Thursday, December 30, 2004

Ask the ULA

QUESTION: The ULA has lost members, and many do nothing for the group. Is this a sign of trouble?

ANSWER: If you're truly concerned, maybe you should join and straighten us out. The fact is that we have over thirty members, with many more to come. (We're patient about sending invites-- want people to first fully understand what we're about.) We've had six people leave us in four years, which isn't bad considering the nature of our campaign. No doubt some individuals are embarrassed or afraid to be associated with us, or naively believe they can do better on their own. More power to them. Those who've left have underestimated this alliance. (The ULA plan was underestimated from the outset.)

I can testify that it's extremely difficult to put something like the ULA in place. The doubts and in-fighting have been tremendous. The mere fact that we're still around four years later against strong obstacles and opposition from the entire lit world, even from some zeen folks, is itself a victory. That we've not just survived, but are growing and moving forward with energy and confidence is a plus.

One thing I've learned not to do is dwell on the past.

Have we made mistakes?
Without question. I've made wrenching mistakes, but we continue our march regardless.

Have there been shouters of doubters?
Undoubtedly. Armies of folks have called us misguided, crazy, and quixotic. We continue to grow despite this.

Have we faced abuse and scorn?
Always-- less now than at first. We've endured every argument, and won most. Had we lost them all we'd still move forward in our obstinance.

I can add only that the Underground Literary Alliance is here for writers, poets, and zeensters to use. Whether they do or not is ultimately out of my control.

(E-mail your questions to Put "Ask the ULA" in the Subject heading. Thanks.)

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