Long ago, when AOL first started, and they had areas of interest where people could congregate, I found a nifty area for writers called “The 60-Second Novelist.”

60-Second Novelist

The guy who founded it would go around, meet, talk to people, and then write their life story in just sixty seconds. The site was founded on the idea that people could write short stories or poems in 1,000 words or less. They even had “instant” areas, where the length of the piece was supposed to be 250 words or less!

I went to the site in an attempt to become concise. My focus was on stories. However, after being there for a bit, I actually joined the community as a NOVL, their title for community leaders. My first stint was as a chat room host on weekends. I would run such exciting things as Mad Libs on Friday nights. I then made the move to the Short Poetry Board, even though poetry was not my forte.

Each week, the boards would present a different topic for the members to write about. My duty was to read submissions, give feedback, judge and rate submissions, and write up the winners for each weekly contest. I was even allowed to participate…you see, we never really gave out real prizes. The prize was just being recognized in the cream that rose to the top.

While it has been about six years since they collapsed these communities on AOL, some of us are still around, still in contact, and still writing. There are times I miss those days when I’d put out random poetry and people would actually like it. So, that said, I hope to bring back some of those moments on here: random pieces of poetry and creativity, like solar flares, flashing out unexpectedly—subsiding, just as quickly—back into darkness and obscurity.

Solar flare

Solar Flare courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech


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