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Past Group Book Discussions > Watching Swifts - Discussions with Spoilers!

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Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments Watching Swifts


Group discussion with spoilers here!


Watching Swifts


message 2: by Oak Tree (new)

Oak Tree | 50 comments What did you think of the character of the park keeper?
Did you think the story said anything about the nature of love?


message 3: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Askew (rjaskew) | 959 comments I feel sorry for the parkie, he is on the defensive side of life, glass half full, always looking for flaws and expecting the worst of those around him, the perfect pessimist. Yes, we need to be wary at times and sceptical, but if we are like that all the time we are not fully alive. On the other hand, maybe it is just our survival instinct doing its thing. But what is the point of living long if we are only half-alive?


message 4: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments I found him quite a funny character but nasty with it. I loved what happened to him - well, in terms of the way it turned him around.


message 5: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Askew (rjaskew) | 959 comments Ignite wrote: "I found him quite a funny character but nasty with it. I loved what happened to him - well, in terms of the way it turned him around."

Granting him a little redemptive humanity at the end felt a bit like an act of revenge on my part on behalf of all optimists, esp if we have suffered under the heel of some petty tyrant of pessimism. It was like saying, with a stamp of the foot, 'There, see! Even you Parker, sir, are human after all!'


message 6: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments So, me dear; anything else in the pipeline? I for one would be eager to read another such gem.


message 7: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Askew (rjaskew) | 959 comments Ignite wrote: "So, me dear; anything else in the pipeline? I for one would be eager to read another such gem."

Oh yes, there be three others under me bed, but they all need editing. And I made a vow to sell the present one before writing again. If I start editing I will stop 'selling'. So I will give the present selling until the end of this year and then think anew. If I can achieve 100 sales by then that might see me pitch for 1,000. But part of me dreads the thought of doing that. You can see how crazy my tweeting mad it's driving me. I wld much prefer to be editing or -- gulp -- even writing again! And THANK YOU for your comment. *bows*


message 8: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments They really do say it's easier to sell when you have more than one book on your author page. Makes you look like a 'real' author. Also, people recommending your work to each other can add a link to the second (or third!) when they do so.


message 9: by R.J. (last edited Sep 25, 2012 08:20AM) (new)

R.J. Askew (rjaskew) | 959 comments Ignite wrote: "They really do say it's easier to sell when you have more than one book on your author page. Makes you look like a 'real' author. Also, people recommending your work to each other can add a link t..."

I didn't know that. You make me think! So, sticking up a 2nd book wld help to sell the first? Then I have to think of doing it. Wld prefer to do that than send 1,000 tweets.


message 10: by Kath (last edited Sep 25, 2012 08:24AM) (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments It gives you more 'visibility' I think.
Ah go on, go on; you know you want to!


message 11: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Askew (rjaskew) | 959 comments Ignite wrote: "It gives you more 'visibility' I think.
Ah go on, go on; you know you want to!"


I do want to. I need to do an edit though, which simultaneiously terrifies and appeals. I cld happily escape into a three month edit and ignore all else. But getting out of the edit and back into the world wld prove difficult as it is far easier to be alive in the wordfall than it be in life.


message 12: by R.J. (last edited Oct 01, 2012 04:52AM) (new)

R.J. Askew (rjaskew) | 959 comments A STORY UNLOCKED

watching Swifts is an allegory for our times about our relationship with the greatest cretor of all, Nature.

The swifts with their astonishing motion show Nature at her most dynamic. The birds spend all their lives on the wing. Their flight is the most beautiful and exciting imaginable, a true wonder to behold.

The static monkey puzzle tree shows Nature at her most defensive. Yet the sheer artistry of the tree's dagger-leaves is breathtakingly beautiful.

Leo is akin to the swifts, Parker to the tree.

All Nature's infinite creations are beautiful for different reasons. Yet, we of course, it being in our Nature so to do, can't help asking which is best? why this? why that? how should we be for the best? This is Nature working through us, through our instincts and intelligence, as Nature's creativity is infinite, or seems so. We are Nature. When we speak or hear we are Nature speaking and listening. How cld we not be? All we are is of Nature.

And so Watching Swifts is about Nature, the concept of, about how we perceive Nature, about our place in Nature and about our own little natures.

The swifts are also reflecteed in the story in the 14 sonnets, which are themselves swifts of language, winging through the skies of our minds.

Recordings of the 14 verses in the story are here: http://soundcloud.com/r-j-askew Breathing them into life was the final act of their creation.

*bows*


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