Sunday, July 12, 2009

Strategies for keeping on blogging

I have to arrive at some strategies that will enable me to avoid these hiatuses. This one's not as long as it may have seemed. I was blogging all through May (I did mention it in a previous post) at Open Book Toronto. It was a very enjoyable gig. Many thanks again, to Amy, Clelia, and OBT! And also to my inimitable, generous, joy of an editor, Gillian Rodgerson.

But I've not been here for all of June and a big chunk of July. Too long! I'm thinking that if I can't find the time to write something coherent, I'll post a poem or a part of a story, or maybe a whole story. On the subject of whole stories online, I visited Neil Gaiman's site recently. If you've never been, go have a look. Amazing!

That brings me to another strategy. I'll post interesting people and events I've come across, actually or virtually - worthwhile stuff, hopefully, as this blog won't ever be about whether or not I've been having a headache or bought a new toothbrush or had a fight with my best beloved. Not that those things are unimportant, but I'm not called to write about them, not here anyway.

So, because this has to be a quick one, here are some recent encounters.

Saw Kate Story, author of the novel BLASTED, this week. Am reading the novel, at the minute. She's funny, and funny ain't easy to write!

Saw JAMAICA FOR SALE a documentary by Esther Figueroa and Diana McCaulay at the Caribbean Tales Film Festival today. (Plaudits to Frances-Anne Solomon for the Fest, in its fourth year!) It's overwhelming. It's heartbreaking. It's how to ruin a small island with ostensible 'tourism development'! It's a formidable piece of work. And it has a ten second clip of yours truly, doing an interview for JIS-TV too long ago to even remember when. See it if you can. Support the effort to save a collapsing environment and the livelihoods of the 'small people' who depend on it.

Also if you haven't been here just GO! Listen to poets reading their work, Guillaume Apollinaire (yup!), Kamau Brathwaite and Christian Bok and endless other. No Walcott, though. Wonder why?

Heard from Rethabile Masilo, who is about to travel from Paris to this side with his family. Travel safe, and have a great time, Rethabile.

Liz Hearne, wife of the late Jamaican author, John Hearne and mother of super editor at UWI Press, Shivaun, died recently. Our condolences to her family and loved ones. We'll miss Liz.

One more big piece of news, but it'll keep till next time. Walk good meantime.


Color Online said...

I'm the least organized, least methodical person I know. What I've found to work for me was to commit to a few types of posts scheduled at a regular time.

On one blog for example, I write a regular 'confession' post which isn't always a confession but knowing readers got in the habit of it publishing every week meant regularly writing something.

On our community blog, it was easier. I created a schedule and a set of regular features.

The world won't stop if I miss a feature and I no longer drive myself crazy thinking about what could I write about that's interesting.

I enjoy reading here, but I confess I wish I knew I could come here one a week or once a month and know something new is up.

Of course, you're a real writer, so I am happy whenever you post.

Thank you. said...

Thanks for all the updates, Pam.
And like Color online,I am always happy when I see/read your posts.


clarabella said...

Hi Color Online! Thanks for the encouragement – and empathy. I appreciate it. The fact that folks do drop by and enjoy reading – and take the time to say so! – helps me enormously. I'm never at a loss for things to say, but I've a bad habit of throwing all my energies at one thing at a time – a sort of 'take the Fort' strategy, I guess, so I let the blog go when I'm under pressure. I can understand why you can keep up with both the regular confession posts and the community blog. It's a kind of contract with your readers, isn't it? A promise? I always say that I find it easier to work on projects WITH somebody because I can break a promise to myself easily – but not a promise to someone else. As for being a real writer, quite apart from anything else, if you are consistently up here, answering reader expectations, you're very real indeed. Thanks for enjoying the posts, and for taking the time to not just stop, but linger awhile! Have a fulfilling week, and I promise to try to have something up here for you to stop by for.

clarabella said...

Hi Geoff: How d'ye do? Hope fine. That's an interesting call and response approach in Donna's poem, but can it work so? She'll have to clear perms with Derek for all those extracts, yes? Will you see Rethabile when he comes? Does he have any gigs? It would be great if someone would host the gang, somewhere, wouldn't it? I think we'd have a ball, the lot of us! I am reaching for the short stories soon. I have to be more focused about keeping up with works by my friends who are writers. Kate Story's BLASTED to which I referred in the last post has been out for a good while, and I'm only now getting to it. Also trying hard to finish a MS of poems. Wish me luck – and enjoy this week. 1love as ever said...

Derek was there when she read the poem and I think the quotes are short enough for fair use.
It would be great it we could all read together.

Best of luck with the poetry mss!


Stephen Bess said...

Hello Pam. Yes, I hope to catch up with Rethabile when he rolls through Washington DC. Thanks for the interesting links and reminders. I hope you and your family are enjoying your summer. God bless. Peace~

Rethabile said...

Blessings. And thanks. Stephen. I'll be very happy to meet up with Stephen.

clarabella said...

Hi Geoff: It's nice that Derek was there when she read the poem. It's an interesting question about fair use... Yep, we should have a poetry read-in one of these days - to protest racism (even great profs don't escape!) maybe, or lack of the political will to vanquish poverty, deal with AIDS, save the environment. I'm hoping to get back to the MS soon. Thanks for the good wishes. 1luv

clarabella said...

Hi Stephen: Fabulous that you will see Rethabile! I'll look for a report on that! The summer is cool, and quiet, and family filled. Ergo, so far, so good. I hope that you and yours are thriving also and enjoying the warmth of DC, a city where I once lived for a while. And, as ever, I return the blessings, pressed down, shaken together, running over...

clarabella said...

Rethabile! Where you deh? How you stay? Traveling mercies we pray for you and yours, as you go... Wings, and a fair way.

Stephen Bess said...

Pam, those are some good and sweet blessings. I have so much now that I will be able to share. Thank you. Yes, I will give a report when I see Rethabile.

Dumela Ntate Masilo! Modimo abe le lona.

FSJL said...

Neil Gaiman ought to be granted honorary Jamaican citizenship, on the strength of Anansi Boys. Dat book a boss! As we used to say.

Don't be ashamed of the long, ahem, hiatus. It's your blog, and you can be silent if you want to be.

FSJL said...

I didn't know Leeta Hearne had died. Please pass my condolences to Shivaun if you see her in Toronto. The Hearnes were good people, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to John.

clarabella said...

Hi FSJL: You are always so reassuring about the blog. Thanks. And I'm really long overdue for a read of ANANSI BOYS. Some academics were just singing its praises in Amherst. I'll certainly pass on your condolences to Shiv. It was probably for the best. Tough for Canadians to sponsor aged parents into the country – unless you have a lot of money. And that would have been trying for Liz anyway, having been in JA for so long, never mind she wasn't very aware for a while towards the end. Shiv had good support from friends in JA, as well as from her partner, so I think she managed as well as one can do when one loses a beloved parent. Hope the summer goes well for you. I did hear of 'awful problems at Clark' from some friends in Atlanta. Hope they didn't impact you... Be well and happy.