Sunday 29 July 2012

Now Hiring: only pseudonyms need apply

I've been stalking about the Farm lately. I've been trying not to draw attention to myself. I keep my distance. The creatures I see in the fields are stranger these days than they have been, but they are still familiar. I still see my brushstrokes in the their casual gait and in the way that they feed. They are mine, and I long to be among them again.

Looking at them without engaging, I see more clearly the way that they are penned together despite their differences. Allowed to roam amongst each other without restriction.

It is not an alien concept that one might create new farmers, cut from the cloth of the original, to help tend the herds. Iain Banks made himself another farmer. One who would tend to his science fiction, while he tended to the mainstream herd. Stephen King brought one to life to reduce market saturation, only to take its life when his usefulness had passed. Dodgson wrote about mathematics under his own name, and about Wonderland under Carroll's. Asimov wrote as French to accommodate the varied nature of the creatures on his farm.

I've seen my creatures, and I think they might need labeling. Same farm, different product. People know what they're getting. It's not a dissociative identity disorder thing, it's just branding. Such an unfashionable word, but I think people like to know what they are letting into their heads. Don't you?

How varied are my creatures? How many people do I need to be? How many people could I be? Perhaps if I were a dragon and a dentist, as well as a farmer, I could create an army to tend my herds.

Think of all the faces I could have!

Sunday 8 July 2012

Same farm, different product

It is nearly midnight when and where I am at the time of starting. I am listening to Off World Music, which is one of a few bootleg Blade Runner soundtracks that I've acquired over the years. I've spent the day in bed, because my back did something without me while I was sleeping. I'm at that point in the night where after my sixth cup of decaf I realised that I need to label my two coffee jars. Around the same time of this particular epiphany I also realised that sleep may be elusive tonight.

There is a thing that I call The Farm. It is the place that I populate with those things that will become my stories, and those things that already are. It is the place where I keep snippets, outlines, theories, characters and broad concepts. It is also a place where I keep my literary theories to myself.

I enjoy spending time at the Farm. I like the lack of structure that exists there. There are structures in the Farm, but they are still concepts. The Book has no more chapters to be written. It is a whole thing. It is a thing that demands that I make its structure far more real than I think I was ever prepared for. For the time being I have a reprieve. There are other things in my life that demand attention. So much attention that I do not have to engage with the book in a way that will bring the structure it craves from me.

So, for the time being, I only have the time and the head space to visit the Farm.

It is past midnight now, and I can feel that cold pain that sets in when your body catches up and it too comes to the realisation that it will not get something that it needs.