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Writing

A Writer’s Parable

Occasionally, in my most purple of moments I wonder if there is some imaginal realm out there for all the ill-formed and forgotten books that time has forgotten. A corner of the unreal where these dreams still have some existence, even if their plots are dangling out of their seams and they use far too many expressive’s.

I imagine some infinitely patient caretaker, still tending these half-formed things like the scraggy and ancient Lavender that I keep alive in my garden. It might be kinder to uproot it, but a part of me hopes that it might yet produce flowerstalks.

Notes, Fragmenta

Today: 3000 words.

Not enough, but it’s the start of something so that’s okay. These things build momentum. Stories are storms of action + emotion, there are lulls where you can layer in all the exposition and setting details, let the Readers catch a glimpse of their surroundings, and then there are the rising winds of foreshadowing + threat, the explosion of emotional beats, immediate character catharsis – and then the winds change.

Especially so with proprietorial work, there is a delivery of experience that has to be met. Avoid formulaism. Always try to include a shock, an unexpected call-out, a new direction. But writing work is still work, I have my numbers that I have to hit by the end of the day if the contract is going to pay.

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Finished Mr. King’s Revival which is of course, excellent. I read King as much for enjoyment as I do writerly education. It’s like a masterclass in voice and character.

But however, on the recommendation of Orbital Operations (Dr. Ellis’s newsletter) am now working through Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station which is just joyous–when I refixed my head to the books parameters. All novels are like that, I think. They are (should be?) their own little ecology, and you have to learn how to read it. Only at the start right now, but a few of Mr. Tidhar’s elements really chime with me: 1. His willingness to mess with the rules of genre writing. Kinda magical realist imagery in a SpecFic world. 2. The fact that his future Israel-Palestine is like now but turned up. That Cory Doctorow quote, when he was once asked about what he thought the future would become: “like this..but MORE. More good stuff, more bad stuff…” (more genetic engineering, more prejudice, more AI, more poverty, more inequality, more interesting ways to be free [my own words]).

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Final Space is actually really good. Fight me.

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Documentaries:

Watched hardly any this month. I’m always looking for more online documentaries, and I think that I have finally exhausted Films for Action. TopDocs, and Youtube. Sometimes, I really wish that Youtube would change their filters preferences:

[] Short

[] Long

[] Upload Date

[] Not batshit crazy

[] Not thinly-veiled NeoCon/Oil Dollar/PsyOp propaganda (delete where appropriate)

Freedom Riders from Top Documentary Films/available elsewhere/ was beautiful and inspiring though. Quaker Action. An insight into the movement that catalyzed the Civil Rights movement in the US?

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My wife has just reliably informed me that she has just made bioplastic out of bananas. I am painfully aware that come the Climate Change Apocalypse/Revenge of the Space-Lizards I will not be the one doing the surviving:

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And this doculog for future alien anthropologists is over for today. Be kind to each other.

 

 

Updates: From the Cutting Room Floor

  • Potatoes have now finally shown their heads, joining the courgettes, Musquee de Provence squashes, Cherokee pole beans and french beans on the summer march.
  • Crow is being pretty close these days, a regular visit every day on the sitting-tree 🙂
  • The Next Shiny Thing (a novel) or CODENAME: NOT SO COSY is now wallowing towards the first quarter, which means that I have written almost the first third/half, and in that way of ‘telling yourself the story’ have about 20k words of actual story.
  • The City of Kings & Vadoran Gardens Kickstarter is into its final 48 hours! It is deeply rewarding to see all of the new people who’ve joined in for round 2 of The City of Games!

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The Ontology of Ghosts out-take:

We thought the Net would make us all free, able to express who we really were free from the bullshit and the boring crap that got in the way. But it turns out the Net was never for us at all. It was for the rich people. And for the companies. The ones with the killer abs and perfect makeup and wide-pan hiking shots from the Cascades, plates of food that cost as much as I made in a week. The happy people–or those who are able to fake Insta-happiness, anyway.

As for the rest of us? We were always just spectators, still looking for that One Weird Trick to make the universe like us…

-The Ontology of Ghosts, MM.

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Mixtape, a cooperative storygame for 2+ players and for total musictrash nerds is now available! Download, have fun. It’s free.

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Spotted: A very good discussion on the imaginaries of revolution by Amador Fernandez Savater, including some great take-homes about the anarch imaginary. Horizontal praxis as opposed to Hegelian-style telos thinking. Makes me want to scream “ecosystems thinking”.

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