I have another story up on Cafe Diverso. It’s the other sample story I sent them. Actually it was up yesterday already, but I am a bit shy about it. It’s not light and trivial like Sponja, and it touches a delicate place.
It’s called ‘The Birthday Boy’. It was maybe not the wisest story to be published there so early, but stories I've sent in since will hopefully even out the impression somewhat.
On Sunday evening I sent in my next batch of stories, and have been busy rewriting stories I sent in February, according to the editors’ requests. I tell you this Cafe Diverso thing is proving to be better writing experience than any creative writing course, or even blogging. I think blogging spoils us, actually, because we have such freedom.
Writing to order, more or less, is completely different. Having to align with certain objectives; having to keep the stories to a certain length, to certain subjects; having to work out what they will find acceptable without compromising myself -- it is all very challenging. (Don't worry, John. I'm not compromising myself).
Some of you have commented on the fact that Cafe Diverso lists Israel and Palestine together on their list of countries, and on the fact there is actually no sovereign state called Palestine right now.
When they first approached me I was also struck by this, so I wrote them the following:
When I asked Killian, founder of Cafe Diverso and a really nice guy, if I could post this exchange on my blog, he asked to add that ‘our objective is to 'bridge cultural divides' and that this forms the basis of our decision.’
So I just wanted you to know.
My comments on the matter seem to have struck a chord. Cafe Diverso’s Palestinian storyteller also seems to have remarked on the issue, and now they are rethinking the policy. I’ll keep you updated.