Saturday Waffling (June 1st, 2013)
Well, that’s another week over and done with, so it’s time for the open thread. It was a blog-writing week for me, which is always a busy one – at the moment I’m about a thousand words into The Christmas Invasion, which will post not this Monday but next, with one more post to do over the weekend. I’m also in the midst of some housekeeping on the blog, and failing spectacularly not to have large swaths of my time eaten by laying groundwork for the British Comics Project, which in no way needs to be done now, but which seems to want to be played with, so, you know, obey the muse.
Actually, one of these days I should start talking about what I have planned for that project, which secretly has a real name now instead of “the British Comics Project” and a bunch of cool ideas on structure and scope. And nothing resembling a way it will ever turn into neat and orderly books that people will want to buy. So I’ll probably have to figure out some other way of funding that. (Current candidate: write myself about a month-wide buffer and offer cheap monthly subscriptions to read a month ahead instead of at the public blog pace.)
Currently I plan to let that run alongside the last month or two of TARDIS Eruditorum, which probably has a bit more than a year left to run. So it probably is too early to start revealing much of anything.
So let’s turn the question around – what creative projects are you working on?
One of you I know the answer for. Josh Marsfelder has been getting underway with Vaka Rangi. Josh is one of my longest standing readers, and I’ve been nagging him to do an episode-by-episode blog of Star Trek for ages, mainly because I want to read one and will never get around to writing one. If TARDIS Eruditorum is a history of the utopian possibilities of the particularly British image of eccentric spaces and portals to faerie, Vaka Rangi is a history of the utopian possibilities and problems of the American image of the frontier. It’s intelligent, often scathing, and one of the most exciting blogs I’ve seen start recently. Go get in while catching up is still a quick job.
In the mean time, what are the rest of you up to creatively?
June 1, 2013 @ 12:40 am
Oooh another blog to follow! just had a look at Vaka Rangi. Looks great. I'm in.
As for me, this weekend should see the inaugural meeting of 'That Thing We Do'. A loose collective of performance people/dramaturgeurs/friends who have decided to get together on an ad hoc basis and try to decide just what 'that thing thing we do' actually is. This may or may not lead to some kind of public performance or art piece. I'll keep you posted.
June 1, 2013 @ 1:16 am
I, in a hugely obsessive partly academic/partly fannish/partly "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"ish, am attempting to create a narrative by which the destruction of Gallifrey leads to proliferation of non-linear storytelling that has flourished in the last decade or so.
Because "Death of [fictional] Prime Storytellers equals Experimental Storytelling/Cultural Narrative Collapse" seems… logical.
June 1, 2013 @ 1:40 am
I've got a couple projects on the to right now. Firstly I'm doing some preliminary work in what will be a blog of an alternate history of a revived series of Doctor Who. I have this reoccurring dream of a world where we've had Richard E Grant, Mark Gatiss, and Rupert Grint as the Doctor. It's so vivid and complete in my head…so what else can one do?
The second project is even nerdier: a hack of the Star Wars SAGA RPG for the Mass Effect universe. Want to have the alpha rules banged out in a month so it's a big pile of work. We're playing Shadowrun right now (Something I'm new to) in my gaming group coming off a Dresden Files game, having played D&D before that. I figure there might be a couple gamers on this blog.
Lastly I'm preparing to do a let's play video series of the "Mass Effect" trilogy with my English Masters student sister. She doesn't do a lot of Sci-Fi or any Video Games so it'll be interesting. I obviously owe a huge debt to "Adventures with the Wife in Space" on that project.
I think that sums it up.
June 1, 2013 @ 2:32 am
Admission time: aside from a couple of the movies, I've never watched "Star Trek", so Vaka Rangi might be a good opportunity for me to get acquainted…
As for me, any creative projects of mine are tempered by the fact that my Ph.D thesis (aka the Soul-Sucking Thing Without End) is due for submission within a couple of months, meaning that that is taking up most of my focus (not to mention, life); once that's done and dusted, I have a few projects that have been slowly simmering in my mind that I've been planning for a while, including a couple of novels, something which may or may not turn out to be a screenplay and and some articles. I'd also like to try my hand at a "Doctor Who" blog myself, and I think I've got a possible approach that doesn't seem to have been done before (or at least hasn't been done to death / isn't already being done better).
June 1, 2013 @ 2:55 am
Well, since you asked.
For the approaching future, I've finished the manuscript and started the first of my congenial fights with my editor, for my sci-fi novella, "Under the Trees, Eaten." My editor at Blank Space Publications (http://www.bsedit.com/blankspace/bs.htm) asked if I had any 40,000 word ideas for sci-fi, and after I told him that dystopias were played out and Walking Dead wasn't even that good anymore, I suggested an H. P. Lovecraft style story, but with a feminist inversion. Instead of a generically imperial-ish male scientist investigating some eldritch horror out of general curiosity, I have an ordinary woman (in the tradition of Barbara Wright, I suppose) who gets drawn into the otherworldly drama of an isolated Quebec town whose residents have a decades-old pact with the aliens who live under their forest, when she discovers that the town may have the secret behind her mother's death in a plane crash 15 years ago, and her father's mental collapse three years ago. It's sci-fi/horror in its approach, so I'm hoping for an October release. But right now, I'm among the indie-est of indie publishing, so we'll see.
I wouldn't have been able to write "Under the Trees, Eaten" without what Phil has taught me about genre mechanics and collisions over the last couple of years at TARDIS Eruditorum. So I do want to thank you for that, though you're not about to get any royalties.
In the immediate future, in about four hours, I start flying to Victoria, BC, for Canada's annual congress of every society for humanities and social science academia, where I'm presenting one paper and commenting on two others. My own presentation (longer version is an article under review at a cultural studies journal) also came out of this broader investigation into Lovecraft tropes. It's a pretty acidic critique of Graham Harman's ideas (which are getting kind of hip with the kids in Continental Philosophy studies), which involves an alternative perspective on his reading of Lovecraft.
June 1, 2013 @ 5:14 am
I'm actually filling my free time with some freelance survey analysis work. It's a great way of using the puzzle-solving part of the brain. And practicing a talk I'm giving next month (yay for not procrastinating!).
If I need a break from all that productive, responsible stuff, I've been following through on a challenge to write a story where Columbo meets Lovecraftian horror (he just wanted to know one more thing… but that thing would drive him mad!). You know how it is – you're talking to a friend, start winding each other up, and before you know it, you're saying "You know what, I WILL write that!" I expect it will be less good than Adam Riggio's Lovecraft-inspired story, but there's something freeing about writing something with limited aspirations.
June 1, 2013 @ 6:54 am
I've been slowly doing a book-by-book video series on a mid-90s YA series called Animorphs, a series very unique to it's time in its coverage of things like war, trauma, slavery, torture and much more. I find it a major transitional series, helping the YA "genre" become more about interpersonal dramas and darker subject matters (though not the only series, mind. When I'm done with Animorphs, I plan to cover the Hardy Boys Casefiles).
I'm also taking requests for video subjects ($20 paypal donation to cover any movie, book or episode of television they want, a model that I think Sandifer could benefit from). Right now, I've planning on doing videos on Reboot, the Ranma 1/2 manga & some random episodes of Doctor Who and Star Trek Voyager. Outside of videos, I'm finishing the outline for the first in a series of "Biblical What-If" books. I'm calling it Lambs of the Dead, and it deals with the zombie invasion of Jerusalem right after Christ's crucifixion, based on Matthew 27:51-52. I hope to get the bulk of it written over the summer.
June 1, 2013 @ 6:57 am
I've been working on your traditional Giant Comic Book Crossover, but done in prose, in the Legion of Net.Heroes universe, over on Usenet: https://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.creative/topics
I've also been working on more financially lucrative creative work, but that's not something that can be mentioned on a family website.
June 1, 2013 @ 7:05 am
Creatively I started the day relaxing by the river near our how, sitting in the sunshine drinking hot chocolate and reading David Whitaker's novelisation of The Crusade. Good stuff.
For my own projects, I have been formulating a series of workshops with another storyteller supporting adults with story-making, using art and outdoors work as key influences.
June 1, 2013 @ 7:09 am
You ever read Homestuck? That does a lot of playing around with narrative, and the Big Bad is a "Lord of Time" who's partially an inverted version of the Doctor…
Pen Name Pending
June 1, 2013 @ 7:16 am
Speaking of Star Trek, I saw the new movie this week (I was invited by some friends to go; I hadn't seen the 2009 one). It was actually really good. It balanced action, humor, emotion, and thought well, and it had Benedict Cumberbatch as Kahn. And thanks for the blog recommendation; it should be helpful, since I am more familiar with Next Generation than the original series and have been meaning to catch up.
Creatively…well, I'm still trying to edit my book, as I have for the past three years. I've also got a blog post due on Monday on "Flesh and Stone" which I really need to finish. I'm trying to analyze why Doctor Who is so important to me while actually watching the relevant episodes in order. I'm having a bit too much fun with it, though. It's going pretty well so far, after a bit of a rough beginning.
June 1, 2013 @ 7:22 am
Arghhh!!! Well thanks for telling me who Cumberbatch is playing in the movie I'm going to see next week! All those months avoiding spoilers and it all falls down on a Doctor Who discussion blog.
June 1, 2013 @ 7:24 am
I'm writing a lot of fanfic. The soonest-to-be-finished one is going to be about Compassion, since I just binge-read a lot of Faction Paradox related stuff, and I was struck by how no one seemed to be interested in exploring how a sentient TARDIS would actually think and what their point of view would be like. There's also another, more ambitious, project that I'm currently in the research stages of. I would really like to be working on something I could actually make money off of, but right now I think I mainly need to learn to write regularly, and do some of it every day, and so it's good to find something I'm passionate about.
I also mean to write something for Ununnilium's project at some point as well, if time permits.
June 1, 2013 @ 7:31 am
You just became my Oprah. I LOVED Animorphs.
June 1, 2013 @ 7:47 am
I'm doing a Babylon 5 to Deep Space Nine comparison blog series. Of course, given that there's DS9 than B5 it's been pretty much all DS9 so far. Nevertheless, it's been pretty fun so far, and I'd like to thank you for inspiring me to do it!
June 1, 2013 @ 8:40 am
I'm beginning the third draft of a novelette called 'The Boy Who Was Raised By Wolves Who Were Raised By Bears', a 14,000 word slipstream piece. I'm also polishing a few shorter stories: 'Yard Sale Season' (something of a tribute to both Leiber and Le Guin), 'Pictures Of Churches' (a Southern Gothic ghost story with a hint of the Southern Hemisphere, by way of Robert Aickman) and 'Beautiful, Useless Things' (a crime thriller inspired in part by The Singing Detective and Cousin Dennis in general).
I'm procrastinating over finishing 'Propriety & Trespass' a ridiculously long examination of all three series of Deadwood focusing on anarchist themes and the construction of community through violent desires being modified via (often grudging) voluntary co-operation. I'm trying to resist the urge to start a blog something like this one, focused on the work of the aforementioned Dennis Potter, since a friend recently sent me an extraordinary treasure trove that includes most of his early Wednesday Play and Play For Today material.
And, last but not least, I'm writing a short story for a Who fan series that's mostly me attempting to ridiculously over-do the concept of the unreliable narrator: Leela — who has recently used a TARDIS teaching machine to learn how to read, is puzzling over an anachronistic copy of Christie's 'The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd' on a train ride from London to Manchester in the late 19th Century, while keeping one ear on the strange conversation The Doctor is having with someone who is not what they seem while they play (and cheat) at cards.
June 1, 2013 @ 8:54 am
I'm waiting on editorial revisions for my first novel, which should be out from Obverse Books towards the end of the year. I'm writing two other books while I'm waiting — the Doctor Who: Fifty Stories For Fity Years thing I'm serialising on Mindless Ones (which will be extensively revised for book publication) and the second of my three-volume series on the Beach Boys.
In the background, I'm also co-writing an opera with some comic-blogging friends, in the planning stages of creating a card game, outlining books on Promethea and Cerebus, and tossing around ideas for a novel series.
And since everyone's talking about their Lovecraftian works, here's a short story I wrote recently, which I'm going to epublish as soon as I can get some decent cover art, combining Lovecraft and Damon Runyon — http://andrewhickey.info/2013/04/30/guys-and-dholes/
June 1, 2013 @ 8:56 am
Well, tomorrow (Sunday) is tech day for a local production of Ken Ludwig's 'Fox on the Fairway', in which I am playing the lead (yay for colour blind casting!), and we open on Thursday.. And if I can, I need to work on my bit for a round-robin short play. Alas, the previous writer has written me into a corner! Or so I keep telling everyone else.
Pen Name Pending
June 1, 2013 @ 9:09 am
Yikes, sorry! Like I said, I'm not that familiar with the original series lore and had looked up the movie on Wikipedia before I saw it and I wasn't aware it was kept a secret until the movie came out.
June 1, 2013 @ 9:17 am
On the other hand.. I have to say it was just the sort of thing that made me say 'Meh.' Had I known from before, it wouldn't have made much difference.
Mind you, the casting of Cumberbatch in that role is amusing given the topic of Dr Sandifer's recent blog post about the Daily Mail.
June 1, 2013 @ 9:24 am
I'm currently working on tomorrow's entry for my blog, "The Millennium Museum."
I like to think it's a spiritual brother to TARDIS Eruditorum: Whereas Dr. Sandifer links episodes of "Doctor Who" to then-current events and the spirit of those times, I attempt to do something similar with things from the Year 2000. More specifically, commemorative things, limited editions, etc.
Whether or not I succeed is still up for debate. 🙂
Trust me, there's a lot more out there than you'd think.
June 1, 2013 @ 9:25 am
ACH! Almost remembered:
Pen Name Pending
June 1, 2013 @ 9:58 am
So, apparently there is supposed to be some big Doctor Who news announced at midnight (UK time)…I'm scared that it's a regeneration. I've never been through one of those before.
June 1, 2013 @ 12:03 pm
I think you know what I'm up to for the most part. I'm writing a cider blog (http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com) and generally getting to know the American card cider community (the best online conversations in that world seem to be happening on Twitter btw).
Hopefully the move to Ithaca will allow me to meet and get to know even more sorts of cider people and others types of friends.
For at least a few more weeks, I'm also enjoying cutting my teeth in the world of recaps by doing Game of Thrones and Mad Men recaps for Romance Beat. They aren't in-depth analysis, but I'm enjoying refocusing the thematics so as to highlight the romantic or relationship elements for the Romance Beat crowd.
Big picture, I'm hoping to find a way to combine any but not likely all of my interests (cider, coffee, chocolate, esoterica, sexuality and history) and my skills (research, writing, teaching, promotion, photography, etc.) into a post academic career and life. Hopefully, one in which we get to hang out regularly.
June 1, 2013 @ 12:08 pm
Well, there goes that "watch every episode of Star Trek through DS9 and blog about it" idea, at least for awhile. Come to that, I've been toying with the idea of doing a similar thing, only with action cinema, primarily American (and eventually Hong Kong, to an extent); tracing it chronologically and examining it's relationship with the culture at large. At the very least I have an essay on Die Hard as socialist text that's been brewing. Additionally I think it's high time I started writing more fiction.
That aside, Andrew Rilstone just did a really interesting essay on The Name of The Doctor (http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2013/05/the-name-of-doctor-714.html) that I highly recommend. Actually, while I'm plugging blogs, everyone here who isn't already reading Marcello Carlin's Then Play Long (nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk) should be; it's essentially doing for pop music (specifically every number one album on the UK charts chronologically) what this blog does for Doctor Who, and it's amazing. The backlog is rather intimidating, but if you're looking for a good jumping on point, start with the McCartney II post.
June 1, 2013 @ 12:10 pm
As rumoured: Matt Smith to quit Doctor Who after Christmas special Daily Telegraph
June 1, 2013 @ 12:19 pm
…f's sake. :_-(
June 1, 2013 @ 12:56 pm
Well. Looks like we're doing a Sunday Pancaking this week.
June 1, 2013 @ 12:58 pm
Well, my blog I mentioned a few weeks ago about the scienc of Doctor Who, Relative Dimension (http://relativedimension.wordpress.com/) seems to have found its groove. So far it's looked at how a box can be bigger on the inside, paleolithic religion, radiation sickness, going mad in space, surviving in the desert, and teleportation.
I was quite pleased by the most recent post, on The Keys of Marinus. There have been lots of non-technical accounts of the science of teleportation in recent years, but I've never seen one that really got across the fundamental scientific principles. Hopefully I've managed to do that.
Doing the research for each blog post is turning out to be very rewarding in itself. This weekend I'm reading about the hows and whys of eclipse prediction in the ancient world. There's rather more to it than The Aztecs would have you believe.
Pen Name Pending
June 1, 2013 @ 12:59 pm
Yeah, it's all official now. I'm rather sad. It's like losing a family member. But it fits with how my life is in a "moving on" phase now, so that helps out my blog. And it will be interesting to see Clara with a different Doctor, which will help them do something different with her.
June 1, 2013 @ 1:05 pm
I really wanted a Series 8. 50-odd episodes from Mr. Smith would've been lovely.
Guess we know why he shaved his head, then…
Pen Name Pending
June 1, 2013 @ 1:13 pm
That's actually for his movie role that he's filming now. Since they haven't filmed the Christmas special yet, I'm guessing he'll be in a wig for that one.
June 1, 2013 @ 1:16 pm
I can't be anything but excited about this, really. And to have a regeneration announcement be front page news? Does my aging fanboy heart good. 🙂
June 1, 2013 @ 1:18 pm
A couple of weeks ago I read two newspaper reviews of Into Darkness, both of which put the name John Harrison in inverted commas before coyly referring to the film containing nods to longtime fans.
And I thought "Well that's that one answered then…"
June 1, 2013 @ 1:29 pm
Me above. No clue why that happened.
June 1, 2013 @ 2:17 pm
June 1, 2013 @ 2:28 pm
This week, I finally gave up on a creative project: a 50th Anniversary themed anthology of short stories, which I finally admitted to myself was never going to get off the ground. Having done so I told my son about what my idea had been, an action that has been the surest way I've found of killing any writing dead.
I then wrote the first 1,500 words of the framing sequence.
June 1, 2013 @ 3:36 pm
Long time reader, first time poster. I'm quite sad about this. Matt will be a very difficult Doctor to follow. I was fairly certain he would leave at the end of the next Season, but looks like it'll be Xmas.
June 1, 2013 @ 3:49 pm
Good Lord, the Legion of Net.Heroes still exists? That takes me back. Are they still occasionally assisted by the Trenchcoat Brigade? A many years ago, I was Yo-Yo the Owl there.
June 1, 2013 @ 4:00 pm
The saddest Christmas yet… no happy tears, this time. 🙁
Well, maybe at the other end of the regeneration; who knows?
June 1, 2013 @ 4:39 pm
Or Sunday Fish-fingers and Custard?
June 1, 2013 @ 5:49 pm
June 1, 2013 @ 6:46 pm
It's still around. Celebrated it's 20th anniversary not too long back. I was active in that particular sandbox around the turn of the century with the oh-so-creatively named Brain Boy, but I only drop by on a lurking basis occasionally nowadays. I intermittently toy with the idea of returning, or at least wrapping up some of the things I wrote fifteen years ago, but life always gets in the way.
June 1, 2013 @ 7:22 pm
Ha. It's a surprisingly common thing for me. Some projects go so inside-the-head that the head freezes up when attempting to actually get started on them. Once 'given up', the pressure releases and things can flow.
Sadly, pretending to give up in hopes of tricking the brain into proceeding doesn't actually work.
June 1, 2013 @ 8:04 pm
I think that essay doesn't really say anything. It slags magical realism and New Who a bit and then it's over.
June 1, 2013 @ 8:11 pm
I'm rewriting an ancient Greek myth, my primary work right now. Also noodling with stories about a woman who compulsively paints herself blue, a hoarder who rescues dogs, and a serial-killer murder mystery that takes place at a writer's critique group isolated out in the country during a snowstorm (yes, that would be supernatural fiction.) And another fun thing, but it's a little bit lost in the mix.
Winding down from this last round of Who analysis. I still have to close-read Series 4 (not a pressing need at the moment) and then maybe I'll be ready to put something more formal together.
Editing some of my dad's literary short stories in preparation for simultaneous submission. Still working on the fine points of a word game I developed with my mom. Facilitating a critique group for aspiring writers out here in the boonies of Indiana. Oh, and I'm reading Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which is really good.
June 1, 2013 @ 9:16 pm
I'm currently working on stuff for my own blog, which is kinda like the Nintendo Project but with toys. It's here if anyone is interested-
It's not much at this point, though.
June 1, 2013 @ 10:05 pm
Ooh, I like the idea of Let's Play videos constituting a creative work – if only because it means I've actually produced something creative recently. Of course, what you're planning sounds more involved than my "mumbling vulgarities with my brother" approach.
And I do like the sound of that alternate history blog, so make sure you post a link here once it's up and running (May I suggest calling it 'A Pseudochronography In Blue'?).
June 1, 2013 @ 10:36 pm
I would say Let's Plays are definitely creative work. Two Best Friends Play is pretty much my favorite web series right now, and they're most definitely playing characters… I think it counts as a form of theater.
June 1, 2013 @ 10:39 pm
I've tried to read Homestuck, and come to the conclusion that it needs to get off my lawn.
I've been reading web comics since very nearly the beginning of the medium (I started reading Sluggy Freelance in its first year), and this is exactly the same feeling I got when I played Super Mario 64 for the first time, a combination of "this art form has moved beyond me" and "I'm too old for this shit."
June 1, 2013 @ 10:43 pm
I just put up this weekend's entry of my blog, My Little Po-Mo, which rips off… er, applies something like the TARDIS Eruditorum approach to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
Now I'm writing a design brief for the cover of the first volume of the book version, which looks like it'll be coming out August or September.
June 2, 2013 @ 3:43 am
I'm Five Doctors into a weekly blog celebrating the electronic soundtracks of Doctor Who in the 1980s, what with it being DW's 50th anniversary year and there being 50 soundtracks to discuss and all:
It's nothing like as in-depth as TARDIS Eruditorum, but my thinking is that the music of DW is such an often neglected subject for critical examination and fannish discussion (beyond the ritual gripes about Keff McCulloch), and my trivial blog might at least be a step towards other, better equipped commentators doing something about that.
Vaka Rangi's a great read. I must have seen less than a quarter of all the Star Trek ever made and could probably count on both hands the episodes I can correctly name, so it's interesting on all levels to read that blog. Plus it's nice to have something more to look forward to now that the end of TARDIS Eruditorum is in sight.
June 2, 2013 @ 5:47 am
This is all making me feel very uncreative. The best I've done recently is learn how to play the Last of the Summer Wine theme on the recorder.
June 2, 2013 @ 8:28 am
I'm enjoying Iain's blog immensely. Fascinating topics so entertainingly treated. I can't recommend it enough.
June 2, 2013 @ 6:09 pm
writing an amusing but practical weight-loss book that allows you to treat yourself to genuinely naughty food (i.e. if you're going to eat chocolate it doesn't have to be sugar or fat free – it's the real deal).
This is a bit of a practice run for e-publishing my real creative project, a novel that's going to be some years in the writing yet.
June 2, 2013 @ 6:14 pm
Speaking as someone with next-to-no musical ability whatsoever, that's brilliant.
June 2, 2013 @ 6:23 pm
I for one will be reading!
June 2, 2013 @ 11:55 pm
I'm about to cross the 30K word mark in my first novel, a thriller/existential horror novel featuring an atheist suicide bomber and a born again Christian revival meeting in small town Devon. In 1995.
It's going pretty well so far.
I've also got about half a dozen short story ideas piled up behind it for when I've finished which I'm really looking forward to writing.
June 3, 2013 @ 2:14 am
I should be revising my book to 3rd Edition for a new US publisher. Instead, i'm faffing around with a new cover design, putting a database together for a mate's import business, posting links to Google Plus, and catching up on TARDIS Eruditorum.
June 3, 2013 @ 11:51 am
Well, that's certainly told me.
June 3, 2013 @ 6:08 pm
I just blogged "The Cage" on my new Star Trek blog.
June 6, 2013 @ 12:14 pm
I hate gettin' told. I never remember what they say.