That's not Call for Papers, all you academics in the house who just felt yourselves snapping to attention. It's a Call for Prompts.

Tonight I watched the eight arms of a string quartet working as though they were all attached to the same body, one with four separate but interdependent facial expressions, one where, had someone broken a string, a voice would surely have said, "Our string has broken," as happened back in November.

"I wish I had a quartet," I thought, not meaning that I want a group of musicians with whom to play (though perhaps that will come, too)--just meaning that I want a creative partnership. And almost as soon as that thought bubble swelled up and out, another one followed it: I'm not ever creating by myself, because I have you all. I'll send out a call for help! I thought.

But writing "A call for help!" sounds as though something dire is happening, when exactly the opposite is the case. I thought about "a call for interest," but somehow that sounded self-deprecating, and CFI doesn't have nearly the Pavlovian potential, for people of my ilk, that CFP does.

Here's my question: If I told you that I wanted to tell some stories, maybe longer stories than I've generally been able to here (or expanded versions of things I've told), what would you hope you'd get to hear?

I suspect that I can do this on my own, but I also suspect that it would be more fun to invite the participation of my small, faithful audience. Some of you have been with me in this venue for more than two years, after all.