Wednesday, March 24, 2010

 

Rough With the Smooth

I've always imagined the writing world as a sort of rainforest. That statement isn't an ironic allusion to the noble trees that die to keep publishers and writers in business. I mean that projects can suddenly collapse with an almighty crash, bringing down certain hopes and aspirations, ultimately to make room for new growth. Recently several proposed anthologies that had solicited my stories were unexpectedly cancelled; at the same time I was asked to contribute to a brace of new anthologies. Everything is in a state of flux in this industry, which can be frustrating if you like to make precise long-term plans, but at least fresh opportunities always seem to arise.

It's better to go with the flow, of course, if you can bring yourself to trust the currents. I don't think I'm mixing my metaphors here, as those currents might belong to the river that twists through this rainforest imagery. The upshot of all this is that I'm writing some stories I hadn't expected to be writing now and my schedule for the year has altered slightly. As I generally have the good sense not to reveal my schedule, none of this matters a jot to anyone else.

As well as writing solicited stories for specific projects, I also (of course) write stories because they are in my mind and won't leave me alone until I get them down on paper. A few days ago I woke from a deep sleep with the title 'Is My Wife on Mars?' on my tongue. My first inclination was to refuse to write a story to go along with that title, but inevitably I capitulated. I always do. Disobeying the Muse might be perilous. I'm simultaneously writing a Philip José Farmer tribute story and I wonder if they will end up cross-fertilising each other?

The photograph that accompanies this tree-themed blog entry was taken by Adele a few weeks ago, and in fact adorns her own blog, which also features some of her paintings...

Comments:
Hello Rhys! I was wondering what your opinion is on e-Book readers (Kindle, iPad, etc)? Being something of a conservationist, I hate to think of trees being cut down to be turned into books and newspapers, but I don't think you can beat the tactile feel (or smell!) of a book. I'm torn; the Apple fan-boy in me wants to buy an iPad and download e-books (and hang out in Starbucks reading them and looking cool, lol...), but the other part of me refuses to buy into that kind of technology; should you read books on a computer just because you can?
 
Hi Simon. I'm in two minds about ebooks. I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to books. I like the old-fashioned paper versions... I've only ever tried to read one novel on a computer screen (James Branch Cabell's The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck) and it wasn't a comfortable experience... but I keep hearing great things about the Kindle from people who know what they're talking about, and so maybe (or even probably) my doubts on this score are unfounded...
 
Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.
Term Paper Writing
 
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