Sat, 26 Feb 2005top
He arrived at the club two hours late, hamstrung by his own scatter-mindedness, without any real hope that he would still find her there. But he headed out anyway into the night, amidst the teeming swarms of barhoppers and thrillseekers. There was a time when he would have revelled in the illicit goings-on of the night, the whoring and the drug-dealing, the generalized debauchery. But in this strange place, he only felt desolate, having been gone too long from this lifestyle.
He was unsure he would recognize her face on the barely lit dance floor, couples bumping and grinding to the sexually suggestive beats, the bass mimicking the undulations of lovers fucking. And then he spied her at one of the tables on the edge of the dance floor. But elation was quickly followed by ice-cold self-recrimination and self-loathing for his stupidity. She was wrapped around some guy with a tight, built body. Ah well he thought to himself, not really surprised. So this was probably her friend. He toyed with the notion of simply not approaching, then realized how ridiculous he was being. Indecision won the moment, so he bought himself a drink. "Shot of tequila," he told the bartender absently, and without salt or lime simply slugged it. Nothing he thought to himself. Not even a buzz. He ordered one after another and almost went for a fourth when he finally decided to pull himself together, nearly tripping in doing so. Here it goes, and he walked grimly to the table, swaying a little…
Sun, 06 Feb 2005top
Like many aspiring authors often do, I had a "hey, I thought of that" moment. This occurred while reading Broken Angels by Richard Morgan, the second book about Takeshi Kovacs, a Japanese-Slavic mercenary from a colony world 100+ light years from Earth who used to be a U.N. Envoy, which, contrary to its diplomatic connotation, really describes someone who has been trained to be a preternatural super-killing machine.
But the idea that I had once upon a time which I have since failed to complete as a novel is akin to the cortical stack in Morgan's books.
What is the cortical stack? It is basically the human equivalent of an airplane's black box machine, except more sophisticated in that you can retrieve the person's consciousness and reimplant it into either a computer or another human body, thereby wondrously bypassing death. Sure, you can still melt the cortical stack to slag, causing Real Death™, but people can go on for centuries without running into that kind of problem.
I was actually going to use a similar device in a Fantasy story with SF trappings. Swords and sorcery mixed up with a little interstellar technology here and there. I was going to call the device (for lack of imagination) a soul catcher. My protagonist would find the soul catcher of a particularly nasty demi-god-like character who harbored a genocidal rage against the inhabitants of this world. It would have been guarded for centuries, with very few people even understanding what the thing is anymore. Set against the backdrop of a corrupt Republic that was on the verge of being twisted into an Empire (how original, I know), the chaos of war allows the thing to get lost, and strange forces become allied to try to retrieve what they think is a powerful artifact which is in fact the very consciousness of an evil persona who was thought to have been long-ago vanquished and who is now looked upon as more of a character out of mythology.
Anyway, my soul catcher is basically just like the cortical stack, except for some details of storage and reimplantation. Ah well, maybe I'll use it anyway. If I ever make any progress on my story.
Sun, 30 May 2004top
hope (or the lack thereof)
"Hope!?" X spluttered, anger and confusion mingled. "Don't tell me about hope!"
Y sighed, shaking his head. "I know, I know. But you know I can't help but try." X gritted his teeth and walked away without a word.
Shit. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I just finished reading The Future of Spacetime (which is basically a book put together by theoretical physicists in honor of Kip Thorne's 60th birthday.) Interestingly, the last essay was by Alan Lightman, a physicists and a science-fiction writer.
It reminded me once again of the only good reason to write: because you have to.
Not in the sense that, if you didn't write, you wouldn't get paid and you'd starve to death. More in the sense that if they broke your hands so that you couldn't hold a pen or use a keyboard (and assuming you didn't have anyone to transcribe whatever you said, and that you weren't proficient with writing with your feet) then you would die, or at least probably go insane.
There was a time when I would have answered affirmatively immediately. I recognize that the reason why I type out this gibberish (not just this blog, but everything creative I've ever written in general) is because I've needed to. I don't think I would've died (the lack of writing itself wouldn't have been the proximal cause, legally speaking), but I surely would've gone insane. Or at least gotten even more depressed than baseline. Perhaps suicidally so.
I guess there is a sick truth to it, then. It's easiest to write when I'm abjectly miserable. This low-level, mild, chronic misery just doesn't cut it in terms of inspiration.
But, I gotta tell you, major depressive disorder is no fun at all. As I've written before, going through life thinking that you suck and that it's all your fault is incompatible with life.
There's gotta be a better way to be inspired than becoming suicidally depressed. Not that it isn't easy to become suicidally depressed considering the kind of world we live in.
Bleh. I have serious problems that not even the most potent psychotropic drugs can obviate, I guess.
It's times like these when I have a lot of shit to take care of but I really don't want to deal with it that my brain turns toward things I have absolutely no need to think about. (Holy fuck, that was convoluted.)
It's really fucked up, honestly. The way I procrastinate is by thinking deep, depressing thoughts.
For example: Because I have all these stupid little exasperating tasks that I need to get done before I flee this City, things that I really, really, really don't want to deal with right now, I have been thinking about my social life. Or more precisely, the lack thereof.
Now, B and B and N and most everyone I've ever talked to about this will tell me that a lot of it is my fault. Obviously I'm not gonna be going out on any dates if I don't ask anyone out.
The more rational side of me (which makes its appearance every now and then, though never often enough to actually make a difference) recognizes that this is simply a self-confidence issue.
Now, I have, at worst, a pretty inane personality. (Note that's inane, not insane, although I'll admit, I've been accused of the latter a lot.) Nothing boldly offensive, and sometimes even perhaps a little mildly interesting.
But then you all know what "nice personality" really means.
Now, again, the rational side of me notes that this really doesn't make a difference. I mean, seriously, who doesn't know an extraordinarily ugly guy who somehow gets all the chicks? I've seen plenty of attractive women out with guys magnitudes of order less attractive than I am.
In theory, as a straight male, looks are not that high on the list of requisite characteristics.
Except in its fatal intersection with self-confidence.
So I got that all worked out. Not that it makes a difference in anything. In any case, I have all these GODDAMNED tasks that require completion before I get fuck up out of this City, so you know that I'm going to revisiting this theme ad nauseam until I'm done.
Sat, 17 Apr 2004top
fast and furious
I can never think of anything on my own…
This is what happens when I'm all alone at 1:30am on a Saturday night (er, Sunday morning) and I fuse the idea of writing pseudoautobiographical vignettes (an idea which I am shamelessly stealing from f(r)ictions") with a random Xanga entry:
He stepped out of the cab with his freshly shaved head and newly grown goatee. The eyes of a drunk across the street lit up, and she dragged her equally drunk date along with her. She gaped and pointed: "Fast and Furious! Fast and Furious!" It took a while for it to register that she was alluding to a Vin Diesel movie. Great….
"Hey, have you ever killed anyone?" she asked, and, after hesitating a beat, and thinking about his last 36 hours all but locked up in the ICU, like a sadomasochistic farmer tending to the glistening tubes, the massive, hulking ventilators, and the glimmering, beeping monitors, he answered rather seriously, "Not on purpose."
Eek. That sucked. Like Celine, I seem to be unable to not write about work. I think I should just go to sleep. Damn it.