going, going . . . gone

Tonight is about a couple of things. For one we’ll catch a a glimpse of what the future holds for Ethan and Hunter, but only a glimpse. Not everything will be decided by the time you finish reading the Epilogue. There may be some things you’ll be left wondering about and that’s the way it should be.

What fun would it be after all if we knew everything that’s going to happen in the future . . . to Hunter and Ethan, D.W. and Brady, Cameron and Zachary, Gina and Marie, or to all of the other characters we’ve met along the way like Riley and Dennis?

Tonight is also about saying good-bye, at least for now and perhaps forever. It’s been fun sharing my stories with you, but life is filled with lots of exciting things and there’s never quite enough time to do everything one would like. I enjoy writing, but there are many other things I enjoy as well so I’m kind of like the characters in my stories. I’m not sure exactly what’ll come next.

In a couple of weeks I’ll probably post an updated welcome message so that any new readers who stumble upon this site will have a better sense of what it and the blog are about. If you get a notice from WordPress saying I’ve posted a new message, you don’t have to stop by to check it out. But you’re always welcome to stay in touch, of course, and you’re also welcome to stop by at any point and take another look at the stories.

I’ve never done it myself so I have no idea how they hold up on a second reading. But I’m planning to leave them up for now and I’ll definitely let you know if I ever decide to take them down; and I also understand there may be a few people who’ve been waiting for the story to finish before reading it. If you’re one of those, I would be interested in hearing from you once you do.

Thanks again for reading my stories, for your encouragement and support, and for being such a faithful audience. I did my best with this story and I’m glad you made it this far with me.

In any event, have fun reading the epilogue. It begins with a newspaper story so pull up a chair, sit down, open your paper and read on; and, as as always, feel free to let me know what you think.

red sky at night . . .

So this is it, the final chapter of our little saga of baseball and love. Like I’ve mentioned before, I tend to prefer my endings understated; although when I finished the original draft of this chapter, I recall thinking it was probably too understated. That’s why I pulled together an epilogue and you’re welcome to come back and read it next week if you’re looking for an ending that’s a little more exciting and to learn a bit more about what happened next.

For now I’ll just thank you again for reading the story. I appreciate it; and I would also like to say a special word of thanks to everyone who commented at any point or sent me an e-mail letting me know how you felt about our tale. It’s the only reward I get for the time invested and I thank those of you who let me know what you were thinking.

Speaking of e-mails, this is my final call for yours should you wish to be notified if I decide to publish any more stories online. Just send me an e-mail and let me know you would like to be added to my mailing list.

In the meantime, Chapter 48 is up. Have fun reading; and, of course, it’s never too late to let me know what you think. It would be nice to hear from you.

going home . . .

So we’re getting pretty close to the end of the story and I realize everyone is anxiously looking for a particular ending and that would be nice I suppose. But if you’ve read my other stories you’ll see I’ve tended toward understated endings in the past, not dramatic ones.

That’s partly because endings are only endings for us, not for the characters themselves. To be sure, we stop peeking into their lives, but their lives do go on; and sometimes, if we’re fortunate, we may even catch a glimpse of where their lives are headed.

The other important thing to remember about endings is that they happen on their own schedule, not ours. They can’t be rushed and require patience. Tonight’s chapter is not the ending, but it does move us close to the end. Recognizing what it isn’t, try to enjoy it for what it is.

With that I’ll just say I’ve posted Chapter 47. Have fun reading and thanks again for sticking with me through what’s turned out to be a rather long journey.

serious too :-)

I’ve been in and out of town the last couple of days and probably won’t be home until a little later this evening, but hopefully you’re reading this post and we’ve scheduled Chapter 46 to appear at the usual time.

There’s a lot going on in my life at the moment and I haven’t been able to spend as much time as I would have liked editing this week’s chapter. Nor has my young friend, the budding author, so it may be a little rough, especially since I’ve had to make some adjustments to the chapter based on what was deleted earlier. Like the saying goes, it is what it is.

It’s probably also time for me to start thinking about revising and updating my mailing list. I never used to have one of those, but I pulled one together after Nifty decided not to publish Summer Boys, Summer Dreams. I think that’s how some of you learned about this story; and while the current list is not very comprehensive and I’m not planning on posting another story anytime soon, you never can be certain what life has in store for you.

The point is that now is the time to revise or add your e-mail address to the mailing list if you want to be sure you’ll be notified if I eventually decide to post another story online. You can do that by e-mailing me directly. You’re also welcome to have your name removed from the list if you like.

I don’t sell the list or share it with anyone; the only thing it’s ever been used for is to let you know I’m about to publish another story online (and I’ve only done that the one time). But you’re also welcome to subscribe here or over at the blog to get notices whenever I post. WordPress maintains those lists, not me, and I’m not promising I’ll be posting either here or at the blog very much.

But I am planning to leave both sites up for now. If I change my mind about that, I’ll give advanced notice before taking them down. So that’s another way of staying in touch that doesn’t require you to give me your e-mail address if you prefer not to do that. Or you can just check back here or at the blog on your own periodically to see if anything new is in the works.

In any event, Chapter 46 is up. Although I plan to publish an epilogue that I personally think will be worth reading, this is the first of the final three chapters.

another budding author . . . among other talents :-)

I’m not actually around tonight, but you should be reading this introduction if I didn’t screw things up. This week I left a special guest author in charge of editing Chapter 45 and scheduling it to appear at the usual time. Hopefully it’s up along with this introduction. If not, never mind; I’ll get to it sometime on Tuesday when I get back and punish the little cutie appropriately :-)

Not being around also means I won’t get to post any comments or respond to e-mails until Tuesday evening at the earliest, but don’t let that deter you from letting me know what you think of the chapter and how good a job our budding young author did.

I’m kind of biased myself, but I think he did very well. Not only did he edit a rough draft, he also expanded a couple of topics within the chapter in a very nice way. He did such a good job I may have to bring him back next week for a much longer run.

In any event, Chapter 45 is (hopefully) up. This chapter finishes up what the last one began and sets the stage for the conclusion of the story. I hope you enjoy it.

holy only because it's so full of holes

Tonight we begin wrapping the story up. As I mentioned last week, I originally planned for Part V to consist of five chapters and an epilogue. The question was whether to retain or eliminate the first two of those chapters.

As I suspected, there weren’t a lot of votes cast. However, no one said they supported eliminating the chapters in question while some favored retaining them. Since I promised I would go by majority vote, I’ve decided to leave them in.

In any event, Chapter 44 is up. Feel free to decide for yourself whether leaving it in was a plus or a minus.

nothing happened here

As some keep urging, I’ve decided to move the story along at a much quicker pace; how much quicker remains to be seen, but for now I’ve decided to conclude Part IV of the story tonight with this chapter. That will spare you at least five weeks of reading and more cuts are possible if that’s your preference.

What I’ve done is replace the six chapters and 29,000 words that would have concluded Part IV with the 6000 words in this new chapter. I apologize if it comes across as a bit rough, but I had to pull it together quickly this past week after it became apparent there’s no interest or enthusiasm for Riley, Gina and Marie as characters . . . or really for anything except a much quicker resolution of the story that ends with Ethan and Hunter living happily ever after.

Still to be determined is how much you would like the conclusion of the story to be scaled back. Currently, Part V, which will begin next week, consists of five chapters and an epilogue. Of those, the first two were originally designed to wrap up a loose detail, but neither moves us much closer to the resolution everyone is looking for.

They could be eliminated as well to move things along if you want. If we do that, we could be done with the story by the end of this month except for the epilogue and that can be skipped entirely as well. It was written primarily for those of you interested in the baseball, but it’s not mandatory by any means.

I’ll do whatever you decide at this point. If you want the next two chapters eliminated, send me an e-mail to that effect; if not, let me know you would like them to be retained. I realize it may be hard to decide without knowing more about the two chapters in question, but that’s the point after all, isn’t it? You can’t really miss something you’ve never seen and we would get to the end the story at least two weeks quicker if I delete them.

In any event, we’ll go with majority rule on this even if the vote count is ten or less as I expect it will be. If you care one way or the other, let me know by Friday at the latest since I’ll need the weekend to rework whatever the next chapter turns out to be. Normally I would start working on that tomorrow so this pause will free up some time for me to do other things. Yeah for me!

In the meantime, I’ve posted Chapter 43. Keep in mind this isn’t a boiled down version of the six chapters I eliminated. It’s a transition I improvised on the fly this week to get us to the conclusion as best as I could.

What does it mean?

Posted: March 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

is this everything?

What does it mean to be gay? If you know, how about telling me.

so dreamy :-)

Lots of positive comments on that transparent image I used to introduce last week’s chapter. I’m kind of limited in what I can use at this point to illustrate the chapters without being rebuked by WordPress, but I’ll keep trying to find something that keeps you engaged with the story. We’ll stick with black and white this week.

I want to thank everyone who offered their opinion on what I should do with those chapters I’m concerned about. No one seemed to be bored although one person favored moving things along a bit faster. Several others wanted to retain the chapters, but most people just felt I should make the call myself.

I’m still trying to figure out whether they can be made workable. I’ll have to make a decision by a week from today. If you didn’t already see my post on this before, take a look at it now and let me know what you think. I’m still open to any thoughts people have.

It’s a little hard to explain all of this, but basically I started with a good draft of the story many months ago. The way I work, I spend a lot of time rewriting the chapters as I go along. Sometimes I add new material or elaborate on things I’ve already written. Other times I toss things out that don’t seem to make sense or don’t work very well; and then some chapters don’t change much at all.

The bottom line is that the story evolves along the way, sometimes dramatically; and now I’ve reached a point where the original draft doesn’t make as much sense anymore because of all the changes I’ve made along the way. It’s a challenge, but we’ll get through it one way or another. In any event, like I said, thanks for all the comments.

I’ve posted Chapter 41. This was a difficult chapter to write for still an entirely different reason. It required trying to find the right balance between portraying the passion Ethan and Riley are experiencing without abandoning some messages it’s important for people to hear.

I did my best, but I’m not sure I got it exactly right. You’ll have to be the judge. In any event, have fun reading and be sure to let me know what you think.

Help

Posted: February 26, 2014 in Apologies, Blog, General, Posting Schedule

and the answer is . . .

I need some help with the story and need it now while it could still make a difference. As things currently stand, we have twelve chapters and an epilogue remaining before we finish the story.

The next seven chapters are focused on what I would call the Riley/Ethan arc of the story, which was originally planned more as a Riley, Gina and Marie, and Ethan arc. The final five chapters and the epilogue are the conclusion of the story, one in which all of the loose ends get wrapped up.

To put it simply, my question is whether anyone is getting bored with the story at this point?

The reason I ask is I’ve been looking at the remaining chapters and have identified three that could be eliminated in the Riley arc without doing a lot of damage to the overall story. If nothing were to change, they would be Chapters 44, 45 and 46. They’re a bit of this and that, including some philosophical musings and a bit of sex (although probably not the sexiest of sex for most of you and certainly different than what you’ve seen from me up until now).

They’re interesting in their own way, I suppose, but I was never quite able to put together the Riley arc in the way I was hoping for; and as I’ve thought about these three chapters, they don’t seem to me to be critical to the overall story. On the other hand, leaving them in is probably fine too. It’s more a question of where you are as readers at this point.

Let me put it another way. Everyone is different, of course, but in some ways I feel the best of the story is behind us. We have to come to a resolution, of course, so it’s not like I can just toss in the towel at this point and declare the story over. But I’m not sure dragging it out makes a lot of sense either.

But then again I spend a lot more time with the story than you so it’s hard for me to say how fresh the story is coming across for each of you; how good a job it’s doing of keeping you engaged with the characters. Obviously, I thought these chapters made sense as part of the story originally. I’m less certain of that now; and while I plan to make the final decision, not put it up for a vote, it would be interesting to find out whether any of you are getting bored at this point.

By the way, just so everyone knows, I don’t have another story waiting in the pipeline and it’s possible this could be my last online story. But that really shouldn’t make a difference. Either you’re bored or you’re not.

In any event, it’s probably better to do this via e-mail rather than commenting on this posting. That way I can get your sense of things unfiltered by what others have said. If you decide to comment, don’t worry about hurting my feelings. I take criticism pretty well and whether you’re getting restless or bored is hardly something to get upset about. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve gotten your money’s worth :-)

The bottom line is there isn’t a right or wrong answer, just a personal answer for each of you. I can go either way. But if you have an opinion and want to share it, let me know by sending an e-mail. Thanks.