Tuesday, April 1, 2014
I sometimes believe in reincarnation. I look at a tree and think, “That’s a bit like me,” that mountain ash. Or, imagining my future self as a hawk. Or experiencing the conundrum of seeing myself suddenly as another human being; precipitated by a child’s eyes or bearing. A life lived can often result in these momentary refractions of wonder about what might come next when all is over. New lamps for old is a theme I often write about. And so to this website. It is another stage. Another me. Another incarnation.
It proposes an unusual thesis; take the act of consumerism and turn it on its head. Let the reader enjoy (or otherwise) the product and then decide what he or she is going to pay for it, if anything. Â Thus, its brief is to remove all the marketplace trappings between the reader and the writer. No need to wander around a bookshop or a library armed with the latest reviews. No need to choose by dustjacket and blurb or a sly riffle through pages to try to gauge style. No jumping on the bandwagons of Waterstone’s or Amazon’s hit lists. No, the responsibility Â is merely to exist in that narrowed gap between conjured text and scanning eye.
Writing is done in the isolation of mind over matter. When it is finished the result is inverted and becomes matter over mind in that a story now takes up a space in the world and occupies the thoughts of its readership. Every tale takes days, weeks or years to make. What results takes a fraction of that time to absorb. There has always been this barter, the alchemical trade between storyteller and audience, since those days of being illuminated by a fire in a cave to today’s backlighting of an e-reader or the collection of bound leaves in the hand. At the beginning, as the raconteur finished a tale, there would be an immediate reaction of approbation or otherwise. Today, on this new website, response is not physical but virtual. A few words from the reader to the storyteller to say he or she has entered and left the author’s world.