2014 Reviewed-Current Consciousness of the Prevaricating Author.

The Year Passed (2014) Reporting Back to Myself.

In this hiatus between Christmas and New Year I must refine almost everything. Take stock of stony failures, acknowledge some small shoots of promise that need staking and decide upon the reality of any ambitions. I have been a lifelong writer, but an ‘author’ for 1/74th of my life. Net result is I have more WIP than there will be time to finish, publish, and wave about. Too busy being mother for far too long, and probably missed the sell by date on almost everything, particularly in discovering what I might be of value to others.

What takes priority? Life? Remembering to notice the new? Returning with a dodgy wrist to rescue what little remains of cello playing? Drive my patient husband occasionally to see a view? Or slog on with the dubious business of keeping up with the literary Joneses, doomed, I fear, to certain failure.

The Works in Progress? None shout ‘best seller’ or Amazon Rankings, yet they whisper some merits when I attend to their claims.

I genuinely share this reflection for clarity in myself and advice from any who care to offer it. I mean that, I welcome any detour!

Small Successes

The past year has seen some successes. Involution was reviewed in four print Journals, articles (on its seeming insanity) commissioned in two others. Yucatan almost got a prize (I think- nobody really confirmed it) and two short stories were Stories of the Week in Narrative and one among the Five Best of the year. Another was shortlisted for the Rubery prize. None of that has made the slightest difference either to sales or building confidence. Only readers do that.

We, authors, are told that winning things matters. Does it? Piled high and stamped with badges in W.H. Smith or B&N maybe, but mentioned on Facebook or Twitter merely irritates! And embarrasses. Even adding comments stating more of the obvious now becomes more difficult, and who asks to be ‘liked’?

Smaller Successes.

Mastered WordPress, learned to be merely adequate at editing graphics, written some reviews that have given pleasure and assisted others, written five guest posts, and been interviewed on specialist audio shows four times. All pleasurable, made a few loyal friends, enjoyed feeling less alone in the corridors behind the Bull Ring’s real stage where performances need capes and swords, speed and deft footwork.Bullfight Wikimedia commons

Large Failures.

Mostly in the arena of giving hope precedence over experience; paying for short cuts and assistance, taking workshops, buying software and believing I will (one day) use it. Mostly ceasing to write anything new ( until pushed into NaNoWriMo at the eleventh hour) and parched for want of creativity; and watching the last remaining life ooze away without sufficient attention to glory or the sun rising.

 

Some Impulses Arising. ( Not Exactly Resolutions because I know my recoil from any imperatives- even self induced!)

 

The First has to do with FOCUS, and Making the Rock and the Hard Place comfortable and making life easier for my followers on the matter of reflection.

This Blog (Careless Talk https://involution-odyssey.com/blogscribe/) will get less careless. More reflective, perhaps a kind of Philosophy of Ordinary Life. Not evangelical, but related to why I write what I do, who for, and what may be of value in more general contexts. I have had a very interesting life, and I have scarcely touched upon it in books ( A ladybird has this moment crawled upon my keyboard and settled briefly on the Ctrl key- see?) Lots like that! Motherhood to the power of twice (2 x 2) taught me much about getting it wrong. Belief in academic dispassion showed the ugliest qualities in people far from dispassionate about the ownership of ideas! I can tell those stories and with some disparagement I hope.

My other site’s (http://philipparees.wordpress.com/) blogs will be for others, good ideas, reblogs, guest posts, interviews, things of interest, a few poems, and unfettered impulses to share with friends. It will also carry reviews ( the one contribution I can make to the struggling self-published but only as gifted, never requested because again compulsion renders me impotent, verbally and emotionally!)

I will map across as appropriate! Apropos of this new kitchen cupboard where stores will be more ordered, if you are a ‘follower’ please subscribe so that I can gift you with stories, pre-publication offers, (and persuade a publisher I might be worth a punt on books I can’t manage on my own). You will never be plagued or inundated or asked for anything! Of an alleged 787 followers I have but 13 subscribers. That’s my fault in asking for ‘Friendship’ – an onerous demand from a stranger. I have changed that and much else on the welcome mat.

Clearer Intentions for 2015 On Publishing and Creativity

I intend to publish perhaps ten short stories that reveal the indefinable differences between Old and New World Characters, ways of being. I hope to put both Yucatan and Involution out in audio books, and rewrite Acer- the mythical fantasy I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I am also seeking a publisher for another hybrid book- a fictionalised biography. I might set up some kind of recording booth at home since recording can only be managed for an hour at a time, (after a lifetime of smoking the voice gets manly which can be advantageous, the breath in short supply- definitely the opposite.) Now the ladybird bids me cease and sits upon a finger-tip.(‘Your house is on fire, Your children are gone’)

Injunction Take Ctrl.
Injunction Take Ctrl.

 

I wish each and all a very happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

Are You Mad? Guest Post near Kilimanjaro

Are You Mad? Involution and the Case for the Defence. 

First off I must thank The Story Reading Ape for spreading a canopy in his Great Rift Valley in which to rest from the marketplace. Explaining this mad book and its genesis is a tall order. So this is a most appropriate venue, within sight of Kilimanjaro, since the book prompting this invitation, originally called ‘Full Circle’, begins and ends here. It is the story of the human Odyssey.

(In obedience to received opinion that non-fiction should ‘say what it is on the tin’, the book was rechristened ‘Involution’, with slightly gritted teeth.) I am here not so much about the book itself but to prepare my defence for thinking it might have legs, or writing it at all. Up to now, on my blog, ‘Careless Talk’ I have skirted round doing this for fear of being mistaken for a peddler- who needs philosophy? Instead I told stories by a fountain in Marrakech and made futile attempts to master the sleight of hand- the soft sell that slips down without swallowing. The ‘Book that wrote the Life’ is my umbrella, but as a guest of the Story Reading Ape I will now come clean and expose the entrails; it is not a literary conceit, but quite literally true.

Involution

(click here to see details of the book)

‘Are you mad?’ is not how it is put (because the English are much too polite) but ‘Is she mad’ is tacit and continual…… Read More here

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Careless Talk (Costs Lives)

CARELESS TALK (Costs Lives)

(Demolition and Reclamation)

This blog will post ideas implicit in the book ‘Involution-An Odyssey’. There are many and they spread into everything. The ‘Philosophy of Self-importance’, and I mean that approvingly, or equally the ‘Momentary Soloist’, selected and already scored. Involution celebrates individuals, mostly famous, but they just got the timing right, and were found. The book is dedicated to all the others, mostly like ourselves.

It is about the world of words, and the lives that gives rise to words: Reasons to record. Not the market, nor the stratagems, for I have no knowledge of that kind to offer. Words are the currency by which we pay for life.

It’s central observation is that lives are shaped by the ideas that also give rise to the books; books are the debris left by life. If we have something to say it is only because we recognise ( and filter and extract) our uniqueness, and the extraordinary. Not the ordinary. So I will begin by being candid. My lives ( more like a cat ) have been improbable, but I suspect any reader of this blog would say the same. So here is a place to say it. How has your life shaped your book(s) and why was it so important to write it? I will enjoy celebrating where I came from, and what rough nurture prepared for this book of reclamation.

In time if I amass a following I will happily host posts that are relevant to this idea because those will touch us all at some ganglion of connection. Making sense of life, be it in universal story (your twist? Your exposure? Your solution? And your hopes?) or your wisdom ( How derived? Why necessary? How provoked? What solved?). So both fiction and non fiction for they are both equally imagination. We’ll come to that point anon.

If you have seen the Amphitheatre of the Drakensberg which is my ‘other’ header image, that was where I was born…within spitting distance and it still calls louder than any landscape I have seen since. The Mont aux Sources…both mine and South Africa’s.