Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tweeting and Dishwater Hands

I feel I am being stretched too thin by my blog, my Red Room blog, my Wisefire page, Facebook, Twitter and the ongoing promotion of my book. I feel stretched out into the ether and take my therapy in gardening and nature walks.

Except for my blog, I've been hornswaggled into these other platforms by people, like my publisher, who insisted they were invaluable in ongoing publicity on the web. I've even been tweeting a poem or two on Twitter line by line. Who reads it I don't know. I do know I have very little time to read all the stuff that comes my way and still have a life in the real world. Net overload? But what else would I do with my time? Plenty, I suppose. Yet this carnival of digital souls is a wonder and presages a new world, an even smaller world, where if you want, I suppose, you can know the kind of underwear Britney has chosen immediately afterwards.

I confess that when I read our local paper, The Press Democrat of Sonoma, I often glance first at the celebrity page on the inside of the front cover. Many of the celebrities I've never heard of, which bespeaks my age, but news about others comfort me like weather reports. And then there's always the downfall of the mighty which we all secretly wish.

The question is, how much does this exhalation into the ether affect your personality? No doubt it leads to a form of cybernarcissism, where our thoughts and deeds are magnified by the easy utility of web platforms. Obama used this with great aplomb, but he had 100 monkeys typing to do it, or more.

The age of the sound bite has now produced tweeting, the new path to notoriety. Who will be the champion tweeter? Who cares? Can you imagine "Blogging with the Stars?" Or "Tweeting with the Rolling Stones? Smart, current marketing people urge a web presence, and I had an article written about me ten years ago entitled, "A Presence on the Net."

Has my presence increased? Actually, since stopping The Melic Review in 2006, my presence has decreased, as I am no longer an editor at large whom writers aim to please. Now I am just like any other poet submitting to journals, with no special powers. Ending Melic when I did seemed right, but I wish I had the team to resurrect it. It's all about finding a literary webmaster, no small ticket.

To be fair, I did transition to blogging, though a little late, yet my highest average readership has been around 60. If I don't post frequently it naturally drops.

Friday I'll announce the winners of the poetry contest. If there are any laggers who still want to submit, send your best poem to cechaffin at gmail dot com. The winners will receive a signed hardback copy of "Unexpected Light," a book you simply must have if you've been a reader of this blog. It has many poems where I deal with the demon of depression that I blogged about here two years running.

My wife gave me a great gift the other day: If I would wash the dishes nightly, she would take over the finances. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have that burden off of my back. I have been awful at it, as I'm sure my credit score would reflect, but you can't be good at everything. In fact, I have a neurosis about money. It always seemed to make my family of origin unhappy.

God has always provided for me and my family and I thank him for it. Given my level of poor budgeting and living hand-to-mouth, it surely is a miracle to have such a burden lifted for the first time in my adult life. A helpmate indeed! Easily worth my dishwater hands.

Kiloneutral but a little anxious,



  1. "I wish I had the team to resurrect it."

    What does this mean exactly? -blue

  2. Beau--That I had the requisite expertise through co-workers to resurrect the magazine, a reliable webmaster being the most necessary partner in the enterprise. I am not html savvy and besides, editing takes up too much time to do both. If I could find a webmaster with literary interests, I'd re-open the Review.

  3. James Wilk5:19 AM PDT

    Turning over the checkbook and budgeting to my wife was the best thing I ever did.

  4. "a reliable webmaster with literary interests"

    I must know a dozen webmasters with literary interests. The absolute best is a guy named Dylan Shorer. He works for Stanford Business School. The best freelance webmaster I know of is Sun McNamee of Virtual World Studios. Third, fourth and fifth best would be Dima Orlov, Bill Cash and myself. You want their email addresses?

    Personally, I'd love to see you resurrect your Review.



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Unexpected Light

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