Confabulating is a Calling

Somewhere in there are the stories waiting to be discovered and told. Some of them are beyond me right now and that’s pretty exciting.

It’s been a year since we launched the Confabulator Cafe. The meetings we had leading up to this launch were fun and filled with lots of writers who were interested in contributing and some others who were looking for something different from the group. It took us a while to separate the Cafe from the writer’s group but that’s finally happening thanks in part to NaNoWriMo but that’s another story for others to tell.

Over the first year of the Cafe we’ve covered a ton of topics and done a lot of writing. By my count I’ve written well over 45,000 words for the site on everything from the politics of writing and storytelling to flash fiction to my influences and so many other things. I’ve unknowingly echoes thoughts of my fellow Confabulators and been far afield from the majority, too. I’ve learned a great deal about how I write, why I write and even when I write best.

As a storyteller, the monthly fiction assignments have been the most fun. I missed one assignment early on, but I’ve had the most fun writing every story. Being ‘forced’ to write short/flash fiction on a monthly basis has been sometimes nerve-wracking, but it’s always paid off. I’ve always gotten something I can be proud of despite the amount of sweat that’s gone into the writing.

And that’s what brings me to what I like about the Cafe. The weekly assignments have forced me to think critically about what I do as a writer. Every question has an answer whether you like it or not, whether you want to hear it or not. I’ve wracked my brain more often than I might have if I was only writing my own blog every week. This blog has definitely influenced what I’ve written elsewhere.

Really, the obligation I feel to write a weekly post on whatever topic everyone else is talking about has been my favorite part of the Cafe. My fellow Confabulators are smart, erudite, funny, knowledgeable, talented, and they know how to sling words together. There have been several weeks where I felt like I really connected with one post or another and across the entirety of all the writers.

Which is what the Cafe is about. There’s something for everyone here if you’re willing to read through it. Nobody is sloughing it here, no one is just typing for the sake of typing. Readers are given the best we have in the moment we have it.

What? You’re really going to pin me down and remind me that I’m supposed to tell you which was my favorite  Cafe assignment this year? Sigh. Okay.

Hands down, the Straeon Manor stories have been my favorite. There’s so much creativity, so much originality going on in them that it’s stunning. This latest round was just jaw-dropping. We’ve started to connect the tales and the next round promises to be even better. I won’t tell you which have been my favorites because I don’t want to have to pick only one or even a handful. Trust me that you should just go and read them all.

So one year down and a new one beginning. I suspect you’re about to be amazed at what we’re going to do next. I know I am.

Jason Arnett is a storyteller living in Kansas and writing in the plains of the fantastic. Some of his work can be found at

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