hal tweets ·11:28 AM

Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

First Mean Comment. Stats Update. A Few Notes on my Life.

Posted by Hal

“What exactly are you attempting to achieve here, Hal?” writes Mark McCawley. “Where’s the personal risk? Or is this going to become another very large coffee table book?”

Okay so that’s not exactly scathing but it’s mean, at least. It’s my first mean comment! It’s a dig at my writing career (though a strange one, since the only book I’ve published that could be remotely construed as a coffee book was the Original Canadian City Dweller’s Almanac – available on Amazon.ca starting used at .25 cents) and a dig at my blog. All neatly done in three concise sentences.

Well, look, he’s got a point. So far, not much risk happening on this blog. I’m not exactly opening myself up to you, my readership. I want to get more personal, but every time I try I cringe inside and pull back. But this blog is just beginning. There’s plenty of time for me to work up to it and spill my guts. I will reveal! Just give me time.

Anyway, according to Andreas who presides over all things peephal.com my stats are slowly growing. His last report said that I’ve got about 30 more daily visitors than I did last time he checked. But in total only 12 people have visited the site 15-25 times. He figures that I’ve got roughly 9 regular readers. Welcome back once more my loyal 9! If I’ve disappointed you, I apologize. But I’m doing my best here.

So I was going to write about my weekend but, honestly, not much happened. My hockey team was in the finals for our division but we lost. It was a fun game. That’s about it. Next week my parents are coming in for Passover. That should provide more fodder, I’m sure.

In the meantime, I did a CBC interview today that will air Wed. morning between 10 and 11am on CBC Radio 1’s Sounds Like Canada. I’m discussing the extremely important topic of “my favourite pop culture saying from when I was a kid” or something like that. My choice was Mr. T’s: “I Pity the Fool”. If you want to hear me waxing nostalgic over the A Team, be sure and tune in. I actually thought I sounded like a bit of a doofus, despite my genuine love for ‘T’. Still I managed to work in my 2nd favourite Mr. T tagline – “I ain’t gettin’ on no plane, Hannibal” while I was at it. Truth is I always leave radio interviews feeling like I was terrible. Especially when I’m trying to be funny. Well, listen in and let me know what you think. Be mean if necessary.


There are -9- Comments.

1 count

Don’t forget that you might have quite a few readers who follow you via your <span class=“caps”>RSS</span> feed. (That’s my case.) I don’t believe they appear in your regular stats.

2 count

you forgot “quit your jibber jabber!”

3 count

It’s always hard to open up in a blog because you open yourself up to criticism, and who wants to be taken to task by complete strangers?

4 count
Cuyler Cotton

Caught your piece in the Walrus, but, since a generic contact with you seems unavailable, this route appears to be the only way I might get to Hal. (my apologies for the tired pun)

Below is a link to some thinking I did on this intriguing topic last October.  Thought you might be interested.


5 count
Mark McCawley

I don’t believe your writing career is in any remote danger from my little comment, Hal. By the way, I wasn’t intending to be mean; rather, to nudge you to do what your blog suggests it intends to do: expose the self, and the private/public dichotomy.

Canadians, by and large, are very insular. At least that’s my observation. What we say and what we do tend to be quite different. However, with the advent of the internet, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites, this contradiction is becoming increasingly difficult to uphold as the public and private person becomes less and less of a distinction.

Personally, I’ve found it is either sink or swim. Sure, some among us are still uncomfortable at this perceived loss of personal privacy. We are in an entirely new realm and new definitions of privacy have yet to be completely ironed out, legally and socially.

In terms of current fiction writing, these gray areas between what is real (autobiography) and what is not (a fiction) has never been more unclear as it is now. Personally, on more than one occasion, I have had readers of my writings mistake me for my persona (and my persona’s foibles) with very negative results in the so-called “real world”.

So, what did I mean by personal risk? It seems to me that if we are going to explore this “new realm” of socializing, we cannot just sit back and watch, but actually participate as well. If that means allowing the unseen, unwashed masses, a long stare into what makes Hal

Niedzviecki tick, isn’t that worth it? And ultimately, wouldn’t that produce a better book (not one to collect dust like so many coffee table tomes)?

6 count

Still here. Still peeping.  wink

7 count
Emmalene Pruden

You’re going about the ‘banal’ things the wrong way. A great way to start opening up is to write in more detail about your hockey game. You’re a writer. Break out the adjectives and have at it! 

Add one extra sentence about why the game was fun. That’s a step to opening up. You can’t answer the questions of Peep until you taste a bit of its’ fruit. 

Don’t write about what you were going to write about. Write it! Push the envelope. Jump in with both feet. Or use other cliches to build up the courage to write even one miniscule sentence that may make you cringe - it’s what all the cool people are doing.

8 count

My friend and I often argued about coffee and its influence on our health. He said that it is dangerous and didn’t allow me drinking it in the morning, I am fond of coffee and was looking for the facts in favor of this drink. In the long run, we both were right. In the book I’ve read ( http://www.ebook-search-queen.com/ebook/coff/coffee+to+drink+or+not+to+drink.all.html ) there’s much info about pluses and minuses of coffee. In order to come to the compromise, I drink coffee only twice a week wink

9 count

It’s peepviewer.

Mark McCawley asks “Where’s the personal risk?

Hmmm interesting idea, personal risk on the internet.

I think your taking a certain amount of personal risk Hal, just by having your home wired for cameras, even though your not always on them. You risk that people could make comments about all kinds of things that they see in the shots. That would plenty enough risk for me, if I were doing this.

I mean, this documentary will end up being as much about you as the book you wrote, and the peepers who contribute. In a way, it will be a biography of you Hal. Because it takes a look at the person and the home of the guy who decided to write the book and make the documentary. You have made yourself the main subject. I think making the documentary without you in it would be hard, but it might be do-able. I think anyone who opens up their life to the world via webcam or anything else, is taking a risk. Your risking nasty comments and critiques, that would be quite enough risk for me.

It’s like our big superstars who get followed around by the paparatzi (sp?). They get ugly stories printed about them in the tabloids. That’s a risk they take to be Britney Spears, or the late Michael Jackson, etc.

To take such risks takes personal strength.

So there’s your risk… your a braver person than me Hal… I’ll stay as peepviewer.

The Peep Site is now in Archive mode and commenting is closed.


The Bloggist

Hey, I’m Hal Niedzviecki. I’m a writer/thinker who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. Up till now I’ve always considered myself a private person. But at the same time I’m fascinated by people who effortlessly open themselves up to the whole world. So I’ve… more...



Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

Hal Niedzviecki :: ·11:28AM

EXPOZINE 2011, Montreal’s 10th Annual Small Press, Comic and Zine Fair—http://t.co/3ISW3Ovx http://t.co/FlLfB6hk

Hal Niedzviecki :: ·20:02PM


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