What makes me so damn special?” I snapped. “I’m just a kid from a hellhole planet whose parents didn’t want to keep feeding him. I survived.” I stood, unable to sit any longer. I paced, uncaring that I was naked. “It doesn’t make me special, it makes me stubborn. And maybe stupid!” “You’re not any of those things, Kohen.” Captain followed me, grabbing me and forcing me to a halt. “I don’t want to always live with a target on us, with people planning to do things to me or with me I can’t control!” My voice cracked. Damn it. Why couldn’t I hold it together? “You won’t. We’re going to figure this out. Freska found a whisperer left behind to report any visitors to the planet. You know she tagged and reprogrammed it as soon as she got close enough to give it her personal touch.” “But you’re saying there’s someone else out there who is behind a secret plan who wants to experiment on me.” “No, what we know is that someone destroyed a planet you’d been on. We know that Sparkles came from there. We know Chomper is pretty damn unique. You know that I will do whatever it takes to keep you safe, and we both know our crew has our back.” “That’s—” “Everything.” Captain’s hold on me was physical and emotional, giving me the sturdy connection I needed. “We’ve defeated Elites, Kohen, Elites! Whoever thinks to challenge us will learn just why we won, and they did not. Okay?” I took a deep breath. “Okay. But stop hiding things from me. Again.” I gave him a look. “All right, all right.” “We can’t make the same mistakes as before,” I said. “Maybe we need to talk to everyone. Bring them here. Introduce them to Chomper. Get everyone’s ideas on what to do.” Captain made a face. “We’re not on the ship anymore. We asked our friends to help us.” Gnawing hunger started to beat at me. “Chomper’s awake. You ready?” “Do we have to put clothes on?” “Yes.” I pushed him away. “Claws, fire breathing? Not to mention, Aparoe’s still here and we need to get ready for more guests.” “One of these days, I really am going to get to go away with you and spend days without clothes. Days upon days upon days,” Captain said. I forced a smile. “Sure.”
  10. Thank you for the additional information. Just an FYI: Please don't create 2nd accounts at any time. If a member thinks they have an issue with their account, profile or settings, or gets an error message, they should please let us know here like you did. Members creating a 2nd account violates GA guidelines. We do have test accounts or the capability to use different settings to view the site as different groups to test for bugs if necessary.
  11. Well, well, well, happy August everyone! This month we MUST stay indoors and beat whatever awful weather is destroying the outside, so what better way to do that than with a nice, loooong story? And, even better, it's part of a series! A looooooooonger series, at that! Mike Arram is an established author who came to share his work with us from other well-known gay fiction sites, so you might have already seen his name, or read his stories, or maybe this is all new to you. Either way, this month you're in for a treat! As always, don't forget to come back on the Discussion day with your thoughts ready to share in the blog comments. The Heart of Oskar Prinz, Rothenian Tales #1 by Mike Arram Length: 76,374 Description: Will Vincent, schoolteacher, exits the closet and finds it leads him to very strange places, for almost out of the door he encounters the beautiful Oskar, cynic and porn star, who is not at all what he seems. A reader said: Thanks for posting this excellent story. I enjoyed it several years ago on crvboy, and very much enjoyed this improved version here. ~vonfoto Don't forget to come back on Monday, August 26th, for the Discussion Day!
  12. A bug was found. It has been reported, but a full and complete fix might take time. Thanks for the information!
  13. You are showing followed stories on your profile, @Talo Segura . How did you follow the authors? I do see that in your notifications that you have set it to show both on your profile. Did you search an author so you were looking at their entire story listing and follow them via the follow option at the top of the list? Not just one story, not just their profile. And if you did this, which author(s) did you follow? If there is a bug, we will need to see if there are other members who aren't showing their followed authors and stories on their profiles or if this is an issue with the author accounts that you tried to follow. I just tested it, and adding a new author I'm following did show up on my profile in the right section by following the author on their story listing. Before I followed Andy78 After I followed Andy78
  14. Remember, the 'Follow Authors' section on your profile means you have followed those members on their profiles and will receive notifications on ALL their content updates. It's like... high level stalking. It used to be IP Board's 'Friends' list. It's separate from GA Stories following options which are primarily to allow you to follow a story and receive notifications when the story or content is updated.
  15. Sorry, James, I answered your PM as well, but I wanted to put this information here for you and others. Yes, if I miss the 24 hour window to moderate a chapter, authors can always PM me and that is just fine. Sometimes there's a moderation hang-up with the team reviewing a story or chapter, and sometimes I've just had something delay me. I typically ask that authors don't post a bunch of chapters live because I've had issues missing which chapter was the latest one posted to the queue and approved, say, chapter 5 instead of chapter 3. If you are familiar with posting and not having issues with your chapters being moderated for corrections, which you haven't been, you can use the post-dating system if you have multiple chapters ready to post. This allows you to post chapters, change the date and time (always do at least 24 hours later for the first one, or arrange with post-dating of several chapters with me first so I don't mess up your posting schedule with a missed approval) in the post-dating section at the bottom of the chapter rather than have the chapter post-immediately. As long as the chapters are spaced following GA rules (at least 8 hours apart, no more than 2 per day) then I can approve more than one chapter at a time. More exact instructions are in the FAQ on the post-dating system through the Help tab. I hope that helps!!
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