Sam Hughes Gives Me Free Compliment... Again: 2009-03-23
When I had my Live Journal I was an avid reader of Sam Hughes and his Ed stories, as well as the other short stories he's posted on his site. Before he re-designed his site I scoured through his code to figure out how he did things, and he was the one that led me to validating all of my pages. I contacted him a few times, asking for help if I had gotten really stuck, or wanted to know why he chose to do something a certain way. I like to think my site reflects his, even if it doesn't match it in terms of content. I dream of one day being a strong short story writer like him, so far my stories pale in comparison to his, but I try to do better every time. At the very least my site has the same style as his, mostly text-based, a blog and a place for expression all in one. My current layout more or less mirrors his old one, with the sidebar and the way it behaves, he has since removed the sidebar in an attempt to simplify his site, I have chosen to stick with it, as I find it makes navigation easier, and although simple is good, I don't want to be too simple. I use this site to learn to do more, I am constantly building on the framework I laid before, slowly improving it, always honing my skills and making minor improvements. Sometimes I think I try to do too much with this site, like my currently forgotten web-comics.
Well getting back to point, I had asked him for a free compliment for my Live Journal, and he responded with "I must say I can always depend on your LiveJournal for an amusing and enlightening read.". This really did make my day, and in a way it validated my writing, it made it seem like if I really try I could churn out tremendous stories like Sam does. However I haven't been really writing, or making poetry, or designing web-comics; I have been doing very minimal and have reached a plateau where I have stopped improving, struggling to write anything, or be creative in any way it seems. I don't know if this will ever change, but I hope someday it will, and I can continue to try to catch up to my hero. To be fair to me I have been concentrating on other areas of my life than the creative side, my lovely fiancée Diana, Culinary Arts, improving the code this site runs on, and trying very hard (though it seems to little success) to be less quiet and make more friendships that will last.
I recently asked Sam for a new compliment, concerning this site, and he worked it very smoothly into a question I had asked him. "Your site is the single greatest creative accomplishment of this or any century." Although I do consider this over the top and an utter lie, I don't think anything would ever be worthy of that compliment, to be the greatest in anything, especially a creative achievement, which is so hard to judge, but I get the meaning behind the words and so I am happy. He realizes this is a creative endeavour of mine, and he acknowledges that this is creative, which means I have achieved something with this, I can be called creative, even in the slightest sense of the word, and this inspires me. I believe in myself, that if I truly work at it I can write a great story, something people will ponder about, analyze, discuss, and try to understand. Sam has done this, even before his Fine Structure, he has gotten attention with his Ed stories, they might have had a childish start, but you can almost see Sam growing up, his skills being honed as he moved through the series. I think it prepared him to write his Fine Structure, which admittedly has me checking his site more often than I should waiting for updates; I am hooked.
I have also started linking to Things of Interest in my sidebar, where I was hoping to put advertisements. Since no one ever contacted me about the free ad space I decided to use it to link to my favourite online author, Sam Hughes. Thank you Sam for being who you are, for writing great stories that catch the imagination, that make people think and imagine again. It is one thing to see a movie or TV show in this day and age, but when all is said and done our imagination is by far the greater entertainer, and you have managed to make it shine once more with your perfectly enthralling and captivating stories. I could honestly write about you, your site and your stories for a long time and how much they've influenced me, but that would get tiresome, so once again, thank you Sam.