Chasing the Dragon's Long Tail
To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.
- Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country
It is said that writers are people who, as children, did not receive sufficient rejection either from adults or peers and so are compelled to seek it relentlessly in later life. In these crazy times, we have to keep our eyes on the things that matter most: the life and health of our families, our communities, the planet. And to keep our sanity, some of us need to reserve a bit of time for reading and for writing.
In these crazy times, we also need to remember that the phrase The Long Tail was first coined by Chris Anderson in a 2004 Wired Magazine article to describe certain business and economic models such as Amazon.com or Netflix. A former Amazon employee described the Long Tail as follows: "We sold more books today that didn't sell at all yesterday than we sold today of all the books that did sell yesterday. Hugh Hewitt says, the tail of the Blogosphere is a concept that the mainstream media simply does not understand. "They've never worried about the tail, ever. And now they've got the tail just eating them, all day, 24/7." Long Tail in publishing is larger than the Dragon head
Without risk there is no faith, and the greater the risk the greater the faith.
We hear a lot these days about publishing becoming more and more risk-averse, the bean-counters taking over, and so on .... This is of course a massive generalisation and there are some great things coming out both here and overseas on a regular basis - perhaps the larger problem is our excessively concentrated media world, which narrows our chances of learning about new and exciting work!
Yet all that mankind, poor and rich, famous and unknown, has ever done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books. So how depressed one has to be to resurrect the Coldest War; but also how desperate, how hungry, how large the desire to embrace the spirit of freedom. When society forgets its mistakes, those mistakes are bound to repeat. As difficult as it is, the horror of the Iron Curtain has to be taught and has to be told and only then can we guard it from ever happening again. There's so much to be learned from this, so much from Cold River. It's not just speaking about my experiences, it goes way beyond that ...
In the comentariat of 'My Surreal Vienna' a reader kindly notes: Jozef Imrich has written the War and Peace of escapes. It lends new meaning to the word 'harrowing' and one sometimes shudders to read it. But deep down, beneath all the layers and the masks, there lives something unconquerable in Jozef's hurt spirit... Cold River careens into what for most readers will be emotional terra incognita, with grief too deep for words or tears.
Most of us don't like risk and uncertainty. That's too bad, because there's no shortage of either. Why do we write about the most risque and painful experiences in our life? Are we wallowing in the misery? No. Writing helps expunge our grief and lets us heal. Our most powerful weapon is emotional honesty ... While much is left to the imagination in any book, I console myself with knowing that everyone's first book is autobiographical to some extent. In many ways, the surreal reality of writing the escape story across the Iron Curtain was a bit like constipation, it had to come out in the end ...
• At UK based WH Smith The Cold River Comes in From the Cold: I was spared to tell my escape story
• In Italy The Cold Truth Freedom
• In Canada Sink or Swim: If It Were All So Simple
• At Bondi - The Icon of Australia - the brick and mortar store: Rita Nash of Martin Smith's Booshop
• Enlarged edition (everywhere) Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords Sink or Swim: If It Were All So Simple
• Michael Schaefer - March 2005: Riding the dragon: Cold River accorded a place of honor among some heavyweight tomes at DeepBlog Books
• Michael Schaefer - May 2005 Why I Blog
• Margo Kingston - August 2005: Personal opening statement to Webdiarists
• Webdiary - August 2005: Dream as if you'll live forever and live as if you'll die today
• Jay Rosen - February 2005 I like Media Dragon
• Tim Dunlop - January 2003: Jozef Imrich is a sort of Mitteleuropa Instapundit
• Shel Israel and Robert Scoble ... "Sunlight is the best disinfectant -- all great CEOs encourage transparency and openness as long as sensitive data is not leaked, Cold River author Jozef Imrich told us Naked Thorns in the Roses
• Shel Israel and Robert Scoble - February 2005: Red Couch
• Shel Israel and Robert Scoble - October 2005: The Media Dragon Loves us
• Dan Gillmor - July 2005 Citizen Journalist: Bayosphere
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Maybe we are crazy. Maybe we will change the world