For my third trick, the one on which I put in a thousand words today, I’m pulling together a triptych of ghost stories — somewhat linked, sort of, but also separated by time — set on mountains in Korea. Continue reading
Clarion West Write-a-thon 2008
Yeah, I had to look it up, too.
It is what looks to be my first story involving, you know, space suits, landing on a seemingly deserted planetoid, dangerous hunters in pursuit… sorta space-adventurey, really, though with all kinds of other themes and stuff bubbling beneath the surface, and I’m feeling like I ought to check out some older, spacey SF, since I read and write so little of that stuff. That, and some more Iain M. Banks, whom I’ve read more of, and enjoyed a lot.
Instead, I’m reading Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime edited by a bunch of people listed on this page. In fact, the book is making its impact, especially since I’ve been thinking about the treatment of machines and bodies as discussed in Miri Nakamura’s “Horror and Machines in Prewar Japan: The Mechanical Uncanny in Yumeno Kyûsaku’s Dogura magura.” This is something that interests me a lot since, in many ways, thinking of bodies in a mechanical, robotic sense is quite natural to me, and in fact seems like the most natural and normal metaphorical approach to describing not just bodies but minds and any systems at all… at least, to me.
There’s a very clear level on which the story so far — in the stage of drafting it’s at at this very moment, in my collaboratron’s inbox — exploits a kind of unease in the erasure or blurring of the line between body and machine. However, I think there may be roots of something to turn that on its head — roots suggested in the original content drafted by my collaborator, and which I’ve expanded on — in which, rather than man fusing with machine, machine fuses with nature… joyfully, exuberantly… and downright ass-kickingly. I’m not sure we’ll go there — collaboration is something you can’t plan, really — but it seems to be seeded into the stuff even as far back as the first hunk of content he emailed me.
We’ll see. Collaboration can be an odd process, but this one is going fairly smoothly, even given the level of experimentality we’re working with, which is, we’ve decided, a fair bit. In the meantime, I have textbook work to do for Monday, I should be getting something from another collaborator, and a ghostly story I’m writing alone is finally gelling in my head and needs to get cranked out for a fast-approaching deadline, and I’ve got an article to draft and polish soon (hopefully I’ll get a nice big chunk of that done on the plane to Hong Kong this Tuesday, and the rest done and some polishing worked in on the way back on Friday).
Which reminds me, if you haven’t sponsored me but want to, it’s never, ever too late. Till it’s too late, that is. Do it now! You know you want to.
Alright, with that, I’m off to visit Gwanghwamun and see what insanity they’re up to down there.I have a feeling this will be my last time seeing the protests, since I’ll be out of town next week,busy with writing and work the following week, and at PiFan all of the week after that. You never know, though, the protests could continue for another month. But I imagine people must be kind of getting sick of it, disillusioned, worn out, and ready to pack it in for now.
(And it might not be a bad idea, if they’re hoping to have anyone willing to turn out for the later protests that will need to be mounted against coming idiocies like water privatization, the Grand Canal, and privatization of health insurance here, plus whatever gets thought up for next year stage in the Whizbang Economic Mire-acle Cripple-The-Country Five Year Shut Up and Trust Us Plan.)
This year I’ve decided to do the write-a-thon again, though not in such a demanding way as I did last year. Last year, I wrote something like 15,000 words a week. Which made me, physically, a little sick, so I won’t be doing that again. (I need to get my blood pressure and health under control, plus I’m working on a big textbook-writing project and a few articles this summer.)So instead, I’ve got a more manageable goal in mind: I will write or co-write three or four stories during the write-a-thon, of which three will be going out by the end of the WAT period.
This is, of course, to raise money for Clarion West, the workshop I attended in 2006 and which basically set me down the path I’m on today. Many of the stories I’ve published in the past year had their genesis at the workshop, but it was also just overally a powerful experience for me in terms of making me a smarter, batter, more aware writer.
I think other people deserve that experience too, but the workshop takes money to run. Even with lots of volunteers giving their time freely, there are expenses. So there’s a write-a-thon, and people pledge money while I go out of my way to write some kickass fiction.
Sponsoring me is something you can do here, but I want you to know that it’s not really sponsoring me: you’d be sponsoring other up-and-coming writers who may well give you hours of pleasure and enjoyment in the future.
It’s a six week write-a-thon, and you can pledge any way you like, as much or little as you like. $5 a week would be $30 for the six weeks, or you could put down a lump sum. All the money goes to operating the Clarion West Workshop, whichI assure you is a very worthy cause!
If you want to pledge, you can fire me an email, or leave a comment here. Or just think about it. There’s a PayPal button here where you can donate as one of my sponsors, or you can think it over and watch my progress (it’ll be listed here), and donate a little later if you like.
By the way, if you sponsor me, I’ll Tuckerize you (or a person of your choice) in one of the stories. That is, some character will turn up with your name, or looking like you, or whatever you like. Or I could Tuckerize your dog, or your car, or whatever. It’s up to you. And, unlike last year, there’s no novel on the table at the moment, so there’s no chance of your Tuckerization disappearing when I realize the novel is doomed. It may take some time, though: I’ve still got one or two stories from last time left to revise and edit, and there are Tuckerizations in those stories.
But it may well see the light of day and the transience we piddlyt humans refer to as “immortal fame.” There: that’s your motivation. Sponsor me!