Well, okay, it's been live for a while, I just didn't tell anyone it was there.
Today my blog and my fiction are moving to a new home, http://inkhaven.net.
The fiction landscape has changed since 2002 when I first set out to 'break in.' Back then the only way in was through the submission/rejection cycle. The harrowing tale of Myrtle the Manuscript was what we had to look forward to in our efforts to get read. Three cents a word and my name on poor-quality paper was the only way to get a story into the hands and minds of people who like the kinds of things that I like. The thing is, what 'breaking in' meant to me was restricted by the time. 'Breaking in' wasn't really the goal at all: the real goal was just to write the stories that were in my head, and as with any art, get it out there to see if someone else liked it. The only way available to me to do that at the time was That Way.
All of that has changed. Writers like Mur Lafferty, Scott Sigler, and T.M. Camp are proving that. Futurismic posts Free Fiction Friday every week. Quality short stories aren't just available on the bottom shelf of the news stand or in a $30.00 anthology anymore. Entire novels are available for free, just a click away, to read yourself or hear performed by the author. What Patrick refers to as "barrier to entry" is practically gone, for both the reader and the writer. The reader was barred by cost and availability; the writer was barred by having only one channel with a heavily guarded gate.
I want the same thing today that I wanted then: I just want to write stories, and I hope that over time I will acquire the skills to write good stories, stories that affect people and make them see things slightly differently than they did before. That's what good stories do for me, and that's what I hope to do for someone else.
So having abandoned the idea of payment and editorial approval, and of submission/rejection/submission as the only viable path to readership, that left me with this:
What if people don't like it? Won't they write me off as a hack and never read my work again?
Well, yeah, they might. But then I heard something that made that not matter so much anymore.
A while back I posted about something Scott Sigler said in an interview with Mur Lafferty, about how he had people listening to his fiction via podcast who didn't like his work the first time they heard it, or the second time they heard it, or the third and fourth times — but they loved the fifth story they heard. "What on earth is happening," he said, "when someone will 'try me out' five times?"
That snippet of interview was the final thing I needed to just put together Inkhaven and start posting my fiction. I am posting free stories in PDF and Kindle formats, because I think that maybe people might like the 'fifth story.' People may like it, they may hate it, but it's there if anyone wants to read it.
I am starting out with two that I like more than most — Office Demons, which is humor, and Habitat, which is decidedly not. New stories will be added with what I hope will be some regularity, but you know how it is. It doesn't go up until I think it's ready.
Thanks for everything, LiveJournal. And to the readers of this blog, sorry to ask you to jump one more time with me. I deeply appreciate your support. Hope to see you at my new home!