I set up Digestive Press exactly five years ago today, making my first post at 22:44 on 8th February 2008 (day #8708). Hurrah!
At the time I was in a bit of a rut and I needed to do something that would make me start writing things again, a way that I could quickly publish things and gain some momentum. I put myself under pressure to produce new pieces so that I could post every couple of days – mostly very short stories which I wrote and then put on the blog with little revision or editing. My first post was titled Body Modification #1, part of a short series. Here it is again:
When Uncle Ted lost both of his hands in a freak shaving accident the whole family rallied round in support. We sat him down to watch Hook, Short Citcuit and Edward Scissorhands and made lots of helpful suggestions.
Everyone had their own ideas. Aunt Linda thought that instead of fingers he could have a tin opener, a pair of scissors, a whisk. He would be such a help in the kitchen. My parents had other ideas. They suggested a career in home improvement – he could have a set of screwdrivers attached, maybe a hammer and some pliers. Granddad said it would be handy to have a corkscrew and a bottle opener whilst Gran preferred knitting needles and a bingo dabber.
Uncle Ted complained that he wouldn’t have enough fingers for all these suggestions, but we didn’t see why he had to stick to ten.
We suggested pens and pencils, paintbrushes, torches, knives, forks, spoons, tape measures, spirit levels, keys, radio aerials, toothbrushes, USB sticks and a Sonic Screwdriver.
Uncle Ted threw his stumps up in frustration and announced that he was going out for a walk. We carried on drawing up a list of possibilities.
When he returned hours later we were all disappointed to find that he had been to see the doctor and been fitted with normal fake hands. It was fair enough, it was his decision after all but we couldn’t help feeling let down by his lack of imagination.
Aunt Linda, on the other hand, was livid. This was his chance to be useful around the house, she said. Now he had ruined everything.
None of us were surprised a week later when Uncle Ted lost his new fake hands in another freak shaving accident.
I’m quite pleased that was my first post – I’ve posted some rubbish at various times in the last five years, so it’s nice that I still like the story that happened to become my first post.
Since then, the way I use Digestive Press has evolved along with the way I work. Five years ago I used to post everything I wrote, often as soon as I had written it – now I write stories and leave them for a bit, then edit them and decide whether to try to find a homes for them beyond the confines of these pages. I have started to use the blog for writing about short stories, though I will continue to post some sudden fiction as I go.
Anyway. Many thanks to anyone who has visited over the past five years and especially to the (currently) 11 whole people who have subscribed. I am grateful to anyone who has decided to spend some of their leisure time in reading the words I have chosen and put in order. And thanks to all the people who at various times have helped with pictures/ proofreading/ editing etc, they know who they are. THANK YOU.