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Drama Club by Tragic Rabbit

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Hey Blue--

Go on the double date and have fun! Coming out is nerve wracking but it can be fun too... you've already done the hardest part, which is coming out to yourself. Now it's time to reap a few benefits, one of which is hanging out with like-minded guys and talking about this stuff and getting some support.

Go have fun, you!

cheers!

aj

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OK, before I get any further behind in commenting, I'm going to post what I've got and add more later.

Replying to your reply to my reply to... oh, now I'm dizzy.

Let me think on the scene changes. It depends on what effect you're going for as to which is more appropriate. I guess the analogy would be scene changes in film editing, since in live theatre there's usually a curtain or dimming the lights. In the first, oh, two to four chapters, I had to figure out where the scene changes were (due partly to text formatting) and then it got clearer. Should the same scene change style be maintained throughout? Tougher to answer. What is the tone of the chapter or the scene? I would tend to say scene changes should be the same throughout, but there are times when a scene should move seamlessly into the next or when each scene is a big change.

I think it's a big strength to have the characters against stereotype in some way, unless it's done solely to say they are against stereotype.

Yes, Angel's changing gradually and he keeps getting more complex and intriguing. You asked whether other characters were engaging, "More so than Angel?" No, I was just commenting that those others had quickly been given important new details. Just like with meeting new friends, I still like my old friends just as much as I used to, but now I know a few more people a little better too. The same is true as I get to know the cast list of Drama Club.

What you said about char. arcs for Angel, Michael, Gene, and Bobby is a nice parallel. That connection hadn't dawned on me yet before I read your note.

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The quotes: Use whatever medium and length adds to that point of the story. Quoting plays fits with a drama troupe's story, but anything "performable," including book quotes, makes sense. You'll know if it doesn't fit.

Your explanation about Trey fits his char. and how the others view him. OK, so whatever's happening with him is "offstage" right now and we find out later. Poor Trey, that's scary. It's also very real.

What you said about Gene and how he's protecting himself from showing how he's hurting, or what things hurt him -- oh boy, does that resonate with me.

The "flawed hero" or anti-hero or simply a person and not a hero; Michael with Gene after Angel refuses at first; -- So none of the chars. are perfect or necessarily heroes. What? People screw up, a little or a lot? That's real life.

Reader interest, what readers like, do they like Drama Club? The real question is, do you like it? You'd probably write it even if nobody ever read it.

1. Readers will read it and like it.

2. Some readers won't feel safe to e-mail, for whatever reason.

3. General advertising rule: If you get 10% responses on any ad, you're doing great. So multiply the number of people who replied by 10 and you'll get a rough estimate of the number of readers.

4. The number of views of a thread is often 10 times the number of replies in a thread, which is the same thing #3 is talking about.

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Just a quick note to TR to let him know that i'm still reading and enjoying the tale. It seems to be coming along swimmingly.

I KNEW that Richard was a scumbag! lol

I'm still not sure where the camille and Doug storyline is headed...i like it, as it lends some nice verisimilitude...but not sure how it supports the main storyline.

Can't wait to see how Ryan will end up getting his comeuppance.

Any case, i'm delighted with the story, and panting for the next chapter.

cheers!

aj

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Latest Two Parts:

Overall, a winner as usual. -- My comments aren't in any kind of order, I'm distracted, sorry.

Michael's a big ol' romantic, fond of grand gestures. Angel and Michael do it in the rain, almost. (Could be fun, in warm weather.)

Well, I notice a parallel between Camille and Doug and Barbara Kuo's story. So I'm just guessing there's a connection there. Poor Camille, a guy who actually loves her and wants to take responsibility, even if he's totally unprepared, and she can't see it. Girlfriend's got it so wrong. Nice char. bit about Doug and the ducks, speaks to his real character.

While Blue generally prefers the mild-mannered approach, Blue would say Bobby shoulda knocked Richard in the jaw...or lower regions. At least Bobby is slightly better than before. (Bobby, get outta there before Nurse Ratched shows up, dude.) (And for the record, I never would've agreed with Exodus, even before.)

Interesting interplay between Jaye and Gene; Gene actually seems to be making a little progress, although it's not apparent yet.

Ryan, he of the "happiness is a warm gun" -- reminds you of ice cream that's partially thawed and refrozen. -- I'll presume Trey hasn't made a statement to the police yet. -- Looking forward to Ryan in a nice, form-fitting jacket with wraparound sleeves, and rubber-upholstered walls.... How 'bout we send *him* to Exodus. :evilgrin:

Hmm. I only have one criticism. Angel seems a little in the background or not as active in this chapter. Yes, he had screen time, but, I dunno...hmm, maybe it's because he's not as decisive, since he's confused by early love? I'm not sure that's it. OK, I don't know what's bugging me about Angel here, but it seems like he's not as central as he should be. -- TR, don't over-stress on this. I can't put my finger on what it is. (Heh, unintentional Freudian thing, there, sorry.)

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Just a quick note to TR to let him know that i'm still reading and enjoying the tale. It seems to be coming along swimmingly.

I KNEW that Richard was a scumbag! lol

I'm still not sure where the camille and Doug storyline is headed...i like it, as it lends some nice verisimilitude...but not sure how it supports the main storyline.

Can't wait to see how Ryan will end up getting his comeuppance.

Any case, i'm delighted with the story, and panting for the next chapter.

cheers!

aj

Hi, AJ

Glad you're still reading and still like DC. Not so many posts anymore...

Camille/Doug/pregnancy was meant as counterpoint to the gay romances in general and to Barbara Kuo's teenage pregnancy (with Gene) in particular. Nothing fancy, just wanted it in there, is it too much or something? I also wanted to show a sympathetic straight boy character, Doug, and to have a strong (atypical?) female character, Camille herself.

Ryan's hard to write. When I do scenes, esp from the POV of someone, I'm in their head very much and Ryan's head is seriously icky. That's one reason I did Richard with Bobby from a memory perspective, it was slightly easier for me that way. One thing that worries me about Ryan is that I've made him so thoroughly bad that I'm wondering if that makes him a lousy character. I'm trying to decide if there is some way I could make him more believable or something, or if it matters.

Richard is maybe a cliche but I really did want to trash Exodus and if that's shallow, oh well. I think their idea, and that of Focus on Family and other groups who claim to 'cure' gays, is repulsive. The idea of actual gay people doing that upsets me. I do understand that they're working from self loathing and all that but the programs they offer make claims that are taken more seriously in some quarters precisely because these people are, or were, or whatever, gay themselves. I guess I could have made them or Richard more sympathetic but I just didn't wanna. I don't think their portrayal of the 'gay lifestyle' is fair, either. AND, I don't have a 'lifestyle', I have a LIFE.

So much for Ex-Gays....grrr

Hugs

TR

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Hey TR--

Nope, nothing wrong with the Camille/Doug storyline...I find doug to be fascinating, and the storyline is REAL, which i think adds to the depth of the tale. And pushing buttons on people is really a good thing in a story--makes people think in ways they're not used to (i.e.--should camille have an abortion or not).

Ryan is a seriously icky dude...you're right about that. The way i see it with villains, you can do one of two things: have a charater that is despicable and disturbing and has your audience rooting for the hero and hoping that the villain will get his in the end, or you can do the "Miltonian Villain" where the villain is energetic and charismatic and sucks the audience into his world, and your audience finds themselves fascinated by him even as they hate him. The thing that i notice is that in a lot of stories, the villain is set up as a very two dimensional character--he's a bad person, and his motives are rarely explored in any meaningful way. You've got this angle covered, i think--we've seen some of the things that drive this boy, so it's becoming clear why he does the things he does--and it adds a lot to the story. So keep writing the hard stuff, even if you need to shower afterward.

cheers!

aj

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:arrow: The Camille and Doug storyline: It's not too much at all. She's struggling with a real issue. She's a strong female character, good, there aren't enough of 'em in fiction anywhere. Doug is great, a straight guy who's got it together and comfortable with his feelings and his imagination. Go Doug! As an added bonus, they support their gay friends. It's also important to see that.

:arrow: Ryan: Yes, he's icky and lousy and hard to write. You've given him some interior motivations, so he's not a lousy character in the story-structure sense. We see some of why he's a sociopath. So, like AJ said, go through a decontamination filter afterwards. Just the fact that he isn't so two-dimensional (or one-dimensional) is fine.

Regarding the "villain you love to hate" and the "sympathetic or not entirely bad villain" or the "subtlely villainous villain" -- those are really interesting types.

But you've set up Ryan (and Bobby's parents) as big antagontist forces, embodying huge problems that affect us as gays. Nothing prevents you from adding their evil or quasi-evil minions and lackeys. You know, spear-carrier extras or supporting cast.

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Unrelated, but I had to mention: I got a big kick out of Michael telling Angel, so matter of fact, "I understand Spanish, Angel," then Angel wondering what he'd said. :evilgrin: Good for 'em both. Speakin' in tongues or doin' stuff with tongues, during, heh, gotta like that. :D

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From DC17, quoted:

?Vai tomar no c?.?

Hmm. Portuguese. Vai has to be, you go; tomar, to take. But 'no' could be "in the," "our/us," or "no/not." In this case, I'm guessing it's "in the." And "c?" is...well, the English version would be "cu**" is my guess. -- At least, that's my guess. Marina is clearly telling Matty something like, "f--- me" or "go f--- yourself," if I'm guessing right.

?De veras? ?Tengo razo'n?

Freakin' Windows keyboard, it makes entering non-English text a royal pain. Grrr.

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Great to see a new chapter! And for Matty, "hardware-boy," well, bud, defrost, already. Is it really necessary to piss off all your potential friends? (Sorry, not yet all the way through the chapter, just to the start of the GSA mtg.) The piercing's aren't my thing, but :shrugs: to each his own. He sounds like he'd be nice minus the major 'tude and er, nicer looking without the body jewelry. Ah well. -- I think he'll grow on me. Something nice about him even so. -- From the text, and prev. refs., sounds like Matty has reasons to be kinda ticked at the world.

Oh, and kudos to Angel for giving Ryan what-for earlier.

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:blinks: Blue slaps forehead, figuratively. Crud. Now I even remember reading the ref. in the prev. chapter...and when I began reading this chapter last night. Jeez, just 'cause it's been a while, and I forget the ref. that Matty's hearing impaired. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: Ooh, I could kick myself. -- Sorry, folks, you've just seen a guy with low-vision and with a couple of hearing-impaired friends and relatives...totally miss it. Duh. D'oh.

I'm a dufus. :oops: Well, I probably would've realized fine in person. Still feel kinda dufus-like.

OK, touch?, TR, bien fait. (Bien hecho.)

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Well Rabbit, you sure have Blue slapping himself silly!

That might have some religious implications as the great gay religious holiday is coming up on the 31st of this month.

Speaking of dates, you picked a good day to have Mike come out at school, duh freakin' National Coming Out Day? But we have a lot of high schoolers among us here at the dude's site and let me tell you, think well before you choose to come out in 21st Century Bush-era America. It isn't like when dude and I were going to high school. In those days, the freaks were the "born again" Christians and though they seldom got bashed, their message wasn't very welcome.

I have a new favorite character at Drama Club. Matty is gonna turn the whole group AND the story topsy-turvy, you wanna bet? He seems to be kind of unstable and maybe bi which would make him a threat to the whole cast. I love it!

Keep it coming TR!

As always,

Ben Dover

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From DC17, quoted:

?Vai tomar no c?.?

Hmm. Portuguese. Vai has to be, you go; tomar, to take. But 'no' could be "in the," "our/us," or "no/not." In this case, I'm guessing it's "in the." And "c?" is...well, the English version would be "cu**" is my guess. -- At least, that's my guess. Marina is clearly telling Matty something like, "f--- me" or "go f--- yourself," if I'm guessing right.

?De veras? ?Tengo razo'n?

Yeah, telling him to go fuck himself in Portugese. A Brazilian DC reader helped me hatch Marina's character and provided a number of colorful expressions at my request. Matty is also a reader suggestion, just the physical description. I added the personality and, with the help of some Deaf friends, the Deaf background details that will come up (and hearing details). Debating will be tricky to say the least for him but Kuo's determined. Matty's also the first openly bisexual cast member.

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Great to see a new chapter! And for Matty, "hardware-boy," well, bud, defrost, already. Is it really necessary to piss off all your potential friends? (Sorry, not yet all the way through the chapter, just to the start of the GSA mtg.) The piercing's aren't my thing, but :shrugs: to each his own. He sounds like he'd be nice minus the major 'tude and er, nicer looking without the body jewelry. Ah well. -- I think he'll grow on me. Something nice about him even so. -- From the text, and prev. refs., sounds like Matty has reasons to be kinda ticked at the world.

Matty's had a number of problems that are part of why he's at Northside without his parents. Piercings are a personal choice thing and attractions vary-I find them sexy in many contexts. I'm planning to go by the piercing salon today for some research into more private piercings<G>.

Oh, and kudos to Angel for giving Ryan what-for earlier.

Thanks. I'm not sure Mike came off nearly as well in his encounter, either physically or spiritually. Mike is not Angel's hero, he's his boyfriend. I didn't want some sort of Cinderella setup despite wanting them together. Any new thoughts about Ryan after the shower scene with Mike? Or how I did that scene? I think that was my favorite scene in 17...

:blinks: Blue slaps forehead, figuratively. Crud. Now I even remember reading the ref. in the prev. chapter...and when I began reading this chapter last night. Jeez, just 'cause it's been a while, and I forget the ref. that Matty's hearing impaired. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: Ooh, I could kick myself. -- Sorry, folks, you've just seen a guy with low-vision and with a couple of hearing-impaired friends and relatives...totally miss it. Duh. D'oh.

I hadn't intended to overtly mention his hearing in previous chapters, are you sure I did? Some things I like to keep low on the radar but I thuoght I should mention the Deafness specifically otherwise readers might not get it...right, wrong? No idea. I prefer to be subtle but thought Angel would be a good person to have realize it in a nice way, a caring sort of way. Angel's kind of sweet for a smartass kind of guy, esp now that he's In Love. Cupid makes us a little softer inside, don't you find?

Any thoughts on Friedman, Trey or Jaye?

Chapter 18 will continue with the GSA meeting then go into the evening at various homes, including Bobby's. By next week sometime, I guess. I think it'll take longer between chapters for several reasons as I finish up Act I.

Kisses...

TR

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Thanks. I'm not sure Mike came off nearly as well in his encounter, either physically or spiritually. Mike is not Angel's hero, he's his boyfriend. I didn't want some sort of Cinderella setup despite wanting them together. Any new thoughts about Ryan after the shower scene with Mike? Or how I did that scene? I think that was my favorite scene in 17...

That was definitely my favorite scene in the chapter. I think it's been mentioned before, but I really like the depth that you're giving Ryan. The way you handled that whole scene...I liked it a lot.

Chapter 18 will continue with the GSA meeting then go into the evening at various homes, including Bobby's.

That's cool - I've been waiting to see Bobby again. His story was what really pulled me into DC in the first place.

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Any new thoughts about Ryan after the shower scene with Mike? Or how I did that scene? I think that was my favorite scene in 17...

That was definitely my favorite scene in the chapter. I think it's been mentioned before, but I really like the depth that you're giving Ryan. The way you handled that whole scene...I liked it a lot.

Thanks. I still think I'm shortchanging Ryan on depth, I'm sometimes torn between my own life experiences and resentments and my wish to make characters, even those I hate, understandable. If nothing else, I'm learning by doing, I suppose. I enjoyed putting some words into his mouth that might help explain his attitude and actions and I thought Mike was most likely to understand him. In fact, Mike may understand Ryan better than Angel & Co would be comfy with, should they find out.

That's cool - I've been waiting to see Bobby again. His story was what really pulled me into DC in the first place.

I've missed Bobby Boyd, too. I think some of my better writing, even as I learn, has been around his character or perhaps Gene's. I'm sure there's a reason for that but I'm no shrink. For some reason, they inspire a little better prose. I'm starting to free up my vocabulary, unchain my muse, as I become more sure of what is acceptable to readers in this venue. I remain convinced that I can do much, much better than I have so far and am reading and writing [DC and other things] to make sure that imagined potential materializes. I always hated when teachers said that I failed to live up to my potential...

Kisses...

TR

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Hey TR--

Haven't talked at ya in awhile...thought i'd drop a quick note about the latest DC effort.

I'll second elecivil's opinion about the shower scene with Mike and Ryan--very powerful writing. the mixture of pathos and perversion in Ryan was very good. I was really pleased that it wasn't Mike to the rescue when Ryan confronted Angel...but you manage to avoid the obvious on a regular basis, so i wasn't surprised. And the little comment about the fishhook in the breadball was quite nicely done. I see the possibility for some very rude awakenings for this boy in the near future.

Living in seattle, i didn't have any problems with matty's metal adornments...they're so commonplace up here that it's almost expected in a certain demographic...most of whom seem to live in my neighborhood. Up until a few years ago, i had a number of rings in various places, some more public than others. If you wanna know about piercing, pm me. I think i can fill you in.

You'll notice that I'm not writing about the mechanics anymore...in my estimation, you've moved beyond the need for that. kudos!

cheers!

aj

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TR, I think I'll have time tonight before 2nd half of miniseries to write comments on DC 17. Tried to over the weekend, but had a 2nd draft story edit come up, with e-mail ensuing. But no suing. :)

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Hey TR--

Haven't talked at ya in awhile...thought i'd drop a quick note about the latest DC effort.

Well, DC18 is finally available, but I seem to have run off or worn out with waiting all my readers. I'd love to hear what you think of the chapter and I promise not to get that behind again.

Mike fans might hate me now, too, I guess...

Kisses...

TR

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Loved chapter 18. Every scene with Ryan tends to drip suspense, especially the last one. He's just so...argh, I can't describe it, but I'm disgusted and intrigued at the same time. It's like he'd be my favorite character if I didn't hate him so much.

Everything's getting so tense...can't wait to see how this gets resolved.

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Loved chapter 18. Every scene with Ryan tends to drip suspense, especially the last one. He's just so...argh, I can't describe it, but I'm disgusted and intrigued at the same time. It's like he'd be my favorite character if I didn't hate him so much.

Everything's getting so tense...can't wait to see how this gets resolved.

Haha, cool! But would you date Ryan?? I've gotten a lot less response than I'm used to, either readers tired of waiting or they hate the chapter, I don't know. I won't let the last chapters have such a gap of time again, I promise. I am hoping to finish up Drama Club, Act I with the end of the year and along with a Christmas DC story.

Btw, I so love the new chapters of Leaves and Lunatics, you write so beautifully! I hate you! Just kidding...but you do have a fabulous dexterity with the language. The characters are so likable, too.

I guess DC will get more tense as it finishes, isn't that normal? How does everyone feel about Mike now? His actions in 18?

Does everyone still love Bobby or was he gone too long?

Kisses...

TR

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Haha, cool! But would you date Ryan??

Nah. I'm not the masochistic type.

I've gotten a lot less response than I'm used to, either readers tired of waiting or they hate the chapter, I don't know.

My guess would be that a lot of them are just running out of things to say. You know, you write in to an author once or twice just to let them know you're reading, but after that, conversations consisting of "Chapter X was good" and "Oh, thanks" can get pretty old.

How does everyone feel about Mike now? His actions in 18?

The fight with Angel? That seemed natural. Didn't annoy me nearly as much as the way he had been treating Gene.

Does everyone still love Bobby or was he gone too long?

Oh yeah, Bobby's still one of my favorites.

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hey TR--

Once again, lot's of fun. I see you've decided to take the Miltonian road on your bad guy...make him very evil but so energetic and charismatic that we can't help but be drawn to him in a big way. it's the harder way, but if you can talk your readers into feeling sorry when the bad guy gets his, you know you've done good. And it's more how life is, isn't it? I think there are few really evil people in the world...most of us fall somewhere in the middle, between all good and all bad.

Michael is an interesting character...and i was pleased that angel didn't put up with his s*** for even a minute. He's gotten more and more depth as we've gone along, and that's all for the better. The casual cruelty of his thougtlessness toward Gene and his outburst in the car show his youth...one of the big mistakes a lot of writers make is making teens act like little adults, and you've avoided that (all along, actually). Oh gods, i put in a parenthetical statement....lol.

Still love the drama ducks!

cheers!

AJ

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Well, it was good to see more from the Drama Club.

* Mike needs to listen to "If you love somebody, set them free," on Sting's The Dream of the Blue Turtles." (I really wasn't trying for a "blue" reference, haha.) -- My sympathies to both Angel and Gene at Mike's thoughtlessness. -- I had thought better of Mike before this chapter. I wonder what's up, if he's just going through a bad adjustment, or if it's something deeper. We'll see.

* Angel said a lot, simply by saying how, yes, he did know what it was like. Yes, Angel, I was listening, and yes, you're right.

* Gene might be good for Bobby. Bobby's parents...ugh. But can Bobby be good for Gene, who also is hurting but is loathe to show it. I hope Bobby makes it out of the wilderness he's in.

* Camille may have rethought things. It wouldn't be easy for her and Doug, but if they genuinely love each other, as they've shown otherwise, then it could work. Good for her if she's reconsidered. Good for Doug for wanting to be a good father.

* Ryan actually seemed to have a moment or two of sanity and humanity. You keep adding nuance to his character, so he isn't just a cardboard bad guy. -- Would I date Ryan? He's somewhere between Pre-Cambrian slime-mold and troglodyte. That's about his date, I'd say. Or perhaps his date has expired like spoiled milk....

* Trey is back, and Jaye is there. Good. Get well soon, Trey.

* Not a lot from Matty, but his lines contributed. Glad he's there and hope to see more.

I'm looking forward to more from the dramatis personae at the Drama Club, and best wishes for the GSA at Northside, fictional though it all may be.

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Well, it was good to see more from the Drama Club.

* Mike needs to listen to "If you love somebody, set them free," on Sting's The Dream of the Blue Turtles." (I really wasn't trying for a "blue" reference, haha.) -- My sympathies to both Angel and Gene at Mike's thoughtlessness. -- I had thought better of Mike before this chapter. I wonder what's up, if he's just going through a bad adjustment, or if it's something deeper. We'll see.

* Angel said a lot, simply by saying how, yes, he did know what it was like. Yes, Angel, I was listening, and yes, you're right.

Mike's very young and is still struggling with how he feels about being gay, being seen as gay, and, ah, alternate expressions of masculinity. Unlike Gene, he has definite ideas about how men and boys should act and isn't comfortable being seen with someone so obviously...queer. Yes, he'll probably either need to get over it or go back in the closet. I do think p18 is consistent with Mike's previous behavior...he IS a little on the selfish side. No one's perfect.

* Gene might be good for Bobby. Bobby's parents...ugh. But can Bobby be good for Gene, who also is hurting but is loathe to show it. I hope Bobby makes it out of the wilderness he's in.

Funny, no one ever asks that! Can Bobby be good for anyone, as a boyfriend? Of course, what kind of relationship he'll have with Gene is still working itself out. What do you really think Gene's agenda is with Bobby, why is he hanging out with him? Remember, it was Angel (and Jaye) who asked for Gene's help with Bobby...

* Ryan actually seemed to have a moment or two of sanity and humanity. You keep adding nuance to his character, so he isn't just a cardboard bad guy. -- Would I date Ryan? He's somewhere between Pre-Cambrian slime-mold and troglodyte. That's about his date, I'd say. Or perhaps his date has expired like spoiled milk....

I'm trying to make them all understandable even if they aren't likable...or their specific actions don't make us happy. To me, that's how people are. No one thinks they are a bad person, everyone has reasons for what they do, right? If I can make people like Ryan in some way, despite themselves, I'll feel like I accomplished something. Same with the rest, really.

* Not a lot from Matty, but his lines contributed. Glad he's there and hope to see more.

Matty and the other debaters will be closer to center stage in Act II, the second book, but I do like him here. I hope I didn't bring him in so late that he doesn't fit in well. More on him in part 19.

I'm looking forward to more from the dramatis personae at the Drama Club, and best wishes for the GSA at Northside, fictional though it all may be.

Well, I've sent in the first of some Christmas stories, more like character sketches, set in the DC world, outside the main storyline. Each centers on different characters. The first two feature Mike with Angel and then Bobby at home. I hope Bobby fans are happy! There'll be a lot more with him in the rest of DC, both books.

I hate that I seem to have lost a lot of readers with that long delay between chapters, I really do rely on their support. I'm very new at all of this and still looking for my muse, well, I'm looking for how to keep him happy at any rate.

I'm going to play around with the Christmas stories some, try out some new things with old characters. DC 19 should be done by the end of the weekend, latest, and I'm still hoping to finish DC, Act I by the end of the year. Other stories are in note form but haven't been finished yet.

Thanks for reading DC and, if you haven't already, please drop me a line to let me know what you think of it, what you like thus far or would like to see. I hope the Christmas stories are entertaining; I meant for them to be on the happy side, even Bobby's, so if they come off a little hokey, blame it on the Christmas Spirit!

Kisses....

TR

PS. I love my new avatar, its a drawing of Angel de la Torres by one of his fans!

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Yes, Mike's behavior is consistent with previous chapters and he still has a lot of growing to do. So we've seen his good side and his not-so-good side now. I remain optimistic.

About Bobby and Gene: Maybe helping each other is the only way out for both of them. Yes, I know Gene is doing this out of friendship, but I get the impression he's also in need of a friend and a relationship, or he's in danger of turning his back on his emotions, and that would be sad indeed. Gene's made a commitment to Bobby, and I got the impression Gene saw something lovable, Bobby's better self, and liked what he saw. In that, we also saw Gene's better self. ...OK, so I'm a romantic, underneath.

Can Bobby be good for someone, as a boyfriend? Well, he has a lot of un-learning to do, and some non-existent monsters in his closet that he needs to slay. Lucky for him, he has friends to help slay them and show him a healthier, happier view. Bobby's friends all see someone worth befriending and staying loyal to.

Just the fact that you've given insights into what makes Ryan tick (and he really does tick-tick-tick, like he's gonna go off) and made him understandable in some way is a good accomplishment. Is he likeable? Er, in a word, no. Are there people like him in real life, so badly messed up, maybe unreachable? Yes, more's the pity. I think that's one of the points you're trying to show, anyway.

Thinking about that just made me realize a parallel between Bobby and Ryan, oddly enough, and maybe it hadn't occurred to you. Is Bobby un-boyfriend-able? Is he too messed up? Is Ryan unlovable? Is he unreachable? IMHO, for all Bobby's problems, he's in far better shape than Ryan, and has a good chance of getting himself together. Ryan? He seems determined to destroy everything in his path, himself included. Is there any chance he'll somehow see the error of his ways? Well, I suppose it's remotely possible. -- OK, on reflection, that's not a parallel. Never mind.

I think Matty will fit in fine. He's stood toe to toe with Angel and with Gene, and made them both think. That's an accomplishment.

Heh, I'm impressed by your idea for vignettes or char. sketches for the holiday season, as tie-ins. Sometimes the world seems all Scrooged up, so if Tiny Tim wants to say, "God bless us, every one," I'm all for it. I don't even mind the other Tiny Tim's yukele. :grin: Anyway, I think the vignettes are a great idea.

I hate that I seem to have lost a lot of readers with that long delay between chapters, I really do rely on their support. I'm very new at all of this and still looking for my muse, well, I'm looking for how to keep him happy at any rate.

Relax, already, TR. You're making good headway with some ambitious ideas. You're underestimating yourself. Don't *do* that, OK? As for the fans, it takes 'em a while to notice, and they can't always comment either. They'll come back if they're interested, and they'll speak up about it.

I've never heard anybody who ever did anything worth it, who didn't say they were always learning something new and were never exactly satisfied with how their art (or whatever project) turned out. -- Hmm. Maybe I should listen to that too.

The new avatar's great, if a bit large for the space. -- If you need help shrinking it, I can do that for you. -- No, it doesn't involve a cold shower.... :lol:

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The new avatar's great, if a bit large for the space. -- If you need help shrinking it, I can do that for you. -- No, it doesn't involve a cold shower.... Laughing

Actually, I think the avatar is fine. Most of his posts are not miniscule so it hardly stretches the size his post takes up.

Have you ever considered making yours larger, Blue? <g>

On that note, I'll make a hasty exit... stage right .. even!

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