Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

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Because I'm So Beautiful, More Images of Me

Yeah, I know. Another image of me. Perhaps I'll turn my blog into a daily exercise of posting images of myself--tomorrow, reclining on the couch naked!

Anyhow, yesterday, I went over to Lan's place, and we did the author photo thing that I am now required to have. Since images of me pop up on this thing every now and then, and we know how, generally speaking, they're kinda awful, I think we can all be suitably impressed by this. In case you're wondering, this is my Serious-But-Not-too-Serious-and-Happy-But-Not-too-Happy-Try-to-Smile-With-Your-Eyes-Stand-In-This-Creek-Bed look. The photo is by Lan Do.

During it, Lan told me about the fashion shoot that she has planned for Saturday, and which will run the whole day, and require a lot of planning--which models will wear what, what the photo as a whole will be, and all of that. A lot of planning, much more than anything I do with writing. I just sit and fiddle and push and eventually, it begins to work, but planning?

Every now and then, you know, it strikes me that this blog has changed over the last year or so. It used to be that I wouldn't put any kind of personal details up here, and that it would be mostly reviews, and opinions, and all of that; but things change, I guess. Well, I know they have. After 26lies I got more into the autobiographical writing which, I suppose, you can see here and in Nowhere Near Savannah. It's a different strand to the weird shit where you try to shave all your personality out of the work so that it can exist without having the spectre of yourself hanging over it. That's not so much a problem for all authors, or indeed, all work, but I do tend to find it gets a bit predictable. As much as I love the work of Haruki Murakami, for example, there are times when I think he should get over the music loving, smoking, ordinary man who populates all of his novels. Not so much his short fiction, mind, which has always had a fine variety to it, but the books, yeah. It takes you out of your comfort zone to do a different kind of writing, really, and it's being out of that comfort zone that gets you spinning in the most interesting ways.

I've noticed recently, that when I sit to write short fiction, it's becoming slightly more difficult because I don't want to repeat myself so much. I'm not real well known, so it doesn't much matter except to ten or so people who read my shit regularly--and if I sold the work to enough varied places, I doubt the audience would ever really overlap. It's one of those things I focus on though. When I look at a story and see a similar structure, a similar thematic concern, and similar writing techniques, I find myself stalled. It's a new thing this, but I literally stop. I sit there and I realise that I've done this before, and that I can't do it again, and I sit there, and I begin to think around it, to push and nudge and try and find a new way to do something. Which means it takes a bit more time, these days, to write a short story for those ten or so people.
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