What Are We Doing Here?

This begins simply, as a way for us to express ourselves.

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I’d like to say that together we’re beginning a special journey, but the truth is I have no idea what this little project will ever amount to. In the end, that’s the kind of uncertainty every writer faces when he or she sets pen to page (or fingers to keyboard, or even thumbs to smartphone, I suppose) at the outset of a new work. At the very least, here we will face that unknown together.

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In my most ambitious moments, I’d pretend that the ultimate goal was to somehow craft a layered, evolving portrait of our shared home. A collective vision with room for contradictions and inconsistencies, fitting for a city that displays multiple personalities depending on where, and how, you look.

Sometimes a start is all we ever get
– Junot Diaz 

In truth, my wishes for this collection are much more modest. I hope that these posts give us an outlet to express ourselves, to be challenged and excited with new points of view and by taking the kinds of risks that often only come when stakes are raised. I hope that by working together on this project we will each find ways to make one another stronger writers, more connected both with our material and our audience (if, in fact, one exists). And I hope that at the end of it all, the common threads of “place” will be real, compelling, and meaningful.

You can expect everything from short stories to literary nonfiction. You may find some prose poetry. We may dabble, from time to time, in other forms of expressing our thoughts and opinions. We will not, under any circumstances, post listicles. I can all but guarantee at least one post on the subject of public transportation. In my heart of hearts, I hope it is a piece of fiction told from the point of view of a scarred and weary bus seat.

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