Is it me, or is it like some perverse wrestling sculpture event? It’s like cooking, or carpentry. There’s heavy lifting and assembly and then disassembly when you inevitably get a joist wrong. And there’s a lot of staring. And pressure. And waiting. Scripts for me can grind, sure, but the grind is different, spooling too far too fast in a direction that I later realize doesn’t work. Lots of spooling. Tire smoke. But this theory thinky stuff is a different thing, like trying to walk through gel. Pushing through. Stopping for a breather. Is it always like this? Does it loosen up the more you get used to it? Or is it easier for some people? I can completely understand if it’s not the kind of thing I’ve got a knack for. I dunno.
One 24 hour plane trip and my white blood cells are all offended. I have come and gone to a fantastic conference (Rethinking Intermediality in the Digital Age), left with my head bursting with ideas and a notebook full of unbelievably smart and astonishing new contacts, and after landing in Brisbane one evening, heading to work the following morning, and then attending fellow DCI cohort presentations the day after that, I am fallen. Stupid cold. It’s not as bad as the lurgi before, but not for lack of trying. On the plus side, reading. On the minus side, poor reading comprehension. In early December I present a progress report of sorts for my research. There’s even a panel evaluation, so, like, no pressure or nothing. Really, I’m not terribly worried about talking. I can talk. Talking is fine. It’s putting this stuff down on paper that feels intimidating. That’s a funny … Read on!
Okay, so, I’ve been gaming since, like, forever. And my family wasn’t the kind to get an Atari or a Nintendo or whatever. No, my gaming was pen and paper and the kinds of stigma you expect when not being whatever’s popular that week in high school (I actually started earlier, but hey). I’m not here to talk about that, I’m here to talk about why I made my impulse buy. Which was a weekend pass to GenreCon here in Brisbane. I’ve know about Chuck Wendig since my White Wolf days, and then somehow, years ago, I stumbled onto his blog. If you haven’t read it, you should quit my site right now and go do so. I even linked for you just above. There’s a bit of a naughty word warning, but whatever, he’s a George Carlin variety of profanity-slinger. Trust me on this. Anyway. He was coming to … Read on!
It’s funny, seeing as how the work I’m doing is all about choice, that I’m critical of it. I just saw an ad for RSVP, an online dating service, and the theme of the ad was winnowing down preferences. “Must like dogs. Loves to cook.” Blah blah blah. We’re spoiled for choice, and by choice. Before we could move across great distances at will or chat with strangers on the other side of the world, we had who we had, and that was about it. You grew up in your family, your town, your neighborhood, and you took the things you disliked with the things you liked. And because you didn’t have an option to get away, surround yourself with the safe and adored things of your heart’s desires — physical, political, imaginary, whatever — you had to learn how to cope. I am forgetting how to cope. I am … Read on!
He says it much better than I can get my thoughts to string together. Also, do take time to check out the link he includes in his post. That’s also well worth the read:
…You’re also allowed — encouraged, even! — to not like stuff. While I don’t know that “hating” something is valuable, at least in the sense that, say, That New TV Show is worth the hot irons of your internal furnace, but hey, you feel what you feel. Once again, unless you’re a paid critic, you’re allowed to dislike something without any rational or cogent reason presented. You can just be like, “Man, that show Homeland just, it just, gnaaaarghle vvvzzzzz ahhhhhh. You know?” And then you flounce about and angrily eat a churro. CRUNCH CRUNCH FROWN.
Here’s the thing.
When it comes to pop culture –
Someone is going to dislike the things you dig.
Someone is going to adore the things you don’t.
And that has to be okay….
From The way we talk about pop culture.
So this was meant to be small and short, and isn’t, but I want to get this down because I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Yes, and. I first heard about it when I interned for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” in the early aughts. It’s a part of improv; when you’re working with others, when they throw you an idea, or they throw one out to get picked up and carried over the next goal line: Yes, and. It’s a simple principle, and it’s terrifying, and it’s the thing that will make us better people and it’s what shows us to be good people. In a collaboration, the instict to deny or negate comes from a protection of the self — sometimes a concern over sovereignty, over who gets the credit, over the dilution of ideas. But real collaboration, teamwork, trust, does not happen unless there’s this sense of yes, … Read on!
I have not been this sick for over a decade. I know this, because when I was last this sick I had no health insurance, lived in New Jersey, and had no friggin’ car. I am very grateful I now have both those things. Not that anything can help this Moraviscian death-flu that I’ve got. It’s a flu. Or at least a very angry cold with boundary issues. And antibiotics won’t help that. The biggest problem has been that it’s messed up my head. I forgot that this happened last time, too, maybe some kind of defensive measure my psyche enacted. But for a stretch of over 72 hours, nothing made sense. I left my mug of tea by the bathroom sink. Eggs in the pantry. We don’t live in a place where that’s a viable non-salmonella storage option. I’d drop conversations half-way because I forgot I was having them. A perfectly … Read on!
Earlier this year, one of my friends from back in NYC invited me to contribute to an anthology for the ReDeus series, published by Crazy 8 Press. Briefly, the premise of the series is that the gods of yore have come back, and are quite ready to resume being worshipped as they once were. Native Lands features stories set in the Americas, where political games and turf wars between the native gods and those claiming people with non-American ancestry complicate an already difficult situation. I chose to play around in Yucatán, offering an educator and architect a choice that could lead to her own demise. I wrote about this in more detail in a guest post on Crazy 8’s blog, but there’s something I didn’t touch on there that I’d like to mull over and talk about here in a day or so. The reason I need the time is … Read on!
Transmedia is all about platforms. I call them “vectors” myself — I like the image of story being transmitted like a virus over particular physical and event pathways. Putting together a story, for me, revolves around character. It’s absolutely centered on character. Anything that has to do with structure distracts me from character and gets me thinking all mechanically, and not … the word’s not spiritual, exacly, but it separates me from the heartspace of a thinking being. I end up writing what I think people should say to one another, as opposed to writing down what I hear them say to one another. So this is a tightrope I walk, and I’m not very good at it yet. I suppose that’s okay — it’s in the falling that I learn what is and isn’t useful for me, and then with analysis and comparison and reflection and observation, refine that into … Read on!
So, you know when you haven’t gotten in touch with someone that you should have, a while ago, and you feel too embarrassed at your slackitude to get in touch with them, and then time slides further on, and you only get more mortified? Yeah. That. It’s worse because I owe work I haven’t been able to tackle because I’ve expertly tied myself in knots about it. I’ve managed to dig myself out of my own sand pit, but I’m still getting stones out of my shoes. I’ll have to line up apologies, just as soon as I line up a few more posts so you all know what I’ve been up to over the past couple of weeks. Short version: Working on it.