One Year Later: the one-year anniversary of the first posts on CohnQuest–Perchance: Part I and Letters from the Waste: Part I–has come and gone.
With that in mind, let’s get the exciting news out of the way first: as a celebration, I’m giving away a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card to one of you, my readers and Cohnfreres. I am so very grateful to all of you for supporting me and reading my stories. In honor of that readership, I hope this gift card will help to expand your personal libraries a little more. There’s a lot of ways to enter to win the gift card, so feel free to do any or all of them. You will find the information on the giveaway in the box down at the bottom of the post.
Ultimately, this giveaway is just another opportunity for me to interact with y’all, so, while you’re here, let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts or suggestions for the website. Do you like the design? Are some things difficult to read? Is it difficult to find the entries that you’re looking for? Are the posts too long or too short? I want to do everything that I can to finetune your reading experience. In no small part, and I cannot stress this enough, I’m writing for you. Every one of you is my Audience and, while the stories often have many minds of their own, I want to make them accessible or worthwhile for your own mind. If I am going to take you to other worlds, I have to make sure that the vehicle relaying you there is in working order. I feel very responsible to and for these stories, and part of that responsibility rests in how I impart them.
Admittedly, part of the formulation of your experience often depends upon confusing you, frustrating you, or deceiving you. I could blame Westworld and the newest season of Twin Peaks for spoiling me (spoiled in both senses; i.e. like a child and like milk, but I blame Cicero more for the latter), but it’s also essential, especially with this kind of medium. The process of publishing serial chapters online necessarily exists as a peculiar infusion of digital and analog, fluidity and stability. Unlike a print book, particularly a self-contained novel, I do not have to write with tremendous permanence. I cannot. This ink is light, and each chapter, nearly episodic, bleeds differently. Time complicates things further. The reality is that, between entries, especially entries distant in time, you are always reading something by a new author. I am not the same person that I was a year ago, and I am certainly not the same writer. In other words, the person who wrote Perchance: Part I in its original form may not be the same person who wrote Perchance: Part X in its current form. To me as an author, each chapter is a signpost to a past self, a storyteller who is now as much a part of the story as Joe Wood or Anne Milton. Of course, some characters begin to assimilate these selves too. The stories converse amongst themselves, within themselves, and begin to rewrite themselves. This rewriting often exists as conflict.
For instance, you may have noticed that Perchance has become a much different story than its original premise seemed to indicate: threads of romance shifted to strains of horror, alongside other chords. This is an act of the story being written, but it is also recursive: rewritten, with the act of rewriting in turn being a part of the story. I would suggest looking back at the early entries of Perchance now and again. They may begin to shift. They already have. Likewise, Letters from the Waste contains its own distortions, which are themselves a part of that world.
Some consistency, however, remains. As I said, stories often have many minds of their own, and it is these players who limit a story into something that can be told. Focus may shift across them, but they must remain in some form. I treat them as real people to the extent that I can, and every time I write, I try to push that extent a little bit further. Anything else would be a lie.
One of my greatest fears is writing stories that are lies. Some stories are little more than lies. Narratives are fabricated. Certain narratives are familiar and easy. The possibility of making such missteps troubles me. It’s why I research as much as I can and do for so many of my chapters, but, in the end, I can’t be certain. Writing is an act of faith. Just like most anything, perhaps. Just like existing.
My hope is that, at the very least, my stories become true within you, my readers.
Here it is, the giveaway portion! You can enter by following any of the suggestions below, including visiting CohnQuest’s FaceBook page, tweeting about CohnQuest, or subscribing for the CohnQuest e-mail list.
The grand-prize winner will win the $25 Barnes and Noble gift-card.
As a bonus, the first ten who sign up for the CohnQuest mailing list will receive a CohnQuest bumper sticker (put it on your car! put it on your computer! put it on your water bottle! with permission, put it on your friends, or your enemies?)!
- Must be a U.S. resident 16+ years of age
- No purchase necessary
- Giveaway ends 7/26/18 at 11:59 p.m. PT
- All entries are checked for validity.
- Winner is randomly selected.