day one

so, the blog site is live.

:

:

not sure yet what it will be when it grows up, though I have been thinking on and off of it for months while Min has been building the site and in between all of that long, busy, diverse tour that started over a month ago in Ubud in Bali and is ending in chilly Toronto on the other side of the world. I know I want it to be as interesting to me as the blog residency Inside a Dog was and as engaging as the Greylands Launch Site was for visitors. But I am very conscious that both those were finite, month-long events that basically consumed every second of my time and all of my attention and creativity. They repaid that devouring of me with real insights and a lot of pleasurable engagement with the form, but ultimately I know I can’t sustain that for longer than a month. This blog must be something else again. Most of all, it must not stop me working. I want it to be a repository for comments, almost as if I was writing it for myself – a sort of free hand stream-of-conciousness record/letter to myself – a mental glance around and inside me to note what has accrued that I might want to consider or throw out or consider more deeply. I don’t want it to enable a visitor to enter into an engagement with me, but to allow them a glimpse of the creative process in embryo in the midst of messy, busy ordinary life which is both distraction and fodder. The impressions people bring away will not be quite coherent or fully formed but I hope they will be interesting enough to bring them back occasionally or even regularly.

:

time will tell.

:

:

defining exactly what I am doing will only come in the doing.  I know that. This blog will be an evolving process, hence the name slipstream, which implies movement- forward momentum, the drawing in of random passing flotsam and jetsam. Taking a leaf from Anne Spudvilas in her blog A Year on the River, I have decided to give myself a year. I find that I need to have an end in sight. A bit like needing to at least have an impression of the end of a book or story, before I can begin it. And it seems a very rational and natural place to conclude the blog (if it does conclude ) or to reassess what I am doing with it, when I am on the point of my return to Australia this time next year – a year, more or less, from now.  I have a strong feeling that I am heading into the rapids in life again – I can’t see what is ahead clearly and everything seems to be speeding up. I hope this blog will help me steer a smart, wise, bright course, but who knows where this new current will carry me.  What I hope is that this blog will become a good steadying habit and a commentary I enjoy and get enough from to want to continue, and yet which decisively does NOT steal too much time from my creative pursuits. A gentle rudder …

:

i will mostly write the blog over a week preceding posting it, and each is likely to be the work of a couple of days.  There will be at least one post a fortnight, one at the beginning of the month and one midway through.  I don’t know if there will be a beginning, a middle or an end to each post – probably not. I hope not. I don’t want it to be that polished and that self conscious. That demanding. The lc start to paragraphs is a way of reminding myself not to get too precious. There will always be a couple of images – not taken from other sites as on my Facebook page, but photographs I have taken – at least one to be taken during the period in which I was writing the blog – or photographs which Jan or Adelaide or another friend have taken and sometimes, drawings I have done. Occasional doodles or sketches and the odd glimpse of a ms page from a work in progress …

                 :

the whole thing should be a sort of impressionistic endeavor. Impressions – yes, I must remember that as being the sort of guiding creative principal.

:

where am I now– this should always be a feature.

:

i am in a hotel room  with those white, soft starched clean sheets and a mound of soft pillows that seem to refuse to be rumpled. The bed and the pillows are the best thing about most hotel rooms – the pristine-ness of them – but they are also a metaphor that speaks to the fact that they are utterly interchangeable and anonymous transition spaces. Like airports, they are non-places. I feel cold in that way you get cold in some hotel rooms and can never seem to get really warm. It is the certain sort of cold you feel when you are really tired, and a bit adrift. A sort of metaphorical chilliness.

:

longing to be home in Prague. Yearning strong enough to be a constant ache. A fishhook in the gut that pulls and pulls and will not let me be … homesickness not only for ordinary life with all of its reassuring patterns and habits, but also for that inward journeying that is what writing is, for me.

:

:

there always comes this moment in the midst of all the talk and appearances and photographs and questions that are the outward journey of writing –  when I am suddenly pierced with longing to turn inward – to be free to abandon the world and commit lavishly to that profound inward journey – that intense, demanding engagement with self that is the truest part of writing. I am at that point now. I know it when I find myself stepping outside/aside from my self in the midst of some conversation or even on stage,  like Liane Hearn‘s Takeo invoking his second self to withdraw, leaving only the active impression of him to hold the fort.

:

 

:

what of this World Fantasy Convention, my second only? Holly Black said on a shared panel that urban fantasy is simply drawing ‘the dark wood’ motif into the city- the city becomes the dark wood- I love that idea and I think I could use it it build a future talk. A native Indian guy on the Defining Gothic panel said something about the monsters of horror fiction being a way of portraying the monstrous potentials of people or within situations, which really struck me, too, though it is also obvious. That was what I was doing with The Beast, but the fact that his words resonated suggests there is somewhere more to go with this idea…

:

:

keep thinking of a line from that poem by David Cowen, Strangers passing in a dry wind which I read in the back seat of his car on the way to Niagara Falls. (this photo was his) Something about the way in which a meeting is affected and shaped by but also  seems to evoke that hot dry wind intrigues me – how nature/weather affect the interactions that happen in their midst, but also seem at the same time to be the result or reflection of that interaction.

:

place and the weather really matter to me in stories. Must be careful with them, always…

.

.

.

 

Comments are closed.