Newcomers likely will have a question about the strange name for this website. What exactly is a Monkling? Here is the backstory:
In 1993 a group of about fifteen writer friends from various east coast states decided to meet at a restaurant in NYC. Many of these writers had never met in person. We all belonged to an online group on Prodigy. (Remember those days? The days when Prodigy and AOL ruled the Internet?)
Back then I was a lot quieter. You may have even considered me to be shy. Strange, I know, for anyone who knows me in person now but there you have it. The older I get, the more I just don’t care that much about the opinion of others and therefore, feel freer to speak my mind. But back to our story.
There we were at a long table in the restaurant in the city (aka Manhattan, for those of you outside NY). This restaurant (no longer in existence) featured singing waiters. Not only did the waiters sing, but there was uh…. how shall I term it? Audience participation. Suddenly someone walks up behind me, taps me on the shoulder and says, “Please come with us. We need you.”
Naturally they would choose the quietest person sitting at that table but, even then, I was always up for a challenge. A group of 15 – 20 people chosen from various tables were escorted into a back room. There we were given hooded robes to wear and a small flashlight. We were instructed to form a line with our left hand on the shoulder of the person in front of us and to hold the lit flashlight in our right. As the music and singing began, we paraded around the restaurant.
The one in the blue monk robe with the pink arm would be me. Happily (if you are me) and, perhaps sadly (for the curious), my face is not showing in the photo.
My friend, DF, first coined the Monk name, calling me Thespian Monk. Due to my short stature, another friend, Peggy, felt it more fitting to call me Monkling. The Thespian part fell by the wayside but the Monkling part stuck. Thus, Monkling was born.