Welcome, welcome to another blog post Thursday. I didn’t write anything for Iterations of Zero this week, and for that I apologize; I’ve been feeling somewhat under the weather over the past several days (which, I guess, can literally be said of everyone who isn’t an astronaut living on the space station or currently on some other mission).
Work proceeds well on Unanimity, but as I’ve said before, it’s becoming a longer book than I ever expected it to become. It’s curious how that happens; I honestly didn’t expect it to be as long as The Chasm and the Collision, though I knew it would be longer than Son of Man. It is, however, going to be my longest book so far, unless I do some truly astonishing trimming in the editorial process…which is, I suppose, possible. I’m enjoying writing it, as far as that goes, though yesterday (being, as I was, home sick, not to be confused with “homesick”) I didn’t write anything at all.
Oh, I forgot to say “Happy Summer Solstice” to all of you here in the Northern Hemisphere. The days are now, officially, no longer getting longer, but will instead begin their inevitable, sinusoidal slide down the slope of the curve until the Winter Solstice at the other edge of the year, when the cycle will begin again. It’s already quite hot and humid down here in South Florida, but it’s not as though that’s anything new.
The audio recording for Chapter 4 of The Chasm and the Collision is well underway. Indeed, if I hadn’t gotten sick, I think it probably would have been finished already, but since the recording is the easy part, that day doesn’t make much difference. It’s the editing that really takes time and effort. Luckily, I don’t hate the sound of my own voice (I don’t especially love it, either; it just is what it is, like Popeye, or the burning bush, so I don’t react to it much).
I enjoyed writing the second installment of “My heroes have always been villains,” and am already thinking about which villain to discuss next time. As I think I’ve written before, my plan is to continue doing that feature on the second Thursday of each month, but if any of you would like me to do it more often (or less often) I’m open to your input and feedback. Please let me know.
Speaking of input and feedback, I’ve been thinking a little about the pluses and minuses of the two big social media outlets, Facebook and Twitter. Facebook seems to lend itself more to deeper discussions and interactions, with its nested comment threads that can house vigorous and lively discussions and even debates,* but Twitter is great for sharing pithy phrases and insights, often attached to pictures or to articles. I find that, by following authors and other creative people on Twitter, I often encounter pertinent and even inspirational quotes. I particularly like the one (by whom I cannot recall) which counsels that you cannot sit and wait for inspiration but must hunt it down with a club. I think it’s true and applies to my own personal trick of just writing at least a page every day. I wish I had come to that insight twenty years ago, but I guess everything happens as it must happen.
Unfortunately, I think Twitter is not a very good venue for real discussion and the exploration of ideas, even in its expanded, 280-character-per-tweet format. I think it’s a great conversation starter, but not a great conversation arena. Whereas Facebook’s format of having what you see on your timeline targeted and directed by marketing AIs, makes it so that you don’t even know what conversations you might be missing, or why you’re seeing the one that you’re seeing (and who is paying to get you to see it). It’s a little disappointing. Maybe Reddit is better; I’ve never really taken the time to get into it, which is probably a good thing for me, but it would be nice to find a venue in which I could observe and participate in the exchange of actual ideas with some depth and sophistication as well as—this may be a pipe dream—courtesy. I do write about things fantastical and supernatural; I hope I can be forgiven for dreaming of pie in the sky.
With that, I think I’ve spouted off enough mindless drivel for this week. I hope you’re all well. As always, I would be delighted to hear from you.
*though I’m not a fan of literal “debates,” since they come down to pissing contests or jousting matches as often as not, and appear to have precious little to do with the honest seeking of truth.