Gone Away ~ The journal of Clive Allen in America

A Real Blog

I have made a decision. For some considerable time I have been
wanting to explain a few things as I go along but have been
constrained from doing so by not wishing to interrupt the flow of the
Journal. I am sure that most of you have realized that what I am
doing, in effect, is writing a book, right out there in the open (if
the internet can be so described). My original idea was that I would
wait until Mad had time to construct a separate page for comments but
I have realized that he is under enough pressure as it is.

So, I have come to the conclusion that the best thing I can do is to
treat the blog as a blog - a cross between a diary and a discussion
forum. So I will insert occasional posts when there is need for
explanation or when there is news that might interest you all (I guess
that should be "y'all" now). Mad is currently working on systems for
pagination (which will make it easier for you to go where you want to)
and for readers' comments (so that you can point out all my errors and
put your point of view). These should be up and running in a few

While I am on the subject, I would like to record my thanks to Mad for
his hard work in designing and setting up my blog. It was all his
idea in the first place and he decided to build it from the ground up,
rather than use one of the bloggers that do the work for you. That
applies to his whole site too - it is entirely planned, designed and
coded by Mad. I am exceptionally proud of him and delight in being
able to say, "My son, the web developer". Please take the time to
have a look around his site - I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

I would also like to thank the friend who helped me to decide that I
should treat the blog as more than just a book. That friend is a man
named Harry and I would urge you to visit his blog at
http://wayfareingstranger.blogspot.com - I can promise you that you
will be amply rewarded. He writes with sensitivity, humor and a clear
eye (and he took the best of Blogger's templates).

Kathy and I are driving to Amarillo tomorrow (Thursday) to visit
relatives for Thanksgiving. This should give me more fuel for the
Journal but will prevent me being online for a few days.

I have set myself the goal of posting at least one episode of the
Journal per week but I strive for two. Whilst apologizing for my
slowness, I should explain also that this is an inevitable consequence
of the way I write. I hate re-writes. In fact, I don't do them,
beyond editing out mistakes and giving a few tweaks here and there.
This should be my undoing according to all the books, lectures and
courses on creative writing, but I have my excuses. I get it right
before I set finger to keyboard. That may sound arrogant but I am
trying to be honest. Before I write any sentence, I compose it
carefully, making sure that the words and phrases are right and that
the flow fits with the rest of the passage. In setting it down I am
still correcting and refining. When I have finished a piece, I read
it aloud and again edit and change until it is as good as I can get

So, I suppose you could say that I do my re-writing while I'm writing.
You could argue that I get no outside input as a result and you'd be
right. But I have to trust my instincts and insist that I will not
re-write. I would never begin if I thought that it all would have to
be re-written. Of course, that's how I feel now - but if a publisher
insisted, well, who knows? I might change my ways before you could
say Jack Robinson...


I'm an avid reader so I feel pretty confident in saying that this is very well written, very enjoyable, has made me smile and even laugh outright several times. I think it safe to say you have a good thing going here. Can't wait for the next installment. However I have one suggestion...as you start reading...it's going backwards...I would suggest you turn them around, and maybe put new addition in the list as they are added on...or number them so you can bookmark your place. Congratulations! What's wrong with these publishers????
Date Added: 28/11/2004

Thank you for your kind comments, Georgia. The reason the entries are made backwards is that it is being done as a blog (a web diary or journal). Latest entries go in at the top so that any regular readers can see immediately that more has been added. You are quite right, however, that the nature of my journal demands a more book-like presentation. Mad and I discussed this during the recent re-design but we decided to stick with the accepted format for the moment. Your suggestion has made me think again, however, and I will re-open that particular dialog with Mad. ;) I agree, also, that it would be good to have a bookmarking system of some kind in place. The browser sees all of my pages as one URL, however, so this cannot be done simply by adding a particular page to one's favorites.Mad is about to add a system called RSS that should make this possible. I will have a chat with him about this too! As regards publishers, in their defence I must mention that they haven't seen anything yet. My priority is to get my first book published (something called the Gabbler's Testament) and I am about to start my campaign to find an agent for this. Wish me luck... ;) Clive
Date Added: 28/11/2004

Hi Dad, I see that you already have a fan!! I like reading your blog, although Im quite surprised how fast you put new ones up. I useally have to read loads of entries in one go, but I can't say that I mind too much. Hee hee. Love Boogie.
Date Added: 28/11/2004

I have a question. Wheres the smoking chamleon!!!!?????
Date Added: 28/11/2004

Sorry, Boogie - I asked Mad to get rid of the smoking chameleon because it spoiled the look of the page. I know it was funny but...
Date Added: 28/11/2004

Back to the main blog

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