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    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    We launched Jet Pack last week.

    The majority of my time spent workshopping stories according to strict processes of prefab questions and rote exercises has not been real helpful. Mandatory, systematized criticism in a ring of folding chairs has always looked washed-out and florescent, in my experience, compared to dog-earned notebook paper passed around a Denny’s at midnight, the windows lit by streetlights and neon.

    But most of the writers I know don’t live near me, so we needed another solution. It was this: The Internet can be the new Denny’s, and it is always midnight there.

    So it isn’t a magazine. This is the showroom of our writer’s workshop, the part with the big steel doors we open to the street so passersby can eyeball our wares. It’s also the loft space where we sit around scratching in our notebooks, or typing on our notebooks, and plan a big reading party that never happens because people can come by and read us everyday. And also it is a midnight diner. Because this is the future and everything is more than one thing.

    Everything at Jet Pack is partly a work in progress, posted to be read by living people, to be handled and commented on by readers who give a shit about the craft. It's a public notebook. It's a writer's gallery where we hand out red pens at the door.

    So yeah, it's done, as Warren has said it can be, with a cheap domain name and a WordPress template. We'll expand as we're able. We'll do PDF or POD, if we generate enough solid stuff. We'll sell short fiction to mags, as we're able. But we're not keeping our stories in dark drawers just because there isn't a magazine schedule hungry for them somewhere.

    Today I published my fake chapter to an imaginary pulp crime novel, based on the art of illustrator/genius Kevin Dart: "Chapter 6". It was a writing experiment to see if I can change my voice to match the art, so you can imagine why I'm not shopping it around. But I think it's read-worthy. You tell me.

    Thanks for your time.