continuing studies in probability

I have suddenly begun encountering my neighbors all the time. Maybe they read what I wrote about them. Actually that is highly improbable. It’s funny to think about, though. Yes, it is. To me, at least. That they would intentionally make themselves more accessible to me based upon reading my musings on why I never see them is hilarious. But it’s more likely that this is related to the phenomenon I encounter with things like mist and nemesis birds, wherein something once recognized and acknowledged suddenly becomes omnipresent. Yes, that must be it. I must let it simmer longer, though.

A poem-fragment-something of mine called “The sights and sounds of leaving” appears in the 2012 issue of Paper Nautilus. Being a paper nautilus it only creeps out into the world in paper form. Copies are available here. I have one more forthcoming publication in 2013 (an erasure text) but that will likely be it for a while. The submission process strangles the life out of me and punctures holes into my dreamy writing life (for an extended even darker view, see also: this). I am reclaiming that life.

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  1. taidgh

     /  February 7, 2013

    Hi Sean. That’s the way it is a lot of the time. Notice something and the universe finds ways to revert it or as you put it more eloquently: ‘something once recognized and acknowledged suddenly becomes omnipresent’. What was once unrecognised becomes recognised on such a daily basis that it can become problematic! You don’t want stalkers!

    I’m checking out Paper Nautilus. I probably sound anal retentive but just double checking that your piece is in the 2012 issue, seeing as I want to get the issue with your writing included.

    And I’m also stuck with my own publishing dilemma at the moment. The entire process can crush me.

    • Your recognition talk has my head spinning! Although it might just be the lingering effects of insomnia. No, I don’t want a stalker…actually had one of those once and it was weird and disturbing. I’m glad that you are looking into Paper Nautilus, not just because I appreciate the support, but also because print pubs need all the help they can get! And yes, it’s the 2012 issue…it was supposed to be out by the end of last year but was delayed. What is your publishing dilemma? Do tell.

      • taidgh

         /  February 7, 2013

        Well, let’s see – my reply might put your head in a continual spin. First I need to find a comfortable chair. Can I put my feet up?

        I think you mentioned somewhere about motivation in getting your writings out to a wider audience. Motivation plays quite a role for me. I’m quite concerned about my reasons for writing, and if it’s genuine. If I’m not true to myself then it’s not worth the bother. Yes, I’m quite serious! Going by personal experience writing is therapy in a sense and sometimes putting it out there is like shooting oneself in the foot. I’ve heard it’s not a great experience. The publishing experience can be a jarring feeling. I don’t want to write to get published nor do I want to keep it all to myself. Conflict. Yes, that’s the word. And journals (online and print) sometimes don’t help or aid in developing ones true voice they just feed egos and encourage backslappers and word orgies.

        All that’s to say publishing can be quite problematic, thankfully I found a good creative individual that has and is willing to publish some of my stuff on a more personal level. That can be fraught with problems too, but I’m looking to be more creative and develop free thought without pressure and anything to assist in that is good for me. Thanks for listening ;)

        • I think these things you talk about are all really interesting and often not far from my mind, too. I have gone in circles over the publication thing for many years. As you know, I published zines for a long time and while that was overall a wonderful experience, there were definite reasons why I quit. I don’t know if I ever talked to you about them but I may as well lay it down now. My writing changed a lot over the 12 years or so that I was doing my zine. It became a lot more abstract, wandering and meandering, basically more poetic leaning I guess. And I gradually found and accepted that to be my natural voice, where I felt most comfortable. But there are rather entrenched and long-standing biases against poetry, and to a lesser extent, fiction, in the zine community. People tend to dismiss these things in zines (not universally, mind you, but I think I was a reader and reviewer long enough to say that it was a majority attitude). I found my readership shrank as I moved away from more straightforward personal essays (the bread and butter of zine writing) and strayed into more esoteric writing. Certainly there were still a few people into it, but a big part of the fun of doing a zine was the community feel, the dialogue, and that was now lacking.

          I find that it’s this dialogue with readers that I often want most out of writing (which is why I still love the blog format–because of how it affords the opportunity for wonderful conversations like this!). But you don’t get that dialogue with publishing in literary journals. In fact, most people don’t even read them! Unless they’re writers themselves, and even then they might dismiss you unless you’re already up-and-coming or established. And I totally agree with you about the journals not helping with development of true voice. If anything they contribute to alienating you from your work, because you’re forced to think of it in the context of how will this work fit into this journal, instead of how does this work fit with my other work, what is the relationship there, in what way is it a continuance of the ongoing story I am telling, my story, not theirs. No, instead it is forcing you to impose some random editor’s arbitrary idea of what good literature is onto your own work. And that is total bullshit in my mind. The amount of time I was spending researching pubs, preparing manuscripts, sending stuff out…it was hemorrhaging hours out of my writing life. Not to mention sucking the meaning out of it. Having to think about my work from a “marketing” standpoint depresses me.

          I am glad you found someone like that to publish your stuff. That is a lucky find, although I can imagine the other problems it might cause. Basically I think any time you bring others into the mix there is potential for disagreement, over creative vision, content, whatever. I am not sure what I’m going to do. More and more I feel my punk rock DIY roots drawing me back with the enticement of total artistic control and resistance to co-opting, giving the middle finger to the entire publishing scene altogether. I may go back to self-publishing but steer clear of the zine world this time. I have a manuscript I put together of some stuff from the blog. I’d like to publish that in some way, with a nice linocut cover, basically like a zine but not call it that anymore. Maybe that will be a project for this year.

  2. taidgh

     /  February 7, 2013

    Great stuff! I think even finding like minded people is a rarity these days! I think getting away from the term ‘zine’ is a good idea. The term itself has become quite convoluted and I think has lost some of its edge over the years, not only from a publishing aspect but also lost an open-minded readership. If that makes any sense. Over the past few years I’ve been drawn to alternative art and photo zines as well as underground and self-published comics. This for me has some creative bite to it. Thinking of new ways to read and almost more importantly what can I get from what I’m reading is what I aim for and I don’t mean in the traditional sense. Recently I’ve discovered what can only be described as a psychedelic manuscript with words, imagery and sound. This has opened creative possibilities not only for my writing and art but also in my everyday life.

    • Whoa! That sounds fun…quite the enticing description. Are mushrooms involved? ;)

      • taidgh

         /  February 7, 2013

        It’s mushroom free, though I’m sure mushrooms would only enhance the experience. I remember the day when mushrooms were legal in Ireland. Those were the days! :)

  3. Congratulations on getting your work published! I have really enjoyed your erasure texts. It is a treat to find humour in serious writing.



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