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December 29, 2006A quiet view of distant mountains
This time last year I was staying at a farm in Rupanyup, a small country town set amid a great many fields of wheat. Towards the end of the day I went out for a walk. As they say in the classics, it was quiet out there. There was the occasional twittering of an occasional bird, and a hint of wind, but nothing else.
I followed a fence between two of those fields of wheat, and noticed the distinctive skyline of the Grampians some miles south. I walked for a bit, eventually coming to a road, and then I walked back the way I'd come. There had been rumours of snakes, and the field was so large that the farmhouse was invisible from the other side of it. So I followed the fence all the way back, as the Grampians faded from view, as darkness fell.
While on this walk I wrote a haiku. To be honest, I was rather hoping I could come up with a sonnet, say, or an impressive opening section of a novel in rhyme, say, but all I came up with was a single, simple haiku.
This then marks the one-year anniversary of an early evening stroll along the side of a paddock, and the five-year anniversary of the beginning of SoFo:
Troubled times in an
August 10, 2005Dear long-suffering reader ...
Well, it seems that I'm still not sure what to do about SoFo. My gut feeling, now, is to throw everything I've got into finishing my book. I don't know how long it's going to take to do this, but SoFo is likely to be a major distraction. I've considered a sort of SoFo-lite, and just doing book reviews for a while. Nothing personal, nothing demented, and definitely no short pieces about any aspect of my life. (All that stuff, potentially, is for the book.)
For someone like me, a blog is an avenue into journalism. It's an avenue that I have mixed feelings about. It's also possible that it's an avenue that I can entirely avoid. Every journalist I've ever known and just about every journalist I've ever heard of (with very few exceptions) got into that field as a way into writing books. Thirty years later, they're still journalists, but they've mysteriously become jaded and cynical. And, somehow, incapable of writing a book.
I generalise, of course. I like to fantasise that this is somehow useful.
Journalism, especially personal journalism, seems to suck up one's entire lifetime of experience and spit it out the other end in short, easily digestible segments. It's something I can do, but it's something I no longer want to do, except in song. Even if I can't clearly explain why, I want my book to tell a longer story, of one part of my life. And, along the way, to use the image of man-falls-over-twig-and-lands-in-swamp as a way into talking about the world in which we live.
I may well be wrong, but what I'm thinking now is: this is the best use of my talents. If I put SoFo aside for a while, it's because I'm aiming higher.
July 29, 2005Houston, we have a problem
Well, there I was. Living in monastic retreat, secluded from the world of blogging, sheltered from the world of car parks and shopping centres, sequestered from the modern world.
Yep, there I was. Hiding.
It was all going rather well, actually.
But then Houston gave this site some high-falutin' praise, which is great, except there's no recent evidence that might explain that praise.
So if he sent you, you might want to look at one of the pieces he always liked. Or, given that a return to active duty on SoFo now looks more or less inevitable, you could start with one of the pieces that I never quite got right, which I'll be revisiting in the months ahead.
And if two choices aren't enough, there's a surprise third option. For a limited time only, you might want to take over my spot in the monastery. It's a lovely place, full of history, and one of the cushions by the window is still warm.
July 21, 2004The middle of the end of something
Any minute now I'm going to walk out the door, get into the Kombi Van, and drive to Queensland.
I'll be away for at least six weeks, and possibly up to three months. There might be a new entry in that time, but it's not hugely likely.
This, then, marks the end of SoFo, or the beginning of the end, or some other point on the beginning/end spectrum.
I have every intention of one day resuming active duty here, but for the moment I have other priorities. The main one is finishing a book.
In the meantime, I'd like to thank everyone who's come to my site. Extra big thanks go to everyone who's made a comment, sent an email, or offered encouragement.
The Kombi awaits, as does a long journey.
June 30, 2004Concentration levels hit lifetime low
Sean Hegarty's ability to concentrate on anything has reached a lifetime low, it has been revealed. "If I thought it was bad when I was a six month old baby, it's worse now," admitted the frustrated writer, before just sort of drifting off again.
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