Introduction

I didn’t expect this.

Had you told me a decade ago I would launch a website today so that other people could read creative writing, I would have laughed in your face. Had you told me the writing would be mine, your ears might still be ringing.

Writing wasn’t a thing for me. Sure, I could do it, but it didn’t have a right answer the way math did. It wasn’t as “useful”. Creative writing prompts were annoying at best. Why would I create something to put onto blank lines in an artificial context? What good would that do? Besides, whatever I wrote was guaranteed to bore; poor me, I wasn’t creative.

But a few years ago, this changed, as do most things you assume won’t. I found myself with a new desire. I had an idea that needed out of my head and into written words. Once I got my hands on a tool, the idea emerged as a poem. A real poem! How could this be? Had I really just done that?

Strangely enough, it was real. This was a brand new experience for me.

The desire has grown more familiar since. At times it feels as if poems arrive like surprise packages in the mail, waiting for me to tear them open and see what’s inside. At other times they force their way in the door, and I have no choice but to write them. Writing them sometimes even acts as a form healing for me, a kind of medicine.

Many poems I have shown to friends. Sometimes the level of interest they spark is similar to that of television advertisements. But other times I have heard, “You wrote this? How did you write this?”

Until now, my friends were the end of the line. If anyone else out there would have liked reading my poems, there was no way. The poems all lived on my computer. At last I decided they needed a better place to live.

I started work in June on the website you’re now reading. If I were living 50 years ago and writing, I might have gone about pitching an idea to a publisher, or maybe I would have written for only myself.

But I live today, and I can choose one of humanity’s most astounding inventions as the vehicle for my writing: the web. Because I care first about making my writing accessible, the web is a truly amazing option for publishing. I don’t know if my writing will get much or any readership, but I do know that the barriers for would-be readers are few.

This website is a place for my writing to live. If you’d like to read more about the site itself, you can visit the Colophon, and if you’d like the writing to come to you, you can Subscribe.

To start, I aim to post a poem a week. Welcome to The Living Place.