Thursday, 27 January 2011

Rocket Mantastic

I’m busy writing some sci fi stories for Darkmechanic aka Dan Morison. Apart from Kurt Vonnegut’s awesome sci fi, I’d not really read much in the genre. If you had to put me in a box, you’d shove me into a hippy box and I would've woven the box out of willow. I like growing organic vegetables, I spin wool and want to live in a wood and I think the Earth is A-OK. I invest in the Small is Beautiful idea. I wear second-hand dresses and funky tights. Science is not my religion.

But I’m enjoying writing sci fi stories probably more than I enjoy writing hippy stories. I think having a distance from something allows you to approach it from an interesting and un-pressured outsider angle.

This is a small bank of a few interesting sci fi things and also my favourite sci fi author talking about short stories:

My friend Emily’s girly sci fi robot short story:

Kurt Vonnegut gives some sound advice, which I can’t help but to ignore. Writing is too personal. There’s no rules. Much respect to Vonnegut though, and I agree with much of what he suggests.

The State of the Art

Rocket Mantastic.

Friday, 21 January 2011


I want to buy some Nujabes music, but can't find where sells it for a more reasonable price than £80. Anyone know where I can get hold of some?

I'm writing short sci fi space and robot stories. I read one out to the new writing group I attend. The writing group is predominantly attended by women 'of a certain age' (70+). I'm not sure they really caught the vibe.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

They're trying to take my history away from me

The allotment is about twenty minutes away on foot, through field and woods. On my way back I stopped at Kite’s Nest hill and looked out over the Blackmore Vale. First I saw a muntjac, which I’d never seen before. Then I saw two cows madly chasing after a fox. Cows can run really, really fast.

There's a lot of rolling farmland and a few scattered houses, most of which ugly. I imagined what the land would have looked like with less human interaction. The human race is very arrogant. It made me think of a lyric in a Levellers song “Got to move these mountains because they’re standing in the way. It’s in the name of progress, son, we can make it pay.” We’ve lost our place in our world and we’re playing at God. What is all this “progress” for?

Here is the song.

Some other lyrics that strike a cord with me are:

Is this just some small price that we have learned to pay for your social insecurity,

They're trying to take my history away from me.

I feel that way often, that these politicians are trying to take away our history, to rip apart the story of my life and force me to conform to something totally separate from the land and my origins. There is another Levellers song that relates to this; Sell Out.

Do I belong to some ancient race?
I like to walk in ancient places,
These are things that I can understand.
I don't believe in your modern way,
Don't care about the things you say,
Your policies have failed the test of time,
'Cause you sold them down the river.

I’ve been reading about John Lilburne. If you don’t know who he is, you really ought to. Maybe schools don't teach kids about him because he saw a problem with the government and democracy as it stood at the time and he violently stood against it. At the time the printing laws were very strict. Lilburne printed his views on freeborn rights and was imprisoned, flogged and nearly executed for it, several times. He and his fellow agitators would not be intimidated. They fought for what they believed in and they broke the law to do so. If he and his Agitators hadn't fought so hard for our rights then maybe it would still only be rich male landowners who could vote, we'd not have religious freedom nor freedom of speech.

A lot of stuff has changed since then. A lot of stuff has stayed the same. Interesting.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Elation versus Panic

This is a freewritten short story called Elation versus Panic:

There she is, standing at the apex of the roof, looking down at the pavement, slick and wet below. The rain slaps around her, cold with a hint of almost-snow.

She closes her eyes and sees rainbows spiral out with jangling stars, shapes of hazy distinction and skidding glitchy sounds.

People below her gather and shout. She opens her eyes and looks down at them gesturing with panic. They think she is going to jump. She is not interested in jumping, only in looking and feeling. Sensation rushes like a beautiful buzz.

People are always asking what why who when?

She doesn’t care about these questions. All she cares for is the rush, the changing unfixed unmeaning sensation.

She likes their panic. She shares her rush with them. They interpret it with panic. Panic or elation; they are all sensation and they all put notches of experience onto our souls.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Ever the optimist

A pre-Christmas photo. The clothes didn't dry for some reason.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Dada Poem

I was making bookmarks from old maps and books and music sheets found in a charity shop. I cut out random chunks of text from the book (a Sharpe book by Cornwell) and arranged them in no particular order. This was the result. I am yet to finish making the bookmark.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Short Story Idea Bank 2

Idea bank 1 is on the previous post. I am generating ideas for a short story, laying out the pieces of the jigsaw and taking a long look at the pieces before moving them into place.

Mike is like a Philip Lorca diCorcia photograph. On the surface he seems spontaneous and concrete and real. Take some time and you will find Mike is highly constructed, a master of illusion, far from spontaneous or real.

Appearance ideas:

Androgyny and make believe.

The creation of a persona to form the constructed illusion behind which s/he hides.

It is the shoes of this photograph that interest me. The pose is also interesting, being very closed and shielding.(These two images are by Vladlena Sevelova.)

Character theme ideas:

Mike is a Rubik’s cube master. Some similarities to Brain from Brick. (Image from Rian Johnson's excellent Brick Novella.)

Theme idea generation:

It's unfortunate that when we feel a stone
We can roll ourselves over 'cause we're uncomfortable
Oh well, the devil makes us sin
But we like it when we're spinning in his grip

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Short Story Idea Bank 1

I'm gathering material, ideas and research for a short story.

When the ego has been made a "seat of anxiety," someone is running away from himself and will not admit it.
"The State of Psychotherapy Today" (1934). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.360
So far as we know, consciousness is always ego-consciousness. In order to be conscious of myself, I must be able to distinguish myself from others. Relationship can only take place where this distinction exists.
"Marriage as a Psychological Relationship" (1925). In CW 17: The Development of the Personality. P.326

Hysterical self-deceivers, and ordinary ones too, have at all times understood the art of misusing everything so as to avoid the demands and duties of life, and above all to shirk the duty of confronting themselves. They pretend to be seekers after God in order not to have to face the truth that they are ordinary egoists.
"The Visions of Zosimos" (1938). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.142

The foremost of all illusions is that anything can ever satisfy anybody. That illusion stands behind all that is unendurable in life and in front of all progress, and it is one of the most difficult things to overcome.
An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (1949). Foreword by C.G. Jung. In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.905

I have a month or two to write the short story, so I will add to this ideas bank over the coming days and weeks.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Today I took down the Yule decorations. I’d been putting it off because I liked the sparkles and ivy. Now they’re down I feel refreshed. The cabin looks somehow fresher and cleaner.

I was proud of my wreath this year, having employed my basket making skills to make a proper and well-constructed wreath.

The refreshing of the cabin and the rituals of discarding the shrivelled and old Yule decorations is applicable to myself.

It’s the New Year, at least in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. I’ve decided to set myself goals for the next six months rather than the entire year. The summer has a tendency to sap my focus and I never seem to reclaim it before the year’s end. This time Mr Kite and I intend to plan goals up to our annual summer bbq party and no further. At the summer bbq party we’ll make goals for the remaining six months of the year. I intend to make goals at the start of each month as well. We’ll see if this works out…

I got the Msylexia diary for Christmas. I highly recommend it to female writers. There’s tons of writer geared stuff like a submissions diary, loads of blank spaces for notes, monthly inspirational stuff, a basic directory of the year’s key literary competitions, festivals, events and journals, a place to note what books you’ve lent and borrowed and slots at the front & back inner pages for loose notes.

I’d really like 2011 to be a key year for my writing. I have a first novel draft I’m happy with. I’d like to send it to agents and publishers this year. I’d like to sign a contract. Accepting that goal and writing it for all to see is the first step.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Wire music

I listened to a really inspiring radio 4 documentary yesterday. I recommend you take a listen before it expires:

The documentary about the unearthly sounds that wires make when vibrated by the wind and other weather, such as sunlight and rain. What initially hooked my attention, aside from the insane sounds coming out of the radio was this little background story: "As a young boy he [Alan Lamb] was introduced to the music of the wires during walks with his sister and their nanny, who showed the children how to press their ears against a telegraph pole to 'hear the sound of the world'."

This audio is an example of the sort of sounds the vibrating wires make. The second audio below includes human interaction, which I think I prefer. CreativeComplex-WEATHER-MIX by TheWIREDLab

Listening to the radio program will give you a more detailed experience.

What I find interesting about these sounds is that they sound like chaos. There is something primal about them. When I listen to these sounds I feel a better understanding about the chaos that surrounds me, and I acknowledge that chaos is beautiful and therefore doesn't need to be brought to order by human beings.

The sound artists involved in the project at Wired Lab are taking their experiments further by interacting with the wire themselves by vibrating the wires with their voices, hanging objects from the wires and such:


Take a look at the Wired Lab website and listen to the radio program while its still online (for the next 6 days).

I hope everyone had a good holiday period. I certainly did :D