If you love London, and are uplifted by soaring poetic prose, then WATCHING SWIFTS is for you. Even if, like me, you dont know London, you will be carried away by the magical quality of this little book, which should be on everybody’s shelf. Here is a foretaste into its making from the author himself:
Ron Askew – indie author of WATCHING SWIFTS a contempory fiction set in London’s Kew Gardens
I wrote my refusnik donkey of a novella Watching Swifts in 2000 or 2001. I was stuck in the orbit of a certain proud intellect (English, Jesus College, Oxford) a super-uber-realist who steadfastly refused to follow her vibrant creative spark, who simply refused to play, having decided she was not good enough.
Such folk are black holes. All goes in, nought comes out. Most of us suffer one.
In a bit to escape said black hole’s dismal gravity, I wrote Watching Swifts as a homage to the power of dreams and beauty.
Life demands we dream because dreams inspire us to create and achieve. This is what life wants. It is how we are. A dreamless life is a poor life.
Super-uber-realists are sperm who refuse to swim, duds, inert.
We indie authors – hurrah! hurrah! – are nature’s natural swimmers. Backstrokes, Ozzy crawlers, frog-kicking butterfliers,
Old English sidestrokers, we soooo swim. God, how we do SWIM! Millions of us, keystroking our lives through the creative waters.
I have The Prodigy, HOT RIDE, blasting my brains out as I write. The lyrics are soooo indie author: “You’ve gotta push it, push it. You’ve gotta push it. Up, up, and wasy, y’hear me!”
Ach, and now Foreigner’s URGENT’S on my mind.. “I know what I need and I need it now. Urgenttttt, so urgennnntttttt! Emer-gen-ceeeeee!”
We emerging indie authors are the emergcen-cy, following our sparks for all we’re worth.
This is brilliant. We are in an exciting time. It is brilliant. I love it. I love reading new stuff. I love seeing people go for it. Old publishing is like some old skin and we, The Emergent, are sloughing it off. And it feels great.
Time for a little calming meditation: be still .. join with all .. feel new goodness flow throughout .. give anew .. be true.
One more one more. It’s how we The Emergent are, deluded dreamers, creative to a fault perfected.
So, a billion writers hit ‘upload’, and another billion stories hit the .. What? What becomes of all those words, hopes, hours, days, weeks, months,years, decades of work, life?
Most die, are lost, fail, as if they never were. And yet, if you pause for a moment here.. Listen .. Can you hear it? The sound of another billion writers around this globe keystroking away. There is a beauty in this instinct to create. It is how we humans are. It is part of what defines us. To create, to try, a collective dream.
The first billion writers meanwhile, are tweeting their hearts out: “36th 5* review #bestseller #freebie. The universe just isn’t big enough for all the tweets. It’s “only words”, I’m told. I don’t think so. Tis something more.
There is a joy in language, in being in it, as we writers are. We are lucky in that at least, because language.. Language is at the essence of what we are, what life in us is, how life expresses itself. Imagine your life without language. Imagine your English is stripped from you. Of course this happens to many of us as we grow old. But for now, while we can, we who are creatively alive follow our destinies as best we can. For the joy of it. That is what this is all about, this writing malarky, the joy of it, not sales figures, 190,000 downloads, but the joy of that moment when something happens within us. Joy. Joy. Joy, me loves!
That said. We are also slaves to the chain of demand, readers. *bows to lick reader’s ankle – no reader knowingly unlicked*
Dearest readerkins, what do you want today? Please would you tell your Golumsy here. Please o please, won’t you tellsy-wellsy me..
The readers are not for saying what they want because they don’t know until they have it.
That said I am a reader, too, a great reader in that I read a great deal. So what do I want? A book like Watching Swifts of course, me loves, that’s what I wants, a novella. Why because I love novellas, little big books: THE GREAT GATSBY, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA.
Old publishing and its retainers tell me that novellas are just not what agents and publishers want, dahling. I tweet you not, I have been told, in The Groucho Club no less, at the very core of London’s establishment. In the Mary Lou room to be exact. “Agents and publishers will not want a 44,000 worder.” That is what I was told. In other words, “Naff off and die, you worm.”
What do you think? Should we naff off and die? Or should we do a creative writing course and turn ourselves into yet another bland-brand wannabe old publishing style numpty-dumpty?
So here we my bruvs, deep in the Indie Authors’ Cage Fight, deep in the raw talent reactor of creativity, slugging away for all we are worth. No rules. No referees. Milling around up to our waists in talent, beautiful talent. Trying not to have our lungs sucked out of our chests by obsessive compulsive killer winners. You know the archetype, nine-tenths determination, one-tenth essence of evil. Trying, trying, o so trying.
No one knows who runs the gig, why it is as it is, where it’s going. All we know is that we are in the midst of it, loving it, living it, that we are primal parts of something big, bold and beauteously wild. Some die, some fly, some kill, some thrill, all made the more alive for being in this moshing mill of hopes and dreams emergent hot.
I tweet you not, THIS! it what it is to be an indie author bigging it up in search of eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes. Sighs.
And should we ever be lucky enough to find ourselves out in space, out on the wing, with a ball of swirling, whirling words a-hurtling towards our inky hands.. with a gap up ahead and a view of the line.. Should it fall to us to make the catch of our lives, to run, faster, to run, faster! faster! than the chasing pack.. to hurl ourselves across said line.. to slam our word-catch down with all our might, secure in the primal certitude that we were born to write and win.. Should we ever..
Until then: one more one more. And you will find my novella, a damn fine novella, at ..
- Review Watching Swifts by RJ Askew (jbwye.com)