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        None of this material is new. It was written in November, 2005 during my first attempt at Nanowrimo. Although the manuscript contains more than fifty thousand words, the number required for validation, the work is only distantly related to the goal of a finished novel, presumably the desired prize for participating in the annual literary ordeal. What it does contain are two fragments of two separate stories joined by a few common characters and similar circumstances. If it had been continued, a third story, less independent than its tributaries but still meandering along a disparate narrative stream, would have been composed to stand with the first two, trying desperately to guide all the dangling plot elements toward something resembling a reasonable conclusion. Despite my fondness for the story, those plans have not been realized, and I shall refrain for the present from venturing any prediction about their uncertain future.

        A few of the earlier chapters were never posted online, and even those that appeared as entries were posted in an untidy jumble, more to indicate progress than to display coherent work. My purpose in re-posting the earlier work during the next few days is twofold. Moving them to an online storage facility like the Live Journal servers is a sensible precaution against possible hardware failure and other nightmarish domestic disasters. At the same time, it seems like a commendable idea to re-post the work, together with a few later sketches, in makeshift chapter order. That will improve its organization, although it will contribute little toward raising the quality of its contents, a ragtag affair that inevitably resulted from abandoning the original plan.

        In a weak moment, I thought about changing the title; it bears little relationship to the work that unfolded beneath its banner. I was successful in resisting that temptation, attractive though it was. For now I will let things stand as they arranged themselves more than six years ago, giving equal prominence to both the story‚Äôs promises and its ghastly blemishes.




        
        
        

January 2012

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