Sunday 4 September 2011

An Online Identity?

Top of the village - a telegraph pole and a dramatic August sky
Just over the village bypass there is a small hill where you can see several farms. There are big skies, winds, silences and telegraph poles. Work has halted on the Swallow illustrations this week, since I've been working on another little project, but I hope to get back on it soon.


Continuing from my last post - Greenbelt 2011:

Last week at the festival I read passages from both my chapbooks. I always enjoy reading my work and I love hearing what people have to say about it. The questions afterwards were very interesting - not least one about my 'online identity.' I hadn't before consciously considered this blog or my website as my online identity - but of course, that's what they are. I associate myself with other writers by using quotations and making references. I don't know exactly why I bristled at the idea of my having an 'online identity,' perhaps I was thinking of online avatars or the Great Oz hiding behind a curtain. Perhaps I need to re-think my opinion of the Great Oz. I never meant to associate myself with other writers in order to suggest I'm as good as them or belong in their company (I'm only a beginner) - but I have always thought it a waste of time to re-write things that other people have written well to begin with. I'm not sure if I explained myself every well and perhaps I misunderstood the question - I'm still puzzling it out. The idea of being 'challenged' is overused, I think, but in the absence of a better expression, I will say that I was challenged and I like a challenge! I will try to explain and understand this identity I've created - I hope it's not a monster.

I got into the habit of beginning essays with quotations at university and I have begun sticking quotations onto the beginning of stories too - it makes them seem whole to me and also shows some of my workings - like in an algebra exam. I love other peoples words and I stick them all over the place, so I can keep them for later if I need them. I think my friends and family are bored of me putting them in cards and letters, so I'm going to share some on here instead. Perhaps the quotations work as prompts too - or reminders - like essay titles. Reference points to work back to while I'm writing. 

My two chapbooks include epigraphs. My mum always says (and my mum's mum) that once you've put on all your jewellery for the evening, take one thing off. So for example, if you've got your earrings, bracelets and necklace on, you probably don't need your tiara. So I had a huge collection of what I thought were appropriate quotations and whittled them down to three for each book. Three might sound like a lot, but I am greedy (you'll have to get the books to see what they are)! 

More ramblings soon - I'm going to put down my loud hailer and get back behind the curtain. 


If you'd like to hear my reading from Greenbelt 2011: Letterboxes and Lighthouses, it costs £3.50 to download (proceeds go to making Greenbelt Festival). Last year's reading is up there too for download. I read from Two Lights, my collection of stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper.

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