Peeking ahead …

peeking ahead ...

Since I’m still not sure what comes next for me or this site I’ve been trying to decide what to say in this post. For now let me just say I may begin posting the second installment of The Liberation Anthology sometime toward the end of May or the beginning of June. Or I may not.

If I do, I’ll probably post a brief synopsis about the new story sometime after the middle of May, but I don’t think you’ll get a notification from WordPress if I do; and I’m not planning on sending out an e-mail announcing the story either because some may find it controversial and distasteful.

In other words, you’ll have to check back on your own after May 15th to see whether I’ve posted a synopsis under The Liberation Anthology heading at the top of this page and then decide for yourself whether it seems like a story worth reading.

At the moment the working title I’m using for the story is Homo! If you’re wondering why I would use a gay slur as the title, it’s because one of the big things the story is about is the power of words and no word was more charged for gay men fifty years ago than homo.

It was a cruel word, one designed to inflict pain; and while it may have lost some of its sting over the last half century, it’s still capable of hurting. If you think I should change it, let me know. I still could, but time is running out and I don’t have anything better at the moment.

Like I said, I could also still change my mind and decide not to post the story. There are a couple of reasons for that. For one thing, it would run through the end of the year and I’m not sure I want to commit that much time and energy to the project at this time.

While I also think it’s a very good story, I could probably make it longer and better if I took a leave of absence from this site and spent the next year working on it in private.

But probably the most important reason for not posting the story is because it raises some difficult questions about the ethical responsibilities of a writer and I’m not sure I have good answers for them.

If you ask people whether an author should avoid writing about the Holocaust because it was evil, for example, I think most would say no; that it’s perfectly acceptable for someone to write about bad things.

But what if the writer told you he wasn’t going to take a position one way or another about the moral issues raised by the Holocaust? That he was just going to portray it as a fact and let you decide what you think?

How would you feel about that?

What if the writer also told you the main character in the story would be a Nazi death camp guard and he wasn’t going to portray that guard as either good or evil, just as an ordinary person going about his everyday job without ever reflecting much on what he was doing?

Indeed, what if the guard was portrayed as a good husband, father and friend; or at least not a bad one?

How would you feel about such a story?

The story I’ve written is not about the Holocaust, but it raises a difficult and sensitive issue. Although it may not seem so at first, it’s also different from my other stories in important ways and many of you may not like that.

For example, my last two stories featured characters attending college and graduate school (or wanting to). I hope they came across as the intelligent people they are, but some would say their intelligence made them too cautious in dealing with life.

The lead character in the first half of Homo! is different. He’s not a good student and isn’t interested in school. He’s not career oriented or ambitious and doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about where he wants to be in five or ten years.

He’s not religious and hardly ever thinks about whether something is right or wrong. He’s just a happy-go-lucky fourteen year old kid who lives in the moment, knows what he likes and is focused on getting whatever he happens to want.

What he wants most of all is to have fun; and since he’s just recently discovered sex can be fun, the story will feature more sex than usual or at least be a lot more focused on sex. But you may find some of that sex controversial, distasteful, or even appalling.

Consider yourself warned if I go forward.

If all of that wasn’t enough, you may end up hating the ending as well. Assuming you get to the ending, of course; there’s a good chance you won’t because you’ll be mad at me for writing a story like this.

In short, if you’re looking for a feel good story, this probably isn’t the one for you. I won’t have a problem if you decide to pass on it.

Like I said, I’m still trying to decide whether to post it myself. If I don’t and decide to take some time off, thanks for your encouragement and support.

By the way, I’ve updated the galleries both here and over at The Cafe. Feel free to comment (nicely) on your favorite images by clicking on them and telling us why you like them or find them amusing.

Just so you know, those of you signed up to get notices from WordPress may get a notice in the next week or two as I plan to put up a post welcoming new readers or people who stumble onto this site accidentally. You can safely ignore it 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Peeking ahead …

  1. Hi Kit,You are a great storyteller.  I think the majority of the readership knows that these are stories and will not be offended by anywhere your poetic license takes you.So have at it.  Your public awaits.Thanks.George K

    1. Nice to hear from you, George, and I appreciate the support.

      Maybe I worry too much about sending the wrong message, but I feel the need to be especially cautious when the story itself is about the power of words.

      We’ll have to see.

  2. Kit,

    Please print the story. Far too often we are fed what is considered the safe stories. It will most likely be a challenge to read HOMO but it is nice to be challenged. When it comes right down to it … Your readers trust you. We trust you to not just entertain us but to lead us to careful thoughts. As for the happy ending … I will recommend to you a brace of movies that are in my top 5 favorites. “My Father’s Glory” and “My Mother’s Castle”. I recommend them because 1. They are wonderful movies. 2. They have cute French boys running around the countryside. And 3. It is not a happy ending to the films, which makes them that much sweet and touching.

    Now for the most important hing … If a lot of people complain about the title being “Homo!” Feel free to change to another word that for years signified shame, degrading behavior, and a tendency to do acts that some people find repugnant. That word …. “Tim”

    Cheers,

    Tim .. No not Tim …. Ummmmm … Bob … Yeah my name is Bob

    1. I’m not sure how challenging it will be, Tim, but it will be different, especially as the story progresses. Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill and will disappoint everyone when the story turns out to be much too conventional or too much of a downer.

      I guess only time will tell if I decide to go forward.

  3. Kit,

    Everything I’ve read from you since the ending of First Love seems to be tinged with “disappointment” and some angst as to where you are headed as an author. Why not take a deep breath, exhale and relax. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you create interesting stories, have a talent as a story teller to engage your readers in the characters you write about. You have a way of creating empathy between your readers and your characters and that puts you in a class with the best authors out there.

    One of the things I look for in an author is courage. Courage to say what he/she feels needs to be said. When you decide to write on a particular subject you have usually worked out that, the story needs to be told for whatever reason and that your audience needs to hear its message if there is one.

    What makes you think that your audience here only wants to read “feel good” stories. I venture that most of us who follow you don’t necessarily come here to feel good but come because they know that they will find a well written story that will keep them both entertained and stimulated by the subject matter.

    Please rethink your decision not to post “Homo” title included. We don’t know why you chose to tell the story but if you feel motivated to write it I will always presume you have a good reason. The difference between reading a story purchased from a bookstore and a story posted here is that a story posted here puts us in touch with the writer, making him/her more a friend than just a storyteller.

    As for whatever you feel is dark about “Homo” bring it on. I saw a film yesterday called “Stranger by the Lake” (you can find it on netflix if you’re a subscriber or on dvd), I think it was included in the Cannes Film Festival, not sure. That is a really dark story that kept me thinking about both the character of the characters and a period in their lives that was very similar to a period in my own. I didn’t feel good after but I still felt it was worth viewing.

    If I might give some advice, not knowing your whole story, decisions are meant to be made when you “feel” you are at a “decision point” not before. I’m not sure you are there yet.

    Stan

    1. I’m not sure what brought all of this on, Stan. It’s just a post to welcome new readers to the site who may not have been here before and to explain the connection between The Annex and The Café.

      As for the rest of it, all I’m trying to do is what most people do, i.e., find some way of balancing all the things going on in my life and a little time to write something new. I haven’t really done in quite some time now.

      In any event, thanks for the tip about “Stranger by the Lake.” I’ll have to check that out.

      As far as Homo! goes, just hold your breath and give me a little time to see whether I’m comfortable enough with the story to start posting it anytime soon.

      And thanks again for the encouragement support … I think 🙂

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