Monday, July 30, 2007

pieces of eight

Thanks to dandelion for inviting me to share 8 largely unimportant facts about myself. As is the nature of the impossible, the rules got washed away, so my round of the game both begins and ends here.

- the first three posters I remember having on my bedroom wall were of Shakin’ Stevens, the Pink Panther smoking a cigarette and a butterfly identification wall chart. I still retain at least a passing interest in all three subjects.

- I most resemble my mother in looks but my father in thoughts. (Those who know me may disagree). I’m happy with it this way, but it would be fun to swap for one day.

- my first adult attempt at creative writing started when I was in hospital in 1995 and I wrote a poem about the floor. It wasn’t very good, trying too hard to be Jim Morrison, but everyones got to start somewhere.

- I adore tessellation. I can stare for ages at a wall, awed at the way the bricks fit together. Hence the haiku that features in the very first post on this blog and the background imagery.

- I wrote my degree dissertation on images of childhood in advertising. I don’t care much for children, and haven’t really thought about them since.

- I once said I would marry anyone who liked parma violet sweets. I have since changed my mind. Both about the sweets and about marrying.

- I like snakes but I’m terrified of watersnakes. And inanimate objects portrayed in animated ways make me very nervous (I think this began with watching Disneys ‘The Sorcerors Apprentice’)

- my blogger avatar is a photo I took of a hook high up on the east side of our house. Its there, for no reason, nothing hangs on it, its just there.

Monday, July 23, 2007

those creatures

[limited observation of girls both known and unknown]

She still slides an extra syllable into your name. A rising inflection that brings you into question and out of focus. You should be short and sharp - a knock on wood, a nail banged firm to hang my hope on.


There she is with her eyes drawn on. Doodled and downcast. Coloured in and crossed out. Practice makes perfect makes sense. Looking from the past to the present. Tense. As if she expects me to join in, join the dots - to play a round of have and have nots.


She whispers. Its not about the words but the breaths between. Held too long or exhaled too late. The fish wont always take the bait. Its not about the things you said, but about the lies you ate.


I gave her back the smile. I have no need for it anymore, and its started to annoy me. Velcro greeting and tacky goodbyes. Always gathering dust and sticking to the sole of my shoe. I need a mouth that plays by the rules - that talks when its open and not when its locked.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

writing wrongs

I hoard post-it notes, reminders of things to do, things to avoid. They patchwork the bony walls of my mind. A small clutch of these refer to the act of writing in itself. I recently read a passionate blogpost on the nature of comment and criticism. In the subsequent comment discussion I made the throwaway suggestion that perhaps bloggers should display a button or banner to indicate the type of comment they welcome. This discussion set some of those post-it notes aflapping, and demanding fuller attention. So now, as I share a few of my thoughts about writing, please accept this as my banner.

(DISCLAIMER - as is apparent, these thoughts come in no particular order, they do not attempt to form a cohesive manifesto regarding blog based writing. They should be read only with reference to blogs that present creative writing, not journal diary based blogs etc.)

I believe that all writing is many things. It means something to itself. It means something to its author. It means something different to each and every reader and may change drastically through time and distance. Some of the relationships between author and piece will be favourable and friendly, some not. The same goes for the meeting between reader and piece.

I write because there are words dancing within me, and I might act a little peculiarly if I don’t let them out. They dance merrily in my notebooks, but tend to spill onto the floor. If I post them here, it gives them a moment of limelight and equally allows me to choreograph them a little. I write everyday. I would write if there was a powercut. If the World Wide Web got swept away by a giant broom in the World Wide Springclean I would still write. I sometimes write for prompt based sites as an exercise for that day. However I fear that there are people who believe they are writers merely because they bounce their way from prompt to prompt through the days of the week. That’s not the life for me my friend. But I wobble on an over-oiled seesaw on this one. Part of me encourages anything that encourages people to write. But part of me despairs at wading through so much chaff to stumble upon the occasional wordy wheat. But I am happy to feast on those that I have found.

Anything I post on my blogs is considered a work in progress, because I believe nothing is ever truly finished, finalised, perfect. No-one, however esteemed, educated, famous or infamous can grant a gold seal to my writing. They can just offer comment or criticism based on their own experience, skill and interest. All comment and criticism is valued - even if it is harsh - as long as it is made thoughtfully and eloquently and with valid reference to the piece. Nothing I post on my blogs is too precious or close to my heart to stand up to criticism. If it is then I shouldn’t have posted it here. I should have left it safely sleeping in the shoebox I keep hidden under my heart.

Much of the content of my writing is inspired by my everyday life. Much of it isn’t. Hopefully I have blurred the line sufficiently that you can tell which is which. I like to light fuses to thoughts liable to offend many. But when I post I try to blanket them in folds that soften the blow. I don’t want to start wars. I don’t want to lose more friends than I already have.

A final thought on COMMENT MODERATION. When I read those words I sometimes shiver. They tend to try to anagram themselves into CENSORSHIP ENABLED. I remind myself of the necessity to curb idle advertisers and net nutters but I cant help worry that some people may use them as a filter to allow through only comments that bless and never those that bruise.

Thank you for tolerating this extended ramble, normal service will resume shortly.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

never more than seven

We are paper people, made from mashed up trees. Once we reached for the sky, but now we lie side by side and flattened. We carry truths that could make the world turn in reverse. We mention that you need to buy some milk. We fold to keep our secrets within. Or live bold lives with letters scarred across our skins, bearing messages of love or hate or everything in between. We fold into flightless cranes or lotus flowers that never see the sun. We are kept close at hand. To refer, remember, remind. Rewind. We are crumpled and flung, torn and burned. We are left in the rain, to grow thin and indistinct - edging close to pulpy surrender.