20 May 2007

Blogging = me, me, ME, ME, ME!!

Someone once said "if conversation is like intercourse; then writing is like masturbation." If that is the case then blogging is the most indulgent form of self-gratification. There is a presumption on the part of the blogger that whatever he or she says/does/writes is of interest to other people.

Well, although I reckon my little corner of Belgium is of little interest to anyone (apart from my mum who just wants to check that this little corner of Belgium is clean and tidy), I've been persuaded to offer a bit more content to those valiant people visiting this site to see pictures of Schiele and spit at my photo.

From other writers I know one thing is clear: we all need to be comforted by the process, by the assurance that our words - which we put into different orders and then litter with dots and commas - are one day going to be read by someone and then put on a shelf. So, that's what I am going to do: post a few things about the publishing process, writing, reading, researching and stumbling around in this new world.

I know little more about publishing than I do about Islamic prayer mats (they are often in black and red), but while I flounder along I thought I'd record some thoughts.

If you don't like that, then here is a link to a prayer mat.

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Sniffing pages

After a few months of final tweaking and editing of my book, I find myself sitting like a prospective father in the corridor of a birth-clinic, waiting for my off-spring to see the light of day. I'm not anywhere close to having any kids, so I guess my ersatz-child for a while will be called Egon Schiele and/or The Pornographer: admittedly, not much of a name for a young child, particularly if it were to be a girl, but it'll have to do.

Having received a first copy a few days ago , I found myself doing entirely ridicuous things like sniffing pages and rubbing the cover against the soft part of my cheek. When an onlooker sees a young bloke sticking his nose into the pages of a book emblazoned with PORNOGRAPHER it is not always a good thing.

And all this was in Swindon: the site of my first engagement. Great fun and very rewarding. While Swindon may not always have the greatest of reputations in southern England with its fickle prejudices towards certain towns (...there's got to be a word for that; something with 'urban' in it probably...socio-urbanism or some such nonsense), it has a sparkling literary festival with the likes of Julian Barnes, John Major, Claire Tomalin... and some bloke who sniffs pages.

By the way, they smell like a cross between a Finnish forest freshly sprinkled with spring rain and HOMEBASE.

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