Blog Restoration / Writing Time

An update on the restoration work front (said front being caused by F*ckbucket's new 3rd Party Hostage rules):

The kitchen section has been fully re-equppied with its according photos.

Several opera posts (not always in chronological order) have been rescued as well, but due to the sheer amount of them, this category will take longer.

Larger opera posts restored within the past few days, amidst cursing and more cursing, include:

Most of my limited blogging time continues to go into these restoring efforts at the moment, which is why there are fewer posts overall.

(the TDU recaps, though I plan to get to them eventually, will have to wait at the end of the line simply because they are very photo-heavy and not a priority at the moment)

These restoration efforts also take over what little I had managed to organize as fiction writing time this summer, to finally continue with "Stages", which is stuck in the middle of Chapter 16 even though the outline through to chapter 30+ is done and detailed.

I have to admit that I am not very motivated at the moment. The Writing Desk is riding on a wave of popularity since early spring, with about a dozen new folks coming through per week to read works (particularly the larger novel-length ones). You wouldn't know about that, though, because none of them ever leaves as much as a note after the final chapter saying "thanks for the time you invested into this".

There are quite a few people coming through who pass by, download every chapter of every story in a mammoth session, and disappear with the loot.

And it is an attitude that has come to aggravate me.

I don't write because I want large reading crowds, or because I want lots of feedback. I write because I want to tell stories (if I wanted popularity, I'd write elsewhere and advertise it). I am content with the small living-room feel around here. And strangers walking in without an introduction, emptyting the shelves and walking out again without a word, disrupt that feel.

I got into fandom writing at a time where fandom was smaller and interacted with their artistically active folks, be they visual and writing, in a different way. It was less anonymous, and imbued with a bigger sense of community and respect towards the workforce of your fellow fandom people. And I find myself missing that sharply these days, to a point where it influences my dedication to posting my writings publicly online.

Into my stories, particularly into the larger ones, I put a lot of background research time. Writing and editing is a lengthy process. And much of the reading attitude I notice lately, even in such a private corner as this personal blog, is akin to people expecting to buy a handcrafted, intricate and personalized piece of wardrobe or furniture at the price of  cookie-cutter factory mass produce. Worse, it entails treating that handcrafted piece – and your workforce that has gone into it – like an automatically fabricated, no-effort, low-cost piece of soulless drivel. It takes the artesan completely out of the equation.

And I am realizing these days that I do not deal well with that.

I don't want to take things offline – they were written to pass the joy of writing them onto those interested in reading them – but I don't want the blog to feel like a place that has a sign stuck on the front lawn saying "just pillage here" when I sit down with what in many instances have become friends to share thoughts and liveblog shows, either.


20 thoughts on “Blog Restoration / Writing Time”

  1. So good you rescued Rinaldo (now you immediately made me head over there again)! And the Semiramide Problems are unimpaired as well, I see!
    This time-consuming stuff happening must be very annoying, I’m sorry!
    About people reading/copying fiction and not leaving comments, I understand it must feel weird, but I’m not sure it necessarily means they don’t value your work and efforts. Probably there are at least some among them who are just very shy or don’t want to give out their email… So chapter 30? A lot to look forward to!


    1. one of the core reasons I leae anonymuos comments enabled is that people – and some have done so over the years – may comment anonymously.

      Perhaps I am just having a few days of melancholy, and thinking too much about workforce after Saturday’s Carmen liveblog.


    1. Haha! Anonymity works! I shall use it henceforward whenever WP decides that mangey little blogspotter stray is too low rent for WP’s august environs!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Only in two cases, and that does not require any interaction.

      Alas, the ones reading this are the ones whom I feel I owe an explanation for slow progress, those who just pass through to empty the shelves, so to speak, will not see this anyway. It is more a philosophical argument either way, on awareness of people behind things. I think seeing this so systematically makes me contemplate the change that, to me, was not that obvious before.


  2. Hope you will be able to snap out of the melancholy mood Anik. By having your writing in the open it allows for people like me, Agathe, Towanda, Stray, and many others to join in and become engaged in the exchange / conversation, which built this wonderful community / support we treasure. At the same time, having it in the open does make the content/persona vulnerable to stealing or stalking or a host of other unpleasantness that can come with the net. I don’t know how one can balance the “having a close knit” feeling versus knowing that things on this blog are out there and everyone can have access for whichever purpose. I hope you can stay with the spirit of not letting, as we say in Vietnamese, a (many?) caterpillar(s) ruin the soup pot.. But at the same time, you write when you feel you can express without needing to be bothered by some external interference.. and if it gets to that I will fully understand if you need to take action to bring things back to your comfort level.

    On a cheer-up note, i love how Agathe was mentioning about the blue suit and brown shoes being discussed this past “season”, we have had two seasons already 🙂 . and jeah, i have certain memory of a certain blue suit too…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. But that suit came with black shoes, didn’t it? (Hey an excuse to go back and check it out…)

      Thank you for your kind words. And I think my belief in sharing still wins out. And I remember how much happiness I was given by fellow writers out there, for many years. And of course that happiness did not have to do with them personally (one does not want to be inappropriate and at first, I never thanked writers because I did not want to burden or bother them with my reaction), but it had to do with their work and with paying tribute to their time and effort – much like we talk about shows and singers’ work – and that, in the end, is like standing in the artesan’s workshop and appreciating an object more for being aware of the work that has gone into it.

      There are just those days… and who knows, there might simply be people who come over and read the same story once a week or month a month? All I see is the WP stats for the stories rising more, and usually for all the chapters in a row. And of course it is also an appreciative reaction to one’s stories when they apparently get pointed out in social networks, with people being directed this way. I should simply ignore the WP alerts of “Hey! Your post X is getting a lot of hits!” 😉


      1. (jeah, black shoes i believed. i remember watching them intently and how they lead the tie…)

        and jeah, i think there’s a way to appreciate someone for their work, by really see the work and how much they have contributed, not so much about the authors themselves. SP was very sweet to my comments.

        but you know, there’s such a thing as binge reading… i think i once cleaned out your white-shirt drawers 😀

        in the end, i think there will always things that will be troublesome.. and as long as it does not put you in harm, i wonder if you just have to ignore else they’d just take over and put dark clouds everywhere through negative feeding.. not worth it! (blue suit helps!!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Actually, when I was reading your stories I was doing the same thing, copying all chapters to have one file to send to my electronic reading device which is just much more comfortable than reading on the laptop. And I don’t think I left many comments, I think for the same reasons your mentioned, like not wanting to intrude, not being sure if this would be welcome, especially since most discussions in the comments are of previous years.
        So this behaviour does not automatically mean the reader does not value your writing, quite the opposite: very much appreciated and thank you for all the work that has gone into this! (and when the next stages chapter comes out, I will spam your comment section :-))


        1. Thank you for your perspective, that does make sense.
          And it is not that I necessarily look for feedback (which is nice, but not really the point), but that a more mass-platform oriented behavior in a pretty small circle of regulars like here, sometimes frustrates me – perhaps unjustly so.


  3. I absolutely agree with Agathe on ‘not wanting to intrude, not being sure if this would be welcome’ or sometimes one person might have tried to show their appreciation, how much your work meant to them and unintentionally and regretfully loused up big time and decided to back off. Leaving no comment, ‘emptying the shelves’, as you said, they enjoyed reading, and pondering about them on their own, sparing the artisan from their unsolicited comments/reaction, their emotional package.


    In some instances, they may felt that your stories have travelled with them through hard times, and good times. There may be one occasion when they could not eat any roasted almonds for a whole week! Or, cried senselessly after reading Rosa’s death, after remembering a dear one who had finally passed away after suffering three days in a coma before their eyes.  And, there may definitely times it felt so safe thanks to your stories again while knowing that there will be blo*dshed in a couple of hours and they will be needed to rescue whatever is left to be rescued.


    Anik, you never know how, when, and where your work (not only your stories, but your reviews as well) may find those who are interested in reading them, who need them in their lives! Some of these people may be terrified to unintentionally offend you, or to not be able to explain themselves correctly and thoroughly.


    I do not know how to wrap this up. I thank you for all your workforce, and generously sharing your thoughts, stories, reviews here.


    You all stay safe!




    1. Hi Sevil,

      thank you for your input. And reasons like the ones you mention are the cause I have my work out in the open. Thanks for reminding me.

      I remember well nights passed in reading at an earlier age, when I had just discovered the generous scene of online writing, and the happiness others made possible without asking for anything back.
      It is unfortunate that the people who have made me write this post will most likely never read it.

      True, some people (in unsafe countries, or in an unsafe condition) cannot weigh in, and I think it really boils down, as I already said to towanda, to a simple ‘thank you’.
      It is a gift if readers share their reaction to your work with you beyond that ‘thank you’, but I have no rights to those feelings (just as they have none to mine) – they are private. As you said, nobody knows in what context these stories will be a source of good things to someone, and it is not my place to to ask to know that.

      Years ago, a woman wrote to me after a nasty divorce, saying that “Campus” brought back her belief in romance. As a writer, that’s a monumental thing to hear about one’s work, and it was wonderful to hear, but all I would have asked for, or hoped for, is that “thank you for your work”.

      And really, if just one in a dozen readers were in a position and had the thoughtfulness to do that, there would not be the occasional frustration on my part of feeling my workforce being treated with disregard.
      Though I do recognize, and more clearly now, that there are two sides to it when it comes to not wanting to intrude, which is a decision to be respected. It is something that reminds me of the dynamics with singer interaction: the works of some singers have been huge motors for me personally, but I think my place is to say “thank you for your work”, at most. Mostly, not even that (a professional singer gets my money and applause, so there is a sort of received recognition involved) because my impression has always been that ‘after the show’ is ‘after the show’, and, from my years in opera, I remember singers just wanting to go home, or to have a drink at the pub with their friends.
      I also remember them basking in audience compliments, and then coming to the pub later glowing with happiness, but it is indeed a thin line that can be easily crossed: What is perceived as disregarding as singer’s work, and what is seen as disregarding their right to their private time and lives? I try to be very mindful of that even on the blog, often insisting to keep it to the work of a singer. – I still remember a young singer I worked with who had to deal with a very enthusiastic audience member who crossed the line between work and private life repeatedly, wanting the singer to respond to the feelings her work had caused in him, and it took a toll on the entire team (we were all very young, and had not yet learned how to defend boundaries well). So in contexts away from writing, I think I often stay silent myself, out of respect.

      In the end, I hope I give enough respect for the work that goes into an interpretation (e.g. in a review), yet respect the lines that move beyond work (it is a reason why I barely ever show up at stage doors unless it is colleagues I have worked with).

      Thanks for making me think about this some more, and not just in relation to writing.
      Take care and stay safe, too!


  4. I want to just add my deep gratitude for you taking the time to do this, it is its own gift in a way, to be sure this space is as you want it for yourself and this little community of us who hang out here.

    I hear you about the writing, as someone whose work has often been unappreciated or just taken outright. I support you doing whatever you need to do to feel right about it. Nothing wrong with having some boundaries and certainly yes, it would be nice if readers left even a simple thank you.


    1. It is a combination of various things, and all of your input here has definitely adjusted my perspective, so thank you for that.

      Stories meant to give joy/engagement are one thing (even if one, at times, feels protective of them), perhaps more one-directional (they could be hosted elsewhere), our cirlce of livebloggers and commenters is another.

      And I don’t want to be whining for recognition (I have no tolerance for writers who say “I will only post the next chapter after X feedback notes”), least among this group of commenters who have already given so much of it. Unfortunately, you’re the ones having to listen to my momentary bout of “Oh, if just one in a dozen would say ‘thank you for your work’, that would be great.”

      You know the challenges of a profession that is about giving; it is what it is, but it reminds me of your words on self-care, too: that, at times, everyone is in need of a bit of validation to continue on giving.

      And you are right in that it is all about that simple thank you. Some may not be able to do that, not even anonymously (I always worry when I see flags pop up of coutries where being gay is outlawed, and hope people are careful and safe), but others might. And I care about that kind of attitude towards others, in general.


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