It’s been fun. It’s been lots of fun, in fact. I’ll be posting the ending of the story later after it’s completed and cleaned up a bit.
In the meantime, I’m making some changes to the story’s presentation. That is, I’m adding password protection to all of the posts. The reason for this is twofold.
First and foremost, it protects the work. This idea has potential for me as a short story or novella once it’s gone through a few wash cycles in the brain. That means I don’t even want the general concept floating around outside my control. If I can get this published, it would behoove me to protect it now so it’s not unoriginal later.
Second and probably equally important, I have a lot of changes I want to make. The more I think about improving the story, the larger the idea gets. None of that would change the concept or flow; it would, I hope, improve the story tremendously. I’ll refrain from offering examples since I think they add to the quality of the story and expand its reach. Those things should be saved for the final version. I said that to say this: the more I think of how to tighten and improve the story, the larger it gets, and that leads me to believe this has the potential to be my first attempt to get a novel published. It needs a lot of work, I know, and I mean A WHOLE LOT of work. There are significant quality improvements, a lot of story additions and expansions without damaging the flow or premise, and on and on it goes. But the possibility now hovers out on the horizon like a promise held just out of reach. I’d like the opportunity to grab for that promise.
I’d not expected to even consider that when I started this little project. It was meant for fun. It was meant to be an exercise for me and entertainment for you. I think I’ve achieved both of those at least to a small degree. In the process, however, I feel I’ve stumbled upon a wee bit of the inspiration I’ve always enjoyed when it comes to writing, and now that’s become a fever with this little gem-to-be (I hope!). I want the chance to give it a shot and see if I can turn this into more than just a blog thing that let me stretch my digital wings. I really want this to be something more because I feel the story has great potential once its cleaned up and reworked. That includes expanding its scope so that you can feel closer to more realistic characters and experience a subtler sense of impending doom as the story moves on (without stumbling into the doom prematurely). There are a lot of other reasons. Ultimately, I think I can take this somewhere other than its current juvenile form. I want to try.
So, back to the passwords. I’ll be adding passwords to all of the posts in the next little while. You’ll see them convert from text to a simple password prompt. What’s the password? Oh, you’re such a demanding bunch, aren’t you?
To ensure this stays in the family, so to speak, first a few restrictions. Don’t share the password with anyone except your immediate circle of trusted confidants. It’s imperative they not share it with anyone. Anyone period. For example, mArniAc can share it with her sister, xocobra can share it with his wife, and Wayne can share it with his wife, but it can’t go any further than that. It just can’t. Please understand.
Next, don’t print or e-mail copies of it for any reason. I’d sooner remove it entirely than let it spread. If my tires get deflated before I even get on the road, it’s gonna hurt my feelings tremendously and force me to scratch the whole idea. I accept responsibility for making it available thus far. If that proves to be an issue, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, but in the meantime I’m correcting that mistake and trying to limit the damage. I’m asking for your help in that endeavor.
As for the password itself, here’s the key: it’s my middle name + my cell phone number. I know it’s long and tedious, but I’m trying to offer the most extensive protection without making it some obscure and impossible-to-remember piece of gibberish. So, once again (with no capital letters): middle_name##########. Got it? No spaces, no hyphens, no capital letters. Just the facts.
Also note for reasons I can’t yet explain, this change disables and hides comments and all comment functions. That looks like a problem with the theme I’m using, so I’ll tinker with that if time permits but am not considering it a major item on my list of things to do. This is the first time I’ve used the password feature and can’t think of any reason I’d use it in the future, so I’ll probably just ignore that little hiccup for now. Sorry.
Feel free to speak up if you have questions, and I’ll include a final “the story’s done” post after I post the last part of it so you can discuss it if you wish. That’s also where I’m going to ask for whatever critical analysis you want to provide. Critique it, beat it up, point out flaws or suggestions, or whatever. Remember, it’s going to go through some major transformations if I can make it happen to the extent I want without mangling the whole idea (and I think I can do that). Should I completely fail at that, however, I’ll probably just clean it up in its current form and try to get it published as a short story—but I’m hoping desperately I can do more with it than that. We shall see…
[Update] It goes without saying that you should contact me if you think you ought to know one or both of those pieces of information (for the password) but can’t seem to locate the appropriate item in your mental filing cabinet. As I just explained to xocobra, this gives me a wee bit more control than just the password alone, and that was intentional. There are few people I expect to readily know both, and I know everyone who’s ever been told either.