All good things must come to an end, and while I wouldn't say this site is at an end, it will definitely be taking a little break while I move my life overseas and establish myself in Denmark.
When this site began in September 1995, there were no vanity domains, and very few dot-coms. Your site name was your own name, attached to the end of your ISP domain: this one was http://www.interport.net/~xmel. There were only a few literary sites, and we webmasters all got to know each other. For a short time, it was a small, and delightful, world.
But the quick growth of the Internet industry, and the corresponding explosion in the amount of money involved, has changed the whole tenor of the online world. It's not a playground anymore. It's a serious thing, and people go online for serious and focused reasons. They don't dawdle, and they rarely even explore.
That makes me wonder if the time for a site like this has passed.
It's still great to have access to an online audience, but I sometimes wonder if that audience still has time for me, particularly now that big print authors like Stephen King are also starting to present themselves electronically. Much of this site's readership now comes from overseas, where Internet is still new and fun.
With its use of cartoons, voice clips, and pop-up boxes to enhance the stories, I believe that this site has been a precursor to the electronic books that will someday combine audio, video and text into a whole new literary genre. Certainly, Web Writers in the Flesh, beginning in 1997, was the first literary readings for electronic writers in the world, at least that I know about.
Now, I want to leave this site behind as a monument to the first days of the World Wide Web, a time when links from anywhere were free for the asking, where you were welcome to borrow anybody's code as long as you gave credit, where for a short time the playing field was remarkably level. A time when a girl could start out with nine stories and a book of HTML hand-coding tips, and end up with an international forum that flourished for nearly five years.
Keep an eye on this space, I may be back.