" I am sitting here typing ... and I just felt like a prickly ghost of static wind. "

Right. They've just told me that I now have to say something about both of 'them' in my journal for what happened to be an unfortunate event. So I shall.

( Ah! well, we'll figure something out for us to do next time that will be fun for everyone. )

And in the meantime...

I think this blog tends to be sort of seasonal. There are seasons where I just seem to be answering questions, and seasons when I seem mainly to post bizarre unwanted expressions, and seasons when it's essays on feelings and love, or on home life, or whatever. It's accumulated about a million words of burble over nearly two years. When I started the blog, somewhere early of 2004, I just wanted to tell people what it was like to follow a life from imperfection to naivety. I continued writing it because there are actually people reading it and I really appreciated the instantaneous and unmediated access to the world, whether I wanted to talk about freedom of speech or link to a man obsession with mortal love and impulsive emotion.

I don't think I'm particularly evasive, or even close-chested, about my personal views. (Mostly what I am politically is vague and non-specific.)

Well, you're writing to communicate. Unless part of what's important about the story is that the reader not understand something, if you're using a word or term that you know most people reading won't understand, then explaining it somewhere, somehow, not necessarily the first time you use it, is a wise idea.

As for how you do it, that's my call. If you do it with enough assurance, you can simply tell people things. Or you can have your characters tell people things. Or you can footnote it in your mind. Or have a dancing paperclip leap in and explain, then fly out of the story never again to be seen. As you say, do what you think best: that's the joy of being a writer. You get to make your own rules and build your own worlds, and things happen the way you want, because you say so.


Q : How do you define 'people' in your head?

A : Mostly what I do is research without knowing that's what I'm doing. I'll get obsessed with things and want to know all about them, without having much of a reason that I can articulate, then ten years later I'll realise that it's composted down into somewhere that a story is growing.

But I'll do both, often on the same project. I'll write until I need to find something out (how do you perform an autopsy?), then find it out. Or I'll go and find everything I can out ahead of time (I wonder how it's like there?), and then forget it during the writing process. I never write out full dossiers on characters and so forth, because I'd rather put the time into writing them and find out that stuff that way, but I don't think there's anything wrong with doing the dossier method, it's just not for me. (I don't think there's anything wrong with any method of writing that gives you a book at the end of it.)

It occurs to me that if I actually reach down and touch this 'people', the immediate result will be a lot like ... amazing.