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  1. "Everyone's happy, everyone's just joyous to be here," Pumper, club member of Sapphic Riders, at this year’s London Pride March. The sun was bright and hot, the crash barriers were all in place and the pavements were filled with spectators, as the 2024 London Pride march slowly but brightly moved through the capital. Yet, at the beginning of the march, was a small but noisy group of bigots trying to shout down the parade. Eight Christian protesters, stood at the beginning of this year’s London Pride march, surrounded by several police officers in a fenced-off section next to the parade route, shouting abuse at the marchers. Their banners’ proclaimed: “Men with men working that which is unseemly and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet” and “be not proud for the lord hath spoke… a man’s pride shall bring him low” (??). As, a man in the group, using a loudspeaker, shouted at the people in the parade. Their presence wasn’t warmly received. Marchers, as they passed the bigots, they flipped their middle fingers at the group and drowned them out with chants. Why where those people there? What did they think they’d achieve? Did they really expect marchers to turn away from their “wicked ways” and join them in their protest? If they wanted people to hear their “message” and become Christians, why where they being so offensive and rude? Shouting homophobia at a Pride march is no way to persuade people to join your religion, so why do they do it? Every year, the London Pride march has a group of bigots, standing somewhere along the route, shouting abuse at the people marching by. At last year’s march, Pride 2023, the cast of Heartstopper, from their float, flipped the middle finger and shouted back to anti-LGBTQ+ religious protesters, to the delight of other marchers. But why do these Christian homophobes do it? What do they think the result will be? All they do is make marchers angry and hurl abuse back at them. But is that the point? When I was an Evangelical Christian, way back in my teenage years, Christian leaders and ministers repeatedly told me the world hated me just for being a Christian. It was such a bunker mentality; we were “hated” because we were right. The more we were “hated”, therefore the more we were right. It ignored the fact that maybe people hated us because we had deliberately upset them. I was repeatedly told the story of the early Christians being thrown to the lions in the ancient Roman Colosseum, for the “entertainment” of the Emperor. The story was, those early Christians had such strong faiths that they were changing the Roman world, and the Emperor and the pagans were afraid of them, that’s why they were being thrown to the lions. There was no mention that they were easy socio/economic scapegoats and even easier victims. But this victim narrative was very strong, if non-Christians dislike you and are angry at what you say then you are a strong Christian. I knew Christians, back then, who would say deliberately offensive and upsetting things to prove how strong their faith was. This seems to be the mentality behind these Christians, screaming their homophobia to Pride marchers, showing “the world” how strong their Christian faith is, how they are not afraid of the lions heathens Pride marchers. It certainly doesn’t seem to be any attempt to convert any of the marchers. Their hate-filled shouting and truly obscure and nonsensical banners don’t present them as an attractive or even welcoming religion. Their behaviour is 100% off-putting. Those homophobic protesters are the pimple on the bum of London Pride, the annoying little voices trying to ruin a wonderful day. But there were only eight of them, compared to the approximately 1.5 million people who attended this year’s London Pride and the 32,000 who took part in the march, so why worry about them? Because their homophobia is still tolerated, even allowed in public, and homophobia doesn’t end with just shouted words and poorly worded banners. During this year’s Pride month, we saw numerous acts of homophobia. Pride flags, painted on the pavement in Forest Gate, East London, were vandalised and completely painted over with red paint. A banner advertising Pride in Luton was ripped down and destroyed three times (7). Homophobic and Transphobic violence stands at a five year high. I am not saying those eight people were responsible for all these acts of homophobia, but their words certainly encourage them, whether those people will admit it or not. Such loud and public displays of homophobia will only encourage others who want to act upon it. Why do we allow this public display of hate at every London Pride march? We wouldn’t tolerate bigots shouting racist abuse at Notting Hill Carnival. We certainly don’t tolerate antisemitism. Police previously removed far-right protestors from challenging a march against antisemitism. The police have dispersal powers were they can remove people causing an offence or nuisance from a certain area, for up to 48 hours. They were very quick to use these powers on antimonarchist protestors at the King’s coronation, and they were only holding up placards saying “Not My King”. If I stood outside the Evangelical Christian Spring Harvest festival, with a megaphone, shouting at people about their homophobia, I am sure I would be quickly removed by the police. Why do we still tolerate bigots shouting homophobia at London Pride marchers? Why do we still give Evangelical Christians an easy pass on their homophobia? Drew.
  2. Welcome from the past I've done it, I have traveled back to last Tuesday and did the Weekly Wrap Up!! Pretty neat, eh? Just so you know, I came back, but before I did I drank a lot of water. Tuesday and Wednesday were stupid hot in the city. I think you could fry an egg down at the Stampede grounds those days. At least we had some relief finally on Thursday with cooler temps and some storms. Now why did I travel back in time. I was listening to Cher belt out 'If I Turn Back Time' today and thought what a great idea! So here is the secret Just don't tell anyone how. See, if you go on your phone, or your computer and find the settings on either, and then go to the date and time section. Then turn off the automatic setting and put in the date you want to go back to. I just backed the time up 5 days and was back on Tuesday! Genius that I am Maybe I'll see you all back there and we can talk about what happened in the future. Now that would be freaky So looking back on the week from Tuesday that is, on Monday the day before, we had the Review Team give us a nice Feature Story Review: Tuesday, Myr left the wetsuit in the closet and did his deep dive in nothing but his mankini . It is hot out there! Thursday, the masses were awaiting for another edition of Author Guess Who? when Aaron switched things up! Is he allowed to do that? I can't change the time line or who knows what😮 Friday was our Prompt Friday. If I was smart, I would have done a prompt and had it ready for when the blog appeared: I will just come out and say it. Going back in time, I thought I'd be able to say I knew all the Words of the Day. Not a chance ulotrichous, ultracrepidarian, ullage, wamble, wapentake, wastel; tautological Upcoming Writing Events Secret Author Contest - Due July 24th 2024. Click here for all the information and details. Annual Anthology - In Too Deep - Due October 1st 2024. Click here for all the information and more that you will need. Prompt Team Event/Contest - More information to come. Coming of Age - A Tribute to Comicality - Due April 25, 2025 - More information to come. Member Participation Blogs - Great way to promote yourself!! Ask a Author 3.0 If you have a author you want to get some answers from, write a PM to @astone2292 Author Guess Who Get our members to guess who you are and also let everyone know who you are. Also write a PM to @astone2292 Here is the look at the past weeks postings on all our Authors and Poets! Recently Updated 'Premium' Stories W-A-R by Mikiesboy In Process 6 Recently Updated 'Signature Author' Stories The Great Mirror of Same-Sex Love - Prose by AC Benus In Process Sold Into Freedom by Mikiesboy In Process Peace of Amiens by Mark Arbour In Process You Were There, and other poems by AC Benus In Process The Ultimate Vehicle of Earthly Bliss by AC Benus In Process W-A-R by Mikiesboy In Process 2 Recently Updated 'Classic Author' Stories Window Stories by Ronyx In Process Secrets 2: Looking Through Different Eyes by Bill W In Process 1 Recently Updated 'Promising Author' Stories The Man I Like Might Be A Delinquent by lilansui In Process 24 Recently Updated 'Author' Stories Journey Beyond the Sea by Geron Kees In Process Country Retreat by quokka In Process Hubris by ValentineDavis21 In Process Brandon Smiling: From the Billy Chase Chronicles (2) by MrM Complete Thicker Than Water by John Henry In Process Surprise Valor by wolfwriter In Process Return to Sender by Andr0gene In Process The Rip by Mark Ponyboy Peters In Process Roadie In Love by Lee Wilson In Process Love Of Family (2024 Revision) by Ticklishboy30 In Process Crossing the line by Robert Hugill In Process I love A Rainy Night by drsawzall Complete The Man I Like Might Be A Delinquent by lilansui In Process Detour by matcha In Process Welcome to Redwaters by Hardianarcher In Process They may not mean to, but they do by Robert Hugill In Process Our Summer Rhapsody by CasualWanderer82 Complete The Mantis Synchronicity - Book Five by Adam Andrews Johnson Complete The Shadowy Path by Lupus In Process On My Deathbed by Lee Wilson Complete Liar vs. Liar by Laura S. Fox In Process The Brotherhood: Awakening Book II by The Writer X In Process Silent Heartbeats by vanalas In Process Dragon's Roar by Xfighter1984 In Process 1 Recently Updated 'Poet' Stories Musings of a Wordsmith by JACC Complete Read, Write, and REVIEW!!! (Don't forget to Recommend too!) **Please note that no timelines were altered in making this blog. You are now not on a parallel alternate timeline ** Or are you?
  3. G'day all Or is it actually Howdy y'all Afterall it is my 10 days of fun with the Stampede in full force!! So I just had the pleasusre of being sandwiched into an LRT (above ground subway but not in the air) with probably 400 of my closest friends in a single car heading home from Stampede. No one needed to worry about hanging on to handles or bars, as nobody could move enough to fall over with lurching of the train on starts and stops. Then, to everyones extreme pleasure, someone deciided that was a good time to pass gas ! Then we got stuck behind another train and we sat there with no air flow in the train for about 5 mniutes. And it didn't get less, it got worse!!! Why people, why? Anywho, I'm getting to bed at 2 AM and have to be down at the grounds today at 8 AM 😮 5 hours sleep should do it. I have to purdy myself up so need to get up a bit early. Last thing I thought I would mention, today was Gay Day! Yes, the last place you would think would have gay days would be a 10 day rodeo and exhibition with all those cowboys and cowgirls, or people wanting to be cowboys or cowgirls. Mind you over a 100,000 people go a day! Nice to see so many couples, men, women, saw a lot of trans people that were wearing trans patches, but holding hands and walking around happy as could be I shall now get the Weekly Wrap Up posted so we do not have to look at that foul mouthed, Valkyrie's blog for another day! I tell you, my mom would have had a bar of soap a the ready as she headed down to Eastern NY State to discuss the issue with Val Monday, we had the Weekly Wrap Up, up for a second day! Tuesday, Myr was at the ready to look at the oft overlooked genre of Poetry: Thursday, we had a suprise in our Anthology day. Val interviewed Myr about GA the history of anthologies here: Friday, the above mentioned blog was posted : Let's move on... I was 0 for 7 again sadly this week! Luckily I'm increasing my volcabulary with these Words of the Day: jactance, jalouse, nidificate, nasute, nubivagant, nugatory, ubiety Upcoming Writing Events Secret Author Contest - Due July 24th 2024. Click here for all the information and details. Annual Anthology - In Too Deep - Due October 1st 2024. Click here for all the information and more that you will need. Prompt Team Event/Contest - More information to come. Coming of Age - A Tribute to Comicality - Due April 25, 2025 - More information to come. Member Participation Blogs - Great way to promote yourself!! Ask a Author 3.0 If you have a author you want to get some answers from, write a PM to @astone2292 Author Guess Who Get our members to guess who you are and also let everyone know who you are. Also write a PM to @astone2292 Here is the look at the past weeks postings on all our Authors and Poets! 1 Recently Updated 'Premium' Stories W-A-R by Mikiesboy 6 Recently Updated 'Signature Author' Stories The Great Mirror of Same-Sex Love - Prose by AC Benus Sold Into Freedom by Mikiesboy Peace of Amiens by Mark Arbour You Were There, and other poems by AC Benus The Ultimate Vehicle of Earthly Bliss by AC Benus 2 Recently Updated 'Classic Author' Stories Window Stories by Ronyx Secrets 2: Looking Through Different Eyes by Bill W 1 Recently Updated 'Promising Author' Stories The Man I Like Might Be A Delinquent by lilansui 24 Recently Updated 'Author' Stories Journey Beyond the Sea by Geron Kees Country Retreat by quokka Hubris by ValentineDavis21 Brandon Smiling: From the Billy Chase Chronicles (2) by MrM **Complete** Thicker Than Water by John Henry Surprise Valor by wolfwriter Return to Sender by Andr0gene The Rip by Mark Ponyboy Peters Roadie In Love by Lee Wilson Love Of Family (2024 Revision) by Ticklishboy30 Crossing the line by Robert Hugill I love A Rainy Night by drsawzall **Complete** The Man I Like Might Be A Delinquent by lilansui Detour by matcha Welcome to Redwaters by Hardianarcher They may not mean to, but they do by Robert Hugill Our Summer Rhapsody by CasualWanderer82 **Complete** The Mantis Synchronicity - Book Five by Adam Andrews Johnson **Complete** The Shadowy Path by Lupus On My Deathbed by Lee Wilson **Complete** Liar vs. Liar by Laura S. Fox The Brotherhood: Awakening Book II by The Writer X Silent Heartbeats by vanalas Dragon's Roar by Xfighter1984 1 Recently Updated 'Poet' Stories Musings of a Wordsmith by JACC **Complete** Read, Write, and REVIEW!!! (Don't forget to Recommend too!)
  4. On social media, I have made no secret of the fact that I dislike this Conservation government, they are the worst government in my memory, and I lived through Margaret Thatcher. I want a change, I want a Labour government, and I am not alone in this. The polls show that Labour is well ahead of the Tories and are on track to be elected as our next government. But can we be sure of this? We elect our governments under the First Past The Post system and this does not mean that a political party’s seats in parliament reflects the national share of votes it received. At the last election, in 2019, the Conservatives won 43.6% of the national vote but won 52.6% of the seats in Parliament. And there also the large amount of “safe seats” in this country. Nearly 14 million voters live in constituencies that have not changed party hands since the Second World War. Even if the Conservatives lose this election, they will still be the official opposition and still hold a lot of power. Do they deserve to be the official opposition, were they can squabble and try and push their agenda on the government, through official questions in parliament and the large number of parliamentary committees they will have seats on, and these committees wield so much power? This Conservative government have wasted their power and harmed the country, in the last fourteen years they have been in government. At best, they have been mediocre, but for the majority of their time in office, whichever prime minister was in charge, they have failed. Their policies have wrecked the country. Austerity. This was a policy to “pay for” the bailout of the banks following the 2008 credit crunch, caused by the banks’ investment arms. In reality, it made the poorest people in our country pay for it. It saw benefit caps, including the two-child benefit limit and the bedroom tax, stripping money off the most vulnerable in our society. It also caused a slowing in life expectancy improvement, an extra 57,550 people in England died in the five years from 2010. Under funding of councils. This is a direct result of the austerity policies because it saw a cut in councils’ funding. Local authority “spending power”, the amount of money councils has to spend from government grants, council tax and business rates – fell by 17.5% between 2009/10 and 2019/20, before partially recovering. However, in 2021/22 it was still 10.2% below 2009/10 levels. Earlier this year council leaders called on the government for an extra £750m funding just to help them provide their basic services. Councils provide adult and child social care, public health, sexual health services, registration of births, deaths and marriages, ceremonies and citizenship, environmental services, housing, especially housing homeless families, libraries and archives, and parking. So many vital services. Rise in Food Bank usage. Between 2010 and 2021 we have seen an over 4,000% rise in the number of food parcels distributed, being 2.5 million food parcels given out in 2021. This is nothing to be proud of. This is a sign of the rise in poverty. Cost of living crisis. This has only thrown more people into poverty. 600,000 more people, half of them children, are living in absolute poverty. This is the joint highest increase in 40 years. 7.2 million (11% of the population) now live in food insecurity. Yet the government has done nothing to ease this, they just seem to stand by and shout about the inflation rates, ignoring the fact that prices are not coming down. State of the NHS, which is now on its knees. Many people have said that the NHS is in the worst state it has ever been, but there is a lot of evidence to back this up. The NHS needs £4 billion of additional funding in 2024–25 just to provide its current services. It’s waiting list stands at 7.5 million procedures, affecting about 6.3 million different patients in England. In February 2020 there were already 4.47 million cases on a waiting list for consultant-led care. This disgustingly large number of people stuck on NHS waiting lists is not due to the Covid lockdown alone. There is also the NHS’s chronic shortage of staff, which this government has done nothing to address. 8.4%, or 121,000 of full-time equivalent NHS roles are vacant, and yet we haven’t seen any attempt by this government to fill these roles. To add to this, 10.7% (154,000) of staff left their NHS role in the year ending September 2023. Is this government just letting the NHS die on its feet? PPE Scandal. This government has thrown away billions of pounds on PPE (Personal protective equipment). During the pandemic, 75% of the £12 billion spent on PPE, in the first year of lockdown, was spent on PPE that’s price was over-inflated or was substandard. But £4 billion was spent on PPE that was so substandard that it was unusable and had to be destroyed. The government has not made any attempts to claw back this money, especially the £4 billion that was so substandard that it didn’t meet requirements. But the scandal doesn’t end there. In June this year, £1.4bn worth of PPE was destroyed without any explanation. But this PPE was of a high standard from a reputable manufacturer. All in all, this waste of money is breath-taking. RAAC concrete scandal affecting public buildings. A lot of buildings, including many public buildings, were built with RAAC concrete in the 1980s because it was cheap. But it only had a life expectancy of 30 years. Problems were noticed in 2018 when ceilings in schools started collapsing. Now, a large number of public buildings, including schools and hospitals, are effected by crumbing and potentially dangerous RAAC concrete. Yet this government has done nothing about it, they don’t even seem to be treating it as an emergency. Liz Truss’s Prime Ministership. She was our shortest serving Prime Minister, lasting only 45 days in office, yet during that time she managed to wipe £19 billion off our economy. She achieved this by proposing an unfunded budget that would have given millions to the richest people in our country. A crazy policy that was discredited decades ago. Rise in taxes. Taxes, under this government, are the highest they have been since 1948. Yet our public services are chronically underfunded. Failure to grow the economy. In 2023, our economy grew by 0.1% overall, though in the second half of 2023, the economy shrank by 0.3%. But in 2023 the US economy grew by 3.3% and even the French economy grew by 0.8%. The Failure of Brexit. This has totally failed. Not even the most optimistic Google search can find real benefits of it. Yet this government through the country into it based only on fantastical beliefs and a very questionable referendum, which was fought on many lies. This government has failed to such a breath-taking high degree and damaged and destroyed so many people’s lives, lives they promised to protect as our government, that they do not deserve to even serve as the official opposition. They deserved to be reduced to a fringe party, to be ignored as they squabble on the side-lines. And we can do this. Tactical Voting could be the way to achieve this. Instead of voting for the candidate of the party you follow/agree with, but to vote for the candidate of the centrist/left-wing party are most likely to beat the Conservative candidate. In reality it is voting for the Labour or Libdem candidate, which ever one stands the best chance of winning that seat. But how do you find out how to use your vote tactically? Stop The Tories is a website coordinating this. You enter your post code and if your MP is Conservative, it will recommend the candidate to vote for to most likely unseat that MP or to vote for to make sure the Conservatives do not win your seat. Stop The Tories are coordinating for people who want to tactically vote, it is the best tactical voting website, they are doing far more than just saying, “Don’t vote Tory”, and they are not misleading voters, like some websites that claim to be for tactical voting. From everything I have read and heard, Stop The Tories are one of the best tactical voting sites. It is the only one I will use. Tactical voting isn’t new. After the last General Election, in 2019, a YouGov poll found that 32% of voters (nearly a third) had tactically voted. If nearly a third of voters did it then, why not more this year? It is a way to send a very firm message to the Conservative Party. Many famous Conservative MPs could lose their seats at this election. Jeremy Hunt, Grant Shapps, Penny Mordaunt, Johnny Mercer, Iain Duncan Smith and Jacob Rees-Mogg are all at risk of losing their seats, with their majorities within the reach of Labour or the Libdems. But, with tactical voting, Suella Braverman, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak could also lose their seats. Wouldn’t that be something to see, on election night, the current Conservative leader, the most disastrous Prime Minister we’ve ever had and an MP who fancies herself as the next Conservative leader, all losing their seats? But the main reason to tactically vote is to ensure the Conservatives, not just lose power, but are so beaten that they cannot form the official opposition, and are locked out of power. Do they deserve anything less with the way they have treated the country? There has been calls against tactical voting, saying it’s pointless and doesn’t lead to change and that it shouldn’t be allowed. But tactical voting is coordinating voting, in this case against the Conservative Party, who have failed in government. The Conservative Party have used underhand and dishonest tactics during election campaigns. In the 2019 election campaign, during a leaders’ debate, the Conservative Party rebranded their twitter account as "factcheckUK", pretending to be a fact-checking account and of sending out misleading anti-Labour tweets. A Conservative politician called the outcry against this as “nonsense”. In this election campaign, the Conservatives pulled the same stunt during the leaders’ debate, changing their twitter account to “Tax Check UK”. How can they be trusted? We are well overdue electoral reform, but the Conservative Party has stood in the way of this. Stop The Tories state that one of their aims in getting the Conservative Party voted into third place is so that they cannot block any long overdue electoral reforms. Tactical voting could achieve this, why aren’t we working hard for that? Drew
  5. It's that time again. We've been working on a new update for stories as we get closer and closer to the major forum version change later this year. This update included a major rewrite of the recommendations page, expansion of the reading history system, addition of story awards (a blast from the long past), and some underlying work to prepare for the future. Recommendations It is now possible to view all recommended stories as we have added the ability to change pages. We have also added a filter so that you can sort by recommendation type. Want to see the most recommended stories for cliffhangers? Then filter to cliffhanger. The look of this section is a bit different as well, as this entire page was rewritten with modern code. Reading History When you activate reading history, your personal reading history will now show up in all story listing areas. You'll no longer need to go to the My Reading History page to see your history; it'll just be shown everywhere. You'll still be able to go to your Reading History to remove a story from the listing, however. Story Awards Many years ago, we used to regularly issue awards or other badges indicating that a story had achieved something. A great example was the Cliffhanger award that we used to issue yearly and that @C James won regularly for his efforts. We have added the abilty to put an awards case of sorts on a story that shows badges of awards or other achievements. (I plan to add Reader's Choice 2023 badges to the stories that got that, for example). This feature will be used to help highlight and promote stories in the future. It'll show up right below the Recommendations. Wrap Up 2024 will be a huge year for the site as Invision Community will be going from ver 4.7.x to ver 5.0. They have rewritten the forum software to use the latest and greatest of good programming techniques and have dumped the baggage of years past in the code. This will have a lot of impacts. Not the least of which is that the Stories Archive software we have will have to be overhauled to use the new system as well. The good news is that the new system has been written from the ground up to be fast and usable on mobile. Good thing, too, since more than half our traffic is from mobile devices. Light and dark modes will be built-in for the theme. There will be a brand-new, modern, and fast text editor. A new tag system is coming as well to help surface content. A new community expert feature that gives special attention to helpful members of our community who are quick to help others. There is a ton. Oh... we can give you reading reports based on tags now too... Top 10 Most Read Paranormal - mind control between 05/25/2024 and 06/24/2024 Mental Games by Bill W Complete Abel III's Awakening by Daddydavek Complete The Mantis Continuum - Book Four by Adam Andrews Johnson Complete Silverwolf by Wayne Gray Complete 40 Souls to Keep by Libby Drew Complete Teaching Horrible Lessons by W_L Complete The Neverending Book by Black Paper Complete State of Mind by Libby Drew Complete The First Lock by Katya Dee Complete The Game by Nephylim Complete
  6. Well I'm a silly boy I was enjoying a nice cool evening to fall asleep to , and was sawing a log or two, when I woke up in shock! Shock I say You ever wake up and realize you were supposed to do something and you forgot to? Usually for me it is a work thing and then I think to myself that there isn't much I can do about it until the morning and roll over and fall asleep again . Just note that happened tonight and to show my dedication to everyone and GA, I got up, jump in my wheelchair and rolled out to the desktop and here I am at like 2:45 AM doing the Weekly Update! Now you could say I wouldn't be doing this if you would have just had done it earlier and not left it to the last minute. Right? To that I say, who the hell asked you? Moving on, let's see what happened the past week at the GA News Blog. Monday, because I left something to the last minute, starting to see a pattern here 🥷, I was late posting the feature story review of a popular story done by the great Review Team, specifically @W_L: Tuesday, Mr. Myr, as he has told me that I have to address him as from now on, did a Deep Dive again: We then jump to a collision at the junction of Thursday We gave you two GA Blogs at once. First was another interesting Author Guess Who. Can you guess who? Also we had a confusing Anthology Post I got out of it that it was Val's bday the other day So pop in and give her a birthday bump or two: Friday, back to our regular programming, we had @colematthews drop on by to give us a couple of new prompts to try out: Alas, it is time to review the Words of the Day. Another week of me not knowing any of them : periapt, orrery, obambulate, lacuna, ragabash, ranarium, rampallion Upcoming Writing Events Secret Author Contest - Due July 24th 2024. Click here for all the information and details. Annual Anthology - In Too Deep - Due October 1st 2024. Click here for all the information and more that you will need. Prompt Team Event/Contest - More information to come. Coming of Age - A Tribute to Comicality - Due April 25, 2025 - More information to come. Member Participation Blogs - Great way to promote yourself!! Ask a Author 3.0 If you have a author you want to get some answers from, write a PM to @astone2292 Author Guess Who Get our members to guess who you are and also let everyone know who you are. Also write a PM to @astone2292 Here is the look at the past weeks postings on all our Authors and Poets! 1 Recently Updated 'Premium' Stories W-A-R by Mikiesboy 5 Recently Updated 'Signature Author' Stories Sold Into Freedom by Mikiesboy By Chance or Appointment by Parker Owens The Ultimate Vehicle of Earthly Bliss by AC Benus You Were There, and other poems by AC Benus 2 Recently Updated 'Classic Author' Stories Secrets 2: Looking Through Different Eyes by Bill W The Many Faces of Kai by Dabeagle 0 Recently Updated 'Promising Author' Stories No stories 22 Recently Updated 'Author' Stories Love Of Family (2024 Revision) by Ticklishboy30 Detour by matcha Thicker Than Water by John Henry Manny Needs a Nanny by Lee Wilson The Mantis Synchronicity - Book Five by Adam Andrews Johnson Re-Education by Justin4Fun Hubris by ValentineDavis21 Of Pride and Power by W_L They may not mean to, but they do by Robert Hugill Andre and Chris by Paladin A Wizard's War by TeamStilinski Strength of Fate by mcarss After We Danced by Mark Ponyboy Peters Halos and Heroes by JJQuinn The Shadowy Path by Lupus As They Say - (Revised) by D.K. Daniels Parasitic Love Redux by mastershakeme **Complete** Crossing the line by Robert Hugill The Ticklish Brotherhood by Ticklishboy30 Country Retreat by quokka Our Summer Rhapsody by CasualWanderer82 Oregon in the Fall by drown Read, Write, and REVIEW!!! (Don't forget to Recommend too!) Oh, if you see spelling errors or such, it is because I have no contacts in or glasses on
  7. Have you ever gone out to dinner and thought you were hungry and then only had the waiter/waitress bring out your entree and then realized you were not that hungry? That happened tonight when a few of use went to East Side Mario's. I knew I wasn't going to eat both pieces of the chicken parmigiana and spaghetti, Italian wedding soup and the bread. But I was full after a piece of bread, half bowl of soup and not even 1 of the 2 pieces of chicken. Never mind how little of the spaghetti I actually ate. Why did I order that? Next question , remember in the good old days when the wait staff asked if you wanted the leftovers to go, and you said ya and they took your plate to the back and put it in doggy bag/box and brought it back to you? Why don't they do that anymore? I mean, when I was done I was covered in marinara sauce. Oh, maybe that is why they don't do it anymore . At least the waitress had a sense of humour and said that now that I had lunch for tomorrow I could come back for dinner tomorrow night ! Where is this random babbling leading to you ask ? We had great service and meal, like above and beyond. So when I looked over and saw a friend's tip was 0%, I felt like I had to compensate for him. Do you call him out in private? I do understand that we are being asked to tip everywhere nowadays. Maybe the exception being McDonald's. It seems like even places like Subway they expect you to tip them before you leave. Still, I think when someone, including the cook staff, give you an excellent meal that you give a bit extra to say thanks. My intention is not to start WWIII here . As I know this is one of those different point of view things that Val was talking about in this weeks prompts, but be honest, no judgement, no replies, no justification needed. Do you tip for a prepared menu out, or maybe a sandwich at Subway or a latte at Starbucks? I'll be honest, they have got me right where they want me If it is a meal out, probably going go 20% if I'm happy. In the other places, and the smallest they have is 10%, I'll choose other, and put in 5%. Now that I'm done with that, thank gosh, let's see what happened this past week on the GA News Blog. I'm always appreciative of tips, but not the ones like don't eat yellow snow . Monday was a day to get to learn about the June's CSR story, and author: Tuesday was a look at the Literary Fiction in a Deep Dive: Wednesday, first one of the month meant we were lined up for another AAA 3.0: Friday was the day that I was speaking about earlier. Valkyrie brought up an unique prompt request for us this week: What about seven words this week. Any hang you up? caliginous, canorous, kenspeckle, kalology, kilderkin, nacarat, panglossian I'll be honest, I knew nada. Not a one. Nope. Upcoming Writing Events Secret Author Contest - Due July 24th 2024. Click here for all the information and details. Annual Anthology - In Too Deep - Due October 1st 2024. Click here for all the information and more that you will need. Prompt Team Event/Contest - More information to come. Coming of Age - A Tribute to Comicality - Due April 25, 2025 - More information to come. Member Participation Blogs - Great way to promote yourself!! Ask a Author 3.0 If you have a author you want to get some answers from, write a PM to @astone2292 Author Guess Who Get our members to guess who you are and also let everyone know who you are. Also write a PM to @astone2292 Here is the look at the past weeks postings on all our Authors and Poets! 1 Recently Updated 'Premium' Stories W-A-R by Mikiesboy 3 Recently Updated 'Signature Author' Stories Peace of Amiens by Mark Arbour The Great Mirror of Same-Sex Love - Poetry by AC Benus 3 Recently Updated 'Classic Author' Stories Window Stories by Ronyx Secrets 2: Looking Through Different Eyes by Bill W The Many Faces of Kai by Dabeagle 24 Recently Updated 'Author' Stories Reconciled by Talo Segura Country Retreat by quokka Parasitic Love Redux by mastershakeme Thicker Than Water by John Henry The Mantis Synchronicity - Book Five by Adam Andrews Johnson After We Danced by Mark Ponyboy Peters A Dog’s Life by chris191070 **Complete** Re-Education by Justin4Fun Hubris by ValentineDavis21 Crossing the line by Robert Hugill Manny Needs a Nanny by Lee Wilson Silent Heartbeats by vanalas A Wizard's War by TeamStilinski Out Of The Closet by RichardWrites Strength of Fate by mcarss One Dark and Stormy Night by drsawzall **Complete** Andre and Chris by Paladin They may not mean to, but they do by Robert Hugill Beyond A Colour by Sam Wyer Dating Rules And Pretty Fools by Laura S. Fox **Complete** The Shadowy Path by Lupus Our Summer Rhapsody by CasualWanderer82 Welcome to Redwaters by Hardianarcher Dog Whisperer by chris191070 **Complete** Read, Write, and REVIEW!!! (Don't forget to Recommend too!)
  8. Good... Afternoon XD For my third entry into my blog, I'm sending you back to the first. My own version of throwback Thursday. It's March 1st, 2018. It's a day that will live... well, I'm not really sure. 20 years from now this may be a momentous day in the history of that famous internet author... ... ... ... ...VampireMystic. XD (You were expecting @Comicality maybe? Admit it, it's fine. Hehehe. I'm (one of) the speck(s) of slightly deeper darkness in his shadow) Why, you ask? Why, you wonder, will this day be worthy of note? Turn up the volume to 38, because Imagine Magazine's March issue is out now. Some might be thinking, "So what? I read your story in the preview." To them I say: *cough* Plot twist *cough* When he heard that I was sitting on 26,863 words (and counting) of story for his magazine, he (naturally) had some questions. And we've decided you get to read the answers! Head on over, pickup a copy, and you'll see Comicality shine a spotlight on me. Specifically, on the writing process for my story, 2-14-9X, from the world of Predators. Want more to sink your teeth into? Give me a follow, I have a lot in store this year. (Feeling a little confused? Check out my first blog entry)
  9. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, AP, BBC America, CBS, ABC, we could go on for paragraphs just listing the different news programs in this country alone. About ten years ago, I stopped watching news programs on TV and its probably not the reason many of you might suspect. Once upon a time, reporters would actually inform you of the current events in your local area as well as over the world. If you missed the nightly news, you would have no way of getting the information until the next day. There was no spin, no slant towards a certain agenda, no talking heads telling the viewers what to think or feel about any certain topic. Reporters were hired to give an unbiased view of the news. They were also for the most part a money losing program for the network. It was understood by the executives that the news didn't make money and never made a profit. Instead the news would bring acclaim and prestige to the network which would bring advertisers for the other shows. And for a time, the big three had the most respected anchors in the country. The big three, Dan Rather CBS, Peter Jennings ABC, and Tom Brokaw NBC, ruled the airwaves for over twenty years. They brought a gravitas and respect to their respective networks. Out of those three, Dan Rather, who from 1980 until the mid 2000's, was arguably the most respected and most watched news anchor in the country. This was before his fall for presenting questionable documents regarding President George Bush's Vietnam service papers. Then Ted Turner came along with his visionary idea called CNN, the very first 24 hour news channel in the early 80's. But it wasn't until the Gulf War when the world first stood up and took notice. For the first time, CNN overtook the big three with an unprecedented scoop. They were the only news outlet to report from inside Iraq during the initial hours of the bombing campaign with live reports from a hotel inside Baghdad. Almost ten years later, CNN would also go down in history as the first cable news channel to report the attack on September 11th showing the first live footage of the plane crashing into the World Trade Center. And with the success of CNN, an Australian publisher, Rupert Murdoch, joined forces with philanthropist, Marvin Davis, to purchase a media company under the banner of 20th Century Fox, to compete with the big three in early 1985. By the third quarter of 1986, Murdoch led the company to earn 5.6 million dollars. In contrast, the year before of the same quarter, there was a 55 million dollar loss. For one of the first times in america, there was profit in the news and people started to notice. Some would say this was the start of the decline of traditional news programming as networks implemented new standard operating procedures to garnish quarterly profits. And those shows that didn't turn a profit, those anchors that couldn't compete with the more sensationalized reporters were slowly replaced. Now reporters were replaced with personalities pushing narratives the network demands as they started to divide into Republican and Democratic propaganda machines. Traditional reporting was now regulated to newspaper only as networks focused on agendas and pandering to the advertisers. Thus paved the way for internet news shows who dove deeper into partisan politics with overt slants in one direction or the other. As of right now, no matter what side of the political spectrum you follow, you can find bias reporting that only reinforces your worldview and/or opinions. But none of the above reasons are why I stopped watching TV news programs ten years ago. The I-Phone brought a powerful computer in your pocket that gives you real time sources to find any information your heart desires. Why watch the nightly news that teases a story before a commercial break and then makes you wait now sometimes longer than 3 minutes. I just pull out my phone, and get the information from Twitter, Facebook, Google and I get the information without the talking heads spinning some story that happened ten hours earlier. Who still watches news programs and if you do, which ones do you watch in 2019?
  10. The Unblinking Eye Once upon a time, the news of the world came to us at the sedate speed of the newspaper man's Linotype. The news of the world would arrive at your door every morning along with sports, comics, book reviews and obituaries. On its way, editors might decide that the typhoon in China or the earthquake in Persia wouldn’t be of interest to local subscribers. Sometimes the images of distant disasters and war took weeks or months to end up before the public. Given the advances in telecommunications like microwave relays and satellites, the news cycle, and vast amounts of information can reach us as it happens. Now we can see the great events in real time. Our generation has seen more, known more, been more connected than ever before. We have had a high definition box seat to every earthquake, every volcano, every hurricane, every typhoon, every forest fire, every terrorist bomb, every war, every plague, and every human misery across the globe. It’s only human for people to say- I just don’t remember this much chaos in the old days. That chaos has always been there. We just weren’t as connected. Now we have to consider exactly what we are shown and what gets left on the cutting room floor. In the eighties, we wouldn’t have seen that typhoon roll over Taiwan. In the nineties we wouldn’t have seen the glaciers calving in the Antarctic. There’s a reason why we are seeing this and not something else. There’s a reason why we see human interest stories and silly cat pictures instead of something else. I won’t suggest whose agenda is being served. I won’t suggest that it is all a huge political cat fight. No one is stupid. We know this. It’s just important as you sit in front of your digitally multiplexed information pipeline to your brain that the people turning the spigots have a purpose and an agenda. It’s up to you to think for yourself and decide whether that purpose and agenda is in your best interests, your country’s best interests or the world's best interests. These images are not flat. They are three-dimensional and interactive. We are not simply observers. We are also players in this huge game and must take responsibility for our tiny part of it. How that works is a personal choice, but the great game is in progress and will continue with or without your input.
  11. I am very saddened by the events rolled out lately. It's not the first time there are protests over police brutality, but it's been a good while since some violence of this scale rolled out. The city I live in is currently under emergency curfew due to civil unrest. It is not a time to place blame. It is a time to reflect, how we could do things differently, using each of our very limited influence, so there is a future for younger generation. I just want people to stay inside and be safe. I do understand people are under emotional and financial duress with the pandemic. I really do. U.S. Constitution allows peaceful assembly, so please only express your rights in a civil manner. Pen can be mightier than sword. A few clear rhetoric can go a long way, saving lives of others for decades to come. Hatred, however, divides people, and I am afraid to admit, last longer. I was on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), our mass transit system one day and yield a seat to a senior lady. It was only a matter of seconds before others starting to do the same. I am a strong believer of setting good example, starting with ourselves. A graceful gesture will be much more meaningful to our humanity. Do forgive those who trespass against you. We are all learning together how to be a better human being. At one time or another, we most likely have done some regretful things, but if no one gave us grace and room for improvement, the world would be a very sad (and immature) place. Forgiveness is much more powerful than hate, so use it. My current story, The Sojourner of San Francisco, expresses some of my latent concern about how things are progressing. It is, in my own ways, a cautionary tale of the city (and by extension, the world in the broadest sense). It is meant to make people look more inside to encourage tolerance and empathy. The history of San Francisco is woven throughout for a good reason. Those who don't study history are bound to repeat it. I do wish some messages would come across sooner, so people would appreciate our co-existence better. Unfortunately, now it is the worst timing to be telling a story of a 40-something boy who is frustrated about the world and the story is unfinished, making people likely to jump to the wrong conclusion (what? People misinterpret other people's words in our Internet Age? No way!?! 😉 LOL). Trust me, the story does have a positive ending. I just need to write it out. LOL. In the mean time, please minimize the mental impact of outside influence. It would lead to a happier life. I will post one more chapter, which fortunately is a more positive chapter. Please do believe in humanity. We can do it. This is where you play John Lennon's epic song Imagine. LOL
  12. So... Kidnapped is still nearly finished, i've added a few more chapters, and i think i'm finally working on the last one. I sort of got interrupted by working on the Secret Author story. I will finish Kidnapped and post it. Then there's the one for the anthology. That needs to be finished too. It's a maybe, if I'm honest. What else? Oh, we are living now with our other partner, Dan, in his nice smallish house. It's mostly quiet here, and i love the garden and sitting out there with Michael and Dan. Okay, yes, there was the mad party at the neighbour's this past weekend with their really awful karaoke, but we escaped into the house. So all good. i think right now i'm the happiest i've ever been. i feel very at peace, even though work is awful, but as of August 1, i only have to do that for another 21 days, and then i am going to leave there. Michael earns enough now to keep me, lol. So, i'm going to let Him. Maybe I'll look for another job at some point, but not a full-time one. Right now, i feel stable mentally. Since the suicide attempt in February, i've been okay. Having this place and Dan around has helped. While i was in the hospital, they messed with my meds again, and things are really good. i rarely have really low days. i have no doubt that at some point things will get rough, but with any luck it won't last too long. The secret author contest was fun. Honestly, i didn't think there would be a winner, but I probably missed that in the info. No, i did not win, but It's fine; there are better writers than me on GA, and there were a couple that certainly deserved to win! i am happy for all the authors that put something out there. i think a good time was had by all. The aftermath, discussions, comments, and reviews have been interesting too. Well, i cannot think of anything more to torture you with! i hope all of you are doing well .. if so, continue on!
  13. Sam Smith is the most recent of celebrity who has come out as gay. I'm betting that by the end of 2015 at least four more celebrity will come out as being gay. I'm amazed that recent development and a better understanding of the LGBT community has caused an uproar and encouraged more famous face to internationally come out. I just hope that in the future more people will feel confident enough to come out, and be happy with themselves and there sexuality.
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