This story is an accident. No other way to characterize it. I arrived here (at the First Annual Digital Storytelling Conference in Crested Butte), yesterday with a firm idea of the kind of web story I wanted to write, and a solid determination that I woul d not bother trying to learn HTML. In very short order, all these ideas went flying up into the thin Colorado air.

I knew I wanted to do a piece about the interior life of a collection of small town folk. I thought that Crested Butte would provide ample material for building something like this.

But inspiration is a fickle (at the risk of being branded politically incorrect) mistress. As I traipsed around town, QuickTake in hand, the starting point for my previous idea became cloudier and further out of focus.

When I entered Tony's Conoco I knew I had stumbled onto the seed I was looking for. I shot some pictures and spoke to Martha. Tony himself was nowhere to be seen.

Back at the Crested Butte Town Hall I began downloading and editing the pictures. As I worked, a number of my fellow attendees (the Crested Butte natives and long time visitors) stopped in passing to offer some knowledge or insight about Tony and Martha a nd the Conoco.

I've always likened the act of creation to steering a rudderless boat. As fact and antidote began to pile up, I felt the bow turning in response to these new tides and winds and currents. By the time the pictures had been safely captured, I was faced with a third conception.

I then, with the help of some very knowledgeable web-types, started to build my story. My position about HTML was more philosophical than anything- I knew I could do it - the thing was I didn't want to clutter my brain with another arcane damn la nguage for controlling these stupid machines.

But in a little less than 12 hours I had the beta version completed (this is one of the absurdities churned up in the wake of art and technology colliding- the concept of 'beta" literature. Imagine! "My novel went beta yesterday.") and in a little more th an 24 hours the piece was fully finished.

Here it sits now, beaming to you from... god knows where.

I hope you enjoy it.

Acknowledgments Disclaimer Begin
This story was created at the 1st Annual Digital Storytelling Festival
©1995 by Greg Roach