I watched Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind yesterday. I’m always struck by how carefully he set up his shots (well-deserved Oscar by cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond), and tells the story with just enough info to go forward with, forcing you to create the missing information in your own mind.
But here they were. Bluesong was panting heavily and feeling a little dizzy—his weekly workouts weren’t very rigorous—but the bridge loomed just ahead through the trees, which had thinned a little as they rounded the inside river bend turning south. A few hundred yards and they’d be safe. Well, that was being laughably optimistic. East of the river was slicer territory, and he didn’t really have a good working knowledge of their range
But then, sometimes just art should be the focus, here, I think.
NaNoWriMo excerpt, and this is slow going, folks:
Somehow, he’d need to get within range of an open localnet node and send a message to Manola. She’d know what to do, and maybe she could help find out what had happened to his life since this morning, when he’d thought everything was still normal. He tried not to think about the growing possibility it would never be so again.
Here in the U.S., we’ve been entertaining ourselves by letting lots of outrages from factions we oppose stand in for our various personal grudges and grievances. I would like to say I’m hopeful we can find common ground somewhere, but I’m not sure that will happen soon.
I have my own personal beliefs and desires for helping the greatest number of people the most, but some of my beliefs are concerned with ways to live and those aren’t always objective, superior ways. We need some compromising largesse toward each other.
But we can keep sending more art into the world. More expression, more passion, more remixing and recombining old ideas into new ones. When times are troubled, creative work can act as both refuge and inspiration. It’s the place to channel your energy and focus after they’ve been hijacked by TV ads and yelling heads.
Another NaNoWriMo excerpt:
They couldn’t stay in view of the city, couldn’t count on roving eyes not looking for them, and needed distance as fast as possible. One of the bridges was heavily trafficked. The other only by rail, still the best way to move large amounts of goods across long kilometers of wilderness between cities and territories, but maybe they could get across and head for dense forest and some valid cover. It didn’t seem to Bluesong any madder than hanging out with a talking bear in a copse next to Pearl City.
“Well, we can’t stay here, they’ll find you, they’ll capture us and take us back to Pearl City. We have to find a place to stay hidden, at least for a while.”
He felt his stomach drop a little, as his panic rose again. What if he never got back to the city, to his life? He had a momentary thought that his life didn’t amount to much, at the moment. But he was on something of a career path at work, a supervisor. It was a typical qualifying job, one that allowed him significant down time for personal pursuits.
Sometimes, when life matters become overwhelming, it helps—for a time—to indulge in some intense trifles to distract ourselves with stories, music, video, memes. As long as we don’t let that go on too long. Scott Thompson, as his Buddy Cole character in The Kids in the Hall, said in a sketch, “I believe in moderation. Within reason!”
Indulge completely and work completely. Too much of either can burn you out or waste time that shouldn’t be wasted. Once you’ve wasted some and fed the furnace with either energy of inspiration, it’s time to undistract.
NaNoWriMo excerpt from today’s work:
His father and mother had both been musicians, as well as his grandfather, who he’d only know through vague memories and family images in cloud storage. His parents had insisted he learn keyboards of both type: computer and piano. This let him work out song paths on either physical or virtual instruments whenever he felt like it, and it was a freedom that fed his soul, the practice and art he longed to do whenever he was working his job, or traveling there and then home, afterward. The fact that they’d named him Bluesong was as hopeful as it now seemed inevitable.