Welcome to this first ever live creation of an original short story online and on television. I’m pleased to be able to share my work with you from my office here at Florida State University.

I tell my writing students that works of art do not come from the mind; they come from the place where you dream. I deeply believe this. So tonight, I welcome you to my dreams.

If you are a writer or aspiring writer, or if you are simply interested in following the creative process, we at FSU invite you to join us for two hours every evening at this time – except for Saturdays – until I complete the story. I expect to do that by about Nov. 19.

As inspiration, I’ve drawn on my collection of old picture postcards, cards I've sought out not for the images but for the messages written on them. Particularly in the first two decades of the last century, before telephones were common, people often poured out their hearts on the backs of postcards. I have hundreds of these and I’m now writing a book of first-person short stories picking up the voices of the written messages from my favorite two dozen or so.

If you would like to see the postcard that inspired this present story, it is available through the “Inside Creative Writing” web site. For those of you watching by way of DISH Network satellite television, you can find the “Inside Creative Writing” web site icon at www.fsu.edu.

I invite you to be more than an observer of this event. You can email questions or comments to me at any time by clicking on the email icon at the “Inside Creative Writing” web site. I’ll devote the last half hour or so each night to answering your questions. However, since this project’s intent is to allow students of the creative process to observe what would otherwise transpire in the privacy of a fiction writer’s study, and since fiction is not a collaborative art form, I will respectfully avoid direct suggestions of where the story should go. On the other hand, I’ll be delighted to try to explain the choices I have already made, or re-made.

The web site will also house the archives for everything we do on “Inside Creative Writing,” including each evening’s writing activity, any remarks I make during the writing process, and my answers to the questions posed by your email. You will be able to replay the actual web cast whenever you want, and you will have access to each day’s revisions in text form.

The web site includes links to information on the Creative Writing Program here at Florida State University. You also can review my other work and background so that, if you wish, you can learn more about the experiences that shaped me and about the other short stories and novels I’ve written.

In addition to your emailing questions on the story underway, we hope you will include any suggestions you have to improve the program.