Catch Me in the Reals

The Fabulist
"No Such Place as Nebraska" NebraskEye

"Border Patrol" Bloody Diner
"Candlemas" PseudoPod Logo
Cossmass Infinites
"To the Singers of Madrigals" Cosmass Infinities
Andromeda Spaceways
"All Hands" Cover of issue 92

Just before the world shut down I wrote my first short story in twenty? Maybe twenty-five years.
I'd written things in the mean time, sure: some small part of my ever-evolving career required scripts & scenarios, ad copy, journalism, lyrics & librettos as well as a certain amount of what you might call microfiction.

So I'd kept my hand in, as it were.

I was putting what I thought were final touches on the miracle baby, conceived long after I'd thought myself barren story of a frozen astronaut intercepting, from orbit, an alien Ping when the Governor shut down the State of New York and my profession shifted en masse to remote learning.
I teach screen stuff so there I was, stuck on learners' screens showing them from my screen things to try on their screens...
Turns out it was really our chances that would prove remote.

It's no wonder I retreated into fantasy.

I dunno if I'd seen it coming, the shutdown. Of course I'd like to say I did...
That's supposed to be the job, right? I certainly think about the future an awful lot. I mean, I practically live there!
But the only foresight I can lay claim to is seeing how a writer's group might help -groping my way through what looked to be a Plague Year.
I asked everyone on social media who I knew had ever made a dollar from their writing. Not to be at all elitist, just looking for a certain level of experience.

There's no substitute for being told 'no' you know? Sobers a person.
Anyway, I found one taker, who brought one, and a Loose Unsyndicate was born.

Our lineup has changed, in the years since. I'm currently the only founding member active in the group.
What hasn't changed is the marvelous benefit of relying on a small cadre of writers sharing regularly, exposing their writing to trusted eyes in an ongoing effort to make their work sell, or sing, or ring the way they want it to ring.

Committed to improving. Bit by bit, crit by crit.

It's really to them, to that, the Unsyndicate I dedicate this inaugural essay of my spanking new writer's site. I don't guess I'd have this little tidepool to float the scum of my mind, if not for the group.

Been a long time comin.

20231015 Reading, PA