Monthly Archives: March 2013

Coming Back for Seconds — Why I Just Can’t Get Enough of the Whole Blogging Thing

Blogging Heroes

Blogging Heroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m still new to this whole blogging business, but what has really blown me away the most is the instant sense of community I have felt since starting my blog.

As a writer, a lot of the time, I feel kinda marginalized by society. I don’t want to sound like a victim in all of this, believe me. But it’s rare that I openly tell people I’m a writer or that I’ve written a novel. Mostly, I suppose, because I worry people will think I’ve got tickets on myself or that I’m being pretentious.

But it’s more than just me that’s the problem. I’m sure of it. Really, it’s about jealousy, I think, ultimately. People can’t stand to hear about someone else who is actively following their dreams, especially when they themselves are locked into 9-to-5 wage slavery. Because even when I have told friends and such, in the past, about my writing, they have usually feigned complete indifference.

Hell, even my own family have in no way got behind me in this respect. It took me seven years to write my first novel, and do you think I could find a single family member willing to give up the seven hours necessary to read it? Nope. Not bloody likely!

But that’s enough about what’s bad in my life as a writer. Now I want to focus on what’s good. And, at the moment, that’s blogging. And by blogging I really mean everything about blogs generally. The writing and the posting I do on my own blog, sure, are a big part of what I’m talking about, and yet, you know, what’s really got me excited is knowing all you guys are out there doing your blogs as well. Finally, I don’t feel so all alone! Yay!

I didn’t use to know why people joined blogging communities. Until I joined one myself. Because the operative word “community” had apparently been completely lost on me. Now I know differently. There are hundreds, no, thousands (tens of thousands, even 100s of thousands)  of you out there all obsessing over the same literary quandaries I myself am beset with. Hallelujah! I’m not a freak…well…

Anyway, let me tell you about one of my current favorite blogs to visit. The site belongs to a guy called Cristian Mihai. And here is some info I copied from his About page: Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania.

Now, like I said, I’m new to blogging, so I still don’t know how to link my blog to other people’s blogs and all that technical stuff. But, whatever, I just really like what Cristian writes about. To be honest, I actually just really like the way he writes period. He’s only 23, but he is filled with such incredible ambition. I gather he wrote two novels last year, and (wait for it) this year, 2013, he plans to write three more! Holy writer’s block, not! Prolific, much?!

So, look, he doesn’t really have any idea who I am. But yesterday I posted a comment on one of his articles about how inspiring both his attitude and output are. Along with that, I also added how it took me seven years to write my first novel and how I was in no way keen about embarking on writing a second.

Then, early this morning, something completely shifted within me. On remembering my comment of yesterday, I came to realize that I can do this. I’m ready to give it a go. And God help me, for saying so, but I’m going to embark on that hellish journey I have practically sworn I would never embark on again. I’m going to write that second novel that’s been taunting me ever since I finished my first. Moreover, I reckon I’m going to write a third as well to round out a proposed trilogy. Nuts! Totally. Come on, bring it on!

“So, why?” you ask, “What has given you this incredible change of heart?”

To which I reply, “You. All of you out there who I know are just like me and Cristian. Because you, too, are aspiring novelists, budding screenwriters, gifted poets, genius photographers, funny fringe journalists and kick-arse comedic talents, more generally.”

And how do I know this about you all? Because I’ve seen your blogs. And you know what, I absolutely LOVE what I’m seeing! So keep it up guys, let’s change the world. Together.

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Love Me Two Times — The Impossible Task of Keeping Both of My Muses Satisfied

radiohead at heineken music hall, may 9. Ed O'...

radiohead at heineken music hall, may 9. Ed O’Brien (left), Thom Yorke (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a dirty, two-timing swine. There, I said it! And, yeah, I know what you’re thinking now, too. How can I live with myself?

Well, the truth is, it just sort of happened. I didn’t set out to fall in love with two muses. But that’s exactly what has taken place. On the one hand, I have a love for words and writing. While on the other, I’m just as passionate about being a musician. Oh, God, I feel so torn!

You see, I can’t ever indulge one of my loves without feeling I’m cheating on the other. I don’t think being a Gemini helps, either. Because, ultimately, I want to be true to both my muses at the same time, but the physical reality is that there is only one of me. Not two, damn it.

Even as I’m writing this, I’m suffering from the guilt of knowing I’m neglecting my guitar playing. And yet earlier today, when I was struggling to learn the fingerpicked guitar part to Radiohead’s Street Spirit all I could think about was writing today’s blog. Aargh!

And you know what? That’s the problem right there. The fact that I was struggling with what’s really a pretty simple bit of finger work. Now, believe me, I’m not disrespecting Radiohead’s musicianship, far from it, I’m just saying I have mastered much harder pieces five minutes before having to play them at some stranger’s wedding.
(FYI I’m talking about what’s often required of me as a guitarist in a covers band, at this point).

Anyway, lately, I’ve been going really hard on my writing again, including trying to keep up this blog for instance. The only trouble is my guitar playing has dropped off as a direct consequence. I can’t please both of my muses at once, you understand. And it’s driving me crazy, because I love them equally.

You’re probably inclined to think that I should just shut up and choose between the two. But I can’t. If I stay too long away from either passion I get totally depressed. I need them both for different reasons. The power of words and the associated act of writing, more generally, fires my imagination, while playing music stirs my soul.

So, look, there’s this Sufi proverb, I know of, which I like to think perfectly sums up the predicament I’m faced with, which says that, “the imagination is the seat of the soul”. Meaning that the two are totally interconnected.

Suffice to say, then, that I can’t bear to think of living without either one of my muses for longer than a day or two.

Although I only wish they’d kick in occasionally and help pay a greater share of the rent, every so often. Just sayin’…

'Only Sufism' Facebook capcha

‘Only Sufism’ Facebook capcha (Photo credit: FredMikeRudy)


The Daily Dilemma — “What Should I Be Feeding My Pet Blog?”

Gremlins

Gremlins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sure, blogs are like pie-holes — everybody’s got one. Right? But, the thing is, I’m sorta new to this whole blogging thing, and so I’m not so sure what I should be feeding mine.

My blog, not my pie-hole! You see, I’m talking about what my blog needs to help it thrive and grow strong. I’m trying desperately here to discover the equivalent of the daily food pyramid for blogs. Really, what is the ultimate blog diet?

As a kind of sidebar, let me just say that when I think about my blog having a diet at all, the first thing that comes to mind is those words of caution from the movie Gremlins about not feeding them after midnight. Gremlins, that is. Whereupon I next find myself compulsively substituting the concept of a ravenous blog for the concept of a hungry pack of gremlins, just because. It’s automatic.

Anyway, ultimately, then, I guess, the problem is that I fear what’s going to happen if I get it wrong. I can already see the headline now, in fact…When Blogs Go Bad! Because I fear that’s exactly where my blog will end up going. Firstly, it’ll slowly wither and die, And, then, secondly, it’ll turn into a zombie blog and go on a brain-eating rampage. Nobody’s blog will be safe! Least of all yours, dear reader…

Which again leads me to my asking you for your advice. Really, just what is the ultimate blog diet? But wait, before you answer, let me tell you what I’ve already been feeding mine. That way you can let me know if I’m on the right track.

So far, I’ve fed my blog some “Top 10 list”-type posts and a bit of flash fiction, along with some blog posts about blogging and a handful of poems. But it still doesn’t seem like enough. I mean, does it?

The trouble is that I’m not pretty or handsome enough for posting a whole lot of selfies, and I’m not really all that big on having travelled to interesting places, either. Well, I suppose, I could have a go at writing a few…oh my gosh! Is that really the time? I’ve just realised that I’ve only gone and broken the only cardinal rule of blogging…

Help, what have I done? God, forgive us all, I’ve gone and fed my blog after midnight! Aieee!!!

The End

PS Any thoughts, people? 🙂


A is for Apocalypse

A is for Apocalypse.


Poisoned Chalice

The grapevine is long
drunk with words
of lazy slander and
easy gossip
a carrier of diseased
minds’ thoughts
filled with malice
its root and branch
don’t stand a chance
its wine fit only for
this poisoned chalice.


Reflections on the Lost Years

Go Make Thee an Altar of Sin
And Worship You There
In Fallen Repose
The Lustful Iniquities of
Wasted Youth
Your Only Saviour Now
This Graven Image of False Hope
You Glimpse in the Mirror
Each Morning.


The Thirsty Muse

There is no
inspiration
at the
bottom
of a
wine
bottle
to
be
had

only
the
dregs
of half
dreamt
glory

a kind
of
soft
refuge
for aged
sirens
and
long
trousered
boy
drunks.