7 May 2010

Have a Great Weekend



Melbourne is a kaleidoscope. Mysterious Moreland

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Some days I'm tempted to seek out new blogs. What is very interesting is studying how some bloggers crave popularity while others couldn't be bothered.

Others again seem to have popularity thrust upon them and that would be a problem indeed.

The great joy for the easy-going blogger is finding a space to play. Photos may be resized, arranged... congenial bloggers commented on... fuzzy thoughts refined...

Looking back over the cyberlessons of the past few years has been very entertaining.

Cyber Warriors Unite... White Tulip

Passive Aggressive?

I have been doing readability tests on my blogs. It seems the prose within is, generally, more sophisticated than the Bible and more foggy than average.

Not a bad thing, in many ways, to make text knotty for the reader. It slows things down in an increasingly frantic world.

The illumination came when I realised that each blog is written in styles that run a gamut from Grade 3 through to about 10. This means that Modern Twist is accessible to the average eight year old whereas Short Sights at Noon would require the skills of further schooling, about Junior Certificate level, to be read with ease.

That a machine can tell me all this is one of the great wonders of our dazzling world. I love Big Brother and all his works...

6 May 2010

Always Judge a Book by its Cover?

News from the bookstands in New York is good for Irish writers. Alan Glynn and Declan Hughes are now firmly established there.

Reading Saul Bellow as the bus crawled round Dublin in the 'Eighties, I had a sensation of how it must be to live in a city where books are genuinely cutting edge. Emerald Noir (With thanks for permission to use this photo.)

Vanitas vanitatis...

...or how "zip-up time" can help make new friends.

I still follow a Twit who, having announced grandly that we are not friends, continues to chatter and share good links. Afflicted with an inability to bear grudges, I now have a motley group of admirable posters under my belt who, it seems, would not be seen dead in my company.

I wonder if they, like me, are wondering how to get throught the next five years without having to sell more copy... Station Wall

Cover Art and Fair Use

I tend not to use other people's photos on my blog. Certainly, uploading graphic art without the owner's consent is one way to attract un-needed attention.

An efficient way to trace work is to use the reverse search engine, Tineye. I was very pleased to find that one of my photos has appeared on six blogs, ensuring success for a writer friend, one hopes. But such searches can also help to find misappropriation of work, where permission has not been sought. Catmacbride, a fellow Flickrite, discussed this recently and it took a lot of time from a busy working day to sort the matter out it seems.

Interestingly, none of the bloggers who used my photo asked for permission. I sometimes wonder if I am living in the past, where other people's property belonged to them.

My teachers would have muttered phrases by Cicero and make the culprits blush.

On the other hand, "O tempora, o mores!" still makes me laugh.

Blood on the Carpet

Crime writers gathered in force recently to examine the why's and wherefore's of using a blog to promote new books.

Requiems for the Departed, an anthology of short stories will be published in June. The cover art is by Reece Notley.

The stories have strong links with the world of myth and what John Connolly would probably call "the honeycomb world" that lies underneath the banalities of every day.

For some reason, that only a psychoanalyist would explain, the experience of falling in among the crime writers has left me somewhat footloose and fancy free.

5 May 2010


I have friends who refuse to Twitter.
They see it as some sort of moral failing to find less than 140 characters to express the moment and also, dare it be suspected, they are a bit afraid.

Over the years, drunken posts were the source of much journalese and now the ubiquitous Twitterings of the mildly merry or the seriously overstretched cannot be easily removed and hidden from curious eyes.

Also, rows generated due to misunderstandings continue apace, though they somehow lack the enthusiasm of less sophisticated days. If I ever write a book... which I hope will not be necessary as a blog is such a more enjoyable and relaxed format... I would be tempted to market it on Twitter.

I'll start looking for useful links like this one , just in case... Melbourne Streetscape

2 May 2010

Have a Great Bank Holiday...

Bee and Lobelia