Coming soon, my books of the year

I aimed to read 40 books this year. According to the good folk at GoodReads I’ve read 35, with a couple on the go. I might not quite get there.

Nevertheless, I will be publishing my annual book of the year awards soon! I enjoy looking back on the year and what I enjoyed and, as so often happens in reading, one book leads to another.

You can see my previous winners listed HERE.

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. It’s nice feedback and, though I really started this blog to explore my own thinking, it’s nice to think that it’s sometimes of interest to others.  Thanks everyone who’s read, or commented this year. Happy New Year!

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Reflecting: the blogging journey

Late last year I was at a book launch of a new book of poems and was chatting to a poet I’ve known for a long time but hadn’t seen for some time. He asked me, half interested but half doubtful and incredulous too, ‘are you still writing your poetry stuff online?’ I said that I was and he was too polite to literally shake his head in bemusement or confoundment or something, but he may as well have. The unspoken was ‘why do you bother?’

It’s a conversation that came back to me this week as, being on holidays, I’ve had time to looks at some new poems and contemplate the writing year ahead. Should I bother with the blog? I’ve read in some places that blogging is dead and that the interest has moved to micro-blogging like Twitter (which I also use, for a different purpose). Would it be better to put all my scant time and attention to the poems themselves, and leave the reflecting elsewhere?

Which is what I should have told the puzzled poet I was trying to do here. Reflect on my writing. Reflect on my reading. Share some of that, and some of the good things I’ve found along the way. It’s as much for my benefit as anyone else’s; to overtly think about the writing process and progress.

All of that. So, I’m going to keep on blogging for the moment. Irregular as I am with all this, and if I see that poet again I’ll be clearer about what the purpose is for me.

Photo: Yarra Reflections by Warrick (2007)

Ten Years After

The series of radio and tv specials this week recalling the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2011 as the tenth anniversary of that terrible day draws near reminds me that this blog too is ten years old this month.

I started this poetry blog because I was fascinated with the internet thing and not confident that the static web site would draw readers in. I’m not sure there’s lots of readers here either, but I admit to another motive: to record for myself my own thinking and reflecting on writing and reading. That’s still my main reason for writing this.

The first entry was on September 8, 2001 and I announced it as:

thoughts, meditations, reflections; what’s going on with my writing and reading, an ongoing saga!

I’m pretty sure I didn’t think that I might be writing it ten years later. Ongoing indeed.  The first few posts were ‘walk’ posts, along the edge of Port Phillip Bay, labelling the driftwood, the shape of the waves and the weather. I had an idea for a poem too on the day of 9/11, as I wrote in my blog that night before going to bed not knowing what was going to happen overnight in NY:

Walked along Bird Rock beach this morning in the cold wind; early enough to be the first footprints for the day; choppy little waves and not a lot of beach but good to see the concrete remains of something (pier?) again unburied at the point. The foundations come and go irregularly. No seal sighted this morning, but I was thinking of trying to write a poem about that encounter a few weeks ago and the line ‘webbed hand’ kept coming to me. I thought of the Barry Lopez book I’ve been reading; “Arctic Dreams” and his encounters with nature.

Odd to find as well a balloon still inflated and jammed under the low bushes, then a green tennis ball floating in the shallows and finally an orange in the sand; these three round shapes in all the wind and sand and flat shapes of the world.

Walking up the steps I thought that the platforms (31 in all) would make a fine idea for a walk poem; but walking up to the road, or down to the beach? Each platform different and unique; like a stage in life or ascension (how many stages of the cross are there?) Then if it was platform would that be too railway-like an image? Could be a poem there though? 9/11/2001

It did become a poem. Much later. And the blog has morphed and ebbed and flowed as life and the energy you have for writing and reading ebbs and flows too. It is part diary, part journal, part reflection, part publicity, part reading log, part conversation. Probably not quite enough conversation. But that’s okay too.

Ten years later I’m still writing this. Still reading and trying to write poems. I still go down to Bird Rock Beach and walk that uneven edge that makes me limp along in the late yellow sunlight, with the bay and the birds and ideas coming ashore sometime like weathered green tennis balls.

Poetry Pages Updated

I spent a day or so over the cold mid-year break moving my poetry home page from an HTML based construction I’d created myself to the same sort of WordPress platform that this blog runs on. You might not notice much difference; the address and much of the content remain the same but it might mean that I’m able to concentrate more on the content, and less on getting the back-end all working correctly. I learned a fair bit about how to use Dreamweaver, and how to write HTML but I’d rather be coding the poetry itself. For the record, this is what the old poetry page looked like on the day I closed it down and moved it across.

The new poetry page is at http://warrickwynne.org/