Author's Comments

Tobias and Sebastian have been best friends since grade school, and along with Elizabeth they've survived the highs and lows of growing up, but their senior year brings challenges none of them expected. Some changes are for the better, some for the worse, but it's all part of this crazy game called life. (m/m, some adult language and situations)

Rhododendron Woes is written in first person allowing some stream of conciseness and creative liberties (I'll try not to toss the book out the window) with grammar, but first person present POV is something I haven't tried before, although my partners have. It definitely gives Rhodo Woes a different feel from Boi Interrupted. First person is also limited, however, (how easy third person seems right now) so Rhodo Woes alternates between the POVs of the two main characters.

Updates at the moment happen on roughly a weekly bases. Woo hoo!


10/31/03 – Happy Halloween! Chapter 2 is up. Enjoy (hopefully) and thank you to FamousOneLiners and Autumn tears for your words of praise. ::bow::.

11/02/03 – I'm having way too much fun. Chapter Three is posted, and an edit to Chapter One (see explanation below) was made.

- "watch the objective/subjective (i.e. "Irene and I" vs. "Irene and me".)"
Being part of dialogue, I could excuse it as a speech pattern (i.e. "I ain't got no problem."), but such questions force me to think. So I got into a discussion over this. Said one person, "A noun that follows a preposition should be in the objective case. Thus, it should be either between me and Irene or between Irene and me. I prefer between Irene and me, because it sounds better." My collaborators questioned that, however, and we had a long chat about "I" versus "me" and "subjective" and "objective" pronouns. So after all that trouble it's been changed. I'm constantly learning. Thnx.

11/07/03 – Chapter Four is uploaded. My friends like to make fun of the cheesy parts.

Friend: If you were to switch a girl for one of the characters you'd have a Sweet Valley High novel.
Me: XD Someone has to do it. Bodice rippers don't write themselves.

11/11/03 – Things start to wander into angst territory in Chapter Five in which, after events at the party, Sebastian does a little reminiscing and a little soul searching. Thanks to all the readers and reviewers for your encouragement and especially any constructive criticism. ::bows::

11/15/03 – It's still sort of angsty but countered with some humor, I hope, as Tobias and Liz have a little talk, he pays a visit to Seba at work, and he learns a thing or two about lions in Chapter Six

- "The only time it's gets confusing is when you change character POV's.. Here's an idea...have a scene in one character's POV...and then kinda like repeat it in the other's POV...might add a cool perspective to the reader! "
I considered labeling the chapters with the name of the person whose POV it's in, but that might be too blunt or interrupt the flow. I'm not sure. Opinions? As for the idea, coincidently I'm now writing part of one future chapter that way. Great minds think alike.

11/21/03 –Tobia's slips up again in Chapter Seven. Is this the moment of truth?

11/27/03 –Happy Thanksgiving! After you eat, why not read Chapter Eight? Part of Chapter Seven is covered from Tobe's point of view, a few questions are answered (Why was he in such a bad mood? Who was on the phone?), a few arise, and what's this about a date?

Special thanks go out to ::deep breath:: Autumn tears, Bakadesu, CDCG, EmbyrKoal, FamousOneLiners, NotEnough, and sb1.

12/09/03 – It's been a busy week, so I fell a wee bit behind in editing, but finally Chapter Nine is complete. If you didn't like Stacy before, well…The tone is overall more serious and angstful, but a future chapter will have plenty of feel good shameless fluff. I promise.

12/12/03 – To make up for the late chapter last time, Chapter Ten is up a little early this weekend. What is Stacy up to, and what will happen when she and Sebastian meet face to face? The conflict climaxes, but whether the outcome will be full of relief or regrets is anyone's guess.

12/18/03 – ::giggle:: I know I'm evil.

- Oh and "stare-ing" is spelled "staring" not "starring" – SweetSun (Chapter 7)
Taken care of and fixed. Thanks! Evil typos.

- "if it wasn't so good I'd go ballistic in a "how could you" mode... - EmbyrKoal"
- " How could you? Cliff hanger Missy?! I just spent fifteen minutes searching Fictionpress to find this story …and I find a cliffhanger?! - Spirit"

Because I fear for my safety, Chapter Eleven is up already. After eleven chapters (around three months in the story) of laughter, sadness, tension, and angst it comes to this moment. It's about time, right? Time for what, however? It's a little different from the others in that the POV begins from Tobias', switches midway to Sebastian's, then reverts back to Tobias. I tried to make it clear who the narrator was at the start of each switch, but let me know if POV switch is too confusing, and I'll try to fix it.

Thanks again to: Autumn tears, CDCG, EmbyrKoal, FamousOneLiners, Hermione-kun, Joflower, NotEnough, rollymc123, Seras Nova, Spirit, and SweetSun

12/22/03 – Every new relationship has its obstacles to overcome. Things are rarely perfect. That's life for you, and, after the initial bliss of a newly discovered love, misunderstandings sometimes happen.

-Is this it? Is this the end? If it is I won't complain I promise, this is a lovely place to end -them wrapped up in a pretty pink bubble of love. If there's more then yeah! A continuation/sequel would be great - Spirit
I didn't originally intend to break it up, but you're right in that is does sound like a natural end, yet it's not "The End". Chapters one through eleven now make up Part 1. Part 2 begins with Chapter Twelve.

12/24/03 – What?! An update so soon? I've got something planned for the holidays, so that means a little extra posting. Angst can't last forever, after all.

FYI: Peter Cooper, a self-taught engineer, and builder and inventor of the famous "Tom Thumb" prototype locomotive, obtained the very first American patent for the manufacture of gelatin in 1845. He subsequently established a number of other patents for its manufacture and established manufacturing standards for its production. Some time later (1895, although some sites say it was 1897.), Pearl B. Wait, a cough syrup manufacturer, bought the patent from Peter Cooper and adapted Cooper's gelatin dessert into an entirely prepackaged form, which his wife named "Jell-O."

And a Happy Christmas Eve!

12/26/03 – The holidays are a time for family and friends, and the Triad decide to take a little ski trip. But what happens when things don't turn out exactly as planned? Cheese galore

Part one of a two part Special Christmas Chapter (it's longer than most) is up. Once again the POV switches but this time more than once. Please tell me it I'm too quick and free with those POV shifts. They worry me sometimes.

WARNING: Some parts tread close to what might be considered an R rating. I tried to be good, but I was having so much fun writing fluff. ::blush::

12/27/03 – It's Christmas Day. Will Sebastian and Tobias get what they wished for?

Because it's a Special Christmas Chapter part two is up already, but I'll be returning to my usually weekly updates from here on, so I can work on my other story, Boi interrupted, as well. I wanted to write feel good fluff, so how'd I do?

01/03/04 – Chapter Fifteen is uploaded. It's late January, and life goes on, except peace is a fleeing thing.

Happy New Year!

01/09/04 – A worried and guilt stricken Sebastian is in need of comfort and support in Chapter Sixteen.

01/21/04 – A busy week delayed Chapter Seventeen, but finally here it is. A little bit of philosophical reflection, some warm fuzzies, and a close call are all in one chapter.

01/31/04 – Again I fell behind in editing, but Chapter Eighteen is up in which Stacy starts to ask questions.

- "closet call"? Is the pun intended? AFAIK, it's "closest call". Might be wrong, English's not my native language.
You like the word 'nonchalantly'. Pay attention so you won't overuse it. – Naatz (Chapter 17)
I lost an "s"! Yes, it's supposed to be "closest call", so I fixed that. And I'll keep an eye on my usage of "nonchalantly". I only used it four times, but they were in close proximity to each other, which makes it sound like more.

02/07/04 – Tobias is always willing to listen or be shoulder to lean on when his friends need him, but he's always been reluctant to burden others. For Sebastian, however, the time for silence is over, but will Tobias agree? Chapter Nineteen uploaded.

-The teddybear scene is nice, although not quite understandable {for me, anyhow}: Why is he there? Yes, the answer is later revealed, but it's confusing.
"Since one can carry only so much crap on a scooter, I took the bus to the mall" - Isn't it supposed to be 'the hospital'?-The first sentence is said without a lot of enthusiasm. Is he supposed to say it like that? If not, I'd suggested an exclamation mark after the 'bears'.
"we're I broad daylight" - I supopse you mean 'in'.
You have a tendency not to put a comma before names. Sometimes it's good, especially in quick speech and quick phrases, but usually you're supposed to put commas in front of names. – Naatz (Chapter 18)
It's meant to make the reader wonder why he's buying a teddy bear and who it's for. Hopefully there are some other questions you asked yourself that weren't answered (i.e. the "any other joys" Tobias mentioned).
He took the bus to the mall in anticipation of being burdened with shopping bags. He didn't want to take his scooter to the mall then have to leave it there.
Are you referring to, "Never fear, McAllister is here, and he comes bearing bears"? Tobe is not the type to exclaim that, preferring to keep it cool, hence the lack of an exclamation mark.
Typo fixed.
In general I follow the "11 Rules of Comma Usage" (see the URL on my profile), and I believe a comma is not always required before a name.

02/14/04 – Chapter Twenty uploaded. Valentine's Day is a day for friends, loved ones, couples, and card companies. But after their last fight, it's not exactly turning out how Tobias thought it would. There are multiple POV switches in this chapter. (Don't worry about grammar corrections bothering me. Finding the answer(s) is a learning experience for me.)

Happy Valentine's Day!

02/21/04 – Chapter Twenty did start off oddly, but answers will come soon, very soon. ^_~ For now, however, Chapter Twenty One is a time to kiss and make up. I mentioned a pervy writing period in my journal. Consider this the entrée. ::giggle::

- "'Lying here and thinking about it, however, just darkens my already fowl mood, so I decide to try ' Fowl should = foul " - Embyr (Chapter 20)
I had an image of Tobe in a chicken suit when I read that mistake. Fixed it.

02/29/04 – Leap for leap year! After a holiday to remember Tobias finally is willing to talk. Chapter Twenty Two was written during a pervy evening and gets a little spicy midway (You've been warned!) but it's nothing blatantly graphic imo.

- "While while you change your clothes, I'll take a quick shower, change clothes, and then go prepare dinner." - One unneeded 'while'.. – Naatz (Chapter 21)
Fixed. Thanks again!

03/08/04 –Chapter Twenty Three has been uploaded. There's something about ex-girl/boyfriends and their uncanny tendency to re-enter the picture when things are going just fine without them.

- I thinks it's a cynical to think boys have to always have their guards up with girls. What about girls? What if they loved a guy as much as Sebastion? They risk losing their heart as well. Anyway I really don't think this is m/m since nothing really happened only a kiss – Gingerly (Chapter 3)
Just keep reading for more m/m. I don't like rushing into things. If you're looking for something spicier then "Boi Interrupted" (temporarily on hold) might interest you.

*TWO EXTRA BIG YAYs to TheSeer and Sojisa for catching the Matrix and (more difficult to spot) the FAKE references and quotes. ::squee!::*

- Chapter 16 - A hero arrives late, and his superior regards him and slowly says "Mr. Anderson."
(Matrix reference - I _so_ heard Schrome's voice in my head as Agent Smith.) – TheSeer (Chapter 24)
I'm so glad you noticed. It wasn't intentional when I first created him, but the moment I typed the words "Mr. Anderson" coming from Schrome's mouth I associated him with Agent Smith.

- I noticed your references to FAKE. *grins* I loved that! Fans of FAKE will totally notice those! – Sojisa (Chapter 24)
It is my small tribute to FAKE. Maybe I should have named the pink poodle JJ. XD.

03/16/04 – In Chapter Twenty Four Irene tells her side of the story, but it's a day of surprises, and it isn't quite what Sebastian expected.

03/30/04 – It's been a busy week, so I fell behind, but finally Chapter Twenty Five is uploaded, and it's time for Sebastian and Tobias to clear the air between them regarding clingy ex-girlfriends.

I'm curious who your favorite and least favorite characters are, so I've put up an entry in my Livejournal.

04/09/04 –While some people would tell their ex to take a hike, Sebastian is such a nice guy. Chapter Twenty Six is posted!

- Hm. No such word as 'thunk'. Irregular English Verbs. Blame 'em. – Naatz (Chapter 17)
But note the context. "Who woulda thunk it?" "Woulda" isn't a word either, and thus here is a case where improper grammar is used purposely as part of the narrator's speech patterns.

I looked over my outline, and the end is so near that I'm a bit giddy right now, and fanart of the boys contributes to that. To view the pictures, check my Livejournal.
And thank you to all who posted their opinions about their favorite characters. Now I have another question for you:
What is your favorite / most memorable scene? Is it their first kiss at the park, their second kiss in the bathroom at Keith's party, the fight where Sebastian punched Tobias, the body paints scene, or something else? Your answers may determine future fanart.

04/23/04 – In Chapter Twenty Seven it's another turning point in Tobias' life when his parents decide it's time for a change, but how can he leave everything and everyone he knows behind?

04/25/04 – Just to clarify something because a good point was brought up

- You've kind of dragged this story out. I stopped reading it once they'd gotten together and the relationship was basically "perfected" (i.e. steady). Now it's just kind of... twisting the knife? That's not a good example. Stretching a good thing too thin? Nope. It's like those television series that keep on going on for more seasons even though the excitement and novelty of the show has disappeared. It's a great story with wonderful writing, but I think you need to finish it up and start a new one. Preferably slash and best friend/best friend. I hope that I got my point across. And I hope that I didn't hurt your feelings. If I did, I really didn't intend to. Your writing is very lovely; just don't be afraid to end it. – Alana (Chapter 29)
My feelings were not hurt, I understand your sentiments, and I appreciate the comment, but I want to explain the reasoning behind continuing the tale beyond that point.
From the very beginning, and it may have been mentioned, Rhododendron Woes has been planned to span the course of a school year. Now while the moment the boys get together is definitely the climax the story doesn't end there, because RW is not solely about two guys finding love in each other. It's also about what happens afterwards. Because, however, of the way Chapter Fourteen ends I chose to break RW into two parts, so if someone chooses to stop there, that's fine and understandable, and I'm happy if they enjoyed it, yet I didn't like ending it there when the two have a history -- which is why it only took a couple months for them to become a couple -- and questions remained unanswered regarding their family and friends. This is something I've seen in many books and manga (Kodomo no Omocha, Gravitation, etc. ). After the couple pairs up, there's still history to deal with and a future to address. And so Rhodo Woes isn't supposed to be about novelty, because it's fairly certain from the start that they will become an item, but the two big questions are "How?" and "When?" Yet there's also the question of "Now what?" The action and tension may not be as predominant anymore, but it's supposed to have that fairly commonplace feel, like taking snapshots of moments of two people's lives. The only difference is the added compilation of a clandestine relationship, which could happen to a heterosexual couple, is tossed in. I wanted to show that despite homosexuality they're still two average boys, living average lives, encountering the fairly mundane trials and tribulations and joys anyone might experience.
In other words, Part One does make a good stand alone story, but Part Two delves a bit deeper and explores the part most authors often leave to the reader's imagination about what happens after "happily ever after". Regardless, the end or Rhododendron Woes is only a few of chapters away.

- Nice chapter, I did think that the pacing was slightly off though, it just seemed to all happen very quickly, and it was kinda like jump, jump, jump, leaving me, the reader, wondering exactly what happened at the end. - Fountain Pen (Chapter 29)
I'll have to look it over, but I'm inclined to agree. I don't think it's not so much that a lot happened, and it didn't come completely out of the blue, yet is still felt like it happened quickly. Perhaps if more time is spent during which Tobias was driving about would help the transition. You've got me thinking now.

05/09/04 – Happy Mother's Day! Recently updates have been every other week rather than weekly due to fun things like school, but hopefully with the end of exams I'll get back to my regular schedule. A few minor changes were made in Chapter Twenty Seven to help with the flow, although thing still happen rather quickly. A more significant rewrite would be needed to take care of it completely, but that's something I'll put off until the story is finished. I don't want to distract myself too much yet.

Chapter Twenty Eight can be summed up by a statement made by Sebastian: "…little sisters will always be little sisters, and this is just another thing that little sisters do."

P.S. Thanks as always for the advice and criticism. Whether I agree or not, you get the neurons firing in my head.

05/30/04 – I LIVE and Chapter Twenty Nine is up!
I apologize for the long silence, both here and in Livejournal but I've been horribly preoccupied with other matters recently.
This chapter touches upon issues of homosexuality, but it's only in passing, an acknowledgement of the darker side of human nature. I didn't want to fall into a pit of angst or have the issue overshadow the relationship and overall lighthearted nature of this story, thus to counter this seriousness there is also a little matter of sex education, courtesy of Elizabeth. But the most difficult passage to write was the conversation between Susannah and Tobias. I wanted to avoid an overly cheesy or clichéd chat, and even now I'm not sure of the result.

06/07/04 – I wrote a lot this week, and as I did so it hit me how close to the end of this story we are, and I was wistful yet also happy. What an accomplishment this is, so have one finish story under my belt. Well, enough of that.

Chapter Three-Oh (Thirty) has some more naughty fun and fluff in honor of Tobias' birthday and was a joy to write. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

(I'm going to miss the boys so much!)

06/14/04 – Will Mrs.McAllister accept the boys, or does this latest turn of events mean more hardship for Tobias and Sebastian? The answers shall be found in Chapter Thirty One.

- I hope Seb doesnt get too freaked, since he's such a wuse. - Green_Streaked Hipp... (Chapter 32)

- She'd better be understanding, but methinks she already kinda knew... - Embyr (Chapter 32)
- So did they do their 'Number sixteen' or was that just some serious uh kissing? […] I hope Tobias' mom doesn't freak but she sounded a bit okay and I think she must have deep down known – Spirit (Chapter 32)
- My only thing was formerly, 'How long can they go without someone finding out? I mean, really?' but that's settled… - xStarxCounterx (Chapter 32)
I love it when people are observant and ask questions like that, and, fyi, they never did get to do Number Sixteen, darnit. Tobias is very frustrated about that. ::grin::

06/21/04 – Chapter Thirty two brings the Triad another day closer to the end of the school year.

- Just a note, when Tobe's mom is smiling at them and they're her prey... not 'pray'. Slight mistake, but other than that, 'tis good, 'tis excellent ^_^ - Embyr (Chapter 33)
- Oh, minor thing. When you're talking about Tobias' mom smiling in a feline way, it should be "prey" with an "e." - xStarxCounterx (Chapter 33)
I fixed that along with a couple other minor typos.'

06/28/04 – This is it. With Chapter Thirty Three the year draws to a close, culminating with graduation and one last party with friends, but what else does the evening have in store for Tobias and Sebastian? Possibly more than they might think thanks to the intervention of one conniving fangirl best friend…

There is one POV switch from Tobias to Sebastian in this chapter. It's a long chapter, but it's the last one, so it's deserving a few extra pages.

A Final Note :
::teary eyed::
Thank you so much for your reviews, your comments, and your time. I hope you enjoyed this little tale of mine, but – aside from any minor editing that might be brought to my attention -- all good things must come to an end.
I'm filled with a wistful happiness that this day has finally arrived. It's such an accomplishment for me: the planning, the writing, the editing, etc. I enjoyed every minute of it, but even dealing with something you love it's often difficult when confronted by agonizing moments of writer's block and life's other little interruptions to stick with long-term projects, but I did it. No, we did it. Thanks goes out also to my helper elves, those who those who kept me motivated and smiling and came up with some of the most innocently perverted chat sessions I've had the pleasure of being in.
However, as with all relationships I don't think of this as "the end" but "an end" for the boys. They have a future, for better or worse, but we can only hope for the best.
Thank you all again.

08/12/04 – I'm just updating the Author's Comments because I've been asked this before. .
- it was a little bit confusing how you used the terms baka and kun when they live in California and odviously arn't japanese... but its your story so ultimetly you can do what you want with it – Emi (Chapter 35)
Multiple references are made to their fondness for Japanese animation (Chapter 2, Chapter 9, Chapter 10) that you must have missed. One need not be Japanese nor live in Japan to use them.  For example, I've known people who use them with fellow anime fans of Japanese language classmates online and off. And notice they don't use them for everyone.