All right, for June I have two goals:
Retool my eponymous website.
Release my second Box Book title, a collection of short stories for the YA audience.
You’d think achieving said goals would be easy, but remember, it’s summer and I’m told there are “things to do”. Oh well, whatever.
Let’s talk about the website for a moment. My website has lived several lives. I started with an uptight mess, something I thought would appeal to people looking for more academic information about me, like where I attended university, in the hope they would hire me for their projects. It was so boring, no one liked it. Then I mixed it up a little bit with the publishing industry in mind. I got all “look how professional and clean-cut I am” in the hope they would shower me with jobs and praise. It was just as boring and useless. Then I went all web comic and clever in the hope of attracting a following of smart, faux disenchanted viewers. The comic version wasn’t as boring but it still had a foot in the professional world as I could not shake the lingering feeling my website might just land me a gig here or their. It was kind of cool but not really.
After nearly a decade of evolution, it’s time for the next incarnation. I’m thinking it’s time to let all professionalism fade away. It makes for a boring site and it’s never paid off. Basically, it’s like holding on to a faded lottery ticket, hoping to win, and knowing it never will. My goal for the new design is something more me. I’m done trying to grab the attention of people who have no interest in what I do. Instead, I’ll put my effort into delighting the people who understand I’m very much into this creative thing for myself and for kids a little bit further from the average. If the site does something for them and maybe you, all the better.
Of course, I hate retooling the website. If I wanted to work online or with web design, I’d do that for a living. I like to get online, do my thing, and go away to do something more productive in the real world. But this is what I feel I should do. It’ll be good for me, it’ll be good for you. The whole project shouldn’t take more than a week.
As for my collection of short stories, it’s really a question of editing and formatting. I decided to dig into my archive and see what I had laying around. There were a handful of stories I’ve always wanted to do something with, I just didn’t know what. Having Box Books as an option made the whole project come into being. In the past, I feared I would be tossing single stories to the wind, hardly a good way to reach my audience of disaffected teens and slightly disaffected adults. But now, it’s really a question of how do I wish to present my stories and finding a way to make it happen.
Honestly, I’m not sure where I stand on the whole short story thing. The lingering stink of O. Henry or Poe still plagues the format. The idiot rumor in the internet writing world is that everyone loves short stories because we’ve created a world where average people are too lazy to commit to a larger form story. I’m pretty sure the lazy average isn’t anymore likely to read a 5 page story than a 500 page novel. Lazy is lazy after all. And I still see novels as the most complex, creative format within the control of a single person, which makes novels pretty damn cool. But there is something nice to the short story in that it doesn’t require massive amounts of time to produce. After years of inking around and putting day after day after day into year and a half long projects, knowing I can produce a complete and complex story in just a handful of hours or days is alluring to say the least.
Somehow, writing short stories makes me want to bust out the camera and start photographing up a storm… We’ll see what happens with that… I mean, the days are longer, which means more light, which is hella important for photography…