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The Hayfield Forever, The Cartoon Cowgirl, ForeverPrized.com and a Facebook fan page are all part of an experimental literary mystery.  Together, these websites follow the stories surrounding a dead poet's final poem.  

One of the stories is about the cyber-scam artist who took the widow's money promising to publish and annotate the long poem. His name is Dr. Edgar Scattergood and he runs ForeverPrized.com Enterprises from a beach office in Venice.  As the story begins, he's already under investigation by the DA's office and to make matters even worse, for mysterious reasons he's losing control over his websites' content.  Which allows the stories to be told through them.

The idea of letting a story be told over a scam artist's websites came to me as an attorney prosecuting such scams.   I'm a deputy city attorney specializing in consumer protection cases, and have seen that a scam artist like Dr. Scattergood prefers the internet because it's still the Wild West with few sheriffs and few laws.  And he can, with little money up front, create infinite worlds of inter-linking websites to support the fiction that his business is legitimate.

On behalf of four families and my non-profit legal services office in Northern California, I once sued a scam artist who was using websites and fake re-directing phone numbers to trick people into thinking he was a lawyer and part of the legal services community.   In my preparation to take his deposition and later for a two week jury trial, I had to give myself a crash course in websites and especially website fraud.   I found that websites allowed this particular defendant to exercise both his considerable vanity and his cunning.  I put that to use in the creation of The Hayfield Forever.  

My friend Barbara and my youngest brother Alex also write for this project and we hope to finish it by the winter solstice of 2010. I was a creative writing major at the University of Missouri and have been writing stories and poems ever since, and Barbara and Alex have the writing bug, too.  While the tongue-in-cheek jokes about fake identity and metafiction never end in the Hayfield, it will be here on LiveJournal that we try to step out of that mode and chronicle The Making of "The Hayfield Forever". 

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