Doubts and Digressions

Sometimes I wonder why I keep writing this blog even though I rarely (ever) have anything substantial to add to the (lack of) progress in the writing process for the various literary works in progress. Despite my discipline and (uncanny) ability to actually!write something for this blog on a weekly basis within a (usually) short span of time, the words that are written and posted here rarely have anything to do with the aforementioned works in progress. Ideas buzz about in my head, various storylines, snippets of exposition, conversation and inner monologue, yet they remain stored in the mainframe that is my brain, though sometimes the aforementioned are random and absurd and probably should remain untold (perhaps they’ll resurface as bonus features in the far off future).

For those following this blog (are there any?), most of what will be written here is not so new – I’m sure I’ve expressed these thoughts, musings and doubts (many times) in previous entries. Sometimes I wish I could apply the same discipline I have for writing for this blog to the actual!writing of my works in progress. (I can almost hear the retort of “Yes, you should stop complaining and actually apply that discipline to the actual!writing process” – I know of one fellow aspiring writer who would say this to me, though probably with saltier language and sarcastic emojis).

If only I had a TARDIS (and a sonic screwdriver) to find the time (and energy) to really!focus on plotting, pondering and actually!writing. Things in the Land of Exposition are hectic and unstable, as the fallout from the Real Life Brigade implosion resulted in tiny yet substantial aftershocks – the pollen is floating in the air, mingling with the omnipresent bacon aroma, creating minor tectonic shifts from all the sneezing. The clean-up has been exhausting, coordinating the meager resources to contain the multiple inquiries, projects and other things that pop up unexpectedly. Most of the Muses have departed from the Land of Exposition, citing reasons to recharge, reflect and recover; the plot bunnies keep bouncing about, attempting to make sense of what has happened. The Character Development Inn remains nearly empty, even though its cupboards have been restocked with an array of interesting foodstuffs.

As much of the time has been spent reorganizing, regrouping and resting from the efforts to get things back to normal (or whatever passes as normal these days), not much time has been spent on the finer nuances of the MASC Chronicles, Carpe Noctem or the Tales from the Land of Exposition. The ideas are there (the interesting, the meh and the absurd) yet the urge (and the energy) to organize them in a coherent fashion is lacking (at the moment).

Or in other words, I’m literally exhausted from Real Life to write. Yes, this will most likely sound like an excuse (and to be honest, at times it probably is) – it’s a flimsy excuse for my lack of progress while other writers are able to crank out stories (of varying lengths). Logically, I shouldn’t compare the speed of my progress (which is currently at a glacial pace) to anyone else’s (whether they’re trotting along at a brisk pace or speeding down the highway), but it’s kinda human nature to compare oneself to others.

Everyone moves at a different pace, and everyone has different circumstances in their lives that impact on their ability to plot, ponder and actually!write.

Of course, I could have used the time I spent writing this entry to go actually!write (or plot and ponder) the aforementioned works in progress.

Then again, if I did that, then this entry wouldn’t exist, and I’d be behind in the weekly updates writing about how there’s a lack of progress in the writing process.

Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

Brief aside – I’m feeling optimistic about the new companion, and curious about the direction Doctor Who will take in the next series/season (though I wish we didn’t have to wait until next year). On the other hand, Game of Thrones started its new season with interesting twists and turns – now that the TV show has caught up (for the moment at least) with the book series, everyone is on an even playing field – no one (aside from author George R.R. Martin, and the TV showrunners) knows what will happen next.

Enough blathering here (again) – off to plot and ponder.

Again.

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The Authorship Question

“How much of your book is autobiographical?”

It’s among the standard questions authors are asked when the topic arises, and the answer can range from being obvious to obscure – sometimes there’s a direct correlation to the writer’s own experiences, and other times it’s purely removed from any aspect of the writer’s “real” life. Then again, (unless the story in question actually is an autobiography) there would be some smidgen of the writer’s own reality within the story he/she is writing, as the idea itself came forth from his/her imagination. It would make sense that there be some truth within the fiction.

Figuring out how much (if any) is hidden in the stories is the tricky (fun?) part.

I would like to think that an author includes some aspect of their real life into their stories – whether it be a character trait the protagonist (or antagonist) possesses or an element within the narrative arc. Inspiration comes from many places, and life events can be transmogrified into a work of fiction, regardless of genre.  The people one meets and the places one visits influence your perspective and factor in how you go about in this world (whether or not there is a world beyond this world is questionable, and would make for an interesting story in and of itself).

Then there’s the issue of writing style and tone, which can be reflective of the writer or serve as a facade to further confuse readers with regards to the writer and his/her “true” identity. It becomes a question of discerning between the public and private persona – how he/she chooses to present themselves to the world may or may not be how he/she truly is. The degree to which an author is like the characters they create is variable – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, and maybe not at all. That’s the fun in writing fiction – the limits to which one can stretch the imagination are endless, and (especially when writing mystery/horror stories) the (often horrible) things one can do to fictional characters is cathartic (and won’t lead to prosecution so long as they remain on the written page).

The authorship question would arise if scholars in the far distant future would attempt to ascertain the identity of a particular work of literature, should such a question arise. This would be relevant if the authorship of a work of literature is questionable  – as in the case of the works of William Shakespeare (who died 400 years ago today, and is the quasi inspiration of this entry). As a theater dork/geek/nerd, it’s fascinating that the mystery of whether or not Shakespeare wrote the plays (and/or the sonnets) endures to this day. There are loads of theories that other (perhaps not as famous) playwrights “actually” wrote the plays, from the plausible to the absurd (there isn’t enough time to go through all the theories at great length, so I won’t).

Anyway.

These days, there are intricate algorithms that can analyze a writer’s work and identify a writer in question, should there be an authorship question – there are even websites that can analyze a piece of writing and compare it to other (notable and famous) writers. So the authorship question may no longer be questionable if there is an identifiable piece of writing attributed to said writer.

Maybe.

So, how much of my writing is autobiographical?

Yes. (and that’s all I’m prepared to divulge at this time)

(Almost) Three Years Later…

So nearly three years have passed since I started this blog, chronicling the journey (or lack thereof) of writing the stories I plotted out many, many moons ago; since then many things have changed.

Yes they have, though it might not seem so, given the lack of actual!writing or actual!imparting of actual!details about the actual!narrative…

(OK, I might have been a bit overzealous with the exclamation points, but they’re there to their point…)

Anyway.

As the anniversary of this journey is (quasi) fast approaching, another round of reminiscences, reflections and regrets (?) is forthcoming. (Alliteration seems to be the Name of the Game in recent weeks.) New projects had been created, plotted and pondered, and inevitably never finished (a recurring theme), while older projects have been arranged, rearranged, discarded and revived along the way. A brief foray into the world of NaNoWriMo (which I misspelled throughout my foray into that mythical land), both the camp version in April/July and the regular version in November resulted in some (but not that much) actual!writing, and the (Captain Obvious) realization that my writing process does not work on a set schedule (at least outside these weekly updates/musings/whatnot).

The main WIP is still out and about, though more about than out, as I tend to keep an aura of mystery about it, lest I need to rewrite/revise any details after the fact. Other quasi-stand alone projects have come forth from the main epic saga (the elusive MASC Chronicles), as well as the creation of the Land of Exposition and the Follies that have happened within, mainly from the efforts of the Real Life Brigade.

In writing those entries (the updates, the mini-tour, etc.), it almost seems as if I’m focusing on the “wrong” genre – that essay writing and absurd streams of thought are the genre (or rather format) from which I should be writing. Most of what is written here is spontaneous, quasi-rambling and (for the most part) unedited from the time the words are typed into WordPress to the time the “Publish” button is pressed and the entry is shared on Facebook.

(I probably should have created a Twitter presence at the start, but I don’t have the time to monitor it, and maintain using it as I should – maybe someday when actual!writing is actually!written, I might start one). Then again, considering all the trolling, passive aggressive commenting and other tedious (and often juvenile) nonsense that goes on there, I might not bother to do so until I really have to.

As a confirmed introvert (I took several online quizzes confirming this status), it’s not too surprising that not that much detail is revealed (or at least I don’t think so), which also explains the lack of omnipresent presence on Social Media. As the plots sequence of events falls into place, the subplots and tangents are squared away, and a sense of normalcy returns to the Land of Exposition, trace details on what the heck I’m actually!planning to actually!write will be revealed.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll reveal what “MASC” stands for.

Maybe.

Quasi-updates for the State of the Land of Exposition:

An air of uncertainty, instability and general confusion lingers in the (still) bacon-infused atmosphere.

*cue dramatic music*

No one knows what will happen next.

Maybe.

Reviewing the Situation (again)

So the (metaphorical) shoe has dropped in the Land of Exposition – an unexpected hurricane of quasi-epic proportions, leaving (almost) everything in a state of disarray, disorientation and disbelief.

The recent bout of instability and uncertainty stemming from the influence/presence of the Real Life Brigade has led to another prolonged session of contemplation, plotting and pondering what will happen next and how to restore things back to normal (or as close to normal). It might seem as if the perpetual cycle of plotting and pondering is a product of procrastination (and acute alliteration) – I will admit sometimes it is, and sometimes it’s not; the overabundance of plot ideas, character studies and narrative arcs is overly overwhelming (and that’s only taking into consideration the sprawling epic saga that is the MASC Chronicles, which remains a vague fog of mystery for various reasons). The skirmishes from the Real Life Brigade, and dealing with the fallout has its toll on the morale of the Plot Bunnies and Muses and diverts their attention and ability to focus on the task at hand.

Then again, transcribing the Reports from the Land of Exposition and extracting the quasi-rambling musings counts as a kind of storytelling (even though they aren’t exactly the stories I formulated all those years ago) and maybe in a way I’m writing a quasi-cohesive narrative in real time). After all, the objective of this blog is to chronicle the journey of writing the Story, and thus far, I’ve adhered to the self-imposed task of writing something on a weekly basis, even if it’s quasi-rambling musings written with a host of (near) run-on sentences and geeky pop culture references. I know I’ve mention this numerous times in other entries – it still remains a [hollow?] point of pride that I’ve rambled on (and rarely edited) what has been written within this blog every week, usually written within an hour (or so).

Containing the chaos and confusion created by the Real Life Brigade is (almost) a full time job for the Muses and Plot Bunnies, leaving little time (if any) to concentrate and contemplate the existing narrative and notes contained the Mainframe Database and the Vault

Eventually actual!writing, plotting and pondering about the MASC Chronicles and the other (non-meta) works in progress will make a triumphant comeback return.

Updates on the State of the Land of Exposition

  • The aroma of bacon still lingers in the air, while the smell of maple syrup has vanished completely. Bouts of confusion ensue; nothing makes sense anymore.
  • The remaining relatively sane plot bunnies have issued color coded messages to the wayward Muses asking for help. The conga-infected plot bunnies have been quarantined to a sound proof room.
  • The Real Life Brigade delegates remain hidden in their Ivory-colored tower, reveling in their handiwork and contemplating their next nefarious notion of nonsense.

It seems bursts of alliteration are a symptom of the singular sensation of the simple yet sinister situation within the Land of Exposition.

That’s about all for now.

Onward and… something.

Further Updates from the Land of Exposition

Taken from the Musings of Plot Bunny #126;88-O.G.

Celestial Time Stamp: 525600-32297/1117.94

Weather: Dark and stormy, with a 88.6% chance of melodrama

Quasi-dark times loom upon the horizon.

Things in the Land of Exposition have imploded in a Technicolor fashion. The Real Life Brigade have lost the plot – figuratively and literally (but mostly figuratively, using alliterative metaphors that make no sense whatsoever, which is probably the point). Restless, frustrated and generally irritated at everything, they’ve crossed that invisible line of demarcation to wage a new(ish) battle for anarchy and nonsense.

The analysis of the Land Mines proved to be the ultimate red herring – the lingering aroma of maple syrup, mixed with the infusion of bacon and coffee created an aura of complacency that everything was going to be all right. Easter eggs wrapped in purple knitted scarves appeared upon all the monitors within the FanGirl Meter (patent pending), [raspberry] jamming the signals and creating havoc. The Muses attempted to contain the chaos, but the virus proved to be evasive and strangely melodic, with a conga beat. Many of the plot bunnies succumbed to the conga beat, shaking their bushy tails with alarming precision.

The choreography is hypnotic, impressive in its coordination and style.

But I digress.

Meanwhile, the scientist and philosophers on loan from the University of Universal Knowledge have admitted temporary defeat in their miscalculation with regards to the significance of the land minds. They have since retreated from the Land of Exposition, taking a few of the purple plaid land minds as a reminder of their failure (and a nifty souvenir).

The remaining uncoordinated plot bunnies have gone underground to regroup and to formulate a counteroffensive that is not overly offensive. According to the kitchen staff (who had remained fairly neutral in the initial skirmish) the Character Development Inn is nearly empty, as the plot ninja aligned with the Real Life Brigade have commandeered the space to chart their findings from their extensive analysis of data. The impact from the results of the aforementioned data is questionable, and will probably take even more time to properly process. Despite their resurgence, it seems there is still unrest amid the leaders of the Real Life Brigade, as they plot and ponder their next move.

How things will turn out in the near (and far) future remains to be seen.

Not much else can be said about the State of things, but warning signs have been placed around the borders of the Land of Exposition:

Absurd times ahead.

Nonsense lies beyond the point.

Logic will not help you here.

*end Log*