On the marriage of popular and artistic sensibilities (not that they were all that far from each other?)
There's a story I've told before about one of the first times I remember buying books with my own money. I had, I think, a dollar-fifty in my pocket -- a staggering amount of dough for me at the time (I was, I think, nine?), and I bought three books from the fifty-cent paperback bin at the bookstore. One was a Star Wars novel and the other two were the first two books in Yukio Mishima's Sea Of Fertility tetraology. To this day I still don't know what drove me to do that, but there was something about them that made me want to read them, and it took me years to work up the skill to do it. But something about both of those things mattered, especially when I learned how to fuse them.
On the terror of facing a blank page (or screen), for the N-th time.
Most anyone who has written anything longer than a blog post -- and maybe even that, too -- knows the terror of a blank page or screen. Endless possibility is the same as no possibility at all, and so you hesitate. Even typing any one word seems wrong, because of all the things it cuts you off from instead of all the things it opens up.
You'd think after having done this for a dozen or more book-length works by now, I would know better how to deal with it. Well, I deal with it marginally better than I used to. The trick is to remember that any starting point is only ever one possible door into a room that has many of them.
Calendar on the wall tells me I've been running my new blog software for about a week now. Successfully!
Calendar on the wall tells me I've been running my new blog software for about a week now. You might have noticed a burp or two by now -- some links acting weird, some inline images flipping around or not loading, etc. Nothing fatal, and in fact I enjoyed teasing out bugs like that, many of which were due to the blog's codebase being old and inconsistent. Each one of those issues routed out and stomped flat was another way for me to establish consistencies of behavior I'd never set up before.
From uneasy sleep came the uneasiest of dreams.
Last night I dreamed I was standing in the foyer of the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center in New York City, a place I have been in many times for both work and fun. It was empty, as I imagine it is as I type this, but I suspect my dream version of it was drawn from all the times when I walked into that foyer before whatever festivities were planned had started in earnest. I could hear my footsteps echoing up to the glass-and-metal lattice of the roof and around the marble and concrete below and besides me.
I was alone, and the more I walked, the more I realized I was entirely alone, that there was no one in the building, and maybe not even in the block or the whole of the city or anywhere else beyond that.
Me vs. doing sequels, yet again.
(Yes, this is going to be a discussion about sequels and prequels and such.)
Constant Readers must know by now everything I've done has been volume 1 in a series of 1. it's a habit (no better word for it, I think) I slipped into right after I completed Summerworld, the first offering from Infinimata Press (or, Genji Press, or Glinebooks as it was known then).
After Summerworld came out, I spent about a day mulling over possible successors -- Autumnworld and Winterworld, with all the implications of downfall/death/eventual rebirth encoded into those titles. But the more I turned it over in my mind, the more I realized I'd said everything I wanted to about those characters and that world, that even talking about how they might pass things along to whatever successors might arise wasn't that interesting to me. What I really wanted to do with that story was leave it completely behind and do something new that had nothing to do with the previous thing.
With my blog, that is? I hope not, as great things are afoot under the hood.
With any luck, the answer will be "not really". Good, because that means the software I'm using to run this blog has passed one of its first big tests: republishing my entire blog, and some new entries, without breaking anything. The old software's still humming along in another directory just in case, but so far everything seems to have passed the first round of basic testing.
I dove deep this week into rewriting my blog software. Almost didn't come up for air.
I sometimes wonder if in another life I was a deep-sea diver. I have a tendency to go into things and not come up for air until blood vessels on the side of my face explode. Case in point: this week and most of the last one, eaten up by me rewriting my blog software from absolute scratch and ... and ... and actually rewriting it from scratch, gang! It runs, very well, and it might be as little as another week before everything you see before you is switched over to it.
With your sources for a story, it ain't where you start, it's where you end up, and how you get there.
Sorry, busy week, hence the silence. In re a discussion of Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation:
... the film’s ending isn’t so much a mockery of subservience to an audience’s expectations, but rather a depiction of how a skilled writer can construct meaningful purpose from even the most banal expectations and formulae.
It ain't where you start, it's where you end up, and how you get there. I had the lowest possible expectations for the likes of John Wick, and not only did I get rocked back on my psychic heels three times in a row (and soon it'll be #4 and #5), but I ended up taking inspiration from it for at least one, possibly two, other works. But I suspect people would struggle to connect the finished work with the inspiration, and that's fine -- that's the sign the inspiration is working as fuel and not as a template.
This page contains an archive of posts in the category Uncategorized / General for the month of August 2020.
Other Lives Of The Mind