b r e a t h i n g
r o o m
14 Nov 98
Are you still doing that online journal? Dan asked me over lunch at Take It Easy, a good short-order Thai place on 17th Street. I had promised Dan a month or so ago, that if I took the new position as a literary agent (a job that was offered only after I made it known I was applying for an acquisitions editor job at my old publishing house, a job Dan had tipped me off to), Dan would be my first expense-account lunch client.
I told him that the journal was dormant. Sure, I still write in my notebooks as I always have, and any number of entries could be transfered and posted, but that was never the point of this site anyway. I told him what I'd discussed with Sarah a month or so ago, that this journal had at first represented a form more free than that of my ezine. I'm very pleased with and proud of the collaborative nature of the 'zine, and I've even managed to stop obsessing about deadlines and schedules and instead just update the site with good material and announce it when there's enough (something I always envied about the way shacker runs the birdhouse). The Pavic story we translated anchors and justifies episode 15, but I digress (as I did not over prawn coconut curry yesterday).
I told Dan that I now contemplated taking the next step, shucking the rigors of the journal form, and simply creating a space where I would feel free to post any new stuff I put together. Sort of a Christian's Corner, offered Dan. Just so. You're really doing this backwards, aren't you? said Dan. I was taken aback. Most people, he went on the explain, start off with the free-form personal website - here are my poems, and so on - and sometimes decide to make it more structured and turn it into something like an online journal. Only very few actually put together a web publication. Or portal, I joked. Well, I went on, I would never have put it that way, but it strikes me that you're exactly right. I have done it backwards. I kind of skipped some of the usual steps. It's your inner web child, said Dan.
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