2018: Once more with feeling

Liquid-Television-Aeon-FluxHi everyone!

I’ve been involved in some amazing projects lately, like two novels, Cliffhanger app stories, video scripts for Frederator, and more! Oh yeah! I also taught myself to code ebooks and that’s like, 1/3 of my day job now. So, that took a minute, but totally worth it! Technical skills for the win!

But do not worry, I have not forgotten about our little shendig here. In fact, I have a lot of stories that I’ve been working on just for you! So I’ll post those here in a moment–some of them are still a bit of a work in progress, but this way you can see what I’ve been up to (and maybe let me know if you have any feedback!) Or whatever.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about storytelling and medium this year, and about queerness (both as a way of thinking about sexuality and as a way of thinking about the “other”). What a beautiful thing that queerness exists! What kind of place would we have here without it? Something orange and putrid and screaming (and not in a good way). Ok, so yeah, 2017 has been getting me down. But I have confidence that 2018 is gonna be weird and wild and gorgeous.

In the spirit of sharing the weird, I’d like to tell you about some artists and writers and things I admired HARD in 2017:

Alyssa Wong: I was lucky enough to meet Alyssa once when I worked as a kind of secretary/AV person at a program she was attending, but DAMN her stories are amazing. If you haven’t read anything by her, just know she’s a Nebula and Hugo award winner and a truly astounding storyteller. My favorite of hers is The Fisher Queen.

Pseudopod and Podcastle: OH MY GOSH how could I have gotten through this year without these podcasts? I couldn’t have. I was doing pretty well with The No Sleep Podcast, but I had been running out of stories! So thankfully I discovered these, and, well, they’re amazing. Check them out NOW.

Es Devlin: Holy shit. She makes me want to be a stage designer. The COOLEST arrangements and a really amazing design/artistic philosophy.

Yayoi Kusama: The best. My favorite this year was The Obliteration Room. (This video is at the Tate, not David Zwirner, but you get the idea).

Carmen Maria Machado: STOP EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING AND READ “ESPECIALLY HEINOUS.” 

The Knife: “Marble House” is everything.

Liquid Television: WHAT. THE. HECK. How did I not know about this totally disturbing, wonderful conglomeration of 90s animations and social commentary before now? For a while you could watch the archives here, but I think this is one of the only remaining episodes.

Hypertext as a medium for storytelling: It’s like AR/VR’s grandma, but I’m still very into it. Some really cool stuff comes out of hypertext storytelling, like The Silent History, and a bunch of the older stuff is REALLY amazing, too).

Also, on the whole, I’ve been thinking a lot about perfection lately, and its role in art and storytelling. For a few years now, I’ve been obsessing over my work, working myself to death to make sure it was PERFECT before sending it into the world. Which I think is a fine way to be, at least I thought so until I realized it’s been killing my creativity. When I write, there are these huge leaps in logic (which sometimes I pull off on the first try and sometimes I need to tweak to make work). I used to see that as a flaw of my writing, but now I’m realizing it’s a signature of my work. When I make the jumps in logic sensical, the resulting stories are awesome! I also realized that a lot of my favorite work by other artists has flaws. Flaws are inherently interesting, I think. Anyway. I’ll keep evolving, as we all do, but for now, my mantra for 2018 is to lean into the weirdness.

So! In the spirit of the strange and the partially complete, I’m going to post a few new things I’ve written. I hope you like them–some are finished, some are not, some might not be pristine and perfect. But you know what? I’m okay with that. 2018 is for making worlds that have cliffs you can plummet from unless you’re careful. Thanks for sticking with me, friends. Here we go.

And I’ll even round things out with a new Last Call story at the end of everything (that one will show up above this post, if you’re watching).

Happy New Year, everyone!

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