It Made My Day

I just wanted to take some time to talk to you, my readers, old and new. It’s going to be a short post this time around, but don’t get used to it: I’ll be writing your ear off again soon enough. 😉

In fact, that’s what this entire post is really about.

So, a week ago now the first part of my article The Stitching Together of a Mythos: Kris Straub’s Broodhollow got posted by the fine folks of Sequart: which I followed on Twitter only to find that Kris Straub himself had retweeted it. After a brief Twitter exchange my day–then–was made. I thought that, if it ended here, it would be okay.

A day or so later, I posted a few comments on Amanda Palmer’s Blog. She wants to have some feedback with regards to a non-fiction book on the topic of asking that she was, ironically, asked to write. As I was responding to her second book post, I had an epiphany about something. When Amanda asked what I wish I asked for, I rambled a whole lot and then, not as satisfied with the answer I gave her on this post I went on Facebook and Twitter to state that I realized “that, after commenting on @amandapalmer’s Blog, most of my regrets aren’t about things I didn’t ask for.”

A day later, I opened my email to see that on Twitter I got a retweet from Amanda. I have a friend named Amanda and then I did a double-take and looked at this Amanda’s last name.

Another day. Made. In fact, I was told by a dear friend I’d never talked with on the phone before or even seen that–at least for the moment–I gained more Nerd cred than she has: though I have to say she is definitely one to talk and will beat me in no time. ;p

Then not long after that, Miguel Sternberg of Spooky Squid Games was on Twitter complaining about being in a house with no tea with the hashtag #canadianhorrorstories. You have to understand: I couldn’t resist. I ended up writing this: “Short two sentence horror story: The last man on Earth sits in a house. There is no one at the other side of the door with tea.”

Suffice to say, this got retweeted as well.  I wrote a bit more, but he tweeted his screams of terror at me far before that part and that was satisfying in and of itself.

But then I thought: all right. I am totally on a roll here but I have work that I need to do. I’d finally finished playing Christine Love’s Hate Plus and I had to write something for it: I just had to, you know? So I did. It was long and I stayed up late into the night to watch my brain shrivel into the corners of my skull from exhaustion. I’d written a previous article about Christine’s games and I thought nothing of it. I thought I would get a few views or what-not–maybe more because the game had just come out relatively recently–and that would be about it.

So for a day this seemed to be the case. I added stuff and made some corrections and what not. I even added images and had the damnedest time finding a particular image of *Mute in her uniform. So whatever.

The next day …

I’ve briefly exchanged tweets with Christine Love occasionally but this was the first time she had ever retweeted me. Ever. And then I went on my Blog–and this was a few days ago now or however you reckon time when it is very late past what some would consider night–and I see, and I am not joking at all here, I see this … large number of visitors and an even larger volume of views. You get alliteration from this no matter what word you use. And some unintentional rhyme too. See, this is what happens when I write when I’m tired.

Anyway, now that I’m writing up this post to all of you I just have to ask: how many days equal a week made?

I’m feeling really good right now. It’s still confusing and scary, but I can see the hints of opportunities coming up and all of these things–which may seem trivial to some people–are signals that indicate that I am travelling on the right path to … to something. I made something for Andrez Bergen a musician and an excellent writer as well that will … come up on October 9th. I am corresponding with a friend that may be able to help me find some more contacts and connections that I need to begin the process of supporting myself.

I also have two projects that are really experiments to see how much you guys want to see me … make something. One of these would be shared with the public: though I need to look into the logistics of it more. As for the other: I may or may not attempt some …. self-publishing. We shall have to see on that. But the first will definitely be in the form of a question that I will share with all of you whom might be interested.

I might also be … doing something else too in addition to everything you might already know I’m the process of working on. But I have to make some decisions. It seems lately that I am always having to make decisions. A while ago, some friends of mine who were in Vancouver entered their Master’s Program and I entered mine–at least in part because I also wanted to gain that prestige and knowledge (with no little debt)–to feel like a part of what they were feeling if that makes sense: to prove I was equal to them and, more importantly, capable of delving into places by myself.

For a while, especially after still being in debt and a change in circumstances I began to despise academics and wanted to distance myself from it. But it seems as though it will never really leave me, but not only have I learned that I can deal with it on my own terms through this Blog and Sequart and other places but I now feel close to my distant friends in space and time in a different way.

Because, here is the thing: even though I know this is still going to be hard as fuck, I don’t just want a made day, or a made series of days, or a made week, or even made years.

I want a made lifetime. But more than that: I want to make my lifetime.

And now I think it is beginning because, when you come right down to it, it never really ended.

Thank you Kris Straub, Amanda Palmer, Miguel Sternberg, Andrez Bergen, Julian Darius of Sequart and Christine Love for giving me those little extra nudges towards where I need to be. You are inspiring. I also want to thank one of my former Humanities Professors Markus Reisenleitner for endorsing me on LinkedIn. He actually showed one of my posts–Worms and Bicycles Or How People Make For Strange Stories–to his students and that was very encouraging. And I want to thank Gil Williamson for publishing my science-fiction story To Serve on Mythaxis Magazine.

But lastly, I want to thank all my friends and loved ones and all my readers for always being there in some form or another and encouraging me to keep making this Mythic Bios possible. You will be hearing from me soon. I promise.

Looking Outward

Having to Choose: What to Send and What To Post

There is this one thing that frustrates me from time to time. When I’m not posting articles straight onto Mythic Bios, I am writing stories into the other one: the Other Mythic Bios that I elude to from time to time.

There are stories I make that I really want to show you. There are stories that I want to be seen. But I also want to get published. Very simply: I know that most magazines–at least paying magazines–will not accept stories that have been printed elsewhere in any form. Or if there are such magazines and publications, I don’t know where to find them. It is one of the many things I have to search for at this time.

So basically, there are some stories I have that I need to save in order to send out to publications that may or may not accept them: publications that take time to get back to someone as well. I know that this is just how it goes and I don’t know what the results will ever be, but it can be frustrating.

Especially since I want you guys to see some of these stories.

I realized something else. After I started to truly stop procrastinating and send out my most functional stories, I realized that I didn’t have as many of them as I thought or wanted. I mean, I have stories that I can edit–and good writing is re-writing–and some that I can expand on, but of the ones that I have–the ones that I think are whole so far–I need to actually keep them in reserve.

And I don’t have many people to show them to. Many of my friends are very understandably busy and I can’t share with them as much as I used to. It is very sobering to really appreciate an immediate trusted reader-audience when they are no longer as available.

I also have some works that I am hesitant to even bring out because, frankly, they aren’t ready: in both structural and even psychological terms. I will say though that I am still looking for other comics collaborators in addition to my friend Angela to at least look over what I have planned.

So what it comes down is that I have to choose. A lot of my derivative works–my homages to other creators–go on here because I am not making any profit from them at all, I credit the people that inspire me, and I can show people what I can do–but I also manage to post some stories that I know won’t quite make it in any magazines that I read, but that I still like enough to think they deserve reader-attention and to further illustrate what I am capable of as a writer of fiction.

I have to choose which stories I think might make it in a magazine and which I can afford to hold off on showing a wider audience (at least to those publications that do not allow for simultaneous submissions) and which ones I think will only make it in my realm right here. I do not like having to make that choice, and I am at a place now where I’m beginning to actually pursue another path.

One for thing, I am looking for work and focusing on jobs that can supplement what I’m doing right now. I’m attempting to take the pressure off of constantly feeling the need to send stories out to all kinds of magazines all the time. Also in this way, I’m writing a lot of non-fiction articles and–if you’ve been following so far–I’ve even had one published: with more to come I’m sure. I already have one or two new Sequart articles planned.

It also helps that I have two major writing projects to focus on now: including working on one with the input of a very awesome group of people. I don’t want to say much else about this until more occurs, but it is something I didn’t see coming and I really forward to seeing where it is going to go. If I am full of something, it is definitely ideas. Finally, I’ve been toying with making a collection of stories to make into a printed or electronic book. It’s not the first time I’ve thought about this and I know it won’t be the last either, but it is definitely worth writing here.

And, for the record, I am glad you are all here to see me write my strange, weird hybrid articles that link things together and what elements of my stories and random poetry that make it out onto the Internet. I actually wrote this entire post a while ago, but after reviewing it I’ve realized that for all my frustrations and setbacks, and the collage of rejection letters that I plan to create, I have accomplished a lot and I am in the process of undertaking even more possibilities: and just as you are here for my writing, I hope you will do me the honour of remaining at my side for the rest of this Choose Your Own Adventure I’ve made for my life.

The fact is, you are all awesome. Thank you for reading me.

Be Brave, Be Heard

So I don’t generally do re-posts of other Blog articles, but this was is an exception. In fact, I wasn’t going to do anything else and just let Pollychromatic, and the image presented, speak for themselves. But not only have I been informed that there are some opinions of mine that need to be written down, but I also feel compelled to do so anyway.

Now first, I hope you read the above article. Secondly, I actually know Lady Katza personally–the person who took this picture of her daughter and made her costume at the time–and I have seen this awesome image before. In fact, not only have I seen this picture before, but Lady K herself asked me if I could make a story based off of it.

I’m not going to do that today, however, but there is something about the image that I do want to write about. This post, which was created by Lady K’s friend and sewing ally Pollychromatic, has been reposted and linked to a few other places. A few responses to this article were something along the lines of it being impossible for someone to maintain their childhood–their innocence–after protecting themselves from harm: that it should not be the imperative of a child to defend themselves, but rather it should be the responsibility of an adult instead.

And while there are some merits in these thoughts, I believe that they ultimately miss the point. There are two ways of looking at this issue.

The first is the literal perspective: the one which some of these responses attempt to address. If we look at this picture realistically, violence and surviving violence does neither maturity nor adulthood make. That, in my opinion, is a fallacy. Someone who kills or commits violence at a young age–even in self-defence–will have psychological trauma. They would need counselling and lots of guidance and understanding to process what they had done, and what happened to them. One response mentioned war as well as violence as making children grow-up far too quickly: and my opinion on the matter is that child soldiers are not a good basis to make a stable adult from, nor does violence function as a crucible that forges a “stronger” person. Instead, whether that violence is physical or semi-conscious in a culture, it can traumatize and create an individual with major emotional issues: people that, as I mentioned before, will need family and social structures to somehow help them cope … these same factors that should also be called on to change those aspects of a society or culture of violence.

So yes, when taken literally that image of the girl with an axe in one hand and a wolf’s head in another is not a thing that can solve societal and cultural violence.

However, there is the other perspective: the metaphorical one. The image that Lady K creates and Pollychromatic describes is an iconoclast: specifically a picture or an idea that takes preconceived notions and subverts them to make a statement. Both women are trying to say something with the language of archetypes.

They are taking an ancient cautionary folktale in the form of Little Red Riding Hood which, in turn, takes the archetype or the stereotype of the little girl as inherently innocent, pure and chaste–who is easily exploitable and is the victim that must always be cautious or guarded from harm–and they are changing it. Because I can tell you right now, that the image of this Red Riding Hood does not only represent little girls. It represents women of all ages and backgrounds. Whether that is completely successful or not, I will leave it up to others to decide and debate, but when I look at it in that context I see a representation–not the representation of course because there is never only one–of women and what they should do in the world of inherent violence and exploitation.

Now take the axe. The axe can be seen as an implement of death, but it is also a tool to help people survive: to cut wood and other substances for fire and food. Learning to use a tool is a form of knowledge and experience. When you place that in the hand of a symbol that is meant to represent a form of neoteny–both an essentialized symbol and an idea that women are eternal and infantile children that need to be minded and to fear–you begin to change that symbol through that addition alone. In Little Riding Hood, the axe also belongs to the woodsman whom–in at least some variations of the tale–ends up killing the predatory wolf. Perhaps he or someone else of either gender has taught her how to chop wood and use a tool to defend herself should she need it.

And now we come to the wolf’s head and the blood. For me, they represent–respectively–fear and the world. The wolf is not just violence, but the fear of violence. The girl, here, has decapitated her fear. But notice how she holds that wolf’s head. She isn’t holding it up like a trophy, or as something to be dominated, or even as a vanquished foe. Rather, she holds it as something more akin to a stuffed animal or a teddy bear. It’s almost like in addition to being fear the wolf is also her sense of violence and perhaps something more one day. She inherently accepts it as a part of herself and, while she has eliminated its power over her, she still utilizes its essence in a totemic way. It is her natural violence. It is a fallacy to question whether or not a cat hunting a mouse or a bird still has their innocence: in that they are just following their nature. I’d also argue that the essence of human nature is to preserve itself: an urge that can be honed into a conscious instinct for self-defence.

As for the blood, it would be really easy to equate it to upcoming puberty or a crimson baptism heralding premature adulthood, but the fallacy is equating adulthood with maturity and the idea that maturity and innocence are mutually exclusive forces: especially since we do not have a working definition of what innocence is beyond an idea of sexuality or age.

I see the blood as a consequence of being in the world. The natural world of the woods and beyond them is a messy, organic place. This is something that children, and hence adults, learn very early in their existences. If you are going to live in the world, prepare to be dirty and to also know that each cause has an effect.

This archetype that has been depicted here is no new idea. It has probably had many names in the past, but TV Tropes has its own heading under the term Little Miss Badass. You can find them in all media: as Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and even Lettie Hempstock in his new novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane. But I want to get beyond this a bit and look at what is meant by self-defence. The fact is, I hinted earlier that violence is not merely a physical act, but also a systematic one: one that uses a societal or cultural threat or fear of violence to define a victim and make them hide … make them silent. However, self-defence need not only be physical as well. It can be arming someone with the tools to not only recognize overt and subtle dangers, but also to speak, to protest, and to challenge what are generally long-held and unquestioned assumptions.

So now consider this image in the political dimension that Pollychromatic brings up. If you interpret this image as being an archetype–again not the archetype–for all women, then the message seems to be clear: that women should defend themselves against forces that threaten them and that the first form of defence is knowledge of what needs to be defended against and how to properly respond to that danger.

And then you can look at the image with regards to children: to actual children. If you interpret this image as teaching children how to recognize the inherent dangers of the world around them, as well as working with the benefits of that world and focus more on them interacting with the world as it is, then perhaps you can slowly change that world from the ground up: by simply having those children, and the adults that they will subsequently become, actually exist.

Ultimately, I will say this. Pollychromatic’s version of Lady K’s photograph as a potential political symbol for change does need some work. Personally, I think it would look awesome in the form of FV Disco that was utilized by Nick Marinkovich as the illustrator of Kenk: with its collage-like quality, sharp white angular outlines, and rhetorical art quality that would still keep the essence of the image as it is. What I see when I look at this image is a timeless figure, an innocence that protects itself and its own: a force that teaches you that innocence still exists with a bit more canniness and wisdom and, more importantly, it makes you seriously look at what forces define innocence in a created world.

That is what I got out of what Pollychromatic and Lady K try to say about their article and picture respectively.

pollychromatic

Something sort of weird happened on the way to sharing a picture for the #WeStandWithWendy campaign.

A couple years ago my friend Lady Katza from Peanut Butter Macramé took a picture of her daughter. She had made a gorgeous Little Red Riding Hood costume for her daughter, and completed the costume with a bloodied axe and a wolf’s head.

Her daughter was 8 in the picture; unmistakably prepubescent. There was little question of context for herself, her husband, or for me. In this storytelling, Red had saved herself with a Huntsman’s axe. She did not need saving. The girl in the picture was wide eyed, with her innocence still visibly intact. She did not look menaced or menacing. She looked determined, and young. It was, ultimately, a picture of female innocence that was capable, and not the least bit helpless.

It was the kind of story-in-a-picture that upends paradigms, in


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What I’ve Been Up To and Where This is Going

It’s been some time since I’ve taken a step back and talked about what has been going on with my creative projects and myself. And while I’m glad I actually had the opportunity to post up some actual fiction here for a change, this has been long past time.

The more the game changes, the more it stays the same: both figuratively and literally. Let me start with the practical matters first. I need a job. That’s pretty much it. I need to find a job and do some volunteering that can help me get more contacts. The good news–aside from the fact that my worker is the first person to ever get a Mythic Bios business card–is that my social assistance program that I’ve been on for a while is actually giving me a little more in the way of concrete advice.

For instance, I have some websites now that seem to tailor more to the kinds of things I do or that I’m interested in. There was at least one job looking for a potential creative writing teacher: which would be a strange role for me given how I have been–and I am still–the student for so long. But that is one avenue. Another possibility that was given to me is that perhaps I can join a newspaper and help create or add to a column that matches with my “Geek” interests. This would be a major boon because I would have something out there in print, get more of my stuff out there, and potentially even get paid for it. I won’t lie: getting paid would be very nice at this point.

On the other hand, I am now motivated to really and truly start asking questions. What I mean is that even if I can’t get a job at one place or another, I can ask “interview” questions to someone about what it is that they do, what I should expect, what I would need to focus on with regards to my resume, and if they know anyone who is looking for anyone. I can ask questions. And I suspect there will be some business card trading. All of this is a focus that I have been fighting to keep clear as time has gone on.

I won’t lie to you. A part of me is scared: scared that I won’t find anything and that my help will run out. But there is another part of me that is also concerned that if I do get a job, it will me take away from the very Projects that I need to get to where I want to go: that my energy and my equilibrium will be so drained after practical work that I won’t want to do anything more. Of course I know a lot of that is utterly ridiculous given that I know what I can do and what I love the most.

Also, I need a change of pace. I need to make a new routine and schedule that will allow me to get out of my house, wake up earlier and have more time to myself and even get more opportunities to work with other people and explore again. It is exciting, even as it is utterly terrifying in a lot of ways. I have a lot of stuff I need to overcome and, in my way and in this past while, I have been endeavouring to do so.

The fact of the matter is this: in order to shape the life that I want and grow and maintain the relationships that I need, it is imperative that I reach my full potential: or as much of it as I can. And oh god is it terrifying to fight that anxiety, but invigorating to also realize that I have so much to actually look forward to.

And I do have things to look forward to. First, I am going to be getting Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane soon. I look forward to finding it in, or near, my mailbox. It’s the first Neil novel in ages and I am going to enjoy it. I know that I will. Also, for the first and last time, and if all goes according to plan I am going to be seeing Neil personally–along with countless fellow geeks and fans–in Toronto itself: at the Danforth Music Hall. It is his last signing tour for the foreseeable future.

I had to go through some hoops: cancelling an Amazon order to get a Chapters-Indigo order so that I’ll have a proof of purchase and thus be allowed to have that book signed. This tour is also not a free one and it has cost $31. I know that bothers some people and deters them from going. But there was also something else that made me hesitate initially. That fear again. I’ve looked forward, so much, to meeting Neil but at the same time it scares me. It scares me because meeting the person who pretty much helped reshape my writing style in a very paradigmatic way is kind of intimidating. He’s not going to be the writer behind the narrative of his novels and Blog, or the tweeter of his Twitter, or the man in some of the videos I see online. He is going to be an actual human being–which he is–sitting for a long bloody time at a table or something signing books.

And I know I probably won’t sound as eloquent talking to him briefly as there would probably not be that much time. Okay. Fine. I’m going to be a fan-boy. Are you happy now? Neil is the closest thing to a hero that I have and this is his last signing tour. And it makes me sad even as I feel something kind of fitting about how the first time I meet him like this will be the last in a while.

The fact is, I just hope that when I do get my chance to meet him that I can just say to him, “I am really glad I finally got to meet you.”

Now, that aside, let me go into some of my creative matters. I have been insanely busy. I have been working on my Twine novel. Novels are fucking intimating. When you make a novel, you make sure to have an outline of plot and character, or you will go crazy. Also, as you’ve probably heard before, you cannot write each novel in the exact same way. I outlined to you what beginning this Twine Project has been like, and it has more or less continued the exact same way. I am still writing it all out by hand. I have decided all of my creative projects worth making need to have that “automatic first-draft” experience of being ink on paper before being typed into another draft.

But this Project … I set out to expand on the details of all the plot-branches in relative order: from upper all the way to the lower tiers. I have finished about six of the places I want the player-reader to go to and there are about nine or ten more places left that I need to expand on. Also, I did something different: I decided to write the happy ending before anything else. It is the closest thing to a utopia that I have made, and I am not sure that anyone is going to get to it.

Sometimes when I look at what I’m making, I sometimes feel like it is getting too long and what I’m planning may be too exact. .I wonder how many people would see this Twine, play some of it and then click away as they lose their both patience and their interest. Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing it. The content is unorthodox and sometimes controversial and I just wonder if people will like it, hate it, or simply not care. I am not doing it for money or fame. And I haven’t even toggled with Twine yet beyond watching some video tutorials and sometimes I think to myself: why am I working on this thankless thing? What is the bloody point?

And then I remember: I want to work with games and having something like this would be good to add to my portfolio. But more than that, it is something I have to do for me and finishing it will help me grow as a creator.

Which brings me to the last part of this Blog entry. In addition to this Twine Project, I’m going to undertake something else. And it is going to be big. And, when I say it is big, I am not exaggerating. This is going to be big. This totally took me by surprise. And I didn’t even see it coming. But now that I know it is here … I don’t know what will happen with it, or if I will succeed but I can’t–in good conscience–turn this possibility down. Sometimes I think that some things all happen at the same time for a reason, or at the very least they make for a good motivational story.

I’m actually not sure if I can get away with this. I will say, right now, that it will be the basis of–or will become–a novel because it has to be. You have to understand: I have gotten so used to writing short stories and vignettes–which have their own set of intrinsic challenges–that sometimes I can’t even begin to conceive of writing a novel on a professional level. It is daunting. It will take time and energy and, like I said, I can’t turn this prospect down.

I won’t.

If it succeeds, even to a point, my routines will change. If it doesn’t, they will still change. I can never just do things simply. And if it even goes further …

Anyway, I was wondering what I was going to write here today on this Blog and here it is. A whole lot of very daunting challenges and busy days and the realization that I need to parcel out my time. It feels like summer: in so many different ways right now. I also intend to keep up this Blog and let you all know what’s going on: as much as I can.

It never ceases to amaze me to see how many new Followers I keep getting and how many people are starting to read my Blog and its multifarious branches of content. I am definitely going to keep you posted on what is going on with this last Great Challenge in particular. In the meantime, thank you for Following me and I expect to see you again sometime soon. Take care and good night.

How to Get Attention: Or What My Readers Seem to Like

I thought it might be interesting to play in traffic today … or, more specifically, look at which topics of mine tend to get the most reader-hits.

I admit: I spend a lot of time looking at my Stats and guessing at who has viewed what and from where based on some pretty bar graphs. So now that we have established that I have very little in the way of a life (though I strongly suspect there are other people who are doing the exact same thing even as I write this out of pure morbid fascination), I want to look at what seems to really “work” in terms of attracting readers on Mythic Bios: and possibly other Blogs.

Well, my first observation is that the recording of Life events really tends to get a lot of attention. It seems as though readers really want to know more about a Blog writer’s actual life beyond, mainly, what they actually record down. For a while I avoided doing that as much, but I recognize the value in occasionally dealing with that part of my self and some of the milestones in my own life offline. I guess the fact that people are interested in other people and specifically people whose writing they follow isn’t that much of a surprise in retrospect.

It also isn’t surprising that there are a lot of hits with regards to my posts on Creativity and the Creative Process, or to be more “nice and accurate” about it: my own thoughts about them. It isn’t as though my thoughts are particularly original, mind you, but I have to be precise in stating that these are my opinions and experiences with the above. Whereas with my Life I tend to find moments where I really need to express or share something, my writings on Creativity are mainly me pretty much talking out loud but–unlike the actual times when I talk to myself (a lot)–I actually want to take readers through something of my process: to outline a bit of my own mind and how it works.

Unfortunately, it also isn’t that surprising that when I wrote my post on Depression, I got  lot of hits for two days afterwards. It is a very common topic–especially in this day and age–and it also feeds back to the idea of the “personal being publicly popular.”

In a lot of ways, all of the above are pretty much the electronic Mythic Bios’ bread-and-butter, as it were. I know that if I talk about these topics or choose a day where the new Dr. Who episode or the latest movie comes out to talk about it, I will get some traffic there. It’s good to know what works and what needs work.

I have some specialized posts that do not always get as much traffic, but they are relatively consistent in their own way. For instance, I find that I get a fair bit of views with regards to my What is FV Disco? and my Worms and Bicycles articles from Eastern and Central Europe due to the fact that I am touching upon an art movement and style that originated in Slovenia, and that–at least at the time I made them–there seemed to be few articles talking about the subject online: never mind with regards to the comics medium.

Speaking of comics, I have been getting some modest traffic with regards to my reviews of comic books like Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum and anything I’ve written on Miracleman. I try to put a little of everything for Geek readers and otherwise: though really it depends on my mood and where I think the flow of the Blog is going at that time. What I mean is: I try to maintain some kind of continuity with regards to which article I place after the last.

And I am really happy to see people reading my stuff: especially my articles on, and my stories based from Video Games: of which my only claim to expertise is the fact that I’ve played some of them and even loved them. It also makes me happy to see the occasional view of my article on my experience with Gwendolyn MacEwen and The Vampire Sex Bar too. I obviously find that my articles on mainstream subjects or things that have become so such as Creativity, Superman, The Doctor and what-not to get more attention while some my more obscure and original articles get less: though it is very satisfying when this last does get some views.

But I think the most gratifying moments for me are when someone reads some of my samples of fictional writing. It just makes me happy to see people reading my most original or at least creatively derivative work. Yet I have to say that, in the end, I am just satisfied to see that anyone reads any thought, poem, review, story, or opinion of mine here. It is the closest I have to bringing you into the world that I created for myself from all of this and my own essential self.

Sometimes I feel like I am not always that interesting and much of what I write on here isn’t that important when you really think about it. But writing and writing to one’s audience is more than statistics, or whether or not you get paid, or how much attention-whoring you do. Writing is about getting yourself out there and expressing it in such a way where you don’t dumb yourself down, but the same time you are not trying to be inaccessible and superior.

I am still trying to find the line between what I want here and what I may want elsewhere. But in the meantime, I have a better idea of how to continue. For instance, I know that if I want to get Freshly Pressed the best way to do it is to write about a topic that is universal or very popular (such as a strange pseudo-serious and somewhat creative meditation on the nature of cartoons), make it short, but also make it stand out by cramming a lot of ideas and resonance into so small a space. An appropriate graphic also helps. Of course I also understand that there are other factors to consider too: such as what the staff of Freshly Pressed is looking for that day or that week and there is only so much you can control or predict.

So I will just end off this post by stating that ever since I started Mythic Bios a year ago, I have a much better idea of figuring out what my current and prospective audience wants to see and how much of that is determined by my skill and my circumstances. But there is still a lot of things I do not understand and you all continue to surprise me in what it is that you like to see. My video game and some of my shorter comics ones come to mind there. And then sometimes–very rarely but very sweetly–I see that some of you go on Google and type in the name of the particular article of mine that you want to see. And that, my friends, is what makes me the happiest of all.

Practicing Ideas and Dress-Rehearsal Stories

There is a character in Sandman who gets to the point where he has so many ideas in his head that he can’t write them out, or express them, fast enough. In my case, I have all of these ideas and they each vie to be worked on first: using the energy that I have to focus on one at a time. You know: that energy. It is the energy of vital immediacy and enthusiasm.

The way I think of it, each idea is like a facet of some interesting inorganic material or small components of living substances that need the immediate energy that is inside you to develop them further: to give them the spark of life and order.

And while I do believe in multitasking, it is far easier to multitask when you are doing several different things as opposed to many of the same. At least, that is what I find for myself. I will also admit that there are times when it is more ideal to be able to make the space and time for one particular task as opposed to several others at once.

Of course, there is the other side to it as well. There are the ideas that need time to grow, or those that remain in a kind of fossilization or stasis until enough future energy and knowledge is built up in order to activate it later on. Which brings me to something else I’ve been thinking about lately.

I think one difficulty that I have as a creator is that my mind acts as a kind of cache: I have all of these ideas that I either need to use, save somewhere else in the hopes that they will be activated again one day, or discard completely. If I have too many ideas that I want to work on immediately, I will either slow down or get paralyzed. It also doesn’t help that I have lately been trying to focus on works to send out to places instead of the larger work that my mind is slowly gravitating towards: regardless of my wishes in the matter.

Me and my Head

It does help when I look at the articles and stories that I write on this Blog. I think of them as not only vessels to contain my ideas, but also as “dress rehearsals”: practice sessions of stories that will either become other stories or whose ideas will be added to make something larger and more complex.

Mythic Bios was intended to not only hone my ideas down and let me express and make things I wouldn’t ordinarily have a space for, but to let all of you also get to see as much of the process as possible. I don’t know how successful that might be, but that was the idea anyway. It also occurs to me that once I write my insights about writing and specific works, I tend to forget about them beyond the gist of them. I do classify them to look at later, but I need to find the time to do that.

But I do think I am on to something here and there will be something larger made as a result of all of this: if there isn’t already in some form. Anyway, this is the end of my “thinking to myself” phase online. I will keep you posted, if you will pardon the pun. ;P

Depression

Warning: This post contains angst. If you want to read something better, witty, geeky, creative and otherwise far less personal, any of my other posts will do. Reader’s discretion is advised.

Do not say I didn’t warn you.

Me and my Head

In 2005, I started writing in this notebook. This was long before I began writing my Mythic Bios notebooks and I was in a very different, uncertain, and unpleasant place in my life. In this particular notebook were a series of fragments, thoughts, aphorisms, and a whole lot of bitterness, anger, and bile.

I called that notebook my Dorian Grey: because that was where I placed most–if not all–of the ugly parts of myself at that time. And it wasn’t enough.

It was never enough.

After a while, I stopped writing in it. I just didn’t want to see it anymore and, eventually, after much bitching and angst I moved past it and turned those fragments into more and more unified stories in my Mythic Bios.

I wanted to forget that first notebook so much that I eventually did. I thought I buried it somewhere else, though later as it turned out it had been in my room at my parents’ house–on my closet shelf–the entire time. I vowed, after a time, to never get into the position where I would write a notebook like that. I promised myself never to create another Dorian Grey again.

That is one of the main reasons I’ve tried not to talk about my personal life on my Writer’s Blog. Even oblique mentions of it seem to verge on breaking my own personal code. But I also realize this might be helpful. It might even show others that, in the immortal words of the Face of Boe, “You are not alone.” So here it is.

I am depressed.

This doesn’t come off as too much of a surprise, I would imagine. I have alluded to it. In fact, in a really dark mood, I once wrote this entire even longer post on what my depression actually entails. But I’ve decided to do something else instead. I’m going to describe what it has been like in a Choose Your Own Adventure style of “You,” instead of “I.” But you don’t get to make decisions: seeing as this isn’t a Twine game. Also, I am going to italicize it: to make it distinct from the rest of this post. So if you have difficulty reading a whole series of paragraphs in italics, please skip this or read something else I wrote on this Journal. Anyway, here goes nothing.

You don’t remember how you got like this exactly. There is one memory, though, that stands out at you. You were young: literally a child. You were at your grandparents’  near the entrance to the house, sitting at the old rickety table and its rotary dial telephone with the living room not that far away. You are pretty happy: because when you are here you are actually safe and it is a refuge from that cold place that is school and other children that you don’t really understand.

And then, as you are waiting–perhaps for some chocolate cake with coconut sprinkles that you have to eat in the kitchen along with the tea and milk you were once able to actually drink without being sick–you feel this … pang go through you. It is a strange feeling: like a reverse orgasm. It is not comfortable. It’s what you will later on know to be a painful moment of clarity: of realization.

You understand that this–all of this around you–is going to go away one day. And there is nothing you can do about it.

That is the earliest memory of the shadow and its melancholic length beginning to stretch down throughout the years to where you are right now. You start to bury yourself in old tape-recorded movies in a futile attempt to keep the past present. You immerse yourself in old books and keep them as friends: for they will be more constant and understanding than any flesh and blood companions you will ever have. You try to ignore your teenage years out of existence through books, said tapes, and video games. But the one thing that none of these elements can save you from is loneliness.

You make friends and somehow they keep moving on with their lives faster than you do. Your family tries to shelter you. It doesn’t help that they are religious and have food restrictions. Nor is it particularly helpful that you were born … different, as people keep telling you: in addition to the ethnicity thing. You don’t learn things the same way that people do and later you strongly suspect that you don’t experience things the same way either.

So you already have this predisposition to not trust the outside world at all. And you will be fighting this impulse with varying degrees of success for the rest of your life. You also are both drawn to people because you do not want to be left behind, and you are repulsed by them because they are not you. But those differences also intrigue you: a lot. This is going to be a running theme for the rest of your life: among other things.

So let’s fast forward this a bit. Finally you manage to gain enough inner strength to move out of your parents’ home: though you do need them for more practical matters from time to time. You get into Grad School with the aid of some people who care about you. You feel like you are making progress. You are slowly subverting and breaking free of all of those self-imposed and outwardly imposed restrictions.

But then there is this to consider. You are an introvert and this particular set of relatively simple and straightforward characteristics as set out in this link describes you very well. You now really have to deal with bureaucracy and its complete and utter ineptness. You have not been raised to deal with it really, and it galls you that you have to let it rule a portion of your life. This is the adulthood that you have unintentionally been fearing and loathing even before you knew about it: when you were so immersed in books and films and games in the vain hopes of trying to avoid it. The very frustration and cold reality that your family and school has been trying to shelter you from relatively until now when, suddenly, you have to deal with this shit a lot on your own.

But you persevere despite it. You even make new friends and new lovers. You get to go anywhere you want relatively at any time that you want. You get to dance. You get to hang around with people without curfews. You are working. You have something not unlike an adult life. 

You realize after a while that the depression is not chemical: as much anything in human behaviour isn’t the result of biochemicals in some way. Your depression is really situational and the results of a personal cycle of behaviour. You get into situations where the person you are trying to be is not the person that you are acting like. You begin to emotionally, as opposed to intellectually understand, that people are not constant beings. It’s not so much that they lie–and some of them do–but they aren’t always the same person. Their lives change too.

You’ve always internalized emotions and what you are feeling now is a lot of anger, sadness, stress, anxiety, resentment, and outright hatred. You’ve been led to believe that it is unseemly to display these emotions: as though it is somehow more mature to be in agony all the time but continue to express that socially acceptable mode of behaviour known as adult irony. You’ve always had headaches and migraines. Your stomach bothers you. You have always been really over-sensitive–hypersensitive–and in the worst case scenario the stress only makes it worse: to the point where your muscle-memory has memorized your anxiety and tenseness, and you’ve realized you have actually been having panic attacks.

In fact: do you remember the characteristics of introversion in the link above? Imagine them magnified even more so. You get to the point where you don’t feel comfortable going outside. You feel ill thinking about being in a social function where no one is giving you that “in” to speak and so you don’t go anymore. And between you and others bashing your personal beliefs–which were rosy yet flimsy things at best–you just stop opening up altogether. You used to like travelling around, and you had a certain degree of confidence. It erodes as you sit and you no longer move.

And this is before you realize that you have been eating up your girlfriend’s money by not getting a job, that you’ve been selfish as fuck, and it is hard to relate to anyone anymore. And those books and the Internet are no longer taking the edge off from reality. You can’t escape anymore: or at least not as well as you could when you were younger.

You realize that there is a terrible consistency in telling certain people that you feel as though they are a part of you when you know–deep down–that you have begun, or you are resuming, to hate yourself. You don’t say what’s on your mind to anyone: not really. You begin to believe that no one has ever really understood you and it is less an element of adolescent angst and more of a matter of fact.

Then you run out of money and you have to move back in with your parents. Your privacy and peace and quiet becomes compromised. But you don’t really leave the house like you used to. You don’t like to go out and you have withdrawn from most people: save those small few who come to visit. It is as though you have spent years trying to overcome your introversion and now you are paying the price by not wanting to move at all.

You are in debt because of your Degree. And after getting a Master’s Degree, you have to go on welfare. You realize that the given moralities of hard-work and debt are things that should be questioned in society rather than simply being accepted. You become dependent on a computer again to socialize and then it breaks down and you need to use the public desktop. You will not go anywhere unless there is an accessible restroom of some sort nearby. Your clothes begin to fray and you neglect yourself because, on some intrinsic level, you don’t give a fuck anymore.

You begin to resemble outside what feel like inside. You remember moments of joy and they become poisoned by what happened after. It is hard to remember actually being happy anymore. People keep intruding on your space and asking the same tired old questions over and over again: despite the fact that you are clearly trying to keep busy. Some others, when you talk to them, say that you are over-exaggerating your “complaints,” and they make you feel like others have it worse than you and you should shut up.

You are looking for work and sending in submissions–and you know that is important–but there are days when you wonder if there is any point to it. Because then the depression really starts talking. It tells you that you will never be “this good,” and that this is “too difficult,” “too much work,” and “too confusing,” and that everything you have ever done does not matter–and never mattered–a damn.

It really gets bad at night. You start to miss people a lot: people you will never really be able to speak with again the way you did. You start to feel tremendous resentment towards the people you wish you had told off. You wonder how many opportunities you let pass by you in your brain fog. You have memories of past life: when you were more confident and more assured and then you look at what you are now. The screaming you feel inside you everyday gets much louder at those times.

It is safe to reiterate two facts: that in those moments you hate the world, and you hate yourself.

Of course, there are the fantasies too. Of going back in time and telling your younger self to do this instead of this, or not to to do this ever. That is, also of course, when you don’t fantasize about going back in time and killing yourself at that moment in life when you were truly happy so that you never, ever have to know about the partially self-made hell waiting for you in the future. At the same time, you also know that were a certain TARDIS come to visit you, you would leave without question or regret: that those people who don’t appreciate your complaining or have gotten tired of it and they can keep their precious world.

You basically feel like you are in a prison. Your therapist flat-out calls you on describing it as thus. And if you were to summarize this long, rambling thing into one sentence: Depression is is a prison of your own making where you only remember dancing, only remember contact, only remember fun, you feel like you lost or are otherwise losing everything you ever cared about, where you suffocate on your own inaction and sense of failure, where you are disappointed when you actually wake up the next morning, where you punish yourself, and anyone that you attempt to meet and socialize will see that cycle of self-entitlement, spite, grief, self-recrimination, and self-absorption you’ve found yourself spiralling into–ingraining itself into your bones–and will politely run for the hills.

Because no one likes a person who does not like themselves.

So, I’m going to end that there because it is way past the whining mark and these things tend to wind out of control once you keep writing about them. It is paradoxically this thing that I have been trying to avoid. I’m not trying to glorify it or make myself out to be this innocent victim of circumstance, but it describes kind of some days in a lifetime, I guess? I guess I just feel like I failed myself in some ways and that I have no one to blame–or perhaps more appropriately hold responsible–but myself.

It isn’t all bad though.

I am seeing a really awesome therapist. And I have a 250-word tax to keep fulfilling and at least a half an hour quota of going outside to remember. I keep filling out a worksheet of places I send work to and to seek employment at. I am researching some free-lancing opportunities. And I also speaking with some people from my past again.

I guess I am ironically making a routine for myself: something I sorely lacked when I lived on my own. If I learned anything from my girlfriend before I had to move out, it is that routines can be our friends. As such, I don’t like to deviate from it much. I don’t like to be pushed, or trapped in a small space with someone who likes to control things but to go about matters at my own pace. I’m also working on sleeping better and I am eating better too.

There is another positive even in the negative. I just finished reading Paradise Lost and remembered that part where Satan realizes, even when he escapes Hell, that he carries Hell with him: inside of him. After having the occasion to revisit some of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, I realized that we all do the same. And this fact, my personal hell, gives me the power to motivate and keep making things: to create some kind of … meaning out of all of this. Someone once told me that I create beauty and pain is an excellent material to craft beautiful things from as any kind of creator might tell you. It is one of my sources–if not my central source–of power.

But there is one more thing I want to mention: something that I specifically want to leave you all with. During the period of the Dorian Grey, I was talking with a counsellor at my University about something job-related and she also flat-out called me on being depressed. She told me to make a point of writing about three constructive things that I do in a day. And eventually, after a while, I realized that helps too.

So Dorian Greys can be necessary when you need to purge things out of you, or begin to unleash Hell on Earth, but remembering the useful things you’ve done–the positive and affirmative things you’ve done, no matter how small they seem to be–can be just as invaluable: if not more so.

ETA: If you’d like, please read this link about the care of extroverts. It seems that this world is becoming, or has always been, difficult for the both of us.

It Was My Birthday and What the Hell …

I turned thirty-one this weekend.

I’d like to say that it came at me by surprise, but I did manage to see it coming. 🙂 It makes me realize that a lot of things have happened between thirty and thirty-one.

I’ve gone from just talking about sending stories out as magazine submissions to actually doing it. I’ve also went from just talking to actually creating a Writer’s Blog with over a hundred articles that has been Freshly Pressed and I’ve gotten peer Awards from some of my most devoted readers. I made a place to put ideas that I originally had no room for. I participated in my first Game Jam. I wrote two ad hoc mini-operas for a contest that Neil Gaiman was one of the judges for. I also got my Master’s Degree and decided not to go back to University.

I wrote some articles for some really excellent producers and writers and on subjects that deserved more information on them. I helped someone in a contest to achieve their dream and made a new friend in the process. I’ve reconnected with my old friend Angela and I will continue my part in working on our comics collaboration once I’ve done some more of my own work. And there is so much that I still have to do, you know? It’s ridiculous. I know I have made a lot of progress and growth this past year, but I feel like I have to keep at it because sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough.

I’ll admit: this is not where I thought I would see myself at thirty-one. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t have enough time to experiment with my life and now I somehow have to be an adult and, you know, be more responsible in some way. I don’t have a paying career yet and I live with my parents again. A lot of other things changed during that time as well and I feel like I lost a lot of what I once cared about. I’ve been more anxious and more shut-in these days while also working on my projects, sitting on the Internet, and just enveloping myself into a steadier routine. I know I will be facing some more challenges–some of them uphill battles–and I miss the things, relationships, and people that I did lose along the way. It cost a lot to get to this point in my life: as I suspect it always does and it always will.

But these are the things that happened, the things I did during a year’s time, and what I am thinking about now. Sometimes I think that my options are more limited now that I am older. But let’s face it: I was a grumpy old man even before I had a thirty-one year old body and I am set in my ways about some things … more specifically things that I plan and I want to do. I know I want, and I am going to seek for more. So in conclusion, as if this were some kind of formal essay, all I can add is that I will continue doing what I have to do or, as a character of mine once said, I will do what I feel that I have to.

Thank you for reading me, liking me, and Following me. I hope to continue some good journeys and explorations together. Take care, my friends.

Looking Outward

A Game of Statues: Amanda Palmer, Persona, Expression and Life

When I was in Kindergarten, in a school called Adventure Place, we used to play something called “A Statue Game.”

I knew it as The Statue Game. We would listen to this song–which I now know to have been created by Sandy Offenheim and Family–move around and when the song would tell us to stop, we would freeze in mid-motion. We couldn’t move and the song would tease us, play games with our minds by implanting the suggestion of itchiness or needing to scratch our heads, and then it would start again and we would be allowed to dance and hop around as we did before. It turns out that this music and this game are still being played to this very day: and it is a fact doesn’t surprise me.

There is a reason why I’m bringing this up and I will get to it soon. During Amanda’s Art of Asking TED Talk, we got to see a picture and a little bit of a demonstration of Amanda in her previous occupation as a living statue. This is not the first time I heard her mention this: chances are I probably read it on her Blog or in her Introduction to The Absolute Death. But there were two things that struck me about her time as a living statue.

The first is how, in a way, we are all conditioned to be living statues. At least, that is what looking at “Let’s Play a Statue Game” as an adult makes me feel. I mean, think about it: the song and game is really rather instructional. It teaches children pacing and rhythm. It delineates a time for play and then moments of formalism: of needing to be still and having to listen. Making it a group game also socializes children into a group calisthenic: tapping into that unconscious place where we all unknowing imitate and synchronize with each other. It teaches a time for play and stillness, but it also allows us the space and the capacity to laugh at ourselves. I’d argue that it is one of those early methods of making social interaction into a game that everyone plays along with and is both half-joking, and half-seriousness.

Yet what really grabs my attention is that rituals like “The Statue Game” encourage us to build those early personas: a social facade that allows us to interact with fellow human beings. Personas are not illusions nor are they fake in any way. They are just different aspects of us or personalized mask-tools that we use in different situations of interaction. We make these masks from childhood and things like “The Statue Game” allow give us the basic tools, mental shapes, and situations to do so. In other words, you can look at all of this as an experiment not only in socialization, but in communal art as well.

Of course, some of us have a lot of difficulty with these games. Some children do move under suggestion of the song. Other children have slower reaction time or a different sense of movement, balance, and rhythm. And some just plain get itchy regardless of any song or suggestion. Yet the rules of “The Statue Game” still have an effect on them: they either learn the communal rhythm or make one of their own.

That is what artists do.

So let’s get back to Amanda Palmer. I have imagined her, and now seen images of her as this eight-foot living bride statue holding out a flower and trying to make eye-contact with those people who passed her by. On an intellectual level, I think it was brilliant and an excellent metaphor for an artist learning to keep being relatable to a prospective audience.

Also, it was very subversive of her. Think about it like this: what is an eight-foot living statue of a bride? It–and she–are symbols of of a communal making: an archetype of certain expectations and theoretically immutable traditions. Yet there Amanda was, in a role of monetary exchange granted, using eye-contact and a simple gesture of holding out a flower to appeal to an individual on a basic, human, empathic level. It is ingenious: just as ingenious as making a game for children teaching them how to learn to act as statues and feeling people at the same time. And she was taking that philosophy and applying it to the rest of her work.

She appeals to people directly: or as directly as one artist can to her audience. In addition, she takes the role of a statue–of an untouchable celebrity–and subverts it to remain relatable and to appeal her present and potential fans. Originally, what she did with a statue pose and costume she now does through Kickstarter Projects and her Blog. But one lesson that seems paramount for me is that she originally managed to create this appeal, to hone and develop her own art of asking, but not saying a word. She simply held out a hand and expressed emotion through her facial features and her eyes. It is an experiment in empathy: in relating to people through song, action, and expression through gesture.

Now I’m going to look at how this relates to me.

In a similar way to how her own Blog and Kickstarters function, I have my own 8-foot statue through Mythic Bios. I have admitted that I combine a lot of myself and my observations to make this Blog. I’ve also admitted that I make this Blog to order to find an audience and to relate to them. However much I’m successful is a subjective question. I mean, after all, this Blog still accords me a certain level of distance from everyone else and the role that divides us is still there. I am a writer and you are an audience and sometimes we correspond and sometimes we don’t.

This also functions the same for me offline. One thing that “The Statue Game” does teach children who grow into adults is that there is a distance between us–as fellow statues–but also a closeness in our similar natures. In our statue roles and in a best case scenario, we are polite and formal with a certain social ingrained amount of common decency. But when we get to know each other and playtime happens, we bounce around and jump and sing and dance and cuddle and do all of things kinds of things.

For me, it goes further. Sometimes I feel more like a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who: in which eye contact will freeze me into my vaguely uncomfortable distantly formal polite statue-form, but when others turn their backs I am more like my crazy, warped creative self. Then people leave and I eat the time potential that they leave behind: writing up whatever I glean in different kinds of stories.

Amanda mentioned in her TED Talk that sometimes when she was a statue, people came her way who probably hadn’t talked to anyone in weeks. The Doctor once described the Weeping Angels as “the loneliest beings in the universe since their quantum-lock reaction makes it difficult for them to socialise.” It gets too easy to be the statue and to regain animation when other people are no longer around: a statue that forgets to play or can only dance by themselves now.

https://i1.wp.com/www.caddicks.com/blog/wp-content/weeping-angel-hands-e1351558624422.jpg

I’ve been, and I am one of those statues. So I ask myself what I would feel when someone like Amanda Palmer can actually see through that facade and acknowledge my feelings? I would … feel some discomfort, to be perfectly honest. A statue is often also how we like to present ourselves to the world. And having someone see how I feel makes me feel very … vulnerable.

Don’t misunderstand. I have a lot of people who just see the statue or simply do not get what they see, or ascribe characteristics to it that frankly do not exist. Whenever I acknowledge them, I have plenty of ignorant and misguided people telling me how I feel to last for sometime. But having someone see me for what I am–feeling as though they can see my anger, bitterness, sadness, awkwardness, and general bullshit–makes me feel vulnerable.

I’ve been taught to view the world a potentially hostile place where you always need to have your guard-up–where you always need to save face–and where vulnerability is seen as an exploitable weakness … even when you want, and have the need, to reach out.

On the other hand, I am also an artist. I can write about all of the above through the medium of my Blog and find people who relate who can relate to at least some of it. Artists, to some extent, are empathic beings and have the potential to take their statue-form and open it up to relation. I imagine extroverts and positive, optimistic thinkers who wholeheartedly trust people are better at this.

I am obviously not one of these.

However, I can cheat. I can pretend to be optimistic for a while. I can, as Kurt Vonnegut warns, become what I pretend to be. And I don’t have to pretend to like what I do: because that much of it is true. Also, there are many ways to express vulnerability as strength and I’ve already found a few of these. And as long as I can express it in the best way I know how–through writing–then I will be okay. But more importantly, I am building up to the point where I can ask for help when I need it.

Make no mistake, if I want to move forward in my creative endeavours I will one day need help and I will ask for it. And if I can express vulnerability to the point that Amanda Palmer as: to the point of making other people smile, cry, or feel an uncomfortable, awkward, and twisting form of sympathy–of realness–then I will have begun to do my own job.

So when you get right down to it, and look past all the mixed metaphors, analogies, and references here I’m going to say this: for just as Amanda Palmer states that there should be no shame in asking for help, there should also be no shame in striking an honest pose … itching, sneezing, and all.

P.S. I just want to illustrate what happens when Weeping Angels play the Statue Game.

It’s not very pretty. Or maybe it is. They did ask for it after all.

What You Are Left With

So not too long ago I read this post from Amanda Palmer which talks about a few things: but more specifically how Bloggers may be “the next writers,” emails are replacing letters as personal correspondence and how it will be challenging for historians and outside archivists to preserve all of this.

You know, sometimes I look at this. Right here. I look at this: I look at all of this–my Blog, social sites, email and the Internet itself–and I realize how really ephemeral it all is.

I am not a technological or computer expert, but some days I just imagine there being some kind of event that overloads information and backups to the point where this–all of this–is gone. It makes me remember that I don’t back-up any of my Blog posts on here. What I mean is, they are all essentially sent directly onto my WordPress, and if anything happens this would all be gone.

Then I think about the reverse. I think about the Internet and computer technology continuing to evolve: to points where we can’t even dream it will go. Imagine a future where technology becomes more intuitive–as though it is an extension of the human body in how you can easily access it like moving your arm–and all that old information comes with it. Or will it? Will old data from ancient systems survive into newer ones? Would it be the same? I know even from my limited knowledge and terrible chagrin that something like an old USB key can go obsolete.

But let’s say that technology will change to a point where obsolete technology and information on it can be easily passed onward: and accessed by anyone with any degree of knowledge. Let’s also say that this information will be documented and recorded by other people who want to write biographies or otherwise examine the lives of users from this time.

I mean, it is already happening to an extent. Archivists are tackling the gathering of emails and data from websites and online archives. Sometimes, as an exercise, I think about and look at everything I’ve typed up on Mythic Bios and I imagine someone in the future–or even now–trying to reconstruct what I was like as a person through what I allowed to be on here.

Does Mythic Bios represent my entirety as an individual?

I would have to say no.

It does represent a part of me. It represents my interests, some of my thoughts, and even some feelings but it definitely doesn’t have the full breadth and width of me. Sometimes it feels like a really carefully crafted shell or a layer of created artifice. And I enjoy crafting that artifice almost as much as I enjoy writing things on here, if that makes any sense, at least from a writer’s perspective. Amanda also mentions on her Blog that she doesn’t like to tell everyone about what she is doing, or reading, or listening to all the time because she wants a piece of herself for her and her loved ones alone. I think that is part of it too with me.

I think it’s also that I know I am just as ephemeral as my Blog. I am going to change. I am changing even at this moment. I don’t have it all figured out either because of this fact. There is something really comforting about writing a narrative where you place down the facts–“just the facts” of your interests and goals–with hints of the person shining out between them from time to time. I am, if nothing else, also a tease. 😉

But facts and stories can be so much more orderly–and comforting in that order–than an actual human life can be when you are in the process of experiencing it: especially when your other impulse is to chaos and destruction in not always a super-villain kind of way.  So I would be almost comforted if this Blog were to be all that was really left of me, but those human moments of ambiguity–that small amount of embossing–would make me feel a lot better about it.

Now if the Net went down, or suffered a few memory-wipe phases of cataclysm and all everyone had to go by me were the personal things I have written down that would be an entirely different story altogether. I mean, assuming they didn’t think I was crazy, they probably wouldn’t be able to understand me: if only because my handwriting is in ancient Sumerian … also known as messed up scribbling.

Sometimes your hand and pen cannot move as fast as your mind or your imagination.

In some of my more depressed moments, I think all I am going to leave behind are papers and electronic weirdness. Sometimes I think these are the best things about me. I don’t really know just how “inspirational” I actually am when you take the rest of this stuff away. I’m not really doing anything that anyone else can’t do. But maybe it’s just the way that I do it, or that others do it that differentiates us. It’s that mystery of “You-ness” or “I-ness.” I still haven’t solved that mystery yet and you know what? Maybe that’s a good thing:  because that means I’ll keep writing and doing what I need to do. I’ll keep going and when I am not angsty or introspective, I’ll just be ad hoc and silly.

And if that’s what comes through, like I said before, I will be more than okay with that: especially if someone else can relate to it.

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