Monday Musings 1/6

Memory, the Rise of Skywalker, the nature of writing sequels, time as a natural force, and accomplishments of the last decade for writing.

  1. I have often thought about the very nature of memory and how it works. I’m very much a nostalgic person. I struggle with being lost in the past on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. I’m not sure why I’m like that, but I would assume it is because things make more sense to me after they’ve happened, and the beauty of those particular moments I have experienced seems to ripen. Sometimes I just chalk this characteristic up to being a writer, to constantly looking at the world through some sort of narrative lens. Other times I think it is trauma; perhaps I didn’t confront a situation or deal with life in a way that would offer me closure. Often times I’m afraid of confrontation. Whatever the case, understanding memory is one of my pursuits as a storyteller, and these musings having been a stepping stone for it.
  2. I watched the new Star Wars film The Rise of Skywalker. There will be no spoilers here. I’m not going to say whether or not I liked it or hated it, because the argument for either direction can easily be made. I will say that with the backlash to previous films and this one echoes a fundamental issue with the fan community for this universe and others. Time. Since you were first introduced to Star Wars time has passed. You’ve changed. You’ve got different tastes now in stories. Instead of acknowledging that change we’ve focused on comparing things to the past, which in itself has different standards. The magic of watching these films from our youth cannot be recaptured, but that isn’t to say the magic no longer exists. It simply has changed and evolved. Such is the nature of living.
  3. One thing you didn’t know about my books is that I never intended to write a book series when I started out as a “green” writer so to speak. I loved standalone stories. My favorite film of all time Bladerunner was perfect for me because it was a concentrated story. My favorite book of all time Grendel was a concentrated story. There were no sequels or parts to the story to be continued. My first and favorite book that I wrote, Beware the Ills, was never meant to have a sequel. However, I’m not blind to realize that we live in the world of the long form story. The golden age of television is proof of that taste. If I wanted people to read my books and invest in me as an unproven storyteller I needed to acknowledge the era in which I live. I think I made the right decision, but who knows.
  4. At my new job I’m constantly looking at computer parts from servers and whatnot. I grade them based on cosmetic appearance. I occasionally find one from twenty years ago, which we still salvage for things to sell. 1995 has been my oldest one thus far. You want to talk about the past eating you alive (musing number one), try having that come across your desk. Like I said above, I’m already insanely nostalgic. You can’t hide from time. It is one of those truths, like gravity. Sometimes I take solace that it exists. Life is so confusing and full of so many lies; at least there are some governing truths about our reality courtesy of the natural world.
  5. This week on craft corner I will list all my writing accomplishments from the past decade. I wrote 12 books(11 paperbacks, one Kindle exclusive), I was published in eight literary magazines, I wrote two 48 Hour Film project films, one which won an award for best in show and will premier in Rotterdam at the international competition. I wrote close to 200 blog posts. I founded a literary magazine, then, stupidly got rid of it. I’ve done probably close to 50 different speaking events, and nearly a hundred conventions. And, I still can’t live off my writing and support my family. I’ll figure it out, but man, sometimes it feels hopeless.

Jottings:

  • Started watching the Mandalorian on Disney+. Pretty great. Makes the new movies look like piles of ash and feces, which is one of the signature leftovers of the Mandalorian in the show.
  • I got Collection of Mana on the Switch for Christmas. I really only got it for Secret of Mana, my favorite game ever. I’m playing through it right now. I might even stop writing this and go explore some palaces looking for the Mana seeds.
  • My twins have gone from dinosaurs, to Godzilla, to war machines and robots. I couldn’t be more proud.
  • I watched Wall-E on Disney+. Ugh. That movie is really gorgeous and cool, and it also has a really great apocalyptic wasteland.
  • Trying to make it through season three of Outlander. Got to say, I really like that show (despite the horrifying torture scene). The character development is fantastic, along with the use of time as a character.
  • Later this week I’ll be sharing my new serialized story on here. It is great. One of a kind. However, it is going to be a lot of work, so I’m not looking forward to that at all. I’m just tired all the time. Caffeine is my friend.
  • My book the Drum: A Collection of Stories from the Greenland Diaries is free today on Kindle. Enjoy.
  • Have a safe and healthy week everyone! Thank you for reading.
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