Part one of the Circulatim trilogy
The R-rated print versions are the Createspace version here for $24.95 and the Lulu version here for $19.95. Both are identical, 560 pages, just different costs due to different charges and expenses at each publisher.
Warning: This product may be harmful to your health
It may cause loss of sleep, mood swings, and result in
withdrawal symptoms once finished.
Adapted from a reader submitted comment.
This story is mostly a work of fiction, but began with my own diary filled with fantasies and wishes during my sixteenth year.
It runs a total of about 300,000 words or about 500 pages. All chapters generally run between five and fifteen thousand words, with a few exceptions. It has 33 chapters, a prologue, forward, an afterword, and an appendix with images and other information that some might find makes the story more engrossing. The X-rated version has explicit sexual activity between minors in a few chapters, but is not about the sex.
The Prologue is just that, a prologue; an introduction and scene-setting chapter. It consists mostly of narration and a little internal dialog from the main character. The main character makes an appearance, you meet him, and learn a bit about him and his life and situation through a few of his thoughts and exposition by the older Alex. The other main characters are introduced and wrapped into his past and current life.
The rest of the story is perfectly readable without the prologue, but I hope it adds a sense of a pre-existing relationship with the main character and his situation as it unfolds over the length of the story.
Chapter One is a flashback, as are many of the odd-numbered chapters at first. There are other flashback chapters later on as well. They are fairly apparent at first, but may sneak up on you later.
Some things said about THE CIRCLE
Or, as I like to call them, my paychecks.
Leave one here.
"As soon as I finished I went back and started over!"
"Its been a long time since a story did things to me like The Circle did."
"I don't know where Alex and his friends came from but I want more please!"
"I never knew what was going to happen next chapter - if I'd cry or laugh or both."
"Alex and his friends are in my head! I can't get them out and I don't want them out! I want more!"
"I have just finished The Circle. It did what a great story should do......I cried....I laughed.....I smiled... .I got angry....I loved it......."
"I started reading The Circle by skimming through it looking for the sex but ended up reading bits here and there that caught my eye and soon I was reading it word for word and had to start over to enjoy it!"
"Just finished reading The Circle in its entirety and after a short break I'll start in on the sequels. Thank you so much for sharing your gift with us. I enjoyed the story so much over the past few days that now I need to catch up on my sleep."
"I have to write and say I am enjoying your story immensely. I have just finished chapter 24 where [snipped] and I cannot believe how real it felt. The entire story so far feels like real experiences. Back to reading for me! Back to writing for you!"
"I found your story last week and I have been reading since. Late nights, late mornings, lost meals all attest to the magnetic almost hypnotic spell it held me in. Now that its over I don't know how to feel except as if my best friends all moved away. Bring them back!"
"Thank you for a long, complex story worth the time to read. The characters are believable, as is the story. It is full of emotions, from simple fun to the complications of love and hate. Even the sex scenes are believable and intense and belong as part of the story. Well done!"
"Wow. What more can I say? Fell into the story and had to keep reading to the end to climb back out. Beautifully written, deeply moving. Yes, of course, I laughed and I cried. Fell in love with Alex and Tom and the rest. Felt so jealous of Alex for his great, great friend. Wished I had had the same."
"I just finished reading your story "The Circle" from the link on Nifty.org. I like to thank you for writing it. I was captivated by the storyline and spent all my spare time in the last week reading it. I know that sounds like a lot of time to read it, but I do not have much spare time. However, I tried to make the time to read the complete story. I enjoyed every chapter, and I'm happy it was there for me to enjoy."
"I have just read the story you wrote. I am in tears as I write this. The story kept my attention threw the whole thing I couldn't stop reading and omg at the end of it I felt so badly for Alex's pain. .... I wanted so much to reach through the computer and take it all away. I look forward to reading more from you someday..."
"Just to say thanks for your emotional roller-coaster of a tale, and saying something in the afterword of what was truth and what was fiction. It must have brought back both painful and happy memories to talk about Toby. Even reading it was emotionally draining. Thanks for sharing something of yourself...."
wow...I mean what can I say. The circle and circle2 were the most enthralling captivating pieces of work ever written! (in my eyes). I have read plenty of similar material, but none matches your caliber. I don't know what else can be said... I cannot wait until circle3... You sir are a gifted person and thank you for sharing this awesomeness with me and the world... I wish I could travel back in time to 1980's Chitown and be a part of the story! lol... thanks again from a 25yo fan for life!
"I just finished your story the Circle and I am still wiping my eyes from the ending. It seemed so impossible that [spoiler snipped] but the way you made it happen was not only so touching it hurt but so real it hurt deeply. Having [spoiler snipped] was another part that could have ruined the story but you made it so real that I wanted and needed it to be real for Alex. I'm still so chocked up and full of emotions! I have never read a story like yours and I hope and pray you write another. Leaving [spoiler snipped] like that was so tender and wonderful it begs for more. I do to. Please more!"
"When a friend pointed me to your story I put it off for a while. He asked how I liked it and I told him I hadn't gotten to it yet. He hounded me to read it and I finally got started. It absorbed my free time (all of it) for the duration. I became lost in your world and your characters and now that the story is done I feel as if I have been evicted from a better place. There friendship is all that matters, and the love and compassion the boys have for one another. I long to return there and hang out with the guys again. Please consider another story about their lives and tell us more of yours."
"Too short! You say it became too long? Nonesense! I will take another 333,000 words please! It took me weeks to read the Lord Of The Rings books but only a week to pour through The Circle and I still want more. I teared up a few times in LOTR but I cried nearly every other chapter of The Circle. I remember giggling at times in LOTR but I know I laughed dozens and dozens of times during The Circle. I felt like I knew Frodo and Sam and the others but I swear I know Alex and Tom and Jeff and they're out there right now doing and living and I cannot wait to join them again!"
"I don't think I have ever written an author of any kind before, but I can't resist complimenting you for The Circle (I & II), which has to be absolutely the most realistic, absorbing story I can remember ever seeing. It's one of those that you literally have to tear yourself away from, the kind that makes people sit up all night even on a work or school night because they get so absorbed. What convinced me to read it all? You name it: the realistic interaction and believable descriptions of the characters, your ability to make a reader feel like he's right there like a fly on the wall, and best of all, thinking what Alex thinks and feeling what he feels. That's a real talent."
"The Circle (and the stories around it) is the first in many years to reach down and touch me in a deep way. Few of the stories connect in such an emotive way. And never has an author gone so far as creating "props" (it feels wrong to call them that) such as the letters. When I read them I can feel the powerful teenage emotions (the hormones of youth can be felt even 20 years later) and I am thrown back to my own youth. Your stories have been compelling, convincing, plausible, but thrilling. The sex in even the X rated versions is not a distraction but instead pushes the story forward and deeper. I just wanted to say thank you for writing something that obviously in some way must come from the heart and from life."
"About a week or so ago, I stumbled onto The Circle. It was like stepping into a look at my own past, just with different outcomes and opportunities. First off, I should say that I'm mad as hell at you for bringing to life Alex and his pals with such realism that I felt angry and upset when they were hurting. It all so resonated with me, at levels that are still clicking into place and that I don't completely understand as yet. But Alex and Toby and Tom and Jeff are in my head now, almost like renters. I see them as clearly as my own reflection, mostly seeing them pointing and giggling like there's some immense prank about to be offloaded. Young, deep, fascinated by life and full of both wondrous imagination and emotional strength and wisdom drawn from common sense and an ability to embrace the truths of life without letting them overwhelm. And completely living in the moment, loving spiritually, sticking together. Pals."
"I just completed reading The Circle, and am practically overwhelmed....I've been kinda keeping track of your progress, and as soon as I realized that it was complete, I went back and started reading again. At first I thought, "Gosh, there are an awful lot of words here to cover the story of a 16th birthday..... is this really gonna be worth the time?" But the story seemed engaging enough to keep me reading. And the more I read, the better it got. And it just got better, and Better, and BETTER! I laughed, and I cried. I rejoiced, and I wept. Openly. And now that I'm done, I don't really have words to describe my ultimate feelings. Overwhelmed? Well perhaps; it's indeed a memorable, and extraordinarily moving tale. At the conclusion, I can say only, "Very Well Done!" Thank you for your dedication and perseverance in creating, editing, and publishing a worthwhile read. And it leaves me longing to indulge in the sequel(s) that you hint might be coming along. And, I'm waiting!"
I've read a great many stories at a number of sites, but rarely have I come across anything like The Circle. Several stories have moved me, or made me laugh, or brought tears to my eyes, and a very, very few have been able to do all three. Yet your story has repeatedly. Often in the same chapter. As I moved through each one, it was very much like living the events as they unfolded. I reacted out loud again and again as Alex struggled to understand his world and his situation. His sense of no control over even his own decisions transported me back to my own teenaged years. His situations and emotions were vivid and powerful and pulled me in so deeply I read far too late at night and woke the next morning anxious to come home that night to return to his story. At first I read it quickly, but by chapter five I had gone back and started again, reading far more slowly, absorbing the finer details and relishing in them as they mixed into the story again later. Now that it is over I am left feeling victorious and triumphant, yet with a deep melancholy at the ending. There is so much more looming, so I sense from that last chapter, and I am so very anxious to partake of more! Write!