Sunday, June 27, 2004

I Met 'Layne'

I had been reading Plain Layne since last fall. Either it was a Shot in the Dark post, or a click of one of the comments there. I'ld link to 'her', but she doesn't exist anymore. Not in real life, and no longer on the blogosphere.

Plain Layne was a diary blog. 'She' wrote of 'her' daily exploits. The ups and down of a bisexual, 26 year old, info waif. The writing was gripping. Her experiences were almost to much to believe, but many did, and so did I. In the end, Layne just disappeared. Her URL, for awhile, generated a polish server upgrade message. That too was nothing more then a java script 'she' found one day while traversing the net.

Many began speculating about the identity of the author. There were those who were adamant she was the real deal. Others were convinced it was all a product of fiction, and a few, who refused to see the evidence and wanted her to be true. That was not to be. Mitch broke the story, and then followed it up with some specifics. Later, a site popped up by the Emitter, claiming to be the author, who explained what he felt was necessary, to provide closure on the Layne sage.

A few days ago, merely coincidentally, I met 'Layne'. It seemed like I knew who it was before we were introduced. With a shake of hands, and a smile on our faces, I simply said 'Ya got me, Nice job!!'

We chatted briefly about the writing, whether or not I commented, and why the sudden expiration of one of the most popular diary blogs on the net. In speaking with 'Layne' and other information I have gathered, I am amongst the fortunate few who was able to ask, face to face, the questions that many have. Who is the girl in the Picture? Why? How much was real? and many of the other inqusitive queries that have been flying through the blogoshpere over the last couple weeks.

Who is the girl in the picture? I don't think anyone really needs to know exactly who she is. I still don't know. I only know she's as fictional as a lot of people thought. I respected his answer, as I hope you all do.

Why create the blog? The best answer is the simplest one, because he could. However, the hours of character creation and development was time consuming. With the startup (which is real) evolving into a possible reality, the time used writing Plain Layne would no longer be available.

How much was real? I believe the vast majority of the writings were based on real events or past experiences. Characters were composites of individuals in the writers life. A combination of those they knew and lives they led. The hook, of course, was the soft core sexual experiences. And as it has been said by many of those who lived in Layne's comment box, only a guy would have written it the way it was.

Many are doubting the explanation given by the Emitter. I am satisfied with not only the explanation, but the truth and sincerity in the post. We talked about the medical condition (I saw the scar from the most recent surgery) specifically, and I believe him.

Many are grieving the loss of 'Layne'. They feel deceived and are angry. I hope they recognize that they are responsible for choosing to believe this fine presentation of interactive fiction. I hope they eventually take the high road, and recognize the power in the prose as presented by 'Layne', and simply accept the fact, like I did.

Emitter, I'll say it again, 'Ya got me, Nice job!!', hey!


UPDATE: The Mercury news published this (Free subscription required) article on Sunday.

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