I wrote an essay about Masha Tupitsyn's Love Dog entirely in tweets.
I wrote here about why it seemed appropriate to do this. It wasn't meant to be a gimmick but it was an experiment - in finding out whether I could write something with structure and direction, and also use the strengths of such a fragmented and aphoristic medium.
One of the most interesting things that happened over the few days I tweeted the piece was that I lost, as well as gained, Twitter followers, including a few with whom I'd had conversations, or who had followed (mutually) for a while. It felt oddly personal.
It's difficult to define the range of things Twitter is for, and to intuit when testing the boundaries of what can be done with it can look, for some, like overstepping a mark. Like most tweeters, my Twitter account is 'personal', held together by an avatar pic of me which implies some kind of relatively traditional idea of identity contiguous with what you'd experience if you met me IRL. @kthrdgwy wrote an excellent blogpost about how personal Tweets are personal, but function as public 'asides' born of a peculiar compulsion to tell a large audience things you'd never consider saying out loud. I'd link to the post - only I think he's taken his blog down.
I use Twitter for a combination of the personal and the professional (I find I can rarely make an entirely clear division) and the accounts I like to follow combine curatorial tweets, a degree self-promotion (yes, I do want to know when you've published something, and I'm delighted you're proud enough to say so) with info on what you've had for breakfast or whatever.
Many Twitter accounts are set up to publish a work, and are accepted as such. I don't mean the accounts of journals or organisations, but accounts clearly run by one person where the persona is dominantly that of the work. @lifeinauthoring and @999rooms do this in different ways, though both are showing signs of sliding into the interesting category of accounts where this is still largely, but no longer exclusively, the case - eg @richard_littler and @AnatomyNorbiton. Twitter is mission creep: as you gain followers, some of whom might be friends IRL, the temptation to interact 'personally' grows.
However, amongst the fair number of people I follow, I can't think of anyone who regularly uses a personal Twitter account to publish work. @Egangoonsquad used @nyerfiction to write Black Box. @george_szirtes is a rare writer who uses his personal account to, also, tweet work, as is @lifeasweshowit herself, who tweeted Laconia before I followed her.
The uncomfortable feeling that I'd done something not quite proper in tweeting my essay led me to more than one apologetic tweet, and this sensation became - for me - an important part of the experiment. I feel slightly uncomfortable writing about this effect here too. If there seem to be a number of unwritten rules about how Twitter is, and should be, used, there seem to be more about how, and whether, this can be discussed. It's something Kate Zambreneo writes about often on her blog which, like her twitter account, she periodically retires - an entirely rational response to the nervous fan-dance of making Internet identity.
If you'd like to read my Berfrois tweet-essay, you can find the whole thing here.
(My drawing of @lifeasweshowit is from another piece I wrote for Berfrois earlier this year.)
copies of my short story, Hauptbahnhof arrived in the post. Lovely cover by Christiana Spens - I haven't worn one of those plastic hair grabbers for a long time - Courier font, my faviourite. You can buy one here, at Galley Beggar Press.
If you've read it, tell me what you think.
(yes, I know that's asking for trouble...)
Someone suggested my drawings would make good tattoos so I made some (temporary) ones.
This is a sheet of 10 of my drawings of writers, plus a few bonus books. You can go out with a choice of Clarice Lispector, Marguerite Duras, Joan Didion, Miranda July, Sheila Heti, Simone de Beauvoir, Oscar Wilde, Deborah Levy, Quentin Crisp, or Ann Carson on your arm (or whichever part of your anatomy you prefer).
The tattoos work out at £1 per author, which is not bad when you look at similar on Etsy, etc. This includes worldwide postage and printed instructions. You can buy the writers in sets of 5 or 10 figures (set 1 is Lispector/Duras/Didon/July/Heti, set 2 is de Beauvoir/Wilde/Levy/Crisp/Carson, set 3 is all 10 writers) and pay via Paypal or buy me a book or books that cost about the same. Please email badaude-at-gmail-dot-com or leave me a message below if you'd like a set.
To prove they work, here are a few of the tattoos in action. (Apologies -you'll notice the already-poor phone quality of the photos degenerates as alcohol is added.)
Elliot reading Metamorphosis with book tattoos:
Me with Marguerite Duras:
Seb with Ann Carson:
Rachel with Quentin Crisp:
Juliet with Oscar Wilde:
Lauren with Simone de Beauvoir:
Oops I seem to have published something. It will soon be available here.
I've had a few requests for copies of my Oxford May Day poster, which has been all over Oxford bus stops during the last month or so.
I can't get hold of original posters at this size, but am making a limited-edition signed and numbered giclee print (10 prints only) of the poster, size A3. They're printed on conservation grade paper with pigment inks so the colours will probably be brighter and last longer than the poster version. If you'd like a print, they're £25 + £5 p&p in the UK, £10 p&p for the rest of the world. You can pay by Paypal or UK cheque, or if neither of these options work you can buy me books to the value of the price of the poster + postage. Get in touch if you'd like one - badaude-at-gmail-dot-com.
(ish) for internet writing as writer-in-residence at Necessary Fiction.
"I am more than painfully conscious that this is my last post for Necessary Fiction, and on a bank holiday too (though not across the world: that’s the virtue of the Internet). Am I still here? It being a day off and that, does the internet close its data banks? Did it close them during the disappearing hour last night when winter turned - officially - to summer?
I did disappear, as did this site, half way through the month: a gap of snow when I was stuck in Paris, lonely as anyone can be in this day and age. It took me an age to get out. Days later I still had WIFI: why did it take so long to transport my body?"
Read more here.
If you're interested in some of the things that happen to writing on the internet, you should also read Bobbi Lurie at 3:AM magazine.
...at Necesssary Fiction where I am writer in residence this month.
I must have been thinking about Easter because a lot of fluffy chicks & stuff seem to have crept into this post later on.
Find the whole thing here: In the meantime here's a egg-cerpt (sorry)
Ex-wife diaries #4 Farm/Fame
(…Back to my
, inside which my diary nests.)
But, wait - what about that film deal I mentioned in post 2? Well it could always happen. The strangest things occur on the internet, even the transformation of everyday life into something workable on a screen.
You see I wouldn’t like you to think I’m being amateurish about my diaries or about this
I’m a professional - or, at least, always potentially. I have to make that clear before I begin. Am I being paid? Well, no, but I sit down at my desk in the morning exactly as if it’s my job to get out my laptop and begin to type. And I look professional, despite the fact you can’t see whether I am wearing pyjamas (which I am not). I’m a real writer - a pro, not a con, no more or less self-made than all the rest.
What defines me as a professional? Is it being paid to profess, to be a professor? Imagine me being a professor: teaching a class, hands clasped around a stick behind my back, funny hat, black cape… But a professor isn’t named for the public role: a professor is always an amateur - literally a lover - of his profession: unworldly, absent-minded - any payment for what he does is incidental. Why should he feel the least anxiety? He has tenure. That come from the French, I think: tenir - the verb, to hold - and also, tenue, an outfit - that silly costume professors wear in order to look the business (not that I would dream of wearing any such thing, especially on top of my pyjamas). But then I wouldn’t dream, even in my most absent mind, of teaching anyone a lesson.