Monday, May 23, 2005

To boldly blog?

I’m sitting here in front of my laptop, trying to imagine that I have just opened the first page of a hard-backed journal. It has that new book smell. The pages are smooth and completely blank. The pen in my hand is eager to spread ink across that open space, to possess it, to change it completely.

And yet I hesitate. The book will never have so much potential again. At this moment, it could become almost anything: a playground for my imagination, a prison for my fears, a soapbox for my opinions, a magpie nest for all the fleeting ideas and images that sparkle and capture my attention. But once I write in it, the book will start to become itself, something of which I have specific expectations, a place where certain things can be said and certain others cannot. I will start to develop a concept of what writing in my journal means. This loss of potential is the price any writer pays for saying something. Narrowing potential, resolving the probability to 1 or 0 is part of the process of creating something.

But one of the reasons that I’m sitting at a laptop and not in front of some hard-backed journal is because what I want to create here could turn out to be radically different from the linear, insular, self-referential journal.

The potential of the blog format is fundamentally different from the journal.

The blog introduces the concept of readers. The reader brings meaning to what is read, but each reader brings a different meaning. The tagline on my email reads: “What you read is not what I wrote. I provide the text. You supply the meaning.”

The knowledge that there will be readers changes what a writer writes even when the writer is not aware of it. Particularly when writing in the first person, a writer starts to construct a persona – in this case, the acceptable face of Mike Kimera – to meet their own ego needs and to create a specific relationship with the imagined readers.

The blog allows for comments and so introduces multiple writers and the kind of stilted, serial dialogue that, while it is often frustrating, sometimes produces ideas and images and views that are well beyond the capacity of one voice.

So, I’m sitting at my laptop, fingers poised over the keyboard, and yet I hesitate. It is tempting to give the blog a purpose, a mission, a sound-byte value proposition to market myself across the web; something that differentiates me from the thousands of other voices braying for attention or shyly waiting to be noticed. Except that that would miss the point.

I invented Mike Kimera (meant to be a pun on Chimera – I hadn’t realised that in the US this would be accepted as a real name – so much for humour crossing the Atlantic) five years ago so that I could be someone other than my day to day self when I wrote. I’ve made this blog his and not mine so that I can extend from the fiction that he/I write and into the wider range of things that I think about when I am writing in his name.

So this blog doesn’t have a destination or a target demographic or an over-arching purpose.

Mike Kimera is its starting point. He writes (and sometimes publishes) erotic fiction or at least fiction that tends to look at the impact of sex on people. He has his first book of short stories coming out. He’s learning about writing. He’s living in a foreign country and coming to terms with what that means. He’s heading towards fifty and has no idea of what that means. He’s a science fiction fan and a movie junkie and spends way too much time at work. This blog will be his refuge and his greenhouse.

Feel free to drop by at any time.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Humor never crosses the Atlantic, unless it involves universally-appealing dead parrots. The language isn't the same. Neither is the frame of reference. However, noticing types might have had difficulty reconciling "kimera" with "Irish." And I doubt anyone's prepared for 50 (or 30, or 90) because in our heads we're twelve-year olds with varying degrees of acting ability.

valentine said...

Mike!

I loved what you said here about writing, God. I think you are a marvelous writer. You have taught me something so important, so important about being a writer and I just wanted you to know. I have no idea if I have been kicked out of ERWA for something I just wrote, but you have been my model for ferocity as a voice--it has to do with your tag, that was in your text. When I read Nadia, I hated it. But then I had a big breakthrough about something--it was a morality tale, that was your main characters final question to himself. I crafted probably the strongest thing I've written yet--also a morality tale, because of you, and what you have taught me, and I wanted to say thank you. Had it not been for Nadia, there are many things about being fierce as a writer I couldn't have understood. I hope that at some point in time, when I get it all set up right over on my page--I want to link to certain very important voices I know in Contemporary Erotica--like you and Ann and Rg etc--so that if anyone sees my page they can find you? I hope that will be all right. Before I posted the story I did--I have never felt so much fear in my life--facing the consequences of what the reading public might think of me, or the slams I would get--as I did. It's just that I realized that--that didn't matter. I wasn't going to self-censor myself, no matter what. (as a writer)
Thank you Mr. K.--and I never told you, I don't think--that those pieces of yours I read once at ERWA--inside Mr. K--were some of the most honest really spectacular pieces I've read from any other writer. Ever.

I'm glad you got yourself a blog, and I saw this from CS posts so I looked. I've just read "The Politics of Lust"-- not cover to cover but, in snatched pieces--moving all around in the book. It's incredible. Eye-opening.

be well in all your travels--(don't work too hard!)
Valentine

Galiana said...

Mike:

Welcome to the blogosphere.

I sincerely hope, and strongly suspect, that you will be able to continue this practice of blogging, although I could not seem to.

Maybe blogging as an alter ego can free you from the pressure of caring too much about the potential effect of your words on those you love -- that's what eventually shut me up. *grin*

Although, you've gotten me thinking...

Thanks for inviting me to drop by. I'm looking forward to reading Mike K's thoughts, and to get out of them something different than what you wrote.

Sadie Hawkins said...

I'm in awe of the megalomania and narcissism on which any blog is premised. I do feel compassionate toward he who deceives himself with the significance of his own meaningless existence as expressed in the banal ramblings of a public diary.

Blogs are for those who do not live in real time, but only exist within the context of an assumed Internet persona. How sad.

Meaning is created through right action, not through broadcasting angst to the world of those who can afford computers. Better you should find a Zen Master or donate your time and your hefty earnings from corporate Amerika to helping the world. Or, maybe you should just stay home and take care of your wife.

Tatiana von Tauber said...

Your blog feelings are universal to writers; I felt the same. A journal has sensuality while a laptop just doesn't have the same depth but upon reading your words I think you've beautifully expressed why so many people are blogging. In a new age where image and word blend so well, the cyber journal takes on a new dimention with radiant potenital uniting the individual into the collective. Thought has taken on a new meaning. I'll be back. :)

Tatiana von Tauber said...

I referenced you in my blog. Thanks for sparking a different perception that helped define mine.
vontauber.blogspot.com, if you're interested in taking a look.

mambolady said...

Mike....you are my very favorite writer. I have read all your work on Clean Sheets and on ERWA..and
have enjoyed them all...well,
except that dark piece..The Cellar.
My favs are...Deserving Ruth..and
My Brother's Wife..and of course..
the holiday stories. Well done !
When will your book be available?

mambolady said...

I just read and re read your story...Reflexes. Powerful material. Wonderful story...and
what an "explosive" ending.
Wow !!! ( I get the feeling you are not too crazy about the good old USA ? from your story and in your blog.)

mambolady said...

I am most eager to read your very own book...Writing Naked...and I see Santa Claws in in Sex and Laughter...a most unusual Xmas story..LOL...and a good one.
Such an imagination!!