And so to this interminable blog. I am planning to publish Collected Stories and Nigel later in 2016 and, as so many in the industry say, publicity in the form of a blog is a must. But it is hard, in part because i think I think it is wasteful for the reader. If it is an exercise in self-expression, fine; but nowhere does self-expression require an audience, unlike a story. To my mind a blog is more an expression of self-absorption which does not sit well with one who thinks the story is all. So, I might introduce Nigel to some of these writings. He has a story (in fact many stories) to tell. Perhaps I'll encourage him to write his own blog.
Nigel aside, I shall try to blog myself once a month to 'reach out' to the indifferent masses. Each blog entry will have one observation on the industry (if I can think of any) and information on / promotion of work already published (such as a short story) or an upcoming treat (such as a short story). To avoid any reader feeling s/he has been cheated out of a few minutes of life I shall include a reading recommendation.
Promotion: The Dot Matrix: the first short story published on the DOZ website. It charts a few weeks in the life of an office-drone bound drone who feels his destiny lies beyond the chipboard partitions. He is trapped by apathy and fear. It takes an encounter with a dusty, antique dot matrix printer to force him to assess his options and take action. Having been writing for a while I am learning that I am drawn to 'magical realism'. I suspect it will be a theme in upcoming work.
Definition: ‘Magical realism, magic realism, or marvelous realism is literature, painting, and film that, while encompassing a range of subtly different concepts, share in common an acceptance of magic in the rational world. It is also sometimes called ‘fabulism’, in reference to the conventions of fables, myths, and allegory. Of the four terms, Magical realism is the most commonly used and refers to literature in particular that portrays magical or unreal elements as a natural part in an otherwise realistic or mundane environment.’ Wikipedia; 30 May 2016
Reading recommendation: Gods of Metal by Eric Schlosser (Penguin Special 2015). A short (120 page) account of a break-in at a high security nuclear weapons complex in Tennessee in 2012 by three Christian pacifists (including an 82 year old nun, Megan Rice). Concise and well researched, the book puts the work of the pacifist 'Plowshares Movement' in context and laments the wholesale failure of nuclear weapon security in the USA. The book concludes with warnings of nuclear terrorism made possible by poor management of nuclear materials across the globe. Originally published in the New Yorker, the expanded account both informs and chills the reader.