03 January 2005

Anyone out there want to offer to pay me for churning out my own personal and distinct version of twaddle?
No, thought not.

Shame really, I could spout with an air of tongue-in-cheek authority on any subject you care to mention. All it takes is enough time in Google and Jeeves to quote a few authorities and form a temporary opinion of my own. Peanuts. When I say air however, I do mean air as in vapid and intangible; or at least above ground, ie without foundation. All smoke and mirrors, me.

But all is not lost (what, did she just say that? Is she going to start using words like 'aplenty', or worse still, 'galore' and turn into a dead end small town journalist making stories out of ten people queuing at the Town Hall? Dear God no, shoot her now and save her good name). Seriously, I have found another website that has taken my full attention for the last 36 hours or so, as it allows and even encourages people to write poetry, as well as short stories and whole novels if the fancy takes you.

Poetry, or rather my poetry is, I feel, something to be produced like childhood or holiday photo albums, only if someone else specifically suggests it. It is not something I would start spouting or churning out within a hundred miles of here without some sort of recognition of skill prior to the event, but that too is available at FanStory.com. The whole concept is that everyone who submits work for dissection also does their best to make valid and honest comments about everybody else's work.

It can backfire a little, particularly if you are a hound for constructive criticism. High praise such as 'Some of your verses are truly excellent' only makes me frustrated. If I do have the potential for excellence, then before I can let my head swell up I want someone with a greater knowledge (cant be hard to find?) to do me a real favour and tell me which verses fell short of the mark, and exactly why, otherwise I'll never improve.

Then again, I am already shy of awarding anything less than 3 stars out of a possible 5 to other contributors, when the idea is to try and keep 1s and 5s to a minimum but to speak honestly for anything else. Already I am bypassing the efforts that make me feel more like they need marking in red pen with a large "See Me After Class" at the bottom because:

a) I don't feel competent to be that much of a critic, I mean who am I for flips sake? God?

b) I gave a 3 to a guy with a brilliant concept who had presented a heavy and thought provoking subject in a dancy little rhythm, way too light and bouncy for the content. I said so, in the nicest words I could think of, praising both elements as distinct items. The response I got back (in public, mind) was "What Ever"! If you don't want the bloody criticism don't bloody ask for it!

Sodding Philistine. I read his bio thinking that just maybe I had piqued some poor spotty, angst ridden teenager, but no he was a fully adult man with a family and a very high opinion of himself. Weirdo. Still that sort of thing smarts a bit, and cant inspire anyone to offer honest assistance where it is most needed, for fear of stroppy little hitlers spitting back.

Well thats where I've been. I stuck in an old piece of work from the darkest dustiest recess of My Documents, then wrote two for competitions, which were complete in no time because I always find it easier to be industrious under instruction. A quatrain at least this long; a poem about or including this picture; much easier than waiting for inspiration. Catch 22 I then discovered, was that you can only post two new items each day.

Each of those pieces are up for criticism for a month now, during which they have to acquire so many favourable critiques (fifteen?) in order to move across to a more permanent spot, or something. I havent really read it all, but I do know that what has kept me creeping back in there every so often today, was the urge to see if I had received any more good reviews.

Knowing my addiction to email and my ability to be a total workaholic as long as it involves a keyboard and screen, perhaps signing up to something else where I can constantly wonder if I've 'got mail' is not such a clever idea; particularly if you were to ask my husband.

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