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Short Stories 365:309

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?

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Ahh yes.  I can use all the

Ahh yes.  I can use all the signal boosting I can get.

It's a continual battle to elevate the signal-to-noise ratio above the intelligibility threshold....and one that the Universe tells us is a losing battle...the continual war against entropy.  Entropy in all things, actually.

As King Solomon so wisely put it, "Of the writing of many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh."  And yet we writers must either continue to weary the flesh...or dissolve into the solar wind.

It's a gift...and a curse. :)


Eric the Noise

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My only "trick" is to make

My only "trick" is to make sure I'm only really adding to the signal of stuff I really enjoy. If I didn't enjoy something, my long years at the bookstore have taught me one thing: anything someone dislikes, someone else loves. I might as well let the people who love something boost the signal of what they love, and I'll just keep it to myself when it isn't for me.

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Hi Nathan:      I always try

Hi Nathan:

     I always try to relate writing to science....not that it always works...but it does often enough to be useful.  There's a phenomenon called auto-correlation, which says that signals always amplify like signals.  It's really a weird phenomoenon, which is highly counterintuitive.  In the sociological sense, it means if you buy a red Maserati, you notice that EVERYONE has a red Maserati. (Not that I've ever met a writer who could afford a Maserati).  But auto-correlated information always arises above uncorrelated information.  Nobody's really sure which way the Cause-Effect flowchart runs....but it's a provable phenomenon.

  So, our hope is that auto-correlation works well enough so our signals make sense to someone....even if only ourselves. :)