Written by Sparky
“It seems so long ago now, when we started.” The scratching of the quill was the only sound in the room. I dipped the nib back in my inkwell and carried on. “There was only a few of us back then. A few like-minded people who had known each other for a few years by that point. We had moved from one forum to another. At first we only talked online, brought together by our singular love for one author. Evolving over time as we got to know each other more. We began to explore our own creative depths with each other. We had our own world there, we controlled what happened within it. It was subject almost entirely to our own rules. I say almost, we never had full power there, but it just seemed that way. We created stories with each other, cemented friendships both through the site and out in the real world. Relationships sprung up and faded away, but the friends we made there stayed. Such was the magic of that place; our Old Kingdom.
“Afterwards, we started to pave our own path and make our own world completely. A forum dedicated not just to one author but to our work, our stories. We made more friends during that stage of our journey, more writers brought together by our joint love of the written word. I remember many moments where we all celebrated each other’s achievements. From finishing stories to creating new ones, each new world enjoyed by all.”
I sat back, reading over my words, taking a small break. The history of my writing career was almost laid bare in front of me. Everything I had written had been seen by the people I had met through these places. Those friends were amongst the closest friends I had, the ones I trusted most. I took a sip of the sweet tea cooling next to me and carried on.
“We enjoyed writing games back then, some of the first I fully take part in. Before then, I never quite followed what was happening, what was expected. Thanks to those friends, I figured it out. They helped me work it out.
“Eventually that place became less used as everyone was drawn into their own work, whether it was educational or actual. That doesn’t mean the writing ever stopped though, it was never even put on hold. We all continued to write, each of us. Posting when we could. It was only natural, I think, that a new place was needed. A breath of fresh air to encourage growth in membership, perhaps even to encourage creativity and breathe life into other such works.
“So we moved again, restructured everything, and it worked. Advertisements were stealthily posted on other youth writing sites across the internet, friends of friends were told. our membership exploded within weeks. With the large influx came an impressive array of new work, new and interesting stories to read. The forum now is home to several fantastic writers. We have our own in-house challenges, encouraging our members to write at least once a month if they can’t find the time to do more.
“The work of running it is no longer on one person either, now it is split. The pressure is lessened somewhat so there is the freedom to continue to come up with the ideas, in order to make for a wonderful arena where all writers can showcase their skills.
“There is even talk of meeting up. People who have only ever known each other over the internet meeting face-to-face at long last. Such a prospect is scary to my mind, yet amazing. One thing bound us together to begin with, and now there is much more. It isn’t just a forum of individual users there; it’s a community, a family. We support each other and do what we can to help.
“And the name of this wonderful place?” I laughed as I dipped my quill again, “The Inkwell, of course. Could it ever have been anything else? I can’t imagine it otherwise. Certainly life without it is definitely unimaginable. Long may the Inkwell be full. Thank you for being there, for being a wonderful place to write, to read, and to find like-minded people. I, for one, do not what I would do without you there.”
Sparky’s HHC from January was quite close to our heart as editors here, and admins on our forum, The Inkwell, that we couldn’t help but feature it in Inkblots this month. Even though the piece was written inside half an hour, it’s a piece that’s evolved throughout the years. We’ve gone from members on an Australian author’s site, to the best of friends, all within six or so years. It’s a nostalgic piece for us, but we hope you enjoy reading it all the same. If you liked Sparky’s writing, make sure you check out ‘I Wish’ and ‘The Lonely Hamster’.