Help . . .

Posted: July 29, 2015 in Author Comments

great chapeau!

Like that cutie above, I’m looking for help; just not with my wardrobe though :-)

Let me begin by thanking everyone who stopped by The Annex earlier this week to read the prologue to my new story, The Opened Door. All in all we had a pretty good turnout given that it’s been a long time since I began a new story. Having said that, it does look like I’ve lost quite a few readers along the way.

I think one of the biggest reason for that is because I only publish on my own web site these days. I used to post my stories on Nifty simultaneously, but I had difficulties with the person who runs that site; and there were times when I honestly felt dirty or illiterate just visiting Nifty :-)

But not publishing on other sites means it’s difficult to get out the word about my stories and that’s where I could use some help.

For now I’m just asking you to pass the word along about my stories to any friends you have who enjoy reading and don’t have a problem with stories that feature gay characters. As you know, I don’t bother my readers with ads or e-mail solicitations or by asking for money to read my stories. (If you’re seeing ads, which I’m not, they’re put there by WordPress, not me).

I’ve tried to be respectful to everyone and make this a place people enjoy visiting.

Other than that I’m looking for suggestions for how to appeal to a larger audience and would welcome any you have. For example, I know there are sites around the internet where readers can post reviews of stories or otherwise let people know what they are currently reading.

I don’t pretend to know all of those sites, but one I can think of off the top of my head is AwesomeDude. It has a Reader Rules! Forum where people can apparently post reviews of stories they like, but there are probably a ton of other sites like that you may know about that I don’t. Feel free to pass those along so I can check them out.

As a lot of my readers are from other countries, you’re almost certainly more familiar with those kinds of sites in your country than I am. If you can let me know about those or even put in a plug for my stories, that would be appreciated as well.

There are probably tons of things I’m overlooking so don’t be shy about making a suggestion in response to this post. Whether you do or not, my stories will remain free as always. But as much as you’re not supposed to worry about stuff like that, I think most authors do want their stories to be read. So any help you can provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks for reading this.

The Opened Door …

Posted: July 27, 2015 in Author Comments

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 Author Comments

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 at The Annex on July 27, 2015. You can click on this link to read the synopsis; alternatively, you can access it a couple of different ways over at The Annex.

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.

Sneak Preview . . .

Posted: June 13, 2015 in Author Comments

omigod!

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 Author Comments

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.

I’m getting married!

Posted: April 1, 2015 in Author Comments

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 Author Comments

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 click on that E-Mail Me link at the top of this page and whisper sweet nothings to me :-)

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 Author Comments

Welcome to the Café Palermo. A couple of years ago I decided to publish some of my stories online. Originally I had planned to post them here, but later I changed my mind and moved them over to The Annex.

This site became mostly a blog for some of my online ramblings about this, that, and the other thing. I used to post here fairly regularly, but eventually came to realize just how rigged the American political system is against meaningful change.

In truth the system exists to serve the rich and the powerful and to keep the rest of us in check through continuous surveillance by agencies like the NSA. The difference between the two major political parties are at the margins and only certain points of view are tolerated or permitted by the mainstream media, which are only interested in elite opinion in any event.

Don’t believe it? Just check out Meet The Press, Face The Nation, and the rest of the Sunday morning talk shows. Do you really think anyone with a truly alternative point of view gets invited to appear on those shows? What we get are the same old tired voices committed to the status quo in America and protecting their privileges.

So I’ve pretty much given up on blogging and the American political system and should probably merge my two web sites. At the moment, however, I’m on an extended vacation and too lazy to do something like that so you’ll have to settle for this modest update.

But if you’re gay or gay friendly and like reading free stories about people like yourself, I would encourage you to visit The Annex. You’re also welcome to read my previous blog postings, but I doubt you’ll find them as interesting as the stories :-)

Whatever the case, thanks for stopping by. If you look at either the stories or some of my blog postings, feel free to drop me an e-mail to let me know what you think. I always like hearing from new people, whether they live in America or elsewhere.

Disappointed

Posted: May 22, 2014 in Author Comments

sad and embarrassed

What else is there to say about passage of the USA Freedom Act today by the House of Representatives? Like so many previous efforts to reign in the excesses of the intelligence community, what started out as an effort to end the bulk collection of data about Americans has now morphed into still another legal rationale designed to justify those abuses.

I doubt anyone is paying attention to any of this, especially as we head into the Memorial Day weekend here in the United States, so I won’t go into a lot of detail about what happened today in Washington. You can read more about that here, here and here. The main thing to avoid is deluding yourself into believing this is a step in the right direction as so many of the news stories in the mainstream media are attempting to portray it.

In reality, this is just another effort to provide new legal authority for the NSA to continue business as usual in the event it’s not able to secure renewal of the legal authorities it has been relying on, which are set to expire next year; and, as usual, Barack Obama was the cheerleader in the effort to defang this new legislation of any meaningful reforms.

To me Obama is the worst Democratic President in a century and perhaps the worst of all time. Along with George W. Bush, he’s done more to destroy what America once stood for and one can only hope history will judge him accordingly.

For those of you who care about things like this and may be still reading this blog, here is a link to how the different members of the House of Representatives voted today. A yea vote is a vote to permit the NSA to interpret the legislation any way it choose so don’t be surprised if your congressman is among those who voted once again to gut the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

In the event you forgot, the Fourth Amendment reads as follows: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.