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Cia

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Blog Entries posted by Cia

  1. Cia
    Happy Pride Month! You know I like to theme stories sometimes to holidays or special events, and what could be better than a coming out story for Pride month? We know this time of the year is a great one to reflect on what our personal identity on the spectrum of the rainbow can mean to us and how that has affected our lives... and the stories we read no less! I hope you will enjoy June's bite-size selection for the CSR!
    Misunderstood
    by @Marty
    Length: 3,120
    Description: Simon flees to the mountains after telling his best friend how he really feels about him. But what is his friend going to do with the news?
    A reader said: Coming out is like the parting of the clouds after eons of darkness as our companion. This was a sweet story that relayed Simon's desperation, his hope, and ultimately his path to happiness. Thanks you, Marty... cheers... Gary.... ~headstall
     
    Don't forget to come back to share your thoughts on Monday, June 28th!
  2. Cia
    Well how did this month treat you? I cannot believe it's already finished, but I am so glad it's done! Here comes June, Pride month! Who has something planned? I know it's a time for many to reflect on our community, coming out, and so much more. I think Graeme's story reflected that quite well, but what do you think? Share in the comments below, but first my interview with him!
     
    What’s one location you’d love to go to research for a story?
    I have an idea for a story set in the pacific during World War II. I would love to visit one of the islands used by the allies to watch for axis attacks during that period.
    What's your favorite room in your house? Do you plot or write there?
    My favourite room is the lounge room because it’s spacious with wonderfully comfortable couches. However, I do my writing in my office because that’s where my computer is located. Most of my plotting is done mentally and that can be done anywhere as long as I don’t have to concentrate on what I’m doing.
    Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
    I like to include a degree of accuracy in my stories. Sometimes that means a lot of online research into whatever it is I need to check. That can be challenging at time when I don’t always know the right wording to use for my searches.
    What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
    The toughest criticism has been when I had my heart set on doing something in a story but one of my early readers tells me that it just doesn’t work. As with any parent, I don’t like being told that my ‘baby’ isn’t quite right…
    As for the best compliment, it’s when I’ve been told that my story has made a difference to someone. That always gives me a warm buzz.
    What do you think makes up a good story?
    A good story has to engage with the reader. That’s tough because readers don’t all expect the same things. In addition, not only does the reader need to become engaged, but the writing has to be such that it carries the reader along with them with a minimal (hopefully no) hurdles.
    That’s not saying that the story can’t have hurdles. It’s the immersion that needs to be without hurdles. A good story will keep the reader immersed in what’s going on without anything that jars the reader out of the suspension of disbelief required.
    Young love, looking to make its mark on the world… what draws you to this trope?
    I’m a romantic at heart. My youth was fairly barren in that respect – I was a loner with not much social interaction with others. In many ways, my stories are me living a life that I didn’t have when I was younger as I explore what could’ve been.
    Would you identify more with Rory or Scott’s feelings about the proposal?
    Definitely Scott. Even today, I have to balance my responsibilities with my desires. Life isn’t black-and-white, it’s full of shades between those two extremes. Rory’s life is simpler than Scott’s. Apart from the question of Scott himself, Rory can start a new life. Scott has more challenges at the moment than Rory, and I identify with that.
    “Sometimes there’s just no right answer” is a concept that isn’t shared often in fiction. Is it hard to write that reality when readers are looking for happily ever afters?
    It can be challenging, and as a romantic I try my best to find a solution for the protagonists, but if I want to reflect reality, sometimes that doesn’t happen. Tragedies exist, and sometimes they’re powerful, even if I would prefer it if everything has a happy ending.
    Torn in Two combines themes of small town life, romance, homophobia, generational influences… did you plan out each element or did they flow together as you wrote the story?
    I didn’t plan out each element, per se, but it’s more I created an environment in which the story could evolve. I wanted to combine a number of factors, including the experiences of a World War II veteran, and this is the story that came out of those things.
    Can you share anything about your current or upcoming work with readers?
    Sadly, I’m on a hiatus at the moment. I don’t want to be, but I’m struggling to find motivation to write. I’ve gone through this once before so I’m confident I’ll get past it, but I don’t know when. I will re-iterate, though, that I definitely want to finish Leopard Hunt. Once I’ve done that, maybe one or more of the story ideas I have in my mind will take fruition and I’ll start writing in earnest again.
  3. Cia
    May is here, and with it another Classic Author banner and story feature. Do you take the time to search out these older stories? Well, if you don't, never fear, we'll bring them to you with our monthly features! I don't know about you, but the past year plus has been crazy, so I thought... let's turn the feature on its ear and do a Christmas season story in May. 

    Length: 160,370
    Description: Nicholas is a young street painter in Berlin and full of painful memories until he meets Marcus Weidenbruch, who turns his life up side down. He could be happy if but for Marcus' selfishness and his old friend Sebastian coming from Rome to celebrate Christmas plus Nicholas first exhibition. Marcus doesn't realize that Nicholas is in danger - with his heart because Sebastian is a big temptation - and with his body, for an old friend of Marcus has turned friendship into hate.
    A reader said: Thank you for a very satisfying story, full of interesting details and complicated situations; romantic, emotional but realistic too. ~ Jaro423
    If you want to spread the word about Stefan Schmidt'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. Cia
    Surprise!
    No, we didn't go back in time, and it's not an April Fool's week joke. But I am bringing you this week's Wrap Up, so buckle your seat belts... it may be a bumpy ride! It's been a while since I did a Wrap Up, so I hope I don't forget anything.  What's the bumpiest ride or scariest ride you've ever been on? For me, it was an old wooden rollercoaster. I thought my brains would rattle out! 🥴Oh, and FYI it's the final few weeks before the anthology submission. 🕚 Get that writing done, fast and furious, so your story is ready! 
     
     
     
    Monday started off with the feature of another staff member's writing work, @Graeme Read this short story and revisit the Discussion blog on Monday, May 🗓️!
    Wednesday saw my Carthera trilogy featured in Ask An Author. 😊 Thank you to my questioner, readers, commenters, and @astone2292 for doing this fun blog for GA readers to enjoy!
    This Friday @comicfan brought us 2 more prompts. Which prompt will you choose? First Line or a Magic Kingdom....
    How did our authors and readers do this week? SO close on a few goals, but we didn't quite meet any. Let's get those goals this week!!

    Special Feature! If you recommend a story in May, and share the story title with your reason in this topic, you could win a free month of Premium!
    Anthologies
    2021 Anthology #1 Top Theme 1 - On The Road - Extended to May 31st, 2021 2021 Anthology #1 Top Theme 2- Forbidden - Extended to May 31st, 2021 2021 Anthology #1 Pot Luck Themes - Extended to May 31st, 2021 Anthology 101 - In the Anthology Forum. Everything you need to know about GA Anthologies Anthology 101 - In the Anthology Forum. Everything you need to know about GA Anthologies Ask an Author
    Ask an Author 3.0 - Submit a story you like and 3 questions you would like to ask the author about. Send them to @astone2292 and @Renee Stevens **Please submit so Aaron can have a  bank of stories and questions** Blog Opportunities
    Guess the Author: Open to all GA authors. PM @Renee Stevensor @wildone to participate
    Story Review: Send it in to @Renee Stevens or @Timothy M.
    Premium Updates:
    On Fire by Cia *Premium*
    Classic Updates:
    Crossroads: Tales from the Heartland by Altimexis
    Do Over Redux by dkstories
    What You Leave Behind by Dabeagle
    Signature Updates:
    After Practice by Comicality
    Ancalagon by Cia
    Cadet by Carlos Hazday
    Demon Dream by AC Benus
    Double Concerto by Parker Owens
    Flight of the Dodo by CarlHoliday
    Foolproofed by aditus
    Gap Year by Mark Arbour
    GFD: Sins Of The Father by Comicality
    My One True Weakness by Comicality
    tim's Bits and Pieces by Mikiesboy
    Don't forget.... Read, Write, and REVIEW!!! (and Recommend with a share to the forum topic!) 
  5. Cia
    Wow, can you believe by the time you read this story and come back to share read my interview with Graeme... the year will be almost half over? I can't either! Yes, it's May! And with May comes this "tearjerker" because sometimes I can't resist a story recommendation like that. Join me in enjoying this short story and come back to share your thoughts at the end of the month! 
    Torn in Two
    by @Graeme
    Length: 9,024
    Description: Scott's heart is torn in two directions. He wants to leave Greenwood to be with his boyfriend, but he can't leave his grandfather, who needs him.
    A Reader said:  This is a beautiful story about devotion and love,- and obligation. Hypocrisy and bias figure large, as well as does sacrifice. Oppression is something we are all
    familiar with, and how it can shape our lives and maybe even ruin them. Mostly it's about love though, courage, and family. Love rules! ~ Stephen
    Don't forget to come back to share your thoughts on Monday, May 31st!
  6. Cia
    Well, I don't know about you, but I absorbed this entire story is one sitting. I loved the dog shifter aspect, but the alpha/omega dynamics had a bit of a fresh twist too. What did you enjoy? Don't forget to share your thoughts below in the comments, but first, my interview with Thirdly! 
    What brought you to GA?
    Robin introduced me to the site around 2014, if I’m not mistaken. The GA community is welcoming, diverse, and absolutely amazing. 
    If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
    The Least Violent Angel of War.
    Is there a literary character (in the whole universe of fiction) that you’ve read who you really identified with?
    Of all the characters...Mogget the cat from Sabriel.
    What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
    Drawing. I’m in the process of finishing the last season of the pg-13 comic version of Crossing the Moon as we speak.
    What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
    Criticism? That would have been Robin’s input on one of the first stories I ever completed. She found it difficult to read through a story that jumped from one perspective to the next, and I am still working on overcoming the challenge of sticking to one character’s perspective from beginning to end to this day (and to keep it all engaging and entertaining). The best compliment? That’s even more difficult to narrow down. I feel the best whenever readers consider my writing to feel balanced in terms of the serious moments versus the comedy that I always try to sneak in. I’m not at the level I want to be when it comes to storytelling, but I feel like I keep getting a little bit closer to it.
    My Faceless Bus Stalker has a shifter culture that encompasses canine species… but are there other shifter species in your world, maybe in another city or continent? Or just canines?
    The story was inspired by an amusing camaraderie between our family pet and the neighbor’s German Shepherd (that passed away a few years ago). I envisioned them in a world full of canine shifters of all species. I imagine an alternate world full of feline shifters (and other species) exists, but the world of  that particular story only had the canines.
    You use a few recessive traits to individualize some characters. How/why did you pick the ones you used (personal experience, interesting research, a random inspiration…?)
    Though inspired by a common Yorkie and a common German Shepherd, I couldn’t bring myself to write about them as they were (I wouldn’t be able to look our family yorkie in the eye if I did...it would be as if Shaggy would judge me harshly). Instead, I searched about different yorkies and came across the image that sparked up the idea of Avion. It became a bit of a deep dive into research after that and, soon after, I came across the image that became the inspiration for Lexus.
    Do you identify more with Avion or Lexus?
    I adore Avion, but I identify more with Lexus (though definitely not in terms of wealth...if only!) He was moved around a lot and didn’t have the opportunity to make close friends until later on in life. Lex also had to go against his parents’ wishes on more than one ocassion and I know what it’s like to try to forge a better life without familial support.
    What is your favorite scene or line in the story?
    I enjoyed Morgan teasing Avi’s budding relationship with Lex. They have a lovely friendship.
    I also enjoyed the handshake between Avion and Nestor. They both needed it, even if on a subconscious level.  
    Can you share any of your current or upcoming work (published/unpublished/in planning stages) with readers?
    I am currently working on finishing up a story that involves wyverns that also happen to be shifters with alpha, omega, and beta dynamics. The world these wyverns inhabit is quite different from that of Avion's. But, I feel I’ve chosen the best character to provide the introduction. Robin and I are also inching ever so slowly towards Lust and Propriety’s conclusion.
  7. Cia
    This isn't an easy story to read, but sometimes that's what we need. Live the ups and downs with Kevin as he struggles to learn how to come to terms with life and all the uncertainty it can throw at a person, no matter what their age. 
     

    Length: 114,942
    Description: Kevin has always had turbulence in his life, but things when suddenly go from bad to worse and he has no where to turn, he sets off to return to the one place where he was able to build good memories in his young life.
    A reader said: Thanks for a really heart-warming in depth exploration of a young man coming to terms with himself. Quite an amazing story really. ~ Jaro_423
    If you want to spread the word about NickolasJames'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!

  8. Cia
    Welcome to April! It's spring, love is in the air... so why not a story about a stalker alpha? How could that possibly go wrong? LOL
    My Faceless Bus Stalker Alpha
    by @Thirdly
     
    Length: 38,016
    Description: As if it wasn't bad enough that Avion was a Yorkshire Terrier shifter with albinism, he also had to deal with his impending birthday and a crazy Alpha.  
    A reader said: I missed my sassy doggos. Can't wait to see what you put out next ~Hellsheild
     
    Don't forget to come back to share your thoughts on Monday, April 26th!
  9. Cia
    Is your March coming in like a lion? Or how about an Elf Hunt? Because that was the story I featured this month, The Elf's Hunt by Yeoldebard. We went from space to soul searching fantasy. What did you think about the story? Share your thoughts in the comments below, but first! A Q & A for your enjoyment.
    Chocolate or Vanilla?
    It depends on the characters. The Elf's Hunt sticks to the vanilla, but doesn't really have much material to go off of.
    What brought you to GA?
    I was looking for an audience that would be likely to enjoy the type of stories I like to tell. Originally that was romance and fantasy, but I am constantly growing as a writer.
    What is one location you would like to go to research for a story?
    Oh, this is a tough one. My heart calls me to Germany, as it was the original birthplace of two of my characters. however, a trip to Greece would be amazing for cultural inspiration on the Egaro species.
    What is the best part of being an author?
    Honestly, being able to entertain myself with the stories I write down. my mind is constantly filled with what ifs about various stories. Having readers who enjoy the stories I write is just a hefty layer of icing on the cake.
    If you could give advice to yourself when you first started writing, what would it be?
    The biggest piece of advice would be to never be afraid to write what you want. You never know who else out there shares your view of the universe, and could be taking enjoyment or even inspiration from your work.
    You write all sorts of paranormal and fantasy characters, but which is your favorite?
    That is another tough question. Sticking with the theme of the Elf's Hunt, I would have to go with elves. We have our own ideas of what elves are, often influenced by classics such as The Lord of the Rings. Sometimes it is fun to subvert those ideas, and give elves their own flaws.
    What is your favorite story that you have written and why?
    I'm going to have to go with The Neko's Tail. It was my first foray into true science fiction, and it gave birth to a universe with a myriad of beings that each have their own ways of thinking.
    Do you identify more with Elluin or Hope in The Elf's Hunt?
    Both characters carry a bit of me in them, from Elluin's aloofness to Hope's sass. However, if I had to choose, I would have to go with Hope, because I, too, am a huge pain in the butt to deal with.
    What is the best line or scene in the book?
    Can you share anything special about your current or upcoming works with readers?
    I can't say exactly what it is, but there will be a rather painful twist in Egaran Stars. Here's hoping it won't be too painful.
  10. Cia
    February and we go on! This time we're back in space because... well, I can go to space if I want to two months in a row. Hopefully you enjoyed the scifi fest with me! What did you think about Sasha's story? Share your thoughts below after you enjoy this great interview!
    If you were an animal, what would you be?
    Is this a trick question? I am a wolf!
    What’s one location you’d love to go to research for a story?
    The Arctic circle. I want to see the Great Spirits and sit in the snow.
    What books have most influenced you as a writer?
    I mean the obvious answer is ‘everything I have ever read’…. But for sure the entire series of the Anne McCaffrey DragonRiders of Pern series, which was very formative for me, and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, which remains the pinnacle of comedic satire and no one will ever change me mind on this.
    Special shoutouts to The Godeaters by Jessie Hajicek and The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon by Tom Spanbauer.
    Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
    I loathe writing dialogue and dialogue tags. Working out where to break up speech will always be my most hated thing.
    Is your writing process a daily word count goal or more of a burst of inspiration writing flurry?
    Writing every day. For me it’s the only way. We try for 2k a day, minimum 1600. mostly it goes well.
    What is your favorite story that you’ve written and why?
    Recently? Latent Heat (another sheith fic) which is set in omegaverse (a free-to-use, communal AU idea where humans have a secondary gender which marks them as either an Alpha, Beta, or Omega. The specifics of what that means varies from writer to writer though) and deals with Keith having his secondary gender change unexpectedly from a Beta to an Omega. This obviously has unforeseen repercussions on his personal life.

    It’s a favourite partly because of how well it resonated with people, and partly because I loved the dynamic I created between Keith and Shiro for this AU. Though it bears no relation to the canon universe, I think the friendship between them is the most true to the actual IP and I’m very proud of that.

    Also the sex is hot, and lengthy, and the angst hits really good.
    Is science fiction harder to write than fantasy/paranormal stories?
    Yes, if only because I tend to want to make the lore more compact before beginning. Fantasy is easier for me personally, but usually because each time I write I’m setting it in the same world, and therefore none of the lore is new to me. For instance I’ve been writing The Best Circle of Hell series on and off since 2003, so each time I go there I’m just adding to it, not reinventing anything.
    How did you get inspired to write Warlords?
    So someone said on twitter that “enemies to lovers wasn’t REAL enemies to lovers unless one of them had tried to kill the other” and there as lot of discourse about how most enemies-to-lovers plot lines were at best rivals-to-lovers or just actually disagreements which meant nothing in the larger story line.
    And I, being me, took that as a challenge.
     
    There’s very little enemies-to-lovers in the sheith fandom, mostly because we all want to see our boys happy and in love and stuff, and I anted something sharp and visceral and who doesn’t love clash of cultures and an arranged marriage between two guys who have literally tried to murder each other ove the past six years?
     
    There was a fandom event – the Big Bang in which artists get paired with writers – coming up and it just seemed like the perfect opportunity. You have to wrote 20K or more to be eligible, and it just all flowed out. My artist was great and we spent a lot of time talking about wardrobe and Keith’s lack of decent attire and Shiro’s unseen gay panic because of it.
    Do you have a favorite line or scene in the story?
    ALL the fight scenes. But especially the third one where Keith ends up pinning Shiro to the grass and then breaking down when he can’t deal anymore with the fact that he doesn’t want to kill his husband.
    Can you share anything special about your new or upcoming works with readers?
    So we have lots of events in the fandom, and the next one is sheithletines. Everyone (artists and writers) puts in a wishlist and a ‘no’ list and mods match people up. Everyone gets something and gives something. It’s great fun.

    We got our wishlist assignments from the mods recently and mine is exactly my kind of thing. It’s a secret, but since none of you are in the fandom it’s pretty safe to share. I get to write a story with Shiro and Keith in a established relationship, but one of them in a werewolf and hiding it. I’m going to work a bit of praise and petplay kinks in there too and it’s going to be so much fun! (story posts to AO3 in Feb 14th, GA shortly after)
  11. Cia
    Hopefully you caught Monday's blog announcing this month's Classic Author feature is Altimexis' story, The Cajun Asian. Okay, so I don't do this often, but this section of the story just SMACKS for the title that grabbed my attention when I was picking a story to feature for Altimexis.  Usually I do an excerpt that has a big more of a vague aspect, something to just highlight a character or special scene. ⚠️ Just a warning... there's a bit of a spoiler about the characters if you're looking to read this but haven't yet. ⚠️
    Want to read more? Click here (I think you should... just what do YOU think the results of that review will be?!) 
  12. Cia
    Well, the title of this story is quite deceiving... and exactly describes it at the same time. I will say it drew me in and made me want to know more. Was it describing a character? The setting? Something else...? WHAT or WHO is the Cajun Asian? Hopefully this feature will help intrigue you too. 

    Length: 24,414
    Description: Seth and Asher are two boys growing up on New York's Lower East Side. Nearly finished with their first year at Stuyvesant, one of New York's elite public specialty high schools, they’ve become inseparable as boyfriends. Asher dreams of opening a restaurant and looks forward to helping his father open a new Cajun place. As the son of a politician, Seth helps to find a prize location for the restaurant nearby that they can afford. When tragedy strikes and faced with the possibility of it closing before it even opens, the young teens take over and manage the restaurant by themselves.
    A reader said: What a great story! I always enjoy checking in with these young men! They certainly stepped up to the plate, literally! Thank you! ~mfa607
     
    If you want to spread the word about Altimexis'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!

  13. Cia
    Welcome to March. Wow, the seasons are changing already. Well, I hope they are. And this story is about changing perceptions... are those you think bad really bad? Hmm Well, let's see. Have you read Yeoldebard's story The Elf's Hunt? Why not give it a shot this month, then come back on the discussion day to share your thoughts!
    The Elf's Hunt
    by @Yeoldebard
    Length: 37,827
    Description: Hope is a rogue. But that doesn't mean he's bad. Not that the world cares. All they see is a demon trying to corrupt the world. But behind that is a gentle soul who cares about his family.
    Elliun doesn't care if a tiefling has a soul. A demon is a demon, as far as he's concerned. But when a palace he has been hired to protect is burglarized, he soon finds that not every demon is a monster.
    A Reader said: The writing really was good, and the adventures were interesting.  I can recommend the story to those that enjoy this genre.  Was left wondering if this was either a sequel to a previous story or the start of a series. ~centexhairysub
    Don't forget to come back to share your thoughts on Monday, March 29th!
  14. Cia
    February means love, romance, sex... um, the unintended consequences of that sometimes? Okay, I admit I love stories that include the educational field since I work in it and like to see different authors take on the world I live in. This story, on the surface, seems like a simple day in the life of a couple of HS seniors... 

    Length: 4,348
    Description: 2010 Spring Anthology Michael Thomas George, known as Trey by his friends, has to participate in his high school’s annual spring heritage carnival although he is very much against it, or he does not graduate. The morning of April 16th is bright and clear and all the tables are brightly decorated, except one…
    A Reader said: I like the fact that you launched right into the story without preamble. The portrayal of high school seniors as opionated and aggrieved, righteously indignant young adults was respectful and insightful. Their audacity made me laugh. The acceptance these young people enjoy is heartwarming.
     
    If you want to spread the word about Lugh'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!

  15. Cia
    How about something a little different but very well-received if the read count numbers are anything to go by! This month our CSR read is Sasha Distan's Warlords. It looks like a lot of you might have already read it, but now's your chance for a second glance through so you are ready to come back and share your thoughts on the discussion day! 
    Warlords
    by @Sasha Distan
    Length: 30,041
    Description: Keith, the Warlord Prince of Marmora, will do anything to save his people from an unwinnable war against the rest of the solar system. Anything, even if it means the end of the only life he’s ever known, moving to a planet where he will be the only member of his species. Even if it means marrying a man sent against him in battle, someone who he has tried to kill.
    Admiral Shirogane is willing to accept the marriage for the sake of the Coalition and the peace treaty which will bring an end to the bloodshed, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Especially not if the Second Prince of the Galra still seems intent on fighting him at every turn.
    A Reader said: Incredible, a superbly crafted story, wordsmithing at it's best. Fascinating cast of characters and well worth the time to read. This tale deserves a series of sequels! ~drsawzall
    Don't forget to come back to share your thoughts on the CSR Discussion day, Monday February 22nd. 
  16. Cia
    I hope you weren't intimidated by the word series! It's just a little over 10k in length for all the short stories in the series, but boy are they fun to read. What did you think about Myr's scifi psionic storylines? Share your thoughts below! But first, of course, enjoy my interview with him!
    Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
    I make the bed once per week to avoid wear and tear on the sheets.
    What’s something personal about you people might be surprised to know?
    I tend to be pretty quiet and laid back most of the time, but when pushed can turn into a raging bull that has been let loose in a china shop.  Keeping my center and staying calm has been a lifelong pursuit.
    What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
    In those times where I am not working or doing something for the site, I’m most often busy reading.  Sometimes it is for pleasure and other times is it is to build or improve my skillset.  When completely away from the computer, I also do construction work.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years renovating various things.  Building a dedicated office space is on the agenda for this spring, so I can once again separate my work from my entertainment. 
    I am also a gamer almost exclusively focused on single-player experiences.  I do not have the time to dedicate to being good enough at any multiplayer game.   It is not fun to play the role of cannon fodder to a twelve-year-old who can spend their life mastering the game.
    What’s your favorite room in your house? Do you plot or write there?
    My favorite room in the house is the family room, which has 3 sides full of windows.  I keep my laptop there and work on things, including world-building.  It is charming in the spring and fall when the windows can be open, and fresh air flows through.
    When you get a story idea, do you use any particular method, app, program, etc… to expand it before you begin writing?
    Since my stories exist in worlds I create, I have to do a fair bit of world-building.  This requires me to keep track of a lot of metadata so that I keep the world consistent.  I use World Anvil to create and track my World information.  I use DungeonFog to make maps.  I use Hero Forge to create character portraits (mostly as inspiration). 
    I tend to visualize characters, plots, and scenes in my head as I fall asleep and run different versions until something clicks for me, and then I write that down.
    What is your favorite story that you’ve written, and why?
    I don’t have a favorite story per se.  This series, and WET, in particular, is probably my favorite.
    What character trait do you think best describes Bill from All WET?
    Cheeky.
    How would you handle having psionic powers?
    I’d probably jump in a spaceship and fly away from the rest of humanity as fast as the ship could go.
    What is your favorite line or scene from the All WET series?
    I think my favorite scene is the opening of A Bad Way to Wake up WET Part 1.  In the various writing books, they tell you to start your scene in the middle of the action and I tend to go hyperbolic at times.  This part of the story starts off with a bit of a bang and I had fun with it.
    Can you share future plans for All WET stories with readers?
    I am currently working on the plot and world building to turn All WET into a full-length novel.  It is currently titled “Burn the Sky”.  I’m not sure if it will stay that way, but that’s what it is for now.  I have no time estimates for when this will be done.  I’m horrible at those and life tends to throw surprises.
  17. Cia
    Welcome to 2021 and a new series of Classic Author features. A lot of these stories are older ones you might not have read before, since many of our Classic Authors aren't active on the site anymore. Enjoy this year's features starting with Gabriel Morgan's short story, Days of Farewell, as we say farewell (and good riddance! to 2020). It's all about the goodbye. 

     
    Length: 705 words
    Description: A Short Story. Thanks to John Mellencamp for the title and story prompt.
    A Reader said: It maybe a short, but it is a fantastic story. A snippet of a memory if you will. Excellently written. ~ Brayon
    If you want to spread the word about Gabriel Morgan'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!

  18. Cia
    Wow, it's the last CSR Discussion day of 2020! Hopefully everyone has had a great holiday season, and enjoyed the stories featured. I asked a few questions of the authors featured this month the same questions. Enjoy the answers I got back, then share any thoughts you had as you read their ficlets in a comment below!
     
    Mikiesboy with The Christmas Cracker
    How do you celebrate the Holidays?    Usually we have a large reunion in early December with the whole family from around Toronto and Niagara Falls. Then we meet with Michael's parents, and his brother on Christmas Day. It's a pretty traditional Christmas.  This year is Christmas under lock down. So, just me and my Husband and a zoom get together with everyone else. I'm cooking our traditional meal, only smaller for the pair of us.
    What is a favorite holiday memory you'd like to share?   I don't really have a favourite memory. I look forward to Christmas annually. It always fills me with a sense of wonder and fellowship.
    Do you have a favourite line or scene in The Christmas Cracker.  This part makes me hold my breath for a second, it's among my favourites:
    What is your favorite Holiday Story:  Well my favourite is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  On GA my favourite is this wonderful, naughty version:
     
    Bill W with A Gay Christmas Carol
     
    How do you celebrate the holidays?  This has changed over the years.  When the kids were younger and we lived closer to our other relatives, we used to throw a big dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and invite the entire extended family.  Sometimes we'd be like the Currie family from The Castaway Hotel series and have up to 30 people at our house for those meals.  Now that I'm older and many of those relatives have died and the kids live a long way away from me and each other, I merely chat with them using all of these marvelous new technologies.  
    What is a favorite holiday memory you'd like to share?  It's another idea I stole and used in The Castaway Hotel series.  On Christmas Eve when the kids were younger, one of the adults would dress up in a Santa suit and then go outside to peek in the picture window so the kids could see him.  We would rotate who played Santa so the kids wouldn't figure it out, and some of the women even took a turn doing this.  After Santa appeared, we'd use that to urge the kids that they had to go to bed so Santa could leave his presents and this ended a lot of hassles about them wanting to stay up longer.   
    Do you have a favorite line or scene in A Gay Christmas Carol?
     
    What is your favorite holiday story?   Every Christmas I have to watch at least one version of A Christmas Carol or I don't feel right.  My favorite is the 1951version staring Allistair Sims, but I also like the 1984 version with George C. Scott and the 1999 version staring Patrick Stuart.  I also enjoy 1970 musical version, Scrooge, so I guess you can tell why I wrote A Gay Christmas Carol.   
  19. Cia
    Welcome to 2021! In honor of the new year, hopefully to be a fun, fast one, I'm featuring several short stories in the All Wet series by Myr. These start off with A Bad Day to be WET... but it's never a bad day to enjoy a story from Myr's Terran Confederation Spaceforce world! Follow Bill's adventure's in all 3 stories for the most enjoyment. Then come back to share your thoughts and enjoy my interview with Myr on our Discussion Day! 
    All Wet Series
    by @Myr
    Length: 11,720
    Description: William Elijah Thomas, WET, callsign Jammer, is one of the foremost pilots in the entire Terran Confederation.  He is an empath, but more importantly a Jumper.  Jumpers are the extremely rare humans that can plot a path through jump space and program shipboard A.I.'s to be able to do jumps without the need for a jumper.
    A Reader Said: A great Sci-Fi story set in a world that the Author has invented. It is one that I would love to read more about. ~Brayon
     
    Don't forget to come back to share your comments on the CSR Discussion day on Monday, January 25th! 
  20. Cia
    Members, we have a New Year's prize for you! Will you win?
    Did you catch our Thank You and Happy New Year message? We want to thank you for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts with GA's authors, writing nearly 50,000 story and chapter comments and hundreds of story reviews! 

    What can you win?
    Prize 1: 3 months free Premium membership Prize 2: 1 month free Premium membership How can you enter to win? It's simple! Just do BOTH of the items below: 
    Follow the GA News Blog (Click on the follow button in the blog banner above the post if you don't already follow it) Respond to this blog post. A couple of ideas on what you should comment on could be: What was your favorite story you commented or reviewed on in 2020? What stories do you hope to read in 2021? Do you have thoughts on new goals?  How will winners be selected? 
    All GA News Blog followers who also comment on this blog will have their names entered in a random.org drawing. 2 winners will be selected and shared on Sunday, January 9th. 
  21. Cia
    Authors, you have been... so let us reward you! 
    Did you read our Thank You and Happy New Year message? Don't miss it! In 2020, you published 319 new stories and over 4,000 chapter updates. You have worked hard, and we want to recognize those amazing accomplishments. Let's keep the writing flowing with some inspiration reads, perhaps, with these prizes you could !
    What can you win?
    Prize 1: 3 months free Premium membership Prize 2: 1 month free Premium membership How can you enter to win? It's simple! Just do BOTH of the items below: 
    Follow the GA Writing Tips blog (Click on the follow button in the blog banner above the post if you don't already follow it) Respond to this blog post. A couple of ideas on what you should comment on could be: What inspired you to write in 2020? Do you have any project you can't wait to write in 2021? Do you have thoughts on new GA Stories goals?  How will winners be selected? 
    All GA Writing Tips followers who also comment on this blog will have their names entered in a random.org drawing. 2 winners will be selected and shared on Sunday, January 9th. 
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