About. This (referring to the contents of this web site and my two "blogs") is a work in progress, an experiment. This is a text adventure: the performance of a writer, doing what writers do, but out in the open, for the "reading public." (However, to a first approximation, I assume that no one is actually reading any of this. In that sense I feel a little like Robinson Crusoe on a paper island and each page I put up here is akin to a message in a bottle. See also remarks at the end of The Angler #6 regarding Patagonia.)
Like most writers, I'm interested in creating texts that are worth reading. Unlike some writers, I'm not motivated by financial concerns since at the present I have no need of an income from my writing. Nor do I think seeking an income from writing would add anything to my work. I fear getting paid to write might even detract from my interests and even prevent me from writing the books that I've planned. For several years I wrote for money in a freelance capacity and decided that writing "on assignment" left me cold. After putting together a body of work, I took some time to assess where I was going and to consider the books that I still wished to write during the years that lay ahead of me. Given that I don't think it's realistic that a publisher or editor will commission works of the sort that interest me, I've decided to carry out an experiment in real time writing and publishing. Here's how the parts fit together:
The first two parts are (technically) not a part of this web site. Rather these parts represent an attempt on my part to make use of "social networking" and electronic publishing technology to connect directly with potential readers. In some sense, they act as a honey pot, to bring readers back to this web site.
Diary (what some might classify as a "blog") is a collection of jottings, a writer's notebook, something of a public diary about whatever happens to interest me at the moment.
Footnotes "Notes of an American Soccer Spectator" is another "blog" that (as the name suggests) is more focused on the subject of soccer, or (as most of the rest of the world calls the sport) football.
Content published on the two "blogs" serves as chronological record of the projects developing on this web site and which will be turned into books, either electronic or print. I have a couple of books already prepared and available. Now here's the idea behind this web site:
A Text Adventure is a metanarrative. In addition to essays and commentary about subjects and issues of vital interest I weave in characters, narrative elements, and stories from my unfolding fictional world. The narrator of this textual web (or narrators, as the case may be) is a construction and usually associated with a project I'm working on or have planned for the future. Upon occasion I'll grab the keyboard and write as the Author (as the case is now). This is the place where I work out ideas that I will later develop (and polish) further in my books.
What sort of content should you expect? As a rough guide, the content (drawn from my interests) falls into the following categorical groupings:
Soccer / Football. Writing about the global game from a US perspective. My special interest is viewing the game as a way of thinking about culture, consumerism, capitalism vs. Marxism, feminism etc.
Craft Beer. In addition to enjoying a tasty beverage, the craft beer and homebrewing movement is an opportunity to look at how small scale, artisan activities get mainstreamed. Craft beer and craftbrewing, as cultural activities, are a competition ground for capitalism with many brewers feeling the pressure to get big rather than stay small. I'm a localism advocate and a locavore, so craft beer is a lens into that lifestyle (think Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
Language, Culture, Identity. In the age of globalization, I have a interest in counter-globalization or localization. I have a preference for cultivating differences so that travel becomes more meaningful. Recurring themes are the Cajuns of Louisiana, Oklahoma farmers, Marxism, anti-corporate initiatives, anti-war protests, etc.
Those are the broad categories. That and my reading life. At some time scale shorter than infinity I plan on turning all this meandering research into electronic and print (perfect bound) books. Plus any other items I might decide would be interesting to put out there "on the market." Not that I'm really interested in anyone buying anything. Well, I mean, I am interested making it easy for people to read what I've written. So making it possible to get electronic and print copies of my books is a service to the potential reader since the money I make of the sales isn't enough per month even to buy me a pint of beer. (The bulk of the money goes to the ebook distributor or print-on-demand service.)