TO THE AUDIENCE not — as Leroy Jethro Gibbs would have it — because it’s a sign of weakness, but because it takes all of the wind out of your own sails. After all, if you have to apologize to the audience, it means you know you did less than your best. And you’re telling them they should demand their money back. So you go on like nothing’s wrong and most of them will never notice.
But I’d be too ashamed if people went along thinking nothing was wrong after having read the stories of the Dolly Apocrypha. They were never meant to be taken seriously. They were not meant to last. Hell, they really weren’t written as stories at all. It’s only afterward that they get cropped and chopped and packaged into “stories.” At the time they were written, it was all one, long, stream-of-consciousness free-for-all, of which you only see here — or, well, at the Apocrypha site — the parts that I can claim as my own. At the time, there were almost 150 people participating on the Center for Xena Studies mailing list, and most of them contributed something to the melange. To get the whole story, you’d have to go to the list archives (if they still exist) and read message-by-message starting in early December of ’98 and going on into 2000. And there might even be bits and pieces that are entirely gone.
All of which is to say that I know the stories are clumsy and amateurish, with no sense of direction or decent characterization or plotting or world-building, or any of the things that make for good fantasy.
But I also promised myself I wouldn’t waste effort on editing the stories of the Apocrypha, preferring to expend it, rather, on the stories of the Canon-to-be. Which promise I am, a little at a time, still working to keep. But if there is one of the stories that out-and-out embarrasses me, it’s the first. I was too old in ’98 to be writing juvenalia. But there it is.
No. Really. It’s there, now. Just put it up last night. After too long an absence from the ‘Net, Report from New Xenaland.
Link here or at the right, or you can click on the link to the Apocrypha TOC and drill your way down. Sorry you have to page through the chapters seriatim for the nonce. I need to consult with Tech Support on how to add the ability to nagivate chapters at a higher level. Then we’ll get that fixed.