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MarkStory: Blog

Illustrations for "The Arrangement"

August 30, 2016
Posted at 4:46 pm
 

Some new illustrations for my story "The Arrangement," much better than the previous ones I created, have been drawn by a wonderful artist named Terry. (He doesn't want any more credit than his first name.)

I'm in the process of adding the 5 new drawings to the appropriate places in the HTML of the story, but if you like, you can see all of the drawings here. (Note that if you haven't finished the story, the drawings and captions will contain spoilers for the plot!)

The Arrangement: Illustrations by Terry

Minor edits to "The Arrangement"

July 12, 2016
Posted at 3:42 pm
 

Hi all:

So I've re-read "The Arrangement" from start to finish a couple of times this week, first time I'd read it in its entirety since I finished writing it. Still quite pleased with it. I found several typos, and revised the chapters and reuploaded them to fix.

I also made one content change. A reviewer of the story noted the improbability of a "secret society" like ISPOTA, and the fact that they'd have a network of physicians around the world explicitly approving of sexual activities between adults and minors. :)

While the existence of ISPOTA is central to the story, the knowledge of the physician is not, and I see the reviewer's point. It does stretch believability a bit to imagine doctors around the world knowing of these Arrangements, and not notifying the authorities.

So, I tweaked chapters 5 and 6 to note that Arrangements simply require medical examinations from a "board-certified physician." Basically just a standard sexual health exam, and then the doctor is asked to fax the results to a specific fax number, with no mention of the organization behind it. That seems a little more logical to me.

I welcome your thoughts! Also, in reference to my last post re illustrations for "The Arrangement," I've reached out on a couple of online forums to see if I can find an illustrator willing to work with me, pro bono. If you (or someone you know) would be interested, please get in touch!

Riley's lookalike

July 11, 2016
Posted at 12:42 pm
 

As many readers of "The Arrangement" know, the character Riley is based on someone I met on a cruise ship this spring. Though we didn't have an "Arrangement" or any sexual contact whatsoever, we did have several frank conversations, and she was the inspiration for the story.

One of my greatest regrets is that I don't have any pictures of her. It would have looked inappropriate for us to take photos together, and she doesn't seem to have any sort of online or social media presence that I can find. (It's probably for the best that I'm not in touch with her, to be honest with you.)

But, it makes me sad that I'm sort of forgetting what she looked like, and I've been trying to find an illustrator to add some artwork to "The Arrangement." (My previous effort, with "Second Life" avatars, was not very satisfactory.)

Flipping TV channels yesterday, I happened to see a Disney Channel actress who looks very similar to "Riley." So similar, in fact, that I actually exclaimed "oh my god" out loud or something along those lines when I saw her.

Her name is Devore Ledridge, she's 15 years old (as Riley was when Mark met her!) and you can see some pictures of her here:
https://www.google.com/#q=devore+ledridge

In many photos, she has straight hair, whereas the inspiration for my story's Riley was wavy. But in this one particular picture, she looks so much like my "Riley," that it makes my heart ache:
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7fHSfRIZpHA/VyVqEKvOh2I/AAAAAAAAOeQ/c9tveZuctvk3Md17Lc3jNXQOj7TTjMx7gCLcB/s1600/devore-ledridge-1.jpg

If I can find an illustrator to work with me on some images, I will of course post those here when done.

Minor change to "The Arrangement"

June 11, 2016
Posted at 9:59 am
 

Several readers have correctly pointed out to me that the Epilogue to "The Arrangement" isn't a true Epilogue, as it doesn't pick up from / isn't related to the Prologue.

So, I've just uploaded a new version of the final chapter, changing it to "Chapter 16: Abby" instead. Everything else remains the same. Thanks to all for such positive feedback!!

"The Arrangement," finished.

June 10, 2016
Posted at 4:10 pm
 

Chapter 15 and the Epilogue for "The Arrangement" have been submitted to SOL, and they should be available shortly. I found myself with some extra free time this week, so I was able to get this story completed. I love this story, my favorite thing that I've ever written, and I'm really proud of it. It's also incredibly arousing, because "Riley" is based on a real person. And although I only had a couple of conversations with her, they were deep conversations, somewhat sexual in nature, and I'll never forget her. This story helps keep my memory of "Riley" vibrant, and it's the most personal thing I've written.

Thanks to all for reading, and voting. Those of you asking about a conclusion to "Peanut Butter Babysitter" -- I have some ideas, and might be able to finish it up within 2-3 months. For now, though, I need a little bit of a break -- "Arrangement" finishes up at nearly 120,000 words!