I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Perhaps I should bellow louder

A moment of gloom? A time to be philosophical? Goodbyes in the air?

Beth (Cassandra Pages) and Lucy (Box Elder), two bloggers whose stuff I read assiduously, have within the week referred to a  falling-away of blog comments. Lucy hints at the withering away of blogging itself, swamped by Facebook and tweeting.

And I thought it was just me! A month or so ago I posted on a somewhat personal topic and got zero response. Something of a first.

The paradox with Tone Deaf  is that I have disabled the hickie which includes my own visits to the blog and pageview stats are going up and up. The five short stories posted over the last two months scored especially well.

Neither Facebook nor tweeting appeal. I support brevity, hence the 300-word limit, but I'm not into Post-Its. For me blogging is writing or nothing, although writing which no one reads can be uphill.

For what it's worth I'll keep doing what I have been doing, bellowing down the well until the absence of echo confirms that there's no one out there. Then probably write some more.

WIP Second Hand
(46,359 words)
In Merton Park, just off Erridge Road, amid vistas of thirties semis as economically remote to Francine as Eaton Square, Fairholt Road mouldered like a graveyard of late Victorian architecture. Three structures – semis but too massive, grey and mournful to be recognised as such – awaited time’s equivalent of the abattoir’s fixed-bolt. Kindly destruction and crass re-development.  Houses that had passed the point at which dilapidation ceases to be passive and becomes pell-mell. In three frontages embracing a total of twelve bow-fronted windows, four gravestone window ledges had given way to subsidence and broken in the middle – like permanently dribbling eyes of the very old.


The Crow said...

You've still got it, Robbie, whether anyone comments on it or not.

This is a gem, which will stay with me all day: "like permanently dribbling eyes of the very old." Perfect simile that drives home the condition of inevitable, intractable decay of the aged, the neglected, the waiting-to-die, be it buildings or human beings.

I read everything you write, and that of every one else I follow every day - there are 11 of you - but I don't always have the drive to comment. Doesn't mean I don't value what you have to say - just means I don't value whatever I might have to say enough to post it.

Don't take my neglect of your offering personally.

mike M said...

Well said Crow. I'm a newbie here and trying not to lavish uninventive praise on every bit I read.

Roderick Robinson said...

The Crow. Hey, someone who knows the difference beween a simile and a metaphor. You've still got it, Crow.

I hesitated before posting the above; after all there's a much more likely reason why a blog doesn't attract comments.

Lucy thinks those who do too many posts are likely to suffer comment-starvation. She cites with approval Julia who's back with a post after an 11½-month silence. Three people quickly commented - me twice.

Eleven agents turned down Out Of Arizona (maiden name Risen on Wings). I worry what this may do to Jana.

Second Hand going well. Query: Can you, under any circumstances, imagine a woman saying to a man: "Make me love you". If you can, fine. If you can't I may still include it just to see where it takes me.

Heartfelt thanks for the encouragement.

The Crow said...

I have said that. His response was that if he had to make me love him, then I didn't and probably wouldn't. I already did, but he took my loving him for granted too early in the relationship. I thought it was his turn to earn it.

He did.

Roderick Robinson said...

Crow: His reply is I suppose a predictable first response, others may follow. Thus I have an early correspondence. I stuck it in to see how it looked since if it stays it is a big, big thing. This has sent me back three or four pages, to test the approach road, see whether tinkering will make it more plausible and simultaneously more startling. Nice work if you can get it. There, I've opened a trapdoor in my head and let you look inside. The workings of an old-fashioned,wind-up wristwatch. My thanks for your co-operation in this shaky enterprise.

Sir Hugh said...

Well you seem to have got some response now.

I thought I was going to have to say you would just have to rely on my wrong end of the stick comments, and put up with only harvesting reaction from the lesser educated.

If it’s any comfort I also have noticed diminishing comments on my blog, just when I thought I was improving the content and style.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ich bin da! I admit I'm writing less across the board this year (I've just noticed that my number of blog posts are much less this year than last year around this time). I think the reason is my change of work situation. I used to be able to catch up during the week, but now I visit my blog buddies mostly on the weekends. And here's the truth, Robbie, your short stories are urging me on to attend to writing some myself. As a result, I've been drafting ideas and also have been reading short story anthologies and so all this has cut into my blog visits and comment leavings. I'm certainly glad to hear you'll continue, as will I! Ein Prosit der Gem├╝tlichkeit!

Roderick Robinson said...

Sir Hugh: You can't claim to be less well educated than me, nobody still living in the twenty-first century is. For one week, after starting at the T&A, I was aged 15. That was in 1951 a mere six years after the end of the war. Which war? Oh I admit, it was 2 not 1. I've had a lot of education to catch up on and I'm not entirely sure I am going to make it. In a desperate attempt to create some sort of educational camouflage I am presently reading a biography of Paul Dirac.

I guess we'll both write on until we topple off the edge of the world. Where's that? Close to Uggle Barnby.

RW (zS): Drop blogging by all means and get on with your short stories. But don't forget, you'll need somewhere to show them. The blog is free. After a lengthy, but reasonably amicable, discussion with Joe I put together a piece which aims to define a short story, since I was uncomfortable trying to meet norms which I didn't understand. The piece was too long and too technical for general consumption on the blog but you are welcome to a copy if you think it might help. It may be unique for all I know.

I'd be sorry to lose you - as well you know - but writing is the most rewarding occupation I know and can be practised right up to the point where you become gaga. Yes even after arthritis makes beer-brewing impossible.

Just one point. In the end there is a certain amount of tricksiness about short stories. For lasting rewards there is nothing to beat a novel. Your background is rich enough to form a springboard but you'll need a plot if you are going to avoid grinding out a thinly disguised autobiography. Why not a thriller?

Lucy said...

Well this is all very cheering isn't it? Really, I mean, no irony. And even new faces appearing, and others lurking perhaps to reveal themselves later. And as you say, the stats aren't discouraging - though sometimes I find the traffic sources reveal some very strange things, so I've slightly wary about that!

I often do tend to leave catching up, here and elsewhere, until several posts have accumulated, which means I'll read most but only comment on one or two perhaps.

So take heart old friend!

Roderick Robinson said...

Lucy: I'm well aware of stats being untrustworthy; the point was that in all five cases the stories stood out against the other posts, and by about the same percentage. As to new faces, there's nothing says one can't go out and hunt for them. Am flattered to be designated an old friend; much better than being a new friend.

Natalie D'Arbeloff said...

I currently feel about blogging and comments just as you and Lucy and Beth have expressed but I'm not going to stop either. For one thing, I've stopped feeling that no comments means I'm un-loved, un-appreciated and all the other uns you can think of. I used to check my stats compulsively several times a day (I think it's blogger's disease) but no more. I've learned to accept the reality that blogging is only worth doing if one enjoys doing it as a form of expression and if others like what we express, that's a bonus, but is not guaranteed.

As an ex-journalist, Roderick, why not think of your blog as a regular column? You wouldn't worry about no comments or few comments then would you?

Rouchswalwe said...

Oh, ja bitte Robbie, I would love a copy of your short story definition piece!

Brewing will never become impossible because I intend to take on an apprentice or two when arthritis sets in!

And a thriller, you say? I wonder ...

Roderick Robinson said...

Natalie: I appreciate your attempt to comfort me. Quite ingenious but there is a flaw. For the moment newspapers are bought intentionally since someone plonks down money to buy them. Just which parts get read is pure accident but since the circulation is reasonably large (even the least popular national newspaper sells about 50,000 copies) there is a fair chance that a column will appeal to part of that readership and it will be read. Most journalists can live with that - comments or not. I am not sure whether blogs are accessed accidentally or not but in any case the total number of daily hits (ie, pageviews) is likely to be much smaller; TD for instance attracts about 60 - 70. Thus the chances of my efforts being entirely ignored are much greater.

RW (schwer): I've sent you the piece about what constitutes a short story. It's longer than I thought (over 2000 words) and more discursive than I remembered. You'll have to forgive me.

Why not a thriller? But before your stir your stumps make sure you have a plot - a real one, that takes two sheets of A4 to summarise.

Julia said...

Your writing suits blog posts much more than Twitter or Facebook. Don't change!

(By the way, it also suits Google, which is why your stats have gone up recently. They value original and unique content and have just adjusted their algorithms to send more searchers towards content like yours.)

Roderick Robinson said...

Julia: Oh wow, nearly a year's hibernation and you come up with that. Like some benign honey-coloured bear resident in the Tatras.

I'd urge further hibernation except that I miss your voice so. And not just for nice things: for good sense, for unexpectedness, for your family, for the resonances in both our lives despite the hundreds of miles in between us. By now I expect C to be fluent in Mandarin. Best.