I haven’t decided on the title of my next story for sure, but Summer Boys, Summer Dreams is the working title right now.
I’ve also considered The Endless Summer, Forever Summer, and Seasons. I like Seasons in some ways because it would make naming the different parts a bit easier, but I’m not sure the parts would match up that perfectly with the content to be honest. If you have a preference or another suggestion, let me know. I’m looking for something that captures the imagination when you combine words like baseball, boys, dreams, forever, gay, and summer and conjures up still other words like steamy, hot, or even scalding, just kind of subtly.
We don’t want the heat so overpowering people have to take a cold shower after reading a chapter. That’s my job after writing them and right now I could probably use some flood insurance 🙂
A lot remains to be done before the story is finished, but I’m definitely making progress and I’m very excited about the whole thing. I’m aiming for a start no later than sometime in June, but there’s also a chance it could go online earlier. As you know, the writing is only part of the process. I have to translate all the writing into different formats and get it uploaded to WordPress as well.
In some ways this story is different from anything I’ve written so far. It’s going to be set in contemporary America, not 2013 exactly but not thirty years ago either. The characters will be more contemporary as well and thus easier to relate to I think.
Hell, I may even let them text, sext, skype, or snapchat one another (or spend time on Grindr or Craigslist as they get older). Or, then again, maybe not; I’m not sure writing a story as a series of tweets would be all that satisfying so we’ll see. Whether we see them using it or not, these boys will definitely be more clued in to social media and what’s happening around them right now.
It’s a really fun story too. It’s been a lot more enjoyable for me to write, more amusing, less depressing, and with younger characters I like spending time with (think Nolan and Josh or Sean and Teddy, for example).
The story will probably not be set in Washington, at least initially, although one of the main characters may end up there eventually. I haven’t decided for certain. If he does, it will be a different Washington than the one you’ve been exposed to thus far, more modern, more gentrified, more focused on the bottom line; and perhaps less interesting and colorful in some ways as a result (although the characters themselves will be memorable enough to make up for that).
The Café Palermo and some of the other places you’re familiar with from reading my other stories won’t be around any longer, victims of changing times and changing mores. And the characters will be different as well, not necessarily out but less troubled with being gay and still facing some of the same timeless challenges that accompany the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
The story is definitely going to be longer than With Apologies Mr. Dickens but likely shorter than Connected. That’s still to be decided and will depend a lot on how much time I spend developing some of the characters, many of whom are going to be quite interesting and colorful indeed. Spending time developing multiple characters is something I like doing and right now the biggest problem with this story is I don’t want it to end so I just keep writing and writing 🙂
But good writing involves recognizing when you’ve exhausted your material and tossing some of what you’ve written away. You have to strike a reasonable balance because writing more can tire readers out and also push back the start date for a story as well.
This story will probably be steamier than anything I’ve written before and definitely steamier than With Apologies Mr. Dickens. The main characters are younger than Brian, just coming of age and they definitely have sex on their minds more than Brian. And never having been molested like him, they’ll also have a more optimistic outlook on life generally. As I said, being gay is less problematic for them, which is not to say they won’t have issues to deal with. They will.
The sex could also be different than what I’ve previously done, at least that’s the way I’m currently writing it. Up until now, the sex in my stories has mostly been what I would call gay plain vanilla, partly because I think my readers relate to that more easily but also because I struggle a lot with what’s appropriate to post in an online setting. But for this story we may have to password protect some of the chapters and check driver’s licenses before giving you access 🙂
I mean, it’s hard writing about sex, as I’ve discussed before; here and here, for example. I don’t know what anyone else thinks, but I think sex is a big part of our lives and something we should deal with honestly. I want to push back against some of the conventional wisdom when it comes to things like masculinity and femininity; to explore sexual taboos and fetishes, things like dominance and submission, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and perhaps even some things better left unmentioned for now.
Not everyone has the same sexual tastes or imagination so why should the characters in my stories all do things the same way? But whether, at the end of the day, I’ll be able to move the chains, so to speak, is hard to say. I’m into writing, not pornography or gratuitous sex; if the past is any guide, I’ll write it one way and then probably tone it down considerably before posting.
But who knows? Maybe I’ll surprise you this time. We’ll see.
As mentioned, the main characters in the new story will be younger. They’ll start out about the same age as Nolan and Josh or Robbie and Jimmy, perhaps a little older since they’ll have just graduated from high school when we meet them. The story will follow them as their lives unfold, one character’s life for sure, perhaps both. By the end of the story all of the characters will range from 18 to 23; and whether the story will end or just stop (to be resumed latter) remains to be seen.
If I run into problems, I might break this into two stories so I can take some time off between them to do the job properly. But right now I’m just aiming for one story with multiple parts.
As the image above suggests, one of the main characters in this story will be a baseball player, a young man, a boy in some ways, who ends up playing the game professionally. That will be challenging for me because I’ve never actually played professional baseball myself so I’ve had to do a lot of research and I’m still not sure I’ve gotten everything right (or ever will). By the way, if there’s anyone out there who ever played minor league ball and is willing to provide an authenticity check, please drop me an e-mail.
I could probably use some free legal advice as well if there are any lawyers among you. Should I use Baltimore Orioles (real) or Baltimore Blues (fictional)? Major Leagues Baseball (real) or Professional Baseball Association (fictional)? I don’t have a clue; of course, I also don’t have any money so they won’t get much if they sue my ass off, certainly not enough to make it worth their time and effort. Although it’s kind of a cute ass if I say so myself 🙂
Or maybe I’m just being a wise ass. Who knows?
However that may be, baseball is the story’s backdrop, not its central theme or reason for being. I chose it as the backdrop for the story for a lot of different reasons, including the fact that there’s still a lot of homophobia in professional sports and gay players often remain closeted in an effort to avoid having to deal with that. I wanted to explore how doing something like that can affect a person’s life.
In the end, however, this is still primarily a story about young men searching for love and fulfillment, not your classic baseball story. You won’t have to know what a slash line is to enjoy it.
Not all of the characters will be gay. Some will be straight and one will be a young man who’s pretty aggressively bisexual. The story will also feature a couple of lesbians in minor roles, one perhaps not so minor if I have the courage to publish a couple of chapters I’ve written. I may not because they really push the margins quite a bit and I’m just not sure how realistic they are either.
Actually, one of the lesbians is bi as well, just not as aggressively as the dude I mentioned. She definitely has a strong preference for girls, unlike the dude who has a preference for whoever happens to be around at the moment. Hey, I told you the story was going to be steamier, didn’t I 🙂
Oh, one other thing. I know this may come as a shock, but I’m not actually a lesbian myself. If you are and you’re younger and hip and clued in to the scene, let me know because I’ll probably need some help figuring out how to get these girls right.
So when and where is this new story going to be published you may be wondering? That’s hard to say exactly. As for the where, I may only publish it on my web site because I’m becoming less and less concerned with how many readers I have. Having more readers can be harder in some ways because you start worrying about not wanting to offend anyone and that’s probably not a good thing for a writer. But I’ve said that before and then backed off at the last moment.
I also can’t tell you exactly when the story will go online because there is just still too much to be done. I would suggest you check back here at the blog on April 1st. I’ll definitely post an update then although it might end up as an April fools’ joke that just tells you to check back May 1st. I just don’t know for sure how long the story will be or how quickly things will go. But I should be able to give you a better idea where things stand by April 1st.
Alternatively, you can subscribe to my blog and get notified that way. But then you might get an occasional notice for a blog posting when something outrages me terribly and I feel compelled to write some kind of rant about it. Knowing how much all of you love my blog postings, coming back on April 1st may be the more attractive option. Just be sure to bookmark the site so you won’t forget its name between now and then.
Since most of you who visit this site never comment or e-mail me, I don’t really have a good idea whether my readers like things lukewarm, steamy, hot or scalding; longer or shorter; plain vanilla or spicier; whatever. I’ve actually thought of posting a poll online to see what you think about things like that. If you think that would be a good idea, let me know. But I suppose that would be out of character, wouldn’t it?
I also realize you can’t please all the people all the time. In the end, I write for myself mostly. If some of the rest of you like what I write, that makes it even more special for me. There are probably some things you could do that would make it a lot more special for me, but I won’t go there for now 🙂
So there you have it in a word or two thousand. I could still screw everything up, I suppose, and I could also be mistaken about what you enjoy reading. But I like this story a lot and I’m the only audience I’m aiming at pleasing for now.