Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s been about two and a half weeks since my last post. Ten days ago I got pretty far along with one called “Already Too Late” before intent wavered and momentum flagged. In the interim I’ve continued to imagine what sort of public interactive fictional space might open up here, what it might accomplish, whether I could generate the energy and enthusiasm to give it another go. In the most recent iteration of this website I linked to and engaged with dozens of short stories, hoping to lure their authors into exploring the possibilities of collective publishing. Most of the stories were good; several stimulated my active written engagement, not in the form of critique or review but as interpretations and experimental fan fictions. However, with one notable exception, the writers didn’t take the clickbait. That lone exception, however, has proven an unexpected source of renewed enthusiasm for me as both reader and writer.
While there are a lot of magazines publishing short fictions, there aren’t many public forums where readers and writers can discuss these texts. It’s a similar situation with academic articles: the texts might challenge and intrigue and provoke readers, they might be discussed and debated informally in labs or formally in classrooms, they might influence new work, all without the original author getting wind of it. I’m prepared to put some of my responses to short fictions out there where the writers can see them.
So I’m going to give this website another shot. Like last time, I’m going to read short fictions selected at random from various online litmags. This time instead I’ll read at most one piece per day, posting whatever observations come to mind. Rather than passively waiting for the authors to google themselves, I’ll do my best to notify them directly about these posts by tracking down their emails, commenting on their blogs, or figuring out how to work my inactive Twitter account. Maybe discussions will ensue. This time though, instead of trying to catalyze an overhaul of the industry, I’ll be explicitly trying to reconnect my own fictional circuitry.