William King

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  1. Article of interest to all writers

    Not true Cole. I have read good stories, well written, on Niffty. They don't appear here or on other US sites because of the restrictions.
  2. Buffalo Wild Wing Disappointment

    I should be talking about Buffalo Wild Wings, but you have a habit of slipping in casual little asides, which by the way, make your blog ever so interesting, not to mention the entertainment factor. Well your little aside in this instance reminded me how when I was that age I had a thing about finding a black boy. Why? It was something along the lines of wondering what black and white looked like together, or perhaps a simple curiosity about black boys - I did find a nice guy - sort of - that is to say he was engaged with someone else. So all we did together, was talk, c'est la vie!
  3. Day Off...Cleaning...24

    "Polishing something else entirely..." That's also a boy thing! If I told you about one of the guys I shared an apartment with when I was nineteen, well it might make you wretch. This was beyond slob, way beyond - it was good he never shared a bedroom. Too lazy, or too stoned, maybe both, but when we were having a general clean up, which didn't happen often, we went into his room and what did we find? Quite a few bottles pretty full of a dark brown liquid which wasn't beer or soda or anything drinkable unless you wanted to imbibe your own body fluids. Yuck! We closed the door and left it.
  4. Refugee by William King

    The next two chapters 3 and 4 of Refugee deal with the sexual exploitation of children by aid workers. I recognise that this is a difficult subject, it is however intrinsic to the storyline, and whilst fictional, it is founded in reality. I transposed the events reported by UNHCR in 2002, concerning child sex abuse in African refugee camps to Syria and in this work of fiction the victims are boys rather than girls. If perhaps you might be thinking that is a long time ago, then this information gives a brief summary of the situation continuing forward: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_exploitation_and_abuse_in_humanitarian_response I wanted to include this aspect to the story. The exploitation of vulnerable minors, both sexual and otherwise is a continuing theme, along with their struggle to reach Europe and safety. It is not an easy read, but I make no apology for that, it is a fictional reflection on events taking place in the world we live in.
  5. Website background Theme

    I was reading an interesting thread from sometime back - - and came across the problem of the website background (white text on black) making some parts of what was written unreadable. I noticed that back then people also commented about not being able to read it. I don't know if you always had the little link, bottom left of the page, that allows you to switch off the background Theme and choose Default, black text on white background. Anyway, I thought it worth a mention, because it's not too obvious that you can do this or where to find it. The black bacground does make some text on parts of the website unreadable.
  6. Two "newsish" issues

    Teacher pupil relationships are a difficult and delicate subject, because one, they revolve around 'abuse of a position of trust' and two, they may involve 'under age sexual relations'. Having stated that, every case is different, and there do exist such relationships founded in love that endure a lifetime. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a relationship between two people with a big age gap. It is against the law for a teacher and pupil to be in a relationship, but what I would like to say is that it is not always right to condemn all such relations. The French president married his teacher, a woman twenty years his senior. I worked some years ago with a young lady over a long period on a project together, during which time I shared with her being gay, and she in turn explained how she had met and fallen in love with her husband whilst still at school, when he was her teacher. Their relationship was at first conducted in secret, because of the dire consequences if it were discovered. Nevertheless, they carried on a sexual relationship until such time as they could get married. There is a need to protect 'children' but we should not deny them the right to determine their own lives. We want to protect, not destroy their futures.
  7. Refugee by William King

    Thank you Joe and Chris James for your comments. "Headline news meets fiction" - I didn't need to dig very deep to be confronted by some horror stories and information that seems to be nicely side stepped or omitted by the headlines of mainstream media. You have to then ask yourself if what you just found out is true, but when it is easily cross referenced and is sourced from reputable sources, such as UNHCR reports, Human Rights Watch, and others, then it is reasonable to believe it is. Having the courage to use this background is perhaps something that has caused me a lot of personal debating. It is a work of fiction, but should nevertheless I think, do justice to the situation in which the story is set. I hope this proves to be so, my only test was that I shed some tears whilst writing it.
  8. Refugee by William King

    Thank you Chris, I appreciate you commenting and I am very pleased that it grabbed you, it is a tough story!
  9. The Americanization (Americanisation) of English

    We can probably thank Bill Gates, Microsoft, and America that British English still exists. After all if there wasn't a choice between US and British English in the Word spell checker, we would long ago have adopted American spelling and grammar with a generation who read and write using a PC, tablet, or phone, and for whom printed dictionaries are almost Dickension and encyclopedias are unknown dinosaurs from a bygone age, long since replaced by Wiki.
  10. Homosexual

    Thank you sir for your kind words and recommendation - this is encouragement indeed, and much appreciated. This short story draws a lot on my own personal experiences, you might say it is very close to the heart. I did actually ask my father what the word 'homosexual' meant, I was eleven years old (not thirteen) at the time. So that part is absolutely true as is the response he gave. The incident on the bus, seeing a boy my age one morning on the way to school is also true. Only it wasn't an epiphany. It happened when I was thirteen and already knew I was gay. The photo is not at all a personal photo, but I did have a crush on a boy at school: doesn't everybody? It wasn't that serious, but he was very cute, and I was upset when he left the school and his family emigrated to Perth, in Australia. I tried to write the narrative using the language of a thirteen year old. I wanted to describe some of those moments that are so important in your life that you remember them forever.
  11. Incorporating Music in a Story?

    Good point about the link no longer working. I regard that as unfortunate, but if you are really interested you can sometimes find an alternative, example with YouTube links (which can be annoying when you get the message "not available in your country.") Malware is everywhere - that is a question of protection and being vigilant. But I don't think any of this should stop us including links and expanding possibilities - they work or not, it adds something sometimes and takes nothing away (hopefully).
  12. After School Surprise

    BOOM! The explosion was deafening, followed by the metallic grinding of mangled rotary blades. The jolt pushed Jeremy forward in his seat, the belt across his chest was the only thing keeping him in place, and he never even remembered being buckled in. They were plummeting forwards and down. “We're hit... going down!” He heard the muffled words in his ears. To the right and above the sky was lit with a ball of fire. Jeremy saw the Apache helicopter hurtle past in flames, just as he heard a second explosion the other side of their mangled Blackhawk. But he had no time to take all this in, there was just, very weirdly the taste of iced tea in his mouth, and everything slowed right down. The whirring sound blurred into a continuous loud hum. Then they were crashing through some trees and the sound seemed to pick up, just like a slow motion sequence ending and reverting back to normal. How the hell he managed to pull the nose up – it was impossible. But they were skimming through the trees, almost level. The crashing sound of branches scrapping the sides of the wrecked machine, metal on wood. There was an eerie silence as with a huge bang the helicopter was brought to a halt. Dust and smoke filled the air. An arm reached across and unclipped the belt across his chest. “Come on kid! We need to get out of here.” They scrambled out through the half open door that was twisted and bent out of shape. There were others, but Jeremy couldn't take in the whole scene. He did see at least two bodies, and blood! We're they dead? He didn't know... He didn't want to know. He couldn't believe this was real. What was it he had said? ‘The Crown Prince... release the memory blocks!’
  13. Incorporating Music in a Story?

    I like multi media content in or with stories if the author wants to include it. I have read stories with music embedded or linked and videos. I include some stuff in my own writing sometimes. It seems a shame not to be able to take advantage of the possibilities that online publishing affords. I guess it is for the reader to judge how well it works, but it is an option, to listen, to watch, not an obligation, if you prefer to keep the story in your head with your imagination.
  14. Opinions being solicited

    Here are a few facts to sort a few things out: Thanksgiving is called Harvest Festival in Britain and is celebrated on the Sunday closest to the full (harvest) moon of the Autumn (Fall) Equinox, 22 September - it originates as a pagan festival. The # has come into being to represent - number - as in #3 meaning number 3, but it is much more common in Britain that this would be written as No. 3. Obviously as an abbreviation of the word - number - this is odd, but traces it origins back to the original French - nombre - meaning number, and hence No. as an abbreviation. 80% of English originates from French, but in Britain, unlike in America, when the pronunciation changed the spelling did not follow, hence in Britain and America we say - center, but in British English it is still spelt as in French - centre. Pounds - interesting: the £ symbol everyone knows means pounds sterling, like the $ and the €. When it comes to weight, then one pound is 1lb, but don't tell a British person you weigh 140 lbs, because they will look at you with a blank expression and understand nothing. In Britain 14lbs equal 1 stone, so you weigh 10 stones. For the rest of Europe you will need to convert that to kilos!