Crítica, engraving by Julio Ruelas, ca. 1907 (via Wikimedia Commons
Crítica, engraving by Julio Ruelas, ca. 1907 (via Wikimedia Commons

May I speak to you plainly? Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to write amazing stories. When I was little, I’d write tales of brave space explorers, with illustrations of Saturn V rockets and everything. I started, but never finished, a couple novels inspired (HA!) by Tolkien, Brooks, and Barbara Hambly. I loved Hawk the Slayer because it was the first fantasy movie I ever saw and the very notion that such a story could be a movie blew my mind.

As I got older, my inner critic grew up, armed himself, and beat that dream into senselessness. No chance I could write a good story. I could write second-rate crap — and all that stuff I wrote as a teenager was just that — but something good enough to publish? Never.

But I never quit wondering if I gave up way too early.

A few months ago, Darleen Click over at protein wisdom started writing neat little 100-word stories. It looked like fun, so I tried a few of my own and shared them on Twitter. Some folks (who weren’t related to me!) told me they were pretty good. I thought they were too. I began to think my inner critic was a big, fat liar. Maybe I could write stories people would love. Maybe I was capable of more than second-rate imitations of my favorite authors. I gathered all the story ideas that had been pinging around in my head, pinned them down on paper. I outlined a couple or three legit short stories.

But I needed to cut that inner critic down to size. No, I needed to murder the little creep and bury him in a shallow grave. But I couldn’t do it alone. Oh, no. I’d need help. I’d need accomplices.

Here’s where you come in.

I’m starting a newsletter. Twice a month, I’ll send you an original story — a piece of fiction just for you and everyone else who wants to subscribe. The stories won’t be terribly long. I’ll try very hard to keep them under 2,000 words, and if I write something bigger, we’ll have a serial like The Green Mile. If you’re wondering what kind of stories I’ll tell, you can peruse a few of the very short stories on this site. In fact, you may see one or two of these stories again, in different forms. There’ll also be a few short links to other stories and articles of of interest about storytelling.

I’ll be very honest with you, this venture scares the snot out of me. I’ve never done a newsletter. I don’t have a story ready for the first edition, which will come out in the first week of May (I’ll let you know the release schedule after the first newsletter comes out). I’ll have to write it from scratch. But now that I’ve committed to telling you these stories, I’m on deadline, aren’t I?

I’d better get cracking. We have an inner critic to murder.

Here’s the subscription link. Share it around as you see fit. But please, do subscribe. A storyteller needs an audience and I know you’ll be great for me just like I’ll be great for you.

Free original stories (and other tasty links) in your e-mail box twice a month. Why wait? Get in on this now!

Just type in your e-mail address and hit the “subscribe” button!

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