If I haven't said it enough lately, I love this digital world we live in. I love that I can see (as a not-so-random example) the faces of people who have just learned that their home state will allow their marriages. I love that I have friends I've never met face-to-face all around the world, and that this network helps me realize that in no way am I alone in a variety of ways.
Are there downsides? Of course. Hate spreads as fast as joy in the digital world, and I sincerely dislike accidentally scrolling into stories of abuse or other horrific events without having prepared myself for it.
I also like that - thanks to these digital connections - I can "meet" authors, and I can boost their signal. Again, not a random example, but even though I've only met him face-to-face twice (and amusingly, in New Orleans even though we both live in Canada), I'm really freaking proud of Shawn Syms. I've been lucky enough to share a table of contents with him a few times, and he has a real facility with taking a risky approach or a really unique angle that I admire - especially since he does it with such ability and the end result is so damn engaging.
He's also recently become an editor of a short fiction anthology I've been speaking about already here on my Short Stories 365 jaunt, and it's another thing to admire: the anthology is solid, and I've enjoyed every tale. I know how much work an editor does, and even thinking about attempting that some day leaves me shaken. To have this collection this good as a debut? He must be thrilled.
"Baby, Let's Rock," by Wyl Villacres
Next up in the Syms-edited awesomeness that is Friend. Follow. Text.: #storiesFromLivingOnline is this wonderful freaking gem of a story by Wyl Villacres. I don't know how to describe the tone of this one. I'm never going to capture the ballsy whimsy (can I combine those two? Too late, I combined those two).
Here it is: guy decides to expose the online-dating world by making two profiles - one the uber-good perfect guy, the other the obviously-terrible and potentially-an-axe-murderer guy, and watches both profiles. Then goes on a date with someone who responds to the latter profile.
What follows? Well, I think I said "ballsy whimsy" but I also said that doesn't do it justice. Just trust me - not only does the story go to some seriously fun and crazy places, it actually has a zig-zag at the end you likely won't see coming, but you'll smile about it after because, despite the ballsy whimsy ride, who doesn't love feeling that "Aww!" settle in the tummy?