booksandstories.com

January 2003 Review

Web Page Progress

Happy New Year to all you looking in from out there. First of all, it seems that you are still visiting, so that's good, and secondly, I've altered a few things again. Not much this time, but just the odd tweak.

I've added a link and description on the Home Page to take you all to my latest Review. The idea behind this is that some of you may pop in and pop out again without having seen my lengthy ramblings on the Letters Page, so adding a link to the latest Review on the Home Page seems like a good idea.

For those of you who do take a look around and maybe sample a few stories, but would like to find more, I've added a few links to the Open Directory Project on the List Page. A growing number of search engines are using the ODP as the basis for their listings, so it's worthwhile having a look at their pages. I've added a few appropriate links and I might add more later.

As I was saying last month, I've renewed my domain name for the year and now only have to look forward to paying my credit/debit card system fees. After that I'm ready for another year. I hope it's better than the last one for all of us.

Letters

I have received a couple more emails. Things must be looking up. Please keep them coming. The first is from Chris. He said:

I've just finished reading the free chapters of "The Friendly Ambassador," and I've purchased the book. Any news on when it will be available? Why is it for sale if it is not complete?

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your stories, and I'm eager to give you feedback on them, but I'm disappointed that I've paid for one of them and still can't finish reading it. Please let me know the status of this book as soon as possible. Thank you.

You have enormous talent. I have a lot of questions for you about how you started doing this....

Looking forward to talking to you...

Chris

I'm glad you like reading my stories, Chris, and your praise is very welcome. As I said in my reply to you, I don't get enough feedback on my stories so comments such as yours are bright lights in a very dark sky. As you may have gathered, "The Friendly Ambassador" is not finished yet, and that's why the pay chapters are not included on the List Page. However, the background payment system has been put into place for this and other stories that I have in the pipeline, so that was why you were able to buy it. I assume you went to the Order Page directly and looked for it? I hadn't anticipated that. You were supposed to get a message that it wasn't ready yet. Let me know if you did. Anyway, I have refunded your payment.

To recap for Chris and anyone else who is knew to the site, "The Friendly Ambassador" is the first part of a lengthy story that goes through five complete books. These are:

Books 3 to 5 have been completed and are included on the List Page. I suspect that these may require modification when the first two books have been completed. This will obviously be due in part to continuity but also because my writing style has improved greatly since I wrote them. Book 1 is now partially written, and book 2 has yet to be started (apart from in my head).

"The Friendly Ambassador" is difficult to write as you can imagine. If you check any of the previous Monthly Reviews on the Letters Page you will find my often repeated moans on the subject. This month is no different. When it's finished I will let you all know in the latest Monthly Review.

As a general point, Chapters 17 and 18 of "The Friendly Ambassador" have had very slight modifications to add depth and historical continuity.

The second letter is from Kia. She said:

Happy Holidays.

I have just finished reading the first 20 chapters of "The Look of Love" and I really enjoyed it. I am determined to get to the bottom of it. How many chapters are there? Also, do you have any other books of such a nature (involving lesbian relationships). Please continue to write and I will be checking back a lot.

Thank you for keeping us entertained. Keep up the good work.

Kia

I'm glad you enjoyed "The Look Of Love", Kia, as it's one of my favorites too. There are actually 57 chapters in total. Unfortunately the last 37 can only be accessed by paying 1.00, or about $1.60. If you click on the Pay Chapters link you should be taken to the credit/debit card payment system. If you follow it through you will then get the password you need to access the remaining chapters of the book. If you have any problems, or you are uncomfortable with paying over the net, or you haven't got a credit card, please let me know. As this isn't a great profit making enterprise I am sure we can come to an arrangement.

With regard to my other stories, relationships between women, and women in particular, feature very highly in both the science fiction stories and the contemporary ones. I like women, and I like writing about them, but I am also anxious about getting it right. Stories that you might like to look at are "The Lost Girls", "The Return Of The Sixpack", and "The Tail Of The Comet". "The Friendly Ambassador" although not yet finished, is also worth reading.

As women feature so strongly in my stories, relationships between women are also prominent. These relationships can be of the non-sexual but deep friendship type of thing, or they can be sexual too. A number of the female characters in my stories are paired sexually, but I must point out that these lesbian relationships, like any other sexual relationships in my stories, are not explicitly graphic. As with the heterosexual relationships, love and understanding is to the fore.

Anyway, keep coming back, keep reading, and above all, let me know what you think. It's surprising how little feedback I get, so even a one liner is welcome. And let me know if the chapter bar at the bottom of the free chapters is a good idea.

Writing Progress

"The Friendly Ambassador" is rolling again, mainly because I saw in the New Year at my computer. Not that I didn't have any time off during Christmas. In general I had a pleasant if quiet holiday. I spent time with the family, time relaxing and time on the computer. A well balance break, you might say.

I now seem to have my characters in the right place. I can see where some of it is going now, and although I still have one or two issues to solve, I think I can attack it. All I need is the time to do it. As I mentioned above, I have altered Chapters 17 and 18, putting in a couple of references that I missed out. I think there might be one or two more changes like this, but hopefully only from Chapter 21 onwards. I'm at Chapter 26 now, with Chapter 27 partially mapped out. I know what I need to write next, but I have to do things in order. This sometimes drives me crazy, because I can see the scenes and events and hear the dialog, but it's for the next chapter, not the one I'm writing! Fortunately I can often alternate between chapters as I alternate between storylines. The knack is keeping them all flowing at the right pace.

The extra time I have spent on the story over the holiday has been worthwhile, allowing me to ponder on things at the computer for a more consistant period. Hopefully, going back to work won't slow me down.

Another change, but this time to "The Dreamer", has taken place on the List Page. The story is now available in complete book form and is included under the Science-Fiction heading. There's even a trailer page with an interesting picture (if you recognise it, email me!). As "The Dreamer" was featured as a Short Story it is available completely free. At the moment the original episodic/serial version of the story is also still available. This might change if I begin another Short Story that develops into a serial. With regards to the Short Story I'm afraid there isn't one again this month as I've been too busy working on "The Friendly Ambassador". At the moment I have a few possibilities in mind, but my major project takes precedence.

See you next month.

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