Friday

Sometimes, I like to just write whatever comes to mind, free association writing etc. Let the words fall from my fingers like the desperate snatching drop of a glass across my floor…not dainty like sand, nor thoughtful like water, just a big messy screaming smash! Followed by whatever profanity I deem worthy of the episode, (this usually depends on how precious  the cargo spent was…wine for example, delivers much more fury than water).

The smash, the splatter? The faint pitter patter of ideas across my flickering ancient screen.

So often I think I need a new laptop. Is this simply because it is over 5 years old and therefore pretty much of no modern commercial use, except maybe as a giant, white, apple-endorsed coaster?

Resting upon it my glass of wine which I will no doubt smash off that slippery surface.

Or do I want to replace my laptop because I fear its imminent death and thereby, the loss of all my most precious files? Or, do I simply feel this need to upgrade to keep up with peers. I see someone with a new flash laptop, with the latest operating system and fancy new functions and I think “gees mine is so old, I need a new one.” – even though my friend’s new one will no doubt be redundant within 18 months anyhow.

Or, maybe I just hate this flickering screen!

My mother had a food blender that she kept for over twenty years because it was a wedding gift. I would be surprised if any mechanical device built these days could last that long, even if they were not being used. Electrical appliances produced these days have some sort of built in micro chip that makes them self destruct not long after purchase has occurred. I am certain of it…computers in everything…watching me, waiting for me to…

Oh boy…I’m so hungry. What do you know? Dinner is ready. Ahhh veggie lasagne…CHEESE.

A Rude Awakening

I woke up early this morning, as my dream ended rather abruptly. In my dream, I was washing my hands in a sink of a public bathroom, when I noticed a rather ominous looking naked woman at the other side of the small enclosed space. I  thought…”Oh no, she saw me looking at her and now she will know that I find her disgusting.” – With that she clobbered me about the head and I woke up feeling very violated and affronted.

Fortunately, although it was early and I was now troubled and unable to get back to sleep, ideas flushed into my mind on a possible solution to some of my rampant chapter-tentacles in my book.

(Chapter tentacles is a reference to an earlier post about loose ends of story lines being rather like enraged, semi-severed, tentacles of a fast regenerating Hydra…thrashing and causing havoc as they resist being dominated.)

Also fortunate, was that none of these great new ideas had anything to do with that nasty lady and her bludgeoning fists. No, in fact the ideas were ones I didn’t want to admit to myself that I had conceived earlier. These ideas involve besmirching characters that were otherwise good, with semi-wicked and contentious motives.

My poor character (name not to be mentioned), I’m sorry to make you out to be the bad guy, but someone has to make sacrifices every now and then so that I can keep narrative tension. Someone needs to be the aggressor, the scapegoat, the unexpected criminal when everything seems to be safe and calm.

Oh dear, I see…my idea was influenced by the unprovoked attacker in my dream…the figure I would normally just turn away from and ignore, slapped some sense into me. Wake up and make some noise!

 

Monday with Mary

Good evening!

The best part of Monday is the conclusion. For those of us who work 5 days a week Mon-Fri – clocking off Monday is a little like trying to loose weight and finally getting past that first notch on the belt. Not completely there yet, but still I do deserve a wine…surely.

So, I am busy working on 2 new short films at the moment, and they are just preparing to take over my mind completely. I must stick to my guns and make sure I keep up with the writing. Now that I have made such a strong decision in lopping off huge chunks from (what used to be) my favourite chapters, I must not tarry. I must get right back in there and keep patching up my Frankenstein so that it doesn’t just lie there and bleed to death.

While I’m talking about Frankenstein, I should discuss Mary Shelly, author of the great novel, arguably the first Sci-Fi novel ever written. In 1816, at only 19 years of age, she created not only one of the most chilling tales of the Gothic era, but she completely carved a new genre of art out of issues surrounding contemporary science of the period.

What a complete inspiration to woman, to free thinkers, lovers of science and art alike. Not only did she marry the often divided schools of the arts and the sciences, but she did it in a way that is compelling and appealing to people who question the moral implications of new technologies and also those who are thrilled by them.

She paved the way for the rest of us to question the world we live in and to ensure that we don’t take anything for granted. Through imagining all the various ways in which scientific discoveries could go terribly wrong, we are offered a chance to ensure that our science is not misused.

Though perhaps, ironically, the nightmarish conjectures made by writers such as Shelly or Phillip K. Dick, offer scientific advancement a scope through which to drive discovery. Would someone have thought to invent some of history’s more destructive devices if writers didn’t offer postulations that these things could be achieved?

Although my work on this current novel is often less like a classic Sci-Fi and more like a standard fantasy adventure, I have plans for the sequels to become increasingly more heavy with questions of morality and of technology being misused. It will be a wide arc that I take to sweep together some of my denser ideas and story-lines. I feel that in order to do them justice later, I have to start light. The first book has to be an entry point of innocence – a place for my characters to enter a fantastical space realm and feel overwhelmed, like they want to retreat to the safety of the world they used to know. We as adults know however, once the bubble of innocence has been popped, things can never go back to the way they used to be. We are forever changed by every choice we make.

Thank you Mary…for helping me today with your inspiration. I shall continue to ponder these worlds that I inhabit – both here on Earth and in my mind.

Weeding and Butchery

It seems these days that I don’t even get through a whole re-draft before I start re-working something else…I have spent the last month working through my book, trying to smooth out all the ripples that were echoing out from my last series of major changes. The most minute alterations to plot, character or storyline have such ongoing ricochets, its like shooting a laser beam inside a chamber walled with mirrors.

Now, before even getting to the end of my last draft, here I am making another huge array of cuts, the repercussions of which are splattering out rampantly across the pages, muddying my mind and my manuscript.

The great news is though, they are CUTS and that means, I have successfully trimmed a good 5000 words off a tangent in my storyline. A tangent that I now see was never needed. As colourful and fun as the chapters were, as beautiful and exciting as the action and descriptions were, I just didn’t need more junk bottle-necking up my conclusion.

Keep it simple!

I say that, as though it’s easy…

Feeling the weight of what I had just done I needed some space and distance – some time to think.

So, I had a break from my vicious chapter slaughtering and did some weeding. There I was, tearing whole lifeforms out of their homes, tossing them into a dark oppressive bag…upending communities of luscious green organisms and leaving their land in ruins. A battlefield of pulled roots and severed leaves. It seems today is all about butchery.

I return now to my pages, to my characters who are hanging by a thread, wondering if they will live or die, if they will be next.

I tell them, “What I do is for your own good…someday you’ll thank me for the pain I’m putting you through.”

(You know you are on to a good thing when you verbalize conversations with fictional characters that you  invented right?)

Now, if only I can get a handle on all these story threads that are left in tatters. Wrangling the severed tentacles of my literary hydra is not as straight-forward as I had hoped when I first hit that delete key.

CHOP!

Oops – Where one gruesome head was; there are now three.

Speaking of tentacles…I love this quote.

https://i1.wp.com/media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/originals/48/28/cf/4828cfb6dcdea4a4625672b2ad97b852.jpg

Would Phillip K. Dick Have a Blog?

Hmmm,

So it is Friday again and I have done no blogging all week. Bad bad bad. Well I have been rather busy trying to get s few short films/ a feature film set up so I can have work  for the next couple of months. We all need money.

Film is a very hard industry to work in when trying to maintain your own creative processes. When the standard day is 11 hours, 8:30-7:30, you are left very tired and often sore in the ears. You have just enough time to cook and eat or/ do some other activity and eat take out. So you only get to be creative or exercise when you are coupling that with eating leftovers or takeout. This is just not a great scenario. Most of the time you just are so tired all you have energy to do is watch a crappy film, even though you have been working on film all day, its just nice to watch a film that starts and ends in 2 hours rather than one that you watch in repeated 4 second loops.

AND…the crappier the film the better. Lets face it…who wants to think at the end of the day…give me ‘The Water Boy’ or something. (Just so you know the Water Boy is not actually crappy…some say it is up there with ‘Gone with The Wind’)

Anyway enough about film. Today I want to talk about Phillip K. Dick.

Would he have been an author who supported the idea of blogging? Well on the one hand he was very skeptical about social media and paranoid about the technological misappropriation of thoughts and memories by government agencies. So my initial reaction would be…No way! But at the same time he was also a very free thinker who was all about sharing his ideas and concerns with others.

As he said:

“Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.”
-Phillip K. Dick

I guess this is the double edged dilemma of all social media. To be involved and run the risk of exposure/ manipulation and subordination or sit back and let your fears go unannounced, thereby risking not having your voice heard.

When it comes to any technology that has a potential for misuse most people these days don’t really care too much about the negative implications, much less consider them. Most people now, when they hear about some new technology don’t worry at all about the ramifications of that technology being misused. We have become complacent, through a slow process of becoming accustomed to a certain level of progress. Concepts such as cloning have been around for so long now, that we just assume that ‘who ever is in charge will make sure it’s OK’

Daily life seems to churn along just fine, so it must be OK. We know now how quickly computer power is accelerating, it used to be so impressive, but we all know that in 18 months we will need to upgrade all our digital storage devices. Any computers we buy now will be near obsolete by then. We not only expect it, but we are starting to plan for it. making sure our purchasing choices are so cheap that it wont matter when we have to replace them. The microchips in our 10 dollar USB sticks will be next months garbage and that seems to be pretty acceptable.

After all, we aren’t the ones having to put the things together now are we.

Most of us carry on thinking that we don’t really have a choice anymore about stopping the mechanical revolution. The cogs are well and truly set in motion and for many of us the benefits are deeply ingrained in our daily experience of the world.

I remember when I didn’t own a mobile phone. I used to have to arrange to meet people at certain times, in certain places. If I turned up late I would have to do some ACTUAL thinking about where my friend might have gone wandering off to when they got bored with waiting for me. I would have to think, and then search.

Now, I don’t care about being late…I just text them on my way.

I think that it is rather irrelevant of me to even wonder if P.K.Dick would have maintained a blog. I mean really, the guy was a genius, a crazy genius and what I would rather know is what future predictions he would have for our current world.

I for one prefer to be an optimist. While contemplating all the really exciting, action packed, horror outcomes that are implied through ubiquitous computers, virtual realities and artificial intelligence – I like to believe that our prolonged interest in the ‘soul’ of humanity will perpetuate a general status of morality in our species existence.

However, who knows what is in store for us next…

BEWARE!….THE FUTURE COULD HAPPEN AT ANY MOMENT!