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Rated: E · Critique · Contest Entry · #2079095
My reflections as a member of WdC over the past four plus years.
What a great idea this is, Gaby . I have been a member of WdC since 23 December 2011, by my calculation, 1,554 days (and for those with a warped sense of humour, 37,291 hours, 2,237, 760 minutes and, at the last count, over 134 million seconds). And I don’t regret one single second! Like Gaby, I have not the slightest intention of cancelling my membership, even though I do allow input to lapse from time to time.

My original interest in WdC was sparked by Hatsuda . Our paths had crossed on another writing site which didn’t offer anything in the way of development. Hatsuda suggested I have a look at Writing.com, which I did and was immediately blown away. For me, this was something quite unexpected and, to be perfectly honest, just a little bit scary. So much to explore, so much to do. I was in love. And still am. But now, a WARNING. This little exercise is going to be jam-packed with tags – I’ll try to limit them to three per subject and in alphabetical order, but they by no means include all my favourites. And my apologies to anyone I may have missed.

I was, of course (and still am, a comment I shall no doubt return to de temps a temps – that’s yer actual French, you know) in total awe of both the The StoryMaster and the The StoryMistress . At this point, I am reminded of a comment made to me oh, it must be nearly 65 years ago. At that time, I was a Wolf Cub, and the leader was known as Akela. However, she was more often referred to as the Cub Mistress until we were told that, “Cubs don’t have mistresses.” And I’ve waited 65 years to get that story in! So, I suppose stories don’t have mistresses either—although mistresses almost certainly have stories. Now there’s a prompt!

Be that all as it may, I’m in awe of our leaders who have developed WdC to the powerhouse it is today. Maybe they didn’t do it ALL by themselves, but they have been the driving force, for which we should all be truly grateful. And which has given me the opportunity to spread my wings—and flap, from time to time, particularly as the deadline for a competition approaches. I’m not a great competitor, preferring the quieter wander through the realms of short stories and poetry.

Poetry, now there’s something that would have been quite unexpected 1,554 days ago. I had never written any poetry up to that time, but a few intriguing prompts started me on a new journey which I have found exciting and rewarding. All sorts of poetry, including Limericks, of which I have written over 100, and managed to keep them all free from smut, although I would plead to a few innuendos occasionally.

Reference to Limericks was a deliberate ploy to get me to the many In&Outs that I do enjoy, my favourites being (in alphabetical order), "Linericks, "Poetic Insanity and "Steev's Place.

Anyway, to return to In&Outs, and allow myself the luxury of a few extra tags. One of my great joys is to be able to visit these (and other In&Outs) and contribute, or just enjoy a little nonsense. Especially therapeutic if I’m feeling a little flat, a bit blue, with the added bonus of being able to indulge in a little gentle mutual verbal abuse with no bad feelings. For me, the key perpetrators good guys are Dad , deemac , Roscoe and Steev the Friction Wizurd , again in alphabetical order. But I can’t overlook the contributions of frequent welcome visitors such as catty , MadMan at Large , Petra Pansky or Thankful Sonali I AM WRITING! , the Indian ambassador.

The richness and diversity of WdC is such that, at any moment, you can turn an unexpected corner and discover something new. And in that process of discovery, I want to tag people who have helped it to happen. Once again, just three, in alphabetical order. Elle is a miracle of organisation and drive; she gets things done at lightning speed, and still has time for a family and a career. How do you do it, Elle? Then there’s Gaby . No, I’m not “brown-nosing”, Gaby but you, too, have this organisational genius ; anyone who could run the Game of Thrones contest as successfully as you did deserves many medals. And then there’s Nixie 🦊 . Warm, compassionate and caring, she still manages to be a driving force behind the WDC Power Reviewers Group. Hats off to Nixie.

And I’m going to allow myself the luxury of an extra tag for ANN Counselor, Lesbian & Happy , whose passionate support for the GBLTIQ community is an object lesson for all of us. It certainly has been for me. But then, I can’t overlook Fangus or willwilcox whose high class writing has drawn me into the labyrinth of horror stories. I’m still trying to find my way out, and they’re still giggling! I’ll tell you what—I’m offering 2,000 GPs to either or both of these gentlemen, to go to their favourite WdC group, if either or both will write a short romance story, full of sugary sentiment, hugs and kisses and a “happy ever after” ending. Are you up for it, guys?

I think part of the reason for this contest, I suppose you might call it, was Gaby’s disappointment at people cancelling their membership with Writing.com. Sure, completely agree. But there is a similar phenomenon of members gradually disappearing over time. Not actively cancelling, but who don’t post any more. I’ve had interesting and fun communications with several people like this; if I mention names, maybe they might reactivate their memberships. ms_penguin, Parthena Black , Teerich - 2019 and Storygirl95 to name but four. Come back to us—all is forgiven!

One other group of members I have to mention, and I hold these in the highest esteem. These are the “go to” people for excellence and information about our language, for their willingness to impart this knowledge to all who may ask, and also for their highly professional reviews. You want a review which tells it how it is, not how you think you want it to be, but which is done with respect and a very positive approach, you cannot do better than Joy , Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 or Northernwrites .

On a marginally more serious vein, I also want to say how much I enjoy reviewing, and I need to do more of it. I’ve always been mildly curious about the 250 character bar—for me it is 1,000 characters and work up. Still, the process is thoroughly enjoyable, and I’ve found it helps in my own writing, too.

I just want to finish (okay, okay, at last!) by saying that in my opinion, humble or otherwise, Writing dot com is a family. A huge, sprawling, international family, full of eccentrics and committed writers. From what I have seen, there is surprisingly little argument, bad-mouthing or general nastiness. Disagreements? Yes, of course – that must be expected. But so much enjoyment, pleasure and respect. This is a good place to be, and I will be here as long as I can.
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