All posts for Uncategorized / General in 2022


Mind's Eye Theater, 2022 Edition 2022-12-31 12:00:01

Every time I see an artist whose work makes me tell myself, "There's a story there," I know I'm on the right track.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips 2022-12-28 12:00:00

On leaving behind a teacher who's outlived their usefulness.

Dogeared And Beloved 2022-12-27 12:00:00

On beloved books, grown distinguished with age and wear.

Vanishing (And Reappearing) Act 2022-12-23 12:00:00

What I did on my extended winter vacation. For one, I moved house.

On Doing One's Homework 2022-12-12 12:00:00

Especially when you want to write about your world, of which you've not seen very much yourself.

Band-Aids For Severed Limbs 2022-12-06 12:00:00

Fixing little problems makes it easier to fix bigger problems. But we keep thinking it's the other way around.

Happy Accidents 2022-12-05 12:00:00

Commercial success for creative work is less about the work itself and more about its circumstances.

Smarties 2022-12-04 12:00:00

Our mistake with intelligence was to consider it as possession rather than a skillset.

The Kessel Run Is A Unit Of ... Fun 2022-12-03 12:00:00

How consistency, foolish or otherwise, can be the hobgoblin of small minds in SF&F.

Knock It Off, Criswell 2022-12-02 21:00:00

Why I find the obsession with "prescience" in science fiction to be misguided.

Show, Don't Tell (A New Way To Get It Wrong) 2022-11-30 12:00:00

"Just depict, don't also imagine" is a poor program for art.

The Postmodern Story (Or Lack Thereof) 2022-11-29 12:00:00

On the lack of stories with moral authority and narrative force about life in the vacuum of reactionary postmodernity.

Fronting And Faking 2022-11-26 12:00:00

Too many times I've started a project only to shelve it because it was nothing but putting some attitude on display. And a bad attitude at that.

Input/Output 2022-11-25 12:00:00

When is "Write the story you want to read" not good advice? When you're not much of a reader.

Out Of Mind 2022-11-23 12:00:00

Discussion: "If you will conceive of a Buddha, you will be obstructed by that Buddha!"

You Got It 2022-11-11 12:00:00

"Your true nature is something never lost to you even in moments of delusion, nor is it gained at the moment of Enlightenment." A discussion.

Save The Cat For Something Else 2022-11-06 21:00:00

On my disdain for instructional storytelling guides: at best, such things are meant to be outgrown.

Imagine That 2022-10-24 12:00:00

Over the course of my life I've emigrated from one kind of imagination to another -- from just "making things up" to seeing what we have in front of us in a new way.

Mystory, Repeating Itself 2022-10-15 21:00:00

On examining what feels like the formula I've devised for most every book I write.

Workaholica: Read 'Em All 2022-10-11 21:00:00

How I've unthinkingly made too many fun things into "research" or "creative work".

Blurbage And Other Difficulties 2022-10-11 12:00:00

The difficult art of writing marketing copy for books.

Less Is Moore 2022-10-09 21:00:00

Alan Moore's latest grumbling about comics is as reductive as you'd expect.

Pens Down! 2022-10-05 21:00:00

"Getting lost in your knowledge management system is a fantastic way to avoid creating things."

Blow Up 2022-10-03 12:00:00

Of utopian and annihilatory urges.

Ducking The Wind 2022-10-01 21:00:00

Excuse my silence, I was avoiding a hurricane. (And now, some work updates.)

Labels, Labels, Labels 2022-09-25 12:00:00

I don't particularly care if my SF is hard, soft, or mushy; I care whether or not I give a darn about who's in it and what happens.

A For Amoral, Or Artistic 2022-09-19 12:00:00

With amorality in art, we tend to single out the wrong things to get upset about.

The Escapist Imperative 2022-09-18 12:00:00

In dire times, some people (me included) feel uneasy about seeking escape from the moment they're in.

End(game) Result 2022-09-17 12:00:00

People see your results, not your efforts. By design.

How Patreonizing 2022-09-13 12:00:00

No, I have absolutely no idea what's going on with Patreon either.

Campbell's Folly 2022-09-10 21:00:00

"The 'three-act structure' and the 'hero’s journey', are editing tools, not writing tools."

Fast, Cheap, And Under Control 2022-09-08 21:00:00

Paraphrasing Neil Gaiman: "Make cheap art."

Towards A More Lovely Dog Biscuit Package 2022-09-05 12:00:00

"What makes dog biscuit packaging an unworthy object of a designer's attention as opposed to a museum catalog?"

A Mouthful Of Ideas 2022-09-02 12:00:00

Comparing and contrasting two critics, Roger Ebert and Serge Daney.

All I Want For Christmas Is A Few 4K Titles 2022-08-29 21:00:00

A wishlist of stuff I'd like to see reissued as 4K BDs.

A Splinter In The Mind's Eye 2022-08-25 21:00:00

AI-generated imagery and CGI in general, and how the uncanny valley has many manifestations.

One-Pointed Text 2022-08-22 21:00:00

The overwhelming majority of Western fiction that tangles with Buddhism comes out looking flat-flooted and foolishly literal.

Roger's Empty Glass 2022-08-20 21:00:00

When Roger Ebert revealed that he was a recovering alcoholic I was shocked, but not surprised. The clues had been in his work all long.

Wrinkling My Nose 2022-08-18 12:00:00

Where am I obliged to like anything merely because it exists?

Crisis? What Crisis? 2022-08-17 21:00:00

On the concept of accelerationism.

I Got The Feelin' 2022-08-15 21:00:00

Gut wisdom and creativity, examined.

The Tragedy Of The Cultural Engineers 2022-08-12 12:00:00

Those who are most in the position to effect massive social changes through cultural engineering at scale are hidebound from doing so.

More Wrong Lessons From The Singular Sensations 2022-08-11 21:00:00

The lessons we learn from singular, idiosyncratic works are not necessarily positive ones.

The Dark Stuff 2022-07-24 12:00:00

Something that disturbs us can be profound, but that does not mean disturbance is profundity, or a certain route to same.

All 'N All 2022-07-23 12:00:00

Zen wonkery: on the idea that all things are enlightenment incarnate.

What I Was Trying To Be All About 2022-07-17 12:00:00

The only thing I want from my work is to use it as a way to make sense of myself and my world, and to do that in a way that other people can share.

The Human Use Of Human Beings, And All That 2022-07-13 21:00:00

What are people for in SF&F? To show us what's possible, and to show how that's possible right here, not just "out there somewhere."

Artisan Or Assembly Line? 2022-07-13 12:00:00

There's no point in trying to emulate the A-list culture machines at your scale.

Tell It To Me Straight 2022-07-12 21:00:00

We don't want validation just to know that we're doing the right thing, but also to know we're not doing the wrong things.

Toss It In Your Satchel 2022-07-09 21:00:00

One of the many things the proliferation of the smartphone seems to have killed is the Beloved Weatherbeaten Paperback.

The Spaghetti Moment 2022-07-08 21:00:00

It's a familiar story trope. A bunch of people come into a restaurant/room/hotel/office, reveal themselves in miniature, and get briefed on The Mission.

Roll Them Dice 2022-07-08 12:00:00

At some point I imagine someone came up with (or should come up with) a game theory of creative work.

Half Step Dance 2022-07-06 21:00:00

Welcome to draft 1.5 (so to speak) of "Shunga-Satori".

Open Book Exam 2022-07-01 12:00:00

On how messy my note-taking can be on my projects.

Crossed Wires 2022-06-27 21:00:00

Sometimes, just sometimes, you gotta let a professional deal with things. Case in point: flaky internet service.

The Cardinal Sin Of Repeating Myself 2022-06-26 22:00:00

No matter how much I try to avoid it, I see more similarities than differences in everything I write. But is that a problem?

Join The Faker's Club 2022-06-24 21:00:00

On the sociology of impostor syndrome.

On The Transformation Of Inspiration 2022-06-23 21:00:00

Most projects don't end up anywhere near where they start out, and for good reasons.

The Container It Goes In 2022-06-20 12:00:00

We put things into genres to make them sellable, and the best way to do that is after the fact.

The Art Of All, 2022 Edition 2022-06-16 21:00:00

"All entertainment is art whether we like it or not" holds up better with every passing year, and for many reasons.

Self-Criticism Session 2022-06-15 12:00:00

What do you do when you find yourself writing the kind of book you might take issue with if someone else wrote it?

The Popligopoly 2022-06-11 21:00:00

"When you’ve got a million movies to pick from, picking a safe, familiar option seems more sensible than gambling on an original." Discuss.

To Embody The Moment Without Trying 2022-06-10 17:00:00

People can get the anger of the current moment from anywhere. See what else you have to give.

Time, Time, Time, See What's Become Of Me 2022-06-07 12:00:00

Some healthy tension is needed between keeping the wheel of production turning and leaning on myself for being a lazy slob.

A Clear(er) Head For The Future 2022-06-06 12:00:00

What Zen taught me about writing SF&F, part 1.

How To Make Sense Of The Universe 2022-06-02 12:00:00

We might as well have narratives that make sense of the universe in constructive and nurturing ways.

Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Mouth 2022-05-29 12:00:00

Or until, as I did, break a tooth.

A Glass Of Chablis And A Corn Dog 2022-05-19 18:00:00

On spontaneity as the wellspring of all creativity.

The Same Furniture In The Same Room 2022-05-17 12:00:00

On deliberately not finding an equilibrium for one's creative work.

Lest We Repeat Ourselves 2022-05-14 12:00:00

In some ways this new book of mine is a rewrite of an older book. In most ways, I hope it isn't.

Bookish Heroes 2022-05-12 12:00:00

Let's have an end to the trope that a character who is an artist or an avid reader automatically makes them a protagonist.

Your Own Thing 2022-05-11 12:00:00

"What is it that I have to bring to the table?" is the hardest question any of us can answer, and I think many of us never do in fact answer it.

Misery Index, 2022 Edition (And Earlier) 2022-05-10 12:00:00

The story of a never-written project that made me realize why I don't want to rub the misery of our moment in people's faces and call that art.

Inhuman Affections 2022-05-09 12:00:00

Why would we find it easier to feel sympathy for a cartoon animal than another human being?

"Your Dreams Will Never Love You Back" 2022-05-08 12:00:00

Our dreams will never love us back precisely because they are our dreams. Only you and I can love each other, and we cannot afford to let anything else usurp that responsibility.

Picking Up The Broken Pieces 2022-05-07 12:00:00

The problems with multi-installment works are worse than we think.

The Little Guys Have It Hardest 2022-05-06 12:00:00

On indies avoiding the mistakes of mainstream publishing, 2022 edition.

But Of Course You Have Heroes 2022-05-05 12:00:00

Maybe one should not have heroes, I once said, if only because they are mortal and have feet of clay and will inevitably disappoint you. But I know I have them.

On The Noting Of Some Turning Words 2022-05-04 12:00:00

How an entire story can pivot on a single sentence, and lead to a new world in the head.

My Inner Eye 2022-04-27 12:00:00

On being a writer as an extension of being an artist who plays with images, rather than words.

Leaving The Nest 2022-04-26 15:00:00

When a Tweeter considers exiting.

What Is To Be Done, And All That 2022-04-24 21:00:00

On the meaning of "self-care" in a burning world.

Look Under The Sun 2022-04-21 12:00:00

How to find something new there. (And how to make it.)

The Momentum Of My Curiosity 2022-04-19 21:00:00

I still want to review stuff, it's just making stuff that's taken first priority.

Towards A More Nearly Perfect Elevator Pitch 2022-04-17 12:00:00

Being able to sum up your own stories succinctly isn't an insult to their complexity. It means you understand what they are really about.

Higher Ground 2022-04-16 21:00:00

On the disconnect between the highest and most refined forms of spiritual guidance, and the day-to-day suffering people have.

Multiplicities 2022-04-15 12:00:00

Examining your inner creative voices: "Are you 'one' writer or 'many' writers?"

Ring Around The Story, Pt. 2 2022-03-30 21:00:00

More Marvel discussion: On entertainments vs. objects of study vs. role models.

Ring Around The Story 2022-03-29 12:00:00

A few thoughts on "Shang-Chi" and the benefits of efficient story construction.

In The Right Spirit 2022-03-23 21:00:00

More notes on writing SF&F, as a Buddhist- and Zen-influenced author.

A Different 70% 2022-03-21 21:00:00

"Odds are you know 70% of what there is to know, but everyone knows a different 70%."

On The Job Training 2022-03-20 12:00:00

I always go back and forth about the value of "formal" education in creative endeavors -- e.g., creative writing classes or MFAs or film school or whatnot.

A Hundred Films, A Hundred Years 2022-03-18 12:00:00

In my humble opinion, here's a great way to spend a few hundred hours.

Solving The Ego Problem(s) 2022-03-16 12:00:00

"Solving the problem is more important than being right." A quick guide for writers.

The First Week Later 2022-03-12 21:00:00

The first seven days of writing "Shunga-Satori" convinced me I shouldn't use the word "weird" to talk about this book. Even if it's deserved.

Let Me Slide Into Your Inbox 2022-03-11 12:00:00

As some of you noticed, I now have a newsletter. Its mission is simple: to bring you the best and newest of All Things Infinimata straight to your inbox, once a week on Monday mornings.

The Storyteller Is Asleep 2022-03-08 12:00:00

On attempting (and largely failing) to stitch together dreams into a narrative.

The Big Kick 2022-03-03 21:00:00

On Brandon Sanderson's big kick(start).

Short Attention Span Theater 2022-03-03 12:00:00

Distraction or recreation? On the meaning of fun.

Here Comes The Pain 2022-02-24 17:00:00

I fight the idea that the only sensible response to a world that seems to be driving itself mad is to hide under one's desk with one's head in the wastebasket.

Over The Top, Out The Bottom 2022-02-22 21:00:00

If there was an envelope I wanted most to push, it was envelope of "accessible and fun" as it edged up against "complex and challenging".

Yours And Yours Alone 2022-02-20 17:00:00

Whatever it is you make, make it so yours they can never take it away from you.

Ask Yourself This 2022-02-15 12:00:00

Whenever I've said to myself "I'd like to write a book like X", I always had to ask myself, why? And to what end?

All Of This And Nothing 2022-02-12 12:00:00

More about Buddhism's most misunderstood concept, "emptiness".

If I Wouldn't Want To Read It, I Probably Wouldn't Write It 2022-02-09 12:00:00

The title tells it. Let's dive into this idea and see what comes up.

The Dizzying Whirl Of The Perfection-Go-Round 2022-02-05 12:00:00

That last long stretch of finishing up a book is often taken up with nattering about the kinds of details only you and one other jerk can see.

Look For Our New Facelift 2022-02-03 21:00:00

Some design- and art-related thoughts on assembling a new Bootstrap 5-powered theme for this site.

The Cocoons We Spin 2022-01-26 12:00:00

"It is not possible for reviewers and critics to provide what they purport to provide — and for which writers so ridiculously and childishly yearn." (Doris Lessing)

The Arbiters Of The Arbitrary 2022-01-24 12:00:00

Stories driven by arbitrary conceits tend to lose the reader's engagement, because in a story where anything's possible, nothing matters very much.

Don't Hide It, Provide It 2022-01-17 21:00:00

The idea that you have to guard your story ideas, lest someone steal them, is a pernicious myth.

Naked Brunch 2022-01-15 12:00:00

On the problem of avant-gardism having no criterion for failure.

The Story Worth Telling 2022-01-13 23:00:00

"Asking 'what is the story worth telling?' is a question we can’t avoid."

Free Your Mind, Guy 2022-01-11 21:00:00

Or at least, free your Guy, and the rest will follow. (On "Free Guy" and some thoughts related.)

The Strongest Poison 2022-01-09 21:00:00

A nightmare of how the power of modern envy makes it the deadliest of human emotions.

Hybrid Unconscious Hyperspaces, January 2022 Edition 2022-01-09 12:00:00

An earlier dream returned in a new incarnation.

The Anything Machines 2022-01-08 21:00:00

"You can do whatever you want" seems better expressed as "You can attempt anything you want to attempt."

Outside The Copying Spiral 2022-01-07 12:00:00

How do you get out of the spiral of copying your influences to producing truly original work?

What I'm Due in '22 2022-01-04 21:00:00

Some creative news for the new year at Chez Infinimata.

See previous posts from 2021

See future posts from 2023