Metamorphosis of a kind

December 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Franz Kafka

I’m swimming in Kafka at the moment. I have his short stories and critical essays on them lining my desk, plus excerpts of his original manuscript for ‘The Metamorphosis’ and its German revisions.

It’s all research for my novel, part of which is set in Prague, which led me to travel there in September and trace his footsteps. It turns out my apartment was three doors down from where he lived on Bilkova, and I couldn’t walk past his front door without tracing a finger down the wood.

Kafka writes often about the need for solitude when spilling ink, and I couldn’t agree more – shutting the door, turning off my phone, and picking up a pen always makes a gentle little shudder of bliss travel down my spine.

I need solitude for my writing; not ‘like a hermit’ – that wouldn’t be enough – but like a dead man.

Franz Kafka

However,  given my usual nostalgic glance back at 2013, it seems it was the year of collaboration, with no sign of that letting up.

This year has seen me explore new territory by working with other artists and melding my stories to artwork, photography and music, and I’m delighted to say that I have several more exciting collaborations to come – stay tuned! But one that gave me much joy this year was the 1000 Words Project, where award winning photographer Cam Cope issued the challenge for writers to choose one of his travel images and produce a short story inspired by it. The exhibition that resulted was then held at City Library in the heart of Melbourne, and produced in an anthology.


The exhibition is now the subject of a sixteen page feature in One Thousand Words, a new journal of critical reviews and essays on photography put out by the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, the biggest photography festival in Australia.

Go take a peek and read the interviews with both Cam Cope (page 28) and the wonderful Holly Ringland (page 42), a superbly talented writer who also participated, and one of my close friends (her story is on page 38).

1000 words

Holly and I sitting on my couch, listening to Big Mama Thornton in an Australian heatwave as we worked on our stories together, reminds me that although Kafka had many things right, the need to go it alone 100% of the time is perhaps not quite my style, after all.



  1. araneus1 said,

    I loved your friends story. My wife is a twin, but where can I read your story?
    P.S. This project is interesting to me as most of my stories come from other people’s photographs and illustrations.

    • inkymouth said,

      Isn’t Holly’s writing wonderful? She lives in the UK, doing her PhD in creative writing, but as I type is currently on a plane, heading back to Australia for Christmas. Cannot WAIT to see her, and plan all manner of writing jaunts together!

      I’ve always been fascinated by twins…and I agree, Terry, images can provide such inspiration for our own ink. As for my story, it’s not available online, I’m sorry. There is a link to the book in my ‘Published Work’ list on the left, under ‘Picture 1000 Words.’

      Thanks for swinging by my blog, much appreciated 🙂

  2. Leitj said,

    Looking forward to a spot of collab real soon Bellzibub..

    • inkymouth said,

      Raising a glass to that! PS Just emailed you some stories a few mins ago 🙂

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