One Thousand Shipwrecked Penguins

Posted on May 8, 2010


a new beginning beckoned when …
just now i came out of hot tub – i don’t often take baths i prefer the invigorating almost taunting effect of a shower – where i had read a book by carolyn see that i’ve owned since 2002 but not really read or used. it’s called “making a literary life”,  written in a most charming supportive way and it made me realise that i, and this blog by inclusion, need a change. so here we are. must make a change.

the good old days…
for this blog began in january 2009 when i went online with my texts and quickly gathered a small group of readers in part, i believe due to flawnt’s quirky, mysterious ways. people like personality and flawnt evidently had a lot of it. certainly his writing was off at times but he kept on producing. people and readers, i think, like continuity and routine – i know i do. in the art world this often leads to people doing the same thing forever because it was successful. writers do it too, some (like, say, stephen king) retain the passion for their subject matter even though they do the same thing over and over again, others (like, say, joyce or stein) don’t and must move on, be bold and risk all. now, over the past 12 months, i have joined and left communities, i tried to fit in and outfit myself properly and did all the things you do when you wish to be accepted. nothing wrong with that – i gained a number of precious friends and i was interviewedpublished

the murky present unfolded when…
in 2010 i began publishing usually fresh flash pieces elsewhere – what is, with few exceptions, essentially my daily production of words, on a new blog. in spring, i joined frank hinton’s glorious group of editors for metazen. it seemed as if i had less and less to say and was happy to say it in short bursts. no long stories came out of my mouth. this puzzled and distressed me. to work off some of my tension, i started to translate my very short fiction into german. too early to say what it means and while i don’t love it, i like it enough to continue for the good of my countrymen.

furiously fiddling with the future could’ve gone on…
until i realised that, perhaps i could chill. keep doing what i was doing, indulge in uncapitalised unrest, even if there was no novel and no particular direction and things were not magically falling into any recognisable place and, in particular, take the pressure off this site by turning it into an actual (non-fiction) blog.  maybe even invite others to guest write – make a topic out of this difficult, painful process that i’m in, which doesn’t even seem to have any direction or goal. heck, is this what the greek heroes went through on their way to greener pastures?

anyway, it’s decided. for fiction, go elsewhere (except the 24-hours series and metazen blog editorial flash – one shouldn’t break off a journey around the world whimsically). come here for an irregularly served dose of reflections on life and writing. a bit like what i did for virtual writers.

case closed, keep breathing. let’s do something practical, like buy shoes.

Posted in: writerlyAdvice