Archive for October, 2006

The Citadel of Dreams

“When you start, the world of publishing seems like a great cathedral citadel of talent, resisting attempts to let you inside. It isn’t like that at all… there’s a great, empty warehouse out there looking for simple talent.”
Alan Garner

When you start out on the writer’s journey the citadel seems daunting indeed. The path to the front door is hard, long and twisted. It may even be overgrown with thorns and weeds in places. Finally you reach the main – the only – door. It appears heavy, solid and securely locked. The windows are too high to climb through. There is no-one there to open for you. You keep knocking; hollow echoes within are the only result.

You sit down on a nearby rock. Should you return home? The only path open seems to be to go back and pick up the pieces of your old profession. As your sinking heart realises this unpalateable truth, you reach into your bag and fondle the bundle of paper sheets. Your much loved, carefully crafted poems, those stories born from your innermost passions, that novel chiselled out of life’s hardships; are they just items destined to be dust gatherers?

Underneath the many papers you find, at the very bottom of your travel bag, a long forgotten book. Torn, dirty pages and a tattered cover. Loose leaves, food and drink stains and the odd crumb. The title is faded but you know what it says: “The Citadel of Dreams: how to become a writer.”

This much loved book was your constant companion for many years as you honed your craft. You followed the instructions to the letter. Strange then that, as you turn the pages, you realise that you had neglected the final pages. As you read the final paragraphs you are aware that you haven’t completely followed the last instruction:

“Persevere: even the strongest door eventually gives way to those who keep on knocking.”

You turn again to that rock solid door… and knock.

And that mighty door swings gently on its hinges… and you enter.

Doing the writer’s jig

Yes – it’s happened again.

A magazine arrived in the mail a few days ago with another of my short stories published. This is the first time I’ve managed to get published in this particular magazine which makes it extra special. The publication is only quarterly, somewhat smaller than most and the editors are extremely selective with the content. Competition is rather fierce for the limited space.

And mine was the only short story chosen for this issue. Wow.

How to Start a New Blog

Neil Patel over at Pronet Advertising has written a very useful article about the first seven days of blogging. His seven points are very realistic, easy to understand and implement and an excellent guide to anyone setting up a new blog. For those who have been blogging for some time his points are timely reminders on how to enhance your blog.

He especially emphasizes the importance of sticking to your topic, interacting with your readers and being consistent with your posting.


Related articles:

Books and Writing

Sherryl Clark, an Australian writer, has a blog called Books and Writing. I have just recently discovered this fellow Australian’s blog but at my first look it seems a useful blog to read and refer to for writing hints and ideas.

Sherryl writes in her blog that, “I write, I read and I teach writing. My blog is about all three.” My first impression is that she does all three very well.

Sherryl also has a very colourful website (click here) which would be very attractive to young children. According to her “About Sherryl” page, she has had over 20 books published.

Short Fiction #18 Judy’s Mistake

Chris stared at Judy.
She blushed slightly, eyes dipped demurely.
“You didn’t?” he asked.
She was silent.
“How could you,” he went on, “after all I said about it?”
“I don’t know what came over me.”
“I can’t believe you did it!” he said.
“But,” she said, pleading her cause, “I’ve always wanted a puppy.”

All rights reserved.

Copyright 2006 Trevor W. Hampel.