Posts Tagged ‘serial’

I sort of lost the plot for a while – too much to think about – but I’ll carry on with these posts of excerpts from the diary of a young lad living in the Eastern part of Texas in 1869.

The last bit was here where Joe decided he needed to be honest about himself as well as about everyone else.

Jan 28th [Thur]

I don’t think I’ll write every day. What would be the point? Got up ate grits, fed hogs, fed hens, saddled horses, waved Pa and Jacob and Isaac away. That’s every day. I’ll write things that I think are important, or funny, or I think people might want to know.
important, or funny, or I think people might want to know.

Like that we keep Dominie hens, or Old Grey hens some say. They are pale grey but each feather is striped with darker grey and if they sit still in a shadow the little critters are really hard to find. The cocks have bright red combs and the loudest crow to get us all up in the morning. We’d sleep all day if it weren’t for them.

Jan 29th [Fri]

Ma suggested a write a bit about me. So here goes. I’m Joseph Skidmore and I’m eighteen years old. I have brown hair and brown eyes and freckles. I went to school in Mr Dunlap’s parlour like all the other kids round here but I guess the learning stuck a bit more with me than it did with most. I had a sister once but she was killed by the same rattler that bit me and gave me this bum leg. Ma told me that the poison made my leg stop growing properly. I have to use a stick because walking far makes my back hurt, being all to one side and I can’t use stirrups so I can’t rope steers, or rope horses on foot. But I can ride and I drive the buckboard well. There are things I can do and if I’m somewhere where I’m going to stand still for a while I put a block down to put my short foot on that. I read and write better than anyone in the family but Ma and I wondered if I could get a job in town at the store or the undertakers, but the store keeper and the undertaker both have boys of their own. Ben, the undertaker’s son asked Pa if we could swap but Ben’s Pa wouldn’t have it. It’s a good business and Ben’s going to inherit. I don’t know what I’ll inherit. A third share of a ranch doesn’t seem like that much to look forward to to me. But I mustn’t be ungrateful. I could have ended up like my poor sister.

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Sunday Snippets

And here we go with the serial again. Time for a little bit of conflict.

Monday Jan 25th

Big gap there. On the 6th I caught Pa with my diary. He was reading the bit about the biscuits to Isaac and laughing and I lost my temper and tried to take it away from him. I’m not quite sure what happened, I must have tripped or something.

Ma made me apologise and I did but I said he shouldn’t have been reading it. It was private. I said if people were going to read it whenever they liked then I wouldn’t write it any more. Pa said I shouldn’t be so childish. Isaac asked what harm could it do. I said ‘what if I wrote something in there he wouldn’t like me to write?’ Pa was laughing and said I wouldn’t write anything about anyone I wouldn’t say to their face but I know Isaac took my meaning. I saw him kissing Sadie O’Connell and we both know Pa hates the O’Connells, says they are trash.

I got off the point, again. I haven’t been writing in my journal since then but Pa just fetched it out of the room I share with Isaac, gave it  me  and said I should write and he promised none of us would read it. Ma was standing behind him and she nodded so I guess she’d made him understand. Then he said something that made me think a bit. He said I should be honest, about myself as well as about other people and I haven’t been, Not completely. I looked at my first entry of the year and that’s not really true.

I don’t want to be a cowboy because I can’t be. I wouldn’t be able to do it because I’m not the man Pa and Jacob are or Isaac will be because I’m a cripple and am not strong enough. That’s a hard thing to write but it’s even harder to be.



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Sunday Snippets

Another bit of my, as yet, untitled YA western written all in diary entries. Since the next ones were a bit short I’ve posted two days worth.

Monday Jan 4th 1869

Pa says I have to do my chores first and then I can write my diary. He doesn’t understand that the thoughts in my head need to come out when I think them. I won’t remember what I wanted to say by the time it’s the evening, and then I have to sit with everyone else and Pa wants to know what I’ve written. But I’ve got private things to say here, things I might not want to share.
It’s still very cold at night and last night there was rain.

Tuesday Jan 5th

I’ve been coughing again so Pa said I could stay home and I asked Ma to teach me to cook. Jacob and Isaac said it was girls work but Ma shouted at them and said that she hasn’t got a girl and Pa said that when we go on the round up having someone along who can cook something that won’t kill us would be mighty handy. That is assuming I can learn.
Ma has a book she got from her Ma with recipes. She said I should write down the things I make in my journal so I can find them again. So today I made buttermilk biscuits. They were horrible and we fed them to the hens. When the hens wouldn’t eat them we fed them to the hogs.

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Sunday Snippets

Here’s the next bit of my western written as a series of diary entries [which will be m/m in the fullness of time].

Part 1 is here and here’s Part 2


Sunday Jan 3rd 1869
Pa thinks writing a diary is for women and sissies. I told him that James Buchanan wrote one and he said “women, sissies and Yankees” and sent me to feed the hogs.

We did the usual chores before church and after Jacob asked me to drive Mary over to see her Ma. Ma Lewis thinks diaries are good. She says I’ll be able to show my sons when I have them about what life was like here. I don’t think life will be much different – hogs and steers, mesquite and sagebrush – but she said she’d heard that the cities back east have lights all along the streets so you can see all night and they never have to stop work. I can’t see any fun in that but she makes good cookies.

Mary was sick on the way home because, she said, I drove the buckboard too fast over the bumps. Having babies makes girls sick. It also makes their ankles swell up. I guess I should be more grateful to Ma for having me. I guess.

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Continuing this little experiment – a western written as a series of diary entries.


Saturday Jan 2nd, 1869

I said yesterday this is the ass-end of Texas but I’ve reconsidered. That wasn’t quite fair. This is more like a pimple on the ass-end of Texas. A very big ass, very small pimple.

Pa and Granpa built the house on a slope not far from Aransa creek but high enough not to be caught by the floods. There were better places but Granpa’s brother got those for his family. He and Granpa had a flaming quarrel about a month before and they still weren’t talking so when great-uncle grabbed all the soft land north of the Aransa, Granpa crossed back over the creek and found this little patch to the south. There’s good grazing, plenty of timber and he dug a good well that don’t run dry even when it’s hot enough to fry an egg on your hat. It’s a nice place, though small in comparison with some of the others.

Our house is like all the others – logs chinked with moss and mud under a board roof with a dirt floor, but because we was close to the creek we keep a barrel of sand to spread over the dirt. I don’t remember the old house as it was, because by the time I came along Pa had built more rooms. We have three now. One for living, one for Pa and Ma and one where Isaac and I sleep.

In our big room Ma’s favourite thing is a iron stove Pa found by the creek when he was collecting strays. It was with other scraps, a broken chair, bits of cloth, and he reckoned it must have come from a wagon. Maybe they ditched it because the wagon was broke or too heavy. Ma says some poor woman must have cried her eyes out over leaving it. It’s odd to think of that woman as we warm by her stove at night and Ma makes our food and we’ll never know who she was and she’ll never know how her loss makes our lives so much better. Where she is I hope she’s happy.


More next week – incidentally I’m sort of making this up as I go along, as you do, and just dipping into the history books/google when it occurs to me, so apologies in advance for any horrible anachronisms.

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Sunday Snippets

A while back I joined a group called Rainbow Snippets which was a delightful Facebook based group where people posted links to their posts of approx six sentences from LGBT themed stories, either published or works in progress.

It was great hopping from post to post and reading/commenting neatly filled up part of my Sunday evenings, but then it was the whole evening, then Monday evening too and then bits of Tuesday and I decided that unless I could participate properly it wasn’t really fair to join in. I haven’t posted anything for a few weeks but I miss it so I thought I’d try something a bit different.

I’m going to post a story here on my blog, in it’s raw and rough state [feel free to bitch about errors if you spot any]. I don’t have a title yet but it’s a historical Western written all in diary entries. Yeah, your guess is as good as mine if it’ll work, but here we go

January 1st 1869
A new year and a new diary – a kind gift from Aunt Adela who lives in a place called New Jersey. I’ve always wondered if there’s a place called Old Jersey but nobody here can tell me.

Which is beside the point. The point is that since this is a new diary and a proper journal form one, I’ve decided that this year I’ll keep it properly and make a full account of my thoughts and circumstances so that others may benefit from them. Who knows, in years that come some poor fool might find it in an old shop somewhere and read it and think “by Cracky this boy is just like me”. Or, since the paper is good absorbent stuff it might end up in the outhouse. Either way I’m good. I’m really writing this for me so I can tell my parents and brothers “I’m going off to write my diary” and they won’t ask too many questions about how long I take and jump to uncomfortable conclusions. But I’ve gotten off the point again.

The first thing you need to know about me is that I never wanted to be a cowboy. There was something about riding the range that never appealed, and I hate cows. But if you’re born in a place like so for from anywhere in the ass end of Texas that it doesn’t have a proper name there aren’t very many alternative job choices if you know what I mean. Also Pa would’ve been pissed and Pa is not someone you want to be at odds with. In my family there’s Pa, of course, he’s named Evan. Ma, is Hepsibah but everyone calls her Betty and my two brothers are Jacob and Isaac. I’m Joseph. Jacob is married to Mary and they have a baby on the way. We all got together , us and Mary’s Ma and Pa Lewis and her brothers, to build them a little house of their own on the South side of the yard close to the well and with its own little garden. Isaac is courting. And when the time comes Pa says we’ll build him his house on the north side of the yard. I think Pa’s already picked out the plot to the west where he wants me and my family to live but Ma says that a man should be allowed to choose his own life, and I agree with her, don’t you?

That’s enough for today. I’ll have a think about what I want to say tomorrow.


January 2nd, 1869

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Over the past year, since the first episode of Boystown hit the web, the series has gone from strength to strength and has become justifiably famous. Both critically acclaimed AND a popular bestseller, rare in this digital age, the characters go from strength to strength, story arcs draw to satisfying conclusions only to flail and whip into new exciting shapes – it shows no sign of ending and for that the many fans can be grateful.

So with that impeccable pedigree, you can imagine my shock when Jake emailed to ask for a guest post. It was a little bit like getting a missive from the Brontes. Any how – that sets the scene so over to Jake:


Writing the BOYSTOWN series has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. From the moment the idea came to me in the Spring of 2013 until now, I have enjoyed every moment of the writing and marketing process. But what I have really enjoyed the most about the entire experience has been the interaction with the BOYSTOWN readers. BOYSTOWN fans are, quite simply, the best.

I have been so touched and humbled by the outpouring of kindness and support I have received from BOYSTOWN readers since the moment the first episode hit the internet in June of 2013. People began to email me from all over the country – and beyond – to share with me their thoughts and ideas about the BOYSTOWN characters and story lines. I made it a priority to respond to every email that I received not only because I valued the readers’ feedback but also because I want my readers to understand that I want them to reach out to me. I want to hear from them — their ideas, their suggestions, their reviews, their feedback. In fact, their comments and ideas actually can and do impact the future of the series because I have written some of their suggestions into the series. In short, by contacting me, the readers can actually impact what happens to their favorite characters.

Several dedicated fans voluntarily created online BOYSTOWN book tours simply because they loved the books and wanted to bring the series to the attention of others. Some readers have allowed me to post BOYSTOWN promotional materials on their websites and blogs, and others have contacted me to see how they can become involved with BOYSTOWN.

When I held a nation-wide photo contest looking for “models” whose images we could use in the BOYSTOWN promotional materials, the response was overwhelming. People from all over America submitted their photos in the hope of becoming one of the “faces” of BOYSTOWN. I ended up selecting five winners for that contest because I wanted to include as many people as possible. Even after the contest was over, people continued to submit their photos asking to be a part of the BOYSTOWN team and I have welcomed several more of them on board.

I met my new BOYSTOWN Director of Art, Design & Advertising, Michael Vargas, and my new BOYSTOWN Director of Social Media, Patrick Murphy, because they were fans of the books. They contacted me on Facebook, we chatted and got to know each other, and now they are running all the promotional and advertising campaigns for the BOYSTOWN series.

I have also been intrigued by the fans’ responses to certain couples in the series. For example, I never anticipated that so many people would be fans of “Kemmett” (Keith and Emmett). Fans are very vocal about what I did to that couple at the end of “Season One” and provided many ideas for how I should write those characters in “Season Two.”
Fans of “Dole” (Derek and Cole) are also very vocal. While most readers like and connect with the character of Cole, some like him with Derek and others don’t. Many fans want Derek to stay with his wife Joyelle. Finally, I was really taken aback by people’s reactions to Justin, who only appeared on the BOYSTOWN landscape at the end of “Season One.” Readers really found him appealing and interesting – and wanted to know everything about him: his sexuality, his motives, his plan. Those fans will be happy to know that Justin is a central character in “Season Two.”

People often ask me how many books the BOYSTOWN series will have. I simply tell them this: as long as the fans are interested in the series, I will keep it going. “Season Three” is already in the works and, if the fans want more, “Season Four” will be right behind it. I hope fans will continue to reach out to me and let me know their thoughts and ideas.

BOYSTOWN truly belongs to the fans!

Twitter: @boystown_series
IG: BoystownTheSeries

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