Sunday, 15 November 2009

Fresh start

We're going to have another crack at using this part of the site as a 'proper blog', ie. updating it with thoughts and news regarding just about anything we want to natter about.

The original plan for Cut Out & Keep was to use it as a sort of e-zine supplement to Fuselit. Since Fuselit only publishes creative work, we were looking for a way of expanding into critical - and more throwaway - writing without changing the format. The problems with that were:

(a) Kirsty and I are creative writers first, critical writers second. I'm still keen to write critically - I review pamphlets for Sphinx, I've recently have a short essay on burlesque poetry in Mimesis and I've also done a couple of journalistic pieces on 80s cartoon fiction for Cereal:Geek. I've also, in the last couple of months, been commissioned to write another case study for the National Association of Writers in Education, and asked to do a piece about manga for Horizon Review (which I jumped at - got some great ideas for that one). But - phew! - in between all that, a full-time job, publishing Fuselit and being committed to writing poetry, there's not much time for yet more critical pieces on a blog.

Kirsty doesn't really like doing much critical writing at all and Cliff - I hope he won't mind me saying this - is something of a perfectionist who needs a good allotment of time to produce something he's happy with (time that simply isn't available now he's doing an MA at the same time as his regular job).

(b) Almost forgot there was a list going here! We could never quite get the 'feel' of the blog right, what with so much mixed together. I deleted a couple of early posts that were too combative and 'serious' for a very irregular blog, and too far removed from what we're doing on the main Fuselit site, which is meant to be, on the whole, a positive experience. Occasional formal reviews of films, poetry collections or other things didn't make a whole lot of sense either, and the idea of using the blog to give you an 'inside look' at the production of Fuselit really just created extra hassle on top of the already considerable job of actually producing the damned thing.


Here's the plan. I'm good at plans. Not executing them - I'm rubbish at that - but making them? It's like it's my hobby or something. This is the plan:

(1) Cut Out & Keep is going to be used in the most informal way possible. If one of us is reading a book we quite like, we may post to say so. If we are angry about something to do with how Fuselit is going, we may rant about it. If I've just had a nifty idea for something that will probably never see the light of day, but is nevertheless, by its nature, nifty, then I may record the moment here. I've also told Cliff: "Cliff, keep us updated on your MA projects. Post about it on Cut Out & Keep." I can't remember right now what his MA is in but it sounds rather interesting and apparently involves designing web plug-ins. Can we have that here? Sure. Sure, we can.

(2) As for proper critical writing, proper reviews, proper features, we've got a whole new site for that. I'm not announcing what it is yet, but it's the same site that will be home to our new venture, Sidekick Books, which I'll also be posting more about later this week. The critical writing will be housed in a section called Irregular Features. The name refers to the fact that there will be some off-kilter stuff in there as well, such as a radical revival of our Poetry Top Trumps, and also to the fact that new pieces will be added very sporadically. If anyone out there thinks they have something they'd like to write for such a section, do do do do get in touch.

So let's see if we can make it work this time. Right at this very moment in time, I'm feeling positive about it. If, looking back on this blog in two months, this post looks foolish, well ... I'll cross that bridge then.

No comments: