Lies! Lies! Lies!

Tonight we begin a new story after what seems like forever. I’m probably more relieved than excited to be starting this story because it’s definitely one I’ve struggled with for a very long time. Writing can be funny that way. Some stories come together quickly and practically write themselves. With others it’s like pulling teeth to get anything down on paper; at least that’s the way it is for me.

Some stories are even a mixture of both. I’m working on one now where Part I came quickly and easily. Part II is also coming along the same way although I had to walk away from the story for months before the inspiration for how to finish it finally came to me.

Not that the story is finished, of course, but writing the initial draft has come pretty quickly all in all. By contrast, like I said, writing this one has been a struggle. I think the main reason for that is that I was trying to do too much in the story originally and there were times when it was easy to get lost in the weeds while trying to hold the whole thing together.

From the beginning, however, I felt like there were too many strong scenes in the story to abandon it entirely so I set it aside for a long time. When I finally came back, I tried to simplify it in a variety of ways. I think I’ve done that to some degree, but whether I’ve simplified it enough remains to be seen. You’ll have to be the judge of that.

For all my efforts to simplify, the story is still about a lot of different things. It’s about family and friendship and being on your own for the very first time in life. Family is not a topic I’ve explored very much in my previous stories and how well I do it in this one remains to be seen. I think I’ve done a pretty good job as far I’ve gone, but I probably could have done more.

I’ve explored friendship before, of course, and how friends can be true or false. That gets another look in this story although there are times when I wonder even now whether I’ve overdrawn the point too much.

Being on your own is still another topic the story is about. It seems exciting at first because you’re young and you have all these hopes and dreams you want to fulfill, kind of like a budding author in some ways I suppose :-)

But soon enough life intrudes and you begin to discover it isn’t as easy as you thought it would be. Life has a way of wearing us down and resisting that temptation is not always easy.

In the end I asked myself what was the most important thing I wanted the story to be about? What I decided was that I wanted it to be about first love.

I hope everyone reading this story will try to recall what it was like to be young and to fall in love for the very first time. Whatever else it may have been like for you, it isn’t always easy for some people and that’s what I’ve tried to capture in the story; the tentativeness, the uncertainly, the fears, doubts, insecurities, all masking the flicker of hope that has begun to burn deep inside.

Again, as with everything else, you’ll be the judge of how well I’ve done that. Just keep in mind there’s a difference between love and sex. You’ll get more love, or at least the aspiration for love, than sex in this story :-)

There are a couple of points I need to make. Like with many of my stories, this one takes place in a real American community on a real college campus. And while I’ve tried to keep the community and the college real, there are times when you have to take some license with reality.

While a lot of the places mentioned in the story are real enough (and recognizable if you’re familiar with the area), there are others that are fictional inventions designed to facilitate telling the story. In some cases, I was probably just trying to avoid a slander suit :-)

The point is that the story is ultimately fiction, not fact. Some of the facts of the story are real enough, but others are made up. There’s no need for you to worry about any of this; whether fiction or fact, the people and places are there to contribute to the story narrative, which also mingles fiction and fact.

The Open Door consists of the prologue, which we’ll begin with tonight, and twenty chapters. The prologue and the first seven chapters are narrated by the character you’ll meet this evening. Beginning with Chapter 8, the narration will shift back and forth between the two primary characters although not necessarily from one chapter to the next. In some cases one of the characters may narrate two chapters in a row.

I know some of you saw the prologue when I published it last month as a sneak preview. I’ve only made a few small changes, nothing substantial, so you don’t necessarily have to read it again although it’s shorter than most of the remaining chapters will be. I think you’re earlier comments carried over, but I hope people looking at the prologue for the first time tonight (or whenever) will also feel free to comment.

Just keep in mind that you can comment anonymously, but only if you provide me with a real e-mail address which will not be published. Only first names will be published as part of your comment as well.

Since some of you will be reading it for the first time, I’ll just set the stage by telling you that it takes place late one evening on a college campus in a prominent New England community in contemporary America. The character narrating the prologue is running as fast as he can for reasons that will become evident soon enough. As with all of my stories, italics are typically used to let you know what a character is thinking or saying to himself.

By the way, if you’ve moused over that image up above and are wondering what the embedded message there is all about, Google “three xxxx” where “xxxx” is the word you’ve discovered to find out the answer and learn one of the secrets every freshman at the college is taught soon after arriving on campus.

What you learn will come in handy as well if you’re ever in the area and take a tour of the place. You’ll know how to answer when your tour guide asks why the statue is called what it is and the rest of your group will probably assume you went to school there :-)

In any event, enough with this introduction; have at it and remember to let me know how you feel by leaving a comment at the end of the chapter or by sending me an e-mail.

My new story . . .

Posted: July 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

the opened door

I’ve been running behind schedule ever since I got home from my trip, but wanted to let everyone know that I’ve now posted the synopsis for The Opened Door.

That’s the title of the new story I plan to begin publishing here on July 27, 2015. You can click on this link to read the synopsis; alternatively, you can access it via the drop-down menu at the top of this page or scroll down and reach it by clicking on the link to your left.

Not wanting to give away too much, I decided to go with a shorter, less revealing, synopsis this time around. I know that many of you probably looked at the prologue to the story when I published it as a sneak preview last month; and my friend Tom H., who read several different versions of the synopsis, would probably be mad at me if I chose one of the longer ones.

Tom’s not a big fan of giving away very much when it comes to stories, but I appreciate his help all the more :-)

The starting date I’ve chosen is a little later than I was hoping for because I’m currently working on still another story that I’m excited about. I want to press ahead with that story while I can because I’ve had a creative breakthrough after finishing the first half of the story months ago. I’m hoping this one will turn out to be my very best story ever although it’s different from my other stories so not all of you may agree.

It’s more serious for one thing, more grounded in history, and I’m trying to weave a political tale within the story much like I did in Connected. That’s all I’ll say for now, but stay tuned. If things work out like I hope, I’ll have more to say at some point down the road.

As for The Opened Door, I’ll have more to say about it on July 27 when I start publishing it online. If you have comments or questions on the synopsis or anything else, feel free to respond here and I’ll see what I can do to help out.

omigod!

June 15, 2015 Update: I just want to thank everyone who stopped by on June 13th to take a look at the sneak preview. We didn’t have a big turnout, but it sreems like everyone who read the prologue liked it; or were at least intriqued enough to want to come back for more.

I appreciate all the comments you provided and hopefully those will still be there when I repost the prologue in July. It probably shouldn’t matter if you’re really dedicated to your craft, but getting some encouragement and support really helps.

If anyone has any suggestions for how I could better publicize the story between now and July, I would appreciate hearing from you. I’m not publishing on sites like Nifty anymore so attracting an audience isn’t easy. If nothing else, maybe those of you who like the story could talk it up among your friends once I start posting it. Also, no one said boo about the links so I’m assuming you didn’t find them distracting.

I have a couple of different versions of a synopsis in the works, but right now I’m thinking I’m going to use one that says less rather than more. I feel like those of you who read the prologue already have a good feel for the story. Telling you a lot more in the synopsis might give away too much.

In any event, I’m off for a break soon. Feel free to take one yourself, but be sure to check back next month.

June 13, 2015 Original Post

As promised, I’ve posted a link below you can use to read the prologue to the new story I plan to begin serializing in July. This special preview will be available for one day only. If you click on the link after June 13th, who knows what you’ll get? It could be a nude image of me . . . or perhaps something a little less scary. But it definitely won’t be the prologue :-)

The last couple of months have been busy for me and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. In addition to trying to get this preview ready and working on two other stories, I’m taking off on an extended trip in the next few days. So, while I wish I could tell you when I’ll start posting the entire story in July, right now I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

If you’re on my mailing list, I’ll try to send out a notice announcing the projected start date sometime after the Fourth of July. If I do that, I’ll probably also include a link to the synopsis for the story. That remains to be written, but hopefully it’ll tell you enough to encourage you to come back for more without giving away too much.

If you’re not on my mailing list already and want to be, just send me an e-mail and I’ll add you to it. I won’t share it with anyone and I won’t pester you with e-mails either as I only use the list to announce new stories. If you don’t want to share it but do want to read the synopsis, just check back periodically as you’ll be able to get to it from The Annex sooner or later.

In any event, I hope you’ll feel free to leave a comment about the prologue once you’ve finished reading it. Since it takes place entirely in the mind of the story’s main character, I’m a little concerned you may find it confusing more than anything else. If so, let me know. I haven’t had much time to work on it this week, but if you think it needs work I’ll see what I can do to fix it up between now and the time I start serializing the story in July.

You might also want to comment on the links I’ve included within the prologue. I’m writing a story, of course, not a travelogue, but I thought the links might give you a better feel for the location where the story is set and provide some local color. If you find them distracting instead, let me know.

As for the prologue itself, I’ll just set the stage by telling you it takes place in the evening on a college campus in contemporary America. Our main character is running as fast as he can for reasons that will become evident soon enough. As with all of my stories, italics are typically used to let you know what a character is thinking or saying to himself.

Having set the stage, here is the link to the prologue I promised. I hope you enjoy it as much as my young friend at the top of this post :-)

My gay cherry . . .

Posted: June 5, 2015 in Announcements, General, News

feel free to pop it into your mouth:-)

June is a big month for gay pride events throughout the United States and indeed in many other countries around the world. Here in Washington there are a ton of events planned for the next couple of weeks and that got me to thinking what I could do to enhance the celebration.

Having already told you I plan to begin serializing a new story sometime in July, I got to thinking whether there was something different I could do this time around. That’s when the idea came to me.

Why not give everyone a sneak peek at the story?

So that’s what I’ve decided to do. I’m going to give you a chance to read the new story’s prologue on June 13, 2015 if you’re interested in doing so.

It’s my little contribution to Capital Pride 2015 and also a way of rewarding my most loyal supporters, those of you who take the time to come visit whenever you get a notice about a new posting like this.

Thanks for doing that by the way. I appreciate it very much.

While I’ll have more to say about the story after the preview, the prologue will introduce one of its main characters and hopefully whet your interest for more. Either that or confuse the hell out of you :-)

In either event be sure to mark June 13th down on your calendar because this special preview will be available for one day only.

Just so there won’t be any confusion, the story will be available from 12:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 13th here in the United States. If you try to access it after June 13th, you won’t be able to.

In any event, don’t worry. If you happen to miss the preview for some reason, you’ll still be able to read it when I begin posting the entire story online in July.

And who knows? Assuming you leave a comment, I may even change it depending on how you react on June 13th.

april-fools-day

Okay, maybe not :-)

But that’s only because none of you proposed!

In any event, I’m back and feeling pretty foolish today. Having spent most of the past month reviewing the story I’ve been thinking about sharing with you, I still don’t know how I feel about it.

That’s frustrating.

But I need to get off the dime and make a decision so I’ll probably go ahead and post it despite the concerns I have. Whatever else I think, there are definitely parts of it I love and hopefully you will as well. Besides, it’s not like you’ll be out a ton of money if you end up not liking it.

When to post it is another question entirely, of course. I’m thinking I’ll probably start sometime around the middle of July. Because even without having to worry about any wedding plans, there’s still far too much going on in my life to get it up before then.

Hey, dude, get your mind out of the gutter. I’m not talking about that!

In any event, I’ll try to post a brief synopsis of the story that doesn’t give away too much between now and then, perhaps sometime in June; and I’ll probably send out an e-mail announcing the story sometime in the beginning of July to those of you who gave me an e-mail address. If you need to update your e-mail address, let me know.

In the meantime, have a nice spring and feel free to propose whenever you want.

Tell me what you have planned for our wedding night.

Perhaps that’ll provide some needed inspiration for still another story :-)

oh my :-)

Kit comes in from playing in the snow :-)

As promised, I’m back with another update although it’s not much of one. Since last checking in a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been working entirely on that other story I mentioned in my previous post, not the one I’ve been thinking of sharing with you.

That’s one of the strange things about writing, at least for me. Usually I work on whatever I have the clearest vision for at the moment. Right now that’s one of the tales I’m thinking of writing for something I’ve tentatively titled The Liberation Anthology: Tales from the Revolution.

As the title may suggest, The Liberation Anthology is planned as a series of loosely connected tales chronicling the gay liberation movement in America from the pre-Stonewall nineteen-sixties up to the present time. The focus will be primarily on the period after the Stonewall riots in 1969 when the liberation movement is generally perceived to have taken off.

The stories in the Anthology wouldn’t be a chronological history of the people and events who led the revolution, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, I see the stories more as an emotional and psychological history of how people responded to what was happening around them.

People aren’t always aware when something important begins. They’re busy leading their everyday lives, sometimes far too busy to appreciate the significance of something like the Stonewall riots; and then a new generation comes along that lacks historical consciousness. Stonewall; what was that?

That’s certainly been the case for me; not being there, I didn’t realize just how important Stonewall was. I had read about it, of course, but it was only from talking to other people that I realized its significance; and yet many of those same people were the first to admit they didn’t know how important Stonewall was at at the time.

So even though a revolution had begun, people responded to being gay in the same old ways. Before people realized it was okay to be gay and proud, others experienced a range of emotions from guilt and denial to self-loathing and shame.

In short, people didn’t get liberated all at once. Some still don’t.

That’s the story I would like to tell at some point through a series of loosely connected tales. It’s an ambitious project and I doubt whether I could ever complete it as currently planned. But I like the idea and for the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on just one of the many potential story lines I’ve developed for the Anthology.

Partly I wanted to see whether that’s something I could write about in a convincing way. I thought writing about the past would be harder than writing about the present; in fact, it turned out I had a clearer vision of the past than the present.

But would the story work as a stand-alone tale? If not, could it be connected to another potential story line that would form a more coherent whole? Or would I have to wait until all the tales were written and publish it as what I had planned, i.e., an anthology?

It’s too soon to say for sure, but I’m reasonably satisfied with what I’ve written. If you saw it, you would probably say the ending is unsatisfactory and that might be the case. But then again not every story in life has a satisfactory ending.

I may post more about all of this within the next month so keep your eyes open. I would probably be doing so to see if you had any story lines you would like to suggest for such an anthology. Bedsides the ones I’ve mentioned (guilt, denial, shame and self-loathing), are there others ways people responded to the discovery they were homosexual fifty years ago?

For now, however, I should probably be getting back to that stand-alone story I mentioned in my last post. Taking a break from it has been good; hopefully I’ll come back to it with a fresher set of eyes.

I was a little surprised that no one had any questions about it, even the simplest: what’s its name? when does it take place? where? what’s it about? But not many people saw that last post, of course, just those of you who get notified whenever I post something new.

I didn’t send out an e-mail to my (small) mailing list so it’s hard to know if I’ve completely lost whatever audience I had. But I suppose I shouldn’t let that deter me. I write for myself mostly, not an audience.

The bottom line is I plan to spend the next month looking at the story, deciding whether I’m satisfied enough to post it online, and when I could realistically do that.

As I’ve mentioned before, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done once I’m happy enough with a story to consider publishing it. I have to translate it into the html and pdf formats for one thing; then get it uploaded to WordPress. I have to write a synopsis that will give you some idea what the story is about without giving away too much; and then I have to design at least one image to illustrate the synopsis.

I also need to do my best to have a real life in the process, something that involves tasks large and small. Uncle Sam wants his share of all those royalties I earn from these stories, for example.

Oh yeah, I forgot; I don’t have any royalties :-)

But I still have to file a tax return on the money I earn to support my writing; and to pay for that benevolent military-industrial-espionage complex that’s keeping folks like you and me and Rudy Giuliani safe from the TERRORISTS. I suspect they don’t love Rudy either. Does anyone?

Plus there may be one or two other things I’m interested in. Do you really think someone who writes stories like mine is completely indifferent to all those cuties frolicking around outside building snowmen like those two up above?

So all of that takes time; and I’m going to be disappearing from civilization for a while in June as well. But I’ll try to post again by April 1st at the latest to let you know definitively whether I’ve decided to go forward with the new story or to put it back under wraps and focus my attention elsewhere.

If I do decide to go forward, I should have a better idea what the timeline for the new story might look like then as well.

So that’s it for today. I hope you’re not too disappointed. If you are, the good news is that not many of you are because very few people saw the last post. I doubt more will see this one.

But that’s okay too. Like they say, sometimes less is more.

My Valentine . . .

Posted: February 14, 2015 in Announcements, General, News

with love from kit

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

I’m back, at least for today; and what better day to put in an appearance than St. Valentine’s Day. If nothing else, I want to encourage everyone to be sweet to their sweetie today; and if you don’t have a sweetie to be sweet to, feel free to be sweet to me by sending me a Valentine’s Day message.

It’d be nice to hear from some of my old friends and to make some new ones as well. So feel free to whisper sweet nothings to me by using the Send me mail link over there to your left and down below :-)

But my main reason for posting today is to let you know I’ve been working on a new story I may share with you later this year; assuming it’s good enough, of course. I’m actually working on two new stories, but one of them is way too ambitious and will probably never see the light of day, at least as originally conceived.

But it’s definitely hot, no doubt about it!

The other story, the one I’m actually thinking of posting, is a love story, but one without very much sex; and if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s not really a new story at all. It’s an old story I abandoned more than a year ago because I was having problems making it work.

Although shorter than Connected and Summer Boys, Summer Dreams, there’s a lot going on in the story. I was having trouble keeping all the balls in the air and bringing them to a successful resolution.

Recently I decided to take another look and decided there were just too many characters I loved to abandon the story entirely. Setting to work, I tried to see whether I could solve some of the problems and I think I have, at least to some degree. I’m hoping I’ll be able to whip it into shape for publication sometime later this year.

Didn’t know I was into whips, did you?

Kit giggles.

Just kidding, people; I’m not into pain myself, at least not too much. I prefer teetering on the precipice between pain and pleasure, sometimes leaning one way, sometimes the other. And that’s kind of how I feel about this new story right now.

Sometimes I think it’s worth sharing with you; other times I’m less certain of that. That’s the problem with being as close to the story as I am. I’m not a very good judge of its merits.

By now you may be wondering what the story’s about. I wish I had a simple answer for you, but I don’t. For now let’s just say it’s about dreams, hopes and fears; about being poor and being privileged and how things like that shape our choices in life.

It’s also about working for a living and going to school, selfishness and altruism, families large and small, and friends true and false.

But mostly it’s about being young and gay and falling in love for the very first time; and then finding the courage to risk everything by revealing yourself to the person you love without knowing how things will turn out.

The question for me is whether anyone is still out there who cares one way or the other about a story like that? If there is, feel free to let me know, either by posting a comment below or sending me an e-mail; and if you’re still out there and have any questions about the story, feel free to share those as well.

I’ll collect any questions you have and do my best to answer them if I can do that without giving away too much; and if there’s no one out there and no questions to be answered, I’ll just slink away again and go back into hibernation. I’ve got plenty to keep myself busy :-)

You can look for another post from me by March 1 at the latest. In the meantime, have a Happy Valentine’s Day and be sure to remind the people you love that your love for them is the thing you cherish the most.

Say it in words, of course, but show it in deeds as well.

Need a hint?

I’ve posted a clue below :-)

sexy feet

Welcome …

Posted: June 23, 2014 in Announcements, Blog, General

oh my :-)

Welcome to The Annex at the Café Palermo. Whether you happened upon this site by chance or were referred by a friend, feel free to pull up a chair and spend some time exploring my little internet café. Right now I’m away on an extended vacation, but you’re more than welcome to to read one of my stories for free.

Before you do so, however, you should probably check out this page to learn more about the Café and my stories. If you’re still comfortable spending some time here after doing that, there are three stories you can currently choose among.

Connected was the first story I posted online and Summer Boys, Summer Dreams is the most recent. Both of them are pretty long so they should keep you occupied over the rest of the summer, but I’ve never been able to decide which I prefer so the only advice I can give is to read both and let me know which was your favorite.

To access a chapter you can just mouse over the name of the story up above to reveal a hidden menu. Alternatively, just click on the chapter you want to the left. Reading should be fun and hopefully you’ll find my stories enjoyable, at least if you’re gay and proud and like to read about people like yourself.

The third story, With Apologies Mr. Dickens, is shorter and probably better read when the weather is turning cold and bitter wherever you live. If the weather never turns cold and bitter, try reading it during the Christmas season. Oh, and be sure to send me a plane ticket because I wouldn’t mind coming for an extended visit :-)

Again, thanks for taking the time to stop by. Please feel free to come back often; and if you enjoy the stories, please be sure to recommend this site to your friends.

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.