A couple of months ago I discovered the Midlands-based writing/resources blog Once There Was, and promptly stuck it on the list of blogs I follow. It had some interesting articles and useful links, it wanted stories for an anthology, and it was running a flash fiction contest. I entered the latter and was delighted when my story was 'placed' and appeared on the blog. The winning entries were also posted (and very good they were too), but after that I'd noticed the blog wasn't being updated any more.
I assumed the owner was on holiday or 'otherwise engaged' and checked on a weekly basis for anything new. This week when I clicked the link I was greeted with a mostly blank page and the alarming words 'the author has chosen to delete this account. No content is available'. Well, that can happen with blogs. It only takes the blog provider's server to be up the spout and the whole thing can vanish for an hour or two, and then reappear as though nothing had happened.
But Once There Was hasn't reappeared. The blank page and the message are still there, several days later, and it looks as though the owner has pulled the plug. This is a real shame, not least because it was such a friendly and useful site. I've had to take all the links to my flash story off my website and I have no idea what to do with the story I'd almost finished for the anthology. I'm left in limbo, wondering whether I missed a re-direct to another site, or any other sort of explanation.
If anyone knows what happened or where I can find Once There Was in the future, please get in touch. I'd hate to think I was missing out on all the fun somewhere else on the net! In the meantime, I'll have to chalk it down as the strange case of the disappearing blog...