In November of 1996 (oh my God, that feels so long ago), I made a website on Geocities. I felt like I had things to say, and the web, in all its HTML 1.0 glory, made it possible for me to say them to the entire world. Or, rather, to that chunk of the world that bothered to read that tiny piece of the web that I occupied.
A lot of that stuff I wrote is still sitting around, maybe even on this server. I don’t want to look at it now because it’s probably terrible and embarrassing and could be summed up thusly: I was lonely, and I wanted not to feel alone. My dream job had turned into a crap job, I hated where I lived, and my friends had all graduated and scattered to the four winds. Writing on the web helped me to connect to a whole bunch of other people, and it eased that crushing loneliness.
Jump eighteen years to now (oh my God, was it that long ago?), and I’m writing full time. Yes, I take care of the kid when she’s not at school, but my job is writing fiction. I have gotten paid to make up stuff. I hope to get paid to make up even more stuff. I’ve got one book out on submission to publishers, one waiting for edits, and one that I really should have finished last month (hey, entropy happens). I have all these words, man, but they’re not ready for you to read. That kills me, ’cause I think they’re some pretty good words. I want to share them with you. I want to connect with you. Yes, you.
And, yes, I also want that instant gratification that comes with hitting Publish and getting comments and notes and little smiley faces (note: we had to make our own smiley faces back in 1996). So, inspired by Jeff Noon‘s occasional tweets (which you should totally read), for the past two weeks, I’ve written tiny, tiny stories on Twitter right before I shut my brain off for the night. I’ll let an idea pop into my head, and then I run with it. I haven’t mastered getting a whole story into one hundred forty characters, but I am getting a handle on wrapping things up with enough punch to satisfy. Plus, I know people are reading them.
I’ve told myself I’m going to write fifty of these bedtime stories and figure out what to do from there. In the meantime, I’m going to start cross-posting them to a separate Twitter account, along with the dozen or so I’ve already written. I hope you like them. You should probably ask your parents before reading, though. Yes, even you.