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  • Wow, do people really obsess over how many “loves” their stories get, versus how many others get? A virtual “Loves” Competition? Really? Who the hell has that kind of time on their hands? Might I suggest, if you do, that that before you set out to change the format of Cowbird, you first work on getting a life? Just my initial, unedited, unrefined thoughts on that subject.

    This is not certainly not aimed at you, Alex. You obviously have a very active life, be it real, or virtual, or whatever that universe you spend your time in is. All I know is that it produces a great deal of wisdom that I have been the happy recipient of, and that I regularly learn from. I love the mystery and mystique that you have woven around yourself. So Dylan-esque. I dig it.

    When I first came to Cowbird, I didn’t know what to expect. My Executive Coach had mentioned it in an e-mail to me, that her husband had heard about it, and that he thought it would be right up my alley. He doesn’t even know me, but apparently Maureen has mentioned me to him, and the fact that I tell stories.

    While I waited to hear back on whether I would be accepted here, I was very busy, and totally forgot whatever it was I had read about when I first checked it out. It was about a week later that I got the e-mail from Annie welcoming me to Cowbird. I didn’t even see it for a day or two, then I found a little time, got in, and immediately started posting stories like crazy. It was just so cool. I loved it.

    After about a week, it occurred to me to go back and read the directions. That’s when I learned that it’s a good idea to read what others are writing on here. I stayed away from the ones with the huge audiences already. I figured, they’re too popular. I wanted to find the ones who interested me. I usually don’t gravitate to the popular people. I like the ones with interesting stories to tell. That’s when I found the likes of Ben and Kathy Weinberg, Alex, Burt Kempner, Diane Jardell, San Casimmaly, Kelly Mason, B, and a bunch of others. Some were popular at the time, some were relatively new like me, but their material just resonated with me.

    Then, it occurred to me that new writers were showing up here on a daily basis. I come from a background where the newcomer is the most important person. So, I started to periodically go to the Newcomer link and, if someone had posted a couple of stories, I would join their audience, and if they wrote interesting stories, I would love them. I got into a routine where, instead of getting up at 4 in the morning and watching the recorded shows from the night before, I got up and read Cowbird stories for an hour and a half, then spent an hour writing. With a number of deviations on when and how, this has remained my practice.

    I agree that this isn’t about competition. However, if it’s in your nature to be competitive – and trust me, it is in mine, it just never occurred to me that this might be a competition for popularity – I suggest that you get into some sports, or some game playing, to get your competition ya-ya’s out. I’m always looking for new players on my softball teams. Come to Northern Virginia and join one of my teams! I’ll show you some competition you can get yourself behind.

    But on Cowbird, just write, and appreciate the work of other writers. I love all the stories I love, because I truly appreciate the effort that went into them. I know the effort I put into mine.

    That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.
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