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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > Literary Merit > Queer Me!
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75733 is a reply to message #75732] Tue, 07 May 2019 18:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: October 2006
Messages: 429



Well, that's something that cannot be taken back... Wink

I'm not sure what I'd have done were I in your shoes. I can tell you what I plan to do, but the situation is substantially different. 

In my story, Chucky's Arrow, published here on this site I talk about a boy named Stevie who I was madly crushing on when we were six years old. When I was in grade 11 my folks sent me to a boarding school to finish out my high school years. Much to my surprise, Stevie was there also. We had a couple of classes together and I still liked him but not with what I would call the intensity of a crush. Many years later, Facbook came along and he friended me there. We chatted some and it became readily apparent that he was in a relationship with another man whom he married when it bacame legal to do so.

I have relatives in the city where they live and next time I am up that way visiting I plant to invite them to coffee and tell him about it. Maybe share with them a copy of Chucky's Arrow. I'm sure it will lead to some smiles, laughter, and a trip down memory lane, and probaly also a strengthening of friendhip. 

In your case? Who knows, although I guess you've had "the conversation" with him some years past. Is there something in particular you are hoping for?



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75734 is a reply to message #75733] Tue, 07 May 2019 18:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



I like your lower level of passion about Stevie. I built prison wails for myself and have been dismantling them, brick by brick. But what do I hope for from sending him the book?

What I would like is for him to read at least some of it and understand that he was adored, even though he could not return the feeling. I've asked him to donate it to a charity shop if he doesn't want it. I've also let him know that the boys of the book no longer exist.

What I suspect will happen is that it goes directly into the recycling bin. From what I judge of the little I know of him today is that he is likely to do that.

It doesn't matter either way. My prison now only has its foundations left. There are no walls.

[Updated on: Tue, 07 May 2019 22:59]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75735 is a reply to message #75734] Tue, 07 May 2019 22:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: October 2006
Messages: 429



Broken down walls are wonderful, aren't they?

My bricks and mortar of my walls were made of distrust after being taken advantage of sexually, and in one case more than the other devastatinly traumatized, at age eleven by a couple of men I looked up to and trusted. It took me well into my adult years to begin to tear those walls down.

I saw a carving early on in that process of a man building a brick wall all around him. It was so high he could hardly reach but he was stilll building. I recognized that man and what he was doing. He was me. That was my personal turning point. I think, however, that the diminished level of passion was, at least in part, due to my inability to trust brought on by the abuse. Prior to age eleven I would crush intensly on other boys, and on the rare occasion a particularly pretty or nice girl. Following that I still developed crushes but not to that level of intensity. It was only after I began to heal that I was again able to develop deep and passionate romantic feelings and relationships.



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75747 is a reply to message #75735] Mon, 13 May 2019 18:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



I have received a lovely review, not on Amazon nor Goodreads, by a US book reviewer, reviewing a book so outside her normal reach I think she was surprised.

See what Josie Hulen has said about Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying.

[Updated on: Wed, 22 May 2019 15:05]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75748 is a reply to message #75747] Tue, 14 May 2019 02:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: October 2006
Messages: 429



That IS very nice, isn't it? Nice to see someone who appreciates the value of and individual sharing their story, especially when it's a relatable story shared by countless others around the world.




“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
icon7.gif Re: Queer Me!  [message #75749 is a reply to message #75747] Tue, 14 May 2019 03:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Geron Kees is currently offline  Geron Kees   

Likes it here
Location: USA
Registered: February 2016
Messages: 103



Very nice review, Tim. It does come across that you surprised the reviewer with your basic humanity. Like the rest of us didn't already know!

Made a screenshot of the review for my Tim folder! http://forum.iomfats.org/images/message_icons/icon7.gif

Re: Queer Me!  [message #75766 is a reply to message #75463] Fri, 17 May 2019 06:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Driver is currently offline  Mark Driver   Canada

Getting started
Location: California
Registered: March 2017
Messages: 21



I prefer taking a real book with me to read vs. Kindle, so I ordered my copy on Amazon.  I like the cover a lot.

Maybe there are others that also had their own John.  I did.  And his name was John as well. 

I enjoyed reading Queer Me.  The experiences and feelings were so familiar, even after all this time.

I wrote a short review:
-----------------------------------How many of us idealized someone in our youth so intensely, someone that struck such a vital chord, that we clung to the memory for years, perhaps decades?  Coming of age is not always easy, but especially not when attracted to another boy visually but especially emotionally, the way Tim was to John.  If the world were a different place, perhaps each boy could exercise free expression and process their honest thoughts and feelings.  But the world is not, and was not, especially during the 1960's in many places such as the UK.  So I hold a soft spot for Tim, and in a small way for John, that the two were not allowed more chances, that their behaviors were so self-regulated and truncated by the stigmas of society.  I was especially struck by the poignant last line of the diary, returning to that theme one more time, because clearly, telling John wasn't something a boy or a young man could find a way to do in that world.
------------------------------------

Thank you Tim for sharing this book with us.
icon7.gif Re: Queer Me!  [message #75767 is a reply to message #75766] Fri, 17 May 2019 07:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



Oh Mark, you deserve a hug.

Amazon, bless it, takes an astoundingly weird time to publish reviews. I'm assuming, hoping, you placed this on Amazon.

I have done as I said in the Afterword, sent John a copy. To this day I have never worked out whether he was a sefl contained and unaware boy, whether he simply adored being worshipped, or whether we were two boys separated by fear. I will never know because there is no hope of his ever contatcing me. But now, at last, if he has listened, I have told him.

[Updated on: Fri, 17 May 2019 08:43]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75773 is a reply to message #75767] Mon, 20 May 2019 05:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Driver is currently offline  Mark Driver   Canada

Getting started
Location: California
Registered: March 2017
Messages: 21



You are correct Tim about Amazon timing.  A review I wrote a month ago for The World of Normal Boys just posted as did my review of Queer Me! which I submitted the last few days.  Both good, but I enjoyed reading your book more. 

I grew up on British drama, called Masterpiece Theater, with introduction by Alistair Cooke.  Mother wouldn't miss it.  Your book would make a good television mini-series of that genre we watched religiously.  

I must say the public school curriculm in Queer Me! sounded daunting.  I'm afraid we had it easier here in comparison, so perhaps that is why I had time to watch Masterpiece Theater. 
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75774 is a reply to message #75773] Mon, 20 May 2019 07:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



The curriculum seemd nothing particulalry strange to us. We were taught
  • Maths (Yes it's plural!)
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology in our first year in case we wanted to become medics (the school specialised in creating embryo doctors)
  • History
  • Geography
  • God
  • French
  • German was added in our second year
  • Latin
  • Greek (whcih means I can still read road signs in Greece and even have a clue what some words mean)

We had lessons of PE, and games every afternoon.

We also had school on Saturday mornings

That curricukum was a sweat shop for O Levels.

Passing four of those entilted us to specialise at A Level, the key university entry requirements. We did need two more O levels for university, though

A Levels were grouped for the convenience of the school timetable
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

Or replace Physics by Biology

Or modern Languages. I think French, German and Spanish

Or Classics

It was a hothouse environment, and rigorous.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75775 is a reply to message #75773] Mon, 20 May 2019 07:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



"Mark Driver wrote on Mon, 20 May 2019 06:00"
I grew up on British drama, called Masterpiece Theater, with introduction by Alistair Cooke.  Mother wouldn't miss it.  Your book would make a good television mini-series of that genre we watched religiously.  

--

Now there is the story of 'our' school as a movie. It's real all the way up to but not incuding the café scene



I guess I am not in that version!!!

[Updated on: Mon, 20 May 2019 08:07]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75787 is a reply to message #75775] Sat, 25 May 2019 23:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolyon Lewes   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: SW England
Registered: September 2012
Messages: 58



I'm sure I've said this before, somewhere, that when I first saw this marvellous film I hadn't long left school and I really thought it was a documentary film about the regime from which I had recently departed. Not that I went to Cheltenham Colege but still....

The prefects I am sure I recognised and young Bobby Phillips was perfectly cast. As for Malcolm McDowell, we had a few like that too. Scrumptious.

Jolyon



Jolyon
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75788 is a reply to message #75787] Tue, 28 May 2019 09:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



I have another review, this one may me cry

[Updated on: Tue, 28 May 2019 09:32]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75790 is a reply to message #75788] Wed, 29 May 2019 17:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: October 2006
Messages: 429



That's got to be very gratifying Smile

Reality tell us that not that many books ever become even moderately good sellers, but hope is a wonderful thing to have anyhow. Is there even slight uptick in sales as a result of these Good Reads reviews?



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75791 is a reply to message #75790] Wed, 29 May 2019 18:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



"Teddy wrote on Wed, 29 May 2019 18:22"
That's got to be very gratifying Smile

Reality tell us that not that many books ever become even moderately good sellers, but hope is a wonderful thing to have anyhow. Is there even slight uptick in sales as a result of these Good Reads reviews?

--
I think the lag between review and purchase is enormous, so much so that I doubt there is a real link there. This book is not likely to be a high seller, but that was never its real purpose. That purpose it met when I finished writing it.

Now it's opened a few folk's eyes in its small commercial life. And I even have to include it on my tax return!



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75792 is a reply to message #75791] Wed, 29 May 2019 19:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: October 2006
Messages: 429



Quote:
Now it's opened a few folk's eyes in its small commercial life. And I even have to include it on my tax return!


Yeah, Taxes are why our people got pissed at your people and threw the tea into the harbor. Then they turned around and discovered that they couldn't operate a successful government without taxes. Go figure! LOL



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75793 is a reply to message #75792] Wed, 29 May 2019 20:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



I don't mind paying tax. I consume what my tax has paid for Smile

The Goodreads review has also appeared on Amazon's UK site. I do wish they'd pool reviewed globally. I'm rather overwhelmed by this one.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75794 is a reply to message #75792] Thu, 30 May 2019 02:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

Likes it here
Location: Earth
Registered: April 2013
Messages: 248



"Teddy wrote on Wed, 29 May 2019 13:43"

"Quote:"
Now it's opened a few folk's eyes in its small commercial life. And I even have to include it on my tax return!


Yeah, Taxes are why our people got pissed at your people and threw the tea into the harbor. Then they turned around and discovered that they couldn't operate a successful government without taxes. Go figure! LOL

--

Indeed.  As Benjamin Franklin ever so wisely pointed out, the only two certainties in life are death and taxes!
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75795 is a reply to message #75463] Mon, 03 June 2019 10:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



This quite a review on Amazon US

Quote:
This is one of those books you just can't put down! I wish I had had more time for the book and less in between reads. Loved it and suffered with it. Definitely would read whatever you have to write, sir!


Very heartening and quite unexpected.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Queer Me!  [message #75846 is a reply to message #75463] Tue, 23 July 2019 13:34 Go to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13518



To celebrate six months since publication I've started an Amazon UK and US special price offer. Can't do it on any site except  .co.uk and .com or I would. It's now a quarter of the price of a cup of coffee, and the offer runs until 29 July. Clicking Queer Me! will take me to your local Amazon site



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
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