Monday Musings 3/29

I’m back. Masochist Patrick is back to his Monday Musings. A mini review of a Wind Called Amnesia. Trying to figure out if I’m scared or intrigued about writing fiction. The appeal of abandoned homicidal robots. Finally, is the creative process as simple as pillaging natural resources?

  1. Again, I’m back, right here, on Mondays, like a neurotic echo. It turns out a little bit of structure, even if it makes me miserable and challenges me, is good for my productivity. Left to my own devices, I’m like some deranged seagull floating above a parking lot unable to focus on a particular scrap of trash to peck. I don’t  know about that image, but whatever. I realize the benefits of doing the Monday Musings far outweigh drawbacks. Occasionally, I’ll miss a post because of life and whatnot. You can count on a shoddy rambling appearing if this happens. I would apologize for being so flippy-floppy about my intentions with this blog, but whatever, that is just me trying to figure out this really strange writing career I’ve stumbled into. Even so, it feels good to be back.
  2. A Wind Called Amnesia is a 90’s anime film that was based on the book by Hideyuki Kikuchi who is legendary for his invention of a little known vampire hunter named D. You can watch the film dubbed or subtitled on Amazon Prime for free for subscribers. The basic rundown of the plot is a mysterious wind washes across the earth, which when it brushes against humans completely robs people of their memories and reverts them back to cave people. One guy named Wataru has this happen to him, but he, in his caveman wanderings, comes across someone unaffected, who teaches him about language and what the world was like beforehand. Wataru then sets off across the world looking for survivors. He encounters a mysterious stranger, a super intense police mech that really, really, hates him, and various other plot devices. This would have been better as an OVA series or one season television show. Overall this is one of those stories that has a brilliant concept and setting, but slightly shoddy execution with its rambling tone and incomplete arcs. You’re left wanting more, with no more to be given, and plenty of space in the main narrative for it to have existed. I still enjoyed it, and I recommend forming your own opinion. I’ll give 3 out 5 stars on my new scale I just invented. Note: I’ll be doing this every week. Watching or reading something new and reviewing it. This exercise will prevent me from falling into an endless loop of reality television. 
  3. Balancing wonder and terror is something I have tried to achieve in my books, stories, blogs, and podcasts pretty much my entire life. Even though I write horror (though I argue I’m strictly a genre fiction writer, fantasy, science fiction, anything with a good fiction to it) I’m a complete coward when it comes to scary movies and such. Jump scares cause massive amounts of stress for me. Now, that may seem weird from someone who wants to make his living writing about monsters, but the truth is I feel wonder about monsters. I wonder about how they got there, why they’re misshapen or exiled, and why entire plots gravitate around them. In the Greenland Diaries the Unnamed are the main characters. Beware the Ills is told from the POV of a monster. My short stories are all based around monsters. I wonder about them, but I’m also terrified. Maybe I’m trying to communicate to my audience that they should be scared but curious? Sociology had a big effect on me in college. We’re a product of our environment usually. That could be what I’m trying to explore. What makes the monster and why does it exist in the first place? 
  4. I love a good abandoned homicidal robot. In a Wind Called Amnesia a police mech that was unaffected by the calamity hunts the main character. The concept of a tenacious machine unwilling to give up on its mission has been a hallmark of science fiction before Arnold rocketed that mentality to pop culture stardom. In Chrono Trigger an entire landscape of apocalyptic hell is ruled by machines that still fulfill their duties to long dead masters. There is something so eerie about this unstoppable servitude. I explored this in my short stories Shelf Life and What the Factory Wanted in my short story collection Monsters, Monsters, Everywhere. I’ll be exploring it again as time goes on. I do think technology has its own heartbeat, which doesn’t necessarily need humans. 
  5. Is creativity really just an oil well? I hate the metaphor. It is simplistic and tired, but it might work for how to describe it. With creativity, musings, and exposure, it seems like everything is tied to the moment. There is a wealth of it in one location that you consume at an alarming pace to fill the nearby environment and its demand. My meager moment right now personally is the Greenland Diaries, which seems to have a slight gravity of popularity. This well will run out eventually though, this oil field will become barren, and I’ll need to go mining someplace else. Yeah, I can’t talk about oil fields without thinking about Daniel Day Lewis from There Will Be Blood. I think when you realize that each creative endeavor is different and temporary you begin to appreciate them more, and stop sweating the small stuff.

Jottings:

  • My Greenland Diaries short story collection: The Drum and other tales from the Greenland Diaries is free today on Amazon’s Kindle. Click here for it. 
  • Current guilty reality show I’m plowing through is Wicked Tuna. I love fishing stuff. Deadliest Catch is another favorite. It is cool that their office is basically the ocean, which I love.
  • Listened to The Rage Wars: Alien vs Predator book series on Audible. Really superbly written, but extremely brutal. It made all the gory stuff I wrote look like a picnic. I forgot how brutal that universe can be. I’m not sure if I recommend it, but it was entertaining. 
  • One thing I have encountered my whole life and sort of been tortured by is people who help you out or do nice things for you, but they also take that as an excuse to judge your behavior. They use their kindness as a method of control. I’ll hit on this one next week more, but just something I’m kicking around. Do not be kind if its a method for you to judge or control people. That is the wrong reason to do it.
  • My twins are at the age right now where they’re enjoying watching me play video games. Yup. That is pretty awesome. Being forced to play video games by my children. Brutal.
  • Attack on Titan is finishing up. Pretty intense. Pretty awesome. Best show out there right now. Got the whole family watching it (except for the twin five year old’s of course). What a ride. 
  • Thank you all for reading and dealing with my flip flopping. I’m pretty confident this will stay as is now. I realize more than ever how routine is essential to my personality. Take care and be healthy. 

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