Okay, a quick little post today, since I’ve used up a good portion of my usual Thursday morning writing time by working on “Unanimity.” I couldn’t help it. I’m in a lovely, chilling, horrible moment in the story, and such scenes are hard to escape. It’s a strange perversion, I suppose, but writing moments where very bad things happen to people who are—if not completely innocent—not deserving of the horrors in store for them can be terrifically fun, especially when the writer can imagine readers being frightened by the scene. I remember, early in the writing of “The Chasm and the Collision,” when my son read an early draft of the “frightful night” occurrences near the beginning of the book. He said (more or less), “That was kind of scary, Dad.”
Of course, I felt like rubbing my hands together and giving a Monty Burns-style, whispery exclamation of, “Excellent!” And I did tell him that I was glad he found it scary, since that was my intention, and he understood. I owe him a lot for that report!
Anyway, I’m writing “Unanimity” enthusiastically, even as hurricane Irma approaches South Florida, where it’s almost certain to cause me at least temporary inconvenience. But I’ve been through quite a few hurricanes, and through worse life events than those, so I’m not as panicked as many people in the area seem to be. Nevertheless, the storm bears caution: specifically, I had to make sure that I had pens and notebook paper so I could continue writing even when the power goes out, as it almost certainly will.
One has to have one’s priorities straight.
I’ve been going back and forth on my secondary blog, “Iterations of Zero,” and just in the last few days, I think I’ve come up with something I’m going to do instead.
I’m going to do a Vlog.
In other words, I’m going to create videos (easy to do nowadays) about various subject and topic matter that I had intended to move on over to Iterations of Zero. In fact, I think I’ll probably call the new video channel just “Iterations of Zero,” since I like that title and idea so much (I’m easily pleased). Though I may just leave it under my name. We’ll see.
As for why I’m doing this, well, there are no doubt reasons of which I am not aware, but among those of which I am, the main two are: exposure and time. It’s simply a fact that more people watch videos (probably orders of magnitude more) than ever go out of their way to read blogs, or even other print media. This is a lamentable fact, but I think it’s empirically undeniable. So, getting videos out there in which I talk about everything from black holes to criminal justice, to medical science, to philosophy may get what I think are important thoughts to more people than they might reach otherwise. And the videos will serve to promote me and my fiction writing as well—indeed, I can be my own primary sponsor, which is kind of a pleasing notion.
With respect to the “time” input to the decision, the term might be misleading. After all, it may at times take longer to make a video about a certain topic than it will to make a blog post—as I’ve said before, I tend to write very quickly. But it is a different kind of time. I tend to write earlier in the day, and I often write while on the train going to work, and so on. When I’m writing (with the exception of Thursdays, when I write this blog) I want to be writing my fiction. I have foolishly let decades pass without working on most of my novels, so I have a tremendous backlog of them to get out before I die!
That being said, there seems to be only a certain amount of writing in me on any given day. That can sometimes be a pretty huge amount—I’m very lucky that way—but it’s finite, and I’ve already noticed how difficult it is for me to dedicate some of that resource to two separate blogs. Speaking to a camera, on the other hand, like speaking to other people, is a different mode of communication, and seems to draw upon slightly different resources. I’m not particularly good at making small talk, or interacting at a purely social level, but when I have something to say, about subject matter that I find intriguing or important, I can gab with the best of them. I tend to write my first drafts rather as if I were talking aloud to someone, so I expect there won’t be too much difficulty, and I foresee that this will be a potentially useful venture.
Anyway, that’s my provisional plan for the moment. Obviously, once I get it going, I will let you know. Things might be temporarily delayed by the lovely hurricane approaching South Florida, which may curtail any use of electricity or electronics temporarily, but I’ll be back as soon as I may.