ARIZONA to HASTINGS - click image for profile

Click for profileTHIS SITE .was inaugurated in July 2006 by my friend Rod - who originally loaded some stories and commentary of mine and one or two comments of his own. I was impressed with what he'd done, but thought the appearance could be improved. So here's my attempt - on Dreamweaver, which I learn a bit more about each time I use it, but which has some functions that I reckon I'll probably never fathom.

The site has developed from an original begun in April 2003 - which was renewed monthly until April 2006 when Orange took control and access became subsequently impossible.

Apart from extracts or quotes from other writers and commentators (and although it may sometimes appear otherwise through my own 'slight of hand'), everything on the site is written by me. If it's not, then I make the fact clear. I have no editor or overseer to proof-read or criticise what I write. And I have no assistant or collaborator with whom to share the pleasure and challenge (just joking) of filling these pages… except Rod, of course, who seems (understandably, from several points of view) reluctant - at least so far. Which means there's always a few mistakes and a fair amount of just plain bad writing - which I suppose is inevitable for an amateur (or for one who lacks the art of persuasion).

As can be seen from the links in both fiction and non-fiction, the site contains autobiographical glimpses, accounts of experiences with literature and life, essays - political and otherwise - and a few other pieces that are less easily placed. I've tried to order these for simplicity, but the various categories on the home page tend to merge.

As for the stories… ultimately, each of them - like each reader - is unique; some may please, some may not. And I'm NO professional when it comes to writing (or site-building) - just one of the numerous dilettantes who like to 'try their hand'! But if you prefer something stranger than fiction, you might like to sample a controversial (even bizarre?) essay or two.

JOINT EFFORT: Although, as author, I have total control over what appears here, the site owes its existence entirely to Rod (who has done everything except design and write these pages). He thought the idea up in the first place, then acquired and funded the site (ie: www.zoneidle.co.uk), and supplied all the software. Makes my effort appear positively trivial!

I SUPPOSE IT REALLY BEGAN about ten years ago. After writing a few overblown letters to him - which I suppose were more like essays - Rod responded with the suggestion that I write more… maybe even a story or two! From anyone else I’d have suspected sarcasm. Either way, because writing was no real effort - even (curiously) a pleasure - I went ahead.

At first I wrote biographical essays, then made a stab at several stories; this was swiftly followed - and I needed no additional prompting - by a series of hard-hitting political tracts. Most of these slammed the Establishment (or some part thereof), which throughout my life has seemed to loom not far away like some brutal clandestine opponent: wielding its repressive rules, powers and punishments to anyone who got in its way. Its greatest victims at present are in Iraq and Afghanistan - though no-one anywhere is immune.

So far, in the UK, I've more recently managed to avoid the worst of the most insidious and subtle of these forces, though in the past have unwittingly fallen victim to many too. I spell out the most salient in the essay: 'Dubious Advice'

Despite Rod's well-targeted criticisms, the effect on me of writing political tracts was so stirring that I found it hard to stop. It was as if, in the very act of writing them, I was sorting into some logical, rational order the many partially-obscured aspects of the Establishment that had sunk over the years into my partially-aware subconscious... which eventually revealed some startling facts

So one thing led to another - and, in an attempt to consolidate everything from science & robots to politics & war, I ended up writing all kinds of stuff... from wild made-up stories and travel notes to blog-type accounts of various experiences, political observations and subsequent musings... etc.

He wouldn't admit it, but I think Rod got a bit over-saturated with all this. (Maybe he didn’t read it? I wouldn't blame him.) At any rate, he took steps to divert my scripts: Suddenly, one day in April 2003, he landed me with a real live website (as noted above). What? A whole website just for me? And onto it I could now load all this 'mush' I was churning out ad nauseam.

And so it went - at first updating every fortnight, and later every month (half the effort due to idleness). As I say, that was 3½ years ago.

So now to this site. What did it cost? Probably not much - not a fairly tacky title like 'zoneidle' - a fiver, maybe a tenner? But how could anyone not be warmed to think at least one person in this vast bleak universe actually enjoys reading what they write (or claims to)? So much so that they establish a whole big website for everyone to visit and share in the fun (including the political and philosophical arguments). If a few other people would send their attacks I might learn a thing or two. (How else to learn, if not by having one's ideas knocked over?)

But I'd have to be a harsh gink to refuse - being the lifelong dedicated idler I've become, and one who has to hoist himself to any real action. The exersion - I reason - should do me good! And anyway, as I've said, strange as it may seem, I actually like writing.

The world has its bursts of creativity. Too much of it, probably. To take part, though, (even at my meagre level) is a privilege - an opportunity to join the great universal quest for that spiritual Eldorado that so occupied many literary giants of the past - like Hesse back in the first half of the last century, and like Hugo, Voltaire, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, etc, etc.... and to those thousands of insignificant dabblers like me of whom no trace remains... what is it we seek?

It should be realised that alas most of what is created is trash. Why else would I oblige so readily in building this site - if not in an attempt to defy TRUTH, and to make a futile attempt to create meaning out of nothing?

In the meantime, if not a single other person visits and reads the mad stories, commentary, political bile… the self adulating biographical indulgences, the off-beat analyses of 'la condition humaine' (not to be confused with Malraux's famed novel), the arrogant ‘know-all’ platitudes and rants… if not a single other person visits, then it is still entirely worthwhile - and I expect I’ll go on and on and on until someone shouts: "STOP!" And even then I might continue in secret - unless someone shoots me!

Some of this site at present is archive which first appeared on that previous aforementioned site. This means there could be a word, a date, some snippet or other that appears out-of-place - reflecting the circumstances at the time of writing.

But right now it's a start; the site remains in its infancy, a mere fledgling. I've just revised some of this 'introductory' text, but there's more stories to write, more pages to create….. an endless pursuit….

NOTE: The weird formats and colour schemes on this and other pages are due partly to my inexperience with Dreamweaver and partly to the great distractions of wandering, musing and idling! ...PC

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