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William King

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  1. William King

    I'll kiss you in the rain by William King

    It's getting posted twice weekly so not too long to wait for chapters. The edition posted here has been tidied up a bit from when it first got published. I'm really pleased you like it (its the first book I wrote). There is a sequel to look forward to. That too is published elsewhere, but I found someone to edit for me (thanks @Pedro, I know you hate taking any credit) and we're working through a second edition, which will be a better read when it's published here.
  2. William King

    That's not English?

    I didn't think that as a topic this subject fitted in the writers workshop, because it's not a positive aspect of writing, or a tip, or recommendation. Rather it is a question that has plagued me ever since coming online to read stories and it is pretty much connected to American English. There have been discussions about differences between American v British English and this question is not about which words are used, but about phraseology and missing words. Take the following example: I don't believe I am able for it. I don't understand that phrase, which was written by an American author. I am not talking 'any old' amateur writer, but more a 'professional' top dog. My question is: is that phrase American English? It certainly is not British English as I know it. This is one example, at random, from one writer, there are hundreds of others from various American authors. There is the phenomenon of missing words, sentences which read incomplete to my British ears, because a simple word like 'and' or even 'a' or 'the' is absent. There are expressions which are common in British English, but get written slightly 'askew' by American writers. I can't go through endless examples, I have discussed the subject with some authors, I have edited to highlight differences, but essentially the reply is: this is how I always write/talk. It leaves me wondering, and asking myself this question: are these oddities that don't read smoothly to my British ears differences between American and British English, or are they errors? Does anyone else read stories and find themselves stopping, rephrasing something in their head that doesn't read right, or putting in a word here or there because it's missing, even occasionally shaking your head and saying to yourself, "that's not English!"?
  3. William King

    That's not English?

    There are a lot of good points made here in reply to my question. @Merkin I appreciate the evolution of the English language, but tend to think that what I am picking up on is more likely, as @Cole Parker made the point, Americans (and probably British as well) are lazy when speaking (and writing) which fractures the language. When this is in dialogue I have no objections, however in narration it's not so good. @Camy here is a bit more (I don't want to write too much as I don't want it identified): In a couple of weeks, we have a game coming up, and I don't believe I am able for it. I have been crappy the last couple of sessions, ... Perhaps this is simply a question of word choice and differences in the way of speaking, if I were to replace - able - with fit, it would read perfectly, I don't believe I am fit for it, or it's American English v British English, because in British English - up - would work as well, I don't believe I am up for it. However, this latter expression I would only use in dialogue, not narrative, because it is a colloquialism. Maybe I'm too finicky and should simply follow the story... 😁
  4. Perhaps we need to get the terminology clear: cannabis whose active ingredient is THC does not cause any physical addiction, unlike some other drugs, including tobacco. It is possible to become psychologically dependent, a condition labelled cannabis use disorder, but such dependency is purely a mental state and applies to a minority of users. So as @Jason Rimbaud mentioned his boyfriend being continuously stoned for three years, from morning to night, was/is not an addiction. If he chose to stop, there would be no physical withdrawal symptoms. The one important fact to consider is the strength of the cannabis (amount of THC). If you draw an analogy with alcohol, the percentage proof of an acholic drink is an indicator of how little you need to consume and how quickly you become intoxicated. There the similarity ends, a potent amount of cannabis may well induce mind-altering properties, the downside of which is paranoia. Making it legal can only be good, because the user should then know it's pure and what strength, potentially avoiding bad side effects, and as a bonus, no more criminal activity.
  5. Absolute Beginners is the title for a series of books which tell the story of Alex and Matty, of their friends and family, those others around them, and the people whose paths they cross. The first book in the series is titled I’ll Kiss You in the Rain. Alex, the principal character who narrates the story is a gay teenager who hides his real self until he discovers his best friend is gay. The idea for the story of Matty and Alex's relationship came from the first chapter, originally just a short story about two best friends who reveal to each other that they are gay. As the novel builds and introduces other characters, we meet Jake, an older guy who hits on Alex. There are other things going on in the background concerning Alex's group of school friends, but the main storyline is the interplay between Alex, Jake, and Matty. Matty looked up at me, caught my eyes, "I know." I was shocked, how could he know? Is that why he needed to see me? Is it over between us? With that last thought I felt a pang of emotion in my chest. If it was over, if it was over... I had no answer for myself. I felt sick, that feeling of butterflies in the stomach. He didn't wait for me to reply, but continued, "Brandon came to see me, to make sure I hadn't said anything about the watches. He had no idea I was gay or that you and I were anything more than best friends. Anyway it all came out, Jonathan, Jake, you." "Do you hate me?" This is a revised second edition, the book was first published in 2016 and received some favourable comments: As for the story over all, well done! It challenged the usual thinking of a story like this. Alex was a good kid with flaws. He got himself into circumstances that were way over his head, and he kind of got lost for a while, but he owned up to his mistakes and is a better person for it. Jake and Jonathan sullied the waters for each other. Alex walked into the middle of a complicated relationship and got caught in the middle of their lovers' quarrel. They prove that you can love somebody and not really like them for a while. Matty surprised me in a good way. He didn't interest me early in the story and it took a while for me to warm up to him. But he did warm up in the last half of the story and proved to have more depth than just being the happy, innocent, perfect love interest. He grew on me as the story progressed. I really liked this story. All my stories contain elements of personal experience, I don't think they would be real if they did not. The most extraordinary thing about writing this book is the character development, the way in which the characters took on a life of their own and lived. I have confined the story limits by giving attention and detail to the three principle characters, but if that were not the case, any of the characters could be developed, but of course that would tell a different story. I hope you like this story, and enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’ll Kiss You in the Rain will begin publishing here on Saturday 17 November.
  6. William King

    Dominic 3

    I agree with @Cole Parker , a little tidying up here and there, but well written. Regarding the storyline: there is plenty of scope, a whole lifetime. Personally, I would avoid the 'well off' benefactor who can arrange things that wouldn't normally happen, by exerting his influence (time off school, chauffeur etc.). It's a ploy used all too often, to easily smooth through the story progression, but is not at all realistic. I would watch carefully how the older boy, Matthew, reacts. He begins to exhibit the characteristics of someone much older, 'I really can’t expect you to feel the same way as I do, you’re much too young to start thinking about relationships, and it would be unfair of me to try and get you involved in one.' Do fourteen and twelve year olds start discussing relationships? That aside it was engaging and I immediately liked the characters, so good job ?
  7. The definition of hypocrisy, the country (USA not Canada)that started the war on drugs and screwed the world, now legalises it???
  8. William King

    Desert of the Real - a short story

    I came across this short story Desert of the Real on the story lover site and I was deeply moved by it, a story from the soul, an allegory of the search for salvation, acceptance, companionship, sacrifice. It's all in there, in one short story.
  9. William King

    Z is for Zombie by Geron Kees

    I haven't read this story yet, but I am guided on what to read by the posted comments: so, I won't be put off by the title (although I was, before @Ivor Slipper commented); I agree with @Merkin that Geron is a force to be reckoned with (so, another great tale from him); but @Jason Rimbaud I don't know what to make of a half comment, you'd recommend it, but a couple of things bothered you? (What, would it be a spoiler to mention them? Is that why you didn't?). Generally, I do find peoples comments and recommendations very useful in choosing what to read.
  10. William King

    Britishisms gaining a foothold in the U.S.

    I'm not too sure how many people will get that allusion... we're in danger of everything going tits-up!
  11. William King

    Britishisms gaining a foothold in the U.S.

    I have always read it as odd that our American friends use the word "tidbit," rather than its equivalent "titbit," which being British I am much more familiar with. By chance, I happened across this rather interesting, even humorous, explanation: It is not, of course, that the British do not use the word tit for ‘breast’; it’s more that they use it for some other things that North Americans don’t really use it for and so it doesn’t have as naked an association. https://sesquiotic.com/2014/05/04/titbit-tidbit/
  12. William King

    Site lag on forum.

    It would seem I am not alone in experiencing the site lag when posting to the forum. Description: after writing something in a forum thread you hit the button SUBMIT TOPIC and nothing happens. Nothing happens, there is a time delay, I'm used to it now and always wait. Usually, after a delay the item posts. If you don't wait the item gets posted twice, or as many times as you hit that button. It is also possible, due to the delay, that you receive an error message, but the item gets posted. Again, if you hit that submit topic button a second time, it gets posted twice. I have no idea why there is a delay, but suspect it's to do with varying internet speeds. It is not something unique to this site, but is very noticeable here. The solution: DON'T press that button a second time. If you are concerned what you wrote might get lost in cyberspace, copy it before posting. Hit the button once, go away and come back to check, whilst you still have the copy in your clipboard (that is, haven't copied anything else). 99% of the time it will have posted.
  13. William King

    US Expenditure

    LOL... but I bet if we go back far enough you used to be one of those funny looking college students that didn't work much!
  14. William King

    UN Survey

    That's just too funny... ?
  15. William King

    Summer Job by Altimexis

    I found it was like an epilogue to the Valentine's Day short story February Surprise, interesting to find out what happened, but nothing more, except it gave a great insight into life in the US as an American Asian.
  16. William King

    Gabriel's Island, by Marin Giustinian

    @Merkin I just wanted to add (a little off topic) that I read this story because you recommended it. I enjoyed it and passed on the recommendation, and it spread like ripples, so others enjoyed it also. I think it's great to pop in links to stories you've liked with a brief indication as to why and what the story is about. I've discovered lots of good stories this way. So thanks for the recommendation.
  17. William King


    More Boys on a Train. Terminus by William King “I fucked things up. I know.” It was hard to even look at Alec. So he didn’t. He avoided his gaze. There was a moment of silence. Not real quiet. The murmur of voices and the clickety-click of the train. Those noises were there. In the background. It was crowded. Packed. Like always. “I treated you badly, very badly.” It was almost as if they were in a bubble. Alone together. The rest of the world was a cocoon. Not like before. It crossed his mind that maybe Alec thought he didn’t remember. As if it was nothing to him. An inconsequential incident. He did remember. He remembered it like it was yesterday. Those words came out of his mouth and they were said. Their whole lives had changed that night. The train was just as crowded. Only it was the weekend. Different people. Made no difference. No difference at all. “I was totally insensitive.” He looked around. All he saw were coats and bags, the sides of bodies. Occasional glimpses of the people sitting opposite. The train stopped. The doors opened. More passengers squeezed on. Shuffling, pushing. Arms outstretched, griping the bar. “I've never forgotten saying it.” He still could not bring himself to look at Alec. He sensed the tension. Feelings re-emerged. Threatened to overwhelm him. Like before. He felt he was suffocating. But before it was different. “Those words came out of my mouth and twisted like a knife in the gut.” His eyes were wet now. It was different. This time. Now he didn’t give a damn who was looking. The train shuddered, squeaked. That metallic noise of metal against metal as it rolled around a curve. The crowd shifted and swayed. They stopped. “There's no excuse.” He felt a knot in his stomach. “I can't justify it.” He thought he would heave. He might be physically sick. There was no air. “Saying sorry now is pretty useless.” They jerked forward. The train moved slowly. Relief. Not really. It was the morning after. When he remembered it, he choked. At the time it happened he also choked, but for a different reason. He had thought about it. Many times. But only with himself. Inside his head. Alec was there. Next to him. They were older. “I can tell you that I was paranoid.” He breathed in. A deep breath. They picked up speed. It was as real now as it was back then. All those people were sneaking glances. Whispering. Joking, making fun. Snide comments. Accusations. Alec had asked the question. The ultimate question. They had made love that night. For the first time. The first time ever. Then there were all the people in the carriage. Going where? To work, out somewhere? Looking. Staring. They knew. Didn't they? The wheels screeched. They shuddered to a halt. If they had only arrived quicker, but it was always slow. Weekday or weekends. Overcrowded. Slow. “I was paranoid.” That was true. He thought everyone was looking. Talking. Accusing. “I thought they all knew our secret.” All those people on the train. Going to work, going out. They knew and were sniggering. Laughing. Whispering. “I projected my total insecurity onto everyone.” He had. He had moulded all those people into a reflection of himself. His inability to accept who he was. “I thought they might actually throw me off the train!” He felt different now. Now it was too late. Looking left, then right. Past Alec. Looking at the people. They had other things on their minds than him and Alec. “For being gay.” He said that like an apology. In a way it was. An apology to Alec. He also realised he never had quite gotten over it. Being gay. He could say it now. Maybe that was something. “I thought I had accepted it, but I had a long way to go. On that train I was barely keeping things together.” That was true. He had been close to breaking down completely. “That is no excuse. I told you, I cannot excuse the pain I caused you.” He hardly noticed as they moved forward slowly. Grinding along the tracks. Clanking over the points. “I told you I didn't love you.” When he repeated those words it was as if he held a knife in his hands. He was a murderer. He'd killed their love. Destroyed it. Before it had a chance. The doors were opening. The carriage was emptying. He hadn’t noticed that they’d arrived. Still, he stayed seated, waiting for the crowds to exit. He noticed two boys, young men. Saw them kiss. He looked over at the seat next to him. It was empty. The carriage was empty. Silent. Alec had gone. Of course he had. A faint voice disturbed him. “Mister! Mister! You all right?” He thought that he felt hands gently rocking him. The carriage doors were wide open. The platform empty. He saw Alec waiting. Waving to him from the platform. Forty years had not changed him at all. He looked just the same. Smiling. He didn’t hesitate one minute. He sprang up and made for the doors. He glanced back briefly. The two young men were crouched over an elderly person alone in the carriage. The yellow letters scrolled across the indicator – Terminus... Tears streamed down his face. He literally jumped through those doors onto the platform. Alec was there to greet him. END
  18. William King

    Gabriel's Island, by Marin Giustinian

    Looking into stuff about soul mates and souls I came across the inevitable scientific rebuttal of their existence. You would be looking for one person in half a billion and given you would become acquainted with around 50,000 people in your lifetime, unless you got very lucky you would only find true love (your soul mate) in one lifetime out of 10,000. Nice statistics but the basic assumption is that the process is random. It is not. Love is all around you. Around two thirds of Americans believe we have a soul, science says we are stuck in Cartesian dualism, we see our physical bodies separate from the "spiritual stuff of souls" which don't exist, and all memories, feelings, and sense of personal identity coming from an immaterial soul are actually just "a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules," (Francis Crick, biologist who co-discovered DNA). Both are right. We are stuck in dualism. The immaterial soul is greater than those individual memories and sense of personal identity, but feelings persist. Memories fade, personal identity is a construction. It's feelings that connect us to the universe and through which we may reveal the world and discover a soul mate. Feelings carry with them a vague sense of person, memories can linger, feelings reside in the soul, are often inexplicable, and last beyond a lifetime!
  19. William King

    New author error?

    The short story http://awesomedude.com/marin-giustinian/gabriels-island/gabriels-island.htm Gabriel's Island by Marin Giustinian is some how linked to Cynus and there is no author home page or listing on the authors column?
  20. William King

    New author error?

    When adding the link to Discord chat you get a cameo of the website. Presumably, what the site owner has set up. For instance, in the case of gay authors, you get a large GA logo, but as you can see (above) with AwesomeDude for this story you get, Gabriel's Island, A story by Cynus. I'm not either techie enough or familiar enough with these forums to tell you where it is set up like that. It's probably hidden somewhere where you never even thought about it, because usually links back to sites are just, well a link. I guess things are getting more sophisticated (or is that complicated)!
  21. William King

    Gabriel's Island, by Marin Giustinian

    A short story that evokes the experience of life, the search, a journey, in some non-comprenhensible way, a sort of compulsion to find your home and perhaps your soul mate. The story is as beautiful as the landscape in which it is set.
  22. William King

    The Perfect Pitch

    The Perfect Pitch by William King. Dark clouds scuttled across a grey sky that morning, like an ominous premonition of what was to come. No one spoke as they clambered down the side of the ship and into the landing craft, the only sound was the churning of the engine, the rest he blotted out. The boat rolled and bounced as it turned towards the beach. Private Williams’ stomach churned, not because of the sea, but with fear and apprehension. Even a glance at his buddy Jake could not dispel the knot in the pit of his belly. He followed the others down the ramp and splashed into the cold water that was up to their waist. Jake was beside him as they struggled towards the beach, his rifle held high over his head. It was as if someone had turned down the volume, everything seemed quiet, but the bullets zipping all around were real enough. The bodies floating in the water and lying on the sand in front of him were a vision from Hell. Matt Williams was never a great believer when the family listened to the preacher on Sundays, but for the first time in his life he prayed to almighty God to save him. He stumbled, crouching over, up the beach towards the dunes. There was nowhere else to go. The roar of gun fire, shouting, and screams, were everywhere. The zizz of a bullet whizzed past his face. He moved as if in a trance, adrenalin coursed through his veins. Just one goal – the dunes. He collapsed on the ground, curled up against the meagre protection from the little ridge. He wanted to make a hole and crawl into it. His clothes were soaked, from the sea and from his own urine. There was a thud beside him, Jake was there in the sand. His buddy looked over at a ghost whose face was drained white. A tiny smile formed on his lips as he reached out a hand. Matt couldn't feel anything but fear, he silently implored his mom to come and get him. When he realised that would never happen, he prayed if he was hit that he would die instantly. Jake's grip tried to calm his friend’s trembling body. He noticed the blood on his cheek, Matt was not even aware he'd been hit. “You guys alright?” Sergeant Drewer with eight others from their platoon had joined them. They were all hugging that little ridge for protection. Jake nodded to the Sergeant. Looking back down the beach it was littered with obstacles and bodies. He saw one landing craft take a direct hit. “We've got to follow the rangers up the cliffs, GET IT TOGETHER!” The Sergeant barked out the command. Jake and Matt turned to look up ahead. “Come on mate, we can make it.” There was no choice, Matt shifted himself off the sand following the others up the gully, which at least offered some protection. About halfway up they stopped. Looking back over the beach Matt got the impression the invasion had been abandoned, there were no more troops coming ashore. Further along the beach was a lot of smoke. Whatever was burning it was at least giving those poor sods some cover. “MOVE YOUR FUCKING ASSES WE'RE NOT HERE FOR A PICNIC!” One after the other they made the cliff top, scrambling over on their bellies into the tall grass. To their right the ominous concrete walls of a German pillbox protruded from the cliff. “Arnold, Williams, Slater, Davis, Berman get around the back. The rest of you with me. We're taking this mother fucker. NOW MOVE IT!” Matt and Jake crawled towards the gun emplacement, one behind the other, following Slater, Davis and Berman. Davis had been pitcher on his high school team and for some unknown reason he decided to break cover. Matt went to stand up and pull him back down, but Jake grabbed him. Davis pulled the pin and threw the grenade, it must have been sixty feet. The crack, crack, crack, of machine gun fire spat out. Who knows what makes a hero? Davis fell backwards, Matt's eyes followed the grenade. It hit the outside edge of the angled opening and must have dropped down just inside. The explosion was muffled by the thick concrete. It was the perfect pitch. Davis stared unblinking at the rolling clouds, a tiny stream of blood trickling from the side of his mouth. Jake crawled over, but there wasn't anything to do. He was dead, shot three times, in the chest and neck. They moved forward quickly now. Standing up and bent over, running around to the back of the pillbox. They came in behind Drewer and the rest. There were several shots. As the smoke cleared Matt looked away. Coming back out he moved over to the wall, stretched out his arm to support himself, and vomited. “Who the hell told Davis to throw a grenade?” Matt, Jake, Slater and Berman didn't answer. Sergeant Drewer sat down and took out a pack of cigarettes. He didn't want an answer, it was an insane thing to do, but probably saved their lives. “You look like shit.” Jake put an arm around Matt's shoulders. “Thanks.” He tried a tired sort of smile, but couldn't quite get his lips to move. “Least we made it.” “Yeah.” There were nine of them including Sergeant Drewer, which was less than half the platoon. “What now Sarg?” Arnie Slater was the little guy from New Jersey, the wise guy, he was always first with the questions. Berman was from Brooklyn, Ruben, he was Jewish. Matt and Jake were basically country bumpkins, least ways according to Arnie and Ruben. Poor old Brian Davis was a good kid from a small town, Milton, Delaware. He always told everyone it was the most beautiful town in America. Drewer gave Slater one of his crooked smiles and took a long drag on his cigarette, blowing the smoke out in rings. “One thing’s for sure. We ain’t nowhere near where we're supposed to be. It's a fucking mess.” “Where are we s'posed to be then Sarg?” “Fuck off Slater, and stop bugging me!” “Maybe we should find the lieutenant?” Briggs was a big guy, built like a tank, he was probably being serious with that suggestion, but it only served to wind up Drewer. “Look mountain man, you see these stripes?” He was poking at the three bands on his uniform. “Because they fucking mean I make the decisions here, GOT IT?” Everybody was quiet, we all knew how Drewer was, a lot of barking, but he looked after his squad. “The lieutenant copped it on the beach, I saw him get hit. Okay, let's get moving!” About four hundred yards across the dunes was a row of houses and probably a road. Looking around they seemed to be on their own here. “Over there.” Drewer indicated the houses. “Now be fucking careful. I don't want no more dead heroes.” The tall grass between them and those houses could hide anything. Four hundred yards suddenly seemed like a hell of a long way. But four hundred yards was no distance at all compared to the days, weeks, months, that lay ahead. The invasion hadn't been called off and they'd played their part, started that long road to freedom. Perhaps they were amongst the lucky ones? Over nine thousand Americans who landed with them never left. They lie in one hundred and seventy-two acres that over look those beaches. Endless white crosses or the Star of David. Neat rows forming lines on an impeccably manicured lawn, a powerful and humbling final resting place – lest we forget! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The End.
  23. William King

    The Perfect Pitch

    Thank you Chris ☺
  24. William King

    Russian Roulette

    @Jason Rimbaud I really appreciate you commenting, I'm kind of humbled by what you said. Thank you.
  25. William King

    Russian Roulette

    It’s worse than running a red light. Sure, one time you might get hit, but... Doesn't mean it’s all over. Depends. This was different. One of those chambers wasn't empty. Russian fucking roulette. Keep playing. And it’s gonna happen. Inevitable. Some things you can talk about, even need to. But I don’t need to talk to anyone about this. I know what being in love is. Feeling sick. Thinking all the time about him. Wanting to be with him. Wanting... to be him. I changed the brand of cigarettes I smoked. Peter Stuyvesant. Because... Because that’s what he smoked. He was a great dancer. I never saw a guy in a suit dancing. I never saw anyone dancing like him. When he was living in the same house as Brendan, he said I could come over. That was a shock. I had no idea Brendan lived there. I hadn’t seen him since school. Shit, I never imagined Brendan moving out of home. People can surprise you. I thought about what might happen. This was the first time we were alone. If you step back and look at it, yes. He was weird. That wasn't his fault. Bipolar Steve said. What the fuck is that? Somebody who tells you he didn’t show because he stayed on the bus. Decided not to get off at the stop. Followed this guy, a stranger he didn't even know. Why? He thought it was normal. Nothing happened when we were in his room. In that same house where Brendan lived. He lay down on the bed, face down. He had his clothes on. Told me to lay on top of him. I did. What’s normal anyway? Who tells you to do that? He felt how hard I was. There was this one time I was taking a piss. He came up behind me, unzipped, took it out, and pissed through my legs. How fucking normal is that? Bipolar? Is that what it is? That night he said I could sleep over. I did. Of course I did. I was like a love sick puppy. I hung around him, all the time. All the time I could. Nothing happened. He kicked me. In his sleep. Really hard. Kicked out. I spent the night on the floor. We could talk. Normally, I mean. Although thinking about it, I’m not so sure. He never got to the end of the story. I knew he left home. Runaway, kicked out? I wasn't sure. He told me he turned tricks. Met some guy his age who showed him how to make money. In the station toilets. Was he gay? Don’t ask me. I don’t know. We lived together. I fucked that up. How? How do you live with someone like him? I couldn't live with half a story. Half a person. Bipolar? Is it like that? Half a person. I fucking loved him! But it was inevitable. Russian roulette. You shoot up with heroin. What are the chances? Overdosed. Heard it by his friend. My heart was frozen like a Siberian lake. You'd have to drill deep to get through. He had the final word. Russian fucking roulette.