on writing photography life

Category: Writing

“Unsent Letters” eBook

Quite a few people have asked why I didn’t publish this as an eBook. I had no good answer except that I personally do not like them.

This, however, isn’t a very good reason, so I have now made an ePub edition for those who find electronic books more accommodating.

EDIT:  Because I don’t put fiction or poetry on this blog any more, I have to direct you to my other, largely neglected blog where I have posted the first chapter of the book: Read me as though I am glass.


Unsent Letters

UL-frontcoverI have been, slowly, ever so slowly, preparing a book on, and I have finished it finally. It is available here.

Like any book worth writing, it has a long history in my life. It has been through some two dozen revisions, almost three dozen publishers, one court case in which my ex-wife used an early draft to try and show why I should be denied access to my children, and a lot of soul searching. Many friends refused to read it when I first told them about it, because it dealt with an older man’s love for a teenager below the age of consent. I am pleased to say that every one of them, when they at last girded their loins and read it, applauded the work even if they didn’t agree with my ideas, and several of them helped with the editing and revisions.

Publishers, on the other hand, were less than forthcoming. One editor from Scribner’s in New York, however, thought it was very good. She actually showed me her lack of notes on the material she read and seemed amazed that I had managed such good writing. (I didn’t know whether to be offended or laugh; in the end I just took it as a compliment.) Others stated that they liked the book, (a rarity to get any feedback at all, let alone positive comments) but all were determined that they could not publish it. You might think, as a result, that I describe torrid sex and nastiness, but no. Essentially, it is a piece of philosophic thought on the nature and acceptability of sex and love with a young adult, thirteen years old, about how something like that may take place and the morality of such a relationship. This discussion takes place within the context of various traumatic events in the narrator’s life.

Whether or not I am advocating this type of sexual relationship in this book is something other people will have to decide, though some will say yes and damn the book without reading it.

The Scribner’s editor advised self-publishing as the best way to go, so that’s what I’ve done.

I have corrected the formatting and proof read the internals of the book, when it was going to be a hard cover, but have not yet ordered a proof copy of the paperback. I guess I’ll get around to that in the near future, and later the cover if it needs it. (I am, in any event, a dreadful designer of book covers.) In the meantime…. hopefully some will purchase and enjoy it, or not enjoy it, as the case may be.


I haven’t written here for quite a while, so it is pleasant to begin the new year with an announcement of some work, Duet and Optimism being published. Not my happiest work, but there you go.

Prose/Poetry “Accusation”

This one was accepted by Islet rather a long time ago, and has finally been published. I am very happy to see it “out there”, but have to note that the online layout is a little odd, in as much as it is one single paragraph of prose, but appears (on everything I have opened it with) a little broken up. None the less, it is a perfect example of what I have spoken about in previous postings.

Somehow, one day, I would like to extend the ideas in this little piece…

Anyway, go and have a little read…

Thinking about prose/poetry —again

For the first time since 1983, I have started reading Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. (The Scott Moncrief/Terence Kilmartin edition published by Chatto & Windus in 1982)

Immediately I was taken to a mental state that I commonly associate with visual experience. This is the state which most people experience when falling in love, the state in which gazing at the beloved is an all consuming action and passion. A state in which every small feature of the beloved’s face sems to be of overwhelming importance and worthy of all focus.  This type of state is one which I experience when looking at people, things, horizons, that is, when I am really looking, not just seeing and dismissing what is around me. (This is my test of an artwork—do I want to keep looking? Am I finding something to look at after several hours? Do I find something new each time I look? Of course, I find this in works which others pass over quickly, but that is personal experience and attraction, and the subject of other ramblings, perhaps.)

Prose, for me, needs to do the same thing, and so little does this. More personally, this is what I have attempted to achieve with (some) of my work. Re-reading Proust has merely made this obvious to me, when previously I was merely wandering a little, without deeply knowing my own aims. If nothing else, I now know the direction I need to take in re-evaluating my aims and past work.

…To achieve a floating reader…  (with apologies to Milan Kundera.)

%d bloggers like this: