In April, 1995, inspired by my old college roommate's HTML efforts, I signed up with a web space provider and whipped up the Toast Point Page fairly quickly. Was it instinct, or fate, that made me suspect that I had to do something interactive to lure people to my corner of cyberspace? Fate, probably.
The limerick contest was fairly easy to set up, and I did. Most of the first month's entries were written by me, Vance, and our buddies, but once it was added to Yahoo, I started getting quite a lot of outside traffic. A month or so later, Vance suggested I should add a haiku contest, which turned out to be a simple modification of the limerick form. Finally, the Bad Fiction Contest was truly my dream, but it took me a while to figure out how to structure it. Although it got the least traffic, it produced some of the most hilarious results.
For four years, all three (four? as the Naughty and Squeaky-Clean branches of the Limerick Contest each have a very different, um, flavor) of the Toast Point contests had a steady stream of readers and entries. Truly, what made the contests work is the participants, their work and the dialog they inspired, and the little community that sprang up and the friends I made made it much more than I had expected.
In 1999, having acquired many more responsibilities, and having gotten to the point where maintaining the contests was a chore, not a pleasure, I shut down the contests indefinitely, leaving myself the option to start 'em up again. A decade later... well, let's just keep it as a scrapbook of a fun time in the first days of the public intarwebs.
...well, if that's poetry, I don't like poetry...
Separated into naughty and squeaky-clean categories.
...and surmounted with something Japanese - it matters not what...
"Snarling, Delilah slammed the receiver down and ripped the phone out of the wall. Sulking, she lit a cigarette and gazed at the stained ceiling".