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About Merkin

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    Virginia USA
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    breathing in...breathing out

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  1. Merkin

    Going for the Gold by Cole Parker

    Cole wraps up this lovely story and, as usual, it begs for a sequel. Sigh. Little chance of that, right Cole? I'll have to be content with this one. I so like to read about thoughtful boys. This story could be a handbook for young gay guys on how to set standards for oneself and then work it out.
  2. “Raising Boys” Series in Washington Post ‘In light of the past year’s news of rampant sexual misconduct by some powerful and famous men, Washington Post journalists asked the question: How do we raise boys? To find out, we searched the country, talking to boys, parents and experts about what it’s like to be a boy today.’ This important three-part series examines three age stages in the development of American boys: Age 8, Ages 11-12, and Age 17. It is well worth our attention. Sadly, this investigation does not so far incorporate the particular issues confronting boys who discover they are gay, bi, or trans, although the Age 8 article includes a short video showing a father raising a young biracial trans boy. However, it is important to recognize the milieu within which GLBT youth must cope and survive, for it is the reality of our culture today. Although initially I read these articles out-of-order, I think reading them in chronological order is most rewarding. Age 8 https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/lifestyle/being-a-boy-age-8/?utm_term=.46e6b9aa9510 Ages 11-12 https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/lifestyle/being-a-boy-ages-11-and-12/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.11aa302892ec Age 17 https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/lifestyle/being-a-boy-age-17/?utm_term=.143bc6812408
  3. Merkin

    That's not English?

    ‘able’ is clearly related to ‘capable’ and made famous by the palindrome ‘Able was I ere I saw Elba’ often erroneously attributed to Napoleon.
  4. Merkin

    That's not English?

    In classrooms rules for writing and speaking English necessarily are fixed, for the convenience of teaching beginning speakers and writers useful conventions. The undertakings of business and law depend upon strict adherence to these conventions in order for contracts and lawsuits to have meaning. The same is true for much of human endeavor, no matter what language is used to express our need to communicate accurately and without misinterpretation. However, the same requirements do not apply when it comes to the world of creative expression. Here English is necessarily a fluid language, with usage constantly being reinvented and revised. One has only to read poetry, or listen to lyrics, to realize that the ability to invent new ways of expressing the language is part of what makes these media rich and rewarding. We find this inventiveness in Chaucer, in Shakespeare, and on and on throughout the body of our received literature and song. It is a wonderful evolution.
  5. Merkin

    "All Mine" by Dabeagle

    Sometimes when I see a new Sanitaria Springs story go up over on Dabeagle’s site I get anxious and feel as though I will need to quick skim all of the previous 104 (!!) stories in the series in order to make sense out of the characters and the events portrayed in the new one. It’s a challenge to keep up, even though I know I’m going to love the new story just as I do the rest of them. Well, I’m more than happy to report that a new Sanitaria tale has been posted, and you won’t need to reread any of the rest in order to appreciate it. It explains itself internally and can stand alone as a great piece of storytelling. “All Mine” is by Dabeagle himself, and this tale will warm your heart even if you’ve never visited the Springs before now. http://www.dabeagle.net/stories/dabeagle/sanitaria_springs/allmine.html
  6. Merkin

    Disorder in Court

    Wonderful. And oh so true.
  7. Merkin

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Sadly, this is only one instance among thousands. Many will go undiagnosed and untreated. Some will lead to even more tragedy.
  8. Merkin

    Dancing on a Star, by Ronyx

    Ronyx is beginning a new story "Dancing on a Star" over on The Mustard Jar, which is one of our Awesome Links. Chapter One is up and it looks to be interesting. http://www.themustardjar.com/
  9. Merkin

    Next Tuesday

    I see it more as a push-back than a repudiation. There's a long way to go. Breaking Trump's hold on the Republican Party is going to take massive effort. I'm no political strategist, but I believe the Republicans are still thrilled at their so-easy access to Trump's base.
  10. Merkin

    Troye Sivan - Seventeen

    So real, so sad. And Troye just the right voice for this.
  11. Merkin

    Dominic 3

    Good job. But please don't cap this story off so soon. There's plenty of room for these two engaging characters to develop between this really nice beginning and the Epilogue. You might think about giving us glimpses of their relationship every ten years or so.
  12. Merkin

    Just for Mike

  13. Merkin

    Not Carrot Cake, by Pedro

    Now that's one smart cat. Handsome, too.
  14. Merkin

    Writing Stages of Life

    I'm rooting for you, Jason. I've always admired you, both as a person and as a writer, as someone who tells it like it is, and I am confident you can work as hard on your own behalf as you did for so long for someone else's gain.
  15. Merkin

    Jack in the Box, by Driver

    Sorry folks, one thing I left out of my note above is this. If you start reading "Jack in the Box" and feel drawn in, be sure to take the time to read Driver's previous story "Sudden Storm". It provides necessary context for the new story.