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  • In Lowering the Bar, Ray Neighbor agonizes about his Cowbird love life. He ends up feeling OK about loving less-than-perfect literary creations. I want Ray to know this isn't just his problem. We all wonder whether some stories deserve our bespoke love.

    In Collaboration, sprouted from Alex's COMPETITION, I suggested ways for Cowbird writers and readers to improve their love lives. I'll say it again. Whatever clicking a heart means for the clicker, it can't be known by the clickee.

    Here are some possible interpretations of any given Love:

    • I think the author is a beautiful person
    • The story is really well written
    • Its subject matter grips me
    • I resonate with the feelings it expresses
    • I had a similar experience
    • It's a great use of a literary form
    • It has a beginning, middle, and end
    • It's well-thought-out and structured
    • It's an authentic stream of consciousness
    • It isn't trite or maudlin

    How many of the above need to be true to click the heart? If a bunch of them are true, how do you communicate the intensity of your love? The only way I know is to Love-Unlove several times, so at least the author will see that you mean business. Some people have been seen doing this.

    Otherwise, we authors should be prepared to guess what lies in the hearts of others, as in life.

    @image: binary heart by tomado de
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