Back at the desk

When not writing I'm riding. Sole member of The Mountain Bike Writers Club

When not writing I’m riding. Sole member of The Mountain Bike Writers Club

Almost 1.5 years away from the blog and it has called me back. Sifting through the archives it seems the posts were about everything–the Malone digital scrapbook. As much it was fun then, I’d like to set forth with the focus on writing: my journey, insights, opportunities, achievements, things that inspire me and perhaps you too.

The last few years have been as much about exploration as development–advancing a body of work uncovering overarching themes. These days I particularly enjoy writing stories for older children and young adults. It seems I’m a big kid at heart! There are numerous publications from the Malone camp coming out in 2015. I look forward to mentioning them here.

Aside from being know as the story writer, I’ve also been referred to as “the industrious Aussie” by my colleagues and friends at Write Now: The Association of English Language Writers (Austria). We worked and planned for over a year to launch the association in October 2014. The launch was at Cafe Korb in Vienna’s first district. It was a huge success. There are many members coming onboard. Since the launch we’ve run workshops, held creative writing and networking meetings, hosted a retreat; today is our Christmas party. The Association is something totally unique in Vienna and Austria. We’re trailblazers and it is really exciting!

Here is the Write Now link: Write Now

Enough from me for today. Thank you for reading. Regular posts to follow.

Cheerio from the Malone camp

DSCF4212I’ve been posting here for several years now, and feel it’s the right time for an indefinite break. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read a post or two, and to those who have commented.

By way of explanation for the departure:

The original purpose of this blog was to share my thoughts on writing (a novice’s perspective). Generally though, the posts have touched on everything from Buddhism to life in Vienna, nothing in-depth, just my thoughts or observations.  Such posts, I have discovered, are of most interest to family and friends (people who’d like to know what the Malones are up to over yonder) rather than the general public. To this end a private blog is probably best suited.

As far as writing goes–I’m working on it! I hope you might one day come across one of my stories and enjoy reading it. This blog I’ll leave online, if for nothing else but a diary of sorts to appease one of my nostalgic or melancholic moods.

So once again, thank you for visiting this blog, for your sharing your thoughts. I wish you all the best.

Paul Malone

Summer break

Perfect swimming

Perfect swimming

Ever thought you need a holiday? A huge topic right now here in Austria, being summer and all. Even though my current schedule is…relaxed, I have decided I too deserve a holiday. You could do with one as well, right? Well, I’m giving you one…at least a holiday from this blog.

Here’s the official Malone statement: With all this sunshine about, the executive decision has been made to go out and enjoy it :-)

This blog will rest quietly, not stir, not release a single breath until September, when the Malone camp is well and truly tanned.

So, I wish you all a very happy summer holiday (my northern hemisphere friends), a brisk yet refreshing winter (for those in the south), and I look forward to posting anew in September.

All the best

Trees in the storm

A morning hike yesterday took us up to the summit of Troppberg, Lower Austria. More of a hill than a mountain. What struck me was the number of fallen trees. In all directions large beech trees (mainly) were lying uprooted on their sides.

What had happened? Well, they had been blown down in a severe storm a couple of years back. These trees have expansive, yet relatively shallow roots. A combination of high winds, saturated soil, a lush spring canopy can prove disastrous for such trees.  With the an increase in frequency and severity of stormy weather (associated with climate change), I imagine the forest biodiversity will change significantly. Other trees with deeper roots might become prominent. For now though, it is still possible to enjoy the immense beauty of these shady and tranquil beech forests. Here are a few snaps (click to enlarge):

View from the Troppberg lookout tower

View from the Troppberg lookout tower

A tranquil and shady beech forest

A tranquil and shady beech forest

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Trees uprooted by severe wind

Trees uprooted by severe wind

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The story that refused to be written

DSCF4212Have you ever tried to write the story that refused to be written? Only the other week I wrote such a story. I won’t bore you with details except to say that despite my best intentions, the result was a very flat, uninspiring piece, nothing even a structural edit could address. Something was intrinsically wrong. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. The story felt like the shadow of something greater.

A common piece of writing advice in such situations is to try pick out the images, scenes, ideas from this “dead” writing, see if something might come of these.  I guess it is the literary equivalent of an organ transplant. Good advice too (amazing how things tend to reemerge!)

Still, here is another way of looking at it:

There are stories, and then there are the words in-between.

Not all writing, regardless of author intent, has the energy, the momentum, the will to become a fully fledged story.  If stories would be heartbeats, than “the story that refuses to be written” is the space between. They are the words no one will ever read, the words that amount to nothing more than the writer going through the motions, exercising.

If this makes you feel a little depressed, here is something to lift your spirits: All these words in-between serve to strengthen the writer’s ability to write great stories. They are necessary if you’re serious about improving. Here is something you might not agree with:

 If you aren’t regularly failing to write a great story then you are failing to become a great writer.

 Do you agree? Or does all your writing always amount to something? 

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