Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Words.

Erotica can have strong literary values. Some of the themes, which are part of the content in a book, are universal, and some are more specific to gay literature in my work.
In The Virgin and the Troll, Andre has fantasized for his whole life without doing anything about it. The themes are pretty simple. They include the need to be loved, or liked, or wanted. They include the need for friendship, and acceptance by others as well as ourselves.
One of the themes is about not judging yourself too harshly, or adopting someone else’s terms and agenda when going about labeling ourselves, something I would caution the reader to refrain from as much as humanly possible. One theme is about trust, and another is all about conquering our fears and in so doing achieving some mastery over self. The author had to be pretty comfortable in his own sexuality in order to write this sort of material. That’s not to say he didn’t learn something from it.
It led to a kind of revelation, and that is also reflected in the work. It’s in the bit about words.
One of the themes is words. That’s it, just words. And we all know the words. We learned them in the schoolyard, waiting for the bell to ring on our first day of kindergarten. It was quite a shock at the time. Other kids talked like this? We never did that at home…
Words like shit, piss, fuck and damn. Words like slut, bastard, bitch, and cocksucker.
The sort of descriptions we would prefer not to put on our resume because of the extremely negative connotations associated with them.
But is that who we are? Are we those words?
As a six year-old waiting in the schoolyard, I had no idea of who I would ultimately turn out to be as a man and a human being.
I adopted those words unthinkingly just as you did. The question is, can we drop them and let them quietly die the cold and lonely death they so richly deserve?
The story was fun to write. So much so that I wrote a series of three novellas, so the reader could follow the growth of the characters and even the writer to some extent.
Thank you for coming along on my journey.

Resolution. (Coming soon.)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

High Stakes.

Available from Smashwords and Amazon.

Trevor was tall, with soft features, yet boyishly lean. He had sad brown eyes and a grin that lit up the place. When he got going, his one-liners were real zingers, and some nights they just couldn’t stop laughing. They’d been out a few times with a bunch of friends, but then they started going out, just the two of them.
Trevor was so scared on the phone when he called the first time. It really touched Daniel, in a man so big and confident otherwise.
So far, he was painfully shy about asking.
Daniel had his mind all set to do something about that. Trevor had kissed him when dropping him off after a movie, more than a week ago now, but then on the next date he was so shy and diffident. It was like he couldn’t do it. The first date was a wake-up call. They shook hands afterwards. Daniel really liked Trevor and Ian was off in university. He was convinced Trevor was a virgin. Sex with Ian was all right, the few times they actually did it. Ian had pursued him all through high-school, in a half-kidding, half-contemptuous manner. After they had sex a few times, he was just different. He didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to Daniel after a while, and then expected him to put out at the drop of a hat. Daniel wasn’t his first choice, not at all. Not anymore. Trevor was secretive. Something had happened.
Daniel was a free man—one who just might do it for Ian when he had no one else on the line. Any deep affection he’d had for Ian vaporized. He’d relied on Ian’s attentions in some ways. He liked Ian. In many ways, Ian was a nice guy, cute enough in his own way. Ian was better than nothing. And he was gone, bitter realization that it was.
Trevor was different. He was obviously interested, and didn’t act like he owned Daniel. Such a gentleman, too, always running around to hold the door open for him, holding hands like he loved it when they walked any distance. He couldn’t get enough of him. Trevor had an inferiority complex to beat anything he’d ever seen, unlike dear old Ian. And yet he was good-looking. He was smart, he was funny. He dressed well. He had a job and made good money. Daniel had a feeling about Trevor. Trevor would set out to change the world, and he liked that. Trevor was a hopeless romantic, and he kept calling up. What was not to like? He felt safe when he was with Trevor. That streak of protectiveness was very appealing. Trevor was afraid of messing it up, which really said something about how he felt about Daniel. For him, the stakes must seem very high. There was nothing casual about Trevor. That intensity intrigued Daniel very much.
The TV went on and Trevor headed to the kitchen. He settled onto Trevor’s sagging red couch, with swirling paisley upholstery and art deco arms that might have looked elegant in the 1930s. They had stopped at the liquor store. Trevor returned with two brimming glasses of a cheap, bubbly wine. Daniel had insisted on chipping in, and made him buy a magnum. Daniel was totally prepared, serene in his mission’s purpose and outcome.
“How was work?”
“Um, it was okay.”
“I laid around in the back yard all day. Tanning. I got a bit of colour, I guess.” Daniel was just teasing him.
“Well, good for you. Some of us have to work for a living.”
Daniel laughed. He started a summer job on Monday. Although he hadn’t been accepted at school yet, he was still hopeful.
Daniel was just softening him up a little. He wondered what was going through Trevor’s mind as the mental picture of him in a banana-style bathing suit registered on Trevor’s face with a far-off look and a flurry of blinks.
Trevor gave him a funny little grin, and his eyes dropped quickly away.

(End of excerpt.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Part, Three.

As a landscape designer and the owner of the company, I keep busy enough in the winter. But if the weather wasn’t so uncertain, we’d already be going nuts with the work, so I’m kind of in a race against time to finish the third novella in the series involving Chad and Andre.
After that, I really don’t know when I’ll be able to get back into the writing. My job requires focus, as it is creative in itself. Getting out into the field and tucking into an interlocking stone terrace or planting some interesting new trees is welcome relief after the challenges of organizing even a good crew like we have here.
Writing takes focus, and sometimes that is hard to achieve.
In this story (tentatively titled, ‘Part Three’) we reach some resolution, with perhaps Andre achieving some maturity, some mastery over his inner self, and with Chad exploring just exactly what it is that he wants and expects in a mate, a soul partner or a spouse, however we choose to view the relationship.
It’s a good question isn’t it? In the hetero world, some men look for a wallflower, and some men don’t. But in the modern marriage, it’s a kind of partnership, rather than the man taking the woman into his household like a daughter, concubine or domestic slave.
The Andre character is successful in life in a limited way. He’s always had a job, he makes the car payments and insurance. And the rent is always paid at the end of the month. His secrecy, his fear of what other people think limits him in so many ways, and he has been desperately lonely—hence desperately unhappy.
Real life is no fantasy. There will be challenges, pitfalls, and sometimes what the neighbours think matters, as they can be our best friends, or our worst enemies.
As always, there is some autobiographical content in the story. 
It really only parallels my own life experiences.
It is fiction, pure and simple, but if it is to stand the test of time, it must be about real things, real people, and real situations. A real conflict, and one anybody can understand. Not just gays and bisexuals.
Men like Andre are common enough.
How many go through life, like him before he broke loose, and live in a state of denial, or merely one of confusion? Or self-loathing? How many men self-destruct when they could not find the courage.
Plenty of ‘happily married men’ are gay. What drives them to live a lie? Is the pressure of society enough, or are they mostly worried about what their mom and dad, their brothers and sisters, their friends and co-workers think of them?
Jsut what exactly is their own opinion of themselves?
Did they buy into the labels?
Most of us already know the answer to that question. It’s not so hard to guess, is it?
The world will change. Sometimes it changes faster than we are comfortable with.
 We might be asked to give up some long cherished notions.


Photos: Morguefile, although they are representative of the sort of work that I do.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Excerpt: Throwing It Down.

With the trade show a yearly thing, Chad had a hotel room reservation and knew a little bit about the place. He had also promised something in the way of a present. They talked for hours on the phone almost every night for the last week. That kind of intimacy was a revelation to Andre. It was almost unbelievable, to feel safe in confiding his most hidden emotions in someone. It was spiritual liberation, to have a friend of that intimacy. To say he had kind of poured his heart out would be grievous understatement, and he had listened very much to the other man as well.
Chad was sincere, but just how strong those feelings were was one question, and where it might lead was another.
Andre visualized himself in Chad’s room, dressed in a filmy peignoir, white lacy stockings with a garter belt, dangling emerald earrings...his penis was at full attention by this time, and he cast his thoughts to the shoe store he’d looked up online. The right shoes would be something else. The memory of how his feet looked, the graceful curves of his calves, wrapping up and around Chad’s hips, making love beside the campfire, it was unforgettable. Just the way it framed the big shoulders of Chad and the intent look on his face. He could still feel Chad’s bristly chest on his inner thighs, the wet feel of Chad’s mouth on his cock. The things he said, and more than anything the safe and cuddly feeling he got when nestled in Chad’s arms. A lot of the time, kissing and gazing were the only things going on. Chad knew exactly what he needed.
One of the personal revelations was the fact that he needed love, and very, very badly.
Chad had a face full of character, although honestly, after three weeks, it was a bit hazy. Andre had no idea how things would be this time. But when he decided to call Chad, for surely the choice was up to him, his mood lightened and he felt good about taking the plunge. He had no regrets about their time at the lake, only that it had ended and his fantasy was over. But it didn’t have to end. All he had to do was to take that fantasy and turn it into a new reality. Maybe familiarity would breed contempt, but he didn’t think so. Ultimately, he could quit and never do it again. He could go back to the old way. He could go back to being alone all the time. The trouble was, he didn’t want to, and so a weekend in Burlington it was to be.
He had about a three-hour drive ahead of him, but starting at this hour, traffic would be light until he got close to the Big Smoke. The night was dark, the road was clear and he had everything he needed under the slick fiberglass bed cap of the blue Sonoma he drove.
Andre could make the shoe store stop and still get to Burlington by one a.m. or so. He thought he might squeeze into a woman’s size eleven. He would buy something that looked good on sheer impulse, and explain without prompting that his girlfriend would be totally surprised, but it was her birthday and she had been feeling a bit down lately.
You could get away with anything if you were prepared to lie about it. In such a situation, a bit of a blush and a stammer might be just the thing.


Throwing It Down is available for $1.99 from Smashwords and will be available soon from Amazon and other fine online retailers. Please click 'like,' rate, review, or simply tell a friend if you enjoy the book

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Untitled, a Work In Progress.

My second novella, for which I don’t really have a title, is coming along nicely. Our pair had a lovely time in the first story, a week off alone together, one where Andre explored his fantasy and Chad enjoyed his dominant role over a hot young bitch…horny, eager to please and better looking than he had expected.
But with some time to think about it, both men are starting to see some challenges, which happens when people look a little further ahead sometimes. Chad, a farm implement salesman, begins to develop some real affection for Andre, who has brought a kind of adventure and friendship into an otherwise unfulfilling existence.
Andre knows his low-wage employment at the lumber store is ending. He knows he’ll be out of work and that he’s a free person. He can do what he wants with his life.
There’s not much keeping him in the lonely one-bedroom upper apartment in a grimy, southern Ontario burg.
They seem to fit well enough together. They like each other just fine.
Andre has a penchant for fantasy and Chad likes that.
The two are having another wonderful time together.
Yet Andre wonders if he has the sheer nerve to move beyond the illusory sweet moments, all too short as they are, and develop the burgeoning relationship with Chad.
The thing is no longer just a fantasy, just some thing he had always wanted to try.
He could scratch that part off of his bucket list…
Things are a little more serious now, and a little more poignant for both top and bottom as Andre imprints his emotionally-needy self on an indulgent, more experienced, and much more self-assured Chad, who has a few needs of his own and has no problem coming up with ways to satisfy them.
Here is the first novella.
Use Coupon Code HQ56B (not case sensitive) to get fifty percent off 'The Virgin and the Troll,' a hot erotic novella by yours truly.
Please click 'like,' rate, review or just tell a friend about this story.
Thank you.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Coming Soon. No Pun Intended.

Coming soon. No pun intended.

by Harold C. Jones

The Virgin and the Troll is a very human story of self-discovery. It’s not my story, not by a long shot, and yet it parallels my life in some ways.
It takes a long time to get over the notion that there is something wrong with you. Something that could be fixed, something that could be changed or remedied. And if it can’t be changed or cured then you are somehow at fault and you’re just not trying hard enough.
Like Andre or Chad in the story, we are all flawed individuals, but some have more courage than others. Some people never confront themselves, not on any level.
Andre had to get over his own negative ideas of who he was, and what that meant, and whether or not it affected his human worth. He had to find a kind of dignity in it.
Why I should phrase a story in exactly these terms is another question.
It may not be the answer, but thank God it’s not another question.
In my own life, I’m not shy. I knew who and what I was from an early age. I set my cap at a guy who eventually became my soul mate. This is the true story.
I went and got a tattoo. It was my first. He was the ink guy everyone talked about. So I asked him for a rose in a certain special place. He was almost done, a simple little thing like that, when he asked if there was anything else.
“Just sign your name right under that,” is what I told him and I’m happy to say we’ve been together ever since.
You have to know what you want, I guess. In The Virgin and the Troll I wanted to tell a story of someone’s desperate bid for freedom, breaking free of all social restraint, and overcoming their fears. Like Andre in the story, I threw caution to the winds. Like me and the ink guy, Andre was fortunate in finding exactly what he needed.
All of the kinky sex in there is really just a bonus, and it’s a lot of fun to write, too.