“I suppose I’ll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies.”
I don’t know what to do with this, this being the psychic space I have staked out on the internet under this name. I like the name, and I like that it’s in several places, which makes me feel as if it’s a room I can get to from various (hidden) doors in different (innocuous) buildings in a number of (unnamed) cities on several (unspecified) continents, which is the kind of thing I wanted as a kid and still want, and haven’t yet resigned myself to not having. In the meantime, the internet is a pretty decent substitute (which is an understatement for the internet is everything).
I used to keep a somewhat regular internet journal, and seemed to post mostly about work and family issues, or that’s how it feels when I look back over it. In retrospect, those things were what was happening on most days and posting about them kept me from going mad because I couldn’t get away from them. Things are different at the moment, and while the continuity was nice, I have other ideas on how to do that now.
I did consider having a theme. I’ve been trying to write a book blog for a while now, but so far that hasn’t worked out. It hasn’t worked out because sometimes I finish a book and I have nothing to say about it, and I feel bad not making a fuss over that book. Sometimes I only have rude things to say, and then I’m not sure what to do, because it’s not as if I get the time I spent reading back if I put in an hour writing a rude review, or even a witty, clever, tingling review that zings a bad book in all the right places. (Why am I reading a bad book anyway? That’s my problem. Also the book might not be bad, it might just lack killer robots.) I like reading other people’s book reviews and yet somehow always feel creepy and self-conscious when I try to write my own.
Some weeks I don’t read a book, a whole, paper-leafed book, all the way through. Sometimes I just read vast swathes and scrolls of text on the internet, although I think that makes me cross, so I’m trying to intersperse it with the calming paper-leafed books. Reading things on the internet can be very disorienting, because in the same news site where you find a really good article on whether or not there’s sentient bacteria on Mars you can often see a headline about how a religious fundamentalist group has thrown acid at schoolgirls or something, and there’s this constant THE WORLD IS WONDERFUL/THE WORLD IS TERRIBLE colliding in your brain, and no narrative flow at all. What seemed to be happening with the book blog, though, was that I would write one happy review of some very good book, and then an irritable review of a book that annoyed me, and then two weeks would pass and if I were honest my book blog would say ‘I’VE BEEN READING NOTHING BUT BBC NEWS, WIKIPEDIA, AND RETWEETED LINKS TO IO9’ (because that has happened). So, while this blog might contain some stuff about books, it’s only partly going to be about books, and it’s not a review blog at all.
If I were a musician, I could put up clips of music I’m making, and tell you when my gigs will be, but I’m not a musician. If I were a visual artist, I could put up samples of my art. If I baked or cooked, I could put up recipes. I don’t do those things, really, or half the other things people talk about in blogs. I do write, I write a lot, and I don’t like talking about it at all. I don’t want to discuss my process or how many words I’ve written that day or keep little counters at the bottom of the blog or unravel thorny plot problems under a jump-cut. So I definitely won’t be talking about writing, or at least, that’s definitely NOT the plan. Not to say I’ll never mention it at all, but this is definitely NOT where I’m building an author brand on the internet.
[They say you should do that brand-building thing, but the internet only loves you back if you love it first, and I believe in loving things for what they are, anyway. From time to time I hear some person who claims to be writing a book say with a sigh that they suppose they’d really better check out this Twitter thing, because they need to get hooked into the social media so they can plug their book. Oh would-be authors. Just write your would-be books.]
Well, why bother then, if I don’t know what to do with it? Why not periodically update it with a series of ellipses or the occasional photo and leave it as it is, my secret hidden library on the internet (library because book blog or not, writing blog or not, the good places in my imagination are full of books)?
Don’t know. It itches, so I scratch.