When it comes to Thailand it's almost impossible not to have strong feelings one way or another. It doesn't matter if you're a first time visitor or an expat whose been here since the Nana Hotel first opened its doors, everyone has something to say concerning The Land of Smiles. Let's face it, this ain't the kind of place that inspires bland neutrality! Like it, love it or loathe it, I've never met anyone who doesn't have strong feelings about Thailand…and who isn't shy to express them!
So what's your opinion? Come on, don't be shy. After all I assume the reason you're here at Stick's site is that you enjoy reading about people's experiences here in Thailand. So why not share your experiences? Put in your 2-bahts' worth. Hey, everybody else does. I for one would be interested in hearing about what you have to say. Well perhaps not all of you, but then again there are actually some of you who are less than enthralled with what I have to say. I know it's true because some out there in cyberspace have told me so! But I am willing to venture that many of you have something worth knowing about. Tell us about your very first visit here, or your 100th for that matter. It's hard to go through a day here without something happening worth recounting, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
I have only been sending in submissions for a little over a year, but I can honestly say that doing so has been a most rewarding experience. It could be an equally rewarding one for you as well! Do you enjoy getting e-mail from some nice folks? I've received hundreds of letters since sending in my work, the vast majority extremely positive. Yes I've received a few from some wankers, but even those were amusing in their outrageousness. I've also made some very close friends, both here in Thailand and abroad.
I must admit that it took me some time to work up the courage to send in my first piece and in the end that never made it on to the submissions page! Of course it was more than a tad shy of the requisite 800 word minimum that Stick has set for submissions. Was I deterred from trying once again? Not on your life! I actually thought that I had an opinion or two worth sharing after living here in Thailand for a few years. Not long enough, eh? Well, I set out to remedy that small problem in spades! I took advantage of my darling's visit to Buriram to see her family to put pen to paper so to speak. I practically lived at my computer until "How It All Began" was finally done…all 9 parts! Once it was done though I began to have a doubt or two about sending it in. Would Stick like it? Would he put this white elephant up? And if he did would anyone actually read the damned thing?
In the end it turned out that Stick did like what I had written (the start of a great friendship was born), he did put up the whole thing in installments over a few weeks, and to my complete bewilderment people actually seemed to enjoy my scribblings! In fact I received so many kind responses that I was pretty busy just replying to all the e-mail piling up in my inbox! With such encourage I began to send in other pieces.
Now I will be the very first to admit that I am not much of a polished writer. I leave the real creative stuff to genuine writers like Korski. But I must also admit that I do enjoy commenting in my own laid back style which seems not only to suit me, but many of you as well.
I don't have nearly as much time available for writing these days. My work schedule is a bitch so I'm pretty beat at the end of the day. Hey, my recent hospital stays cleaned out the bank, so now that I am feeling good I need to work damned hard to keep our ship afloat. No complaints folks. That's life. But it does cut into my free time. I'm actually writing this in longhand while proctoring school exams! When I am at home it's not always easy to find some peace and quiet at the computer. My teerak and little Sam occupy most of my time, for which I am as happy as a clam. But when I'm writing I do NOT need my wife looking over my shoulder! Somehow I don't think she would be much amused at some of the things I write about! Oh well, isn't everyone entitled to their private thoughts? (Thai wives don't think their farang husbands should have private thoughts!) And if I choose to share my private thoughts with "a few" friends around the world, that's entirely my business isn't it?
So, put down that cold beer (just for a moment or two) sit down at your keyboard and start sharing some of your thoughts with the rest of us! Don't worry about trying to be overly artistic. No need to be "profound". Just tell us something that amazed you, surprised you, repulsed or fascinated you here in LOS. There are endless topics that I'm sure would make an interesting story. Whether it's a travelogue or a dirge about "good love gone bad" doesn't matter. It's all grist for the mill. Don't underestimate your ability to spin a yarn worth hearing. Frankly the more people begin to share their experiences, the better we'll all be here at Stick's site. Just sit down and tell it your way. In your style. Believe me folks, it doesn't take "rocket science" to send something in worth reading about.
Now to be completely honest I should issue this one small caveat before sending in a submission so listen carefully. Writing these things can become habit forming! Barely a day goes by when something happens to me that becomes at least an idea for a future piece. For me riding my bicycle induces a contemplative mood just right for the ideas bouncing around in my head to come together into something cohesive…that is of course dependent on how hard the Thai motorists around me are trying to run me off the road!
Everyone has their own method of putting their ideas on paper. I personally toss things around in my head and then write it all down in a flurry. No revisions! That of course explains why some of my pieces may ramble a bit! But somehow it does seem to work most of the time.
So what are you waiting for? Stop reading and start writing! I'll be watching for your work right here!
I think one of the great things about writing submissions is that friendships can form with like-minded readers. Whether the writer is Thailand based or in Farangland, there will be readers who relate to what is written, get in touch and so a friendship begins.
For me, the best thing about running this site is the many, many friends I have made. Submission writers have exactly the same opportunity.