By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/11/20 17:00
Fun game to play: Pick a person, and imagine what kind of creative advice they would give you. Then compare that to the actual advice they give you.
Case in point: Yoshitaka Amano, the painter and designer who gave us the ethereal, gloom-shrouded look of Vampire Hunter D and devised the base concepts for much of the Final Fantasy series. One piece of advice I have gleaned from him seems downright counterintuitive given his c.v. as a master of flights of fancy. It comes in the form of a slogan that showed up on posters advertising his New York exhibition: PAINT YOUR LUNCH. (As in, sit down and make a painting from it, not slop some Winsor & Newton 611 AA S1 Titanium White all over your corned beef on rye.)
There was, as you can guess, no NaNoWriMo challenge for me this year. But it wasn't always like that.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/11/20 08:00
There was, as you can guess, no NaNoWriMo challenge for me this year. I haven't done the challenge in quite some time, but not out of contempt for the process. If anything, NNWM is what got me to where I am now; I owe it props.
Once again: My all-new thriller/SF novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time!By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/11/18 08:00
This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on any darn day I feel like.
My all-new thriller/SF novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Prolificworks (formerly Instafreebie).
Many other books from other authors are also available in those lots, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.
Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, inconsistencies, editing blunders, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.
More from Steve on the whole vexed issue of doing what you think you want to do, not what you actually want to do.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/11/15 20:00
More from Steve on the whole vexed issue of doing what you think you want to do, not what you actually want to do:
Now and again me and my friends find people motivated by what they think their motivation should be. It rarely goes well for such people – they’re not driven, they’re not embracing their creative lifestyle, they’re not engaged. Hell, in many cases they just stop caring.
This whole business of how we become the stories we tell ourselves is so easy to get wrong and in so many ways.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/11/14 19:00
Author L.E. Henderson, on how her selective remembrance of bad times in childhood was designed to conform to a personal narrative:
... Why had I believed such a terrible myth? After the sixth grade, I had “needed” to believe my experience had been purely black to match my feelings in the aftermath. To do otherwise would have invited cognitive dissonance, the anxiety that arises when you hold two contradictory beliefs at once. I had edited out anything good because I had “needed” to justify the intensity of my pain. But, in doing so, I had actually made the pain worse and for many years I had lived with a crippling illusion. I had not been exactly unconscious of my friend or my fight in the hallway and my black eye, but I had banished those memories into the shadows of irrelevancy because they were bad fuel for brooding.
I come back a lot to something Brad Warner likes to tell people: When you sit long enough with yourself, and you become honest with yourself, you realize there was never a time when you didn't know the truth of what was going on inside you and around you.
Anything you put out in the world under the pretense of entertainment is worth taking at least as seriously as someone else could. And some take it very seriously indeed.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/11/13 17:00
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
— T.S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton" (1935), from Four Quartets
The other night we got to talking about what function artists serve in a moment like this. One view that came up was that we might not have the power to do much about the moment, but we can at least provide people with something else to look at or think about while they struggle to make it better. My own view is an offshoot and expansion of that.
Most of us simply don't care what we stuff in there. It's a moral failing.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/11/11 17:00
In ‘The Ethics of Belief’ (1877) William Kingdon Clifford gives three reasons for believeing that belief without evidence is morally wrong (quoted from the article):
- every single belief has the capacity to be truly consequential
- poor practices of belief-formation turn us into careless, credulous believers
- we have the moral responsibility not to pollute the well of collective knowledge
I am always wary of arguments that conclude that we have a 'duty' or 'responsibility' because these are easily abused by others and almost always require that we act against our own self-interest, sometimes in devastating ways. But each of these can be seen in a way that aligns the collective interest with perosnal [sic] interest, and that's what gives them force.
I'm in agreement with Downes here, especially on the count of how statements about duty and responsibility are too often not about the cultivation of duty/responsibility within us and by us, but about the imposition of duty/responsibility as a proxy for other things, typically the preservation of asymmetrical power structures. (I almost typed "strictures", but that would work too.)
We often talk about how the artist needs to cultivate a sense of responsibility for what she chooses to put out into the world. The same goes for what they put into themselves, what they choose to let flower within themselves. Credulity is dangerous, especially when it comes in the guise of skepticism and is actually nothing more than cynicism. But we have few formal structures in our society to promote such things.
Most of us simply don't care what we put into our heads, and the history of trying to get people to be more conscientious about such things is rife with bad solutions. But I hold out hope that the chief reason for that is because we've only just now started to learn about how we might do it properly.
Science fiction, rebooted.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind