Archive for February, 2011

Understand, rubberband?

February 27, 2011

The old junglejims with their rubber jigsaw mats beneath to break your fall had given way to more conceptual installations. Large wooden structures with chain-link bridges, rope swings, tire obstacle courses now stood rooted in deep sand. Each playground was slightly different. Only one had the tire swing. Another had a fortress or a wall of climbing ropes.

The old corrugated-metal manually operated merry-go-rounds were still there. You’d run alongside, holding one of the metal tube handholds and jump aboard once you got it up to speed. Sometimes a kid’s older brother would get the whole thing spinning faster than our stubby legs could do on their own. Rarely did anyone fall off and even more rarely did someone throw up….

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(read the rest of Understand, Rubberband? at Fictionaut.)

To boldly write

February 27, 2011

I first met Jurgen Fauth in on Usenet and found in him a fellow literary adventurer, who eventually contributed to Enterzone, and with whom I’ve kept in touch over the years. We may even have attended a Phish concert together at some point.

More recently, Jurgen has been building an amazing story sharing site called Fictionaut. To me, Fictionaut represents what Enterzone sort of dreamed of being: a community-driven rethinking of literary and creative publishing. (We also delved into interactive and programmatic art and other things too, but at least on the fiction tip, this is exactly what we were hoping would come about some day). So, I was greatly flattered and honored when Jurgen asked me to join the board of advisors for Fictionaut. We’ve had some good conversations about the social aspects of the site and how to evolve the interface and the experience to take the whole thing to the next level.

Along the way, I kept meaning to post a story to Fictionaut, if only to play with the UI and give Jurgen better feedback, but also of course to participate in the community and even tentatively begin re-exploring my quasi-dormant fiction-writer persona. I haven’t been cranking out a lot of stories lately. I blame work! but I did extract an excerpt from a semi-finished memoir a couple of years back to read at Wilmot’s in Alameda and I felt that people enjoyed the story, so today I finally got around to posting the story, and I’ll include a link to it in the following post on this blog.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in reading or writing short stories (and poems and other literary forms), you really should check out Fictionaut.