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 over at The Annex, 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 The Annex 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 Annex. 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 🙂