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I just read this. Another great work by Mr. Parker. I didn't even notice it had snuck in whilst I was away. Just read it straight through in one sitting.

Once again he pulls together an engaging story and characters you just want to take home and keep for your own.

Do I have complaints? Just the ongoing one that I've never met these totally understanding parents who have such great relationships with their teens. I'm sure they must exist somewhere outside of Cole's stories, but I don't know anyone who's actually MET them :)

Seriously, though, I think this is a worthy addition to his collection of Teen stories.

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This is actually one of Cole's earliest stories, having been published to Nifty in 2005 (the final chapter on April 1, if you're curious) in the "Young Friends" section. It was later hosted by RCWP along with his excellent story, Tim. I think this now brings all of Cole's work to AD - at least all of it that I'm aware of.

No doubt about it, Cole Parker was one of the single greatest additions to AD. (But don't let it go to your head, Cole!)

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This is actually one of Cole's earliest stories, having been published to Nifty in 2005 (the final chapter on April 1, if you're curious) in the "Young Friends" section

Yes. After a few paragraphs, I realized that the story was unfolding in a familiar way. Nevertheless, this is a good story.

I hear many authors say that they sometimes don't know where a story is going to lead them when they start writing, and yes, even Cole has said that. But after reading this and his subsequent works, I don't believe Cole for a minute anymore. His stories are too well crafted. Every paragraph seems to be plotted out well in advance for everything that is said to come together so well. There is practically no superfluous fluff in his work.

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Do I have complaints? Just the ongoing one that I've never met these totally understanding parents who have such great relationships with their teens. I'm sure they must exist somewhere outside of Cole's stories, but I don't know anyone who's actually MET them :)

You should meet my parents then. They have always loved, accepted, and supported me -- and Doug -- 100%.

Colin :icon1:

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You should meet my parents then. They have always loved, accepted, and supported me -- and Doug -- 100%.

Colin :icon1:

Colin, you're not really alone. Most parents love and will eventually accept their children, no matter what they are...at least today...in the world that you grew up in. But you also know that there are exceptions.

And Wibby's right in that there are parents out there that don't or can't understand.

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  • 7 years later...

Returning this one to the fore. Just finished it and enjoyed it thoroughly. It's what I call a just plain 'sweet' story, not in any condescending way, but one that's overall a joy. Well, with the exception of Miss Crabapple in math class, but the less said about her the better. A wonderful, fun, joyous tale.

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Seems like retribution for arrogant and abusive teachers is a recurring theme. Not that I'm complaining -- I like it when the good guys win.

I also like it when the main character shows pluck and resourcefulness, especially when it requires a stretch out of his comfort zone.

So this is but the first of a bunch of stories where we're dying to know what happens next, after the story ends. A pox on the no-sequel rule!

R

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Hey, there's nothing wrong with sequels. And they don't have to be serial novels. Just think, the Sanitaria Springs stories were a series of short story sequels. My One... series is a series of short story sequels. Altimexis' Naptown Tales is a series of short story sequels. My point being? Sequels don't all have to be sequel novels. They can be sequels to short stories, and they are easier to write than a sequel novel. Besides, they will fill in here at AD while you and/or others are writing a new or even a sequel novel.

Colin :icon_geek:

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My Jesse stories were written as short sequels, one to another and arranged in a serial order. Once I had made the effort to establish characters I liked a lot and constructed a universe for them to live in, it seemed to make sense to me to dip in and out of their lives and adventures as they came to mind. So what started out as intermittent offerings in the Flash fiction forum became a set of related tales, each one contributing to a developing theme.

If writers come up with characters that stay alive in their own minds and keep presenting new ideas and insights that grow out of what has gone before, it seems reasonable to go with that flow and find out what new stories those characters want to tell. Sequels don’t necessarily have to begin with the events of the day after the original story ends.

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If you recall, I was responding to a very specific observation:

"So this is but the first of a bunch of stories where we're dying to know what happens next, after the story ends. A pox on the no-sequel rule!

Rutabaga"

The request was to know what happens next, to continue this very same story with the very same characters, not to build a set of stories about peripheral characters. And as usual—well, what was going to become usual—I used the characters to build to a conclusion. My point was made, and the story was done. I had no more to say about those guys.

Some stories I've written were more suitable for continuing. First Year, obviously. Josh, Evolving could have been extended, using Eric as the main character. One Summer in Georgia had the same possibilities. But I'd rather create new characters, new personalities. That's where the fun comes, for me.

But I did break my no-sequels rule. My Sebastian trilogy is really a story and two sequels. So I'm not completely innocent.

C

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Cole is correct -- I was lamenting the fact that the credits were rolling and the theater lights were coming up before I was ready to say goodbye to those characters. I understand his position but that doesn't mean I can't kvetch about it.

And for what it's worth, I really liked having background in the Sebastian stories (kind of like already knowing about Polyjuice Potion from the second Harry Potter book when it comes up again in the later books).

As for a follow-on to "First Year," I would envision Luke returning to that school in his retirement years, after a brilliant legal or political career, and acting as a mentor to a new crop of young men.

R

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I feel the same. I wished all of Cole's stories were at least as long as War And Peace. I just do not want to part with the characters Cole develops so well. And he does that not only with the protagonists, the baddies are as life-like and complex as the rest as his newest story shows.

But there is another thing that draws me to Cole's stories and that's the protagonists' personalities. They are honest boys, good at heart. Pretending to be someone they are not is hard for them. And yet they struggle to be the person they falsely believe society expects them to be.

Cole's messages to young readers 'You have no reason to be ashamed of yourself. Be true to yourself. Do not try to be someone other people want you to be.' and from there 'Stand up for yourself. Ask for help. Make friends.' did help me immensely in my life, even when I was not a young reader anymore.

To be fair, there are a lot great writers here on awesomedude, who develop their characters and plots as well and I enjoy reading their stories very much. I wished some of them would write more and I would have more time to read more.

Because I consider myself still awesomedude-forum-illiterate and don't know how to open a new thread I just wanted to add something here I found on Zeit online, a German weekly, I wanted to share. I think it has the potential of a beginning of a great story if it wasn't bitter reality for one of the persons described. It is an article about a 15 year old Syrian refugee, an orphan, stuck in Istanbul, Turkey and his best friend who managed to make it to central Europe.

"Wie kann Angela Merkel uns das antun?"

Auf seinem Handy hat Kalil ein Foto von seinem besten Freund Rafaat. Es zeigt den 16-jährige Syrer, wie er in der Münchner Allianz Arena den FC Bayern anfeuert. Rafaat hat die Vereinsfarben auf seine Wange gemalt und lacht. Kalil schaut traurig auf das Bild, und sagt mit leiser Stimme: "Die Europäer können sich abschotten, so sehr sie wollen, ich werde es trotzdem irgendwie zu meinem Freund nach Deutschland schaffen."

(How can Angela Merkel do this to us?

On his mobile phone Kalil has a picture of his best friend Rafaat. It shows the 16 year old Syrian cheering for the FC Bayern soccer team in the Allianz Arena stadion at Munich, Germany. Rafaat has painted his cheeks in the team's colours and he is laughing. With a sad expression Kalil looks at the picture and then says with a small voice: 'The Europeans can try to wall themselves in as much as they want to. I will somehow make it to my friend in Germany.')

The article then goes on to describe the miserable conditions Kalil and other Syrian refugees are living in Istanbul. There is no happy ending although I hope the journalist made an effort to help Kalil. I found this article very moving and I hope there will be a mobile phone, a 'Handy', in the future showing the picture of a laughing Kalil, re-united with his best friend...

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