Skip to main content

in the beginning

among other projects that i'm struggling to get to various levels off the ground right now, i've had this idea that sits in my head, that i can't ever seem to do anything with. i want to do something with it, because i feel like it would power me out of other areas where i've become creatively stuck. but instead it just feels like a ball of uranium in my creative pocket, weighing me down as i'm trying to swim through the waters of my own brain.

the concept that i'm trying to work out has to do with a thing, not really a character or a setting, although it has elements of both, that appears in several things i've written/ am writing. my idea is that i'd like to give it a sort of origin story, something that mixes facts with [modern] myths- the tale it tells about itself. but i'll be damned if i can think of a good point from which to start.

perhaps it's my personal view of history that gets in the way; everything is the result of what has preceded it, therefore the idea of an origin point is fatuous. the only true origin stories are myths, where you have the luxury of choosing, but even then, they're not quite perfect. what was god doing for all that time before he decided to create the earth and all that good stuff? the primordial deities of ancient greece might have been born out of chaos, but how did chaos get there? even science follows the rule of "nothing from nothing", meaning that there literally cannot be an origin point of anything at all, because there had to be a something to cause the something else. billions of years ago something sparked in the tiniest imaginable corner of the universe, and from that, i have blue eyes.

yes, i realise that i'm overthinking this.

the fact is that we set origin points because we need to, because we can talk our way back to the primordial ooze every time we want to explain a historical event. and certainly, we can talk about turning points, when the weight of some historical events pushes things in one direction rather than another at a particular point in time. so maybe that's what i'm searching for: the particular confluence of circumstances that would have caused my imaginary bugbear to invent itself at a certain point.

if you've read things i've written, you've probably figured out that this is not a fantasy story, where i have unbound options. i favour things that take place in a real, or real-seeming world. maybe like something that lives on the other side of the mirror. it looks exactly the same, but there's no rule that says that's the case when you can't observe it. [yes there is. -ed.]

so here's my dilemna:

i need a realistic story [probably with some actual historical detail thrown in, because i'm sort of hung up on strange but true details];
it has to explain how something expansive enough to hang in the background of several stories i've written or started
i have to be able to connect it to other things that i've already said about it
it needs to be imaginative and memorable and maybe a bit scary, like a proper old-fashioned fairy tale.

so that should be no problem, right? creative people are always able to come up with highly specific ideas on command. that's how the creative process works.

i'm going to go hide in a hole now.

p.s. :: i have bronchitis! that's not related in any way to my creative problem. i just wanted some extra  pity.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

fun-raising

no, i am not dead, nor have i been lying incapacitated in a ditch somewhere. i've mostly been preparing for our imminent, epic move, which is actually not so terribly epic, because we found a place quite close to where we are now. in addition, i've been the beneficiary of an inordinately large amount of paying work, which does, sadly, take precedence over blogging, even though you know i'd always rather be with you.

indeed, with moving expenses and medical expenses looming on the horizon, more than can be accounted for even with the deepest cuts in the lipstick budget, dom and i recently did something that we've not done before: we asked for help. last week, we launched a fundraising campaign on go fund me. it can be difficult to admit that you need a helping hand, but what's been overwhelming for both of us is how quick to respond so many people we know have been once we asked. it's also shocking to see how quickly things added up.

most of all, though, the ex…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …