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Prompted By New Beginnings

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This might be one of the scariest things I’ve ever done!

A new beginning as a website owner/administrator is not something I ever expected. It feels a little like riding on this ferris wheel.

When John and Patti announced that Retrospect would cease operations on December 31, 2018, I felt bereft. It had been such an enormous part of my life for three years. I bored everyone I knew talking about it. In my college class report for my 45th reunion, I wrote an entire page just about Retrospect. I sent out links to my stories to people who were in them, or knew people who were in them. I didn’t even have separate copies of any of the stories, because I had composed them right on the site and knew I could find them there.

So, faced with the loss of the site, I printed out all my stories, including the comments, and had them bound into three separate books, one each for 2016, 2017, and 2018. They look very nice sitting in my bookcase, but of course nobody else can see them there.

Friends and relatives encouraged me to start my own blog, and keep writing that way. But I only work well with a deadline — like a prompt that is up for just a week — and I need the feedback from the other Retrospect writers as an incentive. So that idea didn’t thrill me.

Then I woke up one morning with the idea of buying the site from John and Patti. I approached them with trepidation. It turned out that they were interested, even enthusiastic about the idea. They helped me find Marian and Laurie to be my partners in administering the site. That job is not as easy as it looks! All of this took a while, but when we decided that the site would go live again on March 1st, that still seemed pretty far away.

Now it is here! The site is live! Whatever mistakes we may have made can always be rectified. I am so excited to welcome you all, dear readers, and hope you will leave a comment, or even a story of your own, before you go.

Welcome to the cabaret!

Profile photo of Suzy Suzy

Characterizations: right on!


  1. John Shutkin says:

    As always, Suzy, the perfect (song) title. But let’s hope that “Retro Redux “turns out a whole lot better than the Weimar Republic. I’m pretty damn sure it will.

    Seriously, this may be the scariest thing that you have done, but it is also the bravest. And we grizzled Retrospecters are incredibly grateful to you for all you have done to bring this back. For now, let me just note that gratitude with another German song title/lyric: “Danke schoen!”

    • Suzy says:

      Thanks John. The best thing you can do to show your gratitude is to write stories here! And get some of your HR71 pals to write stories here too. By the way, you’re not all that grizzled!

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    Suzy, I can now comment (thanks to clearing my cache) and want you to know how glad I am that you are brave enough to make a new beginning. Love being on your team!

  3. John Shutkin says:

    I’ll try to enlist a few of my pals, grizzled or not. And I do plan to write in response to next week’s prompt on first apartments, though one can already get a pretty good sense of that delightful little abode — the Mar a Lago of Broadway and 108th Street, circa 1971 — by cobbling together a few of my earlier stories.

  4. joan stommen says:

    Bravo to you, Suzy! What a leap of faith and I for one am delighted! I just discovered Retrospect last year and fell in love…so easy to write and post directly here! Love your bound edition idea….your stories preserved forever. Congratulations, you’re all going to do a wonderful job!

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    Cache-clearing wasn’t easy in this household, but here I am, ready to comment. Thanks for your perseverance in making this happen. You know that I am with you for keeps!

  6. Congratulations. I loved reading your stories. Sitting in a cafe in Berlin writing this now. Registered on the site and looking forward to reading more.

    • Suzy says:

      Arlene, how fun that you are reading my “Willkommen” story in Berlin! Do you see Liza Minnelli or Joel Grey everywhere you look?

      I’m delighted that you have registered and can therefore comment. Hope you will even write sometimes. Next week I will be writing about 1482 Cambridge Street, my first “grownup” living situation.

  7. John Zussman says:

    Thanks for your brave, bold move to bring Retrospect back from the ashes!
    We’re thrilled that you and your comrades are as passionate about sharing stories as we are, and we know the Retrospect community will rally in support.

    • Suzy says:

      Thank YOU John, for starting this whole thing! Seems like the community is rallying already – I’m thrilled that we have 8 new stories in the first day and a half!

  8. exhilarating! I think the comments speak volumes about the importance and pleasure in writing for Retrospect. Just delighted to see so many familiar bylines here. Spring is about to spring! Let’s fill it with new work. Great admiration for this move, Suzy. Rock out, write on!

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