Okay, from what I can see there is a bit of self-revelation, a bit of following the author guidance, and a bit of anti-establishment rabble-rousing; so what's an author to do?

Why, what she wants to do, of course!

First - writing.  I've always been a daydreamer, mostly because I was left alone a lot.  I loved to read, still do, and that was a great escape from life too.  After several years of marriage, my husband and I decided to have kids.  During my pregnancy, I had extremely vivid dreams, and they were better than anything I was reading.  After my daughter was born, they disappeared into the ether.  I realized after my daughter was born I couldn't hold a book and also be with my baby.  I began to work on a grand story in my head to keep my mind in contact with adult things as I did motherly things, like sing *another* Wiggles song to keep the daughter happy.  About the time my mobility and free time increased, and I began to think I would get to be an adult again, I got pregnant again. And again, my focus was drawn to the little ball of need that babies are.  But the need for adult contact was greater this time.  I joined Ficlets (a friend who read Wil Wheaton's blog told me about it) to read short stories by adults, and to write stories for adults.  And it's been a wonderful release when I get stuck in Babyville.

Second - thanking authors for their contributions.  I wrote a lament for Ficlets on the Ficlets site - I'll excerpt it here:

...It was the Potential of the site. I couldn’t be on as much as I wanted with two small children, but I could come up with ideas to be executed in short story form. They could be written, edited, and polished in an evening or two, a blink of an eye in Mommy-time. Whether or not I found the time to do it was immaterial to my desire to.

And also, where are my reviewers going to be, so that I can hope that they still read my stuff? I want THX ’s first and exciting review, Wyatt’s crisp appraisal, Mistress Elsha’s gasps of surprise.

I was starting to be part of an adult community again, and it was ripped away.  It seemed to be a personal affront.  Then I found everyone had moved here.  And this place seems so much bigger, so much less intimate.  It's a bit intimidating.  I can't tell how many people are reading, so all my stories feel as if they're going into thin air, never to be read again.  I didn't realize how much the stats meant to me - proof of a connection with others.  Without the stats, the connections seems tenuous, nebulous.   So the reviews are so much more meaningful on this site... so thanks again to my former Ficlet compatriots for re-connecting.  It means the world to me.  And a special thanks to Moonwalker, who was the first to add to one of my stories on Protagonize.

Third - anti-establishment rabble rousing.  Okay, call me stupid, THX0477, but I thought that was the WHOLE IDEA of both Ficlets and Protagonize - random adding to people's stories.  I didn't realize people were specifically inviting others to add to their stories, and that others were waiting to be invited!  Now I feel a bit like the proverbial "Bull in a China Shop", just casting about and adding willy-nilly to stories.  But it does put things in a new light.  Maybe it wasn't that my stories were too boring for others to contemplate adding to them, perhaps people were waiting to be asked?  Wow!  That makes me feel (marginally) better.

And now, the impossible part - who to tag next.  I don't have a lot of time to read around - in fact, time spent here is deducted from my sleep.  So, embarrasingly, I haven't gone searching for new people to read, and all my known entities have already been tagged.  What then to do?  Hijack the purpose of the thread, of course.  I'll give you a topic: The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.  Discuss.

Something more topical, you say? Then how about this: let's discuss whether it's preferable to have random additions to stories, or if it's better to wait for an invitation.

The End

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