I’ve been watching the social media sites for years like a little girl peeping out behind her mother’s skirt. My Facebook homepage pretends it belongs to a chook who never clucks. Twitter – now that was a exciting find. Not so much for the tweets but for the links to the articles attached to Paris Review, the New Yorker, Page Turner, L.A. Times Books, et al. But this bird never tweeted.
I bombarded my students with things I’d found on-line. After reading Pico Iyer’s article in the LA Times I became obsessive about the cumulative sentence. I urged them to follow my passion for the Americans: Jonathon Safron Foer’s experimental fiction, Amy Hempel and Jennifer Egan. I forced on them tantalising quotes from The Paris Review Interviews hoping they’d read the whole.
When one of my students, Aidan Walsh, was chosen to pitch his impressive novel, Voyage of the Game Bird, to a panel of agents and publishers at the Conflux 9 convention in April, he wrote about the experience on his blog . He was generous in giving his valuable insights to anyone who might benefit from them. It made me ashamed that I had taken advantage of the wisdom, experience and hardwork of a community of writers and given nothing in return.
So here’s my contribution to the wider world of writing. I hope you’ll join me in The Writers’ Life.