Well, I'm ready to start writing the last adventure in my new Seven Wonders of the World story and as soon as Not This Time clears my editors and starts to post, they'll get this new story to keep them busy. In the meantime, I'm running around naked as a jaybird at a nudist resort for the summer. And, believe it or not, still getting a few thousand words a day written.
Amidst that, I'm trying not to despair over the condition of the country, the electoral choices, and another scathing anonymous (of course) review. The anonymous reviewer, who immediately (after reading all 116 chapters) rated LNDtH1 as a 1, called me out for not using codes that indicated rape and torture.
"You are a sick puppy who maybe likes to trick people into reading his sick fantasies? If not, learn to flag your stories correctly."
I've never actually finished a story that I would rate so low and I'm at a loss as to why this reader did. Nothing better to do with his time? So the short answer is "Fuck you." But for the sake of others who might be tricked into reading my sick fantasies, I'm once again going to reiterate my feeling about codes. I code my stories according to the themes presented, not so that I can protect your fragile sense of propriety. Codes are meaningless when a work of one and a half million words that spans twenty years has to use every code on the site because someplace along the line a black person kisses a white person or a group is told about one of their people being raped and murdered.
On the other hand, every part (there are nine parts total in LNDtH1 and LNDtH2) has an introduction. The intro includes a paragraph that warns about specific acts and instances in that part. I cringe when I write those because I would never expect a book in a bookstore to have that kind of information so that I don't accidentally read about something that makes me uncomfortable. (Cry? Sorry, but the fact that there are emotional scenes in this story does not make it a tear-jerker. Do I need to code it 'humor' if there is something in it that makes you laugh?) My responses and triggers are my responsibility. Yours are your responsibility. I'm going to quote this material from the Introduction of Part I of LNDtH1, Guardian Angel:
"The following codes apply to the themes of Living Next Door to Heaven that involve the lead character/narrator, Brian. This is a very long work and as a result certain sections may involve just about anything that teens and young adults can get into. They are going to experiment. There will be an introduction to each part with alerts as to what the content unique to that part is."
"mt/ft, ft/ft, consensual, romantic, heterosexual (mostly), bi-sexual (girls), polyamory, school, slow (Of course, in the next year or so of postings, the kids will grow up and become MA/FA, FA/FA and in Part IV I'll add the "First" code.)"
"Part I: If you are into a lot of sex, you probably won't be satisfied in Part I (twenty-one chapters). The kids in the story are only nine to fourteen years old and their sexual experience is limited, not only by good taste but by the rules of SOL. First time holding hands. First time kissing. First time thinking you've fallen in love. First broken heart. Things will heat up as they get older and want to experiment more, but they aren't going to fall into bed at fourteen and suddenly become the world's greatest lovers with the most awesome sex imaginable. Even in Part II when they are in high school, the rule is "No skin-to-skin genital contact." Some freshmen in high school might push that to the limit, of course. There are bullies and some violence (non-sexual), but I try not to dwell on that. If you want cock-in-pussy in-and-out sex, you'll have to wait at least 85 chapters. I said "slow." They do try just about everything else, though. There is no actual penetration sex until Part IV! Around 85 chapters into the story."
Now if you consider it beneath your level, Mr. Anonymous, to read the introduction I put in specifically to placate your delicate sensitivities, don't come complaining to me that I didn't properly code my story. There is a similar introduction to every one of the nine parts that indicates possible triggers that I wrote especially for you. Apparently, you skipped all of those, too. Since you enjoyed LNDtH1 so little, I encourage you not to read LNDtH2. Actually, don't read anything else I've written. I plan to suck you into my sick little fantasies because that's the kind of sick puppy I am.
I'm going to go write another sex scene in Seven Wonders of the World now!